an ebenezer

ebenezer: noun eb·e·ne·zer \ ˌebə¦nēzə(r) \ a commemoration of divine assistance

Somewhere around July and August, I felt whole again. It wasn’t something I could really place my finger on, but after cycling in and out of PPD for a long time and then layer after layer being healed, I finally felt normal.
As we entered September and looked ahead to Ellie’s birthday, I started wanting something to symbolize all the sorrows we had been through in the last year and how God had been faithful (something that at the lowest parts of PPD seemed unfathomable).

Then I remembered the vav. The vav would be my ebenezer, my reminder of what God had done.
“In the psalms, there is something that Michael Card calls the “Vav adversative”. “Vav” being usually recognized as a “and” “though”. In the lament psalms, it functions almost as a “but”, or a point of turning and praising.” {link}

The vav, when the brutal honesty before God about the inconsistency we see between His character and our circumstances turns to praise.

Coming to praise and healing again after lament does not mean I have it all figured out. I can see ways God was at work in the midst of PPD, and I can see some ways He has used it for good. But while there are still questions, in bringing His presence back He has removed the need for answers by showing His good and sovereign care, revealing that He knows my frame is dust and that He does not break a bruised reed.
And so I’m saying what for many months felt trite and unbelievable: God is faithful. My daily life shows that. This blog shows that. The time of waiting between the prayers and His answers may be long… but (vav)…
He will always come in the end.

“Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come;
You have given commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress.
“You who have shown me many troubles and distresses
Will revive me again,
And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
“My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You;
And my soul, which You have redeemed.”
– Psalm 71:3, 20, 23

One of the necklaces I ordered to be a daily, visual reminder (the other one is a little sturdier for everyday wear).

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September

Somehow some of my photos from August got left on my phone, so here are a few from August first:
From my birthday celebrations –
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(That’s pull apart baklava bread!)

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Some down time on the waterfront on Sunday morning.

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We turned a cuff-link we found in some of Ezra’s grandfather’s things into a necklace.

2 September music festival 1
I love it when books have activities with them!

I’m not sharing the photo because it has other people in it, but we had one of our favorite things here so far happen this month – a quiet afternoon picking blackberries with friends. A number of things had popped up on Ezra’s “weekend” between shifts which has led to us having a lot to do, and picking berries and restful conversation with these friends was just what we needed.
Another favorite memory from the summer, that I have no photo of except what’s in my mind: S running barefoot on trails and through tall, dry grass (that perfectly matched her hair) above the ocean.

6 September 1
kombucha with blackberries we picked and cucumber and mint from our garden

6 September 2
learning to can!

7 September 6
I love recreating foods we had in Japan (or anywhere!).

8 September school 3
when your not-quite-three-year-old tells you she wants to go to school… It just means more structured reading time and strewing some art!
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10 September 1
We also got a lot of plums when we picked blackberries. A plum tart was one of the things I made… but we had to salvage it when my springform pan malfunctioned.

13 September 3
Most of the time our kombucha is fine without being burped, but then there are times it explodes.

14 September 8

15 September 18
We’ve started keeping the bathroom door fully closed because otherwise Ellie gets into it (something S never did!), but that led to needing to mark the bathroom for guests. So I handlettered this and then Ezra did the woodburning and staining.

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Some of Ellie’s birthday presents – new favorites for me!

17 September 4
if you want some beautiful art check out @heart2artcrafts!
My cousin made this for Ellie’s birthday – so perfect when PPD made the mama bear love slow to come, and when I daily have to choose to love them more than me, and in that pray that in my falling short they will feast and be satisfied on the fullness of His love.
And all the love we were shown by so many in the last year, from Japan to Puget Sound and friends and family all over, culminating in aunts, grandma, and cousins coming to celebrate Ellie with us!

19 September

22 September 2

I mentioned this book, The Journey, by Francesca Sanna, in our books post. This is one page from it.
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We found a birds’ nest on our walk!

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30 September 1
Making cider in the blender is a process, but it works!

