Monday, September 27, 2010

rainy monday

today found us without any plans and the weather being cooler, but much too wet for me to feel up to taking this 9 month belly babe and two toddlers out. and so we enjoyed a pleasant morning at home...we made a bit of a mess, but it was really lovely.

painting with fingers and brushes

playdough for a looong time today

while pax chews his rawhides dutifully

graham concentrates

we made our favorite cookies

mmmm licking the beaters (a rare treat, i promise!)

lunch-time...they love to tilt their heads to the side and smile while they chew

now the little ones are snuggled in their beds for a quick nap and i am relishing the quiet. the Lord has really helped me work through my worry/fear sin and for now i feel a sweet peace as we wait for the little one to arrive, trusting His sovereign care. calling it what it is-sin-discontentment with God's provision, not believing His promises and repenting and receiving His sweet grace has brought my heart around. seriously, worry (and all sin for that matter) is misery. we are thankful that i will be term on thursday and while other challenges are sure to present themselves upon the baby's arrival, we are so thankful the Lord spared us the pre-term labor/bedrest one this time. someone asked me if our nursery was ready yesterday...i laughed and said "well, adam did hang the sheet-rock this weekend." practically speaking, we have a long way to go.
see? almost ready, right? he actually made a lot of progress tonight...

should i be packing for the hospital yet? adam is convinced i will make it to our due date, but i think he is just hoping he really does have three more weeks to work on the nursery.

this one snuck in from a recent walk/waddle...oh how i look forward to being able to walk a little faster again.

these are from the other day...
dare to fall asleep while playing with these two

and you will be decorated

results of graham's napping spot being too close to adam's underwear drawer...yes, he has 6 pairs around his neck. i realize that the implications of this photo are somewhat frightening...he can reach things now! but i still thought it was funny too...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Let me begin each morning with hope,

as Thou dost begin each morning with hope for me, even me.

For love, brave love that ventureth,
For love that faileth not, I come;
For love that never wearieth,
Nor findeth burdens burdensome.

I come for hope that springeth green,
And burneth steadfast like a star,
For faith that pierceth through the seen
To things eternal, things that are.

O Love, that lightenest all my ways,
Within, without, below, above---
Flow through the minutes of my days;
The sum of all my life be love.

-Amy Carmichael

Thursday, September 16, 2010

happy 31st babe

i'm so thankful God has seen fit to grace my life with yours! thank you for loving all of us so well in the midst of a crazy work life. we love you much! poor adam is on call today, but we did enjoy a 6 am breakfast of monkey bread and coffee....yuuuuuuummmmmmm! feverish graham joined us as well.

Monkey Bread (from my sweet friend Lauren, who has made her blog private and unlinkable)

2 tbsp melted butter
1 c warm milk
1/3 c warm water
1/4 c sugar (white)
1 package yeast
3 and 1/4 c all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting surface)
2 teaspoons yeast

Proof yeast in warm water, add butter, milk and sugar. Mix with flour and salt, then knead until smooth. Cover and let rise until doubled. Cut dough and roll into balls.

Brown Sugar Coating
1 and 1/2 sticks butter, melted
1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Dip balls in melted butter, then roll in sugar mixture. Layer in buttered bundt pan. Cover and let rise at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, or in the fridge overnight.

1 c powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk

Bake at 350*F for 30 to 45 minutes. In last 5 minutes of baking, whisk glaze together. Invert monkey bread onto plate, let cool for 5 minutes, and drizzle with glaze.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

minus the finishing touches...

the bathroom is fully functional now! i am so proud of my sweet husband for getting so much done in the last several months. we still have hooks and towel racks to hang and some shelves to build, but for now we will focus on the old bathroom where the new baby will live when it makes its arrival sometime in the next month.

so i don't have any great pictures of the laundry room before we started anything, but here it is after the floor was pulled up and some of the wall torn down for wiring and plumbing:

toilet and washer/drier to the left as you walk in. i am loving having a front-loading washer by the way...we had to do it for space and i'm so thankful! this is a good view of my dad and adam's tiling work on the floor too. and i should note that the whole room was incredibly crooked (you, know old houses tend to settle crooked) so adam built up the floor about 6-8 inches first.

