Monday, December 21, 2009

The Simple Woman's Handbook...Christmas Edition!

FOR TODAY...from Kristi's Daybook
December 21, 2009

Outside my window... A chilly, newly-Winter's night

I am thinking... about Christmas tasks still to be done

I am thankful for... A special, early (though 'right on time'!) Christmas gift

From the kitchen...Homemade marshmallows!

I am wearing...pajamas

I am creating...special Christmas memories with the kids

I am going... to wrap some presents before bed (yeah, right!)
I am reading...the Sunday paper (I'm a little slow!) and a few blogs

I am hoping...for a white Christmas!  (if not, just a blessed one!)

Noticing that...Christmas week seems to fly by faster than usual!

I am hearing...the dryer and Frasier

Pondering these words... (*Singing*) "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to (not) know...Where the tree tops glisten, and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow...I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, with every Christmas card I (don't) write...May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Chrismases be white."   ;-)

Around the house... Laundry to fold, gifts to wrap

One of my favorite things...still, presently-our Christmas tree!

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Wrapping presents, preparing and delivering goodies, and of course - CHRISTMAS -to include church service, time with family, food, and gifts!

A photo thought...

"I love you, Daddy...for letting me lick the spoon!"

"Would you like to linger on the simple things...then join me and others in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those who are focusing on simplicity...the beauty of the 'everyday moments'." To create your own Simple Woman's Daybook, click here:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hope for the Mess?

OK, I'm in need of a little encouragement to bring me back from the Dark Side.  (or perhaps just a reality check!)  Here's my Black Hole:

This is my living room.  *Gulp*  It pretty much looks like this more than it doesn't these days, along with the rest of the house.  With exception of my bedroom, perhaps -which I try to keep kid-clutter free, since I have more direct control there, and need an orderly place to escape to occasionally to keep my sanity!  As many of you know, I have a 5-year-old boy and an almost 2-year-old girl.  They love keeping the house looking full of life -and they're good at it!  They make messes, 'we' clean it up (with agonizing step-by-step instructions)...I go to start VOILA! looks like this again!

So, here's the dilema I bring to the table, for those of you who've fought this battle with the Dark Side:  Is there hope that the mess will ever end and that I'll have my house/sanity back?!  By nature, I'm usually an orderly person who savors a clean house.  Not in an 'anal' way - I'm no Danny Tanner! (Danny Tanner, really?) But my brain just doesn't function as well amidst clutter!  Seriously - for me, a cluttered space is a cluttered mind!  That doesn't bode well for getting things done!   Boy Scout (my hubby) recently even pointed out my lack of housekeeping skills of late.  I quickly rebuffed, reminding him that I was a fairly good & organized housekeeper before I had his children!   He stopped and thought a moment, and then agreed.  Thank you!  Just a little acknowledgement that this is not 'normally' who I am or who I desire to be is nice!  (Or is this my new 'normal'?!) So, I'm hoping you can assure me that this is only temporary!  Right?!  


OK, there it is.  My messy den.  I put it out there.  It's done.  *Gulp*

Monday, December 7, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

 FOR TODAY...from Kristi's Daybook
December 7, 2009

Outside my window...A cloudy, cold, blustery day

I am thinking...about Pastor Craig's message yesterday ("The Blessed Life")

I am thankful for... a roof to cover our heads

From the kitchen... Cinnamon Pork Roast

I am wearing...Black striped top and black pants

I am creating...a Christmas tree for my son's PreK homework

I am be praying diligently

I am blogs I've found, holiday catalogs (what a reading list,huh?!)

I am hoping...for God-given financial blessing/provision

Noticing 5-year-old son has an eye for drawing

I am hearing... Santa Claus is Comin' to Town!

Pondering these words... "Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed be Your name, Oh Lord, Blessed be the Name of the Lord, Blessed be your Glorious Name....You give and take away, You give and take away...My heart will choose to say, Lord Blessed be Your Name!"

