August 27, 2015

Pinterest and Dollartree had a baby ( Planets)

Not long ago my mom told me that her favorite part of teaching was the planning which I totally didn't buy because I've seen her in the classroom and she's a great mix of entertainment/sarcasm/love....but as I've jumped into the deep end of homeschool this year I've realize that I also find great calm and love in all things planning. That said, I've decided I better keep a log for myself of my weekly plans so that if I do this again for Tabitha and/or Justice I will remember what worked well and what didn't....

So, if you don't mind, I'm going to do it here-besides, sharing is caring and if this means someone else can benefit from our weekly themes and/or my weekly themes remind you of something awesome( read:easy) that I can do with my kids then: Hazzah! 

Week One: Planets

Discuss: Genesis One and what "the heavens" means... 
Constellations 
The Planets in our solar system
The Sun 

Activities:

1. Moon Search
A giant bin of "moon sand" with hidden marbles (aka planets) and erasers shaped like little earths and stars. Kids had to find the hidden themed items in the sand. 
              -Ransom had to sort them and count each category. 
              - Tabitha had to make a huge mess with the sand. 
Ingredients needed: 
 2 bins ( my kids are terrible at sharing) 
 moon sand ( recipes abound on the internet but we were thankfully given moon sand as a gift. score) 
marbles, erasers found at Dollartree. 


2. Make the Constellations. 
Printed out these awesome printable constellations  and discussed what a constellation was and some of the stories behind them ( if they seemed suitable for a 5 year old...). Then Ransom made punched holes in the constellation stars. After we were done we went into a dark room and using a flash light shone the constellations on the wall! Pretty fun! 
                -Ransom worked on some classic eye/hand coordination with this one. He loved it. 
                -Tabitha was busy using a Bingo marker   to mark dots on this awesome printable of "S is for Spaceship"   Also practicing eye-hand coordination and working on our S recognition. 

Ingredients needed: 
 -Printer to print out both the constellations and the S worksheet. 
-Styrofoam square ( purchased at Dollartree) to place the constellation cards on so that the paper wouldn't rip when he punched holes. 
-Large crochet needle for punching ( I had this already)
-Bingo marker ( Dollartree has these too! ) 
-Flashlight

3. Our Planets. 
On the floor Ransom and I used cutouts of the different planets which I had numbered and he put them in order away from the sun. 
               -Ransom and I discussed the names of the planets over and over again. How big and how small they were and what being "far from the sun" meant for each planet. ( COLD and HOT) 
              -Tabitha ran around moving the planets and causing trouble. 

Ingredients needed: 
Print off of the planets, piece of yellow paper cut in a circle for the sun


4. "E" is for Earth 
With a blow up Earth beach ball we took turns picking a letter then when we caught the ball we had to say a word that started with that letter. Good for practicing sounding out and letter sounds
                 -Ransom loved this game and was definitely annoyed/confused at all the similar sounding letters that he came across usually J/G and K/C words...but we would talk about each one. 
                 - Tabitha loved throwing the ball and chasing it and saying random words loudly. 

Ingredients needed: 
Blow up Earth beach ball ( found at Dollartree) 


5. Creating planets
Discussing yet again how creative and wonderful God is for creating the Heavens. Give kids little paper plates to create their own planets with art supplies

Ingredients: 
Little paper plates ( go with the cheap ones the less glossy the easier for your art supplies!) 
paints ( we did paint because we rarely do paint and so its super special to my kids) 


6. Count the Stars
I gave Ransom about 8 of these black cards and a sheet of star stickers in the corner of each black card ( a piece of black construction paper cut in half hamburger style)  was a number written in chalk. He had to stick the number of stars corresponding to the number on the black "sky".   The next day I had erased the number and he had to count how many stars he had put in each sky and write the number at the bottom. 
                 -Ransom liked this game but didn't like doing the "big" numbers ( anything two digit) because it seemed like SO many. I had to encourage him that he could do it. 
                -Tabitha played stickers and paper while Ransom did this activity 

Ingredients: 
Black construction paper
white chalk 
star stickers. 


Books my kids loved: 
 





Other important resources: 


And special thanks to this link: Spell Out Loud  for having what I needed to get started on many of these activities. 





August 24, 2015

31 weeks of miracles.


