Days of Summer…

Lovely days of summer,


reading under the trees,

building fairy houses…..Kei has quite the village going, here is her Fruit Stand.† See how the bowls are acorn tops? Isn’t this adorable?

Livvy and Kei have spent the night with each other several times.† There is always silliness when those two get together!

There has been painting….

and lots of Mommy/Kei time….

And today was a great day!† We went with some of our best friends to another friend’s house.† She has a perfect house for kids.† Goats, a calf, chickens, a koi pond, a huge garden and more.† We felt like such farm girls.

Koi Pond
Kei and the Goats
Girls and "Chuck"
Kei and Brit
Some of my bestest friends...
Our Awesome Kids...

I can’t believe that June is winding to a close.† We have had such a good time so far.† And there is more to come.† Because of my friend Jessica’s post Kei and I are planning to head to Amish Country in Tennessee soon.† We† are so looking forward to that.† There are more plans in the works.† “It’s summertime and the livings easy”.

Happy days,


What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.† ~Gertrude Jekyll

“Life’s a journey not a destination” Aerosmith

Teresa at Three Thinking Mothers wrote a wonderful post today about transitioning from school to home.† It is a must read!

She talks about how she considered homeschooling before her girls even started school.† I did too.† I always wanted to homeschool Kei.† She thrived in public school.† There was no bad times, nobody mean to her, no one thing that made me say, “That is it, I am homeschooling you.”† One of the main problems I had with it was I wasn’t crazy about how ‘boy crazy’ the kindergarten girls seemed to be. It was unbelievable to me.† I mean I had boys I liked in K but they took it to extremes.† Thankfully Kei was never really like that.† She still isn’t. This may be due to the fact that she is marrying Johnny Depp and that is that! :)

But it was always there.† I had tons of information, sites bookmarked, lesson plans, books.† I was very worried that I couldn’t do it.† “What if I ruined her?”.† Looking back it was so silly.† I mean who could teach her better?† Me, who knew her inside out and had just her all day long or a teacher, full of a room of kids, overcrowded, overworked, worrying about discipline and test scores.† She had a wonderful year in Kindergarten, was the teacher’s pet, loved everything about it.† 1st grade was much the same but still the thought niggled at the back of my brain constantly.

Kei was in her first play at age 6 and I met a family that homeschooled.† I quizzed and questioned that poor Mom every time I saw her.† She had 4 kids and they were amazing children.† They acted, sang and danced and played instruments…all the things Kei loved to do.† I begin to think more seriously about it.† I had a friend whose sister homeschooled.† I would call her and ask her all sorts of crazy questions.

Kei started 2nd grade.† It was the first Monday after school had started on Tuesday.† Her teacher didn’t seem as dedicated this year,† she had just gotten married and seemed more interested in her new life.† There were more kids in her class.† She was bored and doing the other kids work for them when she was done.† One of my favorite stories was when she was helping a little girl count M&M’s for charting and she told me, “Mom she kept eating the M&M’s”.

I picked her up on Monday and said, “How would you like to be homeschooled?” And she said, “Oh please, I would love it”.† Next day, I went to the school and unenrolled her.† Just like that.† No cover school. :)† I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do.† I loved the idea of unschooling and still find myself very drawn to it.† I love Charlotte Mason, love Unit Studies, love Well Trained Mind.

I found out very early that we were not a ‘buy a curriculum and go’ kinda girls.† I loved spending time searching for lesson plans and ideas.† I still love that so much.† Yes it is time consuming but it is so worth it. Aren’t homeschool Mom’s the BEST?? Anytime I try to search for a certain lesson plan I type in, ‘Ancient Greece homeschool” because I KNOW I will find the greatest things that way.† Everything didn’t work. I LOVE the idea of lapbooks.† Loved the way all the completed lapbooks looked but I felt like we were spending all our time cutting and gluing instead of learning.† I still love them and have to make myself NOT buy them.† We did several but Kei never fell in love with them.

One thing we did the first week was go to a Homeschool event.† I had heard about how great our local HS group was and we went to an inside playground.† This is the best advice anyone can give you.† FIND A GROUP.† The women I met were amazing! I was full of questions and they answered all of them.† In fact the first few women I met ended up being my very best friends.† We have a great HS group but we have a core group of about 7 Moms and 13 kids that we spend tons of time with.† It makes all the difference.† The thing I love about HS Moms is they are all so invested in their kids learning.† Not that they have the right clothes or get invited to the right parties or watch the right TV shows, just that their kids are the best they can be.† These are Moms who make time to talk and laugh and bond.† They are not dropping off their kids and running to work/home/gym.† The ones I have met are such ‘stop and smell the roses’ kind of people.† I love that!

