“It is well to be up before daybreak,
for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.”
Right now, the house is still. Outside, the world remains dark for this mild October morning. I am sitting in the dimly lit, quiet kitchen of our home, holding my baby son wrapped up in my arms … in the distance, I can hear our three roosters crowing to gradually awaken the household … the only other sound is the steady ticking of our old cuckoo clock, hung firmly on the wall beside the kitchen pantry. And the occasional sweet baby sigh …
Before Loyal was born, I was unsure how I would keep my morning routine of getting up early. I’m not sure if I have ever posted details on this, but I decided to be an daily early riser about 2 years ago. I was never one to sleep in as my parents trained their children to get up on time, even if it was Saturday, and that training stuck with me like a sticky burr on your favorite shoe. However, in my early years as a mother, I was a night owl, doing most of my photography work in the late evenings. Over time, that changed, my workload shifted and eventually I realized getting up before the family was a wiser idea. I have always treasured getting up early, but was making it more of a priority over the past few years. It would be my time for my devotions, a cup of coffee or tea, some quiet before the rush of the morning in our busy household.
Thankfully, even with a newborn, it is still working out to get up earlier than the household. I simply bring Loyal downstairs with me and snuggle him in my arms. It is so pleasant. There have been a few chilly mornings where we started up the cookstove, but so far the weather has stayed very warm and pleasant for October. The smell of bread rising, a sip of hot coffee and the taste of the Good Word is a splendid way to start another day.
It has been two weeks today since our sweet baby boy, Loyal, was welcomed into our arms. I can only wish to slow down time and yet I still want to embrace every moment of each stage in our family’s life.
On Sunday, we walked into church as a family of 10 for the first time. Generally, our church is welcoming of new babies and so there, of course, was a sweet reception from many lovely church go-oers. One precious elderly friend of mine, Mrs. White, who always stops to say hello to all the children every Sunday morning, sent us a beautiful card in the mail to welcome Baby Loyal, along with a gift certificate to buy diapers. I thought that was so precious – she certainly did not need to do that and she would see us at church in person, however – she took the time to mail us a note and a gift. I was certainly blessed.
Many of our friends – and my mother and mother in law included – have supplied incredible dinners, which has been such a blessing. I am grateful for this loving community. Having muffins and meals and granola and homemade yogurt dropped off has been such fun for the children – and it truly has helped me out with my work load. It is such a lovely way to bless a family.
Loyal is proving to be a very content, calm baby. He is happy snuggled in my baby wrap or held tightly in loving arms. I am able to do a lot of things while still holding a baby, which is fantastic! A friend came to visit and after a while, her arms were so tired and sore from holding Loyal. I can skip the gym membership and hold my babies instead – 😉 – it works some muscles I never knew about!
P.S. The girls helped me make a triple-sized batch of sugar cookies, as we were invited to a friend’s home for an Autumn sugar-cooking-decorating tea.
The older girls cut out apples, pumpkins, bunny rabbits and biscuit shapes for our cookie stash.
We will walk over tomorrow (as they are our new neighbours – another blessing!) with our wagon loaded with sugar cookies and super excited little girls.
Here is the recipe
Autumn Spice Sugar Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. allspice
½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Mix flour, baking powder, salt and spices in a medium bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar and butter. Blend in the egg and vanilla.
Mix wet and dry ingredients.
Form the dough into a ball or disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
Chill until firm, at least 30-60 minutes.
Roll out and cut out shapes. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
Decorate when cool.