summertime, summer fun, memories

What We Love About Summer

We’re taking the week off. Here’s a post from summer 2019.

What Memorial Day is All About

And now, for the Fun Stuff Back By Popular Demand

Though we may live in different parts of the United States we wanted to share with you what we love and enjoy about summer from the prairies of Minnesota to the seas of Georgia!  We hope everyone is looking forward to warmer weather!

What do you like best about summer?

Mandy: As a child growing up on a family dairy farm, summers weren’t really that great. If we weren’t in school, we were working on the farm. Some of the things we did were, Picking up rocks, baling hay, managing two large gardens. I did enjoy sitting on the porch snapping peas with Grandma though. (In retrospect, summers were awesome.) My friends all thought I had the life and now I wish I could have raised my kids on the farm. What I did enjoy were cattle shows and church camp. Wonderful memories were built at these places. If you are interested, check out my Memoirs blog posts,

Now the seasons pretty much run together and summers in Savannah are pretty hot. I try to stay home and cool. I’ll tell you what my kids love to do though … The Beach. Here’s a post after we rented a beach house for a week. For me, I much prefer the fall. ๐Ÿ™‚

Michele:  What I like best about summer is the ability to be outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of birds, green prairie, crickets, frogs, the Blue Heron in the creek, kittens playing in the barn, gardening. Go walking, biking, having campfires, late-night patio star gazing… ahhhhhh!

What is your favorite childhood memory about summer?

Michele: My favorite childhood memories of summer are the Friesland Band Concert and Pie Social.  Every Tuesday night.  Pie, ice cream and the grocery store was open.  Plus Trotz’s had their sno-cones and popcorn that they sold out of their garage! YUMMY

Mandy:  Ah yes! After my family moved to Wisconsin, we attended The Friesland Band Concert every Tuesday night also Those really were the days. I don’t remember sno-cones but someone sold cotton candy. Our 4-H club sold pie and ice cream on one of those Tuesdays.  And, don’t tell anyone, it was where I got my first kiss. ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, July fourth was a really big deal with fireworks behind the church.

The early years in Ohio, were just plain good, running and playing on the farm, even if we did have to do chores. I always loved attending family camp. The girls got to go and stay all week. We “helped” Mom run the bookstore at camp. Dad and the boys, went back and forth to milk the cows and come to camp for as many services as they were able. Those were the days for me, especially since that is where I gave my heart and life to Christ.

My favorite summer was made ironically because of a tragedy. In February of 1970, we had a barn fire. The cattle were saved but the barn was a total loss. That summer the Amish came and built the barns back. You’ll find my story on my memoirs blog, Raised in a Barn, My  Most Unforgettable Summer.

 

What family traditions do you have during the summer?

Mandy: Memorial Day was always the day we headed to my father’s original home of George’s Run, Ohio to the annual Hukill Family reunion. (my great great grandmother & her siblings started this way back.) Though one of us kids usually got sick riding up and down the hilly roads, once we arrived we had a wonderful time with cousins, aunts and uncles, and my great grandmother on Aunt Julia’s farm. My great Aunt Mildred, made the most delicious “dumplings” though they aren’t anything like what we call dumplings down here in the south. I sure wish I knew how to make them. And there was always ice cream cones. Yummy! Here’s a post on my memoirs blog on How to Spend Memorial Day

I love all the festivals every little small town seems to have. I think you could probably find one every summer weekend if you tried. Let’s see, in Georgia, there’s

In Wisconsin, I enjoyed the Korn Kanival in Randolph, WI and the Watermelon Festival in Pardeeville, WI. (Yes, you read that right – Pardeeville – Founded by some guy named Pardee). I already mentioned the family reunion on Memorial Day above which still happens today but they meet at the church nearby.

All the greats have gone on to heaven, but it’s good to see the cousins again. And that Korn Karnival happens on Labor Day Weekend.

festivals, fairs, summer fun
Alice in Dairyland at the Korn Karnival

They would steam the corn in the shucks at one of the canning factories and bring it by the truckload to the park. Then dump it out on a tarp on the ground. Peel back the shucks and dip it in melted butter. Oh, my goodness, it’s to die for.

Michele:  Both, Brad and my families are not big on traditions/getting together, so we pretty much just float and see what the day brings us.  We work on different projects and then cookout.

What are some favorite food and drinks in the summer?

Mandy: I always enjoy grilling out in the summer. (We do it all year in Georgia) Shaved Ice and lemonade can really hit the spot. As a kid, I would take a rootbeer float any time it was offered. And on that note – homemade ice cream – my favorite! As you have figured out by now, I am a big fan of ice cream. I got that gene from my dad! ๐Ÿ™‚

Michele: I love to make sun tea, do lots of grilling of foods, smoking chicken wings, eating on the patio.  Ice cream is a favorite, but I enjoy ice cream all year around.

What’s your favorite Memorial Day or Labor Day?

Mandy: They are both good days just to hang out with family. I love when the kids come over and we grill steaks, make homemade ice cream and play board games. There is nothing better than hearing the laughter of my children around the table. Sublime.

And don’t forget the Fourth of July. We still have the same format except we add in the fireworks.

.. and our oldest son’s birthday!

Michele: I like Labor Day best… celebrating the end of summer, tomatoes coming out of the garden, our good friends usually spend the weekend, and it means FALL is on its way!

Finally, any special events or trips in your summer 2019?

Mandy: No plans really. We’ll be here in Savannah, Georgia. We live just outside of Savannah, in Pooler, near the airport and right at the intersection of I16 and I95 so if you are headed to Florida, please stop in or give us a call and we will meet you at any of the hundreds of restaurants or the Tanger Mall.

2020 Update, we moved closer into the city in the Georgetown area of town. Still not far off of I-95

Or just come to Savannah. We’ll take you on a tour of the historic district. Savannah has quite a history. I learn something new every time we take the tour. After that, we can spend a day at Tybee Island and enjoy a quiet day at the beach.

Sorry, the beaches are closed this COVID summer. ๐Ÿ™

I don’t have an extra bedroom; however, AirBNB’s are available nearby… even one right in our community. A whole condo, all to yourself. And a community pool. My roommate from my single days is coming this week! When are you coming?

Michele: No special plans for summer trips.  We will be finishing up our barn project, installing new doors, stain, and varnish… and don’t forget the trim work… it never ends when you own a house.

Well, folks, that’s about it for now.

We would love to know what you love about summer and what plans you have. Please leave a comment below.
Here’s a thought: leave us questions to answer in our fall edition of About Us.
Mandy & Michele
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#favoriteblogs #inspiringpodcasts #favoritebooks

Inspiring Blogs, Podcasts, & Books

As we continue celebrating one year here at Mandy and Michele ~ Just Holding it Together, I thought we might share some reading and listening that has been inspiring us this year. Check some of them out, you may like them as well.

Our Favorite Inspiring Blogs

Tammy Mashburn – is Redefining the Wilderness this year. She is a fellow chronic pain warrior so her posts really connect with me; however, you don’t have to have chronic pain to experience wilderness life. Tammy is always an encourager to others. If you don’t have time to read, she started reading her posts aloud.

Nan Jones – Another friend who finds hope right in the middle of the wilderness. Beautiful prayers every Sunday and life lessons during the week.

Living our Days – Michele Morin is “Gaining a Heart of Wisdom” and passing it along to the rest of us. She posts a beautiful scripture lesson on Sundays. Her book reviews during the week always include a life lesson she is learning from the book. I always go away adding “yet another” must-read book to my list.

Karen “Girl” Friday – I connect with Karen because she is a pastor’s wife and is passionate about mentoring women and discipleship that helps followers of Christ live with an authentic faith in real life. Her personal and ministry vision is to know Jesus more and make Him known. As I read her blog, I am connected more and more with her.

