perfect theme?

perfect theme?

Doesn’t exist.

Nor does the perfect content to my posts. Autumn is here…my favorite time to write, and I want to bring it on. I want to write, to enjoy it. I want to take pictures of the lovely things in my life and write about the fun, the growth, the laughter…the hard times as well as the soft. That’s what I’ve always been here for. If you read to follow, thanks. If you read to critique and tear down…why are you here?

12032036_1664661660444398_6785991100898456998_nI never called this place perfect, I called it mine. I invited anyone who wanted to follow my journey. Sometimes I wish I was given the ability to lead, but I’m following as well. I wish I could see the future, but I can’t. Sometimes the further I get the more I find that I know less than I originally believed myself to have. Complicated sentence? I know.

Perfect theme? Doesn’t exist.

Here’s a video that I recently put on my Facebook wall. Each person in the video gives advice to anyone a year younger or so on life; it’s fantastic. The things large or small that at one stage seem so meaningful, at the next can be put so simply into a word that makes it all so plain. If this post truly makes no sense about there being no perfect theme, if in your mind that honestly connects to nothing, please come back to my url tomorrow or the tomorrow after that to read again. There are four children and two adults in our house, there’s always something to learn. I have one promise to make: we’ll never be perfect. But we’ll be sure to have a few laughs, share a few moments of grief and walk on before it’s all done. As long as there is a tomorrow, I’ll be back with a word on yesterday and a reason to be here for the day after that.

WireTap: How to Age Gracefully

CBC Radio's WireTap is saying farewell. In this special video message, people of all ages offer words of wisdom to their younger counterparts.

Posted by CBC Radio on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

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Looking to the Skies: Lunar

Looking to the Skies: Lunar

Gen 1:14

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

2015-09-27 19.58.12How fun to see the beautiful eclipse tonight! The next time the moon looks like this will be 2033. What will we be doing then? I imagine what the kids will be up to those years from now, how their dynamics will strengthen as their interests develop…well, I hope that’s how it goes: that they grow closer, not further apart.

The truth here really, is that we’re not just looking up to see the really awesome lunar eclipse tonight; we’re recognizing God’s beautiful creation. At the moment I wasn’t thinking about that, but as I turned back to my clean up that remained from a hasty morning I reflected on the maker of all of this. He ordains the times and the seasons, knowing before we even see for ourselves the magnitude of what he has in store. Even when situations feel heavy, how wonderful it is to know that this Creator sees the beginning, middle and end all at once and with that knows how everything will come even.

Tonight’s been a blessing. Fellowship with family this afternoon was a much needed uplifting experience, and as I close off with praise in my heart, I have a big hefty, “God’s got this” that’ll ride me through into Monday, and far beyond because he knows that journey towards 2033 is, I’m just to follow his guiding loving will day by day trusting and living in His peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:7).

Oh! Three more amazing sky scenes to mark down for 2015:


Our God is an awesome God!

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patchwork storms

patchwork storms

fe3a0b56e2705513ff11e7db9e985807I took the day off. Yes. Of course I saw my housework mounting around me, and knew I’d have to come to it. I couldn’t come write about treasuring babyhood moments, since those are passed by.

There’s sadness and moving forward happening in my heart that was an uninvited whirlwind. Right now I’m soaking up the fact that it’s arrival and passing may take me a little bit to gather, and tuck away of course.

Today I took the day off to reflect, grieve just a tad, and watch the rain outside my window. I took a picture of the moon rising, following the gorgeous late September sunset, while I sat and felt like a patchwork goose who had been taken into the game that she didn’t ask for. The grand scheme: the be a better stronger person, or that’s how I see it. A leader and a follower, perhaps a vigilant participant. Much like the game of Duck Duck Goose.

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Love Yourself

Love Yourself

1aec2dadfb83bd12a1eed74f2223f511There are so many ways I worry about messing up my kids. One of them that I need to keep as an active project is giving them a positive inner voice. How’s that my job and how is it done? By loving myself. When I am at peace in my own spirit, I can act with greater ease with a calm correction and admonition in my time with the kids.

Can you go a couple days without saying negative things about yourself? I’m going to give it a go. The more pleasant and comfortable I am with myself, the more so they will speak in a worthwhile way to themselves and (hopefully) their siblings and classmates.

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The girl who spoke

The girl who spoke
AJ and I, 2014

AJ and I, 2014

AJ’s language transcends all. She’s love, she’s passion, she’s good day, she’s bad day, she’s smiles, she’s frowns, she’s her own person complete with a vocabulary that is her own.

She’s give enough English for those looking for it. If you’re searching for a Ukrainian language in her, I imagine that could be found as well. There are enough words spoken clearly that the listener assumes she can carry on a cohesive conversation, shortly realizing that her words become a repeated series of sounds or that blends together to just express emotion and follow the gist of where she was going. She ends by shrugging and saying, “See?”

