The Beauty of Motherhood

The beauty of motherhood
Pure joy of make believe.
Adventures through imagination.
Dreams taking flight.
These children search for the beauty in small ordinary things.
They find laughter and joy.
I find I believe.

Make believe.

DressUp
Dress up time as a princess and a fairy.

Imagination.

Imagination

Dream.

DareToDream

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Balancing is an Art

Balancing is an art.
Life is uncertain.
Moments so unstable.

We stand, sure-footed
And a wind, an unforeseen circumstance
destabilizes the most confident.

Falling is not failing.
It’s a lesson to persevere
Don’t ever give up.

We grow stronger
more confident
more flexible

Balancing is an Art
Not learned in a day
A lifetime of commitment.

My daughters learning to balance.

My daughters learning to balance.

Silent Night

Everyone knows the first verse from “Silent Night” which is  lovely, but have you stopped to listen and ponder the second and third verses?

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Savior is born
Christ, the Savior is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

The idea of this reverent silence reminds me of a quote from my all time favorite author, C.S. Lewis. This is from a passage in his book The Screwtape Letters:

“[The demon Screwtape writes:] Music and silence–how I detest both! How thankful we should be that ever since our Father entered Hell–though Cover of "The Screwtape Letters"longer ago than humans, reckoning in light years, could express–no square inch of infernal space and no moment of infernal time has been surrendered to either of those abominable forces, but all has been occupied by Noise–Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile–Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples, and impossible desires. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in this direction as regards the Earth. The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down in the end. But I admit we are not yet loud enough, or anything like it.”

In this past year our house has been anything but quiet. We now have a 21 month old and a 6 month old. Our daughters love each other tremendously and although they are young, I know they will be great friends…and our house will only get louder with the squeals of playful sisters. Life is full and life is good. We have been so blessed, but I need to remember the importance of silence. God speaks to us in the still, quiet moments, and he restores our soul in the absence of Noise.

So, for this Christmas Season (and into the next year and beyond) I encourage all of you to discover what is making the most Noise in your life (electronics, activities, work, everyday distractions?) and mindfully make a little more quiet time. Take a break from some of the holiday busyness a let Jesus’ light and love fill in the silence.

I Don’t Believe in Santa Claus, So Shoot Me.

Prompted from a friend’s post, I am also blogging about the ever approach Christmas holiday and the big, jolly fat man: Santa.

I don’t believe in Santa, so shoot me. Obviously, since I am an adult, I know I am not expected to believe in Santa, but I feel the weight of society hanging around my neck expecting me to perpetuate the myth of Old Saint Nick. Guess what? I’m not going to do it.

As a child I knew who Santa was, but I didn’t believe he was some magical man who came down our non-existent chimney loaded with “toys and goodies”. I never felt deprived in any way. All of my presents had a name associated with them. This one was from Aunt so-and-so, here’s one from Uncle Billy bob, these are from mommy and daddy. And I received them with joy and gratitude. I said “thank you” to the gift giver and even wrote out thank you notes.  (or drew pictures when I was younger). I still watched all the favorite holiday cartoons. My favorite was “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer”. But, it was just a nice story. I didn’t need it to be true.

So, why am I writing out this long vent about not “believing”. I am just getting DARN tired of always having to explain and justify myself. I am tired of being frowned upon for my kids not growing up in a “santa” home. Why is it such a big deal?

If you want to believe or have your kids believe, go ahead. I don’t care. Celebrate Santa all you want, but don’t try to guilt me into following your commercialized tradition. It’s not like I am all “anti-santa” and I am not going to go up to your kid and say, “Guess what? Santa isn’t REAL!” I don’t care if I use a santa napkin at Christmas dinner, or if I get pictures of santa on my Christmas cards.

But for our house, we will not be writing letters to the North Pole, and we will not pose for pictures with a guy dressed up in a red suit at the mall. I’m sure we will still sing all the favorite Christmas carols, and we’ll probably decorate reindeer shaped christmas cookies. But please, do me a favor, and stop trying to make my kid believe Santa Claus is really watching whether they’ve “been naughty or nice”.

