'Fess Up, Josephine

Okay, it's time to speak truth.

We've had the internet for several weeks now, wildly whooping on the back of Hunger's wind from my brother's home to ours, and I haven't yet put up a post.


I've weakly begun trying to catch up on people's blogs (What's this?! You lived during the last year and a half?), I've started to remember why the Internet is so darn fun, and I've started to also remember
why I hate it.

I haven't started making even the first of the many Christmas gifts on my wish list for giving, and if I'm really stupid, I'll put up a monster blog post before next Saturday.

Let's hope I'm wise, instead.

Christmas in 11 days!
(I can't wait!!!!!)


White Rabbit

Well, here I am.

I've been at the library for 50 minutes of the 60 I allotted to put up a blog post, and my progress stands as follows:

1. I have checked the first few posts of one of my friend's blogs. JUST ONE!!!!

2. Through no lack of trying, I have thus far loaded zero snapshots for Shotsnaps. ZERO!!!!

3. I have been doggedly attempting to ignore the tender couple several yards away-- the only other people in the room-- who murmur wispy words to one another. My peripheral vision keeps functioning despite my orders for it to fall to China through a hole in the ground, so I am also privy to their strokes, smackings, etc. FALL TO CHINA THROUGH A HOLE IN THE GROUND!!!!

(This command serves for both my functioning peripheral vision and to the passionate couple.)

In the twelve minutes that remain to me before John and the girls come trucking to pack me up and away, I will keep my word and put up a post.

Please remember that even the weakest of posts is still a post.

Life is full, and I never come to the library, but I miss reading your blogs! Really, if we become inter-netted again, they are what will draw me back. I enjoy the diversion of all your words and pictures, displayed before my nosy nose, which is certainly a much more pleasant diversion than the couple on whom you can place the blame for the following lame post. (Which couple I believe has now been turned to stone. They are locked in a still and solid embrace from whence no sound comes forth. It's actually a little terrifying.)
Thanks, Medusa!
You come through every time...

***Kiley, there is no such thing as too many comments! I loved reading them all. And wheelbarrows of thanks to you, delurkers! It's fun to forge this tenuous connection to you five in other parts of the country and the world, and you rock for forcing me off my duff. (No, you do not count, *Cate* and Warner, because I already knew you occasionally read, and, yes, my rules for delurkers are ill-defined.) I will find the skittish Internet again soon to respond to everyone's comments, even if I have to overturn every boulder in the woods.

Very Truly and Everlastingly Yours,


Slapped on with a Gluestick...

...because John just called from the parking lot.

My chariot awaits!


My cousin Lorin was sweet enough ask all three of these girls to toss flowers in her wedding this summer. I didn't take any pictures during the wedding because I left my camera at home. It follows that I also didn't take any pictures during the reception because I left my camera at home. Even though we only live five minutes away from both of these locations, I chose to enjoy the moment rather than drive home to get it.

But after the reception, as I was helping clean off tables, I picked up my bag, and, you guessed it!
I strike again in all my dazzling splendor.
I had my camera the entire time.

So here are two soiled snapshots of some rumpled flowergirls at the tail end of the day. More later.

Pavlov's Dog

D'y'ever HAVE to do something, and nothing can stop you?

...like take two grainy, ill-lit pictures of your Pipsqueak just because she exists?

....and then share them with the Internet folks who thought they might see some bits of loveliness today?

....but who instead get two grainy, ill-lit pictures of a Pipsqueak just because she exists?


Hm. How about that.

Socialize Them

We had a sleepover for the big girl cousins (eleven girls!), and I drove us all to the county fair the next morning. Shown are three set of twins and one odd Bird.


Home Again

Home is where my Heart is. This has been so since a windy day in October nearly nine years ago.

It's strange to now have a place of board and batten-- a Home within a home. God has given me many unlooked-for material blessings in the last year, but I can say with straight-arrow Knowing that if He took it all away tomorrow, I'd still be overwhelmed by the better good He left behind in the shape of John and the girls.

Thank you, Father, for a home. Thank you yet more for my Home.

