Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tribe Life Tuesday: The View from the Selfie Stick

A weekly post from my awesome friend Carrie ~ 
sharing her awesome life and her desire to have community while doing it!

I am currently in Washington, D.C., one of my favorite places on the planet. My heart explodes with joy and gratitude and uncontrollable, uncontainable excitement each time I arrive in this city. It also grieves me every time I have leave, but that’s a conversation for another day. Needless to say, I am grateful for all of the above.

Whenever you’re in a new city or on an adventure of some sort, selfies are a must! I am a friend of selfies and I am embracing this selfie movement---if that’s a thing. But I’d like to invite you into something deeper than just a photo of yourself that you post online. I want to invite you into the me conversation, the selfie conversation, into a new view: the reflective view. When we press that reverse icon on our phones the lens changes directions. The current picture goes from the view ahead to the reflective view. When you press that button, what do you see?
Who is that beauty? Or that stud? 
It’s you!!! 
Definitely an amazing human!
Let’s press deeper. Who is that person? Are they bold? Timid? Kind? Grumpy? What do you love about them? What are they working to get better at? Are you proud of that person? These are all questions I’m asking myself, followed by an onslaught of others. This is what I’ve found in this reflective view: I’m desperately looking to live a full, yet streamlined life (kind of an oxymoron, I know). I long to live a life that is fueled by intentionality, justice, and service. A life that gives generously, fights hard, and rests well. I don’t see the blemishes but rather the unfiltered beauty of the moment.
While switching to the reflective view is the first step, we all know that positioning and the right filter is key to any good selfie.
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” 
Thomas Jefferson

Know where you stand. What are your non-negotiables? We don’t have to have a big, long list, but what are those few principles that transcend all else? Make those a constant. Give everything else grace.
We control our filter. Choose to filter through joy (much easier said than done; believe me, I know.) Broken hearts and broken spirits lead to muddy filters. If your filter has been dirtied, find your tribe, let them in, let them love you back to life and back to seeing through a clear filter.
Now about me:
I have found myself in this real struggle to “face myself”. In recent weeks, I’ve been grappling with the reflective view. It sometimes feels unbearable, and it is quite uncomfortable. It’s in those moments of discomfort when I look for something, anything, to busy myself with. At first I give into my desire to hide from the reflective view that requires me to dig deep. But then I reach out. I reach for the tribe and they embrace me and my unfiltered mess. They gently address the mess, “Carrie, what are you running from? Let’s talk,” they say. And if I’m not quite ready, they patiently wait.
So here I am, facing myself, choosing to switch to the reflective view. I’m earnestly looking for answers to the questions I’m asking. I breathe deeply to calm my heart and uncomfortably embrace the moment.
Thank you for reading!

See you next Tuesday!

Tuesday Truth

We Bought a Farm: I hope I never get used to this

JB and his dad and one of our WWOOFers, Tymen, just headed out to put down one of our pigs. It was this pig's time. But I hate it. I hate them getting the four-wheeler and getting the gun and getting on the four-wheeler and the whole thing.

I appreciate what we are doing. I appreciate that we want to eat meat and want to eat meat raised ethically and appropriately. We want to be in touch with our food. We want to understand that eating meat is not to be taken lightly. It makes me even more uncomfortable to eat any meat that isn't raised the way we want it raised.

But I just wish I could snap my fingers and it was packaged in our freezer. Not my favorite days. :(

Sleeping Beauty

Abigail is going to be in her ballet company's production of Sleeping Beauty. Originally, Hannah was going to be in too, but dear Hannah and I have decided to wait until she is old enough to ask to be in ballet and promise she wants to behave well before we do it. So we'll wait another year with her at least. My friend Kristin is the official "photographer". Here are some photos she has posted:

The heat in the theatre was broken for two rehearsals so we practiced in our winter coat.

Abigail is in three scenes. She is a blue bird. There she is in the back row!

Our local paper advertising the show.

