Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekend Review - I've Been Framed!

It was one of those rare weekends, where we didn't have to be anywhere for at least......a day.

Friday night we were excited to stay home and catch the season premier of two of our favorite shows - Hawaii Five-O and Blue Bloods.  

Saturday found us working around the house, fixing things that we've ignored for long enough.

While David worked on some ceiling fan projects, I ran to Walmart and came home with the typical basket full of "where did my money go" items, including these.....

the latest Kirk Cameron film and of course, snacks!   The movie was great, by the way!

I also came home with a few frames (hence the catchy title) for some things I wanted to hang in my office/studio/I still don't know what to call it/ room.

The first was a piece of art that I fell in love with, made by my friend Sara at The Rosy Life.

Sara posted this little lady in her Etsy shop last week and I loved her the minute I saw her!

I love her curly hair (I can relate!) and her adventurous look.   She just spoke to me on several levels, so I immediately clicked the Buy Now button and claimed her for my own!    A few days later, she arrived in the mail and now she's hanging on the wall, just above my craft table.    Thank you Sara! Incidentally, very soon after, Sara posted another piece that I really want, but will have to wait on. Let's just say it involves a guitar.   Uggg!  So tempting!

I also framed something dear to me - the poster from the Listen To Your Mother show from this past May.

I mean, I had it just laying in my spare closet and thought what a waste that was!  My name is on that thing and I'm so proud to have been a part of the show, so it definitely deserved to be framed and displayed, don't you think?

It too, hangs above my craft table, to remind me of what can be done when you're brave enough to try.

Both of my new pieces hang on either side of this, which I will always treasure.

This was my first article published and David had it framed one Christmas, as a surprise.

I love this piece and the thoughtfulness that went into this gift!  It also helps remind me of my love for writing and how anything is possible.....if only you TRY!  

So, see!  I told you I was framed!  Ha!

Or at least some of my favorite things have been.

Hey, it's Monday!  Everyone can use a little humor on a Monday!

See ya soon!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Heart Pictures

As I stood in the kitchen with my 15 year old son this morning, I had one of those moments in time when you literally take a picture with your brain and more specifically - your heart.

It goes something like this:
Son is talking, you are talking, then everything stops for about 2 seconds while your mind snaps a mental photograph of this moment in time.   The picture taking moment is so real that you actually pause mid sentence to allow this action to finish what it's doing, which is cementing this memory in your brain, for years to come.   Or at least you hope so.

As our conversation resumes, I'm very much aware that I'm now playing out this scenario with my youngest son, the same way I did for years with my oldest.    And, it is bittersweet.

The early morning - well, actually mid morning - conversations in the kitchen.  

What is it about the kitchen that lends itself to my kids opening up to me?   I am blessed, to say the least.

As we talk about friends, games, school and other teen topics, I am really cherishing this moment because we are connecting and I like it.

I had this same kind of picture in my mind the other day when I took him to co-op.

He was walking into the building for a day of classes; two instruments in hand, and I instantly thought about how many times - no, YEARS - I dropped Ted off at a practice here or there.    Always with a guitar.....or two.

History is repeating itself and it won't be long before he'll be driving himself around and I'm not sure I am ready for all of that - again.

For some of the younger years, it was hard having my boys 6 years apart.   But now.....I'm so glad I still have one that is young enough to come sleepy-eyed into the kitchen in the mornings, stand around and talk, like we don't have a care in the world, and still needs me to drive him around.

Yes, in some things, I don't want to go another Algebra.   Who wants to teach Algebra twice in one lifetime?  Not me!  

But, in all the ways that matter - I'm cherishing this 2nd round of guitars, talks, drop-offs and teen years.

Because I know it won't be long until my 2nd round of letting go will be happening and this mom is not ready for that yet!

Take time to stand in the kitchen today.

Those will be your heart-pictures of tomorrow.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

All You Have To Do Is Say "YES"!

Don't you just love this collage?  My sweet friend Gabbi made it just for me!

One day, out of the blue, my sweet young friend, Gabbi, sent this to me on Facebook.   She said, "I made this for you!"

I was so blessed!  It's always nice to know that someone is thinking about you.

I've read and re-read it, just about every day since then; trying to decide what I wanted to say about the message.

"She designed a life that she loved."

