Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tea Time

Yesterday my girls wanted to have a tea party. They always have tea parties for birthdays and when they go to my grandparent's house, but I'm usually too busy at home. But I'm making an effort to take time to enjoy little things, so we dropped everything, make scones, and had tea. As it happened, I talked to my sister, and my niece was apparently also clamoring for a tea party, so she joined us. My girls like everything in life better when Selina joins the fun.

 I discovered that our teatime manners are sorely lacking, so we'll have to make a point to have tea a couple of times a week and work on speaking softly, taking small bites and not rattling the china. 

I didn't have any cookies of any kind, so we had to make scones.
I found this delightful recipe from the Food Network, sans the currents. I don't like currents.
(Thank goodness for the Food Network website. Without it, we would subsist solely on tacos and spaghetti.)

We took turns adding ingredients. 

If you bake- ever- and don't have a pastry cutter, get one. 

Cutting in the butter us so much fun! 

We didn't have cream, so we used whole milk. It worked.

We opted for wedge-shaped scones. Yummy.

"Look, Aunt Rish, it looks like a crown!"
I love now little people find beauty in really simple things.
Somewhere I read a suggestion for "poetry tea parties," where everyone brings a poem to share.
My kids brought Barenstien Bears and Fancy Nancy. I guess we need to work on poetry...
So yes, I still have laundry to do and dishes to wash. But my kids are growing up every time I turn around. So we'll take time for poetry and tea and dress-up. Because what is life without a little beauty?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Creation of Adam

The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo Buonarroti 

The breath of God
That spoke swirling galaxies
And a myriad of stars
into the vast array of heaven,
breaths life into a form of dust
And infuses him with the Divine Spark.

The hand of God
Touching the hand of man
The angels watch with bated breath
As the Father of Heaven
Gives life to Adam, the father of earth

The image of God
The crowning achievement of creation
Gazing at his creator with trust and peace.
Unmarred and unashamed.
Looking at the face of God

With love

Ballet Magnificat!

My girlies, my neice and their friend
on the first day of ballet classes this year. 

"You do WHAT? Seriously, you drive all that way? Why?"
This is the response I tend to get when I casually mention that my kids go to ballet class two hours from home.

I'm not gonna lie. Sometimes I have a similar conversation with myself. Tuesdays are long in our house. We leave the house about 9:30 and head to Jackson, where we have a round of violin lessons, and later in the afternoon, ballet classes. We get dinner at Cracker Barrel, and head home. We usually get back around 9:30 at night.

I was once again reminded this evening. It's pretty simple: Ballet Magnificat.

I mean, there are other factors. For example, there isn't a violin teacher for the girls in town. However there are teachers closer than Jackson. Why on earth would we choose to sacrifice the time and expense to drive a hundred additional miles round trip further than we have to?

I usually tell a story to illistrate why my husband and I consider the drive worth it:

It was a normal Thursday. The trainees were about to file out of one studio after bible study with bibles and devotional books in hand.  We were a little early for Ianna's class, and so we were watching a few members of the touring company rehearse in the studio across the hall. The new ballet clearly dealt with temptation and it's allure. Two dancers were also watching, and were engrossed in conversation.

"It's creepy, isn't it?" one of them said. "I mean, you want to think of sin as scary and ugly, but it's not."

"Yeah, it's true." her friend replied. "But think about it; we don't have to live under sin. Christ has conquered it. We don't have to be ruled by it."
Margot is one of the young ladies who's conversation I
happened to overhear. She's here with Ianna and
Isaac, my nephew. 

Now, these girls weren't tying to impress me with their deep observations or spiritual jargon. They weren't giving me a "I'm a Christian-ballerina-who-has-sound-theology" bit to convince me to send my kid to study there. They were just talking, And in case you were wondering, no,  that's not the kind of thing you usually just happen to hear around a ballet studio.

When you are talking about something irritating, you say "to add insult to injury", but what do you say when it's something impressive?

