Friday

tea and quiet


  harshitsekhon

we gussied up
{mother-and-sister-in-love and me}

boots zipped and necklace clasped,
i relieved my purse of its cheerio and diaper burden,
and entered the car two kids (and cups) lighter.

we left babies with the boys
and ventured out:

three for tea
and quiet

i savored rooibos kissed with caramel,
and grown-up conversation,
a tower of tiny treats
and the space and time to appreciate them.

enjoy we did:
we lingered two luxurious hours,
taking tea with cubes of sugar just to use those dainty tongs,
to hear that satisfying plink

[and my own thoughts!
and her words!]

every detail was lovely:
the porcelain cup and saucer, chosen with care
elegant garland and simply arranged christmas hymns
delicious fresh pineapple, to heck with seasonal eating!
one perfect strawberry, thick-dipped in dark chocolate
and the cherished company of family.

the cheerful jumping-in-arms greeting from two sweet babes upon our return
was the icing on the cake (or the clotted cream on the scone, as it were)
of one perfect afternoon.

Thursday

now thank we all our God

faith goble
Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;

Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and bless├Ęd peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.  -Martin Rinkart, 1693

we are enjoy a gorgeous tennessee thanksgiving.  we drove here all night and somehow managed not to pack any regular shoes for dylan, who we loaded into the car in pjs.  today, she is running around with bare legs and arms in a corduroy thanksgiving jumper sans shirt (too warm!) and winter boots with poms.

what's your favorite thanksgiving food?  i love it all:  stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, PIE.  mmmmm....

do you savor any special traditions?  our family is so young we're still feeling our way and are interested in adopting more holiday traditions.  this year we did a thanksgiving "tree," gathering sticks into a giant vase and hanging paper leaves listing blessings.  it's been something really fun to do with dylan.  i'll have to post a photo of it later.

may you enjoy a wonderful, food and family-filled holiday!

(have you entered my greentainer giveaway yet?  friday is the last day to enter.)

Friday

chasing tinies

my baby is a TODDLER. i am simultaneously smitten with how cute james is walking around the house like the little person he is and overwhelmed by the ohmysgoshhesisgrowingupsofast feeling. 

they both are: miss dylan elizabeth turns three tomorrow. my babies aren't such babies anymore!

jim, not such a fan of the baby stage, is ecstatic on both counts. i look at moms with babes-in-arms and miss those teeny tiny days.

sort of.

i don't forget how overwhelming it can be, but i do love snuggling itty bitty babies. lucky for me, my sweet not-quite-babes still have a little cuddle left in 'em:)

our computer has been in the shop for a week. [do you say "shop" with computers or just cars? hmm.] i'm typing now on a hand-me-down laptop that is more than a little tempermental. i can't actually post to blogger or read my gmail in its regular version, but i will attempt to post this via email. here goes nothing...

have a lovely weekend, friends!

cupcake wars

our family is on a journey toward eating more whole foods, traditional fats, and fewer refined food-like substances.

it's a process.  we still hit the drive-thru and i'm fairly certain there will be white sugar and sprinkles on our christmas cookies, but we're making changes.

so it was with interest that i clicked a link on twitter about sarah palin's antagonism toward child nutrition regulation in Pennsylvania.

defying proposed guidelines aimed at curbing classroom treats, palin supplied children with cookies at a school fundraiser near where i grew up.  the stunt was in poor taste, not to mention dismissive of the real and alarming obesity rates among children.  although i'm alarmed at the state of nutrition in this country (and sarah palin and i are hardly BFFs), when it comes to the cupcake wars, i find myself at odds with the healthy school activists.  my philosophy is this:

let kids eat cake!  in moderation.  and then get them moving!
 
bookgrl
i know that school parties are out of hand and kids are plied with sugar in unnecessary (and even dangerous) quantities.  BUT,  i don't think the government should mandate how frequently school parties occur or which kinds of treats are permissible.  parents, teachers, and administrators should be the ones to craft food policies for their own schools.  we can and should limit treats (and be respectful of kids with allergies) without banning parties and cupcakes across the board.

carrots and pencils do not a celebration make.

