Dickens belongs to winter. Just as much as knitting and wood stoves and hot licorice root tea.

I almost can’t read anything else from November to February.


This winter belongs to Bleak House. And in my reading last night was this perfectly Dickensian character description.

“Mr. Vohles put his dead glove, which scarcely seemed to have any hand in it, on my fingers, and then on my guardian’s fingers, and took his long thin shadow away. I thought of it on the outside of the coach, passing over all the sunny landscape between us and London, chilling the seed in the ground as it glided along.”

Don’t worry, the season for Dickens passes with winter. Come March I am ready to pick up some light-hearted Austen-ish romance.


The Best Wishes

We found this Christmas card from “The Milk Man” in our milk cooler last week. It was sopping wet. It looks like he wrote it while sitting at a red light.

And yet, it’s hanging on my fridge beside all of the other Christmas greetings  because it makes me giggle just to see it.

I mean, how many people get a Christmas card signed “The Milk Man”??


A Pox Upon My Household

Here’s a word problem for today.

If the baby comes down with chicken pox on a Tuesday, and chicken pox has a 10-21 day incubation period, and none of the baby’s siblings have had the chicken pox, how many days will it take 5 children to catch and recover from the pox?

I’ll have to get back to you on the answer.


Join Us??

Every Christmas our family chooses a “birthday gift for Jesus” to put under the tree. This year, we’re sponsoring a refugee family. It takes 5 sponsorships at $30 a month to fully sponsor a family, and we’re just the first drop in the bucket.

If making a donation is something that’s on your heart this season, or if helping these refugees in your thoughts, would you consider joining us in sponsoring this family?

Click here to help us sponsor the Tahsin Faisil Khalaf Family.


Other helpful links:

The Refuge Initiative who is helping us sponsor this family.
We Welcome Refugees for how (and why) Christians can help refugees.

A Covering

A recent knitting project for a friend. Everyone spending time in a hospital needs a covering.


This hat pattern was the perfect thing, and is super soft and scrunch-able knit up in a baby alpaca yarn. Best of all, it’s reversible, so that the feathers can be tucked secretly to the inside. For when you don’t want the nurses all up in your business asking why you have feathers on your cap.

* Pattern and yarn notes in my Ravelry account here.


What to Do with a Restless Toddler

When you live with a toddler, what you are able to do with your time lasts as long as a drawer of Tupperware remains interesting (about 5 minutes). I spend my days coming up with something new to do every 10 minutes, because if I don’t direct his attention to the Duplo blocks, he will direct his attention to the toilet paper in the bathroom, or the basket of markers on the couch, or (best of all) the litter box in the rabbit’s cage.

There is a lovely spot of sun right outside the backdoor. It’s south-facing so is warm even on the coldest days. It’s currently The Place to take Daniel when he is into everything he shouldn’t be, wants everything he shouldn’t have, and doing everything he shouldn’t do. It’s usually worth a solid 20 minutes of entertainment.


If his sisters come out to play, too, then I might get an entire half hour.



But he always wanders eventually, and when he starts eating the rotten gourds I know my time is up.

But doesn’t he look delighted to be eating rotten gourds??





Friends, I have picked up my camera again. And I have remembered why I picked it up to begin with several years ago. Perspective.


Because there comes a season in a Mama’s life when she starts to feel resentful. There are a lot of desires in a Mama’s heart that were there before she was a Mama. And she can get a little tired of constantly pushing those desires back down into the depths of her heart year after year. The trouble comes when all she can see is the things that she’s not doing, instead of the things that she is. 

Cameras are good at capturing the things that are. And reminding a Mama that there is much to be thankful for.

Moving (Kinda)

I’m kinda tired of paying WordPress to host my tiny little blog, so I’m moving to a free address. All the old content should still be available, and maybe someday my baby will stop teething and I’ll start posting some pretty pictures again.

Anyway, if you want to search for something old, or hang around in hopes of something new, you can find Empty to Fill here from now on.

What Was in the Garden

Gabriel, who is 7, is occasionally prone to telling tall tales. The foundation of his stories are almost always based in reality, but somewhere along the way the facts get derailed into fantasy.

So when he looked out the window one morning from the breakfast table and said, “There’s a turkey in the garden!” no one took it very seriously. Probably a dog. Or a raccoon.

But no. It was a turkey. In the garden.


We have no idea where it came from. We let him eat some slugs and sample some lettuce, but when he started on the strawberries we had to chase him off.