Podcasts & Talks Shows That Inspire Us

Emily P. Freeman – I read Emily’s book Simply Tuesday a few years ago and she really resonated with me. Largely because she was a pastor’s wife who had experienced some of the same trials as myself. But she is all about taking time to breathe. This is a must. Her most recent book, The Next Right Thing, I haven’t had a chance to read just yet. However, I am enjoying her podcasts.

Better Together TV Show on TBN – There’s nothing better than women getting together just to talk about life. Check out this daily program with a variety of leading Christian women’s speakers. They discuss faith, family, friends and so much moreโ€”no topic is off-limits.

Do It Scaredยฎ with Ruth Soukup is the podcast created to help you face your fears, overcome adversity, and create a life you LOVE. She interviews

Dale Jr. Download – My husband and son are NASCAR fans which makes me a follower. I enjoy listening to Dale interview the drivers each week with the guys. (Just a note here: Ladies, learn to enjoy what your husband enjoys. It will improve your marriage.)

Inspiring Books we recommend

I’ve been obsessed with anyone named Susie or Susannah this year. Susanna Wesley has always been a role model for me. I finally got around to digging a little deeper in her life this year.

Then Ray Rhodes came out with his new book, Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, wife of Charles H. Spurgeon. I had never read much on her or her husband but this book was highly inspiring.

Susie Larson’s Fully Alive – Probably the best self-help book I have ever read. Susie shares from her own life to show us those hidden areas in our life that keep us down. This is a must-read for everyone. I have also been following her on Facebook. She has the most inspiring Morning and Evening Blessings and FaceBook Live events.

Now It’s Your Turn: Legacy Link-up

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Chatting with mandy and Michele

1st Anniversary Celebration: Chatting With Mandy and Michele

Welcome to our 1st Anniversary Celebration blog edition! We have had loads of fun delivering to you our best. Be it serious or funny, we are grateful for your stopping by and reading. We’ve seen dreams and plans fulfilled and have set our sights on more. Enjoy our little chat with Mandy and Michele across the miles… stay tuned for some exciting things in 2019!

Tell us how you started writing/blogging and why you like to write?

Mandy: It’s funny because I struggled to write anything worthwhile in college. Fortunately, I had a great professor who taught me how to write. I became his “most improved writer”. That’s not to say that I was any good but I was improved. After college, I left writing in the dust. My dreams and plans did not include writing. At all.

Until that is, I conquered the fear of homeschooling my children. At one point, I actually wrote a letter to the editor… and they published it!

Wow! I kept conquering fears including founding and heading up a homeschool co-op. That gave me some leadership and teaching skills. My first blog was informative posts to my homeschool group.

After acquiring a chronic illness and my kids graduated from homeschool, I took a challenge to write every day in October. I wrote about dealing with chronic pain. That was 2015. I was given quite a bit of encouragement from other bloggers, so the trend continues.

Michele: I have wanted to write since I was 20. So, the seed was planted and like life, some things just take longer to “germinate” and here I am, a year after the blog and my writing world has begun to expand. I like to write because it gives me a chance to express myself, to walk alongside someone else and let them know they are not alone. To tickle someones funny bone or to challenge you… It’s a great way to meet folks and connect.

Mandy: It’s definitely a great way to connect. I have met some endearing friends through blogging.

How did you two start this blogging venture?

Mandy: As I mentioned earlier I took the challenge to write every day for 31 days. This led me to start a new blog which I called GGMandy. Once Michele and I got connected, I encouraged her to write some on my blog. Then we decided to take this new venture on whole-heartedly. Consequently, this blog was born.

Michele: This is a round-about way of explaining this, so here goes… My daughter had a four-wheeling accident, was med flighted, I asked for prayer, my sister-in-law Brenda was friends with Mandy’s sister Marcy and had asked Marcy to pray, Marcy told Mandy, Mandy messaged Michele and THAT is how this all started… PRAYER!

Mandy: Prayer changes things! I love that we lived only a few miles apart and have some great connections and yet, we haven’t really met. (well, you might have been at my Wisconsin wedding reception.)

What are some of your favorite blog posts?

