Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday Favorites, church edition

Happy Friday!  This week has been spent at my church.  Literally.  It's a good thing that I consider that to be my home away from home.  I'm linking up with Momfessionals for this post.

Last weekend, one of our favorite families came to visit for dinner.  Not only are they are dear friends, they were our neighbors for a good amount of years.  (It's too early and I haven't had enough coffee yet to think back to how long they were actually there.)  They moved to Murfreesboro back at the end of May, and let's just say that it was bad when they left.  We couldn't even say goodbye to each other.  Over the summer we went to visit them for a few days, and then last weekend they came here.  We celebrated Myles' birthday with pizza and cake.

He's the one on the back row, the second from the left.  The little guy to the right of him is his younger brother, Zander.  We love this family so much and were so glad to get to see them, even for just a few hours, last Saturday night.

Last weekend, I was so glad to have cool weather!  Fall weather is my favorite.  Not only is that my favorite, but cozy sweaters are, too.  I was so chilled after church last Sunday that I came home and changed clothes, pulling out this favorite sweater from last year.

It feels like a blanket.  Seriously.  I'm pretty sure that right after this was taken, I fell asleep.  Sunday afternoon traditions are also my favorite.  It's the only day of the week that I always schedule a short nap.

Now begins the church part of this blog post.  On Monday afternoon, the older boys and I went to our church, to paint something for a seniors dinner that took place Thursday night.  It didn't take us that long to actually get it painted, but we had a great time while we waited just laughing at the antics of the boys.  This is my friend Cathy, who was so sweet to come help me with the sign.  She also helped during the dinner last night.

These might just be two of my very favorite pictures ever.  My boys crack me up, and not just the older two, but all of them.  On Wednesday night during a dress rehearsal, Noah was on a side section of the stage, just dancing his little heart out.  I didn't know that boy could move like that!  And Jonah cracks me up with his adult-like personality and his love of laughing.  I am so thankful to God for my boys!  They're all so sweet and make me incredibly proud.  They are DEFINITELY my favorite.

Tuesday and Wednesday didn't make the list of favorites for this week, but they were normal days, spent doing schoolwork, Bible study stuff (for me) and Wednesday night church/choir practice.  I will say that Thursdays are always a day that I love because of my Bible study friends.  I love my small group of ladies that I see every week, and I love our talks and our time of praying together.

Last night, we had to be at church at five.  The dinner that I keep mentioning was something put on for the senior citizens at our church, and a few weeks ago, I was asked to help organize/manage the teenagers that they wanted serving and performing.  I had to come up with a list of eight teenagers, four boys and four girls, and we met several weeks in a row for practice.  This event was called "The Fabulous 50's", and it was dinner and a performance after.  Our teenagers served our seniors, and they waited on them.  After the dinner portion of the evening, the teenagers headed backstage and performed.  The music was amazing, and all these teens did a great job.  I was incredibly proud of all of them, and their servant hearts.  Last night was the highlight of my week and I know it'll be a favorite memory for a long time to come.

This sweet lady is the wife of our new youth pastor!  I am so thankful for this family that God sent to us, and I have loved getting to know sweet Sunday.  (Yes, her name is Sunday.)  Precious.

These are the amazing and fabulous teenagers who helped last night.  Left to right are Emily, Kaylee, Emma, Nancy, Drew, Andrew, Graham and Alex.  The only one missing is Jonathan, who just about brought the house down while he sang, "In the Still of the Night".

These kiddos served with such willingness last night, and it almost brings tears to my eyes, thinking of them serving the seniors.

Jonathan was the one singing, and these boys lip synced the background vocals.  They also had to move in time with the music, and I was impressed!  Especially because my Drew (in the teal vest) cannot clap and sing at the same time.

This is Emma, my most favorite girl of all time.  I love her heart, her sense of humor, and last night, I loved her red lipstick!  We were showing off our lipstick marks on our cups.  We were proud.

It was such a fun night.  I ended up sitting out in the audience with my mom and step-dad, and I was glad that I got to watch.

Well, thanks for reading about our week!  I must wake the boys now.  ;)  Love to all!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

some things I do (almost) every day

I was inspired by a homeschooling mom's blog this morning to share a little of what every day looks like at my house.  I thought I would make my own little rendition of that post and share it with you.

