Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Life seems to lag when we meet head on with transitions. Like my brain is trying to wrap around the changing of seasons, one day we are in a warm green world and it seems like the next brings cold gusts of unrecognizable wind.

Unrecognizable paths ahead of us...children grown and married, another a new adult stretching her wings, and three more stretching, stretching, stretching. For me to be who they need to encourage them, yet caution when needed.

To be the mother who nurtures and the mother who is wise...

Life is such a balance...in every season. This is our last year of homeschooling after fourteen years. Well, my son will be doing a few studies at home for his senior year, but that is considered very low involvement after schooling five at a time for many years.

This is a HUGE transition for me. To have a part of your life over after more than a decade is like a death in a way. Dreams that I thought would always be a part of me, but with life comes transitions.
I teach my kids to ebb and flow with life. I know how to do this too. It's the bigger transitions and the ones that not everyone understands full well that tend to smart a bit.

I trust my girls to have a wonderful time in public school. They have a great gaggle of friends. It's not that aspect....its the family time lost...

What I have found that I will do after being reminded by Ann when she said,
“God doesn’t ask me to be perfect; He asks me to praise.”
is to praise and be thankful. That is will take the sting out of the hurt a bit and soften the blow.

Dealing with the fall-out of another person's decisions is a life-long road to walk. Someone's choices will always affect ours. Sometimes we walk it with more ease than others and sometimes it just plain hurts.

It's our choice as to how we will navigate it. I choose thankfulness and praise.

Boy, there is a lot of decluttering of books from millions of years of schooling at home...and with each tear slipped there will also be words of praise for the years my kids spent right here at home with me.



Friday, September 21, 2012

comparing is a naughty word

I have a problem...when I don't check in here for a loooooong time I have too much on my mind to talk about. I could talk about learning more about the ph balance in our bodies and how it is soooo important. OR I could talk about how seriously in LOVE with my kids I am and how they are THE BEST kids on the planet Earth, but you already know that about me. ;o)

I settled on talking about something that I have been walking through much of my past 10 years...comparing. blech.

Even if we don't do it consciously, we do it. We compare ourselves to others. There is more than one way to "keep up with the Joneses". Is our house as clean, our abs as tight, our food as nutritious, our kids as ______(insert your phrase), our bank account as loaded, our marriage as strong, our brain as educated...the list can be endless....oh yeah our garden as bountiful.....um, no. My garden sucked this year with a capital "S".

Even so....I am OKAY with that. Really okay. Because the bounty of my garden or the tightness of my abs DOES NOT dictate who I am...and if it does then I am hanging with the wrong set of people.
I am learning that I am not supposed to be perfect.

I am supposed to be real and try my best. That is all. So are you.

I think that there are two words to totally simplify it all....learn + enjoy.

learning from a moment instead of feeling like a failure because of it. HUGE.
enjoying something for what it is and not what we wanted it to be....equally huge.

That is all. I am reminding myself of these things daily. I do my best and when I have done that I am learning to enjoy it.

I hope the same for you.
Lori xo

Thursday, August 30, 2012

water on a hot day

 We finally got some heat here in Southwest Washington. Felt sooooo good! Since my summer has been so busy with working I decided to "take a day".  The kids were appreciative and Daisy our lab was too!

 Between watching the kids, wading in the river and lounging/browsing books it was a relaxing day.

Silly teens! :o)
Lori xo

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Popping in!

I'm still here, really I am.

Been a very busy time here as I am sure it has been for you too! Summer is ending and everyone is scrambling to get in that last time away with the family as well as getting ready for Autumn.

School is drawing near for kiddos...that means ordering curriculum which is fun, but is time-consuming. We are really excited about what will be coming in the mail to enlarge the brains of the younger Barre's here :o)

(Aliss' birthday breakfast in bed-yes that is Ramen in the stemware-just what was ordered)

I am now the momma to TWO adult children. That sounds weird!

I lost a good friend to cancer. Went to her celebration of life ...with all of the photos of her and testimonies about her I almost expected to look over and see her sweet smile. She is dancing with Jesus now, it's just us left behind that have to get used to our days without her.

