Friday, May 28, 2010


Today I am thankful for my friends! These are some of my dearest friends who I have known since birth, kindergarten and middle school.   I am so blessed to have these girls as friends who have known me forever and love me in spite of my faults (there are many!) One of these girls, Ami, is moving far away and will be missed!
Ami, you are a blessing and I just wanted to say that I am thankful for your friendship. 
Best and warmest wishes of meeting new friends in your new town,

On being thrifty, more thoughts

Well, I just finished reading "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey.  The best thing about reading this book is it has changed the way I look at debt.  Before I started reading the book I thought some debt was normal.  I have never liked having loans and lines of credit but I always thought it was like an emergency fund.  Well, here's an idea, how about actually having an emergency fund instead?  How about making some changes in our spending style to live beneath our means. 
So, after talking to Scott, we are rethinking the way we spend money.  Here are some changes we are beginning to make:

1.  We are selling the large gas guzzling truck we use for work to save on fuel and get rid of the large payment.  We have an older truck (much older) we can use for household needs. For client meetings and work Scott can take our paid off Tahoe when necessary.  (Eventually we will need another vehicle appropriate for meeting with clients and hauling the catering trailer but for now we can make do with the vehicles we have in order to save money).  Once we sell this truck we will have no debt besides our mortgages.
2.  We are selling our camping trailer, canoe and also having a yard sale.
3. All the money we make off the sale of the above items will go into a savings account as part of a 3 month emergency fund.  In addition to the savings we also plan to enlarge our storage of emergency food & water.  Once we have this savings in place we hope we will be able to start paying extra on our mortgage in order to pay it off early. 
4.  In order to scale back our monthly expenses we are switching our health insurance to a higher deductible and opening a Health Savings Account.
5.  We are holding off on buying discretionary items and watching our grocery budget closely to keep it low.
The point of all this?  To drastically reduce the amount of debt we have (primarily our home loans) in the next 5 years so that we are able to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. 
I was right when I thought some debt is "normal" but one of the main points in the book is these days "normal" is broke!  We don't want to be broke, we want to be self sufficient, responsible, and generous with what we have.  We're not going to be babies and cry about scaling back!

             (Because it's not as cute as the real thing!)
We are going to get real about saving and investing in the future so our little ones can have a brighter one! 

Feel free to post a comment on my blog to share any other good ideas to reduce debt and make the most of the income you have.  I would love to hear what you all are doing too!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Quote of the day

We can do no great things, only small things with great love.  Mother Teresa

I'm letting this sink in today as I look out over the week.  Prayerfully, I am preparing my heart to spend my week in a way that can overflow with compassion for others.  So often I am guilty of being self involved and not looking to help others near to me or far away.  But this is an irony because God has given me a heart of compassion.  One that is easily moved to tears at the pain of others suffering especially children.  Too often I get caught up in my own little world (and by doing so I am keeping it little).  This week I am challenging my habits and seeking to show love.  I can't wait to share what opportunities to give of my time and resources come up as a result of being ready and available!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Life is an adventure!

I realized today I can hardly call my first born son little anymore!  He is growing quickly (always hungry!) and always looking for the next adventure!  What I love about Aiden is the depth and intrigue.  He is part moody and mysterious and part adventurous and beaming with a gorgeous smile.   I always say about my boys that one is dark, handsome and mysterious and the other one is fair, sunny(and also handsome but in a life is a beach kind of way)!   Someday the girls are gonna go crazy for both of them but for different reasons! 
Aiden takes being a kid as "serious business", meaning he is serious about growing up soon and also playing hard to learn.  With Aiden, the more responsibility and trust we give him the more he thrives.  He is such a kind hearted boy who is a wonderful friend to his class and team mates!  He is a natural athlete like his dad and loves the team atmosphere!   I am really proud of him!  He is the kind of boy I would dream about having as my own and I thank God that he is!  He makes life an adventure!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Meet Anna, My American Girl

Do you know those classic American Girl dolls, each one with her own era and story? This is just the right way to describe my girl. She is classic and pretty but it's her inner beauty that shines right through. She has a strength of character and purity that is hard to find. Her instinct for what is right is so strong and she sets the bar high for those around her every day. She is loving and thoughtful and wise beyond her years! I love her sense of humor and her work ethic. She loves school, friends, family and animals. Especially animals. She even started her own blog about them and our adventures with the "Farm thing" ( You can often find her reading a book, riding a horse, playing with her siblings, being silly or telling a story. She loves stories! Will she be a writer? Who knows but I cannot wait to see what plans the Lord has for her life. I am so proud of her!

Reasons 1 Year Olds do NOT help you be thrifty!

1.  They wash your cell phone in the dog water...oh, and remotes also.
2.  They help you unravel the toilet paper whether or not you need some...
3.  They hide keys in unusual places so you have to search for hours...(I'm factoring in time spent here!)
4.  They try to eat the cat food if left out...
5.  They throw just about everything down the stairs to see what happens...
6.  They remove the batteries out of remotes so eventually you have to hide them all and hope the other small people in the house keep them hidden too.
7.  They find a tube of watercolor paint in their older sisters drawer and spread it around on the sheets, floor and their own clothing.....