Hymns of the month// My Song is Love Unknown // reviewing Abide With Me
favorite recipes// turmeric yogurt roast chicken // paleo chocolate cake (people who had no clue it was paleo commented on how good it was! Ezra was less convinced) // maple pumpkin baked oatmeal // cold-brew jamaica // zucchini tuna cakes // steamed buns (need double the filling!) // cashew carrot pasta sauce // miso breakfast oatmeal // soaked granola (I cut back the sweetener by 1/3 and it was still plenty sweet) // soaking & roasting nuts // gingerbread apple pancakes // overnight French bread // apple & caramelized onion pizzas // sourdough pizza crust // bean chilaquiles // molasses breakfast cookies // savory French toast // katsudon (YUM YUM YUM)
And this is what we used to make a sourdough starter!

did not work so well: sourdough cinnamon rolls (mostly the glaze flopped) // paleo brownies (I remember loving these the first time I made them, so I don’t know what happened!

best of online// Seed of War // mombods & the gospel // grasping for control // love to eat, hate to eat (Elyse Fitzpatrick) // 10 Things to Know Before Adopting Transracially // Is Life Harder than You Expected? // when marriage is filled with worse, poorer, and sickness // when you can’t protect your children // losing sleep, finding grace // setting the tone in your home // Charlotte Mason for real moms // Quick Facts about Secular Science // Rich Westerners // What’s the Purpose of Children? // 10 Essential Gospel Truths // the duty of moderation // how to photograph life //

reading of late// The Winters’ Tale (Shakespeare) // Surprised by Joy (Lewis) // Lit! (Reinke)

thinking about// “when my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.” Psalm 94:19 // lots of other tidbits from the Psalms, like Psalm 73:22-24 //

what brings joy// blackberry picking with friends // having guests over // one-on-one time with the girls

What We Read: 3rd Quarter 2017

Third quarter! That means only one quarter left to finish my book list for the year – although I’m happy and surprised by how much I have read already this year. It’s amazing how much you can read in only a few minutes a day if you really stick to it.

July
Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full (Furman)
My favorite of Gloria Furman’s books that I’ve read. Full of good reminders and encouragement for mothering. A lot of it was in Missional Motherhood, but in a format that was more devotional/encouragement than theology.

Son of Hamas
Picked from WORLD Mag’s “beach reads” recommendations, but read at the cabin. 😉 It was gripping, but I often felt with the way it was written that the goal was thrill more than really educating on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The Unhurried Homeschooler
A quick read, good overview of a lot of Charlotte Mason ideas… all very familiar though as it’s become a bit of the “thing” now to have the unhurried style. But lots of good reminders on the heart being the most important thing, not the textbook, on implementing character – especially at S’s age! I did not really like her section on why to homeschool; it felt like the main goal was sheltering and discipleship was secondary.
I am interested in comparing it to Teaching From Rest, hopefully in the next quarter.

Why the Universe is the Way it is (Ross)
WORLD had recommended this so I was surprised to find that Ross is old-earth, though WORLD doesn’t take a clear stance on that anyway. But it was the first time I had read anything from an old earth perspective, and that helped me engage with it more and solidify my young-earth perspective.
My main critique is that I was expecting it to bring me to worship in awe of God’s power and design, and for hte most part that was dampened by his old earth perspective, as well as the way he assumed arguments and assumed the reader was familiar with common old earth arguments, and did not cite or explain very much.
That said, there were some very good parts, like the discussion of how an imperfect world can be “good,” and the ways that natural disasters can actually help keep the earth in balance, and how time and space restrain evil. My favorite thought: the way the moon’s darkness allows us greater view into space! All that was to show how God isn’t weak and uncaring for world/design/plan to be how it is – but maybe not convincing for a skeptic.

August
skimmed Home Education (Charlotte Mason)
Most of this content I had read in other places, understandably so, but some of it was more fleshed out. Still, I would recommend For the Children’s Sake and A Charlotte Mason Companion more.

Roaring Lambs (Briner)
A book calling for excellence in Christian art. Some good thoughts, but overall a little confusing as he seems to imply the need for just excellence without speaking but then also says to milk your platform. It was also very rant-y and his opinion and experience.I was expecting the whole book to be more of the last chapter, not just telling us what’s wrong but what to do about it.
However, the study questions at the back were good, and it was written a number of years ago – so it seems a little unnecessary in the Csehy circles, which means the book may have had some impact!

Pride & Prejudice (Austen)
One of two books I chose to read after reading How to Read Literature Like a Professor. I enjoyed it more than I expected I would!

September
The Winter’s Tale (Shakespeare)
The other book I chose to read, guided also by A Time of Gifts, since Fermor frequently referenced it. My appreciation for Shakespeare has grown since highschool, and it was helpful to read alongside notes to apply more of How to Read Literature Like a Professor… but I could have done without the soap opera. So I think my next Shakespeare will be Henry V!

