sacred soil….


(i’ve not written like this in quite some time and as i type the lines, i wonder whether i’ll make sense to anyone but myself…i wonder if i’ll sound as though the west has gotten the better of me…and, maybe i won’t, and maybe it has. either way, i feel a need to write the things that my heart has been pondering this past week…)



the tractor pulled up to the edge of the brown, barren ground and the farmer surveyed the stakes that marked the perimeter of our intended new garden plot. he slowly drove forward and lowered the tiller attachment he pulled into the ground and proceeded forward. the earth spun, and gave way under the moving blades to reveal rich, fertile soil.



i stood nearby and watched the blades churning along, watched the farmer drive forward along the lines we’d made. one swipe forward, and then he turned around and made pass after pass. the first sweep of the entire space was uneventful, but on the second round,  his tractor abruptly shut off after hitting an old plowshare that had been buried for who-knows-how-many years. he got off the tractor seat, surveyed the culprit and tossed it to the side, no damage done. the farmer finished two more rounds of tilling up the space and we looked at it together and both proclaimed it very good. i wrote him a check for his services and thanked him, and he loaded up the equipment and went on his way. i went back into the house, but not before going over and picking up a handful of the dirt.

i knelt down to look closer, felt the cool, fresh earth in my hand, smelled the scent of fertile soil. and, as i did, i felt this overwhelming sense that this is something sacred.


i’ve always loved gardening, and even from a child i would involve myself as much as i was allowed to in the gardens. of course over the span of my life my feelings have varied from the youthful days of ‘why do we have to have this big of a garden with so many weeds’ to my current status of ‘let’s make the garden bigger this year’.



Monday as i surveyed this new plot and felt the rawness of the freshly turned soil, i sensed God’s presence and His purpose for gardening in new and deeper ways. i’ve long believed that gardening is clearly a God-ordained work, but maybe i’m now realizing it’s not just because he made man to tend to plants in the beginning of time. maybe i’m now realizing that the process of gardening is a process that deepens my knowledge of God’s holiness and sovereignty over me and my little life.

in gardening i’ve found so much fulfillment as i’ve watched plants grow from miniscule seeds to tall and flourishing plants. i’ve walked in the coolness of the morning as the plants were wet with dew and found refreshment and renewed vision for the daily task of watering and weed pulling.


but, as i’ve thought more about this sacredness of tending to a garden i’ve come to see that God can and does use this work in my life to meet needs aside from the physical. tending to a garden is a sacred privilege for me that comes with responsibility. privilege in that as i tend to the soil, as i watch the plants grow i get to be a part of something that has been around since the dawn of time. responsibility in that i cannot take for granted that God has me at a place in time where gardening is such a big part of my life and a true joy. privilege in that as i go through the process of working this hard work, i sense Him refining me and drawing me to His holiness.

as i’ve started things in little trays, as i’ve put seeds into the ground this year, i’ve felt not just joy and excitement. i’ve also felt sobered by the fact that i can do everything ‘right’ and by the books, but it is truly God who gives the increase. i don’t know what tomorrow may hold; the tornado season is just upon us and while i cannot live in fear of the unknown, i feel the weight of it. i’ll do all i can to ensure that the soil is well watered and fertilized, but i cannot control the bugs and the winds and the hail and the rains that may not come. but, as i tend to the earth and do my best to grow things, i will pray for God’s protection and increase, and trust Him in this sacred work.


truly these things apply to all of life; none of our days or our purposes should be taken for granted. whether your purpose is office work, or gardening, child-rearing or caring for the elderly, construction or sewing, these things are all very important and purposeful…none being more sacred than another. the sacredness comes not from trying to spiritualize every second of every day, but instead from recognizing that all of these things, all of these purposes, they are all in fact sacred moments and meanings and we must trust Him to make us holy through the process.

what if we all pressed on to find the ‘sacred soil’ God is giving us to work…



For Today…


outside my window….

it is grey and blustery. the wind is coming from the north and it feels so very chilly. it’s not snowing though, so i’m fine with that.

i am thinking….

about my garden plans, chicks i’ve ordered, what to make for supper tonight.


i am wondering….

how to be a good friend, how to make friends, how to maintain friendships. it’s funny how life changes the landscape of friendships as we grow older.


i am thankful….

for my family. today as i sat on the chair with Kate on my lap, i squeezed her tight and told her this is my favorite. actually, sometimes i look at each one of my children and think that i could never pick a favorite child because they are ALL my favorites.

i am wearing….

white skirt, striped shirt and shoes. nothing fancy on this day of housework and bread baking.


i am creating….

nothing really. i have a dress cut out, and no thread to sew it with. there are a number of projects we hope to get to soon, but for now, it’s just the normal work of housekeeping that occupies my days.

i am going….

to pick up the school children just soon.

i am reading….

Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell. very intriguing read, in my opinion. and, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier. a dear friend just sent this to me yesterday in the mail, and i was so delighted to get it! i love sitting down and reading through cookbooks.


i am learning….

that taking care of the earth we grow our food in is much more involved than a simple tilling and dropping seeds into the soil. being good stewards is not only limited to how we spend our money.

a favorite quote for today….

You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Choose carefully.


happy Tuesday..



Miscellaneous Monday

this is what happens when you have too many things going on in a week.

i wrote the words below last Wednesday, and then life took over and i never got the chance to post it.

i said to my husband on Friday of last week that i am so glad most of my weeks and days are not like they were last week. i felt like i was going in 100 different directions on Friday and it was all good and great and i don’t regret any of it. but, truth be told, i don’t ENJOY the busy-ness of life when it’s too much. when i’m home only long enough to grab something and get right back out the door to the next thing. when i’m buzzing from one thing to the next and feeling like i barely give my best efforts to anything.

this week looks much more manageable in most respects and for that i am glad.

i guess the too-busy weeks help me appreciate the ones that tend to be more even keeled.



i was supposed to be over at the children’s school this afternoon, but i’ve been coughing my head off today, and i’m pretty sure none of the school kids were going to learn anything from that, so i stayed home.

Kate is down for her nap, not sleeping yet, but in bed.


the sun is shining so beautifully, and i would really love to be outside, but (see first paragraph about coughing my head off all day.)

i cleaned the boys room this morning. i certainly should have documented that occasion with a photo. but, no worries. i will surely be cleaning it again all too soon.

i baked three quiche this morning too. we all love quiche and it makes the best grab-and-go breakfasts for our before school mornings that are less than calm and serene.


i ordered 16 boxes of tissues online and they came today. if i was going to hashtag that moment it would most definitely be #idespiserunningoutoftissues

the floor was just mopped and i’ve long been justifying my having to sit down in the living room by starting to mop the floor at the other side of the room and then i am forced to take a break. from the chair i’m sitting in, this is the exact view at the moment:


i also ordered a new, 8 quart crock pot from Amazon and it came yesterday. it’s currently cooking two pork roasts for supper.


and, a two random things that are speaking to me right now…

this song:

these words:

“Prayer is not an escape from responsibility; it is our response to God’s ability.”

//hope your week gets off to a great start and that you can enjoy whatever each day holds.//





shifting seasons…

am i the only one who can hardly believe that this is the last day of the year 2015?! time just goes fast and faster, doesn’t it?


although the days and weeks and months and years march on, there is a constant pulling within my heart to seek out what God would have for me in each and every new day. some days, some weeks, this seems easier to discern than others. of course the demands and needs of my family determine a lot of my time and i know this is God’s plan for my life. some days, in all honesty, i’m more okay with that truth than i am on other days.😉 i guess that would be a bit of growing weary in well-doing, right?


i’ve been thinking so often the last while of the seasons of life. how i’ve been in so many different seasons in the course of my life and how in some respects they are the same from year to year, but in other respects they are very, very different.

some seasons of my life have been longer than others. some have been more intense, some a little less.


it seems i was JUST in the season of newborn babies and changing diapers and nursing and no sleep. (truthfully i’m still in the season of little sleep, but that’s irrelevant.)

and, it seems like yesterday that we were in the season of being ‘new’ to Kansas and now, almost two years have gone by since we moved here.


i’ve been in seasons of  ‘pastors wife’ in years past, i’ve been in seasons of ‘familiar’ with friendships established and comfortable.

maybe it’s because i’m in a ‘season’ of unknown and unsure in so many ways, and trying to find my place as an almost 40 year old that these thoughts are forefront in my mind.


or, maybe it’s because the reality of seasons hits me anew because i’m taking a break from gardening which is one of my favorite pastimes.

i’m so enamored with how gardening is so seasonal, and how times of rest and reprieve are crucial to the whole process of gardening and growing.


i coaxed lettuce and kale along in my garden until well into the month of December and then suddenly it dawned on me that i needed a break from this thing that i love so much.

i needed to step back so that i wouldn’t become burnt out on something that i love.

i needed to step back so that i could plan and regroup for the next spring season.

i needed to give the earth pause so that it refreshes and renews.


it gives me pause to see how God has so divinely orchestrated each of the seasons of nature and how the seasons of my own life are not that different from this divine appointment.

while none of my seasons are as predictable as the way our four seasons run, they are in fact as real to me.

as we enter this new year of 2016, i am so excited to see where God takes me.


there are some big milestones on the calendar for me, for our marriage, and our family… and while those numbers make me feel a tad ‘old’ i’m more grateful and hopeful than anything.

i’m excited about some experiences we have planned, some travel we look forward to and i’m even very excited about the common and ordinary things that we will be doing in each of the coming seasons.

and, while i still wonder where and what God has for me as i try to find my way in this ‘season’ of life, i know i can trust Him with it.

because He is faithful.

so graciously faithful.


to 2016!





growing and changing…

it seems like i say this all the time; ‘my kids are all just growing and changing so much these days!’

and, it’s so true.

our lives have been drastically redefined since we moved here to Kansas in March of 2014, and while i’m sporting a few more grey hairs and wrinkles than when we first came here, i think that my kids have had the most changes.

they’ve all made new friends, grown to love their family out here and they have just CHANGED.

i think about it when i look at each one of them, but in different ways.

with my oldest i especially think of what a great, great young man he is becoming.


i know he’s going to tell the story of life pre and post Kansas differently than what i will, and i’m okay with that.  as i’ve seen him go through all these changes, it’s been hard to watch at times. hard because i couldn’t ‘fix’ it and the hard times were caused by the decisions his father and i have made.

he’s dealt with things in his own way and his own time.

he’s spent lots of time outside with his dog and his gun.

and, a few weeks ago, i decided i wanted to go out with him and get some pictures of him going about his favorite activity.


he spends hours out in the pasture with his pellet gun and his dog.

he’s a great shot with that gun and his dog is quite loyal toward his loving master.


it’s been so great to watch him become a ‘farm boy’. he has enthusiastically embraced the outdoors and the cowboy boots and hats and the bill caps and ripped up jeans.


none of us wants to be one of those parents who are nonstop bragging and boasting about their kids, so it’s a fine line to talk about my kids in a gushing way….but, i look at this oldest son of mine and just feel so grateful that God put him in our family. i feel so glad that i get the chance to be his mom. i feel so grateful for the young man he is becoming and i pray every day that God will continue to lead and direct in his life so that he grows up to be a man after God’s heart. the thing about growing and changing is it’s not just a physical thing; i see God growing and changing my son and that, is the most exciting growth and change that a mom’s heart could ask for.









since i’m resolved to get in more blogging over the next couple of slower months here, i thought i would try a new (to me) format/journal idea. i’ve always enjoyed the ‘daybook’ format in the past and yet, it can get a little redundant. so….


What is the first thing that i did this morning.

coffee. no question. every morning i am lucky enough to wake up to coffee already brewed thanks to my dear husband who faithfully readies the coffee pot the night before. and since he gets up before me, i come downstairs and it’s like a magnetic fields surrounds that corner of my kitchen and i stumble there without even thinking. i drink from the same mug with the same creamer in the same spot and it just starts my day off right to have a brief period of time where i can drink in both the coffee and the quiet before the kids are all up and about their days.


One challenge i’ve faced today.

hmmm…well, to be honest; muscle cramps in my leg. trivial really, but frustrating. i put Kate in the jogging stroller and we walked to and from my parents so that i could get in some kind of low-key work out and while it’s still not right, i think it’s loosened up the muscles some.


One accomplishment for today.

10 loaves of bread baked for our family. last week i had a BIG baking day on Thursday and it kind of did me in for wanting to be in the kitchen any more than i had to, but the kids kept complaining about the menagerie of food i was throwing together for their lunches because we were out of bread, so i baked again today. ten loaves will usually last us right at two weeks and i try to plan out when i bake around what other things i have going on in my weeks. the weather was lovely today too for bread baking, so that was the perfect thing for this Thursday morning.


One thing i’ve learned today.

this lesson is actually more from yesterday, but tis fresh on my mind today too…this thing of how every day is a gift. it’s not a new lesson, but it seems God brings reminders that jolt me back to the reality that nothing, noone should ever be taken for granted. going on that walk with Kate this afternoon and listening to her cheerful voice singing to her baby the whole way to grandma’s house and i just wanted to pause time and her and my other kids too….sometimes when i look at how blessed i am i could just cry. life is such a gift.


