Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bye Bye 2012!

We are at the end of another year; does that take you by surprise as much as it does me?  I don't do New Year's resolutions, but I always look forward with great anticipation to what the next year may bring.  This year is no different. 

We have a lot of financial goals this year.  Now that we are both working we have plans to attack our debt like nobody's business.  I cannot wait to get going on that. Oh the freedom that having no debt will bring us!  Paying off our debt and buying a house are definitely the next "big things" we want to accomplish.  Perhaps it's a little ironic to some that those two goals go hand in hand.  Even though I am a Dave Ramsey fan, I am not a 100% follower.  We believe it's best not to have debt, but we are OK with a mortgage (one we can comfortably afford mind you).  It doesn't make sense to us to throw so much money away each month for rent when we could purchase a foreclosure home and have our mortgage be less than our rent.  Owning our home would build up equity, and would give me more options for making money while also being home with our children.  So, those are the two biggies that we have.

I have goals for other things, too.  Craft projects to make, housekeeping "to do"'s to accomplish, relationships to be intentional about.  I'm excited about my list (as I always am about lists), but at the same time I have such a faith in the plans God has for me.  He may take my goals and plans and bless them and I accomplish all of them.  Or, He could throw wrenches in the plans and rearrange them and erase them and replace them to His little heart's content.  Somehow it is amazingly peaceful to me to have plans but be open to them changing completely.  Sometimes I wonder who's weirder, me or God.  Or if it's the combination of the two of us that's so nutty.


Friday, December 28, 2012

DIY Crayons

This is a great craft/gift if you have lots of broken crayons lying around your house.  As I had none of those, I snagged a big bag of misc. crayons at a yard sale for cheap.

Unwrapping all those crayons was a bear.  I had so much crayon under my fingernails and my poor fingers were all red and swollen.  What kind of glue to they use on that crayon paper?  My stars, you could use that to repair automobiles and small planes it's so good!

Anywho, one the paper was off I broke them up into smaller pieces and separated them by color.  Now, there are several ways you can do this next part.  One, you could put them straight into an old muffin tin that you don't intend on using anymore (I grabbed this one for .50 at Goodwill).  Then just pop it into your oven on super low for a few minutes until the crayons are melted. 

As you can see, I used two colors in each tin.  I swirled them around with a toothpick when I got them out of the oven.  If you do this, you get a nice swirly crayons.  I melted them on low in the oven for just a few minutes.  No science to it; just check them every few minutes and once the pieces are all melted you're good to go.  I let the tins cool and then put them in the freezer for 10 minutes.  This makes them easy to slide right out of the tin.

I also had a plastic candy mold in the shape of Christmas trees that I wanted to use to make crayons; but as it was plastic, I couldn't put it in the oven.  So, instead I put the crayon pieces in old cans I had washed out, and created a double boiler by putting an inch or so of water in my electric skillet and setting the cans in it.  (My skillet can hold water; some don't because the lip isn't high enough so just use a pot on the stove instead).

Once they were melted I poured the crayons into the mold, let them cool, and voila!  Christmas crayons!


Easy peasy!  The bigger crayons are great for smaller kids too because they are easier to hold on to.  Happy coloring!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What's the one talent you wish you had?

Two things came to mind:

1.  Cute handwriting.

My husband often remarks that normally in a marriage at least one person has good handwriting.  Not in ours.  Mine is awful!

How I wish my penmanship looked like this:

Marta Writes
or perhaps this:

Becky Higgins
or this:

from here

2.  Athleticism.  I was absent the day God gave that out.  I love the idea of being athletic.  I think I could have really gotten into the intensity of a sport.  Alas, I have no natural skill in that area.

I wish I could do things like this:

photo credit



www.surfing-for-girls.com


www.newsday.com



Alas, I am doomed to a life of looking like this:
Expectation


What Actually Happens


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Right now...

... I am sipping on a Mocha Madness smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Cafe.  Half price, full of caffeine; a great way to start this long day

... I am in love with Lifehouse's "Between the Raindrops".  It's my current song crush-


... I am blown away that December is trucking right along; how did it get to be December already? 

