Archive for May 2013

Good Dreams

Sam has been talking a lot about his dreams recently, from pleasant ones to scary ones (three blue moons in the bedroom!).

He just woke up from a nap and came into the kitchen exclaiming,

"God made that train track for you!"

You, in this case, pretty much means "me," as he still gets those mixed up.

That must have been an awesome dream, son. Doesn't God love you so well?

It Comes and Goes in Waves, I Know

Yesterday, I woke up feeling pretty blah. Not physically-- spiritually and emotionally. It's actually been a struggle for me recently. I was trying to pray, trying to feel at peace, trying to do what I needed to do inwardly and outwardly. And it seemed like even just depending on God's grace was a struggle. I've been feeling like I'm on a roller coaster recently, with all these highs and lows. Or, I guess, more appropriately, at a theme park full of roller coasters and lots of long lines. Lots of wanting to give up while I stand around and wait in the hot sun with lukewarm water in my water bottle, and lots of finally this part while I actually get to ride something. It's not even extreme highs and lows, though, really. It's just gradual ups and downs.

I was wondering how to even write about this because it felt so hard to put into words (another symptom of the condition, I suppose) without sounding like my life is falling apart (it isn't) and the more I prayed about it, the more manageable it seemed (huh, I wonder why). Part of it was remembering some scripture, and then finding other scripture I hadn't thought about or hadn't been looking for, and then also reading a few sentences in a Bible study book I'm working on with the boys.

To be honest, I shouldn't be surprised by all of this. It's a battlefield for me right now and I should be prepared for it. I know I should be because I've been praying a dangerous prayer: Lord, please help me learn to rule over my emotions instead of letting them rule over me.

Have you ever done that? I'd gotten to the point in the past few weeks where I'd realized how destructive my emotions were becoming. I was choosing not to do things because I didn't feel like it at the time. Simple disagreements or misunderstandings between Adam and I were taking hours to resolve because even if he needed some time to just think or process stuff, I'd demand that he keep talking until I, gasp, felt better. Conflicts left me feeling like I was falling to pieces.

And the Holy Spirit, thank God, nudged me over and over until I realized that the root of the problem was not Adam, or tiredness, or hormones, but the simple fact that I'd started to let my emotions rule me. I was treating them like they were Gospel truth instead of remembering what I knew to be true and telling my emotions to get in line.

It was affecting my parenting, my role as a wife, as a babysitter, as a child of God.

Oh, I'm sorry, did I say was? I meant is. This is something that I'm still dealing with. It's still a battlefield. I just know that after yesterday, I'm even more equipped with the proper weapons and understanding.

First of all, I was reminded that the heart is deceitful. While I was feeling uneasy (not spiritually burdened or convicted, both of which I think are different) and just sort of blah, even fearful, I was assuming that the way I felt meant something. You know, in the big, this is my entire day, sort of way. And I remembered that passage in Jeremiah about the heart being deceitful above all else. I'm going to go ahead and put a longish passage from that chapter in here, even though this blog is going to be crazy-long.

Jeremiah 17:5-10 :

Thus says the Lord,
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
“For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.
“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
“I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds.

When I let my emotions rule my heart, my day, my thoughts, my life, am I not trusting in mankind? Am I not making flesh my strength, in some way? But I can choose to trust in God regardless of how well or poorly I feel. My heart is sick. I am being made new. But my flesh is corrupted and, like limbs with gangrene, past saving. I need a new heart and part of that new heart is choosing to not let the old one keep making decisions for me. Its wisdom is unsound, its strength a false one.

The verse of the day on yesterday was something I needed to see. My friend Maria over at The Joyful Home blogged about it as part of her Wednesday series of just posting the Word, without much comment.

He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap. Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.
Ecclesiastes 11:4-5 
(Please, go read the rest of this chapter; it's worth it.)

I cannot focus on the temporal things of the world and use that to dictate my behavior. I cannot look to the fleeting moods of my heart to dictate when and how I seek God, do my work, serve with my hands. And when I am feeling blah, I need to be very, very careful to not start acting and talking like God is far from me or uninvolved in my day. God is present. I know this. (Point in fact,'s verse of the day TODAY is: "The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy." Zephaniah 3:17)

God is in my midst. He dwells, as Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians, in my heart. I am a temple. And I do not know the activity of God. I do not. Regardless of how I feel or what I see, even when I see blessings and feel good about my day, I do not know the activity of God. I cannot use my emotions alone to gauge whether or not God is working, providing, saving, correcting, shouting with joy, or quiet in His love for me.

Finally, why am I allowed to feel this way? If God is working, if He loves me, if He's made me new, why do I struggle? Paul talks about this. My boys and I also read about it in The Practice of the Presence of God yesterday. This, by the way, was my Bible reading for yesterday. Isn't it amazing how God works? I don't know His activity, but sometimes, I sure do recognize it after the fact. I can't imagine how different my day would have been if I'd decided to skip reading. Another lesson: Read the Word, regardless of how you feel about it.

I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:3-5 

Paul is talking to the Corinthians here about when he was visiting them and sharing the Gospel. Paul, that bold and eloquent writer, spoke to them while this was going on in his heart: Weakness. Fear. Much trembling. He felt unpersuasive. 

So God would have the glory. So it wouldn't be the success of man. 

Right before reading that in 1 Corinthians, I read these passages in The Practice of the Presence of God:

In cleansing us from all our impurities, God desires to humble us and often allows us to go through a number of trials or difficulties to that end. 
The more we aspire to be perfect, the more dependent we are on the grace of God. We begin to need His help with every little thing and at every moment, because without it we can do nothing.
This year has been a year of learning to doubt. Of learning to doubt myself. My own conviction that how I feel is an accurate and just response to situations, conversations, to life. It's not just a matter of addressing my "need to be right," but addressing the previously unquestioned assurance that I am. There are some things, like faith in Christ's saving work on the cross and resurrection, that I do not need to doubt. But my heart? Yeah, that's worth doubting. It's a dirty, filthy liar.

Is feeling things bad? No, not at all. I'm not advocating a Vulcan-like withdrawal from all emotion. Jesus felt things and it wasn't sin. God still feels things.

But my feelings should not be my master. Jesus' feeling of not wanting to die, which is, I would say, a pretty valid feeling from a human point of view, did not trump His obedience. My feeling of blah should not get to decide for me, "This is going to be a pretty terrible day," or "Adam should talk about this with you until you feel better."

Death to the dead and dying things. I must decrease, He must increase. When I am humbled, when I have to struggle and spend every five minutes depending on God's grace in prayer, when I must pray constantly for His strength to just do the dishes and speak kindly to my children-- those mornings are mornings that I need to remind me of just how much I need Him. To look back on my day and say, "Even in these mundane things, to God be the glory, for no matter how much I feel like I should be able to manage this without help, I am wretched and made well only in Him."

Lord, I need your quiet love today. Don't I always?

Sleeping Lu

She falls asleep to Daft Punk.

On the Walls

I love useful posters and maps and planners. Right now, we're working on days of the week and I've printed out little wallet-photo-sized images to represent daily excursions. 

We also have a hanging wall planner, courtesy Tracey of Building My House ( ) that I use to keep track of snacks, appointments, and dinner meals. It also has a Bible verse on it that I change out about every two weeks.

And now I should probably go clean while the boys are happily sorting flat marbles for fun (and education!).


I was looking for something entirely unrelated yesterday and stumbled across this transcript of birth, death, and marriage notices in a paper called "The Clay County Democrat" from 1886-1889. I recommend only reading the full transcript if you're ready to be sad, because the death notices are heart-breaking (lots of young kids). But I was gleefully sending birth announcements to my mom because they are full of so much character. Here are all the ones I could find that we enjoyed:

Born, on the 6th of July to Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Lowe of this city, a boy. Mother and child doing well, father will live.

On the 24th inst an embryo voter put in an appearance at the home of Mr. J. W. Whitsett of Gill township. His first vote will be cast in 1907. 

It cost Will Watrous a box of good cigars to celebrate the arrival of a nine-pound girl at his residence last Friday. Mother and daughter are doing fine. 

It is a mighty nice little girl who put in an appearance at Alex Campbell’s house on the 19th instant. A regular ten pounder. 

Mr. and Mrs. R. Eggleston are rejoicing over a ten pound lump of feminimity that put in her appearance at the home on December 24th. 