Usually her attention isn’t lost. She continues to “talk” if she’s happy she’ll jump up and down, maintaining eye contact and shouting out sounds of jubilance. If she’s putting on a face of grumpiness she’ll put on a pout frown, hands on hips in a fist and huff through her nose, maybe even stomp her foot. The doctor recommended saying in response to either behavior, “I don’t understand. Use your words” She laughs, blows a raspberry and walks off with a smile on her face. As if to say, well, whatever words you want to insert. She’s not a brat, not any negative word you might assign to a manipulative person, she’s just AJ. The doctor suggested that her siblings may be just talking for her, getting her what she wants, knowing her unspoken words and complying with requests unknown to adults. Not true.

AJ does everything for herself. Picking clothes, getting the milk out of the refrigerator for a drink or pushing a chair over to select a snack. She feeds the cats and rabbits, helps me weed the garden and can bring you anything, complete little chores and really participate in games age appropriate that have simple rules. There seems to be nothing wrong with her vision or hearing.

Click here for my post about Abegayle’s birth. At meetings to evaluate children’s development they always ask about the birth and pregnancy. The answer on this fourth child, fifth pregnancy is, Normal. It was great. Painful, awesome and not too long. I went in with a big crampy belly and came out with a little red faced squirmy bundle of joy…and a big tummy, but that’s OK. AJ is all joy, perfect middle name. We love her dearly, just how she is.

Of course, we wouldn’t mind if she’d talk, at least be able to say everyone’s names. The only one she can say clearly is mine, and tries for Deeder, calling him “D” she calls herself “Girl” and holds up two fingers when asked how old she is, saying “A” clear as day. Language development? Not quite there for 3 1/2.

What I said about her talk transcending all languages. She can run up to someone who has English As A Second Language, give them a big hug and kiss, followed by her gorgeous smile and that’s all it takes to be fast friends forever. There’s no way of topping that. She’s gorgeous, delightful and treasured.

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Shut Down

Shut Down

4267415ae86deff0b4aec24e4b39b00dIt’s no secret to me that I am pretty useless with housework and writing when I’m a little sleepy. While that’s so, there are times that I just cannot get myself to shut down for one reason or another. Last night was one such occasion.

Anyone who would make good company wasn’t available to talk, taking advantage of sleeping hours as they ought!! Preparations were in place in full for the children’s morning to work smoothly which includes lunches made, clothing set out, and home backpacks and shoes in line ready to grab when the “time to go!” timer sounds off.

The kids had all showered and were in bed on time and in their appropriate sleeping spots, but for some reason I couldn’t turn my mind off.

I read blogs, wrote a few posts on my own site and of course scrolled through social media outlets as well, by the time I could finally wind down I had only 4 hours left to sleep, which today ended up being OK.

I didn’t get all I wanted to do complete but she had a good attitude, plenty of smiles and that’s what it takes to launch kids into a wonderful day.

The children all told of having good days and did what work I know them to have, ate on time and showered. Together we packed lunches and picked out clothing for tomorrow. Why do they get to sleep but I don’t.

My youngest and I went to the park after I walked over to preschool to get her…having 3 1/2 hours between her school getting out and the children returning home from school, we have plenty time to spend our time just enjoying each other’s company. God is good.
Things are going so well with our beautiful little family, that I feel sure that something’s going down soon.

c94a79a953a0dec6ada2637da61d3be7Every night as they’re drifting to sleep I go to Jesus in a silent prayer asking for the children’s safety in the next day and through their slumber. The eleventh day of school has now come and gone, and they’re all fine.

It’s about developing a reasonable schedule at this point, but what kind of mom am I am if I can’t manage to quiet my own mind. Succumbing to sleep is a moment of love, no matter the stress of yesterday, today and the considerable probability of tomorrow, there’s a comfort from somewhere that someone (probably God) cares more than time or space can measure.

Then it’s fair to shut down.

With the children in school now, there’s no extra eyes around to see whether I’m moving along through my chores or being the mommy who hurries to have them done just before meal and organized by night time routine.

How strange that was when school first started! Now I’m beginning to allow myself the pleasure of soaking in the solitude, which I really haven’t savored since…well, before children.

I’m so blessed. Two girls and two boys, four full term pregnancies total, all born in the span of ten years of marriage. Forever I’ll remember and yes, celebrate, the life of the child that I lost, written about in Death before Birth. My story is a beautiful one, that I’m so thankful to be part of.

Each moment, I’m just full of gratitude for the wonderful journey that I get to be such a participant in. Tomorrow’s another chance to enjoy my blessings in all their unique splendor.

I can rest, not being consumed with thoughts of tomorrow.

Time to shut up and shut down!

Oh. Bible verse.


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Day 10

Day 10


Open house. My kids got to show parents around classrooms that they are just starting to know as their own. This is a pretty special time each year, a difficult day however as I have to trust the children to be respectful of each other to sit through the individual teacher’s presentations before looking through their classrooms.

This year Deeder’s room is on the opposite side of the school than Willie and Cath’s class, so my mom had to come along with the 2nd and 3rd grade information pieces being at the same time.

