Monday, July 30

July Joy Dare (week 4)

Counting my gifts and adding some of my favorite pictures from the last week! So thankful for the many things in my life that God gives me to give thanks for... even when I'm down in the dumps! Are you giving thanks today?

In everything give thanks!

July 23 gift high, low, far away

650. His ways are high above our ways
651. sound of rumbling thunder
652. the ocean I want to see again someday

July 24 gifts of sand:

653. the beach... I'd love to be at... for now, I give thanks for beautiful photos of beaches
654. sand/dirt in the driveway kicking up as my daughter learned to ride her bike w/o training wheels!
655. memories of the sand/beach on my honeymoon

July 25 gifts of endings:

656. happy movie endings
657. losing baby teeth
658. crawling in bed at the end of day
659. prayers ending in the power of Jesus' name!

July 26 fresh:

660. freshly grated cheese on my salad
661. fresh stack of library books
662. rain to refresh dry grass!

July 27 on vacation, at home, in relaxation:

663. Enjoying the inlaws pool on vacation
664. nothing like the comfort of your own bed
665. quiet and a cup of coffee for relaxing

July 28 of beginnings:

666. beginning of the Olympics 2012!
667. I get a new beginning every morning... His mercies are new!
668. looking forward to new friendships beginning at Allume
669. lots of new books to start reading...

July 29 gifts together:

670. worship with believers
671. an afternoon ...and evening spent with friends
672. blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream

Sunday, July 29

Sunday Scripture

Philemon 1:4-6

I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. 

Just wanted to share some Scripture from the #SheReadsTruth prayer plan.

Paul has many great prayers in his epistles that are examples for us to follow as we pray for others. These verses were a great reminder to me that I need to be praying for others in the body of Christ. Those close to me and those far away. Friends and Family. Those I know well and those I have heard about.

It also reminds me that focusing on the positive makes it harder to see the negative... I want to be acknowledging the good things in the saints... things that are a result of their relationship with Christ Jesus. And I want others to see and hear of my love and faith toward Jesus and all saints.

How can I pray for you today?

Go check out the Community, it is such a blessing to see what Scriptures God has placed on the hearts of those around the web and it encourages my heart to read them.


Saturday, July 28

Project 52 --Sunshine

The theme for Project 52 this week is SUNSHINE.

and this little girl right here... She's my little sunshine!!
   and she's absolutely adorable with the sun in her hair and the sun on her cheeks!


You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When the skies are grey
You'll never know dear
How much I love you
So please don't take
My sunshine Away 

P52 with Kent Weakley

Previous Project 52 entries
Movie Party
Summer Treats
School's Out
Fathers (and the rest of June)

Friday, July 27

Five Minute Friday --Beyond

Five Minute Friday


Some days, like today, I can't see beyond the mess. The laundry basket with clean clothes from Monday that still needs to be folded and put away. The kitchen sink full of dishes and the floor full of crumbs. The bathroom with it's toothpaste streaks and soap scum and sticky floor. The unmade beds.

Some days, I only see the bickering, the whining, the fighting, the tattling, the discontent.

Some days, I can't see beyond my own selfishness, my own pouting. I can only see my fit that the power went out last night and being in the dark depresses me and put me in a funk I just couldn't shake. That I almost burned the house down by using a candle with a ribbon still wrapped around it. That I freaked out about the fridge being open, instead of serving my husband when he was hungry.

Some days, I just can't see. and I read blog posts full of grace and I read Scripture shouting truth and I think, "If only I could choose the needful thing, if only I could do what I can."

and then I fall back into the pit of despair with my lack of meal planning, my lazy tendencies, my house falling down around me, me kids needing more than I know how to give...

and I reach the end of my five minutes and think... I can't end there, I need redemption. but today, the redemption doesn't come, today the telling of my story isn't so pretty. Today I'm having a pity party.

and so I STOP... and I remember more words of wisdom... "Doe the nexte thynge"

I close the laptop and open my YouVersion app and do today's reading for SheReadsTruth. I read some Puritan prayers from The Valley of Vision. I read some Psalms and Proverbs.

I get up and clean my kitchen. I yell at my kids a little bit more and I make them clean their rooms. I feed them lunch of snacks like yogurt, cheese sticks, granola bars. And I sulk some more.

I send some of them outside to play... it doesn't last long. I read to my precious and needy child (Reading to my kids is not something I enjoy doing (and some days I can't see beyond that either). I try to regroup. I fold the laundry in the basket and start 2 more loads of laundry.

And I still can't shake it. So I finally come back to my computer screen and review some of the good thoughts ... and then I share them with you!!

Proverbs 3:1-4 My son, forget not my law, but let thine heart keep my commandments. For length of days and long life and peace shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart; So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

Psalm 63:3-5  Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips.

Psalm 33:18-22  Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let they mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

and this blog post, by Jeff Goins... When it Feels Like Everything is Falling Apart, because that is how I'm feeling today. And I remember that there is a deeper story of grace and redemption and second chances... and he says, and I feel it... "On days like this, I don't feel awesome. I feel like the walls are caving in around me, like I'm not doing anything right. Like I will never learn. Apparently, that's not the whole story. Amidst all the drama and mess of life, I am still loved."

and then this one from Amanda... She Did What She Could ... and I think, Yes, I just have to keep doing what I can and Stop Listening to my accusers (of which, I am the loudest one).
And so I will work on keeping company with Jesus... and if that means my blog sits silent, I need to be okay with that (It's an HOURLY battle)

and it's been way more than 5 minutes and it's not pretty, but hopefully you can see beyond all that...

Feel free to visit Lisa Jo and a whole bunch more writers who have a much more positive spin on Beyond.

Thursday, July 26

Cut it Out!

Giveaway extended until Friday August 3, at 9AM!

I was going to take a day off from blogging, but I forgot that I had this great book to share with you...

Grocery shopping... Do you hate it or love it?  I personally enjoy it when I'm all by myself, searching for the best deal on the shelf, comparing the prices of smaller sizes vs. larger sizes, and even more lately reading the ingredient list!!  But when you are shopping with small children in tow, you don't have time to think through all that stuff.

and I used to be really good at meal planning and shopping carefully and I used coupons and all... and then I had kids... 4 of them in 4 and 1/2 years, in fact, and suddenly grocery shopping with coupons just took too much time.  And we used to stick to a cash budget, but I got lazy in that regard too!!  I keep saying I'm going to get back on track, but it hasn't happened yet.

Then a bloggy friend, Kate Megill, shared about her new e-book and gave me a pdf copy to review. So I checked it out and I loved it!  It was a quick and easy read and gave some great suggestions, some of which I already know and use!

My favorite part was the link to download a price book template... she already did the work, you just have to edit it for YOUR preferences! How awesome is that? Having a price book would alleviate the stress of comparison shopping when I have my kids with me!!

I don't want to give you the whole book here, but there is a lot of ideas... master meal list, meal scheduling, how to stock a pantry, etc.  And how to make it work if there is only 1 or 2 of you, instead of a family of 10 like Kate!

And one more thing, there are even some recipes in the back!!  Altogether, it makes it well worth the $3.99 (or $1.99 if you buy it in the first five days of launch).

You can learn more about the book at Cut it Out Without Coupons or Kate's blog:

Cut it Out! will be available for sale July 30. The cost of the e-book is $3.99 but for the first 5 days of the launch (July 30-August 3) it will be available for half price - only $1.99!

OR, you could get it FREE! Kate is giving me one copy to give away to one of YOU, my readers! To enter simply leave a comment below and tell me one thing you love (or hate) about grocery shopping. The giveaway closes at 9pm EST on Wednesday, August 1, 2012.

Wednesday, July 25

A Baseball Wall

We don't own this home we live in, but we give thanks for it every day! I do not take it for granted! I am so thankful to the family who shares generously this home and the hundreds of acres that surround it.  And I am thankful for the Red Door!

When you don't own a home, but you want to make it your own, painting is an easy way to do that. So we did some updates... actually it started with the girls room, which had been a boring tan. I made it yellow with the help of my sister, easy peasy!

But the living room and the halls and the kitchen were also the same shade of boring brownish tan and while it works for some people, it just put me in the doldrums. So we started with the living room which we did a bright white with a tint of blue to it and accented one wall with a dark blue! So we had a lot of dark blue leftover and I thought it was a great boy color and decided to paint my son's room with the rest of the dark blue paint (His room had been a sickening pale green).

