Overwhelmed, yet Uber Thankful

Blogging, blogging, blogging….we haven’t been blogging. Coming out of the BLOG-FOG. Whew! What a CRAZY few months. Let’s play catch up…

Moving on OUT and IN
House hunting got the best of us…but thankfully, we are in one. Unfinished basement, spiral staircase, carpeted bathroom and all!

We don’t love it, but we are not homeless. Thank the Lordt!

A blue house with a red door. Nah. I like Ole Miss colors, but these don’t jive with me.

The KC area housing market was INSANE!! I so wish I had a house to sell here. Many great houses are selling within HOURS of going on the market, and the owners have MULTIPLE offers from which to choose. We started looking in late January, had to ask for a one month extension on our rental lease (which we got) because we couldn’t find a house, closed near the end of May, moved, and are still unpacking boxes.

After placing offers on one great house and two decent houses, being outbid all three times, we offered on the DESPERATION house (because we had to find something) and prayed it wouldn’t go through. It did. Whoop. Can you see how excited we are?

Not in Kansas, they don’t. They offer and get rejected, and offer and get outbid…and so on…

Truly, it needed and still requires a great deal of work (major cleaning, painting, kitchen pantry racks, closet racks, finishing the basement, landscaping, new doorbell, blah, blah, blah). I even added a Pinterest board called “How to Fix a House I Hate”. What a brat.

This is not our stuff. This picture was taken before we bought it. This room currently is full of boxes.

Many tears have been shed over this experience and what we ended up with, but we have a GOOD God who gives GOOD things. We are thankful to not have to rent anymore, and we are thankful for a place to live and put all our stuff. Man, do we have A LOT of STUFF! Time to purge.


I had no idea this whole house hunting and purchasing and moving process could stretch our faith and trust and gratitude. Boy, we have had it sooo easy up to this point. Anyway, we feel that the LORD placed us in this house in this particular neighborhood for a REASON. I will let you know when I find out what it is!!  🙂

Moving problems: Two shoes that don’t match. I was going to wear black today….change of plans.


Then I found one of the brothers.

I also discovered I like stripes. On shirts. Lots of stripes on shirts.


Maybe I have an affinity for sailors & all things nautical or prisoners or Elvis Presley.images


When my friend Stacy Welden and I used “QT” as code language in high school, we were referring to “quality time” we might get to spend talking to a crush in class or at the lockers. Now, as a grown up, QT means one thing = QUICK TRIP!!
We moved to Shawnee, Kansas and have discovered that the bar for convenience stores is very high here. I HAD NO IDEA. What fun I have had after friends told me about this joint. I have tried the hot chocolate- a full 14 oz for $1.59!!! Starbucks-I don’t like you as much. Then we tried the donuts- blueberry cake=delicious. Then the selection of drinks is FABULOUS!!

Cold drinks!
Hot drinks!
It’s all so pretty.

Teas, soft drinks, warm beverages, slushees. What the what!!
Things on my list to try…
Cinnamon sugar pretzel
Pina colada slushy
Chia tea latte
Breakfast pizza (with sausage gravy as the sauce)
Southern friends- be like my dad who has the mileage mapped to the closest Whataburger to Southaven, MS…..find out how long it will take you to get to a QT… and go crazy!!

*Now, Andy found a QT with a “Make Your Own Milkshake” machine. I’m overwhelmed. A-ma-zing.


Casey’s General Store

Now, QT has a cousin…but you don’t hear about them as much. I am now a believer in the Taco Pizza from the gas station. Too yummy.

Topped with crushed Doritos. Yes.

My friend Kristyna said they were good, and I was skeptical. We had Discipleship Group at our house, and it was a hit. Because there were 7 of us girls, I only had one piece. So, the next night, Andy and I ordered our own, yes we did. He loves it, too.

The Green Stuff and the Pink Stuff

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Jenny introduced me to this salad dressing, which is from a local pizzeria. So good! The pizza restaurant has a brother. So there is an eastern Shawnee restaurant with green salad dressing and a western Shawnee restaurant with pink salad dressing. Green is better!

Skinny Pop
Where have you been all my life? Seriously? Seriously. Andy and I recently restricted our diet- more about that later. Popcorn was allowed. I LOVE popcorn. However, since there have been some scary reports out there about chemicals used in microwave popcorn, I stopped that habit. Then I bought bags of corn kernels and started popping it on the stove- like Momma Sue used to make. Kind of a hassle and I seemed to have more unpopped than popped kernels. Then, this love came into my life. We now buy at least one bag per week.
Favorite breakfast or late night snack= Mango Naked + Skinny Pop. Skinny and Naked. Yep.


