home || about me || tutorials || shop || my favorite blogs || home education

09 October 2013

Many Useful but Unrelated Tidbits

I have a bunch of random things to share with you today...and if you make it to the end, there's a prize. {Well, sort of...it's a discount code...surprise!} I guess now you don't have to read the whole post.

Let's start with this picture of Maren...I have no idea what she is doing, but I included it since it's, well, random.

I love to read. My goal for 2013 is to read 33 books. I'll let you guess why 33, because a woman never tells her age.

My aunt gave me this little prayer book for Christmas several years ago, and I've just recently started using it again. There are a month's worth of simple prayers for morning and evening. My prayer life has been richly flavored by Baillie's words over the past couple of weeks.

I also just finished The Thirteenth Tale, based on a recommendation from a trusted fellow-reader-friend. {Side note...if someone who loves food is a foodie, and a picture you take of yourself is a selfie, what would you call someone who loves books? Just doesn't quite work. Also, if you live in Colorado, you are not eligible to participate in Amazon's affiliate program. Sad. Not that I was planning on getting rich from it or anything, but I love to buy books, so thought I'd give it a go. No go, Colorado address.}

I liked The Thirteenth Tale. It's dark and eerie and has a pretty great, unexpected twist at the end.

Maren learned to change diapers. Almost. It's backwards, but it worked! And...one less diaper for me. Literally, one less. This was her first and last attempt.

I've decided to do some things a little differently in my shop. I've read several books this year, and I've just been generally convicted lately about simple living. I'm pretty terrible at it, but as a family, we're working on getting better. It's so hard not to chase after the next new, better, smarter, more fun or special thing. I like to shop. I like to decorate. I like to cook. I like to read. I like clothes. I like stuff. There, I said it. But, I'm trying not to let all those things consume me or my family's resources. 

The thing is, I also LOVE to give things away. I like giving gifts to my friends and family, I like filling boxes at Christmas for children who might not have much, I like supporting various missionary friends, and I really find great joy in giving and supporting people doing special things. 

All this considered, I started praying a couple months ago about how I might use my Etsy shop to serve, love and help others. I received some great feedback and support from a couple of special friends. {Thanks Hannah and Heather! You should visit their blogs and shops...two very special ladies!} And, what I've decided is that I want to use much of my income from Oh Write to offer support to friends and family who are walking through the adoption process. My goal has never been to get rich from my Etsy shop, but I do really LOVE the idea of using it to help others! 

Effective immediately, 50% {hopefully even more...just need to see how the numbers all pan out!} of my sales will go directly towards helping families who are adopting. I have 2 special friends who will likely be my first recipients. I'm in the process of working out those details...but hopefully I'll get to share about them with you soon. I've always had a hard time promoting my shop for my own benefit, but now I'm thrilled for the opportunity to use my creativity and time to bless others...so go buy something! Ha. But, seriously, it's for a good cause. {wink}

Finally, I've come across a few great posts recently, and maybe you'll be blessed, encouraged, or informed by them, too.

Tsh reminded me to take time for Friends of All Ages. I'm constantly blessed by my friendships with older and younger ladies...how about you?

Is your family broken? Elisa shares the truth that we ALL come from broken families. Such a freeing reminder!

Do you read Edie's blog? I can hardly wait to try some of her October recipe suggestions...and please tell me that we're not the only family NOT eating like this every day?!

These Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Tacos were delicious. Every single one of us loved them and raved about them...and they're a great meatless option, if that sort of thing matters to you!

And, that about wraps up this post.

Oh, yeah...a prize!!! Use code RANDOMLOVE for 20% at the shop.

How about you? Any random goodness in your life lately?

08 October 2013

a model child

Depending on how long you've know me, or how long you've read my blog, you may or may not be aware of how Truett's life started out. Most days I completely forget about those early weeks...facing the news of his heart problem, the days in the hospital with my sweet 6-week-old baby, weeks following the surgery filled with prayer and hope that he would be 'okay'. 

Well, let me tell you, Truett's heart is working just fine these days. My sweet, fragile, helpless boy is fragile and helpless no more. {He is still occasionally sweet, thank goodness!} Parenting him is a mystery. Prior to having a second baby, I was aware that children have unique personalities with different needs. But now I know the magnitude of this truth. Oh boy...literally...oh boy!

To be honest, prior to having Truett, I thought I had the mom thing pretty well figured out...even that I was exceptional at it. Maren responded well to discipline, she was smart, funny, mostly-agreeable, a good eater, good sleeper...and then came Truett. Ha!

