Weekly Menu ~ 6/10-6/16


Ahh, summer…welcome back!


Home made shrimp fried rice


Hamburgers and sushi rolls (Sam’s choice! )


Teriyaki Salmon Burgers

Cole Slaw



Chopped Salad with plenty of bacon

Crusty bread


Out- Dinner with Friends


Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

Home Made Chips


Father’s Day!

Whatever the man wants, the man gets…so I imagine red meat is on the menu!


Our little girl turned 11 this week and this year Lauren wanted to have an Alice in Wonderland themed party, which turned out super cute, and so I thought I’d share some of that cuteness with you, Gentle Reader.


Sam, dressed as the Mad Hatter, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the guests! We got his hat for $5 at a party supply store and the rest of his costume was just the remains of his cello recital outfit, too small to recite in, but just right for becoming the Mad Hatter.


I actually forgot to get a photo of this while it was hanging on the front door. This is just a hand made sign on card stock inviting our guests to fall down the rabbit hole and enter Wonderland.

IMG_3717IMG_3713 IMG_3716

Of course, Wonderland has all sorts of arrows leading in every direction but the right one! The kids had a blast making these and posting them around the house! We just got a couple of poster boards (from the Dollar Store), drew arrows all over them, cut them out, and wrote “directions” on them.


No Alice in Wonderland party would be complete without a stack of giant cards! We found these huge playing cards at a party supply store and Lauren drew faces on paper and taped them on so they looked like soldiers in the Queen of Heart’s garden!


I think these might have been my favorite part of the party if only because of the kid’s reaction to them, they were a huge hit! Cute little bottles with corks (found at Hobby Lobby for $1.99/ea) filled with Magical Elixir (Hawiian Punch) and finished with a ribbon and a hand made “Drink Me” sign.

IMG_3729 IMG_3732

In the story, Alice often finds herself in the awkward position of either shrinking (“Three inches is such a dreadful height, after all”) or growing (“Over a mile high!”). We thought that the best way to simulate all that size changing was to juxtapose large and small food and decorations to make you feel either very big or very, very small, indeed.  The small flowers and butterflies I picked up at the Dollar Store, the large butterflies are from Hobby Lobby (all very affordable, less than $5/ea.). The large flower was also purchased from Hobby Lobby (50% off!) and will also serve as decoration in Lauren’s room.







{big cupcakes with home made “Eat Me” signs taped to toothpicks, the door mouse in a Happy Birthday hat, peeking out of the creamer pitcher, more big cupcakes with sugar pearls, foods big and small (m&m’s and marshmallows), tiny cupcakes, The Birthday Cake! with an sugar pearl L}


And when it was all over, the guests just had to follow the arrow to find their way home…we filled these cute little mason jars with all of Lauren’s favorite candies, tied on a hand made “Take Me” sign, and gave them away instead of goody bags!


Happy Birthday, Lauren! 

Weekly Menu ~ 6/3-6/9


I don’t know how it happened. It certainly wasn’t my idea. But somehow my beautiful baby girl became a beautiful young lady who is turning 11 this week!

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!





tuesday ~ Lauren’s Birthday!

Out for pizza, Lauren style!

Birthday Cake!


Veggie Curry



Home Made Fried Rice

Veggie Pot Stickers


Chicken Caesar Wraps

Corn on the Yummy Cob


Dinner with Friends!


Twice Baked Potato Bites

Chopped Salad


Leftovers…I think I”ll be tired from all this birthday fun! 🙂


Sam snapped this little photo and I thought it was quite beautiful.

It reminds me that God is there, even in the mundane things.

Many He bless our menus (and our laundry!) today!


:: veggie couscous


:: bbq pork chops

:: ceasar salad

:: mashed potatoes


:: ahi tuna rolls

:: cole slaw

thursday (Lauren’s choice)

:: bean burritos with guacamole

:: spanish rice

friday (Sam’s choice)

:: Darth double dogs

:: corn

:: Darth malts


:: TBD


Easy Mediterranean Sunday Dinner

:: crusty bread

:: olives

:: assorted cheeses

:: fruit

Last Sunday, I decided that what I would like most would be to go for a hike.

And so, my dear family, wanting me to have a wonderful Mother’s Day, complied with this request.


Interestingly, it was also every other mother’s dream to go for a hike on Mother’s Day. And we waited while the rangers drove around to see if the park was full or not.

Adam snapped these fine photos while we waited in our vehicle pulled “as far to the right” as it could possibly be pulled. Those rangers are specific in their instruction.

IMG_3629 IMG_3630

Once we were admitted to the park (it really was that crowded!), we parked in the first spot we found and headed for the top of the trail.

And it was absolutely lovely, so much beauty in the wide open spaces.

