Monthly Archives: November 2012

love language.


Today I was hit over the head with a very obvious revelation of Kourtney’s love language.  Have you ever read the book The Five Love Languages of Kids?  I have the book and have referenced it many times.  And it’s so interesting.  I think we can all relate to how we receive love the best.  And what we need.  In fact, now that this is in the forefront of my mind, I am getting that book out again.  I am now wondering if I am showing love to each of my children in the way they receive it best?

Kourtney— the baby of the girls, and one of the two middle children.  Not yet old enough to jive well with the junior high girls, but getting out of that baby girl stage.  Loves her bro Landon, but she’s not a boy.  So if there are other boys for him to play with, she is generally out of luck.  Sometimes stuck in her own little world and trying to find her place—we know that Kourtney’s love language is Quality Time.  I would venture to say that this is a love language all of us need.  All of us need to know that those who love and care about us are willing to take time. 

BED HEAD!  (She’ll love me for this someday…)

Both Steve and I saw that so clearly today.  Of all kids, it is of utmost importance to Kourtney that we are involved in absolutely ANYTHING a parent can be involved with in school.  And we want to be, for all of our kids.  Sometimes, life is crazy and it is hard to carve out that time.  Kourtney’s class is doing the cutest little project of learning how to sell and make a profit.  A twist on math education, creativity, and working together.  Just too cool.  So today, there was an opportunity for us to come “shop” in the 4th grade class.  Of course, Steve and I were racing to get there.  I was supposed to be at work but was called off (hallelujah!!) and Steve, well you know—not always reliable with his job.  Thankfully, we both made it.  But not before Kourt sold out of her item.  And thankfully, the last of her items sold were to her aunt, which she graciously let Kourt keep for her Mom and Dad since she hadn’t saved one back. 

So clear to me.  Kourtney wants our time.  She needs our time.  She was there in tears because she thought she wouldn’t have one left for us.  Breaks my heart…

If Kourt is alongside either Steve or me, she will do anything asked of her.  She just wants to be with us.  How easy is that?  Very.   This fills her cup more than anything.

This has spurred me to think what she has been doing with us just this week, as it has been crazy—mommy guilt can just grab and shake me to the core.

**Putting up Christmas lights

**Helping Dad with the deer stand

**Back massages for dad (what in the world?!)

**Preparing food for Ladies Night

**Chopping wood

This post has made me realize that if I want to see her complete something, I need to work alongside her.  So hard to do when there a million things that need to be done, isn’t it? 

Quality Time.  Time for us to make it a priority.

empty hangers.


Much meaning is wrapped up in this.

First of all, the obvious.  Laundry is not being done at my house.  OR the laundry is being done, but not put away…could be a little of both?  Secondly, these are the hangers I hang my navy nursing scrubs on.  Have these hangers been empty at the same time, ever?  I don’t think so.  Which tells me this…if you are pregnant and in Reno county, you have most likely delivered sometime in the last week.  That is just the way it is when you work in labor and delivery.  Feast or famine—and let’s just say—-we have definitely been eating well! 

Today, I need some mindless meanderings…so here you go!  It’s a recipe day!  I realize not all of you get as excited as I do when I find a great recipe, but if you do, today is your day.

We started our week off with a bang with Ladies Night at Steve’s work.  We had over 150 women gathered together to eat, fellowship and shop.  This has become one of the BEST nights to try out new recipes.  Women are your best critics—truly!  And I love coming up with new foods and recipes for them to try. 

The last couple of months, I have had coffee with a friend of mine and we just sat and shared recipes.  I am telling you…it has been so fun.  I have just loved it.  She loves to cook and bake like I do, and we both love the tried and true recipes and love to exchange what is yummy to each of us.  Out of these coffee “dates” came a Christmas Blessings Gathering and many ideas to use for Ladies Night. 

For today, because so many have requested this recipe, I am going to give you the Black Cherry Punch recipe.  Of everything we made the other night, this was probably the most requested recipe.  And to have a most requested recipe that is as easy as this?  Well, I just need to share!

