A Thanksgiving Tale For the Weary Mama



I remember this day like it was yesterday. Davy was 5 months old, the others were 7, 5, and 3. Aaron had been out of town for work for 10 days and I was prepping to host 25 people at our house for Thanksgiving.
This particular morning I rounded up the children to head to Trader Joe’s to get the turkey and do all the shopping. This was nothing new, because as a home schooling mama, I took all my kids everywhere, all the time.
But just because I did it all the time doesn’t mean it was particularly easy. Trader Joe’s, in fact, was especially hard. Those aisles were narrow and no matter how many times I’d bark at the children, “single file! Single file!” they all liked to fan out in a horizontal line alongside me and the cart, effectively blocking any other shoppers from passing us.
It drove me crazy!
I broke out in a sweat on every TJs shopping trip, tried not to curse under my breath, and to smile with a saintly glow at the 50 + people who looked at me and said, “my! You have your hands full!”
Oh Trader Joe’s shopping trips with 4 little kids, you were so much fun. 😁
When we arrived, I didn’t put Davy in the cart like usual, but strapped him to me in the Ergo carrier. I’d need every inch of space in that cart for groceries. We started with the turkey, a big one for our crowd of guests. And we cruised the store, filling the cart to the brim, me telling the kids to “stop jumping, stop wrestling, no, we can’t get those chips, single file!” and all the rest. I also told Lilly, repeatedly, not to hang on the cart.
Those Trader Joe’s carts
are notorious for tipping. It happened to me when William was a baby and James was hanging from the side of the cart. It was terrifying. And I lived in mortal fear of it happening again.
So of course, on that day it did. As I was reaching for some carrots, I heard a scream and turned to see Lilly falling to the ground with the full, heavy cart falling on top of her. I lunged for it, but wasn’t fast enough. Girl and cart hit the floor with a thud. The boys and I yelled, groceries flew everywhere, eggs broke, and Lilly wailed. I tried to lift the cart off of her and to keep the panic out of my voice as I asked if she was all right.
Kind employees and shoppers rushed to help and we lifted the cart off of her.
There was no blood, and nothing seemed broken, but she was crying.
I collapsed on the ground next to her, pulled her onto my lap and sat there, with a screaming Davy between us, the tears running down my cheeks, mingling with hers, and dripping on the floor.
I tried to stifle sobs.
I was so tired. And scared. And relieved. And frustrated. And so grateful I had put Davy in the carrier that day. And embarrassed. And mad.
And why did this all have to be so hard!
The boys huddled next to us, patting my back, trying to comfort me, scared because of all that had happened, and scared because Mommy was sitting on the floor in the middle of Trader Joe’s, crying.
In that moment, the weight of mothering all those little people felt far too heavy for me to bear. It was just so never ending.
80 fingernails and toenails to cut and clean, teeth to brush morning and night, children who didn’t nap anymore, sleepless nights, endless piles of laundry to do, bodies to scrub, thousands of Legos to clean up every single day, and even a simple grocery store trip that ended in disaster.
Sometimes I wanted to quit.

Have you been there?

Crying in the shower? Weeping under your covers or sobbing into your husband’s chest? I know I admitted to him more than once, “I feel like I’m suffocating.” and then felt terrible for saying it.
It’s hard, hard work, this job of mothering.
But I have good news.
It gets easier.
I’m not saying it is ever easy.
But those relentless, sometimes suffocating, early days will get easiER
There will come a time when your children can cut their own fingernails. Cue the angel chorus! There will be a day when you’ll say, “someone get in the shower!” and someone will, and they won’t need you to wash them. They’ll wipe their own bums, and remember to wash their own hands. They’ll get their own snacks. And one sweet, sweet, day, you will be able to leave them at home while you run to the store for a minute all by yourself.
Now before you berate me for not enjoying every.single. second. of motherhood while my kids are young, understand that I enjoy much of it. Like a whole, whole lot of it. But I’m also OK with a little independence. Saying goodbye to diapers was not a sad day for me. Not bathing 4 kids every night feels pretty grand.
There are beautiful things about watching my kids grow up. From saying goodbye to those simple tasks that sometimes add up and feel overwhelming, to the much bigger and sweeter things, like deep conversations and seeing them become their own person.
Seasons change.
And that is a good thing, because if we were stuck in the same season forever, we’d become awfully weary of it.
For me, the physically exhausting years of early motherhood are beginning to fade. And even though there are parts of their babyhood that I’ll forever miss, I’m also really enjoying the spot we’re in now. There are challenges, to be sure. But there always will be. That is the nature of this job.
What I want you to know, all you mamas of littles, is that even though it’s hard to believe now, you’ll make it. And when you do, don’t get so comfortable in your new spot that you think you’ve got it all together. Or even worse, think to yourself that those new moms who are making a big deal out of every single thing are overreacting. And for heaven’s sake, don’t tell them to enjoy this moment because it will be so much harder when they’re teenagers.
Don’t. Just don’t.
Instead, remember that you were there once too. Think of what you needed to hear in that moment. Put yourself in their shoes. Smile at those moms in the grocery store when you see them looking frazzled or teary. Tell them they are doing good work. Just like I’m telling you that you are now.
Because you are.
So if you fall down, you can cry a little, but then get back up, and keep going.
Listen to me when I say, you are doing good work mama!
“Let us not grow weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
Happy Thanksgiving to all you mamas and your little turkeys too!

Home Schooling 101: Creating A Book Club For Kids

The Beginnings
When I was a little girl, I longed for a book club of my own.
I had read about them in books.
My mom wasn’t a part of one, and out of all the other ladies and girls in my circle, there was only one I knew who was part of of book club.
She and I had talked about it at one of my brother’s baseball games.
She spoke of it with such pleasure, of making special food, and of vacuuming and cleaning her seldom used living room specially for the occasion.
Most importantly, she told me about how much fun it was to talk about books with her friends.
Her words went straight to my heart.
This was just what I longed for!

And so I went into action and began to create my own book club.
I sent out invitations to a bunch of my girlfriends.
I suggested the book. (I only wish I could remember which one we read!)
On the big day I cleaned my room and made cookies.
And later that afternoon, my friends were dropped off by their mamas for our first book club.

We crowded into my tiny room, squished ourselves together on my bed,  just a bunch of giggly 4th and 5th grade girls.
I tried so hard to lead a book discussion.
But it wasn’t at all like I dreamt it would be.
Before too long most of the girls wanted to go outside to play.
I was slightly heartbroken.
But I vowed to press on.
They just needed time to learn what to do at book club.