... am busy making my "2013 Goals" list.  I don't do resolutions.  I do goals and lists.  2013 is going to be an interesting year for us I think.  Some changes maybe?  We'll see.

...my allergies have waged war against me.  I keep getting freaked out that I am coming down with the flu, but am pretty sure it's just my allergies I am feeling (at least that's what I hope it is!).  The flu is spreading like wildfire here lately, which makes me thankful I'm not working with kids any more--their germs + my (lack of) immune system = not a good time for me.

... am loving that I have enough lamps in my office now that I can leave the fluorescent lights off completely.  Hopefully, doing away with that little migraine trigger will do me a world of good!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I'm sewing!

My friend Rachel got a new sewing machine last spring, and as she 1.  is a sweetheart, and 2.  knew that I had been wanting one, she gave her old sewing machine to me.  Yay!  It has sat for quite some time unused because we have limited space to do crafts in our tiny house, and I was months behind in my scrapbook and then made some gifts for friends, etc, etc.  I knew I wanted to have a good chuck of time to play around with it before I got it out, but finally, the time has come! 


I pulled her out a couple weeks ago, learned how to thread it, made some bobbins, and started sewing away.  She is older than I am I think, and definitely has her quirks.  I am so excited to learn how to sew!  My mom was a fantastic seamstress; she made me the best dress up clothes and Halloween costumes.  I don't know that I am that ambitious with my sewing skills, but I want to be able to make some basic things for myself and my family.  I have discovered that being good at sewing is a matter of a lot of practice, and a lot of mistakes.  I had seen this tutorial on how to practice sewing, so I sat down on a recent day off and practices for a couple of hours (man, how time flies when you're sewing!). 

Here I made straight lines with a ruler and practiced sewing straight (sometimes my stitches look like those of a drunkard);


Ta-da!

 
I discovered that back stitching is my new nemesis.   My fabric keeps getting eaten, as if a small little fabric eating dragon resides in the bellows of my machine.  That will take some practice.  I have a vast array of sewing projects on my Pinterest board that I cannot wait to try out, especially all the ones for cute skirts and maxi dresses.  Hopefully this new little hobby will be something I can keep practicing and get better at.  Only time will tell!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

DIY Mickey Mouse Wreath

I was so excited to make this last week!

My in-laws work at Disney part time and love all things Disney.  I saw this idea somewhere on the Internet (I tried to find the site I saw it on but couldn't find it again; if this is your original creation please claim it!).  I knew that it would be a fun DIY to make for them for Christmas this year!


This was so easy to make.  I bought 2 Styrofoam wreaths; 2 small and one large at Hobby Lobby (make sure to use the 40% coupon they always have!).  I marked off where I wanted the color sections to be so that they would be evenly spaced, then just wrapped yarn around it.  (Hint:  I would put the starting end perpendicular to how I was wrapping the yarn, so that the tail was secured by the wraps, if that makes sense at all).

Once they were all done I used toothpicks and tacky glue to attach the 2 smaller ones to the large one.  Let it dry, tie it with a ribbon, and there you go!

This would be so cute hanging on a door, though I think I would put it on the inside of the door and not the outside, because yarn and Styrofoam aren't exactly built to last in the elements of the outdoors.

Happy crafting!

Linking up at:
Grace at Home


Monday, November 26, 2012

DIY White Chocolate Mocha

If I were wealthy, I think I would be in danger of developing diabetes because of excessive trips to Starbucks.  I so enjoy Starbucks, especially this time of year ("White Peppermint Mocha's Anonymous", does that group exist?  It should).

Starbucks is definitely an expensive luxury though; nearly $5 for a cup of something to drink that isn't liquid gold or the tonic of  immortal youth and beauty is just a bit excessive.

So, imagine my delight when I ran across a recipe via Pinterest for a do it yourself version of a white chocolate mocha.  I was off of work this past Friday so decided to give it a whirl.

First, melt the white chocolate and milk on a double boiler (or a glass bowl over a pan of water, which is always my stand by "double boiler").  I was doing this while my coffeemaker so graciously made my coffee for me.

 You can't go wrong with Reddi-whip.  I'm sure it's full of things that I shouldn't be putting in my body.  But, since I've never smoked and drank less than a dozen times in my life, I figure I could do worse than an occasional Reddi-whip indulgence.


