Dandelion Tea: A How-to

A few days ago I declared a tea-making day. It was right in the middle of a school week; but it was a cool, misty, glorious day that I couldn’t stand wasting from inside. It was a day for yard work, really, but all the necessary yard work was done. So we sat out to dig up some prize-sized dandelions and dry them for dandelion tea.

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By afternoon the weather was cooler, but we were hot from all the digging. I decided it was time for a sit down, and if were going to sit, we’d need a fire.

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If we built a fire, we’d need some kosher marshmallows. So we roasted marshmallows in the middle of the day.

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And because one must do something to fill the time while dandelion soaks in the yard, we chased chickens, caught frogs, roasted hot dogs…and later…more marshmallows.

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When it was time to bring the dandelions (and ourselves) inside, we separated the leaves from the roots. The leaves needed one more soaking.

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The roots were soaked overnight and then scrubbed and chopped before drying.

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Everything was dried in a warm oven (in batches) for several hours. The roots took quite a bit longer.

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I crunched the dried leaves and put the nearly dried roots in the food processor before returning them to the pan for more drying.

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In the end, I was left with this: Just a half a jar of tea from an entire red wagon of dandelions, but it’s enough to last for awhile.

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This week I’m drying plantain, black walnut leaves…and if we’re lucky, some red clover. We’re making desserts from nanking cherries and serving wild lambs quarter up with dinner. It’s summer in the country, y’all! What’s on the table at your house? If it’s from the yard, let us know!


Happy Passover!

Passover is when YHVH says, “Some bad stuff has happened to you. Some really bad stuff. But I’m declaring this day a FRESH START. It’s the beginning of your year and of a new life of freedom. Put my blood on your heart and follow me outta here. Let’s go, child, let’s go!!” 

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Exodus 12: The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. (1-3) (NIV)

Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. (6-7) (NIV)

“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance. For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast.” (12-14) (NIV)

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 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. – 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 (NIV)

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Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.- 1 Corinthians 10: 1-4

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Happy Passover from Kingdom Twindom!!

A Meteor Shower

One day in a land called Loliville the big blue sky shined so bright that the sun could not be seen in the midst of it. A boy named Jack and a girl named Lydia wanted to see what had happened to light the sky so brightly. Late that night Jack and Lydia sneaked out of the town to investigate. Loliville was a very safe town, but outside the town there was danger. Jack and Lydia knew they were not allowed to leave. When they approached the outside of the town they saw a big bright light shining from a place in the ground. But just as they were running toward it they got caught. A guard asked the children why they were heading out. The children said, “We are heading out because we were wondering what that big light was today.” The guard said back, “Don’t worry about it; it’s nothing. Today was just a beautiful day.” The children said, “Don’t you want to know what the beautiful light was, though?” The guard said, “It’s OK. Just go back to your parents.” The children went back into the town but not to their parents. They waited until the guard was gone. When the guard left, Jack and Lydia sneaked out of town again. Again they saw the big bright light and continued to follow it to the corner of the high wall around the town. At the edge of the wall the children found out what the big bright light was. It was a meteor in the ground shining so bright. When it was heading down from space, it made the sky brighter than the sun. All of a sudden the kids heard footsteps. It was the guard coming toward them. The guard discovered the meteor but he didn’t see the children because they were hiding. The guard ran inside the city gates and he locked them. Jack and Lydia were locked outside.


The guard told everyone inside the town that there was a meteor right outside the gates. He told them that the meteors were getting closer and closer, and everyone was scared that one would hit Loliville. The mayor called everyone to a meeting. Meanwhile, Jack and Lydia were screaming for help at the gate, but no one heard them because they were at the mayor’s meeting in the middle of the town.

The mayor said, “I know this has been a very protected life we have all been living. But you all know there has been danger outside the gates. There is a magnetic field on the other side of this great wall…far to the west. The magnetic field brings meteors to the ground. That’s why we built this town to the east and built a wall around it. But now the meteors are coming here. We don’t know what is happening.”

Everyone started praying to God. They prayed “God, please make the meteors stop coming!”

Jack and Lydia were still outside and very scared. Jack ran to find another way in but he tripped and stumbled to the ground. He looked down and saw stones shaped in an arrow on the ground. Next to the arrow he saw another line covered with sand. He brushed away the sand and saw more and more arrows pointing over the mountain. Jack called Lydia. Lydia ran to Jack.

Lydia said, “What’s wrong?”

“There’s a ton of arrows!” Jack said. Then Jack tripped again.

Lydia said, “Are you OK?” Then she noticed something pulling Jack to the ground. “The magnetic field is growing!” Lydia said. “It is pulling your belt to the ground!”

