Monthly Archives: October 2013

take me back…

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For just a bit the last 24 hours reminded me of a much different time in our lives…

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A time when we spent time going out with my Dad and Debbie with no other responsibility to worry about—besides work on Monday.

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And even that wasn’t a huge worry.

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I miss carefree weekends with these special people.

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And so very thankful for this time spent and a very happy ending to a very wonderful time away.

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And then, reality sneaks it’s way back in. And I am reminded of 15 years ago to this very minute. I was riding a 4-wheeler with a husband and his best friend taking me on as rough of terrain as possible. To put my very pregnant self in labor on my due date.

Meanwhile, a peach pie was freshly made during the day. So after no labor results from the 4-wheeler ride, we gave up and decided to take pie to Steve’s parents’ home. And before a first bite was had by me, my water broke. On their dining room chair.

And to the hospital I went, for what little I knew would be a very, very long night and day…

my finds…

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One more conversation piece about this past weekend that was so exciting to me. Then I promise…I will lay off. (Hopefully)

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Ever since attending the Orange conference last spring, I have been looking for these pants. There was a gal wearing them and I didn’t feel right asking her where she got her pants. I just stated at her. I searched and searched and couldn’t find them. THEN, I saw them on a girl this weekend. And I stalked her and begged her to tell me where in the world she found them. And she did! And she took my business card and is going to look for some for me. Because, get this—you just can’t go buy them. What?! No wonder I never found them. They are seriously the cutest most versatile pant. Matilda Jane Back Roads Ruffle Pants. I am in love. And I found some on Ebay. Yippee! Now to get them ordered…

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Do any of you use Zulily? I found this jacket/coat for $22 the other day. And then it’s cousin was just a click away…

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I caved. For $22—they both needed to find their way to my wardrobe.

Yay for cold weather!

Highlights.

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There were some pretty amazing things that happened over the last 48 hours.

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Meet real life Mary and Martha from Utah!!! They are mentor moms to a group of MOPS moms. Are they not the cutest? I wanted them to mentor me. In fact, I NEED them to mentor me!!

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Just a tiny taste of the swarming of MOPS moms we got to meet. What a blessing for them to get a weekend away to themselves. And the speakers…oh the amazing speakers.

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We gave away what we call a “coffee bar” each day—and I was over the top excited to draw a name of a co-coordinator from Hutchinson! Congrats Arwen!!

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And M&M’s are the perfect candy to serve…do you get it?

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I think I use my hands to talk…a lot.

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Ok, so I found a celebrity. And guess what? She fell in love with Mary & Martha. And very fitting since I have been in love with her since my big girls went to her show when they were itty bitty!!! Miss Patty Cake!!! Click http://pattycakepreschool.com to see for yourself! Steve brought her to the booth and I immediately yelled “is it really you?” And just like that—a friendship was born. All of you who are Moms of Preschoolers and early elementary kiddos—listen up! Steve and I are going to be working hard to bring her to our area. She is an amazing worship minister to young children. She is my idol as you can tell by my look of giddiness (I know I look ridiculous!). I have used her material for almost every Easter children’s story I have done the last 10 + years. Remember “give me 5, Jesus is Alive?” Yep—all from Miss Patty Cake! And she can’t wait to come to Kansas…

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Beyond excited to say, after the purchase of a dolly, tear down happened in 1 hour. Compared to 4? I’ll take it. Good work, Steve!

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This is the look of pure joy, friends. And a showroom that has cleared out after a fantastic weekend. And the best part? Every vendor there was interested in impacting the lives of these sweet girls.

few words.

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Let’s just say I’ve never in my whole existence slept this well in a hotel room. Ever.

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And we could also say, I am pretty darn blessed to be with these two. No one else I’d rather spend FOUR hours setting up a booth with…(and yes I did turn on “map my run” to see we logged 5.75 miles just in setting up—I’m weird that way.)

