Gratituesday: My 100th Post!

According to my dashboard, this is my 100th blog post!  Wow — how did that happen?  And to think, I had virtually no idea that the blogging community even existed six months ago.  Crazy, I know.  This blogging thing?  I absolutely love it.  And this Gratituesday thing?  It is necessary.  In all circumstances.   

In honor of my 100th post, here’s what I’m grateful for tonight.

  • Inspiring blogs that gave me the push to begin my own addiction, well… yes, addiction.
  • Talented friends who got my blog up and running.
  • A place to collect and record my thoughts.
  • Incredible readers who have become sincere friends through our blogs.
  • A husband who encourages this outlet (and everything else I get myself into!)
  • Patient children who wait “one more minute” while I finish up a post or moderate comments.
  • Encouragement and accountability via thoughtful comments.
  • A community where I feel like the “invisible-to-society” things I do throughout the day as a wife and mother aren’t so menial!

So, there you have it.  My 100th post!  Anything you’d like to read about in the next 100?

Don’t forget to visit Heavenly Homemakersfor more Gratituesday.

Oh, the Things They Say!

Each of the following statements is a future blog post all its own, but sometimes a Mama must take a minute to relish her kids’ creativity, imperfect speech, and their way with words.  Here’s what I’ve been hearing at my house:


“We a team, wight Mom?”

“Good job, Mom.  Good job!”

“Mommy, I wish you were an octopus.” 


“I help you ’cause you my big boy, wight Mom?”

“That MY job, Mom.”

(gasp!) “We fogot to pray!”

“Hey, Mom!  I pooped a big one.  Come see it or you’ll miss it!”

Oh, the things they say!  Definitely a Finer Thing.  I am grateful for every one!

Head on over to Laura’s place to get your Gratituesday fix.

Snuggled up with a Good Book

The days are getting shorter; the evenings cooler.  We recently pulled out my favorite article of kids’ clothing… footie jammies!  So cute, so warm and cozy.  Definitely one of the finer things.   

During the fall and winter months, we are somehow less rushed in the evenings (except on game nights… which, in Tiny Town, can be nearly every night…).  I’m grateful for the early fall sunset wrapped in comfort foods and warm baths and some serious snuggle time!  Snuggle time at our house almost always means BOOK TIME!

A few of our favorites:

  • Baby Angels (current favorite for the 14 month old)
  • Usborne’s Farm Yard Tales (Usborne books are awesome!)
  • Little House on the Prairie series (I loved reading these with my daughter even more than reading them when I was young!)
  • Boxcar Children series (we’re on #6 now)

Snuggle time in footie jammies with a good book.  Does it get any better than that?

Visit Heavenly Homemakers for more Gratituesday.

Finances Schminances

What a wonder that I do not have to worry about our family finances.  I don’t need to worry about anything, actually.  God says so!  For that I am grateful.

Dismiss all anxiety from your minds.  Present your needs to God in every form of prayer and in petitions full of gratitude.  Then God’s own peace, which is beyond all understanding, will stand guard over your hearts and minds, in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4: 6,7

Instead of stressing over past mistakes and an uncertain financial future on an income that qualifies our daughter for reduced school lunch prices, we can continue doing what we’ve set out to do from the beginning of our marriage (and before when we were single).

  • My parents taught me to “save ’till it hurts.”  I always have, so it is second nature.  For that I am grateful.
  • The first three years of our marriage, when we both had excellent-paying teaching jobs, we lived below our means.  For that I am grateful. 
  • When we shopped for our first home, we both laughed out loud when the bank wanted to loan us $200,000+ for a rather large, new home.  We went for the cozy, 1,200 square foot, circa 1965 model.  For that I am grateful. 
  • Knowing while we were engaged (and even while we dated!) that we both wanted me to stay home and raise any children that God saw fit to give us, we tried to live on one income from the beginning.  Oh, how much easier the actual transition was 5 years later when our daughter was finally born!  For that I am grateful. 
  • When God called us to Tiny Town, with it’s teeny-tiny salary, I only panicked momentarily.  (Does a whole weekend of intermittent hysterical bawling qualify as momentarily?)  Then I let God do his thing.  He proved his faithfulness by getting a really good price for our former home (in less than 24 hours on the market!) and gave us a bigger home in Tiny Town for about 1/2 of our selling price.  For that I am grateful!
  • Even on our small salary, because of the way we live and manage our money, we are able to give.  It feels so good to bless others.  For that I am grateful. 

