Monday, October 27, 2014

birthday project

 Soup on the stove - lots more soup. Hats and sweaters with only a rare sighting of bare feet outside these days  unless my spunky little ones are making a dash for a forgotten toy outside .  Fire in the wood stove nearly every night now.  And with these full days - darkening as they are - we find ourselves all tucked into our  beds a little bit earlier.   Last Thursday was my Birthday and probably one of my most memorable. A group of ladies from church and I went out for dinner. I requested no gifts but I challenged them to a random act of kindness. Instead of a gift for me I wanted them to give a gift to our server that night. This was so fun! She got everything from coffee gift cards, socks, mitts, steeped tea, chocolate hedgehogs...   even though my children were not there they were all in on the excitement of it.  This has had our heads spinning in random acts of kindness mode.. We find ourselves asking "what can we do next?" After a pretty rough 2014 we plan to end it with some great ideas.
Generosity is “realizing that all I have belongs to God and using it for His purposes.” 

Friday, October 24, 2014

this moment...

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Our Thanksgiving

   I love writing about the joys of parenting and life in the everyday, the small things that create beauty in our daily lives.  There has been something on my mind this last year and I struggle to make sense of the pain of life for myself and my children.  Life is hard, and this past year I have been challenged to bring change to one person at a time. I have gathered up my oldest children and fired them up to join me. When we hold our lives up to some of the realities others are living it's easy to see the sharp contrast of abundance we live. Families where opportunity seems to be next to nothing, violence against women and children, and futures that are bleak.
  I am not na├»ve to know the world can't be changed in an instant but baby steps. One baby step at a time, tiny moments and opportunities  to make things a little better for someone else. The week of Thanksgiving we spent some time at our local food bank, stocking shelves and making hampers. I have been spending my days thinking of ways I can spend my money, time, and energy....
 I'm not entirely sure where this will take us, but I'm excited to let it go, see - tomorrow we are off to serve at the mission.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


       The kitchen.... we feed and are fed here, we make a mess, our hands dig into the dough, and into the dirty sink water, we literally put down our roots with each sticky, messy, creative, thoughtful touch in this room.  Our babies splatter food here.. memories are made here.
Our kitchen has a graceful 'rhythm of kitchen' to it. Everyday slowly but surely -  bread, cookies, one sink full of dishes, children dance around the table, family gathered a meal at a time. It's us.
 I love art, but our budget doesn't allow too much room to go splurge on framed art.  My two older girls got together to create this masterpiece for the side of our pantry. Natalie found a broken frame with the glass gone and pulled out the craft paint, while Rachael started to draw.   
                 Simple and special, these cherished days of childhood on display in my kitchen.  
                                            Sure does make a Mama's heart swell with pride and joy.

Friday, October 17, 2014

this moment

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

SOTW Cuneiform Tablets

                    The crisp fall air brought friends indoors today to do work on the third chapter of Story of the World. Each child was given a ball of dough and tools to write their name in cuneiform. We are enjoying our weekly time together around the table.. next week we are mummifying a chicken!

Thursday, October 16, 2014


I keep learning the same lesson - one that deepens each time. And that is that birthday celebrations are always the most special, the most joyful, the most heartfelt and loving, with fully present parents and attentive siblings, family and friends it's a 'filled up with love' celebrated little one. Such was true this year- all her favorite foods and favorite things.
One thing I enjoy while raising a large family is celebrating each child on their birthday. I am often asked why I don't do one big yearly party for all, and while that may work for some families. I find this is a special way to show them their importance and value. Each one being so different in how they want to celebrate year from year. The older they get the more intimate the celebration. Not only is it there day but their BIRTHday is a day that changed me. Each birth of a new baby has left an imprint on my soul that I want to hold dear and celebrate.