Thursday, November 15, 2018

Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve

Seven, Nine, and Ten played together this evening. While Nine knows me well, I seldom see the other two. In spite of that, Little Number Ten did take a few minutes to sit on my lap for a bit of snuggling. I soaked it in, deep into my heart, because I want to remember the feeling of a small Number Ten in my arms.

Grandchild Eleven is due to arrive any day now. I am just waiting for the call. Another Minnesota grandson. I won't be there to witness his birth, visit him in the hospital, or hold him while he's newborn. It isn't likely I'll visit Minneapolis in the winter, but I am looking forward to spring and meeting this new grandson of mine. I am thankful for the internet and photographs, even though it isn't nearly the same as being there.

Number Twelve is on the way too. Our next grandbaby will make its arrival in early summer. I predict a girl because all family patterns will be shattered if it turns out to be a boy. This little one already has two big brothers, and our family pattern is boy, boy, girl. If that wasn't enough, we've established a bit of a grandchild pattern as well. So far it's gone like this- boy, boy, boy, girl, boy, boy, boy, girl, boy, boy, boy. So as you can plainly see, a girl is next in line.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


We woke up to snow covered roads and cars this morning. Good thing that snow brush/scraper was still between the back seats, because I needed it to clean all the snow off my vehicle and scrape the ice off the windshield. The roads were slick and I'm not entirely comfortable with my tires, but I managed to arrive at work on time and only did a little sliding in the circle of the parking lot.

I'm borrowing a picture tonight...

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

*  It was an entirely too emotional weekend. It was also entirely too short.Weekends usually are too short. They are not always entirely too emotional.

* I set up my little Christmas tree on Sunday (or maybe it was Saturday...). Just because.

* I think I'll go to bed early tonight. I'm feeling very sleepy. I think the bitter, cold wind sucked all the energy right out of me.

Friday, November 09, 2018


I should have checked the forecast instead of leaving home without my sweatshirt layered under my jacket this morning. And I probably should start packing my gloves too.

Yesterday was not too bad...

But today was a little bit nippy. Pretty, but nippy. I decided to go back inside to the break room rather than shiver in my car.


 I have decided being mom to seven grown up kids is a harder job than being mom to seven not-grown-up kids. I keep misunderstanding, misinterpreting, and misjudging actions and expectations. It never ends. It is, quite honestly, exhausting. Miscommunication is a lot like a pile of dog poop in the middle of the sidewalk, the one never seen until it's too late. Hopefully I realize it's there before it gets tracked inside and is traced back to my shoes, but most likely I won't. Instead I'll be left feverishly attempting to get not only the stain, but also the stink, out of the carpet. Fun times. Not.

It's not the first time, just one in a never ending line.

Thursday, November 08, 2018


This week I received a text from a former coworker telling me the daycare where she now works is looking for a cook. Apparently they are desperate to find one. They will pay up to $--/an hour which is a couple more dollars an hour than I am making now. The only problem is, I don't want a different job. I like the one I have.

A year and a half ago I was fearful and uncertain. I knew I loved working with children, but it was a strange, new environment. Not everyone was friendly and "official" daycare centers are run totally different than how I ran my little in-home daycare. So many rules and regulations to remember. So many records to keep. So many little faces. So many people watching and scrutinizing. I didn't apply at the center to be the cook, but God knew best, and guess who made the yummiest Curly Lasagna for lunch today?

Today I am comfortable at work. I spend up to 42 hours a week working there, plus 5 hours on lunch breaks, and another 5 hours driving there and home again. I look forward to seeing my little friends each day, and they look forward to seeing me. In an environment of almost constant change, I am now a constant, familiar face. I am making a difference one hug at a time and I'm not about to start all over again somewhere new, even if I do appreciate the offer.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Into the Unknown...

I don't know exactly where I'm headed, but I know Who lights the path. It's not possible to see all the way down the road today because there are curves, hills, and obstacles blocking the view. I know that is intentional. Trusting God is about not being able to see too far ahead... and following anyway. It means following even when I know others will not understand, and even when I know they will misjudge me and my intentions. It means going where He leads even when it is hard and uncomfortable. It means I may not fully understand either.

