Views Around the House

It’s cold outside!  I don’t know this from first hand experience.  I know this only from my digital thermometer.  The view is white, as all the trees are still thickly burdened with bunches of snow.

I have no intention of venturing out today, but I wonder if some of my mom friends will brave the cold to come to my book study tonight.  At least our driveway is plowed.

and the fire is warm.  We’ll have it hopping pretty good today.  I love our fireplace, if I haven’t said it before.

 Our library baskets are still brimming, but with last week’s books.  It was a snow day when we normally go to the library, and our driveway was not plowed for awhile.  The kids have already read through their books, and I think they’d be doing a bit better if they had a fresh stack again.
Spoiled kids.  Silje said they’re not spoiled, I was spoiled because I used to live in walking distance to the library as a kid, and often just walked over to the library whenever I wanted.  To her, that’s livin’ the dream.  That’s true.  Maybe they’re not that spoiled.

I think of my family often these winter months.  I pray for each one.  We are so remote out here on the farm.  Sure, we’re surrounded by Knut’s family, and that’s a blessing.  I feel sometimes that it’s not just that we live out here with few neighbors, but our life…our lifestyle is so different than anything I ever grew up with.  Not that one is right and one is wrong.  They are each just paths that God has set before us.
I haven’t said this to too many people, but I’ve been missing my dad terribly since Ingrid has been born. She very much has his eyes, and I feel like I’m the only one that sees it.  I’m the only one in my house that remembers those eyes, and I’m the only one to feel the pain of not seeing him.  It was so healing having my sister up here, in my home, able to talk about Dad and feel that pain with me.

Here’s Dad and me when I was about 18 months old.  He looks so young here.  Well, I don’t look too old either.  😉  I have his picture up every day to remind me to pray for him.  Relationships with alcoholics are tricky things.

Here’s my coffee table as-is this morning.  I came across this verse on some card yesterday that read, “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, and with my mouth will I make known your faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 89:1.  I looked it up in my Bible, and saw that “mercies” was translated “great love” in my translation.  Another translation said “lovingkindness.”  I knew it was that Hebrew word I did a “word study” on once: “Hesed.”  I remember it because it was the name of one of my friends on a mission trip I went on.  There’s a few spellings.  For memory sake, I took out my Bible dictionary once again and looked up the Hebrew word.  It’s my favorite one to look up.

“Hesed” is used 240 times in the Old Testament.  It has 3 basic meanings.  “strength,” “steadfastness,” and “love.”  It’s not just a mushy love word.  It’s a word that describes the power of God, and the faithfulness of God.  All 3 of those traits are unseparated in that one word.  I love to dwell on that concept.  It also has some legal connotations, as in the marriage binding.  God is “legally” tying Himself to us through this word.

Common verbs placed with “hesed” are: “doing ‘hesed’,” “showing ‘hesed’,” and “keeping ‘hesed’.”

It’s God’s mercies, God’s faithfulness, God’s love, God’s strength, God’s promise, all wrapped up in one Hebrew word: Hesed.

So as I’m working around the house, I’m looking for some good wall space to put this verse that has been so much on my heart lately, and I think needs to be hand-written on my wall somewhere.  Maybe I’ll order some vinyl cut-out-thingy of it.

“I will sing of the LORD’s great love [hesed] forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.” Psalm 89:1.

The word there for faithfulness isn’t the word ‘hesed.’  It’s the word ’emunah’ which means “firmness, stability, truth, fidelity.”

So that is my mission today, as I make some treats for the friends who will brave the cold (hopefully) tonight, as I break up fights with the kids who can’t go outside because of the severe temperatures, as I teach them their lessons, and give Silje her state-required assessment test, as I feed Ingrid over and over:

“I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.”

Yarn Along

This last week I’ve been working on a matching bonnet to go with Ingrid’s romper that she wears when we go outside to brave the cold.  Puffy snowsuits aren’t the rage anymore like when Silje was born.  I think I prefer a good, cozy hand knit wool romper anyway.

She must have been conducting in her sleep, while I was taking these pictures.  Like her biggest sister, Silje, she loves to sleep with her arms everywhere.  Unlike Solveig who is 2 and still likes to be swaddled.

I’m using the Small Things Bonnet, which I’ve made twice before, and liked it.  Really, the whole ebook of the Small Things patterns is wonderful.  I’ve made the patterns more than once.  Really I picked up this project because I’ve been aching to knit and design again, but as I’ve been working on designs, my brain seems to be stuck.  I normally sort out my brain by knitting, but when designing, it’s important to have a plan laid out first.

