Kicking UP (not Clicking) Our Heels Here in Kansas!


There is NO place like home. However, we are making ourselves at home here in our new city. We have been so blessed to see some of your faces lately! Face Time, care packages, visits, emails and Facebook messages have made our transition so much easier.

Andy and I surely hope the summer has been good to ya’! It has been rather mild here in the KC area, and we are NOT complaining. Just wanted to share some of our summer activities and antics with you sweet people.

Duke’s Rocks:

A couple of blogs ago, I commented about the lack of Duke’s mayo here in KS. Well, this happened:


Jesus-Loving, Nike-Wearing, Kindergarten-Teaching April Clayton is a Superfriend. Her kindness and generosity allowed us to eat more BLTs. Then, BG and Sue came to visit and brought more. I could totally open my own mayo store. Life is good. Time to go buy more tomatoes. 

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 Visitor Center:

We have been so blessed to have enough space in this rental house to be able to host people who are passing through or coming to visit us. Since June, we have hosted Mom and Dad, Kelly, Michael, Brett, Kathryn, Ashton, and Clayton. So much fun! We have also spent time with Scott and Tami as they were in town for a Scott Dawson event. We ate and played and got caught up.

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Lenning Love! We always have so much fun with these two.
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By one of the famous fountains in KC at the Plaza.
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We kept changing hairdos because it was HOT!
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Tami and I played one day and visited the City Market. We watched petite ladies walk around buckets of fresh flowers to assemble this bouquet. I requested the large, outer leaves and at least one sunflower. All this for $8. Worth every penny!
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Flowers and a bag of garden tomatoes. Good haul for the day!

I never in a thousand years imagined that so many familiar faces would be in KC in such a short time. Seems like the Lord is loving on us a-lot-a bit. Reveling in the reunions!

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Brett and Kathryn are friends from the Seminary days in Texas. He is from Texas, and she is from Mississippi. They went to Mississippi State. We love them still. Max, the photobomber, strikes again.
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Brett and Kathryn grew up and had Mini-Mes. Ashton and Clayton are awesome! It was so fun to meet the children of the friends you knew when they were newlyweds. *Don’t know why but all these pics of the four Porters were a little blurry.
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Andy loves some Brett. They used to run together in Texas. Brett and Kathryn planted a church in Canada, so we were picking their brains. So thankful for their friendship and wealth of knowledge.

Mom and Dad (Sweet Sue and BG) came to visit and brought Duke’s and lots of tomatoes and lots of love. We always have a good time with these two. 

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We visited the Federal Reserve Bank and went to the money museum. BG had his picture taken.
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Andy and Dad toured the Harley Davidson plant. Dad’s Harley was born there. Both guys came away with safety vests and badges and pins. I think they had fun!

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Mom and Dad helped us serve at the local elementary school. Scooping ice cream is serious business! Food is a love language. 

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

So, evidently, with this church planting thing, you have to get out and meet some people. Wink. Anyway, since we don’t really know many people besides the Vertical Church Launch Team yet, we decided to start with our neighbors. Andy and I baked some Orange Poppy Bread, and Andy and I made some deliveries. Let me tell you, baked goods will get you in the door! Anyway, we met some people, chatted, and made some plans.

The morning after we delivered bread to our neighbors to the right, there was a sign in their yard. I thought it was a For Sale sign. Two ideas entered my head, “Did I do that? (Steve Erkel font) We gave them bread, and it made them want to move? Seriously?”…..quickly followed by….”Dang it. Now I gotta make more bread for the next people. Maybe I can get that loaf back.” Fortunately, as I drove by, I saw it was only a roofing company’s sign advertising their services. My mind is a little warped. 

We were invited to a Food Truck Rally with one couple last weekend and have a date with Nat and June this week. I am estimating that Nat and June are in their 70s. They live in the house directly behind us (we share a fence). Totally precious. Andy saw them dancing on their deck a few weeks back. We have been cordially invited to join them on their deck for food and beverage- we are pumped. Here is the back of their house.

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A couple of shots of their beautiful sunflowers.

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Here is that recipe, by the way, if you need to make friends or amends.

