Monday, November 28, 2011

embracing the hard

Of late I have been a student of the "hard". Intentionally. Not a " getting by, putting up with hard" type of student.
An embracer of" hard " student.

See, I've been realizing that I tend to be a "feather the nest" make everything all better type of mama and person. I lean toward how can we nurture and ease the way for each other?
I enjoy creating an oasis in our home for my peeps to fall into, away from all the tough stuff.

But I've come to feel another part of my soul need growing. That I was a bit unbalanced.

A songwriter's comments drew me into thinking of the mysticalness of that place where it's just hard and there's nothing for it but to walk into it, face it, feel it and refuse to allow doubt and fear to prevail but to believe that God will be there even in the dark and that on the other side,every time He will be there. That there will always be good beckoning.
Because for the Christian even death has something bright beyond.

I am loving this imagery, even as we are laid out in the midst of "hard". Even as we sweat through, we can have the comforting image of our God faithfully holding out His hands,with good plans for us in spite of what it could look like.Somehow it makes doing hard so much more do-able.
Oh,and finding little surprises from Him in unexpected moments. Trailmarkers if you will.

But stories about them are for another day!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

our morning

So this is our morning so far..

Celestial Seasonings Chai tea with honey and creamer for me.

Starting the wood stove in the livingroom and lighting the gingerbread spice candle on our table.

Talking to two friends who called me bright and early-love that!

Crying over the onions I peeled and sliced for a pot of French Onion soup.

Curled up with at least one of my daughters in our comfy bed.

Watching the children sort and become "traders" in their enormous candy collection which friends have supplied them abundantly with. I should make no dessert for a month!

Now,off to the laundry room!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Our own "Max"?

Have you read "Where The Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak to your little ones?

Who do you identify with(all in a good natured way of course)?

Squirrelgirl is our "Max".

She has wild hairs,literally.

We try to train her to curb her "I'll eat you up" moments and she's usually pretty good about it.

But some of that wild might come in handy one day.

In honor of her, "Maxness", behold the wild curls.

Thankfully, in the end she's always happy to be where "someone "loves her" best of all".

Happy Thursday!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's official..

This guy is on his last day of being 9 years old. We've been parents for almost a decade?
 Incredible, friends,incredible!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

rummagings and good finds in the paperless journals..

This week has been busy. I am trying to catch myself when I'm being a "Martha" instead of a "Mary". I'm scribbling in my paper journal instead of here. Talking my way through the bugs in my schedule, searching for any wrong paradigms that might be present.
But tonight I was digging through the online journal of a lady who has some valuable lessons she's learned,learning and sharing with the rest of us.

Look for the "Put the phone down and no one will get hurt" graphic on the linked page and read the accompanying post.

The concerns she has are so similar to my own. Because of these concerns I am here on these pages only when I choose to be. (At least generally speaking..) Face time with real humans,especially with those in our own households is invaluable.

No blog of mine should come in at first place for my time...
Go read!


Friday, October 14, 2011

pretty laundry area?

So maybe this is kind of a fetish. (of mine)

I really like organizing and organizational stuff.

I haven't always been this way. But as I've added more children and more structure this"fetish" has taken hold more and more...

Anyway, now that I've given all the background, let me just say that I am really pleased to have made signs to hang above all my laundry baskets with the category of laundry to go in said baskets on said signs.

Using scrapbook paper as the framing paper!

Now our laundry area in our fairly large bathroom looks kinda pretty. Ha!

Every bit helps I say!

Happy Friday!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

they're heading off...

Well,it's happened. I always thought it would happen. I planned for it.
But still I'm not sure I'm ready for it.

Jess is reading chapter books!
He's off exploring in the world of the printed page without me!

Heretofore I have always accompanied him.
Now he's gone alone.
Getting ideas,learning stuff without me.
It may seem overly dramatic but this feels BIG.

Alex came back from his second outing to a farm this week. His enduring interest these days is in being a farmer. Next week he is scheduled to go on a field trip to yet another farm.
There he goes, pursuing valuable lessons, gleaning information as he walks the road of Life. The life that I will most likely not always be around to be involved in or see. Wow!

And while independence is still a long way off, I feel the ebb and flow of Waves pulling away from shore. Lord willing, the waves that pull these beautiful sons keep bringing them back in to see me often...


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

a "ten" list

So over at soulemama's today she has one of her lists of ten things she's thankful for, then invited her readers to do the same.

