Friday, January 29, 2010


This is amazing! Please pause my music and click on the x to close out the google ads that will appear at the bottom of the video. This brought tears to my eyes and I'm proud to say that I AM A BORN AGAIN AMERICAN! I hope it will touch your heart too! ~Blessings!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

This week in pictures- some of my new favorite things...

This is a free website where you can create a profile, decide how many pounds you want to lose a week, and then easily track your calories, exercise, and water each day. And did I mention it's free!
No excuses! This video breaks it up into 10 minute workouts! Week one looks like this~ Monday: Cardio Level 1, Tuesday: Upper Body, Wednesday: Cardio level 2, Thursday: Abs, Friday: Cardio level 1, Saturday: Lower Body!
I love Aldi! It's my favorite grocery store! And they offer a wonderful brand called Fit & Active, which is programed into the LIVESTRONG.COM website. That's how comprehensive the website is. You can track the meals you make at home, as well as, restaurants you eat out at.
OK, I have to say that I had no idea how many calories I was drinking a day until I started tracking on LIVESTRONG.COM. On Tuesday night, I met the girls at Boarders for Bible study, and I ordered a regular carmel coffee, from their coffee shop. When I plugged it in at home, I actually gasped out loud. It was 400 + calories! Eeeek! That's more than a Weight Watchers or Fit & Active meal I've been eating everyday for lunch! Then, (thank heavens) I came across this little baby at Target. It sweetens and flavors your coffee for 0 calories! A BIG FAT 0 LADIES!I love coffee. I drink at least 3 cups a day! So, Ms. Mocha Splenda -you are my new best friend! Oh my! Well, I had to include something frivolous! My sweet indulgence for the week is Coco Chanel! My friend, Ms. Ann had her 73rd birthday this week. So, we spent a girls night in together with popcorn and Coco Chanel! We both love watching old movies, and reading about old movie stars and such. I have my own long love affair with Paris, and I have always LOVED designer collections by Chanel and Valentino! Classic elegance, which is both simple yet sophisticated! Coco had a very complex and complicated life. And like most creative genius, tragedy seem to fuel her art and creativity. She was a very passionate woman in business, as well as, in her personal life. I loved this movie!

I think this is going to be something new for me each week. I'm going to do a little recap of what's been going on in my life, but, instead of writing it all down, (because I never seem to have that much computer time,) I'm going to do it in pictures with little captions underneath. I think it will be fun! Maybe I can even get a button made for it in case anyone else would like to join me. Hope everyone is having an eventful week! Love and Blessings!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Prayer, Revival, and the Refiner's Fire

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinrhians 4:8-9 Are you feeling it? Lately, I've been noticing all around me what seems to be an overwhelming spirit of oppression. I know friends here in bloggy land, as well as, the ladies in my weekly Bible study who have been feeling under attack. It's been a rough couple of weeks. But, I also think it's going to bring about a time of growth if we let it. I wrote in a previous post that my word from the Lord this year is obedience. I actively live out my love for the Lord if I keep His commandments.

I view my salvation as a very precious treasure, and I don't take my role as a Christian lightly. I have branded myself and I bare His name. I don't want to tarnish His image, dishonor or bring shame to Him in any way. Unrealistic?! -Maybe, because I am a fallible human being. But it grieves my heart when I know I've let Him down, because He is my hero, my Father, my friend, my King!

I want to make Him proud of me. I want to delight in His law and serve Him with a joyful heart, and most of all I want to continually, closely abide in His love. I want Him to be apart of every decision I make, and I want to be a living sacrifice, holy and set apart for His kingdom works and His glory. That is my heart's desire. I want to find my beauty in a gentle/nurturing and quiet/peaceful spirit. I want to clothe myself in kindness and compassion, forbearance(patient endurance),diligence, mercy and tender heartedness. My desire is for wisdom and a quiet strength that puts others at ease in my presence, like that of an elder sage. And so I am looking to Him to mold me like clay into something uniquely beautiful. But I also know that in that process I must also be open to the refiners fire. So, that's where I'm at right now trying to be obedient, and open to His leading and correction, so that I can be ever faithful to Him and the calling He has on my life. And sometimes His leading is easy to follow and sometimes it's very uncomfortable. But, it's really all about peeling off a layer of self and adding a layer of Him. Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. In all honesty though I'm ready to get passed this part and step into a time of refreshment and revival.

