something you should know about me…

I have a deep desire to follow Jesus and know Him more. And it has nothing to do with you. It’s about me and Him. It’s not an affront to what you believe or don’t believe. This relationship is mine and mine alone. I’m not asking you to think, feel or act a certain way, I’m only sharing this with you because I am not going to be writing on a tangle of yarn anymore. You can find me over at countitjoyful.com where I will be writing about what I should have been writing about all along but have been too afraid to…and that is my love for Jesus.

I know this isn’t going to be easy for me. I am a sinner and I am a mess. Walking the way we are expected to walk is a struggle. It is so easy to say what we believe but not actually walk it out. Saying and doing are two very different things. And I don’t make it easy for myself. I have a bad habit of mirroring other people. It is actually a great skill when you are trying to relate to people or sell them something but not when you are trying to be an example. Acting as though I am struggling too/still is a place I can frequently go to because I fear being criticized and judged if I share what I really think or feel. I didn’t start out as a Christian and I have made a lot of bad choices, and continue to screw up. Some who knew me then tend to hold it over my head. Those who haven’t changed in the same area or even have a mind to tend to say ‘well, aren’t you cool’ and ‘way to pat yourself on the back’ or they remind me of the time I screwed up. Other’s opinions can’t be my motivation or my hiding place.

If you are interested in reading about what this looks like for me in real life, then welcome.

Join me at countitjoyful.com and countitjoyful on Instagram.

autumn · daily life



Welcome November. Who forgot to tell the sun to shine?

My oldest daughter woke this morning and told me it was too gloomy to do school ~ I almost agreed.*

There are still leaves with beauty to behold; hanging on to the last days of autumn. It is the season for gratitude and reflection, turkey and pie, parades and shopping ~ we are ready!

*If we want to be taken to the DMV to get our permit today then we must do school. She only missed one. Yay!


autumn · daily life

good bye October

Good-bye October. You started out with lovely days where the sun shone bright and the temps were warm. The foliage was gorgeous and never disappointed as is Iowa. You ended with ridiculous winds. Ridiculous! My chairs and cushions on the front porch were constantly blowing into the yard. The light up pumpkins stayed put thanks to their cords. Trick or treating had me following my youngest daughter and friend around the block in snow pants! Although we had some good times, I am not sad to see you go.


daily life · treats

blueberry pie

Eva had a birthday this week. I have always called her ‘Pie’ and this year I got to bake her one for her birthday dessert. She chose blueberry from the Bake From Scratch book.


I follow @thebakefeed on Instagram and was thrilled when I realized our library had their baking book. This is a gorgeous book and laid out in a way that makes the most challenging recipe doable. Thankfully, the blueberry pie was one of the quick & easier recipes. Baking can be time consuming and we had a busy day celebrating. I was glad for minimal ingredients and store bought crust. Eva made the braided crust on the top and did a great job, looks like the picture.


I have never been a fan of fruit pies. This pie ~ I love. I wish I had remembered to make whipped cream for it. Next time.

*I just noticed that the 4 was backwards on her pie, for crying out loud. And they let me home school… Awesome!


autumn · daily life · projects · treats · yarns

rainy day

We have had drizzle or a light rain shower all day. The feeders are full and the birds have gathered to eat. Our hummingbirds have moved on. Oh, I love days like this. Wednesday night we were out and about wearing fleece and I got to wear a knitted scarf. Yay!


Time to cast on for Eva’s sock. She chose some gorgeous Madelintosh yarn. The toe and cuff will be in the cream. She wants no pattern in the stitches and a full sock, no anklets.


The pumpkin Eva painted with blues and greens has been nibbled on by the squirrels. I sprayed some nasty deer and rabbit spray on the pumpkins but the rain has rinsed it off. Our neighbor has two squirrel houses in the trees of her front yard and several, several piles of seed lining her side walk and drive. The squirrels flock around here. This is the third year we have had squirrels eat our pumpkins, since her first house went up. I noticed yesterday that they had discovered the pumpkin display belonging to the family across the street.


Can you see the white of the pumpkin on the right? Hard to get a good photo on my phone, in the drizzly gloom, and from across the street…

Eva made some cookies and I baked them. This recipe made 40 good sized cookies using the scope we have ~ not sure the size but it looks like the average size you’d buy anywhere. I think this is the first time I did not forget a pan of cookies in the oven. They are chewy and delicious. No need for a slice of bread in the container with this batch.


We took the girls to the roller rink with some friends last night. Mike and I don’t skate so I took Olivia’s anklet along. I still had all the ends to weave in. Junior high memories flood back when we are at the rink. Friday night skating parties with school were a big deal in the 80’s where I grew up. I had my sister’s white skates with pink wheels ~ insert how cool I was here.

IMG_3585Y.M.C.A. …

Tomorrow I will take four girls to the mall to look at bath and beauty products.


autumn · daily life

it’s October


Normally, I’d say ‘It’s October, already!’. But this year I’m saying, “Finally, it’s October!’ There are so many wonderful things about this time of year. I love it. The colors and the smell in the air. I am an autumn and winter girl and today is the beginning of my happy season.

We’ve had such late summer/early fall hot temps. But now that the calendar has turned to October, we have true confidence in the fact that the heat won’t last. It will get colder and it could happen any day. I will be able to get my warm snuggly cowls out. October also starts the holidays in this house. From now until the end of the year we have birthdays and our anniversary, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Last night the seasonal movies from Hallmark started. Two of us in this house were thrilled ~ two went to the basement family room and watched a movie about a military helper dog. I hope this isn’t the beginning of the end in my alliance for holiday cheesiness.

I love to sit outside in the cool mornings and drink my coffee, wait for the geese to fly over and listen to the train. I wait every year for the geese to fly over when I hear the train. I love the sound of the train in the distance. I remember when I was in my early 20’s I read Jack Kerouac and listening to the train has never been the same. The haunting and romantic hum of the locomotive working its way across the rails from one state to the next. Thinking about the people that have had a life riding those rails in the times of poverty, desperation or pure adventure. You had me at chug a chug a…

There is a pumpkin stand near our house. An old gas staton gets turned into a pumpkin market every year. They have pumpkin varieties that I have never seen. Every shape and color imaginable. The prices are wonderful. I just discovered it two years ago and it has been there for 20 I’m told. Guess I’m not very observant but in my defense it is because we always went to the pumpkin patches. The girls were young and a day at the pumpkin farm was something we all looked forward to every year. Riding the tractor out to the field to pick a pumpkin, roasting marshmallows, enjoying hot chocolate and a slices of pie, getting lost and frustrated in the corn maze…yep, all a thrill! And the apple cider donuts…



I think we will have to make another stop for more pumpkins…