15 minutes of bird-watching

I have sorrow in my heart that these photos aren’t great but that can’t stop me from posting them!!  This isn’t National Geographic, this is an ordinary housewife taking photos because when she waved her children off to school she noticed it was a great morning for birdwatching.  I heard the most beautiful morning song calling to me but alas I never did figure out who did the calling.  However, since I was out there anyway (heeding ‘the call’) with my camera, pajamas, & barefoot, I meandered around to see what else I could see.


At first I was annoyed with the wires but then I thought they added something cool to the photo……and plus it was so neat to see a woodpecker and a nuthatch in the same frame!  The woodpecker was cool and collected, the nuthatch scurried smoothly around the tree like a mouse.


Thanks to my camera lens, (which is useful like binoculars) I could SEE this bird.  Without the lens it really did look like a mouse.


…a little bit of red beauty hiding in the bushes…




This bird doesn’t come to the feeders, I spied it flitting about in the trees behind the house.    It’s a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.


flying away




I love morning-glories.


The rose-bush is doing well.


A charming juvenile cardinal….


Chewing on a twig!!!!  It’s so cute.  I love how he uses his tail as a support so he can reach out and chew the twig.


a scripture that meant a lot to me this morning:

“But what happens when we live God’s way?  He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard–things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity.  We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that basic holiness permeates things and people.  We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely………..since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives.  That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse.  We have far more interesting things to do with our lives.  Each of us is an original.”  Galations 5




“Let me tell you why you are here.  You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth…….
You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in this world.
God is not a secret to be kept.”


We went to see Beauty and the Beast.  We ate lots of candy and popcorn and sat in a long row on my sister’s birthday.  Spectacular.  My favorite part was at the end when all the castle inhabitants under the curse were brought back to life – the way it was supposed to be, through true love. I thought of how we are also born under a curse, but then, in time, Jesus makes us new again.  “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things are past, behold all things are made new.”  Oh how He loves us.


We took the children to their elementary school to watch a movie.  We watched it among a restless sea of children, hardly able to hear, and then took home an extra one (friend of Caleb) to spend the night.  After the movie we joined the crowd walking in the dark to their cars, carrying their blankets and pillows, and agreed it had been a nice event for the kids.  A good small town treat.  We appreciated the calm of the night sky.


The children fished for the first time this year.  Rich called me out to the porch to admire the cuteness.


Church yesterday.  Reminded me once again of the only thing that truly matters.  Everything else (and there’s so much “everything else”)  is icing on the cake.


I made lots and lots of cookies.


There was an epic nerf fight.


I got happy mail!



Matthew 5

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope.  With less of you there is more of God and his rule.”

those “Jesus, take the wheel!” moments.  When you finally let go.


“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you.  Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.”

(dreams?  expectations?  a person?  a home?  a job? health?  youth? )


“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are–no more, no less.  That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.”

Contentment to me means peace inside.

Contentment to simply be.


“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God.  He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.”

soul food–delicious and satisfying


“You’re blessed when you care.  At the moment of being ‘care-full’, you find yourselves cared for.”


“You’re blessed when you get your inside world–your mind and heart–put right.  Then you can see God in the outside world.”

ah, yes

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“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight.  That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.”

This is the number one job of a parent of more than one child.  LOL

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“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution.  The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.”



Sarah was the official bread runner to the house for bait.  She stepped back when the fish appeared but Caleb’s friend Collin was able to get her to touch it….I could hear her from across the pond, “It’s slimy!” she laughed.


Lots of commentary about the poor fish who ate the hook all the way down and it’s poor eye and getting it free, and putting it back.

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Seth was the most frustrated.  He spent a great deal of time trying to get the bread to stay on his hook.  He never did catch one.  But it was good for him.






Ephesians 4:1-6


I beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.

Always be humble and gentle.

Be patient with each other, making allowances for each other’s faults because of your love.


Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.

For there is one body and one Spirit, just has you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.


There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.

Ephesians 4:1-6


Milkweed pods are crispy dry and opening, spilling their soft warm seeds into the air, waiting for a breeze to carry them away.



Ferns are turning yellow and brown.

There are many variety of wild berries and it’s a good time of year to be a bird-watcher.


There are raccoon tracks in the mud by the solitary beaver pond.


A late blooming wild cardinal flower, found in a hidden spot.  It’s hard to hide completely when you’re such a red.



Praise the Lord; praise God our Savior!  For each day he carries us in his arms.  Psalm 68:19

baccalaureate service


I am this sentimental about all seven of my babies, mark my words, but as this is the Week of Jacob, he is constantly on my mind.

I spent hours and hours at the end of our first hand-me-down couch with my first born baby.   I remember those hours like they were yesterday.  Most of the time he had my undivided attention, but sometimes I would watch TV as I held him.  Other times I would read a book.  There was very often a cat snuggled with us.  We were cuddled under a quilt made by my husband’s grandmother and I would put a glass of water up on the top of the couch.  All day long, whenever it was time to eat, we were there, no hurries, no worries.  In the evenings my husband sat with us, too.

He was born the very last day of 1996 and we had one solitary year together before his beautiful baby brother joined us.  Everything our baby did was amazing to us, my husband and I were both so proud.  As he said recently, every parent thinks their child is someone extra special and it is the same for us.  What a cherished gift children are and worthy to be given everything they need to grow and learn.

