I hope this snowy snow day finds you in pjs still and heating up hot cocoa for kids out romping.  Since Wednesday is my big grocery day, it finds me wondering what on earth to feed these people, but there is this recipe that went over well last time with a few renovations for the gastronomically less adventuresome amongst us.  And with a fridge full of broccoli and a pantry full of Pirate’s Booty and garbanzo beans, we will surely not starve, though Peter will claim it as fact within the hour if I don’t get cracking on some kind of protein snack.  And not peanut butter and apples.  Can’t slide that past-he spits on anything less than Jiff, which leaves him peanut butter-less these days since I’m not feeling Jiff.
Do your kid’s quirks ever make you want to pull out your hair and wear sack cloth and ashes until they comply? Anyone?  And just when I think I’ll surely explode if I can’t figure out a repertoire of dinners that will satisfy every palate around our table, I spy Peter nibbling on asparagus and Tess trying a no thank you bite of  cabbage and I think, “Eureka!”  And then Lucy calls me Grandmudder for the forty sixth day in a row and I don’t even care because Amazon just delivered a beautiful book called Salads for Dinner and I can picture myself standing atop a rock, sword in hand, heavenly lights beaming as I conquer this land of picky eaters.  I will know I’ve vanquished the Pickies when I can sit down at my new kitchen table (which has been transformed into a ping pong table with duct tape and glasses, but that’s a tale for another day) and watch my entire family eat a salad.  And I’ll say with tears in my eyes, “Lord, take me now.  I have completed the work you set before me.  My children are born again and eating a salad.”
Until then, I’ll keep trying new things and sharing them with you, if you don’t mind.  Surely you’ve heard of OhSheGlows?  If not, head over there and check it out.  Here is her recipe for Lentil Loaf.  Yum and Amen.

The only changes I made were to pulse the heck out of everything in my food processor so as to disguise the fact that I was serving them raisins or walnuts (two deal breakers with the Smalls), and subbed out the apple butter for unsweetened organic applesauce, though on hindsight, unless your kids are used to weird foods, you’re better off just basting it with plain ketchup.  Enjoy and let me know if they liked it.
This is me being real.  Catching a moment to myself as the girls try out their new swimsuits in the tub.  Summer, please come.  Until then, I vote for snow days every day.



Because it’s Tuesday (which is of no consequence at all) and because I told you I would share some of the recipes that are rocking my world lately, here is the first:

Lentil Sloppy Joes on the Food Network

Don’t let the name throw you off.  They are delicious.  And full of good stuff.  And, no, your kids might not eat them the first time you serve them, or the second, or the third, but eventually, they’ll surrender.  Three out of four Smalls will eat this stuff.  One like she’s going to the chair.  If you’re gluten free and roll with gf subs, you can get Udi’s gf buns and some peccorino cheese and make it a real party.
Tomorrow I’ll have the other lentil recipe that’s calling my name lately.  Are you seeing the theme here?
For now, it’s off to flush ice cubes down the toilet and crawl back inside the most delish book: A Good American.  I lurve it.  Later Tater.

This is me being real.  Adding A Good American to my carousel so you can get it too.  You’ll love it.


 after a full week in which we ate, breathed and slept book fair, with lucy doing this on and off during long days of working it, we welcomed in valentine’s with open arms.  it was my birthday too.  it is every year.  a valentine’s twofer.  all i wanted was to get our book fair packed up and shipped off and then crawl home, don my pjs and hold down the couch for the evening.  that and some new sunglasses and dinner from marie catribs with her amazing gluten free carrot cake. it was lovely. 
there were valentine’s bags for all, with little trinkets and sweets and rock hammers.  
only for peter, my rock hound. tess would have been devastated to find a rock hammer in her bag.  and you’d have to be pretty unsmart to give lucy anything resembling a tool.
 boy nearly danced a jig to rip open that bubble wrap and find the rock hammer he’d been saving for.  that might have been my favorite part of the day. 
 unfortunately, all the rocks were buried under several inches of snow, so we had to find other ways to enjoy a four day weekend.  namely, heading north to crystal mountain for a couple days of skiing, during which lucy won the most congenial skier award from her ski school and tess mastered her turns and grant did his first 180 and peter did his first black diamond and i sweated through my long johns before we even got out of the car and then froze my tushie off and couldn’t convince anyone in my crazy family to go in and get hot cocoa with me.  i tried bribing them with candy.  i tried everything.  they all wanted to keep skiing even though it was 13.  even though their mama’s boogers were frozen and she couldn’t feel her toes.  
there was a glimmer of hope when tess saw a sign for the spa and asked if we could go there together.  hope that maybe in the near future i can ski for a couple hours and then bribe her with the spa.  there is hope.
 i don’t know what you call it, but around here it goes by the name of ‘golden grant’s’.  always had.  and until this morning, no one has ever raised a fuss about not having their own cereal.  and so i did what any mother would do and promptly renamed them all for my progeny: wheat-tess, cris-peter and lucy original (but only because i only buy lucy-charms on vacay).  all moms do do stuff like this right? 
happy wednesday.
this is me being real.  needing some levity after catching up with the season finale of downton abbey.  how dare they?  how dare they?


We’re talking about miracles yesterday, Grant asking why there were so many in the Bible and so few now and I answer the only way I can think to.
We ask less
We believe less
He nods acceptance and we move on.  Until this morning while driving to school and taking turns praying for a young boy who is dying of an inoperable brain tumor.  Who is having an MRI today and whose family is standing on the bedrock of hope that he has been miraculously healed as they have prayed for.  As many many of us have prayed for.  And he asks again, smaller voice.  Why less miracles?  And again I answer the only truth I can think from the drivers seat.
We ask less
We believe less
And we chat about praying God’s will and how we only want Jacob to be healed if that’s the will of Father.  How heaven would be a much lovelier place to grow up than here and how we hang on to this crappy, broken world so tight our fingers ache and we lose sight of all else.  Because love forces us to horde who we’ve been given.  But love also made a better place for them to go.  Smalls all agreed heaven would be the better playground, Jesus the better companion.  But these are conversations I can have because none of my children have inoperable brain tumors and I wonder if I would sing a different tune if they did.  Certainly I would, arms shaking with the strain of holding them so tightly, trying to tether them to this place.  To me.
But it’s still got me thinking.  If we believe, really believe in the promise of heaven, then why do we hold on so tight to here?  Why obsess over their health and future and safety?  And how to teach Smalls not to do the same.  To give little glimpses of what I do not, cannot understand myself.  That there is a home so mind-blowing that when I get there the first thing I’ll do is laugh at how totally stupid I was to hold on to this place so tightly.  And to hold on to them so tightly too.  But I can describe it as articulately as I could the color blue.  And so I drive, promising to loosen gripped fingers and let go a little.  And to remember to thank Father for these divine appointments where I get to be heaven’t PR girl to the Smalls and listen as they challenge me.  To commit to asking more and believing more, and then pointing at it and jumping up and down and saying, see?  Right there.  Miracle.  Do you see it?
Let us be eyes for each other, spotting the God moments and shouting them out to a hungry world, shall we?
This is me being real.  Heart full with a car full.  And stockpiling some amazing recipes I promise to share with you, wether you’re gluten, dairy, corn, dye, sugar and white food free or not.


I’m not sure when I was this proud last. Today it is my great pleasure to announce the birth of the newly revised and edited, the spiffed up and clean-shaven, the beefed-up and cherry on top 10 Second Rule by Clare DeGraaf.  It took me longer to figure out how to link to it in my sidebar than it did to read it. It is, quite honestly, the whole enchilada with a side of awesome sauce, if you like awesome sauce with your enchilada. If not, then it’s whatever you want to be munching on when you’re watching Downton Abbey on Sunday nights. If you don’t watch Downton Abbey on Sunday nights, then…never mind. Just get the book. Do the Rule. And then pop back to tell me what a lucky girl I am to have such a talented dad, who is incidentally also very funny and easy on the eyes.
This book will mess with you in the way Kisses for Katie and Same Kind of Different do. It will mess with you in a holy-Lord-make-me-radically-transformed kind of way. It will only take a short time to read, but it’ll be so meaty you’ll be wiping Holy Spirit drips off your chin and wearing a stupid grin.

This is me being real. And so proud of this man I love. And so hopeful that The Rule could ignite a fire that burns revival fire across our city and nation and in my very small heart. So hopeful.