Friday, October 30, 2009


There are some things I do everyday,little things that seem insignificant and then one day it hits me that they are little gems tucked into my day that I treasure more than I could say. Almost everyday at just about seven in my house, I have three little critters sloshing around our tub laughing and splashing. I scoop them up all clean and wet and lift them to the mirror. I squeeze their faces next to mine because they always want to see the hooded princess or little bear towel on their head. It's some of these humble little moments in the routine of my days that I know I'll miss someday. They shed their towels and dash to the fireplace to warm their bums. It's one of my favorite parts of the day.

Tonight we've got the cutest little lamb you ever saw, one ballerina and one superhero that are gearing up for tomorrow. Happy trick or treating!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

prayers for Mimi

I seem to keep quoting my son for the sincerity, simplicity, and profundity of his prayers but sometimes Josh and I look at each other holding back laughter. I think I might as well just start a book with his precious prayers. We have this beloved Mimi who recently left the country on a trip to share her faith with women at a university in Czech Republic. Juden's prayer that evening was this,"Dear Jesus, please make Mimi be safe on her trip,when she rides in the airplane, help her not to fall off, but if she does fall off please let her parachute shoot up cause I love Mimi and I want her to come here so that I can go sleep over Mimi's house." Now if I could just find the drawing he did of Mimi in the plane, that was pretty cute too.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Autumn love

Drinking in the sights, the gentle chaos, the symmetry,

of trees aflame with color...

the oil paint limbs,the way the light makes them shine,

the beauty of death becoming life...

and the smell of wet leaves and fire.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Since September I've been home-schooling Juden for Kindergarten. I thought it would feel like a natural transition since we already have a home where learning and living and playing coincide. Some days have gone like my overly idealistic self imagined. We snuggle in the morning sun immersed in our reading while the girls have tea parties nearby. Other days I wonder what I got myself into and I feel like a total failure. On these days Juden has his mind made up not to do anything school related, the girls make concentration impossible and I'm trying to trudge through to make sure everything on my curriculum list is checked off. Some days Juden and I are frustrated and I end my day with little to show for it.
I'm using Sonlight which is very literature based, which I like. Every child's temperament is different and Juden was struggling with the extreme structure suddenly placed on his days at home. I realized that perhaps I was a tad over-zealous and that I really don't want to fight with my son or squelch his love for learning. A few days ago I was so discouraged I considered throwing the towel in and called my mother-to-almost-six, home schooling guru, best friend. I don't know what I would do without my girlfriends. She listened patiently to all of my recent struggles. She listened to my home-schooling frustrations. She talked about the importance of nurturing his curiosity and love for learning. She recommended books and gave amazing advice and helpful tips. Most of all she spoke confidence in me that I had lost in myself. She affirmed me as mom and a teacher.It is amazing the power of a little encouragement to a broken spirit. What did I do to deserve such precious women in my life? All of this to say, it has not always been an easy transition but we are learning how to find a good rhythm of learning and play and structure and freedom. I feel a sense of renewal that I know is from God and how He has used my friends to uphold me.

Some of the highlights are that I get to be with all my children all day long.
I get to watch their wonder over little miracles like this...
we feed our very hungry "calapidder" as Ella calls it, lots of milkweed,
we watch it form a pale green and gold beaded chrysalis,
we watch it bulge and become translucent with tiny wings forming underneath,
we watch it break free and unfurl it's wings for the very first time,
and just like that... a butterfly is born.

I get to teach and nurture and drink in each day the wonder and curiosity and creativity that comes with being five, and thirty-one.

Monday, October 19, 2009

response to "Something I know is true"

"There is so much work to be done, especially in a family of six. It almost never stops. When one load of laundry is taken off the line, another is ready to go on. When one meal is cleaned up, it’s almost time to begin the next. Sometimes we work very hard for leisure, also (as any mama knows who has gone camping).

A woman can work very hard. She can organize and make lists, and she can tidy and straighten and wash and reorganize and dunk her baby in a bath and dress him and put him to bed.