By the next meeting there was mutiny afoot.
One of the girls and I got into a disagreement because she said I was too bossy and was trying to make them talk about the book too much.
“But its a BOOK club!” I cried. “And its MY book club! We’re supposed to talk about the book.  And you are supposed to do what I want at MY club!”
It was our last meeting.
And this time I truly was heart broken.
Clearly I needed some help in creating a book club for my friends.
Or maybe they just weren’t ready for a book club.
Maybe I was just ahead of my time.

Knowing the tale of my childhood book club woes, you can understand why I couldn’t wait to start a book club for my own kids.
I planned to be a part of the process so it wouldn’t be a flop like my first book club was.
I wanted to give them the book club experience I had imagined for myself.
I wanted to introduce them to the joy of talking about books with their friends.


Because in the years between that failed book club, led by a bossy, 11 year old girl who was desperately in love with books, I had the good fortune to be a part of the kind of book discussions my 11 year old self dreamt of.
I had sat in literature classes where we talked about books for hours.
I had become part of book clubs with my friends, with coffee and good food, and genuine interested discussion.
I had moments in my English classes where more than 2 of the students cared about the book we were reading.
Where most of the kids in my class were involved in the conversation, interested, and excited about reading a book.
I had tasted the glory of book talks.
And I was ready to share it.

Thankfully I am a part of a home school group filled with moms whose hearts beat the same way mine does.
A few years ago, we decided to start a book club for our kids.

My kids and I missed the first two meetings.
But the first meeting we went to kind of blew me away.
We met on the beach in the middle of summer.
At lunch time we spread out a potluck lunch on a surf board, called the kids in from the water, and after they had loaded up plates, they settled down to talk about the book.
I was floored by the way every kid wanted to talk about the book.
They had so much to say!
Even the littlest ones did not want to be left out of the discussion.
Instead of a short, shallow, ‘pulling teeth” kind of discussion, it was rich, lively, fun, and went on for a long time.
Watching it all unfold made me happy and weepy and so excited about the years of rich literary discussions that lay ahead of us!


The Nuts and Bolts — How we organize our book club
Our book club has grown and blossomed rather organically.
But there were a few ideas we started with that have proved to very helpful in running our book club.
1. One family is the host for each book club.
That means that family chooses the book, picks the location for the discussion, plans the activities, and sends out an email asking each family to bring food to share, and other supplies for the day. We all pitch in to help, but she is the “event director”.
2. One mom facilitates the book discussion.
The same mom whose family is the book club host leads the book discussion.  That means she comes prepared with discussion questions and topics and helps guide the kids through the discussion time. Kids ages 3 or 4-11 participate in the discussion time, so a grownup facilitator helps a lot.
The idea is that by modeling how to have a book discussion, the kids will one day be ready to hold book discussions on their own.
3. We read classic literature.
This does not mean we are subjecting our kids to Beowulf or Canterbury Tales in the original Old English. But it does mean we are not choosing whatever is on the best seller list for that year. We generally use the free reading lists from Ambleside Online. (see some here, here and here.)
4. We have food at book club.
Books and snacks just go hand in hand. And book club is a celebration. And celebrations have special treats. So this was pretty much a no brainer. All the families bring food to share so the burden is NOT all on the host family.
5. We read 4 books a year.
In an effort not to keep ourselves sane, and to allow ourselves enough time to truly enjoy each book, we decided to read books on a seasonal schedule. That means we read one book for fall, winter, spring and summer. This is not to say that some families (ahem, mine) are not rushing to finish the book at the last minute.  But since you have 3 months to finish a book, you don’t have to cram it all in at the last minute.
6. Every family reads the books differently.
There is no set way to approach the reading. In some families each kids read the book on their own. In other families the book is read together as a family bed time read, or as part of school work. Other families might listen to the book on audio during drive time.  There are lots of ways to approach it, and no one way is better than the other.
In our family, we read the book together, because I don’t want to miss out on any of the books with my kids!


The Fun Extras: 
As time has gone on, our book club has bloomed beautifully. Here are some of the extras that make book club days even more fun.
1. We try to align food and activities to the book. 
This doesn’t always work, but often it does.  For example, when we read My Side of the Mountain, the kids brought tools and supplies to build a wilderness fort, just like Sam Gribley did in the book. And when we read Swiss Family Robinson, we planned a botanical scavenger hunt for the kids, where they looked for plants from the book in the botanical gardens where we held the meeting.
And when we read Alice in Wonderland, you can bet there were tea and scones.
2. We wear costumes.
Again, this is not always the case. But if  anyone has a costume that fits the time period or characters in the book, then costumes are very welcome!
3. We meet at special locations.
Living in California, we have the luxury of almost year round good weather. That means we can meet at outdoor locations. If we can, we try to make those locations connect to the book in some way. We’ve met at the beach, in a botanical garden, in a secret garden, in a wilderness park, and once we took the metro to China Town. Plus lots of other fun spots. Come winter, we might be forced indoors, but knowing our group of creative mamas, I’m sure it will still be just as magical.
4. We’re all in!
Its true, book club days are a bit of extra work. If you aren’t up for planning costumes, games, and lugging tables and buckets of tools across a park, you don’t have to. Book club could easily be a circle of kids on the floor, a plate of cookies, and a handful of rich discussion questions.
This is just the way our group functions. We view these days as a special treat and go out of our way to make them that way.


Giving kids a love of literature is a gift.
Giving kids a place to talk about the books they love and the tools to do it makes the gift even better.
I hope you’ll make book clubs a part of your children’s childhood.
How happy I’d be to know Kid Book Clubs were happening all over the world!
When you are contemplating the extra work and wondering if it is worth it, be encouraged by this beautiful quote from Gladys Hunt: “Reading enlarges my vision of the world; it helps me understand someone who is different from me. It makes me bigger on the inside. We tend to see the world from our own perspective; it is good to see it from the eyes of others. Good literature helps me understand who I am in relation to what others experience. Far from being an escape from reality, good literature is a window into reality. I read to feel life.”

For the love of books,

What the Rain Brought to Us in Yosemite

I can’t remember the last trip I actually blogged about.
I think it’s been years.
But this was our first time in Yosemite.
And the trip was so rich and full and dream like, that I don’t want to forget it.
Well, except for that first day.
There was a big part of that day that wasn’t the least bit magical.
But I want to remember that part too.
Because, like in pregnancy and childbirth, the bad memories fade, and all that is left is the glowing, good stuff.
I like that.
I like remembering the beautiful.
But I think there is a place for remembering the hard too.
Because the hard is where we learn the most.

