Monthly Archives: June 2013

it’s a keeper.


Even with my trusty planner, I missed a meeting this morning. A meeting that I SCHEDULED. Embarassing. Humiliating. Humbling—for this girl who writes down her life minute by minute.


So…I couldn’t get out of bed this morning. Missed an alarm or two. Perhaps I shut it off? Missed the phone calls. Until it was too late. And my kids did not hear any alarms either. Didn’t hear me grinding coffee (because clearly I needed a pot). Didn’t feel the sun peering through to alert them to a new day. No one had weights, basketball camp, or cheer camp to be up for. And we took advantage of it. Our morning in one word: LAZY.


The only advantage to this, is that brunch was actually going to work today. Brunch is difficult with kids. They are programmed (my kids, anyway) to eat three meals a day. So no matter what, I’m not ever getting away with a two meal day. Even with snacks. But for today? It worked!!! And I have an awesome recipe to give you.

I have actually seen this recipe flying around facebook and was interested in it. Then I read my friend, Tonya’s blog and she was raving about them too. And another friend of mine said they were out of this world. So, I decided to give them a try. 7-Up Biscuits. All you need for these is Bisquick, 7-Up, Sour Cream, and Butter. Click HERE for recipe on Tonya’s blog.


We made ours with sausage gravy. Isn’t it beautiful? Try them–perfect with jam and butter too, I am sure. We’ll find out tomorrow morning for breakfast…






Yep. That cheer attire? It’s ours. That girl who has spent many a summer at volleyball and basketball camp? She’s added another camp to her list.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we are hugely blessed to be in a school that offers so many opportunities for our kids. I honestly will say I was surprised when Nat came home talking about trying out for cheer. After that first parent meeting and hearing our coach say “you have no idea what a role model you are and will be to little girls as a cheerleader” and then she further went on to explain the expectations of and who you are and what you represent. So true that little girls think you are the coolest. I remember Nat, Kass, and Kourtney dressing up as cheerleaders for Uncle Sam’s many games. They loved it!


It’s exciting for me that Natalie has responsibility in character and representation of our school. It is also exciting to me that high school activities also bring about different circles of friends. Already through cheer, basketball, and volleyball there are new relationships being formed and old relationships strengthened.

multiply by division.


What would you do for the Kingdom of God if you knew you would not fail?

Doesn’t that just make you think. A thought provoking question that has been tossed around by our pastors and presented this past Sunday in church. I love it. I love it, because it is a statement of giving of yourself fully—without hesitation and care of what others may think. It is following Jesus the way we are meant to follow him. It is obedience.

This past year has been full of joys and excitement. Struggles and loss of what we once knew. It is a group of people who had become ONE deciding to DIVIDE. On Sunday, we talked about Peter and Paul and how each sent out to reach others for God. Instead of together they divided their ministry. And you know what? The Kingdom was multiplied. The Kingdom was multiplied by divided ministry. To say this hit home in relationship to our church life is an understatement–and further confirmed and affirmed the work we are doing for Jesus.

Not only are more people reached by division, more gifts are shared across many. Perhaps even more gifts are brought to surface as needs develop in new ministries. Maybe Steve would have never tapped into Children’s ministry? Maybe Nat and Kass would not have taught Sunday school? Maybe, there has been growth in the in the sometimes painful stretching?

I also love what our pastor said about CLOSED FISTS versus OPEN PALMS. As we become ONE at a new church, it is easy to start taking ownership in the different ministries, believing that how we are doing things is the only way. It becomes a question of investment vs. ownership. What a challenge for us all. Are we holding tightly to what WE want in a church believing that is it ours to hold onto? Or are we investing fully all that we have in order to reach more and grow God’s Kingdom? Sharing strengths and gifts of each person. We were left with a question of what is the impact of division? Powerful.


and happy knocked at my door…


They said it shipped June 13th. So much of last week was spent in anticipation for my big box. And it never came. Until yesterday. Happy came a knocking at my door. Take a look at my big family calendar for this next year. I can hardly wait to fill it and am about ready to break down the central office door and get a school calendar…image

And to say how much I love that quote on the front, well…. an understatement. If only I would look at my life this way. To go about each new year with a mantra of embrace, like I so challenge myself always. To be able to look back at each new year, each new phase of life, each new challenge and simply smile because it happened.

