Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An excellent woman, who can find?

I was talking to a friend recently about the importance of finding creative ways to help "pad" the family income by working from home. As I've been thinking about it since then, I've come to the conclusion that I believe that women, no matter what the family income situation might be, ought to be involved in some way, no matter how small, in bringing home a little bacon on the side. Now, hear me out. I'm not talking about a big career, or hours spent away from home and children. I'm talking about using your God-given gifts in the context of your home and family to make a little money.

For starters, it's a great way to involve your children in the whole "bring money in, sending it back out" thing. Obviously Dad is the primary provider, but they don't actually get to see that in motion. You know what I mean? Children can learn a lot about the value of money when they actually see what it takes to bring it in and then see how quickly it can be spent. And I think they can participate and be paid appropriately for their participation.

In addition, there's something to be said for a little nest egg in your top drawer. Maybe it's only ten dollars, but I know that when I have ten dollars of babysitting money in my Paypal account, I don't have to feel guilty about taking a little to use for the extras-- a new blouse for the Christmas Party, for example :) It keeps me from feeling sorry for myself when things are a little tight. Or at least, it ought too!

As I was thinking about all this, I decided perhaps I ought to consult the Scriptures before solidifying my opinion, so I did. Voila! Good old Proverbs 31! Read it and tell me what you think of my ideas :)

10 An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.

12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

13 She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.

14 She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.

15 She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.

18 She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.

19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.

20 She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.

21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.

25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.

26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:

29 “Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”

30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

31 Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.

Man! I just love that passage! What more can you say? Isn't that the woman we all want to be? The woman we want our sons to marry? It covers pretty much everything.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Well, I am still here, in case you were wondering. But I've just been doing other things than blogging. Obviously. I haven't even been READING blogs, which is highly unusual. Most of the time, even when I'm not writing on my own blog, I'm at least reading all of yours. But this time I've completely dropped out of the blogging world. I've no intention of quitting altogether, but people keep having babies and birthdays and then there's this thing called Christmas and I've been sewing and crafting like a mad-woman for the past month now and I still haven't caught up.

I've been wanting to show pictures of what I've been making, but I keep finishing them only just as we're about to run out the door to the birthday party, while shoving the thing (whatever it may be) into the gift bag. Hence, no pictures. I really have been quite productive, though. I promise.

And there's no end in sight, either, since we're having friends from college this week for a Christmas Party/game night and I've got a few house projects to finish up first. We see these people on a fairly regular basis, about every...say... four to six months and I have this compulsion to have a little something more done on the house every time they come lest they think we've given up on the thing. So far I've managed to keep it up for..what? Five year now? Don't know how much longer I can hold out! This time I intend to finish up the last of the trim painting in the dining room and (hopefully. possibly.) paint and replace hardware on the final bank of cabinets in the kitchen. I canNOT believe this is the week Susi decides to conveniently be "out of town". Blah.

Plus, going back for a moment to my excuses for not blogging lately, I've got a lot of serious stuff on my mind right now that I'm not yet at liberty to mention here. The fact that I can't talk about them here yet has the effect of making those topics the only thing I can think of when I sit down to write. On that note, you can be praying for our family. We have some major life decisions to make in the next few months.

Be assured, as soon as I can I will reveal all here on the blog, but in the meantime I may not be as regular with my posting. But please keep checking in on me! You never know when I might post some pics of the cutest kids in the world ;)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My children are OCD

I have spent the last hour trying to get Judah to ignore the fact that his pants are too short and his sweater keeps riding up a little and GO TO SLEEEEEEP already. What am I doing wrong??

It's been a long day. Already. And it's only 2:00.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I Heart Faces: Sweet Dreams

It's been a while since I participated at I Heart Faces. I've been so busy and somewhat unmotivated to take pics for a while. But this week's theme just sucked me in and I couldn't resist sharing one of my favorite pictures of Sofi. It's not the best shot I've ever gotten, but it's precious to me :)

This shot is of her on my sister's wedding day! The festivities of the day had kept this tired little flower girl from her nap, but she curled up on the ring pillow, under a tablecloth to catch some zzzz's right before the big march down the aisle. Look at that golden hair! Remember those days????


Friday, December 4, 2009

Apparently Seven is the new Thirteen

Those of you who know me on Facebook have seen me recently complaining that Sofi has entered the teenage years waaaaaaaaaay ahead of schedule. My sister (who is all Conspiracy Theory these days) says it's from all the Rbst in the milk we drink. I suspect it's just being an only child for so long has accelerated her development. I imagine my mother would call it Karma. Except she might be more tactful about it than that.

All that aside, what I really need to know right now is how the HECK am I going to survive the next eleven years? Or let's be optimistic and assume that I can continue to home school and she graduates at sixteen and we'll say nine years.

Oh Lord have Mercy.

Going back to my mother for a moment... She was really great during the teenage years. I look back now and I honestly don't know how she was able to keep a straight face during most of it. Or a sound mind either, for that matter. I wrote poetry as a teenager, people. And I cried. Every day. For different reasons-- none of them very good, really.

And now I find myself having passed on the Extreme Teen Gene, but without having inherited the Dealing with Teens Gene from my mother and I'm in deep do-do.

Last weekend, in an attempt to build bridges, we went to get a "grow-up haircut". She's getting too "old" for pigtails and braids, so I helped her pick out a nice layer cut, chin length and then we bonded over a soft pretzel. It looked nice, we were happy, the pretzel was tasty.