My first thought was that God designed my life and I couldn't really take credit for it.   But then I realized that I have played a big part in this life that I have right now.   The biggest part being that I chose to say "yes" to God.

I chose to follow him, love him, serve him, live for him, raise my kids to love him, live a life of desperately trying to walk with him and I have chosen to worship him.

I've chosen to stay loyal in my marriage.
I've chosen to stay at home with my kids.
I've chosen to homeschool.
I've chosen to always put family first.
I've chosen to read my Bible and pray.
I've chosen to go to church.
I've chosen to raise my kids there.
I've chosen to write and honor God in words.

I've had free will over all of these things and with each decision I was faced with, I could have chosen the opposite.    But, I didn't.

But, none of these choices came about randomly.  
Only because I chose God in the first place, was I even offered the choice in any of these things.

Only after choosing to follow God (after he pursued me), was I given a choice about my life.   I could have stayed in the pit; living a life of bad choices and sin.    But God wanted me elsewhere, just as he does with every other person he creates.    

He wanted me walking with him.

He wanted me living the abundant life that he promised to give.

He wanted me to be used for the ultimate purpose of my creation.

He wanted me to have a family - this family.

He wanted me to obey when he asked something of me.

He wanted me to put his agenda over my own.

And, because of my choice to walk with him, he allowed each of these things to be manifested in my life.

God designed it; I just said "YES, LORD!" to it.

God wants to design your life too!

All you have to do is say "YES"!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Front Porch - Where Hearts Go To Meet

Today I'm linking up HERE with The Sits Girls to share a Fall Photo that I've recently taken.

This is our front porch and it's literally the most talked about place, here on the farm.

There is just something about an old house that screams for a front porch!

Not only does it lend itself to gatherings of all sorts, but I think the nostalgia of a porch is what draws the heart back to this place.

A front porch brings back memories of another time; an old-fashioned time, when grandparents and younger generations sat and did ordinary things.   A time when a child would snap peas while listening to a grandmother tell of her younger years.   A time when family would gather on a hot summer night and make homemade ice cream with a hand-cranked ice cream maker.   A time when dads would pull out their ever-handy pocket knives and whittle on a tree limb, while listening to the night sounds.  

The front porch was where community met.

If you lived in the neighborhood, the neighbors might gather here after dinner to talk.   The kids would play in the front yard until dark.

Sometimes there would be hammocks or cots and that's where the kids would sleep when the houses were small or hot.  

The crickets were the music of the night.

And, speaking of music......

There are two things we love to do on our front porch - music and coffee.

When Fall rolls around and the cooler whether moves in, we are here, coffee in hand, enjoying the coolness of morning.  

That's also the time of year when we love to have what we call - Front Porch Singings.

Friends gather here, voices and instruments plentiful, and we share in this thing called music.

And, it feeds our soul, as it always does.

Our front porch.

It's where hearts go to meet.



Last night I attended a very unique women's event called IF: Pray.

It's a new movement inspired by author Jennie Allen, who has a passion to gather, equip, and unleash women and their potential to be everything that God wants them to be, in their communities and circles of influence.

The gathering took place at a local church where we worshiped and prayed for 2 hours.

We watched a live simulcast with Jennie Allen and her team in Austin, where they were leading about 250 groups around the country, in song and prayer.

Each speaker would read scripture and share what that scripture inspired her to pray about; giving us time to gather in groups or individually and pray within that same context.

I sat with two friends and we each shared some intimate prayer time alone and in our small group, asking the Lord to give believers unity, confession of things holding us back, things we needed to release and several other topics that steal the focus off Jesus, in a woman's life.

It's one of those things that's hard to explain or put words to, so I'm encouraging you to go to the link above and read about IF: on your own.

The basic premise is this:   IF God is real......then what?

What will you do differently in your daily life?

How will you proceed from here?

How will you pray differently?

How will you live differently?

Because God has given us all we need to believe in Him and his power.   All we have to do is believe and pray and go and do and God will show up and work!

If you want to be a part of a revival of women in this country, I encourage you to follow IF: and become a part of something that will inspire you to live differently.

For more information about IF:  go to

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"What Are You Doing Here?"

"What are you doing here, Elijah?"

Those were God's words to the prophet Elijah, as Elijah sat under a tree, depressed and feeling alone.

A prophet of God, depressed?   Is that possible?  Is it holy?  Does God allow that?

