Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's Officially...

....time for Christmas in our house.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Whistle While You Work

If there's one quality that our parents instilled in us that David and I frequently remark that we are grateful for, it is a healthy work ethic. Our parents are hard working. They taught us by example that that is a worthwhile trait.

I won't pretend that laziness never creeps into our work, but when it does...we at least feel guilty for it!

These days, most of the work of my hands is pretty mundane. Vacuum. Dust. Feed Jude. Pick up toys. Wash diapers. Fold Laundry.

I watched a video series a month or so ago by E. Elliot entitled "The Peaceful Home" in which she mentioned that the attitude with which a homemaker goes about her daily tasks teaches children what they should think about work. Work is, in many senses, a gift.

I want to teach Jude that a cheerful attitude in a mundane task is honoring to God. While I can repeat that phrase to him all I want, it can never take root if I grumble over taking out the trash or scrubbing the bathtub. In this season, for me, it means that instead of leaving him to do his own thing while I fold laundry, I pour it on top of him on the bed so we can have a little fun while I work.

On this very ordinary Monday, I am making efforts not just to take care of my to-do list...but to 'whistle' while I do it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Best of Both Worlds

We spent Thanksgiving Day hopping between my Mamaw's house and David's parents' house. Jude was a dream baby the entire day. We were gone for 12 hours...and travelled a total of 5 hours in the car. He slept 4.5 of those hours! At the end of the day, we were stuffed....and feeling very thankful for the family God has given us!

Country-style Thanksgiving Dinner:

Martha Stewart-Style Thanksgiving Dinner:

Chatting with Aunt Lisa & Uncle Brad:

Celebrating B's birthday:

It was a happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

With Thanksgiving

Thou hast made summer and winter, day and night;
each of these revolutions serves our welfare
and is full of thy care and kindness.

Thy bounty is seen in the relations that train us,
the laws that defend us,
the homes that shelter us,
the food that builds us,
the raiment that comforts us,
the continuance of our health, members, senses
understanding, memory, affection, will.
But as stars fade before the rising sun,
thou hast eclipsed all these benefits
in the wisdom and grace that purposed
redemption by Jesus thy Son.

Blessed be thy mercy that laid help on
one that is mighty and willing,
one that is able to save to the uttermost.

- The Valley Of Vision

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Today is Jude's 6 month birthday. For the sake of my memory, I thought I'd post a few milestones we've passed.

1. Yesterday was his first trip into the supermarket actually in the cart seat. No additional equipment required. He was a little wobbly...but we made it.

2. He's scooting, rolling, spinning, pulling, and kicking his way anywhere he wants to go. Still no crawling. He hasn't figured out that his arms can expedite his travel time.

3. We'll get the official weight in about 2 weeks but I'm confident he's over 20lbs. He's in 9 mos clothes and seems to have unusually large feet...he keeps outgrowing his socks.

4. His favorite pastimes are playing with my phone, beating his hands on the floor or books, chewing on any metal objects within his reach, and most recently, spitting.

5. Rice cereal has lost its luster. This week, we're moving on to sweet potatoes - in honor of Thanksgiving.

6. It's all going a little too fast for this momma....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Turkey Print

Jude made his first turkey craft last night...and I stitched it to a onesie this afternoon. I was inspired by a shirt I saw at a party on Saturday. I decided to make this while David was at work...which wasn't the best idea. Jude loved that brown paint. Thankfully, I escaped with only minimum household damage and a cute shirt for Thursday!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mr. T

David is ever trying to "instruct" Jude. Today I walked into the office to find him showing Jude this video:

Thanks, Mr. T, for the lesson in mother-respect.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Craft of the Day

Fifteen minutes, a glue gun, a bag of leftover buttons from my Mamaw, and an old frame =

Ahh. Jude's nap time is a good thing!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Mother-In-Law

More often than not when someone speaks about the relationship between a woman and her mother-in-law, it includes a good bit of sarcasm and a knowing poke at what is assumed to be an annoying relationship. The very term sounds almost antagonistic as it rolls off the tongue. The television sitcoms, the radio djs, and every comedian perpetuate this generalization with their speech.