I an an observer of people. I watch the kids at homeschool events and get togethers.† They honestly seem kinder, more willing to help each other, to have each others back.† I love the way they play together, all ages not dividing up by gender and age.† They seem more laid back, not so stressed about life.† Their play seems more complex, they are interested in so many things.† I think it is that they are allowed to be their true self.† They don’t have to pretend not to like something because someone will think they aren’t ‘cool’.

Kei’s K and 1st grade teachers both told me the same thing, that she was one of the most confident kids they had seen.† I wanted her to keep that confidence and she has.† She has thrived and learned so much.† The things she learns she remembers.† I love that she learns for life not for a test.

This is a journey, just like Theresa said.† A wonderful, beautiful, amazing journey.† Every day is different, there are few things written in rock.† Plans change and we change with the days.† We laugh and love and learn, always learn.† Seriously, what could be greater than that?



A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. ~John Steinbeck

“A child miseducated is a child lost.” ~ John F. Kennedy

Fairy Houses, Puppy Love and Aqua [Latin Origin]..

What a laid back, bask in the sun, no where to be sort of week we have had.

We were able to get passes this summer for our local wave pool.† This is something we haven’t been able to do the last few years. Kei loves swimming, she is like a fish in water. It renews her, delights her, makes her dance with glee.† I am so glad to be able to just run to the pool for a couple of hours and not worry about staying all day.† Since it is $18 each to get in!! It is a wave pool, Olympic pool, kiddie play area, beach and deck and water slides but still! That is so expensive for us.† They run a special for ONE day in March where the passes are $50 each.† Yay us!

I love this picture of Kei and Nomad.† He is much improved from the “I am so crazy I think something is wrong with me” self that he was a few months ago.† Still kinda wild, but better.

Kei has been building Fairy Houses since she was old enough to walk. She LOVES this.† She can spend hours working on her houses.† She has been busy this week on her newest Fairy Mansion.

There was also a lot of playing outside, riding on the huge spool I snagged at Home Depot, jumping and more.



One of our favorite things we did was the Greek/Latin cards we have.† We sat outside while Kei worked on her Fairy Houses and I would hold up each card and have her guess the origin and the meaning.† After she had gotten about 12 right it finally dawned on me that the Greek cards were GREEN and the Latin were RED.† She was just laughing her head off and so was I.† I really thought she was just that good at guessing!† To me this is homeschooling at its best….a girl playing in mud while learning about word origins, and laughing…always laughing.

Today she joined a Webkinz chat on Facebook.† She was so excited because she asked a question and they answered it and typed her name.† :)

She also made a really yummy snack.† It was very quick and easy.† The recipe is here.

We are reading a lot together.† Fabre and Turtle in Paradise and Kei is still reading her book and I am reading Guerrilla Learning [which is one of my favorite HSing books].† We have 2 more chapters in SOTW and a couple more in Zoology 3 and then I am ready to start back! 6th GRADE.† How is that possible?

Kei also made a mailbox which we hung on the wall.† You never know what is going to show up in there!

Lovely giggly days….Is there anything better?

Happy weekend!


[E]very time a child says, “I don’t believe in fairies,” there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead.† ~James Matthew Barrie, Peter Pan

Nothing can be truer than fairy wisdom.† It is as true as sunbeams.† ~Douglas Jerrold

Slow down, you move too fast….

My sweet girl will be going into 6th grade in August. This beautiful child who has shown me that being a Mommy is the best thing in the entire world and who has taught me more in 11 years than I have learned my whole life, would be going into middle school if she was in Public School. I thank God daily that she is not.

Middle school youth are engaging in sexual intercourse as early as age 12, according to a study by researchers at The University of Texas School of Public Health.

Almost 20% of 14-year-olds say they’ve been drunk at least once, according to a U.S. Surgeon General report, and one-fourth of 8th graders have reported being drunk, according to the Monitoring the Future Survey. Another study, by RAND Health, found that three-quarters of 7th graders had used alcohol.

Nearly one in five 7th graders and 15 percent of kids in 6th grade are having sexual intercourse.

