Life of Normal

Two days until five years and I know they count too. 

My girl who loves music up before dawn and off to school.  I hand her breakfast & coffee for the road – thrilled for this role I play.  She’s worked so hard. . . waited so long to be back to this life of normal.

The fisherman and I slide backward it seems but not really . . . only in our minds.

We plug away at each new day, block out noise and know the ships not sinking as fast as before.                                           A sigh of relief. 

We lean into this side of transplant, self employment, joke about keeping eyes forward . . .welcome little arms reaching

text our sons and their beauties, check on homework, medications, blood pressure and such . . . plan for tomorrow, say our prayers, go to bed, reach for each other. . . and do our best to know

“the light shines in the darkness and the darkness shall not overcome it. John 1:5 




2 days until five years – and God is better to us than we deserve.

early morning eggs crackling

I watch her walk out the the door – breakfast in hand

cool summer days to put that transmission in.

he can do anything

a beat up old truck he says he’d take to California

borrowed wheels

conversations in a barn

photographs showing his life

great school days with her


her birthday

and so today is her birthday and I’m thrilled to be making her cake and planning a little Seder celebration / birthday party and taking her to the doctor in between all the madness.

happy birthday Kathryn march 23 2016

Each day of her recovery reminds me of our donors family and how they didn’t get this chance.  This life . . . is truly amazing & we are filled with gratitude and maybe just a little bit of whining because there is so much to do.


beautiful comments to keep me  grounded

dog training classes with my youngest

moments of peace to think about the day

preparing for her birthday

clean towels

long days and rides to rehab means spending more time with her

talks with my boy as he heads out the door to school

fabulous dinner brought to us to by the best nana

being together for her birthday

wonderful perfect day even in between the doctors appointments and celebrations

the philosopher wows me so often

shared giggles with the brown eyed girl



settling dust

It’s been two months since I picked up the new camera.  Early morning light calling me & I grab the Nikon before the light moves.

Dust settles in.

mcGuffy readers and flowers

It was a busy week last week with five doctors appointments to fill our days.

The girl who loves to dance is the one who knows where we are going and who we are seeing.  When they ask who’s in charge of the eyes . . . she knows the name and place of practice.

She’s keeping us straight.

The consensus of it all on our girl who loves music   . . . the dust is still settling.

Settled dust will give us more information.

But, over all . . . She’s doing well.

In fact I would say she is doing very well.

The face is coming back, and the eye guy gave a happy dance.

The ear guy says there is lots of fluid that needs to be drained but. . . “we must wait for dust to settle”.

So we wait.

and dust settles

and we move on

and she moves on


She’s moving on well.

All kinds of therapy starts tomorrow at Roger C. Peace . . .  a place for the injured. I know they will love her there. She will work hard and do what they ask of her.

She’s a fighter this girl. She’s strong. She’s ready to roll.



light calling me, streaming in

beautiful sky

notes  to me from the best friend ever

good morning hugs from the youngest of us

songs that make us dance in the car

listening to stories to be told from strangers

a phrase that makes her say, “now we have to listen to that song”

she discovered Bob Seger

clean laundry

celebrating birthday dinners with the brown eyed girl


walk in the woods



Slipping right into Summer

I really don’t have anything to say today except; this is my favor photo this week. I was just taking photos, practicing really and I came up with this. 

I just love the brightness of it all. The motion of Kathryn’s strokes in the water. . . By the way ~ In the South, we have slipped right into Summer.  Have I mentioned that the pool is open? 

Civic Duty, Confirmation & a Few Confessions

Last night, Kathryn received the Sacrament of Confirmation.  The ceremony was beautiful. 

As we waited for Mass to begin I tried to adjust the settings on my camera.

And I tried. 

And I tried. 

Not getting the lighting thing down, I thought: “Oh, Well.  I’ll just put all my photos in black and white and post Wednesday on Lisa’s Long Road to China and Back; Black and White Wednesday.

Then I  realized, the red in Bishop Gulielmone’s vestments were too brilliant to put in black and white.  

