Love Is…

“Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Although this isn’t a super-celebrated holiday in my family, I still heard this phrase mixed in with our conversations this morning.  The kids will exchange Valentines with their friends and I do plan on making a special dessert for our dinner tonight, but, all in all, we keep this day pretty low-key.  From the buzz in the blog world this week, it seems we are not alone in this.

I, of course, believe love is amazing.  Love is “shout it from the roof top” awesome.  But an important lesson we try hard to instill in our children, is….

Love isn’t romantic dinners and poetic cards.

Love isn’t flowers and candy.

Love isn’t expensive jewelry.

Love isn’t merely saying “I love you.”

Anyone can give a gift, it doesn’t define who loves us, but it is something loved ones can do.

We try to show them that all of these things are fun, and it’s ok to enjoy them, as long as they know……

Love isn’t tangible.

Love lives in our hearts.

Love is a gift from God.  His love makes us complete.  This is why we must love.  (1 John 4:7-12)

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

I write this post, not to cast a gray cloud over the day, but to be that little reminder we all need some times.

Love is more than words and things.

Love is those little things you do everyday.

Some times love is all captured in a look.  Completely unspoken, just felt.

Felt with every bit of your being.

While you celebrate with your Valentine today, take a moment to really feel the love, because love is truly the best gift of all.

For more on love, in scripture, check out these verses:

  • John 3:16
  • 1 John 3:1
  • 1 John 3:16
  • 1 John 4:7-12
  • John 15:13
  • Romans 5:8
  • Romans 8:37
  • Ephesians 3:18-20
  • Ephesians 5:1

Do you have a favorite love verse or saying?  If you have a blog post about love or Valentine’s Day, feel free to post a link in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by! ~Kim~

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Who I Am: December Edition a.ka. The Last One!

Before you panic, it’s not the last post ever, just the last post in this series.  I may not be very consistent at posting, but I do enjoy it a great deal and will continue to do so, even if it’s sporadic!  I hope that’s okay with you!

Over the year, I have shared some of my hobbies and traits in my “Who I Am” posts.  Now it’s December.  So I decided to use this post to just share some random facts with you.

I am a happy person.  I don’t believe happiness is found, I believe it is a choice.  I try to choose it every day.  Trying to stay positive and looking for the good in each situation helps.

My favorite color is purple, and has been ever since I can remember.  It’s also my niece and cousin’s favorite color.  Probably because we are all awesome 😉

Genealogy fascinates me.  Of course my own family’s but also others.  I think every family has an interesting story to tell and learn from.

When I was little, my favorite shows were the “Incredible Hulk” and the “Dukes of Hazzard.”  A couple of years ago, I went to see “Chicago” and met the man who played Luke Duke, turns out he sings and was starring in the show.  I got his autograph for me and my nephews who are huge Dukes fans.

My first concert was New Kids on the Block.  Don’t judge.

I have some fears (maybe phobias)….spiders, feet, and aliens.  I don’t think they are real, just seeing them in movies freaks me out.  Can you explain why “X Files” was one of my favorite shows then?  Crazy, I know.  Ahh, I miss that show, even if I had to hide my face through most of it.

My favorite book of all time is “To Kill a Mocking Bird.”  If you haven’t read it, you should.  Now.  A few of my other favorites are:  “Of Mice and Men,” “Gone with the Wind,” “The Shack”

I have favorite movies also.  The list is long, and changes with my mood, but a few that always make the list?  “Gone with the Wind,” “Sound of Music,” “Lonesome Dove,” “The Pirates of the Caribbean” series, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” (this one is thanks to an old high school friend, I still haven’t forgiven him for introducing me!), “Joe Dirt” (don’t ask)

I love food.  Cooking it, smelling it, eating it.  Mmmm food.

I have naturally curly hair.  When I became pregnant with my oldest boy it went away.  After I had my baby girl in March, it came back.  Crazy hair!

I love to laugh.  I love to see others laugh, especially my kids.  It’s hard to think of a better sound.

I love tradition.  I try to make memorable ones for my family.  I hope I am doing a good job.

And, now after this year, I am also a blogger.  Maybe we have some things in common, or maybe you tried a new recipe that I shared.  Whatever brings you to my blog, I hope you have enjoyed our journey so far, and I hope you keep coming back to visit.

