Friday, January 31, 2014

Six!








Happy Birthday Samuel, Big Guy, Buddy, Sam3Moo, Mister Moo and any other name we can come up with! We love you and are so glad you are part of our family!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Gleaning Slow


I originally titled this post thinking I would share things I've been gleaning from a Bible Study I am working through on my Quiet Time. But now, days later as I sit down to write it seems to be taking a different turn.

Slow is a practice that we glean from here and there. We may adopt one small thing that helps us slow and in turn that may build into a second thing and so on. It strikes me that gleaning is slow, when you are picking up the leftovers around the edges of a field or taking what is left behind it may take more work than getting the first pick.

Learning to slow may be like that for many of us. It may be a natural desire, but it may not come naturally to step out of the fray and intentionally slow down.



Just as when gleaning a field or a fruit tree and some days produce a higher yield than others, so it is in our days and gleaning the habits of slowing. Learning to slow is not instant, sometimes we {I} fail at this desire and it is a series of choices that lead us into a slower lifestyle.

And, so - we glean a little here ... a little there. We study God's Word and read, "Be still...", we may see a sunset and feel a slowing, our children want us to sit and read books or we sit and write a letter to a friend. In all of these ways, we are gathering slow just one small moment at a time.

We can't heap it up in piles and save it, nor use it when we need it - it is simply something in the moment.

Moments can add up to more moments and choices add up to more slowing choices ~ these are the ways to build slow.




All this reminds me too that slow is not without sacrifice or cost. We must give something else up in its place. Many times we are giving up hurry, stress or tension but sometimes there is a hard choice to sacrifice productivity, crossing things off the list and knowing that there is a greater good being done in the not doing. Again, I am in no way encouraging slow to give up and shut down all expectations of accomplishing things.

Balance is key as in so very many areas of life. We don't want to worship the list but have it serve us. We don't want to crave productivity so much that we are addicted to it. But, yes - there are things we must accomplish. And, as I mentioned the other day - we also cannot become a slave of slow or think that it is the end all be all.

Wow, I had absolutely no idea where this post was going - just sat down and wrote what was on my heart in this moment. Gleaning slow ... in small portions, may it add up to great provisions of peace, beauty and nourishment in my life and home.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Birthday Gift: American Girl Doll Accessories


My sweet girls just received their third birthday invite of 2014 and it is the third American Girl doll theme party! Are you sensing a trend in this age girls? I love it! I am beyond thankful that I was able to write a few articles in 2012 and save up that money to get them the dolls for Christmas that year because even though they were excited then, they love those dolls now! And, what a fun thing it has been to bring them along to so many tea parties and birthday parties and such.

Ok, moving on. In keeping with my goal to come up with gifts that are thoughtful and cute but extremely thrifty {as in I already have everything on hand} I decided to make a few accessories for the birthday girl's doll for this next gift.

I spent fifty cents for the cute box on Target Dollar Spot clearance over Christmas - everything else was on hand.


Rachel made this cute little jewelry set for the gift. Beads on yarn for a bracelet and a necklace, we used Kit to measure things and for our fit-model. Super easy, great way for one of my girls to be involved, using beads we had. Win-win-win.


Oh my word, can you get over the cuteness of this party hat?! I can not take credit for this in any way, but I love the idea and am totally stealing it. A party Emily went to a couple of weeks ago had these for each doll present, a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e. We ended up with three some how, so are sharing one with our friend. They are all over Pinterest, definitely want to make again! Here is a link to a template if you want to try it!


I have had this funky orange yarn since my snow party, I'm a bit embarrassed to admit how long I've held on to it with no plan, but there you go. I crocheted a little scarf for her doll - love how fuzzy it is!




Last is another idea I swiped from the party Emily went to - they made little tulle and ribbon skirts for their dolls using a pony tail holder. The pony tail holders were all snapping from too much stretching so I made mine with a piece of elastic from my sewing stuff. I just scrounged for fabrics, ribbon and even some tulle and just tied them on. Super simple, super easy, super cute!

There you go! Another thrifty and fun Birthday gift - hooray!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Slow Journal



Tonight was blissfully slow. As I relaxed into the moments and allowed slow {surrender} they piled up on top of each other and brought calm, less tension even in my shoulders, a more peaceful head and less of an aching one.

As we wrapped up our slow time, I was astonished at how it was still only a certain time. Ninety minutes had passed and yet it did not feel like we'd lost tons of time or that I had let it go too long.

Here is something I struggle with - I either let slow go too short or too long. Does that make sense? When you let slow go too long it can cause stress and tension later when we don't have enough time left for clean up or to read a story or to finish school or get out the door. Slow needs some boundaries as well.



The girls approached me late afternoon about having an American Girl party. I asked exactly what this entailed and here was the plan:

make Valentine's
watch Samantha
eat supper in the Den with their dolls
decorate with pink, confetti, doilies, sleeping bag, etc...

I agreed as long as they finished their evening chores before this started, which they did.

Samuel wanted me to sit with him and enjoy dinner and the Planes movie. We folded his clean clothes together during the movie and snuggled on the couch. I was ever so thankful that I had Crock Pot Fajitas in and dinner was supremely simple.



Here is the thing. We did not have a slow day by any stretch of the imagination. We started the day with CC followed by piano lessons and three children having their six month dental cleanings. It was a long day. And, I was beat.

I love how God used these ideas of my children to refresh me as well. It was so relaxing and a great ending to a busy day.

Take away from today: slow does not have to be all day, slow with boundaries is just as restorative if not more so. Simplifying dinner by having all my meals somewhat prepped for the week has been supremely simplifying and slowing with major return on my investment of time.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Slow Inspiration


A few links for inspiring an intentional slowing:

Download a free seven day ebook Seven Little Ways to Live Art - beauty.

Encouragement to stay home more at the Prudent Homemaker. Staying home definitely helps me to slow down.

I saw a link to this article on Facebook and then clicked further and read more. This is such lovely beauty and slowing truth for a mama. If you are feeling like not enough, don't do enough, are failing, etc, please read this. And, then this. Then you can work through and read her Dear Mom letters - so.lovely.so.needed.

This is always an inspiring watch when you want to slow down for a few minutes - and then it lingers in your mind and you want to create simple slow moments of beauty in your life today.




This looks very intriguing and definitely slowing - would love to read the book!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014