Thursday, October 28, 2010

10 Things Thursday

Thinking of Halloween, last night's Reformation Celebration, the upcoming Thanksgiving, birthdays and Christmas season, I wanted to make a list of 10 new tradition ideas for our family as Charlotte goes into childhood:
  1. Special Christmas Eve dinner - what? I don't know yet. Something Nope, no ideas yet.
  2. Using an Advent calendar. Adam got me a beautiful one last year for my birthday, and I would like to begin filling it this year, teaching Charlotte the story as we go.
  3. I anticipate that we will continue our tradition of going to Target during the appointed "trick or treating" time on Sunday, not because we are inhospitable, but because hoards of people commute to our neighborhood for the festivities. No, thanks. See you there, Rafe.
  4. Making Thanksgiving dinner. In our house. In our kitchen. In my new, sweet apron. Making the side dishes that we want...and probably birthday cake for Charlotte.
  5. Having a birthday party for Charlotte the weekend before Thanksgiving (or the week after, I guess it depends on when Thanksgiving is).
  6. Putting up the tree and decorating the whole house (since I've gotten the knack for it during this fall season) the day after Thanksgiving.
  7. Maybe Black Friday shopping...maybe. Without Kohl's and my mom, it just isn't the same. But maybe C and I will make the drive.
  8. Cycling through all of our Christmas choir CDs through the next two months (as long as they work...they've been at odds with our stereo lately).
  9. Finding some holiday recipes to make our own. Also recipes for leftovers. Again, we've never had to do these things before.
  10. And finally, making tender moments happen whenever possible. This was the last part of the Making Your Home a Haven challenge that I did this month (kind of...). Creating tender moments, like pausing dinner to read Goodnight Moon on the kitchen floor with Charlotte in my lap. This is what truly makes holidays and families special.
What are some of your traditions? As we begin to make our own, and I know many of you are too, what are some holiday traditions you have for your own families? Post a comment and let me know. :) Soli Deo Gloria.

P.S. Here are some pictures I took this week. Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reformation Celebration

Most churches have a harvest festival or trunk or treat this week. Our church takes a little different approach to October 31, choosing instead to commemorate the day in terms of the Reformation, since it was the date that Luther tacked the 95 Theses to the church door. Every year, we hear stories of reformers who were martyred for sharing the gospel; Adam was John Knox one year :). This year, we heard the story of Hugh Latimer, executed by Bloody Mary, and probably best known for his famous quote: "Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out." He said this to fellow reformer, Nicholas Ridley, as both were about to be burned alive for heresy. This is even more exciting to me because this quote is in the novel Fahrenheit 451 which I'm teaching right now. I love that connection - such a great, prophetic book if you've never read it.

So aside from hearing stories of martyrs each year, there is also a costume contest and this year, there was a chili/salsa cookoff. Sadly, we did not win the costume contest; there were many superb entries, including most of our youth group dressing up as the Duggar family. The child's prize went to Seth, a boy in Charlotte's class for his stinkbug costume. Hilarious. Since we didn't participate in the cookoff, enjoy our costume pictures.

Here are Charlotte and me. Charlotte is, hopefully obviously, Princess Leia this year. Since she had that costume, I decided to be Leia's mom, Queen Amidala, from the prequel movies. Adam called us Princess Lottie and Queen Mommy-dala, which I thought was clever. Honestly, my church was not the best audience for this costume decision, since about half the people I saw thought that I was a geisha. I should have said that I would never dress up as a geisha to come to a church function, but most people don't really know what geishas are/were anyway.

Here we are - the whole strange family. Adam was in a kind of monk/choir robe regalia since he was a part of the storytelling earlier in the evening. If it were not for that, I think we could've talked him into being Annakin. He really wanted to be Darth Vader chasing Charlotte around saying, "Give me back those plans! I want those plans!" Haha. All in all, it was a fun, but long day and evening. I already have an idea for tomorrow's post, so tune in! Soli Deo Gloria.

Friday, October 22, 2010

10 Things Thursday on Friday

Ah...the end of the first nine weeks... After being very stressed and working very hard this week, I am rewarded today with a day off. Of course, it is a day of running errands and trying to put our house back together, but that is what I truly love. I have promised myself that I will not get overwhelmed or feel guilty about anything today. I will just do what I can do. What a refreshing attitude for most of us!

I tried to come up with an original, not predictable 1o things list this week, realizing that topping last week's 10 pumpkin patch pictures is almost impossible.

