Category: Uncategorized

We’re Too Flexy :)

Two weeks of homeschool  are under our belts.

We are LOVING it.

Is it early days? Sure, not to mention my parents were in town last week, so things were a bit more stay-cation-y than they would have been. We took that as a “deschooling week,” and while there was a worksheet here and there, we also kicked off by enjoying a place we’ve wanted to visit for awhile, Brookgreen Gardens.

We only enjoyed a portion of this beautiful and historical place that’s pretty much in our backyard… a storybook playground, a small kids’ discovery center, and a zoo of local animals. We plan to go back to enjoy the Sculpture Garden soon.


The things I wanted most to change for us by making this decision are changing. More focused attention. Better sleeping (9am is soooo much better than 6am…). Better eating (I’m getting into cooking lunch…). Time to explore. Time together.
IMG_4900 IMG_4901

There have been a few surprises. The biggest one was on the first “official” day, when Kaity came downstairs in a dress. Kaity does not wear dresses. Later in the week, when my parents took her shopping, she picked out a new dress and a nightgown. Only thing I can figure is she feels very safe. She doesn’t like to be fussed over for looking pretty (Cool or amazing, yes. Pretty, no). She knows we won’t.

I love the conversations I get to hear them having with each other and with others. I love that they had no electronic devices to play with for the past 4 days and stopped asking after the first day. I love that P.E. has been riding bikes, together with me pulling their baby brother in the bike trailer, and part of their writing has been letters to cousins and friends. (Don’t forget to mail them, Kelly).IMG_4906 IMG_4908

One day this week, Rod asked us to go to lunch together. We headed to our favorite local sports bar, where our manager friend told us his wife had homeschooled their children. Then, over nachos and wings, after we schooled Rod about the origins of Halloween we had learned that morning, we semi-spied on a Red Hat Society lunch taking place in the dining room. Miranda just happened to be wearing a purple dress, so I told her about “When I am old, I shall wear purple…” and asked the girls if we should go crash the Bingo and merriment. The prizes looked really cute.

Before we left, I walked over to their table and told them how much we enjoyed seeing their fun. One of the ladies chased us out the door with an (empty ;) ) purple gift bag for Miranda. Later that day, we read the poem together (our first reading unit so happens to be poetry!)

That’s it, you guys. That’s the kind of natural, “the world is our classroom” experience that is my goal for our learning together.


And this is an almost-nine-year old girl pretending she’s not giddy about that purple gift bag.

Other things we are loving so far:

  • doing reading and spelling on the couch
  • seeing their friends after school just like always… this is a cool holdover from having attended public school for a few years that makes me very happy for them
  • the girls doing their own laundry (Wednesday is laundry day!)
  • the girls are both 3rd graders now! (it was always my goal to get them in the same grade level)
  • As of this morning, I’m all organized :)
  • Most of our curriculum is free
  • We have several field trips with other local homeschoolers scheduled.
  • We are eventually going to embrace the idea of lapbooks. They look so fun; we just have to overcome our “arts & crappy-ness.” We are so not a craft family…

We are flexible people. It’s where we thrive. So when we haven’t done social studies yet and friends want to play, we play. When I have a work project that needs 45 more minutes, they read or color a little extra while I finish. When there wasn’t time before church for reading, they read me poems in the living room afterwards. It is working for us, and I’m glad we took the leap!

our weird family

{I am going through the 50-something posts I have saved in DRAFTS and finishing a few. This one was one paragraph long, from November 2012. It’s fun to see where a few months will take an idea…}

I had a conversation with a friend about…oh…six-ish years ago. Which means I was barely 30. Which means, I was practically a baby.

We were talking about the age difference between my husband and me (13 years, if you care to know), and I said it didn’t seem to matter much, (except when it came to parenting stuff, but I wasn’t ready to admit that then…)

My friend, around the same age as my husband, gave me gentle advice. It went something like:

I just know that the way I looked at things changed a lot between 30 and 40.

I have blinked, and here I am… closer to 40 than 30. The cute monikers I used to throw around for our family (“two in high school, two in diapers”) no longer apply. We are settled and grown up (all of us…except the ones who shouldn’t be yet), and we are not waiting for anything to happen to make us ok. We are simply… our family.

But you still can’t look at us and figure us out.



You never could.












Because these are our kids:



Some of them are old enough to bring me my favorite treats…on the same day! IMG_4937


















Some of them are still little enough that their weirdness is still adorable… IMG_0057  IMG_4932IMG_4863


And some of them just don’t care about being weird. They have taught me well…IMG_5018

They wear us out, daily…


And they keep us feeling alive….


I would not trade this weird family for anything.

I wouldn’t have traded it when I was 30, but now, I know more things, and my perspective has changed, and I realize the beauty in our blend, the grace in our glue, and the love in our lunacy.

Who needs normal when you have this?



