Category Archives: Discoveries

Great Minds and Lost Souls

Last month our family swam through years of history together, dodging slave traders and rabid dogs courtesy of the pages of a Harriet Tubman biography. We spent evenings imagining how cold and frightening it would have been to slink through southern … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, Deep Thoughts, Discoveries, Faith, Family Activities, God, Heartbreak, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Social Justice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

OWL MOON Winner!

My, My! What astute readers have I! Last week Friday I shared a fun family idea and opened a contest to those of you who could correctly identify the name of the audio book our family listened to. All entrants … Continue reading

Posted in Book Lists, Book Review, Contest, Discoveries, Education, Family, Family Activities, Family Friday, FREE BOOK, Giveaway!, Home, Kids, Kids in School, Literature/Books, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Things I Love!, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family Friday: I Don’t Homeschool, BUT…

I don’t officially homeschool our kids. Sadly, my patience is usually gone after the PB & J hits the counter at lunchtime, and keeping the kids focused on anything longer than an hour generally requires some form of sugar or … Continue reading

Posted in Decor/Organizing, Discoveries, Education, Family, Family Activities, Family Friday, Home, Kids, Kids in School, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Marriage, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Anatomy 101 with Zac Brown

It’s been interesting to watch my oldest child grow up. He’s slowly interjected his fashion sensibilities, voiced desires for new hair styles, and independently changed the radio station away from my channels to those he enjoys. Seeing a unique personality … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Education, Growing Pains, Home, Illness, Kids, Kids in School, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family Friday: Crayons and a CONTEST!

In the spirit of loving competition, my husband started “Super Fun Dad Nights” when our kids were little. On evenings I was out he’d plan something spectacular to do together, usually involving candy, balloons, and duct tape. It won the … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, Book Lists, Contest, crafts, Discoveries, Education, Family Activities, Family Friday, FREE BOOK, Giveaway!, Home, Kids, Kids in School, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Michigan Maple Syrup!

The dormant, hibernating teacher in me is creeping to the surface once again. I may not be clawing to get back into the classroom, but I do love to turn our living room, kitchen, and the nearby woods into places where … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Education, Family, Family Activities, God, gratitude, Kids, Kids in School, Living Green, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Random Fun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Easy Recycling and Repurposing Craft

This past weekend my son was given a homework assignment to find an object that could be recycled or repurposed into something new and useful. [DISCLAIMER: by useful, we don’t mean turning a regular piece of paper into a paper … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, crafts, Discoveries, Education, Family, Home, Kids, Kids in School, Living Green, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Random Fun | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Shovel It In, Kids. And Quiet Down While You’re At It.

How long does it take you to eat your lunch? And what’s on your lunch menu, generally speaking? Today I surprised my oldest and snuck up to school with a bag of processed goodness from a certain “Clown-Based Establishment” in … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Discoveries, Education, Family, Food, Kids in School, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Rants, Things I Don't Understand Thursday, Things that are STUPID | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Jobs and Polished Nails

I went to college at a time when I thought I had six job choices: nurse, lawyer, doctor, teacher, church-something-or-other, or the mysterious “business” person. It never occurred to me that there might be other fields outside the scope of my … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Decor/Organizing, Discoveries, Education, Family, Growing Pains, Home, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

More Exciting Than A Blizzard? A FREE BOOK!

It seems that nothing has the power to transform meteorologists into giddy children like a rollicking storm. Weathermen and women posted outdoors in the bluster seem thrilled to be at the center of such epic developments, their stern admonitions to skedaddle … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Contest, Discoveries, Faith, Family, FREE BOOK, Gifts, Giveaway!, God, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Holidays, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Seasons of Life, Things I Love!, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Family Friday: Indoor Skeet Shooting

I have to give major props to my husband for this one–it’s totally his brain and creativity that adds so much color and life to our home.  What can I say–he has a PhD. I guess you have to be … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Discoveries, Family, Family Friday, Holidays, Kids, Marriage, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Random Fun, Seasons of Life, Things I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Fortune Cookies: Free Therapy

Let’s pause for a moment of honesty.  [Exhale through the nose]… I ate the whole. box. [Minus five cookies which were generously allotted to my children.] I mean, this was over several days, so don’t go pointing fingers.  I’m sure … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Food, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Silly Lists, Things I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family Friday: Spiritual Formation

I’ve been thinking about posting this for awhile now, and thanks to the encouragement of a friend am finally getting around to it. This Friday I thought I’d share an idea I had for bringing Scripture into the kitchen–which we … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, crafts, CRAZY kids, Decor/Organizing, Discoveries, Faith, Family, Family Friday, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer, Recipe/Kitchen Success!, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Women Tell Me: Finding Freedom From The Secrets We Keep, by Anita Lustrea

