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Mercy's Second Birthday

Here is our little birthday girl! We had a joyful party with family members including photos amongst the flowers, a butterfly cake, present opening, prayers for birthday girl, and writing in the birthday book.

It has been a lovely opportunity to reflect on what God has done for us in the past two years of Mercy's life and to keep trusting Him as we leave her baby days behind. Amongst other things, this year we are thankful that Mercy has . . .
  • Developed great language skills, talking in whole sentences, praying, telling stories and pretending with toys.
  • Loved to sing, and surprised us with her ability to pick up songs quickly, including "Jesus Loves Me" and "Twinkle Twinkle". 
  • Delighted in having a brother to chase and wrestle and join in play.
  • Got all but six of her teeth meaning that surely the end of all the teething pain is in sight?!
  • Been very affectionate and generous with her hugs and kisses.
  • Learned polite phrases and to greet people.
  • Learned her colours and enjoyed practicing counting.
We have much to look forward to in Mercy's life as we remember that God's mercy is from generation to generation.


iSonto #46

This week we are thankful for the fun beach outing we took today.

 We have also planted our first tomatoes.

Mercy and Nate have been chasing each other and wrestling each other with lots of laughter. 

We have new babies at church and have been able to give a few meals. 

Elnathan was happy when I said yes to making muffins. They both wanted to wear their aprons and seemed to think the main point of the event was to eat batter from the spoons. Nate has also been busy with cubbies made of blankets. What a delight it was to be invited into the cubby to be greeted with huge smiles from two tiny people, plus kisses of welcome from a small girl.

 Natey's memory verse was "Pleasant words are like the honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and strength to the bones" Proverbs 16:24. Speech is at the top of our list of challenges right now!

Mercy was cute with the new hairstyle pictured at the top of this post. She was also saying "I want" a lot, and pretending a lot with teddy in her rest time or early in the morning. "That's the way teddy" "Don't worry teddy" and even lullabies to teddy and dolly.

From garden to tummies . . . we have been harvesting some tiny garlic bulbs as our stock of old garlic ran out and we have more than enough in the garden!

Encouragement, ideas and inspiration came from Nancy Pearcy's "Total Truth".

One funny moment was Nate imitating me during prayer time and saying "mmm, mmm, mmm" way too much! Now we need to teach that it is about agreement with specific things in someone else's prayer, not just a regular "mmm" for good measure!

This will be my last iSonto for a while. I am not sure when/if I will resume. I will continue to post irregularly at birthdays or if I have something special to share. Thanks for your interest!


iSonto #45

Over the past few weeks we are thankful for the . . .

* School fair we went to, with a boy big enough to go on rides! It was fun to find some cheap second hand children's books as well.

* Lots of beauty in the garden as Spring arrives, and a three year old with an interest in hearing all about the new season.

 * A chance to start the new baby's quilt . . . I was wondering if it would never happen, time being more taken up with tiny people than ever before!

Elnathan was happy drawing with pavement chalks.

Mercy was eager to try on Mum's hat.

 From garden to tummies . . .

This shiny pile of bright green silverbeet turned into pies.

A book we enjoyed together was "On the Banks of Plum Creek" by Laura Ingalls Wilder which Dave and I have just begun.

Encouragement, ideas and inspiration came from Sally Clarkson's "Seasons of a Mother's Heart".


iSonto #44

This week we are thankful for the cousins all gathered together for a story.

Also  . . .

* The beauty of magnolia flowers, blossoms and bulbs in the garden
* Explaining spring to Nate
* Mercy's cuddles and kisses
* Nate saying "I love you" and "I am so happy to have a Daddy and a Mummy" and "We are very happy to have a baby. Our baby is named Mercy Joy. Our baby is a happy baby"!
* Hospitality to large groups is a breeze with a dishwasher!

Elnathan was enthralled with cousin Esther's colouring book and pens.

Mercy was happy to join Dad at the piano. It has been great to see the way Dave is launching into learning the piano.

A verse we studied together was "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path", which we also sing. 

From garden to tummies . . .

Freshly picked and steamed cauliflower with cheese sauce was a delicious treat this evening.  Cauliflower is a source of vitamins C, B and K as well as minerals magnesium and potassium.

 A book we enjoyed together was Encouragement, ideas and inspiration came from the Girltalk series on using the Internet, including How to Use Social Media. The quote from Mathew Henry that we are to be "active in our own business, yet quiet as to other people's" was worth jotting down in my diary.

 One funny moment was Mercy calling out "Dave, DAAAVE, Davvvve" from her cot . . . she must be copying someone, but do I really sound that demanding? I'll be watching myself more carefully!


iSonto #43

This week we are thankful for the sunny days that have allowed more play in the yard.

The children have been playing better together. Here they are sitting happily on a chair reading together of their own accord!

We were able to have one set of neighbours over for dinner and take cookies to a new neighbour.

We have organised our midwife for a homebirth.

Elnathan was a happy napper during a couple of his rest times. Usually he sits in bed and looks at books but occasionally sleep overcomes him!

A verse we are studying together is Exodus 20:12 "Honour your father and your mother". I made four laminated picture memory verses for Elnathan as a nearly two year-old, and have added a couple this year with Mercy in mind, which we love to look at together at lunch time. This is just one of the verses we have been going over together. Mercy is very pleased to say each word after me and Nate is pleased that he can say the whole verse. Everyone is happy!

Mercy was dressed in her new apron which matches mine.We have had some happy times in the kitchen together this week, both children super thrilled to be involved! It is fun that they are getting to this stage. We don't mind the mess as long as everyone is happy.

Mercy also wanted to put away the cutlery, usually Elnathan's job, and she did a remarkable job for a first try considering that it took me months to teach Nate to do it! Maybe the teacher is improving!

From garden to tummies . . . kale for a curry. It is always a pleasure to hear Nate ask "what will we get from the garden for dinner today".

 A book we enjoyed together was Under the Ground, which created many conversations about hot lava and magma!

Now we are following this up with a book on volcanoes. 

Encouragement, ideas and inspiration came from the "Family Vision" devotions I put together when Nate was a baby. This is the first year he has been able to partly appreciate them, and it has been fun to enjoy object lessons like a gift to illustrate faith as a gift, or burning a picture of the earth to illustrate what will happen at the end of the world. The work is paying off with fun family times around God's word . . . and I am so glad I put these together when I had more time for quiet pursuits! Now I am developing a box for the illustrations/objects so I don't need to look for them yearly.

 One funny moment was Mercy bursting into laughter then saying "Mercy funny".


iSonto #42

This week we are thankful for the family trip we took to the North of the state where we had all kinds of adventures! This trip was part of our "family celebration" of our fifth anniversary.

We visited the Don River railway where we all enjoyed a ride on a vintage diesel train.

On the way home we stopped at the "House of Anvers" Chocolate factory, a fun opportunity to sample their delicious wares, watch them make chocolates, and ride the "chocolate delivery truck".

Nate received a raspberry sorbet ice cream as a reward for being an excellent traveler on our three hour drive the day before, which was liberally shared . . . thus the dirty face!

We were thankful for the way the children loved both places we stayed. The first one had model train tracks galore, while the second one had fun animals to meet. Here is Nate, with Mercy's favourite "Doggy Benny". It was lovely to see her laughing and playing with this gentle dog.

Another good thing was coming up with a scheme for adult reading/relaxing time - swap children! We did family activities together but also swapped childcare.

Elnathan was a little daunted by the statue of John Glover, a painter whose prints hang in our home.

He was sweet about all our detours, including this one to see John Glover's grave at a quaint country church. He was the perfect traveler!

On a frosty morning there was lots of ice, which Elnathan added to his little rock garden.

He loved making roads for matchbox cars amongst the flowers. Here he is running to tell me about it! Sadly Nate also gained a leech in this patch, a much recounted event.

Mercy was happy whenever she was allowed out of the car. The remainder of the time we got by with wholemeal crackers regularly distributed to the back seat, music, and singing "Old MacDonald" together when things got really bad!

Mercy loves playgrounds. Here she is listening to an aeroplane go over one.

Mercy also enjoyed sea horse world, and seeing echidnas. These two centres are across from one another at Beauty Point.

A book we enjoyed together was "The Boy Who Changed the World", one of our gifts to the children for family celebration.

One funny moment was asking Mercy questions like "Are you bossy?" to which her reply is inevitably "yes"!


iSonto #41

This week we are thankful for .. . .

* Our new trampoline, put up as part of our "family celebration" in August, celebrating our marriage. It is a 12 foot, big enough to accommodate our little ones and their cousins (bouncing gently)!  

* Boxes that turned into buses.

* A totally delightful day trip we took to Mt Field National Park, complete with a rainbow reaching over the road on our way back! Dave is always excellent at pointing out items of interest in the natural world. This is a lesson about a spider's web.

* Here are the children taking in the wonder of the water fall. We are thankful for the way their enthusiasm adds extra joy to such outings.

Elnathan was thrilled with the various logs and trunks that could be "houses".

He had fun throwing sticks and leaves into the river and watching them float or sink.

Here he is running over the bridge.

Natey's memory verse was  Psalm 23 which we have returned to as he does not remember all of it from last year.

 Mercy was happy to walk with Daddy, although very distracted! Moss is so interesting, you see!

From garden to tummies . . . silverbeet put in a very simple tomato sauce (canned tomatoes, half an onion, curry powder) and put over chicken breasts and roasted.

A book we enjoyed together was "A Drive in the Country" by Michael J. Rosen.