Black Cherry Punch

2 cups boiling water

add to that:

2 cups sugar, 1 black cherry JELLO packet and 1 black cherry KOOL-AID packet and stir

Next, add a bottle of Ocean Spray CRAN-GRAPE juice.  I used the big bottle of juice from Sam’s as I doubled the entire recipe and that is the perfect amount for two recipes.

Then, pour all of this into a blue bunny ice cream pail—or a container that holds 4 quarts worth.  FREEZE.

About 2-3 hours prior to serving, remove from freezer.  Chop up mixture and add a bottle of Giner Ale.  SERVE and EnJOY! 

presents or presence?


I must say, there is irony to this post today.   I love the Christmas season.  I love a decorated home and how warm and inviting it feels.  I love to bake and cook things that I save just for this season.  I love the anticipation of Chrismas Lights Night.  I love our annual Caroling Party. I love when we used to take the kids out of school for a family day of Christmas shopping.  I love putting kiddos to bed on Christmas Eve night and know that they are going to be too excited to sleep knowing they will wake up to a gift they have been wanting.  I love our “weekend after” trips to my parents home in Lawrence.  I love this time of year so much that Steve and I got married three days after Chrismas (sorry to our parents!)  We designed some of our home to include where we would put our Christmas tree.  (true story)  I love the busyness of Steve’s work traditions with Ladies Night and Christmas Open House.  I love Christmas programs!

Traditions run deep here in our little family.  Some we will continue, some will change as the kids get older (guessing they won’t be too excited to get their boyfriends/girlfriend/spouses in pj’s to look at Christmas lights?)  And as I gather new traditions (I’ve been asking everyone to share at the Blessings Gatherings these last few weeks), we will see what fits our family best. 

One tradition that I am praying will be life changing this Christmas season is Advent ConspiracyIf nothing else, please watch this.  It is powerful, convicting, and no doubt–if only while you’re watching it—will turn your veiw of Christmas UPSIDE DOWN. The video does such an amazing job of explaining what it is that I won’t even try to do it justice here in my own writing.  But, there were a few nuggets Steve, the kids, and I took away from our worship service yesterday morning.  Besides the fact that the Christmas tree was UPSIDE DOWN take a look!

**God is NOT a God of 2nd Chances, but He is a God of NEW BEGINNINGS!  (how true is that?  His mercies and joys are new every morning)

**Many times we model our gift giving after the Three Wisemen.  I’ve heard of that, haven’t you?  Each child gets three gifts to symbolize the three gifts the wisemen gave TO Jesus.  And there’s the kicker.  The wisemen didn’t come celebrating Jesus’ birth by bringing gifts to each other.  (You have to hear our Pastor in the way he described it—it made me giggle—but oh so true!  “Hey–look here’s a king lying in the manger—so I’m giving you a gift!” )

**We are living in a culture that is guilty of HOLIDAY HIJACKING.  We spend billions of dollars on Christmas each year, and yet all in the name of the birth of Christ?  Does that sound like Jesus to YOU?

**The mission of the church is to pursue, reach out, and be agents of love to the world.  Ambassadors of Christ.

**God gives “presence”. 

I’m not sure how we will implement Advent Conspiracy for our family.  I know we began talking about ideas on the way home from church.  I suggested we give up eating out for the Advent season.  The response I got was quite humorous.  First of all, Steve looked at me like I had just landed from Mars.  And Landon said “That’s fine, but can we start that AFTER we eat at Subway today?”  HA!

The next week we are going to be praying about how we can make a difference this advent season.  To slow down and build relationships.  To focus on giving others presence, and take the focus off of the presents.  To not get too caught up in the busyness of the season. 

As I mentioned above, yes there is quite a bit of irony in this post today as I have been preparing for Steve’s company’s Christmas Ladies Night. (which by the way, if you’re from the area–come join us for food, fun, and fellowship!)  I will say–I have definitely built a strong relationship with my kitchen.  But the family also got in on the relationship building aspect of cooking and baking together.  Who knew that trying to cut through bars and getting them the right size would be almost as difficult as wallpapering together as husband and wife??


God’s Light in HER…


I have been praying for a sweet family, who happen to be good friends of ours.  I have been praying for their sweet daughter—who happens to be one of my daughter’s  best friends.  Sometimes you just do not know how best to help someone when the need is great.  Sometimes asking for help is one of the hardest things to do…

First of all, I must tell you of little Bethany.  She is a vibrant 10 year old who has been dealt significant health problems related to her asthma.  From the moment this family moved to our community and we were blessed to get to know them as friends, (hey, they had 4 kids just like us—it was meant to be!) we knew of Bethany’s problems.  From the very beginning, I would get calls from her mom asking to pray for Bethany.  From allergies to breathing treatments to hospitalizations—you name it.  She had it all.  Unfortunately, she did not grow out of it like we hoped.  In the last year and a half she has constantly been fighting health.  She has been on steroid treatments so she can feel good.  And steroid treatment causes many adverse effects—and for Bethany–the steroids are the only thing that really make her feel good, but the effects on her little body are miserable.  It is a vicious cycle.  And one that her health care providers and family have been battling for months.

Anyone who knows Bethany, knows that she is just a light.  She is a precious soul who brightens the day of all who meet her.  Even when she doesn’t feel good.  We could all learn something from Miss Bethany Grace…

In the next week, her parents will be taking a trip with Bethany to National Jewish–a specialty clinic in Denver–where Bethany will undergo a 10 day series of testing.  Needless to say, this is turning their world upside down.  AND, this is not the first time they have taken 2 weeks of their lives to devote to this testing.  They just finished there a year and a half ago.  They have 3 more kids at home with activities that don’t stop.  They have 3 more kids at home that will still have homework and still need an after school snack, supper, and prayers before bedtime.  I know this family has been blessed with many ready to help where they can.  So please, if you would, lift them up in prayer the next few weeks.

It is no surprise of my love for the message of God’s Light In Me products from Blessings Unlimited.  I love the book of the little girl who proclaims promises and verses of the Bible showing and asking for God’s light in her life.  I would like to offer these books in honor of Bethany.  As Christmas is coming, no doubt a two week trip will be burdensome.  I am praying this will help in some small way. And I am praying this is a double blessing as those who receive this book, will also be changed by the message of being God’s light to the world.  A message that Bethany herself shines to all who meet her…

For every book sold, 25% will be going straight to Bethany.  This $4 will provide her with a favorite meal maybe?  A favorite snack?  Maybe a pack of gum and activity book?  I don’t know.  But I do know, that God’s Light in BETHANY is shining, and I want to honor that in her.

There will be no tax or shipping on these books—so $16 will get you a God’s Light in Me for Girls OR a God’s Light in Me for Boys book.  The order deadline is Friday,  NOVEMBER 30th.

***Please leave a reply if you are interested in blessing Bethany  in a small way— and you get double the blessings as those who receive the books are sure to be blessed also. These books will make perfect gifts for boys and girls on your Christmas list this year.  AND, you can tell them all about the little girl you bought the book in honor of.  And some of these kiddos will know her!   You can also email me if you would like to purchase these books in honor of Bethany.****

sneak peak…



It is OFFICIALLY Thanksgiving!  Happy Thanksgiving to all.  May your day be blessed with food, fun, and family!

Guess who prepared my Thanksgiving meal today?

Thank you, my sweet work family! Usually, a feast in the back lounge guarantees a “feast” of patients. We have actually been steady…not too busy, but busy enough that we aren’t eating the entire shift…thank goodness!

Blessings Door Bucket, Apron, Jute Totes, Happy Birthday to the King Platter, Happy Birthday to the King Mugs, Silent Wonder Plates, Ever Grateful Pie plates, Bright and Beautiful Christmas Trays, Happy Birthday to the King Ornaments, Chalkboard Tray, God’s Light in Me for Girls Book and Elle Grace Doll, Happy Birthday to the King oval plates,  God’s Light in Me for boys and TRUMAN!!, Forever Wall Clock…

These things sound familiar?  How about being a guinea pig for some new recipes?  Friday is just around the corner…and so am I!  Come join us Friday morning from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  Excited to see you!

Oh, and by the way…. I was able to order all of the Happy Birthday to the King sets you wanted! Yay! Which tells me there are still some in stock…

where would we be…


*Our God–what would we do without Him?

*Family—what would we do without Them?

*Food—what would we do without it–we have no idea what it’s like to be Hungry?

* Warm Home —where would we go to sleep at night—we have no idea what it’s like to be Homeless?

*Friends—just how different it would be to have no Relationships?

*Church—I just can’t imagine life without this Support and Accountability?

*Jobs—where would we be without the ability to Provide?

*Health—how would this change every other aspect of our Quality of Living?

I am feeling oh so humbled this morning, obviously.  My thankfulness list is ten thousand miles long. I look at this list and think–if one of those was missing in my life, what would it look like?  I look at this list and think I am wanting for absolutely NOTHING.   I look at the above list and know or have seen the impact of lacking in almost each area.  Humbling.  I look at that list and the menial things I get grumpy about on a day to day basis are just that.  How in the world can I complain?  Ever.

In all honesty, the last couple of weeks and the next few days are proving to be a tad bit overwhelming, to say the least.  Most of it all is by intentional choice.  Most of it all are things I absolutely love.  Sometimes you see the truth in too much of a good thing.  That in itself is overhelming to me.  That list above is too much of a good thing, isn’t it?  How easily I (we) take so, so much for granted.  Thanksgiving takes on new meaning to me when I really sit down to reflect on that list above.  So many can’t say they have it all like I am talking about as I am sitting here typing.  So many are missing one or more on that list.  For so many, Thanksgiving doesn’t mean anything more than just another Thursday in a week.  To be thankful is one thing.  To know you are blessed beyond measure is another.   Praying the way we live our lives exemplifies both of these.  A very blessed Thanksgiving to all…



This is just so exciting!  You are going to get a bit of a taste of why I absolutely love Blessings Unlimited AND Dayspring.  Every once in awhile, they will just knock you over with an unbelievable sale.  And guess what?  They did it AGAIN!!!  I got an email from Blessings Unlimited’s home office yesterday late afternoon.  I had heard through the grapevine that there would be some amazing sales coming up, but had no idea what they could be.  I’m not even sure if this is the sale they were talking about—but nonetheless, IT IS A GOOD ONE!  Can you tell I’m excited?  I thought maybe Steve would join me in my excitement.  He didn’t seem quite as much as me when I called him to tell him the news?  Guess that’s why I’m selling Blessings Unlimited and he’s sells John Deere, right?

The Happy Birthday to the King Set which is normally priced at $98 is on a FLASH SALE between the dates of November 22nd through November 30th for…$29!!!!  That’s right.  Amazing. 

In the set you will receive… 


A Set of Three Ornaments



Two Mugs


Four Oval Plates


and of course, the Happy Birthday to the King
Platter ( my personal favorite)



If you price it out, each piece is $2.90.  WOW!  Teacher gifts, gift exchanges, the ways you can bless with this set is countless.  And you are saving a bundle.  There is NO LIMIT to how many you can buy…

BUT, quantities are limited.  So if you are interested you need to let me know as soon as possible.  My first ordering date is November 22nd (Thanksgiving) and I know I will be putting an order in first thing that day.  The complete set is available to see at the Black Friday Blessings Brunch.    And if you’re looking for just pieces to the set, there will be some available for “cash and carry”.  Be looking for a sneak peak of other Black Friday deals from Steph’s Blessings coming soon too…

This is so much fun!



When Mom’s away…


Hutchinson Regional Medical Center would be the place I would have to have called home this past weekend.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I logged more hours in Hutch than I did at home.  That happens every once in awhile.  And it’s good…every once in awhile.

The fact remains that life is still happening even when Mom is not home.  When the kiddos were small, this was much more of a challenge.  Steve never felt real confident in his care of kiddos under the age of a year.  But, as soon as they were walking and able to communicate—he was up for it.  I look back on the last 14 years and realize just how much we have learned as parents.  The times that I cried driving on my way to work.  The video of Natalie that Steve took in the middle of the night when I first went back to work very part-time.  I am telling you–it’s priceless.  If I could figure out how to get it on here, I would.  Steve was beside himself and I was working overnight.  Natalie was screaming at the top of her lungs.  Steve was videoing her so I could relate to what he was going through at 3:00 am in the morning.  And when I got home to view it?   Well, let’s just say, I was bawling too.

