Monday, March 28, 2016

And still counting (8487-8517)

a salad, treated
a school day, redeemed
a hug from Sandy
Becky P

skate night with Erin
hot tea with Lisa
Nora, who takes my call
chocolates in a classroom
a week off


camera 2
a chat with Joel
coffee in the mail
grading completed

books in the mail
books for next year and fun field guides (not shown)

Anne of Green Gables read louds
little feet
a hand to hold
Easter gifts from a neighbor

my dad, almost 80
that she wants to whittle wood
weeds to pull on a warm day

dry wood for chilly morning fires
Satsuma in the house

hugs with Kevin McM on his last day leading
and with Kathy S on her last day leading too
a lawn tractor running
red wine
sidewalk chalk

texts with friends

that God is greater than (anything)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Little feet

Erin sat next to me on the couch. She's nine.

"I wish I was younger," she said. "I was so cute at 3, 4 and 5."

"You're still cute now!" I said.

"But I could be with you all day and cuddle you when I was little," she continued.

"You're cuddling me right now and you're with me a lot!" I reminded.

She was snuggled against me on the couch as we started reading aloud Anne of Green Gables.

Her foot draped over the side of the couch.

"When I hold my foot like this it looks little," she said.

"It is little," I said. And then I reached out and touched her foot.

"These little feet have taken you lots of places," I said. And then I recounted, "I wonder how many times you've skated around the rink with these feet?"

"At least one hundred!" she said.

"At least," I agreed. "And they've carried you through sand at the beach. And grass at the parks. You've gone to zoos and museums and play dates and running through our yard with these feet."

She smiled, remembering.

"You've gone to school and grocery shopping with these feet."

Running to the pool, Easter egg hunts, trick-or-treating, Christmas cookie delivering. Where else will they take her?

"And to Cubby and Sammy's!"

So many places.


She was sad last night and needed a mama's hug and comfort.

"Can I sleep with you?" she asked.

"Ok," I said.

We slept in until at least 8 o'clock today. I got up out of bed and she turned to reach for me. I remembered all the times she turned to reach for me, hands out. How I'd carry her all around or we'd hold hands together as we walked down the stairs for breakfast. She's so big now. I don't think I'd carry her too far.

I reached back and held her tiny fingers.

"Let's get up!" I said. "How did you sleep?"

"Terrible!" she said, and I was surprised. "You and Daddy snored all night long. I could barely sleep!"

And I laughed at the ruckus that must have been. I was totally unaware.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Incredible lightness

Got up early. Hustled my tail off preparing tests and answer keys, grading essays and other tests, planning out Erin and Lanie's work, and nearly forgetting to pack a lunch for Erin to take.

How is it I built in nearly six hours of morning, and I still can't keep up?

But I got to school and made copies of everything, and nearly every word I spoke was two steps ahead of my brain--so I had no idea what I was saying.

I walked into my class with a great smile.

I spoke with great joy.

I wished them a happy Friday (I call Wednesdays Fridays there).

I handed out rubrics. I passed out tests. I administered another test. A co-op mom brought in chocolate.

This heart was full. I probably laughed too much, too loudly.

I sat next to one girl, her eyes were so bright.

"I'll miss you," I said to her.

"Then come back," she said.

I smiled.

A lot of our curriculum is ordered for next year. I'm already making other plans. And there's still that part of my heart that wants to teach medieval.

One day ... because one day I'll be teaching my kids medieval.

Next year, my kids are going to get my big smiles and my great joy. My kids are going to get what's best of me, instead of the end-of-day left of me. They're going to get this heart, full, and my laughs-too-much-too-loudly.

And there is an incredible lightness in that.

I hugged some friends on the way out of the building. Erin accompanied me with her backpack and orb web of wet glue on wax paper. She had a candy bar for Lanie.