I wake up earlier than my kids.  I love having my morning quiet time while they're still asleep, otherwise, I am distracted by breakfast and them playing with the dogs.  During this time I sit down with my cup of coffee, my Bible and my journal, and I begin my day.  (I will choose to keep things real here on the blog and confess that this morning, that time was very short.  I tossed and turned from three until six something this morning, so my brain feels fuzzy and my eyelids seem heavy.  I am surprised I didn't fall back to sleep.)

I love having a tidy home, so while I'm letting the dogs out in the morning time, I take some time and straighten up the couches and pillows, and I fold the blankets we've used.  My kids love blankets and think they have to use them every single time they're on the couch.  ;)  I also have these little twinkle lights on my fireplace mantle that make me really happy, so I turn them on every single day.  (I didn't turn them on in the summer months, but once Fall got here, I started turning them on again.)

I check my email and reply to what needs a response, I get on Facebook for a few minutes, I usually write a blog post, and I read the blogs I love on my blog's sidebar.

I freshen up the laundry in the dryer for about fifteen minutes before pulling it out and folding it, then I start another load.  I try to complete one full load every single day.  It helps me to be able to somewhat stay more on top of it.

I love waking up to a clean kitchen, so before I go to bed, I make sure that the counters and sinks are cleaned off.  (This didn't happen Monday night, so yesterday I did wake up to dishes in the kitchen sink.)

I make my bed almost every day.

I spend time doing whatever homework in my Bible study needs to be finished.  I usually have two going at once, so I delegate my time to do those on Monday through Wednesday.  Our Thursday's and Friday's go by really fast, so on those days, I spend the time I would be doing homework doing light cleaning around the house.  (I love to start and end a weekend with a clean house, so we tend to clean on Monday's and Friday's.)

I make something hot to eat, either for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I light a candle, I plug in a scented wall plug in thing, or I spray room spray.  I love for my house to smell good (NOT like dogs), and depending on the season or what I have on hand, I do one of those things.

I turn on lamps.  I have some cute little lamps that I love, so much to the dismay of my husband, I turn most of them on.  There are always two or three on in the living room (depending on where my kids are doing school work), and one at the top of the stairs.

I turn on my front porch lights every night before or after dinner.

I love to open my front door, but I always do this if the kids are outside.  Crash always sits on the welcome rug and cries to be let out with them, but we can't let him out without a leash in the front.

I watch a morning news show, then the television gets turned off for the rest of the daytime hours.  Although, sometimes, the boys like to eat lunch in the living room and catch up on a show that's been recorded.

I do something to unwind, so whether that takes place in the form of a book or in the form of the evil that comes straight from the pit of hell (Netflix), I spend time relaxing.

I tell my husband and my kids that I love them.  I also try to find something that I can build them up with.  Ephesians 4:29 says that we shouldn't let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to what they need.  I try to focus more on the positive than the negative.  I try to be a listening ear to my husband, whenever he needs to talk.  I kiss Toddley on the lips, sometimes briefly, sometimes not so briefly.  ;)

I write in my journal, about what we've done that day, what I read in the Bible and other thoughts or ideas that pop into my brain.  I also keep a running list of things to do or books to read or blog post ideas there.

When we're all home, we usually spend time together on the couches.  We talk, we laugh, they wrestle with together (BOYS.), we watch television, they play the game on their phones together that they're addicted to.

I go to bed at a reasonable hour.  I don't always fall asleep at a reasonable hour, but I do try.  (See comment about the evil that comes straight from the pit of hell.)

Now that I've shared my somewhat daily routine, what does yours look like?  I really am interested, so leave some comment love!

Love to all.

Monday, October 5, 2015

weekend update

It was a beautiful weekend in The Ville.  I was very hopeful that the lovely fall weather would stick around this week, but alas, it will be warming up again today.

We started off our weekend by seeing my daddy for the first time in almost a month.  He's been out of town, and we have missed him!  He met Callie for the first time.  This one is smitten by her.

They're so cute.  As I am writing this, Callie is playing fetch with herself.  She has this tiny bouncy ball that she keeps on dropping and then chasing around like a mad dog.  I suppose it doesn't take much to amuse her.

