Adventures in the woods

I know that there have been lots of these same pictures: my kids in the woods…

but can I just say, that this really is our lives right now. Almost everyday, we are exploring secret woodsy places or down at the fishing hole, finding frogs and salamanders, or somewhere else where the air is fresh and the world is new.

This is a picture of the kids this past weekend. We found these really cool little holes in a tree and they went up to look at them and I asked them to sit and take a picture. They sat and paid no attention to me snapping pictures for like 15 minutes. They were looking at all the trees around them, picking things up off the ground, collecting acorns, and trying to find the sun through the top of the tree. They chatted a little with each other but mostly they listened to all the sounds.

Scarlet and Adelai at Mr. Isaac's tackle and bait shop! Our first stop for worms and snacks before heading to the fishing hole. :) (At Mr. Isaac’s tackle and bait shop! Our favorite place for worms and snacks before heading to the fishing hole.)

I love being outside with them. I love looking at the world through their eyes. It seems so much cleaner, more beautiful, and a lot less…. heavy. I remember what it was like to have that innocent view of the world… back when it was beautiful. It’s funny, it was just the same as it is now, only my perspective has changed.

Listening to the leaves crunch beneath my feet, jumping from rock to rock, and starring up at the clouds as they roll by…. all this makes it sooo worth while to have children and watch them grow, discover, and change.

I love being a mom.

{Saturday Tunes}

This All American Rejects song is one I hear often right now. It’s a little more pop than I usually listen to, but they’re great!

This is such a bittersweet song. Sweet because Iron and Wine is one of my favorite bands and the listening is so easy. Bitter because in this song, you really see God from his point of view. That makes me sad. I wish I could hug him.

And lastly, if you ever asked me if I was on an deserted  island and could only have one thing to listen to, (noting of course that Joseph would be there to sing to me :)) I would choose Mewithoutyou, hands down.

There is so much controversy out there about him speaking Arabic in this song. People have said that he’s changed religions, etc. It’s amazing how people can have an opinion about a song when they can’t understand what he’s saying! Haha!

Aaron Wiess is a complete genius for the way he presents God here. His family are converts from the muslim religion to christianity. In this song he sings in Arabic, “There is no other god but GOD.” So amazing to hear that in this language. Beautiful. Also, I love that in the comments on the youtube link, you see how many people, with other beliefs or no beliefs, listen to him who are not offended by what he believes, but love him because he is honestly unique.

I could seriously do a “mewithout you song day”, every week. 🙂 But I’ll spare you.

Happy Listening!

Stampin’ Fun!

I have always LOVED the crafty inspiration that I can always count on while checking up on Geninne’s space.

Today was no exception. I was looking at all of her stamps and tutorials and wanted so bad to make cool stamps too.

Since we had no erasers or anything like it, I had an idea to use the foam paper we had. I used a pencil to make all the lines, and this is what we ended up with:

Pretty good, right? Not as detailed as the eraser method, but I was satisfied.

This is the first one I did, just because I love drawing this flower.

On Geninne’s blog, I saw where she had different stems and different flower blossoms that you could mix and match. I knew Scarlet would love this, so above is our version.

And these are the first ones she made.

Yay for fun, easy and creative new stamps! Now we need to get pretty inky colors!!

We made many, many more after these. We also started putting bottle corks on the top of them so that it was easy for their little hands and so we didn’t have quit so much ink on the hands. 🙂

 

Try it! Sooo fun!

{Dreaming…}

Dreaming of pretty corners and new spaces….

Love these kid corners:

By the way, incase you didn’t know this about me….

one of my favorite things are blanket forts:

Love everything about this house tour….

Aren’t these colors amazing!?:

And lastly, I want a loft bed sooooo bad:

These are my dreamy inspirations today.

Hope you enjoy!

xoxo

Beads and Bobbles

Scarlet and I made the beads that I found here.

They are really fun to cook up and roll into balls.

A small change we made was to use skewers instead of toothpicks. Skewers were better for their little hands to grip and made bigger holes in the beads, which I thought would be easier to string.

Adelai loved moving the clay around in his fingers and helping us make balls. He LOVES any round object! He yells and points, “Ball!” But this was exactly the issue later, when we went on to painting. He would grab them and throw them, sooo excited that we made his favorite toys. Scarlet didn’t like it to much that he was throwing her beads…

Scarlet really enjoyed every part, until we got to the painting part. Normally, she loves to paint anything and everything, but these beads and acrylic paints do not like each other. She would paint one and move it in her hand and it would peel right off.