But, what a minute! There is another problem! Stephen has his eyes closed. Drats! Stupid Stephen!         I had one shot at this last night and we blew it. 

Because these photographs are so important to me,  I did what any good mother would do.

 I cropped Stephen and Liz out of the picture, put a cool frame around it and hope no one will notice Liz’s arm sticking out on the right side of this photo.  

Whatever you do, just don’t look there.  Okay???

I took what I thought was a decent photo of my mom, Mark and the kids. But, there is Stephen again with “the”eyes.   

Then of course, I took this one of Deacon Matt slugging my son in the face.  AND I thought. . .Can I use any of these photos for a post about the wonderful thing that happened last night? 

When I learned from Communal Global Photo Bucket is holding our pictures hostage, I felt is was a civic duty to post and link up to them

So here I am:  helping out my fellow blogging Sistas at Communal Global, confessing all my photograph sorrows,  and posting about the wonders of the evening.

The Brutal Days of Home School

This home school thing really gets tough sometimes. There is so much to learn and study some days I just don’t know how we get it all done. Like, a few weeks ago the kids and I headed back to Furman for another Debate Lecture about the United States Policies towards Russia. 

I am not sure if my older three are learning much from these trips but I know Liz and I are learning a lot! 

We have already learned the Swans really like us. When they see us standing by the pond they come right over. 

We studied Puddle Jumping 101 

There was a cloud class. . .and strangely enough, we did really well in that one. It was even a little relaxing. . .  But promise you won’t tell anyone. We don’t like to brag about how smart we are. Sometimes people find these college classes really hard. 

Even though we did really well in the cloud class, I think we smoked the stopping to smell the roses class 100. 

These Home School days at Furman are brutal I tell you!  

So brutal, we had to stop for ice cream. 


Did I say Furman was brutal? 

Gee, I thought Furman was tough. . .but it has nothing on Clemson.  The debate club took our little class to Clemson last week. 

There were more Lectures about Russia that we had to attend. There was a lesson on how to use the college  library and a tour of the school. Clemson is a great big school! The lecture was tough. 

Kathryn seemed to love this school and fit right in. 

After the lecture, tour and library class Matthew and Stephen visited with friends toured the school and talked about the future. 

Liz and I attended a journalism class and  interviewed the Elite.  

They shared their thoughts on the war and how tough things were for them. We took some time to really ponder things and then we went back to our brutal home school life. 

There was little time to waste. The leaf  throwing class was about to begin and these Clemson Tigers don’t mess around. When it is time for class it IS time for class. 

There was a final run the grounds 


It was time to call it a day. Yes! Sometimes these home school days can be brutal. But don’t worry, we try to take it easy and enjoy each other every now and then. 

The Haven

March 19 Kathryn’s Little Flowers group hosted a garage sale.  They collected things from neighbors, friends and family to sell that early, cool Saturday morning.
All the proceeds this year will go to The Haven in Spartanburg. The girls raised a little over $200..

The Haven is a non-profit organization that helps homeless families stay together. The Haven provides a warm, safe place for a whole family to live and ,most importantly, stay together while the family over comes their terrible hardship.

This year, as you can imagine, the Haven has been very busy.

Through out the year the Little Flowers try to make a difference in the lives of the people around them.
Later this month, the girls and their leader will take the money they have earned and go shopping. They will buy things like: towels, sheets, dishes, shower curtains and other items a family may need to set up a proper home. The girls will take all these items down to the Heaven and just simply… hand them over.  When the time comes for these families to leave the Haven, we hope, they will have what is needed.
The Little Flowers have learned are teaching everyone around them to Walk the Walk. At this young age they know talk is cheap and “The Walk” is what is important. They are putting people and families first.
I tell you, I couldn’t be more proud of the woman my Little Flower is becoming.

Black and White Wednesday & A VERY Special 13th Birthday

I sat down to write about Kathryn and her 13th birthday today and how I can’t believe the time has past. How lucky I feel to have been privileged enough to be not only her mother, but to be her school teacher as well.

I thought I would tell you for her birthday everyone showered her with the most beautiful gifts.

