Clickety Click

By Moriah on October 31st, 2008

I’m guest posting over at Chic Critique again today, head over and check it out!

SS Notes, Take Two

By Moriah on October 30th, 2008

This past Sunday was our last week of looking at the parable of the prodigal son during Sunday school. We’ve already studied the prodigal himself, spent a week talking about the older brother, and then for this class we focused on the father.

One of the things our teacher started out by saying was if we remember anything from the study, let it be that as Christians, we are all called to be like the father, and our sanctification is to that end.

Fleshing it out:

  • At the beginning of the story, the father gave that to the son which he did not deserve (at least yet); knowing the son would most likely squander everything
  • He did not try to use wisdom or logic to try to persuade his son to say; did not try to change his son’s mind
  • Did not go after him; he let him go (and “manhandling” someone often breeds further rebelliousness)
  • Watched the son leave knowing his love wasn’t enough to make the son stay, hoping it would be enough to bring him back
  • He hoped and watched every single day for his son’s return — not knowing if he would ever come back
  • He waited patiently; he did not go after his son
  • He was there watching when the son came back; saw him from a far off
  • When the son returned, the father RAN to the son; his love and forgiveness was apparent and overflowing
  • He did not make the son grovel
  • He did not make the son do penitence
  • He threw a party, sparing no expense (and the father’s own celebration was more poignant because he had experienced that extreme pain in hoping and waiting)

(Another side note: So why don’t we all just become prodigals and experience the father’s love in such a meaningful way? For one thing, we would not experience the father’s faithfulness every single day – the older brother saw that and was blessed in it.

He saw his father go out and meet each new day, whispering “out there” his love for his younger son. The older brother was himself the beneficiary of all that his father had – every single day. “All that I have is yours.” Always.)

What we do each day matters: we love, we forgive, we wait… and we hope.

Sneaking-in a Superfood (spinach)

By Moriah on October 29th, 2008

Lately I’ve been trying to get Adelaide to eat fresh spinach and the best way I’ve found is to whip it through my food processor with some water and add it into her food. Putting it in spaghetti sauce is super easy because the spinach looks a lot like the other herbs and you can hardly taste the difference.

Cooked spinach is stringy and has a distinct flavor that is hard to sneak past children (and older babies in particular). My older kids will eat fresh spinach like lettuce, but Adelaide is slightly prone to choking on it.

I put a bunch of fresh leaves in my processor and pour in a little water and turn it on:

It looks about like this when done:

Paste it on (shown with vegetarian refried beans) and hide it under some fresh salsa or pico:

Although not vegan, sometimes we add cheese:

How I usually serve this dish, folded over and cut into a more manageable size:

(Sometimes I’ll just make a bowl of the pureed spinach/beans/salsa/cheese and just give that to Adelaide with a spoon and she LOVES it.)

I use very mild (but fresh!) salsa, by the way. Try it out, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Works for me!!

WonderGirl on Halloween

By Moriah on October 28th, 2008

[Originally published by WonderGirl on October 31, 2007. Reprinted here with permission.]

Taking Back Halloween

Hello, my name is WonderGirl, I’m a Christian, and I take my children trick or treating.

Why? CANDY! And dressing up in fun costumes. And carving pumpkins into silly faces. And scary corn mazes. Did I mention the candy?

But it’s more than that. I feel led to celebrate Halloween. I’ll explain.

I’m tempted to just link to some other people who have given such good explanations about why Christians can (and mayhaps should) celebrate Halloween. But that seems like cheating in some way, so I’ll give you the long and short of why WE celebrate, with liberal use of exerpts here and there that say it better than I can.

There are SO many misconceptions about the origins of Halloween. I won’t go into them all, because that’s been done quite a bit. You can read a good synopsis here. Suffice it to say, most of what the secular world thinks about Halloween is just out and out false historically.

Halloween is “All Hallows’ Eve”. It is the day before All Saints Day, which is November 1. Jim Jordan gives a good run down of All Saint’s Day (HT to Rich for this link): “It is the celebration of the victory of the saints in union with Christ. The observance of various celebrations of All Saints arose in the late 300s, and these were united and fixed on November 1 in the late 700s. The origin of All Saints Day and of All Saints Eve in Mediterranean Christianity had nothing to do with Celtic Druidism or the Church’s fight against Druidism (assuming there ever even was any such thing as Druidism, which is actually a myth concocted in the 19th century by neo-pagans).”

It is not “the devil’s day”. It is actually the very opposite. Satan has been thwarted, Christ has won the victory, and this is a day of celebration! We remember those saints that have gone on before us, and laugh at the defeat of our enemy. More from Jim Jordan: “This is why the custom arose of portraying Satan in a ridiculous red suit with horns and a tail. Nobody thinks the devil really looks like this; the Bible teaches that he is the fallen Arch-Cherub. Rather, the idea is to ridicule him because he has lost the battle with Jesus and he no longer has power over us.”

Halloween is a day of mockery. It reduces the power of Satan to plastic fangs and fake blood… it is a day when the ghoulish and ghastly are really nothing more than peeled grapes in a bowl, cold cooked spaghetti. It is a day when someone says, “BOO!” and we laugh.

So, we’ve got this holiday that we’ve relinquished culturally over the years. The meaning of the day is convoluted. So what to do about that? Reclaim it. Don’t be afraid of it. What have we to fear? Spooks have no power over the name of Jesus Christ! Laugh at the futile, pitiful attempts of the Fallen. Don’t cower in your house, with the lights off, warding off the evil of trick or treaters.

