what's a little maple syrup between good friend?

We met with some of our friends at an area preserve on "Maple Syrup Day".

Picnik collage

The fun of meeting on weekends is that we have the Mamas and the Daddys together.

We all enjoyed a nature walk with a guide who taught us the ins and outs of making maple syrup.

Noah drank sap straight from a tree, and you participating when our guide asked you to pretend to be a sap tree who was tapped for the hose system. :)

Picnik collagea

You and Grace were adorable and inseparable, as always.


I enjoyed a little prelude to what it will be like to have all of you playing together in our yard this summer.
We absolutely could not get you three out of the woods at the preserve, so I think it's safe to say that our own woods will be a big hit.

It was such a nice time. We always love to watch you guys hang out together while we're hanging out.

tyler grace zeek noah

It's no doubt that these are lifetime family relationships we are growing with these new-ish friends, and we couldn't be happier about it!



Today was a day that I never want to forget. I don't know exactly what happened, except that it was God. 

You learned your first scripture and reference, Ephesians 6:1. And your comprehension, questions, revisions, and fast memorization blew me away.

Following that, you wrote Gra a letter, did your spelling, finished the last of your side-by-side addition lessons (or coupling as you've chosen to call it), and finished lesson 69 of 100 in your reading program, all by 10:30am.

After playing awhile so I could clean up the house and get ready to leave, you and I headed out the door to go grocery shopping. I noticed as we were leaving that something was different about you. You seemed more innocent and less skeptical and on edge. You were soft and gentle and almost trusting in a way that you have never been since you were an infant (and even then, sometimes i wonder if i mistook your dependance for trust). 

You stayed that way, to where I felt like I had a "little boy" instead of this mastermind mini adult fastening everything I say and do just so
In fact... I wrote something down that you said this morning before we did school and the Bible verse:

"Mom. You know how all my life when you’ve said something and I’ve said 'I know it'? Remember all those times? Well, I was just bein’ funny. I don’t really know all of it. "

It was like you had an epiphany of some sort out of the blue. And you kicked back about 10 notches during the corse of the day. It was wonderful. 

Don't get me wrong. Your mind and intensity fascinate me. I'm IN LOVE with everything about you. Even your sass. You've made this same impression on anyone who has really looked at you, and everyday you become more and more brilliant and amazing. I wouldn't change an ounce of that for you to be a more "usual" boy.

But having your guard down, seeing you so soft and little, even if it were just for today, was so special for me. 

I know that it can not be easy or fun, the way you tick, how your wheels spin constantly, what causes you to come up with your inquisitions and then have us all abiding in a learned understanding that you will take absolutely NOTHING but the closest thing to truth and reality as we can give a 4 year old-going on 40. And as much as I want fun and easy for you, I respect you more than to wish it over who you are; insightful, driven, consistent, intelligent, serious, testing, watching, choosing wisely and intentionally.  

I don't know if God allowed you to let up on your grip today because it was required to extend the healing He's doing onto you, or if you're actually feeling safe enough to let up because of the healing, but whatever it is, I'm grateful. 

And Levi, and the book, and Nina, and Warren, and your "cat" revelation... it just all comes together like a puzzle He's been building. 

God is so wildly incredible and so involved.   

I promise to take care of you, Zeek. To let you go where you are going with help from God, and to not hold you back. I will keep giving up what I'm asked to give up. I will keep letting go of all my pre-conceived ideas of what is normal and "right" for you, for me, for our family... I know He knows. And that's enough for me. 

You are so loved and cherished. My little warrior. 
Love Always, Your Mama



re-aquatinting with our backyard

We have been enjoying our outdoor space as the weather has been warming up.

You have been slipping back into your "binocular" galoshes to ride your bike and scooter, and push your trucks around the yard.
Picnik collage We've been exploring the woods all over again. Testing your climbing trees to make sure they will still hold your weight. Fixing up and adding to your forts.