But not all of a woman is made to work. The soul of a woman contains so much more- there is a girl-child inside, ready to play! Sometimes the girl-child is upset, because there has been no time to play, no time to laze around and read on a window seat on a rainy day.

But there is work to do. So, there must be a way to bring the two together! Surely God did not make us to forget how to be children (Jesus suggested the very opposite when He said, “Unless you become like children, you will not see the Kingdom of God”) and surely He is not a great taskmaster, always hovering and waiting for us to account for ourselves."
~Rae the Journey Mama

"I used to struggle with this too. After I had cancer something changed and now I find all those chores ‘fun’–they seem like play to me. Because there is always ‘work’ to do, I have fun all day long!! I imagine people think I am a boring not so creative person, but I love the ordinary day and find it delights me.

But I wasn’t always like that– and I didn’t evolve into this way of thinking/being. I “learned’ it. I oft think of what the Apostle Paul declared “I have learned to be content, in whatsoever state I am in”.

A child’s work is play. And an adult’s work is his ‘play’ so to speak. And play he will, unless he resents the task at hand. Even a tinge of resentment will cause it to be a drudge.

We adults have to work at kicking out even the tiniest thought that hints of wishing we could be doing other than the work at hand. While it may be true that we’d rather be doing something else, we must deny any feeling of discontent the freedom to exercise itself in our heart.

“Search me Oh God, and know my heart”. Why? Because my heart–the heart of man– is deceitful above all else, and desperately wicked. Please God, shine a light into its recesses and reveal to me my true state....
That which I’d dreaded or felt to be a chore became a privilege, a blessing in itself.
I was changed by transforming my mind. When I lay there, in that hospital bed with cancer, I thought about all my pettiness, my murmurings, and realized I was akin to those wanderers in the wilderness and I wept sorely and told God I was so sorry..and I vowed to myself that if God did indeed spare me I would never ever again despise the daily grind."
~Dinah Soar

"However, I feel that for me it is less about discontentment, and more about learning that being a good girl is not about having every thing on my “to do list” done, or having every part of my schedule fit perfectly together.

Being who God made me to be is actually to BE a child, and it is more this state of being that I am pursuing, than running away for a day (although that is fun too).

I do think we have to deny ourselves, of course. But where we are actually longing for good things, we have to work really hard to fight against the idea that we are not worth finding playtime.
I’ve always identified with Martha in the story of Mary and Martha. Now I am beginning to understand that what Jesus was telling Martha is that we are not only workers, in our souls. That there is so much more, and that he sees it and that we can work together to make room for it."

I wanted to share a few parts of a discussion happening over at her blog. I read it on a day when I felt exactly like she described so beautifully. I thought perhaps I was not the only one who occasionally feels pulled between the worker and the girl-child. Feeling a little out of balance with the high demands of running a house and family and wanting to have a few minutes to listen to the child in my soul that is always being brushed aside. The other day I was reading the story of Exodus 17 to Juden. It is hard not to be astounded at God's people and their complaining spirit. I find myself once again saying, what the heck is wrong with these people? God sends them bread from heaven every day, water springs forth from a rock. He redeems them from their slavery and cares for their needs like a gentle father and still their faith burns low and they are quick to murmur complaints. No sooner do I think these thoughts that I realize that I am those people murmuring in the wilderness.
My blessings abound and I see them everyday, but it does not negate the fact that I am broken and weak and that life is much messier than all the pretty pictures. If only I could learn to receive the love my Father has for me. Why is that so hard? It's something I don't deserve and could never earn and so it's hard to understand.
I know I mentioned before some of Juden's prayers but their really is something so pure and unpretentious about the longings of a child's heart. He, like lots of other kids has certain things he includes in his prayers almost every time. Before bed we kneel as a family and Juden always starts by saying,"Jesus we love you and we know you love us."
Since I have gone through this valley of feeling so wholly un-loveable, this prayer has spoken to my heart. I think Satan enjoys filling us with doubt and constantly flaunting all of our ugliness before us, convincing us that a holy God could never love us just as we are. I'm not in the mood to give Satan any pleasure today, not while the girl-child in me wants to revel in the embrace of my Father. May we live every day in light of His love that will not let us go.