sink just as you walk in...we did buy a basic pedestal sink because the old one was a huge vanity that would not fit into the space, but the mirror and light and sink fixtures are from the old bathroom. the rug was on clearance:)

it is so hard to do adam's amazing tiling job on the tub (to the right as you walk in) justice with the camera because it is so white and shiny, but you can see it was very labor-intensive...over 500 subway tiles. he built some shelves in the 8 inches or so of space to the left of the tub and will build more above the tub later on. storage space is kind of valuable in here.

i love this shower-curtain from target and it is pretty much the only decorating bit for now. everything else is straight up functional.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

been slacking on the pictures lately. our camera is having major trouble, but adam insists that he wants to use his birthday money from extended family for a new camera so hopefully we will have a reliable one before this next little one arrives. here are a few for now. i am so thankful for my little munchkins and they have lots of fun (and exhaustion) lately.

graham and pax are pretty good buds. they are probably watching for the trash truck here

adam introduces a new fun game called "pillow-time" in which he nearly falls asleep while telling stories usually post-call or something. their favorite is the story about the "big cows."

new favorite snack for marit is peanut-butter banana. graham is somewhat unsure of it still...

probably because he has been on a food strike and makes this cranky face about everything but milk and bread and fruit

however, he has been incredibly cute in other ways...his tongue has been loosed and he loves to talk about all kinds of randomness...constantly saying "watch me mommy!" before he jumps, leaps, or throws or something dangerous. he can't say the 'c' sound so he calls his cup a "pup" and often asks me if i'm "poming?" (coming). he often wakes up before marit and so we have a little one-on-one book time in the mornings sometimes and he loves that.

here is marit living up to her nick-name snuggle bug by snuggling with my nearly 35 week belly. she loves the baby and i think she will actually be a bit helpful when he/she arrives. she rarely naps these days, but plays by herself in her bed for a while. instead she sometimes sleeps until 9 or later in the morning like she's a teenager or something. we are still dealing with emotional self-control a lot lately, but she is usually a chatty sort of way. inspired by my sister-in-law, we have been doing a little circle time after breakfast and marit has really enjoyed it. it has been good for me to have a more formal learning time for the verses we have been memorizing together and learning letters. we often do a puzzle of letters, sing a song or two and pray for our day. it has been sweet time for sure...makes me want to homeschool (we are totally undecided on the school front still).

at a labor day bbq and we are waiting in line for food. suddenly (as is usually the case) marit has to go potty. i take her, but tell her we have to hurry because the "line is almost to the food." she bursts into tears and screams hysterically until after we sit down to eat. we are so confused for a few minutes and then we interpret that "she does not want to see the lion because it is scary." it took a lot of soothing talk to convince her that there was no lion at our picnic and ever since we have been talking about the difference in lions and lines...such literal little people toddlers are!

Monday, September 13, 2010

loving this song today

matt brown played this in our church last night and it made me cry...a musical expression of the faith being passed down from parents to children, generation to generation...a beautiful Gospel legacy.

Above My Door
matt brown
There’s blood, there’s blood above my door.
My daddy, he put it there.
Down veins of wood the crimson pours
and lingers in the air.
What barb’rous redemption thought I,
what bloody protection from night.
But we’ll not feel Death’s bite,
at least not tonight.
There’s blood, there’s blood upon my heart.
My mama, she put it there.
It’s not her blood, but on that heart
are her sweat, her tears, her prayers.
O mother, O mother how I
will treasure your words of life,
and someday when this firstborn dies
that blood will be life.

