Thursday, June 14, 2018

Sketches of Summer

Together we pull weeds, Bethi and I, with only a comment or two, perfect comradeship without words, because we are both doing something we love together. A gentle breeze blows just often enough to make the heat almost unnoticed, and centipedes travel rapidly past our fingers, unafraid of our invasion of their territory, unlike the timid pill bugs. We are gleeful over the simple facts that the lettuce is still standing, the bell peppers have finally shown their tiny leaves, the tomatoes which were wilting are now standing straight and growing in height from careful attention. "I don't know why, but I think I like weeding the best out of gardening," Bethani muses. The straight rows rising out of what was once chaos is satisfying.

The sun is beating down almost unbearably on anything that dares to show it's face to the out-of-doors; the sun is so bright, it is almost dizzying. But the garden is a friend, and it needs a helping hand even more on such a day as this. The carrot tops, feathery, abundant, thickly green, hide many weeds under canopies formed by intertwining plants, beginning to think of needing more room The squash shows little buds, the promise of fruit for our attentive care. Mental notes to transplant that pepper and stake the top-heavy tomato plants; the ground is hard and dry; it doesn't feel like anything could live in it. But the mist of water spreads it's beautiful prisms of color across the enclosure as the sun glints off it's surface, the gentle drops of liquid soak into the earth, and the ground is transformed into a life giving home for these spears of green.

I'm called to the window to see the little bunny that is nibbling clover under our double dining room windows. He's promptly named Timmy; and almost as quickly called Tiny Tim, for even a bunny is not exempt from having an endearing nickname. He seems to know we are watching, ready to run if the noises he hears turn out to be alarming, but he's not truly afraid, and seems to feel that the half hour of twilight is one to be enjoyed. He nibbles some more, and then lazily hops across the yard, and enjoys a long stalk of grass. Then he ambles and hurriedly hops by turns to the wooden yard fence, to creep along it through the bushes to his home in the woods. We expect to see him again; he has shown up just enough of late to make us feel as if we are a regular stop.

A light flashes in the dusk; it grabs my attention and I stand riveted at the window rather than hurrying past as I intended. Another and another blink on for a lingering moment, and then fade to be replaced by another. The display is simple and beautiful, reminding me of being seven years old and sitting out in my grandparents yard after a Fourth of July party, watching the fireflies put on their own light show. They are just as vivid and special this night, and their fairy sparkles over my garden fill me with a strong feeling of whimsy not often noticed, but cherished for it's briefness. I step out onto the deck, rid myself of the confining, distancing glass door. Here I am a part of the gentle night noises, the quiet stillness, surrounded by the twinkling lights that show the creativity and love for beauty that my Father not only created, but placed in me to love. 

Summer is here in full in South Carolina, and though the moment it arrives is difficult to tell, for often it feels it never truly ends, these little things are proof of the change, and a reminder that the simple moments can be breathtakingly beautiful and a gift contentedly taken is always a joy to the one who receives it. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Looking Back at May

Noah quietly playing by himself while we put together Bethi's little party.

I found a really off bug coming in from weeding, y'all. (But it's NOTHING like the beetles we've seen the last week. They are. so. big. ::shudder::)

Working on new product ;)!


Me: "Out of 8 women on this thing, 3 are Anne and two are Jane."
Tori: "What kind of poem was that?"
*blinks* Bethi had to explain to me that I made a rhymn, haha...

Joey: "I better get out of here before the fan messes up my hair!"

*sees someone on the internet say they are a crazy cat lady, but only have one cat*
*looks up from my phone as I realize I have zero cats*
"Okay, she could be a crazy cat lady. Amount of cats has nothing to do with it."

After weeks of Noah calling me Burrito, he is now in turn called Dorito, if anybody is interested ;). Except he hasn't seemed to notice yet, and I don't know if he just "gets it", or if he truly ignores me that much.

Me, as I am cooking in the kitchen and hear noises in the family room: "Awww, who's taking care of their beak?"
Thinks of this and laughs:

Image result for the only thing dog and cat people agree on is bird people meme

"A salad is a work of art." *stares happily at my salad*
Bethi: "Yeah... but I don't have that art..."

Standing in the kitchen of the church eating ice cream with some of the girls, when one of them says "I don't think I will have any, actually. I don't need it, I had a brownies today."
All of us; "WHAT!??!?!? But it's ICE CREAM."
One of us: "Well, but we feel bad for eating in front of you."
Responsible one: "It's okay, it's my choice."
Another of the girls: "Well, good choice!"
Literally at the exact same time, me: "But it's a bad choice."
Whoops. Don't count on me for support in turning down ice cream. Find you an Emily instead.

Tori: "My voice won't talk."

When the visiting evangelist gives a demonstration of what biblically speaking in tongues really looked like, and says "I am going to go out on a limb here, pastor, and say you don't speak swahili," (because who does, right?) and your sister jabs you and your dad tries to get your attention, because you actually know some swahili and they find it hilarious that he would choose that one. Good thing he didn't ask me, I would have ruined the demonstration ;).

