a blog about life, family, and faith

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February is the New January

Yep, that is what I have decided.  I’m starting 2018 with February!  In all honesty, I’m actually still a little behind from the beginning of the month.  So, oh, well!  I guess that will just have to be the theme of the year. Lol!

Despite our best efforts, Sarah, Brian and I started out the new year sick.  When someone gets sick while you are traveling, there is just not much you can do to keep it from spreading.  Unfortunately, it was about two weeks into January before we all were feeling back to normal.  Now we are doing a lot of praying and using Thieves hand purifier like crazy anytime we go out to places like Walmart, just trying to keep from getting the flu.

[I interrupt this moment for a Public Service Announcement:  If you are sick, do not try to be a martyr and work through it.  For all our sakes, STAY HOME!!]

Now, this doesn’t mean that nothing got done in January.  We did have some accomplishments.  I just had so much more planned.  So many changes or tweaks I planned to make.  Adjustments I wanted to make to get into better routines and rhythms for each day.  I had business plans and ministry plans and school plans.  But, part of my goal for 2018 is being ok with those things that don’t get done.  So, I’m going to take a moment to breathe, pray, and then take one more step forward.  (Of course, that may be easier said than done some days.)

So as far as January goes, …

… I did get a menu planned for the entire month – even though I was making adjustments most of the time.  It did simplify my grocery list process and helped me think through meals a little quicker on a weekly basis.  (I’m already making adjustments to the February menu, but the full month is planned!)

… I worked out our basic homeschool lesson plans between now and the end of the year!  This was huge for me!!!  Each week I will have to make adjustments because, well, life happens and plans change.  Plus, I still have a few extra things I would like for us to do this year that just haven’t happened yet, so I am hoping to add those in soon.



… We reorganized Sarah’s closet!  Before Christmas we switched Daniel and Sarah’s room because she needed the bigger closet.  However, it was a pretty much a – throw it in and we will deal with it later – event.  It is now sooo much better!


… Brian & I worked through our calendars through June and specifically scheduled Date Nights.  (Yes, it has only taken us 25 years of marriage to get this concept down.) We are trying to get in at least two official Date Nights a month. We had our first monthly Basement Movie Night in January.  It’s freezing in our basement, so we settled in under blankets, turned on the space heater, and watched our movie pick for the month.  The ending turned out really bad, so we created our own alternate ending.  Bad guys still lost, the good one didn’t die and everyone lived happily ever after.  Come on Hollywood, get it right next time!


… I tried out my new Instant Pot!  I’ve made bean soup, roasted potatoes, several batches of rice, pork chops, mashed potatoes, chicken drumsticks, and chicken wings.  It is not always a specific time saver, but it is definitely a leave it and forget it deal.  I managed to cook in it 4 times in one day and I wasn’t home all day!


… and Sarah and I painted our dining room and sitting room.  Those rooms had dots all over the walls from where we had put up Sarah’s birthday decorations.  The paint on the walls in this house is horrible!  It stains like crazy.  The timeline for repainting has been moved up, especially now that the other rooms are done and they make the rest look even worse.  However, in the process we discovered that the crappy paint on the walls also alters the color of the new paint.  So my Brook Green shows up as Brook Blue.  The paint on the can, in the pan, and even on the sheet rock in the basement stairwell is all green, the paint on the wall is blue.  That will put a whole new spin on future paint choices.

So, I guess that was not too shabby for a month that really didn’t happen!

I’m still trying to catch up and work through some projects that need to be done, but hopefully everyone will stay well and I can be productive enough to get on to developing those routines and rhythms I wanted to put in place.

But through all the ups and downs, the chaos, adjustments, and complete overhauls, I can hold fast to this promise:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

Living thru faith,




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I Want To Be That Kind of Tired

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been reading a collection of Shel Silverstein poems with Sarah each evening at bedtime.  Last night I thought I had found MY poem.  The title…   TIRED

I’ve been working so hard you just wouldn’t believe,

And I’m tired!

There’s so little time and so much to achieve,

And I’m tired!

