Category Archives: Kids

Pro Kadima Invasion

Well, the game that was meant to be played while shuffling through powdery sand slathered in Panama Jack sunscreen has hit our living room. Pro Kadima is a ping-pongy game played with large wooden paddles and a hard foam ball. … Continue reading

Posted in Contest, CRAZY kids, Family Activities, Home, Kids, Play, Random Fun | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pippi Longstocking and Praise Dancing

I saw him twirling out of the corner of my eye. On the table, in socks, arms raised like a praise dancer.  I opened my mouth to tell him to get off, but the words got stuck. Why not let … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Family, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Scrambled States of America

If you want to teach your gang geography, encourage them to value travel and well…possess the general knowledge that a reference to “Washington” does not necessarily denote a conversation about our first president…then you’ll appreciate The Scrambled States of America, by Laurie … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, Book Review, Education, Family, Kids, Literature/Books, Things I Love!, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ten Reasons I’ve Been MIA

It’s been awhile since I’ve gone ten days without a blog post! For you hangers-on, here are ten reasons for my absence: 1. We went to Florida for Spring Break, and in some comically-timed [or divinely ordained] sequence of events, … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, Family, Family Activities, Food, God, gratitude, Kids, Marriage, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Play, Vacation | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

5 Easy Ways To Use Notes With Your Kids

I’ve told you before that I love paper in all forms. In fact, next month I’m looking forward to a blog makeover, and my name will change to Girl Meets Paper to reflect my love of writing–and because I use … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Family Activities, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

Up on the Watershed

My head is cloudy. I’m realizing with sorrow and unwillingness that even the sweetest things in life evolve and change. Of course we’ve been heading toward this fork for some time now, however the prongs of decision continue to force … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

Leaving Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I’ve never been a big “shopper”…if by shopper you’re picturing a classy, well-manicured Breakfast at Tiffany’s 30-something clicking through the mall with a bouquet of bags bursting from the nook in her elbow. I prefer flip-flops and I’m not all that … Continue reading

Posted in Discipline Issues, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Prayer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 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

Family Friday: Math at Dinner

Do you remember memorizing your math facts in elementary school? I clearly recall my second grade teacher walking us up one-by-one to the front of the room to recite addition and subtraction facts. With breath suspended and heart pounding my … Continue reading

Posted in Discipline Issues, Education, Family, Family Friday, Home, Kids, Kids in School, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Building Trust in the Small Things

When the lights fall and I’m lying motionless in a smudge of darkness, my prayers become loose and frayed and worry sets in. While many contend that worrying is “normal,” I know that many more would suggest it reveals my … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Discipline Issues, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Family Friday: Book Nights

Pop some popcorn and get in your jammies for Book Night! My husband and I first considered taking story time beyond Officer Buckle and Gloria when one of his friends from work shared this simple idea: instead of “movie night” … Continue reading

Posted in Book Lists, Book Review, Education, Faith, Family, Family Friday, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Things I Love!, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Your Baby Doesn’t Come With Instructions

Do you find it rather unbelievable that we are asked to fill out nearly every detail of our existence to rent a movie from Blockbuster, that we are legally bound to take hunting and boating safety classes if we wish … Continue reading

Posted in Book Lists, Book Review, CRAZY kids, Discipline Issues, Faith, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Valentine’s Day Part 2: Hunting for Treasure

It’s probably the hibernating teacher within that brings me round to setting up riddles and scavenger hunts for my kids. Yes, after all these years of standing in slippers wiping butts and noses, there are moments when that alter-ego is … Continue reading

Posted in Contest, CRAZY kids, Education, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Gifts, God, Holidays, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Random Fun, Seasons of Life, Silly Lists, Things I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day Part 1: Spread Some Love

Don’t we all wish there was a fool-proof recipe or some sort of silicon mold that promised to shape our children into the caring, generous, love-filled humans we want them to be? Or perhaps some magic powder we could sprinkle … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, CRAZY kids, Decor/Organizing, Discipline Issues, Education, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Food, God, gratitude, Holidays, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Neighbors, Play, Random Fun, Recipe/Kitchen Success!, Seasons of Life, Things I Love! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Easy Meal Idea With a Side of Smiles

If you’ve been a long-time reader, you will know that my kitchen prowess is, well, a bit unpolished. That is to say, I should have auditioned for Anne Burrell’s Worst Cook in America. I’m sure I could put on quite … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Food, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Things I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Family Friday: Compassion Project

I don’t know about where you live, but the past few weeks have blasted West Michigan with painfully icy wind and record-breaking snowfall. I wish I could say that I’m loving it, but in truth, I’m counting the days until … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, CRAZY kids, Education, Faith, Family, Family Friday, Following Jesus, Gifts, gratitude, Home, Kids, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Neighbors, Random Fun, Seasons of Life, Social Justice, Things I Love! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peanuts in the Morning

Do you remember the sound of Charlie Brown‘s teacher on The Peanuts? She had that muffled “whaa-whaa-whaa” of an expertly muted trumpet combined with some sort of nasally resonance never before heard on earth–much less in a classroom. How Linus ever … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Discipline Issues, Family, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Rants, Seasons of Life, Silly Lists, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Take Care of Your ‘Neighbs With Some Simple Compassion

Today, one of our local news reporters delivered his thoughts on this record-breaking weather while stationed up to his thighs in snow on a fake deck. Nice touch, I thought. One leg was in a “normal” section of the snow … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, Book Review, Compassion, Contest, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, FREE BOOK, Friends, Gifts, Giveaway!, God, gratitude, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Prayer, Seasons of Life, Things I Love!, 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

Book Giveaway Week!

This past week while huffing through a morning deathmatch with our eliptical machine, my gaze fell on the nearby spines of several books have been given to me over the years to review. Having gotten them with the intention of … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Contest, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, FREE BOOK, Gifts, Giveaway!, God, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer, Things I Love!, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 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

What a Great Idea!

I love to share great ideas. If it’s something that can encourage or edify–I’m your blogger. [keep that in mind and send my your besties!] Recently my dear friend Lyndsey sent me a link to her friend’s design blog–you know–the … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, crafts, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer, Random Fun, Things I Love! | 2 Comments

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

Family Friday: Engaging in the News

Stop rolling your eyes. If you’re honest, I’ll bet at least a handful of you are contemplating a click of the mouse right now, mumbling something like, “There’s nothing good in the news–I can’t even stand to turn on the … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tangled Up In Applause!

For those of you look beyond the paltry three-sentence reviews in the newspaper to determine whether the latest Disney or Pixar flick is a good fit for your clan, I’m using this post as an opportunity to share my thoughts … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Movies/Movie Reviews, Random Fun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Good, The Bad, and The [very] Ugly

Standard.  Bad and [very] ugly wrapped in bread crumbs.  And absolutely obliterated. Reaching for the Raisin Bran now…   In better news, THE GOOD: What I lack in front of the stove I’m hoping to make up for behind wrapping … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, crafts, Decor/Organizing, Family, Gifts, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Dare I Put It In Print??

Dear friends and marginally-invested visitors, It’s time to own up to the truth.  I must remove the mask and costume and be honest: I am a blue-ribbon slacker. You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I kick butt and … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Discipline Issues, Growing Pains, Kids, Music, Nature/Outdoors, Seasons of Life, Silly Lists, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Settling for Reflections

Last week wasn’t the first time that I’ve learned something new–or remembered something old–because of the words or actions of a child. Usually it’s my own kids convicting me of something, perfectly reciting words I wish I never would have … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Meet Rob and Kelly…

One thing I so appreciate about our family is that we try to be purposeful about planning special nights together where TV and telephones fall to the wayside, and imagination and teamwork grab the spotlight. They are nights when we … Continue reading

Posted in Contest, CRAZY kids, Education, Family, Holidays, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Things I Love! | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Beware: I’m 8 and I have a label-maker

After returning back to headquarters Saturday night with scads of candy, sweaty hair, and cavities at-the-ready, the kids dumped piles of loot on the dining room table and declared victory. Victory over vegetables, unprocessed food, and moderation in any form. … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Family, Holidays, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Random Fun, Things I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Bittersweet, by Shauna Niequist

What a delight to have been offered the opportunity to review Shauna Niequist’s latest book, Bittersweet, released last month by Zondervan.  Stitched together with threads of the poetic and honest writing we devoured in Cold Tangerines, Shauna’s voice again rings … Continue reading

Posted in Contest, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, FREE BOOK, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Play, Seasons of Life, Things I Love! | 7 Comments

Balance Beams at Summer’s End

A Confession: Lately I feel as though I’ve been walking a balance beam–clumsily and epically unsuccessfully. Locked between walls of my own architecture and construction, I find myself scurrying from thing 1 to thing 2, trying to fit it all … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, CRAZY kids, Discipline Issues, Family, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Rants, Seasons of Life, Summer | 6 Comments

Stefanich Stepping Stones

Tonight is one of the many times I’ve sat in my home, buoyant and basking in a deep pool of gratitude.  My good friend Kamarah [Best Neighbor Ever] recently sent me an email sharing the journey of a wonderful woman … Continue reading

Posted in adoption, Education, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Home, Kids, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life, Things I Love!, Travel | Tagged , , , | 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

A Lovely and Thankful Wreck

I’ve been a wreck lately. My emotions on have been arching between profound gratitude to God and utter disbelief and, on the far spectrum, sadness that our kids are growing up so fast.  It seems I’ve been waiting for years … Continue reading

Posted in Decor/Organizing, Faith, Gifts, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

[A Different Kind of] St. Patty Green

Contrary to most St. Patrick’s Day festivities I’ve been privy to, we’re steering away from shamrocks and ale and making a B-line for healthy greens this Wednesday.  Not because I’m a prude who doesn’t like cabbage or has nightmares about … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Food, Holidays, Home, Illness, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Recipe/Kitchen Success!, Thngs I Love! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 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

Keeping Christmas Alive

In truth, I can’t completely remember if I read about this craft or adapted it from several other ideas, but this year we actually got out the scissors and did it. We purposely saved our Christmas photo cards so that … Continue reading

Posted in crafts, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Holidays, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

This Little Prayer of Mine, by Anthony DeStefano

“Impress [these commands] on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  Deut. 6:7 This verse has a way of lacing up … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

BNE: Best Neighbors Ever

I first crossed over the asphalt divide six years ago with a plate of monster cookies and a welcome note, hoping that the new people across the street would be, at the very least, pleasant.  What I never even considered … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Finances, Following Jesus, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Heartbreak, Home, Illness, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Neighbors, Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quote, Unquote

Tonight I walked my oldest son to his room to spend a little time with him before bed.  He treasures these moments–almost longs for them in the way that I long for chocolate desserts and the pleasure of new slippers.  … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Gifts, gratitude, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

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

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

[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

No School!

Ah, the childlike joy of having school canceled–what thrill can compare in the mind of a 6 or 7 year old? Yesterday our kids had an unexpected day off due to a power-outage in their elementary building, followed up [with … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Food, Gifts, Holidays, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Recipe/Kitchen Success!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Quote, Unquote…Again

Yesterday my youngest had a couple of cute moments–have to record them since I’ve done a pathetic job with his baby book share them with you! 1.  Our little guy has an adorable lisp [s’s] and can’t quite seem to … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

It Must Be Raindrops…

I grew up listening to Oldies, and to this day I still enjoy a sugary doo-wop song or something that emerged from Motown at the height of its glory.   I love The Platters, The Fleetwoods, Martha & the Vandellas…pretty much … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Food, Gifts, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Holidays, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Firstborn

I remember wrapping him in swaddling clothes and lying him in a crib.  The midnight feedings, his first steps, our rocking chair. I remember the joy and chaos of life with an infant.   The schedule changes, his tiny smile, our … Continue reading

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Quote, Unquote

A couple of funny comments from my sweet daughter today: “Mom, I bet Jesus is shrinking down again getting ready to be a baby at Christmas.” And, during our search for “Euro Shams” at the mall today, she loudly conveyed … Continue reading

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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

Crack-Up Chicken

It must be said:  I have the best husband ever. I know, you’re ready to fight and give me 10 reasons why your significant other is better, but no. Tonight my daughter was in “a mood.” Are you picking up … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Family, Food, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Marriage, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Small Moments

My oldest often comes home from school with catch phrases that describe what he’s learning.  Last year his teacher helped him work on “grabber-hooks and gotcha’s” to make the beginning and end of a story more interesting.  They illustrate, edit, … Continue reading

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“Amana” Bar Revolt

Every once in a while you have those special moments of realization as a mom.  Glimpses of glory.  Morning has broken, the sky is caught in the rapture of sunrise, and children sit singing happily over their Cheerios in a … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Discipline Issues, Family, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Marriage, Motherhood/Mommy Duties | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Nothing to Say

Last spring I went to a writer’s conference in Chicago that was packed with all kinds of wonderful seminars, advice from published authors, and meetings with editors.  For me it was a fantastic learning experience and a handy excuse to … Continue reading

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Sick House

Our two boys came home with some kind of bug this week, leading to a couple days home from school and confined to our sick house.   A visit to the doctor yielded a “deep chest cold” diagnosis, for which … Continue reading

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Things I Don’t Understand Thursday: Toy Packaging