I’ve often said I am glad God blessed me with 4 children, because there has been nothing like mothering 4 children to teach me to let go.
To let go of my pride, and to let go of my plans.
To let go of control, to let go of my notions of perfection, and, I confess I mourn this one too often, to let go of having my whole house clean at the same time and it staying like that for even 1 day.
Or 1 hour.
God has used my motherhood to help me rearrange my perspective and to show me what is most important.
It has been hard.
But it has also been good.

Sometimes though, I fall back into my old ways and try to hold fast to them.
I clench my fists tightly, unwilling to let go of my way.
Even when my way is clearly not working, I still hang on.
This vacation started off with a lot of fist clenching.
I had a vision and a plan.
I wanted things to go my way, and when they didn’t, I was not willing to let go and just take things as they came.
I wasn’t willing to see that what came about that might be better than the plans I had made.
I wasn’t willing to look for the good that might be the outcome of changes.
I was just mad that things weren’t working out my way.
Basically, I was a 2 year old.

From the start, things didn’t go the way I wanted.
We couldn’t get reservations at the right time.
As a result, our trip was shorter than I wanted it to be.
Then there were other things that came up and it was cut even shorter.
And again.
I was so frustrated.
And mad too.
We take several overnight or weekend trips a year, camping usually.
But this is our only longer vacation and I wanted the most out of it.
I wanted not to feel rushed and hurried.
Was that so much to ask?

So I sulked and pouted and acted like a 2 year old.
I realize how obnoxious this must sound to some of you.
I realize that because growing up, we went on 1 family vacation.
There were a few other trips, but they were when my dad was working, so he wasn’t there for much of the trip.
We went to the beach a lot.
And did fun day trips now and then.
But money was in short supply and annual family vacations were not a luxury we could afford.
So I know how fortunate we are to be able to take them with our kids.
It is a tremendous blessing.
And one I should never grumble or complain about.
Yet I did.
Because it is easy to get comfortable with where I am, and instead of counting the blessings, to become unsatisfied.
How quickly I became like the children of Israel, yearning for the luxuries of Egypt, instead of remembering the life of slavery there.

But the day of departure arrived and we finally got on our way.
And I vowed to have a good time and a better attitude.
Whatever we had time for would be wonderful and we’d make the best of it!
After hours and hours of drive time, traffic and delays, mudslides, a fire, and a deer jumping in front our car, we pulled into Yosemite.
It was dark and late and cold.
But we were all so excited to be there.
This sign made my heart sing.
I loved this place already!


The next morning, I woke early, put on my jacket, and headed out to find the bathrooms.
William was with me, and the first thing we saw was a mama deer and her fawn, wandering through the tent village where we were staying.
We followed them for a few minutes, marveling at their sweetness.
The leaves everywhere were beautiful shades of golden, and the air was crisp and so fresh.
We kept filling our lungs with it and saying, “doesn’t it smell so good here?”


And then we walked a little further, where the views opened up behind the trees.
My eyes filled with tears immediately.
This is what everyone meant when they said Yosemite changed them.
I was in awe of the beauty.
And that was just from they little pocket of sky I could see from Curry Village!
It was everything I had hoped for and more.
I couldn’t wait to wake the others and start our day of exploring.
I was right, it was all going to be great!
No matter how it started, it was going to be great!


It would be perfect if the story stopped there, right?
A happily ever after ending.
But life isn’t happily ever after.
Life is isn’t edited to perfection.
Life is messy.
And most of the time we make that mess ourselves.

So the story continues.
We set off on that cool, cloudy morning to explore the Yosemite Valley by foot.
Jackets on, backpacks loaded, and ponchos too, just in case.
The kids wanted to take the bus.
Because buses are a novelty for us.
Buses are fun.
But we said, ” no way!”
“We’re going to walk while we can.”
WIthin minutes of us setting out, a gentle rain began to fall.
We basically told the kids to suck it up, except nicer, and kept walking.
Then it started to pour.
Just buckets of water raining down on us.
We were drenched.
And we turned and sprinted through the downpour, back to the bus stop.

We were laughing.
It was funny, and ironic, and the kids thought it was just great.
Aaron and I shared a “can you believe this look?” and laughed some more.
But we were all soaked.
And the bus quickly became crowded and hot with others trying to escape the rain.
We tried to figure out where to go and what to do, and suddenly it wasn’t as much fun as it had been a few minutes ago.


Still, we determined to have fun.
We ran through the rain to the natural history museum at the visitor center, and then on to see a film so we could get to know Yosemite a little better.
Like the bus, it was packed.
And I was trying to have a good attitude about the rain, and the crowds and sticky, wet ponchos, but I’ll be honest, it was touch and go.
I wanted to hike Yosemite, not see it on a screen.
The film was wonderful.
And I fell more in love with Yosemite.
And was even more bummed that we couldn’t get out and see everything.

The rain was still coming down in sheets.
We braved it.
And got even more soaked.
So we toured the valley from inside the bus.
The kids loved it.
And I tried to put on a brave face.
I was failing.
I seriously wanted to cry.
I know.
It all seems very melodramatic now.
But in the moment, I felt like all the dreams I had for our first time in Yosemite were crashing all around me.
How quickly I forgot that magical morning, and all my promises to choose to find the good.


Thankfully Aaron was a hero and kept up good spirits. (despite his serious looks in that bus picture)
He suggested we go explore the historic Ahwahnee hotel.
It was beautiful.
But like everything else, so crowded.
And 4 year olds are only interested in sitting in a lodge admiring gorgeous architecture and beautiful, giant fireplaces for so long.
How were we going to fill this day?
Sitting in our tent playing cards?
That was not my plan!

Aaron wandered off and came back with a grin on his face.
He bent down to the kids and said, “since today is rainy and we aren’t getting to do much, how about we have lunch in the most beautiful dining room you’ve ever seen?”
The kids didn’t seem too impressed.
But he walked us over and we peeked in.


It was breathtaking!
High ceilings, and windows taller than our house to let in gorgeous views of must shrouded mountains, and rain falling from the sky.
We were all wet and disheveled, but they led us to our table like we were dressed for dinner.
They gave the kids Etch A Sketches to play with and brought hot cocoa and hot coffee.
I cried again.
From happiness and such a vivid reminder that letting go can lead to unexpected joy.
I guess there are happily ever after endings sometimes after all.

