Sunday, November 6, 2011

All These Years II

Autumn had already laid its cool hands on the fevered earth, and lent a coolness to the air, the day we celebrated Mother's birthday. 

We drank in the goodness of it, and spent all day outside.

There were garlic marinated burgers, served on freshly baked hamburger buns, and oven roasted vegetables; a blend of sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, zucchini, squash, and onions.  We filled our glasses to the brim with Apple Spice Green Tea.

We shared gifts and conversation under the evening trees, then German Chocolate Cake and hand-churned Chocolate ice cream...

Celebrating Mom's 50 years, blessed by the goodness of God's gift to all of us.

Laughter came next, in the form of the two most adorable clowns, dancing comics on the lawn, performing magic tricks, and ending our evening with smiles across every face.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

All These Years

This is Momma's birthday breakfast :)

Yes.  This photo is real.

I can't hide it, I am so proud of cooking my first omelet!

7:00 on Sunday morning found us 4 sisters in the kitchen,
chopping veggies, mincing garlic, preparing herbs,
and whisking eggs to the sound of
Nat King Cole singing from Emma's laptop.

... it was still early for some :)

We then paraded over to the Little House where Mom and Dad were deep in a planning session for Mom's long dreamed-of landscaping on our farm.

THEN, came the birthday party... stay tuned for part II!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On the Inside

Dear Father in Heaven, must life be so hard?  Must every step I take be riddled with challenges?  Must every hope, every dream, every whisper of happy things, be marred by old pain and older despair?  What is it You are saying?  What is the cry of Your heart?

I am listening.  You have my attention.

And I hear it, in the stillness of the tears that are balling up in my throat, I hear His words, simple, unchanging....

Press forward.  Don't despair.

I am with you.

So I shall press on, because, beyond everything that seems so close and weighty now, He stands, immovable, unchangeable, truthful.

And I know that my heart and hope is in His hands.  No matter the battle on the outside, I am safe on the inside.

With all my heart,

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Joys of July

Tomato soup for lunch.  Sliced tomatoes for dinner.  Canned tomatoes for winter.  I love July!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

the Surfboy

Matt is a surfer.

He makes his own wooden surfboard.

And goes adventuring on the lake!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dear Poet

My dear poet is turning 21. 

(^photo by Rachel Leigh)

I love her so much.  She inspires me and encourages me in so many ways.

She is beautiful and loving.  
What a wonderful sister I have.  

A poet, cook, seamstress, and songster.  She's an artist in all these things.  

I love my dear Emma! 

p.s. Birthday dinner pictures coming soon!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Little Grace

My little Grace turned... 16??

My little Grace?  You mean... my talented, accomplished, brown-eyed beauty little Grace?

Happy Birthday precious sister!!
Emma and Johanna

(photos by brother James)

POST SCRIPT:  And yes, we will be scheduling your birthday photo shoot soon, Grace! :)

Monday, May 2, 2011


The scent of warmth greeted my weary senses when I entered my room last night. The clock said 12:41, and after a cramped 8 hours in a car surrounded by pouring rain, the sweet touch of home pulled hard at the tension twisted through my frame.

I put away my things, and curled up under my blankets, my head against a pillow that had afforded me little rest on the trip, now embracing my sleepy brain.

Mom let us sleep in this morning, sleep so blessed, so comforting, that when I rose my mind was at rest. I was ready to begin again, to court the duties of the day with determined strength. But it did not last long. Those duties began to rush in.  Math, so much Math, thoughts of the coming weekend and all I must do to prepare, of the coming weeks, even the coming months, and all the things for which completion seems impossible.

I feel as if I am in the car again, caught in a never ending waiting, waiting for all these burdens to fall, waiting to be done with them, so that I may move on.

But there is no peace in waiting, in waiting to reach a goal, in waiting to see my visions realized, in waiting for my own Mr. Knightley to bless me with his presence, in waiting for God to clear my head of my own weaknesses and fear.

There is no peace here. None.

So I must stop waiting, stop waiting and start doing. I must press forward, move my feet toward the light, no matter how far away it seems.

And if I need stop, to be still, I will not be waiting, I will be knowing. Knowing that I am safe in His presence, knowing that no matter the future that nudges my present, nor the past that has shaped where I am now, I am wrapped in the blessedness of the moment. I am bound in a warmth I cannot express, and my heart can be at peace.

From the bottom of my heart,


Note:  I wrote these thoughts after a long trip home from Arkansas the weekend before last.  Looking back, now, at the wisdom the Lord gave me, I am blessed again by the love no mortal man can describe.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Yep, our little Matt turned seven years old yesterday.  We surprised him with a chocolate cake and strawberries last night even though his "real" birthday party (which he double-checked before eating his piece of cake) isn't until Friday.  

I don't think the reality hit him until today when he put on his hat, ready to help in the garden, and exclaimed, "Jo!!  I'm the only one who is seven in this family!"

Evidently, that is a very exciting fact. :)
{when you're in a family of seven}

He's a special boy. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

a Recital

On April 10, 2011

A Rambellwood Recital

3 o' clock in the afternoon

{Refreshments to follow}

This Sunday there will be a gathering.  We will come together in our small parlor and listen to music, watch small instruments held by small fingers, and hear small voices thrill our hearts.  Then, too, there will be songs by the adults, all of us, together, sharing music.

