Summer Link-Up!


As I am beginning a vacation here in Chicago with my folks, I’m trying to clear my head, spend time with family, and prepare for a wonderful start to the new year. So many exciting things happen at the beginning of the school year, and so it’s a great time to refresh.

One of the things I’m hoping to do on this break is get some blog posts drafted and ready to go so that I can publish them in the next few months. As I do that, I see so many things this summer that would have/could have made their own post either on this blog or Mrs. Smith Cooks that just didn’t make it. They’re interesting things, but, alas, I didn’t have time to blog about all of them, so I just present you with the basic links. You can research on your own if you’d like! Enjoy the link-up!


Blueberries, blueberries, blueberries.

The boys and I made these perfect blueberry muffins several times with fresh blueberries, and we’ll be making them all fall and winter with frozen. Super easy recipe and the resulting muffin is perfect.

I made this gluten-free blueberry crumble  (butter instead of olive oil and no nuts) and a regular (gluten-filled) version. Both were awesome.

I love red lentils and this red-lentil “risotto” was right up my alley. I had high hopes for the boys liking it. They did not. Oh well, more for me.

Speaking of red lentils, I also made this dal which has a lot of different spices than my normal version. Love both of them.


This app called “Endless Alphabet” is completely adorable for pre-schoolers.

I’ve been reading a lot about the Making Caring Common project and the views of psychologist Richard Weissbourd. The project aims to educate parents about the importance of raising empathetic and caring children (vs. raising them to focus on their own personal success and happiness.) Love the work, love the research.  I featured this project in my newsletter this month. Have you signed up?

Migrant/Refugee Kids  

Between 2013 and 2014 there has been a more than 100% increase in the number of unaccompanied minor children crossing the border from Mexico to the US. Here are some links that have been of interest to me:

Mission Presbytery Response 

This interactive graphic from the New York Times is informative and useful.

I’m interested in thinking about how we can help support children and families in Honduras and elsewhere so that they feel they can stay in their country. One organization doing great work is Association for a More Just Society.

This article gives a great perspective of the root causes of this question.


This summer we had an awesome ministry intern who made this giant kerplunk game and this lawn jenga game for us.

I was completely charmed by this artist who recreated drawings from childhood.


Haven’t had as much time to read this Summer as I would have liked, but did enjoy this short book from Anne Lamott that we read as a study at NPC and I’m also loving this easy read. 


What have you been up to?



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