A Letter to Sort Out the First Grade

A Letter to Sort Out the First Grade

Dear Son, I don’t know what I’m doing. There, I’ve said it. Now I will write more words until I come to an end. This fall you will begin your first grade year. That is to say that if you were in public school, you would be in first grade because that is the grade your age relates to. To is a preposition and you’re not supposed to end sentences with it. (I should have said, “…because that is the grade…

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The Art of Rediscovery

The Art of Rediscovery

It’s a rainy, grayish day, but it’s really more silver. The sun is coming. I am tired though I’ve had plenty of coffee. A bluegrass twang has resonated my day. Nickel Creek. Alison Krauss. Thanks to Pandora, the happy, soulful noise of banjo and fiddle just keeps coming. I stepped outside for a while with my children, felt the coolness of this cloudy August day. We chatted with a wonderful neighbor. We pet a passing cat. I don’t know if any…

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Don’t Fight Naked

Don’t Fight Naked

I don’t know about you, but I struggle at home. Whether it’s a little girl who just loves to pee on the floor or a red-headed genius six-year-old who is never satisfied or a middle child who laughs at all the rules (especially the rules of gravity), my head is spinning by sunrise every day. By nap time, I am done and everyone ends up crying themselves to sleep. It’s really fun. In her post titled, “The Scientific Reason Moms Hate Screaming,”…

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Pinocchio Told Lies and So Do We

Pinocchio Told Lies and So Do We

When he fell from his chair, blood poured. Apparently, his nose had met the table as he fell. It was just a bloody nose, but shocking still. Rest and paper towels stopped it, but a couple days later it bled again. And again. And again. It bled because my son is young and sometimes his finger finds its way in the nostril. It bled again because my son is playful and can’t keep himself from bouncing. It bled again because…

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Small Ones

Small Ones

As I write, I know I’ve failed. In so many ways. Inconsistencies everywhere. Disappointments. Rolled eyes. Mine and theirs and probably yours. Yet hope remains at the core. Every day, hope that the next day will be better. Right now, the disappointments of this day grip and need refreshment. Right now it is nap time. It is mostly quiet. Mostly calm. I am sitting on my bed, legs covered. Leaves sway outside my windows, caught by sunlight and shadow. Waving….

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On Buying a House and Walking in Promise

On Buying a House and Walking in Promise

I could tell you that we bought a house, but unless you have been standing next to us, you wouldn’t understand the victory wrapped up in these walls. It’s just a house, a residence, a thing made from wood and nails. You might have one too. Maybe when you think about a house, you just think about to-do lists and Saturdays filled. Maybe you think about the decorating and the furnishing. I have. Exciting colors or monochromatic schemes to soothe…

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THE WHOLENESS OF SICK DAYS

THE WHOLENESS OF SICK DAYS

This morning, I woke up with a headache. Even before my head left my pillow, my eyes were having a harder than usual time. It was the opening they couldn’t do. Now, as I sit wide-crosslegged on my carpet, typing away at the coffee table in my living room, I think my early morning experience is kind of funny. My eyes were having a harder than usual time. Lately, it’s everything else that has been having a hard time. I have…

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A NUTRITION COURSE : ON SWIRLY MINDS AND SWIRLY LIFE

A NUTRITION COURSE : ON SWIRLY MINDS AND SWIRLY LIFE

Most recently, in our home school, we are doing a tiny course on nutrition. This has been in my mind for a long time, but then I found Usborne’s “Why do we Eat?” at a consignment shop for $0.75 and decided it was time. My kids and I read that book a few times, then I printed this nutrition book from The First Grade Sweet Life. We worked on filling it out, then today we went grocery shopping. I let…

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I’M FAILING AT CHRISTMAS

I’M FAILING AT CHRISTMAS

Is it really possible? I mean, Christmas is a day. December 25. And days always begin and end without human help. But as humans, we so often act like we need to do all these things to make Christmas. We need gifts and trees and cookies and we need to drive around looking at lights and we need the happy music and the steaming cocoa. In my household, we have Christmas traditions. They’re pretty usual. We make forgotten cookies. We watch all…

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SHOWING GRACE TO THE UNLEAVENED

SHOWING GRACE TO THE UNLEAVENED

I was really comfortable sitting in my van. I was outside of Lowe’s, texting a friend, sitting on a heated seat. Then someone appeared at my window. “Excuse me,” she said. I looked. She was a stranger, and I know you’re not supposed to talk to strangers. But there’s a compassion in me for the destitute that I can’t shake. Besides, I’ve been reading Jen Hatmaker’s Interrupted, a book that chronicles the Hatmaker’s journey toward compassion for the homeless. There’s…

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