30 Days of Thanks – 11/20&21/2014

2e2f33e1a6368bb060fa4f706bb3440dI’m sooooooooooooooo happy it is Friday.  Now that I’m working, it seems like the time if FLYING!!!

And after a few nights of insomnia, I’m ready to cuddle down in my flannel sheets and NOT set the alarm clock in the morning.

SO thankful for the WEEKEND!!!!

We really don’t have any set plans.  Drew will be working concessions at the last Razorback home game of the season (The Hogs face Ole Miss) … This game will be on TV the same time as Daniel’s Hawkeyes face Wisconsin, so I foresee channel changing at regular intervals.  Tennessee is playing Mizzou … but I don’t even know what time.

I plan to do a little cooking, a little cleaning, a little bit of laundry … and a whole lotta nothing.



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30 Days of Thanks – 11/18-19/2014

2e2f33e1a6368bb060fa4f706bb3440dI’m tired … my time is limited these days … and I find the hours I do have at home are precious.

BUT it is all good.  I’m thankful for my job.  I really am thankful how it all worked out!  I only work in the pharmacy on Tuesdays … and I still have A LOT to learn there (as far as the computer system and customer requests/services).  It keeps me on my toes.  I’d gladly stand in a corner and just fill prescriptions – but my job also involves the busy phones, calls from medical offices and customers and a myriad of others, then the people who come by with their questions.  Thankfully, we almost always have 2 pharmacists available to refer questions to!!  Mostly, I don’t know all the ga-billion generic medication names for the brand names (and vice versa) – or if someone says “I need my blood pressure medication refilled” … well, I often don’t know WHICH medication that might be!!

Tuesday evening as our one pharmacist was leaving for the night – he told me “good bye” and then added, “Hang in there.”  ha!!  ;

My favorite aspect of my job is the BILLING!!!  Yes, it is complicated-ish – but they are breaking me in slowly!  Mostly, I sit in my little office all day with a Pandora station playing in the background (I’m trying to hold out until after Thanksgiving to break out the Christmas stations!!).  Usually I have some coffee or a drink by my side – and sometimes a snack.  My kids’ school pics now hang on my bulletin board in front of me (need to get hubby up there as well!!) and my pumpkin-y spiced candle is burning.  I have internet access and my cell phone near by … and while my boss comes by occasionally to see if I have any questions, really, he just lets me do my thing (or attempt to!).

So, that is what consumes my days right now … and for some reason my nights, too.  I’ve been suffering a little bit of insomnia the last few nights, running the events of the day through my head.  HOPEFULLY I’ll sleep better tonight.



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30 Days of Thanks – 11/17/2014



Today I’m thankful for the Bible.  I know we should NEVER take it for granted … I can’t imagine how those who don’t have the Bible live – or those are persecuted for His name feel … but I do know this:  they are the BLESSED ones!!  (more later about that thought)

On Monday nights, for a long time now, we’ve been having a Bible study with a sweet man from our church.  I’ll be honest that I really thought it would be over by now … I mean, we’ve covered a lot of ground:  ground we actually already know.  But I guess it is good to be reminded of?!  That’s how we try to look at it anyway.  The study is meant more for new Christians – but Dan and I have had the privilege of becoming Christians at an early age, attending Christian school, and then a Christian liberal arts university.  We’ve been in more churches than I can even remember and have heard a ga-billion and one sermons in our life times already.

HOWEVER, isn’t the Word of God a well so deep that we’ll never ever drain all its wealth no matter how long we’ve known of its Source??

In the last few weeks, we’ve been covering Matthew in our study.  Today we studied one of my favorite passages in the Bible:  The Beatitudes – Matthew 5:  3-12

Our study made me think of each BLESSED in a new light!  

vs. 3 – THE POOR IN SPIRIT.  (not the poor monetarily … but those who are not self-righteous because they know they are spiritually poor WITHOUT God):

THEIR REWARD:  The kingdom of Heaven!!  Our eternal Home and Rest.

vs. 4 – THOSE WHO MOURN (those who are sorry for their sin, who are ashamed and guilty … who want to truly repent):

THEIR REWARD:  COMFORT … freedom from guilt and shame!

vs. 5 THE MEEK (God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble)

THEIR REWARD:  They shall inherit the earth (the proud can not!)

vs. 6 – THOSE WHO HUNGER & THIRST (after righteousness – not after food/material gain)


vs. 7 – The MERCIFUL  (who are merciful as God is merciful … who don’t return evil for evil but return good for evil – not at all what the world and the flesh want to do!)