 "To add better to good?"

I guess I'll go with that.

To add better to good,  they are all nice. Seriously. Dancers can be seriously snooty. World-class ballerinas aren't just lining up to have conversations with a five-year-old about her new baby brother like Kathy Thibodeaux, the founder and artistic director, did with  my my little one.

But for all that, every once and a while I need an extra dose of perspective. Tonight was a great one. We took the girls to see Ballet Magnificat! perform here in Natchez. The show was beautiful, fun and engaging, and it ended with remarkably clear gospel presentation. Stunning dance, seeped and surrounded with a passion for the glory of God.

We had to have pictures with a few ballerinas 
And that's why I make the haul. So that my kids will be surrounded by people with a passion for the gospel. So that their perception of art won't be the skewed, self-glorifying, cut-throat affair that it can so easily become. So that the will see dancers who are worthy role models, not just because they have good turnout or they can do a dizzying number of pirouettes, but primarily because they love and serve the Lord.
And, did I mention that they are stunningly beautiful?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Baby Boy

Yes, it's about 6 months late, but seriously, have you ever had a newborn? No time, people. I haven't mastered art of typing and nursing at the same time. Also, I've been putting off editing these pictures, and have thus been putting off posting them. I'm a pretty modest girl, and birth pictures can be less than. So, now I've finally got some G-rated birth pictures, and some commentary to go along with them.  

I had been feeling a little different all day, and about 9pm on April 3rd I started noticing that the discomfort that is ever present during pregnancy was kind of coming and going. "Patterning," they call it. So I called the midwife and my sister. Andrew went to get groceries, because we seriously had nothing in the house, and Robin and Mom helped me with a last-ditch house clean. The midwife told me to rest while I was waiting. That didn't happen. I was too hyped. I guess it's good I labor pretty quickly, because I never rest in early labor. 
I had little gifts for my "birth team." Hey, birth is stressful for everyone. Moms and babies get lots of stuff, but what about all the people that cope with the crazy women and don't sleep all night? I think they deserve some thanks too.

I carefully timed my contractions 'till the midwife got there. Gotta love smart phones.

 I was pretty far along by the time I settled into the bed room. Andrew was pretty nervous about the whole "have a baby at home" thing,  but he was pretty great once it came down to it.
I've read alot about "counter pressure" during labor, but never really liked it. I did this time.
Mom got the honor of dealing with me while Andrew blew up the pool.
 I didn't really want the tub, but Alina, the midwife, talked me into having them set it up, in case I changed my mind.

 I did. I'm pretty sure I made someone go to Robin's house to get me a swimsuit to borrow. I couldn't find mine. It turned up about a month later in a random box.
This was probably about midnight. I was in serious labor at this point, and obviously don't care about the rather uncomfortable positions my helpers adopted.

 Little man was a little bit blue. His Aunt Robin caught him. Andrew held my hands while I screamed in his face. That's love, folks. I'm a little surprised I didn't bust his eardrums.

 Momin, as my kids call her, held baby boy while I took a moment to cope. Alina had discussed something they are calling a "birth pause" with us during the pregnancy, and I found it very freeing to not feel like a bad mom the need a moment to come to terms with myself before I turned my attentions to the baby. Having a baby is seriously intense.

He was pretty much perfect. Fat and happy. 
Still is :-)

 The sisters like the baby. They can't keep their little hands off him. It's pretty cute.
 My kids still have all their great-grandparents, and most of them were able to come see the new addition. These are my grandparents. Grammy had called early Thursday to see if I wanted the girls to some stay there for a few days so I could get some rest. Turns out I had a baby that night.

 This is Andrew's Grandpa Gore
 And this is Pa, Andrew's grandfather Gavin.

She loves her baby.

Daddy and his boy. Elijah ADORES Andrew. Every time he sees him the smiles and laughs and is generally super happy. He likes to be held by the milk machine, though.