New Year, New Goals

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Happy New Year!

As we turn over a new calendar we like to sit down and plan for the new year.  What goals do we have?  What new challenges will we face?  What new things will we tackle?  Here are a few posts that discuss different kinds of goals for you to consider.  Several of these posts have free worksheets that you can print off to assist you in your planning, dreaming, and praying.  Enjoy!

Goal Post:  Don’t kick it wide left – take some time to think and pray about your goals!

Goals and ArmorIn order to accomplish our goals, we are going to have to fight!  This is how we suit up for battle and train our kids.  

Growth and Goals: Are you growing in the right direction?

Goals For Your Kids:  Goals – they’re not just for adults anymore!  Click here to find out more about how we are going to help our kids reflect on last year and look forward to the next!  

Marriage and Parenting GoalsPlan to start the year out right! Download our free worksheet to help you discuss your growth areas for this year.  

Career Goals: What are your values?  What small goals do you have?  What huge goals?  What actions are required?  This is a great time to think about these questions.  

Personal Goals:  Personal goals are like a compass – no matter how far off course you get, you always know which way you are going.  


Here are some of the worksheets with the date changed to 2016 if you are a type-A person like Dana and care about those types of details!

2016 Kid’s New Years Eve Interview

2016 Kid’s Goals 

2016 Gals Personal Goals

2016 Guys Personal Goals


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“Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal.”    (Come As You Are)

My latest musical marinade is Crowder’s Neon Steeple album.  The power and comfort of this album is just what I needed.  I grew up Country, so Crowder’s steel guitar, banjo, Case IH hat, and twang fit nicely with my roots.  But it is his words that really seal the deal.

He asks God to speak truth directly into his heart:

I am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I’m made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free

You are strong, You are sure
You are life, You endure
You are good, always true
You are light breaking through

You are more than enough
You are here, You are love
You are hope, You are grace
You’re all I have, You’re everything

Guard your heart, and be careful who and what you allow to speak to it.  Let God speak that Truth into your heart today!   That will give you the security to overcome anything.  Anything!! Continue Reading…

The Bookshelf, Part 3


Here are some books I have read this summer.

Killing Jesus, by Bill O’Reilly

Highly Recommend!  Bill does a great job of bringing the era to life.  He explains the way that Roman culture was intertwined with Jewish life, and helps to explain the circumstances leading to Jesus’ death. I felt that he did an appropriate job of presenting the story historically without demeaning the faith element.

The Screwtape Letters, by CS Lewis

Required reading!  I had always thought this would be a weird book…demons and such.  But it isn’t written that way at all.  CS Lewis was an amazing genius, whose satirical (aka sarcastic, tongue in cheek) writing is spot on.  (I said that cuz he’s British.)  This is probably a PG13 book, but an easy read.

Continue Reading…

Summer Break: The Top 5

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We are taking a few days off from posting, so here are the posts that have been the most popular so far.

Respect…Just a Little Bit

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OPLWhen I heard my exact words spoken to me in my own tone of voice, I realized how cutting they could be.


My husband had just said something very unkind to me, in a tone of voice that was just uncalled for! But as much as I hate to admit it, I had said exactly the same thing to him only minutes before. Hmmmm. I learned two valuable lessons that day: Words do hurt, and it does matter how you say them. Continue Reading…


Guys – Creative Date Nights

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DateAh, date nights. I remember those! Back when we were single and I was trying to woo her we did all sorts of interesting and creative things together. Usually cheap things, because we didn’t have much money. But like most couples, after a year or 11 of marriage it is easy to let this area of your relationship slip. There are extra complications with having a date night (I have 4 of them), and there is busy-ness, routine, and just plain laziness. Today’s post is a reminder to you married men that you need to keep dating your wife.

Make It A Priority Continue Reading…


Traveling-Packing Clothes


DSCN2852Since the holidays are approaching we thought we would share some of our traveling tips that we have picked up over the years. We have not lived in the same town as our families since we have been married. Therefore, most major holidays, some minor holidays, and a few weekends in between we are on the road. Thankfully our kids are wonderful travelers! They have been doing it since birth and so it is a normal part of their lives.

Little by little I have been working on making our packing and traveling go more smoothly. Since we do it about every month to month and a half I want it to be quick and efficient. Of course, my husband reminds me that there is a Walmart in all the locations that we frequent, but it just kills me to buy something that I know I have 6 of at home! The one time I didn’t feel bad was when I had to buy long sleeve shirts and pants for my girls for a July balloon festival that end up being abnormally cold. Who would have guessed a cold front would come through in the middle of the summer?