Mr. and Mrs. John Ritter of Wakefield welcomed a ten pound girley, born last Saturday, the 17th. 

Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Hafner, of Gill twp., will change the monotony of things by coming up with a bouncing ten pound baby boy. 

Mr. and Mrs. George Chesnut, Exeter, are now in a jolly mood over the advent of a gem in the shape of a baby girl at their home. 

John Smith, of the Clay Center Nursery says it’s a boy, regulation weight and home grown. 

Mr. and Mrs. Bert Tomlinson, Blaine, are in high feather over the birth of a nine pound girl. 

Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Muenzenmayer of the city, rejoice over the birth of a 14 ½ pound boy, the event taking place Thursday, Dec. 30. 

Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Stewart sees the above and comes to the front with an equal amount of genuine boy. Cam says he is to be president of the United States by and by. 

Mr. and Mrs. C. Oberland are happy over the arrival of a spanking big boy who entered this world of trouble on the 6th inst. 

Bloom twp: It’s a daughter at Robert McPeal’s.

Em. Vincent handed us a cigar on Tuesday afternoon with the startling announcement, “it is a boy, and it weighs nine pounds.” 

Also, lots of just basic "so-and-so welcomed a son," announcements with 9 and 10 lb. babies. That noted, my absolute favorite of these is "regulation weight and home grown." Any that particularly tickled your fancy? Man, I love history.


It runs in the family, I guess?

(Also, nerd note: Three entirely different eras of Batman depicted here!)

Sharing Kierkegaard

Sharing Kierkegaard to start your Saturday. Stolen from Alan Jacobs' tumblr, More than 95 Theses:

The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in this world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament. 
I open the New Testament and read: ‘If you want to be perfect, then sell all your goods and give to the poor and come follow me.’ Good God, if we were to actually do this, all the capitalists, the officeholders, and the entrepreneurs, the whole society in fact, would be almost beggars! We would be sunk if it were not for Christian scholarship! Praise be to everyone who works to consolidate the reputation of Christian scholarship, which helps to restrain the New Testament, this confounded book which would one, two, three, run us all down if it got loose (that is, if Christian scholarship did not restrain it).
-S. Kierkegaard, Journals

Fresh and Bitter Water

A friend and I read James 3:9-12 the other morning and I had a revelation while we were talking. This is the passage:

With [the tongue] we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.

I've always thought of this primarily as a passage about gossip or slander. And I think it is. But God showed me something else right before we read it together, as I was thinking about the passage I'd been drawn to earlier and had read ahead of time.

I have been made in the likeness of God. I must be careful not to curse myself. I must be honest about my weakness, but I am also the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I must be honest about my situations and my hurts, but I am safe in the arms of a loving Father.

I think a lot of times this comes out of an attempt to lighten conversation with humor, to keep others from having to deal with our actual hurt or struggle. As in, "Oh, he's still looking for a job. Until then, I don't know what we're going to do, haha!"

But you see, I do know what we're going to do. We're going to be "patient in affliction" and trust. That's what I'm actually working at doing, even if I'm not perfect at it yet. But saying, "We're just waiting on God," and being truly content with that is hard. The waiting is a burden others might have to bear with you. And sometimes, even those of us who don't mind a little drama now and then, don't want to share some burdens. It's even harder for the people who are more introverted.

And then, sometimes, it isn't humor. Sometimes, it's straight-up talking about ourselves as though we haven't been redeemed. Call me picky, but I think words and how we use them matters. I think how we think about ourselves and our situations matters. It's a struggle to take every thought captive to Christ, to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ," but a theme I've been seeing in my own life recently is the question: Why did you ever stop thinking of this as a battle? Why, after all the warnings to fight and to put on the armor of God, did you start living like it was unfair for it to be hard? Like it was a good time to just give up and lay down your weapons?

"I'm so impatient,"

"I'm a mess,"

"I can't do this."

Do we need a place to admit our weakness? Yes, yes, yes. But there is a vast difference between me praying (or even asking Adam to pray with me) and saying, "God, I'm feeling really overwhelmed right now and I need your grace. I thank You for Your strength in my weakness."

