Category Archives: Rebekah

Thanking As Much As Begging

Last year I taught my daughter


Actually, I thought I was teaching her how to politely
cash in on a promise without being a dripping faucet.
Afterall, she wasn’t asking her daddy
for something out of his control,
she was just asking for something he’d promised.

With my advice, she stopped greeting my husband
every
night at the front door asking,
“Daddy, when are you going to build my playhouse?”

 

She stopped waking him up
every
Saturday morning asking,
“Are you going to build my playhouse today?”

She just left signs everywhere.
It was quiet.
It wasn’t nagging.

It worked.
We got what we wanted.

We have played, pretended, snacked, tea-partied our hearts out.
The loft holds a double mattress, so we have slumber parties
where we watch movies,  eat snacks,
chew gum instead of brushing our teeth before bed,
then fall asleep holding hands.

This little home her daddy prepared for us has been
a huge, huge, blessing.

 

One day, I was convicted to tears.
I did a great job of teaching Rebekah
 to ask her Daddy for an answer to a promise.

I didn’t properly teach her to thank him.
Oh, we said thanks on more than one occasion.
She is delighted and will spontaneously hug and thank her Daddy.
She tells others how thankful she is for her Daddy.

But, our thanks didn’t match the magnitude of
asking
or the magnitude of
blessing
 we’d received.

To remedy the situation,
Rebekah and I giggled and planned and shopped.



We invited Daddy to a party.
A big party.

On the colorful banner we wrote
Thank You.


Beka and her Guest of Honor.

Kisses of thanksgiving for the carpenter.
Let the festivities begin!


Scott’s love language is hand-written cards.
(I know that’s not exactly what the book says,
but it’s exactly what he wants.)

Beka’s handwritten words of love and gratitude.
This was his favorite part of the celebration.

So, you all know where I’m going with this,
doncha’?
Every day,
all day long,
 our Heavenly Father
fulfills His promises to us.
I’m convicted that my
prayers of thanksgiving
don’t match the magnitude of
blessing received.





Hebrews 13:15
By Him therefore let us offer the
sacrifice of praise
 to God continually, that is,
the fruit of our lips
giving thanks
 to His Name.

Thank you, Daddy.
Thank you, Heavenly Father.

 

Angel We Heard On High

Every child wants to be the angel in the Christmas play.
The wings and halo are just so enticing.
So, when you are the only girl in the Sunday School class
and
 your mom writes the play,
being chosen for the coveted role is a done deal.
I realized tradition and Scripture don’t always mesh.
The angel in Christmas programs has always been a girl.
Then, my wise  daughter asked me,
“Mom, is Gabriel a girl’s name?”
I’m thinking to myself,
“Duh, it’s a boy name.”
So I smartly replied that Gabriel is a boys name for humans,
but our angel was a girl.
What’s a mother to do?
Because we wanted to go for a dramatic entrance,
and we didn’t have those wires that made Peter Pan fly,
we settled for hiding the angel behind the piano when the adults
were downstairs snacking on Christmas cookies and coffee.

Just as the shepherds were surprised,
so was the audience.
The beautiful blonde angel popped from behind the piano,
the talented piano player shared her bright light for a moment
and the angel shone with glory while proclaiming,
“Fear not!
For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you;
Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
We actually heard a few gasps from the crowd, so we were delighted.
Audience reaction is so rewarding, isn’t it?
 
“Angel we have heard on high
sweetly singing o’er the stage.”

This beautiful dress was sewn by a friend, Marilyn,

when her daughter was in a wedding years ago.
It’s hung in our closet waiting for Rebekah to grow into it.
It was the perfect angel costume.
After spending the Saturday before the play
sewing the other five costumes, I was beat.
But, I still didn’t have angel wings.
Scott and I drove to a party store
hoping to find a ready made pair.
It was closed.
We had about 20 minutes before Michael’s closed,
so ran through the aisles looking for something that
could quickly and easily be turned into wings.
Super large white chenille stems were found on the clearance aisle.
Score!
A few twists, a few twist ties to hold the twists in place,
 a few knots in skinny elastic,
and angel wings were born.