And I will, adding in the I'm thankful to Abba Father part of course....

Soooo,here is:    ~simply ten~
  • journals
  • hardworking husbands
  • pumpkins and fall food
  • aunts that carry away some of the lively brood for an afternoon
  • laundry that's basically done for the week
  • snail mail
  • some breakfast food already prepared
exercise made fun!

I may have an eleventh "thankful".
Yummy eggs from the farmers market!
Deluxe,I tell you,deluxe.
Especially with fried potatoes and ketchup.

Happy Wednesday!


Friday, September 30, 2011

prayer wisdom and what about the weekend?

This past weekend our family went to have a fellowship meal and evening worship dinner with some friends (whose lives intertwine with ours in more ways than one,) and their church family.

The meal  was yummy but I'll probably remember something from the worship time far better.  Speaking was a young man who led us in a study on prayer. To cover everything would be far too long for my limited jotting time but his main point stuck with me.
So often we are so full of our problems or our friends problems and we are asking God for help, forgiveness etc.
We tend to act as if "me" and my spiritual health was the central issue.
Ultimately though, is it not that God in all His glory reign, that He be seen?
When we are focused on that, will other issues not start falling in place as well?
Of course I'm not giving a well-rounded covering of the sermon.
But, Let God be seen is added to my treasure chest of thinking about my Sovereign God, an added wisdom to my prayer life.

What are you doing this weekend?

Lee and I plan to : celebrate 11 years of marriage!
                                Lee and boys go watch some friends in a run
                                me:get ready for our babysitters
                                    maybe go to a relief sale with my cousin

Tonight? Make quiche for our neighbors/friends who had a baby recently.

Happy Friday!
with love,

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

about a kind of graduation

Last night we graduated Squirrelgirl to a-big girl bed! What is our life coming to?
Yep, the bottom bunk of a bunkbed p[assed on from the older Brothers of this here Pilgrimhouse.

Lee and I are happily installed in our lovely perch in a bedroom that is child-free for the first time in about four years!!!!!!!

And, yes, of course I am a little sad.
Once again I am having to admit that my children do not stay little for always!!!

But at least I am helping them develop their wings...


Friday, September 23, 2011

happy first day of fall!

It has been such a rainy transition into autumn. I could go for some sun before long but oh well..

The boys and I worked on math and spelling in some fun ways.

We also went to pick up a mattress cover for The New Bed. Jess read signs all over the store! He is pretty much getting to be smooth at it. Sigh.He is getting so grownup.

The boys are doing manstuff with their dad like going to a toolsale.
The girls and I plan to go visit a new baby who recently arrived on a street near us! We're so happy for the new mommy and daddy.

I made some handmade cards using my circle punch and fancy gold pen. We'll deliver one for the baby's family today. Along with some clothes and an I Spy board book (which I remember my little boys enjoying as wee people).

Then we plan to come home and make pancakes for dinner and have our video/movie night. (This is our solution to wanting to watch stuff sometimes but wishing to greatly limit it.)

Happy Friday evening!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Track-ly thoughts and other such jibber....

Last night I went to the track after an exhausting evening (the boy energy in this house is awesome. Mmmhmmn.) Lee and I were both supposed to be in a meeting but I could not face that so sent Lee.
Anyhoo,when he came back, I went to the track with Alex and did lots of very fast walking.
I did not run,partly because the children had turned up their noses at my good dinner(ok,maybe a little salty) and I felt compelled to eat some of their leftovers as well as my own late dinner. So I had eaten to recently to be much interested in running...  

I did not feel like going to any kind of track last night. Typically by the time my evening shift of motherhood is done I mostly want to shuffle hunchbacked to bed!

But what happens when I go? I am so happy to have done it. These fall evenings with their refreshing air are a joy to work out in!
Try it friends. I know you think you can't fellowmothers but please give it a shot!
I think you will be surprised!
It's a rainy,dark and chilly morning but an hour when a Proper Mother would get about her day. But since I am who I am, I am going to spoil myself and crawl back into the new queen sized bed Lee installed in our room and finish some sleeping. I feel a defecit in my sleep bank and it's highly important that Sleep Defecits are not left too long,no?