One tasty thing i ate today.

apple pie, and cheese. that’s actually two things, i know, but two of my favorites. we’re going out for supper tonight, so i expect there will be more tasty things to consume, so it’s good i limited my caloric intake to just a sliver of pie, right?!😉


til next time,




a little life here…

right now, there’s mac-n-cheese about to be done in the oven, the kids are watching a movie, and the husband is out hunting. the days are getting shorter and shorter. i’m looking forward to the time change on Sunday so that we get some earlier light in the mornings, but blah on the even shorter evenings. except that for real; i’m looking forward to the rest of the fall and winter and the chance to get some things done inside and enjoy homemaking with more purpose again.

our summer was full and went fast. i love every season, and more and more i enjoy all the different aspects of each seasons change. summer was full of work and more work, but it was also full of lots of time as a family here on our homestead. i wish i would have done a better job of blogging over the last months, but time seriously did not allow. i’ve thought time and time again that i’m going to blog, but there were just way too many other things taking precedence on a daily basis. i’ve kept up my instagram pretty faithfully and i do love that, but i’ve missed the chance to come here and dump photos and words. so, i’m starting to see that maybe blogging, just like being a better homemaker, is a seasonal thing for me in this stage of life. there’s just so many things constantly requiring attention and energy, and obviously, we all have to prioritize. getting to the place where i’m okay with having to prioritize in different ways is a learning process for me. if you bear with me, that’ll be great.😉

over the summer months, there was so much work to do in the garden and with that came canning and putting food by. i still dream of having a summer kitchen in our little house out back, but for this summer, productivity carried on inside the farmhouse kitchen. it is certainly a lot of work to can, but it is so rewarding to me. and, to know where our food comes from, and what is in it; love that.

last week we dug the sweet potatoes, and that wrapped up the garden for the summer of 2015. i expect i’ll be taking sweet potato souffle to every carry-in at church from now til the next decade. well, maybe not quite that long, but it was a good crop and although not all the little people in this house enjoy them as much as Tim and i do, i’ll keep fixing them and hoping for the best.

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Tim’s parents came for a visit earlier this month and it was great to see them again. we did a little sight-seeing with them and tried to show them a good time here in our world.

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my kids; they have been growing like weeds. i guess it’s all the fresh air and outside play and non-stop eating of everything in sight.

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time has past by here this evening and, the mac-n-cheese was delicious, the dishes are done and hopefully the husband will be home soon from his hunt.

til next time…




pictures of how lately we’ve….

had a little girl turn 3…


had company from Pennsylvania and did some sight seeing around here…

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worked in the garden…lots!

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helped with chicken chores…

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and, other things besides this.

it seems the time this summer has just flown by and while we’ve been busy, in some ways, i don’t know where the time, the days have gone.

school will soon be starting and we’ll enter back into the routine of having a routine.

in the meantime, we’ll keep on with the things we’re busy with and hopefully there will be time sometime soon for a bit more blogging.

hope your summer is going well.



hashtag: follow Friday…

so, i’m going to piggy-back off of Instagram today and do a #followfriday.

instagram is, hands down, my favorite social media outlet.

it’s a place where i can land my phone pictures that capture quick and or meaningful moments from my days.

it’s a place where i can follow others on adventures i will never get the chance to have and in my seeing the world through their eyes, i feel inspired to better capture the little world i live in now.

it’s a place where i can get ideas for anything from home and gardening, to travel and sightseeing, and so very much more.

it can be tricky though too, just like any social media outlet.

in those little square frames where i am free to like or comment, i have to realize i’m seeing only a small frame of what may be a completely different reality.


(^^our cherry trees yielded well this year and thanks to a friend loaning me their cherry stoner, we made quick work of several gallon for the freezer.)

for me, when i don’t like something or don’t have anything to say, i walk away.

and, that’s how i treat instagram.

my real life has enough real life drama that i don’t feel the need to enter into more drama through social media in any way shape or form.


sure, there are things i see there that bother me, but it’s not my reality and it’s not my place to enter in and try to rectify a wrong i’m not (in real life) a part of.

so, these are just a few of the things i like about instagram style of social media.

it works for me.

and, i really didn’t intend for this to be a rant about instagram, but there you have it nonetheless.


(^^new potatoes from the garden for supper the other night. YUM!)

back to #followfriday.

when i first entered the blogging world some 8 years ago, i spent more time reading other blogs than i do now.

i still have a small handful that i really love and those i am going to share here today.

(i will say right off the bat, that i do not completely agree with some of these bloggers and or their ways of life, and that is mine and your free choice(s). my likes and dislikes for these spaces are obviously based on what i see thru images and words framed and filtered for social media and i am well aware these are not the whole of their reality. just like there is much more going on in my life than what i post here, i am sure the same can be said for these.)


Kelle Hampton is still one of my most favorite bloggers.

i love how she captures moments, how she writes with a wide range of emotions, and how she has stayed the course with her blog and continued to be the blogger i first followed several years back.

her photos are, as she put it, ‘organic’.

i love that about her blog space; photos that are not perfect, and more importantly, not photo-shopped beyond reality.

of course it’s small frames and maybe not all of her reality, but i’m not going to keep giving that disclaimer.

you know what i mean.


Grace Lee Cottage is a space i enjoy for home inspiration and DIY ideas galore.


to me, seeing her transform her kitchen space especially with easy, cost-effective steps is inspirational.

beings we are in that state of DIY here in our old farmhouse, blogs like hers are a breath of fresh air.

the post on her kitchen counter top paint job gives me hope for our nasty white counter tops to someday have a new life.😉


Yan Palmer.

i follow her instagram feed and sometimes i’m like ‘nah, that’s not going to cut it’ and then other times, most times, i just get a kick out of her work.

her blog is sporadically updated and she’s into film images, but i just like how she captures the everyday, the unstaged and the (sometimes) ugly truth.

her words are sometimes shallow and sometimes deep.

i think you either like her style or you don’t.

for now, i like it.


now, for Elizabeth Marie, i can say that i have met her and her reality and it’s the real deal.

she has the cutest family, the most doting husband, and she herself is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.

if only the distance were not so great between her state and mine, i am just sure we would do a lot of things with her and her family.

one time they came to visit us when we lived in Pennsylvania, and my husband and i often talk about that weekend and how much we all loved them.


(^^if it looks like i have chickens everywhere, it’s because, well…i do. )

i’ve met other bloggers in real life that i could also endorse as being the real deal.

this old world is actually not just full of people that are not what they say they are.

there are some, yes, but as my brother in law once put it to me, ‘there’s actually a lot of good people out there.’

and, with these words, i am going to wrap it up.

i hear the kids waking up and tromping downstairs and within moments, i am going to be hit with a barrage of ‘what’s for breakfast?’ and truth be told, we’re getting company for the weekend, so i need to get back to the old list of things to do.


have a lovely weekend, friends!









on rain and knowing your place….

truth be told, i could tell you more about rain than i could knowing your place.

although both subjects are close to my heart right now, talking about rain is easier.

because, sometimes knowing your place takes a lot more time and effort than you (i) want to put into it.

but, strangely enough, i feel like the two subjects go together for me right now.


you see, out here, rain and weather and the skies are a big deal.

when a storm is in the forecast, you sit up and take notice.

you watch the clouds, you notice the wind direction, and; you pray.

when we were at a recent community gathering, i sat back deep in thought as the speaker made an announcement about the dire forecasts for the afternoon, and how that could affect the events planned.

it was with a sense of reverence that every head was bowed and the prayer of ‘protect us from harmful weather’ was agreed upon.


while it may not affect others in this way, and maybe it’s just where i’m at in life right now, but it moves me deeply to come together in prayer and recognize God’s control and sovereignty over our lives as we ask Him to protect us from danger from the skies above.

maybe it’s just this thing of how the weather it is a common bond that unites us whether we want it to or not.

or, maybe it is a thing of recognizing that our place here on earth is only as God sees fit and in our recognizing His control over the weather, we in turn submit to Him for our very existence.

i think it’s both actually.

it brings me to a place of reverence and awe to hear people praying to God about the weather and the rains.


i haven’t lived here long enough to feel like i know my place in every area, but i’m starting to see that maybe, we are bound by elements as simple or as complex as the weather and in that, we truly find our place.

because i haven’t lived here long, i feel like i need to earn my right to pray for God’s protection from harmful weather and yet i know i don’t.

God hears me from any place i’m in and for that i am grateful.

His grace is not dependent upon my knowing exactly what my place is.

and, His mercy is new for each day of pleasant or harmful weather.

maybe it’s ‘out there’ to think of being reverent and awed by the weather to you.

it’s mystifying for sure.

but, when you’ve sat there and watched heads bow and know that many of those heads have seen things from the skies that i have not, and that many of those heads bowed have a livelihood that depends upon what God gives thru the weather, it is humbling.

it calls me to respect the Giver of rain and storms and to respect the years of experience that call upon a Mighty God to protect us from harmful weather.

the rains have been coming and watering the earth here and in turn we thank God for his provision.

and, so, as we do thank Him for providing, it seems to me that it helps us, me, find a place.


a place of belonging to a God who made not only heaven and earth, but each one of us.

may we ever know His sovereignty and greatness as we see Him not only in the sunshine but in the rains too.

He is indeed a God of wonders.







(thanks to inspiration from this blogger, i’m trying this format today…)


these days i am….


Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver. To me, it is a fascinating look at awareness on where our foods come from and how we can be intentional about making choices today that will leave a positive impact on the coming generations.


(^there was much anticipation and excitement around the arrival of two miniature donkeys. i think they are so cute!)


Two little birds outside my kitchen window the last few days. And, my chickens just out from the kitchen as they peck and scratch and peck and scratch some more.


To get rid of this cough that has plagued me for the last two weeks. Compared to lying on the couch most of last Monday, I’m great, but it’s still really annoying.



I had a chicken carcass in the crockpot overnight, so today I’ll be making a big pot of chicken noodle soup. It is a chilly, cloudy and (of course) windy day here, so it’s most definitely a ‘soup day’ in my opinion.


Nothing today. Yesterday I did 10 loaves of bread, so the oven can take a break today. Me too.


We had a coffee cake for breakfast. Especially delicious because someone else made it for us!


Two cups of coffee as soon as I rolled out of bed, and then water to try and stop coughing. I made a large batch of garden tea concentrate yesterday, so we have that in the fridge right now too. So refreshing!



Today, probably not making phone calls. Yesterday I made several calls and that is not the norm for me. I talked on the phone with one of my dearest friends in PA that I miss So much. That hour and a half of time was like balm to my soul.


All things gardening and chickens. I have several ideas forming in my head for a chicken project and i do not tire of gardening ideas. Ever.



Really? No, I seriously question the necessity of facebook in my life that another social media outlet holds zero interest to me.


Ha. I have good intentions for several pieces of fabric sitting on my desk, but the days are just not long enough. Or else my interests and to-do lists are just too long…


Nowhere today if I can help it.


This beautiful time of the year and the wonderful rains God has recently blessed us with. The outside world is so lush and green right now, and my garden is absolutely exploding with beauty.



That something can so easily be made from nothing. If you are willing to put the sweat equity into it anyhow.


These days of summer vacation with the kids home. Having no schedule is a nice change from the past several months.



Mulching the garden this week. And, planting sweet potatoes too, I hope.


Plans for this coming holiday weekend. Hoping we can squeeze in some fun amidst the work that needs done around here.


Maybe nothing ‘big’ right now, but being grateful for health and life and these four children and my faithful husband. Everyday is certainly worth celebrating God’s goodness to me.


And, lastly, I’m so thankful for imaginative play and the great outdoors for these kids to explore.

Here’s to more forts and fewer fights this summer!!








you know how when you’re in the middle of blogging and life has to happen around you at the same time?

strike that, reverse it.

truth be told, i’m in the middle of LIFE and IF blogging happens; BONUS!!


(a storm on the horizon last Saturday night… followed by…)


(…a double rainbow.)

because last weekend was a short getaway for our 14th (belated) anniversary, and i have been in the middle of working outside when the weather allows, and the never-ending loads of laundry and the three meals a day that a family requires, my earlier stated giveaway for this week is going to have to be postponed.

not cancelled; postponed.

and, that’s okay.

for me anyhow.😉

yesterday was an epic day of exchanging plants with ladies in the little community we live in, and then working outside a bit in the afternoon in my developing gardens.

it was followed by a night of sleeplessness thanks to the littlest sister being up three times with a stuffy, runny nose and in general not feeling right.

it’s one thing to have to get up in the night with the kids, but it’s a whole other thing to not be able to go back to sleep for a LONG TIME after being up.

so, today is not the ‘get-this-house-in-order-day’ that i had envisioned.

it’s more the ‘do-what-ever-you-want-kids,’ day.

(proud mom moment, indeed.)

but, that’s okay too.

i did manage to get two of Brent’s kindergarten lessons done, a load of wash run thru and started a movie for the little ones, and gave them a snack so i could sit here for a few.

i can already tell there’s going to be coffee in my afternoon.

i’m looking forward to a weekend at home and working more outside and somehow, getting this house in order.

maybe a few yard sales and a starbucks coffee will get thrown in there somewhere too.

somewhere in the middle of LIFE happening.

so, for now…all the wishes.


for a good night of sleep tonight for one thing.

happy Thursday, and i WILL be back with a giveaway.




weekend random…

you know how when you’re supposed to be doing something and it’s a dreary, rainy morning and you’ve already had two big cups of coffee, and your kids are licking giant lollipops on the sofa while watching ‘Doc McStuffin’, and you really need to get back to the business at hand, but you’re just sort of messing around and avoiding the matter at hand, so you decide it would be a good time to throw out a little blog post?

(hashtag long-winded, bunny-trail sentence.)

welcome to that moment.

and, since this is all-over the map random, i’ll keep the pictures consistent with that theme….

this recipe has become a favorite in our household….


the fruit trees in our small orchard have given us their flowery show…


the currant bushes growing alongside my Potting Shed are pretty and the fragrance is spicey-sweet…


kids need dirt to grow, right?!


this dog that we love….but sometimes i really don’t.

like when she’s demolished my plant from the front porch or when she’s chewing on the wicker chairs, or when she’s running down the chicken that escaped…


but, for real….

as much joy and enthusiasm as she brings to my oldest son’s life, i cannot stay mad at her for too long. and, you gotta admit; she’s really quite a handsome looking dog.


someone turned 6 last week.

it was a pretty good day if i do say so myself.

like every other mother out there; i wonder how it can be that my sweet boy is growing up so fast.


take it from me; if you buy the little set of ‘happy birthday’ candles at Target, make sure you have ALL of the letters in the pack BEFORE you take them home and start putting them into your sons birthday cake.

or else, you might end up with ‘happy birhday’.

so, we went with happy bday and 6 yellow candles and called it good.

he won’t remember, but it bugged his mother who does not like things misspelled.


and, in case you wondered, the sun is most definitely still giving us beautiful shows as it rises and sets out here on the prairie.


and, since so much of my life revolves around food, i will give you this main dish that we love…

a pair of finches have claimed my porch wreath for their home…


i hope you have a wonderful weekend!



turns out this is my 150th blog post on this little space, so, how about a giveaway next week because of that?!

see you then!


miscellaneous Monday…

the puppy that is Joice, and how much she is loved by all…


if you follow me on instagram, you might recognize my hashtag Kate takes anything she can…

she is a little squirt.

and then some.

