Ever Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that all of you will be spending it with people you love.

I’ve got two pans of rolls in the oven right now. One pan will be going to a friend’s house with us tomorrow. The house is starting to smell really good!

When I was a kid, we always had Thanksgiving dinner here at the house that I live in now. I have wonderful memories of those moments. I even remember looking out the window to a pond covered with ice and snow on Thanksgiving Day! We used to have snow by then pretty much every year. Last year, when we moved in right after Thanksgiving, I had planned to begin that tradition again and have dinner here at my house. But I had not planned for Mom not being here to spend it with us. In truth, I just don’t have the heart to spend the day here, in a house filled with memories… reminders of what was, but never will be again.

Thankfully, friends of ours invited us to Thanksgiving dinner at their house. I will be fortunate enough to spend the day with not only my husband and children, but also with friends who really are like family to me. I am actually looking forward to tomorrow. My biggest concern is how my three little kids will behave!

In spite of the fact that I’m sitting here in tears, I can still find so much to be thankful for.

I’m thankful for what I had. I’m thankful that I had her for as long as I did. I’m thankful that she was here to hold her three grandchildren the day that each of them was born. I’m thankful for the tears, because it means that there were far more wonderful memories.

I’m thankful for what I have. I have a husband whom I love so much. I have three precious little ones who give me many reasons to laugh. I have a sister who is closer to me than ever before. I’m thankful for the other family and friends who I’ve been blessed beyond belief with.

I’m thankful for what is to come. I don’t know what is in store, but I do know that I will be given the strength to endure it. And I’ve read the end of the story. I know that my Redeemer lives. I know that He’s preparing a place just for me. Could anything we suffer in this short life compare to what is waiting for those of us who follow Him? If that isn’t a reason to be thankful, than I don’t know what is!

I don’t understand how joy and sorrow can co-exist, but I know that they do. One of the mysteries of grace I suppose.

Happy Doctor Who Day!

Today is Doctor Who’s 46th anniversary. For those who don’t know, it’s a British science fiction show. I was introduced to it by my Dad.

I used to watch the Original Star Trek and Doctor Who with him. I grew to appreciate the shows in time, but mostly, I just wanted to spend time with my Dad. Those are some great memories. Just sitting on the couch with him watching the strange TV shows with terrible effects, but utterly intriguing storylines. Perhaps that in part is what inspired my facination with astronomy and space exploration.

I don’t have anything profound to say today. But it was nice to remember some of the good memories that I have from my childhood.

Daybook for November 9th

Outside my window… turkeys yesterday, but none today.

I am thinking… worrying actually, about my test tomorrow.

I am thankful for… Camo’s second birthday on Wednesday!

From the learning rooms… sorting out how to make this work when life gets in the way.

From the kitchen… Jello for supper!!!

I am wearing… jeans and a black cable sweater.

I am creating… finished Camo’s birthday sweater and cast on a new sweater for me!

I am going… mad. The raving lunatic kind.

I am reading… I have too many books going at the moment.

I am hoping… that things come together for Camo’s party on Thursday.

I am hearing… my kiddos discussing the alphabet over breakfast.

Around the house… the house has rather gotten away from me as of late.

One of my favorite things… my children’s birthdays!

For more information about the daybook, please visit: http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Pumpkins, Peace and Praise

Is there anything that says autumn like a pumpkin? Aaron’s parents brought out some pumpkins for the kiddos yesterday. Munchkin LOVES pumpkins! She agreed to let me cook one of them so that we could make a pie. I found a recipe for a Pumpkin Maple Pie that just looked too good to pass up! I baked the pumpkin and pureed it last night, but didn’t mix up the pie until this morning. I used my grandmother’s secret pie crust recipe. (Pillsbury ready-made pie crusts!) It’s in the oven right now, and smells wonderful! I’ll try to wait until Aaron gets home tonight before I have a piece, I’ll try anyway…

Mr. Q has been glued to the window in the living room this morning. They are replacing culverts in the road across the street from our house. A dump truck and excavator are just too much for any little boy to resist! They were so alluring that when I set Camo in his high chair and doled out his cereal, I heard a little voice calling to me from the next room, “I’m not hungry Mommy.” This is utterly unheard of. That boy is ALWAYS hungry. I took in a cup of dry cereal and asked if he would like something to snack on while he watched the tractor. He readily agreed! He stayed there for nearly two hours, content to watch the construction. It was really an adorable picture.

