First Daybook in a Long While


Outside My Window

It's one of those days that can't decide if it wants to rain. At least it's not unbearably hot. I don't really mind the clouds.

I am Listening to

Some sort of jazz mix at Starbuck's. When working in the neighborhood, I much prefer Panera to Starbuck's, but it's mighty crowded at Panera at lunchtime. Need to re-think this time/location thing.


I am Wearing

Poplin shirt, khaki capris. Summer uniform:-)


I am so Grateful for

my husband.


I'm Pondering

from Small Steps, June 7~

Think: Just as He gives the gardener the skill to tend rare and delicate plants while fertilizing them Himself, so He wishes to use others in His cultivation of souls.~ St. Therese 

Pray: You are the Master Gardener. Help me to be diligent. Teach me to prune and to weed so that my soul bears abundant fruit for you!

Act: Begin a summer art journal with your children. The night before, set the breakfast table with colored pencils, markers, and watercolors. Surprise each child a new, spiral bound sketchbook. Start by sketching plants in your yard or your newly-planted garden. Set aside time to update your garden journal once a week. Make art journaling part of your your shared experience. You do it too! Vary the media: try collages, doodle-fests, vegetable printing. 

I plan to do this tomorrow morning. I have a half dozen posts on Gentleness, the June Small Steps virtue, all hanging out in my drafts folder. I'm finding it difficult to write about gentleness without sinning against gentleness. I've long considered myself pretty gentle--and I think I am, with children--but my struggle to write on this month's virtue has me re-examining my own lack of mastery. Anyway, that's what I'm pondering, for what it's worth....

I am Reading

Seams to Me. Again. This time, I'm reading every.single.word. I'm taking notes and I'm making lists and I'm seriously considering a new sewing machine. 

10 Habits of Happy Mothers. Good stuff here. Really good stuff. I love to talk about books like this with my friend Linda, in particular. I'm reading this one and she's currently reading The Blessing of a B Minus. She's pretty sure I need the B- book. I'm pretty sure she needs the Meg Meeker book. No doubt we'll trade before the summer's finished.


I am Thinking

about asking some small businesses and Etsy crafters if they'd like to sponsor this blog. Let me know if the thought appeals to you. I'm shooting for the beginning of July...


I am Creating

~A Baby Surprise Jacket (All the knitting is finished and I even went and purchased buttons. But they're not right. If you know good online buttons sources, please do leave a link in the comments.)

~To Eyre shawl. Oh, I so love, love, love the process of knitting this one. The yarn, the pattern, it's all good.

~Some very concrete sewing plans that are the making of a major summer surprise. It all began quite innocently. Sarah announced to the world that she intends to learn to sew. And then she told the world how ridiculously hard that is. I could totally relate. 

I love Sarah. (In real life, as my children are so fond of saying.)

 So, I tried to talk her out of it. I told her I'd teach her to knit. Knitting is better;-). She persuaded me that sewing really did have its merits. In talking it out, I heard myself discovering how truly important it might be to one daughter in particular that I learn to sew with her. And, truth be told, I do agree that sewing rocks. But I've never managed to learn how to sew. So we agreed that we'd learn to knit and to sew. Because we're like that: if doing one is hard, doing two must somehow be easier. 

To that end...

~I'm beginning to create a craft nook. Katie and I have spent significant time looking at craft rooms, sewing rooms, studios and such online. When we moved into this house, we designated a room in the basement as the craft room. And it might one day still be one. But it's got some stirkes against it right now. (Shh, don't tell anyone, but Mike's home office would be just perfect. And, well, he hasn't worked from home for nearly five years now.) Do you have a favorite online dream studio? One like Heather Bailey's? Leave me a link. Katie and I love fodder for dreams.


On my iPod

Brad Paisley's new album. And Keith Urban's, too. It's summertime. 


Towards a Real Education

Patrick's report card arrived. Remember how worried I was last fall, when he was suddenly a student at a boarding school, with four days' notice and nothing but homeschooling behind him? He did us proud. I don't remember the exact number, but his GPA was over a 4.0 and his lowest grade was in soccer...


Towards Rhythm and Beauty

The rhythm of this summer reflects my ever-increasing awareness that

: I need time alone.

: my children need enforced times of quiet.

: we all need room and time and materials with which to create.

: summer doesn't mean we take a break from math every day.

: that life is short and every day is to be treasured and lived intentionslly and prayerfully.


To Live the Liturgy...

Back to the liturgy of the hours every day. During Lent, I focused on daily audio Bible. All. the. time. I'm still loving my morning Bible and knitting time, but the rest of the day has found its way back to the cadence of the Church.


I am Hoping and Praying

for Elizabeth deHority. She is constantly on my heart and in my prayers. She needs you now. Please, please pray with me. 

 for my teenagers. Growing up is such hard work.  

for my dear friend Becca as she prepares to bring a new baby into the world. Becca brings a whole new dimension to the word "labor." This is going to be work, no doubt, but she will labor at this most important task with the same grace and dignity and faith as she does every small task of ordinary days. She's just like that. Won't you pray a wee prayer for Becca and that baby girl? Grace. Begging grace.

 In the Garden

Our spring peas were taking over our small garden when it was time to plant tomatoes and basil. I whined a bit aloud, lamenting my lack of raised bed organic space. The Farmer's Wife suggested I stop complaining and plant in pots. I put the tomatoes in the garden and the basil in pots. The basil is thriving. Of course it is. She's a wise one, that Farmer's Wife.

Around the House

The laundry is all caught up. If you have more than three children, you will recognize this event for the rare miracle it is. Go bathing suits!

From the Kitchen 

Big hits lately:

Baked Asparagus Risotto (H/T Elizabeth DeHority) to accompany Chicken Piccata (Patrick is back in the kitchen and cooking delicious meals while cleaning up as he goes. Got to love that about a kid.)

and Father's Day brunch:

Belgian Waffles with fresh blueberries and strawberries. We tried Bisquick's Gluten Free baking mix and found it to be a keeper. Hooray for waffles!

Spinach Frittata. I made this one up as I went along and didn't make notes. Will have to re-create soon.

Grilled Sausages and Grilled Bacon. The meat-eaters in the house declared it all good.

Orange Juice with Pellegrino (known in this house as "Ballerina Juice" because the curly one heard "ballerina" when first we told her about Pellegrino)


One of My Favorite Things

quiet mornings.


A Few Plans for the Week

~the summer revolving door begins to turn. Patrick is bound for Dallas and Mary Beth to the beach with a buddy.

~Farmer's Market on Wednesday to do a photo shoot for the summer issue of Faith and Family.

~art journals

~My Fair Lady on video to get ready for the stage version in July

~swimming with basketball buddies at the pool Christian manages.


Picture thoughts:



{These are a bit dated. Over Memorial Day weekend, we had soccer in three states. Michael and Nicky headed south to NC with our friend Luke and his dad, Ron. Luke's brother, Jack,  plays with Stephen, so he and his mom and his twin sister spent the weekend in beautiful Poolesville, Maryland with Stephen, our girls, and me. And Mike and Patrick went to NJ. The girls (and Jack and Stephen) managed to have all sorts of fun. We even squeezed in some strawberry picking between games. Strawberry picture from my friend Mindy's iPhone. Soccer stud is Stephen on the farm fields I really love so much.)