on loss and yarn

i’m sitting here, knitting and thinking and praying. i thought back to the sweater i was knitting three years ago, a tiny little sweater. made from tan yarn, with brown and grey flecks. i never finished that sweater, the little boy it was meant for never made it earthside to meet us.

i put the start of that sweater in the little box of treasures we’d collected for him, and couldn’t figure out what to do with the rest of the yarn…i certainly couldn’t use it for any other project, it became special, sacred. i braided an anklet from it, i wore it until it came off, on the day my harper came earthside, the cycles and signs of life are funny like that.

so many of my memories, tied to yarn, to hats and sweaters and trinkets i’ve made and collected over years. i think the green sweater i am making now, it will always remind me of sitting in a hospital room with my family, listening to all of our stories about my grandpa. laughing and crying at the same time, and facing my own fears of death and loss, of grief and sadness.

someone should write a rule book, how to lose the ones you love, what to do in the days and years after. how to keep on laughing, cooking and singing songs, while not forgetting. how to keep your heart from hardening and to stay with the folks you love, not severing the ties that connect you (in hopes of not feeling the sting of loss again). some day, i hope to figure it all out.




and you see, friends, i tried.

i tried to be small, to be quiet. to embody all of those feminine traits that are so admired. but really, all i’m wanting to do is go out and ruin my clothes in the mud, to dig until my fingernails are filled with dirt. to fill my pockets with flower petals and stones, to lay on the ground and watch the clouds change shapes and to thank brother sun and sister moon for lighting our ways. 

you can find me in the garden, your effie. ❤ 

Christmas 2012


Dear friends and family,

Wishing each of you a happy holiday season, hoping it is rich in love and in joy.

2012 was a wonderful year for our little tribe.  We welcomed Harper into our family, had a successful first year of starting a business, and had lots of our typical Crandall clan adventures to the park and the zoo and having brunch on Sundays.

Brady and Effie celebrated ten years together in October. Brady continued building up Crandall Lawn and Tree and started refereeing basketball games for the winter. Effie stayed busy homeschooling the kids and attempting to keep some semblance of order in the home and family. There were a lot of dance parties, “ten minute tidy’s” and everyone learning how to make room for another little person here. We’ve learned a lot about forgiveness and making amends this year!

Emma is in second grade. She likes to draw pictures, listen to music, write stories and play with Barbies. Her favorite part of 2012 so far has been going to Amarillo for Thanksgiving. She has lost six teeth this year. This summer was fun because we went swimming and played outside in the hose. She looks forward to celebrating her favorite holiday: her birthday.

Violette is in first grade. She enjoys reading books, coloring pictures, working puzzles and holding Harper. She also likes her latin class and making art projects. Her favorite part of 2012 was riding a train and going to museums. She looks forward to turning seven and working on learning to cook for when she grows up to be a chef.

Theodore is three, he loves mischief and making people laugh. He is doing great learning how to be a big brother. He likes to play with trucks and dinosaurs and having adventures outside. He is learning his numbers and colors and letters, and likes to write his name. His favorite part of 2012 was holding Harper and taking baths. His plans for 2013 include having a birthday party and playing with his cousin Cadyn.

Harper Dell joined us July 30th. We chose “Harper” because it’s pretty, and “Dell” after my mama, whose middle name is also Dell. She is sweet, easy-going and very content. She loves her Daddy and grins whenever he walks in the room. She rolls over, laughs out loud, babbles frequently and loves to play with her sisters and brother.

We have decided to make 2013 the year of friendship. We want to learn how to connect with our family and friends on a more personal level and put into practice some of the beliefs we hold dear. So let us know when you’d like to come over for dinner, or feel free to invite our clan over anytime! (This goes for all of you.)

Merry Christmas! Much love and peace to you,
The Crandall Clan


-we are going to have another baby girl at the end of  july.

-we have three weeks of school left, and then begins the art of summering, 2012 edition!

-emma turned seven, has lost two teeth and has one quite wiggly, ready to fall out at any given moment. she is, in her words, “a genius at math, drawing and reading”.

-violette has lost her first tooth and is still mostly interested in collecting/organizing items. she reads like a champ, and her favorite books to read are the berenstein bears stories, or anything by dr. seuss.

-theodore is nearly three! he is very adventurous, charming and entertaining. he has a remarkable habit of getting in and out of trouble in a blink of an eye. he thinks he is very subversive when watching power rangers or spiderman.

-our lawn care business – crandall lawn & tree – has already achieved the goals set for this year! time to set some new ones!

-i am in the process of re-vamping this space, and have a few exciting ideas & plans in store.

