Thursday, June 30, 2011

Far From the Tree

Although my dad was the Phys. Ed. teacher at our school, I just didn't take to sports. I had an overly developed sense of responsibility in team sports, always worrying that I'd be the one that screwed up. I was very self-conscious. I also had undiagnosed (till I was 10) exercise-induced asthma. Living in a small town, sports go by the winter, there's hockey, curling, and skiing. In summer, there's softball, swimming, and soccer. For me, summer meant climbing up in a tree and reading endlessly.

Our local soccer program is just terrific. Herds of kids crowd the field in what we affectionately call "Daisy Pickers Soccer". There are enough balls for each kid to have one, and sometimes they participate in drills. Sometimes they climb on the goal posts or study the flora on the soccer pitch (hence the nickname).

This is our first year participating with our older kids, and to my surprise, I find myself wanting to go and watch every week. In addition to visiting with other parents, I have discovered the joy of watching this tempermental child of mine thriving in an athletic setting. She participates without complaint for the whole hour, and thanks her coaches when it's done.
Coach Mike warms the kids up.

We call her Spaghetti Legs (no, not to her face!), with a slight fear she might get them tangled up one day.

Listening to Coach Paul.

Her focus amazes me.

Coach Daddy (having spent his early childhood in England) gets into the fun.

Jude winds up for a mighty kick!

I love this little nerd so darn much!

It is at this point in parenting that I am coming to recognise my children as independent of me. Their relationship is their own, and I know that these are the days they'll remember; their summers will begin to blur together in what I hope will be a happy collage of swimming, camping, wrestling on the grass, sports that they love, and that ultimate gift of childhood: being carefree.

Violet pins Jude, who seems happy to be pinned. We know this isn't technically allowed in soccer.
Ah, the scent of new-mown grass.

These are the days.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


It's been awhile since I had a GratiTuesday post. But this morning I just feel it...the wonder of so many little blessings in my life.

Here's the list for today:
  • waking up in time to kiss my husband goodbye, heading out the door in a raincoat, always so gracious about having to get up every day when I get to stay home; the happiness on his face when I whispered, "I love you" from the top of the stairs
  • awakening to find that the light seeping through the curtain was definitely rainy-day light, and thinking of all that implies: rubber boots, puddles, blanket forts, and crafts
  • the kids sleeping in till 7:30, then snuggling in to bed with me, all vying to fit their head onto my breasts; warm skin, tousled heads, hoarse just-woke-up voices
  • Margot's early morning paint sessions...circles, circles, and more circles
  • always, always grateful for coffee in my favourite mug
  • the squishy sound of a toddler chewing a banana!
  • how Margot mixes up her consonants: chicken becomes "kitchen", kitchen becomes "chicken, cheek becomes "keech", chocolate become "cochic" She might only do this with words containing "c" and "ch" sounds...
  • the surprise of seeing my mother's face in my classroom yesterday; she came to Jude's kindergarten graduation unexpectedly!
  • the additional surprise of arriving home after 12+ hours at work to find that my house had been cleaned; I guessed that my fairy-godmother had left the graduation, then popped in to scrub the kitchen sinks and tidy up so that when I got home I could just SIT
  • the sexiness of my husband unstrapping my sexy Value Village shoes and rubbing my exhausted feet while we watched Harry Potter: The Deathly Hollows AGAIN.
Quick, now: in your comment, list 5 off-the-top-of-your-head gratitudes on this Tuesday morning.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kindergarten Graduation

I resisted the whole Kindergarten Graduation thing. I really did. But my beloved classroom assistant was so keen to create a "mortarboard" out of bristol board, that I just had to let her do it. I took photos of each of my little munchkins wearing this silly hat, and framed them as a memento of their years in my class. And guess what? I have to agree...this picture of Jude is SO CUTE!

I've hand-stamped tags to tie onto their little "diplomas", and baked 5 dozen cupcakes (there will be guests attending, you know!), including gluten free ones for Jude. My classroom assistant, Crystal, has been hard at work creating a slideshow of photos from the past two years, to the song "See You On the Moon" by the Great Lake Swimmers.

Each child created a Wise Owl by wrapping strands of cotton balls tightly around a pinecone, then adding pinecone-with-googlies eyes, a little paper beak, and some feather eyebrows and wings.

