Make Something Day!



My mom and I have a time honored tradition of going shopping the day after thanksgiving. We used to go for 4 or 5 hours and I don’t think we’ve missed a year since I was in high school. We have waited in long, long lines. We have gotten free prizes for being insane enough to drag ourselves out of bed at 5 AM…mind you it used to be 6 AM. A few years ago however, retailers realized if people were crazy enough to start shopping at 6:00 then they were probably willing to give up one more hour of sleep. Don’t get me wrong, we have snatched up great deals on lots of things over the years. Especially the super sock sale at Fred Meyer, Kyler’s little chubby feet have long grown out of his socks but we are holding out for fresh ones the day after Thanksgiving. Socks are tough to find used, they tend to just wear out.

But as Christopher and I continue to find our own way and think about life and how we want to shape our family, one thing that constantly surfaces is a desire to be content with what we have and to not be sucked up by the materialism that has overtaken our country. Simple is almost always better. We have purged many, maybe most of our toys in recent months. Especially all the junky, cheap, plastic kind. What we have left is wood blocks, wooden train tracks and trains, wood puzzles, dress up/pretend play supplies, and a giraffe for Audrey named Sophie. So heading into the holiday season, wanting more than anything to pass on a legacy of what matters to our children and build new traditions that are uniquely ours, I have so much swirling around in my head on the matter. One place I love reading, with great ideas and thoughts on simple living, is called Mustard Seed Associates.

That’s where I found the link to “Make Something Day“. I love it. I am challenging myself to keep the list minimal for the 29th and to be inspired to make new efforts in the area of making instead of buying. I’ll keep you posted on how it works out!

On plunging


Upon discovering the toilet was clogged, my daughter, without any direction walked outside to get our plunger.

Upon attempting plunging with a wrist brace, a 16 pound baby in the front pack and 3 kids huddled around, I discovered that it is messy (this was my first plunging experience) and hard work.

Two hours later when my newly acquired plunging skills were needed again, I went at it sans brace, baby in pack and 3 kids watching…and discovered it works much better that way. What a surprise.

Should I teach my kids to plunge? What is the magical coming of age when it comes to plunging?


“The Lord delights…in those whose HOPE is in Him” Psalm 147:11b

For 2008 I asked God one simple thing on New Year’s day. No long list of resolutions. No lofty goals I knew wouldn’t pan out. No weight loss ambitions (I was pregnant after all). I asked Him only for hope. In fact, in was more like begging. I pleaded for hope in all aspects of my life. My marriage, my parenting, my relationships, the lives of my children, for my neighbors…the list was long.

It seemed like a big request at the time, but it was all I could utter. An unusually kind friend gave me a plaque that had hung in her kitchen during a really difficult time in her life. It had been a precious belonging of hers, a reminder of what could be. I have hung it in my kitchen now for months. It was at first a reminder of what was barely a light on the horizon. Then of something so close I could taste it. And now-of something that has filled the corners of my heart. I am overwhelmingly grateful.

In thinking about today, so many I know are so worked up about the outcome of the election. My neighbor is losing sleep over it. I realize I’m in a bubble being a stay at home mama, but I am an educated one who still knows the gist of what is going on in the world. I was up at 1:00, 3:30 and 7 AM today, feeding a baby and praying for the day and being reminded that my hope is not in who wins today and it shouldn’t consume my whole day.

My hope isn’t in myself, in any of the amazing people I know, in my plans, in a thought or ideas, in my circumstances, in my abilities…in who leads our country. It is in Jesus, just Jesus. He has turned things around and brought transformation and healing in places of my life I never dreamed anyone could. He IS hope to me. He has poured out grace over my life, every single day.

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27

Chef Mom

Audrey Rose almost 6 months old!

Heard today at home:

Rylee (while putting her socks away, to herself) – “These are my husbands socks, his feet are just so big!


Me (doing math with the kids on our walk): “If you add all our kids and all Kim’s kids, how many do you get?”

Rylee: “A lot….let’s see….it takes both hands….eight, eight kids!”


Caleb – “Did you know my dad has MckGuinness socks Nana!” (Nana bought him Guinness beer socks in Ireland last month)


Kids calling me from the family room: “Cook, can we please order 15 goldfish and 6 almonds?”

Me: “Yes, thank you for saying please but I’m not sure I want to be called cook.”

Kids: “Chef, can we please order…..”

So chef it is, I can deal with that. It implies some sort of excellence in my making of oatmeal, grilled cheese and tomato soup today.