She laughs…


I had a genuinely good chuckle this morning at the humbling and ironic humor of parenting. My kids were trying to put into words the injustice of their sub-par lunches (which I make them pack and often from the dregs of what they can cobble together from the refrigerator and pantry) This was in comparison to other more desirable lunches that they have observed, apparently packed by, and I quote, “Moms Who Plan Ahead.” ūü§£ūüėú (No disrespect, MWPA! I celebrate you and hope to learn more from you…) Continue reading


Finding Balance in a World of Screens


I have had multiple conversations with my fellow parenting friends over the years about how to maintain balance with our kids’ screen usage. ¬†My wiring has a difficult time micromanaging (especially four kids) with timers, charts, daily check-ins, etc. ¬†It’s very difficult for my personality to do the same thing every day – except breathe and that’s involuntary. ¬†¬†I’m more of an “ideas” gal, so I came up with a little saying that I’ve generally stuck to. In the spirit of raising balanced humans, I typed, printed, and hung a little diddy that says:

Read, work, and clean before you play or screen.”

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Life Hacks with Food Scraps


Fermentation Station: (L to R) Apple cider vinegar, Sauerkraut, Citrus peel cleaner, Sourdough starter, sprouts, kombucha, and perpetual bone broth.  I heart jars.

Perhaps this Chopped video served as my inspiration, or the slight obsession I have with wasting as little food as possible, but over the years, I have developed quite an intricate system for what to do with food scraps.

I started composting back in the day, but since inheriting 7 chickens three months ago (post to come!), we have even less to throw in the C-bin.  However there are some kitchen scraps that can get a little reuse before heading either direction and can even miraculously transform into items you would otherwise pay good money for.

So here is a collection of Life Hacks from Food Scraps:

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Lenten Landmarks


The 40 days of Lent symbolize the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting and praying in the desert. But that number 40 was, in turn, meant to remind us of the 40 years that the Israelites spent in the desert. The Church has always seen in the Israelite’s journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, from bondage to liberation, an apt image of the Christian’s Lenten journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter.

РAlbert Holtz, Pilgrim Road:  A Benedictine Journey Through Lent

When it comes to celebrating holiday seasons, we like to mix it up around here. ¬†(In other words, Mommy goes through phases.) ¬†And Lent has grown into a special time of teaching the kids and preparing our hearts for the gift and victory of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

The Spirit of Lenten Past has led us to many enjoyable semi-traditions over the years:  Continue reading

Annual Advent-ures


Christmas 2012 with our Christmas bun in the oven!

Last year we were awaiting the arrival of Karis Joy, so I shamelessly did close to nothing for Advent (except for my Mary Monologue at a couple of holiday events. ¬†I loved putting myself in her shoes while I was pregnant with my own Christmas baby…)

But it dawned on me a week before Thanksgiving that I was without excuse this year.  Since Advent calendars seem to be narrowing their themes to Santa and chocolate, I dared to go on Pinterest to look for a simple, yet significant way to make an Advent countdown for our family. Continue reading

I know what we’re doing this summer…

From miss vu Flickr photostream

(Actually, I don’t. ¬†And I won’t know what we’re doing until we’ve done it, ’cause that’s how Miss Flexy Freestyle rolls. ¬†I also don’t watch horror movies, but I love a good pop culture reference¬†for a blog title.)

As I’ve explained before, I like to make lists. ¬†Because I like to brainstorm, rather than come up with manageable, organized lists (like Kat’s at Inspired to Action), I rarely get everything checked off. ¬†So rather than giving me a sense of accomplishment, it serves more of a “get all these great ideas that keep coming up recorded somewhere or else I may never think of them again” purpose.

About a month ago, I started keeping a list of ideas for how to spend our summer well. Continue reading

A Very Chocolate-y Lent

We began observing Lent as a family just a few years ago, having grown up in an evangelical background that didn’t acknowledge much of the liturgical calendar. ¬†Though we don’t want to get all religious/legalistic about it, there is value in celebrating along with the universal and historical church.

In the past I would thoughtlessly give up a few of my favorite vices: TV, chocolate, Facebook, and Girl Scout cookies. ¬†(Does anyone else think it’s odd that they come out during Lent each year?) ¬†But I have recently felt encouraged to make Lent about more than just my trendy, superficial sacrifices.

Instead of giving up chocolate for Lent this year, we’re using it as a teaching tool with the kids. ¬† Continue reading

The Elves and the Homemaker (Or “Getting Chores Done While You Sleep”)

I recently read the Brothers Grimm tale, The Elves and the Shoemaker, to my kids.¬†It’s one of the Grimm boys’ less intense stories about the poor shoemaker who goes to bed having cut the last piece of leather to sew his last pair of Jimmy Choos before he goes broke. ¬†And that evening two little elves sneak in and sew the most beautiful Manolo Blahniks that he is surprised to find on his work bench the next morning. ¬†He sells them¬†for a huge profit, purchases 2 pieces of leather to cut for 2 more pairs of Louboutins and the little elves come and sew more. ¬†And sew on… ¬†(All shoe references are credited to random, useless knowledge of celebrity fashion and not my closet.)

Though this is a sweet little tale about helping those in need and being grateful for help received, the elves eventually moved on to other pursuits. ¬†Making cookies in a little tree perhaps. ¬†But it made me wonder how I could get me some little elves. ¬†(And I don’t mean that slightly creepy Elf on the Shelf¬†that took this Christmas by storm.)

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The “(Not So) Organized Mom” Binder

Univenture – All rights reserved.

I had an FMOO (Freak Moment Of Organization) before starting homeschooling this year.  (My son is in kindergarten and the younger daughter is in preschool.  My oldest daughter is in 3rd grade at a Spanish immersion charter school.  Love dem kids!)

I created a binder with (most of) my important stuff in one place.  So brilliant, no?  And I even got all nerdy by using those clear plastic sheets so nothing gets wet when my daughter spills her drink on it.  (Already happened.)

You must know that I am hit and miss when it comes to organization, but I figured I’d share this in hopes of inspiring other organized wannabes, as well as hearing what you OCD ladies do…

The Great Compost List

In all of my adult life, I’ve somehow managed to live in places where I’ve never had me own plot o’ land to tend.

¬†After four years in a concrete college dorm, I moved with 5 other girls into a charming condo where we unknowingly planted¬†sun-loving flowers in our shady 12 foot square dirt patch. ¬†That led to five years of “black thumb discouragement” which got me through more years in the college dorm where gardening didn’t even enter my mind as a Resident Director at Biola University.

Once my hubs and I moved to DC and started having kids, fresh green stuff growing out of the ground started to sound more appealing.   Continue reading