Book Review : The Turquoise Table by Kristin Schell

TurquoiseFirst things first, ARE YOU A FRONT YARD PERSON? That is the question you will need to answer as you read Kristin Schell’s book The Turquoise Table.  In the Turquoise Table Kristin takes us on her journey to build community in her Texas town.  She chronicles he ups and downs  of being front yard people  as they began doing every day tasks at the turquoise table.  She gives practical advice on how to stock a simple basket to grab and go as you go to sit at the turquoise table , like crayons, coloring books, a can of mixed nuts, plastic cups and a water pitcher.  BUT Kristin ALSO includes family tested recipes at the end of each chapter !!  The chapters are short and sweet.  They get right to the point and there are many testimonials of others as they have embarked on their turquoise table journeys.  It was an easy and encouraging read that really makes the reader feel as though you can accomplish what is a seemingly scary risk, but with ease Kirstin melts away fears and doubts!

I  had heard about the turquoise table movement through blogging friends over the last few years but I had not been to Kristin’s Blog   or read anything official concerning the concept.  And even though I had never read anything by her I had decided that my carpenter hubby was going to make some picnic tables for our outdoor space, I new one of them would bee painted TURQUOISE!!!!

When I saw I had the option to review Kristin’s Book I knew I just had to and it did NOT disappoint.  I couldn’t stop reading!!!  Each chapter addressed different ares the Turquoise table touched in her life…even the table wearing out…WHILE SHE SAT ON IT!!!   Did I mention she was on camera as it happened?  SOOOO FUNNY!  The turquoise table has changed her, her family, her community, TEXAS and many around the world…no I am NOT kidding!!!   Being a front yard person may not be my personality type, BUT Im certainly going to give it a whirl!!!

This is definitely 5 star rating plus some!

Thanks BookLook Bloogers for giving me a free copy of this book to review and not expecting anything in return!

Life Unexpected: Living Outside the Normal Everyday Crazy

Unexpected things happen ALL the time…Have you every heard the expression

“When it rains it pours”

Well, yesterday it was a monsoon.  I laugh now as I look back at the unexpected happenings.

So yesterday started out in its normal crazy fashion…Up at 5:30 (First day back after Spring Break I might add) Yeah that was easy!!   Ha!!  Lunches made kids fed, three of them on the bus at 6:25. Whew!

Finished up my study Questions from “You Are Loved No Matter What” by Holley Gerth (THAT BOOK IS AAZING)

Bus alarm goes off a second time ..Fourth child out at the bus for a 7 50 pick up.

Back inside:


Bible Study


Normal household chores

Then I did something that is completely normal and it led to something SOOOOO completely Unexpected.  I went out to the garage to get chicken to thaw for dinner….the unexpected was that the upright freezer door wasn’t shut all the way….UH OH!  yep, so the rest of the normal plans out the window and I collected all the thawed gross things from the freezer that now resembled that of the abominable snowman fro  Monsters Inc….WELCOME TO THE HIMALAYAS was all that ran through my mind!  well after my hands we frozen and completely sticky…my sweatshirt and my pants doused int the  conglomeration of mystery liquids……I had all the Ick taken care of….found chicken in another freezer and thawed that, put it in the crockpot and what’s that?  the alarm for group #1 of our kiddos returning from school with #2 returning soon after group #1.  Did I mention I was having Bible study with a teen from our youth group around the same time?  Hubby was picking her up.

Hubby and I had realized that the freezer had been ajar since we left to visit family on Thursday YAY! Hubby also informed that while he was on a run to deliver a tractor (normal) His glasses broke and feel apart while he was driving (UNEXPECTED and dangerous)  he made it taped them together BUT now had t run to the eye place we get our glasses prescriptions filled.  At that point he offered to take the kids with him and to pick up groceries (Normal and AMZING) But half way through his trip the fan in our van  wouldn’t shut off…even when  the van was shut off and key removed (UNEXPECTED but isn’t can trouble almost always)  I finished my bible study, her dad picked her up, I finished dinner and I sat down on the couch.

Everyone cam rushing in and quite frankly if you have read  Hope for the Weary Mom or seen Mom’s Night Out  you will get what I am about to say.

I had a moment…..And my kids ate  dinner  in silence…and I felt horrible (after all hubby’s sermon was coursing through my brain….Saying” you blew it”!!

Hubby left for a meeting, saying that if it ended before a certain time he was going to run to the store to get the part for the car. Ok off he went I gave the 45 minute warning till bed….




Child #3 asks “mom can I get my shower?” (NORMAL)

” Yep you can”

10 minutes later….As he stands at the top of the stairs , “Mommy why do you have your razor in the shower?”  Ummm because it’s my shower and it’s hanging up above your reach!