We went to lunch that day and then made a giant trip to Costco.  It's been a few weeks, and the pantry was looking a little bare.  That night, the boys and I went to my friend's house to watch the local football game.  It was a little chilly, but perfect football weather.  It ended up being three of us moms who sat out there, while some of our kids played in the yard.  Graham was my only one to go inside the gate.  The rest of the boys don't care that much about sitting in the bleachers with all the students.  (Introvert much?)

When we came home, I watched an episode or two of Gilmore Girls before going to bed.  Todd was at a local fair, hanging out with his friend who was there doing sound.

On Saturday, the older boys had a scrimmage at Germantown Baptist, but I didn't go.  I stayed home and did some laundry, watched tv and the boys played outside almost all day long.  That night our old neighbors and dear friends came over to celebrate Myles' birthday.  We had pizza and cake, and Myles and Zander spent the night.  It was so good seeing our friends again!

We have missed them so much.  The boys stayed up way too late, but I could hear them laughing as I went to bed early, because we had to be at church at the crack of dawn.

Yesterday was our nineteenth wedding anniversary.  We have now been married as many years old we were when we got married.  (We were nineteen, in case you're not up for math this early.)  It was another day at church for us, though, with the usual activities and lunch out with some sweet friends.

I was freezing when I came home from lunch and put on this sweater to help me warm up.  It's so cozy and blanket-like.  

The rest of the family was at middle school girls soccer game.  I stayed home and took a nap.  :)  It might be one of my best Sunday activities.  It was a great and restful weekend.

I hope your day is great!  Love to all.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Favorites, grateful edition

Good Friday morning!  I am excited about this weekend and cannot believe it's already Friday.  I'm linking up with Momfessionals for this post.

Hands down, one of my favorite moments from this past week was seeing all these teenagers dressed up for the homecoming dance.  I love these people so much, and it is fun seeing them having fun together.

Another favorite moment with some of the same people, you will notice, was having a picnic after church on Sunday with our Bible fellowship class.  We were going to go out for lunch, but they requested a picnic at a park instead.  We are going on a girls only camping trip with them in a little over a week, and I am excited for that!  I can't wait to spend a couple of days with them in God's beautiful creation.

My heart is always so full after coming away from time with them.  I have known a lot of these girls since kindergarten, so it's been amazing to see them grow up into such a Godly young ladies.  I would be perfectly content if my oldest son marries one of them.  (Wishful thinking?)

I discovered that the blood moon was my favorite.

After community group on Sunday night, the boys and I drove to my mom's and step-dad's to see this moon, but the cloud cover was too dense.  We drove home and we could see it.  It was so cool, because at first it was totally eclipsed and almost pitch black.  Then you could see the eclipse moving and before we knew it, we could all see the redness of the moon.  A few minutes after I took this picture, it had returned to the moon we normally see.  I am continually blown away by God and His creation.  This was just another one of those favorite moments.

I loved sharing this moment with the boys.

I have gotten glimpses of future multiple dog moments that are blissfully calm.  This was one of those moments, and it's one of my favorite pictures I have of them to date.


Aren't they adorable?  They love to play with each other.  Crash is totally being paid back for the torment he brought upon sweet, old Andy, when he was just a pup.  Crash looks at me sometimes as if he's saying, "Mom?  Can't you make her give me back my toy?"  But I know he loves having a frisky playmate.  Callie is such a good puppy.  She's only had a couple of accidents in the house, and her huge ears and paws make our hearts melt.  She is so clumsy with her giant paws, that we can't help but laugh at her.  She is constantly tripping, running into things and falling right over.

The older boys soccer games have been some of my favorite moments from this week.  Monday night was chilly (!!!) and I had fun sitting with my friends and laughing over some of their antics.

Also on the list of favorites from the week is the fact that I was able to eat lunch with two sweet friends this week.  On Tuesday I make a giant pot of homemade broccoli cheese soup and my friend Abbey came to eat with us.  On Wednesday, my friend Scottie and I had plans to eat together.  She works at our church and we love to talk (and talk and talk and talk), so to save on drive time, we just went into a side room at the church and ate lunches we brought from home.  I loved being able to spend time with these sweet friends and get all caught up.  I would love to start making that a normal thing.  I think I might start making a goal list each month and adding things like that to it.

