Tuesday, September 27, 2011

To My Tud


I know at times you do not relish this nickname that your little sister bestowed upon you when she was first learning to talk.  And yes, it has lent itself to a few other nicknames such as Tuddy Bear and Tudilicious.  Hearing your sister call you Tuddy Bear sometimes rubs you the wrong way, but Oh, my dear, these names fit you so well.




You are as sweet and cuddly as a teddy bear.  You have a tender heart for all those around you and all living things.  Your hugs are so gentle and genuine.  And those deep brown eyes, SIGH, so full of tenderness and love. 

Most recently you have told us you desire to be a pastor when you grow up.  With that tender heart that beats within your chest I wouldn’t be surprised one bit. If this is truly what the Lord has for you, my momma heart will be full of joy.  I would love nothing better than to see you serving the Lord by leading others to Christ. 



Ten came to visit and stay this past week.  You are growing and changing into an amazing young man.  I see more independence working its way into your life. Yet, you still have the best, most contagious belly laugh!  I love to see your eyes light up in laughter and hear you giggle until you can’t breathe!  I can’t help but, smile and laugh along.  You still love to hug me, snuggle next to me on the couch, and hold my hand.  You are good for my heart and soul, my dear, sweet boy.

In this coming year of all things ten, I pray that you will continue to grow in your love for the Lord.  I pray that you will retain your compassion and tender heart.  And I pray that you will continue to serve in love, share Christ with others, and be just who God created you to be.

You have my heart, dear one.  I love you!



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

SIX Isn’t Catastrophic

On my recent post about a difficult day of schooling that we recently faced, someone left a comment that at first I was like “WHAT?!” are people really thinking that, but then as I thought over it, it helped me look deeper. 

“I'm sure some people were thinking ‘what's the big deal over the number 6’. Especially when there are so many things troubling others.”

I know that number 6 isn’t a huge deal in the grand scheme of things.  It doesn’t even measure up to anything in this world that could be categorized as a tragedy or something to be really upset about.

I want to clarify.

It wasn’t the learning of the number 6 that I was concerned about.  It was the fact that as a momma I have my children’s best interest at heart.  It is heart breaking to watch your child struggle every moment of every day, just trying to reach into the recesses of his/her mind to find the answer to what the letter “h” says or what number comes after 6 when that question has been placed before them literally a hundred times before.

It also has to do with the fact that learning disabilities are just plain old HARD!  Our days can be so difficult and honestly they are building some really strong character traits in me!

My momma’s heart wonders about the future.  What will it look like for my boy who struggles to sound out words in his third grade reader?  Will he be able to get a job that will support his future family? 

And yes I know…”Be anxious for nothing…”.   I try, I really do!  I am doing much better with that then I used to.  I know that God has plans for my bright young son, great and mighty and wonderful plans.  Yet on that day the sorrow for my children and the difficulty of teaching them swept over me.  I did not feel up to the task.  At that moment I felt undone.

I know it wasn’t a tragedy.  I know it wasn’t catastrophic.  I know it wasn’t terminal.  But, it was my moment.  My mommy moment of sorrow.  

In this world we often downplay others struggles and trials because they aren’t HUGE.  I know, I am guilty of this at times.  That comment on my blog was not meant to hurt me it was just an honest thought and honestly it was SO GOOD for me to read that.

How often have I overlooked or dissed others struggles?  Too many times, I know.  What they are going through at that moment may be big to them.  It is there moment of struggle or sorrow and who am I to judge? 

So, although the number “6” isn’t a huge deal in other people’s worlds it is in ours.  Learning disabilities are difficult and frustrating for my children.  It makes for tears and repeated feelings of defeat.

But I know that God doesn’t make mistakes.  My children are beautifully and wonderfully made.  This dyslexia thing, it makes them who they are.  They see things in ways I never could.  They are Creative, Funny, Imaginative, Energetic, all good and wonderful things. 

God has a plan, I know!  In this little section of this little moment His plan was to teach me that it’s okay to be sorrowful about 6 for a moment, but I need to remember God is bigger.  And to remind me not to judge, but to see others through Jesus’ eyes, because He loves us all so mightily!



Saturday, September 17, 2011

Scavenger Hunt~ 09/18

This weeks items:  Street Photography, From a Distance, Sunday, Liquid, Behind


Street Photography 

country road-1



From A Distance






This is what I like to do on Sunday afternoons.





Baby oil and water. I’ve wanted to do this for quite a while and this week I finally got around to it





This one’s for you Jess!

chicken behind



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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Truthfully Truthful Homeschool Day

*This post isn’t meant to be a gripe.  But just a very personal and real look at one of our recent days here at JuniperHill Academy.  I’m writing this not to be judged or to scare people away from homeschooling. But rather to show the beauty in the difficulty.

Today was hard.

It was tears welling up in my eyes hard.  I want to curl up with a good book and forget my responsibilities hard. I could feel the frustration mounting in my chest.  I pushed down the dread that threatened to overwhelm me.

My words became terse and demanding. Really, how hard could it be to remember what number 6 looks like and that it is called six?  Three weeks into schooling, three weeks of reviewing the same number, and still she can’t remember number 6.

It was the same last year.  It took us all year just to get to number 5.  And we reviewed number 5 throughout the summer just so she wouldn’t forget.