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Brent’s bunnies…


a few weeks ago when these two were traipsing out to play…


fog on the farm…

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trying to get everyone to look my way, AND smile, AND open their eyes…

ha ha.

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in two weeks he is going to be 6.


slow down time, slow down.


i’m realizing that this one is the most cooperative when it comes to taking the kids pictures.

well, sort of.

she’s at least the slowest to get away from me.

i’ll take what i can…

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this boy of ours does like basketball. and, cowboy boots. it’s high time i find him another pair of boots, don’t you think?


Brent is working hard on his kindergarten work…


littlest sister doesn’t like to be left out. of anything.


this girl….she’s not a mushy-gushy kind of person. but, when she says something, you know she means it.

unbeknownst to me, she was making me a card in this picture.

i will treasure it forever.


and, that’ll do it for today.

the kids are back to school after having last week off.

we’re all in ‘get back to routine’ mode today.

have a great Monday!




random retrospect…

you know what they say….’hindsight is always 20/20′.

but, what i’d like to know is this: when is it that we really come to the place of hindsight?

i tend to think that it varies.

i’m ruminating on these sort of things because it’s been a year of living in Kansas for our family, and there are some things i see clearer than i did one year ago, but i can’t say that everything is 20/20.

i think i can see a lot of the answers to why we are not where we were, but maybe the answers to why we are here seem blurry still.

i’m truly okay with that.

it’s a funny thing to look back on this past year of Major Change.

in some ways it feels like such a short span of time, and then in others ways, it doesn’t.

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(^^a picture i took of my sister and her family)

two things that stand out to me about this past year are lessons of trust and grace.

trust in that there were (and still are) days where the questions are clearer than the answers for a lot of the why’s of our being here…

trust in that we’ve had to tell our children to trust us when this experience has been HARD on them and even as we tell them that we quake within ourselves because we don’t really know what we are asking of them in that…

trust in that i know it is a Great God who knows all of our days and He has ordained them all and in that i can find rest even on the days when i fear the unknowns…

grace in that i have had, and most definitely am still learning how, to give myself grace when everything in me wants to strive for something else…

grace in that i’ve had to learn how to extend that in new ways toward others that relate and are different than i…

grace in that we’ve had to learn how to give that to each other as we have all gone thru this change and have been affected in just as many different ways…

grace in that i have had to accept that from the Lord as i have wondered what my, our place is here and He is, ironically, again, asking for trust.

the two undoubtedly go hand in hand.

i’m not sure if you can have grace without trust, or if trust can take root in a heart without grace…

either way.

retrospect is to look back on, contemplation.

our lives are defined by events that change our course.

for the good or the bad.

how the events of my life change me for the good or the bad….again, grace.

and, when i think about it like that, it is so what i want to extend toward others.

because, really, we are all on a life-changing journey every day.

the events may seem small and insignificant, and some are, but they all add up to a life lived.


(^^last summers blood moon.)

moving on to other things about the change of life…

life in Kansas is vastly different than life in Pennsylvania was.

things are much slower here.

there are way less people.

making a living thru agriculture is the norm here.

those three things i absolutely LOVE.


we live on a dirt road that sees so little traffic.

truth be told, i would say that there are more pieces of farm equipment driven past our house than there are vehicles.

our children are learning that you tell directions not by turning left or right, but by going east or west.

on our 7 acres we have more outbuildings than i ever dreamed we could have.

our children literally spend entire days outside in imaginary play.


i now see the need for each of them to own a decent pair of cowboy boots as more practical than a decent pair of sneakers.

instead of planning and caring for a large flower garden as i did in PA, i am now planning and starting a large vegetable garden in our back yard.

i ordered seeds from a catalog for the first time in my life and am so anxious to get them all started.

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we built a cold-frame two weeks ago for the purpose of starting vegetables and i’m excited to see how it will also serve me year round here.


we spend our weekends working around our homestead….with all our outbuildings and pasture, there is much that can be done.

one thing that i have realized i’ve let go of since moving onto our homestead is that i take less pictures.

which, i really do not like.

this is most definitely a stage and time in our families life that i want to remember, and i am going to have to purpose to get out my big camera more. it takes time and effort for me because i can always be busy and about something here, but in the midst of that, there are many things i want to document and remember thru my camera.

i MUST do better in that.

our home is a continual work in progress.

we kind of hit the brakes after we moved in here last October.

we recently started scheming and dreaming about how to update the bathrooms.

i’m not even kidding when i say they are tiny and FAR from what would be ideal.

they work, and i’ve had worse.

but, still.

they leave a lot to be desired.

it all takes time and money, and sometimes you just come up short on both, ya know?!

i’ve  recently become obsessed familiar with Joanna Gaines and her HGTV show Fixer Upper, and her blog Magnolia Homes. watching her show has encouraged me to think outside of the box even more. and, i LOVE her style in her Texas farmhouse. it’s a bit too white on white for me, but the overall style i really find inspiring.

i wish i could pick her brain on our bathroom situations.

but, in the meantime, i guess i’ll keep watching her transform homes and draw inspiration from that.


this week our kids have spring break and it’s so awesome to have a more relaxed way of starting out the mornings.

today the kids are going to have chores to do around here so that we can do some other things the rest of the week.

work first, play later.



i better scoot along.

thanks for stopping by, and skimming thru this random post.

i hope to be back soon.




Miscellaneous Monday…

it’s been a long time since i’ve done Miscellaneous Monday, so, yay me.

it’s actually Monday and i’m pulling it off.


i’ll start with a weather report from the plains:

it was 75° here yesterday with clear blue skies and very little wind.

in other words; perfection for February 8.

today started out sunny and crisp, and it was the strangest thing; around 8:45 am, fog rolled in and it was unreal. visibility was less than a quarter mile, but it was so pretty.

i actually like the grey, foggy, and dreary days.



i think there’s so much beauty in the midst of the grey.


Ava’s class had a ‘Little House on the Prairie’ thing at school two weeks ago.

she was totally into it.



we kept the whole thing pretty simple really; a pair of leather, lace-up shoes, a vintage apron and sunbonnet paired with a rag doll, braids and a basket instead of her usual lunchbox.


it was the cutest thing.


not to be left out, the littlest sister took her turn with the bonnet.

this girl….


you just can’t imagine how much personality she has.




her outfit the afternoon we were snapping these pictures was…colorful?



definitely matches her personality.

but, as i said before, i see so much beauty in the grey too…



Seth was super excited about last weeks ‘crazy hair day’ in his class.


seeing him be into the spirit of this day was such a big moment for me.

to see him ‘find his place’ brings happy, grateful tears to my eyes.

he is such a great kid.

and, next week he turns 11???

slow down time, slow down.


along with these recent days of warm weather, there’s been much outdoor play happening here.



the kids are home from school and i really need to start supper.


see the beauty in the grey days.







my worst performance…

i’ve been thinking about performance and acceptance.

how, being in a relationship where you are accepted based on your performance is so hard.

how, noone wins in that kind of thing.

how, If your acceptance of me is based on how well i perform, our relationship will only be as good as my worst performance.

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because really, it’s not my best performances that set the standard for your acceptance.

you’ll want to accept me on my good performing days, and it’ll make me feel less edgy.

but, on those days when my performance is lousy and your acceptance is gone…unfortunately, those are the days where reality lives.

the reality that i will not always be able to please you and that i will never be able to ‘live up’ to the standard of your acceptance.

i think about this because i’m muddling my way through something like this.

and, maybe you can relate.

and, maybe you cannot.

either way.

it seems to me that it’s not a new thing to wrestle with performance based acceptance.

it happens in our marriages, our families, our friendships, our work relationships, our churches.

it takes on a form all its own in our minds when we feel like God doesn’t love us unless we do ‘such-and-so’.

but, that’s the very place where we should never even once have a thought of performance based acceptance.

because if we truly embraced and accepted and understood God’s great love for us, we would know with all that we are that this is not a valid concern.

in all honesty?

this is mind-blowing for me to even begin to understand.

and, sadly, i think it’s because i’ve been trapped in the snare of performing for acceptance.

not in all areas, and not in a lot of levels.

but, in just enough areas of my life that it’s become confusing to how i relate and react.

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so, i’m sitting back here thinking these things and looking at my stuff and saying ‘i’m just broke.’

broken feels like of little worth, like giving very little effort.

and, this song…

this song that really is about broken in a marriage relationship, rings in my head over and again.

this song that talks about disappointment and forgiveness and wishing for less scars and more grace…

and how we are not meant to be complete on our own.

maybe it’s that we have to let all of the ugly, broken, all of the fight and all of the shattered dreams fall together for a more beautiful picture.

maybe letting go of the hopes and wishes, the hurts and disappointments will bring us together.

maybe it won’t be in the time table that we would wish for.

and, maybe it won’t be in the way that we wish.

but, maybe, together looks different when it’s broken.

maybe broken looks whole when it’s together.

i like that picture.

that picture where even though things are ugly and disappointing and broken, if it’s brought to Jesus, if it’s brought together in Him, it’s whole.

broken together seems so contradictory on the surface, but deep down, or maybe even just below the surface, it’s no contradiction at all.

and, so, while i know that God sees me for more than my worst performance, the reality is His acceptance is always the same no matter my performance.

my worst, broken performance garners His unconditional acceptance.

oh, for Grace to trust Him more.

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with love,


a little bedroom redo…

first of all.

there is no perfection in our home.


we live very much within our means.

and, i try really hard to make do with what we have.

it’s not what everyone would love, and it’s not what they have to love.

but, i for one, love making something out of what is not much.

and, the something i make out of things is most likely not the same something you would make of it.

this, to me, is what makes us all unique and gives us the opportunity to bring out our various talents and ‘styles.’

my style will always be a love for the old, the real wood, the mix of ‘junk’ with treasure, the neutral tones and the earthy colors.

i also have a lot of things in my home that have sentimental value to me.

they have a story that goes with them, and to me, that is kind of a big deal.

i could probably tell you a story about nearly every piece of furniture that we have in this house.

the stories might bore you to tears, but they mean something to me.

i think that’s part of what draws me to the things i like; the stories that go with them.


last week, three days before Christmas, i decided to tackle the bedroom redo for our (master) bedroom.

when we first moved into our homestead, we put our bedroom downstairs where the previous occupants had had theirs. i was not thrilled with it, but it was what we went with for the time being.

we do have a ‘someday’ plan for the space that is now our bedroom, and i guess when we first moved here, we figured we would just go with the bedroom downstairs until the ‘someday’ plan could be fulfilled.


if we always wait til everything is as we hope it will be ‘someday’ we will not enjoy what there is to be enjoyed in the meantime.

that’s how i see it anyhow.

so, we measured the space of our downstairs bedroom and the room upstairs that we wanted to make into our room.

the space was within a square foot of being the same, but the layout is SO much better in this upstairs bedroom.

this room is not big, but, it’s not tiny either.

the walls in our house are all plaster walls, and most of them are not in really great shape.

the one wall in our bedroom in particular is really pretty bad. as in: a large crack the entire width of the wall, plus a couple of decent sized holes.

as i was looking at this room and trying to get the vision for what i wanted it to be, i remembered the little ‘book page’ wall i had back at our other house, and bingo!

i had a vision for the room!

the walls that are not as badly in need of repair i decided to just paint, because, me and stenciled butterflies in the master bedroom…nah.


(obviously, i’m big into selfies. or, not.)

two coats of paint, two old books, and three rolls of scotch tape later:

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^^ this picture is taken from the corner where the book page wall is. the door on the left side of the picture, beside of the dresser goes into a large room that is now storage. ‘someday’ this room will become an extension of this room and will include a walk-in closet, bathroom and sitting area. the door with the ‘love’ sign is our closet.

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i’ve not painted the closet yet, obviously. but, i am kind of pleased with the arrangement that it is for now. we took two tension rods and hung them above the pegboard ledge that is mounted around the perimeter of the closet. we each have a side for our clothes and, plenty of floor space for shoes.

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i’m pretty practical when it comes to the functionality of our bedroom. this antique clothes-tree that i bought for $5 at a yard sale is draped with things like sweatshirts and pj’s.

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i’m always going to love the practicality that my Longaberger baskets provide throughout our home. that, and they are from Ohio, and so am i deep down in my heart, so they remind me of where i come from.

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the floor in this room is hardwood. but, it is not in the best of shape. this sisal rug that i purchased at an Etc. Shoppe here in Kansas covers up some of it’s ugliness, and, adds a warm, earthy tone to the room that i really love.

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this is the wall that the doorway into the room from the hall is on, and our bed is along the wall to the left of the doorway. Tim’s dresser is behind the door, and across from the dresser is a mirror and our clothes hamper. isn’t the corner trim amazing?!

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little bits of detail:

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^^a little winter vignette inside of my huge Pottery Barn lantern that sits on my dresser.

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^^we were just KIDS when we got married!!!

and, that’s about all.

it’s so, so much better than the room that we had been in.

there are still things i want to do in the room, like an actual curtain instead of just a piece of cloth draped over the rod…the bed needs new pillows and a cover for the box spring…the walls are void of much decor…a nightstand for both sides of the bed would be nice…matching lampshades are on my ‘watch for’ list…and so on.


maybe, just maybe, you seeing how we live with what is reasonable and practical in our now will encourage you in how your home comes together.