DSCF6018-1.jpg picture by marka5477

I thought I would tell you about the ring my mother had made for Kathryn out of an old earring. My father had bought a set of earrings for my mother over 50 years ago in Filen’s Basement and when my mother lost one earing she held on to the other one saving it for years. I thought I would mention my mother had the remaining earring made into a MOST fabulous ring this year just for Kathryn. I wanted to say just how delighted and truly special this gift is to both Kathryn and me.

I thought I mention how Margaret bought Kathryn a beautiful jewelry box just to put the ring in.

13 for Kathryn this year will be a year to remember.


I really have wanted to post all this for the past couple of days but I couldn’t get to it for one reason or another. Tonight I decided this post may be a great post for Black and White Wednesdays.

So now here we are and Kathryn is not only another year older, she is making advances into the cooking world.

Tonight she was trying to boil water for a nice hot cup of peppermint tea before ending her great day and calling it a night. After putting a pan on the stove to boil the water in, she covered the pan with a plastic cover that was way to big for the pan AND she walk away!

Mark and the boys were not home and before I knew what had happened the house was covered in black soot, the stove was on fire and I couldn’t get the fire alarms off…….WHAT A MESS!!!


Soooooo, now I’m just think-en

Maybe we should take a little closer look at Lisa’s cooking posts after debate class for dinner tomorrow night……and then hit a few of my cousin Anne’s Simply Sweeter posts for dessert.

Maybe we should consider tutor. ANNE??? Lisa??? What do you think?

Snapshot Suday ~ "OH! I Got It!!!"

Playing Melissa’s “Snapshot Sunday

I thought I would post this picture of Kathryn playing basketball;

She was on the church team and those girls worked hard!

I took this picture last Tuesday night at one of the play off games.

I didn’t even realize I took this shot. I looked down at my camera thinking darn it…I didn’t even


I missed again. But there it was.

I skillfully planned this shot.


I am really getting the hang of this thing.

My Little Flower

Yesterday, I went with Kathryn and the club she belongs to, called the “Little Flowers”, to a nursing home. The group wanted to hand out home made Valentines, Mary Kay hand lotion and some foot cream.
It was a great experience.
It just so happened that day the director in the nursing home said “her” people needed a “pick me up.” Our group of girls had just the thing an aching heart may call for……….Little Flowers handing out well wishes, candy, presents and hand crafted valentines to people they didn’t even know.
That day, the people in the Nursing home where grieving over a death of one of their close friends from early that same morning. They where more then happy to see our girls come in and spread cheer.
At first the girls were very shy and nervous until they discovered the people in the home were just like the people they know and love in their homes. It was so amazing to see how all the girls slowly bloomed from shy little flowers into loving, caring roses that wanted to make a difference in someone’s day.
All the girls lovingly gave out “thier goodies” while they talked to the residence. Everyone felt great about how they were spending their Valentines Day.
I really think these young woman understood they where actually making an impact on someone’s day. Before we went into the home, the mothers where telling the girls…..”How life was not about what you get, it is more about what you give”…..and yadda, yadda, yadda.
It seemed to me that day…..the message was not just for our little girls………the message went to the big girls as well.
I was ,of course, encouraged the most by my little flower, Kathryn.
To the outside world she is a shy, quite girl that is not always sure of herself. In my world she is a loud Tom boy that tries very hard to keep up with her 6 foot plus, brothers and dreams of “whipping the tar out of them”. Kathryn loves animals of all kinds, music and her baby sister.

This day I saw my future in “my Little Flower”. She blossomed into this loving young woman who gently opened gifts and lovingly read the cards she crafted for people she was afraid to meet. She held hands with sick strangers. She gave hugs to grandparents who told her they didn’t get to see there own granddaughters and could she just do this one more thing.


Sometimes I wonder…….. am I doing enough for society? Am I helping others the way I should be? Should I be fund raising, doing bake sales and doing all those other outside things people do to make a difference……..I wonder and then I research……. and then I think…….. I am just a stay at home mom that home schools her kids. I take care of my family, teach my children, help my husband and try to help my extended family…………..then I look at my girl……my little flower

AND I know……….