Monthly Archives: August 2014

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reflecting on Hosea


I have been following along with the Bible studies on She Reads Truth for a few months now. Starting my day in God’s Word has always been a struggle for me. I’m not much of a morning person at all and once I drag myself out of bed and get ready for the day, my focus has turned to other things. I’m not even sure how I found their website, but I know it was with God’s leading because the site already means so much to me. I receive an email from them every morning and it’s helping me to take a little time out to read and think and let the verses soak in.

This month’s study is on Hosea. Honestly, I’ve never really paid much attention to that book of the Bible or what God was trying to say in it. But there is so much to learn there. I like what Amanda said on Day One of the study:

“If you feel like a mess today, the book of Hosea is for you.

If you long to love Jesus more, but there are idols towering over your head and heart, the book of Hosea is for you.

If you’ve ever run from the Lord – or if you’re running now – and you wonder if He’s walked away, the book of Hosea is for you.

The book of Hosea is not about Hosea, it is about God’s relentless pursuit of an undeserving people.

It’s about Him and us.

I’m seeing already in just the first four days that it’s about more than Hosea marrying Gomer, an adulterous woman, who was continuously unfaithful to Him. It’s about God still loving the Israelites even though they turned away from Him and worshiped other gods and idols. And Hosea was commanded by God to take back his wife and love her again. How hard must that have been?

“Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods…” Hosea 3:1

Click on over to She Reads Truth and join in the study of Hosea HERE.

throwback thursday | first photo

This is the first photo I shared here on the blog. It’s why I started this thing in the first place. To share my thoughts and photos with family and friends.

I’ve gone on to write about scrapbooking and photography, friends, surviving through Jake’s job loss, funerals and past heartbreak, and writing my book. I’ve shared photos of weddings and families I’ve photographed, scrapbook pages and Project Life layouts, things I’ve knitted and things I like.

But this. This is what really matters. They matter most.

I was thinking about this blog a lot yesterday and I went back to find the first photo I shared and then looked up the folder of images from that event – Chloe’s 2nd birthday. Found this cute one of Chloe getting a ‘Happy Birthday’ phone call – can’t remember who it was from. I may have written it down somewhere. But check out that old flip phone. haha! :D

This being Thursday, I thought it would be fun to do a little Throwback Thursday with a few more favorites from that birthday party. We had a little luau theme going on that day.



I LOVE these of Chloe and Alexis under the table. You can see on the underside of the table and the wall behind them all of the crayon marks. My kiddos always used to get under there and draw. So glad I captured that.

And thank you to my family, my friends, and all of you wonderful “blog friends” I have made over the years. Thank you for reading and following along with my little family.

Also, if you haven’t yet heard, my book is on SALE through midnight tonight for 99¢ on Kindle. CLICK HERE to purchase at a great bargain price. Thank you all for supporting my writing and helping me get the word out about my book.

moving on up


These were taken by Chloe in July using the Retrica app

When I really start to think about my last baby being out of elementary school, I have conflicting emotions. My heart breaks a little as I remember all the fun childhood events kindergarten through fifth grade brought. But on the other hand, there are so many fun times to come in middle school and high school. I really pray that Chloe will have a great middle school experience with no drama. Middle school was hard for me. Such a time of trying to figure out who I was and wanting to fit in and be popular. It was all nonsense really. But it seems like middle school is so much different these days than it was thirty years ago. Zach had a pretty good experience with it. And maybe that’s because he’s kind of quiet and laid back. And he’s a boy. I think middle school can be a whole different animal for girls. It will be interesting to see how Chloe does with it all.

I know middle school with Chloe will be completely different for me as a parent than it was with Zach. I just didn’t know what was happening in his day-to-day at school because he’s not one to share much. He will share if something troubles him or if there’s something I need to know. But for the most part, I found out everything from teachers or school emails.

With Chloe, she told me everything throughout her elementary years and I was more involved in things with her than I was with Zach. I went on more field trips and class parties. I have a feeling that there will be more middle school “stuff” Chloe gets involved in than Zach did. She is all signed up for choir already, which I’m really excited about. She has such a beautiful voice and I pray that she continues to use it as she goes through the next seven years.

Yesterday was Jitters Day for Chloe, where they walked the kids through how the first days will go, they got their locker number and combinations, school pictures were taken, and they met all their teachers. Chloe was a little more concerned with decorating her locker than meeting the teachers, though. ;)

Zach had freshman orientation today. He got a tour of the school, his locker and combo, and school pictures as well. The principal, superintendent, and a couple teachers then took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Less than a week until school starts. I’m ready. And I think both kids are ready now, too. A little nervous (I’m nervous for them, too), but ready.

happy anniversary


Today, we celebrate 19 years of marriage. Two beautiful kids. Lots of ups and downs. Many travel adventures. Happy moments. Dreams and plans and failures and victories. God has brought us through it all, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for us. Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband. I love you.

Made this using cards from Project Life digital kits: Coral, Blush, Wedding Mini Kit, and Good Times Value Kit.

Congratulations!