Bethani, anfter I had joked to her that she needed to watch out for Andrew: "He's grown up, I didn't know I still had to take care of him."
Me: "BETHANI. You still take care of MEEEEE!!!!!"
Bethi: "Yeah, but, you're not grown up yet."
She just said she considers Andrew more capable than I am, y'all.
I would argue... but it half an hour that same day I had broken the straw to my cup and fallen into a wall. Sooooo... it wasn't a good day to argue.

Noah, dabbing at my face; "There's shwoklate, there's shwoklate."
"Chocolate? That's a mole, buddy."
Tori: "There's chocolate!? Lick it off!"
Noah: "NO. It's moldy!"

Josiah, obviously sick; "I just don't know what is the matter!!!"
"Josiah, you are sick."
"Nooooo, I am noooooot.
...I am never going to feel better..."
He truly said it in the saddest little wail, but it was so... Josiah like.

Tori, practicing her scales and arpeggios: "Ugh, this is hard."
*tosses book away* *plays a whole composition by ear to relax*

Tori: "I can't play this song, my hands don't stretch a whole octave! Bri, how far do your hands stretch?
No fair! You can reach OVER an octave!!!"
I got her extra key reach, now I just need to figure out how to use it...

Noah has a nightmare, wakes up, and explains that "the frogs in the movie scared him". All of us girls: "HE CALLS DREAMS MOVIES!!!"


Bethani became a teenager on her May Day birthday! We celebrated with a family party themed in cacti and llamas with a pink color scheme... because how much more Bethani can you get ;)?

I got to meet the wonderful Ashley behind Precious Moments! She and her mom drove by us to get to a wedding, and on the way back down, they stopped by our church to meet! It was so neat, and Ashley is so cheerful and gentle! We have been writing and getting to know each other for a while now, but it's fun to know each other outside of the page, as much as I love handwritten letters to connect :). 

Our church held a Justin Peters' "Clouds Without Water" conference, and though most of the family missed it due to being sick, some of us got to go to all the sessions, and it was really good. If you are interested in a biblical look at the Word of Faith movement or christianity as it is in our culture today, or in biblical teaching at all, it's up on our church's website to listen to for free. You can hear the first one here:, and there are links to the others near the bottom of the page :).

Daddy and Bethani and Andrew and I all went to a "near-by" park to see the synchronized fireflies, and despite the fact that Daddy and Andrew were attacked by some kind of large flying insect for 45 minutes, it drizzled off and on, Andrew had an allergic reaction to the mosquitoes, and my night vision is about none-existent and I couldn't see four feet in front of me for the last fifteen minutes of the walk back and kind of freaked out, haha... the actual moments that we stopped to watch the fireflies all blinking together up in the trees were worth coming for. It really was neat! It was a wonderful experience to have had... but I'm enjoying the unsynchronized fireflies through the window lately too ;). Daddy and Andrew had been to this park before, and we have a picture of Andrew on a tree that was way out in the water this time, the water was so much higher!

How was your month :)? Did anyone get to see the fireflies? What was something fun that your month included :)?

Rejoicing in Hope,
Bri <3

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

This is April's Wrap-up Post

Yes, it is very late. Yes, it is the reason I haven't blogged for almost two months. Yes, I have a lot of post ideas in my head after such a long break. No, that doesn't mean I'm back to stay, because I seem to be really bad at this consistency thing. BUT, I have missed you all, and do HOPE to do better for a while, even if I can't promise ;). And I had most of this half written and all of it jotted down in some way or another, and so I thought; why waste it ;)? I like to look back at laugh at the little things that happened that, usually, I have already forgotten (?!), and so I hope you can chuckle over them too :). 


Me: "Noah, is it hard work to be two?"
Noah: "No." Then, as if to prove his point: "...Veggietales."
Veggietales makes being two easy. Mkayyyyyy...

UPDATE a couple weeks later: This is what he meant when he said that. This child's reading comprehension is amazing to me, because he made that connection between the conversation and this book, which goes on to talk about how being small isn't so bad after all (because little guys can do big things too, obviously). I mean. Wow, NoNo. You're adorably smart.

Me: *bonks everything in the kitchen in quick secession*
Bethi: "Clumsy today?"
Me: "ME? Clumsier than USUAL?!?!"
Tori: "Wow, everybody away from Bri."

Me: *Writes secession as secessio and contemplates leaving it for Tori to find*

Tori: "Noah, what is a genius?"
Noah: "Josiah!"

Me to Peter: "Why do boys fight so much?" (Wrestling/tumbling, not mad ;).)
Peter: "I don't know!" (In a little tone that said, why would I ask if I couldn't figure it out.)
Peter, with sudden enlightenment: "I think... it's to make us... STRONGER."