Around the house...a messy kitchen floor that needs vacuuming!

One of my favorite things...our Christmas tree

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Housecleaning, painting the bathroom, Christmas party
A photo thought... (this makes me happy...)

"Would you like to linger on the simple things...then join me and others in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those who are focusing on simplicity...the beauty of the 'everyday moments'." To create your own Simple Woman's Daybook, click here:


Thursday, November 26, 2009


Wow- it's already Thanksgiving, can you believe it?!  2009 is almost over...I just don't know where the time went!  Well, I've spent a lot of time lately worrying about bills and money, fretting the future and headache-inducing 'how did we get here?' questions, but now it's time to really stop -hand it all over to God - and consider the BLESSINGS in my life!  

1.  I'm thankful for my very own Renaissance Man!  I'm awed by my hubby's strength and endurance, and blessed by his partnership.

2.  I adore my kids' smiles and laughter.    It truly tickles my heart to watch them playing, laughing, and having fun together or with Daddy!

3.   Extremely thankful for the massage I had today!  I finally cashed in the birthday gift from my Mom (from March!!!  am i cwazy or what?!) and it was a much-needed hour of relaxation and tension-release!  THANKS, MOM, LUV YA!

4.  Incredibly grateful for the small, yet wonderfully significant, financial blessing we received this week that allowed us to make something happen that we feared we wouldn't be able to!

5.  This one's more of a praise/prayer.  They're words to an old Dennis Jernigan song: 

"For all that You've done I will thank You, and for all that You're going to do...For all that You've promised and all that You are, and all that has carried me thru, Jesus I thank You....Thank You for loving and setting me free, thank You for giving Your life just for me, how I thank You, Jesus I THANK YOU..."

Thanks for stopping by!

 Kristi  :-D

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

  FOR TODAY...from Kristi's Daybook
November 23, 2009

Outside my an absolutely beautiful, sunshiney Fall day

I am thinking...about things I need to try to get done today

I am thankful for...God's protection

From the kitchen...leftovers of Pasta Alla Marlboro Man!

I am wearing...a pink top and jeans

I am ideas for my blog

I am be baking 'turkey' cookies later with my son for his PreK Thanksgiving 'Finger Feast' tomorrow

I am blogs I've found, The Pioneer Woman Cooks new cookbook

I am hoping...for God-given financial blessing/provision

Noticing that...time seems to RUN by faster the older I get

I am son watching cartoons in the other room

Pondering these words..."Say HEY, it's a good day, even if things aren't goin' my way, Jesus is Lord and I am saved, so - SAY HEY -it's a good day!...Life is only as happy as you make your mind up to be, So I have just decided, that nothin's gonna take this joy from me...Say HEY...IT'S A GOOD DAY!"  (FFH lyrics, It's a Good Day)

Around the house...clutter, that I'm hoping to clean up before getting out the Christmas decorations later this week

One of my favorite the warm hues of the late afternoon/evening sun this time of year

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Thanksgiving baking/cooking &  gathering with family, Christmas decorating, a long-overdue massage!

A photo thought... (my hubby took this!)

"Would you like to linger on the simple things...then join me and others in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those who are focusing on simplicity...the beauty of the 'everyday moments'."  To create your own Simple Woman's Daybook, click here:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday!

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

It's Thursday!  That means I'm starting my first Thankful Thursday post.  Each week, I'll share 5 things I'm thankful/grateful for.  Here we go:

1.  My hubby & my kiddos.  They enrich my life and are really good at making sure it's never boring!

2.  My hand-me-down iPhone.  Silly, I know!  Hubby got a new one, I got his old one.  It's not the latest & greatest version, but it's still an iPhone and it works.  And I'm hooked! 

3.  Internet TV!  Since losing our DVR (and cable), it's really nice to be able to turn to the Internet to catch shows I miss! 

