This is the poem that Peter wrote.

This is the poem that Peter wrote that hangs on the wall in his second grade classroom.
This is the poem that Peter wrote that hangs on the wall in his second grade classroom making me wonder if phonetic spelling is really all the teachers crack it up to be.
This is the poem that Peter wrote that hangs on the wall in his second grade classroom and is supposed to read goodbye beach, hello leaves.  But doesn’t quite.
This is the poem that Peter wrote that hangs on the wall in his second grade classroom that made me blush on a recent visit.
This is the poem the Peter wrote that hangs on the wall of his second grade classroom that prompted this response to his teacher, “Well, looks like spelling might be a focus area for this year, huh?”
This is the poem that Peter wrote that hangs on the wall of his second grade classroom that I’ve looked at several times this weekend and laughed out loud, then quickly switched screens so the kids wouldn’t see.
Goodbye Summer.  Hello Fall.
Adios phonetic spelling.  Hey there dictionary.
This wouldn’t be nearly as funny if he weren’t Verdelle.  This boy who has chocolate eyes and awesome hair and is totally his own kid.  Who thinks his baby sister is the greatest thing since sliced bread and reads to her every night on the blue couch in her room.  This boy who has invented his own pseudo swear that we can’t chastise him for because it’s totally clean and really funny: schminn.  Says it all the time.  Means “shoot!” or “crap!”.
Who decided on his own to be a clown for Halloween, even though I think clowns are creepy and even though every other boy in the second grade dressed up like a Power Ranger.  
And the girls at the bus stop wonder why I follow him to the doors, chanting, “Birdy, good luck on your spelling test.  Remember teeeeeth.  T-e-e-t-h.”
Oh, schminn.
This is me being real.  And Peter.  This is him being real too.


A very wise woman (you know who you are) sent this to me this morning and it begs to be shared with you:
“How do you pray so filled with faith that it can move a mountain?  By shifting the focus from the size of your mountain to the sufficiency of the mountain mover, and by stepping forward in obedience.
I challenge you to shift the focus of your prayer.  Don’t spend a lot of your time describing your mountain to the Lord.  He knows what it is.  Instead, focus your attention on the mountain mover — His glory, power, and faithfulness.  Then start walking in faith, following His leading, and watch that mountain step aside.”
~Bill Hybels
Words so powerful I wanted to eat them.  And so humbling that I feel a little crushed by them.  Because I’m far too often terrified by the size of the mountain I’m standing at the foot of and far too often forgetful of the girth of the God who is gearing me up, leading me. A wise man prayed with me a couple weeks ago.  He challenged me this way: if you approach God only for healing or for solving your problems, then you’re really worshiping yourself. Ouch.  God himself has to be enough.  If he isn’t, if healing or deliverance or a solution is your focus, then you’ve made it all about you and not at all about Him. And I think I do that a lot.  So I’ve been trying to focus more on the Mountain Mover than the mountains lately.  And yesterday that looked like two sweet hours while Lucy napped and I lay on the couch in the sunshine and just hung out with my Abba.  And journaled his responses.  And counted my thanks.  And I’m hungry for more.  
So on this drizzly day in which most of Tessie’s sentences began with “The reason I wish I didn’t have a little sister is…” and in which I had to utter the sentence, “No these are not PajamaJeans, Grant, and if you ask me again I will spank you, I don’t care how old you are!” and on this Tuesday on which I discovered that Justin Bieber is my new screensaver and I don’t know how to change it (and in which my soul threw up at the certainty that I’m not the only mom who has Justin Bieber as her screensaver), I’m wondering what mountain you’re standing at the foot of?  And wondering if your God is big enough?
This is me being real.  Certain Jehovah is.  


I couldn’t take a picture.  I knew someone would use it against me, so I couldn’t take a picture.  But this girl…this six year old girl who lives in a world entirely of her own making.  She cracks me up.  I cleaned out the liquor cabinet this week.  This cabinet can only be called a liquor cabinet in the loosest sense.  It held exactly three bottles of liquor, all dusty and long expired.  Anyone who knows me knows I’m absolutely prudish about drinking (now.  absolutely prudish about drinking now.  unfortunately the same cannot be said of high school, but that was then and this is now and as far as the east is from the west and all that).  She chose the pretty one, cobalt blue with a picture of a raspberry on the front.  Dressed it up in a doll’s outfit and sat on the couch feeding it a bottle.  Named it Betty.  My girl and her vodka bottle baby named Betty.  And even though I drew the line on letting her take it to the grocery store, we did take Betty for a walk down the path, me praying silently the whole time that we wouldn’t see anyone.
This girl with her room filled with dolls has been known to dress up toothpaste tubes and gourds.  And now Betty is in the recycling bin and I wait to see where imagination will take us next.  I hope it’s somewhere warm and sunny.
This is me being real.  Curious what goes on in that head.


