Monthly Archives: August 2012

When Life Doesn’t Turn Out The Way You Thought…

It’s upsetting, I know.  I think we would all be lying to ourselves if we said that eVerYtHinG in our life has turned out exactly, if not better, than what we had planned.  Sure, some areas in our life have exceeded our expectations, but let’s face it; other areas have been a big disappointment.

You are experiencing what all people go through at some point in their life.  We all have crosses to bear so don’t be fooled into tHinKing the rest of humanity never has to deal with disappointments.  We do.  It’s just a part of living.  Frustrating, I know…but that is why heaven will be so GREAT!  It will truly be a life with no worries, disappointments, or sadness.

We aren’t in heaven yet, so where do you go from here? Take a sigh of relief, because you are in G O O D hands.  God knows that we live in a difficult place and He is here to help us!  I know you can’t iMaGinE how He could fix your situation.  And He probably won’t fix it anywhere close to what you had in mind (nor in your timeframe!), but He IS the answer.  As hard as it is, just trust, pray and watch for His signs and He will lead you on the right path.  Be pAtieNt and know He will ease the pain we are going through.  Either way, what do you have to lose?

Hang in there!


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Filed under Faith, God

Easy Shell Wreath

This summer while my son spent hours in the ocean learning how to boogie board, my daughter and I collected seashells.  My kids loved painting the big shells, but I came up with this idea for all of the muscle shells that we found.  This wreath was SuPeR EaSy to make and the only items that I needed to purchase were the foam ring and the burlap!


Buy a plain foam wreath at your local craft store


Wrap the foam wreath in burlap and secure with hot glue gun. Make bow with burlap and secure with hot glue gun


Glue shells to burlap with hot glue gun

Happy end of summer!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Junk Drawer, RANDO•RAMA, Uncategorized

{Tricky People Are The New Strangers}

Ok, I just had to share this blog post (the link is at the bottom of this article) I pinned on Pinterest because it is so vitally important to the SaFeTy of our kids!!  In this day and age it can be a bit challenging protecting your kids from predators.  (And disheartening that we even have to have this discussion in the first place!)  However, KnOwLeDgE iS pOwEr!!  So arm yourself with knowledge.

I strongly suggest clicking on the blue links at the end of the article (or here).  They are relatively short lists that contain tips to teach your kids:


Whatever you do, don’t stress out!  Don’t panic!  Instead be proactive and prepared.  It will not only protect your kids, it will ease your worries as well!!

HaPpY PaReNtInG!!



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What Am Complaining About?

We live in a world that is constantly striving for perfection and it’s only natural to get wrapped up in the cOmPetitioN.  Wanting the perfect “life”….ya know the perfect house, car, body, job.  Don’t forget giving the perception that your family gets along perfectly and that you have no problems.  Ha!

And when some of these areas in our life aren’t PeRfeCt, what do we do?  Panic and complain.  We get down because we feel like everyone has things bEtteR than we do.  We push ourselves to extreme measures just so we can try to keep up with everyone else.  The sad thing is, as we waste time stressing about keeping up, we are missing the big picture right in front of us.


I have to remind myself of the important and aMaZiNg things happening before me, instead of complaining about what isn’t perfect in my life (like how my house has a zillion unfinished projects, I forgot to sign my daughter’s homework, or the fact that I have poison ivy on my face and I have a wedding to attend this weekend.  Eekk!).  Maybe you are so fixated on the fact that you want a new kitchen table during dinner time that you completely miss a sPeCiAL MoMenT from your kids who are sitting in those old worn-out seats.  Or maybe every morning you spend your drive envying people that don’t have to leave as early for work, when you are really oVerLoOking that God yearns for your attention the most in the early morning hours.

Take advantage of the good things happening right in front of you.  When your thoughts drift toward craving perfection, stop and search for the gOoD in those imperfect moments.  After all, your life may not be as bad as you think.  It all just depends on how you choose to look at it :)



Filed under Getting Real, Life

They Are Paying Attention!

Today I got an email forward from my mom that really made me think.  It was a beautiful poem about what goes on in the mind of a child when we ThInK they aren’t looking.  There are so many times I clean up the toys only to have them scattered around the house an hour later and think to myself….Why do I even bother?  This poem really touched me because it made me realize that as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends we may not instantly see the influence we are having on the children in our lives, but they are always WaTcHiNg us and taking in the little things we do day in and day out.

