Tag Archives: Michael

throwing dirt

With all of us in China, I remember wondering if I would ever get a turn to hold my new brother.  If he had even noticed me yet.  (It’s really not my fault that big brothers are more interesting.)  Reason told me that we were his family for good, and there would be time.

But in my heart I knew that we only had for ever, and that would never feel like enough.

The rest of our lives never feels like enough.  That’s why I believe in dropping “important stuff” and playing.  That’s why I believe in loving like there’s no tomorrow.

That’s why I said yes when Mom asked me to play with Michael today.  That’s why I said yes when Little Brother suggested we go outside.

So what was going to be a lets-relax-and-read-a-story turned into bundling up and going out, hauling chunks of firewood and breaking up dirt with a metal spade.  We built a mouse-house, with logs and dirt.  We dug a hole in the ground and made a roof over it, and filled it with dill from the herb garden for the mice to eat.  Naturally the game ended with Michael deconstructing it.

Brothers are awesome.

Thank you for playing with me, Michael; and being my baby brother, even though you’re so grown up, and you’re probably smarter than me anyway.  And thank you for teaching me how important it is, once in a while, to pretend there’s no such rules as no throwing dirt and don’t run with sticks.

Lauritzen Gardens

I know these have been a long time in coming. . . better late than never, right?  Anyway, I’m very happy with how they turned out!

If you don’t like hundreds of pictures of flowers, feel free to skip this post. 😉  And, believe it or not, this is the narrowed-down version.


I got a lot of good pictures of Little Brother.  I guess he’s just picturesque.




I am so excited about this picture!  My pictures of bugs never turn out this clear!

Continue reading Lauritzen Gardens

“The Sacrifice”: Part nine

I went into the bathroom to shower last night, and found. . .


. . . a few things in my way.  Just a few. 🙂

I thought it warranted a picture!

On a more serious note, here’s Part 9 of The Sacrifice.

IMG_2140 The Sacrifice IMG_2136

Part Ninth: Your Choice

The seventh day since the confrontation with the dragon dawned. Penelope’s first waking thought was how bright the sun was. The second was the wretched realization that she was probably going to die that day. She lay for a long while thinking. Then she got up and began getting dressed. She tried not to think about Abadalyx, but everything in the room brought dragons to mind and tears threatened every thirty seconds.

She put on a plain, white dress that reached to her ankles with a leather belt that had pictures of lilies pressed into it and pulled her hair into two braids.  She glanced across at her vanity mirror and her eyes lingered there; filling with tears as looked back at her pale, simply dressed reflection. Its expression was so despairing.

Stop it! She commanded herself, resolutely turning her back on the mirror, determined not to cry. This was YOUR choice, after all!

Infuriated by the tear that forced its rebellious way down her cheek, she smacked herself on the forehead—hard enough to make herself reel. She sat down on her bed and laid her head on her hands. Being a heroine was so much harder than she had ever imagined.

Someone tapped softly on her door. “Come in,” she called, hurriedly wiping her eyes. Henry opened the door and slipped in, looking as despondent as she felt. “Morning, Penny,” he said dejectedly.

“Good morning, Henry.”

There was a moment’s silence before he began again. “I don’t want to rush you, but are you coming down soon? Mother ordered your favorite for breakfast!” he added proudly, perking up ever so slightly.

Penelope winced inwardly, but could not bring herself to tell her brother that she felt anxious and sick, and not like eating anything—much less rich, iced pastries she now regretted having said she liked. “I’ll. . . I’ll be right there.”

“Alright,” he answered, and went out.

Penelope collapsed onto her knees as the door closed behind him, folded her arms on her bed, hid her face in them, and prayed—more for strength not to cry in front of her family than for anything else. The thought of being saved slivered into her thoughts and refused to be forgotten, but she did not dare to voice it, even in prayer.


The very sweetest of little sisters turned 10 yesterday (double digits! *gasp*), and a very awesome little brother turned 4 on the 31st.  (Yes, we have back-to-back birthdays–not to mention Mom’s is tomorrow!)

I am SO blessed to have those two as my siblings!  Four years ago Michael stole my monopoly on being the youngest child, and he’s quite welcome to it!


I love being a big sister!

??? {Mystery Quote #19} ???

So, remember the praying mantis I mentioned in my last post?

Well, we found him on our porch again this morning, in a spider web!  Mama fished him out with a stick and we put him in a jar.  Michael has been carrying him around all day–he even took him to grandma’s house!


We put some bugs in there, but I don’t think he’s eaten any of them yet.  Last I heard M had christened him “Cricket”, but that may have changed. #ThreeYearOld

Anyway, “Mystery Quote”!  Isn’t fun to be back at it again?!  I’ll start it off with a quote from a book that Mom has been reading to the littles lately:

The Wise Old Woman looked at [her].  [She] was big, [she] was fat, and just then [she] was crying.  She didn’t want to be given to gypsies; she didn’t want to be cooked for dinner.  But even less did she want to work.  Not [her]!