THAT is my hope for this little post.

with love,







since it’s not Monday, i guess i can’t call this Miscellaneous Monday.

so, i’m going with etc.

this could also be the post titled ‘where the pictures are sort of blurry and the house is LIVED IN!’


so, this is basically a montage of things that don’t go together, but are worth mentioning none-the-less.

i’m frying hamburger for quesadillas for supper.

i like to add spinach into our diet whenever i can, and why not in a quesadilla?


i had my mom and sister and sister-in-law over for brunch yesterday.

nothing fancy; just a chance to get together.


it lightly snowed last night.

so peaceful.


Christmas is a week from tomorrow.

i finished my shopping up Tuesday, AND wrapped all the goodies last night after the kids were in bed.

yay me!

i’m still vascilating on the teacher gifts, but i’ve got a start on it:


i need to make peanut brittle, more caramel corn, and some pumpkin rolls yet before the holidays.

the kids watched Little House on the Prairie.

turns out, they’re kind of living that these days too.


this is the ‘island’ we made from the drawers of an old desk that was here, and an old barn door that one of my neighbors in PA gave to me.


i LOVE it.

so much.

it also accomplishes the dream i always had for my scale:


someday, the floor will be different in this room.

until then, linoleum lives on.

i am so not a fan.

but, little by little we will get to where we want to be in this house.


as circumstance would have it, i have a chicken tractor and 8 chickens on loan right now.

it’s such a simple thing, but i am SO excited to have them.

hopefully in the spring i will get my own flock and have them somewhere else, but for now, this is perfection.


this is called: ‘smile for me so i can send a picture back East!’

always a good time:


this post could also be called: ‘why i won’t be using my 18-55mm lens anymore.’

what a mess of blur.

my amazon wishlist has an alternative option on it, but alas, i’ll be saving my change for a ‘leetle’ while yet. =)

it’s time to go to the ‘listen and do’ program at the library.

be back soon.





from scratch

after being M.I.A. in the blogging world for what feels like a really long time, how do you come back?!?
why even bother?
i’m asking the same old questions, over and again, aren’t i?
i know.


so, because i’m sick of asking them, and you are probably sick of reading them, how about if we do a ‘start from scratch’ here on this little blog.
a ‘let’s start and tell the story of me, of us, from this point onward, but including the pieces that got us to here’.
i remember the very thing i wrote about when i published my first blog post 7 plus years ago; i wrote a fictional little saga based on a ‘mouse in the house’ experience we were in the midst of in our home at that time.
why on earth i did that, eh, let’s just call it water under the bridge and don’t look back! =)
today i am:
a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend.
and, while i’ve noticed it seems popular to say; ‘i am a daughter of the King’, and yes, i am, i think that more than i want you to read that about me, i want to live that with all that i am.
in 2013, my husband and i made the life-changing decision for our family that we would step out in faith and lay down a role of leadership in a church we really loved, we would put our house on the market, and lay a fleece of ‘we are willing to move to Kansas Lord, if this is what You want, and we will do it when You say.’
(i wrote about that part of our story here.)
Five months later, we had packed up all of our earthly belongings, driven 1,300 miles and were residing in Kansas.
there are many, many things i could tell you about this piece of our story, and some days, i think i should tell this story.
but, most days, i just ponder it in my heart and feel like the timing is not right and i’m not ready to tell all that i could.
maybe someday i will, or maybe i won’t.
our coming to Kansas was both bitter and sweet.
bitter in that we left friends and family that we had been with for the entire 13 years of our marriage and it was the only home our children had ever known. leaving those dearest to you is undoubtedly never an easy thing.
being here has been sweet in that we now live close to all but one of my siblings and my parents are 1 1/4 miles down the road from us and there are cousins and aunts and uncles that before we would see maybe once a year.
i think it goes without saying that when you make a radical life-change there are bound to be adjustments and hard pieces.


(^^all the colors of the rainbow for a girl turning 8!!)
it’s one thing to move you and your spouse 1,300 miles and start life anew, but factor in 4 children doing it with you and not only do you have your own things to work through, you have theirs to help them through….
what mother’s heart doesn’t just ache when her children are struggling?
a lot of this year has been that for me.
not all of the time, and not all of the children at once, thankfully.
but, there have been many a time when i just wanted to undo all of this and make things like they used to be so that my children wouldn’t have to hurt and feel displacement.
i’ve wanted to just ‘fix’ the ache and homesickness they were in the midst of.
and, yet i can’t.
i can’t do that for myself, let alone them.
because i’m a mother, it seems that my days are consumed with the well-being of my family and while that is my story, the way my children are reacting to this and how they are dealing with this is largely their story.
i struggle to know where the line is in that part of life, but i do feel strongly that the way they will someday tell this story and the way i am seeing them live it out may very well not be one and the same.
i am really okay with that, and i want to protect their privacy and guard their hearts as much as i can as i talk about how life is for us here.
it’s taken me back in time over and again too.


(Thanksgiving at my parents^^)

my own childhood had several major life-changing events that were not fun or easy for me, and i now know that those events had to have been even more difficult for my parents as they walked this same road of ‘major change’.
the road of ‘major change’ is not a smoothly paved surface nor is it always a straight line.
in and through it all there is good.
lots, and lots of good.


the longer time goes on, the more i feel at home here.
we are, after a longer than anticipated segment of time, in our own home!
i cannot tell you how good it feels to be ‘home.’
the first 8 months of our being in Kansas, we lived in a house that we knew from the start was temporary, and because of that, we put nearly all of our belongings into storage.
i feel so carnal to say this, but; i missed our stuff!!
i told myself many times that this was really the best deal for the time being, but i just missed not having familiar things around us.
i missed not having the opportunity to create.
it honestly felt like a large part of my life was on hold for over eight months.
when i unpacked my good dishes two weeks ago, i realized that they had all been packed since right after Christmas last year.
because of things like that, of course i am more grateful than ever to be where we are going to stay.
and, because homemaking is what i do, it is so good to be back in my little element.
we are working at things as we can here in this big old house and it is so rewarding to see the change take place. there are enough projects on our list to keep us busy for many years to come, and we are just fine with that.
i have more dreams for this place than i’ll probably ever be able to realize, but that’s okay.
we have lots of time.
God willing.


this will be it for now.
if you continue to follow along here you can expect to find me documenting this old house, our family, recipes, sunsets and sunrises and the usual miscellaneous that i have always found rather easy.
thank you for stopping by!

Miscellaneous Monday…


^^the fog was gorgeous here two weeks ago. these two running around the pasture and barnyard is so fun to watch.^^

you know in the movie ‘Marley and Me’, where John Grogan is talking non-stop telling the story of how their life was playing out over the course of a decent span of time and he’s just talking on and on and interjecting little things that were significant and also pertaining to Marley?


^^Seth’s  puppy Joice.^^



i feel like that is how i could post right now after how the last few months of our life have gone.

i could tell you many, many things that went down and pertained to us.

so many in fact, that i’m not really sure where to start and where to stop.


^^from when my dear friend Kathryn was here and met my Katherine. my two favorites with that name ♥^^


two weeks or so ago, i received an email notification that someone had left a comment on a blog post.

obviously, my being away from my blog for so long hasn’t exactly led to an onslaught of comments, so i was pleasantly surprised when i saw i actually had a comment!

someone read my blog???

someone read my blog!!!

i went back and reread the post that the comment was on, and funny thing…

i’m still in that place where i wonder why i blog, and yet not ready to give it up, still wishing i had more time for it.

and, i’m obviously still in the place where the quickest, easiest way for me to blog is by ramblings and Miscellaneous.

when i woke up this morning i had grand ideals of writing some thank you notes, working on organizing pictures both on my computer and camera and taking time to write a nice decent blog post.

as it turns out, i have:

rigged up a decent pen out in the barn for the escaping puppy that was standing at the back door when we went to take school children to school…

washed the dishes in the sink from last nights popcorn and movie night and this mornings breakfast…

started a load of laundry…

ran to my mom’s and got a hydrangea bush i then brought home and planted in the flowerbed along with repotting two dwarf spruce trees in pots beside the front porch…

hung out two loads of laundry…

fixed lunch…

organized the medicine cabinet contents…

washed more clothes…

enlisted the husband to help kill a bull snake in the backyard that i almost stepped on…

dusted and straightened the living room…

and, now sitting here for a few minutes before i go pick up previously mentioned school children.

so much for catching up on the computer and decent blog posts.

this will have to do for now.


^^Brent running by in a blur the other night when the sky was out of this world pretty.^^


i do intend to post some house pictures soon.

we are absolutely LOVING being here on our homestead.

loving it.


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Homemade Bread

after longer than i wish, i’m here again.


i’ve missed this space.

missed it and yet, have had enough distractions that i’m not sure when i would have been here before now.

but, i’m hoping to get a few blog posts in over the next couple weeks before we move again.

yes, we are moving again and this time i am beyond excited and anxious and READY!!!!

not that our being here the last six months has been for naught, it’s just that we’ve been anticipating this next move since January, and we are so very, very excited for this next big phase of our journey.

but, back to today.

one of my INSTAGRAM friends asked if i could share my bread recipe.

and, since typing all that out on my iPhone isn’t my idea of a good time, i thought i would post the recipe here instead.

now, before i go any further, some disclaimers:

i am, by no means, a bread making expert.

i love making bread, but i am extremely critical of my own homemade breads.

i make a variety of recipes, and am always game for trying another new one.

i do not grind my own wheat.

but, someday i would really love to because i think that fresh ground wheat makes homemade bread better than better.

if you give me a loaf of homemade bread from your kitchen, i will undoubtedly think it is 100% better than what comes from my kitchen.


this recipe that i am currently making is definitely one of my all-time favorites.

we all love it.

a lot.

i will still continue my quest for the next recipe that is an improvement over this one, because that’s how i am, but for real.

this recipe is not too shabby.

i hope that if you make it you enjoy it as much as we do.


Whole Wheat Bread


1 cup warm water

3 pks. (or, Tablespoons) dry yeast

2 Tablespoons honey

Combine and stir until dissolved. Set aside.


1 1/2 cups milk, scalded

2/3 cup oil

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons sorghum molasses

4 teaspoons salt

Combine and stir until melted, and then add:

2 1/2 cups warm water

 When this is lukewarm, add yeast mixture and stir well.


8 cups bread flour

4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup wheat germ

Combine flours and wheat germ, then add 5 cups of the combined dry ingredients to the liquid mixture beating well with an electric mixer. Let rest for 15 minutes.


Add remaining flour and knead until smooth and elastic; at least 5 minutes.


Place in greased pan and grease top.


Cover and let rise until double.


Punch down and shape into 5 loaves.


Cover again and let rise until doubled in size.


Bake at 350 degrees, on a low rack in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

Remove from oven, place on cooling rack and rub butter across the tops.


Cover with wax paper and then a cloth until cool.

Slice, eat, enjoy!


i will be back soon.

happy Tuesday!




just a few things…

can i be in love with a tree?

it’s not that i stand around hugging it or anything….

i just rather love this tree.



if you are thinking about driving out to Colorado, and you want to pitstop in Kansas…

can i just say we love company?

and, when it’s company from far away, company that you don’t see often, it’s even more special.

this outstanding family here, they stopped in for supper and a couple of hours of visiting. it was short, but it was definitely sweet.


Ava has loved this little flip camera.

she’s made plenty of goofy nonsense movies with it, but she’s also branching out into making short intelligent ones.

she also got some pretty cool shots the other night when we were out driving the countryside.


these two snuggling on the chair together…

we’ve had a lot of long days and late nights the last while and i think it’s caught up with most of us today.

everyone is lying down as i type this.


when sweet little friends from back East send mail to our girls…

such a highlight on this ordinary Tuesday.


we took the kids to the splash park the other night.

after frolicking and playing in that for a long while, they were happy for the playground adjacent.

this shot of Ava doing the monkey bars…i kind of ♥ it.

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and all four of them.

a rare moment of pause.

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thanks to my kind and loving husband, we now have two big boxes of pears ripening in the laundry room.

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and, lastly, the sky on fire.

if only those power lines were not in the middle of the picture….

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i hope your week is off to a great start!







i’m a loser…

for real.

a big ol’ loser.

i could probably create my own reality t.v. show having to do with being a loser.

it’s this little game i play where every.single.time. i play, i lose.

big time.


(^^that one time i tried to let them play in the rain, but it was way too cold, and they came in two minutes later)

it’s this game where i play solo and yet, still come out as the biggest loser.

it’s the game of comparison.

the game where i look around and compare and just plain old lose.

maybe you are familiar with this game?

or, maybe you’re not.

either way.

what got me thinking about it was this:

i recently heard someone stating their disappointment with what someone else was doing, and i sat back all smug and thought to myself ‘YOU compare that and yet, look what YOU are doing that is not any better?!’

and, then i was so taken aback at my own ugly, sinful tendency to do the very same thing.

in way, way too many areas of life, i play this game.

maybe not all the time, and sometimes more than others, but still i end up playing this losing game.


i play it within my mind when i wish circumstances would be otherwise and i assume that it’s just me who deals with whatever the matter may be…

i play it when i wish my kids would be better, be more, be less…

i play it when i wish i was a better wife, a better mom, a better friend…

i play it when i wish i could look better, have a different outfit, less grey hairs…

i play it when i think about blogging and why do i bother…

i play it when i think someone else thinks something of me and mine and the truth of the matter is, it’s all just between my ears since i’ve not had any validation to the crazy thought process where i compare their thoughts toward me and what i think of them…


i’m serious.

it is just a lose-lose game.

so,  this game can be just played alone and maybe noone is affected by it besides myself.

maybe that’s true.

even so, i am losing as i play it alone.


it’s this thing of thinking that i can play this game and it’s okay when really, i’m playing it out and therefore letting it affect way, way more of life lived with others.

it’s this thing of playing it out in my mind and in the letting it affect other areas of life, i become a loser by choice.

i could be wrong, but it seems to me that the devil likes to see me play this game and lose over and over.

it’s this game that i don’t even have to turn in chips or pay dues, i’m just robbed blind by choice.

by choosing to play this game, i let myself, my life, my happiness be affected and ROBBED of so much peace and joy and acceptance and love.

i think about how as a parent, i want to teach my kids to be good losers, to play fair, to let others win.

but, in this game…i just want to teach them to not even play!

i want them to know that it’s a game that is not worth playing and, yet….


it seems like because we live in a fallen world, from the beginning of time really, we’ve all been playing it.

and, losing.

i think that yes, this is where grace comes in.

but, i also think that this is where we have to choose to let redeeming love and God’s thoughts of us override the desire and tendency to play along in this losing game.

so much of life and how i respond to it is directly affected by where, who, what i put my identity in.

coming back again and again to the reality that my truest, only meaningful identity must come from what He thinks of me.