In the midst of that we also have to find opportunity to get to the gym where there is icecream set out for the students and guardians prepared by the PTA. Each year one of my kids has a behavior issue, usually the youngest. This year I was a bit taken aback.

ffc5103a372bbc65bee2c692ff661c9aOur big house lesson lately has been Don’t Compete with Others, Compete with Your Own Skill Level, and it was exactly that which broke out everyone’s nerves and resulted in two children getting disciplined.
I did feel myself being watched as my frustration level built. These kids are old enough to be respectful, and I know they are in class as I’ve seen them. This is something that I have a hard time dealing with and find myself only knowing where to go as a parent into the way I was treated as a child, which is difficult, and I’m not sure what a difference I’m making.

Their pride in their own classrooms is lovely, but one child in particular showed disrespect for the other children’s rooms. How I’m to teach that child kindness is a challenge.
It’s one that I have been really complimenting for neat work. I tried telling her that I’m not saying that she’s doing well, meaning better than those around her but rather in measurement against herself from last school year.

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Up in the Air

Up in the Air

AJ and Willie in the back yard

AJ and Willie in the back yard

It is not the fanciest back yard on the block, but it’s ours.

In the corner there’s a rabbit cage and run in which we have our two Flemish giant rabbits, Waldo and Billy Jo, who we brought home when they were a year or just under shortly after moving to WA which would make them 6 to 7 years old.
The tarp seen in this picture has been up this summer to give our bunnies shade during the hot days.

In the middle of the yard is a swing set, fastened together by Darren, and hoisted up by himself and my dad earlier this year–it stands close by a play structure that was given to us by a church family whose boys had outgrown it.

On the other side of the swing set is a modest garden bed that I’ve only planted once or twice, this year we’ve used it as a fire pit for roasting marshmallows. Nothing fancy has happened back there–no grand expenses have been taken, but each bit has been us.

We usually get a knee deep pool for the kids to splash around in, turn on the sprinkler for them to enjoy running through or set up some sort of slip n slide. This year that was done very limited, and to their disappointment, no new pool was purchased–th reason being the lack of rain primarily, making the fun splash around stuff seem wasteful.

In the last week rain has come, and with that green’s returned to our basic backyard. Here’s a little photo sequence of Willie practicing his sweet pumping skills.

Up up and away!

Up up and away!

My favorite bit of writing about little experiences between the kids is to grab videos of their time together. I tried capturing this one, but found myself distracted by the half completed mowing job and squeaky swing (which returned to normal as soon as the video was concluded)

Willie is far from being able to really get this swing going high up, all the same, I’m reminded of one of my favorite childhood poems, The Swing, which was written by Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside–

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown–
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

It may be awhile before Willie’s swinging so well that he feels the wind in his hair and envision that his hair flows when he cruises high, but I know the day will come. :)

He has a lot to look forward to, including…well, just about everything.

Willie’s eager and up to learning about the world around him. When he decides to do a good job, he really does apply himself and take ownership over the project–leveling obstacles.

As a child, I loved the sensation of going up and down on the big swings at the park just feeling like my toes could touch the tops of the trees. Good times!

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Kid Free Out for Breakfast

Kid Free Out for Breakfast
out for breakfast!

out for breakfast!

Children are one of the greatest blessings ever that you could have, but it’s also pretty great to get some time out together with them occupied elsewhere. Thanks for the oldest three being in elementary school and our youngest in preschool this past Tuesday, my husband and I were able to get in that breakfast out.

After dropping AJ off at preschool we grabbed a coffee and went walking down by the river, which is pretty much little more than a rock bed with the dry weather we’ve had over the summer in this part of the country.






brown grass in WA. squinty smiles in the sunshine.

brown grass in WA. squinty smiles in the sunshine.

After breakfast we walked down to the jewelers’ where I originally looked for wedding bands when I first accepted Darren’s wedding proposal a few years back, this time hoping to find a ring for me to commemorate ten years together. There was a lady ahead of us taking all the sales representatives time, so we were just able to look not try anything on.
Last night Darren surprised me by bringing home a ring similar to the one that I had admired on our morning together.

Thanks, hun, for taking the time. A precious memory. :)

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What Are You Tonight?

What Are You Tonight?

12011297_880279688735521_3697916754579104449_nSometimes I gather a few photos and a quote early in the day and fix those under a title and press “Save Draft” counting on myself to remember the words that fit in between by the time I’m done with my day’s work around the house, shut down life and really just I guess have grown that mood to be richer than how it first started out. A good chance though rests in the reality that it was a fleeting moment of awesomeness that I can’t grab hold of again. I’ll save it in draft anyway, since I do remember the idea, I just don’t want to do it unjustice by putting the words in emptily–maybe even up to a couple years later it’ll be a space to fill nicely. Could happen. Drafts don’t expire.

Facebook killed blogging for me for a good long while, and I try to push that away. Even if it means I put trash like this out–freestyle sit down and type from scratch.