Surprised by Joy (Lewis)
I had read a quote from this and then had this book recommended to me, so decided I should finally read it. It solidified Lewis as my favorite author, and made me think a lot about how the things I do and the environment in which they are raised will impact my children. My biggest takeaway was related to the quote I read,
“You cannot hope and also think about hoping at the same moment; for in hope we look to hope’s object and we interrupt this by (so to speak) turning around to look at the hope itself. . . . Introspection is in one respect misleading. In introspection we try to look inside ourselves and see what is going on. But nearly everything that was going on a moment before is stopped by the very act of our turning to look at it. Unfortunately this does not mean that introspection finds nothing. On the contrary, it finds precisely what is left behind by the suspension of all our normal activities; and what is left behind is mainly mental images and physical sensations. The great error is to mistake this mere sediment or track or byproduct for the activities themselves. (Lewis, Surprised by Joy, pp. 218–219.)”
It has been timely as I have been looking back on PPD, trying to understand it to some degree, as well as in daily life when I start analyzing why I was impatient (which generally just leads to stewing about something or someone rather than removing a stressor), instead of repenting and setting my gaze on Christ.
Some really good thoughts on Lewis from John Piper here.

Lit! (Tony Reinke)
Subtitle: A Christian guide to reading books – and it meets that subtitle very well! If you love reading or hate reading, he has some really good tips for deciding what to read, how to read what you read, and a few comments on digesting what you read – all from a perspective of reading with a Christian worldview and with purpose (even fiction for fun!).

in the middle of: Parenting (Tripp) // The Hidden Smile of God (Piper) // 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You (Reinke) // Because He Loves Me (Fitzpatrick)

Movies We Enjoyed
A United Kingdom (there was one scene I skipped)
Luther (documentary)
Mr. Bernstein
The Pianist

Kids’ Books:
Creature Numbers (Zuckerman)
Up! (Hughes)
Adele & Simon (McClintock)
Frog & Toad
Dodsworth (Eagan)
Rookie Toddler board books
Katie Meets the Impressionists
Green Eggs & Ham
Perro Grande, Perro Pequeno
Are You My Mother
Mama Panya’s Pancakes
My Big Girl Potty (Cole)
The Journey (Sanna) – we’ve read a number about refugees and this one is our favorite.
Charlie Needs a Cloak (DePaola)
A New Coat for Anna
Chicken Sunday
George & Martha
The Quiltmaker’s Gift
Bible Basics by Catechis Books
Biggest Story ABC

Also, I now have a sub-page under “good reads” to have a running list of our favorite children’s books.

summer in our yard + local produce

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Everything in this planter had been dying because it had poor drainage… Ezra fixed the drainage but nothing really came back, so we planted more in it – and it really took off while we were gone!
I think I’ve said this before, but the garden is pretty much all Ezra. Which is good. Although I wanted to be more involved, I think being more emotionally invested in it would have been draining with all the squirrels, rabbits, weather, etc.

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The zinnias have not done very well… but we got a few!

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We’ve gotten a few salads out of our lettuce, and some tomatoes. We’ve also harvested some small heads of garlic and small onions, basil for pesto, lots of mint, and the apple tree produced a number of apples.

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Our 2 sunflowers that survived… and won’t get to 12 feet tall, but hopefully we’ll get flowers.

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Only one rose from all the rose bushes that are in the yard.

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Our apples!

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They were so soft and a bit tart so we made applesauce

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not sure what these are, but they were growing on a vine in the corner.

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Not in our yard, but in our neighborhood – a monkey puzzle tree, aka chilean pine. What an odd tree!

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garden yield going into breakfast!

And sweet peas on our table

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What do you do with all these blackberries?

2 quarts blackberry salsa

used in blackberry cucumber, blackberry mint kombucha
blackberry switchel

blackberry, rhubarb, and/or peach goat cheese toasts

blackberry parfaits

blackberry ricotta pizza

fermented berries & custard

blackberry baked oatmeal crisp

matcha overnight oats
blackberry banana “nice cream”

blackberry cheesecake popsicles (sweetened with banana instead of honey)
blackberry kombucha slushies
friends made a blackberry buckle that was absolutely delicious although maybe not a traditional buckle… it tasted more like blackberry cinnamon roll bars. YUM.

chia jam

jam

blackberry clafoutis

lemon berry skillet cake

Hope to make:
blackberry pie (probably in the middle of winter!)

these muffins with blackberries

And then, some friends gave us some of their neighbors delicious yellow plums. So we made:

Plum chutney

Plum jam

Persian Plum Soup

Plum Tart

Plum chai smoothies

I learned to can and canned a little bit of plum jam and a little bit of blackberry jam.

