I’m baaaaack (said in the weird poltergeist voice!)

wowza – what a ride this life is!  I have taken a HUGE hiatus from the blogging world for a while as I have been working on focusing in on what my top priorities are.  I made a big shift as to things that were essential and things that were nice to have.  The blog… well, that got put on the ‘nice to have’ list and as such, got moved down on the ‘to-do’ list further and further.

Don’t get me wrong – I have different blog post ideas swirling around in my head constantly… right next to the book ideas that are also swirling… which are right by the Facebook posts that are swirling..

Is it any wonder why I am frequently feeling dizzy??

Here’s the bullet point update on life, love, and the pursuit of happiness… or at least the pursuit of sane-ness ;).

— new baby born (wahoo!)










— book sales and speaking gigs going well (wahoo!)

— started masters program in school and community gardens (wah… what??!  yep.. after years of teaching people to eat closer to the farm, I decided I should take the leap and add that last piece to teach people how to grow the farm.  Only problem was – I didn’t know a THING about gardening.  So I jumped in with both feet and have been working in our elementary school and YMCA gardens with the kids. it is AWESOME!!)

— shifted the masters program (I know, I know, I just started it one bullet point ago!) to include international gardening efforts

— oh yea… the pregnant part – had ANOTHER baby (wow – I really have been in a blogging hiatus for a LONG time!). Total kids in family now = 7.  Total alone minutes I get on a daily, weekly, monthly basis = 0.  (seriously, folks, not even a trip to the ‘potty’ warrants the coveted alone time!  I tell you, you have not lived until you have had to fight your two year old who is wanting desperately to help you ‘wipe’!  We are living the glamorous life around here – I tell you what!)








— birthed another book (well, almost – my part is done… now it’s just waiting in line at the publishers – release date set for August – double WAHOO!!).

— almost moved to the country to give kids more space (5 acre plot!)… but couldn’t stomach the huge house and price tag that came along with it, so stayed put. (how many toilets can I realistically keep clean, even with the help of the little ones??!)

— almost moved across the country (well, I think ‘almost’ is a bit of an exaggeration… my dream location tried to whew hubby away from his job.  It was right in the middle of my beloved western mountains.  I could almost taste the endless weekends of skiing with the kids in the winter and hiking/camping in the summer, not to mention being SO close to family!!  But when hubby spends 8+hours a day at work, and knowing that the job itself would even hold a match next to his current job… aka dream job of the universe… I knew it was kind of a pipe dream.)

— took a trip out of the country.  We took the olders on a humanitarian aid trip to Guatemala (my hearts home!!) I headed up the agriculture committee to help them learn how to grow community and household gardens while hubby spent all day, every day doing surgeries (in the craziest of surroundings!  on top of tables, in tents, in dark corners of steaming hot building, etc).  Almost died a few times.  Got stranded on a mountain road.  Took a ride on a motorcycle with a total stranger as I tried to get to little city to get some requerdos of Guatemala for the kiddos.  Not one of my smartest moves, but did make it through the whole ordeal unscathed (perhaps being 6 months pregnant and looking completely desperate helped a little??)


we got to tour the inside of one of the homes – a bamboo hut!




yes, we rode in the back of cattle trucks to get around!


— added yet another to the family (in the canine version).  All I can say is, don’t ask me what I was thinking on this matter.  He’s cute, and sassy, and BIG.  Fun addition.  But again, don’t ask me what I was thinking when I agreed to this addition!!

— started a new cooking program with the kids (will expand on this in later blog posts)  now going on three weeks and still going on!  That is a huge accomplishment for me on this type of program – I have started this many years in a row and have never made it through the first few days.  I’m feeling a new trend come and it is awesome!!













— living, loving, freezing and defrosting – many times on a daily basis as we continue on this great roller coaster of life!








It’s good to be back!

Say the Pink One!

My three year old came skipping into the room, her blond curls bobbing up and down, her purple ‘chip stick’ carefully applied all over her lip… area, and two sweaters in hand.

liz 1


“Mommy, which sweater should I wear?”