Sweet Tuesday to all!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

thoughts on "weaving"

I'm on the quiet 1st floor, with my Squirrel at my side. The shelves are lined with books.
Some of them old,maybe full of older tales. Some of them newer,shiny.
Off to my right a teacher talks to his students. His teacherly voice tells of things like stocks and bonds.
I search for books with large print for my oldest child.
I find thick books with enough story to reach for a while. Yum.
Beyond the books I find other things,things to touch and play with, a box of rock specimens.
This quietness, this abundance of all kinds of materials inspires me. Probably the freedom inspires me too.
I'd love to go to a dream school, where I could read, pop in on classes when it corresponded with my studies,go exploring, assemble a curiosity cabinet........
Probably what I'm really savoring also, is all that quiet  :).

Life's not really like that for me, not like that university library I was sitting in.
It's noisy, with lots of structures to help reign in  the mass of human energy held here in this small space.

But,maybe,maybe there still is/can be a similarity to my dream learning space.

We already do lots of sitting around and learning from people who know, carving,crocheting,music,bicycle repair.
We sit around and read.

Maybe the biggest ingredient I'm missing is the quiet. Heh!

And this year I am being more intentional to quietly track learning trails and compile markers on the trails. Markers that say we were here, we have touched this information, it is being woven into our learning weaving.

I hope I'm raising some happy weavers, interested in these pieces of art they're creating, not some factory drudges putting in their time......


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

happy learning report

I am refreshed this morning. Very thankful for that! Dealing with the weekly laundry and getting it all put away was hard but it's sooo worth it! (well there's a bit left in the dryer but i shall deal with that quickly) Not having to think about laundry every day is huge for me.
Changing over to doing laundry in the beginning of the week has been a fairly recent change but pretty much a habit now and I wouldn't change it! So nice to have Laundry Free days! I figured if Grandma had a laundry day so could I! Well, my version is more than 1 day exactly but still....

The children have started Physical Education classes at a local university. Three of the children that is. I have to work really hard at coordinating it all but I think it's a really good thing for them!

We have finished our first Boxcar Children book for this season and Jess is working on his first Magic Treehouse book as silent reading.

Math = a couple math sheets to ease in. And suddenly the boys know how to skip count by hundreds !  I just asked Jess to skip count by 2's and he's doing it! I needn't have worried!

I bought a kids theater game and we had fun playing yesterday,especially the girls as it was geared for younger children.

Chess club for the boys tomorrow! Our learning is humming a happy tune!

May your learning times be happy today as well!


Friday, September 9, 2011

hello sun!

The sun has been out today for one of the longest times this week,I think! Very nice for laundry drying! Thank-you God!

I'm thinking how being a mom to growing young ladies and gentleman leaves very little room for slacking-or having one's priorities in the wrong places.

It's intense people! A different type than the up-every-two hours-for-feedings intense, but still.......

God help me.

It's good work.


Off to shop for our Special Friday night dinner etc.!!!

Happy Friday night!


back on track

I am back at the track!

Walking and running give me so much energy and make me energized!

Last night was a great night back after being so busy with wedding stuff and camping and recovering from all of it!


The children are really working on crocheting-so funny!

We discovered yesterday that the puppet kit the library had us believing was lost is actually alive and well on the circulation rack. A letter letting me know would have been lovely-instead of the last letter which claimed I owed $28. At least the'd taken the charge off our card which was helpful.

I met a new homeschool mom -always interesting to put faces to names.

Alex and I worked on making a little mulched and bordered space for our garbage and recycling containers so they won't get all mud-splashed each time it rains.

And today-Happy Friday!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

funny or unusual list

Funny or unusual things so far (this week):

It has rained and rained!

The children are sitting around crocheting or some such thing,learned from visiting friends.So funny to see them kicking back with it!

We bought two large, orange watermelons at the co-op. $1.79 per watermelon--woo-hoo!

I am a little behind in my laundry-not funny!

Probably should go do that...

Happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

list of fave wedding stuff

Some favorite things about the wedding last Saturday:

  • eating farmer's market donuts with the bride before the wedding
  • being in bare feet for the wedding,all of us, even the bride. 
  • standing (in the outdoor wedding) in the beating down sun and passing each other glasses of water
  • the sweet hearts of the bride and groom,a dear brother and sister in Christ
  • all the colorful signage
  • the gourmet potluck reception meal
And now I think I've mostly processed the wedding part of the weekend!

What's up next??


Monday, September 5, 2011

on the other side.....

Two big weddings over for our church family.

Blessing times/showers over.

