sunday musings

today's reflections Ecclesiastes 3

Today I remind myself of the many purposes seasons and rhythms serve. I remind myself that what we learn at home are tools we can use beyond our family walls. I remind myself of the many blessings and lessons I receive from my children.

Just as the earth, we all have seasons and patterns. Being mindful of this, has helped me to become a better parent.

For me these small observations help me to be ever present in my life and the lives of my family. These moments seem to disappear so quickly and I want to be awake to them.

My little one's teeth are pushing through and she is entering a new season of life. This little struggle has made her uncomfortable. She has a runny nose, itchy jaws and ears, and overall, just doesn't feel well. Where before she was an easy sleeper, and a jolly gal. Now she has left her mommy and daddy sleep deprived and her days although mostly joyful, are at times fussy and clingy and in much need of hugs, snuggles and Popsicles. However, it is not hard to remember other times like this. Just as any person, she has had different rhythms of sleep and moods. There are months of rested bliss, and months of...awake bliss? There are times of laughter and times of...not so much.

Our son has begun the difficult and exciting journey of adolescents. This time can be so confusing and in this constantly changing rhythm he needs us to let him move alone when needed, while letting him connect to his childhood at other times.

This afternoon as I rocked my babe to sleep, something I haven't done in awhile. I was reminded of the seasons of my children's lives and that of my own.

As I watched my little one's eyes close and saw rest come upon her, my fog of fatigue lifted and a blanket of peace and joy rested on my shoulders- and in this quiet minute I felt my heavenly Father's grace and these thoughts came to me.

when you are joyful ~ I will rejoice with you

when you are tired ~ I will make a soft bed for you to lie

when you make bad choices ~ I will give you mercy

when you are sad ~ I will open strong arms of comfort

when you are angry ~ I will listen

when you are grumpy ~ I will give you grace

when you are scared ~ I will shelter you

when you are confident ~ I will stand below you and look up with pride

when you are growing wings ~ I will offer guidance

when you are ready to fly ~ I will take a step back and cheer you on

I am thankful for these gifts I can offer those I love- just as I am thankful they have been offered to me. To us all.

Have a wonderful Labor Day!

whistle while you work...

I have been doing a lot of that ...well, mostly in the way of singing, and occasionally dancing- but all while working. There has been much to do now that are lazy summer days are coming to a close and we will all be running here and there, and on a schedule. The, "I will get to that later", won't be as easy, so being organized and not swimming in clutter is key. Friday, we cleaned house (as we always do). I continued to throw away items that we haven't used- and that includes several pairs of jeans- you know the ones that you will fit into as soon as you are at that perfect weight again... or the ones that should come back into style but it won't be happening anytime soon... As I went around the house, I bagged up quite a bit. I think the process will be ongoing. Each time I clean house I feel less attached to another item and toss it. These days I just like simple, minimal rooms...although with the books, pictures and wall art, it sometimes still feels cluttered. I also organized the linen closet, and the laundry room. We declared Saturday Yard Day! Well, I mean we didn't like make a banner or anything, but I did write it on the fridge. ( I know, I'm a dork) B and CJ mowed the yard, trimmed the hedges, cut the dead, enormous sunflowers down (that B is drying out for seeds) and pulled weeds. I planted mums, and installed decorative fencing around the mums and hedges. Then CJ and I took everything out of the garage, swept and mopped it and I put everything back in, minus two bags of things that got tossed. I am embarrassed to say that I even caught myself vacuuming the garage and driveway. There was some broken glass that needed to be sucked up- before I knew it I was feeling so excited watching all this dirt disappear. I kept going and going, till finally I realized I was vacuuming my driveway, hello, McFly????- I looked up to make sure no neighbors were snickering at me and told myself to put down the vacuum. All in all, the garage was a huge job! I am sunburned, and tired...but it's that good tired when you feel accomplished. The garage is so clean and neat, and pollywog even has a toy area. To bask in our "job well done" we all relaxed outside this evening- sipped tea- watched the kids and pollywog danced and danced her little heart out, to the bluegrass on the radio~ whats left to do: - CJ school clothes shopping - make lesson plans - CJ martial arts class - dining table varnish - go through pollwog's clothes and sell - spinning class - guitar purchase Pollywogs new kicks...her big brother picked them out whew...I am so ready for vacation... just a few days away...but for now, I am going to prop up my barking dogs, have a cold Grolsh, and relax..............................................

