Category Archives: Nature/Outdoors

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

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

Hearing Isaiah in a Painted Sky

“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, Faith, God, gratitude, Home, Matters of the Heart, Nature/Outdoors, Prayer, Seasons of Life, Things I Love! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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

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

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

“What’s Included” In Mexico

Next month my husband and I are leaving the mess in the kitchen, turning on our heels, locking the doors, and escaping into the wild blue yonder together.  Along with some of our best friends and our new friend, the … Continue reading

Posted in Friends, Nature/Outdoors, Play, Random Fun, Rants, Vacation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 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

A Slow Unraveling

This fall my kitchen windows have seen more than just leaves changing color outside; they have stood witness to exhausting and unwelcome changes happening within our walls, around our table, in our kitchen.  It’s taken me a more than a … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, CRAZY kids, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Home, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Rants, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Running with Children

So I’ve been trying to be diligent in my exercising lately, walking the dog and going for runs as often as my knees can handle it. I’m trying to loose my three pound gut roll, er, “be healthy” and model active … Continue reading

Posted in Fitness, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

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

Hooray For Talented Friends!

I’m using today’s post to brag about my wonderfully talented [and too-humble] neighbor, Kamarah.  She’s just recently allowing the petals of her photo-flower to bloom, and has comprised a uTube video highlighting her work for future clients.  If you’re someone … Continue reading

Posted in Friends, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Random Fun, Things I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a 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

Practicing Silence

“Sometimes we need silence.  Not always, but definitely sometimes.  If we will comply, if we will receive the moments of quiet contemplation and rest, we might be surprised by what emerges.  As much as I didn’t want to engage in … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, CRAZY kids, Discipline Issues, Faith, Following Jesus, Gifts, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 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

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

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

What I Can’t Carry

Today I just needed a little time.  Some space to breathe and room to think.  Looking outside, the gray ceiling of clouds promised a harsh cold, but I didn’t care.  I found my running shoes, clicked my dog to his … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Matters of the Heart, Nature/Outdoors, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

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

Posted in Education, Family, Finances, Food, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Play, Random Fun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Faith, Family, Food, gratitude, Kids, Nature/Outdoors, Random Fun, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Things I Don’t Understand Thursday: Christmas in SEPTEMBER?!

Poor Baby Jesus. “Dear 8 pound, six ounce newborn infant Baby Jesus.  Don’t even know a word yet.” It’s bad enough that our society has gone to epic proportions to exploit his birth after Thanksgiving, but NOW we have to … Continue reading

Posted in Decor/Organizing, Family, Holidays, Home, Nature/Outdoors, Rants, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Chasing Pavements

Before anyone gets all “copyright lawyer” on me, I will admit the obvious:  I’m “using/borrowing/adapting” Adele’s song title for my own use and express benefit. I was going to say, “So sue me,” but actually, no.  Please don’t.  I just … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Heartbreak, Nature/Outdoors, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

Posted in Faith, Family, Friends, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Nature/Outdoors, Play | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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

Posted in Family, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Play, Random Fun, Summer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

Posted in Family, Friends, Home, Kids, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Random Fun, Seasons of Life, Summer, Uncategorized, Vehicles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Son of a BEACH!

What a day.  Last night I was so exhausted after our elusive hunt for beach parking that I just couldn’t even tell you about it until now.  Well, let’s be honest: it was the exhaustion and the fact that the … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Nature/Outdoors, Random Fun, Uncategorized, Vacation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Who Needs Whale Watching, Anyhow? Part 2

I know–I said I’d write this sequel on Thursday, and it just didn’t happen.  To all 4 of you out there waiting with bated breath, I’m sorry if the torture of suspense may have elevated your blood pressure or aggravated … Continue reading

Posted in Nature/Outdoors, Random Fun, Travel, Uncategorized, Vacation | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Summer Smells

Tonight while I was upstairs getting into my sexy night sweatpants [pathetic, I know] and going through my 83 step face washing routine for bed, I pulled my head out of the sink and was slapped in the face by … Continue reading

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Fill It Up Again

I’m borrowing this title from the Indigo Girls who, if I believed in reincarnation, I would totally want to be in my next life–at least musically speaking.  Their guitar playing–to die for; their poetry–kills me; their harmony–makes my heart stop … Continue reading

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Waiting for Mountains, Yearning for Sand

Every now and again I get into kind of a funk.  I usually write it off as fatigue or hormones, but really I think it has something to do with geography. We’re planning a trip out west this summer and … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Friends, Nature/Outdoors | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment