Hey everyone, I hope your year is going good despite all the craziness going on in the world around us. Angie here and I wanted to give an update on how we’re doing and utilize this wonderful snow day we are having here in Illinois. Work has been going good, for those who are curious, and due to some family and personal stuff we’ve just not been able to stream unfortunately. I will say I sure do miss it, and am open to ideas for when I am able to get back into it. I feel like the only privacy and quiet I get is when I am in my bedroom or bathroom. LOL. Anyway, I have been coming up with ideas for when summer hits and this global pandemic decides to be over with. You will be happy to know there are a few things in the works for an online DND session I’m considering as well as a few small trips later in the year. I hope you will stick with us as we navigate in how to come up with amazing and good quality content for each of you. As you know, I only do things with excellence, so that is why I’ve not been online as I would like. Thank you for your patience as we try to get things ready behind the scenes. If you are interested in help us produce good content and even have a space we can use until we are able to expand our living quarters, please feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you. As always, thanks for subscribing and have a warm and enjoyable week.
Hello friends and fellow bloggers, Angie here! I just wanted to drop in and say hello and let you know that our articles on here will only be once a month due to my new job. Yes that’s right, I finally got a new job as a Teacher’s aid. In case some of you don’t know I run this blog, a blog for women, and a personal blog both for my husband and I, and one for myself. I know…crazy right? Well, one thing I’ve learned over the last month is I need to prioritize my time. Therefore, even though I’m writing on my personal blog – for myself -, and my blog for women, after work I don’t seem to have much time for a lot of other things. Because of this, I want to apologize and let you know there will be an article each month…it will just have to be once a month instead of each week. I hope you understand. My personal life comes first, and this is something I’m beginning to learn. I want to become a better writer and blogger, and in order to do that I need to take a step back. I will say however, if you are a woman and want to follow my two other blogs, that would be great. Like I said, the first one I share topics relating to women from a biblical perspective, the other is more of topics relating to the current season I’m in as a wife and educator, and really a look into my life on a more personal level. I hope you will check them out, and if you’re not subscribed to this blog make sure to sign up so each month you will get the article in your email. There are many things Chris and I hope to do this year and look forward to sharing them with you, but for now I will be only posting once a month updating you on our staycations and such. In the meantime please check out the other lifestyle bloggers that I follow and you can even go to Rick Steves site for wonderful travel ideas and stories!
Until next time, Happy Trails from Chris and Angie Frantz!
With New Years right around the corner I was debating on what to write for the blog. Most people begin sharing tips and tricks to set and keep goals – and usually the day after Christmas -, or how to take better care of yourself once the calendar turns over to January 1. But as most of you know, my goal for this blog is to go deeper and write thought – provoking articles that will foster community and help people embrace their true identities. Therefore I decided to piggy back off a fellow blogger friend of mine. He was discussing how we tend to talk about Jesus and his birth leading up to Christmas day, and then once the clock ticks midnight on December 26th, we rush to take all the decorations down and pack away any semblance of Christmas. The point he was making, which you can read the article here, is that we are in such a rush sometimes to celebrate festivities and embrace baby Jesus in a manger and yet forget the very reason why He came in the first place. This year has looked really dark, and it has gotten really lonely, but one thing I know for sure is that Jesus came for the lonely. He is the light that shines bright in the darkest storms of life and He is wanting to have a relationship with you. December 25th isn’t just about Santa Claus, reindeer, or even a baby in a manger. Christmas represents hope and love, and the grace of God Almighty coming down to redeem us. We all have messed up and done some pretty stupid stuff. You probably haven’t killed anyone, but you may have carried around hatred, anger, lust, or greed and it has broken God’s heart. You may not believe in God but He still exist. That is like saying I don’t believe in gravity but the moment I jump from a four story building I’m going to experience it real quick. What am I trying to say? Jesus, the light of the world, came to give you light and hope unlike anything you will ever find. Instead of packing away the lights, tree, and decorations, why not continue into 2021 with the hope that Christmas brings? We can live everyday like it is Christmas if we would surrender our lives and will to Jesus and allow Him to help us live with purpose and passion. Jesus doesn’t want to be a wet blanket and ruin life for you, He knows what is best just like a really great parent and He wants to show you how to truly live. This is the whole purpose of TNR, I wanted to show people life isn’t about stuff or being the best. The road in the fast lane isn’t the best life, a truly fulfilled and satisfied life is one traveled down the narrow road, the road that is dusty and has a few rocks imbedded into it. This road causes you to take a slower pace and cherish each moment.
How do we live everyday like it is Christmas?
