how sarah got her bath


I can’t sleep now.  Sarah’s taking a bath.

The weekend was full of ups and one very downish down.

First was the prom for Jacob and Ethan.

Then was a rare and lovely overnight visit from Rich’s Dad and step mom.  We went for walks, we had a campfire with hotdogs and marshmallows, we planted a family tree together, we went to the diner for breakfast.  We skipped church so we could soak up every minute and then waved goodbye as they drove slowly away on Sunday afternoon.

Monday morning I found out that the night before our dear Billy-Cat had been hit and killed in the road.  I went outside to where Jacob had lovingly put him and stroked his beautiful fur.  When I saw the ants I stumbled into the house.  Rich gathered me into his lap and held me as I sobbed.

We buried him where he lay and put a nice rock at the top for Jacob to paint Billy’s name on.  The children all grieved in their own way and losing our cat cast a melancholy mood on the whole day.

Later that morning we took them downtown for the Memorial Day parade.  Grace marched as a music student, David and Caleb, who looked like typical American Little League boys….fresh and energetic, marched with their baseball teams.

Sarah and Seth were so surprised when the candy started being thrown right at them by the parade marchers.

I wore sunglasses to hide the tears…tears for my cat, tears for loss, tears for all the nice people of our town who marched by us, throwing candy, the ones who serve us, the ones representing the sacrifices of the past.

Yesterday Rich left for work and I am home alone carrying the load of the family, not in my own strength, but by the grace of God.  Ethan had a game last night, Jacob threw a PR in Javelin during a big meet and won forth place despite an empty stomach, Seth had his very first concert performance, we were home and in bed later than usual.

This morning I got the kids to school, carried water to my plants, loaded the dishwasher.

There is a homemade card on the counter that Seth brought home, which is propped up against a vase of flowers.  In Kindergarten handwriting are the words, “I’m sorry Billy Cat died.”  It’s bothering all of us that it is there.

I’m tired.  Deep, deep tired.  I made a list of things that must be done today.  David has an orthodontist appointment at 1:30.  Ethan has a home game at 3:30 and it’s a big one so I need to be there.  David and Caleb need to be at their field by 5:30 and Jacob has to be at driving school at 6:15.  Grace is being inducted into the Thespian Society at 6.  I will do the best I can for my children….in the meantime….it’s only 9:30 in the morning……and I’m sleepy and don’t want to move.

Sarah took a break from playing and came to stand by me half an hour ago.  I was half asleep, arms and legs limp as I cuddled into the couch cushions.  She was trying to get me to turn on a movie.  When that didn’t work, she leaned in close and said, “Mom.  God said something to me last night.”

I perked up slightly.  These were the words of God.  I opened my eyes, ready to receive them.

“He told me that in the morning I needed to take a bath.”

I roused myself.

“Well, you had better obey.”

This is how Sarah got her bath this morning and how I have come to sit crossed legged on the floor of the bathroom to write this little story of living….


Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore!  Psalm 113:2


O how He loves you and me, O how he loves you and me,
He gave His life, what more could He give?
O how He loves you, O how He loves me,
O how he loves you and me.


“We planted a tree and it grew up,

While it reached for the sky and the sun. . . .”  Diane Muldrow







“I used to take every new day for granted. Now I realize that each new day is a gift of God’s grace; and it is this day I need to focus on. It is full of possibilities – not just responsibilities – for relationships and for surprises.”

– R. Jack Hansen and Jerry P. Haas

the ring, billy cat, someone growing, the ring again, and a quote from sarah

I woke right up this morning thinking about the ring.  I fell asleep last night thinking about it, too.  I’d rather not blog about it.  Suffice it to say that I lost my Tiffany ring that Rich gave me for our anniversary a short 5 months ago.  I have looked all over the house, cleaning as I go.  If you ever want to get Spring Housecleaning done in February might I suggest losing something tiny and valuable in the house?  It’s been remarkable how much I’ve found but mostly dirt and dust, about 1,000 marbles and legos, bobby pins, small change, pony tail holders, an earring that I thought was gone forever, a set of keys, crayons, pens, and pencils, but no ring, and oddly nothing belonging to my poor husband.  Only crap that belongs to myself and the children.



This morning Sarah and I went to town.  I had to go to the Post Office, which I don’t like doing, and I was struck once again by the cheerful attitude of my little girlie who doesn’t mind going out into the cold with Mama on a constant basis.  She puts her hand in mine and we go. “Mom, remember.  Cars go FAST.” she says as we cross the street.  We bought a bag of books for 2 dollars at the thrift store.  We went to the grocery store and then home again to read them.


The cats are always inside now that it’s been so cold.  Billy amuses us all the time.  Today he decided to get a drink from the kitchen sink.






I began taking way too many pictures of Billy drinking water from the faucet.




Then something caught his eye and he forgot all about the water.



What could it be?  He stood up on tip toes.


And he pressed his orange head against the screen.  His tail was twitching.


Birds.  Lots and lots of birds.  They were politely taking a seed and flying right by the kitchen window in front of the orange cat.  He wanted so badly to go and catch one but I said no.

I poured my coffee and invited him to sit with me for a chat instead.


He had a hard time focusing after all the excitement of water and birds.


“I’d rather have bird.” he says.  “Also I would rather scratch you.” he confesses.


Grace is shrinking.  Either that or Davy is growing taller.  I’m not sure.


She is 15 and he is 12.  It’s an odd thing to see the little brother catch up in height.  His feet are already bigger.


