Saturday, September 1, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

The young lady

On this day where you turn 10 into 11 - even though I'm pretty sure you made me a deal last year that you would turn double digits but then stop right there - you amaze me. Like my mother, I hope you forget the times where I speak too sharply and you clam up with your thoughts, and remember our every-morning hugs and smiles.

I love how you are the best example of every-vegetable-under-the-sun eating for your siblings around here. Way better than me. How you hold up the snow pea - which had rarely-to-never graced the dinner table - and just popped it in. "Hm. Pretty good."

You and me and Spotify could go for hours. Sometimes we do, on Friday nights when your dad's patience with Tangled soundtrack songs runs out and he requests Eric Clapton or Rod Stewart and then we launch into rabbit trails of songs that you love or hate. When you have your own computer, you say, you're not filling playlists with Irish music.

You are nearing the thousands in pictures taken since you got your camera last year, and it's almost always nature that catches your eye. Sometimes people - usually sister subjects; but mostly the beauty of God's creation and close ups of things in the light that you like the look of. I like seeing how you see things.

I'm so sorry about art camp. You don't always like trying new activities with new people, and I did my best mom-gently-pushes routine and convinced you to say yes. I just knew it would be the thing for you, in my gut. And by the morning of, you were nervous but almost totally bought in. Excited, even. Telling your sisters what kinds of things you were going to get to make and try. And no one was there. Cancelled. Thank you for your maturity and grace in dealing with disappointment.

I love how much time and thought you put into your birthday menu, and how this year you decided to go easy on the vegetables for the sake of your siblings. That was very thoughtful. You are a "foodie", and I can't wait to see how the Lord uses that in your life.

Happy birthday, DK.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

my "place", defined

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone — while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

“Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?

“Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?
The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment.
The wicked are denied their light, and their upraised arm is broken.

“Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been shown to you?
Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this.

“What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside?
 Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
 Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!

(Job 38: 4-21)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

And the prize for comedic timing goes to...

I was on the phone, late to the semi-regular evening Bible time (we're going through Acts together this summer). The kids and Eric were finishing up reading through the section when I slid into my living room chair, and I heard the verse from near the end of Acts 4: "...those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales, and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need."

"Sorry I'm late!" I said. "I hate missing that...are you still reading or are you discussing? Read that one again, it's one of my favorite verses!"

*Long pause as everyone adjusts to Mom's interruption of their train of thought.*

"At that moment she fell down at his feet and died," read Delaney (from Acts 5, which we were not even reading yet).

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Use your words wisely

I've heard a lot about this book, and will get it from the library soon. In the meantime, it's just too much fun to try to think up my own six-word memoir. And yes, you have to try your own. Or mine. Do you think it's easier to make up someone else's or your own?


Farm-raised Buckeye marries Kentuckiana engineer. Offspring.

Perfectionist loses control. Life gets better.

Spirit- music- friend- family- filled Life.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Another one in the books

So cool this year to have so many different families donate their *stuff* for the cause. We literally had to keep setting out and pricing right up until the last few hours. And, as usual, as soon as you set something out or move it around, it sells! Love that. Our many, many heartfelt thanks to friends and family for all of your help. This is absolutely a community effort, and one of our favorite times of year. We topped $3000 this year for the first time!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Right in the middle

The end-of-the-school-year special one-on-one restaurant dates kicked off tonight: Jesse took me and chose The Olive Garden (recently opened in Richmond). He was the best dinner date. It kind of dawned on him about 20 minutes into our time together that he really did have my full attention and no one to interrupt him, and he grabbed hold of the conversation and ran with it. I asked him a few questions when we got there about his favorite part of the year so far, and what he was looking forward to this summer. When there was a lull when we were starting to eat, he got this totally serious look on his face and said, "So, mom, what would you say is the best year of your life?"

Love that boy.

Just a very small sampling of the topics we touched on: Italy, salad dressing varieties, Eric and my life before kids, grapes and wine making, cousin Evan the-absolute-cutest-smartest-1-year-old-in-the-world-today, Christianity, siblings and their quirks, that fettuccine does not necessarily mean alfredo, the proper relationship of the napkin to the meal....and on and on.

He kills me.

He's right in the middle of the pack - a position which has taught him patience, perspective, and more patience.

He's right in the middle of boyhood - halfway between new baby and that age they call "adult". He promised tonight that he'll always be my boy.

Best line: The waitress asked if we were ready to order and he so politely explained exactly what he wanted to her, so politely answered her questions, and so politely asked if the salad had tomatoes and if she could please leave them off.

Me (when she left): You did such a nice job ordering and speaking clearly and kindly to the waitress, Jess. Good job!

Jesse: I know. The whole time in my head I was like "Wow, I really sound like an adult right now."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Things You Find in Kentucky

Shapes in the clouds...

Beautiful nieces...

Interesting choices...


Old railways on perfect spring days.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

7 Things I Don't Buy

(in the spirit of Money Saving Mom)

This seemed like an interesting thing to think about - what don't I buy that helps our budget and what are others not buying that might help me? My list, however, may reveal more of my contrarian side than I want. =)

No particular order...

1) New towels. All I can say is, put good towels on your wedding registry. And look around at auctions and you will end up with boxes of near-perfect towels from an estate sale for $1. However, if perfect looking matching towels are important to you, skip this one.

2) Mixes. Whatever the threshold is after which it makes more $ sense to make from scratch than it does to buy the mix has been passed. No brownie, muffin, pancake, pizza, bread, etc. mixes here. (occasional cake mixes for a recipe!) Lots of flour, though.

3) Organic ________. I have lots of friends that do, and I am absolutely all for choices. Paying a lot more for organic blueberries in January that were shipped across the country (world? who knows where?) doesn't float my boat.

4) Cable.

5) Manicures/Pedicures. My breed - farmer's daughter/pianist/mom - doesn't tolerate soft pretty hands well. And I'll deal with my own feet, thankyouverymuch.

6) New vehicles. We did, once, and were cured of that illness forever.

7) Youth Sports Team Photo packages. If we had banked the money saved every time we say "no thank you" to Package #32 or Deluxe Individual playing cards or photo buttons (would I wear all 5?), we could be on a beach in Hawaii right now.

What are YOU not buying??

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

L: aughing
E: ight
A: ffectionate
H: elpful

Love her!

Monday, February 20, 2012

There is no "safe" place...God is my place

God is our refuge and strength;
  an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam; and the mountains quake with their surging.
 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
  God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
  Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The LORD Almighty is with us;
  the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come and see what the LORD has done,
  the desolations he has brought on the earth. 
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
  he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.”

The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"L" for the way you look at me

Did you know February is the month of lluuuuuv? No, not because of that holiday - which is just perfectly A-OK because we justify making heart-shaped cookies and heart-paper-chains and other things that cheer up this gray month - but because E and I first met in person on Feb. 18. I know, I us sentimentalists...I don't care. It works out well for me because E hates store-created holidays like Valentines Day and Sweetest Day and Mothers Day get the point. But by the time the hype hits it's peak on the 14th, and he sees heart-shaped cookies arrive in the kitchen, it triggers a memory switch in the engineer brain somewhere and he relishes completely ignoring that holiday and remembering our "18th" in some nice way.

Anyway. One of the kids was looking up quotations for an assignment today and I completely rabbit-trailed and found some great ones on husbands. I hate the trend of "jokingly" putting down men/husbands and how they are all made to look like buffoons on television. How, exactly, does being critical encourage them? Yeah, not so much. Let's treat them like we appreciate being treated - with respect always, with praise for all they do, and forgiveness that comes easy.

"Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots."

"No, I don't understand my husband's theory of relativity, but I know my husband and I know he can be trusted."
-- Elsa Einstein

"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person" 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

In which I am currently...

...loving... the long days at home of winter, where children have time to make best efforts on hard things, instead of rushing through so we can head out the door to the next thing. A couple boys in basketball give me just enough "get out of the house" for a good balance, with still time to catch up on reading and conversations with The Husband.
...reading...a randomly chosen biography at the library, which I grabbed while searching the stacks for the book I had put on hold but the librarians had not had time yet to pull for me. Is that the sign of obsession?
...waiting for... a Big Snow. I do not live in the Midwest for rainy winters, thankyouverymuch. We must go sledding, make snow angels, completely freeze more insects, then start pining for spring.  
...excited family coming here this weekend for basketball and visits! Winter time is quality time for farm families.
...missing... our nephew Evan, who is now Nine Months Old (Oh, how sweet the years when I marked time in months!), and doing all sorts of wonderful new things every day. Yay for Oovoo! Boo for hundreds of miles apart.
...trying... to learn a new piano piece instead of replaying my old favorites again, and again, and again.
...working at... breaking the Dt. Mt. Dew addiction. There. I said it. On the Internet. Have not had one in more than 2 weeks, but am more than slightly worried about the amount of calories I am consuming in hot chocolate compensation. 
...enjoying... Spotify. A song pops in my head. I type it in search. It plays. The kids and I discuss some history and the music from that time. We search. It plays. Making new playlists is *my* Pinterest.
...snacking on... *nothing. (*See: working at: not eating after supper)
...using... benadryl to try to rid Jesse of mysteriously appearing rash on his stomach, elbows, underarms. Comes and goes. Benadryl not working too well. Suggestions welcome.
...wearing... "pajamas" - old shirt of Eric's and comfy gray pants. Not a lace kind of gal.
... planning...yes. Always.
...singing... "All Creatures of our God and King", off "Downtown Church" - Patty Griffin.
...needing... seriously fitting/arched walking/workout shoes. And 16 things fixed in the house. And 2 sets of braces for kids. But really? Nothing.
...learning... the very, very fine line between demanding excellence and inducing exasperation.
...listening squeaky dryer, my sleeping husband. Thankful for both.
...wishing... that is wasn't only hindsight that is 20/20. I could really use some corrective lenses for foresight, Lord.  
...praying for...obedience. That I would listen, and obey, and NOT try to control results. Praying for opened eyes and changed hearts.
...dreaming of... a place that would a safe place for broken, hurting people; that would be a place where light and hope were found; an adventure in reaching beyond comfortable and safe.

