Tag Archives: family

In 30 min or less – purpose, life, struggle with agenda

I set the timer and put aside my slave driver hat. Both for my benefit and my kids’. Life is just to short to stress, drive, push, argue, finagle, (you know the drill). I am such a task oriented personality that it is one of the hardest things for me to remember life is not about a list! Life is not about chores! Life is not about meeting a goal or even completing everything on the homeschool agenda.

Our created purpose is to be an ambassador of Christ. Christian or little Christ.

Often times I put that hat on at church or Bible study. When I get in the car to go home I rip it off and stuff back on my slave hat. Slave to the agenda of raising an all American family. Slave to my ideas, dreams and many times, with a large family, the necessities.

I struggled with this last week praying, pleading and trying to get my priorities into perspective. I had to pep talk myself into remembering that there are seasons where we are more capable than others. Pregnancy is not a particularly capable season. Neither is raising a two-year old, nor a three-year old. When I decided to homeschool my kids I knew I’d need to set aside more of the “necessities” to do that. Yet, I never lowered my standard. I never let myself be truly okay with the extra chaos of school deadlines, potty training and plain ol’ tired mom, necessitate.

I blew it. I told myself I could and SHOULD still do it all.

Why? Because I value accomplishment and follow through. I despise laziness and things left undone.

But then I found myself pondering, what does God value?

Dishes done? Kids on pace with the local school? Floors mopped? Dinner on?

Above all, God created us for relationship. He created us to reflect his nature. And He, all powerful, having everything, knowing everything, desired US!

The more I have on my list, the less I am in meaningful relationships with others. Sadly, this always begins with God, then I alienate my husband and fight with my kids to “get it done” (whatever IT is for the moment) and of course when the house is out of order and my list is getting longer I don’t have time for others.

So after a real live baby fit and a horrendous melt down which I won’t even try to explain. YUCK! I came to the conclusion that I NEED to stop robbing my friends of the blessing of helping me. I need to lay off my husband because he cannot right all wrongs or be expected to “fix” me. And I want to enjoy my kids even if it means putting school aside, inviting them all up to my bed and spending a day reading and coloring. With an overactive personality like mine we are not in danger of living in filth and becoming illiterate. But if I don’t slow down, invite some girls over to fold laundry and drink tea while our kids play and just revel in the simpler things of life I AM in danger of being too overwhelmed, sick or blinded to the purpose of this blessed life I’ve been granted.

Purpose to do what is lasting.

Passion to see the hope in my future without a selfish agenda.

Strength to cling to the promises of the Father and raise my children to fight this same battle in the future with weapons of faith and love.

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Filed under Faith First, Motherhood Uncensored

Already 2! Happy Birthday Peewee

Wow how time flies. It seems like last week that I delivered my little girl!

It was a gloriously easy labor and delivery at home in the comfort of my own room. A complete answer to my prayers.

She took this family full of boys by thunder and stole all our hearts!

Here she is, already in a saddle at one!

She is so girl, but still keeps up in almost everything with her three older brothers. I don’t think I’ll have much to worry about.

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Her party was a hit.

She loved the Taco’s at “Gamma Woomer’s” house.

She knew just what to do and blew out her candle in one try.

I bought her a new jacket (it reminded me of the 80’s, gotta love it). Auntie gave her the barn. Grammy Donna wrapped up mom’s childhood favorite’s, Raggedy Ann and Andie and helped provide dinner for all. Cousin Janice made yet another beautiful cake (I have to say I’m addicted to decorated birthday cakes now). Grandma Loomer gave Peewee a lovely set of dishes with a talking Mrs. Potts. Peewee squealed with glee when she pulled the set out of the bag. Daddy and I and her brothers brought in the little kitchen. The first thing she did is push “Loud” away with a little scolding scowl on her face, “HOT Dooah” (that’s her name for him).

She also got to open some mail from Grammy Lynda and the rest of the fam in CA. They sent some pots and pans for her new kitchen, jammies and new earrings. Peewee has been feeding me all day in her new PJ’s and she picked a set of blue flower earrings to wear. She reminded me over and over that my food needed to “coo-off.”

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Our tooth fairy is a thief? FAB Friday, join in!

