Weeping Cherries

faith, family, food and frugality

“Gratefulness” or “Why I Will Probably Never Write A Novel” June 27, 2013


When I was a child, I used to write a lot of fiction: how the world became colorful; about the lady who lived in the old Victorian home on Weeping Cherry street; about the neighbors my brother and I spied on; and the missionary in Cambodia. I wrote poems and songs and day dreamed 100 stories for every one I put to paper.

I always imagined writing a great piece of fiction someday. I think a lot of people dream that- writing the great American novel. So, I often wondered why the dream died to some extent. Why all my current writing was of the non-fiction variety? They were simple stories about funny things the kids have done; writings about my home, the people in it and the garden we grow or the food that we share.


I would sit and try to think of something imaginary to write about because I had such an enormous imagination when I was little. Do you outgrow an imagination? Do you become cynical with age or do you stop dreaming?

Tonight, for Father’s Day (yes, it took me a while to get this post up) my husband and I munched on popcorn and watched a movie called “The Magic of Belle Isle”. In the movie the main character, an author, stops writing after the death of his wife until a little 9 year old girl wants him to teach her how to imagine a story. She and her family inspire him to dream all new dreams again and he begins to write. Watching, I wondered again to myself, “why don’t I write a story?” Always followed by the question, “but what would I write about?”.

This time, I realized something.

 I write little bits about my life and the craziness and wonderfulness that goes with it instead of spending my nights writing out of a dream world because my reality far surpasses my imagination. How many people can say that? I am amazingly blessed just thinking about it.


I found a journal some months back that contained my dreams and prayers and thoughts dating to when I was just 17 years old. As I read over those prayers, it overwhelmed me to realize that I am currently living them (well, all except the big old farmhouse or Victorian restoration home). From little things like my garden and bookshelves full of books, to big things like my husband and a house full of children. Things that God didn’t need to bless me with to bring glory to Himself or even satisfaction in my life and yet He did.

Which makes me smile… and makes me want to write about them and tell everyone… and makes me want to pinch myself some days to see if it is real… and makes me want to document it for all time for those days when things are really hard and I forget.   

It is the reason I can sit in front of a blank word processing screen thinking about making up some story and then before I can begin, tales of the day begin filling the pages instead because real life is so much better than any dream or hope or plan that I could have for myself.


That said, I still dream. I dream about my children’s lives. I don’t write these down because I have learned that what God has in store for them will meet or exceed every dream I may have for them. I wouldn’t want my children to read the dreams that I have for them some day and be limited by them or somehow think that Mama’s plan is God’s plan. However, there is one dream for my children that fills most of the pages of my journals. It is one that I want them to know that their Mama always prayed for them and their lives. If I could dream one thing for my children and look back on it one day when I am old and gray (if God should choose to give me breath until that day)- it would be that my children would be called by Him and saved and walking in faith.

mama love

print by: Ron DiCianni

I dream of the day that I can look back at my young, 30 year old self’s journal and see the pages covered with that prayer and swinging on my front porch swing (maybe even on the porch of an old farmhouse or Victorian restoration) become overwhelmed by the reality that my children have been blessed with everything I have dreamed for them. I understand the scripture, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (3 John 1:4) It would be my greatest joy.

May my children realize that in this culture of virtual reality and even in the wonderful world of books, the best story is the real one God is working out in their lives each day.



Tales From the HomeKeeper March 16, 2009

Filed under: Home,Tales From the Home Keeper — Jen @ 8:21 pm

A little girl’s very first french braid is a very momentous occasion.  We had a special girl’s night that started with a watermelon bubble bath for Ara followed by crisp, white nightgown trimmed with lace for a night so warm you could leave the windows open :).  Then we did her hair up in her very first french braid and talked girl talk, and read two special books before bed.  Here are a few pictures of her hair.  She was also standing on top of her bunk bed waiting for me to get the books with her foot up on the shelf and it looked so much like ballet that I snapped some pics.  Here you go!



Tales From the HomeKeeper February 16, 2009

Filed under: Tales From the Home Keeper — Jen @ 2:45 pm
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Potty Training and Other Exciting Adventures


This week is the first week in over a year that Aralyn has expressed any interest whatsoever in potty training.  She’s pooped once and peed once. (Sorry if that is TMI) But seriously, do any experienced potty training Mommy’s out there have any tips for potty training a child who is only interested in going if she sees a friend going?  At home if we go to take a potty break she screams like she’s being tortured.  Other times she asks to go and says what a big kid she is and asks to wear the underwear.  The underwear doesn’t motivate her though because when I say she has to go potty in the potty to get to wear underwear she asks for a diaper instead.  I am not too worried about it as I know all children eventually are interested and potty train at some point.  I really don’t want to push it on her and I’m really not a fan of bribing methods but diapers are expensive and at almost three years old, I would like to at least get the ball rolling in the right direction.