This picture is so Abigail. She is quite serious about her ballet! :)

Getting some instructions from Ms. Lori Ann before the start of a rehearsal. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

We Bought a Farm: Yoder's

One of my favorite things about living where we live, is living close to our Amish Market: Yoder's. We get all of our bread and jam there, and will often get a deli sandwich or a snack. We currently have a Dutch WWOOFER here who is a big bread eater, so I ran out to get some more bread and took Hannah with me. 

I have decided that I am not going to fight with Hannah on her clothes. As long as she is dressed for the weather and is modest enough, I am good with it. She changes clothes many, many times a day. I have decided that this is good for her. She is better than her siblings at putting clothes right-side in or buttoning or zipping her clothes. It is a bit frustrating when I go up to her room at the end of the day and discover piles and piles of clothing, but I try to remind myself that this is her "hobby" and fun thing. 

For example, here is a photo the babysitter sent me. She told me this was outfit change number five:

Every day is an adventure to figure out what she is going to wear. Here was her attire for Yoder's when she and I went today:

Enjoy this little video of my Hannah girl. It very accurately captures her personality. Many people commented on her clothes while we were out, and I just say: "She's her own woman." That she is.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

When you forget how AWESOME America can be!

There are things I feel I sort of got behind on while I lived overseas for four years. Things that emerged while I was there (like smart phones!) or things I just forgot about. 

Last week, I took my kids to Toys "R" Us. They had each received a gift certificate to pick out one item for Christmas from their Uncle Rob and his soon-to-be-wife Sherrie. I didn't realize, until we walked in, that with the exception of Isaac (who was old enough to remember the store), my other three kiddos had no idea what a Toys "R" Us was. As we drove the forty-five minutes to the store, they asked me things like "Are there more toys than at Walmart?" "Is it big?" "How can it be only toys?"

I flashed back to the first time I took my kiddos into Target after returning from overseas. The people around us were cracking up as my kiddos exclaimed things like the following:
  • "Mommy! Everything on the computer is in this store!"
  • "Look at all the toothbrushes Mommy!"
  • "Mommy here's another aisle of toys!"

The way my kiddos felt in the toy store and at Target was how I felt yesterday when I decided to take a little drive to Hobby Lobby. The last time I was in this store was before I had children. There is one about a half hour from us, and Abigail needed some blue feathers for her ballet costume, so I decided to have my babysitter come over and just take a little mom-break.



Seriously. I am not a shopper. Not a spender. Not a decorator. But this store was: 


I seriously could have spent days just wandering and looking and planning and dreaming and scheming. 

I couldn't help but think, as I just floated from aisle to aisle, Where was this when I lived in the Azores and was trying to put together a baby shower for my friend Rebekah and had to scrape together anything I could to make it resemble a baby shower?! 

I had scoured the twelve measly things at the military "Kmart" and managed to piece together something halfway decent. I had found some blue gift bags and picked out blue skittles and M&Ms (which aren't a good idea to mix in a candy bag because people don't appreciate the change from candy to chocolate but I was desperate.) 

But oh if I would have had a Hobby Lobby!!

I'm still recovering from this outing.

I love the USA!!!!!!!


Greatest country ever.


Sunday Sermon

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Saturday Smiles

We Bought a Farm: #Ican'tbelievethisismylife

You have to process a pig.
You realize you need a large metal basin to use to process the pig.
You tell your neighbor.
Your neighbor says he has a bathtub in his field that might do the trick.
(He was using it to water animals, but is no longer using it.)
He loads it up on his tractor.
And delivers it to your house.
And you go outside and see it in your driveway and think, "Man. That is perfect!"

How is this my life? 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Funnies

JB: "We could put a giraffe on your boo boo to help it feel better."
Hannah: "No that's too big."
JB: "Well we could put a baby giraffe on."
Hannah: "No that's too small."
JB: "Well we could put a medium size giraffe on it."
Hannah: "No, that's too .... medium."


Hannah to our WWOOFer: "If I was a boy, I'd like to grow up and be just like you."

