Thanksgiving 2018

My photos aren’t that crisp or clear this year- and it feels a bit symbolic to me. In some ways, this seems (maybe more than I realize) to capture what is unique for Thanksgiving 2018.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1 NIV

 

Thanksgiving 2018
Appetizers
Halo oranges and pretzels
Wheat Thins and Special Sauce
Rippled Chips
Deviled Eggs
Main Meal
Roasted Turkey
Home-made Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Bake
Cranberry Relish (with way more cranberries and way less sugar this year)
Broccoli Salad
Coleslaw
Cucumber and Red Onion Salad (alas our Spring Mix housed Romaine 😦 )
Crusty (home-made) Rolls with Earth Balance
Desserts
(I think we overdid on our desserts this year! But, we eat much for breakfast the next day (and for days after) with scrambled eggs, and dessert recipes are one of the children’s favorite ways to participate in the feast. Everyone has their favorite(s).) 
Apple Pie (Joshua)
Jewish Apple Cake (Nate)
Pumpkin Pie (Jonah)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (Jonah)
Chocolate Cream Pie (twins)
Pumpkin Roll (Asher/Abi)
Pumpkin Bar (Asher/Abi)
Tofutti “cheese” cake with chocolate swirl and fresh squeezed lemon (Norah)

The Things They Say Part 2

I am gathered together with my teens in the music room.

We are an indomitable late-night crew.

Tall Son is home from college

– and we are drawn like moths to flame–

to each other.

The talk turns to sports and the local christian school sports team some of the boys have played/play for:

And basketball- because one son plays soccer. And we circle round whether he should have played basketball, too– we chit– and we chat–

and then suddenly- Tall Son rallies! He tells brother he would have been sitting on the (basketball team) bench.

Said son deflects all perfectly- perfect delivery, absolutely no angst:

“I am a bench warrior; let me tell you! If I get the exercise I need in practice, mission accomplished. Then I can cheer on the team from the bench, which is what I do best!”

He rubs his knuckles on his chest and then blows on them.

He is the soccer man- and if he can maintain condition for soccer- everything else is icing on the cake.

“I am a bench warrior”- The Things They Say.

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That same night- two sons duel in falsetto.

I share the story of a small son (who is now basically a man on that very couch) many years ago- singing Christmas Carols perfectly in a sweet, high-pitched voice: “Falalalala-lala-lalala!”

Back and forth they sing an ad-lib, high-pitched duel.

I laugh so hard, I cry.

I share the story of my sister- with whom I would often laugh until I cried when I was young– late at night. We called it the “Daze Stage.”

It felt so happily familiar.

To laugh myself silly with my loves.

The Things They Say (or Sing)

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I am immersed in a writing intensive with my freshman daughter.

We are working hard through much difficulty.

She crafts a compare/contrast essay on  Acro-Dance and Gymnastics.

The course utilizes a computerized scoring system and writing improvement tool called PEG.

We groan as we work with PEG; we determine to “trick” PEG; we won’t stop until PEG’s points go higher. I am relentless. She is determined. She is a force to contend with in her fixed focus toward completion. On, on.

PEG doesn’t like “acro,” we have to name it acrobatics. So, we do- with mutterings and groans.

PEG doesn’t like “back walkovers;” I trick it by insisting she call it “the back walkover.” So, she does (and the points improve.)

Later, I am working at the table… and she is standing behind a chair across from me. She wants to share her essay with some different people– and we are talking about it. I hear her muttering and pondering:

” ‘ The back walkover’ — that sounds so WEIRD.”

And suddenly, it hits me:

“The back walkover”– just how presumptuous and awkward it sounds-

as if it is some great, specifically precise feat separate from the other skills in her sentence in some inexplicable way.

The actual sentence: Side aerials, the back walkover, and press handstands are all amazing to watch and hard to achieve.

and she just can’t stand how “the back walkover” sounds and reads in the sentence- and how it isn’t true to what it really “is.”

Her face- scrunched up in disapproval; the battle with PEG; the victory with points; the sweat equity in the piece itself;

I laugh SO  HARD. I laugh today. I laugh forever. I laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

“The back walkover”  The Things They Say (and we do).

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A (smaller) Tall Son begins his first basketball season:

He loads the bus for his first away game:

A shout rises up: “BORGER!!!!” from all the high school players.

He loads and sits deep in the middle of the bus behind the high school Coach (Micah’s coach) and Coach says:

“Welcome to the Belly of the Beast.”

At dinner, he finds himself the center of some probing questions. A high school team member knows three of his brothers who have participated in various activities at said school.

“Whose your favorite brother?” the team-mate queries — hoping to disarm son and gather some ammunition. Not to be so easily outdone-

Son counters: “Do you even know how many brothers I have?”

The older student stutters, mutters, and answers incorrectly.

And that was the end of that. The question never came up again.

