Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

We've all been struggling with colds and bad coughing around here and I've just been too lazy and tired to get anything significant accomplished.  I have plans for the spring and summer, oh yes I do, but for right now...I'm just surviving.

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Today is Good Friday.  The kids and I are going to be in town running some errands and then attending a celebration lunch with a sweet friend who has her last radiation treatment today.

I wish I had something deep, educational and heartrending to share like Missy at It's Almost Naptime.  But since I'm not so eloquent, I'll link her post hereHer idea of a Good Friday brunch is beautiful and I think I will start that next year with some girlfriends and their kids.  I would love to devote more energy to this special day to prepare our hearts and minds for Resurrection Sunday.

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I still have to decide what we're having for Easter dinner.  I'm uninspired, but I'm sure the kids and I will come up with a delicious menu.

 On Sunday, we'll be going to church and then later in the afternoon Elsa and Isaac are to be baptized.  Dave and I are so pleasedElsa brought it up first and Isaac said he wanted to do it as well.  Our church just happened to be holding it on Resurrection Sunday.  It is a fitting day for such an occasion and it will be a blessing to witness their baptisms.

We'll likely cap off Sunday with the final installment of The Bible.    We've been touched and awed so many times, especially watching Jesus' birth and ministry.  It's been fun to listen to the kids fill in details they know that aren't touched on in the mini-series.  They absorb so much more than what we think they do.  If you aren't watching The Bible yet, it is worth your time.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Protecting ourselves and our children

I guess this post will be a little bit depressing and most likely disturbing for some of you, but I believe knowledge is power.  Pretending evil is not out there doesn't change the fact that it IS there.

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail Wooden, John
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This video is from the NW local news and is about a family who I used to babysit for, so this story hits close to home for me.  We support Shared Hope International regularly and this reaffirmed my commitment to their organization.



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Another story that affected me recently is from last week.  A mom and daughter were kidnapped from a mall parking lot.  The ten year old was raped and the mother was killed. 

It confirmed to me that the steps I've been taking lately are worthy ones.  It's no one else's job to protect me or my family should the unthinkable happen.  I'm taking self defense courses, learning to shoot well, and reading books on what to do in an emergency.  Punching, kicking and shooting are really fun and exciting for me, but the books are a mental drain, requiring prayers afterwards for peace in my soul, which the Lord has graciously given me each and every time.

One book that was recommended by my Krav Maga instructor is an out of print read called Strong on Defense by Stanford Strong 
 

I read most of it in one long night.  It's scary, but empowering at the same time.  The goal is to survive, not to escape uninjured.  If someone tries to take you, rape you, carjack your vehicle, etc...Resist your fear, become angry and explosive.  NEVER cooperate, never let them move you...fight and run.  Train your mind in "what if" scenarios, disciplining yourself in what you would do.   

My brain is processing a lot of information right now, but if bringing this up stimulates just a couple of people to really look at what they might do in a terrible situation to avoid becoming a statistic, it's worth it to me to risk making some uncomfortable.  

A few resources for those that might be interested in looking to more information on some of these things:




I know firearms can be a touchy subject and it's a personal decision for each person.

I pray all of us grow old never having faced a violent attacker of any kind.  I hope this post at least encourages you to think about ways you can better protect your family, with the hope of never, ever having to employ those methods.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

A little randomness today

I'm longing for summer right now, but with the cold temps and icy ground, I don't get out much.  Which means I tend to shop online whenever I can.

Some things I'm drooling over right now...

Aden and Anais's new dream blanket in an adult size.  Sigh.  I love their muslin blankets for babies and the idea of having one for myself is just dreamy.  Maybe for my birthday?!!  
The circle dance print would look heavenly on my white bed this summer 
 circle dance
  
I need some new boots this year since my old ones got a hole in the sole.  They aren't worth repairing, but I'd love to get a pair of quality boots this time around.

Loving these Frye Boots
 
I won't be paying full price for whatever kind I choose, so I'm watching Zappos and 6pm for good deals. 


I've also been having fun watching Etsy for good ideas.