But a lot of times, when I toss out statements about myself like the ones above, I'm not seeking grace and provision. I'm seeking pity? Or someone to tell me I can give up? Or an acknowledgement that my acting in sin because I feel pressure is justifiable? I can't drag my feet around moaning about myself and my situation and then turn around to bless others and praise God. It's not sustainable.

This is not a prosperity gospel message. This is not me telling you and myself to sit in the midst of actually difficult situations and just speak positive things about finances or repeat hollow self-esteem slogans. But this is a call to seek God, to seek grace, even in daily conversation. To be aware of your words and what seeds you are sowing with them.

Are you cursing yourself? Are you cursing the very one that Christ died for, rose again for, called and redeemed? Who are you? Do you act and speak like you know?

God, may I remember who I am: a person made in the likeness of You.

Life with Babies: Dinner Time!

This post is titled "Life with Babies" but really, it's for anybody at all. Maybe especially those with kids, but not just them. I'm also going to try to write quickly, because Lucy is entertaining herself with a spoon and a bowl and they've kept her happy for fifteen minutes already. I don't know how much longer it will last.

There is a terrible, terrible hour coming upon us.

That hour is 4pm. (In some houses, it's five, but here, it's four.)

It's that time when EVERYBODY NEEDS SOMETHING RIGHT NOW. And it usually coincides with the hour that the adults suddenly feel desperate for a nap or their own bed time. Kids, left to their own devices, are whiny and fickle, or it's suddenly become Very Important that you Play With Them At Once. Or maybe it's just gorgeous out and a trip to the park is in order.

But whether you're playing Candyland with bleary eyes while you sip coffee or watching kids tear across playground equipment, 4pm (or 5) is also another time of day.

Time to start dinner.

Now, you might already have a head start on this. In this household, by 4pm we've menu-planned the week before and usually know what we're going to make. It's not a mad rush to figure out what we can cook, it's just a matter of making something. And other days, Our Friend the Crock Pot has our backs. And additionally, for the sake of total honesty, about two or three nights a week, Adam makes dinner (it's WONDERFUL).

But the Crock Pot does not work for every meal. And sometimes Adam has work to do. And because we're eating gluten-free (and before that started, we were doing very little processed food anyway), dinner prep is not a five minute job. Also, please remind me sometime, that I have lots of thoughts about why "Five-Minute" or "Twenty-Minute" dinner is not the healthiest goal and I will finally write about them.

So, how does one pay attention to kids and dinner (or nap time and dinner, should you be so blessed)?

Utilizing midday!

On the days that I am wisest (by the grace of God go I), I prep my meat, do all my veggie-chopping, measure seasonings, etc., during after-lunch nap or just during the after-lunch period of relative peace. Bellies have just been filled and if they aren't sleeping, they're usually content enough after a meal together to play by themselves with more success than later in the day.

Some meals go straight into the oven to cook and then stay warm (this will change as it gets warmer). Most meals, though, go into the fridge with the necessary start times for cooking noted on a whiteboard or iPod. This means that at 4pm or 4:30pm or whenever, "making dinner" takes me all of two minutes to put something in the oven or ten minutes at the skillet.

And if your crock pot hasn't been helping you before, most also have a warm feature, so "skillet" meals (as opposed to oven meals) can be cooked right after lunch and then go into the crock pot to just stay hot until dinner.

Maybe that window isn't after lunch for you. Maybe it's a morning nap for your bab(y/ies), maybe it's before breakfast. Maybe it's the night before after everyone is in bed-- you wake up, and dinner is done for the day! After lunch works for us right now because of nap time and lunch dishes, so the lunch clean-up includes most of the dinner prep stuff. Fewer dishes after dinner! That's important when you're doing dishes by hand.

But if you find yourself constantly in a mad rush to prepare a meal you'd already planned, then consider finding another time in the day to do most of the work. Even if it takes a forty-minute meal and gives you fifteen minutes of work in the evening instead (stir fries and all their vegetables!), that's twenty-five minutes in the evening that you have to sit with your kids or go to the park. I've found that doing prep much earlier in the day actually also helps our meal times to be consistent. It's a lot easier to judge how much time a prepped meal will need to cook than it is to judge how much time I require to do the prep-- after lunch, I'm not feeling so rushed by the clock.

Dread hour? Ha. Not anymore!

