I struggle with being content. Most days there is at least something that I’m not really a big fan of in my life.  While I don’t always voice these out loud (thankful I’m growing in this area!) – I find that my heart can still be dark and ungrateful.  Being thankful for all the little things in my life is very helpful.  But I really enjoyed reading this list that my friend Rach passed along.  I’m considering framing it and putting it in my kitchen! :)  It has been so helpful to have some specifics to think through and realize “Wow, I’m really not content with our basement being unfinished in this house”.  I was able to pray through that, let it go and even tell my husband “I’m ok with this not getting done right now”.

Apparently God is working on my heart in this area.  It is hard, but it is good.  And I must say I nearly fell over when Jason looked at me one night at dinner and said, “You seem so much more content”.  Makes it all worthwhile.🙂

I must start by saying, I hope I make Mrs. W proud with this post!

I never liked beans.  Green beans occationally, but anything sort of dried legume?  No thank you.  (And my husband was in the exact same boat with the same opinions🙂 ).  However, I’m amazed at just how far our family has com in the past few years.  1.5 years ago, we lived with our friends the Windhams for a week in a moving transition.  And while I love my friend Sarah, that girl talked about beans all the time! 🙂 And we ate them several times while we were there.  I didn’t really mind.  They were housing us after all.  But I would never imaged that a year and a half later, my lunch several times a week would look like this:

Pardon the lopsided tortilla, that was my 2nd attempt in my life at making whole wheat tortillas.

Lets just say I have a ways to go before they look very nice.🙂

Anyhow, we eat a lot of beans around here these days!  Particularly pinto/refried beans. But bring on the chili beans, lentils & black beans as well. :)  Once I found this recipe this fall?  We have been hooked.  Super easy, I start them cooking after dinner at night and I wake up the next morning to my house smelling amazing and lunch is ready! Like someone is cooking while I sleep… perfect! :)  I keep a huge bowl in the fridge to eat and freeze some as well.  I just make up about 2.5 lbs a week ago and we are nearing the end of our stash. I love that they are whole, real food.  And I especially love how budget friendly they are!  I enjoy mine with some sprinkled cheese (I left that out yesterday since I had leftover avocado to use- bonus!) and hot sauce. My kids just like them with shredded cheese, as does my husband.  You might be wondering what the rest of my family things of this lunch?  Well, let me just tell you what I hear most days:

“What is for lunch?  Bean & cheese tacos?  YEAH!!!”

“That was delicious!”

I really think the seasoning with the onions and the jalepeno help give the beans a great flavor.  Another thing I love to do (and did at the beginning to get everyone used to the texture) was serve the tacos with some rice mixed in with the beans.  Honestly, that is still my favorite way to have them. But I’m usually not thinking about making rice at 10 each days, so most days it just ends up with beans and cheese.

Gotta love all that fiber!  Did I mention that besides grapes, pinto beans are my littlest man’s favorite food!?! :)  Wow!

Merry Christmas!

We knew that 2010 & 2011 were going to be “full” but little did we know how many changes & transitions our family would go through!  After nearly 2 years of waiting and asking God for “next steps” for our family, we really felt that He led us to move to Colorado to join up with a sister church out here.  It took us nearly a year to figure out job details for Jason. Through the entire process, even the hard times, it seemed like God answered every prayer & blessed each & every step of faith.  We miss dear friends back in IA & often find ourselves saying, “Back in Iowa…” – but we have joined heart & soul with our brothers & sisters here.  We are excited about how God is moving in our church & looking forward to continue to share Jesus’ love with others.

It is hard to believe that our little baby, Kade is nearly 1 year old!  Leah was especially excited he decided to arrive earlier than his December 24th due date last year.  After a “nearly drive through” labor at the hospital, he arrived about 18 minutes after we pulled in!  He, by far, has been our most mellow, laid back & happy little guy.  He is just getting the hang of taking small steps, he loves playing with his siblings, waving bye-bye, and eating us out of house & home of our banana stash.  His little smile & happy personality has been such a joy & blessing this last year.

Johnny (John Boy) turned 3 this year & wow, is he all boy!  Anything to do with building, digging, running, jumping & sound effects, is exactly where you will find him.  This kid is a ball of energy the moment he walks out of his room at 7 am each morning.  He loves to wrestle daddy & is trying his hand at wrestling Kade when mom isn’t looking.  He & his big sister are never far apart.  Also, his biggest feat this fall was that he learned to ride his 2 wheel bike with no training wheels.  Already, he is attempting to ride standing up & with only 1 hand.  Mom is especially thankful for bike helmets these days.  When Belle is doing her kindergarten homeschool work, Johnny is usually working on puzzles, coloring & designing duplo creations.  His favorite way to count is separate out his tools or duplos into piles & count them with mom.

We are so thankful for Belle who turned 6 on Thanksgiving Day this year!  She is quite the big sister to those two little balls of energy, but keeps up with them for sure.  When she is not singing, reading books to herself our out loud to her brothers (she learned how to read this summer!), the girl is coloring/drawing & creating cards for anyone she can think of.  She was blessed with a desk for her birthday from her grandparents- we are convinced it is going to be her command central for all her little projects.  We are also in the process of putting both boys in a room together, which means Belle will have her own room- she is quite excited about hot pink everywhere (except the walls!).