We do so by embracing the hope and light of Jesus and aligning our goals we want to set or should set for the new year with the plan God has for us. God is like a really good parent who knows what is best for their child and wants to see them live a successful life. And since God knows our end from our beginning, He already knows how things will turn out for us. Why not trust Him with everything? I know, it is hard, trust me I get it. Yet, as we make a daily decision to trust Him and place our lives in His hands we won’t have to rush past each holiday happy one day and depressed the next. God will gladly give us His joy and peace that last through any circumstance. Yes, life is still hard and it still sucks at times, but when we embrace His joy and peace there are pockets of times like what we have experienced this whole year where we say, “You know, life seemed to be a little crazy this year, but all in all I’m good, my family is good, and I know I will be alright.” Your situation may not always be alright, but you can be deep inside. This sounds strange according to the world’s standards. But trust me when I say, I have never been more happier and at peace. Somehow God has given me a peace and joy over the last few days and week that has made the last twelve months seem like just a scary dream. I don’t know what will happen in 2021, but I know I’m going to be just fine because I know something others don’t. I know my God is my provider and will keep me safe and help me make it through.
As we approach 2021 may you experience the love and light of Jesus and may He give you hope and peace like you have never known before.
Hello everyone! I know it has been a few months since I wrote to you, but I hope your holiday season has been going good and you and your family are healthy. For Chris and I we have been pretty busy with finding new ways to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas during the pandemic. Between the craziness going on in our world, and the weather going from spring to fall and back to winter in the matter of a few days or weeks, things haven’t really felt like Christmas here in IL. Honestly, I think for everyone Christmas is going to look a bit different this year. As a matter of fact, I want to discuss just that today. So grab your favorite drink, cozy up and let’s dive in.
So this year may not be full of parties and loads of gifts under the tree. Does that mean you can’t have a good Christmas and celebrate the holidays? Of’ course not! Some of you may know that Chris and I are followers of Jesus and so we celebrate things like advent and Jesus’ birth on Christmas. You don’t have to be religious to understand that aside from the whole Santa and elves, Christmas is widely known for being a Jewish and Christmas holiday. One where we celebrate the birth of the Lord and his coming into the earth to bridge the gap between us and Him. You may not celebrate any of that, but this year let’s take a different perspective to the meaning of Christmas. Most of us may not be able to celebrate with loved ones or have the finances to buy a bunch of gifts, but we should find ways to be thankful. You are alive, if you do have a spouse or parents living, that is something to be grateful for. If you have all your basic needs met; food in your stomach, clothes on your back, a shelter/place to live, clean water to drink, and breath in your lungs you have something to be happy about. Yet, how do we celebrate when we don’t have hope?
What is hope?
Hope is the expectancy of something to come. You may not feel like you have hope today, but can I encourage you? There is someone who wants to bring you hope today and his name is Jesus. I’m not trying to get religious on you or tell you to join a cult. I want to share the good news like the shepherds who lived in a dirty and smelly field long ago. They were outcast, people no one cared about, they were alone and felt like losers, yet God chose them to spread the message that a savoir – someone who wanted to fix their relationship with God and give them meaning and purpose – was born that day. Life may be chaotic for you right now, and this Christmas may be a little different this year, but I want you to know there is still hope and it is found in Jesus Christ who left his luxury of heaven and came to earth to be born as a baby and grow up to eventually give up his life so you and I can live with Him for eternity. Not only that, but we would have new purpose and meaning here on earth in that He would choose us to share that amazing message of hope to others. You are not alone this season my friend, there is someone who longs to have a relationship with you and will help you will life gets hard. All you have to do is cry out to him today.
Prayer: Jesus this year looks pretty different and not what I expected. However, would you come and give me your hope and peace this Christmas season? I may not fully understand who you are or the amazing sacrifice you gave for me, but would you help me understand and take my life and use it for your benefit. I not only want a relationship with you, I want you to use me to share your amazing message with the world – however that looks. I need you Jesus and I need your hope and joy this season and all year long! I give you my life today. I want to follow You and become your child.
In Jesus name, Amen
If you prayed that prayer will you reach out to us? We would love to explain further the decision that you just made and help you in your journey. This is what TNR is all about, finding a way down the narrow path, the one that is less encumbered by the craziness of life and leads towards one of purpose and life. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season everyone and a most joyous New Years!!!!
