The Birthday That Isn’t

The Birthday That Isn’t

Today might have been a birthday, or near to it.  There could have been a soft new baby to love and introduce to the family.  Tiny toes to count, and exquisite hands to hold.  Excited squeals from siblings, and the happy, exhausted smiles of new parenthood might have been.  But it isn’t and there aren’t.  I’m carrying a baby (and so thankful to be), but not the baby that could have had a birthday today.

Instead of a new day to celebrate, we have a phantom birthday.  A day to remember the child who lived only a few weeks cradled inside my body, before going to the embrace of our Heavenly Father.

One might not think such a short life could leave such an impression.  I’m not sure I even understood the weight of the shortest lives before our littlest Pea.  The thing is, from the very first moment I held the pregnancy test that whispered our baby’s existence, my mind leaped to accomodate this new life.  I imagined hundreds of possibilities for this baby, just like I’d done for her siblings before.  Just a few minutes before that test my idea of our family had consisted wholly of the 5 of us.  In the space between those two little blue lines, I saw 6.  Even though we had only a few weeks of the knowledge of her, I saw the potential of her whole life, and I loved her.

So then, when the ultrasound technician held her wand over an empty womb and told me the baby was gone, a life sized hole tore into the tapestry I’d imagined.  I’ll never forget that.  No matter how short the life, it matters.  It has meaning.  It has a purpose.  And it is all wrapped up together in the goodness and providence of God, whether we ever really understand it or not.  I doubt I ever will, to be honest.  But that’s okay.  As it happens, we have a new piece to our puzzle–a little boy who, God willing, will give us a new day to celebrate in June.  He’s our rainbow after the storm; and he couldn’t have existed without the storm.

It’s a discordant feeling–grief over a loss mixing with joy over a life that exists because of the loss.  I know this though: I’ll remember that short life for the entirety of mine.  I’ll remember the birthday that could have been, and the day that we lost her.  I’ll be sad that we didn’t get to watch her grow up, and I’ll be glad that I’ve had the opportunity to know the depth of love a parent feels for a child from the very beginning.  To be honest, I expected to be utterly sad today, but over and over as I’ve pondered through it all, all I can see is the goodness of God in every facet of our life–storms and rainbows notwithstanding.  And in the end of the day, all I have the heart to do is thank God for the children he’s given to us, and rejoice for the child he has taken into His arms.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” ~ Proverbs 3: 5-6

In memory of our forever littlest Pea on the day that might have been a birthday ~ 05.08.2018

Happy Homemaker Monday ~ September 4th, 2017

Linking up with Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday today! If you like this post, be sure to head over to her site and check out what she’s up to today too! I’m not very good about participating regularly, but I love having these snapshots of a moment in time to look back on. And I like seeing what other people are up to. I’m nosy like that 🙂

The weather…

Is absolutely perfect today. Low 80s, but breezy. We’re staying with family for the day (yay for long weekends) and have sat outside basically all day. The kids are running all over the yard and exploring the great outdoors. Makes for a great day!

Right now I am…

Sitting out on the front porch listening to Sophia and Eva play over by a big oak tree, and watching butterflies in the flower gardens! I just finished up looking over my lesson plans for the week for my 1st grader, and planning some crafts/fun for the preschooler too!

On My Reading Pile…

The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent by Susan Elia Macneal (and the rest of the series–I literally have all the books out of the library right now)
Brave New World by Alduous Huxley
The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics by Bruce Bueno De Mesquita and Alistair Smith
The Summer Before the War by Helen Simpson
The Story of Science by Susan Wise Bauer

Movies or Shows I Watched this Weekend…

Just some Chopped at the hotel this weekend. The kids are old enough that I don’t want to just leave it on while I’m doing housework, even though that would be my preference. So… I’ve basically stopped watching tv unless it’s something special my man and I are watching together.

On My TV

We’re watching the latest season of Turn on Netflix in the evenings. I think we’re going to start watching Atypical (sp? not sure what it’s called actually) too. My Superman started it and said it was hilarious!

On the Menu for this week…

Monday: Family Cookout
Tuesday: Greek Salad with Chicken
Wednesday: Grilled Pork with Broccoli Slaw
Thursday: Stirfry Chicken with cauli-rice
Friday: Pizza

On My To-Do List

Just unpack and tidy up when we get home tonight. Going to try to get everything clean and tidy for tomorrow. Tuesday’s after a long weekend are always hard for the kids, so I like to try to have everything that stresses me out pared down to a minimum. If mama’s not happy, everybody’s angrier 😉

What I am creating…

Still editing and writing, and learning to code. Working on Python right now, and tinkering with my Digital Ocean server and website. I need to go ahead and dig into the process of adding another small site to the server, but haven’t felt like I have a good block of time to dedicate to it.

