Celebratory Snowballs

What could be better on a 98-degree August summer day than a snowball. I just “happened” to have two stored away in my freezer I’d collected last March, back when the snow banks were still thigh-high. It’s been our tradition ever since moving back to a climate that has real winter, to pack away snowballs in anticipation of the weather forecaster announcing, “Today is the hottest day of the summer…”. That is exactly what was predicted for yesterday – 100-degrees (f), with a heat-index of 105. Perfect snowball weather!


Do Fence Me In

When we adopted Daniel, and discovered that he was developmentally many months behind “normal”, I worked towards a solution in my normal style – with head-on, full-boar, Type-A vigor. Between the ages of 11 and 18 months, I focused on the basics– sitting, crawling, picking up food, getting food into the mouth, teaching him to not over-stuff food into his mouth, chewing, swallowing, talking and finally walking….


Finally!

“Hurry! Pileated woodpecker!! Come here! Quick!!”

Following the direction of my husband’s voice, I leaped up the stairs, finding him, peering out the “guest room” window. Just as I panted my way to his side, he gasped, “Oh, no! He flew away! This direction! Come on!”. He spun out of the room, clattering down the hall, his footsteps disappearing towards the east.

Suspiciously, I looked out the window seeing nothing but the usual white and red oak trees dancing in the breeze, leaves backlit by the sun. “Come on! Hurry!”, my husband yelled from across the house.


Congratulations, Eric!!

Nearly one and one half decades ago, a mother listened with a heavy-heart to the doctor’s diagnosis of her 3-year-old son, “Severe Autism – he’ll never have an IQ over 50…probably never walk or talk…it might be best for you to consider institutionalizing him”. She didn’t spend the following days mourning, or throwing herself into researching the institution which would best fit his needs. Instead, she prayed – seeking the Lord’s will and desire for her son’s life. The Lord’s answer, very different from the doctor’s, was for her to continue to hope in Him, seek Him in all her ways, sell her psychiatric practice, homeschool him, and devote every ounce of energy to pulling her son from the abyss of his dark, silent world. Unbeknownst to her, she’d spend five of those years waging her own brutal battle against cancer. This week, she and her son stood victorious at his high school graduation, giving thanks and praise to the Lord for the road they’ve traveled together, for all they’ve learned, especially about the never ending mercies of a gracious God who will surely walk with them on their next journey when her son attends a top-notch California university, majoring in linguistics. I’m blessed, beyond measure, to call this woman a friend, and a Sister in Christ. With her son’s permission, I’m honored to share his uplifting Valedictorian speech presented this past weekend. -Sharon


Tiny Moments

When Daniel, my soon-to-be 6-year-old, stood in front of me this morning working out math problems on the whiteboard, I reached out, straightening the collar of his special “dress-up favorite” shirt. I’ve straightened and tidied his clothing on many occasions, but this one gave me pause. We’re working as diligently as we know how, to guide him through the maze and tangle of Autism.

It’s a day-by-day process with some days giving me hope his future will be bright. Other days, I sink into the pit of despair, wondering if he’ll ever be independent, living a “normal” life.

In that tiny moment of straightening his little-man plaid corduroy shirt, my mind wandered toward the future, straying from the Lord’s command to not worry about tomorrow…..


Half Can Be Better Than Whole

I am simply going to have to keep my video and my still-photography camera permanently hung around my neck. Of late, there have been too many Perfect Moments, which language alone, is incapable of describing. But that won’t stop me from trying….


Mushroom Musings

Knowing that New Hampshire isn’t that different than Minnesota, I figured there must be morels, possibly in the wooded acres surrounding our home. The remembrance of a dinner, created by a friend’s classically-trained French chef husband, complete with morels he picked out of his very own woodsy Minnesota backyard, led me on self-education path late one night, after the kids were tucked into bed. Mycophagy has always intrigued me, but a healthy fear has kept me from acting on my interests. Still, that dinner……


HSLDA Helps After 'Dragon' Threat

With the publication of an article today, by The Home School League of Defense about the hellish time extracting our son from the talons of our school district’s Special Needs administrators, I feel a huge burden lifted from my shoulders. I have no “beef” with the real educators with whom we worked. In fact, I was quite fond of Daniel’s kindergarten teacher, but the people at the district level were horrific, having a militant mindset rather than a servant’s heart. I’m thankful for the help of HSLDA! -Sharon


Daniel’s Bear Journal

4/5 – I went down to the frog pond with my Mom and sister. They heard frogs. I heard a bear growl and was very afraid. Mom said I was safe. “That isn’t a bear growling“, she said. “It’s a squirrel up in that oak tree, warning us not to come closer”. I said, “I don’t know about that because I heard it and I know a bear growl when I hear it”. Mom said we had Beau, our poodle, with us and that he was a big poodle, who had a big poodle bark, and would frighten any bear away.

4/10 – Mom and Dad were cleaning out the garage; I was running and playing but I got scared; I told everyone I heard a ‘big black ferocious bear growling in the woods that was coming to get me”; Mom and Dad said I was ‘okay” and ‘safe” and that Daddy was bigger than any bear and would protect me. Daddy growled and said he wasn’t ‘amused” but Mommy said, ‘Well, you know I meant ‘stronger’“. Anyway, they said they didn’t see a bear and I could help sweep. That was okay with me.

4/12 – I rode my bike around the driveway today. Then I heard a bear growl in the woods. And I heard some twigs breaking. And I heard the bushes moving. I ran over to my Mom and hid behind her legs. She told me I was safe.


Sourdough English Muffins

Over the past year, my daughter Sarah and I have developed several wild yeast sourdough starters, from which we’ve created a variety of baked goods including waffles, breads, cinnamon rolls and cakes.

Yesterday, in the spirit of kitchen science, we experimented making English Muffins. We mixed our sourdough starter with goat milk, flour and sugar, then let it rest, covered, overnight. The next morning, we stirred in the remaining ingredients, kneaded for a couple minutes, let it rest, rolled and cut the muffins out and baked. It couldn’t have been easier…...