day seven: saturday flashback

January 7, 2017 @ 10:55 am | Filed under: ,

photo by Murray Brannon


In a couple of weeks, this blog will be twelve years old. (So will The Wine-Dark Sea. Melanie and I, who were to meet in the comment box, happened to begin our blogs on the same day.) Even with the occasional dry spells I’ve had, twelve years means a lot of posts. 3,324 of them, in fact. Plus another 496 in drafts.

Them’s a lot of words.

Every couple of years, when the anniversary rolls around, I decide to wander through the archives and revisit old entries. Usually this results in my noticing broken links, wonky formatting, and missing photos (due to my Typepad-to-Wordpress migration in 2007), and I get first sidetracked and then overwhelmed by the attempt to clean things up, and within a week or two I’ve forgotten all about the whole Memory Lane idea. I don’t expect this time to be any different. 🙂




In that first month, January 2005, I published ten posts, some family-focused, and some diving right into gushing about books and things we loved. In that, I’ve been pretty consistent over the years. In personality tests, I always fall right on the introvert/extrovert line, and I realized a few years back that my extrovert tendencies manifest largely in the impulse to show-and-tell. If I’m loving a book, I need to talk about it. If a resource or game has sparked enthusiasm for someone in my family, I need to spread that information. It’s in my wiring. I’m sure that’s why blogging has been such a satsifying vehicle for me. This whole site is my turn to get up in front of the class and talk about my favorite stuffed animal.

And so Signing Time is prominently featured in Bonny Glen’s first month, because in Jan 2005 we were in the thick of our ASL immersion. Wonderboy’s hearing loss had been firmly diagnosed a few months earlier (after a stint with tubes to rule out conductive loss due to fluid), and he got his first pair of hearing aids in November 2004, at eleven months old. The Signing Time DVDs were daily viewing in our home for a good five years or more, and they still get pulled out from time to time even though everyone knows them by heart. They pop up over and over again in my posts from 2005-2010 or thereabouts. We even got to Skype with Rachel at one point.

jane age ten


The first picture book I recommended here is one I happen to have sought out just the other day, because I want to read it to Huck and Rilla soon: the beautiful Boxes for Katje. From my notes in 2005:

When I read this picture book to the girls, Jane had to take over for me near the end because I was so choked up. Candace Fleming’s beautiful story takes place in a small Dutch village, post World War II. Young Katje receives an unexpected package in the mail: a small box containing soap, socks, and—wonder of wonders!—chocolate, gifts from an American girl named Rosie. What follows is a heartwarming exchange of letters between the two girls, and a vivid illustration of the ripple-effect of generosity.



February 2005‘s posts could almost have been written this year, so full are they of the same books and resources I’ve just been pulling together for use this year. I guess that’s because Rilla and Huck are about the same ages Jane and Rose were in 2005. I’m cracking up right now to see I wrote about A Case for Red Herrings, because I found that on a bottom shelf just yesterday and shrieked with glee to Jane over it. Also discussed:

It’s Not My Turn to Look for Grandma, another beloved picture book I grabbed last week for my read-soon shelf;

Brave Writer and A Writer’s Jungle—and here I am about to teach classes for Brave Writer this spring;

The Scrambled States of America—that one was a library book and I think I checked it out again for my younger set a couple of years ago, but it might be time to put in another request;

Jim Weiss’s storytelling CDs, in particular the Shakespeare one;

By the Great Horn Spoon, one of our all-time great daddy-readalouds;

Small Meadow Press paper goods—Lesley Austin’s lovely stationery and planner items which are still in daily use on my desk (I keep our homeschooling notes in her beautiful Wild Simplicity Daybook); and

• even a mention of our beloved (and now in tatters) anthology, Favorite Poems Old and New.

That month was also the first appearance of my “These People Crack Me Up” tag, and I’m giggling afresh over some of those Rose and Beanie stories. The “woset in my closet” story!

