Today I started planning my annual sabbatical trip to Door County.  Up there is where my heart is.  Or perhaps my soul.  I can sit on the rock beach by the cottage for hours and watch the occasional boat wander by, listen to the seagulls play and swoop down into the water.  I can read a book to the sound of the waves.  Sometimes those waves are gently lapping up against the rocks in a simple splash.  Other days it is more like roar when the wind has whipped up the bay and made her angry.  Both sounds soothe me.


Some days I take a picnic and a notepad and go in search of a new place to sit and look out at the water.  I might find myself down by the water in Sturgeon Bay watching all the boats go in and out.  Or there is a small park with a boat launch on the north side of the bay directly across from Sherwin Point Lighthouse.  The cottage that I stay in is only a short walk from that lighthouse.  I find that driving over to the other side of the bay and looking back towards the lighthouse allows me a new perspective for the day.


There is a different feeling when near a large body of water .  When I am stressed I naturally find my way towards Lake Michigan.  Even in the dead of winter.  The water has almost this ominous feel to it.  The color is darker and is usually churning large chunks of ice.  Sometimes you can see ice circles which is very cool. 


The air is different.  There are more negative ions in the air surrounding a large body of water (or waterfall or mountain).  And these negative ions can have a huge impact on our well being. According to WebMD, once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.  They boost oxygen to the brain. I dont know about you but I need that pretty much on a daily basis!  It’s no wonder that I feel so much better when I am at the cottage – it’s my own version of therapy.



I’m Back!

Hello my friends, I have missed you!

When I took a break from blogging, because life was getting a little crazy, I only thought about the time I was freeing up for myself. I didn’t realize how much I would miss all of you! Well, I’m back.

Just to get you a little caught up on my life right now:

Met Lysa Terkeurst at our Women’s Conference!! Oh my word, she is amazing. She is wise, insightful, hilarious, caring and genuine. If you ever have the opportunity to hear her speak, don’t think twice. She is coming to our Shine Women’s Conference in May of 2016. I highly recommend two of her books that have been life-changing for me, Made to Crave and The Best Yes. These are books that I will NEVER give away. They are on my reading list yearly.

Our oldest daughter graduated from 12 years of homeschooling. (We didn’t mess her up too badly because she is going to college near us to get general education classes.) 🙂 She has been doing great in her classes along with nanning when she can. She also got a job for the winter. I have to say that I am super proud of how she is embracing all these new challenges in stride. We are still feeling out the whole “adult child” in our home and family. That situation is definately a work in progress.

I did another Whole 30 in Aug 2015, dropped 15 lbs and feeling great. (Made to Crave change my whole mindset about food.) Although, I still need to get an exercise routine that will work for me… no… that I will do.

My best friend moved away. 😦 Enough said.

Second oldest daughter’s senior year. She was a car-hop at a local resturant over the summer and into the school year. Last year coaching her in volleyball. Time is flying by at super-speed.

I transitioned from working at church to voluteering. There were many reasons, most importantly, I’m increasing my hours at my part-time.

And that pretty much brings us to today. I’m getting last minute things ready for our missions trip to Haiti!! We, 2nd & 3rd daughters and myself, are leaving tomorrow, Nov. 7 at 2:00 am. There are a whole lot of mixed emotions going on right now… excited, thankful, emotional, tired, nervous, hopeful, stressed, anxious, overwhelmed and peaceful, all at the same time.

haiti girl

We are working with Convoy of Hope. We are doing construction up-keep of a school. We are also going to be working with the children in the school and visiting a couple of orphanages. I am excited to see how God moves and changes me through this trip.

I will try to post as the week goes along. Prayers are greatly appreciated!!

Be Blessed!

Week 2 Completed: Whole30 for the Piepers

I have graduated to a weekly Whole30 post.

  1. have been crazy busy and squeezing it in daily it getting difficult
  2. we have been making favorite meals that I have already shared
  3. I don’t have a lot of new insight. It really feels like we’ve been eating this way forever!

Time has been a huge change for me. Eating Whole30 is not quick, fast, on-the-go foods. They are good, nutritious, healthy food that take time to prepare and eat. Although this may seem like a disadvantage, I feel like it has been a bonus.

  • It has created more meal times as a family.
  • It encourages us to get up earlier.
  • We’ve been able to get a good start to our day.

