Friday, January 31, 2014

Pin-Spired Link Up Party

Hi! I'm linking up today with three great blogs that I read everyday. I hope your week is going well wherever you may be. We are used to a lot of snow and ice up north (I live in Iowa), but my heart really went out to all the people in the Atlanta area who were hit so hard last week. I hope you are all okay!

 The idea of "Get Pin-spired" is to gain inspiration from Pinterest as you are looking through your own closet. I did it a little backwards, but hopefully, it will work! I was actually rummaging around my closet and saw this top and then found a similar photo. The above was taken from Pinterest and below is what I came up with.

A few more from this week are:

Pink wrap - Nordstroms

I'm still not too sure of this one, but my husband likes it.

Fringed scarf - Dusty Pink- Nordstroms
I wear it so much, as you can see!
That's quite an expression on my face on the left, but oh well.


I lived for so long with next to nothing in my closet. I loved shopping for my children, but for myself? NOT AT ALL. It's not that I didn't think clothes were pretty...I just thought they were pretty on other people. Also, I've had seven children in all, including five c-sections. Clothes just don't fit the way they used to! I wish I could throw on jeans and a t-shirt, but I have to say, there is a lot of lumpiness where a flat stomach used to be. But...I wouldn't change what I have now for a flat stomach ever! However, I always pray that maybe I'll wake up one morning with a miracle. I tend to think that God has bigger things on His mind than my stomach, but you never know! ha

If you are a mom reading this (especially all of you young moms), I just love you! You are so valuable and important. I pray the Lord's richest blessings on your week!

Love - Kathy

Linking up to:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I'd Like You to Meet...Angela Meijer

 I'm so pleased to introduce to you one of the most creative people I know. She is a beautiful wife, mother and friend. Angela helped me to get my blog started about a year and a a half ago.  I wanted to do one so much, but had no idea how! She was at my house one day and said, "I can help you." Those were the most beautiful words to my ears. She has been a constant source of encouragement and information since Day One.

I was at Angela's home last month during the holiday season. Her home was magical. Her creative touches were everywhere! Creativity is simply part of her identity. She doesn't even have to try - it just flows out of her.

Angela is also a talented artist and photographer. God uses her so beautifully through her artistic talents.

I'm so very happy for you to meet...Angela Meijer.
The Power of Our Words

Top Left:  Angela in her element
                                                                               Top Right: Angela and her beautiful family

I am a daughter, friend, wife, mother, artist, and a woman with a high value for words.  Words create.  Words have the power to create life or death.  We have all experienced kind words, and we have all experienced hurtful words.  

This morning, I’m thinking about self talk.  My self talk has been loud this morning (wow!!!).   I’m in the process of changing my mind on something important to me.  When I’m not sure what to think about the things that matter, I often feel unsettled.  I like to be “in the know” and, when what I know is challenged, I feel vulnerable.  I’m telling myself this week, that I’m thankful for vulnerability, and am trying to be kind to myself in the process.

Last week, I taught in my daughter’s Sunday school class.  We talked about preparing our hearts to meet with God.  We addressed the question, what do we do when there is " ick" in our hearts that keeps us from connecting with God?  We talked about King David and how he asked God to create a new heart in him.  I asked the kids, “Is God (the ultimate Creator) able to give you a new heart?  They all confidently yelled, “Yes!”  So, I continued, “Let’s give God our " ick, "and ask Him to create a new heart in us.”  I decided I would go first.  I found myself writing “trust issues” on my paper, and then (as an act of giving it to God), I put my paper through the paper shredder.  Every child wrote down what they were giving to God and put it through the paper shredder.  When the shredders were finally quiet, we asked God to give us something new in the place of what was now gone.  We asked God to bring to our minds what He was giving us, and wrote those things down to remember.  The thought that came to my mind was vulnerability.  Well... vulnerability is kind of key to connecting with the “all seeing” God.

