Thank You!

My mom asked me if I feel nervous about blogging after guest posting on Ann’s blog.  Yes, I do!  So, if I do a bunch of nervous rambling over the next week, you know why!  But truly, I want to thank all of you for the incredibly kind feedback you have given me in response to the piece I wrote for Ann’s blog.  I deeply appreciate all your comments and emails.  Thank you all so much!  It’s a wonderful if not overwhelming thing to see beauty being pulled from the sad parts of my past.

I have to share one funny comment that was left on the post I published here the day my post went up at Ann’s:  “Ha!  I love this blog, loved your guest post, and think it is hilarious that my favorite blog on the internet now has a snake warning system!”  (Thanks!)  I was honestly kind of embarrassed that on the same day that Ann ran my super serious post, I was explaining my new “snake warning” system.  (I wrote the post for Ann a couple weeks ago, and had no idea what day it would run.  In fact, I convinced myself that she probably wouldn’t.  Ann emailed me mere minutes before she hit publish on it.)  I’m not a big planner when it comes to blogging.  I rarely write in advance and schedule my posts.  I’m very much “in the moment” here and the snake warning system needed to be addressed!  I guess we’ll just be known as that snake handling family.

I wrote some time ago about trying to shift my focus from everything I’d like to accomplish to focusing on what I actually do get accomplished every day.  Reality demands that I keep to-do lists because otherwise, I’d forget important things such as piano lessons.  But at the end of the day when I’m exhausted, and the day’s activities have kept me from doing all that I planned to, it’s really good to make a mental list of what I did do rather than look around my house at all I didn’t do while feeling defeated.  For instance:  Today we harvested five frames of honey.  Given that this is only the second time we have taken honey from our bees, that feels like a big deal.  The kids and I also cleaned out our van.  It was long overdue.  Have you ever had fruit flies breeding in your vehicle?  Ummm…no, of course not, right?  Yeah, me neither (wink).  That would be really gross.  I also finished giving the last of the end of year tests to the four of my kids that require testing, so that’s done too.  Then there was baseball practice (where Silas has developed a relationship with a search and rescue dog) and getting Keats and Gabe fitted for next season’s uniforms.  I could go on and on.  I find it amazing how much I do in a day, only to end it feeling like there’s more left to do than when the day began.  Hence my effort to focus on actual accomplishments.  That just feels better.  Mulling over all that I got done while I’m knitting is even better!

(With the help of Silas and Beatrix, Larkspur made backyard stew along with pine needle upside down cake and a bunch of other recipes from this adorable mud pie kitchen cookbook this week.  She was very serious about her mud pie makings and I was very curious about why the mud pie kitchen had been moved indoors.  I had to put a stop to that!  Outside!)


  1. As for us, we’ve never had a mouse living in our mini-van. Oh no, certainly not a mouse living in and living well in our minivan — Oh no. (shudder & wink)

  2. You touch the deepest part of me, Ginny. Wishing you peace and love.

  3. beth lehman says:

    the van?? fruit flies, rotten bananas, and ants…. i loved your post, ginny. thank you for your courage and vulnerability for all of us who are broken in one way or another. xo

  4. Theresa says:

    I just finished reading your post on Ann’s blog. My heart was touched by you words, thank you for sharing!

  5. The honeycomb looks amazing! Good for all of you

  6. I ADORE Mud Pies and Other Recipes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I had a copy growing up, and used it daily, all summer long. Somehow, I lost it, and bought a new copy when my kids were little. Then, I found it. Now I have two 🙂 Best book ever. (One of 2,037, but still…)


  7. well, last year I had a dead lobster in the mini van for about 2-3 weeks, apparently only I could smell it, long story, my friends thought it was hilarious but none of them will drive anywhere with me anymore 🙂

  8. Thank you for sharing the link to your post–I always find inspiration in your words. I have diagnosed OCD (since childhood) so I understand many of your struggles as a mother with small children in and out of the house, sometimes on a minutely basis!

    Anything with pine needles is always wonderful.

  9. Your post was so honest and open and yet how hard to share. Thank you for sharing that, and for being so vulnerable to your readers! I love following you and your journey!

  10. I don’t know about the fruit flies, but last year my sister spilled some compost in the backseat floorboards of her rusted-out Mercury Sable and I guess some seeds spilled back there too, because pretty soon she had a bunch of vegetables sprouting up back there. Another thing to file under “Funny/Gross”! We still tease her about that, although she just financed a new (to her) car and is set on keeping it clean…or at least garden-free! Hehe!