This might be my favorite new thing.  A friend gave me this as a gift and I love it!

A group of us started a new Bible study this week with the youth ministry leaders at church, and it might be my favorite non-Precept way study of all time.  It's on Ephesians 6 and it's called The Armor of God, by Priscilla Shirer.

This was me doing the homework one day this week.  I've already done most of it, because it's that good.  I'm doing another Bible study at our homeschool group each Thursday on 1 Peter.  It's that Precept study I mentioned above.  The reason that is my favorite way of studying the Bible is because you learn to study God's word, word by word.  Have you ever read a passage in Scripture and noticed one word used a lot of times in a small amount of verses?  Well, there's usually a reason why, and I have learned to stop and look for those repeated words and to discover their original meanings, whether in the Hebrew or the Greek.  I've learned more than I've ever learned before, in studying that way.

But this Armor of God is no light study.  It's nowhere near the amount of homework, so it's easier for me to do, but I am loving it so far.

Last, but not least, my favorite moment from this week just happened last night.  My sweet friend is married to the event planner at Hope Presbyterian, a huge church in this area, and he is able to get us into concerts for free, with really good seats.  I am so grateful for my friend, and for her husband, for giving us tickets.  Even the cheap seats last night would have cost us almost $100, so you see why we don't do things like this often.  I am so thankful for their generosity!  So last night I took the boys, along with my sister Trish, to see Colson Dixon, Britt Nicole and Toby Mac.  Todd was going to go, but there was a men's event at church and then he stayed late to help a friend with some things.  When I found out Todd wasn't going, I asked my sister Trish to go with us.  We had a blast.  Here are some pictures.

Colson Dixon is my favorite.  We have loved him since he was on American Idol.  He is unabashed in his worship, and when he sings, you have no doubt that he is only there to worship God.  I love his heart.  I love Britt Nicole's voice, but I don't care for her music that much.  I couldn't really hear her singing about God, either, which is a little weird, since she sings Christian music.  Maybe that was just me not hearing, but she is definitely entertaining.  Toby Mac came last, and like Colson, he left no doubt in my mind Who he was there for.  And, can I just say here, that I have loved him since I was a teenager and he was the lead singer in D.C. Talk?!  #flashbackFriday

My sweet Noah and I snagged a quick picture with this guy before we left.  Isn't my Noah handsome?  He has the sweetest heart of any kid I have ever known, and trust me, I have known a lot.  He is precious.

It's been a great week, and the weekend is looking to play out the same.  I am excited about a few things we'll be doing.  :)

Thank you for sticking with my blog and reading all my posts.  I pray that my heart is always transparent on here, and that I never come across as braggy.  I have NOTHING to boast in, except for my sweet Jesus.  I hope you love Him, too.  Love to all.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

on the household stuff

Good morning!  I am dragging a tiny bit today, because I was up too late last night.  (Netflix problems.)  This seems to be the story of my life lately.

Yesterday was one of those days when I was in the kitchen all day.  I love days like that, when I make something yummy for lunch AND for dinner.  My kids love it, too.  I had gotten the ingredients to make homemade broccoli cheese soup the night before, so that was what was my plan for lunch.  When lunch with one friend got postponed until today, another dear friend came over and ate with us.  It was lovely, being able to catch up with each other.  Here is a picture from the blog where I got the recipe from:

The blog is called Life in Grace.  Here is a link, in case you're interested in the recipe.  It was delicious.

Also while in the kitchen, I made dinner for the family.  Last night was a bit crazy~two kids had to be at a rehearsal at our church, and my new Bible study started last night.  I was cooking dinner at four and eating by 4:45.  We had beer cheddar Joe's for dinner, and all you have to do is type that into Google and Mix-and-Match Mama, Shay Shull, will appear.  Make them.  They're delicious.  (My only addition to the recipe is that salt is needed at the end.  And my kids love a good dash of Texas Pete hot sauce.)

I've mentioned before that if you find beer in my fridge, this is why.  We don't drink it, but I cook with it.  I also use it for a roast recipe I sometimes make.

