Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A New Toy

No more lugging Mom's 30 year old machine back and forth between our houses...look what I got for my birthday!

I found this antique sewing basket on Ebay for $7!
When I got it in the mail, I found it full of very old sewing materials, too.

I got my pin cushion at a fair trade store in Portsmouth, NH.
It was handmade in Guatemala and I love it!

I'm seeing hours and hours of fun in my future..

Monday, August 30, 2010

"Hast given us joys, tender and true"

For thou who knowest, Lord, how soon
Our weak heart clings,
Hast given us joys, tender and true,
Yet all with wings;
So that we see gleaming on high
Diviner things.

-Adelaide Proctor

Thank you, Lord, for....

731. a James family gathering
732. flowers, fresh blackberries, tomatoes and new recipes
733. a new toy and a book to go with it
734. a date in a bag
735. getting through training week in one piece
736. a plan with my college girls
737. heart to hearts with Lizzy
738. organizing and planning my classroom
739. summer walks in Salem
740. postcard prayers
741. completed lists
742. Saturday night still-life painting date
743. a week to rest
744. Brian's selfless love
745. sweet goodbyes
holy experience

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Heart Corruptions


Heart Corruptions

O God, may Thy Spirit speak in me that I may speak to thee.
I have no merit, let the merit of Jesus stand for me. 
I am undeserving, but I look to Thy tender mercy.
I am full of infirmities, wants, sin; Thou art full of grace.

I confess my sin, my frequent sin, my wilful sin;
all my powers of body and soul are defiled:
a fountain of pollution is deep within my nature. 

There are chambers of foul images within my being;
I have gone from one odious room to another, walked in a no-man's-land of dangerous imaginations, pried into the secrets of my fallen nature.
I am utterly ashamed that I am what I am in myself;
I have no green shoot in me nor fruit, but thorns and thistles; 
I am a fading leaf that the wind drives away;
I live bare and barren as a winter tree, unprofitable, fit to be hewn down and burnt.
Lord, dost Thou have mercy on me?
Thou hast struck a heavy blow at my pride,
at the false god of self, and I lie in pieces before Thee.
But Thou hast given me another master and lord,
Thy Son, Jesus, and now my heart is turned towards holiness, 
my life speeds as an arrow from a bow towards complete obedience to Thee. 

Help me in all my doings to put down sin and to humble pride.
Save me from the love of the world and the pride of life, 
from everything that is natural to fallen man, 
and let Christ's nature be seen in me day by day. 

Grant me grace to bear Thy will without repining, 
and delight to be not only chiselled, squared, or fashioned, 
but separated from the old rock where I have been embedded so long, 
and lifted from the quarry to the upper air, 
where I may be built in Christ for ever.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

No Batteries...

 I always forget how much fun it is to fly a kite!  

This summer, we took the boys down to the park for some good old-fashioned kite-flying fun.  It made my heart glad to see them vastly enjoying something so simple (and without batteries). :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

This Moment

This Moment: "I-should-be-reprimanding-him-but-he's-so-cute-and-I-can't-stop-taking-pictures-of-him" Edition

 {this moment} - A Friday ritual
Joining with SouleMama:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sea Kettle Studios - Sister Edition

Speaking of sisters...

Within the past few weeks, I've had painting time with both of my sisters. We've had so much fun and I'm so proud of their work!

Katie had never painted with acrylic on canvas. She wanted to paint a picture of a sailboat for her boyfriend, Matt who had just bought a new sailboat. She was quite brave and her first painting lesson was a huge success!

Kimmie has always been very artistic, and last year we bought her a painting set, as she has always shown interest in it. She's painted a couple of paintings in the last year and on this particular day she finished one that she had been working on for a while. 

Aren't they great?!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Mom and Dad are driving the littlest one off to college today.

Kimmie's the first sibling to really go away away for college. Selfishly, I wanted her to stay, but she's always said that she would be the one to break the mold and test out uncharted territory.

I'm so proud of her and can't wait to see how her life shapes to God's will and plan...but I can't help but think that it won't be the same around here without her.(I mean, who else can fill a room with such an infectious laugh?)

* * *

The left-behind-sisters, wanted to do something to send her off, so we planned a couple of little "goodbye" projects. 

First, we made her lots and lots of hand stamped postcards. We used both my handmade stamps and some store bought ones and stamped one side of different sized colored paper.  On the other side, we simply drew some lines for the address and a line to separate the note from the address. Easy! Then all we had to do was buy some stamps, and make her promise she'd write!

Our second project was to put together a scrapbook of pictures and notes from all of her family members... logistically, this was a little tough, but so worth it in the end.

Love you Kimmie! We miss you already.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Great things about Erik

I had a group of kids a couple of years ago, that as a group, was very negative.
Most of the students had a very low self-esteem and negative comments flew across the room constantly not only at each other but usually toward themselves.

As a staff, we tried our best to shower them with positivity. It's so easy, as a teacher of kids with Asperger's syndrome(or any kids), to focus on the correcting the negative, rather than encouraging the positive. And boy did these guys need it.

