Monthly Archives: August 2013

can we go bold?


Steve and I built our home 4 years ago. It was just about the most fun we have ever had on a project in our whole marriage of 13 years at that time. Seriously. We loved it. Many will tell you it could “make” or “break” your marriage. Which left us feeling a little nervous, since 13 years was less than what we had signed up for…HA! We were prepared for the worst—and maybe that is why it went so well. We were on the same page on just about everything. And now after re-evaluation of our first build? The things we would change are pretty minimal. Like the two entrances to the front of our house. But, I am not going there.

We have been given an opportunity to go BOLD. Which is the only way we will make a change, IF we make a change, and WHEN we make a change. Of course, given a deadline with a reduced cost of the project is now making us sit at attention and actually pretend like we may make a decision. In a week. Can it be done? We are at the end of our week. And I still can not decide. And Mr. Decision Maker is not making it any easier.

And then this pops up on K-Love’s verse for the day…

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

~ Proverbs 3:6, NLT |

Now, I know it seems that God could really give a rip in the decision to go bold or not. He’s got WAYYY bigger problems He’s dealing with today. But a simple reminder that every thing we do, every decision we make, we can and should seek His will.

I’ve got until 5:00 pm.

And because I have wanted to do this for the last year and haven’t taken the time, I am joining a “linky” recipe party over at 4 Little Ferguson’s.  I am excited and haven’t done it because I would not consider myself a “foodie blogger”.  Although, every once in awhile, I think I’ve got a winner.  And THIS one is.  Remember the COKE ROAST?  The roast that my family salivates over on the way home from church.  Well, I’m bringing it back into the mix when school starts and as soon as the fall weather just sniffs it’s way in.  Click {HERE} to remember!

lunchbox letters…


Back to school is in full swing for most kids by now–except for ours!  We have been given a gift the last few years of starting AFTER Labor Day.  My girls were just talking about how “the summer is just starting to get fun, Mom.  And we have to go back to school!”.  Truth be told?  My kids love school.  My kids thrive with routine.  But that doesn’t change the fact that we all love summer.  And it’s hard to let go of.  Especially when you’re fishing with your friends each day, going on long bike rides, the neighborhood American Girl doll fest (which I love, by the way—play dolls all day Kourt, I don’t care!), taming the new baby kitties, playing “horse” or “pig” with the basketball and working on your free throws, and swimming for absolutely every minute the pool is open during the countdown to the last day.

Do your kids pack lunches for school?  Did you pack a lunch as a child?  I did not.  EVER!  I’m not sure if it was because my Dad was the principal at the time and he wanted to make an example of me?  Or that he wanted to support the school in this way?  Or that no one in my house wanted to hassle with school lunches?  But I do know, it was not an option.  So field trip days were so exciting for me!  I got to pack a lunch!!!

We have come to the mindset of looking at the school lunch menu for the week and determining what the kids think they will eat.  And my goal is for them to pack a lunch–if let’s say, they are only going to eat a roll and the butter.  Or if carrot sticks and chocolate milk are to carry them through to the end of the day.  Um, yeah.  Let’s pack you a lunch kiddos.  And again, for the most part?  My kids love their school lunches.  I have really, really good intentions for the first few months leading up to Christmas–and am fairly good and organized.  The last part of school–not so much.  So, I’m in my intentional, motivated, we will spend only the minimum on school lunches mode.  Don’t be fooled.  {smile}

School lunchbox letters.  Do you write them?  Have you written them?  I definitely don’t do it every time they pack a lunch.  But I love to write a short little note to encourage them.  Most often I have sent them on napkins in the big girl’s lunches they pack for their games.  I don’t know if or what kind of impression it makes on them?  And then as I was driving yesterday, on K-Love, someone was giving a little 20 sec blurb that they do sometimes.  About lunchbox letters.  Maybe you heard it?

It was the best 20 seconds of my day yesterday…

What if God were to write a note to YOU and stick it in your lunchbox?  What would it say?  Probably something a bit like this…

“You are loved.  You are chosen.  You were meant to be.  I love you more than you can ever imagine.  There is nothing you can do today that will change my love for you.  Your life has meaning and you have been given today as a gift to be what I created you to be.  My love knows no end.  You are special and adored.  And even though you may make mistakes today?  I will never leave you or forsake you.  You mean everything to me.  I love you”

How’s that for a love note?  From your heavenly Father to you.  How would that make you feel as you dig into your lunch during your rushed 20 minutes (if you’re a teacher–ha!), or you sit down for an hour to escape your work day?

I loved it.  And it has definitely challenged me to be Jesus to my kids.  Even if it is in a little lunchbox letter.

your lucky day or Steve’s?—wheewwww!!!!


WOW!!!  Catching my breath.  All who have spoken for items, they are already packaged up and ready to go to your homes.  I feel like I just had my own little FLASH SALE.  I have updated and added more.  See below..

I finally got through some of my inventory and I am ready to say GOODBYE to the old!! It takes me a bit to get to that point, but I finally did. And Steve is going to do a HAPPY DANCE to see a little organization in this home of ours. (Little does he know we are making room for the new, but that will be our secret!) Ready to see what’s up for grabs? First of all, let me tell you—there are a few ways we will do this. Comments on the blog, Facebook messages, text messages, emails, phone calls all work. If you see something you MUST have, contact me in any of those ways listed. This is first come first serve. The next way you can get in on these amazing deals is to stop by my house on Thursday—-all day—-come and go. Coffee will be brewing and I’m working on what fun recipe to try. No doubt it will be some sort of sweet. Along with big bowls of M&M’s. Get it? My new signature treat for all Mary & Martha functions. Although this one on Thursday? Is all about Blessings Unlimited—and discontinued products. (except, of course, for the coffee—that is new and on brew for the day). Ready to see the products yet??? Here we go…
Here are these amazing canisters. I love them. They seal perfectly and will dress up your kitchen. Will sell together for $30 or $10 per canister 

The baby navy blue vase. Again, a beauty. And again, does not fit with my color scheme no matter how hard I try. A perfect gift for a friend. $8
THIS necklace and earring set is amazing. It was a hostess exclusive—meaning it was worth a lot of $$ and sold out quickly. I have one left—the other I’m keeping, sorry Steve.$35

All items are in like new condition and shown for gathering purposes. A few still in the box! Great Christmas gifts….I won’t tell the bargains they are, promise!

If you didn’t get a chance to grab the new product guide and try our coffee, you can stop by just for that as well! Can you tell I just want to see you guys?

Thursday, August 22 nd from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Come see me!

Circle Cross Earrings and Unending Love earrings—both are faves and I have them sitting in my jewelry box right now. The Unending love earrings I got for each of my girls for Christmas (shh!) because they are such a nice size. Each pair $10

This vase was an ordering “oops!”–my fault, for the record. It’s beautiful and has been clearanced out. Matches the rest of the dishes collection and is an absolute perfect wedding gift-in my opinion. I simply have TOO many vases. Like 3 in my direct proximity as I sit here in the kitchen. I have to get rid of this or hold it for my next wedding. Sam? Ha!! $16

Decluttering is kind of addicting! I am finding lots of treasures. I originally ordered extra of these puzzles for each of my kids when they start their families. Yikes. Steve is thinking I need an intervention. So before that happens, I have decided that I can part with a couple of them. And save the rest for gifts because these puzzles ROCK! This is Noah’s Ark—a favorite bible story. Perfect for families—think Christmas!  $10 each

I got an exciting package on my front doorstep yesterday! My Mary & Martha bags arrived. So I know longer need to use these to transport. Both are discontinued. And are $5 each.

This Tears in a Bottle is now gone. I couldn’t believe it. One of my very fave items and it is gone. I have ordered a few for my stash—but do have an extra to sell at a super price. $23!! I am telling you that you will bless someone who is hurting in an amazing way. There are just too many testimonies I have had just with my own customers to even talk or write about!

Alright. I’m done. Except…if I see you tomorrow, you will leave with a little something, besides a belly full of coffee and goodies! I truly love having each of you to my home and the people pleaser in me wishes I had in stock everything everybody wanted…

All items are in like new condition and shown for gathering purposes. A few still in the box! Great Christmas gifts….I won’t tell the bargains they are, promise!

If you didn’t get a chance to grab the new product guide and try our coffee, you can stop by just for that as well! Can you tell I just want to see you guys?

Thursday, August 22 nd from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Come see me!

Steve is very thankful I don’t have more stock than I do. He thanks you. Here is his text this morning when I told him of my plans with the extras…

Music to my ears! Decluttering with every sale!

Apparently, he approves.

moving right along…


Steve is having a hard time dealing with doggie diapers and all that entails, SO, I promised I would give him something else to look at and think about it since he missed out on our dinner yesterday evening. It’s a good thing too since there were just scrapings left!

I’ve written before about a friend of mine who comes for coffee every once in awhile and we just sit and exchange recipes. It is therapy for both her and me as we are always looking for a “new” recipe to try for our families—especially as the school year begins. Desserts and entertaining are really what we like to get together for, but the family card usually sneaks in because it is something we definitely NEED!! Good, quick, easy meals that our kids will eat. Here is one of them that will be added into the rotation for our upcoming school year. I revised the way I did this just a bit.

