“In-Between” Cookie Palooza


Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 9.16.43 AMOh! Life of the “in-between”… Keeping up with Grubbie Christmas traditions is proving to be somewhat challenging, because we’re half living in a temporary house, half living out of storage. We have to plan timing, location, vehicles etc. to get stuff out of storage (ie. Christmas Decorations). We finally jollied things up around here, but some things are still in storage (wrapping paper, cookie cutters).   So my PLAN was to KISS (keep it simple stu… uh, er, silly). I was going to make MOST of our regular cookies/treats for Christmas but I was going to skip the cut-outs. When I made this grand announcement, to my surprise I was greeted with disappointment. And shouts of protest! And eye-darts that made me feel like the GRINCH! Really? Because on a normal year I say, “it’s cookie night,” and I RELUCTANTLY got some helpers. But cancel one aspect of the “cookie-palooza” and we’re suddenly scarring one’s childhood ;). Ha! That tells me that yes, even though they’re getting older, and they have to put the device down to mix, roll, cut, bake and frost – they still enjoy it. And for me, the best part of “Cookie-Palooza” is doing it together. Family Time.  Oh, and my sugar-cookie-that-melts-in-your-mouth recipe is to. die. for.

Just another reminder that little things do matter. Home is wherever we all are together. Life may be in the “in-between” but family is forever (and apparently so are cookie traditions 🙂 ).

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Happy SWEET 16 ~ JULIA!!

10:45pm – just chilling on the couch, watching “Dateline”. It had been a long day. My grandpa’s funeral was that morning, followed by the lunch… you know the drill. Emotionally draining. It was a full circle-of-life day knowing that my baby girl was due to arrive in just over 3 weeks. After the funeral, I spent some time snuggling my 2 1/2 year old niece, Lauren. It was precious, snuggling Lauren and feeling little Julia in my belly. But now we were back in Findlay, the day was wrapping up and I was relaxing before getting back at it at school the next day. I had told my students on Monday, “Guys, I’m NOT having the baby. My Grandpa passed away and tomorrow (that Tuesday) is the funeral. I WILL BE BACK WEDNESDAY.”

Then I felt something. Kind of like that feeling when start your period, or pee your pants or… what was happening?!? I jolted to the bathroom (as quick as a 9 month pregnant lady can “jolt”). My. Water. Had. Broke.

What the wha??? I wasn’t due for three more weeks. I told my students I would be back on Wednesday. I told my student teacher I would be back on Wednesday! Um, I hadn’t fully prepared for maternity leave yet! Yikes!

I called the Dr. He assured me that I didn’t need to go to the hospital until the contractions started. So we waited. And at 11:15pm I called my stoic, authoritative boss (my principal ~ that was a fun call 🙂 ) and let him know I wouldn’t be in the next day. Eeeeeek! What was happening???

A little while later I had a contraction. After a few of those, I did what every new mom would do… pack up and head to the hospital! 😀 Once at the hospital, my contractions were registering irregularly on the monitor, and the precious nurse, ahem, and by precious I mean #$@#%@, told me my water hadn’t broke. (Oh really, what exactly was that liquid coming out of me few hours ago? It certainly wasn’t pee!) They sent me home. Gahhhh!

We rested a bit but at 7am my contractions did start and were regular. By 11am I called the Dr (my doctor was out of town, sadly, so I called his back-up) and since the contractors were about 7-8 minutes apart, he wanted me to come in to the office to be checked. When he checked me, he said, “Your baby has a full head of hair! Time to head over to the hospital!”

After a very manageable labor and an hour of pushing… shortly after 7pm, Julia Lee Grubinski entered the world.   3 years of trying, 6 months of infertility treatments, almost nine months of waiting, 12 hours of labor. She was here! And we became parents! A 6 lbs 9oz bundle of Grubbie love, Grubbie nose and all!

FullSizeRender-1 FullSizeRenderAnd now she’s 16. Sweet 16! 16 years of giggles and grins. Energy and exploration. Curiosity and some craziness. Maybe even a little drama…. He he! She IS a girl, after all! She has always been strong-willed, which when channeled she achieves what she puts her mind to. She sets goals and reaches them. She loves God and is passionate about serving Him.

