22 April 2013

Spring has Sprung

This year the seasons changing- or, rather, not changing- has affected me more than any other of my 5 years overseas. Last fall, I wanted cool nights and football games and Pumpkin Spice Latte's, and this Spring, I want flowers, and new, and hope, and freshness. By "freshness" I am specifically talking about the scent of orange blossoms hanging heavy in the air on humid Spring nights in South Florida. Heaven I tell ya!

So the longing for some type of Spring is what's on my mind. And I'm from Florida! What's up with this? We don't even really do Springtime in the Sunshine state. Wet cold directly to blazing sun is how we roll come March. Maybe it's just the pregnancy hormones talking? Prolly.

It's made the crafting bug in me want to make felt flowers and picnic blankets for friends.

My parenting and my wife-ing need some soil churning, water and sunshine. (I was gonna say "fertilizer" but I think with #4 on the way...well...)  Hot on my book list is Give them Grace, and This Momentary Marriage.

My bougainvillea plants decided to plan a timely flowering cycle and bright color is dotting my garden wall. 
Oh, garden wall, you poor, greening, chipping, divider of property lines... pressure washing was a must for Springtime activities. More plants and more color are in the works...but these plans, naturally, require chicken wire and at least 13 feet of it. Our car is in the shop and so my weekend of pinteresty projects in the yard has been delayed again. More on that later...

Springtime shots from the equator.

Family Movie Night. 6:30pm and its that bright. By 7pm its nearly dark. Sunsets go quick here!

Isaac: "Mama, can we eat outside for dinner?" Me: (genius! New chairs and table cloth from IKEA!) "Sure Isaac!"

My 3 year old proving he CAN have a good attitude. (I'm well aware this isn't a picture of him being told to make his bed)
Also because I know you care deeply, that wall is AFTER the pressure washing. Lemonade from lemons folks. Lemonade.

Birdie-bye sporting her new adorable bathing suit sent by Grandma. It's amazing how such a big vocabulary can fit into such a small 18 month old body.
No really. She cries.
I know, I KNOW its hard to believe that the mom to such adorable kiddos would be desiring a booster shot for parenting. This is what Immanuelle looked like while Aunt Angie was making us homemade waffles on Easter morning. I have yet to catch the boys arguing and get a picture of it, but it is very very real. And my temper (with added help from the heat and the hormones) well, maybe I should get a picture of that too? No??? Yeah, I don't wanna see that either.

i4 from the inside @ 13 weeks. Skull, spine, hands, 10 fingers, all checked and in tact.  And THAT y'all, is an Anthony Rivers head if I've ever seen one!
i4 from the outside @ 16wks. Finished 1st trimester with ZERO vomiting making this the best 1st trimester for me. Started feeling kicks at 13 weeks.
Ah, Spring. While not marked by temperature changes, I'm hoping it'll be a banner year because of what this season produces. In my craft room, in my garden, in my family, in my marriage, and mostly in my heart. It's all fine the way it is, but I find Spring this year just begging me to make things brighter, to dig deeper, to water a bit more. That's what's so great about this season...the hope of things to come!

I love this passage from the book of Isaiah in the Bible. It does my heart good to hear how strong the Lord is and how willing he is to renew those whose strength is failing. What a great reminder for the hope that Springtime brings!

"Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
 He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength
 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint."
Isaiah 40:28-31

06 April 2013

Crafty Schmafty - Pallet Art

Rainy season is over. Now comes the part where it's not rain everyday and constant cloud coverage. Now's "dry" season. Dry season is marked by a dramatic rise in temperatures from the normal 90 to at least 95 so that combined with humidity and no breeze you think you just might melt. Melt into a little pool of foreign goo and be stuck to the Equator forever. Every day.

My house walls get so hot on the outside that by 6pm if I slapped some dough on them, I could be pretty successful with a pizza stone business in my yard. Or for an Eastern example, I could slap some Naan loaves on the side, add a little rice and make a few extra bucks to cover the air-con bills.

It's hot, yo. Then 5 out of 7 days just when you reach the point of asking your snuggly 3 year old not to touch you ever, and then refusing to move due to melting skin, a big fat, Florida-sized afternoon thunderstorm rolls right on in with enough wind and lightning and bang to blow (and scare, if you happen to be 3) that sweat right away. It's manic-depressive weather at its finest.

All that to say. Rainy season gooed-up my "pallet art" reveal. I don't want to put more holes in the concrete walls than necessary, so I use sticky hooks. Sticky Hooks + Rainy Season = No Bueno. CRASH!!! "What was that?" "Mama! One of the pictures just fell again."

Now that it's hotter than the face of the sun and I have zero will to do anything, the sticky hooks haven't been replaced yet. So you don't get a full reveal of the photo collage. It's ok. I walk by it several times a day and ignore its incompleteness on my way to the kitchen to complain about how hot it is in the kitchen to get a glass of iced tea. You'll be alright. Promise.

The pallet art though, you like? I know it's super bright and if the color-balancing matted photo frame hadn't fallen to its death, you'd see more my vision for it all. Again, you'll be fine without all that.

Last year on Mother's Day a whole new world of awesome was opened up to me when I discovered the junk yard "recycling center." I bought a whole pallet for 5RM from a Chinese guy driving a fork lift. That's like $1.50 USD. The letters are Sharpie, which wasn't my original plan, but worked out well. 

I can see the art when I walk down the stairs. It is amazing how comforting its been to have it hanging there.  Most of the time I can't get through thinking about the first part, "Rejoice in Hope..." before I'm distracted by a child at the bottom of the stairs.

Life threatens it seems to steal my joy at every turn. Sometimes I see no stinkin' way that "this moment" (let's pick one of the 19,000 times a day my kids argue, for instance) could have any worth or any joy. Then I remember the Hope I have in Jesus. It is a sure hope and one worth rejoicing in!