1,000 Moments 1-10

The first was the hardest...somehow I felt it had to be something meaningful. But isn't the whole point that its ALL meaningful?

So, the first 10 moments of grace:

1. Fat baby bellies.
2. Empty streets, and a quiet car during night-time drives.
3. Sleeping in.
4. First tooths.
5. Sun-warmed tomatoes in the backyard.
6. A son who insists to his daddy that we need new flowers.
7. Peanut butter sandwiches and great big glasses of milk.
8. Indian summers.
9. Newly mopped kitchen floors.
10. Good night kisses.

Its about finding Joy

I blogged a bit not to long ago about enjoying the little gifts, capturing the hidden grace in the most common of moments. About seeing even the hardest days as blessings beyond counting.

It's had me thinking ever since.

I tend, as a person, to let one bad thing spiral me into an entire bad day. Which is ridiculous. I'm not going to say there are no bad days, although I could perhaps debate it, but when I look at the grand scheme of things...the minor hardships and setbacks that I've allowed to ruin a day are too shameful to type.

And so I've been working hard on gratefulness. On stopping and looking around. On seeing God with my at every moment pouring grace over my head.

On taking the time to realize that though my baby is feverish and miserable and I haven't slept more than 2 hours in a night in 5 days, that there are those that would kill for the chance to be woken by their feverish baby.

And I know them, and I am ashamed for complaining.

My child is a blessing. His very life is a blessing. His relative health is a blessing. Though I am tired, and feeling over-touched, and it's far too hot to be pacing with a crying and feverish baby, at the same time I am brought to tears with gratitude for this moment, when I stop to think about it.

It's all about perspective.

And so I'm starting a new project. A personal goal to stop, to notice, and to write down all the ways in which I am blessed. All the grace that I daily, momently, find in my life.

Love notes from my Lord.

Until I reach 1,000. 1,000 Moments of Grace.

It's not a new idea. It isn't very different from my friend Ivory's Year of Pleasures series, which I assume is based on the Year of Pleasures book. Ann Voscamp did it, and better than I will, wrote a book about it, and even now has an entire Gratitude Community following her example. Even Oprah did it, and I'm not sure but it might be one of the basis tenants of that Secret book. So, no, its not original. But it just might change my life.

*if you would like to count 1,000 things you are thankful for along with me, either on your blog or in private, please let me know either by email or in the comments. I would love to follow along, chat about it, or if you like, pray for you on this journey.

Garden Update- Harvest

"You dig a little hole, and you put in the seed, and you put on the water, and then a little plant comes."

I was never more happy about gardening, not even when I was eating sun-warm tomatoes with salt and pepper, than when Zeke explained this to an older woman at the store. We were picking out bulbs to plant, as was she, and I have to admit that I swelled with pride.

I decided that if I want flowers next year, bulbs are the best way to go about it. Zeke insisted on crocus'. Truly. When he first pointed to them, I led him away pointing out the big hyacinths and cheerful daffodils and crazy narcissus, and he pointed out 2 other brands that also offered crocus'. So crocus' we shall have. I picked tulips, because they are pretty much guaranteed to thrive (there are a million in our neighborhood) and iris', because they aren't, also because I love them. I love them all, though, and seriously considered turning Zeke's dirt patch into a flower garden. But then I remembered how much he loves his dirt patch.

When I have boys too old to dig in the dirt, I will have a huge flower garden.

The tomatoes are out of control. We're eating spaghetti, and cacciatori, and lasagna, and tomato soup, and tomatoes sliced on every sandwich, and diced on every salad, and thrown into ministroni and onto tacos, and yet there are still 4 or 5 always sitting on the counter.

My tomatoes are usually blemished, sometimes split from over-watering, and anything but uniform in size, but they are the most delicious tomatoes I have ever eaten.

The bell peppers are spicy. Spicier then I am used to bell peppers being. And it seems as if the ones I am allowing to (or forgetting about until they) turn red are spicier then those I pick while green. Which is opposite of what I was always told. My whole family prefers green, which is what we buy in the store but I was always told that red is sweeter?

