Monday, September 29, 2014

One thousand gifts and still counting (6049-6089)

for the view that it is
a rainy day for my mum

a thank you note in my family mail
a favorite class x 2
Your provision
chances for understanding and learning
the smell of vinegar on freshly mopped floors

maple flavored coffee
an infinity scarf
and socks on my feet
the return of stomps
wood for a good price

a visit with Kellie and her kiddos
my girls' Friday dinner out at a friend's
four day weekends
free eggs and bread

chocolate pie
a bag of tomatoes, gifted
a bench, table and chair for the patio, gifted
song around the table
girls who were eager all day to gift and sing

wishes on a candle
a happy birthday, two days early
next parties to plan
Dad and Linda over
peppermint oil and lavender

camera 1
a loom bracelet made by Erin
pizza lunch day
Jennifer's dedication
texts with friends

a card from Reggie
a diamond with rough edges
a family selfie
that I get to be the mom to these girls
a crackle glass vase from my favorite store

and a candle for the mantle
friendship with Allen and Kelly
that You know the number of our days
Your song over me

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Who we are

We took this photo last night.

I love that my husband is getting in on the fun.

I love Lanie's unhindered laugh.

I love Erin's exuberance--life force, up front.

I loved being in the middle of it all. Loved by these people and loving them till my heart bursts.

This photo was taken last night, and I was battling the fresh sting of words someone spoke about one of my kids. When I look at this image, I see my girl's full smile and delight and joy. I'm thankful for who she is.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Homestyle homeschool

Lanie asked me to quiz her on her vocabulary words. I picked the hardest one from the list.


But I said it dramatically and in all caps volume.

She starts to spell it and has a little trouble.

"Do you want to write it down?" I suggested.


She got it wrong. So we did the other ones and came back to it last and when I said the word, I used my over-dramatic pronunciation of it.

She made drama eyes and leaned away. I laughed. She got it right.


Erin is going through a phase of disagreeing with everything I say. She even disagreed about which side was left, and I know she knows better. Sometimes she will not answer questions regarding music notes and other topics. It makes schooling a bit ... challenging.

So I put on my drama voice to read her history test. Some fill in the blank, some T or F, some choose the best answer. When I told her she stood to gain an M&M for every correct answer, she was game. A girl after my own heart.

"Can you start doing that for all the questions I get in school?" she asked.

She answered loudly and clearly and enthusiastically and earned herself 14 M&Ms. I'd say we're off to a good start.


Erin loved the way a neighbor's house smelled, so the next that I saw her I asked what plug-in she used. She gets oils and warms them. I kept it in mind for someday.

Sometime later, my neighbor called me up to come over to her house. When I got there, she had gone out and purchased an oil warmer like hers (brass and iron), and a bottle of Satsuma from The Body Shop. It always reminds us of her when we use it in the living room (and it's a cheery antidote for wet dog smells).

I got an additional warmer in soapstone and put it in the school room. Today I have both going with the most delightful citrus scent. And while I love being home on rainy days, it's equally wonderful having a happy scent for us all to enjoy, and the underlying love of a friend filling my house.

I've read citrus smells arouse happiness in hearts, making it perfect for at-home school days.


Up early to write. Funny how I was drinking a cup of maple flavored coffee, and its aroma was working at my subconscious. Coupled with gray skies and pattering rain, I found myself craving pancakes. So I made them for breakfast (btw, delightfully light pancakes; Lanie agreed this one is a keeper.).

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


The back-to-school load is intense--and not just the workload, but the actual transportation of all the materials: history book, binder, lit book, planner, pencils and markers, a box for treasure, grammar/Latin/vocabulary, notes, and at times, a laptop. That's just me. I was struggling to affix these things against my body as I limped my way across the parking lot and up the stairs. Had gone out to get a rolling crate with the family. Shane convinces me that a suitcase would be better. Then we notice a lovely executive bag with pull, but it was too small for my laptop.

"Let's try a different store," he suggested. Similar story, and the bag that was available was a hefty double price we don't want to pay. Seriously, I'm not trying to impress anyone here. I just want something to cart my stuff around.

I left with nothing and was sorry I hadn't gotten the little rolling crate at the first place. I think it was twenty bucks.

A friend commented on my load and I told her the story.

She brought me back her rolling crate later that day. She didn't need it this year.



I was so beat yesterday that I didn't get Erica's birthday cookies baked. I was up at 3:30 a.m. today, reviewing notes and outlining work, building a history test for next week, treasure hunting in "Confessions" ... and baking cookies.

Erica couldn't meet today for me to give her cookies. I packed a lunch for myself, and one for my friend Jen. She has been a huge help to me in getting the class put together. I wanted to treat her for being so awesome. Got the fat cucumber kosher pickles at a deli. Built her a tasty bagel sandwich, a bag of chips, an apple, the pickle, a bottle of water, and two delicious white chip and chocolate chip cookies. Put it all in a big brown bag and folded and secured it with a clothes pin.

At lunch I got the news her son was sick. She wouldn't be in, and I had already eaten my lunch during math study hall with Erin.

A mom entered the cafeteria, which was cleared out for recess. Her kids were outside, and her lunch was nowhere to be found. And I found myself saying, "I have an extra lunch."

I handed her the bag and she took out each item. The pickles smelled so wonderful, and she smiled at the sandwich wrapped in wax paper and bagged in a sandwich bag. She placed each item tenderly on the table top and pulled out her phone to take a picture.

"Look how God provides!" she exclaimed. "I will call this 'God's Provision'."

It's probably on her Instagram of FB somewhere.

I just wondered at the unfolding of events. Who has a bagged lunch freshly prepped and waiting? God does.



A mom reaches into a big brown bag and asked the gathering of us, "Who needs eggs? I have a friend with chickens and all these eggs."

Five dozen.

We got a free dozen.



Getting the kids after school today, I'm heading out and a mom stopped me.

"My van is open with free bread in the back," she said to me.

There was a crate of assorted breads and danishes with a sell-by date of yesterday. We got a package of multi-grain and a package of cinnamon raisin English muffins.




When you supply it, they gather it. You open your hand to feed them, and they are richly satisfied. Psalm 104:28, NLT.