Monthly Archives: August 2014

I shocked myself…running numbers.

I shocked myself…running numbers.

I will be the first to admit, when I see numbers whether it be balancing my checkbook, organizing the books for Mary & Martha, figuring tax (thank you % sign on my iphone calculator), and most recently while explaining hostess rewards for the month of September, my mind goes just a tad bit crazy.  Ok, a lot crazy!!!  I can’t tell you how awesome it was to find out after graduating from nursing school, that I could always double check my drug calculations by calling the pharmacy!!!  Are you scared for me to be your nurse now?  HA!  It’s not hard, but the simple fact that I am responsible for the safety of a human being and calculating drugs given it is a huge safety net to be able to double check.  Thank you pharmacists!!!  So there’s that.

Yesterday, I was given the opportunity to talk  with a very sweet friend of mine about the Mary  & Martha.  Lunch with a friend?  Share my love for the Mary & Martha business and ministry?  Listen to her why she would get into the business?  Well, it was just awesome—let me say that.  And then…I began figuring out a plan for her for the next month—the benefits she would receive when holding her Announcement Gatherings in the month of September by being her own hostess.  And I couldn’t believe what I saw.  I know she must have been thinking—this girl is crazy.  I was STUNNING myself!  HA!!


This is basically what it comes down to, and I am going to show you HOW.  But these are the very real numbers.

Earned Money = $60

Earned FREE Product = $800

GET OUT!!!  Right?

And after hearing that the reason she loved the business so much, is that she wanted to fill her home with the word of God, well—I got so excited.  Girl—your house will be FULL!

So here’s the breakdown.  First let’s start with what you get in the starter kit.  You have two different options..


Look at the amount of product you get + the extras!!

So, you buy your kit and now you need to have TWO Announcement Gatherings.  These are the easiest gatherings you will ever have.  You know why?  Because you are inviting as many people as you can to share with them your new venture!!  All you have to do is invite them over, show them the product which they will love, and go from there.

This is what you are working for…


On average, a gathering averages $500.  So meeting this incentive when scheduling Announcement gatherings, is easily attainable.

So let me go on.  By selling $1000 at the end of the Great Start Rewards period, you will have earned $250 in commission.  You have ALREADY made money and earned your investment back.  But that’s NOT all!!!!

You are your own hostess of the announcement gatherings.  And so by being your own hostess it just makes sense that you get all of the hostess rewards, right?  Do you know how much FREE product you will have earned after these announcement gatherings just by being your own hostess? 


So, this is what it looks like so far.  Are you getting frazzled, because my computer screen appears to be moving…

Let’s say you bought the most expensive kit, because who doesn’t want that amazing Ampersand Tray anyway?

You pay $150 (less tax and shipping)

You meet your Great Start Rewards and earn $250 in commission.

You earn $400 in FREE product from meeting your Great Start Rewards.

You earn $200 in FREE product for being your own hostess.

HOLY COW!!!  And then we throw this in…


Remember, with an announcement gathering, you are your own hostess?  And you have done two gatherings that were each $500 (our average gathering)

You now have the option to increase your FREE product by buying $20 to get $100 in additional FREE product!  September is just kind of crazy good with incentives like that.  Are you totally confused?  You can get an extra $100 in free product by paying $20.

So, if you do all of that?  This is the breakdown.

You pay for your starter kit $150

You have two $500 announcement gatherings and earn $250 in commission.

You met your Great Start Rewards and will receive $400 in FREE product.

You were your own hostess and you will receive $200 in FREE product.

Because of the hostess rewards in September, you pay $40 to increase your rewards.

You earn another $200 in FREE product.

So here comes the math.  Let me check with my pharmacist…

You earn $60

FREE Product $800

and you pay tax and shipping.


This is exactly how I felt when i was figuring this out.  I can’t imagine how my friend felt.

Needless to say, this is a pretty darn good time to join my team…

What do YOU think?