We're at the end of a wonderful week with our Owen family in Long Island. John and I went on two (two) dates by ourselves (alone), we all swam in the ocean, and we were spoiled with attention and much too much good food. We will be sad to leave tomorrow but glad to return to the hilltop where swallows dip and swoop, their tail feathers decrescendos and crescendos as they enter and leave the upper coop, where an evening jog takes me to the crest of the hill, and I find myself suspended in the center of a colossal balance, the setting sun a vast orange weighing down the west and the moon a silver plum weighing down the east, and where the chores and tasks and joys of home are waiting.

*Actually, we leave today! I've nearly pulled an all-nighter to post all these snapshots. Now that's dedication... And for Sandra the Delurker, welcome! I love lurkers delurked! I don't have internet connection at home, so John's iPod is no use to me, but I'll strike a deal. If five people de-lurk in the next week or so, I'll hie me to a computer somewhere and put up another post in the next few weeks. (This is akin to Abraham pleading for Sodom and Gomorrah...a long shot.) Otherwise, see you all in December!

** Nine months worth of pictures is an awful lot.

Give It All You've Got

Never wear just one headband when FOURTEEN look so fine.

If Only There Were Crackerjacks

Millie and Annie received six free tickets to a local baseball game as a reward for reading books that they would have read without incentive. (How I love reading incentive programs...) John was going to take some of the men he works for to the ball game, so we got to watch as a family, with a few extra family members...

The home team lost.

We didn't care.

There was a spectacular fireworks show afterward-- the best I've ever seen at close range. I let Susannah take the camera, and we came home with dozens of pictures to delete.

Here's my favorite, saved from deletion for a place of shotsnaps honor.

The Duke

Half-lab, half-hound. After much searching and several pups that fell through at the last minute, my brother Andy, unaware that we'd been looking for just such a dog, surprised us with a free delivery. God hand-picked him for us, and he's cute enough to make old woman cry.

Meet John Wayne.
Lord willing, you'll see a lot of him on here in the next few years.

Key Lime Pie

I could ramble for miles about this man. I'd tell of his friendship and love, his forgiveness of faults, his mean dish of scalloped potatoes, his storage of socks in odd places, the funny things that make him really grumpy...

his papa-hood.

I could ramble for miles with this man, and with hope I pray that we have years ahead to do just that. May our children and this new baby grow into adulthood and watch us enjoy each other still, like wine aged with the perfect balance of dry and sweet.

Until all the worlds end.


Are Deceiving

Right before I took that peaceful snapshot of Susannah above, the scene was what you see below.

Two girls. One swing.

Piper, with a coat of sulk, waits for her turn.

Living It Up

A month or so before Lucinda arrived, Piper and I both took advantage of her dwindling status as baby.

The Air is Clear

Baby's First Bath

She was much older than babies usually are when their mothers decide they need washing, but our house was so cold, and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Do you think the Inuit give their babies baths before winter's over?

(Snapshots taken by Heart.)

Cruel & Unusual

Several weeks after I took this picture of Laura sleeping peacefully in Mildred's outdoor house of the day, we found her inside the sprawling forsythia on the lawn. Her already compromised head was sodden with rainfall and dew, blackened by mildew, her body likely in the last stages of rot.

Apparently, Susannah had been trying to steal her, so Millie surreptitiously slipped her into the forsythia for witness protection.

I made the mistake, in the midst of Mildred's woe, to carelessly say that she might be in a state too degenerate to save.

There is no despair like a mother's despair.

And there is no love like a mother's love.

This little mother worked very hard to right her wrong.

Here's the happy ending.

Ah, yes. Just as good as new...

If He Hollers

These are nothing special, but I love how the fairy godmother suffers from indecisiveness just as I do.

"SHOULD I comfort her with a magical wand shower?"

"Should I NOT comfort her with a magical wand shower?"

Eh. Those fairy godmothers are always too sweet for their own good.

Mallet Dreams

Now that we own some land, we're designing an 18-acre croquet green.

It's Finally Open!

Local Folkals: The Free Water Park Is Fun




And even if you're at first nervous...


We did. (Except for Piper, who was naughty and so had to stay in the van and Luci, who was asleep and babylike, besides, and John, who watched over the two...)