Stone Soup for Five: I'll tell you, you tell me...

I'll tell you, you tell me...

I've been blogging here for about 5 years now, and love it.  It started out as a blog of our journey on the Dave Ramsey plan with a little bit thrown in on redecorating and a lot of blather from me (because I tend to think with words written out, better than inside my own head).

But, honestly, most of the time it feels like I'm on an island sending these words out into the internet expanse that feels bigger than space (and all I know about space I learned from Picard and Janeway, and it's huge!)


So I thought I'd go a little crazy here and let YOU tell me who you are. (I don't think this is a "proper" blogger thing to do, but I'm not really a blogger anyway, I just play one online.)


Why are you allowing my words to go into your inbox?

What do YOU like?

What are your dreams?

What is your family/life situation?

I'd love to meet all of you in a coffee shop or a Google hangout and just talk... but second best is to let you talk in the comments.

I'll go first:

I'm Kari.  I'm 41 years old (I had to do the math, after about 25, I forget my age daily).  I have an older brother and a younger sister, who I love dearly and we've been through A LOT together. So I'm the middle child, the peace maker. I'm also a raging introvert, so when I typed that above that I'd love to meet you for coffee, it was tricky because I'd love to in thought, but would get all panicky in reality. 

I have been married for 18 years (had to do the math again!) and blessed with three boys ages 16, 15, and 12.  The oldest is my Terminator... he is strong physically and mentally, which usually translates to stubborn and willful, but he is gifted with a sizzling sense of humor, amazing physical agility and strength.  I mean, the punk eats pizza, chips, soda, and similar junk and yet he has cut abs and amazing muscle definition and the ability to leap 9 ft gaps and do almost every Parkour move known to man.

My middle son is my thinker.  He loves to figure out how things work and create things especially working models with pistons and levers and some sort of ore(?) on Minecraft.  He is pretty content until his brothers push his buttons enough.  He is a studious worker and has a great heart for the Lord.  He was THE WORST BABY known to man, but got it all out of his system early because he is a joy to parent now.  Occasionally he'll let out a zinger and crack us up for days.


My youngest is my socializer, analyzer, and negotiator.  He is always trying to convince us that his way is the best way and has a bit of a stubborn streak.  But he is a lover. He loves hugs and back scratches and time together.  He is a quick learner and loves history and pets and good books.

My husband works as an auditor for a helicopter business (no he doesn't fly them) and is a steady and quiet kind of guy.  He likes football, camping, hiking, and all things to do with firewood (cutting, stacking, gathering, etc).  He comes from a family of six brothers, no sisters and he and his twin brother were the last two in the line.  All the brothers are still very close, even though every single one of them should really be dead.  God has been watching over and caring for each of them overtime, and I'm so glad because I love them all, and their wives.

Now it's your turn.  What do you want to say?
Do you need prayer?  Let me know.
Do you need encouragement and hope?  Let all of us know.
We're all in this together.
We're all just trying to live more like Jesus today than we were yesterday, with lots and lots of grace.

Let's mix and mingle below and meet each other... and please don't leave this post to be the only post with zero comments, because that would just be embarrassing... like the year I finally bought neon orange Reebok high tops for high school, and wore them the first day back to school proudly!  And then slowly came to the realization that the neon craze died that summer while I was holed up in our tiny backwoods town.... and my ONE pair of shoes for the year had already been purchased, my fate sealed.




33 comments:

  1. Hi Kari! Just a quick note as I am headed to work in 2 minutes. I just signed up for your blog as I saw your post about 35 spiritual goals and I really liked them. I am a mom of 2 boys, ages 8 and 10 and I love to read and write letters to people. I too always forget how old I am (38)! I am married almost 15 years, but that is easy b/c we got married in 2000! Thanks for sharing. :)Amy

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    1. Nice to meet you Amy! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I am just a touch jealous that you got married in an easy to do the math year! LOL Thanks for being here!

