Meet some really fun people (who also happen to contribute here)

by Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

This little blog started in 2008 with just my voice. I added six others a year later—not because I felt like mine wasn’t strong enough, but because I value community. Now, almost four years after Simple Mom’s creation (has it really been that long?), I’m surrounded by a plethora of other amazing, brilliant, wise voices that share their words here.

Why? Because they all know a lot of stuff I don’t. Many of you write me with questions about teenagers. As a mom of three kids ages seven and under, I haven’t got a clue how to answer you—and I’m not going to pretend to. So I’ve invited someone else to do that.

I’ve got money management opinions, but mine isn’t the only one that matters—I want to spread out the voices, the experiences, and the knowledge, so you’re not just hearing from me. I can be wrong, after all.

And it’s a beautiful thing to weave a tapestry of lives into one creation. This place just wouldn’t be the same without heart-felt marriage acumen, health helps we all need to hear, or home, hospitality, and DIY inspiration that’s rooted in the heart.

It’s still my blog, yes. You hear from me about three times per week; these 13 others sprinkle in their words once weekly. And I’m honored and touched that they do.

I thought it’d be fun to introduce the 2012 lineup, but not just do the usual bio. You can read theirs anytime. I asked these fine folk a few other questions instead.

Read on.

Corey Allan

Corey is a professional marriage therapist who also blogs. Personally, he’s a playground for his kids and wife (when the mood strikes). That last part was all him, folks.

Family: Two kids, ages 6 and 4. Married almost 19 years to the love of my life.

The six people attending my ultimate dinner party:

  • Jesus
  • Freud
  • King Solomon
  • My grandfather
  • My Uncle (who was a lifelong missionary)
  • My wife

A big thing I’ve gained by being on the Internet: I’m humbled by the chance to reach so many people and hopefully help improve marriages around the world.

Beverage of choice: Coffee

Heather Allard

Heather writes about working from home with kids at your skirt hem. She’s the founder of The Mogul Mom, a free daily email for moms who run a business, raise a family, and rock both.

Family: Three children, Hope, age 11; Grace, age 8; and Brendan, age 5, and a 14-year-old dog, The Dude, who has been the fuzzy love of my life since adopting him when he was six months old. I’ve been married to my best friend, Scott, for 17 years.

The six people attending my ultimate dinner party:

  • My late father, Richard—he died after a fatal fall at my third birthday party and I’d love to spend an evening (or a lifetime) chatting with him.
  • Maya Angelou—I love her poetry and her wisdom.
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Jerry Seinfeld—hilarious.
  • Kris Carr – her book, Crazy Sexy Diet, has changed my life.
  • Bob Pittman of Pilot Group—I’d love to chat with him about funding my daily email.

A big thing I’ve gained by being on the Internet: The chance to stay home with my three kids every single day of their lives until they go to school AND earn a very handsome income. Every day, I’m in awe of how lucky I am to be able to do what I do from home. BIG gratitude for the Internet.

Beverage of choice: Hands down, red wine. More specifically, Belle Glos “Las Alturas” Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir.

Lisa Byrne

Lisa writes about health and taking care of yourself, and helps depleted moms get their spark back.

Family: Three kids all under the age of 6—boy, girl, boy. Adorable spouse who keeps me laughing and sane through the crazy-making of raising kids. And a 110 pound yellow lab. It’s a nut house most of the time.

The six people attending my ultimate dinner party:

  • Frida Kahlo
  • Diego Rivera
  • Mary (the mother of Jesus)
  • Joseph (husband of Mary)
  • Albert Einstein
  • Mileva Marić

A big thing I’ve gained by being on the Internet: The relationships with women and mothers all over the world.

Beverage of choice: In the morning—green juice of cucumber, broccoli stems, romaine lettuce and pear. During the day—water. At dinner—red wine.

Katie Clemons

Katie writes about a do-it-yourself approach to life, and believes your story matters. She makes handmade writing prompt books that help you celebrate those stories.

Family: It’s just one German husband and me.

The six people attending my ultimate dinner party:

  • Jeanette Rankin (first woman in Congress, representing Montana before women could vote in the US)
  • Evelyn Cameron (pioneer photographer from 1894 to 1928 in Montana)
  • My parents (I think my dad would just die if he could meet Evelyn, and my mom helped me dress up as Jeanette in 5th grade.)
  • My grandfathers (they passed away before I knew the power of story)

A big thing I’ve gained by being on the Internet: I met my husband online when a friend dared me to create an online profile in college.

Beverage of choice: I love tea for nine months of the year; lemonade the other three. It’s currently below freezing, so I’m sure you can guess what I’m reaching for right now.

Sandy Coughlin

Sandy writes about hospitality and entertaining and is a mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, lover of people, food, and dinner parties.

Family: Paul, author, speaker, and founder of The Protectors, a values and faith-based solution to adolescent bullying. Elliot, a junior at University of Oregon, pre-med. Garrett, a senior in high school, looking for colleges to study Mandarin and International Business. Abigail, a freshman in high school who plays varsity soccer, and is a violinist on her way to Carnegie Hall to play this March in NYC.

The six people attending my ultimate dinner party:

  • Mother Teresa
  • Paul Coughlin (my husband)
  • Alton Brown
  • Ree Drummond
  • Edith Schaeffer
  • Timothy Keller

…Where we’d talk about food, love, and people.

A big thing I’ve gained by being on the Internet: Friendships.

Beverage of choice: Water.

Robin Dance

Robin says she does a lot of things—some of which I even does quite well—but none of which include writing a sentence about what she does (follow that?). Sometimes she writes with her head and sometimes she writes with her heart; one you’ll read and the other you’ll feel. Here, she writes about parenting teens.

Family: Married to my college sweetheart and we’ll celebrate our 25th Anniversary this year! Three teens, my favorite 19-year-old, freshman-in-college daughter; two sons, a freshman (14) and a junior (17).
Through the years we’ve had lionhead rabbits, exotic fish, mice, hamsters, snakes…but we’re down to one mature Australian Shepherd. Two of those, btw, were uninvited guests.

