Wanted to join the all the fun everyone's having over at The Nesting Place. If you haven't been to the party, get over there! She continues to inspire me and is one of the reasons I started this blog.
I didn't go too crazy with my Christmas decor this year. We have some on-going construction and things are a bit displaced right now. Plus, I am finding as the years change, my taste does as well. I have so many fabulous blogger friends that challenge and inspire me to really think outside of the box!
This is the mantel in the den - the only mantel is this house that is really decorated this year. I didn't remove the painting in the background and have mixed feelings about leaving it there...what do you think? Please be honest...it certainly won't hurt my feelings! I am kinda thinking it may need to go...
Very simple - no lights, no ribbon this year. I added some pinecones and a few branches from my front yard tree that you can barely see in the pictures.
I really love the glitter snowflakes - cheap buy at Wal-mart! The reindeer are from Big Lots and they have such a pretty presence on the mantel.
Two of the stockings are missing...hoping my friend will be done making them this week so we can get them monogrammed and hung with the rest of the bunch.
If you have any suggestions for me on how I can tweak the mantel...fire away. Would love to hear from you guys!
This is such a fun video. If you haven't heard of Straight No Chaser, they are a fantastic a cappella group which got its start at Indiana University. The guys gained national attention on YouTube with this video. I think they sound absolutely fantastic and would love to hear them in person. Enjoy!
Howdy ya'll! I have been a busy bee lately...trying to catch up from being gone for a week and getting some Christmas cheer put up around my house! I have decided not to go all out this year....we have several home projects going on and things are a bit scattered.... plus, I have a 19 month old that gets in to everything. Do you remember that stage? I forgot, too...how quickly I am reminded - ha!
I am so ready for some order to my house.....it can get really discouraging. We have painters coming next week to paint some built-in bookshelves in the den and our roof has been an ongoing process now for nearly 2 weeks. It's a big mess! However, I have decided as of today..I am NOT going to lose my joy! My children are healthy, my husband has a job, we have a lovely home and every need is met. I was over at 4 Reluctant Entertainers today and she posted about joy and priorities - thanks, Sandy! In fact, she added this little quote...
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today is a gift.
Today is a GIFT - we only have this moment and can never get it back!
My mom emailed this video to me...how timely! It really speaks as to what is truly important this Christmas season - spending time with loved ones, making sweet memories, giving of ourselves and of course, Jesus!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Hey ya'll! I'm rushing around today trying to get ready to leave for Texas - whohoo! We are headed to a little West Tx town (po-dunct-ville) to visit hubby's great-grandparents. Nana can cook, and...boy, is it gonna be good! This will probably be my only post this week - hope everyone enjoys their day of thanks!
I had a jam-packed weekend complete with a visit from my aunt and cousin. We headed over to Arkansas for the Dayspring Warehouse Sale and had an absolute blast!! They hold this sale once a year, right before Thanksgiving. If you have never been, it is definitely worth the trip. Dayspring makes all the pretty paper goods and gift items you see in Christian bookstores like Mardels and LifeWay..even Walmart. I got tons of goodies - gorgeous gift bags for 50 cents, note cards 10 for a buck, pretty wrapping paper, day planners, etc. Most of my Christmas shopping is done now - yay!
Full of tons of great stuff!
Next, we headed over to the infamous OOPS store...which is more like a warehouse. It's huge! If you have followed Shannon's blog, then you know about this store. She's gotten lots of cute things there. I think Kelly at Kelly's Korner also mentions it a time or two. This is a fun place, ya'll!
the 3 amigos: Laura (cousin), Priscilla (aunt) and myself outside the entrance sitting in a huge chair
Aisles and aisles of Christmas decor
a little life-size village in the back of the store
Loved these Christmas trees - they are tall and made out of wood - so pretty..almost took them home!
Bought these mercury glass birdies - all for less than $15. The big one broke on the trip back...but, I fixed it!