In case you missed it:

Who I Am: February

Who I Am: March

Who I Am: April

Who I Am: May

Who I Am: June

Who I Am: July

Who I Am: August

Who I Am: September

Who I Am:  October

Who I Am:  November

Who I Am: November Edition

Happy fall everyone!  I live in the midwest and the leaves have changed, are falling, and making a colorful carpet on the ground.  I hope you are all doing well!

I had planned on making this my December topic, but due to recent events I have decided to do it now.  I had originally picked December because it is the month the birth of my Savior is celebrated, and it just seemed fitting.  By now, I’m sure most of you figured out, that I am a Christian!  First I want to talk a little about that, then I move on to why I moved the topic up to November.

I was raised Catholic, sort of.  I went to a Catholic school from first through eighth grade.  I learned the “rules” and attended church with my class.  On occasion I attended church with my mom.

I believed, but my faith wasn’t very strong.  I prayed, but rarely.  I was lost, so to speak.

I actually didn’t start attending church on a regular basis until I was about 17 or 18.  I have my husband (then boyfriend) to thank for that.  I grew a little in my faith, but still wasn’t there.  It planted the seed.

As time passed, I was married, children came.  I knew I was blessed.  I prayed more often.  I knew there was something more to this life.  I knew I needed to be closer to God.

For me, spiritual growth didn’t come from going to church.  For some, this works, but I didn’t find Him just by walking into a specific building once a week.

It wasn’t something others could do for me.

My faith grew when I decided to let God in my heart.  When I opened my eyes to all He has done and continues to do in my life.

I began reading the Bible regularly, studying is more like it.  I am lucky to have my husband, among other faithful people in my life, that I can talk with and learn from.

When I love God, I find life is so amazing.  I find it easier to find the good and appreciate things more.  I find new meaning in attending church, wherever it may be.

It also inspires me to share that love.  And so, part two of my post…..

I was blessed enough to have the opportunity to share that love, by assisting in teaching children at church.  Let me just say, children are amazing!  They are so eager and open to the Lord, when given the chance.

Recently, though there have been some recent changes in our life that makes it hard to continue to teach at church.  The biggest, is our church closed. We found a new one, but it’s further from home.  Plus, our youngest is struggling a bit with adjusting to school (he started kindergarten).

It was a bittersweet decision.

The bitter?  I will miss all the kids and fellow teachers.  They are truly the most wonderful group of people! We had loads of fun.  I will miss working with them all!

The sweet?  More quality time with my kids!

This week was our first home lesson.  We always tried to teach the kids about faith, God, praying, etc., but it was done (and will continue to be done) randomly, as situations arise.  Now I have set aside a day a week for Bible study.  My struggle will be the age differences of my kids and making the lesson relevant (and exciting!) to all.  I believe we are off to a good start.  This week we studied a little in the Gospel of Luke and began faith journals.

I’ve found some great online resources, like Bible Study Planet, Calvary Cirriculum, and Ministry-t0-Children.

The best part, though?  Wednesday evening, after study time, we all gathered around the table to pray before supper.  Each person takes a turn saying something they are thankful for, and my little 5-year-old W, says “learning in the Bible with Mom.” ❤

greatest gift

 

Here are the links to past Who I Am posts:

Who I Am: February

Who I Am: March

Who I Am: April

Who I Am: May

Who I Am: June

Who I Am: July

Who I Am: August

Who I Am: September

Who I Am:  October

Only one more month to go, if you have anything you’d like to learn about me, leave a comment!

~Thanks for dropping by~

 

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7

 

 

Who I am: October Edition

I blinked my eyes and the beginning of October came and went.  Halloween is fast approaching and I am not doing a good job of creating a blogging schedule.  I apologize to you all.

This month’s “Who I Am” post took some thinking.  It’s probably the most obvious thing about me, but I struggled with whether I should write about it or not.  Wondering what you, my reader, might think.  What the reaction would be.

Well, here it goes.

I am a mom.

A mother.

You’re probably thinking, “It’s October and you are just now writing about this?  Why the hesitation?”

Because I didn’t always want to be a mom.

It wasn’t even on my radar.  At all.

I’ve heard other moms say that they couldn’t wait to have a baby, it was their “life-long dream,” or their “purpose.”  I would think, “wow!  Motherhood was their goal?”

I didn’t understand.