I admit that I am sometimes puzzled by the logic that permits putting down in-laws as if the command to honor parents does not apply to them. But, of course, that's another post altogether.

Today is my mother-in-law's birthday. I've been thinking about her this week especially so I thought I'd take a few nap time moments to write a post in her honor.

If the stereotype of your average mother-in-law's interaction with her son's wife is correct, Linda Dawkins breaks every bit of the mold.

She is caring, not controlling. She is genuine, not manipulative. She is helpful, not demanding. She is patient, not short tempered. She is considerate, not self-centered. She is wise, not outdated.

For the past few months, I've been attending a class in her home each Wednesday morning on the secrets of homemaking. She and 3 other ladies teach tidbits from their 30+ years of experience as wives and mothers. The material (written by Dianne Daughtery) is fabulously practical and helpful. It is the essence of Titus 2 with a Southern flare. They have encouraged us, the younger women, to love our husbands and children, to be busy at home, to show hospitality and to adorn the gospel by our family lives.

I could think of no more appropriate way to spend this morning celebrating her birthday than in her home, full of young women, learning how to create beauty and how to love those around us. I am grateful that marriage extended my family life to include her.

To my faithful mother-in-law: Your children do indeed rise up and call you blessed.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Spitting Image

Jude is, apparently, the spittin' image of David and me. All in one afternoon, I'll hear that he looks just like David and then 20 minutes later someone else thinks he is my exact likeness.

I've been looking through some old photographs tonight and have to admit that insofar as the shape of his head...I think he's leaning toward my side. And unless his eyes darken up, I see a good bit of Robertson about them.

There is, however, something unmistakably and distinctly Dawkins. His cheeks are Dawkins through and through...and of course I'm hoping his nose will turn out just like David's.

Any way you look at it, I feel 100% certain we made it home from the hospital with the right baby:)

An Epoch

I registered for a homeschooling conference.

My life isn't altogether turning out as I once envisioned it.

At least it's an adventure?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Autumn Love

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.

George Eliot

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Lil' Belly Laughing

Jude gives us plenty of smiles these days. He's a friendly enough baby.

But if you want a belly laugh, he holds a high (and unpredictable) standard.

David caught his fancy the other night and had him on a roll....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Lazy Scrapbooker

A few months ago, Walgreens sent me a coupon for a free 8x10 collage photo. I'm all about free, so I followed the instructions and wa-lah: instant 20 photo collage from our big trip to NYC last year.

With our move overseas on the horizon, I've been making a list of projects to take care of before we leave. On my list: Make a concise family scrapbook that my husband will actually let me pack into our minimal suitcase space.

Last week, Walgreens ran another good deal on collages so I put together 2 more from past vacations. They are the perfect (and easiest) way to pile a lot of pictures onto a page.

Undoubtedly the easiest scrapbook I've ever made.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bleu Zoo

The weather in Memphis today felt more like mid-September than November. We just couldn't stay indoors!

Jude put on his best beggin' face and talked NanNan into joining us at the Memphis Zoo. It was the perfect afternoon for tiger gazing!

Afterwards she took us to Bronte where I had the treasured Tomato Bleu Cheese soup. I feel another attempt coming on to try to re-create. I think I may have to buy full cream and a lot more bleu cheese to get it right!?!

Thanks for the inspiration, Mom!

Monday, November 8, 2010

At The Table...

A few tidbits from the Dawkins table these days:

1. Jude has officially joined us at the table. (Don't worry, he's only learning table manners now...not how to eat real food.) Thanks to Brandi for this think-ahead baby gift!

2. I'm not-so-gifted at creative center pieces. Everything feels a little awkward to me when I plop it in the middle of a table. Nonetheless, I stopped mid-run today to pick up some pine cones. They inspired me to create a little fall action on our table.

3. Whole-food advocates, please don't judge me. We love this taco salad...romaine lettuce topped with drained corn, black beans, taco meat, cheese, crushed Doritos, and Catalina dressing. Credit to Laurin who first introduced it to our table.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


....my crazy Sunday morning led into a nappin', football-watchin', bananagram playin', chili eatin', walk takin' kind of afternoon.

