Reviving Motherhood

Learning on the Journey


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Hello!

This blog seems to be one step forward, a half-dozen steps back, along with most other things in my life.  I know it dropped off the face of the earth, but I’ll just be transparent and tell you all that I had one of the most difficult months ever in my parenting journey.  I thought about blogging (if I could have found time, which was impossible) and just wondered why in the world I even think for a second that I can pass on good information or communicate what I’m learning.

Sometimes I don’t write out of fear that someone might misinterpret what I write, or read something into it that’s not there by trying to read between the lines, but I’m done worrying about that.  I don’t play games, and there are no subliminal messages in my writing.  When I say I had a bad month, that’s all I mean.  It was a really bad week, filled with parenting challenges, that turned into 4 really bad weeks.  Then my wonderful baby sister came to visit (YAY!) and after she left we took a desperately needed vacation that helped me reconnect with the kids and helped the kids reconnect with each other.  So here’s hoping for less challenging times and more time to blog.  If nothing else, months like these keep me humble and help me remember that I’m just a young thing with a lot to learn.


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10 on Tuesday 4-5-11

1.  As I’ve said before, I’m copying this idea from Payton.  I left a comment on her blog asking if she minded, and she kindly assured me that she does not.  In fact, she said the idea doesn’t originate with her either.  There!  I feel better!

2.  I’m mildly obsessed with Belgian design. Most of my house kind of looks like a mess, but I have always wanted a pretty house, I just didn’t have the knack for making it happen.  There was a huge concrete wall in my mind that I had to break through to start decorating.  I didn’t understand how to decorate on a dime.  After YEARS of studying design magazines and blogs I am getting some ideas.  Before I had just one place in my house that I really adored, my entry.  The other day I looked around my living room and I realized that I LOVE it.  Yes, there are a few things I need to tweak, but overall it feels like a pretty, comfortable place for my family.  I’m liking my kitchen more and more.  I don’t know if I have a preferred style.  Traditional Cottage?  Should I now make that Traditional Belgian Cottage?  Or Traditional European Cottage?  Traditional Eclectic Cottage?  Just plain Eclectic? Don’t know.  What are your favorite decorating blogs?  I love that other people share what they are doing with their houses for people like me that don’t have a clue.

3.  My daughter’s rose bushes are blooming.  I love fresh flowers. Love, love, love.  I bought a bunch of tulips the other day for the living room.  I hope they last for weeks.  I can’t wait till my hydrangea blooms, even though it’s too small for flower picking.  In a couple years I will be able to harvest the blooms.

4. My baby sister’s 20th birthday is this week. Happy birthday, Hannah!  I love you!  I loved growing up in a large family, and I’m so thankful for my sweet sister.

5.  I’m still doing pretty well not nagging my kids. I’m a little bit at a loss as to what to do with this new dynamic, especially in regards to time.  Wow, we suddenly have so much more time!  I know the things I COULD fill it with, I just need to figure out what’s most important and where to put those things in our schedule.

6.  I really am on facebook. Reviving Motherhood.  It’s finally showing up.  I am so confused about how to make it a link though.

7.  I’m loving Tolix chairs. I have many, many pictures saved in my inspiration file.  It’s like a sickness.  But the only place I can find them to buy is Pottery Barn. Holy Guacamole, there is a reason I don’t buy new furniture!  They are outrageous!  I will wait till they are not longer a hot item and then find someone who is tired of them and wants to sell them to me for a song.  Ha!

8.  I’ve said before that I have a hard time keeping my house clean. That was when I wasn’t even blogging. (I really limit my blogging time, more on that another day.  It could take over my life if I let it.)  This weekend we divided the house into zones and everyone took a zone.  I had to supervise pretty heavily because my kids are still learning, but–we did get it clean!  I was so happy!  Soon they will be able to clean their zones more or less on their own and we should be able to knock it out in a couple hours a week.   I know this is not a new idea for a lot of families, but we are behind in this area.  It’s a big step forward for our little bunch!