 Ah, looks yummy, but we're not done yet!

Chocolate drizzle just makes everything better.  :)

This drink was so good, and so stinkin' easy!  Get the recipe at Mommy's Kitchen--you'll be sorry if you don't!

Happy Mocha Drinking!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

If I Were...

I saw this over at April's blog and thought it was fun!  So here we go:

If I were a home, I'd be either something like this:

via
solid and practical, with a touch of whimsy and a good dose of tacky.  Something that some people would say "oh dear gosh, no" at, and something that just a few would find charming.  It's also Auburn colors--double bonus!

Or, I would be something like this:

via


 a house on the beach.  Nothing magnificent or ostentatious.  Just a simple (but not plain), inviting house.  With an excellent location.

If I were a quote, I'd be this:

via
 or this:
via
 or perhaps this:
via
 or this (I really like quotes, can you tell)

via

If I were a handbag, I'd be:


 A classic yet different navy and white striped bag.  Functional, cute, just a little out there and unexpected.

If I were a piece of jewelry, I'd be a vintage 60's piece of tacky yet adorable cuteness such as this:

via


Or, a vintage classy little number like this:

via

 If I were a dress, I'd be anything from Shabby Apple.  I couldn't get their pics to come up on my site, but this one is cute.  This adorable number is by far my favorite.  If I were wealthy you better believe I would have some of these dresses in my closet!

If I were a celebrity, I'd be Chloris Leachman, hands down.
via


That woman is hilarious.  Love her.








Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving Week! 


Don't you think Thanksgiving must feel like the middle child of holidays?  Big brother Christmas definitely is where the attention is 'cause he's popular and well known and nice to everyone.  Then little sister Halloween traipses about in her glittery costume and sugar induced gaiety and people just swoon.  Poor Thanksgiving.  We eat our pie and then get up in the middle of the night to focus on Christmas.  I was at Hobby Lobby last weekend and they were already marking down their Thanksgiving stuff to clearance prices.  And that was nearly 2 weeks before Thanksgiving ever got here. 

I for one will enjoy Thanksgiving in all of its glory!  I will wake up and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade from start to finish.  I absolutely love watching the parade.  I love the balloons, the Broadway numbers, the bands, the Rockettes...all of it!


 When I was a freshman in high school, I got to be in the Macy's Parade with my show choir.  It was one of the best experiences of my life.  Walking through the streets of New York City (well, we sang and danced our way through most of them) and seeing all those people lining the streets was a remarkable privilege and wonderful memory.  My sweet husband obliges me and lets me watch the entire thing each Thanksgiving.  I can't wait to one day snuggle up with my babies while the food is cooking and watch the parade with them!  Such a simple pleasure, but I love it so much!

We plan on sharing a meal with friends of ours and hanging out with them in the afternoon, then we'll skip over to visit more friends at another event.  It will be a wonderful day, followed by another one for me as I have off of work (woohoo paid holidays!) and plan on decorating my house for Christmas and crafting to my little heart's content. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Kid's Bucket List

I read through an Internet article earlier this week that listed the top 40 places you should visit with your children.  I love lists, so I started thinking about the things I wanted to make sure I did with my kids.  A "things to do with my kids before they're grown" bucket list.  So here's my list so far of things I absolutely want to do with my kids, which, in all honesty, could also be called my "remember these things are important" parenting rules that I will try to live by :)



(via)



