Friday, December 30, 2011

Striving for Proverbs 31

I've just finished reading My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife by Sara Horn.  From the beginning I really identified with Sara, as our husbands are both military.  And I've also been pondering the passage for a while now, asking God, praying about how to apply these instructions to my life and my daily journey.  Because I truly believe that in that passage lies the keys of a godly, quiet-spirited, productive, successful wife and mother.  But if I'm being honest here, I thought,

 "This is probably another woman telling me that I'm not doing right by my family because I'm working outside the home.  That I couldn't possibly be fulfilling God's plan for my family, if I'm not home 24 hours a day caring for our home and family.  That there's no way my focus could be my family when I spend 8 hours out of our home."

But there were 4 words on the cover of her book that intrigued me and they were...

"....and Its Surprising Results".  I wanted to know what her surprising results were!

As Sara chronicled her journey, it was encouraging to see the growth in her obedience to God and her love for her family.  I've been asking God to help me to love my family more selflessly and to put that love into action.  This is one of the most important things that Sara had to to put her family before herself. And what that looks like practically.  It's easy to think about or talk about ways to put our family first.  But that will look differently for every family.  And I'm learning that true selflessness doesn't come when you can put one's needs in front of your own, but when you can put their desires ahead of your desires.  I mean, it's easy, as mothers, to fix dinner for your children when you are sick and legitimately need rest because, obviously our children "need" to eat.  But what about when a family member merely wants to have something, or to do something that would conflict with something you want to have or do?  That takes a new level of selflessness. 

When I've read Proverbs 31 before, it has seemed like a list of daunting tasks to be checked off my to-do list.  But I thought, "I can do this.  I'm a task oriented person.  I like lists.  If this is what it takes to be a Proverbs 31 wife, I so got this." But I have found that whenever I am focused on lists, chores, or tasks to complete, I always come up a complete failure.  I always run out of time, out of energy, or out of will  The Proverbs 31 wife or "Martha 31" as Sara calls her, is doing what it takes to take care of her family and as a result she is honoring her husband, and her children "call her blessed".  I think we get caught up in the to-do's of the Proverbs 31 wife and forget to try and see her heart.  Her heart is focused completely on her family, her checklist is purely for the betterment of her home and her family.  I, for one, am tremendously grateful that  our Savior doesn't look at our to-do lists to see how many chores we were able to check off for the day.  But He instead looks at our hearts.  So, friends, instead of striving to complete checklist after checklist and seeking affirmation in the number of chores or assignments you complete, seek affirmation from your Creator and ask Him to work in your heart. 

As Sara says in her book,

"I want to be the wife who is a blessing to her family, who is praised and remembered, not for the activities or projects I checked off, but for the smiles I wore, the peace I shared, and the deep love of God I hope I instilled wherever I went.  That's my prayer."

And that, I think, is the essence of what a Proverbs 31 wife should try to be.  

iHome Management Part 2

One of the most helpful and very practical apps that I have used is called HomeRoutine. I used to have a Control Journal. If you have ever heard of Flylady, you know what this is. It’s a method of breaking your home down into zones, assigning each zone a certain week and keeping track of the chores that need to be completed for that zone. It also includes all the routines that make up your day—morning routines, before bed routines, etc. Your weekly cleaning tasks , vacuuming, tubs, dusting, etc. are also managed in your control journal.

 The problem for me was not creating this household survival guide of sorts; I’m good at planning and outlining routines and assigning chores. The problem for me was actually putting it all into action and being consistent with it.This is where the HomeRoutine app comes in handy. I no longer have my control journal in my clunky binder, everything I just mentioned is put into the app…every routine you have,

the tasks associated with that routine,

Each Zone of your home, which you customize.

every chore that needs to be done for every zone.

Then it REMINDS you to actually do it. You can set reminders when certain things are to be done or certain routines are supposed to begin, it will sound an alarm. As you do each task, you click the star, which then turns yellow, indicating that you have completed it…nice little motivating factor when you look back over the day and see how much you have accomplished.  
There's a built in timer function that's very useful if you're like me and have a hard time stopping once you get involved in a certain task.  Set it for 15,20,30 minutes....make it work for you....then just stop when you are out of time.  

There's also a ToDo List with options to list things that need to get done today, this week and things that aren't immediately necessary but will be coming up soon.

It takes some time to set it all up, but the ability to edit it online and then sync with your phone makes it much easier.   This app currently has 4.5 stars on App Store. It’s not free, but worth the few bucks in my opinion.

I'm linking up with Tidy Mom today.

I'm Lovin' It at TidyMom

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

iHome Management Part 1

Family calendar, household cleaning routines, chore management for the kids, menu planning, grocery lists, important contact information, important papers that I needed to keep for future reference....all this used to be kept in my Household Notebook.  

Here is what it looked like:

A cute, but clunky binder.  It housed everything I needed but was large and cumbersome since I had to have it with me everywhere I went.  My Type A, OCD personality said that I needed it, just in case.  It wasn't the type of thing that could just sit on my counter at home, because, well, we are not home much.   And I do a lot of planning when I'm out and about, waiting at piano lessons or doctor appointments, during dance practices, etc.  So it really was necessary for me to have it with me at all times.  

