Monday, March 26, 2007

Children's Book Monday

This will be my last post for awhile. I'll miss posting, but I'll enjoy the time I will now have to do other things.

The Lord gave me a wonderful confirmation this past weekend of our decision to move near Will's folks in the "country". We went to see my folks and spent the day Saturday at my Granny's and then my Aunt's house. They live just like we will-a country setting, and a quiet, simpler life-and they're also just a stone's throw from each other. Well, I can't tell you how much fun Ella had. She was getting hot in her overalls, so eventually stripped down to just her diaper, and then to her birthday suit. And can you believe it....our dainty, little "I-don't-ever-like-to-be-dirty" girl played in the dirt and loved it! She scooped up dirt into a bowl, then she just started picking it up with her hands and throwing it on her feet or into the air. It was so lovely to watch. And I just kept thinking that soon she'll be able to play like this every day. God is good.

Now with a little sadness, I begin my last review...

The Little Sleepyhead

Story by Fran Manushkin
Pictures by Leonid Gore

A long time ago, when the world was so young that all the rocks were little pebbles and all the chicks were still in their eggs, there lived a Little Sleepyhead.

So begins this delightful tale of little sleepyhead who plays all day and at night is very, very tired but can't find anywhere to sleep. He sees the squirrels sleeping in the trees, so he decides to try that. "He closed his eyes, but did he sleep?" No, too bumpy. He sees the frogs sleeping on lily pads; maybe I can try that he thinks. "But did he," he fell in the water. This refrain is repeated with various animals until he finally finds the perfect resting spot and the perfect animal to cuddle with for a wonderful night's sleep. I can't give it away-you'll just have to go check it out of the libary for yourself. With the soft, pastel illustrations, I think your toddler will love it!

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Will and I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. The Holy Spirit had already been convicting me of my time on the internet. Too much of it. At the cost of spending time w/Him and w/my husband in the evenings. I've tried curbing it, but it's an obsession. Checking blogs-finding new blogs, writing posts, reading comments, writing comments, etc. And Ella still has no scrapbook-just one that's online. And that's not exactly what I had in mind. I need to spend the time while she's napping to work on that among other things. As much as I'll hate to lose the contact w/my wonderful family and friends, we're cutting back on this technology for now at least. I keep reminding myself, there's always the library. Internet is free there if I just have to have my blog fix or research something. And I may occasionally update my blog from there, but probably not much in the next few months as we have lots to do...

Will and I have been praying about building on his family's old home site.(I'm not saying the name of the city for safety reasons.) Most likely, Will will be working at his old job-yes, that would be a good 50 minute commute-but there aren't any geotech firms where his family lives. He's going to try to get them to agree to just a 4 day work week (working 10 hours a day); that way, we'll see him more than we do now. But the best part is I'll have family nearby for support, for adult interaction, etc. I sooooo need that. I get quite depressed here by myself all day--thus why I turn to the internet so much! I'm quite excited about Ella saying in the near future, "Mom, I'm going up to grandma's!" And to top it all off, she only has a quaint, beautiful country lane to travel to get there!

So, how did we come to this conclusion. Actually from reading
Better Off
Flipping The Switch On Technology

By Eric Brende

I highly recommend this-go pick up a copy from your library today! Will's wanted to do something like this forever but I haven't exactly been on board. But after reading this book and seeing how Eric and his wife had a much better quality of life living on a farm and having a close community, I wanted it so much. Eric (an MIT graduate) and his wife Mary actually have an experiment-live among the Minimites for 18 months (no, not the Mennonites or the Amish-he actually made up the term "Minimites" for them as they are even stricter than the others and use no machinery whatsoever.) They've even invented their own contraptions for threshing their wheat and for getting running water in their homes. What Eric found was that this community actually had more time on their hands for socializing than we do w/all our modern technology. It's such a fascinating read because it it reveals how we don't need so many of the things our cultural dictates as mandatory.