Edit: I did all that dinner prep and my boys cried for like the whole thirty minutes of cooking dinner anyway, haha. Some days you just have to roll with the flow, I suppose, even if the flow is of tears.


Today, I am thankful. I was reluctant to take all four kids (mine + babysitting charge) to the park despite how much they wanted to go. I didn't want to put the effort into it. But we loaded everybody up in the car anyway and Jungle Monkey (her Indian name) beamed at me as she buckled herself in:

"God answered my prayer from this morning! It didn't rain!"

This little girl who worried about wearing her jacket hood and messing up her hair, who wanted to take an umbrella to school just in case, who is always so eager to help and talk and talk and talk and talk, had a prayer answered today.

And me, too.

The weather was beautiful. When I called out the ten minute warning for leaving the park, I wanted to beg me to stay longer even as they were begging. I had to drag myself back to the car, too. The temperature and wind and sun were all just right and felt like the best kind of simple, yet cosmically huge, gift today.

Then this evening while I got pictures off the camera and carried Lucy around on my hip, I kept thinking that today I'm so grateful. So thankful. So blessed.

So, thank you, God, for answered prayers. Thank you, Jesus, for salvation, for redemption, for a Real Hope. Thank you for closed doors and open ones. Thank you for exciting things, for humbling experiences, for the chance to sit and chat with a friend this morning while our kids played together. Thank you for the opportunity to talk about truly difficult and painful, heartbreaking situations, and still laugh with each other and find solace and direction in your Word.

Thank you for posts like this one and thank you for your presence. Thank you for little boys that are so eager to tell stories (Sam's new one today: This is a car, it's driving like our car. It's going to the park. There's a girl inside. Her name is Emily. She's eleven). Thank you for rosy, plump baby girl cheeks and peals and peals of laughter, and throat-squeezing hugs from little boys. Thank you for giving Jungle Monkey a sunny afternoon and a new friend to play with at the park.

Thank You, Jesus.

Story Time

The boys took turns telling me stories tonight, complete with motions to turn imaginary book pages. It was bedtime so you can tell by the end that they're winding down. :)

Sam started off with this:

An angel was in a gray road. He was standing there. He said "no!" He said no to the cow. The cow was there. The angel was helping the cow. He was helping the cow eat. The cow was eating strawberries? No! The cow was eating leaves. Leaves and cookies. The angel was there. He was helping him. The angel said "yes!" on the road. He was helping Jesus. And Peter and Moses. And Jesus. The angel was helping them. They were planting, digging in the dirt. Planting onions. The end. Close the book.

Sam, again: Another story. Open the book. Dogs. Lots of dogs. In the dark. There it is. It's called Lainey. Lainey is little. And Liam is playing with play-dough. The dogs are sleeping in the dark. Close the book. The end.

And another from Sam: Open the book. Another story. Here you go. Blankets. Sam and Theo and Mama and Daddy's blankets. The blankets sleep. Close the book. The end.

Théoden takes a turn: Let's open a book. An angel is in a puddle. In the water. The angel poops in the water in the bathtub. The angel says "cars." Then the angel pees. There's a box. And a ball. And a wall. There's water. Now close the book. The end.

Théoden again: Open the book. Cars. The car says "drive drive." The car goes to NiNi's house. And Aunt Anne's house. And then Graypaw's brown house. Then to another house. The car says "it's dark." The car goes home. Now that is the end. Close the book.

Sam, to finish: Open the book. Big pages. Trucks. They drive all the way to NiNi's house. The trucks talk. They say, "You. A. B. C. D. E. F. Z H I J L M N O M O M O M O Z M O P." Close the book. The end.

Friday Film: Fantastic Mr. Fox

Adam and I watch a lot of movies and I'd like to start writing about them. Most of them will probably be movies that I won't let my boys watch yet-- the kind of stuff we watch after all our kids are in bed-- but I thought I'd start with a favorite film while the boys actually watch it right next to me. Also, I'm a sucker for alliteration.

Fantastic Mr. Fox
The first movie is Fantastic Mr. Fox. My family loves this film. We have watched it probably fifty times (no exaggeration-- for a year now, it's pretty much the only movie my boys watch). And when I hear the dialogue while I'm working on lunch, like today, I still smile. I still laugh at lines. A movie even mom hasn't gotten tired of after fifty viewings? How rare is that?

