enjoying the process » loving the journey, not just the destination


I was reading my Bible this morning in Hebrews 12… “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (Moses, Joshua, Rahab, David, Samuel, the Prophets), Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily entangles us… and let us run with ENDURANCE the race that is set before us.” Now, I know nothing of endurance on a sports level. I’m a quitter, I’m weak, I give up easily, my mind can easily sway me into stopping early, giving up, “it’s too much, it’s too hard.”

But my husband is the exact opposite. He is competitive, he’s a doer, he’s disciplined, he can train his mind and his body to do anything. He’s such an amazing example. And physical endurance and discipline definitely spill over into his spiritual life. What you see is what you get. He doesn’t talk about doing it- he does it. He leads our family, he prefers us, he ALWAYS puts our needs/ wants first, he goes above and beyond to protect and take care of us, he leads us spiritually, he trains our kids physically, he delights in the things we delight in, he never complains, he seems to not grow weary (even though he’s up at 4am every day!), and even after all these years together, he still treats me like I’m the only girl in the world. He is the nicest man I know.

So I was happy to spend 3 days in the desert with him, cheering him on and delighting in one of the things he delights in. A 6 hour, 2 man race in Temecula. He rode a total of 31 miles in the hot sun, up and down a tough, rugged course and still had a smile while BBQing hot dogs and carne asada that evening. He has endurance. He is such an example to me.  Sorry for all the gushing, but I really like him a lot.



January 28, 2014 - 12:01 am

Melinda Cassol - Love it!

Shepherd’s Pie.

So, I made Shepherd’sPie again tonight and we all loved it…. again. THe first time I made it I mentioned it received 8 thumbs up. THat almost NEVER happens in my house. So I’m sharing the recipe here since some of you have asked for it.  SIde note: Sorry that some of my words aren’t properly spaced and sometimes my caps lock sticks- I may have spilled a glass of wine on my keyboard at some point on our road trip : )


*I double this because… well, we eat a lot.

2 cups chicken (I used a rotisserie from Costco) chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
2 cups chicken broth (I always use Trader Joe’s Organic chicken broth- yum!)
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees

Saute onion, carrots, celery, bayleaves, thyme in olive oil for a while (I sauté for a while because I like my veggies soft , but if you like them crisp sauté just a few minutes). Add chicken and chicken stock- allow broth to boil, then simmer for about 5 min.- let the liquid reduce just a little bit. Remove bay leaves, remove from heat then add the frozen peas.

Transfer to a deep dish pie plate or shallow casserole dish placed on a baking sheet (it will spill over). Spoon mashed potatoes over the top and make an even layer with the back of your spoon. I add fresh shaved parmesan cheese to the top, too.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes until top is brown and filling is bubbly. ENjoy!!


January 28, 2014 - 12:03 am

Melinda Cassol - My husband won’t eat this but I love it! BUT…he will be down in so. cal. for a few weeks before we come so I think I will make this!! Looks so yummy!

Road Trip USA. The end of August.

From Washington, we traveled through Idaho, Montana and then on to Yellowstone in Wyoming. We stayed in Grant’s Village on the South side of Yellowstone all week. We experienced the BEST weather and honestly just the time around the campsite was my favorite. As beautiful as Yellowstone is… I really enjoyed staying put and hiking the trails around our site. From Yellowstone we headed east through Wyoming and into South Dakota where we saw a shoot-out on the street (fake, of course) and a real rodeo! Can you tell I’m just trying to catch up?

Road Trip USA, Washington State

The Oregon coast was so beautiful, but we were anxious to get to Washington and spend time with family. My sweet sister-in-law, Audrey, is battling stage 4 cancer and her husband, Mike, had major surgery during the summer and is still recovering. We were eager to get up there and love on them and serve them in whatever way possible. It’s SO HARD to live so far away from family. My family is in Ohio and James’s family is in Washington- boo hoo:(

We had a small family reunion with just Pake & Beppe (Friesian for grandma and grandpa) and their 5 children and families. Below: A family portrait finally! YAY. Thanks Uncle Ralph.

We visited the Lynden Fair with the entire family, went blackberry picking with Pake & Beppe, Kennedy and Beppe made jam (which we’re still enjoying, thank you Beppe!). On Saturday, Pake treated the entire family to breakfast at small airport near their home in Arlington. As an added bonus, a few of the pilots let the kids sit in their planes- so fun! We were able to spend quite a bit of time with Mike & Audrey at their home in Ferndale- the kids loved playing wiffleball with John and Beth.

We even managed to squeeze in time to visit our sweet friends, Christian and Stacey, (Stacey worked for us from the time she and Christian were married until last Chrismas). They just recently had their first baby girls though I’m so far behind, she was still pregnant in these photos.

The 2 weeks went WAY too fast!! On the way out of Washington we stopped back at Brian & Susan’s house for one more night. I was able to take Zach’s Senior pictures! He was SUPER excited about it as any boy probably is:)It was a bittersweet goodbye- so sad to leave but also excited for the journey ahead of us.

September 29, 2013 - 12:25 pm

Stacey - Hope you know how encouraging your posts always are! After a night of no sleep and a morning of fussiness it is a good reminder that one day this little girl won’t constantly need me and being constantly needed right now IS my calling from the Lord! Oh and I cried a little seeing the pictures of us with my other favorite littles!!

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