It was the type of thing that would make me call Mom and say, “You will never guess what your grandson is doing!” I’d have related the story to her and we would have both laughed because no one loves trucks and tractors more than our little Mr. Q. Then I’d have told her about the pumpkin maple pie in the oven, and she would tell me that she’d be down for a piece later. I’d tell her that I still had some of her coffee in the cupboard to go with it. I still do have her coffee in my kitchen cupboard. I’ve not had the heart to move it yet. I like having the reminders, little pieces of her life around me. It still seems like a dream at times. Nearly seven months and there are still days when I can’t believe that she’s really gone. The ache in my heart reminds me that it’s true.

Oddly enough, I’ve been humming the hymn “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus” this morning. I looked up the lyrics, and found hope…

 

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace, Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

This is all my righteousness, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Now by this I’ll overcome – Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

Now by this I’ll reach my home – Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Glory! Glory! This I sing – Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

All my praise for this I bring – Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

First Day

Today was our first day of lessons. The kids did really well, and due to their young ages, we kept the lessons short. We started reading a chapter a day of the book Little Pilgrim’s Progress. It’s a truly wonderful story, and this adaptation of John Bunyan’s classic is quite readable for young children. I remember reading it myself, and have fond memories of my first introduction to Christian and Christina. I hope that my children will have such memories of our time spend reading it together!

As with all milestones lately, it was bittersweet. Mom would have been thrilled to see the legacy she began with my sister and I, continued in her grandchildren. I will forever be thankful to her for investing the tremendous amount of time, energy and money that she did to teach us herself. It was truly a labor of love for her. I pray that I will be able to accomplish half so much as she did!

Throughout the last six months, God has sent many things my way. Scripture, poems, books, songs and even blog posts! So much has been a comfort and encouragement to me. A recent song that is not new, but was new to me, is by Matthew Ward, “I Will Worship You.”

The line, “And when my life’s complete, I’ll place my crown at Your feet,” reminded me of her from the first time that I heard it. I can see her now doing just that. I don’t know if she ever heard the song, but it’s one that she would have liked. A beautiful reminder of who our God is, and why we worship Him.

So, I will continue my journey through grief, and continue Mom’s legacy. I’ll keep teaching my children, and telling them every day just how much I love them.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Come September

I’ve been busy gearing up for starting lessons with the kids come September. When I stop to think about this task that I’ve undertaken, I’m rather overwhelmed. OK, scared to death may be closer to the truth. I know that I’m up to the challenge, I just have to convince myself of that fact!

Mom made it all look so easy. She made being an amazing mother look as natural and effortless as breathing. I have a tremendous example to follow, but by the same token, it means that I have some very large footsteps to follow in! Dare I hope that someday my Munchkin will be saying that I made it look easy? Parents have heavy responsibilities, but the struggles are more than offset by the great joys.

I’m thankful to have help and advice from some really wonderful moms and teachers. Still, there are so many things that I’d thought to ask Mom. I feel a little more lost without her a phone call away. I guess this year will be a learning experience, for both the kids and me! As frightening as this all seems at times, it’s a wonderful adventure that I face with anticipation, and a LOT of prayer!

(PS – Points for anyone who can tell me who starred in the movie with the same title as this blog post!)

Surprise!

I feel like a kid again. I had two birthday parties (and two cakes!) this year. The second was last night at the home of friends that have known me for so long that they qualify as family. They all got together with Aaron and Joyce and managed to find me a spinning wheel! I cannot tell you what a surprise that was! I’ve spent last night and all of this morning researching antique spinning wheels online and looking for books to help me get started spinning!

