Monday, October 15, 2012

From a thankful heart...

     God amazes me. His plan for my life, the way I get blessed when He puts me in a situation that stretches me, or makes me uncomfortable.
     These are things worth remembering:
     Approximately 8 months ago, I married a wonderful man. I felt very clear and very sure that this was God's will for me. I'll be honest here...there were things about this step in my life that looked scary to me. Even though my husband's church was fairly small, it was still larger than the one I came from. Plugging in and becoming a part of this church would mean certain changes for me. Not changes in the principles I believed in, but small changes in the way I applied them (style of dress and head covering, etc). Some of these changes were very easy for me to make, others slightly more difficult, but I clung to my belief that this was God's will for me, which made it very do-able.
     There was one change though, that I was dreading more than any of the others...knowing that I would be asked to teach the women's Sunday school class of over 20 women, of whom I am very nearly the youngest. I hate strongly dislike public speaking. It makes me very nervous, and when I am nervous, I get sick to my stomach. Literally sick. So, I imagined that I would ask to be excused the first time my turn came around. After all  I was new, I had that right, didn't I? But when I was actually faced with the situation, I couldn't say no.  In reality, I wanted to burst into tears. It looked huge to me! How was I, a 22 year old who had never led out in a discussion, supposed to teach all these mothers and grandmothers? I was terrified. But God started teaching me something that very day with the sermon. These fears of mine were because of pride in my life. I was afraid of making a fool of myself, I was viewing this as all about myself instead of realizing that it was all about God working through me. As I studied the lesson that week, there it was again, Ananias and Sapphira lied...why? Because they wanted others to think they had given everything. They wanted to look good. I have been made so aware of this sin of pride in myself, and I desire to be victorious over it through Jesus!
     Then last week we had a week of revival meetings here at church. I don't know about you, but I am tempted to shy away from revival meetings. I would say I want revival, but when it really comes to sitting there and getting a pricked conscience over and over, it's not fun! And sure enough, evening after evening, my heart was convicted! It made me uncomfortable, and I wanted to say, "Pick a subject that doesn't relate to me, already!"
     But I'm here to testify, and to record as a reminder to myself: when God puts me in an uncomfortable situation, it ALWAYS turns out as a blessing to me. To show me sin that He wants to deal with in my life, or to refresh my relationship with Him, when I'm allowing it to go cold. And do you know how merciful that is of Him? The way he keeps drawing us, not allowing us to stay where we are?
    And you know what? Teaching Sunday school, attending revivals, and discussing the revival sermons with friends over DQ blizzards has made me feel more closely connected to my new church family than ever. My heart is just full today, of thanksgiving, for a revived awareness of God, what He wants from me, and His plan for my life; and for the fact that I'm even more sure than before that He has placed me here in Hayward.

Monday, October 8, 2012


    If you were to ask me what my favorite season is, I would be hard-pressed to give you an answer. Right now, I would probably say autumn, because I really, really do love this time of year. But right after the first couple of snows, I'd tell you how I love winter--watching the snow fall, curling up with a book and hot drink, being snowed in. Then at the end of the long winter that we always have here in Wisconsin, I'd be so in love with spring. And, do I enjoy summer too? Yup, I sure do...I love sunshine, and cookouts, and days on the lake!
    All that aside, it's fall now, and I'm enjoying it, so I thought I'd share some pictures of what fall looks like around here.

::a bouquet of homegrown sunflowers on our table::

::little bits of autumn decor inside and out::

::baked pumpkins::

::an empty and tilled garden::

Our church did a fundraiser for the school this year, selling baked goods and hot drinks at the Cranberry Festival in Stone Lake. It was a cold day so we had lots of business, especially for the hot drinks and we enjoyed working together on the project!

Many of the church ladies baked for the sale, and we had a big variety of yummy stuff!

And lastly, I'll add some photos of Tom and I. We took a walk to enjoy the colors the other day, and snapped some pictures using a tripod!

Oh, you think it looks like we're still in love? Yup...more in love every day! :)

After a very busy weekend, I have housework calling me from every corner, and my husband will be home for lunch in an hour, so I must fly! Have a lovely day folks!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Last Week's Little Project

     I've been wanting to get a big "S" (for Schrock, in case you forgot that's my last name now. :)) for a wall arrangement that has been sitting here uncompleted for a long time. I didn't come across any in my shopping ventures, and didn't feel like ordering one, so I decided to make one. Here's how it went...

First, I cut 2 large S's out of gift boxes...

I left tabs on along the sides and ends of the box.

I cut strips of cereal box and taped them on for sides as well as putting some inside for stabilizer.

Then I taped the the backside on!

Added a layer of mod podge and cream paper (as opposed to vinegar and brown paper. ha!)

