What Makes Me Happy

As the holiday season approached, I took a moment to reflect on what truly makes me happy. My first thoughts were friends, family, food, vacations, etc., then I thought deeper.Here’s what I came up with for myself: Accomplishment, whether it’s finishing a project, cleaning my house, meeting a goal or having hosted a successful party or event. I need that sense of having a purpose and accomplishing it. Helping others with their work or solving a problem.Doing things for others to help them out.Even doing something to make someone else’s day. This makes me feel good about myself, that I make someone else happy. Watching my children succeed when they make good choices, getting good grades and doing things for themselves and others as they become adults.They make me proud, most of the time. Now, I challenge you to take a few minutes and really think about what makes you happy. By: Robyn Nolting

Lifelong Friendships

Every year for the past 12 years, we think, three very important friends and I have had a girls’ weekend in Des Moines. I have known two of them since birth and I met the third in kindergarten.We were in school together from kindergarten to high school graduation. For several years between graduation and the birth of our first children, we hardly saw each other, but when we did get together, it was as if we had never been apart. We have been with each other through divorce and the passing of three of our moms, and have given each other guidance with raising our children and helping them find their place in the world.We have also offered and received a shoulder to cry on or lean on in times of sadness and weakness.We laugh, sometimes so hard we can hardly catch our breath.Passersby smile and laugh when they see us having so much fun together.We can tease each other without ill feelings and expect it when we do something that is worthy of being teased for. This year, I didn’t have any one…

When wood cutting season comes around...

When I was a child, we heated our home with wood.There was a wood burning stove upstairs and one downstairs.There was electric heat throughout the house, but it was expensive and certainly did not provide the learning and work ethic training opportunities that wood did. J It seemed like every Sunday morning, as soon as good daylight was available, Dad was rattling our chains to get up and get going for wood duty.Mom packed a picnic lunch and dad hitched up the log splitter.We kids were responsible for dressing appropriately, having our gloves on hand and being ready to work…hard.I hated it.We spent a good part of the day out in the timber with smoke puffing out of that log splitter (which Dad still has btw), the chain saw only stopping to refuel and bows in our backs.Back then, I thought it was pure hell. Nowadays, a nice winter day in the timber, breathing fresh cool air and working up a sweat is exactly what the doctor ordered!Sun or snow, it doesn’t matter.Cold is fine and wind not u…

Resolution Revolution

Did you know by the time February rolls around 92% of people have given up on their resolutions? Rather than making an enormous resolution, try setting smaller goals along the way. Health comes in many forms such as physical, mental and financial just to name a few. Check off some of these tasks and it will leave you feeling like you have crushed major goals!

___ Complete an annual review of your will/estate. ___ Schedule your annual health check-up. ___ Make sure all of your accounts are set up with the proper beneficiaries. ___ Check that your home computer is up to date with the latest anti-virus protection. ___ Scope out your credit report. You can get a free report annually at ___ Assess your retirement plan. If you are saving for retirement you need to check out where you stand at least once a year. This way you can decided if you need to be contributing more or tweaking your plans and investments. ___ April 15th is right around the corner. Start gatheri…

Thank goodness for Christmas!

This year has been full of new beginnings and endings in my family and now at Christmas time I see things starting all over again!This, I’m finding, tends to be difficult for a mom.
In the past year my husband and I have watched our oldest wrestle his last match, run his last race in track, attend his senior prom, graduate from high school, go on college visits, show his last steer and goat at the county fair, choose a college and we’ve moved him into his first apartment.At the same time our daughter attended her first prom, took the ACT, got her first part-time job and her first car.Then our sixth-grader attended his last elementary fine arts night and finished sixth grade to become a junior high student.If that wasn’t enough to take in, my step-son got married!
Now as we are nearing Christmas and the end of 2018, I find myself reflecting on more “simple” times when the biggest decisions I faced were making sure Santa delivered the coolest Spy Gear, the correct American Girl doll, and …

Thanksgiving 2018

Thanksgiving 2018 is in the books and Emilee and I have a lot to be thankful for this year. We have been in our new home almost a year now and we couldn’t be more pleased with the decision we made to buy this house. The location is great, and the house has plenty of room to start our new family. Emilee is pregnant, and our first child is due in February! We are grateful to have such a great home to raise our family in and be close to both of our parents as well.

This year, we volunteered to host Emilee’s family for Thanksgiving. So, a few weeks ago my wife broke out the To-Do List to prepare for hosting Thanksgiving. Let the work begin! We started doing all the deep cleaning and making sure we had enough tables and chairs for everyone. Then came the grocery list and assignments on who would be making what for Thanksgiving dinner. I do not think initially we realized how much work goes in to hosting 19 people for Thanksgiving. Even though there was a lot of work that went into preparin…