Friday, March 30, 2018

Friday Favorites



Happy Friday.  I'm linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals for this blog post. 

Good Friday.  My kids used to ask, "Mom, why is this called GOOD Friday, when it was the day that Jesus was crucified?"  Such deep questions from such (then) little people.  I never knew for sure how to answer that, either, because I had thought the same thing.  But now I know that it is called "good" because this was the day that Jesus died for our sins.  And this was the day that hope was born for those of us who believe in Him, who place our faith in Him. 

To become a believer and follower of Jesus is easy.  That being said, no one can even call on His name unless the Holy Spirit draws them.  First Corinthians 12:3 tells us this. 

Therefore I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

When He stirs you, you must first believe that Jesus is who He said He is.  There is only one way to heaven, and it is through Jesus.  He is the way, the truth, and the life, we are told in John 14:6. 

Once you believe, you must realize that you are a sinner, and you can only have salvation through His grace.  There is nothing so bad that He won't forgive you for, and there is nothing you can do win His favor.  We are sinners.  When Jesus died on the cross, His death cancelled out the sin of the world.  Sin essentially means separation from God.  And the wages of sin is death, we are told in Romans 6:23, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

After you believe, after you realize you're a sinner and have asked forgiveness of all the sin you've committed (this is called repentance or confessing your sin), you place your faith in Jesus. 

I'll tell you what this looks like in my life.  Even though I know there is nothing I can do to win the favor of Jesus, I know that I want to look like Him to people who don't know Him.  I want my life to reflect Him, because I realize, that I may be the only glimpse of Jesus that some people ever see.  I pray every single day, sometimes on and off all day, but sometimes only for a few minutes.  I read my bible almost every single day.  Sometimes I miss on Sunday when I'm in a hurry.  Reading the bible (the word of God) helps me to know Him more.  The more I know of Him, the more I want to know.  It's the plumb line for how I live my life.  For instance, when the greatest commandment tells me to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul,  and mind and to love others as I love myself (Matthew 22:36-40), I really try to do that.  That means that I try to not put anything above the Lord in my life, and I try my best to love others, regardless of who they are or what their life looks like.  My job is not to judge anyone on how they live their life, that is up to God.  It's okay to hate the sin, it's NEVER okay to hate the person.  Most people who sin in such ways are completely lost and are not believers.  Why should I expect an unbeliever to act like a believer?  I'm the one who is supposed to look different from the world, and not just different, but the polar opposite.

I do attend church services each week, but it doesn't say anywhere in the bible that I must go to be a believer and a follower of Jesus.  However, I WANT to go all that I can, because my pastor pours into my life once a week.  I love to worship collectively with the body of believers, and I love the fellowship that going brings to me.  My very best friends come from there, and I am so thankful for the fact that the Lord led our family to attend where we now attend.  I also love to serve others where we attend.  I do that by helping lead in youth, and by helping lead worship in choir and on a praise team.

Even though I live my life this way, I am still a wretched sinner, and the ONLY thing good in me is Jesus.  That is all.  My thoughts, my heart, my words, my actions--they are all wicked, and our heart especially is deceitful above all else, we are told in Jeremiah 17:9.  Now even though I'm a sinner, I don't go out and commit adultery or kill people, but you know what?  If I tell a lie, or if I have a mean thought, that is the same as those others sins, in the eyes of the Lord.  There is not one sin that is any better or worse than another.  That's pretty sobering, isn't it?

Here are some more scriptures about this:

James 2:10
Galatians 5:19-21

There are a lot more, so if you want to read them for yourself, click here

Even though I do these things, I am extremely flawed, and will NEVER be perfect.  We are to be holy because He is holy, and though I try, most days I miserably fail.  The point is not perfection.  The point is to never give up and to keep trying.  I am human, and I sin all the time.  If I'm driving and someone cuts me off, and then I think or say something mean about them-that is sin.  When I sin, I confess it to the Lord and ask Him to forgive me and change me.  I ask Him in prayer everyday to keep my sin always before and to convict me very quickly when I sin against Him.  (I got that from Psalm 51.) 

And then I move on.  I ask Him to help me in my thoughts, my words, my actions.  I ask Him to let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart to be acceptable to Him (Psalm 19:14), and I ask Him to help me walk in submission to His authority in my life, which essentially means not my will, but His will to be done in my life.  That means I have to always go back and apologize.  I'm usually the first one to do this, too, because I am so convicted if I don't.  He keeps me humble in this way, and I am glad for that, if it means that others will see Him in me. 

And He is so good to always help me in these ways that I ask of Him. 

Also, I mentioned conviction--that is not at all the same as shame.  He will never shame us, and Romans 8:1 tells us there is no condemnation (shame) for those of us who are in Christ Jesus. 

