Skip to main content


As the snow piles up and up and up, we start our year.

The new year of 2019 is upon us, and it's off to a nice slow-ish start. We have had a peaceful month of January, catching up on all our requirements and rest after a busy couple of months during the holidays. It's been sweet to let life just sit on simmer a little while, watching the snow fall, and allowing the next responsibilities to acquire a little more before we delve in. Over Christmas, I didn't take official time off from school with the kids, just took days here and there to play, dream, and be  present in the Advent season. Although, for us, first grade is just charm after charm on a beautifully curated bracelet.

I think by the end of the year, we will only look back on it all as lots of really great things, put together. (Don't deceive yourself by thinking it doesn't include any flailing arms, dramatic acts, or tears... it definitely has some of that) I guess, it is something that we are all really enjoying and thoroughly glad we are doing. I didn't d…
Recent posts

Are you reading good books?

I wanted to share a resourceful article, written by Andrew Kern of the Circe Institute in 2013 entitled
From the Archive: That Shriveled Grind

In it, Kern reminds us that reading to our children is fundamental, but reading GOOD books to our children is what forms their minds with a liberal education. When we read of virtue, morals, and tell tales of heroes and the ways they've championed victories, our children are hearing them!

On the other hand, if we're only reading low-leverl readers from which the child can sound out a few phonetics and see sight words, what are they gaining? He argues that by beginning our kids in school, we are dumbing them down. They stop being read to when they're learning to read... This makes me so sad. As a book-lover, I can't imagine not knowing the places you can go in a book. Not visiting castles, moors, highlands and farmyards. I LOVE what he's saying.

When sending our child…

Happy Birthday, baby boy! | Titus is one

Last year, just after midnight on the morning of Mother's day, this little tyke was born to us! He was a mere 7 pound, 10 ounce baby with fuzzy hair, puffy eyes, and just a perfectly strong boy. He has elfin charm paired with tender kisses. The strawberry blonde fuzz continues to grow up and out, a lighter shade today. We most often find him wanting (whining) to be held, or seeking mischief. He already wants to do what C, J, and A are into... and it causes him many tumbles and tears when he can't keep up or isn't allowed to participate.

We are celebrating this mini man today, on his first birthday! Happy Birthday Titus Andrew!

It's snowing still | For Fun

I found this quoted by a friend on Facebook, and had to share. It feels like A. A. Milne is once again my fatherly hero for the day! The way he writes is funny, sentimental, and so possible to imagine. I can just hear Eeyore's ho-hum voice and imagine his feet shuffling about just-so. What an optimist!

“It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily.
"So it is."
"And freezing."
"Is it?"
"Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately.”
--A.A. Milne

Happy New Year 2018! | Family Life, Health, and Commitments.

New Year, New Energy
The sun stays up a few moments more every day now. The cold, hard and dark of late Autumn and into winter is always a challenge for me. It's like they're calling out to me: "you're tired," "you're weary" and they howl threats to take away my joy. As I see the days growing longer again, I get a rejuvenation as I get to see the turn of the calendar, too. The howls seem farther behind now. They're not creeping around my doors anymore. Winter is in a frosty, forward thrust here in Minnesota, and as I watch the sun rise up over the trees, witness the special still and clear mornings of a hoar frost, or see a bright halo around the sun... these each show me it is still cold. But, my spirits are brighter.

Ordering my priorities. Saying No, gives me more Yes time.   When we finished our ministry serving as Missionaries with Oak Hills Center for Indian Ministries after August, our commitments were able to level out to a seasonable p…

"look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else..." | C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, then I first begin to have a real personality of my own…There are no real personalities anywhere else. Until you have given yourself to Him you will not have a real self…But there must be a real giving up of the self. You must throw it away ‘blindly’ so to speak. Christ will indeed give you a real personality… The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether. Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His)…It will come when you are looking for Him. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes, every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fibre of your being and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the de…

October 2017 | Family life

It's October already!

How did that happen? It is been such a nice, beautiful, colorful season already and I am glad to say that I am trying my best to soak it up… It is hard not to dread the impending winter which brings  Cold, dark, long, hard days and weeks and months… But I still enjoy winter so much! It is funny how much as an adult I begin to dread winter already when it is only fall and fall is my favorite season! However it's just reality with four small children that winter gets hard in northern Minnesota.

Well, amidst all the crunching of leaves and tromping in the woods, we are  sopping up puddles. I have also been teaching the kids at home, potty training The two-year-old, nursing the baby, And finding a slew of other activities to keep the routine spicy! There is never a dull moment here in the kastenhouse and we tend to find ways to make it harder than necessary… The kids throw fits,I throw fits, the kids play games and make messes and we all have to work together…