Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bye~Bye Tuck

We found this turtle in our neighborhood pool last summer, while the girls were taking swimming lessons.

We made a home for her
and enjoyed watching her.

But recently decided 
she would be happier making new friends

in a wide open space,

with plenty of room 
to stretch
and sun.

Bye~Bye Tuck!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Right Before My Eyes

I watch her
in awe and wonder
of such a beautiful creation
by her Creator.

She's growing
becoming a young woman.

It can be as simple as the way she flips her hair
or grown up words that fall easily from her mouth.
Sometimes a quiet request for privacy
and I wonder if she feels it too.

And then just as quickly she is a little girl again.
And so it will continue
the eb and flow
of being and becoming
who God has created her to be.

I smile inside and out watching the work that God is doing in Abby's life. She is growing into a beautiful young lady. I was nervous at first. I felt an odd sense of disconnect with her. I was hesitant, wondering about the way our relationship was going to change. I prayed about it and God led me straight to American Heritage Girls. It's an AMAZING organization full of godly women. It's the perfect vehicle to keep Abby and I connected while she grows into a godly young woman. I highly recommend you seeking out a troop in your area for your daughter.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What are you cooking this holiday weekend?

Need some great grilling recipes for this holiday weekend?  
Check this out!

Our Homeschool Home

If you have a great grilling recipe to share you could be a winner! Stay tuned for contest details later in the week.

I've heard she has the cutest couple 
as guest judges this week!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Multitude Monday: Dirt

Gifts from the Creator to His creation.....

72. Hours (and hours) of play

73. A bath before lunch

74. and another before dinner
75. Bath tubs full of dirt
76. Dirt hiding under toe nails

77. Hard Working Boys

78. Flower Beds....empty...waiting
79. God's provision - a thunderstorm for laying fresh sod

80. A child's imagination

I am on a journey to find 1000 Unexpected Gifts.  To read more about becoming a Joy Finder visit my inspiration for Multitude Mondays.  Go will change your life.  It has mine.....

holy experience

Saturday, May 22, 2010

24.......Bokros Style

Ryan got me hooked on the show 24.  We have a love-hate relationship.  I get SO stressed out watching the show (it's VERY intense) and then it takes me HOURS to fall asleep, BUT I HAVE TO WATCH IT!  There is always new drama unfolding and some crazy twist you don't expect.  If you're not familiar with the show, each episode is one hour of time making the entire season a 24 hour period.  It AMAZES me that so much can happen in 24 hours!  What seems like a weeks worth of intense, adrenaline pumping bad-guy fighting is really ONLY ONE HOUR!!  When you add all those hours up that makes for ONE CRAZY DAY!!  I felt a little like Jack yesterday.....

The following takes place between 7:00 and 8:00am.
Everyone up and eating breakfast.
Roma off to work.  Danis off to school.

The following took place between 8:00 and 9:00am.
Abby, Nina and I assemble 2 Dozen sandwiches for Project Prom.
Sadie~Ryan goes down for a nap.
Morning chores started.......not sure if they were ever completed.
Nina finds out the girl who planned to do her Prom Make Up CAN NOT Do IT.......Plan B???

The following takes place between 9:00 and 10:00 am.
Ryan leaves for a haircut.
Nina leaves to pick up her date's flower, drop off sandwiches and pick up Danis (he didn't want to miss out on all the fun).
Ryan arrives home and make coffee.......PRAISE GOD!
I eat breakfast...........finally....

The following takes place between 10:00 and 11:00 am.
Ryan leaves with Sasha and Danis for Home Depot to get more landscaping supplies
and orders two more pallets of Sod (Graduation Party Preparations).
Sadie~Ryan lays down for another nap (her first one quickly proved to be too short).
I take a "Mommy Time Out" (code for shower) to collect myself.
Nina gets a last minute appointment for make up.............PRAISE GOD AGAIN!
Ryan and the boys arrive home.

The following takes place between 11:00 and 12:00 am.
Sod is exciting......everyone runs out to watch!
Family Pow-Wow in the kitchen to discuss the remaining plans for the day and I BEG everyone to go easy on me.......I am only human after all :)
I leave with Nina for Claire's in search of the "Perfect Hair Accessories"

Sasha and Danis start on yard work.
Ryan feeds the girls lunch, picks up the house and attempts to get some work done.........yea right!

The following takes place between 12:00 and 1:00pm.
I get to work on Nina's hair and field A MILLION requests from 3 little girls anxiously awaiting their turn......
Ryan puts Emmalie and Claira down for their nap.........Sadie~Ryan is up from her's.
Sasha and Danis put in another beautiful flower bed for me :).
Sadie~Ryan fusses to be held.......I think she just wanted to help me fix Nina's hair.

