Happy 21st Birthday, Anna!

Our sweet Anna turns 21 today. Anna, you are a jewel, and we praise the Lord for you. You radiate the love of Jesus. We are so grateful for you.

Little known facts about Anna:

  • Her favorite breakfast (truly!): green smoothies.
  • Universally little children love her. She’s creative and a lot of fun.
  • Anna makes incredible soups, usually without a recipe. “What did you put in it, Anna?” one might ask. “I put some of this in and that and…” In other words, she is amazing with her flavoring.
  • She’s a pro at using leftover food or making a leftover more appealing.
Happy Birthday, Anna!
Anna received two birthday packages in the mail Monday. Thank you, Erin, and thank you, H Family! They were filled with thoughtful, sweet gifts.

“I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live:
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
My meditation of him shall be sweet:
I will be glad in the LORD.”
Psalms 104:33-34

Mom and Daughters’ Outing

I have the privilege of being a few years further down the mothering path than many of you. Because of that, I like to encourage younger moms on what they have to look forward to in the future. So often the days with little children that are filled with constant work, regular squabbles with them and between them, and no adult company until your husband arrives home from work get long and tiring.

Last Monday, my girls (Sarah, Anna, and Mary) and I had a Kansas City shopping day. We were looking for accessories to make our Christmas outfits have a new sparkle for our Christmas photo. We need to take one in preparation for the Christmas concert we will have again this year at our local community center. We also planned to stop at Whole Foods (we have a few items we prefer to get there). We were looking forward to eating lunch out together.

We all enjoy our occasional shopping outings together. We look forward to them and pack as much as we can into those hours. I am blessed to have daughters who want me to go with them when they go shopping. I am delighted that we can spend time together laughing and sharing our hearts with each other.

I want to encourage younger moms that the investment you are making in your children’s lives and in building relationships with them now will reap dividends in the years to come. The fruit is sweet as I climb into the car with those three daughters to spend time together.

Trusting in Jesus,


“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Galatians 5:22-23 

Cooking with Anna: A Meal Plan on the Road

I love planning and preparing food for our trips. I asked Mom if I could take over that job and have been doing it for about a year now. I believe one of the biggest keys to success in the meal planning is having master meal and shopping lists. I am so thankful that Mom has taught me to use master lists so as not to forget even the smallest details.

I plan the first few weeks of meals although it is a guide, and I do not have to follow it exactly. I also have a master list of pantry and other food items that we bring with us on our trips. I will go through the meal plan and master list before we leave and add whatever we don’t have on hand to one of our shopping lists. We shop at Sam’s Club, Costco, Walmart Supercenter, and a local grocery store.

Some have asked how we fix and manage meals on the road. Each week varies, depending on how much we are driving, where we are in the trip, and if we’ve grocery shopped recently, but this will give you a glimpse into our first week of the trip we just completed. For many meals, I had prepared the meat before we left, but I can cook it on the road when needed. Fridays are a bit different because we eat a bigger lunch, no dinner, and then snack after the conference.

Our breakfasts consist of some of the following: smoothies, granola, granola bars, and yogurt. Also, with lunch and dinner, we have salad, but instead of repetitiously listing it, I thought I would just let you know here.

Serving Jesus,


Lunch – Breakfast burritos (eggs, sausage, cheese, spices)
Dinner/late night snack – Smoothies and snacks after conference

Lunch – Chick-fil-a (brought in by conference hosts)
Dinner – Shredded Mexican beef (made before we left) in tortillas or on lettuce

Bigger breakfast/brunch – Leftover biscuits and gravy from Jesse’s birthday
Dinner – Campfire roasted hotdogs and Maple Oat Cookies (some ate these uncooked and some cooked theirs on foil over the fire)

Lunch – Leftovers
Dinner – Sloppy Joes and roasted red peppers

Lunch – Sloppy Jo sliders (toasted whole-wheat homemade rolls, topped with leftover Sloppy Jo meat and cheese)
Dinner – Chili with corn chips

Lunch – Cracker Barrel
Dinner – Nobody was very hungry so we had leftovers and smoothies for those who wanted them.

Lunch – Tuna burgers (made from canned tuna, spices, egg, mayo, and then cooked) or tuna melts (tuna burger on an open-face, toasted, whole-wheat, homemade roll with melted cheese)
Dinner – Campfire dinner with hot dogs and onion/potato packets (cooked in foil over the fire).

Lunch – Tacos (cooked ahead and frozen)
Dinner/late night snack – Smoothies and snacks after conference

“… hope in God: for I shall yet praise him,
who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
Psalms 43:5

Project Time

We’re enjoying autumn unfold here in Kansas. Slowly, but surely, green leaves are fading into hues of yellow, brown, and red. The crisp air is refreshing. Rainy days are cozy and perfect for a nice cup of tea and working on a project.

Speaking of projects, many of us tackled organizing tasks yesterday. Some of those included cleaning closets, organizing drawers, and sorting clothes. With the weather turning cold, Dad cleaned out the chimney in preparation for firing up the wood-burning stove. Joseph enjoyed catching up on odds and ends at his house.

I hope your weekend was productive. Sundays are a special day to us as we worship with fellow believers, spend extra time together as a family (including our weekly Sunday evening prayer time!), and rest for the week ahead.

Joyfully His,

Friday, the guys loaded up our “lemonade stand” (i.e. the wood bin), because we’ll be firing up the wood stove.



Dad cleaned the chimney.




Jesse began preparations to remove a huge stump in our front yard.



Joshua and Anna Marie stopped in, and Joshua stayed to play for awhile.

“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
Psalms 1:3

Even Little Things Can Encourage – Answered Prayer

Recently, I had been wanting a new case for my phone.  One day I thought about ordering one, but being the frugal, homeschooling mom that I am, I felt this prompting. “The case you have works great. You just don’t like the way the white has turned dirty looking. A new case isn’t a need. Why don’t you try praying for the Lord to provide you with a new case if He wants you to have one while being content with this one.” So I prayed and went about my day.

At lunch time, Sarah brought a pile of things from her closet that she had been dejunking. She handed me a brand new, turquoise, cell phone case and said, “I think this would fit your phone, Mom. Do you want it? It was in my closet, and I am not going to use it.” I was delighted. This was such a small thing, but I so enjoyed seeing the Lord answer my prayer.

Every time one of my children or grandchildren noticed my new cell phone case, I was able to give God the praise for His answer to prayer and His provision.

Not every thing I pray for or about is answered so quickly or even in the direction I was praying like this one was. However, the more we pray, the more the Lord answers. He can’t answer if we aren’t praying. When He answers, we have the opportunity to give Him praise and glory as we share those answers with other.

Trusting in Jesus,


“Pray without ceasing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17

“Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”

Psalms 107:15