Our peas are about 4 inches high, and flowering. I'm going to have to find the time to stake them pretty soon or else they will be falling over. If I'm lucky, I can talk my husband into finding the time to build me a little trellis. Staking them this spring didn't work very well.

I'm really hoping we get peas before the frosts come.

The green beans are the plants that just keep giving. I thought, at my last update in August, that they were done. But we ended up getting one more dinner off of them and yesterday I picked what I truly think are the last...a handful fit for a Zeke-lunch.


I've been thinking about Ezekiel lately...the other one. Mostly about when he turned all those bones to flesh. (which inevitably gets this song stuck in my head...the leg bone connected to the foot bone...dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones) Anyways, God asks him "Son of Man, can these bones live?" And good old Zeke, he answers, "Oh Lord God, only You know."

I love that.

Smart man, that Ezekiel. Were I as smart as him. "Our bones are dried up, and our hope has perished." indeed.


I sat in the living room with my boys folding towels the other day. How I imagined it going- me folding bath towels, Zeke folding the hand towels, and Malachi playing quietly beside us. How it really was-me folding bath towels, Zeke folding one hand towel and then galloping around in circles whipping the rest of them in the air like crazy, and Malachi angrily trying to climb into the laundry basket until it tipped over and trapped him (which somehow satisfied him).

Reality hardly ever turns out the way I imagine it. But once you get over the shock and disappointment of life ignoring your plans, it also hardly ever turns out worse either.

I think that knowledge is one of the biggest things that I want to impart upon my children.


Zeke, for the first time, has been making friends, and playing with other children. It's a big step for us, and one that I honestly wasn't sure was ever going to happen.

There is a very fine line between accepting a persons limitations and personality faults, and underestimating their ability to grow and I don't think I've been walking it very well with Zeke.


Fall has arrived, and with it the yarn has come out. The first hat of the season (the one Zeke is wearing, Mal's is from another year).

I say this every year, but this year I am seriously making something for myself. I even have the pattern all picked out. I even have some yarn, a gorgeous green bamboo, purchased.

One of those days

It has been one of those days. I woke up and fought with my husband.

Wife Fail.

Then the baby cried for about 2 hours for no apparent reason at all.

Then we walked to the library, missing story time because Zeke decided he wanted to walk instead of ride in the wagon. Our walk to the library is only about a mile and a quarter, but the last half is alongside a busy road. I got really, really cranky by the end of that walk and yelled at Zeke that I would spank him if he kept running ahead of me (I was terrified he would veer to the side and into the road).

Mom Fail.

I had a list of 23, I counted them, TWENTY-THREE, books about apples that the internet had said the Shadle library had this weekend when I looked them up. (Apples are our preschool theme next week.) They had 1. ONE out of that entire list. So I had to jump on a computer to request the few that looked best and cross my fingers that they come in before Monday. While I did that, Malachi dumped out the library garbage can at my feet and started eating paper out of it. A friendly gentleman had to point it out to me. Another young girl informed me that Zeke, whom I had deposited at a table to read books, was getting all my money out of my wallet.

After all this, I realized I could have requested all those books in the safety of my home.

Parent Fail.

During nap time a friend called wanting to vent. Instead of gently calming her down, trying to see the other side of the situation, or even telling her I couldn't talk right then, I just vented alongside her. My tendency for gossip goes up when my mood goes down and I knew I wasn't in a position to take that call before I even answered.

Friend Fail. (also Christian Fail, but since those happen about every 4 seconds in my life, it didn't sting as bad.)

Later on we went to the grocery store. I needed eggs because the zuchinni bread Zeke and I tried to make earlier didn't turn out, in fact it boiled all over the entire oven,

Baker Fail,

And my egg lady wasn't getting me more eggs for a good 4 days,

Egg Distribution Fail?

I decided to buy Zeke and I a smoothie at the Jamba Juice within the store as a special treat after such a hard day. The woman was kind enough to offer to split it into 2 cups, which I thought was a lovely idea if I wanted any.