Then I discovered this world that is the iPhone and all the amazingly practical and helpful apps that go along with it.  
Now everything I need is right here at my fingertips.  And this is what my Household Notebook looks like!

I'm always downloading and trying out new apps.  You will almost never see me playing a gamey (sure, that's a word) app on my phone, but grocery shopping, or meal planning apps....sign me up!!
Over the next week, I'm going to share with you the apps that make up my Household Notebook,the ones that make my life a little more organized, explaining what they do and how I use them practically in my busy life.

I'll be linking up with Courtney at Women Living Well.

Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Peace or Happiness?

My life lately seems to work around themes.  Last year, around this time, the theme was to "simplify".  Practically, this meant to declutter, and streamline routines, and let unnecessary tasks go.  It was what I felt God was telling me in answer to my prayers for peace, calmness, and less anxiety.  I began to notice a huge difference in the atmosphere in our home and my attitude.

Recently, I began again to pray for peace, for clarity.  This time as I listen for God's gentle guidance, the theme seems to be "contentment and thankfulness".  I just love when God puts answers right smack in your face at every turn. Lovingly, of course.

God reminds me all the time that I am right where He wants me to be with my job as a teacher in a Christian school, which I also consider a ministry. I have seen, first hand, fruits of this ministry.  But it never fails, some circumstance throws me off, makes me doubt, makes me think that I should be the one educating my own children, making me jealous or envious of those who are at home with their children.

It is at this time that I have to stop and compare these feelings, the doubts, the emotions against the Word of God.  Is it ever okay to be envious, jealous, or covetous of something that someone else has? God's Word says it's not okay and that it is sin. But that's exactly what I'm doing when I look at other families and compare or want our family to look like theirs.  Then the flip side of the question is whether it is a sin to work outside the home and let others educate your children.  Nope, not specifically.  Could it be? Sure, if you're not seeking God's guidance.  Or going against your husband's wishes for the family.

Given the option of being thankful and content with where you are and what you have or being envious of what someone else has or is doing, you can never go wrong with thanking God in ALL circumstances.

I think that sometimes, as Christians we decide whether something is in God's will for our life based on the way we feel about it.  Whether we feel "at peace" with that situation.  This is a common phrase that I hear thrown around when Christians are faced with a decision to make.  They mean well. They likely legitimately want to do God's will.  But too many times, we confuse "peace" with "happiness".  No choice that you make, no path that you choose will make you "happy" all the time.  Even if you are smack in the middle of God's will, we still live in an imperfect world and will face uncomfortable situations, difficult people and things that just make us angry.  There will be times that you are exhausted, overwhelmed, and feel like you'll never catch up.  As moms that's pretty much our state of being for the first years of motherhood, no matter what.
God in His infinite wisdom and love for you has mapped out every step of your life, and He wants to make that plan known to you.  But to be sure that you are in His will, you have to be in His Word.  When you know that He has revealed what He wants for your life, and it has been backed up by the Word of God, that plan doesn't change based on earthly circumstances or a "feeling".  Don't let circumstances steal your joy, or determine what you feel is God's will.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wonderful Beginning!

I'm a fickle blogger, a bit indecisive and inconsistent.  I've changed my name back to what  I originally started with.  It's the name I most identify with and I love it.
I had changed it because I started to think that it made me sound like I was working with drudgery and that I coveted the name SAH mom.  And that is not the case at all.  I absolutely LOVE my job.  I love the education that my kids are getting.  I love the time that I get to spend with other grown-ups and all the other stuff that goes along with my having a career.  I am TRULY blessed to be doing what I am doing where I am doing it. Nevertheless, as my blog name suggests, my heart and my priorities lie here in my home with my family.  I may not do both perfectly, but who does.  I give both all I have and God's grace fills in the gaps.

School is in full swing around here and I absolutely adore my students this year.  I prayed for a week before school started that God would help me to love these kids the way He does.  That I could see them the way their parents see them.  And I have already fallen in love with them.  I've prayed with them, I've laughed with them, there have even been a couple that I've wanted to cry with.  I'm just so grateful for them.  And I'm so, so thankful that God hears my prayers.

My kids are doing great in school.  Alyssa is still adjusting to middle school, more studying, less spoon-feeding.  What I really mean is I'm still adjusting.  Geez, middle school is a whole new world. Although, I'm struggling more than my little social butterfly is.  She just flutters around without a care in the world.  Anyone who knows me knows that isn't how I roll.  And quite frankly, I've never understood people who are like this.  *sigh* She's got so much of her daddy in her.

Have a blessed evening friends!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pick Up Your Mess, Jesus Said So

Yesterday in church, my pastor spoke about the man who couldn't walk and his friends lowered him into the house that Jesus was in so that he would be healed.  As he was reading through the passage of Scripture that he was preaching from (Luke 5:17-26), he got to the part of the story when Jesus said, "Arise take up your bed, and go to your house."  I'm a little embarrassed and a little amused that what caught my attention was that Jesus told him to "pick up his bed".  I thought,"See, even Jesus doesn't like a mess". 

Later as my pastor talked more in depth about the different points in the passage, he suggested that Jesus commanded the man to pick up his bed because he wanted him to have a reminder of the miracle that Jesus performed in his life.  When he said that, I couldn't help but chuckle, I'm sure someone on the side of me or in front of me heard me and wondered what was so funny. 