Happy birthday, JujuBee! I cannot imagine life without you. You make me laugh. Your love of life is contagious. You’re sensitive. You’re sweet. God began a good work in you and it is our blessing to watch as He continues to complete it.

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Twenty

Well, if we’re friends on Facebook or follow each other on Instagram, you may be tiring of all of the #TBT Throwback Thursdays or #FF Flackback Friday pictures of me and Kevin.  But they’ve all been leading up to this one day. Our TWENTIETH anniversary.  I am not even old enough to have been married twenty years.  But, alas.  It is so.

Here are the pic and their captions if you have missed them along the way.  I can’t help but have a cheesy grin on my face as the memories of each of these eras in our lifetime swirl in my mind.  God is so good.

#tbt to high school with @kevingrub. 20-some years ago… Hard to believe we will have been married 20 years next Wednesday!! #Grubinski20 #highschoolsweetheartsIMG_1468

I know it’s not #tbt day but with all this prom nostalgia, I thought if post mine and @kevingrub prom pix!! #younglove ❤️❤️❤️IMG_1434 High school graduation. #grubinski20 #highschoolsweethearts #wednesdayisour20thanniversaryScreen Shot 2014-05-20 at 9.11.28 PM
May 21, 1994.  The start of our new life together.  Look at these KIDS!IMG_1583 From engagement to vows to a kiss to a honeymoon.  May or may not post the “funny honeymoon story” later this week…
IMG_1585 Three highlights of our 20 years of marriage are each time God blessed us with a new addition to our family.#thankful #grubinski20 @joey_grubinski is top left.@grubinski30 is bottom left and @emma_grubinski11 is bottom right. #blessed #anniversaryweekIMG_1581Another highlight of our 20 years of marriage has been 17 of those following Christ and 13 of those in “full-time ministry.” Ministry is not without its challenges, but it is a JOY to serve The Lord alongside this guy! Thankful for the years of ministry we’ve had so far and am looking forward to MANY MANY more! #blessed #grubinski20 #20yearstomorrow #ministry #pastorswife #missionary #missionsIMG_1609

 

Thankful for the Grace of God on our lives.  In case you missed it yesterday, here are 10 IMG_1565Scriptures to Strengthen your Marriage.  Putting and keeping God first has been saving
grace for our marriage.  Thankful for the work He does in us.  Looking forward to the next twenty.

Still dancing,

Kevin & Kendra

10 Scriptures that will STRENGTHEN your Marriage.

Tomorrow is my and Kevin’s 20th wedding anniversary (cue FiReWoRkS). In preparation for that here’s one more Marriage Post. I actually meant for there to be a few more of these (marriage posts) before tomorrow, but life happens. In case you missed it, here is the post from my parent’s 50th anniversary and a little ditty about being and being married to a “fixer upper” :).   Today we’re going to share 10 verses that will strengthen your marriage. Here we goooooooooo.

strengthenmarriage10. Husbands, love your wivesEph. 5 Oh, come on. You knew it was coming :). But seriously, though. Why do you think this is spelled out in God’s Word? Because it’s not something that comes naturally. It’s something you have to focus on, be intentional with. Guys, we need to know you love us. Aside from God, you are our protector, the love our lives. We need you to show us. Kevin has worked at this over the past 20 years. He is intentional about showing love to me through his love language (acts of service) and mine (quality time). Paul instructs you to love her as Christ loved the church and gave His life for her. He goes on to say to wash her in the word. Guys, we ladies are hungry for you to love us and lead us.

9. Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord. Fair play, I suppose :). As a young, independent, strong woman when we got married, this was not something I was thrilled about. However, after the Holy Spirit began showing me what this means and I saw this lived out in godly, older women, I began to understand WHY God laid this out for us ladies. It doesn’t mean you are a doormat, but the final decision (after discussions in which you both have input) rest with our guys. And with that decision lies that responsibility. The hubs is responsible for us as the leader and is responsible for us (and our kiddos if applicable). Ladies crave and need love; guys crave and need respect.   Respect your hubs as the leader of your home. God planned it this way because He knows best. Trust God and pray for Him to lead your hubs as he leads you, and submit to that leadership.