And all dark walls make a room a little dark and depressing and a lot scary at night when you are just 8, so from the get go, he wasn't too happy about it. He complained occasionally and then got used to it and just lived with it ... and then I found THIS great idea on Pinterest and this is where the story begins. It was perfect because I didn't want to repaint the whole room, this idea was just one wall!

We started with primer because we were covering such a dark wall... well a quart was not enough so the project was delayed a bit so I could get more primer and do a second coat (it was a dark blue).  Then we painted it was a Lowes color called "Nightlight." I thought that might be a good color to make a room not quite so dark at night!

Then my husband thought it should be all proportionate to a real baseball and I started to panic that it was going to be an awful project. So I started with a pencil on a string to get a nice arch on the wall... It still took me multiple tries and then I had the fun of erasing pencil marks from the freshly painted wall... :(

 Take my advice, go buy a sample of tan paint, don't try to create a shade with what you have on hand... so here are the seams, looking a little pink, with eraser streaks all over the wall! I was kinda tempted to quit at this point, but I also know that as much as I hate the process, I almost always love the end result, so I kept going!

and then it comes time to paint the stitches, with a nice sponge brush, in red (of which we did buy a sample) ...just little birds in the sky all the way down the seam.  Also had some panic, perfectionist moments while doing this.

and more red stitches to paint. I think they look kinda funny close up, but it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful!

and then I added shading of holes for dimension just like the original designer.

And when you look at it from the door ... it looks pretty good!!!

So get on it...   and create a baseball wall for the boys in your family ... also would be great in a play room!

linking up with Momminitup again!

Also linking up with CSI Project for Pinterest Inspired Week!


Tuesday, July 24

Why I'm Addicted

I find so much good information on the internet... it's funny how God uses my "addiction" to speak to me! Yes, I know that I spend too much time reading blogs and conversing on social media... but when you find nuggets like these, it makes a little more sense!  So today I'm sharing 10 blog posts (in no particular order) that spoke to my heart recently...

1. Starting with this one from Theresa on Allume... all about serving others in blogging, but it can relate to many areas of our lives!  So this post is me sharing the love and being a servant.

2. over at Oh My Handmade Goodness, there is How to stand up to mean girls (the ‘self’ edition) ... she sucked me in in the first paragraph, with her reference to the "coveted waterfall bang," but she kept me with the encouragement to stop putting your self down. This post works for handmade, crafty things and also in the blogging and writing, and my inner mean girl can be loud in both of those areas!!  and I'm not all about self esteem and all, but her points are valid, especially the encouraging others, which is what I'm doing today by sharing all the goodness I've found lately!

3. and then there is Lisa-Jo... She can totally read my mind! I love all of her posts, but this one, When Your Week Crashes Downhill, was just perfect... She talks about hot fudge sundae runs at midnight, and having an ache that you can't explain, and saying words that you want to take back, and pushing in all the chairs and vacuuming...AGAIN! Seriously, go read it, but then come back here! :)

4. and I found permission to enjoy my messy house from Finding Joy. She wrote me a note, dear moms with a messy house, encouraging me in my mess! BUT she keeps it real, you don't have permission to live in a chronic messy house. and she gives some tips for controlling the mess. What I want to do is to work on the ONE THING that keeps the mess in check. For me, it's going to be the kitchen (just don't look at my kitchen right now)  "So work hard. Don't give up. It is good to aim for neat and tidy - just remember this is a season."

5. I enjoyed this post by Mommy on Fire on choosing relationships over discord. It's amazing to me when God uses life circumstances (even animals) to teach us something in our own lives. Go read the whole thing, but know that what I got out of it is this... I hide in the corner when things make me upset, and I have a tendency to come out swinging... even if it's just in my head. But I want to pursue peace and come humbly to situations that make me squirm.

6. On that same note, I'm a people-pleaser and tend to compare myself and my kids with everyone else around me and that can be exhausting because my friends and family are diverse and have different beliefs/standards/opinions which can be unpleasant when you are trying to please them all... after this guest post by Brenda on Joyful Mothering, I am no longer competing in the Mommy Wars.  No more parenting in fear, now it's believing this "Our worth comes from Him and Him alone. No longer do we have to prove it. The Cross proved it for us."

7. As a preacher's kid, who grew up in the church, made a profession of faith at a young age and often struggled with doubts, this fanastic article really spoke to me. Should We Stop Asking Jesus Into Our Hearts? | Christianity Today  It comes down to belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, completely sinless, dying for me... and repentance of my sins... past, present, future... Thank heavens for eternal security!!

