Sunday, December 16, 2007


g.t. and the halo express - hiding god's word in your hearts - this is from the early '90's generation and is another fantastic source. my mama bought it for the kids last year and we LOVE it!

a trip down memory lane...

does anyone remember psaltie the song book? or bullfrogs and butterflies? or the music machine? or antshillvania? well i just came across a site that you can buy all of the above in complete sets (they even have charity churchmouse t-shirt and skirt and vintage coloring books from way back in the '80's!) i grew up singing "have patience" from the music machine and i was just singing it to the kids yesterday b/c someone was in a bad mood (which of course you can't really stay in after singing that song!) so this morning i decided to search the mighty web for clues to this treasure of bible songs and stories (which of course we all listened to on vinyl back in the day!) the web does not dissappoint! here are the two sites:

so enjoy these sources for fantastic christmas presents for your kids or friends! let all the wonderful, warm childhood feelings come back to you. i can't wait to get these in our home!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


dec. 4th, 2005 around 8:30am (right about now as i am typing) my little brother (then 17 years) went home to be with Jesus. i miss him so much. this day is so memoriable. i will call my folks and my brothers. i will probably cry a lot. pray a lot and in the end - know and be aware that MY REDEEMER, HE LIVES. i will worship Him b/c what he says is true. he has conquored death and the grave. he is KING and the LIFE GIVER. i will see my dear brother again. i will see him in a completely redeemed state. oh happy day!!!!

i want to send out my thanksgiving to all our dear church family and friends in california and family and friends all over who have stood with us during this time of grief and suffering before and after jesse passed. the meals, the prayers, the worship and the deep compassion was grace immeasurable to our family. this day means that i miss all of you too. love, esther

Monday, November 19, 2007

schedules and expectations

its coming on that time where graham's semester is starting up for his master's - meaning we'll be seeing him about 2 hours out of the day for dinner and bathtime. he'll go to work around 7am and then get home at 5pm and then go back to reading or writing either at his desk (if he can get work done with all of us around:) or back the war college until midnight or so. we had a nice 2 month break to travel to cali and to move and now its back to work. i did so much better when i knew what he needed of his time and what i could expect from him for help. it didn't always run smoothly but for the most part once we had laid it out we were good to go and we were a well-oiled machine. we always went on an after dinner walk to the water but now that its chilly and dark aby 4pm we'll see if we can do the walk ... perhaps i will be taking the kids to the park after the dark with flashlights. maybe this will be our "treat" to look forward to - just getting some fresh air and new scenery. i feel as though we are still "in flux" from the move but its getting more organized and with my folks coming for thanksgiving we can get some extra help with the dejunking and putting away. i am really hoping that within a month we'll be completely "moved in" and feel "at home". i know that when things have a place and i can clean more easily the whole house will smell more cheerful. my friend shelly had a nice candle lit on her counter and it made the whole house smell so good. i think i will be doing the same. of course the christmas tree and decorations are coming out the day after thanksgiving at our home - so that will be fun. somehow i need to get a visit to the y at least a few times a week for my own sanity and health.

well its off to the park for now to meet up with friends. we had the pattersons and the fortunes over for supper last night and we had a blast! its so fun that will and shelly know my brother and kyla so well. we are pretty stoked about the pattersons too - they are living in our old home and we think they are great - plus they are from HAWAII!! got to love all that warm, aloha spirit.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

jesse's birthday

just a few days ago on nov. 15th would have been my dear brother, jesse's, nineteenth birthday, had he not passed on to the Good Country almost 2 years ago. i had meant to blog about it b/c i was really feeling sad but you know how life is having just moved in and having three kids who keep one so busy ... so here i am on sat afternoon, blogging. half the fam is asleep in our bed next to the computer. we all got naps today. we all needed naps. poor kyrie woke up at 4:15am and then threw up. then when rhys got up she felt bad too but pretty much just laid around all day (sprawled on one parent or another) and was very sad about a stiff neck she had. i have been pumping them with tylenol on the clock and hoping that we can just sleep what ever bug we have off. (incidentally, we all had the flue mist and shot -- just ransom -- a few days ago so that might be the source of the funk.) its already past 4pm and its nearly dark outside. i am not a big fan of this early darkness. but my inner optimist longs for something fun to make it the best part of the day - perhaps its a yummy dinner simmering on the stove or a project for the kids, or a general feeling of peace (like when all the boxes are empty and my junk -- half of what is down in the basement -- has made its way into the goodwill) and i can work on something creative -- like the brilliant idea i just had this morning around 5am when ransom woke up after rhys and kyrie had finally gone back to sleep - b/c of course poor rhys was up too in the wee small hours:) this brilliant idea is going to make its way in to our handmade christmas gifts. i can't wait. it involves paper and i just love LOVE paper and stationary. in fact that is one of my most favorities types of stores to spend idle time in - stationary stores and of course book stores. speaking of books - i am reading michael pollan's the omnivores dilemma - wow - its amazing. a must read. especially as the food begins to pile up at the holidays. what are we having for dinner? & what is it exactly that we are eating? where does the food really come from? this might be up there with my other life changing book - eating more with less, which i have mentioned earlier in my blog site.

there. that felt good to write all that and not even interupted. and now i am going to rescue my husband's things from ransom - who is the Rummager!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

greetings from 5th ward

has it really been a whole month since i wrote on my blog? ugggh - i have missed you so much. we are seperated no longer.

today was a good day for us. i did some more unpacking (so we did move two weekends ago and continue to unpack each day, purging what is not essential ie. what we didn't know we had and havn't seen in a year!) and the usual preschool drop off/pick up. these days i am trying desperately to save all my energy for the kids and graham. since we were in california for my brother's wedding and then getting back and four days later moving across town, i thought about and reevaluated my lifestyle as a mother and the keeper of the home. i am going to be taking a break from all my extra activities (play group, bible study, mom's club events etc.) to make life simpler and less hectic around here. my two youngest are in a transitional period that requires a lot more mom-power. rhys has had a very tough month dealing with the change of traveling and then moving. she still says she wants "to go home to the yellow house." she needs a stable, easy home environment with as little in the car and running around as possible. ransom is needing to keep his daily nap schedule for everyone's sanity. he goes down around 9-9:30am and then again at 2pm. its really important that the kids get settled in to our new home and that means time out from everything else. there is a time for everything and a season - this season that our little family is in is a good time. its a time to circle the wagons and prioritize. its good to leave a field fallow for a time. later on the ground is rested and able to yield a harvest of bounty. i hope that all my friends who read this will understand. this of course does not mean i will not be getting together with friends, but for a time i am needing to lay low and rest from outside committments.

Friday, October 12, 2007


we are moving ... no not to another town, but across town. reasons being: we can save some money on our rent as we have not sold our house in ocean beach (please pray that we can SOON!). so we found a wonderful fit for us in the 5th ward and we feel that it was an answer to prayer. graham was able to find renters from the war college to move in to our home on braman and assume the rent. praise god!

we'll be moving the first week of november, right after we get back from 10 days in so. cal. for my brother's wedding. i just spoke with my future sister in law, tiffany - she is so wonderful. we love her! so i have much to do to keep me busy for the next big events.

its lovely fall in full swing here. i will be posting some pictures of our beautiful 'mums and pumpkins and the sites we see around us. the other day on a walk with our neighbors, the kids had a pumpkin siting. preschoolers love to find big bright orange pumpkins!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

first steps

ransom took his first steps today (to me!!) in the presence of daddy and sisters. he has been standing up and balancing really well the last week and wouldn't you know it paid off. what fun to see him with a big grin of satisfaction (i did it!). he is also waving hi and said "hi da da" to graham yesterday. he is so interactive. such a reward.

technical difficulties

i need to the expertise of my dear husband to help me shrink the images - sorry about the weirdo pictures!

pictures from birthday

will be forthcoming...

