Sunday, February 27, 2011


Just a typical afternoon errand run.

Eyes glaze over the sleeping landscape . . . bare trees, brown grass, piles of decaying leaves blown up against fences.

When suddenly my head nearly swivels off my shoulders.  What was that I saw?  Could I have been imagining?

No!  It really is.  The first blossoms of the season.  Bursting into life.  Bringing the tints of color to the landscape.

Redbud, I think, though I'm not sure.

A little later, swinging by the library, almost hidden by a tree, small yellow flowers peeking between the branchy tangle of the forsythia bush.

It's official.  The spring sap is flowing.  Color is coming.  Nature is awakening!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Prairie Fire

I am enchanted!!

This girl of the South (by transplant!) has done most all of her knitting up to this point in time in cotton or linen or bamboo or silk.  Well, there was the one ghastly use of pale aqua bulky weight acrylic, but we won't talk about that.  ::shudder::  We just don't usually need the warmer fibers in the "sunny South."

Until this winter, when we seemed to be cold...all...the...time and I determined that I would, indeed, bring warmth into the house.

This was my inspiration for my latest knitting creation:

Cold kids, frosty days, and the need for endless cups of hot cocoa.

And so . . . I bought wool!!

Have I mentioned I am enchanted?  This is my first time ever knitting with wool.  As it runs through my fingers, I just can't get over the fact that the beautiful fibers are right off the backs of sheep . . . real, live sheep . . . donating their beautiful soft wool . . . so I can knit up a throw to keep my children warm.  I feel just as complete as if I had sheared, carded and spun the wool myself.

Here's the wool, Prairie Fire by Brown Sheep.  It's super bulky, so it's loose, thick and soft.  

Isn't Prairie Fire just perfect for this yarn?  I can see the white of the ash, the black of the soot, the grey of the smoke and, of course, the roaring red of the fire, all loosely twisted together.  

I'm knitting it up in moss stitch.  

Did I say something about this yarn just flying off the needles?  Yes, of course I did because that's how it should have gone as viewed through my typically rose-hued specs.

However . . . I found out that if one is knitting in moss stitch and you mess up a few stitches and you think, "Ha, no one will never know, living with imperfection, you know, and all that jazz," then soon you will find that instead of a wide swath of moss stitch, you will have moss stitch with several "ribs" up through it.  Knitting is no friend of the concept of living with imperfections.  Knitting doesn't seem to get along well with imperfection at all.

So, the beautiful throw was ripped back and started over again.  This time with no overlooking of imperfections.  Not this time.  And it's actually given me more time to handle this fiery prairie of wool, lovingly donated by a sheep and his friends somewhere in the world.

I had better get to work quickly.  As wonderful as handling this wool is on a damp, gray day in February, knitting a large wool throw in the color Prairie Fire while watching one's children playing in the pool on a baking hot day in July does not sound quite as charming.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Some Bunny Loves You!

Sunday afternoon . . . after we're home from church . . . and lunch is finished . . . and the dishes are done.  My time to crash.  All I want is my bed, the couch, a patch of sunlight on the area rug.  Anything.  Just let me be found prone, eyes closed, letting the week drain out of me before the new one fills me up.

Unfortunately, this is exactly when the children remember that all the homework they thought was done and promised was done on Friday wasn't quite done at all.

So, as I lay in my semi-comatose state, body and brain begging for a little peace and quiet, the household (eschewing the day of rest concept!) becomes agitated and restless, cramming too much work into too little time.

"Mom, what exactly is the scientific name for a white blood cell?"

"Mom, my basketball uniform, compression shorts, 3 pairs of socks, and favorite underwear are washed, dried, folded and ready for my gym bag, right?"

"Mom, can you proof my 3-page essay on the history of highlighters?"

"Mom, I don't know how to compare a Japanese home of the early 1900s to an American home of today."

And then there's the most dreaded announcement of all . . . the project that someone forgot until Sunday afternoon.

This particular Sunday (the day before V-tine's Day), the project was announced in a quiet voice in my groggy ear,

"Mommy, I have to make 20 Valentine's for my class in the morning."

Aaaaargh!!  Of course.  Tomorrow is Valentine's Day!  How could I have forgotten?!

Goodbye small patch of sunlight on the area rug.  Thank goodness for Family Fun magazine.

In no time at all we had some paper cut, some paint in a saucer, and little fingers were making "bunnies" out of finger prints.

The ears were large and lop-sided.  The heads a little less symmetrical than the self-conscious bunny would desire. 

