cinnamon rolls

Ethan learned from my mistake and decided if he was going to make cinnamon rolls then he better triple the recipe.

He and Jacob are done with their wrestling season and are home this week on break from college.  One of the things Ethan enjoys doing when he’s home is baking and cooking in the kitchen.  As soon as he got up yesterday morning he started looking through our Top Secret Recipes cookbook by Todd Wilbur and thought he would make either donuts or cinnamon rolls.  I have to admit I was relieved that he decided on the latter, as the deep fat fryer is a big pain to clean up afterwards and even though Ethan does use the kitchen, he rarely cleans it up afterward.


We had a house-full; Ethan, Jacob, Michael, David, Caleb, Weston (my nephew), Seth, Sarah, and myself.  Somehow the cat was able to get a nap in now and then although with any alarming sound he would bolt his neck upright and look around the room with big eyes.


Cinnamon rolls take hours to make.  While the dough was rising the first time Ethan went down the road to get his girlfriend Tessa.

Then it was time to form the rolls.






I had to leave as the cinnamon rolls went through their second rise.

It was a day I had been waiting for:

At my last cleaning my dentist sent me to an orthodontist because of over crowding and the Doctor agreed that I was a good candidate for invisalign.   I had braces as a teenager but through the years my teeth had shifted and I’m thrilled to get them straightened again.


I came home to a counter full of freshly baked cinnamon rolls.  And boy were they delicious. . . . .


The weather was so nice that I immediately went for a walk on the road so as to burn more calories for more cinnamon rolls.  These two passed me on the street; Jacob and his best friend and our perennial weekend houseguest Michael.


Two more pictures from the day; Dave on the laptop.


And Sarah Joy telling me that “Michael only won once.”

‘Twas a lovely day.

a muffin morning


“I’ll measure the flour, you can dump it in,”

“You’re good at measuring.”

“And you’re good at dumping.”

“3 Tablespoons of sugar.”

“You don’t have to mix so strenuously.”

“1 Tablespoon of baking powder.”

“Baking powder?”

“And 1 teaspoon of salt.”

“Did you already put the salt in?  I wanted to use my little teaspoon.”

“Okay, now we have to put the wet ingredients in this bowl.”

“You can crack the egg, just let me pour the milk in first.”

“A whole cup of milk.”

“I need to melt half a stick of butter.”

“The key to perfect muffins is to never over-mix the batter.”

“Repeat after me, I will never over-mix my muffin batter.”

“I will never over-mix my muffin batter.”

Good girl.





Sarah ate all 6 of her tiny muffins and then ate one of mine.  Then Caleb and Seth each had a muffin.  Ethan came home from picking up Tessa and they ate the remaining nine muffins which meant Michael, David, Jacob, and I did not get a muffin.  (12-3=9)

“I feel so bad,” said Tessa when she realized.

“I don’t.  I’m proud of us.” said Ethan with his eyes closed contentedly.

we belong to the day (1 Thess. 5:8)


Glory of the world makes life meaningless
Glory of God fulfills it.  ~CH Spurgeon



Toys, books, videos, art supplies, blankets, music, and hot chocolate are ready and waiting.  It’s another snow day in our neck of the woods today.  The children and I are sitting inside a giant snow globe; outside the windows of our warm house are millions and millions of tiny white snowflakes shaking down from the clouds of heaven.



“I see that if I would be happy in God, I must give Him all.  And there is wicked reluctance to do that.  I want Him–but I want to have my own way, too.  I want to walk humbly and softly before Him and I want to go where I shall be admired.  To whom shall I yield?  To God?  Or to myself?”  Elizabeth Prentiss

“Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain……”  Psalm 119:36

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”  Philippians 2:2


“The way upward in true life and honor is to go downward in self-humiliation.  Renounce all, and you shall be rich; have nothing, and you shall have all things.  Try to be something, and you shall be nothing;  be nothing, and you shall live; that is the great lesson which Jesus would teach us, but we are slow to learn…… CH Spurgeon

“I believe that selfishness is the front-door key of despair.”  Spurgeon


“As long as we have the itch of self-regard we shall want the pleasure of self-approval; but the happiest moments are those when we forget our precious selves and have neither–but have everything else (God, our fellow humans, animals, the garden and the sky) instead.”  CS Lewis, letters, 1954

our fellow humans
the garden and the sky


“…..the burdens of my heart rolled away….”


Whenever something is bothering me, and I’m in a moral quandary, I dig out the ol’ journal and pen and start searching for quotes, verses, and other writings that have to do with my current topic of interest.  I talk things over with Joanna or Rich and that helps, too.  I love that I can keep my Bible near and read it for comfort and correction at any time of day or night.

A balm for my soul that always heals.

I come away feeling so much lighter and free.



(Dear Brother Dave, these are the sneakers Seth bought with the birthday gift card you sent him.)

Wednesday, February 6, 2018

“Since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.”

most delicious chocolate cake


Seth’s birthday


had a backdrop of pure white and a sky of baby blue.



It was absolutely magical in the woods.  Photos just do not do it justice as a photo turns everything flat and motionless and room temperature.  Reality has endless depth, layers, temperature, smells, sounds, feelings of expectation, exploration. . . . .



nature’s playground


here comes the sunshine


They insisted on the short cut back home which involves a perilous crossing of the stream.


No one got wet.


For dinner that night……looks amusingly not that good….creamy scalloped potatoes with pan fried sausages on top.  Yum!

