Friday, March 29, 2013


5 minutes, no editing, just writing. Go to Lisa Jo's blog and join Five Minute Friday! Today's theme is Broken......

I remember thinking that no one could know because I had built such a reputation as a Christian that no one could see the frailty of my life, the overwhelmingness of my sin, the brokenness of my world. But, I was indeed broken. So broken.

Being a single, unwed mother was a badge I would wear like a scarlet letter for 9 years before God sent a knight in tarnished armor to heal my heart and make my dreams come true. We were two broken people drawn together by the love of God and each other. God was making something new out of our brokenness.

22 years ago I thought my brokenness was a sign of weakness, but that is exactly what I needed to be - weak, so His strength could shine through and mend the brokenness.

Today, when I am broken I try to remember to take the broken pieces to the loving hands of my Savior and let Him carefully repair them into a new thing. He is always willing to make broken things new. For in His brokenness on the cross He redeemed all that is broken, all of us that are broken.

To be broken is to be whole in the One who loves the broken, died for the broken and conquered death for the broken. So thankful for the broken pieces.

Monday, March 25, 2013


Somehow when I clicked on the link for Lisa Jo's blog I ended up at the post for FMF "Change" and thought that was this week's post. It wasn't.'s the real theme for this week "Remember".

Sometimes it is hard for me to think about the past and focus on the good things. I find myself having a hard time sifting through the pain to find the silver linings. I tend to lean on the side of pessimism, so if I can recall a hard or difficult time, I will continue to mull over it and forget the memories that made me smile or the blessings that God has bestowed upon me over the past 40 years.

And I want my children to have fond memories of their childhood. To be able to recall family vacations, or special dinners or birthday celebrations with joy and not sadness.  I want the special times to be at the forefront of their recollections and the gloomy times to be less frequent when they look back on their childhood.

I want to make a conscientious effort to take time at the end of every day and jot down the joyous times of the time, the smiles and the blessings, the victories, more so than the defeats.

I want to live out Philippians 3:13-14 and allow my children to cling to what God has for them in the future, learning from the past and being aware of the struggles, but being spurred by the goodness to gladly anticipate the future.  

13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[d] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Link to Lisa Jo's blog and stretch your creative writing muscle!



Life has just been plugging along here at Casa de Hall. We are on spring break this week and we woke up to several inches of snow!  Hopefully, it will warm up and be gone for the end of the week. It would be weird to have snow on Easter!

I can not believe that we are just a few months away from Cody graduating and heading to boot camp. We just went to a going away party on Saturday for our nephew, Alex who leaves tomorrow for the Air Force. At Christmas time it seemed like it would be forever before he headed out and now the time is here. I am sure these last few months will fly by for Cody as well.

Kari was accepted to the performing/visual arts magnet school for next year. We went to orientation a few weeks ago and are really excited for her. She is so thankful to have been chosen. She also just received the acceptance email for her to attend a chorus camp this summer. I am in awe of her determination to pursue her dreams to sing! She is definitely an inspiration to me! 

Noah started baseball a few weeks ago and got his first hit at his first practice. Rick is his team's manager and I get to be the team mom. This is definitely a learning experience for all of us, but we are looking for to the season and watching Noah play. He will also be starting karate soon. He is very excited about that!

Rick will be changing positions at school after spring break. He will be working in the ED department as a teacher assistant. The position is considered temporary right now, but we are praying he is offered the permanent position for next year.

I continue to enjoy working as a teacher's assistant for 4th grade. I was just offered a instructional assistant's position for summer school as well. I am also getting ready to start training for the 5K I do every summer. I am hoping to shave some more time off last year's time.

We are pretty much finished with the latest home renovations. We still need to get one more cabinet for the dining room. We are planning to refinish the floors next year and do some major changes in the kitchen. I also have a few items for Rick to finish in the upstairs' half bath. Other than that I am hoping to help my parents declutter and reorganize their apartment. 

Here are some pictures from the last few weeks......

