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precious legacy

24 Feb

img_7811yo1Baby boy and I were playing in the bed early this morning when the 5-year-old walked in. The sweetheart that this young lady is, she offered to play with the baby so I could sleep a little longer. Few minutes, perhaps? Not long after, Big Sister got up and took over, so back to the pillow my head went.

Well, the few minutes turned into an hour, (yikes!) and not a single tiny voice woke me up! By the time I got up, everyone had breakfast (oatmeal made by Big Sister) already. No sign of it except the dirty dishes piled up nicely in the sink. Z5 and L4 were playing peacefully with their Playmobil in the dining table, while Big Sister was working on her school tasks- with the baby.

I sat in the living room stuffing clean diapers and folding clothes. Big Sister noticed that the little one was getting sleepy already. Without a word from me, she picked him up, walked away and played the piano to put him to sleep.

The house is quiet again, and I’m still trying to sink everything in, but I thought I would stop by here and tell you about my morning. Actually, I just wanted to chronicle it- for me. A reminder when days are a little tougher… when there’s bickering, whining and such…

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;     (Psalm 127)

lanternluv1sister love over oil lamps

Hope your day is blessed and full of His goodness .

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said a 3-year-old

18 Oct

At the breakfast table this morning:

“When I’m a teenager, I’m going to…”

“Where do people live at night? Like Miss N__, does she live at dance (class?)”

“Mommy, why do our neighbors like Halloween? They don’t know Halloween is bad?”

“I’m gonna drink the smoothie now so I can have hash browns for dessert.”

“You know mommy, Flo’s kitchen is better than Chinese (restaurants.)”

After breakfast, she asked me, in English accent, if I wanted her autograph. “How do you spell your name?”

“F-L-O,” I said.

“Okay. How do you write F? I know how to do the L, and the O.”

I showed her F, then she proceeded. She handed me the paper. It reads: O L F. Pretty good for a three-year-old, don’t you think?

Have a blessed day, everyone. Hope your day is surrounded by things and people that make you smile:)

Joy of Homemaking

26 Aug

photo credit jrodrigues

It was another beautiful, cool morning, much like yesterday. You could hear the familiar serenity… and the sound of the Beatles, as the children sang along.  The aroma of freshly baked muffins lingered as I hung the clothes outside, and I couldn’t help but stop for a moment. Days like today cause me to remember what blessing it is to keep home.

It is going to be another busy day. Full of mess, dirty hands, dishes to wash, floor that would need cleaning a few times, mouths to feed and lessons to learn. But what joy… to watch the children’s happy faces as they create with homemade playdough… to play with a little baby who just learned to smile a lot… to wear an apron that has marks of labor all over it… to fill a picnic basket with watermelon, salad, cornbread and cloth napkins, and take the kids to a quick play at the park.

What joy.

So I took time today. In this busy day. To remind others like me. To encourage the weary. There is so much joy… much more than the sweat, the challenges and even the frustrations of keeping home.

There is nothing extraordinary about today. Just a grateful heart.

back to homeschool

4 Aug

Today is Back to (Home)School Day over here. How well did we do?

The morning started with prayers and singing unto the Lord. Including Dad, we wrote our individual homeschool expectations down on small index cards, then prayed for them. The five-year old even participated and wrote hers down with mama’s help. I’ll share hers just to bless you:

  1. Learn about God.
  2. Memorize verses.
  3. Learn to read and write.
  4. Go on field trips and meet friends.
  5. Always tell the truth, not lie.
  6. Treat people with respect.
  7. Pray for all the people in the world.

Isn’t she a keeper? I am preserving the expectation cards in my binder. It should be interesting to go back to them in a few months.

The schedule I originally drafted last year didn’t work out for very long so I decided to be more practical this time around. We managed to do morning chores, including laundry, breakfast cleanup and putting clean dishes away, among other things, before school started. On time.

Zurielle (5) is most eager to do school, so although my intention was to wait a little while for academics, we are starting some, discerning as we go along. Aliyah (11) didn’t have a drop of anticipation at all, until I started moving things around, changing the look of our homeschool corner and sprinkling some fun in the mix. When I got done, she commented that she’s actually looking forward to doing school again. Mission accomplished.