By His loving kindness, He lets me live my life the way I do, each and every day.  It's nothing in me that lives this way, I promise, it is only His Spirit that is in me (and in all of those who believe) and that leads me and guides me.  He provides me with opportunities to minister to others wherever I go.  He gives me boldness to share of His love and He has even led me to pray for someone in the middle of an aisle at Target.  I call those divine appointments, and He gave me one such appointment in Kroger yesterday, but I'll write more about that next week.  I just live life and ask Him to use me, friends, and then I trust that He does. 

I pray that all of this is sparking something in you that maybe you've been feeling for a bit, maybe a tug from the Holy Spirit, and that this is something you want for yourself.  If that is you, will you please reach out to me?  I would love to talk to you more about all of this.  You can comment on here, or you can email me privately at allboys@gmail.com.  Please, act on that tugging in your inner being today, before one more day goes by.  We are never promised tomorrow, my friends, so act on this today. 

This weekend is perfect timing, don't you think?  One reason why Resurrection Sunday is so sweet to me is that it will always be a reminder of when I was baptized in that service a few years ago.  I had been a believer and follower of Jesus for a while already, but I had never publicly proclaimed that, so when my twins came to me about wanting to be baptized, I thought it would be amazing if we could experience that together.  My friend and then children's pastor at our church Austin is who baptized me, and he and his whole family will always be near and dear to my heart, even though they're no longer here in Collierville. 

Thanks for reading today, friends.  Love to all. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

life lately

This week has been abnormally busy for me.  I usually don't go to many places during the week, but this week has been different.  I feel like it all started last week, somehow, but I'm pretty sure that's not the case.

On Monday, I got to go visit one of my very favorite places~the hair salon!  I love getting my hair done, and I was way overdue for some highlights to cover all the gray.  I haven't had it done since October...I didn't really mean to wait that long, but such is life, sometimes.


I love it.  And yes, you do see some gray mixed in there with the blonde.  It feels so extravagant to do this, and it really is.  For years I tried to do my own, or my mom would do it (and she did a great job!), but we never had the right stuff, like the dryer or light to sit under while it processed.  This goes by surprisingly fast, when I go see Ginger, the sweet friend who does my hair.  It only takes about an hour, even with all my hair, and I'm back out the door in no time.  I always leave her with wet hair, because if I can, I prefer to let my hair dry naturally.  Sometimes I help it along with a hairdryer, though, and then I end up looking Whoopi Goldberg.

Also on Monday, our friends and old neighbors came by to visit for a while.  They live near Nashville now, and it is always so good to see them and remember days gone by.  They are still some of our dearest friends of all time, and the ones we went camping with all the time.  We have so many fun memories together.  We spent part of our time laughing at things that happened over the years.  These were the neighbors right next door, so for years, we had a path worn between our houses.  Every weekend, one night every week, we would meet and eat dinner, play cards and swim.  To this day, I am probably more comfortable with Katie and Travis than just about anyone else on earth, other than my husband and family.  They've seen me at all stages of life~best, worst, put together, sick, looking like death, dressed up, in pajamas, you name it, we've gone through it together. 

Those are the best kind of friends.  I miss them still, even after years of them being gone. 

On Tuesday, we packed up the animals and left the house to spend the day at my in-love's.  We bug bombed the attic and fireplace for the wasp problem we've been having.  I'm thrilled to report that it seemed to be pretty successful.  We've seen only one alive and several dead.  The dogs all loved being at Mimi's.




I still cannot believe three dogs reside inside my house.  Crash is at the top, then Chip, and Callie is the pretty girl in the bottom picture.  They're all so good, though, and really well behaved.  They saved us that day at Mimi's, from impending death by stray cat and the mail person.


This is where Crash stands or sits guarding Mimi's and Papa's house.

That night was the annual sheriff's department appreciation dinner.  I didn't take pictures.  Well, I took one of Rachel and Graham, but I'm pretty sure she would kill me because she didn't like her hair in the ones I took.

I think she looked beautiful, but I know what it's like to hate a picture of yourself, so I'll not post, out of respect for her.

Graham went because he is going through classes to be on the sheriff's department as well.  He is now certified to save lives, deliver babies, place patients on spine boards, and a bunch of other stuff.  When this is all over, he will graduate at the end of April, and will be a first responder.

Also, my husband was awarded an outstanding service certificate that night.  I was so proud of him!

Yesterday, I needed to run to Lifeway, so my mom and I went together.  We ate lunch afterward, then I came home to make sure Drew didn't die in the shower.  (He's still on crutches.)  I met Graham at the Dairy Queen halfway between our house and their shop, because he forgot his clothes to change into that night for class, then we came back home.  Jonah had gone to work that day with them, but he came home again with me.  Missy and Rachel came over to start our new bible study (!!), then Todd and I inhaled a quick dinner, and I left for praise team practice at church, to prepare for Resurrection Sunday. 



This dog is such a baby!  He is incredibly spoiled, but we love him so.  He sleeps literally all day long, and thinks if he's still, he should be in a lap.  He loves to cuddle. 

I was only at church for an hour last night, then I came back home and ate a bowl of cereal.  I was in bed by nine thirty, because all day yesterday, I was exhausted from being up half the night before.  (I hate the weather in Memphis, and all of us are suffering from sinus problems right now.) 

Today I am taking Drew to an orthopedic doctor to check his ankle out again, because it seems like it's not as good as it should be.  He is still really swollen and bruised, and we just want to make sure everything is okay.  And tonight I'm cooking dinner and getting back into my pj's at an early hour.  I'm pretty sure my husband will be back at church to run through the lighting for Sunday. 

So you see why it's been a busy week for us.  It's been great so far, though, and today I'm anxious to hear what the doctor says about Drew.  I know he's sick of crutches. 

Thanks for reading, friends!  Love to all. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tuesday

It's so weird to be writing on a different computer, but I am sitting at my father-in-love's desk, at his computer, for this blog post.  But first, let me tell you about our weekend.

Because of Drew's sprained ankle, we were limited to our activities this weekend.  I had the thought of asking my mom if we could invite ourselves over for dinner so he could use their huge walk-in shower, so we did that.  We had a yummy dinner.  It always is, when we go over there.  My stepdad made a delicious chicken enchilada casserole (Drew was in food heaven), guacamole, queso, and warm tortilla chips.  Mom made a homemade chocolate cake for dessert.  After dinner Drew took his time in the shower, then we left shortly after.  (Also, look at this adorable hanging arrangement my mom sent me home with!)


On Saturday, Todd came home.  I got dinner ready for the crock pot, then we just kinda laid around until it was time to leave to get him from the airport.  And then we had a dud of a meeting once we all got there.  We all got split up and had to call each other to meet back at my car.  It's a long story, but we were glad to see him.  We had roast for dinner that night, but not the traditional kind.  It was so good.

Everyone else went to church Sunday, except for Drew and me.  I stayed with him in case he needed help (turns out he did not), and watched the service via live stream.  I'm so glad for that!  It was so good.  I had choir that afternoon, but I only stayed for an hour so I could get back home and get ready for our community group movie night and dinner at my house.


I help lead the ninth grade girls in community group each Sunday night, and because we had just finished the book of Esther in the bible, we thought it'd be fun to watch One Night With the King and have a yummy (NON PIZZA) dinner.  And all these pretty girls showed up!  It was such a fun night, and that movie is still one of my very favorites.

I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this new batch of girls this school year in community group, and Lord willing, we will see them through their senior year of high school.  This night is my favorite church activity of all.  I'm sad we will not be meeting again until the end of May.  The timing worked out perfectly for us to finish Esther and end on this night. 

And that leads me to last night.  Or, actually, a few weeks ago.  We've been noticing a LOT of wasps in and around our house.  One weekend while Todd took Jonah and Noah to drive, in the forty five minutes they were gone, I probably killed close to twenty of those mean little suckers.  Todd saw a nest outside our living room window, so he sprayed it and knocked it down, and it got better for a bit.  Then last week, I started noticing a few more here and there, but in more random places.  He went into the attic Saturday night when he got home and saw a TON of them up there.  A few chased him.  I actually saw them around the corner of our house while I was taking Chip outside, and then he went and saw them hovering around the chimney.  So, while I was getting my hair done yesterday, I was talking to my friend and hairstylist, and she recommended having a fire to try to smoke them out. 


So this was me, last night, in front of the fire while also feeling the air conditioning blow on me.  It got so warm that the air would kick on.  This morning all of us (and the animals) came over to my in-love's house while Todd set off some bug bombs in the attic.  We have to be out for four hours, so we're here hanging out until about one thirty. 

I pray this works and that those things are GONE.  I detest wasps.  And I'm super paranoid about them now, thanks to our little infestation. 

That's about it for this beautiful Tuesday.  Thanks for reading!

Love to all. 


Friday, March 23, 2018

Friday Favorites


Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals for this blog post. 

I'll start in reverse, but here are a few of my favorite moments/things from throughout the last week.

One is this scene that I sat and admired last Friday.


Dad's house will always be home to me.  We went to his house last week for lunch, and we enjoyed sitting and chatting afterward.  I love this fireplace!  I've sat on that hearth, I've laid in front it it to warm by the fire, and when I was young, it was the stage on which I loved perform.  I was never shy. 

The view at his house will forever be my favorite. 


We bought a new (to us) chair last week, and it's my favorite that we've had yet.  We've gone through many recliners, but this one takes the cake.  It's so comfy and it feels like a hug when you sit down.  It rocks, it swivels, and it reclines in a way that makes you want to take a nap.  Also, how adorable is my Chip??