Revival comes in answer to the heart cries of God's people (quote by my lovely friend Susan at Penless Writer.) This really touched me, and I wanted to share it. She was asking for all of us as the body of Christ to pray for our nation daily. She referenced this scripture 2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. She believes with all her heart that if we are faithful in our prayers for our nation the Lord will bring about a revival and healing in this nation. I so want that. I want to see and experience God's out pouring upon people. But, I know that to be an effective instrument of God and a part of this revival and healing that I my heart's cry first must be one of repentance. I need to make sure that I am making a straight path for Him (Luke 3:4 "Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.")Beth Moore explains in her book Jesus, the One and Only that the original Greek word for paths is tribos, which means "a beaten pathway." And I guess in my minds eye as I make my way to Him over and over everyday I want to clear that pathway of anything that is standing in the way of getting to Him. I don't want anything to hinder or slow me down as I run to him. And I think this time of testing is where I'm doing exactly that.

I am praying for you my sweet sisters and I ask for your prayers in return. Blessings!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

OK, I am so excited about my new blog make over. Ashley created it, incorporating some of my favorite things. I love to shop. I love to travel, and New York and Paris are two of my favorite cities. Thank you Ashley for your time, and all the work you put into making this special! I absolutely love it! She also created a cute little button that's over on my side bar to your right. If you would like to feature or follow me as I celebrate all things traditional, cultural, aesthetic and domestic, then grab my button and join me. ~Blessings.

Read to me Wednesday

Will You Read to Me Wednesdays is hosted by Sarah Denley. It's where we share some of our favorite children's books. Today, I am sharing The Jazz Fly by Matthew Gollub, children’s book author, performer, literacy consultant, musician, parent and publisher. The Jazz Fly is story about musical insects celebrating language and the inventive spirit of jazz. Includes narration set to a jazz quartet on audio CD.

A fly, who speaks jazz, asks different critters which way to town. “Rrribit,” replies the frog. “Oink,” says the hog. Although baffled, the fly hears music in their words, and that evening he stirs up a solo that sets the dinner club a hoppin

I love this little book! It combines music and literature, two of my great loves. And it's just plain fun! We are studying Jazz this month at home, and this is one of the books we're reading and listening to.

I have a deep love for education, having been a teacher myself. And because I love it so much, it has been easy to share my love for music and books, science, history, and culture with my children, while we have this special time together at home. The one job I love more than teaching is being a stay at home mom. It has been such a joy.

I wanted to take this opportunity to also share some tips for language and literacy development. This is great for all moms who are homeschooling, thinking about home schooling, or who just want to enrich their one on one bonding time with their little ones. Literacy is just an extension of language, or how we communicate with one another. So, in essence this is all about how to express ourselves, interact, and connect with one another. So, bare with me because I'm going to start way back at the very beginning, in the womb.

As, I have said before, I was one of those mothers, that played music and read to my baby in the womb. But, not for the reasons you may think. I wanted to make that connection with them and spend time with them as if they were already here. So, I spent my "down time" many nights after dinner or right before bed reading a book out loud or playing music while I rubbed and patted my pregnant belly, all the while talking to my little one. I wanted them to hear and know my voice. My husband would also put his hands on both sides of my belly and talk to our babies. It was very sweet and endearing. Memories I'll cherish. And the moment they arrived, I knew they were calmed by the sound of our voices. Especially our baby girl. I don't remember a lot about my son's birth, which is another post for another time, but, with baby girl I made sure I was going to be very present and alert. I didn't get to hold her right away because she was in distress and they couldn't get her breathing right away. (She had her umbilical cord double wrapped, and it's by the grace of God they were able to revive her after almost two minutes.) After they got her breathing, they did bring her over next to my face so I could see her and talk to her, before they whisked her away again. She was crying her little heart out, but, as soon as she heard the sound of my voice she quieted right down. That moment gave me such peace.

When I brought them home, I spent my days from the very beginning, not just holding them, but, talking to them. It may seem silly to some, and maybe it's just the preschool teacher in me coming out, or the performance side of me, I'm not sure which, but, I had conversations going with them at a very early age. Here are a few examples....