Do you have anything special planned this spring?  Share it with us!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Late Is The Hour

It is late, very late.  Late, because, on a Sunday evening, one finds an early bedtime crucial in one's preparation for Monday.  Late, because, after such a long week, one must rest, and rest well.

But, this particular Sunday night, I have a particular reason for staying up.  I discovered, in reading Everly Pleasant's blog, Clickety Clack, something that peaked my interest, a conference for Christian women who write, or speak, and minister.  A conference called She Speaks.  They are offering three scholarships, and I am barely in time for the second.

The challenge?  To write a story in six words.

The example?  Ernest Hemingway's, "FOR SALE. BABY SHOES. NEVER WORN".

Intimidating, right?  But a challenge to my writer's soul.  So, I laid down my book, closed shut my eyes, and raised my prayers for wisdom, for words to speak His heart, for truth that was His.

Here is what, with all my heart, I put on paper.

CANCER.  Terror.  Miracle beyond believing.  JESUS.

There.... a story, simple, true, and brimming with all the joy I can muster.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

the Kitchen

... is where the fun happens!

Mmmhmm... :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Signs of Spring

Gerber daises and oranges

Sunshiny outdoor activities

Fresh Peach Pie made from last fall's canned peaches

Yellow umbrellas :)

"All signs of spring", I thought, smiling behind my camera.

Is it really here to stay, do you think?  

Monday, February 21, 2011

Upside Down

The sun was pressing kisses against the earth when I stepped outside after lunch, my whole being lapping up the glorious warmth of it.  I shut my eyelids against the brightness, feeling a drift of a breeze flutter over my eyelids.  Then Matthew's voice pulsed like distant chimes against my ears.

"I don't want the world to be upside down," he said to Dad, who was doing something near him.  "I don't want the world to be upside down, 'cause I don't want to be squashed by a plane."

I laughed at the childish innocence of it, and my ears suddenly opened to the truth in my little brother's words.  Sometimes, in our little existence, we feel that our world is tossed upside down, our lives shaken by the endless turning of the earth.

And yet, suddenly, there is a breathless joy in the uncertainty of that thought.  Our lives are turning, like the earth, held by a hand we cannot see...

 ...yet sure in the infinite truth that the world cannot stop turning, unless He stops it, and we are safer here, in this this topsy-turvy world, than we would be in a perfect, flat world, where nothing could go wrong, where we were in control, our lives in our own hands.

I felt like Christopher Columbus, standing beneath a sky blue with spring, my head touched with joy, discovering peace in the thought that, after all...  I live in an upside-down world.

With all my heart,


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Peanut Butter & Jelly

The best PB & J is made with homemade whole wheat bread, homemade peanut butter, and homemade plum jam.  It comes with apple slices, carrot sticks, and a glass of chilled farm fresh milk.

And to make it even better?  Add an episode of Mr. Ed on Hulu.

Every Thursday, lunch is just such a party.  Mom and Dad are gone for the day, in Tyler for Mom's weekly Vitamin C infusion, and we sit around the living room with our full plates, smiling over the funny 50's TV show, complete with old fashioned dresses, comical characters, and a talking horse.

Need I say it is one of our favorite days of the week?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Simple

...the simplicity of a brown envelope, waiting to be opened.  Waiting to reveal its sweet surprise.

Valentines Day is to me...

 ...a time when you experience the special, simple joy of pasting together colors, shapes, and patterns and writing sweet nothings to the one you love.  It is sitting beside Matthew at the table, leaning over as he pulls on my sleeve, whispering in my ear his idea for Sarah Anne's valentine... as of course, she looks suspiciously over at us, from across the table.  Valentines Day is the excitement in my heart as I open a card made especially for me, whether there be a drawing, a large pink heart, a button, or maybe some lace on the front, it has my name written all over it.  And it is special.

What is Valentines Day to you?  Do share!

[P.S.  Don't forget to check Emma's shop for new loveliness and inspiration. :)]

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

To Explain

Yes, dear friends, we are renovating the blog, and adding quite a few exciting new elements.

First, you'll be hearing more about my business.  Remember this post a little while back?  I'll be sharing new products, asking for ideas from you, our friends, taking a trip into my studio to see where I work and what inspires me, and even some giveaways!

Second, we want to know what you think of the blog.  What is your favorite part about our blog?  What would you like to see more of?  What would you like us to share?

Thirdly... Johanna will be making a small announcement of her own very soon.  Stay tuned for her post.

Last of all, we want to change our focus, to make this blog more a part of our lives, more than just a "blog because everyone else has a blog".  Johanna and I love to work and create together, we love our family, and the gifts we've been given, here, in the place God has put us, and we have a passion to share all of that.

So, are you ready to take this journey with us?  Let us know what you think of our ideas, and share your own thoughts about A Banner of Crimson.

Emma and Johanna

Before You Go

Vote in the poll on the sidebar...

And check out the latest item in my shop.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

In Transit

... something exciting is on its way!

And I am bursting with anticipation!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Yes, dear readers, I am doing a major remodel on our blog,
giving it a whole new look,
a fresh start, 
and a new beginning.

Stay tuned!