Joyful Momma's Thoughts and Designs: Thoughts and Tips for Life; Designs and Tools for Living It


Hi there! My name is Kimberly and I am the main author here at Thoughts & Designs. I started this website back in 2004 (as Joyful, with the primary goal of encouraging other moms in raising kids who love God and finding joy in the everyday. I have a burden, born out of hard times in my own life, to help other moms enjoy the journey of motherhood and over come the burden of “mom guilt”. In addition to the posts on this blog, I’ve written articles for other publications, as well as several books and ebooks which you can find on

I am not Martha Stewart by any stretch of the imagination. I am creative, but I’m not very crafty. I don’t scrapbook. Most of my diy projects are borne out of a combination of need plus lack of funds. I love figuring out ways to repurpose garage sale finds. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it flops. I mostly cook from scratch. Again, this is not out of an attempt to be house wife extraordinaire, but out of a tight budget and mad cooking skills.

I’ve been a Christian since 1990, when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior while backpacking around Europe after college. I made several “detours” along my spiritual journey since that time, however our faithful God has always been there to catch me when I fall. Praise Him!

After a very brief courtship, I married my equally-prone-to-rash-decisions husband, Martin. We were married in an exciting wedding ceremony that included, among other things, me lighting my veil on fire with the unity candle.Through various trials and tribulations, including several high risk pregnancies, five closely spaced children, backsliding, family members actively working against our marriage and Christian walk, and the usual junk, we’ve somehow made it to a point where we can truly say we’re “happily married”. We’ve also learned what that whole “For better or For worse; For richer or For poorer; In sickness and in Health”┬áthing really is all about.

We have five amazing, homeschooled children (including two graduates) ages 14 and up, and who each love and serve the Lord — Ruth, Judah, Anastasia, Esther, and Isobel.

Pressing on,



This article may contain affiliate links. For more information, please refer to my disclosure policy.


  1. Lesley says:

    Good evening,

    I am from CouponsToTroops and I wanted to let you know that I’m grateful for your “12 Simple Steps to Start Couponing” article where you mentioned our program about sending coupons overseas to our military families. I wanted to let you know that the number of people who are finding us because of your post is heart-warming.

    Today on my personal blog, I posted about a referral contest where bloggers are eligible to enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card by simply being the blogger who posts about CouponsToTroops AND generates the highest number of people signing up with us to adopt a family to mail to. In addition to the blogger winning the $25 card, one of the winning bloggers’ refer -ees will also win a $10 Amazon giftcard.

    I hope you will consider posting again about our program, which will help us help so many more military families. The link to my contest can be found at:

    If you are not interested in participating in the contest, I apologize for taking up your time.

    Sincerely, Lesley Parkinson

    • Joyful Momma Kimberly says:

      Hi Lesley, I love you guys! I actually referred to you in my new book, Joyful Momma’s Guide to Shopping & cooking Frugally, for people to know what to do with their expired coupons. thank you for what you do. I’ll try to get one in.

  2. Maia says:


    Thank you for this blog site! What a wonderful resource for young moms like me, who have yet to experience so much in family life. I am so grateful I stumbled upon your page while surfing the LAF (Ladies against feminism) blog. I hope to visit often and learn more from your insights…until then, keep up the great work and God bless you and your family!

    love, Maia :)

  3. Tara H says:

    Hey Kimberly, I just got your book on Amazon today. I’ve just sat and read the first couple chapters. I was in tears! You see, we have a lot in common. My husband and I have 5 boys. We are in a heap of debt and sometimes it seems as if we will never be out. We just started to get very serious about paying it off though so I’m excited for this new chapter in our lives. We live with my inlaws and have for the past 8 years. They are very good to us, but I really need/want a place of our own.
    Any way, I googled your blog just to tell you how much I have already enjoyed your book. I’m looking forward to reading it all! One of the reviews on Amazon was a complaint about how much you mentioned God so I knew your book had to be great! It has already blessed me. God is so good to us even when we don’t deserve it. Even though we have done dumb things when it comes to finances I believe that God has still blessed because we have always tithed. Now if we could just leave off the dumb part, I can’t wait to see what God has in store!
    Thanks for writing the book, sharing your heart and story, and for already being a blessing in my life.

  4. Liz says:

    hello kimberley , I found your book on amazon today. I have browsed through it quickly and am very impressed by your diet choices, it IS a hard route to take, health versus filling up tummies, you seem to have struck the happy medium, I love the spices and herbs you choose to use and the fact that you dont use cans of food to make food, from scratch home made is way way better.
    You have left me with a feeling of gratitude for what I have today, and while I am far from well off, I can only put it out to the universe that every body should live as comfortably as I do.
    it is very hard to see good people suffer through no fault of their own.
    The news is full of people struggling to make ends meet all over the world, enough to make even me cry.
    I wish the very best for you, your family and anyone else doing it tough
    May we all have peace, prosperity and enough :)


  5. Kelly Sangree says:

    Hi Kimberly! I love your book about frugal cooking – you’ve inspired me to continue with my own book on frugality! I’m searching the lovely new site for more recent posts, because I’ve been wondering how the foreclosure issue went. Have you moved? Are you still in the old house? How’s everyone settling in? Etc. :) Hope you’re well.

  6. Kelly says:

    Hi Kim! After only another year, I finished the book! Wanna see?

  7. Kelly says:

    Hi Kimberly – I tried emailing you, but it says “email could not be delivered”. Just wanted to let you know that about a dozen posts from 2011 showed up in my inbox today and it made me think of you. :) Also, if you could email me, I had a question for you that I didn’t want to post here. Thanks!

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