Monday, November 30, 2009

Being Still

It was early morning. Graedon and I were at the table and the girls were sleeping in, tired from a late night of visiting with Grammy and Grampy. It had snowed during the night, and the first rays of the sun were peeking through the curtains. Thoughts flitted through my mind, and I remembered an article (several, actually) about encouraging your child's speech and language development and raising his IQ by talking to him at all times about anything and everything. I thought about it, trying to figure out how to start a conversation about toast, blueberry jam, coffee, sunrises, my kitchen decor...but I said nothing.

Instead, I watched my son. I took in the way he used his spoon, brow furrowed in concentration as he very carefully brought his cereal to his mouth without dropping a single flake. I enjoyed the way he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. I loved his gaze out the window at the world waking up on the front lawn. I smiled at how his face brightened every time a vehicle went by on the road (especially the big trucks!). We sat in silence and enoyed each other's company.

It is important to speak to your children, but it's also important to respect their moods and encourage their individual thinking. Personally, I don't like conversation at breakfast. I like quiet. I wake up slowly. I am often mulling over my night's dreams, and the expectations I have of the day. I don't want to assume that my children want to listen to my bantering constantly. With quiet comes the opportunity to meditate - something we don't take the time to do nearly enough.

Sometimes, it's good to be still.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Friendly Beasts

1 month 'til Christmas!!

This Friday is the first of the Christmas parties. We'll be attending our homeschool group's Christmas potluck and this year we'll be "performing" a little something for the group. We nixed singing (collective sigh of relief) and I didn't think we could handle a skit (too much memorizing). I decided on reciting a poem and hiding behind face masks.

Here's the poem, along with pictures of the masks:

The Friendly Beasts
A 12th Century Carol

Jesus our brother, kind and good,
Was humbly born in a stable rude;
The friendly beasts around Him stood.
Jesus our brother, kind and good.

"I," said the donkey, shaggy and brown,
"I carried His mother up hill and down;
I carried her safely to Bethlehem town,
I," said the donkey, shaggy and brown.
"I," said the cow, all white and red,
"I gave Him my manger for His bed;
I gave Him my hay to pillow His head.
I," said the cow, all white and red.
"I," said the sheet with the curly horn,
"I gave Him my wool for a blanket warm.
He wore my coat on Christmas morn.
I," said the sheep with the curly horn.
"I," said the dowve from the rafters high,
"I cooed Him to sleep so He would not cry,
I cooed Him to sleep, my mate and I.
I," said the dove from the rafters high.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

And Now I Pant for You

'Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you!...

Created things kept me from you;

yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all.

You called, You shouted, and You broke through my deafness.

You flashed, You shone, and You dispelled my blindness.

You breathed Your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for You."

~St. Augustine, Confessions

*I'm loving I love the soundtrack, the poetry, the's a worthwhile visit to soothe the soul and stir the mind.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Baby!

Nope, we're not having a baby. My big brother R and his wife N had their first little bundle last night. I'm still waiting for pictures, but I'm sure she's gorgeous. Baby K (not to be confused with SIL K) was born November 20 in the evening, weighed in at 6 lbs 14 oz and is healthy and wonderful. Welcome Baby K!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Stable Birth

Jesus' birth. Have you ever really thought about it? I love this post by Avital at There Are No Ordinary Moments. Take a look-see by way of the link below. *warning - it talks very frankly about birth, so it might not be for everyone :)*
There Are No Ordinary Moments: WHERE'S THE SWEAT AND THE PLACENTA?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Drugs in Labour

I've had 3 babies, each in very different ways. My first was a c-section with all the pain meds available (almost). My last was all natural at home. I won't go into my own experiences as I don't think that this article needs any extra push. It says it all.

Women are incredibly powerful and strong. The problem isn't what our bodies can not do, but what our minds won't let our bodies do. I've seen labours stall and be "jumpstarted" through the use of pain meds. However, I think that if the women had not had their confidence tampered with in the first place, the pain meds could easily have been avoided to the benefit of mother and baby. The mind is a powerful tool, but must be trained to work for us and not against us.

I wish that women took the time and made the effort to properly prepare for childbirth. Even more, I wish that women took the time and made the effort to encourage other women, rather than spread horror stories about birth and motherhood. It can make all the difference in a woman's birth experience and, as these studies show, in a baby's health and well-being.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Little Shadow

My Maddie is so much like me. We get comments all the time when we are out; "My does she ever look like you!" and "We can all tell who's kid she is!". I've begun to notice just how much she is like me on the inside, though.

She is so curious. She loves to learn. She loves to read and listen to stories. She has a thirst to understand and she questions everything. She wants to know about other countries, and how people live in other cultures.

We watched Out of Africa together. During the lion scenes, she exclaimed, "Mom! I want to SEE lions for real. I don't want to see it on TV, I don't want to see a movie, I want to see it in Africa! I want to go to Africa, Mom!" This isn't the first time she's asked to go to Africa. I told her to save her pennies and maybe we could go together.

When I returned from Nicaragua, she was very certain that she wanted to go there, too. She still mentions it every once in a while. She wants to be able to see the ocean, and the volcanoes. She thought that if she kept all her pennies, she'd be able to afford to go to Nicaragua when she is 8 yrs old. After I told her how much it would cost, she decided to save up for a pet rabbit instead.

Pet rabbit or's a tough one!

Watching her is like watching a revelation. God gave me this child because I am the best mother for her. He could have given her to any of the other millions of women out there, but he chose me. I'm thankful for that.

Friday, November 13, 2009

All About Dogs

Our homeschool group had their Zoology Fair tonight. The girls and I had been working on our dog project for a couple weeks. They worked so hard on their poster. They coloured dog pictures (blue, because some dogs are circus dogs), printed titles using my "special" markers, read books about dogs and puppies, visited the pet store and even learned a poem. It was really awesome to be able to see them be so interested and driven to learn about their animal.

I was proud of them just for doing that part. I wasn't really expecting them to do the speech part, although I was hoping they would at least stand with me while I did their presentation. They surprised me, though! Not only did they come to the front with me, they also answered the questions I had prepared and even recited the poem for the crowd! My mama's heart just about burst with pride.

I love that homeschooling gives me the chance to see firsthand how much the girls are learning and developing. They are shy and quiet (sometimes!), but with encouragement and nurturing, they've really come out of their shells. One of the other moms and I were talking today and she mentionned how great it is that the children all play together, regardless of their ages. She had noticed, too, that none of the children has ever ostracized or made fun of her son who has a disability. I am so thankful that my children have the opportunity to socialize in an accepting environment such as this.

We are blessed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nicaragua Pre-Post

I've been home from Nicaragua since Sunday morning. I've been wanting to write an update on my vacation, but for the life of me, I can't figure out how! Do I write a post for every day of vacation? Do I write one big post for the whole trip? Do I write about only the highlights, only the facts, or my insights as well? Do people care that I don't have all my pictures organized yet?

Man, blogging about vacations is almost as stressful as packing...