Life in Quotes day thirty

Working backward in sleep, the last thing you numbed to is what wakes you.
What if that image were Eros as words?
What would it be like if you contemplated my words and I felt you?
Animals, an owl, frog, open their eyes, and a mirror forms on the ground.
When insight comes in a dream, and events the next day illuminate it, this begins your streaming consciousness, synchronicity, asymptotic lines of the flights of concordances.
An owl opens its eyes in deep woods.
For the first time, I write and you don't know me.
Milkweed I touch floats.
~ Mei- Mei Berssenbrugge

sneak peek

Just a little sneak peek on a painting I am working on. This is the sketch... I actually have quite a bit to share, in regards to the painting I have been doing...more on that later though. I've got runny noses circling around me, groceries to buy and an article to write.

true story...

I just had to share the funniest...most kindest...and yes, funniest...flattering...Hi-larious...make my day- story. Door bell rings... ugh, who is it. Pollywog is in my arms, ready for nap, runny nose (new teeth), and a ripe, poopy diaper. I run to the door, hoping the visitor won't smell my daughter's, um...junk in the trunk, and think my house stinks. "Can I help you", I say "Uh, are your mom or dad home", He says "wha?????? I am the mom" I say standing up tall trying to look my most grownup. "Oh, sorry" he chuckles " oh, thats fine" I say, suddenly feeling like a little girl with pigtails and thumb in mouth. Gotta love shaded foyers...or bad eyesight. Whatever it was, I will take it!

Life in Quotes day twenty nine

" As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness, weakness." ~ Henry David Thoreau

school room

Pollywog's desk CJ's shelf My desk... I traced and cut out the bug shadows The resource shelf and this is a decal I made for CJ's bathroom... Everything is just about ready for the year to start. Yesterday, CJ and I "gutted" his room. We do this every few months, and it is a job, let me tell ya. Although, he cleans his room once a week, I am always amazed to find items that are shoved in cracks and crannies, sticky candy in drawers, and various other mystery items that make their way into the closet and under the dresser. We literally filled two trash bags with old toys, trash and worn out clothes. Now his room is clean, uncluttered and it even smells good. Since this, he has been happily playing in there and drawing on his organized desk. Now we are waiting for book orders to come in the mail, and then I will make some flexible lesson plans. Next week is clothes, and guitar shopping, then vacation and then school starts September 8th (Brian started yesterday). Can't wait for vacation!!!!!

sorting- stirring- and making fun messes

Occasionally I bring out the bowls and fill them with uncooked pasta and beans...this is a favorite activity for the pollywog... You know she is concentrating when the tongue is sticking out She stirs And sorts and is occupied for quite some time.

Sunday: frisbee golf

With fall just around the corner, and a renewed hop in our steps...we ventured out to play. A gorgeous course within riding distance offered us a new adventure...Frisbee golf. We had so much fun. The sun was beginning its decent, the wind was blowing, the hills rolling, and happy trees danced everywhere. Pollywog gleefully ran in the open meadows Picked clovers and clapped and cheered for us We had so much fun... This will be a favorite fall activity...

This just in...

Today is officially " No Nap Day" I know, I wasn't aware either...just got the memo minutes ago...