THEIR REWARD:  they shall obtain MERCY!

vs. 8 – The PURE IN HEART (they are not double minded)

THEIR REWARD:  they shall SEE GOD!

vs. 9 The PEACEMAKERS (those who “sow” righteousness, who seek to reconcile men to God  and man to man)

THEIR REWARD:  They shall be known as “The Children of God”

vs. 10 – Those who are persecuted for RIGHTEOUSNESS, for Christ’s sake

THEIR REWARD:  The Kingdom of Heaven, they shall have a great reward, and they are in good company (with the prophets!)

Our teacher gave us many, many coinciding Bible verses that made it all come together … because again, the BIBLE is so amazing that it fits together so perfectly, so divinely.


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30 Days of Thanks – 11/ 15&16 /2014



This weekend I am thankful for QUIET … You all know how much I cherish QUIET.  Especially after a busy week and hosting a party.

Saturday was nice & quiet … I stayed home most of the day – caught up on laundry and such like.  I had to get out in the afternoon because Annie-Belle’s gym teacher said her PE pants were too tight :(   Which I guess they were – and I’m thankful the school looks out for the girls’ “modesty” … Then ironically, at Walmart, who’d we run into but Annie Belle’s gym teacher??!!  I told her she owed me $25 for 2 new pairs of active wear pants.  ;)

Anyway … in the evening, we watched college football … and the Tennessee Vols blew away Kentucky.  Later Arkansas beat #17 ranked LSU!  Drew was working concessions at Razorback stadium (fund-raising for school) and said it was a LOUD game.  This is the Hog’s 1st SEC win.  It’s a big deal.  It was also a cold game – kick off temperature at 7 p.m. CST was 27°F!

Today was church, of course.  And now I’m spending a quiet afternoon at home … The first snow of the season has begun.  So far it is just a dusting.  I don’t know if more is forecast – but yesterday “they” were saying we might get up to 2″.  We shall see what the rest of the day holds.

Personally, it’s a little early for snow, in my opinion … but it sure is pretty outside!


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30 Days of Thanks – 11/14/2014



I am thankful for the ordinary days … and I try to be thankful for the tough days (because I know God is still in control!!) … but I am SUPER very thankful for GOOD DAYS like today!  Days when things actually go smoothly and extra nice things happen along the way, unexpected joys and blessings abound.  I know one can’t live on the mountaintop all the time – but I sure do appreciate it when I can be on up there for a little while!!  :)

I had big plans for Annie Belle’s birthday/mystery dinner theater tonight.  This involved me going home at lunch to do some prep work.  HOWEVER, one of our pharmacists invited me to go to lunch with her and a few other co-workers.  Logically, I felt I should say NO, but I also felt like I should take the opportunity to go out with my new co-workers as it was the first time they invited me. So, I went.  And I’m really glad I did.  We went to a small Mexican restaurant I’d never been to – and it was really good food.  And when our food arrived, I paused because I usually pray before a meal … and one of the pharmacists asked our marketing director to pray over our food!!!  And what a nice prayer he prayed – he even prayed about some issues that they are facing at work and blessings on our weekend.  WOW!!!!

I told them how WONDERFUL it was to work somewhere where we can PRAY together!!  Of course, we did that all the time at my previous ministry job – but this is a SECULAR job!  And I’m surrounded by Christians!!  I can’t even begin to tell you all how THANKFUL I am for my job!!!  God put me EXACTLY where He knew I needed to be!!  (Yes, Kim C, I know you saw that coming!!)

And besides all that, one of the pharmacists picked up the lunch tab!  SO, who says there is not such thing as a free lunch?!?!!  :)

When I got back to work, my babysitter texted me.  She was at my house and had seen all the dinner theater prep work I’d already laid out – and she asked if there was anything she could do to help me!!! SO, I actually had her peel 10 potatoes for me!  So, one of the things I was going to do during my lunch hour got taken care of as well.

Anyway … I did leave work a few minutes early, and everything worked out fine from there.  Annie-Belle’s friends were AMAZING about participating in the mystery dinner theater … and Drew did his part to play the detective even though he was invited to go to a friend’s house.  He did get to go to his friend’s later, but I think he enjoyed his part of the play as well.

Meet our cast:

Andy Dutch, detective.  Annie Belle Dutch, actress.  Sydney Smith, basketball star.  Charlene Fitzgerald, scientist.  Cara Jeffry, harried housewife.  and Bailey Tramble, Texas country girl.