I am asked in the scriptures to love God and love others as I love myself.  I want to get better at loving myself.  My self talk creates in me, and because I’m a painter, it shows up in vivid colors in all that I create.  I often think about how to make my home a peaceful and nurturing environment.  If I magnify whatever I focus on, then my self talk shapes my environment more than any decor ever could.  Today,  I choose to have every thought go through this filter before it’s allowed to find a home:

God loves me and He likes me.  His thoughts for me are great and more numerous than the stars in the sky.  I couldn’t fathom this if I tried.  My agreement with Him makes vulnerability possible and enables me to see the beauty of process.

I love this quote by Brene Brown - “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”

This week, I got to speak in my daughter Emma’s Sunday school class again.  Our prayer  focus was, “Lord, help me to see You, myself and others like You do.  Amen.”  We practiced this by asking God for kind words to encourage each other with and we wrote those words down. Kathy’s son Evan is great at photography.  He took portraits of each of the kids as a keepsake.  Here is the portrait of my daughter Emma.

When class was over, Emma wanted to talk to me.   She was upset.  Her outfit was black, and one of the girls in class had told her she looked "gothic".  Emma assured me that it wasn't meant as a compliment.  She had just been affirmed and encouraged by her peers, but "gothic" was the resounding word.  I told Emma that she could choose which words to keep, and which words to throw out the window.  We laughed, as Emma pretended to throw the word "gothic" out the window.  With the air cleared, Emma started telling me about how much fun she had in her group.

This reminds me of one of my favorite scripture verses.   
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." - Philippians 4:8

Thank you so much, Angela! I love your thoughtful way of writing and how to put into practice the power of our words to change the atmosphere around us. You are awesome!

Linking up to:

Friday, January 24, 2014

Pinterest Pretties

Hope you all have been having a great week!

Home schooling has been full on and for the past couple of days, I've been trying to see where we are and where we need to go for the remainder of the school year. One of our kids has recently come home from public school and it has been transition time for me. I felt like I had our days running smoothly, and now I sometimes feel like I don't know what I'm doing! But slowly, we are working out the kinks and finding a rhythm.

Here are a few things I spotted on Pinterest this week that I thought were pretty. What do you think? I think I must be liking the fur vests.

via Brenda Kaplan Pinterest
I like this stream lined look.


Fur vest

Fur Vest


Fur vest #3


Lauren -
Purely elegant

I tried to give as many sources as possible, but all came from Pinterest.

Have a great weekend! Please say a prayer for me that I can finish the school year out strong:)

Linking up to:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Favorite Things Party Link Up

I'm joining Erika and Andrea today for their Favorite Things Party. I love to know about other people's favorite anything. It tells a lot about a person!

 Each of these items are under $10.

 I always say that I sound just like the teacher on Charlie Brown until I have my first cup of coffee.. It's funny because for years, I made coffee for Dave each day, but never drank it myself. Now I can hardly function in the morning without it. We are blessed to have a Starbucks barista living in our home (our oldest son) who brings us a bag of Starbucks coffee each week. But this is actually my must have..

Da Vinci Sugar Free Vanilla Coffee Syrup. I buy this regularly at Sam's Club.  It's also very good in hot chocolate. I just add a little with my coffee along with sugar free vanilla creamer.

If you make a lot of sweet tea like I do (almost daily), then this, in my opinion, is the best tea ever.

I have a tutorial on making sweet tea at this link:

Here is $3.98 worth of wonderful

Courtesy Starbucks
Mocha Frappuccino

One last thing I've discovered lately are these little items - Tide Pods. These were $4.44 at Walmart. I purchased them while we were on vacation at Disney World and liked them a lot.

I'll probably think of a dozen more things that I wish I had thought of earlier, but these are the things that came to mind.

Have a happy weekend!

Linking up to:  and

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Winter Recipe and Everyday Life

If you're looking for a good Crockpot recipe for the winter, this is one you may want to try. I found it in Southern Living magazine a few years ago and make it regularly during this cold season.

