Art Friday: Create Space

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Earlier this summer I was able to find some time to organize and purge fourteen years worth of paperwork, art supplies, and well, junk- something I’d wanted to do for quite a while. We’ve moved so often the last few years that the ‘office’ continued to get packed up and trundled along, mess and all, never really getting straightened out. The next project is to do the same thing with my computer files. I have such a backlog…ewww…anyways. A re-arranged bedroom meant that this whole nook opened up, and with it, so many possibilities. What is in here now earns keep…and…it’s already messy. I think I just have to accept it. I usually clean up after a big creating session, if only to be able to find what I need the next go round, but yea, it pretty much stays this way. And I’m digging it. I love the light here too- I love that I have both high workspace and desk-level work space-I always was a standing scrapper but a sit-down painter but I never oriented my space for both possibilities until now. I haven’t gotten to slip in here as much as I would like, but I can honestly say this is the first space that has really worked for me, start to finish- that I can just walk into and get going on whatever I’m interested in. It is still a work in progress, but overall, I am very happy.

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This Week In My Kitchen…

photo 2I’ve really been enjoying being in the kitchen the last two weeks. As I mentioned on Monday, we are shifting our eating habits in an effort to help Elliana’s recovery, even as we wait for testing and results that may indicate more changes that are needed. I am much more adventurous in the kitchen, but I still definitely need some hand holding with new flavors. I would not be where I am today in my education and learning about whole food nutrition without Heather, Tonia, and Katherine. I’m so grateful for that. The whole foods, vegetarian cookbook market has exploded since I went through this journey with Isaiah- there are so many good, yummy cookbooks available in the main stream now- back then, it seemed I could only find titles like the ones below at natural food co-ops and stores. It’s wonderful!

                           Here’s some peeks at the adventure this week. photo 1 Love them both and recommend them highly. Isa Does It definitely has a fusion, Indian, Asian, Tex-Mex flavor profile, which my family adores. If you don’t like those, it wouldn’t be good for you. Oh She Glows is just good all around. photo 3
This was Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Taco Salad. So easy to adjust to completely vegan, dairy free, whatever the needs are. Ree Drumond is so my spirit animal. photo 4
Rainbow to go. A few minutes of prep means clean eating still happens on the road.
photo 5 Roasted Butternut Squash Enchilada Casserole. Also very easy to tweak for gluten and dairy. We *love* this recipe. There are never any leftovers.

Sharing with Heather today. bloghop

The little things…

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 “But let us not put our sights too high. We do not have to be saviours of the world! We are simply human beings, enfolded in weakness and in hope, called together to change our world one heart at a time.”

― Jean VanierBecoming Human

The world, it shakes underneath our feet. My brothers and sisters in the Middle East face grave danger; communities that have lived side by side for thousands of years fracture. Anger and fear walk wide upon the earth. In my own community, loss and sadness and pain.  Frustration. Heat. Entrenched problems. It’s not so different. In my own home, the filth of my heart is laid bare, the sharp words, the impatience, the weakness of a heart that fails to trust her Maker.

“What can I do in the face of this sorrow?” my heart begs.

The answer comes. The little things. The little prayer grows large before the Throne. The little task, the washing of a child’s face- to see the face of God, to see how He sees the world, all of us children, all of us sons and daughters. I will trust my small and unknowable things to the Father above. He holds us all, little ones, in the palm of His hand, and He will take our loaves and fishes and make of them what He wills.

hello there…


Slip in for coffee? I have tea for you strange beings that can survive without the caffeine intake.  It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

What a strange few months it has been. I’m glad they have come to a close and things are calming down now.

It seems we are in a new normal again- a new normal of a young one with a chronic illness, as yet undiagnosed but clearly there. There are strong indications that we may be dealing with Chrohns or Celiacs, but the testing continues. Our diet is shifting yet again. As Isaiah has grown older, we haven’t had to be quite so careful of our food choices (and some processed food has slipped back in). We are re-thinking our approach as we work with Elliana to help heal the trauma she has been under the last few months with the mononucleosis- which she still has- she has yet to show the convalescence antibodies-doing everything we can to support her immune system. It has been strange shift, as prior to her illness, Elly would eat just about anything and come back for thirds…so so active…but now, she tires very, very easily. She has grown very limited in what she is willing to eat. An adventure to be sure.

June was so crazy. A confluence of things coming together, unplanned. James and I both had intense work schedules. The end of school came all in a whoosh. Endless doctors appointments. We had encouraged the children to get involved with the Y, which meant soccer (for two of the boys) and ballet (for Lorelei) which promptly lasted about three weeks. They were scheduled into the summer, but. there. was. just. no. way. I feel conflicted about Lorelei having to abandon ballet yet again. I really want her to be able to engage with and enjoy her gift, but the cost and the time are hard to balance. The particular class they had at the Y was at the worst possible time and the teaching left much to be desired. There aren’t many opportunities directly near us; we would have to travel about half an hour to go to a good school like the one she was in previously in TN. Living in a city that falls in the top ten for traffic congestion and having to travel through a tunnel to get there makes me feel very apprehensive. The cost of lessons is too high to have to miss due to traffic, which is wildly unpredictable around here.  It is something to continue to pray for discernment about, for sure.

The children keep growing, growing! I cannot believe that come October I will officially have a teen, a middle schooler. Heaven help me. He had definitely in the ‘I’m too cool to be kissed by my mama’ camp now. When did that happen? Isaiah continues to amaze everyone. I never thought I’d see him riding a bike, but he is. And he is getting so tall. Fourth grade was such an amazing year for him. He finished out on the A-B honor roll and you should have heard his teachers and therapists roar when he walked up to get his certificate! That was a group success for sure. He spends half of his time in a mainstream classroom and half in a specialized learning environment with an angel of a teacher whom we all love, Mrs. F. The two of them are such a good fit. We’ve missed our school community already this summer. He still struggles with delays, of course, but when you look back to where he started…Glory to God.

And Lorelei! She’s 8! Practically a lady! She conquered the big bad bike this weekend, so that she could ride her new bike (for her birthday) without training wheels. Her focus and determination never fail to amaze me. She teaches me new things every day, that girl! David is our quintessential middle child, poor guy. But he is blossoming into his own. I’m told by many he reminds them of a certain me about that age, which might explain why the two of us get tangled up so often. He has such a loving, sensitive spirit that blesses me continually, when I’m not so focused on what a stinker he can be. I can’t imagine where he got that stubborn streak, can you?

And Tosie-bug and Elly-belly,  the babies, who really aren’t babies anymore and both of whom are exiting diaper-ville in a rapid fashion. It feels so strange after a decade of diapers and bags to just be able to get up and go. Josiah will turn five in a few short days. The days are so long, but the years, so short.

Needless to say, Project Life completely fell by the wayside, which kinda bums me out. I’m thinking about what I’d like to do to catch up, because I really like the peek at our lives this way. I don’t get to scrap regularly otherwise. I just have to find a good routine to make it work. It’ll come!

So how are you, dear hearts? What’s new in your neck of the woods? I’ve missed you!

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