gotta love wakin’ up to this…

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While I was sleeping today, exciting things landed on my door.  And it made getting up and staying up after a night with the babies just a bit easier…

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Now, these are only boxes you say?  Wait until you see what’s inside waiting…

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Just a few of our ever popular Grace and Gratitude Pitchers that have been out of stock for months due to high demand…no big deal.  {can’t wait to deliver these!!}

$30 until August 1st!! (price increase to $36)

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And a few of these green glass vases…the guest promo until August 1st.

only $8 with a $50 purchase

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And just a few of our BRAND NEW FALL CATALOGS!!!

fall product launch is monday, august 4th at 7:00pm!

click Here to rsvp!!

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And just my Erin Condren calendar and life planner.   Welcome to your new home, my sweet, sweet, planner.  My pen and I have been waiting…

grateful.

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We are going on our second day with an only child.  It’s weird!!  I was an only child for 4 years until my brothers entered my life with their toy tractors and implements, baseballs and footballs, and tinker toys.  If I knew what cursing was at my young age, I would have had to bite my tongue each time I stepped on a lego.  Barefoot.

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We had a fun day watching basketball, trying out new restaurants, and meeting up with my family before Kourtney headed out to church camp.

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(you would think Steve is meeting my Dad for the very first time…a handshake?)

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This isn’t my favorite way to send my girl off to camp, but it’s how it happened this year.  Thank goodness for friends, Grandma and Grandpa, and cousins.  We got a call from Kourtney Sunday morning with “I was sitting in church and I had butterflies in my stomach because I am so excited to go to camp”.  Now, if that doesn’t ease your mind as a parent, I don’t know what will.  That message from her was a gift.  As was her cousin joining her at camp last minute–and they are even cabin mates!!

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I believe Landon is thrilled with his new found only child role for the week.  I am thrilled that he is still asleep at 9:00 am today!  The boy was tired after a very full weekend.  A weekend doing something he loves most.  And with kids and a coach who are like family to him.

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The Big Biscuit–could quite possibly be the cutest name for a breakfast place ever.  I love Lawrence.  And I love our family there.  However, I do NOT love omelets.  That was Steve’s–documented because he thought it could be his best omelet ever.

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Not always is it easy to start a Monday with a grateful heart.  But today?  It was really easy.

livin’ in a man’s world.

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Girl power. It’s gone. They’ve left me to fend for myself with the male figures of our home…

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Again, the affection appears to run deeper for their dad as evidenced by our “goodbyes”.

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And what started out as a bit of apprehension, I knew quickly faded when I received a picture from the girls of this…

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Tyler, their youth sponsor. Tyler—I apologize from the depths of all that is in me. This may be the first of many pictures I find on their phones. You rock dude.

Kourt’s on her way to camp this weekend. So it’s me and the boys. Landon thinks this is a pretty good deal. If you are a prayer warrior, keep the youth at Journey in your prayers as they serve in South Texas!!!!

1000 Gifts…

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Have you heard of Ann Voskamp? She is a beautiful writer.

If you love to journal like me, if you love to document memories of your family (I do!), if you need to focus and recommit your life to a life full of gratitude (can I get an amen here?), then THIS book is for you.

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This book is no longer in our Mary & Martha catalog. It’s been a favorite of so many. A sweet friend of mine has three girls like me, and she is making sure they each have one. It has been that powerful for her. And I’m doing the same. I gave these as Christmas gifts to special friends this year. I love them too.

July 31st will be the last day to order, but I have a feeling that these will sell out quickly.

The 1000 Gifts Journal is only $24. I’m ordering today. Contact me if you’re interested. (Reduced shipping for locals).

Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Brownie Cups

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Sometimes having nothing on hand in my kitchen after a weekend away, forces the creative juices to flow.  Especially, when there is a bit of pressure in dinner guests and limited time to prepare.

THUS,

the Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Brownie Cups were born!!

My family may have thought there was a stroke of genius, but really it was just throwing together that which was on hand and baking them in individual servings using the cute Mary & Martha large baking cups.  Presentation always makes things taste even better, right? But I’ve got to say, anything cream cheese, oreos, and brownies has got to be good.

 

 

Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Brownie Cups

Begin with your FAVORITE brownie mix, prepare as directed.

Fill your super cute Mary & Martha large baking cups about 1/4 inch.  With my brownie mix this made about 15-18.  Use more if you want more of a thick brownie layer.

Next, mix 2 1/2 cups of milk of your choice with an OREO  instant pudding mix and CHEESECAKE instant pudding mix.  Mix well and chill while brownies are baking.

When brownies are done baking and cooled, take prepared pudding and add 1 tub of COOL WHIP to pudding mixture.

Then, dollop pudding/whipped topping mixture on top of each brownie cup.  And for a nice added touch, some crushed OREO crumbs. (optional)

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(before pudding mixture)

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Steve and the kid thought these were THE BEST!!

I am linking up for the first time this summer at The Weekend Potluck with Tonya Ferguson!

don’t send that to me.

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There are a few things that get my attention right away.  I have learned now, through this texting generation, to understand their “lingo”.  And above all else, it is difficult to actually know the emotion behind the words.  Even with those crazy emoji’s.

