A Place Called Home

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands. 1 Thessalonians 4:11

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Location: Wetumpka, Alabama, United States

I am a wife of 38years and a mother of six, mother-in-law to four, and grandmother to twelve. I just completed my 24th year of homeschooling. I have lived many years of my adult life in Italy and Greece.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Fiorentina Game

Last night all of my men, Terry, Brandon, Jonathan, Jordan and Christian went into Florence to see the Fiorentina vs. Roma Serie A game. It ended in a tie 2-2. They had a great time. 27 years ago, upon losing our son, Christopher, Terry made the comment, "I was looking forward to teaching him how to play soccer.." It made my heart sing to see him heading out the door with these four special boys ( actually, two men and two boys)to see his favorite team play in his favorite city.God has blessed us so much and is always good.I enjoyed the evening alone writing letters, doing laundry and reading some of my favorite blogs. Good times.

Our Medieval Village

We are living in a small, medieval village called Citerna. About 5 minutes away is the hilltown of Monterchi.It is a beautifully maintained little town of 300, with stone streets, window boxes of cascading flowers, a convent, and two churches, one bar, one grocery,a restaurant, pizzeria, and a hairdresser. Everything you could need:)There is a fortress and a panoramic view with benches to sit and pass the time, while eating your gelati. But the very best thing about our little town was discovered yesterday, when , not once, but twice, Jordan and Christian went BY THEMSELVES to the store for me.These same two little boys who won't greet people in the States that they have known for years out of shyness, now headed up to the local grocery and asked for what I needed (eggs and panna) IN ITALIAN!!I offered to write it down for them but they said they would just tell her. They then asked after lunch if they could go to the bar and get an ice cream...I was so surprised I said yes.They then headed out into the woods (our property) with their cape, shield, two wooden swords,and two Knights' helmets to see what they could discover. So far they have found barbed wire (three pairs of torn shorts)and shell casings from hunters. They have missed their home in the States, and their sisters, so it was special to see them really feeling at home.

Friday, September 21, 2007


This morning Terry and I, the boys, and Brandon and Kristin headed on an outing to Arezzo. It is the largest town nearby Citerna, and is about a 30 minute drive. I had only made quick, passing thru visits in the past, and was thrilled to discover a truly wonderful town. It is a mixture of Florence, Siena and San Gimignano...without the crowds and throngs of tourists. We had lunch at a trattoria near the train station. I had homemade tagliatelle with truffle sauce, which this area is known for. It was delicious. There are many antique shops, paper stores, and home decorating shops, along with bookstores and two toy stores that the boys gave thumbs up to. Fortunately for us they were closed for the afternoon rest period.We strolled through an old church, stopping along the way for a gelati. We enjoyed seeing where many of the scenes for the movie "Life is Beautiful" were filmed. We found a poster of the knights dressed in full regalia from the recent jousting event in Arezzo (only 3 euro)to take home and frame for the boys room. I look forward to longer visits in the future.It reminded me of the Florence I loved 20 years ago.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My Boys

Our time here in Citerna, Italy is passing by so quickly. There were days this summer that seemed to last forever, but those days are over.Sharing a hotel in a medieval town with 36 college students is never dull. I have really enjoyed watching my younger boys make friendships with the students, learn new games, and laugh at their jokes. Jordan is even selling his Spider-Man pictures for a euro each to brighten up their rooms! Having all four of our sons here has been such a joy. To see Brandon and Jon working alongside their Dad...to hear them discussing topics brought up in a Church History Class...watching Jon head off to soccer practice with the local team...and one of my favorites, watching the four of them pile into the big van with a bunch of students in the afternoons for a game of pickup soccer in Monterchi.The little guys can hold their own now.But Sunday was the best. Brandon was in charge of organizing the worship service here in Citerna. He spoke on the importance of seeking truth in God's word, and not leaning on our own understanding. Jon spoke before the Lord's Supper.And then both Jordan and Christian stood and read from the scriptures. It took everything in me not to cry.It was an incredible moment.Jordan has struggled with reading and has come so far.They both have been so shy in front of crowds. To see them, under their brothers encouragement, reading in front of a group of 50, was very special.I miss my girls so much. I miss sharing the little special times in our days, funny things my grandbabies are doing, sewing plans for all our Ethan Allen fabric:), and new recipes.I can't wait to get home and have both of my girls living so close. But I know without a doubt that God has blessed me and Terry, by giving us this special time in life to share with our boys.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Christian is 8!!! Tanti Auguri!!!

Tomorrow is Christian Darsie's 8th birthday. Time is flying by too quickly. He is such a wonderful little boy. He is sweet, full of energy, amazingly intelligent, loves words,reads anything you put in front of him, and loves , what he calls, mental math. He loves his Nintendo DS (all he wanted for his birthday was new games--which he got from his brothers and sisters AND parents).We are now in the second Harry Potter book, reading a chapter a night in bed.His favorite game is Boggle. He loves to build things. He has spent the summer pretending to be a knight, with a bow and arrow and gun. Our neighbors even organized a treasure hunt for the boys with poetic clues and a treasure of candy bars and a 2 euro coin each at the end.We have been so blessed with this bundle of energy. We have plans for a big garden next summer and a fort that he is going to build with his brother. The busier the better! We thank God each and every day for the precious gift he gave us.

The Big Move

We received wonderful news! Katie and Tim...and my incredible grandchildren have bought a new home and will be moving 20 minutes away. Tim accepted a new position with an advertising firm in Jackson, gave notice, put their house on the market in a week-- two weeks later their house has already sold and they have found a new house that they love. They are staying at our house in the meantime. God has worked out every single detail for them. It is amazing how everything has fallen into place. I will get to take Gabriel and Maria to storytime at the library, Trick or treating, and for long walks on campus. I'm ready to get home!

Wonderful Times With Family

Since I last wrote we have had a wonderful week with our daughter, Chelsea and her sweet husband, Justin. His brother and new fiance', Ryan and Brooke, also joined us for the week. We ate wonderful meals al fresco, wandered the countryside, toured Florence and spent an entire day amid the waterways of Venice. We were among the Pre-Palio crowd in Siena, and ate gelati in San Gimignano--no longer a forgotten hilltown:) I loved spending time with Chelsea, but of course we didn't have enough time to do all that I would have liked:( I'm so proud of her. She is doing a wonderful job balancing being a wife, friend, church worker--on top of her position with Ethan Allen.