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And let’s just say, I could listen to Beth Moore speak every single day of my life. Seriously, she rocks.

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And praise and worship to start my day? It just needs to happen every day. How to make that happen…hmmm.

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One more day left. Sharing the message of Mary & Martha. Taking time for worship. Logging a few more miles during tear down, and “filling” up. I love my job.

best salad ever.

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The last few years Steve has been in charge of a “Ladies Night” for his company. It was always a busy, stressful, yet VERY FUN time. Fun for me because of the new recipes I got to try out on women—the world’s best food critics, right?!!

In addition to the recipes I made, a sweet couple (the husband a meat smoking champion!!) would prepare a meat and a few side dishes for the women to sample for their holiday meals. This recipe was a crowd pleaser. And I am happy to share here and at Tonya’s Weekend Potluck with all of you what has become one of our very favorite salads. And it has the perfect name for this time of the years…

Autumn Salad

8 cups mixed salad greens

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup slivered almonds (oven roasted original)

4 Tbsp. sugar

Dressing:

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce

3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar

3 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 cup oil

Toast the almonds in a skillet with the 4 TBSP sugar until light brown. Use a fairly high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. (this can be done in advance and stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator)

Combine the first 4 dressing ingredients in a shaker of jar and shake well. Add oil.

When ready to serve, add cranberries and almonds to salad greens, reserving a few almonds to put on top.

Do not add dressing until ready to serve. Then shake dressing, pour over salad mixture, toss and top with reserved almonds.

I am here to tell you—the women went CRAZY for this salad. Begging, pleading and begging some more for the recipe. Which they kindly shared and now I get to share with all of you!! I would seriously double this, it is that yummy.

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opportunity knocking.

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An opportunity not only knocked on my door—it came busting through without even a thought of keeping it closed and shutting it out.

We are swimming in Mary & Martha over here in preparation for a vendor event at the MOPS convention in Kansas City. MOPS is a Christian organization for Mothers of Preschoolers.  This event is so special to me for multiple reasons, but because it’s MOPS—even more so.  I have talked about MOPS many times before and what a lifesaver it was for me as a new mom.  I can only imagine how excited these moms are to come to this conference.  Beth Moore?  Lysa TerKeurst?  Jen Hatmaker?  Shut the front door and lock me in a room with these women!!  That is just to name a few…

And of course spending time with the precious gal I called up out of the blue who talked me through becoming a Blessings Unlimited consultant, now Mary & Martha.  And wait, that’s not even all.  FOUR days with Steve?  Working together, eating together, and hopefully shopping together {smile, Steve—and don’t forget your cash.}  And a chance to see family.  The best.

Obviously, we have a TRIBE circling our very own tribe at home.  And for that I am amazingly thankful.  Thankful for this opportunity.  Thankful for the way people offer to help out, whether it be with our kids or at church or work—to allow us this weekend of opportunity.  Yes, knocking–heard you loud and clear.

sometimes it’s worth it.

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A fun little road trip to Oklahoma for a Mary & Martha gathering got this little girl out of school early…

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and a Chocolate Banana Blast. I won’t tell you which made her happier!

I have to say, when Steve proposed the idea that I take Kourtney as my little “ampersand” sidekick, I was not thinking it a great idea. Mostly because it was the beginning of our week and starting it out with a late bedtime just did not sound like the responsible thing to do as a parent.

However…this little road trip with some one on one time most likely did way more good than the detriment of lack of sleep. (besides, the girl was asleep shortly after 9:00 —just curled up in the front seat not her comfy bed.)

If I could sign her up as my next consultant, I definitely would. And we could travel the world together. And drink Chocolate Banana Blasts.

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season ending…

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Fall sports for our little two ended Saturday. Both of them were very sad to see football and volleyball go. And isn’t that just what you want? Much better than counting the days until it’s done!