(...stealing from...fuzzy hair)

Monday, January 23, 2012

It's the little (big) things

This boring old dreary-rainy Monday morning, I grabbed my son's hand to warm up my hands (I regularly use them for supplemental heat), and I noticed it felt a little different.

So, we took a moment to do something that is not-so-unusual around here: we measured hands.

He did a double-take. I froze. It has happened. I have a child whose hand is as big as mine.

I do not have small hands.

His basketball coach is very happy with his hands; his piano teacher is so excited she stumbles over her words. His mother?


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A warm January birthday

"We NEVER have a day where we can go outside and play in the sunshine with no coats on our birthday!"

The 9 year old menu:
Breakfast: They chose to pick out a "anything we want" box of cereal - each. Reese's Puff and Cookie Crisps were the start to the day.
Lunch: Sandwich "buffet", as they like to call it, with their chosen chips.
Supper: Steak and chicken fajitas/tacos, with black beans and onions and peppers and lettuce/sour cream/tomatoes/sauces, chips and salsa, yummy sweet corn from summer
Chocolate cake, with mint and strawberry ice creams

Words that describe Jesse right now: strong, compassionate, thoughtful, so observant, guileless, funny
Words that describe Sara right now: determined, insightful, organized, responsible, loving, independent, certain

Sunday, January 8, 2012

In which the kids discuss politics

Eric took the kids out for cheap breakfast sandwiches yesterday morning, with the guideline that if they didn't want a sandwich they had to keep their order under $2.

He took them inside to order - to avoid the never-ends-well drive-thru panic ordering - and found that Levi had brought some extra money of his own to buy a second sandwich, which Eric let him do.

On the way home, the kids remembered that they hadn't ordered anything for me (I had told E ahead of time that I didn't want anything). Before Eric could explain, Delaney said to Levi: "Well, you can just give Mom your extra sandwich since you have two."

Levi's reply: "You're just like Obama - you want to take from the rich and give to the poor!"

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

If I Made a List: Best Movies from 2011

Let's be upfront here: I am no movie aficionado nor critic. I enjoy them, so this is all based on 1) their redeeming value; 2) level of enjoyment they brought. These are movies I watched in 2011, not necessarily that came out last year.

In no particular order:

1) Temple Grandin. I love based-on-true-story movies, and Claire Danes did an amazing job portraying Grandin in this. Amazing. I actually interviewed Grandin for an article once, back in the years when I had an income, so that plus the whole subject matter was a bonus.

2) The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry. We tend to be skeptical of low-budget "Christian" films, so I had my doubts, but this movie totally won me over. Well done, well acted - especially by the kids. Great movie.

3) Get Low. This was one of those movies that stays with you for days afterward. The kind you absorb, and made me want to actually look at the special features on the DVD. The acting is superb, with Robert Duvall. It is not an action movie. It's slow and simmering and makes you think about your choices in life.

4) The Help. Could be my favorite of the year. Does a great job of capturing the time period and the attitudes and the seemingly impossible obstacles to moving out of "the way things are".

5) Rango. Usually, you can hear me groan when Eric says he's gotten an animated movie for movie night. Really good ones are few and far between. This one is h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s. Loved it. Ranks close to Hoodwinked, which is our all-time favorite animated.

6) The Conspirator. Did I mention yet that I also favor based-on-true-story period pieces? This Civil War drama has great acting and lots of good detail. This one will be great for the kids to watch in a few years (heavy subjects and some gore).

There were some other good ones (Secretariat, 127 Hours) but these are really just the ones I can say I'm glad we took time to watch.

Your favorites from the year??

Monday, January 2, 2012

So I Can Remember

"The worst way out of apathy is by dodging problems, avoiding the clashing of personalities, and getting around persecution. May the Spirit prepare us in this new year for the daily grind, and may He fire us with unusual strength for the special task of confronting our national and personal idols."

- Dave Black