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  2. I'm Tammy, soon to be 53 yrs old, living in Southwest Lower Michigan, about an hours drive from any city of substantial size. I've been married for 31 yrs, have two grown sons, one daughter-in-law, a small piece of heaven-on-earth and an amazing dog. I INVITED you into my inbox because of your awesome bible studies, which feed my love of doodling while studying the Word. We live about a mile from our church out here in the country, where my husband has been the worship leader for almost 35 years. Small country churches weren't all that fussy about who lead the music back in the 70's, so a young lad with an associates in music and voice was a good choice. My husband lead me to the Lord on our second date after I told him that I didn't think I was a good choice in dating material, him being a good country boy christian and all and my being a highly-baggaged, loaded with sin, suburbanite. God has a sense of humor and an unfailing pursuit of those whom He has called. We love serving the Lord together and are so blessed to have our oldest son and daughter-in-love serving with us out here in the middle of the hogs and corn. I'm currently enjoying my life of margin now that the government has officially declared that I am unable to work. What started out as a frustrating journey of pain and striving to get back to where I thought I wanted to be has now become a blessing, a pain filled one some days, but a blessing to be serenely at home where God wants me in this season. My days are filled with the Word, music, art and as much housekeeping as I can manage for that day. It is Well With My Soul!

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    1. Hi Tammy! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I love your story, and know there is a lot more behind that It Is Well With My Soul. Thank you for being here!

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  3. Hi Kari! I'm Samantha or Sam, just never Sammie. ..ick! I'm 45 but like to tell myself I'm really still in my 30s. I don't know that I'm ready for 40s yet. My husband is a pastor and we live next to our church in small town Louisiana. We aren't used to small towns this small and can feel quite isolated at times. I home school our 3 kids, ages 17, 15, and 9. That oldest one is graduating this year which is a huge task. I like to sew and smock and embroider in my spare time. I'm usually involved in music of some sort but our small town isn't a very musical place. Sad... I invited you in because your posts really resonate with me. I think we would probably be friends in real life because we have similar struggles and dreams and thoughts. I love to see your bible journaling and your planner posts and book recommendations. I've been working through Romans and it has been great! Thanks for all you do. I've dropped most of the other blogs I read but am excited when I see an update from you.

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    1. Hi Sam! (I was "Sis" growing up, but NEVER "Sissy"... so I get it! LOL) so nice to meet you! I wish I could sit at your dining room table and see what is involved with graduating kids. That is RIGHT around the corner for me and kinda stressful! So glad you're enjoying Romans, what a rich, rich book! Thanks for your kind words and for commenting!

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  4. Hi Kari! I am new to your blog as well. I just started following it over the Christmas season. I have immune system problems which has made me elect to not go to church or other places where you shake hands or hug. I am trying to find an online community to replace the church community and I am also trying to find an online bible study. I am going from zero so I am looking for twice a month or once a week not daily. I am 56 and have been retired for one year. I rediscovered the artist within and I am doing watercolor classes, mixed media, and collage. I have a blog (blaskeydailylife.com) with a 2015 goal to publish regularly. You are welcome to check it out. I am married and have two kids. My daughter is 27 and trying to find a part-time job as a youth pastor while she works on her master’s degree at Fuller Theological seminary, online. For the time being, she is living with us. My son is 25 and is working on his thesis for his master’s degree in history at Central Michigan. We are grateful for the time we get to have him home. He hopes to go on to get his PhD and teach at the college level. My husband is a car guy who is sweet, loving, funny, and not outdoorsy or quiet. He is retired as well. We are enjoying our time together. We have a fifth-wheel trailer and look forward to lots of trips. We live in a small city in northwestern Ohio. I love the farmland but miss the hills. It is about the perfect location being about halfway between Mackinaw in Michigan and the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.

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    1. So nice to meet you Barbara! It is Corey and my dream to someday have a camper and travel around the country! I'm going to look up your blog! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Hey Kari! I'm so blessed to have found your blog - I love it! I'm Sally. I'm 37, married almost 16 years. We have two wonderful boys and a precious girl now with the Lord. I am constantly amazed by God's goodness and grace to me! I love blogging, reading (I'm a bibliophile!), cooking, traveling, exercising, time with family and friends, a good cup of coffee in the morning, and tea in the afternoon (with a good book, of course!). I'm currently in the middle of "The Hour that Changes the World" (thank you!) and can't wait to make changes to my prayer notebook and prayer time. I'm so happy to have connected with you!

    p.s. My shoes were a pair of hot pink Converse high tops :)