Do you see that sweet little face though?  I know it sounds well, exhausting! But I wouldn't trade these days, these hours or even moments for anything.  By now I know this darling age is so fleeting!  So we will laugh at the adventures and buy another cell, remote & roll of toilet paper!  And I will take delight in the last of these baby days!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

This is kinda cheesy!

Recently, my littlest sister Jeneah came over just to visit.  Well, little did she know I had big plans for us to try out a fun and simple recipe for Buttermilk Cheese (saw it in Country Living Magazine). 
Jeneah and I went to work at our very first ever batch of cheese.  The ingrediants are Buttermilk, Whole Milk and Sea Salt.  Wow.  Really?  I never knew cheese could be made by cooking a few simple items 8 minutes (until 180 degrees) and laddling the curds from the whey.  (does that remind anyone of Little Miss Muffet?)
Let me tell you the cheese was good!  Along with the cheese we made the accompaniments in the article - a little pistachio crust, some strawberry jam and a fig sauce.  All easy and delicious!
I realized through this process just how silly it is that most of us (me included) don't know the first thing about how to make things from scratch anymore.  For the most part, we don't know how to grind grains, make clothing or even grow our own food.  I realize some do, but how did we get so far away from the basics so fast! 
So that little project was the inspiration for me to try more cheese recipes - next maybe Mozzarella!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Just wanted to post this quick photo of my mom and I! 
Mom, I had a nice time with just you on Mother's Day!  I love spending time with you, you are so welcoming and easy to be with.  Your home is a paradise where one can truly find rest!  Love your favorite daughter (he he)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Pioneer Farm Fieldtrip

Last week Casey's preschool class took a fieldtrip to a real Pioneer Farm to find out how kids and their families lived more than a 100 years ago! This is my kinda fieldtrip as I love anything old and totally romanticize anything Pioneer. I loved those little house books by Laura Ingalls! Casey's favorite part of the day was jumping in the hay, of course! But he also had the chance to play with wooden toys.

They explored inside real cabins and heard stories about the families who live in them.

They rolled dough, ground flour by hand and used tools.

They met the farm animals and learned the chores that kids would have done!

The fun day ended with a picnic lunch and we had a really great time together!

Family Traditions

We have a family tradition that started a few years ago. Every Friday night in our house we have "Special Night" with our kids. Our friends, the Adderson family inspired this idea. All the kids bring down their sleeping bags, special "pets" and pillows and lay them out on our bedroom floor. We stay up late, make popcorn or have a treat and watch movies and cartoons together. All week long we look forward to special night. Sometimes, we have the boys with the boys and the girls with the girls. If someone wants to sleep with us at a different time during the week we often say "only 2 more days until special night!". This has been a great way to have something to look forward to all week and have some time together!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Counting my blessings

No really. I am truly counting my blessings tonight. Honestly I have heard about so much hurt and tragedy in the past week. I will spare the details because they are weighing heavily on me, I can't seem to shake them...

Probably because it's a reminder to me. Of what? That each new day is a gift. Fragile and precious. That the beautiful people God has lovingly created & put in my life, my home and my heart are his and not mine to keep. We are like "blades of grass, the wind blows over us and we are no more(for this world anyway)" yet from ever lasting to ever lasting the Lord's love is with those who fear Him and his righteousness is with their children's children. (from Psalm 103, paraphrased some) This scripture always reminds me that this world is our temporary home. We are not humans trying to be spiritual but spirits trying to be human. This life is short but there is an eternity to follow. One that I can hardly imagine but believe in whole heartedly!

Even my own life is not my own because I am a creation of the living God who loves me, formed me, and has a plan for my life. I am thankful, so thankful. Tonight all my children are tucked safely in bed, warm and cozy and well fed. Can you tell I have a thing about things needing to be cozy!

Tonight we are all healthy. This simple statement is profound. When I am healthy I don't always notice it, but I certainly notice when I'm sick. Right now I am filled with gratitude because what more can we ask for than being well? It is a form of wealth if you ask me!

I know that in my future there will be days of worry, days where I can't say everyone is under my roof and sleeping soundly and safely, days when things are difficult. But I will not worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will worry about itself. So now I will go and lie down and sleep in peace. Blessings to you and I hope you can say with me that you and yours are well and safe and have much to be thankful for!

P.S. While I'm writing this I have had open so I can listen to her pretty calming music. I haven't figured out how to add any tunes yet but I do recommend some of her choices! They are pretty and relaxing and full of feeling! Feel free to try it, and browse her blog too, it's sweet!

About Me

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wife & mother of 4 beautiful children, 2 girls & 2 boys. small business co-owner; catering and a restaurant/alehouse, writer, gardener, lover of freedom and humility found in christ, small town enthusiast, book reader, admirer of noble truths, beauty and love