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
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
Cucumber and Red Onion Salad (alas our Spring Mix housed Romaine ūüė¶ )
Crusty (home-made) Rolls with Earth Balance
(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)

Hidden, quiet- but still real



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…






Mentoring Mondays: Mission of Motherhood Chp 3 Part 1

Our first school day ¬†is almost entirely “in the books” and I am pleased to say: all is well. Forward motion. On, on.

Mentoring Mondays… Love to all.

All quotes from 2003 Waterbrook Press

Chapter 3: An Undivided Heart

Each week, when I work on the post for this series, I sit with my book in hand. I ponder and I recommit, every time. And right now, I am pondering that all the things I know in my head do not mean much if I do not put those things into¬†action in my life. ¬†For me, this naturally coincides with my school planning and schedule/routine making for the upcoming school year. We have been in the generalized upheaval of unusual summer commitments and plans. It is all going so quickly. So, I am going to be spending some time reflecting and making some plans so that the actual work-a-day life I live reflects the ideals and convictions of my heart. I am grateful for this freedom. I am grateful for this life. Refresh my heart, and make it undivided-ly yours and full force forward into this calling you’ve given me, O Lord.

The first thing the Bible tells us about committing to motherhood is that we need to be aware of what we are doing when we make our choices.  Proverbs 14:1 tells us that the wise woman builds her house and the foolish tears it down with her own hands. The Hebrew word that is translated as house really has three different meanings in the Old Testament- an actual, physical dwelling; a home or household; and a heritage. I think the context in Proverbs 14 refers more to a heritage of godly children. And the clear implication is that the process of building our heritage requires wise attention. pg 52

These days, I am more aware than ever of so much that needs my wise attention.

A second important thing Scripture tells us about our commitment as mothers has to do with the eternal significance of our choices. Matthew 6:20-21 encourages us: “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” We are instructed to set our hearts on choices with eternal results, not choices with only temporal significance.

It is a sobering realization to ponder that my commitment and choices have eternal ramifications. Where is my treasure? Where is my heart? The Lord, Himself, knows the fullest depths of the answers to these questions. He can sound the fathoms.  Lord, help me make choices with eternal results and not just temporal significance. Help me lead my children in Your Way.

How do we make the commitment to give the area of motherhood over to God as a sacrifice of worship to him? We yield our personal rights into his hands. We give up our time and expectations to him- and also our fears and worries about how we will manage. We trust him to take care of us and our family. We let him direct our thinking and expectations and adjust our dreams. And we wait in faith to see the fruit of our hard labor in the lives of our children, knowing that he will be faithful to honor our commitment to him.

As my children grow older, I often find myself flummoxed. So many years nursing and tending very small ones… so many years physically nurturing babies and toddlers. And now, my baby is 4. Almost 4.5. I need to breathe. Coming up for air looks so different from what I expected or thought it would. Worshiping God through the commitment of giving myself, my life, to Him is the same heart response in every season- just different manifestations- I think. ¬†Yielding my personal rights still needs to be my response. Sometimes it is harder for me now. Easier to yield when flooded with hormones and a soft bundle in my arms…. than now when facing hormones (flooding the tall, stretching forms before me) and my own self rising up in new and strident ways. For me. ¬†Now, when I seem to be ever so much more tired in deeper ways than I ever was before. Yielding now, in the season of ministering to teens. Help me walk in wholehearted commitment to You, Lord, and please show me what that means and how it should look in the borders of this life of mine. My very own life.

Psalm 86

11 Teach me your way, Lord,
    that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
    that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever.NIV


Isaiah 35

3Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
4Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.‚ÄĚ ESV


Our twins are six! There was a request for a snowflake cake. There was a request for a rainbow cake. There was a request for a “…rectangle cake, Mommy. Not a small cake. A rectangle cake for each of us.” Grin. We had fun decorating these beauties. I found rainbow decorations at Target. Perfection.

Twins Dinner
Hot dogs (pigs in a blanket), carrots, special sauce, chicken nuggets, french fries
“Snowflake Cake”
Chocolate cake with white snowflake icing
“Rainbow Cake”
Chocolate cake with strawberry icing and rainbows and strawberries

James 1:17 NASB

17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or [a]shifting shadow.


The Things The Say

My girl, M, has delighted in an adorable caterpillar/butterfly shirt from Target.  This shirt was a gift from my Mom. It has a little pocket with a caterpillar printed inside of it.  It truly is the most precious shirt and she claimed it at once. It has been her very favorite and she loves to wear it.