I’ve been lying here holding the grass in its place,

Pressing a leaf with the side of my face,

Tasting the apples to see if they’re sweet,

Counting the toes on a centipede’s feet.

I’ve been memorizing the shape of that cloud,

Warning the robins to not chirp so loud,

Shooing the butterflies off the tomatoes,

Keeping an eye out for floods and tornadoes,

I’ve been supervising the work of the ants

And thinking of pruning the cantaloupe plants,

Timing the sun to see what time it sets,

Calling the fish to swim into my nets,

And I’ve taken twelve thousand and forty-one breaths,

And I’m TIRED!


Oh to be that kind of tired!  🙂


Living thru faith,


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God Wasn’t Kiddin’

At some point last spring (I think…I’ve lost all sense of time) God told Brian and I both separately that 2016-2017 was going to be a year of preparation.

Boy, was he not kidding!  It started in August and every time I get through one thing I start preparing for something else. This momma is tired!


We decided to start homeschooling Sarah this year.  While it has been fun and interesting and adventuresome and frustrating and confusing and tiring… you get the idea, it has involved a ton of preparation.  The preparation didn’t stop when the school year began.  Oh, no.  I planned out a general schedule for the year and now I try to look ahead three to six weeks depending on the break schedules to plan things more specifically, but even then I am still tweaking each week as life happens along the way.

Some things take longer than I anticipate or life throws us curve balls or curriculum is just not what I thought it would be.  Right now I’m beginning to look at changing the way we do math.  Who knows what that is going to look like next year!  One thing I have learned so far is that homeschool preparation is never complete…


Job (Sorta) Change

Brian’s current position is a one year appointment with it becoming an official position in July 2017.  It was a long discerning process, but Brian finally felt like the Lord was leading him to apply for the “new”position.  Meaning he would stay in his current position with a few changes like full faculty status.  As he prepared the application process, we also had to prepare ourselves for the possibility that we would have to be looking elsewhere since he could be out of a job at the end of June.  That process began in September and finally came to a conclusion at the beginning of December.  Thankfully, Brian gets to keep his job!  But throughout that time, we were also preparing for another life change…



In August, even before we knew the outcome of the job situation, we asked my mom to move in with us in the spring when her lease is up.  With this change in family dynamics comes a change in space.  Our current home is just not set up well for 3 adults, a teenage boy, and an upcoming tween girl.  Not to mention if we were looking at a job change, we would have to be moving in the summer regardless.  So we started preparing our home for sale and ended up putting it on the market right before Thanksgiving.  (That’s a whole other amazing story!)  In addition to preparing for us moving houses, we are also preparing for Mom to make the move from Texas to Kentucky at the end of February.  Details, details, details!

Three Graduations and a Wedding

In the midst of all the other life preparations, we have also been preparing for two college graduations, a high school graduation, and a wedding.  Matt’s fiance, Shelby, graduated with a degree in Family Studies in December, Matt will be graduating with a degree in Marketing and minor in Finance at the end of February, and Daniel will be graduating from high school in May.


Then in June, Matt and Shelby will be tying the knot!  I told my sister-in-law that a week after the wedding I would be in a padded room talking to the Easter bunny.  When I relayed that to my friend Jenny, she said I would have some great looking Easter eggs once I was done!  Awesome, Jenny!


But, wait!  There’s more…

As if that was not enough on our plates, I have been teaching children’s Sunday School at our wonderful little country church (those who really know me, know how out of my comfort zone that really is!), Sarah & I have managed a few field trips this fall, Daniel started a job at Kohl’s, we sold our house and should be closing on the new house in a few weeks, Brian has been teaching & writing a chapter for a collaborative book project, and in May Daniel will be heading on a Senior school trip to New York City!

It’s only by God’s grace that I haven’t completely gone bonkers at this point.  If you don’t see me in July, it’s because I’ve crawled into bed and refused to come out.

More house news to come…eventually…

Living thru faith,




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Pink Out 2016

It’s October and that means it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Most families these days have been affected in some way by breast cancer and our family is one of them.  Breast cancer has impacted our family with both my grandmother and my sister-in-law’s father.   Sadly, Windy lost his fight against this disease.

