Saturday, October 22, 2011

{pretty, happy, funny, real} on October 22

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life~
Brought to you by Like Mother, Like Daughter

Ok, I really need some contentment in my life today. Because if I think about the unfinished projects or the Visa bill, I might just have a breakdown!

{pretty} & {happy}

Look, I'm teaching myself how to crochet!! This makes me happy. Once upon a time I knew, thanks to lessons from Grandma Lil, but that was a looong time ago, so it's basically like starting all over again.

After practicing and pulling out a few rows, I think I'm getting the hang of it. I did drop a row at the beginning, I think, but have managed to keep it going alright. I want to make Arden a scarf!

The turquoise wool is so pretty, don't you think? And it's 100% wool. Hopefully it won't be too scratchy, but it does feel fairly soft.

{funny} & {real}

Last Saturday we went for a walk on the Hunter River section of the Confederation Trail. We were delighted to find quite a nice park area, perfect for an outing with Arden.

Here is Arden trotting down a leaf-strewn path by the river. I love her curiosity and sense of confidence as she strikes out on new paths!

And I guess she was a little tired after all that walking. . .

Funny little thing!

round button chicken



I've been perusing through the {phfr} links on Like Mother, Like Daughter (no, I haven't posted my own this week yet!), and came across a quote on this blog that I just had to copy so I wouldn't forget it!

It's a quote by Maria Montessori regarding the basis of parents' authority:

"Our children should understand that their duty is not to obey our personal wishes, because we happen to be their parents, but to obey external laws which we represent and expound and enforce."

These external laws are ultimately God's laws, and what I would call the Law of Goodness, based on God's nature and character. In a similar way, we don't obey God because we are subject to His every whim. We obey Him because He is Good, and we believe obedience will bring about goodness in our own lives.

And the idea is that children, at some point, will learn to obey not just because "I'm the mom and that's why," but because our commands and direction and discipline are all based on and pointing to something good in and of itself.

That also means I have a responsibility as a parent to remember that I am training up my children on God's path, not my own.

Right now, Arden is not exactly at what I would call the age of reason, so she needs to learn to obey because I am her parent. It is also true that children can't always see the goodness behind a command because of their limited understanding. But one day I hope she will understand that my rules are directing her toward God's good and loving rule.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall decorating

This year on September 23rd, the fall equinox, I brought out my bin of seasonal decorations to mark the change in the calendar. I put away the sea glass and shells and birds and brought out my little stash of fall decorations. Most of them went up in the living room, since the dining room is still under construction right now. I love marking the seasons in some way, and this little bit of decorating was a satisfying ritual for me anyway.

Now that the evenings are dark, it's nice to light the candles and think warm and cozy thoughts.

Here is half of the shelf in the daylight

A tribute to oak trees!

"Reef!" (This is what Arden calls it)

Glass maple leaf - crafted on PEI!

My delightful little hedgehog! He always oversees the fall decorating.

Lit by candles

This candle holder creates beautiful light patterns on the wall

More candlelight - I need to find some more thin candles for that brass holder

This little mouse sits cheekily on the funny corner cupboard

Just hanging around

The whole shelf lit up

Maple by candlelight

Here's the current set up of the living room - the rug is a recent second-hand find

Thankful in the kitchen!

So there's a peek at my fall decorating! Do you have anything decked out for fall?


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

We had a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend! It was warm and sunny and full of delicious things. On Saturday we went apple picking, followed by a turkey dinner with some new friends. Monday we watched the church guys play football, followed by another turkey dinner with more friends! It was a full weekend :)

Apple picking

It really was a perfect fall day. Warm, golden sunlight, the smell of fall, the crunch of apples . . . I could have spent hours wandering around the orchard! Last year Arden slept through apple picking. This year she was running down the rows, munching on apples, riding on apple wagons and throwing apples around.

Thanksgiving Monday

Arden watched her first football game and tried out her own football skills!

Arden's attempt to pacify Joaquin after stealing the football from him!

Just a quick nap while waiting for dinner to be ready!

We are thankful people indeed.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Micah's Birthday

We celebrated Micah's birthday on Tuesday. Here are a few pics of the festivities!

Arden making faces while waiting for cake!

Daddy's little cutie

Here comes the cake

It's on fire!

How many candles are on that cake???

He's going to need a deep breath to blow all those out...

Mmmmmm, candy

Micah's present - an apple peeler!

The birthday boy and his little girl
A happy birthday indeed!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Ma's Wisdom

I recently re-read the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read that series over and over as a child, but it's been at least 10 years since I've jumped into the world of the Ingalls family. I think it was just as enjoyable as an adult!

While reading Little Town on the Prairie last week, a little passage took my attention. The family has been fighting off spreading weeds and a flock of blackbirds from destroying their crops. One afternoon, Ma and Laura are sewing and Pa is out in the field. Laura looks out the window.

"The prairie looks so beautiful and gentle," she said. "but I wonder what it will do next. Seems like we have to fight it all the time."
"This earthly life is a battle," said Ma.  "If it isn't one thing to contend with, it's another. It always has been so, and it always will be. The sooner you make up your mind to that, the better off you are, and the more thankful for your pleasures."

I don't think many of us have to contend with life the same way farmers and settlers used to. We're used to things being easy, and if they're not, we complain. We feel like life's not fair if a little extra elbow grease is required. Part of the problem is that we've been conditioned to expect things to be easy. I think this expectation has a lot to do with my attitude sometimes.

If I look at life as something that should unfold smoothly before me at every step, then hardships produce resentment and ungratefulness. And I focus on the hardships. If I look at life as a battle worthy to be fought, then pleasures become all the more sweeter and gratefulness has room to grow. And I focus on the blessings.

So this post is really just a challenge to me to heed Ma's wisdom, get ready to roll up my sleeves, and be thankful for every pleasure that comes my way today.


{pretty, happy, funny, real} on October 7

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Brought to you by the ladies of Like Mother, Like Daughter


Upon hearing that I like "old things," someone at our church recently gave me this antique butter churn! Isn't it wonderful? I think it's pretty.

I just love the earthy tones.

This one was made in Medicine Hat, Alberta. You can also see that it's cracked, but that's ok, because I don't plan on churning any butter in it! But I think it will make a lovely addition to our farmhouse-style dining room . . . if we ever finish painting it!

The handles are still in good shape.

Arden finds it fascinating. She likes to peer inside, though the contents never change - some antique dust and a dead spider! No, I haven't got around to cleaning it out yet!


Here are some of our wooden blocks, a combination of Plan Toys and Smiling Tree Toys.

Arden likes to build block towers.

But what she really loves is knocking them over!


Micah bought a bottle of sparkling apple cider (non-alcoholic) for our anniversary. Arden saw the bottle on the table and wanted to try some.

Her reaction was priceless . . .


The mornings are getting chilly and a nice hot bowl of porridge sure starts the day off right.

Stirring with a spurtle from Scotland just makes it seem more real!

I like mine with brown sugar and milk, of course. Micah puts butter on his instead of milk! Isn't that weird? I had never heard of that till I met him.

round button chicken

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