8. Every day is a battle for joy for me... and this reminder (I’ve got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy) from Amanda at Impress Your Kids was just what I needed... She mentioned Psalm 63:1-3 and I love those verses and have memorized them, but it's always good to be reminded... and then she said this... "But really, it was a prayer for me: Don’t allow YOURSELF to be stuck with a sad, depressed, angry, moody or difficult personality. PRAY YOURSELF OUT OF IT."  such a great encouragement to me and some days I just want to say "Just Keep Praying, just keep praying!"

9. and then there was another reminder on prayer from Crystal Stine on the Allume blog again. Unlocking my Inner Nehemiah.  I just love when other people say what I'm thinking... plus she's gonna be my roomie at Allume!! and she gave this encouragement..."to remind me that He is doing a good work in my heart, whether I recognize it or not." and He is working and I am so thankful it!

10. and then this beautiful post on friendship from Kristen Strong, posted on the (in)courage blog. Seriously, go read the whole thing... but THIS right here is what I needed "I will forgive you when you make a mistake. While I can’t control how you behave towards me, I can control how I behave towards you. And I’ll do my level best to err on the side of grace and love. Because heaven knows I need to receive it as much as I need to give it"

So that's a lot of good stuff that I found this month... and there was more, but be sure to check out some of these great posts, and let me know what you learn!!

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

Linked up to Top Ten Tuesday (hence the 10 posts)

and Works for Me Wednesday, because great bloggy friends works for me!!

Monday, July 23

July Joy Dare (Week 3)

I make an effort to post these each day on twitter and facebook, so this may just seem like a repeat of my week. But it is such a good thing to remember the gifts daily... and weekly! These, this counting of the gifts is my praise song to Jesus!
It helps me to refocus to think through my day, to remember what God does for me, that He cares about the little things in my life. So I continue to give thanks. I am so blessed.

July 16 gifts hanging down:

628. hummingbird feeder bringing visitors
629. porch swing
630. sunshine in the sky.

July 17 gifts learned:

631. how to cook as a new wife 14 years ago
632. my kids learning to love grandpa's pool last week
633. to trust God DAILY

July 18 musical:

634. birds chirping
635. listening to KLOVE Radio without my kids in the van
636. thunderstorms
637. music of friendships

July 19 gifts baked:

638. the sweets at Panera Bread
639. Pizza for dinner
640. brownies

July 20 in light, dark, shadow

641. He is the LIGHT,
642. in Him is no DARKNESS
643. having my kids with me again.

July 21 gifts of story

644. my kids stories of their time away
645. that God is writing my story
646. "tell me the story of Jesus"

July 22 gifts understated

647. The "bread & wine" of Communion
648. simple tacos for Sunday dinner
649. husband's flirting to relieve tension.

Count with me? share some of your gifts in the comments today? 

Sunday, July 22

Trust Him - Fear Him - Seek Him


Psalm 34:8-10

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.

Trust Him; Fear Him; Seek Him

Saturday, July 21

Project 52 --Movie Party

This week's them at Project 52 with Kent Weakley is Movie Party

We are not a huge movie family... We don't watch them that often, probably more  with streamingNetflix, but we do enjoy some downtime. My husband is a huge SciFi fan and most romantic comedies get more physical than they need too, so it's mostly action/drama when it's just the two of us.

When the kids are out of town at Grandma's house, it's the perfect time for a date night movie party at home, complete with a black and white film on Netflix and a heaping plate of cheesy nachos!

Here are some questions for you... with my answers

What is your favorite black/white movie? 

It's A Wonderful Life is the only one I can think of

What is your favorite movie (one you could watch over and over)? 

I loved The Bourne Identity... and sequels;
and lately, I love Tangled (that could have something to do with the 3 little girls God blessed me with)!

What is a must-have snack while watching movies? 

For us, it's Nachos with cheese... or popcorn!

P52 with Kent Weakley

Previous Project 52 entries

Summer Treats
School's Out
Fathers (and the rest of June)

Friday, July 20

Five Minute Friday --Enough

Five Minute Friday

It's Friday... time for Five Minute Friday writing just to write.

This week's prompt: Enough

Two Weeks

There is time for extended bible reading, drinking an entire cup of coffee while it's still hot (more than once). There is time for writing, reading blogs, reading books... uninterrupted.

There is time to purge the girls bedroom and throw away a whole garbage bag of trash. There is time to air out all the bed comforters.  Time for washing 4 sets of bedsheets and extra blankets and neatening spaces.

There is time for Pinterest projects ... one for the girls' hair stuff, one for the boy's bedroom wall.

There is time for floor mopping, room cleaning, vacuuming and dishwashing.

There is no need for grocery shopping and little need for laundry because there are less people eating and dirtying clothes.  A gallon of milk can last 2 weeks.

There is time for a 3 hour coffee break at Starbucks with a friend... and time for a 3 hour Panera Bread dinner date with a friend.

There is time for reconnecting with my husband. Date nights, shopping trips, planning house projects. Time for a day trip to Philly and a once in a lifetime dinner at Fogo de Chao. Time for steak on the grill and target shooting together. Time for in-house movie nights.

Time for dinner guests in... more than once.

Time enough for all those things, and yet...

Two weeks is WAY TOO LONG to go without 4YO and 5YO hugs and kisses; conversations with 7 and 9 year olds; reading books to kids; laughter over the silly things. Way too long without bedtime prayers and new discoveries; trips to the park and trips to the library!

Two weeks is more than enough time to be without my kids!  And while I know they had a wonderful time spending it with the grandparents and cousins, and enjoyed a week of VBS in Ohio, and had time enough for hours in the pool...  I think we would all agree that tonight can't come soon enough!!

Looking forward to tucking my kids in bed tonight and thankful for the time we've had apart!


Join in with Lisa-Jo and all the other fine word artists over at Five Minute Friday.

Wednesday, July 18

Headband storage

My glue gun and I are not good friends... I love it and I hate it all at the same time. ... also, being a perfectionist sometimes takes all the fun out of crafting.

I hate the process, but I often love the end result and this Pinterest inspired project is no different!!

The kids were at Grandma's last week (and still are for a few more days!), so I decided to do a bedroom purge in the girls' room! I got rid of one large garbage bag of broken toys, happy meal toys, papers, papers and more papers, and other miscellaneous stuff. I also wanted to organize some of the stuff we are keeping. Organizing toys wasn't a problem, we already have the containers for that, they just need to learn how to put them away.

Their hair stuff is a little out of control, which is funny because it's often a battle to get them to wear something in their hair (mommy isn't gentle enough with the brush, I suspect). So anyway, they have some nice hanging ribbon things for holding clips and barrettes, that my mom got them for Christmas last year, but the headbands are all over the place and on every dresser (remember there are 3 girls in there), so I wanted to get them all in one place!

I pinned this great headband storage idea ... 29 weeks ago, people! (isn't amazing that Pinterest can tell you that?) So, it's been on my radar for a while, but I bought a BIG oatmeal container and we don't eat oatmeal that often, so it still wasn't empty. I said, "too bad" and dumped the oatmeal in another container, because I had a project to make!

here's what you need...
An oatmeal container, scrapbook paper, ribbon, mod podge and a glue gun... and some patience!

Cut the paper to fit your container (depending on which size you use) Mine was the big container which turned out to be a pain!!

Start mod podging and attaching your first piece of paper doing your best to smooth out all the wrinkles... Or just leave all the wrinkles in and say it adds character!!

Then mod podge the second paper on there, lining it up the best you can and trying to not freak out over all the wrinkles ... or just be neater than me and don't have wrinkles.

Admire your not-so-handi-work

fold over the excess at the bottom (you should figure this into your measuring) and mod podge it on the bottom for a finished look.

Then let it dry...

Turn your hot glue gun on and assemble some ribbon... I used a piece on the top, on the bottom, and at the middle seam.

Apply glue to your ribbon (or rick rack ribbon) and wrap carefully around the container.

Then cut out a circle for the lid in matching paper (and mod podge it) to help finish it off. and glue a ribbon around the lid to make it look pretty

 Then put all the pretty headbands on it (after all the glue and mod podge dries, of course!)

and throw the stretchy headbands and pony tail holders inside!!

So tell me, are you a perfectionist when it comes to craft projects? 

or do you believe that it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful?

What pinterest project should I tackle next?

I hope you will join me and Momminitup with some of your Pinterest Inspired projects!

and being organized works for me... check out other tips, here!!
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