And then my assistant got into the game. She wanted more graduation hats...these ones made by painting the cup part from an egg carton, and adding a little square of bristol board. This has become a bit of a schtick with us:

I resist, she persists, I give in, she puts on the damn hats, then I have to concur: they're adorable.

I'll be in tears by the time everyone is seated. It happens every year. While I celebrate the many, many accomplishments these children have made in their two years with me, and marvel at the miracle of child development, I am reluctant to let them go. In a few years, they'll barely acknowledge me in the halls, which is as it should be. But I do love them so, and will miss their bright little faces: pigtails, missing teeth, freckles, tears, and the promise of all the years ahead of them. Have I mentioned that I have the best job in the world?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday Morning

Years ago, I lived alone in a renovated one-room schoolhouse. Alone. Did I mention that I lived alone? Weekends consisted of sleeping in, or lying in bed all day with a GREAT book (it was here that I first read the Outlander books, and Thornyhold). I'd nosh on cheese, pickles, and crackers, or bread with honey, and copious amounts of tea. I particularly loved a rainy Saturday morning. There was absolutely no guilt involved; my house was small and messy, but it was all mine, as was my time.

If I sound like I'm nostalgic for that time in my life, it's because I am. I can't say I wouldn't trade a MOMENT of my present life to be back there (like the screaming tantrum moments, the endless laundry moments, the what's-for-dinner moments)...but only a moment.

Back then, happy though I was, I wondered about my future; I was casually dating a few people, but in my mid-late twenties, had no idea what my life held for me. I could equally picture myself growing into an eccentric old spinster, as seeing myself married with children.

I soon met Robin, and that decided my future.

After spending much of the night with Margot in our bed (which is like sleeping with a whole litter of big, squirmy puppies, and waking constantly to find them at your feet, wedged between your legs, on your face), we were awakened at 7:30 by all three kids climbing into our bed. Margot declared, "My hungwy!" and up I got.

It's a cloudy morning. And I realised that this is the first Saturday in 8 weeks where I don't have to get out the door for some event or another. There've been birthdays, showers, weddings, plant sales, and so on since early May, EVERY SATURDAY.

Coffee. My nightgown. Cheerios with milk ON THE SIDE for the girls. Another coffee. A movie for the sleepy kids in pyjamas. And the sound of crickets and birdsong pouring through the window along with a fresh, damp breeze.

A deep breath, and the realisation that I'm right where I dreamed I would be, messes, sleepless nights, laundry, screaming, and all.

Saturday morning.


Friday, June 24, 2011

The Waterhorse Sweater

If you've ever spent time in Ireland, England, or Scotland, you'll know that the only things keeping you from dying of consumption are:
  • peat fires
  • whiskey or Guinness
  • a densely knit wool sweater
It's wet in this part of the world. That famous green comes with a price: rain, fog, and mist, and lots of all three. There's a reason sheep thrive in the British Isles: their wool is warm, even when wet.

My husband's grandfather, in England, 1940s? The resemblance between this man and mine is astonishing. Note his beautiful sweater!

When I watch movies set in any of these places, I enjoy the scenery, the accents, the ruddy-cheeked men in tweed caps...but mostly, I enjoy the handknits. Think Molly Weasley's Christmas gifts to Harry and Ron, or the little wool caps and scarves Hermione wears. Think of Lucy's little cardigan when she meets Mr. Tumnus for the first time in Narnia. Think Nanny McPhee's charges during that beach picnic.

I have a fantasy of being an on-set knitter, recreating period knits for actors to wear.
So I practically drooled while watching "The Waterhorse" (based on the novel by Dick King Smith of "Babe" fame), set on Loch Ness during the Second World War. Forget that it stars Ben Chaplin (squee!), or that the little boy in it resembles my son with his dark hair, pale skin, and freckles.

Yarn posing with some wartime-era player piano rolls...

This little boy wears handknits! Lots of them, in varying shades of wartime grey. Sweaters and vests, in nearly every scene.

My young man has grown since I last knit him a sweater, so I have set out to make him what I've been calling his "Waterhorse Sweater". I'm making it up as I go, recording what I'm doing, so if it turns out, I'll share the pattern here.