“Good tidings of great joy.”

Hmmm..

I’ll be honest, not feeling a lot of joy today.

I’m thinking of all I need to do,
all I will never get done,
and how to pull it all together in less than 48 hours.

All I really wanna’ do is sit in my pj’s and drink coffee.

We’ve been given good tidings that should bring us great joy.

Not just joy,
great joy.

If there’s no joy,
that’s our fault,
not heaven’s.

He already provided all we need in a manger.

Clay Pot Nativity

Last December, I found a box of little clay pots at a thrift store.
Thirty for $1.25!
I didn’t need them.
I had no idea of what I would use them for.
But, they were SO tiny and SO cute,
had to buy them.
A few days later,  I found Jennifer’s craft
Perfect!
To make it easier for my daughter, I glued the beads on the night before.
For Joseph and Mary and I bought the kind with one flat side.
Beka painted the pots and the basin,
then glued moss down.

Baby Jesus just needed a square of fabric,
some cotton,
pretty sure this is from a bottle of Advil,
‘cuz I’m thrifty like that,
and one tiny bead.

A little glue, a little folding, and a little more gluing.

The beard was a little scraggly.
 
Her sister is a cosmetologist, so Beka was very confident
she knew just how to trim a beard.
 
The finishing touch was to set the family on a slice of wood
I had squirreled away in my craft room.
Do you keep things just because you like them
and you think you might need them some day?

A fun, inexpensive craft, a fun memory, and a holiday
decoration we’ll use for years.
Jessica from Craftily Ever After had her own version.
I loved her idea of using burlap.
Janet posted this one at Design Dazzle.
Isn’t it adorable?
This craft is a good way to inspire your family
to keep
Christ
in
Christmas.

May I Take Your Order Please?

The words were music to my ears.
“Mom, can I make lunch?”
Like I’m gunna’ say NO?!?!?!?!?
My youngest daughter loves to serve
and loves to be in the kitchen,
so I love to let her serve me by
being in the kitchen.
I like to avoid the kitchen.
We’re not always on speaking terms.
So, I continued to work on an article I was writing,
corrected Geometry and tried not to let Facebook
interrupt my day any further.
When she called me into the kitchen later,
I knew I was in for a fancy restaurant kinda’ experience.
A tablesetting with cloth napkin awaited.

After she seated me, I was given a menu,
just like in a real restaurant.
(We’ll talk about the spelling tomorrow, k?)
She wore an apron and talked about the menu items,
just like in a real restaurant.
My order was written down and the food quickly prepared.
I should have taken a picture of the food,
but I devoured it too quickly.
She fanned the whole grain crackers around the mound of chicken salad.
The egg salad was served with potato chips
because we like to use it as a dip, not a sandwich spread.
It was delicious!
Just like in a real restaurant.

The bill was just like in a real restaurant, too.
“And, Mom, you have to pay me in real money,”
she said graciously, but firmly.
This is as opposed to the fake money we use
with our fake cash register
when we’re studying money in school.
Real money?
Who’s she kidding?
I have two teenagers in the house,
I’m not allowed to carry money.
They can sniff out dollar bills faster than
pigs can sniff out truffles.
(I’ve been waiting for years to use that useful
tidbit of information I gleaned from my fourth grade reader.)

My wallet was emptied.
It wasn’t enough.

The piggy bank was shooken/shooked/shaken
until I felt like I was getting carpal tunnel.
The restaurant owner conceded to accept
the amount that slid out of Mr.  Piggy Bank,
who’s not the truffle sniffing kinda’ pig.

The change was tossed into the tip jar,
and I finished up the dishes.
Just like in a real restaurant.

Really? October is Almost Over?

