"Although my husband and I hardly had two nickels to rub together, we agreed that I would not seek paid employment for those few months and would instead devote my time to getting us packed and moved. I would in other words, be "just a housewife."
Around that time my friend Donna gave birth to her second child. Lily turned out to be severely affected by Down syndrome. She spent the three months of her brief life in a pediatric intensive-care nursery, and for those three months Donna practically lived at the hospital with her. I sat and visited with them for a couple of hours two or three days a week, sharing with them in that searing experience of love and loss. Lilly died just a week after we moved; we had been gone from church only one Sunday before we were back for her funeral.
All that fall I mourned for Lily, and I wondered how it was that her life and mine and Donna's had touched so briefly and so deeply. I had, in fact, hardly known Donna before that summer. Why was it that I had spent so much time at the hospital with her and Lily? I realized eventually that to a large degree, I did it because I could do it. Donna and her family were surrounded by a large and supportive church community, but I was virtually the only person who was not busy all day with either work or child care. I was just a housewife.
Those months with Donna and Lily reminded me that time deliberately set aside for keeping house is never just about "making a home for my family." Of course housework is about making a home, but a Christian home, properly understood, is never just for one's own family. A Christian home overflows its boundaries; it is an outpost of the kingdom of God, where the hungry are fed and the naked are clothed and there is room enough for everyone."
And for those of you who have mentioned there are not enough baby pictures on the blog, here you go. (Please excuse the rather runny noses. G. and L. are teething in a mighty way and their noses run like faucets.)
As far as other blog-related housekeeping-type things, a reader asked for my recommendations for math activities for young children. Look at the comments on this post for another reader's answer. She has some great ideas. I am also going to blog about my answers in the near future.
Cherry butter is very, very good. It is also very, very time-consuming, though not difficult. Six cups of sweet cherries yielded 2 pints of cherry butter and it took nearly two days in the crock pot to cook. We're trying another batch with a different slow cooker to see if it goes any faster. Either way, this stuff is highly addictive and worth the constant cooking.
I'm still working on getting our games organized, though thanks to everyone's suggestions, I have a few ideas I'm going to try.
And lastly, there is a new feature on my sidebar... a link to Amazon which lists some of our family's favorite read-aloud books. Check them out. And if you're so inclined buy a couple using the link, I receive a percentage of the sales. It's a shameless plug, but every bit of income helps.