Kohl Hard Facts

This adventure we call life in the Kohl Family

5 Minute Friday/Saturday – Write October 5, 2013

Filed under: 5 Minute Friday — kohlhardfacts @ 12:34 pm

I’m doing a Five Minute Friday here today [Saturday, oops].

Yesterday’s prompt was….



It’s official.  I’m a terrible blogger.

I want to be good at it.  I want to be consistent and witty and full of brilliant ideas.

But instead, I find myself over a month past my last blog and super frustrated for not having written more.

Now, to be fair, in that time we moved to a new state, and we haven’t had Internet at our new [temporary] home, and we’ve been trying to buy a [permanent] house and get settled into our new surroundings, and Viola started Preschool, and on the list goes.

All of that to say, I’ve been missing this space. Oh, how I miss this writing. I’m hoping I will be able to get at least a bit more consistent here. [I do always have the best intentions. We’ll see…]

So I’m back for today doing probably my favorite thing to do here….5 Minute Friday [yes, I know it’s Saturday. Grace, please. :)]

I’m writing in this moment while I have the time, and giving myself grace to write when I can and let go of it when I can’t.

After all, isn’t that what writing is about? Sharing your story with others so that we can all see the grace and beauty and freedom in this life. For me, anyway…that’s why I write.


Fall 2013 008


Last August 23, 2013

Filed under: 5 Minute Friday — kohlhardfacts @ 2:39 pm

It’s Five Minute Friday time again. A time to clear your mind and write from your heart. A time to gather a community of women across the web and across the world and pour out our words as an offering to the One who gave us these words.

Today’s word is


As I thought of this word, so many things came to my mind.  So many different definitions and different meanings.

And then I thought of my Nana.

I thought of the last time I was with her.

The last days before she went to be with her Savior.

The last time I lay in bed next to her and we spoke of things of great and very little significance.

And we spoke of our last name.

The last truly significant thing she said to me was that she was so glad that I was a part of this family. She told me that she hoped I never let anyone make me feel less a part of the family because I wasn’t born into it. I was chosen into it.

And I thought of what she left behind. The things that would last long after her body was gone from this world.

Six sons. Hard working, God loving men who love their wives and their families. Men who are leaving a legacy of faith and love.

Nana wasn’t a very religious person. She didn’t really like church, and she certainly didn’t care for self-righteous people [she had enough of that in the church she grew up in]. But she knew how to love. And she knew that God is love. And she taught that to her kids and grandkids.

Eleven grandkids in fact [including my step-cousins, who are family because Nana taught us that family has a much broader definition than blood.]

There are now thirty nine…yes, you read that right…39 in the great-grandchild generation. With one on the way come October. And one on the way in the great-great-grandchild generation.

When she was still living, she sent a birthday card and a Christmas present to every single grandchild and great-grandchild…usually the present was something she had made herself. She always had each of our favorite candies on hand when we came to visit. One time when I was little I left my blankie at her house. It got home before we did.

We have our flaws and our drama, plenty of issues to go around.

But we know how to love.

And that is the thing that Nana taught us that will last beyond even our life times.


My dad and his brothers. [You definitely can’t tell they’re related. 😉 ]


Five Minute Friday: Small August 16, 2013

Filed under: 5 Minute Friday — kohlhardfacts @ 1:44 pm

Five Minute Friday is an awesome movement started by Lisa-Jo Baker.

It’s a simple idea: 5 minutes of writing based on a one word prompt. No over-thinking, no back tracking, no editing. Just you and the keyboard for 5 minutes of what’s on your heart.

[Excuse me while I go let the dog in….and back out…and back in again. Oh, she’s hungry….Ok! I’m back!]

As I was saying…today’s word is…


Summer 2013 289


They won’t be like this for very long.

This fall the bigger little one will start preschool.

They are only small for such a very short time and then they grow up. And so I have to teach them now – while they are still small – what it means to live a big life.

How to love God and love people in a big way.

That it’s through the small things that you make a big difference – a big change in the world. Through hugging someone who seems un-huggable. Through loving someone who feels un-loveable. Through putting others’ needs before your own desires. Even when you don’t feel like it. Especially when you don’t feel like it.

And if I teach them now – if I show them through my own life; through my daily actions and reactions – it will become a part of their lives. A part of their very fibers.

If I wait until they are big, it will be too late.

Because big things always start out very small. And when they’re small, they are shaped and formed and molded into what they will be when they are big.



5 Minute…Monday? July 24, 2012

Filed under: 5 Minute Friday — kohlhardfacts @ 1:15 am

Well, Friday came and went with zero time to sit [even for five minutes] and let the words flow from my heart to the computer screen.  But now it’s Monday afternoon and I’m sitting here holding a sleeping, snuggling, slightly feverish seven month old.  So I’m seizing this brief window of opportunity to catch u on 5 Minute Friday.

In case you’re unfamiliar with 5 Minute Friday, you can learn all about it right here from the amazing Lisa-Jo.

5 Minutes

No editing.

No backtracking.

No over-thinking.

Just writing.  Thoughts to paper computer.

Today’s Friday’s prompt was:



Tragedy racks our world – our hearts.

