Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Lingering Question

Alarms went ignored.

Gentle words from a mother waking her child went ignored.

People slept too late, and there was such a frenzied rush to get out the door.

Pets went ignored.

Even the cries of a toddler wanting "up" went ignored.

When the mother's voice went ignored again and again, her voice got louder.

She hates to yell.

Doesn't realize she's doing it until the words, impatient & much too loud have been released into the world like a thunderstorm.

She thinks to herself that this is what she knows. This is what her mother did when she was little.

But she's a grown woman now. She can make her own choices, doesn't have to follow paths forged before her.

So why? Why does she still do it?

There is an answer, hanging in the back of her mind.

It scratches at the back of her skull like a rat scratches behind a wall.

It tells her that she's not good. She's full of sin and is letting that awful nature win the battle.

He forgives. She knows this. Her Father is full of Grace, and he forgives her.

But the damage is still done.

It puddles up, fills up the house and the home and the lives like rainwater filling a river.

And what if it's all her fault?

What if her bad habits broke the little one she loves so much?

What if the thing the doctor says in a few weeks is all her fault?

What if she caused the inattention, the behaviors, the trouble?

What if the tiny raindrops of her quick temper, her impatience, her loud words all piled up on the first who swelled her heart?

What if God blessed her with a beautiful son, as perfect as a human can be...

...and she ruined him with her own imperfections?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


...why wouldn't you put a bucket on your head and run around the house laughing hysterically?

Monday, August 16, 2010


Several months ago, I found a wonderful blog. Ann doesn't know me, and I only know her through her beautiful blog. I cannot explain it, but her words are incredibly calming to me. In a life full of anxiety, this comes as a blessing to me. I hope some day to be as quiet and strong in my faith as she is.

Ann started a Gratitude Community, and I've been contemplating joining for a while. A few weeks ago, I bought this:
And I started my journey in gratitude. Since then, I've tried to see at least five blessings each day. Things that make me smile; things that I find beautiful; things that give me peace; I am surrounded by God's love. The question is, can I see it?

I've been calling this my Blessing Book. It's an ongoing list of ongoing blessings. I liked the way Ann does her book. She makes it pretty with magazine pictures, pages from books, etc. I've been using magazines, pretty papers, stamps, watercolors, etc. in making cards & scrapbooking for years, so the idea of making each page special appealed to me.

Some of the pages are just pretty, and others have pictures of things that I love, things that make me smile, and even a few things that make me laugh... I guess I'm not quite so solemn with mine as she seems to be with hers.

You could say I'm counting my blessings.

I started my book by counting the three most significant blessings I have in my life. The three blessings I give thanks for with every single breath.

Here are a few other blessings I've counted:

15. The smell of just-cut grass

16. A hot, humid day that fades to a warm, comfortable evening

17. Warm cookies, baked with my boys

18. Eating three meals with my boys every day

19. Two year old tickles

20. A huge success for a seven-year-old who had almost given up

To see the multitude of blessings shared by others, visit A Holy Experience.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Projects, Preparation & Prayer

This week was our last before school starts. Tyson starts this Tuesday, and I got back to the ole grind last Wednesday.

Last week was a busy one. Here are just a few of the things it included:

~ A very hot trip to the St. Louis Zoo. (The heat index was 106 the day we went.)

~ Back to School shopping

~ An attempted trip to the art museum, which was closed that day.

~ A trip to a special doctor (more on that later; all is well)

~ Meet the Teacher Night

~ A sleepover at Nani & Popi's house (for Tyson, not for me)

~ Knit Night

~ Basement cleaning

~ Lots of laundry

~ BBQ chicken in the crock pot (who wants to stand over a grill when the heat index is 111? Not my husband!)

~ My first day of meetings,meetings, meetings

~ A significant and worrisome decline in the cleanliness & organization of our home.

I hope to continue to blog at least a couple of days a week throughout this school year. It's calming, centering & fun... and those are things I need to keep making time for this year.

I've got a few photos to share, and something new I've been doing for a while.

Mostly, I'm turning my attention to getting the house, schedule & family organized & ready for the insanity that is about to be unleashed over here at the purple brick road. I'm struggling with the place God has me in this season, my anxiety is flaring up like a four alarm library fire, and I caught the cold that Riley brought home (two days after starting back to preschool). If you have the chance, please pray for me, kind friend. I am utterly certain I cannot do this all by myself.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Garden Surprise

Weeds irritate me. I have a lot in my garden to be irritated about at the moment. I spend hours each week pulling, plucking (and occasionally cursing at... ahem) the weeds. If you've read this blog before, you might already know that last year when we expanded the garden, we bought top soil to fill it. We live on clay & rock, so the garden must be elevated a bit.

So, we bought the top soil. What the company delivered was local fill dirt. Disguised as "clean top soil." When it's dry it's hard as a rock. When it's wet it doesn't drain. And it came fully seeded with the stuff they use to make hay. Yay. Yay for hay? Notsomuch.

So, those weeds are pretty much the only thing that grows. And I spend lots of time fertilizing the stuff I want to grow, and exterminating the stuff I don't.

That said, occasionally a weed demonstrates such a strong will to live, that I have to leave it be. One in particular proved to be quite stubborn.

I picked it (but missed the root), and it grew back.

I poisoned it, and it grew a little tan-colored.

I yelled loudly at it, and I'm pretty sure it laughed at me.

I stepped on it, and it grew crooked.

Eventually, I was forced to be impressed with this little weed, and decided to respect its will to live.

So imagine my surprise when I came out the other day and found this on top of it:

It's lovely!

(And leaning...you know, from being stepped on a few weeks back.)

I think it must be some sort of rogue sunflower.

It has several more buds down the stem. Do you know what this is?

If you know what kind of weed flower this is, leave it in your comment.

I might be inclined to send a lovely surprise to anyone who helps me out...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

WFMW - A Fancy Breakfast

This breakfast has three main parts, all of which can be changed to suit the season & your family's tastes. It's a little more effort, so I usually save it for special occasions, or I make enough to quickly throw it together each day for a week.

Part One: Pancakes.
You can use your favorite scratch recipe (I use one I altered from my Betty Crocker cookbook - my version has no fat and whole wheat flour), box mix, frozen, or whatever you like best. You could also use waffles.

Part Two: Fruit salad.
I make mine fresh with whatever is in season. The one in the picture (below) included apples, oranges, fresh pineapple, blackberries & blueberries.

Part Three: Yogurt Sauce.
I blend together a banana and about a cup of yogurt. My kids also like a little honey in it. If you use banana, it won't keep very long in the fridge, so if you're planning to eat this another day, you might want to pick another fruit.

You are limited only by your own creativity. In the summer, I will sometimes use chopped fresh pineapple for the fruit & flavor the yogurt with a little coconut extract. We call this the Tropical Fancy Breakfast. In the winter I cut up bananas & pecans & flavor the yogurt with a little maple extract.

Anyway, warm up your pancake or waffle.
Top with fruit salad.
Pour a little yogurt sauce on top.

That's about it. Again, a recipe so simple you can hardly call it a recipe. My kids love it because it's tasty; I love it because it's actually healthy.

For more WFMW ideas, visit We Are THAT Family.

How Does your Garden Grow?

With lots of these:

cucumber flower

And a few of these:


Three of these:

And one of these:

And a happy surprise that I'll post more about later this week.

Monday, August 2, 2010