Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Tomorrow is deadline day for all of those yummy recipes earmarked for the Kyrie Foundation cookbook! We hope that you've found something special to share with us and with multitudes of other cookers and eaters. A big, hearty bowl of thanks to those of you who have sent your recipes and stories already. We LOVE them! And if you haven't sent yours in yet, there's still time!

(I've sent some of my own recipes in already, but I'm sending a few more tonight--I, too, wait until the last minute sometimes!)

It is our hope that your willingness to share those secret ingredients and family favorites not only raises money for pediatric brain cancer research, but also we hope this cookbook is filled with the kind of recipes that become new favorites for other families. Years from now, we want the Kyrie Foundation cookbook to be dogeared and stained with chocolate smears & rippled with splashes of milk. We want your children to someday see your handwriting next to the recipes you came to love. We want them to see your name under a recipe that makes them think that you are the most wonderful chef of all time. ;)

So please keep the recipes a'comin'! You can send them to another loving cook, Jan Munroe, at

Most of us miss out on life's big prizes. The Pulitzer. The Nobel. Oscars. Tonys. Emmys. But we're all eligible for life's small pleasures. A pat on the back. A kiss behind the ear. A four-pound bass. A full moon. An empty parking space. A cracking fire. A great meal. A glorious sunset. Hot soup. Cold beer. Don't fret about copping life's grand awards. Enjoy its tiny delights. There are plenty for all of us.

United Technologies Corporation Ad

Monday, April 28, 2008

Jardin de Tuileries.

A coupla photos of the tulips in Kyrie's garden from this past weekend. Some of the tulips have already bloomed and subsided, but plenty more have held on despite the whirlwind weather and vegetarian varmints.

Good to spring into spring on this Monday, no?

Speaking of veggies, this Thursday is the deadline for submitting recipes to the Kyrie Foundation cookbook! Again, we're doing really good on the desserts, but there's plenty of room for more hors d'oeuvres, soups, salads and sides. Of course, main dishes are welcome, too, as well as good kid recipes (dishes that kids can make or recipes that make kid-friendly stuff.) So I would challenge you to think of your go-to recipe:

• What is the one never-fail, always-a-winner recipe for which you are known?
• What is the dish that everyone asks you to bring?
• What is the dish that you crave when you've had a bad day or when someone needs cheering up?

Again, we'll give you (or whomever you wish) full credit and homage for bestowing upon us the treasured recipes that make you proud and semi-famous. Please send all recipes to Jan Munroe at Can't wait to see what you feed your body & soul!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for every last bit. Sometimes pennies and a few GoodSearches and bread crumbs and the last drops of shampoo and embers of a fading campfire and the final few Cheerios that you chase around the bowl get dismissed. Easy to do. Always searching for bigger & better, we Americans sometimes take for granted how big little bits can be.

Pennies turn into dollars. GoodSearches are fighting cancer. Bread crumbs make incredible fried green tomatoes. That last, ridiculous-sounding squeeze of shampoo still gets your hair clean. The warm ash of a campfire allows you to get really close and really toasty. And those Cheerios ... every one of 'em helps lower cholesterol.

So today I'm thankful for every last second, last morsel and last detail.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Did you know ...

that if you shop online using GoodShop (part of GoodSearch) or iGive, you can purchase:

• iTunes songs?
• eBay auction items?
• identity protection on LifeLock?
• used books on Barnes&
• audio books at
• the perfect match at ;)?
• a new computer from or
• used books, homeschool stuff and a gajillion other things at
• flowers for birthdays, Mother's Day, sympathy, graduation, etc. at
• cool electronics from
• perfume from
• collectibles from the Franklin Mint?
• Real Simple or Outdoor Living from
• office supplies from Staples, Office Depot, Office Max, etc.?
• school treats/prizes from Oriental Trading Company?
• photos from Shutterfly or Snapfish?
• Father's Day gifts from Cabela's or Bass Pro?
• cell phones from T Mobile & Verizon?
• summer vacations, rental cars, business travel with Expedia,, Carnival Cruises, Best Western and so many more?

This is in addition to Target, Wal-Mart, QVC, HSN,, Home Depot, Kohl's, Petco, Avon, Land's End, Macy's, JCPenney, Old Navy, Gap and SO MANY MORE!

Just sayin'. If you're going to purchase items anyway, it might a cool, two-birds-one-stone kind of thing to look at GoodShop and iGive first, just to see if your shopping can do some good against cancer, too.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Green Good.

With today being Earth Day, it might be a good idea to think about how we can combine doing good for others with doing good with the finite resources we have been given.

Reduce. How about reducing the number of conclusions we jump to along with the number of single-serving, plastic beverage bottles?

Reuse. How about reusing old sweats for garage rags and reigniting meaningful relationships?

Recycle. How about recycling those recipes into the Kyrie Foundation cookbook?

