Thursday, October 29, 2009

7 Quick Takes-What's Inspiring Me

I somehow managed to waste the first half of my week and am making up for it by spending the second half on major purging and reorganizing projects, always needing to be done in preparation for moving next year. In lieu of any good words from me, check out these posts.

And, as always, visit Jen's blog for some more Quick Takes.

This post is from a blog I just discovered. I was saying "amen" through the whole post. Introverts out there, you know what she is talking about.

This post offers some good thoughts about the obsession with sex in our culture and how the community of the church can answer to that deeper longing. I always love Anthony Esolen's writing.

This post by Rae made me cry. I so often wonder what happened to the person and child I once was. She is buried somewhere under laundry and bills and constant, mundane tasks. I miss her. Rae writes, But not all of a woman is made to work. The soul of a woman contains so much more- there is a girl-child inside, ready to play! And her list for finding that spirit of play in the midst of work is fantastic. I may need to write one of my own.

This post on taking a day of rest for the whole family goes so well with those last two. Without a Sabbath rest each week, I am certain I would have given up on this motherhood/homemaker thing a long time ago.

Gratitude. I am hearing God speak this word to me from so many directions lately. I know that joy comes from practicing gratitude and not from a change in life circumstances, but I don't really practice it. This post...and this one...and this one...all came to me this week. It was the same time I was studying Jesus' parables on money and true kingdom treasures. I am thinking it is time to start a gratitude list of my own.

On a completely different topic, but still an inspiration, check out my dear friend, former commune housemate, amazing cook, creative mama extraordinaire's new food blog. Join in the feast! She is cooking all kinds of yummy recipes from her CSA box. I got to live with this woman and eat her cooking weekly. Aren't you jealous?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm calling the President tomorrow. What are you doing?

Update. I did it! Calling the White House was pretty empowering. Isn't it amazing we have a country where we can do that?

I'm not usually very forceful or strongly opinionated on this blog, but some things just make me mad, and I have to speak up.

If you have a few minutes...and we all do. Help me save a mountain.

Blasting has begun on Coal River Mountain in West Virginia and must be stopped NOW! This mountain could be used to harvest wind energy forever, providing safe jobs and a diversified economy to local residents, if its top isn't blown off and dumped into toxic waste ponds that are upstream from whole communities.

This is an atrocity! It not only destroys the landscape forever; it threatens the drinking water, homes, and lives of those who live downstream. This is not something we can stand by and let happen. People in these mountain communities do not have the money or power to fight big coal unless the rest of America steps in to help them. If Coal River is destroyed, it can never be used for alternative wind power because its majestic mountaintop will be gone.

A mountaintop gone. A landscape changed forever. People drinking poisoned water. Homes endangered by floods. Doesn't anyone care?

Will you help me? Call President Obama and ask him to persuade Governor Manchin of West Virginia to stop the blasting at Coal River Mountain.


Do it! Leave me a comment to let me know you did. Spread the word on your blogs. Come on blogosphere!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

In Two Months...

...we will celebrate your birth. How did I miss so much of this year, sweet Linus? It seems that Calvin's first year was in slow motion. I had time to watch him while he slept, to play games with him, to record every moment, every tiny new development. Even Hobbes' first year had plenty of slow moments. We were still so very much in the baby phase of life.

But you, third child with the much older brothers, you just come along for the ride. You sleep in your car seat where I can't see you. On the rare days we are at home for your naps, I am just thankful that I can put you down and let you soothe yourself to sleep. I rarely stop to watch your beautiful baby rest.

Or to play with you. You have to remind me to do that. Lately, you have started initiating peek-a-boo with us, covering your face with your quilt in the crib and then pulling it down and squealing with delight when we say, "Where is Linus? Peek-a-boo!" And you love to play ball, sitting in the floor throwing or handing the ball to me for me to throw back.

Somewhere in there you have learned to crawl and pull up and feed yourself. You are trying so hard to balance on your own, and I am sure you will be walking next time I remember to turn around and look at you. And you are working on all sorts of language in your head. I can tell. I hear the garbled sounds coming out, attempts to say your brothers' names or the names of objects. I swear you have said "all done" and "more" and "bath" on more than one occasion. You definitely say "DaDa" a lot. You love your daddy.

All of these things have happened without my really noticing, really enjoying the moments. I don't completely ignore you. No one could, with your engaging smile, contagious joy, and sweet spirit. But I do wish I had slowed down more often this past ten months to really just enjoy being your mama.

I will try to do that more sweet one, as we prepare and wait for the coming of the King and for the celebration of your birth. That's one day I do remember. Every detail of it.