"Baked" Potato Soup

Cooking Time: 4 Hours on High or 8 Hours on Low
Makes: 12 cups

6 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes....(I used to do this until I got smart and bought frozen potatoes. I buy one bag of the frozen southern style hash browns right by the french fries - they are like small cubed potatoes rather than the shredded hash browns.)

1 large onion, chopped... (I do this sometimes, or I add a little onion powder)

3 (14 oz.) cans chicken broth

1/4 cup butter

2 1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/4 tsp. pepper

1 cup heavy whipping cream or half and half

1 cup (4 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar

3 T. chopped fresh chives (optional)

The original recipe says to top with sour cream and sprinkle with bacon and cheese. That is an optional step.

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a 5 quart slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 hours or LOW 8 hours.
3. Mash mixture until potatoes are coarsely chopped and soup is slightly thickened; stir in cream and cheese.
4. Top with sour cream, bacon, and cheddar cheese before serving if desired.

This stuff is seriously good!! I usually make a pan of cornbread to go with it.

Early Sunday morning prep

Southern Living

Here's a few random shots of our days. This is my husband doing what he loves best. He has been pastoring for the past 11 years and LOVES his job. This morning he spoke on overcoming shame from your past. One of the things he often says when he speaks on this topic is, "Guilt is feeling bad about what you've done. Shame is feeling bad about who you are."

I took this photo this morning. I was coming downstairs and noticed how beautiful the sky looked. I grabbed my trusty iPhone and snapped away.

 I just watched the Christmas episode of Parenthood from Season 4. I got pretty choked up when Adam's dad brought some things he thought Adam might need at the hospital. (In this season, Adam's wife has cancer and has been admitted to the hospital on Christmas Eve.)  When Adam asked his dad, "Dad, can you stay awhile?", I could have cried my eyes out!  I love watching the Bravermans. To be honest, there are some parts that I press "skip", but the basic stories of family are ones I've enjoyed.

We started back with our home schooling this week. It's always a little hard to get back in the groove after the holidays. I'm trying a new CD (by Diana Waring) to add on to our history books. I've heard nothing but good things about it, so I'm hoping my kids like it.

I hope you have a great week!

Linking up to:

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Get 'Pin-Spired"

I used to hate to shop. I still don't love it, but I've come to enjoy it more. I've always enjoyed "house" shopping for furniture and the like and LOVED shopping for the kid's clothes when they were younger. But as far as for myself - NOT AT ALL. I think that probably comes from my younger years when I was so tall and lanky compared to other girls my age. Pants were always either too short or too long.  I think I broke the record for how many days in a row I wore my Brady Bunch plaid pants to school, simply because they were the only pants that even remotely fit me right! Ugh - painful memories. lol

I'm sure it has something to do with my 16 year old daughter that I will actually look through the clothing racks at a store. I've mentioned before that she is amazing at putting outfits together. It's as simple to her as breathing. I'm so glad that she didn't take after me in the clothing department!

I've also learned a lot from reading blogs such as Pinterest Told Me To, The Pleated Poppy, Simply Lulu Style, and others, so I must be a very visual person, because when I "see" how something looks together, I become inspired.

Here are a couple of my "tries" at getting "Pin-Spired"!

I like coral and turquoise together. Doesn't that color combination make you feel happy?



My take on turquoise and coral

This is a picture from Pinterest of a much younger lady, but I liked the shirt, scarf, and boots combo.

Striped shirt, fringed infinity scarf (Nordstroms)

It's been a lot of fun trying new things. I'm probably much older than most of you linking up, but I guess I am proof that it is never too late to take in interest in shopping!

 I'm linking up to the Pin-Spired Party with Pinterest Told Me To, Mix and Match Mama, The Larson Lingo, and also The Pleated Poppy.  I love reading these girls' blogs! It is so much fun.  I would love to see what kinds of things you have put together lately!

Linking up to: