Nathanael turned 16 on July 3rd, while at Scout Camp. We celebrated together the weekend afterward.  This is the second year in a row for a birthday at camp for him.

We have honored this milestone birthday with some special plans and gifts suited just for him. ūüôā

Birthday Dinner:

Roast, Potato Wedges, Corn on the Cob, Watermelon, Iced Tea, Sprite

Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Icing; Vanilla So- Delicious


Nathanael is delightful and an incredible blessing and help.

1 Timothy 4: 12 NASB

12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example [a]of those who believe.

Note: As an aside- I had a major issue with my cell phone during this time and am adjusting to the different camera on the new one. My summer photos reflect this.


Judges 7; Acts 11; Jeremiah 20; Mark 6

Sometimes the Lord allows circumstances so difficult and sparse, that life can feel desperate. These desperate times, when forced beyond myself and my own resources, allow me to see that it is the Lord’s Hand that has saved and still saves me. Through His Mighty Power and Outstretched Arm, the victory; the overcoming; the provision; are obtained. Life is more than dust and flesh. It is more than food and clothes for the body. And sometimes, it takes a desolate place to draw my heart to His.

Read more here!

I am at 66books today!



Endless Gifts


A birthday trip in to celebrate

A night in my childhood home with the kids and Todd in July

Us all gathered round on chairs; a panoramic photo

best chocolate cake with chocolate icing

Enchiladas and Salad; Fruit Salad and Veggies; plans for blueberry crumble

The blessing of being able to pick up and go; the hope of future memories

Roses on her table

A late night chat around the table and laughing

Foley Camp to look forward to

The Summer of Camps for our kids- maybe more on that later. Maybe.



An Erg in my bedroom

100 Days

Blueberry picking and a double rainbow

Visits at brothers’ homes

A sleepover at Andrea’s

night chats with best friends

Coffee with Ali

A little girl who is eating more and is not as anxious




An old playlist revived and it is us 18 years ago and onward and we sing our hearts out

A friend to help with art camp (Thank you, Courtney)

Baby ducklings at Art Camp

Hair colors called Truffle and Almond Rocca. Grin.





…Endless Gifts…



Mentoring Mondays: Mission of Motherhood Chapter 2 Part 2

Chapter 2 Part 2 of Mission to Motherhood: Beautiful by Design

Here is a link to Part 1 from this Chapter- Mission of Motherhood Chapter 2 Part 1

From Waterbrook Press: 2003

For Thought and Reflection:

These are the four Scripture selections from the Reflection Portion of Chapter 2:

Genesis 3:20English Standard Version (ESV)

20¬†The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.[a]

Genesis 1:26-28English Standard Version (ESV)

26¬†Then God said, ‚ÄúLet us make man[a] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.‚ÄĚ

27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

28¬†And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‚ÄúBe fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.‚ÄĚ

Colossians 2:8English Standard Version (ESV)

8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits[a] of the world, and not according to Christ.

Romans 8:1English Standard Version (ESV)

8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.[a]


Colossians 2:8English Standard Version (ESV)

8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits[a] of the world, and not according to Christ.

Once again, I am going to respond to the third verse offered in this section. Without going into specific, concrete detail that might cause alarm, hurt, or undue judgment and/or condemnation- I would like to state – and this explicitly- that this verse illuminates a very real and very powerful struggle for today’s woman and family. It is a difficult walk, at times, to discern what is a correct, responsible life choice versus a worldly, vain pursuit. I have been buffeted by this for more than two decades, now, and to not acknowledge it is to not be authentic and real. I truly believe that it is the orientation of the heart and the walk of faith that matters. There is no one size fits all. There are only our own faith choices before the throne, before the cross and God’s Hand upon us and Him in the midst of us. In response to one of Sally’s questions: “In what ways have you been influenced by cultural expectations that conflict with God’s design? What impact has this had on your family ?” (38)

I will just respond and say that cultural expectations have had a profound impact upon my family and there is always an undercurrent of influence. There are ways to minimize the awareness of expectation and the influence. The minimizers do help. This area and issue is a real thing and it is okay to face it head on, acknowledge it, and try to process through it. I also suggest that counter- cultural families and women can be particularly vulnerable and it is good to be aware of that as well. Renewing the mind in the powerful truth of God’s Word and putting on all of the armor (Ephesisans 6) is an important way to stand strong against the pressing waves of culture and the world. Seek to value what the Lord values. Seek to prize what He prizes. Seek to acknowledge, convey and live that what is precious to Him is precious to you (me). And children! Children are precious to Him.

