30 March 2010

budapest.

of all the enchanting surrounds i've glimpsed this past week...

1bud4

1bud5

1bud3a

1bud2



...none have been sweeter than returning home to the sight of these little faces.

27june1b

kids7

em1b

b5a


i had the loveliest trip, met some warm and wonderful people, and experienced copious amounts of awesomeness wandering the city with my aunt and The Ununcle. more of budapest to come.

[and more sweet shots over at darcy's.]

25 March 2010

bits and pieces.

1. i have met the loveliest people via flickr.

out of sheer generosity, marmys sent me the most gorgeous little purse (with piggies and umbrellas, oh my!) all the way from new zealand. i do adore that girl.

with umbrellas!
lovely pigs.

the purse is beautifully made, lined with a sunshiney denyse schmidt print. it's the perfect size for holding credit cards and such.

take a gander at more of marmy's work here and here. delightful.

2. my very first niece is almost here. (she is patiently waiting to arrive after her daddy's fantasy baseball draft. even in utero this little gal is quite thoughtful.)

3. last year at this time i was over yonder with all the funiculars:

swiss alps from the jungfraujoch

...savoring chocolate and coveting other people's sleds with my mum and The Ununcle. 'twas mighty good times.

3b. this year, assuming all has gone well, i am currently in the blessed land of thermal baths. i'll be working a bit in an international school, and wandering the streets of the city, and meeting with missionaries and such.

4. well actually, there is no four as i am typing this before my flight and fear that if i do not end here i may very well not have time to shower, much to the dismay of my future seatmates. (past seatmates by the time this posts. if i missed the window of showering opportunity, i do hereby issue a formal apology.)

see y'all on the other side.

:)

23 March 2010

close by.

banana bread. cold milk. a leisurely space to sit down to an early morning snack with my littles.

(and glancing over these photos, i realized they actually do chew with their mouths closed. miraculous.)

23mar9b

23mar123mar1123mar13b

(well, mostly.)

23mar5

23mar12b

23mar2b

also this morning we've done microscopes and hallway basketball and memory and four-square and 'cooking show' and skeleton building and apples with peanut butter. i fiercely love my kids, but also? i really like them. i adore having them close all day.

we should do this spring break thing more often.


* * *

visit chatting at the sky for more 'flowers in the cracks,' finding the small miracles in ordinary days.

19 March 2010

18 March 2010

reaching.

reaching.

i've been thinking about reaching lately. how grace is God reaching out to us, and faith is us reaching back. how sometimes he wants to extend mercy to others through me. how often i get in the way.

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

o Divine Master,
grant that i may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

amen.


-st. francis of assisi

morning.


* * *

more 'reaching' here.

16 March 2010

stirrings.

'round these here parts, crocuses come first. transparent in the sunlight, tinged with exuberant purples and creams.

purple

the soil warms, and my kids collect wriggling earthworms in afternoon air that smells new.

a couple days back, jena asked if my life is as peaceful as these posts. no. and yes. sort of. i find that peace has little to do with my exterior circumstances and everything to do with my inner workings. oceans of peace can be found in the middle of four kids and nerf basketball and legos and wrestling dinner onto the table.

still, lately much has been stirring and churning internally; half-baked dreams and convictions itching to flesh themselves out. it's still too premature to share, but suffice it to say i'll let you know when i know.

in the meantime, we have this glorious stretch of beginnings before us. there's something deeply reassuring in the certainty that no matter how bleak the winter, spring never fails to show up.

* * *

glimpse more unwrapped tuesdays at chatting at the sky, and more sweet shots at darcy's.

11 March 2010

quiet spaces.

the air is tinged with hope.
rattling.

bits of new.

i step outside, and the barest hints of color poke through the earth; fragments of life foiled against a rattling backdrop of winter's skeletons.

the color of death.

beginning.

there are quiet spaces between death and growth, enough room for the seeds of the gospel to take root within me.



for more quiet things, stop by beth's place for this week's youcapture.