4.  Facebook.  Via Facebook, a couple of days ago an old high school friend of mine posted a link to an old favorite song that had long slipped my mind.  Yes, it's just a song, but it spoke to my heart and my current circumstances.  It was right on time.  Thanks, Christi - I needed that!

5.  Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond).  Thanks to her blog, ( among other things, that you'll probably hear about later, I've grown to love cooking for my family, and have discovered a growing interest in photography. (or photo editing, anyway!).  Well, these are two of my hubby's favorite pastimes, so he's thrilled about my piquing interest in them!  (Especially since he's having little success getting me on a bicycle - his other favorite hobby!)

That's my list for this week.  Seems to have a technology theme to it, doesn't it?!  I'm thankful for it today.  There are times when it can be an annoyance and distraction, but today, technology = GOOD!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Grateful Heart

The season of gratitude is upon us, so I wanted to share a few things from the last few weeks that I'm thankful for: 

These cutie-patootie trick-or-treaters:  (Need I say more?!)

The Pioneer Woman - Ree Drummond:  ( I got to meet her at her book signing for her new cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks:  Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl.   (I would have posted a photo of me with her, but it's in my friend's camera, and she has the flu, so...I'll post it later!)  It was a fun, exciting night chatting with friends while waiting in line to meet her.  Luckily, we got there early enough for a spot in line that put us in front of PW within 45 minutes after the signing started - not bad!  (about a 2 hour total wait)  She was so sweet, taking the time to chat with each and every person.  (I hear she signed the last book around 12:30a.m.! Now that's love, devotion and gratitude for your fans - or 'friends' -as she calls them/us! Thanks, Ree!)  Great book, by the way - it's chock full of delicious, hearty, family-pleasing recipes,complete with step-by-step pictorial directions!  Also has some fabulous photography and stories about her family and ranch life, and how she became a 'ranch wife'.  Lovin' it! 

Old friends:  A friend we hadn't seen in several years came thru town with his band, Fundamental Elements. We were able to catch their show - which was AWESOME, by the way - and catch up a bit.  Stop in and check them out at , you'll love 'em!  Great to see you again, Russ!

Then, there's the Leaf Monster!  (sorta!) While the trees in our neighborhood are quite picturesque (briefly) in the Fall, the blizzard of leaves that follows is quite the chore to clean up!  So, thankful for my Honey who gets out to tackle it with his Little Helper:


And finally, A GOOD PROGNOSIS.  We found out last month that my Mom is fighting recurrent breast cancer.  After a successful battle 26 years ago, it's shown it's ugly head again.  But the doctors are very optimistic and have laid out a treatment plan currently consisting of (anti)hormone therapy and a round of radiation.  Then will retest and re-evaluate treatment as necessary.  This is fairly good news, considering, and we pray it's successful!  We are all so grateful for all the prayers and well wishes of others and continue to covet them!  Love you, Mom - you're one of my heroes!



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pure Grace

This may sound kinda funny, but I found this passage on a bottle of Pure Grace Shampoo/Shower Gel/Bubble Bath by philosophy! It just struck me as such a good word that I wrote it down to keep.  Just thought I'd share with you, in keeping with the theme of my last few posts:

"To learn to live our lives in a state of gratitude is easier said than done.  And yet that is actually the master class we take when we finally make it from Kindergarten  to graduate school.  Be thankful for the bad times as well as the good times.  Remind yourself that we learn and become so much more from the hard lesson rather than the easy one.  Hardship is the master teacher that tells us to breathe more deeply, laugh harder, love deeper, hug longer, and kiss more often.

One of the best tools for longevity and good health is not just taking a walk outdoors but taking your walk while holding the hand of God.  When we walk in gratitude for each and every moment, we empower ourselves by empowering our spirits.  When we breathe in nature though our eyes, ears, and lips, we become certain that not only are our souls eternal, but that God knows how to manage our lives, our troubles, our worries and our days better than we do.  So today and every day, "let go and let God.""