The Fast

Andy Pandy and I joined Blake a few weeks back when he invited us to join him in doing the Daniel Fast. It was our first time to try this one, and we both needed some spiritual renewal, discipline, and detox. Basically, you eat fruits, veggies, and whole grains. You drink only water. No dairy, no meat, no bread, no sweets, no caffeine. Wow! What a way to reset the palate. So glad we did it. Lost a few pounds, learned to crave the natural sweetness of fruit rather than a chocolate bar. Still having lasting effects. Here is how to do it….

Daniel Fast

Three weeks. Twenty-one days.

Here is a great recipe we will use again:

Chipotle Black Bean Burgers

Typical menu for the day: fruit smoothie, popcorn, cashews, pecans, peanuts, mini carrots, whole grain tortilla/ roasted red pepper hummus /spinach / tomato wraps, oranges, tangerines, apples, whole grain tortellini/artichokes/grape tomato/spinach/black olives skillet meal tossed with balsamic vinegar. We also went out for veggie burrito bowls or veggie corn tacos at Chipotle or Freebirds.

It was an adventure. I know that normally, you are not supposed to tell people when you fast (Biblical reference). However, we had to adjust our diets so much that friends at work were asking me about it, we had to turn down lunch and dinner invitations, and we had to have special meals at our community group. I would totally recommend this to you. We plan to do it again- ideally, three times a year.

**I must tell you that at 12:00 am on Monday, May 25th, which is when our fast ended, Andy and I were sitting at Steak and Shake ready to order a cheeseburger, fries, and milkshake. We were celebrating the breaking of the fast!

What Love Is

Started this Bible Study tonight with my Discipleship Group. Pumped!

Chicken Apple Sausage

My friend, Meg, at work told me about these. Ohmygoodness. We have purchased different brands at Sprouts (very organic) and Walmart. Yesterday, at Costco, free samples were being passed around. Jingle my Bells. Bought a pack!

Brats – the meat item, not bad kids
I don’t remember eating a brat before Memorial Day. Our friend Travis introduced them to me. They were so good! People out here in the Midwest invite you over for “burgers and brats”. In the South, they invite you over for “burgers and hot dogs”. I don’t like hot dogs. I LOVE brats. Can’t wait to purchase a grill so we can grill our own.


More Things I Have Been Eating

Chicken Ball = Have you ever had a Chicken Ball? I learned about Chicken Ball from Lacy. So good. You can serve it plain, rolled in pecans, sprinkled with dill, or sprinkled with parsley.  Serve with crackers and make new friends.


Here’s the recipe: Chicken Ball

Funfetti Dip = Meg made it at work on Dip Day. Meghan brought it to D-Group tonight as a dessert. It is colorful and fun and delicious! Animal crackers or graham crackers made good dippers.


Recipe for you: Funfetti Cake Batter Dip

Cinnamon Pecans = I pinned these a while back and needed to take something to Treat Day at work (did I mention that I love my job?). The house smelled like Christmas. I think we will add these to cereal, salads, my stomach. Whatever.


Recipe: Cinnamon Pecans

Shatto Milk


Most local grocery stores have this milk – in lots of groovy flavors such as strawberry, orange creme, root beer, apple pie. Andy loves the root beer added to his iced chai tea, which he first tried at a local bakery.  The milk comes from the Shatto Milk Company which is a family owned and operated, dairy farm located just north of the Kansas City metro area. Evidently there will be a Family Fun Day at the Farm in September. Putting that on the calendar, friends.

Upcoming Events 
Chuck and Tamara and some other friends from Alabama coming to visit on a mission trip. Yay! We love our friends and are so excited when they come to see us. They will help Vertical Church provide a sports camp and block party for the Merriam community.


Then, Ken and Sharon are coming to see us from Mississippi. Whoo-hoo! Play day!


One of those states is just backwards. You decide. 🙂

At the end of July, we will head south to Hattiesburg, MS by way of Southaven for a wedding. Hoping to hug lots of familiar necks along the way.

Elizabeth Elliot
This lady was something else. She impacted me through her books and life story when I was in college. Here is my favorite quote of hers:


This changed the way I dealt with “big deals” in my life. Hope it makes you ponder and pray.  I highly recommend reading her books- several are already considered classics.

Well, if you are still reading, thanks for hanging in there! Hope you learned about a few fun things (probably food since there was so much of it) or are now planning a trip to come see us because you want to go to QT.

Hugs from the Heartland,


2 thoughts on “Overwhelmed, yet Uber Thankful

  1. Warning! That bible study is uber hard. But worth it, but seriously, I had to wrestle with so much of that material. Maybe because I was leading it. I never realized how much depth was in 1 John! Always enjoy your posts. Would love to come visit KC one day and Vertical Church.

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