 I hope Justice will know right off the bat what a huge huge blessing not being discussed in detail on this blog really is....His brother got it because he was our first and so everything was inevitably blown out of proportion-both good and bad. And then there were his sisters-who arguably deserved some serious discussion because that pregnancy was a moment by moment fight from the beginning.
But now for number 3....
 For my prayer card this year I had written "a healthy pregnancy/healthy baby". At the time we weren't pregnant and I was still understandably nervous about going through the whole thing again...but here we are at the end of August and at least that first prayer has been gloriously answered.

So much so that I honestly rarely know how far along I am. People ask and I have to stop and think. 28 weeks came and went amongst the craziness of Ransom's birthday and the end of summer....The third trimester started up quietly without any fanfare, amidst a lovely visit from Tabitha Trott.

In contrast 28 weeks with Tabitha was marked with a stay in Labor and Delivery and an all night vigil of me pleading with God to let her stay in just a little bit longer....with Ransom I'm sure I was counting the days to head into that final trimester-with all its baby showers and nursery prep....

This pregnancy has been unremarkable and yet truly how remarkable that is! I never want to undervalue or loose sight of what a truly miraculous thing it is to have a pregnancy go so smoothly. It would be easy to take it for granted and yet life has taught us that each of these "unremarkable" days is actually a great and glorious gift.

Tomorrow marks Priscilla's Day. A day when our sweet baby girl left us much earlier than expected. I miss what her life would have been. But this week I chose to celebrate what her short life taught me: 
I will forever place such value on this miracle that is Life- every day we have a chance to make a difference, every day that we are given a chance to make the right choices-To ultimately make The Choice* -it is a mysterious and wonderful gift that I don't want to take for granted. 

I will never underestimate the true gift of a healthy and seemingly "unremarkable" pregnancy, I know that it is not something to just assume but when it does happen, oh what a blessing! 
I can hardly wait to meet this little dude who flips and kicks so much that my belly visibly bounces half the night and yes I can also hardly wait till this awful awful heartburn is a thing of the past ( there, one little complaint to help him feel loved like with his brother. hehehe) but until then may I not forget to marvel at the seemingly uneventful pregnancy we have been given!!

* Priscilla is named after a pretty amazing woman ( girl power!) in the Bible ( Acts 18) who along with her husband were willing to share the Truth about Jesus' Love- such a great love that He chose to die, even though He did not deserve it,  so that when he rose from the grave ( Death could not hold Him!) you and I could have Freedom from a life of disappointment, destruction and ultimately death. 
When we named our daughter I wanted her to be filled with such love and boldness for her Lord that she would share His good news with anyone who would listen! My prayer is now for all of us- if you do not yet know this great Love than search Him out!! 
And if you DO, please honor Priscilla's short life by sharing how Jesus has changed your life with someone today. 



August 20, 2015

a meditation on calendars

I can't mention enough how much I love a good "plan" my love language definitely involves a to-do list and an extensive in-depth calendar. So, when I started to feel slightly wobbly on my fall plans ( aka. Ransom not heading off to kindergarden this year*) I bought myself a calendar and weekly planner. (I got Amy Knapp's Christian Family Organizer  and I'm loving it!)  And I started filling that puppy out like it was my job. 




I am already feeling much calmer-and since we are now into week two of Brett being back at work and the kids and I settling into a "home school" routine. I thought it would be fun to discuss my "plans" here because even though I love a good plan like it was chocolate and a bouquet of flowers, I have also been around long enough to know that my plans will inevitably change ( most definitely come end of October ( with the entrance of Justice) -and maybe come next week just because, who's to say?!)

First off, I realized, after a pretty rough Week One, that my kids play best- happily and peacefully-in the morning hours, it is the afternoon hours-witching hours and all-that we start to hit some serious rough patches. I also discovered that the sooner we head out the door and do something outside the house in the morning, the better. That's just how we are and so I've tried to adapt our plans accordingly. Basically I put all our "school" stuff at the end of the day, having planned crafts and school time for Ransom in the afternoon, when he's already begging to have someone  play with him and when he and Tabitha are at each others throats, just seems to work.

Here's the breakdown of our week:
Mondays: Review the week with our wall calendar( telling Ransom what to expect for the whole week works REALLY well! He is clearly my son)
Introducing the weeks theme with something fun the kids can do alone** so I can spend time writing grocery lists/meal plans etc.
Errands for the week
lunch/nap/rest time
school ( usually only consists of about 30 minutes of sitting at the table and we can get everything done)
dinner
praise-jesus-daddy-is-finally-home-time.

