Tuesday, October 30


Gigantic stinging bees. Owls and bats in a dark bedroom. Tooth monsters (you know, a tooth-shaped monster who has lots of teeth and one eye).

Nightmares have found a home in my children's rooms at night. I don't know why these disturbing visions are so especially profound and prolific this week, but my guess is that a certain October holiday which inundates our television shows, grocery stores, and party plans may have something to do with it. What this means for mom and dad is the groggy awakening to the creak, creak, creak of a little person making their way down the stairs. Then there's the momentary guessing game - which child's silhouette will appear in the doorway?

We called a family meeting to address this phenomenon. For all of you insomniacs out there, I thought I'd share the meeting notes.

What To Do When You Have a Nightmare or Can't Sleep Before You Wake Up Mom and Dad

1. Pray. Yes, the Lord is awake and He really wants to help you with this problem. This can help you also remember that you are safe and not alone.

2. Turn on your flashlight.

3. Read a short book.

4. Count to 100.

5. Visualize a great story in your mind. Go on a hike, visit the beach, sled at Mt. Hood. What do you see? Are there any smells? What's the temperature? What do you hear? How do you feel inside?

6. Go to the living room & sleep on the couch.
Try these out and you, too, can have a good night's sleep tonight! And, please, oh please, let your mom and dad sleep.

Monday, October 22

Confessions of a Criminal

It has finally happened. My perfect record is now blemished - never to be snow white again. In the mail today I...[gulp] received my first speeding ticket. There's no denying it. The city of Beaverton took three nice photos of my car, with my lovely smile gleaming through the windshield "She mocks our laws!" they grimace from behind the safety of their shiny black van. Although I clearly showed disregard for the laws of Beaverton, Oregon, it feels a little like they cheated. When an officer pulls my car over and has to look me in the eye before writing anything in that little notepad, I have a glimmer of hope - hope that my loveliness and charm will win over the man or woman in blue. Then I can, once again, drive away having given a polite "yes, officer, of course I'll be more careful - thank you" while tossing my written warning into the back seat. But now my 47 mile an hour in a 35 zone joy ride is complete. I pay dearly for my recklessness.

Sunday, October 14

Growing Up

I don't know if there are many things much more frightening than the realization that your children are growing older. Today I get to be concerned about kids running in the street or eating too much candy or, even worse, something toxic. Then I am reminded about tomorrow. Not tomorrow, tomorrow, but you know, the tomorrows down the road. Dating, driving, committing to Christ, fashion, eating disorders, sports - all those major milestones and hurdles to encounter in the next decade or so are enough to cause a little parental panic attack.

This evening Trinity asked me this: Mom, how come boys have so much more than girls? Because boys are physically stronger than girls and they "usually get to drive" and they "get to fight in wars", she is seeing, for the first time maybe, that there is inequality, even in our corner of the world. Don't worry - this mama wouldn't let that one go unaddressed! As well as assuring her that girls are as intelligent and talented as the guys and that we get the greatest gift of having babies, I used this opportunity to share with her about feminine power - and the need to use our influence over guys for good! That got her giggling up a storm.

Then a little while later she asked me how she has daddy's germs (i.e. genes) inside of her. Do you understand what she is asking me??? I won't go into details about what I told her on this rated G site, but she's got a nice head start on her junior high health class.

It's scary being responsible for all this big stuff, but now that I've taken a deep breath and counted to ten, I can remember that there is a reason why our babies aren't born as teenagers - so we can do this growing up thing together.

Friday, October 12

Book Promo

Before I mailed it to my brother, Steve, for his birthday, I recently read Quiet Strength, the new book from the Indianapolis Colts head coach, Tony Dungy. It's a really encouraging, thoughtful, inspiring read about a strong Christian leader - even for those who are not huge sports fans (but that does help as he recounts his football path). It would make a great Christmas gift, for those who are thinking along those lines already.

Tuesday, October 2

Cooking Day

Zucchini Bread

Today was drizzly and grey. One of those days when I changed out of my pjs this morning right into sweats. I chose to ignore the piles of clean laundry that need to be put away and spent the day happily in my kitchen. Today was a cooking day. I think I hit a couple of balls out of the park.

From the larger-than-life zucchini that my friend Erika gave to us from her garden, I made several loaves of the best zucchini bread ever. Really. I found the recipe on my new favorite cooking blog, Smitten Kitchen.
Zucchini Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans or line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl, beat three eggs with a whisk. Mix in 1 cup vegetable oil and 1 3/4 cups sugar, then 2 cups grated zucchini and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Combine 3 cups all-purpose flour, 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt, as well as 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional), and 1 cup chocolate chips and/or dried fruit (optional - I didn't use nuts, chocolate, raisins, or cranberries this time; I wanted to see how the recipe stood on its own). Stir this into the egg mixture. Divide the batter into prepared pans. Bake loaves for 60 minutes, plus or minus ten, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Muffins will bake far more quickly, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
Have you noticed how comfort food isn't usually very healthy? Throwing caution and cholesterol to the wind, today I made some scrumptious fettucine alfredo with chicken & tomatoes. Mmmmm.
Fettucine Alfredo With Chicken & Tomatoes
from Kristi's kitchen

Boil 1 lb. fettucine until al dente. Heat large skillet to medium. Add one large chicken breast, diced. Season with Lowery's seasoning salt & a little Worcestershire sauce. Once chicken is cooked through, decrease temperature to low. Stir in 3/4 pint heavy cream, 1/2 cup butter, & 1/2 cup sour cream (I told you it was not healthy!). Keep stirring throughout. Melt in 1 cup fresh, shredded parmesan cheese (this will thicken it up). Season with pepper & garlic salt. Stir in fettucine noodles. Add a handful of bacon bits (those yummy ones in a bag from Costco) and a handful of cherry tomatoes. Serve immediately. Accept the praise.