Bath time

Me: Let's put a warm wash cloth on your belly while momma cleans your arms, and your hands and all your little fingers. Then I'm gonna get your toes, and your feet, and your chunky little legs. (As I would dry and put lotion on, I'd go over each body part again and then ask them which outfit they wanted to wear that day, and I'd play that out as well.) -I think this one would be perfect for today since it's nice and warm out.

Meal time

Me: Would you like eggs or cereal this morning? I'm thinking cereal, and maybe some juice.

These are just examples, and many would argue that they can't understand what you are saying at such a young age, so why bother. But, it's really all about engaging, and nurturing. When I started the ritual of rocking them before bedtime, I would read to them, pray with them and then sing to them while we rocked together. Lullabies, hymns, or praise songs, I even sing carols to them during Christmas.

I am also a big believer in baby massage. I would pick out a good CD of music and lie them down on a mat and stretch their little arms and legs out very gently. I'd start in the middle of their chest and using both hands, rub a little heart shape out down their chest to their bellies. Then I'd rub the sides of their bellies and their little legs. And we practice doing the bicycle with their legs and later when they were stronger, I'd practice pulling them up to a sitting position and laying them back down gently over and over while we talked about how much they were growing and how strong they were getting, and how proud I was to be their momma. You may be sitting there asking yourself what all this have to do with reading and literacy. I feel like this part is about language development, which is just a precursor to literacy. And it's about bonding with my little ones, as much as, it's about enriching them later with a love of reading and learning. And of course I read. I read and I read and I read some more. And they already have favorites books that they will bring to me and my husband to read to them.

As they have gotten older, I am still actively reading to them, but, with a different approach. I point to each word as I read to them individually. Or I try to do voices or use voice inflection when I read to them together. Sometimes we just talk about the pictures, and re-tell the story to each other that way. I let them pretend to read to me to find out how much of the story they can retain and remember. And they will point out some environmental print to me as well. (For those who maybe wondering, environmental print is an early stage of reading/literacy where they can recognize logos, signs, and print from the world around them.) This has been great because they are connecting with something meaningful from their day to day life, and when I praise them it builds their excitement and confidence about reading.

I'm working on putting labels on and under things around the house to help them recognize the words, like door or light switch. And I am using music and rhythm patterns to teach them rhyming, alliteration, and the spelling of some words like their names.

It all just builds on each other. But,if you can incorporate little things like this naturally into your everyday life, and they have fun doing it, then they don't even know they are learning. I hope this has been helpful! I just thought I'd share what works for us. ~Blessings!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Formal Elegance verses Rustic Elegance

I can't decide which I'm in love with more. We are still praying about houses, and which one the Lord has for us. In the mean time, I've been collecting pictures of different interior designs, and trying to figure out my style. I lean back and forth between formal elegance and rustic elegance. I think that at this point in our lives rustic elegance just makes more sense. But, I love to daydream about our first home and adding my personal touch to it. So here's what I've put together so far....







Well, this is what I have so far, for inspiration. A file full of dreams. Maybe some of them will come true. At least it gives me ideas. Lots and lots of ideas! Have a wonderful and blessed day!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Movies: UP

OK, so I don't get out much, to the movies anyway. So, yes, I am just now seeing UP, when most everyone has already seen it. It really is a sweet little movie. I can't help but think that two of the main characters look very much like some of our old HOLLYWOOD actors. I think Karl looks like a cross between Spencer Tracy and Walter Matthau.
And I think Charles Muntz looks like Kirk Douglas.

Hmmm....interesting. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lovely Little Give Away...

Tracie at My Petite Masion is hosting a give away in honor of her birthday this month over at her blog.Tracie and I share a love for all things french. She even has her own shop which features antiques, collectibles, estate pieces and objects of art. Here is a link for her shop My Petite Masion Boutique. It is definitely worth a visit. Very inspiriting. And Tracie is lovely as well. I so enjoy her blog. So stop by for a visit and enter for a chance at a lovely little french gift. Entries must be in by the 16th! Have a lovely and blessed day!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Home Schooling