Looking around the house…

Not at my house right now, and haven’t been there since Thursday. A little curious to see how much I have to do tomorrow though. Superman did some cleaning while I was gone, so it shouldn’t be too bad. Will mainly be a lot to put away and tidy up, I think, after we unload the van.

From the camera(phone)

What I’m wearing…

My favorite teeshirt and jeans. The shirt says “Happiness is a cup of coffee and a really good book.” I could basically go my whole life without wearing another shirt. You know, except for the days when I have to wear my Harry Potter ‘Accio Wine’ shirt. Also, I am aware that my style should probably grow up soon. The problem is that my style is too great for my budget. 😛

Simple Pleasures…

Listening to the wind blowing through the woods and across the hill. It’s like the rushing sound of the ocean, to a land-locked state.

Inspirational Quote…

“Education is an atmosphere… a discipline… a life…” ~ Charlotte Mason. My favorite quote to remember when I’m thinking about getting ready for a new school week.

What are you doing this week?

Summertime and Siblings


Summertime and Siblings

When summertime finally arrives, it’s a relief to be able to go outside with the kids without it being a huge production. No more coat checks, and hat searches. No more searching for elusive socks! Everybody has flip-flops and teeshirts, and getting outside is as easy as saying “Go!” And all the moms say, “Summertime, and the living is easy…” No? Just me? Okay then. I love seeing Sophia and Klaus loving on the outdoors. Our yard is small, but it’s their delight in it is unparalleled. The playhouse becomes a pirate ship, sticks in a corner are a camping ground… and their imaginations are unfettered.

While Sophia and Klaus are fighting dragons, Eva is watching. Her development is interesting to watch as she is influenced so heavily by the older two. They ride their tricycles and bicycles, and race across the yard. Eva is right behind them, trying to coax her chunky and delightfully uncoordinated baby limbs into the same motions. She is always behind them, always struggling to be farther ahead. When they abandon their bikes in favor of running, Eva runs too. When they climb the slide and the playhouse becomes a pirate ship, Eva heads that way.

summertime siblings

Sometimes I think it must be frustrating for her. Always running, never quite alongside them. But she is not just the youngest; they are also the oldests. They play their games, and then they come back for her, time and again. Slowing down, holding hands, helping her on and off of tricycles. They help her up when she falls down, and delight in her presence as she dotes on theirs. They are best friends in the deepest way possible. Of course they fight (some mornings quite a lot) but they’re learning how to get along every day. More than that, they’re learning to care for each other and watch out for each other.

Watching their relationships develop never fails to make my mama heart happy. I hope they’ll always cherish each other the way they do now. And even if they don’t–even if life pulls them different ways as they grow up and go out into the world–I’m so thankful that I’ll have these memories of them. Holding hands, shoes off, hair free, running across the yard on a cool summer day. I hope they’ll remember it too.

Fathers Day Interviews with Sophia and Klaus


Fathers Day Interviews–really any kind of interviews–are so fun when you have such precocious interviewees.  I am so thankful for my Superman and for the continual diligence and care he exhibits every day towards me and the kids; I love him more every day.  He’s the real deal:  looks and brilliance and kindness all tied together.  That’s just what I think though… here are Klaus and Sophia’s thoughts on the matter. 😉

Fathers Day Interview with Sophia (5) and Klaus (3)

  1. What is Daddy’s name? K: Josh Daniel Peterson S:Josh David Peterson
  2. What is something Daddy says to you? S: I love you.  K: I love you, Klaus Daniel Peterson.
  3. What makes Daddy happy? K: Racing.  S: I think when we wrestle.
  4. What makes Daddy sad? K: Making bad rules. S: When we don’t give him paper hearts when we do crafts.  
  5. How does DAddy make you laugh? K: When he says ‘banya’.  S: When he says ‘I’m a minion.  Banana!’
  6. What was Daddy like as a child?  K: He likes ice cream.  S: He loved roses.
  7. How old is DAddy? K: 3 S: 25


  1. How tall is Daddy? K: I don’t know.  S: 16
  2. What is Daddy’s favorite thing to do? K: Play race cars with me.  S: Wrestle with us.  
  3. What does Daddy do when you’re not around? K: He does not like doing any thing.  S: He be’s sweet and does routers all by hisself.
  4. If Daddy becomes famous what will it be for? K: famous race cars.  He likes giving us race cars. S: Famous race cars.  
  5. What is DAddy really good at?  K: Playing with me. S: Being Sweet.  
  6. What is Daddy not very good at? K: Not skating. S: Not being nice.  
  7. What does Daddy do for his job?   K: Win his contest. S: He tries to win contests.
  8. What is Daddy’s favorite food? K: Samwiches. S: Soup and Eggs.  
  9. What makes you proud of Daddy? K: Winning his contest of race cars. S: Winning his job.  