Encouragement, ideas and inspiration came from the beauty of Scripture and catechism put to song through Dana Dirksen's "Songs for Saplings" music. We highly recommend their CDs, and especially love the ABCs. Adults and children can enjoy them together. When the children fussed in the car we often found that one of these songs helped.

One funny moment was Nate's continued statements about going to the "moral high ground". Since hearing this expression in one of our conversations Nate has taken it to heart and is convinced it is a place. Maybe he will need a ladder to get there?


iSonto #40

This week we are thankful for . . .

 * the anticipation of welcoming our third child in February next year. Here is one of the pictures we took when preparing a special announcement for family a few weeks ago.

* Mercy's ongoing positive development, with Dave noticing many advances while he was away. Here she is participating in a sticking activity.

* Dave arriving home safely and having some fun times with us before he needs to head off for another couple of days tomorrow!

* Mercy saying her first thank you prayer

* Nate saying "Daddy I missed you " when we picked Dave up from the airport

* Church and family giving us meals while Dave was away

Elnathan was happy to learn how to change CDs.


 He was also sweet pretending that dirt and bark were strawberries and other foods.

 Natey's memory verse was Psalm 146, along with me. The easiest way for me to get my memory work done is to do it with him.  

Mercy had a pony tail for the first time. She is now saying lots of two word phrases. We have been delighted when she spontaneously says "Thank you Daddy".

From garden to tummies . . .

We are still eating garlic, and had some in roast tomatoes. It was nice to be able to eat a little as I have not been able to eat it for a few weeks due to nausea.

A book we enjoyed together was "By the Shores of Silver Lake" by Laura Ingalls Wilder which Dave and I read aloud together.

Encouragement, ideas and inspiration came from Nicole's beautiful tribute to her mother in the blog post Feminine Appeal: Nine Years On.

One funny moment was Nate telling us that the wrecked and broken cars would go to heaven.


iSonto #39

This week we are thankful for the positive week Dave has had at a conference in Portugal and the hours of respite God has provided for me here at home being a solo parent for two weeks.

We have also seen some improvement in Nate's artistic works as he drew his first vaguely recognisable picture . . . maybe it is just mother love but I think this really could be thought of as trees with leaves.

Elnathan was a source of laughter when he decided he was Maisy taking Tallula for a walk up and down the corridor.

Natey's memory verse was   Psalm 121 "I will lift my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord Who made heaven and earth. It was also my verse for trusting God to provide all our needs right now.

Mercy was shaping up to be a poser, saying "smile" when the camera came out and then requesting "more" pictures. She also said "circle" for the first time while doing her favourite puzzle here. Mercy is beginning to put two words together and always reminds me of the lovely bird sounds with her exclamations of "birdie" and "noise" whenever she hears them.

A book we enjoyed together was "Look inside an airport", one of those books with a crazy number of flaps that are in danger of being torn apart. It is sitting on the piano right now in the hope that it will be taken back to the library relatively intact.

Encouragement, ideas and inspiration came from a Helen Young quote that reminded me to savour even these difficult days alone with the children "There is a time to treasure every fleeting minute of their childhood . . . An hour of concern today may save years of heartache tomorrow, the house will wait, the dishes will wait, the new room can wait, but children don't wait . . . God give us wisdom to see that today is the day with our children". The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is where I obtained this quote.

One funny moment was when Nate exclaimed "I have a mummy who plays cars with me all day". This is certainly not true, but playing with him for about 15 minutes was sufficient to make him think so! This morning he gave me another laugh when he informed me that "I am going to Tanzania to take care of the animals that are hurt and I have arm bands".


iSonto #38

This week we are thankful for the box of dress ups being put to good use. Here is Elnathan dressed up as, he informed me, a lady ready to go to work for the day at the church. I have been popping unused clothing and shoes in there for years with children in view.

We can also be thankful for some sunny winter days, Mercy learning to say her own name and "yes", cubbies being created all over the house, time in the garden before Dave went away for two weeks, and a visit we were able to make to see people in an aged care home.

Elnathan was still busy with all those bits of cloth from my scrap bag! You can also see a blue painted box which serves as a house. It seems to fill Nate's "love tank" to make things like this with him.

Natey's memory verse was still Psalm 1, which we say most nights at dinner.

Mercy was thrilled to paint with a sponge, thanks to Grandma.

From garden to tummies . . . we had broccoli steamed. It is a source of calcium, Vitamin C and A, and folate. 

A book we enjoyed together was The Natural History Book.

We often turn to this book to look up a plant or animal we have seen but cannot name. This week Nate asked me to read it to him and to talk about all the names of the rocks!

Encouragement, ideas and inspiration came from One Human Family by Carl Weiland, which presents the truth that how we view origins affects the way we view human beings from other cultures and "races".  


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