Oh, to be inside this crazy mind of mine!

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's That Time of Year Again!

Our summer is beginning to wind down and I'm beginning to get those back-to-school, got-so-much-work-to-do-before-school, did-I-make-the-most-out-of-our-summer, my-kids-are-one-year-older jitters.

I've gone through last year's school uniforms, salvaged what we could and bought what we needed-a few shirts, new shoes, socks and undies. I have one set of school supplies left to get.  I haven't gotten Lylah Grace's supplies yet.  I will get those on Monday.  But even if I didn't her mommy teacher would let it slide for a couple of days.  Yep, I get to be Lylah Grace's teacher this year.  I taught Alyssa when she was in 3rd.  But then we only had one third grade class so it was kinda the only way.  This year, though, we have two classes so we weren't sure how that was going to go over.  So I went to my awesome principal and assistant principal and asked them if she could be in my class and explained that it was the only opportunity that I get to teach my own kids and how we had both been looking forward to it.  And they said, "OK".  We are super excited.

On top of that, I have a middle-schooler this year.  The way our small school is set up, the elementary is on one side of a courtyard and middle and high school has been "on the other side".  Another teacher(who also has child/children Alyssa's age) and myself have been joking about our kids going "to the other side" as if it's some dark, dangerous place.  Completely joking, of course.  But in a way it is completely new territory for us and for them.  Things are different at this age and on.  I can't believe I'm the mother of a middle school student. Ugh, how do mom's do this...watching their babies growing up and getting ready to be adults.  It's hard for me, I have to admit.  But I better suck it up because I have a feeling it's going to get harder before it gets easier. 

And then there's David.  He is going to be in Pre-K.  He will soon be coming home writing, and reading.  Our 4 year olds know how to read pretty well before they enter Kindergarten.  By our, I mean our school/preschool.  He had already begun putting simple sounds together in the 3 year-old program so I am so excited to watch him blossom this year.  I have a feeling that at this time next year, I won't be quite so excited to watch him go to Kindergarten...sigh...I can't even think about it *tear*. 

And lastly, Ava.  I was getting letters from her teacher last year that she was being sassy, and not obeying.  We tried to work on obedience over the summer, and I hope that we made some progress.  But (and I'm definitely not one to make excuses for my children) that child has a personality unlike any of our other children.  She's precious, of course.  But she's also...uuhhmmm....spirited...yep, that's what we'll call her.  So I look forward to seeing what this year holds for her as well, as the three-year old program is much more structured than the two-year old class she was in last year.  Nevertheless, they all have teachers who love them and I know we are all going to have a great year.

Now, I'm off to write lesson plans, paint classroom walls, hang bulletin boards and various other tasks to get my room ready.  I had to change classrooms this year....blech!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Common Ground

I didn't get around to sending out a "Happy Independence Day" post.  I know, bad blogger.  But yesterday I was reminded of what this holiday is all about.

The kiddos were at my sis-in-law's house for the afternoon, so Cecil and I decided to go out for lunch together.  We stopped to get gas on the way and as he was pumping gas, an older gentleman approached him and reached out to shake his hand. 

 He said, "Happy 4th,7 years US Army." Cecil shook his hand and said, "Happy 4th to you, 14 years Army National Guard." The gentleman said, " Good deal, I'm proud of you". 

Cecil hears "Thank You for your service" all the time when he's out and about.  He has had kind, appreciative people offer to pay his lunch bill when they see him in restaurants. But I can imagine (and I haven't asked him about this) that there is something special about sharing a handshake and exchanging words of thanks with a fellow veteran. 

These guys know the feeling of something, I will never know.  Of serving this wonderful country.  They didn't serve together, they weren't even serving at the same time.  But their purpose was the same.  To defend and protect this nation that we should all be proud of.  And that puts them on common ground, ground that spans generations. 

When he got back in the car and told me about the exchange, I looked at him and said, " I'm proud of you, too".  He smiled put his hand on my leg and said, "Thanks".  And I realized that I don't say it nearly enough.

I love this man, and the country he defends.  Happy late Independence Day!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Have you ever seen something and wanted to make it so much that you loaded up all the pajama-clad kiddos in the van and went to get supplies without even taking the time to brush your own hair?  Okay, me either.  But I came pretty darn close, when I saw these this morning.  There I was, just surfing the blogosphere and I happened to see these tiny pieces of Heaven.  Do you think there will be chocolate or cookie dough in Heaven?  Has to be.

Anyway, I've been in a MAJOR cooking rut.  I'm pretty sure last night's supper was the worst I've ever cooked.  Hubs came home and I didn't greet him with a kiss or a "Hi honey, how was your day" I greeted him with, "sorry, dinner sucks".  (excuse the expletive, we don't usually use that word around here).  But it was kinda bad.

Anyway, these will get me into the kitchen and hopefully make up for dinner last night. My man does LOVE him some cookie dough anyway he can get it....raw, cooked, with a glob of buttercream sandwiched between two cookies.  So I know he's going to love these.

I don't know how I missed these.  I am constantly stalking  visiting Bridget at Bake at 350. But somehow, I'm just seeing these.  I can't wait to devour them.

Summer Bedtime?