“My salvation and my honor depend on God; his is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times…pour out your hearts to him for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:7,8

“everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made….Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:7 & 1


i don’t know why i’m posting this, really.

certainly not because i’ve overcome the game of comparison.

nope, maybe i’m posting this just to get it off my chest.

and, sometimes when i type things out, i see it clearer.

maybe you’ll identify with some of this, and maybe you won’t.

either way.

my only advice is this:

try not to to play this game.

losing all the time isn’t worth it.

choose joy, not comparison when you want to win.

Look with fresh eyes.
Look without comparison.
Look for a sprinkling of beauty on a tough situation.
Look for a joy that doesn’t match your circumstance.
Look for the unexpected blessings.
Expect them.
God adores you, even when His voice is quiet.

(^^pinterest quote)

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have a good Wednesday.




friend visit….

when one of your dearest friends calls on a Monday and wants to know if you are available to pick her up at the airport the following week, and you are left speechless and yet so very, very excited…


this past week was packed with good times and fun experiences shared.

i’m still just sitting back in awe that she was here and left already.

not to mention missing her.

but, while she was here, we did our best to show her a good time.

her and i are both lovers of flowers and so, a trip to Botanica, the Wichita Gardens was a perfect fit, not just for women, but for families too.

the garden has a very large section that is designed with children in mind and it was perfect for our crew.


some of the features in the children’s garden….


they had a rainbow theme throughout the children’s garden…


Eric Carle’s ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’…





a wonderful treehouse…


lawn games…


a butterfly sanctuary…



tranquil water gardens…



just a lovely, well-spent evening…



there are not millions of things to do out here on the plains, but we did enjoy what we could with the amount of time we had.

we also took in an afternoon at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, and that was enjoyable…for the most part. a certain little girl was in desperate need of a nap, so that added an element of….something.😉

because Kansas is known for it’s sunflower fields, and because it is my friends favorite flower, we found a field and took some sunflower selfies…

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my brother showed Lori a good time in the sprayer early one morning…she even saw a jackrabbit!!

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and, since these Kansas sunrises and sunsets are my favorite, we jumped in the truck one evening and drove West.

dirt roads, windows down, country music, and wide open spaces with the sunset show…


^^those pictures…no filter, just an awesome Creator’s handiwork.

it was truly a great week.

i was reminded of the blessing friends are, and inspired by her in so many ways.

i was indeed honored that she took away from her summer vacation, by herself, to come to Kansas, of all places. =)

and, now, it’s back to the grind.

the grind of laundry and cleaning and cooking and baking and gardening.

the grind of life.

happy Wednesday, folks!







this will be random.

because i do random pretty well.



^^that $1 net from the yard sale=endless bug catching fun.


first of all, today, my dear friend from Pennsylvania is flying out here to visit me/us, and to say excitement is in the air is an understatement!! she will be getting in on the real Kansas heat too; yesterday was 105* with a 115* heat index. ah yeah. Kansas in the summertime…

but, back to her coming! i am so excited to have our first company from our old home! we may not have much here, but what we have, we are so looking forward to sharing with her! pretty much everyone we meet hears about her coming and so, it’s almost like having a famous person come to visit. well, i’m imagining what a famous persons visit would be like and i think this is probably similar. in case you thought we have famous people stopping in all the time. =)


^^we do lots of watering here in Kansas, so that we can eat fresh produce.  and, the sisterhood inspecting a new butterfly.


while i wish the weeks would slow down for summer vacation, i also wish they would speed up so that we could move onto our homestead.

we have a tentative timeline of our moving and while i am more than excited and anxious about that, i am also trying to learn what i think God is teaching me here in this temporary home.

maybe i’m just a slow learner. or, maybe it’s just that i need to learn more than i think. i don’t know. but, i so do not want to have wasted these months where things were in limbo. i’m not good at limbo. but, i’ve gotten better at it, i think.


^^littlest sister gears up for tractor driving.


can i  brag on my husband?

good, because i’m going to!

our homestead kitchen is one big, open room.

big and spacious and yet, not much counterspace and no dishwasher.

so, my husband has drawn up and planned out an island he is going to make for me.

i mean, DE-TAILED drawn out the plans and it is going to be nice!

i will have a dishwasher again, AND, another sink in the kitchen, plus a breakfast bar on the island.

he is pretty amazing.

life out here where it’s all been new for him, i have been so awed as i’ve watched him pursue this dream of building me an island, and talk of other new things he could do…. i love seeing him broaden his horizons, and in turn, ours.

when i hashtag on Instagram with thisisournewbeginning, it is so much bigger than just a new house and address.

i love how God is bringing us closer together through all this new beginning. it’s not always easy, but it is GOOD.


^^park fun with cousins on a hot summer evening. you didn’t know dragons spit water out of their noses? yeah, well, you learn something everyday.


this song by Steven Curtis Chapman…

‘God’s plan from the start, for this world and your heart, has been to show His glory and His grace..’


brings me to tears when i listen to it and realize how it applies so much to my life, and,


^^he devoured that book. the skies!! and, scooters and books and pacifiers…yep. she’s two.


and, now, i must run along.

enjoy the rest of this week.






weekend recap

we went….

(to an estate sale….)

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we bought…

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we made…

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we swam…


we opened presents…


we smelled flowers…


we walked with daddy…


it was a good weekend.

and, with any luck, we will repeat some of the same activities this weekend.


have a good Thursday!





two years…

tomorrow, our little lady turns two.


it seems like yesterday, she was so tiny and new….

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and, now, she’s still wonderful.

FULL of life.

we love her so much.


we drove West last night, out to nowhere, but somewhere perfect and took some two year pictures to document this birthday girl.







this one^^. oh, so her!!!

 we do love her.


Happy Fourth of July!!



Miscellaneous Monday, iPhone edition…

last night on the way to some (new) friends house, Ava noticed a deer out in the field and, so, (and I quote my husband) ‘let’s enjoy the little things’ and we turned around and went back to have a closer look.

turns out, this deer was out in the grasslands with her triplets.

it really was the ‘little things’ as we watched those three babies race off with their mother.

this picture of Tim…i kind of (really) like it.

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we picked enough green beans the other day for supper.

they were some kind of delicious with bacon grease drizzled over them, seasoned with italian herbs and Lawry’s.

my mom wondered if i mentioned to my kids how we used to pick green beans by the 5 gallon bucket full.

i decided i would wait to do that until we are doing that ourselves and then use it to tell a tale from yore, and then it’ll be all fascinating and amazing.

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facetime is a pretty great thing, you know that?

i kind of forget about such things now that i’m near all the people i used to facetime with.

things like that ease the separation of being so far from friends that i miss very much.

that, and letter writing and phone calls and facebook and text messaging.

we really do live in an age when communication is so convenient.

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sometimes, when you’re on the way to the grocery store by yourself, you get sidetracked and end up at an auction with your sisters.

or, maybe that doesn’t happen to other people?

either way, that was the case on Saturday.

i love, love, LOVE auctions.

even if i don’t buy much, or anything, i just love going to auctions.

my only purchase Saturday was a Frankoma cookie jar for $2.50

it’s one of my goals for this Monday is to fill it up with chocolate chip cookies.

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last week, the kids and i ended up at the greenhouse during a thunderstorm.

which, led to this silly selfie:

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it’s 8:05am, the kids are still sleeping and i need to get the laundry started.

i hope your Monday is wonderful.

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once upon a time…

when i switched from my own dot com to this here free blog, i had all my pictures and everything just as they always were over at my old blog.

and, then, poof.

they’re gone.

i’m not so happy about that.

nor am i either patient or tech-savvy enough to try and deal with that at the moment.

i still have all the pictures on my computer and external hard drive, but here at little house, they’re MIA.

so, this morning, i was looking through some pictures from the recent past, and thought i’d post a few.

once upon a time…

these kids of ours…



from the day we arrived here in Kansas….


i look at these pictures now and so many memories and emotions overwhelm my mind. that day when we drove into my parents farm and watched our friends pull in with the semi and all our earthly belongings…and then we sat at my parents supper table and i looked around that table filled with some of the dearest people in my life…


that time we went to my dad’s hay field to fly kites. i just love this folder of pictures. i might have to repost them all…



from the day we first went to see our (soon to be) property.  we are anxious to be there and enjoy all that it entails….in time.



that time when my daughter realized she could climb trees and when she was (always) wearing the necklace she made with her BFF in Pennsylvania…



that time we stopped at the courthouse on Easter Sunday to snap some pictures and Seth  got this picture of us…



when we were at my nieces first birthday party and my sister made this darling cupcake flowerpot…



we went mini-golfing with (new) friends and my brother and his family, and there we stood, the oldest girl and the youngest boy with our youngest girl and youngest boy…



it was my dad’s birthday, and so i took the kids out to the field to tell him happy birthday and we watched him plant corn…



we found a ‘hillbilly golf game’ at a yard sale for $1 and we’ve had fun playing it in the backyard with the kids…



Brent and his cousin had a sleepover and were up with the sun and too cute for anything…



all the big kids were making bracelets and necklaces with beads, and the littlest sister wasn’t going to be left out!



the sunset the other night was magical.  i just wish i would have grabbed my real camera instead of just my phone…



it’s the weekend, right?

have a good one!



Miscellaneous Monday…on a Tuesday….

my intentions were good.

but, alas, life happened and blogging didn’t.

which is fine.

and good.

but, still, i am *trying* to get back into a habit of blogging on a regular basis.


from Father’s Day…


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i think these kids are stinkin’ lucky and blessed to have him for their daddy.


our turtle Wally, laid four eggs yesterday.

because of that, the kids decided ‘he’ should be called ‘Wallyanna’ instead of Wally.

i have serious doubts about these eggs hatching, but it would be some kind of fun if they would.

we dug around online trying to find what we could about red-eared slider turtles and are hoping for the best.

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summer means afternoons frolicking in the pool and eating popsicles and suntan lines.

it also means a constant stream of dirty towels and wet swimsuits.

job security for the mama, right?

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we are still (trying to be patiently) waiting to get into our own house.

which is both frustrating and challenging.

 i’m still wishing i could be housekeeping and making our house a home, but in the meantime, i’m trying to find purpose in other things.

i’m LOVING the chance to work in our vegetable garden and watching all the produce ripen.

we’re eating fresh cucumbers and summer squash and zucchini on a daily basis.

by next week, i think i’ll have green beans to eat and preserve.

can’t wait.

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i’ve been doing a 40-day running challenge and i’m within 11 days of it being over.

in some ways, i can’t wait til i’m done!

it gets so hot out here that if i don’t run in the early mornings, i nearly die in the heat and sun later on in the day and evening.

the perks of early morning runs include watching the Marvelous sunrises, and the feeling of accomplishment once that run is done for the day.

i can’t get enough of the sky out here in Kansas.

can’t get enough.

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datenights that include trips to the Home Depot….

‘let’s DO this!’

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and, just some miscellaneous favorites from the recent past…

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and, one last sunrise.

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you’re welcome.





Miscellaneous Monday…

God is a God of order.


but, He is also a God of repetition, and routine.

He makes the sun to rise and set, the seasons to change.

He gives life and breath and takes life and breath.

And, through it all, His love is unchanging.

which gives me so much courage.


today started out with a mess across the house from the day before when we all went to bed sweaty and tired with no electricity.

first thing at breakfast, we had a huge bowl of shredded wheat with milk dumped all over the floor, followed 1o minutes later by a large glass of ice water dumped across the table and onto the floor as well.

i wish i could tell you i just silently wiped the spills up and went about the next thing without a disgusted thought.

but, i can’t.

after the whole breakfast fiasco was over, it was on to washing dishes and making beds for me and flashlight dancing in the dark basement for the kids while i sorted laundry and thought about how much, how VERY much of my life is doing the same thing over and over and then, over again.

i get tired of it.

weary in fact.

but, as i wallowed in self-pity for a few minutes, it struck me again how God does the same things every day and has for all of time and yet!

His love is the same.

i mess up; He loves me.

i embrace victorious living and truth; He loves me.

day in and day out.

sunrise to sunset.


from Ephesians 5….