Chalked it, and added details!
It's far from perfect, but it suits its purpose just fine!

And a couple of days later Tom hung it for me!

There she is! 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Last Days of Summer

     This last week was a busy one for me, and profitable too! I didn't have to do any cleaning jobs, which was fortunate, because I'm really not sure how I would've fit that in!
     The week started off on the right foot, with my family coming up for Sunday afternoon and evening. We mostly just enjoyed catching up, and they finally got to see some of the changes we've made around the place.

     The next day was Labor Day, and we had 2 bushels of apples to make into sauce. I was oh-so-glad that Tom had the day off, because he was a big help! 

     See, the pictures prove it! What the pictures don't show, is the fact that I actually worked too! :) As we sat there cutting up apples we were inspired to make the day more holiday-like and invite some friends over for grilling that evening. So, we finished up the apple project around 3:00, relaxed for a bit and then grilled burgers and hot pepper poppers for supper! Then we were off to the church ball game, which means exercise and enjoyment for him and relaxation and good visits with the gals on the bleachers for me!
     From there the week turned into a blur of painting corn hole games, and processing tomatoes (this time without Tom's help, since he was back at work). Ah, but Tuesday evening we headed to Rice Lake to pick up the tomatoes, and that little outing turned out to be a nice little date! We discovered on the way down that we had an Applebee's gift card, and since we hadn't eaten supper yet, it was the perfect solution! May I recommend Chipotle Cream 4 oz. Steak and Shrimp? It's even on the 2 for $20 menu! Did I just make you hungry? My bad.

                                                                                             Photo pulled from

        So, yes...corn hole games...there are now 4 new sets on the lot...make that 3, one just sold.

          And tomatoes. So much work, but so rewarding when it's all said and done! Now that I actually realize how much work it is when doing it alone, there are a few things I might have done differently to cut corners and save time. For instance, instead of being picky about the veggies for salsa looking nice and perfectly chopped by hand, I might just hack them up in a food processor. Oh well, this way my salsa is so much more pleasing to the eye! *snort*

     Pizza sauce has always been one of my favorite things to can. I love adding the spices, and the wonderful smells it produces. The last time we made it at home we thickened it way too much for my liking, so this time I think I fell into the other ditch. I had several batches canned before I decide that maybe it was a little too thin. I added lots of thickening to my last batch, which, in spite of vigorous stirring, resulting in quite a few little clear clumps in the sauce. hmm.

     Anyway, I'm ready for our vacay next week! Leaving for Ontario on Wednesday for the wedding of Tom's cousin Victoria! Although I lived in northern Ontario for a few years, I haven't been to the part of Ontario where Tom was born. It should be fun!
      So long for now, folks! 



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The House in Hayward That We Call Home

       I'm filling in at the office's a quiet day, so I shall try to take the chance to update this blog, which has also been rather quiet lately. 
     I haven't taken many pictures of life lately, and I prefer blogging when I have pictures to go along with it. It's not at all that our life has been boring or slow...rather opposite in fact. I'm thinking that it might be slowing down a bit now, but I won't say that too loudly! 
    A week ago the last of our corn hole games sold, so we're trying to make a few more sets in our spare time. I had a new dress to sew, and we had music to practice before we headed out of town last weekend to sing at Stan and Kerra Troyer's wedding.
     Moving on from old news and rambling....
     I was thinking the other day about the changes we've made to our house and yard since we bought the house nearly a year ago. So I dug up some old pictures, and thought I'd show you! We're not done yet, but I think it's improved!
     Tom put skirting around all of our little decks, and we built the flower beds this spring. My flowers are growing fairly well, in spite of my neglectfulness and a bit of a deer problem.
     I love how easy Morning Glories are to grow...the pretty things have done a nice job of covering our somewhat rickety deck railings! I hope to spend more time and put some perennials in my beds next spring!
     And here's the back deck, my little herb garden with sunflowers, and our chairs. Some fine moonlit night before summer's over, I'd like to sleep under the stars there on the deck.
    There's a reason I'm not showing you the back yard. Two reasons actually! For one, we still need to level it out, plant new grass, and take care of the drainage field vents that poke their unsightly heads up out there. Secondly, my little garden is back there, and the poor thing is in no blog-worthy condition. Here's what happened: We started from scratch, so by the time we tilled up the sod, raked out the grass clumps and got it planted, it was a bit late in the spring. I feared that deer would be a problem, since we see them in our yard fairly frequently, so I bought some natural repellent clips and put them on my little plants. Unfortunately, my veggies took a very long time to grow, even thought I watered them faithfully. Finally, I decided the soil must be sadly lacking, so I started to give them Miracle Grow, which seemed to help a good deal. Just about the time the plants took off and my garden started looking like a productive thing, the deer found it. I am resigned. The garden just wasn't meant to be this year. But it was a worthwhile experiment, I think. Now at least we know that the garden needs a lot of fertilizer, and a fence before next spring!
    That's all, folks! Please feel free to stop by and see us! 


