Thanksgiving meditation

Thinking ahead to next week, we’ve been reading through a stack of library books about Thanksgiving – simple children’s stories as well as historical and anthropological recountings. Worked into our everyday conversations is the topic of thankfulness, and what the act of giving thanks looks like.  In light of these conversation with the kids, I’ve been reading some Wendell Berry in the evenings, and was particularly struck by the notion that, no matter how much we toil and struggle, somehow the success of our effort lies upon something Greater.  And so, when we reap success in life, we can see the

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Cherries and Meditation

The early morning was spent preparing a big batch of Hood River organic cherries for the dehydrator.   We ate oodles fresh, and what is left will go in a batch of  sweet cherry brandy (makes the best fruitcake for Christmas). If you don’t have a cherry pitter, check out this tip, and these, for how to remove cherry pits.   I like the way the cherries dry better when they’re sliced fully in half, but I do pit them when making brandy, pies, feeding them to the children. Later this afternoon, we’re going picking for sour cherries (more on that tomorrow). 

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A Living Hope

Preparing for our celebration of the Resurrection tomorrow: The children’s baskets may be put out awaiting little treats from a certain visitor, but our hearts and minds are fixed the redemptive joy of tomorrow. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. – I Peter 1:3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,

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Tossing their branches

The two younger children are still sick, but Little Hen is perfectly healthy, so we dropped her off at homeschool co-op this morning.  On the way home, the rain was pounding and the wind was whipping the trees about. We came home and curled up on the sofa – me with a mug of coffee and Firecracker with a tangerine and some hot cocoa, and we watched the rain pound, and the wind blow the leaves off the neighbor’s walnut tree. As we snuggled together looking out the window, I was reminded of something John Muir said – “A few

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The joy of a nursing toddler

Oregon is a wonderful place to be nursing a toddler!  Tum Tum is nearly 18 months old, and I am very grateful to live in a place where doing what is normal and healthy is culturally accepted as normal and healthy.   Granted, this being my third nursling, nursing past the WHO minimum recommendation of 2 years – and comfortably nursing an older baby in public – is an accepted reality for our family. The other week, we were out at the library, Tum Tum was tired, cranky, and it was naptime, so I sat down to nurse him while

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Bartlett Harvest

Saturday,  I was blessed with the opportunity to ride with another family of volunteers out to Mosier, OR (in the beautiful Columbia Gorge) to glean pears for Birch Community Services.   The weather was very rainy, windy, and chilly, so I was grateful that the children could all stay home, snuggled up reading their latest chapter book with Daddy. The five of us wore large canvas pear-picking bags, and picked 40-50 lbs of Bartletts off of the trees at a time and then unloaded them into large crates.  Due to the windy, rainy conditions, I didn’t get any pictures of the

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Songs for Saplings

Songs for Saplings have kicked off their US/Africa tour!! It was quite a thrill to see Dana in concert! Don’t miss the chance to catch one of Dana’s free concerts before she heads off to Malawi!


The children and I chasing falling cherry blossoms in the yard, smelling the hyacinths – rejoicing in the beauty of spring and anticipating tomorrow’s Easter celebration. Wishing you a blessed Easter weekend as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, the hope of our salvation.

Good Friday

But he was wounded for our transgressions;he was crushed for our iniquities;upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. – Isaiah 53:5

Candle Flame WIP

(Apologies in advance, this is one of my wordier posts.) Do you ever feel that God brings someone to your mind over and over again for a purpose?  I have been thinking a lot about a friend back on the coast (She’s the one who spun me this incredible yarn from her own sheep).  She doesn’t have e-mail or a phone, so quick communication isn’t possible.  Anyway, I made up my mind to get a care package together for her, and knowing that she loves shawls, I went on a Ravelry hunt for quick, comfy shawl pattern, and I came

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Little Things

Some little things that have added beauty to my day: A handmade, fair trade leather ring from 10,000 Villages here in Ft. Myers. A startling little pitcher plant growing right outside my parents’ front door.   And most of all, a teensy fairy that Little Hen made for me.

Give Presence

  With the Christmas season in full swing, I thought I’d give a little nod to Advent Conspiracy.  I firmly believe in making Christmas simple, homemade, and reverent.  It is a struggle to fit our family’s vision of Christmas in with our extended family and the greater culture.  We made the decision to spend very little and to give homemade as much as possible.  As Christians, we believe that Christ gave his life, and we can at least give a little something personal – something that takes a little sacrifice and a little love – in order to remind ourselves

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Giving Thanks

A really lovely Thanksgiving.  A delicious meal, everyone pitched-in for clean up, the family played board games all evening.  The girls tucked themselves in a corner and played and whispered and giggled with their favorite 4 year-old cousin.  The baby and I even got an after supper nap. Playing with pilgrim dolls.         BLESSING to God, for ever blest, To God the Master of the feast, Who hath for us a table spread, And with his daily bounties fed; May he with all his gifts impart The crown of all – a thankful heart!                      – Traditional

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Tree of Thanks

Lord, for these we thank you   Well said, Little Hen. Back later with pictures of our thanksgiving!

Thankfulness – Growing

My little Tum Tum…how can you be six months-old already?!!  We are so thankful for you, our smiley, happy boy!  You are a joy and a blessing every day. God knew that we needed you, and we are so grateful to have you in our family.   Your daddy and I strive every day to be the parents you need and deserve.    We are thankful for our growing family, for watching you and your sisters grow and develop, learning and accomplishing new things every day!  But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever;from generation to generation we will

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Thankfulness in the present

I had intended to post something special every day this week on the topic of thankfulness.  We have, however, (save my husband) been hit was a bad chest cold.  So, instead of what I had planned, I would rather post about what we experienced in our home today. Despite not feeling well, we focused on what we can be thankful for right now, in the present.  The thanks we owe to God is not conditional on our how we’re “feeling”, and thankfully, neither is His generosity.  These are little things, to be sure, but they are the little things that

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