To Read on the Journey

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

michael's dad

san nicholas st.

this was michael's father's childhood street.
his father's home.
  the place where his father was a boy.

i imagine him there.

imagine him being pulled in his radio flier wagon.
the wagon he still has. the wagon he has pulled his own grandchildren in. 

 i look down san nicolas and la plata street, and think of him
 playing with his favorite neighborhood friend, whose name rhymed with his.
what a pair denny & kenny must have been!

i imagine him tinkering with his train-set near the christmas tree.
the same train-set his own boys and grandsons have tinkered with.

i think of him eating his mother's meatloaf.  i know he smothered it in ketchup.
he smothers everything in ketchup.

i think of the little boy feet that balanced on the bricks his own father laid at the lawns edge.
now his son, a man, walks in his steps.

today that boy is 66.

he is
he is
 he is

Proverb 13:22 says
"a good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children."

so today, dennis, on your 66th birthday, i say thank you.
thank you for living a good story.
your children delight in the steps you have taken,
and follow in them. 
thank you for seeking God and for encouraging your children to seek Him.  
thank you for leaving your children and your children's children a legacy.

we are blessed to be written into your good story.

happy birthday! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

on his own

one evening last week noah asked to talk to us.

his eyes were glossy and his spirit tender.  it was evident he had something important to say.

he talked for a bit about youth group.
that night his leader had asked, "how do you know you are going to heaven?"
one kid thought he would go to heaven because he rescued a drowning dog from a pool.
noah told him that, "we are saved through our faith in Jesus, not by works."
his leader asked, "who in this group deserves to go to heaven?"
a kid in the group pointed at noah and said, "that kid."
noah replied, "i don't deserve to go to heaven anymore than any of you. it is only because of Jesus that we deserve to go to heaven."
after sharing this with us, he talked about pride and humility.
he thoughtfully communicated that he wants to have humility.
he expressed his desire to make jesus look good.  

next he talked about jr. high, and his experience in traditional school last year
as a 7th grader.
he talked about feelings of acceptance and rejection.

then he talked about God.
he said that last year he wasn't sure about God.
he looked at us like we would be disappointed.
we weren't.
we told him questioning was good, and that he needed to find the Truth on his own.

he told us he wasn't sure about God, then he went to camp.
at camp he watched his counselors really know and love God.
he wanted that.

he shared that when he came home from camp he gave his life to jesus.


as he shared all this he looked radiant -like moses coming down the mountain after being face to face with God- like he had, that evening, been face to face with God, working out his salvation.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

you're hot then you're cold...

birds are endothermic.
do you know what endothermic is?
if you do you are brilliant. 
if you don't that is okay.  i'm sure you know other interesting things and are brilliant, too. 
it is only because of homeschooling that i know what endothermic is {and a whole slew of other things i somehow missed learning the 13 yrs i was schooled}. 
simply put, for a bird it means that they transfer the energy from their food into energy to keep their bodies at the same temperature ALL the time.
because i hate being cold i would like to be a bird {being clothed in pretty feathers, and flying would be a major bonus}.  i am a winter wimp.  i am  currently draped in an electric throw blanket, the heater is on, and two space heaters are purring.  instead i am dressed like a bird -in layers of down- to ward off winter chills.  i also hate being hot.  not being affected by sweltering temps in june when it hits 106 would be off-the-hook!

i was thinking earlier that i would like to be endothermic emotionally.   i was thinking it would be easier if i could keep my emotions at one temperature ALL the time.

instead of being emotionally high AND low, i would be calm and collected, all. the. time. 

that would be nice.
nice would be easy.
i think i'd like easy.

while i was thinking about how easy even-keel would be, i griped to God.  because i am not  emotionally endothermic, i yarp at God a lot.

i yarp about being the likely inspiration for katy perry's lyric's~ "you're hot then you're cold, you're yes then you're no, you're in then you're out, you're up then you're down."

i yarp about other people, who from my perspective {which is questionable}, seem to be emotionally the same temperature all the time.  when i am a basket-case i am cocktail of envious of them and embarrassed of myself.

i yarp about my roller-coastering emotions being a regular occurrence {with increases at certain times of the month or when my stash of closet chocolate is out} i whine at God a lot.  thankfully, God is "gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and quick in love" {i need it}.

because God is quick in love, He doesn't let me reside in my yarp forever.  He waits for me to cry it out, then lifts up my head.  When my tears are wiped away and i can see more clearly He reminds me of His mercies, and why He allows me to have emotions.

He reminds me of emotions that have stung {still sting}.  the sting of being denied by my father, abandoned by my mother, left by step-dads, and other sucky things that could have lead me to the bottle, but instead lead me straight to His arms at Hume Lake Christian Camp in 1988.