See this picture? I want to write a blog post about how my son swinging reminded me of a favorite childhood poem, the bit would include something about his daddy putting up the swing and about how we’re growing as a family here, just as the little girl in the poem sours up up, but I can’t get there. It’s a fantastic post, even with a video. :)

DSCN1006What are you tonight? School routine is just tipping out of the honeymoon stage as homework reality is starting to come in a bit. I have one child who is quite excited and showing really nice work, although today hers wasn’t quite as neat as she wanted. My youngest is thrilled for her second day of preschool. I know this will be all about me keeping my hype up about school being fun and important.

I understand that what I do is just such a small taste of the bigger picture. Tonight is tonight. I’m tired. Tomorrow, please be special, tonight’s not perfect. Good article that crossed my newsfeed: 5 Trends Christians Millennials Must To Stop Doing. I just skimmed through it, like someone who is put in front of an incredibly healthy meal that they know they should eat but feel like they might not particularly fancy the seasonings. This is an article that I’ll certainly be coming back to. The powerful thing about the public nature of the internet is that your words are out there, no matter the mood of the audience. If it’s really good stuff, they’ll come back. Words aren’t wasted. Good writing holds fast.

What are you tonight? I want to be a quality person who can write about a little kid on a swing.

Have you ever thought about your words with children…sometimes, the moment is best spent without words from the guardian. I often look back at the moment and think the best gift I could have given would have been a listening ear, rather than lecturing lips. I owed the child on the swing that today.

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Cat Man

Cat Man

DSCN1000DSCN0999DSCN0998Have you ever noticed that when a guy (or girl) doesn’t want to hold a cat, said cat seems to want to do everything possible to get near that individual. So is the case for my wonderful husband who has some sort of allergy to fleas.

Our two cats, Tony and Norman are just the perfect picks for our family, except the flea thing, which of course is treatable, but you know…dang expensive. Our first kitty came completely flea infested–we bathed him every day until he was old enough to be treated, perhaps that’s what caused the strong bond.

There’s an interesting story on how Tony came to be part of our family.
It was back when AJ would let me put her in the stroller and go for walks the length of which I could decide (an era long gone). I’d dropped Willie off at preschool and for some reason decided to go up the hill towards my parents house, despite knowing that no one would be home. It’s just a nice walk and had been a beautiful day, that Tuesday afternoon in May.

10409771_10154292812535425_1791237982008525763_nAnyway, along the windy pretty much one lane road that would lead toward their street I headed. Before long, as we passed the long succumbed to blackberry bushes apple orchard, across the street under a tree in front of a two story brick house were a cat and several kittens.
A man nearby looked us over as we slowed and said, “Hey there, Miss, you wanna kitten?” I said that I’d come over to look, noticing that AJ had fallen asleep.

The kittens were so cute!! And old enough to go to homes, I estimated them to be about ten weeks old.

home with AJ

home with AJ

It wasn’t hard at all to see that they had mites in their ears, a couple had entirely black inside their ears and quite possibly had worms as well. I asked where the litter had been born. He gestured to behind the house and said, “back there, ma’am, under one of ’em trailers. I rent one of ’em back there.” Pointing to the brick house he continued to explain that, “This ain’t my house.”

Any reasonable person would have gotten up then and thanked the gruff looking kind hearted man for his time and moved along, but I’m not a reasonable person. I’m a person who remembers her mother letting her bring home a mite and flea infested white male kitten who turned out to be the best kitten in the world by my 7 year old standards.

10440959_10154292812665425_7930921237325673505_nI asked this man if he had any way for me to bring a kitten home. His grin got really big and he said, “Sure thing, pretty. I betcha I got a box in the dumpster in the back. Got a minute, wait right there, please.” I did wait.

It’s been over a year. I hope his litter mates are OK. He’s grown into his adorable big paws and is a little too chubby, but such a sweetheart. Our lives just wouldn’t be the same without him. Well worth the price of flea medicine? I think so.

Darren talks about his precious childhood cat living double life expectancy. May our sweet kitties live so long. With good care and plenty of love perhaps they will. Thanks for being part of our family, Tony, this really was meant to be.

Willie hoping we can keep Tony!

Willie hoping we can keep Tony!

I had no kitten supplies at home, as there hadn’t been any plan to acquire a cat at all. It would soon be time to pick up Willie.

10441264_10154292812775425_6645306066461484093_nI quickly got Tony home in the box that the man had given me from his dumpster and when home set up a doggie pen that I had purchased when we got our rabbits, Waldo and Billy Jo back when Deeder and Cath were toddlers.

I then went off to get Willie from preschool telling him that we had to walk over to the feed store for, “some stuff” there we purchased a starter set which included a cat food and water bowl and litter pan. We bought a bag of kitten food and litter and got home as fast as our legs could carry us. The sweet little kitty was sleeping when we got home.

10409026_10154429912930425_4130011533005934104_nWhen AJ woke and the bus arrived with the oldest two Tony was absolutely at home, as if this were the place he’d been born.