The following takes place between 1:00 and 2:00 pm.
Nina, Abby, Sadie~Ryan and I leave for Merle Norman to get Nina's make up done.

Ryan attempts to get some more work done............yea right!

The following takes place between 2:00 and 3:00pm.
Nina's make up appointment takes longer than expected..........her date texts her.....he's on his way........we are still at Merle Norman!!

Nina's date arrives with his Dad to take pictures...........Ryan sends them to Chick-Fil-A for sweet tea to buy us some time.

We arrive home and Nina rushes upstairs to get dressed.

I put Sadie~Ryan down for another nap.

I run upstairs to help Nina put on the finishing touches and snap a couple of pics.

Ryan wakes up Emmalie and Claira so they can see Nina "all pretty".

Nina's date arrives (for the second time) they're off!

The following takes place between 3:00 and 4:00pm.
I sit at the kitchen table and eat lunch and drink...........and sit........and drink.......and sit some more.....

The following takes place between 4:00 and 5:00pm.
Nina calls to say she forgot the Prom Tickets!
Ryan helps Sasha and Danis wrap up the yard.

Roma arrives home from work.
Everyone showers and dresses for Abby's American Heritage Girls Awards Ceremony.
Ryan searches "the Disaster Site" (code for Nina's Room) for the missing Prom Tickets.......he finally finds them.
Dresses, shoes, hair, nails (they wanted to be fancy too, like Nina).............X4 (3 & 1/2 really)!

The following takes place between 5:00 and 6:00pm
The boys help assemble Veggie Trays and Fruit Kabobs for the Awards Ceremony.
Ryan keeps the girls occupied, while I breathe and get dressed.
The boys load the Veggie Trays, Hummus, Fruit Kabobs, Star Cookies, Fancy Cake for the Dessert Auction, Camera, Video Camera Prom Tickets, and Diaper Bag all into the there going to be room for us?
And we're off!

The following takes place between 6:00 and 7:00pm.
We deliver the Prom Tickets to Nina's Date's parents who will transport them to the Marriott Front Desk.
We enjoy food, friends, and family for Abby's American Heritage Girls Awards Ceremony.
Ryan says the Opening Prayer.....thanking God for everything this organization means to young girls.

The following takes place between 7:00 and 8:00pm.
Abby is awarded her Badges and Community Service Stars.........Gardening, Aviation, Home Decorating, Outdoor Skills, Fire Safety, Family Helper, Joining Award, Our Flag, and Hiking.
I stand and sway a VERY sleepy Sadie~Ryan, who refuses to close her eyes.
Abby helps welcome a Path Finder to the Tenderhearts.

The following takes place between 8:00 and 9:00pm.
We bid on some beautiful cakes and win two......Abby's Troop earns over $2,000!!
Still swaying.......

The following takes place between 9:00 and 10:00 pm.
We drive home and put some VERY sleepy girls to bed.
Ryan and I eat dinner.........and cake :).

The following takes place between 10:00 and 11:00 pm.
I start to regain some feeling in my feet.

The following takes place between 11:00 and 12:00 am.
I go to bed..............PRAISE GOD!
Nina and her date come back to change clothes.
Ryan drives them to Project Prom.

The following takes place between 12:00 and 1:00 am.

The following takes place between 1:00 and 2:00am.
More ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz.........................

The following took place between 2:00 and 3:00am.
A hungry (and soaking wet??) Sadie~Ryan wakes up.
We nurse...........zzzzz.....change her clothes........zzzzz.....change her sheets.....zzzzz....

The following takes place between 3:00 and 4:00am.

The following takes place between 4:00 and 5:00am.
ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz...............exciting stuff, I know.........zzzzzzzz

The following takes place between 5:00 and 6:00 am.
My alarm goes off :(.
The sun comes up :).

The following takes place between 6:00 and 7:00 am.
I pick up Nina and her date from Project Prom and deliver him safely to his house.
I listen to Nina tell me all the details of her special night.
I tuck her into her bed (well, send her upstairs anyway).

The following takes place between 7:00 and 8:00 am.
One by one they all wake up.
My sweet husband makes coffee..............I drink it...................P.R.A.I.S.E...G.O.D.......

(a.k.a.  Jack Bauer)

I apologize if you are not a 24 fan, but I hope you enjoyed reading about my crazy day "24 style" anyway.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Faith Filled Friday: Friendship

I had to do something hard this week.  I had to talk through some past hurts with a very dear friend.  I wish I could say that I was the one who was hurt, but I was not.  I was the one who did the hurting.

Visit me at Seeds of Faith today to read more about how I hurt this friend.