The six people attending my ultimate dinner party: My ultimate dinner party doesn’t include celebrity or otherwise famous or infamous people; MY ultimate dinner party would be:

  • my husband,
  • three children,
  • and my mom, who lost her battle to cancer when I was nine. To talk with her as an adult, for her to meet her wonderful grandchildren and for them to know her, for her to see I’ve married a man who cherishes me, THAT would be ultimate!

A big thing I’ve gained by being on the Internet: The greatest thing I’ve gained from being on the Internet is writing to give voice to children living in poverty when I traveled with Compassion International to Kolkata, India, a trip that continues to affect me from the inside out.

Beverage of choice: My favorite beverage of choice absolutely depends on time of day, who I’m with and what I’m doing.


Kat speaks, writes, teaches, and takes her kids on dates and cheers from the sidelines, because she wants to be a person that brings out the very best in others. Here, she’ll be writing on the subject of “mentoring”—being and having one. And, she was my roommate in the Philippines. And is painfully funny.

Family: Husband – Jimmy, and two girls and a boy, ages 9,7, and 4. And Alexandra, my 9-year-old’s pet rat—a surprisingly good pet.

The six people attending my ultimate dinner party:

  • My Mother – because I never knew her, so she’s always my first choice.
  • Ann Voskamp – few people have inspired me more than Ann.
  • Melanie (from the Big Mama Blog) – because she is brilliantly hilarious.
  • C.S. Lewis – ….because he’s C.S. Lewis….
  • Amy Grant – because my 12-year-old self would find a Delorean and come to the future just to thank me.
  • Jimmy – because it wouldn’t be fun without him.

A big thing I’ve gained by being on the Internet: Accountability. Since I write to inspire, I often write about my ideals. Blogging has pushed me to live more closely to those ideals than I ever would have on my own. Blogging has made me a better mother and motherhood has made me a better blogger.

Beverage of choice: A mint mocha madness from Common Grounds Coffee shop near the Baylor University campus. Happiness in a cup.

Charlie Park

Charlie writes about money management, and is an indie web developer and family man. He does his best to keep those two worlds from overlapping.

Family: Sarah and I do our best to wrangle Lucy, Kate, and Frances into/out of bed, school, the car, the dinner table, the playground, the grandparents’, the library, dance class, music class, and church. 1. Everyone arrives, 2. on time, 3. without tears. Pick two.

The six people attending my ultimate dinner party:

  • Six Jesuses. (Tsh’s note: Jesus Juke! Well, sort-of.)

A big thing I’ve gained by being on the Internet: Affirmation. Every once in a while, I’ll get an e-mail from someone who’s seen my work and genuinely appreciates it, and who’s taken the time to write me to let me know. It means a lot.

Beverage of choice: I made up a new drink last week that I’m pretty excited about. You fill a glass halfway with peach soda. Then, you hold a bent spoon over the surface of the soda and slowly fill the rest of the glass with stout (like Guinness), making sure that the stout only slowly pours out onto the spoon, and then onto the surface of the soda (like a black & tan, if you’ve ever had one of those). You end up with a layered drink that tastes delicious.

The night I made it, we had something the girls call a “tiger moon” (a full moon, low in the sky, with bare tree branches crossing in front of it, making it look like a tiger’s fur). So the drink is now called “Tiger Moon.”

Sarah Park

Sarah does more dishes, laundry, and driving around in the car than she would like, but she also gets to live life with her family, in all our glorious chaos. She loves writing poems about it, and once a month, she’ll be sharing these poetic words here on Simple Mom.

Family: I’m married to Charlie (see above), who is enthusiastic, creative, and has a sense of humor that is sometimes wry, sometimes goofy, and usually totally inappropriate. Our first daughter is Lucy, almost 8, who got a lot of her dad’s exuberance. Then we had the twins, Kate and Frances, almost 5, who are very different from one another, but both full of schemes for making their days (and ours) lively and interesting.

The six people attending my ultimate dinner party: Gee, just going to a dinner party, with any group of people-who-are-not-preschoolers, sounds grand!

A big thing I’ve gained by being on the Internet: I’ve gained a sense of connection. It’s so easy, as a mom at home with little kids, to feel very isolated. Being online has brought me new friends and has given me a sense of not being alone in my struggles.

Beverage of choice: A glass of red wine with friends over a game of Settlers of Catan.

Megan Tietz

Megan spends her days mothering her children, cheering on her husband, writing often, reading sometimes, and cleaning rarely. Here, she shares beautiful and useful words about parenting and motherhood.

Family: I’ve been married to my college sweetheart, Kyle, for over 13 years. We have two daughters: our artistically-inclined scientist Dacey, 7, who is always trying out a new hypothesis, and Aliza Joy, 4, our whirling dervish of sequins and curls.

The six people attending my ultimate dinner party:

  • Tina Fey
  • Will Rogers
  • Tim Gunn
  • Judy Blume
  • Toni Morrison, and
  • Zooey Deschanel

A big thing I’ve gained by being on the Internet: More than anything, I’ve gained the incredible assurance of community and the comfort of knowing I am not alone in the way I see the world. Through my life online, I’ve had the joy of building a platform for sharing my views on faith, family, and natural living—all ideas that are often a step outside of the mainstream—and I have been incredibly blessed to find so many like-minded friends along the way.

Beverage of choice: C-O-F-F-E-E (no cream, no sugar, extra bold, extra strong, if it’s not too much to ask).

Emily Walker

Emily writes about loving where you live, because it matters. She is a wife and mother who stays sane by drinking coffee, eating jelly beans and going for long runs.

Family: I have been married to my husband Jason for 12 years this year. We have two kids—our daughter Drew, age 7 and our son Eli age almost 5. To add to the craziness we have two dogs—12 and 14 years old. And 7 chickens.

The six people attending my ultimate dinner party:

  • Joe Montana
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Jon Stewart
  • Tina Fey
  • Anderson Cooper
  • Michelle Obama

A big thing I’ve gained by being on the Internet: The friendship and insight from others. I never in a million years imagined that I’d find friends when I began blogging. Having a place to share, vent, inspire and learn has been life-changing for me. I have a place to not feel so alone in whatever it is I’m doing and wherever it is I am and that is worth so much.