Mandy: I am encouraged most when others are encouraged. I wrote once about my struggle with self-esteem. Believing in Who I Am brings me a smile every time someone comments about how the post has helped them. Writing about Susannah Wesley and Susie Spurgeon gave me the most excitement. I really enjoyed reading about the “saints of old”. The goal is to learn and grow from their lives. I suggest that everyone trade-in your romance novels and pick up a few biographical books to read. You might learn something. ๐Ÿ™‚

Michele: Post are like children- you love them all. BUT… I know there are some that I especially enjoyed “rearing”. Kitchen Cat-Tastrophes– a post about a sick barn cat finding warmth and healing ontop of my brownies that were cooling on the patio table. I enjoy regaling tales of my childhood and sharing them with you.

Where do you see the blog taking you?

Mandy: I keep toying with the idea of writing a book. Maybe a 30-day devotional or an informational book about fibromyalgia. It’s still a lofty, kind of scary idea but we shall see. I’m writing for a couple of different online devotional groups at this point.

Michele: Life is changing at a rapid pace. I write for a paper, a real estate company (listings, ghostwriting and scripts) and have started on my devotional. Someday I will be writing a book about our families adoption journey. I enjoy the time it takes crafting my words and seeing them come to life in print… kinda heady ๐Ÿ™‚

What can we look forward to that is new at mandyandmichele.com this coming 2019-20?

Mandy: I’d like to hone in and direct my writing into more specific areas. Of course, I want to keep writing about chronic pain. I think I might be drawn to do simple devotional thoughts and maybe Hymn Studies and Lessons from a Movie. This kind of thing. Take the survey below and tell us what you would like.

Michele: One word… PODCAST…

Mandy: Michele… You are making me nervous. LOL!

survey
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Check out some of our most successful posts. Click on the image.

celebrate one year #topposts
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celebrate one year #topposts

Our Top Posts on Mandy & Michele

We’re Celebrating One Year

celebrating one year top posts
image free from pixabay

Michele and I are amazed at how fast this first year of blogging has flown by. We hope that you have been enjoying the ride with us. Today, we take a look back and share with you some of our top posts. The first category is Keeping the Faith. That is posts that show you how to Read Your Bible, Pray, Share Your Faith. The second category is called Leaving a Legacy where we write about Marriage and Family, mentoring, and remembering others’ legacies.

Which post has been your favorite this year?

Top Keeping the Faith Posts

How to Have an Effective Bible Study

8 Benefits of Regular Bible Study

Never Despise Small Beginnings

The Great Commission ~ Who? Me? Make Disciples?

How to Improve Your Church Attendance Experience

Top Leaving a Legacy Posts

Self- Discipline: A Matter of Grit and Grace

An Heirloom Wedding Gown

Adoption Changed My Legacy

The Greatest Legacy: A Father’s Love

From Generation to Generation

Top Posts from Recipes, A Bit of Fun and The Spice of Life

And now how about a little fun and spice? Michele has really kept me laughing this year. I hope she has for you as well. Here are the top favorites from her repertoire.

spice of life favoirte top posts
Enjoy Michele’s Humor About Life

Amish People in Rural Wisconsin

A Few of My Summer Recipes

Recipes Long Forgotten

A Recipe For Life

The Joy of Scaring My Brother

Mornings: Sunrise, Coffee, Jesus

Friday Night Fish Fry

The Cold Roast Beef Sandwich

Observations and Thoughts

Many of these posts are written by guest writers. That tells me we need to continue having others write so that their followers come and find us. This summer we started a monthly link-up called Legacy Link-ups. This has been a good way to increase our traffic as well. We may continue this as well.

The top posts written by Mandy are those about chronic pain. We will share those in another post this month. Michele provides the humor on this blog. If you haven’t caught her Spice of Life posts be sure to go find them.

Tell us what you would like to see in the coming year.

I have created a quick survey. Please go take the survey and we will give you a small downloadable gift for your time.

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Take a survey & receive a free downloadable

Return all Month for more Celebration. Plus another This and That interview with Mandy and Michele!