My wheel is the precursor to what the modern wheels today are. It’s called a walking wheel. Walking wheels have a larger wheel, and you spin while standing. They are also a much simpler, very elegant design, and in my opinion, more beautiful than their modern day descendants! Of course, I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for anything historical, and my wheel was made in New Hampshire in the 1800’s. It’s steeped in history! Wouldn’t you just love to get a peek at the stories it could tell us? I’ve found a few videos on the internet of people spinning with their walking wheels, and now I’m just ITCHING to get started myself!

I’ve also decided that I can count it as exercise. When spinning on a walking wheel you take a couple of steps back and forth as you spin, hence the name “walking” wheel. So, the next time that the doctor asks me if I exercise, I’ll say, “Why yes, I spin every day!” Hmmmm, if I’m going to spin that much, I may need to look into buying a couple of sheep…

You know, I may have lost Mom, but I’m still richly blessed with friends who love me as if I was part of their family. And that’s the real treasure.

Grace and Gratitude

I wrote previously about the idea of an “All’s Grace” list, wherein I would list the many gifts that I am grateful for. I began mine just a few days after Mom died. Since reading a chapter about the importance of gratitude in the book, “10 Keys to Wellness”, I’ve decided that it’s past time for me to add to my list…

All’s Grace…

…music. Simply the sound of beautiful music.

…green sprouts in my flower garden.

…the comfort of a hug from a dear friend.

…curls framing the face of my little girl.

…the infectious laugh of my redheaded son.

…the serious yet smiling little boy of mine who is nearly three.

…reading a book so familiar, that it’s like a visit from an old friend.

…writing again, ideas flowing like the rush of a spring river.

…forgiveness. Incomprehensible forgiveness, that I never deserved.

…holding the hand of the one I love.

…a hot cup of fragrant Earl Grey.

…sewing, surrounded by memories of Mom.

…smiling over my Aunt’s first quilt. Mom would have been thrilled.

…such lovely flowers growing by my home. How many years have you grown by this house?

…four little ducklings, swimming with their mother, right outside my window.

…falling asleep to the sound of many frogs, with the window open to allow the crisp night air in.

…the most perfect and clear starlit sky, with every single star still there, right where it should be.

…grace for the moment.

Conscripted!

The pirate ship “Floating Ship” is seeking crew for conscription. It is commanded by the vertically challenged pirates-who-don’t-do-anything: Captain Quinton, First Mate Arynne and Cabin Boy Camden. They have conscripted Daddy for the position of Second Mate, and Mommy has been conscripted as well, but her duties have yet to be defined as anything other than straightening the Captain’s hat whenever it’s askew. First Mate Arynne assures everyone that they are not bad pirates who will take you away from your home. Any interested parties may apply at the “Living Room Inn”. No skills necessary other than a vivid imagination…

Fulfilling Prophecy

We continued with our study of John yesterday. John 19 was the particular chapter we studied. I picked up on something that I’d never really thought about. In several places John mentions that some of the actions of the Roman soldiers were the fulfillment of prophecy. When they divided up Jesus’ robe and cast lots for the tunic, how could they have realized that they were fulfilling prophecy that had been written before the rise of the Roman Empire? When they pierced him with a spear, but did not break his bones, they had no clue that again, they were fulfilling ancient prophecies. I wonder if any of them became believers? What must it have been like to be living amidst prophecy coming to life?

I wonder. Then I realize that I am. There is still unfulfilled prophecy in the Scripture, and we are living in the middle of it right now! I stand in awe, that something written thousands of years ago, is coming to pass today. Truly, the Word of God is ageless, and timeless. Scripture is powerful, alive, and still utterly amazes me! Only He could have written something that incredible… It’s humbling to me to think that God inspired men to write these things down, for me. Why, in this vast universe, would the very Creator of it all want to communicate with me? Someday, I will have my answer, and I suspect that on that day, I’ll be even more humbled. I imagine that I will be on my knees before Him, absolutely speechless…