We were sitting at the table going over a lesson for school when inspiration hit. On the table, my daughter (age 6) pointed out a green piece of fabric, green toy car and a green crayon. She looked at me and said, “Mom, look at this color palette. I have an idea. We can make several of these using different colors. This would help baby boy (age 2) learn his colors.” What a sweet idea. I told her it was fabulous and we should work on it during quiet time. That was a pretty big deal for me, because I do enjoy my down time but saw this as an opportunity to encourage her creativity. I suggested we take photos of her creations (to the best of our ability of course). We scoured the house for items that fit into the color categories she chose. She would arrange the items for one color while I took pics of another. We went back and forth in that manner until each color had been photographed. I’m learning so much about how she processes information and what she values about her work process. I did make suggestions about object placement for the photos. We had lots of fun. Now we just have to figure out what to do with the pictures.
I finally figured out something to do with the leftover fleece from baby boy’s soakers. I found a tutorial over at fleecefun.com for some too cute boutique-style fleece pants.
I had to make a pair for Curly Cutie. I used the size 5/6 pattern for her. She still could have used another inch in length. Pretty tall one I have over here. I also opted not to add lace trim around the bottom.
The pants just sat around for a little bit while I figured out what to do for a top.
We recently said good-bye to our neighbor as she moved out of the neighborhood. It was definitely bitter sweet. We did not want to see her go, but we knew the move was a good one for her. She lived alone, and was getting up in age. It was such a pleasure getting to know her and her children. She would often come over and ask if Curly Cutie could come for a visit. CC loved these moments because she knew yummy snacks would be involved. I believe my neighbor is the reason CC likes plants and bird feeders today. She would help watering the plants and refilling the feeders so the birds could eat.
My neighbor’s daughter knows that I sew and offered me several boxes of clothing hoping I could make use of the fabric. Well, that’s exactly what I did. I found a shirt in the box that I thought would make a wonderful top for CC’s boutique fleece pants. It just needed a little tweaking. I loved its nautical vibe.
CC is pretty much hilarious. I asked her if I could snap a few pics of her outfit. She obliged. She thought it would be a nice touch to grab her upcycled t-shirt scarf for a pic or two. The bottom-middle pic was taken as she was telling me that she was done taking pictures. Lol. That was a wrap.
One day, we plan to go visit our neighbor at her new home. CC will wear her refashioned shirt, and hopefully she will notice something familiar.
And this is how we’re clothing Curly Cutie the easy way.
Something interesting happened.
(This is not the interesting thing, but I must set the scene) It was probably a couple of months ago when I changed my blog header. I followed a wonderful tutorial posted by the ever so sweet Donah. It was so simple to follow. I had a no-fuss design I played around with in my head for a while. If you know me, you know I like to keep things simple. I definitely had to go with my fave color scheme: black & white. I came up with what you see above. It didn’t take much time, and I was able to get it done one evening after the kids were in bed. One of my fave times of the day by the way.
(Interesting thing) So, the very next day after I created this header, my daughter draws a neat little picture and presents it to me. Feast your eyes on this paying attention to its components..
I said, “hmm…really?” Did my baby just give me a different version of the new header I created for my blog? I think she did. Interesting and pretty cool.
I mean, what do you say to that?
So, I am working my way through a book by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend entitled “Boundaries – When to say yes, when to say no to take control of your life”. How sobering for me this has been. It’s been interesting to see the areas where I’ve instituted healthy boundaries without even knowing. On the other hand, to see those areas where the effects of improper boundaries are manifest is another story. So glad to be working through some of this stuff.
For example: Saying “no” when I should be saying “yes”, and saying “yes” when I should be saying “no”. I have sometimes found myself repeatedly giving my daughter a “no” at her requests to have or do something when there was no real reason why she should have been denied. On the other hand, I would say yes to requests of others knowing it was not a wise decision.
Two things in operation here:
1. Some of my yes’s have been motivated by guilt. Saying “no” to other people would make me feel bad, especially since I feel others have been so kind to me. The least I can do is pay it back. Right? No, not right at all. This giving is not motivated by love. So, my “yes” was an attempt to feel good again.
2. Some of my no’s were a result of envy. My tendency has been towards introspection. From a young age I learned that my needs were just not that important (although this is not truth). I didn’t do much asking then, and am realizing that I still have a hard time asking for what I need today. How does this play into me telling my daughter “no”. Well, I’ve realized that her requests are her attempts to get her needs/wants met. One day I really had to ask myself why I was telling her “no” so much. I could find no logical reason, but could clearly see she would get upset and I would feel triggered by the constant asking. My daughter is learning to ask for what she wants/needs because she has a history of them being met…..something I didn’t learn to do. In essence, my heart would resent those requests because my daughter was doing something I would not. Ask. Woa, kinda hurts to type that. So, I am learning to come out of passivity and create boundaries by asking, seeking, and knocking (Matthew 7:7-8). And of course, I can meet my daughter’s requests with a yes and a smile, especially if there is no potential harm to her or others.
Man, God teaches us so much through our children.
I figure it’s only fitting to bless my family with healthy boundaries.
Husband, daughter and son: (taken from book)
I bless you in the development of: Physical boundaries that help you determine who may touch you and under what circumstances, Mental boundaries that give you freedom to have your own thoughts and opinions, Emotional boundaries that help you deal with your own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others, and Spiritual boundaries that help you distinguish God’s will from your own and give you renewed awe for your Creator.