He allows my emotions to remind me of the grief of being unwanted, of believing myself unworthy of love {feelings that, occasionally, still grieve me}.  Then as deeply as my emotions plunge, so heavenly do they fly!  when i remember how how the Rescuer brought me out of defeat and into abundant life in Christ!
{ michael, noah, emilie &  josie, and this life i live with them in Christ's love, 
is leaps and bounds  more abundant than i could have dreamed or imagined}

He tells me my emotions are a gift, that lead me into His arms,
causing me to need Him every hour,
and  in every circumstance.

if i were emotionally one temperature all the time i wouldn't need my Savior.

maybe needing Him is the most beautiful thing about me.

put another way
I pray that God causes each of us to embrace the curves, angles, and crooked that He allows in our lives to draw us into His cozy arms, and for Grace to cause us to see each other most beautiful when we NEED Savior.  

note:after writing this post i learned that people are endothermic. i should probably get a few more years of homeschooling under my belt before i use sciency terms  in my posts. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

smells like roast beef

as i type the house smells like roast beef. it smells like roast because yesterday as i was getting fish out of my freezer to make for dinner {yes, fish! eaten 6x since jan 1.},  i discovered a roast and a ham that my sister," toni bologna full of macaroni," brought us in january. discovering food you didn't know you had in march when gas prices are astronomical is AWESOME.
{thank you, t.b.f.o.m}.

while i am typing, my husband and daughter are hanging this chandelier.

as a gift for my birthday i asked my creative m.i.l., cindy {who the kids use to call "cinderella," because we told them that was her real name}, if she would make me a chandelier for our new entryway.
i didn't give her any suggestions. cindy is very creative and really good at making things.  she made my husband.  'nuf said.

i like the simplicity of the chandy with the burlap shades.  thank you cindy!
sometimes i am good at making things too.  i  made her.  

emilie is wearing an apron because before she and michael were hanging my new chandelier they were making foccacia bread to eat with our roast for dinner.

{good thing i walked 4 hilly miles earlier}.  

as you can see, while michael and emilie hung my chandelier, i was being annoying helpful by taking  photos of them.
i snapped this shot immediately after fulfilling my one job of turning on the light.
upon seeing michael's expression on my canon power-shot screen i announced, "i am going to blog that picture!"
to which michael responded,  "no you're not."

as i post the photo, unaware michael, is done hanging my new fancy chandy and is immersed in a game of wii with noah. 

noah had his mop hair cut this week.
against his will.
thankfully, after his locks were abducted a few girls swooned over him and his new do {the girls may or may not be limited to his mother and sisters}.
16 weeks of puking, and i made him too.

i made her last.  

josie is pictured with my "grandaughter, elise denise." someday she will make me real grandchildren. hopefully she does not name them "elise denise." 

although i am not as inventive as my m.i.l.,  last week i attempted a bit of creativity and whipped up this pillow.  it took 30 minutes and no puking to make {unlike another pillow which claimed to take 30 minutes, but consumed an entire day}.
 it was so easy to make that another 30 minutes later i had an identical pillow for the other couch.

the striped couches like the pop of red color.

my walls on the other hand are undecided on the pops of color that they would like to have permanently reside on them.

none of these colors is a contender.  they were slathered on two weeks ago and will likely remain here, driving o.c.d.-me crazy, until gas prices go down.

gas prices have made paint purchasing impossible.

gas prices have also made pot-roast purchasing impossible,
which is why i am really thankful for the roast my sister gave us months ago.
which happens to be ready now. 

as well as the homemade foccacia bread. 

while i inhale dinner i'm going to think about how very good my life is, despite unpainted walls and sky rocketing gas prices.  i'm going to think about free roasts, a gifted chandy, a handsome man, and 3 amazing children, which God generously provided for me long before i asked. 

what has God recently provided you with before your asking?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


it's tuesday and my three are at our home-school charter site for the next 4.5 hours taking classes and tests.  i am home alone.  i can't remember the last time i was alone for 4.5 hours.
josie took my strawberry shortcake lunch pail to school today.  she said her fabric lunch pail  "smelled like barf."  my 1980 lunch pail smells like "awesome."
last week emilie got a new full-size bed.  she is excited about her teenagey room and has big pinteresty plans for it.  twelve-year-old emilie needs to get a job if she wants to see her plans come to fruition.

i'm glad that though emilie's room is transforming into a "big girl" room, she still has her cow, mabel, on her bed.  after emilie named her cow mabel, i told her it reminded of the sitcom "mad about you," where character's paul and jamie also named their daughter, mabel, because "mother's always bring extra love."  sappy.   
when we have guests they will stay in emilie's room.  a full size bed is guest insurance. insuring that guests will be comfy for a few nights, but will miss the spaciousness of their own queens and kings and want to go home.

