Monday, January 21

self is after me

Today, I let myself get wrapped up in self. 

I want to keep doing what I'm doing, and not head out of my room and tend to my children at this moment. 

I just want to sit right here and be by myself. 

That is not so easily accomplished when seven babies and kids are beckoning. 

Sometimes I don't make wise choices in regards to my time.  Sometimes I want to sit and not do. 

Self is after me constantly. 

Today I was frustrated that my sweet baby girl had chosen a particular instant to try out her new, and unbelievably piercing scream as she sat in my arms.  I was trying to work with one of my boys on a school project. 

Yes, this little face can throw mini temper tantrums already!  Can you believe it? 

Well, I called her The Grinch.  Not exactly a high point in my day.   

I could have easily put on hold what I was doing with my twelve year old, and tended to her needs.  But I chose self.  It was as if God was using her to tell me that it was a wrong move. 

Echoing through my mind in the middle of tense situations or as I melt into bed at night as of late are these four words, "Stop, and give thanks."

Giving thanks to God for his gifts to me is what brings me back.

here is what's next on my growing list....

165.  healthy babies
166.  Emmalie's easy transition to solid foods in her diet and her own room
167.  a long-awaited dinner with dear friends
168.  our family back to health
169.  a son's desire to study and research on his own time
170.  desire to give
171.  homeschooling resources abound
172.  Skype with loved ones
173.  a whole pan of untouched leftovers to use as dinner tonight
174.  the library
175.  being cherished and dearly loved
176.  new mercies each day - a new start

...  and the list goes on. 


Sunday, January 20

He gives me a song

Photo by spaceabstract  Creative Commons

For the last several days in a row, I've been waking up with a song in my head.  It might be 4:37 a.m., and the wail of Emmalie stirring from her sleep two doors down rouses me.  The moment my eyes open, a song lyric enters my consciousness.  And not just any song, it's one I need to hear.  The chorus of a song at the perfect moment.   A new song, one I've heard on the radio just a handful of times. 

Or it might be at a more decent hour like 8:41 a.m., like this morning when I woke up with a start, realizing that I should have set an alarm because I needed to be out the door to a meeting by 9:30 a.m. dressed and fed, and have a baby dressed and fed too.  Even in a rush, a song appears.  I am continually taken aback each morning at the clarity at with I "hear" the song, in the artist's voice even. 

I love music. 

It speaks to me, as I'm sure it does many of you.  I wish I was more musically inclined.  I wish I would have stuck with the piano or violin.  If I tried playing now, I'd sound like a kindergartener just plinking at the keys or screeching out my first attempt at a song with a bow.  (Any former Suzuki violin students out there?  How about a little "mississippi river, mississippi river, mississippi river, mississippi river..." I know you know what I'm talking about.) I love to sing and can carry a tune, but my voice is nothing to write home about.  If I could pick up an instrument now and play it well, I'd pick a bass guitar.  Are you shocked? 

But God knows my heart, and that I am touched deeply by music.  Waking up with a song hand selected for me, is like reading a love note written with me in mind in the morning hours.  And it reminds me of God's deep and personal love for me.  Me!  Amazing. 

What are some special and personal ways you've had God speak to you?  I'd love to hear about them.

Saturday, January 19

Trying some new things

Happy One Year Anniversary to The Scarlet Paisley!!! Yesterday marked one year at this new blog address. It's been therapeutic at times for me to blog, thank you for being along for the ride with me.

I am working on a few changes to make this blog more user-friendly and inviting.  I've made the comments section open again to anonymous commenters. They'll still be moderated by me, so if you sound strange or sketchy, you just won't be published, okay? I'll be better at replying to your comments too, they mean so much to me, thank you.

Photo Credit: Muffet  (Creative Commons)
This is a just a quick post to say I appreciate you coming by, I look forward to interacting with you soon. 

Wednesday, January 16

from Narnia to Downton Abbey


When the notion hits and we've consumed too much sugar, Annika and I love to speak to each other in our best English accents.  We are inspired by Miss Lucy Pevensie and her siblings from the world of Narnia. 

It helps that today, we're surrounded by fresh, fluffy snow and could step right off the front porch into Narnia.  I love doing all the voices when I read out loud to the kids, and British accents are my favorite.  Throw in a little (or a lot) Downton Abbey and you've got a happy girl.

As a side note, the character of Lady Mary Crawley looks like my mom did as a young woman, though I favor my mom in looks, I'm lacking the dark eyebrows like she and Lady Mary possess.  I love to duplicate the voices and accents I hear on Downton Abbey - and have found some fun new espressions to try out on my kids. 

Try these in your best British accent:

"Have you done something jolly with your hair?" - Sir Anthony to Lady Edith

"What happened to you?  Have you swapped places with your evil twin?" - Mrs. Patmore to Daisy

“Daisy, what’s happened to you? I said you could go for a drink of water, not a trip up the Nile.” - Mrs. Patmore to Daisy (again)

My little cohort in English accents has gone outside to play in Narnia, and I'd better move on to getting the toddlers up from their naps.  So cheerio!  Or, so long! 