Other exciting adventures this week include a bunch of medical tests which cost a lot and revealed very little.  Nothing too serious, I just need to keep an eye on certain hormone levels.  Ara absolutely LOVED the doctors that drew my blood.  She got stickers from them and got to play with the stethoscope at the OB- which was probably the highlight of her week.

We also went to spend some time with a widow that our church helps out on Saturday which involved lots of  extremely interesting conversations.  She has been having some mental issues that cause her to stray way off topic to crazy subjects of conversation at times.  It broke my heart to see a woman who has an amazing recollection of scripture and can rattle off just about any bible verse you would want all of a sudden start talking about how she has good karma and would be reincarnated.  You can keep this widow in your prayers.  My husband helped outside with a team of men to tear down a shed that the city issued a citation for.  It was so fun for Ara and I to go out every now and then and see their demolition progress.  They all put in a  lot of hard work while she and I had the privilege of just loving on the widow and her daughter inside in the warmth.

Happy Birthday to my Dad whose birthday was this past Wednesday!  I love you ever so much Dad!


Dad and Me on my Wedding Day

That’s about all for us this past week other than my much needed computer break.


Tales from the Home Keeper February 5, 2009


Ara playing in the most recent snow we received.

Last Saturday was my birthday and we spent it at my parent’s house doing all sorts of fun things including shopping for sewing patterns and material for some new dresses and skirts for Ara and I.  It was a blast but I had to share a story with you of something Ara said that still gives me the giggles when I think about it.  For clarity, Ara calls my Mom Mimi. Mimi and Ara are reading a book about horses and the conversation goes something like this:

Mimi: Ara look at these brown horses.  I like the Thoroughbreds.

Ara: I like cornbread. 🙂


Cornbread is a favorite in our house, can you tell? 🙂  Here is a gluten free recipe that we like:

Jen’s Gluten Free Cornbread

1 c. Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour

1 c. Yellow Cornmeal

1/3 c. Sugar

1/3 c. Brown Sugar

1 tsp. Salt

3 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

1 Egg

1 c. Milk

1/3 c. Melted Butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Butter the sides of a round pie dish.  In a large bowl, soak cornmeal in the milk for 10-15 minutes.  Then add gf flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.  Stir in egg and butter until well combined.  Pour batter in pie dish.  Bake for approx. 20-25 minutes.  Enjoy!  Wonderful served with honey butter.


My Sunday Morning Princess January 25, 2009

Filed under: Family,Home,Tales From the Home Keeper — Jen @ 10:48 pm



A Peek Into My Day January 20, 2009

Filed under: Home,Tales From the Home Keeper — Jen @ 4:58 pm
Tags: , ,

Aralyn is napping,  Paul is at work, the house is quiet and I should be cleaning.  SHOULD being the imperative word implying to you that that is not, in fact, what I am doing.  I AM doing what I like to call the step BEFORE cleaning- MOTIVATING.  I am motivating myself to clean.  Here’s how:


I draw up house plans and mark up magazine pictures with notes all over about the things that I like and the things I would change, etc.  Now, how does this motivate me to clean?  Well, its weird but magazine houses are always clean.  Have you noticed that?  So, after my fun I set out to get my house ready for it’s magazine shoot which I realize borders on insanity since there are, in fact, no magazine editors breaking down my doors for a photo shoot; however, it works for me.  Ever since I was a kid imagining that I was cleaning for the King, I have needed my imagination to fire up cleaning motivation.  Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.  Works like a charm.  Anyhow, I must warn you that this method of self motivation can walk a fine line bordering on PROCRASTINATION.  Seeing as I am here typing to you and not scrubbing my kitchen like I should be I would say that today falls into that procrastination category.  So, before I sink into a bottomless pit of filth, I am going to go pack up my house plans and do a nice kitchen scrub down before Ara awakes.

What motivates YOU to clean?


Tales from the HomeKeeper December 18, 2008


Now, I realize that as her Mama I have the tendency to think that my child is a genius no matter what comes out of her mouth; however, my two year old said something that made me smile so big yesterday that I had to share.

Ara: Mama, are you eating soup like me?

(Ara is eating chicken soup- I am eating mushroom with rice noodles)

Me: I Am eating soup, but I’m eating a different soup.

Ara: Does yours have chicken in it like mine does?

Me: Nope mine has mushrooms.

Ara thinks.

“Well, if you were expectin’ chicken- I bet you’re disappointed.”

Now I didn’t realize that my daughter understood expectations or disappointment so I ask her, “How did you know that?”

Ara: “Like, remember when you expect me to be a good girl and I am mean and you are disappointed?”

🙂 You know what that means? When she is in trouble, she listens to what I am saying AND understands it! 🙂 Happy Mama!

She continues saying many other things, many don’t make sense at all but every once in a while my child says something that blows my socks off and I realize, she’s listening! This makes everything worthwhile!

Now if only I could get what I tell her about potty training to click 😉