I have had some great Crockpot meals! I loved Creamy Chicken Soup (I added 16oz of chopped up mushrooms and 3 C spinach.) Tomorrow I’m going to cook a whole chicken with garlic, onions, lemons and spices. After the meal is over I’ll put bones and skin back in the crockpot with water and cook overnight to make chicken stock. I did just run across a Jambalaya Crockpot recipe that I think I’ll try next week.

Now to Easter… I think I will make:

– A roasted leg of lamb with mint pesto
– Deviled eggs with homemade mayo, paprika, (some topped with fresh jalapeño)
– Twice baked sweet potatoes topped with pecans
– sautéed mushrooms and garlic with fresh herbs

One last random though, Kim, Katie and I are going to The Gluten & Allergen Free Expo. I’m so very excited to go. I will be planning to bring most of my food to I don’t get tempted! Stay tuned for posts next week.


Jumbalaya Crockpot Recipe

Twice baked Sweet pot

Any other suggestions for Easter Menu?

Be Blessed!

Day 10: Whole30 for the Piepers

Love talking to my family and friends about the Whole30. I am far from an expert. But I do know how I’m feeling better and loving the recipes. It makes me smile when my friends try the recipes and love them too.

whole30 day10.1

Meal 1: Hardboiled eggs, orange and almonds

Whole30 day10.2
Meal 2: Tuna fish salad on spinach

Whole30 day10.3
Meal 3: Stuffed Cabbage (This is one of my kids favorites!)
Snacks: Peanuts and sweet peppers

Energy levels: More even over the whole day
Sleep: good
Gut issues: same
Hormonal issues: same
Focus: same

Daily Take-away:  I shouldn’t guess what my kids will like or not like. The meals that I think they will love, don’t get rave reviews; but the ones that I think will be voted “so-so,” are the ones that they LOVE and are their favorites!


Whole30 Stuffed Cabbage recipe

So, I’m starting to think about Easter. We will still be on the Whole30 over the holiday. I want to start new traditions for our holidays that don’t revolve around. Any ideas?

Be Blessed!

Day 09: Whole30 for the Piepers

Well I’ve been feeling great. It’s 11:00 pm and this is my “snack time.” It used to be one or two squares of dark chocolate, chips, popcorn or a scoop or two of ice cream. Now, my snack is dates and pecans, grapes and almonds or a Larabar. It’s all about the choices.

whole30 day9.1

Meal 1: Hard Boiled Eggs, orange and sweet peppers

whole30 day9.2
Meal 2: Tuna Salad on Spinach

whole30 day9.3
Meal 3: Citrus Chicken, Brussel sprouts and Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
Snacks: Orange and almonds

Energy levels: the afternoon energy drop has gone away
Sleep: good
Gut issues: same
Hormonal issues: same
Focus: same

Daily Take-away: Cooking takes time. Prep, Prep, Prep… My kids would quickly grab some fruit for a snack before veggies. As I thought about it, the reason was because most fruits are grab and go. Veggies usually need to be cut, pealed or chopped before they are easily eaten. So, as  make my meals I spent an extra 10-15 minutes prepping veggies for snacks.

What are some of your kids favorite veggies to snack on?

Be Blessed!


Day 08: Whole30 for the Piepers

Happy April’s Fool’s Day! All I have to say is that the Whole30 is no JOKE! If you’ve ever thought that you would like to try it, you should! It’s well worth the sacrifice. 30 days is do-able. There is a end. It’s long enough to start feeling the good effects of eating healthy. I’m so glad that we are doing the Whole30!

whole30 day8

Meal 1: Mushroom, Onion Frattata

whole30 day8.2

Meal 2: Asian Beef and Broccoli
Meal 3: 10-Minute Chili

whole30 day8.3
Snacks: https://cultivatingtrio.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/whole30-banana-blueberry-smoothie-recipe.jpg

Energy levels: Same
Sleep: Good
Gut issues: same
Hormonal issues: I’m on Day2 of my period and I had the worst cramps since childbirth… hormone levels must be changing.
Focus: same

Daily Take-away: Love this blog by Heather Sanders. I have been reading her blog for about a year. She started the Whole30 and blogged about it. That’s where I got inspired. Check her out here. She is on Day 22… there is hope! 🙂


Whole30 Asian Beef & Broccoli recipe

Whole30 day8.4

Whole30 banana blueberry smoothie recipe

Let me know if you have a great recipe. The kid’s favorite meal so far is the  10-Minute Chili.