Well, I think it depends on who you listen to and what you choose to believe.

I've heard pastors and public figures say that Christians should be the happiest people alive.   Never depressed; never down - always up and full of hope and joy - so the world can see that you have a savior!

To that I say - UH, NO.

Throughout scripture there are accounts of godly people feeling alone, sad, worn out, afraid and unworthy.     Why would we be any different?

In 1 Kings 19, Elijah is fleeing for his life, after working for the Lord on "special assignment."   He runs for his life and then finally collapses under a tree and tells the Lord to take his life (v. 4).  

He's had it!  He's worn out and feels that he's done his job and now someone is trying to kill him, so what's the point?

And God responds in two ways.......

First, he feeds Elijah.  

God knows Elijah is empty, so he feeds him.

He has to prompt him several times to finish his meal, but he tells him that the journey is long and he needs to eat.

Once fed, Elijah gets back up and goes a little farther down the road.

He's still not 100% sold out to the idea of continuing this mission God has him on.   But, God's not finished with Elijah just yet.

Then God does the second thing.......

"What are you doing here, Elijah?"  

God asks Elijah, not once, but twice, what he's doing.    Both times Elijah says that his life is over; he's the only one left and he's done.

He feels alone and desperate; like he's the only one left doing God's work.   He can't even imagine continuing on.   Physically and spiritually, he's worn out!

But God is so good!   Too good to leave Elijah standing alone, without hope, so he demonstrates his power and reminds Elijah where his strength comes from - God.  (v. 11-13)

God sends powerful winds, an earthquake and even a fire - all in the presence of Elijah.   Then, when he has witnessed God's amazing power, God sends a whisper.   That's right.   Just a whisper.  And, there, in that gentle whisper, Elijah felt God's presence and eventually went on to finish the job God has asked him to do.

Have you felt like Elijah?  
Worn out?  
No strength left to do the job?  

Let me reassure you - you are not alone!

Life is going to get tiring and at times, we are going to look around and feel like we are the only ones on this desperate path, but that's a lie.

Even strong, faithful Christians feel desperate at times.   It's not a Christian/non-Christian thing.   It's a human thing!

But, the good news is, that we do have a God who loves and cares enough to feed us, both physically and spiritually, and put us back on our feet!

He also cares enough to ask the question "What are you doing here?"

Because, yes, life gets tough!  And, yes, we get weary.   But, in no way does God intend to leave us in those places of desperation longer than necessary.

He wants you up and going and doing whatever it is that he has set you up to do!  

He wants you to trust him during the storms and listen for him in the whispers.

He is there and any moment now, he's going to set you back on your feet and send you back out - fed, refueled, and ready.

So, take that down time, have that moment of feeling like you're not sure about things, but then get up and keep going, because if not......God will show up and say......"What are you doing here?"

Monday, September 22, 2014

All Around the Farm this Weekend

We had a busy weekend!

Friday I finally found the time to do a little Fall decorating on the porch and around the house.  I snapped this shot Saturday morning.  

And this one........

Here - I was trying to catch the steam coming off the top of the fence.   I love the front yard at this time of morning.

I'm not much of a holiday decorator when it comes to the inside of my house.

If you've seen the inside of my house, you know that every wall is covered with things that I love on a daily basis, so the only time I would even think about switching anything for a holiday, would be Christmas.

However, I did want to add a little Fall decor to my table, so I just gathered up a few "fall-ish" looking items, got an old fabric scrap, and set up a cute little vignette.   I think it turned out ok.

I have figured out the problem with having yellow walls in a small room......all my pictures in this room look yellow!  Uggg!

Sunday afternoon, while David and Collin were out getting hay from a friend, I sat down with a new cookbook I found at Cracker Barrel that morning after church.

I love Goose Berry Patch cookbooks!

When I saw the word Farmhouse......well, you know I had to have it!

For the next few weeks, I'm going to be planning our meals around the recipes in this book and of course, I will be sharing them with you, here on the blog!

As a little teaser, tonight we are having Paprika Chicken.   Chicken is so boring to me, so I'm looking forward to trying something a little different.   I'll let you know tomorrow how it turned out.

Just as I was finishing up the meal plan and grocery list, the men came back with the hay.

30 bales of hay......

This should hold them for a little while.

Of course, they were looking......

