Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cascadilla Gorge & Balance

It's definitely still winter in Ithaca, NY.  We encountered several closed trails and that was a minor disappointment.  We do expect to return to Ithaca sometime soon, so we weren't willing to risk jumping the fence to see the waterfalls from icy stairs and slopes' vantage points.  Besides, a clear conscience makes for a soft pillow.

In any case, there was still plenty to see.  Cascadilla Gorge is in downtown Ithaca.  Cities aren't our idea of a vacation, since we equate rest with solitude. However, the Rugged Mountain Man knew I wanted to see Cascadilla Falls, so we meandered through Ithaca and down the little bits of trails on Cornell's campus that remain open year round. 

This little getaway afforded so many opportunities to ponder all the things that get swept under the rug by the busy daily grind of life. 

The Rugged Mountain Man and I take the raising of the Blossoms very seriously.  We truly desire to reach the Great Destination and hear our Master say, "Well done, good and faithful servant," especially in regards to raising and training these girlies.

And, raising and training takes time.  I don't like that feeling of being swept up in the schedule and activities, at the expense of just living life together.  I'd call it quality time with our children that I'm after, but I don't like how some folks think that one half hour a week of looking into your kids' eyes and asking staged questions is somehow going to make them turn out right.  Why?

More is caught, than taught.

And they're catching something if I'm too busy, too distracted, too stressed or too upset, but I'm not sure they're catching what we want them to catch.  This puts me in the mind of how the disciples shooed the families away saying that Jesus was too busy for the children.

He wasn't. 

I don't want to be either. 

When I boil it down, I love God, so I care for and serve my husband and then, our children.  Those are, unashamedly, the great purposes of my life.

So, if that means, that I need to step away from the extra tasks that mount up and presume upon my time, then, yes, I need to walk away from those tasks for a little while. 

Successful child-rearing must have time for us to just live life together.  It seems to me that this focus has to be continually placed in front of me as a reminder, so that I can persist in making good decisions to that end.

I must keep the Great Destination in mind. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Game Time - Spot It & Tell Tale

A couple of my mom friends encouraged me to try out the game, "Spot It."  Thanks to their enthusiastic recommendations, we now own Spot It Jr., Frozen Spot It with Alphabet Letters and Princess Spot It with Words.
Spot It Junior Animals
Spot it! Disney Frozen - Alphabet
Spot it! Disney Princess - Words
Blossom3 is our Spot It queen.  She adores the game and will play Spot It continually.

The whole family plays Spot It together sometimes.  We love laughing at Daddy's names for the Frozen and Princess characters.  It's quite astounding that Blossom4, who is two, is catching on to Spot It. 

It's amazing how Spot It improves their powers of observation.

It's also a highly portable and fairly inexpensive game.

As I was researching other compact games created by Blue Orange, I stumbled upon the Disney Princess version of Tell Tale.

You know the Blossoms are in to the princesses.  They also have quite the imagination.

I liked the idea that this is a game to create a story to match the pictures, causing the Blossoms to work together, rather than compete against one another.

I snapped it up and the girlies are pleased as punch with Tell Tale.
We weave outlandish tales,


snuggle, both with each other and with the cozy canine varieties

and venture boldly into "Once upon a time in the land of make-believe." 
#1 - I wasn't paid to write this.  I'm sharing my tried and true experience.
#2 - Spot It Jr is for 3-5 year olds, but my 5 year old outgrew it fast.
#3 - Frozen Spot It with Alphabet is of medium difficulty.
#4 - Princess Spot It with Words is a higher difficulty level as the words can match pictures OR other words.  It has proved to be challenging and fun. 


Friday, March 25, 2016

The Mom Life - Easter Edition

~ I had to make a special stop to get WHITE eggs, because you can't dye brown ones.  #countrylifeproblems

~ I cleaned bathrooms while I was hard-boiling the eggs and boiled them WAY too long.  Let's hope they're edible.  At least they're still dye-able.  #toomuchmultitasking

~ I've pushed coloring eggs to the next day on at least 2 successive days since my to-do list was chock full.  #thedaysarelongbuttheyearsareshort

~ I can't remember where in the world I put the egg coloring kit I bought several weeks ago.  And the Blossoms don't remember either. 

That's the Mom life, ya'll. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Robert H. Treman State Park & The Journey Of Marriage

Regardless that it was still winter in Ithaca, NY,
we decided to hike in our classic Hikemon/Hikewoman style. 

