Tuesday, September 29, 2009

He Giveth...and He Giveth me him.

This ministered to my heart today:

"He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater, 

He sendeth more strength when the labors increase; 

To added affliction He addeth His mercies,

To multiplied trials His multiplied peace...

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father's full giving is only begun...

His love has no limit,
His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men; 

For out of His infinite riches in Jesus 

He giveth and giveth and giveth again."

--Annie Johnson Flint

And since I was absent from blogging on September 21st,
Happy 7th Anniversary, Bill.

Thank you for choosing me. 
Thank you for asking me to marry you.
Thank you for always growing, deeply loving, and seeking Him daily.

You're an extraordinary man. 
You're a beautiful father.  
It's a privilege to be your wife.

I will forever be in with love you.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Contentment in spite of circumstances

I've needed some time to be away from the computer.  In fact, during the time away, we have also sold a television.  I have literally watched about 2 hours of t.v. in the past two weeks.  And I've been on the computer about 1 1/2 hours, at the most.  I must tell you....I needed it.  I needed to be away.  To be focused on hearing God right now. 

He has been so good.  So sweet.  I have no idea what is to come.  And I'm okay.  Yes, I have moments.  I wonder, "HOW is God going to show up for our family?"  And then I remember  CLAIM Matthew 6:32-34 as my own, which assures me that God knows exactly what I need.  He has never abandoned me or left me high and dry.  Ever.  All I have to do is put Him first.  And not worry.  No worrying allowed! 

So I've spent time with these guys.  And loved on them.  And let them love on me.  Here they were having some water time outside with Daddy.

Look at Braden' eyes.  Can you hardly stand it?  I look at him and melt.  And then I tear up thinking how much Jesus does that when He looks at me.


I wish I could explain the depths of all God is doing in our family right now.  If ever we've truly desired simplicity, it is now.  And we are doing our best to make it happen. 

We don't need distractions that don't matter.  We need to be focused on all that God is growing us in. 

Hopefully down the line I can share some of What I'm Learning.


These guys were intently working on a project together.  I thought they were adorable.

As the day winds down and they are resting on the couch, my heart is overwhelmed.  And grateful.  And blessed. 

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Out for awhile...

I have no idea what has happened to my blog! Since last Thursday, I can't add pictures OR videos, which is difficult for blog stories, as we know. I guess that just makes my other decision that much easier....because for right now...I really don't have the time to sit and figure it all out.

I hate to do this, but for now, I need to be focused on some other things around here. I won't be blogging very much...if at all...and hope this is a temporary thing. We have some big "life things" going on. And I really need to FOCUS on making life SIMPLE. I have no idea when I will be fully back...but hopefully soon. So, for now, I may just post once a week, possibly on "What I'm Learning Wednesday". I sure hope I can figure out this picture thing by the next time I post! (Is anyone else using Blogger having this problem??)

I will still enjoy reading your blogs when I can. I love the blogosphere! Too much, I'm afraid.

...Which is why I need to focus on other things for a change. :)


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What I'm Learning Wednesday

Have you ever noticed that sometimes when God is trying to teach you something, he will often bombard you with the message?!

Well, this is my message of bombardment…I am so guilty of worrying about what others might think. Honestly, I’m pretty confident about myself…and quite frankly don’t care too much if you’re impressed with ME. But when it comes to my house…"Katy, bar the door".

It’s so bizarre. For some reason, I struggle with making sure that when you visit me, you KNOW that I have it all together. I may have two toddlers running around, but my house must be neat, tidy and organized when you come to visit. If you happen to stop by unannounced, panic will strike.

I have a house that is in desperate need of updating and repairs, and you’d better believe that I’m always on it. I never stop. Never. My mind is in constant motion about why something isn’t good enough, what I can change, update or paint.

It’s painful for me to admit, but I have truly been discontented. And even embarrassed at times when others have been to visit. And honestly, I have a sweet house. It's crazy thinking. But I get wrapped up in the "comparison game" with other people.