-I think he’s going to be just fine.-

The next day,

He finds himself on court, playing low post position. The opposing team member whispers (right next to him): “Jonah?”

Recognition dawns.

He finds himself face to face with a fellow Scout from our Troop. This confirmed a suspicion he had from the start- that the Casey on the team- was the Casey from Troop 9.

Worlds expand.

The Things They Say and Do.

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The Things They Say Part 1

I have captured some… and some I have missed.

But, for posterity-!

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A small girl stands stalwart.

Feet planted.

One legging leg up, and one legging leg down.

I remark about said pant leg.

She cries out,

“No one likes my fashion! No one likes my style!

It’s true!”

I am astounded. Of course I love her style! Of course I love her fashion!

Wee girly, with a fashion sense already?!?

The things they say

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It’s Saturday for several weeks-

and a bold, young man- aged 10; the youngest our family has known to take on such a responsibility-

is at the giant pancake griddle.

He is providing Saturday morning pancakes for our clan with great glee. Jam, Maple Syrup, many times Chocolate Chips, sometimes Pumpkin. The stacks are devoured.

I come home from the Saturday dance class journey-

and peruse the kitchen and the pancake stacks:

he declares to me: “I’m the OPM!!”

“What’s the OPM?” I ask.

“Official Pancake Maker!” he declares. “Daddy crowned me.”

OPM. The Things They Say.

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I am getting three little girls ready for bed.

I stand in some relief- and also amazed-

simply because they are doing so much themselves. Toothpaste on the toothbrushes. The whole routine.

Small, confident, pink – clad girls.

They start squeezing toothpaste under my careful surveillance.

One wee girl is at the sink running water over her brush.

Another sister is scrubbing her teeth vigorously.

A third is squeezing toothpaste onto her toothbrush. She is just about to put the brush in her mouth- when, suddenly- she stops:

“I almost forgot to water my toothbrush!”

She jumps on the stool and runs her brush under water and then commences brushing.

The Things They Say

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I am sitting across the table from an inquisitive, bright young man.

He begins declaring all these personal goals, interests, and hopes to me.

I am listening, astonished.

When suddenly, he declares, “I’m going to do it! I’m going to get an Eagle Palm.”

When I question whether he knew that in order to earn an Eagle Palm, he first had to achieve Eagle Scout Rank, he nods briskly.

THEN:

He proceeded to recite the fact to me that an Eagle Palm is awarded for earning five additional merit badges AFTER ranking Eagle Scout (which it is).

I am shocked. He clearly knew and understood.

BUT THEN:

“I have achievements I need to achieve.”— he said.

The Things They Say.

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Cranberry Chutney & Home-made Honey Mustard Dressing

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I looked back and found their hands intertwined. 

Preparing food for this Lord’s Day feast- and in some way- feeling like every Sunday should be a mini-Thanksgiving with gratitude to God round a bountiful, delicious table:

Cranberry Chutney

(delicious, warm, seasonal side for pork or chicken; can be served over pancakes or dairy items like Brie or ice cream – if you eat those items)

4 Cups cranberries

3 chopped, green apples

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup honey

1 cup water

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot; cook on high until apples are soft. Reduce heat to low and cook until thickened. Keep warm in crock.

Enjoy!

Home-Made Honey Mustard Dressing for Sunday’s Green Salad

[this has a kick (or a bit of a bite- as they say) to it which Todd and I love]

1/3 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

shake of good sea salt

dash of ground black pepper

heaping 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix well and serve over greens

Sweet and Spicy!

 

Blessings on this Lord’s Day!

 

 

 

 

How it Feels

written the week after Micah went to school; photo from Family Weekend a couple weeks ago
How it Feels:
Standing on the Verge of Kindergarten 
While Saying Goodbye
to my new college freshman.
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We’ve already begun. Miss K5 and I. A gentle, tottering start into her first official year. while so many, many other things swirl around fiercely. Read: seven other students and grade levels. Three in high school (again). Pretty much always. From now on.

The yawning ache in my heart overflows my eyes and suddenly, all I am seeing is a wavering mist. 

And that is what it is. A wavering mist- but a treasured, priceless, incredibly important mist, at that.
Looking at the investment before me in my wee, small girl, I can’t help but be informed by this “ending” I have faced- and indeed, am facing again, again.
It is all too much for me. It is too big for me. I am too small, weak, inadequate.
It feels like a blink. It feels unrelentingly daunting.
Every day is different. And this K; this kindergarten is SO VERY different from Kindergarten in 2004.
The best I can give is myself. The best of myself.
It feels like birth- when I was torn asunder for new life, Again, again.
It feels scary like when I bravely begin the next hard task before me. Again, again.
It feels exciting like gazing at the beautiful, lit horizon glancing gold too beautiful and yet too mysterious to see.
The books are what choke me. It is the bookshelf gazing at me with every fierce remembrance. My hand resting upon this one, my gaze- upon that one.
The stories told down all the many years.
He will read new books now. There are new horizons stretching before him.

