Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.
Psalm 63:3

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!

To you all!

It's our third quiet day in Granville, enjoying cuddles and naps, movies and snow play.  Forgive me for not telling some of you local peeps...just needed a break from everything. Also felt a little silly to share a big farewell moment when we are still very much here.

Friday, we were here to complete one last project on the old house before ownership shifts. It snowed inches that day so we sought refuge at my dad's. We returned to Dayton for Saturday, gathering Christmas gifts and supplies. Sunday morning, we even tried out a new church to which we will certainly return. It's the smaller campus of Fairhaven Church and may be the church family for us.

Craving a quiet Christmas Eve of baking and laundry, we traveled back to Dad's and kept a low profile as we surely made ourselves at home. We wanted to spend the holiday with my brother, who would otherwise be alone. After a quiet morning opening gifts (and assembling 2 of 4 large Lego sets,) he and his dogs joined us for a loud lunch and gift exchange. In the evening my aunt and my little family traveled to my cousin's charming house in Columbus to see my dad's extended family. It was a lovely, long day.

Each day other than Christmas, there has been the lingering possibility that we would have to rush back to Dayton to sign papers. I woke up this morning and started cleaning and packing, only to get a phone call that it will be tomorrow afternoon. So we wait and enjoy the snowfall from inside the house and snuggle in for a bit more.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Well, it's not going to happen, friends. Our house will not be ours until after Christmas. There is some peace in it. I'm just bummed that I don't have our decorations that mean so much to me.

We did a bit of decking the hotel...Bean and I made these today. And surprisingly, before we left the old house, I remembered to snip some greenery with red berries, so that I would have something. (I don't know what it is...some creeping shrub, low to the ground that has tear-drop leaves and bright red berries.) We have a fireplace and mantel here, so after a few minutes of arrangement, it's looking festive.

Tonight after dinner, Sweet Man and I began to draw our new house...I on graph paper and he on his fancy~schmancy work software. So fun...we have some good ideas, I think. I must remember that taking a wall out with a keystroke is way different than with a sledgehammer.

One of our first purchases will be a wood burning stove as there is no place in which to burn wood (a non-negotiable on my wishlist.) Does anyone know what those funky, retro, suspended fireplaces are called?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Home sweet

Hey, y'all!

We did it...the ball that we began rolling back in September picked up speed and barreled away from me me as I watched helpless and full of uncertainty. We are in the midst of a move.

Bug, Bean, & I closed the door on our home of 11 years yesterday. I kept my cool until after the (really nice) movers left...well, except for when those sweet friends of mine gave me last hugs. With one kiddo in the car crying and one kid walking with me through each room (who actually found my dough hook that had rolled out of reach of the movers - yay!) I bawled...and said, "I loved you, house...but I hated you, too." So silly, huh? It really was a great house...both babes knew their first days there. Bean was born there. Parties and Christmases and projects and much life there.

What an interesting be moved. I felt fairly lazy, watching the guys work for 2 days. Until the last 3 or 4 hours when I got busy finding more things to throw on the truck...porch rug, vacuum cleaner (finally finished sweeping,) and a plunger (uh, duh...very valuable item, thank you.) Good golly, after purging 5 years ago, how did we fill half a semi with stuff? Consumerism, blech.... And then there was so much randomness that was shoved into every available space in my car. My little vagon vas crammed full...unsafely so. After a unload at my dad's house, we headed west. Be glad I didn't swing by your house, dear reader.

I can't say that uncertain feeling has left me yet. We're back in a hotel...familiar territory to us. Hot breakfast is a walk across the parking lot. Clean towels available. Fresh coffee all. day. long. We are fine, but we are edgy (in a psychological sense)  here on the edge of a new city. We're waiting for the paperwork to allow us to get our new keys. All our worldly possessions are on still on a truck.

And I'm eating everything in sight...yeah, it's bad.

It will probably be Christmas eve when we gain possession and who knows when we will unload the truck. I gladly don't have any control of this sitch. The fun begins once we begin to unpack.

I'm already very grateful that Sweet Man loves his new job. It helps even out those "what the h*** are we doing?" moments.

Today, the kids and I escaped the stale hotel air and drove around Englewood Reserve. Since we were so close, we just had to do a drive by of the new house. More specifically, we went up the hill to the park that backs up to our new backyard. We followed the walking path to the back fence of the property and I felt a smidge more certainty in that moment. My my, I think it's going to be a fine house for us. Sure, there is a wall that we want to remove immediatement and a kitchen to remodel. Sweet Man thinks he will do it soon and this time we'll know a bit better what we are doing. The backyard is a blank canvas. We have lots of work ahead...but it's a great house.