Lots of good ways to take care of each other by way of preserving the planet. And ... perhaps there should be a Heaven Day, where we pause to note that place and all those we love there, too.

I live for those who love me,
For those who know me true,
For the Heaven that smiles above me,
And awaits my spirit too;
For the cause that lacks assistance,
For the wrong that needs resistance,
For the future in the distance,
And the good that I can do.

George Linnaeus Banks

Friday, April 18, 2008

Good dialogue this week. Good to let simple thoughts settle into our bones, to let simple ideas take on great value. And perhaps that's the key to making things more simple at your house this weekend: give simplicity value. Make simplicity more important that acquiring or impressing or having, and soon you won't have to launder so much or dust so much or de-clutter so much or schedule so much. Interesting, huh?

Another interesting thing is that we're nearing our May 1 deadline for recipes! Lacie says that we're doing really well in the dessert arena but could use more recipes for sides/vegetables and appetizers. So ... calling all nibblers and side dish lovers! Do you have a fav way to prepare veggies for the kiddos? What is the never-fail snack that you take to the office or Bunco night to share? What side dish do you take to family & church potlucks? If you have something you'd like to share, please send to Jan Munroe at

(A little butterfly told me that Kyrie's great nana and my mother-in-law are submitting some of their yummy recipes to the cookbook. Lucky us!)

Oh! Found this--a nice way of explaining our ever-present Do Good philosophy, and something to ponder this weekend ...

We are here to do;
and through doing to learn;
and through learning to know;
and through knowing to experience wonder;
and through wonder to attain wisdom;
and through wisdom to find simplicity;
and through simplicity to give attention;
and through attention to see what needs to be done.

From the 'Pirke Avot'

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” - Cicero

And I would add loving people, Cicero. People you love who love you intertwined with your passionate purpose is sheer bliss. So simple. So good.

Here are a few words from simple living expert, Leo Babauta:

Count your blessings. When you find yourself unhappy with something, or with what you don’t have, take a moment to count all the good things in your life. And I would bet there are many. It puts the focus on what you do have rather than what you don’t.
Stop, and remind yourself. When you find yourself unhappy with someone, or trying to change them, stop yourself. Take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you should try to be happy with that person for who he/she is. Take a moment to think about the good things about that person, the reasons you love that person. Then accept their faults as part of their entire package.
Stop, and consider why you want something. When you feel the urge to buy something, think about whether it’s a need or a want. If it’s a want, take a pause. It’s good to wait 30 days — keep a 30-day list … when you want something, put it on the list with the date, and if you still want it in 30 days, you can buy it). Consider why you want something. Are you not content with what you already have? Why not?
Take time to appreciate your life! I like to reflect on my life, and all the good things in it, on a regular basis. I do this when I run, or when I watch the sunset or sunrise, or when I’m out in nature. Another great method is a morning gratitude session — think of all the things and people you’re thankful for, and thank them silently.
Show people you appreciate them. It’s good to appreciate people, but it’s even better to show them. Give them a hug, smile, spend time with them, thank them out loud, thank them publicly.
Breathe, and smile. Once again, advice from one of my favorite monks, but it works in this context. Sometimes when we take the time to breathe, and smile, it can change our outlook on life.
Learn to enjoy the simple things. Instead of wanting to buy expensive things, and spend money on doing things like eating out or entertainment, learn to enjoy stuff that’s free. Conversations and walks with other people. Spending time outdoors. Watching a DVD or playing board games. Going to the beach. Playing sports. Running. These things don’t cost much, and they are awesome.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Today's gift.

A while back Jordan commented on a post, and it's been sticking with me every since. The gift of life is living.

So simple, yet we've made it so complicated, haven't we? We complain about never having time, never having energy, not being satisfied, having hurt feelings, being tired, being so busy and then--POOF!--another week, another month, another year is gone. Those days of irk can string together quite a good chunk of life, can't they?

And we've taken nearly all the living out of lives with our TVs, our iPods, our video games, our SUVs with DVDs. Since when did we let actors and little buttons do our living for us? And we're so worn out with our busy-ness that all we can muster is sitting on the couch watching other people garden, volunteer, cook, renovate, explore, etc. Someday, right? Retirement, right? That's when we'll have time to really live.

Meanwhile, we still have today. So simple: today. So perhaps today we can focus on simplicity, on simply living and living simply, and how to find the peace in our responsibilities that gives us the energy to live today with gratitude and joy, to roll with it. Much easier typed than done, I realize. More to come tomorrow.

“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” - Albert Einstein

Friday, April 11, 2008

Secret family recipes.

So we're in full-on recipe mode today: gathering, sorting, organizing. If you've sent recipes for the Kyrie Foundation cookbook, we thank you from the bottom of our mixing bowls! If you haven't yet, there's still time!