I'm making it with a really rustic Canadian yarn, Briggs and Little "Heritage" (processed in New Brunswick), in a grey and white twist. Jude declares it a "little bit itchy", but I expect it will soften up with washing. The price is right, and I can buy it at our local feed and farm supply store!
Using Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Knitting Without Tears" as a guide, I've made the body from the bottom up, and have one sleeve done (from the cuff up). Once the second sleeve is done, I'll join them all in the round to create a raglan sleeve; the collar is something I'm picturing but have no name for. You'll see it when it's done. It buttons on an angle (along one raglan seam) with a split turtleneck collar that flips down...anyone? What is this called?

The appeal of knitting this way (checking your gauge, taking bits and pieces that you like from various sweaters, measuring your child as well as a favourite garment that fits about the way you hope your sweater will fit!) ensures that you'll get what you're hoping for. I try it on Jude as I go, and can decide to add a few inches here or there to accommodate his rapidly growing limbs. Note the tall drink of water that his great-grandfather is...his dad is the same way. Chances are, as the years go by, I'll just have to add inches to the cuffs and hem, and the width will fit just fine!

*Some of you may be wondering about Jude's Scrap Cardigan, started so many months ago. I started having visions of him becoming a social pariah at school, a la Dolly Parton in "Coat of Many Colours". I know. I should let him be an individual. But on the way to school, he asks me, "Do I look cool today, mom?" (with his Batman socks pulled up to his knees, his astronaut t-shirt tucked into his shorts, his sticky-uppy hair...) I always answer, "Of course!" If he was begging me for the sweater, I'd do it without hesitation. But as it grows more stripey and colourful and outrageous, he seems less and less willing to try it on for fittings. I'm not going to be one of those moms that says, "I slaved over this and you're going to WEAR IT!!", thus condemning my child to being known forevermore as "that geek in the itchy rainbow sweater". Yes, if I'd scrounged the yarn from ravelled old sweaters and he depended on the sweater for warmth, he might have to suck it up and wear it, like it or not. But we're not THAT broke. I'd rather make him something he'll wear and love. Enough said.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Idyllic Summer Day

You know those blogs...where the kids all cooperate when the mama suggests a picnic. Where the mom never seems to lose her cool. Where the screen door never slams into the already-screaming child's forehead. There always seems to be a knitting project on the go in these magical mothers' homes, not to mention time to whip up some wholesome, made-from-scratch jam/bread/cake/muffin/souffle from locally grown ingredients.

I had my fun with trying to be that blogger. See last summer's posts, where every day appeared to be a carnival of bread baking, raspberry picking, and beach fun.

Another year of mothering and blogging has granted me new wisdom.

Yesterday was the first official day of summer. My kids trickled out the door as they are wont to do, without shoes, sunscreen, and hats, and missing various articles of clothing. I decided it would be fun to go on a little adventure.

I went back into the house to collect sunscreen, juice, snacks, shoes, hats, clothing, and a blanket. That only took me about 10 minutes. By that time, Violet and Margot had come back into the house, because where I go, they go. Violet then had a tantrum because she didn't like the dress I grabbed out of the laundry basket. She fought and struggled, I persisted (because I was too lazy to run upstairs to find something she liked) until she tried to run out the door. When I caught her arm, the screen door sprang shut. On her forehead (cue shrill cries of indignation).

The mama is still smiling at this point. Even though Violet then had a fit about the fact that I'd grabbed HER sleeping bag as a picnic blanket. I cajoled, a la Maria Von Trapp, about what fun it would be to enjoy our snack in the great outdoors.

My plan to walk up the road to the field of horses dwindled to a tromp through the grass into one of our small pastures. I tramped down long grass, spread the blanket out, and laid out our snacks, all the while listening to you-know-who shrieking about the burrs and the picky grass and the hot sun that were all conspiring to ruin her life. "This is fun!", I chirped, trying my darndest to convince her.

Then ensued the picnic.

Applesauce plopped off spoons onto dresses. Juice spilled all over the sleeping bag. Jude closed his eyes in resignation. I closed mine in an attempt to go to my happy place. It didn't work.

So, we gathered it all up and headed back up to the civilized, mown grass of the lawn. Margot wasn't wearing a diaper, and started behaving as if she wanted to pee. She squatted, and strained...but, nothing.

So, being a country dweller, I hiked up my skirt, widened my stance, and said, "Look! Pssss! See mommy! I'm peeing in the grass!" I failed to mention to her that I also peed on my skirt. And my shoes.

