Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Willow & Juniper

Rachael loved her childhood home on Willow Street as much as Jennipher loved living with her grandparents on Juniper Street, underneath the towering Eucalyptus.

Both homes had enough character and charm to leave lasting impressions on the creatively bent little girls.

Their paths would cross one day, living on Pine Street, in the town of Silverton, Oregon.

Their eye for resourceful design along with their love of finding beauty in the everyday would bring them together as friends and eventually give birth to an idea...a dream.

"We should start a business."

"The kind of business that allows us to design, create, and bless others with the gifts God has given us."

Thank you Rachael for being brave enough to take this step of faith with me.

I can't wait to see what's in store for Willow & Juniper.

"Courage is more exhilarating than fear, and in the long run, it is easier. We don't have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time." ~Eleanor Roosevelt 

Just a quick preview of a slideshow being put together for our business to come soon!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

snow days and those days

When it snows in the valley life stops...and let's be honest, we love it.

I've come to imagine that the "they" who make the laws for no salt on the roads and school closures are really just grown up kids like me, who labor in prayer for those teensy white flakes to band together and throw their blanket of white across our usually soggy fields, possibly even pile up high enough to scrape together a snow man, and maybe, just maybe, fall long enough to make us feel like we hit the "snow jackpot", wipe the cobwebs off the sleds, and fly outside like a child leaving that pile of dishes behind.

Our snowed in weekend was blissful...well, as as long as one can look away from the frustrations of dirty floors, piles of wet snow clothes, a few minor meltdowns from playing in the cold for hours or getting pelted in the eye with a snowball by an all too guilty brother.

Snow days are a lot of work really...I mean there's hot chocolate to procure, cookies to bake, fires to stoke, mittens to be found, more laundry, more...crazy.

We mom's are forcing that smile..because it's a snow day right? We are supposed to be happy, right!?

I find myself giving that book (I've imagined myself reading lazily by the fire as the snowflakes fall gently outside the frosty window) dirty looks for just sitting there and teasing me for the fact that I really won't get past a chapter without hearing the call of the wild...


Snow days have always reminded me of beach days...all the work to get to the sand and then the cleaning up from being in the sand, the overly tired cries, and the parents asking themselves,

"wasn't this supposed to be fun!?"

On snow days we like to imagine ourselves jumping right out of the cover of an LL Bean magazine...

the children are not cold, their snowman is perfect, their sled flies far and fast while the beautiful parents watch unafraid of brain injuries or broken arms.

Marketing has made us keenly aware of the imperfect.

Shame on them.

All of this real is what makes us pray for snow and embrace the sand...(everywhere).

The imperfectly perfect memories that make us, us. 

So, when Zibby decided that we should sing the national anthem before Sunday morning devotions at home (yes, even church was closed), you take that "imperfect" as treasure. Aaron and I exchange looks and don't dare correct the six year old with face uplifted singing her heart out as she would any hymn...

"for the la-and of the FREEEE! and the ho-ome of the-e brave!"

Sounds perfectly in tune to us.
Smiles & Sledding

It really is.

Ben and Roy the Snowman

At least someone got to read by the fire.

Han Solo & Princess Leia warming up after returning from Hoth.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

more thoughts on discipline

As I re-read the post titled "No" dated 1/27/14,  
I realized how public our personal life can become through a blog. To be honest, if someone thought they personally knew us because they only read our blog they are mistaken. (These life snippets are just the tip of the iceberg!) But, this post in particular implies a discipline, (the kind that results in a sore bum), that many parents do not agree with, and beyond that, some parents argue to be associated with abuse. In regards to the "sore-bum" kind of discipline:
We embrace the Bible to be the Word of God, it is our go-to guide for life. We believe that every bit of the Bible is the inspired Word of God and we do our best to love these children the way that we have been loved by God. 
Just in case one would argue, "God doesn't love us", let me bring to mind the discipline that we didn't have to endure. The discipline that God subjected His own beloved Son to, 
so that we could be forgiven, free, and live with Him forever in Heaven;

Isaiah 53:6-8
English Standard Version (ESV)
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened 
not his mouth. 

We discipline our children because we love them. This is hard for so many parents to understand, especially if abuse and harm had been a part of their own childhood. As much as hurting a child physically out of anger and frustration is unjust so to is neglect. If a child is subject to a consistently sore-bum, clearly this form of discipline is not accomplishing any growth what-so-ever (for the child or parent). 

Colossians 3:21

English Standard Version (ESV)
21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

The goal of discipline is to keep the child safe from danger or future harm. 
Most parents would agree that a child who cannot swim should be kept safe from drowning. Those ridiculous floaties we cram onto their pudgy arms are "no fun" to the child who wants to be free (Zibby, our most independently spirited child hated floaties)...but, until they learn to swim, they have to wear them. We are vigilant around water and cannot really breath a sigh of relief until they know how to swim like a fish.  What kind of parent would we be if we let the child have their way? The result of our neglect to address the issue and protect the child would very likely result in future harm. We discipline to protect, to direct, and to ultimately allow the child to become a confident, secure, and independent adult as they swim along through the deeps of this life. We do not enjoy disciplining  our children when the need arrises. We have not disciplined them in this way often. We always tell them why they are being disciplined in that way. And we always hold them afterward and tell them how much we love them. They are not afraid of us. 
They respond with a new willingness and understanding. 
Because of Love.

Hebrews 12:11

English Standard Version (ESV)

11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.