Now when I think back, it is quite humorous.  By the fourth baby, we had learned so much.  I had learned that it was so good for the kids that mommy was gone every once in awhile.  I had learned that it was so good that I was gone every once in awhile.  And Steve?  He developed a relationship with the kids that never would have quite grown the way it did, had I not been gone… every once in awhile. 

I was asked the question yesterday by another family member what I thought of her daughter going in to the nursing field.  Each time someone asks me this, I answer with a very quick GO FOR IT!   I know how fortunate I am to have a job that I love.  A job that allows me to be flexible for my family.  A job that, for the most part, feels like a mini vacation when I get away and get to experience the miracle of birth. 

That is not to say that there are some concerns of what goes on in this household while I’m away.  I hesitate to post these pictures.  I know that someday they could be used for huge blackmail purposes.  But they are just too funny not to share.  And the fact that Steve took them?  May even be more of a cause for concern…



As funny as these pictures were, this picture, however, was not.  Welcome home, Mom!

the goose is getting fat…


Raise your hand if you know the song Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat…please put a penny in the old man’s hat…  Oh my goodness.  That song takes me back to when I was a little elementary school kiddo and my Dad was the principal at the middle school.  The middle school had an all
school/all staff sing-along on the last day of school before Christmas vacation.  I can so vividly remember sitting there hearing that song for the first time and just loving it.  And wondering what in the world a haypenny is?  (I still don’t know!)

Finally.  I am ready.  Ready to get this holiday selling season underway.  And actually, it’s been going full force for the last couple of weeks.  I am so impressed with all of you people getting Christmas gifts purchased!  And I know one hostess who even has many of her gifts wrapped.  WOW!  You all amaze me.

And then, a couple of nights ago, a hostess had made and served peppernuts. Now if that doesn’t say the holidays are near, I don’t know what does.  So fun.  I am loving seeing hostesses in their homes, in their own environmnent—where they can really shine. (there’s that word again!) And you know what else I am loving?  That I get to see what people are buying others for Christmas!  This is just too fun.

While gatherings are being squeezed, tugged, prodded, and worked in to the schedule, I know that it is a difficult time to have gatherings in your home–along with the rest of the bustle of the holiday season.  It can be so overwhelming.  Oh I know!  And I want to take that pressure off of you.  My November is officially booked.  I don’t think I can manipulate my schedule any more to get even a half a gathering in!  You have all rocked my world over here with your gatherings.  What a blessing you ladies have been!  December is also looking pretty slim in gathering times available.  But if you are interested–please don’t hesitate to call.  I will see what I can do.  And remember~~December 14th is the last day you can order to ensure delivery before Christmas.  And it’s also the last date I will be doing gatherings until January.

 Because you all have blessed me so much and because I love having you in my home…AND I love specials just as much as the next person, in appreciation of it all, you are invited to:

BLACK FRIDAY Blessings Brunch

from 9:00am to 11:00 am

Come and Go as you Please!

And my sister-in-law will be there with Thirty-One.  We are excited and can’t wait to see you and hear about all of your Black Friday deals you found.  AND, we will have some deals of our own waiting for you.  Did you know that I have NEVER been shopping on Black Friday before?  Crazy, I know. 

We are hoping to see you all next Friday morning.  Just pop in and say hello…and get something yummy to eat while you’re at it.  And until then…remember

Matthew 5:16


uh oh.


Not much I can say to this…


Except~~~~that I am filled with JOY to celebrate this advent season and the celebration of the Birthday of Jesus.  There is just something about Christmas lights that fills a home with warmth and love.  If I could keep that feeling all year round in my home, I definitely would. 


 It’s early, I know.  But to fill your home with this presence—the longer the better, I say. The more anticipation of the birth of Christ and just as important —the resurrected Christ—well, it’s beautiful. 


The “uh oh” in this is definitely the process.  So, I’m hoping my motivation I have at this EXACT moment will carry me through to a sparkling clean home by the end of the day.  Think it’s possible?  Don’t answer that.