A View From the Top- photo courtesy of H.Hucks

Driving the stick shift of determination…

Just make it up

Just make it up the hill.


Sheltering in place and “doing school”

Unsplash: Josh Applegate

With Covid-19 being all anyone is talking or concerned about right now, I have been thinking a lot about the families and children who have been thrust into this time of unknown and chaos. There are daily changes and recommendations into what we can/should and can’t/shouldn’t do. Whether you are on board with the decisions to cancel everything and self-quarantine, or you are “team carry-on”, you are still stuck in the same boat. You and your children are probably at home together, continuing with school assignments and remote work for at least two to three weeks, maybe longer. …


They are not synonyms … even though Webster says so

Unsplash-Preslie Hirsch

This is the time of year we hear the words “JOY” and “HAPPINESS” everywhere. We see the wonderful Christmas commercials, the lights, the holiday songs and we feel all the feels! We get caught up in the “feel-good” of the season. These things create a happy emotion that rises within us. Some think it brings joy.


without losing your lunch!

Author’s Picture: Water Wows and Crackers Keep the Littles Entertained

We’ve all been there. Sitting down to a nice dinner at a restaurant, and suddenly there is a loud shrill from a young child. You try not to look over; you try not to be annoyed, you try to continue with the meal you are paying good money for.


What is anchoring you when the hurricanes of life hit?

Pixabay by Pexels

Right now we are in the midst of hurricane season

It runs from June 1 through the end of November. Where I live, this isn’t important information. However, anyone who lives near a coastal town or outlying island knows… it is time to make sure you are prepared, whether one is bearing down on you, like Dorian, or not. This is the time to evaluate.


Running Shoes- Author’s picture

How the journey of running and developing life habits parallel

I have recently taken up running (jogging to most people). This is significant because all of my life I’ve made statements like, “I only run if something’s chasing me!” or “Running is torture!”


Getting rid of the trash and dirt

Dirt, dust, and crumbs: Author’s Photo

Every single time I sweep my floors, I think, “Didn’t I just do this?” Every single time there is a pile of dirt, crumbs, and dust that needs to be swept away. And, every single time it always amazes me how much accumulates in just a short time. However, with four small kids, a large dog, and two adults in the house, there seems to always be something! I know many of you can relate. It truly is a never-ending job. It is, nevertheless, a necessary one.


photo by Pixabay- Pexels

How to rid yourself of the blood suckers

It is tick season where I live. They are hatching and attaching themselves to anything that moves. We live in an area surrounded by woods and deer. So, that means there are lots of these around!


How this may help save your relationships

Up North Michigan — A. Balkema

Getting out of your routine

Picture a beautiful, long winding road. Peaceful sun streaming through the windows and sunroof. Nice, freeing drive. My hubby and I were in the car together on a weekend-long road trip!


My Nanny’s Cookbook

In my Nanny’s kitchen, I felt ten feet tall. I would say I was her favorite, but if you ask my other cousins, they’d probably say the same thing! She made everyone feel as if they were the most important person in the world. She had a way about her that seemed to wrap everyone in a hug, even if she wasn’t actually physically hugging you.

Amanda Balkema

A lover of the Jesus, ocean, books, and all things coffee and chocolate. Passionate about helping people with their life and relationships!

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