The garden is not a complete waste this summer. I shovel-turned a section (read small-er section) and have some amazing organic tomato plants thriving there. I planted them from seeds too! There coloring is so beautiful and in the morning their leaves actually sparkle. This was the first year that I have started tomato from seed. I usually buy the seedlings, but wanted to see how the organic seed would do. I am so pleased with them! I think the milk jug mini greenhouses helped tremendously.

I bought a volvo stationwagon and we are all really enjoying it. I love the gas savings!!

Getting used to not heading back to college this year after several years. Just finished up the exit loan counseling and feel a huge weight off of my shoulders. I have LOVED (!) the learning and reading books that I normally wouldn't gravitate toward, BUT there are many other areas that have gone neglected (like home organization) that NEED some immediate attention. ;o)

What are your plans as we head into Autumn? Is anyone making cider? We may be given a cider press from our sweet neighbor. I am so excited about that!

Hope your day is GREAT!

Friday, August 10, 2012

this moment-swimming

~{This Moment}~

A moment I want to pause, cherish and remember.
More "this moments" over at Soulemama
Missing these two little sweeties as they spend time away with their dad.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


This chickie has been away from the nest (blog) for quite awhile! I am not even going to try to catch up all of the time lost...a tad overwhelming and could turn into a book. ;o)

This is where my friend the bullet-point list comes in handy:

March 26-my boy turned SIXTEEN
Time flies by I tell ya!
I couldn't be more proud of my son and who he is now and who he is becoming.

Spring soccer for Hannah-

 I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in Counseling/Psychology/Human Services.

  I have to say that part of me is relieved to not have the pressure of paper due dates, but just as much of me misses the people that I got to know and spent so much time with. During that time my nephew Jeff and niece Brandi came down to celebrate my graduation. While they were here we celebrated Tessa and Jeff both turning 21. BTW Jeff I am so proud of you for graduating with your AA.

Our dear pet Bear is now "sleeping" under the pear tree. We were blessed to have him as part of our family for two years. He will be dearly missed.

 New babies on the farm...two mommas to chicks that aren't theirs biologically...beautiful.

First day out of the nesting box...they are three days old and momma is taking a dust bath.


I am sure that I could keep going and going about what has happened in our lives in the past several months, but alas I will stop on account of all of our sanities. ;o)
Be back soon!
Have a GREAT day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Spring can come without sun right? Daffodils with their tiny sunburst of color dot the chicken yard and scatter through the house in random vases having been picked carefully and brought in from little girl hands.

Primroses bloom along the front walk. Forsythia all golden on the branches sways in the wind and rain as if to shout "Spring IS here, Spring IS here!"

Deciding on who to buy my heirloom seed from this year. I think I will order as local as I can so that I am not more of the problem, but adding to the solution. I can't wait to learn more on seed-saving so each year I can buy less and less seed and use my own instead.

Happy Spring to you!

Monday, March 19, 2012



1 a : steadfastness of mind under duress : fortitude b : fidelity, loyalty
2 : a state of being constant or unchanging 

It  seems to be a fleeting idea that days could have some sort of constancy to them. To wake and know what the day will bring. Why this need to know? fear can be disguised as control...

When I know what is coming do I feel more secure? yep! You bet! That isnt showing much trust though. I feel more and more frustrated that my security seems to depend upon control or knowledge. 

Every Spring the apple trees blossom...

do I need to know when this happens to feel secure? there is a constancy that is within life that we need not know when, but instead trust the Giver of it all.

learning to quiet myself more while listening and trusting...

read a devotion written by a single mom here...she sums my feelings up rather nicely

Friday, March 16, 2012

thought loops

the sun is streaming in the window after several days of it feeling as if the rains would never cease.
I sit in it for several minutes while checking my email and visiting blogs that uplift me creatively and spiritually before I even notice that it is there. It is a welcome sight after the darkness.

I have been consumed lately with my shortcomings. What I cannot do instead of being thankful for what I can. This isn't about what gifts that I have. this is about things like limitations of being able to do for my children and others. Limitations freeze me up. My mind is consumed with trying to figure it out and is lost in a constant loop in doing so.

