Date Night

You know all those people who say that the best thing you can do for your marriage is to date your spouse?  It’s true.  Do it!!


It had been a looooong time since we’d had a date.  But on Saturday, thanks to a sweet friend offering to watch the kiddos, we had ourselves a few “you & me” hours.  And since Kenton wanted to get in some flying hours, what better way to spend those hours than in the air?  We flew up to Bowling Green, KY, ate amazing food at Montana Grille, and then flew home to the backdrop of a beautiful sunset.


And it was!  Nothing spectacular happened (besides the fact that my husband flew us to our destination)😉, we didn’t make any life-changing decisions and we didn’t talk about anything groundbreaking.  We just had normal conversation, held hands, laughed, and enjoyed being together.  In my opinion, that is the best kind of date.


So take the time.  Make the time!  And go enjoy some one-on-one with your significant other.  You’ll be glad you did!



The Birthday Girl’s Story, Part 1

This sweet child turned 3 last week:img_20161006_063201465

She had talked for weeks before about this birthday & her excitement just bubbled over.  She loved to tell people that “I am 2, but I’m turning 3 and I’m getting bigger!”  She answers to Elana, Ellie, Ellie-muffin, sweet pea & baby girl (to name a few).  But this girl…she is feisty, sweet, determined, energetic, her Daddy & big sister are her heroes, and ballet is her new found love.

A little back story first…our oldest, Abigail, was born in November 2008.  July 2009, I got pregnant again, this time with a boy.  New Year’s Eve, at 25 weeks gestation, I went into preterm labor.  The doctors were unable to stop it & our son, Brady, was born.  He lived for less than an hour (I’ll go into more detail when I post about his birthday celebrations).  After his death, we had about 2 1/2 years of not being able to get pregnant.

And now here is Elana’s story:

Her story begins with a change in Kenton’s heart, a desire to have a real relationship with God and not just know about Him, but really know Him.  The Lord answered in an unexpected way and the year 2012 was a year of amazing & beautiful growth for Kenton & myself.  Through out that year we learned the truth that God is good All.the.time.  We saw the importance of giving thanks and praising and we watched how it changed our hearts so beautifully!

On October 7, a group of ladies, led by Bill Johnson, prayed healing & fertility over me.  It was amazing & faith growing for me to experience the love & faith of people that I had never met before, yet they all believed with me that God wanted me to be pregnant and have more babies.

Three months went by…three months of learning and trusting and praising.  I’ll never forget that day in January 2013 when I saw that positive pregnancy test…tears & awe & laughter!  It was so much fun to tell our family & friends…these were people who had walked with us in our journey of grief & pain and knew just how much this pregnancy meant to us.

At 27 weeks.

My doctor had suspicions that Brady was born early because my cervix was weak.  We agreed to do extra ultrasounds to visually see if anything was going wrong.  We found out at 19 weeks, that I was carrying a girl and everyone was ecstatic!  Abigail especially, was so excited!  As soon as I told her I was pregnant, she had said that the baby was a girl.  She was right & completely thrilled to be having a sister!

At 21 weeks, I went in for an ultrasound and we saw that my cervix was thinning, and it was half as thick as what it should have been.  According to my doctor, a normal cervix should be 5 cm thick and mine was 2.5cm.  I was put on moderate bed rest and told to come in the following week.  That next ultrasound showed that it had thinned even more, now down to 2 cm.  I was sent to the hospital to see if I was contracting.  Thankfully, I wasn’t.  The doctor that was in charge there, called me a “ticking time bomb” and basically said that he is sending me home, but I should prepare myself to have this baby soon.  So I was put on strict bed rest…I could get up to go to the bathroom and shower, but the rest of the time I was to be laying flat.

At this point, we began declaring that I would carry this baby to full term and would even go past my due date of October 5, and have this baby on October 7.  This day would be exactly one year since I had been prayed for.

