Friday, January 29, 2010

some valentines thoughts~

i know many of you are familiar with gina's story
i was heartbroken to hear what she was going through...

i grabbed several of these from her shop
to use for valentines
bittersweet...beautiful dishes that will be a reminder to pray for young precious young mama
& her family

{the image used is actually from another website as i wanted to show you the entire setting of which she has since sold out of }

my girls all wants some Toms
please tell me you've heard their story

their shoes are 44bucks
they don't look like 44 buck shoes do they?

well that's because for every pair you buy
they send a pair to a child in need

good brainer
now get goin & purchase some too!

i am hoping love to make these for a few valentines in my life
her entire blog is dreamy , by the way
some william sonoma

i would reeeeeeallllly reallly like this

don't you think dan would love one of these for his office
with the infamous foot pop of course!

hoping to snatch up this baby
very very soon....

grabbed this precious little pad for my little one

are these adorable or what?
i plan to fill these out individually for each of my girls
& have them tied to their red gingham napkins on
our valentines table
boden cuteness

i would also love to give a shout out to Sarah at jewelry art designs.

sarah sent me this gorgeous pendant a few weeks ago. honestly the image doesn't do this peice justice. its gorgeous!! her website is user friendly, customer service is fabulous, & the shipping is crazy fast.

she carries many lovely items,
especially the earrings!
go check her out & thank you again sarah!
i think my girls all are dying to borrow this piece!!
thankyou thankyou thankyou!!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010


this one might get a little wordy
congratulations Kristin from Twinkle Life
once you hand over your secret family recipe for lobster ravioli (oh my)
i'll gladly get you connected with the CSN rep for your Caphalon dish
& congratulations!

I've tried to spend the last several weeks,
while enjoying the comforts of my new comfy sofa & chairs
( i know, enough already with the new furniture)
mulling over my word for 2010
the theme, if you will of my focus

i've had several words keep surfacing
& this morning feel like it sorta came together for me
each of the words that my heart keeps going back to
are all related to my home
the shelter i provide for my family

Webster's defines shelter as
  1. a refuge from the elements
  2. the protection from a storm
  3. a shield
  4. a place under a covering
  5. to take under one's protection

most of us in this niche of blogging all share a kindred spirit
when it comes to our homes

we love the inspiration of others as we decorate
to slip cover or reupholster?
chippy paint or a natural finish?
cottage or contemporary?
organized clutter or decided minimalism?
grey paint or a chalkboard wall?

we copy & paste each others scrumptious recipes
with the desire to cook a healthy wonderful meal for our loved ones
we each try to balance the demands of our schedule with the desires of hearts
we hug,wipe away tears, pick up dirty underwear, & send little ones off to conquer their world

all done from our shelters

i'll be the first to admit

its much easier for me to straighten the pillows on my sofa
than to straighten up my grumbly spirit
its easier to keep a sparkling clean kitchen than clean up a critical mouth

there are days when i pour more words of encouragement
into the comments i leave for a fellow blogger
than into the hearts of my own children

having a house full of teenage girls has felt like a crash course in parenting
all over again
~ the players have changed their offense
~ i have much less time to figure out my own next move
~ the teens in our home outnumber the adults
~ & i've discovered, this teen"age" is maybe not their best age. they might just be a little harder to love than when they were at the proverbial cute age of 5


within the shelter of my home, grace needs to be dished out on days when its a struggle for me and the last thing that comes naturally

the shelter of my home needs to be full of
mercy when they fail
& not acting surprised
because they will

encouragement to empower them to be the successful joyful children i have set out to raise & the empowerment to do just that

the shelter of my home needs to fall within the matrix of the intentional
i have a choice to react or better yet , to respond
i will be intentional with my words
& my time spent with them individually
& not just "quality" time, but truly in "quantity"

will probably be the last full year that all 6 of us
live under the same roof

i want to live it right
i want to look back & be able to say i had a focus
i had a goal
my shelter might not be the 100 year old farmhouse that i'd love to own
but it darn well better be a place of refuge for the 5 people i love most in this world
looks like i best pull on my wellies & get some serious shelter cleaning done

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways

from psalm 91

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Calphalon giveaway!

