Fear is Not Allowed

Fear is Not Allowed

Before you read this, I want to be clear about one thing: I am not advocating that parents put their kids in bad situations, and I am not saying that we shouldn’t comfort our children when they are scared. What I am saying is that what you are about to read has been an unfolding story in my home. It is the story of breaking fear. … It started with a small voice. “I’m scared of the dark,” he said….

Read More Read More

DIY Exercise Die

DIY Exercise Die

I made this exercise die for two reasons: 1.) I want to exercise more, but often I forget because I have four small children and am terrible at routines, so the time I have for exercise usually just passes. 2.) My kids love to move and I thought it would be great for homeschool breaks. I actually made this about a year ago, and it has held up pretty well. I had to reattach one side, and my kids have…

Read More Read More

DIY Book Stack Christmas Ornament

DIY Book Stack Christmas Ornament

Every year, my husband and I get our children Christmas ornaments. Our goal is to somehow capture the year in an ornament so that over time we have a nice stack of memories when we decorate the tree. Sometimes this is really easy, like last year when we went to Willamsburg and let our children pick out their own ornaments from a store called “Christmas Mouse.” This year, I wanted to make our children’s ornaments, but I had a hard time…

Read More Read More

Everything is Meaningless. Nothing is Meaningless.

Everything is Meaningless. Nothing is Meaningless.

There is nothing new under the sun. Oh, Ecclesiastes, how I love you. Just. People. Go read it. And read it again. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full.  To the place the streams come from, there they return again.  All things are wearisome, more than one can say.  The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.  What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new…

Read More Read More

You Can’t Lose What is in You

You Can’t Lose What is in You

I know you know this, but I am writing a novel. Big surprise: that’s what I”m writing about today. Once, at workshop in the West Virginia mountains, I heard Meredith Sue Willis say,  that whatever your novel is, you should know it will change, and that you will change, too. She also said that novels are made out of scenes, and then words. Both are true in this case. Over the past 12 years this novel has been a short story, a…

Read More Read More

Where to Begin

Where to Begin

Where to begin? A beginning. A starting over. Just fragments. Just brainstorms. Begin: to start, to come into being, to complete the first part of something. What if we are always beginning, and in that way, are never beginning? These are the kinds of things that roll through me this evening, when it is dark and quiet and a thunderstorm is coming softly. The fan in my room is circling its small space, affecting the whole room with soothing wind…

Read More Read More

How to Write Acrostic Poems with Your Kids

How to Write Acrostic Poems with Your Kids

An acrostic poem is the kind of poem that looks like this: Piecing words together On paper like this Emits a certain Memory Well, that’s just the first thing that came to mind. Do you get what it is now, though? Acrostic is not often used as high literature, but it is a fun way to help kids write poetry. We use The Good and the Beautiful language arts, level 2. It’s good. It’s beautiful. It’s free. It’s absolutely sufficient…

Read More Read More

Burnt Toast, Handwriting Lessons, and Drawing Close to Hope

Burnt Toast, Handwriting Lessons, and Drawing Close to Hope

Mornings are hard. I know I’ve written about this before. I’m not complaining (though, admittedly, I have complained about it in the past.) I’m simply stating it out of recognition. There is a difference between complaining and recognizing. Complaining says “Oh man, I am upset about the way this morning is going, and I’m going to choose to stay upset about it.” Recognizing says, “Mornings are hard.” Then, maybe, “How might they get better?” One way to make a hard thing…

Read More Read More

DIY Birdseed Ornaments

DIY Birdseed Ornaments

When I began this blog, I said that I wouldn’t do tutorials. Then, I made birdseed ornaments with my kids and I thought I would share them with you. Here’s why I want to share these: I tried to make them last year. They were cute but crumbly. I don’t remember what kind of fat I used, but it may have been coconut oil. Whatever I used didn’t keep the ornaments together. Then, a couple months ago, I saw a picture of birdseed ornaments that…

Read More Read More

Did You Know that It’s Fall?

Did You Know that It’s Fall?

The leaves are slowly falling, slowly changing, and I’m realizing that this autumn season makes me think that other things will change, that autumn is the best metaphor and I want to see all the pretty colors cover my world like a postcard. But life is not a postcard. –this is profound, I know. … Can the changing not be left to leaves and temperature, but used for life itself? –Life doesn’t follow nature’s seasons. Still, if I’m thinking about my life…

Read More Read More