Tuesday, September 28, 2010

re: more cat...

More CAT  pictures.   See the culprits of the MESS?

re: the part of homeschooling I don't like...

Dear Julia Charlotte,
      Homeschooling has a side I do not like. My  house is often messy
This seems to be somewhat normal for homeschoolers.
Oh what can I do?
Learn to accept it?
This cat we have does not help matters any let me tell you.
Cat pee issues are disgusting!

Monday, September 27, 2010

re: rainy weather and the forest

Dear Julia Charlotte,
    Finally rain has come to end a long,long drought.
There's a bit of wind and it is gray, gray,gray. The leaves are falling and and there's a chill in the air.
Perfect, perfect!  Autumn is such a wonderful, "snuggleup" time of year and the richness of color never ceases to amaze and delight me!
We spent all weekend in the forest camping with lots of our brothers and sisters in Christ from our family in Christ (church).
It was an amazing,awesome time.
We lounged, sat in purposeful silence, cooked up feasts together, hauled gear up the long trail, read aloud to the children and read poetry.
We held plays(even though we had to read our parts since we had no time to really memorize them), took funny pictures, passed around babies and hauled water.
We taught each other new songs and handwashed stacks of dishes.
But maybe most memorable of all the many memories made was all the amazing musical talent that lead us in worship over and over.
There was an especially amazing evening when we were up late around the campfire reading and praying together, then late, late we were rather tiredly chanting what probably would have been one of the last songs of the night when a whole band of unexpected but very welcome guests arrived through the darkness- a whole group of young folks from church that we had not expected could make it etc. But there they were -having gotten on the wrong trail for a while and a really long hike to boot. And we were all just so glad to see each other there in the firelight around 11 at night.They, amazed that not only were we not sleeping, but that we were chanting and we, delighted to get their sweet company at that hour.
And somehow their coming revived us and the music got lively again and the prayers flowed out  and the conversation turned to our beliefs as Christians and finally in the wee hours of the morning we all finally bunked down.
It was a bonding weekend and really sweet to remember -may we have many more such times if our Lord wills.
                                                                                                                  ~In His Love,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

re: the cure

Dear Julia Charlotte,
One of my friends recently described planning a wedding as a full time job. Well, I am here to tell you that planning a vow renewal ceremony is almost as bad.
Planning a vow renewal and celebration dinner on the low budget is certainly tricky!
We are trying to find our rhythm amidst the busyness of all this planning.
It definitely takes some concentrated headwork which is not so easy to accomplish amidst a houseful of energetic young ones. One night recently my little head just refused to be pushed anymore.
I surveyed my options the best I could.
Simple dinner-check.
Tell husband we need a burnout action plan involving a change of focus-check.
Watch a new movie which had come in the mail while eating supper-helpful.
Instead of the marshmallow roast we were thinking of we got a late text from a friend.
It said our children's music teacher was storytelling and singing at a nearby restaurant.
We bundled up the crew and marched into the dark.
It was a good cure and a good night.
Above are pics.
Our poor camera is about dead so thereby the poor quality shots...!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

re : lovely toys

Dear Julia Charlotte,
Thinking about toys today.
My little people don't have a large amount of toys. I know other parents who also are not into large stockpiles of toys. It is a choice we make. Ours is not the only choice but of course I tend to think it can be a good one!
One of the reasons we do not own many toys is that we have been on pretty tight budgets most of our married life.
We also do not have wealthy relatives nor family inclined to buy many toys for our offspring.
(Our family is good about buying things on our wish lists like nice markers.)
Which has worked out quite well for us as I have come to greatly dislike picking up after many nastily colored (in my opinion) cheap plastic toys. Toys that the gang has tired of after a few uses, now providing visual stress and clutter.
So now we ask for things like sewing kits or glow in the dark underwear (ahem) for birthdays.
And I buy a few quality toys here and there that are not only useful but also beautiful.
To me as the mama it makes a world of difference!
So these are my thoughts. Usually I do not see the whole picture myself. And I am aware there are different approaches to this issue. Mine is one of them.
Be well,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

re: Rhythm of the Home

Dear Julia Charlotte,
I've been particularly excited to talk about a lovely resource for mamas here in internet land. Making our homes cozy and clean and sweet really strikes a chord with me as does caring for our little ones. So I'm particularly happy to share a link today to Rhythm of the Home online magazine! The autumn edition has some particularly good content-but maybe I'm biased. Autumn is my very favorite season!
My day today has included making one birthday card (using one of the amazing stamps that came in a collection of stamps as a birthday gift from a cousin this year!) and preparing another card for a cousin's baby daughter. She is so special !
Now I sit here with my cup of tea thinking about the laundry I really should tackle....
Happy Day friends!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

