Thursday, December 3, 2009

'Tis the Season

Well, I actually had some great Thanksgiving pictures.  I attached my camera to the computer, transferred the pictues to the computer, and then deleted them from my camera....only to find out they vanished into thin air somewhere on my computer!  Seriously?  I mean really.

So, I'll move on.

What has been heavy on my heart, rolling into this Christmas season, is that my boys truly get what Christmas is about.  Let me tell you (in case you didn't already know!) that a 3 1/2 and 5-year-old can be quite narcissistic.  I'm just saying.

So of course, Christmas all around us has become primarily about Rudolph and "what more, more, more can I get, get, get!?!"  It sickens me a little.  But really, my kids are exactly where we all were at their age....and quite honestly, exactly where they should be...developmentally speaking. 

But how can I at least begin to hide in their hearts that, without Christmas, we wouldn't have a Savior?

So, here's my plan this year:

(1)  Pray.  Pray with them.  Let them hear us thank the Father for the gift of his Son Jesus this Christmas.
Pray for them.  Without ceasing.  That they will understand the beauty of this season...and it's not because of what Santa is bringing down the chimney.

(2)  Speak Truth into their lives.  Talk about Christmas.  Remind them of why we celebrate.  Why we give gifts to one another.  Who we worship during this amazing time of the year.

(3)  Then, lastly, I incorporated a new tradition into our home.  We're on Day 3...and so far, it's a sweet addition to our day, our time together and our time with the Lord.  First of all, I'm really not that creative....but I'm an EXCELLENT copy-cat!  I read about this tradition in another family on someone else's blog last year and thought it was a wonderful idea that we, too, must do.  So, at the after-Christmas sales last year, I went looking for this:

I worked to fill each day with two sheets of paper (because, of course, I have two kids who each must have the same thing as the other!)  The first sheet of paper is an Advent reading.  I got these daily readings from Focus on the Family .  I explained to the boys that we would be reading out of the "grown-up" Bible (they each have their own kid's Bible) and that they would not understand it all right now, but that one day they would. 

I believe God's Word with all my heart...and in it He says His Word will not return void!  And He cannot lie.  So I trust, that every time I read His Word to them, it will plant seeds of Truth in their hearts. 

We read the daily reading...and then we answer a question or two...or have a discussion based on what we just read.  I'm actually amazed that they are engaging in this as well as they are. 

The second sheet of paper is an activity for the day.  This is the fun part (seeing as they are, in fact, 3 and 5).  Some of the activities were copied from the other blog I read last year....but I mostly had to make up my own, since my kids are much younger than the other blogger's.  Here are our days so far:

So, tonight we laughed and enjoyed being together as we played Chutes and Ladders and CandyLand.  I hate to admit it...but I won both games.  OK, so I really like to admit it..... I can be vicious.

I'll keep you in the loop on our holiday festivities around here. Keep it simple...and worship the King.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mr. Almost-5!!!!

I can't stop him.
He just keeps getting older....

His actual birthday is on Thanksgiving.
But now that he is reaching the age of 5, I can now no longer get away with "celebrating his birthday at our family Thanksgiving".  I don't blame him.  He gets rooked every time. 

So, we had a party today.
Can you guess our theme??

We had the party at a local park.  The awesome Richardson Fire Department showed up at the park today for nine little 3,4 and 5-year-old boys.  It was fun.

Even little brother enjoyed hanging with the big firemen!

We had lots of little chiefs today.

When they left the park, they did it with lights and loud sirens.  The boys (and the adults!) thought it was cool.

We had lots of cupcakes (which I think is the absolute easiest way to do a cake for a 5-year-old)  It looks like Spidey is about to karate chop the cake, doesn't it?!

We had friends come play....young and old(er).

Then we did an obstacle course.  Dad was trying to explain the rules....
Run across the bridge.  Slide down the fireman pole.
Grab the wagon.  Run over here to the tunnel.  Throw the balls in the tunnel to "put out the fire".  Climb in the tunnel and rescue the animals.  Slide down the slide and put the animals in the fire wagon and pull them to safety.  Got that straight, all of you?? 

Blake finally got to dig in to cupcakes and unwrap lots of fun toys.
What a blessed day, full of friends and fun!

Excuse me....I'm gonna go cry now...
I can't believe he is turning 5! 
The days can be so long, but the years are so short.

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of this child!
Every good and perfect gift is from above...
James 1:17

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Can you pass me the NyQuil, please?

Well, the CRUD has made it's way around our house....

