He fills the longing soul with good things. Ps. 107:9



We are READY!

I wasn't sure if I believed all the raging reports about the blizzard coming our way....until I went out today to get straw for the dogs and blizzard supplies.  The traffic reminded me of Black Friday traffic - with stores selling out of supplies like crazy.  The Walmart bread aisle was almost literally empty.  It was freaky.  The ice and snow accumulated at warp speed, and I ended up sliding around the road, turned sideways between lanes in my father-in-law's truck!

But we're ready now.  The dog kennels have been given extra protection from the elements.  Extra candles have been purchased (far be it from me to miss up an opportunity to buy new candles!  And of course, we had to light the new candles to make sure they worked okay.....My buddy Caiden helped me out.)  Bread is baked.  Cereal and milk stocked up (what else do you eat during power outages?)  Dog food is replenished.  Suitcases are packed in case our electric & heat go out and we have to go to Grandma & Grandpa's to take advantage of their fireplace and kerosene heater.  Baths are taken in case a power outage leaves us without hot water.  Coats, suitcases, food and homework ready by the door.  Candles ready in strategic places in case we wake up to a dark & frigid house.  Stacks of books just waiting to be read!  Blogging caught up in case we lose power and internet.

It has been sorta exciting, getting ready for this big ice storm and blizzard.  I'm a sucker for adventure.  They've predicted 1.5 inches of ice and then 12-16 inches of snow.  I was out running errands in the ice, and it was coming down painfully hard and fast (literally).  You can hear it pelting against the windows.

But it was a quiet evening here.  In fact, while David and I were working on projects it got so quiet I got worried and went in to check on the kids.  They were all four sprawled out around the living room, all either sleeping or almost sleeping or reading.

Who knows if we'll wake to darkness.  But we're ready to be snowed in!

Bring it On!


Kendrick and Alyssa were over this month, and the kids decided to break out Kayla's new Facepainting kit.    

The results were both lovely and terrifying.

And for those of you who are wondering...yes, it's washable. But not so much in the eyebrow area.  I think it's all gone by now.  : )

 January 14


Gold and White

With the exception of women, there is nothing on earth so agreeable or necessary to the comfort of man as the dog.                                            

                                                ~Edward Jesse, Anecdote of Dogs

I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren't certain we knew better.  They fight for honor at the first challenge......and they do not for all their marvelous instincts appear to know about death.  Being such wonderfully uncomplicated beings, they need us to do their worrying. 
                                                                    ~George Bird Evans,Troubles with Bird Dogs


Mommy & Daddy Dates!

Last weekend we had the neatest version of a family day.  The girls went on a Daddy date with David and Caiden and I went on a Mommy Date together.  (Baby Corin was sick and stayed with Grandma Fry.)

What started it all was our Dave Ramsey (And Junior) Saving Program.  Caiden has been saving his chore money forever to go see Disney on Ice (Toy Story 3).  Well...to save money we decided only one of us would go with him.  He would pay for his own ticket with his saved money and we would cover the other ticket from the budget.

Caiden was so excited in the days leading up to our date.  He was especially concerned that we leave early so we wouldn't miss Buzz.  Every day he would remind me about our leaving time to keep it fresh on my  mind. : )

Oh, his faces....

It worked out just perfectly to use one of my Living Social deals for the girls and David at the same time Caiden and I were gone.  I had purchased a half price Living Social Deals coupon for a lovely tea house.  And kids are already half price, so we got a great deal! So David and the girls dressed up nice and had the "Dutchess Tea" at the Serenity tea house in Zionsville.  They had fruit spritzers, fresh fruit with dips, chocolate covered strawberries, dainty sandwiches, scones and lovely little desserts. And three kinds of tea served up beautifully with rose-shaped sugar lumps.  (The Rose Petal tea was their favorite.) Kayla is somewhat of an eight-year-old expert on taking tea (thanks to American Girl).  It was fun to get to practice her tea-taking skills at a real tea house.

Caiden and I had a rip-roaring blast.  When we got there, the skating rink was full of toy soldiers!  It was so fun to watch Caiden leaning forward in his seat with such excitement. Part of the time he was practically shaking.  We laughed and had a grand time.

My handsome date looks a bit tuckered after all that fun!

I knew the vendors would be tempting and WAY over our budget, so on the way we stopped at Wendy's to fill our tanks for under 5 bucks total!   But it did still take some resolve to resist all of the $15.00 hotdogs and $10.00 Icee cups!  I'm only partially exaggerating.  We like to park in the attached garage and go to the uncovered rooftop parking for only $6.00.  And sometimes they don't even park you on the roof. We actually got a parking spot right by the elevators because we payed less and were sent to an empty floor.  Cool tip, huh?

We love family nights of all kinds (most of them free and on the living room floor), but every once in awhile we try to have some specific mommy and daddy time.

Alas, David forgot the other camera and this is all we have to show of their fancy tea....the leftovers.  He got some pictures on his phone but I haven't gotten them off of there yet....

Sometimes the perks of parenting are such fun!  I love my job.



I'm pretty much in love, just so you know.  He is my best friend.  I love living with him.  I love learning from him.  For awhile I was a fairly mixed-up girl, theologically.  Actually, I think I was straighter than I realized but couldn't find the "permission" to make my theological ends meet.  Anyway...along came David.  Mandy (Mimier) Buckland bragged him up to me. Told me about that creased paper he kept in his wallet with the qualities he was looking for in a wife.  He sounded interesting, so I took a look.  Liked what I saw.  But he was so cotton-pickin' FOCUSED, I wasn't sure he'd ever see me back.  But I guess maybe he did.