This calendar was made for me!! But that’s not all the happy in this place..

I am downright giddy over my planner. In fact, I am going to pick up some shifts and some “on call” time at the hospital just so I can have something to write in it.

Sick? You better believe it.

confessions of a recovering harvest widow.



It all started back the year Kassidy was born. I had an 18 month old on my hip, a brand new baby dependent on me for every need, and an approaching wheat harvest. Not only did Steve work for an agricultural company, he also “hobby farmed” and helped his grandparents out on the farm too. His hours at his “real” job were late anyway—pair that with after work responsibilities on the farm he was out until the middle of the night. Only to get up the next day and do it all again.

Looking back on those years, that was the hardest time on our marriage. Steve was exhausted. As was I. And resentment towards all things farming began to build. I don’t know how I acted? Probably not at my best most of the time. I was asked to take meals to the field or meet up with him in the field so the girls could at least “see” their daddy that day. It was way easier for me to just keep to myself and just chalk up the whole summer to no family time. I prayed for rain. Oh, did I pray for rain! I prayed and celebrated rain when Steve and the other farmers in my life were defeated because it just dampered the harvest. I didn’t care. I was selfish and probably irritable and angry a lot of the time. I just couldn’t figure out why Steve wasn’t rejoicing with me the forced opportunity for us to be together?

Farming is in Steve’s blood. It is his livelihood, really. John Deere is all about the farmer. And Steve absolutely loves it. I was talking with him yesterday evening on our walk, and he gets so excited to check up on “his” farmers to see how they are doing. To check up on the combines he’s sold them in the past and to make sure this harvest is the best yet. (Although that is not always the case!!) My appreciation for farming has taken a complete turn. Besides all of this in our own immediate family, my family’s livelihood is farming. It is their job, their income, their life. My mom told me that my youngest brother (who has joined the farming operation after graduating this May) made a comment about breaking out the Christmas music to find the song “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. Ha! This made me laugh—when a few years ago I would have thought someone had completely lost their mind. {and maybe after this harvest Sam will be thinking he HAS lost his mind}

With a new perspective, I see that farming all rides on these busy times of the year. This is when it counts. You reap what you have sown…literally. And I can see and feel that excitement of harvest. You have waited for almost a year! One-to -two weeks of sacrificed family time—sitting around the table for dinner?–ha!—running kids to their activities (which I really need a couple of husbands to help me with anyway) is do-able. It is do-able because this is what you have worked for all year. This is how you serve your customers at John Deere. There is no room for resentment here.

I am guessing Steve wishes I would have learned that years ago. And I’m still learning. Still keeping things in perspective. Still aggravated when I am shuffling kids here and there without help. But that’s part of my job too. To help Steve do his job. Sounds as if I am still in recovery mode, huh? So here I go. Embracing 100 degree temps and crazy mile per hour winds. Because, you know…this is what harvest is all about. And maybe, just maybe without me praying for rain each and every day? We’ll knock out the wheat fields in record time. Why didn’t I learn this years ago?




a “gathering to go”.


Summer time is busy.  I think we have established that.  And if you’re like me?  You are at softball, baseball, basketball summer league, and volleyball games.  A lot.  Like every evening a lot.  We are so busy at our house that I have refrained from contacting hostesses for gatherings—because quite frankly, I have very little time.  It has been very exciting for me to have found two new consultants in the last few weeks and have even been able to give a gathering to one of them because it didn’t work into my schedule.  THAT was fun.  And awesome–and brings a whole new element to my business. 

As I was listening to some leadership training the other week, they proposed such an awesome idea!  A GATHERING TO GO!!!  A basket of Blessings Unlimited products complete with order forms, catalogs, and sales ads ready for YOU, the hostess, to take with you to ball games, the swimming pool, work, church, bible studies, family gatherings, dentist appointments, the hair salon, and wherever else this summer finds you.  It is so simple—you are your own hostess without lifting a finger in cleaning your house.  You are your own hostess without preparing any food.  You are your own hostess by simply showing the basket of goodies and telling them why you love these products and can’t wait to earn rewards.  You are your own hostess earning rewards with very. little. effort. 

