Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Am My Biggest Cheerleader...

The other day I had a revealing moment and I've been pondering over it ever since.  See, I was on my way home and I was trying to encourage myself to go on the walk I had planned to go on.  I was questioning myself about why I keep failing to follow through on things that I know I need to do.  Then it hit me...I'm my biggest cheerleader, but there's a bigger cheerleader out there who is really the One who needs to be front and center.

God is my biggest cheerleader and I was stealing His thunder.  I've been trying to encourage myself and not allowing His encouragement to seep in.  Don't get me wrong, I think we all should cheer ourselves on and have self-talk times, but I need to go to Him first for encouragement.


He was Joshua's biggest cheerleader:

"I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous..." Joshua 5b-6a
 
God was rooting Joshua on...into battle.  He will do the same for us, but we have to allow Him to do that.
 

So many times in His Word He tells to "fear not."  That's because He's got it under control and we need to rely on that much more often than we/I do.  By being the main cheerleader in my life I was stepping in the way of what He has planned.  I was trying to use my own strength, which does not in any way compare to His strength.
 

So, I'm putting down my pom poms, picking up my Bible and absorbing His cheers!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dear...

Dear Cold Weather:

It is time for you to go and hibernate.  I need you to step aside and let the warmer weather in.  You are teasing me by allowing the blue skies to show, but in reality it is freezing out there.  You had your fun and now it's time to give someone else a chance.

Signed,
In Need of Warmer Weather

Dear Destin:

Because of the above mentioned situation I am even more eager to come and see you.

Signed,
I'll Be There in No Time!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Monday, March 28, 2011

For today...

Outside my window...Blue skies and cold, cold.  While I'm still annoyed with the cold weather I'm very grateful to have the sun shining.
 
I am thinking...that it has been a really long time since I've done this post and I've kind of missed it.  I need to find a way to incorporate it maybe on a different day or with my miscellany monday posts because I love those too.

I am thankful for...the fact that Rondell's mandatory is overtime is over.  He has had to work both weekend days for the last three weeks.  It will be nice to have him home this weekend :)
 
From the kitchen...baked ziti and potato soup.  I made both last night so we'd have dinner and lunch for a few days.  Once again too, Rondell packed up some ziti for me to take to work this morning and it was so nice...so easy.  Thanks Ron.

I think we're also going to have chicken club wrap and pigs in a blanket...simple.

I am wearing...long sleeves because it is cold outside.  I can't wait for shorts weather.

I am creating...new cards with more embellishments.  I'll be sure to share with you once I start playing around some more.  I'm also thinking of opening an etsy shop for my cards, but I have to see what all goes into it.

I am going...straight home to pick up Jamison for Girl Scouts and then to Bible Study...well, after work.

I am reading...Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua.  It's a book my step-mother let me borrow about a Chinese mother and how she raises her children in comparison to mothers in the US.  It's very interesting and thought provoking.

Around the house...it's Spring cleaning season.  This week I will be tackling the kitchen...washing cabinets, cleaning off the microwave stand, cleaning out the fridge and freezer, pulling out the food in the cabinet and rearranging, etc.

One of my favorite things...open windows.  I love to have fresh air entering our home!

Share what's in your book here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thanking God on Friday - Favorites

friday favorite things | finding joy

Here are a few of my favorite things...

 Rondell packing up leftovers so it's easy for me to grab them for lunch in the morning :)

The Love Jones soundtrack

Best friends...


Making Destin To Do lists with my mom

Watching NCIS with my mom every Tuesday

Preparing to watch this sweet girl compete in State's this weekend...

DVR (I stole this one from Rachel...it is one of my favorite things)

An email from Jamison's teacher with great book suggestions

Selling my cards to friends

Snuggles with Caleb

Seeing 100% on Jamison's latest math test :)

Meeting new friends

Discovering that one of those new friends also does BSF and getting to chat about it

My fan

My blanket

Rondell telling Jamison that eating ice cream from the container is one of the joys in life...


Quiet rides in the car on the way to work

 Blue skies...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring To Do!

Spring is finally here and with that comes the idea of Spring cleaning.  I know that some people are already in this process and others I've seen are participating in the 40 bags in 40 days.

While it's technically Spring, it's raining here and we might even get some snow towards the end of the week.  This sounds like a perfect time to take advantage of not quite being able to go outside.  So from now until the end of April I will be bustin a move to get my Spring Cleaning To Do list done.  I'm using sites like A bowl full of lemons, House of Grace, and IHeart Organizing to help prioritize and organize my plans.

