I Know It’s Autumn

I woke up in the pitch black to the ringing of my alarm and thought of a children’s book. “I know it’s autumn when the morning light comes late . . . .” So begins Eileen Spinelli’s picture book, I Know It’s Autumn. It is a mood piece (the kind of picture book children’s writing […]

Berry Picking

Fog hovered over the tops of the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. Clouds covered the sun, providing relief from the July heat. Life had been hard in the weeks leading up to that trip, and that very night (unbeknownst to us), we would come down with violent stomach bugs. But on that misty morning at […]

Oh My Baby, Little One

As a little girl, I had to fight back tears when I found a note in my lunchbox from Mama. The elementary school I attended—which in hindsight was quite nurturing—felt cold in comparison to the warmth of her love, felt unsafe in comparison to the haven of home. Glimpses of heaven still make me cry: […]

The Legend of the Bluebonnet

The bluebonnets are blooming this week. The roadsides are thick with them. I felt compelled to get Little One out in them to take his picture. Normally, I would have been hesitant (to say the least) to let my three-year-old frolic beside a busy road, but the blue beauty so captivated us that we hardly noticed […]

The Story of Little Babaji

Snuggled beside my grandmother, I would listen, mesmerized, as the black and white tigers on the page raced round and round a tree until they just melted . . . into butter!  Do you remember this story?  Written by Helen Bannerman, it was first published under a different title in 1899.  The black and white pictures […]

The Perfect Valentine’s Book

A friend who teaches preschool shared with me her method for correcting misbehaving children.  Every morning, before the school day begins, she hugs them.  Over time, because they feel loved, their behavior improves. Those children remind me of myself.  After almost fourteen years of marriage, my husband has learned that when I’m acting the grumpiest, […]

A Time to Keep

I am a fan of the children’s book author and illustrator, Tasha Tudor (1915-2008).  Several Christmases ago, my sister-in-law blessed me with a video, Take Joy, of Tasha in her house and garden.  Since I first watched it, one line in particular has played over and over in my mind.  The narrator’s peaceful voice states, […]

“The Good New Days”

The same God who brought you the good old days will bring you the good new days.” I read this bit of wisdom in a book by John Claypool when I was a teenager, and I’m still quoting it to myself today.  The New Year is beginning, and although I feel a twinge of excitement […]

“A Christmas Memory” & More “Pennies”

Although it was first published in 1956, I wasn’t introduced to this Christmas gem until about six years ago.  At a Christmas tea, my mother heard a man recite “A Christmas Memory” by heart in its entirety.  I was late to the event, missing the entertainment, but when my mother mentioned a Christmas story I’d […]

“Pennies” for Christmas

A little while ago, my children and I were driving in the car, listening to the audio recording of Little House on the Prairie when it arrived at the Christmas chapter:  “Mr. Edwards Meets Santa Claus.” Laura Ingalls Wilder’s writing is so charming, so full of vivid descriptions and the warmest of family moments.  In […]