Friday, April 23, 2010

this is for the moms

(This essay was written by an anonymous author. I'm publishing it for all my readers who are mothers, and for my friend Kerri, who first introduced me to this piece. Kerri lost her battle with colon cancer today, and went home to be with Jesus. She was an amazing mother, and leaves two bright, beautiful children - ages 10 and 13.)

This is for all the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, "It's OK honey, Mommy's here."

For the mothers who walk around the house all night with their babies when they keep crying and won't stop.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And for all the mothers who DON'T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And for the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for all the mothers who froze their buns off on metal bleachers at baseball games Friday night instead of watching from cars, so that when their kids asked, "Did you see me?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet like a tired 2-year old who wants ice cream before dinner.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies.

And for all the mothers who wanted to but just couldn't.

For all the mothers who read "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year. And then read it again. "Just one more time."

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for all mothers whose heads turn automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up......right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them.

For all the mothers who bite their lips sometimes until they bleed - when their 14-year-olds dye their hair green.

What makes a good Mother anyway?

Is it patience?


Broad hips?

The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?

Or is it heart?

Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?

The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

For all the mothers of the victims of all these school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting.

For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.

This is for mothers who put pinwheels and teddy bears on their children's graves.

This is for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation.

And mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.

Single mothers and married mothers.

Mothers with money, mothers without.

This is for you all.

~ Author Unknown ~

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Some people might be hard-pressed to believe it now, but I used to be the pickiest eater.


I turned my nose up at so many things that I now find delicious. Asparagus. Onions. Peppers. Tomatoes. Mustard. Steak. And the issue of how long it would take me to chew a bite of roast beef is a whole 'nother blog post.

I even refused to eat pie. I was more a of a "cake or cookies" kind of girl.

The only flavor of ice cream I would deign to eat was vanilla. Even the thought of chocolate ice cream kind of freaked me out, and I still don't like chocolate milk.

Like most kids, I did love cheese. But for years I'd only eat American cheese. Later, I branched out to include cheddar. And mozzarella was tolerated, but only in Italian dishes. And I took PB & J to school in my lunchbox for three years straight. I was nothing if not predictable.

Every once in a while, I find myself saying "If my parents were here tonight, they would fall out of their chairs to see me eating this!" And if you'd told me, say, ten years ago how much I would come to love cabbage, onions, and the like, I'd have thought you were loony.

These days, I do really feel for my parents. They, like so many moms and dads, had quite a challenge in convincing their child to try new things. And as a mama, I tend to feel extra compassion for my kids when they don't like something that I serve. Still, the things that are served are the things available to eat for dinner. I completely understand if they don't care for something, but if they decide not to eat it, they could get a little hungry.

Just sayin'.

So, I've been trying to introduce my children to a variety of foods, hoping they'll be more tolerant than I was. They're not too bad, though. Usually they'll at least try to keep an open mind. Even my second son, the choosiest of the lot, enjoys things that surprise me. For example, he adores nuts. And even rare steak. Give that kid roast beef or a t-bone, and he is there. Not that he'll eat a hamburger.

My oldest boy loves seafood. Any kind, apparently. The boy even likes oysters. Clearly he takes after his father in that area. Me? I'll only eat tuna. From a can.

I confess that I am still...shall we say, a selective eater? I despise most seafood, even knowing how wonderfully healthy it is. I cannot tolerate yogurt or kefir. And I have yet to develop a taste for sour foods.

Still, my "food boundaries" have expanded. Sizeably. Every summer, I find the farmers' market a bonanza of flavors and experiences. I loved doing the CSA program last year, because if forced me to cook and try new things. My current goals for our family are increasing our intake of fresh, local vegetables - which will become much more feasible as spring turns into summer - and introducing organ meats into our diet. They're incredibly rich in nutrients, and besides, I've got a beef heart and beef liver in our chest freezer, just cooling their heels.

I've just got to figure out how to sneak them past my toughest critics!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Years ago, when I would imagine my future life as a mother, I never, ever guessed that my children and I would spend so much time talking about superheroes.

Spider-Man. Batman. Ironman. Superman. And oh, so many more.