Whether you're a horse or a human, it's always nice for someone to bring you something!

And so.....that's another weekend around the farm.

Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

See you soon!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Getting Crafty -Whimsical Curtains!

So, as you know, I have been putting together my creative space (aka office), since Ted moved out and it's coming along nicely.   I have to paint the window trim and put some things on the walls, but little by little, it's coming together.

This week I've been busy making curtains for the two windows.

I tried to use what fabric I had on hand, to save money, so that was my starting point.

I knew I wanted something kind of fun in this room, so instead of making traditional side curtains, I simply made one panel to hang in the middle.

Next, I needed a contrasting look for the top valance, so I headed to the fabric store to see what caught my eye, and came home with this......

It has all the colors I'm trying to incorporate into this room, not to mention - it's just cute!

Trying to decide what kind of valance to make was the hardest part.   It literally took me a few days to decide, before I was ready to start on them.   You know, once you cut the fabric - that's it!  So, I tried to take my time and really think before committing.

Finally, after several rounds on Pinterest, I decided to do a bunting.   I watched a few Youtube videos before getting started, but had a good picture in my mind of what I wanted them to look like.

I actually had to have my husband David help me, to make sure I cut the pieces just right.   They needed to be wide enough to make a nice valance, but not so big that I ran out of material.   Thankfully, he has an engineer's mind, which I was not blessed with, and he made me a template to use, which made this job amazingly easy!

What do you think?

I'm really happy at how cute they are and they add to the whimsical feel I'm going for in this room.

In addition to making curtains this week, I slapped a thin coat of turquoise paint on my chalkboard door.

The color on my phone is not the best so this actually looks blue, but it's a great shade of turquoise in real life!

I'm loving this door!   It really makes me happy, every time I look at it!

Of course, this is my favorite panel.........

That about sums it up......

I hope you're working on your favorite space too!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Meet My Friend - Bella Grace

I want you to meet someone.....

Actually, it's not a person,, but if it were, she would be soft, beautiful, adventurous, encouraging, and lovely.

Her name is Bella Grace and I've been anticipating her arrival for months.

Her pages are thick and quality and they possess words and pictures that feed my feminine side.

She offers places to share my own thoughts and dreams and encourages me to be myself.

Such as this Gratitude List......

Bella said - "fill it up, and we mean it" - and so I did.

Things that make me happy and things I am thankful for.

There are more pages like this; pages that make you stop and think and pour out thoughts on paper, so as to set them in your mind and heart.    We all need this sometimes.    Or at least I do.

Sometimes, all you need is refreshing.

A little beauty, softness, a good book and a cup of your favorite drink.

Sit in your favorite spot, take a few minutes and just be a woman.

It will do your heart good.

*Find Bella Grace at Barnes and Noble bookstore in the Women's section of the magazine rack.*

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Fun Way to Beat the Dark

Today I stopped by my friend Sara's blog to see what she was up to and to my surprise, she was writing about something that I can definitely relate to - dreading the dark nights that come with Fall and Winter.

I'm a sunshine girl!   I have to have light and sun and though I'm ok with a good rainy day now and then, I need the ratio to be about 98% sun to 2% gloom.

I've been walking in the kitchen the past few days, wondering when the days will start to shift into that early, dark phase - you know, when it gets dark around 5pm.

I'm not a fan of dark at 5pm!

David can't work out in the yard - because it's dark.
Collin has to feed the horses - in the dark.
Driving home from anywhere after 5pm - in the dark.
Long evenings - in the dark.

Getting dark so early causes a lot of anxiety for some people.  They even have a name for it (like everything else) but I would probably say it wrong, so I won't even attempt it.   But, it's real.

One of my first articles published was titled "The Winter Blues" and it dealt with this very subject and how I created an entire arsenal of ideas to keep me busy during the dark winter months.   Every year I would post a list of projects to focus on during the Winter (See HERE) and would hold on to those projects until January and then spend every week working on them.   It was a great help during those long, winter evenings.

My friend Sara, over at The Rosy Life, came up with a great idea and I wanted to share it with you here today.

Click HERE to read Sara's idea for a fun basket, filled with things to keep you busy during the dark evenings.

Even if you don't dread the dark nights, you might know someone who does.   This would be a great way to cheer them up and let them know you care!

 Have a great (sunshiny) day!