September 20, 2012

  • The Shaping.

       “Our natural reason looks at marriage and turns up its nose and says, “Alas! Must I rock the baby? wash its diapers? make its bed? smell its stench? stay at nights with it? take care of it when it cries? heal its rashes and sores? and on top of that care for my spouse, provide labor at my trade? take care of this and take care of that? do this and do that? and endure this and endure that? Whey should I make such a prisoner of myself?”
       What then does Christian faith say to this? It opens its eyes, looks upon all these insignificant, distasteful and despised duties in the spirit, and is aware that they are all adorned with divine approval as with the costliest gold and jewels. It says, “O God, I confess I am not worthy to rock that little babe or wash its diapers, or to be entrusted with the care of a child and its mother. How is it that I without any merit have come to this distinction of being certain that I am serving Thy creature and Thy most precious will? Oh, how gladly will I do so. Though the duty should be even more insignificant and despised, neither frost nor heat, neither drudgery nor labor will distress me for I am certain that it is thus pleasing in Thy sight.”

    [Martin Luther]

    Hudson - 3 months 151 bw 

    “There is no nobler career than that of motherhood at its best.
    There are no possibilities greater, and in no other sphere does failure bring more serious penalties.
    With what diligence then should she prepare herself for such a task.
    If the mechanic who is to work with “things” must study at technical school,
    if the doctor into whose skilled hands will be entrusted human lives must go through medical school…
    how much more should the mother who is fashioning the souls of the men and women of tomorrow,
    learn at the highest of all schools and from the Master-Sculptor Himself, God.
    To attempt this task, unprepared and untrained is tragic, and its results affect generations to come.
    On the other hand there is no higher height to which humanity can attain than that of a converted, heaven-inspired, praying mother.”

    [unknown author]

    Hudson - 3 months 141 


    Having three kids…
     I’ve really been conscious of how much kids have to be taught.
    They come into the world as a blank slate, and have to be taught everything!

    how to respond cheerfully,
    how to be kind.
    How to hold a fork,
    how to cut with a knife,
    place the napkin in your lap.
    Remember to include your younger sister,
    sisters should be great friends.
    phone etiquette,
    even polite voice inflection!
    “Yes ma’am”
    “No sir”
    and “I don’t care for that” instead of “eewww! that look gross!”
    How to hang your clothes up neatly.
    Place the spoons with the spoons and forks with the forks.
    How to put the pillows back on the sofa as they were.
    How to hold a pencil.
    Please don’t throw your clothes on the floor.
    Pick up the toys after your bath.
    God is One God, but He is a Trinity.
    We can’t be good enough on our own; that’s why we need Jesus.
    God is in Heaven, He holds the world in His hand, and yet He wants to live within us.
    Please apologize to your father for being disrespectful.
    Oh, and did you know your knees are ticklish?…….

    It it really an endless list!
    But it’s actually been rather exciting to me.
    Rather than becoming frustrated by things,
    I want to take the opportunity to teach.
    There is an exciting world out there to learn about!
    And in character training, not to become exasperated so easily, but show them the better way of doing things.

    Goodness, how being a mother is refining!
    Patience? Gentleness?
    It takes on a whole new meaning when, instead of one, there are four of you! :)

    I’ve recently read The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot, and it is one of the best books I’ve read on intentional parenting.
    The teaching/training encouragement I’ve felt is due to that book, and the quotes are all from there.

    It’s much easier for the parents to pick things up themselves than to call the child,
    show him what he has left lying about, tell him where to put it, and see that he puts it there – and remind him the next time.
    “Much easier” only at the moment, I mean…
    It is a sort of ‘severe mercy’, for the parents are sparing themselves endless pains when they take the trouble to teach,
    and, far more importantly, are sparing the children the frustration and confusion of disorder for the rest of their lives…”
    [e. elliot]

    Hudson, pictures at 3 months [though he is now 4.5]

    Stats at 4 months:
    -15 pounds
    -26 inches (so therefore grew 6 inches since birth)
    - is the biggest eater we’ve had, since 1 month he’s drinking 4-7 ounces of milk at a time, every three hours
    - loves guacomole, rice & beans, salmon, mashed potatoes… let’s just say he completely skipped the baby food stage and went straight for the real deal.
    He cracks us up – the girls were never even interested in food until at least 6 months.s
    - rolls over from tummy to back and is extremely frightened by that ability
    - goes into fits of laughter when his sisters talk to him
    - recognizes his bottle and a spoon coming toward him, and is almost beside himself with excitement

    - still goes by “HUT-son” with emphasis on the “HUT” according to his two sisters, from birth to now.
    They sounds like they’re either a) from Holmes County, Ohio, or b) African-American. Neither is a bad thing, I guess. :)

    I can’t believe that he was still inside of me 4.5 months ago. That we didn’t know him, we wondered what gender he was.
    Now he really is a part of our family, and we absolutely adore him!
    I never knew a boy could be so much fun. SO MUCH FUN.