We ate strawberries and read stories, and hopped in and out of the wading pool. That is the story the pictures tell. But don't fool yourself.

I'm not one of those mothers. This was not one of those picnics.

And this, apparently, is not one of those blogs.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Choose Love

Fear has many disguises. It is a shape-shifter. On any given day, it can appear in my life as
  • rage
  • disgust
  • anxiety
  • judgement
  • anger
  • self-loathing
  • negativity
  • despair
  • grief
  • hatred
  • defensiveness
The list could go on and on. But these are the guises in which fear most appears in my life. I once read that all human emotions can be divided into two groups: fear, or love.

Think about it. When you have that knot of anxiety (for me, it's in my upper abdomen/solar plexus; in my husband, it's his teeth that hurt when he feels anxious), poke at it a bit. Like your tongue probing the gap left behind by a just-lost tooth, it's a bit morbid to explore pain; it hurts. But it's hard to stop yourself, too.

If you just breathe through it, like breathing through a contraction, you'll see that surface emotion beginning to unfurl, revealing the base of it all.


I'm tired of feeling fearful. Fear of the future, fear of not having enough money, fear of being "stuck" here with my children all summer without a vehicle, fear of something bad happening to my loved ones, fear of being clung to and depended on, fear of failing, fear of succeeding, fear of being overweight for the rest of my life, fear of not fulfilling my potential, fear of clutter.

Did I say I'm tired of feeling fearful?

I'm EXHAUSTED. It takes a lot of energy. That fear needs feeding and daily nurturing. It needs negative self-talk. It needs the encouragement I give it when I give in to it.

I read the book I mentioned above (I can't for the life of me remember its title) when I was in the newest stages of love with my husband. We read it together, and marvelled at the simplicity of it:

Choose love.
Choose love.

There have been moments in my life as a wife and mother where I scoffed at the over-simplicity of that concept. Sure, I could choose love when I made enough money to cover our cheap rent, when I had time to exercise and meditate, when the future lay ahead of us like a treasure map. Like the bloom of first love, it faded into the mediocrity of every-day-living.

There's just so much more to fear now, with three little people depending upon me, with my heart walking outside my body in the form of my children.

But I've recently come to realise that all of the things I long for: a peaceful, clutter-free home, harmonious children, a passionate and connected relationship with my husband...are within my reach.

When I get angry at my children, it is easy to blame THEM: they're aggravating, they make too many messes, they are so DEMANDING!

When I am frustrated with my husband, it is easy to blame HIM: he's forgetful, he's self-centred, he doesn't earn enough money, he doesn't take care of his car.

I'm tired of all this blame. I'm remembering something I once knew:

It's not them. It's me.

I'm afraid. Mostly I'm afraid of not having control in my life.

But I've made a decision, because I've remembered in a deep place within my soul what once made perfect sense to me.

I have a choice.

Starting today, I choose love.

I choose love.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Break in the Break

I know. I'm taking a blog break.

But I need a break from real life.

Blogging gives me that break, and helps me to focus on the really beautiful and funny moments in my life as a mother/teacher/gardener/knitter/hobby farmer/wife/sister/daughter.

It's a full and busy life I lead. I won't bore you with details, because I know the busyness of my life is
a) mostly of my own creation
b) not that unique, seeing as how I'm a modern woman

Life goes on, whether I'm busy or not. My kids dress themselves beautifully.

The chicks and gardens are growing. The moulting hens' feathers are (thankfully) growing in, too. Our cat has chosen the wheelbarrow full of weeds (waiting to be taken to the compost pile) as her favourite sleeping spot. She often wears a fascinator, just 'cause it looks so darn classy.
When I need a break from report cars, I've been stamping. Two hundred plus tags, to be exact. They're beautiful. They took hours to make. They're for my brother's wedding this weekend, and he was delighted with their quirkiness, which delighted me.
I'm crossing off the days of June, looking forward to the coming days when I can weed my garden without thinking about what ELSE I should be doing, hang out with my feet in the wading pool without guilt, and watch a movie with my kids...the whole thing!

Okay, that's it...break time's over. Back to report cards. Back to reality.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

So Long, Farewell...

"I don't have time to (enter activity of choice)".

Exercise. Cook healthy meals. Play with my kids. Paint my bedroom. Put in a garden.