Beverage of choice: For the responsible me—sparkling water mixed with pomegranate juice. For the kicking back to have a good time on a hot summer day me—Blue Moon.

Nish Weiseth

Nish writes about loving the outdoors and living in it with your family. She also does too much, not enough, and everything in between. And it must be noted—our names rhyme. In case you didn’t notice.

Family: I’m married to my smokin’ hot husband, Erik and we have a little toddler boy named Rowan and two large dogs named Shasta and Ranger. We all live in downtown Salt Lake City.

The six people attending my ultimate dinner party:

I feel like Jesus goes without saying, so I’ll list six others.

  • Margaret Thatcher
  • J.K. Rowling
  • Winston Churchill
  • Jon Stewart
  • Tina Fey
  • Albus Dumbledore (Yeah, I listed a fictional character. Did I just break the rules?)

A big thing I’ve gained by being on the Internet: My voice.

Beverage of choice: I have a serious weakness for Cherry-Vanilla Dr. Pepper’s from Sonic. Serious weakness.

Okay, and for funsies, I thought I’d do the questions, too…

Family: It’s me, my husband of 9.5 years, Kyle, and three kids—Tate, almost 7, Reed, 4, and Finn, 19 months. And a really annoying black kitten named Pepper.
The six people attending my ultimate dinner party: It’s ironic that I asked everyone this question, because I usually hate it. Such pressure. Such a chance to forget someone important. Oh well—here they are:

  • Paul the Apostle
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Jane Austen
  • J.K. Rowling
  • Tim Gunn, and
  • Tina Fey (and from the looks of this post, she apparently receives a lot of dinner party invitations)

A big thing I’ve gained by being on the Internet: I kinda want to echo everyone else here. Friendships. Accountability. Connections in the midst of loneliness. A voice. A chance to support my family. I really do thank God for the Internet. Really.

Beverage of choice: Black coffee in the morning, bubbly water with lime all day, and for dinner, red wine. A good ale every now and then.

Okay, now it’s your turn—I’d really like to get to know the readers a bit more! Answer any or all of the questions. Who’s in your family? Which six people are invited to your dinner party? What have you gained from the Internet? And what’s your beverage of choice?

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  1. Family: just us chickens – husband, wife, son, and two daughters, one of whom thinks she is alternately a horse, cat, and snake. We had a fish named Gumdrop who sadly died while I was recovering from surgery after a pedestrian hit-and-run (while carrying my two oldest in my arms), and as soon as all kids can keep their bottoms dry for a month, we’re adopting a fish we plan to name Dog. The kids think that is the most hilarious thing they’ve ever heard.

    Six people at my dinner party:
    1 – My dad. He died the week before Christmas this year, and I’d love to have him feel well enough to sit at a meal I would make for him.
    2 – Joseph Louis Lagrange
    3 – Ralph Waldo Emerson
    4 – Saul of Tarsus, or rather, Paul
    5 – Carolyn Ingalls
    6 – Plato

    A big thing I’ve gained from being on the Internet: Diverse interests and perspectives. I love to research, to learn, to think about why I think what I think and then…think again.

    Beverage of choice: water with lemon juice. About 2-3 teaspoons. Room temperature. It’s the only way I can keep other small people in this house from drinking my water.
    Thanks for introducing your contributors. Loved it.

  2. Ok first of all…I’d like to tag along at the dinner parties of Corey, Megan, Emily, Nish and Tsh! What fun!

    Our family is me, my husband of 5.5 years Noel, our 20 month old Eleanor.

    My dinner party would be: Tina Fey, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Anthony Bourdain, and John Adams.

    The internet has brought me a couple of blogs and friends all over the country. Amazing the connections I’ve made that I could never have dreamed of ten years ago.

    My drink of choice: diet Dr Pepper with a shot of vanilla. Yum!

  3. That was fun to read all those answers! Here’s mine:
    It is myself, my amazing husband of 11 years and our 2 boys, 5 and 3 years old. Plus 3 cute chickens and 1 cat. There is barely a quiet moment in this house!
    My dinner party invite list would look like this:
    My mom, I also lost her to cancer when I was 13, I would love for her to meet my husband and kids.
    My husband
    1 of my closest friends
    Brian Regan for clean comedy that makes my cheeks hurt from laughing
    Jamie Cullum for musical entertainment
    Man – that is a strange mix of people!! :)

    Being from England originally, Tea with milk and sugar is still my favorite drink, until it is late enough for a glass of wine

    thanks Tsh for all you do to run simple living – it is a blessing to me in many ways!

  4. I’m feeling a little shy about being the first one to comment, but since I’m in Japan it’s not my fault, it’s the time zone!
    First, I am super excited to see you Parks on here. I knew them way back at my college church.
    My family includes my very own private soldier/husband and my 2-yo daughter Evangeline. We all kind of hate the dog (a maltese, Mad Max). And a beta fish named GOB.
    My un-overthought dinner party (only including people currently unavailable to me) would include Wes Anderson, Joss Whedon (yikes I better get some literary figures on here), G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, my maternal grandmother Jacqueline Kasun, and…I dunno.
    I’ve gained a whole lot of encouragement in motherhood from the internet, and also an outlet to develop my writing. And mainly a way to communicate with my family, who lives an ocean and a continent away.
    Beverage of choice is a cappuccino (sometimes corrected).

  5. avatar
    Sarah Park says:

    Wait, everybody- THIS is why I love the Internet! Hi, Martha!! It’s so good to bump into you on SimpleMom! :)

  6. avatar
    Mark Volansky says:

    It feels really good to see some inspirational work done. I must admit that it was really heart touching from my prospective.

    I am very happy to have come across this post. 😀


  7. Oh, I loved this post! I always look forward to the latest Simple Mom read, and what fun to learn a bit about this year’s contributors.

    Our family consists of myself, my husband of nine years, and our three daughters, ages 6, 4, and 1.