As soon as I handed Zeke his cup, he dropped it. It exploded everywhere. The woman offered to make us another. I agreed and apologized, and apologized again, and cleaned up the mess, and apologized again. It was seriously a huge mess.

Two isles later Zeke dropped his cup again. About 1/3 splattered everywhere and I had to go get management and apologize another 18 times.

As we got into out car, Zeke dropped it a third time.

I yelled at him. He looked both shocked and terrified. (Background information, Zeke freaks out when he makes any sort of mess, or makes any sort of mistake for that matter, so I have always stressed being calm when messes happen.)

Mom Fail, again.

Also, I just now realized when the clock chimed that I haven't prayed once all day.

Christian Fail...and probably the reason today has been so awful.

Today has just been one of those days... the days that make you so glad that there will be a tomorrow to start over with.

How Time Flies

I can't believe that Malachi is already 8 months old. The time has gone by way too fast. Mal has been a joy of a baby, I don't want this stage to end. But end it will...and is.

8 months just seems really really big to me. This morning I pulled out all the books that Zeke loved most when he was at this age, and after we did "preschool" with Zeke I sat and read a few with Malachi. The black and white newborn books will probably end up getting boxed soon, they hardly entertain anymore. He wants more to look at.

We've been trying all sorts of new foods on Malachi, too. Bagels have been a big hit. It turns out he's not nearly as picky as I had feared, just stubborn. He will only eat if he can feed it to himself. All sorts of foods that had been refused time and time again in puree form are perfectly acceptable as chunks. Or better yet (in Mal's opinion) as a whole. If it looks exactly like what Zeke is eating, we are golden. So for the first time Malachi is actually eating foods a couple times a day.

Mostly I've been spending hours just watching his mouth. It's the kind of thing you are afraid you wont have time to notice, or enjoy, with a second born but Malachi is just so immensely expressive with his mouth. I could watch the emotions play across his face all day. He has 100 smiles, and I want to memorize them all before its too late.

Like this I just found a chocolate chip on the kitchen floor face.


For some reason, no matter how long I am out of school I feel like Fall is truly the kick off to the new year. January passes right by but all of a sudden in September I am coming up with resolutions.

Yesterday I was trimming Zeke's nails when he suddenly said "Owie, mama." It wasn't accusatory, or even complaining but I found myself jumping to the defensive anyways, "Oh, that doesn't hurt." I told him and as soon as it passed my lips I could have slapped myself. Here is my son, barely learning how to comunicate his thoughts and feelings, and already I am telling him they are wrong. Why couldn't I have just said "sorry"?

It's such an easy habit to get into, when a child says they are hurt or scared or hungry or cold, or anything else that you aren't finding particularly convenient at the time, to tell them they aren't really. After all, they just ate, or there is nothing to be scared of. But facts often don't have much to do with feelings, as we all well know. And don't even small children have the right to their feelings?

As Zeke grows this year, and communicates more and more, I want to really watch the way that I respond to him. I want him to know that his thoughts are of worth, that his feelings are noted. I want him to know that his interests become my interests and that if he has something to say that I will always be his best listener. Even if its just a long winded speech about dinosaurs on trains. :) Although, come to think of it, can anyone really think of anything better than dinosaurs on trains?

I also had a lot of fun at the ABBA concert, more fun then I've had in quite a while in fact. Not only did I get to go out without my kids, but I went out with people who barely even know my kids. Not to diss on my mommy friends, I don't know what I'd do without them, but so often we just revert to talking about our kids all night. It took me a while to remember what other things there are to talk about!

Now that Malachi is getting older, and can munch on a bagel when he's hungry, I suddenly find myself with more freedom then I've had in 2 years. I want to spend more of it getting out this year. Really out.