We were all just absolutely in love, and worried that Daddy’d say we weren’t ready and that the kitten had to go.

Of course that was far from what happened. When he got home he saw the little guy curled up with really what looked like a sweet smile on those little kitten lips. This was home, and still is.

Norman, however, also here very much forever, was quite planned! I fell in love with her through her picture over Facebook and secretly planned to have her brought to my house. She’s so precious, and adored by our whole family. This post is full of pictures of kitten Tony, starting out with pictures of big cat Tony.

Another day we’ll have pictures of sweetpie Normy and how she came to be our little girl.


Have any of my readers noticed that the Bible pretty much has something to say about everything under the sun? Even on the subject of loving our animals!

A righteous man cares about his animal’s health,

but even the merciful acts of the wicked are cruel. Pro 12:10

Moral of the story, that in consideration, is that we sure better keep up on taking care of our kitty-cats, bunnies, and … well…we’re still hoping for a dog, and telling the children what a, “big responsibility puppies are.”

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The End of The First Week

The End of The First Week

Willie's first day!Isn’t that face just a beam of sunshine? But wait! There’s a super shaky video to go along with. Woopteedoo!! This video is so shaky, that I extend the same caution as looking directly into the sun: don’t stair for too long or your eyes may dry out. Thankfully it’s only a few second long clip. I have no idea what my problem is, other than that I recall AJ grabbing my leg the whole while.
I hoped to get an adorable quote the first day of school, and write it down to treasure forever. I got even better: a blurry picture of my little boy jumping between the hedge shrubs with the biggest silly smile on his face.
The source of his glee? Oh, just that he’s now part of the big kids club. Membership requirement by his perception: riding the bus up the hill and back down with a backpack on, well there’s a lot in the middle, but what excitement experiencing that beginning and end to the first day of Kindergarten.

Willie’s answer to what his favorite subject was: “It was outside P.E. That’s the P.E where all the kids are playing around and Deeder teaches me how to play Four Square!!” In other words, my oldest was the good boy I told him to be by INCLUDING his kid brother in that FAVORITE game. That’s not P.E class, that’s recess. School staff isn’t out there hovering over my 3rd grader to make sure he’s including his Kindergartener brother, they may not even know the two are relatives. Could this be brotherly love?

I look forward to starting my volunteer time and watching the two out there, they also have lunch period together.
No, I didn’t hit up Willie’s answer, “I like outside P.E” by correcting him that this was called recess and define for him the difference. He has so much time ahead of him that I just am hoping that he’ll go along to love every day.

Oh! That pretty little lady who gets off the bus with Willie asking me why I’m taking pictures? Yeah, she gets last recess with him and begrudgingly informed me that they don’t get to eat lunch together.

Willie’s big sister has gorgeous writing as of this week, by the way. She’s told me that this year she’s going to be really good at writing and reading. Sounds like a wonderful start to me, perhaps she can teach me a thing or two!

As for today: It’s Friday, Friday night to be exact. The last day of an almost entire week of school for my sweet school people. Willie is accustomed to twice a week, not even half day, preschool. Time for some sleep.

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DSCN0996My heart has been excited for September 10th 2015 since September 10th 2005. Because it marks double digit anniversary with Darren. I couldn’t stop smiling that day. There was no appointment for a spray tan, plans to sit in a salon chair and have curlers in my hair or get my nails done. There’d been no painful exercise regimen gone through over the period of weeks that had made up my engagement. The dress that I bought through an Ebay seller for our day was gorgeous beyond measure in my eyes and went wonderfully with my sequin flip flops from Payless that I’d found (and still have to this day) the sun was shining and the sky was blue with hardly a cloud in sight.

Since we’re Christians I absolutely love tying Bible verses through our marriage, and I think Darren does as well.
He bought me a little wood cut out that says, “Love is patient…Love is kind…Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13. It’s shabby chic style, and the word above the those stenciled on pieces of 1 Cor is LOVE all cute and quilty. I’ll keep in in my office window sill or on my tea shelf next to my main desk.

Anniversaries are a terrific opportunity to reflect, be they anniversaries of jobs, home purchases, or in this case, marriage.
All the glory is to God, all the thankfulness for the blessings and just everything that has made us a stronger unit is His doing and worthy of praise. Everyone accustomed to Christianity knows that words, Husbands loves your wives/wives submit to your husbands.

This year my scripture meditation is Proverbs 18:22.

The man who finds a wife finds a treasure,
and he receives favor from the LORD.

As I celebrate TEN I don’t celebrate perfection. I celebrate being called a gift from the Lord, which is what I hope you do, reader, as you move through life and commemorate what the Lord has brought you to and through. Another time in scripture that God says that you’re a treasure even before you’ve done a thing is when you’re conceived and born, that’s what Psalm 127:3 says.

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

No matter who you are, whatever stage you’re in, know that you are worth being celebrated. Loving yourself at anniversary, be it 5 or 55, is part of honoring your marriage vows, believe it or not. If you aren’t appreciating who God made you, how can you honor and love the one that the perfect Heavenly Father has placed in your arms?