One in five (19.9%) students reported being bullied on school property during the past year.

The most common reasons youth receive mental health services are feeling depressed (50%), problems at home/family (28.8%), breaking rules or ìacting outî (25.1%), and suicidal thoughts or attempts (20.2%).

The Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base reports that right around 30% of teens are offered drugs in middle school and high school.

The Kaiser Foundation reports that about 50% of teenagers feel pressured with regard to sex in relationships.

Thirty percent (30%) of U.S. students in grades six through ten are involved in moderate or frequent bullying ó as bullies, as victims, or as both ó according to the results of the first national survey on this subject.

1 out of 4 kids are Bullied.† The American Justice Department says that this month 1 out of every 4 kids will be abused by another youth.

Surveys Show That† 77%† of students are bullied mentally, verbally, & physically.

100,000 students carry a gun to school.

Playground statistics – Every 7 minutes a child is bullied. Adult intervention – 4%. Peer intervention – 11%. No intervention – 85%.



As for us, we have NO time for such thingsÖ

There is:

Science to learn

History to explore

Doggies to play with

Fairy houses to build

Dandelions to blow

Rain to dance in

Ice cream to be bought

Silly faces to make

Fireflies to catch

Songs to be sung

Books to read

Chocolate to eat

Swimming to be done

Picnics to be taken

Walks to take

Birthdays to celebrate

Playgrounds to play on

Stories to write

Pretending to be done

Country roads to travel down

Woods to explore

Dreams to dream

Recipes to make

Giggles to be giggled

Tire swings to be swung on

Dances to be danced

Knitting to be done

Art to be drawn

Snow People to make

Friends to hug

Gardens to be gardened

Best friends to whisper to

Plays to be performed in

Cartwheels to be turned

Prayers to be prayed


Pictures to be taken

Frogs to catch

Places to explore

Volunteering to be done

Games to play

Trees to climb

Flowers to be smelled

Dressing up to do

Swinging to be swung

Webkinz to play with

Clay to be molded

Experiments to make

Sewing to be sewn

Clover crowns to make

And so very much more…

Every day I thank God that I am able to homeschool Kei. As a single Mom it is hard at times, but with Godís grace we are able do this wonderful thing.† We try to never forget to count our blessings.


I guess when it comes down to it
Being grown up isn’t half as fun as growing up
These are the best days of our lives
The only thing that matters is just following your heart
And eventually you’ll finally get it right.- The Ataris

Too many of today’s children have straight teeth and crooked morals.† ~Unknown high school principal



TShirts, Birthdays, BBQ’s and Sugar Creek…

We have had an amazing few days. We have gone and gone and gone. And had a blast. All around us schools are still in session. They had to go longer this year because of so many weather days. Thankfully they did not have to make up the Tornado days. If the area is declared a National Disaster, school does not have to be made up.

We headed out on Friday to Cullman to a T Shirt sale. Our friend Gretta had Facebooked that her church was having a huge sale with $1 T shirts. I didn’t think too much about it until she posted pictures of the shirts she got. They were AWESOME! Sanctify shirts, shirts from the 80′s and all sorts of cool things.† So I contacted Gretta for the address not knowing that Gina did the same.† We decided to ride with them to go T Shirt shopping!† We always have a blast with the Lackeys!!

A Shopping We Will Go!!!


When we got there I could not believe the great shirts! I was in HEAVEN!† We scored big time.† Kei and I bought 31 shirts for $31.† After the shopping binge, we went to Gretta and David’s house and had such a fun time hanging out with them.† This is their first year homeschooling her 3 kids and I loved hearing her HSing stories.† She also GAVE me a LifePac Spanish 1 course.† I had JUST told Kei that morning that I wanted her to take Spanish for next year and I hoped I could find something I could afford.† I just love how God works things out.† She also told us their tornado story and it just brought tears to my eyes. God truly held them in His embrace.

Here are our T Shirts! Jealous much?





Livvy spent the night with us Friday night and Saturday we went out meandering. I just love that word…meander… I love the defintion: To move aimlessly and idly without fixed direction.† I live so much of my life like that. Aren’t I lucky? :)

We went to the boat docks and picked out the boat of our dreams.† We also picked our favorite name which we all agreed was Pier Pressure.† Isn’t that great?





Then we heard the ice cream truck so of course…it was ICE CREAM time!!