First my sweet husband had it...major sniffles and slight cough.   
Then it escalated a bit as the littlest man in my home had what his Daddy a relatively low-grade fever for a couple of days.
Then WHAMMO!!!  Mommy got it.  Worse than anyone. 

Sniffling.  Sneezing.  Coughing.  Aching.  Stuffy head.  Fever.....
You got it.  I have downed this for 2 days.

Yesterday I began to feel a tad better, but decided to lay low.  Today I woke up and YUCK...I felt like my body was a lead weight!  Was I still sick?  Or have I had too much NyQuil??

My sweet husband....oh, what a prince he has been these past couple of days.  He has completely kept the boys out of my hair and given me lots of recovering space and time.  He is amazing.  He has spent many hours since late Friday afternoon being a mostly single dad.  This morning, he took them to church by himself so I could continue to rest. 

I was sitting in my bed when the 3 of them pulled into the driveway after church and I could vaguely hear the conversation outside.  All I can tell you is that it was becoming obvious that the testerone in my house has had too much togetherness!   I knew right then.....Momma is going to have to get it together...and fast! 

My youngest also doesn't like it when Mom is "unavailable" when we are home together, but since he can't seem to put words to his feelings, he tends to "punish" me with less than desirable behavior and then clings to his Daddy (and doesn't want anything to do with me). 

My time "off" these past couple of days just confirmed in me that a Momma's job is NEVER done.  There are no sick days where we are completely off duty.  This is a never-ending job with long hours, many thankless tasks, but full of many benefits (which I will again appreciate much more fully when I feel back to normal)!

So, I thank God:
~that I was sick on the weekend when Daddy could easily be home and rescue me.
~that I am blessed with a husband who can and will take over with the kids when needed.
~that the worst of this sickness is over.
~that He will sustain me as I now get back in the game of being Mommy~even while not at 100%.

I believe the saying goes something like this....
The Show Must Go On!

The formative period for building character for eternity is in the nursery. The mother is queen of that realm and sways a scepter more potent than that of kings or priests. ~Author Unknown

Monday, November 9, 2009

We're lovin' fall!!!

You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 
Galatians 4:10

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Whew...I'm behind! But not with what REALLY matters....

OK...I know, I know....
most of you have moved on past Halloween a long time ago., I'm just now getting these pictures off my camera. 

Normally around this time of year, I am trying hard to be "Super Mom".  I am making sure I do all the right "holiday" activities.  I wouldn't, after all, want my child to get to college thinking, "my Mom didn't carve my pumpkin or make my spider cupcakes when I was 4...and I remember it!  I was robbed..."

Well, this year I took the pressure off myself.  I convinced myself that I probably won't get ousted by my kids for not doing the right "Mom stuff" this particular year.  And I'm fairly certain they will survive it.  If they do actually hold me to the fire many years later for not doing enough this year, then I will pay for their therapy! 

We did make our way to a couple of Halloween functions.  There was pumpkin painting, trick-or-treating, being with friends, more candy and sweets than should be humanly possible to consume.  But, there was no stress!

We didn't bake.  We didn't really decorate.  We slapped a hay bale on the porch and called it a day.

We had grandparents in for a great weekend.  We had close family friends join us for the activities of the evening.  And we joined friends for a picnic at the park prior to trick-or-treating.  It was easy.  Low key.  And stress free.

I enjoyed the costumes of others!  Have you ever felt like this???  I so couldn't relate.

We've eaten lots and lots of yummy candy.  Including Tootsie Rolls.  We love how it makes us look toothless!

But amidst all the holiday hub-bub, we mainly focus on Christ...and growing up these boys to walk the walk He has for their lives. 

I love this pumpkin Braden brought home from school.  He glued the face on. 

But mainly, I LOVE the prayer on the back.  You'll see why.

My motto for this holiday season is SIMPLICITY.  FAMILY.  FAITH. 
I look forward to a different kind of holiday.  One that isn't about impressing others.  One that isn't about how much STUFF my kids can get or go to.  Or how decorated my house is.  Or how cute my family is on a photo that we send out.  Or how many parties I can go to. 

Don't get me wrong...those things are all good.  And they, too, are gifts from the Lord.  But my striving this season is about being QUIET in my heart and head...and enjoying God's blessings of simplicity.  I choose to be intentional and worshipful this season, going into Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Well, we've closed out another year of costumes around here.  We have enough candy to last us well into 2010 (that is even weird to type!)  My boys have been filled with abundant energy and sugar! 

