november 23

We had a really, really nice day together. All nine of us, and the multiplied families we represent.

We played games, visited, ate food:

We cooked dinner while watching games of football being played in the yard:

Our table was stretched as long as it would reach, and then two more tables beside were set. Our house was filled:

And we ate:

And that was far from the end. We played ping pong, pool, foosball, and watched football:

Then there was a mini-birthday moment for Josiah, followed by lots of musical performances. The kids were adorable and talented!

Nine of us:

november 21

The boys are obsessed with Monopoly.

This week has been Thanksgiving vacation, because I said so. Jameson was thrilled when I told him so on Monday morning, and ran off singing, “I don’t have to do any Ma-ath!” Of course, he then proceeded to set out Monopoly, and has been adding and subtracting ever since. Don’t tell him how much ma-ath he’s doing, okay?

Yes, three mornings in a row. Extending long into the day, when Mama allows. (And a “new” corner, after I went on a little rearranging spree last night.)

Two days of just trying to get things crossed off has resulted in… well, not much. Ha! But regardless of how much gets “done”, there is always living that happens. I think I’m really starting to learn and appreciate that fact. Of course, waking up to a house in a cloud really helps one to just focus on the things (and lives) right here. I think I could use a few more cloud-wrapped days!

Our little house on a hill is wrapped in cloud this morning.

I rearranged lamps last night. And bookshelves. Bringing “cozy” into our home is one of my favorite things, and the highlight of the colder, darker months. Summer living happens outside, and the house becomes nothing more than the refueling station. But now, in these short days and long nights, fireplaces and chairs with afghans and books readily at hand — those things shine. Of course, those things are only tools: What’s really happening is an invitation to come, be together, pause, laugh, talk, rest.

The sun, trying its best.

We are talking about thankfulness lately. (Of course.) Thankfulness is enjoying quite the rise in popularity, as t-shirts and throw pillows and cross-stitched wall hangings remind us to love friends, be thankful for friends, count our blessings, and generally be positive about life. This all reminds me of something I read several years ago: The thing about thankfulness is that it inherently requires a recipient. When the pillow encourages you to “be thankful for family and friends”, who is it you’re thanking?

I want my children to not just see me being positive about the good things in life, but to hear me thanking God for His many blessings. My thank yous need to be addressed to the Giver, not some black hole of positivism.

This song is a favorite, and I’ve been appreciating the reminder to be vocal with praise and thanks.


Our house is dressed for Thanksgiving. We read a book — at least one, thanks to their popularity! — almost every morning to learn more about the Pilgrims. Our verse memorization has been heavy on the “rejoice”, “praise”, and “be thankful” theme.

And every time I look up — I mean, really shake myself awake from the fog that so easily surrounds me each day — I just can’t get over how much I have to be thankful for. This is a good start. Just a start. But a really good one.


November. Almost gone.

: A delivery of wide-plank antique heart pine flooring. Right now it’s occupying half our living space and means that our home is a bit topsy-turvy, but come January, it will mean a beautiful floor in our kitchen and family room.

: Lots of sewing for a homeschool musical. Dresses, tunics, leggings, wimples, and gobs of gold trim.

: A house renovation at my sister Brietta’s has meant a family of 6 here with us for a couple of weeks. It has been so. much. fun.

: Baking for Thanksgiving, and days at my parents’ house. Games, food, being together. And, of course, wanting to be more thankful.

: Watching a landscape turn gold and silver, and excitedly welcoming the first flurry of flakes (none of which bothered to stay long. Sad.)

: Replacing beautiful pumpkins with garlands and snowmen, special books and an Advent calendar. I kept it simple and focused on our hearth and mantel (see #1), but those red berries and pine cones are effectively ushering in a season of warmth, beauty, and Expectation.