Abigail quoting Ghandi at Dinner…

Me: a good rule for this family is: “if you can do it yourself, go ahead. Don’t wait for mom or dad to do it for you.

Abbey: that’s sort of like what Ghandi: “we must change we want to see. Don’t wait for someone to make a change. You should do it because no one else knows what you want”

Evie: like we learned in Sunday school: even if you didn’t create the problem, you can still be part of the solution

(To myself: “file this under: words of theirs I can remind them of, later on” ūüėÄ)

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Here we Go, part 2

Seattle Public Schools starts kindergartners a few days later than the other grades.  Which means we are obliged


first day of kindergarten

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Here we go… the first day of 3rd grade

Along with parents across the country, the existential dread of time’s passing occurs for me as I realize my baby Abigail is now over half way done with elementary school.




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Evelyn, while pouting

-You have never cared about me

-I’m starting to think I don’t want to be with them.

-my parents just make me feel miserable

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Abbeys ‚Äúmorning checklist‚ÄĚ for me before I left for work today

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Selin Weekend in Leavenworth

Another Kniffin family ritual: this year marked the 10th Selin Weekend in Leavenworth (although we haven’t documented as much as we should have;¬†it appears the last time we wrote a post about it was in 2012).

first leavenworth weekend

Each summer, we come to Mountain Springs Lodge in Plain, WA (outside Leavenworth)¬†to be with Cynthia’s extended family, on her Mom’s side.¬† ~90 people attend.¬†¬†o mark how much of a tradition it’s become, here’s me & Cyn, attending our first weekend…¬† in 2007, 11 years ago, before we were married…

As you might be able to imagine, 10 years of getting together creates quite a tradition.¬† It feels as though each time-section of the weekend has something to expect: when meals are, when singing is, breaking up into small groups to share how life is and pray for each other, the ‘Selin Family Olympics’, all-group games,… you get the idea.¬† There’s even expectations of when certain Uncles/Aunts are going to say ___________, or when another person is going to do something crazy (people are predictable… are they not? :)).

So, I suppose the lesson of it all is about ritual: the familiar patterns of activity and association that tell you, ‘you belong’… such familiarity tells you that the world is a predictable place that has meaning, and that you have carved out a place within it.

That’s a great gift to give your kids: stability and love from a community that loves them.¬† But, (and maybe this is obvious), it’s also a great gift to give yourself, as an adult… for the same reasons!



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Game farm galore

I surprised dad and mom with a game farm made up of toys today.




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