late night camping

kyrie fell asleep this afternoon and had a pretty long nap - which she usually doesn't take - thus by the time 7pm rolls around she is pooped. as i said, she had a good long snooze so while rhys was out as soon as she tucked in to her bed, kyrie was wide awake and telling me she wasn't sleepy. i told her ok you can stay up another hour and play quietly in your room. she decided to have a 'camp out' in the hallway with all of her dolls. i have posted some pictures of her campsite. what an imaginative child. i love seeing her play. i keep thinking that i am seeing myself as a child, while i watch her. enjoy these snapshots in to kyrie's late evening adventure.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

weaning weany

ok so i couldn't take the 3 days of engorgement (my attempt at cold-turkey weaning of ransom, age 1 year). so tonight i said okay to a non-dairy diet and yes to stopping the agony of the enormous breasts which hurt like huge bruises everytime something touches them. i expressed using my pump and then woke the little guy up to get the rest out. oh man do i feel like a new woman. you ask - what made me decide to stop this madness? i got myself some edjucation. i started reading some web sites about weaning etc and i realized that i had not really planned out this undertaking. the best way to wean him is to do it gradually. my mom had suggested this but i bull-headedly plunged ahead with the all or nothing regimen. i lost a good 5+ lbs. cutting dairy out of my diet and it wasn't that bad. i just have to be more creative and careful about our diet. anyone for ezekiel bread? (this stuff is super yummy - dairy free - and is so good for you!) and tonight i will sleep in comfort. oh joy. thank the lord that babies are incredibly forgiving. poor little fellow. he didn't know what was going on but was a good sport. hardly complained but boy was he happy to be back on the breast. when i initially tried to nurse him (after waking him up) he was not happy. i thought oh man - i did it - i successfully got my son to reject me. but then i offered it again and yep he took to it. thank you jesus. so the nursing saga continues.

check this out!

as most of you know, my friend alston wise designed ransom's birthday invitations. she has a web site up for her stuff. check it out. her stuff is terrific. this mama has talent!

my boy

yes sir my boy ransom is 1 year old now. we had a fabulous birthday party on sunday (also celebrating marmie's 54th birthday too!) i'd say there were at least 30 + people there. we had salve kids, cousins from new hampshire, friends from church, playgroup, preschool, family down up from annapolis, and neighbors. we had chili and dogs and then everyone brought something yummy to share. graham made an ice tea bar in our wet bar. it was really cute - he had signs for each kind of speciality tea and bowls of fresh mint and spearmint from our garden. i can't wait to post the pics. natalie made the most delicious cake ever - dulce de leche cake from argentina. i have requested it for my birthday. ransom blew out (well actually marmie, rhys and i blew out his candle) his wish on a cupcake topped with cool whip (as we have now confirmed his eczema is caused from an allergy to milk, although the peanut did not come up on his skin test, only on the blood test.) graham played happy birthday on the piano - and the kids all gathered around. we had our dear friends from boston - the wises. truly it was a wonderful afternoon. the lord helped me with my usual pre-party meltdown. i was able to take it easy b/c natalie had me organized and there were so many who were helping out. the credit goes to natalie, graham, annie (our neighbor), mark and rebecca, and all who brought food, the salve kids and the weather man (God of course). oh yeah did i mention the weather was gorgeous? 75 and sunny - a spectacular autumn day. we prayed that it would be a party where all felt loved and welcomed. our prayer was that those who came into our home would feel the warmth of christ. that the kingdom would be rushing in around us.

i got a bit emotional (didn't cry) thinking about ransom's birth and all of the memories of that time last year - i can't believe its already been a year. not only that but the bittersweetness of the day was heightened b/c i weaned him cold turkey on sat evening. so i was in some serious pain throughout the day. its been 3 days and i am still pretty soar. he seems to be doing fine. i am making a special effort to hug him and be close before i lay him down for naps or bedtime in his crib.

Monday, September 17, 2007


we have returned from our little week down in annapolis (with a short dinner over at Eli and Allisons in NYC!!). it was a lovely week - very low key. since we have had so much company this summer i decided to take it easy and not see anyone down in md. so that is what we did. the kids were so good. (although it sure is nice to have my hubby with us - he came on the weekend for the navy reunion.) seems like the kids need their dad so much. so i am thankful for graham once again.

i started a sewing project - a tutorial. rebecca walked me through making skirts for the girls. there is one that is almost complete and one that is cut out but hasn't been sewn. i made them out of blue and white ticking and will do some embroidery on the hem. of what i am not sure. maybe their names - maybe a short phrase like "jesus loves the little children". something creative and out of the box. however in order to finish these new skirts i have to get in touch with the lady from craig's list who sold me the machine. oh yeah did i mention that (not knowing diddly about machines etc.) i bought the machine without the foot pedal. yep - so i can't use it yet. ugggh. pray that the lady returns my phone call. thanks all. if not - i shall have to order one online which will make my 'great deal' not so great. note to self - be patient when buying something. take your time - especially when its used/found on craig's list.

in other news: we'll be putting any money we make on household items we post on craig's list, towards discretionary things ie. watercolors for the kids, new school shoes, contacts for me, dansko clogs for me, some new make up, and a new toilet bowl plunger (one that ransom will not get into!!:) yep we need to sell a bunch of stuff and i am going to try and see how far the new 'play' money will stretch.

in other news: our dear friend michael who lives around the corner is joining kyrie for school tomorrow and we are all very excited!

i am sure that my posts will be more frequent now that we are home. i will try and post some pics from our trip. ttfn.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

a little bit more summer

the kids and i are down in annapolis with graham's folks for the week. graham will join us next weekend for his 5th year reunion from the academy! its so lovely here on the west river. its still summer. a bit muggy on some days. cicadas. mosquitos! sunshine. playing in the rubber pool. sunscreen. we are enjoying it so much b/c its nearly full fall up in newport. we love it but miss the lingering summer down in the mid-atlantic!

today we planted bushes together around the house. there will be some wonderful black eyed susans and gardenias next year. we went into a little waterfront town for some food. mom-mom and pop-pop were down for a visit yesterday and left today. they wanted to visit us b/c they won't be able to make ransom's 1st birthday. oh my goodness i need to make sure i have a reliable list of who is coming! its going to be a sun weekend. we'll be making football tailgater food. perfect for the autumn weather we have been having.

tonight rebecca and i (mother in law) are going to joanne's fabric (ooh i need to print up the coupon!) to check out some fabric and patterns. i want to make some skirts for the girls this week.

signing out to you'll. i will try and add some pics soon of our trip down south.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

the blessings

oh the blessings of having k in preschool for a few hours each morning: i was bathing all three nakie babies tonight (graham was up in cambridge for a meeting) and i realized that i was NOT exhausted. ok so i did have a little nap this afternoon but i have done that before and been almost not able to move while bathing, drying, diapering and dressing the kids. yep pretty much just peel me off of the bathroom floor after a loooonng day.

but today was different. it really was a break. thank you jesus.

Preschool Day 1

Today I took Kyrie to her first day ever of preschool. She is attending a little Christian non-denominational preschool that we found near us. Its better then I ever imagined for her. The Lord really handpicked it for us. She already has a friend from church that is in her class. I felt like it was Christmas morning. I think what made me most excited was knowing that she would love it so much! Her teacher Miss Carrie said she fit right in. She said she just acted like she had been going to school all along.

Rhys had a hard time saying goodbye to Kyrie. I think she'll be my challenge now. The transition might be a bit tough but this will be good for me to have more time with her and with Ransom. I am going to make up a weekly schedule since we have so many activities going on now! I guess this is the beginning of all of "that" - carpool line, homework, school supplies etc. Its wonderful and I am blessed to be able to have found a school so tailored for Kyrie.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

proud owner

i am now a proud owner of a kenmore sewing machine. hardly used but rather dusty. i can't to start using it. we went all the way (OFF THE ISLAND!) to cranston to pick it up. i discovered on our way there the little village on the pawtucket. so we stopped for some lunch in a local coffee house/eatery. this village is darling. we made the most of our trip and i had ransom in the maya wrap and each girl by the hand since i had left our 2x jogger on our porch (thinking that i wasn't going to need it!!) we walked by the water and went to a lovely town park. then hopped back into the van and drove home. all three babes were sound asleep.

now i am making a list of projects i want to work on with my new purchase!

childhood/toys/education thought for the day

"The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things."- Plato

i found recently and thought you'll might enjoy their quote. this might be my new favorite kids site. cheers!

love this quote

"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away,And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall."- Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Monday, August 27, 2007

