happy birthday, rachael

Today is Rachael Christine's 24th birthday. How she delights my soul!! When we learned we were expecting Rachael, I was not in a good emotional place. Getting pregnant seemed like the least logical thing in the world and it definitely was not something we would have chosen. God saw things differently. Shortly after learning I was pregnant, I read in Psalm 30, "You have turned my mourning into dancing." Rachael's life infused my sorrowing heart... Read more →

seventeen years old

Rachael at Little Bow in 2010, 15 years old This weekend Rachael and Nick are camping at Little Bow to celebrate her birthday. That's bittersweet; bitter because it's her first birthday away from home, sweet because she acts like a good little wife as she's preparing to camp. She is looking forward to showing Nick Little Bow. I'm disappointed and grieved by a number of Rachael's present choices. She uses pot and alcohol, lives with... Read more →

letting go

Rachael, 2010, 10 years old Today is Rachael's first training shift at Superstore. I'm so proud of her for getting this job. Last week she had a day of orientation and was so cute as she relayed some of the things she learned. The owner/boss told stories and anecdotes that interested Rachael and she took notes - the only new hire doing so. That's her mom and dad coming out in her. The following day... Read more →

mothers' day blues

I sit on Stacie's porch and enjoy the quiet and beautiful North Carolina nature show. I will sorely miss this quiet-time spot when I go home in a few days. This is a foretaste of heaven. I'm so thankful for the reprieve from real life. It's Mothers' Day. I'm thankful for all the mothers who have positively influenced the way I mother. Mama! I'm thankful for the hurdles she overcame and/or at least wrestled, to... Read more →


People ask why I'm not blogging much. I use to have so many things to say. My kids were angelic and oh, so very cute. Writing was easy because I had great subjects to write about. My kids ceaselessly delighted me. Now, I'm not so easily delighted by them. To blog about their lives these days would make me very vulnerable, like opening myself up to judgement. I don't want everyone knowing the jungle I'm... Read more →

shakerboard kid

My sweet Rachael has her first public job. She's been working for years at paper routes and babysitting, but now she is gainfully employed at Little Caesar's. When she applied for the job the boss asked if she'd work the shakerboard. Rachael had no idea what "shakerboard" meant, but since it had the word board in it she associated it with cardboard and figured shakerboard had something to do with folding pizza boxes. Hence, she... Read more →


(Grandpa and the girls) Eight years ago today my father-in-law passed away. He was 67. It was a hard time for our family, but I have some sweet memories from that time that I cherish. We told the kids that Grandpa was very ill and that he would get to go to heaven soon. Deborah was nearly three. Rachael was nearly seven, Hannah was nearly six. Each of them processed it very differently. Rachael acted... Read more →

my kids are... ?

(Precious Rachael and Hannah, in 2000) Because I'm getting wiser with age, I resisted the urge to title this post, "My Kids Are Idiots." That was noble, I think. In the 80's I loved watching The Cosby Show. In one episode Dr. Huxstable comes home to find Clare seething. She hisses, "I want you to go upstairs and kill your son." More than once I've said that to Gordon. Unfortunately he never watched The Cosby... Read more →

thursday thirteen

I love Thursday Thirteen. It's a great way to catch up. 1. I've been kind of sad/contemplative/nostalgic lately. I've been busy scanning pictures from the days before digital photos. I've got a lot done, but still have a ways to go. Anyway seeing all those pictures of my little people, . . . Now they are so big. It's enough to make a mama weep. A couple are grown. A couple morphed into a different... Read more →

rachael goes to the symphony

Saturday, Rachael and "a friend" went to the symphony. It was a set of unusual circumstances which swayed us to allow this. If you think Rachael is allowed to go out with boys, you are sadly mistaken. However, just this once and never to happen again within a couple of years, she did. My baby looked precious, don't you think? She's growing up I'm afraid. Read more →

rachael's art

These are a couple of Rachael's sketchings. I think she's getting so good. I love her drawings. And this last one is just something that makes me smile. Smile with me. Read more →