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

On turning 22...

    On Saturday I turned 22...for the most part, I feel pretty neutral about the fact. At this stage in my life, not a lot changes just because my age does. Somehow the number 22 doesn't have quite the ring 21 did, but I guess I just like odd numbers the best! Not anything to sweat over! Whether 21 or 22, my goals are the same. Love God, love my husband, and learn to accept whatever God sends me as His plan for my life. I guess these will be my goals long past the age of 22! There are so many other things I want to learn and become too: to love people the way Jesus does, to have an unselfish servant's heart, to decorate my house in a way that's pleasing to the eye and the pocket book, to focus on pleasing God rather than impressing people. The list could go on for a few more pages, but I'll stop there! Anyway, God is very good, and I'm quite content with life at this ripe old age! :)
    Back to Saturday...
        We slept in. Or I thought we did, til I rolled over and saw this:

     Ok, so it was sleeping in, but not really sleeping in! :)
     Then, my handsome husband made me breakfast. (until the eggs got a little too involved, then I went to his rescue.) :)
 It was delicious!
     Then we ran errands here in town, where Tom bought me this nice sturdy camping chair to replace my tattered old one!
As well as a sweet card!
     After that, we met my family, and they treated us to lunch. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so from here on the events of the day are not captured on film, er, SD card. The lunch outing was enjoyable, but too short...I really need to get the family up here for a meal soon!
    After a bit more shopping, we finished out the day playing volleyball with a group friends. My family joined us for the evening there too. (That was supposed to be a surprise for me, but as my husband is finding out, secrets are hard to keep from me!)
   I should also mention that on my birthday one year ago, I said yes when Tom handed me a bouquet of roses and asked if I would marry him. What a sweet memory! If life keeps getting better the way that it has this past year, I have no problem with getting older! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


    So, we're back home after a nice week of vacation with Tom's family. Sometimes when you have to pack up lots of clothing, food, bedding, and other paraphernalia and drive 4 1/2 hours to get to the campground, it can make one wonder if it's worth the hassle. I'd say I've come to the conclusion that it was. We had many good times, and created memories.
    Some of the highlights for me: (some were just the little things)
     -A ladies tea. Complete with lace tablecloths, fresh wildflowers, sparkling juice, and an impressive spread of fancy snacks! It was so relaxing to have all of us around one table visiting--without interruptions! Thanks to the men who took care of the little people!

     -Vacation means I get to see my husband every day. I took that for granted until we got home and started the work week, and I realized how much I missed it.
     -I noticed how often the piano was played over the course of the week...nieces and nephews and a couple of brother in laws that would spontaneously make lovely music for all of us to enjoy.
     -On the subject of music, I greatly enjoyed singing with the rest of the Schrocks. I think almost all of us love to sing, from Dad S. to the young grandchildren, which makes a pretty large chorus!
     -Getting to know my nieces and nephews better. They feel almost more like cousins than nieces and nephews sometimes, due to the fact that I'm only two months older than my oldest niece!
   Other good thing included but are not limited to: delicious meals, lots of corn hole games, wiffle ball,
cute babies to hold, a pinata which we all took a whack at, and family pictures.
    I was getting quite annoyed at the quality of pictures my camera was taking, but toward the end of the week I discovered a simple error in the setting of the camera, which greatly improved my photos from there on out. I'm a little sad for all the pictures that are grainy, but they're captured memories nonetheless!
     From Friday evening through Sunday we were joined by the Kauffmans for a more extended reunion. I think that brought the count to about 200 people. One thing's for sure, I didn't know many of them! :) That turned out to be fun too, getting to know more people and enjoying some volleyball and other activities, including an auction. We helped organize some children's activities for Saturday afternoon.
     Well, that's only a fraction of my pictures, but if I don't post this soon, it'll be stale, so...that's all folks! 
     For those of you interested in family photos from the Schrock/Kauffman reunion here's a link to my picasa album:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Corn Hole Games

Handmade and hand painted by my husband and I, these games are now for sale at Northwood Outdoor in Hayward!

Brown and Turquoise 

Blue and Black

Green and Teal

Red and Black

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

There Are A Million Reasons....

    There are SO many reasons that I love my man. At the risk of sounding like a hopeless romantic, I am going to write a few of them down here. After all, this blog is for my benefit too...I want to remember to count my blessings.

     There's a bouquet of fresh flowers on my counter...just because he can. Next to it, on our little dry erase board is a sweet note, signed: -Your man.