Today, we're thinking of family foods, the kinds of recipes that become a tradition, an edible testament to what it means to have your family gather for a meal. What dish is a signature for your family? What entree, side, dessert, [dare I say dip? ;)] is so you or a family member? What recipes do you make when you need to feed a hungry crowd? What recipe do you whip up when it's a special occasion?

And ... would you mind sharing those with us? We'll give you full credit (or to whom you like credit to be given) and maybe you could tell us a little bit about how this recipe came to be so loved. Please send all recipes to Jan Munroe at

Keep cookin'!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Another thank you for a thank you! Susan, a.k.a. Easter Bunny, recieved this handmade thank you note from Wesley pediatrics, a thank you to the Easter crew and to all of you who made the trip possible with your generous donations.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Day the Angels Came
a grandpa's prayer and poem for Kyrie Dawn

Wednesday, April 4, the day we heard of the explosive growth of the tumors

Alas! O, Lord what is it that I hear?
Is it Your angels coming for our Kyrie Dawn?
O, please Lord, keep them at bay--
If just for one more day.

Thursday, April 5, Holy Thursday

O, Lord, what is this I hear?
Is it that You need another little angel to be near?
O, please Lord, please Lord, don't take our Kyrie dear.
Could You please keep Your angels away,
and we could have her just one more day?

Friday, April 6, Good Friday

O, precious, sweet Jesus, is this the day?
No, no, dear Lord, not today--
This is Your day that You died to save.
Again, please Dear God, let us be selfish
and keep sweet Kyrie another day.

Saturday, April 7, Holy Saturday Easter Vigil

Thank you dear God in heaven
for yet another precious day--
For we all know things will be done your way.
Little Kyrie Dawn is fighting so very hard--
Yesterday she three her ball three times
till her tiny arm got tired.

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom God's love entrusts her here,
Ever this day be at her side
To light, to guard, to rule to guide. Amen.

Sunday, April 8, Easter Sunday

Dear God in Heaven, Your angels came last night,
As we all knew that someday they might.
They came around the hour of seven
to take our precious one to her
special place in heaven.
Sweet Jesus, we know that you, too, love the little ones,
so to You we give You our little Kyrie Dawn--
And in the end, it is always Your will that will be done.

* A note: The flower garden of nearly 200 pink & red tulips that Papa Thome planted last fall began to show the tiniest bits of color yesterday. With a little more sun, they are likely to bloom today.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

For today.

You may have heard or seen the news stories about the two families whose daughters were mistakenly identified after a tragic car wreck in Indiana. For five weeks, one family tended to the girl who they believed was their daughter, and the other family mourned. Then they both found out the truth.

These families were recently on Oprah, and toward the end of the interview, after the correct identity was discovered, these faith-filled families recalled their face-to-face meeting. The father of the newly identified, alive daughter, Mr. Cerak, compassionately, regretfully says to the other father, "I'm sorry we got the happy ending."

The other father, Mr. Van Ryn, who realizes that his daughter has really been gone for the past five weeks, replies, "So did we. We just haven't seen the whole ending yet."

Amidst the past year's storm of grief--the kind of grief that grips you when you're pushing your grocery cart or when at your desk job or when you're behind the wheel or lying awake at night or brushing your teeth or among friends or with family or by yourself--there have been umbrellas generously offered by you all who are willing to stand in the pouring rain with us, with Lacie & Jordan. Again and again, we thank you, and we must continue to remind ourselves and each other that we just haven't seen the whole ending yet.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


A little butterfly told me that there are some updates to the Kyrie Foundation Web site. Check 'em out here.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for the feeling of a warm kitchen. As a child, my mother would press out batches of buttermilk biscuits on top of the island counter on a weekly basis. The aroma would draw all of us kids from the basement playroom upstairs to a kitchen filled with life & love. Sometimes slathered with homemade jam, these biscuits were flaky & warm with a slab of real butter melting into each morsel. Now as an adult, buttermilk biscuits have come to mean home to me.

So today, as the preparation for the Kyrie Foundation cookbook picks up steam, I would like to challenge each of you to consider the recipe in your life that makes you think of home. What smell, what taste instantly takes you back to a time of love & security? What dish comforts you? What meal do you prepare to care for your family? And ... we would love, love, love for you to share your stories and recipes with us today.

Simply e-mail your recipes in an e-mail or as a Word document attachment to Jan Munroe at Each recipe chosen for the cookbook will include the name of who created the recipe or name of submitter, whichever you would like best. Please include your city & state as well. Can't wait to hear from you all!

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A thank you for the thank you.

Thank you Carver's mom for being precisely the kind of family the the Easter Bunny & Eggbert love to help. We're so grateful that you've included their trip on your blog.

And here's a good thought for today related to Susan & Rita's visit:

The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have a potential to turn a life around. It's overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt.
Leo Buscaglia