peace of my mind

peace I leave you; my peace I give you… Jn.14:27

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Hallmarks of December


Our little fake tree, dripping with ornaments and lots of crazy color. I love it!


Simple door hanging this year.  Thanks to my boys who keep me supplied with choice sticks.


Peppermint puff “crackers” hidden around the house for an advent treat.


Candy Cane Bath Salts for Mom2Mom. Lots of crafty goodness that day!


Cranberry topiary.  Rubies on toothpicks.


Lots of little sewing projects in the works. Little (and quick) is the operative word this year.  New, pretty needles add to the fun.


Rainbow of glove options.


Keepers girls making candles. We also had a cookie exchange and went caroling to the fire department. What special memories!


Luke reading his great rendition of The Grinch.


Boy Scout Christmas party outfitted with onlooking  little sibs.


Caught a glimpse of these two out of the corner of my eye and had to take a picture. Growing too fast!


Mia making corn husk dolls for Thanksgiving.


Britty playing with them.


Pile on: all except for Piper.

December is a busy and sweet month.  It’s hard to savor it with all of the busy.  Hoping these picts will help me remember some of the simple things we treasure.

Hope to post again before Christmas, but if not:

Merry Christmas!!


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Yes! to tending a tree

26:31 days of Yes!
This year we planted 3 trees and 4 grapevines.  My garden was a bit of a wash as I tried to keep the trees alive through the drought last summer.

I’m reminded this week of sermons our pastor has given on parenting. Raising children is like tending a tree.

Little saplings require much care and protection. With thoughtful placement, stakes and supports are fixed in the ground to steady their sway and keep growth in the right direction.  Fencing is necessary to dissuade pesky rabbits from eating the tender bark that they love so much. Lots of consistent watering and some extra fertilizer all give room for optimal growing conditions.

Caretaking and protection are required in abundance in the early years.  As saplings become younglings, the roots are established.  The rabbits no longer want to chew the thicker, stronger exterior. Continued watering and fertilizing are needed. But a big concern at this stage is helping the tree to stand tall and to eventually let it stand alone after it has been trained so that it can grow true and tall.

Good reminders even for the kids to  help them understand why parents put on restraints and corrections and why we sometimes let them weather the gusts of wind without the supports.  All in the name of growing true and tall trees in earnest and with prayers to the grower. Continual care is needed here too, but oh, all the more!

31 days of Yes! is me dedicating to post each day for the month of October (which is a Yes! in itself) and to find one meaningful Yes! in each day. Over 1200 bloggers are participating thanks to the lovely Nesting Place.

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Yes! to crazy requests

18:31 days of Yes!

Birthdays should have a little bit of frivolity.  With a list of  practical needs like coats and dress shoes and backpacks, these kids need a little fun too.

Here is some of the frivolity we’ve seen this week.


Balloon Juggling Balls (inspired by this pin)


Toed shoes that really are completely impractical. At least they were a good deal.


Happy birthday a bit late! (He was a little indecisive this year since it was No to a cell phone)


A unicycle (wrapped in Christmas paper) for a boy who has the right amount of energy for such a gift.


It may not be long before he is riding and juggling at the same time. Then the circus will be the place for him!


31 days of Yes! is me dedicating to post each day for the month of October (which is a Yes! in itself) and to find one meaningful Yes! in each day. Over 1200 bloggers are participating thanks to the lovely Nesting Place.

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Yes!…to fun

Day 5:31

Britta has been asking and asking to go to the zoo.  I told her if we got all our work done this week we would go when Tata came.  I’ve been trying to take one day to do something fun with the little ones each week.  Only once over the summer did we all make it to the zoo. Though it took some effort to pick a day when the stars perfectly aligned, we finally did it.  This is quite different than when my three boys were little. We would pick up and go to the zoo ALL of the time–even if just for an hour or two on a beautiful day.  They knew every animal in the place.  It’s a bit challenging  impossible to carry through with  that same vigor for all of the kids.  I realize we can’t do that anymore, but I’m prone to wonder if we can ever do that anymore.

