and then there’s perspective…

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The number ONE reason I love children and children’s ministry—they are forgiving, expecting, and gracious.  They aren’t concerned with your decorations or lack thereof.  They aren’t concerned if you have fewer banana split toppings than originally planned.  Or if you do pulled pork instead of hamburgers and hotdogs (ok, maybe some do).  Or if you have 10 crews of 5 or 11 crews of 4 or 12 crews of 6.

They don’t care.

They just want you to love on them.  And this year at our VBS, we have SO many people to love on these kids.  We have so many people who have prayed and are praying for a weekend of leading tender hearts to the love of God.  And really…what more could we ask for?

So when the angst and worry creeps in (like it is beginning to do as we near the final hours of preparation) God pointed me right to what I needed.  Prepare your heart, Steph.  Pray for the kids, the leaders, and the families. 

We would absolutely LOVE to have your children join us for the launching of a mission of God’s love this weekend!  We have lots of activities planned for the families as well as a big celebration Sunday morning with a BBQ to follow.  Won’t you join us and share with others?

Registration is super simple.  Click Here:  https://thehub.ccbchurch.com/form_response.php?id=70

 

And don’t be afraid of our help… HA!

 

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wonder if we’re cheating them…

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Last year at this exact time of the year, I took each of our kiddos shopping for school supplies–on their own.  Each had their own afternoon blocked off to spend one on one, purchasing school supplies and choosing a place to get a snack or a drink.  Each experience was as different as each of the kids are.  It’s always amazing when you get a child of four alone for a few hours.  One of my most favorite memories of last summer.  Each outing was as unique as each of the kids were.  And I loved it.  And we didn’t have a cart full of craziness and mayhem as we searched for the exact trapper keeper, erasers, 20 #2 pencils, and Expo brand dry erase markers.

 

Which begs to question our decision in school supply shopping this year…

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With the exception of a couple of things, we ordered everything online.  I didn’t step foot in a store to search for anything.  Is this sad for them?  They know nothing of it yet.  Opening a delivered box of school supplies will surely be exciting, right?

I only like lists that I make—period.

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Life after vacation is always a tad bit overwhelming…

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Can you relate?  One of the best things we did in our vacation “planning”, was to come home with an extra long weekend left.  The inevitable stack of laundry–putting away clothes, and might I add we tackled the bedrooms and closets.  Not for the faint of heart, I am here to tell you.  And that was just the kids’.  Steve and I haven’t touched our closet, yet.

listWe woke up the day after our return and this was waiting on the bar where all would be sitting for breakfast early that morning.  A list.  And a timed list at that.  We knew it was going to be HOT and anything Steve wanted done outside needed to be done quickly.  And going through school clothes and closets had their own afternoon time slot.  Vacation fun is over people.

workday workday1 workday3 workday4Excuse me, Steve?  Landon on a mower?  Kourtney is no where to be found in these pictures because she had a meeting.  Yes, my 6th grader was at a meeting.

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Nat’s look says it all.  It’s exactly how I was feeling inside doing laundry.  Kass looks a bit too happy.  Like “I’m not working that hard happy”…

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No exaggeration when I say it took us the entire weekend to clean out, try on clothes, and organize.  Clothes sorted to give away, Goodwill, and even throw away.  (I surrendered saving the LONELY socks from the 2013-2014 school year and gave up that we would ever find their matches.)  I am not sure how long the spic and span rooms will stay this way.  Landon hasn’t slept in his bed yet since cleaning his room.  Doesn’t want to mess it up, so you know how the basement couch is looking right about now.

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There is something very “free-ing” about getting organized and ready for the school year.  Thank goodness that is done.  Now that it’s Tuesday, I can say with a smile, “thank you Steve for the list”.  I was not saying that last weekend.

his best week ever.

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Joy. He’s got it–with the cupcake crumbs and everything all over his face. As he fell asleep the last night in a hotel room bed, his last words were “this is the best week ever”. He’s pretty easy to please, really. Take him fishing, feed him s’mores, a new pair of socks (seriously?) give him a basketball, feed him, new comfy undies, feed him, take him to play with a friend, a new pair of khakis WITH a new belt, eat dinner with his grandpa, choosing football cleats, and let him chase after ducks and geese in a beautiful park. Oh and don’t forget—driving his sisters absolutely CRAZY.

That makes for the best week ever, ya know…

good morning, Today!

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Pretty peaceful. The boys up early on the lake. The girls sleeping in and mom catching up on Today Matters a book study I’ve been in for the last few weeks.

We have ZERO plans—other than a workout I wish was already done and maybe catch a few fish, and steaks and sweet corn on the grill for dinner. My planner is packed away along with my VBS to-do list.

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It may sound trite, but today is the only time you have. It’s too late for yesterday. And you can’t depend on tomorrow. That’s why today matters. –John C. Maxwell.