Last week my daughter decided to use her long-saved-up birthday money to buy a new doll at Costco.  Maybe you’ve seen them?  They’re adorable American Girl look-alikes at about a quarter of the cost…which only makes them more adorable. Of … Continue reading

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More Thoughts From “The Year of Living Like Jesus”

Top Chef is one of my favorite TV shows.  On it, a group of amazing chefs compete in ridiculously hard challenges under pressures of time and budget, all to win the title of “Top Chef.”  One thing that these cooks … Continue reading

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

BOO! I know, these pictures are scary, but I wanted to share in the festivities tonight by going 80’s punk: my own tribute to Cyndi Lauper. ‘Cause, haven’t you heard? Moms in the ‘burbs just wanna have fun! fishnets + … Continue reading

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Two Joys

1.  I found these adorable earrings right after I wrote “Little Sparrows” and fell in love with them immediately.  Being a girl with short hair, earrings are an essential to getting dressed.  Without them, I feel totally boyish and naked.  … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Discipline Issues, Family, Food, Gifts, gratitude, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Motherhood/Mommy Duties | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

O-for-2: What’s new?!

Prepare yourself for shocking news.  My little recipe experiment is heading straight for the toilet.  Do not pass, go, do not collect $200–head straight for the toilet.  On the double. Episode 1 Tuesday night I made mushroom-Swiss burgers with sweet … Continue reading

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Introducing: Kitchen Salvation!

This past week I went to Chicago for a concert and some GREAT FOOD with one of my best friends.  We were introduced to Roy’s: Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine last month by another mutual best friend, and to someone like myself … Continue reading

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Tales of Kitchen Woes [take 61]

Our attempts at trying to eat healthier have basically translated into simply using less cheese and more grill.  I’m trying, really I am.  Trying to stick to proteins and vegetables, occasionally some bread, but making an effort at reducing creamy-ish, … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Family, Food, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Motherhood/Mommy Duties | 2 Comments

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Yesterday I got to go along with my nearly-4-year-old on his preschool field trip to a local farm.  We visit this farm nearly every year, and I have to say, God’s lovely autumn creativity is rivaled only by the delicious … Continue reading

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Tales of Kitchen Woes [take 43]

For the love of all that is good and holy and remotely edible.  I swear to you that I can’t get a break with my attempts at preparing decent food–ever. A little back story: I am undergoing a grocery-related spending … Continue reading

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Feelin’ Crafty…again

Hello, Again, dear readers.  If you’ve checked in with me or looked at my Facebook page, you know that I’m having issues with my computer, a’la no functioning keyboard.  I’ve found that this makes keeping up with my cyber life … Continue reading

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Found Alter-Egos and Lost Kids

Strange things seem to be happening to my kids lately. Strange as in: 1. Possibly being possessed by ADD alter-egos 2. Morphing into a skeleton-free mass of squishy flesh and falling to the floor in front of perfect strangers [we’ll … Continue reading

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Vacation from my Vacation

If you’ve read any of my previous posts from this week [thank you, dear faithful 7: your checks are in the mail], you already know that I was blessed with a few days away with my husband.  I tagged along … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Discipline Issues, Family, Food, Growing Pains, Kids, Marriage, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Neighbors, Random Fun, Rants, Seasons of Life, Vacation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Things I Don’t Understand Thursday: Gambling

Maybe it’s because we’re a one-income family or because I try to squeeze my grocery dollars as far as they’ll go.  Maybe it’s because I feel a sense of accomplishment when I can produce an edible meal out of rice … Continue reading

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Casino Life 101

This is one of those signs that you just can’t walk past without stopping. And staring. Perhaps briefly taking a picture with a camera phone [hypothetically speaking]. Scratching your head and letting a “Hmm” escape, slow and ponderous. Really?  We … Continue reading

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Four More Days

One of the great joys, and simultaneous “pinch-me’s” of my days, is a more fervent awareness of the slipping away.  Time slipping away.  Childhood…slipping.  Days, seasons…slipping. It sounds depressing, I know, but actually I feel joyful that God has given … Continue reading

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Lessons from the Orchard, Part 1

Sometimes I feel like I’m overly emotional.  I mean, yes, I am a woman enduring cyclical hormones, but still, I don’t know how many people tear up at the sight of a lovely old tree or because painfully beautiful harmonies … Continue reading

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You’ve Got a Friend

Our youngest doesn’t see being 3 as a handicap, but truth be told, at his young age he has already experienced age discrimination. I know.  The Law Offices of Sam Bernstein are about to be put on speed dial, trust … Continue reading

