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Thursday, December 22, 2011

i need thee

I woke up in the middle of the night with the lyrics "I need Thee oh I need Thee...each hour oh I need Thee" in my heart.  What is it with me and hymns lately?  Isn't it strange how God speaks to us?  I am so keenly aware that I can't muddle through this life on my own.  I need HIM and I need people.  Thankfully He's with me every second...taking me by the hand and guiding me.  He's also placed each one of you here with me too.  How weird is that?

Today marks my third blogging anniversary!  I can't even begin to tell you how much blogging has changed my life.  I was just telling Honey yesterday that I feel so undeserving.  Through this wacky form of communication I have been touched daily by words of many of you have written me and literally changed my life and for the good!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for investing in me and following along as I try to navigate my way from day to day.  I appreciate you so very much!!!!!

I've pretty much laid it all out here.  I'm not a mystery that's for sure, but I thought it might be fun to answer some questions.  If there are any;)??  For instance did you know I'm left handed...that I hate the movie Water Boy and seven with every fiber of my being...that I flunked my first driving test???  In my defense I was in a friend's grandma's car...that I had never driven.  I am a GOOD driver;)!!!  Isn't it funny all the little things that make up who we are?  So ask away and if you can't think of anything that's okay too.  Make sure to tell me a little unknown something about you.

As promised our Christmas card 2011

I'm taking a little blogging break. Hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It's going to be a great one. I can just feel it!!!!

Have a blessed day.

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.


I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.
I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.


I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.


I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.


I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessèd Son.



330.  blogging
331.  home
332.  hugs from family and friends
333.  road trips
334.  dvd players for the car!
335.  make-up...ha!
336.  my momma...happy birthday beautiful girl!
337.  YOU

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

last minute homemade gifts

My favorite gifts to give are homemade ones.  As I was thinking of the sweet friends back in Illinois that I'm going to see soon I thought what better gift than a walk down memory lane.  This picture of us is kind of old, but I remember taking it.  Every single time we get together we do the same thing.  Take a picture in the same spot.  Usually on a bench at the mall.  Cracks me up:)  But you know what, I love our little routine.  It's familiar and fun.  Those trips to the mall are priceless to me...ha!

If you are struggling for a last minute gift idea this one is really simple.  Just print out a favorite photo.  I just used copy paper, and then sprayed it with a fixative to insure that it wouldn't smear.  Next decorate a canvas however you want.  I used a wide canvas so it would sit up on it's own.  Then just slap some Mod Podge or glue on the back and front and voila.  Instant photo art:) 

I also made some memory verse magnets.  I'm thinking of selling some of these in my shop.  I know personally I need to surround myself with His word!

And there you have it.  A sweet walk down memory lane...all tied up with a bow:)  Hopefully they'll just skip reading this post;)  Total spoiler alert!

Have a blessed day.

327.  the joy of creating
328.  hugs to come
329.  memory lane 

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

this is how we roll

Well it's all a blur for us.  The paper has been ripped off the packages. The fun has begun:)  We started the festivities on Friday night.   

I haven't watched this movie since I was Little Chick's age.  Do you remember Swiss Family Robinson?  Love that movie.  Something about living in a tree house appeals to me.  It was action packed.  My Little Chick even cried in one scene.  Remember when the dogs chase the tiger??  Well it was pretty scary let me tell ya. 

Saturday was our Christmas.  We took off for donuts, but decided that might not be a great idea on an empty stomach so we hit McDonald's first.  Uh can you say diet suicide??  We only do it once a year, so it's alright I guess.  Still hard not to be riddled with guilt.

Picking out the donuts is a big decision.  Heaven forbid you get home and not have the ones you really want.  Cracked me up as the line behind us grew. 

We are quickly adjusting to the weather here btw.  I can't say I miss snow.  Oh and I'm loving the trees without leaves.  You can actually see into the woods.  It's really pretty.  When we do get snow it's going to be beautiful...every limb and branch draped in white.

Happy Birthday Jesus!!

One of the few times a year my honey actually cheats and indulges in something unhealthy.  He is a rock star when it comes to eating clean.  I'm so proud of him.  Actually it kind of bugs me a little, but that's just because I'm jealous of his discipline.  I blame hormones.

When we asked the girls what they wanted for Christmas...Big Chick said the game of Life, and Little Chick said slippers.  Uh I think we can manage that;)  Look at her face...who knew the game of Life could be so exciting?!  Goodness I love these girls.

Don't you just love what comes out of the mouths of babes??

Okay so after we were done I had one more thing for Honey.  It was too big to wrap, so we took him into the basement and covered his eyes.  The anticipation was just so HIGH!  I'm sure he thought he was getting some amazing gift like a big screen TV or something.

Imagine his disappointment when it was a vacuum cleaner!  In my defense I really thought that was an awesome gift.  He vacuums for me and he's always complaining about how heavy and awkward the other one is so I thought he would love his new toy.  Hmmmm maybe not. 