Sunday we went to church and our church had sent some crews to Joplin, Missouri to help with clean up.† Our church has a live service online and they were watching along with a church in Joplin.† It was a very moving experience.† They lost so many people in the tornado that struck their town and there was so much destruction.

Monday was Memorial Day and we started off the day early at my brother’s house. It was my niece Katherine’s 14th birthday and we ate grilled hamburgers and cake.† My Dad and Marlene were there and Heather’s Mom and Dad.



Happy Birthday Katherine!



Then Kei and I came home to get started on our BBQ.† Laura and Livvy were coming over.† We had grilled hamburgers, hot dots, baked beans, chips, and homemade brownies and ice cream.† Laura brought some yummy macaroni salad.† We had a blast.† The girls played in the sprinkler afterwards and we sat on the patio and talked and talked and talked.

There were cartwheels…





and water….

Friends and Water...



A great Memorial Day with our friends and family!

Tuesday we were going to Sugar Creek.† Sugar Creek is one of our favorite places in the world.† It is this wonderful creek filled with fish and a rope swing and geodes and a old swinging bridge.† There is a church and a cemetery nearby.† We always go in a huge caravan and we spend the day.† There are blankets and chairs everywhere, floats and boats, kids laughing, Mom’s and Dad’s laughing, food galore.† It is a magical place.

Just floating...
Sugar Creek
Kei and Chan checking out their Geodes
Shaking the Geode
Lovely places...
Our Amazing Kids...
Photo by Heather Woods


It was such a great day.† Chan came home with us for a couple of days and her and Kei are having a blast as usual.† Kei was a wee bit tired from her day and had to chillax with Nomad for a bit.

A Girl and her Dog..


What a wonderful start to our summer! I hope your summer [or winter if you are one of my Aussie friends] is magical and full of delight…

Colored scents that fill the air as drowsy insects hum around in the meadow is the place of secret magic where nature alone renews itself.† ~ Kate Bergquist



Almost Sisters, Field Days and Some Learnin’…

Kei came home from Kindergarten the first day talking about “Livvy”.† Every day she would tell me things that happened with her new ‘best friend’.† I met Livvy and her mom, Laura early in the year. Her Mom and I bonded just like our girls did.† In first grade, Kei changed schools and we didn’t see Livvy every day anymore. But the girls and the Moms still stayed in contact.† I pulled Kei out of Public School after the 1st week of 2nd grade.† We weren’t talking to Livvy and Laura every day then.† Sometimes not even once a month.† But Laura called me a couple of weeks after I started homeschooling Kei and said she was going to take Livvy out too.† They homeschooled for 3 years then last year Laura put Livvy in private school. She is a single Mom like I am and she had to go back to work.† But our girls have become closer each year.† They have always played so well together, talked on the phone for hours, spent the night with each other.† They call each other ‘sister’ and I love Livvy so much.† Laura is one of my dearest friends in the world.† You isn’t often that your child’s best friend’s Mom is one of your best friends but that is the way it has worked out.† We love our relationship with these amazing girls in our life.
The best kind of friend is the one you could sit on a porch with, never saying a word, and walk away feeling like that was the best conversation you’ve had.† ~Author Unknown


Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, “What! You too? I thought I was the only one!” by C. S. Lewis


Tuesday we had Field Day.† This is always a HUGE deal.† We had so many people there. I have no clue how many but it was well over 100.† The kids all enjoy it so much.

Hanging Out Before Field Day
Cool Homeschoolers...

Kei won 3 Medals and Ribbons for Shot Put, Soccer and Mile Run.

Mile Run..err Walk..

Kei loves Soccer, she has never wanted to play organized Soccer but every year she signs up for Field Day and has a blast.

We are still ‘schooling’ but we really never stop.† We do less in the Summer, not so organized, but we still do things.† I want to finish our Story of The World.† We have a couple of chapters left.† The biggest thing we need to finish is Zoology 3.† Since I used another science the first of the year, we started this late.† I would like to finish the book but if we don’t and summer’s siren song gets to be too much,† we can finish it in August.

I can’t believe my little girl would be going into 6th grade if she was in PS.† 6th GRADE!† It is so hard for me to believe.† I have lots of thoughts swirling around about that but I will save it for another post, another day.

As for now…there are long, lazy days to explore, lightening bugs to catch, swimming pools calling our names, picnics to be taken, meandering trips down country roads, food to be cooked outside, songs to be sung, movies to watch, flowers to stop and smell and more.

Viva la Summer!

