Tuesday, August 26, 2014

school again

these two started school this past week.

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yep. these two crazy cool kids.

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(yes. i ask my kids to stand outside under a tree for their first-day-of-school photos. yes. i ask them to put backpacks on. and yes. they also climbed the tree for said photos.)

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i can't believe that we've come to that time of year again.

school time.

samuel and i have been doing school at home now for a few years. it has been great. really. it's super hard, sure. but really great. we like it.

and this year...

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we have a joiner.

a kindergartener. man oh man.

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we've had a total of 5 school days so far. 5.

it has been going well. we've conquered some new handwriting challenges, some new mathematical ideas and some discipline... things.

but as i've thought about school this past week or so, i keep coming back to myself.

the teacher. and my attitude.

it seems that the success of our days at home depends upon the strength of the very thin thread that is my attitude.

it can make it or break it.

i want to make it.

so badly.

i want our school year to be full of blankets outside. books read aloud. pictures drawn of stuff God has made. stories retold of Greeks and Israelites.

of smiles. of encouragement. of opportunities for growth and insight taken-- leaped upon.

and NOT full of my impatience. my sighs-- the list goes on.

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these two are fantastic. i'm so glad i get to spend days with them.

this guy's cool too:

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and as we all navigate another year of school, i'm thankful that my eyes are already seeing the importance of my perspective. glad i'm already seeing my need. actually glad that my eyes clearly see where i often fail.

so that i will ask for help.

He gives so generously.

here's to a good school year, friend. whatever shape yours takes-- may we be ready to see where we fail and in joyful hope ask the One Who knows and sees to provide. He likes us. He'll listen. He'll answer. i know it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


i was just here:

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like-- JUST. how many weeks ago? a few, right? but not that many, surely.

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and then just like that, we've gone from this:

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to this:

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a birthday. a whole year. 52 whole weeks. you all know-- it's a blink. and yet, it's hard to remember life before those 52 weeks began.

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the birthday was nice. a good celebration. but i found my own heart torn.

i got to lunch time and wondered. "hm. why on earth am i so crabby? where's the celebration, joanna? what's going on in there?"

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and when i looked a bit deeper, i found some sadness. some loss. some mourning.

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we've moved past paper-thin fingernails. past cuddles and nursing at 2 a.m. and beyond the days where i could set him on the bed and walk away. we're here now:

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a fabulous place. i know. a truly fantastic place. but as i said goodbye to my very last baby year... i had trouble. just a little bit.

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we'll be fine. we started animal sounds this week. he's walking while holding on to my hands with his little chubby fingers. taking those sideways steps that seem like they won't ever straighten into independent mobility. he says "bye-bye" in this sweet whisper-y voice. does a full palm-in-his-mouth kiss-blow. so many fantastic things.

the goodbye is never easy. it just isn't. this mysterious pull of good and sad all rolled up in a birthday. i should be used to it by now.

but i am confident.

we'll be just fine.

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

summer and after

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well, hello there.

i don't know about your place, but mine has been in the full swing of summer.

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we've had visitors.

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we've had days where there is nothing on the schedule. and i mean it: nothing.

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we've got a couple of birthdays coming up

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and then, do you know what happens?

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school starts.

that's what happens.

school starts.

i do realize that i'm being overly dramatic, but you guys... school.

my breezy days don't feel like embracing the schedule and piles of not-done-yet work that accompanies the start of school.


school comes, regardless of my attitude toward it. so. you know what that means.

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an adjustment of said attitude is headed my way. i can feel it.

there are lots of wonderful things about school.
and my little miss is starting. how fun. alphabet crafts and button counting.
it really is bringing a smile just typing those sweet words.

we'll be ok, friends. i just know it.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

a quilt is being given away!


my friend over at {Re}Visionary Life is giving away one of my quilts. yay! please go over and check it out. a lovely space. a lovely person.

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go get it, friends. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

honesty and the fight

the past week or so has been a mish-mash of a bunch of things. which, i suppose, is how life is. just inherently what it is.

