Monthly Archives: February 2014

there’s a reason I’m a nurse.

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True confessions this morning.  After an hour + long process of dealing with my dog yesterday, I can tell you—I am in the right profession.  Or maybe even more so, I am realizing I am not a dog groomer.  Like not at all.

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Brinks honestly thought she had given birth.  And by the way she acted, you would have thought she was giving birth.  Cutting out matted pieces of hair, nipping and running away, growling at the brush.  It was quite a scene.  And she still can’t see.  Because I would have lacerated an eye trying to cut around her face.

After it was all said and done, a miserable bath in which Miss Drama Queen gave me the best drowning re-enactment possible, she really looks homely.  No fur around her neck and eyes still hidden.

We do take her to the groomer.  We love our groomer.  Brinks does not.  And quite honestly, I am too embarassed to take her as she is.  Therefore the hour + of misery yesterday.  And we are left with this.

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Making an appointment today.

fill my shoes.

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I don’t know all of the details about what happened with an “all school” morning filled with a gym of kindergarten through 12 graders TOGETHER in a day coined “Wildcat Day”.   I do know, one activity was “fill my shoes”.  It has made me all teary and weepy after hearing about it.  So amazingly awesome.  You take the activities from sports to music, debate, cheer, and everything our school has to offer—-and recognize the activity by an upperclassmen representative—and then calling on the littles of our school—to ask them to “fill their shoes”.  Emotional, because I just see these next 10 years of raising our kids in this community and in our school district flying by before my very eyes.  Kourtney was on TOP OF THE WORLD to be called up to “fill MacKenzie’s shoes”.  What joy.  What an awesome idea USD 423.  I love it.

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Who knows what Kourtney may end up doing as she gets older?  Or Landon?  And Nat and Kass are right in the middle of making decisions and taking opportunities placed in front of them.

What a wonderful reminder that theses “little wildcats” are looking up to you older ones.  In more ways than you even know.  They are seeing what opportunities they are going to be given, testing out their passions, and dreaming of being “big” someday.

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Obviously, a huge passion for my kids (and well, let’s face it—Moundridge as a whole!!) is basketball.  These JV girls just finished out their season undefeated!  New friendships evolve and joys and struggles do too.  So much to be gained from these experiences.

There are just some days when the blessings of being planted right where we are at become so apparent.

And I’m feeling it today.

trumped.

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If you have ever worked a night shift before, you know how important sleep is the next day.  Many a times have I stayed up because I either had to or needed to.  And most of the time in picking up a shift at the hospital, I make sure my next day is free.  So I can sleep.  Because I don’t do well without sleep—especially the older I get!

And then a friend and I get together for just a couple of hours.  It creeps into my sleeping time.  I make a decision after weighing the consequences of a delayed horizontal date with my bed.   But, after it’s all said and done—that friendship and time together even after a long night of work?

  It trumps sleep every single time…

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power of the pig.

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Now, I don’t know about you, but when thinking about teaching the story of the Prodigal Son, pigs are not the very first thing that come to mind. How about you?

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And before you all think I have lost my mind and feel sorry for the Journey Kids under my influence, (ha!!!) go with me here for a second…

The Prodigal Son is such an awesome story with so many different life applications to pull from. The lost that was now found, the loving arms of a father, the jealousy and injustice felt as a brother, and for our purposes this month at Journey Kids—forgiveness.

So where did the pigs come from?

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The son that asked for and spent his inheritance had to at one point take the job of a pig farmer. He was so down and out and living in a country of famine, that he was almost needing and wanting to eat what the pigs were eating. After a bountiful life of parties, good food, and exquisite clothing. Just like that, he’s with the pigs…

But because of his father’s open arms and his father’s forgiveness—-he was welcomed back and taken care of, and more importantly loved.

