My SOTG Cocktail

I submitted a cocktail recipe for the Something Other Than God release party contest. I thought it turned out pretty well! (Not good enough to win, I'm guessing, but I was happy with the result.)

I'm sharing it here for anyone who might be interested.


fresh or frozen Strawberries, to taste (I used one strawberry cut into chunks for one serving)

4 oz Orange juice

1 shot Triple Sec

2 oz Ginger ale

Blend orange juice and strawberries in blender, or if you have a fancy-schmancy juicer you can put in enough oranges to make 4 oz of juice plus strawberries.

Yell at kids to stop fighting.

Pour shot of Triple Sec into shot glass. Contemplate downing it as baby starts screeching. Pour into glass instead.

Pick up baby with one hand. With other hand, pour OJ and strawberry mix into glass. 

Ask husband to deal with fighting kids.

Add ginger ale.

Stir with clean utensil, if you can find one. I used a plastic tube from a sippy cup that I found in the silverware drawer. 

Sit down and enjoy (garnish with strawberry or orange if desired). You'll mind the kids' screaming a lot less after you've had one. Or five.

Happy Syttende Mai!

This is a repost from 2011, slightly edited.

Syttende Mai is the Norwegian Constitution Day (the National Day of Norway) and is an official national holiday observed on May 17 each year.

It's a big deal up in North Dakota where I was born and raised... there are usually lutefisk suppers (can't stand the stuff myself, but I adore lefse and rommegrot) and sometimes parades.

Fun fact: when I was younger, I attended Skogfjorden (pronounced "Skoof-yorden"), the Concordia Village Norwegian Language Camp.

It's also a special day for me for two reasons: (1) it's the anniversary of my college graduation (2003), and (2) the anniversary of the day I got my very first positive pregnancy test (2004). Elanor arrived the following January. :)

In celebration, check out this very cool video of the Norwegian National Guard doing amazing drills on ice.

7 Quick Takes Friday - May 16, 2014

--- 1 ---

I'm so excited! Collin and I are going on a date this weekend, COMPLETELY KID FREE! This has not happened since... I can't even remember, but probably before Peter was born. Maybe our wedding anniversary last year?

--- 2 ---

We are going to go see Journey on Sunday night at the Ak-Chin Pavilion, which is an outdoor amphitheater. The opening act is the Steve Miller Band. It's going to be so totally 80's. We'll probably go out to eat beforehand as well.

--- 3 ---

Our awesome friends Joe and Luisa are providing childcare, for which they will no doubt earn several years off of Purgatory.

--- 4 ---

On Monday, my mother is coming to visit! We haven't seen each other since Collin's college graduation in November 2012. I can't wait! I believe my aunt Sheri is coming with her as well. They fly in Monday afternoon and leave Friday morning, so I've taken Tuesday-Thursday off of work.

--- 5 ---

We are going camping on Memorial Day weekend. Collin put in for a tag to hunt elk this fall and he got it (!!) so he wants to scout the hunting area ahead of time. (His dad has put in for an elk tag for YEARS and has never gotten one, and here Collin gets one on his first try. Crazy, no?) We're not sure where we're camping yet, it depends on what the weather forecasts look like. It'll be our first camping trip with all five kids along, so... pray for us? Collin's dad and brother are coming with, so we'll have some extra hands to help out, at least.

--- 6 ---

Also next week, Peter has a follow-up orthopedic appointment at Phoenix Children's Hospital - I think we'll have to order bigger boots for his brace, as he's quickly growing out of the ones he has -- and William is having a kindergarten graduation ceremony.

Speaking of Peter, I took this video of him the other day. He's such a happy little guy! It makes me smile every time I watch it.

--- 7 ---

In case you missed it, I reviewed Jen Fulwiler's "Something Other Than God" yesterday.
If you are so inclined, please share!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Something Other Than God

This probably goes without saying, but the post ahead contains spoilers for Jen Fulwiler's new book. If you haven't read it yet and don't want to read any excerpts, turn away now. 

I received my copy of Jen Fulwiler's Something Other Than God the day after it was released, but I waited until Mother's Day to read it. I assumed that once I started reading I would not want to put it down, and I knew that Mother's Day was my best bet for a block of several hours of free time for sitting and reading.

As it turns out, I was right on both counts. I had a wonderful, lazy Mother's Day, the greater part of which I laid in bed and read Something Other Than God. I finished the entire book in one sitting because it was just that good.

I've read Jen's blog,, for quite a long time. I can't remember exactly when I found it, but it was probably around 2007 or so. I know I only had one kid when I started reading her blog, anyway. I think we were still in North Dakota at the time. I remember getting quite excited when she said that she was writing a book -- I didn't realize I'd have four more kids on earth by the time it came out (and neither did she, I'm sure)! I'm looking forward to getting my copy autographed at The Edel Gathering this summer.

I laughed hardest during this exchange, on page 112:
Joe poked his head in to ask a question, and at the sound of his voice I banged on the keyboard to close browser windows again. "It's just me", he assured me. "You surfing Jesus sites again?"

"No. I was looking at porn. I swear!"
I empathized with her story (page 203) of trying to work on computer code with a squirming baby in her lap, only to have hours of work destroyed by an errant tiny hand swiping at the keyboard.

I gasped audibly when she was told at the pharmacy that there were no record of her previous $30 transactions (page 233). I got goosebumps, too.

 I cried at this part, on page 235:
My mom had something else in her hand, a piece of white fabric. "I wanted you to have this." She handed me a triangular cut of delicate lace with scalloped edges. "It's my chapel veil. From when I was a kid." 
There were many parts in this book where I became choked up, but the above excerpt was when the tears began to fall. Maybe it was because Elanor just had her First Holy Communion, I don't know. But for some reason her mother's gift moved me immensely. I was awed that her religious life had come full circle, from a baptism done solely to keep the grandparents happy to a voluntary conversion some thirty-odd years later, and her mother's gift seemed to cement that. God willing, the grace my kids received at their baptisms will help keep them in the Church, or help bring them back to it if they choose to leave at some point.

To sum up: fantastic book. Buy it, read it, share it with your friends! You won't be sorry.

Also, I love the epigram. "All that we call human history... [is] the long terrible story of a man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy." - C.S. Lewis

Elanor's Confirmation and First Holy Communion

Elanor received the sacraments of Confirmation and First Holy Communion on Saturday, May 3. Her confirmation name was Mary. It was a wonderful day! We were so blessed to be able to celebrate with our friends and family.

All dressed up and ready to go. 

Elanor and her confirmation sponsor, our dear friend Luisa

Our bishop wasn't able to conduct the confirmations himself, so he sent a delegate, Father Robert.
Elanor is holding the rosary we gave her has a confirmation gift (it was blessed after Mass).

Relaxing at home after a successful, grace-filled day. So proud of my big girl!

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