There are discussions about who has which suits to put on (we can thank video games for that aspect, I believe), who can walk in hot lava. Who can walk in toxic waste. And of course, who has the ability to fly.

We regularly cover who has which "powers," tools, and abilities.

A few years ago, construction trucks were all the rage in my home. Today, it's superheroes.

Now, heroes can come in many forms. Some wear Spandex and sport capes. Some have super-suction ears, and some are heroes because they "lend a helping hand." (Thank you, Veggie Tales!)

And heroes can be other kinds of individuals, too. A songwriter who pours out his heart with vulnerable and touching nakedness. Someone who gives selflessly of their time and possessions. One who offers to hold a baby during a church service, to give a weary young mother's arms a much-needed rest. A hero can be a person who fights for to save lives...or a friend who has fought the good fight, and is living out the few days left to her as best she can.

My hero can be the friend who listen with empathy, or the one who bravely says what I don't want to hear. And I've certainly found a hero in my husband: the funny, sensitive guy who volunteers, works, frets, and sweats for what he believes is worthwhile.

Heroes come in all shapes, sizes, and abilities. I think the key is being willing. Noticing a need. And most importantly, acting in love.

Because not every hero wears a cape.
8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. --1 Peter 4: 8-11

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

buttery cinnamon rolls

For, the past few months I've been trying to perfect my method of making cinnamon rolls. I'm really happy with the last couple of batches, and since I've had a request, I thought I'd share.

For the dough itself, I use this Organic Soaked Homemade Bread recipe from Kelly the Kitchen Kop. I make the 3-loaf recipe, and use 2/3 of it for baking sandwich bread, reserving 1/3 of the dough for a pan of cinnamon rolls.

Once the dough is finished kneading, (and I've got the bread rising in the appropriate pans), I roll out the last portion of it for the cinnamon rolls.

1 stick butter, melted
1/4 c. Rapadura or Sucanat
2 t. cinnamon

Use a well-floured countertop, rolling the dough out to 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. Try to make it a rectangle in shape. Then brush the dough with melted butter, and wait a few minutes to let the butter cool. (I've found that if I work too quickly, the melted butter will squeeze out when the dough is rolled up.) Sprinkle evenly with a cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Then, carefully roll the dough, starting with the longest side. Using a knife, cut rolls off 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Place in a buttered 9x13 pan, leaving a little space for them to rise. You may brush the tops with any remaining melted butter, for extra yumminess.

Let rise approximately 2 hours, or til nearly doubled in size.

Bake at 350* F for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to long as you can resist, that is!

(If you enjoy frosting on your cinnamon rolls, I recommend this Basic Vanilla Frosting recipe from Wardeh at GNOWGLINS.)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

10 things I love about my boy: Ben

1) The way he walks Owen from the van into church when I ask him to.

2) How he encourages his younger brother to try new foods.

3) His enthusiasm for soccer.

4) What a talented Lego-builder he's become.

5) The fact that he has a soft spot for babies.

6) He does his chores without complaining...most of the time.

7) How well he and Kyle play superheroes together.

8) His appreciation of an organized room, even if he doesn't seem to think maintaining that organization worthwhile.

9) The way his eyes shine when he knows he's getting the math lesson.

10) The fact that he loves being read to from the Word of God!

Monday, April 5, 2010

a family Easter

I thought I'd share a few of the photos we took on Resurrection Sunday. Mind you, I fully recognize that this post is mainly for the grandparents.

Chopsticks! They've been a huge hit around here.

We made Resurrection Cookies again this year. They are such a neat idea. Here we are, seeing what there was to be found on Easter morning.

Benjamin shows off his empty cookie. Empty like the tomb!

Elise was not sure what to think of her Easter basket. But she certainly coordinated her outfit well with it, anyway.

...But she spent some sweet time bonding with her


While it's true

that Elise's wardrobe

consists of a lot

of pink

she does occasionally wear other colors, too!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

"Because He Lives"

by Bill and Gloria Gaither

God sent His son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives.
But greater still the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

And then one day I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain.
And then as death gives way to victory,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, All fear is gone!
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives!