Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 2

Well, we made it through the first week of school.  As I've learned life to be, it was a blur and time passed as it always does.

Ever is liking school, not quite enamored as she was with Kindergarten, but she likes it.  I never cease to be amazed at how fast children grow and change.  Like sand slipping through our fingers....

At home we're entering into a new season as well.   We just purchased a new house and property and hope to spend the winter finishing the home and getting it ready to live in.  It's an exciting and anxious time.  New conversations that we have little experience with.

Right now I have a lot of heart work to tend to.  That seems to go in seasons as well, just like everything else.  And for me, that kind of business jumps to the front of the line pretty quickly.  All else suffers when our hearts aren't right.

:: First Day of School Giant Smile ::
:: Early morning mushroom hike, since we were still on Nebraska time and up at 3 hours too early ::

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Resurrecting the Blog.

Well, it's been a healthy six months since I've posted anything.

And I've probably lined out about fifteen blogposts in the meantime, mentally, that never were realized.

I've realized a couple things.  I've realized that Instagram has taken over the original purpose of this space, as now every one of my siblings and my parents are on Instagram and we can share each others lives there instantly and easily.  The second thing I realized though, is that I need this space for a different purpose.  I don't share everything on Instagram, it's just too much.  This is my journal.  This is my memory.  And another thing I've realized, is how very much I cherish these years and how very likely I am to forget the special moments that are gleamed from them.  Between the noise, and the busy-ness, and the tiredness, I'm working just to try and stay in the moment, let alone remember it tomorrow....

I finally got my big camera up and running again and taking clear pictures, so I'm excited to start collecting my favorites on here again.

This was a big week for us.  We had a new baby nephew arrive, Lucan Charles.  Tell turned 4, which flat blows my mind.  Seems like yesterday I was posting a picture of him with Bryan when he was only hours old....  And Ever had her LAST day of Kindergarten.

Ever was devastated that school was over.  She loves school and wanted it to keep going as it was forever and ever.  I know the feeling.  That dread of a chapter coming to a close and a new one beginning.  No matter how hard we cling, change awaits.  She had a good long cry over it, which I'm sure is not the last, and sometimes that's just what we need to do.

Tell cracked us all up with his dinnertime prayer a couple nights ago:  "Dear Lord.  Thank you for --- what's Aunt Jo's baby's name again?  ... Thank you for baby Lucan Charlie.  And his poop's yellow, and that's silly.  And thank you for Baby Leo.  And thank you for ..."

So sweet.

So very sweet.

::Sweet Little Leo:: 
::Grampa Chuck with Baby Lucan Charles::

:: Ever First Day of Kindergarten::

::Last Day of Kindergarten:: 

::With her teachers::

Thursday, December 25, 2014


Early morning waiting for cinnamon roll dough to rise ....

For a baby to wake with her morning yearning for mama ....

For kids to come squealing with delight that their cookie plate is empty and their stockings are full ...

Waiting for a savior to return.

Feeling so blessed this Christmas season.  Wishing joy and peace for all, whether their Christmas is filled with blessings or with trials, as I'm sure so many are.  May God give you peace today and the promise of eternal joy in Him.


Friday, December 5, 2014


It's December 5th.

For most people, Christmas is already front and center on their minds.  Either with advent preparations, or gift buying and making, Christmas parties, decorating, the list goes on ....  Even away from home, Christmas is front and center here too.  We have our stockings hung and the kids love doing their advent calendar on the computer.  We love the chocolate advent calendars and that is the first thing they do every morning -- What can I say, I'm a softie :)  Soon we'll start crafting some ornaments and gifts.
We've also been doing some Jesus-based advent lessons and reading our favorite Christmas story books.

For me, it has never been too terribly hard to blend the Christmas traditions.  Jesus is always "the reason for the season" and I try to be very deliberate about reminding the kids of that.  But Santa can easily represent a lot of the things Jesus brought to us -- love, generosity, magic.

During one of my own adult advent lessons, I listened to a podcast of a collection of Christian women talking about advent.  And boy was it depressing.  One began by saying, "I hate Christmas."  How can one be Christian and hate the celebration of Christ's birth?  She referred to it as a "man-made holiday".  Really?  They said the lead up to Christmas is so exhausting, they don't even enjoy the holiday any more.  So sad, and yet probably very true for a lot of people.

