the eclipse from my yard.


I closed my computer sometime around 7 pm Saturday night and I placed it on my desk.  I didn’t touch it again until Monday night around 10 pm.  That probably shouldn’t be a big deal – or an anything deal.  But, since typing out words is what I do for both profit and for pleasure, it kind of was a big deal.  In a miniature deal kind of way.  A laundry list of events and activity took place over that short time period.  Most of it eclipse related.

Living in the “path of totality” the hype was paramount.   Constant reminders to be aware of the traffic and to not burn your retinas to a crisp and to order your glasses in time and if you couldn’t locate any glasses than to be forced to purchase some for $15.  Stores were selling out of moon pies and I-85 had flashing signs urging caution on the roads and it was all a little apocalyptic crazy.

When I read stuff like that something happens to me.  I’m sure it’s a character flaw.  I just instantaneously think less of whatever is happening to cause all of the commotion.  I suddenly no longer want to participate.

Hannah had purchased eclipse glasses for the kids and I months ago.  I assumed we’d all watch it.  But I just couldn’t muster up all the excitement that I saw bubbling over everywhere else.

Our house was packed to capacity the night before – all beds and sofas taken by friends from out of town who wanted to sit in the path of totality.  We ate breakfast together.  Watched informative YouTube videos and live coverage on the west coast.  We ate lunch.  (Have you ever tasted a pickled green bean?  It has nothing to do with the eclipse, other than the fact that the eclipse is the day our family first tried them.  They’re delicious.)  And then it was our turn.  Chairs were put outside.  Eclipse glasses distributed.  The clouds were at first blocking the sun and we figured maybe that was they way it was going to go.




And then.  Well.  Then the show actually started.  The clouds breezed away and the moon crept its fantastic self right on over in front of the sun.

Y’all.  I couldn’t believe the magic.  There’s no exact describing it and I cannot even fully understand why it was so incredible and impressive to me.



The moon taking its bite out of the sun – that’s what Otto and Piper kept calling it.  The shadows shifting.  The sun fading.  The darkness coming.  A rooster crowed.  (That got our little crowd pretty stoked.)  The horses in the field across the street trotted themselves to the barn.  The temperature felt pleasantly mild. These gorgeous little dancing curves of sunlight and shadow sprinkled in the dirt under our familiar oak tree. Until finally, the moon blocked out all the light.  And Tom started sprinting toward the edge of the yard and half of us sprinted after him – to watch the glow of what looked like a sunset settle in front of Paris Mountain.  The totality.  All of the sun’s bold bright light covered by the moon.  It was like night.  In the middle of the afternoon.




The slow reintroduction of the sun back to its rightful order on the earth.  The light glowing and dreamy.

I kept staring through my flimsy little protective eye shields for all the remaining glimpses.  Bergen shouted his farewells to the eclipse, declaring “I shall miss thee, eclipse.”



And then it was done.  Complete.  Over.  The afternoon all regular again and the sky the same as we think it always is and the lawn emptied and the cars drove away and the kids and I had a quiet dinner in a quiet house.

I’m sure its beauty was in its rarity.  Its beauty in its unexpectedness, despite its predictability.  The surprise in finding out something that was actually not a surprise was indeed surprisingly delightful.






Five Finds Friday (funny lyrics & tea & feather earrings)


It’s been a full week.

Sometimes you can judge my busyness by the number of blog posts that I am able to send out.  This week I think I only wrote two.

Of course, sometimes the opposite is true.  Sometimes I take the time to write a blog post instead of doing laundry or sweeping the floor or planning school or going to bed on time.

So – basically what I’m saying is – no one knows.  You can’t tell anything.  It’s all a guess.  I’m not even sure myself.

What does it even matter, really?  Besides, it’s Friday and so here we are.





Misquoted and misunderstood song lyrics are one of my favorite genres of humor.

Are they a genre?

Lots of times the kids and I all share the way that we thought a song was going – the words our brains told us we were hearing, despite their high level of nonsense or their completely illogical nature.  And then, after we share what we thought we heard, we can’t seem to ever sing the song again without singing it the incorrect way.  It’s how many family jokes have developed.  We think one song is saying “beef, beef stew” in a gentle and crooning manner.  Another favorite is “if you need a wombat, just use mine” even though it’s highly improbable that any artist wrote a serious lyric about a wombat.  Another one we’ve misquoted for years is “are you caught in hurricane?” for this meaningful and inspirational song that we basically just ruin.

Driving home from one the many activities of our lives, we had a friend in the car who shared his misunderstood song lyric.  The song says “I’ve got that sunshine in my pocket …” but our young friend was convinced that instead it was sung like this – “I’ve got that sunshine in my backside”.

Please tell us your favorite misunderstood lyrics.  




I don’t even care how many times I talk about earrings in this space.  Earrings are my favorites.  Earrings and boots.  I have no explanation as to why this is true.  I don’t try to understand everything.

Noonday has a new line out apparently and in the last week I saw two of my friends wearing what I know will become some of my new favorite earrings for myself.  (When I get out of this expensive month of back to school August and decide how to spend the birthday money I keep hoarding.)


These have that touch of metallic which I just keep loving and they are light enough for me to wear while riding a horse or zip lining through the tree tops or, you know, all of my regular workaday activities.




I knew it was bound to happen.  The end was inevitable.

This week I finished my last cup of tea from the box of tea that I purchased in Colorado at Celestial Seasonings that quickly became my favorite tea.

Fireside Vanilla Spice.



I wept a cup of tea-sized tears as I sipped the last delicious bit.

The description online calls it a “taste of pure coziness”.  Man – they’re so right.  It is my nearly nightly ritual to have a cup of tea after the kids are in bed.  I sit in the same chair and I work while I sip.  Occasionally I skip the working part and hop right in bed with my cup of cozy and a good book.  (That’s my nightlife, people.  It’s as glamorous and as perfect as it sounds. I’m not complaining.)

I know I can order more tea online – although I have to buy $49 worth to get free shipping.  Even for me, that’s a whole lotta tea, folks.  And I’ve grown to abhor paying a shipping fee.

But it’s just a little extra sad knowing that I purchased it on our Colorado journey.  I guess that’s just another reason to head back west again as soon as humanly possible.




Faithful is a God who puts people in my path who will share their own uncomfortable story when I most need it.




Watching my girl succeed on stage.




Watching my brother play with my children.




Watching my “baby” sleep.












all of the questions. none of the solutions.


Yes, they’re hilarious and often times they are cute and occasionally they bake delicious cookies.



But seriously – nothing is flawless, am I right?

I mean, why – for the love of all things holy – can we not have ONE SINGLE FLAT SURFACE IN OUR HOME THAT IS NOT COVERED WITH RANDOM AND SUNDRY ITEMS?

I’m talking the stuff that comes out of kids’ pockets.  The things they “create” and then don’t know what to do with themselves.  The kite made out of construction paper  The rocks from a hike that have zero interesting things about them but if I dare to throw said plain rocks outside, someone will miss their beloved rocks and will let me know.  For the love.  Just one flat surface, people – that’s all I want.  The top of the lockers?  How about that one?  There is no reason on earth to put your novel for school on TOP of the locker when it has a perfectly reasonable home INSIDE the locker.  It’s why i bought them, for goodness sake.  Can you even imagine?  Why is this so hard?  Just open the locker.  Open it.  It doesn’t have a padlock – or even a little oh-so-tiring switch to lift up. It just pulls open.  The end.

The kitchen counter right beside the door.  It’s not just keys and pocket change.  I’m not living yet with kids who drive or have pocket change.  It’s I don’t know what – baseball cards and a wrench and why did any of my children have a wrench out anyway?  It’s one sock and a water bottle and sixteen bottle caps and I tell you what – these bottle caps are making me lose my mind.  The kids are obsessed wth them.  I gather that they represent some sort of currency – perhaps taking the place of the coal currency that was king last summer.  I don’t know.  I’m not their financial guru.  I serve in a different capacity here.  But if I see another bottle cap floating across the surface of my life, I am going to feed said bottle cap to the first child that walks past me.

