to go with flowers in my hair

still working on those vests for the twins,
making good progress.
i'm reading difficult children: there is no such thing,
free on the online waldorf library.
i'm really liking it so far.

not much to say today,
we are super busy packing up.
we leave tomorrow for san francisco,
hanging out all weekend for my daddy's wedding!
it will be quite an adventure.
i won't be checking in here until next week,
so have a beautiful weekend.




to take it all in

tucked in under tattered, loved quilts are
four little ones,
sleeping off another summer day spent
in perfect freedom.

under star infused sky,
older children are reading by flashlight,
basking in cool night breeze, not
quite ready to turn in,
to let the moment go.

we all know these are fleeting;
lazy summer days and  breathtaking nights.
soon they will pass,
and then we will drive oldest brother
out of state where
he will begin his next phase.

so we are all going slow,
living this summer for each simple moment.
watching pearl jean grow and
her senses open to the world around her.
laughing and talking,
two verbs which are constant here as we
prepare for changes to come.

we walk.
we cook.
we play games.
we clean.
we read.
we laugh.
we laugh.
and we do it all together,
knowing that soon we will
have one less.

so even though i am a lover of autumn,
a crisp breeze, pumpkin bread, wool sweater
kind of girl,
this summer,
i don't want to rush it.
this summer,
i want to tiptoe and not miss a second.

those older kids are sitting in the moonlight reading
with that oldest brother soon to journey on and
those little ones are snuggled tight under quilts,
dreaming of summer days.
i'm taking it all in.
i'm not missing it.


to share moments and wise words


"Thoughtful parenting requires time to think.  Yet many of us don't have time in our lives for thinking.  We need to make time.  Even a few quiet moments alone early in the morning will enable me to lay the foundation for a day of living and loving from the heart.  I meet my children then with heightened awareness, having already sorted out my own needs and priorities and achieved some sense of inner balance.  Of course, the days when it seems impossible to take this meditative time are the very days when I need it the most!  But I am learning- self-discipline is not an accomplishment in itself, but an ongoing, lifelong practice, one that challenges me each and every day.  Fortunately I have a great incentive to keep working at it, for I remind myself that it is not what I do as a mother, but who I am as a human being that will make a deep and lasting impression on my children.  I can bring peace to my children only when I possess it myself."
 - Katrina Kenison


to talk about things that don't fit with yarn along

I sat outside late last night watching the moon glow and
listening to the song of summer's orchestra.
There was such peace.
There is such peace.

Why did I bring that up?
So out of place in this here yarn along post.
But it was perfect,
a moment I don't want to forget.
And so now it's written.

Anyway, back to the post...
it's been quite a while since I have joined in with Ginny for Yarn Along,
thought I would throw my two cents into the ring today.

I'm just beginning two plain vests for the twins.
Their birthday is in September and I'm hoping to have them completed in time.
*hoping, hoping, hoping*

Currently I am re-reading one of my all time favorites,
Simplicity Parenting and
{finally} reading Under Wildwood.
I know, you probably remember months ago when I raved in excitement
about it's arrival but I still haven't read it.
The kids all got to it first and after that I just wasn't in the mood.
I am now.
And so,
I have entered the wildwood again.
I'm also reading The Children of Noisy Village to the littles.
I have never read it before and we are all enjoying it.

So that's it.
I'm knitting stuff and reading even more stuff.
It's summer and it's beautiful and we are basically living outside.
Life is good.
So good.

And then there's this,
because I just can't resist this girl...

Hope your day is delightful.



to do work that matters

It matters. This work you are doing, mama.
Those tears you kiss,
the hands you hold,
the fears you ease.
It matters.

Staying up all night with your sick wee one

Reading "Where the Wild Things Are" for the tenth time in a row

Wiping up spilled juice after pouring another cup

Cooking a warm supper that they probably won't eat

Lying under star-filled skies while listening to their stories

Walking around the block with them every day

Washing their dollies

You may never start a nonprofit organization helping underprivileged children,
you may never write a bestseller encouraging thousands,
you may never preach a message causing conviction or
travel to the third world countries building houses and loving on the lonely.
And though these things are so good and so worthwhile,
though these things matter,
they do not matter more than these amazing things that you do.
You do amazing things, mama.