8. Pray constantly. 1 Thes 5:17 I mean seriously. Marriage is HARD. The odds are against us, people. Pray. Pray and pray and then pray some more. Satan wants nothing more than to destroy families and marriages, but WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERES, more than victorious through Him who loved us. (Rom. 8:37) Pray for your own heart. Pray for your spouse’s heart. Pray for unity, for LOVE, for strength.

7. Do everything without grumbling and arguing/complaining. Phil. 2:14 I never said we had it all together ;). Ouch. But one of the main things we can do is not only not grumble/argue/complain to them, but also don’t grumble/argue/complain about them. Don’t talk bad about your spouse, friends. Especially in public. Talk candidly with a trusted friend in confidence, or discuss an issue with a pastor/leader etc. when necessary, but never in public. And for the love… not on social media.

6. On the contrary (to number 7), outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10. If you have to do something publicly, honor your spouse. (Of course, don’t honor them publicly if you’re not honoring them privately… just sayin’.) Honor them. If you have something nice to say, say it. For example: “You’re the bomb!” “No, YOU’RE the BOMB!” “No, really! YOU ARE THEEEEE BBBOOOMMMMBBBB!!!” 🙂 You get the point. Honor your spouse in your words, your actions and your with your life.

5. Do all that you can to live in peace. Rom. 12:18 Whatever you can do on your part to promote peace, do it. It may take biting your tongue or a bit of compromising, but it will be worth it. Did I mention before that MARRIAGE IS HARD? It is. We are cantankerous little human beings, aren’t we? Ask for the Holy Spirit to help in keeping the peace. He will.

4. Remember, love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Pet. 4:8 The line right before that is show deep love for each other. What if you’re not feeling it? I’ve been there.  Pray for God to help you to love; love deeply and love consistently. The Trolls in Frozen have it right when they say, “Throw a little love their way… and you’ll bring out their best!”

3. And a close theme with #4, forgive a lot. Something about 70x7ish. Matt. 18:22 Love and forgive. Show mercy. Again, not an easy thing.   We are told to forgive others as He has forgiven us. Nobody’s perfect (duh!). I know I want to be forgiven when I’m a schmuck, so I must also forgive.

2. Love (your spouse) as yourself. Mark 12 I love the YMCA Camp Storer phase, “I’m Third.” God first. Others second. I’m third. If we would truly live this way, we would see revivals in marriages all across America. All across the WORLD! Put his/ her interests, preferences, desires before your own. Again, this is NOT natural. It’s just not. But look out for your spouse. That is counter-cultural since the world tells us to look out for #1 (AKA yourself).

1. And finally, the number one thing you can do to strengthen your marriage is keep God first, personally and as a couple. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. Mark 12 Love God. Seek Him and your relationship with Him. The best thing you can do to have a better marriage is to have a relationship with Jesus. You can’t spend time with Christ and not become more like Him. More loving. More patient. More considerate. More peaceful. More kind. I cannot imagine what a wreck I would be individually and as a wife without Jesus – cuz Jesus already has His work cut out for him with me :).

I don’t do any of these near enough. I sure hope we get another 20/40/60 years together to get some of these better than we do today. God’s grace is amazing. Hope you are challenged by these verses as we have been. Feel free to share scripture below that would also help to strengthen marriages. Be blessed!

Fixer-Upper

Is it the clumpy way he walks?

Or the grumpy way he talks?

Or the pear-shaped, square-shaped weirdness of his feet?

 

And though we know he washes well – he always ends up sort of smelly.

But you’ll never meet a fellow who’s as

Sensitive and sweet!

So he’s a bit of a fixer-upper,So he’s got a few flaws…

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Are you singing yet? If you’re not, then you obviously haven’t seen “Frozen” yet. And my goodness, why in the world NOT? 🙂 If you have kiddos under 18 (or maybe even if you don’t), you may be like me and have seen it more times than you have fingers – in which case as a blogger, it’s bound to end up in a post. Here we go!