And, if you know me, you know how much I love bright, happy colors.  I've been slightly obsessed with color ever since my elementary school days.  Did anyone else ever sit and study their box of Crayola crayons?  I would memorize the color names.  I still do that today, but with OPI nail polish colors. 



These verses are some of my favorites, and have brought me comfort many times throughout this past week.  To read more about that, read my last post. 


I admitted to the world (not really, but to Instagram) on Monday that doing laundry is one of my favorite things.  It really is.  I love mostly the process of folding clothes nice and neat, and making tidy little piles.  I realize that makes me unique, but I have loved doing this ever since I started having kids. 


We've had a pretty slow week around here, what with it being the week after spring break.  On Wednesday morning at 3:15 a.m., Noah and I took Todd to the airport.  He is in Portland, Oregon for work, and for the rest of the day, even though I took a few naps, I could not stay alert and felt like a zombie.  This was me at seven that night, drinking coffee in my favorite cup from my sister Debi, trying to stay awake until nine, when it was acceptable for me to go to bed.  That is what two and a half hours of sleep will do to me.  I never could stay up like that, even when I was young and going to slumber parties.  I was ALWAYS the one my friends would prank, because I'd be laying on the floor in my sleeping bag, comatose.


I'm still reading along in my bible, in chronological order, and yesterday I made it into Joshua, one of my favorite Old Testament books. 

Also, this bible is still my favorite that I've ever had.  It's the She Reads Truth bible, and it's the gray linen one.  Here's a link, if you want to check it out for yourself.  This would make a GREAT graduation gift for a young lady.  The margins are wide, so you can take notes, the pages are not too thin, and there are beautiful illustrations throughout.  I cannot recommend this one enough, and I know my bibles, y'all.  They're my thing, and I buy a new one, or pick out one as a gift, every couple of years.  My goal is for my boys to have them all someday when I'm gone, and I write out prayers for them in the margins, and explain a little what some of my favorite passages are talking about. 


I'll end with a bang.  This was us last night, waiting on Drew to be x-rayed.  Last night was his first game in the men's three on three basketball league at church, and he went to make a shot and fell really hard on that ankle that looks like there's a golf ball under the skin.  He laid there and didn't get up, so my father-in-love went out to take a look for himself (he was a first responder and drove an ambulance for many years), and told me that I needed to take him to get it checked out.  It's not broken, and it's definitely sprained, but he also possibly tore some ligaments and tendons.  Hopefully in a few days he will feel better and be able to walk on it again, but until then, they sent him home with it wrapped and on crutches.  And, if you know Drew at all, you know the crutches present a whole other set of things to worry about.  The plan is for him to just stay upstairs as long as he can, and to come down only when he wants a change of scenery.  Bless him.  He actually just woke up, and is in excruciating pain.  I took him some more ibuprofen, some ice for his water and a cup of coffee.  He's icing it and has it propped up as I write this, but I would love if you'd say a prayer for him, if you're one of my praying friends.

Also, I have to brag on God, because I don't usually go to his games.  My nerves cannot handle them, but this was his first game in this particular league, and though I'd made plans for us to go to my in-love's house for dinner, when I found out about his game, I cancelled and they decided to come here.  So we were all at the game together and were going to eat at Chick Fil A afterward.  I'm so very thankful that they were there!  I trust Wiley's opinion, for one thing, so when he told me to take him for x-rays, I knew I needed to go.  Also, after the game (which they ended up winning for Drew, his teammates said), they met me with Jonah and Noah at the clinic we were at, and stayed there with me until we were finished.  Then after that, we went and got out Chick Fil A. 

I give all that credit to God, because I believe that He really does work out all the little details and timing issues that I can never see beforehand.  He knew that I needed to be at the game, so He had me there.  He knew that Drew would get hurt, so of course my father-in-love was there, even though my mom-in-love was exhausted and running on little to no sleep from the night before.  I have said for years, that I do not believe in coincidences.  Even though these games are casual and laid back, and not really for spectators, we were all there last night because God is in control.  I realize that if you're not a believer, you may think this sounds kind of silly for me to say, but I know the truth, and I know and believe with all of my heart that God sees and knows everything.  I don't always understand why certain things happen, but it's never my place to question Him, and I know that He is sovereign.  That is always my answer for when people ask why horrible things happen to good people.  God is sovereign.

And in the grand scheme of life, and even in the Goodwin family right now (see previous blog post), this is no big deal.  But I will never pass up a chance to boast on my Jesus.  There is nothing too big, or too small, for Him to work in that situation.  I am so very thankful for His hand of protection, and we can always find reasons to give Him praise.  I said that to Drew last night.  We can always find things to be thankful for, even in the midst of excruciating pain.

Thanks for reading my blog, friends.  Have a great weekend.  Love to all. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

an introduction and a favor



This is my sister in love, Tracy.  She's married to Tim, my husband's brother.  They have three sons, ranging in age from six to fourteen.  I tell you about her and share this picture of us because I wanted to tell you a little about her, for anyone who reads this without following me on social media, and so you could have a face to put with a name of who I am going to ask you to help me pray for.  (Tra is on the left.)

For the past twenty years, Tracy has had a rare heart disease.  She has undergone several surgeries and procedures since then to either repair something or to check on the condition of her heart and arteries.  (This is a very condensed version.)  Her heart has stopped beating several times during these things throughout the years.  She knew that someday her heart would just give up, and she's already far surpassed what doctors said about her and her condition.  We were given news last week that this time has suddenly come upon her, and last Thursday, she was admitted into Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.  

Since being there, she has undergone rigorous testing and as of yesterday, her name was officially added to the heart transplant list.  Most people could go home and await a new heart, but she cannot, she was told by her doctors.  She will be living in her new home at Vanderbilt indefinitely.  Unfortunately, there's not really a timeline as to when this transplant can happen, but we all trust in God's perfect timing.  God has been in a million little details throughout everything leading up to this present day, including moving her immediate family to her area where they live outside of Nashville.  Her parents and her sister were both living away from them, but in recent months, they've moved somewhat near them.  So they have amazing family support and they have friends who are picking up any slack that they need help with.  

As things progress, their needs will change, but as of right now, they're pretty covered.  Someone is setting up a meal schedule for them so her kids can still eat home cooked meals in her absence and so that will be one thing Tracy's mom won't have to worry with, and right now, Tim is going home each night to stay with their boys.  Just today she mentioned that gas cards would be a tremendous help, because it's a bit of a drive from their house to Vandy for Tim each day, twice a day.  If you feel led by the Lord to help out with that, feel free to comment on here or email me at allboys@gmail.com for a way you could get that to me, and I can then get it to them.  

I know many of you see a lot of this on Facebook, where I've been sharing ever since last Thursday when we found out about this.  But this is a little more of everything explained, and a little update since she posted on Facebook this morning.  For anyone who is interested in learning more about her rare heart disease, the name of it is Takayasu Arteritis.  Just go to the Google, and they can inform you.  

One last thing about Tracy and Tim: they have that perfect peace that can only come from Jesus.  Already, the Lord has done SO MANY THINGS in Tra's life, and she wrote a book about it.  It's called Unstoppable God and you can buy it here.  It's a very easy and fascinating read.  Because of the peace that only Jesus can bring, Tracy is in excellent condition mentally and emotionally.  She has the biggest dimples you have ever seen, and she has a nonstop smile on her face and laughter is constantly upon her lips.  She gives all the glory to God, for all He has done in her life, and she never hesitates to tell the world that, which is why she wrote a book.  

Will you help me pray for Tracy and her family?  Tim, Nathan, Joseph, and Zeke are her husband and sons.  Please lift them all up to God, because I know it has to be so hard for their boys not to see her everyday.  Also, a couple of days ago, she also asked us to pray for the family who will suffer a loss so that she will have life.  Only God knows who that will be, and we know that He is sovereign.  


This was taken in August when we went to see them and spend one night to watch the eclipse. 


Thank you, in advance, for your prayers for Tracy and her family.  We serve a mighty God, and we agree that He is ALWAYS good, not just when things go our way.  We believe in the power of prayer, and the powerful words in these verses from James five.  

Thanks for reading today.  Love to all.  

Thursday, March 15, 2018

spring break things

Happy Thursday!  It's spring break week around town, and we have also partaken in that tradition and enjoyed our moments of not doing much of anything. 

Our week got kicked off last Friday, when we had a bunch of family and some friends over to celebrate three out of our four sons' birthdays.  Fifteen years ago when I was pregnant with twins, I was huge and completely miserable, and basically unable to breathe, so when my doctor offered me two dates for my c-section (March 10 or 17), OF COURSE I picked the tenth.  Because twins, and miserable, and breathing.


That was me the night before they were born, and yes, it looks like a giant beach ball was stuffed in my shirt.  I assure you, it was babies, though, huge little twin boys that would make my doctor gasp when she saw how big they were (Jonah was 7 lbs and 2 oz, Noah was 6 lbs and 2 oz).  So you can now understand why I picked the sooner date. 

The only problem was that the next day was Graham's birthday.  It's okay, though, we just deal with it each year, but it does kinda take a toll on the old pocketbook. 

So, all of our families came over and some friends of the boys came as well, and we celebrated the three birthday boys.  We had hot dogs, chili, buffalo chicken dip, veggies and dip, and delicious chocolate cake from Costco.  It was a really fun night. 

The next day, I made the fifteen year old's pose for a picture.


And Sunday I posted this from a few weeks ago of Graham, my nineteen year old.


Because it was Sunday, and we all run around like chickens with our heads cut off on Sundays. 

Drew will have his party soon, when his birthday comes on April 3.  He will be eighteen.

It's a whirlwind of a few weeks, but we are surviving.

After the celebrating, on Saturday night I started this movie, which is still my favorite movie.


I never got to finish it, though, but I can't remember why.  I think I went to bed early, too, when I got interrupted, because I had to be at church at eight thirty the next morning.

I decided to take a break from Netflix after last Friday, and I've been reading instead.  I've finished almost three books this week so far, from my Netflix break.  (I did watch part of one episode of something last night, because when I went to bed my stomach was killing me and reading doesn't put me to sleep as quickly as Netflix does.) 



And right now I'm almost done with Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes. 

This author is my favorite author of all time, and I've been reading books by her since I was a teenager.

Somehow I've lost two of the books and ended up with two copies of one of them, so today I'm going to make a trek to our little used bookshop here in The Ville, and see if I can rectify that.


I have had such good, quality time with the Lord each morning this week, enjoying the fact that I can linger for longer than usual.  I'm currently reading the bible chronologically, and I'm reading in 1 Samuel and in John.  Chronologically we are in Deuteronomy right now, and I am loving it.

Also this week, I have cooked a lot, and had everything eaten.  No leftovers this week!

Last night I talked to my sister for an hour or more.  I talked to another one of my sisters on Monday for about thirty minutes.  I love our "phone dates" because we're far apart.

I have spent sweet time with friends twice.  One was on Tuesday, when Jonah detailed my friend Teresa's car.  She stayed and we visited the whole time, and I made us lunch while he worked.  Then later that day, the group of us who did book club together went out for dinner.  It had been forever since we'd been together!

My kids have had friends over.  They've gone and played a lot of basketball, they've gone to the park, and they've chilled upstairs and played x-box. 

Today I have grand plans of going to Costco, then the bookstore, and tonight we may be buying a new chair!  I'm so excited.  If that happens, I'll post about it tomorrow.  Maybe. 

I hope your week has been great.

Love to all!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday Favorites


Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals for this blog post. 

This was a really good week, with a lot less rain, so in my book, that is a win.  I've actually been able to let the dogs out in the back yard again, at least for a couple of days. 

I only have a few things to talk about this week, because it's been pretty mundane around here. 

This polish is my favorite top coat and I've shared about before, but it bears repeating.  When I used to do my own nails all the time, this was what made me able to do such a good job with them.  This polish makes them shiny and they dry almost instantly.  My only complaint is that when the bottle gets about to the halfway mark, it gets gunky and no longer works.  I ordered mine off of Amazon last week, and it came with two bottles, so I kept one and gave one to my friend Abbey, because we love to paint our nails.  (Well, I do my toes, she does both.)


Seche Vite.  You can buy it from anywhere, including Walmart, for about six dollars a bottle.  I paid seven on Amazon and got two bottles.

Another thing I've been using again is this to take off my makeup.  It is, by far, my favorite and least expensive makeup remover, and it's really great if you have dry skin, like I do. 


My mom gave me this a few months ago, and I used it for a while, then stopped.  My skin has been really dry again, so I started using it again this week.  It works great at removing makeup, especially eye makeup.  Last night I didn't have makeup on, but I wiped off my face with a clean warm wash cloth, then rubbed some of this on my face as moisturizer and went to bed.  My skin felt so good when I woke up this morning!  I think this comes from Aldi's.  You can buy any brand, though.  Tonight I'm going to melt all of this and put it into a smaller, more shallow dish so it'll be easier to get out each night.

It's great as lotion, too. 

And in brownies.  (I mean, it makes them taste like an Almond Joy!)

So I've been doing a bible study on the book of James, which is one of my favorite New Testament books (but I always say that), and this week, we finished.


It was SO GOOD.  This was part of that book, written out.  I love doing bible studies, and I did this one with two friends, one of whom has never done a bible study before.  Isn't that exciting?!  I started doing these in my mid twenties, and I have loved bible study ever since.

Lastly, is about my dining room.  This is my least favorite room in my house right now, but yesterday, I spruced things up a bit in there.  It's painted green, and a few months ago, I took down the curtains that were hanging in there.  They were torn, and just felt really heavy in that room all of a sudden, so these windows have been curtain-less. 

But at four something this morning, it dawned on me that I had some curtains I could try hanging in there.  These were bought with my bedroom in mind, but the minute I put this first one up today, I was so happy with how it looked.  I hung the second one, and they're definitely staying put. 


They need to be ironed, but that'll be another day.  They're sheer white and very thin and light.  I love them.  I also still love that buffalo check print table cloth on the dining room table, and I love the table even more when it's without the leaf in it, making it round again.  There's a hutch in here too, that holds Christmas and wedding dishes, and there's a dog kennel in the front corner, but I can overlook the things I don't like now that these curtains are hanging.

