Hubby took the kids swimming and I’m home alone. Yes, home alone. (But not when I publish this, of course not!) For a few priceless hours. Yet the first thing I thought of doing was to blog. Why on earth would I want to do that? On a warm sunny afternoon? Silly momma. Nonetheless, I found myself here, so I better make this quick. There’s watermelon and (the best-tasting) cherry tomatoes waiting for me, and I plan to gear up for a bike ride around the lake. On a rare afternoon like today.

This might be naive, but is there any other dad out there who would eagerly take his kids (all four of them, one still in a swim diaper) to the waterpark by himself?

We spent part of the morning at the Mill City Farmers Market. Saturday is usually farmers market day for us, but today would just be the second time we’ve gone to this one as a family. Limited produce and paid parking keep us from coming here all the time, but oh, all the goodness that we haul from there each time! Oh the breads! The jams, the cheeses, the teas, the different varieties of tomatoes, and many others! We originally planned to roam the adjacent museum after the market, but later decided that the day is just too beautiful to be walking inside a lovely museum.

The garden in the backyard is thriving with weeds that we should really call it a little prairie, but we are still able to enjoy the beauty it brings.

a five-year-old’s interpretation of beauty – she insisted I take this picture

I don’t know how many times I’ve been casually asked about our plans for the summer, or what we’ve been up to. Well, when your daughter’s feet are already bigger than yours, but she’d still frolic in the sand with her younger siblings without a care in the world… we make the most of it. We embrace the time. Lazy days of summer. Just be. Making memories. Yes, the ones that count.

This afternoon, they get to do it without me. But watch, I’ll be a happier momma when they return.

Happy summer weekend to you!

sniffles be gone

Lots of sniffles around the house this week. Instead of the usual green smoothies, this is what we had for breakfast today:

miso broth with chickpeas, ac vinegar and honey drink, organic lemon

The chickpeas were from a previous pressure-cooked batch, frozen with some of its liquid, and pulled out of the freezer last night. Reheat- add water, soy sauce and chickpea miso to that and call it yumminess! As for the miso, this is hands down my favorite… so mild and tasty! It might even win your heart over to miso.

The girls and I have also been drinking raw apple cider vinegar and local raw honey in hot water. So good for the sniffles and sore throats! If you’ve never tried raw honey before, you’re in for a treat. And why the emphasis on raw and local? Here’s what Dr Group has to say:

It’s best if you buy locally grown organic raw honey whenever you can. Locally grown because it’s produced by bees which are from the environment in which you live. It is always best to grow or consume foods from the area in which you live as they contain the immune stimulating properties needed for your body to adapt to its environment.

I’m off to more snuggling and reading aloud now. Stay well, everyone!

a summer list

Oh summer, would you please slow down? We have  places to explore, adventures to do, things to see and experience… in so little time.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked the girls if they would write down the things or activities they want to do this summer, and as of yet, they are still working on said list.

The five-year-old needed help naturally, so she dictated, I wrote. Oh, reading hers puts a smile on my face every time. And I’d have to say, when we’re all done checking everything off her list, we could call it one fun whimsical summer. Wouldn’t you agree? Take a peek.

  1. go to the beach when it’s really hot.
  2. go to Duluth.
  3. eat spring rolls at the Thai restaurant by the farmers market.
  4. visit the children’s museum.
  5. eat ice cream outside.
  6. lemonade stand by the lake
  7. climb a fun tree.
  8. go to the waterpark.
  9. go to Highland Fest.
  10. ride a train.
  11. cross over a bridge.
  12. see a rainbow.
  13. sleepover at the ____.
  14. sleepover at papa and mom’s.
  15. go on a date with mommy at Glaciers Cafe.
  16. have a picnic.
  17. throw rocks on the water.

What’s on your summmer list?

when a boy turns 2

dearest johann,

if you’re like your sisters at all, when you’re older, you’d ask me or daddy what we did for your second birthday. of course, you’ll hear the whole story and some. but here’s some little details that might not be told:

sarah from 3 tiers made this cake especially for you.

you were in good company.

much loved.


you got your own chocolate custard… with gummy worm and chocolate on top-

not just because it’s your birthday, but because you’re that cool!

happy 2, jo-jo. keep us laughing and smiling.

this mothers day

It’s officially Mothers Day, and I should really hit the sack now. My mind is still wild with thoughts… my heart with emotions, and I just have this urge to doodle it here.

First of, I want to say Happy Mothers Day to all you wonderful moms out there. You have been given such a gift… such a calling. Thank you for all that you do.

As for my own mother, she gave me the best gift. My life. And the greatest sacrifice. Her own.

Ironic how after so many years I still long for something I’ve never known… something I’ve never felt… something I never experienced… someone I never touched. I guess it is safe to say now that there is still that hole that will never be filled, a wound that would never heal in time. And funny that it took these many years for this child to verbalize it… yet in this space. But I know you’d understand.

What would momma think of these beautiful kids? What would she tell everyone about them? What would she teach my daughters? Would she like my cooking?

Back to reality. You know, I am a rich momma. I am surrounded with love, with life, with laughter. With joy. With beauty… everyday. God, you are so awesome. Thank you for the privilege of motherhood. Thank you for this gift called children. Thank you for the help meet that reminds me everyday how blessed I am. I am full of gratitude. I am filled to the brim. Thank you.

added later:

All four of them stood by my bed as I opened my eyes this morning. “Happy Mothers’ Day, mommy!” I opened the homemade card that says,

” To the Greatest, Grandest, Awesomest, Most loving, Hardest Working, Funniest, Best Mommy ever!”