When my grandmother passed away recently, I had the sweet blessing of friends come to our home while the funeral was going on and fill it with food for my family to enjoy afterwards. For two days, I knew this was their plan. Blessed as I felt by their generosity, I am ashamed to admit it now, but I struggled for two days with anxiety over the fact that my sweet friends and extended family would be in my less-than-perfect-in-need-of-updating-house. What in the world would they think?! For it truly was a day all about me, right?

So the day came and went. And guess what? It was a sweet day. And not one person mentioned that I have no landscaping or my carpet is stained. I shudder now at the thought of my concerns on that day! In all actuality, we hugged, ate food together, laughed, told stories, let 20 kids run crazy and enjoyed our time together. I survived it, I’m happy to report.

Then as I thought about how I could thank these precious friends for all their thoughtfulness and hard work for our family on this special day, I asked my Mom.

How about if you fix them a meal at your house. Maybe a brunch.”

Oh great. Anxiety setting in again. This means they have to come back to my house. They will now really see the chipped paint, the scuffed floors, and the old cabinetry. This is more anxiety than one should have to handle.

Why am I telling you all this? Because God has BOMBARDED me about my sin.

Through various blogs, conversations with friends and even the sermon at church on Sunday, this message is in my face…and hair…and ears…and eyes (you get the picture). I am mortified at my heart attitude, my unconscious ingratitude, and my arrogance/pride at thinking people come to my house to critique it. Maybe, perhaps, they are here because they love me and my family. Maybe they truly don’t notice the lack of landscaping or the stains on the carpet until I point it out to them for the 100th time.

And I have to ask myself….do people feel loved and attended to by me while in my home? Or do I make them uncomfortable by apologizing the entire time for the state of my home? Do I love people enough to concentrate on THEM and make them feel special?

It’s sad for me to admit that NO is how I’d have to answer the above questions a lot of the time. But I think I’m beginning to understand now…God, do you hear that? You can now stop with the messages from heaven on this topic! Please.

So what am I learning?
  • It’s not all about me….or my house…it’s about people. It’s about relating. It’s about welcoming people in and loving them.

  • My attitude should be that of thanking God daily for what he has given me and my family. He has given us a place to call home.

  • I must stop comparing what God has given me to what God has given you. God has been more than generous with his blessings for our family.

  • Daily I need to thank my husband that he is a great provider and make sure he knows that I appreciate his desire to get our family out of debt.

  • Be content. And if I can’t muster it naturally, pray for strength.

  • Know that God’s mercies are new every morning and today is a new day!

Now that I've confessed, you can hold me to it when you come visit.

What is your big “God” lesson for the week? Do you have an area that he bombarding you with his Truth and his grace? You may want to listen.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I am starting a Wednesday post called What I’m Learning Wednesday”. Sometimes I am learning big life lessons (I’ll be posting about one tomorrow). And sometimes I’m just learning some new recipe, or homemaking skill, or junk repurposing skill.

I’m a firm believer that Iron Sharpens Iron…and whatever you seem to be walking through and hearing from God can possibly help others.

I’m also a firm believer that I can learn to distress and paint old furniture from someone else who already knows how to do it…or is learning to do it.

All that to say, what you are currently learning can have to do with anything….or many things….or some of you may be currently learning nothing. I sure hope not. But whatever it is that you are in fact learning can help others.

Now, obviously with only 8 official followers of this blog…which I know, by the way, that more people do actually read it, as I get your sweet comments (which reminds me….Mom...please sign on as a follower. Ahem.)….I am not a big enough blog to do a link party. BUT, I hope to have guests share their heart. Maybe a particular topic will be an encouragement to you….or maybe just some practical help of some sort.

I think it will be fun. I hope to get a button made. We’ll see if I can get that done in between serving snacks to toddlers and playing Candyland sometime before next week. Hope to see you here tomorrow!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mini Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins

OK, I'm so NOT a cooking blog...but that seems to be what I have to share these days, so please bear with me. I'm always on the look-out for healthier, easy, kid-friendly recipes to try out on the family (poor guys). I love to share what we try and like. If you don't cook or don't care, tune out now.

This one this morning was easy, yummy and fun! It was great for my kids.

