Easter basket must haves…

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Easter is my all time favorite celebration. I love it so much. I love sunrise services. I remember growing up, we would go to a field which seemed very far away (maybe a 20 minute drive?! Ha!) when it was still dark, loaded with blankets and jackets or coats depending on the weather. Never can I remember a sunrise service without the sun. Such a powerful picture of the sunrise behind crosses built and placed just for the sunrise service. Then we head back home to put on a new Easter dress and with anticipation for breakfast at church. All the while knowing we would get to go to Grandpa and Grandma’s house—one house for Sunday dinner, and another for the evening. Easter egg hunts and loads of candy. The year I will never forget was when my parents hid brand new white roller skates. I had to find each one. That was just the best.

I love to carry on the traditions we grew up with. Even when you’re a high school and junior high teeny bopper it’s still fun to hunt for something special. But it’s even more fun being the mom planning it!! I have a really fun idea for Landon that is going to surprise him—and the girls? I found something I know they’ll love.

This year we are doing Easter at our own home together as a family. I think it’s a first that our day isn’t jam packed running here and there. And I’m really looking forward to it (except for the dinner expectations my children have voiced—not sure I’m up for making verenika and knepp).

If you’re looking for something special to fill your Easter baskets with for some special kiddos in your lives, I am offering a special on our Mary & Martha precious books. These are books I already have and will be offered at a huge discount without tax and shipping. BUT—supply is limited. So don’t miss out. I am not even sure how many I have of each, but will be updating as they sell.

$10 for your choice. God Made Just One, God’s Light in Me for Girls, or God’s Light in Me for Boys. They are all must have books for your children, regardless of age. And are colorful and cute and would look great in a basket full of colorful grass and Easter eggs. But more than that, you are celebrating what God has done and will do in your child’s life. And no better time to celebrate that than at Easter—God’s precious gift of eternal life, given to all.

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Facebook and blog comments, email ssnkklk@gmail.com or call/text 620-386-0203 to reserve your book. (This is for the locals—unless we can get it shipped to you in time for Easter!)

remember…then celebrate

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Saw this yesterday as a Facebook post and I loved it—”today we remember, next week we celebrate” –thanks Kim Marquette!

There is something so magical about Easter eggs, don’t you think? Sure–it’s easy to get caught up in the hype that surrounds Easter in our world. The bunnies, egg hunts, and baskets filled with way too much candy and maybe even special gifts. I get it. I do. Especially when my kids were itty bitty and Natalie’s explanation as a two year old of Easter, was Jesus rising again and then coming back to hide eggs filled with candy. It was so precious at the time. And a result of our trying to bring the true meaning of the story of Jesus and the resurrection, combined with the fun of an Easter egg hunt—it’s no wonder she was confused!

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Our Resurrection Garden is flourishing—and only thanks to the constant watering and care from Kourtney. We remember this week of Jesus’ suffering. We anticipate rolling the {rock} in front of the tomb this Good Friday to signify Jesus’ death. We were encouraged in church today to read the story as it unfolded. To rememberall that took place. This is real. There was no jubilation. It was horrific. We can not even wrap our minds around it.

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And then…the stone is rolled away! And what is there? No body. No death. The grave has been conquered. And then…we get to celebrate!

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Those eggs just bring happiness. Filled with the sweet, sweet candies which is the sweet, sweet goodness of everlasting life in Christ. And when you find am empty egg? Celebrate that—because Jesus’ empty tomb is a huge reason to rejoice and PARTY!

I say —have those Easter egg hunts! Fill those eggs with goodness and leave some empty. Show and teach your kids about the blessing that comes in finding nothing there. Because nothing there means we now have everything.

This week we will remember. And on Sunday? We are gonna CELEBRATE!

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mommy guilt

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Not the first time, nor will it be the last that mommy guilt has it’s way with me…

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Although a week late, we still got to celebrate!

8 pounds 8 1/2 ounces of pure love born 14 years ago. Fourteen years ago from today we had a black haired butterball with colic keeping us up through all hours of the night. Although sometimes we wonder if we will ever outgrow the colic, we are now sleeping through the night…

We love every feisty bit of you.

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Even more than you love Olive Garden.

oh no.

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Driving with your children who have permits is not for the faint of heart. Honestly, my body goes into a feeling similar to doing a plank as I sit in the passenger’s seat trying to explain the ifs, ands, buts, and whys of driving.