I also want to spend some of this new-found freedom building stronger friendships. I've been so focused on my family the past few years, that I haven't always been the most attentive freind. I've also been learning slowly, oh so slowly, in my adulthood, about what kind of friends I should have, and what kind I shouldn't. It's a difficult lesson but I've come to realize that I sometimes put so much energy into people that aren't good for me, that then I don't have enough left over for the ones that are. Slowly I've learned to draw away from the people and situations in my life that cause negativity, drama, and influence bad habits...no matter how painful the drawing away is. Now I want to draw closer to the inspiring, supportive, loving people I know. And even more important, I want to make sure that I am one of those people for them.

Im feeling pretty accomplished

I finally finished re-upholstering the rocking chair that I have been talking about doing for at least a year, and had the materials to do for at least a month, and started over a week ago.

In the end I dont even know why it took me so long. It wasnt nearly as difficult as I thought it would be (please dont click on the picture and look too closely). The old back-cushion is now hanging from the back of the chair, a scratching post for kitties since the material the chair was made of was apparently irresistible.

I think it looks nice. Cheerful to get me thru the long winter.

I ALSO started preschool with Zeke this week. It is also going really well. Even though I had at first planned on starting with the season fall, I switched last minute to dinosaurs, since that is the big thing around here. I think Zeke is in heaven. It worked out anyways because while its cool at night and in the early mornings, its still really summer around here.

I also made two little felt dino's for him to play with:

Relatedy, I started a new blog (despite my record of keeping up with 2nd blogs, anyone remember the weight loss one that had all of 4 posts?) for my preschooling stuff. I realized this week, with all the little activities and things I am putting together that I want to share, it could quickly take over this space. I dont want it to, so now it has it's own space. So if you are interested in what we are doing for preschool, or want ideas for activities, book reviews, ect, go over to the aptly named TheCocoSchool.blogspot.com

And now, off to eat lunch and get dressed. I'm going to ABBA The Music at the fair tonight. (Kid free night, yippee! Dont worry, I already took them to the fair last weekend.) The music will be good and the company even better.

A Gift

The little boy watched with interest as his daddy presented his mommy with flowers. This particular mommy has received flowers like clockwork for 5 years now; once at Valentines and once on their Anniversary. The holidays blessedly spread 6 months apart, so it did indeed seem like clockwork, albeit a very slow clock.

Not that she minds. She is often heard saying that she can buy flowers whenever she well pleases, and she is often seen doing just that. The boy's mommy loves flowers. But even a small boy can see that flowers lovingly given bring greater joy than flowers bought at the market.

And so he hatched a plan.

Three small "yellows", the flowers that all little boys know are the most precious of all, dutifully collected from the bounty of a backyard.
Only slightly crushed from two small hands.
But given with all the love in one not-so-small heart.

It was the best bouquet she had ever received.

A Small Scare

Today was our turn to pick up milk for our milk co-op (we take turns buying milk for the whole group). So this morning we headed to the "cow farm".

My thought, here, was to get a picture with Zeke in the front and a cow behind.

But before I could get the angle correct, he flipped around, and pointed. "Oh no!" he gasped.


Mortal enemies, my son and birds. Or, for that matter, my husband and birds.

By the way, see that dinosaur shirt Z is wearing? We have 2 such dinosaur shirts, both technically sleepwear, and yet Zeke insists on wearing one of them at. all. times. We are in a big dinosaur stage; he stomps like a dinosaur wherever he goes, my questions are as likely to receive an answer as a resounding "roar!", he scours the library for dinosaur books, and yes, he will only wear clothes that have dinosaurs on them.

Our Preschool Room

Our "homeschooling" starts next week. The preschool co-op we are doing the week after that. As much as I went back and forth on the decision to start this year, completely against it in fact for quite a while, I am very excited. I think the timing is right. I think Zeke is ready.

The timing feels right for me too. I don't know if its the change of seasons, or the fact that Malachi is getting older and so much easier to fold into our day, or perhaps the part that I started taking hormones, but I've had energy like I haven't had all summer. Life is suddenly very very good.

(Ok, ok, I've been calling them hormones but actually they are my placenta encapsulated. I'm taking them for the hormones and I have to ignore the source even to myself, lest I become so disgusted that I can no longer consume them. I never never never thought I'd be the kind of person to eat my own placenta. Never. But to make a long story short, this last miscarriage threw me onto a hormonal rollercoaster that I haven't been able to shake all summer and I was desperate.)

