Sunday Morning Pancakes

We had a tradition going for awhile around our house. Saturday morning pancakes or waffles, made by dad and enjoyed on the coffee table while watching cartoons.


Well, hockey season has begun and Zach has had games at 7am the last few weeks. So, Saturday morning tradition has been on hold. This morning, a Sunday, I thought I would do the unthinkable.


Make pancakes on a Sunday.


See this is a big deal because our church now has an 8:30am service, which we usually get there by 8:35. We have to leave the house by 7:45, but we usually leave at 8. So pancakes are somewhat unheard of.


And I didn’t just make Bisquick pancakes. I made real ones. With chocolate chips.



I, of course, found the recipe at Smitten Kitchen. She even gives instructions on the best way to cook pancakes, and how much better pancakes are from scratch.  And I have to admit, they are way better.


Although my pictures are not as fantastic as SK’s…the pancakes were grand.  Some with blueberry syrup, and chocolate chips.


It was a splurge. It woke the boys up in a slightly better mood and the house smelled good.


We still were five minutes late to church, but it was okay. It’s a rainy day here today, a good day for special pancakes with chocolate chips, worship that had a bluegrass edge and a sermon that told about God’s grace through Jesus and how generous our God is. And how we aren’t.


We’re home now, warm and toasty and ready for reading and X-box and more coffee. A good Sunday around here. My friend Phil’s blog is called “What color is the sky in their world?“.  Here it looks like this:


So, what’s Sunday like around your place?

She’s off!!!!

Okay, life around here is about to change.


For the last four years we have lived without baby gates, without having to keep the floor clear of little legos and toys, without having to be diligent.  Almost six months ago Miss Madeleine made her appearance and slowly things have changed. Although, it has been gradual….we were able to keep her in the middle of the floor and make dinner without worry. We could put her on her mat with her toys and she was content.

Not any more.
She has figured out how to lift that body…

She can get up and you can see daylight under her. We are in serious trouble!  I mean, now she is mobile…

and nothing is off limits….

So, I’m off to buy a baby gate and train the boys to keep small toys out of reach. It’s a blast to watch her growing, but it sure goes fast.

By the way, if you are interested in a discussion on Calvanism, check out this on my friend Phil’s blog

And, my remarkably creative middle boy now has his own blog as well….Nate’s stories.

The Art of Cooking…and Eating

I have to admit that I have been for a few months, well, less than inspired in my cooking.  We get in a rut easily and cook the few things that come quickly to mind.

Then I will read something or hear something that sparks my imagination….even for, wait for it…..yes…

I begin to think of making a meal as something more than just feeding the family. Something that could nourish more than just bodies.

That sounds a little pompous when I actually write about it. Still, when I read just about anything from I get inspired.

Her pictures make me want to cook! That added to hearing Andi Ashworth again at our women’s retreat, and reading her article Learning to Cook, and Why it Matters  that desire to cook increased.  (By the way, if you are looking for that small-rainish refreshment, grab a cup of coffee and spend some time slowly reading the articles at  Wonderful nourishment there).

So, I started trying some new things, or some different takes on old favorites. And….I started taking pictures of the food. How silly is that?!

Pictures of bell peppers that became part of a pretty good black bean soup. Oh and…

Carnitas! The black bean soup  is in the mug. The Carnitas were fall-apart tender after cooking for 2 hours in orange juice and lime juice. Topped with just a slice of avodaco, a bit of pickled red onion and some lime juice…oh my!
Last night I tried another black bean soup for Biblestudy…

This one had pumpkin in it. I never would have attempted that without the encouragement of the Smitten Kitchen. It turned out warm and wonderful on a rainy Fall evening.

We finished it off with a pear custard pie. This one came from and reading what she did while the pie was cooking is worth clicking over.  Although the pie was not my favorite (it falls apart a bit without a crust), I finished it off on the drive home, nibbling little pieces of custard and pear…

So, I’m looking at cooking a little differently. We still had pizza once this week, and I’m not sure what we’ll have tonight. Maybe cereal.

We’ll have that cereal at the table, all sitting and talking and listening. Because the cooking is just part of the equation….the eating is art as well. Edith Schaeffer inspired Andi Ashworth, as you’ll see in the next paragraph. Andi inspires me….

One of the most life-giving authors I discovered in those early days was Edith Schaeffer. Fireworks went off in my brain when I read her books. Edith saw family life and caring for other people as an artwork. The details of caring for human life were the playground of creativity and the place where our choices were significant in communicating love. Her language captured my imagination and I began to long for good stories in our household, and to value the work that might bring them about. 

My boys are little, but the stories already begin to flow. And when we are able to be with my family in New Mexico the stories flow even more because my mother already placed a foundation of meals and stories. I’m just continuing the story…

Fading……..and……..Becoming Vibrant

I have the absolute delight these days of watching the daily vibrancy of a 5 month old. She has gone from being able to just look about to being able to reach out and touch…to being able to grab and hold….to being able to communicate….to now being able to lift herself up and just about motor about on her knees.

Literally every day brings some new growth, some new discovery, some new strength.

I find myself wanting to capture every moment. To capture in a picture or a video…to hold that moment and not release it. Sometimes, honestly, it is difficult to just enjoy the moment as I scramble to grab the camera. I’ve had to be intentional about just enjoying the moment.

Treasuring these moments in my heart. Sounds familiar, huh?  How good of a thing is it that Mary didn’t have a camera? That she didn’t tell Jesus to freeze every moment for pictures or to capture the moments on video. Instead she simply treasured these things in her heart.

They are safe there….or are they?

Madeleine Jane. My girl is named after two rather amazing women…well, kinda. Her first name is really just a hat-tip to Madeleine L’Engle. We loved the name, and I loved how L’Engle spelled her name. L’Engle and her writings have had a great impact on my faith. She is a wonderful example of a strong and vibrant woman. A woman who thought deeply and treasured things in her heart, and who communicated them wonderfully.

Jane. That is for my mother, although technically my mother is Janie…her grandmother was Jane. So, Jane.

She has lived an amazing life, and I got to as a result of being by her daughter. She had an incredibly bright and quick mind, a wonderful singing voice and a sharp wit. She could intimidate the best competitor and be incredibly tender and generous to those in need. She was in many ways larger than life.

And she is fading.

As quickly as Madeleine learns a new talent, Mother forgets a piece of who she is. She forgets who her husband is, or the events of her remarkable life. She forgets her children, or remembers that she has children but does not know we are they. She forgets the day, the week, the place.

Yet, she is still present with us. And sometimes, we get the bittersweet gift of her being present mentally with us.

She delights in Madeleine, sometimes just as any baby that she would encounter, and sometimes…..sometimes she knows that this little image bearer is her namesake. And then she will hold her a little differently, speak to her a little more tenderly and tell her that she will pay attention to what becomes of this little one named for her.

And I want to grab the camera or the video and capture that moment. Because that moment is precious, and I am keenly aware that it will slip away before I am ready to let it go. I want to be able to feel it again, to hold it longer.

I want Madeleine to know this woman she is named for.