It really got to a point where I felt that they needed to a constant reminder of things that were special about them, so I made a list and stuck to each of their desks with velcro.  

I have continued doing this since then and I just finished creating this year's group of encouragement cards.  I think it really made a difference for them to have a reminder that they ARE great kids and DO have many things about them that are unique and wonderful.

Are there ways that you can tangibly encourage the kids in your life this week?  (They don't know that you think these things unless you tell them. Right?)

Monday, August 23, 2010

"in the darkest spot of earth, some love is found"

I thank Thee, too, that Thou hast made
Joy to abound;
So many gentle thoughts and deeds
Circling us round,
That in the darkest spot of earth
Some love is found.

-Adelaide Proctor

Still counting my blessings, 1 to 1000.

716. secret sister plans
717. birthday surprises
718. Jonny, graduating
719. long naps and chicken soup
720. the end of summer camp
721. my new sewing machine
722. painting with Kimmie and crafting with Katie
723. knitting with Grandma
724. a mini Nantucket basket and a handmade necklace from my love
725. heath and oreo fro-yo
726. beautiful, temperate, end-of-summer days
727. kind and knowledgeable doctors and probable answers
728. a new adventure for Kimmie
729. hope (I just realized that I might write this almost every week...)
730. a lovely birthday bouquets from the dearest of friends and it's blooms that cheered me all week long..

holy experience

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Grace Active


Grace Active
O God, may Thy Spirit speak in me that I may speak to Thee. 
I Lord Jesus, great high priest, 
Thou hast opened a new and living way 
by which a fallen creature can approach Thee with acceptance.

Help me to contemplate the dignity of Thy Person,
the perfectness of Thy sacrifice, 
the effectiveness of Thy intercession.
O what blessedness accompanies devotion, 
when under all the trials that weary me, 
the cares that corrode me, 
the fears that disturb me,
the infirmities that oppress me, 
I can come to Thee in my need and feel peace beyond understanding!

The grace that restores is necessary to preserve, lead, guard, supply, help me.  
And here Thy saints encourage my hope;
they were once poor and are now rich, 
bound and are now free, 
tried and now are victorious.

Every new duty calls for more grace than I now possess, 
but not more than is found in Thee, 
the divine treasury in whom all fullness dwells.  
To Thee I repair for grace upon grace, 
until every void made by sin be replenished and I am filled with all Thy fullness.

May my desires be enlarged and my hopes emboldened, 
that I may honour Thee by my entire dependency and the greatness of my expectation.
Do Thou be with me,
and prepare me for all the smiles of prosperity, 
the frowns of adversity, 
the losses of substance, 
the death of friends, 
the days of darkness, 
the changes of life, 
and the last great change of all. 

May I find thy grace sufficient for all my needs.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Secrets in Cathedral Woods (and a winner!)

First things first. The winner of this...


Congratulations, friend! I'm so thankful for you and so glad that this little painting will find a home in your house. :)

(And in honor of the winner, I must put in a little plug for one of my favorite blogs about one of my favorite girls http://rhemashope.wordpress.com/  - be encouraged and greatly blessed!)  

And now, the secrets we found on Monhegan Island...  

Nestled in Cathedral Forest, there is a long standing tradition of making little faerie houses along the trail.  It was so fun to walk through this forest trail dotted with tiny structures made with bark, moss, sticks, leaves, pebbles and shells. The photos don't do them justice. I was amazed at the creativity and ingenuity of the artists, visitors and kids who created these beautiful little homes in the island forest. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

This Moment- My Old Man

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

(I think I married an old man...)

Joining with SouleMama:

{this moment} - A Friday ritual

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Monhegan Island

I was so incredibly enchanted by this place. 

The village was quaint and rustic, no paved roads and no cars. Small seaside cottages lined the streets, flanked by bright flower gardens. The hiking trails were beautiful, filled with secrets and opening up to large ocean vistas. There is an artist colony on Monhegan and painters were set up throughout the rocks and meadows... 

As promised, here is our photo-log of the beautiful 
Monhegan Island, Maine.

A few shots taken leaving Port Clyde and starting out on our way to the island...

The "Misty Mae" (this is for you, Katie and Kimmie! Is this lobsterman a volleyball fan?)

Bri, reading Anna Karenina on the "Elizabeth Ann"

Me, trying to stay warm.

There were so many little seaside houses hidden away looking out onto the ocean...

The Island...

On the wharf.

Lobster traps and the Atlantic.

Quaint little roads meant for walking.


Hiking trails. (there were some surprises hidden in these woods..I'll share these another day)

We hiked to the other side of the island and came upon the most gorgeous view!

We enjoyed the view, then set to work on our watercolor paintings.

Then we hiked to the island lighthouse.

Looking down on the village from the lighthouse.

Back in the village.

Island ropes.

Waiting for the boat to bring us back to the mainland (or "MAINE-land, haha)

Till we meet again, fair isle...