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A Bundle of Myrrh

"My beloved is unto me as a bundle of myrrh." Song of Solomon 1:13

Daybook: April

April 30th, 2014 by Aubri

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*Long post alert*

Living Seasonally

It’s been Spring for some time now, but has barely felt that way here. Cool, cold, windy….Nebraska. But around our tiny town things are turning. Less brown, more green.  Buds are on the trees and birds in the air. It usually takes me until Easter has come to truly be “ready” for Spring and Summer. As a Winter and Fall girl I have a hard time leaving behind the warmth of those Seasons and embracing a different kind of heat.

But it’s time and I believe I’m ready for the change. So we stop eating the wonderful chowders (add some cumin to that!), put away what winter clothing we can, get out summer dresses, short sleeves, flip flops and sandals (..uh, then put on our coats to go outside because this ain’t Texas). And something in me says this is okay, I can handle this new season, maybe it won’t be so bad (panic attacks over Summer break will kick in soon enough).

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Turning Pages

I’ve had an assortment of papers and books next to my bed (and toilet) for a while working my way through them slowly.

Bed and Board: Plain Talk About Marriage by Robert Farrar Capon

“I live surrounded by a mixture of violence and loveliness, of music and insensitivity. I take my meals with clods and poets, but I am seldom certain which is which. Nowhere is my life less reducible to logic than in my children; nowhere are my elegant attempts at system ground more violently to powder than under the stumbling stone of the next generation. Far from having advice to give you, I am dumbfounded by them, I admit it. And yet I rejoice too, for nowhere is there so much to keep me sane.” Robert Farrar Capon

Marriage from the Perspective of a Christian Woman by Dorothy Preus (read this one too, it’s good.)
The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning – Phil and I don’t practice NFP but I’ve been interested in learning some of the reasons it is used. This book is written from a Catholic perspective so that’s yet another layer of this topic that’s been enlightening. If I get brave I have more to say on this topic.

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Establishing Rhythm

We’re in constant flux at our house. Each new stage for our children brings a new rhythm to our family life. Different seasons of the church year bring different rhythms too. With Lent and Easter Sunday being over we are phasing into a slower pace for Phil. Summer will allow less demands on his time which is nice for me and the babies. I’m in the process of gearing up for Summer, planning and organizing what I can to hopefully give us an enjoyable break from the school year rhythm but Summers are hard for me at least they have been in the past. Long days, no breaks, babies fussing and fighting and it’s HOT. I’m no good at HOT. But we’ll get through it…right?

Cultivating Simplicity

There are banes…banes in my life. Kids’ shoes, kids’ cups, kids’ art supplies. There are more than that, trust me. But I can only tackle so much at one time. So I’m trying a few things.

Shoes:

How is it you can never find two that are the same? I’d settle for two that are not the same but good luck finding one right and one left of anything. For years I’ve just had a big basket where all the kids threw their tennis shoes. Easy. But that is no longer easy. Big pile of shoes to rummage through just makes this Mama hairy and scary. So I’m giving this a try:

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We weren’t using this shelf in our living room as much. So I got some bins at the dollar store for each baby to keep their shoes in. I’ll label them eventually. Now we don’t have to look through everyone’s shoes just to find poor Ephraim’s tiny skips. This could be a huge fail, but I’m will to find out.

Do you have lots of kids? How do you organize shoes????

Cups:

Turns out that kids drink. They drink often and need cups to do that. More cups = more dishes to wash so for a while now I’ve had the kids using one cup for all their meals. I’d put them in the fridge when they were done sometimes empty sometimes with milk still in it. You can see where the problem arises. Spills yes. Occupying valuable real estate on fridge shelves. So I would poor extra milk into a jar to save but I’d forget that little jar at the next meal or you know what….that just requires me to do one more thing after the meal and I really don’t need one more thing to be doing.

So when I saw this I thought “Answer to my Cup prayers!” I tried it about a year ago and the babies hated drinking out of a jar so I cried a little and just went back to licking my cup woe wounds. But a few weeks ago a miracle happened, the girls suddenly decided their lips were ok with jars. I ran to Hobby Lobby and grabbed some Ball jars.

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I also found these;

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Sip and straw lids for the jars!!!! Perfect for tiny drinkers who like to spill more than the big drinkers.

I made room on the door for the cups so I won’t be knocking these over when I reach for my Goldschlager.

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Art junk:

One more thing I’ve simplified this week, the kids’ craft supply closet.

I dream of a cute and organized crafting space for my babies. But the reality is….mess. Lots of mess stacked, scattered, falling all over the place. I’m tired of reorganizing all that. So I put some drawers in the closet, threw all their supplies in it and closed the door.

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Now we’re all happy.

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I can close the door and pretend it looks like this:

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Creating Beauty

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If any of you knew me before….two days ago, finding out that I even attempted the cake on the cover of this month’s Southern Living would give your jaw a drop. I did, oh yes I did. It took me 3 days but I made it, ate a piece and threw it away. What was I thinking? Cream Cheese frosting? Gross. It was way prettier on the cover of that magazine than on my table, BUT I did it!