But they were cute nonetheless.

And when a sweet sentiment was added to the front along with the requisite lollipop and a name signed on the inside in quivery, loopy letters . . .

The outcome was really quite sweet, indeed.

::sigh::  I'll try again for that nap next Sunday.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hopeful Signs

In spite of the fact that the weather teased us with two days of sun and warmth, I can now feel cold air once again moving in, with its gray skies, low clouds and chilling of the bone.

However . . . I will not despair!!

I have seen the little daffodil shoots beginning to poke their green heads up through the ground.

The pansies are once again lifting their heads and taking courage.

And I bought a delightful pair of ruched summery flats at Target.

With all these hopeful signs, spring can't possibly be far away; can it??!!  (And yes, I'm putting some lotion on those parched feet right away!)

Happy soon-to-be-spring weekending!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Dear Bloggers  ~ ~  I have just come off of 4 days immersed in paperwork---schedules, forms, lists, deposits, orders, documents--all the trappings of basketball tournaments and registration for the beginnings of soccer season for the teams I administrate.

And I would just like to say
"Thank you!"

Thank you for keeping me sane, for reminding me life is more than paperwork, for letting me remember that I have a soul, for keeping me in touch with my senses, for offering me beauty.

After a week of too many fill-in-the-blank lines, stark black print on 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper, and administrative e-mails, I pulled up some of my favorite blogs.

Ah . . . beauty, life, soul!

Koralee made me smile with her Valentine's charm:

Lucy warmed my heart with color and hand-crafted deliciousness:

Anna reminded me that food lovingly made from scratch is a gift:

Anna @ Pleasantview Schoolhouse

Lacey offered up a houseful of kids to make me laugh and cry:

Rie encouraged me to make beauty and order a part of my home:

And the quirky and delightful Tif helped me to not take myself quite so seriously:

Ah, head cleared, smile brightened, shoulders straightened, soul uplifted, by these several favorites and so many more!!  Dear bloggers, thank you for every piece of yourself you pour into the blogs that express your uniqueness and creativity so beautifully!!  

You are truly a refreshment to the heart and soul!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Priority Love

This week I've been asking God to give me more of a "top priority" love for Him.

Okay, total truth is, I've been listening to Beth Moore teach on loving God, and, goodness, if the passion of that woman didn't convict my heart of my own lack of love for Him.

"I want it, God," I told Him.  "I want that first place, passionate, priority love for you."

My husband wakens himself with a clock radio on a local Christian station a full 20 minutes before he needs to get up and a full 50 minutes before I want to get up.  Ugh.  It's amazing, though, how many times I'm jolted awake too early by a song that seems to speak to me right where I am.

And this weekend was no exception.

Through sleepy ears I heard God's loving message to me:

Take a look at the mountains
Stretching a mile high
Take a look at the ocean
Far as your eye can see
And think of Me

Take a look at the desert
Do you feel like a grain of sand?
I am with you wherever
Where you go is where I am

And I'm always thinking of you
Take a look around you
I'm spelling it out one by one

I love you more than the sun
And the stars that I taught how to shine
You are mine, and you shine for me too
I love you yesterday and today
And tomorrow, I'll say it again and again
I love you more
Just a face in the city
Just a tear on a crowded street
But you are one in a million
And you belong to Me
And I want you to know
That I'm not letting go
Even when you come undone

I love you more than the sun
And the stars that I taught how to shine
You are mine, and you shine for me too
I love you yesterday and today
And tomorrow, I'll say it again and again
I love you more
I love you more
And I see you
And I made you
And I love you more than you can imagine
More than you can fathom
Oh, wow, God.  There's nothing like a reminder of your love to me to light my heart in response with love to you.

"We love Him because He first loved us."

(images from

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


This is Middle Son.
This is Middle Son doing his homework.
This is Middle Son's homework.
Youngest Daughter would like to show you that
the washer and dryer go right here.
This is Middle Son's father overseeing Middle Son's homework.
Father does not feel compassion when Middle Son complains that the project is too hard.
Father does not step in and do Middle Son's work for him when he says he can't do it.
Father's heart does not twist inside him when Middle Son says he is going to die 
if he can't go outside and play with his friends.
And when Middle Son says he can't stand school and he'll never need it and everything he's learning will never do him any good and all he wants to do the rest of his life is ride his bike and be with his friends, 
Father has one response.
He laughs.
Oh, it is good to have a little Father-supervision when it comes to Middle Son and school work.
Very good, indeed.