    My dinner party list, assuming my husband as co-host, would include:
    Jane Austen (She could bring along Mr. Darcy)
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Oprah Winfrey (I’d set an extra place for Stedman. And Gayle, too)
    Albert Einstein
    Roger Federer (With a special assigned seat right next to my husband.)

    The Internet has offered so many windows into the lives and experiences of others, both similar and contrasting to my own. As well as a chance to stay connected with friends and family across the miles and waters.

    My drink of choice, currently, would be a fabulous new tea discovery, Yogi Tea Mayan Cocao Spice. Warm, decadent (tasting), and delicious!

    Thank you all at Simple Mom for your inspiration! (I’m also totally digging the podcast, Tsh!)

  8. So I guess I should give my “real” answer on the dinner party question. I’m assuming my wife would be there, too, (of course).

    Here we go:
    * Richard Branson
    * Benjamin Franklin
    * Tina Fey
    * Vi Hart
    * Joel Salatin
    * Mark Twain

    I think that’d be a pretty fun party. Especially after a few Tiger Moons.

  9. My family: My husband, Brandon, and our baby girl, Clara, who is due in May.

    6 people I would invite to a dinner party:
    Mary, Jesus’ mother
    my biological mom (who died when I was 7, from Lupus)
    my grandmother (who died this past August, from pancreatic cancer)
    Tom Hanks – just b/c I think he’s cool

    Beverage of choice: water flavored w/ lemon, lime or cucumber

    Gains from being on the internet: support, encouragement and fellowship with other women, of all ages.

  10. So fun to get to know more about your contributors!

    For me, in my house it is just my husband of 30 years, an old yellow lab and a frisky chihuahua mix puppy. However, our extended family includes 4 young adults kids, 1 son-in-law, 1 daughter-in-law, and 2 fiances! We also have 7, going on 8 grandchildren! It is fun times at our house when we are all together!

    Hmm, the dinner party? Co-hosted with my hubby:

    My grandparents, both deceased, would love to hear their godly wisdom now that I am mature enough to understand!
    CS Lewis
    Frank Peretti
    Patsy Clairmont
    James Dobson

    I love the internet! I love that it gives me an opportunity to reach out to those who are hurting, to be an encouragement, yet to also find encouragement for myself when I need it!

    Beverage: Until 2 weeks ago I would say Mr Pibb all day long, but I have quit cold turkey! Now I would have to say iced coffee (is that REALLY much better, lol?)

    Thanks for letting us share Tsh!

  11. Family – husband of 8 years, 3-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter, and a new baby due in March. (Yikes! 3 kids under 4 years old!)

    Six people to invite to a dinner party. Hmmm – I’m a huge fan of history, finance, and public policy. These individuals would probably spark interesting conversations:

    Virginia Woolf
    Madeleine Albright
    Walter Isaacson
    John Maynard Keynes
    Niall Ferguson (he wrote The Ascent of Money – a great book)
    St. Theresa of Avila

    The internet has provided me an opportunity to meet individuals with completely different worldviews and perspectives on life. It has also pierced the loneliness of living overseas as a new SAHM. In a way, the internet has both expanded and contracted my world – in a good way.

    Beverage of choice: Chardonnay or a good Texas margarita (but those aren’t widely available in Dublin!)

  12. avatar
    Sarah Park says:

    Okay, I admit it- the pressure was too overwhelming…but now I’m inspired by all these Tina Fey dinner parties! Here’s my list:

    Tina Fey
    Julia Child
    Jane Austen
    GK Chesterton
    Billy Collins
    Wendell Berry

  13. Our family consists of me, my sweet hubby of over 13 years, 3 daughters ages 6, 3, and 1, and our first SON due in about 3 weeks! Whew!
    For the dinner party….I’m very indecisive, so choosing would be torture for me. We live on the other side of the world from family, so I’d probably just choose all of them! – My parents, my inlaws, and all our siblings and their kids. That’s a bunch more than 6 though – oops.

    The internet has been both wonderful and awful for me at times. It has made me feel connected with people like never before, yet sometimes it makes me feel really lonely that I know so many people yet connect with so few of them.

    My favorite beverage would probably be root beer. Actually could I count a root beer float as a beverage? I love floats!

  14. This is really fun. I really had a great time reading the posts.

    We are five in the family. I’m the oldest and we’re all girls. It’s really fun to be with my two sisters in the house. They’re really bubbly. It’s nice to be home.

    Thank you for letting me share a bit of me.

    -Lea Dee

  15. I love reading little details about you, your contributors and your readers – makes for even more of that community/connection we’re all so thankful for! My family consists of my hubby of 13 years, 7-year-old Chandler and 3-year-old Jake, and an old, fat gray cat named Shibby. I’ve always hated the dinner party question, too, but it does make for some interesting speculation. I’d invite:
    Ann Voskamp (no one has inspired me more the past couple of years!)
    Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of GG if she wasn’t fictional…)
    Charles Stanley
    Toby Mac
    Thomas Kinkade
    Renee Tougas (from FIMBY)
    My favourite drink is ice water, as cold as it can be, chocolate milk coming in a close second :) Nice to meet everyone!

  16. What a great line up and love the new contributers. Tsh–our drinks are similar.

    Beverage of Choice: triple tall americano with just a splash of heavy whipping cream. water–lots of it. And when I’m not pregnant–red wine.

    My Ultimate Dinner Party:

    Is it a copout that I simply want my closest friends with really good food done outdoors during a Pacific NW summer? People I already share life with it ultimate to me, more than someone I don’t know.

    But if I were to follow suite, then:

    Jim Houston
    Philip Yancey
    My Grandma Cox
    Julia Child
    Anthony Bourdain
    Ben, my husband

    Gained by being on the internet: Like Nish, my voice and being comfortable in who I am without comparison or proving myself—just putting it out there.