Six Tuesdays left. Books in the mail.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Just for fun

Three places I've lived:
1. in someone's house as a nanny
2. with my in-laws during moving times
3. in a dorm

Five places I've worked:
1. a bakery
2. a bank
3. a publishing company
4. an ad agency
5. a co-op

Three things I love to watch:
1. my kids
2. my yard
3. my church's worship team

Four places I have been:
1. Spain
2. Israel
3. San Antonio, TX
4. San Francisco, CA

Three things I love to eat:
1. chocolate
2. cheese
3. pizza

Three people I think will answer also
1. Nora might

Three things I like to drink
1. water
2. coffee
3. wine

Three things I am looking forward to
2. the end of this school year
3. the 2016-2017 school year

1. reading
2. writing
3. photography

Two Regrets
1. a divided heart--putting other things before my family
2. not following Jesus sooner

Monday, March 21, 2016

And still counting (8464-8486)

sunrises through the woods
daffodil blooms

coffee with just enough milk
Erin and her friends
a picnic during recess with Michelle
salad in a box
the last quarter of the school year

my students in Great Books
peace in hard decisions
fires for chilly mornings and evenings
peepers singing in the woods
picking up sticks with Erin

hand-me-downs for Erin from Christy
lunch with her at the table
the delivery of the new oven
a picnic with Erin on a Thursday

Joe and Stephanie for dinner
family pictures
hugs hello and goodbye
a next-year curriculum planned
father and son 3 a.m. wake-ups

a visit with David and Anita

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


I remember very clearly, a kitchen full of boxes from my former house, boxes piled high on counters and on the floor. My sister-in-law came over that day--we weren't moved in because we didn't officially own the house yet. The owners were gracious to let us keep our stuff here while we were in the in-between.

Connie came out with Barbies for the girls and picked up a couple of frozen pizzas (and a pizza cutter because I didn't know where mine was in all the boxes) for our lunch. (GODSEND!)

I remember looking at the oven control and realizing I wasn't sure how to turn it on. It was push button stuff and hinted at convection, which I had no working knowledge of using. I pushed "bake" and it turned on with a 350 degree start. But after a few minutes, it shut off. Hahaha. I had no idea what I was doing. I figured it out, though, feeling quite novice. We had pizza.

The oven broke on us last Monday, on a day when it felt like everything broke.

I'm glad the last meal I cooked in the oven was the cottage pie I made for my friend, Lisa. I made enough that there was leftover to make a mini version for our family, and the microwave heated it perfectly that Monday when the oven sounded it quit.

I never realized how often I used the oven until I had one the didn't work anymore. Fortunately, the stove top worked, and we got by on (gf) pasta, rotisserie chicken and rice for burrito bowls ... there may have even been times when I let the kids fix cereal or sandwiches. I realized my handicap in stove top cooking.

We said goodbye to the old stove today. Erin took a picture of it. She cried. She was distraught of what its future held.

When I saw the delivery truck backing down our driveway, I felt a happy joy bubbling up inside of me. I was making plans for pizzas, cookies, muffins, and potato fries. Roasted chicken! Birthday cakes! And an oven that's never had a crumb of gluten in it. And no former family's spills trapped between the window glasses.

Welcome home, dear oven.

I love the bigger oven window!

I love the sparkly burner knobs!

I said to Shane, "If it doesn't fit, then it's a sign we need to remodel the kitchen."

It fits fine. I mean, it's a pretty standard thing. I told Marshall's Mom I was getting a kitchen remodel one piece at a time. (Fridge, wine fridge, oven ... I guess the dishwasher is next.)

Today's agenda: science, math, and reading a bit of literature with Erin. Then: cookies.

Monday, March 14, 2016

And still counting (8434-8463)

a prayer answered

warmer weather
windows open

stovetop meals
cold water
a Father who catches tears
a daughter's hugs

that man of mine
a coffee date with a new friend
spring peepers singing in my back yard
Kellie over for a play date
friends who understand my silence

and friends who understand the loss
texts with Jennifer
a great message at church
soft socks

Michelle's hug
Becky's heart
my family
a rainy Sunday
a new oven
good books

Monday, March 7, 2016

And still counting (8408-8433)

another Tuesday down
read alouds on the couch
goofing with Mr. Squirrel

reviewing manners

a new piano book

tulips in a pitcher on the table

a sticky snowfall

a room with a view

dry wood
a warm house
texts with friends

pitted dates
muffins in the oven
cinnamon chip muffins and blueberry muffins

cloudy days
sunny days
that man of mine

naps on the couch
hot, creamy coffee

milder days
cottage pie

a summer and (next) school year bucket list
a kingdom focus
God's faithfulness

talks with Shane around the table after dinner
red wine
big red

taco salad for dinner