Stolen Time

I still can’t believe we pulled this off!

Somehow – in a miracle of scheduling – we got four of our five children together at the same time.

And somehow – in a miracle of packing – squished all of our luggage and bodies into the mini-van…

That's true!…and traveled 10 hours packed like sardines all the way to Colorado to see our firstborn Matt.

We stole three precious days from our very busy fall schedules and spent them together.

By day we played tourist – taking in the highlights of Matt’s adopted city.
DSC_0197We saw where Matt worked, met his co-workers, admired the awesome mountain view from his desk.

We hiked.

We explored.

We climbed.

We shopped.

But by night – we were just us.

DSC_0193Playing games.

Watching movies.

Eating popcorn.

Sharing inside jokes.


Cherishing every moment.

Knowing that time was short and family was precious.

And that soon we would be heading home and leaving one behind.

it was stolen time.

And it was so, so sweet.

Full House

10615967_10204631801374280_9211147631680570125_nMatt’s home!!!

My house is full again.

He hasn’t been home since Christmas – 8 months ago.

That. is. too. long.

We have so much to catch up on – and we’re filling each day to the brim!

Time with extended family.

A hilarious family night to watch the movies the kids produced years ago.


Favorite foods.

Gallons of coffee.

Mounds of laundry.

Sibling adventures.

And moments of just being. Cherishing the sound of his laughter and hearing his voice in the house.

The time is flying by.

Our week is almost gone.

Just a few more days to pack full of precious memories.

Sometimes I wish time could just stand still.

Spiced Nuts

spiced nutsMatt’s coming home today!

Isn’t it interesting that we say he’s “coming home” when he comes and that he’s “going home” when he leaves?

I guess that’s the blessing of a beloved child.

You will always have two homes – one where you liveĀ  – and Mom and Dad’s where you will always be welcome.

To get this beloved firstborn of ours home requires a trip to the airport in the big city. So Jan and I plan to do some Christmas shopping in route.

Since we will be without children for the first part of the trip – it definitely qualifies as a “date”. šŸ˜‰ So I whipped up a batch of these yummy spicy nuts to munch on in the car.

With so many sweets around during the holidays – sometimes a little spice just hits the spot.

They are super fast to make – and disappear almost as quickly!

Spiced Nuts

1 cup raw nuts (I used almonds, but cashews, pecans, walnuts, or even peanuts would also work – just make sure they are raw!)
1 teaspoon olive or coconut oil
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss all the ingredients together and bake until lightly toasted – about 15- 20 minutes. Watch them carefully – some nuts toast faster than others!

This recipe easily doubles, or triples.


For all you THMer’s – this is a solid and very satisfying S.

I’ve linked this post with Trim Healthy Tuesday on Gwen’s Nest.

Matt’s Home!

Excuse my absence in blog world this week – but Matt’s home!

matt's home!

We picked him up at the airport in route to my family’s annual “Christmas Over Labor Day” celebration. (More on that later!)

It’s been a whirlwind ever since.

Kinda like having Christmas break the second week of school.

When the tomatoes are all ripe.

And the green beans need to be picked.

matt is home

A little crazy. But sooo good!

We’re making time for movie nights (The Hobbit of course!) and corn on the cob and brother/sister coffee dates.

We’ve squeezed meaningful conversations in between 4H meetings and batches of spaghetti sauce.

And lots of rest – which is just what he needs after a full summer staffing at Summit Ministries.

We’re making every minute count this week!

Matt’s home!

Catch Up

Have you ever had a week where things just kept piling up?

You just get started on one thing – when something else hits you. Boom.

That was last week.Matt's home

Some of the things were wonderful – like Matt coming home!

And a brother/sisters coffee date.

And a brother road trip to see Iron Man 3 in 3 D.

And my niece’s beautiful wedding. (I cried!)

And seeing family again.

And hearing all the news.

And finding some great deals while thrift shopping.

And absolutely gorgeous temperatures on Monday and Tuesday.

And an amazing date night with my wonderful husband to hear Andrew Peterson in concert!

But there was also the not so wonderful parts.

DSC_0008Like the snow.

Lots of snow.

In May.

And chasing cows off the road because a limb knocked down the fence.

And mud.

Lots of mud.

And another broken burner on my stove.

And late nights and early mornings.

And dropping my son off at the airport and watching him fly away. Again.

Deep sigh.

Today is a day to dig out from last week.

To finally finish up all the things that got suspended in the busyness of life.

To wash the piles of laundry.

Replace the stove.

Repot the poor seedlings who are anxious to be in the ground.

And slow down for a few minutes to savor it all.

To take a deep breath and be thankful.

A Near Disaster

We had another one of those calls last week.

This one was from Matt – 700 miles away in Colorado.

“Hey Dad – do you know when I had my last tetanus shot?”

Oh dear.

We discovered that he was in the emergency room after having a run-in with a chop saw.

Thankfully he was wearing a good pair of leather gloves at the timeĀ  and only needed 5 stitches to sew up the massive cut.

Matt's glove

He was a breath away from cutting majoring nerves, blood vessels and important digits.

I wonder if there’s a guardian angel out there with part of his wing missing?

He’ll have a wicked scar on his hand the rest of his life – but it will serve as a reminder of a near disaster averted.

So thankful today. So very, very thankful.

And yes – I made sure he had another pair of leather gloves!



Matt’s home!

After spending the better part of the summer and early fall working at Summit Ministries in Colorado – my oldest is home for a few days.

And I do mean just a few days!

We picked him up at the airport Saturday afternoon – and it’s a been a whirlwind ever since!

Cousins after church on Sunday. Jan’s folks on Monday. More cousins on Tuesday. A quick trip to Michigan over the weekend to check out a college and then even more family visits next week before flying out on Thursday.


We’re making all his favorite foods – apple crisp, cinnamon rolls, and meringues.

Enjoying deep conversations, impromptu swings dancesĀ  and his really eclectic music choices.

Somehow in the craziness we’ll find the time to pack him up, give him some refresher cooking courses and prepare to send him out to make his fame and fortune.

Well – at least survive the winter on his own in Colorado. šŸ™‚

But right now – I’m just savoring the moment.

Soaking in all the bustle and activity.

Knowing that in a few days everything will settle back down.

And my oldest will be out on his own again.

It’s a bittersweet thought.

Jolly Old England

So how is Matt doing over across the pond in England?

Jolly good! Thanks for asking!

Communication has been tough – since his cell phone doesn’t have an international plan and the internet in his flat is too sketchy for Skype.

And then there’s the time difference. (We keep one clock in the house set to “Matt time”!)

But thanks to Facebook – we know he’s alive and well and having the time of his life!

OxfordBut that’s to be expected – he’s in Oxford after all – soaking in the history!

He stood in the dining room where Lawrence of Arabia ate.

He meet C.S. Lewis’s personal secretary – in person – and talked to him.

Windsor CastleHe toured Windsor Castle – while the queen was in residence – but didn’t get an audience with her majesty.

archers hole windsor castleOf course – after reading many Henty books and playing endless hours of Age of Empires in his youth – he would notice and take a picture of the archer’s hole in the castle wall.

I wonder if it looked like he imagined it would?
Roman Baths It still amazes me to know he can hop on a bus or train and spend the day at the Roman Baths in Bath, Somerset.

But I know he’s still my son –

oxford book storeSince he immediately found the book store!

That’s my boy!