Amish Friendship Muffins

Amish Friendship Muffins

School is just approaching in our little community and the girls and I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen–stocking the freezer with breakfast meals, protein bars, sloppy joe mix, Tator tot casserole, and of course desserts for those times we just need a little something sweet.


By far, the most requested freezer item are the Amish Friendship Muffins

This recipe I found years ago in a Taste of Home magazine and I have been keeping the freezer stocked with them ever since. With honey, pudding, cinnamon, and chocolate chips—you feel like you’re almost eating that yummy Friendship Bread. You know the one with all of the starters?

But these are simple. And they do NOT hang around long in my home. I sometimes make them in to loaves as well. They freeze better than any muffins I have made and are the perfect “go to” on busy mornings or to slip in the lunchbag for dessert!

Amish Friendship Bread Cinnamon Chip Muffins

2/12 C. All-Purpose Flour

1 pkg Instant French Vanilla pudding

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup miniature chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine flour, pudding mix, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In another bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, oil, honey, and vanilla.  Add to dry ingredients  Whisk for 1-2 minutes or until combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups OR our  MARY & MARTHA bakeware two-thirds full.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.  Yield: 1 1/2 dozen.

People—we made FOUR recipes of these and I bet half are gone and it’s only been a week.


I am linking up with Tonya at the Weekend Potluck today!

bake it off, bake it off!


What’s more inviting on a 100 + degree day than to heat up your oven for 8 hours? 😉. So, not my typical favorite baking weather—but it was still fun–and my freezer is getting happier and happier about the start of school.  Have you heard Taylor Swift’s new song Shake it Off ?  That was our kitchen jam yesterday.  And then I heard some of the words, and decided we needed a new rendition—-Bake it Off—like it?

A major pantry clean out was on my list for the week, but I have changed my plan and think I’ll save that for a day next week when the kids are gone. So instead we just baked our faces off for a few hours yesterday.

Four recipes of our absolute favorite muffin ever (going to share at Tonya’s Weekend Potluck) and these bars from Mix and Match Mama. But you know what was even more fun than the baking? Using my new Mary & Martha foil pans!!! Oh my–my new addiction.

I can not wait for the after football game get togethers with chili in my crockpot and a pan of these easily ready to pull out of my freezer. Or the next time I need to take a meal to a friend and my dessert is already waiting for me. And besides that—they are stinkin’ cute. Right?!!  And I have to admit, we need “something sweet” pretty frequently around here.  Three pans in the freezer will at least get us started—and the extra pan it made was quickly consumed with just a little bit waiting for Steve when he gets home this evening.

These foil pans are just part of the new Mary & Martha fall product line up.  And there’s much more that will be featured at my FACEBOOK Fall Product Launch tomorrow evening (Thursday, August 28) at 9:00 pm.  Won’t you join me?  It’s going to run VERY quick.  Videos are going to be VERY unprofessional.  But we are going to have VERY much fun!  And I’ve got some foil pans to giveaway…

Click here to join or RSVP through facebook:

And the best part?  All you need is a computer, pajamas, a cup of your favorite drink, and go ahead—eat a snack too while you’re at it.  It’s a party, remember?

was that the last game?!


Ok–so you know Landon feels he’s in a desperate situation if he’s asking me to play basketball with him. And he started out pretty pumped about the whole thing —a late night basketball game, mom’s one on one attention (pun?!!), and the promise of a snack before bed. He really pretty much had the world by it’s tail at this particular time of these quickly fading last days of summer.


And then he says to me. “Mom–are you sure you ever played basketball in high school?”

And with that, I am figuring it may be the last game I play with him. By his choice, of course.

countdown–back to school style.


Back to school is in 8 days!  We have one week and one day left to soak up the last few days, hours, and minutes of summer.  And with 100 degree days, it is making it feel like we are in the middle of summer.

