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.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Happy Birthday Rachael

  Dear Baby Girl,
 Happy 7th Birthday!  I can not believe 7 years have went by so quickly. I remember the day you were born so clearly.  I spent the last 24 hours reminiscing  hour by hour what we were doing.
I pray that your life will be filled with great joy wherever the Lord may lead you, and that your intoxicating smile would brighten the lives of all you know. We chose your middle name "joy" because of how much joy the news of you coming brought us.
I pray that you might stay close to your siblings and make true friends who can help you to grow in character. 
That you might be truly happy to be exactly who God made you to be. That you wouldn't be swayed by the wrong people.
That your childhood might be filled with sweet and significant memories.
That you would be woman of strength and courage and that you may bring Him glory.
You are growing up in so many ways, and each day I catch another glimpse of something new that makes me see just how blessed we are to have you in our lives. I am so privileged to love and care for you, and watch you grow. He gave me the tremendous blessing of being your mother.

We call you our rainbow baby because you were born after we lost a child, but you’re also our rainbow baby because God gave you to us as a reminder of His faithfulness.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

SOTW The Nile

We studied the Nile Delta this past co-op and we made one ourselves.
First we took a disposable baking tray and filled it with soil. Then we dug out our river lining the bed with tin foil. The children went outside and gathered "river rock" to line the bed.  After they sprinkled grass seed for the farmers crops. Once we were all set up we flooded our river and over the next few days our "crops" grew.

The length of the Nile River is approximately 6650 kilometres (4132 miles). It is believed to be the longest river in the world.

Around 40 million people (half of Egypt’s population) live in the Nile Delta region.

The Nile Delta in Northern Egypt is where the Nile River drains in to the Mediterranean Sea. It is around 160 kilometres (100 miles) in length and spreads out over 240 kilometres (149 miles) of coastline. It is rich in agriculture and has been farmed for thousands of years.