You especially missed your favorite tree!


So glad for Spring!


zeek talk

Bring in my christmas tree box, please woman!

zeek: wouldn’t it be nice if I made a special little dinner tonight.
me: awww. It would. What would you like to make?
zeek: peanut butter and jelly with the dino cutter, and you make the taco part.
me: peanut butter and jellys in dino shapes with tacos, too!
zeek: yes. I just wanna celebrate Jesus, and you and Daddy.

I was tickling your ears, then I started to pull them a little and you said,
“mind my ears. That means don’t pull on ‘em.”

Zeek: I’m getting’ pretty hungry.
me: that’s good, cuz your Daddy is making us a tasty meal right now.
Zeek: that’s because it’s your special day and we want to do some stuff so you don’t have to do everything and you can just relax and do what you want.
me: awwww! {sniffle sniffle}

I was singing Old McDonald Had a Farm in a crazy funky rap-like way when you started yelling,

“oh yeah mama! You know how it goes! Sing it girl!”

He breathed in my face and said, “do I have halitosis?” I actually had to ask him what that was. :)


zeek: I’m going to marry you when I get bigger.

me: you are...
zeek: yea. Then I can
keep you.

Thanks for bringing the pug in. it’s just more exciting watching a pug walk around.

I called you sir, but
you’re a WOMAN!

I love you, Lora L-----.

Why is diarrhea called DIE-arrhea. Cuz you’re gonna
die soon or somethin’ like that?

mom, you know how Yuki never falls off that part? Well, that’s why she has business on there.
(translation: he has “no business” going on that part...she’s allowed, therefore, she has “business” on there.)

jaymee, i don't really want you to save your cookie, but i'm not gonna say a word cuz that's your business, not
MY business!

Tacos; cheesy, wheesy, peesy.

Tacos; oozing, poozing, woozing.

zeek: mom, what does blow up mean?

me: um, like explode. do you know what explode means?
zeek: yeah, like to pop. pshew! like that?
me: yeah. why do you ask?
zeek: because we have a button in our car that does that. i found it.
me: we do? where is it?
zeek: i don't know... be careful not to push it!

the new favorite thing to yell at me in exasperation when i want something he doesn't, or i say no about something he wants is,

"mom why do you have to make all this opposition!"
this is NOT something we say or have ever said. it's not actually completely in the right context even, but it rocks. :)

zeek: mom, can you put some of your deodorant on me?

me: no, honey. mama needs to buy some different deodorant today.
zeek: why?
me: well, this is an antiperspirant, not actually a deodorant.
zeek: what is wrong with a actor-pertinant? 
me: most antiperspirants have aluminum in them and that is not good for your body.
zeek: well then where did you get it from?
me: the store.
zeek: why would the store sell a octa-persistant if it has alumina in it!? don't they know anything!? 
me: not really, babe.

When we went to Walmart for some cards the other day Zeek said on the way inside,

"Mom, why are we at war-mart? These people don't know anything!"


a 180

I'm not exactly sure how it happened, but all at once the three of us are each on a new diet.

a fave

It started with you. Long story short, in finding that my seemingly crazed three year phase of all natural organic foods, low carbs (gluten), no tap water, and vaccine waving was
not so crazy after all, I vowed that if I met one more parent with, or intermittently read one more story about, children who have been adversely effected by the results of these agents I would throw away everything we eat and go back. 

I don't know if God was trying to tell me something or if Autism, Aspergers, ADD/ADHD, glucose & dairy intolerances, and insane allergies are just this rampant, but by a landslide we are back on the wagon, grateful for one very healthy little boy in the clear thus far.

For Christmas this year we made the switch to a new, long awaited, RO water system in the house. Having that covered, my goal is to reach about 75% organic, house-wide, by the summer. I have also finally done my research and found a children's food supplement I agree with. And no, it is not a gummy bear. :)

About two days after prayer and confirmation re-enlisted organic into mission status my scale and I came to terms with the sad and scary truth; that my annual winter 5 to 7lbs of what can be passed off as insulation for an otherwise teeny summer body had added up to 12lbs for the second year in a row! SO, my full-on "dump and shovel" diet changed to nutrition and sustenance only.