So for 15 weeks, I lay on the couch and allowed others to care for my family.  And it was amazing!  Our friends from church came around us (literally & figuratively) and helped in so many ways…meals, cleaning, laundry, helping with Abigail, taking me to Doctor visits, prayers, words of encouragement, and just being there.  I’ve been asked the question “Didn’t you go crazy laying on the couch for that long?!”  Surprisingly, no.  I read, prayed and journaled for hours. I know without a shadow of a doubt, that God’s grace was all over me that summer & He was the One who carried me & our family.  It was amazing, hard and beautiful all at the same time.  But even in the middle of it all…when it looked impossible for me to carry this baby to full term, when we could feel the fear from the doctors, when our own fears & doubts threatened to overwhelm us…we could feel God with us, and those God-moments are what carried us through.

img_20130809_184722Celebrating my 30th birthday!

I’ve heard recently that ‘hard is not always bad.’  That describes my pregnancy perfectly!  It was hard, but it was also amazing and it was a time of deep growth for myself personally, and also us as a family.

My cervix kept thinning, I stayed on the couch, and then, finally, I made it to full term, 37 weeks!  The ultrasound technician, my doctor, the nurses…they were all so excited to see me at full term & still carrying this baby!  At this point, since Elana was full term & would do fine if she was born, I was able to come off of bed rest.  It was such a good feeling to be up and getting ready for this miracle baby to be born.

I was up & driving myself to a doctor appointment!


When I started writing this, I soon realized that I’m going to have to do 2 parts.  Her story is just that big!  So this is the end of Part 1, and I’ll be back soon for Part 2.




Y’all.  May 2015 was my last post.  Wow!  A lot of life, love, laughter and a few tears have happened since then.  The temptation to do a big post and catch you all up on our lives is hovering in my head, but that would probably be the longest post EVER.  So my plan is to just jump right in as though I never left and hopefully be able to fill in the gaps as I go.  Sound good?  I thought so, too😉

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October starts the birthday season for the kids…2 in October, 1 in November & then the memory celebration of our heavenly baby in December.  Because I love them so much & because I want to have it documented, I’ll be writing out their birth stories as we celebrate their lives.  So that will be on here soon.

But for now, let me just tell you how amazing & wonderful it is to be in a state where there is Fall!  I am loving this cooler weather & would seriously be okay with it if it was like this year round!  And because I’m loving this season so much, I’ll leave you with this quote from LM Montgomery, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

Be back soon!  –sherri

Here’s the latest…

Well, things have certainly changed in our lives since I last posted! And I will gladly use that as the reason for my lack of keeping y’all updated🙂

So, here’s the short version: My husband got a new job, we moved to Tennessee and I’m pregnant!

For my detail-loving friends, here is the long version:
It all started when we as a family took a quick trip to Pennsylvania at the end of January for the funeral of my Grandma.  She was a wonderful Grandma, full of spunk and life and love.  The weekend was packed full of family, old friends, food, laughter and tears. It also included a conversation that has changed our lives.               #96 015#96 025

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This conversation that took place was between Kenton and a business owner.  During the course of conversation this was said: “We have this new purchasing position we just created in our business. What would you think about moving to Tennessee and filling that position?”
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What followed next felt like an amazing whirlwind of conversations and phone calls and decisions and “Are we really doing this?”  And then came the e-mail that said “You have the job if you want it.”  We were so aware of God walking with us through this whole process…His peace, good nights of sleep, words of encouragement and confirmation.  There was also the fact that our house sold in less than 48 hours! #97 030 And then when we moved, we had literally the exact amount of cardboard boxes and we were able to rent a moving truck for 1/3 the price we had budgeted!  All of this and more, have been so good to remind ourselves of when we begin to wonder if we’re doing the right thing.#97 116 #98 057

So Kenton did his week of training and is enjoying getting settled into his new position at the company.  He is so excited about working for Wood-Tex Products and being part of this wonderful team!  And the really neat part?  They’re family!  It was my uncle that started the company and now his 2 sons have grown it to what it is today.#98 095

And the pregnancy?  Well, 3 days after that life-changing e-mail, we found out the family-growing news that I am pregnant!  A friend said “Moving while pregnant is not for the faint of heart!”  And I definitely agree.  But I took naps and went slowly and thankfully, had some help with packing.  I am currently 17 weeks along and feeling really well!  Naps are still a very close friend🙂 #98 1302

So, that’s the latest in this journey the Lord has us on.  I am increasingly aware of the truth of this blog’s name…He really is “with me always” and we are so grateful and in awe of His presence.