I can't seem to make this Blogger thing behave, so please excuse all the unnecessary spaces below!

Mini Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins

1 cup flour (I used 3/4 cup whole wheat and 1/4 cup all purpose)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 T sugar (I used Sucanat)

2/3 cup buttermilk

1 egg

2 T pure maple syrup (I used honey)

2 T melted butter

1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a medium bowl. Stir with a wire wisk.
  • In a separate bowl, stir buttermilk, egg, maple syrup and melted butter until just combined.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  • Stir in chocolate chips, if using.
  • Bake 8-9 minutes.

Makes 24 mini pancake muffins.

Let cool slightly and remove from pan. Serve immediately. Can dip in maple syrup. Smile and enjoy!

My 3-year old sure did. Notice the melted chocolate all over his fingers!

He gave this recipe an A+.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quick-grab burritos

From time to time, I like to re-stock the freezer. This allows us to have these kinds of weeks, if we need to…and for now, things are a little uncertain. I just like to be prepared. And honestly, I feel more comfortable when I know there is something in the freezer to eat.

Also, I don’t really want to cook everyday, so this allows me, from time to time, to shop the freezer for a quick lunch or dinner.

One of my favorite freezer foods are Beef and Bean Burritos (recipe originally taken from Tammy). These are quick-grab lunches for my husband on his way to work. When these are in the freezer, we don’t have to scramble to prepare a lunch for him as he leaves for work that day. He grabs a couple of burritos and by lunchtime, they are ready for a quick heat and eat.

Here’s how to make them:

Quick Beef and Bean Burritos

2 lb. ground beef
2 cans refried beans (I use non-fat, or sometimes make my own)
1 1/3 cup enchilada sauce
½ cup water
¼ cup minced onion
1 T. chili powder
1 T. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
3 cups shredded cheese (any kind is fine)
~20-25 flour tortillas

Brown ground beef and drain. Add all remaining ingredients, except tortillas. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Heat a few tortillas at a time. Spoon ¼ cup beef mixture and put down the middle of each tortilla.

Roll each tortilla and wrap in a paper towel and then wrap in foil.

Refrigerate or freeze.
If freezing, package wrapped tortillas into a freezer bag.

When ready to eat, remove the foil and microwave for 45 -60 seconds. The paper towels keep the burritos moist. If you don’t use a microwave, simply wrap in foil and then heat the burritos in the oven with foil.

When sitting down to eat, top with lettuce, cheese, salsa and sour cream. But they are good as is for grab and go as well!

Pillow talk with a 4-year-old

I have to admit, this is one of my favorite times of the day to talk with my kids. They're so snuggly and sweet.

Here's a recent conversation:

Me: Did you know that God made you special?

Him: Yes.

Me: The Bible says you are fearfully and wonderfully made. That means there is no other person like you in the whole world.

Him: Yep. (thinking deeply)

Him: (After a long pause) I’m the coolest kid ever made.

You sure rank up there with me, baby.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

You can find me somewhere else tomorrow...

I will be guest posting tomorrow morning at An Accomplished Woman. I'm so excited! If you've never had the privilege of reading this fun blog, then grab a cup of coffee, have a seat and enjoy your time there. Cynthia is such a sweet lady. I enjoy my daily time with her getting inspired and motivated. She is full of great ideas! So head on over there...and I'll see you back here on Thursday.

Have a great day!

A blessing....a challenge....and the blessing of a challenge

Remember this?

It'll have to wait for now. I have much bigger fish to fry.

As I posted here, my sweet grandmother went to be with the Lord on Thursday, September 3rd. We are still sad at our loss, but so excited for her. She is no longer in pain...and is with my "Daddy K", for the first time in 20 years.

So here is where I get my title for this post:

A blessing:
My grandmother was kind enough to leave some furniture for us grandchildren. I received a dresser, with mirror....2 nightstands...and a queen sized bed, with head and footboards. This is heavy, hard wood furniture, built solid....you know, the way they used to make furniture.

A challenge:
It's so not our personal style. But never fear....sandpaper and a paint brush are near!