//”be ye therefore imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us…”//

being a Christ imitator is not an easy task.

when my dad was here yesterday he mentioned this verse in the context of earthly fathers being imitated by their children to some extent and how we won’t get it all right.

and, it’s true.

i don’t.

most days i’m not sure i get *anything* right.

and, i know i sure don’t get the whole ‘loving no matter what’ thing down-pat.

right now,  this Monday has nearly played itself out.

we’re still striving along.

the washer is still running and the clothes are still stacking up on the table around me.

there’s  two toddlers sleeping and two big kids reading for a brief quiet time.

there’s a snack to be eaten soon, and a daddy to greet after he’s off of work.

there’s supper to be made and toys to be picked up.

and, in all of this….

in all this mundane, routine repetition, there is love to give and get and go around.

tomorrow is a new day and it’ll be more of the same, but all new and different at the same time.

i need to….

embrace it.







welcome to the new digs…


i know, i know.

she’s changed her blog space *again*.

trust me, after the amount of time i have spent on the phone and computer trying to figure out what to do with this whole blogging deal, i have NO intention of changing blog spaces again ANYTIME soon!

having my own dot com was fun and soo nice in many ways.

but, it came down to not really being able to justify the cost anymore.


here we are doing the wordpress thing for free! =)

free is good.

real good.

moving on….

it’s a gloriously rainy day here in Kansas.

gentle, earth-soaking, much-needed, rain.

it’s the kind of day where you just want to curl up and read a book and drink coffee.

instead, i’ve spent most of the morning working at the computer.

ah well.


a few photos from the recent past…

one windy evening, the kids spent probably an hour or more jumping off the roof of this toy car…


it’s so fun to watch them delight in simple pleasures.


this boy.

he is so intense.

so very, very giving and thoughtful too.



who doesn’t remember building forts with blankets draped over the clothesline?



my little salad maker.

it is SO fun having her help me with things in the kitchen!



this little girl is going to be 2 next month?!

how is that possible!?!?!



the evening shadows…



when i tell the hubs that we should just jump in the van and drive west to see the countryside and we get to the middle of nowhere and get out the van to take pictures just because.



and, when i take yet another picture of the grain elevators out here and still marvel at the way the West came to be…



and, while yes, i am loving my early morning sunrise runs, the sunsets out here are nothing to sneeze at either.



there is beauty everywhere, in every thing.

we just have to look and see and behold.


happy Monday!




a lesson in displacement…

a year ago this time, if you would’ve told me i would be where i am today, i would’ve had a hard time believing it.
a year ago this time, i was plugging along getting ready for a garden party.
i was deeply immersed in my community and in the lives of people i had been with for the past 12 years.
i was just living life, doing normal, routine stuff….
and, now, here i am.
living in this place of all new and all different and trying to find a new normal and a new routine.
i’ve said so many times in the past two months that being so reassured by God that this was to be our new course has definitely made all this change easier.
that does not mean it’s all a cake walk.
if i’m really honest i miss so many things about the life we left.
i miss people.
i miss familiarity.
i miss routine.
i miss my house.
i miss my flowers.
i miss my ‘stuff’.
we are living in a rental house that is furnished.
which is so nice in that we did not have to unpack all of our belongings and furniture for this (relatively) short stent here.
but, i’m not going to lie and say i love living in someone else’s ‘stuff’.
oh, it’s not that the ‘stuff’ isn’t nice and in a lot of cases nicer than ours.
no, no.
it’s just that i like my ‘stuff’ and my ‘stuff’ makes me feel at home.
and, since i’m living in someone else’s ‘stuff’ in a house that i know is not permanent, it is hard to feel ‘at home’ or ‘settled in’ or ‘adjusted’.
so carnal, right?
if there’s two lessons i know i need to learn more of in life, they are ‘flexibility’ and ‘patience’.
and, the funny thing is, i am faced every day with opportunities to learn both of these things in new ways.
some days, i am really okay with these opportunities.
other days, it gets to me way more than i want to admit.
i can give myself little pep talks on how ‘it’s going to feel like we have all new stuff when we are finally in our house and have our own belongings again!’
or i can tell myself that ‘it’s the best of both worlds like this.’
and, while those things are true, this phase we are in is still real and still, in it’s own way(s) challenging.
i think some of these things are more real and difficult for me than anyone else in my house.
i’m a woman, i’m a HOMEMAKER and i love making a house a home.
i’m realizing how much of my ‘life’ really actually revolves around making a house a home now that i’m not really doing that.
i’m realizing that the mundane, everyday, routine things are what make me feel at home and give me purpose.
so, in some ways, this phase of being displaced and without a house to make a home has made me look at what really does give my life purpose and what really makes me feel fulfilled.
and, in that looking, i’m not always proud of what i find.
at all.
it’s good for me though.
it’s a new way God has stripped away and is making me refocus.
it’s a new way He is helping me realize my TRUEST worth comes from Him and not what i do or who i am to others.
i’m not really loving this lesson to be honest with you.
i’m not loving how much of my worth has, in the past, come from what i’ve done.
i want to be good at things, yes.
it’s always going to be in my nature to give and help and beautify.
but, how to work and give and make beautiful because HE is in me and for HIS purpose and not because that is what i am ‘worth’ to others….
a lesson i am s.l.o.w. to fully learn.
being displaced is not my ideal of long-term fun.
but, while i’m here in this place, i sure do hope i can make my time can be worthwhile.
how have YOU known displacement?
how have YOU experienced worth coming from your works?
how have YOU known true worth in HIM?
i’d love to hear your thoughts….


on blogging…

sometimes, blogging and me go together like….
oil and water?
there are so many times when i think i should just terminate this ol’ blog.
and, then, i think that would be a real shame.
i’m not saying this to garner sympathetic ‘oh, noooo! don’t quit blogging!’ from any of you.
it’s just where it’s at sometimes.
maybe it’s like falling off a horse; if you don’t immediately get back on the horses back, you will always fear riding again.
or, maybe it’s just that i need to actually *make* time for blogging and the more i do it, the more natural it will feel.
or something like that.
i’m also guessing that blogging can be much like a lot of other areas of life; we feel we don’t have anything to give, so why bother.
all lies.
so maybe i don’t have to give what i wish i did, but it doesn’t mean what i do have is of no worth.
maybe what you have to give is not what you wish, but it IS worth something to someone else.
if i’m preaching to the choir?
yes, i am.
so, in my state of ‘what should i do with my blog?’ i am trying to come up with things to actually post about.
things besides….we had a birthday and a weekend and went to a coffee shop.
those things are fine and i’m sure i will still post about them, but it feels like there should be more to this blog than that.
it feels like, as with the rest of my/our lives, we are at a new place, a new beginning and i’m wishing to make the most of these opportunities.
i don’t know.
i’m searching for ideas online, and if you have suggestions, i would LOVE that!
in the meantime…
happy day to you!

how are you adjusting?

since that seems to be a commonly asked question right now, why not make it the title for my blog post, right?
the answer?
one day at a time, one foot in front of the other.
there is no right or wrong answer to this question.
and, because the asking of it may or may not be complex, i have trouble actually knowing the answer myself.
it’s like i told someone the other day; ‘when you are where you know God wants you to be, and because He has given so many, many clear signs that this was the way for us to walk, it makes the days of questioning and hard a lot less frequent.’
not that hard and questioning do not happen.
it’s just that when you know you’re in the right place, you can rest in that when the hard and questioning does come.
at least for Tim and i.
it is one thing to move yourself and your spouse 1,200 miles to a whole new life, but when you add in four dependents, it is a whole different story.
that has been a hard piece, to walk this with our kids.
it is not exactly ‘my’ story, their dealing with this in their own ways.
but, it has at times, been hard to watch them struggling with different aspects of this new life.
for Tim and i, we are doing the same things we did back in Pennsylvania.
for our two children in school especially, it is ALL new EVERYTHING.
new school, new way of learning, new teachers, new peers, new schedules, new games played at recess, new Sunday school classes and teachers and curriculum there….the list goes on.
for my one child, change and challenge spurs them on.
for the other one, change and challenge can be overwhelming and exhausting.
it is really something to try and help those two vastly different ways walk this new road.
i’d be lying if i said the first couple weeks were not hard for my kids.
i shed tears many a time for them and wished i could make it better.
that has been one of the hardest pieces of all of this journey of a new beginning; watching my children struggle and cry through it.
it’s in moments like that that i’ve had to go back to those many clearly defined signs from the Lord that, yes, this is the right thing.
and, it helps and the hard things pass and life does go on.
one blessedly amazing thing about children is their resiliency.
as i’ve watched them return more and more to their happy, ornery, and fighting selves, i have been so, so glad to see them ‘adjusting’ and acclimating back to themselves in this new land.
my two youngest are just doing the same things they did back in Pennsylvania and for them i cannot see that the change has been too hard.
for that i am thankful.
for me, personally?
well, as i said, one day at a time.
i am so happy to be near family that i don’t even know how to put that into words.
every day we go past my parents house on the way to and from school, my brother lives a quarter mile from us, and both my sisters are within about 10 miles of us.
i still just shake my head and laugh about it sometimes.
to think that for 13 years we were 1,200 miles apart and now to be within 10 miles of each other?
it is crazy.
the people here in Kansas have been so very welcoming.
and gracious.
i’ve made big moves like this before, so it’s not all new ground for me.
but, i am in such different places in life now than i was when i last did such a radical change.
i feel like i am cautious and slow in my approach to involvement.
which for me, is right at this time.
our being here in a temporary house makes me anxious at times, and yet i am trying to see this time as a good way to acclimate slowly and find rest from some of the stresses of this past year.
it is good for me to have less to do for a change, although i really do love to be hard at work.
so, while i do not have as much work as i did in my last house, nor as much as i will in my next house, i am forcing myself to be okay with a slower pace for now.
i can’t say it’s second nature for me to slow down.
but, i’m trying to learn this lesson while it’s before me.
and, as i said, one day at a time, one foot in front of the other.

moving along….
Tim and i celebrated 13 years of marriage on the 7th and thanks to my sister watching our kiddos, we spent a fun day together in Wichita.
(not my favorite picture of us, but it’s better than none.)

spring has arrived here on the plains.
although, Monday morning of this week, we awoke to half an inch of snow on the ground.
thankfully, the sun is shining and it is a beautiful day today, so that snow is long gone.
Tim tilled the garden for me one evening last week and then on Saturday, Brent and i put in some seeds.

these two girlies of mine…
the littlest one…oh, she is rotten.
but, we love her.

and, it’s now time to go pick up the school kids.
every time i come here to my blog, i realize how much i miss this space.
i long to post more often, and yet…..
i keep hoping.
i’m also thinking a new name for my blog is in order since i am no longer in my beloved little brown town.
i’m thinking of some ideas for that….
til next time…
with love,

this is our new beginning…

a month sure goes by fast, doesn’t it?
at least it seems that way to me with all that has happened in our lives in that time span.
there is much i could write, many things i would like to blog about.
but for now, i’m just going to recap through my instagram pictures and words and add in a few other photos from this past month.
i’ve been using the hashtag #thisisournewbeginning on Instagram, and it seems to also be a fitting title for this brief post.
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I’ve never cried at the sight of a semi truck and trailer before today. Seeing this park in front of our house to be loaded with all our belongings was another one of those ‘we are actually doing this?!’ moments. And i cry because it’s sad to go. But we are supposed to and in that we are at rest and know Peace.
When all your friends gather and help you load your entire household, and you watch your life flash before your eyes, and you realize that you surely have been given forever friends, and you come back in to an empty house, and you cry big tears for all that has been and all that will be. Yes. This has been that day.
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The plains ahead of us, and all our worldly goods behind us with our friends. Almost there.
Welcome to Kansas sunset. A view i will not tire of. And, our friends in the semi cruising toward my parents upon our arrival on Sunday, March 9th.
photo 3(10)photo 3(9)
Whereever they are, we are home. This is where we are living for now. It is a somewhat temporary home for us, but one we are really enjoying. The backyard is so very much fun for the kiddos and the house is more than adequate and enjoyable for all of us. Plus, there is a playground just across the back alley from our house.

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So, above was the home we are in for now.
Below is the property we are buying sometime in the next months. To say i am excited about this is an understatement.


You know you are in the west when the Main Street is a dirt road and the only traffic light is a blinking light.
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Running this afternoon on dirt roads, and this along the way. Yep:#thisisournewbeginning.

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This morning these two very brave souls went off to a new school. I am so proud of them for their resolve, and their (slightly anxious) excitement.
photo 4(4)
And, i will sum up this post with this picture containing words that ring true for me, for us in this new beginning….
i hope to be back soon with more.

books and marriage…

(this is sketchy. very. but, that’s what i do best sometimes. =))

i’ve been thinking about marriage and books.
books and marriage.
i love, LOVE to read.
but, in this season of packing and getting ready to move 1,200 miles, i have not had time for much more than (on good days) my morning devotionals and Bible readings.
i love a good book with intricate plots and details.
i love a book that keeps me guessing and that i cannot put down.
i love the likes of John Grisham, and Kelly Corrigan, and Ann Voskamp, and Jodi Piccoult, and Kathryn Stockett, and Nicolas Sparks, and John Piper to name a few.
they are all really good authors who can tell a tale that reels me in and brings me back for more.
and, when i think of marriage, it’s like a book that is being written day by day.
and, sometimes, i think that in this book called marriage, we are not on the same page.
and, other times we are.
there’s times when he’s two pages or two chapters ahead of me and it’s okay.
there’s times when i feel like our being on different chapters or pages is not good for us, but when i really stop and look at the actual book and not just the page we’re on, i realize that as long as we’re still in the same book, we are going to be okay.
when i go back and look at the first few chapters of our book, i see how much fun we had in those early days.
i see how young we were and how naive we were.
i see how while in some ways as the story is being written we have more of a clue about things, in other ways, we know less than we did when we started this book.
i see how the more times goes on and the more people that come into our lives, the longer and more detailed the story gets.
i see how as we have spent almost 13 years in this one place, this section of the book is almost a book in itself and it’s as though we are about to start writing a new book together.
but, it’s not a new book.
we will take what we have written together here and go into a new place with new people and new opportunities and new challenges and new joys and new circumstances and watch as God helps us write the next section of this book.
as we close chapters here and anticipate opening new chapters in this next section of our book, i feel so excited and sad and exhilerated all at once.
i feel hopeful.
i feel so excited to see what God brings to us as we open this new section and continue writing this book together.
no doubt there will be portions of the book where we will still be at different pages and chapters.
but, we’re still in the same book with the same Author writing the script.
yesterday i read Ann Voskamp’s blog and this one phrase in particular stuck out to me: ‘Love without Truth isn’t reality-it’s sentimentality. And Truth without Love isn’t sustainable–it’s terminal.’
and, i’ve thought so much about those words of simplistic truth.
what if the story line of our marriage was all Love without Truth?
or vice versa?
as she said, it would not survive.
so, amidst the ugly truth, the simple love, the extravagant love, the painful truth and sometimes misunderstandings, we love and hope and aim forward together in this story of our marriage.
along the way, we’ll stop and reread chapters together and sometimes separately and that too is okay for us.
and, while this very page we are on is actually quite stress-filled as we move around our house amidst boxes and stacks of rubbermaid totes, i am so thankful that our Valentine’s Day was what it was yesterday.
far, far from any kind of fairy-tale story.
it was a paragraph of both mess and frustration amidst simple joy and love.
but, it was us.
it was our story of imperfect love and hope and we like it that way.
where truth and love collide we embrace reality for what it really is: God’s work in our hearts.
God’s writing our story.
and, that is the best part.
He is an Author who keeps us coming back for more, longing for more clarity and understanding.
and, we can trust His pen that makes no mistakes.