But gosh, what a good life I just left.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

these boys charm me

I have enjoyed my sabbath...I was little more than a bump on a log today. Needless to say, it's not really a good time for me to take a day off.

At least I folded laundry while I watched Austin City Limits Festival livestreaming.

And these boys...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

my inner hilde

You know that time I thought it would be kicky to adhere patches of aluminum foil to my 1/2 bath ceiling...

Yes, I my Trading Spaces days, inspired by Hilde.

It was subtle...because not many people gazed at the ceiling in that room. It looked so cool, for so long...too long. It was time to come down. The peeling began so easily...up and down our ladder, Sweet Man and I obsessively pulled at corners and were met with the satisfying rrrrr-i-p of removal. Three quarters off. In a matter of an hour. I'm so glad I chose to patchwork the smallest room in the house.

Then we hit the the first layers I placed. I did a really good job with the glue. You know I'm an over-achiever. Those first patches are stuck for good. Burnished. Permanently one with the drywall. It's up to me and one of our good knives to scrape the rest off into little tiny bits. My fingernails and knuckles will never be the same. I think I'm going to take the sander to it.

Now, who wants to paint the ceiling? of my least favorite tasks... (Actually the 1/2 bath, the back hall, the laundry bath all need it!)

Most of you have heard by now...we're moving. Sweet Man has accepted a position in the Dayton area and so the mad scramble to get the house ready for sale is on. The irony of home improvement is not lost...making the ideas we've tossed about for years come to life, to make the house just right, all to turn it over to someone else...who will probably undo what we just did do.

However, we've known for some time now that this house was not just right for us. My restless heart has been stirred up. Having all four of us in the same place, off the road, for the past year has been wonderful. My menu is planned, my cleaning schedule implemented, and school going fairly swimmingly...all so predictable and stable. It's time for another adventure. Maybe this one with some land to explore. And a puppy.

My aunt, upon our announcement, deftly pointed out the fact that I was quite the home-sick-body growing up and now I don't want to gather any moss.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Summer, Pt. 2

I love summer! We made another summer list this year...and I all but forgot about the 4 foot list staring at me from our blackboard until August. It was time for some efficiency ~ we became really good at swinging three or four list items into an afternoon ie: play tennis, attend a local outdoor concert {perspiration and all} and then indulge in a treat of the best ice cream evah at Whit's. We're down to our last 2 summer activities to cross off {a drive-in movie and finish the last of 3 read-aloud books}...we have until Sept. 21st, right?

July is a blur: a flurry of swim meets and CC meetings. We sprinkled in a fair amount of trips to the pool and a little live music in there, too. Oh, and the Olympics...we soaked the Games up!


I'm still loving CC and what it has done for our family. Structure and accountability, friends, the "going-to-school" experience. Invaluable. And so, this spring Sweet Man and I felt called into helping the organization grow so that more families in our area have this option for homeschooling.

One of my responsibilities in my new position with Classical Conversations is to run a three day meeting for parents. During my interview process, I asked my boss if I could take a pass on the task. Impressive, no?  I thought for sure that would be a deal breaker for her, but no...I was offered the position. 

Really, you know me ~ running the show is not a skill of mine. I'm a worker bee, not a queen bee. Give me a specific task and I'll do it...I may even it do it well and come in on time. But I can't think of anything much more daunting than coming up with a plan for a big event. So, I couldn't imagine coordinating 4 camps for kids, 3 full days of meetings for a large group of adults, 2 levels of training for CC tutors, recess, snacks, speakers, helpers, etc. Overwhelming...

Thank goodness CC does not expect me to reinvent the wheel and there are great plans already developed. My largest task was filling in the blanks of the different positions. CC families and leaders largely have hearts that serve. So many people stepped up and volunteered to help. I think it went as well as could be expected...a little over-budget and I already have a long list of things I will do differently next time. The meeting was only 3 days long but it kept me busy for the last 2 weeks of July.

In my preparation for the meeting, I read a wonderful summation  in Climbing Parnassus of what Classical Conversations does for our family.

"The way to acquire a good taste in anything, from pictures to architecture, from literature to character, from wine to cigars, is always the same - be familiar with the best specimens of each." We must educate the head and the heart alike: "The sight of goodness in life or in literature or history gives a standard and a challenge. If anyone has been able to compare the first-rate with the second-rate, his criticism will not be merely bitter and barren, but creative, born of a vision perceiving the good, dominated by it and desiring to bring it to birth." p. 44

{paraphrase} To our families, we should introduce examples of God's Truth, Beauty, and Goodness so that in life we are capable of recognizing God's Truth, Beauty, and Goodness.