Helping do all the DIY stuff for weddings done.

Bridesmaid duty done.

Camping with out of town family the night of the second wedding done.(it was crazy great!)

Check. Check! Check.

Here our family and the church family is on the other side.

In our home anyway, I will start to focus on my own family again, in a more intentional way.

Homeschool-I am hoping it will be awesome this year!

I feel like trying to keep the calendar as free from commitments as possible except for the children's engagements.

I want to nurture my relationships with them(children) deeply! I want to nurture my relationship with my husband and with my God.

  • I hope to:
  •  celebrate the fall season
  • take my vitamins
  • cook healthfully
  • get back to jogging and walking
  • homeschool-enjoy learning all around
  • bake with Chelsea
  • just sit and be with my children!
  • go to the chiropractor
  • Probably lots more but there's a start!


    Friday, September 2, 2011

    weekend list

    Today is prep day.

    • 1 Rehearsal dinner tonight.
    • 1 rehearsal tonight
    • 1 camping trip with out of town guests planned for tomorrow.
    • Oh,yeah, be in the wedding tomorrow.
    • 2 little girls with hair to wash.
    • 1-2 pairs of sandals to buy.
    • 1  meal left to cook at home.
    • 1 basket of dry laundry left to put away at this point.
    • Millions of blessings!
    happy weekend!


    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    happy September!

    Friends,now begins my favorite time of year and I intend to celebrate!

    My time is severely limited right now as we are knee deep in helping with/being in a wedding. And then a family camping trip right after!
    But soon,soon,soon I plan to be taking full advantage of the season!

    I am here with coffee in hand,recovering from the bridal blessing/shower I co-hosted last night.
    I am still trying to figure out what's up or down....
    The boys have a very energetic young friend over too-which adds an extra element to the whole scene!

    I think if I go wash some dishes it may help me wake up,so off I go!


    Thursday, August 25, 2011

    the hostess with the "leastest"?

    So,I have a question.
    In this country where many of us reside,we seem to have this thing. This thing that our culture grooms,ads and magazines reinforce and of course "The Liar" loves to bring to our attention.

    About how more is better,bigger is better etc. etc.More stuff=happiness.

    I deeply believe our culture could be so much happier if we'd quit buying into The Lie. Literally buying into it. But maybe that revelation is for the Spirit to reveal alone. I'm not perfect,far from it. But on a very daily level Lee and I have learned so much about simplicity. Living in Central America on a teeny budget, living in shared spaces, living in housing that was not ideal, having large bills to pay have been wonderful tools in shaping the new lifestyle that's emerging for our family.
    Less is often More.
    Less toys available on a regular basis,making us all frustrated with trying to tidy,thus More Time.
    Less furniture means having More available Space thus meaning we don't need as large of a home.

    Less books of poor quality=More Shelving for quality pieces.

    The list goes on.

    What if?
    What if instead of competing for "the mostest" our country or we as individuals would compete for the "leastest"?
    How would life look for many of us then?

    I don't think I've had a chance to cover all the questions saying something like this might generate nor do I have time to cover them this morning but wanted to throw this thought out before I forget.

    (this post inspired by ongoing "home editing" around here.)


    Wednesday, August 24, 2011


    So.. yesterday the largest earthquake in over a century hit Virginia,at least so was reported in one article I read this morning.

    I felt its effects quite strongly as I sat at my oversized desk working on our computer. I tried to figure out what was going on, calling to the children,trying to find out whether they were doing some activity that was shaking the house, whether our downstairs neighbors were up to something,what could be up?

    After a bit I gave up trying to determine the cause of the mysterious shaking.
    But then, unusually for me, I had the Yahoo news page open as I had been doing some research for a project of Alex's and traveled through that particular page.
    And what do you know?  The headline "Breaking News" was there!  About the earthquake that had hit VA!

    I was pretty excited, as I'd experienced earthquake tremors in Central America but I think I'd thought of that and just passed it off as "no way,this is Virginia" in my head.

    Anywhooo, the excitement of the day! And thankfully not many serious injuries or anything.

    Well, should go and keep rolling for the day! Yet another dentist appointment on the agenda,this time for Alex. Too many of those this year.....

    Happy Wednesday!


    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    a super birthday day!

    So yesterday was my 29th birthday! And it was pretty awesome!