10 reasons that I love this season of my life:
  1. My child sleeps through the night, every night. She and mommy both need a lot of sleep, so this is truly a blessing.
  2. I also love toddler-Charlotte. She is wonderful, funny, expressive and playful. As she gains independence, I see glimmers of the woman she will become. It worries me because I don't want to mess her up! but I know that my Lord is sovereign over her and our imperfect parenting.
  3. I appreciate my home so much when I am here. I am learning more and more what it means to care for it, create a haven in it and cope with the imperfections of it. While it is true that this house is the biggest reason I cannot stay at home right now, I am truly appreciative of the fact that we have it and that it is more than adequate for us.
  4. I truly love my husband. We have been through it in the past two years, and even though our situation right now is not ideal, it is much better than it was five months ago. I praise God for the growth He has ordained in both of us in this time of struggle, and say with confidence that I truly love my husband, til death do us part. We are such a better couple now than when we got married - isn't that the way of it? :)
  5. I love our family coming to visit, inviting us to visit and sending us presents for Charlotte when they can't visit. Charlotte and I both get so excited when packages come for her.
  6. I love our church family as it is right now. Growing from without and within, it is a blessing many don't even know they are lacking to be in a body such as ours.
  7. I love the fact that I have a best friend in Brit. Without getting into overdramatic details, I have never really had a best friend like her, and she is so much more than a babysitter, an auntie to Charlotte or a co-housekeeper. She is a dear friend to our family, most of the time, part of the family, and I truly apprectiate the fact that God has matched up our lives at this point in them.
  8. I am also loving being a mentor to Allison. She is so passionate about growing in the Gospel and killing the sin in her life that she convicts me to do the same. Though we are close in age and friends, our mentor-mentee relationship is in its proper place and being her mentor focuses me on the battle at hand.
  9. Our jobs...I do not love them, but I am grateful for them. Again, we are not where we were five months ago (and all of our parents sigh with relief) and that is truly of grace.
  10. I am excited about the coming holiday season. November is just around the corner, which in our home doesn't just mean Thanksgiving, but it also means birthdays. Planting traditions for our young family is very exciting to me (and daunting, see #2), and though the next two months will be busy (since there are baby showers galore in November as well!), I am looking forward to the rejoicing with one another.

I hope this little list finds you well, maybe encouraging you where you are today. Soli Deo Gloria.

Monday, October 18, 2010

She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight. Proverbs 31:13

No, I do not profess to be any kind of real example of a Proverbs 31 woman. Of course, there are so many things that I fall short at doing and so much sanctification that needs to take place in my life. But...during the fall and winter, I LOVE to knit - working with my hands is something that I can really identify with the Proverbs 31 woman about. I don't know what it is...I think that I love to do something with my hands as Adam and I watch football on TV. Now of course, with a toddler, I have significantly less time to knit than when I was, say, pregnant with said toddler. However, it still relaxes me, especially these scarves which I can knit with confidence in a relatively short period of time so that I don't get frustrated.
Look over my work; if you like it and would like me to make a scarf for you or a loved one, I would be honored. Adult scarves are $20; I can make hats and kids' scarves as well.
If not, just use this opportunity to embrace your creativity and work with your hands. Even young mothers can benefit from some theraputic work with our hands. Soli Deo Gloria.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

10 Things Thursday

As I discussed on the inagural post of 10 Things Thursday, I am indeed too burnt out to even think about posting a coherent, maybe inspiring, encouraging or theological blog today. But what I can do is offer to you 10 pictures of Charlotte from her two pumpkin patch trips this week - one Saturday with us and one Tuesday with the daycare center and Brit.

1. Cheeseball. That's all for that picture.

2. Mommy and Charlotte in front of a bulldozer full of pumpkins. Sweating our faces off in high-80 degree weather.

3. Walking through the pumpkin patch. This was difficult because of all the vines covering the ground. Charlotte's really only been walking for five months and is not the most steady walker yet, so this navigation was pretty difficult. And it was blazing hot. :)
4. Charlotte on the hayride to/from the pumpkin patch. I don't really think she was amused at all by the ride, only enjoying the breeze that we got because we were moving.
5. Charlotte's favorite part of the pumpkin patch when we were there was the "animal alley." She got so excited to see real animals that she knew all of the names of. This sheep was her favorite, for Uncle Nick. It's a shame (not the sheep, keep reading), because most of the other parts of the place were crowded with older kids that would knock her over, so she didn't really get to do very much until she went with the center on Tuesday. 6. Here begins the pictures with the center. One of the things Charlotte got to do with them that she couldn't do with us was ride the cow train. As you can see, she was riding Gertie.7-9. Brit said that Charlotte's favorite part of the pumpkin patch when they went on Tuesday was the corn crib. It's basically a covered sandbox full of corn kernels.
10. And here she is tonight after she finished eating dinner. After two pumpkin patch trips in one week, church until late last night and a day of playing at the center, she was one tired pup.

Monday, October 4, 2010

As promised...

This is probably too many pictures for Brit, but I know the grandparents will love it. Enjoy.

Making Your Home a Haven #1

Above is a link for Courtney's Making your Home a Haven Challenge this October from the blog Women Living Well. This week's challenge is: "Light a candle and begin praying over your home every time the glimmer of the candle catches your eye."

Yes, I promise I will post Charlotte pictures soon. There are so many new ones! See you soon.