Here’s a link I’d like to share, on preparing for listening to a sermon.

How to listen to a sermon

My takeaway from this: pray for your pastor, and prepare your heart. Admittedly, other than a quick in-seat prayer pre-service, I don’t do either of these. Note to self: rectify.


Some thoughts and links from the week:

    Splash top. This iPad application is amazing. When I occasionally use my laptop I don’t have to actually lug it out of the junk guest room anymore, I just remote in using this fantastic app. In this same vein, File Browser can be used to grab and drop files (and even view photos) on our server straight from the iPad. Thanks, tech husband, for untethering me from my laptop.

    The Ergo rocks. We didn’t buy one until number three was born, but I wish we would have purchased this carrier sooner. They are sooooo comfortable, and I love the snugly-baby-on-chest feeling. I’ve also used a baby bjorn, ring sling, and mei tai, but so far I love this best.

    My brother and sister in law introduced us to Wasa crackers several years ago and we just rediscovered them on an upper shelf at the local Target. Whole grain, crispy sourdough crackers. Yum. This recipe also makes some fantastic sourdough crackers, but I’m ok with spending a couple of bucks for Wasa. It only takes a few times rolling out and slicing the homemade variety to appreciate the convenience of purchasing a box of crispy goodness pre made. Kudos to those of you who are intelligent enough to have come to that conclusion pre- mixing, rolling, and cutting.

    Do you own a Kindle yet? Here are my reasons why you ought to consider the purchase:

    • These devices are a good value. Purchase a $79 kindle (no, the advertisements don’t matter one bit, they only show up when the device is off and in a teeny banner on the home screen) and there are THOUSANDS of free books available. Not only the classics, but also contemporary reads that occasionally offer free or cheap promotional pricing. Books I’ve gotten for free or very cheap include those by Sproul, Piper, Colson, and Alcorn.
    • The Kindles look like a book. Really. I was skeptical about the whole “e-ink” concept, but the rumors are true, these puppies really do mimic paper. There isn’t the eye strain that can occur with other devices, and I find myself enjoying the light weight of the kindle over the clunkiness that can be distracting when reading a lengthy work. The pages really seem like paper, and the plastic frame melts into the background as I become absorbed into the reading, which contributes to my next point…
    • I (and most others, as I’ve anecdotally discovered) read significantly faster on the kindle. Books that would normally take me weeks to finish, if they are completed at all, are finished much quicker. I even do my daily Bible reading this device now, and along with a new reading plan that is the bomb frashizzle, I am chewing through the world’s most valuable book faster than a speeding bullet. Well, perhaps a musketball. Anyhow, you get the point.

In the interest of preventing any woman from getting all “Facebook syndrome” over this blog and imagining that some sort of perfect life is being led at MHouse (rather than the truthfully icky sight that is a houseful of sinners), I thought I’d let you in on this little tidbit: today we had to stop school not once, but TWICE so that mommy could pray for patience. And I’m only teaching one child. A kindergartner. For two hours. Even worse? I sinfully turned one of those prayers into a sermon for little ears: “and Lord, please help Jimmy to obey mommy and to listen carefully, and to not be so silly during school.” If my six year old ends up in therapy for lack of humor as an adult, it will be all my fault for stamping out all his silliness. I’m hoping to leave some crumbs 😉

Finally, Little goat is now four. Fantastically, fascinatingly four. He’s one cool dude.

These mental snapshots were originally begun 3 weeks ago, so the time references are off. Oh, and I’ve just made and eaten yet another birthday cake.

We celebrated Joseph’s second birthday.

Joshua gave us his first smile this week. This is always a timely milestone, much appreciated by a tired mommy.
 I sooooooo want to try a bed of asparagus and garlic this year to overwinter for harvesting in 2013. Google says its possible. Has anyone tried these around here?
Since the birth of the littlest Maxwell the big boys have been doing more household chores. We’ve always had them make their beds, brush teeth, etc., but after reading a post on a friend’s blog about her success with training boys to participate in chores, I was inspired to up the ante with regards to my own children’s chores. Do you want to know what I’ve found? Those cuties can really be helpful when instructed and given age-appropriate tasks! Seriously, I haven’t folded a towel in weeks.