To celebrate that work surge {and my impending 40th birthday} we took off the next day for a 5 day camping trip. It was lovely...perfect weather, great company, and extra friends for a little party. I loved our campsite and our neighboring campsites, occupied by friends. There was wading creek that kept the kids entertained for hours and although our site had a steep path down to it, the next door sites had an easier slope with another piece of level ground. That's where I wanted to be all weekend...on the "patio," in my lounger, drink in hand, with friends to chat, watching the kids splash around. And that's just what I did for a number of hours that weekend.

The only thing missing was music. We brought a little radio but I forgot the media cord to connect our Pandora-loaded phones. Just like our wedding...all was perfect, save the music.  Wah~wah....

And that brought us to 3 weeks of quiet in August where we caught up with friends, sleepovers, books, bike rides, campfires and plenty of screen time...lots of screen time. 

But we're back on track and schedule as of is back in session! My first and third grader {and their teacher} had a fantastic first day!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Summer, Pt. I

Good glory, it's September first. Time to write about our summer! Past time!

As with other summers, we kicked it off with a camping trip with old and new friends. Lots of swimming, lots of fishing. Bug caught a big ole bass...too bad momma don't know what to do with a dead big ole bass. He was kept on ice until someone could filet and fry him. Anyway, it was a perfect weekend to begin our summer.

The whole summer included lots of swimming, of course. Not so much here at the house, but we enjoyed our membership to the big water park more this year. I had to decide that it was okay if we just zipped over and played for an hour or two. Not making it a big all-day, pack everything production made all the difference. More fun. It helped that this summer there was no rain. Last year we'd make plans with friends, arrive, and then the heavens would open and the pool would close. Three times at least...bummer.

And of course, we traveled to Creation again. Oh, I was working hard in my lobby to go to a different festival. There were many reasons: new management, it's a boatload of work to get there, not to mention survive there, one of my favorite bands was at a festival closer to home, and most importantly, our sweet friend Gail had decided she was not going to make the trip. She's been going since the mid-80's, way before my first trip in 1998. How could I even be there without her? Sacrilege...and when I forget trash bags or teabags or something, she always has what we need. 

Sweet Man wanted to give it another year and so I agreed, reluctantly. Funny, isn't it? God blessed my time there, even though I missed Gail terribly. Somehow I was able to slip away frequently...hiking on my own or with my peeps. We revisited our engagement stump as a family. I was also able to get to the worship tent a couple of times: seeing All Sons and Daughters was a highlight.

We returned home to no many around us were without from a huge wind storm that blew through. Five days! The Fourth of July parade was brutal...and we tried to escape the increasing heat by going to the movies, opting to see Brave. Too bad I slept through most of it, but I hear it was good. No sleep for sweltering Central Ohio(!) as my core temp cooled down, my eyes closed. But as we drove home, we started to notice that porch lights were on...power restored!!! 

Swim team was much fun again. Lots of early mornings. I spent much of my time at the meets on the edge of the pool watching touches and flipturns. Wearing white...awesome...I asked for the job that required me to wear the most unflattering clothing imaginable. Ah vell. I still don't feel too connected to any of the other moms...which is okay, 'cause it's not about me. I go to practice and read or knit...which now that I think of it is quite lovely. At home, I'm fairly constantly trying to find a minute to sit and read or knit.

Bug and Bean really blossomed in their swimming. Bug couldn't care less about winning...but his strokes are becoming more developed...rotation breathing and timing. Bean just tears the water up....little water spout. She wants to practice dives and butterfly and starts and she wears me out.

Which brings me to a current sitch which began sometime this spring/summer. The girl does not want to leave my side. Since April she has been complaining of tummy aches. Thinking it may be a diet issue, we eliminated gluten for 10 days and then dairy for 3 weeks. The tummy aches continued I think we're dealing with a purely-in-her-head thing. If she even thinks I may be away from her, her anxiety kicks in and she complains of feeling sick. I went through something much like it when I was 8, not wanting to be away overnight and I would make myself sick with worry.  

But, ugh...she's wearing me out. And it's coming down to her needs dictating the activities of our home. Homey don't play that.

Okay, gonna stop here...stay tuned for Part II.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Why am I blogging again? I'm thinking it helps me process and remember and make decisions.

You know how I am about making decisions...I stew, I consult, I ask the woman cutting my hair what she thinks I should do {psshah, like I have my hair cut.}

Wisdom has taught me that if I'm not given a deadline, I ask for one, otherwise I hem and haw forever. Only Jesus and Sweet Man received an immediate and emphatic "yes." Every other decision is agonizing...for those around me.