When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking

Author: Unknown
When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator,
and I wanted to paint another one.When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you feed a stray cat,
and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you make my favorite cake for me,
and I knew that little things are special things.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I heard you say a prayer,
and I believed that there was a God to talk to.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I felt you kiss me goodnight,
and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw tears come from your eyes,
and I learned that sometimes things hurt,
but it’s alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw that you cared,
and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I looked….
and I wanted to say thanks for all the things
I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)


Filed under Good Life, Inspiration, Inspire, Kid Stuff, Life, Parenthood, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships

{One Sure Way To Drown}

One thing my family loves to do in the SuMmEr is go to the swimming pool.  My 4-year old, Belle, loves to jump into the pool and swim to me.  Last week after she had finished one of these drills she said,

“Momma, I didn’t worry, because worry will make you drown.”

She was referring to something I had previously told her along the lines of, “Whatever you do, don’t panic.  If you panic you can drown.”

Although she got my words mixed up a bit, she had made a PrOfOuNd statement,

“Worry will make you drown.”

Maybe worry isn’t an issue for you.  Instead it may be depression, sadness, fear, regret, doubt, despair or some other debilitating factor in your life.

Regardless what you may be facing, if it is overwhelming it can make you drown emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.

So what is the answer?

Faith.  Faith is the LiFe-PrEsErVeR of our soul.

And although faith doesn’t take you out of the ocean of turmoil you may be in, it will keep you afloat until calmer waters prevail.

So whatever you do, don’t panic.  Hold on to your life-preserver and don’t let go.



P.S. Here is a life-preserver of faith I like to hold on to in difficult times:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  James 1:2-4

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Who’s Paying the Price?

Have you had a cruddy day at work recently?  Did something not go your way?  When these disappointments or frustrations happen, who do you take it out on?  People at work or your loved ones that had nothing to do with your Bad DaY?


We can all use the reminder every now and then.  Don’t take out your bad day on the people you love the most, just because they are the ones that you spend the end of your day with.  We can all relate to MoMenTs when we were having a wonderful day and our loved one walked in the door and immediately changed our mood for the worse.

I especially have to ReMemBer this with my kids.  When I am stressed my voice ends up yelling when, on a normal day, I would speak to them in softer words.  They look at me like, “What did I do!?” and deep down I know that they didn’t deserve the treatment I gave.

So whoever it is–spouse, friend, kid, co-worker–try to bite your tongue and let out your frustrations doing something that won’t bring ThEm down (go on a run, pound into a pillow…whatever you can!).  I guess I am writing because I need this reminder more often than I’d like to admit!!



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Filed under Getting Real, Life

Breakfast Sandwiches

I am filling in for Robyn today and will post again on Friday!

School starts tomorrow and I’ve been making a list of all the breakfast mEaLs I want to have prepared for Leanne each week.  (When Doug was growing up, his Mom would make him a different breakfast food for each day of the week.  Like oatmeal on Mondays, sandwiches on Tuesday, etc)  Wasn’t that such a good idea?  And it keeps you from scrambling each morning, trying to decide what to make the kids!

I thought I’d share one of our fAvoRites.  It is super easy and our kids actually beg us to make it!  I also like that it sticks with you throughout the morning, so you don’t get hungry until lunchtime!

All we do is:

1) Fry up some bacon and eggs (to your liking).

2)Toast some bread and spread it with jelly (we like strawberry!).

3)Stack the egg and bacon in between your bread and cut at an angle.

4) EnJoy!

For the men out there, Doug likes a “double decker” (as shown in the picture) so he uses three slices of toast, two eggs and a few slices of bacon!



Filed under RANDO•RAMA, Recipes

{How To Add Effects & Words To Photos}

I think it is kinda funny, ME, writing a post about editing pictures.   That’s because I really am techno-challenged.  {Is that a laugh I just heard all the way from Lyndon, Kansas – 90 miles away?!  Yes, I am quite certain Lara is laughing because she has taken too-many-to-count phone calls from me with my computer conundrums!}

Maybe you can relate.  The thought of trying to edit a photo on your computer sounds equivalent to mastering the Amanar vault.  (The famous & incredibly difficult vault of Miss McKayla Maroney, of TEAM USA Woman’s Gymnastics.)  Sorry, I’ve been a bit immersed in the Olympics these days as many of you may have been as well.  :)

Anyway, I want to share with you a couple of internet sites where you can edit photos in a few minutes.  Seriously!!!  It really is simple.  (Sorry, for those of you who are yawning because this is so last year’s news. )

So, it all began with an idea and a pith helmet.  As members of the Chanute Tourism Committee, fellow committee member Jacquelyn Borgeson, and I thought it would be cool to start a Facebook marketing campaign by taking pictures of SoMeBoDy, SoMeWhErE in our town with a pith helmet inspired by our own famous OsA JoHnSoN.  (You never know where the pith helmet will show up and on whom.)

