Endless Gifts January 2017

My home-made Guacamole, fried eggs, and hot dark coffee- and the freedom to eat it freely without anxiety, the beauty of the flame wickering on my left and the three chirping darlings playing energetically throughout the house so healthy.

Steaming cup of Oolong tea

Meditating, mulling, taking Scripture deep. Let it flame with light on my heart.

The laptop that sings my Dad’s love and technology. Using it all day long…

ripples of gold tinged clouds sky high -outside my Kitchen window- that Maryland sky, the blue with white ripples, gold rimmed

late night fireside

So I never forget- From New Year’s Eve:

Guacamole, Cranberry Relish, Pigs in Blankets, Nuggets, Fries, Special Sauce, Bean Dip, Popcorn, Wings, Soft Pretzels, Taco Chips, Veggie Platter and…. his chortle of delight at moving up to a big plate for the night. And how, somehow, he still couldn’t fit it all -the feast.

a reminder to scratch the memories down, scratch them, type them, collect them..sometimes I wait too long to write them…then they are like dust after the wagon has moved on…floating there, lingering, reminding me of the substance that once was. A puff in the wind.

how I opened a box of books sent by a new student I am tutoring… and it felt- prophetic, it felt alarmingly like the Hand of God, as suddenly, I was staring at a Creative Writing Packet full of new and recent loves, and the way my heart thumps hard in my chest- what treasure, this. What, this? It felt like an Endless Gift. It is. And even though… this student is now moving on… I still mark this as an Endless Gift. I felt like Hagar…God, You are the One who sees.

Sitting fireside. Church life stirred in my soul. Warm, flickering light. Hot coffee. Matt Maher. This is Sabbath to me.

The friend who braved our food needs and brought us delicious, healing chicken noodle soup…and her family who braved our germs and marched right in and set the pot on the stove.

A dear friend who trusted me with sacred prayers and who is held deep in my heart. And her words about love…that it is really all about loving and being loved. Praying friend. Praying and thinking about loving well.

Friends and Family who drove long hours to celebrate solo recital with us and their grace and patience…and unconditional love over illness and life

One long, crazy night with inhalers and steam showers and the grace of antibiotics and medicines and sleep. Sleeping in and a long slow day to recover

Two strong children of mine who stood brave and performed after hours and hours of work and practice

Planning senior year and Todd with me in it and how I need it and now the breath taken in  by me as some things are smoothed out…

Tulips, and Chocolate, and Coffee, and Fig Bar, and Love. All the love.

Its own post about this…but for now:



January Daybook

January Daybook

Outside my window… gray and wet. This January has been a slow dance with winter.

I am thinking…about many things! I am thinking about being faithful homeschooling and doing well at this home education task… I write task- but really, it is a calling. I am thinking about reading from my favorite philosophy of home education books and I am thinking about how much I want the book Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins. A new school week is ahead. I am getting ready to print our checklist sheets.

I am also thinking about how incredibly privileged I feel to be tutoring a student from Wheaton College in Chicago… and how I get to read every piece of his creative writing packet which is chock full articles written by the best. This is a feast! What riches!!!

I am also very carefully thinking about a wee one of mine who does not feel well and I am worried. I have to make decisions about doctors and waiting. Go now? Go tomorrow?

I have been thinking on the topic of “To Thine Own Self Be True” for many months now and I have a post that is almost ready to go!

I am thankful… for a warm, crackling fire and for the grace of God. For the Mom at church who took the time to sit with me and chat.

In the kitchen… Todd. And it smells– amazing!!

I am wearing… Black. And White. A textured, cozy sweater from my Mom over a black shirt and maxi. I love it. I am still fancy from Church.

I am creating…blog posts and an article for MultiplesIlluminated. I am pondering creating (writing) also.

I am going… possibly to the doctor with a small one.

I am reading… The Best Yes, At Home in Mitford, The Odyssey, and more…

I am looking forward to…two special solo recitals and a house full of guests. Soon. Very soon.

I am learning… about how to be an effective Writing Tutor. I am also learning about creative writing!

Around the house… There is much to be done.

