Boiling brownies and other hazards of life at sea level.

I’ve been living on the coast of Maine for 10 days now, and I’m utterly useless at functioning at sea level. First, I can’t bake at 20 feet altitude. In the ten years that I’ve lived in the mountain west, I’ve redone all my recipes for altitudes of about 4700 feet. Here’s my fantastic, greatest … Continue reading Boiling brownies and other hazards of life at sea level.

How do you teach your kids—and yourself—responsibility? My successes and failures, resulting in house-elfness.

Parents, I have a question: when do you show mercy and rescue a child, or when do you let them suffer with an unforgettable lesson? How do you teach responsibility without potentially damaging your child? That’s a quandary that plagues me nearly every day. I give you Exhibit A, my youngest daughter, age 9. Yesterday … Continue reading How do you teach your kids—and yourself—responsibility? My successes and failures, resulting in house-elfness.

If you could give your younger self a message from the future, what would it be?

That’s how I felt two days ago, and wondered if I could. Allow me to back up a bit. My blog is a little late this week, because I spent a few days in a hospital two hours away assisting my oldest daughter with her second born, and then with her toddler son. When her … Continue reading If you could give your younger self a message from the future, what would it be?

One good reason for having kids

I have little time to write a full post today, with SLC Comic Con rapidly coming up. I'm making 200 signs and 300 clocks to sell in just one month (with products from my Etsy shop), and I'm slightly hyperventilating because I'm only half done, I have no packaging or booth advertising ordered, and as … Continue reading One good reason for having kids

Why would normally sane people take teenagers out into the wilderness of Wyoming to walk for 18 miles?

My husband and I just returned from rough camping for three days and two nights with a bunch of teenagers, and it’s called “Trek.” We weren’t the only ones, either, to take on this insanity. While Dave and I were responsible for eight teenagers, 13-17 years old, three other married couples from our ward (or … Continue reading Why would normally sane people take teenagers out into the wilderness of Wyoming to walk for 18 miles?

Are you going to let the latest tragedy make you harder, or softer?

It’s happened yet again. Another horrific event/accident/terrorism incident, and in the comments of the articles and in social media we see blaming of the victim: If only they’d watched their child better, or If only they hadn’t been at that place at that time, or If only they’d been more careful, less stupid. If only … Continue reading Are you going to let the latest tragedy make you harder, or softer?

How to cancel your Mother’s Day Guilt Trip with “Moments of Perfection”

The following was written by my mother,  Yvonne Neufeldt Strebel, in 1984. She delivered this talk in church on Mother’s Day.  I found this speech in my dad's journal, and reproduced it here, to show that fear of not measuring up as a mom has been around for at least 32 years. “Mother’s Day”—the very … Continue reading How to cancel your Mother’s Day Guilt Trip with “Moments of Perfection”

Book 5 Teaser–Life’s a test, not a holiday

This is what I chant to myself when the kitchen pipe leaks, and black mold destroys the drywall and carpeting in my son's basement bedroom . . . When our two ancient vans have one problem after another after another . . . When my plans for the day get blown out of the water … Continue reading Book 5 Teaser–Life’s a test, not a holiday

Parenthood, summed up in one horrible bathroom incident

My four-year-old is my youngest of nine children. You’d think that after 25 years of being a mom, I’d be an expert, but you’re never an expert, I’ve decided. Especially when it comes to potty-training. With our first child, I took the excellent advice to “not rush it.” This was the early 90s when having … Continue reading Parenthood, summed up in one horrible bathroom incident

12 reasons why I want to be a better Grown-up

A young mother who was recently put into leadership of our church women’s group told me she was worried that she didn’t “adult” properly on her first Sunday in charge, but I assured her that she displayed a great deal of “adultery” at church. (She’s still hesitant to speak to me.) I was proud of … Continue reading 12 reasons why I want to be a better Grown-up