I love being in the kitchen~I love cooking, and I always have.  Being a homeschool mom helps.  I am home, so I might as well.  I do go through dry spells with the meals I make, like when it's eight hundred degrees in the summer months, but every other time of year, I love cooking.

One of the reasons I love being in my kitchen is because of my handy dandy little under-the-cabinet kitchen radio.  It looks exactly like this one pictured below.
Every single time I am in the kitchen, I have this turned on.  I listen while I do laundry, while I cook and do kitchen chores, I even sometimes keep it turned on while I'm in other parts of the house.  It's tiny, but the speakers are great.  I had another one of these ages ago, but I wore it out.  I told Todd one Christmas a few years ago that I needed him to buy me something electronic that year, and he was all over it.  He installed it the same day I opened it.  I literally keep it turned on more often than not.  To what station, you wonder?

To none other than K-Love.  It's positive and encouraging and uplifting, just like the advertisement says.  I love having praise music on.  Ask my kids~I am forever singing away, in my own little world, in the kitchen.  The station is different, depending on where you live.  If you're local to me, it's 94.9.  

Those are just a couple of reasons why I don't mind doing boring and mundane housework.  Anything to help that along, right?

Thanks for reading.  Love to all.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

other random things

All I mentioned from our weekend was the homecoming that took place on Saturday night, but we did do some other things that were fun.  Some of our friends live in a house that backs up to the football field, so Friday night, we went to their house and sat and watched the game from a great viewpoint.  My only complaint was that the scoreboard needed to be see-through.  ;)  From there, we went to another friend's house, who had a bunch of kids in their front yard, jumping on a bouncy house.  We stayed and visited with them for a bit, but I ended up coming on home and they rode home with Graham.

Have I mentioned that I am addicted to Gilmore Girls?  It's taken over my love of books.  I am almost through with season four.  I am already dreading the end, because I have heard that the last season was disappointing.  :/  The reason I even mention this is because I used to go to bed and read.  But now, I go to bed and watch Netflix.

My older boys are playing soccer.  It was very last minute, but the games are fun to watch.  There are only two teams for their age division, and it's co-ed, so they will just play that one team all season.  They had two games last night.

Drew tried playing the goalie, but he didn't love it, so another girl came in to relieve him.  I was proud of him for trying!

On Sunday, after morning church, we had made plans to go to lunch together with our class, but the girls decided they wanted to go on a picnic instead.  Everyone brought something to share.  We had sandwiches on fancy bread, with lettuce and tomato, chips, and homemade goodies for dessert.  It was so much fun, but they were all tired from homecoming, so we ended very early so they could all go home and do their homework and nap.

A few of the girls couldn't make it, but this is the majority of our class.  Are they not adorable?!  I love them so much!

Also that day, after community groups ended, we went out to my mom's and step-dad's house to view the blood moon through the fancy telescope.  But when we got there, there were too many clouds.  They were so sweet to make nacho's for us, though, and there was chili they'd eaten for dinner that we had.  It was so yummy.  We left not too long after we got there, and by the time we got home, we could see the blood moon!

Isn't it pretty?!  It was so cool to keep seeing the progress of the lunar eclipse.  The boys were amazed, as was I.

Last up is the picture I snapped of the dogs yesterday afternoon.  We all know that I do not love puppies.  I like to look at puppies, but I do not love them.  Well, I haven't been too fond of Callie because of that little tidbit.  But over the weekend, she has proceeded to win me over some, and as she starts to understand more and more, I am finding myself liking her.  Somewhat.  ;)

I think they look so sweet in this picture!  They were both just hanging out on their beds, playing with their toys.

Well.  I need to get this day started, so have a great one!  Love to all.

Monday, September 28, 2015

weekend update, homecoming edition

This weekend was all about sports.  Friday night was spent watching our local football team from the backyard of a friend's house.  There was food and plenty of fellowship, and by the end of the night, when we ended at a another friend's house from church, I was thanking God for the gift of our church family.  I cannot imagine life without them.  It was a really fun night.

