Barechested, Xander bounces from heel to toe as he scrubs and stacks one dish after another. Drops of water catch the light before splashing over his head, arms, the sink. His bare arms move rapidly, yellow hair swinging as he banters with Ben and Hans sitting across the counter. They keep up a similar rhythm dipping their spoons into deep bowls of ice cream with homemade fudge sauce*, taunting Xander with dripping spoonfuls and cheerful wisecracks.

On the other end of the counter, Erik rolls wheat dough into flat long ovals, sprinkles sharp cheddar down the center and twists it into loaves. His shoulders raise and flex with practiced motion. Spinning the red desk chair, Stefan cues this song, throws back his head and begins to sing out loud. Mary and Gabe are just steps away clasping hands, dipping and giggling as they waltz down the blue rug.

I lean back and tip my head against the wall, as my aching heart soaks up the happiness in front of me.

You’d think that I asked them to scoot together for the photo, but that’s really just the way they sit.


2 cups heavy cream
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups chocolate chips (or even better– chopped Belgian bittersweet)

Boil the cream, add brown sugar. Whisk until brown sugar dissolves (you can stop here and have caramel sauce). Add chocolate. Sigh with satisfaction.

August 11, 2010
August 19, 2010



  1. Sue

    August 17, 2010

    Having a bonded family is one of the greatest blessings. And yours seems to have lots of fun in their bondedness!


  2. Tracy

    August 17, 2010

    Amazing post. I feel the warmth. All of them together. Perfect. Happiness.


    P.S. LOVE Stefan’s longish hair. 😉 Tell him he needs to keep it that way….

  3. emily

    August 18, 2010

    you don’t know me … but i love to lurk here at Scenes and everytime i come i find myself hoping that someday my people will be like yours … that somehow i can learn/glean as much from you as possible to be the best mom in the world so that my kids turn out as great as yours are. we probably will never meet and so i don’t know if i’ll ever see for myself in real life how your family interacts … but from what i see here you’re pretty close to perfect. so … i guess what i’m trying to say is ‘thank you’ … thank you for posting sweet pictures of your family and thank you for sharing them with me – even though i’m just another mom hanging out here in the blogosphere …

  4. Selwyn

    August 18, 2010

    Soak it up, sweetie.

    Every last drop!

  5. stace

    August 18, 2010

    my question is this…how did you teach your children to be such great friends? At 5 and 3 all mine seem to do is fight! I want to know your parenting trick!

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