Thursday, September 18, 2014


A friend's girls are sleeping over tonight. One Lanie's age, one Erin's age. They've been making bracelets, playing Barbies, making obstacle courses, and now they are on their second scavenger hunt. I threw together a list of diverse objects: toothbrush, a piece of cheese, a walnut, a crab apple. But since I'm getting ready to make dinner, I added a box of shell pasta, knowing they'd have to run to the basement to get that and bring it up for me.


I call it win-win.

Monday, September 15, 2014

One thousand gifts and still counting (6006-6031)

for moments in humility on a Tuesday
a good cry
and an hour's quiet to walk across Milvian Bridge
a friend to catch my overwhelm and encourage me
3:30 a.m. on a Wednesday

Medieval Great Books
seeing last year's Bible students, as friends
a great first day of high school
a fun field trip for the kids
riding with Claudia and her daughter

and the great chats we had that dip below superficial
meeting a new Karen, and loving her immediately
Linda on a Friday night
cookies in the freezer
fall clothes for Erin

a sixth grader and a second grader
dance shoes in stock at the shop
a gift card, unexpected
words during a sermon: hearing "wholehearted" (and)
my favorite verse

Shane and the lectern
ice cream after dinner
reading with Lanie on a couch
the good talks we have
her Post-it note back to me, dotted with a heart "i"

tomatoes gifted in abundance from a neighbor

Sunday, September 14, 2014


The last day of the girls' summer vacation. Yeah, a lot of folks started school already (me too--with high school last week), but the lower grades begin tomorrow.

I baked pumpkin streusel breads--one to take in to the office, and one to slice for a lunchbox snack for my kids. I organized the backpacks and got my things together too.

Lanie came to give me a hug and I held her close. Her hair was still damp from a shower and smelled like a fruit salad of strawberry and melon. We hugged for a bit and I said, "You're going into sixth grade tomorrow." I love the young lady she's become; love the change in her heart this year--softer, and full of gratitude, thoughtfulness, and service.

I walked Erin upstairs and she took off to brush her teeth. Doesn't need a mama to look over her shoulder, she thinks. Likes to do things all by herself. Thinks second grade is for little kids. I hugged her close too. She smelled like tomato plants after climbing through the tomato plant maze at a friend's house this afternoon, picking and plucking tomatoes off the vines. We carried home pounds of fresh tomatoes, shared.

"You're going to be in second grade," I said. But she was disappointed she wasn't older. This kid, ready to take on the world. Full of life and life force; she is exuberant and carefree. How she sings and dances when she thinks no one sees her. She wanted to stay up late reading tonight.

"It's a big day tomorrow," I told her. "You'll need to get some good sleep."

It's still a bit early, but they're quieting down. Thoughts of tomorrow and seeing friends and making new friends.

Sixth grade and second grade. It goes so fast.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Twenty minutes-ish

Now that Erin is taking piano lessons, we need to get her a little tote for her piano books. I decided to make one. (Insert laugh track.)  Lanie and I went off to a store to get fabric and cotton webbing (had to Google that--it's the handle material).

I can't tell you how many times I walked the aisles, though I'm sure Lanie could. I didn't have Erin with me, but thought for sure that I would be able to find something she'd love. With hundreds of choices, though, I was having a hard time. Some had too much white. Others looked too grown up. Others still lacked wow factor. I loved the fabric I saw at the tutorial site, and was bent on getting apples. No such luck.

"Mom! Just pick something!" Lanie said. We'd been there an hour, at least.

"I know this is hard for you, but it's even harder for me because I'm stuck in my head!" I told her, with a smile.

I picked a fabric and hoped Erin would like it. We worked on it this morning because she wanted to be part of it. It took a little longer since I had some reacquainting to do with the sewing machine. The last time I sewed anything was with Marshall's mom at least five years ago.

Improvised sewing table

We did finish it. Erin chatted me the whole time, put pins away, and was such a delight.

"Can I show it to Lanie?!" she asked when I handed it over to her.

"Yep!" I said.

"I can't believe Mommy actually made something," she said, aloud, to herself as she walked away.

I hear you, kid. It's like eighth grade home economics all over again--the tote project.

Not perfect by any means. But she loves it (and I love her), and that's all that really matters.

Linked to the site that inspired and taught this. Great instructions, especially for people like me who hate following directions. Love it!