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It was kind of fun carrying out the pig theme for our KidJam evening. Thanks to Pinterest, we made the pig cookies, had a game of Pig Snort, and finally—because of the many basketball players in the house, a friendly game of P.I.G. And to affirm God was ok with this “pig” idea, we handed out piggy banks to each family for a penny collection for a relief sale mission and it just happened to be yesterday. I just had to sit back, laugh, and realize how good God is to me, to tie the piggy banks in with KidJam. I never could have planned that myself. And after a week of wondering how in the world a KidJam evening will even come together?

I got a text from a family this evening that their little boy thanked God for the pigs in his bedtime prayer…

And I’ll be ok if every time these kids see a pig, they think of The Prodigal Son. Not sure that’s where the teaching was going with this story, but we’re going with it.

Snort.

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Bundt Cake Bonanza!!—Grandma Stella’s Favorite

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With the arrival of Mary & Martha’s new paper bakeware, I’ve been dreaming of bundt cakes.  And bundt cakes that are made in these adorable little bundt pans.  Aren’t they cute?  And in such pretty spring colors!!

Thinking of bundt cakes, there is really one delicious bundt cake recipe that comes to mind.  From Grandma Stella.  And the most blessed thing about this recipe is that she wrote it out for me.  I really need to get it laminated.  Grandma Stella passed away a few years ago.  Such a blessing she was.  And this bundt cake brings back memories of her every single time I make it.  It’s delish.  And I think it’s even better when in a cute little bundt pan!

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GRANDMA STELLA’s Bundt Cake

1 pkg. yellow cake mix (she used Duncan Hines)

1 pkg instant vanilla pudding

3/4 cup corn oil

3/4 cup water

4 eggs

1 tsp. butter flavoring

1 tsp. vanilla

Mix 1/2 cup ground nuts of choice, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon and set aside.

Grease pan well.  (But in the Mary & Martha pans there is NO greasing!!).  Sprinkle 1/4 cup nuts mixture in bottom of pan. being careful not to get too close to edge.  Combine cake mixture, pudding, oil, water—mix well.  Add 1 egg at a time, beating well.  Set timer and beat at high speed for 6 minutes.  Shortly before end of mixing, add extracts.  Layer batter and nut mixture, end with batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-50 minutes, depending on oven.  Test with broomstraw (what is a broomstraw??!!!).  Remove from oven on rack for 8 minutes.  Then remove from pan—glaze immediately with pastry brush.

Glaze—1 cup powdered sugar, 3 T. milk, 1/2 tsp butter flavoring, and 1 tsp vanilla all whisked together.

This is a super moist bundt cake that is perfect as a dessert OR a breakfast and brunch item.  I’ve used it for both.

Now…the fun part!!!!

Bundt Cake Bonanza!!!!

Friday, February 28th at 7:00 pm

My Home

Fellowship with yummy coffee, and all of your favorite bundt cakes!!!

I can hardly wait!

I’ve got LOTS of bundt pans, which means there can be LOTS of guests.

Bring your favorite bundt cake in our Mary & Martha bundt pans (get one from me!!!) and copies of your recipes.

I will provide Grandma Stella’s bundt cake and yummy coffee.

WHO NEEDS THE BUNDT PAN!????

Contact me to pick yours up or I’ll deliver…to the locals, that is!

{sharing this recipe at Tonya’s Weekend Potluck!!}

burundi for ten.

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Products with a purpose.  Products with a mission.  That is one of the reasons I love Mary & Martha, among many.  And when we introduced coffee with a story, I was so excited.  We’ve been selling direct trade coffee from Honduras for almost a year now.  It’s been so fun to serve at gatherings and I LOVE when I have people re-order and freak out when they run out.  That. is. awesome.

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Just a few weeks ago, we introduced a new coffee from an African country of Burundi, which is wracked by war and poverty.  “It is literally the hungriest country in the world.”  But this country has great potential.  If you would, please take a look at THIS article.  Click [here].  Amazing story of hope called the Long Miles Coffee Project.   And Mary & Martha gets to be a part of this!!