How can I be at work and also get Hannah to soccer practice at the same time? A thought comes to ask others and so I do. One response and it flutters away. How can I expect others to pick up where I cannot? Part of me says it isnt their responsibility, but another part screams inside "remember...this is what we are supposed to be to one another" We are supposed to hold one another up.

The kink in the chain is that as a society everyone is running to and fro so hurriedly that we miss the need in someone else's life that we can fill. Oh I pray that my eyes are open to the need in others lives that I am supposed to fill instead of being filled only with my own.

So my mind continues to cycle wondering, wondering. How can I be in two places at one time? How can we as a whole become more aware of our neighbor's needs and help in the small ways?

If we are only drawn to our reflection in the mirror then the world becomes a very small place.

the sun is calling me to put on my walking shoes and come outside.
my mind is yelling "yes! yes! go out and walk, notice all of the beauty around and stop thinking about rides to practice.
give... it... to... God."

I will do my best to do just that. let go of my limitations and give them to God.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

agape :: an ear

Do you know what one of the best ways to show that you care is? listening. yep, it's that simple.

But it seems to be the hardest thing to do sometimes. Our world is so busy and we are worn out so we turn to media to go on emotional/intellectual vacation at the end of the day. this last week I have had to say "can you say that again? I really do want to hear what you have to say" several times to my two youngest daughters. I do not want my legacy to be one of half hearted connection. We think people don't notice when we are half-way there, but they do.

a term I learned in my counseling classes is "active listening". The fact that the word active is in there has a hint that it takes work right? so much swirling in our heads.

we don't have to solve the world's problems when listening...sometimes a person just needs to know that someone hears them.

Happy Thursday to you!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

two parties :: one sweet girl

 The baby is 10. Where did the time go?
On Sunday we had a friend birthday party. Aliss (17) made a small treasure hunt for their goody bags.
We ate birthday cake that Sophie helped frost and sprinkle and ice cream, homemade refried beans topped with cheese and a couple of pizzas.

 Then on the day of her birthday, Tuesday we were going to have family over, but all four of the kids ended up with sore throats and stuffy heads. Tessa and Elijah still came out. We ate sloppy lasagne and the first cheesecake I ever made. I had lots of encouragement from friends and family on Facebook about my intimidation with the cheesecake. hehe Once I got started it was easy!


our tradition is to have breakfast in bed on your birthday. this year was quite different. Aliss was in school for choir and Tessa has gotten married and moved out. Zack was sick sleeping. So it was my two youngest girlies and myself. My momma was on the speaker phone though. love that.

My girl Sophie has such a big heart and is filled with so much life. I love her so much! Happy day to me to have her as MY GIFT for TEN YEARS now.

such love this girl.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

a new magazine

I have been blog friends with Amanda Blake Soule over at her blog Soulemama for several  years now.  Long enough to congratulate her family when three our of five of her children have been welcomed into this world, support her through her publishing two books, a move to their dream farm and now so excitedly unveiling a magazine.

"Taproot  is a collection of curated stories written by and for people living fully and digging deeper; people who are interested in deepening their connections to their families, communities, and themselves as they strive to live locally and closer to the ground. In all the very different ways that manifests from family to family and home to home, at taproot, we hope to find the connecting thread that binds us together.  Right now it is available for a "founders subscription" for $25 a year or $47 for two years. Go take a peek, I think you will be happy that you did." Amanda Blake Soule

Happy Wednesday to you! We are gearing up for piano and drum lessons and later Youth Church (Generation Impact) and cleaning, schooling and cooking in between.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Hello Monday :: coffee with the girls

There was confusion about meeting up with a friend for coffee and a phone call saying we will need to postpone. My girls overheard and said "coffee date!"

They brought their Kindle Fires and I brought my gardening book.

Mugs of hot decaf with french vanilla creamer, adorable company and wifi. ;o)

Great start to a day


Happy Monday to You!

Friday, February 24, 2012

This Moment :: one of my treasures

~ :: this moment :: ~

a Friday ritual, a single photo, no words, a moment I want to pause and remember from this week.