Open up your heart,
your eyes,
and love.
Love the ones that you have been given,
wrap them deep in your arms,
whisper life giving words
and embrace every. single. moment.
It matters.

You have been gifted with this work to do.
This intensely difficult yet most rewarding work,
you have little ones to raise into the lovers,
the peacemakers of tomorrow,
so wipe those little tears and read that book again.
This is how to do work that matters.


to care {aka how to raise manipulative children at least according to some but not me}

*** i actually expected to be done blogging for a few months.  i had a lot rattling around in my brain.  but i spent much time with a Bible, prayer, talking to my husband and to a dear friend and my heart, my mind have settled quickly.  i feel free right now.  i have things to say.  and, i think, i might have gotten my voice back.  what do you think?***

cool breeze blowing in from ocean as
children played in fading light.
we sat indoors as visiting adults are apt to do,
conversation ping ponging from deep philosophy to
light hearted sarcasm {thanks to my never too serious husband.}

one of my young children runs in,
hair damp from mist settling on the evening.
she grabs my hand, eyes pleading,
"mama can you push me on the swing?"
and i,
locked in the middle of conversation and not quite paying attention
to her, respond,
"not right now honey."
young blue eyes darken, fill with tears threatening
to overflow.
"maaaaammmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaa, yesssss!!!!!!!"
she sobs, instantly devastated.
i look up at husband and his understanding, perfect smile and
friends whose home we are in,
friends whose eyes bear that look of
"oh i know this and i know what you have to do about it."

i always surprise them.
i sweep my girl up in arms, loudly proclaiming,
"alright baby, let's go swing!" stepping out into cool of night,
i hear the gasp from the other mother,
the comment, "oh my.  i can't believe she did that."
wiping tears from cheeks just beginning to lose baby fat,
i set her down on the swing, make sure her hands are on tight and
push, telling her a story of the faerie princess who swings at night
under moon's glowing light.
she swings, laughing, for ten minutes and i
shut eyes, feel night's chill blanket covering me,
drinking in this moment,
the one i nearly gave up,
the one most everyone i know would have given up,
punishing, fighting,
for a few more minutes of talk.

holding hands,
my girl and i walk back inside,
smiles on the face of us both.
she runs off to find her twin and i settle back in,
joining conversation,
hoping it doesn't turn where i know it probably will.
friend turns to me, this mother, grandmother,
the one with twenty years experience on me,
turns and states,
"so, you give in so easily do you?  you know amy,
you are just teaching them to cry to get what they want.
they are learning from this.  they will begin to manipulate you.
you need to put a quick stop to this."

and i,
hating confrontation but needing to speak,
gently whisper,
"i don't believe that.  not for a second.
her cries were not manipulative.  her cries were disappointment.
by doing what she asked i was not teaching her she will get what she wants
when she cries.  i was showing her that i love her.  i was showing her
that i care about her. think about it.
when something matters to us, when we really want or need something,
we cry out to God.  we beg Him.  and when He doesn't give us what we want,
most often we continue to ask.  are you trying to manipulate God?
no!  you are desperate and your emotions are getting the better of you.
and if He finally gives you what you were asking for...
do you think He gives you what you want if you cry enough?  of course not,
you feel like He did something for you BECAUSE HE LOVES YOU.
you are in awe of His care, His devotion, you feel His love.
that's what i am modeling to my children.  i am not teaching them to
cry and be manipulative.  i am teaching them that i hear them,
that i love them."

i sit back and my girl wanders in,
climbs onto my lap, snuggling close.
conversation has ceased, a serious, almost holy air
has filled the room.
i look around at familiar faces then down at my girl
who smiles up at me, kisses me and
"i love you mama."

i know baby,
i love you too.


to affirm a broken soul

he walks by daily,
mouth opening and releasing beauty unheard of.
we watch him from picture windows,
seven children and i,
watch him walk by singing opera unabashedly,
pouring heart out in song as if there were no one around,
just him and God.

we watch him for three years as he
walks by our house each day on his way
home from the local high school.
we listen,
sometimes we are outside when he comes by and
those days his song stays within him as
he hangs his head,
trying not to be seen.
eventually i catch his eye,
glancing up from under shaggy hair behind which he hides and
i smile and he,
he half smiles back.

three years.
not one word.
until the day comes when we are outside and
he is quietly stealing by and
moses sees him and yells hello and
begs me to talk to the boy.
and so i speak words three years in the making,
"you have a wonderful voice."

boy freezes,
taken aback.
slowly he turns and whispers,
"what?" and i,  i rephrase my words,
"I hear you sing. You have such a great voice."