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.” ~ John Lubbock

Today is the First Day of the Rest of …

This week has been about starting new habits.† After my hospital scare I came away determined to do better, be better, eat better.† I really don’t eat that badly.† We never eat fried foods, never eat fast food, almost always eat baked chicken and tons of veggies but….it is the caffeine that is the killer.† I have cut down my caffeine consumption by at least 75%.† Now I was drinking crazy amounts of caffeine.† Anyone who really knows me, knows that is true.† I am a Diet Dr. Pepper addict.† I am never without it…NEVER.† This week I have started off each day with orange juice.† The rest of the day I have either mixed Caffeine free and regular or just drank caffeine free. Now I KNOW that I need to get off the sodas all together.† But here is my dilemma.† I have always drank too much soda.† I am one of those people who have to have something to drink at all times.† I don’t like water, although I have been trying that Crystal Light stuff you put into water.† It isn’t horrible…it isn’t Dr. Pepper, but it isn’t horrible.

But I will get there…slowly…because I will do whatever I need to do to be healthy!† Thankfully I have been mostly slim my entire life but I want to really start doing more in the exercise department. Kei and I love riding bikes but my bike from last year has 2 rotted tires so I am in the market for a new bike.† Figured I could pick up one at a yard sale cheaper than replacing the tires.

We have had a great week ‘learning’ wise.† We are trying to finish up SOTW 1.† We have just a few more chapters left.† We have loved it and I so wish I had used SOTW since I began HSing Kei in 2nd grade.† We are also finishing up Zoology 3 / Apologia.† We have LOVED that too.† I can not believe how much we have learned about animals.† And I can’t believe that EVERY SINGLE ANIMAL we study, Kei has a “Webkinz” story about it!† Seriously, someone needs to create a Webkinz Lapbook/Unit Study.† There are a few little things I have ran across but nothing really intense. My girl would LOVE that.

Stan, my awesome boss, gave me a Amazon gift card and I finally ordered a new camera.† It is the camera Esther uses so I know it will be fabulous.† Just hope I can figure it out!† Kei is excited because she gets my old one which is really a good little camera.

Kei also had tryouts last week for Annie, Jr.† She got the role of a house maid and is in a couple more dance numbers.† They are VERY fair with the kids trying out, so we knew she wouldn’t get a huge role since her last role was so big.† But she is so excited, of course.† And I will be spending my summer at play practices.

Kei at Play Tryouts...

Kei finished another book and decided to find one she wanted to read instead of one I am making her read.† She decided to read Dear America book.† It is “Voyage on the Great Titanic”.† She said it was good so that is a start.† We went to the library today and she got about 6 more of the “Dear America” books.† Of course the one she can’t wait to read it about the 1960′s.† Ahh my little hippie chick.† We also ate lunch at Cracker Barrel.† Do they have Cracker Barrel’s everywhere or is that just a “southern” thang?† Yummy food.† We also got the tulle to make her a skirt like the awesome ones HMama made her two adorable daughters!† Kei can’t wait to wear it, if I will get off the butt and make it!† She also got some cross stitch kits and tons of embroidery thread.† I want her to stitch some way cool things on her jeans…flowers and peace signs and ivy and stuff.† Wouldn’t that be cool? Something like this? [Well probably not the "Wine Lover"]

Supposed to be a beautiful weekend.† Livvy is spending the weekend with Kei. They have requested chicken wings for dinner and sounds of laughter is ringing off the walls.† Good times…

Some crazies people are predicting that tomorrow is the end of the world.† We will be at SoulStock, an outdoor Christian concert, with thousands of Jesus lovers!† I can’t think of anywhere better to be, can you?

Happy weekend,


To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.† ~Buddha


Water, Wildlife, Webkinz and Scary Times.

We had a really great, laid back week. Until Saturday. More about that in a minute.

We spent Tuesday with our bestest friends.† There was a park day with Moms and kids running everywhere.† It was a great time.

*See my cool collages? Thanks Theresa! I LOVE these!


Then we went to Heather’s for the FIRST Swim of the Year.† YAY for warmer weather.


We also watched squirrels, rabbits and birds galore in our yard.† We are amazed by how much wildlife we have!

Kei's pic of a squirrel

Kei and I spent a lot of time outside.† She played Webkinz under the tree.† Is there anything better than that???