For more "this moments" head over to SouleMama

Hope your day is great!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

agape :: quilts & casseroles

while building the fire this morning i read an article in the newspaper about four neighbors who make quilts for people who are very ill. it all started with one of the ladies being very ill in the hospital for 5 weeks. She said that even though she felt surrounded by people she still felt alone because none of them shared her illness. She wanted to do something to help others feel cared for and started sewing the quilts, soon she was joined by her neighbors too.

i think this is how all great things start...one person has an experience and doesnt want others to experience it so they do something. like me and the playtoys at the apartment building after living in some areas like it when I was a child.

last night at Youth Church we celebrated our Associate Pastor's birthday that is today. He does amazing things to support the youth in our church and runs the AWANA program and much more. we wanted to bless him.
Everyone knows that youth have no money so the gift was small, but the card was large. posterboard sized large. wink. we could have tried to get together a card and big present and stressed out about it because we thought it needed to be perfect. we didnt...we did what we could and he was blessed.

things dont need to be perfect to bless others...we need to remember that.
Southern Living Mag image

while making my family dinner I also made two smaller dinners of the casserole. at first I thought "why am I doing this? It isnt very much." That is where we go wrong when we do things. We think we have to do great things to bless others. both recipients of the small casseroles loved them.

So....we need to stop thinking that things have to be big or perfect before we can do something right?
we do out of love and it is enough.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hello Monday

cold misty rain morning
quiet house & dirty dishes
a whole day with my kiddos

planning a nourishing comfort food day after a busy weekend
hot cup of coffee with coconut milk and french vanilla creamer
eggs fresh from the chicken coop

What are you saying hello to this fine day?

Friday, February 17, 2012

This Moment ~ Hannah tracking a raccoon

~ :: this moment :: ~

a Friday ritual, a single photo, no words, a moment I want to pause and remember from this week.

For more "this moments" head over to SouleMama

Hope your day is great!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

agape :: soup

agape...strange word right?
the meaning described over at Wikipedia is: the term necessarily extends to the love of one’s fellow man

about a month ago I heard about a book called One Thousand Gifts

To sum it up it is about finding things to be thankful in your everyday. 
*the sun streaming across the floor
*children laughing in the other room
*hot soup for dinner

to be thankful causes something to rise up in us to ward off the criticism, hopelessness, apathy and other emotions that many feel.

I have been giving thankfulness a lot of thought. Are people ungrateful on purpose or has our society just forgotten how to be thankful? In our busy strive-for-it society can people really slow down and give thanks for the small everyday things?

I didn't a few years ago. I was too worried about how I was going to pay my bills and the emotional wellness of my children after the divorce of their dad and I. Well, I did find a journal recently that had a few pages of things I was thankful for from that time period recently. I guess I was never good at journaling anyhow. ~wink

In looking back though I can see a shift since that time-frame. As life multiplied one hundred-fold in busyness for me as a single mother I had to slow down somehow. Taking notice of things and being grateful does that....it slows down time and all the worries fade. It helps a momma to be present with her children when so many other things pull her thoughts all day and night. Bringing ourselves to the very moment we are in is a huge gift to us and others around us.

The next step for me since I have learned how to walk in thankfulness is to reach out to others. I am still a single parent, but don't stigmatize me. Even single parents can help others. ~wink

A way that my family has given out for a long time is when we make a pot of soup we always take a hot bowl to a neighbor. When I first started doing it, it was a little awkward feeling. Now it just feels like breathing. In our society where it is full of hustle and bustle and is not so personal anymore a hot bowl of soup delivered just because really touches hearts. How can we know how that neighbor's day has went? I have found after delivering bowl after bowl that it is always right when needed most.

soup doesn't only nourish the body...it comforts the soul.

God says that we can test Him and see that He is good. I haven't tested Him, but I have watched. We cannot out-give His goodness for us. Cannot.

