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.

Friday, May 08, 2009


In January of this year I was praying for my two youngest sons and their futures. I wanted to get them involved in something positive, which would NOT involve competition. While browsing at Hobby Lobby I came across an ornament to hang on the tree which was a dark skinned little boy in a Taekwondo outfit...jumping. It reminded me of Christian, who leaps and bounds through life, but also of Jordan with the determination in the face. After looking into what was available I found that FHU offered a class two nights a week. That's five minutes away:) The class age ranges from 5 to 45. All three instructors have their black belts and are fellow believers...and also adoptive parents. It has been a wonderful semester. The boys have already earned their yellow belts, and will test for their high yellow belts on Monday.Last week Chelsea and Justin went with them to see their work. They were so excited to show off at something NO ONE else in the family had ever done!I have two new patches to sew on before next weeks final class for the semester, followed by "Ninja Night"!I just love it when my prayers are answered so clearly, and I don't have to wait til heaven to see the answer.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Square Foot Gardening

This Spring we decided to expand our gardening efforts and move off of the back porch. In years past we have been gone much of the summer and were unable to benefit from any small bounty we might have been blessed with. Since we will be staying home this summer we have built our first 4x4 frame, with it's neat one foot sections, and planted our crop:) We have spinach, lettuce, cabbage, peppers, basil, onions, and two types of tomatoes. On the porch we are growing rosemary, sage, parsley, and lavendar. We have strawberries, blackberries and raspberries growing along the fence. The weather has been perfect, apparently, for growing things. My yard is in full bloom. I have vases of creamy pink and white peonies in every room. I've passed them on to friends. I have yellow irises in the beds, and azaleas blooming out front. The pink dogwood we planted last year is gorgeous. This past weekend when Chelsea was home visiting I took her around the yard and was pointing out the different things growing, and it suddenly hit me. I am my Mother! She did the same thing to me (and sad to say, I was not that enthusiastic:)She had never been able to grow anything when I was young, and then once we were gone she developed a green thumb. The very same thing had happenned to me. It made me think.Priorities change. Life teaches us patience. Time spent in the garden gives us the gift of peace and contentment while we are working,and then again at harvest time.Chelsea has also planted a garden this year. I'm so happy that she won't be waiting 50 years before she experiences the joys of eating healthy food from her own backyard.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Sliding Down the Hill

Looking through some old pictures taken last summer, I ran across these that were taken with Jordan and Christian when their cousins were visiting. Dear Dana came up with the ultimate water slide on the spur of the moment, and the boys enjoyed their afternoon sliding with Alex, Sam and Seth.And I enjoyed sitting on the porch smocking while Dana squirted soap down the slide:) She's a fun friend!

Monday, May 04, 2009


Linens, starch, lavendar linen spray, new ribbons- eggshell blue, pinks, greens. Once a year I pull everything out of my buffet and linen armoire. I set up my ironing board and small fan, and plug in the laptop. As the music begins to play, the mood is set."Anne of Green Gables", a glass of sweet tea, and stacks of matching napkins tied with sweet ribbons." These are the napkins painted by Edna Thbaraj for Great Aunt Rema to match her violet dishes", I share with my daughters. "This is the tablecloth I bought at the Tuesday market along the Arno River in Florence. I was with Joyce Shackelford and she helped translate for me. The merchant said I was "simpatico" so he sold it to me for only 25,000 lire. I think he loved you three little ones and was just being kind." Each stack has a memory. Meals shared with those who have gone on. The red cloth that covered the funeral cart in Italy for dear Roberto Masini, that now graces our table each holiday.A new South African cloth brought by our most recent guest, Jean Lambert as she is here preparing for her daughters' upcoming marriage. Everything smooth, starched, neat. No loose ends. For the rest of the year, each time I get out a set of sheets to make the beds for a new guest, I make a new memory. Each tablecloth as it is refolded has a story to tell about the conversations that were shared above it.For two or three days a year I get a chance to reminesce and be grateful. So many lives have touched ours. How blessed we have been.

The Gathering

This past week, the daughter of our friends Terri and Dennis Rine lost her life in a senseless tragedy. Micah, having just turned 26 this past week, was an amazing young woman, and a wonderful OB/GYN nurse. She touched the lives of so many with her kindnesses and the joy by which she lived her life.There is much we do not know at this time. There was a shooting, her husband says accidental, but what we do know is that she is gone from our midst.And it is such a great loss. It makes all around us feel fleeting. It makes life seem insecure. This could be our daughter, our friend. Those could be our broken lives.So last night, as one by one each of our children and grandchildren migrated into the small upstairs schoolroom where Terry was attempting to grade papers, I had to smile.It started with a conversation between Terry and Justin.Brandon joined in.Then Jon with the guitar.Katie joins in singing along. They're all singing, Gabriel is playing a game in the midst of all the feet, baby Julia is kicking her feet.Tim and Maria come looking for Katie. Chelsea and I hear the commotion and go to check what is going on.Here come Jordan and Christian. The room is small. Like 10X10 small. But love was there. And security. For that night, we were all together. We loved one another. We would always be there for each other. Conversations have drifted this past week to family compounds, big rooms with built in library shelves, land for gardening and flowers and all of us together-- three generations, maybe four.But Micah taught us one very valuable last lesson.We only have today. And for today, God has brought us together, and for this we rejoice.We don't need a family compound. We can find each other, even in a little 10X10 room.

I'm Back!

It is hard to believe that it has been an entire year since I last posted. I have been encouraged by so many friends who, unknown to me, were regular followers, to continue with my musings on the daily joys and trials that make up life. For a short, condensed summary of the past year...In August Terry and I celebrated thirty years of marriage, followed the next day with emergency heart surgery to replace his aorta and valve. Becaus of a long recovery period we were unable to make our trip to Italy and spent the Fall semester at home while Terry recuperated.Jonathan went in his stead and did an outstanding job as interim director in his Dad's absence. In October, our granddaughter, Charlotte Kimberly, was born in Catania Sicily.In October, Jordan experienced his first broken wrist, while waveboarding, and had to be in a cast for six weeks. In November, the older children gathered their resources to fly Brandon and family home for a visit.We all enjoyed this time of being together so much.In January, little Julia Marcail joined her little brother Gabriel, 3, and sister Maria, 2, born just one day after her sister's 2nd birthday.I was hospitalized during this time with what turned out to be esophageal spasms, and grateful it was a problem that was easily treated with medication.In March, after many weeks of joy and excitement, Justin and Chelsea once again sent their unborn child straight into God's waiting arms. In April, Brandon and Kristin returned from Sicily for him to complete his masters work at FHU.Tim finished his MBA at Harding in early May. I guess the truth is that it is impossible to condense a years worth of living in a few paragraphs! So from this point onwards, my intent is to share the joys in living in this world, and to encourage my family and friends to live quiet lives serving our Lord...lives of contentment.