The Things They Say

I never want to forget:

how she creates so many sweet stories that feature “Ellie” in the center as the main character… she plays stories about Ellie, she tells stories about Ellie when she is “reading” a book… she tells me about Ellie. Ellie is this precious, special character created just by her. She brushes me aside when I try to discover more and investigate further… yet, how darling, how precious when I hear her… and she is telling about Ellie.

I love it.

She could be Ellie. And sometimes… I wonder.

The Things They Say and Do

Homeschooling High School: Online Options

Next year, my family is going to be experiencing three new-to-us resources.

The first is PA Homeschoolers AP Online. 

The second is The Potter’s School.

The third is Debra Bell’s AIM Academy.

I will check back next year (around this time, I hope) and give a report on how these resources have worked out for us.

I detail some of the journey to this place in a post that will follow next week.

For me, homeschooling high school has been all about expanding the doors of my tent and opening my eyes to gaze upon the horizon ahead. Each child continues to enlarge my life and heart (and Lord willing, my capacity).

Isaiah 54:

“Enlarge the place of your tent,
    and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
    and strengthen your stakes.
For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
    and your offspring will possess the nations
    and will people the desolate cities.

This verse was shared so long ago with me… when I was expecting baby number three and terrified. And, it is still speaking (always will be speaking) to my life.

In spite of my failures, weaknesses, oversights, humanity- God is and does. And in this, He is glorified.

Be glorified, O my God and let my heart be tranquil with and in Your Peace.

Fellow High School Homeschoolers, you are not alone in the journey!


Mentoring Mondays: Mission of Motherhood – First Things

Today, I begin my new endeavor in earnest. I begin to blog through Mission of Motherhood.

I am part of the MomHeart groups facebook page and recently a thread came up about women who maintain a career during motherhood, women who work outside the home, and other “life puzzles” that involve pieces beyond just being home as a full-time mother, homeschooling mother, and so on.

The thread was mainly in reference to Chapter 2. I am jumping right into this concept, though, right at the beginning- because I would just like to say that the focus and angle  of this blog endeavor and also of this book is to invite a heart’s consideration of God’s priorities and to prayerfully consider how to align life according to those values. It is not a one size fits all or “life must look this way” or even this personal conviction is “the truth everyone should walk in”…  It is a gentle call to walk with God as Mothers and to pursue His design in and through the many varied circumstances of life.  Each woman has to answer for her own heart before God and that will look differently for all. However, there is nothing like the joy and peace of resting assured before the Lord and having the impact of His power and grace fill a life.

So, Mama, wherever you find yourself: at home with littles, homeschooling, invested in the public school, driving to Christian school, working in a career, maintaining a side job, and so on- you are welcome here.  I will reflect from my own circumstances and my own choices but it is not a mandate. It is a heart’s response and I invite you to respond from your own heart as well.

Regardless of circumstances, the reality that children are a precious stewardship from the Lord is significant and true. Considering this truth, understanding it, and making choices in light of it- is transformative and important.

I try to be a single-eyed person, Lord willing, and over 13 years ago, now, I knew the Lord called me to homeschool… and over 18 years ago, I knew that my first ministry was my home and family.  Over 16 years ago, actually reflecting back… this might be longer and long ago… from the first heart stirrings of a wee, small girl…, I knew I was called to a large family. I pray that by God’s grace I always stay true to His desire for me and His will.  Because I think that  what matters is our own authentic, faith walk and this integrity is key.  Forgive my lack of chronology here. 🙂

I share this to be forthright about the direction that my thoughts will flow from… And sharing this, I can be free to ponder and declare the powerful truths about Mothering in Christ that can transform a home and family- with you first knowing… you are free to “build your own life puzzle” in Christ and I am not telling you what that needs to look like!

Lord let there always be the mark of Your authentic life impressed upon my own and by Your grace keep me faithful in You.

Thanks for being here,


An Introduction: Mentoring Mondays and a Book Club at Offerings

I am beginning a new endeavor- one that has long been on my heart.

I am going to blog slowly and steadily through “mentoring” books here in this space.  I hope that you will join me on this journey. I would be beyond delighted if this could even be a small community of encouragement and hope and wisdom and comraderie.

I can’t seem to figure out how to make an “in real life” group work in my season, in my “new” state- and I, myself, am in need. I need accountability. I need discipleship. I need to apply myself to the wisdom from Christian Women who have truth, insight…words of life, ministry from God- for women like me!

For now, I am going to be here twice monthly on Mondays. I will be posting

( Lord willing!)

 “Mentoring Mondays” on the opposite Mondays from the ones that I am found at 66books. There will be two posts. One will highlight some textual quotes. The second will be a more personal response post.

There are many books on my list. There are a few prized, precious women/authors from whom I long to learn.

It is my prayer and my hope that I will truly apply wisdom, insight, and truth to my heart and life so that I can continue to change and grow.

So- to start: back to my beginnings…. join me on a Mission.