(Amazon Affiliate links on this site help keep the lights on)


Scott is going to growl at me for this post. Old pictures of our children make his heart ache, the big softie.


Hi, daddy!

    Related Posts


14 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Monica Klepac says:

    I started reading your blog when my 2nd baby was averse to me reading while nursing. (ripped a page right out of Possession.) As I read I found that you had a baby just a few weeks before he was born. It has been fun to see Rilla grow as he does. Last year we got a confirmed dyslexia diagnosis and I have to admit that among the many many emotions we went through, at once point I sighed to think of all the Rilla books he hasn’t been able to read (yet!) But still, I love every glimpse into your family life.

  2. Joann Estis says:

    Old pics of all of our children make my heartache, too. As do new pics. And pics of grandchildren(!).

  3. Alice Gunther says:

    Oh, Lissa, this is as good as looking at photos of my own children. They are so sweet and beautiful. A great look back on a great blog and a wonderful life!

  4. MrsDarwin says:

    We’re hitting our twelve-year anniversary this year too. Reading old posts is like unearthing a time capsule, a strange mix of the genuinely valuable and the weird stuff which is not as interesting as it seemed at the time. (Kid pictures are always in the first category.)

  5. Melanie Bettinelli says:

    Oh what a delightful trip down memory lane. I suppose I’ll be taking my own stroll soon. That first photo has so much resonance, like a sort of homecoming. And it’s just hollers “purple glow” and “linnet’s wings” at me.

  6. sarah says:

    I’ll always remember finding your blog attached to some women’s blogging site (I can’t recall its name) and loving it straight away. I can’t recall how long I’ve been blogging – eleven or twelve years I think. This is the problem with being an internet gypsy! But yours has been a blog that I’ve read the whole way through. I’ll always thank you for introducing me to Jim Weiss, Richard Halliburton, and a whole host of others, not to mention the concept of Tidal Homeschooling.

    So lovely and heartwarming to see the pictures of your children. Time sure does fly.

  7. Kortney Garrison says:

    Hey, we’ve got a bookclub kit for Boxes for Katje and a live interview with Candace Fleming where she reads the books in Read-Aloud Revival Membership….and you’ve got a free membership. Let me know if you need login info. Andrea Pinkney coming on Tuesday!

  8. Abigail R Benjamin says:

    Happy Anniversary! I didn’t know that you and Melanie started the same day. How cool! Love seeing pictures of the “Blue Room” from VA. Did you paint another blue room in CA? You were the first family to introduce me to ComicCon, which I thought was a little weird. I’ve since raised 6 comic book readers and that is on my kid’s travel wish list ahead of Disneyworld and Legoland. Keep sharing your wonderful stories!

  9. Jeanne Faulconer says:

    Favorite Poems Old and New. If ever there were a touchstone on the book shelf….

  10. Kimberlee says:

    So many wonderful and heart-tugging old photos. That one of Wonderboy is so dear. I second Melanie about hollering purple glow and linnet’s wings. I reckon I must have learned about Signing Time from your posts, and Rachel and friends were daily institutions in our house as well. Signing Time was absolutely key in developing Eliza’s early communication abilities. Cue Rachel singing Shine…
    And Happy Blog Anniversary! People used to celebrate those too, back in the day. Hip Hip Hooray for Blogging like it’s 2005!

  11. Penny says:

    Gorgeous – and I bet Scott’s heart isn’t the only one that’s aching… so sweet!

  12. bearing says:

    Wow! I started in February of 2005 (Ash Wednesday, to be specific). So close to being twins!

    Twelve years seems like a long time.

  13. Karen Edmisten says:

    I’m sighing happily here, old pics and heartache not withstanding.

  14. Karen Edmisten says:

    P.S. I started mine in 2005, too, but not until Sept., and didn’t get it rolling until into 2006. That was a good year, though. Especially when, in Oct. of 2006, we met up with the Bonny Gang in Kansas. 🙂