Why are there children’s shoes constantly in MY bedroom?  I don’t wear size 5 smelly Keens.  And, speaking of stuff in my bedroom, I know that our bathroom has NO counter.  (As in, zero counter.  The sink is too tilted and small to even place a bottle of hand soap there.)  But does zero bathroom counter space mean that my bedroom should somehow become the collection place for all of the hairbrushes our household owns?

Don’t even get me started on the phenomenon of the one sock and one shoe that get found all over our house.  Do my kids go to social functions in one sock and one shoe?  Suddenly I’m thinking they must.  You’d tell me if that was occurring – right?

Then there’s the Legos – do they multiply under my feet but vanish when the kids want new ones?  This must be an accurate assumption.

I can’t answer all of these questions.  I can’t keep my counter surfaces clean and kid paraphernalia out of my own bedroom.  The Legos are never completely picked up and I will never understand why putting shoes away is so tricky.

There you have it – life with five kids.  It’s not tidy, that’s for certain.








keep looking up.


He probably said it two dozen times.  Actually, I’m sure it was said more often than that.

Keep looking up.

The words one of my friends said to me, to the kids, to our friend circle, when times were dark and The Ending was beginning.

Keep looking up.

Sometimes I don’t even think I had a clue what he meant.  And sometimes I understood it perfectly.

Last week the kids and I and some dear friends went hiking in North Carolina.  (Oh it was a gorgeous spot.  One that has long been on my list of places to visit and will now be on my list of places to see each season.)  It’s called Black Balsam and it’ll make you sing all of The Sound of Music lyrics.



We were above the tree line and the trail was clearly defined – usually.  The trail was actually sort of a rut that was often several feet deep, narrow and frequently bordered on both sides by tall shrubs and bending grass.

The trail was easy to follow, but because of the many rocks and uneven ground, the highs and the lows, the dips and the bumps, you really had to keep an eye on where you stepped one foot in front of the other.

The views were in all directions and sweeping panoramic vistas greeted your every glance.  You felt on top of the world and the mountains were that endlessly charming hazy blue that look like the best known filter available to mankind has been applied to your very eyeballs, making all the views seem perfect and dreamy.

Except I kept watching my feet.



I kept looking down, step by step by step.  Here’s a rock.  Here’s a step up.  Here’s a step down.  Here’s a hole.  All I was noticing was the path directly under my Chacos.



When I would finally look up, when a butterfly caught my eye and I followed its flittery travels across the tops of the flowering fields, I would almost have to hold my breath, the view was so spectacular.  I couldn’t NOT talk about it and I couldn’t open my mouth in fear of destroying the quiet beauty.



Keep looking up.

What on earth was I doing staring at my own two feet?

I know those two size eight point five roustabouts plenty well.

Why wasn’t I staring at what I hadn’t seen enough of yet?

Why wasn’t I looking up?



I was all caught up in staying on the path.  Not tripping.  Getting from Place A to Place B.  Making it across the mountain.  Following the trail.  Moving along quickly.

Not that I wanted to fall or get lost or stand still forever.

But I think mostly my feet could stay on the well-defined trail without my constant checking up on them.

I was missing out.  For the love.  Missing out on the bold white cloud that was shaped like a llama in a full sprint.  Missing out on the mountains stacked up in layers on the other mountains, looking every bit like a doctored photograph, too perfect to be real.  Missing out on the myriad of black butterflies – like the one that landed right on my son’s hand, much to his delight.  Missing out on the feeling of being on some sort of other planet, or a movie set, or some sort of magical bit of fairy land.

Keep looking up.

I sort of said something about my feet and the trail and looking down and missing out and looking up to my friend Sarah and she laughed.  “That’ll make the blog for sure.  That’s just begging to be written.”



And it was.  It is.  Just begging to be written.  Just begging to be remembered.

Too obvious to miss.

Except I kept missing it anyway.

I keep missing it anyway.

Not just on the trail, of course.   Not just at Black Balsam.

But here.  Today.  In my house and in my life.

Keep looking up.









Five Finds Friday (fries and hevel and gray hair)


This week has been pleasant – good weather, school progressing along nicely, the promise of the weekend on the horizon.  All good things.