Saturday morning about 1:00 AM I woke up feeling quite yucky.† I was shaking all over, my heart was racing and I felt like I was going to be sick.† Now I have had panic attacks in the past and I thought that is what it was.† But it did not go away.† For an hour it just got worse.† I woke Kei up at 2:30 AM and told her I was going to go the the ER.† Now I have NEVER gone to the Emergency room in my life except when an ambulance took me when I cut my wrist so badly.† But I knew something was not right.† Well 14 hours later, 7 sticks of needles for blood work [including 2 blown veins, I have horrible veins], 3 EKG’s, an echogram, X rays and tons of poking and prodding they determined my thyroid was way out of whack.† I had hyperthroidism when I was 27 but haven’t had it checked in a few years because I don’t have insurance.† I should have just gotten the money and done it because I don’t even want to think about my hospital bill.† I also have really low potassium and magnesium levels.† It was a long, scary time.† They put me in ICU for observation, purely standard they said, but I was freaked out.† Also they put a IV port in ‘just in case they had to Med Flight me to the nearest city’.† It was not a fun time.† By 9:00 AM I was so ready to go but the cardiologist didn’t come until 3:00 PM!!† But he released me with new medicines and the stern “Stop drinking so much caffeine” that I knew was coming.† I walked out and honestly felt like kissing the ground.† I wasn’t sure when I walked in 14 hours earlier if I was even coming out.† Stuff like that is so scary! Kei wasn’t afraid.† She told me she knew I was fine, that she prayed and knew God would watch out for me.

So ..scary time but good results.† My thyroid being so low explains so much. Like why I freeze when everyone else is burning up, why I am so dang tired all the time and other things.

Today is Monday..and I am happy to be alive. :)


The greatest wealth is health.† ~Virgil

The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they’ll ease
Your will they’ll mend
And charge you not a shilling.
~Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, What the River Knows, 1990


Dear Mother…

3 years can it be that I have had no Mother for 3 years.† It seems like yesterday, it seems like a lifetime ago.

I still wonder sometimes if I should have done more, fought harder, tried different things.† The months before your death was filled with so many emotions; hope, fright, tears, smiles, panic, helplessness, determination, laughter, devastation.† I wanted you to get better, I talked to doctors, did research, prayed.† But in the end, you died.

The week before your death was surreal.† We all knew it wouldnít be long.† On May 7th, you said, to my knowledge your last words, ìI love you tooî when I told you I loved you.† †I hated going home at the end of each day, so afraid Daddy would call me and tell me you had died.† But you hung on.

The day before you died, I lay with you in the hospital bed we had set up in your room.† I talked to you, I told you how much I loved you, how blessed I was to have had you as my Mother.† I assured you that I would be fine, that I could handle your death, while inside I was screaming, ìNo please donít leave me, I canít do this without you.î† But I know you, you would have held on forever if I said those words.† And I wanted you to find peace.

The day you died is etched in my heart forever. Eddie and I had spent the night because we knew it wouldnít be long. It was the longest night of my life.† I kept going into your room and listening to your ragged breathing as you struggled for each breath. I lay on the floor and prayed and cried and pleaded with God.† I stroked your face and your hand, the hand that had been my support my entire life.† I woke up at 3:00 AM panic stricken, convinced that I would not be able to live in a world that you didnít exist in.† At around 7:00 AM, we called Momís 2 sisters to come over. We knew it wouldnít be long.† You died at 8:07 AM, with me, my brother and your two sisters around your bed.† My Daddy couldnít stand it. He wouldnít come into your room for the end.† As you took your last breath, I felt your presence leave the earth.† You were here and then you werenít.

I walked outside into a beautiful morningÖthe birds were singing, the sun was shining, the roses were blooming and I had no Mother.

3 years later, I am in your house.† I live here, surrounded by your memories, my memories, memories of me as a child, new memories of my child here.† I feel you everywhere, I miss you every day, I need you more times than I can count.

You were so many things to me, my friend, my Mother, my confidante, my advisor, my rock, my biggest fan.† I sometimes run across things that you wrote, always in green pen.

Like this from when I moved to California:

ìSometimes I wake up at night and almost can not breath because my Ka is so far away, but I want her to be so happy and this makes her happy.î

I cook in the kitchen that you made countless meals for us and I throw the dish towel over my left shoulder just like you always did and I smile.† I talk to you and sometimes I could swear I feel you here, peeking around the corner, almost here, but not quite.