While our country is in turmoil over bad financial choices and greedy behaviors, we can rest in the promise of our God.  He has taught us well, and thank goodness we have listened, um, most of the time!  (because we don’t always…) And praise be to God that even if we lose it all, all is not lost.  For our hope does not rest on any amount of money, but in the One who never fails. 

For more Gratituesday, visit Heavenly Homemakers.

Right There in Black and White

I haven’t always been good about taking some quiet, daily devotional time for myself.  And on the rare occasion where I’d be inspired and gung-ho to dive into my Bible and “read every last bit of it” I would always stop short… way short.  Somehow I’d get lost in all the words.  Get confused.  Lose my own attention span.  Be thinking of 1,000 other things I needed to do, or a few other things that were more fun to read.

Since I’ve lowered my standards a bit (I don’t have to read the whole Bible to get something out of it!) and simplified my devotion time (I’m currently using the easy-to-read-and-understand-and-short devotions from Our Daily Bread) and since I’ve purposed to make time for devotions first thing in the morning, I’ve had greater success.  I’ve been rewarded.  Here is this morning’s reward; clear as a bell… right there in black and white.

God gave us eternal life,

and this life is in his Son.

Whoever possesses the Son

possesses life;

whoever does not possess the Son of God

does not possess life.

1 John 5:11, 12

Ahhh, the exciting, refreshing, simple, eternal truth!  What a great way to start the day!

For more Gratituesday, visit Heavenly Homemakers.  There is so much to be thankful for!

Beautiful Weather

I absolutely cannot get over the amazing Kansas temperatures this summer!  Usually we’re choking on the heat throughout August and most of September.  (and July… and sometimes June)  This year… not so much.  It’s been wonderful for many reasons.

Our air conditioner went on a (permanent?) hiatus on August 30.  We knew it was on it’s last leg, and we knew we should probably replace it, but… we haven’t even had it looked at yet.  We haven’t even needed it!  In previous years we’ve taken note of the ads that run in the dead of winter for really great sales on air conditioners.  I guess the cooling guys aren’t too busy when it’s -5 degrees outside.  We might get to take advantage of those deals this year!

My black thumb has turned a beautiful shade of green.  I’m actually able to grow things in the garden!  Mostly because the sun hasn’t scorched my plants and we’ve received the right amount of rain when we need it most.  My green peppers and tomatoes are going crazy right now!

My husband’s football team suffered a little less in the heat during practice.  Oh, he’s still made them “suffer,” but it’s a lot easier to run gassers (don’t ask) when it’s 85 degrees and not 101.  AND he didn’t have to rearrange everyone’s schedule (including mine!) to follow a “heat plan” this year.  AND my kids love to attend practice, which is so much easier on the baby and the mommy when it’s not so darn hot.   

We’re able to enjoy more family time outside.  Trips to the park, bike rides, tag in the yard… it’s so much more comfortable for all of us!  We have a great time playing together and this momma gets her exercise

We haven’t had to water our lawn at all.  Not that we would anyway, but it’s still green this year!

You know what they say about Kansas weather… if you don’t like it today, just hang in there until tomorrow.  It’ll change.  While I know change is upon us, I’m taking a moment this Gratituesday to enjoy the beautiful weather!  Definitely one of the Finer Things in Life!  See you outside!

Down on the Farm

We just returned from a quick morning trip to my favorite place in the world, visiting my favorite people in the world.  Well, my favorite place besides my own home, on my own couch, curled up with an afghan on a cool fall evening (with a big bowl of homemade soup, right Kate?)… and my favorite people besides my doting husband and my perfect, well-behaved, peaceful, um, entertaining (that’s it!) children. 

