What a blessing it is to have friends. 🙂 Friday I was able to drive down and visit my sweet friend, Sally, who has been an amazing and inspirational mentor to me for many, many years.  I was reminded again, as I always am with her, of how much we need people in our lives who love us and care for us! Excuse our giggling and silliness.  Periscope sometimes gives us fits, so we’re still working on getting it all… Read more »

I just realized this recipe is NOT HERE. Which is a shame.  I apologize. Ha! Let’s fix that, shall we? Perfectly Puffy Chocolate Chip Cookies   1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 large egg 1 Tbs vanilla 2 cups flour 1 tsp baking soda 3/4 tsp salt 2 cups chocolate chips 1 cup nuts (optional … but why not?) Preheat oven to 375.  Combine butter and sugars, and cream until fluffy.  Beat in… Read more »

It sits on my nightstand, a gift from my sweet mentor and a reminder of what I learned bigger this year:  Why Mary Matters. Because before, well … Mary, she was for the ones with the beads and crucifixes and stained glass; we Protest-ers, we shrugged her off like so much holy water, maybe even the tiniest bit afraid. We bundled all things we thought were extra and excessive and threw them all right out our proverbial windows, and Mary… Read more »

  I’ve had the opportunity to read and listen to many disturbing statistics recently.  Some make me cringe.  Some make me angry.  Many make my mouth literally drop open and say, “That’s not really true, is it?” Unfortunately, the most disturbing statistics come out when someone has taken measurements of what’s happening in our world as it relates to families.  And really, every statistic is about family somehow, isn’t it?  Every number is someone’s mom, or son, or cousin.  Which… Read more »

We’re planning a New Year’s Eve party, so there’s a lot of list making going on ’round here.  The fun kind–we need cheese and chocolate for fondue, balloons and glitter for decorations, glowsticks and bells for the kiddos.  I’ve already printed out some 2016 resolutions papers for the kids to fill out–you can find those here: Kids 2016 New Years Sheet  and we’ll print these great questions out and take some time to hear about everyone’s 2015, too.  It’s time… Read more »

There are those, however, who look at the empty places on the calendar with weariness. This year drawing to a close has been a hard one, draining hope dry. Sweet one, can I ask you to look away from despair for a moment? Or maybe you wouldn't characterize your feeling as being nearly that dark; in that case, may I call you from even your weariness, the exhaustion that comes with simply living a poured-out-life well?

  “Why go I mourning?” (Psalm 42:9). “Canst thou answer this, believer? Canst thou find any reason why thou art so often mourning instead of rejoicing? Why yield to gloomy anticipations? Who told thee that the night would never end in day? Who told thee that the winter of thy discontent would proceed from frost to frost, from snow and ice, and hail, to deeper snow, and yet more heavy tempest of despair? Knowest thou not that day follows night,… Read more »

We invited friends over for a simple luncheon and I wanted to share these favorite recipes with you–one new favorite and one old! Spinach Bacon Mushroom Quiche 1 deep dish pie crust 4 strips bacon 1 cup chopped mushrooms 1 cup baby spinach 1 cup shredded cheese; monterey jack, cheddar, or any combination you like! kosher salt to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp) black pepper (I used about 1/4 tsp) 8 eggs 1 cup milk Preheat oven to 375…. Read more »

The little boys had hurried themselves loudly out the door, bundled up like snowmen, anxious to jump deep in the sparkling new-fallen snow with all the neighborhood children giddy over a snow day.  A few moments of quiet tempted me to the old piano in our foyer.  Pulling out the cheery, bright-red-covered book, I sat down on the bench, hoping to sneak in a smidge of practice while I knew no ears would be offended by the sure-to-be-sour notes. Turning… Read more »

It’s true, I’ll admit it: I’m not ready for Christmas. Oh, I’ve done all the baking, the caroling and shopping, the tree trimming and wrapping, the reading and snuggling and even the waiting and watching. I’ve sat here through dark mornings and read Scripture by the lights of the tree (all 2,000 of them!) for all of Advent (and then some!).  I’ve “prepared Him room.”  But I’m still finding myself digging heels in, willing the season to slow, to give… Read more »