A New Name by Graham Plaster

Tonight we went for another family walk, down to the basketball court by the Goat Island bridge. It was spectacular. The sun was waning, casting that glow of nostalgia across the kids faces that evokes so many feelings of childhood in me. I had brought a soccer ball for the kids and a basketball too, which feels so natural in my hands, despite it being over 10 years since I played on a team. I rolled the ball to my son, Ransom, who is now almost 11 months old. While sitting, he picked it up with both hands over his head and opened his mouth wide as if to shout some triumphant word, but the only sound was the glorious beat of his toothy, infant smile. He bounced the ball on the grass once, watching it roll away from him and then leaned forward, easilly transitioning into a crawl after the ball. Fast break. I watched the game, enthralled. I called, "Ransom...Ransom." I was right behind him, but it seemed as if he hadn't heard me. He was looking at the ball. When he finally responded to my voice by turning back towards me on his haunches, he had to squint. The sun was behind me. He smiled and then turned back towards the ball. I heard my voice in my own ears, "Ransom...Ransom." I felt as though I was hearing my own name called by God and thought how natural and yet new it would seem to hear his voice call me in the same way. Would I turn immediately or would I remain entranced by the world, that fascinating ball that spins before my eyes. Would he call me Graham, or would he rename me, like so many of his friends in history? What would my new name mean to Him? What would it sound like on His tongue? It is not so much the combination of consonants, vowels and syllabals that my son recognizes as his name. It is my voice - which is a much more complex and intimate signature of our relationship really. At this stage in his development, there are a lot of words that I could say to him that would have about the same meaning as his name: "turn around and look at me". Maybe this is one of the things Jesus meant when he said we had to have faith like a child. When we hear his voice, no matter if if takes the form we expect, he is hoping we will turn, smile and respond.I know that Ransom is too young to remember this day. Perhaps I will lose it too as a distinct memory, and it will be folded into the mental scrapbook of holy moments - epiphanies and exquisite beauties. On second thought, those are the moments of my life that I remember most clearly. The moments when something truly real broke through the facade and I was made aware of the superficiality of certain other things. The moments when I heard His voice, turned and smiled.

its official

tomorrow i am picking up my new sewing machine!!! $35 off of craig's list!! i was so excited that i dove onto my moutainous pile of clean clothes on the bed. yeah not the most comfortable place to jump - slightly lumpy and coarse (as we are not using any more dryer sheets.)

now i am on the move to find material and projects!!!

a family culture of reading

one thing that i did not add to the handmade christmas post was that we will always give books to our children as gifts - we want them to love reading and to be encouraged even as toddlers to love books. when the kids are older we would like to take "reading vacations" where we all bring tons of books and just sit in little corners or nooks wherever we are (ie the sail boat or beach house) and read. i think that this sounds like one of the most wonderful ways to spend time together. of course there will be plenty of discussion b/c we will all want to know what the others are reading and thinking. it does no good to just read, one must verbalize and share to really learn and appreciate the written word.

reasons for a handmade christmas cont.

7. we don't need a whole room of presents - we have really tried to limit the amount of gifts we give to the kids so that we can focus on enjoying the presents more and also teaching that it is better to give then to recieve. so many times kids get mountains of toys etc and then end up not playing with any of it but one or two toys. we want to establish this lesson early on in our family culture. we are not nazi about this by any means. this rule is really for our immediate family and does not apply to our friends or extended family. (although i am hoping the no plastic/noisy toys can be embraced by friends and family.)

handmade christmas

in my desire to embrace more with less, our family is planning on having a handmade christmas. what i mean is we are giving gifts that are either made by ourselves or handcrafted by another. this could include wooden toys, poetry, books, stories, sewn items, food, paintings/pictures etc. i am so excited. now i just have to find a cheap sewing machine on craig's list and i am golden.

reasons why:

1. encourage better use of our time (ie do i really need to watch another bad tv show on our one channel?)
2. encourage family sharing of talents, ideas and creativity - thus leading to more family time together
3. learning new skills ie sewing etc.
4. no more plastic and noisy children's toys - we have intentionally put a limit on these particular toys to keep our house uncluttered and relatively noise free (of toys that is!). anytime we recieved noisy toys, batteries were never used - the kids don't know that the toys make noise!! (shhhh our little secret)
5. avoid the aweful lead poisoning scares from the toys made in china
6. the potential reuse or recycling of objects to be made into gifts

i am really looking forward to this fall's preparation for our first ever handmade christmas (which we will be having here in rhode island!)

a borrowed quote from a friend's blog

There are two ways to get enough: one is to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less. –G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, August 23, 2007

simple living

i have been reading more with less by doris janszen longacre (author of the more with less cookbook). my mom used her cook book back when she was first married and had little ones. its a 'pattern for living with less and a wealth of practical suggestions from the worldwide experiences of mennonites.' i started reading this b/c i have been drawn to publications such as real simple magazine and blogs about simple, green living but i wanted to find out where jesus is in all of this. what is the reason behind simplifying one's life and life choices? is it merely to 'feel good' to feel zen?

When someone steals a
man's clothes
we call him a thief.
Should we not give the
same name
to one who coudl clothe the naked
and does not?
The bread in your
belongs to the hungry man;
the coat hanging unused
in your closet
belongs to the man
who needs it;
the shoes rotting in your closet
belong to the man
who has no shoes'
the money which you
hoard up
belongs to the poor.
- Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea, c. 365

more postings to follow.

moby wrap

so the last 2 days i have been wearing ransom in the moby wrap. he loves it. i havn't used it in months b/c i thought he would be too big. then i remembered that i have seen other babies older then he in their carriers and i thought i should try it again. i know that wearing your baby gets better and easier with practice. i tested this theory out. yesterday i put ransom in the wrap and the girls were in the double jogger. we walked all the way to the library and it was awesome. he got a nap in too. i have hands free and kyrie can ride in the jogger. she has been getting tired on long walks (do you remember having short legs?) then today i put him in for our evening walk and he was so excited to be close to me. he LOVES it. he doesn't cry or complain when he is with me. (its hard to juggle three kids when there is always someone who wants to be close). he was patting my arm again and hugging me. so precious. i am thinking - gosh i missed out on this bonding with him. well not anymore. ransom has found his spot.

so here is where i put a plug in for the place i bought the moby wrap. rediscover the art and enjoyment of wearing your baby.

patient persistence

the last few days kyrie has been patiently and persistently asking me to make chocolate chip cookies (well mainly b/c i had suggested that we do this, but then having had a stiff neck for the last week, have been putting it off). so while i was making supper, we girls got out the recipe from cook's illustrated. they love "helping". kyrie likes to have a "yittle taste" of the brown sugar. and then after i give her a pinch she said, i am still "real hungry". translated 'i want some more please.' i was able to stave her off. of course, each girl was given a few chocolate chips to tide them over til spagetti time. they were delighted with the process of the cookie making.

after our evening walk, i came back and put the cookies in the oven. they were sure to remind us that we hadn't had our cookies yet. we read a story in the living room until the cookies had cooled a bit and then i said ok go sit at your table. (we have a little white table and 2 chairs near the dining table for the girls to use.) i brought them over and they were so so happy. i wish you could have seen their dancing faces. kyrie said oh mama these are so yummy, thank you so much for making them for us. and rhys said thank you mama with a big chocolate grin. now i ask you - can it get any better than this? that was a moment i live for. that is my reward. that is my roth ira/401k plan. i am storing up treasures in heaven.

Thank God for bees

so this afternoon the sun came out!! yippee. i was making yummy spagetti for supper and went out to the garden to pick the ripe cherry tomatos (which the girls were feeding to a very happy but seedy ransom!) for the salad. (and on my way remembered our fresh oregano and basil plants and pulled a few leaves for my sauce!) the girls were out with me puttering around outside and we sat down on the steps. we sat b/c we discovered a very large, velvety bumble bee that had fallen "asleep" on the step. i picked him up, making sure that there was no stinger. he was beautiful. the girls and i discussed how pretty he was and how the lord had made him so special. and then we talked about how special and unique they were to him as well. it was such a lovely, teachable, sunny moment for us. they wanted to sit on my lap and kiss me. rhys has been talking so much more and giving us new words left and right. asking questions. making statements. discovering the bumble bee was a gift given directly from the lord for us.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

goodbye summer

yesterday i smelled burning leaves in the air. of course it smelled delicious and conjured all sorts of moods and feelings for me ... but it also meant (along with the glorious crisp, cooler and clear blue skies) that summer is waining. we are seeing a few more leaves (crackled and dry) on our lawn out back. i wore a fleece while we ate dinner outside by the grill. there is just something different about outside. the summer hydrangeas are starting to look dried and antiqued. when i went to walmart the other day there were aisles devoted entirely to school supplies. sharpened pencils, crayola markers and crayons and chubby pink erasers. they are all on sale so i am going to restock our art supplies (we go through water colors and markers at an alarming rate around here!) let me say that it is a bittersweet realization for the plasters. summers are our favorite. having lived in hawaii and san diego we are just used to the sunshine and the warm days. now summer days are a luxury. since the beach is the best place for kids we'll have to find more haunts as the days grow shorter and chillier. i think that we will still have adventures - in fact i am sure of that fact - we'll just have to get more creative. we joined the redwood athenaeum children's library. i think this might help things tremendously in the months ahead.

but for now i will savor the cherry tomatoes as they pop in my mouth (the ones from our very own backyard garden).

good night all ... and christ's peace be upon you!