Hello everyone, I hope you had a great weekend. If you keep up with me on social media, then you’ve obviously noticed the post I put out about helping me choose a name for my photography business I’m considering starting up. For those who don’t know, I have always loved taking pictures. It went from when I was a kid and I would pose for the camera, to taking a bunch of photos on my Walgreen’s throw away camera until I eventually got a smart phone. Well, after talking with the hubs I decided to start up a small business where I can sell the landscape photos I take and people can display them in their homes. So today’s post isn’t going to be very long, but I have a challenge for each of you, just as I did for my Facebook family and friends. I will put up two photos with either my name or the name of my photography business, Frantz Photography. Then at the end of the week I will check back and whichever has generated the most buzz I will randomly select a winner to receive one of my photos in the mail. Are you up for it? This should be fun, I can’t wait to see your responses!
Hello friends, I hope you’re having a good week! Angie here, and I wanted to share some photos I took about a week or so ago. A fellow blogger friend of mine encouraged me to find the beauty in my current surroundings during the pandemic. See, I had hoped Chris – the hubs – and I would have been in North Carolina by now, but I guess we were meant to spend a little bit more time in southern Illinois. I am always encouraged when I see people like my friend Derek – who is an amazing photographer, you should check him out here – sharing beautiful photos from around their town and all I have are boring farm fields…lol. Don’t get me wrong I love the country, but where I live is usually just wheat fields and food chains, not much to shout about. Yet despite this, I was encouraged to find the beauty in where I currently reside, even if it’s the local wally world and sub shop, or the local farmers store and restaurant.
Keep reading to see more pictures from my time at Eckerts.
Down On The Farm
A few weeks ago the hubs and I decided to go pumpkin picking – well it became more of pumpkin shopping, but we will get to that in a minute – at the local family farm and restaurant in town. Eckerts Family Farms is both a place to get home grown fruits & veggies, frozen custard, they have a restaurant, and pre-covid there were classes, events, and live bands that would come and play on the weekends and some nights during the week. Basically, it’s a great place to go to have fun either by yourself, as a couple, or with your family for a few hours. I personally like the restaurant and the annual hayride/bonfire events they have each year. Since it’s the time of year I begin getting my pumpkins for my cookie recipe I make around Thanksgiving and Christmas, I decided to go to Eckerts and maybe grab a few photos while I’m there. When we got there we ate some breakfast – sorry no photos to share -, and thought we would stop by the store to pick up some yummy apple butter. There was a bit of an issue online – user error – about whether we could pick pumpkins as well as the apple picking they were advertising, so I thought I would just buy it at the store. When we tried to find out about catching a ride on the wagon to the fields to get a few pictures however, we noticed they booked up fast and wouldn’t have another ride over until 4 pm later that afternoon! So, I didn’t get to go pumpkin pickin’ as we say down here, but I was able to snag a few photos. I hope you enjoy the pictures and who knows, maybe I will get another chance to take some photos next weekend and share them with yall.
I couldn’t help but use a play on words for this amazing post about Autumn and all the wonderful sights and sounds it brings! Honestly, I think if I had it my way, it would be autumn all year round except for two weeks out of the year for a deep freeze to get rid of the germs and “yuckies” as I call them. I’m also a huge fan of Hallmark Channel, especially their morning show, “Home & Family”. If you haven’t seen it you should watch, it’s a fun and wholesome program giving you great ideas for cooking, décor around the house, and so much more. The reason I bring it up is because there’s something to be said about being around someone who’s full of life, energy, and is joyful. And that is exactly what H&F provide. With the changing of the leaves, and the cooler air trying to blow in, I decided to write about how we can enjoy the season – now more than ever -, and a few of my favorite things about the Fall.
Take time to enjoy nature: One of the ways I enjoy this season is by simply looking around me. I’m a nature nut at heart, and so I love doing my morning devotions and meditation outside as I watch the leaves changing colors and falling from the trees. If you’re not religious or a follower of Jesus, you can still enjoy the sights and sounds of fall by making time to go to a park or go for a walk in your neighborhood.
>>> I also enjoy grabbing my camera and taking a drive or walk to find the spots that best represent the season. Be it children playing in a pile of leaves, an old tree with either multi-colored leaves, or none whatsoever. I don’t really have a plan I just capture what inspires me at the time. Speaking of which, if you are a photographer, try taking some photos and sharing them – unfiltered – with others. Find places that most wouldn’t think to look or take a photo of. Sometimes the best pictures to me are the ones where it’s very candid and haven’t been adjusted on adobe or some other photo touch up program.
2. Get Creative!
When it comes to Fall, I enjoy all the decorations! If you want to really embrace this time of year then try honing in on your creative side. I mentioned the show Home & Family before, and one reason I love it is because they share easy decorations to spruce up your home, garden, and community. From elaborate crafts like wall décor to simple yet elegant wreaths for any occasion. I am not the most crafty, yet I love to see the various things made in hopes one day I will have the space and the finances to create something wonderful that I can share with others.