Tuesday, January 15

my water bottle life

I love that birds are around all year for us to enjoy.  They flitter and flutter about, stopping to rest on a branch for mere seconds - then off they fly again.  To me, it appears as if they have some sort of bird attention deficit disorder.  It's sort of like me, and how I've been feeling since giving birth seven months ago.  

I get to a point in my days, where I think it would be nice to boil some water for tea perhaps, or phone a friend, but I don't get to linger in my longing thoughts.  Something or someone is always calling.  I feel like I have a bad case of mom ADD.  I may make a cup of tea, but get so busy that I forget all about it until the steeping tea bag is floating at the top and it's an hour later and the tea is now cold and strong.  But I like iced tea, so I make the best of it. 

Our life isn't neatly packaged, easy for the brain to rest and the soul to breathe.  Messes are inevitable.  Laundry is unbelievable. The noise of children often erupts.  Changing diapers of the three little ones is a full-time job in itself.  Dinner is sometimes cereal.  Frustrated tears flow easily, and admittedly they're usually mine.

 How does one's soul find rest in all of this?
I've needed to know the answer.  

I'd like some peace, please.
A little rest too. 
Sanity is a good thing, and so is room to think.
But what I most want and need in my days
is to be holy. 
To be holy is to be set apart for sacred use.  Not like that china teacup and saucer that sits out of the reach of the sticky hands crowd, rarely being used.  But more like that stainless steel water bottle that gets dinged, dented, washed and re-washed, muddy, and gritty. The kind that goes on all the journeys. The messy kind and sometimes the sit in the cup holder of the minivan kind.  I'm like that water bottle.  It's not always pretty being that water bottle.  Sacred use isn't always clean and perfectly planned.  No matter what it looks like from the outside, I should be most concerned about the water that flows from it. 
God is lifted high and is being made famous through me, right here within my home when the water being poured out of my dinged up water bottle is pure. 
And sometimes there are floaties.
They're as inevitable as my piles of laundry.  God gets rid of the floaties, replacing them with new pure water everyday.   
I am being sanctified - growing more and more like Christ in my walk with Him down the road He is taking me on.  To be holy is choosing to set myself apart from the things of the world, and clinging to God's ways,  promises, goodness, and that neverending grace.
So I'm a water bottle, and thankful to be one.


7 months

adawlabing: (adj.)  a dearly loved person who is extremely charming
adawlabing = adorable + darling
That is four year old speak for what you're looking at here. 
Emmalie is 7 months old! 
She is just a peanut of a girl, with an adawlabing personality. 
You truly are a gift straight from God, little one. 

Daddy and his girly mini-me. 
Monday, January 7

Christmas Joy part 2

Our Christmas was so full of wonderful memories! 
This was one of them:  Christmas Eve spent with my Dad and Marla Kay making homemade pizzas and these fun sugar cone Christmas tree treats! 

To make these sweet treats:
frost upside down sugar cones
with green frosting (buy premade icing to make it easy)
then decorate with your choice of candies
Adorable ~  Thanks Grandma Marla Kay!

Our little monkey loved his new fleece monkey blankie so much he had to
 try it out right after unwrapping it! 

Handmade doll dresses - so beautiful and intricate.

Brothers together at last!  


Friday, January 4

Christmas Joy part 1

This Christmas was so wonderful.  We had lots of precious time spent with family from near and far.  This was the year for Jeremy's entire immediate family to be here for Christmas! 

Here are some photo highlights of our time together with family this Christmas season...

Loving on each other's babies was a hightlight for sure.  Here, Abie (our sister in law and Aaron's wife) holds her Katie and our Emmalie. 

We had some professional photos taken of the whole gang at Grandma and Grandpa's house while we're all together, here is our side view version!  Here is Jeremy, our brother in law Gerry, Jeremy's dad David, our brother in law Jimmy, and Jeremy's younger brother Aaron. 

11 Grandkids!

Back row:  Gavin, Anita, David, Annika
Middle row:  Dylan, Aidyn, Emmalie, Elias
Front row:  Drew, Levi, Katie, Morgan, Gabrielle

On Christmas Day, as has been tradition the last two Christmases (two years ago and now) when we're all together, we spent 3 days up at a Bible Camp, renting cabins and meeting room/kitchen for fun and games and uninterrupted time together!  Here is the two and three year old crowd out on a walk with me. 

It is wonderful to not get cell service, not have internet, and not having anything pressing to do and just be together.  We'd highly recommend it.  Plus, the fun to be had sledding, snow machining, playing games, watching movies, and eating is unsurpassed!

Heather (Jeremy's youngest sibling) and Eli

Jimmy, Jennifer (Jeremy's oldest sibling), and Aidyn

It's super fun when uncles are willing to be silly and play Dazzling Princess with the girls! 

sweet Katie

Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus with Grandma! 

... and then praying to give Jesus a gift from their hearts.
What a gift from God this time together was.  We miss then all so much!  And are so thankful to connect all together in the same state.