Thank you, Disney Channel, for the great turn-of-term, and thank you, God, for the absolutely spring-like weather we’re currently having.

So what’s new?

I turned 36.
36 candles
Since we had spent the last 2 weeks eating, drinking, and being merry, we kept the birthday to one day this year. I went to church, had a Mexican fiesta with my family and some friends, and went to church again. All told, I was able to blow out the candles twice since Ma got me a cake on New Year’s Day. I wasn’t sure what to wish for this year. My life is very full and content these days, and that is a good foundation for a wish.

I’m trying to eat healthier. Really.
No dressing!
And salads like this would make that easier: romaine, blue cheese, avocado, red peppers, salt and pepper. It lacked nothing. I need to hit the produce aisle again tomorrow.

New Wednesday nights.
Journey ED
Part of my new role at Journey Church is Christian education for kids during our new mid-week service, what is now called “Journey Ed.” Our ‘Welcome to Wednesdays’ party combined us with the teens, and we had a great time that included getting-to-know-you games, Rice Krispy treats, and the best dance-off ever!

Modes of transportation.
Randa has started taking the school bus home. No more after-care…yay! She loves it, and as an added bonus, we are finally meeting some of the kids in our neighborhood. And since the bus stop is that in-between length of walking and riding, I’m going to grab my bike back from Kirsten for awhile so we can enjoy more of this together…

No, I’m not pregnant, but Ja-NEW-ary always brings out my decluttering bug. After finally getting the big tree down on Friday (we still have a little one in the hallway up), i changed some furniture around, and we are all really pleased with the results. By spring, I vow to have all boxes unpacked and the garage organized. This summer… going to paint a few rooms. Time to settle in!

Beachy keen.
The Self-Proclaimed Queen of the Beach King of the Grill Yum! Lunch table Josh & Kiks
Horseprints on the sand
Happy Sunday
… that’s the kind of weekend we had: rest, mostly project-free, dinner with new friends, and 2, count them T-W-O, trips to the BEACH! With the temp hitting 80, how could we resist? We enjoyed our new little grill (best burgers ever, honey!), and also enjoyed the wildlife we can see this time of year: happyhappyhappy dogs, lots of horses (including one that danced!), and three dolphins. It was downright magical.


I saw this picture on Facebook. It accurately sums up my mood at the end of this weekend. I have salt in my hair, a natural pedicure from the sand, worked-out legs from a great, long walk, and the kind of rested-ness that a weekend on the beach brings when the beach is your home.

love will always win

I feel like an awakening is upon us.

I’m not sure what started it. Maybe it’s some emotional and exciting conversations we’ve had in the last few weeks. Maybe it’s spending some time in my church’s office, working on projects and communing with people I really enjoy. Maybe it’s this puppy who likes to sleep at my feet while I write.

{cuteness pause}

Maybe it’s having enrolled the girls in swimming lessons. Maybe it’s news that People We Love Visiting Myrtle Beach will be resuming this month.

Likely, it’s a combination of it all. I see signs of life again.

I thought our first summer away from the gray, blustery midwest would be cheerier than it was. Tee-hee. It was, in fact, sunnier, warmer, and healthier ~

~but it has still felt, at times, a little like this:

Winter can remain gray in our hearts, even if it’s blue and green and sunny all around us. I have felt very winter-like, unable to see past dreariness. And though hope has not yet materialized into substance in front of my eyes, I am choosing to believe in better times ahead.

I’m reclaiming this song, its warrior-love mindset, and the idea of maybe singing it with my husband on some stage, someday.

No way over it, no way around it.
If we want it, we have to go through it.
Fight for a love and the world tries to break us down.
But the world will bend, and the fight will end.
Love will always win.

who she is

Jessica Andrews hit with the song ‘Who I Am’ 5 years before she was born, but it’s all about Miranda Rose.

“I am Rose Mary’s granddaughter

The spitting image of my father


And when the day is done, my Mama’s still my biggest fan.


Sometimes, I’m clueless and I’m clumsy


But I got friends that love me


And they know just where I stand

It’s all a part of me

And that’s who I am.”



Happy Birthday to our sweet Miranda..

We are who we are because of who you are. And on your 5th birthday, we are still grateful beyond words for our miracle baby, our Thanksgiving gift, and the incredible little girl you are.


As part of our celebration of Miranda today, I am happy to announce that the winner of the DaySpring $20 Gift Giveaway is comment #15 MARLA: I am ever grateful and forever grateful that when we were told by five specialist to put our daughter in a home, that the Lord had already put her in our home. So I am grateful and thankful that the Lord allowed us to be her parent’s and that HE trusted us and knew we would love her, and protect her and train her up in the way she should go. Thank you Jesus!

Please email me at for your gift code.

I so enjoyed reading all your comments about being ‘ever grateful.’
I sure am today!