Sorry about all the [she]’s.  They’re all the same person. 🙂

Happy guessing!

P.S. I tasted the apple sauce last night, and it is to die for!  Both the little tykes love it too.  I don’t think it’s going to last long!

A little bit of my life and the fall schedule


A praying mantis we found at our porch light the other day.


We do seem to find the most interesting things at our porch light, don’t we?


Some of us built my grandma a new deck over Labor Day weekend.  It was quite the adventure. . .


The jade circle is from China, but I made the other necklace recently.  Xie xie is thank-you in Chinese.


Our church had a grand opening at our new building this Sunday and served cupcakes to celebrate.  Don’t ask how this little guy snagged one with bright blue frosting.  I have now decided that cupcakes are indisputably the messiest dessert in the world.  Still like them though.


Mom and the littles are making apple sauce today with the apples from the apple orchard!





Remind me to tell you guys how it turned out. . .

And now: the schedule.

There was no dispute in any of the comments of my last post: everyone wanted to do “Mystery Quote” again, and wanted me to hurry up and get The Sacrifice up here.

So that’s precisely what I’m doing: tomorrow we will start “Mystery Quote” back up, and we’ll will do that on Tuesdays this fall.  To avoid confusion, I will call the next one #19, picking up where we left off.  That way we won’t have two #1 posts on my blog, two #2’s, two #3’s, and so on.  If anyone ever looks for “Mystery Quote #5” in the search bar, that could be kinda’ confusing.  I don’t know if anyone ever will search for it, but it will be fun to see how many we’ve done all together anyway!

Like I said, we’ll do this through the fall.  In November we’ll at least take a break, while I post several things I want to put up during the anniversary of our China-trip.  Then, sometime before, during, or slightly after the Christmas-bash of some sorts that will inevitably come*, I will start The Sacrifice;  trusting I will be done writing, editing, and over-thinking it by then.

*Can anyone explain to me my deal with holidays?

In the meantime, I am writing as fast as I can.  I’ve found that because I usually have the story-line all mapped out before I start writing, I can make myself write, whether I feel like it or not.  Which is a good thing for you all, since I would usually rather go read a book or browse blogs than sit down and write.  Thinking up stories is the fun part for me, while actually getting them written is proving to be the challenge.

Which part of the process is your favorite, all writers who read my blog (I know there’s some)?  The writing, or the musing?

Dream jobs. . .

A friend gave us these little cards recently.  They have questions on them, and we’ve been reading one question a day at dinner, and then all answering it!  (When we remember!)


“What is your dream job?”

Some of these I saw coming, some of them I didn’t!

Becca: An ESL teacher. Oh, she already is. Mission accomplished! :)
Spencer: A computer programmer, a chemist, a pastor, or a statesman.
Me: An author! :)
Lucy: A bridal shop owner.
Michael: An "ice cream cooker".



We’ve planted dill and parsley in our garden for a long time, to attract Swallowtail butterflies.  We kept Swallowtail caterpillars inside in an aquarium when Becca, Spencer, and I were little; and we did again this summer with Michael and Lucy.


Jane the butterfly came out of her chrysalis today and was released today!


She came just in time for Lucy’s Dedication Day!


Lu was dedicated at our new church building this morning.  Our building was a bowling alley before we bought it, so it. . . needed some help.


We’ve held meetings there three Sundays now.  Back in February we had a worship night there, in the midst of the construction.  There are all kinds of things I could say about that, but let’s stay focused (for now).


To tell the truth, I wasn’t really planning on worshiping.  I mean, really worshiping.  To give you some context, I’m usually an “all-out worshiper”.  A hand-lifter.


But I wasn’t really planning on it that night.  It just hadn’t been one of “those days”.  And the feeling deepened when we got there, and I found that there was dust everywhere that made your nose feel weird, and I was burdened down with a winter coat and purse, since I had nowhere to set them because of aforementioned dust.


We were there to worship Jesus, and I was letting a ‘mood’ and some dust get in my way.  Anyways, to make a long story short: I got there not expecting to be passionate, and the music started, and Lucy started singing–and dancing.  If she can worship tonight, shouldn’t I be able to?


Yes!  Of course!  I should anyway!

Lucy has an incredible interest in Jesus, but of course she doesn’t understand everything yet.  But she reminded me to worship that night.

Adoption isn’t easy, but I can’t imagine life without it.  It is such a blessing!  And I’m not trying to say that we should adopt children because they will bless us–far from it.  I’m just saying that they will.

I was helping Michael with something at the grocery store once (I think I was pushing him in the stroller or something while Mom shopped), and a lady stopped and said to me, “He’s lucky to have you, you know that?”  I’m probably the worst in the world at thinking on my feet, and I just smiled and said something pathetic and uninspiring, like “Yeah.”  It was hours, or maybe days later that I realized that the only real answer to that question was:

“I’m just lucky to have him.”