Christmas Without Tree

We got our tree this week and it got me to thinking. Growing up, Christmas was about the smells of cooking and the holiday cakes and cookies. It was about shoes placed in front of our bedroom doors on St. Nicholas day, holiday music, winter sweaters, and the anticipation of entering the Christmas Room on Christmas Eve to see the tree. The climax of Christmas for me as a child was that decorated tree. The living room was closed off after Thanksgiving and we were not even allowed a peek until the sun went down on Christmas Eve. Then we got to enter the candle-litRead More →

I is for Idiot

I is for Idiot – and I was one! When my kids were little, my husband told me about homeschooling. He said he wanted us to homeschool. Amazingly, we knew two other families who homeschooled their children. I thought they were a bit strange because they were devout. And besides, they homeschooled their kids. And that made them weird, of course. I dismissed the idea. I was brought up to believe that public school was the only right choice. So I thought that putting my kids into public school would teach them about all the different kinds of people in the world, or at leastRead More →

H is for Higher

Higher. Isn’t that what we strive for every day with our children? We want them to climb higher, reach further, and expand their understanding of the world and our place in it. But even more, we want our children to look up. To seek the goodness and light placed in the world and in us. And it is our responsibility to get our children, to cajole them, and urge them to reach higher. To learn to read and write and understand math and to dream of touching the stars. Beyond that we want our children to discover beauty in your backyard. We want them toRead More →

One sad night, several years ago, I sat around the dinner table with my family, reestablishing conversation and relationships while a missing man hovered in everyone’s thoughts. My youngsters had managed well throughout the day, but were now giddy with the stress of a new life without their Grandpa and all the change that that entails. Who would take his place at the head of table, my kids wanted to know. Who would spend dinner gently chatting and smiling with them? My kids did not need to wonder for long. The others, in-laws and my husband, carried on jovial conversation which wound itself around theRead More →

This week was Thanksgiving week. I found myself going through the motions yet one more year. Thanksgiving means turkeys and mashed potatoes. . . we have a familiar list of food that I must prepare. Some years the kids like helping, and on others they are are too busy with teenage pursuits. This was one of those alone-time Thanksgivings for me in the kitchen. I start working towards a Thanksgiving meal several days in advance. When my husband and I brought our house, well close to 25 years ago, the previous owner ran off with the stove – literally! So after some last minute negotiationsRead More →

This afternoon my teenage daughter got really scared. The kind of down-to-your-toes spooked that shakes you to your core. I was with her at the time and it really was disturbing, but I found myself in a dilemma. Do I acknowledge that it was scary so she understands that her judgement is spot-on? Or do I act more reassuring and let her know that it really was safe because I was there to be mama and protect her? Comfort (as all Mama’s want to do) or Reassure (so she builds confidence in her own judgement)? If my child were younger, this would not be aRead More →

​Once lost is found – a lesson in faith When my children were small, many years ago, my husband lost his wedding ring. We searched through the entire house and even took apart the ducts attached to the furnace – all to no avail. The ring was gone. It was very sad and although we never gave up hope, neither of us expected to find it again. Fast forward twelve years. . . Earlier this year, my husband was hurt and immobile. I was trying to get my footing with the new responsibility of taking care of him and doing the chores he once did.Read More →

This afternoon we sat in our living room reading. This is where you find us every afternoon. I read aloud to my kids daily so that they can extend their vocabulary and practice analyzing the works we read. And so today we sat, each child in their own corner of the room, and I read Churchill and Russell Kirk to my children. My kids are built to multitask and actually learn better when they occupy part of their attention with a low level task. My daughter was practicing German flashcards and my son was playing a bubble game on his tablet. (this keeps me onRead More →