And lastly, about three days into
that your Dad, who has never shook left or right off his path of chicken-cheddar-cheese-nibblers at 10pm, meat and potatoes with doubly buttered rolls, one maybe two meals and 6 cokes a day decided that he is going to learn how to take care of himself (note: BEFORE a major health issue arrises!)

Right now (6:16am) he is in the basement WORKING OUT for his third consecutive day with his coveted new weights and
heart rate monitor watch. Hello!? 
I can hear him, and it's even hurting me!

He is eating three meals a day plus snacks, and not just sporadically. He's actually doing it at certain times. Not eating for three hours before he goes to sleep

And what is he eating?
Well throw away the frozen quick meals wrapped in plastic and sealed in boxes. We're talking about food groups here. ORGANIC food groups! 
Ground turkey which he has never eaten a day in his life. Yogurt. Let me write that again. Y-o-g-u-r-t.
Egg beaters with fresh basil and cubed chicken! 
Nuts and vegetable juice!
And sit down for this... he's doing a protein drink and taking food supplements.

Miracles do happen.


Somebody pinch me, please.


Door County

"We're irresponsible and we make up plans as we go, as we've been going there long enough to have patterns just like worn spots in carpet, 
patterns that have become traditions, things you do without thinking, that feel familiar and meaningful... 
~shauna niequist in Cold Tangerines, currently my favorite book.

By the time you are grown these stories and photos of our little vacations to Door County will be sprinkled throughout our journals and memory books. It's something we love to do. It's something we have and will always make time to carve into each year of your upbringing.

This year, your Dad surprised me for my birthday and whisked us off on a much needed, four day, dc getaway. I was

Picnik collage
We did everything we always do up there in the off-season. 
We brought a big ol' stack of fresh new library picture books with us.
We lazed around and talked, played, and cuddled. 
We went for long walks.
Ate breakfast every morning at Al's. 
Went crazy at Hands On.
We ate and drank whatever and whenever we wanted.
Watched movies at night.
Took far too many whirlpool baths.
Took family photographs at a water's edge.
Drove up down and all around.
Longingly watched every time we passed our favorite ice cream store reading, "closed for the season"...

collage pure. true. love.

"'we've got to take the time right now because there's nothing more important that this'" ~S.N.


And we did just that.


watching you

my room is wearing your stage right now


the way you love to create and connect

creating his own art gallery

it whispers to me, "this is age four ~


and never ever again..."


And I'm not going to miss one single minute.


dream baby

"Mom? Can I make a new library somewhere?"


When we began to recognize your heart for construction at around two years old I would ask you if you were going to build me a big beautiful house someday. Now, when I feel compelled to capitalize off of what very well could be your future in architecture or construction of some sort I quickly remember that I got my big beautiful dream house already, and you are off the hook. ;)

Last week, on the day before our vacation to Door County, you decided to fabricate your first "building". Once obtaining your permit you hauled in blankets, chairs, pillows, books, your CD player, extension chord, and books on CD. You carefully planned and laid out every intentional square inch of construction. It took you at least an hour.

the new library

"Mom, sometimes I have to just put something where I think I'm going to want it and then step back and look at it for awhile. Then I can move it to the right place. Do you ever do that?"

You are SO smart and cute and particular. :)

And your library creation meant SO much to you.
It was adorable.

You spent all morning thereafter hanging out with your pug inside the pillow walls, listening to your Mercy Watson stories, even enjoying lunch on the seat of a chair converted to a temporary table.

And then, you laid down to listen more to your story and...

That's right. You passed out for your first nap in "ages" as you would say. Talk about cute!

I took your photo and then took advantage of the rare occasion of free time.

