Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Winner of the Happy Birthday to the King plate is Denise! Thanks so much for all of your sweet comments!


I really enjoyed this post from Emily at Chatting at the Sky wondering aloud why it is hard to call oneself a writer.

This just really was a blessing to me and has helped me to put some of my very heart into words that are tangible.

I am a writer.

There, I said it. And, I believe it.

I have never been one to call myself a writer. I'm not grammatically correct nor really love grammar that much. I'm not a book-caliber writer. But, I do write.

You know what? I can't help writing...if I'm in my quiet place with my Bible and really learning and gleaning - my hand is fairly itching for a pencil and paper or keys to process the thoughts and jot them down. It is just what I do - I process in words that are not spoken as much as they are typed or written down.

And, that makes me a writer. Because this is how God has made me - to write. I love to write words, to write beauty and light through pictures, to write memories. I don't need to be ashamed to call myself a writer (like I think I have been up to this point) because I am not going to be the next Jane Austen or Beth Moore.

I am me. The exact me that God wants me to be and created me to be. He put it in me to write. And, so write I shall. The words that He gives and inspires, the lessons I'm learning. They won't always be written correctly, I cannot promise no typos - but I will write. And, it will bless my Creator who instilled this within. And, it will bless me for the ways it frees my head and heart to get these thoughts out from the swirling vortex of my mind.

I am a writer. Are you?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Water Party

I recently hosted my upcoming CC class for a fun afternoon of water games! I had been working on the ideas all summer and had hit up my Mom's amazing dollar store for some water games/goodies.

In the end, the most popular activities were water balloons (no picture - too chaotic!) and playing with the hose. Things got pretty energetic - and most of the games weren't even played in a group effort to just dump water out. But, all in all - I think everyone had fun!

The original inspiration for this party can be found here. I especially had fun doing the snack table and making it cute and pretty!

And, it is so fun to look at the vintage goodies and know they were either a generous gift or a very inexpensive find! The silver thermos jug was fifty cents at a thrift store this summer and red and white enamelware was $1 at a garage sale thanks to my Aunt! The Coke crate was a gift from a sweet friend (Thanks, Mel!) It is fun to be able to use these things and think of the sweet friends and family behind the gifts!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Monday!

Good Monday morning to you! This post marks my 2,000th post here! Ack - can't believe I've had that much to say! :)

But, I thought it would be fun to do a little giveaway just for fun!!

LinkI know it's a little early for a Christmas post (never too early in my book!) but last year these were sold out quick so I wanted to be able to give one away while they are in stock right now! I ordered this plate last year and had so much fun using it and celebrating the true reason for Christmas!

You can catch a couple of glimpses of when I used my plate for our worship breakfast last December here.

There is also a beautiful new Blessings Unlimited catalog out for Fall - you can see all the beauty here or by clicking the cover image on my sidebar.

Here are a couple of my favorite new things for Fall:

1,000 Gifts Journal featuring Ann's beautiful photography!
(There's also a family journal and calendar!)

Great is Thy Faithfulness Clock:

Love these notecards:

So, back to the giveaway! I'm not going to ask you to do anything crazy - if you want to be entered in the random drawing for the Happy Birthday to the King platter just leave a comment on this post. I know you're tired of hearing this - but please, please, please leave an e-mail address if you're using anonymous comments or have your e-mail address disabled. If there is no way to contact you, I will choose a new winner.

Comments will be accepted until Wednesday, August 31 at 10pm EST. Winner will be announced shortly thereafter.

Thanks for reading and visiting here!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Book Review:: My Best Friend, Abe Lincoln

I recently received a review copy of My Best Friend, Abe Lincoln by Robert L. Bloch. I was excited to read it since we will be studying American History this year and learning about Abraham Lincoln in the next few weeks.

Admittedly, I like classic books. It is rare for a new children's book to be one that I am looking for. This is a cute book and a good story about the friendship of Abe Lincoln and his fictitious friend Sam. But, I struggle with the fact that the entire story is not based on true history. And, I prefer less cartoon-like illustrations.

I know that my children will enjoy reading this book and I appreciate the chance to share a fun story of friendship with them. And, I'm sure they will learn a thing or two in the process!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

When You've Had Enough...

It was one of those afternoons when my head was absolutely pounding, my nerves were on end and yes, I'd had enough. My children were not being naughty - it was just a cumulative effect of hormones, lots to do and just general busyness and weariness.

I found myself in the Peace Retreat (yes, again - I spend a lot of time here!) and reached for my Bible. I wanted to remind myself of some of the passages I had been thinking of about having a Quiet Heart and remembering to quiet myself before Him when I was struggling to quiet my heart.

I was reminded of a passage in 1 Kings where Elijah heard a gentle whisper that passed by and the Lord was right there in that whisper. But, I went back a little to remember why exactly he was in a cave (somewhere that sounded nice to me at the moment) and what the circumstances were surrounding these verses.

What I found really surprised me and blessed me. Do you have a moment to read the words along with me?

"Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, 'May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.'
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day's journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. 'I have had enough, Lord,' he said. 'Take my life, I am no better than my ancestors.' Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, 'Get up and eat.' He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, 'Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.' So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: 'What are you doing here, Elijah?' He replied,'I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.' The Lord said, 'Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.' Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but he Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave."

1 Kings 19:1-13

Then, God proceeded to give him some instructions and Elijah went and carried those things out.

Did you catch that Elijah had had enough too? And, he had better reasons than me. But, I could still make application - he was overwhelmed with his situation and discouraged. And, some observations that encouraged and refreshed me:

* Elijah rested. Enough said!

* God sent an angel to care for him. He knew he was overwhelmed, in over his head and that he'd reached his limit. Even his basic needs were lacking and God provided food and drink to help restore him.

* Elijah persevered. He traveled 40 days and nights. 40. If that doesn't take perseverance I don't know what does!

* Elijah had a personal experience with God.

* Elijah received instructions and then carried them out.

When I've had enough - I want to remember to rest, allow Him to minister to me and speak to me and follow what He shows me.

Lord, let my heart listen for your gentle whisper.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

31 Days of ...

Emily of Chatting at the Sky had a great post up on her October 31 days series - and then she linked to a post on Defining Your Bloggy Purpose. It all got me to thinking about how I would answer some of the questions she poses and what I would want to write about for 31 days straight!

I headed to my Peace Retreat with her list of questions and the answer that came to questions like what would I want to write about for 31 days? What makes me feel alive?

Even if no one is listening or reading, even if my words are written only for myself. The one thing I know I could not help thinking, talking, creating or writing about is:


Honestly in being artsy or crafty - I think my true motivation comes from the beauty it will create rather than the actual process of doing it. Beauty inspires me, it refreshes me. I know beauty isn't everything - but it just does something to and for me.

I haven't decided if I will write about beauty for the entire 31 days - but I do hope to post on this topic some in October. It is one I will never get tired of!!!

What is that one thing for you that answers some of the above questions?

* * *

Pictures of beauty around here lately.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Respected Husband: Craft

A couple of months ago, I wrote about the next verse in Proverbs 31 and about our husbands being respected. I was struggling to come up with a craft idea for this verse so asked you for some ideas!

Here was the comment that really jumped out at me (from Ami):

I really enjoyed contemplating crafts for this. I'm in such a busy mothering stage (similar to you) that I'm definitely concerned with trying to love my husband and care for him above the kids, and you know that's so hard to do!

This verse really encourages an attitude and I agree it's hard to think of a craft. I think something that reminds me to check my attitude would be more beneficial than something I could make for him. I think a little box that reminds me to respect him and spread that respect around, filled with a stash of notes of compliments, encouragement, prayer, love, and humor all ready to be stuck in his lunch, luggage, computer bag or whatever. If they're ready to go, maybe I would actually leave him notes regularly!

Praying for him encourages respect, too. I printed off a monthly prayer calendar for my husband with correlating Bible verses and I have that hanging in my kitchen cabinet.

One more thing that is fun and would put his co-workers in a good mood would be sending goodies to work with him occasionally. That is if your husband likes that, of course, because not everyone does!

* * * *

I loved her idea of having little notes ready to go! So, one Saturday morning when I woke up quite early - I asked God to help me create some notes we could share with our husbands! A few blanks are included as well so you can come up with your own. Thanks for sharing your idea, Ami!

Enjoy blessing and respecting your husband!!

Respected Husband Notes

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School

We started school a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to plan something very special for our first day of school since we had such fun with our special day last year.

A fun piece of fabric made a great tablecloth - the edges aren't hemmed or anything fancy, it is a piece from my stash that I just put over a folding card table.

Canning jars filled with crayons and a candle on top are a cute dress-up for the table! And, the pencil vase centerpiece was a repeat from another first day of school. I made mock-chalkboards out of black construction paper and brown kraft paper for placemats and topped plates with free markers (after rebate at Walgreens).

I found a vintage children's picture dictionary in perfect condition at a garage sale this summer and cut some fun words out to say, "Happy First School Day" - I laminated these and backed them with other fun words beginning with a, b, c and d. Taped onto wooden skewers, these looked super cute standing in Chanel bottles (thanks, Mom!)

I adorned our chalkboards with verses reminding of the benefits of seeking wisdom. We've been learning this sweet song/prayer over our school days.

And, I'm planning to settle down and read through this soon and let it all soak in, and become a prayer as well.

When thinking of homeschool, I also love this post by Ann Voskamp.

For breakfast, I made pancakes the day before. I borrowed a set of alphabet cookie cutters and cut out names for a fun breakfast.

After breakfast, the coloring began! And, of course, we had to take pictures in front of our growth chart and complete our Time Capsule!

Once school was complete, we had a fun work-together lunch! Teddy Bear Biscuit Pizzas and colorful fruit skewers:

And a fun treat for dessert that night after dinner:

Here's an inspiring link to another beautiful back-to-school breakfast! Will you plan something fun or special for back to school?