Jump for joy: Have a leap year party!

When a date only comes around every four years, you’ve just got to celebrate it! February 29 is a great time for a Leap Day party! Prepare your own “leaping” board game. Using a foam stamper and green poster paint, we placed 29 lily pads on a large sheet of paper. If you can’t find…

Those adorable, demanding fledglings and the empty nest

There was a loud, unrelenting, incessant sound of birds chirping outside my kitchen window one morning a couple of weeks ago. I delight in watching and hearing backyard birds as they gather at the bird feeders, but this chirping was more persistent than the usual, quotidian bird sounds. Ever since I learned the word quotidian,…

Wind, Fire, and Earth — Pentecost

It’s a mysterious day of celebration. It is confusing and yet comforting. It brings power and peace. It is Pentecost. When is Pentecost, and why does the date change every year? Pentecost is not just assigned on a random date to fill a low Sunday or to keep worshipers on their toes. There’s a real…

My relationship with cake

Cake and I go way back. My mom made a cute elephant cake for my first birthday, using instructions from this 1959 edition book of Animal Cut-up Cakes. It was a nifty little book that showed what type of baking pans to use and how to cut the cakes into pieces and arrange them into…

Thoughts of Mom, from a 21-year-old daughter

I was reluctant to write this cheery blog, because I know that Mother’s Day brings pain to many. It is probably the day that is filled with the greatest emotional gut-punch. Although there are those of us whose mothers are still alive and who have secure and loving relationships with our mothers, there are also…

How to show appreciation to your child’s teacher

Teachers are hard-working, underpaid professionals, and the magnitude of their influence is immeasurable. During Teacher Appreciation week we recognize their dedication and show our gratitude. A few days ago, in preparation for Teacher Appreciation Week, I wrote a blog about how teachers don’t really want another coffee mug or paperweight. In that blog I suggested…

May baskets: the anonymous gifts

I lived most of my childhood in this home in a peaceful neighborhood in Minnesota where the mailman delivered letters to the box by the front door, the paper carrier gently placed the daily news inside the screen door, and a milkman brought glass bottles of milk to the doorstep. Maybe there was a hedgerow…

Pulling pranks, but not on April 1

I had a mischievous side, but I don’t remember playing many April Fool’s tricks when I was growing up. I saved most of my better pranks for random, unexpected days… …like the time in Junior High when I organized my whole English class to slide our desks backwards a couple of inches every time the…

St. Patrick wasn’t Irish, and his real name wasn’t Patrick.

This Mom-ologue doesn’t contain parenting tips, children’s ministry ideas, or stories about myself, but here’s a little history about St. Patrick’s Day. Oh, and there’s an application for our lives as Christians at the end. Maewyn had Roman ancestors. Historians believe St. Patrick’s real name was Maewyn Succat, and he was born sometime between 370…

Smudge of ashes and renewal

Ashes could be considered worthless and insignificant and look like lifeless dust. They may represent the end of something– or even death– but ashes can help us understand more about our relationship with God. Ashes were once something else. Some were trees, flowers, palm branches or crops, but fire changed them into ashes and now…