I surveyed the scene… hot pink and brown leopard shirt, green shorts, purple lips… and and said, “I think you should wear the white one.”

To which she quickly replied:liz 2

“No, mommy, say the pink one!”

To which I thought something like, “well, if you knew what you wanted, why did you ask me?”

and then said, “Okay… wear the pink one…”




I laughed as she skipped off, happily donning the pink sweater.

Then it hit me.

How many times do I approach my Dad (the one with the capital D), and ask,

“Father, which one would you have me do?”  When all I am really saying is, “Say the pink one!”  Am I really opening myself up to what God’s will truly is for me?  Or am I trying to hodge podge my life together (which in the eternal scheme of thing may look very much like a pink and brown shirt with green shorts and purple lip stick!)… only to ask God which covering would help bring it all together, and then trying to tell HIM what he should tell ME??!

I’m sad to say that I do that more often than I care to admit.

So here’s to another trial of getting on my knees and listening… really listening to what HIS will is for me, and then forming my life to that pattern… instead of the other way around.

Riding the Rapids

I took a leadership class.  When we started reading the given book, I have to admit, I didn’t really relate – it was based almost solely on leading in the business world, and in my life of diapers and drippy noses, I am far from the business world, nor do I have any desire to enter the business leadership realm.

But I kept reading.  And so glad that I did.

There was a part in there that talked about leaders feeling like the company should be acting like a placid lake.  They hit rapids every once in a while, but then will get back to the placid lake.  Most leaders are constantly striving to lead in the lake, but the authors brought out the reality… they have to learn to lead in the rapids, because the RAPIDS, not the lake, are in fact the norm.

This paragraph hit me like a ton of bricks.  I suddenly realized that all of the discontentment that I have been feeling lately was trying (in vain) to find the placid lake.

Life in motherhood is exactly like riding the rapids.

It’s great, and exciting, but also unpredictable and ever changing.  And forever forcing us forward at breakneck speed.

And the more time I spend trying to recapture the lake, the more frustrated I will be.

So I have given up the search for the placid lake.  Instead, I give in to the notion that each day is going to be a crazy ride, so I may as well buck up and enjoy it while it lasts.

So now, when people ask me how things are going… my response is to smile just a bit and say,

“Riding the rapids, baby.  Riding the Rapids.”

Precious Moments…



… ahhh, those ‘rare’ precious motherhood moments, when all the stars align, the kids eat all their vegetables, and skip to bed without complaining…

and then there is reality.  Those ‘more often’ precious moments where you wonder how in the world you are going to survive this gig called motherhood.

Let me take you inside one of the latter…

It’s a Monday.  I have offered to babysit for a dear friend so she and her hubby can go to a work function and have a much needed date night.

In an effort to not miss our own family home evening (the night in our church that we set aside to have a lesson, songs, and activity), I devise this ‘wonderful’ plan (read:  ‘wonderful’ = insane-what-was-I-thinking-plan!) to have all of our kids come with me, have hubby meet us there after work, have our family home evening, then have him take our kids home while I stay with their kids the remainder of the night.  Sounds simple enough, right?!

As the FHE activity, hubby decides to help our kids learn some service and has the 3 olders go out with him to shovel their driveway.

which leaves me inside with 5 youngers (from age 4- 3 months old) who are all very tired and ready for bed.

still doing okay.

I get friend’s two olders ready for bed, in between holding the 3 month old and fending off my bouncing-off-the-walls 2 year old and tasmanian devil 4 year old.

… I have just finished putting down their second child, and am walking down hallway to pick up crying 3 month old

– oh, did I mention that in said hallway, they have a corner GLASS cabinet, with GLASS shelves, housing a collection of GLASS precious moments dolls, collected over years and years??!!

….  yes, I did hear your collective gasp, and yes, you do know where this is going…

Just as I scoop up 3 month old, I hear that gut-wrenching glass upon glass shatter sound…

and turn to see 4 yo in a sea of precious moments bits.

… first and foremost – no, he was not harmed (at least by the precious moments!).  He had pulled one glass shelf down onto another shelf, shattering about 85% of the precious moments collection.