“As a girl and young woman, I memorized hundreds of Scripture verses in vacation Bible school and in Sunday school.  I grew up memorizing the hymn book. I didn’t, however, grow up understanding much about God’s grace and freedom.” [pg. … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Discipline Issues, Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Food, Friends, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Holidays, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Music, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Prayer, Seasons of Life, Social Justice, Summer, Travel, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

For Your Olfactorial Pleasure

Ok, I’m not really sure that’s a word, but I’m guessing you know what I mean. Smells!  Good ones! I discovered a wonderful new candle that I just have to rave about—and adding frosting and sprinkles to the news is … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, Discoveries, Holidays, Home, Random Fun, Things I Love! | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Patch of Sky

Today as I sat motionless beneath a two-way stoplight, I looked up and noticed a gap in the steel, perfectly framing a bookmark-sized patch of the purest blue sky. It was mesmerizing.  Suspended above a cloudless tree line it floated … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, Discoveries, Nature/Outdoors, Things I Love! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Should’a Would’a Could’a

Sure.  There are lots of reasons I should have stayed home today: 1.  A sink that appears to have vomited up fruit particles, dirty pans, and filmy glasses.  You’d think that with a dishwasher directly adjacent to the sink I … Continue reading

Posted in Decor/Organizing, Discoveries, Family, Home, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Rants, Summer, Uncategorized, Vacation | 3 Comments

The Lure of Summer

My blogging aspirations for the summer have, quite obviously, fallen flat, dying the pathetic death that comes with goals left unattended.  The weight of summer presses in on my heart and I am drawn, again and again, away from this … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Family, Food, Friends, God, gratitude, Home, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Random Fun, Silly Lists, Summer | 1 Comment

The Gift of Sand and Water

Anyone who knows me well can attest to the hold that the beach seems to have on me.  The sound of pounding water, birds overhead, toes in sand, sun on shoulders, salty air — it’s almost too much.   Living … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Education, Gifts, gratitude, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Play, Things I Love!, Vacation | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Found Art, by Leeana Tankersley

“Because such art is essentially redemptive, found art is also deeply spiritual, predating even urinal-man in its origins.  In God’s hands, spit and mud become sight.  Dust and rib become humanity.  Darkness and void become world.  Fishermen become followers.  Virgin … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Home, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Nature/Outdoors, Seasons of Life, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Egg Cartons, Baby Chicks, and FREE Fun

My husband calls me a recycling maniac.  I prefer to consider myself a “wise recycler” or “earth-conscious mother.”  I’ll leave the title “maniac” to the kids, little angels though they are 😉 At any rate, I’ve been in the habit … Continue reading

Posted in crafts, Discoveries, Family, Holidays, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Random Fun, Thngs I Love! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Hallmark Sends Its Very Best

I’ve already told you bits and pieces of my now-exposed [obsessive] affair with Hallmark Gold Crown Stores. It’s thorny territory for me to write about something so intimate and special, but at last I’m able to admit that sneaking away … Continue reading

Posted in crafts, Discoveries, Family, Gifts, Holidays, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Thngs I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Yoga With Kids is Soooo [NOT] Relaxing…

Yoga.  The word, even to non-practicers, seems to evoke a sense of calm and relaxation.  It conjures up images of super-fit Californians poured into black yoga pants, lean muscles taught and glistening on some Pacific cliff overlooking the gorgeous, sparkling … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Discoveries, Education, Family, Fitness, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Random Fun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ice Tunnels and Secret Caves

As the snow continues to threaten and temps stay frosty, cabin fever can set in and cause temporary insanity.  To combat mental decline, we planned an adventure to Lake Michigan this weekend [free fun!] and the kids are already asking … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Discoveries, Family, Kids, Nature/Outdoors, Play, Random Fun, Thngs I Love!, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Crazy for Brains

I lay there with one eye open, watching the TV move in blurry sequence.  By now two kids warmed the sheets next to me so I could “rest my eyes.” Whatever cartoon Nick Jr. was peddling at that hour of … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Discoveries, Music, Play, Random Fun | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Thin Places: a memoir, by Mary DeMuth

“The Celts define a thin place as a place where heaven and the physical world collide, one of those serendipitous territories where eternity and the mundane meet.  Thin describes the membrane between the two worlds, like a piece of vellum, … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Update your iPod

Sometimes I find myself dreamily swaying back and forth, occupying a snatch of time that feels special, different.  I look to my right and see smiles, to my left, hear laughter, and know that God has given this moment for … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, God, gratitude, Music, Nature/Outdoors, Random Fun, Summer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

WIN THIS BOOK!