re: morning fresh babies

"eating a peanut butter sandwich"(Squirrelgirl)
Dear Julia Charlotte,
Have I ever written to you about how yummy baby girls are first thing in the morning or right after a nap? How their hair is all "poufy" and fluffed and you can just bury your nose in it and nuzzle down into their warm necks?
How their limbs are all soft and fluid and drape so perfectly? How you can lie on the couch on your back and fit their little bodies just so over your chest and it feels like maybe this is the contentedness we'll feel in Heaven?
I haven't ever told you that? Well it's high time I did!

I think I am going to go help Lee decorate at a job today. Decorate for autumn !

Last night I put my papers and pencil and a jar of supper food in my bag and walked downtown to work on the wording for our vow rewnewal declaration of intent.(Wow, that's a funny sentence...)
It was sweet. I sat at a cute little sitting area near the library which has tables and chairs and a large fountain. It manages to feel Secluded and it was perfect.
Lee met me later and he said it was a good thinking place.

(thoughts from Pilgrimama, who should now go do laundry....)


Saturday, September 11, 2010

re: hosting a bridal shower

a brownie fruit pizza for your information- my friend made one like this for my birthday this year as well! They are scrumptious!

flowers ( below) decorating a ledge that night...
Dear Julia Charlotte,
I am sending you these long overdue pictures that I took a while back. They are from a bridal shower I hosted for a young woman who was renewing her vows after being separated from her husband.
It was a lovely evening- it had been a while since I'd hosted a "girls" party. (Even if the kitten did climb into the gift bags of lingerie...) Some light food was had, followed by lots of loving on our guest of honor. We soaked her feet in essential oil scented water and gave her candles and beads and lots of blessings. And then we had to give gifts and have some laughs together that would not be appropriate to write about so publicly,Julia my dear.
So we had a happy night all in all and stayed up really late!
And now, my next letter to you should really be about September's arrival and cold nights(mmmmm) and washing this very warm summer's grime off the windows...!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

re: thankful list

To Julia Charlotte,
Life has definitely had its challenging moments these days. Often these things are too much information for the internets and go into my journal instead.
But a lot of challenges have been surmounted or things I worry about aren't as bad as I thought they would be and so today I am feeling very grateful.
I am grateful that God is full of tender mercies as well as stern training.
So here is my thankful list!

* I am thankful for good friends in Christ who invite us into their backyards to share campfires and marshmallows.
* I am thankful that a lot of us in our church family are comfortable sitting around being quiet together.
* I am thankful for friends who share so freely.
* I am thankful Lee hauled out the old dinosaur tv so I could clean my rug.
*I am thankful that the laundry monster is being tamed again!
* I'm thankful we got the compost dealt with yesterday.
*I am thankful for schedule editing so I can focus on organizing our vow renewal ceremony and celebration.
I am thankful Lee made Dutch apple pie yesterday.
I am thankful my bathroom is in such a clean state.
*I am thankful Alex cleaned the deck yesterday!
So, if you're still reading, I am thankful for major and minor blessings in other words.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

re: God is enough

To: Julia Charlotte,
This morning is such a good morning. Saturday. Lee had to work this morning which isn't quite the norm for Saturday. My yard sale ideas went down the drain with that, since we are a one vehicle family. But the morning is still good.
I awoke from a nightmare this morning, which ended with the assurance I'd heard from a brother in Christ the other day. "God is enough, whatever the situation."
It was such a peace giving phrase to remember while within a scary dream and was so special to awake thinking that thought.
God is enough.
The children are making mud houses and such on the back deck and it's a mess. Their dusty footprints can be seen on the kitchen floor. The air is cooler this weekend which is sweet relief since September came in stubbornly sultry. I can feel the cool air breezing through the house and it is wonderful, this breeze, those children.
So alive, so full.
It is a good morning.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

re: cluttery or uncluttered?

( my main shelf in my kitchen. Yeah, my kitchen is pretty small!)

To: Julia Charlotte,
I've been thinking about how much tidier my house looks with as many uncluttered surface areas as possible.
I like to go to people's houses that have cluttery spaces. It gives me clues as to who they are. It's mentally stimulating.
In other people's houses that is.
In my house? Not so much.
My homes are usually on the small and "cozy" end of the spectrum. So visual clutter often starts to feel like "mess"!
So, if your home is feeling a little too cozy and closed in, I suggest you clear as many surfaces as possible. You may be amazed!
~ Pilgrimama