Review: The Beginner's Bible Stories About Jesus

My three-year-old Hannah just loves this book. It is small enough for her little chubby hands and nice and sturdy with a hard cover and tough pages. The Beginner's Bible: Stories About Jesus is a wonderful little before-bed book that touches on the "big" stories of the Jesus' life including:

  • Baby Jesus is Born
  • Fishers of People
  • Jesus Calms the Storm
  • Jesus and the Children
  • Jesus Feeds Thousands
  • Jesus Heals a Blind Man
  • The Easter Story
This series of books first emerged in 1989, and since then they have sold over 25 million products. This book is no different and is the perfect inclusion in soon-to-be-coming Easter baskets!

Booklookbloggers provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Guest Post: Minimal effort kids room cleaning and organizing tips

The following is a guest post by Emma Hamilton. 

Every parent knows that having kids simply means mess. You clean their room for ages and only after a few hours there isn’t any trace of your efforts. The only way to make this result last longer is only if your children help you. Many parents struggle to convince their children to maintain their room clean and tidy. No matter the age, this task has proven to be very difficult. Cleaning is always viewed as nothing but a tedious household chore. No amount of threats can change their mind. However, there is still hope. You can find out very useful tips in the next paragraphs.

There are a few things that we need to take into account if we want to succeed in our enterprise. First, we need to consider our children’s age. For children still at primary school, it will be most beneficial if we can transform the cleaning routine into a game. You can tell them that if they tidy their room regularly, you will fulfill one of their wishes once a month. This is an easy way as it will keep them occupied for a long period of time. Make sure, you explain to them how they will benefit, if they follow your rules. If your children are older, you can talk to them regarding this matter. You can try different strategies and see what works best for your children.

No matter how old our kids are, we know that usually we are the ones that end up doing the cleaning. In order to minimize your efforts the most, you need to create your own system. Organization is an absolute must, if you want to save time when cleaning your kid’s room. Divide your children’s clothes into different categories and put them in separate departments. This way, every time you fold them, it will be easier to find where to place them.

Buy or create beautiful boxes where your children can store all of their toys. Show them how to do it sufficiently and teach them to follow this routine. The reason for this is that every time you want to hoover their room, there are lots of items on the floor that slow you down. If all the toys are gathered beforehand, you will save a significant amount of time and efforts. Moreover, they won’t collect any dirt and dust.

Another useful thing is to place all the needed cleaning detergents and equipment nearby. You can hide them in a convenient for you place. A lot of people are put off only from the thought of cleaning. The reason behind this is that they have to go back and forth in order to collect all of the needed cleaning supplies. When everything is nearby and organized, Carpet Cleaning SW London guarantees you will manage to clean quickly.

In general, cleaning is very time consuming. Sometimes, it can take ages, especially if we have to clean the kid's room. You spend endless efforts and the result at the end is just not satisfactory. Don’t do this anymore. Be organized and work efficiently. Get everyone in the family involved. Explain to them that cleaning provides us a healthy environment and a good quality of the air. You can ask them for any suggestions how to improve the cleaning routine. You might be surprised by the answer as kids are very imaginative and can give you some great ideas. Listen to your children and make a change. Work as a team, this is the only possible way if you want every room to be tidy and neat.

Review: God Made you Nose to Toes

What a sweet book! Written by Leslie Parrott and illustrated by Estelle Corke, God Made You Nose to Toes provides beautifully illustrated pages in hard cover and sturdy page format.

God made many sounds
that he wants you to hear,
so on each side of your head
he planted an ear.

This page then has a little boy splashing in the water and a toucan (who joins him on every page) and frog and bird and bees are next to him. You see the sounds tweet, tweet, splosh, splash, squawk, bzzzzz, and ribbet scattered around the page.

When God made the ostrich, 
the monkey, and giraffe,
he knew
that you'd need
a mouth 
just to laugh.

All over the earth
God planted tall trees.
And so you could climb them,
he gave you two knees.

This is an incredibly calm and beautiful book that parents everywhere will love to read to their little one day or night. A high recommendation from me!

Booklookbloggers.com provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.