Anyone interested?  I’d love to pump up the sales before any more products are discontinued AND before June 30th when this huge semi-annual sale is done.  I’ve got the basket ready.  Wanna see?

Contact me to get your very own basket today.  There are only 10 days left of this awesome sale.  Don’t miss out!   Phone 620-386-0203 or by email, of find my facebook page Steph’s Blessings and message me there.

it could be so much easier…new teaching technique.



“It’s not fair!!!!!”

You know what? That is exactly how I am feeling right now. Parenting is HARD business. Especially when your kids are at the age of increasing responsibility. It is not anything new—to any of us as parents. It is MUCH, MUCH easier to just do it myself. It’s an age old problem. I get it. Totally! I didn’t do my own laundry growing up–and there comes a time when the reality of not doing your own laundry comes back to haunt you. HELLO KU laundry room. {I shutter.}

My oldest girls understand—and have been folding and put away laundry, keeping rooms cleaned up, cleaning their bathroom, cleaning the kitchen and helping to cook now for the last couple of years. There is a level of expectation we have for each of our kids. And the fact is? They are all old enough to do much. Much should be expected of them all. And when it doesn’t happen? It is Steve and I to blame. Summer time always brings to surface chores at a greater level. I think I just posted about that this last week? It is obviously something we are working on over here.


(honestly, I think Landon LOVE boundaries and responsibilty—look at his smile!)

I am exhausted with telling kids over and over to get something done. And I am over it. Each of my kids are motivated in different ways, and I am STILL working to figure that out. But here is a new technique I am trying out on the younger two, even as I write. I think a reasonable expectation of getting laundry folded and separated into piles could be that it is done within 30 minutes. I was planning to spread the joy of laundry today between the four of them, but due to this new technique I am implementing, it appears that Kourtney and Landon are going to get to finish all 6 loads of laundry—without help.

So this is what I am doing. My kitchen timer. Tick, tick, ticking away for 30 minutes. They were told that if the laundry was not completed by the time the buzzer rings, the next load was theirs to do also and the 30 minutes would start over.


There has been much bickering.  There has been irritation with finding matching socks (seriously–ha!) There have been teachable moments in folding sports bras (which is taking Landon over the edge).  There is much at stake here.  Lunch is on the line.  (will not happen until this is completed)  Volleyball camp, which Kourt has been looking forward to since her eyes were open this morning (starts at 1:00—will she make it?)  And yet, the timer continues to tick, tick, tick away.


A side note, which will come to no surprise to any of us—–I could have had this done two hours ago.  Honestly, I have restarted the timer 3 times.  Again, these kids think this is such hard work.  And all I want to say is…

Just wait until you’re a parent.



Baseball joy…


from our basketball boy.

Thankful for opportunities to do so many things in our community and school. One of the many, many blessings of living in a small town. To hear parents from both teams cheer on players from both teams…it doesn’t get better than that.


yum, yum summertime…


Sweet, sweet summertime. Grilling out, sandwiches, sun tea, fresh fruit, homemade ice cream, and…

Then, I’m stuck. Stuck trying to keep enough food on hand for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. But that’s the easy part. Coming up with meal ideas is challenging! Thanks to a couple of friends (real life and blogger) I have two recipes to share just in case you are finding yourself in the same predicament at your home.

The first is a recipe I got from my friend just down the street. Her kids are good friends of mine and when they were over one day as I was making my grocery list, I asked them to give me a favorite recipe. And this was it. It was a winner at our house too!!

Lemonade Chicken

chicken cut in pieces
Mix together one can of lemonade, 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, tsp garlic, tsp salt and pepper. Pour in gallon size ziplock bag with chicken and marinate for 24 hours. Grill.

No pictures because it was gone before I could grab my camera. Make extra because I think you could have some awesome leftovers.

And my new fave from Tonya at 4 little ferguson blog shared a yummy salad that I knew we had to try. A Southwest Chicken Salad. Yummo! This is going to become a summer staple around here. My kids thought it tasted like a “restaurant” salad.

Click HERE for the recipe!
And she has much better pictures than I too!