A Personal Response to Beautiful by Design:

1 John 1:9English Standard Version (ESV)

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Recently, I had a talk with my Mom.

And just in this moment- let me say- how grateful I am to have her. As different as we are. I love you, Mom!

We were discussing different hurts from the past and love and forgiveness. After I got off the phone, I had the most profound realization of God’s complete and utter- to the depths- love for my Mom. ¬†Personal, Intimate, Unrelenting, and Complete. And with this realization came the¬†understanding- though as in a glass- dimly- ¬†of ¬†the very real knowledge that she was and is fully known- as she is. ¬†And I felt- a whiff- a waft… a breath- of the abandoned freedom that comes from such knowledge… and the awareness that – that love was mine, too. And, in true confession, I have no idea how to share in any kind of powerful way- the experience of that love with her… and also, in true confession, I did not allow myself to really receive the fullness of all that understanding means. God’s Love- not abstract, not distant, but real, personal, pulsing, alive. ¬†However, in this moment, right now, I invite you, with me… to take a few quiet moments and be still. I am. The house is dark and all is quiet and there is the living silence I love so well in these¬†deep alone times. Listening. In the inner quiet of the heart… listen to the Lord, invite Him in, and receive His love. And if you have never known what it is to trust the Lord and have your heart wiped clean and turned from stone to flesh-(Ezekial 36:26) because it is only a living, pulsing, quickened heart that can be alive to this illuminating, to the depths of you- love- well, now is the time and today is the day (2 Corinthians 6)– and that…. is the very first step. Because….He, well-

He is love. 

1 John 4:16English Standard Version (ESV)

16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

The Things The Say

My girl, M, has delighted in an adorable caterpillar/butterfly shirt from Target.  This shirt was a gift from my Mom. It has a little pocket with a caterpillar printed inside of it.  It truly is the most precious shirt and she claimed it at once. It has been her very favorite and she loves to wear it.

Today, I was at work in her room and she was reposing in her bed, soothing rumpled emotions. Tear streaked cheeks and sorrow amidst.

Suddenly, I pull this beloved caterpillar shirt out of the basket on my little girls’ dresser.

“How did this get here?!” I exclaim. I was certain sure my girl was wearing this very shirt this very day.

She jumps up from her bed with a gasp and grabs a handful of the shirt that is indeed on her body.

She cries out, “Mommy, it’s twins! It’s twins shirts!”

I laugh!

She laughs.

I never realized we had two of these precious shirts. It had been placed in the basket to keep it for special because we loved it so much and I didn’t realize the one she had been wearing was a second shirt.

She jumps up in excitement and runs with the second shirt in hand- down the stairs to her own twin. Then she puts it carefully in the bag we are packing for Ama’s house. We decide to put both shirts in the bag so the twins can wear the twin shirts at Ama’s. ¬†We pack them both and now she is adorned in a different shirt for this day. A sparkle in the center of a rosette glimmers. She skips away happy.

The Things They Say

Pancakes- Large Family Style

It’s Scout Camp Cook day today!!!

We’ve got Piano Guys on the playlist. ¬†Todd’s getting ready for his mid-term exam (which he will take today). The house is filled with all joyful bustle. I just shocked tall son with a liberal sprinkle of sea salt on diced potatoes whilst talking continually to another son. SPL son is helping new, young scout pack. Hamburgers are done. Chicken’s on. Pork’s on. Ground beef’s cooking. Pancake batter’s a-mixing. The joy like the dawn dish soap -rising – effervescent.

And in honor- I am posting the pancake recipe I just converted (yet again).


¬† –for my tribe-

10 large eggs

5 cups white flour

5 cups whole wheat flour

7 1/2 cups liquid (rice milk, water, orange juice, coconut milk, etc)

10 TB brown sugar or coconut sugar

1 1/4 cup oil  (we use olive)

10 TB aluminum free baking powder

*earth balance or coconut oil to grease griddle

*berries, chocolate chips, or other add-ins

Beat eggs in bottom of large(est) mixing bowl. Add the rest of ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add berries if desired.