I am pondering… (from Vinita Wright in The Soul Tells A Story)

“I believe that love is the supreme requirement in all situations. My creativity is important but it is not important enough to veto the choices made by love. The person who is integrating her creative gifts with the life of the Spirit will defer to love…there are ways to fulfill my creative callings without violating my callings of relationship…”


“Good life is costly. If you are guided by awareness of and responsiveness to your spiritual calling, you will make sacrifices, and sometimes those sacrifices will involve the creative gifts you love so much. When that happens, all you can do is leave the situation in the hands of your Creator, who will hold all of it- the giftedness, the glory, the sacrifice, the losses. Ultimately, we must trust these things to God’s care and let them go.” From The Soul Tells A Story

One of my favorite things… The Things They Say!

A peek into my day… This is recent but not today and it is SO special because, for many years, my older children would appear like this in these special blankets, every family fun night. These blankets are special gifts from their Ama, my Mom. And to see these three, all bedecked… all of their own choosing…well, it just warmed my heart… to a degree I don’t think I can express. It is missing and longing and hope and happiness all rolled into one. And cuteness! Never forget cuteness.


Klondike 2017 with a flashback to our first year!

Klondike 2017

This year, these fine young men, along with their patrol, are running Klondike for their Troop.

I am working on a big pot of our favorite Chili! Our happy tradition to welcome back the men after their cold day outdoors! I might have a pot of Cocoa warming too.

Below we have Life, Star, and First Class- ranking up to Star in the next two weeks. And of course, the amazing Scout Dad!


Flashback to Klondike 2014 ( our first Klondike!)



Happy Saturday!

The Things They Say: Joshua (Flashback to Christmas ’16)

This sweet boy is full of the most exquisite exclamations. I purpose to try to capture more of them for this heart.

This year he earnestly requested to make a special craft for his siblings for Christmas. I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to make this dream happen. I managed it and he began… and O! he has hugged me so many times since his project kit arrived and whispered thank yous so full of gratitude they make me cry.

I always try to watch The Nutcracker Ballet during the Christmas season. We own it on DVD which makes it affordable every year! This year I discovered the music to be so very soothing. I love to have it playing at times. On a recent night when Todd was out with the older children, we were spending time in the family room and Nutcracker was on. The Sugar Plum Fairy appeared on the scene… and suddenly, Joshua says:

“Wouldn’t you just love to be the Sugar Plum Fairy right now?”

And my heart caught. Why yes, yes I would. Grin. Apparently he thinks the Sugar Plum Fairy is better than Dewdrop. Apparently, I was commenting on the Waltz of the Flowers and he wanted to convince me Sugar Plum was the best. O! the things they say.

Finally, yesterday I present the small children with three sugar cookies that they can decorate themselves. They get to frost them and decorate them with red and green sprinkles.

Joshua took one joyous bite of his cookie and exclaimed, “Mommy, this is an extremely delicious cookie! Thank you for letting us have these!”

His delights are so strong. His expressions so delightful. Please Lord, help me be present enough to see and experience them.

The Things They Say.

Genesis 9,10; Ezra 9; Matthew 9; Acts 9

Cleansing. Repenting. Healing. Forgiving.

Ezra 9:

As soon as I heard this, I tore my garment and my cloak and pulled hair from my head and beard and sat appalled. 4 Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the faithlessness of the returned exiles, gathered around me while I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice. 5 (ESV)

You are Holy, O God. You are Holy. Your Word pierces sinew, marrow. It calls me out of myself and unto You. What is man before You? Do I need a reminder that I am prone to wander? Prone to stumble and be wrapped in a darkness that might be light to me? Strengthen me to be faithful. Strengthen me to be one who intercedes for those I love.

You call life out of death. Again, again. You are the compassionate, tender shepherd.

Read more at 66 books. I am there today!



Endless Gifts- It’s 2017

Tucking candles, here and there

His Christmas pack-up skills

Tea to warm the cockles

Almond Crunch Chocolate Thumbprint cookies, just the fancy my heart loves

New Year ponderings

Small stack of books

the feel of the fire, I stand in front of the fire…toast my back and legs,  the whole back of me, heel to head, and as I walk away-  the warmth of my skirt curled round my legs. Wrapped in cozy.