Zondervan was gracious enough to provide me with a second copy of this book to pass along to my masses of spellbound and excited readers [cough]; to that end I am happy to launch a spiderweb contest to determine the … Continue reading

Posted in Contest, Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Food, Gifts, Giveaway!, God, gratitude, Home, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Random Fun | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Pure Pleasure, by Gary Thomas

Check back tomorrow to see how you can win a copy of this book, courtesy of Zondervan Publishers! Little did I know when I tore into the envelope that I was the lucky recipient of something I never knew I … Continue reading

Posted in Discipline Issues, Discoveries, Faith, Fitness, Following Jesus, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Thngs I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

All Hail Hallmark!

When the “rewards” coupon comes in the mail, I’m the sucker who can’t wait to race out the door to Betty’s–Hallmark, that is.  I love walking into the dreamy ambiance full of pretty bags and holiday decorations, and hearing the … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Family, Finances, Friends, Gifts, gratitude, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Random Fun, Thngs I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

From “Pure Pleasure”

This coming February I will be taking part in a blog tour for Gary Thomas’ latest book, the phenomenal Pure Pleasure.  When I was invited to do the review, the title intrigued me [subtitled: Why  Do Christians Feel So Bad About … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness, Following Jesus, Food, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Home, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Music, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Struggle Bus

One of the many lovely things about Christmas and the New Year is the way families and friends come together around the table for a meal.  The dimly lit dining room aglow with reflections of the Christmas tree and Percy … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Following Jesus, Friends, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Holidays, Home, Illness, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hello, My Name is Jane, and I Have ICD: Part 2

Welcome to my crazy brain, part two.  Come on in, have a look around, grab a cookie and put your feet up.  Ignore the wild ponies and flashbacks of college. I first revealed to you in August that I have … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Gifts, Random Fun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Christmas Meditation

One of my husband’s favorite Christmas songs was written a few decades ago by singer-songwriters Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene.  Mary, Did You Know? is a thought-provoking song that wonders aloud whether Mary fully knew the entirety of who her … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Gifts, God, gratitude, Holidays, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

After-Hours Shopping = JOY

Friends, I have to say:  If you’ve never ventured to the mall during the week of Christmas to enjoy Macy’s “open ’till 10” schedule, or Kohl’s “open ’till midnight” promise, take advantage of it! Sunday night I managed to peel … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Discoveries, Food, Friends, Gifts, gratitude, Holidays, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Music, Random Fun | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Things I Don’t Understand Thursday: Cobwebs In The Christmas Tree?!

How can it be, Friends? The tree hasn’t even been up for a month, and apparently an army of spiders has covertly taken taken up residence in its branches.  These busy little web-builders must be decked in green camo for … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Decor/Organizing, Discoveries, Holidays, Home, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Rants, Things I Don't Understand Thursday | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

[We Are] Overlooked: final thoughts

Matthew 25:37-40 (The Message) “When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?? Then the King will say, … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Finances, Following Jesus, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Holidays, Home, Illness, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Social Justice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[We Are] Overlooked

I happened upon a wonderful organization the other day that captured by imagination and my heart.  It’s called Overlooked, and it’s all about delivering justice to those in this world who are overlooked everyday by their governments, neighbors, politicians, and … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Finances, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Heartbreak, Holidays, Matters of the Heart, Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Biography Channel

Last night while Norm Peterson my husband was upstairs working on our bedroom renovation/redecoration, I got sucked into several hours of the Biography Channel.  I’m pretty confident that I can now tell you just about anything you need to know … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, God, gratitude, Matters of the Heart, Music, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Things I Don’t Understand Thursday: Ambiguous Deodorant Names

My girlfriend first raised this topic with me ages ago and I thought it was so true–and humorous–that I’m recycling it for today’s topic.  Thank you, LEJS. What I don’t understand today are ambiguous deodorant names.  I went to my … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Random Fun, Rants, Things I Don't Understand Thursday, Things that are STUPID | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Soul Care & Simplicity

Today [November 18]  I listened to another perfectly-timed radio broadcast on Midday Connection [Moody Radio].  The guest speaker was Mindy Caliguire, an author and speaker from Chicago who was discussing soul care & simplicity. This got my attention.  As a … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, CRAZY kids, Decor/Organizing, Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Friends, God, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Scouting the Divine

I hit the jackpot today with my addictive talk-radio habit: Midday Connection had Margaret Feinberg on discussing her new book, Scouting the Divine:  My Search for God in Wine, Wool, and Wild Honey. I was so touched–I cried, my chin … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Discoveries, Faith, Food, God, Growing Pains, Literature/Books, Nature/Outdoors | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments