On our way to AWANA's last night...driving along..I couldn't get over the skyline. The vibrant green fields and then this pop of blue with fluffy white clouds and the sun beaming through..it was SO beautiful. Sometimes I think I'll never truly be able to capture with my camera, what my eyes see..but this was close. I was joyous!



Yes, please.

Just a few things that make my heart pitter-patter more than usual...

Bright green doors with lush green plants surrounding and bright pops of color in pots and garden furniture.

oh drat...it's teensytiny!! Too tired to fix it. Go look it up on Kmart.com because it's SUPER cute! It's the Aberdeen collection at Kmart and I'm in love. Red iron chairs and table. SO cute.

another Kmart find...amazing, really. I rarely shop there. UNLESS they're doubling their coupons--then I'm SO there! Look at this colorful tablecloth! You can't help but feel a little more chipper looking at that. Imagine being able to look at that at home all the time--a bunch of happy campers 'round the fort, that's what would happen.

Done working for the evening. Eyes a burning... Have a swell Tuesday, friends!


Gearing Up.

We had such a peaceful Saturday this past weekend...
Everyone slept in long, that morning- except me. I got up, took the dog out on our normal schedule/routine and then came in, made coffee and some scones. Carried my breakfast into the office, the dog following and curling up at my feet. Did some Bible Study, caught up on some blogs I love reading, caught up on Ebay stuff and then watched youtube episodes of Project Runway Canada. Lovely, quiet ME time.
I savored EVERY. LITTLE. MOMENT of it!

Everyone else woke at their leisure, meandered in for hugs/kisses and then went off to do their own thing for a while. Early afternoon we all came together and watched movies together ALL afternoon/evening. Four lazy bums giggling over silly lines and scenes... it was the best!

Of course, when I sit to watch a movie, I *CANNOT* just Sit And Watch A Movie! I need to be doing something else too. Thumbing through magazines, surfing the net on a laptop, scrapping (well. notsomuch anymore)--something. So while we watched movies I researched curriculum choices/prices for next year. Ended up with a concrete plan of attack and a list of things I need to carry with me to curriculum fairs that are quickly approaching. Felt good to knock that out! It had been looming on my TO DO list for quite some time...

Sunday was busy- as it most always is. Church in the morning. Teaching Sunday School. Making VBS plans with people. Then headed home for a few hours to eat, rest up before heading BACK for evening classes. Sundays stretch us a bit thin but God gives us the energy and patience we need and we're rewarded every week! Not that we're in it for reward, of course. But it's a reassurance that we're being obedient even when our hearts have twinges of selfishness, wanting another day of quiet and no commitments.

This week looks to be a busy one as well. School, test prep, work, house chores, AWANAS, errands and MUCH more along the way.

I'm feeling ready to take it on... afterall, I'm on my 3rd cup of STRONG coffee...


A few from this week...

Just a few pics of one of my precious littles...
the one who LIKES having their picture taken.
Or at least suffers through with giggles & says I can take her picture if I can CATCH her.... I need to workout..she's getting faster.
These are NOT the cleareast. sharpest. bestest- but I love 'em anyway.



Free Candles!

Went to my "happy place" this evening...Target!

Stopped in because I got a heads up that I could score FREE candles...

The GLADE Fragrance Collection soy candles are on sale for $5.99 (4oz.)each.

If 2 candles are purchased you earn a $5 Target Gift Card.

The deal gets sweeter when you print online coupons (2) for $4/1 !

So I walked out with two candles for FREE!

Gotta love it.

Here's the link for the coupons...just follow the directions, literally 1-2-3.
Thought I'd pass it on to my friends!



For those of you that may have visited and read yesterdays post,

thanks for wading through it! *laugh*

I just felt burdened to share..and I pray that perhaps someone will feel encouraged by it.

Busy,busy days here.

Lots of school work, cleaning up, working on Ebay...that pretty much has taken up the entire day, believe it or not! There's lots of reading in there. Some picture taking. Some pool time (P.E.!!)the last few days..can you BELIEVE it?!? It's April and we're hitting the pool already. I'm SO not complaining!!!

Have a glorious day!!

Thankful. Inspired. Clarity.

Another gorgeous day... I'm savoring every moment of it.
All our windows were opened early this morning- letting the cool morning breeze in.
I stayed up a little *too* late last night and thus didn't get up with my alarm this morning.
I didn't sleep well last night- it was stuffy and I had insomnia, and my mind just wouldn't stop going. Cluttered up with worries, wishes, and wants. And they just kept rolling and rolling through my head. I prayed for a clear head--for peace. For slumber.
And it finally came.

I woke up this morning, and took the dog out. Standing there, I realized I was humming "Create In Me A Clean Heart" and felt something in the air/breeze. Do you ever do that? You smell something; you're outside (or inside) at a certain time of day and it brings a flood of memories you experienced from a time in your past?? That happened to me this morning-- and I began thinking of my life only six years ago. Instantly, in thinking of it, my stomach knotted & my jaw clenched tight. I had a year or so where I hit rock-bottom.

It was very different...my personal life. Friends & family didn't know the true me then. I kept it hidden for the most part. My relationship with God was no more than "God, please let my paycheck be decent this month". My priorities were screwed up, my selfishness took over and I just wallowed in my own unhappiness. I became oblivious to the everyday blessings. I took much for granted. I became quite good at being whatever people expected me to be..stuffing my conscious deeper into my pocket if it started peeking out. I started having anxiety attacks. I hit the lowest of lows.

Thankfully for me, there was a turning point. Where someone who witnessed it all finally said "Enough, already." and with unconditional love, slapped me with reality. Someone who essentially said "Ok. Here's your Oscar-- amazing performance! Pathetic but amazing. But you're not fooling me and you're not fooling God"...ouch.