Tuesday: Morning craft ( I don't have anything specific to do outside the house on Tuesdays so I'm filling it in with a craft if we have nothing to "do")
lunch/naps/rest time
School
( soccer practice will probably be added in here soon!)
Dinner etc. etc.

Wednesday:
Play N' Learn at the Library ( hooray for this awesome program! Not only is it themed with crafts and stories and songs but it is aimed straight at both my kids ages!)
lunch/naps/rest time
School
Early Dinner
Home church

Thursday:
Slow morning because we're always up late for church. A little schooling, mostly hitting up the crafts and themed stuff that they've enjoyed the most so far that week.
Lunch/naps/rest time
Some play time
Piano lessons for Ransom
Soccer practice
Somehow have dinner in there....

Friday:
Field trip ( hitting up the children's museum/zoo/ park whatever...)
Lunch/naps/rest time
School/wrap up the weeks theme
Dinner
Movie because Daddy works till 9pm on Fridays and Mommy is D-O-N-E.



So there it is! It is Thursday and we've almost made it through another week. Whew! Sure, it is admittedly not as easy as driving my kids to prek for a few hours in the morning and I know I will be filled with great amounts of envy come next week when all of San Antonio heads back to school and I'll see solo mom's casually cruising Target, but I think it is manageable for now. I also give myself the freedom to hate it, and to have rough days and also to totally take three months off after having another baby and just push the "survival mode button"...I know that with all things there are seasons for being super mom and there are seasons to survive. Our kids surprisingly live through them all ;-)


* If you're interested in why we are holding Ransom back from Kindergarden even though he's admittedly "academically" ready- I totally recommend reading the following books: Outliers:The Story of Success  which was enough to convince me that while Ransom is actually a few days over the Kindergarden birthday cut off it is WELL worth allowing him a year to mature emotionally and physically before throwing him into Kindergarten with kids who have been 5 for months and Boys Adrift: The 5 factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated boys and Underachieving Young Men which was seriously one of the most intense books I've read in ages and has made me pray so hard for this coming generation so much more-not just for my own kids, but also for their friends! However, it also helped solidify in my mind that-at least as much as I can-I want to give Ransom the freedom to learn out in nature and running around soaking in life before I stick him in a classroom for any length of time.

** This week our theme was planets and the solar system. Thanks to the glory that is pinterest I came up with 4 or 5 activities and crafts to throw in at different times during the week, it took a little work and pre-planning but it was GREAT not having to think about it when I needed to throw something my kids way during some free time.




August 10, 2015

Change again

This year we have bought a new car, got pregnant and bought a new house so it seemed only right and natural to add "changing careers" into the mix of 2015. And so last thursday, with very little fanfare, we left full-time military service after 10 years. And today Brett started his "new" job. 

First off, can I just say that I've been thinking about this blog post for months-basically ever since I knew that THIS was the year for this particular leap-and I am still at a loss on how to sum up the last ten years. Well, its only been 8 for me but essentially I have been an Army wife exactly the same amount of time that I have been a wife so it is very strange to all of a sudden not have that particular label associated with who I am. To somehow explain all that this Military Life has meant for our lives in one blog post seems absolutely impossible....

These last 8 years my eyes have been opened and gotten to experience firsthand the sacrifices both great and small that those in the military face on a daily basis. For that I am grateful, I will never lose my respect for these men and women and what they put up with and fight for with this country in mind. 

These last 8 years have been stretching and challenging. From day one Brett's "job" was like the other woman that I could not compete against. She sent him away for long weekends and full weeks and months at a time, and yes even a full year at a time- often she would do this with our warning or apology and she was continually changing her mind and changing her plans  often without explanation. She would call him up during date nights and call him away early in the morning on weekends. As an extreme planner and lover of schedules combined with my love language of Quality Time these particular "quirks" of the job were the constant struggle that I hope helped me to be a little bit more balanced and adaptable. 

These last 8 years have taught me about friendship. Not only have I been blessed with some of the greatest, classiest ladies as my friends starting at our first duty station all the way up until the last one, but I think that moving every few years has also taught me to remain open and aware that there might be someone lonely or new in the back corner of every party or church service or preschool function I attend. Just because I may have finally found a friend or two, does not mean that everyone is feeling that stability and that sense of belonging. Military life has taught me compassion and the great joys of always having the opportunity to spread the circle a little wider to add in another friend. 

