3 Tips On Life From A Mother’s Day Plant


Photo of My Mother’s Day Plant From Malachi

Every year one of my four children have brought me a Mother’s Day plant from school. Unfortunately, the survival rate with my green-not thumb is relatively low. All until a few years ago.

It was a warm spring day like any other when my then eight-year-old son Malachi got off of the school bus. He ran into the house, hands extended with a present wrapped in a brightly colored paper bag.

After the appropriate ooohs and aaaahs, I looked inside the bag and there was a plant. A flower that barely reached the top edge of the painted flower pot. It was quite beautiful with purple flowers.

Malachi reminded me to water it when I forgot, sometimes he watered it for me. The little plant has seen two winters and it is still growing. I haven’t seen flowers in a while, but that is probably because it needs a transplant to a bigger pot. I can’t bring myself to move it from the pot my son painted.

This flower plant is now quite tall. The picture above shows you that it has grown like a weed, stretching towards whatever source of light it could find. Even in the winter when the Minnesota sun is less that warm, it reaches for whatever light it can absorb.

Right now the plant isn’t flowering, but this year I will be transplanting it to a new pot. It’s season to flower again will probably be here. The resilience of the plant is amazing. Along the way I have learned a few things about life from this plant.

3 Tips On Life From A Mother’s Day Plant:

  1. Rely on your team when you’re weak. Malachi and my daughter Esther helped me so often with watering the plant. In life we need a team to help us with things we don’t remember or aren’t very good at.
  2. Stretch Towards Sources of Light. This sturdy flower always reached for the light, bending toward it. Look for positive influences to build you up. Seek out God who is our light in dark times. Surround yourself with others who encourage and challenge you.
  3. Recognize The Seasons Of Life And Be Resilient. This Mother’s Day plant has been tipped over and lost half of its soil. It has been bumped, shaded, and moved. Still it is resilient as if it knows that it will flower again when the time is right. Our life has seasons. Be patient and resilient and your season to bloom will come again.

It is amazing what you can learn from a plant. My kids are outgrowing the plant school gifts, but this one continues to stay with me. If I’m fortunate, my not-so-green thumb will keep it alive for several more years with the help of my family.

What is your favorite gift that just lasted forever?




10 Worst Valentine’s Day Gifts Ever



Photo by Chiru

For as many amazing Valentine’s Day gifts you could give your significant other, there are some things that send the wrong message.

No one gets it right all of the time and there is that little thing called grace for the one we love’s imperfections, but then there is the list below.

Searching the internet I found a crazy lot of horrible Valentine’s Day gifts. The list below is a compilation of some of the worst.

10 Worst Valentine’s Day Gifts Ever:

  1. “Diamond Ring” Keychain in a Ring Box – Prank, or not, this gift lacks style. To the girl whose always wanted a diamond ring, you’ve just cheapened the moment when she does receive one.
  2. Spanx – For the man who gave this to his sweetheart. . . let me just say, “You have a girlfriend on Valentine’s Day?”
  3. Novelty Toilet Paper – Where do these people come up with these things?
  4. Naming A CockRoach at the Bronx Zoo – Apparently they did this one year. . . Why??
  5. Pink Game Console – Unless your sweetheart is a big gamer, this just says, “I went to the store and while I was there I found this really cool gift for you. . . for me.”
  6. Duct Tape Roses – Trust me, your girl is going to want the real thing! (Although, a survey said that 40% of women don’t want roses for Valentine’s Day)
  7. Gym Membership – No one wants to remember that they have some pounds to lose. Skip this gift and your relationship might last to see another Valentine’s Day.
  8. A Pickle Recipe Book – 1001 ways to make pickles. Nothing says love like something green that takes hours to can.
  9. Toilet Seat – This screams that someone was at the hardware store and didn’t want to go down a different isle, much less a store that would have what a sweetheart might want.
  10. “Cop Out” – I would rather my hubby say he forgot than to try to spin his forgetfulness with the whole “I love you all year round, so. . .” line.

What is the worst Valentine’s Day Gift You’ve Ever Received?



Yesterday’s Super Sleuth Challenge Answer:

D. Drone Finger Printer is Not Real. For information about some of the latest crime fighting technology click here.

How To Create A Great Romantic Gesture


Photo by Katy Wolfer

Valentines Day is just around the corner and I am beginning to think about romance. Sweet moments from my past. Creating new romantic memories.

The movies have the most amazing romance moments, but it so hard to duplicate in real life. Maybe we can get a few tips from them to learn how to create a great romantic gesture of our own.

If you are looking for a way to make a one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day romantic gesture, here are a few tips to creating that perfect moment.

How To Create A Great Romantic Gesture with Tips from the Movies:

From 10 Things I Hate About You:

  1. Be Vulnerable or Take a Risk – The character sings in front of a whole stadium of people. There is a great risk of rejection.
  2. Go Big, Or Go Home- It doesn’t have to be expensive to be big, but must show significant effort to be big.

From Love Actually:

  1. Prepare For Flaws – If you are not great with words, plan for your own flaw by being creative. Mark in this clip says the most important part of the message with signs.
  2. Create Smiles – Humor can be a great element to the romantic moment if it is a special part of your relationship and what draws you together. Notice the two humorous moments on the signs.

From While You Were Sleeping:

  1. Element of Surprise- An unexpected moment of romance brings a sudden rush of joy. The contrast of the unexpected romance with the mundane makes it that much more special.
  2. Create the Perfect Setting- For Annie, she is completely without family. She doesn’t want to be alone. Jack bringing his family with to the proposal is actually very special to her because she is gaining a whole family. He listened to her heartache and gave her something she had always dreamed of.

