April 29, 2010

A Bramble of Ramble

From my desk, I can see the sun shining brightly in the backyard. The wind gusts sporadically and it's a chilly 54 degrees. Caleb's outside, wearing his jacket and chasing butterflies. The heater just kicked on inside, because Spring is rather bashful this year and isn't quite sure she's ready to commit herself, even though it's nearly May and the daffadils and tulips are blooming.

And here I sit, scratching my head and wondering what on earth to blog about. For I must blog about something. Nearly two weeks have passed since my last post. I dare not let it go much longer. The cobwebs would get disasterouly large, and my house is already dirty enough without a blog to clean up, too.

So what have I been up to the last two weeks? Well, if you really want to know . . .

We've been fishing. Well, Jason has, anyway. The stars never seem to align just right for me to go, though I do have my license. Jason and his dad and brother went early last Saturday and caught some very handsome trout. I fried a couple up a few nights ago, and they were mmm mmm good. :) Gonna be on the look-out for trout recipes now; I have a feeling our freezer will be full before long!

I've also been scrap-booking lately. My goal is to scrap all our pictures from last summer before this summer begins. And would you believe it, I'm almost there! I have maybe eight more pages before the album is done, and I'm very pleased with how it's turning out. Perhaps I'll post a few pages for y'all to see . . .

Caleb's been a busy bee around here, too. He's becoming very independent these days, and we've finally entered that stage where "No!" is the standard answer for everything. Even for things he wants. I'm not sure he even knows how to say yes. He will say "Ok!" though, if he's in agreement. Such a funny little boy.

"Do you want to go the park, Caleb?"



"Do you want cereal for breakfast, or toast?"

"Cereeow! Ok!"

Potty-training has been put back on hold. Sort of. We try to get him to sit on the toilet at least once a day, just so he's still familiar with the concept, but he simply doesn't want to. Period. And since he's not using his bedroom as a restroom anymore, I'm content to let it be. For now, anyway. This diaper thing can't last much longer; he's just getting too big.

In other news, I've been to the thrift store twice this week. I can't help myself; I love that place! I browsed through the book section on trip #2 (because I was sans Caleb and at total liberty to take as much time as I wanted ;). This was a bad idea, however, as I came home with seven new books for our library. Three for Caleb, which provided some much needed new material for our bedtime reading, and four, ah, for me. Because I don't have enough books to read already. Perhaps I should do a post on those books and the stories behind them. And why you can never have too many books. And how I have two books checked from the libaray already and three more on the way. And how I should really check myself into a 12 step program for serial bibliophiles. Because I obviously need help.


Moving on.

Between the fishing (or lack thereof on my part) and bargain hunting, I've also been trying to stay on top of homework for my Beth Moore bible study at church. Have I mentioned Beth Moore here before? This in only the second study of hers I've done, but I'm smitten. She's amazing. Uh-may-zee-ing. The way she unpacks God's word and makes it come alive. The way she takes the Bible and makes it applicable to my every day life. The way she draws out Truth and challenges me without preaching or shaking fingers.

The way she blusters and laughs and jokes as only a blonde Texan woman can. :) I love her. If you ever have the chance to take one of her studies, DO IT. You'll be blessed, I promise.

But her studies do come with homework, so on evenings when Jason raids and mornings while Caleb's at school, I chisel out time to meet with the Lord and study His word more deeply than I normally do. Right now, we are studying the Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-135). These are the songs the Israelites would sing as they made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the three annual feasts: The Feast of Passover, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles (found in Deut. 16).

We are learning so much through this study, I could write ten posts just on this topic alone. Perhaps I'll try to write one or two in the next few weeks and give y'all a taste. This morning, for example, we started work on the eleventh Psalm of Ascent, Psalm 130:

"If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word,
I put my hope."
(v. 3-5)
Today we studied how the Hebrew writer used three different names for God in this psalm: Yahweh, Adonay (or Adonai), and Jah.
Yahweh describes God as Israel's Covenant-Maker and Covenant-Keeper;
Adonay emphasizes God as Master and Sovereign.
Jah is a shorter version of Jehova and simply means I Am.
In this psalm, Beth writes, the author is petitioning God to hear his cry and is very careful to acknowledge that only He can offer mercy and grace (as the Covenant-Maker and Keeper), to show respect and reverence (by calling him Master), and to affirm that He knows best (since He is Sovereign). Therefore, the Psalmist is willing to wait, no matter how long, for He is I Am.
Interesting, eh?
We then went on to study how this Yahweh, this Adonai, keeps no record of sin. None. No memory book, no heavenly storage house full of the records of our mistakes. For if He did, who could stand? She writes:

"Beloved, if you're like me, God is not the one keeping the record. You are. You keep playing that record over and over. You may think you're honoring God with misery over your past mistakes, but you're not. Just like I did, you're walking in unbelief - not trusting what He promised to do if you'd repent. Having my eyes opened to this reality several years ago changed my entire view on self-condemnation. It does not honor God."