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Simple Pleasures

Cherish Life's Simple Pleasures * Live Fully, Laugh Often, Love Much * DREAM * IMAGINE

These are all favorite sayings I have around my house.  They're all things I believe, that I aim to do in my life.  Maybe for you too.  But, how often do we really live by them?  Often they just end up being "goals" and it stops there.  How often do we just truly *cherish* the simple things?  Do you laugh daily?  Are we really living fully?  I *dream & imagine * but it rarely goes much farther than that.  And how often do we take for granted the people we love and care about?

Recent events in my life have brought these things to the fore-front of my mind.  Due to my Mom's recent cancer diagnosis, it looked like the beginning of an unknown and difficult journey.  And although we've now received a good prognosis, it isn't over yet and still causes me to look at things from a different perspective.

It makes me want to be more deliberate about my life - and more spontaneous.  I recently found a note I'd written around the New affirmation/ read, "My #1 resolution for 2009 is to be more present in my life -as a wife, a mom, for my family, with God, life in general!"  I hadn't forgotten that, but it's definitely been a challenge.   It's a daily struggle with two small children and a husband who works a lot, and financial troubles, etc.  But I've tried.  So I thought, anyway.  I just get so caught up in my life that the little things  slip by sometimes.  I forget things...forget to DO things.  I'm so sick of hearing myself say "I meant to__, ", or "I forgot" or "didn't get around to it."  AAACK!  Just get so busy with - well - being busy!  I don't want life to pass me by and someday wonder where it all went.  I'm already doing a little bit of that and I don't like it!  Play with the kids - the vacuuming can wait!  *Get up an hour earlier and you would probably get more things done so you CAN be available to the kids and not feel guilty! *Go to bed earlier so you can GET UP that hour earlier! *Go see your grandparents! *Find time to get together & catch up with that old friend who's been on your mind!* ETC,ETC,ETC!

But, it's really getting clearer.  Oddly, at a time that's been clouded in uncertainty!  But really - isn't life itself uncertain?  As much as we'd like to think we can control it, we really don't have a clue what life will bring us tomorrow.  Things can change in a moment.  And I'm just really starting to "get" that God's clarity often comes in the midst of that heavy fog of uncertainty.  Probably because we're more vulnerable and open.  It's not always spelled out in big, flashy neon billboards or lightning strikes.  In fact - it rarely is!  Sometimes it's just simply PEACE.  That odd "peace that surpasses all understanding".  And it's in that peace -there amidst the turmoil & craziness life throws at us - where we can bask in those simple pleasures, and appreciate them all the more.

I love this passage:  Ecclesiastes 5:18-20:  "Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God. 20 He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart."

I want to be more present!   I want to be satisfied & grateful at the end of my day, knowing I've put in a days' work and have enjoyed the blessings God has given me.  And to know that, on the bad days,  no matter how bleak things may look or how miserable I feel, there is always -always - something to be thankful for!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Keep Singin

You know, I've learned something recently.  I've learned that life is full of challenges.  Really? you say. Yes, I'm perceptive.  What I mean is I've just come to peace with it, I guess.  No matter how "good" we are, how much we pray, how much we give or love, or even box ourselves into safe little cocoons, life happens.  Bad, hard things happen.  It's inevitable.  That said...

We've recently had a big helping of those challenges thrown at us.  Almost as if to say, while juggling the usual everyday-challenges like financial, job, and kid-raisin' stresses, "OK- Let's see if you can catch a few more balls".  In a week's time, we lost our two beloved dogs -Levi and Crystal -our best pals of 14 years, a close family member & a friend both in a medical crisis, other family members in marriage crises, additional  job stress, and those seems when we're finally poised to take a step forward, something(s) happens that knocks us two steps back.  Ugh.  One of the hardest weeks I've had in recent memory.  (Oh yeah - and our monarch caterpillar died too.  Hmmm.)