  1. If Daddy were a cartoon character who would he be?  K: He would be a Daddy. S: Someone else.  
  2. What do you and Daddy do together?   K: Play. S: We have fun together.
  3. How are you and Daddy the same? K: I love him. S: Because we have matching hairs.  
  4. How do you know Daddy loves you?  K: I love him. S: Because he loves me when I give him hearts and roses.
  5. How are you and Daddy different?    K: ummmm. S: We don’t have matching skins.
  6. Where is Daddy’s favorite place to go? K: To an airplane board to blast off.  S: To Work.
  7. How does Daddy like to relax?  K: Just relax. S: By telling us, “No, I don’t want to play.” 


There you have it!  I think these kids know how much they’re loved, and I know they know how awesome their daddy is!

Fathers Day 2017


Summer Goals: Walking With Kids



Walking with my kids is one of my big goals for summer.  Neighborhood walks, hikes, walking paths… I want to do them all!  It’s a bit more of a process than I expected it to be though.  On the good side of things though, it has been a fantastic week to be outside.  Delightfully cool-but-not-cold days are NOT usually the norm by June, here in the Bluegrass state.  This time last year we were sweltering and had already installed our little window AC.  This year, we invested in 3 small window fans, and keep those going through the day.

Thanks to those cooler temperatures, we got outside every day this week for good chunks of time, and managed to get a walk in this morning.  At the beginning of June I made this big goal that we were going to go walking  That has not happened.  Not even close!  We’ve walked twice in these past nine days.  It’s so much more involved than I had anticipated. Partly because right now they are slooooow.  It’s a little discouraging, honestly.  It takes so long to get everybody dressed, ready, and out the door, and then a little 1.5 mile walk (on a paved, relatively level path) takes a whole hour.  I need to adjust my expectations, obviously, but it feels like an issue.  My hope is that if we make more of a habit of it, it will get easier.  It will, right?

Walking with 3 year olds

Dealing with Klaus is the hardest part right now.  Eva rides in the stroller, Sophia knows most of the rules of road walking and can walk reasonably.  Klaus is my wild card.  He always has enough energy.  If we don’t get outside at all, he’ll be swinging from the rafters by dinnertime. Not really, but it feels that way.  However, if we walk for an extended period of time, he still wants to ride in the stroller by the end.  I’ve never had a double stroller, and as convenient as it would be, I feel like getting one now would result in regression for him.  Probably just need to buckle down and get him walking up to speed (pun totally intended!)

reading and walking

So, instead of going straight for the marathon, we’re going to try wading.  One walk a week through June.  That’s my goal.  Once a week I can definitely drive to walk somewhere pretty and safe.  And if it’s a really great week, I can venture out in our neighborhood.  Hopefully by July we’ll be able to do a little more!

Do you go walking with youngsters?  What’s your favorite way to manage the ones that are still kind of between stroller and proficient walker but need to be walking?  I’d love to know your methods for coaxing those slow walkers along!

Mothers Day Interviews

Mothers day interviews with my kids are my favorite.  It is such a treasure to know that in years to come I’ll be able to read over these and remember the silly little mannerisms and varying levels of knowledge that accompany each age.  Honestly, it doesn’t have to be a mothers day interview–I like doing them for birthdays and other holidays too.  But, without further ado–