with love,

speak life…

from my journal recently…
the power of words.
they really can be life or death.
i’ve experienced both life and death through words recently.
and, i wish i could say that the life cancels out the death, but it doesn’t.
it helps to hear words of life after words of death, but what is spoken can not be taken back.
sometimes, i think the way we hear words spoken has a lot to do with where our hearts are in that moment.
i think there are times when words spoken are not meant to be death, but our interpretation can be skewed because of our hearts wounds or vulnerability.
it is then that we need GRACE to intercede and cover the hurt and death.
these verses are LIFE and GRACE and HOPE for those times when words are hard and HOPE seems faint…
“My presence will go with you, and I will give you REST.” Exodus 33:14
“There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my GLORY passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you.” Exodus 33:22
“His presence is a safe shelter from men who seek to destroy with their words.” Psalm 31:20
“When I am afraid I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust. I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4
“The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days.” Deuteronomy 33:25
“…your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the Glory of the Lord will be your rear Guard.” Isaiah 58:8
“The eternal God is (my) Refuge, and underneath are the Everlasting Arms.” Deuteronomy 33:27
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be Glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
~immeasurably more…
grace and power and hope for His glory.
with love,

Miscellaneous Monday…

while i’d love to tell you i’m ‘bringin’ it back’ (Miscellaneous Monday that is) i cannot promise that at the moment.
not that it’s a big deal either way.
but, when i think that i really want to blog and then a couple days turns into ten days and then two weeks and still i’ve not had the time to sit down and blog, i am disappointed.
with myself.
because, i’ve decided that is really why i blog.
for me.
readership is not where it’s at for me.
although i DO love the comments!! =)
making this blog a certain ‘style’ of blog will never be ‘me.’
when it all comes down to it, i blog for me.
a little tiny corner where i can speak without interruption, where i can put my thoughts down as they roll through my mind and where i can stow my pictures and memories.
so, doing this Miscellaneous Monday thing is an easy way for me to jot a few things down and post a few pictures when i really have other things that feel more pressing, but i really just want to take a minute to myself.
if your being here, reading my random thoughts brings a smile or blessing or anything positive to your day, then yay.
my blog is for you too.
carrying on….
it seems we are closing chapters and doing all these ‘one last time’ things.
Lord willing, we will be on our way West the first part of March.
it is certainly surreal.
a week ago, i closed the chapter on my health issues from this past year and shed a bucket of tears over all of the myriad of emotions that flooded my mind as we drove away from that health campus and hospital ‘one last time’.
my husband preached his last sermon a week ago also and there again, i shed tears as i heard him pray in that position ‘one last time’.
it is the strangest thing to be watching the years and life here all culminate in this way.
so many times i’ve said to myself, and occasionally to others, that if you would have told me all that this past year would hold, i do not think i would have believed you.
it’s made me think again and again that God can take some of the most unexpected things in our lives and make something new and so much more and so wildly beyond our imagination.
it’s this whole thing of redefining us as we go along in ways that are hard for our mortal minds to understand that really gets me.
i want to hope and believe that all of the bad AND all of the good can redefine me into something more effective and more powerful and more who He wants me to be.
i’ve been thinking about the things in this life that we take to the grave with us.
not to be morbid.
it’s just that sometimes i look at my/our lives and the lives of those around me and i know, i just know that there is always more to the story than meets the eye(s).
so, we can choose to carry these things with us for all of our lives here and keep the burden to ourselves, or we can take it to the Cross and bury it with His blood and redemption and let His justification win the war for us.
wherein lies true freedom and weightless-ness.
but, sometimes, i think that even after we’ve done all of these things that we need to, we still take things to the grave with us.
not burdens, but crosses we must bear.
and, that’s the difference.
when we carry it alone, it is a burden.
but, when we bury it with His blood and righteousness, even if that ‘thing’ is still with us, it is a cross we bear for the sake of Christ.
sometimes i have to remind myself of this in the middle of hard places and relationships and circumstances that i wish could be different.
so…crazy/rainbow looms anyone?!?!
i stepped on my daughters the other day and broke it.
which was in one sense a tremendous relief and in another sense, a real shame.
i felt badly enough about it that i did replace it today.
i’m really, really sick of these things, but my daughter finds so amusement and entertainment out of it that i’m letting it run it’s course.
my kids Christmas outfits that didn’t get worn until the second week in January.
i decided to go a little un-traditional in their outfits this year, with the thinking that they could wear these for much more than just Christmas.
i was super glad i did that after we were sick and not able to go to church for 3 Sundays in a row.
we went to the opera a couple weeks ago, Tim and i.
it was a Christmas present from me to him.
this we did right on the heels of watching Phantom of The Opera.
which,i found to be movie filled with romantic and sad and full of beautiful examples of both selfish and unselfish love.
that’s all for now.
i’ll be back when time allows.
until then, it’s back to the boxes and organizing and closing chapters.

with love,

word for the year….

(two things before the subject matter: i tried something new with my camera this morning. please bare with me as i have no idea what i’m doing.😉 and, this post does have a bit of a rambling to it. again, bare with me.)

i’ve never actually proclaimed any ‘word for the year’ before.
and, i nearly feel silly doing so now.
and, yet, i don’t.
the other night i was lying in bed trying to sleep and thinking of all the change coming down the pipe for us and of all the dear souls here that i’m going to miss and it was really overwhelming.
as i said last time i posted, there are still a lot of unknowns in how thing are going to work out in this new venture we are on the brink of.
one of the major ones being housing.
and, now that we have a deadline for that, the crunch feels especially real.
i’ve been reminding myself often that God is ‘in this and behind and before us’ as we go along.
and, sometimes it works better than others.😉
HOPE has definitely taken on a new form for us in this past year.
that would be a good word for the year too.
but, as i was thinking all those thoughts the other night, from nowhere, and yet from Someone, came the word EMBRACE.
to ‘take in and clasp; to accept gladly; to avail oneself to’.
which feels both necessary and yet o-so-scary.
it requires so much trust for me to embrace the unknown.
it makes me want to live fully here while our time in this area is drawing to a close.
i think God tends to work in my life in cycles and brings me the same lessons in different formats.
like this lesson of ‘letting people know what they mean to me while i can’.
all through the Christmas season, the Matthew West song ‘The Heart of Christmas’ was ‘my’ song.
and, as i’ve only gone a little over a week into this new year, i know God is showing me this lesson over and again;
life is short, people are precious and we only regret the things we don’t do to let others know we love them.
and, while sometimes putting myself out there feels silly and misunderstood, i know regret will not come from doing what is right and redemptive.
the moments.
the people.
the change.
the adventure.
it’s huge for me to say ‘this is my word’ because what if…..
what if God brings me to places where i can’t immediately embrace what He gives?
what if circumstances are harder than i want and embracing causes more pain?
what if….
there’s so many places i could go with that.
so many places within myself.
and, therein lies the problem.
if i EMBRACE Christ in me, the hope of glory, while it is truly a mystery to my mortal mind, i know i can say to these mountains ‘be moved’ and He will intercede for me. (Colossians 1:27, Mark 11:23).
those are really humbling promises and words to claim for my life.
and, really powerful.
as i go into this New Year, with many unknowns and many exciting and scary and crazy things before me and before us, i want to EMBRACE them.
to embrace people and moments and places and truths and HOPE.
it is certainly an adventure, but then again, when you put your Trust in a God of wonder, it’s bound to be an adventure, right?
feel free to let me know here if you are claiming a ‘word for the year’ in your life.
it’s the weekend.
the kids have friends coming over tonight.
Tim’s studying to preach his last sermon.
i’ll be thinking through and cleaning out more of the junk in our home.
and, cooking and baking.
always those two things.
happy weekend, friends!!

ode to friendship…

It’s Thursday afternoon.
The two oldest kids have gone back to school after the Christmas vacation, and the two little ones have just been tucked into their beds for their naps.
I lit a candle on the mostly bare mantle, straightened up the toy room, restocked the t.p. in the bathroom and have propped my feet up for a little reprieve.
The beef stew in the oven smells amazing and I need to ask my mother what kind of flour makes the best biscuits, and then supper is a wrap.
Not that every day is all beef-stew-and-biscuits.
No, in fact, I made very basic meals almost the entire time the kids were out of school for the holidays.
The cupboards boast very few options in them right now and I really should make a grocery run.
But, that’ll wait for another day.
Moving on.

(my camera is in the shop. these pictures are dug up from this fall.)
Last night I was thinking about a conversation from our family suppertime where my oldest daughter was asking her dad and I who our best friend is. It was an interesting conversation and I was hesitant to name names in that context, but three people did pop into my mind faster than others.
As I was lying in bed recalling a message from earlier in the day, I was moved to tears as I thought on friends and people in my life now and our upcoming move to the Plains.
While we have a contract in the works on our little house here, we feel hesitant to put all of our hopes and future plans into that basket because we have seen enough times where it’s not done until it’s done. And, while it does cause for some moments of anxiety, for the most part, I am really at rest with the process to this point. There are still a lot of unknowns and questions and what if’s as we inch forward in this adventure. And, we expected it to be as such.
But, what I was not prepared for was how often I am overwhelmed with emotion at the thought of leaving here. It hits me at the strangest times, and the tiniest little thing can trigger a memory or emotion and I feel a huge lump in my throat and tears behind my eyes.
Like last night recalling that supper conversation. The people that came to my mind as my close friends are people that I know will still be my friends even when we are 1,200 miles away. But. I also know that those friendships will change and in time, we will grow apart. This to me, seems like the process that life is. Maybe it’s because it has been part of my life’s long experience and I have accepted it as such, I do not know.
I do know that while I cannot expect things to stay the same as they are today, I CAN let the people in my life now know what they mean and have meant to me while I have been here during this part of my life’s journey.
And, so, without naming names, I am going to write a little ode to my friend….
As you read this, think of the people in your life and what they mean to you.
I challenge you to let them know it. Let them know that you are grateful and that they have made a difference in your life.

Dearest Friend,
To look at us together, you and me, you would not think we would be a compatible pair.
On so many spectrums, we are at different points.
You are a few years ahead of me on the journey of life and have spent your last twenty years charting a course that you knew. A course that allowed our paths to cross.
The first time I met you, I saw you as a strong person. A person who knew what she was about.
You came into my life on a regular basis and yet, it was from a distance. As time went on, our paths crossed in more personal ways and while my initial reaction was to use caution, you were upfront and told me ‘you were an all or none kind of person.’
I think it was in that moment that I knew a side to friendship that I had never before experienced.
Through the last few years, your faithful friendship to me has held me accountable. It has brought me to places where I looked at complacency and mediocrity within my heart that I didn’t even know existed.
Your belief in me and your not letting me take the easy way out was a gift money could never purchase.
Time and again you have not just said, but lived; ‘I’m here if you need me’ in the most tangible of ways.
You have seen me at my utter worst and yet, been okay with it.
You have supported and encouraged me in my marriage.
You have asked me hard things.
You have dared me to be someone that I never saw myself as.
You have taken me on adventures that otherwise I would never have gone on.
You have accepted and loved my children as your own.
You have been one of God’s greatest gifts to me.
Because of you and the gift of your friendship, I have wanted to be a better friend to those near me.
Because of God bringing you into my life, I know that friends can be the family we choose for ourselves.
Because the seasons of our life change and because we are all only here for a little while, I am so thankful that for this season of my life, God saw fit to give me the gift of you.
You will never know the entirety of the impact your life has had on mine.
But, you should know that you are pretty great and that you are one of the dearest souls I have ever met.
Thank you for being you.
With much love,

Christmas past…

Santa came to town last Saturday…

little glimpses of Christmas in my antique cabinet…

Grandma O always gives the kids new pajama’s for Christmas…

a Christmas sunset that did not stop…

and, from our family to you and yours…
Beachy Christmas 2013

this time next week, we’ll be in a New Year.
enjoy what’s left of 2013!

black and white and tips and tricks….

with a post title like that, this could go anywhere, right?
i’m glad we got that straight, because this post more than likely will go exactly there.
this morning started out at 5:09 and i saw my husband heading down the stairs and off to the gym.
and, then, i woke with a start at 6:45 when i saw him coming back up the stairs from being gone and back home again and i had totally slept like a log for that hours plus.
i jumped out of bed and stumbled down the hall to brush my teeth and then it was mach 10 from that point on until now.
some days i let myself have little pity parties about how i cannot even get out of bed and take care of myself before i start meeting the needs of the little people in my life.
and, other days, i don’t let myself do that.
today, i started it out that way a little bit and then i decided to knock it off and roll with it.
one thing about taking pictures of anything and everything in our lives is that when i go back and look at the pictures, i could just cry at how really wonderful our life is.
not that it’s all Pollyanna-perfect.
oh, no.
not even close.
it’s like i told one of my friends recently that ‘behind every Instagram picture, there is a bigger story’.
like that day i posted a picture of my kids making candies?
that was the day i awoke with the mother of all migraines and was so sick that i sat in my chair with a bowl at my side because i thought i was going to throw up.
or, that day when i posted a picture of Ava wrapping presents?
oh, yes. that was the day my husband was home sick with an ear infection.
so, yes.
there’s always more to the story than initially meets the eyes.
and you know what?
sometimes i think it is okay to tell the rest, and sometimes, i just flat out want to forget it because in the grand scheme of things, it is really just the small stuff.
so, anyway.
back to how i could just cry over how our life is?
i look at these pictures of our kids and i realize that they are some of the best things that have ever happened to me and even though there are days when they drive me to distraction, i have been given so much more, so very much more than i deserve.
(which, i intend to post more on the subject of deserving and what we get at another time.)