In one passage I particularly like from the book (from the chapter, "The Sounds of Silence"), Eric is reading The Education of Henry Adams one evening (by kerosene lamp light, of course) and finally understands why he could so easily read the book now but yet had not been able to get past the first few pages while in college.

[Henry Adams] had lived within a culture whose movements were still largely limited by the speed of horses; the ambling cadences of his writing preserved this pace. Having taught medieval history at Harvard besides, his verbal nuances hearkened back to an earlier epoch still and seemed to echo from the deep wells of time, the vaults of the great cathedrals.

This was the secret: to grasp his meaning, you had to be living it. Not merely your thoughts, but your various daily duties, the material accoutrements by which you performed them, had to fold together in a quiet rhythm, an interconnected unity.

And this explained not only why time moved more slowly but also why we had more of it, why we were able to relax and read the way we were doing right now; in the absence of fast-paced gizmos, ringing phones, alarm clocks, television, radios, and cars, we could simply take ou time. In being slower, time is more capacious. The event is only in the moment. By speeding through life with technology, you reduce what any given moment can hold. Buy slowing down, you expand it.

Shortcuts lead to emergency mending sessions in order to piece back in what was cut out, to lengthen what was shortened: Computer users, cramped in a cubicle all day long, jogging around the block. Bureaucrats and financiers, zooming ahead along their career paths, then reversing gears to attend school concerts, ball games, and parent meetings. Captives of the technological environment fleeing for brief weekends to mountain, beaches, and rustic cabins.

So true, don't you think? I could discuss this book forever, but I need to move on; otherwise no one will finish reading this post b/c it will be too long.

So back to our decision-for us moving to *** is the closest we have to farm life and family, so that's why we're doing it. We want to have a big garden and maybe chickens and goats in the future. We're planning on building a wood house-similar to that of the mountain cabin. We wanted a log one, but then checked out the prices-way too high, so wood it is. We want something rustic but we also want to finance the least amount as possible for only 15-years and put extra on it every month to have it paid off in 10 years or less. We want a simpler life. We've been looking for ways to cut back on spending b/c ideally the less we have to spend every month, the less Will has to work and the more time we can spend together as a family. We've already cut back on car insurance (almost $400/yr savings-yes, we're still covered, but found things we were spending that we didn't need) and of course, the internet ($43/month). The next will probably be cell phones and Dish-but right now we have heavy penalties for canceling before our contract is up, so we're waiting several more months on that.

I'm scared about this new adventure but also excited. I'm glad God didn't give up working on me. And whenever I get exhausted from trying to figure out all the details, God gently rebukes me as I sing to Ella from The Lullaby Bible-her new favorite book!

(To be sung to the tune of All Through The Night)

Hush my child,
Cease your worries,
God cares for you.
He feeds the birds
and clothes the lilies,
God cares for you.

Soft the lovely birds are winging,
Sweet the flowers who hear their singing.
Twilight falls with hope still ringing:
God cares for you.

Thank you for your prayers-please continue. We're still waiting on details to be worked out w/Will's job and then of course we need to get this house ready to sell.

P.S. I'll be posting one more time before we close out our account.
P.P.S. I failed to mention how I found out about Better Off. It was by reading this post on Amy's blog. The irony does not escape me. :-)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Children's Book Monday

I'm sorry I haven't written since last Monday; a lot has been going on. Actually I may not be posting much longer but that's another story. I'll be writing a post on that later this week to explain. (No, I'm not pregnant.) We have a lot of decisions to make in the near future, so right now if you could just be in prayer, we'd greatly appreciate it. Thank you!

Now on to the review!