Taco Pie

Press a tube of crescent rolls into an extra large pie plate which has been greased or sprayed to form a crust.

Crush Nacho Cheese Doritos to equal a cup and layer over crescent roll crust.

Meanwhile, brown 1 lb hamburger with onion. Drain.

Add 1 can tomato sauce (I used tomato soup because it’s what I had on hand–worked great!)

Add 1 pkg of taco seasoning of choice

Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 min.

Top crushed doritos with meat mixture.

Next add a shredded Mexican cheese (as much as you’d like) on top of meat mixture.

Then 1 cup sour cream on top of cheese.

Finally, add another cup of crushed doritos.

Bake in 350 degree preheated oven for 20-25 min until bubbly and edge of crust beginning to brown.

My kids were all over it! Granted, two of them had just come home from a day of vball and cheer practices and they were starving. But, overall it was a hit!! Definitely an add-on to our Mexican night rotation. Wondering if you could have this assembled and in the fridge in the morning and take out to bake for dinner? THAT would be the ticket. I’m trying that next time.

That better, Steve?

and I thought we were done with diapers.


No, don’t get any ideas…it’s not what you think. No more human babies for me unless God has a HugE sense of humor and gifts this momma of advanced maternal age (you know that’s what my chart would be labeled, don’t you—can’t bear the thought.)

This may be TMI—so this is your warning. Or maybe the pics will speak for themselves?

No, she’s not potty training either. We are passed all of that. And we’re undecided if she should have puppies. It’s at a 4 to 2 vote—and 2 of our votes weigh heavier than the combined 4. If that tells you where we are at. Yet not ready to make any permanent decision.

The last time I bought preemie diapers was for my 5 lb Natalie when we brought her home. Natalie was waaayyyy more fun.

nothing sweeter.


Not sure that anything blesses me more than to see and receive pictures of kiddos reading some of my favorite children’s books. The first, a picture of my cousin’s little two year old beauty reading God’s Light in Me with her daddy…

And then this. One of my fave little first graders “to be” reading God Made Just One. Melts me, seriously.

How fortunate for these precious kiddos to have moms and dads raising them up to know Jesus?

That is perfection.

what are we gonna do?


To all of my children’s ministry peeps, stay at home moms, moms of preschoolers, and those looking for fun activities for kids with a purpose…I’m sharing an idea I found on Pinterest a couple of years ago.

I’ve done it a couple of times with different groups of kids. It’s an awesome way to share the story and recognize God’s creation. Although, not always a great take home depending on what they find!









At Journey Kids we are starting our 252 Basics back up in a couple of weeks. So, in the meantime–we have a couple of weeks to be um, creative. And sometimes it’s hard to come up with an activity that ages little to not so little enjoy. I think this is a great one.

Duct Tape Creation Bracelets. Click {here} for the original Pinterest link. Basically you make a duct tape bracelet with the sticky side up. Kids take a walk outside and create their bracelets!

Even big kids got in to it…seriously Steve? A living moth? Guess that’s better than Landon’s cigarette butt.

squeezin’ the last drop



Bittersweet, I tell you. Their time is not their own beginning after this weekend. Volleyball and cheer schedules, activities meetings, and all that the weeks leading up to school entail, will very soon dictate their time and what they do the next two weeks.

I remember last year at this time, the excitement of these two in junior high together. Oh, we had it good. And I knew it then and loved every minute of it.

Time is ticking away and squeezing every last ounce of togetherness as they know it. At least for one more year…

three down.


A word from a friend got me thinking that school supply shopping might just go better…if I did them one by one.

It takes time. And extra gas $$. But I think we found the ticket to back to school shopping splendor. And the three that are finished so far? Agree wholeheartedly on the new strategy. Some shopped for socks and some sports bras and spandex. I’ll let you figure out who is who. All have their backpacks packed. Except for Nat. You don’t need supplies in HS or what? I looked and looked and found no list. Then my HS parenting mentors informed me that indeed, there is no list. Hmmm…I just had a “last” with my firstborn and missed it. Wasn’t I just talking about this?



This boy and I got caught in a rainstorm in the middle of the afternoon. Thank goodness for Sonic happy hour!

On to child #2. Day #2. Town #2. And perhaps the LEAST pickiest of all to finish up our “last” school supply shopping trip with our 8th grader. That just made me kinda sad.

And then this girl. Just so darn happy to get some quality time. Town #3 and Walmart #3. Thought she’d be the longest trip of all, but we were out of there in no time. And her notebooks and folders? Adorable! Go Newton—definitely the best selection. Who doesn’t love chevron?

Can’t beat the one on one time that is few and far between. You learn so much in just that small amount of time. And speaking of time…