Please join me at my new web home JessieGunderson.com and don’t forget to like the Blog Schmog Facebook community HERE.

Ah, young’uns!

So grown up and yet still so innocent.

I love it!

Captain Obvious lost another tooth recently. He thinks he is so sly now because he knows the tooth fairy is me. Of course I tease him and insist its not me. So when he lost the tooth he came and said “Mom, don’t forget to put money under my pillow.”

Right. Thought I. If he was gonna be like that there would be no money from me!

Well, Daddy came to the rescue and had a brilliant idea to give him a roll of pennies. He slipped them under Captain’s pillow bright and early then hustled off to work.

When Captain Obvious woke up he yelled, “Mom, the tooth fairy is a thief!”

“What? What are you talking about, just calm down.”

Apparently the very same roll of pennies that hubby took from the window sill in the kitchen had just been rolled by my toothless son. “That was my roll of pennies mom!”

“I’m sure there must be some explination.”

Scarfunkle joined in, “Maybe she ran out of money.”

Now, here was my chance, “Wait just a minute, how do you know the tooth fairy is a she?”

The boys looked thoughful for some time but soon came to the conclusion that it must be Dad then.

Shoot, caught.“Well,”  I had to think fast, “I think you must not have looked well.

 

“I looked good but this was under my pillow. I’m telling you Mom, the tooth fairy is Dad and he just took my money to pay me.”

 

“You’d better go look more. Look on your desk, in your bathroom. EVERYWHERE!”

 

Stalling!

 

While he was looking EVERYWHERE I quickly penned this note…

 

 

 

 

…and miraculously was able to sneak it (along with some original money) into his room while the kids were looking in the school room.

When Captain Obvious found the note there was silence in his room for a good three minutes before he stole down to the main area with the most rediculous look on his face.

I managed not to die laughing and asked him what was up.

He read me the note.

His brothers though it was the coolest thing ever and for now, I’m off the radar.

Dad might still be the “alternate” but Mom is certainly NOT Tooth M. Ferrie

WHEW!

Thanks for visiting, now link up with your FAB Friday post. Don’t forget a link back here. Like this…

Join others for the FAB Friday carnival at Blog Schmog or go visit my goofy friend at Blog Schmog so she quits bugging us about linking back, or some other such nonsense with a link to my blog and/or this post.

Enjoy! I’m looking forward to your stories. Click on Mister Linky to add your post.

For more info on how to participate click the FAB Friday page above.

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Link up NEXT week for FAB Friday

I wanted to remind you that it’s almost THAT time again. Time to share your bloopers and find the silver lining. Time for standing in the rain. Time that we share our struggles and look on the bright side. Time for LEMONAIDE!

Have you had any days like that this month? Days where you would cry if you didn’t have someone to laugh with?

Write a post, including pictures if you like and come back next Friday to share with other bloggers how they’ve turned trials into joy’s. Read these great examples.

Whatever your style, the rules are simple. Write a post. Include a link to Blog Schmog so readers can find other FAB Friday posts. Visit the others and laugh together!

For more muddy details 🙂 click the FAB Friday page above.

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My littlest boy sings opera.

Check out my little Pavarotti. Yes, he dressed himself for the “concert”.

Loud Kiddington sings Jesus Loves Me opera style.

http://www.myfamily.com/share?s=PJYPWDjoCrTlylVH5nVj5Q

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Filed under Faith First, From the Mouth of Babes

Counting my Blessings

Sometimes it’s an automatic response for me to dwell on the things I can’t have, my kids can’t eat, those aspects of my life that aren’t working… and then came Fab Friday and as I thought about what to post I realized that perspective is like hanging from my toes. All it accomplishes is clouding my vision.

God wants our worship. He requires our adoration. Not as a chore but as a response to the wonderful things he does. This world is not our home. He has a plan to restore a far greater dwelling that does not decay, disappoint or cause grief. Why worship? Because everything good comes from the Father of Lights.

All that bad junk? A consequence of our fallen world. Not God’s idea. Our idea. OUR idea, to do it on our own to make our own way, to pursue our dreams.

Look around you today. What can you praise Him for?

Of all the things Loud Kiddington can’t eat I’m praising God there are thing he can! Check out Gluten Free 4 Goofs to see what yummy breakfast treat is all over his face.

