monday gifts


Thankful for… 

the best kind of Sunday afternoon.

celebratory Dr. Pepper after doing my first photo shoots. I took graduation pictures for my cousins. Not something I know how to do! I was absolutely nervous. But it was really fun!


two very foundational things I always go back to: being thankful & memorizing verses.


clean laundry.

how my outfit ended up making me look like an archaeologist on a kid’s movie yesterday. Hahaha. It didn’t bother me.

ice cream.

giving gifts.

the hard parts of caregiving: seeing someone suffering and not being able to entirely fix it, and adjusting to change.


Let love be genuine.
Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.”
-Romans 12:9 ESV

monday gifts


Thankful for… 

buttons to sew.

paper to fold.

canvases to paint.


watching The Little Mermaid while playing musical instruments with 3 small boys. It’s not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning!

disappointments & the opportunity to deal with them and move on! I tried for a few things recently and did not get them. (Cue Frank Sinatra and Valerie singing, “That’s life - that’s liiiife.”)

how sluggishly our review day for memory group went. I did not realize “review” meant all the verses, not just the most recent section, and, wow.

things that make me laugh. There are many! This show has me laughing, and also crying, not like a baby though.



music to listen to.

funny cards to send my brother for his birthday.



monday gifts


Thankful for… 

the cuteness of things to come.

when I think of a wise, sensible response to a situation, several months late.

great memories of work days at camp, back when it strongly resembled an abandoned junky farm. Dad and I spent many hours sanding, refinishing & painting together. Helping my friends paint at their new house reminded me of that.

God’s strength when I am weak.

being wiser about dealing with stress than I was when I first became a caregiver.

good hair days.

my friend Skip, he is the best. We had fun celebrating his birthday this past weekend!


monday gifts

Thankful for…

my cousins. They are hilarious. I love their faces.

seeing the cranes along the Platte river. It’s one of those “Nebraska” things that I had never done, and it was really cool!

the way the pastors at my church speak from the heart.

watching Jeremy Wade bring in a huge arapaima from the comfort of my own home, with Val and Skip and tea and cookies and banana bread.

origami to fold, envelopes to address, plans to make, Pinterest to browse (obviously).

more daffodils.

monday gifts


Thankful for… 

rag rugs from Jamaica.


daffodils that won’t be forced to open fast even though I sure tried.

party hats.

small children with glasses.

small children with glasses and party hats.


an evening gossiping and chilling and playing with jungle animal toys with this adorable girlie.

paint on my hands.

memorized verses.

finishing books.

food + friends.

a fun quick road trip to visit family.


monday gifts


Thankful for… 

the small everyday things, like a hot cup of coffee and conversation with a cute old lady.


the winter things, like snow and tomato soup and grilled cheese and pie and piles of dishes we don’t feel motivated to do.

encouraging words from people, I’ve been struggling with my strengths and weaknesses lately and feeling blah, so those kind words mean a lot!

two new healthy babies, born to friends this week.

music by Ellie Holcomb, I’ve been listening to it a lot lately. It’s very sunny & comforting, good for a long winter!


how a long stressful day makes me think of our epic meltdowns in the dorm days. We really knew how to completely crash!

people who help me.

and people to help.

my butter and cereal stockpile.

blue mountain coffee in 82 degree Jamaica.


when something is funny and I can almost hear Billy (our friend and driver in Jamaica) laughing about it. For his laugh, imagine a younger, happy, casual, Jamaican Santa. Makes me smile from ear to ear. It’s so good!

monday gifts


Thankful for… 

learning new origami on a Saturday morning with friends & coffee & blueberry lemon muffins & fruit salad oh and also a cute little baby girl.

how my family makes me laugh.

my dad sending me an article on the history of Dailey, I love my little ghost-town-ish hometown.


11 o’clock lunches with fashionable old ladies.

funny stories that are not really my stories, but I adopted them and will tell them for years to come anyway.

our Friday morning group talks about the Bible verse we memorized, the entire rest of the Bible, ourselves, the hard things, travels, snowmobiling, and who knows what else.


eggplant parmesan for dinner. It didn’t work to make Hanna’s baby come, it’s one of those things people say works so we decided to try it. But it was a good meal anyway!

friends named Hanna who leave monster cookies at our house on purpose. Between Kathy and me, they did not last long.

wedding chats, supper & buying several tree’s worth of paper products with Anna.

how basically 90% of things I’m thankful for are food-related in some way. Sigh.



Cast your burden on the Lord, & He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.
-Psalm 55:22 esv

monday gifts


Thankful for… 

rest after that long, busy, awesome week in Jamaica.

Kathy caving in and getting a Pinterest. Just like with our milk percentage disagreements, I knew in time she’d come around to reason! She’s planning a wedding, she loses track of recipes she likes on the internet, she should use Pinterest.


hot tea & juice & staring blankly at the snow outside. Yes I’ve had a cold. It’s got me feeling very “meh-ish” to use a Skip term.

how mesmerizing curling is.

the Andy Griffith Show valentines I made for my family, I love them. (The valentines AND my family.) 


monday gifts

Thankful for…

the best kind of Sunday dinner. Cinnamon rolls and biscuits and pasta and Jamaican soda and haricots verts pronounced in every possible way.

how a 5 year old boy will talk about football, Legos, and his favorite pair of underwear, all in the same serious, conversational way. It was a fun night babysitting for Erin!

the ups and downs of caregiving.


my work of creative genius- a children’s book of sayings from Psych, illustrated by me. According to Kathy “This is the weirdest children’s book ever” but Han & Caleb laughed alot when I gave it to them so I say it’s a success!

a new Flavia book, I’m trying not to race through it. Jill and I were #1 & #2 on the library hold list, we’ve been anxiously awaiting this book!

26 teams signed up for the Bible Quiz tournament in Jamaica next week! That is the most we have ever had! Very awesome. We are taking a smaller group of teens this year though, which means some of us will be running a quiz site solo. Doable, but I know from experience you end the day with no voice, a shattered brain and crossed eyes. Pray for us!!


photo by Jenny Schwager/Seasons Photography

fun night supporting Anna in her new career as a model! haha. (It was just for a church women’s event and she’s still planning to be a doctor as far as I know.)

my planner. May I never lose it.

my most battered old quiz book. Using it to re-learn verses for memory group this week. 1 John was and is a favorite of mine!


monday gifts


Thankful for…

every last bit scraped clean. You know it was good delicious flavor, good friends, good episode of psych, good coffee.

new books.

another awesome baby shower! And the way we seem to get beautiful sunny days every time.


how Val and I make a great team! She bakes, I decorate, we help each other out and bounce ideas around, we shop, we pinterest, I listen to her verbally process and I taste test things. She has a list of 50 dessert items to make and asks me “what else we could do”, I am the practical one who wants to simplify things a bit. We don’t even need to wait until the other person has finished a question to answer it, and we can basically read each other’s minds and hand gestures. Ever since we found out our dear friend Hanna was expecting, we have wanted to go all out and make it the “cutest baby shower ever” and I think we did. :) And it was a blast!

how the baby shower started at 2, and at 8 p.m. there were still four of us at the house, slowly cleaning up (every inch of our kitchen was coated with flour, coconut, sugar, chocolate, & heaps of dirty bowls and cookie sheets), having long extended conversations, and multiple rounds of leftovers. That is friendship.

cozy nights hot gluing things.


reviewing Romans 8 for Friday memory group. It’s still in my brain, yeah!

the craziness of 5 year olds. I left church in a daze. Yikes.

that I can always pray about anything.

creative moments of brilliance.

phone chats and emails and prayers prepping for Bible Quiz nationals in Jamaica!