What? When did this happen? I LOVE these activities. Or at least, I used to, before blogging and commenting on the blogs of others gobbled up some of the most precious commodity in every mother's life: my time.

I need to centre in on my real life for awhile. I came to this conclusion last August when I wrote this post. I was inspired by the brave decision of my friends at Twig and Toadstool to step away from a space they'd nurtured and loved when it became clear that their real lives were suffering. Remember "Childhood Magic" and how shocked we all were when she closed her wonderful blog? I wonder how she's enjoying her life and time these days...I imagine she LOVES it. Nicole at Frontier Dreams wrote about this very busy-ness today. I have also been deeply touched by this heartbreakingly honest post over at Apples With Honey.

I feel myself floating away from the mother I want to be. I want to be engaged. I want to be in the moment. I want to breathe through those moments (and there are many) of impatience and anger. I want to sit and have a tea party with my daughters for hours if they so wish it, without glancing away in distraction. I want to build Lego robots with my son.

I love that feeling of flipping the page of a calendar and seeing that the coming month is mostly blank. You can choose to fill up every square, or make a solemn promise to carefully consider your yeses for the month.

After a month of birthday craziness, I flipped the calendar to June.

Case conference. Stag and Doe. Stag party. Shopping for weddings. Wedding rehearsals. Friend's wedding. Brother's wedding. Birthdays. Class trip. Kindergarten graduation. Grade 8 Graduation. Report cards due. School Fun Night. Assemblies. Gigs. Doctor appointment. Anniversaries. Data due.

Oh. My. Goodness.

How can we possibly have writing on 26 of the 30 days in what is already a busy month in the home of two educators?

So. I'm taking the phone of the hook, so to speak.
If you're a new visitor to this space, please read through the archives, or check out some popular posts (by clicking on the buttons at the right). If you're an old friend, you can email me by going to my profile page. I also highly recommend those wonderful women over on "Kindred Spirits" roll.

July is looking good. Two music gigs. One bellydancing gig. Kittens due. A birthday and an anniversary.

Bring on July.

(*haha...I had to take a deep breath before I hit "publish post"...but as with any great leap, I know the fear will soon be replaced with relief that I just did it...there). Phew.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I'm a Winner!

I'm thrilled to be known as the Funniest Blogger in the Land! I even got a dandy award button to prove it!
Go visit Leigh Vs. Laundry to find out why!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Simple Bank Tutorial!

I still do my banking at our little village bank where I opened my first account about 30 years ago. I know...small towns rock.

My children are beginning to show an interest in money. We've never done allowances, or money bribes (say, to get them to practice reading or make their beds); with the pervasive use of chip cards, they haven't had much experience with spending money. Jude has started pocketing spare change he finds scattered around the house. I take back the loonies and "toonies" (for you non-Canadian readers, we have a one-dollar coin in Canada with a picture of a loon on it (hence, loonie); our two-dollar coin has a polar bear on it, and is called a toonie...quaint, isn't it?) but leave him the rest.

When the two older children received cash from their aunt and uncle for their birthdays, I knew it was time to start teaching them about money. Although I realised it would be loads of fun for them to go to the nearest Walmart and blow it on some crappy toy, I also want them to see that saving money, or at least a portion of their "income", will allow their money to "grow"...into a larger, better-quality toy, for instance, or possibly a new pet!

All they needed was a place to save their money and to watch it grow...

A large mason jar makes a perfect "bank"...the growing stash of money is clearly visible, and some can be removed without smashing the whole container!

I used a knife to punch a slot into the top of the lid. You may want to cover the underside of the lid with felt, to cover any sharp edges. Or you may think of a better way to make a slot. But there has to be a slot! Dropping money into a bank and hearing it "plink!" is part of the fun.

You can personalise your bank with a stitched label, if you're so inclined. This was a spontaneous, quickie kind of craft, so I used letter stamps and acrylic paint to make my labels on scraps of cotton.
Using Aleene's Original Tacky Glue, I wrapped a band of colourful fabric around each jar (Jude's fabric is from one of his toddler shirts!) Use the Tacky Glue to stick the label on.

Voila! Done! I love a craft that is this cute, makes little mess, AND is done in about 10 minutes!

The kids are delighted to watch their money grow. Teaching your child about money is as important as teaching them to grow a garden (in my opinion!)...managing it, keeping track of it, planning on how to spend it, making it grow.