One man’s incomprehensible act changes the course of hundreds – thousands of lives.  Robs twelve of life completely.

Sun scorched fields shrivel from rain withheld for months.  Food sources, livelihoods, families shrivel with them.

The innocence of children is stolen and so many turn a blind eye.

This world we live in, it’s broken.

The people who live in this broken world are broken.  Hurting.  Lost.  Weary.

But inside of me lives a hope.  A promise.

The only One who can bring healing to the hurting, rest to the weary, order to the chaos.

The only One who will every be enough to fill the hole left by this broken world.

How can I dare keep that to myself?  How can I keep from singing it, shouting it?  How can I not share this hope with the ones who need it most?  This hope that is meant to be shared – this gift entrusted to me that I might pass it on.

Because relationship with Him has taught me new understanding of enough – enough of Him.  Not that it’s always easy; not that I always understand these events from this earthly view point; not that I have it all figured out.  But that He fills me up with enough of Him and as I drink in that beautiful, rich relationship I am filled up with Him.

And in that, I find enough.



5 Minute Friday – Expectation June 8, 2012

Filed under: 5 Minute Friday — kohlhardfacts @ 9:12 pm

We’ve had a busy Friday around here.  The girls and I went to the zoo with some wonderful ladies and their kiddos.  It was a sweet time of hanging out and building those relationships.  The kids had a blast looking at animals, riding the carrousel, getting faces painted, playing in the splash area – whew!  I’m tired just remembering all of the fun they had!  🙂
I’m so very thankful for days like this – for the fact that I’m able to stay home with the girls instead of working, for the zoo membership my parents gifted us, for my sweet social girls, for beautiful sunshiney days.

And now on to something I look forward to every week – 5 Minute Friday!

If you’re not familiar with 5 Minute Friday, check out The Gypsy Mama to learn what it’s all about.

Today’s prompt:



I’ve been thinking a lot about expectations lately.

What I expect of my kids, my husband, my ministry leaders, my family and friends.

What each of them expects of me.

What I expect out of life.

So many expectations – so much to live up to.  And more often than not, we fail at those expectations.  People we love fail us.  Life fails us.

This led me to wonder – is there a way to live life without expectations?  Would it be a good thing to live without expectations?  Would it be possible to avoid disappointment?  Heartache?

And yet if we had no expectations wouldn’t we be missing out on some of life’s greatest joys – of the looking ahead with excitement and anticipation?


I had SO much more I wanted to write!  But I’m playing by the rules.  5 minutes, and 5 minutes only.  So there you go, my 5 minutes on expectations.


5 Minute Friday – See June 1, 2012

Filed under: 5 Minute Friday — kohlhardfacts @ 9:12 pm

It’s Friday again!


You know what that means….5 Minute Friday with The Gypsy Mama!

5 minutes to write freely.  Without worrying about perfection.  Without worrying about grammar/spelling/editing.

Today’s word:  SEE


I love days like today – all overcast and cloud covered – the day after a good, soaking rain.

I love the way the world looks on days like this.  The colors seem so vibrant.  Plants, grass, leaves, flowers all saturated with the nourishment of the rain brighten – almost glow.

We need the sun – it’s heat; it’s light; it’s energy; it’s nourishment.

But sometimes in the bright light of the sun, other colors are harder to see – they get drowned out by the overwhelming brilliance of the sun.

Isn’t life like this sometimes?

It takes a good, soaking rain [hard times, troubles, maybe a sickness] to help you see the colors of life for the vibrancy that they are.



5 Minute Friday – Perspective May 18, 2012

Filed under: 5 Minute Friday — kohlhardfacts @ 8:21 pm

I’m back for another round of 5 Minute Friday – check out The Gypsy Mama to find out what it’s all about.

So here’s my 5 minutes on…



I’m bitter.  I’m bitter about something, and I’m holding on tight to it.

My knuckles are white with the fierceness, the hardness with which I’m holding onto this.

Do you ever know that you need a perspective change, but you really just don’t want one?

Oh how stubborn my flesh is.

But the Lord – oh He is so sweet.  And patient.  Patient beyond what I can even begin to comprehend.  Ever so gently and tenderly, He takes my hands in His.  Softly strokes them.  Whispers with love, “Let go, child.  I have something so much better to give you.”

And me?  I shake my head.  Clench harder. Grasp bitterness with all my might.  [As if my might could ever stand up to the mighty love of the Lord!]

He speaks again, through His written word, “For [Erin] trusts in the Lord; through the unfailing love of the Lord, she will not be shaken.”

He whispers, Do you trust me?”

My hands shake with the effort to hold on.

I read another woman’s words, “And in that place of humble thanks, God exalts and gives more gifts, more of Himself, which humbles and lays the soul down lower.  And good God responds with greater gifts and even more of Himself.”

He whispers, “Do you trust me?”

Slowly, joint-by-joint, finger-by-finger, the hands loosen; let go; empty.

And I wait for the new perspective, His perspective.  I wait with anticipation because I know – because He has shown me that it will be good.  It will be sweet. It will be His.


And because I just can’t resist a picture of these two adorable faces….