Monday, September 22

Books We've Read 2014-2015 School Year


  • Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary (B)
  • Rascal by Sterling North (B) 
  • Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel (E)
  • Charlotte's Web by E.B.White (E, read aloud)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix by J.K. Rowling (B)
  • The Elite by Kiera Cass (M)
  • The One by Kiera Cass (M)
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman (A)
  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo (E, read together)
  • The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill (B)
  • The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan (B)
  • Sammy the Seal by Syd Hoff (E)
  • The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis (E, read aloud)
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater (B)
  • Marie in the Fourth Position by Amy Littlesugar (B, E)
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (B)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (B)

Wednesday, August 27

A New Season

A dear friend of mine frequently has reminded me through the years that we only see a small part of the bigger picture.  It is so easy to get weighed down by our narrow vision, and it is important that someone speak truth to you in those moments.

She was my easiest baby.  The caboose.  Her schedule flexed with the big kiddos.  She went everywhere, watched everything, and waited patiently...over and over and over again.  I fell deeply in love with my Boo girl.

I won't lie--the last few years with her have been hard.  She only likes certain clothes that fit certain ways.  She feels deeply and strongly.  She laughs loudest, yet cries hardest.  I found that I could handle those things decently--consistency, consistency, consistency.  As long as I could respond correctly, we were headed in the right direction.
 But then I began to school her, just as I did her siblings.  She HATED it.  I could convince her to color, to sing, to dance, to dream...but I could not convince her to read.  She knew her letters; she knew the sounds.  She would not read.  I tried everything.  I asked everyone for help.  I struggled just as much, if not more, than she did.
 I wanted her to love reading because I love reading.  Because her siblings love to read.  She did not care.  I took it personally.  I began to feel as if I was failing her.  People, unintentionally I hope, gave me reason to question myself. I contemplated enrolling her in school so she could have a better teacher.  I cried, and I prayed.  I found myself defeated and deflated.  My pride stopped me from seeking out more help.
 So it was with complete and utter dread that we started second grade this year.  I am not even kidding.  I prayed that God would somehow enable me to do an impossible job.  We are four weeks into the school year.  She loves it.  EVERY.SINGLE.THING.ABOUT.IT.  The handwriting?  It's beautiful.  The reading?  She's doing it AND enjoying it.  The math?  She's mastering it like her siblings did.  I remembered what I had forgotten--one of the greatest joys of homeschooling is letting each child find their own pace.  We finally found hers.

 I have been reminded that God always has more in store for us, and we have no idea what that looks like.  For me, at this time, I am treasuring our mornings.  I am thrilled to share my favorite stories with her, to see her own joy over my favorite characters and their antics.  Her heart is bending, and I am amazed as I watch it happen.  Her spirit, still quite spunky, is more pliable these days.  I am excited to see where she's headed.

**All of these beautiful pictures were taken this summer in Maine, except for the very last one.  It is from Gettysburg.**

Tuesday, March 25

At twelve and a half.

At twelve and a half, you are ALMOST a teenager.  You have opinions and thoughts, and they matter.  You have also entered the portion of the dance world where some of your costumes have two pieces.  I have become okay with that.  You do not wear them anywhere but on stage, so unless I post pictures, most people do not even realize it.  That being said, on Sunday, you danced beautifully, and on Sunday, there were a lot of fabulous pictures taken.  And for the very first time, we are sorting through which pictures are the most appropriate for viewing.  Although none of your dancing is inappropriate, a picture captures only a minute piece of the dance...and sometimes that leaves some of the beauty behind.  So these are a few that mark your skill without being too questionable.  






You are a beautiful dancer, and I love to watch you dance!

Sunday, February 9

A note for my swimmer.

Dear Bentley,

I know this weekend was a little disappointing for you.  You worked very hard the last few weeks, swam miles, so that maybe, just maybe, you could make one more state qualifying time.  It didn't happen.  You were so very, very close.  We like to think that if we work very hard, we will be able to achieve whatever we aim for.  The world will tell you that life works that way.  You were reminded that this isn't always the case.  Sometimes it just isn't meant to be.  It doesn't mean you shouldn't work so hard; it just means that you keep working hard.  I can't wait to see you swim in the state swim meet in two weeks.  I love to watch you swim, no matter how you do or where you place.  This is why:

Swimming brings out such a responsible side of you!  You check your arm, you check the boards, you check the lanes, you line yourself up, and you wait your turn.  We never have to question whether or not you are where you need to be.  You are.  It is fun to watch.



You swim with your heart.  You love to swim, and it shows.  You may not be the fastest swimmer, but you are a clean swimmer.  I cannot even remember the last time you were disqualified.


You have grown so much.  I remember the five-year-old that was so fearful of deep water that we had to pay for private swim lessons. Where did that little boy go?  Just this week, you worked on your diving form in practice.
 This weekend, you nailed it.  Just look at this dive of yours.  Unbelievable.
 And when it's not your best stroke, you still give it your all.  Impressive.
 But this is mostly why I love swim.  Your friendships.  You cheer for each other, even when you're representing different teams.  You watch out for each other, and you get excited for each other.  I caught this moment behind the block.  You had just finished your final race of the day.  It was almost Charlie's turn.  Both you and Dane stopped to give him a pep talk.  These are your summer swim buddies.  These are the boys we spend the entire month of June with.  These relationships are worth it.
Oh, and your 100 Fly is unbelievable.

I love you, buddy, and I love to watch you swim.

Thursday, January 30

First Snow This Year

There is so much I could write about the last 48 hours.  It has been a mess, and maybe I'll find a good way to use my words.  But for now--here's a few pictures.




Wednesday, January 1

Perhaps my very favorite gift this year.

Last night we traded gifts with some very dear friends of ours.  I opened this necklace. My eyes immediately filled with tears--happy tears.  There is something to be said for a friend that knows you so well and cares for you so much.  A friend that can give a simple gift and have it represent so much.  A friend who knows what this year holds for me and wanted me to remember truth on a daily basis.  

As we rang in the New Year with our dear friends, I thought about how good and gracious God has been to me.  No matter how desolate it seems at times, no matter how out of control life in this world seems, God always meets me there, just as he promised.  And time and time again over the last few years, he has used a group of core friends to push me closer and closer to him.  My understanding of the gospel has grown exponentially.

May 2014 be a year of life-giving and gospel living for us all!

Wednesday, December 25




Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Merry Christmas, dear friends!!