to do and fail, ponder and live... a daybook

i'm simply sharing a wee daybook today.
because i posted a really long post yesterday and
my brain and fingers need a rest.

spring has taken over quickly.
it is {way too} hot,
a {small this year} garden has been planted,
flowers are in bloom all around the house,
chicks growing under heat lamps,
hours spent outdoors.
this is the season of scattered, free rhythm.
the season where call of jay in the plum tree in front
beckons us from cozy couch and books,
where night's coolness and open windows are a
welcome reprieve from day's heat and
we stay up way too late feeling breeze,
wishing on stars and
reading those books tossed aside early in day.
rhythms are there,
few steady things that keep us centered,
help us come back to a place of peace and
the known when
we have wandered too far in our
day's adventures.
these are the days when
the sky opens so wide we
need to hold hands and remember
to breathe.  and there is security in that.
for we always have each other and
our heart beat-like rhythms
to grab us.

an atmosphere of love,
gentleness and
respect.  a home where grace reigns and
learning is beautiful.
{failing, often.  often.
but picking myself back up, focusing again and
setting forward,
one foot in front of the other.}
oh, and working diligently on blanket for most special of friend's baby.
i have to knit speedily for she is moving soon.
pretty sure i'll have to mail it.

hmmm... do you really want to know?
my answer to this question is always oh so long.
still re-reading for the children's sake.
also re-reading charlotte mason's philosophy of education,
though this one on the kindle.  i seem to have lost my copy.
maybe someone borrowed it.  i don't remember. oh well.
just started soul survivor by philip yancey and so far,
i'm. in. love.
on the fiction front i'm about to pick up gilead.
i have heard so many amazing things about it, i am pretty excited.
oh and i can't forget the history book...
a child's history of england by charles dickens.
i love reading english history, love our island story
which ambleside uses in its early years, love
birth of britain, used in the upper years, so...
dickens it is.  because i love him too.
so english history and dickens combined.

i've not been thinking too deeply lately or
maybe i've just been thinking too deeply about everything
and so it seems it's not deep... hmmm...
so i'm not really going to share my thoughts here, but more
all the topics that have been rolling around in my brain
as of late.
real education,
true friendship,
our society's view of pregnancy and children,
gentle parenting,
the old has gone, the new has come.
my mind never stops.

spring's sunshine and children's shadows as they play
surprise gifts from a beautiful sweet soul sister

thanks for listening friends,
hope your spring {or autumn, i suppose, depending on where you are}
day is wonderful!


to weekend, think and write...


this weekend we
strove for beauty in all our doings,
rested off that awful cold,
took walks in the heat of the day and
more by moonlight,
watched dark eyed juncos flit quietly above our heads,
gave blog a makeover,
sent gifts to friends,
played hours of being super heroes {the twins, that is},
drank tea hot and dark,
a lot,
read, as always,
listened to hours of the piano guys,
scribbled words in journals and typed posts awaiting publishing,
remembered people and places and wondered about some
long lost.
it's been real.
it's been a good weekend.

*weekending with amanda*


to simplify, to lighten

I'm lightening things up a bit around here, simplifying the blog, the home, the self... we will see what comes of it...

and please let me know what you think because i can always change it back.  i want this to be a place that is familiar to you guys, so if it's too strange i'll fix it :)


to see those little beautiful things...

beauty around here lately...

sick kiddos

some recent deliveries from you awesome readers,
off of our wishlist...

pretty things in the girls room...

outside, in...

wise words...


to be 30 with a son in college... what?

I mentioned it briefly a couple of posts ago but I will shout it now...
Ian was accepted to the college he was hoping for!
We are so excited and now busily preparing for late summer when
we pack and drive him up to Oregon, to start him on his next
phase in life and for the first time meet a dear, dear friend.
I am seriously going to count the days.

It's such a strange thing though,
this being only 30 and having a son heading off to college.
And with six other kiddos 10 and under,
it's just a different situation than most I suppose.

And I think of that other mama,
the one who carried and birthed him at such a young age,
who walked away and hasn't seen him since,
well since she was younger than Ian is now.
I think of her,
and my heart breaks for her.
I cannot imagine the depths of her agony,
her pain at not knowing her firstborn.
When choices made as a child affect your entire life thereafter,
how do you deal with that pain?

We spoke about this recently,
the husband, Ian and I because she
found the husband on facebook and sent a message.
She just wanted to see pictures and hear about him and
the husband was happy to fill her in.
But it kind of broke my heart because I know,
if it were me, I would be torn up every day,
there would be this hole and it would only grow deeper as
the days, the years passed.

And it may be strange but I kind of just wish I could
take her hands gently in my own and whisper,
thank you sweet sister.
thank you for giving life to my son.
i am so sorry for this burden you have carried all of these years.
i pray that some day, when he is ready,
he will be a blessing to your family as he is to ours.
I want to sit with her and have a cup of tea,
honey and cream,
speak words of life and comfort.
Maybe some day.