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    1. So nice to meet you Sally! It's great to have another here who probably has piles of books to read, books read, books to share, and books that you want to keep but are running out of room! AND someone who understands how crucial hot pink was back in the day! LOL Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Hi, my name is Stacey, I live in Portland, OR with my husband and 2 daughters. I am 53? have been married for 23 years and my daughters are in High School. During the day I am the Coordinator of Religious Education for our Church, and volunteer. At night I cook, clean, read, garden, craft and creatively study and pray! I was drawn to your blog because I enjoy doodling and see that I am in good company. For the past several year's I have been "Praying in Color" with Sybil McBeth and have enjoyed it and will continue but in December I decided to create a prayer book that can travel with me that holds all my "stuff" I made a sample of what I wanted it to be and used it in December then I stumbled across your blog and WOW, I feel that I have plopped down on your living room floor and we are creating this prayer book together. Kari, thank you for sharing this and hope that we really can get together for Coffee! Maybe meet half way!
    p.s. I rarely am seen without my dansko's or crocs rain boots!

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    1. Hi Stacey! Thanks for popping in! I love that you are working on the prayer binder. I'm going to have to look up praying in color, never heard of that. So glad to meet you!! Thanks for commenting!

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  7. Hey, I found your blog when a friend said "There's this really cool blog where she journals her Bible study," and I knew then I'd found a hit, and I was right.

    I'm Ticia, I'm 36 (and I too had to do the math), I've been married 12 years (and last time I said too many years, so I did the math again). I have 3 kids, twin boys (9, almost 10), and a daughter 8 who thinks she's 13 going on 30.

    I love to read, sew, write, draw, and generally love my kiddos. Thank you for writing this wonderful bit of encouragement that you do each week. I don't really comment, but I love reading your blog.

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    1. Nice to meet you Ticia! Thanks for popping in! I am so glad you like the Bible studies because I'm loving doing them! Thanks!

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  8. Hi Kari! I'm Katsy - yes, that's right - Katsy. It's a nickname for Mona Katherine, named for both grandmothers, and it stuck. I'm 53 and this is my second year to be retired from teaching. I was very passionate about my job, and so it was wearing me out. Also, teaching was going places that I didn't believe in. It's too hard of a job to do if you don't love it. I've been married almost 29 years to a man I absolutely adore. Now that our kids are out of the house, we are rediscovering how much we love spending time together (although we have always had date nights.) I have a son and daughter. Both are artistic, creative, musical and intelligent - and I'm not just saying that. They are both serving the Lord. My son married the sweetest young lady I have ever known, and she has become my heart daughter. She is an only child and her parents have become part of our family. The 7 of us even have a family Bible study night! And we travel. And we celebrate holidays. It has especially been good for us because we lost my vey close mom and dad and grandmother all in three years time. But our God is faithful!
    I joined your blog after searching around on Pinterest for some ideas for the new year for Bible study and prayer journals. It didn't take me long to figure out that I like your stuff best. Actually I think we might be a lot alike! As a matter of fact, I teach the ladies at our church and I was sharing study tools with them Wednesday night. I shared your blog info and told them how much I liked it. Then I said, "I think I'm going to have to make friends!" Haha! (I'm not an introvert! :) Anyway, thank you so much for the inspiration. I have been busily starting a prayer binder, Bible study journal, and calendar. Keep up the good work! Love you, my sister in Christ!!

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    1. So nice to meet you Katsy! I love that you have a new heart daughter and how close you guys are with her family. That is how my mother and father in law were with me and it was amazing! So glad you are here and thanks for popping in!

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  9. Good morning Kari! I'm Jackie. I am almost 60(May 4) and will be married for 36 years in June. We have 4 boys(30,29,24 & 17), 3 grandchildren(two girls and a new grandson), two dogs and 28 chickens. We live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. My husband works for AA(Envoy) and I work full time for our Township as the Deputy Clerk and Water Clerk. I am a 10 year survivor of Multiple Myeloma and my life verse has become II Cor. 12:9. I am sure that I found your site on Pinterest, but got really reading it when you started with the Prayer Journal. I too STINK at prayer. I was constantly under conviction and feeling guilty about what a terrible prayer life I had. I truly believe the Lord brought you into my life. Thank you! I have my journal all set up and I am really enjoying the process. It helps me to focus and stay on tract. The book was a tremendous help also. Just so you know, when I open my email now yours is the one I look for, after my children of course. Many blessings to you!

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    1. Jackie, YOU SURVIVED FOUR BOYS!!! You are my hero (next to my mother in law who survived 7)! So glad to hear you are a cancer survivor too! Cancer survivors are amazing people! So glad you are enjoying the prayer binder! It truly is a game changer, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by and your kind words!