Believe it or not, this is a marriage post. I know, I know – I told you back in March that we were going to share a few things on the subject. And it’s still coming (starting now) ~ it’s been a bit of whirlwind around here.

Back in March my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and last month in April, my in-laws celebrated their 51st! WOW! It’s almost unheard of to see a couple make it to that milestone, and we are blessed that BOTH of our parents have made it and crossed over it!  The premise of these marriage posts is the anticipation of Kevin and my 20th anniversary THIS MONTH! Now, if I tell you it’s been all rainbows and butterflies and unicorns I’d be straying from the truth. None of the three of us couples may be writing the “Stellar Marriage Book” anytime soon – and largely because we are married to a “fixer upper”. 😉

Is it the way that he runs scared?

Or that he’s socially impaired?

Or that he only likes to tinkle in the woods?

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He he! I’m sure we could all write some verses about our spouse. I’ll spare you mine – ha! It’s no doubt that you’re married to a “fixer upper” too. How do I know that? Well, Jesus was the ONLY ONE who walked this earth and was perfect.

So what do you do if your guy’s got a couple of bugs or your gal’s brain’s a bit betwixt? 

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Keep listening…

You can fix this fixer-upper up with a little bit of love!

We’re not sayin’ you can change him,‘cause people don’t really change*.We’re only saying that love’s a force that’s powerful and strange.

People make bad choices if they’re mad,or scared, or stressed.

Throw a little love their way.

Throw a little love their way.

And you’ll bring out their best.

The thing is, we look at our fixer-upper and think – there’s nothing that can fix that fixer-upper.   We think the grass is greener…. When the truth is:

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I have been there. And to fix a fixer-upper one way to start is to:

LOVE – If she’s grouchy in the morning, love her anyway. If the honey-do list gets ignored – love him anyway. If you can’t decide on what movie to watch, what color to paint the kitchen or where to take vacation – love ‘em anyway. If they work too many hours, or if they don’t work enough hours, love ‘em anyway. Love covers a multitude of sins (offenses, shortcomings, failures…). 1 Pet. 4:8

PRAY – if you think you can’t make it another day, pray. If you think you don’t even love them anymore, pray. If he’s disinterested or she’s distracted, pray. If life is busy with the kids, school, work, church, activities… pray. If he’s annoying or she’s a-naggin’, pray. (Real talk.)

SEEK – if it’s that bad – seek help (especially if any sort of abuse is involved). In other situations, seek counsel – your pastor, a counselor, a godly older couple. MARRIAGE IS HARD. You are NOT ALONE! Seek the help you need, it is worth it. God CAN heal, save and restore.

When all these things happen to you—the blessings and curses I have set before you—and you come to your senses while you are in all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, and you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and all your soul by doingeverything I am giving you today, then He will restore your fortunes,have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you.Even if your exiles are at the ends of the earth, He will gather you and bring you back from there. Deut. 30:1-4

So he’s a bit of a fixer-upper,but this we’re certain of
: you can fix this fixer-upper up with a little bit of love!

kristofanna

 

PS – *People can and do change, especially when God is the One doing the changing :).

Happy 50th, Mom ~n~ Dad!!

In a couple of months, two to be exact, Kevin and I will be celebrating a milestone anniversary ~ 20 years.   That being said – I’m excited to share that we have a handful of marriage posts coming up between now and then.  And what better way to kick these off than to honor my Mom and Dad today ~ on their 50th anniversary.

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50 years ago today, a couple of 20-somethings stood before God, family and friends and pledged their love and commitment to each other.  After a courtship that included Dad taking long drives to visit Mom at OSU, double dates with friends (that are still friends today) and well – a whole lot of shenanigans that they probably never told us about (*gasp :p) they became man and wife.  First comes love, then comes marriage… then comes three (awesome… ahem) kiddos in baby carriages.

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The kid-rearing years are marked by Dad working hard and showing love to his family through his commitment to provide for us.  Mom stayed home with us kiddos while we were little, then went back to school to go back to teaching.  Those were busy years, like they are for all working families with kiddos under the roof.  I appreciate all you did to provide for us, Mom and Dad, working hard so we could have what we had and could do what we did.   I’m sure your marriage had its ebbs and flows throughout those years.  Thanks for sticking it out.