Friday, August 17, 2007

summer salad recipe from soule mama

Orzo Salad with Corn, Tomatoes and Basil

2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 cup uncooked orzo
2 cups chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 cups fresh yellow corn kernels
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion

Prepare all dressing ingredients and place in a jar. Cover tightly and shake thoroughly. Prepare orzo according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl. Spoon half of the dressing over the orzo; toss to coat. Let cool to room temp. Add the remaining dressing, corn, tomato, onion, and basil to the pasta. Let stand for atleast 30 minutes.

my knitting and other thoughts today

so i have this incredible urge to be creative and to have some sort of craft that i can do with odds and ends and bits of this and that - like sewing (i am currently on the look out for a second hand sewing machine!) or embroidery -- i am an avid fan and reader of soule mama's blog and envious of her life really ... check her out! i was reading about her knitting and she had the most encouraging entry concerning knitting projects that don't seem to get completed, which reminded me of the scarf i am still "knitting" for my mama for this past mother's day (sorry mom!) i started getting down on myself for not being able to finish projects (like the knitting, the albums for the kids, snapfish gifts that are still unpaid for and unsent etc etc.) and then i read this: (i give the credit to soule mama)

"For seven years - since I started knitting - I've always carried a knitting project with me. I bring them in the car, and they move about from bag to bag (gathering crumbs of food along the way). Just waiting. Waiting for that five minutes that I'm sitting in the car with sleeping children. Or for that reaaally long train in front of us. Or for the (oh, so) few moments that all three babes are happily engaged without me at the beach, playground, woods or wherever we are. And those moments where knitting actually happens are heavenly. Worth the wait. But I started to think about the number of those moments where I actually do knit, and how relatively small that is compared to the number of hours that the yarn travels with us. It's pretty small. Really small. If I had to put a number on it, I'd say about 2%. That's a lot of travelling for that yarn, and not so much action. Which at first I thought might be a bit ridiculous, but the more I thought about it (it was a long walk), the more I liked the idea. That there's always a presence of something being made, of a creation in progress, of the work of handmade. I've got to believe that it's instilling some sort of value in all of that, and that ultimately (bear with me here), the 'energy' of the kids sock (or whatever it may be) is all the more 'full' for having 'lived' with us for so long. And the beautiful thing about that yarn is, it's so patient. The very nature of knitting isn't one of rushing, or quick results. And so, it's presence serves as a reminder of that for me. It says: The yarn will be there. The project can wait. Take a deep breath. Play with your kids."

don't you just love that? she really lives. which is what i want to do - live, simply, well, joyfully, Godly, peacefully. why is it such a labor to have these disciplines in my life? shouldn't my day start with the Lord first, i think so. so that i can get my priorities in order (b/c how quickly we forget, kind of like the israelites in the desert). my kids make messes - why do i bother getting upset? they are healthy, imaginative, creative and lively. they love to "do" and "help". the end of the day is a good time to clean up. during the day when life is messy and organic - that is the time to see what is really going on. to enjoy the little moments together.

so today i am starting out with some of 2 samuel and maybe just maybe a cup of english breakfast or kenyan tea or some hot kenyan coffee.

be inspired to live in the living.
don't live in the getting and give me's.

Monday, August 13, 2007

evening storm in newport

i love the east coast and one of the reasons for my love is the summer thunderstorms that roll in during the afternoons and early evenings. tonight was no exception. in fact it was downright drama above newport. (right now the sky is a pink shade with a glow of gold). i started hearing the rumblings and so i put the stroller away and we closed up the sand box and brought ransom (who was only clad in diapers and knee high red socks) inside. we got our steaming mugs of hot coffee and we sat out on our porch to watch the storm. in less then 10 min the heavy, angry dark gray clouds had moved forbodingly across the sky. FAST. the clouds were swirling - ie tornado? and we had crazy thunder, lightening, torrential rain and hail!! it was all very exciting. our neighbors across the street and next door were out on their porches too. we usually take an evening walk to the water but tonight since the storm came we opted for front porch, front seat action. the lord made a beautiful sight for us to enjoy. it was so wild and unpredictable. thank you Father for your glorious creation. even the wind and waves obey You.

words to live by and teach to your kids

if everyone does a little, no one does a lot

Sunday, August 12, 2007

green, simple and more living

when the kids were all finally in their beds (although I think all three were making various kinds of noises) and graham and i were downstairs cleaning up the kitchen, he said well let's discuss something "grown-up" tonight. what do you want to talk about? i thought a second or two and said to what extent do we as a family live "green"?

this subject among many has been bouncing around in my brain after reading some new blogs. like the soule mama blog and the organically inclined blog, and after seeing an interesting news story a few weeks ago about a family who lived for a whole year with the least amount of impact on the environment. i have been thinking about csa's or community supported agriculture, reducing, reusing and recycling (thank you to jack johnson), and of all things - changing out my light bulbs. so we started talking about what this all means for our family, in the real world of "living". i don't think i am done thinking about all of this, infact i think that its just the tip of the iceburg.

after cleaning the kitchen up and making some yummy coffee from kenya (that g's mama and sister brought back) we went downstairs to tackle the beast - our basement. its been over six months since we moved but the basement is still crazy!! we get a little bit more done each time we go down there and tonight i felt like we made much progress. so i found a book that my mama gave to me when we got married called living more with less by a mennonite christian woman. i am going to read it b/c i feel that part of my role as wife and mother is to cook healthily and to use our resources wisely - which also means being a good steward of the food that the Lord has given to us. (i need to blog about the new diet i am on b/c this subject of food and recipes etc will make more sense to you all plus ransom is allergic to milk and peanut butter - hello can we say new lifestyle in eating for the plaster kids?!!!) i speaking of basement junk - one of my goals is to again purge and sell so that we can have a little extra mullah for the important things like haircuts and various baby accessories for the double stroller:) well thank you for reading this rambling blog entry. it feels so good to just type my thoughts and not care if it makes sense - sort of james joycesque.

good night. aloha friends.

ps we went peach picking at sweet berry farms today with the kids. it was so fun. enjoy the pics.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


it is a beautiful day in newport today. no its not sunny or clear skies. but it is blowy and billowing out there. its been off and on raining and misty. its been humid and damp but it is gorgeous and i love it.

last night we took our evening walk to battery park and got to go down to the little rocky beach next to the park. the kids looked at small star fish and hermit crabs in the shallow water and the tide pools - a new "haunt" for them to explore. what fun. thank you Lord for your incredible creation - little miracles underneath the surface of dark water and seaweed.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

birthday party

So today was Kyrie's birthday party!! We had a great time out back - most of the kids were around 3 years old so they were happy splashing in the kiddie pool and playing on the play/swing set. (our friends the Wises' were sick so they were unable to come down - we missed them!) We had invited the play group kids but we ended up having a smaller group - which actually wasn't that small. It was a perfect amount. We had Jess and Todd and their four kids and Natalie and her two boys and our three. I had a bit of a freak out session (but not a total melt down!) before the party - trying to remind myself that things don't need to be perfect - b/c it is my friends who are coming over with their kids -- I don't need to impress them. Maybe next year I can remain stress free before the party. But I have my dear husband who helped with everything, did yard work and transformed our back yard into a lovely playland. Jess and Natalie put food out and stuffed the candy bags for the kids. Kyrie loved her cake - in fact didn't want to leave it in the house. She would have been happy just staring at it and putting a finger in occasionally to taste it. Instead of Olivia the Pig she wanted a chocolate horse. So that is what it was. I got some good video of her party. It was hot and humid but the day started out nice and breezy. Everyone went home happy and candied-up! We are going on the Thompson's boat this afternoon, after naptime! Its a full day here in Newport.

A few lessons learned:
1. don't pick the theme until last minute. (b/c your child will change her mind - and remember that you should not get upset b/c its her birthday!)
2. what is the simplest way to do something - ie. don't think you are going to be doing a craft with the kids or for the kids b/c when one has three little ones under 4 years - this will NEVER happen! and the kids are happy just playing anyway.
3. relax and enjoy. no one likes to be around an uptight mom/hostess.
4. pray pray pray. and then again pray.
5. look for candy that is on sale rather then buying the bulk stuff. i will be taking some candy back to BJ's b/c i found really cheap candy at the grocery store for as little as .62 cents!
6. give others grace, it will be given out to you! the ballooon lady didn't have my order at all when i showed up to pick up the balloons but i was cool and she gave me a free "expensive" balloon. nice. thank you Jesus.
7. no one, i repeat, no one has it ALL together and if they act like they do or say they do - they are LYING!!