On some occasions, I plan  far ahead and succeed.
On other occasions, I do minimal planning and still succeed.
 I’m now at the point where I’m trying to do as little as possible,
and still be able to call the occasion a success.
Take fall decorating, for instance.
I usually love to begin the school year with a bang
and decorate my house with all kinds of cool fall things.
Last year, I did an awesome job.
Last year, it took a long time to take it down.
Last year, I didn’t get the fall decorations in the attic till summer.
This year, I’m a little slow on the uptake.
My game plan had to change because my life is different.
Instead of rummaging through my attic, we went to a local outdoor market.

My faithful sidekick and companion, Rebekah,
chose the best pumpkin of all.
Really, she did.
Notice the mild weather?
Lovin’ it!

For the years I feel more maroony and less orangey
the new white pumpkins are great.

Nothing says fall better than these babies,

and one of these.
When we got home I put someone else in charge.
Yea, the blonde one, not the burlap one.
She decorated the buffet with my green glassware and her
farmers’ market finds.
It was a thrill for Rebekah to “be in charge”
arranging, rearranging and calling out for my approval.
It’s so wonderful to give kids a little boot out of the nest,
and see where they fly.

A bag contained mini gourds, pumpkins and Indian corn.
(Are we still allowed to call it that?  The name always makes me feel so not PC)

Pedestal bowls are a great way to decorate for the seasons
simply and inexpensively.
The green felt placemat is from Target, I found three and nabbed them.
I also put one on the mantle and one on the coffee table.
I also have pedestals in clear glass.
For years, my Christmas centerpiece was vintage glass balls
with bits of evergreen cut from a tree in our yard.
Even branches, pinecones and leaves can look amazing.
Place a few mini pumpkins where candles used to sit
and you have instant fall decorating.
No fuss, no frills, no ladder climbing,
and all can go into my compost at the end of the season.
I might go into the attic and pull out a few more things,
but I am giving myself permission not to, if I don’t wanna’.
Sometimes, our best ideas come when we have to simplify our lives.
We women like to beat ourselves up with all these imagined rules
we have about how our homes, holidays and closets should look.
Relax! 
Learn to enjoy the moment.
You may be creating even better family memories.
Besides, we all know,
“If Momma Ain’t Happy,
Ain’t Nobody Happy”
and for now,
simplifying my life,
is what’s making this Momma happy.
Making your home sing Mondays

My Husband’s Mid-Life Crisis

Some of you know my husband’s name is Scott.
Some of you know that my husband is getting older.
We’re the same age, but he is 8 months older.
In my mind, that’s way older.
At 47, I guess we’re officially middle-aged.
He’s just more middle-aged than me.
Remember, he’s way older?
He’s having a mid-life crisis.
I’m seeing the signs.
There are things about his life he wants to change.
Some men buys sports cars.
Some men start working out.
Some men get toupes.
Not my man.
When we go out to eat,
on those rare date nights,
I know it’s almost time to
“belly-up-to-the-bar” when the teen-age waitress hollers,
“Jack, table for two,
JACK!
Yep, he wants to change his name to
Jack.
He bemoans we didn’t name one of our sons Jack.
He wonders out loud if he could get away with a legal name change.
It gets really bad when he dreams about me changing my name to Jill.
Just when I was getting used to my hubby of 25 years being called
JACK,
he began showing other fruit of his aging crisis.
He went into a store.
A store he’s never gone into before.
A store where he doesn’t really belong.
He bought something he’s never bought before.
Something that isn’t the usual thing a man of his integrity would buy.
In the store people were eyeing him with curious snickers.
I was actually getting a little uncomfortable.
I tell ya’, this middle-age crisis thing is getting a little dangerous.
I’m a little worried about what he’s gunna’ do next.
Yea, that’s his Monkey, Jack.
Jack is wearing,
(I have to whisper this part) whitie tidies,
(back to my normal voice)
jeans and a flannel shirt.
Jack is from Minnesota, can ya’ tell?
Jack was eyeing the fishing outfit,
but he’ll have to get that later.
Ya’ know I was describing Monkey Jack’s clothes,
not Hubby Jack’s clothes, right? 
Right.
I think he was feeling left out with all the adventures
Rebekah and I have with our Build-A-Bear Monkies.
Speaking of feeling left out,
Daddy let her help.
I think it soothed that uncomfortable feeling that all
the other kids in the store were getting toys,
not watching their Dad splurge.
(don’t mind the pics, those cell phone things aren’t high quality)
Daddy Jack picked out the clothes, but she got to dress Baby Jack.
Daddy Jack a little incredulous over his momentary weakness.
After all, this is a man used to buying things with
power cord and engines, not stuffing and a tail.
Formerly, this man’s happiest day,
next to marrying me,
 was the day he bought his Stihl chainsaw.
How well I remember his thrill, 
“Honey, it’s a STIHL.  A REAL STIHL.”
I think he had a tremor in his voice,
he was so awestruck with his good fortune.
He’s a Minnesota boy through and through.
That day, he was so happy he just began cutting stuff up.
See why I call this a crisis?
He goes from Minnesota woodsman to stuffed animal owner?
Buying toys is my normal behavior, not his.
I guess if the neighbors hear the chain saw in the next few weeks,
 they better beware.
It will be the prelude for Lumber Jill’s mid-life crisis.