My friends and I used to remind each other now and then about how quickly our children would grow and leave us.  Those crazy days when we had a bunch of little ones, healthy, busy, impossible to predict, we were exhausted trying to keep up.  “Soon they will be gone” was our mantra to get us through those days but we said it with a laugh because it still seemed so far off.

We had plenty of time.


Last night at 5:30, the family–all 10 of us–were dressed up and in the vehicle, driving to the little league field to drop off Caleb for a game, and then heading for the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in town for the Senior Baccalaureate Service of Evening Prayer.


I sat on the end so I could lean over into the aisle…all the better to see our boy.  Although their handsome Dad did his best to keep them in their seats, by the last hymn my two youngest were hanging off my back.  Sarah’s soft hands holding my arm, Seth twirling my pony tail.

Our Jacob was one of the students selected to read Scripture.



“And this is my prayer:  that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ-to the glory and praise of God.”  Philippians 1:9-11

The service had a special meaning for me personally because I have chosen the word “light” as my word of the year and it was the theme of the service.  In fact, as we opened with Versicles, the whole room was saying these words together:

Jesus Christ is the light of the world,
The light no darkness can overcome.
Stay with us, Lord, for it is evening,
And the day is almost over.
For with you is the fountain of life,
And in your light we see light.

It touched me to the depths of my soul.  Thank you, Jesus.





Do you remember that part in the movie “Anne of Avonlea” when Diana is about to get married and Mrs Barry is carrying on because she’s “losing her firstborn forever”.  Aunt Josephine, in her typical bluntly comforting way quickly says, “Don’t get all sentimental, you still have Minnie May”…..that’s what I think of when I see this  picture of me and my Minnie-Sarah.


After the service we all went downstairs for refreshments.  Seth, the one who is just victoriously finishing up Kindergarten, had two buttered rolls, bypassed the pasta and salad, and then ate four cupcakes.  The people of the church were all so kind and thoughtful, and happy to serve the community and class of 2015 in this way.



“You’ve been a blessing from the start,
I love you, my son, with all my heart.”

So thankful for these wonderful, priceless moments!


tasting goodness

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”  Psalm 34:8


Enough snow fell on the day before Thanksgiving that the children have been able to go outside and play with their snow boards and sleds.  The sunshine was so bright yesterday that it hurt my eyes.


Still, it is a pleasure to feel the cold on my face, and to breath in the fresh air.

I cautioned the children way too many times to steer AWAY from the trees and pond and road.



David lined his boots with garbage bags.


Our house sits on a hill, a hill steep enough for the children to go down……such a joy for them.



Seth threw a snow ball at his Mama.

He had gloves on that were way to big.  In this family, they just grab anything and hope for the best.


Hats, mittens, and gloves stress me out.


We went for a walk around and said hello to the hens.


The children slid down the rock like it was a slide and then I think the chicken tried it, too.


David chased Billy up a tree.   Billy went carefully and silently around and around to find the best way to get back down.


He is a smart cat.


Thanksgiving 2014

I planned, I shopped, I fussed, I baked, I did a hundred little things, and then…….it was over.

I am a little tired and blue today, so I decided to blog about our wonderful day, to cheer myself up.

The Lord is good.


My sister said that her heart was warmed, as David gently stirred the pot with her and talked about things.

Later, Jason told me he thought David was so smart and had an engineering type of mind.


My niece Abigail peeled potatoes with Grace.  10 pounds of potatoes.


With a cup of cheer in my hand and my handsome husband.  I am so thankful for Rich.  Today he caught me before I fell on the ice outside…it took me a few steps to gather my balance and he made me laugh by staying strong and saying dryly, “You okay?  This is just like walking with a newborn calf that can’t get his legs under himself!”


On Thanksgiving Day, Abbie turned fourteen.


Grace and Naomi played with their Bitty Babies.  Sarah’s room is still a total disaster from all the playing (searching for the doll stuff).  Aren’t they adorable?  I love everything about this picture.


Handsome brother Isaac, and son Jacob.


Michael came over, too, and there was a game of Monopoly that lasted for hours.


Abbie and Cassandra


My beautiful daughter Grace.


Grace practiced her french braiding skills on Aunt Cassandra.


Rich fell asleep after dinner and clean up.  Jason fell asleep in the recliner, too.  It’s the smart thing to do on Thanksgiving day.


The children colored with the smelly markers.



Then, it was time for birthday cake.  I’m so thankful that we were able to spend the day with Abbie.  She’s a beautiful young lady and we are proud of her.  It was a blessing to end Thanksgiving day with birthday cake.




also remembering….

early morning phone call from brother Dave
weston got wet in the pond
we took family portraits for christmas cards
sarah wore a red ribbon
i burnt the rolls
but the pies were to die for
we lost sarah outside; it turned out she was with her brother E
aunt amanda made ethan proud of his muscles
laughing over the Andy Griffeth show
we cheered up aunt cassandra because she was sad and missing her family
rich was quiet all day until 9pm.  then he went for a run and then wanted to take me out shopping. (no)
jacob dressed up in a tie
food was wonderfully good, so was the drink
seth was especially energetic and was the child most likely to get reprimanded
ending the day with a nice phone conversation with mom and dad


Thanks for stopping by the blog today, friends!
You are loved.


“The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation.”  Psalm 18:46

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1

“All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness….”  Psalm 25:10