So I had to take a step back from my sketch/numbers book, and pick up a tried and true pattern that required no planning on my part, and just a bunch of quick knitting.  I realized that I had never made the matching bonnet to go with Ingrid’s romper which was made before she was born.  I had the leftover yarn already in my stash.  I had the pattern.  She didn’t need another hat, but I needed a project to un-stick my brain and this fit the bill perfectly.  Plus, matching is fun.

Of course, as I’m doing the kitchener stitch in the back, I get to the end, and as I’m straightening out the stitches, I find a bit of a mistake of mine.  I must have missed closing up one of the stitches.  So it won’t be perfect.  Ripping out stitches is painful, but ripping out a kitchener stitch is just preparation for suicide, so I’m going to attempt to just secure the random stitch and hide it somehow when I weave in the ends.  The weaving, and an i-cord tie is all that remains to this quicky project.  Pre-baby this project would have taken me an evening.  Post-baby it has been about a week.  We’re still working on that.
And I have picked up some reading.  I decided to lead a little mom’s book study at my house Thursday evenings, as I’ve heard so much about this book: Desperate.  It’s a book of encouragement “for moms who need to breathe.”  What attracted me to the book was the depth I read in in on the author’s blog.  It talks about struggling with sin and selfishness as a mother, failing to reach expectations, etc.  I also liked that it’s co-authored by an older mom who has grown kids who comes alongside this “desperate” author and breathes into her grace and encouragement, and reminding her of God’s faithfulness.  So far I’ve found the introduction very real and honest, the first chapter a tiny bit cheesy and “like every other mom book” but by the 2nd chapter this book grabbed me again with both the reminder of who God is, as well as some practical ways and insights to not isolate ourselves, find a mentor and support group.  There’s nothing Satan would like more than to make us feel alone in our sufferings, like we were the only ones, and the chapter I’m on gives some practical advice in fighting loneliness.
So I have some friends coming over tomorrow night (if they decide to brave the cold, cold temps) to chat about this book and our lives, and mothering, etc.  I’m really looking forward to it.

Linking up with Ginny.

I’m Blessed

 Today will be a very, very busy day.  This week is scheduled to be a very, very busy week.  I’m attempting some more chore organization with the kids among other things.  David is so excited to vacuum today.  Silje is old enough to see these color coded charts as more work.  She is glad that every other week she gets to switch her dishes job with David, who will be trained in.  I look forward to the additional help.  I do not look forward to the time (days…months…) until they will actually be more helpful.  They are helpful now, but only in the things I’ve trained them to do.  I have a few months ahead of me of having them ask the same questions over and over, or do a sloppy job, or tears and tantrums over not wanting to do chores.

I’ve got it in my head that the kids are capable of doing 30-45 minutes of “family chores” a day.  (Family chores meaning not their own rooms/messes etc.)  It’s just a matter of training them to do enough chores to fill that time, and training them to have the diligence to work non-stop for that amount of time.  It’s no small task.

I’m blessed with the help they are now, in the things we have worked on in the past though.
Let’s just focus on that.

I’m also very excited that I got rid of 2 large black trash bags of toys out of the basement/playroom and out of the house.  Ironically, the kids haven’t even noticed, but feel very accomplished that they are cleaning their toy room so quickly.

I’m blessed to have a date this last weekend with my hubby.  We went to a pizzeria called “Ole and Lena’s” and they claim to have the best Norwegian-Italian cuisine around.  We’ve been there before so we knew this to be true.  He asked how my character work in school has been doing, and I told him I didn’t feel we were making much progress.  So we brainstormed a few ideas for developing the skill of “attention” a little more, and I’m really pleased with some of the ideas we came up with.  I’m so blessed to have someone to brainstorm with to get me unstuck.  I was blessed with a date night.

I’m blessed with coos and smiles these days.

This little one has brought so much joy into the house.  It’s tough to explain, but she’s brought almost a unity to the other kids.  As they fight like cats and dogs somedays, they are all mellow and loving and quiet around her, and exchange such sweet glances.  It’s funny…the affect of a baby.

A neighbor of ours died quickly and unexpectedly this last week.  It was very sad, as he was one of our closest neighbors, he was about our parents’ age or younger, and Knut has known him pretty much his whole life.  We were blessed with this quirky neighbor who took pictures of his cows dressed up in costumes, and had funny/’pun’-ny captions for each picture.

Sometimes when an event like this happens, you just thank God so much for loved ones.  There’s something about the occasional awakening to how fragile life is, to make you hug everyone in your house a bit longer and say…

I’m so blessed.  Each day is a gift.