CONGRATULATIONS to Dana K, Samantha S, S.J. R, Jan H, and Sam B — the winners of my eBook giveaway! Thanks so much to all who entered! The eBook is on SALE now through August 28 for ONLY 99¢. CLICK HERE to get it at this great price.

hello, monday


Our weekend was so lovely. Jake spent some time with his sister on Friday celebrating her 39th birthday. Then we traveled to my cousin Tonya’s house in Ohio on Saturday to spend a couple days there. The whole family (my Mom’s side) gathered on Sunday for a little summer reunion. We usually only get together once a year for Christmas, so this was SO nice.

The kids spent almost all day in the pool, except for a break to eat lunch. I jumped in after lunch, too. It was hot and muggy, perfect for swimming. It was the kind of day we wished we’d had more of this summer. At one point, I think all 12 of the kids along with several of us parents were in the pool at once. It was a little crowded in there, but a lot of fun.

I can never quite put into words the special feeling I get when we are all together. I just love my family very much.

Giveaway Reminder


Happy Friday everyone! Just wanted to put a quick reminder up here along with the details of the two book giveaways I have going on right now. Only a few days left to toss your name in the hat for the eBook giveaway.

All the details …

An eBook Giveaway – ends August 26 (my 19th wedding anniversary!) ;)
Do all the tasks on the list to earn more entries.

* Edited to add: For some reason, this widget is only showing 1 entry right now, but this is not accurate. When I log in to my rafflecopter, all of the entries are there. So those of you who have entered, don’t freak out. Your entries are safe and sound and will be counted. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CONGRATULATIONS to Dana K, Samantha S, S.J. R, Jan H, and Sam B — the winners of my eBook giveaway! Thanks so much to all who entered! The eBook is on SALE now through August 28 for ONLY 99¢. CLICK HERE to get it at this great price.

A Goodreads Giveaway – ends September 5 (which happens to be my firstborn’s 14th birthday)
You will need to sign up for Goodreads to enter if you aren’t already a member there. Trust me, it’s a fun site to share the books you’ve read and get recommendations from friends.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Truth About Drew by Krista Noorman

The Truth About Drew

by Krista Noorman

Giveaway ends September 05, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Good Luck!

throwback thursday


My little guy. Ten years ago today. Grandma bought the kids a little slide for the porch and this was his first time going down it. It’s so hard to remember Zach this small now that he is almost 14 and entering high school. But I am so thankful that I can open up folders on my computer from years gone by and see what we were doing on a particular day. My mind may forget more and more of the everyday and the little things we did back then, but the photos are a document of our family history.

I am thankful for photography in my life.

keep running


Image ©She Reads Truth

Great post by Amanda over at She Reads Truth today!

She said FAITH is a long distance race. Not a 5k. I like that. Whenever I face my day and say, “OK, God, what do you want to show me today?”, he gives me something like this. I’m thinking about the race today. The road is long and stretched out before us. It goes on for miles and miles and miles. It’s a journey, not a sprint. And it can be rough. Some days I’m on the edge of the road bent over with a cramp in my side. I tried to run too fast, racing to quickly get where I wanted to go, but I should have slowed down. Slow and steady. I missed so much in that sprint toward my own plans and desires. I tried to get there on my own. Jesus was holding out a cup of water for me and I ran right past him. And I ended up in pain.

Fixing our eyes on Jesus. Yes! I like the King James Version of these verses, too. Looking unto Jesus. Focusing on Him to help us through the race. The best running coach ever. ;)

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”
Hebrews 12:1-2

Just keep running.

hello, monday


Jake’s work family night was last Thursday at Craig’s Cruisers. We always have a nice time together, enjoy the yummy buffet, and play a round of putt-putt golf. Least favorite thing about Craig’s Cruisers … the “store”, where the kids can use the tickets they earn playing all the games. It takes Chloe forever to choose what she wants and she never has enough tickets for anything big, just enough for some candy or junky little toys or rings or temporary tattoos. I always encourage the candy, because we don’t need more junk laying around our house. So it was a box of Nerds and a couple Sour Patch Kids this time.

My weekend was spent with Michael, Jim, Pam, Dwight and the rest of the gang on “The Office”. Just have not had good luck the past couple weeks with my health and laying on the couch watching re-runs relaxed me. Today, I feel some relief from the stupid headache I had this weekend, so (knock on wood!) I think I’m getting over it all finally.

I had enough energy to put together the monthly newsletter and get that sent out. If you haven’t signed up yet, click “NEWSLETTER SIGN UP!” at the top of this page.

I’m pretty sure my kids just got out of school for summer break. It seems like it anyway. But letters arrived from school at the end of last week with lots of information about the new year. Zach will start high school. Chloe will start middle school. Part of me is excited for them, for this new chapter, for the beginning of a new year of learning. Part of me wishes we had a few more weeks off with a little bit warmer weather (summer has been overall much cooler than average here in Michigan).

The beginning of the school year always feels like a fresh start. A new schedule. More structure and organization. I am ready for that.

AJAXed with AWP