They opened my eyes and heart to see what I'd done and what I was missing out on. I felt desperate to just empty myself out-- to open up and let ALLLLL the junk out. And being scared beyond belief, I took a leap and did just that. I finally said how I felt. Even if it was hurtful. Even if it made me feel raw and vulnerable. And even though it didn't make everything magically better and make the ugly year evaporate from memory, it felt good. It was a relief to live openly, honestly and truthfully. I knew I couldn't ever go back. Mentally, physically- I couldn't take it.

I still felt somewhat lonely and sad, because I was humbled by my selfishness & actions. But things began to change. I knew I couldn't start fresh in my own strength. I was still deflated and beaten up from recognizing my failures! I knew there were a few people in my life who knew the nitty gritty and loved me anyway. I knew they'd be there for me, as I crawled out of this hole I'd dug myself into. But I knew ultimately, the one who'd get me through this was the one I first turned my back on. Jesus. Whe I was rebelling- He was the voice of my conscious; of reason. His truth was what made me feel so guilty- and so I got as far away from Him as I could. But He never left me. Not even while I was in the throes of poor decisions and despair. He was right there waiting for me with His arms outstretched, to draw me close.

After recognizing that-- I couldn't get close ENOUGH to Him! I began praying--but more conversationally--all throughout my day. Just spilling my guts to Him- even though I didn't have to speak a word out loud- He already knew my heart. But it felt good to say it out loud. I began doing Bible Study first thing in the morning- to start the day out right and with zeal & hope. I started digging into the Bible. I claimed Romans 12:1-2 for my own.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Anytime I felt burdened by the past, I would say this verse. Over and over. AND over. And life changed. Claiming His Word as law & love of my life. My outlook changed. My focus & perspective became what it should. This is not to say I didn't have (or continue to have even now!), moments of weariness or selfishness. I wouldn't be human otherwise. But I knew things were DIFFERENT. I knew that by laying down EVERYthing at His feet, He gave me strength to become who He created me to be.

My life is still bumpy. I still have things from my past that resurface and that "wounded scar" gets a fresh scab. But I continue to move forward. I refuse to accept despair and depression as a way of life. I refuse to find my happiness in things & people. I refuse to give up on the blessings God has given me, though I deserve NONE of it.

And so this morning- I smelled something in the air.. the sweetness of Spring, really. But it reminded me of a Summer morning where I was reborn through Him.
And I sang quietly with thanks and peace.

Isaiah 40:31 (New King James Version)

31 But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.



This weekend was nice.
The weather was unbelievable!
And I awoke this morning to more of the same, so my spirits are lifting.

Motivated by the mile-long TO DO list... to get our little place in tip top shape.
Happy to have all the windows flung open wide and SMELL Spring in the air.

Wondering how much longer they'll do this. Naturally, sweetly, protectively...
It makes my heart melt. And makes me a little sad, because I know it won't be long before they don't just happily walk down a path, hand-in-hand, no embarassment or care to be had.

We went to the park this weekend...and so did everyone else.

There was a gentleman with a monkey there...both watching the kids on the monkeybars... ironic.

Random pose.

NO more computer for me, 'til the sun goes down!!
We're cranking the classics of Bach and Mozart- doing school and scrubbing this joint DOWN!
Happy Monday!

P.S. Feel better soon, Nanny/Mama! lots of XOXOX


Look at these ADORABLE patterns (and fabrics, Hello?!)!
Found them while blog hopping & sipping coffee this morning...

My fave:

I'm not sure what we'll do today... no plans beyond tomorrow's church activities.
Today is WIDE open and I love it! This evening will be busy with some stuff but during the day there's absolutely NOTHING. Ahhhh....
AND it's gorgeous outside. Warm, clear skies, cool breeze.
LOVE it.

Perhaps another park day.
We took the kids to feed some ducks the other day and the lake itself wasn't pretty at ALL. Dirt and rock all around, no lush green slopes or anything inspiring. So I snapped a few pics of the kids and called it quits. I think we'll go hunting for some new spots today.

below: this one was pretty but gluttonous!

below: this one freaked us all out a little bit.
ugly. weird. a little punk rocker w/webbed feet.

below: Matthew literally getting GOOSED for more bread! HA!

Hope you're having a great weekend!


Grey Gardens.

Looking forward to seeing this.
One of the rare occasions when I'd like to have HBO.
It should come out on DVD rather soon though, I think.
And hopefully have behind-the-scenes and all those good tidbits.
I still have the 1975 documentary on my To Watch list... wonder if it's on Netflix.
Off to check!

Click here to watch a small featurette!


Spring Morning.

Not too much worth saying today.
Lots of thoughts swirling around.
Lots of ideas. lists. wishes. dreams.
But nothing is formulating into words to share.
Good Morning!
Perhaps I'll post something more later.

Have a blessed day, friends.


Sharing the love.

Just a little post about some pretty things I've found online...had to share with my friends!

These two dresses are from J.Crew's Crewcuts kids line... if I had the funds Josie would own these and MUCH more... it's fun to dream! Aren't they lovely??

The next few things are from PaperSource... I love that store! Aren't these chalkboard tiles genius?!

I'm a writer. a doodler. I love the feel of a "smooth" pen. Always have. This would look swell in my hand...

I've adored these little cases for years. I've bought several to create gifts with, but someday I'll have to buy a little trio for myself. LOVE the green.

That's all for now!


Kiwi love.

We bought a bag of Kiwi fruit recently and it's been delish!
Matthew ate his in seconds and Josie nibbled hers into shapes before consuming them entirely.
I love this time of year-- the produce starts rolling in and just keeps coming through Summer. We've already had some tasty strawberries & asparagus (!!!).

More later...just had to post the green goodness. Especially the kiwi'shroom!