We are back into our routine here at home and that means a little home schooling for our little ones. We also have a new little learning corner here in our home. Some of the things we enjoy working on are ~number and letter file folder games, writing our letters, arts and crafts, lacing and other fine motor games, music and finger plays, and reading. I have a more detailed list of this months activities over at our other blog Our Sweetest Dreams Come True. This month's theme is Winter Wonderland! And what fun we are having playing out in the snow. Today, we made snow angels, threw snowballs, and collected different size icicles. Tomorrow I will be sharing some reading tips and a favorite book of mine for Read to Me Wednesday. Hope y'all are having a great day at work and play! Blessings!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Read to Me Wednesday....ABC Mystery by Doug Cushman

This lovely little book is my pick for the week. I found it five or six years ago when I was teaching pre-school. It is a book I've really enjoyed sharing with my children, especially my son. It's a great way to introduce or work on recognition of letters.
The letter "A" states the crime-stolen Art-and the mystery, told in rhyming couplets, continues to unfold as Detective McGroom, a badger, pursues clues attached to successive letters of the alphabet.

Cushman has also written other mystery books for primary readers that I'm going to try and track down. My son turns 4 next month and my husband and I decided that this is the year we are going to teach him to read. This book is a perfect start because he knows his ABC's, and he can even recognize most of them. But, we are still working on this area, as well as, recognizing his name and other environmental print.

I really want to inspire a love for reading in both of my children. As I've said before, I'm one of those mamas who read to my children in the womb. And right now my son is interested in adventure, and good guys verses bad guys, so I thought this little book would be a good place to start. My daughter is interested in everything pink, princess or girly right now, so picture books are a huge draw for her. She also loves to be read to. She's very attracted to the sing-song of my voice when I read to her at night, and will often imitate me.

I hope you will search out this book and give it a try. It really is engaging and I think it will be one you'll come to love too.

Blog Frog...where have you gone?

Is anyone else been experiencing technical difficulties with their blog frog? When I checked under my customize section, it says it's still there, but, it doesn't show up on my blog. Hmmm......

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The New Year is off to a great start! I love the fresh start and clean slate that you feel at the beginning of every year. Or, at least I do. It's a new beginning full of endless possibilities. Even though we are covered in snow right now, there is something about the new year that makes me think of spring. Like a green sprout ready to bloom into something beautiful. It's very spiritual. I can't say that I ever get caught up in making resolutions, at least not the kind carved in stone that you feel you struggle to keep. There are always things I'd like to improve upon, try again or for the first time. But, I don't pressure myself to where I feel this huge let down within a couple of months. I try to keep it positive and realistic, but in an exciting optimistic way that doesn't crush the hopefulness I have in a fresh new start. Most importantly, I try to listen for that still small voice inside that tells me what God has for me this year. What is our new adventure, and challenge? How will He grow me?

I have been looking back over the last two and a half years of blogging just to see where I was and where and how I've grown. I'm thankful that I started doing this, as a way to record my thoughts and life. It's the first attempt at journaling or keeping a diary I've ever made. And it has been so rewarding.

This year is going to be huge. And I love that it's 2010. We're leaving an old decade and we're on the cusp of a brand new one. Off with the old and on with the new! I feel like the Lord always has a verse or a word of truth for me to live out every year. This year it is obedience.

Trust and Obey for there's no other way.....

If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. John 15:10

And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 1John 2:3

He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 1 John 2:4

And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 1John 3:22

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 1John 5:2

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5

For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him; Deuteronomy 11:22

Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves. Deuteronomy 11:23 -(I take this as a promise that I will bear witness of Him and bear fruit.)

"Therefore you shall keep every commandment which I command you today, that you may be strong, and go in and possess the land which you cross over to possess, Deuteronomy 11:8

and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD swore to give your fathers, to them and their descendants, 'a land flowing with milk and honey." Deuteronomy 11:9
-(I take this verse as a promise of abundant life and eternal life to come.)

A land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year. Deuteronomy 11:12

And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul Deuteronomy 11:13

Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. Psalms 112:1 (I want to get there in my walk, where obedience is delightful.)

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13

Do you ever open the Bible and He is speaking to you no matter where you turn. And it's the same message over and over. And there is no denying what He is trying to say to you. It is glorious! It absolutely gives me chills. I feel like we are having a conversation. I know some people feel like the Lord has never spoken to them. But, let me encourage you with the truth that God speaks to us everyday through His word. ~Blessings dear ones! Hope you're having a wonderful New Year.