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Legend of the Three Trees

Please join me at my new web home JessieGunderson.com and don’t forget to like the Blog Schmog Facebook community HERE.

Some of you were wondering what this mosaic on my kitchen floor is all about.

The Legend of the Three Trees is a folklore story of unknown origin. My favorite picture book version is HERE.

The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale

The story is retold by Angela Elwell Hunt and beautifully illustrated by Tim Jonke. It is a Christmas classic but we keep it out year round.

Below is Thing One’s retelling of the legend un-edited.

A long time ago there was three trees. The first tree wanted to be a treasure chest and hold the greatest treasure. The second tree wanted to be a ship and made for just kings. And the third tree wanted to stay on the top of the hill and point up to God.

Many years had passed by. Then after a few days three woodcutters came and the first woodcutter cut down the first little tree. The second woodcutter cut down the second tree. The thrid woodcutter said, “I will cut down whatever tree I want to. This is the one I’m going to cut.”

The first tree got tooken to a carpenter. The carpenter turned the tree into a manger for animals to eat out of.

The second tree was tooken to a ship yard and no big ships were getting made that day. Instead tiny fishing boats. Every day he brought in loads of dead smelly fish across the lake.

The third tree was confused when she got cut into straight square logs. She stayed there for a very long time. Then she got carried by a man and she felt ugly when they nailed his  hands to her.

The first tree got to be a manger and hold the greatest treasure of all. That was Jesus.

The second tree got to be a sailboat and hold the greatest king of all that was powerful. He got to see Jesus stop the storm when he woke up.

The third tree got to be carried by Jesus and forever remind people of God. That was better than staying on the mountain.

THE END

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Filed under Book Blab, Children & Kids at Heart, From the Mouth of Babes

What I learned in 2009 – Change is Necessary

Cherish my marriage, change my perspective.  These are hard lessons: humility, peace… some of the things I learned (am still learning) this year.  This is a post I published earlier in the year but it is timely and appropriate.

Happy 2010!

CHANGE:

I was convicted this week that I need to change my perspective on change.

I am a lover of all things old and have a constant longing for “the good ol’ days” which we all know never really existed.

We found old pictures in our storage unit and I was looking through them with this “Aw man, where has all the time gone” sort of lament when I realized all that has changed! All the wonderful blessings we have been given, all the new things I’ve learned and just how far we have come. Matt and I have grown so much in our marriage. We are no longer the insecure, suspicious and frightened kids we once were trying to figure out how to get along with someone in such close proximity. We are now more of a team, a united front, not afraid to disagree or share our disappointments. I know that his love is safe not contingent and not tied to a number of flower pedals or dollars spent.

I am still alive even though I lived in a state I claimed I would only live in “over my dead body” and yet I learned things there, made friends and enjoyed many parts of living there. Beyond that it has given me a greater appreciation for why I didn’t want to live there and makes me appreciate the differences, not taking for granted the place I had always known.

I am older now, not always wiser but I see in both Matt and I a quieter peacefulness that comes with time. We are more contended. I am still always striving but I dont’ have to be running around from this game to that, finding out where all the “cool kids” are. I can spend days at home with my family and be happy. We are also more compassionate and though I didn’t understand this before, passion has become a deeper shade of purple. It’s not a blinking, fleeting obsession it is a strong and solid force that drives our pursuit to be more like Christ and therefore able to love deeper and more fully!

I’m beginning to embrace change. Ask me again next week and I will be back struggling with the facets of change that challenge me and make me uncomfortable but today I am happy for the leaves on the trees and the tall tall pines that are a visible product of change.

As I drove around the lake yesterday with the windows down I could breathe. I could suck in deep breaths of glittering water and cut grass, I could even smell the sun on the bark of the evergreens.

Change- my enemy, my friend!

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Precious

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O Christmas Tree – FAB Friday

FAB as in Fu-get ABout it!

FAB in the “Fabulous I’m getting another cup of coffee before I tie myself to a rocket headed for the moon” kind of Friday.  Is there anyone out there that can relate? 

The FAB Friday carnival started as a way for moms, grandmas or dad bloggers to share the triumphs and trials of parenting.  Write a funny, inspirational or encouraging post with or without pictures and add your name to Mister Linkey at the bottom of my post on Friday’s.

