Ignorance is bliss

Actual conversation in the car this morning:

Rob: “Are you going to play in the 8th Grade vs. Teachers volleyball game this afternoon, Mom?”

Me: “Is that the game where you hit the ball with a stick or you hit it with your hands?”

Rob: “MOM. You are absolutely not allowed to ask to play.”

Abbey, equally alarmed: “Hrm, yes, I don’t think you should either.” – Katie

Big Day

Big day today! Given that it’s our last week of school, there are fun, unusual things to do every day, but this morning as I was sharpening pencils for 1st Graders somebody looked out the window and saw this:


The thief! A 1st Grade parent donated this garden box, which sits outside one of the classroom windows, and the class has grown a handful of radishes and now lettuce. Which someone is enjoying enormously.


Look how fat he is! That’s lettuce-fed coney right there. And of course when one child spotted the rabbit, lippity-lipping along and leaping right into the box, everybody had to do this:


Wascally Wabbit aside, we did eventually have to get started with the schoolday, and the next time I glanced out the window he was gone.  – Katie



Well Worthwhile

For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is–limited
and suffering and subject to sorrows and death–He had the
honesty and courage to take His own medicine. Whatever game He
is playing with His creation, He has kept His own rules and
played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not
exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of
human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life
and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to
the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and
death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in
poverty and died in disgrace and thought it was well
    … Dorothy Leigh Sayers (1893-1957), Christian Letters to a Post-Christian World, Eerdmans, 1969, p. 14

Something there is…

Hard it is, very hard,
    To travel up the slow and stony road
    To Calvary, to redeem mankind; far better
    To make but one resplendent miracle,
    Lean through the cloud, lift the right hand of power
    And with a sudden lightning smite the world perfect.
    Yet this was not God’s way, Who had the power,
    But set it by, choosing the cross, the thorn,
    The sorrowful wounds. Something there is, perhaps,
    That power destroys in passing, something supreme,
    To whose great value in the eyes of God
    That cross, that thorn, and those five wounds bear witness.
    … Dorothy Leigh Sayers (1893-1957), The Devil to Pay, V. Gollancz, ltd., 1939, p. 68



Helen’s grandmother treated us to an Ikea day. Ikea, the land of DIY furniture for Vikings and divorced Dads. And brightly colored things for children.

When they eat their lunch, like Jack Sprat and his wife, Helen likes fries and Sarah likes meatballs, so between them they clean the plate.


They prefer sitting right next to each other so they can eat, fight, and take things off each others’ plates more conveniently.


They try hard to be patient while we adults look at 500 million cheap, attractive things made by inventive Swedes, and then when we reach the kids’ area they get to play on the toys. O lovely toys!


Sarah pulled 8 stuffed dogs out of a bin and hid them in a circus tent, and then came and got me to look at her “pet shop”. She’s good with dogs! – Katie




A kind friend gave us a little Shumard Oak tree in a black plastic bucket. The bucket has been its cosy house for a year. It waves a gentle hello whenever we walk past it into the house.


Do you know what embryonic leaves look like when they emerge in Spring? I didn’t until this year when it happened immediately beyond our front door: the leaves are born like the curl on a cursive letter. They unfurl like a bright pink feather, blushing from red to green as they reach average leaf proportions. It’s beautiful.


The spot right in front of the door is the girl’s favorite. They play around the oak bucket, gathering roly-polys in a tupperware and picking flower petals to make fairy soup.  – Katie

Just give me a tiny piece


Our new favorite after-dinner treat is peanut butter rice krispie treats. They are delectable. You eat one, and then you need just one more. Or, in the case of Corrie two nights ago, just three more. (They have peanut butter! That’s healthy, right?)

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Melt 4 Tbls. butter in a saucepan on medium heat. When completely melted, stir in one 10.5 oz. package mini marshmallows, and continue stirring until that is melted also. Take off heat and stir in 1/2 cup peanut butter. When mixture is smooth, stir in 6 cups Rice Krispie cereal.Scoop immediately into well-buttered pan and smooth top with well-buttered hands. Let sit until cool. Cut and serve. – Katie

After bedtime.

Helen comes dancing out. She was put to bed a half hour ago, but details like that don’t worry her. She has been singing songs to Corrie and pulling her hair when Corrie pretends not to listen.

Me: “Helen, you need to be quiet and go to bed. Would you get Mommy a bandaid?”

Her little face goes still for a moment, absorbing the fact that Mommy is asking her for help. She gives a quiver of comprehension and jumps up and down once with importance. “I get da bandaid!”

Her feet patter away and then return, triumphant. She’s picking at the paper as she runs. “I open it. Now der is trash.” She swivels and runs over to the trash can, pausing just a minute in front of it to make sure she throws away the right part. She looks up to make sure I still need her.

“Look, Mom. Der is paper now.”, she says as she peels off one back of the bandaid. Once she has it open it sticks to her fingers. “Where you owee?” I point to a raw spot on my foot where a shoe rubbed, and she pushes down the bandaid sticky side up. She frowns and flicks her fingers back and forth, trying to get it off. Finally she flips it over, managing not to fold too much of the adhesive onto itself, and pushes it down on my foot.

“Der. You have bandaid. I have ice cream?” This smiling coyly as she eyes my bowl. Nevermind that she should be asleep now. Nevermind that it is MY ice cream. She takes my spoon like a wand and casts the best spell she can with puppy-eyes, fingering a little mound of ice cream into her mouth.

I sit on the leather sofa, feet comfortable beneath me with their sticky bandaid in place. And watch her eat a spoonful of ice cream. – Katie



In the 2nd Grade classroom


Our Classroom

by Corrie

Mrs. Stamp teaching to the kids.

Pencils twirling around while kids are working.

Hands brushing off eraser bits.

Pencils scraping paper.

Beautiful music playing.

Water bottle lids closing and making the sound, “Pop”.

Snacks crunching on rainy days and leaving crumbs behind.

Yellow, pink, and silver pencils.

White and sometimes different colored thin paper.

Brown thick hard doors.

Snacks being eaten by second grade kids.

Yummy oatmeal cookies with a squishy big marshmallow inside.

Thats my second grade classroom!