Monday, November 24, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I was inspired by a company called Raise to participate in a project involving Christmas, decorating, and craft/DIY.
So here is the scoop
Raise is an awesome online marketplace where you can buy gift cards to your favorite stores at a discounted price and sell your unwanted gift cards for cash!
What a great idea, right?
So I put my thinking cap on and came up with an idea that sort of morphed from a picture I saw on Pinterest.

 I made a run to my local Hobby Lobby with a gift card that you too can find at

I purchased some gold craft paint, a sponge brush, and a paint/marker type pen.(I had the ruler)

And a large canvas-30x40

The canvas was on sale so I paid much less than the sticker price.

I painted the edges and sides with the gold paint to give it a "frame" so to speak.

While it was drying I had the kids brainstorm their favorite memories and/or traditions of the Christmas season.
This was so much fun to hear what they remembered and cherished the most about the holiday season!

After I had a long list, I measured and drew faint lines with a pencil and ruler on the canvas as a guide.
I then began writing the memories and traditions on the canvas with my paint/marker pen until I had filled that big ole thing up!

Next I took a "fake" wreath I had in the attic, added some real Carolina Sapphire pine to it and tied a piece of twine around the wreath in which to hang the wreath from. I just used a thumb tack to secure the twine to the center wood support on the back of the canvas.


Next I filled some vases with more fresh pine and greens from my yard, and feathers, which I had left over from my fall decor. These went next to the canvas.

I already had 2 large vases with feathers up on the mantle so I just decided to leave them up.

I also found some garland in the attic that had some natural elements to it like pinecones, sticks and twine so I strung that up on the edge. And then added a string of lights that look like vine.

 And now my mantle is ready for Christmas!
An easy and cost friendly project- around $25!

Now, if I can just get the rest of the house ready!
Be sure to check out to purchase your gift cards at great prices!!
They have cards from all your favorite craft/DIY stores and more! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

HARD TRUTHS.... but so necessary to share

November is National Adoption Month. Adoption is a journey God has called our family to and we are forever grateful for what this journey has done for our lives. It has blessed us beyond words.

But there is a "hard" side to this journey as well. This article was shared with me. It is so lonely to browse the blogs that do make adoption look so easy, pretty and heartwarming. I normally share those things too. This woman bravely tells the other side. We have and still do live this other side with one of ours. It is better, but it is still a day to day choice to try to love like Jesus does. I  have spent the past 4 years feeling like the worst human being on the planet and the guilt can be crushing at times. I didn't know love could be so hard. Everything she says is REAL. Love is not always those squishy yummy feelings that melt your heart and make you want to scoop someone up and plant a million kisses on them while you hug them till they pop. Sometimes love is parenting  in the trenches without those feel-good emotions. And those trenches can be lonely and overwhelming. She talks about not judging if you haven't visited those trenches. I wanted to find this woman and throw my arms around her and say thank you for understanding and thank you for speaking the truth. Please read this article if you have adopted, know someone who has adopted or is in the process of adopting. There may be a family in need of some understanding, prayer or just a hug that lets them know they are supported.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ok, so now I just want to suck my thumb

When I pick Lulu up from school, we chat about her day, or I ask her a few questions and she begrudgingly answers them. Then she lets me know the day has been long and she is done talking with, "Ok, so now I just want to suck my thumb."Also, at various intervals throughout the day, she will run to me, throw her chubby little arms up and ask to be held for some "Mama love". Of course I scoop her right up and she immediately lays her head on my shoulder and inserts that tiny little thumb into her mouth. It is her "comfort", her "go to" when she is tired or things just get too much for her 4 year old little self. I have to admit, I am a little envious. It is just so simple.... and yet so hugely comforting.

As the mother of 5, with a husband who is out of town frequently, I get TIRED and sometimes things just get to be too much. How I wish I could just say, "Ok, so now I just want to suck my thumb." When life gets tough, don't we all long to feel that comfort, that safe place, that aaaahhhh moment when we know all will be ok? All will work out? But as an adult I would look quite ridiculous curled up with my thumb in my mouth retreated from the world. But yet at times, I long to feel that comfort and peace that comes with a good thumb suck. So what to do? I believe at these times when it all gets to be too much, God is longing for us to throw up our arms and say "Hold me. I need Father love." He is longing for us to look to Him to find that peace and comfort knowing He loves us beyond our understanding. He wants us to rest in Him knowing He's got this and all that the world throws at us. I will have to admit, I don't always do this. In fact, I try to plow my way through it all on my own and then it isn't pretty. Then I resemble a small toddler throwing a tantrum. Knowing God's gotcha ya, doesn't take all the "stuff" away, just like sucking her thumb doesn't mean she doesn't have to put her shoes and her Polly Pockets away, but it just gives that extra assurance that even with all that has to be done or gotten through, there is more. There is love and trust and a bigger purpose to this life. And there is One that can get us through it all with a sense of peace and joy and purpose.

So the next time I have one of those "Ok, so now I just want to suck my thumb" moments, I am going to try to remember to throw my arms up to Him and whisper a pray instead of having a toddler tantrum and resembling my youngest child. It really is that simple.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Catching Up on Fall Around Here

Well it has been a BUSY few weeks so this will be an overload of photos of life!
My favorite season is whizzing by!

A trip to the mountains to pick apples....uhhh NO apples. 
So we enjoyed picking persimmons, having a wonderful lunch, and hiking.

The Fall Festival at the elementary school

The Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin shifts. First the Littles....

Then the Bigs....

Then some silly pumpkins!

Halloween morning

A stolen nap by one tired little ballerina before trick-or-treating!

My "redneck" son. He went with friends this year. It is the first time we haven't ALL gone together.....sigh!

The Littles headed out as.....
Star Trek

Julia decided to walk with us and add a little humor with dog ears and tail.

The sorting and trading of the loot.

And this LOVELY selfie of Julia and I watching Sam's soccer game in Atlanta as temperatures plummeted overnight to 38 degrees with winds at 25-35MPH and gusts of 45!!!!!
Then I got to do it AGAIN for Julia's game!!
Do you see how happy I am about this?????

So November is upon us.
Bringing basketball for Julia and Sam
Finishing up Sam's soccer
Continuing Julia's soccer for a few more months
And trying to savor the last days of fall and this wonderful month of Thanksgiving!
Before the rush of Christmas begins......