You must have wore yourself right out with all that hard work "constructing".


carp diem


There are things that I know I want to tell, teach, and instill in you during your young life. I wait on the right time to share each thing with you like waiting to open a shiny wrapped present. Most of our gift boxes are filled with trinkets of what I have been taught by a parent or mentor along the way. Things that I hope will enrich your life.

The practice of seizing the moment has been one of the most life changing for me. And for you and I it is more like thousands of tiny packages to be opened one by one. Packages that are leaning against momentary spurts of everyday life to be recognized and accounted as miracles and blessings. Boxes that I have been opening by your side from day one of our journey together.

Tonight, we finished a delicious dinner that your Daddy made for us. You jumped from your chair and demanded "Mom, I want to koodle with you on the couch." So instead of cleaning up our own places, your Daddy winked and nodded and you and I literally ran to the living room to curl up under a blanked on the couch.

As we were laying there talking and cuddling I decided to invest a minute in my own little never-forget-this moment. I'm not sure what beckoned but I knew it was time to start including you in these secret measures of grateful evaluation.

I whispered that I had something special to tell you. You contently hung on my every word as we walked our eyes around the room, me telling you stories to summarize the way that things are right here and now. The way that things will never be again.

As your loving Daddy cleared the table for us and washed the dishes. As the golden hanging lanterns lit the dinning room with a glow like five moons. As the newly decorated shelves, frames, and art held decisions we made during our last week before ages 32 and 4 and a half...

I could see that you understood what I was saying. That you caught the magic of the choice.
I felt your heart while everything that seamed still and silent and had never interrupted you before came to life, holding more seem-bursting joy and love than you ever noticed before. I was so proud to be there as you learned that all we have to do to receive it is stop and look.

And now when I do this, when I make sure I'm looking around at all that is, I can share it with you. I can't wait for you to start doing the same with me. :)

I love you, Zeek.

it worked

The little bed we made beside ours to try and help you learn to sleep the second half of the night without a body next to you actually worked!

About a week after we put it there (three weeks ago) you stopped coming down to our bed in the night, all-together. CRAZY!

Sometimes, you even get up and just play upstairs without even coming down for awhile.

The first few days I didn't dare say a word to anyone, except to you and your Daddy... to praise you to the clouds for being such a big boy. But now that we have enjoyed over an entire week of waking up alone with you sleeping away in your bed upstairs I think it's safe to say...

and for some reason, this transition makes me feel like such an adult. ???


the cat

I had been working so hard with you on cleaning up your responses and your attitude towards your Dad and I.

I tried the "rewind" tactic, pausing to give you an example of a better way to say what you'd just spoken disrespectfully, and then allowing you the chance to correct yourself. I was hoping practice would become habit, until I learned that you were not going to budge.

I tried immediate consequence. First sending you to your room for a time out (ha-ha) where you would just find something more fun to do and refuse to come out after your time was up.

I moved on to taking away whatever you were playing with and not returning it for the rest of the day. To no avail.

FINALLY, a stroke of creative ingenious came upon me and I asked what you thought was the best place for a cat to live. You said a house. Then I asked you what the worst place for a cat to live would be. You said a dog pound.
SO, I made all three, a cat, a happy house, and a grumpy dog catcher and asked you to color each for me. We cut them out and taped them to a wall with a long strip of paper with cat spaces marked on it.

And here are the rules:
If you respond appropriately when we talk to you then the cat moves closer to the house. If you trash talk, have a bad attitude, or do not obey then the cat moves backwards toward Mr. Grumpy with the cat catching net.
If that cat is near the happy house then all appointed media time resumes as usual. If the cat is nearer to the cat catcher then all media time is OFF!

And THIS has been the one thing that has worked the miracle of motivating you to become the sweetest, most compliant, adorable, well spoken, optimistic young man I have ever met.

Your cat LIVES by the happy house. We're going on day eight.
We'll see how long this lasts. :)