A snowfall at night and “The Snowy Day” again, again and and all their small wonder. I try not to hustle it. I try not to rush it right into the car so we can drive away. They curl their small toes into the frosted grass. They raise small round faces to a black sky, flecking white. “Does God make snow?” She wonders. And I need a do-over. A re-do. A take back this overstrung Mama… so I can catch the moments, like they catch the snowflakes, with breath-catching joy.

And I remember the first time I ever happened upon The Snowy Day. In a Borders bookstore in Pennsylvania, where I picked up a little red and white board book…and as I turned the pages, my heart was captivated and so full of my own small boy. Love. So full it hurts in its own keen way. So grateful for continual beginnings in the Lord and for Life and for an always forward journey with new wonders in Him.

A word for this year. A word…up- rising. And it’s Freedom. It’s Freedom.

Tuning a violin with piano alone during a time of immediate need. And then proving that we actually did it right with the real tuner. A moment of advancement! A true moment to pause and reckon. I can now string a a bowed instrument and tune a bowed instrument!

Piano Guys: Hello/Lacrimosa  what, what a soul beautiful song, and with that…his (N) Piano Guys playlist. It fills the room(s). It stills my heart. Thank You, God- for Cello.

For homeschooling. For the realization that I get to wake up tomorrow and light candles and gather my sweet ones and deal with their melt-downs. Yes, I do. For all the time to build together. For how it hurts that we are getting close to one fledging. And I am trusting to share that hurt- because I so often stuff it. Stuff it deep. Fledging is good. It is good. I know its good. But I am being brave to say it hurts, too. I know you will help me, Lord. I lean on You. Thank You.

For sweet bunnies. Little White and Little Brown and all the joy they bring.

For Todd. Holding down the fort, granting me some much needed sleep. I love you.

For feeling like a princess in clothes from my Mom and the quick find of my beloved birthday necklace from my sister. And how it was securely in its own box and why I didn’t think to look there first? Well, that is the mystery of me.

For you, friends, you who read here and tell me so. You, who I love. I have you in my heart.

The Things (I) Say

Driving home… under Maryland’s moody sky… sun obscured by white, the golden glow, a muted, cotton shine-

There is the crunch of white on road and rim. There is the huddled chill. I zip along in Little Blue, basketball player by my side.

Casually talking with this tall son who is being driven hither and yon this Friday night. Talking about an event another tall son is heading to later this evening: a special occasion outing…

-for which we had to sign up to bring food-


“I signed up to bring sodas. So much going on, I knew I could get drinks. Lots of fun sodas are going to be there. I signed up for two. Mountain Dew and cans of Iced Tea. I don’t know why I felt like I had to sign up for two, everyone else is just bringing one (case of 24). I must be…

an overachiever.”

Just dropped right out of my mouth in the most natural, logical unfolding.

We laughed. I just laughed.

Truer words never spoken uttered casually-

those words just revealing myself to this self .

from my very mouth

The Things (I) Say

Welcome Little Brown!

There is a new little one at our house! A darling, wee Christmas bunny.


We have been waiting for him. We have been eagerly anticipating him… and suddenly, he went from being a wisp of a dream… for a future yet unfurled… to a perfect brown bundle of soft reality.



Introducing: Meriadoc Bunny heretofore known as Merry. Completing our delightful duo- Merry and Pippin- the most hobbitish of bunnies; little bunny brothers.



Since the time our bunny owners(Abi and Asher)


chose Netherland Dwarf as their breed, they have been waiting for a Siamese Sable…just like their cousin’s bunny, Skitch. With the promise of one of his offspring in mind, we went forward and began bunny ownership with Pippin- who has been called the best bunny in the world! He is certainly the best bunny for us. And now… Merry:


-the happy,healthy outcome of a 4-H breeding project, little Merry is a boy and a delightful representative of his father in color and temperament. He is just what we were waiting for.


.Welcome Little Brown! 



66 Books for this New Year

Happy New Year!

I am eager to share that I will be writing at Sixty-six books in a year, twice a month, on Tuesdays, this year. Sixty-six books is a Bible Reading Blog Book Club.

Courtney is a dear friend in real life and I am so thrilled to also be a part of something she has created online.

66 books is entering its 9th year.  Find out more about this special book club here, including FAQ, Contributors, and Reading Schedule.

In His Grace,