A Need to Create

Sometimes in life I find that I have just operated on making things work and doing what I need to do. But this week I was reminded of how desperately I need to create in order for my soul to not feel drudgery in the day to day. I want to pull out paints, pick up a pencil, stay up late just to create something.

We are all created to do something. We have different gifts, passions, abilities that if we do not exercise it seems like something is missing. What brings you joy and makes you feel like you have new energy and new life to give? …Taking care of a garden, making numbers work perfectly; setting a detailed plan in motion; making a meal; building;writing a song; singing a song; painting; lending an ear to a friend; cleaning a closet and making labeled, clearly organized bins – what brings you the most joy?

Whatever your gifts, your passions and your abilities are… use them. The people around you need you to do what you were created to do.


Thanksgiving… It is here!!!

I am so excited that Thanksgiving is on Thursday! I can hardly wait to see everyone and celebrate. I found coloring place-mats at Target and thankfully bought the exact number of people coming so far… unless there is someone else who joins in! Want a place to go where the cooking will be done for you! : ) Come on over!  (Don’t worry I’ll come up with additional place-mats for you to color!) Parade, people, food, games, and counting our blessings – I don’t think there can be a better agenda for a day!

Here are some of the things for which I am thankful this year:

  • My family who loves us, encourages, and prays for us
  • My husband who so lovingly deals with me and gently leads me to know Jesus more and who has endured and completed nearly 70 college credits in one calendar year – I am so proud of him
  • My son who is helping me understand how I need to obey God without excuse in the same way that we are trying to teach him to obey us without excuse : )
  • Endurance from God for the long days and hard times that are just a part of life
  • Encouragement from God and others that makes the long days worthwhile
  • The incredible support of some amazing friends who have walked through the crazy with us
  • Those who have encouraged LeA’Tev and allowed us to serve you this year
    • In particular, this past week I have been blessed by the response to the “Jesus is… Christmas” countdown. Your response and support of LeATev is among our many blessings and we have begun to pray daily for those that have received the cards. We are praying that they would truly help each person to focus on Jesus this Christmas and love Him more.

Thank you to those who read and follow this blog. Life is truly a beautiful design crafted by the Master Designer “who works all things together for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose.” (paraphrase of Romans 8:28)

Thank you for being a part of this sojourner’s journey; I am very thankful.


17 days and counting…

Anticipation!! It is such a great gift. It is so much fun to think about good things that are coming and plan for the fun to be had! One of the things that I am so excited about is Thanksgiving!!! I was even more excited when I went in to Target last night and saw Thanksgiving decorations! One more reason to shop at Target. : )

Thanksgiving is so much fun and so relaxing! I really, REALLY like watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and watching football and looking through newspaper ads and cooking turkey. I actually think the whole of weekend of Thanksgiving is a holiday. Thanksgiving is four days of spending time together and remembering all that we have to be thankful for – I love it!

I am a bit behind in my Thanksgiving decorations, but I am hopeful to have everything up and ready to go by the end of the week – complete with a cornucopia. The week gets to conclude with a neighborhood fall block party… there is always a great reason to party and get to know people. How are you preparing for Thanksgiving?


I hope that you are looking forward to Thanksgiving and counting your blessings… we have so much to be thankful for!

Productive & Thankful

The gardening season at the Haxton house came to near completion this weekend… with the exception of a few broccoli plants all of the potatoes, onions, tomatoes and peppers were dug up, picked and brought inside. My sister looked up spaghetti recipes and two large pots of spaghetti sauce were made… the equivalent of 10 jars of sauce – or a paper grocery bag and a half full of tomatoes.

Our first year of gardening was quite the adventure of learning and experiments with a few failed attempts and much thankfulness for everything that God provided. The final experiment is in progress as Tim & I transplanted 11 pepper plants to pots and brought them inside. Lord willing, they will grow and finish producing the buds on them or at least ripening the peppers they hold!

Ultimately God grows food and provides; I am so thankful for everything He has graciously given!Harvest-1

Marinara Sauce Recipe… based on recipe by the Pioneer Woman and adapted by Debra Moe

  • A bunch of fresh tomatoes skinned, gutted (at least the seeds and majority of the water), and chopped.
    • Approximately 5-7 lb. or just under a 2’x3′ area of single layer tomatoes : )
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 whole garlic bunch
  • 2 Tbl. fresh chopped basil
  • 1 Tbl. + Oregano
  • +/- 2 Tbl. Olive Oil
  • 2  cans tomato paste (c. 12 oz.)

In a large pot add Olive Oil, enough to lightly cover the bottom. Add the green pepper and onion and sautee until just barely transulent.

Add the tomatoes until you they are approximately 1 – 1 1/2 inches from the top of the pot.

Gently stir in the tomato paste, garlic, basil, oregano. Stirring after each addition very carefully!

Your pot is now probably at it maximum fill or 1/4″ – 1/2″ from the top. Keep the heat on low and keep it uncovered.

Be patient! Let it sit on low, uncovered, on your stove top for the next 5 – 6 hours. Stir occasionally or at least once an hour. If you are going to serve it at this point you certainly can. If you would like it to be smoother run a hand mixer through it very carefully.

If you are freezing it… put it in the fridge, uncovered overnight. More of the water will evaporate and then it will be much easier to blend to the consistency you would like it to be.

Once blended put it into your containers to freeze or can and enjoy on a day that calls for a quick dinner!

Fall is here!

Fall classroom units are planned, children are back at their desks, gardens are producing harvest, and football is beginning again. Signs that fall is here!

Each season brings new beginnings. I love starting the fall activities at our church and seeing kids start a new grade (which somehow makes them seem older so quickly!). The beauty of the harvest and the leaves. Sweatshirt-weather and high school football games. Brach’s candy corn and mellow pumpkins. And I cannot help but long to spend fall days at Edward’s Apple Orchard in Poplar Grove, IL.

The sadness of saying goodbye to summer still lingers… I want to soak in every ounce of heat I can before the chill and cold settle in for a stay. I want to print the fun pictures of family visiting, summer birthdays, and teacher-friends who once had more time during summer months. I’ll embrace the fall, but oh I love and long for the warmth of summer fun!

Are you ready for fall? Pumpkin cookies and apple cider, trick-or-treat, and football? Fall is a fun season on its own. A delightful season of anticipation. A season that culminates in the holiday of Thanksgiving. A beautiful celebration to help us carry an “attitude of gratitude” all year. I worked on thank-you notes over the past week… an excellent reminder of how many things and people I have to be thankful for. In the midst of today, perhaps one person comes to mind who needs to know that you are thankful for their presence in your life. Write just one thank-you this week.

Fall is here! Celebrate the beauty of the new things, enjoy the harvest that God has given from your garden or grocery store. Start making your list of things to be thankful for… there is always lots no matter what circumstances you find yourself in right now.