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  10. Hello, everyone. I'm Christine. I found your blog via Pinterest. I came for the bullet journal and stayed for the Bible journal. I am 49 and have been married 7 years. We have two boys, 6 and 3. (God had us wait for each other a LONG time before he brought my husband and I together.) After marrying my husband, I went from being a teacher/active church member/close to family/do lots of activities in my community person to a stay-at-home wife and mother in a new state with no like-minded church nearby. Talk about an identity crisis! But my identity in Christ stayed true. I am trying to get my sense of self back, which is why I am working on strengthening my spiritual, physical, mental, and creative selves. Thank you for the inspiration and I so look forward to your posts. I'll try to respond more so you'll know someone is listening. :)

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    1. So nice to meet you Christine! Thanks for popping in and sharing! With two boys those ages, I know how busy you are! I pray that you'll find a good church soon, and that you will have great times growing in your faith! Thanks!

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  11. Hi Kari I'm Olly 60 in march, married 30 years in may and we have two grown daughters 27,26 and a son in law. I love journaling and came via pintrest to your site. Thank you for inspiring me over this past few weeks, I look forward to more in 2015. Oh almost forgot to say I live in Manchester, UK.

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    1. Nice to meet you Olly! So glad you popped in to say HI. Someday I hope to make it to the UK! Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Hey Y'all, I'm Kim and I found this blog when I was looking for a self-paced Bible study to do by myself. I love drawing, so your studies were really fun and educational. I am 38 and I have a two-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son. My husband is wonderful and is active duty Navy. He is currently on deployment and as of February, he will have been gone for a year. He is coming home soon, and we'll go back to live out the rest of this billet in Georgia, where we are stationed, and then we are moving to Pensacola for a three-year shore duty (no deployment!!). My husband and I met in kindergarten and became good friends in the sixth grade. I decided I liked him when I was 12. We never dated, but never lost touch. We both got married and divorced to other people. Then in 2010, he called me and said we needed to talk. I flew out to San Diego, he asked me to elope, and we got married in Las Vegas a couple of months later. He is the manifestation of everything good that God wanted for me and I was too stubborn to allow. I love stationery, recipe cards, cooking, planners and paper, glittery things, cowboy boots - or any kind of boots - watercolors, books, drawing, prayer journaling, and all kinds of other stuff. I was a psychotherapist for thirteen years and worked with sex offenders in prison or on probation. I was very good at my job and I quit so that I could be home with my babies. My dream job is to be a librarian, and I am going back to school to get another masters (in Library and Information Science this time) so I can do just that. I love having good girlfriends, and it excites me that we may have started something here! Kari, I love your blog, not just because of the studies, but your honesty, and how I can hear something real and from the heart. I get to see you work through challenges and celebrate victories, and admit struggles. I feel like someone out there gets it! I have a Faith Filofax (actually a Kikki-K A5 planner) that has lots of different sections and I love working in it. It motivates me to pray daily, and I have noticed changes in my heart that I was dying for! Love this blog, and love you guys!

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    1. So nice to meet you Kim! Thanks for sharing and I'm so happy for you about the upcoming shore duty! I love that you are going back to school (that is SO BRAVE and cool!) and that you have a faith filofax makes me want to come for coffee and flip through it! If you don't mind, can you share what a few of the sections in it are? LOVE that idea!

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  13. Hi Kari,
    Thanks for posting this. I stumbled onto your blog via Pinterest a yr or so ago when searching around for more info on Scripture Journaling. (Something I'm still trying to get into.)
    I only recently signed up to receive your posts viz email, though.
    I've recently turned 37, and I'm married for 5.5 yrs with 3 kids ages 4, 3 and 1.5. I'm a New Yorker born and raised, but 1.5 yrs ago we moved down to Florida for a ministry opp (hubby and I are both ordained pastors), and we ended up getting separated. (Not our marriage, but by distance.) Hubby still lives and works in NYC and I am alone with the kids. (He is a Christian Counselor.) 6 more months of this and it'll be 2 yrs apart. We're praying for many spiritual and financial breakthroughs to happen in that time so that we can be under one roof again. Oh yea, that ministry opp we moved down for? Never happened.
    Otherwise, I love chocolate, I homeschool, and I'm a former public junior high school teacher. Taught all major subjects, but in my last 4 yrs, I taught Chinese language. I'm Hispanic, but fluent in Chinese, and taught English in China for a yr. I struggle with trying to work from home (blog at LearningWithMom.org), homeschool and do the usual home-keeping things which my Master's degree did not train me for. I also come from a long line of working mothers and so homemaking was not a subject I learned growing up.
    I hope to learn much more from you on Scripture Journaling and I've also started bullet journaling/DIYFishing this yr.
    Thanks for allowing me to share!

