Parenting Moments the Books Don’t Prepare You For

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Parenting Moments the Books Don't Cover

I’ve been parenting for a long time. Nineteen years to be (sorta) exact. I have encountered many, many situations and I have read many, many parenting books. A few situations, such as fevers and nightmares and teething, have been covered in parenting books. The rest? Not so much. For instance, in all of the parenting books I’ve read, I have never ever read the answer to the following true scenarios from my life.

Parenting answers you won't find in parenting books

What do you do when your child begs you to keep the dead (that’s right dead) animal he found and is truly upset when you say no?. Because, after all, “it isn’t bleeding or anything“.

Or how about when your child removes a wart and choses to keep it in a drawer in the kitchen? Because, really, where is the appropriate place to keep a wart once it has fallen off of your body? Not once have I seen that particular issue covered in a parenting manual.

What are you supposed to say when you find out that your son has placed a dead goldfish in his wallet? Nope, not one magazine I have read addressed that one for me.

boy with thinking putty in his eyelashes

Gum in hair? That one is easy. Everyone knows you use peanut butter to get gum out of hair! The real question is, how do you get Thinking Putty of your child’s eyelashes?

Or what do you say to your adorable five-year old son when he shows off his Schleich bull collection to you and happily explains to you he has rated how much he loves each one. He slowly lines them up showing you how he has chosen his favorites…according to the size of their, ah, Prairie Oysters, largest to smallest. No parenting book ever prepared me for that moment. 


Every day is an adventure for sure, and more often than not, a scary one! How about you? What is your “favorite” parenting moment?

Pizza Bread Recipe

Amazing Pizza Bread Recipe

Pizza bread is one of my kids’ favorite foods. I stumbled upon this recipe by accident. One day I was staring at a pizza I had just assembled. It was retangular in shape, to fit my cookie sheet. I was struck by how similar it looked to cinnamon rolls. What would happen, I wondered, if I rolled it up like a cinnamon roll. What happened was, I ended up with an amazing pizza bread. That first time I was using pizza dough, now we make it with bread dough. It is so easy and delicious!pizza-bread-1054


First, you need a basic bread recipe. While I usually add pepperoni and olives to this pizza bread, you could add anything.Pizza Bread- perfect for lunches, to go with soup, or an after school snack.

Once your bread dough has risen once, spread with a  thin layer of butter…Pizza Bread- perfect for lunches, to go with soup, or an after school snack.

then sprinkle with Johnny’s Garlic Spread and seasoning. 

Pizza Bread- perfect for lunches, to go with soup, or an after school snack.

Add your toppings. I do a layer of mozzarella first, then pepperoni. I have found that slicing the pepperoni makes for a nice even distribution and is the right size and texture for this bread. I like to add olives, and sometimes dried red peppers.Pizza Bread- perfect for lunches, to go with soup, or an after school snack.

Once you have your toppings, simply roll like you would cinnamon rolls.Pizza Bread- perfect for lunches, to go with soup, or an after school snack.


Pizza Bread- perfect for lunches, to go with soup, or an after school snack.

Place in your bread pan, and let the dough rise for about 45 minutes.

Pizza Bread- perfect for lunches, to go with soup, or an after school snack.

Pizza Bread- perfect for lunches, to go with soup, or an after school snack.

One the bread is baked and cooled, you can slice it. You will have cheese, pepperoni and olives in every bite. So amazingly delicious!

Pizza Bread- perfect for lunches, to go with soup, or an after school snack.

I serve this with fruit and veggies for a quick lunch, as a hearty side dish to soup, or an after school snack.