********
Follow me over to Kim’s for more laughs!

But, MOM, I Neeeeeeeeed a Horse!

Like most young girls, Beka longs for a horse.
More than longs, she begs for a horse.
Her Daddy, being the kind and kinda’ crazy man he is,
once promised her a pony if she never got married
 and lived with us forever.
OK, she was five at the time,
but he doesn’t understand the power of words.
She heard the promise of the horse.
At five, she wasn’t interested in marital status,
so pledging to be single to be a cowgirl meant nothing to her.
As she grows up, she  now realizes that maybe,
just maybe,
she might want to get married after all.
She wants kids, and she knows she needs a husband,
so the dilmena is pretty big in her 9 year old mind.
But, she really, really, really wants that horse Dad “promised.”
“But, Mom, he promised!”
Like wives occasionally have to do,
I had to step up to the plate for my hubby.
I tried explaining to Beka that Daddy was just kidding.
“He promised.”
I tried explaining there wasn’t enough room in our backyard for a horse.
“Uh, huh, we can get rid of the trampoline.”
 I tried explaining there were rules against having a horse in the city.
“Then we can move into the country.”
I tried explaining and explaining and explaining.
That girl just wanted a horse.
So, like all good moms,
I got her a horse.
I found this lovely thing on the curb.
For free.
Who in their right mind would want this?
Then I bought this for $2. 
The stick was broken in half.
Who in their right mind would want a Stick Horse with a broken stick?
Combine those two things,
with this little Hubby Dun Did the Honey Do Thing….
and a little spray paint and you have
a
horse.
Can you believe,
I don’t have a picture of the horse?
You have to use your imagination,
like I did to make it.
I assure you, it looks real.
I’m sure the neighbors might call the city on me
for unlawfully boarding a horse in the city.
With some boards and two folding chairs,
the horse pulls a wagon.
With a gun and a bandana,
the horse helps catch Bad Guys.
With a little spiritual dreaming on my part,
it’s a tangible reminder of a great promise.
Proverbs 21:31
 The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But deliverance is of the LORD.
Seriously, when I see horses,
I think of this verse.
I’m not just trying to cram a spiritual lesson into a boring blog.
We like to think our own talents, abilities, wisdoms and even
our spiritual understanding and prayers bring  victory.
We’re wrong.
Victory or deliverance, is from the Lord.
I don’t know about your current situation,
but  some trials have made me cry to the Lord for
We have the easy part,
we prepare the horse.
The Lord’s responsible for the hard part,
the deliverance.
Do you need deliverance?
I’d love to pray for you.
Share your heart,
the battle that’s raging,
and allow me help prepare your horse for battle.
I’m good at
preparing horses.