Anyway, we’re back from my Grandparents’ Farm.  It would take many, many posts to write about how much the farm means to me, but I do want to share just a few things.

  • How cool is it that my favorite people live at my favorite place?!?
  • I’m so grateful that my children have been given the gift of time to develop a relationship with their great-grandparents!
  • The farm is only 30 minutes from my home, which means we can visit any time… we really should do that more!
  • My kids have a ball exploring some of the very same things I enjoyed as child (and still do!)  I can prove it.  See?
The cows have forever been a star farm attraction.

The cows have forever been a star farm attraction.

The front porch used to be my balance beam, too!

The front porch used to be my balance beam, too!

My favorite thing at my favorite place - the old cellar.

My favorite thing at my favorite place - the old cellar.

Many a tag game was played in the old hay barn.  The crazy girl is pretty cute, too!

Many a tag game was played in the old hay barn. The crazy girl is pretty cute, too!

Happy Gratituesday!

Don’t Miss the Moment

“I really don’t want to go out there, but I don’t want to miss the moment.”

So out he went, after a 12-hour day of teaching and coaching training, inspiring, and encouraging a spirited group of teenagers.

Out to join a previously solitaire game of football (we have an extremely talented 3 year old… he can play the quarterback and receiver and linebacker all at the same time).  A game played strategically?  coincidentally? just outside the window where daddy was taking a break after his busy day.

Out he went.

For that, I am a grateful wife and mommy.  My kids’ daddy knows what’s important.

I am also grateful that our 5 year old girly-girl, who often encourages her brother to dress in a tutu and practice ballet moves (I’ll spare you the picture), is tough enough to join right in.

And I’m so grateful that my camera batteries were charged and my memory card wasn’t too full of blog pictures *cough* to capture the fun.

They grow up too fast.  Don’t miss the moment.

Go check out more Gratituesday!

An Unexpected Compliment

“Wow. Do you want me to wait to eat this so you can take a picture for your blog first?”

That’s what my thoughtful hubby said tonight when I served up his supper! And, no, I wasn’t planning to take a picture, but of course I had to after that compliment! He even held it by the window for me to capture the “natural light” effect. 😉

You have to understand that I think the world of Lance every day. He is incredibly thoughtful and considerate. He always puts me and the kids first. He is the hardest worker I know. But I’ll save all of that gushing for another day… maybe for our 10 year anniversary that is coming right up!

Today I’m just so thankful for that unexpected compliment. And that he supports my new blogging hobby, just as he does everything else I “get myself into.” I simply love him!

Check out more Gratituesday at Laura’s blog.

Generous Family and Friends

… and their food. That’s what I’m thankful for today.

For this… (and so much more just like it)

Generious Garden Goodness

and this…

and all the peaches that I forgot to take pictures of…

and all the fresh farm eggs that my mother-in-law brings when they visit…

and just today as I was standing outside school waiting to pick up my daughter, I noticed Mrs. S (a sweet little library volunteer and substitute teacher) hauling bag after bag of fresh pears into the building. She stopped on one of her trips from the car and asked “Would you please take this?” Um… yeah!!!

I was only wishing that I had brought the wagon so I could “help her out” a little more! (Fresh pear crisp sitting on my oven right now, by the way!)

** I’ve been asked for some pear recipes.  Here are my favorites:  pear crisp, caramel pear crumble, and pecan pear muffins.  Enjoy!

We have been so very blessed this summer with fresh food from family and friends!

Oh, and I’m thankful for my little guy, who brightened my day with this conversation when he saw the pears:

“Yum, Mommy! I wike dat!”

“Yes, you do.”

“Wat is dat?” he asked. (I LOVE how he “wikes” it before he knows what it is 😉 )

“Those are pears.”

“I wike pears!”

And then a few minutes later he kindly asked me if he could have some “parrots” for supper. I love him!

Check out what other bloggers are talkin’ about this Gratituesday.