My Kid's Bucket List/Parenting List


  1. take them camping
  2. let them decorate the Christmas tree
  3. have a dog
  4. let them collect bugs in the backyard
  5. finger paint (and not in the bathtub to avoid a mess; it's finger paint, not toxic waste!)
  6. dress up for Halloween
  7. stay up late just for mom and dad time
  8. learn to play board games and card games--not spend hours a day on a computer or in front of a TV
  9. teach my girls the cute little hand clapping games I learned as a little girl
  10. take them to Disney World
  11. visit museums and educational places
  12. make homemade ice cream
  13. eat the homemade ice cream for dinner
  14. stay up late to watch fireworks
  15. teach them why we have Memorial Day and Veteran's Day
  16. visit a nursing home; teach them the value and dignity that the elderly deserve
  17. let them see poor people; volunteer at a homeless shelter-more than once--so that they know what it means to truly go without
  18. let their room be a mess if that's the way they want it (within reason; otherwise known as "don't force your type-A-ness on them)
  19. dye all of their food green on St. Patrick's Day
  20. read them Scripture--often
  21. teach them how to pray; pray with them not just for them
  22. take them to the Grand Canyon
  23. take them to a beach--let them play all day
  24. teach them how to sing
  25. put them in gymnastics when they are little.  learning how to do a cartwheel is imperative to a good childhood.
  26. take them fishing.  
  27. make them practice sitting still
  28. let them collect things, even if it's something silly and it drives you nuts
  29. dress them like children, not like miniature adults
  30. let them watch DVDs of Loony Tunes so that they actually know what a good cartoon is
  31. make their birthdays special.  not with stuff; with memories.
  32. make them walk.  a four year old in a stroller is ridiculous.  do not have wimpy children.
  33. sponsor a child as a family-be involved in that child's life
  34. teach them how to eat well, and why we do it
  35. find a good church (one that makes Jesus exciting but isn't about selling him like a used car or the latest summer flick) and be involved there with your children
  36. teach them that obedience is instant, or it's not obedience
  37. let them know there are consequences to choices
  38. let them fail.  that's how they learn.
  39. play in creeks and flip over stones searching for salamanders
  40. pack a picnic of pbj and go eat dinner outside.  often.
  41. always have art supplies around.  feed their creativity.
  42. make home made play dough.
  43. teach them how to cook
  44. make sure they know how to swim at an early age
  45. speak Scripture over them; it will sink in
  46. always take the extra time to cuddle
  47. visit Kennedy Space Center
  48. read them stories about real people who lived:  Corrie Ten Boom, Anne Frank, Jim Elliot
  49. make them go outside.  every day.  for hours.  lock them out of the house if you have to
  50. teach them to entertain themselves.
  51. make a huge homemade slip and slide
  52. find somewhere with real snow.  take them sledding.  let them build a snowman.
  53. learn how to play an instrument
  54. teach them that they are part of your family, not the center of it
  55. make sure they take care of their teeth
  56. find the books that make them love reading
  57. let them decide how their room is decorated
  58. teach them the value of writing real letters
  59. let them save what is important to them
  60. take lots of pictures of every day moments
  61. praise them
  62. be their advocate
  63. go on road trips.  let them experience the joy of watching the world as it rolls past the car window.
  64. let them spend the night with other people
  65. teach them that God is bigger than fear
  66. take them to an amusement park
  67. pass on to them a love for Marvel movies and homemade popcorn
  68. try not to get too upset when she wants to wear makeup before you want her to
  69. teach her that they key to makeup is to look natural and enhance what's already there
  70. teach him to be respectful to women
  71. teach them that marriage is sacred.  your bed is no place for children.  if they are sick, they can sleep on a sleeping bag on the floor.  maintain this rule.
  72. teach them to knock and be given permission to enter any one's bedroom
  73. make sure know good manners and use them
  74. take their car privileges away if they drive like a moron
  75. eat dinner together as often as you possibly can
  76. make s'mores
  77. lay outside and watch the clouds go by
  78. make sure they watch a sunrise every now and then
  79. have frequent movie nights
  80. decorate the house like crazy for Christmas; the tackier the better
  81. have their friends over as often as you can; remember that your family is an avenue of grace and kindness to other people
  82. eat Popsicles all the time in the summer
  83. let them wake you up entirely too early on Christmas morning
  84. make sure they know that your homemade hour-and-a-half-to-make cinnamon rolls are way better than anything they can get in the store
  85. take them to Washington DC and teach them about our country; make sure they are thankful to be able to live here
  86. don't let them learn cuss words from you
  87. play in the mud
  88. tube down a river (especially fun if it's a non-commercial one)
  89. build sandcastles
  90. have a lemonade stand
  91. have a snowball fight
  92. play (harmless) tricks on them; and let them retaliate
  93. plant something and watch it grow
  94. tell them the Christmas story; make it exciting
  95. have tea parties with real cups and plates; buy them at Goodwill; who cares if they break?
  96. make homemade butter
  97. visit a farm
  98. play in a corn maze
  99. jump in leaves
  100. blow on dandelions when they're in their "wishing stage".  who cares if they're weeds and you are spreading them when you do that?  they are magical.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy, happy birthday baby...