To wrap up today's homework, she asked us to read Colossians 2:13-15 (emphasis mine):

"He forgave us all our sins,
having canceled the written code, with its regulations,
that was against us and that stood opposed to us;
he took it away, nailing it to the cross.
And having disarmed the powers and authorities,
he made a public spectacle of them,
triumphing over them by the cross."




By golly, I think I found a few things to blog about after all. Thanks for letting me ramble, friends. Y'all should get a prize for sticking with me this far. Assuming, of course, you're still reading this. :)

Hopefully it won't be two weeks till we meet again.

Later, y'all!

April 18, 2010

Sunday Evening in the Woods

We smell of campfire smoke.

It's a pleasant smell; one of my favorites.

We are pleasantly tired. Caleb is crashed out in his room.

We spent the evening at Jason's parents' campsite at Deception Pass tonight. BBQ, s'mores, the whole shee-bang. Laughter, family, good times.

Caleb explored the neighboring campsites (which were empty), and found one with a huge rock on which to climb. From the top he looked down at me and said quite proudly "King Rock!"

Back at camp, Buck and Willie (the dogs) played tug-of-war with Caleb and their leashes. Jason, Michael, and I took turns as pyro-technics. The fire was warm and cozy, but the night itself wasn't too cold. In fact, it wasn't cold at all.

Dare I say it? Spring has come at last. I have survived my first winter in the Pacific Northwest.

The stars came out later and we showed the half-moon to Caleb. He's talking up a storm these days. As we headed for the car to go home, he began a series of good-byes: "Bye-bye Rock! Bye-bye tees (er, trees)! Bye-bye doggies! Bye-bye fire!"

So precious, that little man. :) A heart-melter.

On the whole, a perfect Sunday evening.

What did y'all do this weekend? Did you have beautiful weather wherever you call home?

April 13, 2010

'A Monster-Slaying We Will Go

I've been busy slaying a monster today. One that hides under my bed, in my closet, and occasionally in the bathroom. This particular household variety is common to many homes. It reproduces at an alarming rate, so no family is monster-free for long.

Have you guessed yet?

I'm battling the Laundry Monster.

(Which might be easier if Caleb wasn't so intent on feeding it all the time. Sheesh.)

Laundry Monsters comes in all shapes and sizes. Some stay small. Some grow into mountains. Some eat socks. Others, like the one that lives with my friend Natalie, seem to magically add clothes to your pile, so that you're left wondering "Where did all the clothes come from?"

No matter which type you have living with you, Laundry Monsters are a sneaky bunch. If you're not careful, they'll devour your bedroom, closet, hallway, or garage. Not even Dish Monsters are so demanding.

Today I've devoted my finely honed skills as a SAHM to cutting down our Monster before it spawns any new babies and takes over the house. But I haven't been waging war alone.

Today, like many days, my Man is off slaying bank-residing, computer-eating monsters. Some days he comes home with a victorious smile on his face, other days he returns tired and battle-weary.

Caleb battles toddler-sized monsters all his own as he learns to speak and play nicely with other children.

A good friend of mine wrestles with a hybrid monster of the Lonely/Homesick sort.

And in another Realm, one unseen but not unknown, another Battle rages for the souls of men, as it has for thousands of years. I have no idea what the monsters in that war look like, but I have no doubt they exist.

I guess all of us are warriors at some level, eh?

Does that make us women warrior princesses? Do I get to wear a long dress and wield daggers?

Well, whether the monsters look like this:

Or this:

Or even this:

. . . we all battle monsters every day. How thankful I am that I don't battle alone. ;)
What monsters have you been fighting this week?

