The Case of the Candy Explosion: A Story of Kindness

“When is the movie going to start?” Vivvi turned to me and asked. “It’s not a movie,” I remind her. We were sitting in orange plastic chairs as we waited in the brightly colored music room of the local middle school for their production of Aladdin Jr. to start. Vivvi had never been to see live theater before, so she had no idea what she was getting into. “It’s real people,” I said....

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Lunch Notes: A Christmas Card Recycling Program

In August, my son Wally started first grade. For us, this meant the first time he’d be doing full day school. This also meant the first time we’d be packing him a lunch. I had heard all the stories about all the mom mistakes. An Eeyore-mopey kid saying to the mom at pick up after the first day, “You forgot to put a note in my lunch.” I did not want to be that mom. I also could not imagine...

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My Quest for My New Best Friend

A testimonial as read at the First Presbyterian Church of Glen Ellyn’s Women’s Day Apart, on Friendship. Last Sunday afternoon I found myself staring out the window of a very slow moving car full of 4 other women, racing slowly, so slowly toward the Denver International Airport for flights home that at least one of us was certainly going to miss. We had left with plenty of time to get...

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Family Olympics: Let the games begin!

“We are gathered here again,” I begin. “To mark the beginning of another year.” Three sober faces stare back at me, hanging on my every word. “As usual, we will mark this special day with a series of challenges. We will all experience the glory of dominating a challenge or two, and we will fail with extreme gusto in others. We will encourage one another, lift one another up. We will...

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Merry Christmas! Our 2016 Christmas Video

It’s Christmastime, so that means it’s time for our annual video of general silliness. We are so happy to share our 1:23 labor of love, tears (mostly mine), Mariah, joy, toil, Buble, poor Ralphie, and Christmas cheer! Enough ado…Since this one speaks for itself, I’ll just tell you one thing: Enjoy! We hope you laughed! If you want to see a compilation of videos of...

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One Way or Another: A Christmas Story

I went to pick Wally V up from his Sunday morning class after our church service last Sunday. “Do you want to go home and get ready?” I asked. He looked at me and burst into tears, “My head hurts!” he balled. I escorted him through the crowds and to the car, feeling like a bad mom for not having noticed he might be sick. You see, it was all working out perfectly, according to my plan....

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Adventures of an Underage Mom

I am in line at the grocery store after successfully navigating all of the aisles for the 6 things I needed to gather for that evening’s dinner. I say 6, and by 6 I mean 10, which is 9 away from the 19 that my seven-year-old son Wally guessed I would end up with when I told him my very small list included only 6 items and could he and his sister please just stay with me without tears or...

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Yosemite: A Complete Ottventure

“Everybody needs beauty…places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul alike.” ― John Muir “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” ― John Muir On our last vacation away from the kids we decided to check out the Grand Canyon. Neither of us had ever visited a National Park, so we weren’t...

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Consider the water: on the weight of the things happening around us

I have been feeling a little…down lately. I look outside and a quote from Moby Dick comes to mind—a damp and drizzly November in my soul. I’m not sure if it’s something big and universal—the actual weather, the political climate and the mass media’s big spotlight on hate, the inexplicable violence we wage against others—or if it’s that, plus some small personal...

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My New Plan to Kill the To Do List

My parents and in-laws occasionally take the kids for a few days so that we can, well, not have our kids for a few days. When this happens, I do crazy things like watch HBO at 8 am, and grocery shop without scolding, and yell across the house “Do you want ice cream?” at some moment after 8 pm. So to translate, if you are in your pre-child, DINK, or adult children phase of...

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