When all is said and done, I pray my kids and grandkids will be able to trust my heart and the choices I am making. I pray they will know there are boundaries and consequences in life, and that upholding boundaries is often just as hard for the one upholding them. I pray we all remember that each of us reaps what we have sown. I pray they will know there is forgiveness, and deep and abiding love, even in the midst of pain and brokenness. I pray we will continue to heal as a family, because we are broken in so very many ways... And I pray the grace of God and his abiding love will shine through even in what feels like the darkest of days. I pray I do not let go of His Hand or wander from the path, and that He continues to carry me though times when I can't go on myself.

Life is fraught with pain, but there is also joy. I am thankful for those who have prayed, and continue to pray for each and every one of us. I am thankful for my new church and those who are loving and encouraging me, and I am thankful for our old church and those who surround the Cabinet Maker with love and prayers. I am thankful for my parents and their investment in our life, for the example they were, and the prayers they lifted heavenward for each of us. I am blessed and thankful that God loves me, James, and our children more than either of us ever could, and that He is with them, hearing our prayers and working on their behalf. I could wallow in regret over the past, but today I choose to be grateful for all the good in our lives rather than to focus on the ugly. I choose to let Jesus redeem what is broken in His time and His way, because His ways are better. Thank you to each and every one of you who is praying for us. We need those prayers more than you can imagine.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Can't Beat That!

It was crisp, cold, and sunny! A perfect autumn day. My friend Laura met me for church this morning and we went out to breakfast afterward. I had my favorite stuffed French toast at The Golden Boys diner and she had Eggs Benedict with home fries. It was a long, leisurely meal. Neither one of us was in a hurry and so we each just enjoyed the other's company and conversation.

After breakfast we donned our sneakers (tennis shoes) and warm jackets, and met Rachel for an autumn walk. I won't bother telling you how she said she'd meet us at Abraham Lincoln Park and then called to ask where we were when she was down the road at Lucien Morin Park... We decided to drive down the hill to the end of the bay and meet her there.

We climbed hills, walked the edge of small cliffs, and tripped over roots, taking in the beauty of late autumn with both eye and lens. I was surprised at how much energy I felt along the way. We'd walked quite a distance before deciding to turn around and go back the way we'd come, as the trail was not the looping kind.

The walk back was decidedly more strenuous, with more uphill climbs, and both Laura and I found ourselves talking less and breathing more. It was a wonderful afternoon. By the time I got home and sat on the couch for a bit, my eyes were heavy and all I wanted to do was tip over and close them for a bit. So I did.

The weekend is over already. Half of it was dark, dreary, and wet, but both days were full and satisfying. Tomorrow I will return to my job of loving little ones and doing my utmost to make their days a little brighter and a little yummier. And what do you know? It should be a tad lighter when I step out the door in the morning.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Just a Little More Rain

Still raining, at least most of the day. The fall colors are suddenly brilliant, albeit wet. Tomorrow is expected to be drier, but overcast. Overcast is good for pictures. Today was good too, as long as I stayed in the car.

For the second time in the past few months, I got up, showered, got ready, and headed off to the counselor only to realize, before going in the building, that my appointment wasn't until the following week. Silly me. Ah well, I was not embarrassed by actually going inside and waiting only to be told I wasn't in the computer.

I ran errands with Hannah this morning and paid off a chunk of my loan for the new roof. That feels good. I have a long way to go, but I know I'll get there. In the mean time I'm still enjoying the peace of mind I have every time it starts pouring. I can't imagine the mess we'd have in the living room if it hadn't been done. I thank God every time it rains.

I vacillated between taking a nap or going to the pottery studio this afternoon. The studio won and I went in for about an hour. Finished up a music box I've been working on. Maybe next time I'll get it into the kiln room. I'm hoping everything stays in place and the figure on the lid doesn't break. So far, so good.