Monday, July 30, 2007

i am too hot to sleep

its so steamy in our house right now i am finding it hard to get into bed. its nice and cool outside but you know how the heat of the day gets trapped in the house. poor ransom has a cough and cold and woke up hot and bothered. so i spent over an hour trying everything to get him comfortable and back in bed. i even dipped his curious fingers in my ice water and dribbled the cold water on his head, arms and legs to cool him off. i remember doing that has a kid in pasadena. or sometimes mama would get me a cold cloth and i would put that on my face.

ok now i feel sick from the heat. tomorrow i will drink more water.

night night.

laid back

this weekend we were in boston to visit the boston cambridge vineyard (for the second week in a row!) we stayed at the constitution inn (a navy lodge) and then spent sat and sunday with our dear friends the wises. they live in this wonderful corner of cambridge with a trader joes and a whole foods literally down the block from them!! can this be!!:) we enjoyed watching our kids playing, running around, pretending, laughing and generally keeping eachother busy while we drank two buck chuck and ate yummy caprese salad and trader's pizzas. i was telling graham that i love being around them b/c they are so laid back. its good to let the kids run around and not feel like you have to follow them with a dust pan and broom all day. so this morning (although i did the minimal pick up ie. like cleaning the counter off before the honeyed rice krispies solidify for all time!) i am letting things go (as much as i can stand it) and pursuing gardening and art projects with them. this is a bit hard for me to as i am rather ocd about the house being in a somewhat state of order. (its all in my head though b/c my house really isn't that clean!!!)

and as my friend amy reminded me this morning "cleaning up after preschoolers during the day is like shoveling snow while it is still snowing". clearly i need to keep this in mind.

note to self: start day off with jesus first and above quote secondly!! oh and have coffee too.

Friday, July 27, 2007


i am going to be homeschooling kyrie this year and i just found a really neat curriculum through a friend. its called sonlight curriculum. its got structure but flexibility and i think that its really doable for me. kyrie is going to have such a terrific year. we are going to make school really special and exciting for her. there are also so many wonderful activities to incorporate into school. like going to the zoo, petting farms, gardening, the beach, walking, etc. we'll definately have to make sure that she and rhys get to have play dates with friends. i want to put them in swimming lessons and kyrie in soccer this fall as well. we'll see if all of this gets accomplished. its a good challenge for me as i begin to mother my three little ones. i am going to do a little more research among my friends who are homeschooling veterans but this program looks so great!!! and it comes with high regards from my mothers' helpers!!

back online, kyrie's 4th birthday

So I am back online finally. We have a new computer. I will not allow myself to cry over all the pictures (I am not even going to think about it!) that were lost from our computer meltdown. I have most of them on and that is all there is to be said.

today is kyrie's 4th birthday!! she got a new dress from the magees and a set of dishes and utensils with the disney princesses. very exciting. we have art supplies for her and a preschool book. i want to try and find a little mermaid doll for her too but of course my trip to BJ's did not proove fruitful (should have bought it last week!) the dean boys from around the corner came over with a ballerina barbie and an outfit for her. you should have seen kyrie's face. darling. truly she is a girl of girls. i loved barbie when i was little too and i can't

the Magee girls (Anna and Rachel), who have been my mother's helpers for 2 weeks, and I took all three kids to the carousel at first beach! we were a bit spoiled b/c at jack's birthday we were given unlimited rides for 2 hours, so i was under the impression that for 50 cents we could do the same. surprise - its now $1/ride!:) so we rode twice and then were able to get the girls off and into the car with relatively little protest. well actually i told them that we could go to newport creamery for aweful, awefuls.

i havn't mentioned the new behavior that 4 year old girls exhibit so i will do that in later posts. let's just say we are challenged. dear lord grant me grace and patience...more later:)

Friday, June 8, 2007


today at the ymca i was lifting weights. i looked up and there was a high school kid who reminded me so much of my brother jesse. it was so hard to see him. he had a runner's body and a determined look on his face. i miss my brother so much. i miss all the things about him. i miss his presence. i miss his jokes and commentary. i miss his sensitivity and his choice of words. i miss his exuberance for life and people. i miss his love for his family and our children. i miss eating with him and cooking for him. i miss his homemade cookies. i miss watching movies with him and laughing about things with him. i miss his affection. i miss his presence with my parents.

i was remembering when i found out that he only had 3 weeks to live. i came and sat down on the couch with him and i just said i don't want you to die. what am i going to do if you die? i could see that he wanted to make it better for me. but i knew... i knew that he wanted to be with jesus. i knew that he was looking for the end to his suffering and a beginning of the Greater Story. so what am i doing now, that my dear sweet baby brother has gone on to be with Jesus? i miss him. sometimes i don't cry for weeks. other times everything reminds me of him. i weep for my dear parents and my two other brothers. i weep for all the "could haves" like him graduating from my alma mater VES. (that was 2 weeks ago that he would have been graduating). i weep b/c ransom (who looks like jesse) will never know him (until he reaches heaven). i weep b/c my brother dwight lost his best friend.

remember esther - a blink of an eye...

Summer Time

its been such a nice few weeks here in southern new england. aquidneck island is gorgeous. i will be posting some pictures from around town and our home to showcase the flora which abounds. spring and summer are looking so short and i still remember and can feel the chill of the dark, damp, frigid winter. but i am trying to just take in each day. we don't always have hot days. right now its foggy and a bit damp. but i like hearing the fog horns, which warn sailors. i love hearing the church bells of st. john the evangelist over on the Point. i love knowing that we are so close to the sea. newport truly is a wonderful place to live.

my folks came up last weekend and my mom and i went to chaves' nursery. they treated us to a bunch of herbs and flowers for our container garden. so the other day i did a bunch of weeding (which i am still sore from!) and planted the tomatos and the pumpkins. i also planted all the flowers and herbs in pots. my neighbhor annie sent over too pots she had beautifully filled. those are sitting on our front porch. i plan on doing more weeding and more planting soon, maybe when we have a little extra money. i truly love being outside and making progress in my garden. i know i need to get some of poet lucy shaw's work b/c she has written on gardening and knowing God and the relationship between the Creator and his creation.

we have several birthday parties coming up this weekend - one is even at the easton's beach carousel. the kids and i are really enjoying the friendships we are making through our mom's club play group. the lord is so good to provide for us. we went to roger william's zoo this past thursday with several moms. it was so so much fun. but i do miss the san diego zoo. i could take a vacation in the zoo. i also miss balboa park fountain and the prado.

i want to go to the beach soon but we'll have to wait for some warmer weather. i am also excited about berry picking and more newport cultural activities. the tall ships are coming soon!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

a beautiful day, a beautiful attitude

this is the day that the lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it.

its gorgeous outside. its that kind of sun that beams through every window and screams I LOVE GOD, HE MADE ME AND I AM HIS!!! the sky is a crystal blue, the new leaves on the trees are my favorite green and the daffodils near our home are a sea of yellow tea and saucers. did i mention the birdies are singing?

today i woke up around 5:30am with ransom. poor guy's diapers leak b/c he has outgrown size 3's. so i decided after getting him dry and feeding him that i would just get a little quiet time in with Jesus before the troops woke up. the subject today for the bible study i go to at first presbyterian is on submission as wives to our husbands. i know that a lot of people have trouble with this word. the study had us read from phil. 2:5-16 and asked us to define attitude. then asked what attitude Christ exemplified. something that jumped out at me was Christ's complete comfort with being humbled (not that it was easy but rather) b/c of his understanding his place with God, his identity was secure. he didn't grasp at his position. despite being lowered to humanity he knew who his Father was. what submission is, is knowing one's place (piety) and being secure in that place, but its also a matter of the heart. the attitude of my heart is the underlying foundation of this whole submission thing. is it like Christ's attitude? some other neat verses to help find out this attitude of godly submission: Eph. 5:15-24 and Col. 3:12-17.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

fly lady

well i've done it. i have joined flylady. i am decluttering my home and my life. i havn't even shined my sink yet. but the shere satisfaction i had of setting my timer for 15 min and getting rid of anything in my dining room, living room and kitchen that isn't a blessing to my home was AWESOME!! i am still working on the kitchen and i havn't even begun our rooms or the basement. but its all about babysteps. by the time i get my routine going each morning and evening i will only have to actually do 3 hours of housework a week. and there won't be any clutter. hot spots of junk will be lord willing non-existent. i won't feel this nagging, sagging guilt that i need to dejunk when really all i do is get overwhelmed, move the junk around, repile it and then feel that no real work has been done at all - failure will be no more. my perfectionism is going out the window. i am armed with my 15 min and a bag. this unwanted clutter - the unwanted houseguest - will be no more. and i will FLY - or Finally Love Yourself (or myelf!).

stay tuned for further rantings, ravings and explaimations of gratitude for my new cleaning/orgnanization regimen.

thank you amy for lending me the books!

