Wednesday, May 24, 2017


It says in Proverbs 17:17, "A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for a time of adversity." I think this can apply to cousins as well. This just melts my heart. 

Ephraim and Buirlen...Buds!

"A true friend is the greatest of all blessings." ~Unknown

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

You Just Never Know

     2 years ago today, Luke and I were out for a drive when we spotted a tiny baby painted turtle crossing the road. We rescued it, I named him Norbert, and we decided to keep it at least for the weekend. Hahahahahaha! 2 years later and we now have a huge tank, 2 turtles(We found a second baby last spring and named him Chester), and a handful of fish.

 Also two years ago i had decided to try growing a lemon tree. So far so good!


"Find joy in the ordinary." ~Unknown

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Up the Hill Grandpa and Grandma

     This week my Grandparents came for a visit and got to meet Buirlen, their first great grandbaby.

Grandpa and Grandma Kinney, myself, Buirlen and Babe the Blue Ox

    When my siblings and I were kids we referred to our grandparents as Up the Hill Grandpa and Grandma(The Kinneys) and Baby Grandpa and Grandma(the Shearers). Up the Hill Grandpa and Grandma obviously lived and still do at the top of a very large hill. I've heard two lines of reasoning as to why the Shearers were Baby Grandpa and Grandma. As far as I was concerned it was because they are short, I take after them. However, I've also heard that they were dubbed that because they had a well stocked play closet full of baby dolls and other fun stuff. I don't remember how old we were when we grew out of these names and simply referred to them as the Kinneys and the Shearers, but I will never forget the nicknames.
    This visit was with Up the Hill Grandpa and Grandma, and I was so glad that they got to come. Both sets of my Grandparents live in the same small, rural farming town and I grew up about 2 hours away so I got to see them a lot. Living up North now, I don't get to see them nearly as often.

Up the Hill Grandma with Jordan(age: infant)  and myself(age 2)

Grandma and Buirlen

Up the Hill Grandpa with Lydia(age 1 1/2ish) and me(somewhere around a year)

Grandpa and Buirlen having a chat. 

Grandma and me when I was about 6 or 7


 This just makes me happy! 

"Love is the greatest gift that one generation can leave another." ~Richard Garnett 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Memories and Forward Motion

     Today was special. Buirlen and I got up, got ready and went on a field trip. Every spring since I started teaching at Heartland, I have taken my class on a field trip to the Williams family farm. Baby goats and 40 acres have proved to be a hit time and again. Though I am done teaching now, I still wanted to do one last trip with my class. Looking back, this is what I wrote about that first field trip.

  I love being an elementary school teacher and the other day, I had the opportunity to take my class on a field trip to the Williams' farm. As I drove up the lane I thought about the first time I ever made that drive. It was before I knew that I would move to this wonderful town, before I was a teacher, it was the day I met my husband. It's crazy to think about, because that day, almost 4 years ago, I would never have guessed that I would be making this trip now, With a new name and a classroom of kids in tow. As I make this trip I wonder what I will think in 4 more years or 10 or 20. What changes await in the future? What adventures?

     And today, as I drove up that lane, life is different once again. Since that first field trip, Luke and I have become home owners and parents. I've had that new name for almost 6 years now and have learned a lot. So now the question remains, what will be new in 4 more years or 10 or 20? What changes await in the future? What adventures?

Happy Friday!

 “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.”

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Little Adventure

    This past weekend Luke loaded up the bobcat and took it to his sister Abbi's house to help them out with some dirt work as they prepared to landscape. Buirlen and I went for moral support. The weather was sheer delight.
Learning all about the bobcat!

Moving rocks.

Me and my little kangaroo.

The Lovely Keren Ruth just so happens to live a half a mile down the road from Abbi. So Buirlen and I walked over for a little visit while the boys worked.

Mr. Ephraim helping his mamma do the laundry.

It is so sweet to watch Ephraim with his cousin, he really loves him. I am excited to watch their friendship grow and develop. 

Chilling with cousin Mara. This little boy is so loved and he hasn't even met all the people who love him yet!

Abbi was planting some raspberries. 

Sunday after Church we had lunch at the Williams' farm. Buirlen and Brody got some socializing in.

This little boy continues to fill my heart. Life is good!

"Be happy for this moment, this moment is your life."
~Omar Khayyam 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Walking on Sunshine

     It's Friday and it has been one of those happy, sunshine in your soul, kind of days. The temperature was in the 70's, there was a warm breeze, and the sun was out in all its glory. Buirlen and I had kind of a slow start to our day but once we got going, we filled it to the brim with goodness. A walk in the sunshine by the sparkling lake, lunch with Grandpa, Grandma, Keren and cousins, and coffee with a good friend from work.

Sometimes it's just hard to get yourself going in the morning. Today was just such a day. 

Walking on sunshine!

Cousins that just happened to coordinate.

He likes to sit upright and observe the world. 

     At the beginning of the year, I decided that I needed to make some changes to my perspective. I needed to shake up my faith and start living a life that was not dictated by fear. It is certainly still a challenge for me, but I feel like I am making progress in the right direction. I still struggle with fear, but in some ways I feel like its grip on me is not quite as strong. I feel like I can rest in peace more easily these days. I desire to see this progress continue to move forward. I am so ready to live in the complete freedom that Jesus Christ has given me and you. Freedom to walk in the sunshine of life knowing that The One who created your soul wants to walk with you. 
    So as we head into the weekend, I hope that your heart is full to the brim with sunshine. I hope that you seek truth and stand firmly in it and that the joy of Jesus overwhelms you in a wonderful way. Happy Friday!

Here is a happy little song for your weekend. 

"What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable."

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

2 Months

    Mr. Buirlen Elder is 2 months old today. It is a little bit crazy how fast that went. Life is oh so good with this little man in it. He is really smiley and has started cooing, which is a lot of fun. He likes to be held most of the time and if I put him down, he prefers that we stay within sight. He still thinks bath time is the best time and has recently discovered the joy of showers. 

    We've been experiencing some typical Minnesota Springiness with snow one day and beautiful sunshine the next. I must say I wan't terribly pleased when it decided to snow last week. It has been nice for so long that I kind of thought the good weather was here to stay. Silly me, I have lived here my whole life, so I should have known better. Oh well. Though I did notice one morning that despite the wintery snow, the robins where out in force. There was a whole flock of them in the tree outside my kitchen window. Robins are a sure sign of spring so there is hope that spring will come to stay soon. Also Luke tilled up my garden spot for me, so garden planning can begin. I'm hoping for veggies and lots of flowers!

The Robin Tree

    I am continually in awe of how wonderful it is to have these two in my life. God has blessed me above and beyond. 
 My Lumberjacks relaxing on a Sunday afternoon. 

    This past weekend my parents came up for a visit. It was nice.

 Buirlen was getting pretty sleepy sitting in the sunshine with Poppy

Sometimes a sneeze just takes over your whole face.

     Here is another good song by Ben Rector. I love the message of this one. "Go on, leave your worries too. Not a bit of good they do...Leave all your troubles, leave all your sorrow." Enjoy!

   And so my friends, I hope that you fully enjoy the rest of your day, regardless of the weather. Look for the adventures, they are everywhere!

"No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow."~Proverb

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Thoughts, Lessons, and Randomness

     It says in 1 Thessalonians that we are supposed to pray without ceasing. I was thinking about that the other day as I repeated the same prayer over and over again and I realized something. There is a difference between praying without ceasing and praying on repeat. What I mean by praying on repeat is this, I often find myself praying the same request over and over. But, it wasn't because I was doing what Paul was talking about, rather my repetition stems from a lack of faith, it is like prayer OCD. Some part of me seems to think that in order for God to get my point, I need to mention it multiple times, but that just is not the case. Now I don't mean that we should ever only pray for something once and then be done with it, rather I realize that in my case my repetitive praying is from a place of a lack of faith or just feeling like once can't be good enough. Yes, pray without ceasing, but know that when you bring a need to The Creator of all that is or ever will be, He hears you and you don't need to have prayer OCD.

    Buirlen likes to be held, a lot. Because of this I've been using the carrier frequently. I put him in and he snuggles down and ends up sleeping through whatever it is I am working on. As I was lugging him around the other day, I started thinking about how God desires this same thing from us. The One who created the baby's need to be held and loved desires to carry us through the ups and downs of our lives. I believe that our souls long for that as well, to be held in the arms of The One who is our ultimate safe place, and yet all to often we choose not to accept His offer to hold us. But that offer is always there. It says in Matthew 11:28 "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Rest, security, the knowing that we are loved, it is all there for us in the arms of our Heavenly Father. He so wants to hold us close.
    It is just crazy that this cute little kangaroo is already 7 weeks old. 
    My life holds some beautiful memories. Moments in time that I love to look back on. I absolutely love where my life is right now, and don't want to go backwards but I do love thinking back to certain points in my life and letting the feelings of those memories wash over me. And the wonderful thing is that each day of this beautiful life holds the potential for new moments, memories and adventures.
    And lastly there is a new song on repeat in this house. I love the simple sweet lyrics. So much happiness. Have a great night!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

