Thursday, September 26, 2013


From Jess
I've been brewing on this for a bit....hence the long silence on my end.  What is there in my daily life that just takes up space and time but doesn't ultimately move me closer to my goal of living more intentionally and serving God?

I'm reading a new book called "Seven" by Jen Hatmaker who for seven months gives up seven different areas of excess in her life.  I also just read my sweet friend Allison's blog on On Eve and Eden about ditching Facebook.  I am convicted. Let's be real though.  I'm officially stirred up.  My heart is anxious with the thought of fasting anything.  No coffee?  I start to sweat at the thought.

I don't like to be uncomfortable.  If anything, I am the comfort queen.  If my shoes hurt, I will give them away.  No joke.  In bible study I've been pouring over the book of Matthew, and in chapter 6, Jesus tells us about our possessions and fasting.  It got me thinking....what do I ultimately treasure?  If you glimpsed at my day, what would my actions prove to you that I treasure?

I know in my heart that I treasure my relationship with God, my husband and children, my family, and my friends.  I relish loving on others and lifting them up.  I adore serving.  BUT....I fear my time would tell you that I like pinterest, facebook, style blogs a bit more than I should.  Not the picture I'm wanting to paint in my heart for God.  And that is ultimately what I will be judged on....not how witty my facebook status is, or how well I decorated my house, or how cool I can possibly dress.

Matthew is all about producing good fruit.  Am I?  Of is my fruit just rotten and full of disgusting holes??  Matthew discusses over and over about refining you, removing the chaff from the wheat.  I think I'm finally ready.

I don't know what it will look like.  If I'll follow Jen Hatmakers path, or if I'll get off Facebook.  I do however know that something needs to change.  In my heart, in my time, with my food choices, with my money, with every blessing I'm given.  But I do know this....

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously and he will give you everything you need.  
Matthew 6:33

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Raising Godly Kiddos

Good Morning my lovelies! I pray you had a fantastic Monday!  I've been thinking on this do you raise your kids to be prepared for this world, but not be OF this world.  Here is part of my strategy.

I love these flashcards below.  I put the link there.  They are free and you can print them on card-stock   With Benno, we just learn the verse for now, not where in the bible it is. That might be a cop out, but, it's just easier for a six year old. I like that he knows his ABCs and it goes right with that.  

In addition, it's super helpful, when something is happening that needs attention, I can through out a verse that he knows and make it applicable to real life.  Also, when he understands it's not just be being a "mean mom", but that what I'm correcting him about is biblicaly based, it's seems to have more meat on my words.  Like I have the big "J.C." behind me.  

I'm about to purchase this book, via amazon, for our nightly readings.  I'm stoked to branch out with him, so broaden his understanding.  It might be a bit advanced for him, but I think he can handle it.  I will let you know!

Ben will not rest at night until I pray over him.  And for some odd reason, it has to be me.  This is ultimate.  I try my hardest to really pour it all into him.  Sometimes, there is a little Sam yelling from the other room, so it's cut short.  But, it's a chance daily, for me to bless him, ask for forgiveness, and let Benno know how he is loved.  When you pray over your kids, I say let it flow.  If you want to express that you messed up that day being a mom, say it.  I feel like it helps Ben know that I need grace just as much as he does.  

And finally, and possibly, the most to just love.  Love with all that you are. Love on anybody. Love on people that aren't like you.  Love on people that aren't christian.  Just love.

Your example will be stronger than your words for your children
Love is directly from God. 

I go for the easy ones first, like clothing and feeding people.  Which is ironic, because I'm not a great cook!  But, nonetheless, I like to feed people.  And hug people.  Anyone. Hug them tight like it's your job.

I am by no means an expert, but this is what is working for our family today.  Hope your day is full of blessing after blessing!  Hugs, a

Friday, September 13, 2013

Top Ten Movie Night

It's Friday!  Yahoooo!  We are of course having a proper family movie night at our house!