It's 8am and all four of my kiddos are still sleeping.  I've had 2 hours of quiet time and I have savored every second of it.  But the downfall of them sleeping so late is that they give us such a hard time going to sleep at night.  Last night it was so tough getting them all to bed.  This frustrates C because, while I am a morning person and I like my quiet time in the morning, he is a night person and he prefers quiet time at night.  And when the kids are up, it ain't quiet. During the school year, we start bedtime at 8pm (and I usually follow not too far behind) I don't want the summer to be a time of strict bedtimes and waking times, but we do need some semblance of routine.

Oh, I hear Ava coming now.  She peeked around my door and said, "I been coming for you".  Nothing makes me smile bigger than that freshly woken up face.  So Sweet.

Okay, now I just got finished cleaning David after a nosebleed.  Guess quiet time is over, let's get this day started.

What do your kids' bedtimes/routines look like during the summer??

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Whole New Bloggy World

Lately I've been visiting a few style blogs. I never set out searching for style blogs, I just stumbled across some on accident and realized that I really enjoy reading them. I've always enjoyed getting dressed and putting outfits together and accessorizing. But never really gave it all much thought. I just threw on whatever was in my closet, whatever I had time for, whatever was clean (or had one more wear in it before I HAD to wash it) and was out the door. Who would have thought that there was an entire bloggy world out there dedicated to normal everyday people and the clothes they wear. I'm loving it! Like my husband said this morning, "There are blogs out there for everyone, baby". I think he's right. Yes, we chat about blogs and he acts like he cares because he's so awesome like that! I also chat about LOTRO and act like I care listen very intently, hanging on every word. Love ya, honey!

And because I want all two of you to find happiness and fulfillment like I have, I'm sharing two blogs that I love right now:

La Vie Petite was, I think, the first one I stumbled across. Isn't she so stinkin cute!

Then I ran into Kendi Everyday. I love her pictures! Maybe one day, I'll venture out of my bathroom for some shots. But it does help that her photographer husband takes all her pictures. All I have is my tripod. Oh Well :(

What's so great about both of these girls is that neither of them spend a lot of money on their clothes and they frequent thrift stores where they pick up lots of great finds.

Which is one reason that I'm so proud of this outfit. The whole thing was thrifted! Does it look like it?? I don't think so, either.

I know, I seriously need to do something about the
floors and wall color in my bathroom.
I'm working on it! I have been working
on it for years one tiny step at a time!

Shirt: Goodwill, Jacket: Goodwill, Pants: Goodwill, Shoes: Passed to me by my sister-in-law. Jewelry: not thrifted but I did purchase it all with my 50% jeweler discount from Premier Designs. I used to sell Premier and racked up on some great pieces.

I went in to Goodwill to look for two specific shirts (both of which I found). But I found so much more and I just couldn't stop. A lot of what I found was name brand and looked fairly new. The jacket above is Ann Taylor. I also scored some Gap pieces and some stuff from The Limited.
We are seriously deficient in thrift stores around here, unless there are some I don't know about. But there is one other one that I want to try. One day when I can go sans kiddos!>

Happy blogging everyone!

as a side note: I was so excited to learn to strikethrough text. but that clever little LOTRO comment just wasted 30 minutes of my life because I somehow "struckthrough" the entire post. There were like 50 of those marks dispersed though out my post that I had to delete. since i really know nothing about html, i have no idea how or why it happened but SHEESH! AHHH! there they are again! I give up!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

If I'm Completely Honest

I scheduled David's yearly check-up with the cardiologist the other day. It's on the 28th of this month and I can't wait to see how my little man's heart is doing. (For any new readers, David was born with only one ventricle. He was also born with Transposition of the Great Ateries and Situs Inversus.) You can read about his journey here, here, and here, and here. I very much look forward to these visits. I really wish he was going more often. But they also make me a little nervous, if I'm completely honest.

Okay, if I'm completely honest, I'll tell you that it's always at this time that I reflect on everything that he has been through in amazement at God's handiwork. The words "I am so thankful" are such a profound understatement.

If I'm completely honest, I'll tell you that I'm afraid of the what-ifs, and the unknowns. When we first found out about David's heart defect, I researched for hours a day trying to understand what was going on, what to expect when he came into this world, wishing I could just keep him in there where my body was keeping him safe and healthy. Then before each surgery I would spend time reading and researching what was to come, what to expect, to try and prepare myself.

I haven't let myself do any of that since after his last surgery. But today, I did and it brought back a flood of emotions. The truth is that the procedure that he had done is relatively new (the first being done in 1968) and they don't know for certain the long term prognosis. I've read that some speculate that a post-Fontan heart would last 30-40 years. I googled to try and find adults who have been through the Fontan and happened across a girl who is 32 and completed the Fontan 28 years ago. She says she is doing fine with just a few arrythmias. There doesn't appear to be a lot of information on the long-term prognosis. But I do know that the surgical procedures and subsequent care has improved over the years. And David has always fared waaayy on the better side of potential outcomes. He has amazed even his doctors in his recovery after all his surgeries. And he is doing absolutely fabulous right now. And we are so grateful for that!

With that said, I ran across some posts from other moms who also say that they are afraid. Wondering whether their child will make it to the teenage years, or whether they'll get married or hold their babies. I won't say that those thoughts constantly occupy my mind, I don't dwell on it. But I'd be lying if I said that I never shed tears thinking about it.