Sunday, April 29, 2007


by the way - liz's wonderful sons are jack (2 1/2 years) and will (1 year). they are going to teach ransom all about trucks and dinosaurs.

my new friends

i wanted to write about my new friends: liz and amy. actually amy is not a "new" friend. i met her when we were first moved and i was walking with the kids from our home to first pres for sarah circle (bible study). she also attends this group and she had her two girls in tow. they are olivia (3) and maya (nearly 3). the most amazing thing about amy is that she knows my friend bev hall who is better known as jama to our family. we go way back. jama is susan sjolund's mama. susan is my mom's best friend and wife of karl. karl was the admissions counselor at virginia episcopal school (my h.s.) and our first christian connection down in lynchburg back when my family lived in amherst. susan and karl's girls were our flower girls. they are twins and i babysat them when they were just babies (actually from preemies to elementary school) while i was in high school and college. susan grew up in portsmouth. jama leads scrapbooking meetings. amy goes to those meetings - yep six degrees of seperation for amy on aquidneck island. ps - amy is my resident expert for all things island. you need a nice florist, gourmet bakery, doctor, seafood market - amy is the woman to go to. & she reminds me of susan too! which is a huge compliment!

then there is liz. i met her through amy, of course. she and amy and i are all in the mom's club. which i really think is the greatest thing since sliced bread. hello - friends and activities so we aren't going to shrivel up and die in our homes with peanut butter mashed to our foreheads. yes mamas have social circles too. its great. so anyway. liz goes to our church too. and she has two little boys who are awesome and she is from the south - so of course she has incredible hospitality. and did i mentions that she is an incredibly strong woman. she is a single mom who is bravely stepping out into a new life and seeking wholeness in every sense of the word. i am so blessed to know her. she is genuine and supportive.

thursday nights we have decided to all go to a yoga class and then dinner afterwards. this week was our first week. we went to salvation cafe (which got its name for all of their decor originally from the salvation army). its awesome. asian fusion meets california cool. i had a sangria. very yummy. anyone who visits me is going to have to go to this place. we had a blast. the next time, liz is making thai curry for us. yummo!!

so this sat liz and i met for breakfast at my new favorite breakfast joint - the Atlantic Grill right by first beach. it rocks. then we went and go our nails and toes done. clearly we were pampering ourselves. its an investment.

without going into too much detail these two ladies are hilarious. we laugh a lot. they are real. their kids are pleasant to be around - but are oh so normal. they love jesus and being mamas. we are starting a books at the beach club together. i am going to play bunco with a group, which includes them too. this month it was at liz' home but g and i were out on a double date. jesus is meeting my needs. bringing me a healthy community to be around. we are all learning to give, extend and recieve grace as we navigate the waters of beings moms, childrearing and life.

Sunday afternoon stir crazy

today was sunday and after church we always take naps. but ransom wakes up before everyone else so by 4pm he was wanting to eat his dinner and i was up of course:) we went downstairs and after feeding him green beans and realizing that he wanted to do other things besides sit in his play pen while i de-cluttered my area (which has overtaken the wet bar) it was outside for mama and baby boy. its gray and a bit spitty outside but not too cold, rather mild. i wore flip flops but put on my barn coat just in case. my goal was to walk downtown and grab some fresh air and an iced coffee which is my newest beverage of choice. what i have come to realize is that i love the outdoors (i love moving and movement - these are things i am learning as going to the ymca becomes part of our life). so i was totally loving just the being part of walking outside. it felt good. the cool, moist air felt good. ransom was happy to hear the birds and take in all the surroundings. the chinese magnolias, pears and azaleas are blooming now. and eventhough we have had about 3 sunny days in the last few weeks (and maybe 2 of those were warm), just to see the gorgeous blossoms is enough for me. they are praising the lord and it is a glorious site. so this sunday we have rested. we have tried to quiet our hearts. can one do that with little ones? maybe i can quiet my heart tonight with the word.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

a long post

hello all, i have been meaning to write several posts but they have been lost in my brain. several time during the day as things come up and i start a thought or an idea comes along, i think ooh i need to run upstairs and post this on my blog...well being a bit busier then i think i am it doesn't get done. i need to be better at this. maybe right things down on a pad of paper and then once a day lay it all out...but aren't blogs supposed to be streams of consciousness? i think that this is one way to write a blog. so for now i will just write about a few things that have been going on so that i can keep you posted.

let's see. rhys is down in md with my in-laws for a week or more. rebecca (graham's wonderful mama) came up to visit whitney (g's sister) at college and then took rhys down with her. we are supposed to be visiting a-town mother's day weekend so we may just see if we all can stand having her gone that long. i miss her a lot but it is very nice to just have two right now. although kyrie seems to be in a funk at least once during the day b/c she misses rhysie. i know that rhys is having a blast with mark and re. she'll come home with a beautiful new wardrobe and hand made doll clothes for her "akika mama and akika baby" (the african dolls that re brought the girls back from ethiopia). i know that this is a very special time for rhys and her grandparents, not to mention logan and laura (g's brother and his wife) who also live in a-town. she is my sweet girl and i love her kisses and her new words. now that she is two its a little more challenging but such a treasured time.

i am going to write more tonight but kyrie has informed me that the homemade whole wheat pizzas are ready downstairs.

i love being a mama!!


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hmm why aren't we reading your stuff?

I was on the NY Times Bestseller's List today, looking for a book to suggest for our new book club, when I came across a very interesting commentary. You see, there is this new book out by Leslie Bennetts called The Feminine Mistake, "which argues that mothers who stay at home with their children are financially, emotionally and medically at risk." Although having made her rounds on the Today Show, Glamour, Parade and People magazine, along with her piece on, Ms. Bennetts (who is married and has two teenagers) doesn't seem to be making any money of the sale of her book. Mommies are giving her plenty of "blogshere buzz" but they are just not interested in shelling out $24.95 to hear why they have "failed" their sex. Gee I wonder why? Must be really busy cleaning up honey and peanut butter cheeked children!

Former actress and now stay at home mother, Monique Moen, from Los Angeles, was so outraged that after reading the article in the, she wrote a 12oo word blog response.

(April 25, 2007, NYT article "Mommy Books: More Buzz then Buyers" by Motoko Rich)
“There is a lot of discussion out there about this issue and that’s why we’re having these books,” said Nancy Sheppard, vice president of marketing at Viking, which last year published “Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World” by Linda R. Hirshman. “But it’s mostly just a discussion.” Ms. Hirshman, who also argued that women should work outside the home to fulfill their human capacities and avoid economic dependency, appeared on “Good Morning America” and “The Colbert Report” after the book’s release in June, and the blogosphere went wild. But her book sold only 4,000 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan, which accounts for about 70 percent of sales in stores and online.

I read Ms. Hirshman's op ed piece in today's NY Times. I was flat out offended. Here is the link.

She writes, "Should we care if women leave the work force? Yes, because participation in public life allows women to use their talents and to powerfully affect society."

What and we aren't doing that at home? Affecting society? Raising the next generation of leaders who are productive, creative, just, merciful and responsible citizens is not 'affecting society'? Don't even get me started lady.

I know why these books aren't selling: its insulting to our intelligence to read the fluff. Enough said. This mama is over and out.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


has anyone seen our camera? yes its missing or rather buried somewhere in our home - most likely its in our room somewhere. we have piles of clothes that have been folded, then messed up, then folded again and need to be put away. actually what we really need is for the spring and summer days to come NOW so that i can put all the big, fat winter clothes down in the basement and make room for the thinner warm weather clothes. i think that the winter clothes have decided to invade our living area. it looks like a college dorm room in here - disaster area. to be avoided. i think it will have to wait another day b/c everyone is asleep in the house except kyrie and me. nighty night.


i have been thinking a lot about raising children and in particular the "training up" and leading a child in obedience, better known as discipline. so i went on the hunt for some of "those" verses from proverbs that seem to be quoted in every christian parenting handbook. here are a few that are food for thought and i might add should be taken very seriously, as the Bible is our life-handbook. (these are all taken from the NIV)

Proverbs 13:24 He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

Proverbs 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.

Proverbs 23:13-14 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.

Proverbs 29:15 The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.

Proverbs 20:11 Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Proverbs 3:12 My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.

Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.

Hebrews 12:4-11 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

oh Lord that i would seek your wisdom to know how to best bring these beautiful children up in right, Kingdom living. teach me and instruct me to mold their character and guide them into becoming responsible, kind-hearted, merciful and faithful followers of you. you are teaching me so many things about what it means to parent and the view from the other side - your view. thank you for these lessons. let me know justice and mercy. help me to shape the wills of my children, rather then break or crush their wills. show me how to protect their spirits.