Today, I was at work in her room and she was reposing in her bed, soothing rumpled emotions. Tear streaked cheeks and sorrow amidst.

Suddenly, I pull this beloved caterpillar shirt out of the basket on my little girls’ dresser.

“How did this get here?!” I exclaim. I was certain sure my girl was wearing this very shirt this very day.

She jumps up from her bed with a gasp and grabs a handful of the shirt that is indeed on her body.

She cries out, “Mommy, it’s twins! It’s twins shirts!”

I laugh!

She laughs.

I never realized we had two of these precious shirts. It had been placed in the basket to keep it for special because we loved it so much and I didn’t realize the one she had been wearing was a second shirt.

She jumps up in excitement and runs with the second shirt in hand- down the stairs to her own twin. Then she puts it carefully in the bag we are packing for Ama’s house. We decide to put both shirts in the bag so the twins can wear the twin shirts at Ama’s. ¬†We pack them both and now she is adorned in a different shirt for this day. A sparkle in the center of a rosette glimmers. She skips away happy.

The Things They Say

Delighted: Multiples Illuminated

I am so pleased to share that one of my essays is going to be published in a real, hold-in-your hand book!

My piece Five Years In will be part of  an anthology that is the second in a series. It will be titled: Multiples Illuminated: Life with Twins and Triplets, the Toddler to Tween Years

From their Website:

Multiples Illuminated: Life with Twins and Triplets, the Toddler to Tween Years brings to you 19 stories ranging from potty training twins to helping multiples figure out their individuality; from separation anxiety to inseparable siblings. We have the hilarious to sometimes heart-wrenching, but always honest and relatable experiences from parents who are navigating a minefield of life with kids aged two to 12. 

Find the first volume here

I will also be contributing an essay to be published live on the Multiples Illuminated blog in February. (pray for me?)

Heart-swelling-ly glad,


The Things They Say: Twin Edition

Yesterday, my Aymee stood next to me,

and with monumental


in voice and action said,

“Listen, Mommy!

When Norah is 4, we turn 6!

When Norah is 5, we turn 7!

When Norah is 6, we turn 8!

When Norah is 7, we turn 9!

then her chest puffed out even more… and…

deep breath, gruff little exclamation:

When Norah is 8….we turn TEN!!!!

She chuckled with glee.

The things they say… and O! for the importance of being ten.

The Things They Say: Twin Edition

Recently, Todd had our little girls step on our digital scale. He was surprised to see how close all their weights were. Indeed, they are just about a pound apart. He remarked about¬†“our triplets.” I laughed….and then told him they had all gained a pound. He replied, in his inimitable way, that holiday baking affects us all! Too funny. Not holiday baking, just normal childhood growth. They are all close in height and weight and can wear almost the same size. They share all their clothes. ¬†The twins and little one are 20 months apart. They were all in diapers. Now, they are all potty-trained.

A few evenings ago, I was in my bedroom and these three little girls were playing about in their room and in the hall when suddenly Aymee came rushing in. All bluster and breathlessness and full of importance.

She said, “Daddy’s going to be proud of us! All three of the twins! Cause we cleaned up our room all by ourselves!”

All three of the twins! 

The things they say.

A church Sunday in dresses I bought on special sale when Abi was little. She barely, maybe never, wore them. Our darlings. Little triplets.

“He goes before me…”

The Things They Say: Wee girls of mine

Driving in the deepest dark of night… its only 6:30 p.m. Nestled round the night sky come too soon. Every light, a beacon so bright… car lights, street lights, star light… the moon- bright.

Little girls, eyes wide, seeking stars… seeking that glowing November Super-Moon

( watch out, loud audio at that link)

Dropping one big brother off and turning down to go get the other…

A little voice, catching glimpse of one large and glowing moon perfectly illuminated outside her car window:

“Is that the eye of God?” she asks, in quiet wondering. I startle deep, as I so often do with this one, the one who finds rainbows on the bottom of swimming pools and lit up in a sunlit patch of carpet.

I share some verses with my small girls about the eye of the Lord. I talk about the moon’s reflecting light. I think on different thoughts. They chatter.

“I love God!” says another. “He lit up the clouds all gold with His moon.” The light is spreading gold and deep in waves across the clouds encasing that glory moon.

It does look like one wild eye with some very bushy brows. It does look like one gold beacon of glory lighting the way home.

We talk about the Creator and they recite one after the other, thing after thing created.

Delighted. I in them and they in Him.

I cup the precious grains of sand, rough and beautiful, whisking through my fingers.

The Things They Say