I bought these at Homegoods for twenty dollars.  I think technically, two panels should hang on each window, but I just wanted one panel per window instead.  Two would be too much, at least in my opinion.

That's about it for this week!  It's been pretty low key around here, but not for long.  Tonight we are celebrating three out of my four kids' birthdays with family and a few friends.  Jonah and Noah turn fifteen tomorrow, and Graham turns nineteen on Sunday.  Where did all my babies go?!

Drew doesn't turn eighteen until April third.  It's a busy time of year, with all these birthdays, plus our two dads and Resurrection Sunday and long choir practices, but it'll slow down again eventually. 

Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

how I spent my Wednesday

Yesterday was just a normal day, but I was already feeling really productive that morning, so after I had my quiet time, I got up and started cleaning out and organizing a few areas in our home that get really cluttered really quickly.  (We do not live in a huge home, it's a normal three bedroom, two and a half bath, one playroom -turned bedroom- house, so with four boys, I always had to be creative with space.)

(Also, I say that like I'm complaining, but I promise, I'm not.  I love our home, and I don't want one any bigger than this one, because it is hard enough keeping this one clean.  Our home is a blessing, and it always has been.  James 1:17 tells us that every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.) 

Additionally, I have a few mom friends who have asked about keeping things organized with lots of little ones running about, so this is about that too. 

The first area I tackled yesterday was the closet under our stairs.  It's appropriately named the tornado closet, not because of an impending tornado, but because it always looks like a tornado went through it.  (That made me chuckle.)  There are so many things in that closet, including school supplies, bibles and bible studies that I've gone through over the years, coats, paperwork, extra stuff (like solo cups), Crash's dog food container, and all our electrical equipment for the tv in the living room.

The shelves always get really messy, so I straightened those, then I pulled everything out and vacuumed.  Lots of stuff needed to be thrown away, or just put somewhere from where it had fallen.  I went through the coats that are hanging and neatened up all of those, and added some more from a couple areas I'll mention in a minute.  Then I put everything back neatly and parted with other stuff. 


I found an over the door hanger, so I added that for a purse I might use soon and the bag I take to church on Sundays to hold my bible and journal and such.  I hate the way those shelves above the coats look, but it's out of my hands.  Those are the wires that allow us to have our tv mounted above the mantle.  My husband created an outlet for the tv (several years ago) for the tv, then he ran the wires under the beams in the living room back to the wall behind the couch, which is where you see them now.  We have a remote that works, even with the wires behind us. 


Here is the floor.  The dining table leaf is in here, cords and such in that basket with the fan on top (to use when it gets too hot in there), an electric griddle, art supplies.  There's more, you just can't see it.

The shelves that aren't pictured are where I keep all the school supplies, batteries, games, and on the top shelf is where all my bible study books are.  Some are work books, some are held in notebooks, some are just notes I've taken as I've read, but the shelf is filled and overflows into a few other areas in my home. 

On keeping things organized, the only way to do it is to do what I did yesterday.  Just pull everything out, go through it all, and decide what to keep and what to toss.  I no longer keep a lot paperwork from the kids, because they will not want it someday.  They do have folders with some things, but it's not much.  Boys are not sentimental about things like that.  If something is in there we haven't touched in a year or more, I donate it.  There is no sense in holding onto things we may or may not someday use.  I know several would argue this point, but I hate clutter. 

Here's another spot that we use all the time.


Two sturdy peg racks.  I think my sister Lisa gave me these years ago, but they are anchored to the wall so they can hold a LOT of weight.  I always hated backpacks strewn all about, and coats, so we hung these to alleviate that.  I cleaned this up significantly yesterday, it was in sad shape.  Atop this are all our movies and a few other things.

I'm all about usable space.  We use every inch of space we have, we always have and we always will.  This was one way we were creative with what we had to work with.


Even with that peg rack, we still use our coat rack as well.  Todd brought this home for me a long time ago, and I cleaned it off yesterday.  With all these boys, comes all their friends, and they need a spot to hang their stuff.  This gets used all the time.  I considered getting rid of it at one point, but I couldn't let it go, it's way too useful and practical. 

I always have spots for all the things.  That was what I always told the boys.  I made sure they had a spot to put everything.  Being able to actually put things away was important to me, because again, I hate clutter.  I taught the boys that same thing and that is how my house always looks decent.  It may look clean, but it's not always, I promise. 

I always do a little bit at a time, so I never get overwhelmed with tons of junk we don't use.  I take it a room at a time, sometimes a closet at a time.  The kitchen gets messy (the cabinets) and these areas I wrote about.  Also our bedroom and bedroom closet can get that way too.  I had done a big clean out before Christmas in our room and closet, but when we had those rooms painted, it got messy again, and stayed that way until yesterday.  After I was done with the downstairs, I headed to our room and cleaned our closet again, got rid of some clothes we don't wear, and switched our things in the dresser and lingerie chest we have in our room.  I gave Todd the dresser, because most of my things are hung, and he needs more space for t-shirts, sheriff's department stuff and such, and now I'm closer to the lingerie chest, so I'm glad to have my stuff there again. 