Or at least there are happily every after moments.
That are bought with Etch A Sketches for every kid at the table, plenty of hot cocoa, and a side of fries and a nap at the table for the very tired 4 year old.
Whatever it takes, right?


It was one of the best, most beautiful lunches of my life.
Cheers to my knight in shining armor for saving the day!
I’m so glad he helped me choose joy.
Especially when I didn’t want to.

It seems that on every adventure we embark on, there is a moment, or many, where the words of Bilbo Baggins ring so true: “Adventures are not all pony rides and May sunshine.”
Indeed they are not.
But this time the rain helped change my heart.
And it brought the waterfalls.
And so much more.
More on that in the next post.

Home Schooling 101: Creating a Learning Culture In Your Home

I’ve decided to start a series here called Home Schooling 101.
My goal with this series is to share my thoughts and ideas in response to the many questions I get about home schooling.
I’ll also be doing a Charlotte Mason 101 series, so don’t get worried that I’ve forgotten about that one.
I haven’t.
I just have so much to say about both of them, that it makes sense to me to break them down into multiple posts.

Please know that I do not consider myself some kind of home schooling expert.
After all, I have only been home schooling my kids for 6 years.
However, since I was home schooled myself, and then taught in a public high school, I do have a unique perspective to offer.
And the longer I home school, the more reading and research I find myself doing about it.
Because I am passionate about home schooling.
I’m interested in it.
I care about it.
I’m excited about it!
And I truly want success for other families on this journey.
With these posts i hope to share my passion and excitement for this amazing kind of education with you.

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As I thought about how to start this series, I kept coming back to things people ask me often.
One of the most common questions I get is “what does your school day look like?”, and “how do you organize your school day?”
This seems like a great place to start when you are a new home schooler, or wanting to make some changes in the way you do things.
But I’d like to encourage you to look beyond simply setting up a schedule, creating a routine, or finding your rhythm.

Because I bet you already have a routine or rhythm happening in your home.
You and your kiddos wake up at roughly the same time every day.
You eat a similar breakfast, and lunch every day, and probably snacks too.
Your kids nap, or have quiet time, and like to play the same games and read the same books day after day..
You have created a daily routine in your home, and perhaps you weren’t even aware of it.

Now maybe you want to change the routine and rhythms yo’ve fallen into and create ones that serve your family better.
That is a beautiful goal.
I think most, if not all of us, could find new, better ways to manage our days.

However, I think it is wise to separate the routine of your home from the culture of your home.
Especially in terms of education and learning.
Your routines or rhythms are the order in which you do things,
But your culture is much bigger than that.
Your culture is your values and beliefs, your customs, and your ways of doing things.
Your culture determines why you do the things you do, and then, how you do them.

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So when think of yourself as an educator, and your home as your classroom or school, you need to ask yourself, “what is the learning culture in our home?”
What educational concepts and beliefs do we value?
And then you can ask yourself “do our school habits and customs reflect those values?”
And finally, you can look at your school days and routines and ask, “how can we arrange our school days so that they reflect the learning culture we want in our home?”
Do you see how creating your rhythm and routine can flow naturally from the learning culture you create?

Let me give you an example.
In our home, we start almost every school day with Bible/devotional time, hymn singing, and poetry.
Those things are all of great value to me and I want the things they represent to be a continual part of our learning culture.
I started this routine with my children when we began school, and they were 5, 3 and 1.
This has become one of our school customs–it is a part of our classroom culture.
No one is embarrassed to sing hymns together as we sit around the dining room table.
Even when we sing off key and acapella.
No one is uncomfortable listening to poetry and talking about it.
Because that is what we have always done.
Because I established it as part of our learning culture, it quickly became something we all look forward to and enjoy as the start of our school days.

But if I had never started school that way before, and then suddenly did, it might feel strange and awkward at first.
That’s OK!
If you are embarking on creating new customs or changing the learning culture in your home, that change is hard.
Change takes time.
And you need to give plenty of grace while things are new.

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If you don’t feel ready to change the learning culture in your home because you haven’t thought about it before, take some time to do so.
A great place to start is to pray for wisdom.
Then talk to your spouse and see what he values.
You may be surprised to find there are things he thinks important that you don’t. (I was!)
You could read up on some of your favorite educational philosophies. (I’m currently reading “Consider This” by Karen Glass and it is rocking my world) .
I also like to meditate upon quotes like this one, and think how they can be best reflected in the learning culture of our home. “We wish to place before the child open doors to many avenues of instruction, and delight, in each of which he should find quickening thoughts.” Charlotte Mason
But if that sounds overwhelming, you can start by simply thinking about the things you value in your children’s education.

Here are just a few of the key educational/learning values I’ve used to shape our school culture:
equipping my kids to become life long learners
cultivating an appetite for discovery, adventure, and exploration
encouraging my children to work until something is done to its best, instead of to a grade
learning subjects like history, science and geography through narrative literature
taking learning outside the classroom and into the world as often as possible
to learn by experience and not just from books
studying and experiencing nature to grow our connection and love to and for the Creator
exposing my kids to much beauty (art, poetry, music, and nature) in order to cultivate a life long love for those things and a desire to make their world more beautiful
having fun!

As I said, these are just a few of the things I value and have attempted to make a part of the learning culture in our home.
But they have all impacted how I teach my kids, the way I schedule our days (lots of field trips!) the curriculum we use, how we learn science, and even having things like an afternoon tea time and studying art history.
Creating your learning culture truly impacts the way you teach your children.
Of course, your list will look different than mine.
And some of it will change over time as you learn and grow and as your children do too.
The important thing is to mindfully think about the learning culture of your home and then to take steps to create the culture you long for.

I know I use this quote so often, but it truly is a guiding principle in my home education journey as well as a pillar of our learning culture.

Friends, we have an amazing opportunity to create a learning environment in which our kids will grow and learn and thrive. So before you figure out your daily schedule, figure out what kind of learners you want them to be, and what kind of learning you want them to be doing.  Creating a learning culture that is unique to your family and children is such gift.  Make the most of it!