Now, you might not love it as much as we do, but your family might at least enjoy it. We're super picky about what our boys watch and this is one we are totally fine with. It's clean (sometimes characters say "cuss;" like, literally just the word "cuss." It's even on a wall as graffiti in the background at one point). It's exciting but not too scary. It's lovely to look at. And it's about a family. A family learning to love each other a bit better. A community learning to watch out for each other. And it's about the dangers of selfish behavior, the need to do what you were created to do, and responsibilities trumping personal desire.

It's a Wes Anderson film and very stylized. This was a first-effort stop-motion animation film for this particular director and crew (think Wallace and Gromit, but not clay). I think the "real" quality of the animation, the stuffed dolls and bristly hair, make it a lot easier for my boys to process visually. They still don't really like cartoons at all.

This movie, overall, is delightful. It has so many quotable lines. The story is loosely based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name. (When I say loosely, I really do mean loosely, though the book is also sweet and wonderful.) In summation, the story is about a fox family and the husband/father figure in particular and their fight for survival against three "of the nastiest, meanest farmers." It's not about farming, or farm life, being evil-- rather, the men themselves, and not their profession, are the source of villainy. And Mr. Fox provokes their wrath when he returns to old habits and begins stealing from them. On some level, though, I would say the stealing isn't so much about stealing itself, but about foxes being foxes (and anyone who has farmed or read more than a few books about farms knows that foxes are notorious chicken thieves). But it's also a film about keeping one's word and being aware of how your actions impact others.

In addition to all that, the movie is simply stuffed with wonderful little details. Mr. Fox is a "newspaperman" and if you pause at the right time, the newspaper he holds in one scene is actually full of articles. Tiny little details like socks and model trains and vacuum cleaners and miniature school chem lab equipment, along with the quick-moving dialogue and soundtrack, make this a lovely film. It's funny, too, with plenty of humor that kids will appreciate and that adults will find genuinely funny, without either stooping to crudeness or shooting too high.

I'm sure it has its faults. But compared to most films, they are (for me, anyway) few and far between. We haven't gotten tired of it yet and I doubt we will soon! (Hopefully, next week, my Friday Film review will be a little less frothing-at-the-mouth-with-praise and a little more critical assessment, but I can't make myself do this film just yet.)

See Théoden's fox sweater? :-D Thanks to a wonderful Amma (their grandmother on Adam's side) for finding these for both of the boys. They also have fox tails she made for them! Did I mention we love this movie?

Um, Not to Me, Son.

Tonight I was changing Théoden's diaper to get him ready for bed and he was crying that it wasn't bedtime, while clutching a Lego car in his hand. I asked, "You want to play with Legos some more?" And he wailed, "Yes!"

So I said, "Well, let's practice how you ask."

Me: Say, "Please, Mama,"
Theo: Please, Mama,
Me: "may I play"
Theo: may I play
Me: with Legos
Theo: with Legos
Me: for a little bit more time.
Theo: For a little bit more time. Amen.

Hahahaha. I'm still laughing. We explained to him that he never has to say "Amen" after asking me something.

Blogging to Blog

I felt like I got into a really good rhythm of posting when I was working on the Homeschooling Blog Hop and now I'm posting just to post. I've been enjoying blogging, a lot, and I also recently left Facebook. I don't have tons more free time, but I have less emotional stress. Adam and I recently read this story by Rolf Dobelli that made me start to think about the emotional and mental toll my five-minute Facebook breaks were having on me.

So, I just felt like writing to write, and thought I'd give a brief overview of some things in my life. That article is one recent highlight. Another is that I'm finally reading Crunchy Cons by Rod Dreher after enjoying his work over at The American Conservative for quite some time. I've been aware of the existence of the book for a few years but have just now actually started reading it. So far, pretty good!

I took the boys to the WVU Farms Kiddie Days on Wednesday and they had a blast. Sam was excited to go "talk to sheep."

I'm going to bed and despite the shortness of this post, my final thought is that the other thing I'm working on (intellectually) right now is attention span, to counteract all the damage I've done with social media and like things. Sitting down to read something for more than five minutes, because it's good and not because I feel addicted to it, is nice.

Anyway, g'night, internets! Aw, it's like xanga days.

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