April 10, 2010

Snapshots of the Week, pt. 2

Hobbiton Found
(in Our Backyard)
40 degree temperatures and 30 mph winds aside,
spring is in full swing here in the Pacific Northwest.
If the blooming tulips and daffadils weren't proof enough of this,
the two foot tall grass in my backyard sure is.
Tuesday night, Jason, Mike, and I had some fun with the lawn mower
and created our own version of crop circles in the grass. The idea was to make little trails and pathways for a certain three-year-old.
When we were finished, the backyard looked a little like Hobbiton.

And what Hobbiton would be complete without hobbits?

Two rather tall hobbit ladies, in all their wind-blown glory. ;)

Happy Saturday, y'all!

April 7, 2010

Snapshots of the Week, pt. 1

Boy Goes Swimming

Jason and I got our fishing permits on Saturday.
We're becoming more and more Washin'tonian all the time.
So is Caleb.
We drove to Cranberry Lake that afternoon so Jason could throw a few lines with John and Mike. (I'd planned to throw a few myself, but unluckily I managed to leave my new permit at home by mistake). So I watched Caleb instead.
And what did he do two minutes after we arrived?
Decided the gray, breezy weather suited him just fine for a swim.
Dinosaur galoshes, jacket, and all.

Don't drink the lake water, Caleb! Please!!

Goin' to see what Uncle and Grandpa are doin'
with those funny sticks.

Draggin' a branch around

"But Mooooom! I don't wanna get out!"

Thankfully this mommy came prepared with an extra set of clothes and the water wasn't terribly cold to begin with.
We just had to shake our heads and laugh.
That's our Tom Sawyer of a boy!
(stay tuned later in the week for Snapshots, pt. 2, in which we discover Hobbiton in our own backyard :)

April 4, 2010

Not Quite As Planned

If you look closely at his chin, you'll see a scab where he bit clean through his bottom lip this week in a tumble off the chair.

Peek in my bedroom and laundry room and you'll see the loads of laundry that have been neglected all week as I took time out to start potty-training my son. (said training has actually added to the laundry mound . . .)

Sniff around his bedroom and you'll smell residual odor from, erm, failed potty-training attempts this week.

Glance at my To-Do list and you'll see I owe about five emails to various people, which I'd planned to write this week with all the mountains of spare time I thought I'd have. Ha.

This hasn't been an easy week to be Mommy. Caleb was on spring break from pre-school, and we had (I thought) a wonderful week ahead of us with planned outings, time with friends, new playdough and bubbles to keep us occupied. I prayed for a sun-shiney week so we could go hiking, too.

But the weather didn't cooperate. Neither did Caleb. Stormy weather rolled in Monday, along with gale-force winds and sheets of rain. And Caleb decided he's done with diapers.

In theory, that sounds good. Right? Caleb realizing wet, dirty diapers aren't so cool anymore? But in practice, when I was on my hands and knees scraping poop off walls, windows, floors, and toys not once but TWICE this week, the theory didn't sound so great. In fact, diapers look pretty good right now.

Please oh please oh please just wear the diaper, Caleb! Mommy doesn't want to smell like poo anymore.

But Caleb's ready. Therefore I must be, too.

We've had a rough week. Most of my plans changed, then changed again; I felt more than once like I was just holding on for dear life. But the week wasn't a total downer.

Potty-training isn't easy, but Caleb is doing well. I'm very proud of him (and excited at the prospect of a NO DIAPER household ;)

We went off-island on Friday to spend the morning at a humongous Jungle Playland. Caleb played for two straight hours and I got to visit with mommy friends from church.

We had an afternoon of sunshine on Wednesday and Caleb helped me trim branches off the maple tree in our front yard. Then we blew bubbles and I watched him chase them, yelling "Eat! Eat!"

Jason and Michael watched Caleb for me Saturday night so I could bake snickerdoodles and amish friendship bread. Then I finished reading my Jane Austen-esque book "Julia and the Master of Morancourt."

So yeah. Not the week I'd planned, not the week I wanted, but looking back, it wasn't all darkness and rain clouds. ;) There were bits of sunshine, too.

(and tomorrow, my brother-in-law is watching Caleb so Jason and I can go out to lunch and then a movie . . . *does happy dance*)

How was your week? Was it what you planned? Or did God have other things in mind for you?

Happy Easter!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

"After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.

His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.
The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said."
-- Matthew 28:1-6
Happy Resurrection Sunday, y'all!
Praying you have a joyous day remembering what Jesus did for us through His death and resurrection, all those years ago. :)