Category Archives: family life

No Fear Parenting

Not too long ago, just a few months in fact, a horse and young rider appeared through the woods in front of my house. The boy, just 10 years old, in his worn chaps, boots, and cowboy hat, tied the … Continue reading

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Mother, did you know?

I was blessed to spend Christmas Day with some wonderful and rare women, all mothers to me in one way or another. We talk about Mary on Christmas Day because of her special motherhood. I think on Christmas Day, perhaps … Continue reading

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Tooth Fairy: revisited

I’m on my last child to be losing front teeth. I just played tooth fairy a few minutes ago, and my 10 year old had to help me out. “Jo, do you have any money?” –and I added an apology, … Continue reading

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When they were young

I remember climbing up Misery Ridge with them that day, six years ago now. I don’t remember them being so little. Maybe it was a different time and my mind is playing tricks on me?

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In Fields of Grace

Jeté, échappé, a stag leap and a pirouette — I’m not a dancer but there was this moment of freedom and I danced a dance of worship. Being home alone without the cacophony of kids and their chatter and no … Continue reading

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Shrubs for Sale

These are my genius children: Dig up grass clumps from the back of the property, place them in pots, offer them for $1 each, and talk Dad into buying all of the beautiful shrubbery. #entrepreneurs (But Dad, for that dollar, … Continue reading

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The Remarkable Thing About Motherhood

It’s the small moments. It’s this little note that warmed my heart like that flame she lit. It’s the Mardi Gras beads, strung out on the sparkling granite no less than the stars strung across the universe, that arrangement of … Continue reading

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NCLB

This is how we do No Child Left Behind. All you need is some open country, trees (especially those suitable for building forts), and a happy dog to chase you. Someone should tell them it doesn’t take an act of … Continue reading

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Odds and Ends from Good Friday

It feels like Spring and Sunday is coming! I sat up in the tree fort with my ten-year-old for a good spell today, she thinking about picking out her 4H lamb later today, I drinking coffee and enjoying the breezy, … Continue reading

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The anti-Alpha and Omega

Today in Washington, D.C., hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates marched on Washington, D.C. to solemnly commemorate life and protest the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Since that ruling, 55 million babies have lost their lives to abortion. I … Continue reading

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Tradition!

This just seems wrong. I’ll take a cold spill on real ice, thank you. And that thin spray of ice shavings you can kick up when you do a hockey-stop? I’d miss it. And this? How will the children ever … Continue reading

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The Amazing Lemon Meringue Pie Time Machine

There was Nancy, eating lemon meringue pie in Amsterdam. She messaged me, that’s how I knew, and she’d made it from scratch just like our mom used to do when we were children, and Nancy, too, when she was probably … Continue reading

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Because I’m Too Busy for Actual Blogging

I present a series of short Facebook status updates from the past month or two…because when I delete FB for good, I still need a record that I was alive and well these past few months with a lot of … Continue reading

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July at the Oregon Coast

Four days away to the Oregon Coast, plugged only into the great outdoors, does a world of good. Continue reading

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An Arbor in the Desert for Poets

In the place where trumpet vines bloomed in the desert, an arbor hung over some children while words danced poetry above their heads. Continue reading

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Dear Morton Salt Umbrella Girl

Dear Morton Salt Umbrella Girl: Please do not ever, ever leave. You were my best imaginary childhood friend. I always wondered where you were going with that umbrella in the rain, worried that you might ruin your pretty yellow dress, … Continue reading

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Last week of May in pictures

Someday life won’t be so overflowing with noise and ruckus, dirt and wild animals–and wild children, so dear diary, help me remember this for the quiet days ahead. Continue reading

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Waiting for the Moving of the Waters

It was this phrase I read in John 5 this morning, all those sick people waiting for the moving of the waters at Bethesda, when the phone rang. The words still turning in my head, the meaning still emerging, and … Continue reading

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When you have to grow up with your kids

She is asking for her first bra; his feet just outgrew mine–they are working hard at the job of growing up, and I’d better grow too, because right now I can barely handle this change. When I unpacked his bag … Continue reading