Continuing the Science Shelf Tradition

Last year I started the tradition of a
Go ahead, click on the link, I know you wanna’.
Well, that shelf got hijacked for a Christmas project.
I’ve been buying little plastic vintage things for a few years,
and I finally had enough to fill the spaces.
The stuff is down on my craft counter,
waiting for the magical slot of time to appear
so I can complete the project.
Any hoo –
This Science project was started partly because through the years
I’ve developed a personal aversion
to reading a few pages and answering a few questions.
boring
If the teacher is bored, the kids are bored.
The Abeka Science book is good,
but I needed to
touch,
smell,
see,
hear,
and  taste,
 Science.
But it really started when I was diagnosed with cancer
 and Rebekahn was barely two years old.
For physical and mental health issues,
we began taking walks around the neighborhood,
watching ants,
smelling flowers,
picking up pine cones,
enjoying the wonderful world the Lord created,
and bringing home treasures.
I finally figured out an attractive way to display our precious finds.
(click on pic to enlarge, if you wanna’)
This year I found a new shelf at a garage sale.
The bottle on the left filled with green is a simple experiment,
the oil and water one, with a few random cute things floating
in the water for good measure.
Didja’ know self proclaimed Science Geeks,
like to do Science projects during a play date?
Amazing.
Beautiful.
Children.
I got ambitious and spray painted the Scrabble tile holders black.
Yea, I’m matchy-matchy like that.
The dishes may be piled high, your feet may stick to my floor,
but I’m doing something irrelevant because I want it to match.
The cool wood chips are from a beaver.
During a nature walk on a trail along the river,
we found a tree a beaver was in the process of chopping down.
We brought home a few chewed slivers for a souvenir.
 See this beauty?
Some snake left its outer layer on a rock  in Montana
and I had to bring them both home.
Rebekah wasn’t too happy about being “this” Science geeky,
she told me politely she prefers plant science.
But, the shelf awaits our adventure.
When the PNW brings us a sunbreak,
we’ll grab a wicker basket,
maybe load up our monkies in the stroller,
and take off to
explore and experience
Science.
The shelf will temporarily display our treasures,
our minds will contain the knowledge,
but our hearts will always cherish the memories.

WHY DO WE BUY TOYS?!?!

Hubby and I have asked ourselves this many times over the years.
You buy an awesome Christmas present,
the kid plays with the box.
You order an awesome birthday present,
the kid plays with the bubble wrap.
You splurge on cool outside toys,
they play with
Sticks and Rocks and Mud.
When they get tired of sticks and rocks and mud,
they entertain themselves.
However, if we wrapped up
Sticks and Rocks and Mud
in rolls of bubble wrap and
taped it up in a big box
to give a kid for  Christmas or a birthday,
they wouldn’t be happy.
They would want a cool toy.
Still, for two and a half decades of parenting,
hubby and I have asked ourselves,
“WHY DO WE BUY THE KIDS TOYS?”
Case in point.

We go to a cool beach on the Puget Sound for a family picnic.
I pack a large basket full of very exciting outdoor toys for the big kids.
They get ignored.

Instead, the kids creatively make up their own fun.
Bethany spearheads the “Balancing Act” game.
In case you didn’t know, a log is an overgrown stick.

Grace attempts balancing on an extra long log.
Is it cheating if you use a stick to balance on a log?
Hey, Moms, notice they don’t outgrow the
“Adopt A Stick” game?

Beka takes on the challenge.

Jon joined the game, but spent most of his time
leaping instead of balancing.

Grace changes the game to
“See Who Can Find the Best Marshmallow Roasting Stick.”
Can’t  ya’ hear her triumphant cry,
“I Win, Oh, Yea!”
to the tune of
“Squid Launcher, Oh Yea!”

