Monday, March 29, 2010

Bargains and Consignment shop treasures!

This is my little girl's Easter dress! We found it at a local shop called Once Upon A Child for $6.00. The shoes I bought at Target to accompany the dress. She loves pink. And she is so excited about her Easter dress and sparkly shoes. She keeps asking me if she can wear them.
Head bands, one of her new favorite things! Mrs. Heidi helped her pick them out at Target. She is still convinced that Heidi bought them for her, and I can't tell her any different. She is a very head strong little lady.
This is a beautiful little dress I also found for $6.00 at Once Upon A Child. And I found the shoes at Target. I'm so in love with this dress and wanted it to be her Easter dress, but, she is set on the pink one.
This is a cute little outfit we found at target. I love that it comes with a matching headband and purse. She wore this for Palm Sunday service, and she was cute as pie.
New Pajamas! Who doesn't love new pajamas? We are very into Hello Kitty, Batman and other super heroes right now. Also at Target....
Here are a few things I found for myself. Can you tell I like shopping at Target? I love the grey cami with lace edging. The short sleeved sweater and cami were on sale. The sweater was actually on clearance. I also bought a pair of black Mary Janes on sale.
Best friends playing together at the indoor play area in the mall. It was very wet and rainy this week, so we had to find some indoor fun.
My handsome little man! I love this picture of Trey and I. I rarely get pictures of myself with the my children, because I'm always the one taking them. My sweet friend Heidi took this at our Palm Sunday service this past Sunday.
Glen, Heidi's husband took this one of us. As excited as I am about our up coming move back to Mississippi, it will be so hard not to see my friend everyday. Well, we don't see each other every day, but, at least every other day, and we talk or text everyday. It's been so wonderful having a friend with little ones like myself. She understands my everyday in and outs, our kids have so much fun together, and it makes it easier to bare not seeing Hugh when he has to work 80 hours a week. You can usually find us at the library, on a play date somewhere, at church for Master's Club, at our weekly Bible study, or off to lunch with our other girl friends. Domesticated bliss, such is the life of a stay at home mom!
Speaking of other girl friends, here is a picture of some of our friends this last Sunday at church. Heidi, Amanda, Heather, and Mandy. It is such a blessing to be surrounded by Christian women, whom love the Lord! I admire these ladies so much. I will miss them so much. It's already hard to think about saying goodbye. It has been on my mind so much lately and we still have three months here, before we move. I love this verse. It comforts me when I think about leaving or being far away from my friends.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:3-6

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This is a tale of Mother Rabbit and Baby Rabbit as they go through their busy day, loving each activity- and each other. What a lovely description. I adore this book. I feel like I could have written it myself. It perfectly captures how I feel about being a stay at home mom. My favorite passage is Love me, love my mess. Silly ways I like to dress. My life with little ones is silly, messy, crazy, endearing and fun.

I chose this book to feature this week, because it is perfect to snuggle up and read with your own little snuggle bunny.

If you're interested in checking out other books featured this week for Won't You Read to Me Wednesday, or if you'd like to join in this weekly series, visit our hostess Sarah Denley at In The Warm Hold of Your Loving Mind.Have a wonderful and blessed week!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

OK, this week is all about my kids. These are snapshots of my real everyday life. It is filled with make believe and dress up, toys and trinkets, play do, paint, play dates and lots of messy, exhausting fun.

A fairy tale princess and a clown. I love watching how much fun they have playing together. And I love these sweet little smiles!
Arr...I'm going to hook you bubbie! Two cute pirates!
Little people, gotta love them. Sis lined them up and played quietly next to me as I read through my Bible study one morning.
Spaghetti-O's for lunch. (Yes, not the healthiest meal, but, it's fun for every once in a while.) We changed out their dishes, cups, and place mats this week for Spring.
I can't help myself. I like making the day to day special with fun little touches like this.
Art from our Master's Club class. We used q-tips to paint little lavender flowers on our cards. I sprayed the cards ahead of time with lavender scented perfume, and inside we wrote a little poem. (A Christian version of Lavender's Blue, Dilly, Dilly.)

Lavender's Blue dilly, dilly, Lavender's green,

Teach me to say dilly, dilly, John 3:16.

God loved the world, dilly, dilly, He gave his son.

To give His life dilly, dilly, for everyone.

