A piece of coal in a glittery sea of diamonds

This weekend I spent time at a blogger conference to network and learn. I went with lots of excitement. I was looking forward to connecting with folks who blog and want to blog. I wanted to pick their brains about everything–why they blog, how can I work with them on connecting folks with farming, what makes them tick. I was stoked!

I left feeling like a square in a round hole. A piece of coal in a glittery sea of diamonds.

I heard farming is bad. Clean food is the only way to go. Milk causes your intestines to inflame. You’re only human if you don’t eat meat.

I learned a new word.Pescetarianism. According to Wikipedia it’s “the practice of following a diet that includes fish or other seafood, but not the flesh of other animals.” Not the flesh of other animals? The flesh of other animals? What the??

I don’t want to paint a broad brush in saying everyone was this way. I met some awesome gals who were so welcoming, so open and wonderful. Even some that didn’t feel agriculture is all great, but they were willing to talk and discuss and connect.

The more I dive in to connecting with people over food, the more feel like if it’s not wrapped up in a pretty package or a slick documentary, people don’t want to hear it or believe it.

Food production is hard work. Farming is hard work. It’s easy for Dr. Oz to talk about the “global conspiracy” of GMOs (what a crock of crap).

It’s easy for us as consumers to get caught up in eating “all natural” and “hormone free” chicken (all chickens are hormone free).

It’s easy for us who want to have a real discussion about food to throw our hands up in this world of falsehoods and mistruths.

Am I going to give up? No way.

Am I going to go back to that blogger conference and try again? Yep.

Is it going to be easy? Nope.

But nothing good ever is.

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Talking about ‘Sticky Situations’


I posted this Instagram on my Facebook page and it seemed to connect with folks. It’s a book I found on Amazon that provides a “sticky situation” for every day of the year. The girls really enjoy doing this–so much in fact they will remind us to do it and have actually said, “I like reading those. Can we do another one?”

I found it while searching for small group ideas/curriculum for parents with adolescents (haven’t had much luck with that so shoot me a note if you have a favorite).

I felt like we were missing out on connection time with the girls where we could have fun, talk and learn about the Bible.

I’ve kept in mind the idea of our church which is TRU. That stands for Timeless (the Bible), Relevant (really needed help there with 9 year old girls in today’s world), and Unconditional (sometimes need help with that too so God’s word is always helpful).

The girls take turns reading the situation, the choices and the Bible verse. It’s worked so well we even have our 9 year old neighborhood friend participate when he eats with us.

What things do you utilize in your house for family connection and Bible study?

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Useful, Nourishing and Needed

You Are More Fortunate InfographI shared this infograph on my Facebook wall a few weeks back. There was no attribution, no link back, no nothin’.

One of my friends said, “That’s from Jen Hatmaker’s book ‘Interrupted’.”

I’m so thankful she shared that info. I’ve been sucked into reading Interrupted and 7 by Mrs. Hatmaker, and each have been profound and thought provoking to me.

We’ve made some decisions recently that have really made us sit down as a family and look at our finances. These decisions have been hard, but oh so good for us.

Just like God always does, each of these things came at the perfect time. Our financial decisions have opened our eyes to things we blindly throw money at. Reading “Interrupted” and “7” have made it even more clear how hardened and “normal” our consumer mindset is.

And again, just like God always does, he provided another example of how sharing your “wealth” can have an impact on those less fortunate.

I’ve mentioned before we sponsor kiddos from Compassion International. One of those kiddos is Napanu from Africa.

Compassion International child Napanu

Sweet Napanu

We provided $20 (or something miniscule like that) for her birthday present. This week we got a letter from Napanu thanking us for the present. She said it included:

  • Two chickens
  • A dress
  • (Plastic?) sheet
  • Food

What we would have spent on a drive through McDonalds or a shirt at JCPenneys, was instead used for something USEFUL and NOURISHING and NEEDED.

Thank you Jesus.


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Let’s do this!

I have conned convinced some co-workers to tackle a new project with me.

We’re going to read and study together Lysa Terkeurst’s book “Made to Crave.”

Made to Crave book art

I’ve already started reading, and it’s quite a different way to think about dieting. In fact, it’s not really about dieting. It’s about filling your craving for food (alcohol, money, TV, work, whatever!) with God instead of that “thing” that’s not filling anything (except for the waistband on my pants).

It’s a great way to think about life. It makes me think, “Why am I wanting to eat two helpings of pasta when a plate will do?” I’m slowing down to think about what’s going in my tummy and why I feel the need to eat what I do.

