Month: September 2013

When peanut butter and jelly was more important than family or Jesus

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I guess I kind of took a little unintentional bloggy break last week.  Here’s a little bit of what we’ve been doing lately!

Apple picking. And then some more apple picking. And a little more apple picking. Talk about a love hate relationship! Our offer still stands! It looks like you have about 4 days until we get our first freeze and so you are welcome to come pick as many as you can! We have both Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious and they are both scrumptious!


We got to see Holly last weekend. For the second weekend in a row! Now that’s awesome! Her, Caleb and Molly played a little soccer.



While Angel watched from the tire swing!


Last week the kid’s teachers put up a bulletin board about being thankful. Most of the kids put “Family,” “Jesus,” “Mom,” or “Dad”.

My son put: “I am thankful for God lets us have peanut butter and jelly sometimes.”


Thankfully he put the “sometimes” on there. I wouldn’t want anyone to think I let him have peanut butter and jelly every meal day!

Wasn’t life grand when it was all about the peanut butter and jelly?

Life has also been grand for Patrick and I as we continue our journey towards optimal health! After 6 weeks I’m down 12 pounds and over 16 inches (haven’t measured in awhile). I’ve gone from a size 12-14 to a size 8. But SO much more important than that is the life I feel that I’ve gotten back. Fatigue and that whole feeling of overwhelmtion (depression?) gone. Cravings gone! Crazy energy! And we are learning to eat real, pure, truly good foods!

Like this pizza.


The crust is made with egg, cream cheese, parmesan cheese and seasonings. For reals, it was SO good! We’ll never go back to “regular” pizza again.

My amazing husband is down 20 pounds and at least 5 inches just on his waist after 5 weeks.  His acid reflux, ulcer and stomach issues are gone. And seriously he doesn’t stop.

He has so much stinkin’ energy he built this kennel inside our garage yesterday in just a few hours.


And then it goes outside to their kennel. Puppies are not happy. But mama is!


And even more good news. Our grocery bill is almost cut in half every week. I used to spent $175-200 a week. On crap. The past 6 weeks we’ve spent $75-100 a week! (Pat had some extra things that weren’t groceries which got us to $116.) Yes I still give my kids peanut butter and jelly. And sometimes even the mac-n-cheese devil. But we are all taking steps towards eating real food. And loving it!


We have officially gone free-range. Well not “we”, but the chickens have. The black birds are staying put and so now every morning  open the gate for them to wander the farm, even when we aren’t here.  They like to come into the garage when we are home. They also like to come up on the back deck.


And to the front porch. Every day we are home, I hear one in particular coming up all the way to the door, clucking away, like I’m supposed to let her in or something. I love my girls and can’t wait to get more! : )


 Last week was also a big day for our Angel girl. She got to change her earrings! She’s been counting down the days and weeks (and asking non-stop) since getting them pierced.  And now we allow her to change them once a week and she’s so excited. She can even take them out by herself and this morning she got one in by herself! She took this picture yesterday, hoping it would help her get one in. : )


I’m hoping that with this new-found energy I’ll finally get our “extra” room sorted and organized. It’s where we’ve put everything we don’t know what to do with, and all of the extra stuff from Mom and Dad’s house.

This was a picture they had hanging at their house. We just realized the other day when we were looking at it that it’s a cowgirl. A cowgirl with red hair. And the horse looks just like Gracie. I don’t know if they got it because it reminded them of Angel, but we definitely plan to keep it for her and hope she’ll cherish it as much as we do.


As September makes way for October, we look forward to the beauty of fall, Angel’s birthday at the end of the month, and a visit from Aunt Nellie! We are thankful beyond words for the love of our Heavenly Father who sustains us through each and every day. We are thankful beyond words for being given the opportunity to find optimal health.

My friend Erin gave me this daily devotional that sits on my desk at work. I love it so much. And I especially love the wisdom of this day.


No matter where you are at in your life, no matter what He is calling you too, and no matter how inadequate you may feel… He chose you, shaped you and prepared you to make a difference in the world!


What the world gives

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I was talking with a friend the other day about some struggles we both were facing.

It brought tears to my eyes thinking about the struggle, and how hard this world is.

But then The Lord reminded me that for everything the world has to give, He gives something so much better.

Often times, we don’t see or experience these gifts until we reach our home in heaven.  But even today, regardless of what struggle or heartache or frustration or temptation that you are facing, the Lord is near and offers you hope. 

The world gives sickness.  The Lord gives healing.

Everyone tried to touch him, because healing power went out from him, and he healed everyone. Luke 6:19

He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death. Psalm 107:20

They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those troubled by evil spirits were healed. Luke 6:18

The world gives grief.  The Lord give joy.

