Our 7th Grader


Julian started 7th grade at Duke School this week.  We are all excited about this new learning environment for him.  He continues to have an amazing attitude and ease about this transition.  He is pictured here on his first day.  He and his classmates were told to bring in a cereal box decorated to tell others about themselves.  He created the box with words and pictures of things that represent him.


Decorating Cupcakes

My daughter, Madelyn, is really into cupcakes.  I can’t say that I do not follow her interest in this.  We have recently been watching Cupcake Wars on the Food Network channel.  The boys  enjoy watching this baking competition with us as well.  Madelyn and I get inspired with each viewing.  Recently we tried our hand at making a fun cupcake and decorating.  This can be a challenge for us because we are vegan.  We decided to melt some vegan dark chocolate chips and pipe it into a small ziplock baggy.  We cut one of the tips of the baggy and made designs on wax paper with the chocolate drizzles. We froze our decorations.  Later we topped our vegan chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing and our finished decorations.

Here are a few of the cupcakes before they were gobbled up….

Words Worth Heeding

I received this recently when visiting one of our favorite restaurants, P.F. Changs.  Isn’t the message simple, but powerful?  I have a renewed sense of appreciation for what I have after a summer of loss.

You must note the paper origami piano Kalen made me that is presenting these words in my kitchen window.  🙂


In an effort to encourage kindness within our home, I created this handy system.  We all get a chance to catch each other showing kindness each day, right?  Well, our family is now encouraged to write down these acts of kindness.  No one is to write down their own kindness shown, but note it in others.  Once the jar is full, we will read the cards aloud and reflect on all these wonderful ways of showing kindness.  Then, we will do something fun as a family, such as, have a family game night, watch a family movie together or go out to eat.  I will place the used kindness cards in a simple photo album to keep and we will start again filling our jar.

As a parent, I feel like it is important to continually be redirecting our kids from just thinking of themselves.  It is our human nature to be selfish, I think.  Putting others before ourselves can be hard and just doesn’t always come naturally.  Within my marriage, I have to work towards putting Scott before myself.  It takes work.  As my grandma said near the day of her passing, “It doesn’t take much to be nice to people.”  There is so much wisdom in that.  A little goes a long way with kindness towards others.  I want my children to catch me being kind.  I want them to see the goodness in each other as they work towards being more helpful and thoughtful toward others.  Kindness matters.  Hey, maybe I should make a t-shirt that says that.  🙂

Several days in and we are seeing kindness within our home.

I secretly took a card out to read it.  This is Madelyn’s handwriting.  🙂

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

Aesop from The Lion and the Mouse

Folly Beach 2012

If you have kept up with this blog at all, you know that our family has been in need of a getaway.  With the heaviness of our losses, we have needed a healthy escape of sorts.  Last week we scooted out of town to meet up with family at Folly Beach, SC.  My in-laws, Jerry and Jan, spoiled us with a full week to enjoy the beach, sun and family time.   As I try and get back in the swing of things here at home, I wanted to take time and reflect on our time away.   It was a much needed time of rest and family togetherness.

I made a slideshow featuring some moments captured during our week.  We had a wonderful time with Jan, Jerry and Shanda.  We are grateful for their willingness and even their enjoyment in spending an entire week with the six of us (in one wonderful condo).  I love the beach.  Anytime spent near the ocean breathes life into me somehow.  As I still find sand here or there to shake off of shoes or bags, I smile thinking of my feet, so recently, in the sun and sand and the memories made.

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