rachael's "new" bedroom

We finally finished Rachael's bedroom. I was out of "the zone" on this one, biting my nails hoping she'd like it. She does. She actually quite loves it. The "MUSIC" painting above the window was a labor of love from her daddy. She had drawn it in pencil. Instead of painting over it, like I would have done, Gordon carefully painted it. He's so sweet and thoughtful that way. She saw this tree dilly at... Read more →

happy birthday to rachael

Our dear little Rachael turned 14 a few days ago. Every time we met in the hall, in the kitchen, and especially when I tucked her into bed, I took the opportunity to acknowledge how much pain I was in "15 years ago right now." It is true, Rachael's birth takes the cake on my experience with labor and I don't want the dear child to forget it. :-) I think she loves the stories... Read more →

three lovely girls

Three of my sweet babies. I love them, don't you know? Rachael and Deborah sometimes bond through Rachael rolling Deborah's hair. No child from my womb would be lucky enough to have naturally curly hair. {Sigh.} Aren't they lovely? Read more →

thursday thirteen

I hope you've missed my Thursday Thirteens. My friend Shelly inquired about the lack of Thursday Thirteen posts. I was thrilled to learn someone actually missed those wonky Thursday posts. I usually think of 13 things to say around Friday night. Hence TT's recent infrequency. 13 things going on around here: 1. The prison journaling course is going very well. In some ways, better than I even hoped. One of the ladies that's been in... Read more →


I'm sure you all well remember that I'm a basket case in my own appealing way. Which reminds me of the sitcom from the '80's called Designing Women. Once Julia went to bat for a demented woman -- I don't remember the details -- but in the end Julia got in someone's face in a polite genteel sort of way by declaring, "Here in the South, we are puh-roud of our crazy people." My family... Read more →

metal mouth still

Poor little Rachael thought she was getting her braces off today. No such luck. The doc said 4 or 5 more months. She was not happy. I took this picture before heading to the orthodontist. We thought it was her last day of braces. :-( She's a lovely child, eh? Read more →


In P.E. these days Rachael and Hannah are learning dance. Rachael really enjoys it and her class put on a very good production a couple weeks ago. Now they are working on another performance and she loves to practice. I still have residual feelings from my childhood. I don't think dancing is necessarily wrong, but it isn't a pursuit I encourage. I'm well aware this stems from my childhood brainwashing. Yesterday Rachael was showing me... Read more →

christmas eve

The evening began with a service at church where Deborah sang. Then home to supper in the family room. Christmas Eve is the only time of year we eat here. A lovely little clan enjoying sausage, cheese and crackers. Bear loves the sausage especially. Next is stocking time. Panties are a stocking staple, especially if the panties have turtles on them. Hannah is 12. Everyone loves the cracker crowns. Rachael is 13. Daddy and 9-year-old... Read more →

picture roulette

I got an interesting challenge from today: Go to your pictures, open the 5th folder and post the 5th picture in the folder. It's cool how for me that was a Christmas folder. This is 2005 when each girl got a hamster for Christmas. Have I mentioned Hannah bought two guinea pigs a few months ago? When we moved to this house she decided to take them to the SPCA to give them to someone... Read more →


Rachael in grade 4. Her teacher began a language arts lesson by asking who could define a period. Rachael knew because we'd had the talk. She bravely raised her hand and when called on said, "It's when you become a woman because now you bleed every month and can have babies." Mrs Hetland replied without any hesitation, "Actually, it's a dot at the end of a sentence." Read more →

a little rachael funny

In Arkansas Stephanie reminded me of a Rachael moment I'd forgotten. Rachael was about three and Hannah was two. Gordon rebuked Hannah for something and Rachael got terribly defensive. After Rachael chided Gordon for correcting Hannah, Gordon explained that teaching Hannah to do right was his job as a parent. Rachael responded confidently, "Well you're not Jesus!" Read more →

dreamin' and nose piercing

Today Hannah said, "If I keep my dog-walking job for 35 years I'll be able to buy a convertible." Two nights ago Rachael pierced her nose. Yes, she literally pierced her own nose. When I picked her up at school today I told her I was glad to see she still had a nose. She looked at me like I was weird so I added, "I'm glad it hasn't rotted off." Read more →