Sunday, October 31, 2010


(a weekly sabbath puritan prayer) 



O Lord, 
Whose power is infinite and wisdom infallible, 
order things that they may neither hinder, 
nor discourage me,  
nor prove obstacles to the progress of Thy cause. 

Stand between me and all strife, that no evil befall, 
 no sin corrupt my gifts, zeal, attainments. 
May I follow duty and not any foolish device of my own.
 Permit me not to labour at work which Thou wilt not bless, 
that I may serve thee without disgrace or debt. 

Let me dwell in Thy most secret place under thy shadow, 
where is safe impenetrable protection from  the arrow that flieth by day,
 the pestilence that walketh in darkness, 
the strife of tongues, 
the malice of ill-will,
 the hurt of unkind talk, 
the snares of company,
 the perils of youth, 
the temptations of middle life, 
the moumings of old age, 
the fear of death.

 I am entirely dependent upon Thee
 for support, counsel, consolation.
 Uphold me by Thy free Spirit, 
and may I not think it enough to be preserved from falling, 
but may I always go forward, 
always abounding in the work Thou givest me to do.

 Strengthen me by Thy Spirit in my inner self for every purpose of my Christian life. 
All my jewels I give to the shadow of the safety that is in Thee
my name anew in Christ, 
my body, soul, talents, character,
 my success, wife, children, friends, work, my present, my future, my end.

 Take them, they are Thine, and I am thine, now and for ever.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cat in the Hat

This weekend we're off in western Massachusetts retreating with our small group from church. You can be sure I'm either making an apple pie, shooting a rifle, knitting or taking a zillion pictures of all of the picturesqueness that dwells at "The Old Homestead". But more on that later...

* * * 

I thought I'd leave you with a bit of Halloween cheer from the Kettle:

(When we first got Dmitri, my husband made one thing quite clear; we will never, never, NEVER dress up our how things change.)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sweet, sweet reunion...

My dear friend, Jeneil, and her daughters, Rhema and Hope have been without their husband and father for almost a year and a half.  This week, Brandon came home from serving in Iraq and he was able to surprise the girls at their school yesterday.  I was overjoyed to be be able to participate in this moment last night (thanks to Channel 7 can see the video here.) 

By far, the best moment of the week. 

Welcome home!

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

{this moment} - A Friday ritual
 Joining with SouleMama

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Library Jaunt

"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. 
Love of books is the best of all."
— Jacqueline Kennedy

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Transfiguration

Brian and I love being involved in the evening service at our church.  This service began by people who had a burden for making church more accessible. 

The leadership team desires to create a place where all people feel welcome, no matter their socio-economic class or cognitive ability. Every week, we try to create multi-sensory ways for people to learn about God and his Word. Sermons are done with power-points, often with images and movie clips, the bulletin includes large print and picture symbols, and the Bible readings are often done dramatically. 

Brian and I decided to do something special for the scripture passage for our most recent service. Brian read and recorded the scripture and wrote guitar music to correspond to each section of the passage.  I created small ink and watercolor paintings to illustrate the passage. Using iMovie, Brian put it all together into a multi-media presentation.

We really enjoyed creating this together and it fit so well with both of our gifts.  We are looking forward to doing more of these in the future. We are hoping that these pieces will be a great aide for learning, meditating on and memorizing scripture

Here's our first piece: "The Transfiguration".

Voice and Guitar: Brian James
Watercolor Paintings: Kerrie James

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


It's not really October 'till you have a pumpkin carvin' party! 
Our three-tiered masterpiece!

Monday, October 25, 2010


For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the nights,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson- 

Giving thanks to my great God, for...

861. getting through the week
862. my card from Jodi!
863. a trip to the library with the kiddos..
864. ..and a kind compliment from the librarian
865. our pumpkin creation
866. sifting through boxes of memories
867. my second grade journal (and Brian's face when I read it to him)
868. secret knitting
869. the James Journals - Autumn edition
870. camaraderie
871. Chris over doing laundry
872. brothers together
873. my brother, Jonny, back safe and happy from the Dominican
874. fall carving with the Henry's
875. tea time
876. playing my flute for the first time in a long time
877. my red fleece blanket
878. found art
879. salted caramel hot chocolate
880. colorful leaf storms
holy experience

Sunday, October 24, 2010


(a weekly sabbath puritan prayer) 



Lord Jesus, I sin. 