It's all even though because he got me tons of WORKOUT CLOTHES and WORKOUT MUSIC!  Which is great and all;)  Lord knows I needed some, but uh are you trying to tell me something dude??   Okay I get the message.  I need to eat clean like you, and get my bootie in high gear!

Last night we drove around and looked at Christmas lights.  Let me tell ya Virginians go all out with their lights.  It's probably due to the warmer weather.  I particularly like the wreaths nailed all the way up the tree.  Good stuff right there:)

We saw Rudolf and some other reindeer last night too.  We had the opportunity to take in run over...several deer.  Geesh it's dangerous to drive around here at night.  Thankfully they saw us before we saw them.

Is there anything sexier than this??  Seriously pitter patter!!  Merry Christmas to me;)

Have a blessed day.

319.  chocolate covered cake donuts
320.  love notes from my girlies
321.  new music to move to
322.  throwing away nasty old workout clothes and feeling pretty while sweating
323.  fergie...who gives us the gift of her love everyday
324.  a honey who vacuums for me and looks good doing it
325.  not hitting those deer
326.  the gift of Jesus...giver of all gifts

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Friday, December 16, 2011

a new creation

Today was the deadline I made for myself to get everything shipped out.  I hate deadlines.  Seems as soon as I have one the stress just piles on my shoulders, but with a huge sigh of relief I'm officially done.  The paintings are wrapped and ready to be sent out.  The school parties are over and we are on break!  Yay for breaks:))) 

Tomorrow we will celebrate Christmas at our house.  Our little family will get up and hit the local donut shop...come home and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and then open some gifts.  Then later in the week we'll pack up and head home to Illinois...and celebrate again!  Whew tired just thinking about it, but I'm not going to stress.  I refuse.  It's time to have fun.

Remember that "mask party" I went to recently??  You can see it here.  I finally painted mine this week.  It just came to me what it should be.  The Lord has really been working on me lately.  I've noticed some ugliness, and to be honest I'm grateful that I've noticed it.  How often do we walk around unaware of sin in our lives.  We just go through the motions completely oblivious.  One of my very favorite scriptures in the Bible is Psalms 139:  23Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!  24And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. 

So I painted my face black to represent the old sinful nature.  I wrote in some sin that I've been struggling with...pride, discontentment, impatience, get the drift.  BUT those things are covered by His blood.  I'm washed clean and made new right??  My sins are forgiven...PRAISE GOD!!!  That doesn't mean I want to wallow and live in that sin though.   

I felt that a brightly colored butterfly should represent the things that are coming.  The things that are emerging in my surrender, mercy, grace, love, truth and compassion among others.  It's a beautiful reminder to me that I'm a work in progress.  He loves me too much to let me stay in that sin.  I'm a new creation.  So grateful for that truth.  I encourage you to examine your own heart.  You may need a visual too.  Take off that mask and ask God to open your eyes and be prepared to be humbled.

2 Corinthians 5:17  Amplified Bible (AMP)

17Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

Have a blessed day.

313.  meeting deadline
314.  a big birthday to celebrate
315.  truth and love in big doses
316.  recognizing new people at school yesterday
317.  sore muscles
318.  accountability partners
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

pitter patter

My honey loves football.  Normally I do not, but uh how can I say this without sounding like a teenage groupie?  I think I'm in love with Tim Tebow.  He makes my heart pitter patter.  There I said it;)  Do you know him?  He's been the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos for the last few weeks and there is always controversy swirling around this guy. 

He's a devout, very vocal Christian...bold in his faith.  He inspires me.  He talks about the Lord in his press conferences and his faith is THE most important thing in his life.  You can tell.  Apparently he was raised by missionaries and was home schooled and well...let's just say they did a great job.  Whoever lands this guy as a husband is one lucky gal.  Wowza!  Even my honey is crushing on him so it's all good;)  Go Broncos!

Today was cookie day.  My friend Brandee invited me to be a part of her yearly tradition.  Apparently I can make a mean toffee pretzel peanut butter cookie;)

We were tucked into her log cabin deep in the woods. Christmas music was pouring out of her cd player and we were all singing along.  Yummy cookie scents were wafting in the was right out of Hans Christian Anderson storybook.  She lives waaaay out in the BOONIES.  Every time I saw her she would warn me "you'll see" when referring to her house.  And she was right.  It was a straight up log cabin in the middle of nowhere. 

She invited a few of her special friends and we baked all day long.  We each brought three cookie recipes and then at the end of the day we divied it all up.  I came home with a box full of cookies.  Great teacher/bus driver/neighbor gifts:)  Just not my trainer.  She chewed my butt when I mentioned cookie day.  Said I was poisoning my loved ones.  Geesh!  I know, but let's sugar coat it a bit shall we;)  It is Christmas after all.