Finally, as we’ve moved into September, Ezra took the girls to pick some apples, and we went again all together.

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We’ve thrown them onto salads and pizza, in kombucha, smoothies, pancakes, and made more applesauce. We have made apple cider in the blender, and used the pulp for apple cider vinegar, and may make apple butter and dehydrate some. 

Ellie Turns One

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Ellie turned one last week.
I know I’m supposed to say all sorts of things like I can’t believe it’s been a year, etc.
But I can believe it’s been a year, a year of everything being turned upside down and spun around and set down totally different than it was before, physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally. By God’s grace, I am not the same person I was a year ago, and as much as it’s not a year I ever want to repeat, I was not in a good place when Ellie was born and it only got worse for four months after that before I finally started to heal and change and be remade. That process took about four months before I felt like what I was dealing with in every day life was the “normal” sin and sanctification / “Motherhood is hard” of having two kids,
and it wasn’t until Ellie was about 10 months old that I felt myself again.

When she was 5.5 months old, I shared this on instagram:
[The last months] have held long battles with postpartum depression: suffocating seasons of darkness and the silence of God, being overwhelmed and irritable even on the easiest of days, distant and disconnected from the baby I grew, birthed, nursed. It often felt like the day would never come when I could be totally enamored with Ellie or again say that God is good and really deeply know and mean it. When we moved into our house here, it felt like limping to the finish line of a long race or a ship with tattered sails and battered hull floating into a harbor unable to make it any further. But now, a month and a half later, after lots of supplements, counseling, prayer, and help, it feels like there is finally not just no more being destroyed but that rebuilding and healing is coming. There is still so far to go, and there is so much I want to tell the world about PPD, but that will all come in time. Right now, there is just an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness and that I MUST share at least a little to tell of of the faithfulness of God, who brought us safely through even when it felt like He was gone and we would sink.”

And now, 6.5 months after that, comes my testimony to His further faithfulness:
There are still scars, and on this earth I still battle my sin nature, but that rebuilding and healing that “was coming” now has come and is here. He is the healer of my soul!

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And this kid we are celebrated a few days ago. She’s pretty great, too. She is so smiley, picks things up so fast, loves touch & feel books, food, pillows, nursing, her own bed, and being involved in everything we do. EVERYTHING goes into her mouth and she is pretty stubborn about touching things she isn’t supposed to (we bought our first baby gate in preparation for the wood stove being in use again!). She walks some and thinks it’s pretty great. Papa is her favorite person and she and S are generally great at playing together and make each other laugh all the time. She loves having fun and I think she’ll be a bit of a prankster.

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We celebrated by having some extended family up for the day for a finger-food lunch, cake, and ice cream. She’s much more into food than S was at this age but doesn’t have as clear of favorites so the only thing that was really made with her tastes in mind was black bean salsa because she goes nuts for black beans.
We are SO thankful that we’re close enough to family that so many could join us for the day, and that more could Skype in for cake or presents.
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Observations on Traveling with Kids

27 July Csehy 8 {empty cups = amazing for a 10 month old! And yes, United served us stroopwaffles!}

Since S was born, we’ve taken two US road trips (+ lots of 5 hour trips), flown internationally 3 times (round trip), and numerous times in the US. About half of that has been since Ellie was born… and I don’t think I could do both kids by myself very well. Just S and I was not too challenging for me most of the time (but, much of the solo air travel I did was in Japan, where it’s much easier to go to the bathroom with a baby in tow because they have infant seats in some stalls).

