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  • Living simply is not so much about the particulars of our lives as much as it is about the principles that govern them. Knowing what God has called you to do, and then doing it--that's living simply.

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  • On Jan. 11, Joanne suffered a major stroke. She is now at home and continues on the journey to recovery.

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« The Fourth Week? Really? (Toben) | Main | Nice Move Toben (Toben) »


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Best $3 spent indeed! I pick my girls up from school. Both are still in elementary but I don't park next to the gate I park a block away and walk in to get them. One, I can't stand the bedlam and two, I cherish the time to chat with them right after the moment.
You really are a great dad and hubby. Love your posts.

Courtney McDermed

So it seems like the shoe issue is that there has to be enough room in the shoe to fit over that brace thing and then it has to be comfortable too, right? So, something like a converse low-top (which can be super cute) won't work b/c there's not enough room? And something like a motorcycle boot wouldn't work because it's too heavy? Is that right? Ballet flats won't work because there's not enough support, even if you could fit it over the apparatus she has to keep on her foot. I'm just trying to get a handle on this because, as a shoe girl myself, it kind of breaks my heart that J is locked out of her shoe closet. I keep turning over in my head the requirements for a good pair of shoes for her. For me, variety is important in addition to cuteness, so being stuck in the same pair of shoes would be super depressing - esp if I didn't love those shoes.
A pair of desert boots might work (light weight, roomy, etc) and they come in cute colors like pink or green. I'm still working on this, though. I'm not giving up on getting your beautiful wife into some "decent" shoes (even if they're not heels)! She also needs something in patent leather and something with sparkles or flowers. It's just important to look down at your feet and feel happy instead of resigned. Anyway, that's my frivolous two cents. thinking of you all.


car time -- the absolute best time with my daughter. And it won't be long until your eldest will be driving & you'll be the passenger. Be brave, Dad! Ride with her, listen & learn. Blessing on all of you.

Kim Feth

Praise God for grilled cheese and slow drive thrus! Isn't it amazing how He gives us exactly what we need in ways we could never have dreamed up? I might have to try that with The Boy!
Kim Feth
Apex, NC

lisa craddock

Thank you for sharing these vignettes of your life, Toben. I'm sorry about those shoes, Joanne! But your second dinner outings are brilliant. : )

Kim Whelan

I have to agree, I LOVE the second dinner outings. We do something similar. When I pick up my kids (ages 11 and 13) from school every day, I head directly to our favorite hang-out spot, which happens to be a burrito/taco place. Sometimes we eat, sometimes we just get a drink, but we hang out and talk. It seems like when we are home, we all go to our corners and busy ourselves with other stuff (facebook, homework, whatever), and we miss out on good conversation. I have friends who ask me why I have this ritual, and it's simply because I want to know what's going on with my kids -- to be available to listen to them without distractions. Quite frankly, it's the best money I could ever spend. Thanks for keeping up the real and honest blog posts, Toben!

Pam HOuston

Oh, I so lament Joanne's pain over shoes...I totally "get it". My husband built me the neatest shoe cubbies in the world. I can stash 60 shoes in those cubbies and see them all. At 65 years old, I have never gotten over my shoe fetish! A couple of years back the LORD told me I was to "fast shoes" and I did go for 2 years without spending one penny on shoes. Then He released me from the shoe fast and I have taken advantage of the "liberty"! I think you are a most awesome husband to realize and recognize how much a girl needs her shoes to validate her. I also want you to know how proud in the LORD I am of Joanne's resolve to get the morphine deliverance. Way to go! We won't give up in prayer. Nothing is impossible with the LORD. Not even "shoes" for your beautiful JOanne. Love too your "Dad" times and quality conversation with your girls while you get those hot off the grill cheese sammies...YUM! I'm cheering you all on from a distance...
A So. Cal "Siesta"
Pam Houston><>


Growing up, whenever my Dad was in "charge" ;-) we'd always have Midnight Chow in the summer months. He'd fire up the grill later in the night & we'd grill food & sit around talking. I have two brothers & a sister so it was priceless time for us & now? Some of my best memories as an adult.

You are good Dad, Toben. I tear up every time I read your posts!

May the Lord encourage, sustain & awe you with every passing day.


You are such a fantastic Daddy!!!!

(enough said...)


I wonder if having shoes she can't wear in her closet is like me having "too small" clothes in my closet. I finally got them out of my closet, because I felt like a failure every time I looked for something to wear to work. "Can't wear that, too tight!" instead of "This makes me look great" to something that actually fits my larger-than-desired body.

I'm not suggesting to get rid of them! And I don't know if boxing them up and getting them out of sight would be beneficial, or detrimental. Only she can determine that. But I wanted to make the suggestion in case it would be beneficial.


What about a writing campaign to her favorite shoe designers to design her shoes specifically for her needs? :-)Love your idea of second dinners! Thank you for sharing!


I do the same thing with my children. The best time to find out what is on their mind is while driving. Enjoy it while you can because all too soon they will be driving themselves (from experience).

PS I stumbled onto your site while looking up something completely unrelated. I have been following Joanie's progress and praying for her for almost a year now. I hope she will continue to improve and maybe wear some real shoes again!!


Do you know about the Flylady? She encourages people to get rid of clutter. Fly stands for Finally Loving Yourself. Her #1 tip is if you don't use it or love it, get rid of it. Maybe those shoes need to be put away since she isn't using them, so Joanne is not constantly reminded of what she can't wear, or maybe it is time to, in the Flylady's words, "bless someone else" with those lovely shoes.

Adidas Porsche Design

Usted sabe sobre la FlyLady? Se anima a la gente a deshacerse de desorden. Finalmente Fly stands para amarte a ti mismo. Su n º 1 consejo es que si usted no lo usa o lo amas, deshacerse de él. Tal vez los zapatos deben ser guardados, ya que no los está usando, por lo que Joanne no se le recuerda constantemente de lo que ella no puede usar, o tal vez es hora de, en palabras del FlyLady de "bendecir a otra persona" encantadora con los zapatos.

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