Summer vacation, all the good and fun and pretty and yummy things!

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Summer VacationLong summer days, running through the grass barefoot. Playing in the sandbox. Sea, sun, reading books.These first days of our belgian summer vacation aren’t all that summery and idylic, like the slow-motion images of my childhood that play in my mind, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be as much fun.We can read inside, on the couch, just as well. We are big fans of this book:

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We have a sponsor child as well, and I think Abel finally gets what it means. This book is about a boy named Abel, and our Abel loves that. Abel lives in Kenia, where our sponsor child Leperan happens to live as well. The drawings are unbelievably pretty, and I’m thinking about getting another book to take some drawings out and frame them.

I would like to involve the boys more in writing to Leperan, but until now they didn’t understand what it was about. I think they might be ready for it now.

It’s my own fault, really. I originally sponsored a little girl, but her family left the Compassion project and because of some slowness of the letter getting to me, they automatically assigned me a boy. And ever since, I don’t know what to write to him. Because what does one write to a 12-year-old boy in Kenia?

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We made ‘Space Rockets’ with cardboard tubes, duct tape, peanut butter lids and plastic drink bottles.

 The duplo people and the pinguins now make far trips in them.

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We received a Playmobil footbal field through a giveaway on  Leuke Wereld, and the boys played with it all day. Because apparently, being a fan of football is something you don’t have to learn. You just are.papaandtheboys
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Besides, even if you aren’t a footbal fan, Playmobil is always so detailed and cute and fun that you can’t help loving it. It’s surprisingly sturdy as well. And really big. The daddy and the teenage aunts and uncles were quite fascinated as well.

I would still love to have a girl, but more and more I enjoy all these boys here in the house. I look forward to all the next stages. Imagine, 3 teenage boys in the house! That’s going to be awesome.

For now, it’s just toddlers and children and they bring a whole lot of life and ambience and testosterone.

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I still love my own girly things, and drinking tea with the teapot I got for my birthday from my brother and his wife, that’s just perfect. I had been drooling over the things on Bodesign for awhile, and I was on cloud 9 when i got one of my own. I am in love.

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To be healthy we eat homemade yoghurt with chiaseed, flaxseed, wheatgrass powder, elderberry syrup, maple syrup, and sometimes chocolate sprinkles. Those are not healthy, but they are very good.

I drink a liter of fresh milk in the morning, and I keep looking at the bottle my sister gave me for my birthday.

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We go for a walk around the fort, just after the rain. With the bike that my brother fixed up for Abel. He can ride on it since a few days now, and he feels on top of the world. It’s a super old, cute bike. I hope it still has a long and happy life so that al of my children can learn how to ride a bike on it. That’s just how adorable it is.

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We don’t have to get to school on time in the morning, we can have breakfast at our leisure and then play the whole day. We have to go to the library soon before we get a fine for being late. Books are always a good idea.
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This vacation will be really fun, and really exhausting. We will eat a lot of ice cream. Read lots of books.

I have resolved to teach Abel the alphabeth this summer,  a few words to read and a few to write. I’l let you know how that goes. You know, whether it will be like those new years resolutions. And we all know how long those last.

Prettified Budgetting

People are always saying that marriage is about compromise. It was one of the things I figured I would be good at because I knew the theory by heart. Like the way I thought mothering would come naturally. As it usually goes in life, I knew less than I thought I did. I’d like to make a list and a plan and read a book and then know it all and do it all perfectly. Regrettably, it’s not that easy. It’s not a big and noble action.

It’s in the little things, and those make up the big things.

And so the thing is that at home, my daddy always did our finances.

Mike’s Mommy always did their finances.

[…]

The three leaved clover

He ran up to me excitedly, holding out his gift. A little clover.

I put it with the pile of other gifts. A dandelion without a stem, a buttercup, a leaf and handfull of grass. I did a double-take. “Is that a 4-leaved clover?”

It wasn’t. It only had 3 leaves so in the pile it went.

And after a minute, out it came. I pressed it carefully between the pages of our marriage Bible and then I framed it.

It’s standing on the dresser, small and oridinary and pretty, the face of all my 3-leaved clover moments. Because they are quite wonderful, really.

Someday I’ll find a 4-leaved clover to go beside it, for all the special […]

How the laundry basket told me to live right now

There’s a piece of brown, broad moving tape on our laundry basket upstairs.

I put it on a year and five months ago to keep the lid and the basket together when we moved here. I don’t notice it very often. When I do, I figure I might as well leave it on until we move again.

Were not staying here anyway. It might be time to take it of now. It can become a habit to move on.

We’re not staying here anyway.

I don’t want to invest myself here anymore. It’s too risky and it will make it hurt more to leave. I might even leave a part of me behind.

I detach, dream of and plan […]

27 and the very ordinary day

27 years ago I was born. I don’t know when I stopped lying awake for hours, butterflies in my stomach because tomorrow was my birthday.

Although I still like parties and gifts and celebrations, it is not the momenteous occasion it once was. Worthy of hours of unlost sleep. Not a lot of things are worth that. The Memoir of Life series, to be sure. Calls with friends overseas, sometimes. Talks with sisters and friends. Babies, although I don’t always think so the moment they wake me up, they are always worth it anyway. But it stops there. I mean, not even chocolate makes the cut anymore.

However that may be, a few days ago I turned 27.

It was […]

Being a stay-at-home mom – Interview on Het Moederfront

A few days ago an interview about being a stay-at-home-mom came on the dutch website Het Moederfront. Because Celeste asked, here is the english translation with many thanks to my friend Meredith who did a terrific job at translating. Thanks!

Naomi (26) studied nursing. After a quick and difficult pregnancy, she remained home fulltime with her child. Naomi is married to Mike and they have three children together.

Was it an easy or difficult decision to become a fulltime mom? I never considered the combination of working and motherhood, so it was definitely an easy decision.

I used to be a Mennonite. This might have played a role in my choice to be a stay at home mom. Every […]

In the purple fairy forest

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Every year about halfway through April until the beginning of May if we’re lucky, there’s a forest in Belgium, Hallerbos, that becomes a fairytale place.

Quietly and unassuming, thousands, millions of little flowers open up themselves, standing shoulder to shoulder, to cover the forest floor in a carpet of purple glory. If you can, go for a walk this weekend.

These days are the very last days the flowers are blooming like this. Because the pictures are pretty, but if you go for a walk there? You smell a million flowery dreams. You see just how far and wide the flower go.

You see just how beautiful it can be if every little flower just stands where God put […]