Things have been crazy busy around here, leaving very little time for me to reflect and write on my dear blog. Let alone, read all the "going on's", on my favorite blogs. It's strange how I feel I know these ladies. I enjoy keeping up on all that's happening in their lives, and I'm often inspired by their insights and ideas...oh and their wonderful photos. This week I have felt like I am spinning in circles- often accomplishing nothing but lists. Deadlines and "to do's" swirl around me and I am trying my best to juggle it all in a semi organized manner. Thankfully each thing I check off brings a sense of relief and accomplishment. I have been scurrying around here getting the school room ready and planning and organizing the year. After many years of trial and error- I have learned that structure works best for CJ when it comes to school. We have such similar personalities and when given too many choices we quickly become overwhelmed and unable to focus. He thrives when he knows what to expect each day- we all do around here! I have been steadily working on our schedule for the fall semester of our year. This hasn't been an easy task. He has so many interest and extracurricular activities. The process of scheduling, was a lesson in and of itself. We went over choices and in the end he made a great and busy, schedule. One activity that we will not be doing this fall is, swimming. This was a hard decision for me. This is a sport that he truly excels at. He has been involved in swimming since age 2. This year would have been his first time on a competitive swim team. However, he has lost interest in it and me pushing it, just wasn't right at this time. It would have taken over most of our schedule, as practice is three times a week and way across town. So for now, we are focusing on other things. He still wants to be a lifeguard at 15, which will be great! So for this first semester his extracurricular activities will be: Pottery (he did not end up taking it this summer), Rock Climbing class, Guitar lessons, and a home-school strength and conditioning class twice a week (this one he is really excited about). There will be a lot of running around, not to mention youth group once a my next task is to create an efficient driving schedule. Later in the winter, he is taking a Hunter's Safety class, a creative writing course and a Leadership training class. Almost all of his class items have been ordered for the fall (we are so excited about about the Math curriculum we ordered!!!), and this weekend we are buying school supplies. While on vacation next week, he will pick out school clothes. I am in the process of ordering some wonderful, educational items for pollywog. This girl loves to learn. She is always wanting us to quiz her on things she knows. Keeping her challenged will be fun and exciting. We are going to work on rhythms of the day, colors, counting, animals and lots of things she can create and do with her busy hands. Aside from the school planning, I have started writing articles. I have been wanting to get my foot in the door and do some freelance writing and thankfully an opportunity came my way. It is such a learning experience and often difficult to make time for- but when school starts and things settle down around here (haha), I hope to spend more time doing it. Oh, and lets not forget I have an art show September 1st. AAAAAAAH! I am trying to complete my paintings and I am also making my own frames. I am not some overachiever here, I'm just on a budget and simply have to make my own frames. This deadline is chasing me like a tidal wave...Luckily I do my best work when time is looming over me like an angry for the next week I am going to be beyond busy. When this art show is over, my head will join the human race again(I tend to have a hard time being present when I am doing my art work). Then I am going to do a massive clearing of our home- b/c I feel like I am swimming in things- and then... chill. We will go on vacation and fish, swim, eat, shop, lay around, explore, laugh and then school will start. Honestly, summer goes by faster and faster every year. Life is good. ...and all this spinning, really is fun!

Life in Quotes day twenty eight

" Daddy, a daughter's first love." ~ Unknown

Life in Quotes day twenty seven

" Listen to all, plucking a feather from every passing goose, but, follow no one absolutely." 
~ Chinese Proverb

Lundi au parc

the wrap up

Have I mentioned I am ready for Fall? The planets have shifted or something...I have always been a summer girl. I would stare at the calendar willing June to arrive. I spent the summer in a swim suit, swimming, canoeing, camping, bonfires, get the drift. But for the past few years I have been over summer by July, and long for the crisp days of Autumn. I love warm soups, breads, apples, snuggling under a blanket with a good book and cup of tea. I love the rain, the gray. Maybe it's because it reminds me of coastal Oregon. Maybe it's because I haven't done the mentioned activities since having the pollywog, maybe it's because I no longer bake my skin in the sun, or maybe it's because no one wants me living in my swimsuit around here :0... So with the season change, just around the corner...I am cleaning, clearing (again), planning and organizing. However, this week I plan to be more present in these tail end days of summer. We are gonna spend time outside sweating and preferably in water. We are planning a small vacation just before school starts and we are all looking forward to that- we haven't been anywhere this summer. We are going to eat fruit salads, BBQ, have sleepovers and I might just get me a Margarita... Now I have just got to get this brain of mine out of cool weather plans...but oooooo I can't wait to go camping when the leaves are painted red, orange and yellow...and the streams smell of wet rocks and sky...and I love hiking in the fall and winter!!! and now that pollywog is older and happens to LOVE being outside, we are gonna have a blast. I leave you with the bestest Minestrone soup recipe... my dearest made it tonight. Literally, I have not had soup this good. The flavors were so rich but light. This one is definitely going in the B&B box of recipes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Minestrone Soup 3 TB olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 large stalk celery chopped 2 large cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp dried basil 1/2 tsp each dry rosemary, oregano and thyme 1/4 cup peral barley, rinsed and drained 2 med. thin skinned potatoes, diced 2 large carrots diced 2 quarts homemade or canned veg. broth 1 large turnip peeled and diced 1 can red kidney beans 2/3 cup small dry shell macroni 1/4 cup tomato paste 2 cups finely shredded cabbage salt and pepper 1 1/2 cups shredded parm Heat oil in 5-6 qt pan over med heat. Add onion, celery, garlic, basil, rosemary, oregano, and thyme. Cook, stirring often, till onions are soft (8-10 min) Add barley, potatoes, carrots, and broth. Increase heat to high and bring to boil; reduce heat, cover, boil gently for 20 min. Add turnip, cover and continue to cook for 20 more minutes. Stir in beans and their liquid, macaroni, and tomato paste. Increase heat to high and bring to boil till macaroni is tender (about 12-15 min) Add cabbage and cook uncovered, till cabbage is tender-crisp (5 min.) Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with cheese! ...I pity the fool who doesn't enjoy this soup...