Honor her or him, with your whole heart. Treasure the moment, capture not just ever year, but take each, not knowing how the next will be.
Tonight, as I sat at dinner with my husband of ten years, I wasn’t excusively thankful for celebrating this monumental moment, I had more. Tonight I didn’t need a lot of words, or big huge smiles. What I needed was mutual appreciation, and we have that. I love the team that Darren and I are together as parents and partners under Christ’s headship.

DSCN0992Two lives coming together to make kids and a story together is huge. This is indeed a precious thing, thought of as common maybe, but to me, prized that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Yes, we can grow.

But God’s word says that this is already a good thing, before growth has been made or a check list of annoying behaviors minimized. I’m prized, I’m love by my Creator and that makes me even that much more able to treasure now, to love yesterdays and to be so eager to celebrate more and more of these anniversaries.
May the moments, days, months and years pile up. Many moments yet to be experienced, memories to be made, and photos to be taken.

Speaking of photos taken, the flowers above are from the flower shop owned and operated by the wonderful woman who did the flowers for our wedding, ten years ago. She’s been arranging flowers for weddings now on to 30 years. I know I took a picture of Cheryl Jackson with these flowers that Darren bought for me today, but I sure can’t find that photo right now! Anyway, I’ll add it if I do.

Congratulations, dear Darren, on 10 years. I love you and am so happy to be by your side. And to anyone else out there celebrating, God bless you as well.

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AJ’s first day!

AJ’s first day!

DSCN0970She went from grumpy face to happy girl, which equals good teachers and fun year ahead!

We’re blessed to live between walking/short drive distance between two amazing preschools both of which we’ve enjoyed over the years of having preschool age children, today began the first day of AJ’s first year.

Here’s her at pick up time.

And other pictures, including snack at the gas station afterwards with Daddy.

washing hands on arrival

washing hands on arrival

Early morning activity

Early morning activity

This is a special day tradition with each child: snack at the gas station with Daddy.

This is a special day tradition with each child: snack at the gas station with Daddy.

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Coming, baby girl!

Coming, baby girl!

Her name is Callie.

callieShe’s cuter than any button that you ever could buy. She’s quite possibly in an orphanage, signed by her biological mother to be available for international adoption because of a deep rooted superstition that Down Syndrome is a sign of the parents confirmation of a place reserved in perpetual darkness in the afterlife. Can you imagine? Yes. You can. You’ve experienced devastating fear, gripping pain and complete aloneness over something. It doesn’t have to be over a child. It could be over a part lost in a play because you got food poisoning and can’t be there for the audition that you believe might turn your life around, thus giving that chance to someone who you believe absolutely doesn’t deserve it. Maybe the favorite color of lipstick you’ve always worn has been discontinued or a finals test that makes or breaks your desired career doesn’t work out, missing by just one question that you think of the moment after you have no second chance. That’s devastation. That’s the moment that you’ll cry inside, at least a part of, for what in that moment seems like a forever.

Callie’s birth mom? She may have dreamed of a, “perfect child” endured a hard delivery, bordered on the brink of death, carried through only by the love of a child that she’d bonded with over nine months of inside butterflies that turned to little kicks and caused her uterus to swell and that magic moment of delivery. After painful moments that turned into hours she held what initially appeared to be a perfect baby, perhaps she was told by her grandmother standing nearby that this baby looked like a family.

Very little information is given about “Callie” but easily we can imagine that isn’t wasn’t long after bringing this little girl home, her mother began to notice that her baby was unique in some incredibly undesirable ways. Perhaps it was that she was floppy, or maybe it was her flatter facial features as she progressed through that six week period in which babies begin to really look as they will as children and adults. Callie’s mother would doubtlessly been taught that Down Syndrome would shame her family. Her daughter either could be hidden forever, or institutionalized before word even got out that a child had been born. Judging by Callie’s young age, it looks like the second option was taken.

If you’ve read articles of advocating for fundraising of adoption from other countries you’ll hear about heartless abandonment. As a mother of four young children I refuse to write with that tone unless I explicitly read in a government document file translated into English by a social worker in that country that the child was found in a plastic bag near a drainage pipe or obvious form of disregard for life. Look at our society. Woman of all ages and across all levels of society and education are scared out of going full term in their pregnancy finding birth defect in their child in utero. While their child probably is not based on a fear of their place in the afterlife, it’s a life changing choice. Some of these woman come forward to write their story of guilt–of how they wish a million times over that they could take that moment back.

This is a post of hope.

Coming, baby girl.

Callie's familyThere is a family in Washington state that sees perfection. They’ve prayed and looked to the Lord for guidance. They believe that they’ve heard a resounding, “Yes” from the Lord and savior who says of Callie, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Wonderfully made. This beautiful girl is gorgeous in the eye of GOD. She’s made in perfection, she’s strong, she’s a testimony of his magnificent will and her life is a gift.