We decided that when we do this project again, we will try dying the clay instead of painting afterwards.

We’ve already given one as a birthday present! Now we have lots of beads to string!

 

{A Valentine’s Day Resolution}

I know that most resolutions come at the first of the year, but I really believe this Valentine’s Day is a great mile marker for this particular resolution.

History Lesson:

The original Valentine’s Day was a pagan feast and was not at all called “Valentine’s Day.” There was a man named Valentine that was said to have helped the Christians during a time when they were being heavily persecuted under the Roman Empire. How did he help? He was a priest who married young Christians, which apparently no one else was aloud to do at that time. He would marry them in secret. No body knows exactly when he was killed for helping the christians. But many believe that it was on February 14th. Later, it is believed that the Christians celebrated him on this day, trying to counteract the pagan feast that went on at the same time.

That was really just a random bit of history for you. But I thought it was interesting that he died bringing Christians together. If you really look at this, Valentine’s Day started out with an eros kind of love (greek word for sensual, lustful type of affection) and later St. Valentine turned it into a agape kind of love (greek word for a “deeper” love, a love felt between man and woman)

My resolution for this year is to take it in a little different direction in our little family. Another type of love is Philia. Philia is a greek work for friendship. “It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity.” (Wikepedia)

Let’s read these and think: to love with philia (a loyalty to friends, family, and community) REQUIRES virtue, equality, and familiarity.

Having said all of that, I want to this love for family, friends, AND community. This really is an area that Americans, as a society, have seemed to fail in. I want loyal friendships that are honest, just, and loving. I want people who feel comfortable “bearing each others burdens.” We are such a shut-up society. (especially the in the christian society) We go through hard things all alone, we go through secret battles between our spirit and our flesh, all because we want to look good to others. The honest truth is that I never have it all together… or even half of “it” for that matter. We need each other. We need to have a safe haven to be able to work through hard times, sin, and loss without the fear of being judged or talked about. This is so rare, even inside the church, in fact maybe even harder inside the church. I am determined to surround myself with these types of people and be this type of friend for others.

I also want to be more loyal to my husband and kids. My family deserves every piece of me. Proverbs says that because a wife serves her family, they will, at some point rise up and call her blessed. I can promise you I am not perfect at this. This is not always practiced around here, but it is what I am called to. It is what I agreed to before God when I got married and had babies.

And lastly, and possibly what started all this inside me, is that I want to be loyal to my community, the people around me who I do not yet know. It’s so easy to think that live beside me, or in my city are not actually close but really far, far away. I have honestly always dealt with this guilty feeling for ever wanting things or living with anything more than I need, like it was given to me as a burden. But I have truly done nothing about it, until now.

I was reading through the Bible and realizing that the Bible does give all those commands on “how to enter the kingdom of heaven.” You know, all the ones you’ve heard before, like that you need to believe in Jesus and that he died and rose again, and that you need to say with your mouth that you believe. One that we seem to conveniently skip over is where the man says, “Jesus, what do I need to do to enter the kingdom of heaven?” And Jesus replies, “Give all your possessions to the poor, then you will enter the kingdom.” What’s interesting is that even then, the man just walks away, unwilling to do so. This really hit me hard. I don’t want to be the one to walk away, and never enter the kingdom of heaven. Really…. no matter how you look at it, this is what it says.

I need to constantly be reminded that this is the

state of most of the hearts around me

I want to be very aware of the community I live in, what their needs are, who they are, that they are not just a mind-less good deed. Even more than all of this, I want to leave a legacy of family that understand that the poor will always be among us and will always need care. I want to be an example of this to my kids and show them how to really love the people around them.

I know this is a long post about a “deep” subject. But this is really where I am right now. You may see my resolution unfold in this space.

I pray that all of us, in all our pursuits make it a life long calling to love all people well (regardless of religious beliefs, color, social status, etc), the same way we want to be loved amidst all our many flaws.

May we also realize that if we do not speak with love or have not love in our actions, than we are just making noise.

Reach out and really love someone today.

Go out of your way to get to know someone new today.

Happy Valentine’s Day!