Thursday, July 31, 2014

Reading Verses


Anyone who has ever read to a baby has quickly realized that if the text is not short and to the point, preferably with some sort of rhythm, the baby begins to squirm and look around for an escape. :) Or maybe this is just my baby. I also learned that reading the same book over and over gave her great joy--she loved the repetition and began to know what to expect with the pictures. Because of all the repetition, I began to memorize her favorite books (a very handy resource, by the way, when you can say several stories by memory in the car to distract the babe who does not want to be in her car seat anymore...)

I've talked about the importance of memorizing verses in God's Word, the Bible, before; it is life-giving and filled with truth. But here I was, filling my munchkin's head with sweet little rhymes that had nothing to do with the Lord. On one hand, there is nothing wrong with those sweet little rhymes but if that is all I give her on a day-to-day basis...hmmm. I bought a couple baby Bible storybooks and checked more out from the library but most of them were really boring. I hate to admit that because the Bible is far from boring, but she would get squirmy while I read, so...I decided to take some simple verses that were short and to the point and illustrate them. I began with, "In the morning, I will sing!" from Psalm 59:16 and drew a little girl with her arms flung out wide. (I found the more expressive the verse, the better. My daughter loves hand motions at this stage.)

The first time I read to her a couple of the verses I had drawn, she was so happy. And people, these are little more than stick figures (as illustrated above) but she liked them so I'm going with it. I love that we can read verses, and they mean something to her (the little girl in "children, obey your parents" is putting her toys away in the toy basket--something we get to do, albeit very slowly, every afternoon :)).

That is what God's Word is all about--truth for our daily lives. Truth that changes how we see the world and how we act. I love how these big and little bits of truth are being re-taught to me on a daily basis through interacting and loving my daughter.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Making Things


Someone asked me months after baby was born if I was working on any projects. Um...well...I felt like my whole life was a project of sorts, learning all of these new skills in taking care of a newborn that you're never prepared for no matter how much you've babysat and how many great books you've read.

Last year creativity took on a new life of its own. I wasn't knitting, but I made delicious strawberry freezer jam. I didn't sew except for a quick foray into making my own cloth baby wipes (which I love, though my mom's contribution to that cause was much better.) I learned how to make my own brown rice cereal, how to steam and puree and freeze blocks of veggies and fruit (that have now become the base of delicious fruit and green smoothies.) I learned how to strap a Moby on (our lifesaver during those early months of fussy baby evenings) and I learned to be brave and to run errands with a wide-eyed baby. And there are a million more random things that you just learn to do as a mommy in that first bootcamp year. :)

This isn't a post to give myself a big slap on the back for a job well done, but maybe it will help encourage someone to rethink what creativity looks like, especially if your life is in a season where you don't have time to fill that sketchbook or paint all night. Just do what you can. Little bits here and there will add up. Find ways to be creative in your everyday life, even if that creativity is 'merely' finding a new path to walk in your neighborhood. Seriously. Maybe the new view will inspire you.

Earlier this year, I began to draw in my sketchbook again and found much inspiration from the hundreds of books (or so it feels) I've read to munchkin this year (not that we own hundreds, but we frequent the library.) And now that she is very much into her ABCs and a little bit into counting, I thought I'd start making her mini-books. It has been a fun project to work on here and there. And the best part is, she loves it. It really is the little things.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Chickadees in the Sunshine

We were sitting on the patio at my sister's house one afternoon in June when we noticed a commotion over at a bird feeder. Several chickadees that looked like they were babies (judging from their tinier than normal size) were fluttering around excited to find a snack to eat. We all grabbed our cameras and tried to catch the moment. Maybe I should have taken a picture of us trying to take pictures. :)

This has been such a beautiful and simple summer. We haven't really gone anywhere other than to my family's place in June. But we have gone on many long walks and have lately been picking bags and bags of blackberries. Oh, blackberries, how I missed you in L.A.! The first day we picked them I went a little crazy and made a jar of jam, a cobbler, and flash froze about 4 cups of blackberries. Goodness. Last weekend I gave some to our daughter as a snack and she ate one, paused, then stuffed eight of them in her mouth. Wow. Takes after her mommy. :)

Right now she is running around frantic with excitement about her ABCs. She sees them on a little toy that is in the living room and gets so happy I'm afraid she might explode. She reminds me daily that life is so beautiful. Yes, there are hard times. There is so much sadness in the world. But thank God, there is also joy.

p.s. single jars of homemade jam...why have I never done this before? It is so amazingly delicious!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The Best Days...


Just as I suspected, it has been nearly a year since I've updated this blog. I had good intentions, really I did. But the days are on some sort of super-speed and well, this is one of those things that keeps on being put aside for the time being. Ironically, tonight I'm making the same pasta salad that is pictured in my last post. Except that this time our daughter will get a serving. She particularly loves the olives.

The weather has been hot here (cool for Southern California, frying-pan hot for Oregon) so we have been getting out to go on our walks early in the morning before hunkering down in the house with the fans blasting for the day. All of the pictures above (with the exception of baby reading) are from our walks. And every one of them is within minutes, Minutes!, of our house. There is so much incredible beauty here. I hope I never get used to it.

Yesterday, we went out on the deck in the morning and sketched. My daughter drew lines expertly on her box drawing station (computer paper taped on a large box so she can draw all over it) and I quickly sketched some of her antics. 

These are the best days...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Summer Days


And then, the summer was over. It is suddenly Labor Day and the sky is cloudy and the rain is coming down. We are getting ready to go to the grocery store and there is fresh bread on the counter. This summer was wonderful--we visited family at the coast, made jars and jars of fresh jam and blocks and blocks of purees. Baby thinks standing and holding onto the sofa or a chair is the best thing ever. She is such a delight.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Just Like That

One day my baby was born and then, seemingly, the next, she was six months old. People said that would happen. I knew that would happen, and still is shocking somehow.

Last Friday I learned that making your own brown rice cereal is super simple, so on Saturday I made up a batch. We turned on the video camera and taped our baby making faces as she rolled that strange mixture around in her mouth. She thought it was great fun and cooed for us whilst eating. She also did her favorite spitting sound which was a bit disastrous for the rice cereal. It has been a fun few days as we've explored this new and amazing world of 'real food'. These are beautiful days...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day


Such a wonderful Mother's Day...

a sweet friend visiting...
my precious husband being home for a long weekend (and spoiling me)
a happy baby who went on many adventures
the beauty of creation all around--especially in Forest Park 
saying a quick hello to my mom--I love her--
making meals and chatting for hours
treats and my favorite burrito place
receiving (and reading) Dancing With My Father--sooo very good
and A Splash of Red...(I've been wanting that one for ages!)

I'm so blessed!