These last 8 years have taught me about Jesus.  There is no relationship, no job, no friend, no new location, no new situation that can truly fill the giant Jesus sized hole that we have in our hearts-each and every one of us. So often,  I was tempted during these last 8 years to try and fill that hole with one or more of these things and yet I have learned that Jesus is truly the only one to calm my fears, ease my pain, help me through the darkness or direct me towards peace and a true sense of purpose. There is nothing like a life filled with changes and challenges to remind me of this over and over again! 

Brett is remaining in the Army Reserves so thankfully I do not have to give up my commissary privileges just yet but you  may have noticed above that I put Brett's new job in quotes, that is because when he made the decision to leave the Army, he was immediately  offered a civilian, Department of the Army job doing exactly what he has been doing for the past two years. Sure, we lost the BAH ( ouch) and the free insurance ( ouchy ouch) but there is nothing quite as priceless as husband  who has a job but who also isn't going to deploy again. THAT. IS. PRICELESS. We are so grateful for this relatively easy transition into civilian life. Sure, there are a lot of things we aren't use to-my hubs has been living in the Army bubble for his whole adult life! But I am seeing at every turn how the Lord is providing in this new season... 

And doesn't he look handsome in his civilian work clothes?!?!

July 31, 2015

a choice of the heart

My Facebook feed is a CONSTANT stream of abortion videos and blog posts these last few weeks. The horrors that have been exposed are truly jaw dropping, but they are also not surprising. What is surprising is that so many are acting as though this is some outrageous oversight of our government that if we just elected the right people then all this would be "stopped". But all of this abortion talk has reminded of me of what I wrote in my book draft and I'm breaking my "silence rule" on sharing any piece of my book before it is finished to share this excerpt here today:



.....The other important thing about my surgery, happened in Pre-OP as well.  While Dr. R was going to be performing the surgery, his boss, Dr. B-who is the head of the Fetal Medicine Department was going to be assisting him in surgery. Dr. B came in and went over all the options that we’d been given the night before one more time before the surgery, just to make sure we fully understood our choices. After going through the list, he said, “Oh, or you could get an abortion, which I’m assuming you don’t want to do because you’re here...”

Now I’ve thought about this a lot more since then, because at the time I just rushed on past it assuring him that we wanted this surgery and off we went to the next battle that needed to be fought. But I’ve since had time to think and  I learned something really interesting that day. In fact, I learned it pretty distinctly over the next few days actually. While I did not get an abortion, obviously, I did lose a baby in the next 36 hours. I saw a baby go from being incredibly active, to very very still, to completely still. I saw that happen with my two eyes. She was 20 weeks to the day.
Did you know that you can have a late term abortion up to 24 weeks in the state of Texas? I did not. Or if I did, I hadn’t thought about it.
Now, I’m not a political person. I’m a staunch Libertarian and libertarian candidates never make it very far. I hate talking about politics because they make people MAD. Whether a person is right or whether they are wrong. Whether they are arguing or agreeing with the person they are talking to- no one EVER seems to leave the conversation uplifted and hopeful and happy. Well, maybe not ever, but it’s rare. So rare, that my rule is that I do not talk about politics. But luckily, I've realized that by talking about Abortion I'm not breaking my rule at all, because what I learned was that abortion is not a matter of politics. And if we try and find the answer there we will keep on searching forever. 

Because, you see, I watched my daughter die in utero. And just because she was a “fetus” and just because she had not breathed air in the same way that we do, does not mean that she was not a human little girl fighting for life. Every single child deserves a chance at life. And let me tell you, I know what a heavy statement that is! This world can be cruel and it can be unfair and it can definitely deal really harsh hands, even to babies- but thinking of all that negative leaves out Hope. The hope of all the good that can come from a Life. Even a very tiny life. I believe that my daughter, Priscilla will impact this world even though she did not ever see it. Any baby who someone has dared to love has already changed the world just a little bit, they have impacted a Life and therefore they have altered the course of that other Life from that point on.  Isn’t that amazing? If you have loved a tiny baby that has miscarried, or has died after only living for a few hours or days-that baby has had a very full life indeed, it will ever afterwards, have changed your course and the course of anyone else that baby's life touched!! And I think of all those babies who have been aborted, and, like never before I see them as I saw my own daughter. A person.  A life. A chance. But I also see the other person in the room: The Mama ( and sometimes the Daddy is there too). The ones who made the awful choice. They too are a person and a life and a chance. And oh, how my heart breaks for them too. Because abortion is a matter of the heart.