This week I've been concentrating getting us ready for fall, in many ways, counting clothes and jackets, putting away the AC, dusting the fans, checking the filter on the furnace. Mal has spent an inordinate amount of time on my back. And can I say yay for the fact that I learned the tibeten tie?

One of these many projects was getting our home-school room ready. It's unnecessary, but I have to say that I love it.
Magnetic white board with magnet letters, and counting leaves (I figure come winter I will put up snowflakes...maybe by that time even 20 instead of 10). Also, the window, which we use with laundry pins to display art.

Table, activity shelf, and felt board.

Activity shelf closer up. The shelf is one that Josh made a long time ago and were weren't using for anything. The idea with the shelf is that it's all stuff Zeke can get into whenever he wants, not just when we are doing school. I'll change some things out weekly, keeping others that he is more interested in for longer. The very top shelf he cant reach, and I'm using for my stuff- supplies for projects we are doing but he can't do by himself or things that I'm collecting for the next week. The other shelves have been stocked for a few weeks, while we tested this out and contain: bottom shelf-playdough with a fake knife and scissors; 2nd shelf up- box of markers and paper; 3rd up- his fishing game (which he was using at the time, hence empty basket), and a yahtzee cup and dice. (I could justify this by saying its pre-math, or learning to take turns, or some such but really, he just loves yahtzee)

You can also see Mal's little basket of toys.

To the left, our art frame and to the right our nature table.

Ok, you got me, there's no table. I'm still looking for one to use, but soon there will be a small table there to hold all of Zeke's treasures that he is so soo sooo often bringing into the house. Rocks, and pinecones, and leaves and such. And I'll add things too.

The art frame I'm really excited about. I've picked a famous piece of art to go with each of the 26 letters, and one for each season (The book Museum ABC, featured on the top of my shelf, was my inspiration, and my help for difficult letters). The frame I found at Target, its one of the very few things I bought for the room, that and the wall dots. It opens magnetically from the front, and has storage inside, so it will be really easy to switch out.

Things I thought about for the room but decided against?

The top shelf that I've claimed for myself held books for almost 2 weeks. I quickly realized that we won't read in that room. Zeke kept bringing me books to the couch. It's just not comfy in there. So I have the book display holder for the book that we are reading for circle time and the rest of our books are merrily strung about the house, as they have always been. The school room may be the only one in the house that DOESN'T hold books, go figure.

A what's the weather display. Lots of circle time boards have what's the weather and a day of the week section. Zeke is too little, I feel, to care what day of the week it is. Maybe next year. As for the weather, it just doesn't make sense to talk about it indoors. We talk about the weather all the time...when we are outside and can feel it. I didnt want to break to go outside so I nixed the "what's the weather".

I cant wait to start!!

Why You Dont Just Walk Into Any Old Hair Salon

I live an adventuresome life. You know, dentists appointments, poopy diapers, 2 hour births, the stuff of great epics.

This weekends adventure might, however, top them all.

I have never taken my hair too seriously. I get a "real cut" once a year or so but most of the time I just trim it myself. I am also easily bored and a bit impulsive. I've been known to make bad, bad, horrible decisions when I have too much time on my hands and I happen to be holding a pair of scissors. Lets just say I have had my fair share of bad haircuts.

So when I had time for a hair cut this weekend and my usual gal didn't have time for a drop in until later that afternoon, I decided I might as well just run into Great Clips. Like I said, I'm not picky about my hair, and I wanted a simple cut, just a trim and a few layers. A cut I could easily manage myself, but letting someone who could see the back of my head do it seemed a nice luxury.

On my way to Great Clips, however, I saw another beauty parlor. There was a sign that said Drop Ins Welcome and I decided to go there instead. I don't know why. Remember impulsive?