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The Dead President Dream

I had a dream last night that I was speaking to a dead president, actually I was practically wailing, begging for help for our nation’s predicaments. I specifically cried out to this specter of a president, white haired and stately, … Continue reading

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A pressed and faded memory

The whole piece is gone, the people, the houses, the connections that made the memory a complete vivid thing, and so it must be hard for just a slice to be recovered as a fragment of the former whole. Continue reading

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The Clothesline

The clothesline was the end of the job, reaching up toward blue sky and all clean around me, and endless possibilities. Continue reading

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The Year She Knew She Was Loved

When I am completely at rest in the solid, unmovable fact that God loves me, I am willing to take risks, to be utterly vulnerable, to throw myself with abandon into all of Him. Continue reading

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Mommy, do I have Catholic or Jews in me?

Her question made me laugh out loud, and my heart warmed at the wondering, because don’t we all long to know where we come from and don’t we desire to be distinct and remarkable? Mommy, do I have Catholic or … Continue reading

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All Things Bright and Beautiful

Out my wintry window today, I think of Mrs. Cecil Alexander, who penned in 1848, “All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful; The Lord God made them all.” My older son says … Continue reading

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Thursday Threads

Good Thursday to you! I’m too busy to write much or write well, but here are some threads catching my attention today. 1. The Iron Lady. This film is a biopic on Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of The United Kingdom … Continue reading

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Thanking God for Mrs. Young

The wooden bench in the hallway, between the pot-bellied stove and the hanging ivy in a macramé plant holder, that was where I learned to love. Continue reading

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To honor when it isn’t fair

Oh, grace to cleanse my irritated soul. The way she shuffles, asks again what day it is, tells me she forgot how to whistle, burps at the table, a thousand ways that need grace.
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The House of the Lord on the Ocean

The house of the Lord is all around and they entered it there in the surf.
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Beware the secondhand stress!

I grew up inhaling secondhand smoke… maybe secondhand stress is just as deadly for children? Continue reading

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Hope Renewed

Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31). “Your pace will change from a sprint … Continue reading

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île flottante and more

In the kitchen with Elise tonight, it’s Quiche Lorraine, une salade, and les baguettes, followed by the fabulous île flottante (which is sort of a ball of meringue floating in a sea of custard). How did I get so lucky? … Continue reading

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Life in a picture frame

I visited Jane yesterday, stepping carefully over oxygen tubes and scattered papers in response to her call to please come by, she had a painting to give me. She worked with oils 25 years ago, and her days closing in … Continue reading

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Beauty: Five Minute Friday

The deep burnt red coffee mug I sipped from just now, a swallow of hot, smooth brew, is my favorite. It’s beautiful; a thank-you gift from a friend, it held a bag of quality chocolates on the day it was … Continue reading

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Fair Time!

You must know about the cotton candy, cowboy hats and rodeo, happy music, dizzying rides, the earthy smell of livestock, colorful people? Continue reading

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Stormy, Yellow Thoughts of Thunder and Puddles

The potbellied raindrops came thundering down, the cat hid under the bed, the dog barked at the booms, the kids danced all silly out there under umbrellas, and I was in awe.
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Sister Love, Brother Bear

How stitch by stitch, their souls were being connected in gracious love.
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The Miracle and Gift of Brotherhood

The brothers ran together, again together. These grown men with children of their own who now run together, up at the crack of dawn to reconnect the joy of boyhood that’s always down in the heart somewhere. We had watched … Continue reading

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The Toothpaste Story

I hastily wiped my dripping hands on the red flowered towel hanging askew from the oven door and answered the commanding ring of the phone. “Hi, this is Jasmine, can I talk to Jaime?” trilled the young voice, obviously experienced … Continue reading

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Dear Mom, tonight we will go to Starbucks.