I was contacted this week by the promotions team at CSN stores
a huge website offering everything from
wonderful kitchen items
to just the right bar stool for your home

they allowed me to choose an item for a giveaway!
what fun, right?

so i've chosen the
Calphalon Creme Brulee 1 1/2 Quart Covered Round Casserole

here's the scoop~

Small is beautiful! This petite casserole is the ideal vessel for a small family side dish -- or even a couple-sized entrée of beef or shellfish stew. Its smoothly sculpted handles make it easy to carry from oven to table. Remember to keep the cover in place so foods stay piping hot.

•Ideal for traditional, convection and microwave oven recipes.
•Broiler and freezer safe.
•Contemporary covered design for cooking, serving and storage flexibility.
•Material: Ceramic
•Cover: Ceramic
•Oven Safe: Yes
•Broiler Safe: Yes
•Dishwasher Safe: Yes
•Utensils: Use nylon, wood or coated utensils.
•Warranty: Lifetime

you don't need to do anything crazy like tweeting about me
leaving me a facebook message
following me
or sending me a photo of you in your best julia childs apron
but how 'bout sharing your family's favorite meal
what you cook for them that's always a huge hit
you don't need to hand over any secret family recipes
just the name

my girls love
robin miller's creamy fusilli with mushrooms

i'll post a winner on monday!
thanks ya'll

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

some blog housekeeping

i love it when ya'll post random things about yourselves.
i love to learn all sorts of fun things that you might not share otherwise....
however truth be told,
i think i tell ya'll far more than you wish to know about me already.

but a few of you sweeties sent over some blog awards last week
& since i need to do some blog housekeeping
what better way than to do in random facts format!

since i'm not all that interesting , a few of these are reruns! :)

~~Felicia is the winner from our giveaway.
thank you melissa!
True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 34 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

~~ 3 years ago today i joined the gym
let me explain
i am a former fitness fanatic-distance runner- aerobics instructor
who after the joy of a new marriage and the heartbreak of two miscarriages
promptly put on some weight following the birth of my 4th child
& never lost it
i dragged my tail ( albeit larger than in years past)
to the gym & signed on the dotted line
that year i lost 30 lbs
i pumped to tell ya
that 3 years later...
i've kept it off!!
that little post is ~ right here~

~~ i tear up every time i hear my georgia boys sing "cry out to jesus"

~~ i'm probably going to blow the speakers in my suburban playing this song

~~ My most precious patient ( as an oncology nurse) was a little girl named Grace who spoke of seeing angels before she passed away. a few weeks later i gave birth to my second daughter & named her Madison Grace, in her honor.
oh , & truly believe she saw those angels.
her tender heart has forever changed how i view the spiritual world

~~Purple Rain, the Prince movie. you probably are too young.
it pains me to tell you
but in the 80's i saw it atleast a dozen times
3 of which were in a 24 hour period
on 3 different dates
with 3 different guys
who says i can't manage my time well?

~~I'm terrible about shaving my legs
& no i don't mean that the actual technique
it means i don't shave them as frequently as i should
i'm certain you're glad i've shared that with you

~~ i'm an animal lover
& i hate the cliches
" kill 2 birds with one stone" &
" don't beat a dead horse"
yuck-i hated even writing those

~~i've never watched an episode of
desperate housewives
or sex in the city

~~i love setting a pretty table
which explains why i have about 35-40 different sets of dishes!

~~ admit these photos have nothing to do with this post

but she's such a cute cheerleader that i couldn't resist

~~apparently my correlation of expensive dog to potterybarn furniture

and rescue dog to ikea

was poorly executed & thus confused you

i don't have Lucy

but i do have Brinkley

we adopted this most sweet golden 2 years ago

after 15 years with 2 big dogs, we are now indeed a one dog family!

the sofas are new....the dog is not

ps-thank you amy, martha, marci, gina, & megan. you are all so sweet & made my day! blessings to each of you xo

Thursday, January 14, 2010


i laid my head down last night on the shoulder of my sweet tender man
my rock
he is who steadies me
he is my anchor that is ever true & loyal

i shared with him all the events of the day that had left my heart burdened

i had woke up yesterday and spent much time listening to the stories from Haiti
& the mass devastation
devastation that i simply can't wrap my mind around

one of the reporters spoke of seeing these two women
waiting for "care" in a hotel lobby
one with an obvious broken leg
the other
her foot had been severed
sometime close to 24 hours earlier at that point

severed off?