I cried.  I mourned.  I worried.  I prayed.  I cried some more.  But I didn't stay there.  I can't.  I was just able to find some peace in the midst of the- well - CRAP.  Music usually has a way of settling my spirit, and here were two songs that spoke volumes:

Keep Singing by MercyMe
Another rainy day

I can’t recall having sunshine on my face
All I feel is pain
All I wanna do is walk out of this place
But when I am stuck, and I can’t move
When I don’t know what I should do
When I wonder if I’ll ever make it through

I gotta keep singing
I gotta keep praising Your name
You’re the one that’s keeping my heart beating
I gotta keep singing
I gotta keep praising Your name
That’s the only way that I’ll find healing

Can I climb up in Your lap
I don’t wanna leave
Jesus sing over me
Oh you're everything I need
I gotta keep singing

Bring the Rain by  Mercy Me
I can count a million times

People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I’ve gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It’s never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you oh Lord
My only shelter from the storms
But instead I draw closer through these times

So I pray
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know There’ll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that’s what it takes to praise You
Jesus Bring the Rain

I am Yours regardless of
The clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what’s a little rain


Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Is the Lord God Almighty (repeat)

Yes, life is sometimes hard.  Sometimes- it just downright sucks.  And even though I'm feeling better, it's not all over fact, some of it is just beginning.  But God is good - ALL the time, and ALL the time, God is still GOOD!  And I believe that with every ounce of my being.

As far as the dogs are concerned - they were a part of our family.  They were our 'kids' before we had kids.  Fourteen years of our life -that's a long time.  (Well, we had Levi that long, since he was a puppy.  I remember going to get him -he was the only one who ran up to greet me and wanted to play - that's why I picked him.  That, and his teddy-bear face! We 'adopted' Crystal at 1 1/2 when Levi was 3.)  They had 3 litters of puppies.  Just think...somewhere out there, there are 'little' Levis and Crystals (just go with it, ok) running around, hopefully enriching other families' lives like ours did.  That makes me happy...



Monday, September 28, 2009


"Faith sees what your physical eyes can never see; Faith knows what your natural mind can never comprehend; Faith possesses what your physical arms can never hold."  -Roy Lessin


"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."  HEBREWS 11:1 NLT

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Everybody Knows

Here's a great passage that reflects some things I'm working on -things that if I'd only realized them a long time ago I probably could have lived a more "wholly" fulfilling life. (thus far!)  But that's part of the process - to forgive yourself, accept what you have to offer (and figure out how to use it), and move on -because you can only change from today on out!


Everybody Knows…

You can't be all things to all people.
You can't do all things at once.
You can't do all things equally well.
You can't do all things better than everyone else.
Your humanity is showing just like everyone else's.


You have to find out who you are, and be that.
You have to decide what comes first and do that.
You have to discover your strengths, and use them.
You have to learn not to compete with others,
Because no one else is in the contest of "being you."


You will have learned to accept your own uniqueness.
You will have learned to set priorities and make decisions.
You will have learned to live with your limitations.
You will have learned to give yourself the respect that is due,
And you'll be a being that's vitally alive.

Dare to believe....

That you are a wonderful, unique person.
That you are a once-in-all-history event.
That it's more than a right - it's your duty - to be who you are.
That life is not a problem to solve, but a gift to cherish,
And you'll be able to stay one up on what used to get you down.

-Author unknown

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I love this story.  I need to let go and jump...

“God gives us endurance we need to face whatever situation life hands us…

When I was a young boy…I told people that my father was stronger than anyone else in the world…

In those days a cherry tree grew in our backyard. This was my hiding place. Ten feet above the ground, a stout limb made a horizontal fork; a cradle on which I could lie face down, reading, thinking, being alone. Nobody bothered me there. Even my parents didn’t know where I went to hide. Sometimes Daddy would come out and call, “Walllyyy? Walllyyyy?” but he didn’t see me in the leaves.

