Monthly Archives: August 2013

baked steak.


There are few things worse than frying chicken, in my opinion of course. Frying minute steak to be baked is a close second. But, it may be one of Steve’s favorite meals, paired with fried potatoes (thanks Mom!), well you’ve made Steve “happy, happy, happy”!

Surprising this man was no easy feat. I have learned now how much I need and appreciate Steve’s help when entertaining at our home. So thankful for family who stepped in and made Steve all of his faves.

What I’m not thankful for?

The baked steak aftermath…

Every once in a while it’s worth it. And this birthday celebration was one of those times.





How can this be? That this blond haired little boy has now turned forty…

Running from the time he could walk, and from what I hear–boy did he talk.

Raised on a farm as the only boy
He made his own fun, no need for a toy

Ornery, obnoxious, fun loving, and cute
He hasn’t changed much, though on a different route.

The first decade full of little boy things
Like soccer and baseball and the joy it all brings.

The 2nd of his life he’s growing into a man, while high school and college now take the stand.

By the third decade end, he had been pretty busy. A wife, three girls and a boy— sure makes you dizzy!

And now at the fourth, we look back and we see…that 40 years went so fast—can it really be?

Happy Birthday—my sweetheart, my companion, and friend. Another 40 more? I’ll be there to the end.


who’s the 3rd wheel?



Sometimes unexpected things happen and you get one kid all alone to love on, shop with, and take out to eat. Can’t tell you the last time this has happened, but thanks to Grandpa and Grandma and three other kids excited to go with them, we got our first baby for the evening.

Now hear me when I say Nat and I have some pretty different tastes. We are in the middle of a basement makeover and not always do we agree on style. But then again, neither do Steve and I. Steve just doesn’t buck me as much as she does. And she? Sweet girl holds nothing back. If she doesn’t like it. She’ll let you know.

She got to experience her dad and my complete giddiness when walking through Fresh Market(seriously its better than going to a movie), and was feeling pretty big joining us with the coffee samples.

Best part of the evening…we never figured out who was the third wheel. Either that–or we all felt like it at one point or another.

we have come full circle.


God works in mysterious ways. And, most of the time–when God’s hands are all over the place—it is years later until you really see it. There are very many examples of this in my own life. And half of it? Is realizing what God is up to. A lot of times, I am a very slow learner. But when I finally see it? Wow. How awesome to see God at work!

I always shutter when I say such and such happened “eight years ago”. That is a LONG time. I remember when “eight years ago” I was still in high school. Or “eight years ago” I was just starting nursing school. Or “eight years ago” I just started my job at the hospital. Or “eight years ago” I had my first baby. And just this last year I said “eight years ago” my last baby of the family was born.

Eight years ago, a good friend of mine came up with a crazy idea for me to help lead kid’s worship at her church in Hutchinson–a nearby town. Believe me when I say it took me awhile to grasp what this would mean for me. Vacation Bible School (VBS) at this church was and still is a HUGE deal. It is their major outreach to the community and there is no holding back—from d├ęcor to t-shirts to meals for families—nothing. I had to think long and hard because with four kids in tow, this was going to be something. And a baby boy who was about to turn 1 and had never been in this church nursery—and Kourtney who was too young to be in VBS and a clingy almost 3 year old. It almost didn’t seem worth the hassle. But something spurred me on to at least try it. I mean, the church van was swinging by my house to pick us all up each day—they were making it very hard to say no.

I am so very thankful I said yes. The very first VBS I was involved in was called Group’s Serengeti Trek. And probably one of my favorite of all time. Maybe because it was so much fun and I had never seen a VBS done in that way before? Maybe because it had the most rockin’ theme song “He’s the King”? Maybe because I was so overwhelmed with a church that took Children’s Ministry to a whole new level. A church that hired a Children’s Minister because they recognized how important our young children were to the life of the church.

934957_205456522943131_677683395_nIn one week, Journey @ McPherson will be providing a “Weekend VBS” for kids. We are so looking forward to this, because as we all know—kids outreach is huge. Providing a place where seeds are planted for our youngest makes an impact on the whole family. And that is our goal. To reach new families by showing kids how to grow in friendship with Jesus. When the planning team first met, our Children’s Minister of Journey Mennonite Church was there with full on support and ideas. Do you happen to know who she was? That same Children’s Minister from eight years ago. Talk about coming FULL CIRCLE. God was there and leading and MUCH can happen in eight years!! Again, we were working together towards a common goal—this time in a multi-site of Journey Mennonite Church—Journey @ McPherson!!