[it's unclear from the conflicting media accounts if the board of education is voting this spring on recommendations or mandatory guidelines.]

from what i understand, our local schools prohibit treats in the classroom, but they serve junk in the cafeterias and are cutting PE and recess left and right.

which is the bigger threat to kids' health (and learning)?  eating a processed, fried lunch every day and sitting still for eight hours or a birthday cupcake once a month?

i understand that part of the problem is that these treats and celebrations aren't occasional indulgences, but they should be:  both occasional (RARE) and actual indulgences (not broccoli florets.)

i do not have a child in elementary school, so i realize i'm speaking a bit out of my experience.  i don't like when the church nursery feeds my kids ungodly amounts of goldfish, and certainly we need to exercise restraint when feeding other people's children, but i don't think banning all classroom treats is the answer.  there is value in celebration and community and breaking bread (or cupcakes!) together, and i disagree with critics who argue that school is an inappropriate place for celebrations involving food.

bettina at The Lunch Tray got me thinking about all this, and she has some fascinating discussion going on at her site about children's health, government intervention, and cupcake wars that is worth taking a look at.

i'm interested in what you think, especially if you have kids who are in schools with or without these bans.  is a cupcake just a cupcake or a public health concern?  should classroom treats be regulated and by whom?  what should we, as parents and citizens, be doing about the epidemic of sedentary, overweight, and unhealthy kids in our country?

Tuesday

sweet november




I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.
--Nathaniel Hawthorne

the air was brisk, but the sun shone warmly, and dylan was eager to run.  we donned hats--however briefly--threw open doors and breathed in life and laughter together.

the children investigated tree stumps and picked the dandelions which grew even as fallen leaves decay underfoot.  dylan swung and climbed, her smile broad, feet quick.

thankful today for a mild afternoon, the discipline of putting on shoes, and a child's way of seeing treasure in every twig.  may we all have those same eyes to see.

Monday

forget not all his benefits

yesterday, i got both kids down for an overlapping nap of about four minutes.  jim was out, and it wasn't even enough time to finish folding a basket of linens.  i definitely had on my grumpy pants, and i pretty much kept them on until after the kids were in bed for the night.

grumpy pants aren't really a good look for me.

so i return to obedience:

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
to the Word:
 Praise the LORD, my soul;
   all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
 Praise the LORD, my soul,
   and forget not all his benefits—
 who forgives all your sins
   and heals all your diseases, 
 who redeems your life from the pit
   and crowns you with love and compassion,
 who satisfies your desires with good things
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
  The LORD works righteousness
   and justice for all the oppressed.
  He made known his ways to Moses,
   his deeds to the people of Israel:
 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
   slow to anger, abounding in love.
 He will not always accuse,
   nor will he harbor his anger forever;
 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
   or repay us according to our iniquities.
 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
   so great is his love for those who fear him;
 as far as the east is from the west,
   so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
  As a father has compassion on his children,
   so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
 for he knows how we are formed, 
   he remembers that we are dust.
 The life of mortals is like grass,
   they flourish like a flower of the field;
 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
   and its place remembers it no more.
 But from everlasting to everlasting
   the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
   and his righteousness with their children’s children—
 with those who keep his covenant
   and remember to obey his precepts.
  The LORD has established his throne in heaven, 
   and his kingdom rules over all.
  Praise the LORD, you his angels,
   you mighty ones who do his bidding,
   who obey his word.
 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
   you his servants who do his will.
 Praise the LORD, all his works
   everywhere in his dominion.
   Praise the LORD, my soul.  (Psalm 103)  
and to the counting:

an ongoing record of God's goodness, #128-142

forgiveness
healing
redemption
love
compassion

you satisfy my desires with good things
you renew my youth

you seek justice for the oppressed
your Word reveals your faithful work through generations
your character is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love

you don't repay me according to my sin
you love me with the love of a father for his own child

when all else fades, your love endures

your kingdom rules over all

may its values be mine, and may thanksgiving be the cry of my heart today.


holy experience

Saturday

happy places. or, ima keep my head up high

last week, i reported that james could say mama, dada, dylan, and stinky.  well, dinnertime is apparently prime language acquisition hour, as well as boisterous family time.  to his repertoire, james has also added thank you, one,  and what is perhaps the funniest two word request from a one year-old:

MORE BUMP!

corey.menscher

that's my boy:)

he fist bumps and then laughs and laughs and laughs.  such joy in that little heart!

we've also been watching this wonderful sesame street clip on repeat, prompting requests from dylan like this little gem:  "daddy, can you break it down, but no singing this time?"



both kids watch and dance around like wildly happy, fuzzy little monsters.  love!

now a question for you:  our kodak easyshare bit the dust, and we are in the market for another modestly-priced digital camera.  any tips?  should we get a kodak or try another brand?  we really don't want to spend more than $150.  help a girl out who knows very little about such things!

edited to add:  jim just came home with a canon power shot.  can't wait to learn it!

have a fist-bumpingly wonderful weekend, friends:)

Tuesday

the one where i may step on toes, but you'll have that sometimes

Kim Baker
amoeck
cranberries
Kim Baker
happy election day.  get your vote on.

(pg-13, just so you know.)

"It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
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