There were kids at the top of rock formations…


And the ramshackle remains of a homestead long abandoned but fun to climb on…

IMG_3644 IMG_3645 IMG_3648

And more kids at the top of rock formations…


But you must know that the real star of the show is always the stream, at which we arrived a mere two and half hours after we embarked and yet we all came away feeling that the effort made our time in the water very sweet, indeed…


IMG_3657 IMG_3658

That fresh flowing water felt good on tired, little feet which had travelled far to play in it’s gentle currents…

IMG_3660 IMG_3661

And on it’s banks…





And though I did ask myself a number of times on that hike why I had chosen this of all activities on Mother’s Day for I could have been at the spa…having a massage…and a pedicure…instead of up to my (very sore) ankles in dirt and bugs. And why had the ranger, who chatted us up nicely as we waited, noted that Mother’s Day is always the busiest day of the year?


And then I snapped this picture and I remembered exactly why we choose this activity on Mother’s Day. Because it puts on display some of the most wonderful aspects of the family. As I recall there was a very long, very sweet conversation on the subject of fairies and the fact that they wear acorn tops for helmets. There was also much oooh-ing and aaah-ing over the beauty all around us which led, deliciously, into reflection on The Creator and His creation. I witnessed much tenderness take place between my children as each one watched over the other, warning and helping each other over the hard spots. I got to hold each of my family’s hands at different intervals during the afternoon and I was presented with any number of priceless treasures along the way. I tripped once, right into the strong arms of my wonderful husband, and I liked that. A lot.

Yes, that is why mom’s like to go hiking on Mother’s Day, I think.*

At least that’s why I like to go…

*I suppose it is entirely possible that some mom’s simply love to hike…but that sounds a little crazy to me! 🙂

I hope you all had a wonderful, restful Mother’s Day!

Mine was ever so lovely…beginning with a husband up early cooking delicious things, like egg, cheese, and green onion muffins in a bacon cup (that’s right, I said bacon cup!) and pancakes with caramel and bananas…

{Here’s where I would have put the photo

but that food was gone before it could be photographed}

Followed by two adorable kiddos, whispering and giggling and sneaking in and out of rooms and here’s what they emerged with…


A lovely bouquet picked from our own yard and a home made card…my favorite!

Okay, Friends, back to reality…let the cooking begin!


Veggie Stir Fry


Home made Mac n Cheese


Waffles and Sausages


Bread & oil, Olives, Assorted cheeses, and Fruit


Pizza & Salad…finishing up those beets and goat cheese


Out~ Dinner with friends!


Out~ Dinner with the Fam!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Dear Friends,

Mother’s Day is nearly upon us. Is it a fake holiday made up by the card companies and florists? Yes. It is.

But does it necessarily follow that there should be no Mother’s Day at all? Well, maybe. But I don’t know.

Maybe everyday is Mother’s Day. Kind of.

Everyday, we  understand the gravity of what we hold in our hands. That when we hold our precious children we are really holding an immortal soul. Our work is so profoundly important because we are training what is eternal. Yes, eternal. Women really do have the awesome privilege of partnering with God to bring life into the world. It is astounding to me that we have been chosen for this.


This is our life’s work, everyday. Our magnum opus. Our great contribution to the world.

Everyday, as we go about our mother’s work, the work of listening, hugging, driving, cleaning, laundry doing, tutoring, disciplining, admiring, organizing, clothes buying, toy finding, vegetable lecturing, bathing, ironing, rocking, reading, planning, shopping, willing, dreaming, hoping, volunteering, combing, wiping up, nursing, drying tears, mending, listening to that song for the one millionth time and singing along, encouraging, building up, tv/vcr repair (can you hear Sally Struthers voice?)…we remember this.

That if Ralph Waldo Emerson was right, that men (and women for that matter) are what their mother’s make them, then this job of making and guiding and shaping People is a profoundly important one.


It is not for the faint of heart. We know that everyday.

Our shortcomings are reflected in every frustrated tone, late morning, note home from school, and flare of temper and the pain is real and acute. But we are reminded of what C.S. Lewis says, that courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at its testing point. And we dry our eyes and march on.


Everyday we plead before the throne of grace for our children. For their protection, for the wisdom to bring them up well. For patience, (oh goodness, make that twice a day for patience!) and the knowledge that He will fill in all our cracks as we pour out.

The President reminded us that in South Korea teachers are called nation builders, and I agree, teachers are nation builders.

But everyday we are reminded that mothers are their children’s ultimate teachers. They may learn academically elsewhere, but the fashioning of their character is incumbent upon us. It may be up to the teachers (including homeschool mom/teachers) to help guide our sweet children into the fields of writing, and math and science but it will be up to us whether those writers will have integrity or our scientists will value life or whether any of them will care for and be faithful to their families, communities, the world.

I am able to write this because I have seen so many of you, everyday, living it around me. I see you at the park, at the library, in church. I have seen you in your car and in the schools and in the express lane at Target. You are family and friends.

You are heroes, imperfect, but heroes just the same.It does not do it justice to say it is a hard job. It is the hardest job. But the reward is eternal.


Much love to you all this Mother’s Day with many hopes for you all to get a nap (which is probably what you really want anyway)!