Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I read this book to Fiamma for the first time yesterday and I cried. And then I quickly re read it again to make sure that what I thought I had read was what I really read...just to make sure that it was qualified enough to do the job of causing me to cry. Yes it is. It's a pretty darn cute children's book. Then name of it is "The relatives came" by Cynthia Rylant. I am not sure if this is legal, (I really want to read it to you. But I can't) but I will jot down a few lines. You could always pretend that I'm reading it to you...ok here goes. uh-hem. check 1, 2, 3, 4.....

It was the summer of the year when the relatives came. They came up from Virginia....they left at four in the morning when it was still dark, before even the birds were awake. They drove all day long and into the night, and while they traveled they thought about Virginia- but they thought about us, too. Waiting for them....and traveled up all those miles until finally they pulled into our yard.

THEN it was hugging time. Talk about hugging! Those relatives just passed us all around their car, pulling us against their wrinkled Virginia clothes (this is where I was balling), crying sometimes.

They hugged us for hours.

Then it was into the house and so much laughing and shining faces and hugging in the doorways. You'd have to go through at least four different hugs to get from the kitchen to the front room. Those relatives!

The relatives weren't particular about beds, which was good since there weren't any extras, so a few squeezed in with us and the rest slept on the floor, some with their arms thrown over the closest person, or some with an arm across one person and a leg across another.

It was different, going to sleep with all that new breathing in the house.

The relatives stayed for weeks and weeks...they ate up all our strawberries and melons. But none of us thought about Virginia much. We were too busy hugging and eating and breathing together.

Finally, after a long time, the relatives loaded up their ice chest and headed back to Virginia at four in the morning. We stood there in our pajamas and waved them off in the dark....we crawled back into our beds that felt too big and too quiet.

And when they were finally home in Virginia, they crawled into their silent, soft beds and dreamed about the next summer.

THe End....

Do you remember as a child, or even now, a really good hug? When you get your face smashed into their chest arms around you and you breathe in and their smell over takes you. it's truly amazing. you just want to stay there and be for a long time. Everything else fades, it's all a blur. all the bad the good and the ugly. That's what it felt like every time by dad would hug me. Mom included too. But especially my dad. He was strong. So when his arms were around me I felt so safe and protected. I just wanted to stay. For hours, and hours. And then he would say,

"The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace."

Monday, August 11, 2008

psalm 139:7-12

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.

Friday, August 8, 2008

V and V

It's fabulous. I went today. Value Village that is. Some people may frown at the idea; my face lights up at the possibilities. For example. I found a 100% wool blanket to make puddle pads out of. Yes, puddle pads for my babes' beds. Instead of buying a wool one new, in this case I would of needed 3, I found a blanket that I can cut up for all 3. The going cost, on average is almost 100 bucks. I made 3, not as of yet, for $6.99. Not only did I save money, but I am reusing and my money is going towards a nonprofit. Only to name a few benefits.

Also I added many great items to my own closet as well, with the patience of my son and daugter (they did wonderfully). You have everything at your finger tips. No need to go from store to store....all the name brands are there. J crew, GAP, H and M, whatever the wind brings, it's there. And FYI if you bring a bag of your own goodies to donate before you shop, you get a $3 off coupon for your next purchase. It's glorious. Pure genius.

If you ever need a tour or a first time experience, I would love to assist. I am not typically a "wanna shopper", but if V and V is in the mix, I am there.

PS: Wool puddle pads. Whole other topic I would love to chat about. Ask me. Wool is so good to sleep on. Google it. More people need to know about what they sleep on. One of those "note to self's"....

I picked the first green bean out of our garden today!

And I ate it.. Other than kids, and all the obvious items that come along with having them, we do other things around the Zion casa. Like gardening for example. I love gardening. Without gloves. I like to get dirty. Not sure if our garden, this year, will produce much but the goal is to fiddle with it this time round so that come fall we can get some raised beds in, obtain our worm bin that is so graciously being built by my lovely sister, use the water from our rain barrel, run our car on veggie fuel, and someday use the sun to heat our will happen someday. These are our goals. Goals from wanting to be good stewards. I would love 60 acres and not have to go to the grocery store. Have it all at my finger tips, at my children's finger tips. Being a steward of God's creation. His bounty that He has so graciously given to us. Every breath we take is a gift. No joke. Sounds a bit crazy, hippie, liberal, but what else are we supposed to do? Trying not to take what was created for granted, making every bit count and giving him the glory.


