Thursday, December 12, 2013


At least a couple inches…

enough for a few snowballs,

 a shovel-load or two for fort-building…

and a snowball fight before dusk.  

{occasionally, even a direct hit!}

Rejoicing today in wintery gifts-- and a child's sweet prayer…
Thank you, God, for snow!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ice and snow...

Snow and ice.  And more to come tomorrow!

For today, the sidewalks are clear, thanks to my big and little helpers. 

As for tomorrow-- we'll just wait and see :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Christmas is coming!

The tree is up, and most of its ornaments are nestled carefully in place.  The girls decorated to their hearts' content, and many branches now hold multiple gems!  Chris thought (with a smile) I might want to do a little re-arranging after they went to bed, so I carefully moved the fragile ones to higher ground.  The others I left in place, however, as their resting places had been lovingly and thoughtfully chosen by sweet little hands.

As for our Fisher Price nativity set--  for the past 14 years, it has delighted our older four children for hours/days/weeks on end, and now it's delighting our fifth!  God is so good.

"And this will be a sign for you:
you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths 
and lying in a manger...
Glory to God in the highest!"
 Luke 2:12, 14


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Color, imperfections… and absolute perfection

Our neighbors have a gorgeous maple tree in their front yard.  
Today, vibrant hues of raspberry, melon, and sunshine yellow cover their lawn,
 but a few days ago, before the winds whistled through its branches 
and shuffled all that color to the ground,
those leaves danced through the air and shimmied with delight in the afternoon sky.

Savoring the autumn goodness that IS this time of year, 
we spent lots-o-time out of doors.
For a single moment,
I hoped to capture a "good" picture of my crew in front of that leaf-laden tree.
But instead, I shot this….

And this…

And this.

And in an instant, I realized this WAS perfection.

Genuine smiles.
Goofy faces.
Silly gestures.
MY crew.

The embodiment of life-- real and now.

Maybe not Hallmark-card worthy.
But perfectly perfect nonetheless!

Happy autumn, everyone!

Monday, November 18, 2013

1000 Gifts: Eight weeks

We've been home from China for 8 weeks.
Eight fast-paced and mildly chaotic weeks.
Eight overwhelming and calendar-full weeks.
Eight exhausting and often-times strenuous weeks.

Eight glorious weeks, clearly marked by the Maker's hand.
By His generosity, His compassion, His care.

A couple weeks ago, I snapped these shots. Since that time, the leaves have changed color, and many have fallen to the ground.  While the mighty oaks are still laden, the maples are almost bare.  The nights have turned cold, but many days are still splendidly warm.

And most of them continue to look like this...

For all His gifts, I give thanks,
and I continue to add to my list.

I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
Psalm 9:1

Monday, November 4, 2013

1000 Gifts: November begins

Now that October has come and gone, I look ahead to November and Thanks-giving... 
and I pause to truly give.thanks.

Lord, may I not forget….

maple leaves turning from red to orange and yellow

hot apple cider

the crunch of leaves under foot

I'm sorry.


a couple days that feel almost like summer!

and the last of the impatiens-- still in bloom

summer's final bounty-- a few tomatoes still ripening on the vine

three-year old laughter

and the sibling antics that make her smile... every single time

library books

little hands, brushing my hair... just like I brush hers

homemade applesauce

helping hands

a finished project

"Ooh, it's cold out here!"  Fall.

and the list continues....