 Lets make lemonade out of lemons!

 O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging;

  

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can’st give me;


 How often has the Christmas tree
Afforded me the greatest glee!

 O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy candles shine so brightly!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee!

 From base to summit, gay and bright,
There’s only splendor for the sight.

“Does the bottom of my tree look familiar to you moms of toddlers?”

 

 O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee!

As if having the bottom two feet of my tree not decorated isn’t bad enough.

 I bet you don’t know anyone with one of these on their tree.

 Or one of these…

Or this…

 Life’s fun with the knee high variety!

Here is where YOU link up.  You can use any post you like, it does not have to be written on Friday.  That is why it is important to put the post link not your blog link. If you need help with this just ask.  Once you have linked up leave a comment here so I don’t miss your link and visit the others leaving comments and encouragment.

Introducing Mister Linky:

Go hog wild!

Read the first F.A.B. Friday post here

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Filed under FAB Friday Carnval

Christmas Gifts

A few years back my husband and I decided to downsize Christmas in the gift department.  Not that we are a couple of Scrooge’s but our family already celebrates several birthday’s around the holidays and it makes sense to us that a birthday should be a big deal for the person who was born on the special day.  What does Jesus get excited about on his birthday?  People loving other people, giving without guilt or obligation, sacrifice, service etc.

It definitely helps that our birthdays fall like they do otherwise we may not be able to stick to our guns.  We came up with a gimmicky plan.  Three gifts for each child to represent the gifts of the magi to the baby Jesus.  My husband would be mortified if I didn’t tell you that, NO we don’t really think they only gave three gifts.  That is a myth, there were likely many wise men and many more than three gifts.  But, since three is tradition we stick to three gifts for the kids.

I had already picked up two gift for each child over the past few months.  Yesterday I had an idea and I allowed each of the big boys to shop alone with me and pick out something for the other.   In my mind I set a dollar amount (max $30) and went with them to the toy section.

It was absolutely precious to see their giving heart.  Not once did either boy say “ooh I hope I get…” or “I really want…”  Both of them set to work evaluating each option and weighing the amount of joy his brother would get out of a particular gift.  They were so thoughtful!  My six year old even remembered some things that his big brother had enjoyed at friends houses and tried to find something similar to the toys he knew have already been enjoyed.

Truly, I expected a completely different experience with my young boys alone (not interrupted by siblings) in the toy aisle to choose from the racks and racks of enticing things!  We generally avoid the toy section like our lives depend on it.  Who know that may be true. Ha!

I am SO PROUD of them and in the end both picked gifts well under the dollar amount I had in mind.

Today we wrap presents and come up with a plan for keeping Pee Wee from knocking down the tree and unwrapping packages.

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This little piggies girlie!

piggieI’m a pig farmer now and Pee Wee is a girlie girl!

About the pigs…

I’ve had the wheels turning in my head about raising hogs for a few years now.  Last year I darn near got a couple to raise but wasn’t able to contact a farmer before the 4-H kids had the whole northern territory spoken for; pink, white, black, green… ha… they were gone like the wind before hooves even hit the ground.

This year I knew better and I contacted a farmer (best friend of my cousins husband) shortly after December, still he put me off long enough that I thought I’d been forgotten among the clovers but just Thursday I got the call.  “Jessie, it’s Ian, awh hay-uv yer howgs!”

“You’ve got WHAT?” I ghasped, I didn’t set up the pen or plan to get feed.  I hadn’t recently prepped my husband as such things require a fair bit of prepping.  He breaks out in hives and just about has a self induced anaphalactic meltdown whenever we have to spend any unexpected money.

Okay, so he is really not THAT bad and I am a pretty sorry tight wad myself but spending a couple hundred dollars on another of my “pets” (no I’m not going to tame them and walk them on leashes to market) gets the eyebrows in a bit of a furrow.  When I spring things on him he often bucks and then I humbly submit and we live happily ever after. 😉

The truth?  I throw big fat baby fits and we have heated debate, I plead my case, he pleads his and over closing remarks we realize somehow we ARE speaking the same language, fighting for the same right cause only coming at it from completely different angles.  Still dizzy from my tail spin I get a glimpse of his purpose and realize, he is fighting FOR me not AGAINST me and then we start to make sense.