Blessings!  –sherri

It starts with me.

  Growing up, I often heard my parents say that there will always be someone watching me, and there will always be someone who is looking to see how I do something or listening to what I say so they can do/say it the way I do.  I never liked  hearing that, mostly because I didn’t want to accept that responsibility.  As I got older though, I began to realize the truth of that statement.  We all have influence, good or bad, whether we want that responsibility or not.  So now, enter in the fact that I have been blessed with two beautiful girls.  And what do they do?  They observe my every move and hear my every word.  Not only that, but they also copy my actions and my words!

There is something I’ve been learning on a deeper level the past few years…attitude is everything!  All of life is made up of choices…some are made for us, some we make.  But always, always, we get to choose our attitude.  What we choose, consciously or subconsciously, can make all the difference in a day, a year, a lifetime!  How?  Because what we set our focus on, is what sets our days and therefore our life.#94 004

If you choose to focus on the negative, then that is what you will see…the dark clouds, the sun that is too bright, the slow person in front of you on the drive to work, the child getting distracted from their responsibility, or the husband leaving his clothes draped on the chair.  But if you choose to focus on the positive?  Then you get to notice the sunbeams shining from behind the dark cloud, the fluffy clouds on a sunny day, the happy person singing along with the radio, the child whose imagination has her doing dishes in the Queen’s castle and the husband who remembered not to drop his clothes on the floor.

Anyone, believer or unbeliever, can choose to change the way they look at life.  Just a twist in the way you view your life and your circumstances can change things drastically!  The difference for those who live in the power of Holy Spirit, is when you choose to replace your negative thoughts with positive ones, it is multiplied exponentially and an unexplained joy and peace will flow from you that is only because of Him.#94 012

So a few weeks ago as I was thinking about this, I began to realize just how much of what my girls are going to learn in life, starts with me.  Whether it’s baking/cooking, decorating, loving their Daddy, making good choices, showing hospitality, having a joyful attitude, serving others, living for God…it starts with me.  Why?  Because it’s me that they see in the day-to-day of life.  So if I want to teach my girls what being filled with Holy Spirit looks like, if I want to teach them anything, it starts with me.  It starts with me spending time in His presence so I know how to be the person that God sees me as.  It starts with me making good choices so they have a model to follow.

At this point in life, I am the one they see doing these things…I am their model of what a mother and housewife/manager of domestic affairs/home manager looks like.  I am their model of how a wife shows love & respect to her husband, and who models how a woman should be treated.  Even now, with the holiday season having just ended, I get to model how to enjoy the season without stressing out, or eat the yummy goodies while still exercising self-control or how to laugh when the baby just destroyed the plate of cookies meant for a neighbor.  I am their model of what Jesus looks like.  And when I am acting out my negative emotions?  It means I have a chance to show them how to stop acting that way and choose to act out of the love and joy that is in me, because of Who is in me.#94 0482

I’ve heard it said that the mother sets the tone of the house…”If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”  Right?  And I’ve found that to be so true!  I’m usually very quick to want to take the credit for happy children and a peaceful atmosphere.  But honestly?  When there are tears and whining and grumpiness?  Well, then it’s not because of me and my impatience or attitude, but it’s because the baby needs a nap or someone’s hungry or…you get the picture.

If I want to teach my girls that they are in control of their attitudes and feelings, who better than me to show them?  Who else is going to teach them that it’s okay to take a “mommy time-out” so I can set my mind right and then speak to them in love?  Who else is going to show them that in the business of homework and supper preparation, we can stop and  dance to a song and reset the mood in the house?
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This responsibility could be heavy at times, but it’s not.  Why?  Because I’m not doing this alone.  Yes, I have my husband and he is amazing and I am so blessed with how he helps me when I need it.  This job, this responsibility, would be overwhelming and so heavy without my Jesus!  He is the One whose presence I need so I have strength for this awesome responsibility of raising my girls.  He reminds me to stop and think before I speak.  He gives me peace in a crazy situation.  He gives me patience when I want to hurry them up.  He helps me laugh when I want to cry.