These moments, they bring back the struggles from seven years ago.  Moments of tears, frustration, eventually giving up, and then persevering.  He couldn’t get the letters.  It took us three years.  Three years to memorize all the sounds.  My child with significant dyslexia.  It broke my heart.  It frustrated me.  I struggled to see the light at the end of a very long dark tunnel.

When my daughter was about 9 months old I began to wonder.  She was like her brother in so many ways.  In the back of my mind was a constant niggling.  What if she had it too? 

As I sat there thinking of any new ways to help her remember, to help that number 6 get etched into her mind, I was begging to just have a child that was easy to teach.  I think I even muttered it under my breath. I began to question, why me?  Why do I have to have the children that struggle to learn?

Later my selfishness tore at my heart.  Why didn’t I just take a moment to look deep into those beautiful blue eyes?  I would have seen a little girl with a tender heart trying her hardest to learn and please.

Why me?  I know why. 

God chose this for me.  He chose these beautiful children for me.  Gifts from God.  Gifts that may struggle with conventional learning, but who shine with creativity and imagination.  Gifts.  Plain and simple. 

Yet these children of mine aren’t plain or simple.  They are complex.  They require every ounce of ingenuity I have some days.  Some days I just don’t have what it takes and that’s okay, too, if I remember to take a breath and acknowledge that.  It’s okay if I don’t have all the answers.  It’s okay if I need a break and they need a break and we just call it a day.

And it’s okay if it takes a 3 months to remember number six.

Because I know.  We will conquer this. I’ve seen the proof in her brother.

Number 6, it’s just a puff on the radar screen.  We can do this, together, hand in hand and heart in heart!



Saturday, September 10, 2011

Scavenger Hunt~ 09/11

This weeks items:  Bokeh, Process of Elimination, Remember, Statues, Flying High





Process of Elimination


Exploring with a camera


I remember after 9-11 how everyone hung flags from their houses and how everyone was so very proud to say that they were American.  I remember how our nation pulled together and how talk of God became more prominent. The statement “One Nation Under God” didn’t seem to bother anyone at that point in time.

We are still that same nation.  A nation under God and I pray that this beautiful nation of ours will always remember that.  Because God is the LOVE that binds the wounds caused by damaging sin.

As we think today about the horrible tragedy that occurred 10 years ago I will be we sharing with my children the importance of this country of ours.  How we pulled together in the face of tragedy.  How love became more important than hate. And how love will always win over hatred! And then I will remind them of the Beauty. And the Freedom.  And the Patriotism that makes up this grand ole’ country called the U.S.A.



paperheart camera



Out in the rural area where I live statues are obsolete and since I didn’t have time to head into a city that sports real statues this week, I opted for this “country” statue.


antiqued silo-1


Flying High

It has rained continually all week. I waited until the last minute to try to capture something flying high, but everything around here seems to be grounded.  So, I had to grab a photo that I took from last week.  A flyer….who at the moment wasn’t flying and I was super happy that he sat and posed for me!



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Friday, September 9, 2011

Stained Glass Hearts- Book Review



Stained Glass Hearts by Patsy Clairmont is a book on God’s redemption and light.  Each chapter in Stained Glass Hearts deals with some aspect of art.  There is chapter about poetry, one about music and another is on gardening.  In each chapter Patsy talks about these art forms and how they relate to our lives and God. She also gives suggestions of music to listen to or art to look at, at the end of each chapter.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and stayed up way to late each night reading it.  I connected with what Patsy wrote on so many levels.  My head and heart were nodding in agreement with her words in each chapter.  I loved her writing style.  It was as if she was sitting across the table from me in a cafe, two old friends, just chattin’ it up.  I laughed and I learned and I knew I would be keeping this book on my shelf!

If I could give this more than 5 stars, I would!  It’s a wonderful book that takes a look into human nature and points to the One who is lighting our path and redeeming our lives.  I recommend you place this one on your reading list!


*Thomas Nelson Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Serene Hum

The serene hum is a constant now. Every moment outdoors, or near an open window, is full with a cascading, end of summer, serenade.

The crickets know.

You can hear it in their song.


grass of parnasus


They know to hold captive each precious moment.  To seize the day and evening hours before the first frost brings about a whole new world.  A change that will force them into silence and into hiding. A change that will alter the landscape and the days.


stream-4 stream-7 stream-3 


Summer is dwindling. The signs of the impending change of seasons are all around.  The Goldenrod is bursting forth right next to the Purple Loose Strife.  The bees are extra busy searching all available flowers for nectar.


bee and thistle-2-w


Our stream is exploding with color.  This is the best time of year for flowers here.  And one of the best times to wade, explore, catch frogs, spot crayfish and get muddy, muddy, muddy!


 stream-1 stream-8 stream-5


It beautiful here.  Peaceful.  Serene.  A melody gurgles forth from the hidden springs.  The bugs pick up the bass and harmony. 


bee and goldenrod


One could lose all sense of time here.  Enjoying. Breathing deep. Worshipping. Splashing. Giggling.  And soaking in all God’s goodness wrapped up in a late summer day.


It’s in the air. 

It’s something we can either be thankful for or begrudge.  I choose to look forward with thankfulness toward the changes that are right around the corner.

How about you?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Scavenger Hunt~ 09/04

This week items: Stairs, Macro, Clouds, Abstract, Smile



sis arboretum



petunia macro-w

macro zinnia-1-w






See this bee trying to “abstract” some nectar from this abstract looking thistle. :)

bee and thistle-w






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