Monthly Archives: September 2013

just give me a reason…




I walked through our gathering of people yesterday in church with a warm fuzzy. From many things including prayers answered in the way in which we all asked. To another Sunday where the message correlated just right along with what we are doing in children’s ministry, to each and every one of our kids knowing our bible memory verse for the month and sharing with the congregation, and the cutest little usher you ever did see, and finally our high school football boys playing football with our little boys. (Hard to see in the pic I took, but I didn’t want them to know I stalked them)

It’s no wonder my little boy loves church. Shooting baskets before church and football with the big guys after. Talk about meeting him where he’s at. And if that’s what it takes? I am so good with that. He loves church. Throw in our children’s ministry and some worship—it doesn’t get any better than that for me and for him. The basketball and football thing excites him about church. And for a third grade boy? That just works, doesn’t it? It’s just the cherry on the top.

devoted day to…coffee!!!



Did you know it’s National Coffee Day?

How sweet is that? I love it. And I hope you love this…

How does $12 straight price sound for a bag of direct trade, delicious Mary & Martha coffee????

There is NO limit to this goodness. You can order as many as you’d like. BUT, you have to order through me AND it ends at midnight tonight—you know, because that’s when National Coffee Day is over.

Take your pick…

Whole Bean or Ground?

Dark, Medium, or Decaf?

I’m taking orders all day long. Remember in order to get this fantastic price without tax or shipping you must order through me.

Gotta go get me a cup before Sunday school…

our tribes rock.



Kourtney and Landon wanted nothing more than a celebration with family. They wanted it at home, not in a restaurant, not anywhere else. And I was kind of thinking a Saturday night at a restaurant sounded pretty good to me!

Had to change a menu, forget about a clean house, and embrace the “Mary” when my “Martha” was tugging at the other end of the rope–when the hospital called me in to work all day. And you know what? Kourtney and Landon still had a blast. Dillons got to make the bday cupcakes. And the candy corn popcorn will make an appearance at tomorrow’s gathering instead.

This evening and the prep towards (or lack thereof) just goes to show how important relationships are to my kids and all of us. The tribes around my kids could not be better. And I know these tribes are just fine with a less than clean house and Dillons bought cupcakes. They rock like that.

Kourtney was asleep with her new “cousin” before we knew it.

the girls are servin’ up soup…



The “girls”—meaning Mary & Martha, that is. This is the first of what I hope to be a monthly gathering. To first THANK you, my customers. To share the vision of Mary & Martha with others. To eat and fellowship with my friends. To make me clean my house. To love on all of you. To play with my raffle tickets…see? The benefits are many fold!! And did I mention a drawing for one lucky person? I love raffle tickets.

Because it’s Friday, and because Tonya over HERE is having this fun little thing called a Weekend Potluck party, I am sharing my tweaked version of the “girls'” Taco Soup…

Taco Soup

Brown 2 lbs of ground beef with chopped onion and drain grease.

To this add 1 can of chili-style tomatoes

and 1 can of tomato sauce

1 cup of water

1 can of Ranch style pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 can of Ranch style black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups frozen corn

1 pkg of your favorite  taco seasoning mix

Bring all of this to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes


Place all in a crockpot and cook on low all day long.

Serve with shredded cheese, corn or tortilla chips, sour cream, olives, and guacamole.

And if you can order in some beautiful fall weather with a high temperature less than 70 degrees?  Than we’re talking.  Hoping Wednesday is JUST that.  And I really hope to see your beautiful faces…

like none other


The day is a precious memory of overwhelming joy in our healthy, black haired little beauty we named Kourtney after wrestling with the name Gracelyn for months. But after one look at her 7 lbs of sweetness—Steve and I both looked at each other and knew…it’s gotta be Kourtney Janae.


Now if a newborn’s personality is any indication of what her personality was to be as she grew into our 11 year old (what!!!!)–her months as our baby were clearly indicative of the sweet tender heart she was gifted with. Although as she became mobile, she was a bit ornery. And adding her brother to the mix further fostered that. But, it did not change her heart. And though times this one trait of hers may drive us a tad crazy, it may just be because we wish we had half of what she has…



How fun to share a birthday with a very sweet and special friend!! Happy Birthday Bethany and Kourtney!

Colorado 020









This happened just a few minutes before I left for a gathering a couple of days ago. I’ve got my routine down almost to a tee anymore. And then this throws me off—big time.

Not just because I broke a cup. But I broke a cup that was a huge part of what my gathering was about—a coffee and dessert gathering and now I was down a coffee cup.

Pretty menial in the whole scheme of life. But man, aren’t we all broken at some point? I just had a huge reality check…friends who are breaking and broken inside. And just like that coffee cup, there is no way to make it perfect again. Key pieces were shattered.