As soon as I walked in, I had the feeling this wasn't going to turn out so well. Let me paint a picture for you. It was the kind of place that has ruffles and small crocheted items everywhere, the kind of place that makes you really give credit to the limitless creativity of an elderly woman with an endless supply of yarn, lace, and time. I remember in particular that the light fixtures had crocheted covers. I took note because I wasn't sure that was particularly fire-safe.

In my memory the whole room was pink, but it wasn't really, it was just the kind of room that should have been pink. There might not have been any pink at all. The entire place was covered in a thick layer of dust. As the shelves holding hair products were made of mirrors, this was a bigger deal than maybe it would have otherwise been. The only person in there, the ruffle connoisseur, if you will, was unsurprisingly a woman that had to be at least 85 years old.

I thought about leaving right there, but I could see a back room and despite the decor I was still holding out that the stylist was sitting back there. Perhaps she was listening to an Ipod? Perhaps she wasn't wearing, nor would ever wear, a single ruffle. Maybe this was her beloved grandmother, you cant blame a person for having a grandmother after all.

Anyways, I couldn't think of a polite way to extricate myself from the situation. What am I supposed to do? Just walk back out? "Oh, sorry, wrong place."

No such luck, by the way, about that back room. Grandma Ruffle, despite obvious surprise and perhaps even confusion at seeing me, sat me down in a swivel chair post haste. There was a wood basin for washing hair right in front of me.

I decided I was being unfairly age-ist. I was suddenly very sure this woman could cut my hair just as well as anyone else. After all, she has so much experience behind her. Disappointed in my judgmental assumptions, I explained what I wanted- shoulder length with a few long layers, it gets rather bushy if I just cut it straight across, I told her smiling.

She started to tie a bib around my neck, asking me what high school I went to, and if school had started back up yet. I told her I was 24, I said that I got that a lot...I don't. Then, with nary a glance at the wood basin, or even a spritz from a water bottle, she started cutting. From the angle of her arm and hand I could tell she was cutting in a 45 degree angle across the back of my head.

I was frozen. This is what the deer feels like, when it sees those two bright lights.

Grandma Ruffle kept talking. She informed me that someone earlier that morning had left their cell phone behind. She didn't have a cell phone herself and was very concerned about it. She thought she should call the police and report it missing. I mumbled that I was sure the owner would come back for it, or perhaps call. She stopped everything she was doing, looked up at me in the mirror, and locked eyes for a full 6 seconds of silence. "Well I don't know about that." she said.

Having cut an asymmetrical line around my entire head (and in her defense, I have worn that look a time or two), she picked up a pair of rusted thinning shears. Rusted. Thinning shears.
I'm not even sure which part of that is worse.

If you have thick hair, as I do, you may have been accosted with this weapon of destruction before. They are scissors with gaps in the blade, meant to cut half of your hair out to thin it. They are no solution to the problem. All it does it leave a ton of short hairs to stick up in all directions as soon as it gets the least bit humid.

As Grandma Ruffle grabs random chunks of hair on the left side of my head, hacking and pulling with the thinning shears, I really start to panic. Do I yell for her to stop? Do I grab her arm? Do I ask to leave, right now, in the middle of the haircut? Does she think this is layering? Does she know that her shears are rusty and are therefor pulling more than cutting my hair?

Before I find a solution, she sets the thinning shears down and states that she is finished. She never put them near the right side of my head but I don't mention it. "Run a comb thru it" she says.

I do, and a wad of tangled hair comes out into my hand. I numbly hand it to her. She informs me that her arm hurts, thick hair like mine can be a doozy to work with. I can only whisper "Thank you", and give her fifteen dollars.

And this is why a good hair stylist has a worth beyond measure, when I slunk into the seat in front of my usual gal later that afternoon she took one look at me, and without even cracking a smile said in her gorgeously thick Russian accent "We make straight and then we talk about it, no?"

Thoughts on Malachi and Sibling Rivalry

When Mal was born we planned on giving Zeke weekly "dates" with one of us, solo. It never ended up happening because we never felt the need. Ezekiel accepted his brother's birth and sudden inclusion into our every moment without ever missing a beat. If anything, he didnt like leaving his brother behind the few times we tried. Zeke hates leaving anyone behind. He wants us all together, all the time.