Monday, April 9, 2007

outside ....

hello all! the kids and i bundled up (but i didn't put on a warm enough coat!) and headed outside after naps this afternoon. it was so gorgeously (is that a word?) sunny and blue skied today that i felt compelled to do it. so we braved the cold (at certain times the sun felt so good on our bodies but mostly we were just kidding ourselves that its spring weather out there.) we went to a new park a little farther away then our neighborhood park. newport was just brimming with possibility. the girls enjoyed playing and kyrie met a little boy who was her age. he asked her for her name and she answered using all three of her names. then he said oh that is a pretty name! his dad and i laughed. so funny what kids say. kyrie is really in to make believe. she says that she has a boyfriend named ellie and a husband named prince eric. she also has 12 children and a baby girl named aki. some of her girls include christina, lindsey and tiffany (her babysitters - tiffany is my brother's fiancee!!) then tonight when i was putting her to sleep she said that she was going to tell me a story. she started off 'once upon a time in a land far away there were two fairies named pixie and dumbo...' hilarious. the girls were very good today. i have a soar throat and was pretty beat from the full weekend we had so they were understanding when i wanted to rest in the morning. we had a picnic in rhys' room for lunch and watched incredibles. now all three are asleep and it is a lovely peaceful mood in the home. i have to finish up my bible study for tomorrow and then hit the hay. good night everyone...

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Wise Woman Builds Her House

The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands. Prov. 14:1

I have been working through a Bible study with Sarah Circle on Cynthia Heald's Loving your Husband. So for the past few days some thoughts have been swirling around in my brain. Heald says that the Proverbs 31 women's primary minstry was to build her home in wisdom. She says "to do this takes personal discipline, perseverence, and acceptance of 'the option of living selflessly'. But it is in giving that we are blessed, and it is in being the woman God created us to be that we are fulfilled."

So how does one build her house in wisdom? Its challenging to wrap my mind around this concept in practical and concrete ways. I know the first thing is to be filling my mind and heart with Truth - I know that Truth is Christ, and we learn about Christ through his Word. So how do I engage in real times with the Lord each day. I need the Living Water so desperatly. But I find my consistency sucks. I pull the Word out and then someone needs me to change their diaper and before I know it its the end of the day and I never got to read.

Luke 6:46-49 ... hear Jesus' words and put them into practice
Luke 14:25-30 ... must forsake even one's own family, denying oneself and picking up his cross - considering the cost before laying the foundation
II Cor. 5:14-15 ... no longer live for self but live for the one who died for me and who was raised again
II Tim. 2:15 ... present self to Go as one approved a workman prepared, who can rightly divide the word of truth

Kingdom focused rather then self-focused.

Proverbs 24:3-4 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.

It is one thing to be chained to the dishpan, and another to feel that we have an important part in making a house a home - Marguerite Harmon Bro

Friday, April 6, 2007

good friday

tonight graham and i watched The Passion. i was dreading it b/c its so close to home. my sin is exposed to the Light. we almost didnt' watch it but then we both agreed that we were like the disciples in the garden of gethsemene who kept nodding off while Jesus was sweating great drops of blood and giving up his will to the Father. i encourage youll to watch this film on good friday. several things occured to me afterwards:
1. it was real - this actually happened - he went through all of that FOR REAL
2. he loved his tormentors and accusers just as much as his friends and followers. he prayed for them. he asked his own father to forgive them.
3. as a mother with a new son i felt the pain of mary's anguish, as she watched her beloved son suffer brutalization.
the challenge is can i make what he did worth it? can i live my life doing all that he puts in front of me to do - do the stuff?

...good friday 2003 my brother jesse was admitted to UVA hospital. they didn't know why he felt so ill or what was causing his fever and bone pain. that good friday started it all. now he is with the King. no more pain. it is finished. thanks be to God who crushed the head of the serpent and has victory over sin, death and the grave.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

kyrie and rhys

our kyrie is spending the week down in maryland with her marmie and pop (graham's folks). what a special time for both of them. we are savoring this time with rhys and ransom. i have been getting some individual time with rhys and that has been priceless. she and ransom were laughing together tonight and she was "talking" to him. i love seeing her personality blossom.


today was supposed to be in the 50's. so we decided to take the kids on a walk to our neighborhood park. our friends will and leigh met us there with their boys. we wanted it to be in the 50's but it was definately NOT that warm. we stuck it out for at least an hour. i took ransom around the block to get him to sleep. it was a nice brisk walk and good to be away from everyone, which is something that i don't much of.

i want it so much to be spring. locals say that we have about another month until we get some solid warm-er weather. my friend amy sent me these two websites for an organic co-op and a farmer's market. there are all of these pictures of yummy summer fruit and goats and chickens. we are going to go and buy a share in the co-op. today we bought our groceries online for the first time. it will be delivered to our doorstep next week - how cool is that!! its like the milk man for the 2000's.

our house smells like spring now. graham built me window shelves and bought me seedling starter kits. so i finished planting the seeds today and the kitchen smells of soil, water and clay pots. i love it!! we are going to transplant them to our backyard. graham is going to build garden beds for me. when it gets warmer we'll be out there all the time.

so its just a few more weeks until the earth blooms and buds and the green things wake up. until then i will water my plants indoors and dream of warm spring days.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


aloha...a word that means so much to me. love, goodbye, hello, friendship, family, fellowship, warmth, and a piece of my life that i will always keep dear to my heart. we were stationed in pearl harbor, hi for 2 years. and even though we live in new england and have been away from hi for a few years, i can't seem to shake using the word aloha. its on my voice mail, in my emails and graces the end of my correspondence. so just in case you wonder why i always use it ... well that would be why. i miss hawaii so much and when i use this special phrase i do so that i may conjure the warm, fragrant breezes for the recipient.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

our friends from the single days

this past sunday we had the wise family out down from cambridge to visit. alston and ben have two boys - henry and spencer. i met alston back during my senior year, in chapel hill. she was also a witherspooner and so we had much fun after college up in dc. i had not seen her since i got married and before she was married to ben! they have relocated from the deep south to teach at harvard so naturally we are thrilled to have them near us. our kids had a blast with their boys. we even got to go to the park - although it was very cold and windy! i will post some pics soon. we are excited to spend more time with them. ben plays banjo and he was enjoying our ukelele. graham and ben jammed and we played our favorite song "kyrie is a princess, rhysie-pie is a fairy, ransom is a sailor..." and added verses about henry and spencer. we plan on going to the boston children's museum with them in a few weeks for rhys' birthday.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

warmer days

hey all - we went to the park today - it was in the mid-40's!! praise the lord for a warmer day! i bundled the kids up and we walked to our little park. we had a few near misses (you know rhys standing at the top of the play structure about to step off into air - oh and kyrie tried it too!). i nearly had a heartattack. but thank you to our lord who has set guardian angels encamped around us. (ps. 91). the park was 'crowded' today - most days that we have been there, it was nearly empty. i brought them home, fed them lunch and we all went down to naps at 1pm - which explains why i have a million emails to respond to - i actually took a nap. i needed it and was must refreshed.

oh and the big news today - ransom bit my booby so hard today it drew blood. yep - he is officially on probation. if he continues to do it i might just pump. poor little guy - mama is not putting up with that. no sir. i was so angry - that is the emotion. i didn't have the mind to flick his cheek b/c i was just trying to get him to let go. jaws of death. he only has two teeth. what is up with that? i flicked him tonight when he did it and he was highly offended. like - hello buddy you just bit my nipple!!

i am off to bedybye. the whole household is asleept - even daddy plaster.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

new blog name

i changed my blog title b/c my mama typed in plaster family and found a completely different family - i can't believe someone else has our name!! ohana means family - and family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.

more freedom

we took the kids out today for the first time to the park since about 3 weeks (besides church and play groups). praise the Lord. we have fresh air in our lungs and sunshine on our faces. its still cold but if we bundle up we are just fine. the kids loved it and graham and i loved it. ransom slept until we got home. i love 'warmer' winter days!!! sanity!