Leah really doesn’t have much to do these days.  Her exact words: “It’s pretty slow around here.” HA! Just kidding.  Between moving our house 3 times in 13 months (we lived with Pat & Cindy for a few months in the interim) and unpacking (not all of it) each time… wow, we have a lot of stuff!  Thankfully it all fit in 1 moving truck.  She keeps the household running, kids dressed & tries to keep the wrestling, yelling & running to a minimum. :)  Homeschooling is in full swing this year with the two older kids.  In her free minutes, she enjoys working out, tweeting & trying new recipes.  Also, our new home has a large garden area & we purchased some fruit trees this fall, so she is very excited to try her hand at gardening in the spring.

And last but not least, Jason has greatly enjoyed working remotely for Beisser Lumber (his company he worked for in IA).  What a blessing to be at home & have his hot oatmeal delivered to his desk each morning!  When he is not estimating for Beisser, he is attempting to start a coworking community  here in CO..  The idea is that creatives, independents, entrepreneurs, & people who work remote can share an office and work together at different points each week. His hope is to eventually get a permanent office space, but at this point they are just meeting in a coffee shop here in town.  His other business idea is to build a website to sell house plans online. He has been involved in a few networking events here in town & is hoping to see both of these businesses get off the ground in the very near future!

Though several times in the last 2 years we felt somewhat like nomads, it was a good reminder that the time we are blessed with here on this earth is fleeting & that this world is not our home!  We are grateful for the reminder that our eternal home is in heaven & that God sent his precious newborn baby so that can be our reality.  What a wonderful gift He gave us all!

Much love,
The Rohlfs

Thanksgiving Day, 2005:

Thanksgiving Day, 2011:

What a wonderful way to start the day, giving thanks for our Isabelle!  We love you Belle & can’t believe you are 6 years old today!

 

I am so grateful for our van! It is such a blessing & we have it situated just perfectly for our family.  The two bigger kids are in the back & we’ve taken 1 of the middle captains chair out to give us all more room to get in an out.  Kade is turned around backwards in the other middle seat, but then he can see the kids.  It so nice.  I’m not quite looking forward to our 12 hr ride to IA in less than a month, but knowing we are going in our van makes it seem a little easier.  AND after driving a loaner full sized van for 2 weeks this fall when our van was getting some hail damage fixed… well, I LOVE our van! So nice!  Can’t believe we’ve had it for 3 years already!

 

Quite often Jason or I will tell each other, “Can you believe how perfect this house is for us?”  Nothing fancy, just an 1,100 square foot, 3 bedroom ranch, but it is absolutely perfect!  And do you remember it was only the 2nd house we looked at in Loveland? And we weren’t even really looking to buy until next summer?  And we got it for a great deal???  We are so blessed!

I’m so thankful I married a man who (very often!) gets down on the floor to play with our kids. He is a great daddy!

Where would I be without this guy?

My favortist John Roman, who nearly every day we go to the park,  is giving his mother a heart attack with “his tricks” that he can do.  ALL  boy, growing like a weed & my good little worker, I love you Johnny & I am so thankful God entrusted you to us!

Can I also just say how thankful I am to have a park 1/2 block away from our house?  Who knew that one could go to the park in the middle of November- gotta love it!

My blog wasn’t allowing me to upload pictures for a few days, crazy weird.  Things are back to normal though, so I’m hopeful I can keep up till the end of the month!

I was super excited to open the mail last week to find this:

I

However, much to my chagrin, I realized that it was addressed to the person who owned the house before we moved in.  Sad day.  My brilliant husband told me to call Kohls & see what they wanted to do.  So a few days  later I did call customer service & they apologized for sending her mail to our address & said it shouldn’t happen again.  I casually asked if I could just use the $10 gift card then, since neither of us had her forwarding address & they said YES!  Bonus!! I was able to purchase 2 shirts last night for myself for $5.50 total!

And then today, I’m so thankful I took the Wilton cake decorating class at Hobby Lobby 5 years ago so I can make my kids their birthday cakes!  And I’m very thankful for our extra freezer this week as it is housing Belle’s Strawberry Shortcake birthday cake until the big day.🙂

He’s my lover, best friend, man after God’s heart, amazing daddy, kind, thoughtful & grown to be quite the handyman!

For nearly 7 years & hopefully many more to come, I’m so thankful God picked me to marry Mr. Rohlf.  I was and still am one lucky girl!

Our small group from church hosted our very first “kids clothes swap” this weekend.  It was a hit!

I am thankful for the items we were able to swap for “new to us” items for Belle & Johnny.  But God opened my eyes today to see so much more.  In particular, there were 2 families there that really were in need.  To the point that their eyes were tearing up and they were saying that they just needed help.  One woman snatched a pair of gloves off of the table and quickly said “Oh! I needed gloves!”  It broke my heart.  Yes I love a great deal for our family or my kids.  But when it all comes down to it, I can go to Walmart to buy them gloves for the winter.  I can’t imagine facing the winter with no gloves.  Or my kids not having a pair. Wow, it was hard to see, and yet pretty sweet of God to pull the entire thing off and bring those people who really needed clothes for their kids.

My life is so blessed.  I serve an awesome God, I’m married to an amazing man, I have three wonderful, healthy kids and we have food in our bellies & a roof over our head.  Thank you Lord for your provision in our life!

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