Today proved that yes, we can!  My Yes! today was to a hard-earned field trip.  We were so glad we could have two honored guests with us as well: of course my mom (Tata) and then Cubbie whom Britta got the privilege to take home from AWANA and care for this week. We all had a wonderful time. The weather could not have been more perfect! and the kids were in their glory.






…she can laugh at the days to come.   Proverbs 31:25b

I am always challenged by this little part of verse 25. Being able to laugh at days to come–and not fret and rue– takes trust and faith that God will provide.  And that whatever the future holds, He actually holds it.  I know this, but to know it with my actions and be able to laugh with joy at what is ahead…that stretches my faith.  May I remember to say Yes! to fun and the medicine of a cheerful heart.

31 days of Yes! is me dedicating to post each day for the month of October (which is a Yes! in itself) and to find one meaningful Yes! in each day.  Over 1200 bloggers are participating thanks to the lovely Nesting Place.

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Play Days

Some of the happenings around here to remember:
A living room trip to China. Next stop–Ethiopia, in honor of my nephew David.

Lincoln log
Lincoln log forts help pass long winter days. I can overlook the days spent finding stray pieces with my feet afterward compared to the hours of good play.

Homemade play dough and paper mache on snow days.

A good long puzzle for anyone to stop in and contribute. Anyone but the baby, that is!

Doing his best on a book report.

Jack wins
and finally, the winner of our annual polar bear run was Jack! He stayed out the longest in 4 degrees (which mind you, truly wasn’t THAT long). Hooray for the zest of a 5 year old.

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Purple to Solve the World’s Problems

This little purple princess is 100% girl. She’s three now. Exactly one year has passed since her traumatic, emotional two year old phase took us all by storm. She has surfaced fairly well, still it is clear she will be very different from her level-headed big sister.
Her joy is pure and infectious, she is cheerful and sweet. Her name means “strong woman”, and by God’s grace I pray she will become a strong and godly woman rather than a “head-strong woman” because she is a tad bit, shall we say, bossy? She will not be overlooked. In a house filled with older brothers and sisters, she throws her weight around and none of us are quite sure how she does it.

She believes purple will fix all things ill in the world. Is your watch broken? We’ll just get you a new purple one. You don’t like your vegetables? You will like some purple ones! Looking for something to wear? Purple anything will change do the trick.

She loves shoes and dancing. And once she starts, she does not break character. She’s quite a performer…at least, in our living room. She’s happy to play anything with anyone as long as she can be the mom.

The one thing she wanted-verbatim-was “a purple Dora cake”. After a playdate with her best cousin friend, Tata and Papa, no nap, dinner and a movie with our family, she was plum tuckered out. But we still had purple Dora cake and presents at the end of it all, and she bounced to. Honestly it was the box of princess shoes that did the rousing. What a girl won’t do for a new pair of shoes.

Happy 3rd year, sweetheart!

Purple dora

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Snowy Stick People


I used to draw oodles of stick people scenes like this when I was a girl. A sledding hill with little stick sledders, legs bent at right angles on stick toboggans with scarves flying straight back in the wind and little pom-pom stocking caps. There was always an ice skating pond too. Today though, the scene was just a mass of real stick figures scurrying for prime real estate on one lone hill in these flat, farmlands.

Winter fun

I could never have imagined then that some of the little people on the hill would someday belong to me. Yet here they are in the flesh. What a thrill to see them run up and slide fearlessly down on snowboard and saucers.

This one didn’t slide.

Pink tink

But this one did-twice-and lived to tell about it.
Mom even got to go down once with her.


And these three had their fill.

Love him

We were missing two as they were off sledding with friends. As my mama “call” brought them running, I sat thinking of him. Pencil and wide-ruled paper long ago could never have known all that the years would tell. Thank you God, for these sweet gifts we’ve known together in our flesh and blood children! Thank you for this good day!