Kill your TV

since we married, graham and i have felt that getting cable (the only way to get most channels in without static) was like moving the bottom feeder to the top of the food chain and we had better things to spend on our budget. so we decided not to get cable. we have only had those old rabbit ears, which for us has limited (greatly) our dependence and subsequent consumption of tv.

we didn't ever want to be one of those people who had a tv in their living room or even worse, who had their tv on non-stop. in hawaii we had it in our living room b/c of space issues. in sd we had it in our guest room/office and so it was not the main of our living spaces. we tried to read, talk, play games or just be able to create. graham plays the piano. i like to be outside, gardent, read etc. you get the idea. it was wonderful. we had friends comment both in hi and in sd how peaceful our home was without the tv blaring.

then we moved to rhode island not 6 weeks ago. our landlord had cable before us so we expected it to be turned off a few days after we moved in. we put our tv in a new tv armoire (with doors to close it) in the living room but we felt that since we weren't going to have cable it was ok and when we did want to watch something ie like a dvd, and entertain with friends over, that having it in the living room was the best placement.

needless to say, the cable was just never shut off. i kept expecting it to be but then as i gradually got sucked into tv-land i was lulled into thinking we had it forever. it was a constant subject of conversation between graham and i - should we call and have it shut off? i was feeling more and more guilty that i was letting the kids watch cable (although i was strict as to the content) and since it is cold outside and i am trying to manage 3 little ones and unpack and organize our home, i justified our indulgence. it is free - why upset the water glass.

and then last night happened. we were sitting in our dining room about to eat supper with the tv as our focus (whatever happened to lovely conversations over dinner and a glass of vino? or laughing with the kids and enjoying meals as a FAMILY?) when all of a sudden using the remote was fruitless - we weren't getting any channels. graham checked upstairs and i waited impatiently at the table. yep - no cable. well we said that is that. we couldn't make the choice to shut it off for ourselves so the cable guys did it for us. i ran out to wal mart to get some rabbit ears, but still we got a mere three channels with fuzz.

a pity...and then a FREEDOM. we were not going to run our lives around the tv guide channel! we are not tv junkies anymore. i feel so GOOD. we'll miss Law and Order, the food network, Fox news, and other fun shows but really are we truly going to miss anything? now that we are unpacking, all of our books, our 'old friends' as we used to refer to them pre-free cable days in sd, are being reshelved. they are our entertainment and i am so relieved for this present state of reality.

my dear friend susan has a bumper sticker on her explorer that says 'kill your tv'. i love that. i want one of those.

i was reading a friend's blog and she had a link to mothering magazine. in it i found a great link to an article on tv consumption/addiction that is fantastic. please enjoy - its from scientific american. also check out - i think you will enjoy this site too:)

early morning

so its nearly half past 5 am in the morning (its a sat!) and i am blogging...i was up feeding ransom and i was sitting in the rocker 'writing' blogs in my head about various subjects:

my mama ... how much i love that she and i are so a like (sometimes i don't always like it:) and how she 'gets' me. i have been learning a lot about myself this past month or so since i have been keeping a new home here. i have to be busy being productive. she pointed it out - she is going to start bringing her knitting to home group b/c she feels like time is wasted if she doesn't get anything done - she said i am so busy these days that i need something to do - how funny i said to her and ironic and then i realized i am the same way. if i have a few hours by myself to 'kill' i will most likely have an agenda - a list. i have to hit all the items or i don't feel i was successful (at least some of the items). i am so used to have to get in a store and boom, boom, boom hit all the items, b/c the kids don't last long in a store and i have three to contend with. sometimes i am 'doing things' from the time i get up to the time i lay my head on the pillow without ever even sitting down for a 15 min break. i think that i need to change this. of course it goes against my very dna but i am going to start at last trying to sit and relax. and the next time i do have a free time to do errands i am going to use a little of the time to just BE. so thank you to mama for pointing out this characteristic that i share with you. its good to know oneself. i am enjoying this aspect of getting older - i am 29 now.

my kids ... i had THE BEST day with them (which i attribute to the prayers of my mama yesterday for me). rhys decided to start saying "yeah" when i ask her something - instead of just nodding yes!! then she said "please" with her sign and "thank you" a long with her sign. what a new thing, a new joy to here her communicate with her voice. this week she has been pointing to her self and saying "i'm barbie" - which is translated as "i am the princess" - she dresses up with her sister in princess clothes, old hats and these rediculous disney princess clip clop shoes. i have to contain my laughter when she walks in for a round of applause and approval. she is such a little girl now - not my baby. well sometimes she is my baby:)

my husband ... there is word in the office that the nwc has been taxed with finding a Lt. for an IA (individual augmentation) to iraq. (sorry to all you civilians who have to read this!) now there are two spots they need to fill. one for over a year (100 days in CONUS [in the states] training) and a year in theatre (iraq). the other for 6 months. since graham is the ONLY Lt at the nwc he is the one they have on their list. however, b/c of hardships (ie my brother dying, just having a third and so close together and my post pardum depression) he may be able to dodge it. his bosses are trying to send the request over to another part of the base. will you please pray for us. i got a little nervous yesterday when he brought it up again. with a twinkle in his eye he said part of him really wants to go and be a part of the adventure. (which i really find sexy and for which i am so proud to hear him say). he is learning arabic on the side for his master's degree and i know that there is an allure to it all. but then he would be gone at least six months.

my friend ... stacy gunter sent me an blog about valentine's day. the thing that is so amazing is that in her blog she talked about how she and her husband andy had decided a few years ago on vday that they were NOT going to get a divorce and that their love was worth it. two days ago i had just found a set of pics of her wedding reception from back in 1997 or 98. she got married in the middle of our sophmore year at liberty. we all were just kids. she was our first friend to get married. now they have been married not quite ten years. its a beautiful thing to see that the lord kept them together. and now they have a gorgeous little munchkin named ezra who is such a doll (yes ez is a girl!) my granola friend and her cute little family are going to do ywam in australia soon too. they are so adventurous - such pioneers. and we reconnected through my friend megan whose husband went to hs with andy. all through - well at least that site is good for something:)

jesse my brother ... when i was changing ransom after i fed him this morning and we were giggling together and having a special moment i realized, as i said to him, that jesus took jesse but then he gave me ransom - how very true even his name is. and my little son (well he is a big 4 1/2 mo old) looked up at me with these big blue eyes and a toothy grin, and i decided that i couldn't wait to begin telling him stories about my little brother who became a man.

so that is my blog entry this sat morning before my little ones and my sweet husband wake up. i might just go back to bed or maybe i will make myself a cup of tea and light some candles downstairs and read the word. something i haven't done in a few days. something that i want to do more of and something that will be my sanity when the storm is raging all around me.

jesus you are the lighthouse that beckons me ... i lay all my burdens down at the foot of the cross.

Monday, February 12, 2007

potty training

I woke up this morning to Rhys whining at my bed trying to communicate something (she isn't quite 2). I looked up from my pillow, bed head and all and saw that she had taken off her diaper. Well that means that said diaper is either pee or poops and it is stewing somewhere in a dark corner - ugg. Luckily I found it later thrown up on the changing table - she is so smart!:) What I did find, however, was that she had peed on the floor in our room and Graham's brand new Bible was sitting in the puddle. Uh-oh. All is well though - we have it cleaned up. So then I asked her if she wanted a new diaper and she told me no. I then asked do you want to wear panties - and a big nod and a grin. So we put on Little Mermaid panties which she calls Barbie. (she calls everything that is princess-ish "Barbie"). I went in to Potty Training Mode. We have gotten Kyrie trained so I was remembering my strategies for this round. Ok get her in panties, give her a sippie cup and then take her to the bathroom after about 30 min. I told her to give me the sign for potty when she needed to go and then I got the potty ready for her just in case. We went down the stairs for breaky and about 20 min later as I was cleaning up their little table and chairs in our dining room, I saw that there was a puddle under her seat. So much for that rule of thumb!!:) So its back to diapers for now. Which is a good thing b/c then she had a very messy diaper -- I am sure all of you who are parents can relate, and sorry to those who don't have kids yet. Your time will come. But now, I don't dread potty training that much b/c I know that it does work for at least one of mine. And seriously folks, who ever heard of a kid truly learning in one day. Ridiculous.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Newport Mama

So here I am in Newport. We have been here for a month to the day exactly!! We love our new home. Its over a hundred years old but its been completly fixed up. It has so much light due to all the big spacious windows and that adds greatly to my positive mental health during the "dark ages" of winter here in the North east. Its so cold out my poor kids havn't been on a walk or played at the park in weeks. (probably more like 3 weeks). Mostly we are just getting settled - you know trying to unpack boxes, put things in their proper place, reaccess what needs to be organized - the usual in MOVING with the Navy. I don't mind moving but I have learned in recent weeks that I am much more of a perfectionist then I ever thought I was. This is hard to live out since I have three little ones. In the last few days I have been trying to consciously "let go" of a picked up house. Its been really a challeng but also liberating - so more mental then physical exaustion - ie not as much picking up but more looking to the Lord to help me control my urge to rant and rave about how cluttered things are with little plastic tea cups and plastic veggies strewn around my bedroom floor - which I still havn't been able to vacuum b/c we have so many boxes etc in here. I know - it sounds bad but I am exaggerating of course.:)

more later - dinner is ready!! Yeah for the Joy of Cooking I got from my good friend Leigh Rimmer!!! Pot Roast!!

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