Just a few looks into your days as children…


Twas the Night: Before Christmas


“Twas the Night Before Christmas”

By Clement Clarke Moore
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

(So, it is a bit ironic to post that poem, as we don’t do the Santa thing, really, but we talk about the joy in giving gifts to others and the birth of Jesus! I had just read the poem’s entirety for the first time and I thought I’d share! Because, tis the night before Christmas, ya know.)

And really quick I’d like to share a bit about what I’m really thinking about this Christmas…our family. How lucky I am that I have parents that are not divorced. How thankful we are to have our friend, Mike with us this Christmas. And then I’m thinking of all of the children and families that may not have a merry and bright Christmas for one circumstance or another. God be with them. May everyone receive a gift in some way on Christmas.  Also thinking of my dear husband and am excited to see what he made for me! He always makes something quite cool and it makes me feel well loved and appreciated.

Happy Christmas to All, and to all a good night!



Tis the Season: For Good Books!

Who is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate and Ashley Wolff. Great board book…for Advent and preparing for Jesus!

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats…We love this one…and it got a Caldacott Medal!

The Snow Globe Family by Jane O’Connor and S.D. Schinler…Cute and funny!

Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheppler…Funny…Santa appears at the end of this book!
These are a few we’ve been reading lately, seasonally appropriate! If you are looking for a last minute gift for kids…go to your local bookstore! Reading is fun!

If in Kansas City, that would be The Reading Reptile. Love that place. They are so good at suggesting books! 

Merry Christmas: Love, Joseph

You saw us in the crowd, and are waving to your surprise friend that came…Miss Amy…plus Ababayeh and Mike!

We were so proud of you, little “Joseph.” You did awesome in your Christmas Play. It was adorable.  I know Michael sometimes gets defensive when people comment on your “size”, but I just have to say that the first photos of your feet dangling on the hay bale are just cute. Yep, you are the smallest in class, but most of these kiddos are going to kindergarten next year and because of your September birthday you’ll go the year after. 

Thank you so much photographer friend, Matthew Collins, for taking the photos for us! (Tiger’s dad…striped tights! And then there’s your best bud, Soren, to her right!) Seriously, check out Matthew’s work. Oh my gosh, the portraits“the boys”…it’s all so good.


Seventeen: And Crispy!


The story that M Magazine put out about us mentioned that there are not enough hours in the day…between keeping my blog updated, two small children, cooking dinner, interior design consulting, and then there’s the keeping the house somewhat clean and laundry and dishes…all mom’s would agree another hour would be nice! My motto on a busy day is usually that the laundry can wait. I also wanted to mention that my interior design consulting is one-client-at-a-time right now, without strict deadlines. Eventually, after these two, and hopefully two more are in school, I’ll go full speed ahead! 

I chimed in today to mention the extra bundle of time and friendship that is more recently filling my days…which means that laundry and house stuff is way behind! That would be our 17 year old staying with us.  Wow. We are so thankful for this time to foster a friendship like this. It’s been super exhausting, but also so good. He is a great kid that wants to do well. Life has not dealt him the best hand, and my eyes have been open wide in our conversations…

“Yeah, it’s crazy…they will carve the shape of their gun out in their textbook to sneak it into school. The security officers just glance in their bag but never open their text books…”

“But see…you don’t get it because you weren’t brought up way different than me…”

“That’s crispy.” 

“That’s boosie!”

“You are actin’ like a mama to me, with all this preachin’.”

We have had great conversations, and hard ones. We are trying to help him get back into school, but as you can imagine…it’s not super motivating to go to a school where kids just want to pick a fight, and as he says, teachers just want to push him through. In a better environment, he would thrive. 

Lord, have mercy on our friend. We want him to succeed. We want him to graduate from college and get a fair chance in this world. I just think…if only we could have helped him sooner. But You are with him and can help him through. Please give him a vision and the means to do well. And thank you for your provision.



Oh and we had quite an experience the other day! Went to the barber shop…in the hood. The boys got the best haircuts. I have no match to Jerome’s expertise. Tegegne got a real haircut, finally. His line is tight, which means a distinct, smooth line across the forehead. I had no idea he could have such detail around his hair line. I must take photos. Mike got “The Gumby” which looks awesome. I’m learning a ton! It’s great!