Adventure Is Out There! Creating Your Own Adventure Club


My love of adventure started when I was a little girl because my dad had the amazing ability to turn everything into an adventure.
If we had a few rainy days, we were on storm watch.
And he’d drive us around to see what creeks were overflowing.
He’d wake us up in the middle of the night to watch lightening storms.
If we were cleaning out the garage and doing a heap of yard work, and then making a trip to the dump, he’d make up a song about it and we’d sing it loud and happily the whole way there.
He made going to the dump an adventure!
My dad is one of the most enthusiastic people I know.
Kids follow him around like the pied piper because he exudes joy and fun.
He loves life and he loves people.
Long ago he made a decision about how he wanted to live life–by making the most out of all of it.
He sees life as one big adventure.

Growing up that way, I couldn’t help but want to make my life an adventure too.
And once I had kids, and began home schooling them, I decided that I wanted them to learn through adventures as well.
This idea has so shaped the way I teach my kids that I dedicate one day of our school week, every week, to adventuring.
We adventure with our home school group, but over time, we have begun to call ourselves the Adventure Club.
Occasionally I wonder if we are doing the right thing.
I mean, is it really OK to go on a field trip EVERY SINGLE WEEK?
But then I remember all that my kids learn while we are out in the wide world, and I stop doubting what my heart tells me is right.
Everything we are learning at home, sitting around the dining room table, or laying on the living room floor, comes to life in a new way when we are out adventuring.
Science, history, math, literature–every single subject gets covered.
Often in ways I could never plan for.
It just happens because we are learning wherever we go.
The world is our classroom!

Maybe you are longing to adventure with your kids.
Perhaps you are ready to start an adventure club of your own.
I’d love to help you get started by sharing some of the things I’ve learned in the last 6 years of adventuring with my kids.

The first place to start, of course, is to Find A Group.
Adventuring is more fun with friends. Even if you can’t find a whole group of adventurers to join, I bet you can find one other mom.
The trick is, you have to find someone who likes the same kind of adventures as you do.
Not every mom is up for long drives, long hikes, or letting their kids get muddy, and catch bugs.
And If you are, then you need to find a like minded mom.
And once you do, hold fast to one another, and get ready to adventure!

Once you’ve found your adventure buddy, or buddies, you need to Plan Your Adventures.
Here is where the fun starts!
Our group meets at the beginning of each semester to plan.
We usually plan for 3 nature outings a month and one cultural adventure.
When we started, our kids were all 5 and under, and none of us knew how much we were capable of.
So we visited nature centers, parks, arboretums, and trails that were stroller friendly.
But in short order, we found our way and began branching out–hiking further, and visiting places where we had to climb over rocks, ford streams, and climb up and down steep hills.
Even when 8 months pregnant.
(this was Lilly’s first 4 mile hike, she was 2 and a half. We waded across streams on slippery rocks and logs, and climbed a long, very steep hill at the end of the hike. I couldn’t carry her, because I could hardly climb the hill myself.  We were both exhausted by the time we reached the top. But we did it.  And that feeling was pretty great.)

Now most of us still have toddlers and pre-schoolers, but because those kids have been doing this since they were infants, we have different expectations for them.
They just have to come along!
The more you adventure, the more your confidence in your own ability and in your kids’ ability grows.
You’ll be amazed at the things you’re all are able to do.
So now, in addition to nature centers and parks, we also visit wilderness parks, mountain trails, tide pools, creeks, woods–basically any place we can hike and explore, and learn freely.

Our cultural days take us to museums of course, but there are also so many other places to visit.
In California, we have the missions, so those are on our list as places of historical interest.
When our group was studying weather for one of our nature study topics, we visited UCLA for a class on meteorology.
We’ve toured a lighthouse, a cheese shop, took the metro to downtown LA to visit China town, and toured historic mansions in Beverly Hills.
We’ve gone to plays and puppet shows, and visited the county fair.
Most of our trips are free or inexpensive.
There are so many field trips available to home schoolers now.
Many museums have free days for the general public, and some have days just for home schoolers.
The only limit to your adventures is your imagination!

So now that you’ve planned your trips, now you need to Pack Well.
One of the most common questions I get about our adventures is, “I don’t know what to pack.”
It’s a valid question, and it takes time to figure it all out.
For starters, you need a good backpack.
This was the first year that I haven’t had to carry a baby on my back, or front, so my back pack is different than the one I used while I was toting babies.
I use a Jansport, from their Heritage series.
I tried out a lot of packs to find one that is comfortable, and big enough for all the stuff I bring.
Inside my pack I always have a first aid kit.
I pack a sheet for sitting on because it’s lighter than a blanket.
For lunches, I have streamlined to fit the things that need to be kept cold into this one small cooler bag.
I bring things like string cheese, yogurt tubes, salami, and hummus in our cooler bag.
I don’t make sandwiches because they take up a lot of room and they get soggy.
Instead, I get a baguette and strap it to the top of my pack.
When it is lunch time, I tear off a hunk of baguette, stuff some cheese or meat in there, and hand it to my kids.
It’s the easiest lunch ever and my kids think its a great treat!
Each of my kids carries his own back pack with a water bottle and snacks.
I carry my own water and and an extra bottle because you never, ever want to run out of water on the trail.
It makes for a miserable hike.
And I always pack a treat of some kind, a lolly pop, gum, a fruit roll, or something that I can use to get tired kids to get down that last stretch of the trail.
Trust me, these little treats can be your saving grace.
My kids all pack different things for hikes.
My boys fill their back packs with things like knives, ropes, hammers and nails.
And they actually use those things!
My daughter brings stuffed animals, and all sorts of other random stuff that I don’t understand the point of having on a hike.
But since she carries it, she can bring what she wants.
They all carry their nature journals, a pen, and colored pencils, so they can draw if they want.
I carry thin, waterproof field guides for identifying plants and birds as we hike.

When we visit museums, we obviously leave much of this home.
I’ll still carry my back pack with snacks, water and lunch, and the kids will carry their art history, or nature notebooks for sketching.
Packing for your adventures is an art form.
And it helps tremendously to pack the night before.
It will help your mornings go so much more smoothly.
And you might not even yell at your kids before you get out the door!
Oh wait, I know that never happens to you guys.