Mandy & Michele
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Happy Thanksgiving from Mandy and Michele

Remember hOW wE gOT hERE

We wish you great happiness during this Thanksgiving holiday, a day of remembrance that is fast losing its importance in our society. But we encourage you to take time to stop and remember why we celebrate. Just as God instructed the Israelites to stop and remember the events that He performed down through the ages, we also, must stop and remember how God was involved in bringing these United States to this point.

Stop and remember How Christopher Columbus was brave and determined to cross the ocean, Remember how the pilgrims risked their lives to leave Europe and come to this new land for freedom of worship, remember how there were native Americans who were kind and reached out to teach the pilgrims how to survive and others that served as guides into this new land. Remember how we became a new nation and created a constitution that would create a new form of democracy where the people could be involved in making the decisions of the land. And how we needed to learn how to treat others and how ALL men were created equal. Remember that we didn’t always do the right thing but that we are still working to treat all men equally.

Remember in your own families how God has brought you through hard times. How he has blessed your family through the generations. Think of all the things that he has blessed you with. And praise Him for it.

Today Michele and I want to remember and share a few things from our own family memories. We love for you to share in the comments about your own traditions and memories of Thanksgiving and the blessings Gods has bestowed upon you.

Thanksgiving Traditions

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together again

Together Again

Together Again

You enjoyed our story page so we decided to do another post together. These are actually fun for us too since we live 1,411 miles apart. There have been many times we wish we could be together in the same place to share a cup of tea or coffee.

First, let’s tell a bit more of our stories.

We are both committed Christians and serve the Lord with all our hearts. So we thought it would be nice to share our personal testimonies. How we became sisters together in Christ.

MICHELE:  I have to give credit to Mrs. DeYoung, Orange Kool-aide and Grahm Crackers. Ok, so you’re probably laughing, but seriously…Mrs. DeYoung taught 5 Day Club and the after school Child Evangelism program. She asked one day if anyone wanted to invite Christ into their life and I raised my hand.  Afterward and she asked me “why?” I wanted this salvation.  I told her because I wanted to stop fighting with my brother.  She said that was a good place to start but she was getting at the part that I needed a savior because I am a sinner- thus the reason I wanted him for stopping the fighting :).  Man… faith as a child is so simple, isn’t it?!  Then from there life kinda just rolled along until I had some hard family stuff and as I senior in high school I made a public confession of my faith.  God was very real to me as I struggled with what was going on. But mostly the most pivotal point in developing a relationship with Christ was going through infertility treatments, followed by the adoption of our daughter Gabrielle and then the move to Minnesota.  As believers, we are never done growing, stretching and rediscovering.  I am a piece a work!  A work in progress! Amen.

MANDY:  I have a great heritage of Christian parents and grandparents that extend at least five generations. In ’71, my grandfather passed from this world. It was that summer at family camp, Sebring Holiness Camp, That I heard a fire and brimstone sermon. I was 9 or 10 at the time. My friend and I had spent most of the week sitting in the back on the tabernacle. There was a rotation of evangelists and the one this night was not our favorite. But this final night on a hot July Sunday, I learn that hell was a real place and just because my parents knew Christ and I went to church every Sunday, did not save me from my own sin. IT may have been that death had become a real thing to me since grandpa was really the first death in the family that I experienced. It might have been that I just didn’t want to go to a fiery hell. Either way, I stepped out of the bench in the back and walked down to an altar and prayed for Jesus to be Lord of my life. And that was the “End of the Beginning” for me! Since then I have re-committed myself to the Lord a couple different times but this was the day I got saved. I have moved forward with God ever since that day. Attending Christian college, really confirmed my decision. It was the place that my parents’ religion became my faith. You can read more on my memoirs blog.

Favorite Vacation Place

Alright, suppose we were to plan a vacation together. Where would you suggest that we go? What are your favorite get-away places?

MICHELE:  There are so many cool places to go. The Rockies! The Florida Keys or a cabin in the Black Hills!  I love nature, its quiet beauty.  Let’s just sit and be quiet, have a great lunch, talk about some good reads.  Discuss what may be challenging us in our life and walk with Christ and have great conversations around verses in the bible that have meant so much to us.