moving on.
i don’t profess to have a lot of great tips and tricks up my sleeves, but these few are so great that i just have to share them.

soup greens.
seriously, the best thing in the bulk food department at our grocery store.
i make a lot of soups around here, but i have to admit one of my least favorite parts about making soup is all the chopping of vegetables.
so, when i discovered this little tub of wonder, i was thrilled!
and, all that’s in here is dehydrated carrots, celery, onion, tomato, red and green pepper and spinach.
check your grocery store for them and you will not be sorry!

vitamin containers.
i am pretty determined to get vitamins into my kids.
and, thankfully, they make some pretty good tasting ones so that it’s not really a chore for them to have to take them everyday.
but, i did get tired of the everyday doling them out.
so, one time when i was at the grocery store, i asked the pharmacist if he could point me in the direction of those little day-of-the-week dispensers.
and, lo and behold, he told me they could just give me how ever many i wanted!!
so now, each of the kids plus Tim and i have our own and once a week, i get one of the kids to fill each of theirs. it’s really just a simple little task, but it does save time in our every morning.

a Goodwill Christmas.
this year, i have purchased a fair amount of our Christmas gifts at the second hands stores.
and i am so delighted with that fact!
i’ve also let the kids get in on it and get a little something for one another this way.
they have been able to pick out some really nice stuff and spent a FRACTION of the price it would have cost to buy new.
i’m always happy when we can buy things second-hand, and for real. it is amazing the things you can find to gift this way. from clothing, to furniture, to dishes, to games and toys. it’s definitely worth checking the options before paying full price for new!

and, other glimpses of our everyday….
this was that day when the kids were making candies.
i am so proud of them; they did everything about making these little goodies except for putting them in and taking them out of the oven.
they were pretty happy with getting to help and when i told them that THEY made the candies and not me, they were all pretty pleased with themselves.

fun legging-clad girlies…

extra-math on the iPad…

the letters in his name…

the reason my kids are getting scotch tape in their Christmas stockings…
(their constant need of tape for projects is overwhelming and exhausts my tape supply continually. they will love their own rolls!)

little Christmas glimpses…
(yes, that’s lysol, and yes, we have had sickness.)

these two share the sweetest friendship…

i am cannot get enough reminders of this…

Pray a Latte`.

it’s only 6 more days til Christmas.
i’m almost ready.
Brent helped wrap a few things today.

tell me, are you ready for Christmas?
thank you for taking the time to stop in here and experience my little world.
a happy week (and almost the weekend!) to you!

in our neck of the woods lately…

it’s snowing outside right now and i’m sitting on my ‘new’ chair under a cozy, handmade afghan that i bought at an estate sale. the two older kids just came in from playing in and eating snow. i drug myself outside long enough to snap some pictures and get good and cold, and called it good. while the snow is so beautiful and i do enjoy it, the older i get, the more i’d rather stay inside and experience the snow.

i have had such great intentions of blogging before now. but, life has been busy and hectic and filled with many good things, and i’ve chosen those over this. i should really write down all the things i think about that would make good subject matter for blog posts, because when i finally do come here to write, my mind goes blank.
so, i pull up my pictures and recall the things that filled our days in these past two weeks…
and, silly though it may be, i’ll start with my ‘new’ chair.
which, i am loving.
last week, i made a quick trip to one of the local second hand stores in search of some Christmas presents (which i found, by the way!!) and this vintage, golden colored chair CALLED OUT TO ME.
i texted a picture to my sister and her encouragement was ‘get it!’.
but, i kept thinking i shouldn’t.
and, so i didn’t.
but, then, i did.
i went back that same afternoon and made her mine.
i’m so happy with her!!
(her, of course is silly, i know. i’ll keep it to a minimum.)
i still think that i may well resell this beautiful piece, especially with our upcoming, cross-country move and the fact that ‘excess’ will not be overly possible.
but, for now, i’m very much enjoying this piece in my home.
Ava loves this chair too, and is begging me to relocate it from the living room to her bedroom.
we shall see.

the other thing that went down here since my last blog post was my girl turned 7.
she was more than a little happy with her ‘new’ American Girl Doll that we gave her.

and, then we had Thanksgiving.
it was just our family and Tim’s folks, but still we had a feast.
and, tried to make the table special and fancy.
i’m always so happy that my kids Enjoy the experience of a fancy dinner with the good dishes and goblets.
in the days that followed, i ate way more pie than i should have, but, running 2.5-3 miles cancels it out, thankfully.
and, this is a random insert, but, i have come to terms with the fact that no matter when, or where, or whose chex party mix i eat, i do not like the stuff. i cannot even explain this, but for some reason, when i eat it, i associate it with sickness.
enough said.

last night we were invited to and enjoyed one of the most amazing parties we’ve been at.
so much food!!! it was all so unbelievably delicious and the host and hostess made us feel so welcome and while we intended to only ‘drop by’ we stayed til close to 10pm. it was a wonderful time of connecting with people and i came away not only appreciating those who were there, but also inspired to be a better hostess.
we had intended to Christmas carol tonight with some friends, but, due to this snowstorm going on outside, we have scrapped that for this night. i’m so sad about it. but, hopeful that we can make it work out for another night this week.
in the meantime, we really have enjoyed this low-key Sunday.
which, we needed after the rough night we had with miss Kate.
poor baby. i think she had gas pains that were making her miserable.
poor baby.
poor parents.😉

now, i must make hot chocolate.
i think i’ve stalled the kids off for about as long as i can.
maybe we’ll get out the skip-bo cards and play nine-patch.
or, maybe we’ll let them watch a movie.
we’ll see.

whatever this day, and this new week hold for you, i hope it’s good.
enjoy this time of the year and all that it entails.
i know i am.

part 2.

finally a minute to come back and post my other pictures from our weekend away.
it’s always craziness and busy around here, and finding the time, or making the time to sit down and blog sometimes is harder than others.
this week has been full of normal things as well as a few out of the ordinary things with friends.
all good, you know?!
but, before i have too big a pile of other things i want to blog about, i’ll finish this little weekend thing.
day two of our weekend away was very, very low-key.
we don’t like to do much on Sunday’s if we can avoid it, so we decided we would just get up late, eat breakfast and then head out to the beach and the bay.
it was a gloriously sunny day there and while 60 degrees is not sun-bathing weather, it was actually pretty pleasant out on the beach.
of course, we also had it to ourselves.
i wished we would have had a blanket so we could have sat along the shore and just stared out at the ocean.
to someone who recharges by being alone, the beach, a blanket and QUIET is next to perfection.
but, it was delightful to just walk along the edge, to watch the dolphins, to feel the wind and see the waves.

from there, we drove just down the road and watched these guys in the bay.
soo crazy!!
it was so fun to watch these guys in this sport.
not that i have any interest in trying anything of this sort.
and, from here, we drove on towards home.
we stopped for a late lunch/early supper in Christiana, Delaware.
it makes me laugh to say this, and yet, i am completely secure in saying it:
we are our lunch close to the t.v.’s in Ruby Tuesday’s so that Tim could watch the football game, and i could read my Grisham book.
it was a quiet, peaceful and both of us were totally happy with the situation.
it’s funny how as the years go by, you find this rhythm together where no matter what you’re doing, you are just happy to *be* together.
it was one of those times.
looking on it might have looked like we were two islands, but we knew what and where we were.
and, then, after grabbing one last Starbucks drink, we headed back to our children.
refreshed and recharged.
i don’t know when we’ll get away again.
probably not for a long time.
and, it’s okay.
most of the time.
but, whether or not we do get away again in the near future, this weekend away is always going to be near to my heart.
going into this 37th year of my life, i realize that with all the changes we are facing, it could be a very big year.
probably will be a very big year.
i’m ready.


of weekends away…

part one.
let me rephrase that.
of weekend away.
not plural.
to put it mildly, Tim and i do not get away often.
at all.
finding somewhere for four children for a night out is hassle enough that the ordeal of finding somewhere for them for a whole weekend is enough to make my stomach churn and my nerves fray.
if you’re in the same stage of life as me, i’m guessing many of you can understand this.
some months back i asked Tim, ‘if ever i get better, please promise that you’ll take me away for a weekend.’
and, he kept his promise this past weekend, which, just happened to be three days after my birthday.
if you follow me on Instagram and got sick of my ‘happybirthdayweekendtome’ hashtags, then, you probably want to depart in peace right here and now.
because, i’m going to recount it all and do so unashamedly.
but, back to getting away for a weekend when you have four kids that you leave behind:
my inlaws were kind enough to sigh up for the task this time.
well, for part of it.
last minute, they had a funeral/memorial to be involved in and it would have meant us giving up our one day away, and i cried.
i was so heartbroken.
we talked about what to do and if we had options and started calling around.
thankfully, we have friends, and GRACIOUS ones at that, who agreed to watch over our kiddos when my inlaws were otherwise involved and it all worked out fine.
i’m always very, very aware of the sacrifice it is for people to help me with my kids and i so do not want to take people for granted in this!
(sidenote: if you have family close to you who helps you out frequently; you are blessed. if you don’t, and you have to call on friends, you know what i’m talking about when i say that friends are angels of mercy helping us maintain our sanity and preserve our marriages!!)
so, since we are in the part of the country where we have limitless options for things to do within easy driving distance, we threw around quite a few options before nailing down a weekend in Dewey Beach, Delaware.
not that we sun-bathed and came home with great tans.
but, we did have a sweet hotel on the bay with the ocean just beyond us for a steal of a deal.
(thank you, my husband is the master of scouting out fares online!)
and, 2 blissful days of doing whatever we wanted.
or, nothing.
we did a lot of that.
our hotel room was a suite with a nice big sofa and so, it was great to sit there and read and just relax, drink our coffee and linger in the mornings after breakfast.

one of the things i so badly wanted to do when we were away at the Beach, was take in the Ocean City Boardwalk.
i am not much of a boardwalk person at all, but, i knew things would be very low-key since it’s the off-season, and it was perfection in my opinion.
we walked the length of the boardwalk and out onto the pier.
the pay-to-view-telescope was a highlight for me.
i’ve never seen or used one of these before and i am (easily) fascinated with these things.
we walked, and looked at the water, and took in the sights and people-watched.
and, ate an expensive cup of french fries.
they were just fantastic.
and, i’m not a big fan of fries, but those things were awesome.
after we were done there, we went shopping for the afternoon at the outlets.
awesome, awesome shopping down there!
(the fact that it was so awesome may also have had something to do with the fact that there were no children begging for snacks or needing to using the restroom, or asking if we could please buy this and that. maybe.)
and, then, supper at Big Fish Grill.
last spring when i was at the shore with a bunch of ladies, we ate there and i loved it, so i convinced Tim he would too.
i convinced him, and yet, i was a bit paranoid that it would not be what he hoped.
when he said the crabcakes were the best he’d ever eaten, i quit worrying.
super delicious seafood for very reasonable prices there.
so ends part one.
it’s soon time for my children to be home from school.
i thought i would make a grocery store run this morning, but, there is a massive hole in the road the width of my driveway today while work is being done along and underneath our street, so i’ve been home catching up on things like cookie baking and laundry.
it’s cold and windy and in the 20’s here and my kids are hoping for the 20% chance of snow to bring us enough that they can throw snowballs at each other.
it’s just another day, you know?
whatever you’ve been doing, i hope your Tuesday has been good.
i’ll be back later this week.

with love,

Autumn splendor

yesterday after church, and lunch and after 20 minutes of trying to nap to no avail, i grabbed my camera and went in search of Autumn splendor.
i had delusions of spending a quiet afternoon at a local park camped out on a blanket with my camera and notebook and sharpie and just letting the beauty overtake me and letting my thoughts and feelings be poured out onto the pages within my book.
alas, the park was overrun with male jocks playing volleyball and soccer and nary a woman or child in sight.
that was too awkward for me, so i didn’t even get out of my van.
from there, i drove to the next attraction; a covered bridge.
i have such a fascination with covered bridges, and would really like to scope out some others in the area.
from there, i drove to one of my favorite country roads that boasts a glorious tree that i look at and wonder what all it has seen in it’s lifetime.
i have to think that when it was first planted nothing was near it.
i love to see it still standing strong and majestic.
i am going to miss this tree.
my next stop was the park just down the road from here where i knew i could get water, and trees and that suited me well.
i also encountered a couple deeply engrossed in….(well, let’s just say it was not what i would want my children to witness) a family photoshoot going on and, many more bare trees than i had hoped.
but, i also captured beauty that i hoped for.
and, after i came home and looked at my images, i was struck with how much of what i captured involved reflection.
so many of the trees were past their peak along the water, but as i looked down, i saw what was being reflected and it was breathtaking to me.
and, it has caused me to think about my reflection….
when i look into the mirror, yes, but more importantly, what my outward (wo)man reflects about my inner being.
how that looks to the Lord…..
if that reflects His glory and not my own….
if i can somehow recognize that no matter how ugly or useless i may feel, or no matter what season of life i am in, that my outward self is reflecting something.
in the winter, in the spring and in the summer, these same trees will still be reflecting.
the foliage will be different, yes.
but depending on how you look at it, it will still be fascinatingly beautiful.
oh, that this could be said of my life, or our lives.
here’s to a new week, a new month(!!!) and new opportunities each day.
reflect well my friends.

For Friday….

for all of your kind comments after my last post; Thank you.
each one of your words blessed me so very much.

these words from Scripture, for Friday…

‘make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.’ ~Colosians 4:6

with love,