And so I don’t think politics is the solution to the Abortion problem in our world. It has become such a political hotbed that I think I had just pushed it into the “governmental pile” of my brain, but in actuality it should be front and center of my human rights pile. Friends, our society needs help if we are going to save babies lives. We need to help families and children, women and mothers, men and fathers. I, as a believer in Jesus, need to spread His Love. Because I truly believe that that is going to be the only thing that can truly stop the terrible Lie of Abortion to end. If we look to our government to put a stop to abortion in our communities then we are only pointing a finger at someone else to stop a problem that at its very root is sitting in the heart of Man. When it comes down to it, men and women are sitting at home, in hospital rooms, in clinics, in their cars, in classrooms, in offices making a Decision to choose Life or choose Death. It is a decision we are all making ( though often much more subtle) each and every day. Friends, the choice of Life is personal, and we serve a PERSONAL God. If we do not make it our priority to share HIM and the glorious choice He gives us then we are not doing our part. And in the same way if we do not share Love in a very tangible way with the lost of this world then once again, we are not doing our part. What sends men and women into abortion clinics and what allows others to take part in abortions is a strong and very real example of the lack of Life and Hope and Love we as a people are dealing with here in this World, but then that's also pretty much the definition of a sinful world. So instead of acting surprised or shocked that it is happening we should be fighting with every fiber of our being to spread the Good news of Jesus Christ who came to die for all sinners ( abortion clinics and all) before it is truly too late.


July 21, 2015

HabitAT living room!


                              




 

Heeeeeey, we're back with those lovely wonky "pictures of my computer screen" BEFORE shots of our house!!! I know you've missed them!
                              

But today, for the purposes of context you must subject yourselves once more to what our house looked like before we moved in...white carpet, wood paneling, it's all there on my computer screen pictures for your enjoyment....



                       

And just in case you aren't getting the FULL EFFECT of those built in bookshelves: 
                   

And now you REALLY see why I had to get those awful awful bookshelves painted before we moved in! So, now, that you've let that wash over you like some warm Gulf of Mexico dirty water ( only those of you from Texas will truly understand that analogy).... let's take a little look-see into the current state of our living room today. With new flooring and painted built-in, I think the room changed considerably. As for the "moving in" process; there are two pieces of art work that have yet to be hung ( actually, I've yet to get them really...they have been commissioned and I'm pretty sure once I get my little hands on them they will deserve their own post) but other than that I think the room is pretty much complete: 


Here we are looking into the room from the entry way: 
                                        

                                 

                                              

And from the kitchen looking back:  



                  


And now let's take a good close up of those built in glorious shelves now that they are much, MUCH, MUCH better looking....




There are really so many things I love about having such a large and useful living area- I think it reflects our current season of life well, particularly with the open shelves of toys ready to be played with and then happily returned to their spot ( ha!). I LOOOOOVE those closed off cabinets at the bottom of the built-ins, perfect for all my newly acquired school supplies plus our always growing collection of board games and art supplies. I always struggled with how to store these in a place that was accessible but also didn't look junky. HOORAY for cabinet doors! 




I must say, that on an almost nightly basis when I walk through this room to turn off lights and get things tidy for the next day, I find my self thanking the Lord again for this huge blessing.  I am just continually grateful for the gift of this house! I really DO love it and am finding what a gift it has been so far. 

If you've missed other HabitAT posts you can check out my tours of the  Kitchen, Entry way artwork, and guest room  here for your amusement. 


July 16, 2015

There is a season


                  

My entry way is not even remotely close to completion ( and it probably won't be for quite some time because I'm waiting to find the perfect bench that is also the perfect price and looks just like the one in my head...so yeah. Don't feel like you need to hold your breath on that one. That being said, yesterday I was thinking about this lovely little piece of "art" that I decided to hang in our entryway when we moved into the HabitAT house. It use to hang in Tabitha's room and I first wrote about it here.  When I created it, it was meant to be a little something to hang up in Tabitha's room to help tell her story. The idea being to combine the once-a-day-pictures that I took from the day we arrived in Houston during our ordeal with Tabitha's birth all the way until the day we left. 

                  
The cool thing though, was that I started the project while I was in Houston. I did my formatting and layout long before I actually knew how many days we were going to actually have to be there. At the time I figured I'd have to edit it, or fudge and add a few more pictures on to the end.  And yet, it is is worth repeating over and over again, that I filled up my little collage exactly TO. THE. DAY.