The girls liked the idea of having their books for the week in their own sturdy wire baskets that they could carry around. Aliyah is now doing a lot of her school work independent of me, so my time is mostly divided between Zurielle- who certainly demands it; Lyrica- who wants to do everything big sisters are doing; and the one we couldn’t give a schedule yet to– the baby.

It was a fun and most fulfilling morning, turning out better than I anticipated. But then Ron was home to help me. Tomorrow we will see.

We are still keeping the afternoons open for more reading, nature studies, outside activities, and lots of play and free-time. This afternoon, to celebrate back to school week, Ron took the girls to this waterpark. They very much looked forward to it, and that’s probably why they were so diligent with their tasks this morning.

Do you homeschool all day? Do you think half a day is too short? We insist on keeping the afternoons open, at least while the children are younger. They could work more vigorously and attentively in the morning, get more done in shorter time, and still have room to be inspired… to dream and to imagine. If they dawdle or allow too many distractions, then they spend the afternoon finishing up, instead of playing outside, reading a good book, or doing whatever it is they love to do.

of blogging and keeping home

22 Jul

I have a confession to make:

I miss blogging. I miss this blog.

I continue to read blogs that inspire me. the ones that keep pointing me to a gracious Savior. the ones that simply make me smile. Lately though, I have been itching to update my own… just could not squeeze it in my day. I know if I want it enough I could make it happen, but I guess it really is a priority issue.

I decided, instead of moping about it, I would just bake a favorite vegan chocolate cake, which I had been craving all morning, and call it the family meal. Then I would head on over here and ramble.

It had been a quiet day. Dear hubby left for work early in the morning as usual, and he won’t be home until late in the evening. (And that explains why it’s okay to feed the kids chocolate cake instead of a real meal. lol) The girls are busy playing downstairs and would only come up when hungry.

I took advantage of the sun and did three loads of laundry to line dry. One was for cloth diapers, which I have been doing every other day. Who would have thought that folding clean diapers could be so therapeutic?

We’ve assigned the eleven-year old to help with the kitchen floor, but as you probably know, it means cleaning the floor all over again.

We’ve been keeping Johann indoor, and I have been giving him daily baths, because he has developed heat rash. (That also means we have the air-conditioning going all the time.)

With the new addition in the family, we have yet to form a solid revised routine for the rest of us- though I know the sooner, the better. Like today, the two younger girls didn’t take a nap. I got so busy, and they weren’t bothering me as much- so of course, I forgot about nap time until it was too late. Now I’m listening to a screaming three-year old, the sort of thing that doesn’t happen here, unless the girl is extremely tired. Someone is going to bed early tonight.

Those of you busy stay-at-home moms of little children who are able to maintain an orderly clean home, serve healthy home-cooked meals everyday at the table, homeschool, and still manage to blog regularly: share your secret.

In the meantime, I am moving at my own (slow) pace, showing up here when I can, endlessly thanking my Source for every single day. No matter how monotonous, uneventful, quiet, or chaotic my days are, I am grateful that they are always beautiful.

Zurielle holding Johann Israel at 3 days old

Introducing…

27 Jun

Johann Israel

born 6 pounds, 15 oz.

at 11:40PM on Saturday, the 21st of June.

between enjoying this sweet little boy, the girls and some family time, taking some precious naps and catching up on a few chores, i really haven’t had the chance to be on the computer at all this week…

but just so you know, baby and mom are doing really well…

just enjoying this exciting time in our lives…

can you tell how happy the girls are?

Kindness Letter

9 Apr

My ten-year old must be inspired today. She helped me make lunch, swept the kitchen floor, and dusted in the family room. All of that happened without me prompting. Did the small unexpected cash I gave her last night for gladly helping out with toy-purging motivate? The best part is, finding this on the kitchen table:

Dear _____,

Throwing the egg on our driveway was not very nice, but nevertheless, know that God still loves you. He loves all people, big and small, good and bad, rich and poor.

She signed it with our family name, and drew a stick figure of our family. She really blessed my heart today.