Friday, September 28, 2012


Sweet Savannah Jane is seven years old today. Seven.
She has the kindest nature about her, compassionate and endearing. She is the best companion, I want to do anything at anytime with her. We have many plans to travel together in the years to come, I can't wait for our future adventures. She asks the best questions and can easily see another person's point of view. She is an artist, imagining the most creative drawings and color choices. And...she is such a snazzy dresser, I love every combination of clothing she tries (weather appropriate, of course). I love her to pieces.
(mermaid frog!)
Happy Birthday precious girl.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Johnny Appleseed.

Savannah's class went on a field trip to Rainbow Orchards, the first of three seasonal trips to this farm. I was fortunate enough to chaperon, spending the whole day with just my oldest. It was quite a treat. The children did outdoor education, meaning each subject was covered and related to the apple farm in a relevant, tangible way. The kids were so busy having fun, they hardly knew they were learning all the while.
The best part was the end, when we toured the barn and kitchen.
While eating their apple cider donuts and drinking their apple juice, Johnny Appleseed delighted them with his story. The students have been studying about him and so they had many questions.

Monday, September 24, 2012


...Oh My Goo.

While The Little Girls are busy digging to the center of the Earth and plotting out what they will say to the Evening News once they reach their goal, Goo is busy also...getting as gooey as possible.
And now...introducing the all NEW 2012, Redesigned, Highly Anticipated, Uniquely Stealthy...
Bat Mobile!
Looking forward to a great week, Happy Monday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wrapping Branches.

I have many remnant scraps of yarn in The Honey Hut. I saw this article, and decided to put those scrap balls of yarn to use. I used dried manzanita branches as well as dried plum clippings, both of which abundantly lay around our property. The process is simple, press end of yarn against the branch and start wrapping tightly until you reach the desired length of wrap. Then gently tuck in the end of the yarn to the wrapped section. I love this look for my autumnal mantle and hearth. It brings a simple softness to these cragg-ly dry branches.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Down the street is the Old Miller Peach Farm. I grew up on those peaches, the view of the property is the highlight of my morning run. The Miller's sold it just before the economy tanked, the buyers lost it in foreclosure and it went to auction about a year ago. Tim and I thought seriously about buying it, the price was jaw dropping-ly low. The lucky owner lives in the bay area and is taking very good care of the previously neglected orchard. When I saw the PEACHES sign in the driveway, my heart skipped a beat. It has been six years since I've held one of these O'Henry's...far too long. As I pull in I recognize the seller as an older gentleman who walks daily with his wife, I see them often while out running. He stands up, visibly shaking with what I imagine is Parkinson's, and leans over the little table bursting with the ripe fruit.
"Oh Hi!" I say, "I recognize you, do you walk in the mornings?"
He, a little surprised, crosses his arms to control the tremors. "Oh, are you..? Let me ask you something, is your name Juanita? Every day I see you I say a prayer for you and I always say, God Bless Juanita The Runner."
"No" I say, "My name is Dusty."
"Well I'm Wayne Snow and my wife is Sally. And I guess your littlest must be about a year old by now because I remember when you were very pregnant, out there running and then all the sudden you weren't so Sally and I knew you must have had your baby. We prayed for Juanita and her baby." His hands are on his hips now which seems to stabilize him better.
"Yes he is a year old, and thank you for praying for me." At this point I am very humbled to realize that this couple is praying for my family. And after all those mornings of waving from a distance, I am just now finding out their names. We chat awhile, he is a quiet, sweet, dear old man.
It turns out Wayne's neighbor owns the Miller's farm, told Wayne and Sally to pick what they want and keep it, sell it, give it away- he didn't care. So Wayne went out to the orchard, climbed a ladder to pick those precious peaches and is selling them for a quarter a piece. He is giving the money to his friend who opened a free clinic in India, run purely on donations. His generosity is unique and genuine, it gives me hope and faith in the human spirit and makes me think again about prayer...while I am still fizzling in a spiritual crisis, it is still a big deal to learn someone prays for you. The purposeful act of praying for a stranger, like Wayne and Sally did for me, such selflessness cannot go unnoticed, unheard by God. It's different isn't it, when someone you don't know says they have prayed for you. It feels different to me anyway.


Thursday, September 13, 2012


Ivy: "Have you seen my glasses?"
"Is my hair still straight?"
"I'm finking bad foughts and I know you said it would help to fink happy foughts but the bad foughts just keep getting in the way."
"I'm going to give you prayer and compliment now Mommy. Dear Jesus, give Mommy a good sleep and happy dreams. Amen. And for your compliment, Good job on games tonight Mommy."
"How many grapes did Andy put in his mouth at the tea party? Oh, oh yeah it was eleven."
"Today can we sit and talk about toys and games and well, you know?"
"I am so happy for Jackson. He is going to be so much better without that cast on. I can't wait until he gets it off today."