 

So yesterday, I am working at my computer, when the text came in that made my heart sink…

from Natalie…“I don’t know what to do with my life anymore mom.  I’m seriously so depressed”.

20140717-062529-23129636.jpgKaren Kingsbury?  I’ve got to hand it to you.  You made a reader out of my girl.  My girl who reads only because she has to, has not been able to put down this series, Bailey Flanigan, from the very first book to the completion of all four of them.

 

I haven’t read them yet.  My addictive personality tells me that I would most likely not feed my family, shower, or do laundry until they were finished.  So, I’m holding off.

If you are looking for some amazing books for your teen daughters, this is the series to get.  I will never forget the look on their faces when they opened up the books for Christmas.  It was like a looming homework assignment with no promise of a Book-It from Pizza Hut.

Thank you, Karen Kingsbury, for making a reader out of my girl.  Of course, she is looking for a husband just like the character, Brandon Paul.  I’m just excited that Christmas is looking pretty easy.

Click HERE to read all about them and get your own set!

and the hilarity ensued…

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First of all—that is a funny pic, isn’t it? Steve’s college roommate and basketball buddy–a friendship that formed, grew, and remains long after college. Neither of them made it to the NBA. However, it has not stopped them from that dream for their sons. Guessing the tall one has a shot! (No pun intended.)

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For sure a highlight of our mini vacay to Kansas City was reconnecting with the “old” Baker University gang and their families. Oh my. Not sure I have laughed that hard since the first time I met you, Bruce Yarbrough. And something just never change. And I believe we all found a bit of comfort in that. AND a bit of disbelief. But hey…so it goes.

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(For the record, this had to be “Bruce” influence)

We used to get together all of the time. We had about a two year span where all of the guys got married. You know how that goes? Everyone is everyone else’s groomsmen and you try as hard as you can to have the wedding with the best story. Chad—personally I remember yours quite well as they all donned the shirts…

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Then came the years of having our “first” babies. Much different than the years of having subsequent babies. And my favorite was at a Japanese steak house with 5 babies all of the same age—all boys except for Kass. Had I known how true that is for Kassidy as some of her best friends are boys in her class even now—it must have started then.

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Or course the Kaufman’s are known for having the MOST kids of the group. Has there ever been a time that has not been a point if discussion?! My Mary & Martha family knows that proved to be quite beneficial this past weekend…😉

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What a sweet and happy ending to a sweet and happy weekend…

never underestimate the power…

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This is going here only because I need this reminder.  And this emotion to steer me back on track when I begin questioning the mission.  When I begin to feel sorry for myself.  When I wonder where God is calling me.  When I wonder where God is calling these children we are raising to live for the Kingdom.

 

This is for me when I need to remember what the mission is of Mary & Martha.  You are warned.  It may stir up some emotion in you.  I sure wish someone would have warned me before I sat and watched this to start off our presentation at the Hallmark headquarters this past weekend.  Maybe, I would have avoided the ugly cry.

CLICK HERE.

Never underestimate the power in the blessing of the written word.

and the story is…

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So, you probably know we spent the weekend at Mary & Martha’s National Conference in Kansas City. An amazing time–and there is so much more to come. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it all and filter out my information OVErLoad!!

There is always a “themed” celebration on Saturday night. And this year’s was “Prom through the decades”. Remember I was trying to figure out the era I was going for? Well here you have it—the 50′s-60′s withy very own bleached surfer jersey boy…

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My high school BFF graciously gave of her time to come get me gussied up. How convenient she lives in the city!’

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It was so fun.

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But mostly because of the people there. Can not tell you how much I loved having a team there!!

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And, I can not tell you how fun it was to see the look on my kids’ faces. Guessing it was one the more mortifying moments of their young lives…but soon, they loosened up and joined us on the dance floor!

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NC 2014–Kansas City Here we come…

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Feels like we’ve been talking and planning for a loonnngggg time. The Mary & Martha National Conference is the most anticipated weekend of the year for consultants as far as their business is concerned. It’s an amazing time of sisterhood, fellowship, worship, motivation, and energy for what is to come. It’s a sort of “Oprah’s Favorite Things” type of atmosphere as new products and catalogs are revealed and the company graciously gifts us over $200 worth of new products. It is a time of laughter and I will tell you, I have cried as well as special speakers touch my heart.

This year will be different. It’s in our own backyard in Kansas City! In the last year my team, Team Trust has grown and developed into a wonderful group of women eager to share Jesus in the homes of others through Mary & Martha. And I am giddy that we will need a table of 10 at National Conference!!!!!

Check back here or on my Facebook business page for sneak peeks and the most current information. You can click here to “like” and be in the know!

If this sounds like something you would love to be a part of? We would love to have you. Like we would be ecstatic to have you!! And through this weekend, it is half off Its half off and we are entering the busiest selling season of the year with a brand new catalog and products. It does not get better than that!

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More to note—if you still want to order on the semi-annual sale, you can do so through the link posted in Facebook comments. (WordPress doesn’t allow me to post a business link). You have until midnight.

Whew! I think that covers it.

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I love that this year’s conference is geared towards the family. And as many of you know, taking your family, getting packed, and having a smile on 6 faces as you pull away 30 minutes later than scheduled is quite a feat. Not 100% on smiles yet. But we’ll get there…

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