Seeds Of Faith For The Christian Mom

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

For Your Reading Pleasure

I just wanted to check in and let you know I am still alive! As I said on my latest post for Seeds of Faith our home is a flurry of activity. Between Prom, Graduation and End Of the Year activities for the other kids WE ARE JUST SLIGHTLY OVERBOOKED! So here's a few things that have inspired me lately for your reading pleasure:

*A Wonderful Perspective on Homeschooling: How To Simply Homeschool: The Four Cornerstones

*What Happens When You Invite the Lord In: My Chaos Into Your Beauty

*A Great Reason Why We Should Strive for A More Simple Life: Five Questions With Shaun Groves

*Wonderful on SO many levels: Can You Do the Streak?


Monday, May 10, 2010

Multitude Monday: From a Mother to Daughter

Gifts from a mother to a daughter (51-62)

Because of her,
I am healthy.
My children are healthy.
Because of her,
I am not afraid to take a difficult road.
I am not afraid of anything really.
Because of her,
the ways of this world don't appeal to me. 
She stood in the gap for me,
prayed for me,
encouraged me,
inspired me,
supported me,
knew me,
loved me.

63. time taken from a busy life to send a simple card
64. an empty space on the calendar
65. a childhood dream of becoming a mother come true, many times over
66. a sweet thank you from a teenage girl
67. my rocking chair.......where she rocked me and now I rock her
68. five beds that need clean sheets
70. tears that fall freely
71. a promise that I will see her again and she will get to meet them.

My cup runneth over......

How was your Mother's Day?


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Living Simply: What's Weighing You Down?

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 
let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." ~Hebrews 12:1

God has a call on each and every one of our lives.  Our time on this Earth has a specific purpose.  It's up to us to "lay aside" the things that weigh us down and keep us from fulfilling this purpose.

Our family is embarking on a prayerful journey to live a more simple life ~ shaving away all that is unnecessary in order to better fulfill the Call of God on our lives.

We invite you to take this journey with us and see what God has in store for you.  Look for our regular posts on Living Simply or subscribe here to make sure you don't miss a post.

What's Weighing You Down?
The first step in a journey to a more simple life is to identify the things that are most important to you.  What do you value the most? It's good to stay within a range of 4-5 things. These 4-5 things then become the focus of your journey - Your Priorities.

Once you've identified your priorities, you have to carefully take a look at your life as it currently is.  Evaluate everything that you spend your time on.  What do you do during the day from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep?  Here's an article that might help you get started.

The final step is to discerningly look at each thing you spend your time on and measure it against your priorities.  If it doesn't fall into one of the things you identified as a priority, then it has to go.

A Personal Example:
I spend a great deal of time and energy on toys - Putting them away, tripping over them, organizing them, breaking up fights over them, etc.  I do regularly clean out what we have but we are still left with too much.  I always justify it by saying that the toys we have are not junk.  Many of them were mine as a child or nice wooden toys or special gifts.  BUT, no toy is as special as more time to sit and read with one of my girls snuggled in my lap or more time with my husband at the end of the day.  SO, the girls and I went through all the things they have and together answered questions like: How much do we play with this? Is this a toy that takes up a lot of space or has tiny parts? Is this a toy that encourages cooperative play with others?  We kept the things that we could answer yes to and we are in the process of getting rid of the rest.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!! A Gift for You! {Giveaway}

Thursday was my birthday.  The girls took me for an adventure complete with fun in the sun and a frozen treat.  My day ended with Ryan's homemade pizza (one of my favs) and chocolate cake.  What more could a girl ask for!

I got enough gift cards from the older kids to get all the books on "my list".  Now I just need to find the time to read them all!  The gift Ryan and the girls got me is Super Special!  I have wanted a Bible with my married name on it since I became Ryan's wife 9 years ago.  This is what they chose for me.

I LOVE everything about it!!  I LOVE that it's pink!  I LOVE that it has The Message and the NIV version parallel on the pages!  It's absolutely PERFECT!

With that said, I would like to give you one of my FAVORITE things!

This is a special 50th Anniversary Edition Basic H2 Set.  It includes a 32 oz bottle of Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate and 3 Special Edition Spray Bottles.  **This set is the equivalent of almost 7,000 ready-made bottles of Window Cleaner!!**

I LOVE everything about this product!!  I LOVE that it's organic! I LOVE that it's completely safe for my family!  I LOVE that it saves me TONS of money!  I LOVE that it WORKS!!

To enter the giveaway: Tell me what was the best birthday gift you have ever received and why in the comments below (1 entry).
Extra entries: Tweet about this giveaway and/or share it on Facebook and comment that you did (2 possible extra entries).
This giveaway will be open until Monday evening.

Good luck!