And I was reminded of the only way to become a whole again is made possible with Jesus.

Thank you, God, for that broken cup. For the cut it left on me. And for the reminder of brokenness around me and the promise of a completion in you.

Journey Kids—Courage—Week 3


Anyone know Phil Kaufman? Did you know he is VERY scared of big, ferocious, scary dogs? Like this one who joined us at Journey Kids on Sunday…

Courage—by now we know it’s being brave enough to do what you should do, even when you’re afraid. Well good ‘ole Phil? We got him away from Brinks and he was fine, never fear. But Moses and the Israelites were literally running from their lives from Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Can you even imagine?

With a cloud and torch of fire to guide and protect them, they ran.

And as we said, scary Pharoah was right behind them in their heels…

And what was in front of them but a wall of water called the Red Sea. Now if that didn’t seem impossible, I don’t know what does. Being brave even when things seem impossible with an army behind them and impassable water in front of them.

But God was there and faithful to Moses. And He did the impossible and parted the sea. And now there was dry land for the Israelites.

What seems impossible in your life right now? Where is fear creeping in and stopping you right in your tracks with an obstacle behind you and an obstacle in front of you? And maybe you’ve already experienced God parting the seas for you and you have been able to walk right in through on dry land to the promised land…

“Even when I’m afraid, I will trust in you” Psalm 56:3.

one lucky chick.


It’s Homecoming Week at our little school, which means it’s Spirit Week at the high school. Do you remember those weeks? Well, things have changed just a bit since the good ‘ole days…

Day 1: Grandparent’s Day

Natalie has some beautiful Grandmas. And after she chose to be her Grandma Bonnie—we just had to let her know. And you better believe Grandma was going to make sure Nat looked as good as possible since she was representing herself. We laughed because we just knew Grandma Bonnie wouldn’t stop at her Salon Smock—I mean, we went all out with the wig, jewelry bling, and perhaps a bit of attitude…{smile, Grandma–we love you!}

it’s working.


We battle getting chores done around here. And working together—cheerfully. Saturday is NOT my favorite day to be stuck inside getting things done, but oh doesn’t Sunday feel better when you can come home from church to a clean house?! And laundry finished and ready to start your week? It’s almost imperative to getting our week off to a good start. Meal planning and groceries are just the cherry on top. Do we have this done every weekend? Absolutely not. And it’s my fault and Steve’s. Bottom line.

The fact is—it is our responsibility to teach responsibility. It is WAY easier to do things ourselves (Steve and I). At this stage of the game, our kids and the ages they are, really are not limited to much by way of chores they can do. That’s not to say I would ever let Landon loose in the kitchen, but they CAN do way more than what they CAN’T.

Confession time. This week was awful by way of responsibility on everyone’s part. There were more mornings we were bickering, losing things, and an overall rat race each. and. every. day. I am not exaggerating. Filling out picture forms at the last minute, forgetting our game socks, to running back home for a library book is pretty much how it looked. And for the health of us all, we will not have a week like that again. I promise.

We’ve tried lots of things with our kids. Our oh so loved white board, numerous lists, etc. Until yesterday, Steve found something that was fun and energizing to all. AND, they get to use the ipad. Now, that’s exciting. It’s called My Job Chart app and it’s FREE! Click {HERE} to check it out. Steve entered information and set everything up for everyone as I told him the list of chores for each one for the day. You can set up daily chores that are expected each day, a specific list for a particular day, and so forth. And for us yesterday? It worked. It was even “kinda fun”.


It wasn’t all work and no play over here. Volleyball, football, and DRAG RACES with Grandpa and Dad completed the day!

We are a work in progress over here. My mind was filled with the song ” he’s still working on me, to make me what I ought to be. It took him just a week to make the moon and stars—the sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars. How loving and patient He must be? ‘Cause He’s still working on me”.

Would my kids say how loving and patient I have been? Ouch.  He’s still working on me too–even as a mom.

well, do I?



I am slowly but surely learning how to get the most out of my closet. Obviously, a hot topic for me as I know I’ve posted on this before. The people that are doing this well are my inspiration.

Really, what you wear does matter. It matters if you love it and if you feel good in it. It does. And for me personally, I have got to get out of the mindset of “saving” things for a special occasion. Wear it. Embrace it. Do not save it for that perfect occasion that may never come. And get RID of it if you are not sure if you’re going to wear it but you “might”.

Are you doing this well? Have you learned how to embrace the closet?

This is my own self help post as I navigate my way though this life change. So if you see me in the same boots over and over and over—you know I love them. And it seems as I’m only wearing a couple of pairs of jeans?Or I show up in a dress to a football game? Bear with me. And know that I believe leopard print is the new neutral. There. Happy Saturday.