I can almost hear you say, ìMy Kaî like you greeted me in every phone call or every time I saw you.† ìMy Ka, how are you doing todayî.† The phone call I got every night saying, ìGoodnight My KaîÖand that was all.† †I miss thatÖI miss your voice. I wish I had all those answering machine messages that would drive me crazy at timesÖI wish I could hear every one of them and smile.

I donít want Kei to forget you, I tell her stories all the time.† Stories of you climbing up to our tree house when we were there with the neighborhood kids and scaring us to death and laughing so hard you almost fell off the ladder, stories of how no child would ever leave our house without a ìJean Goodie Bagî, the wall in the laundry room where every child that ever entered this house would be measured. We chart the growth of Kei alongside the growth of me at the same age.† I tell her stories of how you loved your roses and birds and your yard and would sit for hours outside just watching the birds eat, stories of your infamous battle over a purse at a Martinís Black Friday sale with you winning of course, stories of tornado warnings with you in the closet and you running out to watch TV and Daddy yelling from the other closet, ìHoney are you out of that closet?î and me trying to hold in my giggles, stories of a Motherís love and how fierce and strong and protective it was.

I know you would be so happy that Daddy is happy. How many times did you say, ìYour Daddy will live longer than me, those Terryís live forever and I want him to find someone and I want you to be nice to herî.† He did Momma, and I am nice to her, and he is happy.

I know you would be happy that Kei and I see your best friend Patsy so often.† Every memory I have of her has you in it and it is so wonderful being around her.† She tells me stories of you from a best friend perspective and has been there for me so many times over the past 3 years.

Kei and I both smell your perfume at times. You always wore perfume and this house holds traces of it everywhere.† It always makes me smile to smell it.† Kei will say, ëI smell Baba.î† About 6 months after you died Kei asked me, ìMom when you pray something over and over and it doesnít come true, what does that mean?î I said, ìWhat have you prayed for baby?î and she said, ìThat you wouldnít be so sad about Baba dying.î† That healed me so muchÖbecause like my Mother, I would do anything for my child.† She still tells me that I wake up in the mornings sometimes calling for you.† For months I would fall asleep saying your name.† I wonder why now it is in the mornings?

The ìDeath of My Motherî is not at all like I thought it would be.† I dreaded it my entire life. I thought I couldnít survive it.† I told you that sometimes remember? †You said ìDonít be ridiculous of course you will.î† I was wrong, and as usual you were right. I did survive it.† It just hurt so badly and still hurts. ††I still miss you, I will always miss you.

One day, I will be with you again.† And we will hug and laugh and dance and giggle and talkÖ.just like we always did.

3 years..a lifetime without you.


ìI remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.î ~ Abraham Lincoln

ìDeath ends a life, not a relationship.î †~Jack Lemmon

ìTo live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.î ~Thomas Campbell

The Calm after the Storm

We have had a quiet, stay at home week.† The world still feels a little off, but it is slowly getting back to normal.† For us at least.

We spent a week filled with decimals and aardvarks and anteaters and armadillos and Rome and Google Earth Rome 3D and drew pictures of Roman houses and made a Roman cookbook and calendar and lots of drawing and lots of reading and a girl who finally finished “Little Blog on the Prairie” and loved it even when she wanted to hate it.† We cleaned up our HS room and went through† books and Kei said to me, “I wish I loved to read” as we unturned one after another lovely books.† Which gave me hope.

Books and books and books
The "Media" Area and more books...


We spent time outside and time replacing ruined meat and freezer goodies.† We took walks and picked flowers and learned about Cicada eating Wasps.† We took doggie to the vet and got his heartworm medicine and figured out the reason he can pull us all over is that he now weighs 82.4 pounds! We watched some of our favorite TV shows; Castle, Modern Family and a little bit of American Idol, all taped to fast forward through the commercials!† We snuggled a lot and giggled and danced a bit in the kitchen and there was singing…always singing.

We went to the final skate day today and I found some great curriculum for next year.

Final Skate Day 5th Grade
More books and books and books


Now it is Friday afternoon, the birds are singing, the sun is shining, our world feels clean and new and full of possibilities.

Happy weekend

Happy Mother’s Day to all my wonderful friends,


After a storm comes a calm. ~ Matthew Henry

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. ~Willa Cather

After every storm the sun will smile; for every problem there is a solution, and the soul’s indefeasible duty is to be of good cheer. ~William R. Alger


"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” ― A.A. Milne