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Then, we all left.  One by one we married, moved out and moved on.   These past 20+ years you guys moved gracefully into that next chapter of your life – the empty nest, retirement and grandparenthood (which you ROCK by the way).   Life changes and some things never do.  Your marriage remains the common thread of all these years.

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One cannot reflect on these 50 years without noting the multiple couples that you all continue to do life with, many of them for most of these 50 years.   I love that about your life – the friendships that have been an integral facet of your marriage.  You are so blessed.

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So here we are reflecting on 50 years.  Wowzas!  50 years.  “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”  🙂  I’m sure anyone reading this can relate if they’ve been married for more than A DAY!  If I think of my parent’s marriage the words ooey, gooey, sickening sweet do not come to mind.  Ha!  And that’s ok.  Every marriage looks different.  For realzzzz.  What does come to mind, though are longevity, love, commitment and perseverance.   There is something to say about all of that. A picture-perfect, fairy tale love affair? No.  Not like what is pictured in the movies, but a love story speckled with fun, friends and family.  And eye-rolling, sarcasm and stiff drinks… hey – whatever works 🙂.

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Thank you, Mom and Dad for being a tremendous example of commitment, perseverance and LOVE.   Thanks for showing us, the next generation, that love is worth holding on to and that the true fairy tale story is one that can still be celebrated 50 years later.  Thanks for your commitment to God, each other and all of us.

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I don’t know of anything that will put a test to your faith like marriage does, so on your GOLD anniversary, I leave you with this verse:

Your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:7

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Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad.  Can’t wait to celebrate tonight!

Calm Before The Storm

Sunday afternoon the snow started.  It was the MOST beautiful snowfall.   We enjoyed the view for several hours from indoors; some of us reading, some of us on social media, some of us watching sports, some sleeping – some multi-tasking and doing two or more of the above at the same time :).   Finally, after several hours, the five Grubbies headed out to tackle the first four inches that had fallen and let me tell ya’.  It.  Was.  Breathtaking.

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IMG_9274 IMG_9270 IMG_9264The temperatures were still in the upper 20s and there was little to no wind.   It was so peaceful.  And fun.  We quickly shoveled the driveway and sidewalks so we could have FUN!  Snowball fights and snowmen!

IMG_9279IMG_9268IMG_9256IMG_9258I seriously could’ve set up my “chair in a bag” and just stayed out there forever.   We enjoyed it. Savored it.  Even thanked God for it.

We ended up with about 8 inches of snow in Findlay, but that was just part one of the storm.  In fact, one could call it the calm before the storm.   I tweeted that afternoon a video of the beautiful falling snow and said, “I wish it would stay like this, pretty and peaceful” knowing what was coming…

Then came part two of the storm.   Barrowing winds arrived  and plummeted temperatures into the –negatives- for highs (real temp) and -40ish wind chills!  That coupled with 8-12 inches of snow for Northwest Ohio created near blizzard conditions, icy roads (that are still icy today, four days later) and threatened lives of anyone outdoors.  With this storm there were school closings, pipes bursting, Facebook complaining (come on, you know it’s true ;)), batteries dead, accidents on highways forcing people to be in their cars at a standstill for 3+hours, cabin fever and more!

IMG_9311We knew it was coming.  We have wonderful meteorologists and enough media/social media to keep everyone in the know, thankfully.

And so it is in life. One optimistic preacher said, “You’re either in a storm, coming out of a storm or heading into a storm.”  Well if that doesn’t just encourage ya’.

But it’s true.   And some storms have warnings.   And some don’t.  Seriously – so much of life can be a struggle – whether a spring shower or a blizzardy winter – so when it’s delightful, delight in it.  If you find yourself in a calm, enjoy it.  Have some fun.  Frolic in it.  Really, frolic?  Set up your “chair in a bag” and enjoy it.  Savor it.  Thank God for it.

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(Last photo courtesy of the Wallpapers HD app.)