30 June 2010

Katharine Shannon Wilkes

This is my lovely first cousin, Katharine. We share a name, though I've always been called Kit.
Katharine's body was found in the Mississippi River yesterday in Minneapolis. Whether her death was an accident or a suicide is unknown right now. Dear Katharine struggled with mental illness for her most of her adult life. She, and her parents, lived through many, many ups and downs, scares and scrapes. She was an actress and an artist.
This is what my mom wrote me in an email late last night:
My heart breaks for my sister. So devastating to lose a child however flawed or ill, accident or suicide, still the child was grown in ones body, torn from it at birth and has carried so much love and promise and hope and pride. How does one recover from such devastation? This news makes all other troubles seem small.

Please, if you pray, would you pray for my aunt, and Katharine's two brothers? And for her whole extended family as we process the death of one so young? She was just 35 years old.
When I spoke with John on the phone this morning (he's away), he just said, "Jesus, help." That is all I can manage to pray.

28 June 2010

Monday count up

It's Monday so I'm updating my list of blessings. I have more contributions from the children this week, as we've all been at home more, sitting at the kitchen table. So grateful for this season and for all the ways He cares.

0692 Lucy's callapitter
0693 neighbor kids over to our house
0694 the secret lives of children
0695 Lucy's grasses for a bouquet
0696 sunlight through sheer curtains
0697 cake in the oven
0698 late afternoon light in the summer
0699 tickling at bedtime
0700 skinny little girl arms
0701 grilling meat
0702 calendars
0703 new oven mitts
0704 hanging laundry on the line
0705 touch-up paint in the dreary back hallway
0706 Park Street School teacher breakfast
0707 my friend, Meda, and our kids together
0708 Bradley and Meda
0709 Lucy's tiny bathing suit

0710 Lucy and Jack (our next door neighbor) playing "family"
0711 lists
0712 good attitudes
0713 watermelon
0714 bike rides!
0715 breeze through the window!
0716 laughing with my children
0717 Walter's hilarious accents; the French one is the best
0718 Park Street School
0719 Tyler and Amanda...what a team
0720 the privilege of being let into someone's life
0721 dishwasher hum
0722 Red Sox on TV
0723 my BED!!!!!!
0724 coffee drinks/blender drinks
The rest of today's list comes from the children. Maybe you can guess who said which one?!
0725 World Cup
0726 Papa and Mama and I love them
0727 summer - NOT school
0728 The Karate Kid movie
0729 the pool
0730 watermelon and lime (the gourmand added this)
0731 Lucy
0732 vanilla
0733 grilled cheese
0734 hats
0735 memory foam
0736 Maine
0737 Texas
0738 Arizona
0739 New Mexico
0740 Massachusetts
0741 bacon (can you guess who?)
0742 the world
0743 nature
0744 the breeze
0745 summer
0746 Mom
0747 the freedom to make up a drink in the blender

holy experience

27 June 2010


This is from Amy Carmichael's Edges of His Ways, a devotional taken from her letters to her sisters and co-workers in her work in the Dohnavur Fellowship in India.
This is the devotional I have turned to most often over the years, and it has been a very great blessing to me. I HIGHLY recommend anything written by Amy Carmichael.
Additionally, today's writing fits in so well with what I've learned in A Praying Life by Paul Miller, another book I recommend heartily.

When we pray for something that we want very much, it is good to remember that our Father delights to give us much joy and so there is no need to press Him as if He were unwilling. To do that always seems to me to be unkind. It is as if we had not a very loving Father.
Yet He has told us to ask for what our hearts desire and so it is right to ask, and to ask earnestly, only with this "if" in the depths of our hears, "If it be Thy blessed will, if it be for Thy glory."

25 June 2010


A busy day of this

leads to needing this.

P.S. It was Lucy's first time on the trail-a-bike and she did great! We rode about 10 miles and she even pedaled a little bit. Hee hee.

24 June 2010

Our posse

Perfect summer day today. Relaxed morning with reading, a run, some chores, breakfast, taking John to the subway.
Then we loaded up for a trip to the North Shore to say good-bye to some dear friends who are leaving the seminary after 6 years. They lived across the hall from us in campus housing while we were there. We enjoyed them so much and are sad to see them leave the area. My friend Kerry will always be famous for her scones; I don't know how she does it, but they are amazing and delicious every single time she makes them!
Then back to the city to meet up with our best buddies.
Meda and I took our posse to see Toy Story 3 this afternoon. Can't beat a matinee that is only $5 per person! I laughed really loudly throughout the whole movie. In fact, Lucy told me to "stop that laughing" but I couldn't.
Then at the end Meda and I both cried and told our kids that they can never ever grow up. The end.
It was a hot muggy day today, but with a good breeze. I love summer, even the heat.

23 June 2010

Summer Dinner

Tonight's menu was made up by me! I don't consider myself a creative cook in the least. By God's grace, I am improving (what? it's only taken 15 years of marriage to begin to improve).

Watermelon salad: Fill a bowl with watermelon balls. Slice up some mint leaves and squeeze a lime over it. Done. And it tastes just like summer!

Chicken salad: I set out to make curried chicken salad, but opened the cupboard to discover that the curry powder jar was EMPTY! I also didn't have any grapes, which are so yummy in a chicken salad. Here's what I did.
Fill a bowl with shredded or cubed chicken (I had some in the fridge from a couple of roasters we cooked earlier). In another bowl, whisk together some mayonnaise, plain yogurt, a squirt of honey, some lime juice, toasted walnuts, chopped green onion and dried cranberries. In place of curry, I used something from Penzey's spice called Bangkok blend. Toss with chicken and add salt and pepper to taste.

The bouquet on the table was picked by Lucy today.