The note that set my heart quivering. Not only had she stolen my heart, she set up a play-date for me.
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Missing Front Teeth

That short, sweet stage of a missing front tooth, an event not likely to be seen again until she’s 99; and other blessings to count.
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Freckles and Big Ears

Freckles and big ears on my boy, and his home-made fishing pole; and other blessings to count.
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Just a Wednesday in June

Just wanted to drop a pin on the map. I’m here. The kids are all finished with school tomorrow; three have been done for two weeks, and the fourth had the tough job of continuing on for those extra days … Continue reading

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To Give a Gerbil a Bath

I didn’t know a wet gerbil would cause me to laugh hysterically. He looks so…cold. Or is he just shivering because he can’t remember his letters? Who does such a thing, bathing gerbils like babies? Was this really out of … Continue reading

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What makes a desert beautiful?

Life, death, and the breath of God — we were blessed to see all on a simple hike through our spring desert last weekend. {life} {death} {the breath of God} Technorati Tags: Central Oregon, country life, nature hike, nature study, … Continue reading

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On an enchanted journey

~scenes from a family hike at Sahalie Falls, Oregon~ If God had wanted to be a big secret, He would not have created babbling brooks and whispering pines. ~Robert Brault Technorati Tags: childhood, family life, Sahalie Falls, McKenzie River, Oregon … Continue reading

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My Reflection part 2

Part two of My Reflection in the Pane Glass~more truth about beauty, fear, and freedom revealed in a dream.
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How to Draw a Self-Portrait (and some wisdom from the child)

I think my boy here could give some art lessons on self-portraiture {and life}. 1. Know how many freckles adorn your face and love them all. {Or, love every unique mark the Lord has blessed upon your countenance, and love … Continue reading

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My Reflection in the Dirty Pane Glass

From a child looking wistful into the hazy window frame desperate to see beauty to a woman still seeking but closer to fulfillment: part of my journey.
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Hario, et cetera.

Ethiopia Sidamo prepared Hario style by Sisters Coffee Company made my morning, the best coffee I’ve had. Ever. I loved that Winfield (owner) made it special for me, and with each slow drip I loved seeing him greet everyone that … Continue reading

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Sandwiched

Life with four kids under the age of 11, a husband, and my 82 year old mother.
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Three little kittens have lost their mittens…

…and I began to cry. Our lovely trio of orange tabbies has dwindled to two. Chubsters, on the far left in this photo, disappeared four days ago. We hope and pray for his safe return, but this is the third … Continue reading

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How to Return to Your First Love

When a new spark is needed in your relationships, your faith, or your interests, what do you do? Continue reading

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Strep-induced quiet

I’ve allowed myself to rest in bed for several days because I’m sick with this fiery, swollen throat that makes swallowing feel like giving birth. From my horizontal position, I turned to watching clouds, my way of childhood, though nothing … Continue reading

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In the Garden with Children

How to have fun, grow food, and build character while gardening with your kids.
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Conversations with a little boy.

I love him, I love his ideas, and gosh, I wish I could just jump in there sometimes and see it in full color. This must be how it is with children; they slow down enough once in a while … Continue reading

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Thankful in this place…

…for child-made Valentines, especially the glittery heart one that sparkled today in the sun, each of the thousand squares of tiny glitter unable to outshine the joy of the son in the giving. …for chocolate truffles and coffee, dark as … Continue reading

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One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp: A Review

I am working through eucharisteo thanks to Ann and her beautiful little book of grace, thanksgiving, joy. And a list of my own.
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Hurray for boring!

I saw the word written plainly this morning atop his new spelling list. The list of small words for a small six year old boy. I would not have noticed the message had he not pointed it out. “Do you … Continue reading

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Spaghetti Squash to Iron Man

What an amazing creation, this squash, right up there with the pomegranate in its ability to make your mouth water and your fingers cramp.
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Happy New You!

Happy New Year and Happy New You! What a great time for reflection and renewal. I love the beginning of January for this reason–the turning of the year is so symbolic for me of the burying of the old man … Continue reading

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Corncob Dolls and Christmas Coming

It wasn’t Susan’s fault that she was only a corncob. Sometimes Mary let Laura hold Nettie, but she did it only when Susan couldn’t see. Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods I caught my breath on these … Continue reading

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Gingerbread…hut?