"O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee,
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee,
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

hello Fall

Fall still feels very fresh as the temperatures didn't drop until the arrival of October and up until that point we were still swimming and going to the fountains. I'm ready for fires,camping, sweaters and the chill in the air. We've had an abundance of rain which I'm hoping will make for and even more vibrant Autumn. You can just begin to catch glimpses of color especially up in the mountains. It is so good to get away some times, so up to the mountains we went and couldn't wait to wade in that icy river water. As Autumn unfolds I can't wait to drink in the colors with my loves.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

so long summer

some words

It's been a while since there were more words than pictures around here. The truth is that although I did hit a season of extreme busyness I also have just been a little down. Losing some sleep, stretched a little bit thin, feeling unfocused. So wanting to pull myself up by the boot straps and shake it off but so unable to do so. Feeling like if I admit that I'm feeling weak and discouraged that would mean that I'm not grateful. And I really have everything in the world to be grateful for. Then I kind of downward spiral into beating myself up for being down and saying to myself," Come on get over yourself, look at all you have to be thankful for." The fact is that no matter how good I have it, occasionally I am weighed down, distracted, broken,longing for something that has not yet been realized. For a stretch of days I've had a beautiful and melancholy soundtrack. I can't seem to clear the clutter in my head long enough to hear the silence. It nags at me like a relentless pack of yapping dogs. I look around at things I don't get done,stacks of clothes,books and papers in my house reminding me of my cluttered head and heart. There is that stack of books I am waiting to finish, the image I had in my head that I so wanted to paint, a cd that I just can't seem to finish. The frustration that comes when my head spins with things I need to do and I realize that I can't. I give ear to old voices that I thought I was done with.
I will always notice the way the clouds shift quickly over the pale evening sun, the leaves gentle change from green to gold and the sound of the rain but I will probably forget to pay the electric bill and probably forget half the ingredients for tonight's dinner. I don't like it but it's just where I've been lately, feeling like the well is a little dry. In my days filled with cooking, cleaning, driving, disciplining, homeschooling and the like, I am trying to find tiny windows to write. I know that when I am weak and burdened I need to be on my knees before God. I also need time for things that I love. Josh laughs at me because he says my camera is a permanent fixture around my neck and our computer might just explode if I don't organize my pictures. I take pictures because it helps me pay attention, because we are made in His image and I like to look for beauty in everything. Another reason is because I am a girl who doesn't like swift change. Taking pictures allows me to draw out moments I want to remember. It's a way I grasp for permanence in a world where so much is temporary. I write for many of the same reasons. I enjoy the community of hearing other peoples stories like this and this of people whose lives are so different and yet so similar to mine. I'm inspired and stretched and comforted by words that often echo my own heart. I write to process things and remember, to hang on a little longer and to help my kids remember. I write because it is the only story I have to tell. All of that to say that these things are good for my soul and I just haven't been able to find much time to do them lately. And then when I do sit down to write I feel like I've had a clogged artery and I don't even know where to begin. Example: the above rambling. Needless to say, I'm here, a little worse for the wear, a little tired and ragged from the good job I tend to do beating myself up every so often for all the ways I don't measure up.
This morning as I was helping Juden memorize his verse I felt like God was speaking these words straight to my heart. I think this verse says everything I need to know.
Now if I could just remind myself to listen to this voice and the truth and power that is there.

Friday, October 02, 2009

a few more

I seem to find less and less time to sit and write lately so I thought I would attempt to catch up a bit on things as summer has breathed its last and it's officially Fall. The newlyweds arrived back safe from a three week honeymoon to New York, London, and France visiting our family along the way. Now they're in that stage I remember so well of making their home together. I'm happy that they live just up the road.

my brothers and sisters

They asked me to sing the Beatles song "I Will" for their first dance and it was perfect for the occasion. Keith wandered into my house two days before the wedding and sheepishly asked if I could sing one more song and then started looking on YouTube for it. I didn't know it, but you know a girl just doesn't say no to her little brother. And I instantly loved the song. Robert Heiskell was kind enough to accompany me at very short notice.