Mama said Noah seems to finally be making the connection about Baby... they were talking and he asked "Kicking you???"
Finally: "Get it out!!!"

Noah has called me Burrito instead of Bri about 80% of the time he talks to me for weeks (edit at this time: months) now.

Noah as Daddy tells us goodnight (pretty much every night, because he is controlling and wants things to happen in a certain order, haha): "LIGHT."
Noah after Daddy turns off the light: "Whew. THANK you."
Tori: "Noah, you are bossy."
Noah: "Not Bossy."
Noah, two minutes later,  after no one has said anything else to him, he just wants us to stop talking to each other: "NOT BOSSY, STOP GUYS, SHHHHHH!!!"

Daddy: "Do I need to stop for anything on the way home?"
Mama: ...
Noah: "Pizza."
Mama: "Noah wants pizza..."

Me: "I WANT a caffeinated coffee, but I'll be responsible."
Mama a few days later: "I'm going to be responsible. Just get me a decafe."
"Mama, do you realize both of us use the word "responsible" most often in connection with coffee?"
Daddy: "Yeah... but I've never heard you use it with the word 'chocolate'."
One can only be so responsible.

Me: *texts Tori two questions*
Tori: "IDK. And IDK..."
Well, that's it. Nobody must know.

Mama took a picture of a teddy bear and her google phone app told her it identified a pet picture. It hasn't even identified our birds as pets before...

Aunt Tessa: "What do you think the rest of your family will do tomorrow?"
*gives her the two options on how the day might go taking into account one variable*
Mama the next day: *texts me they are doing one of the two variables exactly*
Aunt Tessa: "Tori isn't answering you back anymore."
Me: *looks at clock* "She will in a little bit. If I had to guess, they are getting the little ones ready for an early bedtime tonight so the older ones can do an ice cream night."
Tori:  *texts and lets me know they are doing that exactly*
Aunt Tessa: "It's kind of bazaar how you know exactly what's happening at home."
We're just predictable ;).

*I am texting Tori badly written sentences in "regional dialect" (think southern, british, scottish, etc.) late at night while I was out of town to tease her because she couldn't stand to see me butcher them as I was*


Our parakeet learned how to open the cage door. We're not sure which one, but either way, it was an issue, because one is aggressive and knows that we can't get her if she sits behind the sink, and one of them is clumsy and panics if a human is within two feet of her, and so their cage is now bread tied closed, haha.

The world's oldest spider apparently died by a wasp attack this month. ::sniff:: BUT NO, REALLY, HOW CAN THEY EVEN TELL?!?!?!?!?

So, he's blurred, but there's a genuine Peter smile, which does not happen when you warn him first ;).

It is honestly SO hard for me to put the little boys in their own beds if they fall asleep in mine before going to bed. They are just so squishily sweet <3.

Bethani and Abbi and Emmi and I put in our garden in April, and there are definitely going to be some posts on that in the future, because at least the carrots and squash seem to be growing well, haha. I love gardening, I'd missed it!

Two very exciting things happened in April... For one, our precious new cousin arrived :)! We got to meet him a couple weeks later. I stayed with my Aunt Tessa for a couple days first, and I made this little hat and diaper set for baby Kevin ( I forgot to bring Walter the Snowgie along with me, so my cup had to be the head form I use while placing the pieces) while Aunt Tessa did some school work and we watched a movie with cookie dough, haha :). We're great multitaskers, and we get along great together ;).  Kevin is just so sweet, and we were so thrilled to get to see him and hold him and love him up!

And for another thing, Mama and Daddy completely shocked us on Resurrection by announcing that little Baby Bear is a BOY! They had known for weeks; it had been long enough that I had stopped suspecting them of hiding the secret, because I honestly didn't think Mama could wait that long if she knew, so they must have decided to be surprised again... but no, Mama just wanted to save it for an extra surprising surprise ;)! We're evenly split now; five girls and five boys! Mama never suspected, after having one lone boy in the midst of five girls, that one day she would get four little guys in a row! Josiah seemed to really "get" that there was a baby on the way after he learned that it was a brother... I guess it helped him fit the baby into the family in his mind. He hadn't really responded at all up until then, but as soon as we learned Baby was a boy, Josiah started talking about him constantly, and it's just been really sweet!


April ended with an experience I'd rather have forgone (well... changed, not forgone exactly), but it gave some opportunities for growth, and most of the month was wonderful and fun, something I am definitely reminded of editing my own post :) And each month, each day, each moment, is a gift from God no matter what, isn't it? God's planned everything for His glory and our benefit, and when you remember all the cause God has to remove us from Himself forever, it's just a blessing to realize that you are living in His grace!

April was also pretty much South Carolina's only month of spring, so, there is that to set it apart, as well ;).

Next up, May's recap... which is only slightly late right now, right ;)?

Many blessings,
Bri <3