  11. Marilyn says:

    Lovely blog…lovely family.
    I am 60+ years old. I have a few regrets from my young mom days, but l learned my lesson and got a second chance with my grands! It would be wonderful if you had an “assistant” who went behind and picked up while you enjoyed the kids clutter free, would it not? I would cook more elaborately if l had a cleaner-upper in the kitchen with me. But this is the real world and we do the best we can.
    I grew up in the days when June Cleaver kept her house spotless and was always in the kitchen with her ruffled apron on. I thought this was how it was supposed to be. Still laughing about that.
    Oh, BTW, l met you on A.V.’s Holy Experience.
    I am curious to know if your memories have been healed by God, or is that an ongoing process?
    I “stumbled” upon the story of a remarkable woman named Tasha Tudor on Pinterest. You could Google her and learn of her, but the Pinterest site has pictures!
    She was a homeschooling, flower growing, food growing, knitter ahead of her time, l think. A trailblazer. She has a particular look because she made her clothes and the little cape things she knitted and wore instead of sweaters. She illustrated many books that l am familiar with. She appears to have been content in the way she lived her life. Nowhere do l get the impression that she was hurried or unsure of herself.
    The early settlers lived in log homes and had a great room where life was lived. One room. As things progressed, they built a room on the front for company. A room that was not lived in. It was kept fine for receiving and not living. Then there was a “den” where the whole family gathered and cluttered. Then we built a room for each child because we got frustrated with the clutter. Then the kids lived in their rooms and we missed them! Now we are back to “great” rooms. We humans are a funny bunch!
    Reading your blog got me to thinking these thoughts and not worrying about the cobwebs that need to be swept down and the floor that needs mopping. But l am SMILING about you.
    Warmest regards, Ginny.

  12. love to see all your pictures, especially of your little babies. curiosity kills the cat, may I know what type cookies are in the baking tray?

  13. I also found your sweet blog via your guest post on Ann Voskamp’s blog 😉 🙂 So I signed up to follow your blog via email. I’m following on Facebook AND I am planning on participating in your next yarn along 😉 🙂 I LOVE knitting…and I haven’t picked up the needles in awhile because I’ve been in a bit of funk…and just letting things get to me, instead of letting God take care of the things 😉 🙂 I think your blog is really delightful 🙂 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 😉 🙂 🙂

  14. Hi Ginny,
    My friend grew up with a very controlling step father after her father died and her mother remarried. She is now 45 with a daughter of her own and struggles daily with OCD, depression and anxiety. She still cannot leave the house without sweeping and making sure everything is in ‘order’ It reminded me so much of your situation and how our childhoods effect us. What is ‘order’? Trying to control our outside world to make our inner world feel better. Maybe we should be working the other way round. Inside first and the outside will follow…or not. Maybe it wouldn’t matter so much about the state of our carpet if our heart and connection to God came first. Bless you and your family. I adore your blogx

  15. Marilyn says:

    I discovered your blog from A.V.’s Holy Experience. I am 60+. I enjoy reading about the homeschooling, many kidlets, bee-keeping moms that chronicle their experiences via blogs. When I imagine the young country (America) and the settlers lives, l imagine something like what a lot of you young moms are doing. They must’ve had clutter of some sort and endless chores. They probably didn’t have much PAPER clutter though. There are some regrets from my young mom days, but l learned my lesson and got a second chance with my grandchildren! I happened across a woman named Tasha Tudor on Pinterest. A very intriguing story of a woman who homeschooled, grew her own food, knitted and grew beautiful flowers. She is (was) beautiful. I had never heard of her. She illustrated many books that l am familiar with.
    I am curious to know if God has healed your memories or is the healing still “in progress.” Warmest regards…Marilyn

  16. Janet R says:

    Ginny, you and God are an awesome team! Keep leaning on Him! I have to remind myself as well. Praying for you, as I enjoy your blog – and your knitting – so much!

  17. Jean G. Woodhouse says:

    I am so happy Ann invited you to her porch. You are truly a blessing to me. My mother was gifted with that crochet needle and I am grateful my adult granddaughter inherited her talent. God has been good to keep it going.