The last thing you need for your adventures is the expectation that you will be challenged.
You need to be ready to Expect the Unexpected.
Whether you are visiting an art museum or hiking in a wilderness park, one thing you should expect on your adventures is that something you haven’t planned for is going to happen.
Your kid might try to touch a priceless piece of art and the guards will give you very dirty looks.
Talk to kids about museum etiquette before you go.
Or they might giggle and act all silly and embarrassed when you walk into a museum wing with nudes.
Plan ahead and avoid those wings, or talk to them about nudes in art before hand.
When we are hiking, I try to research the hikes as much as I can before we visit.
I look to see if they are stroller friendly, if there will be stream crossings, and if there is shade.
That way I know what shoes to wear, whether or not we need to wear sun hats, and if babies need to be carried rather than strolled.
My kids always wear layers, but I check the weather anyway, to be prepared for rain, or hot temperatures and pack extra water.
You might encounter snakes, and your kids, and you, need to know how to react to a snake.
Or what to do if they disturb a bee hive–that has happened to us.
Can your kids pee in the bushes?
Can you?
How about pooping behind a tree?
Cause I can guarantee it is going to happen.
And you need to be ready for it.
Always carry wipes and plastic bags.
Otherwise, you’ll be using socks to wipe someone’s booty.
Trust me, I speak from experience.

The thing to remember is that you are adventuring with kiddos, it won’t always be fabulous.
This quote from The Hobbit is such a perfect description of adventures:

The wildest adventures may make you crazy at the time, but they are going to make the best stories later.

My dream is that I’ll be out adventuring and learning with my kids until they are off to college.
And then that they will continue to learn this way long into their adulthood, just as I am doing now.
I may not be able to take my kids on trips around the world, but I can still make their world as big and grand and beautiful as possible.
I can help them see the magic God has created for them to enjoy is everywhere.
I hope you feel like you can too.

In the end, I come back to this beautiful quote, by one of my educational heros, Charlotte Mason.
It encapsulates so well what I want to offer my kids in all of their education.
Adventures included.

Strategies for Successful Home Schooling

I want to start by getting something out in the open.

You might be laughing when you read this, but I think it is actually a really important truth about home schooling.
Because at one point or another, we’ve all felt like we’ve lost our mind. Right?
The thing is, home schooling is a journey of the heart.
You have chosen to home school because you believe it is best for your kids.
You are following your heart.
But we all know it isn’t easy.
Home schooling can sometimes be lonely, and scary, and disheartening.
Occasionally home schooling just makes you crazy.
Because you are with your kids All.The.Time.
There are going to be days when you you’ll want to hide in the bathroom, praying that you don’t cuss in front of the kids, or fall on the floor in a heap sobbing.
The truth is, home schooling is hard work.

But it is good work.
And friends, on those hard days, I want you to remember this: home schooling is your calling.
It is no accident that you are a home schooler.
God has placed the desire to home school in your heart.
And even when you feel ill-equipped, uninspired, and full of doubts, He will help you fulfill this task He has called you to do.


I want to tell you a story about my mom.
My mom was one of the early home schoolers.
She was one of the pioneers.
She didn’t have a teaching credential, or even a college degree.
She had a high school diploma and a whole lot of doubts about home schooling her kids.
But she jumped in anyway, because God put the call to home school in her and my dad’s heart.

Home schooling looked quite a bit different at that time.
For example, there were very few options for curriculum.
And in our town there was one, small, home schooling group to join.
There wasn’t a lot of information about different ways to home school, and if there was, it was hard to find.
So my mom did the best she could with what she had.
The style of education she gave me and my brother wasn’t my favorite, especially at the beginning.
But we made it work, and mostly, she let me read a whole lot.
And that was my favorite.
By 8th grade I was writing my own lesson plans and thriving under the freedom that home school allowed me.

But those first years were really hard.
Despite the assurance that they were doing the thing they had been called to do, the commitment to home school added stress to an already difficult situation.
My dad’s business was failing.
My older brother and sister were getting in all kinds of trouble–some of it serious.
My little brother and I missed our friends at the private school we’d been attending.
And a lot of our family and friends didn’t understand, or even support, home schooling.
But with my dad’s encouragement, my mom pressed on.

I never really thought about it then, but I’m sure there were plenty of times when she was scared and lonely.
I’m sure it was hard.
Now that I’m the one home schooling, I realize how brave she was.
In the eyes of the world, my mom could not have been less qualified to teach her kids.
But she followed her heart and she did her best.
That is really all any of us can do.

It’s true that home schooling is more mainstream now that it was when my mom started.
But we are still educating our kids differently than most people.
We are on a unique path.
And now that you’ve decided on this path, you need to be able to explain why.
Why are you home schooling your kids?
Because there are going to be hard days.
There might even be hard weeks, or hard years.
One of your kids is going to struggle with reading.  Or math.
Your family isn’t going to support you.
You’ll have friendships that will change because you home school and they don’t.
And in the midst of those hard times, you need to be able to remember exactly why you are on this journey.
You need to know why you decided to be a pioneer instead of choosing the more comfortable, well traveled path.

My mom chose home schooling because she was unsatisfied with the education my older brother and sister received and she wanted something better for my younger brother and I.
I chose to home school  because I loved the home school experience I had and wanted to share it with my kids.
And secondly, I chose home schooling because I wanted to be an integral part of their learning experience–I wanted to be the one learning with them every day, not someone else.  In a way, I am too jealous to share their learning years with anyone else. I love to be with them.
I want to offer them the very best education I can, and I truly believe it is an education that can be found at home with me.

This quote by Charlotte Mason really sums up the hopes I have for my kids as I home school them.


So now I want you to think, “why am I doing this?”
What are the reasons your heart has led you to this place?
Come up with your answers.
And write them down.
Then, on those hard days that are bound to come, you can look at those reasons and be encouraged that you are doing what you are meThis is the first step I took in my own home schooling journey. Before I even had kids, before I was married, before I was dating, I knew why I wanted to home school my kids. It was my foundation.

In the 6 plus years that I’ve been home schooling,
I’ve watched a lot of my friends start home schooling and stop.
I’m not judging them–home schooling is not an easy thing to stick with .
But since it is my hope and plan to home school my kids all the way through high school, I need to be practical and proactive about how to make that happen.

I know the why, but that is just the first step.
We can’t just bumble along and hope everything will turn out great.
Instead, we need to arm ourselves with the tools to achieve the success we’re after.

Here are 3 things that have served me well as I’ve walked this windy home school road. And I hope that, whether you are a beginning home schooler or a seasoned veteran, they will help you too.
1. Develop your philosophy of education.
You need to choose to teach in a style and methodology that you love. If you love it, then you’ll be excited about it. And that excitement will translate to your kids as you teach them. Don’t just go with what your friends are doing or what seems easiest or safest.  Do some research and listen for the thing that speaks to your heart. And then follow that. You need to be passionate about this. Otherwise it will be a real struggle for you, and therefore your kids. Teach in the way that excites you!

