Saturday, September 28, 2013

Birthday Girl

 Long ago, back when this blog was born, this child was called Tigger.

The bounce, the red-ish hair, the attitude, not to mention how glad we were that she was the only one (Remember Tigger's song on the original Disney movie? "I'm the only one!"), it all added up.

These days, lo these seven years later, I'm not sure it fits.

She's pretty quiet, our Tigger. The bounce is only at certain times. The attitude is under control. The challenges of Tigger at 2 (and 3 and 4 and 5...) are mostly past tense.

One thing about this blog being mostly about my family, well, it's easier to blog about the younger folks. The funny things they say or do are bloggable and they are proud of them.

The thing about parenting older children is that they're still funny creatures. They still say (and do) funny things.

But the moments become more protected. When they open up and talk about their lives, their dreams, or their fears, those times aren't just funny. They're poignant and special. I wish I could blog them, because this blog helps me remember things, but somehow I just can't.

I can tell you that this child is unique. She is talented. She is quiet (most of the time). She needs time alone to recharge (like her mom). Her favorite present today (from her aunt & uncle): a password protected journal with a spot to store small treasures, complete with invisible ink and special light. That tells you a lot about Tigger right there.

She is funny and complex and incredibly sweet and yet still gingery (like her hair). She has a way with words. She definitely has a way with the little folks. For someone who can be impatient with the rest of us, she has deep wells of patience with her toddler sister and her baby brother. She has what used to be called "a knack" with babies.

So, I'm not sure where that leaves us as far as her blog name goes. She has grown and matured greatly, but she's still our Tigger and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Weekend Links - September 28, 2013

Today Tigger, who was but a young lass of 2 when I started this blog, is nine. NINE. Nine as in, almost TEN, nine.

My children are growing up on me. (And I sure have had this blog a long time too, but that's a story for another day.) Anyway, on to the links for this week.

Spiritual / Inner Life
Marriage Parenting
Social Media
This post may be linked here:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Little Miss Three

 Three. Three?

How can this be?

(Pardon the weak Seuss imitation. My brain, some time back, left on a vacation.)

She's little and pert and sure of herself.

We've called her a sprite, or a pixie, an elf.

Ne'er a dull moment, wherever she goes.

Sent here to keep everyone on their toes.

Cuddly and loving, gives sweet hugs and kisses.

Bossy, defiant, too big for her britches.

Clever with screens, smart as a whip.

Watched closely or she gives us the slip.

Looks up to those sisters, loves that sweet brother,

Brings so much joy to her father and mother.

Don't know what we'd do without her really,

The one, the only, our baby girl: Miss Lili.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Weekend Links - September 21, 2013

My apologies for the lateness of this post. An Autumn cough / cold / sinus infection / whatever but just please go away already has been sending me to bed early these days. And then my mom and a friend and I tried to have a yard sale this morning. I say tried because it rained in the early part, and even though we managed to get things set up after that, yard salers were few and far between today.

Oh, well. Goes that way sometimes. At least I got rid of some stuff and donated some more. (Enough to fill a mini-van!) De-cluttering is always a nice feeling, no matter how it happens.

Anyway, on to the links!

Spiritual / Inner Life
Marriage / Parenting
Education / Reading
Facebook / Social Media
So, what caught your eye this week?
    This post may be linked here:

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    Treasures in Wipes Containers (or Earthen Vessels)

    She carries the box with both hands, this treasure box. To some eyes it might be just a diaper wipe container. To her eyes, this is a treasure box. This is where she keeps her treasures safe. Safe, away from the inevitable sisters, safe from losing, safe from forgetting.

    She opens her box. She wants to show me. (And, oh, may I always realize what a privilege it is to be trusted with her treasures.)

    "These are two pretty rocks I found. This is my doll's necklace. This is a broken necklace. This is a Canada quarter and this is an America quarter. This is an Indian Head." (Note: that last thing is some sort of shiny, metal image of a Native American in full headdress. I am sightly afraid it came from a tobacco product or something like that.)

    She sorts them out in front of us. I admire her treasures. She starts picking them up again, ready to stow them back in their diaper wipe treasure box.

    "These are just treasures because I found them," she tells me.

    These are treasures because I found them.

    I am not special. I feel this more at certain times. I recently told my husband I used to feel like a "bright young thing". I had expectations of what I would do, what I would become, what I would be.

    And here I am at 32 and I have neither done nor been those things. I may be young in comparison to some, but I am not young or bright in comparison to others. I may not yet be old (whatever that means) but I certainly feel more like an "ordinary, not young thing" than a bright, young talent.

    I am not special.

    But here's what God whispered to me (and it's funny because He used my 6 year old and her treasure box to do it): you are my treasure because I sought you and found you. I sent my son to seek and save you. You are mine. Your name is written on my hands. I have loved you with an everlasting love. I chose you before the world began. You are mine. I commended my love to you while you were still a sinner. While you were still my enemy, I sent my son to reconcile you to me. You are mine. You are a treasure because of who you belong to, not because of what you are. You Are Mine.
    2 Corinthians 4: 6-11
    For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
    But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
    We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
    Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
    Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
    For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

    I still have goals and plans for what I would like to accomplish in whatever time God grants me on Earth. There are still dreams left to dream. But whatever I accomplish, whatever I finish, whatever I do, whatever I am, the glory must be to and for God alone.

    Saturday, September 14, 2013

    Weekend Links - September 14, 2013

    We're spending a few days away right now so I don't have my usual computer. Here are a few links I saved for you, though. (Come rain, snow, sleet or out of town trips, the links post must go on...)

    Spiritual / Inner Life
    Marriage / Parenting / Homeschooling
    Other Stuff
    Wishing you all a very happy Saturday!
    This post is linked here:

    Monday, September 9, 2013

    Book Review - Take Flight

    This is a sweet and encouraging devotional book: nothing too strenuous but full of encouragement. The stories contributed by Robin Jones Gunn and the application provided by her co-author, Cindy Hannan, are all fantastic.

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review but the book, honestly, sat on my bedside table for several days before I picked it up. Sometimes God uses our procrastination to bless us - as it turns out, I started reading this book right when I really needed the encouragement and reminders of His care for me.

    My one quibble with this book is that most of the scripture passages are quoted from The Message. The Message is OK, as paraphrases go, but I want to know what the Bible really says. I kept one of my preferred translations handy before accepting any application from a Bible passage quoted from The Message. (Some passages bear little resemblance, in my opinion, to a more literal translation.)

    That one point aside, I highly recommend this for anyone looking for an easy but encouraging devotional. With just 14 short chapters, you could work through it easily in a month or stretch it out longer by doing one a week in addition to whatever other devotional tools you prefer.

    You don't need to be familiar with The Sisterchicks books by Robin Jones Gunn to enjoy this book. I think I read one years ago but I haven't kept up with the series but this devotional book doesn't require you be familiar with the plots or characters from the series. The true stories in this book are the ones that sink in and resonate.

    Find out more about this book:
    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
    Book cover is an Amazon Affiliate link. Action taken with this link could result in compensation for me.

    Saturday, September 7, 2013

    Weekend Links - September 7, 2013

    We had kind of a crazy week - we visited two sets of great-grandparents, we observed Labor Day by not doing much actual labor, iBoy had his 4 month check up on Tuesday, we started our Wednesday night kid ministries again, we signed some papers for a house we have an offer on, and our oldest had an appointment with her orthodontist to again discuss what to do about her mouth and her distressed tooth.

    Suffice it to say we were off our routine and - except for the visiting grandparents part - slightly out of sorts all week. Wednesday I seriously just wanted to go back to bed and stay there. (You can guess how well that worked out). Schoolwork just sort of drifted - a few things got done but much more didn't. Meals were based on what was at hand (fortunately we got to eat with grandparents two days this week!) and I felt behind and inadequate all week.

    But it's Saturday now and the week is almost over. I'm so ready for a fresh week. It won't be exactly routine, we have a TN trip and more visits with other grandparents, but it has to be better than this week.

    Now for the links (and there are a LOT of them, so settle in):
    Spiritual / Inner Life
     Marriage / Parenting
    • Concepts for Kids: When to Stop Organizing by Rachel guest posting at I'm an Organizing Junkie. Good reminder here.
    • Challenge Your Youth by Alvin Reid. This post is somewhat directed to church workers but it certainly has applications for parents as well.
    • Getting Your Child Ready to Leave by Susan Yates. It starts now, even if your child won't be "leaving" for several years. (Related to this concept: I had a "how to sew on a button" lesson with my oldest yesterday. More practice required but it's a start.)
    • A Nation of Wimps by Hara Estroff Marano. I may have posted this before but it is kind of related to the above post.
    • Marriage and Birth Order by Corrie Anne. The Birth Order stuff interests me but I don't think it's quite as accurate as other personality measurements. For instance, my husband is more of an Only (because his only brother is quite a bit younger) and I am a textbook Oldest but our marriage works incredibly well. I can't imagine how my marrying a Baby (the best match-up according to Leman) would work at all. A Baby of the Family Husband would drive me insane.
    • Holding My Faith Firmly Instead of My Children by Sue Birdseye. So hard.
    • How Do You Keep Your House Clean With 5 Children? by Amy at The Finer Things in Life. I loved this post.
    • The Introverted Mother by Eowyn Stoddard. Yes. This is where I live. 
    Homeschooling / Education
    Pins of the Week (no Taylor Swift here!):
    IKEA Furniture for Barbies. How has it taken them this long to think of this?!

    I love everything about this room:

    So, what caught your eye this week?
    This post is linked up here:

    Come and join us with your links posts or just see what other people want to share this week.

    Tuesday, September 3, 2013

    Books of 2013 - August

    For a little bit in August it was looking like I wouldn't finish very many books. By the 12th I had only finished three. Three! For some folks that would be OK but that is fairly a-typical for me. Anyway, by the twenty-second I started getting back in my reading groove and finished seven more, bringing my total to a respectable ten.

    That was a close one.

    What were the books? Glad you asked:

    Sunday, September 1, 2013

    Four Months

    Oh, my beautiful boy.

    Four months. Four months?!

    This right here is what I go through to get one picture for your monthly photo shoot.
    And that's not counting...the rest. (I refuse to list the complete number on the grounds that I may incriminate myself and you.)

    You're still a very zen little fellow. You forgive us for the crazy ways we dress you up. And you can pretty much sleep anywhere, any time:

    Unless it's the middle of the night. In that case, it's near Mom or nothing.
    We haven't had your check-up yet, so I'm not sure how much you weigh. My right arm is definitely getting stronger from toting you around in your car-seat, though.

    You can roll over both ways now, so tummy time is not quite the torture it used to be.

    You smile and laugh and blow bubbles and drool and stick out your tongue and clutch your blanket and so much more. And everything you do is the cutest thing we've ever seen. Because you are the cutest thing we've ever seen. Each one of your sisters is head over heels in love with you. There are actual fights about whose turn it is to hold you.
    Your name means laughter and it is fitting. You make me laugh when I feel like sighing. You help me get up in the mornings when I'd rather pull the covers over my head and stay there. You center me when we're nursing and it's just the two of us. Your blue eyes meet mine, you smile that lopsided smile, and I know you are the most fantastic, unexpected thing God has ever entrusted to me and I feel unbelievably blessed.