Birthday cake for dessert; two round cake layers with fresh whipped cream, sweetened strawberries, and homemade fudge sauce.


topped with chocolate dipped strawberries.

I made everything myself except I did use a cake mix for the chocolate cake.

((((presented upon a Scarlet fiestaware cake plate))))


It was truly as delicious as it looked.




One piece remained but was quickly eaten the next day.


“I got no cake.”

“I only got this dumb green streamer in my collar.”


We took a photo that night at 9:20 pm, the exact time of his birth, nine years earlier.




a previously despised task……..


I posted the last blog a few days ago, gathered up my things and went downstairs to the laundry room, prepared to spend at least an hour folding clothes, when my phone rang.  Honestly, I hadn’t even folded ONE ITEM before it rang.  It was the school nurse calling to inform me that Sarah was in the office not feeling well. She was running a low-grade fever and had a sore throat, it came on rather suddenly because she was fine that morning when she got ready for school and left on the bus.

I was quite busy with her and the boys that afternoon….along with catching up with the laundry, I also picked David up early after midterms, then picked up Caleb after newspaper club, took David back to the school for practice, took Sarah to the doctors where her strep test was negative, and got home just in time to take Seth and Caleb to practice.

Yesterday she was feeling much better but spent the day at home with me, in her cozy jammies.  We picked up David again after midterms and I ran into the grocery store to get things for lasagna dinner that evening and a chicken for tonight.

This morning the three youngest ones are all at school but David didn’t have any tests today so he is home and he’s still asleep.

I’m 41 years old, I’ve been married since I was 19, I had my first baby at 20, and life is still busy (as it should be–no complaints) but as I sat this morning on the couch, I was struck by the thought of what I was doing…….MENDING A LONG TEAR IN A TWIN SHEET……

I’ve mended through the years once or twice, when absolutely necessary, but there were many many other times when something ripped and I simply threw it away.  It sounds so awful, downright wasteful, but those years of having little ones at home filled me right up to the brim with other more important work, more important than mending a small hole in a pair of pants that was barely noticeable.  He can wear them anyway.  If a sheet tore, I would groan loudly, fold it up, and stick in the back of the closet.  I can’t mend!  I have to change diapers, get a child out of mischief, clean up strange messes that a house without children wouldn’t see (eggs all over the floor and counters?)….I often wondered why I was tired to tears by the end of the day.  I truly thought something was wrong with me.

Now I see, as I’ve come out on the “other side”, and I see that OF COURSE a newly pregnant mom, nursing an almost one year old, with multiple other children is going to be crying at the end of the day!!!  When you love and care for your children with your whole being, your whole being becomes exhausted!

……Beautifully exhausted, although back then I didn’t see much beauty in it whatsoever.   I was impatient with myself……. but at least I had the sense NOT to do the mending.

Until now.  In the year of our Lord 2018, I am mending.  I am downright marveling at this turn of events.  Yesterday I sat and sewed up tiny holes in “baby” Sarah’s size 8 pants from J Crew.  And then I sewed shut a small hole in Seth’s nice thick athletic pants.  I repaired a pair of gloves that Sarah’s thumb had popped through.  And this morning, I mended a 15 inch long tear in one of our very precious twin sized sheets (there are 6 twin beds in this house that need these sheets).  The mending is imperfectly lovely but as I folded the sheet and put it away, I felt a connection to this thing, this fitted sheet that my child tore (how?) and I repaired.  I took care of something and restored it to usefulness again.  I chose to put this skill aside in those very busy childbearing years, but now have the interest and desire necessary to put my hands to work and “waste not”………

Isn’t it a marvel that life’s path changes?  That a woman can change?  I loved the early baby-years, but I’m loving the “school-aged-children” years, too.

What’s next while I await the next small hole?  The house is tidy, I organized a closet, cleaned out a fish tank, and later on David and I are going to repair a lamp.

Unless of course, the school nurse calls.

no school today (wednesday)




David is practicing a song on the piano.

A candle is flickering on the coffee table.

Outside the window all is gray (sky) and white (snow) and black (trees).  We are fast losing daylight.  It’s 4:10pm.

Time to turn on lamps, think about what to made for dinner.


This morning Caleb asked to make breakfast.  He made bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches for himself and younger siblings.  Seth wrote up the menu and took orders.




This book is so good!

Since today was a snow day but the roads were clear, I took the three boys to our favorite barbershop for haircuts.  Only two boys complained at the news and said, “I don’t want to get my haircut!”  I asked them if they were still three and said go get in the car.  Soon we were on our way. . . . .listening to music, going to the ATM because he only takes cash payments, and pulling into the parking lot.  There were 4 haircuts ahead of us so we had to wait a while.  Thankfully I had my book.  Sports TV was loudly playing and it was fun to watch the boys get their hair cut.  He gave me a notebook and pen when we were done, and the boys each received a piece of very hard bubble gum and a lollipop.

What’s for lunch?  Two boys wanted Dunkin Donuts egg sandwiches but Caleb and I ran into Chipotle for burritos to go.

Back at home, Jack came over and the younger kids went outside to play.


David, Grace, and I watched Myths & Monsters on Netflix (highly recommended).


Dave with a new hair cut.  (he has a scrubbed face (eye) from wrestling).


After the first episode I fell sound asleep on the couch and the kids came back inside to play.


Rich just came home early.

Happy Snow Day!