2.  Become part of a group.
By its very nature, home schooling is isolating. You are home alone with your kids day in and day out. You need to social outlet.
You need to talk with friends, share ideas, commiserate when its hard, and learn alongside them.
This group is different than your regular group of friends.
It needs to be women who are on the same home schooling journey that you are.
Not that you must abandon other friendships.
But you are going to need people in your life who understand exactly what you are going through.
You should see your group more than once a month.
Ideally, you should see them every week.
It will save your sanity. Trust me.

I prayed hard for the Lord to bring a supportive group into my life.
At first I knew no one who was home schoing. But in time, He brought those people. And He brought them in abundance! I was faithful to follow the call and He was faithful to answer my prayers.

3.  Time for you.

You need to regularly schedule time for yourself. This is a hard one for us moms. We don’t want to admit we need a break. We think we can do it all. But we can’t.  We need time to recharge.
And once we’ve found the thing that fills us up best, we need to not feel guilty about making it a part of our lives.
You will be better able to serve your family if you allow yourself some time away from them

You need to be a mom who isn’t bitter about her time with her kids. You need to want to be with them. And you need to want to be with your husband, rather than saying something like,” if one more person touches me today I’ll scream,”  when he reaches for your hand.
He doesn’t want an always frazzled wife. You need his support.
So take time for you, and you have more to give to all of them.

I’m sure none of this information is new or groundbreaking. But these things have all been helpful to me so far. And I truly hope they will help you as well.
Because in the end, we need to remember that the struggles will come.
But with our end goal in mind, and with supportive friends to help us, we can keep climbing the mountain and not give up.


Much love and support to my fellow home schooling mamas.
Remember, I believe in you, and I am for you!
And far more importantly, God is for you.

I Like Eich by Aaron Eskridge

A couple of years ago Aaron painted a painting inspired by his love of Joseph Eichler’s architectural style. He took it to Just Modern in Palm Springs, the store there that carries his art, even though there were no Eichlers in Palm Springs.
Since Palm Springs is such a bastion for mid century modern design, Aaron’s hope was that an owner of an Eichler might make thier way into Just Modern, see his painting, and put it in their house.
Turns out, something even better happened.

Screen shot 2015-02-20 at 11.54.26 PM

Just this month, KUD Properties finished the very first Eichler built in 40 years.
In Palm Spring!
And working with Just Modern, they hung Aaron’s painting inside!
It was a dream come true for Aaron.

To make things more exciting, the house sold right away and has been receiving all sorts of great press.
The above photo, by Marc Baldwin, is from an article in Curbed National.
The house was in the LA Times over the weekend.
(Lots of great pictures of the house in both articles)
And pictures of it are buzzing around all over the world wide webs.
In all of them, Aaron’s I Like Eich is featured prominently.
Its just been a dream!

This weekend while we were in Palm Springs we had the privilege of meeting the owners of KUD properties, Troy and Amy.
They invited us to the Desert Eichler and we got to see it ourselves for the first time.
Aaron felt right at home.


The builders of the house, Shields Residential, were there too.
It was great to meet Steven and Lauren, and their cute kids, who have been playing at the job site with their Daddy for the past 5 months.
We also met blogger Kelly Go Lightly and Fred Moser Photography, whose beautiful photos grace the home of the Desert Eicher. (and the New York Times!)
It was a great night of making new friends and feeling the energy of so many creative people in one place.

This has been a great month for Aaron.
First 2 of his paintings were in Dwell Magazine. (read article here.  Aaron’s paintings are #8 in the slide show.)
And as if Dwell wasn’t enough, now we have all of this.
Aaron has always held to the philosophy of painting the things that he loves.
Whether its a big, cut out swordfish in our living room, a vintage trailer, or a giant painting inspired by the Wonder Bread logo, he paints the things that inspire him and make him happy.
It is so gratifying to see that his work is making other people happy too.

So many thanks to Chris Mobley of Just Modern for representing Aaron’s work, and to KUD Properties for putting I Like Eich in your beautiful home.
It’s just so fun to see Aaron’s dreams become reality.

For those of you that have asked and are interested, Aaron is beginning work on more Eichler inspired paintings, as well as developing prints.
You can contact Just Modern for more info, as well as to learn more about Aaron’s other work.
You can also check back here for more info as it comes up.
And for even more frequent updates on Aaron’s work, follow along on my Instagram account.
I am @maandpamodern.
I’ll see you there!

First time visiting?  Learn more about Ma and Pa Modern right here!

Easy and Delicious Tomatillo Salsa

photo 1-5
As promised, I have a fabulous salsa recipe for you.
It’s Tomatillo Salsa Verde from the July issue of Bon Appetit.
It’s quick, easy, and super fresh.
I’ve made it twice now with some variations and I’m sold.
It will be in my fridge from now on.

But is it really worth making your own?
Let me put it this way: making your own salad dressing will revolutionize your salad–it tastes so much better than anything you get in a jar.
The same goes for salsa.

There just isn’t any comparison between the fresh stuff and the jarred stuff.
And this took me less than 10 minutes to make, so it’s not like you are slaving away for hours when you could have just run to the store.
In fact, it will take you less time to make this salsa then it will to run to the store to buy salsa.
Its cheaper too.
Have I sold you yet?

The recipe calls for all the ingredients to be fresh.
But the first time I decided to try roasting everything just because I had never made oven roasted salsa before.
I roasted the tomatillos, onion, and the chili in the oven.
The salsa was delicious, rich, and flavorful.
And since it was my first time cooking with tomatillos, I was even more happy with how well it turned out.

photo 2-5
When I made it the second time, I followed the recipe, throwing all the ingredients into the food processor raw.
The only variation I made from the original recipe was to use a jalapeño instead of a serrano chili because that was all I had on hand.
I loved the raw version!
It tasted so fresh and tangy–absolutely perfect for summer.

In the end, I really loved both the roasted and raw version of this salsa, and I”ll continue to make them both.
But I’ll make the lighter, fresher, version for summer, and the roasted one in winter months when I want a richer flavor for chills, stews, and dishes like enchiladas.

photo 4-5
The salsa, of course, tastes delicious with tortilla chips, because, well, tortilla chips are delicious.
But I also loved it on top of my pinto beans, and on my eggs this morning.
And because we made it at home, and they helped, all my kids tried it.
(they are much more open to trying new things when its homemade because they think everything I make is good–so sweet– or if they help make it themselves)
Two of my kids loved it, one said it was too tangy for him, and the 3 year old said it was gross.
Around here, its pretty good when half the kids like something new.

