First of all...these moments that fill my life are not all dewdrop-kissed grass and quiet moments with cherubic children. Oh, no. My life looks more like this:
- pre-dawn awakening to grasp for the First Things in rare quiet
- four children waking at once, each needing all things now
- fury of diapers changed and eggs cooked and quarrels mediated and spoons picked up and more milk poured
- cleaning, purification, re-ordering
- gathering girls for Bible reading and math and, oh, Mommy...I need a break!
- me, too!...coffee
- teaching little girl how to decode letters and numbers
- reminding big girl to make her letters uniform as she looses interest in spelling at word number six on her test
- searching for little brothers and finding them eating sugar out of the canister
- finding another "safe" activity for wee partners-in-mischief and praying it lasts more than five minutes this time
- reading about our miraculous Earth home or the evil villain Nero, then grasping for three sentences of narration on the topic from long-haired girl
- carrots peeled and peanut butter spread and explaining again why I can't cook lunch to order for each child
- face wiping and crumb sweeping and more diaper changing
- breathing deep, whispering "Help" and "You're beautiful"
- etc...for about seven more hours until the last nighttime drink is served; the last forehead kissed
- then come the thirsted-for hours alone to review tomorrow's lessons and menus and balance the checkbook and check in with far-away husband and write emails
The candle burns into the night.
It's not the idyllic life of a photo album. It's the daily melting and crushing of self. It's serving and loving and worship in these mundane acts. It requires a deliberate mind to stay present, to appreciate each moment, to give thanks. I think that's why taking pictures appeals to me. Each photo reminds me of the moments of beauty flashing by. Thus, we come to the most anticipated portion of any blog-post.
August's shining moments included:
Making "deerskin" dresses and loincloths for little people, teaching them to shoot arrows with home-made willow bows, and pretending there will be pemmican for lunch.
|What? You didn't know John Deere was introduced to the natives by the Pilgrims?|
|...followed very shortly by the introduction of the ATV by French trappers!|
Mark coming to visit and spending a morning picking the season's first warm, nectar-filled peaches:
Thursday night community concerts in the park:
First days of a new school year:
|First-day-of-school photo in front of Paonia's most recent mural.|
|This gorgeous mural is being painted by a friend, Seth Weber. Can't wait to see it finished!|
Early mornings outside bathing in the long-slanting gold light of approaching autumn:
Outdoor dinners and roasting marshmallows with a sister who appreciates the merits of rotisserie cooking over an open fire like no one else I know:
|A precious lady and her grandson, Milo.|
|S'mores + swing-spinning = tummy ache|
Impromptu concerts by The Five Cousins:
|Later Grace wrote out her fantastic lyrics about a sqirrel in a tree.|
And other things involving mud and chocolate...
|Ava has fabulous results with her mud cookie recipe. Yum!|