Category Archives: Homemaking

In Which a Stool is Built

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Bret and Luke set out this weekend to make a stool for Luke to use in the bathroom. I think they were both pretty excited to work together after a week of intense work for Bret, and missing Daddy for Luke. So the soldiered on even though the weather was less than comfy for working outside.

Luke got to help measure and mark the boards.

I think he’s feeling like big stuff over this job.

Do you know how difficult it is to get a picture of two working men? This is the only good picture I got of both of them looking at the camera. They’re sanding the already-assembled stool.

Luke is obviously taking staining the stool very seriously. This is his concentrating face.

And here’s the finished product!

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Preparing for Easter

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One of the facets of mama-hood that I really enjoy is celebrating holidays in a way that points my family to Jesus. My mo did a fabulous job of making traditions for our family that are fun and meaningful, and I love to do the same for my boys. I value traditions because they knit a family together more strongly, and provide continuity from year-to-year. I especially want our traditions to glorify God. So I’ve been anticipating Easter and prayerfully considering what we can do as a family to center this time around Christ, focussing on his great suffering and jubilant resurrection.

We are for sure going to do Lenten Lights (free download here). I love doing this. Each week, during the reading, we blow out a candle and I am always struck by the visual symbolism of the darkness of Good Friday, and the bright rejoicing of Easter morning, when we light all the candles again. I’m hoping to make Easter morning a special, rejoicing time for our family. Alongside the Lenten Lights readings on Sundays, during our weeknight family devotions, we’re going to be talking about 25 reasons why God raised Jesus from the dead, which is a list that we discussed and wrote down with Bret’s family one Easter.

With Luke, I’m planning this year to use Noel Piper’s idea from Treasuring God in our Traditions, and make an Easter Mountain. We haven’t done this before, but I think he’s old enough to understand and enjoy it this year. The basic idea is to have a physical representation of the events of the Passion and Easter to help Luke understand what Jesus accomplished for us. My family did something similar to this growing up, except with West African red mud, and it was always fun, and messy.

Personally, I’m excited this year to read Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross, by Nancy Guthrie. Which is “a collection of 25 short readings drawn from the works of classic and contemporary theologians and Bible teachers that will lead readers into thoughtful contemplation of the cross.” I’ve also, since Christmas, been reading The Person of Christ by Donald MacLeod, and the Lord is continually using it to make me marvel at Christ, who He is, and His great work on my behalf. I’m hopeful that these two books will stir my heart to worship and truly observe Good Friday and celebrate Easter.

I’d love to hear what you will be doing to focus your family’s hearts on Christ this Easter season!

The Epic of the Big Boy Bed ~ Part 3

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Wow! I am way behind on updating y’all on the status of Luke’s new bed! He’s SLEEPING in it now! Bret was able to finish the frame, attach it to the head board and foot board, and insert the boards that make the base. There were a couple of times when he wasn’t sure if everything was going to go together just right, but in the end, all his hard work and precise, detail-oriented measuring produced this:

I think Luke likes it.

Here, you can see the spaces left for the drawers (which aren’t done yet), and the lovely staining and finishing Bret did. Because the base is so sturdy and level, we just stuck the mattress on top. That way, it’s low enough that Luke can climb in and out on his own. Luke also got some new bedding to go with the quilt Grammy made for him.

Luke does pretty well sleeping in it. He’s learning that he must stay in bed during naptime and at bedtime, but once he calms down, he sleeps really well. I’m so thankful for that, because I was a bit concerned that he would be afraid of such a big bed. He loves it, though. He likes to sit up there and read books or play, or get some cuddles.

Book Review~ Love has a Price Tag

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My sister gave me Love has a Price Tag, by Elisabeth Elliot, as a bridesmaid’s gift. I’ve slowly been reading it before I go to sleep. I’ve enjoyed all of Elisabeth Elliot’s writing that I’ve had a chance to read. She is so wise, humble, and full of truth. This book is no different. It is compiled from a column that she used to write, and each chapter can stand alone. I really enjoyed reading these succinct, straight-to-the-heart, essays.

My favorite chapter was the last one, and mostly because it contains this:

“The routines of housework and mothering may be seen as a kind of death, and it is appropriate that they should be, for they offer the chance, day after day, to lay down one’s life for others. Then they are no longer routines. By being done with love and offered up to God with praise, they are thereby hallowed as the vessels of the tabernacle were hallowed – not because they were different from other vessels in quality or function, but because they were offered up to God. A mother’s part in sustaining the life of her children and making it pleasant and comfortable is no triviality. It calls for self-sacrifice and humility, but it is the route, as was the humiliation of Jesus, to glory.”

What a wonderful encouragement to work at whatever we’re doing for the glory of God!

Hospitality

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I’ve really been enjoying the current series over on the Girl Talk Blog. Go there and read it! Bret and I have a desire to pursue hospitality, we just have not been very good at consistently making plans to actually practice it. This series has been very helpful in spurring me on to think about and prepare to serve people in our home. How do you intentionally practice hospitality?

Book Giveaway

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No, I’m not giving anything away, but this is even better. The author of a blog that I enjoy and read often, has just published a book and she’s giving it away. This woman is the homeschooling mother of ten kids, just helped plan her oldest daughter’s wedding, and still finds time to blog. I’ve really enjoyed reading about their family and the journey the Lord has led them on with their children, some of whom are adopted. This is what she says about the book, ” A Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family shares the story of the growth of our family, as well as the hints and tricks I’ve learned over the years that help me stay sane as a mother of many.  I’d never claim to have all the answers, but having a large family has forced me to become more efficient.”  Click here to go to the post about the giveaway.

Recipe of the Week – Baby Food

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I’ve been making my own baby food since we came back from our Christmas travels. I’ve been surprised at how easy and un-time-consuming it is. Right now, he eats solid food 4 times a day, and he’s eating fruits and vegetables. This is working very well for us right now.

DSCN3453 by you.

This is what I do to prepare food for my little man:

One day, usually after I’ve gone to the grocery store, I cook a whole bunch of different foods. I bake sweet potatoes, and steam almost everything else – peaches, pears, peas, green beans, mango, and blueberries. I think that’s all I’ve made so far.

Once the first food is finished cooking, I pull out the food processor and puree each food as it gets done. That way, I get the food processor out one time about every two weeks and don’t have to mess with it again for a while.

Lastly, I put the pureed foods in ice cube trays and freeze them. Once they’re frozen solid, I pop them out  and keep them frozen in ziplocks until I need them.

When I’m ready to feed Luke, I just take out 1-2 cubes, and heat them up in a glass jar in the microwave.

I also give him fresh avocados and bananas. I buy a large jar of adult unsweetened applesauce that he eats mixed with his cereal in the morning. Right now, I’ve been using frozen fruits and vegetables, and that seems to be working very well.

I do buy carrot baby food, because fresh carrots can contain to much nitrogen for an infant, and commercial baby food avoids carrots that are too high in nitrogen.  

Click here to go to a website which has been really helpful for me in caring for Luke this way.