    Highlights:We had overnight guests,an aspiring physicist and a farmer/missionary,two brothers.We had young guys happily hanging out till close to noon(since we hosted worship and a pancake breakfast.)The tribe played lots and learned some sweet stuff!

    Lunch with a good friend.

    Lots of surprises and sweet details.

    A picnic with some of the friends I cherish most in the world.


    Tripledates and sweet cherry wine all the way from Michigan.

    Let's just say I head into my thirtieth year fortified with lots of Love!

    with gratitude,

    Thursday, July 28, 2011


    No,I am not pregnant.

    Now that we have gotten that question out of the way,I would like to say that today I realized something!

    There are no people wearing diapers in this house.
    And there are no people using potty chairs,either!

    No poopy potty to empty anymore.
    Or, pee-y potty.
    This should go in my portfolio.

    No Mom portfolios??
    Well, watch me!
    If I want a MOM portfolio, there will be one.

    I will make it happen.

    Or is portfolio even the right word?




    Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    an adventure in the forest

    Yesterday we went on an adventure to the forest.

    We went in a caravan of friends.

    • It went something like this.
    • Arrive,get everyone settled by the water.
    • Gather food around the fire pit.
    • Children,(guess what?) start feeling hungry.
    • Feed children p,b and j or pb and "honey"sandwiches. Or hardboiled eggs, or pesto and tomato sandwiches etc.Share food all around.
    • Play in water some more.
    • Heat rice dish over fire.
    • eat some more
    • children play around and babies are snuggled into the double stroller for naps
    • Go walking to pick berries.
    • Try to keep small people out of poison ivy while picking berries.
    • Berries are abundant!
    • Get POURED on and everyone is all wet and cold.
    • Remember campsite has food and picnic blankets and all kinds of stuff all out and getting wet!
    • go back to camp and clean,clean,clean! Feed people again!
    • play in water a bit more and help small people with bathroom needs
    • pack up cars and grownups eat dark chocolate for sustenance
    • little ones eat fruit leathers and bars and eventually fall asleep
    • my pal and I listen to Raffi and search out "Baby Beluga" and sing it together.We are such moms!
    • Get home. Boys rush to get ready for an outing with neighbor and Chelsea has come down with a fever.
    • Good,good times!
    Now to wash all that wet clothing today!

    Friday, July 22, 2011

    settling in and coming back!

    We have been doing a whole,whole lot of settling back in.
    To our regular routine,to being on a gentler rhythm than we have been in a long time because of preparing for Lee to travel(him working long hours), him leaving and us helping out at his job where we could, then the wildness surrounding his return, which is too exhausting to write about at present, except to say that it involved illness, long trips, and me getting stranded far from home.

    This week,when it finally looked like a return to normalcy was possible, a heat wave struck, leaving me rather blown away by our unairconditioned upper apartment. Think warm,dry air or sticky heat enveloping the home=not conducive to Productivity.

    Then the gas tanks went dry on me. Wow.
    No way of cooking either.
    More scenarios too complicated and exhausting to write about.

    Anywhoo, all this to say, posting on my ol' blog has not been a priority!

    But I feel myself coming back.... I may be back to writing and feeling myself soon! Yay!


    Friday, July 15, 2011

    lee returns

    My sweetheart has returned from traveling far,far away! Thank-you Abba Father!
    (I think part of me always prepares for the worst when Lee travels.)

    He brought me/us coffee beans (we both enjoy good quality) and wooden beads,among perhaps more practical goods.

    I am glad to not be filling in for him at work.
    I think he is glad to be back as Captain of our nest.

    We are both really behind in sleep.
    I should be catching up trip laundry.

    I woke up and realized the bridal shower I am planning to travel to with a friend(in whose wedding I am in)is  tomorrow and I have no preparations made. As in,AT ALL.

    If only my headache would totally leave and I could shake this awful tired feeling...

    Must sign off.....

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    a list re: the last couple weeks or so...

    In the past two weeks or so:
    • helped 3 loved ones get on planes and fly far away
    • had lots of guests in and out
    • have one visiting cat staying here
    • worked most days out of the house for short periods-hopefully this is almost over!
    • gotten sunburned
    • taken the crew to the pool on half price day
    • met up with friends!
    • helped the children set up two times with a lemonade stand
    • visited some friends' church and met interesting people
    • gone to a farm and worked in the art room making pottery
    • hosted a swap party and potluck dinner
    • finished a large poster on the fruit of the Spirit
    • taken the children to hear the Declaration of Independence read on the Fourth of July as a history lesson
    • figured out new stuff all by my lonesome!
    • taken 3 of the children to a celebration at our local co-op
    • laundry
    • and more.....
    If I do say so myself,this list is not too shabby.
    Today I took Squirrelgirl to do errands while the oldest three were gone to the woods with friends.
    We were getting hungry and I thought about being my usual,practical save-money self and then decided to have a little date with my tyke.

