Striving to live life faithfully. From self involved artist focusing on everything but GOD to the opposite in a decade. Catholic, wife, mom to 7 sons, & writer.

I used to think in my early twenties that I would either make a go of the world, let go of my black and white, good vs. bad thinking, get elbow deep into the muck of the world, or move to Vermont... read more here
7 Quick Takes:  It’s Autumn in Vermont Edition

7 Quick Takes: It’s Autumn in Vermont Edition

Here’s my 7 Quick Takes on what’s been going on around here lately…

1 — Fall kind of slid right by no matter how hard I pulled at it’s coat tails begging it to stay!  I did manage to take a few photos before the splendor fades into the winter…

I LOVE milk weed seed pods. It started in my somewhat suburban childhood. I remember a milk weed plant across the street from my bus stop, just before the “swamp” a wetlands wild sort of area for our densely populated sea side town. How excited I was when our property was scattered with milk weed too! Now I get to watch it from green new sprout to flower to pod to bursting! Bursting is still my favorite :)


Our chickens having a grand ole time for themselves outside their coop pecking at bugs, worms, apples fallen from our trees that we have yet to clean up…


My Vermont “roller coaster view”. I caught this photo just as the colors were passing. So glad I took the time to stop and take a photo.

2 — ~P turned one this month and has been building his walking skills over the last 2 weeks.  He can pretty much walk halfway across the livingroom now.

~P looking like a big boy at a scouting Haunted Harvest outing last weekend.

3 — Halloween costumes for 9 and a husband who sews, need I say more?

4 — The miracles of toes in boots.

Something so simple as wearing a pair of boots with socks… I haven’t worn these boots in 4 years, but this week I put them on. I’ve had a rash on my left foot (mostly on my toes), a sort of eczema all this time and just couldn’t deal with the heat having my foot in a boot for extended periods of time. So I avoided it as much as possible and wore less constricting boots. I’ve been wearing these all week. It truly feels like a miracle. Even if my rash kicks back up, I’ll take this reprieve and enjoy it. Thank you God for this small blessing.


It’s the very last few days of Down syndrome awareness month and I realize I’ve been pretty silent over here about it.  So I will use #4 and #5 to describe a little bit how Down syndrome affects our life today…

5 — I’ve been working super hard to up the ante on my sign language knowledge to help accelerate ~G’s communication skills.  Just seeing and doing the sign for a word seems to help him connect it and often he will attempt to say the word after trying to sign it.  He turns 3 in February and will age out of Early Intervention services (speech, fine motor, gross motor, etc.) and will get his services through the school system after that.  We have our initial meeting for the transition next Friday.  Nervous and excited for what comes next for him.

6 — A few pictures of ~G being his awesome little self:


Life is good!



Just hangin’ with my bro’s…


Loving being in my family…

I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, Down syndrome is really no big deal around here.  It doesn’t enter into the conversation often.  All folks have there challenges and ~G is no different.

7 —  I don’t know about you, but I’ve been writing lists of gift ideas and am trying to get on track (minimizing the gifting to less numerous presents that end up being more thoughtful) so I can enjoy the season and put it’s focus on the amazing birth of our savior.  If that’s where you are at too then right now is the perfect time to place your Christmas orders for a cross necklace from Little Lisa Studios.  My Mustard Seed Cross and the The Lord is with Thee Cross designs are designed by myself and hand painted by me too!

Ha was that quick?  I’m not sure.  Thanks for hanging in there through all seven!

Check out some more quick takes from other bloggers at

From the last vestiges of autumn in Vermont,



Walking On Water

I wrote this post around this time last year and never posted it, I found it today and it seems so appropriate to my “right now”, that I thought I would finally share it in case it resonates with anyone else.

It dawned on me tonight what Peter actually did on that boat when he focused on Christ across the turbulent sea and walked toward him.  A foolish act right?  How many times have I cut off God’s moments of grandeur by thinking that my actions would be ridiculous by the rules of the world?

Everyone in that boat probably thought it too, except for Peter, he climbed over the edge, focused on what he already knew about Jesus and did the impossible.