“Oh I must pass nothing by 
Without loving it much, 
The raindrop try with my lips, 
The grass with my touch; “

-an excerpt from ‘may day’ by sara teasdale


-thunderstorms & cooler temperatures.
-our home & having a space of our own.
-the shifting of seasons on the horizon- from the eternal play of summer to the more focused fall-ish schooling.
-quiet secret prayers coming to be, sooner or later.
-vinegar & murphy’s oil soap.
-my prayer scarves.
-old hymns & ancient prayers.
-the hope of today being all it should.

goings on.

praying for rain, inspired by children, teaching littles respect- learning just as much, sweet sunday as a clan, worship in all things, it’s all love-without love i am a clanging cymbal, speaking the truth is not the same as being unloving, pushing back the start of school a week -it’s wrong to do school when it’s over 100 degrees outside, a bit sad summer is coming to a close – but still savoring the last bit, thankful, always thankful: home & family & the Spirit surrounding.


The Little darling Spring has run away
The sunshine grew too hot for her to stay
She kissed her sister, Summer,and she said
“When I am gone, you must be queen instead”
Now reigns the Lady Summer, round whose feet
A thousand fairies flock with blossoms sweet.

about organization.

i have been asked by several folks how i “do it all” and wanted to point out that there is much that i don’t get done. right now, there is a game of risk strewn across the living and dining room floors, my kid’s room is the remains of an epic barbie/pet shop animals battle that took place this afternoon, and there is a houseplant sitting in my kitchen sink.

my mom said something the other day that shifted how i view housekeeping and homemaking. i was overwhelmed with how much i had to do, and she said “why don’t you make a list of all you’ve already done”? and i have been thinking of what i’ve accomplished, today and over the course of becoming a mother. i have done a lot!

so, i like lists. i like to write them, and check items off of them. what really helps me keep all i have to do in order is my big fat notebook.


i have divided it into several sections, and will discuss a little about each bit 🙂

1. homemaking

first i have our routines written down, we have a morning routine and a bedtime routine for the kids. in addition to that, i have a basic and very flexible daily schedule. there is a  list of tasks that need to be done daily, which would be different for each household. for ours, it’s: the dishes, sweeping and spot mopping the floors, a quick wipe-down of the bathroom, and at least 2 loads of laundry.

i have our chores broken down into a weekly schedule. again, this would need to be customized for someone else’s home. monday is our weekly home blessing in which i clean out the fridge, change and wash all the sheets, take out all trash, sweep/mop all floors, dust, wipe down walls/baseboards, appliances, trash cans, and wash the rugs. the other days of the week i work in a specific room and do a “big” task in there, in addition to normal tidying. i also have printed out a whole mess of these daily dockets. after that is my cleaning checklists from marthastewart.com. there are weekly, monthly, and seasonal lists.

next is the meal planning section, where i have made a list of our most frequently used recipes and the ingredients required. there is also a monthly calender where i write down our dinners for the month.

2. School

in the school section, the first thing i have is the parenting manifesto of joy. then i have a list of our good habits we will be working on, with corresponding memory verses i have put together. then we have the ‘formidable list of attainments for a child of six‘, which we are working towards. after that, i have all the things i need for each subject. and then our school schedule, which was such a blessing as a free resource from an ambleside yahoo group! after the schedule, i have our exam questions for the year.

3. spirit

this is most eclectic portion of my notebook, but also my favorite. first i have about 10-12 of my favorite prayers – my most favorite being ‘the litany of humility.’ after that is a study i did on healing, and about 3 or 4 pages of notes and scriptures about it. and then i have a lot of resources for sozo, an inner healing/deliverance ministry which i feel called to do. after that i have several different e-books and prayer books, and other random things i find helpful in spirituality. (mostly teachings/resources printed from IHOP or mars hill bible church.)

so! there’s that. hopefully it will help or inspire someone! xoxo!

far too long.

and here we are, i did not post on our birthdays or about vacation. nor how we’ve been summering so sweetly. i’ve neglected sharing little anecdotes and funny new words my little’s have invented. (sminch – can either be used to describe a small amount of food, “may i have a sminch of your cookie? or an act of violence between small siblings. “mama!!!! teddy sminched my arm!”.)

and here we are, three weeks from the start of a new school year. a change of season and rhythm and pace for our clan.

our summer has been glorious: birthdays, swimming, long naps, movie-watching, and always the Spirit’s leading and prompting. yes, it’s hot. hotter than usual, but we adapt. and we are thankful for air conditioning and melons and lots of water.

a new adventure: driving! i got my learner’s permit (again, at 25!) and have been practicing. i will take the driving test in the middle of august, and then i will be a traveling gypsy. my parent’s have generously and graciously blessed me (and brady+my brothers all!) with a new car. my pretty purple minivan needs a name. suggestions?

the children are well. emma is into drawing, big projects, and ‘farming’ at the moment. violette, her pet shop animals and writing. theodore is a ball of energy, a “take-off”, as we have labelled him, as it’s never too long before he takes off running. they are excited about school, even theodore. this year, emma says she wants to learn spanish and chinese. violette is excited about reading and writing.

i am still overwhelmed with gratitude, thankful for so much. always learning, always wanting to know more. always in the secret place with the Divine, co-conspiring on how to bring JOY and all other good things to earth.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!

emma’s 6th birthday!

a brief history of emma’s birthdays: