moving right along!

so November on this blog was a while ago….it’s now the dead of summer. a season of life has come and is still going strong! these seasons….never ending.

this month of July is our last month in our little blue house with the yellow door. our arms and legs are sticking out the windows. what used to be sweet and cozy is now crazy, loud, and sort of annoying. these girls need quiet places to read. that boy needs spaces to be loud. sharing one bathroom between them is absolutely ridiculous. maybe if they were all girls. but they are most definitely not, sweet Jonathan, are they?

the memories here take my breath away. first steps, first laughs, hard cries, long nights, even longer days…the joy and hardship of it all seeps through the walls, I can see it around every corner. years of friends’ joys and sorrows shared at our table…..birthday parties, the songs sung, sick days, sick WEEKS, the dances around the kitchen table…hide and seek with daddy, the cozy movie nights, the big snows, each year trying to squeeze in a Christmas tree….my kitchen window view will always be my favorite.


these kids will one day step in this house, as we all do in our childhood haunts, and say ‘huh. it seems so much smaller. that living room used to be huge.’ oh but it WAS! full to the brim with life, life that came down from the Father of Heavenly Lights. praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

and now, we bundle up our life and tote it across town…because this season of life is never-ending! hand to the plow, knowing full well there will be even more joys, long nights, big snows, songs, birthday parties, sick days, and sweetness ahead.


fall daze.



crossin the creek.

the last warm day?


a fall cousin walk.

groundhogs love to climb trees in the fall.

going ‘out’ to eat dinner.

cookie making. I had to make a new rule: only one kid on the stool at a time. sheesh.

it was finally her turn to go fishing with Daddy.

hittin up the squirrel bar with a friend. (that little piece of wood actually says ‘squirrel bar’. sadly, it was vacant.)

nothing says fall like some pig chasing.


a Pilgrim piano recital.

beautiful day, beautiful hike.


the after-gymnastics-hyperactivity

the first much-anticipated leaf pile jump

I’ve found I kinda love making forts, tepees, and pirate ships. yes, that’s a skull and crossbones flag. it’s sweet.

a cheeto-smudged boy holding a roasted marshmallow. it must be fall.

remind me to never ever ever take kids into a five-acre corn maze. just remind me of that next fall.

feeding the masses.

it’s a hay bale jumping extravaganza!

it’s a turkey stand-off. bahahahaha!



so we’re staring at a new school year…second grade and kindergarten.

this past year of first grade in the Big City School went really well. she was providentially placed at the very last minute with the BEST most WONDERFUL teacher. I say this because when Nat and I arrived on meet-the-teacher day this time last year, we found that she had been mistakenly placed in kindergarten. so….the principal literally said ‘oh! hmmm. well, put her in Mrs. Seymour’s class.’

and that was that.

she did awesomely. she adapted well, she made friends, she never dropped her tray in the cafeteria (so proud!). she won the Citizenship Award for her class at the end of the year. she was the best girl in the class.

so with a start like this, you would think we’d be all full speed ahead for second grade and registering an Almost-Six-Year-Old for kindergarten.

but what I found happening was that I really. missed. Nat. I really did. I hated that dozens of other people were getting to see her every day, but not me. I hated that her sweet teacher got to see her really start reading on her own, and I didn’t. I hated that when I asked ‘what did you do at school today?’, she was usually so tired that she didn’t feel like talking about it. I hated that she was starving when she got home because she didn’t have time to finish her lunch. I hated that she was the sickest she’s ever been this last year with the flu twice, strep, and one awful ten-day stomach virus (which she kindly shared with the rest of us). I hated that she probably received that awesome award because she listened, was compliant, never interrupted, never threw her chair, never talked back…which means she probably received the least amount of attention.

and guess who else missed her….her best friend Karis. now, a huge ginormous blessing was Karis and Jonathan hit it off so well, truly playing like puppies all the day long. but every hour, I could count on it, they would ask when Nat would be home. their three-way tie was off balance, out of kilter, their leader had abandoned them to much mischief and tom-foolery.

SO. by thanksgiving, my wheels were spinning. and by January, the decision was unanimous. let’s teach these kids what they need to know and a lot of what we already know…from the living room. in our pj’s….around the dinner table….in the back yard…driving to see friends…at a museum….while building with LEGOS….in a creek….at Walmart (SO educational)….reading on the couch…OH and lets do it in 4 hours or less every other day! and then….let’s play, and imagine and share and learn to cook and paint and have self-control and explore and look things up and learn to apologize and save our money and give our money and unload the dishwasher and take food to friends and speak Jesus into it all….because we are present and able.

we started this change earlier this month. so far, I am truly blown away by the Peace I have found, the confidence I see growing in her, the time they have together, and all-around loving every bit. there have been rough moments, of which I am learning to bend and re-think and try again. because it’s possible. I don’t know how long this will last, but I know this year is different.

and guess what. Karis surprised me the other night, long after bedtime. she snuck into the living room saying she had gotten up to use the bathroom, but could I please come and see something? I was nervous. come see something in the bathroom? oh dear. . I followed her, she grabbed a Curious George book from the bathroom floor, she settled against the edge of the tub…and she read it. and I got to see it. not every word was perfect, but it was pretty darn close.

so in August, at 2:52 p.m. we will be here…reading, painting, exploring, making graphs, riding bikes, playing with friends, having quiet time, learning about Roman civilization, making mud pies, gardening, writing a story, Lego-ing, warming hot chocolate, playing in the rain, spelling, building blanket forts, climbing trees, gazing at maps…we will not be in car line.



so far I love this spring. and so does my garden helper.

here she’s teaching him how to gently get those pansies out and into the ground, in her patch of earth I gave her last season. all this kid needs is ownership!

does anybody see Nat?

our soccer star.

baby bunnies. cutest things EVER. my parents had two bunnies. now they have 9. wowzahs.

I said ‘say cheese, guys!’ and here Jonathan is saying ‘no, we already had our picture taken.’

us with our brand new 7 and official 5 1/2 year old girls.

can you tell it was a Frozen party? the braids, man. it’s all about the braids.

seven years.

I’m running out of time for this. and the only reason I’m blogging tonite is my first daughter, first born, first tears, first steps, first poops, first spanking, first falling, first cold, first teeth….she turns 7 on Saturday.

this time 7 years ago, I was living it up. I quit work 3 weeks before my due date. I slept til 8:30am every morning. I made a huge plate of pancakes. then I sat and bounced on my huge exercise ball while watching HGTV & eating that plate of pancakes. I honestly can’t remember what else I did during those few weeks. it actually all got cut short when little Nat came 2 weeks early, so maybe that’s why!

I found a quiet moment/half hour late this afternoon and I snuck out on the deck and lay in the sunshine. the girls were having a wedding (I know) and Jonathan was busying himself with all the stuff the girls threw in the hallway to keep him out of their room.

sweet little things.

so as I lay there, praising Jesus for this chunk of time, I made myself think about 7 years ago. and when I remembered those plates of pancakes and HGTV and sleeping in…I smiled and sighed. what bliss. I’m so very glad I did nothing but bounce on that ball & eat pancakes.

so here is where I talk about my Nat. my most favorite thing about her, and yes, I tell her this a lot, is her faithfulness to others. when she loves you, she LOVES you. and it matters not your differences, oddities, stinkiness, or age. she sees the best in people, just like her daddy. I love that, and I pray that grows as she learns the true love of Christ for her.

I am desperate for summer, to get her back in my home again. . to feed her lunch again. . to not rush her to hurry up and play, for there’s homework and showers and reading and bedtime. . and it’s coming. I canNOT wait.