No More Diapers for Ducky
Story by Bernette Ford
Pictures by Sam Williams

The story time leader read this a few weeks ago, and I immediately thought "Yay, maybe this will convince Ella to use her potty!" She does sit on it a lot more now (even w/no clothes on-which she used to be afraid to do), but as of yet, no actual pottying has occured. Regardless, the book is such a fun read; the pictures are simple and adorable. First Ducky comes to Piggy's house; Piggy's there but is in the bathroom. Ducky knocks on the door. I always knock on the book at this point and Ella loves it! "I can't come out now-I'm on the potty," Piggy says. So Ducky plays with Piggy's toys and reads his books while she's waiting on him. Later, Ducky realizes her diaper feels wet and cold and wriggles out of it and kicks it across the floor. I know this could pose a problem-but as of yet, Ella hasn't taken any diapers off (except for this incident a long time ago and that was way before Ducky book). Ducky knocks again. "I have to use the potty." "You can't use the potty; you wear diapers, says Piggy." "Not anymore," says Ducky." The last page shows Ducky on the potty reading a book. A delightful read regardless of your child's potty-training status. :-) Happy reading!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Children's Book Monday

I'm so excited to be joining Elise at A Path Made Straight for Children's Book Monday. Obviously my choices will be geared toward toddlers, mainly a vivacious 20-month old named Ella. Since I've been going to story time at our local library, I'm discovering all kinds of good reads. Of course they display some books and read a couple, and then I also just browse the children's shelves for as long as Ella will allow me. I usually leave w/at least 6 good books for her and 2 for me. Of course, I always have to renew mine...

I have to tell you how much my little girl loves books. Oftentimes the first thing she'll sign now when she wakes up from naps or even in the morning is "book." Even before signing "milk." Now that's what I call a book addiction! During our reading time, she'll often lean back and cross her hands behind her head-lounge baby. And she always wants a book in her hand while nursing as well.

I discovered an easy no-fuss way to get her to go down for naps too. Now I just choose 3 books and place them in her crib w/her. As I shut the door, she's already got one on her lap and is studying each page. Usually by the time she peruses them a few times, she gets tired and goes to sleep.

And I just have to share this story that happened yesterday. Ella was looking at a Publix advertisement for their Preschool Pals. On the front page was a cute, green dinosaur. She suddenly got very excited and started pointing towards the den. "No, Ella, we don't have a dinosaur." But she was persistent, so I carried her into the den. Then she began pointing towards the hall, then into her room. Once there, she directed me to her book shelf. She began pulling out one book after the other, apparently looking for something. Finally, it hit me. About a month ago, she had The Best Pet of All on her shelf. I had checked it out from the library after reading Elise's review. She obviously remembered that dinosaur on the cover and wanted to see him again to prove to me that we do indeed have a dinosaur in our house! It was heartbreaking to have to say, "No, Ella, we don't have that one anymore-it's at the library." Luckily, that seemed to pacify her, and I was left to marvel at my little girl's memory!

Now on to my first review. (Don't worry, I won't have such long introductions all the time!)

Written and Illustrated by Nicola Smee

This is an adorable book. An easy favorite with it's simple but fun storyline and large, bright illustrations. It tells the story of cat, dog, pig, and duck who all want a ride on Mr. Horse. Ella always giggles when Mr. Horse says "Up you get" to each animal's request. After the animals ride for a bit, they ask Mr. Horse to go faster. They eventually fall off in a haystack, but have no fear, no one is injured. Of course they immediately all shout "Again!" And off they go, "Clip-Clop, Clippity-Clop."
I'm sure your toddler will love it as much as mine did! Happy reading!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Daddy's crackers

Ella loves these peanut butter crackers, but she doesn't get to eat too many b/c I buy them for Will's lunches. I often tell her, "No, Ella, we can't eat those; those are for Daddy." Today, while Will was napping on the couch, she brought a pack to me. I told her the same thing; "These are Daddy's crackers." She promptly took the first pack and placed it on his tummy. Then she went to the pantry and got the other 3 and did the same thing. How sweet!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

10 New Things Ella Can Do

1. Blow Bubbles. She has a monkey wand and constantly beats her chest to remind me that monkey is outside and that's where she wants to be. She loves it when we're outside sitting on the patio chairs blowing bubbles. She feels like such a grown-up I'm sure sitting in a big chair like her Mommy. She'll point to her chair, and I'll say, "Ella's sitting in her chair." She'll point to mine and I'll say, "Mommy's sitting in her chair." Then she'll point to a vacant chair, and I'll say, "Nobody's sitting in that chair." She thinks that's so funny.