It's a long, wonderful story....

Anyway, So now I have my very own personal theologian.  Who loves God with a steadfast passion. Who lives what he believes.  And the more he learns the deeper it takes him.

He is also my very own personal Marilla, attempting to keep my proverbial feet as near the ground as possible.  (Good luck with that, hon.)

He's a very busy man. But he has recently started blogging a little more.  He might not always say it the way you're used to.  You might not always understand him (kinda ticks me off when he talks over my head, if you must know...) You might even disagree with him occasionally. (Trust me, he can handle it.)  But I guarantee he'll make you think.

Check him out here.



Here is the link to instructions for making our favorite giant snowflakes!

I originally saw them here, on my favorite blog.

We love snow!  Yay for snow!  We want more and more!  I just saw the forecast of snow for Monday and said, "I hope it snows and snows until spring." And I added in my mind..."(and then warms up immediately and skips the back-and-forth mud season)".   Love the snow.  Love this homemade chicken noodle soup.  Love our giant snowflakes.

Happy snowflake making, Freida!



When I was a little girl, I almost drowned.  The kickboard I was holding popped up, out of my hands, and I still remember a blurry picture of struggling up and down in the water.......the tree fort in the distance.....and Gwen Gregory running to my aid.


Grief is very interesting.  I have grieved the loss of so many I love.  I have "grieved" when my grief was primarily for someone else's loss.  I have grieved losses that were not deaths.  There are patterns to healthy grief, but really, the ways we process loss are endless - and very personal.  I know for me, and many others, it comes in waves.  Big, giant overwhelming and smothering rushes at first that crash over you and bury you.

Waves on the Hobe Sound Beach

And then later - they come in smaller waves at unexpected times.  Sometimes it's a smell.  Or an object. Or a phrase that triggers a memory....

I had one this morning.  I picked up a family DVD for my sick kids to watch.  It had never been opened, and when I saw the Overland Park, Kansas address on the back of the package I realized that it probably came from Grandma Parsons.  Crash.  A little wave hit me.

Hobe Sound, FL

Unbelief that she's really gone.  That I'll really never be back on her front porch again drinking coffee with her or walking hand-in-hand through the Christmas light display.  She won't hold the rest of our babies to come.. I'll never kiss her again until heaven.

Grandma Parsons was there for Corin's birth - July 22, 2009

And I did what  you do when a real wave hits you - You start reaching for something.  Something to hold on to that might hold you up - to keep everything from slipping away.

Memories are the kickboard we reach for.  I want to grab all of the memories up into my heart and hold them and keep them close for when the  next wave hits and I need them again.

Please understand -  This isn't morbid melancholy.  This is real life.  Everyday life, for many.  Some of you understand more than others, I know.

Rachelle, Grandma Parsons, and my our cousin Alexis - Festival of Lights - Cincy, OH
She just makes me smile....

But it is such precious bittersweet.  It keeps eternity almost constantly present.  It keeps love in front.  It only takes one of those waves to wash away life's clutter and remind you what matters.  Love.  Loving Him, Loving Others.  That's it.  That's all.  Everything else is details.

Precious time - my kids and Grandma Wolf at Mom & Dad's in Cincy

I remember towards the end of Grandma Wolf's years living in Cincinnati with us, when her care became increasingly difficult and overwhelming. I remember reminding my tired mom that she was doing the right thing.   It was worth it.  And now how we miss her.

My last visit with Grandma Wolf in Fort Scott before her homegoing.  She kept saying...."He's my baby boy"....about Dad.  Her joy at being with him was beautiful.

This time here is precious.  My blurb-blog-book is precious.  The husband I argued with this morning (and made up with) - is such a gift.  The three sick, feverish babies in my bed - priceless.

I'm not sorry for one happy memory made, don't regret one day of giving forgiveness,  wouldn't take back one moment of love invested.  Not one.

The kids getting a ride behind Dad's tractor.


I've been Slurped!

I'm super-excited about this project.  My blog has been "slurped" into a book at www.blurb.com.  The website read all of my posts - from day one of my blog.  I chose to include only 2010.  And it automatically put them into book format - words and pictures!  Now I'm rearranging and editing a bit to get things as I want them.  Then I click order and they send me my 2010  blog in a beautiful 12x12 coffee table book!

If I love it as much as I think I do, I'm planning to do this each year with my Christmas money.  I don't scrapbook anymore and we don't print pictures.  They stay on our computer and external hard drive as digital albums.  So...this is a blog, scrapbook, journal, and family photo album all in one!


Already, it is keeping me more on my toes about updating the blog for the sake of preserving the memories and honoring the days.

Consequently, you may see more posts on here about things you care nothing about.  And I may even be doing some back-blogging if time allows and I'm in the mood.  But that's the beauty of blogging - you only come visit if you want!
Summer, 2010 - The kids' first run - Run For Ronald, Indy

I may end up having to split each year into two books.  Who knows. The possibilities are endless.

Questions for you:
Anyone else been slurped?  What company did you use?  Were you happy with quality?  And....if anyone has used blurb, is it worth upgrading the paper?
July, 2010 - Kayla catches lots of fish!  

Amy & Byron - New Years Eve Wedding Sneak Peeks

Just a few sneak peeks over here at the other blog for starters, Amy!

And later, happy things to report from a very fun family day.....Right now I've got to go do my run and get to bed!


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