Dear Elisabeth (on your first day of Fourth Grade)…

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My Elisabeth.... I see you, my strong-willed, hard-working, do-gooder daughter. I see how you are the first one up. Your uniform is on before the sun is shining. Your bangs have comb marks in them. I see you, doing your homework before we even pull in the driveway.  I see how you try so hard to do exactly what your teacher wants. I see your eraser smears on your math sheets, the ones you … [Read more...]

Dear Nate….. (On Your First Day of Second Grade)

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Oh, Nate, my dear boy. You are so excited for this year. Daddy and I are excited for you too.  No doubt about it, Nate, Second Grade will be fun. We are so sure that this year will be your best yet--we are simply expecting it. To be honest, I worry that we all expect too much from you We expect you to be good with everything. We  expect you to grow up too fast. Your brother and your … [Read more...]

Family Project: Upcycle Old Jars

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Over the past year, our family has collected two years of empty jars in our pantry. Blame it on our love of salsa, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, and pickles. Blame it on our German heritage and absolute inability to throw away something we could use again. Blame it on the kids' new understanding of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. This is the same reason I have over 200 toilet paper cores in our attic. … [Read more...]

FAQ Family RV Trip

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Our twins turned 10 on the same day I had a book signing in Albuquerque. Our family decided this was the opportunity to try out RVing. In June we travelled from Houston to New Mexico for a seven-day adventure in a Class C RV. Our coach had two bunk beds, a oversized King loft, a pullout double bed, and a queen bed in a separate little room. It slept eight total. Since we've returned, so many … [Read more...]

Third Camp Counselor Care Package Giveaway!

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After more than thirty years at camps, here's what I've learned about the staff: they are always hungry. This is thanks to combination of a couple facts: 1. counselors burn two million calories a day. 2. the kitchen is closed unless it's meal time 3. camp cooks are trying to feed more than a hundred people (think pizza and corn for most meals) 3. no food in the cabins. Because of this, snacks … [Read more...]

Second Camp Counselor Care Package Giveaway!

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How To Enter the Giveaway: 1. Click here to enter your favorite camp counselor to win this week’s care package. 2. I’ll select  random WINNERS Monday, June 19. (Entries close at midnight) 3. If your counselor is selected, I’ll send them a care package stuffed with homemade cookies, notes, glow sticks, Bible verses, and SO MANY other goodies! (If your counselor doesn’t win this giveaway, don’t … [Read more...]

Camp Counselor Care Package Giveaway!

  How To Enter the Giveaway: 1. Click here to enter your favorite camp counselor to win this week's care package.  2. I'll select a random THREE WINNERS this Wednesday, June 14. (Entries close at midnight) 3. If your counselor is selected, I'll send them a care package stuffed with homemade cookies, notes, glow sticks, Bible verses, and SO MANY other goodies! (If your counselor doesn't … [Read more...]

Why Writers Really Hate Book Releases

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If I could, I would skip book release day all together. It's like birthdays when you're young or New Years Eve in your twenties. Too many expectations. Too much fear of rejection. Plus, there's my control freak's worry about sharing my words with the world.  Have I done enough? Will the world be friendly? What did I get wrong? It reminds me of my oldest child’s first day of preschool, so many … [Read more...]

50 Reasons You Should Work at Camp This Summer

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Summers at camp are unlike anything else. If you don't have plans for this summer, try it. Apply with the nearest camp....or look for one across the country. Need some reasons to spend the summer at camp? Last Summer at Eden's Launch Team helped me think of 50 of them. You should work at camp this summer because.... 1. So many hours of sunshine! 2. If you live, work, and play with the same … [Read more...]

It Only Takes A Spark….

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A friend who just finished Last Summer at Eden mentioned she was surprised by all the romance in the book. She wrote this note across the top: "Isn't it unlikely that hooking up would happen so much at a Christian camp?" I was confused. Because, of course. Camp love stories are as common as the chigger bites and buttered corn. Right? Then I learned that my dear friend had never been to camp, … [Read more...]