"Memories are special moments that tell our story." ~Unknown

"The best thing about memories is making them."~Unknown

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

     A most happy Easter to you! This morning at Church we sang the song "Because He Lives." Now I have sung this hymn many times before, but it stood out in particular today because of the verse, "How sweet to hold a new born baby, and feel the pride and joy he gives..." How sweet indeed, this little guy is so wonderful and I am so blessed to get to be his mom. But today, I noticed the second half of the verse for kind of the first time, "But greater still the calm assurance, this child can face uncertain days because He lives." Buirlen is in God's hands! Luke's and my goal is to raise this little boy to love and honor the LORD and to stand in faith and truth.

Looking pretty snazzy.

     So a bit of randomness for you, the other day I was sitting on the couch and I looked out the window to see a girl and a cow walking down the road in front of our house. And then another cow and another. I have no idea why they were herding cows down the road or where they were going. Later on while we were outside we found several cow pie surprises left in the yard.

    So, Buirlen likes to sleep with his face smashed into things. He seems to particularly like Luke's armpit and they snuggle this way frequently. Silly boy!

My sweet little Honey Bee

"Because He Lives" by William and Gloria Gaither

Happy Sunday!
"It is not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful." ~Unknown

Sunday, April 9, 2017

A Perfect Match

    It is Sunday afternoon which means yet another week is gone and a new one is beginning. Our new normal is starting to settle into a routine and life is good. I'm learning that some days you get things done in chunks while the little mister is sleeping and other days you get things done while carrying him around because he refuses to be set down, and then there are the days we just choose not to get much done.
     The other day Buirlen and I went to visit The Lovely Keren Ruth and Mr. Ephraim and she took some pictures for us(Benjamin did the editing). I do believe they turned out beautifully!      
     When Luke and I were first married, I was still in school and Keren was working at Walmart. I was often home around lunch time and she had an hour long lunch break. This meant that we frequently spent our lunch times together, and it was great. Then I got a full time job that didn't allow me to leave for lunch and our mid-day meetings ended. I must say I'm quite happy that we are now both in a place where we can resume our occasional lunch dates.

This weekend, my sweet friend Polly and her husband Isaac came up to visit and meet Buirlen. It was lovely to see them. This weekend was also Buirlen and Brody's joint baby shower. Keren and Abbi did a spectacular job of putting together a Bee themed party.

Polly and Buirlen

Brody wasn't to sure he wanted to be a model.
 My Sweet little Bumble Bee. Abbi made the adorable little sweater and hat. 

I've mentioned before that Keren and I have a "Spot" where we like to take our picture. Shortly after Luke and I got married we took a picture of the two of us there and over the years it just became the place where we would pose for pictures. Today we got the first one of us and our babies. 

Ephraim really likes his cousin. 

     Today Luke and I were talking about how, as men and women, God designed us to have different rolls. Luke has often mentioned how God created men and women to be different and how that is such a beautiful thing. It's like a pair of shoes, you really wouldn't want to have to wear two left shoes because it just wouldn't fit right. God beautifully designed marriage to have a left and a right "shoe" you need one of each to be a pair, not two lefts or two rights. 
    I am so happy to be in a place now where I get the opportunity to be a stay at home mom, wife, and homemaker. I loved working outside the home, but my dream and our goal was always that eventually I would stay at home and now is the time. It says in Titus 2:3 "Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored." To love my husband, to love my children to work at home, these are all things that God designed and I think He delights to see happening. 
    The part of this verse that says, "[Wives] being subject to their own husbands," was also something that Luke and I were discussing this afternoon. In this day and age,  I think that this is a verse that might rub some people the wrong way, but I actually find comfort in it. I love the fact that I can rest in the knowledge that my husband is wise and loves us, and is doing what is right for our family. I love that the stress of many big decisions does not rest solely on my shoulders. In marriage, God gave each party strengths and responsibilities. Luke has his part and I have mine and together it makes a beautiful whole. 
   So happy Sunday and may your new week be full to the brim of goodness. Here is the cutest little smile to get you started off on the right foot!

"The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together." ~Robert C. Dodds

"The family is God's greatest masterpiece." ~Unknown