New 'do for me. Added some much needed bangs!  

Noah leading the pledges at his Cub Scouts' Blue and Gold banquet 

Alan and Q Hoffmaster joined us for the banquet

 Noah receiving Bear badge
Kari and Amberly at CEC

They do love each other!

 Kiyah at CEC
Kaysen Jace
 Enjoying the rides

Kiyah and Grammie
CEC wore her out
 Watching the Super Bowl at church

 Kari and Michaela
 Mr. Noodle
 Our gracious hosts - Nathan and Rachel Stanley
The newest Stanley - Addison
Had the grandkiddos this weekend
 Love these cuties!!

Noah and his new 'do and new glasses
Kari with her new specs
Noah's pinewood derby car
 He won 2nd place!!


Nothing makes me more anxious than the word change. I loathe it so much that my stomach hurts even writing about it right now.

I am a creature of habit and am not a big fan of change at all. My husband, on the other hand, is someone that thrives on spontaneity. He loves to change this up and encourages me to do so often.

And I normally fight, tooth and nail.

But, this year I have been stepping out of my comfort zone and chose BOLD as my word of the year. And change has been inevitable and almost constant.

I have been trying to embrace it instead of running from it. Some days are better than others. Some days I feel empowered and some days I feel paralyzed by my fear of change. Which I think is actually a fear of failure. What if things change and don't go well? What then?

What I need to remember is that God is the perfect author of my story and that He orchestrates every turn and twist my storyline takes. I am slowly realizing that I am much more at peace if I hold onto His hand and embrace the changes.

Even if it still makes me sweat.

Link your Five Minute Friday post at Lisa Jo's blog!


Friday, March 15, 2013


It has been the craziest 13 years of my life. I never imagined that my life would be this way or that I would be where I am today, but here I am.

I had grand expectations that day I said, "I do" and am sure God gently smiled and shook His head. I am sure He chuckled a bit while He watched as I tried to make everything stay neatly in place and turn out just right.

I had everything figured out in my heart and in my head. I was sure I was doing everything I could to make my family and my home perfect.

But, for whom? Myself? My husband  My in-laws? Our exes? I knew that God would bless us as long as everything and everyone stayed in place and I was able to hold everything and everyone together.


Of course, I had forgotten the One who orchestrated my marriage, my life in the first place. And when I took Him off the throne and put myself in His rightful place, life got really messy and started to fall apart. At least, I thought so.

Misplaced expectations became heartaches and sadness. I lost my faith and my trust. But, God never lost sight of me and my family.

He was waiting, just where He was when we started this journey, my husband and me. He was gently standing close by with His arms outstretched and His gently voice saying,

"Are you done? Are you done trying to make everyone and everything the way you envisioned it all to be? Come, child, rest in the promises I made to you. Find them in My Word. Hold them close to your heart and rest easy in knowing that what I have planned for you is greater than anything you could have ever imagined."


Peaceful rest.    

Join me in free writing for 5 minutes for Five Minute Fridays on Lisa Jo's blog. Stretching your creative wings is good for the writer's soul.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Making A House A Home

I am a firm believer in the fact that four walls do not make a home. It takes the people you live with and love to make your house a home. I also think it helps to fill that home with things that you love, making the rooms places you love to be, a safe haven from the world.

We moved into my parents' house almost 7 years ago and beside doing a small bathroom redo we really didn't change much in the other rooms of the house, especially the main living areas. Until this month. Once we received our tax refund we were determined to change a few things in the house to make it more of a home.

Here are the before and after pictures of the living room and dining room. We are planning on doing the kitchen with next year's refund.

Living Room - BEFORE

Living Room - AFTER

Dining Room - BEFORE

Dining Room - AFTER

We still have some art work to hang in the dining room and we are started to put money away to have the floors redone, but we are super happy with the results!

It is so nice to come home and to love being home.


I am not sure how it started. I guess maybe it was a genuine illness at first. Then the teenager babysat a little late on a Saturday night. ...