Here's what I'd like to get done (I'm sure I'll find other things along the way too):

Deep clean kitchen - washing walls, cleaning out fridge and microwave stand, pulling out items from cabinets and organizing and discarding any old food, cleaning cabinets, hang paint samples to figure out the color I want to paint the walls this summer, etc.

Organize each closet

Deep clean master bedroom - clean out closet & donate clothes, deep clean bathroom & hang pictures, remove all papers from room to start our paper filing system, vacuum & flip our mattress, dust ceiling fan, clean blinds and windows, etc.

Clean Caleb's room - vacuum and flip mattress, clean out unused books and toys, move out train table, wash valance, etc.

Change all light bulbs

Figure out how to re-caulk bathroom sinks in 1/2 bath and kids' bath.

Vacuum stairs and all baseboards

Add sections to my Household binder

Organize and implement a filing system for all of our bills and papers.

Complete Destin To Do list :)

Scrapbook Christmas card pictures.

Do you have any big Spring Cleaning plans?

Monday, March 21, 2011

miscellany monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1.  A reason to celebrate...a birthday.  Over the weekend the kids and I traveled to Cleveland for my step mom's mom's birthday.  They had an entire weekend planned with a spa day, a few dinners, a concert and going to church together.  We were able to join them on Saturday for dinner.  Ms. Louise's daughter, son in-law, and granddaughter even flew in from California!

Ms. Louise and her beautiful granddaughters.

Here's Ms. Louise and her friend Mary.  Mary is amazing...she will be 89 this year.  Aren't they jazzy!

2.  Welcome Spring!  Well yesterday was the day...the first day of Spring.  For the most part the weather was nice and we even got outside for a bit.  I got some shots of the evidence of Spring.

Here are my daffodils and some mini tulips trying to make their debut.

Spring also reveals the clean up that we'll have to do over the next few weeks :)

3.  Bike Time.  Rondell (and I, a little) have been working with Jamison to try and ride a two wheeler.  We're hoping this is the year she makes a break for it.  Yesterday she and Rondell worked a little more and she had more confidence than she's had in the past.  Next I think we'll take her to a walk path where there are less bumps.


Look at the concentration!

Then there's this guy who will be riding a two-wheeler before I know it.

4.  I LOVE surprises.  During church yesterday I received a text from one of my best friends, Melanie, saying she had a surprise for me...she was in town and was going to come and see me!  Marja brought her over and it was so good to hug her and sit down for a chat with my girls.  Melanie also got to love on my kids a bit.

Today we're going to lunch and hang out some more and I can't wait :)


And Caleb got to love on his girlfriend Mila.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thanking God on Friday...It's the Little Things



friday favorite things | finding joy

Jamison's green nails in preparation for St. Patrick's Day.


Do you have friends in your life who are like "sisters from another mister."  I do, and two of them were on vacation at the same time.  They are both safe and sound at home now and I am grateful...I missed my girls.

A sweet & encouraging email from a dear friend at just the right time.

The way Rondell displayed the taco shells for dinner the other night...see why I promoted him to chef?


This conversation with Caleb:

Caleb:  Mommy, can I have a gralila (granola) bar?
Me:  After dinner Caleb.
Caleb:  But Mom, I'm hungry.
Me:  Then you should eat dinner.
Caleb:  But Mom, I'm hungry and if I don't have a gralila bar then my tummy will eat my bones!
Me:  {Laughter}

Watching Jamison rock it out during her chorus performance.
 
Jesus Calling devotional...it hits the spot.
Seeing my husband in the middle of the day, just for a kiss.
 
Chocolate milk...I forgot how much I love it.
 
Texts from BSF friends to encourage each other to keep up on our daily lessons.
 
60 degree weather :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Craft Fair Survivors

I wanted to share with you a few of the cards I had for sale at my bust of a Craft Fair:

 This first card is a CASE (Copy And Share Everything) from one of my stamping blogging buddies Heidi (you can see her card here).  Heidi is actually the person who attracted me to Stampin Up! because I would always see her cute cards and wondered how to make them.

For this card I used:

Paper:  Real Red & Old Olive card stock, Summer Picnic DSP (retired, but still a fav)
Stamp set:  Teeny Tiny Wishes
Ink:  Real Red

Same card, slightly different:

Paper:  Poppy Parade & Peach Parfait, Sunny Garden DSP
Stamp Set:  Teeny Tiny Wishes 
Ink:  Chocolate Chip 

 
 I got this idea for a card from a sketch that I saw online.

I used:

Paper:  Peach Parfait card stock & Sunny Garden DSP
Stamp Set:  Word Play (I received this stamp set for free for getting a recruit within the first few months becoming a demonstrator).
Ink:  Poppy Parade

 
Finally, here's a card that I've made before (shown in this post), but this time I added another color and another layer.