her foot was severed off & she was still waiting for care
& in a hotel for crying out loud
not a hospital
no pain meds
no crisp white sheets
no iv with sedatives
& possibly
no, probably
no surgery to repair her

i just cried
i can't imagine the pain
is she even still alive now?

we live in country full of abundance
where many can have a spa pedi on any given day
& yet there is an entire country
probably the poorest in our hemisphere
where these people may not even receive the medical attention they need
to survive

i just can't comprehend

my heart broke

as i opened my google reader this morning i was so grateful
to see many of the bloggers with etsy shops
sending all their profits to Haiti
angela is just one of them
she has several listed on her blog who are doing the same
{update* as is melissa}
i urge you to find a way to give~

the day continued
i had confrontations
one fairly heated
with two of my girls
we've been smooth sailing for quite sometime
that was tough

on wednesday nights
i'm blessed beyond measure
to work with, mentor, lead a group of 6th grade girls
along with my eldest daughter , savannah & her bff
plus one of my best friends
we lead this amazing group of sweet girls
who love the Lord

we had asked them to spend some time over their Christmas break
while we were apart
& come back ready to share a scripture that meant something special to them
most of them shared
scriptures from their heart
i cried

each time they shared i cried
i was trying to get a grip
so i wouldn't be a distraction

then one of the girls began to share
she had actually been adopted by a wonderful family a few years ago
her biological parents are in & out of jail
as she shared last night
about wondering if they truly loved her
if she was to blame for their bad choices
but that Jesus was her rescuer
He had rescued her from the world she had lived in

are you kidding me?

tears just falling down my cheeks
i'm listening to an adorable blonde headed pig tailed 12 year old
speak of the tender heart of the Lord
12 years old
who receives letters from her biological dad who sits in prison
& yet
she's placing her broken heart into the hands of The Healer

when we were done
i pulled her aside
she & i both completely a wreck by this time
i took her sweet face in my hands
& tried to explain that sometimes people we love will hurt us
but that its never her fault
& that they did love her
Jesus sees each of her tears
& was indeed her Rescuer
i told her He was going to do great things with her life!