This hot piece of work celebrated his 36th birthday last Friday.  I am so thankful for him!  So thankful that his parents raised him to be a good, hard working, kind, loving man.  Thankful that he enjoyed a wonderful family life growing up near Syracuse.  Thankful that he made the decision to follow Jesus as a teenager.  Thankful that he made his way south to find me.  Thankful that God brought us together when He did.

We had a nice evening celebrating.  Dave had to work but gets done early on Friday afternoons.  I do, too, but had actually taken that day off which was great so that I could clean house and bake his cake and run a bazillion errands.  We went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Genghis Grill.  We have their rewards card which is great because you get a free bowl on your birthday. (Yay for birthday coupons!).   We were going to rent a movie but couldn't find anything in Redbox worth watching, so we ran into Walmart and bought "Taken" on DVD instead.  Off to the house we went to watch it and eat cake.  It was a good, low key day. 

How I pray God continues to bless us this next year just as He has this one. He is so good!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lately

  • Cannot get this song out of my head, or out of my heart:



  • Am taking a "mental health day" tomorrow.  That reminds me of when I worked at the BCM at Auburn and our campus minister would call and say, "Amanda, I'm going to take a mental health day today, so I won't be in."  To which I would reply, "Well, Steve, it's 1:30 in the afternoon, so I kinda figured!"  :)
  • Am planning for Christmas---I love Christmas!  I've got my gift list ready and we're getting Christmas card photos done, thanks to a good friend who is doing them for us for way cheaper than we'd book a "real" session with. 
  • Tomorrow is my husband's birthday.  I offered to bake him a special cake.  His choice:  strawberry cake from a box.  To each his own.  Although, the cream cheese frosting will be from scratch, doggone it!  I have standards!
  • We are wanting to send a package to our World Vision kid.  What do you send a 13 year old boy that can fit into a 6x9 envelope??? 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Delayed Glory

I caught the tail end of a Beth Moore devotional on the radio this morning.  She was talking about the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 6 and how Satan wanted Jesus to go ahead and reveal himself, and she said something that blew me away.  She said, "We do not understand what glory is at stake when we want to rush everything we want God to do for us and we want it now."  She pointed out the restraint of Jehovah-shammah ("God is there").

It's ironic to me that I ask God for things to happen quickly while at the same time asking Him to glorify Himself in my life.

She's right you know.  We often do forget or don't realize that sometimes God delays His answer to pray so that being His glory (and often our benefit, too) may be magnified.  In the mean time, we keep praying and trusting Him.  His delays are always worth it!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Get out of a funk

Do you ever find yourself in a funk?  I'm not talking about being depressed, or dealing with something really hard and tragic in life.  Just a funk.  A temporary blah-ness. 

Often, for me, these times of funk are associated with hormones.  The times that seem to be worse for me are the times when funks don't coordinate with hormonal ups and downs.  I think it's because in those times, I don't have something to blame it on.  I don't have a time table of when it's going to be over and I think there is a little part of me that begins to freak out and think that my funk will be permanent and that I'm entering a season of depression.  I walked through a season of being clinically depressed before, and man, that is no fun, so I think I always have this lingering thought in the back of my mind that that season will return.  It hasn't though (praises to Jesus!), and normally, getting out of a funk just takes a little bit of time and some doing on my part.