Besides, what good would a couple 50lb pigs be if we couldn’t get groceries for the week.  To market to market to SELL a SCRAWNY pig!?

The outcome of our friendly debate!
The outcome of our friendly debate!

Well, after calling a truce we talked about it like civilized people and in the end we both agreed that it is worth the investment and wasn’t really the last minute thing it seemed to be on Thursday.  Although it begs the question are we “civilized people” if we raise hogs?  What is “civilized” anyway?  Tea and crumpets, cocktails and croquet or simply all those folks with running water and a roof over their head trying to make a living and livelihood as “aliens in the land”.  Actually running water may not always be a necessity, but that’s a different story and we aren’t talking necessity are we!?

Speaking of being civilized my other revelation for the day is that my little Pee Wee is becoming quite a girlie girl! 

It was bound to happen, the fourth of three boys and a tomboy mommy whose least favorite color is pink.  Although I do own two very pink shirts to wear with my cute camo capri’s.  I like to dress up and go on the town just like any girl but my idea of dress up is more like cute jeans, dangly earrings and a walk on the board walk followed by frilly coffee while we check out the classic cars parked at a local diner.  Or of course there’s always desert and swing dancing, or line dancing if I’ve downed enough coffee!  Town to me is home where you know everyone and most things stay the same.  I’m an idealist and I like the way “nostalgia” rolls off the tongue.

Girlie
My Girlie

Pee Wee is already beginning to turn that all around.  I even found myself day dreaming about shopping with her.  SHOPPING!  I don’t SHOP and pick out cute clothes or cute decorations for entertaining.  Sigh, I’d rather be getting dirty.

She also has decided she really likes chap stick.  The girl is 9mo old and every time she gets a glimpse of someones chap stick she reaches and makes a little grunt sound.  I’m sure that has something to do with the taste but even a sweet tooth proves my point doesn’t it?  What girl isn’t a fan of chocolate and strawberries?  That was truly all I craved when I was pregnant with her?  Coincidence, happenstance?  I think NOT!

Want to know what I craved with the boys?

The one thing I had never liked before.

The one thing that made me shudder at the though of it.

The thing with the most disgusting texture.

The very thing that now, after craving it through three, boy pregnancies I LOVE!

FISH!

I also discovered this week that she is fascinated with getting her hair brushed.  She has no hair but still, she loves to have the fuzz clinging to her little noggin brushed and brushed and brushed.  I’ve known for a while that she likes hair because one of the ways she self soothes is by winding my hair in her fingers or gently pulling at the little patch of hair on the back of her neck that didn’t get rubbed off in the “bald spot” stage so it is longer than the rest.  If you can picture it you might be thinking Joe Dirt!  Yes, my little girl has a mini mullet.  Ack!  I couldn’t cut it, she loves that “tail”!

Furthermore my little Pee Wee has no problem whatsoever allowing anyone and everyone to dote on her.  She has quite dexterous little fingers yet half the time if you try to hand her a piece of cereal she will hold up her hands and lean in while batting her feathery eyelashes and parting her pink little lips, “feed me!”

She loves nothing more than to be held and totted around and she lives for favors from her brothers.  That little girl has three small boys one big boy and a smitten mamma wrapped around two little fingers and that’s just in OUR household! 

Oh dear!  Not my daughter!?  I was going to have four boys!

Thank you Lord for you know best, I would have never guess how fun it is to have a little girl!

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Can I Get a Witness?

F.A.B Friday- Fuget ABout it!

Click here for the 1st Fab Friday post.

I hold an opinion that the dynamics in an all boy house are completely different than that of all girls.  Furthermore, a household who’se firstborn is a girl is dictated by her authority and vise versa.

Can you see triple trouble?

Thing Two, Bubba and Thing One “helping” with my livery stables sign. all boys

Here is an example of the types of “adventures” had in my three boy household.  Little Pee Wee is only beginning to add her own type of fun!