We gained a new driver yesterday. Before the other one is even out of her permit. Seriously!! And I haven’t driven yet with our newest. Mostly because she asked her Dad which pedal was the brake….

it’s a good one…

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And let me tell you why…

 

I didn’t get a chance to ask Cassie, my newest team member if I could share—but I’m pretty sure she’d be just fine with it—right Cass?  (She’s at a track meet anyway, which is where I’m headed, so it’s ok–ha!)

Meet Cassie…

Cassie joined my Mary & Martha team the night of the Spring Fling and I was so pumped!  She lives in McPherson, a city that could use about 24 more consultants (by my calculations!)—so I was super excited to have her build Mary & Martha in that area.  Cassie and I had met before and she had tons of super great questions.  She was excited and I encouraged her to wait to sign up until she had 2 announcement gatherings scheduled (the gatherings you have to let everyone in on on your new business).  And that’s just what she did.  And did she ever.  After her first two announcement gatherings she had earned over $400 in free product because of her sales.  AND the added sweetness to all of this, is that she also was her on hostess at these gatherings—meaning she got double hostess rewards for her sales.  Long story short?  $800 in FREE PRODUCT!!!!  Amazing.

 

This can be YOU!  The next 72 hours, beginning tomorrow morning at 9:00 am CST, you can join this team of women who are combining their work and their faith.  You can be your own hostess and earn a ton of free product.  You can do this for HALF OFF!!!  Take a look…

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I’m not short on words when it comes to this company—so if you are feeling the tug, the nudge, or whatever you want to call it?  Maybe, just maybe, God is calling you to try something new.  What if He is?  I fought it for months before realizing I was to take a risk.  I would love to talk with you if this is something that gets you even a little bit excited.  I would love to talk with you if you would like to earn $800 worth of free product.  I would love to talk with you about what makes this company so special.

Building this team and sweeping Kansas with the Mary & Martha vision of living in the &.  Join me, won’t you?!

universal love language.

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Those that know me well, know that I have a bit of an “addictive” personality. So much so, that I am guarded about some of the things I choose to do with my time. For instance, Pinterest is allotted to very few time periods of my life. And reading is another one of those…

I used to read all of the time. Literally. I would get nothing else done. I couldn’t just save it for my so called “free” time. Because all of my time I would have considered “free” time if it weren’t for work. And then I had kids, and you all know how the story goes from there. As a kid I remember loving Judy Blume—Superfudge, Blubber, Are you there God it’s Me, Margaret. The Littles, Sweet Valley High, see? I could go on and on. The key though was, I had to choose it. If it were for class? I couldn’t get through it. Romeo and Juliet? No way.

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I purchased two new books I knew I wanted to read for our trip. The first, Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle, aka “Big Mama” in the blogging world. It’s all about her life as a mom. And it’s so, so good. So many things I resonated with, and/or have thought about my own kids and this gift we call being a mother. It was a fun enjoyable read and I breezed right through it.

And then I had a pedicure with a precious Mexican native worker at the resort. She did not speak English and I do not speak Spanish except for the occasional “no puje” (don’t push!) or “palor” (are you in pain?) that I use as a labor and delivery nurse. But as I sat while she made my toes beautiful I could tell she wanted to talk—but we just couldn’t. Until she said something about “bambinos”—which I knew was babies (again, the labor and delivery thing—I guess I know something else!!).

The connection we felt because of the word bambinos was clearly present. She began teaching me the numbers in Spanish (which I also knew from Dora) until she and I both figured out how many ombres (boys) and ninas (girls) each of us had.

By the time I was was done and listened to her speak to me about her bambinos and smile and laugh at the different things she said that I clearly had NO CluE what she was saying, we had bonded. The universal language was motherhood.

And with that as I told her “gracias” for her time, she hugged me and clung to me, then squeezed my hands. It was nothing I had ever experienced before. And it was beautiful. All because she was a mom and I was a mom. And I will never forget a language that was understood by both of us, yet hardly understandable between us.

a better honeymoon…

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I have to admit, I was more than a bit nervous about Steve sitting, relaxing, turning off his computer, limited phone accessibility, and NO SCHEDULE.  And I will admit, I am simply amazed after a week of sitting, relaxing, minimal computer and phones, and NO SCHEDULE WITH STEVE BY MY SIDE!!!!!

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We have never been to an all inclusive resort.  Ever.  In fact, I’ve heard so many things about how wonderful they are.  And we are here to tell you—they are ALL TRUE!  This one, in particular, Secrets Puerto Los Cabos, was brand new and opened the end of December.  I can honestly say, I have never been or stayed anywhere so absolutely beautiful as this resort.  The climate was perfect.  It was seriously perfect.  Not humid, not hot.  I can not count the number of times we commented on how perfect the weather was.  Enough wind to cool you off as the sun got toasty, but not too windy that you could not enjoy every meal outside.  That’s right…every meal we ate was outside.  Did you realize that Steve?