09 March 2010

sight. [tuesday, unwrapped.]

sight1

i began squinting to make out equations on the chalkboard in tenth grade; bought my first pair of contacts eight years later, thinking it might be nice to actually see the first graders i was teaching. and each time i carried a babe in my womb, my eyesight plunged further into that blurry pool of myopia.

so these days i'm good for a scope of about a half dozen inches from my face. beyond that, and i need prescription lenses to wrestle those loose shapes and colors into recognition.

i got to wondering about this, about what it might be like to never see the way bee's mouth curves at the edges when he's trying not to laugh. to never know elle has the littlest pair of freckles on her left cheek, binary stars on a pale curve of skin. to lose zee's tarantula lashes, or em's way of shuffling as he runs. would i ache with a sense of what i was missing?

clarity of sight is a tremendous thing. i yearn for every mother to be able to see her children, and even more, to watch them thrive.

sight2

so much to work out in this messy life, but i'm glad for so many chances to love.



* * *

this is my tuesday unwrapped. visit chatting at the sky for more of the messy, the lovely, the unexpected.

06 March 2010

in which i become a cyclops.

this week was full of the making of happy things, my very favorites being these two:

1. a backpack for my nephew's third birthday:

backity pack.
[tutorial from the superlicious anna at noodleheads]

so you’ll notice that my backpack looks a wee bit different from anna’s as Planning Ahead is not my modus operandi and nary a zipper could be found amongst my supplies, let alone three yards of cotton cording. i admit to rummaging through closets for a good ten minutes, eyeing the wondrous zippers currently living in various jackets and sports bags. in the end, however, i left them intact and substituted a velcro tab-thingee (and binding instead of the cord), which is perhaps less effective but still mighty cute.

2. my first-ever boy softie, made for beth's nest feathering:

and he's done.
[and if you are reading this before midnight today (saturday), you will want to mosey on over and drop your name in for all of the gorgeous mom/baby offerings at steph's place. trust me on this.]

it was a bit of a challenge, making a softie cute but distinctly boyish. i fear he ended up a little reminiscent of sponge-bob-square-pants (emphasis on the square pants; you'll see what i mean when you get him, beth), but he was still so squishable that i secretly contemplated kidnapping the guy and making a break for rio. fortunately, i remembered how much i like beth, and sent him safely off in the post instead.

with the trappings.

also, free and completely unrelated tip of the day: those warnings plastered on hydrogen peroxide contact solutions are for real--don't slap a contact back on your eye until it has soaked for at least six hours. today i briefly removed my lenses in high hopes of a nap (alas, 'twas not to be), and in a momentary lapse of brain activity, started to put them back in. so yeah, pretty much i scorched my right eyeball off. not to worry, though, as i am a quick learner and didn't repeat the process with my left eyeball. good thing we come with two eyes.

and now we've arrived at the part of the post where i stick in photos of my kids so The Very Far Away Grandparents still like me.

em was not feeling a photo today:

forced photo.

but the others acquiesced with a little strategic coaxing*:

bee.

zee.

pearlies.

happy weekend to you!


*i told them it was part of their chores and must be endured to earn this week's allowance. worked like a charm.

04 March 2010

hopeful.

textured.

'hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.' [george iles]


personally? i'm hopeful that i'll give God all of me--as big as that is, as little as that is--and that He'll multiply my loaves and fishes to nourish a crowd.


[most of my favorite quotations involve hope or faith. or chuck norris. join us at this week's youcapture for more glimpses of hopeful.]


ALSO! you have GOT to join us over at steph's online baby shower for beth.


there is some seriously amazing stuff up for grabs at that beautiful place, and i'm not just saying that 'cause i'm one of the giver-awayers. ;) but really. aden&anais swaddles, anyone? little allouette's wooden toys? a sakura bloom sling? not to be missed.

02 March 2010

yay, and then some.

winner!

candi of tinycandi, happy news! your name was drawn for the custom softie. i'll be in touch with you to chat about your softie's specifics. (thanks to all who entered; i loved reading your favorite doll names. turns out lola and penelope are mighty popular amongst these smallish folk.)

now i'm off to be nervous for the rest of the day. please send your happy homestudy vibes in my general direction. maybe some clean house vibes, too.

:)

**updated 10:13 pm** thanks for the email/text/fb/comment love! i think the first visit went well; hopefully our social worker agrees. :) you guys are awesome.