Cookin’ Up Some Family Fun!

In honor of Father’s Day, we hosted the 2nd Annual Family Cook-Off.  Because it was Daddy Day, we let Grandpa Choo Choo name the competition.  He decided on BEEF.  Everybody takes this silly competition very seriously, which makes for some of the most delicious meals ever created.  It’s all in good fun, and although we made official score cards this year, we never can choose just one winner. 😉  I think next time we will need to invite an unbiased party to judge.

It was an amazing day- full of family fun, friendly competition, and lots of laughter.  Memories were made that will never be forgotten.  Thanks to everyone who participated! Keep your game faces on for the next throw down!

Wise Words

Has anyone ever read Here and Now: Living in the Spirit by the great, modern spiritual writer, Henri J.M. Nouwen?  I’ve been reading it while G naps during the day and I just finished a chapter on family that was so beautifully worded that I feel compelled to share it:
Children are a gift.

Being a parent is like being a good host to a stranger. While we may think that our children are like us, we are continually surprised at how different they are. We can be gladdened by their intelligence, their artistic gifts, or their athletic prowess, or saddened by their slowness in learning, their lack of coordination, or their “odd” interests. In many ways we don’t know our children.


We didn’t create our own children, nor do we own them. This is good news. We don’t need to blame ourselves for their problems, nor should we claim ourselves their successes.


Children are a gift from God. They are given to us so that we can offer them a safe, loving place to grow to inner and outer freedom. They are like strangers who ask for hospitality, become good friends, and then leave again to continue their journey. They bring immense joy and immense sorrow precisely because they are gifts. And a good gift, as a proverb says, is “twice given.”


The gift we receive, we have to give again. When our children leave us to study, to look for work, to marry, to join a community, or simply to become independent, sorrow and joy touch each other. Because it is then that we feel deeply that “our” child isn’t really “ours” but given to us to become a true gift to others.


It is so hard to give our children their freedom- especially in this violent and exploitative world. We so much want to protect them from all possible dangers. But we cannot. They do not belong to us. They belong to God, and one of the greatest acts of trust in God is letting our children make their own choices and find their own way.

I have a feeling I will re-read these powerful words countless times, as a reminder to myself, to celebrate as my children grow more independent, despite the sadness that I feel every single day, wishing I could freeze these moments in time… wishing they would never change.  But, truly, what wonderful gifts they are.


Where does the time go?

Wow, these last few months swept my feet right out from under me.  I’ve had to put blogging aside for a while in order to recover from the twists and turns my life has taken recently. Things are finally calming down though, so I’m going to do my best to get back at it.

The last three months have taught me that change is not only necessary, but it keeps us growing… it keeps life moving. I’ve been doing my very best to not only accept it, but to embrace it.


As of April:
I quit my job. Helped start an amazing new school from the ground up.  Got through another doctoral class. Remodeled our kitchen. Started my own business. And now I get to spend EVERY SINGLE DAY with the LOVES of my LIFE.  And in a few weeks, we will take the next step in the adoption process!
“Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.”  (John Belasco)
Everything is falling into place.  And I couldn’t feel more blessed.