This is from one of my earlier posts but it illustrates this point beautifully:

THINGS THAT DON’T MIX

 Thanks to Thing 1 and Thing 2, with a little help from The Bubba, I have just learned that burn out contests with a remote control monster trucks and a pot full of dirt in the basement, DO NOT MIX!
 I was happily baking a yummy loaf of gluten free bread and trying to think of something to go with it for dinner when it hit me; those boys have been much too giddy in the school room downstairs so I snuck a little peek.  Squinting my eyes and peering through a cloud of dust, I could see that the three had nearly covered the entire basement in a film of dirt.
  Oh NO!?
  Oh YES!
  Apparently “The Bubba” had unearthed a tree I was hoping to transplant in the spring.  “Thing 1″ and “Thing 2″ then took the opportunity to use the new dirt track for their monster truck and in no time flat the whole floor  was coated as well as the hands, feet and clothes of the three hombres.
  “Clean this up, you boys!” I exclaimed.
  “Thing 1″ and “Thing 2″ raced, each one scrambling to be the first to grab the vacuum (what fun for young boys). “2″ won the sprint and started the clean up crew. I grumbled back upstairs to check on my loaves.  The vacuum started and I heard screaming and laughing . Screaming and laughing is never a good sign with boys. I reeled back on my heels and hurried down again through an even thicker cloud of dirt which now covered our school desks, papers, books, chairs, every item of clothing in the snow clothes bin and settled happily on the heads and shoulders of my two oldest. “The Bubba” had retreated since vacuuming is not yet his favorite pastime. I had to dig black clots of dirt out of the corners of my eyes just to see and un-happily discover that “Thing 2″ (my mini mechanic) had removed the vacuum tube on the shop vac and replaced it on the blow side before turning it on, using the powerful machine to blast the “dirt track” throughout the rest of the basement!

Mothers nightmare but quite creative so I couldn’t be too mad.

THE END (for now)

Sooo, what are the order of your children and how does that seem to affect the dynamics? Have you noticed a gender difference between your own household and that of a friend.  Link up with fun and positive posts only  please or leave comments below! 🙂

Here is the finished shed with a brand new sign and the last vestiges of fall at the right. Come spring I’ll hopefully have a hitching post on the long side under the sign.

livery (shed) finished

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Filed under FAB Friday Carnval, Motherhood Uncensored

Bah Humbug!

I’ve got my cup of joe and would you believe I’m watching it snow?

Just last week it was popsicle weather evidenced by these four.  My oldest two and their cousins.all in the family

It’s October for crying out loud.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a born and raised Idaho native so I’m no stranger to the weather but I can’t say that I look forward to the white stuff before the trick-or-treaters have even shopped for their outfits.  Okay so I’m being dramatic but what else is there to do on a cold and snowy FALL day?

Well, I guess I could put another log on the fire. Somebody give me a little perspective!

FYE (for your entertainment)-

Thing One got online (yes online, I can hardly believe it myself) to pick a coloring page for his friends at Bible Study home group on Sunday.  Matt and I couldn’t figure out how he searched and found a page that went right along with the study.  The next day when I logged on I found this in the search box…

peader and jon culeringpagis

Bless Google

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Filed under Random, Reality, Ruse

Faith-Family-Fun & Fiction

I’ve moved!

Please join me at my new web home JessieGunderson.com and don’t forget to like the Blog Schmog Facebook community HERE.

I’m an anti-blogging, mom of five, living the redneck life on a small Idaho farm. God gave me the gift of creative story telling and a passion for life.

Check out some of the posts in the following categories…

Long and Short of It:    Stories and Bible study. I love the Lord with all my heart soul and mind.

Motherhood Uncensored:  Raising four boys and one redneck Tinkerbell.

Craft/Art Coral: Mixed media art, paint, crayons, collage, crochet, fabric creations and more for kids and adults from a home school mom.

Farm Friends: From my big ol’ draft horse to chicken bums.

Journey to Publication: Ideas, resources, becoming an author.

My current novel in progress:
co-authored by my husband Matt

National talk show host, Clark Jacobson seeks to expose the Egyptian politician whose life work is planting “churches” designed to bring the three monotheistic religions (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) under one roof. When the Egyptian senator announces he will run for US President and his exotic secretary allegedly accuses Clark of being Islamophobic and Anti-American, the struggle gets even more personal.

A redemption story inspired by the biblical account of Joseph

Visit My Website

www.jessiegunderson.com

Purpose, Passion, Strength!

“Like a shot of vitamin J”

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