The first and last pictures being almost identical pictures of Ransom looking out a plane window as we arrived and departed Houston. 108 days exactly.
                   
All of a sudden this cool piece of picture art turned into a full on lesson on God's Perfect Timing and I felt like it might be timely ( pun intended) to share it here again today. 

Sometimes we find ourselves in horribly hard times: Dark days that seem to spill endlessly into more dark days. And yet, we must know that all our wall collage seasons have a Last Day. Sure we don't know when it will be, but rest assured the Lord has a day in mind and its already been formatted into place. So hold on. In the same way that He has planned out how many days, He's also going to be there for each and every one of them. 

In the same way, our lifelong wall collage-with its good and bad days posing next to each other, showing victories and struggles and life in all its little and big milestones, also has an Airport Picture. Right there at the end, already set and ready to go. We're filling in collages every day and if you're stuck in a hard one, like the one pictured above, than I hope it is encouraging to you to know that it has an end. I also hope that whatever season you are in: that you see those little picture squares as a challenge, that we fill up our pictures with things that are worthy. Sure, the collage above has a picture of my iPad showing that I watched the ENTIRE series of 30Rock while on bed rest ( so clearly I'm one to talk), but it also shows people and the relationships that got us through and that changed us and challenged us. It shows pictures of ultrasounds and miracles, of hard days and bible verses and no two days are the same. So if you are stuck on a repeat picture or you are having trouble imagining another picture square then don't worry, we've got a wonderful God who is ready and willing to help us fill in those pictures and to create the perfect wall art for our lives! 

I'm so thankful I get to look at this particular challenging season every day and remember that even in its salty-tearstained way it made us better. And also that it ended. 

July 08, 2015

Be our guest....

                      

So, today I figured it was high time to continue our little tour into the HabitAT House! And since I'm currently procrastinating from mopping floors in the preparation of my Sister's family's arrival this weekend it seemed only appropriate for me to give you a little look-see into the guest room.

This is really very much a "before" look because I had hoped to wait to show you this room once I had DIYed myself some totally awesome side-tables...but that hasn't quite happened yet! OOPS! Turns out my whole "Take some of the leftover counter tops and drill some table legs onto those puppies." is easy in theory but I have yet to find a cheap table leg that I can live with...thoughts?! Am I going to have to go visit a junk yard?!?!

Annnnyway here is a quick look see:
                    

And one of my favorite prints on the opposite wall. ( not pictured: a very empty bookcase) 

                        

So, yes, there is a lot yet to be done to this room to make it the perfect Guest Room. Things like ear-plugs, bottled water, reading material, a lamp, and obviously a good bedside table....But, we are getting there. And really, since this room will more than likely be lived in by a more long-term guest in the relatively near future ( details are still in the making). I trust that no matter how many amenities I have yet to pull together, this room will hopefully serve its intended purpose well. 


And before I go....I would be remiss not to show a shot of the the totally awesome Avocado Green guest bathroom....Yeah, this bathroom is BEGGING for a redo...but until then we'll just tell ourselves that it keeps us grounded in the house's 1970s roots ;-) 

                     

And did you miss the tour of the HabitAT Kitchen?

June 24, 2015

The naming of a son.

Naming another baby was way harder this go around. Not because we didn't have some really good leads on names, but more that when the name was finally decided upon all I could really think was, "Whoa, who is this kid gonna be?!"

It took a solid week of me doing an intensive Bible Study for me to fully come to grips with the name and even as I write this I feel like I still don't fully understand the depths of what his name will mean for him.  But  in a lot of ways I am now even MORE excited to meet our little fellow. Who, from now on, will be referred to by his name: Justice Tirian Wilson

Tirian I got behind a lot faster so I'll start there. Not long after the beginning of 2015 I started to feel the great need to re-read C. S. Lewis' The Last Battle which is the last book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. I'm usually not one to pick up the last book of a series, but in this instance Brett and I have read them all so many times it was easy to grab the last book and devour it in two evenings after the kids had gone to bed by reading it out loud to each other. BOY IS IT GOOD!!! Not to get to end-timesy on you, but I'm one to believe that C.S. Lewis may have gotten a little prophetic in writing this book and the first few chapters are beyond sobering ( if you've never read it, push through, I promise it gets easier and its ALL worth it). That said, we were reading along and it became pretty clear that Tirian, the last king of Narnia, was a great name for our son...it probably started ( SPOILER ALERT) when we saw the character pushing through his doubts and his discouragement and calling on Aslan for help, but it was by far solidified when we got to the glorious ending when the King finally meets Aslan...oh, come on, I better just quote it for you:
"Then (Aslan) fixed his eyes upon Tirian, and Tirian came near, trembling, and flung himself at the Lion's feet, and the Lion kissed him and said "Well done, last King of Narnia who stood firm at the darkest hour." 