We aren’t just sitting around with nothing to do.  Last minute dental appointments, practices in full swing, and commitments to school are already taking place.  We just don’t go to bed as early.  Or have homework.  Or ride a bus.  Or have games.  Or worry about what we wear in the morning.  Or what to pack for lunch.  Oh my goodness…it’s coming!!!



20140825-074936-28176590.jpgLate night (9:00 pm late–haha) hide and seek games are coming to an end.  It’s kind of sad?!  The carefree days and nights of little or no outside responsibility are dwindling.  Kourt just read this and said “no! we will still get to play!”.  Yes, yes.  It’s true.  They will still get to play—but it’s different.


I am one of those that wants to bawl my eyes out at the fact they are going back to school and at the same exact time I am THRILLED!!!  The beginning of fall has got to be about my favorite time of the year.  (although I say that at every start of a new season)

apple smiles

Things like this back to school snack idea that is floating around on facebook just makes me smile. (no pun intended)  And I can hardly wait to have those waiting for the kids after school!!  And we all know that by the end of the school year, kids are fending for themselves whatever they can find in the pantry, right?

I start off the year with a stocked freezer (can’t wait to tell you all about my Wildtree Freezer Workshop coming up on Saturday afternoon), lots of great lunch and dinner ideas and after school snacks.  It’s a new beginning and it’s exciting.


We are on the final countdown.  And when I say countdown I can’t help but think of one of the most fun things we did at our BLAST OFF VBS this past weekend.  Seriously, I think this may have been my favorite part of each day–and I know the kids loved it too.  Click below to check it out!

Are you and your kids ready to BLAST OFF to school?  Have they been there awhile already?  BLESSINGS to all as we begin a new year.

what a gift.


I was quickly reminded again today of the blessing of Mary & Martha to me and my family.

A sweet Mary & Martha sister (I don’t even know her name?!) snapped this picture of Steve leading our family in prayer and communion. This was during our worship on Sunday morning of National Conference. And this is my job?

Thank you to my unknown friend for your precious gift of this picture captured. A memory I will not forget.

and then there’s perspective…



The number ONE reason I love children and children’s ministry—they are forgiving, expecting, and gracious.  They aren’t concerned with your decorations or lack thereof.  They aren’t concerned if you have fewer banana split toppings than originally planned.  Or if you do pulled pork instead of hamburgers and hotdogs (ok, maybe some do).  Or if you have 10 crews of 5 or 11 crews of 4 or 12 crews of 6.

They don’t care.

They just want you to love on them.  And this year at our VBS, we have SO many people to love on these kids.  We have so many people who have prayed and are praying for a weekend of leading tender hearts to the love of God.  And really…what more could we ask for?

So when the angst and worry creeps in (like it is beginning to do as we near the final hours of preparation) God pointed me right to what I needed.  Prepare your heart, Steph.  Pray for the kids, the leaders, and the families. 

We would absolutely LOVE to have your children join us for the launching of a mission of God’s love this weekend!  We have lots of activities planned for the families as well as a big celebration Sunday morning with a BBQ to follow.  Won’t you join us and share with others?

Registration is super simple.  Click Here:


And don’t be afraid of our help… HA!



wonder if we’re cheating them…


Last year at this exact time of the year, I took each of our kiddos shopping for school supplies–on their own.  Each had their own afternoon blocked off to spend one on one, purchasing school supplies and choosing a place to get a snack or a drink.  Each experience was as different as each of the kids are.  It’s always amazing when you get a child of four alone for a few hours.  One of my most favorite memories of last summer.  Each outing was as unique as each of the kids were.  And I loved it.  And we didn’t have a cart full of craziness and mayhem as we searched for the exact trapper keeper, erasers, 20 #2 pencils, and Expo brand dry erase markers.


Which begs to question our decision in school supply shopping this year…


With the exception of a couple of things, we ordered everything online.  I didn’t step foot in a store to search for anything.  Is this sad for them?  They know nothing of it yet.  Opening a delivered box of school supplies will surely be exciting, right?