In this moment

Little boy playing with Tonka truck in the Mud

Little boy imaginative play in mud with Tonka truck

Little boy playing outside in nature in winter

Little boy playing in mud puddle in winter nature walk

Little boy playing in mud in winter with Tonka truck

Little boy on winter nature walk

Little boy playing with sticks on winter nature walk

Little boy with muddy face on winter nature walk

Little boy with Tonka truck in winter mud

Small boy with Siberian Husky Great Pyrenees Puppy

Little boy with Siberian Husky Great Pyrenees Puppy

Siberian Husky Great Pyrenees Puppy being held by child

Three little boys holding Siberian Husky Great Pyrenees Puppies

Little boys holding Siberian Husky Great Pyrenees Puppies

The 2018 Winter Olympics is currently in full swing. The flu epidemic continues to sweep through the US. The government battles shutdown and the country is divided over immigration. And over here, tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, we’re busy playing in the mud and holding puppies. Because those activities are a whole lot more fun than getting caught up in politics or propaganda. Although, I do think my boys could make an Olympic sport out of slogging through the mud. And I’m probably due some sort of medal for doing their laundry afterward.

I’ve been asked the obvious question about what we’re doing with the puppies. And my answer is pretty simple: I don’t have a clue. For the moment, we’ve named them because every puppy deserves a name even if eventually someone will come along and rename him. I’m going to share the names we’ve chosen at the risk of someone making fun of them. We opted to go primarily with names of nobility. You know, some “strange” names that have incredible meanings. We felt it wise to give them a good strong start with names that they could really strive to live up to. And so that’s how Isolde (Izzy), Guiseppe, Adelaide (Addy), Cleopatra (Cleo), Esme, Arlo, Aili, and Oliver (Ollie) got such uncommon names.

Aili (pronounced eye-lee) started out roughly the same size as the rest. It didn’t last long, though. Remember how I mentioned that flaw in Xeva’s mothering? Well, her favoritism has resulted in Aili morphing into a super chunk. We may need to stage an intervention.

It’s been my habit for a long while now to rise early in the morning to start my day with study and prayer before the house begins to stir. For the last several many weeks I’ve pushed that rising time back to 4:45am in an effort to sneak in a bit more sleep but to still be allowing myself a good chunk of time in the morning. But by about the time the kids are getting up I’m ready for a nap and I’m realizing that I really really need to get disciplined about going to bed earlier at night. I’m not actually a night owl in that by about 8pm I’m physically ready for bed. But I have trouble forcing myself to shut down for the night because the days stay so busy and it’s my chance to really relax and crochet or knit. I just finished up these leg warmers and I’m trying my hand at a circular knitting needle project by attempting this hat. Many days, other than being able to grab a few stolen moments here and there, or at the table while the little boys are getting through the seatwork portion of their homeschool, I don’t get to work on it much if I don’t use that time in the evening. But I need more sleep so I’m guessing I’m going to need to sacrifice for the sake of health, energy and sanity.

The weather this week has been incredible and it is unspeakably wonderful that the little boys have been able to get outside more. There’s nothing quite like layering snowboots over footie pajamas and heading into the great outdoors to stomp in puddles, squish through mud and also to try and shove largish pieces of wood into your pocket. My husband is a master at capturing them at play and I know years from now (or in about 5 minutes if time with the little boys keeps going as fast as it did with the older kids) I’ll be so happy to have all these photographic evidences of this horribly messy yet gloriously joyfilled time in their lives. Now if I could just train myself to be still long enough to really soak it all in before it disappears. Implementing a schedule for our days is definitely helping although I’m still working to keep things moving. We tend to be pokey around here. My favorite elements that the schedule allows, but that going more schedule-less never leaves time for, are morning basket and nature walks. I’m determined that a good thing is worth fighting for and so I’m going to keep resisting my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants personality and learn to function on increased structure.

Because if a thing is worth doing, it’s worth actually doing it. Right?

One of the greatest things I’ve done for my children is to pray for them. If you’re looking for a little encouragement and structure to your prayer experience where your kids are concerned, I invite you to check out 31 Days to Praying Scripture Over Your Children. It’s available in ebook format right now but I hope soon to have it in paper.

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