Husband – I thank God for allowing you to see another year. I bless you with fresh vision for the days ahead. May you know faith in a greater way this year.
Daughter – You are gentle and kind. Your sensitive spirit allows you to be aware of the needs of those around you. I bless you with balance as you learn to love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Son – I bless you to grow strong and mighty in body, soul and spirit. I thank God for His continued provision for you.
If I could only remember, at all times, how powerful words are, maybe I wouldn’t have to apologize so much for saying dumb stuff. I mean, once it’s out there – it’s out there. I’m so glad that life-giving words with right actions following can overcome a lot of dumb stuff.
From the days of Abraham to the present, Jewish people have employed the principle of the blessing. From my understanding, blessing their children was apart of their weekly worship time. The blessing is also used at another significant time, in celebration of the passage from childhood to adulthood. It’s a big deal, and these celebrations definitely rise to the importance of the occasion.
And again, one definition of THE BLESSING is a combination of words and actions that paints a permanent picture in a person’s soul. To bless another is to give them honor, praise, importance, and to lift them up, encourage them, and embolden them for a better life.
Parents and grandparents lay hands on the children and bless them.
They call their children out.
They call them into adulthood. Into manhood. Into womanhood
They don’t wait for the world to tell them that they can do whatever they are big and bad enough to do because they are 18. Or that although they confer adulthood upon themselves they really have no ability to make sound decisions because their brains won’t even be fully developed until age 26 (or whatever age this supposedly happens).
At 12 or 13 they are being celebrated and welcomed into adulthood, being made aware of its responsibilities and privileges (and given opportunities to walk in them).
I wonder what would happen if we stopped viewing children as little people who don’t matter much because they’re too young and inexperienced to really understand how the world works and do anything about it. Should we move them from being seen and not heard to being seen and heard? On second thought, maybe not. Quiet time is my friend. I will institute a quiet time with the quickness when I’m in the car with Curly Cutie. They don’t have to talk all the time – do they? I mean, sometimes I can hardly get a word in edgewise. Quiet time ensures that there is peace for all mankind in my home.
Some may think it’s strange or downright foolish to expect 13 year olds to act like adults. Well, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Jewish people have found great success in this world (finance, science, etc.) because THE BLESSING is passed down from generation to generation. Fathers and mothers bless their children who then go out into the world and excel.
I wonder what would happen if young girls were celebrated the first time Aunt Flow came to town. Which seems to be younger and younger these days. Makes me wonder if it’s the stuff in the food we’re eating. I don’t know. Maybe there wouldn’t be so much shame, or maybe they would know, appreciate and value what their bodies actually have the capability of doing. Maybe it would do no good at all and my blurb on this topic only serves as proof that I’m still a bit on edge because I was welcomed into this time of my life by a plastic bag of sanitary napkins kindly delivered through a male cousin. Figure that one out.
Day 67 for my family and the blessing. My mind has already gone to thinking about how we will celebrate their transition into adulthood if it is the Lord’s will. Someone has to come into agreement with what’s on God’s heart and what He is saying about the generations we are raising. Here is to hoping I will clearly hear His voice and respond in faith concerning those in my home and those whose paths I cross.
From time to time I will drop in to share how I am intentionally “blessing” my family this year. You can read the intro here.
Jumping right in…..
Husband – I bless you with keen, sensitive ears to what God desires. When you hear from him, you are moved to action.
Daughter – I bless you with hearing and knowing who you are and what your Father has designed for you to do. May you lead without fear and the need to be validated by man.
Son – I bless you with a disciplined life that is filled with courage, creativity and obedience.
All throughout the Bible we find references to “the blessing”. We see it from the beginning in Genesis 1:27-28.
27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28And God BLESSED them, and God SAID unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
We see it at the end in Revelation 22:14.
BLESSED are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
“The Blessing” is like an impartation into another person of the power of God. It generally involves the act of speaking. It’s not solely about the spoken words, but also involves action towards those being blessed. To bless another is to give them honor, praise, significance, and to encourage and empower them for a better life.
This is what I want to do for my home this year. I want to take 365 days in 2012 and speak blessings over my husband, daughter and son individually. Of course I don’t want to limit “the blessing” to just them, but I want to be intentional in the lives of those in closest proximity to me. Charity begins at home, right? This year has 366 days, so on the last day of the year I would like to do something special to “look back” and see how their lives changed. I don’t quite know what that will be, but I have some time to decide.
I wanted to share this journey with you. On occasion, I will share the blessings I am speaking over my family a particular day. Maybe you might be encouraged to speak words of life over others too. Here is the blessing I gave my daughter yesterday ( I look into her eyes and speak to her as a valued human being. Totally different spirit from the times I want to hang her upside down by her foot from the tree in our backyard)……
I BLESS YOU WITH A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF GOD’S AFFECTIONS FOR YOU. I BLESS YOU TO EXPERIENCE HIS MANIFEST PRESENCE IN YOUR LIFE. MAY YOU KNOW YOUR WORTH TO SUCH A DEGREE THAT MEDIOCRITY AND INADEQUACY HAVE NO PLACE IN YOUR LIFE.
Side note: We are 11 days into this and my daughter has started giving me blessings as well. One sounded a little something like this….
I bless you to walk next to the tree and see that and take the trash to the circus on a sunny day.
Lol! Gotta love her.