  17. I loved reading all about you. I read Anne’s book then her blog and through that found all these other wonderful blogs and people and love this on line community that continues to inspire me and keep me going on days when I don’t want to. So I’ll answer your questions.
    I’m a teacher who is passionate about teaching and passionate about teenagers – especially the ones I teach. I’m also a writer and run writing camps for teenagers (I told you I love them!).
    I have 4 kids. Two boys 34 and 31 and two girls 29 and 22, a wonderful daughter-in-law and two amazing grandsons who are 3 and 3 months and I love learning to be a grandma. One daughter still lives at home and te others live close enough to catch up frequently.
    To a dinner party I would ask – Emily Dickens, T.S.Eliot, Tim Winton, and my children and that’s more than 6 but I;m not too good at sticking to the rules!
    I’ve just started reading blogs and writng my own (The Year of Living Dangerously) and the internet has created a wonderful community of writngs for me!
    Drink of my choice – coffee and white wine.

  18. I kind of feel like a senior member around here, because, YES! toddlers do grow up (they morph into teenagers and are every bit as engaging…really!). My handsome husband of nearly 25 years and I have three tremendous children: daughter/22, son/16, and spitfire daughter #2/9.
    Nope, not planned that way, we just take ’em as we get ’em! We share this house with a ditsy Weimaraner, a little black cat (much to my husband’s dismay) and an untold number of fish.
    Dinner party? Hmmm….we would probably have to hold several of them, since there are too many amazing humans to share a meal with, but the edited list would include: Moses, Abraham, my grandfather , Chuck Swindoll (I love his laugh), Elisabeth Elliot and Ann Voskamp (with a side of Ree Drummond).
    Jasmine tea would be on the table.

  19. Family: Me, husband of 5 1/2 years Andrew, daughters Stella, 5, Haddie, 3 1/2, Son Ian 2 months.

    Dinner Party: Jesus, Abigail Adams, Bono , Caroline Ingalls, and Diane Keaton.

    Internet: I have found so many wonderful resources on how to live frugally its awesome!

    Drink: Topo Chico!

  20. It’s just me, my husband and our two-year old daughter. I loved what Kat said about blogging pushing her closer to her ideals. Every blog post I write I find myself taking a step closer to who I want to be.

  21. I loved reading this post (and not just because I’m part of it) – it’s SO FUN to get to know great folks around the web-o-sphere that brought us all together.

    Thanks, Tsh for the wonderful opportunity to be part of Simple Mom. :)


  22. Hi Tsh! It was fun “meeting” everyone! I love how you pool the best of everyone’s wisdom, that’s awesome! OK! 1. Family: my husband, Drew, of 9 years who is wickedly funny and happens to adore me plus my two sons, Andrew, 6, and Ethan, 2.5. They are all boy, crack us up and delight us every day. 6 people: my mom, my hubby, my grandmother, Oprah, C.S. Lewis and Johnny Depp. Gained from the Internet: a chance to share my life and thoughts with people–which helps me sort them out for myself. Beverage: one cup of good, strong, sweet coffee in the morning, lemon water all day, and an occassional glass of grape juice.

  23. Family: I am 25, single, and live in an apartment by myself. However, my parents and grandfather live in the same town and I’ve got siblings and nieces and nephews in Fort Worth, Austin, and College Station, TX. I’d really love to find a good blog that caters to singles. Six people I’d invite to my dinner assuming my family is included would be my grandmother who died a few years back, Louisa May Alcott, Jesus, Corrie Ten Boom, whoever the current president of the USA happens to be at the time of the party, and Helen Keller. What an amazing woman she was! One thing I’ve gained from the internet is that it is a useful research tool for any and all types of questions that may come up. I’d say my drink of choice would be lemonade in the summer and hot chocolate on a cold winter’s night. Again, I’d love to see a blog that caters to singles.

  24. Oh this is so much fun!!! I will have to say I agree with Sarah here, a dinner party w/o preschoolers seems like what could be one of the the best nights of my life. They are cuties, but not having to cut up an extra amount of food or share mine sounds divine.

    Family: My husband and I have been married for 8 yrs. We were set up by my MIL. I love my MIL dearly and wouldn’t ever leave my hubby b/c I’d have to get a new MIL. Ughhh! We have two kids. One boy who’s 4, and a girl who will be 2 on Valentine’s Day. Sweet- right?

    Ultimate Dinner Party Guests:
    Jeremiah- my hubby
    Christine- my neighbor who makes me laugh harder than anyone on this planet
    Tsh- After meeting you at Relevant I completely wanted to ask you and your family to join us for our family vacation this summer. You’re so cool!
    Jesus- ’cause He’s just so wonderful
    Joshua (from the Bible)- he was so positive and I know he’d teach me a lot about how to find the good in everything. Plus if the food turned out bad, he’d say something kind about it anyway!
    David Livingston- I love Africa. I know his stories would inspire me.

    What I’ve gained from the internet: Friendship, community, inspiration, an outlet. The internet has been a lifesaver for me, and I really do mean that. Life can be lonely at times being a stay at home momma- especially during the new born phase, but I found company at home.

    Beverage of choice: Diet Coke with fresh lime. Craving one right now!

  25. In my family: Myself, hubby–Danny, Alexia–8, Jillian–4, 2 dogs, Marli and Brutus (who is more miniature horse than dog).
    Ultimate dinner party: (Danny would be my co-host)
    -my stepdad, Homer (aka Homey), who passed away almost a year ago, but is still my favorite person EVER!
    -Jodi Picoult
    -Vince Flynn (that one’s for Danny)
    -Zooey Deschanel
    -Chelsea Williams (because man, can she sing)–check her out if you can
    -Paul Reiser
    The internet has made it possible for me to find wonderful blogs, such as this one, keep in touch with family and friends, and keep my sanity when I spend all day only having conversations with a 4 yr old (although she is very interesting).
    Favorite beverage: hands down–chai tea!

  26. This sounded way too fun not to play along!

    Family: My husband and I have been married for 5 & 1/2 years – we have an incredibly friendly and clever 5 year old son and a spoiled rotten 2 year old daughter. All our pets are of the stuffed animal variety for now. ;O)

    The six people attending my ultimate dinner party:

    *Ellen Degeneres
    *Tina Fey (everyone else is doing it)
    *Michelle Obama
    *Stephanie Meyer
    *Janet Evanovich
    *My husband, and he’s cooking!
    (Can spouses come, too? Now I’m worried he’ll feel more than a little out of place at a party with all these ladies!)