So I just pray. I know that David has a purpose here, and I pray that God lets me keep him until that purpose is fulfilled...whenever that may be.

In a Nutshell

Hi There!
I thought for sure once the summer came around, I'd be able to blog more. but as you can see, that hasn't happened. But I don't stress about it, because I don't want my blog to be one more thing on my to-do list that I feel pressured to do. So anyway, here's what's been going on.

The husband is out of town...again. We all miss him. I hate when he's gone, especially when it's the first two weeks of summer vacation.

I always feel like a lump the first week or so after school is out. I don't feel like doing anything. The house is always in need of major rehab because the last two weeks of school really stress me out and I don't get much done around here. But now all is good. The house is clean and orderly and things are going so smoothly. I wish Cecil was here to enjoy it with us...

My van is in the shop...has been for nearly a week. The air conditioner was/is broken. We held off until the school year was over to put it in the shop and lemme tell you it was misery riding without an A/C.

I'm currently driving a small Mitsubishi Lancer that my parents have. I have a new appreciation for the distance that my van provides between all the kiddos. All I've been hearing all week is, "Mom, he won't get his arm off of me" or "Mom, I don't have enough room". I am immensely grateful for the car that I was able to borrow and the money that I didn't have to spend on a rental, and the a/c that is in the car...but I will be so thankful to get my van back, hopefully, today.

I will be painting my bedroom in the next couple of days. I'm really excited about the vision that I have in my head of what I want my room to be. I hope I'm just as excited about what my room will actually be. It's going to be a lot of work. But if it works it will be well worth it.

Oh, and today I have four weeks left in my twenties.

Well, that's it in a rather large nutshell. We are off to go bowling with out Kids Bowl Free coupons with a great friend and her kids.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Ambitions

I'm working on my list of things I want to get done over the summer. I'm trying to be very realistic and trying to include things that have been needing to be done for a very long time. So, I quickly had to remove tasks like planting a garden and refinishing my kitchen cabinets because they just weren't priority.

1. Paint my bedroom (has been pending for about 7 years)

2. Paint my bathroom(see above)

3. Get floors put down in my bedroom and bathroom.

4. Get garage cleaned out (its a total disaster)

5. Get wisdom teeth removed (pending for about 12 years)

6. Get Invisalign, or at least get started with getting Invisalign.

7. Sew myself a dress

8. Lose 10 pounds.

9. Read at least one fiction book, a book purely for fun. I never do this.

10. Camp outside with my kids.

11. Go to the beach for at least a long weekend.

12. Host a mini summer camp with the cousins.

13. Have fun with my kids!

I love this list pulled together by Crystal. We'll try and complete a few of these activities as a family this summer as well!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Lots of inspiration going on this weekend. I am on a mission to redecorate my house. Well, not completely, there's just too much here already that I love and can't get rid of. My mission started out with me telling the hubby that I wanted to redecorate in a cottage chic look. He looked at me like I was insane, knowing that that is totally, totally not me. But he went along with it and even humored me with looking at some pictures and ideas on the internet. As I searched the same decor caught my eye over and over, the same decor that I have loved since we got married and got our own place. I just CANNOT get enough of Tuscan style decor. I LOVE IT! I love the natural stone and wood, the plastered walls, the earthy colors, the wrought iron, the archways. It all just literally makes me giddy. Source

My dream home has always been a Tuscan villa-type home. Something like this actually:


But unless we win the lottery, we won't be getting that house anytime soon. And since I don't play the lottery, there's not a good chance we will win.

So I just decided to fill my house with old world treasures, paint my walls, redo my bedroom floors (we currently have none). A lot of the colors, accessories and light fixtures that I already have go perfectly so I'm just going to be adding to what I already have. Cecil made me promise that I would buy a little at a time, 'cause he knows how I am. When I see something I love, I have to have it right then, because, you know, it's the only one like it in the whole world and I'm sure it won't be there much longer. Yep, that's me.

Okay so my other bit of inspiration came from this cute little lady at La Vie Petite. Isn't she just adorable! Anyway, she made this dress. And I love it. It's actually a skirt and top, but it looks like a dress.

I have sewn for my kids and for my home and for others. But the thought NEVER crossed my mind to sew for myself. I guess I could never see myself in a pillowcase dress so I never entertained the thought. But there are some really great patterns for women out there.

My goal for this summer is to make myself a stylish outfit that I will actually wear. Thank goodness for summer vacation.

Last night I picked up a cute dress pattern and some blue and white summery fabric that is so super classy-looking. And I can't wait to get started. I will post pics when it is done.

Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Angry Birds Cake

One thing I really enjoy doing is making and decorating cakes. But it's so time consuming for me. Plus, I make such a mess that my husband just kind of rolls his eyes when I start to make one. But when a friend asked me to make an Angry Birds cake for her son's birthday, I couldn't turn it down. We love Angry Birds in our house, so I was so excited to make it.
I made each of the birds and pigs from fondant. I used to make my own fondant but I have recently found Duff fondant and its soooo much better. I just wish it wasn't so stinkin' expensive.

I have never made a cake for anyone but my family so I had nooo idea what to charge. I stressed about it all morning before I delivered the cake. Yes, next time I will establish that little detail before I make the cake. But when I delivered it, they loved it and made the whole payment thing easy for me.