This is what it takes at my house:

1. Comfy clothes, and no pants for kiddos, no shoes
2. Sofa pulled out to full bed mode, for more lounging pleasures.
3. There is a major discussion of who's movie pic it is.  Straws are sometimes drawn.
4. Lots and lots of very soft cozy blankets and lovies.  Minnie is right there.
5. Popcorn and treats, usually M&Ms mixed in to hot popcorn, in cute containers!
6. Pizza in any form.  Sometimes its fancy delivery, or frozen.  Just depends on the night. Tonight I'm making individual pizzas from tortillas that I saw on pinterest.  We will see how successful I am.
7. Absolutely no bath.
8. Absolutely no homework or studies are to be done.
9. Mama makes an early cocktail
10. Pure bliss by my little tikes is amazing.  They look forward to it every single  Friday.  The only draw back is now, getting them fired up to change over to high-school football.

I pray your weekend is grand.  Do you have any fabulous plans?  Hugs, a

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Reading Material

What are you reading these days?  Anything amazingly great?  I would love to hear about your favorite book!
Stiff: It's absolutely nuts.  A co-worker gave it to me because I used to teach Anatomy and I like gross things.  It's really interesting and pretty crazy information.  Worth a read if you aren't squeamish.

Everyday Church: We are reading this prior to going to Guatemala this year.  I'm only in chapter 2, but it's a ton of interesting information if you are a christian.

Calmer, Easier, Happier, Parenting: I CAN NOT say enough about this book.  It's super useful and amazing.   I haven't even read the entire thing, but what I have read has helped me as a parent.  The first chapter, you will be like, "Yeah right Annie."  It's about detailed compliments.  It totally works!

Blogs that have my attention: 
From Hunted Interior. She does some amazing things and I like her taste. 

From: Housetweaking, this lady ROCKS MY SOCKS!  She's a mother of three and I love all her aesthetics.  She does things inexpensively mixed with diy items.  Always a winner in my book. 

From Damsel in Dior, she has really high end taste, but I like her mix and you-tube videos.  

If you have any fantastic books that you are diggin, share the wealth!  Hugs, a

Coffee Date

If we were to have a coffee date today, I would hug you tight, and order a pumpkin spice latte with extra whip cream.  We could sit without children and have an adult conversation.  That would be straight heaven!

I would ask you all about your heart and what's going on in your world.  I would tell you that I adore fall time and all that it entails.  I love the smells, the football, the food, the clothes, all of it.  I feel like a little kid again when that first crisp day comes.

I would tell you that I'm trying REALLY hard to cook better foods for my family and that it is absolutely frustrating to make a big awesome, healthy meal and for Ben and/or Sam to not like it, appreciate it, sit down at the table, complain about it, or all of the above.  Makes me want to serve boxed Mac n Cheese forever.

I would jump up and down and tell you that we finally got a new king size bed.  I'm in love with it.  I don't want to leave it.  Mr. Handy N made me two new, industrial night stands to go with it.  Go Mr. N!  You are my hero!

My crazy babies are doing pretty grand, Sam is officially potty trained and Ben is doing fabulous in first grade after that first melt down.  I'm one blessed lady.  I pray you get a grand cup of coffee today!  Hugs, a

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First Row vs. Third Row

To lighten your load today, I found this so lovely.  

Are you in the first row or third row?  

Check out those ladies faces...I hope something blows your skirt up today!  
Happy, happy day to you and yours.....a

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Farts and Kids

We had a pretty rad three day weekend.    I didn't commit to a darn thing.  Which is fantastic!  There was lots of no pant wearing, dirt playing, water fights, smurf villages created, hoola hooping, balloon blowing, cartoon watching, movie nights, no bathing, chocolate milk drinking going on in our little home.