I guess they were also up late making this card. The funniest part was this:

You make the best fried rice. Not one fried rice is like yours.

I never knew that. Haha.

I also receive countless babysitting from my oldest, and an “unlimited supply of my love,” wrote the second one!

Ha! This is a swell Mothers’ Day.

of a1iyah

Someone is turning thirteen. Ah. How time flies. What has this girl been up to?

Meet Juicy. The girl picked it, took it home, and said she’s never been so excited with a plant. Juicy has to wear purple. (Beside her is my plant, Succulent.) She read somewhere that aloe vera needs a lot of sunshine, so Juicy has been hopping around the house wherever the sun is. I don’t know how much of that travelling Juicy could handle. We’ll see.

Taking advantage of the sunshine, though it was crisp outside.

We dined at this Thai restaurant and the girl is still raving about the pad thai. She said it’s the best she’s ever had. I could agree.

and here is her favorite photo subject. I totally understand why. But then again, I’m biased.

Happy April, dear A1iyah… savoring every April day with you!

with love.

simply links

My blog reads are full of the simple life theme. I am simply filled to the brim.

“Though, by comparison to our former selves, and most of our Western society, we have very little stuff we still have significantly more than we need.”  -Aimee Harris, Cage Free Family

Hoping your day is filled with little things that make you smile!

mess is life

Ron has just left for work, forgetting his bowl of oatmeal on the counter. The kids were gathered in the kitchen having breakfast, and a conversation. That should give me enough time to get changed, I thought, so I walked away. A few minutes, perhaps? As I walked back to the kitchen, the girls were already standing in the tiny hallway, though I didn’t think much of it. In fact, I have forgotten that they should have been in the kitchen finishing their breakfast. Oh, and the  little boy left to his own device? Oatmeal all over him. On his shirt. On the chairs. All over the table. On the walls. The window too. It took me a good half hour at least to get the whole mess cleaned up, only after I gave the boy a good bath. My initial reaction was, “arghhh!” which didn’t last very long as I got reminded of what I possess. There is so much life in this house. There are signs of it everywhere, in every corner. And who doesn’t love life? That’s enough to change my perspectives in even small matters like messes and mischiefs.

I don’t have it all figured out yet, but I am suspecting that God is taking parenting to another level for me. It is His work, it has to be only by His grace. He prepares me through His Word. This is His parenting style. I am to follow.

8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.  (Psalm 103, NLT)

ordered steps

We were at a customer’s house. Normally, I would have just stayed in the vehicle and waited, but this time Ron asked me to come in with him to meet this family. I got introduced, and as Ron went downstairs with the husband, I chatted with his wife, and played with their only child, a very amiable 7-year old boy. Within a few minutes, we were out the door, but not before we heard the news that they are expecting another child. “It’s about time,” I heard the wife say. “He is asking for a brother already.”

As we drove away, Ron started praying: for the family, for the wife, for the pregnancy. For that baby. That had to be the working of the Holy Spirit. I couldn’t help but wonder. If we didn’t go through what we just went through, if we didn’t experience grieving in that sense, would Ron find it so urgent and needful to pray for that family the way he just did? I don’t know if praying at that moment would have even crossed his mind.

I see, Lord. In bits and pieces, you’re helping me understand.

We can not see the whole scope of what God is doing from beginning to end. It is not for me to question, to dwell on what could have been. So we look forward, as His ways are better than our ways. His plans are better than our plans. It is where there is joy unspeakable. And so we trust.

random ramblings

I used to call myself sporadic blogger. I am officially changing that to seasonal blogger. It’s taken a long while, but here I am again, fingers typing like I was never away at all. There is something soothing about this experience, and the more I spend time on Facebook, the more I realize how much I miss blogging. Here, I do not feel hemmed up. Here, I am not painting a picture of our day with a couple of broken sentences. Here are words, plenty of them.

I sit here in my quiet space while the kids do what they do well. The interesting thing about a mom “getting some rest” is that she actually is able to ignore the mess in the house for the time being, till she realizes that the housekeeping call is so great that she assembles herself back together again to return to what she does best. In my case, it’s keeping the mess contained.

We are very much looking forward to spring. For us it means more walks around the lake, more time spent outdoors, and celebrating life. I already have images of picnics and explorings with the kids in my head. Discovering new trails, finding more treasures by the river, maybe even a real beach. This summer would be a tad different than anticipated. We were planning for a homebirth and a baby in June. Not happening anymore. Yes, even the baby. We are moving on and instead, we look forward to making more memories this summer. Celebrating love. and family.

After two months of unemployment, and only a couple of weeks of job hunting, Ron is back to work. A smaller company, casual environment, awesome boss (who’s also a homeschool dad, yay!), closer to home. And he’s just across the street from Whole Foods. The thing is, there is no affordable health plan for the family, unless of course you consider two weeks worth of pay affordable as health insurance expense. But God has been faithful and we are certain He will remain to be so.

The call to simplify is still very strong. In fact, much stronger. We have given away a lot of our material possessions, but there are still much more in our lives that we can do without. So much liberty in this. Therefore, the journey continues.

Fragmented thoughts, true ramblings. Til next!