3. All The Food:
I couldn’t make a list without adding some delicious food! The older I get, the more I enjoy baking….well, mainly around the autumn and winter months! One of my favorites has become something I usually start around the beginning of November, although I may start early just to spread some harvest cheer! I have made off and on for the last 6 years an amazing pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe I found online a long time ago, I tweaked it a bit so it isn’t super sweet or has an overpowering pumpkin taste, yet I haven’t had any complaints thus far! If you aren’t much of a baker, then try something easy like a pre-made pumpkin pie or sugar cookies you can roll out and make leaf shapes or pumpkins, whatever you decide, I hope you have fun and find a little joy in the midst of everything going on.
So what are some ways you enjoy this time of year? Comment with your favorite activities and treats below. I look forward to reading them!!
May the joys of the season bring a harvest blessing. You are loved and cherished!
I wrote a great article on my blog for women today and I wanted to share it with each of you. I will just be going over the basics of that article, so make sure to check it out by clicking here. In today’s post, I want to share a video I watched in my morning devotional time. The video was Dr. Martin Luther King’s voice and clips from various rallies and his time as a pastor. The devotion was about learning to be a peacemaker. What does that have to do with love you ask? Well as I learned, love is at the heart of every peacemaker. Since I am a follower of Jesus, I discussed that the best way I can love is by receiving love from my creator, then in turn, it helps me to love God, myself, and others. I may not do this perfectly, yet I strive each day to be better. In a way, you could say I’m not only a peacemaker, I’m creating a legacy of love for future generations. I will put a link to the video from Pastor King below. As you watch it I encourage you – just like I did my readers on MDE – to think about what it means to see through the eyes of love, to become a peacemaker and not just a peace keeper, and ask yourself, “what would happen if I learned to stand in the gap for others instead of picking sides.”
To watch the video from Reverend Dr. Martin L. King click here. I look forward to reading your comments!
Hello everyone! I hope you are having a good week so far, mine has been very productive with school – I am taking an amazing online Spanish class -, going through some books I’ve been meaning to read, and getting some things done around the house. If you follow us on Twitch you will noticed I have taken a backseat with streaming for a while and there will be a message saying I’m on vacation until next month. I wanted to clarify some things on here and tell you about something you will find on our YouTube starting next month that I am very excited about. Before we get started, if you enjoy my articles I put out each month then make sure to subscribe to the blog so you will receive a notification anytime I upload a new post. Don’t worry, you won’t get spammed with a bunch of emails from me! ^_^ I know it has been a minute since I wrote on here, so before we get into the exciting news I have planned, I thought I should update you on all that is going on with TNR, especially our Twitch and YouTube channel.
I have been quarantined for four months now, Chris for three, and the anxiety was starting to get to me. Not only that, but my house has been a mess, books that I “intend to read” have been piling up, and with the lack of exercise and movement I have had the number on my scale has been rising. Why do I tell you this? Is it just to vent to someone other than those living under my roof? Maybe….yet I also have said in the past I want this community to be about honesty….and so that is what I intend to do. Yes, I could tell all of you that I am busy and other things have vowed for my attention. However, the fact of the matter is, I have wasted too much time watching television, not taking proper care of myself, and allowed the stress of everything to overwhelm me. It is for this reason I have decided to take a step back and give myself some much needed TLC. Since doing so the beginning of this month, I have found the stress diminishing, I have more joy, and I am getting back to – for the most part – keeping up with things around the house and taking care of my body….which I am sure my face and my waistline thanks me!
Call it “finally doing some self-care”, call it “being true to myself”, whatever you want to label it as, I am finally taking steps in the right direction to take care of me, so I can help people like you. Someone once told me that you can’t give out what you don’t have. If I am lacking in love for myself and my surroundings, I won’t be much good in loving others well. I know for some it was a delight to hop on and watch me play World of Warcraft, or just be “shooting the breeze” as my grams used to call it, but I promise this won’t be forever. Just for another month I am trying to catch up on my reading, making sure to dedicate some time to my schooling, and giving proper attention to not only my husband but to my health and well-being; whether that is physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally. I hope you all understand and will give me grace in this time. I want to come back to Twitch and our social media platforms stronger than ever so I can help more people learn what it means to enjoy life, and take time for the simple things such as family. This started out as a hodge-podge of articles regarding the adventures Chris and I would take, recipes I could share with others that are good and good for you, and a place to share my thoughts and faith. I’m not a religious person, I’m a follower of Jesus and I don’t want to just talk about how happy and fun my life is – because let’s be honest that is not a reality 24/7 -, I also want to discuss why I choose to find joy in the moments of life, whether they be big or small! So I hope you will stick around and bring along some friends to join the community. Next I am going to discuss a few things you can look forward to around the end of August.
