How do you do it all?

Folks favorite question while they look on in mixed horror and relief that they don't have as many kids as I do, or as messy a van as I do. The answer is I don't. I systematically do as little laundry as humanely possible ....more

Get 'Em Young

I overheard Fikir and Cookie discussing something quietly in the back of the van yesterday. This is not easy to do as we have a very large 12 passenger van. But I deliberately strained my ears to hear ....more

Thousands of words

I haven't wielded my camera much lately. The spring is barely not-really springing still and everything is muddy, brown, ugly. No grass, no buds, no blossoms, no leaves yet ....more

He'll Draw Nigh

Last night I sang for an Easter concert my church put on. As all my performances are these days, it was a humbling experience. I am a classically trained singer, it has turned me into a pop-music-hating, somewhat critical, sometimes competitive musician who fiercely loves excellent, jaw-droppingly good real music.When my children ask me what my favorite song is, I tell them without pause, this one: I want to perform jaw droppingly good, real music ....more

I've Got Sunshine

I've got sunshine on this cloudy day, because one of our chickens just stared laying, and her eggs are blue. And all the chickens who, like so many Bostonians, gave up on life and happiness and were dysfunctional during the onslaught of blizzards for the last two months started laying again. Overnight they decided that they were no longer on strike.This was one day's haul....more

The Winter of Content

I've decided New England is like your obnoxious brother or your floozy cousin, your eccentric parent: ...more

Girl Power

Today at church there was a song time for children reinforcing the notion that God can speak to us through the voices of prophets and that by heeding their counsel we can be blessed and protected. There is a children's song very popular in our church that goes through the history of various prophets from scripture; it's clever and the tune very catchy. Some of the crowd pleasing verses:Adam was a prophet first one that we knowIn a place called Eden he helped things to growAdam served the Lord by following his ways,We are his descendants in these latter days Daniel was a prophet he refused to sinSo the king threw Daniel in the lion's denAngels calmed the lions and the king soon sawDaniel's power was great for he obeyed God's law Jonah was a prophet, tried to run awayBut later he learned to listen and obeyWhen we really try the Lord won't let us fail (*insert me thinking, "well, that's not technically true now is it?")That's what Jonah learned deep down inside the whaleOn a whim, and I shared another verse not written in the official children's song book that I'd seen on the internet with my friend who leads the song time ....more

They're Back

The kids are overjoyed to have each other back. There is a lot of Amharic going on from both girls. They both have said they will be ready to go back in about six months ....more

50 Shades of Lies

This post comes from a place of, I will admit it, desperation. I desperately want teenagers and young adults to know something important about love and relationships, something I wish I'd understood better when I was young.First Confession: I, like hundreds of thousands of others have been in a relationship where I felt shamed, controlled, had to change what I wanted and who I was to make someone happy. I remember the first time I reached for the dial on the dashboard to change the radio station in the car, and had my hand slapped away ....more

Finding Silver Linings

It is snowing again. And will tomorrow, the next day and the next. We have drifts outside 35 inches high and it keeps coming ....more