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we've been loving summer. we've been together. it's been awesome.

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alongside all of these lovely photos-- a fourth of July, a breakfast outside, a trip to a National Park, loving on kiddos and enjoying the days--- alongside it all, has been a battle.

a fight.

a fight familiar.

a fight revisited.

and i've found myself discouraged. discouraged in the fight against fear and anxiety, yes. but also discouraged in the fact that the fight is there at all. i thought i had beat this thing-- thought i had arrived on the other side of something i wouldn't have to see again.

but we all know that that's just not how is goes, right? i won't be perfect-- won't be done fighting with myself until i get that filling breath of eternity. perfection and ease is not going to show up on my door step. not until all of my fights are over.

so for the here and now the fight against so many of my tendencies continues.

i have a few more weapons in my arsenal this time, though. weapons that i know work for me in the battle. each year i hope to gain more weapons-- more wisdom.

i think that the fights we all face would be so much harder without honesty. honesty ends up being a great weapon for me. it's a hard thing. really hard. especially here. in this space. where i have no control over who reads, and how they interpret, and what their opinions are about what i've said. honesty... it's not easy. for any of us.

but it's so good. so so good for us to tell each other what's really going on. so good to hear from a friend that they struggle with doubt sometimes too. that they don't know where God and His gospel fit into their days right now. to hear that the person sitting across from me knows, has been there, has fought, has depended, has failed, has tried again.

we're good for each other. honesty is good for us.

and that's about all i have, friends. Jesus is meeting me in the fight. really. He is. but the fight- for all of us- continues.

so glad we have each other. so glad He invented community, family, friends, people. He makes cool stuff.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

winner announced

thank you all for commenting and sharing. it was so fun to sit and read all the things you like about where you live. thank you.

so--- the comment winner, randomly selected, is...

"One of my favorites is my print of "Her Room" by Andrew Wyeth that my dad framed for me. I had always loved that picture, and for many years I searched for a print. One day my parents noticed it in the museum store and bought it, my dad made the frame for it. I only wish they had seen me open it for Christmas. I was so surprised and emotional about it!"

i will get these to you as soon as i can, hilary. congratulations!

thanks again, all of you. i will be back here soon. i have a larger giveaway coming up in conjunction with some other lovely blogs. continue to shop with that discount code until tomorrow.

a happy happy thursday to you, friends.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

a little giveaway

the sewing machine has been buzzing over here. lots and lots of sewing.

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so i want to give something to you, kind readers. here's what's up for grabs:

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a little packaged deal. a squirrel:

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and a pair of 16" napkins

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how do you get your name into this virtual hat? leave a comment. tell me something you love about your house. or an item in your home that you love. whichever.

post your comment anywhere between now and thursday at 8 a.m. i'll announce the winner sometime that afternoon.

if you'd like double points (name in hat twice), then share a link to my shop (phoebeflock) or to this giveaway. tell me you did so in the comments and i'll give you double points.

oh! and as an additional thank you to you, here is a code for 10% off in the shop from now until friday (June 20th). code: PHOEBELOVE

i hope you win.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

a trip.

just returned from visiting these fantastic folks:

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what a joy it is to be together.

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God has made some really cool stuff. family is right up there in the top 50 best things. i'm pretty sure.

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along with all of of those beautiful growing and flying things.

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being states away from this family has been hard. really hard. there were definitely tears as we drove away. but, i will say, i think we've established a bit of a rhythm. we've figured out how to live on top of each other for a couple of weeks each year and then not at all for the other 50. we're still tight. pick up where we left off. and enjoy the moments we have.

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we had a blast. didn't do a whole lot. made meals together. cleaned up together. sat outside together.

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the "together" part was the best. i'm so thankful for these sisters of mine. they are both such good company.

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a wonderful trip.

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hope your summer is off to a refreshing start. i'll be back here soon with a giveaway. i hope you win.

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