Grant that I may never cease grieving because of it, 
never be content with myself, 
never think I can reach a point of perfection.
 Kill my envy, command my tongue, trample down self. 

Give me grace to be holy, kind, gentle, pure, peaceable, 
to live for Thee and not for self, 
to copy Thy words, acts, spirit, 
to be transformed into Thy likeness, 
to be consecrated wholly to Thee, 
to live entirely to Thy glory.

Deliver me from attachment to things unclean, 
from wrong associations, from the predominance of evil passions, 
from the sugar of sin as well as its gap; 
that with self-loathing, deep contrition, 
earnest heart searching I may come to Thee, 
cast myself on Thee, 
trust in Thee, 
cry to Thee, 
be delivered by Thee.

O God, the Eternal All,
 help me to know that all things are shadows,
 but Thou art substance, 
all things are quicksands, 
but Thou art mountain, 
all things are shifting, 
but Thou art anchor,
 all things are ignorance, 
but Thou art wisdom.

If my life is to be a crucible amid burning heat, so be it, 
but do Thou sit at the furnace mouth to watch the ore that nothing be lost. 

If I sin wilfully, grievously, tormentedly, in grace take away my mourning and give me music; remove my sackcloth and clothe me with beauty; 
still my sighs and fill my mouth with song,
 then give me summer weather as a Christian.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Resourcefulness or Obsession? You be the Judge.

I mean, what's a girl to do when she settles into the passenger seat for her long commute and realizes that she misplaced one of her knitting needles? Not knit? I don't think so...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Early Morning Light

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

One reason I don't mind having to wake up so early: 
I get to watch the sunrise over the Atlantic almost every day.

(view from the Beverly-Salem Bridge)
 {this moment} - A Friday ritual
 Joining with SouleMama

Thursday, October 21, 2010

From the Art Room: Totem Poles

We've been working on totem pole paintings in art class this month.  My 5th graders are currently studying Native Americans so I thought that this project would be a great way to enhance our studies.

First, we talk about how some Native American tribes used totem poles to tell stories about their culture. For instance they might make a totem pole to commemorate a great battle or tell a family legend. Next, we talk about what kinds of figures mights appear on a totem pole. Humans? Animals? Monsters?

Next, we start the first part of the project; using acrylic paint to create the totem pole shape. 

Step 1. Fold your paper in half, the long way. 

Step 2.  Using a popsicle stick, dab coin-sized globs of acrylic paint along the fold.

Step 3: Fold the paper in half again. 

Step 4: Run your hand along the fold, so that the paint fills the entire fold, then use your fingers to squeeze the paint outward from the fold to create interesting shapes. 

Step 5: Open your paper again to find your symmetrical totem pole. 

Step 6: Leave your totem pole painting to dry for at least 24 hours (sometimes the acrylic paint can take a while to fully dry)

Step 7: After the paint is dry, use fine point sharpies to create details on your totem pole. Most people will quickly find interesting faces or objects within their totem pole that they can work from. Be imaginative!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Drummer

Last weekend I went on an autumn walk around Walden Pond with my husband and our red-headed brother. We stumbled upon it, actually. And what a providential place to stumble upon on a crisp October afternoon.

* * *

Thoreau wrote these words during his foray into these beautiful Concord woods:

"If a man does not deep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears..." (From Walden)

Thoreau wants us to be brave, courageous, self-reliant. To do what we feel is right. To rely on ourselves for understanding, wisdom and survival. To resist peer pressure. To be ourselves.

But, I've never been good at that whole self-reliance thing.

Yes, Thoreau, I DO march to a different drummer. But He is a drummer to whom I am completely abandoned to and totally reliant on. He is a drummer who loves me and takes care of me.  He is a kind, compassionate drummer; full of grace and mercy.

How I heard my drummer call as I rambled through those woods!


Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad, let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; they will sing before the Lord." (Psalm 96:11-13)

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world." (Psalm 19:1-4; Psalm 97:6)