Friday, September 28, 2007

Lancaster Part II

There was just so much fun this past weekend that I knew it shouldn't all go in one post. I will probably put more pictures up over the next few weeks as I get the ones from my mother's and sister's (not to mention my own) cameras.

I am the only person in my family that does not live within half an hour of everyone else. In fact, I live 10 HOURS away from everyone else. It sucks, quite frankly. However, we try to make the best of it (and, truly, I couldn't imagine moving away from Indy), and get the cousins to spend good quality time together while we can.

My mother usually has something special for my kids when we visit. I know she does this for the other grandkids, too, but since my children don't see her and my dad very often, they really look forward to the new toy, book, movie, etc. And I like it because usually the toy or movie stays at Meemaw and Pappy's house (the books usually come home with us)!

This visit, Mom and Dad set up the new tunnel toy my mother had bought for the kids. They loved it. All of them. It was a hoot watching them crawl and dive and somersault through it.

We spend a wonderful evening with my sister, painting pumpkins (and ourselves!) and making s'mores. The kids started out the evening by getting completely soaking in the fishpond.

Oh, the glorious mess of the painting! Both Gavin and Moses started painting their own bodies. Gavin ended up covered with paint and as happy as could be.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Oh, how I love to visit my hometown. It's always happy and sad together because my little family loves spending time with my big family, but I'm reminded through-out the entire visit all that my kids are missing from not growing up where I grew up. They have trash, drunkards, prostitutes and bad lawn care. They're missing beautiful rolling fields, wide-open space and Meemaw, Pappy, Aunts, Uncles and cousins. But that's looking at the glass half-empty, isn't it?

They're memories of growing up will be nothing like my memories of growing up, except...EXCEPT...they will be good memories. Because although those things mentioned above are all around us, they are also surrounded by loving neighbors, friends galore, and a church community that I can't imagine being without.

And the memories they make while visiting Lancaster will be memories they will treasure.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I was thinking the other day of how thankful I am for all sort of little (yet big to me) things.

I’m thankful that I have wonderful friends on whom I can completely rely. For instance, Noah and I went to help my sister-in-law, Heidi, with her two children, one of whom had just had surgery. I was supposed to be gone a little less than a week. My friends helped out and really took care of Chris, Alex and Miriam while Noah and I were gone. When my stay got extended, not only did my friends help out more, but they did my work (as in my I-get-paid-for-this work) for me, too.

I’m thankful that we didn’t pursue getting our windows installed by the company that now seems to have vanished off the face of the earth.

I’m thankful that many of the things I worry about (carseats, vaccines, diapers, toys, etc) are really a sign of just how good I have it.

I'm thankful for 3 children who are creative and full of energy and full of love.

I'm thankful for a husband who is truly a partner, who respects me, who works hard for our family, and whose purpose is not defined by us or other people.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Will he *ever* wean??

I’ve said that I wanted Noah to wean when he was ready…but he’s going on 31 months (that’s almost THREE!) with no signs of weaning. Well, that’s not entirely true. He’ll go days without nursing, then suddenly say, “Murr, Mama?” about 51,000 times.

I’m not really complaining, because I know I could wean him at any time if I truly wanted to and besides, would you say “no” to this face?

Besides, he’s probably my last baby—Do I really want him to grow up so fast?

Just FYI, I have no idea why he is pouting in this picture. I was taking pics of all the kids at Miriam's pirate birthday party; perhaps he didn't want his pic taken?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle, 1918-2007

So much has been written about Madeleine L'Engle in the last couple of days, and although my first thought on reading the NY Times Obit was that she wouldn't have liked being classified as a Children's author, I do think it's a nice piece. You can read it here, unfortunately you have to log in.

It's easy to find out all about why Ms L'Engle was important to the world, but this is why she's so important to me:

Back in May of 1997, I’d been out of college for a year and was working for Borders. One of my very good friends from college had been a huge Madeleine L’Engle fan, so when I saw her latest book was available in hardcover, I snapped it up. I completely fell in love with the book and thought perhaps I could find some sites about L’Engle on the good ol’ world wide web. I found Bonastra.

I joined the discussion community and was thrilled to find others who love L’Engle’s writing. I had some questions about issues that were raised because of her writing, so I contacted the community “manager” because 1) I could tell he held beliefs similar to my own, 2) he seemed “wise”.

The manager, Chris, and I started emailing back and forth a couple times a week. I assumed, because of his writing style, that we was much older than me. I was a bit flustered when I discovered he was my own age exactly (23 at the time).

In September of that year, Chris made a trip from Indianapolis to the East coast and stopped at my parents’ home for an afternoon/evening. It was awkward, not at all romantic, but yet still interesting, to meet the person I had been writing to for 4 months. After this trip, there were many long phone calls, real letters and mix tapes (!!!) traveling between Indiana and PA.

In November, I made a trip to Indianapolis. It was during this trip (only the second time to meet IRL) that Chris and I decided to see if our weird online/long distance relationship could work.

In January, I moved to Indy, where I was transferred by Borders. Despite how it appears, we were in no real hurry. I lived with a family from his church, until I moved in with a friend. We got engaged in December of 1999 and were married in August of 2000. I met my best friend, lover and partner all because of Madeleine L’Engle.

I hope that children, youth and adults continue to read and pass down the love of her books. I hope that people read more than the typical "Time Quartet" and delve into some of her more obscure books (more on those in the next few days).

My husband just told me about another obit/memorial article here.
He would highly recommend it (I'm off to read it now).

Friday, September 07, 2007

Handmade/Locally made Christmas

Since this post will be virtually photo-free, I thought I'd include an oldy-but-goody of Noah "helping" me knit a blanket.

I've been itching to get some real crafting done, but I feel bogged down and un-creative b/c of the state of my intensely cluttered craft room. Reading Hilary's blog yesterday really inspired me to get off my duff and do something about that clutter. So, expect to see some before and after pics next week. Jena, if you're reading this, keep me accountable!

I've got lots of things planned for Christmas. We give each of our kids 3 gifts and a stocking. Most years the stocking stuffers end up being junky little things and this year I'd really like to make them some cool stuffers. Also, Chris and I decided to be a bit old-fashioned and give them each a nice orange (which they all LOVE) and some cool candies. I'd love to find some neat old-timey candies.

I'm keeping a list here of what I'd like to make and how well I'm accomplishing it.

Each of the kids are getting a suitcase from Pottery Barn Kids. (We got them for $15 a piece, gotta love the outlets--and sisters who drive to the outlets and buy them for you!) Now, I need 2 more gifts for each kid.

Alex- No ideas yet

Miriam- No ideas yet

Noah- A hobby horse. I'm using this pattern from Fern and Faerie. My mil had made one like it for Chris, which they gave to our kids, but Alex broke it.

Crayon rolls like this one:

I've got great fabrics picked out for each kid. Robots and gadgets for the boys and blue and brown various designs for Miriam.

I've got so much else floating around in my head, but the kids are asking me to help them make a tent.