And his face lights up, stuttered words come out of him.
"Thank you! Wow, really? Thank you,
you have no idea how much that means. Do you really think so?"

"Oh yes. Truly. Where do you sing?"

Still beaming, boy with amazing opera voice looks down,
"Nowhere. No. I don't sing for anyone, just here,
just myself."

And then he looks, pleading
at me.
"Do you really think so? Think I am good?"

My eyes bore straight into his,
words chosen careful to speak truth, life.
"You are amazing. Definitely pursue it. Don't doubt.
you have quite the talent."

With smile ocean wide and skip to his step, boy whispers,
"thank you so much. So much."

He continues on his way, head held higher and we
watch him go, pearl waving and yelling "bye bye!"
I think of his face, his body's reaction to being affirmed and
I breathe deep, knowing this boy,
this bearer of talent hidden in snow
was somehow, by few words shared on cracked sidewalk,
given something his soul was in such
desperate need of.

I don't know where he will go in life or
how he will use his beautiful talent,
but my prayer is those words of affirmation he received
will stay with him, giving him confidence
to pursue dreams.
Because that's something we could all use...
confidence to pursue dreams.



to talk about america

so over a year ago i wrote a post and there was some debate and
because i have a hard time with people being mean to me,
i deleted it.
then i wrote this post explaining it.
but since it's the fourth of july and i have grown so much this past year,
i can handle negativity now,
i am going to repost the original...

so my husband caused a bunch of controversy and
made a bunch of people angry on facebook and so
i figured i might as well share here what was so controversial and
scare off those readers who will dislike me after this...
{although i hope you don't dislike me.  i hope
you hear me}

this is what he wrote:
"i am having a hard time understanding how patriotism is not idolatry."

and see, i am too.

because Christ calls us to be in this world,
but not a part of it.
but for some reason, the american christian church
feels that being patriotic and
wanting God to bless america
is {choose one} biblical, right, good, just.
and yet,
when i read the Bible,
and when i seek to know Him and His ways,
i see the exact opposite.
yet so many christians act like
you must be a patriot to be christian,
taking pride in one's country is just that...

now don't get me wrong.
i love the place that i live.
i am so grateful to live in a land where we are
relatively free,
at least compared to many places and
where i can worship God without fear.
it is breathtakingly beautiful here and
our needs are met {thanks be to God}
and i thank God for this land daily.
that being said,
i do not think God cares more for our country than others,
i think He has blessed us with a large majority of the earth's resources
for a reason;
not for our comfort or
our physical well being,
not so that we can use them all for ourselves,
and not so that we can take pride in where we live
{in fact, the very fact that we have so many resources and
we continue to buy more and bigger and better
and keep accumulating
yet most of the world is in poverty should
make us hide our faces in shame,
not take pride in a land}
i do not think that saluting a flag or
singing praises to a country makes any sense.
when i see christians waving american flags,
i try to imagine Christ doing the same...
and the picture makes me laugh because,
it's so absurd.
our loyalties should lie with Christ,
not a country.
what has being a patriot ever done for God's kingdom?

a flag is just a piece of fabric.

you don't have to say anything
{believe me, i have been told by many
in my christian family that i am sinning}
there, i've said it.
i don't vote.
as i said,
my loyalties are in Christ,
and all authority is ordained by Him...
i trust Him.
i don't need to put my 2 cents in on who
i want to be in authority.
it doesn't matter.

God loves the world.
not just america.
not just republicans.
not just patriots.
the world.
and my identity will be in Him alone,
not in america.


to take it slow and say hello

sorry it's been quiet here.
we have been escaping away to the beach quite often,
running from heat i cannot handle.
we have also had some changes around this place.
the camera has sat idle for a bit,
my brain has been taking in but not putting much out.
and so,
i don't have much to offer you,
just this quick hello.

hope you are enjoying a beautiful, slow summer.