smells like Sunday…

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Seems like a very long time since we’ve had six together in the ‘burb!! Filled with gratitude for the opportunity our older girls were given as they served the people of South Texas. And filled with gratitude for their safe return. For their many stories, and for hearts tender towards others. Mission trips are not without challenges—I remember when Steve and I went as youth to Kentucky one summer. Specifically, I remember raking leaves on what seemed like a whole side of a mountain (it really wasn’t) and bagging them up and loaded them in a pickup. We worked and worked in the holler. And we were proud!! Only to be told the hill now looked too “unnatural” and that we would need to grab a filled bag and sprinkle the leaves back on the hill. For real?

I remember going as youth sponsors in the middle of the summer to San Antonio with two very little girls (Nat and Kass), a bus load of youth, many sponsor couples and a very pregnant belly, not to mention significant water retention.

It’s almost come full circle—Steve and I as youth—then as sponsors with our own little girls—and now our two girls as youth!

As we were preparing for all three of our girls to make it back to us, we knew we wanted to sit around the table. There is something about eating around the table together that supports relationships with others. We also know that it isn’t easy to prepare food to be done and ready to go in a timely matter after church when tummies seem to rumble a little sooner and a little louder than on other days.

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I remember eating at grandma’s on Sundays—I think we even switched back and forth from one Gtandma’s to the other on each given Sunday. How did they do that? They prepared–that’s what they did. They made their table big and made the Sunday meal important.

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The smell of roast takes me right back to that time—perhaps the greatest comfort food of all from childhood. And roast doesn’t taste the same on a different day of the week. It’s a Sunday food. And even though it may take a bit more prep than going out to eat—there is something about the Sunday roast and the Sunday table pulled big for guests that I want to keep alive in our home. And nope–it won’t happen every weekend (yesterday was the first all summer!) but I sure would like it to happen more often than not. For the table to be pulled big on Saturday in preparation for Sunday. An open home to include guests as much as possible.

I want my kids to grow up and know the smell of Sunday…

it’s over, bud…

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Your week of being an only child officially ends. Today!

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There was some trampoline pool time with a friend.

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There were driveway basketball shoot outs. Cousin sleepovers, and too many sleepovers in Mom and Dad’s bed.

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And basketball team party, which I do believe they create safer fun when out of water—but what do I know anyway?

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Soon we’ll get to hear what the girls did without you, Landon. And it begins with a camp pickup. It’s been real and it’s been fun–but guessing you’ve missed your sisters just a little bit anyway…

BIG opportunity for you…

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You all know, people are in love with these vases, right?  In love with them because they are just awesomely HUGE.  In love with them because you only need a $50 order and you can get it for $8.  I mean really, what’s not to love?

 

Well, here’s another reason to love them.

I am looking for people who love Mary & Martha products and who have people they live and work with who may not know anything about Mary & Martha.  Is that you?  We’ve got to do something about that!

 

I am very intentionally working to share Mary & Martha in surrounding communities.  In fact, my biggest goal is to develop my team to include all communities!  Summer time is crazy busy for so many.  It’s hard to get gatherings scheduled with activities and vacations.  So, I’ve been thinking.  {scary, I know}

How would you like to earn one of these vases for FREE?  And beyond that, how about a HALF PRICE Mary & Martha product of your choice to go along with it?

 

I am looking for 10 people.  Ten people who would take a couple of our spring catalogs and order forms, share with your co-workers, your friends, and your family—and collect $100.  Once you do?  Your vase is FREE and you get to shop for a half priced item of your choice.  How easy is that?

 

If you’re interested, let me know ASAP.  I’ll get you hooked up with some catalogs and order forms.  We have an order deadline of July 30th.

I think this will be a great way to share with many people.  And you get some perks along the way…contact me to be part of this opportunity 620.386.0203 call or text, email ssnkklk@gmail.com

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…