So I will just continue on,
learning and loving with these six younger kiddos,
falling in love more every day with my hard working handsome husband,
and transforming into the young mama of a college man.
Life is so good.
New seasons are amazing.
And the hope of the future... breathtaking.


to be a former shoegazer who now smiles

I smile.
There is so, so much good,
so much to smile about.
Once I was that teenage shoegazer,
the one cloaked in sorrow,
listening to the cure, bathing in tears.
I spent hours locked in poster covered bedroom,
scribbling poetry and drowning in mind.
From therapist to therapist,
hospital to hospital,
anti-depressants to anti-anxiety medication,
I had no hope for the future and was imprisoned by
my own emotions and fears.

Desperate for attention, for affirmation,
pining for something real, good and true
I caused pain, worry and turmoil but
I just couldn't help myself.
I was lost in hopelessness and confusion and
could see no reason to smile.

I have trouble finding a reason not to.
From blooming irises to
Ian's college acceptance letter,
dark chocolate covered pretzels to
the music of the cure (hey, I still love them!)
Giggling littles to big children maturing,
life moving on, a river flowing,
unknown turns and yet, still flowing...

So so much to smile about.
When I was 17 and found The Reason to smile,
I took my bottles of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds and
threw them away.
And all was good. I could smile,
I had hope, I had an answer to my overwhelming
emotions and fears.
I was free.
And I have never looked back.

''The year's at the spring
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in his heaven—
All's right with the world!''
-Robert Browning 


to head out...

So I'm going.
We are headed down to LA today and
tomorrow we will embark upon a Disney adventure.

Pray for me... :)

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."- Walt Disney


to dread the d-word

On Friday the nine of us will be at Disneyland.
The Happiest Place on Earth.
*cough, cough*
I am somewhat dreading it.
My mama bought us tickets and is taking us and
my kiddos are extremely excited and
I am extremely not.

I'm imagining people
long lines,
tired, crying baby,
trying to find a place to nurse
the crying baby,
children with too much crap food,
big kids who want to go on big rides,
little kids who can only go on little rides and
are mad they can't go on the big ones,
princesses and mickey mouse.

I would much rather be home snuggling with my baby,
reading my books
{currently The Once and Future King and
For the Children's Sake},
drinking tea,
wrapped up in crocheted afghans wearing
comfy pants.
{you may call this being an introvert.  i like to call it

I'm going to try.
I'm really going to try.
But I might just end up staying home with Pearl and Moses.
I guess we will see.

So tell me,
what do you think I should do?
And if I go, any advice?


to be good

I just want to thank you all for the flood of kindness after my last post, you know, the one about the now-origami-hate-mail.  Really, your words have meant so much.  This whole blogging, writing, internet thing is kind of heart wrenching.  You put yourself out there and it is either received well or not. And when it's your life, your family, your thoughts, your heart that is out there, it's downright painful when it's not received well.  But I'll use this for growth.  For knowing I don't need to be accepted by everyone.  I am accepted by Christ, by my family, by {most of} you all.  It's good.

So I have just been quietly enjoying my family and this spring weather lately.  Writing, reading, learning, knitting and talking to the husband and the kiddos.  There is peace.  It's good.

I'm in a place of contentment and I know that life is beautiful.  It is. so good.

 oh and one more thing... you should read this post by my dear friend tonia.  really. 


to be told I suck

I received this email the other day that kind of broke my heart. If you notice, it's been a few days since I posted; I have been thinking over what this person said and kind of pondering what to do about it. The email came from an anonymous reader and yes, I copy and pasted their email address into facebook's search bar to try and find them... I'm a creeper like that, but they weren't on facebook. So I'm left with this anonymous email that tore me up.

I wasn't quite sure if I should share anything about it, but I write, that's what I do, and so many of you have become trusted friends and I figure what are friends for if not to share burdens and encourage one another? This email talked about my heart and my writing. "Once upon a time," it said, "I thought yo u had something to say and a poetic skill to say it beautifully. Slowly, your words became redundant, you began to mimic yourself and others on the Internet, you had nothing new to say and your style just became dull."

So right about here my eyes filled with tears. I was seriously at a loss and had no idea why someone would tell me this. They continued to list blogs of people who had the same style or message as me but were "much better writers and storytellers."  Through my tears I chuckled because a few of the people they mentioned are my friends.