Two lessons were learned:
1. Always spend as much time as needed to ensure that the cake is perfectly level.
2. There is always a backside to the cake.

I didn't level it perfectly, which would have been fine had I not stacked the brown blocks. But when I did, it just looked completely wonky. So I had to do some reconstruction. All in all I was pleased with it and I think the family was too.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chasity checked in at.....

That is something you will likely never see on my facebook status. I. Just.Don't.Get.It. No offense to anyone who does it. But I do have to admit that I roll my eyes and give a sarcastic chuckle when I see that someone has checked in somewhere.

Notice that people only "check in" at cool, trendy places. Starbucks, posh boutiques, unique eateries, etc.
As a joke, my husband and I have considered driving around town to "check in" at some of the most unglamorous, uncharacteristic places. Can you just see it? Chasity checked in at Goodwill, or the local bar, or the local "adult" store... Except that maybe my church family and Christian school parents may look down on that, joke or not. I think it's funny nonetheless.

*Not that there is anything wrong with Goodwill, just not so glamorous*

And then there are those who check in and tag every one that they are there with as if they all wanted the world of Facebook to know where they are. Yep, I roll my eyes and chuckle.

And don't even get me started on those who check in "at home".

I have considered deleting my Facebook account because it's a huge distraction and also just for the silliness of it all. As if the world cares about every event of my day.

Facebook....It's a strange, strange creature.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Real Meaning of the kitchen

Since it is Good Friday, the kids and I got into the kitchen to make some special treats. We made Resurrection Rolls. This is such a great way to talk with your kids about what Jesus did for us on the cross and about the miracle of his resurrection and what this all means for us as believers. My kids loved it! And they were pretty yummy, too!

Here's what ya need:

Crescent Rolls

Regular sized marshmallows

Melted Butter

Cinnamon and Sugar mixture

Explain to them that the marshmallow represents Jesus. I also explained why Jesus died on the cross...for our sins, so that we can live with Him one day. I actually just prompted and they told the story.
Roll the marshmallow in the butter and then in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. This represents how his body was prepared for burial with oils and spices.

Jesus's body was then wrapped in cloths before He was put in the tomb. Wrap your marshmallow in the crescent roll and be sure to seal up the ends really well, or the marshmallow will ooze out and create a gooey mess. Not that I know that from experience or anything.

Put them in the oven and bake according to the instructions on the crescent rolls. We pretended that we were leaving them in for three days.

And what did they find in the tomb on the third day?? Nothing, the tomb was empty!

Have a Blessed Holiday and please remember the real reason that we celebrate.

God Bless


Today, I'm linking up with Mama M. at My Little Life for 5 Question Friday. Hop over and say Hello!

1. What is your favorite Easter tradition?

Of course, I love the egg hunts for the kids, but my favorite Easter tradition is pokkings(sp?) eggs. My grandpa taught us to pok eggs when we were little and we have done it every year since. Now my kids do it, as well.

Oh, you want to know how you go about pokking an egg?

Well, it's very simple. Two people each hold an egg in their hands with the end showing. Then one person taps the other's egg. The egg that breaks is the loser.

My sis and Alyssa pokking when she was just a weee little girl.

2. Are you a "shower" or a "long, hot bath" kind of person? LOOOOONNGG, HOT bath! Yes, I know the whole, "how can you sit in dirty water" reasoning. But I don't care...I LOVE baths!

3. Can you parallel park and if so when is the last time you did it? Yes, I can, given perfect circumstances. I mean, there has to be just the right amount of space between two cars, there can't be anyone waiting on me and there can't be anyone in the car distracting me. It stresses me out and I'll just move on to another spot.

I don't remember the last time I did it...but I remember the first time I tried.

I was 15, yep...just a baby! just gotten my license a few months before. My mom, dad and I were going to see a family member in the New Orleans. I was driving. And my dad, wanting the best possible spot, points out and empty spot on the side of a very busy street.

It didn't go well...He was fussing, I was crying, Mom was in the back shushing him. I gave up, we switched places and he parked.
4. What is your favorite Easter candy?

Mini Cadbury Eggs or Robin Eggs. I love all Easter candy though! It just tastes different than all other candy. I don't care what anybody says, Easter M&M's taste different than regular M&M's.
5. Easter: do you go all out with the Easter Bunny or focus on the religious part of the holiday?

I have, honestly, never mentioned the Easter Bunny to my kids. I don't guess we are particularly against the furry fella but it has always seemed a bit silly to me, even as a kid. I mean, c'mon...plump guy in a sleigh shimmying down chimneys...totally possible. Oversize bunny giving out eggs...not so much!

All my kids are 100% familiar with the real reason of Easter. This week my two-year old has told me the story of how Jesus died on the cross for our sins many times.

Have a Blessed Good Friday!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Time for a Change

I don't know if you can tell, but there have been a couple of changes around here! Hard not to notice right? I felt it was time to go in a different direction with my blog. And I'm really happy with the results.

So what's this all about?

Well, I'm glad you asked...

We all know that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. In life we are given lots of medicine, but we are also given lots of sugar, hopefully more sugar than medicine. That sugar comes in many forms, our spouses, children, things we enjoy doing, etc. And my spoon is overflowing! I hope to blog more about the sweets in my life and those little things that help make the days a little brighter.

