If your brother is hungry, give him bread to eat...

It started out as a promisingly lovely day... one of those gloomy, dark days that entices you to do something.

It was morning and the house was rather empty; it was just me and Laina and Liam. Snow lay littered on the ground and the wind howled around the eaves of the house, and I thought to myself... 'This is it. The perfect day to make something...dear Mom's gone, it's Saturday, and there's a bunch of white flour and sugar stashed in the pantry from the holiday baking-- why not be industrious and make something from it all?'

So I did.

Or rather... proceeded to. I decided to make Cardamom Bread; which I adore. I never got around to making it before Christmas, and actually hadn't made it in about two years. We have a splendid recipe for it.... but the only problem was... I couldn't find it.
So, after searching through hundreds of recipes online, and forums and blogs and cultural sites, I finally came up with one that was reminiscent of my old recipe. And then I decided, that since I am such a loving person and just love baking, why not just make a whole bunch? I'm such a sweetheart, I'll make them for family and friends, like, "After-Christmas-Bread"... I'll make just ... tons! You know, like a bakery-- flour everywhere, fresh and delicious smells dancing through the house, and a table decorated with a mountain of soft and fragrant Cardamom wreaths, with icing dripping from them and anxious darling kids chorusing like little angels, "Holly, you're the best cooker ever!"

That mountain I envisioned must have been a volcano. Because my day erupted into a nightmare.

I made many, many, many batches of bread....each being doubled or more, and every single one has turned out to be a 20 pound frisbee, as hard as a rock and as unedible as a... 20 pound frisbee.

I am no novice at bread making. I've made bread since the days when I would romp around outside, in a green fringed tunic playing Robin Hood. I hope I can find an excuse. Maybe later we'll discover that the yeast was, you know, a hundred years old or something. Or perhaps that the sugar was packaged wrong when it was processed; maybe it was salt. You never know.

But, I do know that now I have a mountain range of dishes and pans and cookie sheets and bowls to wash...and no bread... and now it's 9pm.

I don't think I ever want to smell cardamom ever, ever, ever again.


For Christmas my grandmother gave me the book, Early Moon, a compilation of poems by Carl Sandburg. Inside, written on a yellowed page, I found this quaint inscription in faded ink:

Dear Ray,

"We give all we have to give
That the name may live longer than the man.

We live only for glory
To gild our lives for a moment's span.

Yet we who forget so soon
The loveliness of a scarlet leaf,
Find it strange that trees should wait
So long, for glory that is so brief."

S. Bateman

May the poems in this book give you joy - - - as much pleasures as they can.
For you have given me much Joy in our friendship.

Here's luck,

G. Lenor Arnold


For unto us...

...a child is born.

"because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us
from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace."
Luke 1:78, 79


This is perhaps my favorite rendition of this song. While I am not a swooning Josh Groban fan, I do appreciate his lovely voice. I especially love how he sings O Holy Night so passionately, just as it deserves.

Have a Merry Christmas, and drink spiced cider or hot chocolate while watching It's a Wonderful Life, and take a deep breath and thank the God of this universe for such a life as yours. I am blessed to know you all, and I thank my God upon every remembrance of each one of you. Each of your lives have touched somebody else's, and you will never know how Christ has used your words or smile to encourage or change another person's life.

Merry Christmas.


God bless you dear, as you love and
worship him evermore this new year.
May you find contentment, purpose and peace.
Happy Birthday!
Loving you,
Dad and Mom, Amber, Lindsey,
Emma, Ethan, Liam, Laina and Jonathan




I am currently reading Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky, of which I've never before read. I am enjoying it very much; however, reading it every evening before bed does make for some very strange dreams. One of my favorite quotes so far is found towards the beginning of the book.

"They've wept over it and grown used to it.
Man grows used to everything, the scoundrel!"

Which, is so undeniably true in this modern world. Even while we protest against it- how apt we are to grow accustomed to the wide mediocrity, corruptness and injustice found in our every day lives, the media, politics, and the church! We are ever in serious danger of becoming lax and desensitized. This world is indeed fallen, and we are fallen within it-- but not without hope! We have been given the sacred ability that enables us to transform the merest of treachery into sincere fidelity. That is, if we choose to. How many times have we heard that? And yet, we are sometimes so reluctant to do anything about it.