Oh MAN, that's super good, right?! And I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that those were the words I want spoken over our son's life, it is my most fervent prayer-that he would stand firm in Jesus' name even in the darkest of times.

And while I may have had trouble at the beginning about Justice's first name, it really does fit so perfectly with his middle name I should have known it was right from the beginning... but I'll back up and say that the origin of the name Justice is similar to that of Ransom. We wanted the name to point to Jesus. However, while Ransom has a very nice and encouraging message about Jesus-on first glance the Justice of Jesus does not seem as cheery. However, can I just tell you that it IS?! We see in the Bible that the Justice of the Lord is very much wrapped up in mercy.

"( The Lord) loves righteousness and justice the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord." -Ps 33:5

"Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of Justice blessed are those who wait for Him." Is 30:18

In a similar way that Tirian points to the end of all things, we must remember that every day that the Lord tarries He is showing us mercy by giving us chance after chance to come to Him. Yet ultimately we can expect the Lord's perfect Justice. And yes, HIS Justice is perfect. I personally have a strong sense of justice and I tend to be very black and white. My own Abigail-sense-of-Justice gets me into trouble all the time and I worried that I was putting that onto my future child. But what I'm coming to see more and more is that Abigail's worldly justice is not what we are naming our son after. The Justice of Jesus is FULL of mercy and grace, it is a gift and it is both mysterious and wonderful. 
And I am woefully unqualified to write about it.
Of course, there is another cool aspect to Justice's name that I really love- the call to mirror even just a little bit of that Heavenly Justice here on earth. Time after time when man is called to bring forth Jusice it is for those who no one stands up for: The orphan, the widow, the poor, the destitute- we are called to remember them and to give them Justice where none has been found before.

"Learn to do good;
 seek Justice, 
correct oppression; 
bring Justice to the fatherless,
 plead the widows cause."  Isaiah 1:17

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of Thee but to do Justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

And so we will pray that Justice Tirian will grow up to be a man after God's heart-who fights for the cause of the oppressed, who stands even in the darkest of times and who points to the great coming of Our Lord.

We can not wait to meet you Justice Tirian Wilson.  We love you already. 


June 18, 2015

It's another....baby!!!

A few weeks ago in the midst of moving chaos -Brett and I threw our kids in the car at the impossibly early hour of 7:30am ( none of us are particularly fast moving in the mornings) and drove to an Ultrasound appointment. The highlights for my kids were the following:

-The fish tank. Oh man, who doesn't love a good fish tank in a doctors office waiting room? SCORE.

-Cinderella downloaded onto my phone. Sure, its tiny but it is still a movie and who doesn't love watching some unplanned screen time?

-And for Ransom, the confirmation that he was indeed going to have a baby brother.  Tabitha did not care about this at all. She was just concerned that her Mommy might be sick, but when she found out I wasn't she was happy to return to watching fish in the fish tank.


So there you go!! The Wilson's are about to be a male dominated family unit. I honestly hadn't thought that I had any predictions when it came to what we were going to have-it seemed pretty 50/50. We already had one of each, and all my pregnancies had been different enough that I couldn't count on all those wives tales....  but as it turns out, I was so NOT surprised when I saw those itty bitty boy parts that I think I must have known deep down. Or maybe it just feels right.

I'm getting more and more excited our little brother mostly because I've got the time hop app on my phone and it reminds what adorable babies we make.
Tabitha, 2 months old 


Ransom, 2 months old








                                       
                                                       And for comparison: our newest edition yawning... 


As for his name, that will be revealed very soon! Get excited, I won't make you wait too long...

June 12, 2015

Welcome to the HabitAT Kitchen

   So, because I'm not even remotely one of these "professional" bloggers, who has the great foresight to take pictures of their house in all its fine detail before doing any changes ( duh!) you'll have to make do for this little "Kitchen introduction" with some incredibly awesome wobbly pictures off the internet. But I think it just makes the "before" and "after" even more exciting, right? right? hahaha! So here it is: Soak in all the white counter tops and all the dark wood cabinetry....