Heat griddle until a sprinkle of water bubbles and pops.

Ladle batter in pancake sizes onto greased griddle and cook until surface lightly bubbles.

Sprinkle with chocolate chips if desired. Turn and cook other side.

Serve with Maple Syrup


Deuteronomy 31; Psalm 119; Isaiah 58; Matthew 6

Even today… I feel a frantic thread running, running… and I try to still. Even in this moment, cry to the Lord for help and healing…

Anxiety has always plagued me. In and out of life and seasons, it waits for me. There have been periods of time when the torment has been worse, much worse than others. And these have coincided- with seasons of physical imbalance and illness. And O! the relief when the anxiety abates and the frantic thread running through my mind and body finally calms and is still.

I am at 66 books today and the Lord has been so good to work in my heart through my assigned chapters.

Also… a section I did not write about- but that has had a big impact on my heart is this:

Matthew 6

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[c] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[d] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! ESV

When the whole of the inner man is darkness- so that the darkness is what comes forth out of the eyes to color all the world… O! I am pondering this in my heart- because, for the first time, the Lord gave me a fuller understanding. Light and Darkness. Full of Light. Full of Darkness. Speak to me, Lord.

Join me at 66 books?


Endless Gifts

The trees like black lace against the blue glow pale light of fading sky

The wee father bird with vibrant red head perched on the fence post watching, watching… over his sweet little mate while she ate her full

standing side by side with my love together- the weather so balmy and beautiful and us, trying to take in all that Maryland skyscape…and being able to share in it together and I so heartfelt glad to be there with him … behold all the color and shape…sunset glinting everything pink and gold and every kind of cloud glory… and then

evening driving home with a sweet son next to me and I declare and I truly do declare that these skies are just as glorious as our mountains are/were to us. They are. There is just nothing like it.

the “rainbow maker” crystal at last hanging in the window… and we wait for it. (And I do think for a moment- that Pollyanna made it look so easy and this really isn’t easy at all) But, even so, we wait for it with hope and now, every sunshine afternoon- the whole kitchen, ceiling, down the hallway bedecked with wee, happy rainbows… and when we send the ball gently spinning. O! Rainbow makers for my rainbow delighted girl.

the rings on our fingers glinting gold with weathered promise

how the blue bird always alights on the lamp post and I never lose that feeling of gratefulness… O blue bird, here.

Father’s Day.

the Lord – just speaking to my heart- quietly-

when I am able to make the perfect cup of coffee- wee bit of dark cocoa, some collagen, coconut sugar, vanilla nutpods. So so good. Coffee happiness.

a night out with my girl and GirlClub

home-made hoagie for Asher and a sausage sandwich- teen man food. Love.

Sunlight and breeze

A week at home

And now… photos… end of May through June








Chicken Enchilada Upgrade

Happiest birthday to my love, this day.

Celebrating in our style- with feasting and pictures, cards, some gifts, and cake!

And his menu is as follows:

Chicken Enchiladas

Spanish Rice

Italian Salad

Banana Cake with Strawberry Frosting

I am reposting our Chicken Enchilada recipe. Originally posted in 2010, we were not yet utilizing daiya cheese alternative which has transformed so many dishes for us! Now we use it weekly (on our pizza) and it is an integral component of this dish.

I took our recipe to the next level today with the serendipitous addition of canned coconut milk instead of rice or soy milk. ¬†This coupled with daiya cheddar promises to be creamy, delicious… divine!

Note: today I forgot entirely about salsa and did not add any at all to this meal. Salsa and chips also makes for a very pleasing side to this meal alongside a luxuriant green leafy salad.

Dairy Free Indulgent Chicken Enchiladas

1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
Olive oil to saute garlic and chopped onion
4 cups cooked, shredded chicken (at least)
3 teaspoons cumin
2 cans green chilis
1 container Better Than Sour Cream (divided ¬ĺ to ¬ľ)
1 can full fat coconut milk

2 Cups Cheddar Daiya -divided
Large Tortillas
Salsa (optional)
Cook onion and garlic in olive oil until soft and almost clear, but not browned.
Add chicken, ¬ĺ container sour cream,green chilis, cumin seasoning, coconut milk, 1 cup daiya cheddar and mix.
Fill Tortillas with chicken filling and layer in casserole dish. (this makes two 9 by 13 dishes for me)  Spread remaining sour cream over the top of tortillas.  Add (garnish with) salsa as desired. Top with  the remaining daiya cheddar.
Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes (depending on how crunchy you desire the meal to be.) You can also bake this at 350 for a bit longer, if you desire.