This photo came from the Martin & Osa SAFARI MUSEUM

So, I began to look online for a site where I could add words to the above photo as well as to the photos I take.  I wanted to add our town’s motto “Live The Adventure” along with the name of the people in the picture.

And these are the sites I found:   – add effects and borders – add words

I’m sure there are sites where you can do one-stop shopping.  I just like these sites and don’t want to spend the time to find new ones.  (At the end of this post I will give step-by-step instructions to help walk you through the process).

Here is the original Osa photo after a border and words were added.  I was going for a postcard-y look…

Here’s another tourism photo:

The original photo…

Add an effect (notice the change of color compared to the original?  I chose a 70’s – looking effect) and a border…

Then add words.

This photo I took in Bonner Springs, Kansas behind Moon Marble Company last fall…

Add effects and border…

Finally, add words.

Here’s a little pizzaz I added to a random wedding pic…

The original…

A photo from my childhood…

The original…

Now that I know how to add effects and words, I plan on making photos similar to this for my girls’ 1st day of school coming up in just a few days!!!

  1. Go to
  2. Select a pic from your own photos or practice by trying one of the photos displayed at the bottom of the page where it says, “Try one of ours.”
  3. Once you have selected a photo it will appear in the white developing tray.
  4. Beneath the white developing tray are numerous effects that you may choose i.e. “Harry”, “Hagrid”, “Karen”.
  5. After you chose the effect you would like, click the double arrows (>>) at the bottom of the page.  This will take you to a new set of effects such as “Beep”, “Bocea”, or “Bubbles”.  I usually don’t use any of these, but it is fun to try them out.  (At this point the meter at the bottom of the page will be on green.)
  6. To select a border, click the double arrows (>>) at the bottom of the page once again.
  7. Once you select the border you like, click “Save” at the bottom of the page.  (The meter will be on yellow.)  Name the photo and chose a location where you would like to save it to i.e. a picture folder.


  1. If you want effects and/or borders, do the above steps 1st.
  2. To add words I go to  You can add borders and effects at this site, however, I like the effects at better.  (From what I can tell, does not have word functions.)
  3. Once at, click on the box that says, “Add text, speech bubles >>”
  4. On the upper right hand corner click “Upload” and then select the photo you would like to add words to.
  5. Select a font on the left side of the page.
  6. Once you select a font style, the font will appear (in the words “Write Text”) in the middle of the photo.  Click the “Write Text” and a box will appear around the words.  Move the box to where you want the text on your photo.
  7. Change the font size by moving the blue dot under font on the left side of the page.
  8. Change the color of the font by clicking the black block on the left of the page.

Happy Editing!!



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Filed under DIY, Kid Stuff, RANDO•RAMA

Worth the Investment

Last week Doug and I went on our first dAtE in quite a while.  I can not tell you how great it was to be able to eat a meal and hang out without being interrupted!  We were able to talk about things beyond the everyday “stuff” and found ourselves LeArNinG new things about each other, simply because the time was devoted specifically on us.

When the bill came to the table, I initially shrieked at the price because we are the type of people that try to be conservative with our spending.  Plus, my hiStoRy has always been to talk myself out of having a date night because it will cost too much—babysitter, meal, entertainment—not to mention all of the work to get the kids ready.

Well, as Doug pulled out his wallet he said, “It was well worth the investment.”  How true!  I’m not saying that you have to spend money in order to have qUaLity time, but whether it is the money you spend, the appointments you cancel or the things you put on the back burner, you are making a good investment by setting aside these things for your marriage.

It’s time to make your relationship more of a PrioRity.  You may think that you and your spouse have drifted so much that you can’t even muster up the confidence or energy to ask them on a “date”.  Or maybe you feel guilty leaving the kids because you don’t get to see them enough as it is.  Let me tell ya…it is wOrtH iT.  The MOST IMPORTANT thing for your family is the time you spend with your spouse.  The more quality time you can spend together (without smartphones, distractions, etc) will result in happiness for not only you, but your kids too :)

(As you all know…no relationship is PerFect and they all take work.  Click here to read some of our other marriage posts!)



Filed under Marriage, Relationships