I can see for miles and miles

I don’t live near any family. And as much as I love the family I have, living apart doesn’t allow us to have the mundane experiences that build relationships.

Close, to me, is picking up the phone frequently and asking about day-to-day things. Close, to me, is sharing life any time something funny strikes you, or sad. Experiencing things together. I’m terrible at this, and my aversion to the phone makes it hard to keep long-distance relationships up. Fortunately my family relationships pick up year-by-year, but I do miss that day-to-day interaction.

I’m actually very lucky that I’m close with my husband and children.

I also have a lovely group of friends whom I have known for almost 20 years, and we share as much as we can as our lives march forward. Even then its not a lot, though, despite living in the same area. It has been through Thirty-One that I realized that I am missing out on a lot of sharing, and my heart feels that loss.

The first party I consulted at was a group of ladies who were in a bible study and had been in that same group for years. The laughter and the wine flowed, and silliness ensued. And they welcomed me into their group. For that night I felt that I got to know these ladies and was included in their family. And this is when I realized what I felt I didn’t have in my life.

What a realization. A welcome awareness. Reminding me to make it a point to get closer to people and make an effort to make them feel valued, and allowing them into my life – making both of our lives richer for the effort.

Lori in writing Soli Deo Gloria size 28 copy

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Vegetarian Burgers From Soup to Sammies

IMG_2535What a weekend of cooking! I HATE cooking!

But I have had FUN while cooking this weekend!!

One of our kids is a vegetarian, and today I made lots of yummy food for her. And I enjoyed it, too. YUM!!

First I sauteed celery, mushrooms, onions, carrots and peppers with some garlic and corn oil. Adding pepper and salt to taste, I also tossed in some Trader Joe‘s 21 Seasoning Salute. My daughters have introduced my husband and I to Trader Joe’s. We don’t even live near one and we have products we love. Bill’s favorite product, so far, is canned turkey chili. I like the seasonings.

Next I added a can of diced tomatoes, with the liquid, and then added 6 cups of water. Once it boiled I turned it down and put a lid on it, and let it simmer for just over an hour. I let it cool a bit and then, by the cupful, I blended the veggies. Then I drank a cup. Or maybe two.

What? I needed lunch. And it was ALL VEGETABLES.


Then I zoodled a zucchini using my new Inspiralizer (I LOVE this tool) and tossed it into a pan with some of the cooked vegetables from the soup.


Then I ate THIS, too. What?


Finally I packed the soup away except for a cup and a half of it. To that I added 1 cup of lentils. After bringing them to a boil I let them simmer for 30 minutes. Then I added 1 tablespoon of Steak Sauce (my daughter is a vegetarian and won’t eat worcestershire because anchovies are used to make it) and stirred. I let the mixture cool and then added 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs. After stirring, I put the lid on it and let it sit in the fridge for an hour. I adapted this burger recipe from others I read about, and some of them included walnuts. I did NOT include them because I am allergic to them.

An hour or more later I made 6 burgers. They are delicious! My daughter ate one and loved it, I ate half of one (too many calories, I already ate over my SmartPoints). The rest I put into the fridge. I was going to freeze them but a certain daughter is planning to eat them up!


Happy Cooking! And Experimenting. Because you know, I’m NOT a chef nor am I a cook. But I do love to experiment. And I’m just lucky when people can eat what I make!

Best wishes!

Lori in writing Soli Deo Gloria size 28 copy


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My word of the year. I was inspired to choose this word and make it my purpose. To make better connections with people. To reach out to others, to listen to others, and to get to know others more deeply. I have always known that I am a GREAT tour guide. I will reach out to a people who look confused and ask them how I can help them. I will not always, however, remember their names or other details. This is my mission this year!

In order to do this, my plan involves the following:




thank you notes, birthday cards, thinking of you letters…file0001706105827


Yes, actually MAIL. Continue reading

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Here I am.

I’m sitting in my local Starbucks, tapping away at my phone that has only 19% battery life. I sit at a table for six with two other people whom I do not know. They were pleasant when I asked to sit down. And in fact I believe one would have welcomed conversation. I kept my eyes down and smiled and whispered thank you, and arranged my notebook and drink in front of me. This worked and I avoided discussion. But I did notice and feel grateful that they were both accommodating. One is at a laptop and the other guest is using a nail to carve a detailed sculpture out of a large candle! Having laid two napkins on the table, he carefully cuts and sculpts away at the candle. It’s quite good. He’s carving bookshelves with books onto two sides and the other sides meet in the middle like a church narthex.


The hum of the chatter in here is comforting. It’s not just chatter but a combination of soft R&B, the machines whirring, people ordering, and one person with a deeper voice droning, lol. Occasionally his female companion cackles loudly  I don’t begrudge the interruption though, because on another day that will be me. Continue reading

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How was your day?

Overseen on FB:

Putting leah to bed tonight I asked her how her day was:

It was SOOOOOO good. I played toys, I saw friends, I hugged my Luis, I went on the potty and I made so many people smile.

Baby girl, that’s what life is all about! You win, my love.

(PS- luis had a great day too)


Full-Disclosure: this was my niece talking to her daughter! ____________________________

How was your day?

I hope it was blessed.



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Knitting Supplies Bag

This is a bag that someone from my church received from a contest on my VIP page. I said she could have any personalization and this is the name of the knitting group at our church! Cute, right?