It's not about becoming millionaires.

It's about wanting my children to have a sense of the value of their money. It's about wanting them to learn to spend it wisely (rather than blow it on poor-quality, momentary pleasures). It's also about having a bit of fun now and then (by, say, spending 50 cents on nickel candies (I remember when they were called penny candies...)).

What lessons do you hope to teach your child about money? And how do you do it?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Emergency...Kind Of.

When you live out in the country and have three small kids, you worry about things. In the winter, I worry about fire. When I was pregnant with Margot, I used to lie awake making escape plans...Violet, who was one at the time, would be strapped onto my back. Jude, age three, would hang onto my neck. I'd shimmy down sheets tied together. Forget the fact that I was 8 months pregnant at the time. In my imagination, I gained superhuman upper body strength, and catlike agility.

When my husband is away for a night or two, I make sure all the windows are locked, double check the doors, and often dial my neighbour's number, then hit "end", just so I can hit "redial" if there's an emergency.

I'm not actually a paranoid person, generally. There's something about living way out of town, though, combined with exhaustion, that does things to my mind.

Last night, for some reason, my neighbour's number just didn't seem like enough. So I thought I'd dial 911, then hit "end". Because dialling "redial" is SO much quicker than dialing 911.

Did you know that 911 connects automatically, even if you hit "end"? I didn't.

Almost immediately, I got a call from OPP dispatch. They were going to send a car out, in spite of my assurances that all was well (aside from the fact that my husband left his three children in the care of a slightly delusional woman who calls herself "mom").

While this may seem like overkill, I find it reassuring that the police check in, even if the caller has confirmed that the call was accidental. Imagine a woman in a situation of domestic abuse, being threatened by her partner to tell the dispatcher that everything was fine.

Within 30 minutes, a cruiser pulled into our laneway (it was now about 11:30 at night). The floodlight scanned the farm (I'm sure the neighbours were wondering if I was being busted for late-night crafting), and the officer approached the house cautiously.

I came out on the porch in my shawl, and introduced myself. The officer is also a mother, and sympathised with the fact that I'm on my own with three kids for a few days. She took a look around the house, reassured me that yes, 911 does work, (and quickly, even if you don't speed dial it!), and told me she was nearby if I did really need her during the night.

I almost called at 5:30 a.m. when Jude woke up with a nosebleed.

And again at 6:15 a.m when my kids woke up for the day.

It may be time to store a baseball bat under my bed, to give me peace of mind when I'm here alone at night. If that doesn't suffice, I know that the OPP will be here if I ever need them.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Farm Friday: The Pirate Ship

Some kids live in cities or suburbs and attend classes, lessons, courses, and tutorials of all sorts.

Such things are not inaccessible to country kids, but it's a little harder when you have to drive 45 minutes to the nearest "big town".

Nah, country kids are lacking in opportunities. Life on a farm is boring.

Oh, except for the pirate ships.

I can take no credit for this construction; somehow, my husband conjured it out of some old 4x4s, logs, planks, and a tall post that was already in the ground, without my noticing (until it was done).

A bicycle wheel became the steering wheel (I know there's a technical term for that but, not being a mariner, I wouldn't know it). Old ropes serve as rigging, and that old windsurfer sail that's been kicking around for years? Just the right touch for this seaworthy craft.

Jude declares himself the Captain, and finds lots to occupy his imagination in this pile of boards.

This piece from an old bamboo windchime is the ho! Check out that piratey stance (and that ever-fashionable pj pants and rubber boots ensemble!)

Grace O'Malley, the Irish pirate queen, drops anchor, then gets ready to hop in a rowboat to head to a nearby island, seeking treasure.

And the ever-present, pantless Cabin Girl practises her "Yarrrrr!"

My husband is a creative guy. He fixes things around the farm in his own quirky way. He sees purpose in items that others would write off as junk. I spend a day with the kids, and feel frustrated at how little I get done. He spends a day with the kids, and creates a Pirate Ship. God, I love that man.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I follow the trail, like so many breadcrumbs from the porch, down the steps, and across the lawn.

It doesn't take long to find Gretel,

And her brother Hansel.

In the ancient language of children, their bodies shout with the joy of free play, cold water on their feet, and sunshine on their bare shoulders.