Monday, September 12, 2011


No, I'm not having a baby. 
(Last weekend, I got to borrow my brother's baby, Charlotte, for a while. Yum.)

But, this blog is moving. I won't be deleting anything here, but from now on I'll be posting at Here in the Lovely Woods. Finally, a new name! And my own .com. Whoa, Nellie. 

I hope you'll join me there. See you on the other side! 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Perhaps He Needs Some Woolen Socks?

"Mom," said Caroline as we drove along -- truly, there's no place like the car for great discussions -- "I think the earth must really be shaped like a teardrop. Because Mt. Everest is so, so tall. It's, like, a spiky point, and the earth is a ball."

"Hmmm," said I. "You are quite right that Mt. Everest is very tall. But it's not quite tall enough to change the shape of the earth."


"Ouchies for Jesus!" she burst out compassionately. "Those mountains are so big and sharp, they must hurt His feet when He rests them there. Ouchies! And so COLD!"

Motherhood means getting a front row seat to stuff like this on a near-daily basis. I still pinch myself sometimes, 'cause I'm pretty sure I got a golden ticket.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

For the Days that Aren't So Spectacular

Today I'm thinking about a certain yawning chasm.

It's the chasm between my ideals and my real, actual life.

I know that sounds depressing. But it's just that there are days when, by two o'clock, I start thinking I'm about to break out in hives, and it's because of what's there [the steady drip, drip, drip of reminders I give my children to DO this or NOT DO that, when they really SHOULD remember on their own, and they really SHOULD have the daily routine down to a beautifully timed Rube-Goldberg machine] and also what's not there [some magical feeling that we are accomplishing great things, that my life sparkles with interest and achievement]. 

Let's call it the "should" gap. It creeps in and grabs the reins until I lose all perspective. I used to think, in those moments, that what I really needed was a very stimulating or very relaxing vacation. Now I know that's not the answer, because once I climbed down from that mountain or out of that hammock ... I'd still be the same person.

And the problem isn't circumstantial, really. It's all inside. In the perfectionistic self that can't embrace the flawed beauty of what IS instead of what SHOULD BE. In the proud self that tells God, "You gave this particular problem to the wrong person. I'm just not up for the job."

Lying down to rest this afternoon, I read this post from someone who has those moments as well.

Then a friend kindly sent me a Facebook photo of one of the messiest rooms of her house, a room that is in the process of being remodeled.

And I remembered ... we are all toddling through this remodeling journey together. We are all that messy room. The clutter of perfectionism, of disappointment, of unreasonable expectations, of misplaced hopes ... it all has to go. Sometimes, the room looks worse before it gets better, right?

But the best way I know to de-clutter is to give thanks. To thank Him for the beautiful and praise Him for the ugly-beautiful, even if it's in a whisper.

P.S. Guess why I'm writing this post? Because I wasn't up for it. I couldn't do it perfectly or eloquently. The right words weren't jumping out of my head onto the screen. But sometimes, you just have to take perfectionism in a smackdown. And, as Ann says, do the thing in front of you.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hanging in There

Hey friends!

Hope you all had a pleasant weekend. If you were able to go outside, because it wasn't either a) hurricaning in your general direction, or b) 110 degrees, may I congratulate you?

(Oh, wait. Sorry, just checked Facebook. Make that 112 degrees.)

Dear friends in the Pacific Northwest ... got a house to sell us? 

I'm really only half kidding. 

Anyhow anyway anyhoo, there's really not a whole lot to report here except that I have been working all afternoon on creating a new blog, FINALLY, and my tailbone is really, really sore. The good news: The new blog will be not much different in any perceptible way from the old blog, in terms of content. The bad news: The new blog will be not much different in any perceptible --

You get my drift. I'll let you know the minute it's presentable, and we can meet up over there. (Oh, and if you have feedback for me? Stuff you'd like to see on the new blog (or not see)? Let me know.)

In the meantime, enjoy a couple slices of my crazy, ordinary life:

Building a resort for fairies in the back yard ...

Wet trampolining. Not the safest, but definitely the sanest at these temps. 

How homeschoolers do P.E.  on a Friday afternoon.  

I forgot to show you this earlier, from our trip to Colorado in July. I wouldn't mind being there right now, in fact. Shall we charter a bus? 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Everything But the Trapper Keeper

Well, knock my socks off and straight into the wash, as Paula Deen would say. 

My children appear to be channeling normal school kids. 

(Don't get too excited, though; notice the shirt still hangs loose.)

Either that, or they're fresh off their first day of Classical Conversations

"She's a big personality in a small package," commented one of the room moms from Caroline's class during lunch. Yep. 

It's amazing how the momentum of a group that loves learning and loves *people* can lift you up and make the obstacles seem like bread, rather than giants. Hooray for new beginnings! 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A River Ran Through It

(Well, not a river, exactly, but a good, hearty, rushing creek.
Our favorite creek. 
The one where we've spent hours wading, swimming, building dams, enjoying the natural water slide.
Now there's not a drop of water to be found.
Our ghost creek.
Hello, historic Texas drought.)



"Don't let this world around you squeeze you into buildings or books. Buildings are good. Books are good. There are times to be in both. But God created the heavens and the earth to be experienced, not just read about or lectured upon."

"You will grow in your understanding of God and His ways by going outside, observing, asking questions ... and then carefully searching for the answers. He will fill you with wonder and praise."

(a terrific book being read at night by the father and son in this house)
(thanks to Michelle at Delightful Learning for the recommendation!)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bits and Pieces

Whew. Busy week. Planning, hosting, shopping, driving ... it all makes for a thin margin of time to write.

But, still plugging along with Project Life, I have been taking pictures! Here are a few bits and pieces of life this week:

1. The girls spent a couple hours one afternoon making an amusement park out of cardboard boxes for their dolls. Caroline's doll is all strapped in with a duct tape seatbelt and crash helmet here (which she definitely needed). Just one more reason to nominate the inventor of duct tape for a Nobel prize.

2. As you know, we love listening to audiobooks in the car. Our latest "read" is The Magician's Elephantwhich I frankly enjoyed much more as an audiobook (the narrator is faaaaabulous, dahling) than as a read-aloud. And I say that as a Kate DiCamillo fan. I just didn't love the book the way I have others of hers ... but the audiobook won me over.

3. We attended a wedding reception for our friends Joseph and Joanna (yup, Joe and Jo!) on Sunday afternoon. Caroline is always eager to be photographed with the bride. Maybe she's hoping the romantic aura will rub off on her? That girl seriously scares me sometimes with her eight boyfriends (all older and sweetly disinterested in her none-too-subtle designs on them). 

4. I've been purchasing books/curriculum and digging reusables out of boxes like a crazy woman. And, this week we attended orientation for our Classical Conversations group. I came away both exhilarated ... and overwhelmed. The mass of STUFF to organize, file, laminate, put in page protectors, review with the children, and remember each week is not for the faint of heart, my friends. And, my inner introvert wanted to curl up among the couch cushions and suck her thumb, as is typical when we're in large groups and the Inner Extrovert has to drive for a while. That said, I'm so impressed by the other mamas involved in this group. They're kind, reassuring, and apparently quite productive.

5. I'd promised Ashley, my 11-year-old niece, that I'd show her how to make a duct tape wallet way back in June. Well, with five days left before school starts for her, we got it done! Then she and her sister and cousins (my girls) had a duct tape crafting extravaganza. See point #1 concerning  the Nobel Prize.

Happy Weekending, everyone! 

P.S. Fellow Texans, this is the weekend to shop for school supplies tax-free. Even if you homeschool like us, you still need a few pencils and markers on hand, n'est-ce pas?