A Pennsylvania Dutch Tradition

Growing up, I can remember teachers having us write down our favorites--"favorite color", "favorite activity", "favorite food", etc.  My answers always went something like this: blue, art/drawing, and potato filling.  What in the world was "potato filling"?  Most of my peers were writing "pizza" and I stood out, leaving others to question.  The best answer I could provide was that potato filling was a cross between mashed potatoes and stuffing, mixed together with additional yumminess and baked i … [Read more...]

Ducks In A Row

I love Kellie's annual Christmas post.  Every year it inspires me to get it together and promises the fruit of my labor will be more time to adore Jesus in Advent.  Win-win.   Real, true, well-planned holidays are possible without stress and having a larger family does not preclude doing something well.  Because really, in the end of it, it's all about planning and doing it ahead of time.  The more I live, the more children I have, the more I plan.  There's really no other way.You could say I … [Read more...]

Chasing Perfect

I've been learning a lot as a mom lately.  Learning how little control I have over some issues with my children… yet how my influence and outlook as a mom is still paramount.  It has been trying.  I haven't been sprinting through it like usual, but instead clamoring on, tripping, righting myself, and trying to keep pace.  This mom road is a long one and feels even longer in the face of certain challenges.  We've talked before how it is more like a lifetime marathon and that keeping our "eyes on t … [Read more...]

A Crockpot Kind of Day

We awoke this morning to dense fog.  It was the creepy kind that obscures traffic lights and hides morning walkers.  I rolled out of bed, less than enthusiastic, and shuffled to the gym.  Workout, check (wondering if I will be able to walk later??).  Thankfully it was done and the full day lay before me.  Then I headed home to find this...How is it that our sweet ones can be so darn pathetic when under the weather?  I am usually all business in the morning, getting kids up, fed, and out t … [Read more...]

A Mother’s Prayer to Start the Day

Two children mill around our kitchen fetching bowls, spoons, pouring cereal.  I grab the milk and divvy it out to each. One little lady saunters in from upstairs, dressed in a princess nightgown and gazing around in morning awe.  Another little lady sits, pajama-clad, and shouts orders from her lofty highchair.  She's been here since the kitchen opened and is already on bowl #2 of breakfast.I have been up since 5am and have added 6 miles and a grocery store run to my daily "done" list.  It is … [Read more...]

Wedding Survival With Kids In Tow

Our family is still happily reeling from the whirlwind wedding weekend of my husband's brother and his new bride.  It was beautiful, breathtaking, tear-filled, and so very special.  We had a fantastic time.  Going into it, though, I have to admit I had my doubts.  How were we supposed to achieve all of us being in the wedding, satisfying a lot of people's expectations, while still having fun and keeping our sanity?  It seemed a feat almost impossible.  Yet as the dust settles, I can contentedly s … [Read more...]

Spaces In Our Togetherness

Today is a day marked with mixed emotions as I send my older two children off to school.  Next week #3 and #4 head off to preschool as well.  It has been a brilliant summer--one of new experiences (belonging to a pool and swim team!) and adventures (to the caverns, to Maine, to museums and theme parks!)  I love having my kids home.  I call myself a wannabe-homeschooler because I send my kids to school during the year, but then summer is my chance to put some teaching/learning ideas into pra … [Read more...]

Thoughts from a ring bearer

Being in a wedding is a big deal for a young boy.  Measure him for a tux; size him for fancy shoes; promise him that he'll walk down the center aisle with his brother as ring bearers--these are BIG things.  Big, exciting things.  With a month to go, wedding talk pervades a lot of our every day family life.  Four of five of my children will play a part in the wedding of my brother-in-law and future sister-in-law in September.  My #4 (MG, 3yo) will be the flower girl, escorted down the aisle by my … [Read more...]

When should parents push?

I swore when I had kids, I wouldn't push them into any sports or activities.  I wanted them to follow their hearts and discover their passions on their own.Eight years into parenting, I'm realizing my approach, though well-intentioned, was a little off, at least concerning certain children of mine.  My oldest, for example, is like a little birdie who would never learn to fly if it wasn't for a gentle (or sometimes harder) push from mama.  As a result of his hesitancy, we've decided on a few n … [Read more...]

How I’m Going To Survive Summer

It's happened.  Last Friday my kids came a runnin'. Backpacks were emptied; lunch boxes stored away; school shoes placed on the lower closet shelf.  Our family together breathed a collective sigh.Summer.Don't get me wrong, I've definitely had moments where I've begun to panic thinking of all the family togetherness we'll be having or wondering if I've inadvertently left something off of our summer schedule.One goal I've aimed for in planning this summer was SIMPLICITY.  We are sc … [Read more...]