Monday, August 31, 2009

{ Book List }

We have been reading up a storm around here. Toting home stacks of of books at a time. One of the highlights of the summer in particular for Annabelle was getting to go to Pajama Story-time and also participating in the summer reading program, which we completed last week and turned in our reading list and returned home grinning, with her prize of a 68 piece art set, in hand and the promise of a free pretzels and pizza. And I am happily making plans to start home school pre-school after Labor Day Weekend. I will be (loosely) using this curriculum. I am going to put very little pressure/expectations on either Annabelle or myself. We are just going to have fun and learn together, as we have only now with a tad bit more intentionality. And I think she could use the added activities in her day and I am going to appreciate a little more structured schedule. Really more than anything in the coming school year my heart and focus for Annabelle is to keep praying for her that Jesus will make her heart tender towards Himself and others and to continue telling her about Him and how amazing His love is, and most of all to better visibly model that love day to day, as her Mommy.

{ picture source }
So I thought I'd share with you our list of favorite books from the summer.
They are the following:

A definite family favorite around here. Our bedtime routine includes reading out of the The Jesus Storybook Bible. We are on our second time through with Annabelle and plan to continue rereading it to her and Jack for years to come. I love the wording and way in which Sally Lloyd Jones portrays the Bible, as the greatest Love story of all time. As the title states, " Every story whispers his name." Breathtaking in it's beauty and simplicity. Here's an excerpt from the introduction:
The Story and the Song
Introduction from Psalm 19 and Hebrews 1

The Heavens are singing
about how great God is;
and the skies are shouting it out,
" See what God has made!"
Day after day...night after night...
They are speaking to us.

Psalm 19:1-2 ( paraphrase )

God wrote, " I love you " - he wrote it in the sky and on the earth, and under the sea. He wrote his message everywhere! Because God created everything in his world to reflect Him like a mirror - to show us what he is like, to help us know him, to make our hearts sing.
The way a kitten chases her tail. The way red poppies grow wild. The way dolphins swim. And God put it into words, too, and wrote it in a book called " the Bible."

I have been on the look-out for the perfect age appropriate Bible for Annabelle. My search has ended here. Could not recommend this more highly and might also add that I love reading it for myself.

- Our Nest
- The Apple Pie that Papa Baked
- The Gardener ( As Annabelle would tell you, " my Mommy loves this book ")
- Tweedle Dee Dee
- Whopper Cake (our favorite part about this silly book is the dedication. Karma Wilson, the truly wonderful author is also friends with David's family. " To Hildi ( who is the precious mother of my husband and beloved Mor Mor to Annabelle and Jack ), who has been known to deviate from a recipe or two, but always cooks with love"
- Mortimer's First Garden, ( whis is lovingly dedicated to David's Dad who was, an amazing gardener )
- Mr. Murry and Thumbkin
- Tumble Me Tumbily
- All In a Day
- Hello Twins
-Once Upon a Time, the End...Asleep in 60 seconds
( David's most favorite children's book. He laughed so hard the first time he read it I thought he might fall off the couch. It's hysterical. He was still reading it to Annabelle and chuckling over it two, three, four weeks later.)
- On Our Way Home
- The Little Green Island

Now we are so curious to know what you are reading?

Friday, August 28, 2009

{ For Nana Especially }


By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea...

Off we go, for our annual much anticipated weekend away with our family on the coast. To this lovely little spot.
As Anniebelle Lucy would say: " Yip-pee Skip-pee ! "
And there is sunshine in the forecast.
Double yip-ee skip-ee!

Ready or not, sand and surf, ruby-golden sunsets, pitter-patter of bare feet, kite tales in the sky,long walks on the beach, heart to heart + hand in hand talks,as we remember, cuddles galore, and bike rides, sticky marshmallow fingers, stories told, peels of laughter...

Here. We. Come.

Oh and smooching...lots and lots of smooching...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

{ the bouquet }

How did he know, it was just the cheering up I needed, after a long fussy/grumpy little day. The kind that leaves the edges of your soul feeling more than a little unraveled, as he me at the door after, his long hard day at work, with a smile and a kiss as he produced with a flourish, from behind his back these glowing roses...

How kind it is that the God of the whole universe, is concerned and about me and how my day plays out and the condition of my heart enough to send along a little pick me up?

And how blessed am I to have a husband who is in tune to the voice of God, down to the smallest details of life. For I am just sure it was God Himself who whispered that taking home roses might be a good idea, in his ear. After all, He is the source of all good things, great or small. And He is the only One who really knew how worn down and discouraged I was feeling at the end of that particular day.

And I wonder, how many times a day do I let His quiet, tender gestures of love slip by unnoticed? Oh Lord forgive me for all the times I have missed the joy you've set before me. And give me eyes that see things through Your heart, so I can thank you for each of these minute to minute, day to day, life-graces you so kindly gift to me.
I have been deeply moved by the writings of this woman, found via this truly beautiful woman...that have fueled my desire to " Take Joy" as I Count Up Blessings. ( from a few years back, where I first blogged.)
Ready to continue and expand the list.
Anyone care to join me?
“ Every song you love, every memory you cherish, every moment that has moved you to holy tears has been given to you from the One who has been pursuing you from your first breath in order to win your heart. God’s version of flowers and chocolates and candlelight dinners comes in the form of sunsets and falling stars, moonlight on lakes and cricket symphonies; warm wind, swaying trees, lush gardens, and fierce devotion.”