I think I need to read some books of my own. 

But I will always remember. And I fight valiantly to build such a heritage with my little clan. The days slip away. It is hard. Everything changes.
Life is too big for me. I take a weary step. Every yes is a no. What are my yes’s, what are my no’s?
One thing I know: I say yes, again, again, again to every face gifted into this life of mine: Todd, and each precious child.

Hidden, quiet- but still real

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My words have been hidden in the quiet. Caught and streaked across smudged pages. Typed hurriedly into a notebook app. A haphazard collecting of a scattering of days.

The water flows under the bridge. On, on. This life streams forward, too.

I have words to share here: writing words, and educating words; family words, and beauty words; truth-seeking words, and gratitude.

Writing is a path for me to reach my own longed-for destination.

Mostly, I want to find myself cupping full each day. Cupping faces and rubbing backs. Reading words that fill heart and mind. And more, and more. And this is just stream of consciousness and my mind’s eye and a deep breath:

We have seen “beavers” (ground hogs) munching grass, and chipmunks scurry with pointed tail, we are the happy home of one delightful, young wild brown rabbit- whom we have watched grow from wee, little baby to bounding youth; there was the drive home with the twin, dappled fawns staggering on their baby legs across the dimpled road- while the twins in my car squealed with delight – and the wise teenager next to me offered insight; there were butterfly winged- girls stretching out on the paved path; there was the happy accomplishment of  better tended geraniums; there was the Chesapeake Bay awash in rain; there were days swimming and soaking up sun, and then coming home for tortilla pizza; there was the “309” with my Dad at the diner; and a carefully prepared flute song for a birthday gift; there were Irish fiddle tunes, and cello tunes; there were stories cuddled up in the black leather chair; there was perfect, hot, salted kettle popcorn made just for me; and Orange Ginger Mint tea.  There were days upon days of Algebra 1, and a blue ballet wrap skirt twirling with the grace of my girl, there was a concerted effort to “train” for soccer; there was an Indonesian chair and music streaming from a grand piano; there was Sandymount in the rain; there was my bedroom alight with white candles- and my recognition that it was just like I thought it would be; firefly catching, and sparklers; there were (several) white knuckled drives, and a flood…

Our grass is long, and our house is in disarray. There is tending here, repair there, and organization needed. And without taking this time- it is enough to sink me low.  In fact it does, and I am.

But there is that Maryland sky- stretching above, streaking hope and glory- on the most unlikely of days. Todd called me out the other day. And I didn’t go. Craving just those few minutes alone, along to get work done on the computer. It was satisfying to make that small headway. It was regretful to miss those glory moments. But in my mind’s eye, I was there.  How do I know what to choose, and what I need? I did need those moments alone.  And I still feel the peace from that headway made…

The light has started to change. The earth shifts. My whole self feels it. I sense the early darkness- on its way.

It is a time of great transition for me. But it is also a time of staying true. Returning to beginnings. Practicing faithfulness.

It is time to get ready for school.

Up next, something I wrote a week ago or so…

~Rebecca

 

 

 

 

Endless Gifts

From February:

A late night talk with Nathanael and the importance of current events, a Lego Minifig in my inbox, Christian worldview, and his “like” on my 66books because he loves me. 🙂 and…sharing Fridays there with him.

Tea with Joshua and more tea times in my planner

Plum Paper!!!! (and stickers) and somehow life feels way more manageable… and somehow, I am much more confident in the driver seat of this life… with these navigating tools.

Hormones (as in hormone replacement therapy- been so very, very helpful for me)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies made by the youngest baker we have had yet (Joshua)

A tin of tea that is amazing again, again, again. I love it all.

Roses! Crimson, fragrant. From Micah.

Valentine’s Day and the dear, sweet friend who helped me rally…and silly tongue twisters around the table… and the most amazing smell as dinner wafted through all the house times two… first, the savory meat and vegetables… and then! the bread. Warm and home-made. The best smells in the world.

Little girlies in heart tunics… so excited on Valentine’s Day… and all dressed up… and reminding me again, and again- to lay out their clothes night(s) before- so I wouldn’t forget. And I didn’t. (thank You, Lord.)

Thinking on last year’s word {freedom} thinking again, and again….

Todd grocery shopping on Saturday…creamer, and coconut yogurt, and juice, and fruit…relief.

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March Into April

the day the snow fell soft, huge, and thick… in March

Easter Book Read Alouds

Birthday Celebrations

an afternoon holding a new baby nephew

a face to face video call with a brother and another {darling}  nephew

a purple purse from my sister

a whisk of a visit from my Mom and all the wonderful provisions

a visit to see my Aunt with Ryan (although this was the day I think I started with the flu..- the visit was still very good!!)

tucked in cozy in my bed when the wind rattles and shakes the house

time to begin counting gifts again… it’s time