Growing up, I wasn’t around babies or little ones very much.  I was an only child.  My cousins had little ones (that I LOVE!), but we lived far from them.  I didn’t experience a lot of the growing-up process, as I would only see them a few times a year.

Honestly, it really didn’t occur to me how little I knew about babies until I started dating my husband.  He is from a large family (11 kids)!  As you can imagine, his life experiences and view of things was much different than mine.  He is the third youngest so, by that time, most of his brothers and sisters were married with kids.

We would visit his siblings often, especially his one sister and her husband.  They just had a baby about the time we started dating.  Seeing, my then boyfriend, interact with the new little baby amazed me.

I’m talking life altering amazed.  He was so natural.  So happy.

You could just feel how much he enjoyed the baby.

Thinking back, I can still picture him holding his little nephew, laughing and talking to him.

I know it sounds crazy, but I knew that moment, that I wanted to be a mom.  Without a doubt.

I FINALLY understood the “dream.”  Feeling the happiness and love, I knew I wanted that too.

Now that I am a mom I can’t imagine a life without my kids.

They fill every day with wonder and adventure.  Fun and laughter.

They inspire me to be better.  They give me new purpose.

They teach me more than I think I can ever teach them.

They are my joy.

I love them and I love being a mom!

I read this once, and I can truly say, that

“My greatest blessings call me ‘mom!'”

 

If you missed any past “Who I Am” posts, check them out here:

Who I Am: February

Who I Am: March

Who I Am: April

Who I Am: May

Who I Am: June

Who I Am: July

Who I Am: August

Who I Am: September

 

Did you always know you wanted to be a parent?

 

Thanks for stopping in…Kim

Let Me Share….

Long time, no post.  With the exception of the Who I Am for August, I have been missing from the blog world!  Don’t think it has been because I have forgotten all of you lovely folks!  It’s just, well, life happened.  We were able to squeeze in a family vacation before school started, I’ve been preserving garden harvest, the kids started school, etc……

Instead of telling you a step by step narrative of what my life has been, I wanted to try something fun, and well, easier 😉  Over the last month or so I have been reminded of a lot and learned some new things that I want to share, so here it goes….in no particular order…..

  1. Raccoons are smart little creatures.  They like the taste of chicken, my chickens to be exact.  I don’t like raccoons.
  2. Watching kids play with a broken 15 foot piece of clothes line, like it’s a jump rope, is funny.
  3. I miss my clothesline.
  4. You can sometimes find dependable people are ones you may least expect.
  5. My kids are awesome.
  6. Some people will let you down.  Some people will let your kids down.  I don’t want to be that person.
  7. Much wisdom can be gained while picking berries with someone 30 years your senior.
  8. Blackberries taste better when you pick them.
  9. Sending your kids off to school after summer break doesn’t get easier.  Ever.
  10. Never leave for a family vacation without extra blankets, especially if 3 boys share one bed.
  11. The days spent canning are well spent, especially when your son explains how much better food tastes if it’s homegrown.
  12. Holding your tongue can be hard sometimes.  Really hard.  But it’s often the best thing to do.
  13. It’s hard not to judge those that judge you.
  14. My youngest son hates school in the morning, but thinks it’s “awesome” by afternoon.  I wonder his feelings on mornings? 😉
  15. My husband does a lot of things to help me.  A lot.  I see it everyday, but I don’t always get the opportunity to thank him (I need to do better).
  16. My husband is amazing
  17. I like how my house looks when it’s decorated for Independence Day, that’s why it still is.
  18. My baby is five months old.  FIVE MONTHS???? When did that happen??!!??
  19. Being patient, especially with those you love, results in a better outcome than the alternative.
  20. Your children notice how you treat others.
  21. Children possess more wisdom than most adults are willing to give them credit for; listen to them, you may learn something.
  22. Kindness is awesome, remembered, and often reciprocated.
  23. Don’t be disappointed in “unanswered” prayers.  The Lord sees all, knows all, and although His answer to your prayer may be different from what you expected, it will be ok.
  24. Putting an end to procrastination is difficult.
  25. I have missed blogging.  Way more than I realized until I sat down to write this post!

There you have it!  I could go on, but 25 seems like a nice number.  It’s funny, sometimes, how one little thing can remind you of something you’ve known all along to be true.  It can open your eyes and remind you to be thankful, kind, understanding, etc.