We are utilizing Sonlight’s curriculum this year, just as we did with preschool last year.  I still love Sonlight, and I’m thankful this option is available to us. However, I still feel pulled to trying out Veritas Press next year, a curriculum in the classical style with Biblical study interwoven throughout. Any thoughts on/users of VP out there??
I nearly cut myself in half trying to squeeze into certain pair of pre-pregnancy jeans. The two birthday cakes I’ve single handedly demolished in the last two weeks probably isn’t helping me to stuff myself back into them any sooner.
Here’s a funny autocorrect iMessaged to hubby this morning after noticing that the espresso machine was still loaded with a double-shot cup:
A double espresso this morning? You must have jihad a rough night.
**Please forgive the wierd formatting. My wordpress app is on the fritz!

It’s worth noting, for anyone aspiring to memorize verses 7&8 of Psalms 130 (a pastoral homework assignment) that the Jamie Soles album Ascending includes a Psalms 130 track. It follows the ESV version of the bible, looping back periodically to emphasize verses 3&4 as a chorus section. I enjoy listening to this album throughout the day, particularly when I feel as though I’m loosing my patience with our little blessings. My attitude is quickly corrected as I listen to the refrain:

“If you, O LORD, should mark my sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.”


Because I need to put something on the blog:


Ignore the fact that the focus was on the boy’s blankie, not his precious face. Made by a friend, blankie goes everywhere with us. This kid isn’t quite as much of an addict as his 3 year old brother is, but he’s still a big fan of his lovey.


Apparently you can take some amazing photos in a dark room, using a glow bracelet (or other luminous object). I couldn’t get the settings quite right to create written words, but a photography-savvy acquaintance has assured me that if I just flip the doo-hickey on the thingamajig and increase the blah blah blah setting (or was it decrease?) I’ll turn out some fantastic examples.


Wee babe fell asleep for his most recent nap with his fist shoved in his mouth. You’ve gotta love the whole floppy arm, lack of motor skills cuteness that necessitates this circus act rather than the much more efficient “open mouth, insert thumb” movement. I wonder if this dude will be a thumb sucker? Come to think of it, number three has never been a sucker. Interesting. I wonder if he will be able to skip orthodontics? We’ll conduct our own little Maxwell House experiment. Suckers vs non.


Brainiac turned six. Crazy. This week we read about John the Baptist. His comment? “I want to be a follower of Jesus, but I don’t want to be baptized until I’m older because I don’t know how to breathe underwater.”


Little Goat is a great helper. He is eager to complete his daily chores, and also loves to work with papa outdoors, regardless of the temperature. He’s also the only child who has left behind skin on the metal well casing during a cold winter evening.

I’m considering the purchase of a Zojirushi bread machine. Any opinions? We make a lot of bread around here. Mixing the dough up in the Bosch and then putting it into pans is by no means difficult, but I like the idea of making the process even easier during this stage of life. The Zojirushi turns out a traditionally shaped loaf, and can be programmed to custom rise times (good for a whole wheat sourdough that takes a long rise). If you’ve ever owned one, or know someone who does, please leave a comment.

In the interest of providing follow-up for this previous note on our plan for labor:

Labor did go well, but the spiritual focal point ended up not being in our identity as images of God, but instead thankfulness for the little soul he has chosen us to parent. Physically laboring to bring a child into the world is an amazing thing (though NOT to raise it above any other act of worship). It is acutely distressing and rewarding, and remembering to vocally thank God through the process helped to bring the focus of my noggin back to where it should be: God. God is gracious and merciful. He is just and infinite, and the source of all things good. Though it might have wigged out the nurses, speaking thanks for Joshua was huge for me. I imagine many of you moms are laughing right now at my naïveté, saying “now she finally gets it!” 🙂