So the big take away tips and tricks are this:

Just jump in, even if you're overwhelmed.  You have to start somewhere.  Take it one small space at a time.  Whichever is most important to you, start there.  For me, it's always my kitchen.

Make a goal of doing ONE area each week.

Have a plan for where to take the stuff you'll donate.  (Goodwill, Salvation Army, Disabled Vets.)

And then take it there, or arrange the pick up.  For me, when I'm done, we store it in the garage until we can drop it all off.

When you have stuff laying around, put it away.  (Coats, mail, paperwork, whatever.  For us, mail is another issue, so years ago, I purchased a "mail container" that we keep ours in.  I've added another cute box to that as well, one that is shorter, so we never have it just laying around.)

Keep the kitchen clean.  Always.  The counters, the sink, the table. 

Make your bed.  That helps me stay motivated.

Do the laundry, dry it, fold it immediately, and then put it all away.  You would be amazed at how much that helps. 

Practice self control.  If you don't have room for it, don't buy it.  If you buy one thing, make it a rule of thumb to replace it with something else you don't need or want.  For me, this is books.  UGH.

I hope this inspires you to do a little spring cleaning!  I'm going to tackle another catch all today: our laundry room. 

Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 


Friday, March 2, 2018

Friday Favorites


Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals for this post. 

It is GLORIOUS to see sunshine today!  It has been so rainy and dreary here the past few weeks, with just a smattering of sunny days in between.  I am so ready for spring.  I can say that, now that it's March. 

Speaking of Sunny, does anyone love The Today Show puppy with a purpose as much as me?!  This one might be my favorite, as of yet.  Their first one was Wrangler, then Charlie, and now Sunny. 


I'm not sure what the deal is with me and dogs all of a sudden, but this little guy is precious.  My little angel pup is sleeping away on a blanket with his favorite toy as I write this. 


If you have never heard Bob Goff speak, you should watch him on YouTube.  He's probably considered a motivational speaker, but he loves Jesus and he loves people.  He has written his second book, which releases mid-April, and it is called Everybody Always, as in love everybody always.  There are so many quotable images from the sneak peak I had at the first five chapters, but I loved this one and snagged it to share on social media.  His first book, Love Does, is one of my favorite books of all time. 


I was cleaning out my tiny purse this week when I realized I had a slight problem.  I love lipstick!  I always have and I always will.  I don't use anything expensive, except for my foundation by Clinique (and it's $30, which isn't horrible), but these Revlon lipsticks have always been my favorite. 

I have tons of colors!  These are a blend of dark pinks, one bright pink, one bright red, a violet color, and a bronze color.  I like to blend them together.


My sister Debi bought me my favorite t-shirt of all time.  It's Ruby's Rubbish, and is incredibly soft.  Also, I love this hymn.  I think these shirts would make a great gift.  Mine was for my birthday last year. 


I made one of my favorite meals last night.  Lasagna, by the Pioneer Woman.  It is delicious, and you should consider making it for your family. Anytime I take it to an event, people rave over how yummy it is. 


Favorite pens (Papermate Flair), favorite little five year spiritual journal, favorite quiet time tools, with my She Reads Truth bible under my open journal.  I was having some late night quiet time on Wednesday while Todd watched a show I didn't care much about.


 I posted this on Instagram Wednesday night, and apparently, it's a favorite picture of a lot of people I don't know.  These guys are Farm Truck and Azn from Street Outlaws, and Azn himself liked it on Instagram.  Because I used #streetoutlaws people keep liking it who don't follow me.


My boys love this show.  They were in town a few months ago, and Graham, Jonah and Noah got to meet them, thanks to the perks of Todd's volunteer job with the sheriff's department.  Drew didn't go with them.


I had dinner out with one of my favorite friends Tuesday night.  Christa and I went to where the salsa was.  Because salsa.  Chips and dips are our love language.


I mean.  Cutest puppy ever.  My Chip is so much like Andy was!  It's weird.  He's my favorite.  He's so smart and knows how to sit, shake, jump up, stay, and lay down.  Jonah is teaching him to spin around and we want to teach him to roll over, but we're not sure how. 



I'm starting the search for graduation pictures, and these are a couple of my favorites.  How is that Drewby is graduating in a few weeks?!?!  Insert that crying face emoji here. 

I keep thinking it'll get easier, and then all of a sudden, a wave of emotions hit and I'll cry at the weirdest times.  Babies really don't keep.

Well, I have laundry waiting to be folded and dog hair that needs to be vacuumed up, so I had better run.  I hope your weekend is great!  Love to all. 

Thursday things

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