Pizza Bread
Yields 2
This delicious bread filled with pizza toppings makes a delicious hearty side dish or after school snack.
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  1. 2 tablespoons oil
  2. 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  3. 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
  4. 1 cup hot milk
  5. 1 cup warm water
  6. 1 tablespoon (or one package) of yeast
  7. 5 1/2 -6 cups flour
  8. butter for spreading
  9. Johnny's Garlic Spread
  10. 1 cup grated mozzarella
  11. 1/2 cup sliced olives
  1. Combine oil, salt, water and milk. Let this cool to room temperature.
  2. In separate bowl, mix yeast with 1/2 cup warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Combine yeast mixture with wet ingredients, and add four cups of flour. Continue to add flour until you can knead the bread dough.
  4. Knead for 5-6 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Let rise for 1-2 hours, until dough has doubled in bulk.
  6. Once dough has doubled, gently punch down dough, and divide in two parts.
  7. Take the first section of dough and roll out into a large rectangle.
  8. Coat top of dough with butter and sprinkle lightly with seasoning salt.
  9. Add 1/2 the mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and olives.
  10. Roll up dough and place in greased bread pan.
  11. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
  12. Let rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes.
  13. Bake bread at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then lower heat to 375 degrees. Bake for another 25-30 minutes.
  14. Take out of the oven and let bread cool on cooling racks.
  15. Slice and enjoy!
Little Earthling Blog

Messes, Cinnamon Rolls and Paddington Bear

Post includes really cool affiliate links.web-1290The weather here has been amazing! Saturday I spearheaded a project to clean out our storage room. It was filled with 12 years of mess. Twice a year we pull out our clothing bins and switch the seasonal clothing, but have never actually cleaned the space. Saturday I was  on a mission! We were going to get that place CLEAN. Saturday was the day. Chuck laid out a tarp and we pulled everything out of that room…I envisioned us working hard together as a family, then watching a movie together that evening to reward the children’s hard work. What actually happened was I worked really hard with a  few teens (between their other jobs) and Jubilee and Tucker. The other kids had a wonderful day soaking in the sunshine and frolicking in the woods. By the time we were finished the storage room was clean and beautiful, but my house was a mess. And dinner dishes didn’t get done. My Fitbit tells me I logged 5 1/2 miles…all of that between our storage room and front yard. Forget running, I’m going to take up house cleaning!

Just kidding, that’s way too much work.Judah.Hayley

Two trips to Goodwill and a massive pile of garbage later and the room is cleaner than it was 12 years ago when we moved in! I even took the vacuum in there and removed cobwebs. Everything is completely organized. I am pretty sure my Boy Scouts could pack for a camping trip in 10 minutes now. The cleaning took so long, though, our movie didn’t get started until nearly 8 o’clock. We watched Paddington. My kids were a bit doubtful about it. I asked my teens to watch it because it means a lot to the little kids to spend time with their older siblings. Five minutes into the movie and my teens were laughing as hard as my little ones. If you haven’t already seen Paddington, I highly recommend it.Judah.tilly.1

And by he way…my kids (and their friend) had no idea who Paddington Bear was! They didn’t even realize the movie was  based off of  a book! Obviously I neglected my homeschooling duties somewhere along the way…Here is a link to A Bear Named Paddington so you can do a better job of homeschooling than I have.

You’re welcome.


You know what else you’re welcome to? To come visit on a Sunday afternoon. If you do, it is very likely that you will be served warm cinnamon rolls straight from the oven. Jubilee has mastered this recipe. I guarantee you won’t taste a better cinnamon roll anywhere. The kids have had fun not only chowing down on these but taking them to their teachers at school. A little fresh baking can’t hurt their grades any, right?


Love on a Mission Part VI

Love on a Mission is the story of how Chuck and I met and fell in love on our Teen Missions International team. If you haven’t already read the beginning go to my Love on a Mission page and get caught up!love on a mission


{From part v: Then Chuck drew me into a hug that was much too long and much too close for a brother and sister in Christ. When we finally pulled part, I turned and boarded my plane. Our summer was over.}

The flight from Florida to Alaska is a long one; I had plenty of time to think. I was still sick and weak from the malaria. Finally free from the rules of Teen Missions, I could indulge in secular activities like reading magazines and watching the inflight movies. I enjoyed the hot coffee delivered by the flight attendants and did a lot of staring out the window.