                        

Are you still soaking?!? Isn't it something to behold!?? Let's look at it from a different angle...
                           
Wow...sooooo....soooo....awful.....
                           

But let's remember that nuns lived there and not say anything too mean. Instead, lets eat some sherbet to cleanse our pallet and head into what is now our kitchen.....


AHHhhhhhHHHHHH!!!!! 


First of all, because we aren't made out of furniture we did not have both a dining room table AND a breakfast table. So since our table is more "dining room-esque" this room is now a very fun kid friendly room where, thanks to my shiny new bar stools people can also hang out and chat while I'm cooking or eat lunch or if you're a tiny person you can have a snack at the kid table or "make" something in the tiny kitchen. 




                              
                           

I'm particularly happy with my "coffee/tea nook" where my chalk board calendar fit PERFECTLY to cover up the bad wood panelling back there, score!! 

                             



And now lets take a closer look into the kitchen.  I'm happy to say one of my most satisfying moments is when my painting was all done and all the various workers we'd had in the house all admitted they had thought I was CRAZY for wanting TWO DIFFERENT colors for my cabinetry. Well, folks, I think it turned out awesome! And they all had to admit that I had been right all along ( or they just wanted to make sure I was going to pay them so they agreed with me...however you want to look at it.) 
                            

Also, lets talk about my wooden counter tops. Yes, they are a little high maintenance right now. For a week we couldn't have anything on them at all because EVERY DAY I would treat them with mineral oil ( Also, try going to Walgreens and buying a BUNCH of mineral oil without feeling weird.) But, after doing treatments every day for a week we are now down to just once a week ( and I've been using this amaaaaazing bees wax/mineral oil conditioner called Howards Butcher Block Conditioner  and it is great stuff) and then by the end of the month we'll just be to monthly treatments. I can already tell that my wood is pretty well saturated with oil and water beads up on it immediately. I feel like considering the cost and how the "pain" was minimal I would do it again in a heartbeat. I looooove how it looks, and how I can kneed pizza dough on it like a champ.  
                        
One thing I have done, just to keep the water around my sink at bay, was to give my soaps and sponges a little lift on a cake stand, and I kind of like the effect! 

                           


So there you go! My brand new kitchen! If you do come for a visit please don't look closely at the cabinets since the painting job was the furthest thing from stellar but, as I suspected, once I'd moved in and started living my every day life in it, I hardly notice the horrible mistakes and smudges any more....hardly. 

June 09, 2015

Teasing.




The month of May was entirely swallowed up by things I did not love. I mean, entirely. There are few things that I hate more than the following:
  • Disruption to routine. 
  • Clutter. 
  • Change. 
  • Things not going according to plan. 
That basically describes every thing there could possibly be said about both moving and renovating! 
So you can imagine that I was really a party in pregnancy pants for the whole month! And so there you have it. The reason I didn't blog. Because nobody needed to see that kinda mess. Well...actually, ONE good thing happened in May, my friend Miranda came to visit-and that was truly a good moment. However, as it with a true jewel of a friend....you really have NO time to do anything other than talk for days and days on end.  And then once she was gone I was immediately thrown back into the mountain of moving which was once again not pretty. 

                                      ( by far the best thing about May) 


 Even as it was happening I knew I was not being the best version of myself and really the only way through it was to put my head down and pray we'd come out on the other side soon. And wouldn't you know it, June did indeed come!! Hooray! 

So now we'll get on to some fun stuff that I really want to share with you! I've basically been saving up some SUPER de DUPER juicy posts, like what our new house looks like! And things that I am loving about it ( and I'll try to keep the painter-hatred rants to a minimum). And then also, I can't wait to tell you what the next Wilson Baby is going to be! Followed closely by the always anticipated "Name that Baby!" post. And let me tell you, you're gonna want to stick around for this because its actually INCREDIBLY HARD to name another baby after you've already named THREE OTHER BABIES. The pressure really starts to mount. But, basically as soon as we saw the little gender bits of this baby I was in full on baby-naming mode. And I'm really happy with the final result. 


So, stay tuned! This post was basically an advertisement/ teaser for future posts. It was the 30-second "teaser" Star Wars trailer equivalent of a blog post. HA!