    Hudson - 3 months 118Hudson - 3 months 112  
    Hudson - 3 months 055 

    Hudson - 3 months 082Hudson - 3 months 071  

    My husband’s take on his outfit: “We’re rednecks, and you make him look like he’s an Englishman!”
    My take on the outfit: “I don’t mind bringing some class.”

    Hudson - 3 months 117

      Hudson - 3 months 108Hudson - 3 months 104
    Hudson - 3 months 020Hudson - 3 months 033 

    Zoe and Olivia.
    Summer of Twenty-Twelve.
    Turned 3 and 5.

    3 & 5 pictures 075-13 & 5 pictures 070 

    Olivia Caroline.

    Dimple Girl. 
    Recently discovered she loves to color.
    Has a mischievous sparkle in her eyes at almost all times.
    Is a snuggle bunny.
    Is also like the energizer bunny.
    Has a personality that is full of drama.

    DREADS naptime so badly all morning she has a hard time focusing on the present joy at hand.
    “Is it time for my nap yet?” she’ll ask multiple times before noon.
    Naptime is only okay when I  lay down beside her and we pretend: one day we’re cats, the next we’re birds, the next we’re bunnies.
    “Now Baby Bunny, we have to be quiet in our little nest so the foxes don’t hear us!”
    And then mostimes the joy of pretending overshadows the dullness of naptime.

    [and please don't laugh at my amateur attempts at sunflare. ;)
    I thought of all the amazing photographers I'm friends with who would have made this perfect lighting even more perfect,
    and groaned within myself... ]

    3 & 5 pictures 062 3 & 5 pictures 058
    3 & 5 pictures 044 3 & 5 pictures 045


    Zoe Grace.

    Deep thinker.
    Is Mama #2 to baby boy.
    Began Kindergarten this year, and most days loves it.
    Loves to draw, to write, to do anything involving paint or drawing.
    Has began to like putting outfits together.
    Has a very sensitive heart to the things of God.
    Is very happy to graduate from Naptime to Quiet Time within the past year.
    Is extremely ticklish and LOVES to be tickled.
    Daddy’s Girl.
    Very athletic, and can run as fast as the boys. 

    3 & 5 pictures 119 

    3 & 5 pictures 147 3 & 5 pictures 159 

    The Sisterhood that is my Daughters.

    Some days the best of enemies.
    Most days the best of friends.
    I’m so glad they have each other.

    3 & 5 pictures 090 

    3 & 5 pictures 125 

    3 & 5 pictures 131 

    3 & 5 pictures 164 

    3 & 5 pictures 178 3 & 5 pictures 183

    3 & 5 pictures 190 3 & 5 pictures 222


    hat: H & M
    outfit: gift from friend, Ralph Lauren
    basket: junk store
    old quilt: Goodwill
    baby: straight from Heaven

    Zoe and Olivia
    boots: Goodwill and re-use-it shop, one given from my sister Claudia
    dresses: gifted from my sister Ervina
    gumball machine: husband bought at an auction in February
    headbands: My Faire Lady (facebook)
    little girls: straight from God’s heart to ours


     ~ enJOY this day!



Comments (26)

  • Your children are adorable. I wish I had appreciated mine more when they were little. I did always love being a mom. Today I get to go hold my great-grand-son. I’m excited!

  • beautiful, beautiful pictures. so true that motherhood shapes us. some days i feel like i’m being shaped into an angel… other days… something more like a monster. yikes!
    nothing like a few small children to point you to Jesus and remind of you of your NEED for him every second of life.

  • I LOVE that Martin Luther quote at the beginning of your post.  It is SO often all about perspective, isn’t it? I also got a kick out of you and Ben’s thoughts about Hudson’s outfit. Too funny!  Love the girl’s cowboy boots!  And all of the great pictures. And you are right, as mothers, we are all teachers, whether we want to be or not!  We just are.

  • AAAWWW So much cuteness!!

  • OH, HUT-son is adorable. Should have expected that. Yes, boys are the funniest about food…though good eaters are a blessing! Your girls are precious and oh so pretty too. Glad you are embracing these days. So much to learn. Good job mom, it all comes back to bless you. Great quotes, I especially like the first from Martin Luther. I found I needed that perspective change sometimes.

  • Your girls are so cute, and they could almost pass for twins they look so much alike. And Hut-son, lol, he has a manly cuteness going on. He looks very squishable. :) I couldn’t even get Dakota to wait 3 hrs on the food, 2 hrs on the dot or there was much drama involved. Must be a boy thing, he still likes to eat. :)

  • very beautiful photography. And another book recommendation. I’ve been wanting to keep a running list at my computer of books to read. Of course, anything by Elisabeth Elliot is bound to be time well spent.
    HUTson is just beautiful. just. I hope that’s ok to say about a boy. I can’t believe he’s eating ‘real’ food already! Abbi was kinda like that, skipped the baby mush and went right for the real deal. Much older though. Kinda when I read that he’s eating food, something inside me went nooooo…cuz I he’s just a step ahead of Bentley, and Bentley is still my little baby, or so I think. Food is for big boys, down the road apiece, like next year or something

  • oh my, these pictures are so very cute…your kids are just adorable!!

  • Your baby is so so cute!