If you are interested in this, visit me at http://mythirtyone.com/lorirogers


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Connect! Happy New Year 2016

Happy New year!

Do you do anything special to mark the new year? To kick off the new year? Maybe to release the old?

Over the years we’ve done a variety of things. Several times when the kids were little we lit the burn barrel in the backyard (before we had the fire pit) and had little new year’s eve ceremonies. We gave them each a piece of yarn and asked them to think of something they wanted for the future year, whether it was a goal or a hope or an expectation. They were to pray or consider their wish/hope/dream as they wrapped their length of yarn around a twig. Then we bundled them up and went outside and had them toss their yarn into the burning fire, taking turns individually. When you choose the right yarn, it sparks in different colors when it burns, making a beautiful (if brief) spectacle. It felt like a beautiful little ceremony.

And then we would run up to the house and get warm, lol.


For the past few years we have been taking time to hike together (whoever is home). We love this tradition and truly feel it sets the tone for the year. Cleansing and hopeful!


This year was no exception, even though our youngest broke her leg just 6 days ago! Turns out you can drive to the top of a mountain pretty easily and and see the sunset, even with someone with a broken leg in the backseat.


Happy New Year from our family to yours!

Lori in writing Soli Deo Gloria size 28 copy

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Coloring Books, Sponges and Kids

“Children aren’t coloring books.                                                                                                                      You don’t get to fill them in with your favorite colors.”                                                                                                                     Khaled Hosseini from “The Kite Runner”

Yes they are. Yes you do.


You’ve heard the saying that children are like sponges? Same thing.

Children ARE coloring books, sponges, and mini-“yous”.

While raising my children I experienced joys and sorrows, silliness and pain. I suffered over the loss of loved ones. I reacted with absolutely no self-control over a miniscule issue (or two. or more.). I laughed myself to tears, and a change of underwear, many times. I once threw a ceramic plate across the room into the wall. Often I experienced quiet happy moments. And raucous happy times. And when I could show self-control, I did. And during those times I worked very hard at being a positive person, trying to see the best in everyone. Trying to stay upbeat and phrase things in a positive manner. For example, asking the kids to keep the door shut when the air conditioner was on in the summer was to remind them that an open door meant a higher electric bill, which translated into Chuck E. Cheese money. So instead of shouting at them we would holler “Chuck E. Cheese!” They quickly remembered to shut the door!

I’m not saying we were perfect (see samples above) but we made an conscious effort to share positivity.

This is how I know that children get filled in with your favorite colors. Because I saw it happen.

file000541107341I long suspected this was the case, and finally being able to put it into practice with children of my own allowed me to watch the theory in practice.

My kids are now mostly upbeat people who look for the best in those around them. They are each completely different, and came with their own special lines on the page, and I colored each of them in differently. They might tell you that the older I got the less I stayed in the lines. But that’s another discussion.

But I think that my attempts to color positivity, nurturing and love have worked.

I challenge others to create expectations of success and affection for their children, being mindful that we are only human, but each day is a new day full of colorful choices.

35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. Matthew 12:35


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Quick Funny

Today in Pennsylvania (in December) the weather was unusually nice so we were going to take a quick motorcycle ride before it got dark. I got home and hubby says, “We really shouldn’t go out and leave the dogs. They were alone all day.”

He has O.D.D.


Cartoon from PawPack

Lori in writing Soli Deo Gloria size 28 copy
Cartoon from PawPack
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The Paris Attacks

Our pastor’s daughter is living in France five hours outside of Paris. You can imagine this was on our minds after the attacks in Paris on Friday night.

My oldest and dearest friend lives in Belgium. The same country where some of the Paris bombers were seeking asylum. This, too, was on my mind after hearing about the attacks.


My heart, as soft as it is, has become so much harder since 9/11. I work every day to consciously love others and demonstrate Christ’s love. And I have to say that upon hearing of the attacks I became angry. I was so mad.

And Glenn, our Pastor, who had been speaking about the vampires in our lives, interrupted his series to talk about the attacks and talk about how Christ would like us to respond. Using passages from Matthew and more, he talked about how Christ would want us to turn the other cheek (one of the passages Glenn jokes is a passage that many of us would like to remove from the Bible) and to sacrifice personally, because we are set apart in His name. We are to be a people of peace in our interactions with others. We are not to denigrate or insult or murder someone’s psyche or spirit, to the same degree that we are not to physically murder someone. God calls us to extend grace and forgiveness. This is a one-on-one ethic that Paul expounds on in Romans.

But Jesus also talks about a societal ethic.

He says that God allows for those in authority to make punishments or rules about those who break the peace and hurt others. My quandary is how in the world do those people do it! What a burden it has got to be. This is clearly how people end up with hubris. The thought that we need to love others and to punish others (in love) is such a challenging concept. Obviously I’ve known that we need to love others, and at the same time I know that punishment is necessary. But as complex as this is, it gets even more complicated when you consider the hurt that is terrorism.

On another note:

Our pastor’s daughter is fine and lives outside the city, but one of the things she’s struggling with is that she is immersed in the culture completely. NO English at all, even her host family doesn’t speak English. Not one word. So she feels alone a lot. Glenn had a great suggestion for her. He suggested that she use the alone times to pray and read her bible (oh, there are also no Christians there, church is virtually non-existent) and use that time to grow. Would you love to have the gift of time to do the same?

Thoreau on the Seine, anyone?


Lori in writing Soli Deo Gloria size 28 copy

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