Does that mean I won't also blog about the "medicine" in life? Nope, it's all about being real. I'll let ya know when I'm having a not-so-good day, just because everyone has them and it's a little comforting to know that someone else out there has to fish through piles and piles and piles of laundry to find their kids' socks or has to dust their feet off before putting their shoes on because it's been one of those weeks when you can't even find the time to sweep.

What's that? You've never had to do that?? Sure ya haven't...

I'm still working on my new blog and I have some neat things planned for the future. So I hope you will come back to visit me.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I just walked into the house after being at work all day. The girls had piano and I went shopping for a few things. I walked into my bedroom to take of my shoes and realized that I had made my bed this morning. Yes, I'm guilty....I don't make my bed every morning.
I don't know why that made such a difference in my mood, but it was so refreshing to walk into my room and see a neat and tidy bed.

Random, I know, but thought I would share. It's the little things in life, right!

What about you? Are there any of those little things that just give you a tiny pick-me-up?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday Morning Shoe Shopping

Who doesn't love a new pair of shoes every now and then. I know I do. I love going shopping for shoes, love buying shoes, just love having shoes. I have passed that on to my 2 year old. Ava LOVES shoes. She will cry for a new pair of shoes at the store. And this morning she was treated to two new "treats".

Cecil is out of town, so I was dancing alone again this morning. Things were going very smoothly until it came time to put Ava's shoes on. They are always right there on the corner of the fireplace. The place we have kept them every day this school year. And we hadn't lost a pair yet...this was a big deal considering the number of morning we searched for shoes last year. Anyway, this morning her shoes weren't there. She has sandals, which she can't wear to school, and she has two other pairs that she can wear, but we only had one of each of those pairs.

Right about this time, Cecil texted me:
"Have a great first day back. Smile a bunch, have fun, and make everyone else smile. Love You."

I just love him:0)

My reply:
"Nothing like Monday morning shoe shopping to make me smile :0)"

So off we 6:30 in the buy shoes...all four kids in tow.

We made it to school a little late, but Ava was a happy camper... she got a new sparkly pink pair of shoes (which she is wearing right now) and a pair of light-up shoes, which I didn't know were light-up shoes until after we had bought them.

So Honey, hurry home...we miss you! and your missing all the excitement!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


This weekend at church, our pastor gave a great illustration that I wanted to share. He talked about how every person was created with a God-shaped void in their heart. One can never be truly happy, joyful or fulfilled until that void is filled. And the thing is that it can only be filled with one thing, one Person.

He then gave the illustration of being physically hungry. When you are hungry, you often want or crave a certain thing. When you go to the pantry or fridge to get that certain snack, and find that it is not there, you will devour anything you can find. Well, when that doesn't hit the spot, you will move onto something else, until something satisfies that hunger. Often going through ice cream, chips, cookies etc, when what you really want is just some chocolate.

The same is true in our relationship with God. We all have a desire to know God, to be in communion with God. Many times we don't know what it is that we need to satisfy that hunger or need, so we go through all sorts of things to try and fill that void. We may try relationships/friendships, certain sports, alcohol, drugs, distractions such as television/movies/internet, our spouses, and dare I say, our children and our roles as "mommy".

All of that stuff may make us happy for a season, or make us think we are happy. Some of those things listed above are extremely important in our lives. But the truth is that one day those things, those relationships, those roles that we play will bring us heartache, or disappointment. Until we find complete satisfaction, joy and contentment in Jesus, we will always be at the pantry looking for the next "snack" to devour. Until we learn that our joy, contentment, and fullness are not dependant on our circumstances and those around us, but on our awesome, unchanging Heavenly Father, we will continue to search for that missing piece, trying in vain to fill it on our own with temporary, earthly things.

So what/who are you holding on to today? What/who are you relying on to bring you happiness? What/Who is satisfying you today?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mind your Own Business...

No, this isn't a post telling you to mind your own business. It's actually the post in which God tells me to mind my own business.

Don't you just LOVE when you go to God with a very specific request or a very specific issue that you are struggling with. And then He faithfully answers you with a VERY specific answer!!

This week, actually the past few weeks, I had been REALLY stressing about some issues that didn't directly affect me or my family, but somethings that I was concerned about nonetheless. Please bear with me, because I can't give details, just wouldn't be right, and it would just be gossiping. But these were situations that were inappropriate. And I really felt like someone should say something. I prayed and prayed, lost sleep, talked to my husband, almost scheduled a meeting with a pastor at my church, I was really stressing.

God kept telling me to go to His Word. And to be completely honest, I put it off because I didn't want to do what I thought He was going to tell me to do. Ephesians 5:11-13 kept coming to mind:

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.

and I didn't want to ruffle feathers or make enemies. But at the same time, I felt compelled that these things needed to be brought to light. So I didn't read the Bible for several days. Spiritually, I crossed my arms and stuck out my bottom lip and pouted. I was confused.

Then I began to pray for peace. I began to pray for a gentle and quiet spirit, and a teachable heart. Then I went to God's Word.

On Thursday, I read 1 Timothy 2:1-4:

1Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

On Friday I read 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12:

But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.