     I'm sure that God knew that my love language was words of affirmation when He gave me Tom. My husband might argue that he's not good with words...I beg to differ. He may not write flowery poetry, but every day my man gives me countless compliments that energize my life. I feel so undeserving, but I know he means every word, and that makes me very content.

     Last evening, when the air was cool and the sun was setting, the two of us were on our hands and knees weeding the garden. He had just finished mowing the lawn and came and joined me there. Does he think that gardening is a woman's job? I don't know, maybe, but he is more than willing to help without being asked. I count this as a blessing...working together we can get so much done!

    And then there are those times that something he does annoys or hurts me, however slightly. And though I always know that the hurt is completely unintentional on my man's part, the Tempter is always right there to take away the memories of the amazing husband I have, and instead make that little wound I'm feeling fester. Here's what really amazes me though. When I finally can't hide my emotions anymore, and the hurt selfishness comes out, usually with tears, Tom has a way of taking all the fight right out of me. He is instantly sorry, holds me and wipes my tears, and never justifies himself or argues his side. He doesn't blame me, but takes all the blame himself. Suddenly, there's nothing to be annoyed at. I can't argue or say unkind things, when he's simply kissing my forehead and apologizing. And all at once, I feel like the selfish, ornery brat that I am being. I can learn so much from this man God gave me.

    Let's not take our good men for today's world, they are few and far between!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

It's warm....

It's warm for Wisconsin. Very warm. Maybe the reason I think this is partially due to the fact that this is the first time I remember living in a trailer house in the heat of summer.
In case you were wondering, a trailer house heats up like an oven in 90+ degree weather. I think it's about 92 degrees INDOORS at the moment.
But, we have a little window AC in our bedroom, so we sort of live in our bedroom these days. 
Hot, humid weather makes me feel like a bad wife altogether. I have zero motivation to do housework. Just doing the dishes works up a sweat. My meals consist of light things like chips and dip and chocolate milk shakes. Fortunately, my husband says he doesn't get very hungry in this hot weather anyway. We eat our meals on the bed. It seems like a bad habit, but under these circumstances, we do what we must.
I did do laundry, watered my flowers, went grocery shopping, and did some craft projects so far this week. And washed dishes.
We eat a lot of freezees. And I dream of a house on the lake or a pool in my back yard at least.
But most of all, this makes me realize that I'm very thankful that I live in Wisconsin, where this kind of weather is fairly rare. I certainly hope that southerners eventually acclimate to the heat, because living a hampered life like this gets old.
Oh well, we're blessed. And tomorrow's a holiday, so we get to sleep in and then spend the afternoon with my family.
A happy 4th of July to you all. Stay cool. :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Life in June

   It's a perfect summer day here in Wisconsin...70* and sunny. I love it! June's been a good month...Kara and I started it out right with a big day of garage-saling and thrift store shopping on the first day of June! :)
   We also had some fun Schrock family get-togethers...these always include cute kiddos, lots of laughter, and generally, a pretty good spread of yummy food!
     The following weekend we headed to Indiana...
     This little man rode with Tom and I for a while...I love watching him grow up! And yes, he was eating fresh peas--and loving them! 
     The main reason for going was for a dispersal auction of my great aunt's belongings/a Kauffman family reunion (which would be my mom's side of the family). 

    The Kauffman cousins know how to have a good time! Our definition of good: "crazy, including lots of laughter, and some very blonde moments."
     I really like this picture of Grandma and her daughters. They are all very special to me!

     I had to include this too:

     We came home from the auction with more than I had anticipated...Our purchases included, but are not limited to: this trunk, all these old books and the old camera...

     This big jug, which we will use to save our loose change for something wonderful (still to be decided).

    And this little beauty (for $2). Ok, I'll admit it's a bit old, but my mom always used one at home, and I found myself missing having my own, so this was just the ticket!

   And here are a few pictures of us from the weekend:

     Since I've been home more this week, I was determined to take advantage of it and get some more decor up around here. It seems like the more I'm home the better my creative juices work. Maybe it's just that when I work away, I lose motivation for projects here at home. Anyway, here's the one wall arrangement I came up with this week. I think it still needs some tweaking, but I need some time to decide what it needs. I was going for the canvas look with the saying, but in reality it's just a cardboard box, scrapbook supplies, and mod podge. It'll work for now.

     Yesterday I did felt slightly strange to do them all alone. No siblings to help pick, no Mom and Kara to help with the cutting, and none of the others to do the washing, smashing, and sweetening. It all went well though, and my jam set up just fine! Yay! 
     I also made my first strawberry pie, since I knew that was on Tom's list of favorites. He pronounced it "fierce good". 

 Well, I'm off to enjoy the sunshine and make my laundry keep happening! A lovely afternoon to you all!