I can't show you the full pictures, so let me just paint you a  picture in your mind....

I am inside, doing laundry.  The boys have decided to play outside.  I hear them laughing within a few minutes...they have decided to pour a cup of dirt on top of Braden's head...and a cup of dirt into Blake's pants.  Then, within a minute, I hear them laughing hysterically.  They have proceeded to make mud in the dirt, strip naked, and put mud all over their entire bodies..and run around in the back yard, playing "Mud Men", Superheroes.  I'm quite sure I've never heard of those guys before...until now.

Life is good.  Mud is dirty.  Water can clean it.  They had a ball. 
That's all that matters.

How are you doing with what REALLY matters??

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Simpler thoughts

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged regularly. You know…blogging is hard when you’re constantly feeling deep. That is the state I am in all too often lately. I worry if my deep thoughts will bog down the few readers that grace this blog.

However, I can’t help it. I know it’s a season. It lines up with all that is going on in our lives right now. It’s just where I am.

Perhaps if I had one of those amazing blogs that all I focused on were beautiful homes and home decor. Trust me, I love looking at those blogs. They are entertaining. And idea forming. And dream giving. But then, for me, I would be focusing on things that are not the best for me. I tend to compare. I think too much on things that just don’t matter that much. So, occasionally, I’ll tackle the home stuff on my blog…because I DO love it. But that’s not the kind of blog I have.

Perhaps if I had a blog on frugality, deal-finding, shopping, and money saving.  I'd be tired.  Those ladies work way too hard!

Perhaps if I had a blog about parenting…but then I would be constantly having to admit that I don’t have a clue what I am doing. I struggle. Every. Day. Prayerfully. I struggle with how present I am with my kids….is it enough? Is it quality? And then…the comparing. Oh, the comparing! Comparing how I mother to how my friends mother. Comparing how my child at almost 3 ½ years-old still occasionally has potty accidents, when other mother’s children that age…don’t.

So, if I had a blog on topics about other things…I could easily be writing daily. But I don’t. My blog is entitled Full Life Simple Heart. My life IS full. So full. And right now, it’s so full of big thoughts, growth lessons, exhaustion, and lots of love. It almost feels too full.

So yet again, I want to focus on my desire for a simple heart. My desire is there. But practically speaking, I yearn for it to be simpler. I wish I could grasp my day more firmly and confidently…and accomplish what I desire to do. I wish my home was more organized. I wish I didn’t have projects looming over me to finish. I wish the voices in my head (not the spooky or multiple personality kind!) were clear thinking right now.

So I am going to be kind to myself. I am just going to sit in my deep thoughts…and occasionally share them, if God leads me to.

Right now I want to bathe in His grace. I want to feel His Presence. I want to watch Him work in mine and my family’s lives. I want to protect simplicity. I want to be okay if things are momentarily chaotic, knowing that they are only momentary.

And I don’t want to worry about whether or not my thoughts are too much for anyone who may or may not read. They are mine. My Father hears me. The heart of my husband hears me. That really IS enough. IF someone else can even remotely be encouraged, then I am glad I spoke my heavy thoughts.

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. ~Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Bootstrap, 1993

Eliminate physical clutter. More importantly, eliminate spiritual clutter. ~D.H. Mondfleur

The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Aunt Amy....aren't you proud?!?!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Crazy thinking

Remember this?

And then my friend, Jeff, made me this....

And now it looks like this...

(I still have to accessorize it, but I love it!)

I absolutely love it.  My coffee tastes more amazing in the morning, coming from it's own bar.  :)


Do you ever feel like this....

or this......

or this....

at 2:00 in the afternoon?  I do.   

Life can be exhausting. 

Physically... there are very practical reasons I am currently exhausted.
(a)  I am not going to bed on time.
(b)  I am not eating as healthfully as I normally do.
(c)  I am not drinking enough water.
(d)  I'm exercising sporadically at best.

Simply....I'm just plain old doing all the stuff I know not to do...and am obviously expecting different results.  That's just crazy thinking's exhausting trying to carry all the stuff God could carry for me...if I'd let him. 

Sometimes I take things back from Him.  I take my eyes off of Him. I place them on other things.  And then there is unrest, not as much peace, and defintely not the joy

Again, I'm just plain old doing the stuff I know not to do...yet again...
crazy thinking

God can.  He has.  He will.
I should continue to trust.  And seek Him.

And take care of myself.  God is doing His part.  I need to do mine.