While glancing at the work on the finished glaze shelf, I spotted a familiar looking piece. I knew it was missing but had begun to wonder if I'd taken it home before we tore the roof apart and perhaps it was lost in the attic. Nope. There it was sporting a different color than I'd remembered glazing it. That could account quite well for why I'd missed it every other time. Or maybe those pottery fairies really do exist and they just returned it to the shelf last night...

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Rain on My Roof

It's been raining for days. Pouring rain. It may be cold and wet outside, but our house is warm and dry. The roof doesn't leak and I can sleep tonight knowing there is no water dripping thought the beams and into the living room. The carpet will stay dry and I can rest easy listening to the drumming rain on the roof. If I am counting things to be thankful for this November, I will begin with my new roof, and continue with being thankful that God is providing.

I am hoping there will be a reprieve in the rain over the weekend. I want to go outside and play.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Dress Up Day

Two posts because the other one was really last night's.

There was a lot of excitement at the daycare center today... and a little too much sugar, even though we tried to be healthy. The other baby teachers and I were a team today; the Three Blind Mice and the Farmer's Wife. It was simple. And I found out most of today's kids haven't a clue who the three blind mice are. Ha ha!

We had a very cute and cuddly dinosaur in the baby room. I left his tail intact, because I'm nice like that. :)


There are moments when I know what needs to be done and feel confident in moving forward... and there are times when every option leaves me feeling broken and fearful.

I want answers shouted from heaven. I want to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the choices I make will be right. But there are no thundering voices calling from heaven, and more often than not the shadows are frightening.

I fear taking scripture out of context. I fear misunderstanding answers. I fear growing old alone. And I fear ... I fear causing more pain than is being relieved. I fear hesitating and I fear running ahead. Scripture says, "Perfect love casts out fear," but I don't know how to make that happen. Fear is all around. It doesn't always consume my thoughts, but sometimes it's roaring leaves me with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I'm tired. I'm torn. I am broken. It's time to pick up the pieces. I'm praying that old and broken shards can be still beautiful.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Bits and Pieces

* Number Nine is two. He found a new train table in the front room when he woke up yesterday morning and was really excited about it. Last night there was a party and we had a houseful! Hannah made him an airplane cake. So fun!

* I've been fighting headaches this past week. Maybe it has something to do with the weather...

* Our little farm is listed For Sale. We're closing a chapter. :(

* God is growing me in ways I never imagined. Growing still hurts. I guess the saying is true, "No pain, no gain."

* I am so blessed to have this new roof on my house. It has rained ALL weekend and I don't have to worry about the water coming into the living room. I never questioned taking out a loan to do the job. I knew it had to be done, and I know God is and will provide.

* My attic bedroom remains unfinished, but that will happen in time. I don't know how it will get done, but it will. Maybe when I am finished paying for the roof I can finish the room. It needs a little TLC, some drywall finishing, and a casing around my dormer window. And maybe a coat or two of fresh paint.

* It's our day to visit Tim. Priscilla will meet us there. I'm bringing a few fried cakes from the local apple mill.

 Hope you have a great day. Stay dry and warm!

Friday, October 26, 2018

All Tucked in For the Night

Well now, look at that! That little room looks strangely familiar. There are my pictures on the wall, my little window over the driveway, and my slanted ceiling. If I'm not mistaken, my camera is hanging on the bedpost and one of my ceramic people sculptures is there on the desk. Yes, that is my book and alarm clock on the night table right next to my lamp. My book shelves are set of and fully stocked and there's my jar of paint brushes waiting. I've even got a box of junk sitting there on the floor, and hey, look! There are my bunny slippers! Wait... I don't have any bunny slippers...

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Soccer Pro

Here he is, all dressed up to go trick or treating at the library. He's wearing that mini Pachuca uniform his Tio Carlos sent from Mexico. He's Javier Hernandez, "Chicharito." Isn't he handsome? He stood still so I could take his picture and then turned around to show me the back of his jersey when I asked. (That's his daddy's favorite team, you know.)