Lysa is open and honest in that it’s not an easy thing to do. I’m hoping that a group of us can keep each other accountable. I can yell “cheater!” when they talk about snacking after 9 p.m. They can say “What!?” when I tell them I had a whole small pizza by myself. OK…hopefully we’ll be a little more supportive than that, but I know these girls are ornery.

If you’re in the same boat, jump on board and let’s do this journey together!

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Friday Fun

Happy Good Friday everyone! It’s a weekend to spend thanking God for the many blessings he bestows on us.

It’s a beautiful and sunny day today, and it sounds like the weather will be lovely for the Easter weekend.

For some Friday fun, I wanted to share this hilarious video that’s started popping up from Midwest Dairy. I giggled the whole time I watched. Enjoy!

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Thriftin’ in Manhappiness

I have  been majorly missing in action when it comes to my blog. Happy to say I am finished with my master’s degree program and now have a lot more time to devote to fun stuff.

I was fortunate to take some time off this week and browse our unique thrift stores. I’m happy Manhattan is starting to get more shops like these. I find I would much rather have something used, with a little personality, instead of something I get straight off a store shelve.

This week I got a ton of stuff for not a lot of dough.


For those Manhattanites or anyone who lives close, these are some my favorite stops:

Some new ones that I really, really love (in fact the goodies above came from these two spots are):

And you can’t ever go wrong with the Goodwill store. It’s always very clean, organized (think rows and rows of clothes all in color order), and new stuff all the time. There is also Grandma’s Trunk, and a newer place that just opened across the highway.

If you’ve got some regular haunts, let me know!

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It’s Friday! Woo Hoo!

It’s Friday! What makes this day even better? I have the whole day off PLUS Monday. WOO HOO!

You know what makes it even better? The house got cleaned yesterday so me and Mr. Fry are enjoying the day in a spotless house. Can I say WOO HOO again!?

I started the day working on my paper for class.

computer and papers

Getting so close to turning in my literature review.

The weather is turning cold so Mr. Fry and I are warming up around the fireplace.


dog on couch

And now I’m going to curl up, watch a scary movie and practice on embroidery work.

Embroidery Try

My first try at embroidery

There are so many great ideas for embroidery ideas on Pinterest. Look at this one from Baumcat:
I love this one too from Sidereal

Happy Friday!!

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Quit your cryin’

It’s bothersome when I hear people complain about things.

  • They went through my luggage…and looked at my bras…and my jewelery. How dare they!
  • He questioned me about my proposal. Seriously!? What a jerk!
  • My shirt is just too tight these days. I suck.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been known to complain once in awhile too…but when I truly think about it, I want to tell myself, “Really!? Get a life you spoiled turd!”

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Some of my favorites

ferris wheel at night

Blog carnival! Ever heard of one? I never had until we were assigned to do one for my class. What fun! In this post, I’m going to cover a handful of my favorite blogs. These are ones I visit when I need a little inspiration or a little brain break.

To start off, I’ll highlight some blogs I enjoy for home inspiration.

Actually, Brightsides is good for home inspiration and a laugh. How clever is this? I love how she took a headshot of each Barbie and asked readers to vote on who would stay. She even named each one!

For a little home decorating and thrifting inspiration, I visit Life as a Thrifter. Check out this post on her master bedroom. She says 85 percent of it is decorated with thrifted finds. WOW! She comes up with some awesomely creative ways to repurpose things. I’m always left thinking, “Great idea,” while wondering, “I would have never thought of that!”

Another one I enjoy reading for thrifting ideas is Button Bird Designs . She also is very creative with repurposing items. Check out all the cheapo things she found while garagesaling and what she turned them in to. The owl, the birds, the desk!

And now for one that I love, love, love to read because of how she writes and the topics she covers…Sit a Spell. I don’t recall how I even came across the blog, but when I first started reading they were doing missionary work in Haiti. They’ve recently moved back to the states. The mommy blogs about family stuff, home stuff, God stuff and just good stuff. I always feel better after reading her posts.

So there ya go. A little peek into the bloggers I enjoy. Hope you stop by their outposts and check ’em out!

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My vote is for Prezi

A few years ago I stumbled onto a neat presentation tool called Prezi.

Here’s what they say they are,

Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software that opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides. The zoomable canvas makes it fun to explore ideas and the connections between them. The result: visually captivating presentations that lead your audience down a path of discovery.

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