Sarah decided she wanted to participate in the October Pink Out again this year.


While Sarah enjoys having the pink hair, I try to make her understand the main purpose is to help support breast cancer awareness.  All the proceeds from our hair salon’s Pink Out will go to help financially support a local woman currently fighting the battle against breast cancer.

Each year Sarah participates in honor of her great-grandmother and adds Nan to the tree with all the other names of those honored or remembered.


While we can’t understand why some have to go through the battle of cancer or why some win that battle on this side of heaven and others are healed in heaven itself, we can never stop praying for cures and healing, fighting through the battle, and supporting those walking such a difficult journey.

Living thru faith,


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The Shoe Invasion of Summer 2016

There is an invisible force in my house that draws all boys’ shoes to the end of my dining table.


These vortexes seem to invade my house mainly during the summer.

Matt comes home in the summer…

Could there be a connection?


This summer’s pull was especially strong!

My dining room table was invaded everyday, multiple times a day, whether they were home or not.

Just when I when I got rid of them…they appeared again…and again.

But, did it stop at the dining table?

Oh, no! There appear to be small vortexes that pull their shoes to other places, too.



Those last three pictures I took in a span of less than 30 seconds!

Somehow, the vortexes never pull them into their bedroom, much less into their closet or, heaven forbid, onto the shoe rack I only bought because one son in particular assured me he would use it.

But we all know a mom does not go down without a fight.

Next summer, I will have a battle plan!

Next summer Mom will win!

Living thru faith,


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Our Day of Firsts

Last Wednesday wasn’t just the first day of school!

It was Daniel’s first day of his last year of high school!


We’ve come a long way from this first day of kindergarten and fourth grade…

(in so many ways!)

First Day of School 2004 004edited

{insert momma tears here}

It was also Sarah’s first day of homeschooling!


In her words “It was fantastic!”

We started off the day with prayer and Bible time, worked on some math, began learning about Vikings, and spent a whole hour breaking for lunch while we visited with Daddy.

We even found some time to stand on our head…

and where else should we do grammar but under the table…

It’s just how we roll!


The next morning Daddy had a special surprise for us to celebrate a successful first day.

We love Daddy!


Here’s to a great school year for all the kiddos!


Living thru faith,


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Oh the Places They Will Go…

This summer has been a summer of college visits as both of the boys are looking toward the future.

Matt graduates will graduate in February with a marketing major and finance minor.  Daniel will graduate high school in May.  (It’s going to be a busy year!)

Daniel is thinking of teaching either early childhood education or high school English.  He is great with kids and he is also very creative, so we will see what he ends up settling into.

He, of course, had a tour of Louisiana Tech.



I have to say we were very impressed with their Education Program. They are doing some great training and mentoring programs that are moving beyond the traditional student teaching requirements.

I think for him it started off as the obligatory Tech tour (with the majority of our family being Tech alumni, we are kinda biased). However, by the end he was thinking twice about the possibility.

He also toured The University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, KY.  The campus is the perfect size for Daniel and is absolutely beautiful!  There are only about 1800-2000 on-campus students.  Williamsburg itself is a really small Kentucky town, but it has plenty of fast food restaurants and it’s own Walmart.  What else does a college student need?!


We were disappointed that we were not able to speak with an Education professor during our visit, but we discovered they do not have classes offered on campus during the summer so all the professors are pretty much gone right now.  We were impressed to hear a couple of the students talk about the small class sizes and the interaction between the professors and students.  Our tour guide was an education major and told us about several of her professors coming together and praying with her before she took her Praxis exams (state teaching exams).

We also took Matt & Shelby to Nashville to visit Vanderbilt.  Matt would love to take part in their MBA program.  It’s a 2 year program with an internship during the summer between the two yearly sessions.  Matt has always felt a pull to Nashville, so maybe one day…


Shelby graduates in December from Eastern Kentucky University.  (Like I said, it’s going to be a busy year!) She is planning to get her masters in Marriage & Family Counseling and is looking at a couple of programs as well.

Both Matt & Daniel have a couple other places they are considering, so there are more tours to come!

Living thru faith,