Ginger, Oh Snap!

I’m in the throws of a bad allergic reaction. It started Sunday and hasn’t let up. We don’t know what’s causing it, but ginger is possibly the culprit. It’s changing our plans and making it a lot more challenging to serve others. Thankfully, I’m not in this by myself. 

The last two days Jason has taken over with help from the girls. Today, the girls we’re going to make gingerbread houses with Grandma Linda. Ginger is one of the allergens on my list. So, I was out for participating. We can’t risk this getting worse. 

The girls spent some time making gingerbread houses today. Their dad even did a little smoke detector checking while he was there.

The time was full of giving and blessings. The girls rushed in to show me all their treasures! I’m so glad hey had fun.

Love God & Whoever He Puts In Front Of You 

Nice Ash!

Nice Ash!

If it’s one thing we have around here, it’s wood and woodworking skills. Tonight, we invited some friends over for dinner and a little Santa’s workshop time.

The girls helped the boys draw up plans and began making their specials gifts for their family members! 

They had so much fun with this awesome family! We’re so glad we can be apart of making their Christmas a bit more special. 

Those homemade meaningful gifts add up to memories! We’ve got one more night in the shop with these guys until things are completed. We can’t wait to hear all about the surprises opened on Christmas.

Love God & Whoever He Puts In Front Of You 

*Check out our website at for more photos!

Here’s A Tip

Here’s A Tip

Today was a triple Advent day.  I took the girls on a day getaway to West Baden. One of our crew was needing a little restoration and beauty has a way of helping that along.

We decided to have a snack which turned into a meal. Our waitress was new and pretty vocal about her life. It seems she had a pretty difficult life as an adopted kid. Her first daughter was born just a month ago. She was working to help her husband make ends meet.

And that was before the entree arrived.

The girls and I had been discussing what it is to have peace, real peace. The kind the rises above your circumstances. The kind that allows you to love whoever is in front of you. Now, I had the chance to live by example.

I kindly asked little questions to the waitress and listened to her responses. Any encouragement given to her seemed to really lighten her load. The image bearer before us came to life. She wasn’t simply a novice waitress, but a real person living a real life with her own soul and struggles. She became worthy of love because she was seen and we all could use some more of that in our worlds.

We enjoyed our day out. Lots of beautiful conversations transpired and refreshment came to those who needed it most.

As for the waitress, she received a tip that said you’re more valuable than your skill set, your more valuable than your hardships tell you and you have been seen and loved. Merry Christmas.

Love God & Whoever He Puts In Front Of You

On A Scale Of 1-10

On A Scale Of 1-10

This fall I went to the doctor after spending many months the last 2 years doing therapy for a hip and neck injury. The hip pain became intermittent, but the neck pain remained. I was limited on physical activity for a long time. My thyroid was also keeping me weight loss resistant. Despite months of near perfect eating, I wouldn’t give up an ounce of weight. In September I made a quick decision to join a 10-week Kickboxing program. I had a couple of friends who had done it and loved it! I had kickboxed when Jason was in the Navy and loved it then, but that was 20 years ago!

Turns out, I still love it.

A few weeks into the class, which was unbelievably hard, my friend was having a last pool day! We hit the 80’s in October and we celebrated with an autumn swim. Instead of sitting poolside fully dressed, I suited up and jumped in! Not because I looked any better in a swimsuit, but this class was teaching me to overcome hard things. The results were hours of laughter, fun and memories with my kids and friends!

As the weeks rolled on, I noticed I could hike and climb the fire tower at HNF without being winded. I was stronger and I could tell! I wasn’t grumpy because I was tired. Instead, I was full of life and enjoying the family time!

I also noticed my hip and neck pain improving drastically despite the level of physical activity day after day! (I think moving was the answer all along!)

Last week marked the end of our class session. It’s hard work, but I just kept showing up. In fact, I never missed a class! 60 classes later, I’ve lost a measly 1 pound (damn thyroid) and many inches, but I’ve gained great habits and even made some friends!

This morning, I woke the girls at 6:00a.m. and we took a basket of workout treats to the gym. We caught the class before mine as they left and then they watched me kickbox on “Fun Friday” and handed out bars to my class.

I can’t say enough about Farrell’s. It’s a come as you and prepare to work hard kind of gym. Everyone is encouraging because the owners Pam and Teresa set that standard well.

Come join me there! Another 10-week session starts in mid-January! In fact, there will be a booth set up today from 10-6 at the College Mall, in front of Dicks Sporting Goods, for sign ups! (Tell them I sent you and they will give you a friends and family discount of up to $150!) You’ll get 10 weeks of classes, a personal coach, meal logs, all your boxing gear, an encouraging community and the chance to overcome hard things!

Thank you FXB Bloomington for helping me hit level 10 every day. You guys are the best!

Love God & Whoever He Puts In Front Of You

*For pictures of some amazing people and the before and after of my sessions $1,000 winner, go to our website at

The girls with Joe, my sessions $1000 winner!

The World Is Your Oyster

The World Is Your Oyster

We made some big changes in our homeschooling this year. Stepping away from Classical Conversations after 7 years was a big deal for us. We loved those years, but we are right where we should be. One thing we added was a new co-op. What a blast we have had this semester! We do 5 subjects together and call ourselves the High-Five Co-op. I teach science every week and we rotate history and CC review. Another mom teaches Spanish, one does literature. We also got to take some amazing field trips!

This semester we did marine biology. It involved a lot of dissections. It was challenging for a few of the kids, but they all had great attitudes and learned a lot.

So, for our Christmas party week, We found the perfect gift for our co-op! The kids didn’t know what to think when I told them we had 1 last dissection. A couple of months ago we found a place in Asia that inserts a piece of sand into the oyster and then they wait for a pearl to develop. I ordered enough for our group and waited the 6-8 weeks for them to arrive.

The dissection was the best yet! They all, moms included, got their oyster and started dissecting! The room filled with shouts and cheers as pearls were found!

We did a Mexican piñata for our Spanish strand! Literature brought a yummy warm Farmer Boy treat from days of old. History had us in Celtic knots as we saw the Roman Empire and our semester come to an end.

These people have made our lives so full of joy and continued our love of learning. They are rare finds, like precious pearls.

Love God & Whoever He Puts In Front Of You

See more photos at

As You Go

We like the city on occasion. It’s full of its own kind of special magic. Indianapolis holds some real treasures like the world’s largest Children’s Museum and our family favorite, REI!

Going to the museum in the middle of the week in the middle of the day means one thing: lots of toddlers! Those were such wonderful years with my girls. It’s so fun to watch all these young moms with their little ones!

We decided it might a good idea to hand out candy canes on their way out. So, we walked around the atrium greeting these sweet families until our plunder was gone. What fun!!

As an amazing bonus, one of my dear friends showed up at the museum! The kids played and we visited! It was such a joy to deepen those friendships.

We had to leave to finish our advent shopping, but got the text later, “You guys want to meet for dinner at 6?”

Yes, please!

So we headed to Public Greens, my all time favorite restaurant! The kids were too loud and Johanna and I talked and talked. It was so wonderful!

We drove home through the heart of the city to see the Meridian houses and Circle Christmas lights. The Girls and I visited the rest of the way home. It was a blessing of a day!

Grab some little treats! Head out!

Love God & Whoever He Puts In Front Of You