Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Goodbye

Today we are honoring Josh's grandpa,Jerome Kill,and remembering his life and his loves. He inpired us with his passion for our country, recounting stories again and again of places we had never seen, gifting us with an intimacy of history and geography that only comes from someone who loves what they share so much. Battle stories and boyhood adventures were relived so often at his feet... children and adults alike wide-eyed and listening...

Welcoming hugs and kisses, babies bouncing on his knee, peek-a-boo games with bright eyes beaming from behind thick rimmed specktacles...stories we will long to hear again... we miss all these things. As we grieve this special man, we are so thankful for the gift of story he has left us, for the gift of his time and for what we can pass on to our children and grandchildren... stories for generations. We miss him, but we will always honor him with what he has left us to tell.

Lightening Strike

Eyes open, my warm toasty, content under the quilt toes meet the cool wood of the bedroom floor. The chill and the smooth mingle and wake me from the bottom up. It is early; darkness through my windows on a summer morning kind of early.

Then among a flash…light fills my room from the sky outside my window. I shuffle my toes along the chilled, smooth floor into the living room, standing before picture windows to take in the lightening show. Today, I am awake. Today, I have been stirred. I have risen in my idealistic fashion, early… before Josh or the children have wriggled out of their sheets. The lightening outside my window has struck within my body this morning as well. As if with a jolt, I am eager to begin my day; my tasks, my loves, my serving and caring; my creating of our home. The flashes through my windows charge through me, exciting my senses, invoking wonder, beckoning me to praise their awesome Creator as I look upon them with awe. And so I meet Him, this God who has called me as His own; this God who has created the light and the darkness; this God who has awakened my heart. I meet him and I am in some ways more amazed then ever as we talk among the lightening and thunder. I tell Him how I love His light show; I tell Him that I need Him today as I pour out to my sweet family, that I desire His love to be made known to them, to awaken their hearts as well.

And then the rain pours…

He pours out His waters across the land, the rhythm booming and beating on my roof and my windowpane. The rhythm of His waters boom and beat in me. I sway to the tempo of His rain, I take refuge in His water, in His nourishment.

I am refreshed.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Bunny Who Started It All

When I was four, my family moved into a house that I found magical. There was a hidden room above our pantry and my sister, Julie and I would spend hours there with our imaginations and a flashlight. The hallways and little nooks were fitted with built-in bookshelves and writing desks and a backyard lined with evergreens beckoned my sister and I to burrow in between them. This house still holds such a special place in my mind and heart. It is the scene where I can recall my childhood dreams and longings and wonder. It is the place where sweet childhood memories were made and kept. It was also the beginning of an era... One of the rooms had vintage Beatrix Potter wallpaper from the early 20th century and as it eventually became my room, my mom started for me a lofty collection of Beatrix Potter books and dishes, ceramic characters and even stuffed animals. I was a little tired of it by the time I reached the sixth grade, but the indroduction to the character of Peter Rabbit had made a mark upon my life. Throughout college and early married life, I still would become sentimental when I saw a figure of Peter or Jemima Puddle Duck or Tom Kitten in a store window.
When Halle was a toddler, I began reading some of these stories to her. I loved how thoughtful Beatrix was of childrens' size and grip. Even at three, Halle's little hands could wrap around and steady the small books as if they were made just for her... for they had been! Now, Maia, our current three year old is captivated my Peter as well. Her personal favorite is 'The Tale of Two Bad Mice' and when Jones is sleeping she will creep down the hall and assure me she is just as quiet as Hunca Munca.
Dear Beatrix was not one to toss out fluff to little ones, but created for them stories so rich and satisfying that any child would want more and more of this 'good', 'whole',stuff. The diet of beautiful literature was formed in me as I stared at Peter Rabbit on my wallpaper,and what a gift it was! I want my children to have this gift as well, to have stories that inpire them, stories that are written with their whole life in mind and stories that require their full mental faculties to engage them. I want my children to know Beatrix, to know her creatures and her stories...and they will. All I must do is provide the introduction. How thankful I am for this little bunny and the way he has shown to other great works for my little ones and for me as well! Thank you Peter.

Here are some of my other favorite works of Literature to share with my little ones:
Winnie the Pooh Series by A.A. Milne
The Little House by Virginia Burton
The Sory About Ping by Marjorie Flack
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
Ox-Cart Man by Barbara Cooney
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Mother Goose Collection
Classic Folktales
Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel
Frances Books by Russel Hoban
Mrs. Piggle- Wiggle books


We wade in and out of our days here, doing laundry, baking bread,tending the garden... tending hearts. We weave strings among us as we go, creating our family tapestry, our family story. The Great Storyteller, the one who knows our insides and calls us to himself in sweet intimacy declares that he has "created our inmost being, that he knit us together in our mother's womb and that we are fearfully and wonderfully made..." And so among these days of tying strings and building our home we are taking a breathe, a sweet pause, to celebrate the gift of another blessing in our family. As this new sweet life grows in my womb I am reminded of God's great love for me, for my children and for my husband. We are so dearly loved,incricately cared for and created. These gifts of family and homelife and beauty and vibrant living overwhelm me. The Creater, the Weaver, is adding another string, another life, another thread, whose beauty will be a significant part of our family tapestry. How we are longing to draw this new one into our arms, and catch them up in our loom, and enjoy their presence. Thank you Father for this wonderful blessing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Simple Fun


Oh, the fun we have around here with feathers and paper plates! This is one of Maia's latest creations and she was so proud, I thought I would post and share it. I am continually amazed by my children and the way that they use their imaginations in all their play. I am further convinced of the power of play and the way it breathes life and brings joy into our home. When I think about all the time and money spent buying toys for children and all the clutter it creates I get overwhelmed... It is encouraging for me to remember that the greatest joy in play for my children has always come from simple items and that the 'work' of creating is a lasting treasure for them. Its a relief for us moms I think as well, to just enjoy the simple things we already have and to be content in finding new uses for them rather than keeping up with the lastest and greatest stuff on the toy store shelves. Its all a part of the way our family is trying to simplify and enjoy what we do have to the fullest.
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Much overdo...

I am finally able to post again... Hurrah! Halle turned six nearly three months ago on April 22. I have longed to post some sweet pictures of her party here and am excited to now share them. We enjoyed a wonderful day with her, we had some great friends, the Archers, staying with us from Spokane and we all were able to celebrate Halle during a fancy pancake breakfast set among streamers and fancy dishes. Her party was in the afternoon and Halle and her friends dressed up as fairies. They went on a scavenger hunt, made treasure boxes and danced around a flower ring. It was such a warm day and made being outdoors alot of fun for all of us. Halle is growing in her hospitality, in her kindness and service shown to others and in her ability to cheer others with her words and actions. She was thrilled to bless her friends with treats and adventure at her party and we loved watching her in action. I hope these pictures of that time allow you to celebrate her with us...