Category Archives: family

early to rise


All last year I bemoaned the fact that even before my feet hit the floor in the morning, the work began. I don’t mind the work or the little ones making it for me, I just wanted a bit of quiet before the launch into coffee, breakfast, chores, diapers….you know.

Last August I swore I would rise before everyone, say my prayers quietly and enjoy the time. I did for a few weeks then I realized….the work would follow me! If I woke up surely one or all would join me! I decided I might as well sleep in.

That worked. But the desire for a peace-filled beginning, a silent start haunted me.

My answer….a walk. And so my alarm sounded earlier today and I strapped in the one who inevitably awoke and off we went.

It was Anna and the birds and me, greeting the sun as it peeked over the hills.

I prayed my morning rule while she munched on something. We soaked it all in and we were filled.

Hopefully I can keep the new habit. Three mornings a week seems sustainable.


sunday ritual: dudes & meals

Most Sunday evenings our backyard is transformed from the Kids’ mud-wagon-old boxes wonderland to the Dudes’ prayer-fire pit-beer-adoirandak chair-prayer-spiritual reading den. I love it.  These guys read aloud and discuss piercing matters of Life in Christ, they share their struggles and toss a few back with their brothers under the expanding cosmos.  What a blessed thing.  Community.  I love it.

I try my best not to listen to their conversations….sometimes quiet hushed mumbles seeking wisdom and counsel, sometimes too-loud gaffaws. I catch a few. Enough to understand why they keep coming back week after week regardless of Superbowl, rain, birthdays.

And so I putter around wiping, tidying, school and meal planning, washing, folding, nursing, typing, reading.  Whatever needs to be done amidst the silent house and the koinonia on the patio.


Some fruits of tonight’s planning:


B – berry muffins, milk

L- egg salad sands, smoothie

D- ginger honey pork, quinoa, cauliflower, broccoli


B – toast & eggs

L- quesadillas, fruit

D- WW pasta, sausage, marinara, salad


B – Oatmeal, fruit

L – bean burritos, fruit

D – split pea soup, salad (Catachesis of the Good Shepherd)


B – yogurt & museli

L – leftovers

D – bbq chicken sandwiches, roasted potatoes, salad (Homeschool moms’ mtg.)


B – Oatmeal, fruit

L – PB&Honey, fruit, snacks (Parkday)

D – Roasted veggies and a treat (Family Fun Night)

far from a homestead


I am a reluctant gardener…..Aaron waters what I plant and then later neglect. He has a far greener thumb and better caretaking habits. My gardening dreams are often too large and idealistic. My perspective has to change especially with the young children and our life in general. I need to be very realistic.  Just plant whatever I know we will eat and just go for it. The amazing Farmer’s Market in town was a pricey field trip today……realization: be more fruitful with my time and the space we have.


Shirtless babies. Spring is near…..thankfully they cry when they need to be fed.



Sadly, Emelia’s chicken “Bubble” was taken down by our dog, Jack.  He played with it to death. She was sad but ok.  Every once in a while she asks for a new chick.  None of the chickens are laying anymore and thoughts of starting a new flock are tempting.  The small coop I built two years ago is wobbly and worn now.  So work would have to be done…..we’ll see.


I love the ideas of urban homesteading…even if it’s just learning and incorporating a few new skills every year.  I love being that much more knowledgable and productive.  Even more than that, I like the idea.  Yet another area where practicality and ideals must marry….peppered with diligence and care.  I have much to learn.

let every breath

The weekend was restful and fruitful.  Drizzles mingled with clear skies.  Toilet scrubbing, laundry and food preparations melded with  wrestling, mess-making, cuddling and music.  Then of course Vespers, Liturgy, visiting with church family and family.


Psalm 150 (One of my favorites…sung during the Matins Service)

Praise ye God in His saints, praise Him in the firmament of His power.
Praise Him for His mighty acts, praise Him according to the multitude of His greatness.
Praise Him with the sound of trumpet, praise Him with the psaltery and harp.
Praise Him with timbrel and dance, praise him with strings and flute.
Praise Him with tuneful cymbals, praise Him with cymbals of jubilation.
Let every breath praise the Lord.



The evening comes with jammies toes and scrubbed clean damp hair. It comes with cuddles and stacks of worn old bedtime boardbooks friends, baskets of familiar poems and pictures.  I love the freshness of the pages with new sets of listeners.  Cherished mittens and bowls full of mush become new again and Mr. McGregor seems to just about cacth that rabbit this time….


We lay together and talk, reviewing the day…mulling things over and tucking in questions and worries and wonderings. All the while, sounds of Dad’s voice can be heard from down the hallway.  He recites pages of tales the longer-limbed set longs for which will one day meet these tiny ears.  But not yet, not this evening. We will curl and cuddle and count the 24 blackbirds again just to be sure.  And I count these moments of Life. Yes, I behold the Light of evening.


O Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory of the Immortal Father, Heavenly, Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ.  Having come to the setting of the sun and beheld the light of evening. We praise the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, God.  At all times Thou art worthy of praise, O Son of God and Giver of Life, therefore all the world glorifies Thee! (Vespers service)

happiest place?

While I’m not sure of the veracity of its slogan “The Happiest Place on Earth”, we sure had a fun day. My mother and Grandmother graciously signed our family in to D*sneyl*and.  It has been years since we have all gone together.



They walked with us for a while then went on their way.  Kisses for Gigi.


Little legs held up well.  We had a single stroller for Anna, who hung with me in waiting areas and waddled along Main Street, charming passersby.





Oh the joy that comes with 40 inches.  Even Emelia could ride the Matterhorn.


Here she is telling me how she yelled, “Waaaaaaah!” as they sped past the Yeti. I have no idea why my kids call him a Yeti, I’ve always heard abominatable snowman.  Potatoes, potatoes.


We were impressed with newly developed areas and despite the chilling temperatures, we wimpy Californians made it through past sundown!  I wore a fleece and a sweater all day. It was in the 40s.



And THIS is my favorite shot of the day…volumes, I tell you. Thanks Mommy and Gigi :)

front yard & ballet kind of day

The girls had their first ballet classes today at a little Christian ballet school.  They loved it.  The boys drew, read and did school work while waiting and Anna sat on my lap or nursed.  It worked out well..


Then we came home and read history and library books in the front yard.  It was so nice to be outside after weeks of illnesses.  The weather was lovely….warm in the sun, crisip and cool in the shade and blue, blue, blue, skies. Is it me or is Anna almost giving a wink?


Simeon listened from the bushes….worked on his fort and found a missing shoe.  Always productive, that guy.


Then Basil disappeared inside to work on a lego project while Juliana and I chatted and finished some schoolwork on the blanket.



Dinner was easy-peasy. French dip sandiwiches with last night’s roast, broccoli and salad….so it nearly fixed itself.

Good day. Good night :)