It started auspiciously.  It started with leaving feverish kids and bumpy airplane rides and eleven hours with only a bag of sprouted sunflower seeds and an apple.  It started in the wrong city even, thanks to poor weather and being rerouted.  It started with seriously considering eating here:

 But only because we were nearly starving to death, after begin dropped in the wrong city without our luggage.  But we weren’t happy.  So we didn’t land there.  Rented a car and drove two hours into the mountain paradise that is Ketchum Idaho.  It started without our suitcases full of warm nummies, packed in anticipation of lots of down time and cold temps.  It started by having to show up at the evening reception in the jeans we’d been traveling in for like a million hours and with sweaters on our teeth.  It started with a first night with only the hotel bathrobes and the toothpaste and comb we bought in the hotel gift shop.  It started with sleet.  It started auspiciously.
But then they came.  Those lovely green suitcases full of warm nummies and clean underwear.  And the meetings ended and the snow stopped and turned to sunshine and then there was fun.  There was a pedicure during which Dan’s staff delivered a tray filled with gluten free goodness and home dec magazines and a note telling me to meet him for a massage in an hour.  There were hours spent swimming in the hot tub and wondering if we put one it and called it a Mikva if we could get some kind of religious tax write off?  There was God showing up, as promised, and softening hearts and growing us closer together.  There was yuck too.  Panic attacks and crappy sleep and bad news from home.  But mostly there was him and me and this picture that we texted to our kids to show them what their parents look like when they are away.  My face looks like that because I’m so relaxed.  Either that or I may have had a minor stroke.  I can’t remember.

And on the fifth day there was us, flying home holding hands and eating pumpkin seeds and organic raisins and still starving.  Almost.  And there were tears from me before we were even close to home and an indulgent grin from him when I hopped out before the wheels stopped turning.  And this mama tearing it up down the bike path to get her hands on her people.  There were gifts handed out, like a real china tea set and the kickinest pair of red high tops and lots and lots of hotel bubble bath and chocolate.  There was a totally inadequate thank you for the one who took such good care of them and a million whispered thanks to the One who brought us all back together as we’d asked.  And who single-handedly made our time away so sweet.
It’s hard to figure out if the getting away or the coming back is better.  Of course, since there can’t be one without the other, I’ll have to take them both.  But not for a long time.  I’m home.
This is me being real.  Thankful to be have gone away.  Thankful to be home.  Pretty sure I don’t want to see a sprouted sunflower seed for a long time.


I’m running away from home tomorrow.  Running away with this guy I know.  And we’re not coming back until we’ve read several books, finished at least 137 sentences and worn a hotel bathrobe.  Until tomorrow, I have a zit right smack dab in the middle of my chin, one child is burning up with fever, (making me believe satan has camped out on our doorstep) and there is a snake curled up in front of my front door (reinforcing the idea).  I would take a picture of him, but I shake so badly when I see it that I can’t get the camera to focus.  So I’ve opened a nearby window, sprinkled some purified water on it and commanded it to leave in the name of Jesus.  It hasn’t.  But I’m still running away.  Not away from anything, cept maybe the snake on my front porch.  I’m running to something.  To my husband who too often only gets what is left over after four children, thirteen chickens and a Keloid scar named Steve get everything else.  To ironically wet and cold Sun Valley with a suitcase full of warm nummies and some back issues of Canadian House and Home.  And I’m running smack dab into my Abba’s arms and into his plan because he’s promised he’s meeting us there.  So, whatever else we find in Idaho, we know we’re gonna find Him.  And complimentary shampoo and someone to make the bed, even if we don’t get out of it until noon.  And as much as I hate, hate, hate to leave these people of ours, we were us (2) before we were us (6) and those are the roots we’re digging back down to.
So there are twenty bags of treats all lined up on the counter, one for each kid for each day, and there are ridiculously few instructions because one half of our very favorite babysitting duo (who is growing her very own baby) will be manning the ship and she doesn’t need any.  And all the crap has been vacuumed out of the car so she doesn’t think I’m grody.  And there is nothing left to do but eat Korean bbq and fresh squash al fresco with my people tonight and pay Peter five bucks to kill the snake on the porch and wake up tomorrow and thank God for this small escape.  Deep breath.
This is me being real.  And wondering if they know about gluten free in Idaho.