You remember that every season has its perks, if only you're dressed for it, right?

Yes, I wore long johns.  Yes, I love long johns.

Yes, I loved being able to think twelve complete thoughts in a row,

articulate them to the Rugged Mountain Man,
Have him think twelve complete thoughts in a row,

articulate them to me and then repeat the process often throughout the weekend.

Who knew thinking thoroughly and speaking unhurriedly could be a luxury?

The weekend was romantic too. 
We're still like that, mostly when we don't look and feel like zombies. 

But this weekend held plenty of companionable silence. 

And we reveled in it. 

We've been friends for a long time

and we look to be even better friends for years to come, by God's grace.

It is in these moments that we sync up again. 

The Bible calls the man the head of the household.
I adore that metaphor, mostly because my mind conjures up
images of one person walking through the journey of life. 

The whole body falls in line with the head. 
A bad marriage can be a painful journey,
like the gait of a gangly, awkward youth.

Conversely, it can be striking, like observing a graceful ballerina
as she confidently strides in her street clothes.

I like to think that we are growing more graceful in our walk together,

my character and decisions increasingly harmonious to the Rugged Mountain Man's leading.

The Rugged Mountain Man continues to prove himself gentle, kind and affectionate,
ever growing in his pursuit to love me like Christ loves the Church.

And, I hope that I'm growing too.  I hope my heart is more and more willing to serve.
Because my love for him and Him is increasing, submission blossoms from that love.

It's not a teeth-grittin' hard time.

It's a gracious graceful walk, entwined together,
journeying toward that Doorway,
the final bridge where we'll truly be Home.




Monday, March 21, 2016

We're back...

Back to snuggles and hugs.

Back to squeals of delight during Daddy-chases.

Back to thrilled declarations of, "Look at my loose tooth!"

Back to rosy cheeked girlie grins.

Back to giggling pre-bedtime Shel Silverstein poetry snippets.

Back to four pairs of sparkling blue eyes.

The rest was exquisite and it only heightens our appreciation for our many blessings. 

Meanwhile, I must throw in another load of wash and plunge into the routine again.


Friday, March 18, 2016

This Weekend

I'm chillin' with the Rugged Mountain Man this weekend, hoping

~ that I remembered to pack everything.

~ that we'll be able to really and truly rest.

~ that more of the local state parks do not disappoint.

~ that Grandma will still be smiling when we return.

"Rejoice with those who rejoice..."
Romans 12:15 NASB


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I Wanna Be Like My Dog

You already know of the Blossoms' propensity for harnessing dog strength for the girlies' own work and pursuits.  We learned when Rory joined our family that his breed originated as livestock guardian dogs, as well as carting dogs. 

While I was in Wisconsin, the Rugged Mountain Man took the Blossoms sledding at the gigantic local sledding hill.  And, Rory pulled Blossom3, who is six years old, UP the entire hill numerous times. 
Of course, this has reignited the Blossoms' passion for having a carting dog.  We borrowed a pack from a friend and Rory has since been carrying a large load of full water bottles up the hill when the girlies are choring in the mornings.  Since then, they've rigged our very large wagon and hooked it to his harness.  I finally got to witness Rory pulling Blossom3 and Blossom4 around the yard in the wagon.  Amazing. 

What's more amazing is that his tail was wagging, the whole time.  We've seen passion in a dog before.  Jake, our golden retriever, is passionate about retrieving.  He's crazy passionate.  He'd run himself into the ground retrieving.  He's made for it.  Rory can take it or leave it.  We've surely discovered Rory's passion now.  Pulling.  Pulling makes Rory's doggie heart go pitter-patter.

I marveled as I watched this canine display from the house.  "His tail is wagging."  He's pulling somewhere in the neighborhood of 70-80 pounds.  And his tail is wagging. 

Pulling is hard.  Hard is frequently perceived as bad. 

To Rory, it isn't bad, because it's what he was created to do. 

Wife-Motherhood is hard.  It's tiring.  It's a daily grind.  It's work.  It's long.  It's tough.  It's thankless.  It's discouraging, especially after my Mommyometer plummets nightly at 8:00 pm. 

But I want my tail to be wagging.  This is God's purpose for me.  I'm smack dab in the center of God's will.  There is great joy in doing what you've been created to do. 

We let joy become overshadowed by the hard work involved in our purpose.

I don't want to miss the joy of being in God's will and doing that thing He created me to do, just because it's hard. 

I wanna be like my dog.