    We went to a new Carribean restaurant I have long wanted to visit.
    And ordered a "batido". And an empanada.

    All was well until Squirrelgirl spilled our "batido" everywhere!

    Alls well that ends well, as the lady sweetly helped me clean up the mess.

    Which leads me to the present, and lots of housework and an iced coffee...

    Happy Wednesday!

    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    talkin' about that" feeling"

    So sometimes I fight this feeling. This feeling that most moms probably get sometimes.

    Kind of feeling like a little rat that runs around and around doing the daily routine.
    Kind of predictable.
    Kind of feeling a little tired of it all.

    You cook the food.
    It gets eaten.
    You wash the clothes (and hang them out and fold and put away) and then they get dirty and you do it all again.
    You clean and it all gets dusty once more.
    And so on and so forth.

    So how to keep it all fresh?

    I don't know all the answers-maybe not even enough to skim the surface.

    But here's some thoughts:
     Gratitude to our Abba for all the things He graciously allows us. Even if you're on the lower end of the income scale in this country you may have more than many in certain parts of our Earth.
    Gratitude helps me with perspective!

    Try to fit in just a little something beyond the daily must-do's.
    Today I worked on cleaning the baseboard area under my bed, sweeping and wiping.
    It felt good to have an extra "corner" nice and clean.
    It helps when the cereal is spilled and other messes are around to know that "it's clean under the bed" and feel like one is not a complete failure.
    Cause you know, sometimes the daily grind feels messy and unending and what's the finished product of all this?

    Tackle something new.
    I've been getting to know a nearby track.
    It feels so great to get exercise and fresh air!

    I'm also working on incorporating a lot more greens into our diet. This challenge is a good stretching of my sometimes tired brain cells!

    Working on handmade items.
    Making stuff. I like to make stuff. There's a purty new wall hanging I'm getting close to completion on! Excited!

    What do you do to keep your brain alive?
    Do tell!


    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    talking about breakfast..

    Isn't it the best feeling to get up in the morning and feed your children a yummy, nutritious breakfast?
    This morning it was : hardboiled eggs, toast from homemade bread, oatmeal with chocolate chips,dates, sesame seeds or dried currants as the toppings of choice.

    I know my children will not be begging for junky treats so easily when they are well-fed.
    That is a great feeling in my book!

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    bicycle powered ice cream among other stuff..

    What do you do all week when half your children are at camp? The noisier half to boot!

    Here is what I have done:

    • Gone to one classical music concert.
    • Gone to one summer reading program kick-off party-the kids musicians there were great!
    • Gone to the doctor.
    • Read.
    • Made yummy food.
    • Folded laundry.
    • Watched a movie with Lee and the girls.
    • De-cluttered and de-cluttered, and de-cluttered!
    • Went with the girls to a daycamp we were informally a part of this morning. Sustainable living was a theme. I think Chelsea's favorite part was the bicycle-powered ice-cream machine and the resulting ice-cream!
    • Tonight is small group with our church family.
    • Hopefully, tomorrow will be a productive day as well! I look forward to seeing my sons again!

    Hope your day and week was productive as well!

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    o the things that we saw on mulberry block!

    Tonight, I took my girls for an evening stroll.
    We pretty much went around the block.
    On the way we ate big,fat mulberries and sugar snap peas.
    We met an elder from our church.
    We spoke to a neighbor about her tiny dog.
    We saw the neighborhood children playing basketball.

    Then we came back to our house and I let Squirrelgirl out of her stroller.
    She climbed into the mulberry tree.
    I nagged at the cat,who had fallen into my bad graces by catching a duckling.
    He didn't seem to understand my grumpiness....

    Lee came home.
    Chelsea ran to see him!

    Soon we all went back inside.
    I ate pasta with homemade pesto.

    So,so much to see and do without going far from home!

    The boys left for camp this morning.
    It's their second year.
    It sure is quiet without them!

