A night full and golden

My girl came home late,

long blonde hair snarled with sticks and leaves.

Brown smudges around her lips

clue to the hot chocolate she drank

in the cold dark,

waiting with her Daddy

for the travelers to Bethlehem,

so he could prophesy while she

pretended to be a log by their campfire.

No one saw her, and she was content

with invisibility.

Because she was with Him.

And that was enough.

I take the brush in hand,  fulfilling my role

and restore the tangled skeins.

Christmas 2014

After attending the Christmas eve service at church, we came home and played “Santa.”  The kids all go to bed and then get called back downstairs one at a time, where they each take a turn helping Sid and me fill stockings with candy.  When they have all had a turn and gone to bed for the night, Sid and I add a few more surprises to their stockings.

Santa Sidney tries on a gruff persona while stroking his short, sparse whiskers.


Santa Lincoln caves under the pressure of the camera.  It is hard to take treat-eating seriously with Mom clicking pictures.


Santa Rachel gobbles her nutella on a Ritz cracker.


Santa Prairie plays it cool.


My favorite highlights from Christmas morning . . . .

My present from Sid . . .

Please, let me give the details, lest you think this is merely a potty seat.  THIS potty seat has a light that allows one to visit the potty at 2 am half asleep without stumbling or turning on overhead lights.  I used it last night.  The light is a very dim blue light that makes the toilet bowl interior glow ethereally.  Who would ever think one could describe a potty as ethereal?  I was fairly amused, though a sleepy amused, at my 2 am potty visit.


Lincoln with his throwing knives and his tough, knife-throwing expression.


Prairie with her unicorn necklaces from Lincoln.


Lincoln, holding his handmade sock rabbit from Rachel.


Prairie hovers while Maw-Maw Rachel opens her gift from Prairie.  “I need to explain this,” Prairie says.


My absolute FAVORITE thing all day — the two kids who have irritated each other in the past being so affectionate.


Rachel made me a cork doll and wrote a poem on her favorite flamingo fabric.

I print the poem she wrote for me below . . . . .

The Perfect Mom

A family depends

on a Mom

A teacher on

making a pom-pom

A cook who

makes our food

A Mom which

has a good mood.


We all got a good laugh out of the good mood — good moods are not my norm, though I try.  I was thrilled to see her attempt to imitate William Carlos Williams’ The Red Wheelbarrow.

Rachel also wrote a poem for Sid.

The Perfect Dad

A family depends

on a Dad

A comforter when

we are sad

A man who helps

us in troubles

A man like this

is better than doubles.


Prairie, once again, had to explain her gift.  She calls it a “spirit,” which is a doll with a flashlight body.  She says I can hold it to see how to walk down the stairs at night instead of turning on the hall light.  When I click the flashlight button on the bottoms, it glows.


Sidney was especially thrilled to pull this out of his stocking.


Lincoln is just being goofy.  He was just as thrilled.


Prairie jumps up to “explain” another one of her gifts.  “I need to explain this, Daddy.”




Prairie gave Lincoln a cork doll magnet.  She sat close by him while he opened it, so she could “explain.”


Rachel made Sidney a cork tie

Lots of love and laughs and thoughtful giving — a good Christmas.





Our humble tree topper

was made several years ago by a boy with some construction paper, a stapler and poly-fil.

It is imperfect —– misshapen and leaking poly-fill —– but it reminds me of the creative heart that made it. . . . . .  my Lincoln.  I love it.


Every year, I look for a beautiful nativity set but have never found that perfect one.  This year, my girls received an oatmeal canister full of corks and they set to work making all kinds of cork art.  Eventually, it occurred to Rachel to make a cork nativity.

Rachel, age 9 and Prairie, age 8, have graduated to the hot glue gun this past week.  I have finally stopped cringing expectantly every time they plug it in.  Both girls have burned themselves and respect the glue gun.

I love the sheep with his fat, felt nose and little felt ears.  Rachel wrapped yarn around a cork for his body.

I finally have a nativity set that I love.  I believe those are the most contented wise men I have every seen.

Prairie added a unicorn.

Obviously, he is a tame unicorn since he is wearing a collar and leash.

Thank you Aunt Sandra and Uncle Josh for the canister full of corks.  That cork canister has been carried everywhere, including to town and back.  Apparently, the girls don’t want to be unprepared and corkless when inspiration strikes.

Caroling Adventures, Evening #1

We kicked off our yearly caroling last night.  Caroling has become my favorite Christmas activity that we do as a family.  I feel compelled to do it, though it also feels somewhat awkward to do it.  If we were caroling in a large group, it would feel a little more comfortable to me, I think.  But with our little family of 6, I often wonder if we are truly blessing anyone other than my mama or if some people really just wish we would hurry up and leave.

But still, we persist because it somehow seems important.

So last night, we drove down our driveway just after 7 pm and stopped at Aunt Jane’s trailer.  Her car was in the driveway and her windows were pitch black.

****Note to selves — must stop by Aunt Jane’s before dark to catch her before bedtime.

Then, we drove down the road to my in-laws  house.  Going up the driveway, I realized it was Wednesday night . . . . . choir practice night for my mother-in-law.  We turned around and went back down the driveway.

****Note to selves —- Wednesdays are not good nights to carol Baptists or Methodists with choir practice.

We went to my mama’s house next, and I was sure she was home because she has been sick and can’t go anywhere to escape us.  Mama is a good one to start with anyway because she is mama and will overlook our first caroling foibles — like when Sidney left his pick in the truck and we had to stop in the middle for him to go get it.  Or the awkward pause while waiting for Lincoln to get his strumstick out of its case.  Or Rachel’s huge, open-mouthed yawns.  Or my off-key notes.

****Note to selves —-have all instruments out and ready to go and I should just lip-sync.

Then we caroled my brother and sister-in-law.  Other than waiting for my brother to come outside and put up his very, large, scary-sounding dog, that caroling stop went smoother.

****Note to selves —- perhaps we should call owners of big, scary dogs ahead of time.

I was feeling pretty good when we pulled into Aunt Sylvia’s driveway.  I saw her at the door looking out at our truck for a moment before she disappeared.  I assumed she went to tell Uncle  Steve that we were there.  We approached her door and knocked.

And knocked.

And knocked.

It began to dawn on me that she might not know who we were.  It was dark and if she was home alone, she may be afraid to answer the door.  Just as I was about to pull out the cell phone to call her, she peeked out the door and recognized us.

With her phone glued to her ear and an embarrassed smile, she let us in.

“It’s okay.  It’s just Sid and Tina’s family here to sing for us,” she says into the phone.

Getting off the phone, she explains that they had seen a mysterious truck driving aimlessly around the neighborhood and they were suspicious that the houses were being cased for robbery.  So, when we pulled up, she got scared.

We apologized and then launched into songs about peace and joy.

I hope it calmed poor Aunt Sylvia’s racing heart.

****Note to selves —- definitely come prepared with cell phone and phone numbers to warn caroling victims of their impending doom.

Oh well, we get a little smarter every year we do this.

We love you, Aunt Sylvia.  We are very sorry that we were scary.