And now it’s Friday.





Honestly, just living in this house with five kids who are becoming genuinely funny humans in their own rights has been so incredibly enjoyable.  We laugh.  A lot.  They’re just so comical.

I forget to write a lot of it down any longer.  (And I should work on that, I know.)

This week Piper Finn has been packing a lunch all week for her attendance at theatre camp.  One evening as she was filling her little bags with cheeze-its and strawberries and all the lunch friendly options, I noticed she had put in one of her bags about five cookies.  That seemed excessive for a nine year old’s lunch.  I said something to that effect.

Her eyes met mine, “Mom – I’m bringing these to share with Aubrey and Dani.  We love to share lunches.”

I shrugged, “Alright then.”

And London, with a grin she reserves for times when she thinks she’s being hilarious, said to me, “Hey Mom – speaking of inaccurate parental assumptions …” and then proceeded to tell me about another time earlier that I had jumped to a wrong conclusion.

I said they were funny, I didn’t always say they were appropriate.




Pretty sure I stretch this “fashionable” category all the time.

It’s too hard.  I don’t think about “fashion” very often.  I don’t know what that word even really means.

Today in the car the kids were looking at a parenting magazine that had come in the mail.  We laughed about the newest trends. Jeans ripped jagged and too short across the ankle.  Kids clothing that already has paint stains on it.  Hey guys, we damage our own clothing just fine by ourselves, thanks.

Also.  This week I noticed a generous amount of gray hairs.  On my head.

Who knew?

As London tried to console me, she kept saying, “You never noticed Mom because you never look at the top of your head.”

Actually though, I have not really needed genuine consoling.  I can’t even convince myself to care about those gray hairs.




Sometimes I like to write in places other than my home.

This week I tried out a new restaurant called LTO – it’s a burger bar and I think the initials stand for lettuce, tomato and onion.

It’s only been open for about three days and their staff was so kind.

I just wanted fries and a slush drink – both of which I got.  And both of which I was immensely pleased with.



Also – the water brought out something wild for me to try – blueberry ketchup!

Surpriseit’s delicious!

(Next time I want one of their ridiculously oversized milkshakes.  One of them has a cinnamon roll IN the shake – what?  They’re nearly $10 but I think my entire family can share one!)




Our family loves what The Bible Project does – their videos and their work.  It’s incredible.

This video about Ecclesiastes is spot on.



And – because after viewing that video it led us into viewing another Ecclesiastes video – I’m going to share BOTH of them.  Same general message in each, but created differently.  Both so moving and clarifying.  (This one starts out differently – give it a chance.  Watch til the end. It’s so important.)



Hevel.  It’s all hevel.




It’s possible I’ve featured my friend Beth’s works before.  Her penmanship is beautiful.

And now she has stickers!!



Right now you get one free with any order over $10.  I’m going to try to just give her $10 for a sticker of every style because I love them all.









a list of …… stuff


This post is going to be more like a Public Service Announcement.

Or something.

Probably not Public Service Announcement at all.  Probably more random and less beneficial than a Public Service Announcement.

1.  On the Travelers Rest Here Instagram there is currently a contest taking place.  It’s a fun one and I meant to tell you guys about it earlier but I forgot.  Because I forget things.  A lot of things.  I forget a lot of things.  Anyway.  Find this picture on our Instagram feed and follow the instructions and do all of that – right away – because I’m drawing the winner tonight and I think it would be fun if you had a shot at it.


2.  A very long time ago I wrote a little children’s book.  I typed it up and printed it out and sat it in a folder.  For years.  A lot of years.  Not because I forgot.  (Even though I forget things.)  But because I just didn’t know.  I didn’t know what to do with it.  I didn’t know if it was very good.  Recently I sent it to a friend who is a children’s book author.    She said kind things about the book.  And now I would like to try to do something with this little story.  To give it a shove after its many years in hiding.  My friend suggested I first locate either an agent or a publisher.  So, before I begin a random search for either, I figured I’d start here.  Do any of you know an agent or a publisher?  For children’s picture books?