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    1. So nice to meet you Jasmine! Thanks for taking the time to share, I'lm going to look up your blog!

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  14. Hi Kari, I'm Julie. I'm 45, married for 23 years with 4 kids: girl (20) who left home to go to school and then got married and now lives far away ):, girl (15) who loves to play the piano and write, boy (13) who loves to draw cars and read, and girl (4) who is such a blessing for us all. We temporarily moved to southern California in the summer and are here for a year while my husband does research and writing at the Huntington Library, then back to Nova Scotia, Canada this summer which has been home for several years. I found your blog by chance when my daughter and I were looking for journaling ideas. It has been a bit lonely as I struggle with shyness and so it is encouraging to read your posts about the various things you do and to try some of them out. Thank you so much for sharing. Your blog is a blessing.

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    1. So nice to meet you Julie! Thanks for popping in and commenting! So good to "meet" you!

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  15. Hi Kari! You already know me :) Jenna 31 this Saturday (gasp!). I have 3 girls and 1 boy ages 5, almost 4, 2, and 3 months. I've been married for 9.5 years to my high school sweetheart. Last year he got laid off and we started our own business, it's been a struggle, but also very rewarding! My life is consumed with homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, and managing the books. For 4.5 years I prayed that I would be able to stay home with my kids and now that I am I love every moment of it! If I could I would stop time, I love the season that I am in right now. I've been reading your blog since the beginning, you are inspiring. Thanks Kari, see ya!

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    1. Hi Jenna! Thanks for stopping by! I learned even more about you in this post! I'm soooo glad you finally got your answered prayer of being able to stay home. How cool to watch God work in your life that way! It was a long wait for you. Thanks for commenting!

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  16. G'day! I found your blog looking for bullet journal inspiration. Yes I'm an Aussie! My name is Jo & I live in a small country town in the state of New South Wales with my hubby & 3 kids. I'm late to comment as we are on our summer holidays & not really keeping up with my blog reading! Look forward to reading more of your blog.

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  17. Hi! I found your blog when I was researching scripture journaling on Pinterest. I am so glad I did! I am 59 years young living in the big state of Texas in a big city when I’d really like to be living in a small town….but someday! I have been a nurse for 30 plus years and presently work as a compliance/patient safety officer. I am divorced, no children but blessed with 4 wonderful nieces and nephews. I am a member of a very large church but have found my “village” in the choir. Love singing His praises! I love to travel. I am so looking forward to Bible journaling this year…starting this Monday…does anyone ever start a new thing on January 1st?! LOL Meeting God every morning with my journal…I’m starting with a good ole fashioned composition book…and my Bible (which I’m ruining on every page, love that idea)! What a blessing your blog has been to me Kari. You are right where God wants you and I am so happy you listened to His call. Thanks Kari!!

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  18. Hi! My name is Kelly and I stumbled across your blog while browsing (aka wasting time) on Pinterest, I love the idea of the doodled Bible studies. I wanted to let you know that I have felt really encouraged by reading your blog, your honesty about life and motherhood and trying to be organised is refreshing. I am not a super mum, I struggle to get organised and stay organised, I've let self-doubt stop me from thriving, I have felt disappointed in myself because I kinda thought I would be better at being a mum. Silly silly, I know. So... Onto the good stuff: I am Australian, I am (maths moment) 36 years old, I have been married for 12 years to a very great guy, have four children, 8, 6, 3 and 15 months. My goal in life is... Actually I don't really have life goals at the moment, I just want a full nights sleep! I am slowly learning to take my eyes off myself and how much I think I'm falling short, and looking to God to give me the grace to live simply in Him. I'm learning to congratulate myself on the things I do get done during the day, the little things, because life and love and beauty sometimes are all made up of the little things. I love the little bit on your blog header about being brave anyway... So I did something I have thought about doing and my husband has encouraged me to do for ages, but kept procrastinating and self-doubting... I started my very own blog! So thank you. God bless you and your family! Keep on being brave!

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