Why I thought I could begin baking all the gingerbread pieces I would need for the nine children in our homeschool co-op at ten-o’clock…p.m., not a.m., the eve before hosting a gingerbread house-making party, is because I’m crazy and need … Continue reading

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Prayers for Dana

Please pray for Dana who lost her little boy, 22 months old, today. One of my very first and beloved bloggy friends, she has inspired me, made me laugh and made me think for several years now, and desperately needs … Continue reading

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I shined my sinks, and other news.

I finally took the Flylady’s advice and did something about my grimy sinks. They are so sparkling at the moment! No one dare set a dish in there, please. My husband actually noticed on his own, first thing upon entering … Continue reading

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Thank You for my dishes.

Another piece of Dansk Concerto Allegro Blue went down tonight. My husband and I have wagered that perhaps not one piece will be left by the time the kids are grown. It was a wedding gift, nearly all of which … Continue reading

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A Different Harvest

I was to be writing about the harvest this month. I was lulled out of vigilant garden care by a late warm spell, and then, bam, it froze and died. All lost. There are harvests of others kinds to ease … Continue reading

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It flew by.

Wow, the end of September and not a single post. This photo from our last hurrah before school started sums it up: This is us traveling at high speed up an Oregon sand dune and screaming with…something like a thrill. … Continue reading

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Car trouble

It went like this: Car Guy: Your van is done. Me: (slow to get the point) What do you mean? Car Guy: Rods are knocking, it’s about to blow up… Me: What are my options? Car Guy: Nothing — or get … Continue reading

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When your daughter finds a baby jackrabbit

The dog brought a baby jackrabbit to our lawn. Miraculously unharmed, the small gray creature with eyes wide open was a gift to my 9 year old animal loving daughter. She has wanted to raise a baby rabbit for years, … Continue reading

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Newborn kittens over here!

There is nothing better! Newborn kittens, and children who got to watch the miracle happen! Five sweet little noses at mama’s belly, the awesomeness of new life. Technorati Tags: newborn kittens

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Skunk Cabbage at Clear Lake

Our family had a great trip to Cold Water Cove, a beautiful, quiet area around Clear Lake, the headwaters of the McKenzie River. We had driven from Central Oregon over the Cascade Mountains to get to this scenic getaway in … Continue reading

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My High Desert Wildflower Tour

Come along while I track down the desert wildflowers on my Central Oregon property. With our wet spring, I’m seeing some I’ve never seen before.
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Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Have a great weekend, friends. Honor your country, hug your kids, and enjoy life.

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The Pixie Chicks and other signs of spring

I call these these the Pixie Chicks: This photo is from a few weeks ago when we stopped at my neighbor Pixie’s house and the kids enjoyed her chickens. We are loving that spring is hopefully here to stay. It … Continue reading

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I did something dangerous.

I let my kids visit the neighbor’s little farm. Now guess what they want? Technorati Tags: family life, ranch, baby goat, new chick

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Pogo: Toxic to the Tongue! A Tragic Tale of Little L

Do you remember pogo sticks? As a little girl in the ’70s, this was one of my favorite past-times, jumping and balancing like a happy kangaroo. Besides my stilts, another old-school toy, the pogo stick was IT. One of these … Continue reading

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When Ginger Came Flying My Way

It was one of those days when I’m glad to live in a small town; and believe me, there are days when I wish I didn’t. I was shopping at my local grocery store this evening when a friend approached … Continue reading

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Dear March – Come in!

How are things in your part of the world? It may not feel like spring, but I know it’s coming, the calendar tells me so. And also the sky, the birds, the tiny signs of life I see poking through … Continue reading

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I Am From

I AM FROM By Jennifer @ Diary of 1 I am from dusty country roads, From Vick’s Vapor Rub And handmade clothes. I am from the dirt floors of a house built from corrugated iron and boards, With unshaded lightbulbs … Continue reading

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Hello, not much to say

What can I write about? I’m feeling very much like I have nothing to say, so here is my meager offering to my diary. I did a load of dishes and a load of laundry, swept the kitchen and the … Continue reading

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Sleepy Goodnight

Goodnight, that’s all. I’m tired, so I’ll go to bed. I’ve lived most of my adult life not following that simple reasoning, and instead have pushed myself to the very limits of physical and mental endurance. For something or another. … Continue reading

