Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Our Magical Morning

I decided to use this week to start acclimating myself and the kids to an earlier wake up time which will be necessary for school time. Waking up wasn't so hard yesterday because I had somewhere to be by 9:30 but today is my free day--I have NOTHING that needs doing today! I stuck to it though and crawled out of bed when my alarm told me to then I WOKE UP SLEEPING CHILDREN. Crazy, huh? Little did I know, it was the start of a wonderful day. 

The kids decided they wanted to color while I fixed breakfast (it was just cereal with a side of cantaloupe so don't be impressed or anything lol). Piper happily shared pages from her coloring book with the boys and then asked, "will you please pass me a crayon?" each time she needed one from Jathan at the other end of the table. She has picked up on the fact that her mama heavily praises politeness. 

After breakfast I decided to get outside since it's such a beautiful day. It was in the 60s when we first stepped out! The kids even wanted jackets, ha ha. 

We admired the red blooms on the vine I planted by our front steps. We've noticed hummingbirds visiting it over the last few days which has excited me even more than the kids. I just love flowers and birds and butterflies. 

We all then headed to our little garden to check on our cantaloupes. There are several growing but none yet ready to harvest. I hope they make it because cantaloupe is one of my favorite foods! Of course the sunflowers at my garden are impossible to ignore. 

The bees were just in heaven crawling all over them. A happy sight! 

Jathan wanted to pick some carrots. Sadly I planted them in too small of a container, and there won't be any we can really eat I don't believe. But the kids like pulling them up and examining the little roots then sharing them with the chickens. 


Jathan, Ryland, and Piper checked for eggs then opened up the chicken run and went to explore it a bit. They found a lovely centipede and a good walking stick for Ryland. 

Jathan requested we go see the baby birds we had discovered the day before. We approached slowly and sure enough mama bird was on her nest. Here's a picture from yesterday though. 

The kids played on the patio until Jathan came up with the idea to play hide and seek. They elected me "it." I smiled with closed eyes and counted to twenty while three little voices giggled bounding away. 

I knew the general direction they'd gone, and when I headed that way Piper popped out from behind a bush squealing, "Yoo hoo!" It was kind of adorable. Ryland was found behind another huge bush but Jathan was further out. I suspected he was in the garden so to the garden we went. Brooklyn had to pick a (green) tomato. I pointed out the beautiful zinnias and marigolds and zinnias.

Uncurling their tongues, butterflies sipped from the zinnias and fluttered all around us. 

More gorgeous sunflowers towered over us. 

Finally we discovered Jathan in the corn! Brooklyn ran and hugged his legs as if she hadn't seen him in a month!

The pumpkin patch was calling our name next. Two rows of pumpkins were planted early and are already grown. We spotted one with bumps and a giant white one and a tiny mingled one that Jathan thought looked like cheese. 

The Indian corn has such lovely tassels. Ladybugs roamed their leaves. 

I can't wait until fall! What fun we will have picking pumpkins and gourds to decorate with! 

Some wildflowers caught our eye in the field next to the gardens. There are so many interesting plants growing! I don't know what these are but I thought they looked like cute little lanterns. 

The large rock in the field provided entertainment for some time--hopping and jumping and walking it's perimeter dreaming of picnics on it. 

Jathan just kept saying how much fun we were having and what a good day it was. He was right. It was perfect. I'm so happy to have the privilege of experiencing life with these five special people. If only I'd take the time every day to enjoy the sheer beauty of the world around me. 

Monday, July 14, 2014


A friend shared an Elle article about one of Colbie Caillat's new songs, Try. The article talked about how she felt pressure to change her outward appearance. Hair extensions, fake eye lashes, fake nails, photoshopping. It was getting to her. So she was encouraged to put her feelings to music and what happened what a great video. 

By the time I got to the end of the video I thought, "Wow, I don't even think we know what a beautiful woman looks like anymore." We know what a great dye job looks like. We recognize flawless makeup and polished manicures. But what if we were all stripped of that? Would we see beauty? 

I happen to really like makeup and hair (big hair to be exact). I like pretty clothes and painting my nails. I don't think there's anything innately wrong with liking those things. Except sometimes I go without makeup and I hear "Oh, you look tired." Small children have even told me I looked weird! Seriously! 

The other day I had makeup on, and Piper asked why. "I just like wearing makeup sometimes," I told her. She told me I shouldn't wear makeup. However, Ryland (who you can always count on to speak his mind) chimed in and told me I should wear it to church because it looks pretty. 

Later the same day that I read the article I referenced earlier, Piper requested to put on a "princess dress." We don't have any actual dress up clothes; every dress is a princess dress to her. At first I didn't want to, but I'm working on saying yes to my kids whenever reasonable. She chose a dress, I helped her put it on, and watched her twirl around proclaiming herself Princess Piper. She ended up sleeping in that dress because she just loves it so much. 

I remarked to Jackie how happy she was. She clearly felt pretty--like a princess. I tried to think of something that made me feel that way. You know what? I couldn't come up with a single thing. How sad that I've either outgrown or given up on the concept of self-beauty. I'm not saying that I think my face ory body is ugly necessarily but nothing inspires me to glow like my bare-faced, messy-haired little girls. 

I couldn't help but be reminded of 1 Peter 3:3-4 which says, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." 

Therein lies my real problem. I greatly lack a gentle and quiet spirit! My spirit is rather loud and boisterous within me. 

Gotta work on that.