Where there’s smoke…

“What are you DOING?” I screeched at her. “Do you not see the SMOKE?”

My first clue that I’d lost control of the situation was my teenager sitting on the couch, blithely chatting on Facebook while the room filled with billowing smoke.

“Well, yeah,” she replied. “I see it. But you’re fixing it, right? I mean, I can’t fix it.” ...  read more

May the Fourth Be With You

Today is Star Wars Day. The grand celebration for good geeks everywhere.

 MayTheFourthBeWithYou

May the Fourth be with you!

(And all the liturgical Star Wars fans say: “And also with you!”)

Greg and I found a light saber on our bed last night. It was the perfect May the Fourth Eve present. Greg considered arming himself with it for work this morning. He’s a software engineer; arming themselves with light sabers on May the Fourth is what they do. It’s what they live for. ...  read more

School Conference Time

Here in Oregon, it’s parent/teacher conference time, which, as every parent and every teacher knows is the very most delightful time of the year.

It’s a time free from pressure and angst.

It’s a time we all come together to celebrate our collective successes and pat ourselves on the back and feel uplifted by our communities and like we’re not alone. ...  read more

The Oregon Trail

I, personally, have never died of dysentery.

If you have died of dysentery, though,

and lived to tell the tale, then you undoubtedly attended public school in the United States, and you think the the Oregon Trail game is RAD.

My sister-in-law, for example, born and raised in Yamhill County, Oregon, died of dysentery dozens of times, and it still makes her giggle. ...  read more

Egg Hunting: The Hunger Games Edition

Every year I’m a mom, I’m certain the Easter egg hunt can’t get any better.

From that very first time trying to convince my toddling Abby girl in her pristine, pressed Baby Gap dress, matchy-matchy bloomers and ruffle socks to amble toward the eggs that were littering the grass… to last year with myriad grubby kids (many of them mine) blithely elbowing siblings and cousins outta their way with nary a thought to the little people who could get hurt while they amassed personal billions in discount candy… every mental snapshot ups the ante. ...  read more

Come on, baby, light my fire.

This week at the beach, I taught my three littlest kids how to build a fire.

If you’re wondering what’s wrong with me, my children were in your camp. They all thought I was crazy, too. Are you sure that teaching fire-building is in our best interests, Mom? they asked with various words and skeptical glances.

I told them I was sure. It seemed like the thing to say. ...  read more

When Momming Pays Off

WOOHOO! It finally happened! Just when I doubted that my lengthy (but extra fun and engaging) lectures were making a difference, my 12-year-old said this to his 10-year-old sister yesterday:

“You don’t need to play Wii, Aden. It’s a beautiful day. Let’s go ride bikes.”

LET’S GO RIDE BIKES, Ian said.

I just don’t understand why people doubt that miracles still happen. I mean, who needs Grilled Cheesus to point the way to God when there’s a 12-year-old boy child in America who will choose bike riding over video games...  read more