For God so loved the world, He gave his only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Sorry girls but I'm having trouble with Mr. Linky, so maybe this next week I'll be able to have it up for our This Week In Pictures post. Thanks! For now just leave a comment letting me know you joined in on the fun, and I come on by for a visit. ~Blessings!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lent for Little Ones

This is the first year I've personally observed Lent. As I have said before, I am not Catholic, but I felt the Lord calling me to dig deep this year and start a little early in celebrating His grace, mercy, and promise of abundant and eternal life that He has given us through the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Lent means Spring and in essence it is the church's Spring or time of renewal.

In years past I've observed Holy Week by taking part in events on Good Friday such as the Walk of the Cross. In my home town of Indianola, our church got together every year with another church for this event. We started with a prayer at the first church and began the walk together silently. The men started out carrying the cross. It was built to scale and it was heavy. It usually took three men to carry it, one man at each end and one in the middle. At different points in the walk, others (men, women and youth) were free to trade places with the men that began the walk. Some would sing hymns along the way. It was a time for reflection, and I can't tell you what a deep impression it left on me as a young person. I think the first time I took part in the walk, I was in the fifth grade. I even came back during college to take part in the walk. It meant that much to me. When we got to our church, the men put the cross in the ground between two crosses already erected there, and we had church. Both pastors shared with us from the Bible and their hearts.

My parents also felt that as a family we were to observe and reverence this day through fasting. I'm glad they taught or instilled this within me as a young person. I can honestly say that as a fifth and sixth grader when we first began this tradition, it kept the meaning and importance of the day secure in my mind. And I think it's important to have traditions like this, because it teaches that observing our Lord's sacrifice is important to our families and in our homes, not just within the walls of our church on Sundays.

Which brings me to my post. The one thing I love about the blog world is that you can find and connect with other moms who share a love for the Lord and are actively teaching and training up their children in that love. They have been an inspiration to me, so I'm going to highlight a few of them here. My bloggy friend Jana has shared tutorials for implementing the following projects with little ones.

Hosanna Palms

Hill of Calvary Thoughts on the Hill of Calvary

He Has Risen Rolls

Emma at Charming the Birds From the Trees is observing Lent with her children by helping them in three very specific ways. She is helping her children with daily prayer. She is also teaching her little ones about fasting by having each of them place one of their favorite food items into a basket each day and then emptying the basket in their church's food pantry box on Sunday. And they are learning about alms giving by placing coins in a jar or piggy bank throughout the week and then putting that money in the money box for the poor at their church on Sunday. You can read the entire post here. I thought this was such a wonderful example for very young children. She is teaching them that Lent is not just about giving up something in order to observe and take part in our Lord's sacrifice. It is also about giving more of yourself in order to extend God's love and kindness to those around us. And it inspired me to work with my little ones on this
There is a wonderful woman in our neighborhood named Ms. Mildred. She is a ninety-three year old widow whom lives alone. I met her through Mrs. Ann, another neighbor and friend very dear to our hearts. Mrs. Ann visits her quite often and we, the children and I, have gone with her on occasion to visit. She mentioned how frugal Mrs. Mildred lives, sometimes only opening a can of beans for her supper. So, that got me to thinking, and I decided that the children and I would make her a special care package to take to her. We made homemade veggie soup, rolls, and fresh fruit to take to her, and Trey wanted to take her our flowers. (sweetie pie!) So we did. When she greeted us at the door, Trey said, "Hi Mrs. Mildred we came to visit you." He handed her the flowers and told her that Jesus loves her and scampered right passed her into her home. She was very touched and invited us in. We had a wonderful visit. She wrote us two thank you cards she was so touched by the children's kindness. We have started dropping off little packages to her. It has been a blessing to all of us. And it is helping me to teach them the importance of kindness, and they are enjoying it so much. It blesses me to see them cultivating a loving and giving heart.

And really that is what Lent is all about, preparing our hearts for this season. Not unlike what we do during the Advent season. I came across this post by Sarah Denley that really touched my heart, because I felt like she captured the essence of what I am talking about. She is making it personal, in a tangible everyday way. My two favorite lines in this post are...The extent to which the sacrifice draws me to the foot of the cross is the extent to which it produces holiness in myself. Lenten sacrifice has brought me closer to Golgotha than looking into the eyes of my own daughter. Worth the read!

Also, I have to highlight this post and this post from The Holy Experience of Listening. It is more, I feel for pre-teen and adolescence, but definitely ideas I'm going to hold on to for later.

I hope you find a little something here that will be a blessing to you or inspire you to share with your children. And I hope you're having a blessed Easter season!

Read to Me Wednesday: Lent and the Easter Season

Click on the button above to visit our hostess Sarah Denley. And sign up to join us for Won't You Read to me Wednesdays.