Orange Poppy Seed Bread


3 cups Flour
2-½ cups Sugar
1-½ teaspoon Salt
1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
3 whole Eggs, Slightly Beaten
1-⅛ cup Canola Oil Or Vegetable Oil
1-½ cup Milk
2 teaspoons Poppy Seeds
1-½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1-½ teaspoon Almond Extract
1-½ teaspoon Imitation Butter Flavor
¾ cups Sugar
¼ cups Orange Juice
½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoons Almond Extract
½ teaspoons Imitation Butter Flavor
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare two 9″ x 5″ bread pans by rubbing with butter and then flouring the pans. You can also use a cooking spray for baking (with the flour already in the spray.)

Mix together the dry ingredients, including sugar. Add eggs, oil, milk, poppy seeds, vanilla, almond extract and imitation butter flavor. Mix together and beat for 2 minutes.

Pour batter into bread pans and bake for 55 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

While bread is baking, make the glaze. Whisk together sugar, orange juice, vanilla, almond extract, and imitation butter extract. Set aside.

When bread comes out of the oven and is still hot, pour glaze evenly over bread. Allow bread to completely cool in the pans before removing them.


This recipe is great for mini loaves and makes 6.

Batter can be doubled if you mixer is large enough—great when making loaves for gifts.

When pouring glaze, place pans on a cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet, as the dried glaze is hard to remove from a counter!

*This came from a cookbook I received at one of my wedding showers. Simple Elegance from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Women’s Guild, Germantown, Tennessee.

 **It makes two loaves- one to share and one to give away. I have also divided it into three smaller pans or 6 mini pans.


We have been thankful for this rental house, but of course, moving from one space into another creates challenges. Our sofa is now on a back wall, and there is no place to prop one’s feet. So, we bought a couple of poufs. These things are awesome.  Now our guests can comfortably slouch while visiting. Amazon Prime is my favorite. 



Let’s talk about Apple Cider Vinegar for a moment. 


Andy and I read about the benefits of this nectar of nature a year or so ago. We both started taking a teaspoon in water daily. I stopped taking it after several months just because I didn’t feel or see any difference.  Andy kept taking it hoping for the many benefits it reportedly provides (e.g., improved digestion, lower cholesterol, increased energy, detoxification, whiter teeth, and decreased appetite). Well, then I read more reports on how there is a lack of scientific proof that ACV does all those things. So, I didn’t think about it again….until….Max the Mighty started having incontinence problems. Andy researched cures via the internet and found out that ACV could help. MIRACLE NECTAR! It has done wonders for Max. He takes ACV and Young Living Essential Oil Copaiba Oil daily. So far, so good!  We have noticed great improvement. Loving some natural remedies. 



Bodacious Olive


Martha, our marvelous neighbor in Alabama, gave us the best Christmas gift last year – a gift basket from the Bodacious Olive in Pensacola.  We have enjoyed this gift all year long.  The infused olive oil and balsamic vinegar make the best dipping sauce for Italian bread, and French bread, and wheat bread, and pita bread. Jingle Bells. You can dip anything in it! So, if you are looking for some great, consumable Christmas gifts, here is the website:

Bodacious Olive

Their prices are so reasonable, and their products are delish. Tell them Martha sent you! 

Got any ideas?

So I would love to recycle or up-cycle these glass jars. Have not really looked on Pinterest yet. Do you have any suggestions on how I could use or gift these babies?

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I put the spoon there so you could see the size of each. I like the shapes.

Something Wintry This Way Comes!

My generous parents sent us some money to buy a snowblower. BG was going to have one shipped here, but he told Andy to check around these parts to see which one we needed. Sue sent some pictures of options, with warnings about safety. This could be our future.

HA! See Happy Andy with his new toy.
Good Grief! I hope not.
Hopefully, we will be a blessing to our neighbors!


Finally, a word of thanks to many of you who prayed for me in my search for a job. I am so thankful to you and our gracious Lord. In September, I will begin working at Children’s Mercy Hospital here in KC doing my speech-langauge pathology thing. So excited! I am looking forward to returning to the medical setting after trying my hand in the world of education. 


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 A Max Moment or Two 

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We were laying out pictures to hang on the wall. Somebody needed some attention.
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His face crumples when he sleeps hard.


Stupid Things I Have Done – #456

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Ever been in a hurry when baking, realize you don’t have enough butter and the cream cheese you thought you could use was out of date? Ever drive to the store, buy needed items, and try to soften them on the way home on the dashboard of your car in the hot summer? Ever have the dairy products slide all the way to the right and end up in the passenger door pocket when you made a left turn? Nah, didn’t think so. Me either. 

Enough about us- what is happening with you? Please drop us an email or Facebook message and let us know! We love to hear from our friends and family!

Love from the Heartland!







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