I love him fiercely...he has taught me so many lessons in his short {okay, sometimes it feels long!} two years. He is affectionate and snuggly, he loves to read books, he is an introvert {like his mama...really, most of the time when we have lots of friends over, I'll find him looking at books in another room, or playing quietly in his bed!}, he has a great sense of humor, and brings much joy to our family. I honestly love him so much.

But, he also makes me crazy! He's so hard for me to parent. We are learning and growing together, but there are days that end in tears...for both of us. He is stubborn. He throws fits. He is messy {I know, he's a boy!}, he's aggressive, and often I just don't know what to do with all these different things. 

God is so gracious...and reminds me often of my own sin as I'm working at training and disciplining Truett in love. This business of being refined through my kids is hard, though! I'm thankful for the glimpses of God's great love for us...no matter how massive our mistakes and wanderings, he loves us enough to patiently guide us back. Admittedly, I'm not always as patient as I wish...and way too often I focus on my immediate desire for behavior modification rather than the lasting implications of heart-change for my kids. I mess up...I yell sometimes, I get lazy sometimes, I try too hard to do things on my own, without the help of the Lord. But He faithfully reminds me that he has not left me to my own devices in this calling to be a mother! He's given me a wise, loving husband...He's given His relevant, encouraging, challenging truth in the Word...He's given me gifts of prayer and rest. Thank goodness...because really, I'm not sure I'd make it any other way.

So, here's a story...last week, our family was all under the weather. Truett had a cough that was lasting a long time, and he has a history of ear infections, which had me concerned that his ears were bothering him. We were having a really rough morning at home...he'd been particularly whiny. I decided to go ahead and take him to the doctor just to be sure he didn't have something more serious than a bad cold...but also sort of dreading a trip to the doctor's office with my feisty little guy. 

Truett remained disagreeable right up until the doctor walked in, and then something unbelievable happened. The doctor asked him to sit on the table, and his reply? "Sure." She asked him to take some big breaths for the stethoscope..."okay." Can you open your mouth really wide? "Okay." He proceeded to let the doctor poke and prod, check his eyes, nose, mouth, ears...he coughed, breathed, and moved on command. I sat there in awe, and considered asking the doctor to come home with me. She turned to me, and I kid you not, the lady said,

"He is a model child. I wish every 2-year-old was as cooperative as he is! He would be a perfect child for a student to observe because he is so compliant. Most parents would pay to have their 2 year old behave this well!" {Yeah, sign me up to pay for my kid to behave this well!!!}

I wanted to laugh hysterically and bawl all at the same time. Also, I wished I had a tape recorder (ummm...that dates me just a little bit, right?) so I could remember those words. I have a feeling there will be times in my future when I'll want to replay them over and over to myself, to teachers, church nursery workers, grandparents...a model child. It still makes me snicker to type that out. And I'm realizing now that even if I DID have a tape recorder, no one would ever be able to hear those words again, because nobody owns cassette players anymore! 

So, these are the lessons I'm learning, and the little gifts the Lord is giving me to help make it through. Do you like that picture above? Truett loves Maren's purse and pink Bible. He opens it up and recites {several times a day} "Then Jesus went to work. The end."

I can't help but think, Yup. Jesus certainly does go to work...every single day. He works on my heart, and Truett's...and I'm so very glad He does.

01 October 2013

Things worth mentioning

The thing about having a blog is that the writer gets to pick exactly what gets published...as the writer of this blog, I choose my favorite pictures, I tell stories that {usually} make me happy, and I write when I choose. Recently, it came to my attention that you, as the reader, probably don't get a great representation of what our life is really all about. I love my family...we try to make lots of great memories together, and that's about what you hear. Truly, I want that to change. Mostly, I am very grateful for the life the Lord has given me...I have an incredible husband, 2 clever kids, and some pretty special friends and family members. But we have some bad days, too. I get mad and impatient, Truett hits Maren with his helicopters, Maren's room is usually a wreck (I like to think it's because she's so creative???), and Brett forgets things. A lot. We're all learning and growing...just like you, I'm sure! 

So, until I get a chance to take a picture of Truett having a meltdown, here are some carefully selected photos of Maren's first day of school, which was really the second day since she was throwing up the night before the first.

It is next to impossible to get a good picture of these two together...both looking at the camera and smiling. But, I sort of like this one...it's real life. They're good buddies most of the time. With Maren gone at school now, Truett gets some peace and quiet (which he relishes) and I am able to be quite productive. (miracle!)

If I ever get around to it, I have some fun things to share with you. I'm making some changes to my Etsy shop, I've got some good posts written in my mind, and a few more honest, hard ones, too.

Happy October!