Monday, February 23, 2015


On Saturday evening, Ellie informed me that, "Penguins don't have elbows." That simple little nugget of wisdom came to her at church. It was also something that must have given me an entertained expression, because Ellie went on to tell everyone seated in the pews around her, the very same thing. The chuckles must have emboldened our priest; the ensuing homily seemed more lengthy than usual.

On Sunday, Benett was adamant that for each story we read, the ending had to change. He wanted the first time through to be read as written. The second time around, he requested a new ending. Okay... Interesting request... and not all that easy, especially when the literature topic is rainbows. I don't know many alternate endings that don't involve ROY G. BIV.  Reading to a child is not always an easy thing to do, and shouldn't be taken lightly... There is a lot going on in those young minds.

Gavin also had a request yesterday, one that topped them all. He wanted to wrestle. He wanted to wrestle with everyone in the house. No matter how big or small. He wanted to really, wrestle. The whole deal. No half-measures allowed. After getting his wish, he wanted to watch wresting tutorials on YouTube, only to ask everyone to wrestle again, so he could inflict his new moves.

All three of these examples can mean only one thing. The little people have got full-blown cabin fever. Everyone is restless and tired of being cooped up. The adults included; I'm beyond tired of the treadmill and the same old view.

So we made an effort to get some measured doses of outdoors. A nice long snowshoe trek, with sled in tow, meant that Ellie had an opportunity to live like her elbow-less penguins for an hour. Gavin was able to burn off some of his energy goo. And my run, outside, yesterday reminded me that there are good things about the treadmill. Temperature and incline control topping the list.

As for Benett... well he was no dummy. He wanted nothing to do with the -32 wind-chill. He opted to remain inside. As a result, we're planning a pool-side hotel stay for next weekend. I'm not sure I can take two weekends in a row of alternate ending requests.

Monday, February 16, 2015


It's her natural smile. You know she is loving whatever is in her midst, when this glowing grin is on her sweet little face. Eyes squished by those plump, rosy cheeks... and that one tiny little dimple...

That tiny little dimple, and her silly little smile are just what I need to brighten my days.

Days need brightening, when from out of the blue, life throws us a curve ball and introduces change. Life is full of change, but in this season of change, it is decidedly not something I'm looking forward to with excitement.

We are faced with losing our church, a gift passed down through the years, since 1913, to myself and my little people.

That gift is being taken from us. We have been informed that our church is no longer viable. Despite a building in good repair and a bank account adequate to sustain our needs. We will be asked to worship someplace else. Our faith community will cease to exist. Because it's small. Because it's rural.

That small, rural place is my faith. It's a legacy that's been passed down and entrusted to us, by those who came before. With it goes my faith. With it goes a part of me... with it goes the dream I'd had for the little people.

I'd very much have liked to see this little clenched grin, standing before the same alter as I had, receiving her first communion... confirmation... marriage... and the baptism of her own children.

Sadly, someone who doesn't know us has decided that isn't important. History, our roots, are things that are easily transferable.

I don't agree. History is important. Where we come from matters.

Life is full of change. I don't know what will happen over the course of the coming months... but one thing I know to be certain is that this infectious grin will continue to brighten my days, even when those days include a sense of uncertainty...

Maybe that tiny little dimple should be my new religion. After all, that sweet little grin is like magic, teeming with the power to heal.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


These days, we are finding notes all around the house. Benett has a great love for drawing and art, which has recently been accompanied by a love for "mail." He leaves his sweet little letters wherever he thinks they'll be noticed and read. Some of his little musings aren't postmarked at all, they're just cut or taped together or randomly left laying around.

One place most of them are not - in a notebook.

With that in mind, Santa had his thinking cap on this year and decided to give B a fun book in which to keep his drawings. Since December, he's taken it to church or wrestling tourneys or just in the car, adding some fantastic images. When its full, I'll stash it away. I already can't wait to rediscover and enjoy the creativity.

Because the vast majority of his drawing is of the loose-leaf variety... and way too cute/funny/sweet to recycle... stacks and stacks of paper can be found around my house. On the kitchen counter, in the secretary, my bathroom, the entry way, his bedroom, my car, my desk at the office... and the list goes on and on.

I'm not a huge fan of clutter, but as stacks of paper go, his are my favorite kind.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


It’s safer back there, lingering in the protective shadow of someone with whom you've entrusted your love. This is where we find Ellie much of the time. She’s behind him, but don’t interpret that as weakness… she’s perfectly capable of standing on her own, she just prefers to be close to him. And she’s happy to let him take the lead, on the days when being bold doesn’t seem like the thing to be.

She prefers the familiarity.
He enjoys that she is most likely thinking the same thing he is… and when she’s not, its great fun to have a laugh about her silly thinking.

She prefers the partnership.
He enjoys having a slower partner in crime… but wishes that she could or would keep a secret for more than 10 seconds. She’s just too honest for him sometimes.

She prefers his brand of rivalry.
He enjoys playing the role of teacher, with such an eager student.

We don’t worry about Ellie standing behind her brother. They are true to themselves and hold each other up… No matter who’s in front, or whether they’re together, they both prefer to be a pair.