Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Wee Scarf

I was looking for a quick new knitting project for fall and found this easy pattern from Martha It was a great next step from the more simple projects I have been working on.  It's also a cute twist on a classic scarf. 

I love it, but it's a bit itchy. 
Anyone have any anti-itchy-yarn ideas for me??

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


One of my students asked me if he could use the label maker during his free time at the end of the school day. 

"Pleeease.", he said quietly. 

His head was down and seemed to already know what I'd say. I hesitated.

I knew the "responsible" and "teacherly" thing to say was, "No, buddy. That's only for the teachers to use... What would you need to label, anyhow? Why don't you go find someone to play with, I have some work I need to get done before the end of the day... No, this isn't the best time...go play."

Instead, I said "Yes".

*  *  *

I had forgotten all about our little interaction, until he shyly slipped me his label before he left for the day.  

I'm so glad I said "Yes". 

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Monday, September 27, 2010

O Give thanks to Him who made

O Give thanks to Him Who made
Morning lights and evening shade;
Source and Giver of all good,
Nightly sleep and daily food;
Quickener of our wearied powers,
Guard of our unconscious hours.

-Josiah Conder

781. "Thank Goodness it's Monday!" sermon -Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men... Colossians 3:23
782. a thoughtful and encouraging note
783. prayer
784. nursery duty
785. apple bounty
786. Newburyport date
787. large sunned sunrises
788. art store runs
789. a visit from Kendy
790. bowling with Liz and Joe
791. sleeping in 
792. british candy
793. mercy thoughts
794. Hugh and Laurie
795. protection
796. September
797. my neighborhood
798. Della and Bethany
799. redemption
800. night walks with my kind protector

holy experience

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Morning Dedication

(a weekly sabbath puritan prayer) 

Morning Dedication

Almighty God, as I cross the threshold of this day I commit myself, 
soul, body, affairs, friends, to Thy care. 
Watch over, keep, guide, direct, sanctify, bless me. 
Incline my heart to thy ways. 
Mould me wholly into the image of Jesus, 
as a potter forms clay. 

May my lips be a well-tuned harp to sound Thy praise.
 Let those around see me living by Thy Spirit, 
trampling the world underfoot,
 unconformed to lying vanities, 
transformed by a renewed mind, 
clad in the entire armour of God, 
shining as a never-dimmed light, 
showing holiness in all my doings. 

 Let no evil this day soil my thoughts, words, hands.
 May I travel miry paths with a life pure from spot or stain. 
In needful transactions let my affection be in heaven, 
and my love soar upwards in flames of fire,
 my gaze fixed on unseen things,
 my eyes open to the emptiness, fragility, 
mockery of earth and its vanities. 

May I view all things in the mirror of eternity, 
waiting for the coming of my Lord, 
listening for the last trumpet call,
 hastening unto the new heaven and earth

Order this day all my communications according to Thy wisdom, 
and to the gain of mutual good. 
Forbid that I should not be profited or made profitable. 
May I speak each word as if my last word,
 and walk each step as my final one. 

If my life should end today, let this be my best day.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Apple Picking

We took the boys apple picking yesterday. 

We walked and talked. 
We ate lots of apples.
We climbed trees.  
We dressed in plaid.
We balanced apples on our heads.  
We enjoyed some "indian summer" weather.
We had "apple eyes".
We worked through anxiety and made new friends.  
We sipped cider and sampled apple donuts.  
We were kind.
We marveled at farm animals.
We helped each other. 
We caught up with an old teacher and friend (see below!).
We enjoyed the autumn together.

It was a lovely day.
(until the bus broke down on the highway, 
but that's another story...

(My dear friend and former co-worker, Kendall, met us at the orchard. She had been a counselor in our class for the past couple of years, but left in August to finish up graduate school. I miss her dreadfully. I know she'll make a wonderful therapist, but I selfishly wish we were still spending 40 hours a week together. It's people like this who make going to work a lot of fun. And I hope my students realize that it's not everyday that you find such a knowledgeable, compassionate, understanding teacher as Kendall was.

 One of my students, Tommy, summed it up right before she showed up at the orchard:

Tommy: When's Kendall going to get here? Do you think you should call her?
Me: She'll be here soon.  Let's give her a couple more minutes.
New Student: Who's Kendall?
Tommy: She is the coolest girl. A really nice teacher. She is good at sports, really nice, really funny...and do you need glasses?! (I'm assuming that this means that she is nice looking...) :)

We miss you Ken-Ken!)