— taken from the book ‘Captivating’ by John & Stasi Eldredge

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

{ housey house, house }

I wanted to post a little update on the status of our big beautiful work in progress, 100 year old house. We will continue living here in the little summer cottage until October and then into another rental house, preferably within walking distance of our home. The hope + goal is to be able to move in by March.

David, bless his heart has been making the five hour drive on any and all open weekends. I tell him all the time, " it's a good thing your shoulders are nice and big " because he is carrying around quite the work load this summer. Working really long days. So far this week he has averaged 13 hour days. I am blown away by the sacrifices he makes to take such wonderful care of us. Of course he doesn't see it as a sacrifice, it's nothing more than a means by which to love. But this summer especially, in my book, this man is more super hero than he is human.

Anyway he, with the help and expertise of his best friend, who interestingly enough, possesses some super hero powers of his own, have done wonders in saving our garage, which the neighbors told David they were sure was going to collapse during the propping up process. But they did it, don't ask me how but the two of them salvaged the garage and pulled it back into plum and from all reports, the transformation is magical. I wish I had a picture to post, to show before and the afters. Next time I am there, I will try and remember to get pictures so I can see for your self all the progress that is being made.

Meanwhile I am at home, taking care of littles, missing my man and daydreaming about what color this or that room is going to be painted, while making up pictures of future kitchens in my head. Which leads me to this: You see, I have a serious crush on this dress. And as ridiculous as this may sound I want my kitchen to look like this Dress. I think this dress would look amazing as a kitchen. And I love the bright/bold/happy/cheerful accents of color, on pure white. And while we are at it, can I just say that I love this one and this and this. And don't you think this skirt would be oh so cute on her? Or this one on her. And this one on her. And wouldn't this look so very lovely, on her?
Okay, so I got a little sidetracked and now you know what I would do with the money, were I ever to win the lottery. Unfortunately my odds are rather slim, considering that I do not buy lottery tickets.

But I cannot wait to get my hands (scrub + paint brush) on you, great big old neglected house of mine. Superman and I have big plans for you. We are going to make you shine.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

{ awakenings }

Here I am, pecking away at the keys and it's late that today is about to slip past us into tomorrow. And while I sit here I feel compelled to at least make an effort to try and spill out some thoughts, in spite of my fear that they will come across as muddy and confusing.

In the past months I have found myself longing for more alone time. The all day, every day demands of a 3 month old and a 3 year old, as most of you Mama's already know so well don't exactly add up to "extra" time to quiet my heart before Jesus, and allow Him to fill me up. And yet I find myself in greater need of Him than I ever have before in my life.
It's a thirst.
A longing .
A missing.
A ache.

A soft but persistent tugging at my soul as He draws me to His heart and towards the things that I know will bring me to a deeper knowing and sense of His love. I feel like I am in the midst of being changed. And I desire a heightened awareness to His gentle whispers of truth and overflow of grace. Like I said, I feel my need. My soul is like a raw open, gaping sore as I am painfully aware of this truth: that the only thing that is deeper than the ugliness in my own heart, is the pure flawless beauty that He has replaced it with. And what an exchange it is, bought with His precious life blood. I feel shaken up and so unsure of myself, and I mean that in a good way. I crave more time with Jesus, more time listening to His beautiful, holy voice. More time pouring over the life giving, joy bringing words He put into a love letter for us. More time sitting at His feet and collecting wisdom and the fruits of the spirit, and feeding my soul with His very own. And out tumble these stunning thoughts:

God wants us. God wants me.
God loves us. God loves me.

Without limit or constraint or conditions.

And while I cannot even begin to grasp an inkling of the reality behind all of that, I feel as if I am being woke up, ever so tenderly from a long drowsy summer afternoon nap. And while the warmth of the sun enfolds me, and the wind kisses my face and all is comfort and peace and I am dearly tempted to curl up further and continue to give into the sleepy, heady haze of unconsciousness. While the sky beyond is waiting, as if brushed across in alternating shades of blue and sapphire. While golden rays reflect off the lake, as in a mirror and skip twinkling across like a million diamonds. While a field of green, with the greenest green grass you've ever seen, is intertwined with thousands of cheerful daisies that are graced by every exotic kind and color of butterfly known to man, flitting in the shadow of great craggy, snow capped peaks.

The open eye, holds greater promise.

And if only I knew the scope of the depth and beauty and spiraling heights of joy that await, of course I would want nothing more intensely than to wake up from any nap, now matter how pleasant it's dreams.

Lord, please open my eyes.

{ photo borrowed from here }

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

{ all in a day }

Today. Today they had baths. And then we built a quilt fort and made bread and cuddled on the couch and read our new stack of books from the library. While the rain poured outside our windows.


Just another ( blissfully) ordinary day.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

{ digesting }

Reading in James this morning. And these words reached off the page and grabbed me as I prayed that they would become the heartbeat of my day to day life:

Count it all joy.

Count it all joy.

Count it all joy.

Count it all joy.

And then there is my sweet little grinning baby boy,
who of course I " count" and recount as one of my greatest forever joys.
I swear this grin of his is unstoppable...
and I can't stop taking picture of his dear little full of light, precious smiling face.