Thursday, August 30, 2012

getting things done

there is much to be done around here. lists. school work. books. fabric waiting. piles. you get it. you know. you have lists too. i am sure. i hope.

i have been conquering things on the list. feeling productive for a few minutes at a time. good stuff.


and then there are days like this past monday. where, there were many things on the lists that needed doing. laundry, for one. two baskets clean and waiting to be folded and organized. so, what do i do? fold the laundry? oh no.

i walk past this chair that my son has just knocked over (as he was inventing some sort of elaborate pulley system of some kind), and notice that is it pretty disgusting.


really disgusting.

so i go hunting for the staple gun, pull out fabric that JUST got put away. and spent some quality laundry-folding time on this:


and i am pleased.

i hope your days are treating you well. i hope all of your laundry gets done in a relatively timely fashion (after i got my chair-recovering urge out of my system, the laundry was, somewhat reluctantly, folded). and that the lists don't overwhelm. those are the wishes at my house these days.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

a new school year

we started school last week. and, friends, my boy is older.


i know you already know this. i know he had a birthday, lost a tooth, yada yada. i know. and i know cameras can be deceptive- making things look slightly different than they really are. each shot is just that- a striking shot into time, capturing just what is there that second.


but... when did my little one start to look like an 11 year old?

i know. i know. perhaps i'm exaggerating. maybe. but look at last year's first-day-of-school picture:


a little tiny cutie-pants. and now there is a kid. with a missing tooth.

and yet, here we are. first grade.

first week was good. a few... discussions about what to do with educational challenges, but, all in all, we had a good week.

i'm praying i have eyes open to truly see this soul sitting in front of me every day of this school year. that He would give me insight into that heart- pushing me to words and silence in their turn. that i would fall back into His hands of provision every day. in even this my Savior cares and sees. handwriting and geography. addition and science. He is among us.

Monday, August 27, 2012

nothing. really.

i sat down to write last night and i got... nothing. i know my brain is full of stuff, but i can't seem to put any of it down into something coherent. i wrote a post, thought it was a bit off, so had my sister read it. yeah, it doesn't make sense, she tells me.

so here i am. just typing away. typing nothing. and that's all i have for today.

that and the laundry.
the school work.
the thread on the floor.
the lunch that needs to be made.
the breeze blowing in and through, though the windows will need to be shut soon (it is still august, after all)
andrew peterson's new album waiting for some quiet this afternoon.
and then more laundry.

happy monday, friends. i'll try to find some thoughts soon.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

oh my word

opportunities for humility have been around just about every corner recently. starting school (yeah). being a wife, a friend, etc.- been feeling a good bit of failure, er, humility, coming my way.

and then my sister calls me this afternoon and says that she tried the apricot cake  i had, a month ago,  raved about. she had a bunch of moms over yesterday afternoon and thought she'd make a little something for them.

"it was really gross, jo."

'no way! it is so yummy! i love it!'

"every bite tasted like baking soda. i almost had to spit it out. i threw the rest away."


"all of my friends very kindly ate it but... it wasn't good. the recipe called for 2 teaspoons of baking soda. is that right?"

'let me check.... no. not baking soda. it's supposed to be baking POWDER!............. oh my word.'

and that's pretty much how that conversation went. friends. i'm so sorry. if you made the apricot/plum cake i had on here recently, my apologies. i'm sure it was disgusting. it was on me. if you had friends over who had to eat it, my apologies again. that's on me.

the recipe is now fixed and correct.

oh my.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

good work.

these days i'm finding many threads sticking to my skirt and tiny corners of fabric cluttering the floor. my lap gets full of piles that look like this:

(there is some kind of soul-metaphor here in this pile of scraps. i'm not sure what it is. something to do with beauty and mess... fuzzy... when you figure it out, let me know)

but things are gradually getting checked off lists. getting ready for an upcoming show.

and check it out:


school books! we start tomorrow. another year of being completely responsible for the education of my child. yes, perhaps a tiny bit of pressure along with that. maybe the night before another year begins is not the best time to be talking about schooling my new 6 year old.

he is excited. i am excited. to start. to get one little sticker on our 180 day chart. one day down. baby steps. and good ones. good steps.

looking forward to a morning of books, banana cake, a new good-smelling math book and more adventure together. more good.

Monday, August 20, 2012

a birthday

our little man turned six this weekend.


six years this fabulous and interesting person has been with us. we are amazed.


we do birthdays up right around here. not too major, but find the celebration in all the little things. like: on your birthday, you get a whole piece of gum, not just a half. you get to pick something out in the check out line at the grocery store. you get to pick what we eat and what we do.

this 6 year old wanted to hike. a waterfall. so off we went.



the waterfall was much wetter than we're used to, so the hiking went... differently. but samuel was unfazed. we climbed rocks down stream.



we went home wet and satisfied. and ate lemon cake (per someone's request)



and as bedtime inched around the corner, our newly-six year old declared that his tooth had fallen out. on his birthday, he lost his very first tooth. pretty cool.

i can't say enough good about my boy. he's full of compassion and kindness. intelligence and curiosity. i'm in love and have been for six good years.

welcome to another year, my sweet boy.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012


samuel and i listened to a little of Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion on Saturday night. The whole night was a tribute to baseball. in one sketch, two men were talking, and one said:

"didn't you hear, kids don't play baseball anymore?"