I feel like all ages have their challenges, but we have found that some are easier than others:
Before 3 months, they really are just along for the ride! You do have to stop more frequently for feeds and diaper changes, and pack more clothes for them, but they don’t need a lot.
Then we found that 3-4 months was hard in the car, because they wanted to be entertained but couldn’t do it themselves. But, they’re not eating solids yet and don’t nurse and fill their diapers quite so much so you can drive longer stretches and don’t have to pack as much for them.
4 months – mobile seems to be a sweet spot for traveling with babies. At that age ours have been content to sit and play in the car seat or on a lap for longer periods of time, they’re going longer between feeds and eating some solid food but not relying on you having packed food for them, and they’re not going through as many clothes from spit up and diaper leaks.
I feel like the most difficult age is when they can crawl and are learning to walk – they’re not content to sit on your lap, are less easily entertained (though there’s still a lot to be said for a cup!), need solid food, and don’t sleep as comfortably in a carrier or stroller, but aren’t flexible to skip naps like an older toddler is.
Then it’s been easier again in our experience, especially once they turn two and need their own seat on the airplane (but then they definitely need you to pack food and things for them to do!).

Packing:
We try to travel as light as possible, which never looks like it sounds with 2 kids, since that still includes 2 car seats, a stroller (or two), a peapod (better than a pack n play for travel!), plus clothes, toys, books, etc.
S gets her own backpack and it’s usually filled with books (usually a week before we travel I hide what I’m going to pack so it’s “new”, and try to pick books that entertain her for a long time), stickers (we love Melissa & Doug’s puffy sticker sets), and a paint with water book, plus a few small toys like cars.
Ellie is pretty entertained by non-toy items like magazines, cups, etc. but we always pack her bolli, rings, and a few books.

I organize my suitcase differently depending on the length of the trip:
for short trips (2-5 days), I pack an outfit for each person for each day and throw in a few extras at the bottom. It’s arranged by day, with each stack having an outfit for me and each of the girls.
for long trips (5+ days), I pack each person’s clothes in a separate section of the suitcase and pull outfits together each day, since on longer trips we take most of our clothes anyway.

Travel days:
If we’re leaving early in the morning, we make overnight oats to eat on our way out the door and try to have the car packed as much as possible.
I plan what I wear pretty carefully, since with all the ups and downs and ins and outs, lifting, reaching, bending, nursing, etc. I want something comfortable easy to nurse in but also modest, so I usually end up wearing a longer nursing tank and then a higher-necked shirt on top, with jeans and shoes that come on and off easily.

Food
We generally pack our own meals for the airplane, but don’t usually get more creative than sandwiches. I pack pouches and larabars for snacks and sometimes try to make something else… but this is an area I really want to grow in!
We do love our beeswrap for packing sandwiches, and have some stainless steel containers that we use for other snacks.

Do you have any travel tips or hacks? What are your go-to travel foods?

August

Started August in NYC… doing not-so-crowded things since I didn’t have much interest in Times Square and wanted to avoid crowds with the girls. My first time in NYC was 14 years ago and it was awful… So I’m thankful for the chance to make happy NYC memories (traffic and parking ticket aside), but even more it was great to watch the girls have so much happy cousin time and get to celebrate Cait’s birthday WITH her for the first time in a long time.
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Carnegie Hall

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We spent a while watching the fountain at the Lincoln Center and being overwhelmed and excited by how much talent walks through that place!

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Then it was to MI for my friend Hannah’s wedding. I did not take many photos since I was trying to enjoy every moment.
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Except here. I pulled my phone out to take a photo of one of the most moving parts of the day.
From Instagram:
She’s been with me for Celtic festivals, road trips (& my first car accident), desert camping, serving in childcare and leading small groups, Irish & country dancing, music and sewing, exploring Israel, visited us in San Diego and Japan (and was the most wonderful doula ever for Ellie’s birth)… she’s shot me in the eye in a nerf war and been asked if she’s my sister more times than my sisters and I have been put together (and we’ve accidentally twinned so many times)… I kept thinking of Revelation 19 yesterday, watching Hannah clothe herself in fine clothes, but knowing her radiance is so much more than her physical beauty, lying in her character & the way she follows Christ. I’ve never seen her as happy as she was yesterday.
I don’t think I have ever “meant” the benediction as much as I did while singing it last night, after watching her exchange vows & embark on marriage, thinking of the joys, sorrows, and struggles Ezra & I have experienced and that she now gets to taste of as well, but also having so deeply worshiped our Savior in the ceremony, knowing He is able to bless & keep them & give them peace.

And my involvement with the wedding would not have been possible without Ezra tirelessly caring for the girls for large parts of 3 days!

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Since I lived in MI for a while as a kid, I still have friends there, like Anna! We enjoyed shawarma in a cheesebread, some playground time for the girls, and then joined my family for church.

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And since Hannah went to Csehy, it was also a great time with lots of Csehy friends who were in town for the wedding.