I love Christmas. It is my favorite holiday by far. And my kids will know Saint Nick, you know the real “santa”, the generous historical figure, but he or the magical version is not the center of our holiday. If that makes me a Scrooge, than “bah hum bug” to you!

Stop Being Supermom and the 3 Things that are Most Important to being a Great Mom

Recently read this blog post: Dear Moms, Jesus Wants You To Chill Out.

And I thought I would pass on these words of wisdom. As moms, we really only need be concerned about doing these three things:

  1. Love God
  2. Love Husband
  3. Love Children

Don’t worry about being a super mom.

I am still going to try to keep a clean, organized house, make meals from scratch, and other nice “extras”…BUT if we eat pizza we buy, have books and toys from one wall to the other, and the kids are still in PJs at 2pm…IT IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD! I am not a bad mom, and my kids will still grow up with good values.

As the article also states, Moms, stop comparing yourself! This only leads to discontent, disillusionment, and disaster. If you find yourself more discouraged than lifted up by reading different “mom” blogs, just stop reading them altogether!

So,  I’m gonna go chill out, and I hope you do too.

Keeping Things out of Reach from a Tall Toddler

I was attending to my four-month old, Blue Eyes, when my 18 month old, Sweet C, walks into the room with a tomato.

I wondered how on Earth she had gotten a hold of what she apparently wanted for a snack because I had placed the fresh garden treats on the kitchen table out of her reach. Well, what I thought was out of her reach!

This is how far the tomatoes were from the edge of the table. I didn’t think to measure it, but as you can see, they were quite a bit towards the middle…

Tomatoes on my kitchen table. Quite a few inches from the edge!

So, the good thing is it was just a tomato my Sweet C took a bite of and it wasn’t say, a cookie! 🙂

The other good thing about my toddler’s growing reach is if I need a Binky for Blue Eyes that was left on the table I know I can count on having help to retrieve it!

My babies are just growing, growing, growing! Have to enjoy all the little moments and achievements 🙂

Anybody else have a sweet moment to share of their child surprising you with how much they have grown?

Now a Word on Organization

I don’t really like to spend money.

So, when it comes to organization I just try to use what I’ve got, or very mindfully look for a low-cost solution.

Today, I’ll just focus on my front room which houses most of the toys. I have three different stations so when it is time to pick up, Sweet C knows where her toys belong, and I can swoop up the toy clutter quickly when company comes over.

We have a big plastic bin for books. (some of them ast least. there are other book areas in the rest of the house too!) This came as part of Sweet C’s birthday present so it cost me zero dollars, yay!

Books in a Bin. Easy for a toddler to put books away laying flat instead of standing them up on a book shelf.

Then I have a box for big stuffed animals, also a present, yay!

Wooden Box for Stuffed Animals. Takes seconds to toss them in and get the floor picked up!

And underneath my coffee table I have two medium-sized baskets that we put small animals and small toys. I actually did buy these, but got them on sale so I only paid $10 for both of them. I like these nicer looking baskets for my coffee table because it adds a little “grown-up sophistication” and texture.

These “grown-up” baskets give my front room a little style with great hidden storage for more little toys!

I think it is very important to teach kids at a young age to pick up after themselves. I started helping Sweet C pick up her toys just before her first birthday. I made it into a game to get the toy into the box or basket. She loved how I would clap and cheer for her. Now, as she approaches her 18th month, Sweet C willingly picks up toys when asked. She still needs some help, and may only get a few, but her joyful spirit to help is what I want more than anything. Also, she knows that the books, animals, and other small toys all have their place, so she is learning organization even as a child 🙂

In my next post on organization we’ll be taking a look at my kitchen and how I claim it as my clutter free zone.

Hope these little ideas help you to control clutter! Happy Organizing!

I am so blessed in having a helpful toddler and a happy little 3 month old!