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Showing posts from November, 2007


And now we drive south in cold, crisp Sunday morning sunshine. Charlie fusses in the back seat and the children snap, tired from a hectic week. Chapter One, Book Two of the Merlin series fills the car in surround sound but it is a distant drone to me. Instead, snatches of conversation roll through my head. Bits and pieces that people shared of themselves, strands of kindness and talents and strengths all woven together to make a blanket of memories that I wrap myself in here in the passenger seat.

Clink. Clink. “I have a toast to make.” She stood up at the table and we all burst into laughter at the sight of her with a beer bottle in each hand. She’s not much of a drinker. “I just want to thank you Mr and Mrs. M. for bringing me here to spend this week with you. You have no idea how special you all are to me and how much I needed you.” She said this through laughter and tears. Both emotions spill from her simultaneously, always.

“It’s no harder raising nine children than it is to raise …

Under a Starry Sky

Thanksgiving week has come and gone. All emotions found their place and presented themselves at the appropriate time as they always do. Excitement and anticipation came early in the week. Enjoyment and connection stretched from end to end. Exhaustion and eagerness to return to familiar routine showed up toward the end along with incongruent regret. Regret that the curtain must come down on seven days of delight and surprises. So predictable are these emotions with their entrances and exits, are they not?

The goodbyes rang out at regular intervals in the last hours of our last night together. So many goodbyes. Farewells made of hugs and tears and laughter... and more tears. The house wren, who marks twelfth hour on the kitchen clock, chirped midnight and the small party of eight laughed at the aviary announcement and then disbanded.

The last goodbyes were the teariest and most heartbreaking...and most beautiful. Three went to bed and five went out into the frosty night under a black velv…

Going Home

Two suburbans rumble toward New York. One shivers its way down out of the Cascade Mountains. My sister is at the wheel. Four kids play “Cows in the Cemetary” and “Scavenger Hunt” in the back seat. The fifth rides shotgun with an atlas and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in her lap. They sing along to Willie Nelson and Taj Mahal as they drive among the western pines and out into the fields of brown grass under the wide open prarie sky.
My sister tossed a few changes of clothes, a cooler and some dishes behind the back seat. The kids grabbed a handful of books and toys to keep themselves on their forty hour trip eastward. They press across the country. Each night, for three nights, after the sun sets, nine-year-old Maddie thumbs through the Hitchhiker’s Guide in search of somewhere to lay six sleepy heads.

The second suburban is ours. We head north from Smallville through nearly empty countryside in an autumn just past it’s prime. Gold and red leaves, bare branches and evergreens bru…

"B" Good to Yourself

I became serious about health early this summer while on a quest for more energy. (Falling asleep in the middle of the day is a recipe for disaster with a houseful of kids!) I was excited to find out that Darlene is hosting Live Well Wednesdays. I will be sharing what I have been learning from time to time.I was at the doctors last week for a physical and was shocked by the health of the people sitting in the waiting room with me. Men and women came in carrying LARGE ziplock bags FULL of prescription bottles. They shuffled in, their weight pressing down on canes and walkers. They squeezed in. I live in a state that boasts one of the highest rates of obesity in our nation. The size of the patients in the waiting room did not dispute this statistic. We are a nation weighed down by crippling, degenerative health problems brought on largely, I believe, by what we eat.

Coronary heart disease, allergies, exhaustion, anorexia, depression, anxiety…Do any of these sound familiar? They all have …

Bible Time: How it works at Our House

Janelle asked me weeks ago to write a post about what our Bible time looks like. Here it is.

I think too often Christian moms cling to a perfect picture of how Bible time should play out and feel a sense of failure if expectations are not met. Dad should lead. The children should be quiet but enthusiastic. Devotions should happen every day. I was one of those. I waited for years for Stuart to take the initiative in this area. It hasn't happened yet. He's a great living example of a godly man, husband and father but Bible study is not his strong suit. I have learned to be content with this. So instead I read Bible with the kids Monday through Friday and it looks like this:

It’s eleven o’clock. I’ve done my morning workout and spent time preparing for our Bible lesson. I’ve read through the portion of Matthew that we are covering today and thought about it but honestly a whole lot doesn’t come to me. Then I spend some time at and study sermons and commentaries. The Bible…

Homeschooler of the Week

Today I am at The Heart of the Matter talking about what homeschooling looks like for my family. Stop over for a visit.

Please ignore the fact that the picture accompanying the post is over two years old. It's the last relatively decent picture that we have with all of us together. It's hard to get a photo of seven people with everyone's eyes open! (Now I know you'll head over to visit, if only out of curiosity.)