I realize that many Christian holidays line up with equinox and solstice days, I'm not clueless.  But I also believe whole-heartedly in the truth of the bible.  The women went on to talk about how hard it is for them to explain to their children how Jesus fits into modern-day Christmas and all its commercialization, and some said they don't even try.  They keep them completely separate.  I'll admit, consumerism is a tough battle to fight, but it's not impossible.  Why should we choose our TV habits and our stores over the heart of our families -- faith?  If you're like me and crave a simpler Christmas, full of memories instead of exhaustion, turn the TV off and miss all those commercials and Hollywood versions of what Christmas is.  Stay home and out of the crazy stores.  I promise your heart will feel calmer.

It is a little easier here, as we're a bit off the grid.  But not completely.  I love giving gifts, but I'm not going to let it consume me and give me anxiety like I did last year during Black Friday.  If I don't find that all-perfect gift for someone, they'll understand.  And, more often than not, they won't even notice.  The next day I read a different (and better!) advent lesson on giving and receiving.  The author posed this question:  "When did we start expecting instead of receiving, and buying instead of giving?"

She offered this suggestion:

So whatever it is we're giving, let us offer in love.  And whatever it is we're receiving, let us welcome with humility.

Generosity isn't about what we give.  It's about how we give.  And receiving isn't about what we're getting.  It's about how we welcome.

Last night I let Ever stay up late to watch the Peter Pan Live special on TV.  It was alright, but what I noticed most were the commercials that, of course, made Christmas out to be all about the "stuff" we could get and give.  They are advertisements after all.  I tried to point this out to Ever and I hope some small fraction of it took anchor.

Don't let the world make you hate Christmas because you can't buy enough stuff, or afford the best decorations or gifts or food.  It's not about that.  It's about faith and love and family and friends.  My personal goal is to keep the magic in Christmas always and to never give up keeping Jesus at the front and center of this season.  Merry Christmas.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thoughts on a chilly morning....

:: Wishing my cup of coffee would never end ....
:: Thankful for a fire that's still burning in the morning....
:: Going to pull a Miracle on 34th Street this year and ask Santa for my dream house ;)  Wish me luck.
:: Excited Brad Paisley is playing in Alaska!  Utterly disappointed that the cheapest tickets are $300 a piece!!  Seriously, that's just crazy.

:: Really feeling this guy, Jonsi, from Iceland and his band that I first heard on the How to Train
Your Dragon 2 soundtrack.  Isla bird is feeling it too :)

:: May have found myself a new vacation knitting project.  Isn't it beautiful?  Spectra from Stephen West.
: source :

:: And if I could, I would knit this for ALL of my family & friends :)

: source :

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I needed to read this, maybe you do too....

This morning I read this post from the blog, letters from the nest.

Wow.  I mean -- WOW.  I needed that perspective refresher for sure.

Please read it.  

I promise it will change the way you view things today.  xoxo

:: Oldie, but goodie.  Ever on her first day of Kindergarten. ::
And special thoughts, prayers, and love to ALL our veterans today.  Where would we be without you?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Book Report.

Amazon, man.  It's trouble.  It has everything you need and a million things you don't need ... that is until you see them.  

I have a lucky tendency to not know I need a book until it falls in my lap.  I recently ordered the book Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full by Gloria Furman.  It's short and sweet, with little pearls of encouragement.  I really love a directed bible study, which this is not at all.  But without time for a long study right now, this is limping me along until the next one.  

A couple favorite lines:

"Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace.  And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace."

"Glorify God by enjoying Him -- he is a truer and better award than the adulations of our children, of other women, and even of our self-approval."

I constantly need the reminder to place my trust and strength and joy in Him.

I've seen a lot of people celebrate November with 30 days of gratitude.  I think this year I will attempt it.  Although there are a million ways to do it -- one being simply to write a list on a piece of paper or in a journal -- I think we'll try to do something along the lines of this with the kids.
And though I'm not usually one to attribute inherent wisdom to celebrities, I am a Kate Hudson fan and agree with her here:

Research shows practicing GRATITUDE is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. 

So start yourself a list and have a Happy November!