    A big thing I’ve gained by being on the Internet: I think we’ve all gained an amazing number of resources online – community, friendship, information, a VOICE – not to mention a million ideas for what to make for dinner and dessert!

    Beverage of choice: water when I’m behaving, cafe mochas when I’m not!

  27. These are so much fun to read!

    It’s such an honor to continue to be part of the amazing team of contributors here at Simple Mom. Thanks for letting us share in community here!

  28. family: it’s me, my two daughters (6 and 3) and our 2 crazy kittens – Whiskers and Tic Tac.

    my dinner party:
    * Ann Voskamp
    * my dad (he can get ANYONE to talk, and that is not a gift I have at all!!)
    * Ronald Reagan (had dinner with him when I was 12, but dad was not there and I was tongue tied)
    * Tony Dungee
    * FDR
    * Sara (
    Drink: peppermint hot chocolate. (and with it being 13 degrees tonight I could really use one!!)

    The Internet has been invaluable these past two years, as I learned to navigate the world of single motherhood and recovery from my former spouse’s adultery … and learned to believe in myself as a person, a woman, a mother, and a friend again … and found endless encouragement in my faith. I don’t even want to begin to imagine what my life would look like if I had walked this road even 10 years ago. Praise the Lord for on-line community.

    Thanks, Tsh, for letting us “meet” each other.

  29. Me, my incredibly patient husband of four years, 3 y/o bubbly and always moving daughter, 8 y/o small breed visually challenged dog, and 1 y/o large breed rambunctious pup who never tires! I’ve loved reading everyone’s blurbs. I’m not keen on fancy dinner parties, would prefer a casual family gathering with all the extended family included. Water, water, water, with the occasional hot tea, fresh lemonade or just squeezed orange juice.

  30. I love this approach Tsh.

    Family: My husband, myself and daughter. We have been married 10.5 years. My daughter is 2 years old. I had a cat but she died last year at 19 years old. I don’t have any plans on getting another pet anytime soon.

    Six people attending my dinner party:

    Oprah Winfrey
    My Husband
    Adam (Eve’s Husband)
    Bethanny Frankel
    My dad (he was in a plane crash over 15 years ago, never got to say bye)

    What I’ve gained from the internet: community, my voice, realizing my calling

    Beverage of choice: Green tea (2x a day), home-blended fresh juices

    I can’t wait to read all the great content from all the new contributors!

  31. This is SO fun!
    Family: My husband, Ian – we have been married 19 months! We do not have any kiddos of our own YET, but I do hang out with 570 of the cutest Korean kiddos you have ever seen in your life! (I teach them English, too)

    Six people attending my dinner party:
    My parents
    My in-laws
    my roommate from college
    and my husband (he gets to help me cook)

    We are on the other side of the world from my fam and friends and I would love to see them!

    What I’ve gained from the internet: being able to remain connected to friends and fam despite distance and crazy time zone differences.

    Beverage of choice: H2O

  32. Family: Ben- my fantastic hubby of 7 years, Micah- 2 1/2 year old, Mark- our vagabond friend who lives with us on and off when he\’s not on tour as a sound tech for the band Eisley, and \”Gator\”- the baby due in June. When we told Micah there was a baby in Mama\’s belly he said \”It\’s a baby alligator!\” So it stuck. We also have a slightly neurotic Boston terrier and an old, sweet, lazy mutt.
    Dinner party: I\’m not sure how they would all mix, I would actually prefer to have one at a time for dinner with the family. Marc Chagall, C.S. Lewis, Ellen Degeneres, Ron Paul, Larry the Cable Guy, Giada De Laurentis
    From the internet I\’ve gained a better connection to new and old friends, mostly on facebook, and also I have learned a lot about juggling life as a mom from blogs like this.
    Beverage of choice: I big glass of really cold milk, or a not-too-sweet hazelnut steamer. Unfortunately, coffee doesn\’t have the appeal it used to right now while I\’m pregnant, and I can\’t really indulge in a glass of Becker Iconoclast Cabernet right now either.

  33. Family: married my high school sweetheart 2 and a half years ago. We have a son who is 3 months old and we live in South America.

    6 people:
    My husband
    Deitrich Bohnhoffer
    Shirly Temple
    Tsh 😀
    My mentor from college days
    Our first baby that died at 13 weeks

    Internet: to be inspired and maybe inspire someone else.

    Beverage: hot tea- especially on a rainy night.

  34. Family: Ben- my fantastic hubby of 7 years, Micah- 2 1/2 year old, Mark- our vagabond friend who lives with us on and off when he\’s not on tour as a sound tech for the band Eisley, and “Gator”- the baby due in June. When we told Micah there was a baby in Mama’s belly he said “It”s a baby alligator!” So it stuck. We also have a slightly neurotic Boston terrier and an old, sweet, lazy mutt.
    Dinner party: I’m not sure how they would all mix, I would actually prefer to have one at a time for dinner with the family.
    Marc Chagall
    C.S. Lewis
    Ellen Degeneres
    Ron Paul
    Larry the Cable Guy
    Giada De Laurentis
    From the internet I’ve gained a better connection to new and old friends, mostly on facebook, and also I have learned a lot about juggling life as a mom from blogs like this.
    Beverage of choice: I big glass of really cold milk, or a not-too-sweet hazelnut steamer. Unfortunately, coffee doesn’t have the appeal it used to right now while I’m pregnant, and I can’t really indulge in a glass of Becker Iconoclast Cabernet right now either.

  35. Hi Tsh and everybody!
    We are me (mom with FT job with kids), Charles (dad with FT job with kids), Adeline the preschooler, Scout The Wonderdog, and Puck the permakitten. We live in the Pac Northwest where it is beautiful and we can drive to the mountains and the ocean.
    My 6 for dinner:
    Winston Churchill
    Jimmy Carter
    Jackson Browne
    my husband, who is hilarious and can carry a conversation
    Martin Luther King

    (why yes, I am a bleeding liberal, how did you guess?)

