Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Way back in 2005-2006 I taught a literature class to the most amazing group of home-educated students in southern Indiana.  In all of our cleaning out and packing this week I found several stories and poems they wrote.  From time to time KJ helped me with my lesson planning, and I just found this gem I wanted to remember written by my gem of a husband.


In the course of human events it becomes necessary to write a paragraph about allusions.  A person must have the skill of Odysseus even to begin such a labor.  Even with a good start, I still feel like Sisyphus, but I intend to fight the good fight and finish this paragraph.  I only wish I had some kind of pillar and fire to guide me in this exercise.  By this point you are probably wanting me to drink the hemlock and stop, but I will go on though France and such another neighbor stand in my way.  Although this exercise may seem like opening Pandora's box to some of you, I hope it casts light on the brave new world of allusions for others.  For me it has been the best of times and the worst of times.

He's so literary. 


Moving Week

If my children ever ask me when they're all grown-up, what they were like the week before we moved to England, I'll tell them about how well they played together while we packed and of how they wanted to sleep in the same room, so we moved James' mattress into Ella's bedroom floor.  They'll hear about how Ella read books aloud to James before bed, and how during the day they complained a bit at the mention of doing schoolwork.  

They have hidden things around the house and made treasure maps that lead you to their hidden treasures.  James has been briefly disappointed at times about leaving behind a few things (like the rug in his bedroom), but he quickly decided he'd like to share it with Haddon.  He is most excited about playing games in "Enga-land."  There have been dance parties and a teary moment.  And now I think they are tired of packing because "packing is boring." 

Friday, October 24, 2014

The God Who Sees Me + Answered Prayers

This month I've had delivered to my in-box posts in a series about living boldly from A Simple Haven.  Today at the end of a post on boldly asking, this question was asked:  "When was the last time you asked boldly?  What happened?"

Do you ever have Hagar moments?  Those moments when you say--like Hagar when she ran away alone, scared, and pregnant but was found by God in the desert-- "You are the God who sees me."  That is one of my favorite descriptions of God, and I love those quiet moments when something happens that reminds me that He indeed sees me and knows me, knows "when I sit and when I rise...familiar with all my ways." 

Reading that question about the last time I boldly asked was a Hagar moment for me this morning in the midst of our normal routines being suspended as we pack and say good-byes.  It was a Hagar moment because the biggest and boldest thing I ever asked of the Lord was at the end of May 2013:  Do you want us to go or stay?  I'd been praying about it since 2011, but all the thoughts and feelings about where God was leading our family came to a head last May, and I prayed boldly, really expecting and really wanting, to know the answer to that question.  I told KJ what I prayed, and not three days later doors started opening, things started happening, events were set in motion that finally culminated a little over a year later in a definitive, "GO."

And so as our days are nonstop packing, I'm quieted as I remember that He is the One leading and guiding us.

Would you pray for us this week?  It will be busy, non-stop, filled with lots of activity, lots of good-byes, lots of so many wonderful people who have loved us so well here.  

Today I'm giving thanks for my mom and Hillary, who have been helping me pack, and for the amazing way James and Ella have sorted through their things and been completely decisive about what they wanted to take and what they were willing to sell or leave behind.  They've been amazing and laid-back, and I am so grateful.   

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Wonderful Wednesday with Cousins

Last Wednesday began with James making several trips out to the road to carry out Grammy's recycling.  He loves being a helper... and wearing mismatched pajamas.

He also got in a lot of time in Daddy Jim's recliner.  James is the best at morning snuggles.

Ella really enjoyed playing the keyboard while we were at the lake.  It plays accompaniment to several songs and lights up the keys for you to play the melody, so she filled the house with beautiful music.

Our big plan for the day was to drive to Orlando to visit KJ's cousin, Jamie, and his family.  We love spending time with them.

The kids had fun playing inside and out.  There was a lot of noise, but they were happy noises for the most part.

Jamie and Lindy made homemade pizzas for supper, which the kids enjoyed while watching Curious George on Netflix.  It gave us a lot more time for talking over dinner, and the Halloween-themed George episode obviously made an impression, because the kids did impressions of "No-Noggin," the headless scarecrow the rest of the night.  I don't think it was as scary as that sounds.

Sometimes our families seem a little like mirror-images.  We enjoy many of the same things, and then we have first-born "E" girls with brown hair and eyes, followed by blonde-haired and blue-eyed boys bearing the name James somewhere in their name.

We walked into their quaint little town after dinner for an ice cream treat.

Little Atticus had to work hard to catch up with the big kids.

I love how easily kids make friends, and I'm so grateful for the time to make a few more memories with their special second cousins.

Two More Guys with the Name James

But, really, why should you only have one ice cream cone, when you can so easily have two?

Ella took a few pictures for us.  It's nice to have another budding photographer around.

If we weren't moving to Yorkshire, I might want to move to Florida to be their neighbors.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tuesday at Santa Fe

Tuesday morning began with me waking around 4:30 a.m.  It was still dark out, and I wasn't entirely convinced of my desire to walk down to the dock in the half-light of dawn to photograph the sunrise.  But then I went out to the car a couple of hours later to get something, and a pink light was peeking over the horizon, and that made the decision for me.

Lake Santa Fe really is a beautiful and peaceful place.  KJ and I spent the second week of our honeymoon here.  You know the people and the place are pretty special when your groom is eager to bring you there in only the second week of your marriage.

The mornings grew progressively cooler while we were there, but Tuesday there wasn't a hint of coolness in the air, nor was it hot; it was just perfectly pleasant and a peaceful place to read and pray and greet the day with quietness.

I watched this guy do his fishing every morning.

Grammy got out the bird book for me, and we discovered the above was a red-bellied woodpecker.  There were two of them singing back and forth at each other.

James raced back and forth between the front door and the mailbox quite a lot, fetching the newspaper for Daddy Jim and carrying out Grammy's recycling.

I wasn't really expecting to be able to swim while we were there; this was probably the last good swimming day of the season.  It was cloudy and started to rain, lightly at first, then it came a downpour, and my crew was out there in it shooting each other with water guns in the storm.  I made them get out when it started thundering, and we rode out the storm in the shelter of the boat.

I was really glad the kids were able to make these memories in Lake Santa Fe with their daddy because I know KJ has so many growing-up memories here.  They found mussels and attempted catching minnows, but I'm afraid they weren't stealthy enough for that.  We also had a reward for waiting out the storm.

It was a lovely day.