Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rainy Day at the Farm

We spent Saturday at what my sister affectionately calls "the Farm," their property about an hour and a half north of Pittsburgh. They don't actually have animals, nor crops, nor tractors, nor barns, but they're surrounded by them so they adopted the name. We had two special boys to celebrate. Last year my darling nephew and the resident baby of our family, Benjamin David, was born on Charlie's birthday. My sis and I think it's pretty special that out of all 365 days in a year, God ordained that our baby boys would both be born on June 6th. As such, we have years of joyful family celebrations to look forward to now as the rainy Pittsburgh spring gives way to summer and our boys blow out ever more candles on their cakes.

                          There's a whole lotta love among these brothers, sisters, and cousins.

It poured all day but that did not stop our fun!

Sweet Baby Ben...

Happy First Birthday sweet boy!

Our favorite superhero blew out four candles! We love him so.

The best way to get anywhere? The back of Uncle Paul's pickup.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Homeward Bound

                      "With God all things are possible."
                                -Matthew 19:26

Friday, May 8, 2015

Thoughts on Friendship

Dear Chloe, Max, Sam, and Charlie,

I wanted to write you a note tonight. I felt it was particularly important. I didn't want tomorrow to come without me writing these words to you, in the hope that someday you will read them for yourself.  I want you to know that friendship is showing up for people even when it's not convenient. It's saying yes when it would be much easier to say no. It's laying down your so-called rights to "boundaries" (by far one of the most overused, misused words in the modern Christian vernacular) to prioritize the feelings and needs of others before your own. Only then can God begin to form real, honest community among you. And I've learned that if you don't feel that you have it, look in a mirror. The problem isn't the people around you. The problem is you.

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable."
                    C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I have unsettling news to report. Our littlest, the baby of our brood, has horrible allergies. It affects every part of our life, lately, and certainly every meal. He is allergic to chicken, to beef, to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and to bananas. He is allergic to yogurt, to unsugared cereals, to almost all fruits, and to water. He is severely allergic to vegetables in every form. Chopped, diced, steamed, baked, green, yellow, or orange... allergic to them all. But before you despair on our behalf, take heart. There are foods he is not allergic to, foods he can enjoy in liberal quantities. They include, but are not limited to, jelly beans, chicken nuggets (please note, only the really cheap crappy kind that contain breading and chicken "parts"), frozen waffles, french fries (the less potato, the better), honey nut cheerios, chocolate chip cookies, and ice cream in all forms. 

Thank goodness. At least the poor kid won't starve to death.

Three is the cutest age, especially when you've already survived it three other times. I hope I never forget this little phase, in which every time I hand him a plate of something remotely healthy, he shakes his head solemnly, hands it back to me with wide blue eyes, and says, "Mama, I'm allergic to that."

Thursday, April 9, 2015

In Which I Shamelessly Brag...

She memorized 161 events and people in chronological order, 24 history statements including the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, 44 U.S presidents, the location and capital of the 50 states, the locations of 70 geographic features in North America, 24 science facts including the first 12 elements of the periodic table and the parts of 8 body systems, Latin rules and vocabulary, the text of John 1:1-7 in both English and Latin, 24 English facts including the principal parts of 11 irregular verbs, the multiplication tables up to 15x15, common squares and cubes, basic geometry formulas and liquid, linear, and metric conversions. She stood in front of a teacher for 90 minutes this morning and recited each thing one by one from memory. 

So we bought her doughnut.

A deal's a deal. 


Fourth grade is the new college, people.
She's a pretty awesome kid. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Stars of Our Love Story

 Valentine's Day 2015

Once upon a time, there was just the two of us. We were young and didn't waste time deciding we were in it for the long haul.

We were typical.

                                                         We thought we were unique.

We were going to write important things, do important things, see important things.

We were going to go here and go there. Ordinary couldn't touch us.

Our favorite pronouns were "I" and "Me" and we used them liberally when we talked about our dreams.

And then along she came, and she changed us.

And along they came, and they changed us.

And then he arrived. And he changed us.

And a life well lived was slowly redefined, like water rushing relentlessly over a jagged stone until it is finally smooth.

"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."
John 15:13

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Inside, Looking Out

                                        Here are a few facts for your early Sunday morning:
1) The first week of February, 2015 is already over and I haven't blogged once since telling the tale of a batch of peanut butter blossoms back in the middle of December.
2) There is more than a foot of snow on our deck and the ground has been white since sometime in the middle of December.
3) Greg hit the two year mark in his employment here in Rochester. Hard to believe. In certain respects it feels as if the time has flown. In many others, it feels as if our family is still sitting at square one here, waiting for some semblance of our old life to begin.
4) Spring is exactly forty days away, and with it, the promise of new beginnings. I sit inside, looking out on the quiet world, with a hopeful, expectant heart.

"Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder."
Romans 12:12, The Message