The blessing of a challenge:
I just think it's so like God to not only bless our family with new (to us) good quality furniture...that's FREE to us...and has sentimental value. The same God who gave me this strong desire to create, repurpose and make old things new again, gave me a new project (a big one!) to sustain my creative urges in this difficult time for our family. I think that's sweet! And I'm excited. I look forward to sharing the end result with you...hopefully soon.

Here are some pictures of what I'm up against.

Here is one of the nightstands.

It's a little banged up. But hey, that's okay...we like distressed furniture around here. Most likely I'll beat it up some more.

It has some cool detailing.

The hardware isn't bad....kinda cool actually. But I may change it, who knows.

Here is the dresser.

And the mirror. I'm trying not to show the mess on my bed in the mirror. The mess is everything I pulled out of the old dresser and nightstands and threw onto the bed.

I'll probably remove the detailing on the mirror...but you never know.

What suggestions do you have as far as color? My head is just a spinnin' with ideas!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mummy K

Immediately after finishing my last post last Thursday, I received word that my precious grandmother, Cathryn Louise Keller, left this earth to be with the Lord at age 92.

We've had a full weekend of tears over our loss, laughter over wonderful memories, time with precious family members, gratefulness of knowing that she rests in the arms of Jesus.

It was a blessing to have been her namesake. She was a remarkable woman.

I will miss you dearly, Mummy K.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Another day in the life of BOYS!

Yesterday, one of the boy's friends came over to play for an hour or so. Within 5 minutes (no exaggeration!) a lamp in my dining room had been crashed to the floor and a beautiful candle holder cracked. I DO, however, understand the importance of light saber fighting, so I asked them to please continue their "good vs. evil battle" outside.

After awhile they came inside and wanted to play in my 4-year-old's room. I could hear them giggling. Soon the giggling became hilarity and sounded "mischievious" (those of you that have kids know EXACTLY what I'm speaking of!)

This is what I found:

They said they were preparing to do a "show". And my son was to be a dinosaur. OK, how can you get mad at that?!

As I've said before, life with boys is NEVER dull. Not one minute. And I love it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

This is what it is all about.

I promise that soon I'll get back to my "DIY project" posts, or "homemade kitchen goody" posts or "Mom of two funny toddler" posts or whatever posts you like that, for reasons unknown to me (and for which I am ever grateful!), you like to come visit from time to time. But for now, I am where I am. And I just have to work through it. And sometimes that looks like blogging about it.

Anyway, I wanted to share with you this sweet experience from today. I was cruising some of my favorite blogs and I came across this post today from one of my new blog friends, Kim. As I started to read, I started to cry. What she was saying spoke to me. I actually thought to myself, "she could be talking directly to me", since it was ministering so much to my heart. Well, guess what? She was. As I continued to read, I saw my name. Kathryn. She was addressing the hurt in my life. She was talking to me and several other sweet ladies going through their own difficult situations...and was encouraging us and praying over us.

I don't know about you, but WOW. This blew me over.

This is the body of Christ at work. Women, whom I don't know personally...and who don't know me...are lifting me and my family up to the Lord. There is such power in community. I stand in awe that God is using women I meet through blogging to soothe my heart and keep me focused on Truth.

Thank you, God. And thank you, Kim, for your sweet post. If you haven't already, head over there and read her blog. She has an amazing heart for others. And her post will lead you to the stories of a few other women who really could use your prayers as well.

And thank you, new blog friends (there are others besides Kim) as well as my sweet personal good as gold friends (notice I didn't say "old" friends)...for listening. For praying. For reading. For commenting. For encouraging.

Now, I promise I'll lighten up a bit in the days to come. I've got some new projects I'm working on around here. I'm excited to share!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

All things beautiful

In all honesty, I am struggling a little bit with what to blog about, due to what is going on in our lives right now. It's occupying my brain space and energy.

So I just want to share this sweet gift of God that landed on my patio today.

It was beautiful...and e-n-o-r-m-o-u-s. I've never seen one of these at our house before. It was a sweet gift to me this morning as I fought off feelings of fear for our future. It just reminded me that God makes all things beautiful in its time (Eccles. 3:11).