So if you see some tomatillos at the farmers market, or if your kids ask you, “what are those?” when they see them at the grocery store, you now have a recipe to use them in.
Im so sold on tomatillos now that they’re going in our garden next year.
I can’t wait!

Tomatillo Salsa Verde
1 lb husked, quartered, and rinsed tomatillos
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 smashed garlic clove
1 coarsely chopped serrano chili (seeds and veins removed to lessen heat if desired)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Salt to taste
To Make:
Place all ingredients in blender or food processor (I prefer a food processor)
and puree.
Check for desired constancy and if salsa is too thick, add a bit of water.
Salt to taste
That’s it!!

For the roasted version, simply roast the husked and rinsed whole tomatillos, the whole onion and the whole chili in a 350 degree oven until everything is soft.
Then follow the directions for making the salsa.
Easy as pie.
Mmmm now I want pie.  Without the salsa of course.
Happy making!

That Day We Almost Lost Davy

In almost 10 years of parenting, I can only think of 3 times when I have been truly terrified for my children’s safety.
Today makes it 4.

I was making lunch today and it was unusually quiet.
“Can someone find David?” I called.
Lilly and William went in search calling, “Davy! Daaaavvy!” as they walked around the house.
They went into the backyard and a minute later called, “he’s not out here Mom!”
Trying to quell the nervousness that was rising in my breast, James and I joined the search, calling Davy’s name.
I looked in every room, the closets, the bathtub, under the beds, and on the top bunks.
I looked in the garage, the playhouse and Aaron’s studio.
The kids were doing the same thing, all of us calling his name as our search grew more frantic.

I am a bit OCD about keeping our back gate closed.
I am always on the kids to make sure the gate is shut and check it multiple times a day.
None of my kids have ever wandered off.
But the gardeners were here today, and even though we all stay inside when they are here, and they are very careful to close the gate , I thought they must have left it open at some point, and Davy slipped out with no one knowing,
I don’t panic often, but I started to panic.

The big kids were still searching, yelling Davy’s name, and calling out to me, “I’m praying right now, Mommy!”
I could hear William crying
I ran across the street to my neighbor’s.
He was standing outside with his son and a Triple A mechanic.
“My 2 year old is gone ,” I almost sobbed,
All 3 Looked at me, utter expletives that were perfectly fitting for the situation, and started to run to their cars.
“What’s he wearing?” they asked as they were all climbing in.
A diaper. Just a diaper.

As I was calling 911, all I could think of was that I was a terrible mother.
How could I let this happen?
I hated myself.
Would the police declare me an unfit mother because I let my 2 year old wander away in a diaper?
Would I still be allowed to home school?
How would we live without Davy?
It is amazing how slow time moves in an emergency, even though everything is really happening at   the same pace as usual.
I felt like I was underwater, and drowning.

Before the 911 operator even picked up, my boys called from across the street, “we found him! We found him !”
“Thank God! Where is he?” I almost screamed back.
“In your bed, under the covers!”
“But I looked in there! I called his name !”
“He’s asleep Mommy! He’s ok!”
I waved my neighbors back and told them we found David.
And I walked back into my house, fell onto the floor, and just sobbed.
There are few things in this world more horrible than not knowing where your child is.

The big kids gathered around me and we prayed a prayer
of thankfulness to Jesus.
And then, through my tears, I praised them.
For not panicking.
For praying while they were scared.
For continuing to look for Davy even though we had looked everywhere.
And for finding him.

It shook us all up.
It was a good reminder to us all how precious we are to one another.
Sometimes we get frustrated and annoyed at each other, but how much more do we love each other!
I am not much of a drinker, but man oh man could I go for a stiff one right now!
And holy cow can David ever sleep!
This parenting thing is not for wimps, is it?
I’ve never been so glad for happy endings.

Ma and Pa Modern Cook: BBQ Pizzas

Today has been quite a day.
After being up almost the whole night with a sick kid, I still had a full day of caring for him, every one else, teaching school, trying to clean up the house (not happening) and all the other stuff we have to do when we have kids.
You know the drill.
At dinner time, after making sure we had the appropriate barf-in-the-car supplies, just in case, we dropped my oldest off at his baseball game.
I really wanted to stop at In and Out on the way home and get myself a cheeseburger and fries.
We don’t eat any fast food except In and Out.
And, sometimes, it is totally worth the calorie splurge.
But I knew the kids didn’t need In and Out, and neither did I.
We needed something more wholesome.
So I made pizza!


If you are going to make pizza, these are really the way to go.
Especially once the weather warms up and you don’t want to turn on your oven.
That’s happening right now where we live, but it’s been a weird winter here this year.
These pizzas are a breeze to make, and they’re delicious.
You really can’t ask for more.
Plus they are just as easy to make a bunch for a crowd or just one for yourself.

You’ll want to make these at some point, so I’m going to tell you how.
Olive Oil (for this I like the kind in a spray can from Trader Joe’s)
Pita Bread ( I like the whole wheat kind from Trader Joe’s)
Spaghetti sauce (homemade if you have a little extra time, from a jar if you are in a hurry–I do both)
Grated Cheese (But fresh mozzarella is a revelation)
Toppings of choice–our favorites include: salami, pepperoni, sliced, pre-cooked sausages, sliced squash and zucchini, cherry tomatoes, sliced scallions, greek olives, grilled eggplant–the options are really endless.
And very important, fresh Arugula for when the pizza is finished cooking (don’t leave it out!)

Once you’ve gotten your ingredients ready, you can make your pizza.
Here’s what you do:
Preheat your grill to medium high
Spray or brush the bottom side of your pita bread with olive oil.
Cover the top side with a thin layer of spaghetti sauce
Sprinkle on a thin layer of cheese
Arrange toppings of your choice on top of cheese
Carefully place the pizza directly on the grill
Remove when the cheese is melted and the bottom of the pizza is getting crispy
This will only take a few minutes, so don’t leave it on the grill for too long
After you take your pizza off the grill, cover it generously with fresh arugula.
Trust me.
Add some fresh ground pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt and you’ll have a great, wholesome pizza on your plate.
It’s seriously delicious.
Your welcome.


I’m hopeful tomorrow is at least a little better than today.
It won’t take much, so I think my odds are good.
And if its not, I have more BBQ pizza ingredients.
I’ll be fine.

All the best,