I have learned that living my life best means doing the things that work for me.  It's good to read other people's stories and get ideas from them, but I have to realize what works for me and go with that.  So, here's what helps me:

  • Sunlight.  Our bodies were made for sunshine.  I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder and can even start feeling it this time of year (and we've just started the non-summer season!).  As much as I am opposed to tanning beds, the past couple of years I have gone during the winter just for some UV rays.  I try to peek outside at least a few minutes a day during work.  My 2nd job the past couple of years I have been able to get outside some, but not here.  Trips to the mailbox are great.  I am trying to get in the habit of taking a walk around our building for just a couple of minutes when the weather is nice.
  • Exercise.  Endorphins are great, and working out gives me confidence and puts me at ease.  So I bound out of bed first thing in the morning before my mind has time to tell me it's not a good idea, and go to the gym 4 times a week.
  • Eating healthy.  This is hard, especially when you're in a funk and all you want is carbs and chocolate and Starbucks.  I eat really well for breakfast and lunch during the week, and we try to eat relatively healthy for dinner.  If I'm in a funk, I have a tendency to want to bake (because I love doing it) and eat up everything I bake.  So, I have to find other things to do so I don't fall into that.  The more good things I put in my body, the better I feel.
  • Clean or organize something.  Cleaning is my therapy.  If I'm stressed or feeling blue or just whatever, I need to clean something.  Mop the kitchen floor.  Clean the bathtub.  Organize my sock drawer.  Something.  I enjoy the process, not just the end result of something being clean and neat.  I think it's helpful for me because it keeps my brain occupied, so I can't dwell on things or over think them.  Plus, sometimes it's just therapeutic to get rid of stuff and de-clutter. 
  • Get outside of myself.  Call a friend.  Pray for someone--more than just a one sentence pray.  It helps to focus on others and surround yourself with people.
  • Shave my legs.  This may seem silly, but if you're feeling yuck, sometimes a good hot shower, shaving your legs, and washing your hair can make you feel brand new.  It's always amazed me how many ills a hot shower can cure. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Favorite Things

Call me nuts, but I love posts people do about their favorite products.  It reveals a lot about a person.  Plus, I love learning about new things I've never tried before.  So, here is a current list of my favorite things.




Dr. Bronner's Liquid Soap- I have been trying to switch to all natural home/hygiene products and this stuff is awesome, and you can use it in so many ways.  I dilute it down and use it as facewash at the gym, and body wash at home.  Sometimes I add drops of grapefruit essential oil to make it smell yummy.  They sell different scents, but this Baby Mild is my favorite because it doesn't have a scent, so it's OK if I mix it with other things.  I have super sensitive (and acne prone) skin, and this has been great.  Keeps me from getting dried out.  I paid about $15 for a big bottle at Target (in the beauty section), but because I diluted it it's only half way gone, and I bought it about 5 months ago.


American Dreams on DVD- Did you ever watch this show?  I only watched the first season when it was on because I shut off my cable shortly after, but I loved it.  I bought a used season 1 off of amazon for $8 (score!).  I love how current artists would do the parts of the performers on Bandstand on the show; so clever.  It is a mystery to me why good shows like this don't stick around for longer.


International Delight Iced Coffee- My stars, this stuff is so darn good.  I try not to indulge too often because let's face it, sugar laden caffeine isn't exactly healthy (plus fancy packaged foods like this aren't cheap!).  But, when I do indulge in this, I enjoy every minute of it.  So good!

Memories on Clover Lane is one of my favorite blogs to read.  Sarah, mother of 6, is the creator and author of this little gem.  I love her posts because it's just a blog about her life, and I love the authenticity of it.  She isn't trying to use gimmicks to get you to read.  She has so much wisdom, and I love everything she writes.  Go check her out!

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Caramel- I am a sucker for (really addict of) lip balms and chapstick.  Usually I stick to Chapstick because it doesn't make my lips sticky.  This stuff from Burt's Bees is awesome though.  I like the color and shimmer and hint of mint in it.  I got this tube in a Burt's Bees grab bag I ordered online for $15 back in the spring.  This guy has lasted me quite some time.  I will definitely purchase another when he runs out.


"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" is a Halloween classic.  I have to watch it every year (on my original VHS tape..that's vintage right there*)

This is also a classic Halloween watch.  The "It's a Grand Pumpkin, Milhouse" is hilarious and brilliant.  "You roast the unborn?"  I never in a million years would have thought that I would love anything associated with the Simpsons.  This however, is awesome. 


Friday, October 26, 2012

Quiet Time

Recently I read this post about not having your quiet time. 