Mothers Day Interviews

  1. What is Mommy’s name? K: Mommy Peterson.  S: Mommy Elizabeth
  2. What is something Mommy says to you? K: “You’re my little penguin”.  S: “Make bed.”
  3. What makes Mommy happy? K: I do. S: Coloring and Painting.
  4. What makes Mommy sad? K: ….. S: Not coloring with each other
  5. How does Mommy make you laugh? K: A penguin does. S: Jokes
  6. What was Mommy like as a child? K: ummmmm….. S: Sophia, and Klaus, and Eva.
  7. How old is Mommy? K: 56. S: 15.
  8. How tall is Mommy?K: Thissss tall (with gesture) S: 20 feet tall–taller than me.
  9. What is Mommy’s favorite thing to do? K: Paint. S: Color and Paint and do wonderful things.
  10. What does Mommy do when you’re not around? K: Don’t horse around. S: Well, we go to sleep, and then you clear up the living room, and then we tear it apart.
  11. If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for? K: A airplane. S: You will be the first one in the whole wide world enchanted ground.
  12. What is Mommy really good at? K: Um. Horsing around. S: Making wonderful food for us.
  13. What is Mommy not very good at? K: Not horsing around. S: Working on the tv and working on the lamp
  14. What does Mommy do for her job? K: Helps me clean up my toys. S: Cleans up everything and I line up the weights.
  15. What is Mommy’s favorite food? K: Macaroni and cheese. S: Mushrooms and mozzerella cheese, fresh tomatoes, onion, peas. (A jingle from a book we read recently.)
  16. What makes you proud of Mommy? K: A princess. S: Putting on pictures and making curtains and thanking everybody.
  17. If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be? K: An airplane. S: An enchanted girl.
  18. What do you and Mommy do together? K: Eat or paint. S: We color when Klaus is asleep. 
  19. How are you and Mommy the same? K: (after a lot of thought…) Booties (He gets up and leaves the interview) S: Because we got twin hairs.
  20. How are you and Mommy different? S: We don’t have the same clothes on.
  21. How do you know Mommy loves you? S: We have twin skin.
  22. Where is Mommy’s favorite place to go? S: To the park and to the voting place.
  23. How does Mommy like to relax? S: Lay down on the couch.

I have learned several things from this.  Firstly, my children think that I like to paint.  Secondly, Klaus’ attention span is about 5 questions shorter than the interview.  As always, what a trip.  These kids make me laugh every day.  I love them so!

Happy Mothers Day to all you momma’s out there.  Hope your day was filled with sweet baby kisses, and all the most wonderful parts of motherhood.

Rainy Day Cookies

Rainy Day Cookies

Ever wake up to a rainy day and just think “Cookies!”? The only thing my kids love more than making cookies is eating them.  Chocolate chip or peanut butter.  Oatmeal or snickerdoodles.  A good cookie can make a good morning great, and turn a bad day right side up  Since (I’m sure) we all agree cookies are a very good thing, I thought I’d share my favorite tip for making sure those cookies are accessible when you need them… but not toooooo accessible.

Here’s the thing–there are only 5 people in my family, and most of the cookie recipes we love make between 3 and 6 dozen cookies.  And the other thing–if the cookies are there, we will eat them.  In one weekend.  As a service to my waistline, and my kids’ attitudes (they don’t need that much sugar in a day or a weekend any more than I do) we now make Rainy Day Cookies.

The Secret to Rainy Day Cookies…

It’s pretty easy.  After baking one tray of cookies (with a reasonable number for the day, not something too arbitrary), I package the dough up into smallish portions and pop it into the freezer.  And there it stays, happily out of sight and mind until there’s a crazy day upon us.  Whenever that day comes, I can just pull a container out, let it thaw for a bit, and pop cookies into the oven.  Not stale cookie jar cookies–just fresh cookie goodness, without the hassle and mess of trying to whip up a batch on a day that may already going badly.

Bonus: Splitting up batches of cookie dough like that not only spreads the fun of cookies out longer, but its great for the budget.  Cookies multiple times for the price of one?  Yes please!

Need some inspiration for your cookie cravings?  Allow me…

These Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies are divine.  This has become my go to chocolate chip cookie recipe. That really is saying a lot.  I used my last chocolate chip cookie recipe exclusively ever since I started baking cookies 20 years ago or so… when I was 5…  Yep.  Y’all need these in your life.  Go check out the recipe!

Birthday Interview: Sophia, Age 5

Sophia Louise, Age 5

Sophia is 5 years old today and we’re celebrating with a birthday interview!  She is sunshine and smiles, bright eyes and precocious comments.  She is the chatty to my quiet, and we just love her sweet personality more every day.  She is a fierce, unstoppable reader, loves to run and play in the back yard, and is my always- ready shopping buddy.  I love you, Sophia!

birthday interview

Birthday Interview Time!

I started doing periodic interviews with my little peas sometime last year.  We plan to contine with a birthday interview, mothers day interview, and fathers day interview every year.  Remembering the way they say things is so precious to me.  You can read Sophia’s birthday interview from last year here

  1. What is your name? Sophia
  2. Who is your favorite person in the world?  Helena
  3. What is your favorite color? Pink… I mean purple.
  4. What is your favorite television show? Strawberry Shortcake
  5. What is your favorite food? Salad dressing with salad and parmesan cheese
  6. What song do you love? Sofia the first…
  7. What do you want to do when you grow up? Buy my own car.
  8. What is your favorite book? Strawberry Shortcake
  9. What are you really good?  I’m really good at school, actually.
  10. Where is your favorite place to go? To parks.
  11. What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy? Go to parks and take walks
  12. What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy? Go to stores together on a date
  13. What food do you dislike? Pickles
  14. Who is your best friend? Eva
  15. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Chocolate with peanut butter in it.
  16. What do you want to do this year? I want to do crafts
  17. Is there anything else we should know about you? Yes.  Well, I’m kind of a strong girl.  I rock climb a lot and I pick up giant things that my brother can’t.  But there’s one thing I need to say: I’m taller than my friends.
  18. Any last words to leave us with? I want to plan with you.


Happy Birthday, Sophia Louise!

Klaus: Age 3, Interviewed

Klaus turned 3 years old on Sunday. He is rambunctious and active, by turns rough-n-tumble and sweet. He’s gentle and caring with Eva, imaginative and competitive with Sophia. We love seeing all the different facets of his personality developing, and most of all we love HIM. We’re so thankful that God has given him to us for these three years, and pray for many more years to come!

1. Who is your favorite person in the world? You. (Awwww)

2. What is your favorite color? blue and red and purple

3. What is your favorite television show? Chuck (The ADventures of Chuck and Friends

4. What is your favorite food? Hamburgers

5. What song do you love? Space Racers song or Chuck song

6. What do you want to do when you grow up? Go outside and drive Daddy’s truck away.

7. What is your favorite book? Winnie the Pooh

8. What are you really good at? Puzzles.  I’m really good at puzzles.

9. Where is your favorite place to go? we need to go to the airport to go blast off to outer space.  then we land.  then we walk on the moon.

10. What is your favorite thing to do with daddy? Go tothe playground.

11. What is your favorite thing to do with mommy? Go to the playground.

12. What vegetable do you dislike? i don’t love any vegetable

13. who is your best friend? Samuel is my best friend and Ezra is my best friend

14. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? White ice cream and black ice cream (vanilla and chocolate)

15. What do you want to do this year?  Go to the park with you.

Happy 3rd Birthday, sweet boy!

Happy Homemaker Monday ~ 3.6.2017


happy homemaker monday
Diary of a Stay At Home Mom

Good Evening to you!  It’s late, but I’m linking up with Diary of a Stay At Home Mom for Homemaker Monday today!  Be sure to hop on over to her blog and see what her Monday looked like!

The Weather ~ Cloudy here, but fairly warm and windy.  Eva’s hair blew straight up in the air while we walked between stores, until she looked like she had some wild static electricity going on!

On my Reading Pile ~

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm (the complete first edition) translated and edited by Jack Zipes.
Field Guide to American Houses
The Language of Flowers edited by Sheila Pickles
How to talk so Little Kids Will Listen by Joanna Faber and Julia King
Talkers, Watchers, and Doers by Cheri Fuller
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Free to Choose by Milton Friedman

Movies or Shows I watched this weekend:

A couple episodes of The Great British Baking Show (they have two new seasons on Netflix!)
A couple episodes of How I Met Your Mother
Not much else. We had a super busy weekend between hosting Eva’s official birthday party, and church yesterday.

On my TV:
More of the British Baking Show, A Series of Unfortunate Events. It’s hard to tell what we’ll turn on during the week because we’re not really “into” any shows, and I’m trying to not watch much TV since I’m like 110% obsessed with the library and bringing home outrageous stacks of books that I can’t get through in a rental period haha)

On the Menu:

Tonight we had smoked chicken, asparagus, and cheesy spaghetti squash.
Tuesday: Pork Roast with radishes and veggies.
Wednesday is shopping day, so I’ll plan the rest of the week out tomorrow.

On my To-Do List:
Plan out some activities for March/April, and start working on my homeschool plan for the first four grades. It probably seems kind of ridiculous, and I know whatever I plan is certain to change and evolve over the years, but I want to have a general strategy to strive for that encompasses the big picture. Anyways, that’s one big project for this month.
I also want to finish sanding and painting my end tables for the living room now that the weather is getting nice again.

What I Am Creating: Hopefully cute end tables, regular blog posts, journal entries, and background work for a new novel project!

From The Camera:

Happening This Week:
My Superman is taking a test tomorrow, and we’re probably getting spooled up for whatever job ends up being next for him.

Looking Around the House:
Fairly tidy from my evening clean sweep, laundry is folded, bed linens are clean and my bed is made again, coffee pot is programmed… feeling pretty good about heading into the rest of the week!

One of My Simple Pleasures:
A pre-programmed coffee pot! Gold, I tell ya. There is nothing as wonderful as waking up to already brewed coffee. As long as I remember to get it ready the night before ;P

Bible Verse:
The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any pepole; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Deuteronomy 7:7-8