Do you have any tidbits you’d like to share from your life experiences?  Or stories that go along with what I’ve shared?  I would love to hear them, just post a comment below!

Stop over and follow me on FacebookTwitter, and/or sign up for emails over to the left side of the screen!

Thanks for stopping by!       ~Kim

Nothing Beats Home Grown

Well we finally, FINALLY, had enough green beans from my garden to make it worth getting the ol’ canner out this year!  After two or three summers of drought, we were pretty darn excited!

The weather forecast was calling for rain on Saturday, but the beans needed to be picked.  So my three boys and I headed to the garden, with rain clouds looming in the distance.  I gave strict instructions, “Pick beans.  If it starts to rain, we will keep picking.  No whining!”  That last part drew groans from the mini men.

We started picking, and luckily my husband happened home from work, a little earlier than usual, and joined in our effort.  We harvested what we could, luckily minus raindrops, and headed toward the house.

We picked about 3/4 of a bushel of green beans!!

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Also some “pop beans” (name given to snap peas by my little W), a few zucchini, and a handful of cucumber; just enough to make cucumber salad.  Oh and don’t forget the onions, a couple of those too!

Once we were in the house and eating lunch, the rain cut loose.  But I had sooo much to do!!  Trying to look on the bright side, I remind myself that rain equals firework shows, which we haven’t seen for a while!  It also gives us time to can some beans!

So my boys and I got to work breaking the beans. After a little hard work, a slight bit of complaining, and a few attempts to quit, this is what we ended up with….

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After processing them in a pressure canner, we had 13 quarts (and a couple handfuls for a supper side one night!).

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I believe home-grown and canned food tastes better than anything you could buy in a store.  Please don’t think you can do this to save money.  Although that actual monetary cost is less, it takes quite a bit of time.  But I love to do it.  For me it is a hobby that my entire family can benefit from.  I don’t add any salt to my beans, no preservatives, only fresh beans and some clean water!

If you are interested in trying to preserve your garden harvest there are many amazing resources:

A simple book, with great instructions and recipes:  The Blue Book Guide to Preserving

The Ball Jar website is also a good resource, you can find that here.

I also found this link to many guidelines published by the USDA, including this one that includes green beans.

I do hope I have peaked your interest and maybe even inspired you to give home canning a try!  If you do, please make sure what instructions you use are from a reputable source, both so you preserve the food safely and to make it easier to learn.  I basically taught myself using books I inherited from my Grandma and asking my mother-in-law some questions here and there. Good luck!

P.S.  I have noticed a great increase in traffic to my blog and would like to welcome everyone!  Remember you can follow me by e-mail, by clicking the button to your left and entering your address.  I am also on Facebook and Twitter; stop over and say hi!

A Mother’s Worry

I’m a worrier. I admit it. I think I always have been. In college it was actually so bad I began having anxiety attacks.   Not fun. I worry about a number of things. Some unimportant, some silly, some serious. I’m proud to say that I do so much better now than when I was younger. I have learned to realize that there are some things that I just cannot change, and so there is no use in worrying. Maybe that’s why I have always been fond of this prayer…..

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It pretty much sums up how one should look at the world. And a majority of the time this way of thinking has given me much relief. Thankfully.

Then I became a mom. Four little lives dependent on my husband and me for their every need. Reason to worry? Definitely. And I do, but not as often as the old me would have. I have grown stronger in my faith. I have a husband to lean on and help me. I have strong, healthy, beautiful children. We are blessed.

Of course being a mom means that worry never completely leaves you. I try to be strong for my family.

Today I face a test, albeit small, it’s still a test. Our youngest son W, has to have a tooth worked on at the dentist. They say it didn’t form correctly, causing rapid decay. He, of course, is oblivious to what will happen. I have told him the dentist will fix it and that he needs to listen to him and be good. He replied with an upbeat “ok Mom!” I worry.

He is excited about going to the dentist. His tooth hurts and they will make it better. I worry. I have always been afraid of the dentist (for absolutely no reason). I don’t want to pass this fear on to my children. I worry some more.

I know many parents face much more terrifying and difficult things with their children. I know that tomorrow my worry will be silly. But I’m a parent. A mom, and so still I worry.

My worry reminds me what the Good Book says:

“And which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27)

And so I say a little prayer for my little man.

I pray that all goes smoothly and he leaves his appointment as upbeat and unafraid as he arrived.

I. Pray.