Hope your day is full of thankfulness and peace.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

:: right now ::

Two sheet tents in the living room with two little girls in them.

chicken breast sizzling on the stovetop in the kitchen

hot coffee creamed up with coconut milk in a mug next to me

teen daughter yelling her goodbyes as she is leaving the house

sweet yellow dog laying at my feet

:: later ::

music lessons today for four kids from a sweet lady

dishes clean in the cupboards

finding out more information about graduating with my B.A. degree this June

moving more dirt to the garden

painting more kilz on old sills -- weeeeeeee! love freshly painted windowsills

walking outside and smelling the springlike air with my children

heading in town to hang out with some super cool kids at our youth church Generation Impact (GI)



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day...
the day of love.

ways to show love are immeasurable::

smile at a stranger
give a kind response when it is difficult
clean up after yourself (that is a momma's wish!)
write a note of sweetness to someone you appreciate
pray for others

love yourself


Monday, February 13, 2012

breakfast and sharpening knifes

On her last visit my momma taught me an easy way to sharpen a straight-edged knife...
go to your cupboard take out a coffee cup or another ceramic dish that has a raised edge at the bottom of it where isn't any glazing...
put a little water on it and run the edge of one of the sides of the knife blade pulling it toward you several times...
flip the knife blade over and run that side pushing away from you.

tada! sharp knife :o)

Can ya tell I ate steak and sunny side up eggs this a.m? yum! and with a sharp knife too :o)

I found that I would rather buy a roast and cut thin breakfast steaks from it than yo pay for it to be cut packaged that way by someone else. love saving money!

And the eggs...the girls (chickens) are picking up speed with eggs being laid. Loving not having to add eggs to the grocery list anymore. We are getting enough to last a day at this point for our breakfasts. I am sure that Zack would love full production for his egg salad sandwiches though. hehe


Hope your day is a GREAT one!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

dreaming of spring

The day before last was sunny and spring-like. I fed the horse some baby carrots for a treat in my morning chores and headed to the chicken coop to let them out of their house. Owen the cat called to me to lay down in the warm grass and scratch his tubby tummy and who am I to object? wink

After laying down with Owen on the grass carpet, I realized then that it had been way too long since I have taken a moment. A moment to just breath and watch around me.

Chickens scratching in their yard.
Blue Jays cawing at them to share their food.
Chickadees flitting from tree to tree and
cloud wisps drifting lazily across the sky with no cares...like me at that moment.

I scratched the tubby tummy of Owen and continued on to see what other wonders were about. I took a walk through the wintered-over garden. Walking about pulling up tomato stakes and small branches that were used to stake out peas. Taking a good hard look at this garden that is about ready to head into only its second year .... and with so many expectations from me for it.

I dug around for a bit and then talked to my oldest daughter on the phone for a bit. Sophie and Hannah joined me and seeing me hoeing at the ground said that they would like a try in their own sections. short-lived and comical was the 3 or 4 passes that they made with the hoe. very comical.

Zack saw me struggling to free rhubarb out of a tire that had grown too small for it and came to my rescue. Some of the roots were around 3 inches in diameter and were all intertwined. I would say its time to transplant don't you?

The dreaming of what goes where in the garden has begun! It's time to pull out the heirloom seed catalog again and order the seeds that I circled in the cold, dark winter days.

Are you dreaming of Spring?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

labor of love

Evidence below of part of my absence for so many months. My beloved home had a transformation. I loved it before it's make-over, but now....oh the happiness and gratitude I feel every time I drive up. I call the color "God's Glory" because that is what it reminds me of...all warm, regal, a shining reminder of His power, faithfulness and love.

I like t think that Lewis and Carol who lovingly tended this home and its property for many, many years would love the changes too. Enjoy your tour and see ya at the end ;o)

The house was an incredible amount of work and decisions in the midst of it. Did you know that decisions reduce your glucose levels? Really, I have been learning about that in college. When people were in studies and had to make decisions that were hard and took willpower then it left them with less willpower to make other choices or handle stress after it. hmmmmm...explains a lot for me. hehe

It was a joy to work with Miller Tile and Construction though. Don Sr and Don Jr are quite the all around awesome contractors and wonderful around family living. No questionable language or attitudes coming from these guys. We miss them around here.

USDA (my loan holders) said the whole exterior had to come off and so it did. phew! Much of the pilings (upright beams) under the house had to be replaced, new electric panel, some new wiring, rock and topsoil shoveled around the whole exterior of the house and on and on.

I am still reminding myself that it is done and I can r.e.s.t.

I love it! When weather warms up a little and I have the inside a bit more organized then I am going to finish up the kitchen. Building an island, laying tiles and making cabinet doors and drawers and painting cabinets that are already here.

the labor of love huh?