Saturday, Graham and Drew had a soccer game (they're playing on our church's co-ed team with a bunch of teenagers), then they ran a couple errands, and came home to chill for the rest of the afternoon.  That night was the much anticipated homecoming dance.  

Please forgive me for the amount of pictures I am about to show.  

Left to right are Graham, Nicole, Drew, Emma, Abigail and Andrew.  They were the ones who made most of the plans and the decision to go as a group, but there were some others that joined them.

They looked so nice!  Katie is the sweet friend who went and helped the girls with their makeup as they got ready, and we wanted her in the pictures.  On the left of the above picture are Sara, Katie and Major, with Katie in the middle.  

She is so loved by all of her friends.  She was laughing so hard as they did this to her.  

Drew and his two moms, Emma's mom and my sweet friend Laurie.  I am pretty sure he loves us equally.  He is as comfortable with her as he is with me almost, especially ever since she sat next to him on his first plane ride to Guatemala.  

If I had a daughter, I would want her to be just like Emma.  I adore this sweet girl!  I am forever telling Drew that he had better treat her right.  

Nicole and Graham.  A couple of things I loved about how they all looked were their bow ties and the girls wearing Converse with their dresses.  They are absolutely adorable.  And that is my kind of girl.  I so would have done this in high school if I had thought about it for half a minute.

I love these three!  They're all such sweet friends, and Emma texts Graham almost as much as she texts Drew.

Drew and Andrew.  

Love!  I loved their corsages.  Laurie took this picture.

And last, but not least, is this picture Toddley took of me and my boys.

I can hardly believe they're old enough to be taking dates to a homecoming dance, that they're driving vehicles (one with us, one without), that they're both taller than me, that they're both teenagers.  It seems like they should still be little.  But I do love this new and exciting phase of life we're in, and it's one that I cherish every moment.  All too soon, these days will be a sweet memory.  My friend Missy reminded me of that Saturday after they'd all driven off, and I stood there and cried as she told me.  

The days are long, but the years are short.  

If you're a mom to little's, hang in there.  You will blink, and then you'll be at the stage I'm in right now.  

Love to all.  

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  This week has gone by with lightning speed, and yet it also has seemed long.  Perhaps because I spent a couple of days doing nothing that required getting out of my house.  I am linking up with Momfessionals for this post.

My Friday Favorites post takes me from Denver, Colorado to my little home in The Ville.

My first favorite moment from the past week was seeing my beautiful nice Erika get married to Kyle.

Their wedding was beautiful and I am so glad I got to be there.  We had planned to go as a family, but we were forced to make the decision between my car or the wedding.  The car trumped the wedding, because I need it every day.

Another favorite from being out of town was going to Breckenridge last Saturday.  I mentioned this adorable bookstore in my last post.  It's definitely one of my favorite pictures that I took while I was out of town.

I wish I could go back and revisit this store and go inside.  Just to see what the inside looked like.

One of my new favorite things around my house is this cute towel that my sister Debi bought me while we were in Castle Rock on Sunday.

I have loved seeing it hang on the oven everyday since my return home.  I do love fun home decorations~one of my favorite things to do is dressing my home up a little.

This week, while cleaning out my purse, I came across an old gift card someone gave me last December.  I *might* have enjoyed a little mini shopping spree on Amazon, on some of my favorite items.  With the gift card, I bought a new set of Stabilo pens, a Bible for Noah, and this book.

I can't wait to read it.  It's a collection of stories about life around the table, and included in the book are some of this author's favorite recipes.  She says that after reading it the first time, she hopes that it gets stained and that the pages become well loved with splashes of the wine we use to cook with.  It's meant to be read, then used, as a way to connect with friends and family around the dining table.

Lastly for this week of favorites was seeing my blog's pageviews number.

Who would have thought this little ole blog would receive those kinds of views?  My step dad has been keeping up with the stats for me, and he has been amazed as he's watch the numbers grow each week.  I don't know if I'm amazed, but I am definitely humbled by God.  I pray that this blog always points to Him.  Apart from Him, I can do nothing.  All that my life consists of is a gift from Him, and I thank Him for the work He has done in my life, and in the lives of my family.  I pray that He is always honored and lifted high in the writing that takes place on this blog.

Thanks for reading!  Love to all.