Then Jack said, “Hey, you’re right! Let’s go tell the others!”

They ran back to the town just when the guard opened up the gate. They told everyone about the arrows and the growing magnetic field and everyone ran out to see. They saw the arrows and hiked up and over the mountain following the arrows. Then they saw a beautiful stream and a beautiful, big village. This village was a safe place because the stream was stopping the magnetic field.

The mayor said, “Let’s go back and get the rest of our stuff, because we are going to move here. The stream will protect us from all the meteors because the magnetic field isn’t going to go over the stream.”

Everyone said, “Yes! It sounds like a good idea!”

So they went back to get their stuff, and they hiked back up and down the mountain. They settled in their new village and lived happily ever after!

The end.

A House in the Middle of Nowhere

It’s sad how long it is taking me to finish a blog post nowadays. I’m simultaneously working on three separate children’s books (I would not recommend this writing method) and preparing my children to join me as Kingdom Twindom authors (I cannot possibly describe to you how thrilled they are about this). It’s a good thing my mom is such a gracious well…everything. Living with parents as an adult isn’t easy, but I’m not going to lie and pretend that it’s entirely without perks (there are lots of perks).

Hopefully there are perks on the grandparents’ end as well…but I know there must be difficulties, too. Especially when empty nesters are invaded by five exuberant youngsters, and then that number doubles for a weekend…

When Ellyn comes to town!

{Funny, that’s the exact same face that I made when El told me she was coming!}

Ellyn and I have been friends for a life-time and a half (considering how much we’ve both been through in the past four years), but we’d never met “in person” until just a few weeks ago. Missouri puts us within driving distance, and John was gracious enough to let us borrow his family for the weekend.






John was gracious, but still sweetly protective. My favorite line from the visit might have come that first night. I opened the door to hug El, swoop up her kids, and show them their bedroom (they arrived pretty late at night). We chatted away, and the minutes flew by before Ellyn thought to check in with John. To our amusement, she had a text waiting. It read:

Please tell me you’re OK. You’re not responding, and I can see you’re at a house in the middle of nowhere!

Don’t worry, John! That’s just us!

{Out for a hike in the middle of nowhere}


El and I spent the entire weekend chatting loudly over children and remarking how normal everything seemed…like laughing over coffee and coke is something we do all the time.

{This was the best out of ten. Ava was our sweet photographer. I’d show you the others…but I won’t.}
{My favorite shot from the weekend, I think.}
{It was cold, cold, cold….so they spent most of the weekend inside.}

I know not everyone understands the deep connection of a “Facebook friend” or a “blog friend,” but those that get it know that there’s really no other type of relationship in which you reach into the vast well of endless names and faces and hand-pick someone perfectly suited for you. I’m not knocking church, school, or community friendships (I have dear friends from those circles as well), but there is something extra special about choosing (and knowing you were chosen) out of hundreds of thousands instead of tens. Though life has gotten in the way, and we haven’t talked as often as we used to, I am forever grateful that El reached out to me all those years ago (I know, it’s only four. But it feels like so many more). We healed each others’ hearts, and there is no better way to become sisters.

{I just squeal “BFFs!!” when I see this one!}
{This one too…with a manlier sentiment}

And because God is extra-thoughtful and gave us both children within a seven year span, I’m unspeakably grateful for the friendships that are blooming between our children! {They all sobbed at the close of the weekend!}

Ava, Miss S, Miss M, Jace, Miss C, Mr. G, Seth, Evany, Mr. P, and Coen

And what a blessed, blessed weekend it was! Hurry back, McCall family!

Photo credit: Ellyn @ profoundlyseth.com


Graceful Words

I’m sitting here with my best friends. This isn’t rare, I sit with them every night.  At this moment, though, we are face to face (instead of computer to computer). As Tiff says, “Our profile pictures are moving,” and it’s glorious. Not all of us are here, though. There are holes…empty chairs. One of those chairs should be filled by this incredible, lovely woman who I am so honored, so privileged to know. As a favor to me (because I ask for what would most benefit you), please read what she has to say about womanhood and humanity. Ashley, we love you, and we can all relate so deeply and so tearfully to what you have artfully poured out today.

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I’d just like to take this moment and thank God for electricity!

Home photos will start sneaking in more and more, I promise. The living room is almost ready to share, even though there are many more things I’d like to do to it. But here’s a sneak peak at my biggest problem area: the kitchen. It’s pretty big and has tons of potential. Right now, though, there is: old wallboard and wonky cabinets. There is not: a dishwasher, a disposal, or an oven. But I wouldn’t say I’m exactly roughing it.


…or, that it’s keeping me from cooking!



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