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The “theater” was more of a progressive dinner and reader’s theater as everyone had a script … but they improvised wonderfully as well – and we laughed A LOT.

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They even incorporated MiMi into the theater as Mimzy, Cara’s daughter.

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And do you want to know WHO DUNNIT??

Well, it was Sydney, the disgruntled basketball star, who had to give up her professional career due to an injury … bitter, angry, and lonely … she plotted & executed the murder of the one person who thwarted her over and over for the last 10 years!

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What a great group of kids!!!  I had SO MUCH FUN doing this … but I’ll be honest with you.  I know some people thrive on having people over and hosting get-togethers (CORIE, I’m talking to YOU!!!!), and I had fun doing it today.  But I. am. EXHAUSTED. and won’t be doing this again for at least another year!!








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30 Days of Thanks – 11/12-13/2014



The days are flying by so quickly … I can’t believe we’re headed to mid-November already!!  I haven’t been able to post because I’m super busy with a NEW PROJECT … and my silly day job gets in the way!!  ;)  It doesn’t leave me enough time to CREATE!!

So, what have I been up to??!  Well, Annie Belle has always wanted to do a mystery dinner theater type party … and I just never got around to making it a reality … like I never had the time or whatever.  And so, since I have a full-time job now, I figured it is a good a time as any to write, direct, plan and cook for a mystery dinner/birthday party tomorrow!!

That’s right:  I wrote the whole thing – 4 acts!   Annie Belle is having 4 friends over tomorrow night, and I customized each part to each of her friends:  a basketball star, an actress, a country girl, a frazzled mom, and chemist/scientist.  Drew is being a good sport and has agreed to make an appearance as a detective!  I’m playing the part of the housekeeper … in other words, I appear as myself.  ;)

It should be a lot of fun (I hope!!).  I am sure everything will come together … but considering the fact that it is 12:10 a.m. … and my brain is still in overdrive mode, I have a feeling the big crash will come as soon as this thing is OVER.

That said … I am THANKFUL that Annie Belle has 4 good friends that are willing to come over.  This whole adjustment to Arkansas has been a process – but I think the kids are all finally feeling more at home.  I was doing ok – until I again am the NEW KID at work … but the folks there are so nice.  I know I shouldn’t feel like such an outsider; but it is hard to be “new” all the time – in the midst of people who have seemingly all known each other since forever!!  That’s why I miss my military friends – we were ALL the new kids, over and over again.

And so I end this post with a great big thanks to my “old” friends – those from way back in high school and from our Army days and our military community days – who still keep in touch via the world wide web!!  With you, I’m not a new kid, I’m an OLD kid (??!).  ;)

Speaking of this:  old friends from our Germany days (15+ years ago) are spending 2 night WITH MY PARENTS this week!  It’s a small world after all.  (Their son is planning to go to the Bible college at my parents’ church.)   I love how God often networks!






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30 Days of Thanks – 11/11/14






HAPPY VETERAN’S DAY.   I’m thankful for all who serve …

Today our kids didn’t get the day off school, but their school did present a wonderful program with several veterans speaking … and the kids were allowed to dress up “in uniform” if they wanted to.  It is amazing to me that my husband’s BDUs fit Drew perfectly!!  His boots didn’t fit though – Drew wears a size 13 … and Daniel wears size 11!


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30 Days of Thanks – 11/10/14



Quite frankly, I hate money … I mean, it’s nice to have … but I hate having to worry about it.  And I know it really isn’t the best thing to “over share” about money – whether you have it or don’t have it, whatever the case may be.  I know my husband probably doesn’t appreciate when/if I talk about it too much.  It’s kindda personal … but I share some of our financial woes because they are seemingly part of God’s plan for us – but He so miraculously has supplied our needs the last few years that it is worth remembering where we’ve come from (at least for me!!).

Anyway … for once I am thankful  to have gotten a bill in the mail today.  Not only because I have the means to pay for it – but because our electric bill for the past 29 days was $54!!!!!!!  I don’t know what electric bills run around the country or at your house (and certainly, again, it isn’t really something one talks about, I suppose) – but on the average our electric bills – particularly when we lived in Missouri and had electric heat averaged about three times that much.  Our duplex’s electric bill ran pretty high because the place has no insulation – and the windows let in heat/cold, whichever was going on each season.

