Our Red Sea

Our first year was blissfully happy. We lived in the teeniest farmhouse ever, with leaning doorways and squeaky wooden floors and an infestation of brown recluse spiders. The walls were anything but tight, and when the winter storms blew, my curtains swayed gently in the breeze that found its way through the cracks. Skunks moved…

Words well seasoned

I rounded the corner into the small galley kitchen at our church, bustling with women in aprons. The smell of lasagna and chili surrounded me and I felt very small. I was small, in fact, always lagging in size to my peers. But I held in my hands an apple pie, with fluted edges and…

It’s worth being a little crazy to really live

“Are we crazy?” We look at each other at some ridiculous hour of the night, but the light is still on and the textbook open. I blinked my heavy eyelids and looked deep into my husband’s tired face, just inches from mine. The four little people were finally in bed, and the house was that…

When salsa and emotions and mistakes collide

I turned my heaping cart into the check out line at Aldi, and took a deep breath. Meat, cheese and produce for freezer meals- check. Milk and cereal- check. All four of my children within eyesight: one, two, three, four- check. I surveyed the cart with a feeling of accomplishment- for once, I had menu…

The day I accidentally spoke “Boy”

Morning light feebly streamed through my nearly closed drapes. After being on the road for 13 days, covering 5,800 miles and 100 hours driving, my own bed felt heavenly. I pried my eyes open and made them focus on the figure standing beside my bed. “He ate half of it!” My ten year old’s face…

7 Tips for Traveling Internationally with Children

To learn about how I use affiliate links, feel free to read here __________________________________________________________________________ Our plane touched down last night close to ten. We gathered the four children, and three carry ons and collected our one check in, and hopped in our van. After six days of driving nearly 1,000 miles in Honduras’ rough roads,…

Pushing Past the Breakers

“It really is a lot harder than it looks,” she tells me, this world traveler sister of mine. The call between Australia and North Carolina was exceptionally clear. She was telling me about her experiences of learning to surf, in small intervals between heavy study loads and school requirements… Fantastic beaches with promising waves are…

Raising Children to Risk

I’m neck deep in 4th grade math when a small hand pats me. “Mom, cute!” I look down and notice her vibrant and varied shoe selection. A sleek leather mary jane on one foot and a splashy pink glittered flip flop on the other. “Yes!” I said, “cute!” -meaning her, not necessarily the shoe selection….

Beauty in Diversity

Tissue paper rustled as the gifts were opened. Eyes looked eagerly at the soft baby blankets and adorable baby clothes. I peered around at this group of beautiful women. Long hair, short hair, heavy make up and none at all. The gal to my left wore stylish booties and I had on my simple leather…

Safe in our messes

It’s a dreary Saturday here, but in spite of the heavy clouds and soggy outdoors, Daniel said, “We should have cake!” So I stood at the kitchen counter, whipping up the batter as bacon and eggs sizzled on the stove. The table was being set by young helpful hands, and my mind was running in…