Mentoring Mondays: Mission of Motherhood Chp 2 Part 1

All quotations taken from 2003; Waterbrook Press

Chapter 2: Beautiful By Design

God’s Word, you see, gives us the map or plan for the family so that we might better understand what he had in mind for us. Few things will last after we die, but our children and their children will live throughout eternity. What we do as mothers, therefore, has eternal significance, so it’s especially important to understand God’s original intentions in this regard. Exploring his design for families and for and for motherhood cannot only help us understand what has gone wrong, but also how, with God’s help, we can move closer to the joyful, fulfilling, and vitally important role he intended for us from the very beginning. Chp 2 page 21

Have you ever considered that children are eternal treasures and your role as a mother has an eternal significance? I am working on this post, in the late evening and as I read these words, my heart is comforted. And I hope you will be, too. The mercy of God knows no end and is new every morning. As long as there is life, there is opportunity for positive impact, change, and growth. I am so grateful for the grace of God! I am also so dependent upon Him. It is only through Him that I can walk in this vital role. Do you see your role as a mother as joyful, fulfilling, and vitally important? Perhaps you are weary. I am. Let’s take a moment and quiet heart and mind before the Lord. Let us gain vitality and strength from Him!

It is important to note at the beginning that God started families when the world was perfect and no sin had taken place- that the role of “mother” was a part of God’s core design of a perfect life. The family was to be the unit of life through which all of life was organized. Each person would come into this world through a mother and father who would work together to give the family stability and purpose. Chp 2 page 21

“the unit of life through which all of life was organized” Do you see your family and your role in such a way? The family unit provides the grid through which all of life is organized, ordered, viewed, and comprehended.

Chapter Two deeply explores issues of motherhood and today’s culture. It presents the biblical foundation for this crucial, precious role as well as honestly underscoring the confusion, ambivalence, divided loyalty, and disconnect women today feel in response to children, mothering, careers, and life itself.

If they[women] absorb the cultural message, they may avoid having children at all or radically limit the number of children in order to leave enough time and energy for their “real” work. They may come to consciously or unconsciously resent the children who keep them from being “productive.” Or, more commonly, they will exhaust themselves trying to have it all- a successful career and a vibrant home life. They try to fit too many activities into their days and end up feeling that they are not successful at anything they do.

A whole generation of children, as a result, ends up feeling rushed and pushed, with little or no sense of comfort and stability of a satisfying home life. Without a strong, supportive structure for passing down righteousness, the morals of the culture become relative to the personal fulfillment of the culture. When the biblical mission of motherhood is devalued and disappears from culture, the whole next generation suffers morally, emotionally, and spiritually.  Chapter 2 Page 34

There is a lot of food for thought, encouragement, and biblical truth laid out throughout this chapter.  Perhaps, you, like me, can and/or are feeling discouraged, weary, and hopeless. In light of this- I will end with hope.

On page 36, Sally shares scriptures and truths that express how God is the God of Redemption. Wherever you (and I) find yourself today, there is hope and a way to move forward into wholeness, purpose, and goodness. From the end of this section:

We serve a God or redemption and second chances. When we acknowledge our shortcomings and failures to him, he is faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, We can always start off with a fresh slate with the Lord and trust him to show us how to return to his original design. He has promised to support those whose hearts are completely his (2 Chronicles 16:9).

The most important factor in being a successful mother is to turn our hearts to God, to seek his will, and to allow him to begin making sense out of the messes we’ve made of our lives. He who created motherhood is the gentle teacher whose ways and input we must seek. page 36,37

It is never too late and it always perfectly right to turn heart and mind to the Lord and seek His will and His design. The impact of such posture can hardly be expressed.

Thanks for joining me here- as I personally seek to turn and turn again… and trust God to make something beautiful from broken-ness.