Cover art

Do you have Facebook? Would you like a perfectly sized cover photo? I've created some cover photos that feature some favorite Bible passages. Feel free to download and use. (Photos were taken by me, so there is no copyright infringement.) To download, right-click on the image and select Save Image As (or Save Picture As). Save it to your computer and upload it to Facebook.



Speaking of family celebrations, my sisters and I have one that has taken on a life of its own: Craft Night. It started about 10 years ago when my sister invited us over to her house to make gel candles. (These are the ones that supposedly explode. Wait. What? As if a candle wasn't incendiary anyway.) We had a blast. (HA!)

So recently, when my cousin Beth and my great-aunt Betty came to visit, it seemed a perfect opportunity to have Craft Night. After all, scissors + wine = good ideas! Not everything from Craft Night turns out as we hoped (see evidence below), but we always have fun anyway. Here's a snapshot of the aftermath.

Now that Beth is back home, she's decided to share the thrill and start her own Craft Night. Welcome to the dark side, Beth!


Introducing new family celebrations

My sister wrote about her obsession with crayons, which stems from an experience in our childhood. I can relate. It's funny how little things in one's formative years shape a person. If you are a vegetarian or a health nut, I strongly discourage you from reading this post.

>>> Side note: I feel a teeny bit bad for my parents. With eight adult children, their parenting goes under the microscope of the aforementioned children. Even now, at family gatherings, there is good-natured ribbing of my parents and their approach. But I digress. <<<

Here's the story of how an ugly scar on my psyche turned into a new family celebration. Growing up, my mother would occasionally make bacon and craft a BLT for my dad. However, my mother hated the way the greasy smell lingered, plus bacon was expensive, so she didn't usually cook enough for the Mongolian Horde (a term of endearment my father had for his passel of children). My siblings and I would salivate at the very smell of frying bacon. It's one of those things that cannot be cooked "undercover."  While Dad was eating his BLT, the rest of us were eating a sandwich also known by its initials, but decidedly less thrilling: PB&J.

Fast forward 25 years. I fried up three pounds of bacon and took it to a family brunch. My brother Paul, upon surveying the table laden with fruit, scrambled eggs, donuts, pastries and muffins, made this comment: "The proportion of bacon to donuts should be reversed." With the size of our family, it didn't take long for the bacon to disappear.

And so an idea was born: Baconfest. The official motto of this auspicious event is "Bacon for everyone." (Clever, right?) One Sunday in February, I invited my parents, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews over to my house after church for brunch. We had all the fixings (eggs, juice, fruit, etc.), but at the center of the table was a huge platter of bacon. Everyone, adults and children alike, helped themselves. No rationing for pint-size people! And because I have a huge family, the final total consumed was nine pounds of bacon.

It has become a popular (although infrequent) family tradition. Mom was right about one thing: the worst part of Baconfest is the smell afterwards. It takes about a week before my house smells normal.