SO, to have an electric bill be $54 is AMAZING!!!  Granted, we barely – if at all ran the a/c the last few weeks – and we weren’t home so much – but WOW.  THANK YOU GOD for a little break – even if it isn’t the norm.  And thank you very well-built/insulated, economical, and energy-efficient home and appliances!!!!


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30 Days of Thanks – Nov 7-9, 2014



Today I’m thankful for the WEEKEND.  I do like my job … I really do – nice co-workers, not really TOO stressful, and just overall a great position for me.  And yet, as in entering any new situation, it takes a while to feel the groove of it, to kind of scope out the people you work with, but I’m thankful to have a job …

But this weekend, I think things finally caught up to me:  I’d worked 11 of the last 12 days (since I worked last Saturday) and by Saturday morning I was just feeling BLAH.  My head ached allllll day and I was soooooooooo tired!  Thankfully, it wasn’t a migraine, but just a dull achy head that made me want to close my eyes and not move.

And yet:  I had so much I wanted to do, to catch up on!  THEN when Dan finally took the girls away to get milk shakes and Drew was away at a birthday party, I thought I’d have a few hours of quiet … but a voice from my past came back to haunt me:  my old neighbor called.  Their car was broke down, they needed to get groceries, could I help??  Well, who is to deny a friend in need??  Certainly NOT me after so many people have gone out of their way to help me at times.

As always, with this lady, a trip to the grocery store turns into a ride around the entire city as she thinks up more things that need to get done.  And I get it:  life without a car is kind of constricting – I’ve been there, done that enough times the last 3 years!!

When I finally got home, Dan and the girls were just getting home … and Drew was home from his party as well.  I just went to bed early.  Laundry overflowing, dishes not done, and everything basically just kind of a mess.  Thankfully, Annie-Belle did take over MiMi’s bath time so at least my kids went out this morning CLEAN!!

And now, I’m thankful for a few hours of quiet.  I slept well and hard – for almost 10 hour … but my head still aches and I just don’t feel well.  And my husband suggested I stay home from church this morning.  Best idea ever.  I am pretty sure God understands!

And most of all, I am thankful for a merciful God who knows that we are but flesh – and that surviving in this old world takes a lot out of us.  I think it will be so awesome in heaven when we FINALLY have all the time in the world – with no clocks, no bills, and no stress (and no headaches!)!


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30 Days of Thanks – 11/6/2014



Today I am thankful for answered prayers!!   We’ve had many BIG prayers answered lately, and it is great to be “on the mountain top”.  One seems to appreciate it more after coming out of a deep, dark valley.

I will admit, I’m not the best “prayer warrior” there is.  It is truly some people’s calling or gift – to intercede for others; I don’t have the attention span or that certain something to pray for long periods of time (which is why I keep a prayer journal – to attempt to keep my thoughts focused!!).  But I do also attempt to turn my thoughts into prayers when I get to thinking about someone who has a prayer request or I know of a need.  I think (sadly) most often, I just pray for ME, considering my own needs seem to loom largest over me if I don’t keep my focus outward.

Today I’m reflecting on thankfulness for ANSWERED prayers!!  We’ve had many lately:  a friend of ours made it through brain surgery today; my friend Jen is down to 2 more chemo treatments – and her whatever-blast-count is down (which is a good thing!).  I’ve got a great job which continues to look like it is going to suit me very well.  Currently, we’re all well and our cars are running.  Those are things I don’t ever take for granted!!!

I am thankful for friends who keep in touch – for new friends who have taken in my kids here.  I’m thankful for my friend who babysits MiMi – and for her preschool teachers who love her while I’m at work.  I’m thankful for Christian education!

I’m thankful – always – for my family.  They drive me crazy some times … but I wouldn’t give them up for anything.  They are God’s personal gift to me.  They are answers to my prayers.

I’m thankful that God sometimes just blesses me by answering a thought I had instead of waiting until I get myself together enough to form a real prayer.  He knows me – through and through – and I can trust Him to do what is best for me.  I’m thankful that often God provides more than my daily needs – but offers me some of the desires of my heart.

I’m thankful for forgiveness and long-suffering – not just from God – but from those who know me best – and those who know my failures.  I’m thankful for the few people who truly “get me” and know what makes me tick and what my hang-ups are – and love me anyway.

And I truly want to be thankful for the “unanswered” prayers – the times when God has said “no” or “wait”.  Even though I don’t like it or understand it, I have seen over and over that this too is God’s care over me.


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