When Callie’s mom signed a form saying that this precious girl could travel overseas she granted the Henry family a chance to know and raise this precious child of God to His glory for as long as she shall live. I plan to continue to write about her story as it develops, bringing you the opportunity to help bring her home.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psa 139:14

This family is Jacqueline and Michael Henry along with their children Rhianon (16 and born in Ukraine), Tyler age 10 and sweet little Pyper is 3 who is soon to be a big sister.

Adoption from Callie’s country where soon-to-be big sister Rhianon was also born and grew up for a number of years, can easily be under a year from beginning to completion of process to the USA. Which means, if all goes smoothly, this baby could be celebrating her birthday a little late as a Henry in Washington state. Can you imagine? Yes, you can, because at some point in your life you had an opportunity that blew you away. A chance that changed your life, that came so unexpectedly that could have been yesterday or many years back that just turned everything around. Maybe, maybe even adoption.

Here is a little more about the Henry family.

Mama and Daddy:

They were first loves. Jaqueline attests to loving Michael from age 14. The two love birds have been married since 1983, considering themselves together for 37 years. How magnificent!

Michael is manager at a Napa store, while Jaqueline stays at home with their children as a full time mother, feeling that there is room in her heart and home for little Callie who they will give a new name upon her arrival.

b459750dc1f1affe6d28860b457e67c4Fundraisers tentatively planned.
An auction to launch in October. It will have teas from my online store that I already have in stalk at home and will personally ship. The auction will also have Pampered Chef products from Jaqueline’s direct sales line. We’ll have coats and baby hats available as well. Everything will have a base bid that includes shipping costs and run for two weeks.

We also want to have a shoe fundraiser and have details forth coming.

For Callie, being a child with special needs we’d like to honor her in a Super Hero Cape Fundraiser. Please click those words to learn about how that works. A date has yet to be picked, we’re open to the idea of having it open through the whole of this process as it’s a wonderful way to bring awareness.

Current financial needs. There is no mercy with adoption waiting periods. When it’s time to pay, it’s time to pay. Good intentions don’t win the race. Here’s what the Henry family is up against right now: The complete charge for commitment, $500, which will closely be followed by the $1500 for the homestudy, which is a social worker coming in to check out the Henry’s home for safety and preparedness to give proper care for a baby, showing that they have space and facilities to have a child of Callie’s age. If you’re interested in contributing the beginning of this journey, please visit Gofundme through this link: Adopting Down Syndrome Pureness

As I’ve been writing this piece I’ve been in conversation with the wonderful woman who God has give then heart to be Callie’s mother. She welcomes questions from you as well, my reader. Please reach Jacqueline through her email:
or the regularly checked address:

Again, congratulations to the Henry family and many blessings as they follow God’s bidding to travel overseas to gain a daughter.

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fridayEveryone loves Fridays. But this one’s special. Why?

Because. “Homework will begin the first full week of school.”
Our district began classes for the 2015/16 year on Tuesday for 1st thru 5th, and Kindergarten will start on the 8th, next Tuesday, which will include my Willie, at which point things REALLY will be real for me. Deeder and Cath will be bringing home a pack of homework and are each to read for a period of time per night.
Last night was the first night that the children were asleep without complaint at the real bedtime that I want, I was so amazed I didn’t know what to do with myself. I paced around the house for a bit then lay down in bed, a few hours too early causing myself to want to be up at 4:30 in the morning. Incredibly, the children didn’t wake at 4am, in fact, they slept until I woke them at 7:30.

If you’re a parent trudging through those first months with an infant, years from school yet, liken this to what you’re going through. I’m as excited as you are to have feeding every two to three hours at night extend to waking, “only once or twice at night” Getting the right amount of sleep is a big deal. If this post is super boring, I’m super sorry but this what’s exciting right now!

The challenge now is to keep calm and consistent through the weekend. Get to bed on time as if school were tomorrow. Maybe I can hold off on them showing up groggy and dreary eyed on a Monday til college when it’s their own fault? Hopefully with good rest and maybe some healthy food, they’ll be on their way to a good second and third grade year.

I mentioned Willie starting Kindergarten on Tuesday, right? Maybe I can make being Child Number Three not so hard on him and treat him right as well. One day at a time. I’ll be sure to count everyone as they leave, come home, eat, do their homework, clean up, etc. And poor AJ at #4. We’ll get this, kids.

PicMonkey Collage

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First Days

First Days

10321510_10155786416500425_1869342511928047000_oThis doll, my darling AJ, youngest of four had her first visit to preschool this morning! Guess what. Mama’s camera is…OUT OF BATTERIES. It’s true. Have I always missed first day pictures? My son Deeder and his sweet sister Cath had their first day of elementary school today as well–again, did I mention no batteries?! I hope so, because I feel horrible about failing in this aspect. Of course, what I’m going to do is get a refill and take pictures of them with their backpacks on and take a line up picture on Willie’s first day, which is also AJ’s official first day of Preschool. That’ll work. Perhaps I’ll get lucky enough to get a little video of them singing a new song or talking about their favorite subject.