Jon participated in a boy’s favorite pastime,

“Throwing Rocks.”

Beka played,

“Let’s See how Long I can Walk in 58degree Water.”

Not very long.

She loved digging her toes in the mud along the edges.

See what I mean?
Sticks and Rocks and Mud
keep them happy.
While they waded, balanced and threw,
Daddy rested.
After roasting dinner, they tired of
Sticks and Rocks and Mud

so they invented a new game.

“Leap Over Your Sister In a Single Bound.”
Little Sister joined the game,
but didn’t quite master the leap OVER part.
Big Sister added a new dimension to the game.
It became
 “Leap Over Your Sister In a Single Bound While Catching the Aerobie.”
Yea, they finally touched a toy.

Then they started playing with the picnic tables.

“Let’s See If We Can Jump From Table to Table
Without Touching the Ground.”

Made it!

Can’t you just hear them double-dog daring each other?

While they jumped over, around, into,  and on top of things,
Daddy rested.

So back to that original question,
WHY DO WE BUY THEM TOYS?
Because I, that’s me, wave to the shadow,
like buying them toys.
I like to give my children good things.
As we begin the annual countdown to Christmas,
yea, don’t panic, but it’s three months away,
I plan on buying toys.
I will wrap them with bubble wrap and place them in boxes.
The kids will play with the bubble wrap and boxes,
but I will be happy I bought them toys.
Because I like toys.
I like giving good things.
Even if they don’t like a present I pick out,
I keep buying them presents.
Even if they don’t use a present I pick out,
I keep buying them presents.
Even if they don’t keep a present I pick out,
I keep buying them presents.
You’re like that, too?
Do ya’ know who we take after?
Our Father.
Matthew 7:11
If you then, being evil,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father who is in heaven
 give good things to those who ask Him!
Yea, that’s where I get my example.
We may be like Him in the desire to give good things,
but our jesting desire to wrap up
Sticks and Rocks and Mud
doesn’t come from Him.
The verse just prior tells us
 Matthew 7:9
Or what man is there among you who,
if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
Even if we’re content to play with life’s
Sticks and Rocks and Mud,
He’s still determined to give us good things.
Isn’t He an amazing Heavenly Father?

The Tom Sawyer Trick Still Works

This dream
needed some serious Tom Sawyer attention.
One  sunny Saturday,
one trip to Home Depot with hubby,

and one eager little painter.
Yea, as soon as we mentioned painting,
she was all over it.
She wanted to paint.
We hemmed and hawed and made a big deal about
wanting the paint job to be nice.
It worked.
It increased her desire.
Teenagers don’t want to paint.
So, we’ve learned to let ’em paint while they still think it’s exciting.
You just can’t be that picky about their effort.
Count on the help getting paint all over.
As I’ve learned from previous painting experiences,
you have to grit your teeth through the process,
and cheer on the outcome.
Seriously, close your eyes and grit your teeth.
It won’t be pretty,
but it will be done.
Never criticize the help, never.
They might not help again.
See?  Not pretty.
One messy painter who wasn’t criticized.
Laughed at, but not criticized.

One eager neighbor was added to the equation.
As soon as he saw Rebekah having all the fun,
he had to join in.
One cool Home Depot hat was all it took
to get him to stir the paint.
One painter’s trick I learned from my  brothers, Joel and Allan.
You pound holes into that little ledge so the paint drips back into the can.
You already knew that?
Sorry.
I learned it late in life.
One window installer…

who also fell for the Tom Sawyer ploy and painted the window trim.
One door installed while the painter retires her brush for
her Laura Ingalls’ bonnet and pretending with neighbor, Norah.
One more stage of the
Playhouse Project
completed.
It’s finished enough to enjoy through the rainy season
and we’ll work on the porch and the interior as time and inspiration allows.
One more skill taught,
One more family memory,
and
One very happy little girl.