Friday, October 30, 2009


Good day, all! It seems to me that Melanie's addition to the family is just now starting to cause some serious re-arranging of my expectations. Up until now, she slept regularly, could be put down and stay there, and there were any number of arms clamoring to hold her. NOW, she is not content to be held very much. She is crawling rapidly, stuffing everything into her mouth (so now we vacuum daily. I know some people always vacuum daily, but around here, this is BIG NEWS). She is pulling up on everything, and needs constant supervision. She rarely naps in the morning (drat), but is a stellar cat-napper while nursing. One good 20 minute nursing session seems to equal a 2 hour nap for her.

Anyway, this is leading to me being a bit squeezed in the keeping of the home. Once again, I am back to priority only mode, this meaning meal prep, laundry, school and running kids from here to there and back again. No baking, no garden clean up, no long fall walks. But it is just fine, especially because watching Melanie discover so many new things is just as amazing as it was the first time I saw a baby explore her world. Even though this is the eighth time, it is just as exciting and amusing as ever!

BUT, praise God, I got the kids Halloween costumes a month ago, so that is all ready to go, and I am going to try to feed off the excitement building around here from the "middle kids". (I classify the 4 kids between 5 and 11 as the middle kids. They used to be the "little kids", but are now taking offense at that classification, so it has been duly changed). Just now, my 7 year old son walked into my room, and asked me when I was going to do my room for Halloween. He has made many paper bats and ghosts and wants me to hang them from my ceiling. I let him keep them all for his room, but he is aghast at my lack of decorating. The "middle kids" decorated the front porch with carved pumpkins, a scarecrow they made and various other hand made paper crafts.

I am amused by the difference in perception about the fall foliage between myself and my 7 year old son. While driving my eldest to school this morning, I was bemoaning the recent rain and wind had knocked all the leaves off the trees prematurely. It was so beautiful earlier this week, but didn't last long at all. My son, however, came to me this morning (with his shield made from cardboard and duct tape and a stick/sword) and said, "Thank you, trees, for looking so scary just in time for Halloween." See? It is all about perception!

Well, we have a full, busy, and fun weekend coming up, so I wish you all the same, and until next week, blessing to you all!

(Gratuitous baby picture. Notice her blurry hands? When she is being held, and sees me, she gets so excited she flails her arms and legs and smiles).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Seven Months

The Picture Tree

The trials of getting eight children all looking good in a photo. I am going with the first one for the Christmas card. It's as good as it gets!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Was it seven months ago already!

My hubby and I went away for the weekend with just the baby. It was fabulous, wonderful and refreshing. While we were there, Melanie turned seven months old, and began crawling all over the place, finding all the power cords and pulling herself to standing and pushing around a rolling ottoman. Wow. I'll post pictures of the wonderful time we had, when I have time. Until then, I am just enjoying remembering her tininess, now that she is getting just a bit more independent.


Monday, October 12, 2009


For our anniversary we went to a lovely aquarium, and of course, I did not bring my camera, because I always forget. However, my daughter brought hers, and took a million pictures of fish and reptiles, and one or two of Melanie. Here is one, and I love it! We had a fabulous day!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Day to Celebrate

Today is my 17th anniversary. This morning my husband brought me a Starbuck's Latte to celebrate, and on the cup was "The Way I See It, #76". It reads as follows:

"The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life." (Anne Morriss)

Now I could quibble here and there with a few word choices, but I am simply going to be grateful for the commitment my husband has to our marriage, the commitment I have to our marriage, and the shared liberation we therefor enjoy.

I also think it is pretty cool that this was the cup he was given while getting me a latte. Seems to me as if God was giving us a little thumbs up!!

The day I got married, I have to say, I could not see the fruits of our marriage, not even in a foggy, hopeful sort of way. I had no idea what life was going to bring. This morning, as I was sitting in the nursery (that used to be my icon room), with the baby, one daughter bringing me coffee, another bringing me some delicious cinnamon toast with pumpkin butter, and a few other children just sitting around, being a little sleepy, my husband walks in with the latte, a card and a nice bottle of wine for later. It occurred to me, that had I been asked seventeen years ago what my life might be like now, I wouldn't have ventured a guess that I would have a baby on my lap, seven other children, a bigger icon studio in the basement, 3 acres, and a vibrant life full of friends and family.

Mostly, I couldn't have even begun to understand the way love deepens and smooths, becomes so rooted and solid. And God willing we are less that half way finished with this process, so now, looking forward, I have a glimmer of what awaits me in love; and yet there are so many unknowns. But I have hope, the same hope I had on my wedding day, but now it is a hope that is far more formed. And for that, again, I am grateful.

For more ruminating on marriage I have the "Fourteen Years and Counting" under my favorite posts on the side bar. It is all still true.

Monday, October 05, 2009

A Break

School is chugging along in full force. I have actually been enjoying the process more than I expected, but I am busy every moment of the day. We have been having lots of conflict about internet use and rules regarding internet use. Part of our plan to implement restraint and intentionality about the time we spend on the computer is to take an internet fast. Probably for a week, maybe more, maybe less, but I will be absent from cyberspace for a while.

I have been doing a nature study co-op with 4 of my children and 4 other children, and it has been much fun and very successful. When I return to the blog, I will post some photos of out projects. This has been very fun, interesting and creative. I am looking forward to sharing our success!!

Anyway, God bless, and I'll be back soon!