Savannah: "What do you think my mouth will look like when I loose this last front tooth? I think it's going to be a big square and I can stick my tongue through it."
"Mrs. French says I use a lot of tissues and I must have allergies."
"Do you think Ivy will have all the same teachers I have before her?"
"That smells like dog manure."
"When I grow up I am going to marry Nick and Andy. Yep, two husbands."
"Remember when we were driving home that one night and the moon was as big as we've ever seen it? I think that same thing is happening on this night (points to the calendar's next full moon)."

Grady: "Dis?"
"(crying) MamaMamaMama...."
(Tea Party with Andy)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pondering Prayer.

Over the weekend I had a crisis of faith. A crisis deeply rooted in my religious upbringing. And while I'm not yet ready to share it all here I will spill a bit of the ticker currently racing through my mind. I noticed two consecutive updates a Facebook friend posted about two of her friends. One friend had been seriously injured in an accident and against all odds was graciously spared any permanent physical damage, the post said "Thank you for praying, Prayer Warriors!" then more about the miracle of his survival. The other post was an update and request for continuous prayer for a friend whose missing daughter's body had been found. When crisis is averted and fingers swiped in relief across foreheads, we praise prayer. When tragedy occurs and all hope feels lost, what then? I'm just sick about this. It takes me back to months (and years) before my Mom died and praying so hard for her to get better, feeling so isolated from a Savior when things instead got worse and then really disconnected when she died. I really thought my prayers would be answered because why would a life without my Mom be something God would allow? After the accident, I know people were praying for our family to heal and feel comforted. But I also know the pain of her absence is still so, so raw, so vivid, so fresh. And I often wonder how much of that prayer helped us, or did it just help the people praying for us- help them find solace from our pain. It is difficult for me to hear the word 'miracle' right now, easier to assume 'luck'. I struggle when people attribute 'blessed' to a happy/comfortable situation. I am happy for the friend who is safely home, enjoying family and comfort. And I am heartbroken for this family who has lost their precious daughter after months of agony. I guess I'm just wondering about those Prayer Warriors right now...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Great Day.

Yesterday I noticed my old friend Jodi posted local photos on Facebook. She lives in Colorado so my heart fluttered and my fingers couldn't type fast enough to ask if she had any free time to meet up in town before her vacation ended. We met up this morning for a quick chat and you know it was just like old times (without a spontaneous duet of our favorite Simon and Garfunkel or Michael Card song). It has been seven years since Tim and I went to see her while she lived in Portland, OR-I was pregnant with Savannah and she made the most incredible salad I have ever enjoyed. She and I were on a youth group weekend trip the day I met Tim (1990), she has been there from our beginning. Many years later, after we were married we traveled to visit her while she lived in Amsterdam. On my first sleepover at her house (we were 14), I had forgotten underwear and she lent me a new pair-a thong. I was like, "What the hell? I'm supposed to sleep in this? Yikes!" The best thing about this friendship is we pick up just where we left off, she gives the best hugs! and nobody is a better listener-easier to laugh with-talk about whatever, than Jodi. Seeing her today made my heart swell.
Miss Savannah lost another tooth this afternoon. I was so worried she would loose it while she was at school and I would miss this important milestone in her young life...but she held onto it until she got off the bus and then it popped out.
A new smile. I love the changes she is going through and it blew my mind when I held that little tooth in the palm of my hand. I remember when this tooth made it's premier debut in her little mouth...sniff sniff. I think she looks like my cousin Lolly in this photo-it's the eyes.
Happy 36th Birthday today to Tim. I love this man.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ferryboats and Friends.

My Littles and I had a sleepover with Leilani and her Littles. She and I wanted to do something fun, easy and memorable. So the following morning, we took the ferryboat from Vallejo to San Francisco. Our destination: Lunch-date at the Ferry Building.
There was a lot of anticipation going into this ferryboat ride, The Little Girls had been looking forward to this experience for many days and I have wanted to see the city by water for quit some time.
Savannah's first glimpse of the city.
We got off at Pier 41 and enjoyed the walk along the Embarcadero, stopping to visit the Sea Lions at Pier 40...
and the Carousel at Pier 39.
Savannah looking out towards Alcatraz,
Ivy, admiring sea gulls...or planets.
Pier 3.
Our destination, The Ferry Building.
Miette's Rose Geranium Macaron, my favorite.
Good-bye San Francisco, we can't wait to do this lunch-date again.