His Growing Sense of Humor


I am so thankful to share my love of reading and books with my little guy.  Though it shouldn’t surprise me, one of my favorite series has become truly one of his as well.  Not too long ago, Calder finished the final Harry Potter book in the original series.  Given that we’re juggling school and activities, we’re finding scraps of time to work through the newest one – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Last weekend, I attended NCTE and brought Calder’s copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them so I could be ready for our movie outing.  Today, was the perfect combination of relaxation and rest with a hint of productivity.

As I watched and listen to Calder and his friend chat on the way to the movie, it struck me just how much he’s growing up.  Last night, he was particularly slap-happy and on a bit of role with his quirky sense of humor.  Today, it was more of the same.  My favorite, was when we were headed out of the theater and I told the boys they could get a refill of their drinks if they wanted.

Me: Calder, just a bit, Buddy!  Fill it half full.

C: (smiling) Mom, I’m not an optimist.

Me: (pausing, while it registers, then smiling myself) Well, then leave it half empty!

This kid!  He fills the air with so many words and there will soon come a day when I will long for the endless commentary and wry sense of humor.  I can only pray that he will still be willing to share!

Summer Projects


Last winter, the kids and I went to a silent auction in town. One of our middle school students was facing a major medical condition and the community rallied around them in support. 

We bid on horseback riding which we did last August, and a 3-pack of model cars. This week, Garth got them out to tackle one and Calder loves the focused work and special time with his Dad!! 

I’m also happy to report that our student has seen a full recovery and is doing very well!! 

First Full Week of Camp


This shot captures his cool exterior as he was prepping for his first full week at church camp. He’d been awake far too long the night before with nervous anticipation, and could hardly eat breakfast on the drive north. He pecs around the restaurant, then in the car vacillated between playing on his phone or sleeping – neither activity seeming to provide the right level of distraction or comfort. 

On Saturday – we picked him up and I was too amazed to take a picture – he seemed older, more confident and had made several new friends. Sure – his belongings were haphazardly packed and I learned he thought he lost his toothbrush Monday night, so we still had some evidence of his 9-ness, but the change in his actions was fantastic! 

He’s already ready to return! I pray for the wisdom and strength to be the mom he needs and to give him this same opportunity to be more independent at home. 

The Little Things

Tonight, as I enjoy the chill of the conditioned air in our room, there are a thousand and one thoughts swirling through my mind.  The start of another school year is on the horizon along with so many other possible changes.  It seems strange to think that at this time last year, I was preparing for my year-long sabbatical, and here it is time to return to the classroom.  

Looking back on the year I had at home, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  There are so many more things I wish I would have done, and yet, there are so many moments I am beyond grateful for.  I wish I would’ve written more, but I figured there’s no better time to start than now.  

So today, I want to remember the smell of our clean summer skin and the sweet flavor of the ice cream on my tongue as we piled into our bed to watch Mary Poppins last night.  I want to recall the heaviness of their growing bodies as they fidgeted and squirmed throughout the show.  I sat mesmerized as Seneca danced, twirled and spun her way around our room offering her best British accent among head flips and wrist snaps.  I imagine watching her perform someday on stage after hours of ballet, or jazz rehearsal.  Or seeing her triumph over a mastered gymnastics routine.  In her six-year-old self, I can see the hint of the amazing young lady to come.

And Calder – he continues to amaze me.  The speed at which his mind is constantly whirring is beyond belief.  This summer he wanted to make a mechanical hand – we have yet to tackle that project, but I hope to foster his creativity and ingenuity.  Ever the problem solver, he has an answer at the ready for most questions.  A natural joker and newfound prankster, I pray for the patience to encourage his sense of humor and not the snappish frustration that I tend to fall into easily.  I want to hold close moments like yesterday, when I grabbed his hand and ran toward the 3-legged race at our church’s community fun fest.  Eager, and likely shocked at my spontaneity, he grinned as we stepped into the itchy burlap sack.  Arms wrapped around one another, we took a few practice steps.  We figured out that saying “Inside, Outside” would help keep us moving the correct leg, and from repeating the faceplant he experienced in the earlier sack race.  The announcer put us at the ready, and we were off.  “Inside!  Outside!  Inside!  Outside!”  We were cruising, and lengthening our stride with each step.  At the finish line, we were edged out of first place, but it hardly mattered.  For those 25 feet, we were a team.  Together, we moved step-by-step and it was amazing!  He beamed.  And we wore our plastic 2nd place medals with pride.  

No matter how busy life gets or how often they bicker, I’m so grateful for these little things that remind me just how fleeting these years really are, and how much I desperately want to savor as much of them as possible.

Gratitude ~ Day 27

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The falling snow,
and cold dark night
couldn’t stop me from
driving as fast as possible
holding his mittened hand
watching him explain what hurt
smiling at his strength, and
noticing how much he’s grown.

And yet,
his ear hurts.
So, once again,
he needs me,
and I’m happy
to be here for him.