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.  Job 8:21

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.  Psalm 30:11

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.  Psalm 94:19

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22

The world gives addiction.  The Lord gives freedom.

I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.  Psalm 119:45

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free…  Luke 4:18 

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  2 Corinthians 3:17 

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.  Galatians 5:13

The world gives doubt.  The Lord gives assurance.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  Hebrews 11:1

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings.  Hebrews 10:22

The world gives lies.  The Lord gives truth.

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.  Psalm 25:5

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14 

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14:6

The world gives weakness.  The Lord gives strength.

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.  Psalm 73:26 

It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.  2 Samuel 22:33

But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me.  Psalm 22:19

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.  Psalm 28:7

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service.  1 Timothy 1:12

The world gives anxiety.  The Lord gives peace. 

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.  Isaiah 26:3 shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.  Luke 1:17

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:27

The world gives death.  The Lord gives life. 

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.  Job 33:4   

…so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.  Titus 3:7 

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.  Revelation 2:10 

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.  James 1:12

He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.  1 Peter 2:24

They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:3-4


Holly and Apples

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 Another great part of this past weekend was that we got to see Holly!

She came out to the farm after lunch at my cousin’s.

You could say that we had a happy little brother and sister!


Who became even happier when Holly broke out the loot.

Her and her mom were doing some cleaning at her mom’s and they picked out some American Girl doll stuff for Angel.


Angel has no idea who American Girl even is, but she was still so excited!


The little brother was excited too because Holly and her mom got him a tractor and wagon.


I don’t really know what this is.

I guess just me taking another picture of my amazing kiddos.


Holly painted Angel’s nails with her new polish set that she had gotten the night before from Aunt Beth and Uncle Jack.


Random picture.

Weird husband.


After hanging out inside we ventured outside to pick some apples!

It was a little chilly but not bad after we got to work!





Don’t try this at home kids.




I’d climb a tree with you any day babe.


The chickens like apples.


It was actually pretty nice out so we just enjoyed sitting outside, watching the dogs chase the chickens and the chickens peck at the dogs.

I guess Max needs to learn a lesson eventually.


See the big star? Mom and Dad had put it on their house every Christmas – their house was on a hill, overlooking the town, and you could see it from the interstate.

We certainly aren’t overlooking anything but cows, but we thought it’d be cool to carry on the tradition and put it on our garage or barn or somewhere this Christmas.


We have so many apples!

I’m totally serious when I say that if you’d like to come out and get some just let me know.

We’ll be around the next two nights and most of the weekend. We hate to see them go to waste.


I tried a quick and easy applesauce recipe and it turned out so yummy. Our apples are pretty sweet so I didn’t need to add hardly any sugar, which is awesome!

But it wasn’t the canned version so it won’t last in the fridge long.

I think I have all of the supplies I need to can, so we might have to give that a try.


Hanging out with Holly, picking apples and just spending time together made the rest of our weekend so great!


Family rocks

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This weekend we got to spend some time with some of our family on my mom’s side.

(I like this monthly tradition we’ve started. Remember last month we got to visit family too!)

Saturday afternoon my mom’s two sisters Joanne and Beth, Beth’s husband Jack, my cousins Jessi and Kelly and Jessi’s kids, and my brother Tracy, all came out to the farm.

We got to give them a tour and Beth & Jack and Joanne brought plants for Mom and Dad’s garden. Which I forgot to take a picture of.

Unfortunately it was a little chilly and rainy outside, so it ruined our plans of having a cook-out.

Our second choice for supper was Pizza Ranch!

Our kids and Jessi’s kids… seriously how cute are they!?


After supper we went to Beth and Jack’s hotel and let the kids swim. Jessi’s husband Mike and uncle Jack also swam, thank goodness. What a couple of saints!


Caleb and Ethan jumping in the water for the 20th time.


Here’s all of us minus Patrick, who was taking the picture.

Beth and Jack go the kids a little gift and so they were pretty happy.

It was very sweet, Caleb started calling Beth and Jack “Grandma and Grandpa.” It made me sad too, but I was more thankful than sad that we have such awesome family!


Sunday after church we went to Jessi and Mike’s house for lunch

Janai and Pat having a conversation about the creepy dog.


Beth, Joanne, me and Jack. You can’t see the family resemblance, can you?! ; )


Me and my girl Janai.


All the crazy kids. I told them to yell, “Family rocks!” when I took the picture.


And us good looking cousins! Sarah, me, Tracy, Jessi and Kelly.


It was such a good weekend hanging out with family! We are blessed!