I adore this dress.  I don't know if it would do anything for my figure, but it sure looks comfortable and oh so sweet
 Eco friendly natural linen dress - tunic

I would really love this set for my laundry room
  SET 'The Laundry and Stain Removal' - 11x14 print set - Guide To Procedures, Laundry Room, Guide, Rules, Sign, Vintage, Stains, Decor, Art

And this adorable bunting would be fun for summer decorating...maybe for my bathroom window?
Shabby chic Retro floral bunting 3 metre 10 feet 12 flags - red, blue, cream and green

I'm really far too busy to be wasting time online shopping, but it sure is a fun way to escape sometimes ♥ 

What have you been on the hunt for lately?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dancing

Can you believe it's time to spring forward already?!  I don't know if we'll be making it to church in the morning, though we have the best of intentions.  We ate dinner late and everyone is just getting to bed now.

It feels like spring here in Alaska.  Though our snow won't likely be gone for at least a month, the temperatures are causing lots of dripping from the roof and the option of open windows during the day.  It's amazing how 35+ degrees is so lovely and warm.

We are rather busy for some reason.  I've done some trading of babysitting time with friends so I could start attending self defense classes (so fun!) and get some shooting time at the range with my husband.  With adding the workout classes one to two days a week for me, I've added short workouts on the other 3-4 days, so I'm getting a little healthier and stronger.  It feels good.

I'm also doing a little research into which way we want to homeschool next year...we're checking out Classical Conversations and Unschooling.  Yes those 2 are polar opposites as far as techniques, but we're praying about both.  

I'll leave you with some sweet (maybe a little blurry, but sweet nonetheless) photos of my two youngest babies dancing together.  This is a nearly daily occurrence for Lydia with either Isaac or Ephraim.



 

I love how she looks at Ephraim.  There's some hero worship going onHis ability to treat her with love and respect is an integral part of learning to be a real Man, and so we nurture this relationship with care.   Of course this can challenging, but it's one we know has lifelong benefits.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Taking Time for Tea

Our life here in Alaska is a quiet one, by choice, but I'm always working on ways that we can improve our family life.  We can often get sucked into watching a ton of television or being plugged in to electronics and that in turn makes us less PRESENT in the life we are living.

I wrote a post in January "Losing the Busyness" and since then have been implementing even more simplicity into our life.  The book I linked at the end of the post is must read, in my humble opinionI've spent some enjoyable time ruminating on the experiences conveyed in  "Just Too Busy: Taking your family on a Radical Sabbatical" by Joanne Craft.

This book is an excellent one, with many ideas to simplify and get off of the "runaway train" that can be our American lifestyle. While my family's routine (or lack thereof) is pretty radical compared to the average American, there is still much that can be improved upon. 

Stopping the busyness gives us time to really LISTEN to the kids.  Their interests and passions and ideas are so fascinating and so very important.  When each day is busy there is no time to give their thoughts room to breathe and come to the surface.  When we run with this rat-race, we lose out and so do our kids.

Soon this young man's feet will be bigger than his Daddy's and his desire to be as close as possible to us will be gone.  We are treasuring these moments

One of the things we've started doing recently is taking tea with the kids in the evenings before bed.  Each child seems to be loving the new tradition and the 3 oldest kiddos can pretty much handle the whole tea making process themselves, from filling the teapot to adding milk and sweetener to each cup.
   
They line them up while the tea steeps.  I wouldn't call what we do "high tea" or "low tea".  We do not serve it with dignity, like this beautiful post describes, but it is served with love.

Elsa and I like English Breakfast or Irish Breakfast tea (my new favorite) with a little stevia and milk.  Dave and the 2 older boys prefer Peppermint tea with a little stevia for the boys.

Ephraim and Lydia have water or milk, but they still enjoy the time

 
I wish I could say that I drink it all proper-like, reminiscent of Downton Abbey, but I don't.  I use my monster coffee cup because that's just the way I roll 

It's been so fun watching them prepare the tea and serve us.  We don't always sit together and drink, but it's still a time of calm and peace in preparation for bedtime.

Elsa and I will often sit and read magazines together while we sip.  

A recent blog post by January at Birth Without Fear really hit home with me and reinforced the need to be present HERE AND NOWEach day is a gift and you cannot go back and regain that time with your children and spouse.

My desire for this year is to be intentional with my children and focus on being present...just existing and surviving is not enough.  

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