22 June 2010

Haircuts, some crying, and then a lovely afternoon

Today has been so lovely.
I love that I can get up at 6:30 and still have about TWO HOURS before anyone else gets up!
So this morning, I did my best work, worked out, did a bit of laundry and THEN everyone else got up.
First on the agenda was haircuts for two boys. Two boys who did not want their lovely locks shorn.
However, off we went to Fast Phil's (or, as Lucy calls it, Faster Phil's) for the $10 haircuts.
Walter went first, and though he was none too happy with me when I asked Phil to take a little more off the back, he made it through somewhat cheerfully.
Theo, on the other hand, with his thick locks now lying in piles on the dirty floor of Faster Phil's, exited the building and burst into strong and furious crying. You would have thought his life was ruined.
He cried hard all the way to the library (stop #2). His crying was such that Walter whispered to me, "I can't believe you can keep your patience with this." Score one for God and for me having done my best work earlier in the day.
I promised him Quiznos if he would stop crying. He whimpered, "Okay" and continued to cry.
Walter was especially encouraging to him and though I do not have an older brother, I imagine that there is nothing so wonderful in a younger brother's life than to have your oldest brother walk with his arm around your shoulders and pat you on the back and try to make you feel better. Score another one for God.
We spent a good long while in the library (Theo with his hat on), a place we have not been in a long while but somewhere I plan to frequent much this summer.
Then we walked across the street and got the promised sandwiches from Quiznos, walked back to the library grounds and settled ourselves under a shady tree, near a beautiful fountain and sculpture by Cyrus E. Dallin, our town's own artist.
We all read our library books and ate our sandwiches and Lucy flitted about in the shallow fountain. I look forward to more such afternoons in the weeks to come!

21 June 2010

The Longest Day and 1000 Gifts

Today is the longest day of the year! Hooray for summer and daylight and warmth and greenery and celebration! It was also, as Theo pointed out, "the first day that would have been a school day of summer". Got that?

We continue to count to 1000, making a list of the ways the Father tells us He loves us.

0669 coloring
0670 new markers
0671 food (Theo)
0672 chocolate cake (Theo)
0673 summer vacation (Walter)
0674 no school (Ben Barnes)
0675 freedom (Ben Barnes)
0676 civil rights (Theo)
0677 fathers (Walt and Ben...oh, and me!)
0678 me (Theo) (yes, he is thankful for himself)
0679 grandfathers, great-grandfathers, great-great-grandfathers, etc (Walt and Ben)
0680 coffee mugs
0681 being from Arizona
0682 my mom and dad
0683 our Papa being home from a trip
0684 his trip home to Texas
0685 John's grandparents
0686 70th wedding anniversaries!!!!!!!!!!
0687 Texas Hill Country
0688 lots and lots of cousins
0689 mornings like this:
0690 this guy and this girl:
0691 my porch tree house:

holy experience

19 June 2010


I just dumped out my purse.
What do the contents of my purse say about me?
Here's what I found:
1. two vintage Little People - the girl and the dad
2. one batting glove
3. one white cardigan, size 4T
4. empty band-aid container
5. wallet
6. hand cream
7. a Little League medal
8. a feather
9. a lollipop stick
10. two rubber bracelets
11. yellow bracelet
12. necklace that I bought in 9th grade to wear to a school dance
13. Korean pencil case
14. four different lip glosses
15. two used-up Dunkin' Donuts gift cards
16. my camera
17. several crumpled receipts
18. pad of paper
19. ticket stub from Lucy's ballet recital
20. pen
21. hair band
22. broken key chain
23. a little Altoids tin filled with ibuprofen
24. empty sun glasses case

What's weird in your purse?

18 June 2010


Today is the last day of school! Yahoo!
It is also Walter's last day at Park Street School. His last day to take the T to school. His last day for him and his two brothers to be at the same school. I suppose this could happen again if they all go to the same middle school/high school.
I'll post more pics later. Here are some from our ride to school on this lovely June day.
Walter is trying to contain his joy in this picture.

17 June 2010

6th grade

Last night Walter graduated from the 6th grade at his school; he is part of the school's third graduating class. This year is also the school's 10th anniversary!
It was a touching and sweet ceremony. Their teacher said a few words about each student (there are only 8 of them), the 4th and 5th grade choir sang and there was a wonderful speaker, a pastor from a church in Roxbury who exhorted the young people to think about ways that they might be used of the Lord to be answers to prayer.
Tomorrow is Walter's last day at this school, the one that rescued him from a VERY trying and demoralizing 3rd grade year in our neighborhood school.
I will never forget his first day at this school. I had been praying for him all day, as he was once again "the new kid" and had to find his way in a whole new setting.
As I approached him on the sidewalk at pick-up, I asked, "How was your day?"
"Great," he said softly. "Mom, can I go here next year, too?" His sense of relief was so great that he was already hoping he could stay in this place the next year! His comment wrenched my heart, and at the same time filled me with relief that he felt he was finally in a safe and encouraging place.
He wants to ride the T to school one last time, so tomorrow I will load all of up to ride the bus and the T for his last day!

We are so proud of you, Walter! You and your friends are a special group of kids and we're so thankful that you've had these last three years to grow and learn with them!
Mac and Timmy, 4th grade little brothers

Clayton and his friends in the choir. They are so cute.

This is Benjamin, Walter's best friend since they were two years old. SO glad they had these last three years to be in the same class!

Elizabeth, Ben, Pelumi and Walter
Finn (friend from last year), Walter, and Senorita Darrell, aka Big Meghann. She's known Walter since he was a baby in a crib!

16 June 2010

Rainbow Cupcakes

I sent these into school today to celebrate all the boys' summer birthdays!
Yay for cupcakes! Yay for birthdays! Yay for THIS BLOG (which I love) that gave me the idea!