And now. Now she spends a majority of her free time in front of a mirror brushing it as flat against her head as she can, wetting it down with water and plastering it to her scull because she doesn't like "all the fluffy and the curly-- it needs to be straight and smooth, Mom."

This morning I curled the ends under for her and she wept WEPT afterwards when she saw all that luscious volume-- volume that grown women go to extreme lengths to procure for themselves. And all wasted on a seven-year-old teenager who thinks smooth and straight is It. And then, as she flounced around the bathroom bemoaning her "poofy" hair, she whacked her head into a shelf and BAWLED. Real tears pouring down her face. And I just laughed so hard!

I know. Bad mommy. I tried, really I did!

And now I realize how hard it is going to be to let her grow up into her own person, with her own likes and dislikes and opinions and preferences. Very hard. I want her to be me. Me, but better. Me with all the parts I don't like about myself ironed carefully out and replaced with the parts I like about J. But she isn't me. Not at all. She's Her-- something new and different and beautiful that God has wrought. It's very sweet and very hard to have a daughter.

So, Mom, in case you're reading, I want to apologize for the bright purple pansy pantsuit in ninth grade. I now know how much it must have cost you to let me go out in public wearing that and I appreciate it. And thanks for reading all my poems and not laughing at me. And if you want to do it all again, you can have Sofi for the next nine years....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Friends rock

The Lord has blessed me with an amazing network of friends. I tell you what, sometimes I am just amazed. Tonight, for example, I had a difficult decision to make and an email to write. But between my sister and a friend thousands of miles away, I got the email written and the matter resolved.

I just don't know what I'd do without y'all.

Y'all are like Hur the handholder. Remember that Bible story? As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites prevailed, but when he tired and his hands dropped, the battle went to the enemy. So Aaron and Hur stood on either side and held up Moses' hands and the Israelites won the day.

Not that I'm Moses, or anything. But like Moses, I have a role to play and responsibilities I must fulfill and I have, by God's mercy, a group of women in my life that I know I can call on to uphold my failing hands when times get tough or I need advice or counsel. I can also count on them to hold me accountable in my roles as wife and mother. I even have the confidence to complain to them, knowing that, when appropriate, they'll call me out and set me straight :)

I wish for all of you friends like I have!

Thank you so much, it means the world to me.

I give you....


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Candlelight, Scrabble and a lovely glass of the Buble: or "How We Almost Burned Down the House Accompanied by Some Light Jazz"

One of my favorite blogs on my blogroll is Ordinary Days. Sarah is an ex-Marine (I think. Forgive me if I got the wrong branch of the military-- which, I understand, is a cardinal sin) and mom who writes with humor and pep. I kinda borrowed some of her ideas here...

Those of you with kids know that keeping a marriage...interesting, let's say...can be something of a challenge and requires effort, planning and creativity. Am I right? Yes, I am. I like to think that in our marriage we implement all of the above and have maintained just the right mixture of sugar and spice.

A short while ago, in the interest of maintaining said interesting marriage, I put the kids to bed and prepared to greet J (coming home late from teaching the night class) with some candles, wine, a little Michael Buble and the suggestion of a nice, romantic evening of... Scrabble. (go on, check it out, i'll wait. the rest of this won't make any sense unless you go and read. ready now? ok)

It was really nice. I pulled out all the stops. I had candles on the tables, the bookshelves, the floor and a roaring fire in the stove. We had wine and music and appropriate Scrabble-playing attire. Very appropriate. The children were asleep in their beds. J arrived home. The game was on.

I don't think I mentioned that this whole episode occurred during our bout with the flu, did I? Children don't sleep very soundly when they have the flu.

"Mama. Why are there blankets and candles all over the living room?"

"Oh, well. Mama and Daddy are having a little... picnic. Go back to bed."

(thank God for robes)

A little while later, sounds of coughing and choking and lack of breathing swing us into action with the steamy shower treatment for that croupy cough-- you know how it goes.

A little while after that, once the wine and the jazz have RE-worked their magic, just as the Scrabble game is getting veeery interesting... the candlelight is soft, the comforter is cushy, the... whaaa?? What is up with that candle over there on the floor... uh oh. Wow. Hey, it looks like maybe... yep. The floor is on fire. Lookee there.

I really wish I had pictures of that fire. I mean, how often do you get to see pictures of the very beginnings of a house burning down, right? Usually it's all....


But who ever photographs the first few flames, right? But, while I am not above postponing the dousing of a kitchen fire for the purposes of photographing it for the blog, I draw the line at a flaming living room floor. Beside, I tend to try and keep the camera as far away from our games of Scrabble as I can.

We went on to put out the floor fire and Scrabble was resumed. It was a good game and nothing was lost due to the frequent and traumatic interruptions. Like I said, it takes Effort, Planning and Creativity. And also a sense of humor and some perseverance.

From Floor Fire

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Well, lookee there...

I have a new article up at Blissfully Domestic! Come over and listen in to a F Family Christmas favorite and tell us all about what you're reading this Holiday season!

In other news, My carpel tunnel is doing a little better, but I'm still restricting my keyboard use. If you're just visiting from BD, hi there! Sorry you're coming by while things are a little bare around here. Things were really cracking a week ago, what with suggestions for raising your children in the Faith and the story of how J and I met. But now with the carpel tunnel thing... well, I'm just taking it easy for now. But hey! Click on the "Follow" button over there and you'll be sure to catch the next wave of Interesting! :)