Monday, February 16, 2015


I have been meditating on John 13:34-35 this week.

I've had these verses memorized for many years, but it hit me again...

Jesus does not say that Christians will be known by their: apparel, Bible translation, denomination, worship practices or any other thing that we Christians can be tempted to quarrel over. No. Jesus says the world will know we are Christians by our love.

I have a lot of work to do.

Friday, February 13, 2015


I mentioned in my post yesterday that I read through my first blog (what is left of it). The posts I enjoyed most were not deep and theological. I liked reading about my family - how the children were growing, what we did in school, etc. I think I will write more of that everyday, ordinary stuff and leave the deep thinking and writing to people who are better equipped for it.

Health update: This has been, by comparison, my best winter in years. I still have more fatigue that I wish to have, but I am not in any pain. I am able to function fairly well. Compared to this time last year I am doing amazingly well! When I ponder the comparison between this winter and last winter I just shake my head. I thank God that I can walk, move, and clothe myself this year. I can even use my hands enough to write short notes and play piano. I will admit that sometimes I am unhappy with my present state. I wish I had more energy and less exhaustion. But, I am working to be continually grateful for the health I have! 

Kid update:
Rebecca (almost age 13) is greatly interested in quilting right now. She is currently working on a baby quilt for a cousin. She enjoys hard work and sits down only to read. She loves reading great novels like Pride and Prejudice. 

Nelson (11) is quite gifted with engineering. His mind makes quick work of anything mechanical. He doesn't care for math paper work, but the gears in his brain are clearly designed for mathematics.

Lydia (9) does not really seem to have any grand interests. She likes to play with all the children and she helps some with chores too. She is probably not the child that would most stand out when you meet my family, but she is a jewel nonetheless. I expect that in the coming years her interests and tastes will blossom and she will become more of an individual and less just one of the family. But, for now, I am completely okay with her being a part of all of us!

Joshua (7) is having some trouble with reading and writing, but he is a bright boy. He likes to build towers and play with the other children. Like Lydia, he doesn't really stand apart from the family right now. He seems to be happy just to belong with the rest of us.

Josiah (5) is smart... and that makes him trouble. I think he has always had a little bit of spark that set him apart from all the other children. From the time he became mobile he has kept me on my toes! He likes to play with the other children, but can also be very independent. 

Jeremiah (3) is still my baby, but he is quite a big little man. He is a sweet and sensitive little guy. 

We are still homeschooling. Most days I expect more of myself and the children. And, Paul tells me that my expectations are unrealistic. But, I sure wish I could pat myself on the back at the end of the day and really feel like I completed a task well. But, home educating is not really an instant gratification activity. Some days I wish I could go out and mow the yard (too bad it's winter) just to feel like I started and ended a project. Home educating can be both maddening and rewarding. I am in a season of great fatigue and fault-finding, so I won't discuss this topic any more this evening.

We went gluten free on January 1st of this year (...again!). This is yet another experiment for my chronic illness. Some days I think going gluten free is a great help yet other days I am not sure it is worth the time and expense. But, in the end, our lab work and food diaries show sensitivities to grains. In short, we are trying to eat more veggies.

That's all for now. I need to go to bed.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Time Marches On

Today I re-visited my first blog, Grace in Bloom, that I wrote from 2008-2010. What a blast from the past. Our family sure has been on quite a journey these past several years. I thought I would end the night by adding a few more recent photos... it's been a while!

Me and my flute... and the neighbor's kitty.

Below: Rebecca (age 12) with her first completed quilting project - a sampler.
Below: Lydia (age 9) with her first quilting block.
Joshua (age 7).

Below: Jeremiah (age 3) drying the dishes.
Below: Nelson (age 11).

Above left: Josiah (just before turning 5) and Jeremiah (just before turning 3).
Above right: The blue hand is mine. I have Raynaud's Syndrome. That was certainly not the bluest I have seen it... but it is still yucky.

Below: Paul and I, August 2014.