josie wanted emilie's twin so she could have bunk-beds again.  josie isn't a type "a" personality like her mother and brother and sister and is fine living with clutter {i envy her}.  knowing this, i told josie that one of the beds has to be made at all times. i warned her that if it is not i will take away her socks and make her wear matching white socks for a week!  she looked at me like that is the worst punishment she would ever have to endure {it would be hard on all of us. we really love her colorful feet}.
we came up with a method for deciding which bed josie will sleep in each night, roe-sham-beau. for three nights in a row i have won and josie has slept on the top.  i have mad rock-paper-scizzor skills.

we have lived in this house for 3.5 months and in that time the girls- who wanted their own rooms- have had sleepovers in each others rooms at least 2x per week.  i asked why they were having these weekly slumber parties, to which emilie replied, "i like having our own rooms but i miss the conversations we would have when we got in bed each night."

have i mentioned that i love how they love each other.

years ago i purchased this banana hanger to display a large round purple ornament that was gifted to me.  a few weeks ago i unpacked the banana hanger and hung bananas on it.  noah thought my creativity to use the ornament hanger as a banana hanger was genius.  funny. 

speaking of noah, last week we registered him for high school classes.  before registering we packed into a multipurpose room with other freshman expectant parents.  the principal opened with "what to expect when you graduate from high school."  whoooaaa nellie!  'didn't i come here to register my baby for high school!?!?'   college is another 4.5 years away... 
somebody hold me.

4.5 years... reminds me that i only have 4.5 hours without my kids, and what do i do??
blog about them.

the truth is i  tire of being with them all the live long days, BUT i can't stand being without them either.
i'm crazy about these people! 

i saw this video by david & jj heller the other day over at linda's blog
{thank you linda for sharing it. it makes me a thousand kinds of happy}.
i feel this way about my kids.
i feel this way about my good good man, too.

If you were a boat, my darling
A boat, my darling
I'd be the wind at your back
If you were afraid, my darling
Afraid, my darling
I'd be the courage you lack

If you were a bird, then I'd be a tree
And you would come home, my darling, to me
If you were asleep, then I'd be a dream
Wherever you are, that's where my heart will be
Oh, do you know we belong together?
Oh, do you know my heart is yours?
If you were the ocean, I'd be the sand
If you were a song, I'd be the band
If you were the stars, then I'd be the moon
A light in the dark, my darling, for you

Oh, do you know we belong together?
Oh, do you know my heart is yours?

Oh, do you know we belong together?
Oh, do you know my heart is yours?
Oh, do you know we belong together?
Oh, do you know my heart is yours?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

bringing out the big gun!

i'm linking up today with jessica for some pintertest kitchen.

last week the kids and i had the week off from school. yeah!!!  for winter break. we actually had to go away to get any resemblance of winter {more on that in the next post}, as the temps here were in the high 60's to mid 70's. warm weather makes me happy so i'm not complaining.

okay enough rambling, now on to the pinter-testing.

because we had the week off i'd hoped to get my craft on and attempt a few things i've had pinned over at pinterest.

the first  AND ONLY thing i attempted was this pillow. 

the instructions said it would take 30 minutes.  it did take 30 minutes... plus another 330 minutes (6 hrs total). either i am craft-challenged or the gal who created this pillow is a crafting-prodigy.  i think it is a combination of the two.

when i finally got to the center {at minute 240!} i was having a difficult time sewing the petals on because of the already-stitched in petals were thick. my sewing machine-which is already out to get me- was causing me grief.  so i did what any wise crafter would do- i kicked the Singer to the curve and got out the only crafting resource that can be trusted...

my glue gun.  i'm not ashamed.  think of how many more hours of my life would have been dominated had i not pulled out my heavy artillery!?
2 sticks of glue and 20 minutes later i had this  

here it is complete and in a happy place on my couch, where it looks awful because 'what was i thinking using yellow & white ticking on striped couches!?!'

whatever.  i'm sure it will find a home somewhere around here, and who knows maybe i'll get my trusty glue gun out and whip up another one... over easter break.

here's a quick overview of a few other pinteresting things that have been whipped-up sans the glue gun-this past month.
rainbow cake-jars  for josie's 10th birthday celebration. 
{take my word for it, if i say it's "easy"  it is!} 
so simple a 10 yr old in a homemade tutu can make them with minimal supervision.
and last but definitely not least,
{because i love me some vegetables
as much as i love chocolate. no joke}.
portobello mushroom pizza.

 i cheated a bit and used mozzarella cheese instead of parmigiano.
oh! this was tasty.
if you are a veggie addict too, another delish dish i made from pinterest was

are you on pinterest?
find me at

what pinteresty things are you planning on tackling in the near future?