Mostly, these kids loved this season and are sad to see it go because of their coaches. We have been beyond blessed with the people who have been placed in Landon and Kourtney’s lives. Not always are these “tribes” an influence that is life changing. But for these two this year? Yep. It’s just where it’s at.

Coaches who truly care about who these kids are as people. Coaches who truly care to teach in every circumstance. Teaching respect, hard work, diligence, and love for the game. There is nothing more that I could ask for my kids, and Steve and I are sad to see it end as well. Thank you coaches, parents and kiddos for a fun fall sports season! And I now finally know what the “chicken wire” play is!! These boys have got it down…

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raise them like they’re 30?

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Coffee time with a precious friend (we call it a meeting) always leaves me with new insight, encouragement for pressing onward, motivation, and sometimes thoughts to ponder.  This week in particular, thoughts to ponder were it.  Here it is Saturday early morning and I am still thinking about it.

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As we caught up on each other’s lives, catch up on mine always includes these people.  Our discussion turned towards thoughts from a parenting seminar.  She gave me just a couple of nuggets that have now been piercing my thoughts since.

Know when your kids are babies?  Up until the age of two.  You are in “servant” mode.  Isn’t that just SO true?  You are doing everything for your kids…because, well—you have to.  You are solely responsible for their lives.  For their well-being.  For keeping them safe, warm, fed, comforted, socialized, and most importantly loved~which covers all of these things.  I have said more times than not (as I mourn this stage of life), that children 5 and under are where I thrive most as a mom.  I LOVE this stage.  So hear me—I am no longer in this stage.  I miss it.  I remember so vividly the sleep deprived first week at home with Natalie, starting a load of yellow poop stained laundry, breastpump on my kitchen table, diaper baskets in every room, the smell of Dreft and fresh burp rags, receiving blankets, booties…oh my aching heart.  I remember praying and thanking God.  And then telling Steve—-this is exactly who I was created to be.  A mom.  As hard as those moments were at times, I thrived in this time of my life.  A servant to a little life was just so easy.  (in the whole scheme of things.)

And then as they grow, that servant hood begins to change.  Or should change I should say.  We as parents are called into a leadership role.  Leading our children in making decisions, learning life skills, and leading them to be the adult that God created them to be.  This stage of life is where Steve and I are at.  And a lot of the time it feels as if we are not leading the way we should.  A lot of times I cry out to God thinking I was not made to be a leader.  We are responsible for these children to become who YOU created them to be?  Did I sign up for this?  Is this what I thought parenting would be?  I am NOT qualified.  I truly am not.  I am making mistakes and I want to go back.  But you know what?  We were given this gift of our family.  We were entrusted with these four.  And we have obviously been called to be leaders. 

These nuggets came from a parenting seminar with John Rosemond.  Have you heard of him?  You can click {HERE} for more information.  Unfortunately, Steve and I were unable to go.  But my coffee date with my friend tells me that I needed to hear it.  And I am so thankful I did.

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Raising kids to be what you hope for them to be at the age of 30.  Another nugget.  I can not even begin to think of what these two will be like at 30.   At this point, Landon will hopefully have a job that sustains his sock fettish and Kourtney has found a life mate who doesn’t mind washing clothes that are already clean—because if the way she cleans up her room is any indication of how she’ll clean up her house, everything will be put in the laundry…

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And at this point?  Ramen noodles, mac and cheese, chocolate chip cookies?  There’s our wild kitchen skills.  And also praying that relationships will be built on actual face to face talking.  NOT “facetime” or texting…

Hard to think about any of them at the age of 30.  And it doesn’t have to guide our thoughts as parents completely.  Embracing where we are now is so important.  And it’s also so important that we recognize they are kids in need of our leadership as parents.  And the village or tribes they surround themselves with.

The crossing of being a servant in to a leader.  It has to happen.  I am thankful for coffee with a friend to give me perspective and  a little wake up call every now and then.

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What a gift.  What a responsibility.  Lord, help us to lead these children into who YOU created them to be…