November 25, 2012


Sometimes I think that our kids learn more from what we do that what we say. What has been interesting me lately is what things each of my children have modeled from me. I see different parts of me in different kids.

I have spent a huge part if my mothering years being 'the artistic mother', creating, being busy, living around art and art supplies. While all of my children like to draw and paint, I see the crafty, creative bug has taken hold in my child, Laura more than the others. She has seen me and she has become her own version of me - only she is doing way more that I ever did!

She is the embodiment of creative energy.

I have lived it before her. She lives it now, whether she is making houses out of cigar boxes or sewing a skirt that can never fit a real person or making overly sweet lemonade, she never stops. Never. If I have not seen Laura for a while I know she is deep in some creative project.

It is a little scary to be a role model to human beings!

May 02, 2012

Out with the old. In with the new.

It's the little things that count. The details. The door hardware. The faucets. The light fixtures. That match. Or at least coordinate.

Out with the old shiny 'gold' door handles; in with the Venetian bronze ones.

I am changing them out a few a day with my trusty old hand drill. I have also done some plumbing - I replaced Lily's bathroom faucet! I googled how to uninstall and install bathroom faucets and found tons of helpful videos. No more calling a plumber for little jobs for me again. I can work this out myself!!

I am determined. I'm doing a little bit of house updating everyday. 15 ceiling fans are next. This time they will all look the same and actually work!! In time my house will look like it should. Intentionally whole and thought out.

It's like gathering clouds together. Soon it will be rain. Lovely, necessary, green making rain.

Me and my drill. We are making it happen!

April 19, 2012

Where I am

My first new re-commitment is to my house. I lived for almost eight years in a wonderfully odd, rambling ranch house. Two of my five kids have never known another house. I do appreciate it most of the time, but lately I have been seeing the flaws and dreaming about building or buying a new house.

Realistically we couldn't move for a few years, so I need to live well here in the mean time flaws and all. Of course there are flaws, old houses have flaws! It is dark, the light fixtures are from the 80's, the tile in the front entry is cracked, the yard is so huge it depresses me to think about tending it!

But it is mine. It has held my tears and dreams and songs. I want to see again the good here. I want to tend what needs tending. I want to live here like I care about how it ages. I want to value our investment. I want to love it like I did when we first bought it, when it looked like something out of 'The Love Boat', a big empty brown space we had no clue how to fill.

I am going to start by doing some minor freshening up. New door handles. Replace the many broken ceiling fans. Perhaps new faucets in Lily's bathroom. Little things, handy man things. Things that say 'I am a whole living project', 'I am attended to'.

Yes! I am turning my dreams home here and making good with what I have.

April 15, 2012

Been there

'You can be addicted to a certain kind of sadness'

One thing I am going to leave behind.

Reflections on being 40

Me after 'Spa treatment' by my 8 & 6 year olds
On April 14, 1972 I was born. 

April 14, 2012. I have been anticipating this day for a long time. I feel like my life is folded in half. First 40, second 40. Every year I live after 80 is gravy, time to enjoy the many grandkids I know I will have.

Looking at my life as a whole I am very happy with what I have accomplished so far.

The bedrock of who I am and how I live my life are in place: Religion, family, education, house stuff and politics are non issues to me now. I am just living this life. I am not trying to convince myself or anyone else to live this kind of life. It is just who I am - a Christian, homeschool Mom of 5 smart, lively, creative kids, happily married, living on 5 acres in Texas, traveling to Ireland in the summers, conservative with a libertarian flavor and committed to and supporter of artistic pursuits of all kinds. Mark and I put years of thought and sweat into making this life work. We believe in what we are doing.

My main hardships have been in my creativity and with friendships. I get unmotivated, side tracked, disappointed and feel rejection too deeply. When I am down about something in my career or with a friend it colors my day so I don't appreciate enough the rest of my blessings. I need to somehow reign that in, not lower my expectations but be realistic about my abilities and other people.

I have done many artistic things in my life so far, but nothing that has amounted to enough to satisfy me. I think the next decade is going to be dedicated to writing. I have written my first novel. It is pretty good, but I'm going to make it better and focus on finding an agent. Yep. I am. Going to try.

And I am going to quit being so hard on myself and enjoy the security in Christ and in family I have.

So this is the beginnings of my new Vision Statement..... Next I will flesh out my new Long-Term goals..... Then break it down into a Short-Term goal list..... followed by my Action Plan..... I will get there.

March 23, 2012

The three

They never fail to astound me. My three girls. Stair steps of unabashed liveliness.

They can be cruel to each other. They can be loving to each other. In minutes. But always creative. Always constructing something out of whatever is around. Together.

I can imagine the grown up sisters they will be. The unity. The support. The conversations. The calls. The texts. The boys who will be, who already are discussed.

I am blessed to be around such people. My hands are so lightly parenting them for fear of messing up what God has made already so rich.

March 22, 2012

I own a forest

I own a forest
my name is on every branch
I am pointing to the heavens
and beckoning for more

why again and again do I choose
what is not right,
what is not good?

my ruined leaves
scratch the floor

will I listen this time?

March 21, 2012

The sad song of Alfred J.

"Everyday is for creating something. Something not necessarily for a purpose. Or to please someone else. But because it is better to do than to not do."

I have heard those words. I have written and read those words. Yes. But do I live them?

I am almost 40 years old. Half a life lived in Prufrock spoons. All measured and calculated.

This child, my Laura she is the opposite. No measurement. No calculation. Only doing. Forging ahead to the beat of her own drum.

Did the Lord know my child would be my teacher too?

March 20, 2012

traveling with friends

We drove from Magnolia, Texas to Bartlesville, Oklahoma. With friends. The Muchas. Artists. Journeyers.

Our children swapping cars. Eating together. Sharing hotels rooms. Excited about everything. Writing in their travel journals. Discussing the architecture of everything we saw along the way.

Our kids were magnificent in their interest in being together and claiming the world as their own.

Our kids are comfortable in their own skins. 

Our kids are the people I always wished I been like or at least known.

March 12, 2012

In my tightly rolled thoughts is happiness filled with regret

dark and light

I want to want to find the good in the moment everyday

but I am hard on myself

I see the dark

I want it gone but the habit is very real

there are days when I can't stand the sound of my own voice

February 19, 2012

double digits

Ten years ago she was a beautiful, happy, calm baby. She fitted into my arms so perfectly, expelling the idea that I could never be a good 'girl momma'.
I have been close to her this past decade, raising her, schooling her, talking to her, playing with her, crafting with her. I have watched her blossom into an even more beautiful, happy and calm girl. But more - she is strong, healthy, creative, interesting, fun, helpful, even tempered. And so her own person. She loves what she loves. She is not easily swayed. She has a steady love of cats, gymnastics, pretty things, high heels, comfortable pants, back rubs, a clean room, Justin Bieber, drawing, rip stiking,  trampolining with her brother and sisters, playing with her 2 year old brother.
People are drawn to her easy personality. She is loyal to her closest friends - Savannah, Grace, Hannah, Zeb, Zachary, Joshua, Luke, Emily, cousin Maya, her brother Matthew and sisters Laura and Annie Rose.
I marvel at how God planned so beautiful a person as Lily Kate and then gave her to me! I don't deserve such a blessing. I love this child. I pray that I get many more decades to be with her and watch her grow. I love every moment God gives me with her.


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