9.  I posted a couple weeks ago that I have been praying for my kids to have tender hearts. It is amazing to see God answering that prayer a little bit at a time.  My kids are pretty tough little monkeys.  One of them actually said to me today when we were talking about forgiving one another, “We need to have tender hearts.”  I haven’t been talking about it or using that term at all (except when talking to God and my husband), so I can only chalk it up to the work of the Holy Spirit.  I’m thankful.

10.  Have any of you read wise words from an older person recently? I realized recently that I haven’t been reading as much as I once did.  I need to start reading good Christian books again on topics that are helpful for my growth.  In the past a few that really impacted and encouraged me are Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard, Heaven by Randy Alcorn, and Mama’s Way by Thyra Ferre Bjorn.


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10 on Tuesday

I’m copying Payton again.  Go read her great blog.  She’s hilarious and I love it!

1.  Today my son was supposed to start memorizing a poem for English. It was the Mother Goose rhyme “Once I Saw a Little Bird.”  He was completely unimpressed.  Apparently this poem was not nearly cool enough for him.  One of the great things about homeschooling is the ability to tweak curriculum if it doesn’t fit the need.  Now I could make him memorize the little bird poem, but why not choose something more inspiring?  Like this…More challenging, but definitely a little grittier than Little Bird.

Stick to It (by Edgar Guest)

Stick to it, boy,

Through the thick and the thin of it!

Work for the joy

That is born in the din of it.

Failures beset you,

But don’t let them fret you;

Dangers are lurking,

But just keep on working.

If it’s worth while and you’re sure of the right of it,

Stick to it, boy, and make a real fight of it!

Stick to it, lad,

Be not frail and afraid of it;

Stand to the gad

For the man to be made of it.

Deaf to the sneering

And blind to the jeering,

Willing to master

The present disaster,

Stick to it, lad, through the trial and test of it,

Patience and courage will give you the best of it.

Stick to it, youth,

Be not sudden to fly from it’

This is the truth,

Triumph may not lie far from it.

Dark is the morning

Before the sun’s dawning,

Battered and sore of it

Bear a bit more of it,

Stick to it, even though blacker than ink it is,

Victory’s nearer, perhaps, than you think it is!

Old fashioned?  Yep, but true.

2.  Speaking of little boys and learning, I was completely encouraged by a couple of Anna’s posts.  I know, I linked to her last week too.  Here she mentions a proud mom moment as her son is a National Merit Finalist.  She also mentions that he was a late bloomer academically, reading at 8 and writing at 13.  In response to all the questions she received, she wrote this follow-up post. Because Anna is highly educated (a lawyer, practicing until recently) and she’s raising well-educated children to are excelling in their fields of interest and gifting, I sit up and take notice when she gives advice about homeschooling.

3.  My sister posts about home birth. I’ve had 5 hospital births with experiences that have ranged from decent to really good, but I’m still a bit jealous.  My dream birth would be in the hospital attended by a midwife.  The best of both worlds, IMO.  Since I’m probably done having kids I don’t have to worry about it any more, but it’s a nice thought.

4.  I made Darby’s chewy oatmeal bar recipe this weekend. They turned out pretty well.  I used almond butter, and they set up nicely.  A little too sweet, probably because I didn’t have all the extra nuts that would have boosted the protein.  I may try to cut back on the honey a little next time.  But overall, they were the best granola bars I’ve tried to date.  Insta-breakfast.  These days I’ll take all the help I can get.  Here’s another granola bar recipe I’m going to try soon.

5.  I love vintage art and illustrations, obviously.  I wonder if other people find these pictures annoying.  I can never remember which ones I have used, though, so the same ones might pop up over and over.

6.  Sweet baby is falling into a newborn routine of sorts. It’s something like, be happy and sleep all morning.  Be grumpy all afternoon.  At night, don’t cry, just grunt, squeak, and wiggle enough that no one else can sleep.  And get as many hugs and snuggles as possible.  Precious, precious.  At number 5 I just remind myself that the newborn stage only lasts for a few weeks.  And I remind myself to go to bed early.  Hitting the hay at 9 last night made all the difference in my state today.  I don’t know how most moms are, but if I don’t get something that resembles enough rest I cry and get headaches.  Not good for anyone.

