simplifying

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We’ve had a stretch of wintry days here and it’s been a lovely time of cozying in.

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The boys have delighted in the morning frost, freezing rain, and ice treasures.

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There have been a host of simple meals made on the wood stove.

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School books have flown freely with little boys filling their minds with information and questions alike.

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Of course the warm tea to fill bellies is always a plus. And so are those rubber band wrists.

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A rooster made his way to the chopping block to become a couple of wonderful meals. And those sweet potatoes have been eaten every single day.

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And one little lady has watched the digging and the concrete and the construction underway here. More on that soon.

Here’s wishing you and yours a cozy and blessed Thanksgiving.

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The day began like many others – a fire in the wood stove, fried eggs for us, greens shake for him. We talk, he takes his first dose of supplements, and hands me mine because “We can’t both be down.”

And he’s right. After many mid-mornings of dragging myself from chore to chore I am so, so grateful for energy this morning. I wash dishes, I stoke the wood stove, I cook a big pot of chili for lunch. Elijah washes up some of our sweet potatoes and we roast them in the oven.

Abram does the very important job of making blanket houses with Annabelle, who could spend her whole day with this littlest big brother of hers.

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And then I hurry. Frantically change out of work clothes, finish up lunch, pack a couple of bags, and make sure to give the boys a list of chores to do while Daddy’s resting. I am going to have a much-needed work day, the first real one in months, and they need to clean and sweep and spread mulch and try to let Daddy rest.

Because today he just needs rest. All of those other things he wants to do… he just can’t. He needs rest.

So I leave him to the bed, the boys to their chores, and Annabelle and I head to the sweet, willing baby-sitter. She has no idea how much this helps. Quiet for him and checking off the list for me.

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And then it’s sitting down for five hours trying to catch up on the everything I was supposed to be doing for the past two months. And the Lord grants yet another mercy – plenty of energy and plenty of things checked off the list. By five I am aching for home and this family of ours.

When I hit that dirt road and park outside of the barbed wire fence I am met by little men, telling me of their day and their incessant hunger. And he is standing, at the sink no less, washing up some dishes. You all know what a sweet sight that is, but just seeing him out of bed is even sweeter.

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And there’s leftover chili and potatoes to fill bellies. But soon thereafter he is down again, exhausted, and in under the covers before the children. He needs rest.

And then the boys show their tired cranky sides and it seemed time for them too. Hugs and kisses and potty and blankets. I sit down to do a bit of reading and Annabelle climbs into my lap and before I know it, she’s snoozing too. And wow, is it peaceful. I can barely get around the crib to tuck her in safely. This sweet, kicking babe sure is growing.

I pull the light string with its familiar chu-chin and this family of mine is already asleep – cozy, comfy, and breathing rhythmically. I put the chili away, and check the weather. I make a fire to have some embers burning when we need to make one in the middle of the night.

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I lay down, read for a bit, and reflect on this day while the newest little one kicks and jabs. This ordinary day is not that different from any other – hugs and no-nos and I’m hungry. Kitchens and laundry lines and computers. How are you feeling and I need to rest and it’s okay, lay down. Pink kitty pajamas and will you read to me and everyone else is sleeping.

And there is peace.

And there is grace.

And there is oh so much to be thankful for.