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Willie’s “Creation of Food”

Willie’s “Creation of Food”

DSCN0927My second son loves arranging things in an artistic form and asking for a photo to be taken. Actually as I’m writing this, I’m wondering if his vegetable sandwich introduction photos ought to be combined with the seaweed wrap instruction video that he had me make this past Tuesday. What do you think, reader?

DSCN0930Yesterday afternoon he did something new: cut up fruit and vegetables, butter some bread and stick it all together in a structure that he imagined when he saw the food for free at church. Darren was originally not going to let Willie pick some up, think that we ought to leave some for other members, but when I pointed out the vast amount available he changed his mild and let this little guy grab a bag and make a selection.

DSCN0929Willie took two bushels of grapes, one small cucumber, 5 cherry tomatoes, touched the summer squash but decided, “My car wont need those.” I found it quite marvelous how in one second he could go from crying on the church lawn to walking back into the church in quiet order, picking out a bag and selecting a bag with an idea on what his project would be.

Cath and AJ also picked out grapes, choosing between purple and green, which they snacked on during our commute home, and promptly put in the refrigerator on our arrival home. They planned to share at dinner with our meal and perhaps share the bounty with our pet rabbits the following morning if any of the sweet treats remain.

We do have a, “You make it, you eat it.” rule applying to edible stuff like honey on tuna, as a terrific example.
DSCN0931While I don’t flaunt that before a project such as this starts, I do remind once they’re letting me know that the final touches are coming on, or when a combo is announced that I’m pretty sure they’re unlikely to practically desire.
Food isn’t just for fun, it’s for eating–in a perfect world the two shall meet.
Here’s my gorgeous guy and again, his food that was consumed in full.

Also, that seaweed post will be coming up super soon.

Oh! Happy Monday. AND. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my wonderful youngest sister, and one of our favorite aunties. Thanks for all that you do and for blessing so many people. May you have an amazing year.

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Windy Wonders

Windy Wonders

DSCN0922We got an unrequested media cleanse yesterday afternoon extending into the evening, through the night, morning and had no power until our return home from church this Sunday afternoon.
Saturday I thought it’d be fun to go outside have them dance around and take some pictures.

DSCN0919Of course they didn’t want to be within my scope of vision at the same time so ended up forming a weird only-because-you-say-so style line up, but then a big ball blew into the yard and livened things up a bit while my battery was dying. At least I captured some moments of glee on their faces, you can see the fun spunk in these small people in a few frames here.

DSCN0918 This one has to stay, because Deeder thought he ought to “hide behind this branch” then he looked at his toes and said, “Whoa, I’m tall.” he laughed a little, tried sitting then followed my instruction to come out and be with the other kids. And is he ever right! This son of mine has really grown over the summer. Just 22 months between him and Cath, and he’s already so tall. Perhaps he’ll be tall like my brothers one day?

Deeder, Cath, Willie and AJ have not experienced a power outage of this length. They had to dress, eat, bathe and get to sleep without electricity. DSCN0920Turns out, getting to sleep without nightlights is just as scary as mama said it might be, huh, Cath? She was the only one who kept herself up long enough to experience fright for lack of light!
Entertaining themselves without electricity, what a good adventure! In theory they thought it’d be fun, but when that usual TV time would come around, or they would want to play a computer game, despite knowing that there was no power they would still try to click the power button a number of times.
We made it though. Darren and I were so surprised to make it out the door two minutes ahead of time this morning for church. I think that without the distractions of media, getting things done really comes quicker.

DSCN0923It’s 5pm. Right now we’d be competing with the natural light, racing to clean up our living spaces in order to not trip over things during sleep hours. We’d be in bed in one to two hours. (IT WAS AWESOME!)

The key to morning success was laying clothes out the night before, which we often do anyway, waking early, and just working fast. My dad came over to make coffee on his camp stove, how great is that, btw?? Thanks, Dad, I love you.

Now for the pictures of the ball that blew into our yard. The best one we’ve gotten yet. Every wind storm brings us one. I got a couple good snaps of this bad boy before the kids set him free. I tell the children that if they don’t release toys back into the wild that reach our yard, one of their things of equal value will mysteriously disappear. It’s the unwritten language of karma.

DSCN0924Thank you, God, for this media cleanse. We needed it.
Now to catch up on laundry and get back into our electricity dependent lifestyle.
Tomorrow: Open house at school for Willie, Cath, and Deeder. Onward and upward! A.J’s first day of Preschool will be a couple weeks into the other children’s first month of school. Darren and I have no doubt that she’ll have a fantastic time.

Willie’s rockin’ on to Kindergarten, Cath’s gunna jam right on through the 2nd grade, and we’re hoping that our dear Deeder’s going to really thrive in third grade. As for AJ: Just crossing our fingers that she picks up further language development than what she’s done at home, while at school. The teachers do a wonderful job, I know them both personally and admire their work.

Here’s that ball video clip:

(our grass is greener than this in the middle of winter. it’s been so unusually dry this season)

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