Yes, you read that right.  Not having a quiet time.

I hate that we call it "quiet time".  Granted, you need to be without distractions in order to hear from God.  Often (for me at least), this involves being quiet enough that after I've talked (and boy, can I talk for a while!), I am left with nothing but silence, and then God speaks.

Quiet times for me have often been loud times.  Sometimes I shout at God in anger or desperation.  Sometimes it's the weeping of brokenness.  Sometimes it's just me yelling with glee or giving a great "Woohoo!" of glory.

I love the idea in the post I mentioned above about being intentional with our times with God.  To treat the Bible as the weapon that it is.  Last night at our small group we were teaching our girls about having time with God; we called it "time outs" as opposed to "quiet times".  We talked about how taking time with God is like a time out of an a sporting event.  You need it to rest, to replenish, to refocus, to get a plan. 

How we expect to win the game without consulting the coach is beyond me.  May we all take time today to be with God; to take a time out from our day to wield our swords.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Great Christmas Idea

If I believe in God I should believe what He says, right?  I agree.  Which is why I try to take seriously everything He says in His word, including the parts where he says we are to take care of each other, and to take care of those who can't take care of themselves.

I recently became aware of fashionABLE, a company that creates sustainable business for women in Africa.  Watch this video to see what they do; it's really inspirational.  I love companies that aren't just about making a profit.  This is a great cause.  You can help these women of Ethiopia by buying one of their handmade scarves.  Look how cute these are!



 I was thinking that these would make great Christmas presents.  They're pricier than the cheap stuff you could get at Target or Old Navy, but why support the unethical business of paying Chinese and Filipinos pennies when you could pay more to help the lives of women and children in Africa?  So, bless a life and give one of these to your wife/sister/mom/daughter/friend!  What a great gift!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I say a little prayer for you...

Sometimes I forget to pray.

Isn't that ridiculous?  I have access to the most powerful being, who is an ally and is earnestly awaiting my talking to him, and I forget to do it. 

Often I remember to pray for others, but forget to pray for myself.  Or I will remember to pray for "big" things, and not for others.  Instead I fret and worry.  Worry, which does nothing for me other than make me stressed, and which is sin by the way.  Prayer on the other hand, makes me calm and at peace.  And it works! 

*Nerd alert*

I am a fan of the Duggar family.  Granted, I don't agree with a lot of their personal beliefs or some specific things they do to raise their family.  But, I always get encouragement from watching their show.  I read their first book this past spring and was really encouraged by the stories in it of the hard times early in their marriage and how God answered specific prayers.  I know God answers prayer, but sometimes it's good to hear specific examples of how he provides. 

At this point in time, Dave was in school, our medical insurance was crap, and we didn't have dental insurance.  About 2 years ago, we had gotten dental cleanings at a free dental clinic that a dentist in our church used to run on Saturday mornings.  He had told me at that time that I had a small cavity that would need to be fixed.  Before we could get that taken care of, he ended up having to close his clinic from lack of volunteers. 

After I read the Duggar's story, I told Dave that I felt that we should pray that God would provide a way to get our teeth cleaned.  So we did.  I emailed Dr. Chesney (the dentist who ran the clinic), explained that we did not have insurance and that my husband was in school full time, and that I needed a cleaning and a cavity fixed, and that we had come to his free clinic before it closed.  I asked if his office offered any sort of payment plan so that we could get those things taken care of.  He emailed back that very same day saying to come in and he would take care of it free of charge, and that the only thing he asked was that when we were able we would pass on generosity to someone else.

How awesome is that???  I prayed for a need.  It wasn't even a huge one.  I wasn't in pain, it wasn't a desperate thing.  It's just something we needed.  And God provided.  Through the good heart of a gracious dentist, I was able to get my teeth cleaned and by cavity fixed.

I tell this story to show that prayer is powerful, and that God is an abundant giver.  Talk to him.  Ask him for what you need.  Ask him for what you want.  Put following Him above all else, and He will take care of you.  He is much bigger and much more of a giver than we give him credit for. 

What will you pray for today?  Be encouraged--God heads and provides!


Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Little Bit of Awesome

Here are some internet findings lately that I thought were great.