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The holocaust of time

As I resolved to waste less time this year, I had the chilling thought that modern life is fracturing our souls with its pulls and lures in every direction, so much so that we are barely left human.
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Keepin’ it Real in 2010

The New Year’s Resolutions are a’comin’, by the thousands, around the globe. Many lofty, admirable, and noteworthy goals will soon be flowing from pens near and far. As for me, I’m keeping it real, attainable, and utterly basic, so as … Continue reading

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Merry Christmas from Diary of 1

Christmas Eve day. What a day of bustling, cheery, frantic activity for us. We’ve been sweeping the dropped needles, clearing out every dust bunny we can unearth, fine-tuning the best pie crust recipe ever, and generally preparing for this most … Continue reading

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Scene and Herd

Concerns About the Creche J: No, no, the angels are looking at nothing! L: Well, let’s move the shepherd back here, he’s a lesser one anyway. J: The Wise Man can’t be giving his gift to the cow, move him! … Continue reading

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Revisiting the Magic Window

I wrote about my Magic Window last December, and guess what? I found it! Actually, one of my kids found it in a box of my scant childhood mementos. I wrote last December: What was so magical about this double-paned … Continue reading

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When you feel like giving up

Storm on Sea by Ivan Constantinovich Aivazovsky, 1899 Remember Winston Churchill’s words to Harrow School on a visit in October of 1941: Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give … Continue reading

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Dang, the kid can color!

I’m not one to pay much attention to developmental milestones in my children. But my five year old boy gives new meaning to “color inside the lines.” Here is what he accomplished last week, all in one sitting. I thought … Continue reading

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Mint tea and me

I grew mint in my garden this year, mostly because of the treasured childhood memories I have of the mint growing in our Arizona garden. I loved this mint as a little girl, and when I would get sent out … Continue reading

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My Garden: A Short Photo Essay

Our garden brought a smile to my face all summer long. Funny carrot shapes. Edible toys (a pea pod turned helicopter). A great job for a child. The joy of finding the first fruit. Best of all, food for the … Continue reading

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Boy’s eye view of science

My favorite photo from last week is my 10 year old son putting together his “Snap Circuit Set.” He needs a more advanced electricity kit because he does this one by heart and so fast it would make Franklin and … Continue reading

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When I’m Five

When I’m five, I can fly a kite, ride a bike, shoot an arrow, frost a cake (and eat it, too), make a wish and blow out the candles. Happy Birthday, Little L!! You can do so many things when … Continue reading

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Faith Like Potatoes

“The condition for a miracle is difficulty, however the condition for a great miracle is not difficulty, but impossibility.” My husband and I watched the movie Faith Like Potatoes last night. Great movie for this season of our life especially. … Continue reading

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Boy and a River

We enjoyed the most wonderful morning at Smith Rock State Park a few days ago. There by 7:30 a.m. to avoid the scorching afternoon sun, we hiked, played, and splashed our way around to the backside of the mountain. My … Continue reading

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She’s a Biologist

“Mommy, can I cut the lizard open?” JJ questioned very matter-of-factly. She had just come in from checking on her latest lizard, a big fat one she was sure was pregnant with dozens of eggs. She had felt little bumps … Continue reading

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Hello Summer

Hello Summer! We’re done being sick and we are ready to enjoy this beautiful world. I’m listening to Little L read a book to himself, I’m feeling anticipation about the days ahead, I’m smelling the fresh garden dirt, and I’m … Continue reading

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Stomach Flu tonic?

My family has been hit hard by a stomach flu virus. First, it was my oldest son on Monday night. Then the youngest son on Wednesday night–throwing up every 20 minutes for four hours. Myself on Thursday night. Hubby Saturday … Continue reading

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Little of This and That: Train, Garden, France.

Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads out there! I have a little of this and that to write about today. TRAIN. First, here’s one of my favorite pictures from my photofiles: A little train depot we pass nearly … Continue reading

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Just in from the Great Lakes

I so wish I could sit down and write all the wonderful details of my trip to Port Huron, Michigan, but I have too many pressing duties at the moment. But, so I don’t forget, I’m making myself a short … Continue reading

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