Umm no it’s not and I think Im bleeding everywhere .  (SO UNEXPECTED  that it took a few seconds to register, but I snapped into  nurse mommy mod) e. let’s add to this that this is the child with Autism AND he is JUST out of the shower.

So after some minor freaking out (on his part) my little army of three non injured kids snapped into a well oiled machine f helpfulness.  And I could not with all the pressure I could get the bleeding to stop.  I had to call hubby.

Hubby came home….Off to urgent care….To sit and sit and sit some more .  Usually our urgent care is very quick….Not last night.  They finally got him in at 10-ish.    due to how his foot was cut they had to create  an imitation scab.  When they left, the battery in the car was dead from the constantly running fan (Unexpected, kind of) they came home at 12:30 am.  (UNEXPECTED)

SLEEP (normal)

Now this morning had a few unexpected things like oversleeping and leaving child #4’s math homework on the table, but compared to yesterday it was a breeze!

Thankfully in all of the UNEXPECTED events of yesterday, it could have led to major strife and minus the MOMENT I had unrelated t all the rest going on, it’s those moments that show our true colors.   Does our responses point to a Savior who is in control of every detail, or do we get bent out shape and let everyone know it , that it didn’t go according to our plan.  I know it wasn’t in my plan to smell like a garbage can. Do we moan and groan about how awful these circumstances or do we whisper a prayer and say ok LORD it’s not about me.  There has been a lot in my life that has been UNEXPECTED, soon good, some not so good and some just horrible things.   Thankfully God doesn’t expect us to be perfect through it all, he wants us to rely on Him, for everything!

Random Ramblings: CRAZY weekend

Actually its been a super crazy week since I last wrote a Random Ramblings….. Crazy Crazy CRAZY!!!!

Let’s Start with last week.

J was home from school on Monday because he had a fever the night before..and the school holds to a 24 hour policy without meds. T, K, and S went to school, but we were all very aware about the storm heading our way.  Hubby had a meeting Monday night.  Snow showed up Early Tuesday morning and we quickly realized that things had changed over night…our original 12 inches was upgraded and by Tuesday evening we had 29 inches of snow.  did I mention the kids had a snow day Tuesday )YAY)…..and then Tuesday afternoon a travel ban was put into place…… so Wednesday no school….Thursday rolled around and the roads were much better excluding the drift spots, but no AWANA that night.  J’s respite care worker came Thursday and Friday instead of Tuesday and Wednesday…. Hmmm I wonder why. Hubby  was at church from 10-4-430 and then we had some errands to run and dinner out together (Are you getting tired yet, cuz I am just writing it.  THEN Friday Happened….Initially all the kids had off school for Friday but since they exceeded their 5 allotted snow days T, K, and S all had school on Friday  so it was just J home.  Hubby and J went to church to finish up the previous days project.  When they came home J’s service coordinator came for a brief meeting and his respite care worker came…we ate a quick lunch and were off to visit a church person who also had her gall bladder out last week (That is 3 of us from our church in about 3 months), then we had to pick up the kids from school (OOPS almost forgot that detail…thanks J for reminding us at lunch) had to o pick up K’s friend, whose parents are our church’s youth leaders, from her grandparents house so she could come spend the weekend with K while her parents, I and two teenagers went to a youth rally….. BREATHE!!! We drove home that night, stopped at Walmart  and came home….. slept….. then left AGAIN the next morning to head back.  We were there till 5ish and then headed home again… IN MORE SNOW.  I didn’t get to go right home though I had a meeting at church that took a while because it involved some artistic work… and you know artists, we are our own worst critics!   Yep OCD was strong!!  I came home to my children (T & K) preparing dinner for us!  What a blessing those two are!  And that leads us to Sunday with all the normal Sunday stuff for a pastor’s family.

This life is crazy and we all go through crazy times but in the end we have choices.  As the speaker at the youth rally I attended this weekend shared as he spoke through 1 Corinthians 13, we all have a choice in being loving we can be kind or we can be rude….. So in these times of  Crazy it’s very easy to become self absorbed and rude, I mean ungrateful… and much more or we can CHOOSE  to look beyond our crazy, our horrible, our circumstances and be who God has called us to be…… LOVING!   It’s not easy and it takes a ton of practice.  I know I’m not there yet.  I’m not perfect and I most certainly DON’T have this all figured out. So start small. That’s what I am doing. I’m picking one thing….. and I’m choosing to pay attention to others rather than my crazy! How about you? What keeps you from being loving when THAT is what God calls us to do?


Happy Homemaker Monday – 3/20/2017

The weather::: today will be grey and very overcast with the high of 43 but the temps are looking up with a dip back into the 20’s but then rising again to 50’s.  we still have a very thick blanket of snow, but there are spots of grass in the areas the wind blew the snow away.