So, in order to have that peace that I asked God for, I first needed to pray for those that I thought were doing wrong, not only that, but to give thanks for them. Then I just needed to mind my own business and go about my own work. God's Word is just amazing!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mary Sundays

Historically, at our house, Sundays have been used for getting ready for the week. It was when the grocery shopping was done, the laundry was caught up, the school uniforms were gotten ready for the week, other chores that I needed to get done to get ready for the busy week of school. The thinking was that, if I could get all this stuff done on Sunday, the week would run more smoothly, which is logical thinking, right?

But at the beginning of this school year, God starting working in my heart to change this behavior. Everything I read for a while had something to say about keeping the Sabbath, or making the Sabbath a day of rest, etc. I began to see that my well-meaning attitude of working diligently to stave off chaos throughout the week, was preventing myself and my family from having a day of rest, a day of spending time with each other. It was just like any other day, just a busy, just as chaotic.

Then as I began to read Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, I immediately asked myself, "How can I apply this to my life?". I understood the concept and what a wonderful one it was. But I was so task-oriented that I couldn't even imagine what a Mary heart looked like when it was lived out. I began to pray about this and God really put it on my heart that it needed to start with Sundays. I needed to work diligently throughout the week, so that we could be together as a family without the worries of getting chores done before Monday. And, of course, to spend time with Him without all the usual distractions.

It took me a while to get it together enough to pull off a Sunday with no to-do list. I had to start trying to complete some chores during the week. I had to do more on Saturdays. But I knew that once those needed tasks were completed, I was going to do nothing the next day. I don't know about you, but it is RARE that I do nothing.

As a matter-of-fact, the very first Sunday that I was able to put this into practice was one Sunday when Cecil was out of town with work. The house was clean, we went to church, the kids and I had just eaten a simple lunch, the school bags even been packed on Sat. night and were ready for the next morning. I sat on the sofa and put the Saints game on with the kids. I'm not kidding you when I say that two minutes passed and tasks that I should be doing started creeping into my head: Martha thinking...

"You could be organizing your closet",

"You need to go through the kids' clothes and get rid of what's too small",

"You never got around to cleaning the floor in your bathroom".

I had to really make a conscious effort to sit and do nothing, to not be "productive". The kids and I played some games, I read a little and had a wonderful, relaxing day. It really made a difference in that next week, too. I felt less frazzled, calmer.

It's still a learning process, I'm still trying to get it "right". As a matter-of-fact, I do have some laundry that has to be done today. But it's definitely worth the extra effort during the week. And next week I will just try a bit harder and be a bit more diligent.

By the way, I highly recommend this book. It completely changed and is changing my thinking, my attitude( that still needs some work) and my heart. It was truly an answered prayer.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just something I've been learning...

Just some thoughts on what God has been showing me...

When the Jews were rebuilding their temple after being released from Babylonian captivity, the Samaritans used several tactics to hinder the building of the temple; tokeep the Jews from doing God’s work, from doing something that was pleasing to God.

One thing they used was accusations. They sent letters to the King of Babylon accusing the Jews of doing something wrong. They falsely accused the Jews of rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem to fortify their city in order to make it powerful again. This was, of course, false. They were only concerned with rebuilding their Temple so that they could worship. They were only concerned with honoring God and doing God’s work. They were, in addition, following king’s orders, as Kind Cyrus had ordered them to return to their homeland and to rebuild the Temple. He even gave them necessary tools to do so. This reminds me that just as Satan used the Samaritans here to discourage and falsely accuse God’s people of wrong or impure actions or motives, Satan, clearly, still uses these tactics to this day. Often times, sadly, those false, hurtful accusations come from other Christians or church family, which is, I believe, even more hurtful than if they came from those that you know are not Christians.

The Jews stopped working on the Temple for 16 years after the Samaritans, with the help of the current king, used fear and intimidation to hinder their obedience to God. The Samaritans lost faith and got discouraged, which is often what we do when we are faced with others who have falsely accused us. The fact of the matter is that Satan hates God’s work, and when you are doing God’s work, Satan is looking for ways to stop it. Discouragement and fear are two very effective tools that Satan uses to accomplish this goal. Unfortunately, he often uses other Christians to plant these feelings. I can tell you from experience that there is no better way to discourage someone than to speak lies and spread false accusations.

The application of this principle in my life is two-fold, as is the lesson that God slammed me with this morning. On one hand, as a person who chooses to follow God and wakes up each morning and prays that I will live each day in a way that is pleasing to my Savior, I know that I will be attacked by Satan. And Satan may use others to attack me. If I allow this to discourage me, this is a lack of faith. I have to remember that whatever God commands, He always backs up with his own power .

One the other hand, I have to be aware that at any time, Satan could try and use me in his plan to hinder others. I have to be vigilant and careful about the things that I listen to, or say to others. Am I listening to gossip that could possibly be used to discourage someone or hurt someone? Am I spreading gossip that could discourage or hurt someone? We have to be conscious of the spiritual warfare going on constantly and to realize that just because we are Christians, doesn’t mean we are exempt from the pressures of Satan ; it is often more effective for him if he can get us to do his work for him. I, personally, don’t want to be Satan’s go-to person when he needs a job done. I want to live and walk in a way so that I am God’s go-to person when he wants a job to be done.