I felt very tricky.

Then came the thunderstorm…

One day, suddenly, a wind tore through the backyard and struck my cherry tree with such force that it ripped the book from my hands and nearly threw me from the limb. I locked my arms around the forking branches and hung on. My head hung down between them. I tried to wind my legs around the limb, but the whole tree was wallowing in the wind.

Daadddeeeeeee!” I cried.

There he was… The branches swept up and down, like huge waves on an ocean – and Daddy saw me, and right away he rushed out in the wind and weather, and I felt so relieved because I took it for granted that he would just climb right up that tree and get me.

But that wasn’t his plan at all.

He came to a spot right below me, lifted his arms and shouted, “Jump.”


“Jump. I’ll catch you.”

Jump? I had a crazy man for a father. He was standing six or seven MILES beneath me, holding up two skinny arms and telling me to jump. If I jumped, he’d miss. I’d hit the ground for sure and die…

But the wind and rain slapped that cherry tree, bent it back, and cracked my limb at the trunk. I dropped a foot. My eyes flew open. Then the wood whirled and splintered and sank, and so did I, in bloody terror.

No, I did not jump. I let go. I surrendered.

I fell.

In a fast, eternal moment I despaired and plummeted. This, I thought, is what it’s like to die.

But my Father caught me. . .

Now in such a storm the tree which was our stable world is shaken, and instinct makes us grab it tighter; by our own strength we grip the habits that have helped us in the past, repeating them, believing them. We’d rather trust what is rather than what might be; that is, our power, our reason and feeling and endurance…We spend a long time screaming NO!. . .

But always, God is present. God has always been present. And it is God who says, “Jump.”

By Walt Wangerin, Jr.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Great Day

5 years ago today -nearly to the minute - my life changed forever.  September 15, 2004 @ 4:24p.m. my son Heath was born and made me a Mommy.  Finally, nearly 15 years after I first heard God whisper in my Spirit that I was destined to be a Mom, he was here.  After 13 years of marriage, 3 years of trying, and a miscarriage, he was here.  On my Mom's birthday, none the less.  And that was not planned -he showed up a month early!  What a great surprise, and I was so anxious to meet him.  He's such a great kid and I truly couldn't ask for better.  And what better way to celebrate the gift of my son than the day we celebrate the woman who gave the gift of  life to me.   I am so blessed!  Love you Momma, love you Heathy!  MUAH!

Monday, September 14, 2009

"What I Know for Sure"

This is a favorite quote by Oprah Winfrey that I keep posted on the wall above my desk.  I read it every once and awhile when I'm feeling down on myself or guilty that I haven't gotten something done.  Be blessed!

"What I know for sure is that no matter were you stand right now --on a hilltop, in a gutter, at a crossroads, in a rut --you need to give yourself the best you have to offer at this moment.  This is it.  Rather than depleting yourself with judgments about what you haven't done, who you could have become, why you haven't moved faster, or what you should have changed, redirect that energy toward the next big push --the one that takes you from good enough to better.  The one that takes you from adequate to extraordinary.  The one that helps you rise up from a low moment and helps you reach your personal best."  Oprah Winfrey

Hello and Welcome!

Hello!  Welcome to my blog!  I'm here because I wanted to create a fun, encouraging space to escape to when life makes other plans.  I'm an encourager by nature -it's my spriritual gift- so, that's just what I'm here to do!  Don't worry - I don't aim to be "Sally Sunshine" all the time.  Life is tough sometimes, and as I navigate my way through it I simply try to cling to my faith and pray that God will see me through.  I honestly can't imagine a life without Faith!  Some days are harder than others, and I may share that.  Others will be great, and I'll share that too.  That's what it's about -ups and downs - it's inevitable!  But hopefully through the good, the bad, and the ugly I can shine some light at the end of the day!  So come on in!