  18. Ginny, I can’t remember how I found your blog, but it is my absolute favorite. I love your pictures, your writing, your honesty and sincerity, and I so appreciate how you love our gracious Lord. Thank you for sharing your family and your heart with us. From my perspective–an older mama with 2 fully homeschooled kids now in their 20’s–you are doing an amazing job with your kiddos.

  19. Isn’t peanut butter appliqued upholstery an upgrade? 🙂 I certainly appreciate all you have to say, and since I found your blog, yours is one of my two favorites! I could erase all the rest, but I don’t think I could do without yours. You have such a calming voice to my chaotic head. I think I have ADHD inside and out! Thanks so much for your wisdom and willingness to put it all out there for the rest of us to see that we don’t need to be perfect in order for our lives to be perfect!

  20. I’m a newbie beekeeper and wondering why the frame Larkspur is holding looks so much darker than the others. Also, will you show any pics of the honey you harvested? I’d love to know how well you did. This is our first year of beekeeping and we can’t wait until we will be able to harvest honey. We also were glad to see that we don’t need to make an expensive investment in an extractor and will try the method you used. Thanks.

  21. focusing on what is done and what is good in a day are truly the best moments. don’t forget to add that you listened to your kids stories, took photos of what they thought was fun, and enjoyed your family–very important and yet not on a daily to do list because we take the every day stuff for granted.

  22. A) I love Larkspur’s excited face with the frame! Made me laugh! B) It is so encouraging to me to see Beatrix outdoors “cooking” with one sock on and one off… that is my LIFE and I get embarrassed when I think about what others would surely say if they knew my toddler sometimes wanders around naked on the patio these days because her clothes were too messy to keep on her and I am too tired to go find another set and what would they think if they saw the state of my bigger girls’ random assortment of clothes (or lack thereof) when they take themselves outside to play? Thank you for sharing the real and perfect-messy.

    Alright, there’s still more I have to say – this comment is like a mini blog post, and I apologize for that but won’t stop when I’m on a roll. 😉 I was praying this morning as I was facing the insurmountable level of work around me this morning and asking the Lord what is going on my heart as I don’t lately feel peace or rest no matter how hard I work and that means there’s a heart issue in the mix. I stopped and listened for His voice (while still scrubbing dishes) and immediately He brought to mind your recent blog posts. Then there was a little prompting that I should start focusing on all the things He has graciously allowed me to accomplish each day. Then, lo and behold! I popped over here a few minutes later was affirmed that a “Got done” list is the right way to head. I will dust off my gratitude journal and write that list, framed as thanksgiving for the work He has given me the strength and energy to do for today. I know you are nervous after this big week, but you have no reason to be, since your writing and photography continues to be so grace-filled and beautiful. Thankful to God for you.

  23. When I was a teenager I babysat for a family of 6 who had a nest of mice living in their people carrier! The fact that the carpet in the back of my car is 40% crayon is totally normal too, right?

  24. I’m not a big blog planner either. I mean, I try to think ahead and such, but about 99% of the time, I write the post right before I publish it.

    Oh well.

  25. Ginny ~ I read the post you wrote some time ago about your ‘to do’ lists and gulped when I realized how close to home it hit me personally. I can be brought to the point of tears at the end of the day when I realize that I’ve only ticked a mere few things from my daily task list, and that I didn’t also get to reorganizing my attic/weeding the driveway/washing the windows/painting the bathroom/etc by the end of the day.

    The expectations I set for myself always exceed reality but knowing this deep in my heart doesn’t make the disappointment and feeling of failure any less at the end of the day. That post you wrote was timely ~ it came just before I had a week off from work and had been working on a completely ridiculous list of things I wanted to accomplish in 7 days. I threw the list away. Instead, each day I made a list of the things I did manage to take care of and by the end of the week, although I didn’t get everything done that was on that original ‘to do’ sheet, I felt good about what I had done and it did make a big difference not having a ‘you failed to get all these things done’ note staring back at me.

    Thanks for sharing ~ you never know what will touch someone. Melissa

  26. what were you baking…scones?

  27. Ha! I feel as if we live in our van sometimes- it certainly looks like it. You know how it goes- take this bag to so and so , that one goes to church, this one is coming home with us from someone (thank you handmedowns). And then all of the things the kids cant bear to live without during the car ride, but apparently can live without for weeks while it floats around in the van. Loved your guest post too.

  28. Ginny, do you ever have issues with wasps or other robbers at your hives? I just harvested my first ever batch of honey (so exciting!) and I was thinking about leaving the frames out for the bees to clean up, like I see you did, but then I wondered about wasps. Neat photos by the way (of the bees cleaning up the frames)!