  • lovely pictures. I think you captured them beautifully-or in Hudson’s case, handsomely :)
    Can’t believe Hudson is already eating real food-big eaters are good! Sounds like before long you might have quite a cute little chunk if he continues like this :)
    Being a mom is not for sissies and I think you’re doing a great job! I find the baby years (below 1 year) the hardest for me to babysit and to enjoy.

  • seriously, your photography is A-a-awesome! i would never ever go to a studio if i was you….
    i love that gathered headband i remember seeing it at jenn’s store (made by you) love it because it’s different and so elegant.
    handsome children you have! :)

  • I love the quotes you shared on mothering Clarita! “…how much more should the mother who is fashioning the souls of the men and women of tomorrow, learn at the highest of all schools and from the Master-Sculptor Himself, God.” So so very true!!

    Okay, these pictures are just over and above all! Little/big Hudson is just so precious. I think he and Olivia favor each other. I chuckle to read how he eats…a true boy. My little Callie is almost 6 months and just today we had our first real attempt with the spoon. =) Are you making formula like you did for Olivia? I used that recipe for Cedrych.

    Loved all of this post, and your children are so blessed to have such a insightful and caring mommy! God bless you with much continued wisdom and grace to carry on your high calling of motherhood!


  • Aww, I loved your post. “My husband’s take on his outfit: “We’re rednecks, and you make him look like he’s an Englishman!”
    My take on the outfit: “I don’t mind bringing some class.”
    :) ” I laughed.

    I needed to read the Martin Luther quote this morning. My dear daughters didn’t sleep for more than two hours in a row last night, and I was resenting it. Perspective!

  • I’m seriously just smacking the counter all through this post and giggling and reading them all out loud to mommy, even though she already read this a dozen times.

  • Love the quotes~  Your children are just beautiful and you did a great job with the photography! 

    Thank-you for the sweet, sweet comments you left on my blog!

  • Could this BE any cuter??? I think not.

    I love your baby, Straight from Heaven. I want to squeeze him and kiss his cheeks. So do it extra from Aunt Beth, okay? (I just granted myself some undeserved familiarity with your kids there, hope you’re cool with that)

    And that picture with the boots off laying next to the girls, I just <3 that!

  • Beautiful! I was inspired. You are such a beauty on the inside. So glad I know you.

  • Clarita I love your perspective on motherhood… it is such a breath of fresh air! It is an amazing and exciting thing to be the person that shapes the lives of our children. God has given us all the strength, wisdom and courage that the job requires.

    I must take a moment to gush over your photographs AND your beautiful children!! Loved every single picture and I just can’t believe how much each of them have grownup over the summer!

    I always come away from you posts feeling encouraged and inspired… you are a gift my friend :)

  • I Love it all!! The ML quote, the beautiful pictures of your beautiful children, the “we’re rednecks and you make him look like an englishman” quote {so Ben}, and just all of it. I read quickly through the first time and want to read it again more slooowly again when I have more time! xo

  • Lovely photos!!! :) And I love how you embrace motherhood! :)

  • LOVED the quotes on motherhood. I too, needed to be reminded of those things at this moment in time…such a heavy, glorious responsibility we have. Thanks so much for sharing! Oh and I just read the Indian squaw post too…I just totally agree that there are times Randy says something and I’m not exactly sure if it’s a compliment or not. :) Thanks for being open and vulnerable! I’m sure Ben thinks you are gorgeous, because you are.


  • Love the pictures. Love the quotes. Loved the post for that matter. My next book purchase will be Intentional Parenting. Sounds like a great book. Always on the look out for parenting advise. Your attitude about teaching your children is inspiring. Isn’t it funny, sometimes I at least think my children should just know better. Like since they are my children they should just no that it is disrespectful to talk that way to mommy, or standing on your chair at the table is just wrong…they are my children they should know this, right? Especially since I just told them 3 minutes ago I am reminded how full time this job of teaching is…Appreciate how you embrace this job, and my mind goes to Galatians 6:9
    “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” This I must remember. Sorry for the long comment here Lot’s of food for thought you’ve given us.

  • i am smiling over your little kids—they are AdOrabLE. your baby is so strong, holding his head like that. and so big. already. you just had him. your photography—clever shots and so beautiful. and your husband’s redneck comment too—because i just hung old colored christmas lights to create a party atmosphere on our back porch and my boys said it looks redneck. to which i replied, “good. ‘cuz we are.” :)

    i’m surprised that i am still surprised about all of the teaching that motherhood requires. and that’s just God working on me. :) amen to, “…being a mother is refining.”

    happy monday clarita! <3

  • don’t know how i missed this one.. but love love LOVE!!!
    and that baby of yours is just scrumptious!!

  • WOW!!! I LOVE your site!!! What a beautiful, inspiring post! Your writing plunges into the heart, pulling the reader into the tide of your words! Your family is beautiful and I love how you know each one of them, taking time and care to learn what makes them individuals. It is evident you take Mommyhood seriously. I am inspired by women like you! Thank you! :)

  • I found your page via Amber’s. Your kids are so cute!

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