We are excited to reach as many children as possible and are getting very excited (and nervous) for this next week ahead. We have been blessed beyond words with a theatre and drama professor who began attending church this summer and he has rocked my world—literally. At our first meeting his ideas and what he put together were amazing. And soon after, he contacted me to let me know he had part of the set done…


And that’s just a teaser. I can not wait to see it all come together!! God’s timing of sending him and his precious family to our church was huge. He also put together some media announcements and advertisements. Maybe not my favorite thing to do, but I loved seeing how he could take us just talking about HAY DAY and turn it into something.

CLICK {HERE} to see our promotional video! (and please don’t make fun of me…please?!)

God has blessed us with marketing people from beautiful flyers and postcards, to organizers (which I definitely need help with), to crafty idea people (I need MORE help with), to a pastor who can “act”, to a middle school who was willing turn the air conditioning on early, to food people, to helpers, to a Children’s minister who has MORE than 8 years of experience (smile Sheri!) and crew leaders that can’t wait to connect with children. I am looking forward to absolutely EVERYONE having their farmer’s hats blessed off of them. Kids and adults alike!

Here is the schedule:

Friday, August 9th 6:00-8:30 pm

With Homemade Ice Cream for families afterwards

1013998_10152988551730201_1759027090_n(seriously, this homemade ice cream is unbelievable–Steve has been using this guy for years at his John Deere events)

Saturday morning, August 10th from 9:00-11:30 am

With a Fresh Sausage and Pancake Feed for families afterwards


(the guys have already scheduled their sausage making next Thursday night!)

Sunday Morning Worship Celebration for ALL with a Special BACKPACK BLESSING as kids head to school.

AND a BBQ and Buggy Rides to follow!!!


Registration is still open!!!! We have room! Please I would LOVE it if you would send the STRESS LEVEL SKY HIGH so I had to scramble and order more t-shirts. Seriously! Make us work!

Register at: and Click on the Hay Day link.

VBS is for kids ages 4 through 5th grade.

Hope to see you all there!!


practice run.



See these two ladies here? They are my “great aunts”. Know what they are doing BESIDES avoiding looking at the camera for me? They are sitting and watch a 3rd grade boys nationals basketball tournament. How precious is that? I’m guessing maybe they didn’t have anything to do on this particular evening…but I could be wrong?

I am posting about them because it was real life “Mary & Martha”. In fact, when I yelled for them to turn and look for a pic, I said “hey Mary & Martha!!!”—perhaps that is why they didn’t look. Hmm.

In all seriousness, I had the best conversation about “real life Mary & Martha”. Now both of these women have way more biblical knowledge than I could ever dream of having. And because of this, there was so much insight. New twists on what role both Mary & Martha played as Jesus came to their home.

I can’t wait to get this discussion going with my guests. The ministry in Blessings Unlimited has always been there, but never so easy to portray and engage as Mary & Martha.

And then? My “great uncle” declares he was a “Martha” last week as he was helping serve food and packing up tables and so forth. See? Everyone can relate…

transformation thursday—pray for steve.


It is official. Today is the day. Blessings Unlimited will now be Mary & Martha. So you know what is happening over here at my house? Out with the old and in with the new!!!





Beginning something new is not always easy is it? Embracing the “new thing” comes easier for some than others. Oh BELIEVE me when I say God is giving me opportunity to practice this embrace thing. Oh BELIEVE me when I say there is a bottleneck of change happening over here at the Kaufman abode. I am in wonder at why everything all at once? But never have felt more content in direction.

Steve, however, needs prayer. His prayer might be something like this…“Please dear Lord, give me the patience I need to endure this change from Blessings Unlimited to Mary & Martha. I have no idea why this is a big deal. But my wife has transformed our home into a warehouse. I can barely even sleep in my own bed. In fact, there was a Dayspring card nestled next to my neck as I slumbered. In fact, I stepped on a Blessed By the Grace of God sign as I stumbled to the bathroom. And coming back from the bathroom, I scraped my leg on last year’s hostess FALL leaf bowl. LAST YEAR’s Lord. Please I ask for safety. The leaves are sharp. And I ask for sanity…as this is LAST YEAR’s fall bowl. Like I have seen more than one of these in my home. I ask for sanity. Because Steph does not stay on task as I do. And Lord? While we’re at it—I pray for the HAY DAY VBS. It’s box of materials are on my nightstand. MY nightstand!? What does this mean for me? In you I give thanks. Thanks for my job—so I can escape this. Please, please, please, I beg you to transform my home by 5:00 pm? Please? Amen”

What does this mean for you? I am guessing by my Meet Mary & Martha gatherings next week, that there may be some hugely discounted Blessings Unlimited items. Not necessarily that I am wanting to get rid of them. But, um…you get the picture. Somebody’s prayers are pretty big.