3.  I cannot even believe that we’ve started high school.  Or homeschool at all again already.  It still feels like summer.  Well, actually, miraculously in my neck of the woods, it actually feels like fall.  Which is weird.  But welcomed.  I will never complain about moderate temperatures.  No, I will not.

4.  Yesterday, whilst talking with a friend, I realized that I do not own many (or any, actually) in between clothes.  Do you know what I mean?  Like – I have two pair of pajamas.  (It’s true.  Just two.  I don’t even know why, but it’s completely accurate.)  But I don’t own clothing that fits in between.  Like – the stuff you relax in but isn’t actually a pair of pajamas.  I own zero sweat pants.  I own leggings.  Do they count?  I don’t think of leggings the same way all of America thinks about them though.  (You don’t have to agree with me.  That’s fine.)  Should I remedy this situation?  Should I purposely purchase clothing that isn’t quite what I want to leave the house in just so I can wear it without ever leaving the house?  Is that what people do?  Why am I solidly in my forties and unaware of how this situation works?

I think these are all the things I have to ponder.  Although I’m sure I’ve forgotten something.  It’s what I do.






Burt’s Bees Meets The Grove And Some of It Can Be Yours


Way back when I had more babies than teenagers I found out about Burt’s Bees.



I loved their products before I was on the Facebook and the Instagram and before I was writing blog posts and when I was living on a sweet farm in the Virginia mountains.  I was using Burt’s Bees products back when I had to use my own voice out loud to people to tell them how much I loved what Burt’s Bees sold.  Their chapsticks and their baby lotion.  Their bath gel and their body lotion.  I also always liked their packaging.  I’m not even sure why.  (I even remember registering for their products when London was about to be born.  I associate those smells with that cute baby London Scout.  Goodness – the sweetness.)

When The Grove Collaborative announced that their next giveaway was a partnership with Burt’s Bees and their new lines of products, I got pretty excited.  Especially excited for those of you who have never signed on for the convenience that is The Grove.

If you sign up THIS WEEK with Grove here’s what you get:

  • Burt’s Bees Cleansing Towelettes
  • Burt’s Bees Body Lotion
  • Burt’s Bees Lip Crayon
  • Grove Collaborative Hand Cream



I’m excited about trying all of these but I had to laugh a little at the lip crayon for me and for most of my friends in this season of life.  Lips and crayons.  I sort of want the idea of crayons to be farther removed from my life.  I want to feel a little bit more grown up – maybe I’ll call it the classic lip gloss and feel better.  Or lip color?  Lip enhancer?  Ah, whatever – just call it a crayon and scribble it across right here so I look like I slept more hours than I actually did last night.  Fine.



You’ll need to spend $20 in purchasing other products.  I’d suggest starting with the Mrs. Meyers hand soaps and dish soaps.  Who doesn’t need more of those at every sink in your house?  I also order my dish detergent here.  (I ran out last night, as a matter of fact, and had to ask my friend Hilary to loan me a few tabs until my Grove order comes in!  I mean, she was coming over for dinner anyway so it worked out rather nicely.)

Once you purchase your first order you will be set up to receive an order monthly.  If you don’t need anything that month, no big deal – just push your order to the next month.  It’s easy to use, super convenient because it comes to your door, and it turns out to be a good deal too!

If you are already a Grove member, this month you do get a sweet little freebie with your order if you click right here.

This terrific mint chapstick.  I love it.  It’s in my Sean Penn bag right now.



So all you have to do is sign up for your Grove Order.

New customers click here to sign up and get all that wonderful Burt’s Bees goodness.

Returning customers (and thank you for being one) click here to get your free lip balm.








the unpleasant unexpected.


Like all the grieving I have ever waded through, it’s the stages that take me by surprise.

Some of my hard has looked like this:

Giant to-another-state moves where our family left one sort of life to live another sort.

Raising one child to an adult.

Close friends moving away from our circle.

The loss of my mother.

The death of my marriage.

It’s all been a path more jagged than straight.  A good morning followed by a bad afternoon on the heels of a beautiful evening smashed up against a weepy week.