I used: 

Paper:  Wild Wasabi, Chocolate Chip, & Pink Pirouette card stock
Stamp Set:  Pocket Silhouettes
Ink:  Wild Wasabi, Chocolate Chip, & Pink Pirouette

Happy Stamping :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

miscellany monday - Bragging on God!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
 
Today's miscellany monday is a post of random things to brag on God a little.  I had a day of revelation/encouragement/eye-opening yesterday and I just have to share.  Yesterday morning I woke up feeling down...I have been sick for far too long and because of that my house it out of control (and when my house it out of control I makes me really flustered).  In addition, my craft fair was a complete bust (I sold 4 cards) so I was a little bummed.
 
But, I then went to God and explained my mood and how I just needed to feel Him.  With my sickness and preparing for the craft fair I had not been in His Word and I was feeling disconnected.  Well, did He ever hear my cry and respond immediately...more than I could have ever imagine.  What's so great is that He blessed me with a bunch of little random things that all added up to a fantabulous day :)  A lot of the little things have to deal with friends too because He knows how much I value friendships...He's amazing!
 
~  I got a free coffee drink from Panera.
 
~  The sermon at church was AMAZING.  It was a guest pastor of a new church plant and his sermon covered the book of Hebrews.  His focus was on suffering and how God uses discipline to train us...to teach us.  We should not see hard times at punishment, but as a way to grow in Him.  If you want to listen to it (which I highly recommend) go here and click on the sermon "Real Life is Messy."
 
~  I talked to a friend who had been on my heart and found out she's just fine.
 
~  Another friend that I don't get to see too often stopped by the church office where I was volunteering and gave me some encouragement about my Coca Cola fast.
 
~  I don't know if I've mentioned this, but we are having a neighborhood Easter egg hunt.  This is something that my church is putting on...asking families to host hunts in their neighborhood to share the story of Easter.  I prayed a lot about whether or not to participate (I think for fear of rejection), but in the end God put on my heart to go for it.  Well, yesterday I was having doubts again...mainly about the expense of buying all of the candy and other supplies, but I read in the bulletin that the eggs and candy are provided!
 
~  This week members of our church will be walking the neighbor where my church is located and passing out a pamphlet about The Good News.  I received one yesterday and it's amazing and filled with useful information...a great reminder of His love and sacrifice for us.
 
~  I was able to hug a friend who is going through a tough time and in return got a genuinely sweet hug from her son.
 
~  A couple visited our Small Group and they really added to our discussion.

~  I went to buy a new book in our church's bookstore (Crazy Love) and a friend of mine works in the store and told me instead she'd just give me her book (she didn't care for it)...score, free book!

~  I got to see a friend I haven't seen in over a year (to give her Girl Scout cookies) and we had nice chat to catch up.

~  Another friend invited me over to her house one Friday to hang out and make bread (and I'd get to hold her newborn baby!).

~  I cleaned and organized Jamison's entire room.  Three bags of trash and three boxes of books for donation later it's like a new room :)

Did I tell you it was a great day...it was and I am just filled with joy today :) 

Thank you GOD!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thanking God on Friday...with Rachel



friday favorite things | finding joy

Today for my Thanking God on Friday I'm participating in Rachel's Friday Favorite Things.  If you've never stopped by her blog it is a must...I'm always inspired when I read her posts.  I love this idea of a simple list of favorite things and things that I'm thankful for.  Next week I'm going to work on adding pictures...I like that idea.

A date with Rondell and my mom tonight.  Have I ever told you they are the same person...they are.

The joy on my daughter's face when I surprise her with Subway for dinner.

My table overflowing with cards that I've made for my upcoming craft fair.

Heidi's stamping blog where I can find cards to CASE (Copy And Share Everything) for my upcoming craft fair.

Starting a packing list for our Destin vacation.

Bagels.

The beautiful March sunflower picture on my sunflower calendar.

Jamison's giggle.

The way Caleb says Jamison's name (I need to get it on video).

A friend who felt she could trust me with a serious prayer request (prayers lifted).

A house filled with Girl Scout cookies.

Planning our annual Good Friday fish lunch with my mom.

**You should go and like up your favorites :)**

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Organizing My Priorities

Organize your lif

This week's House of Grace's challenge is to Organize Your Priorities.  This is a great challenge that I think will help so much fall into place...even the previous challenges of organizing my mind and schedule.  How would I know what to schedule if I haven't decided what is most important to me...so I'm all over this.

Some Questions:

What and who is most important to me?

That would be God and my family...hands down.  Close like-family friends are up there as well.