Take Away One: Above My Door from Third Lobby on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

an anxious heart

i have a new besetting sin. i have plenty of other ones, but worrying has not been one of my struggles for a long time...besides the occasional laboring over big decisions, adam has always been enough of a worrier for both of us. some of it has to do with the fact that i have been handling the money (or lack thereof) since adam started residency and though i am fully aware of the fact that we have much more than many, many people, my mind is always trying to figure out how we can be prepared for when our only car that is 10 years old has a problem that costs some serious cash. or what if the ac really needs more than batteries replaced in the thermostat (i figured that out on a call night recently and was so pleased with myself because usually i just break things and wait for poor adam to fix my mistakes). it is just tight...we have enough. barely. we are thankful, but i have been worrying instead of dwelling on the Lord's provision for our family thus far. the other things i worry about lately have been revolving around this belly babe...3 weeks until it reaches term and could make its arrival (with graham early and marit on time, i don't know what to expect). just saying THREE WEEKS made my heart rate go up just a little. it was about this time that i started having preterm labor with graham and was stuck on bedrest dilated to 5cm for 4 weeks. again, why am i not able to move my heart from fear to trust because can't i just look back and see His sovereign hand caring for us? it was a tough month for sure, but dear ones surrounded and supported and graham made it to term. we were not forsaken, but rather tenderly cared for. and then there is this project that sometimes we regret having started. it has been much more time-consuming and expensive than expected...though we know it will make having three (or more) kids a little easier in the long run. the other night on a very busy call night i made the mistake of crying about the impossibility of ever finishing it on the phone with adam after i had spent a harrowing 30 minutes trying to get my very sweet, but still impulsive 2 and 3 year old bathed and in bed without touching a saw of some sort or pile of sawdust or tripping over hammers and lumber and tile. after my pathetic emotional outburst, i was informed of adam's night shaping up to be one of the hardest of residency yet. oops. i just feel so helpless as my belly grows and i have the urge to work and prepare and nest, but i feel so limited in what i am capable of doing until the major stuff is done. we don't have to have a perfect nursery (not started yet at all) before the baby arrives. we certainly didn't with the other two, but i really don't want adam to have to spend tons of new baby transition time working on this beast. i want to mow the lawn and landscape the backyard, but adam says i am too pregnant and he's right...i'd probably pass out. adam did finish tiling the tub the other night (grouting it as i type), but he had to stay up until 2 am to do so between two busy days. i don't deserve him. his sacrificial, patient care of us in the midst of pure chaos in his work life really exemplifies Jesus to us. and then my anxious mind goes to thoughts about how in the world i am going to not just survive, but parent three kids well when i feel like i fail so often every day with the two i've been given. again, i know my life is not necessarily harder than the next mom of small children, but this is just a litany of my personal inner struggles, not any kind of comparison. as a worrier himself, adam has encouraged me to deal with my sin as it certainly does steal joy and hinders my ministry to marit and graham and others. and i have been trying to figure out how to go from fear to trust, worry to worship, anxiety to supplication and have been praying a lot of prayers like "Father, please enable me by Your grace to trust in your sovereign provision and to release my fear, worry, and desire to control..." this desire to control thing is new to me...taking me some time to wage war against this sin. i've also been singing these songs to myself lately:
*weary of earth, myself, and sin
* poor sinner, dejected with fear
*when overwhelmed with doubt and fear (this whole album is wonderfully encouraging and totally worth a download if you like remade hymns)
* pensive, doubting, fearful heart

i read this the other day in amy carmichael's book Edges of His Ways (i also highly recommend this little devotional)
sept 5th
These notes will have been entirely useless if they have not helped to bring us to the place where our happiness does not depend on the work we are doing, the place we are in, our friends, our health, whether people notice us or not, praise us or not, understand us or not. No single one of the circumstances has any power in itself to upset the joy of God, but it can instantly and utterly quench it if we look at the circumstances instead of up into the face of light and love that is looking down upon us-the Face of our own God.
This is the shining path, stretching away from the place where we stand today to the very heart of God. This is the shining path that shineth more and more as we walk in it.

do you see it? there is no perfect way to just tie up my anxious thoughts for good, but it is a constant, active, giving up, refocusing on Jesus and the beauty of the Gospel instead of my very temporary circumstances, desperately clinging to my good, good Savior. there is no promise that "it will all be ok." because, things might go all wrong (according to my plan anyway), my children will not be perfect and we might all suffer at times. we might be financially devastated. i might be tired for the next 10 years...i'm not asked to know, but simply to trust His care of us...

i have rambled enough, but know that i am wrestling with my sin and hoping for fewer emotional outbursts and less freaking out. pray for us as we prepare for huge changes around here...maybe i'll post more about the little people and their cutisms of late tomorrow.