So that was an exception, but to prevent me from forgetting simple things like underwear and toothpaste… Continue Reading…


Marital Intimacy Troubleshooting – Men

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WeddingRingsWith Valentine’s Day soon to come, we started a series about Marital Intimacy. First, we discussed the fact that it is important. Then we reviewed the importance of communication.However, marital intimacy is a struggle for many couples. Maybe all couples? Because of that, we are trying to get at the root of Why. Why do we struggle to make this a vibrant part of our marriage? Why don’t we serve each other better and more thoroughly? This week we will throw out some ideas, starting with the guys.Continue Reading…


Fun Games to Play – Spouses Only! 😉

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WeddingRingsLast week was Valentine’s Day! If you forgot or didn’t quite have time to get something, we have got you covered! Awhile back I came across the website for the Dating Divas. This website is devoted to dating your spouse to keep your marriage alive and thriving. As you have probably gathered, we are firm believer of keeping the intimate part of your relationship healthy. Now don’t get me wrong, we slip too and it falls down the priority chain. But we have committed to doing everything we can to keep it in its proper place. It is so important to have regular check-up conversations to make sure this part of your marriage doesn’t get lost in the hustle and bustle of life.

One way to slow down and really take the time to pour love into each other is to play a fun game. We aren’t talking about using objects to enhance your interaction but just taking the time to bless each other. All you need is you, your spouse and one of these games printed out on paper. Continue Reading…


What posts are your favorites that should be added to the list?

Audubon Society Field Guides

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One of the trade-offs in life is how much time and money you spend on toys, and how much you spend on tools.  Put another way, the trade-off is how much you spend on education, and how much on entertainment.  Today we are sharing some good educational tools.

Today’s product review takes us all the way back to my childhood.  My parents did an excellent job of instilling a love of nature in my life.   One of the tools that they used was the Audubon Society Field Guide series.  These books were high quality!  We had the Field Guides for Rocks and Minerals, Trees, Mammals, and Birds. They were designed to help you identify the object or animal that you were seeing, and gave you some information about them.  This made learning fun – we would see a leaf or a bird or a rock and then search through the guide to figure out what it was.  Solving the mystery was a lot of fun.   Continue Reading…

The Pen and the Sword


Looking for just the right gift for that special father?  Think “tools.”

But don’t limit yourself to hammers and ladders – tools come in all shapes and sizes for a variety of jobs.   Today I am reviewing two of my favorite tools:  a pen and a pocket knife.

The Pen

I will always remember the day that I was introduced to the Zebra F 301 Fine Point Pen.  I was at a conference and forgot my pen, so I asked my colleague (Jim) if I could borrow his.  And the rest was history.

It is a thin, lightweight barrel, and has a nice fine point.  It writes well and is reliable.  I really dislike when a pen requires you to write a few words before the ink starts flowing, and this pen does not have that problem.  It is pretty durable, although the black part of the barrel is made out of plastic which is breakable.  Continue Reading…

Nature Centers!!!!

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Lakeside Nature Center

Nature Centers are one of my favorite types of outings. The things I love about Nature Centers are:

  1. Educational: Interesting plants and animals to learn about.
  2. Outdoors: Trails to go exploring on.
  3. Great for the Budget: The are almost always Free!

Last summer we explored many of the nature centers in the KC area. Here are my personal reviews of a few of them. Continue Reading…

Review: Good History!

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I like history, and I learn best when I can see the ‘big picture.’  Today’s history reviews definitely focus on the big picture!

History helps you understand where we come from, and it helps us understand where we are going.  It is a link to the past, and learning about the heroes of the past can inspire us in how we live today.  These are some of the good references I have found to help me learn and teach history. Continue Reading…

Summer Reading Lists


We love summer! And we love to read!! Summer is a great time to catch up on that pile of books that you have been dying to read. I’m looking forward to having the kids participating in the local summer reading programs. Last year I printed off the reading logs, and we even filled out some of them, but never got around to turning most of them in 🙁 Several missed opportunities for free books. We will do better this year! Continue Reading…



I Love To Read

Fact 1) I have had a 30 minute commute for the last 8 years.

Fact 2) I love to read, but don’t have time.

About 2 years ago it finally dawned on me that I could take the weakness of Fact 1 and turn it into an advantage that solved Fact 2.  I started borrowing audiobooks from the library and listening to them on my commute.  So, because of that simple revelation I am able to read (ok, ‘listen to’) a lot of books.  For some reason I had never thought of it before…isn’t it funny how the answer can be so obvious AFTER you finally see it?!? Continue Reading…

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