    Internet: to see other people’s points of view, and get craft ideas from them

    Beverage: triple soy latte. Half-caf. All day, every day.

    Thanks for asking!

  36. Three beautiful kids, thanks to my nurturing betrothed (6G,5B,3G) – they are the light of my life.

    Top 6 at a dinner party? Easy:

    Father Francis Xavier
    Winston Churchill
    Tom Clancy
    Cake Boss (Buddy Valastro)
    My Wife
    Billy Corgan

    I think it would be an interesting evening, thats for sure.

    The internet has helped awaken and fuel a curiosity that I didn’t know I had. It’s also an opportunity for independence – still working on that.

    Favourite beverage is Beer, very closely followed by a tall no fat double-shot cappuccino

  37. avatar
    Dena Vieia says:

    I’m a SAHM living in a foreign land and just starting to homeschool my preschooler. I’m also attempting to start a Deaf ministry here.
    Family: Husband, Rob, and two girls Penelope (almost 3) and Abigail (2 in two months). No pets.
    At my dinner party I’d like to include
    1. Jesus
    2. Rob
    3. Elvine Tweten
    4. Amy Carmichael
    5. Ellen White
    6. Charlotte Mason

    Beverage of choice: what I’d like to drink but never do…cranberry juice. I love cranberry juice. But I almost always have water….although I’m moving on to drinking some tea now more often. (herbal)

  38. avatar
    Dena Vieia says:

    Ooo, I would love to have Tom Hanks too. I think he’s a neat person.

    I forgot the internet portion. I love the internet because I’m blessed by reading so much inspiration and suggestions on how to live well on it. Thanks to all of you for all you do. I’ve gotten so many good things from all of these. It’s one of my resolutions ( a fun one) to start commenting and being part of the community of the blogs I read. Can’t wait. You’re the first. :)

  39. We are: me, my husband and two robust sons (and a daughter in between who was stillborn)

    My dream dinner guests:
    Brene Brown
    Julia Roberts
    Meryl Streep
    my namesake, Deborah (Judges 4)

    Having more than 4 guests would make me hyperventilate and I’d be awe-struck by having these 4 IN MY HOUSE, EATING MY FOOD!

    Favourite drink:
    I’m British so it has to be a cuppa tea. From a pot. With milk from a dinky jug.

    Best thing about the internet:
    2 things: connecting through the blogging community and being able to find out about anything at all (last Google search was for the Azerbajan flag)

  40. This is a fun post – I remember reading your blog Tsh when it was just you writing, I’ve enjoyed the voices you’ve added.

    My husband and I have been married for 12 years, we’ve got a 4 year old girl, a 2 year old boy and 2 big and obnoxious black labs!

    I think I need to have at least three or four dinner parties :) The first one I’d want to invite my grandparents and their parents and their parents… I love history, especially that of my own family. Another dinner party with all of my favorite authors would be fun and another dinner party with past people who shaped history and another dinner party with some of my favorite Bible characters and another dinner party with all of our adult friends and no kids and… yeah, you get the picture! I like to have parties!

  41. My family right now is my, my wonderful husband Mike of 36 years next month. Our grandson Mckane who is 7 and our first chance at raising a boy after 4 daughters. Our granddaughter Kayleigh who is 11 and a wonderful little budding artist. Our black lab Belle who thinks she’s a lap dog.

    My six dinner guests would of course be Mike. (My other half)
    Mark Lowry (Because he is hilariously funny)
    Tom Hanks (Because I love every movie he’s made)
    Stacy London (So I would look awesome)
    Robin Williams (No explanation needed)
    My Sister Sandra (who died when I was 7 so I never got to know her)

    Favorite thing about the internet is storing and editing of my pictures and all the scrapbook goodness I get to steal, I mean copy.

    Drink of choice is coffee in the morning and right after dinner. And coke occasionally but mainly sweet iced tea!!!

  42. avatar
    Faith Beckett says:

    Hi Tsh!

    I have been married to my husband, Jesse, for 12 years and we have 4 amazing children… Silas 10, Quinn 9, Ella Rose 7 and Rowan 5. We also have my brother and his wife living with us for awhile. They have a 1 year old St. Bernard pup named Caribou who outweighs us all!

    My dinner party would include – Princess Diana, Abraham Lincoln, James the brother of Jesus, C.S. Lewis, Jesus…and I have to include my husband and kids, because I would want them to meet them too!

    The internet has allowed me to stay in touch with people that I couldn’t otherwise, or I guess, not as easily.

    My beverage of choice is one cup of BLACK coffee in the morning, water with lemon throughout the day and red wine at dinner.

  43. Myself (full time mom and part time engineer), husband of 11.5 years, high-energy 4 year old, and already outdoing his brother in the energy category 2-year old. Our 9 year old coonhound mix is finally losing his puppy energy. (At least we’re consistent!)

    Dinner Party:
    Michelle Obama
    Tina Fey
    Heidi Klum
    Tsh and Aimee (from Simple Bites)
    And all my “mommy posse” friends, ’cause it would be so much more fun to share those amazing dinner guests with friends.

    What I’ve gained from the internet: A wealth of resources… and I am a self-diagnosed INFORMATION JUNKIE! I’ve found such amazing ideas and inspirations online, but I’ve also become so much more appreciative of the personal friendships I have OFF-LINE, where you can really know and be known.

    Drink: My husband’s home brew (when it’s a good batch)! Otherwise, coffee, water, wine, repeat.

  44. avatar
    Christine Johnson says:

    Our family consists of my husband, me, our twin daughters, our Jack Russell Terrier (who is very spoiled) and several farm animals!

    My party would include my biological mom, who died when I was 5; my biological dad who died when I was 5 also; Ann Voskamp; Tsh; and Eve.

    My beverages of choice would be peppermint mocha, green tea and cranberry juice diluted with water.

    I have gained lots of information from blogs. I love all the variety of blogs on Faith, food and fun.