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I just watched Landon reel in a fish. The biggest fish they’ve reeled in today. “That was hard! It hurt my left hand!”–Landon enjoying something Steve loves and is passionate about. Yes, today matters.

Let’s BLAST OFF!!

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In two weeks from tonight…we are ready to pack the house—the McPherson Middle School house, to be exact. We are going to launch kids on a MISSION of God’s love! In 5, 4, 3, 2…

Now, most of our kids will have been in school already, and some really lucky ones will still be on summer vacation—no matter what—we want to launch YOU into mission.

Ages Pre-K through 5th grade (year completed) are invited to join in the fun. We’ve got some energizing praise and worship, Out-of-this-World Bible Adventures, Projects-with-a-purpose, Have-a-Blast Games and that’s just for the kiddos! We’re planning fun events for the whole family as well.

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August 22nd, Friday night begins at 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. When you pick up your kids, please plan to join us for BANANA SPLITS with your family. And then throw your kids in bed because…

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Saturday, August 23rd at 8:30 am will come early as we will gather together for donuts and chocolate milk before BLAST OFF begins at 9:00 am until 11:30 am.

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Perhaps my most favorite time at VBS is the Sunday Morning Celebration for families and friends as we worship together and get a sneak peek at what our kids have been learning.

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No need to make a lunch plan, because we have a BBQ for all after the celebration!! Please plan to stay, invite your friends, and see what Journey @McPherson is all about. We can’t wait to see you!!!

How do you sign up? GREAT question…

Simply CLICK this link: https://thehub.ccbchurch.com/form_response.php?id=70

And if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Call or text 620-386-0203 or email ssnkklk@gmail.com.

found a couple winners…

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We stuck to the plan and trial’d some lunch recipes for school and thank goodness we did, because we are adding to the lineup!

Both recipes are a variation on recipes highlighted from the Mix and Match Mama blog.

The first—is shrimp, avocado, green onion, shredded Parmesan and arugula. Mixed with your favorite ranch or Caesar dressing (we did Caesar). Original recipe calls for spinach, but my kids have this new found love for the peppery taste of arugula–and it was good! This will be frequently made as frequent as shrimp goes on sale.

The next even Landon couldn’t get enough of. Tortellini, turkey pepperoni, green onion, green pepper, red grape tomatoes, and Olive Garden Italian dressing to taste. You can also add cucumbers, black olives, and even some spinach leaves to bulk it up a bit. It is probably the most complete and filling salad and they have requested it to be made weekly. I’ll take it!

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Love the message of the new Mary & Martha apron—because that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

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Happy Birthday to my blonde hunk!

This baby girl stole his heart.  Wondering if it is because she reminded us exactly of Kourtney at that age?  In fact, I think Steve spent more time with this precious baby girl that night than he did with any of his girls, including me.  And that my friends, is one of the many reasons I love him.

product launch and area consultant highlights…

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The fall product launch was the best one yet!  Want to know why?  Because THIS year, a team joined me.  I would give anything for you all to meet the entire team.  But it is not possible to get people from Florida, Kansas City, New Mexico, Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Missouri, Colorado, Minnesota, and California here to the center of Kansas on one night.  So we got as many local area consultants here as possible.  And it made the launch.  First, because guests got to hear somebody else’s “why” they love and joined Mary & Martha.  Guests got to hear from each consultant as they spoke about their favorite new products and different reasons they love some of the old too.

And finally, the reason the area consultant team is so special, is that they are all here to serve YOU.   As the team met, one thing became very clear.  We wanted to launch TOGETHER.  We want guests and customers to know that we are a TEAM.  And while we are all in close proximity of one another, there are different “spheres of influence” each one of us brings to the “gathering table”!  We are strong in the fact that we want our guests and customers to know they can come to any of us for their Christian gift-giving needs and to get your gatherings scheduled for the fun fall season!

Here is sweet Rachel Harrold, a brand new consultant from Derby.  She was literally an answer to prayer as I have been praying for doors to open up to share Mary and Martha in the Wichita and Hutchinson communities.  Well, wouldn’t you know…she lives in Derby (community outside of Wichita) and she grew up in Hutchinson where her family and friends live now.  Isn’t God just awesome like that?!  I was seriously blown away by the gift of an email and phone call from Rachel.  Rachel sharing her “why”…

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Photo creds of most photos go out to my daughter, Kassidy.  Kassidy worked her tail off, much like a little Martha before the guests came and I was THANKFUL.  I knew the bathroom was clean–and if you’re bathroom is clean you’re good to go, right?  Above is the picture of one of our giveaways for the evening.  It was a good one too—although somewhat blurry—but she (Kass) cleaned the bathroom, so I’m ok with the blurry pics!  HA!  The giveaway was a small nested basket with one of the crazed over tea towels and some of the new paper bakeware.  A value of $106!!!  See how fun these launches are?  Congrats to Emilie Rains!

