closer to the clouds

28 March 2008

celebrating mark

happy birthday to you...

my brave-hearted hero,
my "guy" benchmark,
my quiet-seeking, transformation-loving, smile-giving soul mate...

my God-hunting ally,
my "depths" sharer,
my "just being" haven,
my wild-loving, essential, masculine heart throb...

my offspring-rearing confidant,
my trustworthy dream-chaser,
my life-savoring, obstacle trekking, journey friend...

my joy,
my love,
my privilege...
my Mark

our snowshoeing date-day...on the trail


26 March 2008

Read this on a friend's blog...

"Contemplative prayer deepens in us the knowledge that we are already free, that we have already found a place to dwell, that we already belong to God, even though everything and everyone around us keep suggesting the opposite." ~Henri Nouwen

have you known this?...known the freedom found here?...the Freedom?...the place to be...just be...with Him.

I savor this place.


25 March 2008

easter and strep

My blog-cation...a vacation from over.

Easter weekend and a 3rd bought with strep throat have been a bit of distraction the last week.

Here are some savored moments from our weekend in the hills...

5 of the 10 boys present for the weekend

Easter worship service

boys and rocks are inseparable...big or little makes no or boys

Owen goes for the biggest splash

our own easter bunny


The gang's all here
(notice the one pink spot...Audrey is the only girl of 11 children!)


20 March 2008


Happy Spring!
I love that the earth and everything in it is in a cycle...circular... so always connected.
I want to think of more of my life this way.


17 March 2008


We had a lovely outing as a family last week...courtesy of a friend.
Check it out... here.


13 March 2008

warrior princess

...I think he likes this side of her too!

Today she is 17 months old.

going too fast!

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12 March 2008


Last week we colored our first Easter eggs. I had lots of eggs and this seemed like the most fun thing to do with them this time of year! Plus, it meant deviled eggs and egg salad and eggs in our salad and potato salad (my mom's amazing recipe!). The boys loved it and so did I. I learned something though...don't be seduced into buying those amazing egg kits with "special effects": glitter and decoupage and tie-dye etc. All they want to do it dip the eggs in the colors and see how big of a splash they can make while doing so! Maybe it is just a boy thing...

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11 March 2008


Owen has had a recent fascination with nests.

I really don't know what got it started...maybe an episode of Sesame Street...Big Bird. He makes nests and sits in them. Sometimes he makes them out of blankets or in the case of this picture, a freshly laundered sheet...sometimes he asks Mark or me to "make a hole" (sit cross legged) which he smashes his blanket down into and then sits on. When we colored eggs last week, he made note of the fact that eggs go in nests.

This is so fascinating to me because it is something that is emerging out of his own "self". As our second born he is very much at the mercy of his older brother's interests and preferences. While Owen has always been a great playmate for Ethan he has begun - over the last 3 months - to begin to assert his own preferences...sometimes in the form of whining, but other times in the form of good communication (ie. "I don't want to do that Ethan!") This nest-ing has had nothing to do with Ethan...and it is really cute!

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10 March 2008


After waiting and longing for a date day since December we finally got one this past Saturday (THANK YOU Amy and Josh!). December 15th was our last date day...which we spent finishing our Christmas shopping. This was definitely not our favorite way to spend a day without our kids but we did enjoy being able spend the day thinking about Christmas and how our kids (and us too) would spend and relish it! On that day we began to plan for our next date day...we wanted to snowshoe. It was one of our favorite memories from the days we lived in Colorado Springs 10 years ago.

We were supposed to have our next date day on February 16th...we weren't sure how we would spend the day since our entertainment had to be free (because of Mark's work situation). But, about a week before our scheduled date day a lovely soul gave us some unexpected "date-only" cash. We both lit up when we realized this meant we could rent snow-shoes and still enjoy the day we had long been anticipating. On Tuesday, at MOPS, I shared this lovely news of some "date-only" money with a new friend and she says "You don't have to rent shoe-shoes, we own some and you can use ours and then you can use your date money for something else!" (Lovely!) On Wednesday (3 days before our date)...the "rot" hits our house as it had already hit the Denglers and our date day is canceled! Bummer...

So, we reschedule for March 8th...and it could not have been a more glorious and needed day. We find such "room" on these days.

bouldering above and around Lily Lake
a sweetheart moment in front of Estes Cone/Long's Peak
ice booting (what you do without skates) on Lily Lake
on the trail
part of the storm that rolled in on our decent

We came across this quote during our day in the wild. It wove itself into our very souls as we spent the day in conversation and companionship. And it haunts us even now. Somehow we feel our hearts beat along with his...

"Within National Parks is room--glorious room--room in which to find ourselves, in which to think and hope, to dream and plan, to rest and resolve." Enos Mills


07 March 2008


Some life-enriching interactions with two special women made me think of this poem I came across a month or so ago...

A Time to Talk

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don't stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven't hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

Robert Frost

I have been exceedingly grateful for the "friendly visits" of today.


week's end

This week has been...

Mark has had work everyday...long days.
We haven't had much of a family life because of late nights/late dinners/kid's bedtimes. One night this week, after we tucked the kids in to bed, we each sat on our poang chair with our laptops and did various electronic activities...blogging, email correspondence, taxes, etc. At one point I commented that this was the modernized "Dad sits and reads his paper while Mom knits" evening routine. It was a comfortable evening of being together even thought we interacted little.

By mid-week I suspected another round of strep throat. A clinic visit, a trip to the pharmacy and $100 later, this was confirmed. While uncomfortable and not something I would wish on anyone, it did require a couple of low-key, pajama wearing, movie watching, cuddle on the couch days for the kids and me. Thankfully, the antibiotics are fast acting and I was back on the mother-may-I playing, "Can you read to me?", "Can I have a snack please?" track today. I even had a couple of life-giving conversations on the phone with two lovely friends.

Mark is supposed to be home a little early evening commitment is canceled because of my "condition"...I know what we are having for dinner...tomorrow is our date day (YIPPEE!)...the laundry is actually done this week (ok not really, there are two baskets that need to be put away)...we have a carrot cake from the food pantry for dessert tonight (lovely) is Friday and I am feeling loved and blessed by all that our lives have included at this week's end.


05 March 2008

love this

I don't really have anything to say about this except that it causes a lovely "blooming" in my soul that is rooted in the awe of a deep love.


04 March 2008

in spite of

In spite of being sick for most of the month of february, we found ways to enjoy our moments and days...

My in-laws were here for a few days and we mustered up enough strength to get out into the wild a bit...


03 March 2008

recognizing God

Read this today and find myself wanting to linger in this place...
have known something of this in these days of dependent existence...
find a longing to be this "delighter" in God and all his ways...
trusting the Good Heart...