October 3, 2006 - Source: Mark Wilson/Getty Images News)
Photo taken by Benny Miller
Rocks on Schoolhouse Beach
I Learned Life-ing from my Dad
Dora, Jennie, Luci, Kathy

A Math Teaching Aid: How to String Counting Beads

September 19, 2016

When I was in first grade, my teacher–an organized, no-nonsense woman–told us if we couldn’t remember a math fact, we should get out our box of crayons and use them to help us find the answer. Crayons worked well as a teaching tool for her–but maybe her natural organizational skills and disciplined classroom atmosphere rubbed off on her students. I am afraid if I gave …

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Every 15 Pictures

September 12, 2016

“What should I blog about?” I asked my siblings. They gave me various suggestions. “Yeah, maybe,” I said. “Sometime. That’s a good idea.” “Do random photos from your phone,” Elizabeth said. “Post every 15th photo.” “Really? But what if I get really terrible ones?” “That’s the fun of it.” And so here they are, the most recent photo taken on my phone and every 15th …

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Anniversary Secrets of the Best Dad and Mom in the World

September 6, 2016

Does anyone else remember making birthday cards for your parents adorned with extravagant crayon messages like: “To the best dad in the whole wide world” or “To the best best best best best mom ever”? I still feel that way about my parents! Of course they’re not really perfect, and of course I know they’re only the best to me because they’re mine, not because …

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How to Host a Fairy Party

August 29, 2016

What you need: A woods, or some other moonlit or mystical spot. Little girls Lots of imagination Our party started with these: Three porcelain shoes sitting in a row on my dresser, almost, but not quite big enough for a little girl to get her foot into. Madison tried it, and even tried taking a step, and yes, that is why there is a chip …

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I Can Do All Things

August 22, 2016

Ever feel like you are hanging upside down in life, swinging wildly by your feet and going nowhere? That’s how I feel today, with a book that needs written, a school year that needs planned (because school starts next week and I’m the teacher), and dishes that very badly need doing. My verse for this week, and for all the following weeks until I meet …

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Mouse in the House

August 15, 2016

Or rather, in my writing Hut. When I set my first mouse trap in my forest van sanctuary, I felt I was committing an unethical act akin to that of the American military rounding up Natives–if not in magnitude, at least in attitude. After all, this was the traditional territory of mice, woodpeckers, and poison ivy. I was only an intruder. (And the poison ivy …

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A Jaxson-Sized View of Life

August 8, 2016

Remember what life was like when you were this size? Remember the circle of cup on your cheeks when you thrust your entire chin into it? Remember sucking all the air out of the cup so it would dangle from your chin, no hands? And how it pulled off hard afterwards, and the sudden relief when it came, and how, if you did it often …

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Eternity in their Hearts: A Review

July 25, 2016
Eternity in their hearts

I found this book lying on the coffee table at the Northern Youth Program’s guest house when I visited Ontario the beginning of July. The tagline, “Startling Evidence of Belief in the One True God in Hundreds of Cultures Throughout the World,” caught my eye. The book fascinated me, amazed me, caused me to wonder, “Why haven’t I ever heard these things before?” Two weeks …

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The Funnest Thing I Ever Did

July 19, 2016

At least that’s how I felt at the time, and typed madly into my laptop a little over two weeks ago: That’s the funnest, funnest thing I ever did. It was 12:30 a.m. in Deer Lake, and Jonny and Dora and Janet and I had just returned from a fishing trip. We’d boated a long way across a string of lakes, cooked our fish on …

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