From The Titanic:

  1. Sacrifice Something- Whether it is something you love or even in this case, your life, sacrifice is a huge gesture of love.

What is your favorite romantic gesture from a book or movie?


Heartwarming Thursday: The Beauty of Snow

by Jill Kemerer

We woke up to a light layer of snow last Sunday, and the flakes continued to fall all day. It’s funny how snow can evoke different moods. The tiny pellets pelted diagonally by brisk winds don’t make me ooh or ahh. Those little buggers turn into drifts, and you can tell just by looking at them they’ll sting your face if you walk outside.


I’ve never been to Trillium Lake, but this picture (courtesy of adrian at Unsplash) is gorgeous!

The big, fat flakes make me happy. They’re cute and fun, and no, they won’t last. They tend to dissolve as soon as they hit the ground.

The mid-sized flakes, though–the ones that fall for hours on end–those bring a smile to my face. They accumulate as the day wears on, and they look so special, gently coming down. Beautiful.

Winter can be so bleak and dreary. The pretty leaves covering the trees are gone; the trunks and branches stand gray against the sky. It will be months before vivid red roses appear and green grass meets the eye. But sitting inside, watching it snow, brings a beauty all its own.

What do you find beautiful in December?

Have a lovely day!

Heartwarming Thursday: Favorite Winter Drinks

Yuletide Redemption

by Jill Kemerer

A coffee shop, Bigby Coffee, opened a mile from my house, and it’s been so fantastic. I’ve been a fan of Bigby’s for years. They brew special flavored coffees in addition to the typical hot and cold coffee drinks.

Recently, I tried Cinnamon Toffee coffee (hey, that rhymes!), and let me tell you, it was delicious. Of course I added cream and sugar. And more cream. But that’s the way I like it.

Another mouthwatering flavor is Michigan Cherry. Yes, it tastes like cherry. Cherry and coffee might sound like an odd combination, but it’s delightful! I like it with plenty of cream and sugar…bet that didn’t surprise you. 🙂

Last year we visited my sister in Iowa and found Cinnamon Vanilla tea. It is hands down my favorite tea. Unfortunately, no store in my area carries it, so I’m holding out hope that the next time I see my sister, I’ll be able to find it again.

The beverage I drink the most? Good old water. In the winter, I’ll sometimes heat up plain water to drink. It keeps me warm, and oddly, the lack of flavor is fine with me.

What are your favorite winter beverages? Please share!



My new novel, Yuletide Redemption, will be in stores November 22, 2016! I’m hosting a giveaway (US only, 18+) with a signed copy of the book, hot cocoa, peppermint bark, mini-tote and a miniature carved nativity. The entry form is below if you’d like to enter!





A Mother’s Christmas Wish 

After an accident leaves Celeste Monroe to raise her baby nephew, all she wants is to provide one-year-old Parker with a happy life. She hopes taking a job caring for injured Sam Sheffield will help fulfill that goal. But Sam’s determination to avoid the world throws a wrench in her plans. Despite his best efforts, Sam can’t take his eyes off the pretty caretaker. Her strength and her loving nature has him falling for her—and her baby. But he refuses to burden them with a man who’s not whole. Can Celeste convince Sam he’s daddy—and husband—material in time for them to celebrate Christmas together?

For purchase links, click HERE!

Heartwarming Thursday: Where Two Hearts Meet

Prince Edward Island is brewing up romance, and Thoughts on Plot contributor, Liz Johnson, is to blame! Where Two Hearts Meet, the second book in Liz’s Prince Edward Island Dreams series, releases October 18!


This book follows Caden, a chef at her friend’s bed-and-breakfast, and Adam, a long-term guest with a secret. After a traumatic stint overseas, Adam is afraid he’ll never be able to write the article promised to his editor, and Caden worries about the financial state of the inn. Both have their own reasons for spending time together, but neither plans on falling in love.

If you’re new to the series, be sure to pick up book one, The Red Door Inn. I grew up reading Anne of Green Gables, and I feel as though I’m back on Anne’s stomping grounds when I read these books. Liz has such a warm writing style. I hope you’ll try these!


I’ve never been to Prince Edward Island, but I would love to visit someday! And now I feel like reading Anne of Green Gables again…

Have you been to Prince Edward Island? Did you love the Anne of Green Gables series as much as I did?

Have a terrific day!

Birthday Traditions: Heartwarming Thursday

by Jill Kemerer

Today is my youngest’s birthday! We’re pretty low-key in our household, so I thought I’d share what we do and find out what you do for birthdays.



Chocolate Pie with Oreo Crust. It’s not fancy, but it tastes SO good!

In the morning, we all wish the birthday boy or girl a Happy Birthday. Then everyone scatters for whatever is on their schedule that day. I wrap the gift(s), make the cake/dessert and sign the card before everyone gets home that evening.

Depending on the day and whose birthday it is, we usually stay in for dinner. I like to cook, so I make their favorite meal. However, my husband’s birthday is in March when we’re sick of being stuck inside all winter. We always take him out to dinner (and honestly, it’s like a birthday gift for us all!).

After we eat, we bring out the cake or requested dessert–cake, chocolate pie or chocolate lasagna are favorites–and ice cream. We sing “Happy Birthday” and light the candles, and as we snack on the sweets, presents are opened and pictures are taken.

When the kids were younger, my husband and I threw a party for their friends every other year. I couldn’t handle planning a big party with tons of kids every year! While I’m glad my kids loved these parties, I was very thankful when they were over. There’s something exhausting about trying to keep a dozen small children occupied for two hours. All you parents/grandparents who do this every year, I salute you! A party planner, I am not. 🙂

Now you know how we celebrate birthdays. I’d love to hear how YOU celebrate them! Leave a comment!

Have a terrific day!