It never occurred to us that perhaps Malachi would feel differently about the situation. You see, Mal enjoys nothing more then being without Zeke. Well, that's not entirely true. He loves his brother, absolutely adores him and laughs at his every joke and wants everything that he has and to do everything that he's doing. But at the same time he is not fond of sharing...toys or attention... and he is quickly becoming a master in the fine art of littlest-sibling-overreaction.

My Charlotte Mason Companion says "Virtues, like flowers, grow in the sunshine. You can cultivate them, or draw them out with love and reason, but you can neither force nor whip them into existence."

Disheartening isn't it?

I love this age, that Malachi is in, because as he gains autonomy his personality is becoming more and more clear, but his shortcomings become clear as well. His default setting is joyful and easygoing but I am learning that he also has a temper, this younger son of mine. Malachi is like wildfire at times.

At the risk of comparing and labeling my children, habits equally horrible and irresistible, Zeke feels things strongly, very strongly, but in a a slow simmer sort of way. It seems as if Zeke can almost taste the emotion in a room, and he seeps it in and he observes and considers, and he observes some more, and checks with mom, and then, man oh man, that emotion is HOT and its ALIVE. To get all Jane Austin on you, its as if Zeke's opinion once lost is lost forever.

Malachi is no Darcy. He is as easily angered as he is made content, and his feelings are felt and expressed in the same moment. I would like to call him a Whilouby, but that will probably depend on how much of that cultivating Charlotte Mason speaks of I am able do. He could just as easily become a Wickham.

And so I start that long journey of cultivating virtues. If only brother-love, and even-temperateness were as easy as tomatoes.

Circumsision Death Rates

Ok, I know I'm becoming an annoying nag at this point so its the very very last think I will post on this subject for at least a year. This was just too shocking to not share.


Yearly Neonatal Death Rates (for boys)

44 suffocation
8 auto accidents
115 SIDS
117 circumcision

Granted, death rates, in reality, are probably about double for each of those other things because I'm assuming just about as many girls die from suffocation, auto accidents, and SIDS. Not many girls suffer circumcision complications. But the fact that just as many boys in this country die every year from their circumcision as from SIDS (a problem that has inspired countless TV ads and hospital hand-outs) makes me wonder why oh why oh why dont we hear about this?

Ok, I'm done for real this time.

A Felt Board and Felt Counting Fish

I've been felting it up lately. First I made a new felt board for Zeke's school room. It really shows off my extremely mediocre sewing skills. (Check out that pocket...that I decided I wanted after I had already finished...note to self...pockets go first)

A friend found the pattern here, and ever since I saw it I had been looking at our old felt board with disdain. It was alright, in its own way. I had simply stapled some felt over a piece of cardboard and then set it in an old frame. But it was suddenly too small, and I no longer liked the brown I had chosen. Too many pieces I wanted to make were brown (bears, monkeys, ect).

The best part about the new one (I think), is that its a travel felt board. It folds in half, right along that crease, and then the hanging ribbon can act as a handle.

Then I made those adorable characters for the Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? story. I may or may not have all the colors right, I was working from memory, but they were a hoot to make. Usually I just color, cut, and laminate things that I've printed off the internet for Zeke's felt board, and then glue a tab from a diaper onto the back so it sticks. It takes a ton less time, but this turned out really cute.

After that I figured I was on a roll, and made some counting fish. I cut two identical fish, and then blanket stitched them together with a washer in their mouth. I made 6, since that's how many washers Josh had in his toolbox. Then I glued sequins on them...you know...for the counting part. Zeke honestly already knows how to count to 10, not to mention his colors, but there is always Malachi and Zeke has enjoyed fishing for them all the same. For the fishing pole I just went into the backyard and found a suitable stick, and then tied a magnet (from a purse) on with twine. The basket came from my thrifted collection (I regularly scour thrift stores for wicker baskets, Im weird like that).

Now Im wondering what I should make next...