kind words

One of my favorite blogs to visit is : Collecting Leaves... and other little experiences. This journal is full of inspiring and soulful pictures. For me, it is a quiet and reflective moment in my day. The author, ladybug-zen has so kindly awarded me the Arte y Pico Award. I would like to pass this award on to some of my favorite little spots I visit each day. I recently came across Small Wonders and I am so glad I did. I am often inspired by her thoughts and enjoy the peek into her world of small wonders. The Hermitage is a cozy place I visit often. It is a magical place full of stories and amazing artistry, that takes me back to my childhood, full of imagination. Scotland is now on the list of top places I hope to visit one day. A place I have been lurking for awhile is, majikfaerie. This is one adventurous mama. I am often inspired by the life she lives. She is a creative and thoughtful mother of the darling Littletree. She is a midwife, a homeschooler and a traveler. Once you start reading it is hard to stop. I love seeing just how diverse we all our and how much we can learn from one another. Another place that I obsessively lurk is, Fully Operational Battle Station. The first time I read her blog I was rolling and laughing hysterically on the floor. She has a knack for writing. This is one funny lady! I have been enthralled in her family's adoption journey. I have cried, split a gut laughing and nervously chewed my nails reading this journal. Thank you for the award...and ladies thank you for sharing your lives in such inspiring, hilarious and joyful ways!!! if you are looking for other great blogs, check out my blog roll too. :)


somehow today turned into fort day...I think we are all itching for a camping trip. but until the weather cools down...this will do just fine. tonight we all sleep in the tent, in the house... we'll tell ghost stories, munch on snacks and imagine the sound of a nearby stream and chorus of crickets.

Life in Quotes day twenty six

"I want my life to be a mountain stream that rushes down wild flowered slopes through pine glades into green valleys, I do not want culverts to contain my force or cement to channel my flow, nothing to break my life's course with roots, stones and sand. " Lowell McMullin

quiet moments

I haven't felt like writing much. There has been a change of pace here, with summer slowly coming to an end. I even feel Fall's anxious tendrils, twisting it's way through the heat. The cool air has felt so nice blowing through the windows. I am ready and willing for Autumn. CJ has spent almost every waking minute riding his bike, staying up late, hanging out with buddies, playing ball and staying sweaty. With the kinder temps, pollywog has been out more during the day- splashing in water, drawing on the driveway and pointing at flying birdies. I have decorated CJ's bathroom and finished the school room. I will post pictures tomorrow. We will be ordering textbooks and registering for music, sports and art classes next week. We also took CJ to look at guitars. I think we have picked out the one that will be making music in our home soon! Aside from the "daily's" I have felt melancholy this week. Sometimes I just miss my father so much I can hardly even think about it. Especially with the Olympics and recent political news. My father loved watching the Olympics and loved watching the News. Most days we chatted about the going on's around the world. He loved to join in with the "talking heads" and tell them just how stupid they were. :() Everyday something reminds me of him...especially myself. I catch myself saying things my dad would, or just saying what he would in each moment because the silence is too deep. In these moments of sadness, I pour myself into my paintings, stare at photos of my daddy, or quietly watch my children in their quiet moments. This brings me comfort. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12.9-10)

holding the (not so) wee one

My pollywog is getting so big...growing up too fast if you ask me. but...she is still my little baby and I am soaking up every minute. At the moment she has got 4 molars pushing their little peaks through. So far she has been doing great this round of teething. The only symptoms are a bit of crankiness (which she often takes out on her bubby. he has gotten fast at ducking when flying objects come his way)- and wanting to be in mommy's arms. The latter isn't so bad. She is just the sweetest little girl. She loves to pat my cheeks and give mommy kisses. It melts my heart and makes my days feel so special. The only time it can be difficult is when I am doing housework or cooking. My Ergo carrier broke and so I have been just having to hold her and use the one arm. Today while I was making dinner she of course wanted to be held. So I grabbed a Sarape I got at a flea market and tied her to me. She loved it...and so did I, b/c I could use both hands. The vantage point she gets, lets her see all that mommy is doing and she learns so much. She loves to emulate what I do. I love sharing this with her. Lately she likes to be given a wet rag and she will clean all the surfaces in the house, and she loves to sweep...I hope to get her a broom her size. (I remember when I was a little girl I liked to clean too...not so much anymore :) ) The best part about making dinner today, was the cook got hand fed treats...

summer sabbath

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world."
Isaiah 12:4-5