The ending was my favorite.  "I am not telling you this to upset you but to help you.  You seem to spend a lot of time writing and editing photos for your blog.  Maybe you hope to write a book someday or just to gain a huge following.  I hope in telling you these things you will see that you are wasting yours and your family's time.  You always write about living each moment and relishing your children's childhoods.  You should take your advice and not spend so much time on this pursuit but spend the time on your family and getting right with God. Humbly, an anonymous reader"

So my friends, I have been quietly, prayerfully pondering this email.  I just am not sure what to do with it.  My first thought is, am I really wasting time?  This is my one life, am I throwing it away on empty pursuits?  Then I think about God, about who He has made me.  Ever since I was a child, I wrote.  I wrote letters, stories, articles, journals.  I never knew what to say to people so I wrote my thoughts to them instead.  When I have taken breaks from writing I have been filled with anxiety and overwhelmed by my thoughts and emotions.  God made me a person who writes.  And write I must.

Then comes questioning the blog.  I must write, but must I write for an audience?  I could just keep it all to myself.  Why do I blog anyway?  It's not to write a book or gain a huge following, although those things would probably be nice if they happened.  I have been writing books for years anyway, they have just never been published, you know?  I started my blog because I was writing anyway and I thought I could share it and maybe, just maybe, it would encourage someone.  And I know that it has, I receive those positive emails too.

It's just that negativity doesn't sit well with me.  When someone thinks poorly of me it consumes my heart and my mind.  I know it shouldn't, I know I should just let it roll off of me, but I can't.  It hurts.  It aches.  I want people to like me.  And someone doesn't.  And it just makes me want to quit.

So now I have come to the end of what I have to say.  I'm still not sure why I told you guys this.  And please don't butter me up, I'm not fishing... I just need a friend.


to look up

these words embody my past
few days.

before then i had been consumed.
educational changes,
shake up of what church means,
dietary challenges,
and i just,
needed some peace.
and yet every time i tried to rest,
to find peace,
something else came up.

antsy and anxious,
tearing up through my days,
my heart was just. plain.
until, finally, i was drawn to the Bible,
lying open on the counter.
the first and only thing i read when i
looked upon it
was what i so desperately needed...

"when they had lifted up their eyes,
they saw no one but Jesus only."

and the first time i read it i unwittingly gasped and
held my breath.
those few words spoke volumes to me,
bringing tears to my tired eyes.
i had been looking down.
where my comfort and acceptance came in others,
where homeschooling methods were the only factor in determining
my children's future,
where fellowship was impossible to come by,
where provision came only by normal means and
food could cause fear and frustrations.
my eyes were looking down.

but if i were to look up,
to remove my gaze from myself,
my worries,
my physical struggles,
if i were to look up
my eyes would be fixed on Him.

i had been looking for peace, but
i had been looking down.
i looked up and found the Prince of Peace,
found Him awaiting my gaze.

reading that verse over and over
these past couple of days has been a balm
to this weary soul.
and when i looked up and away from everything
but Him,
He blessed me with that slow and calm that comes
with soul's peace.

and though i know i will sorrow for those who are far,
i have my Father,
the lover of my soul,
with me.
and when i wonder about education or
can't figure out a budget or how to pay rent,
i can rest knowing it's all
in His Hands.
because my eyes are on Him.
only Him.

and so i can love my babes and
each day,
each moment.
i can breathe in and know
everything is good.
He has this.
He has it all.
eyes focused.
eyes up.



to jump without looking

i know, i'm supposed to be on break this week.
but i'm having a mini crisis and i needed to hash it out,
and ask for prayer.

you know that feeling of blah that can overwhelm?
i'm feeling it.
it's this loneliness that is seeping in and
it's really hard to fight.
my sister is leaving for six months.
and maybe even longer.
my dear, beautiful friend is moving away and
i know she must go and i understand why but
i am overcome with sorrow.
when we moved home two and a half years ago 
we were filled with such hope and great expectations.
and believe me,
they have been fulfilled.
pearl was born,
friendships were formed,
dreams were realized and begun,
changes were made,
togetherness has become a key part of our lives.
it has been so good.

but now,
those we love most are leaving or
are too far to see often,
we have no hopes wrapped up in the institutional church for
we have come to see it with clear eyes,
finances grow tighter and tighter as we live in one of the
most expensive places,
and my gypsy spirit is beckoning.

i need to settle down.
a week ago i wanted to buy this house we live in,
this house where i bore my youngest babe,
where our 22 chickens roam and peck at vegetables growing
in garden,
where diapers dry in sunlight daily and
children play for hours as children should.
i'm ready to chuck it all and set out again with
God guiding and
us dancing behind.
to roam, to search, to adventure,
to settle wherever His wind blows us.

for that is what the loss of love will do,
it will rile you up and make you ready to jump.
and i tend to jump before i look down.
the husband though, he looks first.
and talks to God.
oh yes, this is a very good thing for otherwise i
would find myself in a heap of trouble.
so instead of jumping,
he is holding my hand and whispering to God.

i need some peace friends,
a settling of the soul.  would you pray?