It was only a few moments till the absurdity of what he was doing dawned on him and he looked down and began to sink.  Crying out to the Lord for mercy he was saved and then admonished by Jesus for his lack of faith.

Really though, faith wavering aside, PETER WALKED ON WATER!  How cool is that?

You would have thought that this defining moment would have cinched it for him, from then on his faith would be strong as steel.

But it wasn’t.  It took some more failure and a whole lot of grace before he became Peter, ” the Rock” we know of today…

I am not at all saying that I am Peter, I can only hope that I can learn from and not be owned by my so very human faults like Peter was able to with Christ as his leader.

That being said, I am living an absurd to me, walking on water, sort of life.  Mom of 7 boys.  Living in Vermont with the husband God very clearly set me up with. Never in my youth did I have this in mind. So much of the activity in my life that I used to feel defined me and clung to tightly remains solidly on the back burner as I do my best to let go of “me” and trust what God replaces all that me with.  His plans are always way more interesting than mine.

Sure there are days when I look down, see the rolling waters, and fear the impossible. Just like Peter I begin to sink and feel the waters washing over me, filling my lungs, Christ drifts into the background of my life and the fears of the world become real again.  Even as I am writing this it sounds like stuff of science fiction, Narnia or something and I’m sure there are folks who can argue about whose reality is most real.  All I can speak is from my experience and the experience of so many who give Jesus the title of leader of their lives.

When instead of clinging to the boat in turbulent seas I search for him, keep my eyes focused on Him, and what I know from experience about Him, the ruler of my life, I walk on top of deep waters.

With love from the journey,



Learning to Fly…

Learning to Fly…

One of my sons asked me a few years ago what would I choose (if I had the opportunity to be gifted with a super power) Flying or Invisibility?  Without thinking I immediately chose flying.  The son who asked me chose invisibility and went on to state his elaborate case for his choice.  But hisContinue Reading

When Life Gives You Currants…

When Life Gives You Currants…

These are the July weeks when our currant bushes strain with fruit begging to be picked.  Kevin planted them 6 years ago at a time when I hardly knew what a currant was.  We have red currants which are tart and about the size of a medium small blueberry and we have black currants thatContinue Reading

Hidden Shoes and Lego’s Up the Nose…

Hidden Shoes and Lego’s Up the Nose…

Last summer I spent weeks researching and designing an entryway storage system / mud room that would work for our family of 9.  We had fast outgrown the set of hooks we had been using and had nothing in the way of shoe and boot storage.  Basically we piled all of our shoes by theContinue Reading

When You Take the Mini Out of Minivan, You Get a Van.

Our hopes were dashed a week and a half ago when the seemingly perfect used 12 passenger van we found at a local dealership fell from our grasp.  But thanks to many moving parts including the future sale of our minivan, we are up and running with this: Yup, our circus just got a wholeContinue Reading

7 Quick Takes ~ Chicks, Painting When Not Pregnant, Etc.

1.  My husband brought these home yesterday: We have 3 hens and one rooster and now apparently 5 baby chicks.  We had “talked” about possibly getting some chicks, but I didn’t really know it was imminent, till it was. 2.  The NEED (my prerequisite) for these new chicks to have a home other than ourContinue Reading

Courage and Thanks and Know He is Near.

Courage and Thanks and Know He is Near.

Yesterday morning we got up early to get ready to participate in the Memorial Day parade for our town.  We have two Cub Scouts in our family at the current moment and the Cubs traditionally ride on a float in the parade.  Kevin who has the role of Cub Master was up till 12pm theContinue Reading

Jesus, Heroes, Marathons, and Us…

Jesus, Heroes, Marathons, and Us…

When I was a child, I remember being in school and having the question “Who is your hero?” presented to me at various times.  It seems like an easy question, but I always had a hard time with how I should answer.  Do I choose my parents?  But the question always seemed to beg lookingContinue Reading

A “Mustard Seed” Sort of Day…

A “Mustard Seed” Sort of Day…

It’s been one of those days.  A day when God gets an earful and more of my complaints.  I blasted him this morning with tears and frustration and cries of “come on, really!?” We all have our stuff right?  Well I was going along with mine just fine and then boom, literally.  Late yesterday afternoonContinue Reading

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