And because they're all so cute, a family photo too! This child rarely holds still. Had that black pumpkin trick or treat basket been decorated with white pentagons, it would have looked like he was kicking a soccer ball!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Punkin Head

I carved a pumpkin at work yesterday. Most field pumpkins are full of runny, gooey seeds and insides, but this one was dry and stringy and came out in pretty much one big scoop. I cut some eyes, a mouth, and a nose, and then decided it needed a pair of eyebrows. He's actually kind of cute.

Maybe I should carve a pumpkin for our front step here at home...

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Processing Plant

One day a year or two from now, I'll be wondering why I wrote "Off to the processing plant." as my Facebook status. Sometimes I actually come back to my blog to figure out my own tidbits of information. It's kind of like a not-so-secret code book. Of course, the "processing plant" is work, even though it isn't. And yet is is...

I mentioned my job the other day and how much I like it and the other individual asked me if I use it as an escape. I questioned exactly what they meant and was then asked if I use it as time to process... Yes. And yes. A yes to both questions. My time with little people is an escape from processing, a time to think of other things and be wrapped in the embrace of a million little children. (It feels like a million when they're all grabbing for me at once. Even if there are only six or seven at a time.) But during my time in the kitchen, my mind is in constant motion, trying to figure out and make sense of life. Processing can feel like a never ending job, even if I am making progress.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Bits and Pieces

* I should be asleep, but I took a late nap and even Benadryl isn't putting me to sleep tonight. I'm tired, just not sleeping.

* I made soup yesterday. Chicken with vegetables. Thankfully I have Sergio to help me eat it because I don't know how to cook for one. It's a family size pot of soup, but I'm missing the family.

* It's been an emotional weekend. Processing life can be teary even after all this time. It doesn't help that I dropped my favorite camera lens at the park on Saturday and broke it... It may be a very long time before I can purchase a replacement. I'm trying to remember that I was once perfectly satisfied without it, but I'm still sad.  :(

* I went to the pottery studio Friday evening and again this afternoon. There is something comforting about being surrounded by familiar faces, each of us with a ball of clay in our hands. Perhaps it is a distraction, perhaps therapy. Maybe a bit of each.

* More than likely this little sculpture will be lost to the sands of time, like so many before him. It was actually broken when I took it out. Too much being jostled about. This is why I don't do much building at home. Or maybe that's just a good reason not to.

* I am looking forward to being back at work tomorrow. Little arms and slobbery kisses are the best therapy for me. My only regret is I will be home too late to catch my little grandson before he goes to bed tomorrow evening. He's been away since Wednesday morning. He and his mommy are visiting Minnesota. We miss them.

* Pained moments are teachable  moments. It's been an emotional weekend, but a profitable one too. God is good. He put two special people in my path at church this morning; my beautiful Bethany appeared in front of me in the foyer after first service (and again in the Ladies' Room), and my sweet friend Brenda spotted me when I popped into the gym to see the missions tables on my way out the door. Long hugs from old friends mean so much. I am loved and I am blessed. Jesus loves me this I know.

The Barn Collective

I'm a country girl at heart. Take me for a slow ride down a country road and I may as well be in heaven. I took a ton of pictures, even though digital photos don't weigh a thing.


Autumn has finally arrived. I fear it will be short lived so I'm planning to enjoy every moment I get.

Linking up with Tom's Barn Collective.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Mendon Ponds, Again

Some days I feel a little more stressed than others. Today was one of those days and what better medicine is there for stress than a walk in the woods? I am grateful for safe autumn walks through the woods, even if it did decide to rain. It was mostly a sprinkle of rain, at least until we got back to the car.

Tonight I read this, "According to research studies in Japan in 1982, a 15-minute nature-walk can drop stress hormones by 16 percent, blood pressure by 2 percent, and heart rate by 4 percent." Somehow I knew exactly what I needed even before I read this. Probably all those afternoons I sent playing in the woods as a little girl...