In a matter of minutes, I will be finalizing the biggest decision I've made in a while...accepting a job offer with Classical Conversations.

I'm really excited.

Some words to describe my week of training in Virginia:
  • daunting
  • exhilarating
  • encouraging
  • fun
  • exhausting
  • nauseous
  • challenging
  • vision-casting
  • mind-blowing
  • glory-to-God giving
Can I tell you more later? 

I'm on my way to listen to my new boss read Lamentations on Maundy Thursday. The night is dark, but the Son will rise again.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Where in the world?

A few days ago, I left home for a momma-off-on-her-own trip.

Road trips have been few and far between since Sweet Man has come back off the road.

It was interesting to travel sansenfants (say it real fast and wrinkle your nose, like I do) and determine whether or not I live up to this blog's name. I'm happy to report, that left on my own, I do.

I had a 6 1/2 hour trip and a tentative deadline. Once I realized that I was not going to make it to my destination on time, I slowed down. And wandered.

I stopped here...

...and here...

...and here.

A little yarn and a little hike on my road trip. 
{Can you guess where I am?}

Monday, January 30, 2012


We're so doing this this year! Want to join us?
{My Granny would be so proud.}

Friday, January 27, 2012

rick-rack attack!

Must give props to my dear friend and her sweet aunt, from whom I stole this idea: a rick-rack paint border for a girly room.

I thrifted a cute pillow this summer; green and white with pink rick-rack. Using it as inspiration,  I painted the bottom 2/3's of Bean's wall with a pale green and the top third with pure white. That was August. And that's where I stopped.

Something about this week had me tying up loose ends around the house: fixing the bag on my trusty, ancient Kirby vacuum, recovering the console in my trusty, ancient Volvo wagon, ripping someone else's monogram off a thrifted LL Bean backpack for Bug, and spending one hour painting a pink ribbon on Bean's bedroom walls {with her help, of course.}

{A few of the hats on the wall were my momma's}

So cute for such little effort.

Monday, January 23, 2012

knit madness!

It has quite possibly been my busiest knitting season ever...non-stop since September. Feverish, bleary-eyed, glorious knitting. And deadlines, set entirely by myself and my own expectations, seem to be the only way I can be productive.

There was the baby sweater that I finished in time for the baby shower {I better say that again, so that I'm certain you noticed...finished on time!} But as I washed and blocked it, I discovered a hole on the back where I had joined new yarn. With no way to repair it well, I sheepishly promised another to the happy family and delivered before the end of the calendar year. {Made with yarn purchased in Wichita @ Twist for my unsuccessful surplice sweater.}

There was a gift each for my mother-in-law and stepmomma. {No pics...but if you're interested, look back at my past knit posts for Shalom Cardigan and Springtime Bandit.}

And the facebook pay-it-forward 2011 gifts for 3{gah! I forgot until October}...all fingerless mitts that, at this point, I can make in my sleep. I was delighted to join a wintertime walk with a couple of stalwart, beautiful, talented mommas I knew in another lifetime. There I delivered one pair and the recipient honored me with a mention in her blog.

Since the 1st of the year, it has been handknits for me, me, me. Another Springtime Bandit scarf in delicious gray Amy Butler cotton/wool that I scored at her Open House in December {Thanks for the invite, SMC!} A slouchy toboggan {in Lion Brand Amazing Glacier} that opens at the crown and can be worn as a cowl...brilliance {Thanks for the pattern, EKT!} And a pair of fingerless mitts {in my fave Cascade Eco-Wool}, perfect for a wintertime walk. {Oops, you can really tell that I grabbed the wrong shade of yarn to finish the bottom mitt...I have gobs of odds and ends from other projects. Don't let it bother you, it doesn't me!}

Perhaps I should knit something for my children. One of them can now wear my gloves, so I consider that 2 birds, one knit.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jellybean!

No party for her this year...or at least that was my plan. We opted for a low-key (ha!) sleepover and a family gathering for pizza (her choice) and strawberry cake (you guessed it, her choice again.) 


So many wonderful presents!!! 

Two of her friends joined us for a cold winter's night. We all did really well...just enough giggles and talk until 10:30 or so and then everyone settled in. I actually had a good night's sleep which rarely happens without guests.

She's six!

P. S. Just in case you're wondering, I'm experimenting with a comfortable way to continue this blog. So, I've invited you to read...which, of course, is completely up to you. I was feeling the urge to journal our lives again in this place because these days are slipping through my fingers so quickly. I mean, she's six, for goodness sake...I can't get over it. I thank you for your support!