1. 52 Weeks of Star Wars:  I am a huge Star Wars fan.  (My first crush was Luke Skywalker.  My first love was an Ewok).  "52 Weeks of Star Wars" is a weekly photo project where the creator recreates popular movie posters with Star Wars characters.  I loved the Juno one!



2. This is beautiful.  Who says cello players aren't cool?



3.  I am a huge Muppet fan (as is my husband which is one of the many reasons I married him)!  This is so fun.  Loved it!



4. Ah, the hilarity of videos of people just after wisdom teeth surgery.



5.  Think you've just about lost faith in humanity?  Check out these 11 of the best customer service stories. 





Friday, October 19, 2012

Blast from the Past

My husband and I frequently comment that there are no good shows for kids on TV anymore.  I have plans to buy Looney Tunes on DVD when we have kids.

I was perusing Youtube the other day for cartoons I loved as a kid.  Talk about a walk down memory lane!

Dumbo's Circus was one of my all time favorites when I was little.  Loved it!

Does anyone else remember "Welcome to Pooh Corner"?  So much better than the animated cartoon!


Gummi Bears!  I used to watch this every Saturday morning as a kid.  I'm proud to say that I can still sing the song word for word!

We didn't have cable growing up, so when we went to my mamaw and papaw's, I loved watching Nickelodeon.  My very favorite cartoon of all time was "Inspector Gadget".

David the Gnome!  This intro song is such a flashback to the 80's!  As a side note, ever notice that no shows have good original theme songs anymore?  I miss those days!

Muppet Babies!  I am a lifelong Muppets fan.  I loved how you only saw Nanny's striped socks.  Makes me think of this:

From Coolest Handmade Costumes



Hands down, one of the coolest costumes ever.  If you don't get it, you're too young!  And you missed out on some great cartoons growing up!


Ducktales!  (Woo Ooo....)

Rescue Rangers (Ch-Ch-Ch-Chip and Dale!)

I could really keep going forever....such good shows!  Thank you Youtube for that Blast from the Past!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Worry Wart


Photo Credit


 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. 
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?   
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?   
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.   Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  

 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 
 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 
 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, 
for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

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Do you ever stop and think about how if God commanded us not to worry, that if we worry, it's a sin?

Hits you kinda hard, huh?

I am a natural worrier.  I think part of it is because I'm female.  Part of it is because of my personality and desire to control everything.  Part of it is just my sinful nature.

I love that God tells us not to worry.  He could have left that out of His word, but He knew we would need that encouragement.  Isn't He so thoughtful?

Sometimes I need this reassurance from God that if I am seeking Him, He will provide.  And man, does He!  I have seen it in the lives of others and I have experienced it in my own life countless times.  

Today I encourage you to share those stories of how Gos is a faithful provider.  Someone else may need to see and know that God can and will provide.  Share your story; someone may need to hear it.
 

 
 

Monday, October 15, 2012

On My Bookshelf

Here are some things I have been reading lately:


"The Secret", by Beverly Lewis.  This is the first book in a three part series.  I love Beverly Lewis.  She is a Christian author who writes about Amish people.  Sounds boring, huh?  They're not.  They are fantastic!  This one was definitely one of my favorites of hers.  I am already on book 2, and went ahead and checked out book 3 knowing I would go through them both quickly.


"The Time Keeper", by Mitch Albom.  Loved this one.  It's a fable about the man who became Father Time, and the punishment he is given for trying to measure time. A fantastic read (and short one) that really makes you think about time and our obsession with wanting more and rushing through life.




"My Life in France", by Julia Child.  This is one of my all time favorites.  I re-read it all the time.  It's Julia Child's story of her time in France, and how she got started cooking.  It's a great story (and a real one!).  I am slightly obsessed with Julia Child.  I like to talk like her when I cook.  It's pretty epic.  You should be jealous that you don't get a front row seat in my kitchen to see my antics.




"Blue Christmas", by Mary Kay Andrews.  This was so cute!   Mary Kay Andrews writes novels about Southern women, and they're always good, entertaining stories.  I've read quite a few of hers.  This one just may be my favorite.


What's been on your bookshelf lately?