2. Operate her Jack-in-the-Box all by herself. She still opens her mouth wide every time he pops out!

3. Ride her purple stick horse that her Aunt Marna got her for Christmas and push his ear to make him neigh.

4. Say "Turtle." She pronouces the 2 syllables so distinctly- "Tur-tul"-it's adorable. She started saying it once she saw the beginning of Over the Hedge. She was fascinated w/that turtle! I personally loved the squirrel the best. :-)

5. Is trying to say other words like "doll" and "ball." Not quite there yet. Making the first sounds of the word though. She's got the "Pu" sound down for "please" too. And she's said some new consonant sounds-for instance, the "h" sound after I told her something was "hot." Her latest is saying her best "Choo-Choo" when she hears the train. Of course her favorite way of communicating is still signing, but she's pointing at new things and wanting names. Today we were outside and she wanted to know about the hose and the drain pipe.

6. Can stack 5 blocks on top of each other! But her favorite activity is putting a couple blocks on Mommy's head and watching them fall off.

7. Can climb up and slide down her new 4-foot slide all by herself. We opted for this right now b/c who knows when Will's going to have the time to build a nice wooden set.

8. She hasn't used her potty yet, but she loves flushing the toilet after I use it. Sometimes she'll flush when no one has even used it.

9. Climb on Rusty (her rocking horse) all by herself and press his ear to make him "clop,clop" and "neiggggh." Will taught her how to put one foot in the stirrup and swing herself up. She doesn't always make it, but you can't fault her for not trying. :-)

10. She's been saying "Moo" for a cow, "Bawk-Bawk" for a chicken, and "Baa" for a sheep for a long time but now she can look like a chicken as well by putting her hands under her armpits for wings and moving her head in and out.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Tagged by Liz!

1. What is your occupation? Homemaker

2. What color are your socks right now? Cute pink slipper socks that Emmie got me-I love them! So comfortable.

3. What are you listening to right now? the hum of the computer.

4. What was the last thing that you ate? scrambled eggs/bacon sandwich for breakfast.

5. Can you drive a stick shift? no

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Let's see, right now, I'm feeling like a vibrant blue would be nice...

7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Nikki-a friend from church-told me about another person in our Bible Fellowship class who just went into pre-term labor-please pray for her (Stephanie). She's 27 weeks right now.

8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? yes, lots and lots!

9. How old are you today? 30 years, 7 months, and 5 days.

10. Favorite drink: I have 3 favorites depending on my mood: water, sweet tea, diet coke

11. What is your favorite sport to watch? beach volleyball

12. Have you ever dyed your hair? no, just got highlights one time and no one could even tell!

13. Pets? no; when Ella gets a little older, we're planning on getting her a puppy.

14. Favorite food? chicken

15. What was the last movie you watched? Not hallmark? Prestige-and loved it-kept thinking about it for days

16. Favorite holiday? Christmas

17. What do you do to vent anger? Oh, I'm very mature when I get mad. If I'm really frustrated, I scream and beat on the floor (if I'm sitting down) or on a desk or something else nearby if I'm standing up (don't worry-never on Ella). I do this for a few seconds and then feel immensely better.

18. What were your favorite toys as a kid? Scruffy, a stuffed dog; my First Barbie (cute pink/white skirt one)

19. What is your favorite: Spring or Fall? I like them both for different reasons. Love the leaves/color in the fall and the crisp weather, and of course, love the flowers in the spring. I'm an indecisive person, remember?

20. Hugs or kisses? hugs!

21. Cherry or Blueberry? Blueberry! I love putting frozen blueberries in my cereal.

22. Do you want your friends to do this survey too? if they want to

23. Who is most likely to respond? Emmie?

24. Who is least likely to respond? Erin, because she has absolutely no time w/2 kids and twins on the way.

25. Living arrangements? 3/2 down south, on .8 acre lot that backs to woods.

26. When was the last time you cried? teared up reading Karanena's comment on my last post. Really cried? That last time I can clearly remember was when Ella was about 2 months old and I called Sarah Grace bawling. It was a mixture of "I'm a new mom and am completely overwhelmed" and Ella not eating (nursing) enough.