Friday, September 24, 2010


On Wednesday morning, one of my students gave me this wonderfully seasonal and scrumptious apple.

(Which reminds me. Wanna know how I'm spending my day? Just picking apples and drinking ciders with the boys! Oh, and a much-requested stop at the library on the way back... Fresh apples, cider, well-worn books, energetic little boys who love to read, autumn in New England..does it get much better than this?)

* * *

This Moment:  A moment that I'm pausing to remember and savor..

 {this moment} - A Friday ritual
 Joining with SouleMama

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Postcard Prayers

When I was a freshman in college, I had the opportunity to lead a Bible study of 6th and 7th grade girls. Throughout the years we grew together and I cherished the time I had with them. I had the wonderful opportunity to see them grow and change into beautiful women of God. 

These girls are now freshman and sophomores in college(where did time go?) and I was so delighted this spring when one of my girls called out of the blue and asked if we could meet again this summer.

(here we are on a jaunt to Boston, a few years ago..)

Despite our busy schedules, we did meet. We talked, prayed, shared, encouraged, reminisced. It was a wonderful time of reconnection with each other and with our God.

At the end of the summer, as we said goodbye, we decided that we still wanted to be praying and encouraging each other, even if we are so far away from each other all year long. This got us to thinking of some creative ways to do this...

One of our favorite pastimes was to write our weekly prayer requests on index cards and then trade them with another person so that we could remember to pray for them all week long. 

We thought, "wouldn't it be wonderful to do that again?" We quickly came up with the idea to send each other prayer postcards each month.  We vowed to make postcards, write our requests, as well as praises for answers to prayer, and send them to each other at the beginning of each month.  

I just sent and received the first batch of cards this week. I treasure these handwritten reminders to pray for these precious young women. As a former college student, I know how much it means  to know that you are loved, supported and prayed for during these formative years. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Blanket

I decided to finished my blanket...

Good-night! good-night! as we so oft have said
Beneath this roof at midnight, in the days
That are no more, and shall no more return.
Thou hast but taken up thy lamp and gone to bed;
I stay a little longer, as one stays
To cover up the embers that still burn.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The James Journals: 2nd Edition

The James Journals - Volume 1 - Edition 2

Monhegan Island, Maine - the end of Cathedral Woods Trail - August 11, 2010

(Read more about the James Journals here and here.)

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Monday, September 20, 2010

"I thank thee more that all our joy is touched with pain"

I thank Thee more that all our joy
Is touched with pain,
That shadows fall on brightest hours,
That thorns remain;
So that earth’s bliss may be our guide,
And not our chain.

-Adelaide Proctor

801. small group - laughing, catching up, encouraging
802. reading an old favorite together in bed..
803. ..and listening to his voice as he reads.
804. a scheduled fall retreat to the Old Homestead
805. "Come Thou Fount", loud and heartfelt
806. encouragement
807. mercy reminders
808. a lovely wedding and time with old friends
809. an old church, a barn, a hayride
810. surprise visit from dear friends
811. autumn nights, snuggled at home
812. hopeful answers
813. Dad's CAT scan that declared him finally "cancer free"!
814. fellowship with God's people and ministry dreams

holy experience

Sunday, September 19, 2010


(a weekly sabbath puritan prayer) 


Compassionate Lord,
 Thy mercies have brought me to the dawn of another day.
 Vain will be its gift unless I grow in grace, 
increase in knowledge,
 ripen for spiritual harvest. 

Let me this day know Thee as Thou art,
 love Thee supremely,
 serve Thee wholly,
 admire Thee fully. 

Through grace let my will respond to Thee,
 knowing that power to obey is not in me, 
but that Thy free love alone enables me to serve Thee.

 Here then is my empty heart, 
overflow it with Thy choicest gifts; 
here is my blind understanding, 
chase away its mists of ignorance.
O ever watchful Shepherd, lead, guide, tend me this day;
 without Thy restraining rod I err and stray. 

Hedge up my path lest I wander into unwholesome pleasure, 
and drink its poisonous streams; 
direct my feet that I be not entangled in Satan's secret snares,
 nor fall into his hidden traps. 

Defend me from assailing foes, 
from evil circumstances, from myself. 
My adversaries are part and parcel of my nature;
 they cling to me as my very skin; 
I cannot escape their contact. 