What motivates me?

Making people feel comfortable, loved and welcomed.  I love for my family to be comfortable in our home and know that it's a loving and cozy place to be.  I also enjoy for guests to feel welcome when they step into my home.

What do I want to accomplish in my life?

Giving glory to God first...trying to be more like Him.  I also want to set a foundation for my children, to love Christ, to be ambitious and to make wise decisions.  I also want to be more financially secure and teach my children how to be good stewards.
And I want to learn to sew :)

 If I could change anything in my life what would it be?

To be debt free!

Make a List of your 10 Top Priorities!


1.  My walk with Christ.  It is the foundation of who I am and who I am growing to be.


2.  My husband...my best friend.  I need to be his biggest supporter and cheerleader.


3.  My children...to mold them, to love on them, to be there for them and love them unconditionally.


4.  My family/close like-family friends...these are the people who hold me up.  I desire to be there for them for support as well and to show them thoughtfulness.


5.  My church.  This is a hard one because I don't live close to my church, but I need to find a way to serve there more.  I love my church and it offers so much to me and my family that I need to give back.


6.  My home/organization.  This is the year to whip my house into a home.  As you can see I'm on a quest to be more organized and have more of a routine.  This will free me up to focus more on my other priorities.


7.  My health.  This will be a long journey, but very necessary.


8.  Blogging.  Sounds funny right, but the blog world is definitely one of my biggest outlets.  I learn so much, get encouraged greatly and have met some wonderful friends.  I don't mind dedicating time to this as long as it doesn't interfere with my #1 priority (as I talked about here).


9.  Reading.  I love to read, but lately I have not made the time.  Reading is another outlet and I also believe it sharpens your mind and allows you to explore things you would not otherwise explore.  My plan is to dive back into reading.


10.  Stampin Up!/Scrapbooking.  What can I say...I love to stamp.  I love to hand someone a card that I've made.  I love to gather with friends and craft.  I also want to get better about scrapbooking more and preserving these days with my kids...because they grow so fast.


Bonnie says:

"Compare your list to what you are doing now and make changes to fit in your priorities."

There you have it...now I'm off to grab my planner :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 1...39 To Go!

Today is the first day of Lent.  Here is a little blurb that my church has posted in its bulletin and on its website:

Lent consists of the 40 days (not counting Sundays) prior to Easter when Christians
examine their personal spiritual condition. Many choose to fast and repent during this
time.

New Lifers are asked to determine what you would fast during this period of time.
Consider giving up something that is important to you or takes time from your schedule in
order to focus more fully on your relationship with Jesus – a meal, certain foods,
technology, several days without food, TV, movies, music, whatever it may be.

Lent begins this coming Wednesday, March 9 – called Ash Wednesday – a day of
repentance and self-examination.

This Lent season I am giving up Coca Cola (gasp!).  The reason I chose Coke is because I find great satisfaction in it...after a long day, I want a can of Coke...if I'm celebrating, I want a can of Coke.  I find myself thinking of Coke as my reward or my relief if I'm having a rough moment.

But that what Jesus is...my satisfaction, my reward and my relief and instead of Coca Cola I need to look to Him first for those things.  That is my prayer and focus during this Lent season...to seek Him first for moments of praise and when I need to be refueled.

Another thing I'm going to examine during this time and limit is blogging.  This definitely takes away time that I need to be spending with Him and in His Word.  I will continue to blog daily, that won't change...what will change is the amount of time I spend reading other blogs.  I tend to just sit and get lost in blog land...going to other blogs that aren't on my list of followed blogs and I need to stop doing that.  I need to stick with the blogs that are on my list and only those...so no clicking on any new blogs.

Pray for me :)  What about you...are you fasting during this Lent season?

** Added...here is another great post about Lent....and another.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Much Love!





My new blog friend Sarah (who have a very beautiful blog title if I do say so myself) gave me this award.  You should stop by and see her...she has the most adorable little girl, Celia.  Thanks so much Sarah :)

I'm supposed to tell 7 things about myself.  It's kind of hard coming up with something new, so since Sarah is a newer friend (and I have some other newer friends too) I'll tell some general things that she may not know about me.

1.  My absolutely favorite color is yellow...anything yellow.  It is such a happy color and everytime I see it I smile :)

2.  My favorite kind of movie is a suspense movie.  If the movie has a good twist I'm hooked!  If you have any recommendations...pass them along!
 
3.  I actually enjoy washing dishes.  I'm not sure what it is but it's kind of peaceful for me and relaxing.  I also adore a clean kitchen so that may have something to do with it as well :)

4.  I am a pen fanatic...I love them.  I especially love color pens.  My newest favorite pen is the Sharpie pen and I was so excited when I discovered that they added green, purple, and orange.

