Monday, January 13, 2020

Putting memories into an actual book

A very good friend upon receiving our Christmas card and letter said that I should put all of our Christmas letters together in a book with our photo from that year and then bring it out every so often to read to the kids. Perhaps this should have been intuitive to me but it wasn't. Instead I hemmed and hawed how I would do it. There were a lot of how will I go and find all the things I need for this. And actually our printer decided to not print every other page I printed, but its coming together. And the first time I read a letter to the children and then were miniature stars of their current selves they loved it. I now have found all the letters and am working on retrieving the photos from the year, as I have them hidden in pockets around the house ( I am very organized until I am not.).

I'll leave you with this gem though from 2014,

"Ben’s passion for his friends and family in Tennessee is only eclipsed by his passion for plain pasta. On the way home, when dad went to pay the bill at the Polaris Skyline Chili, Ben followed behind him with carryout, as in, he was carrying out two fistfuls full of noodles in his bare hands. And, really, when I think of the most important thing we learned this year, it was this: when life gives you noodles and nothing to put them in, take the noodles anyway. Or ask your server for a box. Or was it to grab the oyster crackers, as well?"

Sunday, January 12, 2020


Today's homily was about true humility. And man is that a hard one, because I come from a long line of prideful people that don't like to be fixed, or admit they are broken. And yet we all are. I think for me to admit that I have to let something go, and to not be able to fix it. To just sit and trust, that is humbling and so very hard. But this is where I am and if I remember that Jesus is always with me, I am okay.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

A reminder that he is with me

Perhaps I shouldn't be scrolling.  But in the scrolling there was a little bit of joy.  The joy of knowing that Jesus is with me everywhere.  You see the one day that baby Jesus from our nativity sets was to be blessed,  I forgot him.  I brought him to be blessed the next day,  and Father kindly blessed them for me.  But perhaps it was a bit of the foreshadowing for me. As yesterday,  yes,  it was Christmas,  but for some reason I again forgot to display baby Jesus in the nativity. I'm calling it my midnight mass hangover,  where some of the littles just weren't at rest with going this time and it just felt like a bit of a fog. 
But today,  the 26th, I remembered to look down and in looking down I saw my necklace, always with me,  with a Jesus fish staring back at me,  and with the words written in social media,  it made me smile,  as a forever promise should,  that Jesus is always with me.  Even if I tend to be a day late in my true acknowledgment.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Warm hugs

We were delivering Christmas cards to our neighbors and it happened to have snowed, so we took out the sleds. Stellamaris was delightfully being pulled on the sled, the baby sled that she barely fits into at two years and nine months, nonetheless we made it work and she loved going around as so. The snow was a delightful surprise two inches that somehow motivated us to brave what was with the windchill, less than twenty degree weather.

One friend's home had a blowup Olaf, at what would be an approachable size. It wasn't a giant, intimidating Olaf, but what would be what I think if Olaf could possibly be a real thing, what size he would actually be. The children had recently been treated to watching Frozen 2 with their grandparents, so they have been delighted with all things Frozen.

When we had pulled up to the house and delivered the letter, Helena, who was also with us, declared that she would like to give Olaf a hug. I said, sure, I think that would be okay. I didn't expect her to destroy Olaf, but reminded her to be gentle nonetheless. Then, Stella decided she had to give Olaf a hug too. So I unbuckled her from her little sled, the buckle a key component to her feeling safe in a sled, a bigger one she won't do because there is no buckle.  And she walked her little feet over to Olaf and gave him a hug. With the biggest smile, she walked back to me and got back in the sled, and we went on our way. This was my delightful bit of joy for the day.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

The start of little bits of joy

I am in the midst of something that I would love to write about but can't online. It's kept me thinking that I shouldn't write at all on here. So I don't. But I think that keeps me in the darkness, and I need the light. So I had a long talk with a friend last night and she said that I should find little bits of joy each day. As yesterday was wonderful waking up to a fresh few inches of snow and just being surprised by it all, I was actually motivated to do things. I had prayed for motivation two nights ago and was given the grace of actually having it that day. But now for a bit of joy.

Ben had his first recital for his clarinet. He has only played it for about 3 months and so its still very new. However, he hemmed and hawed about performing and last minute decided that he would do so after his lesson the week prior. We showed up and there were only about 8 kids performing that day. A lot of them came later due to circumstances, so Ben became the third student to perform. He was very Ben in many ways, playing with the microphone, exploring the stage, putting together his instrument on stage when it was supposed to already be put together. But then he looked all around. He wouldn't start. I was trying to hang out in the back because Stella was being quite loud and angry as it was hangry tired toddler time. But I came into his sight and he sighed and said, "There she is." and then he started. It was a bit of a teary moment for me, to understand love in that way. Sometimes at almost 10 he is very tween like and wanting his independence, but in other things he still sees me as a comfort and this was one. Perhaps in his mind he just wanted to be able to play for me and for me not to miss it, but the whole sigh, that was my heart growth moment, and my little bit of joy.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

To the forest musings

Today was another day in the forest. I usually hate fall, the darkness, the cooler weather. Somehow, being outside in it, appreciating it for what it is, helps me to enjoy it more. And not all the societal must haves like pumpkin spice everything, and farm parks. I do enjoy a good corn maze however. Perhaps, for me just being outside and noticing things outside my normal realm of thought, things that go on whether I am looking or not, things of beauty to marvel at, those have a quality to calm me and make me realize its going to be okay.

Today in the forest, I was fixated on making a leaf mosaic, I encouraged the children to pick their favorites to put in and we made it together. Somehow, making that art was satisfying. Perhaps, I am a maker at heart. Somehow if there is order and balance, I can be at peace. I think today that I needed that peace.

The children surprised me in their own way in their making, not in the way I wanted to be, but instead of their own imagination. There were leaf beds and rock drums and log hotels and it was marvelous to see the creativity that went into their play scheme. As it is through play that they learn and it is so neat to see them carry it all out.

I realize at times, that volunteering in the position of director for our Cleveland chapter is a bit daunting at times, but I do think it is more rewarding than not and therefore able to be continued. Perhaps there will be a point when it is not so, but for now I like it. Connecting people in nature and witnessing children engineering their orchestrations and multi-age play and generations coming together, its worth it.

Monday, October 7, 2019


A poem for the Kit Lit Contest happening on Math Is Everywhere. 


by Kiera Kurak

Pumpkin Seed

Pumpkin Grown

Pumpkin Picked

Pumpkin Painted

Pumpkin Carved

Pumpkin Lantern

Pumpkin Pie


Image #7 from contest