Potty-training, Evangelization and the Spiritual Journey

Clara Lake 2012

My daughter is almost 3. With baby #3 on the way we were really hoping we could have her potty-trained soon. We’ve already done two kids in diapers and it can be a bit of a burden on the monthly budget no matter which way you look at it. Plus, 3-year-old diapers are gross. Problem number one, my daughter is SO stubborn (my husband likes to call it independent – wonder where she gets it?). There isn’t any enticing this {Read More}

Gardening with Children

gardening with children

About this time every year I get that itch. I start poring over mail-order catalogs, and the garden center at Lowe’s becomes a near occasion to sin. I love digging and planting, watching shoots spring up and morph into flowers and fruit-bearing plants. Last spring, though, I was completely overwhelmed by caring for a three-month-old and his three older siblings. I wrote off gardening altogether in 2012–and it was just as well, since we ended up in the worst drought {Read More}

No Guilt Chocolate Pudding

avocado pudding

February is Chocolate Lovers Month.  It is also time for celebrating St. Valentine’s feast day, which would seem ever so incomplete without chocolate, wouldn’t it? However, just because St. Valentine’s Day invites sweet indulgence does not mean that we have to abuse out bodies with unhealthy ingredients.  Really.  I am not kidding.  We can have our chocolate and our health, too. This St. Valentine’s Day (or anytime that you and your kiddos crave some chocolate), try enjoying some gluten-free, casein-free, {Read More}

Your Body Is Not Your Own

photo by daveynin

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 It’s never more obvious that your body is not your own than when you are pregnant.  It shouldn’t be the only time that you take time to take care of yourself, though. With the start of the New Year, {Read More}

Time to Grow Up

Crazy Mama and Comfort Kitty

If you are in a particularly sensitive hormonal place today, which is perfectly acceptable and understood in this community, now may be the time to stop reading because ladies, I’ve got news for you: it’s time to grow up. Whether you’re approaching 20, 30, 40 or 50, if you have a job, if you have or have had a marriage, if you have a family, if you’ve voted, if you have a mortgage, if you have a credit card, if {Read More}

Peanut Butter Blast


I am the most recent in long line of peanut butter parents. Growing up, my dad relied on peanut butter to get him through the nights when my mom worked at the hospital. Triple-decker pb&j sandwiches complemented peanut butter spoon snacks. There is no smell in this world that reminds me more of my childhood than a toasted slice of homemade sour-dough bread with a thin layer of peanut butter spread across it. Peanut butter is a staple in our own family {Read More}

Comparison Kills Contentment

(Editor’s Note: This was written in December, and published in January, hence the Christmas notes.  However, it is an important message for any time of year.) My sister just texted me from the airplane. She and her husband are on their way to Germany to tour the Christmas markets – for the fifth time. Bring me a lebkuchen, I think as I close my phone and open the mailbox. The first Christmas card of the season has arrived. I haven’t {Read More}

Don’t Panic – It’s Just Panic Disorder


When I was in high school, I experienced my first panic attack ever.  I had just returned home from baby-sitting, and as I was brushing my teeth before bed, a wave of absolute fear washed over me.  Paralyzed with fear, I stared at myself in the mirror with toothbrush half-raised and wondered what was happening to me. Why did I feel like I was dying? Why was my heart racing? Why did I think I was going to have a {Read More}