27. What is on the floor of your closet? A shoe rack, my laundry basket

28. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending this to? Out of the people that read my blog, Sarah Grace is the one I've known the longest. She's "my Diana"-my bosom, kindred spirit.

29. What did you do last night? after putting Boosie to bed, I watched a Hallmark movie. Safehouse-it wasn't that great.

30. Who is your role model? I have different ones for different things. I look up to my sister, Marna, for her great patience and laid-back attitude. She has 4 kids and doesn't ever seem to get really frustrated-amazing. I look up to Emmie for her generous spirit-she's always thinking of others (See #2 above) To Liz for her amazingly upbeat attitude all the time. To Sarah dear-for her wifely skills-among them-cooking meals all the time on time for her hubby. To Letisha-she has 4 kids and is homeschooling them. And she has time to blog. Simply amazing. I struggle w/one. To my grandmother-she never misses a day reading her Bible. To Mama and Mom Kannon-they're so kind and always seek to make peace. To my mom-who always, always, always, puts herself last. To my sweet Ella-who sees everything new and has such curiosity. And I look up to my husband, who works so hard for us during the day and still has the energy to bathe Ella, read her stories, and give me a good back rub/scratch when he gets home!

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Well, God's been gently reminding me of showing LOVE to my fellow man. Why is that so hard? B/c I'm still so self-absorbed. In my own little Mommy world.
I am realizing it more though and that's the first step, right? I did notice that the deli worker's name was Pam but still didn't say, "Thank you, Pam." Just "thank you." I'll get up the nerve next week. I always think people may think it a little creepy if I use their name and don't know them. I'm sure they wouldn't-they'd be glad someone actually acknowledged them as a person and not just a worker, but that's just my female mind doing way too much analyzing. And I failed to engage in a conversation w/a lady while out walking around the neighborhood b/c I was worried Ella would get too bored in her stroller. But at least God made me aware of the need to.

What God has brought to my mind the most since reading Matthew is Jesus eating w/sinners. (Because the sick are the ones in need of a physician.) And I've been thinking, "Do I even know any non-Christian friends?" Shouldn't I meet some and have them over? In Blue Like Jazz, Don talks about his pastor encouraging them to go out and just love on people-show them Christ's love and kindness. Not to try to get them to come to the church, but just to be like Christ. The result was many did end of coming to the church and finding a relationship w/Christ b/c those church-goers put their faith into practice.

I've been thinking about our next door neighbors-should we invite them over? This would take a major step of faith and God-given courage b/c I don't like feeling awkward, and when you're getting to know someone it tends to be that way. They could be Christians, who knows? Isn't that the sad thing-I hardly know anything about them.

So pray for me, dear friends, that I'll not just hear God's voice but respond as well.

Ella's been on a "Mama" phase for about a week now. She says it ALL the time-I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say at least a few hundred times a day. I have to admit, it gets on my nerves. Even if I'm in her sight, if my attention is not 100% on her, I hear it, "Mama, MAma, MAMA!" But when I was on the treadmill yesterday, I saw the beginning Dr. Phil. A mom was on there who had triplets who were all deaf and blind. And I was so rebuked and ashamed. This mom would do anything to hear her girls say "Mama." And here I was complaining.

Sometimes Ella will mix it up a bit, "Mama, Dada, Mama, Dada," but Dada is usually at a higher pitch. She'll do this when Will's not even here. I'm currently trying to figure out how to curb her yelling though. Yesterday in the grocery store it got quite loud-people were staring-and my "Shhh, Ella" wasn't working. Maybe they were just amazed that someone so tiny could be soooo loud. So, more practice at home, I guess.

Here's a recent pic-thanks for taking it, Uncle Jeff!

You can see she's getting a little more hair. She had her mouth full of grapes at the time and was pushing her corn popper.