On my running "to-do" list in my creative little noggin, I had been wanting to make the boys a new tee-pee.  You know, a more modern, light and airy one. After much deliberation on pinterest, I found a list of easy directions.  Let's just say, mine is not "pin" worthy.  Mr. N walked in and said "Come on, Annie.  We are better than that."  Then declared a a "tee-pee off."  So, I did a crappy job.  I followed directions and everything.  He thinks (and I know) he could make one hell-off-a tee-pee. I immediately conceded.  I didn't stand a chance.    

Minnie loved it though!  Picture this.  Sam and Ben being all set up in there, with their pillows just so, little guys in there to keep them comfy.  A spot for Sam, Ben, Minnie and I.  They were so thrilled that we all fit just so.  That is until Ms. Minnie Pearl let a silent, but VERY deadly fart come out.  We couldn't get out of that stinky tee-pee fast enough.  We were all rolling in laughter.  Why are farts always funny I ask?  


This is a long one, so stick with me kid.  I've been brewing on it for awhile.

Everyday I try to remind my kids to be brave and kind.  At times the world can be a scary, hurtful place and they will need to navigate it appropriately. The other day, we were in the "work" of just being a family.  It wasn't pretty, but it was real.

Ben was really struggling with some school work.  He was getting so frustrated, crying, and a bit hysterical.  I normally wouldn't share something so personal here, but I want to remember it, and if he ever chooses to read this, for him to truly know.

All his negative emotions came out of no where.  He was saying ugly things that we would never tell him in a million years.  They just flowed out of him.  He was yelling that he was a failure.  The truth is, I was failing miserably.  I couldn't snap him out of it.  I wasn't making the situation better.  If anything, it was escalating.  I wanted him to understand grace for himself and have confidence.  He wanted to be perfect. I was at a loss as a mother in that moment.  And to make matters worse, it was all VERY familiar to me. He came by it naturally.  I used to do the exact same thing.  I'm emotional and intensely hard on myself.  So, I felt even more at fault.

This is one of only the times that I haven't been able to "fix"  or "nurture" the situation to being better.  I couldn't love that child more, but at that moment my love wasn't enough.   We decided to take a break from it and come back to it, but  Mr. N came in at the perfect time and he "reset" Ben.

It was magical.

Ben later came to the dinner table having conquered the assignment beautifully.  He was happy and felt great about himself.  At this point I was thrilled that Mr. N was so successful.  And then, I realized that I had failed Ben.  I felt defeated.

I was thrilled for Ben's success, and I can't really explain it, but I was almost jealous that Mr. N could do it.  I wanted to be the saver.  I know that's not pretty or popular to admit, but it is true.  Mr. N even called me out on it.  I've been so used to being the one that could "fix" the kids, or who they would run to.  It makes me nervous and sad to see Ben fighting the same battles that I fought all those years ago.  It made me feel like it is somehow my fault that he got that "flaw" from me.  I remembered this....

"Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.
Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children."
Lamentations 2:19

I realized this...I have to forgive myself.  I am so hard on myself first and foremost.  I can forgive anyone in a split second, and I'm over it.  I've moved on.  But, to forgive myself is just brutal.  Really brutal.  I just can't do it.  And now, I have a child that does the same thing.  What a lesson before me.  To be able to teach my child about forgiving himself, I have to do it first to show him.  I have some work to do.

As the kids are headed back to school, with new classrooms, teachers, and friends, I revisited "The power of the praying parent."  I was reminded that my children are not mine. God drove this home with me.  Ben and Sam are not mine.  They are His.  I will not have all the answers.  Thank goodness I'm married to the person intended for me, because Mr. N is the perfect ying to my yang.  He swooped in to handle Ben like he would handle me.  I'm not great in those situations,  but my gift is loving with all that I am. I am one lucky woman to be loved for exactly who I am.  One lovely, loving, hot mess.  

When Ben felt success, his whole heart shined out of him.  My light glowed for him.  This motherhood thing is only getting harder.  Thank goodness I'm not alone.  And tomorrow is another day to love and forgive.  

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