On my reading pile:::  Pretty much the same as last week.  Unglued, The Best Yes, You are Loved no Matter What, and I Am

Movies or Shows I watched this weekend:::  Nothing I was away most of the weekend at a Youth rally

On my TV:::I am about to put my TobyMac  station on Pandora on our TV

On the menu for this week:::

Monday Venison with Potatoes, Carrots, and  Tomatoes  in the crockpot

Tuesday Leftovers

Wednesday TaterTot casserole in the crockpot

Thursday Meatball subs

Friday Hamburgers and hotdogs and fries

Saturday Pizza (Hubby’s Homemade including my fave Bacon cheeseburger Pizza YUM)

Sunday Meatloaf and potatoes and a veggie (meatloaf and potatoes go in the crockpot together)

On The To-Do List :: I need to tackle my sewing cabinet this week.  When hubby built it for me there was no time to organize it so that is my major tackle for this week AND if I can complete that I will move onto the craft / exercise room

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating::: I have a couple of Cricut projects I need to work on.  I’m still learning to use my new machine, but I need to just practice more with it to build up my confidence

Happening this week:::Our friend is moving out this week.  we are happy for her that she has found a place so quickly, everyone is sad that they are going but it’s a new adventure for them.   God has blessed them greatly in this and we look forward to see how God works in their lives

Looking around the house::: the downstairs looks amazing, we have to find son #2’s AWANA grand prix car sine he lost it….and we can’t seem to FIND IT ANYWHERE   YIKES

From the camera:::

kitten therapy

What I’m wearing today::: comfy jeans…you know the ones with elastic…Hey don’t judge the girl I jam still healing from gallbladder surgery and real pants are very uncomfortable still, a blue sweater with navy and maroon plaid collar and tails  and my sneakers

One of my simple pleasures::: Coffee with yummy creamer…

Bible verse, Devotional:::

Hebrews 9:11NIV

11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here,[a] he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation


For More Happy Homemaker Posts Check out tDiary of a Stay At Home Mom



Random Ramblings: All the New Normals All wrapped into one Big Crazy

Well I am still here, and I am still alive…and now I am well. and Every Monday I am going to post  random ramblings about our lives….this maybe one of the longer ones…it spans months but  it is to keep family and friends up to speed  on our day to day lives, from the perspective of our faith as a family intertwined as it is who we are, not what we do!

So Onto todays Ramblings….

Let’s start at the latest bit of crazy and the least unexpected of all.  Nearly two weeks ago….I found myself in the ER waiting       for emergency surgery….MY gallbladder to be exact.  Let’s just say apparently I had been a lot sicker than I realized.  It’s amazing at just how well I feel since the surgery, it has been kinda hard for my poor hubby to keep me down.  I have learned my limits though…like bending.  I gave up bending over a week ago!!    The back pain that I had been experiencing  for literally months went away as soon as the gall bladder was gone and has not been back since.  And during this time God really struck me with some new thoughts….now that I was feeling better And that I had to be resting it was the perfect time to read and write and read and write and write and read some more…and I have done just that.  It is during these moments that God and I have worked through some REALLY tough stuff….NO joke.    Part of what we have worked on is this lack of confidence thing that has haunted me for 2 1/2 years now.  but Im going to be blogging on that regularly now.

The next oddity is that this has been our absolutely sickest winter since our oldest child was in preschool…he is going to be 12 in just a few short months…we have gotten 6 illnesses that have hot almost very person in our family.  the most recent was child #3 getting the flu… yes he had the flu shot.   this has not been easy. We have not had 1 whole week since New Years without at least 1 kid home sick from school….it’s not a two and a half months I want to revisit anytime soon.

And perhaps the craziest of antics of all actually happened in October.  we had a friend and her three small children move into our home.  yeah so we grew by four…if you are keeping track that is 10 all together and 3 cats and a dog… exaggerations. . Their apartment (in our house) has been mostly done since just before Christmas and in just about a week and a few days they will be moving into their own place.   It has been a stretching experience but we  are glad we did it!

We also said goodbye to hubby’s Grandpa in October and then his uncle VERY unexpectedly almost a month later.

Im really sorry it has been so incredibly long since I have written.  it has not been  my intention And I will be  discussing on Mondays my struggle and explaining my journey with my word confidence, so place on jumping into that next Monday.  I can say this….God has given me the desire and gift to write…or so I am told, so I will write.  I am not going to hide any longer.  My confidence is not in men but in Christ….and I am not doing this for anyone else but HIM to bring him glory through what I have to say!  Thanks for sticking with me! and I look forward to getting to know each other in the near future.

with much love,


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