    Squirrelgirl provided plenty to keep me busy though. She ate a potentially toxic substance which set me on a frenzy of phone calls and the like.
    All seems to be well but that was not fun!

    Hopefully,tomorrow will be generally calm....

    All in a mother's day!
    May your evening be filled with encouragment!


    Sunday, June 12, 2011

    i saw a rainbow last night..

    I saw a rainbow last night.
    And I stood and looked in awe and thought of the unchangingness and faithfulness of God.
    Many years after Noah, and the rainbow still comes.
    And I know that some,looking up see science where I saw God.
    And I think of this song I saw on Pandora the other day-about being a fool for You.
    And I think I am ok with being called a fool too.

    (Do you think heaven has a room painted like a rainbow? )

    the children are all signed up for the summer reading games at the library.
    who would have guessed that it would get children reading this way?
    this is the first year i am not doing lots of reading to little people,at least not all of them.
    and that makes me happy!
    and i adore seeing the reading happen.
    i grew up a bookworm afterall.....
    We have a deck again!
    Our fridge quit working a few weeks ago. Just before I left on a trip.
    Our church friends gave us another.
    Lee switched them around while I was gone. But the old fridge stayed on the deck. Yuck!
    Last night it finally was removed.
    Coming up this week-my sister is visiting from the boonies of Latin America,where she works in a health clinic right now.
    May your Sunday be sweet.

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    children,children everywhere-writing about a journey

    Today was a FULL day. No doubt about it!
    But it's tonight I want to talk about.
    Tonight it was kid central around here.
    With a healthy sprinkling of adults in and out.

    I have to say that eleven years ago I never would have seen this coming.
    I was never one of those girls who loved babies when I was growing up.
    I read.
    And read and read.
    Books to me were more interesting than babies.

    Then I got married and had my own baby.
    And I fell in love.
    Now there are four little people of all sizes.
    And they attract more little people....
    And the other little people that come around need to be loved on, and fed and entertained (and sometimes bandaged).
    Lots of food with some variety is good.
    A first aid kit is good as well.
    Some toys and costumes  and good humor are helpful.
    Add in some popsicles or cocoa perhaps and lots of love!
    Pray. Know how to be firm when needed.
    Enjoy and laugh!


    Monday, June 6, 2011

    a quote on crying 
     I'm not sure what rabbit trails this quote will lead my thoughts down but I bet they will go somewheres!

    I am a girl who really,really,really likes quotes and I should have more of them on my blog.
    Usually the Bible wins for truthfilled statements hands down.
    Anyway, click on the link!

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    the children clean out

    ugly journal covered with buttony circles cut off an old tote-end result =not bad
    The children cleaned out today. And we have quite the closetful of things to donate to a benefit yardsale now! And some filled bags of trash-hip,hip,hooray!

    My children amaze me. They don't seem to worry about the things I might worry about as they clean out. They don't seem to worry a lot about the future, about whether there will be enough, about how sparce their bedrooms might seem of toys when their friends come over.
    They just happily clean along, getting rid of anything that they no longer have an interest in.
    They don't seem to worry about tomorrow, don't seem to have a big temptation to hoard.
    The end result is quite lovely and fresh looking.

    I am amazed, convicted, inspired to trust our Heavenly Father more,just like them!
    But I guess that's nothing too surprising.
    Afterall we are told in the Word to become like little children .
    I have four teachers right in my house!

    A note for you!
    Want a fun candle scent for summer get-togethers?
    I found Strawberry Shortcake scent on my store shelves recently! (It looks like Betty Crocker brand).


    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    three day weekend

    So we had a full three day weekend! How about you?

    Yesterday, our last full day of vacay, we went hiking. We drove wrong once, didn't find the trail we wanted next, scoped out another trail that was way long, and finally settled on a 4 mile trail.
    We encountered lots of poison ivy and lots of steep windy trail.
    Squirrelgirl is really into caterpillars and she got her sweet fill of them!
    We turned back when she needed carrying-we headed out much later than we'd hoped and we are having hot weather again so carrying a 3 and a halfish child was not our idea of fun!
    Plus we were hungry.
    And Lee needed to check on his bee project.

    We went to the park and grilled our hot dogs and drank large amounts of oj.

    I came home and lay near the fan and took a nap.

    Sorting and packing winter clothes, folding laundry, washing dishes occupied my spare minutes.