i brushed her hair from her face
reminded her she was loved
& wondered if instead of the Lord sending me to love on her
maybe He sent her ....
to me

~~~saturday morning quick update~~~
i'm happy to announce that through random generator via melissa
that Felicia is our winner!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

white slipcovered bliss......

i wanted a casey golden retriever
a gorgeous breed of dog
winners of top shows
used in commercials
gorgeous dogs
thousands of dollars

as it is often in life
reality & the desire to not over spend--snore--set in
& we decided to ditch the thousand dollar dog plan
since i was in no big hurry
i'd just wait for a casey dog to be adopted
not for a thousand
but a mere $200

our adoption agent
(yes, you heard me right)
was well versed in the dog i wanted
a full blood golden
female--soon to be named Lucy
gorgeous & looks like a casey breed
she knew exactly what i wanted
she called & told me there was a golden available
that i had to see
the perfect dog
full blood golden
gorgeous & but didn't look like a casey breed
she encouraged me to just see the dog
that he was very handsome
but not to go into the visit thinking 'casey breed'
don't compare she told me

i patronized her & figured what the heck
lets go see him
his foster home was just across from trader joe's
& we needed a few things anyway

i tell ya
we walked in
met that gorgeous doggy
& declared "SOLD" in less than 60 seconds

& he is the perfect dog
even though he wasn't a casey golden retriever
part of his story is here

there comes a time in every woman's life when she declares
"no more"
"i just can't take it "
"not another day"
or the glorious words
"for such a time as this"

i had made my personal declaration
about our sofas quite some time ago
& i had my eye on the prize
glorious gorgeous perfection
all in white slipcovers
from potterybarn
to the tune of several thousand smackers might i add-sigh

i knew exactly what i wanted
my life would be perfection
i would want for no more
i would never be grumpy
i would rise early in the morning & sing
sing as i made hot breakfast for my children
i would plop down into my down filled bits of heaven
feeling as if i'd been hugged by a soft overweight granny-like figure
( not that we have one of those in our family, mom)
& sigh
i would have arrived

one leaves for college in about a year
one will be driving in 3 months
4 colleges
4 weddings
not today
but soon
sooner than this 'i can't live by a budget' woman

my potterybarnwhiteslipcovereddreamsofheaven
were put on hold

then my bestieblogfriend throws around the word ektorp
sounds like cp-30 or r2d2
certainly not cottagey heavenly blissdom
so IKEA we went
who knew?
who knew they would indeed have whiteslipcovereddreamsofheaven
cuz if you knew
why didn't you tell me?
my campaign for pottery barn would have been much shorter lived

as the golden retriever agent simply stated
i too told dantheman
just come for a look
don't think "potterybarnfatwomanhuggingyoubliss"
but you must respect the price

we took the surburban
the truck
just in case , you know?

i am proud to announce
that we
not just i
but we
are the proud owners
white slipcovered sofa, chairs, & an ottoman

they are not like plopping down onto a heavenly cloud
but they are gorgeous
& all of it cost less than one...did you hear me? potterybarn sofa!
& i am simply thrilled
& yes
i've woke early each morning
& a song has been in my heart
i have yet to make the hot breakfast
but i did make little bit some hot chocolate
which she is drinking while sitting on the floor
the whiteslipcovered peices of heaven

and all is right with my little world

before i press the publish button~please let me say that i hope you know i am writing in jest,

i love a white slipcovered piece of furniture as much as next ocd beach cottage dreaming woman

but i am well aware

& would never take for granted

that white slipcovered bliss is not eternal

& no it really doesn't bring joy

it brings happiness-alot might i add

i know there are all types out there

some who could pony up thousands & thousans for a room re-do on anygiven day

but there are more

much more

who not only don't have new furniture

they don't have a home

& i don't take for granted

not a single day

that which i have been blessed

there is always some one out there who has more

but my desire is not to focus my thoughts on that person

but the one who has less

much less

& not only be thankful for what i have

but find a way to minister to & help those less fortunate

i just wanted to make that clear


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

a giveaway!

A giveaway from mcc designs!

Melissa at mcc designs would like to offer my blog readers the chance to win a set of personalized note pads of your choice.
The set of 3 note pads includes two, 3x5.5 and one, 5.5x5.5 note pads.
You may chose any design
available in Melissa's etsy shoppe,
mcc designs and personalize each to your liking.

To enter, please leave a comment here on my blog and also visit Melissa's blog ,
become a follower and leave a comment.

The giveaway will run now through
Friday, January 15, 11:59 EST.
The winner will be selected at random
and announced here on this blog.

Melissa's shoppe is full of precious items!
Her customer service
& attention to detail make her a must add to your etsy favorites.

Good luck to all!!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

12,465 images from our last 2 weeks

we had a wonderful christmas holiday
we've been shopping
drinking hot chocolate
watching movies
attending concerts
& thoroughly enjoying each others company
with a house full of girls
we're doing the best we can

i've been mia from the blogworld
& have forgotten to turn on my cell
sometimes for days at a time

here are a few
images from our little world
over the last couple weeks
some are dreadfully blurry
which is why
my goal for 2010
is to become well versed in the use of my camera!!

me &the girlies christmas eve

& since we had no one to capture a fam shot
dan & the girlies christmas eve
while i'm on christmas eve
i must tell ya
our church rented an enormous facility
in hopes that instead of doing 7 christmas eve services
as they did last year
they could provide one
service where we could all worship together
plus have room for , the community to join

i'm here to tell ya
i've never been in a more beautiful
christmas eve service
even if i was in a completely full venue
with 8000
8000 others

i was supposed to work that evening
but thankfully another nurse traded with me
spending that service
sitting between my most favorite people in the world
was truly my best chirsmtas present

madi's debut as a cheerleader

ice skating with savannah

watching my fave movie
you've got mail
with my dog brinkley
named after tom hank's dog brinkley

i love to set a cute table
since i stink at indoor shots
i moved a few place settings outside
to photograph
it was way too sunny
but anyway...

no i dont spoil the baby
those are not all for her

she clenched the award
for best reaction post gift opening
-eek....blurry deadgum indoor shot-
tickets for the harlem globetrotters with dad
cuz now she's a baller you know

i have thoroughly enjoyed
popping in on many of my fave bloggers
you , of course
through my google reader
{& even though i haven't left many comments
i have been checking in on everyone}
& seeing so many inspiring
new years resolotions

hope to get back in the saddle
very soon
Happy 2010!!!