Friday, October 23, 2009


It's been awhile...

Stubborn Prayers
Calvin and I had a rough night tonight, and he was angry when he went to bed. I asked if he would like to pray and ask God to help him get rid of the anger. He prayed, "Dear God, please help the anger to stay inside of me."

Hobbes piped in, "Dear God, please help the anger to go out of Calvin."

Calvin countered, "Dear God, please don't listen to Hobbes. Make the anger stay inside of me. I want to be angry forever, so just don't listen to Hobbes."

Thankfully, he decided that wasn't a good option, and he went to sleep having made up with me. I guess God listened to Hobbes.

Enjoying Life, Calvin Style
We were hiking at a local river the other day, and as we headed down to the water, Calvin said, "I am so pleased. Oh, I am so very pleased that we are at the river. This is such a wonderful place, isn't it?" He talks like this all the time, with very adult, literary turns of phrase.

Naked Exclamations
Calvin and Hobbes were spending the night at my in-laws' the other night. Auntie M was just leaving, and Grampa was in charge of bathtime. He was also downloading a computer game for them to play once the bath was over. Calvin ran out of the house, naked except for one sock, yelling, "Wait, Auntie M! Wait! I have to tell you something. The download is sixty-two percent complete!" Let me tell you, she was so very glad to know that before she left.

There are so many more that I can't remember right now. Maybe there will be another installment when my mind is working better. He may be impossible to handle sometimes, but I am learning more and more to just enjoy Calvin for who he is, brilliant, quirky mind and all.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Someone forgot to tell the rhododendron...

...that Summer is over.

I snapped this picture this past weekend at my uncle's cabin on the lake. The sounds of falling leaves in the mountains were all around me. The air smelled of snow. And the rhododendron were blooming...a second time or a first, I don't know.

I'm sure there's a spiritual lesson in there somewhere. I'm so very tired and so very busy and so very overwhelmed that I don't have time to extrapolate it.

For now, I am going to recover from our amazing weekend in the mountains, make some apple butter in my crock pot from our apple picking expedition, and try to get us settled into a new rhythm now that Daddy TwoSquare is working from home. (That's right, he already has a new contract job that will pay the bills, allow him to work fewer hours, and give me some help PREPARING FOR THE MOVE IN A YEAR.)

We are blessed. Busy, but blessed. I leave you with my morning view from this past weekend, a weekend with no Calvin and Hobbes, three lovely siblings-in-law, sweet Linus, cold mountain air, and lots of alone time and good adult conversation.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Coup

Hi, TwoSquare's blog here. Apparently, she has decided she no longer needs me. I guess I'll just have to stage a takeover of this space. I heard her talking with her husband about some new job possibilities for him...and then there was something about getting up to the mountains to enjoy the Fall foliage.

If she doesn't get back to writing soon, expect to hear more from me. I'm sure I can come up with all sorts of interesting posts. Anyone want to know the finer points of HTML? How to spice up those boring templates? Troubleshooting problems with links? I've got it all here. If you are really good, maybe we can talk some CSS...

No, wait! Come back! She'll be back soon! I promise! (just as soon as she gets herself out from under that mountain of paperwork, insurance info, homeschooling curriculum, and laundry...)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Charting a New Course

So, things have been a little bit crazy around the Two Square household this past week. Daddy Two Square (the poor man needs a blog alias of some sort) was laid off last Thursday, along with half of his company. We have no reason to complain and are so blessed compared to many people these days. We have money in the bank, my husband already has several potential contracting positions, and my in-laws keep us supplied in eggs and milk and would even take us in if we had to sell our house.

In a crazy way, this is probably an answer to pray and the solution to many problems for us. Until last Thursday, I was drowning in the Things To Do Ocean, wondering how we would ever get support raised, prep our house to put it on the market, homeschool Calvin, get ready to move overseas, and manage the daily tasks of life. I did the math. It was impossible. The weight of stress was so heavy that I felt I couldn't breathe.

Now we are looking at having my husband working from home, likely taking the jobs he wants for the number of hours he wants a week. This support raising and move may become a reality. I feel like I am finally coming up for air.

Unfortunately, I came up to a storm of boys anxious and unsure about what it means that Daddy lost his job and is home all of the time. We are all trying to figure it out, find a new rhythm, settle into yet another new daily and weekly schedule. But God's hand is all over this situation, and we are thankful. He is moving us on to the next phase of our journey. It just might be a rough few weeks getting the boat to sail smoothly.

In the meantime, I am learning all kinds of things about His presence in the details of our lives. But I'll save that for another post. Hopefully I'll be back at it once things settle around here. I miss writing.