5.  Pizza is my all-time favorite food...hands down.  I'm on a mission to make good pizza at home and I'd love it if you'd share a good recipe for pizza dough and sauce if you have one.

6.  I love a beautiful yard but I do not have a green thumb.  My mom helps me tremendously each year and I'm so grateful.  Without her I don't know why our yard would look like.

7.  My favorite candle scent is pumpkin and I burn it all year long! 

Monday, March 7, 2011

miscellany monday

 Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

 1.  Feeling better...mostly.  Thank you all for your well wishes.  I did go to the doctor and she said it's a sinus infection, but it feels like more than just that.  I have been down & out for over a week.  My throat felt so bad that I did even have a Coca Cola for an entire week!  Mucinex and ibuprofen have been my friend...along with tons of water.

I am glad to be feeling more like myself :)

 2.  Friends who go above and beyond...are priceless.  Here's some back story.  Caleb loves Thomas...like loves Thomas.  He's much more into playing with the trains than he is watching the movies, but more recently he's discovered Thomas games on the computer.  During one of his times at the computer he somehow discovered that there's a Thomas Wii and DS game...who knew?  It took a while for Rondell and I to understand what he had discovered, but once we did we were on a mission to find the games.  We discovered that they are both only sold in the UK...bummer...or not...

In comes my friend Stephanie.  I met Stephanie though my friend Lyndsey (they've know each other since pre-school).  She and her family live in England and would soon be traveling to the States (to have their second baby!).  Lyndsey emailed Stephanie to see if she'd be willing to order the game for us...and she said yes!  We found out that the Wii game is not compatible to the Wii here in the US but the DS game is so she ordered that one :)

Let me tell you that Mr. Caleb is in his happy place and has not put the game down very often.  Thanks Stephanie!

In addition to my friend Stephanie...my blog friend Kelly is another friend who went above and beyond.  I recently discovered a box in my porch (don't you just love that...unexpected packages) and I opened it to find a beautiful note and this gorgeous tile...
I recently saw this on her blog and fell in love...with both the tile and the verse.  It was SO thoughtful (I love thoughtful) for her to send it to me and it is something I will cherish for a long time.  Thank you Kelly :)

3.  Level 9...my sister.  My sister Toshianna was just moved up to Level 9 in gymnastics (after that it's Level 10 and then Elite on the road to the Olympics!).  She had her first competition at Level 9 this past weekend at the Arnold Classic and did wonderful.  She made it to the finals on bar and her Team won #1 overall.  I am SO proud of her :)


 4.  Powerful words...I saw this quote on Facebook and just had to share because it really resonated with me...Worry looks around, sorry looks back; faith looks up.

5.  Cookies...R Us.  That's what you should call us.  On Saturday we picked up our 423 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.  I wondered how we were going to store them all until we could deliver them, but they fit nicely in the corner of our dining area.  Here's my Scout in the midst of all of our hard work...

Rondell took the bin that she's standing in to work today filled with cookies.

I love how the boxes had cute little messages on them...
Thin Mints were by far the top seller.

Happy Monday :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I'm Sick!

So I've been dipping into these baskets a lot this week.  This is why I haven't been around much this week.  I went to the doctor today and I have a sinus infection and now I'm on an antibiotic.  I should be back in few swing soon.  Hugs (but not too close because I don't want you to get it)!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mi Casa Es Su Casa!

This past weekend I hosted an Open House.  I'm debating about whether or not to continue my roll as a Stampin Up! demonstrator, but there are a few things I want to try before making that decision...the Open House was one of them.  I emailed friends and put a message out on Facebook to try and get guests.

It didn't turn out how I had hoped, but it was still a great time because I truly got to enjoy the people who were there.  5 of my friends stopped by and it was fun showing them all of my "toys" and showing them how to make a simple card.

I didn't take any pictures during the Open House, but here's my set-up:

 I set up a table that had catalogs, information about joining a Hostess Club and a few other things...
...including cards ready for sale...each divided into different categories like Thinking of You, Thank You & Birthday.  I have some leftover that I'll be able to use at an upcoming craft show that I'm participating in at Jamison's school.
 I also made these little cards showing each one of SU's Color Collections.  I will be able to use these at my upcoming craft fair.
 Here's how the table was set up...a sheet of Grid Paper and a card kit for each person.  I set out different stamp sets and inks for people to try.
Here's the card I created for everyone to make.  I used my newest paper Peach Parfait and my favorite DSP, Sunny Garden.

So there you have it...my first Open House :)