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Intentional time together we determined was one of our favorites.  Not to mention the beauty of the resort, the delicious food, and the coffee cafe we found and frequented a lot.

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And the desserts which included ice cream everywhere you went.  Steve was a happy, happy boy.

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Which translated into we better be working out in some form or another every.single. day. or we are gonna be sorry…

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And learning new skills that may or may not come in handy back home…

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and ordering an omelet each and every day for breakfast alongside some smoked salmon…

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Steve’s omelet.  My omelet.  Which just happens to be WITHOUT eggs, which is the ONLY way to eat an omelet.

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Yes we overindulged.  And had too much fun doing so.

But at the end of the day (or week) we both came away with new friendships, strengthened relationships, and an even greater love for the people and ministry of Mary & Martha. 

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I can’t help but look forward to the excitement of what is to come.  I can’t help but be so thankful for Steve who supports fully and sees the vision.  I can’t wait to see who will join my team and sit with us next year on the incentive trip.  And both Steve and I can’t wait to see these amazing people again in July at the National Conference.  Although, not in Los Cabos…but KANSAS CITY!!!

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Thankful.  That’s what it is.  Thankful for parents who ran our kiddos everywhere they needed to be, because otherwise we would never be able to do anything like this.  Thankful for friends, family, and customers who support our Mary & Martha business and ministry—whom without, we would never had been given this opportunity.  Thankful for my team–because they are spreading the love of Jesus into the homes of others and building the army of women Mary & Martha founders have been envisioning.  Thankful for the leaders of Mary & Martha who spoil us, support us, and pray for us.

Thankful.

praying THAT never happens again.

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Let me just set this up for you. I came to the realization that my kids are busy. Did you all already know that?

Until preparations are made to be gone for a few days while your kids remain at home to maintain a sense of normalcy in their precious lives did I ever realize the craziness which is called life with four kids.

A 5th grade invention, practice schedules, tournament schedules, breakfast foods available, laundry completed, and not to mention what happens with the furry child, needless to say I was worn out getting ready to be gone this week. And then a 1:45 am alarm left me with a mere 45 minutes of sleep. Are you feeling me here? (Got to make this sound really good because the awkwardness that will soon ensue needs an explanation, ‘er excuse, and oh dear God please get me off of this plane stat!!!)

See this nice young man I’m sitting next to? It’s not Steve. In fact I have no idea where my husband Is sitting. But I have never wanted to be sitting next to him more than I do right this very minute. Bless this man’s heart…

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I’m blaming sleep deprivation. And Airtran’s open seating. Heck, I am going to blame Steve.

After waking up with my head on this young man’s shoulder, I could blame just about anyone right now.

I didn’t even ask his name…

kids rock.

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This fills me.  Completely fills me.

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Energy at it’s finest.  Kids and their families coming to learn together.  It’s what Kid Jam is all about.  Families working on projects, worshiping together, eating together—what’s better?

We tried something new this past week in moving Kid Jam to a Sunday morning to kick off this Easter season.  Many of you have asked me about these Resurrection Gardens we did as a family project.  And I’m here to tell you, PINTEREST is my friend, if you didn’t already know that.  And I have friends who have done this in their own Children’s Ministry and from them, I knew how awesome of a project it was.  Plus they gave me tips!!  (love that.)

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Special daddy/daughter time as the rest of the family was home sick with big bro.  Sometimes it’s just really, really cool to be the only one who gets to do the family project, you know?

This is how it all started.  With a terra cotta plate for each family.  And instead of a terra cotta pot, we used a plastic solo cup at the recommendation of another Children’s minister—thanks Sharla!!!  It worked super.  So here is what they went home with yesterday…

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And here is what it will look like on Easter morning…

So much teaching you can do with this one activity.  The old barren rocks, dirt, and lifelessness—–to the beautiful green and new life PLUS an empty tomb.

I absolutely loved this activity and can’t wait for Easter morning!

And just like our life in Christ, we need to water it daily—whether you are worshiping, praying, going to Sunday school or Wednesday nights—you are growing up in the Lord.  And building a life-giving faith.

All because Jesus made the way possible for you to live forever with Him.

Beautiful.

Click {HERE} for the link to the Resurrection Garden project and prepare to be blessed.