20140805-070523-25523994.jpgAlright, so the best pic of the night goes to the cutest little three year old in the room, Meg.  Now, it’s not because she’s my cousin’s little girl.  It’s because she is just stinkin’ cute.  Anyone can see that?  And you know what she won?  A new large soup container full of CANDY BARS!!!  That explains why she is ALL smiles and will probably NEVER miss another Mary & Martha gathering in her life.  Not sure her mom was too impressed with that win?  HA!  Love you, Abby!  Meg melted my heart as she came in the door and was looking for the women, Mary and Martha because she knew them from the bible.  Hopefully she wasn’t too disappointed and just a bit too young to understand how many Mary’s and Martha’s were gathered around our table last night.  TOO SWEET.  I believe she is one of our next consultants–bummer we have to wait 15 years until it’s legal…

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20140805-070522-25522279.jpgAnd more precious consultants.  Cassie Moore is taking McPherson (a local community) by storm and will be having her own launch tonight as well!!  I approached Cassie over a year ago about Mary & Martha and she very emphatically told me “no” she wasn’t interested.  There was something about Cass from what I knew of her, which wasn’t a whole lot—other than the fact she was a Mac gal that the Moundridge boys thought was REALLY cute when I was in high school, that drew me to asking her about Mary & Martha.  A year later, that nudge was strong enough that she gave me a call.  And the girl ROCKED her announcement gatherings.  I mean seriously rocked it.

And Michelle Adolf, another local Moundridge gal, came to a gathering in the very beginning and was THE ONLY GUEST!!!!  Sometimes, it’s really easy for hostesses to get discouraged when your gatherings don’t turn out exactly how you expected.  But what we as consultants see in this?  We know that God has a reason for the people who are there to be there at that time.  And it was an amazing time of getting to know Michelle and her heart.  She booked a gathering that night—and in my mind I thought…she would be an excellent consultant.  She is from Lindsborg, another local community, and has many friends and family there.  Along with her husband’s family in Colorado—her sphere of influence was GREAT!  After thinking and praying about it for over a year, Michelle joined the Mary & Martha family too.  There must be something to this year waiting period?

20140805-070518-25518808.jpgI am looking like a total goober in this pic.  Thanks Kass for capturing that.  Really, she captured how much fun I was having—and I guess I look like a goober when I’m happy…

20140805-070523-25523120.jpgI had such a fun gathering last week in “sports rival” town, Inman.  I LOVED it!  And found out my sweet hostess, Kristi, makes cupcakes and cookies.  So naturally, I left my cute paper bakeware cups and put an order in for the launch.  White, Red Velvet, and Peanut Butter cup—YUMMO!

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Now someone who is a much smarter blogger than me needs to tell me why this picture of Tammy is much smaller than the others?  Can I blame this on Kass?

I can NOT go on without introducing you to Tammy Fast, another area consultant.  This gal is right here in my community.  In fact, we go WAAYYYY back.  She was my music teacher turned wonderful friend.  She had two girls that I adore and 3 grandkids I could scoop up and eat with a spoon.  Like, they are seriously cute.  But when it comes to Mary & Martha, Tammy was one of my biggest supporters ever.  She was with me from the beginning as I muddled through my first gatherings.  She gave me grace and continues to do so!  As evidenced by me ignoring her phone call the other night…

Anyway, although she is local, she is taking central California by STORM!  She answered the call to Mary & Martha just a couple of months ago.   Her sphere of influence extends across the country.  She took Mary & Martha on the road last week—had amazing gatherings, and did the ultimate—duplicated herself in the area by signing up a consultant in California.

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I wish I could highlight EVERY consultant on our team.  I wish I KNEW every consultant as well I as know these local girls–that would be awesome and amazing.  And hopefully I will meet them all in person one day.  It’s so exciting to know that besides our product launch here, there were multiple launches happening –some even last night!

We are building our team.  One consultant at a time.  And as you see, it’s all about your sphere of influence.  We each have people we connect with, know, and can share Mary & Martha with.  So, if you’ve ever thought there’s no room in it for me?  There is!!  It’s ground floor.  It’s just beginning.  It’s an opportunity I’d love to talk with you more about.

And besides that?  It’s just fun.  And I didn’t even talk about any of the cool products we introduced did I?  Another day…

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even when…

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When you don’t have any make up on and your face is breaking out.  When your jeans don’t fit like they used to.  When you are in need of a desperate hair appointment and you have weeks until it’s scheduled.  When what you see is not what you want to see.  You wish you were thinner.  You wish you didn’t have wrinkles.  You wish your eyes were brown instead of blue.  Your hair doesn’t grow.  Your hair is too long.  Your teeth aren’t straight and you can’t afford braces.  Your eyes are sad because you can’t find the joy in your day.  You didn’t make the team or the cheer squad, and you are failing a class.

 

Please remember…

“This is the face of someone Jesus loves”

 

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“I have loved you with an everlasting love”

Jeremiah 31:3

 

I don’t know about you, but I do know I need this reminder.