So here is the deal.  I want YOU all to be a part of making a difference.  And I want you to try an African-grown coffee, which is said to be among the most premium coffee in the world.  And of course I want you to get a good deal while you’re at it.  Because once you try it, I know you’re going to love it.

Our new Burundi coffee is on special for my customers for $10.  Ten BUCKS.  Your choice of whole bean, ground, dark, medium, or light roast.  And you know what makes all of our coffee special?

FRESHNESS:  When you order, your coffee is roasted and shipped directly to you within a week.  (Compare that to coffee in retail stores that can sit on the shelf for up to twelve months!)

CONVENIENCE:  Knowing you can purchase premium, fresh-roasted coffee and have it delivered to your door within a week, why purchase from the store again?

IMPACT:  We are passionate about sourcing coffee in a way that creates partnerships and opportunities that make a difference in the local communities where it is grown.

(***taken from the new Spring Product Guide)

TEN DOLLARS!!!  I’ll pay tax and shipping.  You get to try our new coffee and your chance to win FREE coffee by giving me a review I can use.

With 50 bags sold, I am giving away one of my favorite new products—-the food-safe pewter coffee scoop.  It’s sitting right here, valued at $26.  I want to give this to someone!!!

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Our cups DO overflow, don’t they?

10 bucks gets you fresh roasted coffee that is helping to feed a country.

How many do you want?

Special available now through Sunday, February 23rd.

finding happy.

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Sometimes finding happy is really easy.  Like in the case of our last week.  And out of all of the pictures that depicts happiness, this has GOT to be the best…

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League Tourney Champs 2014

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And if you’re not able to play with your big sis, who better than a cousin who’s also a best friend?  These girls are not going to forget that tournament—and especially the championship game.  Ever.  These are definitely memories that shape who you become.  And things you will look back on.

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And the icing on the donut, was the boys bringing home the victory as well.

I will say, the games were too close for my comfort.  But I think it may have made those victories even more sweet.  Now my anxiety level?  Wasn’t exactly what I was looking for.

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Evidently, Landon thought it was pretty cool to win a championship in the closest way possible as well.  By one point in overtime.  Holy cow.

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I wish I could have seen, and I wish all of you could have seen the great Operation Penguin Blessing that happened in our community the other night.  I know they were blessed.  I’ve talked to so many.  I’ve seen so many penguins at ball games and various places.  I have seen happy.  Happy because of all of YOU blessing kids.

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Above is my regular Mary & Martha attendee.  Gatherings just aren’t right unless she is involved.  Can you see why?

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An unexpected Valentine’s Date.  You know, it really is awesome when your kids get old enough to take care of each other at home.  Even though I “boo hoo” for the days of toddlers.

And—just for the record.  I do NOT like going to Cabela’s.  Steve loves going to Cabela’s.  Especially when waiting on restaurants for two hours.  BUT, when you find a really good deal (a good deal that will fit all of your girls and you) AND the sale price is sweet, AND you have Cabela’s points to pay for it with?  Well, then…Cabela’s becomes somewhat of a place of happy.  Anyone with me?

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And you can’t help but be happy to see 3rd–5th graders pour out their hearts in a program.

Sometimes you have weeks where happiness just is jumping up and down at you everywhere!!  And that is amazing, isn’t it?  Sometimes your happiness is a direct connection to someone else’s unhappiness—like in the championship games the other night and this weekend.  And you know that it could easily be you on the other end the next time around.

Sometimes we have to look really hard to find any happy around us at all.

This week, I am praising God for the happy we haven’t had to look for.

where his heart is…

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I think I am just fine with Valentine’s Day love all about this for Landon…

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I don’t think he’s shy. But more than that, I just think there are some pretty amazing boys on our HS basketball team that humor him and make him feel special.

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Most of all, as obnoxious and pesty as Landon is, I am so very thankful these guys put up with it all. I just hope Landon doesn't give out too much advice as he sees it. That could be dangerous.

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