  45. I would love to have both of my grandmothers, grandfathers and my husband’s maternal grandparents for dinner…all of whom passed away before we had our children. I could think of so many questions for them now that I didn’t know to ask (or in the case of my husband’s family, never had the chance to meet).

  46. Family = Husband of 10 years, two energetic daughters ages 4 and 6, and myself of course, along with two elderly cats
    Beverage: I must must must have a pot of black tea first thing every morning
    Internet? The vehicle of newfound creativity
    Dinner party…hmmm, well, how about Jane Austen, Rick Mercer, Angelina Jolie ( who wouldn’t want to pick her brain?), Stephen Lewis, Adele and I suppose my husband would enjoy it as well. : )

  47. What a fun way to introduce everyone!
    In our house it is myself, my hubby of 10 years and our 4 kiddos ages 8, 5 1/2, 4 and 6 months.
    I think dinner with most any 6 adults would be a blast.
    The internet has opened up so many new ideas and inspirations for me. I am truly grateful for it!
    My beverages of choice are coffee (americano with a little cream), water (have it with me wherever I go), and red wine!

  48. Who is Tina Fey?

    Family: Husband of 22 years. Daughter of 11 years. Father of all my life (81 year old, lives with us and has Parkinson’s), and lapcat of 17 years. Loved Charlie Park’s description of getting people places on time.

    Dinner party for only 6? We had 37 on Sunday, and there was ham left over!
    Ok, let’s see.
    Mom (and Dad, but he lives with us)
    Ann Voskamp
    The Farmer
    (see? We can’t have the kids…?!)
    William Shakespeare
    Jane Austen (just how true was Becoming Jane?)
    C.S. Lewis, because he would keep everyone straight

    Big thing gained by being on Internet, friends of the heart, encouragement in my faith, a word aptly written for my day. Praise God! Joining conversations by writng comments and then starting a blog last July.

    Beverage of choice: PGTips tea or if I’m terribly indulgent, Harney and Sons loose teas: Hot Cinnamon Spice, Chocolate Mint, or Boston. Coffee, but then I can’t sleep, unless I have a touch of Port at night. I grew up to be casein (milk) intolerant but I loved milk. Especially in my PGTips.

    This was fun, thanks.

  49. I’m a little late to the game, but I’m going to play anyway. Too much fun to resist!

    My family is me, Todd (my amazing husband of 11 years), our beautiful 5yo daughter, Camilla, and our crazy 2yo son, Adrian. We have chickens, but I don’t think of them as part of the family.

    If I had to choose only six people for a dinner party, besides Jesus, they would be:
    Todd (I like to share everything with him.)
    Madeleine L’Engle (If I become half the writer she was, I’ll have arrived.)
    C.S. Lewis (Same as with Madeleine.)
    Mac Powell (We need somebody cool there.)
    Tina Fey (We need somebody funny there. I almost chose Jerry Seinfeld, but then the girls would be way outnumbered.)
    My great-great-grandfather (He’s so intriguing, I tried to put him in my novel.)

    Big thing gained by being on the internet: Lots of connections with new and old friends. Many readers that I never would have had via the page.

    Beverage of Choice: Coffee with cream, an occasional Peppermint Mocha, and Cabernet with dinner, please.

  50. I love games as well! Have to play!

    My family consists of me, my awesome husband, my two children ages 3 and 18 months, and my german sheppard Mia. As for our home, well, we make it wherever the army sends us.

    My six dinner party guests:

    1. Jesus. He always makes for an interesting conversation

    2. Albert Einstein. I’ve always wanted to know what this guy thought. Especially considering how his ideas conflict with Jesus’. Theological debate, anyone?

    3. Galileo Galilei. Since I was a child, this guy has always been a favorite. I love scientists, can’t you tell?

    4. Adam Savage from the Mythbusters. I believe he could contribute the humor to the conversation, and will probably get along well with Einstein. Why? Well, they both love stupid experiments to find out things one never thought possible. Also, I’d love an autograph from this guy.

    5. My husband. I need -someone- I know there, right?

    6. My grandpa. He invented airplane radar systems, and he’s inspired me to be more of who I am than any other person. Oh, and this man is a genious in my book. I can’t just leave him out.

    Lastly, I forgot to mention I “accidentally” sent an extra invitation to Stephen Hawking. I couldn’t decide over him or Carl Sagan, but Galileo had to have an astronomy buddy, and probably wants to know what in the world people think now. Oh, so do I. I also hopes he offers to host the party at one of the worlds best observatories.

    Big thing gained by being on the internet: Socialization. Also, being a person who can’t just choose ONE, I have to add the amount of useful crafts around my home. Through the internet, I’ve learned how to make so many things!

    Beverage of choice: Uhm.. Either Raspberry Red Leaf Tea or a frozen “Nirvana” as called by my hometown’s local coffee shop. This is a chocolate caramel frappuchino -thing- made with Da Vinci syrups and topped with the best whipped cream ever (handmade from raw milk) and smothered in chocolate/caramel syrups.

    Speaking of Da Vinci, can I send him an extra invitation too?

  51. This is an impossibly hard question. So off the top of my head and probably forgetting someone awesome, I’ll list
    1.) Nehemiah from the Bible, cause I’ve been thinking a lot about rebuilding things that are broken and he’s a pro
    2.) C.S. Lewis, no explanation necessary
    3.) Helen Roseveare – missionary Dr. to the Congo and all around rockstar
    4.) George Mueller cause I struggle with faith and I could use some tips
    5.) Tina Fey, if she’s not already busy at everyone else’s parties because she’s hilarious
    6.) Corrie Ten Boom, cause she lives the gospel

  52. I am a stay at home mother/student of two. Briana (4), and Tyler (3).

    There are many people I would love to have for a dinner party, but when I really thought about it, I would love for Jesus to be their of course but if I could have a grandmother or grandfather from every couple of generations in my family (each would be able to fill in the generations missing, does that make since?) then I could really learn about my family and where I came from and learn all kinds of amazing stories.

  53. Wow… I, wow. I don’t really feel like playing, but I just wanted to say that it’s amazing that you could get so many different writers together to build such a cool blog!

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