In my rising up and sitting down they barnacle me; 
they entice with constant baits; 
my enemy is within the citadel. 

Come with almighty power and cast him out, 
pierce him to death, 
and abolish in me every particle of carnal life this day.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

One Lovely Blog

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to announce
... a "One Lovely Blog Award". 

Phyllis, from "All Things Beautiful" awarded me this kind honor.  Thanks, Phyllis! Check out her site, she has so many great ideas and projects, especially for homeschoolers.  She is an inspiration!

(You can see the rules for this award at the bottom of this post. Of course, I chose the "Fun Rules")

Here are Three lovely things I'm sharing today:

1. This lovely fall weather we're having...
2. My husband, the sweetest person I've ever known
3. God's promises.

Here are three lovely blogs that I'm awarding:

1. Kit and Her Caboodle - Kit was my spanish teacher in high school. She is such a great Mom and shares some of their adventures here on her blog. She rocks! (and her daughter, Lucy, is pretty much the cutest thing ever)

2. The Home Economist - Another old friend from youth group days, Melissa is one of the craftiest people I know, especially with her sewing machine and knitting needles.  She shares great projects on her site.  

3. Cozy Little Cave - Tess is one of my best bloggy friends, we are similar is so many ways. She is a wonderful artist and shares tons of great ideas and projects on her blog.

Check them out! 


There are two sets of rules for this award.

1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.
3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they've been chosen.


The fun rules for recipients:
1. Put the One Lovely Blog award logo on your blog and/or in a new post.
2. In a new post, share 3 things you think are lovely
3. Pass the award on to 3 fellow bloggers.
4. Link the nominees within your post.
5. Let the nominees know they have received the award by commenting on their blogs.
6. Share the love and link to the person whom you received the award.

Late Bloomers

The morning glories have finally blossomed in Sea Kettle's gardens.  It took them awhile, but these beauties were worth the wait. 

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. 


 Psalm 57:5

Behold, our lovely September glories..

Friday, September 17, 2010

From the art room...

This Moment:  A moment that I'm pausing to remember and savor...

 {this moment} - A Friday ritual
 Joining with SouleMama

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I've always been a voracious trash picker (or is it "a prudent wife"? That sounds better!).  I don't know if it's like where you live, but around here, people are constantly throwing away wonderful, useful things. 

Some of my best finds in the recent years have been a beautiful oriental rug, an antique trunk, a desk and chair, and a large iron wall ornament. It makes me so happy to find free, discarded things and re-purpose them in a beautiful and meaningful way.

You can imagine my delight when my husband came home from a neighborhood stroll with some fantastic trash picks! I just love these shiny, ornamented, metal plates. Just gorgeous.

I can't believe anyone would throw these away..
their trash is definitely my treasure! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sea Kettle Studios - Teacher Edition

Presenting the latest painting from Sea Kettle Studios... 

This painting of West Beach in Beverly, Massachusetts was painted as a gift for my sister, Kimmie. She's been wanting recent painting for a while now and going off to college was the perfect excuse for me to get back into my paint and create something special for my sweet sister. 

We decided that I'd paint West Beach, to remind her of home. It was just sent in the mail to her dorm room in Pennsylvania so hopefully she'll figure out how to put it up with sticky tack!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


My dear friend and next-door-teacher called me into her classroom the other day to show me one of her student's work.

and as it tends to do,

multiple times a day, 

 my heart simply melted. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

"I thank Thee, Lord that here our souls..can never find a perfect rest"

I thank Thee, Lord, that here our souls
Though amply blessed,
Can never find, although they seek
A perfect rest;
Nor ever shall, until they lean
On Jesus’ breast.

-Adelaide Proctor

I'm thankful...

761. brisk, early fall days
762. Brian's gentle reminders to look at the clouds
763. first IEP meeting of the year - successful and complete
764. a new washer and dryer
765. early morning warmth
766. coworker comradeship
767. first week of school
768. Cole and Diana
769. sunrises over the bridge
770. Brian's middle-of-the-living-room-floor nap
771. early morning calls
772. Saturday morning cleaning with Car Talk and This American Life
773. hard work
774. sweet time with Josh and Rhema
775. Alice's way of telling a parable
776. Kushco soup
777. kitten games
778. my pen-pal's notes
779. Psalm 23
780. Matthew 11:25-30 - Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

holy experience