-- "what? you mean baseball isn't America's favorite past-time anymore?"

"nope. it's been replaced by talking. talking is America's new favorite past-time. texting, emailing, writing, gathering together to talk, etc."

now... yes. i realize the irony of me quoting that. here. on my blog. where i sit and talk.

but it stuck in my head. and i keep thinking about that little joke and how my kids don't really know much about baseball.

part of the radio program was a re-airing of an old Lake Wobegon story of Babe Ruth. and it made me miss baseball.


and what do you know, but someone gave us free tickets to our minor league team. our small group all got to go to an open air game last night. we sat on the lawn and watched the game.





there is nothing quite like baseball in the summer. the pace of the game, the familiar sounds- crack of the bat, thwap of the ball hitting the catcher's mitt.



the natural pauses in conversation with your fellow spectators.


and our game ended with fireworks.



a beautiful night. the breeze of middle august cooling a bit. the sun setting a few minutes earlier than a month before. the bright lights of the field. and a little silence. some moments of just taking in the good. all the good we could fit.

Monday, August 13, 2012

to the woods

saturday found us in the woods.


we hopped into the car and drove to South Carolina's only National Park


with trees as high as 170 feet tall and a canopy reminiscent of a rain forest. it is a different world.


and it rained. about halfway through our hike, the rain began. but we were not phased.


the forest became so quiet. we sat and watched the rain on the lake for a bit. the peace was palpable. magical.

i carried my little miss inside my rain jacket for the walk back. her curly wet head on my chest.

just like it's supposed to be.


Friday, August 10, 2012


found this in the archives today (that's right. i've been around long enough to have archives) from 2 years ago. and as i read it, i felt it fit right into place. meets me in my current thoughts. for myself and women around me battling sleep and rest.


"No matter what kind of night you're having, morning always wins."

- Barbara Kingsolver- Pigs in Heaven

i read this line last night as i fought with sleep. and then i read it again and then again. it followed a chapter about a woman struggling through her middle-of-the-night worries. pacing in her nightgown. everything a bit mysterious and shrouded.

oh the darkness can overwhelm, confuse and discourage. i get myself so turned around. when the light dawns, i'm in a tree upside down.

and of course my little miniature sunshine woke me up in order to appreciate the dawn today. the physical and metaphorical dawn.

the light is here. it never fails. and joy comes along.

'weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.' Psalm 30:5


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

2 weeks

school is coming. we have set a start date for two weeks from today. and here is what i have organized so far:


that's right. and it may not look like much, but even that took some effort. a clean, uncluttered spot for all of our lovely school books to go. where are said school books, you might ask? well...


we have Charlotte's Web all set to go. others need to be retrieved from the library, friends' homes, ordered for $1.00 from Abe books, etc. they'll get there. i have a vision of them all stacked beside each other waiting for the glorious learning to begin.

oh, it'll happen. we'll get there.

Monday, August 6, 2012

faith in the middle of crazy

life these recent days has been filled with... a lot.


there are piles of fabric waiting to be worked, there are dusty corners asking to be cleaned and a half-done list of school to-do's.


there have been very tall cups of coffee. a few scattered attempts at organizing. and way too few prayers of surrender to my Savior and Helper.

this is nothing this lovely planet has not seen before. a mother a bit overwhelmed by so many areas of life. i feel like there are at least 5 endeavors that i am behind on these days- and most of them i'm genuinely excited about. just behind.

school is coming. soon. and i know this year at home with my boy will be another stretching, growing, lovely year. and i'm excited about some new studies we'll be pursuing- reading history books and memorizing poetry.

and indie craft parade will be here again in less than 5 weeks. so much enjoyable work is ahead of me.

it's all that balance of good and busy. and so so often the busy overcomes the good in my mind. i can't steady myself in the midst of things and so i fall. oh there is a Father who cares even for this. these little/big things. i'm praying for rest in the midst of the crazy. that i would fall backwards into His care and love. that i would, in the middle of lists and being behind, have faith in the One Who loves and saved me.

happy week-start to you, friends. may we have eyes to see His good around every corner. oh, it's there.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

the olympics

we love the olympics. every 2 years, we get so excited. we have the tv on way more than we usually do and we are glued to the opening ceremonies.

days ago, as i watched the golden rings form above the London arena and the sparks fall, i found tears in my eyes. for a second i thought, "what is wrong with me?" then i thought a bit about it. the weight of the night. the world all looking at the same place. tiny countries i've never heard of being represented by individuals and flags. people from north korea and south korea celebrating in the same place. people not looking so much at each other as much as they look at the goal.

this is a taste of what i'm waiting for. every nation. every language spoken. every group of people that are/have been/will be on this beautiful globe- singing one song. one song. one declaration. one shout of praise. to the Maker and Giver of it all. the slain Lamb, Jesus Christ, at the right hand of the Almighty Father.

oh friends. we have much to look forward to.