I have chosen to feature several choices this week for Won't You Read to Me Wednesday. These would all be wonderful books for your reading corner or book basket for the Lent/Easter season. I mentioned here that I was looking for a way to introduce the real meaning of Easter and the Crucifixion to my little ones this year. These are treasures I happened upon through our library and Christian book store, as well as, through other blogs, like my friend Jana.

I've been working on a post Lent for Little Ones, as I did for the advent season a year or so ago. I will be posting that later on today or sometime tomorrow. I hope you will find a treasure among these books for your little one this Easter season. ~Blessings!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Just getting around to updating my blog a bit. I know everyone else has already moved their old blog roll/link list over to the new blogger blog roll with all it's icon and snippet features. And I'm probably the very last blogger to jump on the band wagon here, but, it's finally done. And I finally got around to officially "following" everyone whom I read. I really just haven't taken the time to do it. I love my blog and it's an uplifting place for me, but, I never have a lot of time to devote to it. My two little ones demand a lot of my time. And the time I do have I didn't want to spend changing everything over. I'd rather write about something I care about or what we've been up to or where we've been lately. So, I just kept putting it off. I mean if you're on my blog roll I follow you, and I visit and leave comments, at least every once in a while, so you know I follow you, right?! Well, at least that's been my justification for putting it off as long as I have.

But this week I finally convinced my friend, Heidi, to start a blog. Cheers and confetti!!!! She is one of my very best friends here and I will miss her dearly when we move in a few months. Helping her, or should I say trying to help her get her blog started got me to thinking that I really need to update my own a bit. And now I know why I put it off this long. It took me two days to switch my blog roll over, visit each blog so I could click "follow", and find a new background, because I couldn't sit down and do it all at one time. But, it's finally done, ya! Well, I'm off to take the kids to a St. Patrick's Day program at the library today. Hope you have a Wonderful and Blessed day!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It was Trey and Anna Grace's first time at the circus. We went this weekend with friends. Trey was enthralled. His favorite were the tigers. Anna Grace on the other hand was afraid of the clowns. But, she loved seeing all the animals, especially the horses.
There was a pre-show, where we got to meet and get autographs from the clowns and acrobats. They also brought out Asia the baby elephant for the kids to see up close and personal.
They were all very nice and would juggle and do tricks for the kids.
I love the shoes.
Trey getting his program signed.
This clown was showing Trey how to spin plates, first on his fingers, and then on tall sticks. Pink roses that Anna Grace picked out at the store. I'm going to miss being able to buy bouquets of flowers for $3.99 when we move. They just brighten up our little home.
I got to sit quietly one morning and enjoy my breakfast and my new Delta Magazine.
My friend Heidi and I, coming from our monthly lunch date. She just recently started a blog, Blue Suede Pumps.
Ladies who lunch. Heidi, Ann, Mandy and I at our monthly luncheon for Stonecroft Ministries. We enjoy a catered lunch, free babysitting, a speaker, singer and special feature. It is a wonderful ministry that focuses on missions and reaching the lost in our community. I have been on our calling committee for over a year now, taking reservations. And I'm going to miss talking to my ladies every month. Most of them I've never met, but, you really get to know them talking to them every month. It reminds me of back home, because they tell me all about their family and whose had a recent surgery or the flu. Some even have me on caller I.D., and answer the phone with "Hey Tiffany! Is it already time for our luncheon?" They have been such a blessing to me, and I will miss them very much.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hurry Up Slowpoke by Crosby Newell was my very first favorite book. It was a Wonder Books Easy Reader, and it cost 69 cents, back in the day. I still have the copy my mom gave me when I was three years old. It is well worn, still very loved, and one of the few things I have left from my childhood. My name is on the inside in my mom's handwriting. And the binding and cover have been reinforced with clear packing tape on the edges. There are doodles and scritch-scratch here and there along the pages. The cover is in color, but the pages are done in black, white and yellow illustration.

It is such a charming little story of Simon and Lucy (which was my mom's name) mouse following their mother on a long walk to grandmother's house. Mrs. Mouse is always saying hurry up Simon. Stay with us. And Lucy chimes in "Yes, hurry up. You're such a slowpoke." Well, Simon gets lost along the way. He finds himself all alone and very sad that he didn't listen. But, he finds his sister's hat, which he makes into a boat, and with the help of a fish, a duck, and a bird he crosses the pond safely. To grandmother's house he goes, and he arrives even before his mother and sister. He is there to greet them along with grandmother mouse, who has cake and pop for everyone. Simon runs ahead saying hurry up mother, and hurry up Lucy. Mother mouse turns to grandmother and says, "See who is saying 'hurry up' now!'