7.  Right now I don’t have enough time to clean or do laundry adequately.  I’m thankful for my sweet helpers who keep it from getting too terribly out of hand.  I certainly don’t have time to decorate.  But I still love to peek at decorating blogs.  Lately I’ve been starting here, at Buckets of Burlap, and going through her blog roll.  I’ll open a few windows and take a quick look when I sit down with little one, or when I need a rest break.

8.  I’m not very good at commenting on other blogs. I have good intentions, but most of the blogs I read are on my feed reader, which I read on my iTouch, and I don’ t manage to hop over to the blog proper and leave a comment.  So consequently, I suppose I’m mostly talking into a void.  I should do better about this, because  it would be good to tell other writers how they have encouraged me.  I know I appreciate it when people leave kind comments.  That said, if you are a busy mom, feed readers are great.  I have used Bloglines and Google Reader, and I like GR best by far.  Their tagline is ” keeping up with your favorite websites is as easy as checking your email.” and it’s true.  It’s all in one place instead of hopping all over the internet.  I can read the things I want to keep up with in just a few minutes a day.

9.  Today my daughter got several missionary biographies from YWAM publishing. Highly recommend.  I read the story of Rachel Saint awhile back and couldn’t put it down.  As our children learn to enjoy reading, I think it’s important to give them reading material that’s going to encourage them spiritually.  Of course, my kids read “candy” books too.  But missionary biographies are great adventure stories that can get our kids thinking about important things.

10.  I guess I’m easily impressed, but I am just blown away by all the creativity the world of blogs has put at our fingertips.  As I read through decorating and craft blogs, sometimes I just think how amazing it is that God has made us in his image, reflecting his creativity as maker of the universe.  You can look at the work of 5,000 different people and not one is exactly the same, whether it’s in photography, wordcraft, ideas, decorating, or making things.  So inspiring.  I guess that’s kind of cheesy, but I think about it all the time.


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10 on Tuesday, or I Don’t Have an Original Bone in my Body

 

I have always said I’m not creative, I just copy what other people do.  Lately I have been in love with Life in The Bird House blog.  I can identify with  Payton (what an adorable name…) in so many ways.  I love her transparency.  And I love her “10 on Tuesday” posts.  So, since her idea doesn’t seem to be any kind of meme, I thought I’d borrow it.  And then I worry that that’s bad blogger etiquette.  Is it?  Some kind of blog plagiarism?  If so, tell me.  Maybe I should do “13 on Thursday” instead?  But today I’m going to follow Payton’s lead and jot down 10 random stream of consciousness thoughts.

1.  I’m an insecure blogger.  The reason I don’t blog more often is for 2 reasons.  1, time.  I often open the wordpress window with every intention of posting and find it still open the next day with no post, because time just gets away from me and there is some urgent interruption like a potty training 2 year old with “I do it myself” syndrome.  The other reason is that I’m so scared of appearing arrogant, like this young pup who thinks I have something so profound to say that I must share it with the world.  I remind myself that I try not to come across that way, and that most of my favorite blogs that minister to me the most are written by people in their 30’s and 40’s, but it doesn’t seem to do any good.  Every few months I promise to do better, but clearly it hasn’t worked yet.  I love writing and I love to blog, but my insecurities get in the way, I guess.

2.  A sweet new little person joined our family recently.  For the 1 or 2 of you who don’t know me IRL, this is our 5th precious baby.  Lots of snuggling going on around here these days.  No wonder I don’t have time to blog.

3.  I’m very private, probably another reason I’m not a “successful” blogger.  I don’t share many personal details of my life online with people I don’t know.  I love to read the blogs of people who tell all the personal details of their lives and share beautiful pictures of their families, but that will never be me.  Oh well.

