Winning the Ultimate Competition

I hate sports. For all those out there who just gasped, my family included, I apologize. But I just have to say, I really hate sports. And competitions of all sorts. The idea of only one winner and everyone else the loser. I know. They say it’s good for you to learn to lose and lose well. It builds character and all that. Yada, yada, yada…. Continue reading

Saying Goodbye…

Think Marley and Me….Only a Golden. Like AirBud. And Shadow from Homeward Bound. But more beautiful. More loyal. And smarter. And sneakier. (On account of the “smarter.”)

The minute Teddy saw this box, he started jumping. He knew it was for him!

The minute Teddy saw this box, he knew it was for him!

You’ve seen the dog on the giant Milkbone boxes? You’ve seen my Teddy Bear.


When he was still a puppy, I took him to a soccer game.

A two-year-old toddled up. “I pet your doggy?”

“Sure, his name is Teddy Bear.”

His mom followed behind. “Are you petting the dog nicely?”

"He's not a doggy, Mommy. He's a teddy bear!"

“He’s not a doggy, Mommy. He’s a teddy bear!”

His response: “He’s not a doggy, Mommy. He’s a teddy bear!”

Actually with his giant paws, he looked a lot like a lion, so we almost called him Simba. But we didn’t want people thinking we named him after Lion King.



They always say I don’t know how to say “No.” This was a hard time to learn. Continue reading

Taking a Breather…

This summer, a one-liner ad for Starbucks promised, “15-minute vacations.”

Brilliant! My favorite “1 teabag, venti chai tea misto, non-fat, no-foam and 7 equals” has provided many of those.

But sometimes, 15 minutes is not enough, Continue reading

“Just” Berries

It’s one of our favorite family traditions, dating back to our honeymoon twenty-some years ago in Door County when we went looking for cherries. We filled four gallon pails. (Right! Four! Gallons! I guess we were already planning for the five other mouths coming in future years.) We ate ’til we couldn’t eat anymore, made several batches of cherry jam, gave a full pail to the owner of the cute cabin we’d stayed in, and still had plenty fresh to take home in our little Dodge Omni. Continue reading

Where’ve You Been?

You know you’ve come face to face with your kids’ growing up when they start to nag YOU about getting your work done…not the other way around. The second of my college-bound daughters (can there really be two of them, now?) keeps hounding me, “Mom, you haven’t written a post since June? And you promised that couple to write about the best blueberry farm ever! Why aren’t you writing?”

Honestly? I am. It’s just that these days, I find myself writing most of my thoughts in my head while moving kids from here to there. And just like texting and driving don’t mix–(I love that quote: “Honk if you love Jesus. Text while driving if you want to meet Him today”) Continue reading

A letter to my graduating daughter…

(read at her final high school varsity soccer banquet)

It seems so long ago and yet just yesterday when we held you in our arms for the first time… when you giggled at the nurse as she gave you your first shots…when your big sis, barely able to see over the bed herself, reached over very gently to give you a kiss and you smiled… when you and that same sister “danced” around the living room for hours—which really meant running around in circles and doing little kicks that would unbalance you enough to set you on your bottom…when you, age 2, and she, age 3 carried your three-week-old twin siblings–by their heads, feet dangling between your legs–to the front door because they were crying, so they “needed to go outside”…when naptime became art-time with bottles of Desitin—smeared all over every inch of your rooms and everything in it—including the two of you. Continue reading

When life gives you lemons–or a broken oven….

So, it all started…

(isn’t that how all “oh, no!” stories start?)

This time, it was with a phone call…from my husband who’d just gotten home…asking what we were burning in the oven. Not a good question when I hadn’t been home for four hours. And worse? The oven was still so hot, it burned your hand if you touched the OUTSIDE of it!

And remember, I hadn’t been home for four hours. In fact, no one really had. At least not long enough to mess with baking. It’d been one of those crazy nights when each of my children needed to be somewhere else–usually across town–every 15 minutes. One of those evenings when I put an easy 100 miles–“in city”–on my poor van…just traveling back and forth between high schools… No, supper hadn’t even been thought of, let alone started… Continue reading

The Perfect Gift

As the holidays are over, and we begin to find places for all the gifts we received, I thought you might enjoy reading this. Because some parts of Christmas we never pack away…

(Reprinted from my article in Fountain of Life magazine [] Nov/Dec 2012.)

It was the best Christmas gift ever! The kind that’d make you stop in awe, gazing, eyes sparkling as large as the glittery glass ornaments on the tree, an irrepressible “ahhhhh” escaping your gaping lips.

That’s what I thought at age 9, anyway. Continue reading