Unpredictable and often unexpected.  A storm on a calm sea.  A rain shower on a sunny day.  A flat tire on a long awaited road trip.

Most recently it was a regular evening.  Friends at the dinner table.

One minute we’re talking about tomatoes and the next minute I’m tongue tied and I sort of wish I could leave the table and just sit in my room by myself.

It’s a good life I am living.  But it’s a hard life too.

I’ve never wanted this little internet blog space to be filled and overflowing with whining or pouting or woe-is-me lamenting.

But it IS my space and I also do want it to be filled with real.

Some days I am just tired.

Some days my wheelbarrow of bricks seems heavier than the day before.  My little red wagon of trouble and triumph seems bogged down and rusty and extra squeaky.

I’m tired.  That’s true.  Tired despite my current heroic efforts to maintain a proper bedtime.  Despite my self-enforced schedule to “fit it all in”.  Despite my copying over half of the Present Over Perfect book I just finished and by through which I was entirely motivated and gently convicted.

Sometimes the kitchen is clean and the floor is swept and the counter is sparkly.  And sometimes the dog has upended the trash can and apparently I am the only human alive in this home who has noticed the corn cob on the floor beside the lettuce leaf and the literal pile of dirt.  Did someone just empty a shoe here or what?

And my friends at the dinner table earlier spoke freely of wedding anniversaries and complimentary personalities.  They shared funny and endearing stories about how the one spouse balances out the other spouse and how the team they find themselves in in marriage has just been the greatest blessing and you must know that it is without a hint of sarcasm that I am writing this and I have said it before and I will say it again – I want your marriages to work.  I want your love to be a big love and I want your story to begin and end well, with romance and hard work and beauty and sweetness and mutual heavy lifting and partnership.    I want ALL of that for my friends.  For you.  For my children.

And I wanted it all for me too.

Which causes these moments, these unanticipated moments, where the earth falls away below my feet and my heart leaps to my throat and my eyes sting and I feel so wickedly uncomfortable in my own skin and I just want to scream about what feels like the vast weight of unfairness to me and my people.

Sometimes that’s what I feel too.

And the trickiest part is that I just never know when the load of rotten will shift and land square on my shoulders.  I never can predict when a word or a glance or a story will trip me up and send me sprawling.

The good news, the hopeful part, is that when I do fall, I stay down for a shorter time these days.  When I am blindsided, I don’t set up my tent and make a fire there and get all cozy in my sorrow.

And that’s a lovely sort of encouraging success if you are me living this life.

But it would be a lie to pretend that it’s only sunshine these days.  That all hope and mountain tops and starry skies are the reality.  That’s not any more true for me than it is true for you.

The falling matters as much as the soaring.

And my days are still steady full of both.






Five Finds Friday (there’s jam and a johnny cash shirt)


I told you we “officially” started school this week.

And we did.

But we also hiked Black Balsam in North Carolina (or what I like to call Middle Earth or the mountains in the Sound of Music or what my friend Sarah who hiked with us called Darcy’s land from Pride and Prejudice.  The point is – it was other-world pretty.) and we also spent a day swimming at the ever-satisfying Lake Jocassee.  So, yes – we did school.  But we also saw some magical spots and I was reminded that, although I dream sometimes of living somewhere else, where I actually reside is full of beauty and charm.

Anyway – that all brings us right up to today and we all know what that is —- FRIDAY!





How on earth will I ever find amusement when all of my children grow up and leave me and I live in my house with my dog and my cat and whatever variety of small animals I bring into the fold?

Each week, each day, they make me laugh in a hundred different ways.  Sometimes the laughter is a coping mechanism to avoid crying instead because when a child asks you thirty-two times in a row what they can eat or when they can watch a show or do they have to do all of their chores, sometimes all you can do is laugh if you desire to remain sane.

But more often the laughter is because they are totes legit funny.  (Kidding.  Kidding with all the abbreviated talk there.  It’s become a family joke to shorten words in a ridiculous manner because shortening words is actually one of my pet peeves.)

Anyway.  This week’s funny was sitting on the dresser beside my bed.