I was sorta going home, but not really. Instead of going back to my parents’ home, I was moving in with my grandma so I could attend the University of Alaska. There would be no breaks and little time to think once my flight landed. School had already started at the university, and my grandma had attended the first three days of classes for me, meeting the professors and taking notes.

I thought about Chuck a lot. That summer, during a Bible Study with just the girls, our female leaders had encouraged us to pray for our future spouses; and I did. They encouraged us to be specific; and I was. Interestingly, Chuck fit the description of the spouse I was looking for perfectly (!)…never mind that he was there in Brazil and on my mind while I formulated those prayers…

I was eighteen, full of confindence and recovering from malaria. I was headed off to university for the first time and considering which direction my life might take. In a moment of complete candidness a female leader told me I might want to consider reigning my sarcasm in. My quick wit and jokes made me funny, but often at someone else’s expense. So many thoughts were tumbling through my head. Not the least of which was how viable a dreaded Long-Distance Relationship could possibly be.

The plane landed and I was greeted by my parents and my grandma. Hugs were exchanged, stories shared, dinner was a feast to be remembered. The very next day we were at Costco dropping off my film to be developed. I couldn’t wait to show everyone photos from my adventure in the jungle. My mom had already noticed my new and unfamilar backpack. I told her it came from my team leader, Chuck, and that I was interested in him.

Beginning my new university life, in a new city, with the new confidence that can only come from being young and idealistic, I was straight up about my interest in Chuck. Kids, I figured, had secret crushes. Adults could admit that they had a romantic interest in someone.

I didn’t want to seem too eager to Chuck, so on the plane I promised myself I would wait a full week before I sent him a letter. As it turned out my worry about seeming too eager was unfounded.  Before the week of Self-Imposed-Self-Control was up, I received a postcard from Chuck. He and a friend had driven from British Columbia to California to buy some car parts. The  postcard read:

Hi how are you doing? Wish you were here. Just thought I would make you envious of me here in California. Tomorrow is Disney, Thurs Universal and Fri Magic Mountain. Anyways its rather cool here- about 80-85 degrees. Just though I would send you a cool post card. Chuck 

The absolute first  thing to cross my mind was, “he took my address with him to California?” Obviously he had a real interest in me if he was planning ahead to write me while on a trip with his best friend. Secondly, I was now free to write Chuck. No longer associated with Teen Missions, we were allowed to pursue a relationship and discuss things that would otherwise be considered forbidden. By the time the second postcard arrived I had written Chuck a lengthy  letter.

A week later we picked up my photos and I proudly showed them off: Boot Camp, the Amazon jungle and Chuck. I had mustered the courage to ask if I could take his picture in the Orlando airport. I knew he was in the background of several of my photos already, but I want a good shot of him. Finally, I could show my parents and brothers what this mysterious Canadian, Chuck, looked like. Chuck smiled broadly in the picture, his blue eyes sparkling, the light shining off of his blonde hair. He was cute. 

Life was a whirlwind of school and studying. I had officially declared my major as English (it gave me priority registration) though my true love was Linguistics. Never one to shy away from hard work, I was taking  two English classes, Latin, Anthropology and, of course, Algebra with my grandma. Grandma and I sat side by side in our Algebra classe; taking notes and listening to the lectures. After our twice weekly Algebra class, we would say goodbye in the halls as I headed off to Latin and Grandma headed off to her French class.

After my last class of the day I would brew a pot of coffee and drink it as I completed my homework. My grandma suffered from the insomnia that often comes with age and would get up at  two or three in the morning and do her homework. More often then not, I would go into the kitchen at six am and find her math homework spread out all over the counter. I would know then that she had been up in the night studying. 

One afternoon, just a few weeks after my arrival back in the United States, Grandma came walking into the house with a puzzled look on her face. 

“You got mail” she said. 

“From Canada” she added.

Then she handed me to the two envelopes, mailed from two different cities in British Columbia.

 “Who is Frank?” she asked.

To be continued…

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