This was my napping buddy yesterday.  The children had no school because it was (NOT A SNOW DAY –I know hard to believe!) President’s Day.  I read Seth a chapter of Henry and Ribsy, by Beverly Cleary.  And then we fell asleep back to back in the big bed.  He’s the apple of my eye.  Rich and I took him to his wrestling  tournament (states!) on Sunday and he placed 5th.

Back to the Ring Saga:


Last night, Rich pulled the washer and dryer out to check for the ring.  The boys were right there watching the entire time.

At dinner Rich prayed and thanked the Lord for the food.  Before he forgot, I interjected, “And please, dear Lord, help me find my ring,” prompting Grace to groan aloud, “PLEASE!”  “Amen” said Rich, and when we opened our eyes Jacob expected the ring to fall from the sky onto my plate.  If only!

David read this in his book last night:




This picture does a good job at illustrating what’s been going on in my house.  I’m the one in the long striped skirt.


In other news……..

Sarah watched “Finding Nemo” for the first time yesterday.  When I tucked her into bed she asked, “Mom, can I watch ‘My Me Me Mo’ again tomorrow?”





I snapped these frosty photos the other day.  Down at the edge of the pond the grass and leaves had beautiful long lashes of frost.




Guess what our little artist, Sarah, has been doing these days?


The first time she tried tracing her own hand I told her it looked like the hand of a monster.  I did most of the tracing but eventually I became reluctant about stopping my own projects to trace *yet another hand* for her, so she decided it was more time-efficient to do it herself.


‘Mom!  I did it!  And it doesn’t look like a Monster-hand!”

(it doesn’t?)

I taught her how to draw pretty jewelry, and fingernails, too.

This one doesn’t have fingernails.  But it does have a ring on each finger.



All that is required is paper and colored pens/crayons.  It kept Sarah busy for a long time and it gave her lots of practice with tracing, drawing, and designing.




I traced two sets of hands on some of the pages, trying to save time and paper.

As you may have noticed, Billy-Cat came over to see what I was photographing.

He communicated to me that it was a much nicer idea to photograph a handsome cat.


*lick-lick making myself ready for my portrait*


*wait, let me pose first*


*this is my best pose*


*how’d it turn out?*

I have happy cats because Sarah and I went to the grocery store to buy them food.  They ran out yesterday and had to gag down dog food.  All four of them have full tummies and are in various places in the house, sleeping it off.


This is what our mantel looks like right now.  Jacob did the painting.  I love how the red in it matches the mushrooms.  Grace and Dave went for a walk and brought me the piece of wood (to the left of the painting, it’s the same color as the rocks so hard to see), they called it an octopus and plan painting it purple (I admit it would be easier to see).  My felt mushrooms are from the Masonville General Store in NY.  I pulled up some greenery from the woods and added artificial flowers along the mantel, too.  The “give thanks” banner is from Pottery Barn (last year).  I love how if you take the “e” off the end of “give” and then next four letters from “thanks”, it spells my son Ethan’s name.  Sometimes I move those letters to the middle just for fun.


fiestaware in the sunshine

Tonight, I’m making meatloaf for dinner, with spinach and mashed potatoes.

I’ve shared Sarah’s hands and now I will share her song:


Won’t you give her a hand?





“The day was beautiful and the way was beautiful.”
Anne of the Island, L.M. Montgomery


Late this morning I took little Sarah on a short walk through the woods and into the field, wandering about, going exactly where we wanted to go.  Underneath our feet were brown pine needles and crispy leaves.  The sun was shining.  Everything was bright, fresh, and lovely.  We ate a few wintergreen berries and Sarah talked about nothing and everything while I dutifully listened and took snapshots.


These three mushrooms were growing up from behind tree bark; bark which was hanging off an old fallen down log.



Thanks to Aunt Colleen’s inspiration, I am taking up crochet again.  I recently made Jacob a pillow and am almost done with a red and black striped one for David.  As I admired this tree lichen I dreamed of finding yarn in the same creamy mint color and crocheting a doily.



I asked Sarah if I could put her in a tree and she generously agreed.

We had found a turkey feather.




She ran ahead of me into the field and saw a man walking his dog.  I had to laugh as I wondered what he must have thought to see a tiny girl emerging from the forest, talking and laughing.  He told us that he walked there all the time and his dog, Bruno, used to be a bird dog.  Bruno caught 101 birds but is now retired because he’s old and his hips are bad.  Regardless, Bruno was having a great time wobbling around on his loose hips while his owner drank coffee from a plastic mug in one hand and carried a walking stick in the other.






I tucked purple wild flowers and rose hips into Sarah’s ponytails.


She was so pleased with her turkey feather.  In fact, as soon as her Dad came home from work she showed it to him.  He said it was the nicest he’s ever seen.


While Sarah climbed a boulder, I admired a wavy, curly tree fungus.  There were different sizes growing and I pulled a small one off.  It was rubbery and strong, I could not tear it in half no matter how hard I tried.



We made our way back home by going down the trail a little ways and then through the woods to cross our stream onto our own property.  On our way across, we saw a dear dear friend.  I took pictures of Sarah’s face as she cooed motherly greetings at him……..



It was Billy-cat, coming to say hello to us.



After our walk I made Sarah eat ALL of her cheese sandwich including the crust, and then I gave her a chocolate pudding cup for dessert.  She had a nice nap, and so did I.


We breathe below, but we live above; we walk on earth, but our conversation is in heaven.   John Flavel


you are loved