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It's grand. I am trying not to be too crazy about it; making sure everyone knows it. It makes you think. What's important to you? Like fresh bread. I think I am on like a 4 week roll of making our own bread...and tortillas. It's the best when you've got the tortillas on the grill with kids running around, compiling some contraption with the cereal box that you handed to them 10 minutes previous and you hand them a fresh tortilla made from scratch. Not seconds later they are asking for another, and's great. Or when you sit down for a meal and you can name where 80% of your meal came from. Yes, Elijah, these carrots and potatoes came from Grandma's garden. You actually picked the veggies with them. They get so excited. And they eat more. Forget the packaged/processed food, momma, I want more of that!

who is shiamma?

Shiamma. AKA Fiamma. If and when you ask her what her name is, it's Shiamma. Not sure why. She can pronounce Fiamma, but maybe Shiamma sounds better. Fiamma Blaise Zion. Oh how she is living up to her name. Our fiery little flame. She has a very wide vocabulary. Sometimes to my detriment. She is now using the "potty". I even took her out today with out a diaper. Wow. But we made it home with out any accidents. She loves jeans. Wants to wear them to bed at night. Can't get enough of Elijah. Has a knack for making him laugh. Plans on marrying her daddy. Loves shoes, jackets, purses, wearing 2 as we speak. And loves to sing. Loves to help me feed Gratia. Is a great big sister. Trying to understand that sitting on her is probably not in everyone's best interest, but we're getting there though.


She is more than I had ever hoped for. Thank you Jesus.

Crawl like a ladybug Gratia!

She is crawling. Nothing is safe any longer. She is on the move. She even climbed her first stair today. She has been on the prowl for the past couple of weeks now, but finally decided to make the move permanent this week. She is now a crawler. It happened so fast. First she started sitting up between 5 and 6 months, then shortly there after began to push herself up to a sitting position, and now she is able to chase her big brother and sister around. Along with crawling she has figured out how to pull herself up on things, like the couch. She gets such a kick out of it. Mostly when the change in position helps her get a better view of one of her siblings. Oh the joy that fills her face, and then you hear it. It's so beautiful. It's beyond description.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Can I, please may I have a BIG bit?

Ok, so we have learned that giving a warning to your child, before the next big change as the day progresses is very key, especially when all are tired. So lately, we have been saying, yes Elijah we are getting ready for bed. Let's get our Pj's on and then you can play with your trains for a little bit before we climb up your ladder to bed. Ok? Ok mom. You then walk away to do what was next on your list for getting the rest of the troop in bed, and you see him pop his head out and come to the top of the stairs, you then say, Elijah you are supposed to be playing with your trains. He then replies so solemnly, but momma, can I please may I have a big bit, not a little bit. A big bit with my trains.

shake milk, momma.

You hear this from me a lot...." I am in awe". Maybe this "awe" thing will be a regular thing and never get old. I hope so. I do. I pray so! We frequented BurgerMaster Friday night for dinner out. And Elijah's one request was a "shake milk". Yes, what he meant to say was milk shake, but in his words it was a "shake milk, momma. Can I may I please have one?" Yes, we shared a vanilla shake, but the moral of this story or this little tidbit is that I am constantly in awe of what God has blessed me with. I can't get over it. That moment was such a precious moment to me. One, that as a mom, I hope I never forget.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Nothing but his Sword

Elijah is under the impression that the only thing he needs in life is his sword! We have the picture to prove it...

There was no coaxing from dad as you can see his clothes are on the floor where he left them. I walked into the room with my sword and found him waiting to play with nothing but his sword and armor.

I am glad Mariah got a picture. I pray he never loses this mindset. I pray the only "thing" that he desires in this world is to wield his sword well. A sword that I have passed on to him. Much like Mr Valiant-for-truth says in the Pilgrim's Progress, "my sword I give to him that succeeds me, and my courage to him that can get it. My scars I carry with me as my witness that I have fought the Lords battles."

The imagery of those words to me are what it means to be a daddy. I work everyday to teach the kids how to wield a sword. I pray they always use it well and humbly. Never to be twisted and used against them. Of course the sword I speak of is the word of God. The standard by which they should judge everything. It is that sword I will teach them to use and pray they never depart from it.

It is this burden of instruction that keeps me up at night. It is this burden that defines parenting. We will never perfectly instruct them but if we teach them that we are not the standard. Point to the perfect standard, the perfect father, model repentance, and then rest in the fact we are only called to be faithful not perfect.

All of it is a gift. From the kids to salvation we have done nothing to deserve it. A gift! I am so greatly burdened by the responsibility. Yet at peace. Not with my own faithfulness for that will always falter, but his faithfulness and sovereignty. For that sustains me.

A burden and a peace I look forward to passing on to the kids.

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.