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Daisy Chain

Last spring I was privileged to hear Mary DeMuth speak at a Christian Writer’s Conference.   In a room full of other brothers and sisters, alike in our love for the Lord yet quite possibly different in our perceptions of faith, … Continue reading

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Medieval War Games

Well, they did it again. Made a game out of wood and jumping and self-inflicted wounds. Little did the feudal lords of the middle ages know that their catapulting weaponry would be such a hit in the backyards of the … Continue reading

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Faces From The First Week of School

My friend lives with the mantra that “Life’s too short to have unflattering blackmail photos of yourself floating around.” I suppose she’s right. But when a 3 year old is taking the pictures, what’s a mom to do? The bus … Continue reading

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Come On Over!

Friends!  I’m excited to announce that I’ve been asked to do some blogging for West Michigan’s own kids’ TV show, Come On Over! Supported by the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, this show has already won numerous Michigan Emmy Awards and … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Family, Friends, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Seasons of Life, Summer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Moments With Love

Ever since I was little I’ve had a nudging–gentle, but there–prompting me to act of behalf of those with small voices.  Or no voices.  I remember vividly lying in bed one night when I was probably 11, drawing a picture … Continue reading

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Arctic Dog Mushing On Labor Day

Leave it up to the neighborhood kids, my own included, to create a game that is so wonderfully ridiculous I can’t help but document it for you.  Yesterday’s game had me laughing so hard the residual giggles followed me indoors … Continue reading

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My Quarterly Bonus

Being a stay-at-home mom is something that I love and worry about in equal measure.  I love it because I get to have a front-row seat to the lives of my children.  It’s messy, both in literal and figurative terms, … Continue reading

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I Couldn’t Sleep, So I Thought About Names

The other night I went to see The Proposal at the movies with my BNE.  It was really cute and I have to say, I was even a little surprised by some of the elements that I thought would be … Continue reading

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Dressers Are Over-Rated

You know you have a laundry problem when your kids ask for clean clothes… …and you go to your dining room table to find them.

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“Things I Don’t Understand” Thursdays: Kitchen Tornadoes

It seems like I spend most of my time in the kitchen.  You can’t relate…can you? Breakfast prep and cooking. Breakfast clean-up…but wait…the dishwasher needs unloading first. What?  A mid-morning snack?  Let me just get that for you…and your five … Continue reading

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Mall Wrestlers

I don’t know if I wish I would’ve had my camera or not.  In the moment I might have gone a little Russell Crowe on the situation, so perhaps not having it was a good thing.  Then again, right now, … Continue reading

Posted in Discipline Issues, Family, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

[Homemade] Tents Make Good Neighbors

There was a moment today–one of those stop-you-in-your-tracks illuminations–that made me so grateful for the gifts in my life.  Not only do I have clean water, access to food and electricity, a smog-free blue sky above me, and the love … Continue reading

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Bedtime Prayers

It’s exciting and gratifying to share this post today.  I have been feeling badly that I don’t give enough attention here to the wonderful, curious, and edifying things our children do; after all, silliness and general chaos often make for … Continue reading

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Of Chalk and Bees

In all fairness, I should say that my kids, overall, did a fantastic job of being good helpers with happy hearts today [I’ve discovered that threatening to take away their bikes for the day is a huge motivator!  What will … Continue reading

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Just Another Day at the Beach

Yesterday was a perfect, cloudless, blue-sky day–the kind of blue that looks like an inverted Caribbean Sea hanging motionless above a busy world; blue that is deep and changing and ever-present.  Carolina Tarheels Blue.   Hudsonville Ice Cream Packaging Blue.   J.Crew … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Food, Kids, Marriage, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Random Fun, Uncategorized, Vacation, Vehicles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Old Dogs and Children

I should have listened to Tom T. Hall and added the Watermelon Wine to my morning–or something stronger–because I needed it. Monday morning I convinced myself to go for a run in preparation for a 5K that’s been staring me … Continue reading

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A Seed Planted

One of my dear friends, dear in a way that few are or can ever be, lives three time zones away in a small city just west of the Rockies.   Talking to her is easy, as it should be … Continue reading

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Crazy Pants

Seriously.  My kids are going bonkers.  Straight up crazy pants with the possibility some kind of emotional disorder not completely ruled out. Two days in a row we’ve dealt with hard-core temper tantrums and general inappropriateness courtesy of our little … Continue reading

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