This is Clementine.  She was our "helper" for the day.  She's such a sweetheart.  Seriously she is, but can I just say that I'm SO glad my girls are the ages they are!!  It's so nice to not have to corral them.  Remember those days when you did nothing but distract and do damage control??   That's one nice thing about getting older;)

Okay so these are the things that have made my heart pitter patter lately...Tim Tebow and too many pieces of peanut butter bark;)  Don't ya just love how I can tie those two things together??   HA!  Now for the give-away winners.  I seriously wish I could buy each and every one of you the Jesus Calling book.  It's really made devotions easy and meaningful for me, so even if you don't win just go buy a copy.  Okay??  Pinkie promise me:)   It's that good. 

Congrats to Miss Jess and Dandy!!

Have a blessed day.

308.  laughing until i cried today
309.  a much needed day off
310.  peanut butter bark
311.  sugarfree peppermint mocha creamer
312.  a new burn off those calories

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

i surrender all

I woke up this morning with "I Surrender All" in my heart.  Do you remember that song?  When I was a little girl we attended a Baptist church and almost every Sunday they would play that song.  It never failed to swell my heart and make me tear up. 

All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.


I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blessèd Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.


All to Jesus, I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.


All to Jesus, I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.


All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!
    I've been struggling lately with surrender...with trusting and letting go.  It dawned on me this week that I've become that person I can't stand.  Someone who whines and complains to anyone with a listening ear.  You know how it finally became clear?  I was talking to someone at the bus stop and I started "sharing" about a certain issue I was having and I could see her immediately disconnect...looking for an escape from me.  That's all it took for my eyes to be opened.  Yes Lord you got my attention.  I've been sinning.  Complaining has become a habit.  Please change my heart and allow my tongue to follow.  So I'm working on it, and making an effort to nip that in the bud!
    This has been a week of transformation.  I've kind of been lax in taking care of my appearance lately.  It women we get busy, but girls we've got to maintain and try to look pretty for our men.  That may sound corny, but they really appreciate a little effort.  SO I finally got some funky highlights and got the paint out from under my nails.  Honey had his Christmas party last night and I could tell he was thoroughly enjoying the little bit of effort I made to look nice, and that in return made me feel even prettier.  Does that make sense??

But before the party began I had TO WORK.  Friday night we had our first parent meeting in regards to the play Big Chick is going to be in.  I could feel the blood drain from my face as they told us that we would be required to WORK every Sat. from 10-5 until mid-Feb.  Can you say EVERY Sat. for 10 weeks!!!!  I signed up to work on the sets.  I'm hoping that God can use my artsy side to be a blessing to these people and my girl. 

For awhile now I've been feeling overwhelmed... like I've got too much on my plate.  It's the last thing I really want to slow step back.  Saying no hasn't really been in my vocabulary since we've moved here.  It just felt wrong to say no.  And I can't say no to this, but at some point you have to pay attention to that nudging in your spirit man and obey.  I've ignored that check in my spirit with some things lately and there are consequences.  Like a loss of peace...a frazzled mother and wife...a grouchy complainy person...EEEK!  Anyway I'm working on it.

Okay so here we are last night...after I got my hobo outfit off;)  Painting in an unheated warehouse is super cool;)  But once the artistic painting begins I think it will be really fun AND I'll have no choice but to get to know these people and that will be a really good thing for me.

It was so fun to get dressed up and go out with my Honey.  I got to meet all his coworkers.  We talked and enjoyed each other.  It was the best date night we've had in like forever.

We skipped out from the party a little early and hit a swanky restaurant nearby.  It overlooked the James River and the Richmond skyline.  Very pretty.  Do you ever pinch yourself and wonder how you got to be where you are?  And I'm really talking about being an adult.  Inside I feel like I'm still 19-25.  But here I am an adult with kids and a mortgage and I'm on a date with my honey at a fancy restaurant.  I mean how did that happen??  Life is weird.

Okay so this morning it was back to reality and that reality was that we were too tired to go to church.  So we did the next best thing and got out our Jesus Calling and had our own church...complete with the Jesse Tree advent that we are doing. 

I ordered this kit from my friend Alicia's friend Robin (  it's too late for this year, but you could still probably get one for next year).  It comes complete with a devotion and handmade ornaments for each day of Advent. We've never done Advent before.  My kids are loving it.  It really brings the focus right to where it needs to be.  It's reminding me day after day that God's promises are real and that His hand is leading us every step of the way.  Story after story reminds us of that fact. 

I've talked about the Jesus Calling books so much that I thought I should hand a couple out.  If you leave me a comment telling me about what you are thankful for this Christmas I'll throw your name in the pot. 

Have a blessed day.

301.  God's mercy and grace
302.  a date with my best friend
303.  playing dress up
304.  using my gifts
305.  little corrective nudges
306.  ooey gooey chocolate goodness
307.  freshly painted nails and funky hair
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