I like to make little essential oil sprays because I like stuff to smell good and so much of my life and my house seem to be actively working against me to smell terrible.

Otto asked me if he could make his own spray.

I agreed and this is what he created and named himself.





A literal lifetime ago I was in Chicago and met this unique and interesting couple and have loosely kept in touch with them over the last seven years since we met.

They live in Texas and do funky design work that has this very specific brand that is uniquely theirs and I like their style even if it doesn’t exactly suit me.  It’s fun and wonderful to live in a world where we all don’t have to look alike or sound alike to value the skill set and the workmanship of someone else.

Gary and Kaysie love people and they love Jesus and they love art and they love one another and I love that all of that is true.

They’ve just ventured into a new arena with clothing and it’s available on their website at Dorsey&Stone and I really like this shirt that they’ve designed.






I was at Lake Jocassee most of the day.

When I returned home I had stacks of work to accomplish.  The kids were on dinner patrol while I worked and after we ate dinner we all cleaned up the kitchen and eventually proceeded to get ready for bed.  I can’t explain how this happened, but somehow, I did not open my own refrigerator all day I guess.

Eventually I wanted something from that cold box in my kitchen and when I opened the door it was like a light was shining down from heaven.    And that light was illuminating a jar on the top shelf that I had not placed there.

A jar of …..

Biscuit Head’s Amaretto Sour jam.




A fairy who had been returning a Teaching Textbooks CD while I was gone had apparently also placed the jam in my fridge.  A fairy named Amanda who shall receive many golden crowns for her kindness.

If you’ve never eaten at Biscuit Head and if you’ve never tried their amaretto sour jam, well, those are two situations you should remedy.    (I can currently help you with one of them.)




The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
 Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
 They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.

Psalm 19:1-4





Sometimes we strike gold in the little movies we find to watch together as a family.

We recently rented a perfectly precious film called Swallows and Amazons.

You should watch it too.







Day One School Thoughts


School started back for us today.

Hello Wildwood Halls of Ivy.



I have a high school daughter again.

And two middle schoolers.

My “baby” is in third grade.  He feels super unexcited to be required to do school again.



Today it was difficult to stay on track for all of us, but I think over all we did alright.

High school curriculum is not cheap, let me tell you.

Our Latin curriculum has yet to arrive but I like the first couple of days to be a slow start anyway so we don’t hit all the subjects all the days.  Latin is new for us this year – we’re using something called Visual Latin and I’ll let you guys know what I think as we progress a little farther.

In fact, there’s a lot of new across the board.  High school is a different beast in some ways.  In other ways it’s still the same.  It’s actually more like my philosophy of education hasn’t shifted at all.  It’s just that high school state requirements force me to fit my philosophy into their pigeon holes.  And I don’t like pigeon holes.  Or fitting in.  I actually don’t even care for pigeons, but don’t tell my bird-loving son that.  He’d be appalled.



In all of our past school years we have completed one science together as a family.  This year I have five students and three science classes.  I don’t even know what’s happening.

Also new this year is Analytical Grammar.  We’ll just see how that goes.  We’re back with Simply Charlotte Mason for history and geography – they just do such a great job of combining all ages and offering instruction and guidance and good literature to learn about history in an engaging and structured manner.

I didn’t make my own bed today but I did put dinner in the crock pot early on and that was a real victory.

I’m not sure how to stretch time to suit my needs.  I don’t know how to teach five kids school and write this blog and run a business too.  I like laughter best but sometimes I feel like tears are at the surface faster.  I have words written all over my walls though that remind me of the thoughts of which I’d like to be most reminded.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”



I’m hanging in there, you know.  It doesn’t feel like drowning, most days.  And not even like treading water so much anymore.  But not entirely like hitting my stride.  (Or whatever the water equivalent to that would be – to keep up my swimming metaphor.)

It is a new school year, however, and that always brings some focused fun and some needed routine to our days.  I do rather like the humans in my house, and even when their attitudes are snappy and their feet are dragging and their words are less than uplifting, there is not another place I would choose to be, not another life I would choose to live.  This is the one I’ve got and this is the one I’d pick.








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