    I topped it off with a spoonfull of Ben and Jerry's Phish Food.

    Lee and I were exhausted!

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    I feel so blessed tonight,
    The children are playing on the rope swing.
    We have a fire going in the backyard with marinated fish roasting.
    The breeze is lovely,the trees are softly swaying,the mulberries are ripening.

    I just had a piece of toast with jalepeno cheese(the very last piece in both bags,bread and cheese).

    The grounds here at ye olde Sonhouse place are looking very nice from all the hard work being put into them. Our housemates downstairs help with lots of that!

    The house is quite clean. I'm sorting out the winter and outgrown clothes and packing them off.
    Today I'm cleaning and fluffing up beds in the boys' room.
    Good stuff!
    I just feel very thankful to God for allowing so many small blessings.

    I pray we can share liberally!

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    describing an evening

    Tonight Lee and I went to dinner at the community center.
    It was A Feast!
    Meatloaf,cucumber salad,mashed potatoes,warm rolls,spaghetti and fried pies for dessert.

    Then I helped clean up and we lounged outside visiting.
    Until the volleyball started.
    We girls went off and stopped by friends on the way home for a bit of girl time.
    Then some reading, bedtime rituals like praying and hugging.
    Now it's me,the computer and the small Squirrel.

    Hope everyone we love had a growthfilled day. May you always grow in the Spirit of our Lord Jesus!


    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    snail mail praise

    I am a fan of the snail mail letter. I like to get them. I like to send them. I like to write them in a chair, on the bed, or under a tree (but not with green eggs and ham,please leave me be..) ,well you get the picture.

    I am doing some organizing around here,making a letter writing drawer for the small fry, an art paper drawer set up nicely, stuff like that and trying to get a package ready for a special friend.

    Yesterday,while thrifting, I found a card organizer folder for putting in cards that you will want to send out organized by month. Yay! I have my very own letterwriting drawer as well, and this was just the thing to help me organize.

    So this morning I organized my letter-drawer and it is a great feeling!
    Now if I could find a cute little organizer for embellishments....

    Then I made granola.
    And supervised chores,crafts, and fried fish.
    And now I need to go read storybooks to the tribe.
    Be well!


    Monday, May 23, 2011

    hi there blog!

    Hi there!  So I've been unblogging... or not writing or this is getting confusing right?

    Anyway, tonight I feel like maybe I should dip my toes back in.
    I have lots to say.
    That's not the issue.
    Real life has been full. My energy has been a bit low. Hence no posts!

    Tonight I had the evening free while Lee did child care duty. I went out with friends for tea in honor of a birthday.
    I ordered hot chocolate. It came with whipped cream and drizzles of chocolate syrup. A very decent sized mug of it too.
    Now I am home having some of the dinner we prepped before I left.

    I am thankful for:
    1. honesty
    2. humility
    3. sunshine after storms
    4. storms
    5. my sweet children
    6. Squirrelgirl's art
    7. a fairly tidy house
    8. hot chocolate
    9. friends,of the really good sort
    10. text messaging
     May you feel the love and presence of God in your heart tonight!

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    happy late Mother's Day!!

    my lovely family
    Happy belated Mother's Day!

    Mother's Day is not huge to me. I get my mommy highs at unpredictable times...

    I suppose I could celebrate being a mom more.

    I asked for the gift of time this year.

    I was blessed with that for sure.

    Lee-babe, you did a great job on that end!

    Chelsea planned ahead and bought me a gift the day before-sweet girl! One of the rare occasions she had money on her and the freedom to spend it-and she spent most of it on me and her sister. We could all learn from this, I suppose.

    Lee gave me peppermint patties( a favorite of mine) and a new can opener.

    I didn't need gifts but that was sweet.

    I look around me often and realize how deeply blessed I am.

    Lee and I planted our windowboxes that are on our deck. And did lots of other maintenance jobs (mostly Lee)!

    It was a sweet day in all its quietness. A good day.

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    letter to a teacher

    the surprise gift basket
    Dear Sunday School teacher,
    Thanks for being a friend to our family.
    Thank-you for all your hard work.
    Thanks for going out of your way to do sweet things for us, being our family in the Lord.

    You are a real friend.

    We liked the surprise basket you brought us,filled with peanut butter eggs,that must have been hard work!

    We are so happy to know you!

    Ps. Thanks for not sending the children home from class with a lot of junk crafts! That is so nice!