How I love this little book. I can remember begging my mom to read it to me over and over again. I had it memorized by the time I could read it on my own. And I took it everywhere, to school, to my friends house, even when we were just out riding in the car, which is probably why it is falling apart. It was like my Linus blankie. I have it in our book basket this month to share with my own children.

Do you have any books that you heard so many times as a child that you memorized the story? Let's share! And go over and check out Sarah Denley's Read to me Wednesday feature by clicking on the button above. ~Blessings!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Attitude and Actions

I was sharing with my ladies Bible study a couple months ago how I felt like the Lord was asking us to step out of our comfort zones this year and grow. Our focus in 2009 was on our attitude and on two verses in particular. 2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. AND Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. I strongly believe that we have a choice. As Christian women, are we going to choose anxiety, insecurity, irritability, and all the thoughts and emotions that only lead us to focus inward on our "self," or are we going to deny our "self focus," be it self loathing or self loving, and take up our crosses daily.It is a choice. We can take those thoughts captive and think on things that honor our Lord.

This year our focus is on our actions and our theme is taking our salvation seriously. We are talking about the difference between a head knowledge and a heart knowledge. And why we need a personal relationship with God. -What does it really mean to be "born again?" We have already talked about James 2:19-20 You believe that there is one God? Good! Even the demons believe that-and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?

-And we've asked ourselves, "Am I bearing fruit?" "When others look at me, what do I tell them about God in the way I live my life?" "As a Christian, or follower of Christ, do I portray a portrait of Christ?"

Are we consciously taking up our crosses everyday, or are we satisfied with the level of comfort and security we've found in our walk. Because sometimes we can become so comfortable that we don't continue to stretch ourselves and grow, and we become stagnant. Jesus said we are known by our fruit. Are we producing and baring love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. -Galatians 5:22-23 Are we choosing to clothe our selves everyday in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience? -Colossians 3:12

We know we can not know what is in someone's heart. We've talked about how we all have loved ones (maybe that we've lost,)that we hope and pray accepted Jesus as their savior and found the peace that comes from His forgiveness and grace. But, we are not talking about just finding salvation through Jesus Christ. We are talking about making Him Lord of our lives. Because if we are truly taking our salvation seriously, and we want abundant life here, not just the promise of heaven, then that is what our personal relationship with Jesus is all about.

Lately we've been talking about the word Christian. It means Christ-like or follower of Christ. Jesus said He did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. -Mark 10:45 If we are His followers and are patterning our lives after His example then in everything we do we should be serving and ministering to others while we spread the good news of His love. We should be serving one another in love. -Galatians 5:13 And we should serve wholeheartedly as if we are serving the Lord, not men. -Ephesians 6:7

Being a servant can be hard to swallow. Everything about our flesh fights it. And the world tells us we are a simple minded schmuck if we buy into that. But, we are not of this world. We are set apart for His glory. So, with Bible in tow, we are encouraging one another to live it out in practical ways. Because, we all need a little help -from the Holy Spirit, as well as, our sisters in Christ. ~Blessings to you all!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I loved the author Beverly Cleary when I was a child. My favorite was her series about Henry and his dog Ribsy. I read the Ramona series, as well, but I just didn't take to it. I think maybe it's because Henry and Ribsy were my first introduction to Beverly Cleary. Their stories always remained my favorites. I did enjoy Henry and the Paper Route, which was my introduction to Ramona and her sister Breezus, as well as, Henry and the Clubhouse. You would think that as a girl I would connect more with the girls' stories and adventures, but I always went back to Henry and his dog Ribsy. I also read the books around the time that The Wonder Years came out, so that in itself might have had something to do with it.

I could imagine myself right in the whole 1950's era at that time, reading the books and watching that series. I think that's also when I feel in love with

Jackie Kennedy. And I had a very idealistic romanticised view of America at that time. I believed the world was a wonderful place and anything and everything was possible if I just believed and worked hard enough.

These three books were the first chapter books I read to my children, when I started reading to them every night. Not that we didn't read other books at bed time before these. But these three were the first books they layed in bed and just listened to me read to them. Some nights we just need to listen and relax and calm our little bodies down from of our silliness and running around we did during the day. And these three were a perfect introduction when we started implementing that bedtime ritual. And I think they will always have a special place on our reading selves. I'm sure my son will enjoy them more when he is a little older, and can read them for himself. Until then, we are building our vocabularies and enriching our imaginations and having wonderful discussions together. Good stuff! -Blessings!