Sunday, May 22, 2016

Of a journal

While it might be considered a mortal ill to some, I don't keep old journals around. I toss 'em like last Tuesday's leftovers. Know why? Because I hate to see the person I used to be...I know that sound awful and hard, but really - been there, done that, got the t-shirt and moving on. And I don't like clutter or boxes full of old notebooks that I'd be embarrassed for someone to read.

But sometime in the last few years, things shifted in my journals. The "I think", "I feel", "all about me-itus" that always left a bad taste in my mouth when perchance reading on old entry became more "I pray..."

And writing my prayers has been a great thing for me -- because I sure can't keep up with my train of thought if I can't see it. And this year, I've jumped on the scripture writing bandwagon. And flipping through a journal filled with {answered!} prayers and segments of scripture is a happy thing.

Now, I'm a ONE notebook/journal girl. I can't deal with a book for this and one over here for that. I've GOT to keep it simple. So, my journals with prayers and scripture also come with recipes and to-do lists and addresses and ideas and goals and meal plans. It's all mishmash in there, with handlettering practice scrawled across one page and the children's artistic endeavors, and yet it's like a little portion of my brain. There may indeed be forty things going on, but their my goings on, and I like them.

I do a lot less reflecting on life and a lot more actively living it these days. My journals evidence that. I do think some personal reflection is beneficial, but I don't have time for it much now. I do have time to think and plan and pray - and to live more in the present, than mulling over and recording what's already happened.

By the time all of the pages are filled, my catch-all notebooks are usually thoroughly worse for wear. But they've done their duty faithfully. As I picked up a journal from earlier this year tonight, I smiled to see it all. I'm not ashamed to reread anything there. I probably still won't keep it very long. I'll flip through and rewrite the recipes and other such tidbits in a more permanent place, and then -so long little journal, you've served me well.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Photo Mania

Y'all. I'm bad at managing my photos.

I'm a "carry the camera around every day and never use it" kind of girl. It's abysmal, really. But, I balance this out by not having any skill at taking a picture and then letting these bad pictures sit on my SD card for eternity. (Which I guess means I succeed in taking a few pictures once in a great while. Maybe on birthdays.)
Anyhoo, I have some fab family with a much better camera than I possess, and said family also usually has more free arms than I possess, and both of these qualities lend to better pictures of my children, which I greatly appreciate.
And now, photo dump. :)
Red curls! Which have since been cut off...

Last June:they look tiny!


Feb of '15

playground fun

I think he's enjoying the wind in his hair here

Newborn Elijah. How was this over a year ago!?!

Adele and Chickens last October. Sometimes chickens think Adele is a chicken - being near their height and often having a parents' rooster has gotten a little aggressive toward her from behind his fence.

These children think "say cheese" means frown and usually look anywhere but the camera

Christmas in our new house!

1st birthday

1st birthday

my FIVE year old!

Jolly boy

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Rainy Tuesday and a Note of Clarification

We haven't had rain in weeks. Afternoon thundershowers would be in the forecast, and yet they always fizzled with nary a drip for us. Our Maryland family, on the other hand, has had rain for 3 weeks solid. Yikes.
So, today in soft showers and heavy ones at times, we've had rain. A little thunder. And it could only be improved upon by raining at bedtime. That's the very best time for a rain as far as I am concerned; it's so much nicer to snuggle up under the covers with the steady patter of rain on the roof.
The rain has also given me an excuse NOT to go grocery shopping. Never mind the bareness in the fridge, we'll figure out Something. Getting soaked whilst loading groceries into the van isn't appealing. So we've stayed home and lounged. And it's been nice.


You may have noticed my allusion to Sweet Gum House in my last post. I haven't told you, but we've named our little abode, and Sweet Gum House it is.
We don't have any sycamores in the yard currently, if we did I'm sure the name of our home would have involved a Sycamore, but we do have a prominent Sweet Gum tree in the yard, and we all agreed that Sweet Gum House fit nicely.

Hattie hold that if we were to open a restaurant in our home, then we could call it Sweet Gum Table. And I like that too, though I don't intend to open any restaurant. Hattie tends to give effusive compliments to my cooking when I serve dishes like hotdogs or fish-sticks. "Mom, you make the best {instant} oatmeal in the world!" or "You're the best hotdog cooker ever."
She's sweet and sincere, and I appreciate any compliment I can get, however it'd be nice if she gave accolades over home-cooked meals.  Oh well. :)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

the honeysuckles of Sweet Gum House

For days, the heady aroma of honeysuckles in full bloom met us as we came out the door. Strong and fragrant, and seemingly invisible, for I hadn't detected any blossoms in our walks around the yard. Until one day as we were driving away from the house, I spotted those white and yellow flowers tangled up in some bushes.
Then began the fun. Of stopping on our walks to pick a few - always one or two for now, and one for later (for Hattie, anyway) - and of jumping out of the van to grab a honeysuckle before going inside. If we weren't so sensitive to flowers indoors, I'd have picked a large jug full to permeate the house as thoroughly as our yard was with the fragrance.

But the honeysuckle days seem to be drawing to a close. They've bloomed their little hearts our and filled our world with their presence and now we'll file in our memory banks picking the flowers and tasting their nectar. The taste and smell of May.

Someone told me once that you can't remember a smell. A smell can trigger a memory, of course, but you can't just think of... apple pie for instance, and smell it -- you know of course that it smells of sweet, cinnamony apples and freshly baked to perfection pie crust, but no matter how much you think of it (or how hungry you get in the process) you can't smell it.

A few weeks ago, on the eve of Elijah's birthday, I was eager to soak up my memories from his entrance to this world. To remember the voices, the sights, the exhaustion, and even the smells. I pulled out a bottle of lotion that a dear friend had rubbed on my feet during his labor. It was a lotion I liked, and was glad to have, but after it being associated with HARD labor, I was NOT keen on using it for quite awhile. In fact, the smell was almost repulsive in the early weeks following his birth. So I put it away, to just keeping it for looks mostly (an attractive bottle IS worth something). But on the night before his birthday, that lotion, I found, smelled good again.
And it felt full-circle.
This little boy asleep in his crib is so far removed from the newborn who was such a struggle to give birth to. He's jolly and boy-ish and often hungry and toothy grins and walking and Delightful.
Maybe it's beauty from ashes that keeps getting more and more inexplicably beautiful with every passing day.

I know I'm rambling, I know I don't really have a point I'm trying to make - I keep trying to find one - but this one is just the feels. My daddy says you can't think and feel. So tonight I'll feel, and save the thinking for later.

One more thing I'm feeling. JOYFUL.
Really, really.
My house is clean. My dishes and laundry are washed. My children are pleasant and fun to spend my days with. My husband is wonderful.
I hope to be so much more evermindful of God's bountiful, unending blessings.

PS - Today we played an extravagant game in which my name was Marie Calendar, and let me just say that Mary John and Callie were very valiant to fight Ana Ocho - the monster - and to brave the wiles of a harsh school marm, for their father, Mario, had died and their mother was unkind and they were sent to live with me - Marie. {This was the state of things ALL. AFTERNOON.} It was hilarious, and I love these little imaginations - and that they roll right along with the loops I throw into the story, too.