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And I got some knitting done! I love to knit but it turns out I like to let my brain and eyes glaze over looking at moving pictures on a big screen more, so not much knitting happens these days. If you find a dish cloth in your mail box soon give 3 cheers for me!

Nurturing Hearts 

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April 23rd was the Feast of St. George. We had fun with this one. Gerhardt has been needing some appropriate boy dressin’ up clothes so I found this suit of armor. Not a better day to give it to him than the day of the Red Cross Knight!

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This saint day is a great time to extol the virtues of godly men.

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He loves being Sir Gerhardt.

And for your listening pleasure:

 

Nurturing Hands

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I do attempt to get the babies in the kitchen with me from time to time. I can only handle one or two so you can imagine how often this actually works out. I’m learning to not even care if what we’re making doesn’t turn out just right and trying to nurture the sense of pride that comes to one of my children when they see what they made and hey, if it turns out bad it’s not my fault!

 

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Nurturing Bodies

We got the babies a soccer ball hoping to give us all something to play together outside. Of the ones to like this so much it was Lily who was super excited to play. When she found out they would start playing soccer during PE at school she came home worried sick. And in fact told the PE teacher the next day that she was “sick” so she got to sit and watch.

But we did a lot of talking about soccer, showed her some games on YouTube and she went back to school and played. Now she loves soccer.

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She’s not the one I’d say will be our “athlete” but she may surprise me! Of course Gerhardt loves it too and may have some real skills.

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Capturing Time

For some time I thought there was time
and that there would always be time
for what I had a mind to do
and what I could imagine
going back to and finding it
as I had found it the first time
but by this time I do not know
what I thought when I thought back then

excerpt from The New Song by W.S. Merwin

 

5 Responses to “Daybook: April”

  1. I only have two children to organize (unless the two of us adults in the house count?) so I’m not a big help on organizing many.

    I did use these easy clean craft trays with the children and I still do when we’re doing something particularly messy. They stack even with stuff on them and they wipe clean – LOVE that! Might be worth looking into!
    http://www.lakeshorelearning.com/product/productDet.jsp?productItemID=1%2C689%2C949%2C371%2C898%2C055&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395181113&bmUID=1398911194911

    If the link doesn’t work email me and I’ll send it to you that way!

    When my husband’s littlest sister was tiny we gave her a damp rag and her job was to “clean up” after the big girls (and me) in the kitchen. Worked like a charm and I don’t think my MIL’s kitchen has been that clean before or since! My husband is the oldest of 9 spaced evenly over 26 years so there have always been lots of little hands to “help” with projects of all sorts. That littlest sister is now 18 and graduates from HS in May! Yikes.

    Just a couple of ideas to take or leave as you’d like!
    Enjoy your spring,
    Lea

  2. Aubri says:

    Thanks Lea, what neat little trays! Tapping into the eagerness that littles have to work around the house is so so wise. That doesn’t last long does it? Happy Spring to you!

  3. Lisa says:

    Thanks for the heads up on the Ball jar lids. Ours have just been using mugs and each kid has to keep their respective mug all day. They’re “real” ceramic ones from the thrift store and nice to look at, so they like it. But, now the one yr old can open the fridge door :P And finger paint on the linoleum with his milk.

    We have a shoe organizer like this: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tot-Tutors-Toy-Organizer-Espresso-Finish/14017484. So, very similar concept. I have no idea what I’ll do when their feet get larger (!) Limit to two prs of shoes? :/ Oy. (Our daughter has five pairs. Isn’t that crazy? But, I feel like she “needs” every single pair) :) I also don’t know what to do about dresser drawer space for clothing. We have no room for a family closet. None. Our old home is lovely, but has minimal closet space. So, I keep dreaming the dream (http://www.lotsofkids.com/LOK-Household/Laundry/familycloset/familycloset3.php), but . . .

    And, ditto on the crafts. We have a short, open “art” bookshelf in the kitchen hall and there’s always a mess in front of it. Ugh. We’re trying to resolve this, but seriously, bringing any more furniture into this house seems insane. Each kid has their own craft box (http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-Storage-Box-Six-Assorted-Designs/dp/B0014R91OE/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1398997472&sr=8-4&keywords=picture+storage) for their special stickers and things to hoard. I have a hard time figuring what of their artwork to keep. I mean, seriously, how do they know what’s missing among 250 sheets (after I secretly throw pages away at night). But, they do . . .

  4. Aubri says:

    Thanks Lisa! What a great idea to use that shelf/bin for shoes. I wouldn’t have thought of that! I’ve been pretty proud of that fact that I’ve been able to get clothes/tights/bibs/burb cloths/socks and diaper bags for 6 kids into one closet and a chest of drawers so far but it’s getting harder. I did contemplate turning the entire nursery into a closet and just stuffing a couple beds in there, may happen some day but for now we’re managing.

  5. Happy spring back to you Aubri!

    The trays are actually quite big – big enough to hold a legal size sheet of paper – so you can get a pretty big project on there!

    Lea