MANDY: The mountains! our family usually run to a cabin in the mountains whenever we are able to get away. It is so beautiful there and such a relaxing place. Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge is most common for us. However, we have loved a chance to go to Branson as well. Both places are very family oriented.

THIS OR THAT GAME

Shopping – in-store or online?

MICHELE: I do lots of shopping online.  But I love, love, love to clearance shop at Kohls!  I wish they had a food court so you could get a quick bite and then back at bargain hunting!

MANDY: Definitely online! I didn’t get the shopping gene that is prominent in the women of our family. Perhaps because my mom took me with her and I would always get so tired. (Probably the  beginnings of chronic illness). Or perhaps because of the time Mom left a cart full of items at the cashier’s because they wouldn’t accept a check for over $100. How embarrassing!

Museum or movie theater?

MICHELE:  Museum.  I just enjoy looking, thinking and being in my husband’s company and not having to talk- which I am sure he so appreciates!

MANDY: I like the museums too. Just walking and looking with my husband is wonderful. When Mike and I pastored in Milwaukee we enjoyed a myriad of museums from history to art to children’s museums. On Mondays, most of them were free to the public. We took a lot of Mondays to go stroll through them. I loved to just walk and read the informative plates. Awesome.

Guitar or piano?

MICHELE:  Love piano.  Took lessons for a good year or two.  I still love to plunk around just for myself.

MANDY: It depends on if I am playing or listening. As a youth, I spent hours on end playing the piano. I had to give me my pianos in this last move because we had to downsize extremely. I so miss the piano but I do get to occasionally play the piano at church with the praise team. Playing the piano releases stress for me. However, so does listening to my daughter play her guitar. She would sit in her room and play her music. I miss that now that she is married.

And now, What you’ve been waiting for … The Giveaway

prize give away

pine slice ornament created by Michele will customize if desired.

Christmas GiveAWay Stocking

Pair of Crocheted Decorative Christmas Stockings made by Mandy

The Winners are Melissa Henderson and Kathy Dawson. Congratulations!

 

Mandy & Michele

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31 Days with Mandy and MIchele

Mandy and Michele – Our Story

Sharing Our Story

The Five Minute Friday (FMF) crew is challenging us to write every day in October. We hope to give you a good taste of all the different things we want to share over time. We thought today would be a good time to share our story. Typically, we will only write once or twice a week at most. However, this month, there will be more than the usual number of posts but, fear not, we will send you only one newsletter a week.

FMF is offering a prompt each day to give us a kickstart.

Today’s prompt is STORY.

So we thought we would give you a little more about the Mandy and Michele story. We both came up with a few questions you might enjoy asking us. We will present a question and then both of us will answer.

Here’s the Story in interview form!

Where did you grow up? Tell us something about your childhood.

Mandy: I am the 3rd of 6 children (3girls and 3 boys), born in Canton, Ohio and spent the first years of my life on the family dairy farm in Louisville, Ohio, just south of Canton. At the age of 13, we moved to Wisconsin, cows and all. Though I didn’t admit it at the time, I loved the farm and the animals dearly. You can read all about my farm life by clicking the image to the right which will take you to my memoirs site, Raised in a Barn. I attended Asbury College (now University) and then took a computer job in Columbia, SC.

Michele: I grew up in the tiny town of Friesland, Wisconsin.  It was a very unique town.  I lived directly across from the stockyard and the cheese factory with a dairy farm behind us two blocks down- mind you this is ALL IN TOWN.  Spent a great deal of my time bicycling around town, playing on and around the railroad tracks( my mother has earned her gray hair) and the summer highlight, every Tuesday night a Band Concert in the town square complete with pie and ice cream!

Tell us a little about your family. Married? Children? Grandkids?