It is because of Him and only with His help, that I can accept the responsibility and do my best at being wife and mommy.  It is because of Him that I can choose to live life with joy and love.  And it all starts with me recognizing that He is my everything and with Him I can do anything…It starts with me.



Change happens.  All the time.  Whether it’s a positive or negative change, whether you like change or not, it happens.  I always said that “I don’t deal well with change” until just recently, when I realized what I was actually saying and a major mind-shift happened.

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It all started with this new season of our lives…having a school-age child!  I thought I was ready for Abigail to go to school, but in the days leading up to the big day, it became very obvious that I was not okay😦    She was so excited for her first day and while I said I was excited too, I really was not looking forward to it, because “I don’t deal well with change.”  And this was a big change!

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Two nights before her big day, we went to her restaurant of choice to celebrate this milestone, and thanks to my husband & his words, my mind-shift began that night and continued to reveal itself into the next day.  I had been busy getting things ready for her first day…clothes, shoes, supplies, etc., all the while thinking subconsciously “But what about me?  What about her mama?  Sure, Abigail’s excited about school, but what am I going to do while she’s gone?  Doesn’t anyone care about my sadness and how I’m going to miss her and how I don’t deal well with change?!”  (Yes, it really was as bad of a pity party as it sounds!)

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And here is where the mind-shift began to happen…Yes, it is a change and yes, there is an element of sadness to it and yes, it is okay to shed tears.  But.  What about my child and her excitement/nervousness for this change?  How can I be genuinely excited for her when I can’t see past my own feelings of “poor me”?  Because really, this is not about me.  To think that it is, is quite honestly, kind of selfish of me.  It’s about her and the new friends she will make and the exciting things she will learn this next year.  So, in the words of my husband, “let’s celebrate her and the beautiful milestone that this is in her life!”

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We had a wonderful time of celebration that night and when school started on Monday morning, I was so excited for Abigail and the adventure that she was starting.  And you know what?  She absolutely loves school!  She’s said multiple times, “I love going to school and I love coming home.”  That right there is confirmation to us that she is where she is supposed to be.

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I recognize that I could have handled this change a little better differently.  But I also know that the next time a new season comes, I will be able to handle it better, because this is what I felt the Lord telling me…”You are learning and growing, and you are able to handle change well, because I am walking with you and I am showing you how.”  The best part about experiencing changing circumstances, is that I serve the God who never changes and never will!

This is only the beginning of the many times we will need to let go of our children.  But I know that the same Spirit that is in me, is also in them.  And with all my heart, I choose to trust Him in them and trust that together they will make the choices that will best give Him glory.


Christmas in August?

It’s hot.  There is no way around it.  So in an effort to keep cool, I am going to let my imagination run wild and pretend that it is a cold, winter afternoon, the tea I am drinking is actually a peppermint mocha, and the following pictures happened only last week.  In light of that, here is our Christmas 2013 family trip.

We packed our vehicle to the max, and headed to cold (and hopefully, snowy) Ohio.    #86 040  #86 049We made a stop in beautiful North Carolina and then, many hours later, we made it to our first stop.  There we were hosted by Kenton’s brother & his wife, and enjoyed some wonderful family time.

There were family pictures taken…
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Stories read, kiddos cuddled…
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Evenings relaxing…
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And snow enjoyed!!
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Then it was time to move on and go to Pennsylvania to be with my family. There, new family members were introduced…
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Games of “try to get away from Grandpa” were played…
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More family pictures were taken (our family with my grandparents, who deserve a post all their own)…
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More snow!
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A family field trip to Herr’s Potato Chips
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Games played…
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And wisdom bestowed…
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Then it was time to leave the cold north and head home.  And while this sweet baby did not take a turn in driving, she & her big sister did an amazing job traveling and we considered this trip to be a smashing success!  The neatest part was to notice how individuals in each of our family’s have grown spiritually, and to then have the chance to speak life & encouragement over them.  We all agreed…this was the best Christmas yet!
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Now it’s back to reality and the fact that it will still be a few months before I actually need that peppermint mocha to warm up.  Until then, I will enjoy my beautifully air-conditioned house and wait patiently for the cooler weather that is bound to come!

Stay cool, friends!