Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Super Halloween

Wishing you a Super Halloween!!

We get CANDY?!?!

Pumpkin marshmallows after dinner? Yes, please!

Halloween is awesome!

Trick or Treat!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Vocabulary Issues

I looked it up, and the omniscient google gods have told me that it means
to have lost confidence or enthusiasm.
(and you can always trust google, right?)
I catch myself often using this word. I’m discouraged about how wild and crazy my boys are. The level of intensity my children bring to my day usually has me exhausted by about 9:00am, and I frequently feel like I’m living life in “survival mode!”
I’m discouraged that I feel like my efforts in time management and meal planning seem fruitless.
I’m discouraged about my housekeeping abilities (or lack thereof).

They say the best cooks make big messes... right?
Now, I am the type to pluck away daily at my duties with a pretty cheerful heart, regardless of how many checks I actually mark on my checklist. (It’s hard to require cheerfulness from your children if you are not living as an example to them!) But I do often find myself fighting feelings of discouragement.

Now here’s the problem: words have power. They have the power to build up, the power to tear down, and the power to destroy. I began to notice myself clinging to this word, discouraged, as an invitation to a miniature pity party I could throw at any time, any day, whenever I wanted. I would feel that swirl of emotions every mother experiences when she’s running on little sleep and is outnumbered by little people underfoot, absolutely incapable of keeping up with the energy level they bring with them.
Oh, I’m so discouraged.
Dramatically drape my hand across my forehead and I am pitying myself with the best of them, no balloons or cake required.

BUT WHY? This is life. Good life. Motherhood is hard, and a continual learning process, but it is loaded with blessings. And sometimes blessings completely wear you out. Sometimes, when your cup runneth over, it’s actually really heavy, and you have to use both hands and all your back muscles to lift it!

So I did two things. First, I officially struck the word discouraged from my vocabulary. (Well, with the exception of this blog post, of course!) I no longer allow myself to say it (or it’s thesaurus companions), or even think it. I’m not discouraged. It’s foolish to lose confidence or enthusiasm in the very thing God has given you to do, with the promise that He will help you through every step of the way. 
Discouraged? If you put your trust in the Lord, there is no reason to lose confidence.
His promises are steadfast, and He offers peace and comfort to those who seek it.

Then, after adjusting my vocabulary a little, I gave my perspective one of its regular overhauls.

My kids are crazy?
Wow!! I have KIDS!!!! How cool is that? What a blessing.

My house is messy?
Wow! I have a home so nice and big that it keeps me busy enough to let the bathrooms upstairs go three weeks between cleanings just so I can keep up with everything else!

 I have three toilets with toilet rings in them?
Wow! I have three toilets! And a little boy who’s gotten pretty good at using them!

Sometimes a little vocab adjustment is in order, and ever since striking that word from mine, I’ve noticed I don’t feel discouraged as much.
Regular perspective maintenance is a must in my life, and I think a frequent vocabulary check needs to be instituted as well.
Words really do hold much more power over us than we think.

So, is the afternoon almost at an end and I’m writing a blog post instead of preparing dinner for my family?
Well, I can fix that, can’t I? :)

Now, off I go… encouraged!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Varied Hue

The summer-flower has run to seed,
And yellow is the woodland bough;
And every leaf of bush and weed
Is tipt with Autumn's pencil now.

And I do love the varied hue,
And I do love the browning plain;
And I do love each scene to view,
That's mark'd with beauties of her reign.

Taken from "Autumn" by John Clare, 1821

Here's a taste of how we've enjoyed our Autumn so far...

Picnic at Pandapas Pond

 The beautiful drive home from church offers views of mountains thick with the changing deciduous trees.

Our Festive Fall Front Porch
(With unAshamed Autumnal Alliteration...)

I've added a few pumpkins since these photos were taken.
 We got them at... A Pumpkin Festival!

The day at the pumpkin farm was full of fun. Pony rides, a hay ride through the gorgeous countryside down to the pumpkin patch, and plenty of tractors to excite my sweet Asher.

Baking, collecting nuts and leaves, breathing deep the cool morning air, pumpkin candles, hot coffee, and lots of snuggles with my sweet boys...

Oh, Autumn, how I love you!