4.  I love winter.  Everyone around me is looking forward to spring and I’m wishing winter would stay around awhile longer.  Almost every day my kids ask, “How many more weeks till summer?”  I’m raising such warm-weather kids.  Make that hot weather, since it’s scorching where I live about 9 months out of the year.  It’s one of the few drawbacks to my location.

5.  A couple blogs I have been loving lately, besides Life in the Bird House.

Humble Pie

Keep it Simple, Keep it Fresh is her tagline.  Love it!  And she has a great story of a restored marriage.

Resolved2Worship

Encouragement…And a beautiful family.

6.  It’s harder than I thought to come up with 10 things.

7.  My kids pooled their Christmas money and got a Wii on sale.  Great investment.  It puts the toddler to sleep.  We also got 2 beagle puppies at Christmas, really not as a gift, we had been thinking about getting them and they became available at that time.  Such a joy!  God knew exactly the right dogs for our family.  The 2 year old is especially completely in love.

8.  I have been thinking a lot about raising a large family successfully, since we are now officially a large family.  I have been listening quietly to a lot of young people who grew up in large families and were very hurt by some of the dynamics of those families.  How can I avoid those pitfalls?  My husband is so wonderful about striving to parent intentionally.  One of the mistakes made most often by large families is to fall into the trap of just surviving, rather than parenting with intentionality, I think.  At least that is what I see, and that is what I am tempted to do sometimes.  Of course there are wonderful large families too, who manage to nurture all their children well.  That’s the kind of family I want us to be.

9.  Sugar is getting the boot at our house, now that Valentine’s Day is over.  I have a sick one today, which just reaffirms my commitment to better eating habits.  Besides, it’s time to think about losing baby weight.

10.  We have several potted citrus trees in our yard waiting to be put in the ground.  I can hardly wait.  They are such pretty trees, and it will be awesome to have our own fruit all winter.  I can almost taste them now!

Yay, I came up with 10!


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Bad, Bad Blogger!

 

I have to be the world’s worst blogger!  I know I said I wasn’t going to feel obligated to post, and clearly I haven’t.  ::sad face::  I could offer many valid excuses (not the least of which is fear of coming across as arrogant) but I won’t.  I’ll just say that I’m once again going to attempt to post regularly.

 

Here are a few things I have in mind for the days and weeks to come:

 

Frugal living

Dairy-free recipes

Parenting with grace

Becoming an inwardly whole mother

 

I’d also like to re-post a few things people have told me they found helpful in the past.  And of course I’ll continue to link to those lovely Titus 2 women who have been where we young moms are now, and have so much wisdom and encouragement to offer.


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I’m Back!

Hi ladies, I think my hiatus is over.  I’ve really missed blogging and there are so many thoughts in my head that I need to express!  Life is just busy for me,  so I don’t know how often I’ll post.  I’m not going to let myself feel pressured over it.  I’ll probably post more light, practical, and fun things in addition to helpful links, and when I have time for a more profound post, I’ll add that as well.  It’s good to be back!


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Quiet

Hi ladies.  Sorry for the unexplained blog absence.  I have been mulling over what role blogging needs to play in my life right now.  Truthfully, this has just been a season of quiet for me.  Over the past weeks I have felt in deep mourning over someone I love who is walking farther and farther away from God.  And in regards to mothering, I feel that I have so many more questions than answers at this point.  Also, with 4 small children, my time is limited, and it’s tempting to let blogging take over when I should be doing other things.

On the other hand, I keep stumbling across so many things I want to share with you all.  And I’ve tried to never make this blog about my thoughts on mothering, but rather what I’m learning from older Titus 2 women.  Furthermore, I’m implementing some routines that are freeing up a bit of time…Besides, who will I share all these great vintage images with if not you all?!   🙂

So I’m conflicted.  For right now, I think I need to stay quiet, but I don’t know if that silence will last a month or a year or forever.  At this time, I’m enjoying my precious children and my wonderful, loving husband, homeschooling, and keeping my home.  Maybe I’ll be back soon.  I just don’t know.  I miss blogging, but right now doesn’t seem to be the time.