Mandy: My husband, Michael and I were introduced by my pastor’s wife, Charlotte. Michael had recently lost his wife and a daughter in a terrible car accident. Mrs. Charlotte prayed about him and his boys and she said the Lord told her that I was to be his new wife. Michael was a pastor in her hometown, Barnesville, GA. After much pleading, I finally agreed to go meet Michael. (so that Charlotte would quit bothering me about it). Well … That’s all it took. We were married four months later! I took his two pre-teen boys as my own and later we had another boy and a girl. They are all grown now, ages 22-44. Three of them live here in Savannah, GA and the other in Apple Valley, Minnesota. We have one grandson.

Michele: Brad and I met at a football game.  We were from rival schools.  I was a cheerleader he was a football player.  We married the summer of his Senior year of college.  I have an Associate Degree in Applied Sciences, Veterinary Technician.  We have one grown daughter.  I am too young to be a grandmother.

How did the two of you meet?

Mandy: Michele’s husband Brad and I met through church growing up in Wisconsin. Brad’s family and mine both moved to Wisconsin about the same time. They were dairy farmers, too. And the kids were all about the same age so we connected easily as a whole family. We re-connected again about four years ago on Facebook! Michele and I became fast friends as we both have been going through some tough trials in recent years.

Michele:  My daughter had been in a four-wheeler accident while we were visiting family and was Med-Flighted.  Through this accident, I reconnect with Mandy as I had asked for prayers for our daughters’ recovery.

When/Why did you decide to write?

Mandy: God works in mysterious ways. I was never much of a writer. Though encouraged to do so, I was reluctant to keep a journal. (Something I regret not doing). So like I say, I didn’t consider myself a writer. On my first writing assignment in College Composition, I received an F. But I had an awesome professor, Dr. Ralph Joly and he worked with me until I got it figured out … kinda. Anyway, he said I was his most improved student. Still, I never thought I would pick up a pen to write much more than a check. After Chronic Illness hit and my husband lost his position at the church, I was challenged to write for this same October 31 Day Writing Challenge in which I wrote about my illness. That was the start of something brand new and amazing.

Michele: I have wanted to write since 1992.  Mostly I write or journal for myself, but two years ago I felt like I need to develop my skills and see this as a perfect opportunity to do so.

Why blog together?

Mandy:  Two are better than one. Michele mentioned she wanted to start writing. I offered that she could write on my blog, Leaving a Legacy {now closed} anytime she so desired. I’ve been slowing down some and was thinking about recreating myself, so why not do this together and split the cost since we seem to have a lot in common.

Michele:  I am so appreciative that Mandy has brought me under her wing to show me the ropes.  Excellent mentor and friend.  Great opportunity to offer each other encouragement and positive critiquing.

THIS OR THAT game

1. Tea or Coffee?

Mandy: Tea, occasionally a cup of coffee

Michele: Coffee straight up… kicks off the day… let productivity begin!

2. pie or cake?

Mandy: hmmm.. Yes, a la mode, please.

Michele: This is totally unfair… I will take both, please. Cherry alamode, Chocolate with white frosting… you know the frosting made with butter and powdered sugar. Oh… put some ice cream on the cake too… Dairy is never too far from this Wisconsin girl’s heart.

3. cats or dogs

Mandy: It’s hard to say. I’ve always been a lover of the larger animals like horses and cows. Michael never wanted to have pets either so we never did.

Michele: I am a Vet. Tech… love them ALL!  Pass on snakes and such… love them from a distance. ๐Ÿ™‚

Alright then, that’s about it for now. Feel free to ask more questions in the comments. Never know we might give you more answers. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mandy & Michele

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Life’s Interruptions Are Just a Change in Direction

Life interruptions don’t have to end your purpose in life. Here’s my life interruption story of chronic pain from fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

Life’s Interruption … New Year’s Eve 1989.

wedding picture

Wedding Day December 31, 1989

This was the day we were married. God had done an amazing thing to bring us together. (Read this story here in this Christmas post). Just suffice it to say that I went from being a single girl, on her own, programming computers to a pastor’s wife and a mom of two boys, 9 and 14! What a change!

But that is not the interruption I want to share about today.

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