    • We have to really watch for yellow jackets in the fall, but keep entrance reducers on any hives that we don’t think are strong enough to defend themselves. As far as setting the frames out for the bees to clean, Jonny set them out far away from the hives. There were a few wasps, but it wasn’t a problem.

  29. Thanks for the reminder about the book Ginny. I have Emerson here for the day, after driving for hours to pick her up, that book is on my shelf and I think she would love it.
    So glad you guys got to harvest honey, and I love the photos.

  30. Slightly off topic…but I’ve been thinking on this and you mentioned thsm so…..
    I teach piano and was thinking of ways to expand my business. Do homeschooling parents like the flexibility of that sort of thing during the day? If so, how would I get the word out? Any suggestions?
    Your guest post was beautifully written. It struck a chord in many ways.

  31. I come back everyday because there is beauty here. You have inspired me to sign 3 of my kids up for soccer even though being tied to that kind of schedule is outside of my comfort zone. It’s good for them and they are so very excited. Your photos demonstrate the beauty found in the chaos of large family living. I end my days exhausted and often dwelling on all of the undone things. But your blog is a reminder that it’s the relationships and the memories that matter. And the knitting. I haven’t found the time for quite awhile after being discouraged with a couple of projects that were just not going well. But your beautiful knitting helps me to look forward to picking up my needles again sometime soon. After I ripped out my last project maybe 6 or 7 times I told my husband, I don’t think I know how to knit anymore. I think baby #7 took away my ability to follow a pattern!! I’m hoping those brain cells come back soon and I can make something that doesn’t end up in a mess on the floor! Oh- and I just ordered that mudpie book from the library 🙂 A good book I read recently that I highly recommend- Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full by Gloria Furman

  32. Okay now I just have to give you that link I gave in my comments yesterday again- because you really MUST read it! And my comment may have been buried in the countless comments you got on that post! So here it is again:

    You really must read it! I can’t believe the parallels that so often happen here- whether it is the books in your yarn along or your mothering epiphanies… it is crazy.

    Two parallels I WISH I had with you (but am not quite there yet):

    HONEY (yum)
    KNITTING TALENT (I crochet but have a hard time with knitting.)

    Okay- three…

    Adoption, too.

  33. Did a van clean-out too: one pile for trash, one pile for taking in to laundry, one pile for taking to the kitchen to be washed (cups and containers), etc. We don’t even bother to vacuum the van floor.

  34. What a wonderful book to gain mud pie inspiration from! I tell ya we’re not breeding fruit flies in our van but certainly other little known harmful-to-mankind other bacteria. It’s been needing a good wash for at least a year now.

  35. Just to make you feel better about your van and the ‘not there at all’ fruit flies …. Our truck got so messy it had a family of mice living in an old tissue box and eating from our ‘car snack’ box!!!

  36. I just read your post at Ann’s and it is so real and true. Thank you for sharing. No need to fear, you are who you are and you are loved.

    I homeschooled my four children and towards the end I had a sort of break down. I needed rest so badly. It had been my prayer and I was meditating on God’s word, seeking His promised rest. Now that they are all in careers and/or college I have been able to enter that promised rest . For these past three years I have been dwelling beside His still waters and He is restoring me. I did not realize how much I had been doing in my own strength and how much anxiety I was carrying. I had very little support in my decision to homeschool and so much rejection. which produced much anxiety and pressure to do it ‘right’.

    I finally have peace and hear Him saying that I am to cultivate peace for the rest of my life.

    Peace (rest) is the one thing that Jesus left for us. It is His gift and all we have to do is receive it and dwell in it. Peace be with you. Kerrie

  37. Jennifer says:

    Yes. Unfortunately, yes. I have had fruit flies breeding in my mini van. Thanks to a child leaving a banana peel in a cup holder in the sliding door. Couldn’t find where they were coming from because every time I searched in desperation for the source of ALL the bugs, it would slide into hiding when I opened the door. That was not a fun clean out.

  38. Positive thinking is always good. Well done for focusing on what you have achieved in a day and not what you haven’t. Tomorrow is another day…

  39. lovely… was just praying for you and then saw your post 🙂


  1. […] saw this great mud pie recipe book here and then here, and I thought it might be just what the girls needed to get them excited about being outside again […]

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