So Long September. Seriously.

nature-leaves-fall-neature-mediumSeptember, I’m glad to see you go. I kinda have a love / hate relationship with you. I’m not swinging clear into the hate camp right now, but I’m glad you’re done and over with. You’re just such a busy month. I feel like I can’t catch my breath and I’m chasing deadlines and never ending to-do lists. All. Month. Long. Also, I always feel like you came in a little too fast, I wasn’t ready to let go of the deep summer of August yet. Sneaky, sneaky August.

The back to school and work rhythms of life are kind of nice when we meet you, September. Kids going to bed earlier. Knowing a bit more of what our weeks will look like. But settling into these new rhythms leaves me breathless. First, we have to be up early. Too early. We have to leave our house by 6:50 am to get these high schoolers to campus before the traffic hits. I am not a morning person, September. We both know that. This is gross. It’s just gross. Second, that means I should go to bed earlier. But there are all these papers the kids need filled out and signed and read over. A bunch of the back to school paperwork is automated and I did that way back in August. So why, September, are you still sending them home with papers. Let’s save some more trees, shall we??!!

September, beyond school you bring all of these activities and sports and clubs and stuff to do!!! I love that my daughter wants to manage the football team this year. And I love that she has been taking initiative to learn everything she’s doing. But her schedule is different every night! Add in my Bible study that started back up, it adds into the nights out along with meetings in the evenings and back to school curriculum nights. So many nights gone. I honestly don’t even know the last time I really cooked a meal for my kids. Not even kidding, September. I think if you took a blood draw from my son all you would get is frozen pizza. Last weekend I went grocery shopping. We were out of almost everything because I hadn’t even had time to go. I intentionally bought the ingredients to make my kids a nice pot of beef bourguignon that night. Then I got busy writing. And my son was more that willing to help. So I told him step by step what to chop and sauté and add and taste while I was at the kitchen island writing. So much for mom making a home cooked meal. Do I at least get half credit?! Well, then we consumed it in about ten minutes before running off to another activity. Dearest September, are you feeling my pain?!

Oh, and remember that I’m in full time ministry? September, please. I love you when we get to see all of our friends return from their summers around the globe. And I love that we’re back into our regular schedule of volunteers serving in classrooms. And I love that all of our life groups are starting back up and we’re back into building relationships with people. That also means that I have been working really, really hard to cultivate long range volunteers, long term planning, dreaming of new goals to achieve in our ministry, planning special events, leading trainings for volunteers, designing new environments in teaching spaces. I love it. I do. But September, you crush me when it all falls right here. Some ministries wait for a late September or even (gasp) October fall launch time. People are filling their fall schedules already though. So September, we’ll continue to do this.

The other love / hate, oh my friend, September: my birthday falls in you. I always look forward to it and want to celebrate in full joy, gathering friends and family around me. And everyone is busy. Too busy. I still remember one birthday as a kid when my “cake” was a floating flower candle in a bowl of water, squished in after dinner and before evening events. Everyone was busy and we had to celebrate my birthday on a different day. I understood. And it still sticks with me. I never know if I should plan a celebration for myself or let someone else plan something for me or just let the day disappointingly slip by. I’ve had them all, including the unfortunate RIP cake someone planned for me. <deep shudder> That was bad, September. And now, you remind me that I celebrate 29 into eternity. Love you for that….

The other thing about you, September, with your changing weather, decaying leaves, and cesspool of classroom germs, I’m always sick by the end of you. Last year you gave me the never-ending sinus infection. And I was flying south. It felt like someone was repeatedly stabbing me in the face. Awesome sauce. This year, you’re just under my skin making me feel “off”. Like when the milk is a bit “off”. Hmmph. Maybe I’ve celebrated 29 one too many times and I’m on the verge of spoiling. Thanks for that reminder, September. Sheesh.

I do kinda love you and some of the joys that you bring. By the end of you I’m usually ready for the beautiful fall colors you’re creating. I’m ready to settle into the beauty of your neighbor, October. I say goodbye, knowing so much of your psychotic craziness I’m not going to miss at all. So long September. Seriously.


Climb On Things!

It has been a summer of adventures! I love finding adventure all year, but there’s something special about summer time. It reminds me of the long gone days of summer break. Sleeping in a bit, but feeling free without the demands of school and routines and schedules.

Of course I’m an adult now and my work schedule still calls. But in the midst of work a person must make time to play. Sometimes we have to take cues from our kids. Sometimes the kids need to take cues from us. My teens are at the point they would prefer to sleep in then be connected to some sort of screen all day. Nope. Not me. And I want more for them. So I’ve pushed them out.

Grand adventures over several days are fabulous. Like the 200 mile relay race I did with 11 other friends over two days. Or the week long conference my kids attended this summer. Small adventures of random silliness spice up life though. Right in the middle of whatever you’re doing. Like climbing on statues. It’s one of my favorite things to do. Anytime, really. It makes me smile!! I even have friends now sending me pictures of their kids climbing on statues. Mom and dad, get on up there too!!

This is just a reminder that God has created a big huge world out there and He longs for us to enjoy. He gave us bodies to move and think and feel. So stop holding back on life, get outside & find some adventure! And share some stories of your summer adventures with me!

A few adventures…


We climb with the monkeys!


Chillin’ with a tiny statue


Just checking out another statue

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Sometimes I freak a few people out…

Lettuce Bombs

My kids LOVE Lettuce Bomb night.  Now let me explain before you get some crazy idea like we explode lettuce or I disguise salad so they think it’s “da bomb”. (they would forbid me from saying that anyway…)

We just really enjoy the Asian Lettuce Wraps at PF Changs.  But I don’t always want to run across town just to grab those tasty wraps.  Nor do I want to pay the price, because honestly, we could eat several orders of those fine little things!  Also, I enjoy throwing something a bit crazy and unexpected in our meals at home.

So I was doing my regular grocery shopping when, much to my great delight, I found a seasoning packet to make my own wraps!  So I bought the packet, some of the dried rice noodles, iceberg lettuce, ground chicken, and went home to create!  

If you’ve never cooked the rice noodles, you’re in for a treat right there!  It’s super easy and fun for the kids to watch.  I use my big dutch oven and heat oil in the bottom.  Get your big tongs or a spatula and slotted spoon ready.  Toss in a bundle, watch them sizzle and expand, flip them over for the other side to do the same, then pull them out.  That quick and simple!  While you’re doing that brown your chicken in a skillet and add the seasonings as directed on the packet.  The iceberg lettuce is also easy to pull apart.  I also like spicy mustard, so I mix some dry mustard with a bit of vinegar to make my own.  Voila!  A quick and fun dinner is ready!

The original lettuce bomb!

The original lettuce bomb!

As for the bomb name?  Well, sometimes they can be difficult to wrap up.  My son just piled a bunch of the crispy noodles and meat in the middle of his lettuce the first night we had them.  Instead of rolling it up burrito style he just sort of gathered the lettuce up, more like a pouch.  A few noodles were sticking out the top.  He sort of chuckled and said, “Look!  It’s like a lettuce bomb!”  We all laughed and the name stuck!

So the next time you’re grocery shopping or looking for a fun family meal, give the lettuce bombs a try!  I’m sure you’ll create your own fun family memories in the process!!