Angie Reacts to….
So I have been doing some thinking, and a friend has been recommending it, and I have decided to start doing reactions to movies/shows, YT videos, and maybe eventually some songs on YouTube. If you have been paying close attention, you will notice there are a few on there right now, but I have decided at the end of August I would – consistently – upload 1 to 2 videos a week of my reacting to something. I was inspired by a guy on YouTube, well two actually, and then it was my friend who kept telling me about it that caused me to take the leap. I wanted to start sooner, however, with my dad’s health issues and us trying to help him with getting started on dialysis. I decided it would be wise to just do the reactions at the end of August. I am super excited and starting to build a collection of videos and such to react to. I hope you will check them out when I begin putting them on our channel. I also wanted to see if there would be a few of you who are interested in joining the tnr community and help me decide on the videos I make. I have decided to start a patreon at the end of the month for anyone willing to join the TNR fam and support me in making great content for yall. When you support me you will get to be a part of the following:
Pick what content will be shown on YT and eventually Twitch
Get a shout out at the end of the video
Get some amazing goodies as a thank you for being in the fam
Receive a personal zoom chat with Me(Angie) and have a one hour QnA session.
I am so excited to get back with yall at the end of August. I also hope this will be a time for you to enjoy your family and friends, or find something great that you enjoy or have always wanted to do and pursue it.
As you know, Monday will be Memorial Day, a day we honor those in service to the United States military so we as a country can be free. Today’s post won’t be a long one, yet I hope you will read all the way through as I show ways we can honor those who lay down their lives on a regular basis, those who have made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives, and the families of those who have given their time and/or lives to service so we can live in a free country.
Honoring the fallen and forgotten
I think because some of us who aren’t in the military, or hear and see of war on television or in movies, we have become numb to violence and apathetic to what is really going on overseas. Now, this is just my opinion, and if you disagree that is okay, I am just sharing stuff I have seen. I have seen those who are serving or the families of those same people and they see things we as regular American citizens will never see or hear. We – and I am speaking to myself as well here – tend to complain about things such as a barista getting our coffee order wrong, when there are those who have died for us to enjoy the luxury of walking or driving safely to that coffee shop without getting shot or worse. I know I tend to do this and when I realize it, I have to take a step back and realize how blessed I am and how grateful I should be. Also, one thing I have noticed – especially with my step dad going through stuff regarding getting the benefits and stuff due him from having been in -, is how the government and others don’t even look in your direction unless you mention you served in either the world wars, or are currently serving. I am thankful for all those who serve, served, or gave their lives, but I also have to remind myself at times that there are those who did their time and have either been stricken with various illnesses, have become homeless, or simply are not given the proper respect because what they did wasn’t on the news or was considered popular.
My hope for this Memorial is that everyone would find ways to remember those who gave their lives and veterans. Ways you can show your respect is by doing such things as:
Write a letter or give a card to a veteran/a family member of someone who served our country and gave their life.
See if they need help getting somewhere/help paying bills or getting groceries. Basically be a good neighbor and find ways they could use some help, and if you are able to meet that need then try to do as such.
Simply showing your appreciation by thanking them and being respectful
This is just a few ways you can show your appreciation. If there is something you do to honor vets or families of the fallen share your comments below.
Showing respect and gratitude to those currently serving
So we talked about ways to honor veterans, those who have given their lives, and the families of the fallen. Next we will discuss how you can honor the living and those who are serving and unable to be with their families. A few of the ways I show my respect is when I see a family who has someone serving and they are away from them for a period, I try to find ways I am able to help whether by making food, seeing if they need baby-sitting, etc. Other ways you can show your respect is by writing the soldiers letters and sending care packages to them as a way to say thank you and help them remember why they are fighting and who they are fighting for. I have personally been praying for a few soldiers that are overseas, and this year I am thinking of seeing if there are those overseas who do not have anyone and could use some encouragement or just a pen pal. By doing this you are showing that you respect those who sacrifice to give you the freedom you have in this country, as well as keep things in perspective and at the forefront of your mind. Because if you’re anything like me, sometimes I get so preoccupied with my “stuff” that I forget to look around me and outside of myself and help others – even if it is a kind word or smile.
So what are some things you can do to show your support this Monday and hopefully all year round? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Happy Memorial weekend yall, and thank you to all who have served, are currently serving, who gave their lives for my freedom, and especially the families who either have lost loved ones or have those who are currently serving. God bless you, and I see you!