Don't you love this pretty rabbit? I did too, for $13.50! He's also a nice, large size.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving friends....take care and enjoy your precious families! We all have soo much to be thankful for! :)
I had originally planned to write about a few things that I am thankful for today, but I would much rather blog about a topic that is near and dear to my heart: ADOPTION.
November is National Adoption Month
I long to adopt - always have. I was just talking with some girls at MOPS yesterday about my desire to fulfill this long-time desire of my heart. I believe it is something I have been called to do - since I was a little girl - and really pray about God's timing for our family. I think I would adopt a child from every country if it were possible. As of now, I feel called to China, but am aware of the incredible need in other parts of the world, as well, and the country of origin for my future child may change. I sometimes wish they would just give these children away - to loving parents that long to hold them, kiss their little faces, pray for them and give them a place to call home. They need us desperately!
I am always in awe of families that go through the process. I literally have to resist the temptation to walk up to total strangers with adopted kids and start a conversation about their experiences. But stare - yes, I do. I stare long and I stare hard. I love looking at them!
My cousin and his wife tried for years to have a baby. They are now the proud parents of a sweet baby girl by way of local adoption and what a blessing she is! I get to meet this beautiful baby for the first time over Christmas and just want to eat her up! Her name means: "God has answered". He definitely has!
I have several acquaintances that have adoption blogs and they are such a source of encouragement.
I know that through adoption I can touch another child's life and show him/her God's grace, love and faithfulness - the same that He shows me each and every day. It is my responsibility to do this - I honestly believe it! And I know in turn, that I (and my family) will be blessed and changed in ways we cannot even yet imagine.
I stumbled upon this video through one of my friend's blogs. It is incredibly touching!
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress" James 1:27
If you have any adoption stories to share, please do so ~
I have really missed you...really! Hope all of you are doing well.....
Can you believe that it's time to start decorating for Christmas? It really creeped up on me! I have been perusing all of my favorite blogs and my goodness, there is already some beautiful decor out there!
We have a new computer at our house -yea! We broke down and bought a Dell - I hope this dadgum thing lasts for a good while. Yes, I said dadgum! Our last computer was only 5 years old - is that about the running average for the life a computer?
We are still working on getting all the "info" from our last computer onto our new one. And, this one needs all the software added to it, as well. I still can't upload photos, yet...but, soon!
Do you guys know about the Black Friday ads website? It's awesome! I have done a lot of shopping already, but this site really gets me excited! Yep, I'm on one of those crazies that enjoys getting up early to hit the sales.... You'd almost think retailers would be giving stuff away trying to lure in buyers this year.
Our computer crashed this weekend, and while I have internet access, it is extremely slow on our ancient laptop, so I have not been on my blog all week. I will be back soon - can't wait to catch up with you guys!
Hope this video gives you a little smile today - lots of pranks going on!
I'm not feeling well right now (pray for me if you get a chance, would you?), but will get by to visit all of you soon! Ya'll have a safe weekend - have fun with your families and take lots of pictures!
I am ecstatic! I love Christmas concerts. I had the pleasure of seeing the Amy Grant Christmas tour a couple of years ago - it was excellent. She brought along the Nashville Orchestra and I cannot tell you how beautiful it all sounded. There is nothing like some pretty Christmas music. I love Natalie Grant - she is one of my favorite artists. And look who else is going to be there....Michael English - what a fabulous voice! Did I mention Avalon, too? They are also bringing in Denver and the Mile High Orchestra... love me some good music, ya'll - it is one of my passions.
Hello friends - it's Monday! How did your weekend go? It seems the older I get, the faster the weekend flies by! We had lots of fall festivities this weekend - the kiddos had a blast! I didn't get too many pictures this time, but will post the few that I have soon!
This week I am trying something a little different. I am going to use a lot of what I already have here at the house, rather than go and buy groceries for the week's meals. Easy - peesy!
MONDAY: crock pot chili and homemade cornbread (didn't get to fix it last week) TUESDAY: tacos WEDNESDAY: grilled salmon, snap peas and red potaoes THURSDAY: chicken burgers and beans FRIDAY: hot dogs - our kid's favorite!
Catalog season is here...boy, is it ever! I probably receive at least 2 a day or so.
I have to admit, I shop out of catalogs, but only from my favorite ones like Lands End. If I see something I like for the kiddos, such as a certain wooden toy, I try to search the internet for the best price. Just recently, Chasing Fireflies landed in my mailbox. Have ya'll seen this catalog? It is the cutest thing - seriously! I had never seen it....a little pricey, but here are some of the things that caught my eye...
Isn't this little baking doll darling? I'm always on the look-out for dolls with red hair!
Love these t's...wouldn't it be fun if you had four children? Would make such a great picture!
"On The Tooth Fairy's Payroll"......
I think I'm in love.....(it's embroidered silk)
This is the cutest advent elf - he stands about 5 ft. tall
Honestly, I don't live an incredibly fascinating life, ya'll. However, I am NEVER bored, that's for sure!
I am usually out of bed by 7 am - sometimes earlier, as hubby is up and out the door by 6:30 am. I so wish that I would just get my big-self out of bed by 6:30 - I could accomplish so much more in the quiet part of the day! (not to mention, eat breakfast with my man) I throw some resemblance of clothing on and off I go. Anyone that knows me, knows that I don't fuss too much with make-up. The best I do usually is getting my teeth brushed and hair combed for the day. I am always in awe of women that get dressed and have their faces on by 8 am - especially with little kiddos at their feet.
I make my bed EVERY DAY! I used to never really care about doing it, but I do now. It is a necessity. Then, I usually have my quiet time with the Lord. It is also a necessity for me - makes my day go so much better!
Around 7:45 am, it's wake-up time for the boys. Here in OK, school doesn't start for the elementary kiddos until 8:50 - LOVE it!! I think it's wonderful for them to have a little extra time in the mornings. I make sure they are getting their beds made, and clothes on and then I head to the kitchen to start breakfast. Once that is under way, I finish lunches. I usually make the boys' lunch the night before, all but their sandwiches. My 4 yr old has MDO on Tu and Th, so he doesn't go everyday.
B is on the bus by 8:30, then I usually get my eggs made (I have eggs nearly every single morning) and finally eat. My daughter is usually up by now, eating and dressed.
I check my list of things to accomplish for the day and away we go! Errands, laundry, play dates, cleaning, whatever. I love mornings - such a fresh start. Sometimes I go ahead and start dinner - especially, if it's a crock pot meal. Meal planning is wonderful! I used to wait till 5:30 to finally figure out what we were going to have for dinner and it never really worked well for my family.
K is usually napping by 11:30. This gives me a little chance to jump on the phone or whatever I need to do with a little bit of quiet.
Lunch time is fun - L requests the same exact thing for lunch everyday. You guessed it - PB&J. He loves them....with a few chips and grapes. K usually eats the same thing. No complaints here - it's super easy!
I used to go to the gym every morning, but have gotten into the practice of going around 1:30 or 2 - early afternoon. I love this time - not many people there and it is pretty quiet. It definitely helps to break up my day.
B (my first-grader) is home by 3:50. We have a snack and talk about his day. Sometimes, we go ahead and get homework out of the way, if he comes home with some. K usually naps again - about 4 pm. If I have an easy recipe for dinner, this is the time I like to fix it.
Dinner time is usually around 6 pm. I have lots of hungry birdies looking my way for food around 5:30, so we try to eat pretty early.
After a little kitchen clean-up, it's off to read, do homework and then baths.
Bedtime is around 8 - 8:30 and then it's quiet again! Whew!
I can then do a few more chores - finish laundry, possibly work on a few crafty things (I'm not all that crafty, really) that you bloggers have inspired me to do, fix lunches, read emails and my facebook page. I might catch some tv, but it is so hard for me to sit down to watch it. Every night, I make my list of things to do the next day. It keeps me on track!
Bedtime is by 11:30 - I have to have my sleep. I have always been a girl that needed at least 8 hours, or I can be a booger-bear to live with!
Humility is perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore, To wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, And when I am blamed or despised; it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and about is trouble.