But we also spent some time doing things in Michigan we had loved doing when we were growing up (like eating lots of Lebanese food!) – the biggest thing there was going to Greenfield Village.
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Ezra coming out of Robert Frost’s house. We had a sleeping toddler in the stroller so were taking turns going in and out of houses or pushing the stroller.

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Trying on hats in the millinery was always one of our favorite things, as was the carousel – it was the first time either of our girls had been on one, and they both enjoyed it (even though S was sad to not get the frog).

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On our way home… Ellie’s favorite book fell apart.

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The girls charmed a pilot flying standby while we were waiting for our second flight and he gave S wings – not cheap plastic ones but a real pin. Made my day!

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update on the beeswrap: we love it! I just did some maintenance on them as they had lots of cracks, but it only took a few minutes of ironing between parchment paper and they’re as good as new. They are great for traveling with and eliminated the need for plastic sandwich bags on our trip. We mostly use them for sandwiches and baked goods, but have occasionally used them for veggies or other snacks.

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Paid way too much for strawberries at the Farmers’ Market (but they were local and organic!) – and topped them with some cream.
It is overwhelming to go to the Farmer’s Market and see all the local, organic food we could be buying and then feel guilty we don’t. So instead of trying to do it all we decided to focus on ONE thing for now and make that happen as much as possible, and that’s these pastured eggs from down the road from church… That somehow are cheaper than the organic grocery store eggs.

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Free, organic blackberries. YUM.

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We’d been reading Blueberries for Sal so S had to have her little tin pail… thankfully I had one. And she did a better job than Sal picking and not eating them all!

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One of the most unique trees I have ever seen. Pinecones, swoops like a cedar, but prickly like a cactus.

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Hiking for my birthday!
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A really beautiful trail, and also the longest we’ve done with kids – 3.5 miles.
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“playing” hiking in our backyard.

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birthday flowers from Ezra – along with serrated knives that work for lefties and some handlettering he did.

favorite recipes// banana tahini popsicles // sweet potato lentil soup // turkey apple sausage patties // blackberry ricotta pizza with basil (needs some lemon zest! More blackberry recipes coming later) // 30 minute posole // chicken salad // healthier cake // loosely followed this recipe for carrot cake ice cream – just added the syrup part to our usual vanilla, and blended it // baklava pull apart bread (halved the sweetener!) // cookie dough hummus (would add more oats and cashews) // whole wheat muffins (left out the honey) // crockpot refried beans //

and lest you think every recipe works, here are some that weren’t as great as expected: indian bread with zucchini (not bad, but just a basic flat bread with zucchini in it) // oatmeal cookie ice cream sandwiches (fantastic idea, but the cookies didn’t work for me!) // chocolate chip cookies (these were like cake) // 2 ingredient chocolate frosting (even very cold this was like pudding)

best of online//  Yazidi women freed from ISIS // 6 ways to raise a sex addict // biblical womanhood doesn’t begin and end in Proverbs 31 // reflections on the 50th anniversary of Joni’s diving accident (and more from Joni) // breathtaking arrangement of Fairest Lord Jesus // the need for rural ministry // missionary mommy wars // why “did you have fun?” is the wrong question // spectacular clouds // you don’t have to love your postpartum body // 5 Strategies for a Christ-Centered Home // ultimate guide to homeschooling styles // stuck in the middle of unresolved suffering: part 1 & part 2 // how to love your friends of color well // 11 Beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses you should know about // witnessing Yemen’s desperate suffering // Trio Mediaeval – the Little Child // How to Care for Parents of Prodigals // photography posing tips // the perfect body size // I updated this resource page // narratio // global buckets – a neat way of growing things and a neat mission! // how to use your whisk the right way // giving up the confederacy
reading of late// skimmed Charlotte Mason’s Home Education // Pursuit of God (Tozer) // Roaring Lambs (Briner) // Pride & Prejudice (Austen)

thinking about// in my recent reading of the psalms I have been struck again and again with the theme of publicly praising God for what He has done. So here’s for today, a day started with exhaustion and too much to do, and I knew I was going to bite off everyone’s head unless something changed. It was a constant all-day running to Him and teetering on the edge… But even with Ezra working evenings we made it with His protection. Not perfectly but without snapping. God is good!
Psalm 71:3, Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come.

The Munchkins// how are they growing so fast? Ellie is standing and saying a few words; S is starting to play pretend and invite us along.