(Just in case you're wondering, I really did not pose this picture)

Ahhh. Happy Sunday.

It's Sunday, Again.

The youth had a little retreat this weekend. We spent the better part of yesterday playing games and standing 'round the bonfire.

Jude was a dream baby for the entire event.

However, as soon as Sunday arrived, he let me know it.

Apparently he was still thinking about that bonfire...at 2am...when he started his day.

We eventually made it to church (20 minutes late).

I'd been in Sunday School all of 30 minutes when I was summoned to the nursery because of a diaper tragedy. Of course, I had failed to re-pack his diaper bag to include winter clothing. We wrapped him in a blanket.

After Sunday School, I took up my spot in the nursery and by 10:30am, I had to request a leave of absence. My skirt was christened.

By 10:50am, Jude was in his pajamas rolling happily on the floor and I had traded in my Sunday clothes for a velour sweatsuit.

It's Sunday again!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Needle and Thread

The crafting continues.

With the cold weather here to stay, I decided Jude's wardrobe could use a few long sleeved onsies. I made my way to the dreaded baby super center and found the onsie racks. To my amazement, the colored onsies were 2x the price of plain white.

I guess fabric dye is more expensive than I realized.

I decided to try my hand at adding a few appliques to the white shirts. I finished my first attempt this afternoon. We'll see how it holds up in the wash!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My First Watercolor

I've been in a crafty mood this week. Most of that time that just means that I start a bunch of projects that will go unfinished for about 2 months.

I'm working on my follow through though.

With that in mind, I pulled out a watercolor that I started working on about 2 weeks ago and finished it up. This is the first time I've used real watercolors in a long time (3rd grade?) and it was definitely an adventure.

You probably don't know that I have a small and unquenchable obsession with barns. I love to see a good barn in the city, in the country, in a field, on a main road. I just like the look of barns. Thus, this 3rd grade-ish painting was inspired by Inna Novikova's much more beautiful and artistic Midnight Farm.

Third grade and all, I may hang it in Jude's room just to make me happy when I see that bright red barn.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Book Shelf

Last week I finished the most recent installment of Jan Karon's Father Tim Series. Yes. I am a Mitford addict. This is one of the only modern series I've ever read. I got hooked back the days when I worked as a Retirement Home Activities Assistant. Those ladies loved a good Mitford story in the afternoon.

A fellow Mitford fan stalked the public library system until the books appeared and then kindly secured a copy for me as well! I was about to break down and make a purchase.

I was peeking in on Katharine's blog and ended up sending her an email about teaching little ones at home. She recommended a book that our high school English teacher, the beloved Mrs. Herring, suggested.

Honey for a Child's Heart: The Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life by Gladys Hunt

Though definitely a different genre, this book has captivated me almost as much as Mitford. Rather than keeping my eyes glued to the page though, the ideas that she suggests have been rolling around in my mind all week and taking form in our little life.

Highly recommended resource for moms, dads or just about anyone who is in a child's life...my next investment may very well be her Honey for a Woman's Heart: Growing Your World Through Reading Great Books!

Monday, November 1, 2010

1000 Words

I've been snapping more pictures lately than I've had time to post so I thought I'd do a picture post today to catch you up from all the happenings of last week. After all, a picture is worth a 1000 words, right?

1. Ironically enough, we celebrated David's 30th birthday by a trip to Putt-Putt. Yes, my husband lOvEs miniature golf. That evening, Rob and Bethany came over for a round of "apartment golf." I may have to do a full post on this new past time.

2. Jude has officially joined the wonderful new world of rice cereal. I'll admit, he still watches me put food in my mouth with a look on his face that says, "I know you're not eating what I'm eating. Give me some of that chocolate, please!"

3. Remember the baby sports coat my mom bought when we were waiting for Jude to arrive? There are not enough words to tell how much I adore this picture.

4. Fall fun at the Crossroad's festival.

5. Jude and Amelia are pretty much bffs now.

Happy November!!!