Join me here in The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. You can find it here (not an affiliate link)-

From the Introduction of Mission to Motherhood:

As I look to the needs of children today, I am convinced they need the same things from their mothers that I needed— and — received— from mine. They need not only the gentle touch of a mother’s hands, but her foucs and her attention on a daily basis. They need a champion and a cheerleader, someone who has the time and energy to give encouragement along life’s way and comfort in dark times. They need a directive voice to show them how to live.  From page 2 Mission to Motherhood

In this section, Sally Clarkson also says:

Many moments of stress and struggle could have been handled so much more easily if I had had a wiser, older woman to shed light on my stages of life. It was through writers like Edith Schaeffer that I was encouraged and helped along my way. My hope is that in some way, I might be able to provide that same encouragement and inspiration. From page 3 Mission of Motherhood

I am taking these words to heart and taking her words to my heart! For a long time, I have known that my mentors are found within the pages of trusted, beloved, solid books. I am putting action behind that knowledge.

Onward and Upward and Held,


A Delightful Book for Spring: Cold Little Duck Duck Duck

This delicious book has been a family favorite for years. It is actually perfect for March- but we are still highly enjoying it.

I first bought it because I found it in a resource titled Books Childern Love  and the description highlighted the exhilirating vocabulary. Well, I am all about vocabularly. 🙂 The very words seem to speak Spring: the cold, the wet, the freshness, the life.

This book is one that has become part of our family vocabularly- like It’s Time For Bed by Mem Fox and Katy No-Pocket by Emmy Payne and Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. It is worthy and delicious and fun.

I present:

Cold Little Duck, Duck, Duck

Cold little duck duck duck



Endless Gifts

A hot coffee

a sure and certain answer

knowing myself to be

a loved wife

a clothes washer, fixed

100 Days, complete for two

A birthday feast and more to come

His “almond” text and all the laughs- one lone almond rationed on the desk…beseeching me for tax season snacks- I was able to get him all set for the last week or so of the season. And I learned what I needed to know. Those snacks are just what I always hoped they would be. Sustenance and Love and Encouragement and Care and Provision.

my boy trying to reassure a small girl that the bees would not be a threat: “They’re done nectaring all those flowers, Aymee!” -The Things They Say

Violets in their hands and in the yard

An arm full of tulips-its Resurrection Weekend!

Color, and glitter, and shine -plastic eggs


a slow morning

dairy free, home-made chocolate peanut butter cups. The best of all.

An 18th anniversary, redeemed

Springtime drives to Scouts and four sons making their way out of the Big Van

a gift to the Circus

a slow Sunday

Matt Maher on the playlist- And him, cleaning that wretched bathroom. He loves me.

Troop 9

His  (Joshua) exquisite delight and excitment at the Circus

Krista- on a morning that unexpectedly frazzled me to the core-

Courtney- on the phone-

The slow twirl back down… its over now. Life rolls on.

The Things They Say…

From several months ago:

Three little girls are getting ready for bed.

Daddy is at the helm. I am on the sidelines. Helping a bit, catching up on things computer-side as well.

Somehow… we start the round… the round of identifying…

“Mommy, I’m an artist!” she says… with glee…

And I say, “Yes! You’re my artist… and…”

I look at the next little girl, “Maybe you will be a musician!” and Mellie says…”I know what you’re going to say Mommy! You’re going to say I’m your dancer!”

And then all the little girls are my dancer and my musician and my artist…

(and this all stems from weeks ago- when suddenly, my little girl just did look at me and say, “Mommy, I’m an artist.” And she is. She is.)

And then…my Aymee… she clasps her hands together and she says…

with such obvious delight and anticipation:

“And I… I am soon going to be a Reader!”…

And yes, yes she is.

My Reader.

The Things They Say.

The Things They Say and (Recipes and Food Finds!)

“Son, I think you grew!” I say to a rapidly stretching young man of mine.

“Yeah!” He says. “There was that one week when Fig Bar was my life.  I was hungry every five minutes. And Fig Bar! Fig Bar saved the day! They gave me one hour of bliss! One hour when I wasn’t hungry!”

Thankfully, that week of every five minutes of hunger has passed. For now.

Fig Bar! Our newfound true love!

The Things They Say (at 14)

Link to these loves here

The Things They Say (A)

Mommy, Mommy!!

All seriousness, all gruff bluster…

“When I stared my eyes at pretzels….

I licked my chops!!!”

I stare at her uncomprehending…licked her chops? The quick flick of her tongue flashes across her lips.

She states- with great emphasis:

“Because I’m hungry!!!”

I throw my head back and laugh.

“Lick my chops!”

The Things They Say.

The Things They Say

This is from the summer…9 months ago. It has waited in my drafts. As we hail spring into summer- I am delighted to share and remember this delicous memory. 🙂

To my precious friend who was there… a wee bit of creative license with this story to try to capture the delight I found in it.. 🙂 To my dear North Carolinian friends- you know all the wildlife(and more!) is true.

We were having a swim at a friend’s house and to our overflowing delight, there were sticky little tree frogs everywhere. This was such a grace gift to our family- we love the creatures of the wild and it felt like a North Carolinian balm to our hearts. We were always exploring the skinks, the toads, the hummingbirds, the Swallowtails, the Monarchs on our Carolina mountain. Not so much the snakes.

The children were enjoying the frogs so much. There were many squeals and delight…

and one son said, “I have an antique one!” I thought nothing of this… thinking perhaps the markings were indeed antiquated in appearance when a sibling quickly interpreted:

“You mean unique! A unique one!” and that was, indeed, what he meant.

“Antique” -The Things They Say. Grin.