. Wow.

If I had my wits about me, I would have snapped a picture of the whole thing.

I did NOT have my wits about me.

Seriously – what do you do in a moment like that??!

After thorough investigation, there was no hole in which I could bury myself.

I tried to super glue some of the not-so-shatteried heads back on – no luck.

So I carefully placed the decapitated heads next to the jagged bodies,

wrote a big fat check,

and waited for the dreaded moment of return of the friends.

The worst part was, they walked in so happy because they had come home to a freshly shoveled driveway…

and I got to shatter that feeling, letting them know what their shoveled driveway had indeed cost them.


Being the amazing people that they are, they were very gracious about it (they really are next in line for sainthood!!), but it still did little to relieve the utter anguish of this lovely,

precious motherhood moment.

Christmas O.D.

I have been shying away from writing this post for the whole week now. It has been very hard for me to process how I have felt this Christmas, and if I even wanted to share these raw, uncut feelings… in other words, reader beware, very weird post to follow.  Consider yourself warned…

This Christmas was really different for me.

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE Christmas.

I love the traditions.

I love the memories it instills from my own childhood.

I love seeing my kids faces light up at the magical wonderland that replaces our living room for a brief moment as they experience the magic of Santa and gifts and toys.

I love having lessons about the birth of Christ, and the potential which that lesson holds for all of us.

In fact, I usually fire up the Christmas music about august and let it play clear up until Christmas day has come to an end.


… This year started out similar

With music

and traditions

and secret service elf projects for the kids

and lessons about Christ

and ‘sightings’ of reindeer

and all of the magic that Christmas enfolds.

By the end of Christmas day, however,

I felt really…


Kind of like the feeling you get right after Thanksgiving dinner, knowing full well that you shouldn’t have eaten that extra bite of pumpkin pie, or potatoes, or stuffing, or … well you get the idea.

Only this feeling at the end of Christmas was with stuff.

Because in the end, that is what all of the gifts and toys and stocking stuffers amounted to be.


I can’t blame it on the kids, they actually didn’t ask for much

I can’t blame it on over spending, because a majority of what I found was a product of sales, coupons, closeouts, etc.

… well, maybe that was part of it now that I think about it – throughout the year, there were so many things that I picked up for our ‘gift box’ that were on such great closeout deals, that I ‘ear marked’ for Christmas, that by the time everything was laid out, it just seemed to be overkill.  And that was even with keeping back a whole 2 boxes for birthdays throughout the coming year.  With coupons, I failed to follow the simple rule given by a wise college professor:  just because something can be done, doesn’t mean that it should be done. (or in my case, just because a deal can be made, doesn’t mean that is should be made).

I ended the day feeling like I actually did a disservice for my children in teaching them about what Christmas is all about.

… Maybe it was that they didn’t quite show the level of excitement that I was anticipating (perhaps from being a little bit overloaded by ‘just one more’ toy being added to their pile??!)

… maybe it was that by the time we got to our big family gift, it was kind of a ‘monty python’ rejoicing moment (read:  a bit underwhelming)

… maybe it was that my shoes were too tight, or my heart was 2 sizes too small…

Whatever the reason, I just went to bed that night feeling,


with stuff.

In the end, a picture that has been floating around the internet just following black Friday (a day that I usually LOVE, mind you!) kept coming to my mind and haunting me:

For some reason, I can’t seem to get this out of my mind.

Nor get the punch out of my gut.

I have physically seen similar faces to those on the children in the left.

And as hard as it is to admit, I have seen myself in the picture on the right all too many times.

How can I teach my kids about true service when I am constantly stocking us up on stuff??


… Usually these types of posts come with a plan and a resolve to change the world, or start some new plan of action, something that will suddenly teach my children all about world-wide service and unselfishness.

But not this one.  I haven’t gotten that far yet.

For now, I am just letting it stew.

The uncomfortableness.  The fullness.  The need to change the game plan just a little bit. Or maybe a lot.

I’m not sure what that game plan will be, exactly.

Just that I know it needs to change.

And it will.

But for now, a Merry Christmas to all,

And to all a good night!