An Empty House

A Tao of Christmas shopping, from a wannabe minimalist:So, i buy most of my kids' clothes at consignment sales. Also sell stuff there, so i almost break even. I go to this one sale twice a year (because it is at my church and i get to shop early!) While i'm shopping for clothes, i also keep my eyes peeled for good toys at super cheap prices. I buy a few here and there, so by the time Christmas rolls around, I buy each kid one new thing, and i'm pretty much done. They get about 4 gifts each, … [Read more...]

One More Piece of the Puzzle

On a lighter note... One of the most miraculous parts of parenting, by far, is listening as the pieces of the language puzzle click into place. Even though i've watched it come together with the first kid, it is no less of a wonder the second time around.One day they are screaming, crying, flailing little animals. Then they are saying short, single-syllable nouns. 'Dad'  'dog' and 'book' ranked among the first at our house. Then the single-word utterances take on purpose and urgency. 'Milk!' ' … [Read more...]

Like a Child

We are celebrating Children's Sabbath at church this week. As i think through what that service should look like, I am mindful that it should not just be a service for children. It should be one that honors the spiritual gifts that children possess, and recognizes them not as the 'future church,' but as fully active and vital parts of the body, right now.Scripture refers to God as "father" so often, that many people hold a firm image of God as not only parental, but fully male. Even those of … [Read more...]

In the End, There’s Cake

My kids have birthdays this week. They will be 2 and 4. And while I know this is where I'm supposed to say "I can't believe how fast they're growing up!" what I really think is, I can't remember a time when they weren't around. In many ways, they've been with me forever.The almost 2-year-old has a new favorite word--why. And, as only a small child can do, he throws this one-word question around as though it had three-syllables, rather than one...uh-WHY-ee. (Kind of sounds like 'hawaii.') … [Read more...]

Sometimes, It Falls from the Sky

It was one of those rare Phoenix days when everything shimmered with a utopian light. (No, not recently!) Hot air balloons dotted the sky, and rocky mountain foothills struck a dramatic pose against the technicolor blue. Ancient saguaro raised their arms in praise of all creation. The sun was a friend and not the oppressor it would become a few months later. Temperatures hovered in the 70s, meaning no need for climate control. In other words: desert perfection. Arizona in springtime.I walked i … [Read more...]

What Whining Will Get You…

I've got two small children. I know what whining sounds like. Sometimes, before the request has completely left the tongue, I will stop and say, "Is that really how you want to ask me about that?"Because I would really like them to learn young that whining gets them nowhere. That i tend to be more generous with snacks, outings, tv shows, and life in general, when I have been approached with a certain degree of pleasantness. Manners are important, but this is not just about manners. It is about … [Read more...]

To Be

I started getting in trouble for my 'to be' verbs in junior AP English. It was my favorite class of my whole school experience, but it was also the point at which i realized i was not the greatest writer of all time. (WHAT???) My teacher, the legendary Mrs. McNulty, would take a red ink pen and circle every be, is and was, leaving the whole thing in a marked-up red mess for my further revision.I didn't really get what the big deal was, until I saw what happened when i had to eliminate those … [Read more...]

A Perfect Day

Following a pretty rotten day, the universe will sometimes throw you a nearly perfect one. Or maybe it's just that, for me, two consecutive rotten days are unacceptable. In any case, yesterday= pretty dang crummy. Today, however, rolled something like this:Day started, per usual, with a small girl crawling into bed with me and firmly wedging herself in my back to snooze for a few more minutes. Then it was up and around for breakfast with the fam at our favorite pancake place.  Unseasonably c … [Read more...]

Immediately

kite3

It was a beautiful day in north Phoenix. In MAY. That’s saying something.  Sometimes, May can melt your socks. But this particular late morning was mid-80′s, sunny and breezy. My husband was setting up lounge chairs and misters, and I was trying to get the kids set up with snacks and toys, content, and playing together happily, so that dad and i could chill and enjoy the weather. If you’ve ever spent time with small children, you are laughing right now. I got the snack, they wanted a … [Read more...]


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