Brandy says it so well on her blog: “We are to be missional Christians. What kind of message does it send to the world we are supposed to be reaching, especially the kids, when they find a dark porch with no candy or a note that says “We don’t participate in this holiday.” How much better would it be if, in the midst of such a dark night, we had the brightest house on the block, decorated with tons of white lights. We could hand out the BEST candy! Full sized candy bars. And, if you have time to spare, make cool wrappers to tape around that say, “Taste and see that the Lord is good! Psalm 34:8.” That is one night that we have a unique opportunity. When kids from non-Christian families in our neighborhood come to our house year after year, hopefully they will remember the Christians as the most generous, the most joyous, the least fearful.”

I love that!

Are there elements of Halloween that we should be careful of? Well, naturally. The Bible is pretty clear on avoiding evil and embracing righteousness. But we are salt and light, as much on October 31st as any other day of the year. We shouldn’t give that day away because we are afraid. Dennis Ruport says, “While Christians should absolutely avoid pagan practices, Christian hype tends to make us overreact to benign folk elements of Halloween. We appear like zany buffoons to the world when there is no necessity for doing so. Furthermore, our groundless retreat from all elements of Halloween leaves a vacuum that wicked elements delight to fill.”

So there you have it. That’s why we celebrate Halloween.

(But mostly just the candy. Ha.)

PS: I am including our weekly pastoral letter in the extended entry for my own record keeping, and in case you are interested in reading a more detailed theological defense of Halloween. There’s definitely a reason Rich gets the paycheck! It’s great!

[Due to the length, I am not going to copy in that letter. You can find it here at her original post and scroll down.]


By Moriah on October 26th, 2008

I got this idea/recipe from Sarah’s blog (In the Midst of It) and in case you don’t read her, I’m going to pass it along. Because this is a recipe you want, trust me.

My sisters came over last night to do their laundry and so we tried these out and watched a movie. UnBELIEVEably quick and easy. And GOOOOOOD.

Homemade Donuts: Pop open a can of refrigerated biscuits. Poke a hole in the center of each biscuit (I used my Pampered Chef apple corer):

And then fry the donuts (and holes) in a few inches of oil (I use canola):

Flip over once (this takes less than a minute, make sure you don’t go far!):

Drain on paper towels:

Roll in cinnamon & sugar:

Perfect for a Saturday morning or a Sunday evening at home. Best served still warm.

(You could also glaze them with a powdered-sugar glaze or frost them with chocolate icing.)

And I even did some laundry.

By Moriah on October 25th, 2008

Ironically, the very morning after I posted about how late we wake up, our doorbell rang at 8:45 a.m. yesterday and we were all still asleep.

In my defense, it was very dark and rainy outside, a perfect day to sleep in. I stumbled to the door and peered out to find the roommate of a friend, asking for Andy; her car was right in front of our house with a flat tire.

I was half-asleep. I should have welcomed her inside. But it didn’t even cross my groggy consciousness to do anything besides go get Andy and crawl back under the warm covers.

He threw on some clothes and a fleece and went and rescued the damsel in distress. Or at least got her car functioning again.

I had really wanted to go on a family outing yesterday and so later in the morning, we all went to the kids’ museum. It’s really fun to go with Andy because he can take Drew and Madeline around to all the older exhibits and I can chase Adelaide around the more basic stuff.

And he has fun playing with them. And I have fun watching that.

Since it was raining, we decided to stay and eat lunch in their cafeteria. (Note to self, bring along a few side dishes. Because $.75 for six mandarin oranges is a bit steep.)

Last night Nicky and the boys came over to eat and spend the evening fighting over toys and watching Mary Poppins. Steve’s still out of town, and Andy works nights, so it was a perfect opportunity to get together.

But really, who can refuse free dinner, cookies, tea, and popcorn?

As if I needed another excuse to go shopping

By Moriah on October 24th, 2008

I’m a little bit notorious for hitting the snooze button. Like, for hours on end. And having no recollection of it whatsoever.

(Or, as my college housemates can attest, not hitting it at all. An hour of a beeping alarm and still no remembrance of anything.)

You may remember the Andy-almost-missing-his-shuttle-to-Nashville incident? Ahem.

Well, somehow, I managed to wake up this morning at precisely 9 a.m.

Drew’s preschool begins at 9 a.m.


(At least it’s only preschool and not, say, third grade.)

Anyway, so we scurried around and Andy got him out the door as fast as humanly possible. The teachers were still, unbelievably, taking kids from the carpool line, so he didn’t even have to get out and walk Drew in.

The teacher commented that Drew was ‘late’ for him, and that he’s usually one of the first there.

Which, if you know us, is really quite astonishing.

The girls and I had a playdate and lunch with some other friends while he was cramming his head full of the letter H. And we even managed to remember to leave their house in time to pick him up.

I dropped the kids off to Andy at home and quickly drove back to Target because when my sister and I were there with the kids last night, Madeline left her beloved pink monkey somewhere in the children’s section. And I, being the loving and doting mother that I am, had promised her I’d go pick it up today.

And so I did.

An Afternoon with Adelaide

By Moriah on October 22nd, 2008

The other day I snapped some pictures of Adelaide and some of them turned out pretty cute. I thought I’d share some of my favorites.

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