This post was sweet today.  Hop over and read it, if you get the chance. 
Aunt Ruthie is adorable, sweet...and inspiring.

Have a great day...with no crazy thinking!

And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.
Colossians 3:2 (Amplified Bible)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Like grandma used to make it!

Oh, I wish you could've joined me today.  It was one of those dreamy times in the kitchen.

The weather was amazing today....a beautiful, crisp breeze, with lots of sun.  We had all the windows open.  I could hear the boys outside playing in the backyard, while listening to all my favorite praise songs playing inside.  My pumpkin spice candle was lit, and the scent was filling the kitchen. 

And to top it all off....

I made my husband's favorite dessert of all time:  carrot cake.
I used his grandmother's recipe, of course.  He has great memories of her serving him pieces of her carrot cake.  She hand wrote the recipe for me on a card many years ago, before she went to be with the Lord.  I'm so thankful I have that from her, in her writing.

There is nothing like "Momma Doc's" carrot cake.  It's nothing fancy.  Only the good old fashioned basics...made with a lot of love.  And let me's YUMMY!

No comments about my portion size, please.  Carrot cake is a veggie, right?!

Grandma's Carrot Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together:
2 cups flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups sugar

Beat together:
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil (add slowly)

Add dry ingredients to the oil/eggs alternatively with:
2 cups raw grated carrots

Add 1 tsp. vanilla.

Prepare two 9" cake pans. 
Bake for 25-30 mins. or until toothpick comes out clean.

1 large package of cream cheese
1 stick butter~softened
1 box confectioners sugar (1 lb.)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup nuts, finely chopped

Take, eat, ENJOY!

I'm happy to post this at To Everything a Season.  Hop over there and check out lots of great dessert ideas. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Be still my heart.....

I have loved this piece of furniture from the moment I laid eyes on it.  I knew we could be happy together. 

I instantly pictured it in my life, sharing my space, letting me adore it for the rest of my life. 

The only problem was...I didn't own it.  It wasn't mine.  It was someone else's. 

Oh, but I dreamed about it.  It would fit into my home, assisting in so many ways!  But I instantly thought how it could love our family so well in the area of a coffee bar....another deep love and passion of mine.

And random day, I asked my amazingly talented friend, Jeff, if he thought he could make one.  "Sure, he could try."  We talked about how much money it might be and realized it might cost a couple of hundred dollars worth of wood. 

And for now, that wasn't a possibility.
But God is a God of possibility, isn't He?

Jeff came across some fence wood from a neighboring house.  They were replacing their fence, and there was actually nothing wrong with the old fence. 

So with free wood, Jeff's amazing talent (and many hours!), and his sweet, giving heart....

Isn't it amazing?!  I love it!  I'd marry it, if I could.  :) 

I haven't yet painted it, but how close is THIS to the original picture?!
(My pictures do not even do this fabulousness justice!)

He even put glass in the upper hutch!

AND a light underneath! 
Let me catch my breath....

I wish I'd taken an up close photo of the cute little tray he made, too.  I have the PERFECT spot for coffee table.  And I needed something just like it to go there.  I'll come back to that with pictures later.

Jeff, you are a talented man.
And a dear family friend.
Thank you for your blessing.

And thank you, Colleen, for loaning Jeff's man hours to work on this.
You're both so special!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


This will probably be a longer post than anyone would possibly want to read today, but that’s okay. I’m overwhelmed by God’s presence in our family and in my life right now…I can’t even begin to express it. So, in this feeble attempt, I’ll try.

There is nothing like need to draw you to the feet of Christ…which is so where we should be always, even, in our excess. But when we feel NEED, and are at the end of ourselves, that is when God shows up.

When your fear of God is bigger than your fear of your circumstance, then God says, “WATCH THIS!”
Tony Evans

In this trial, we have not panicked. But before you pat me on the back, know this…it is God. It is GOD who has placed us in the family, in the church and in the community of friends he placed us in for such a time as this. It is GOD who has revealed His Truth to us in His Word. It is God who hears our prayers…and answers. It is GOD who draws us closer to Him so we feel His presence in our lives. It is GOD.

So we have been faithful to take Him at His word. And He is showing up. He never ceases to amaze me. He delights in faithful kids, looking upward to the Hand of the Father. He is faithful. He said He would provide. He has. He said He would give us peace that passes all understanding. He has. He said He would guide our steps. He has. He said He will never leave us. He hasn’t. He is a God that doesn’t deceive and doesn’t lie.

On a lighter, less “preachy” note…..

What have we been doing around here?

Well, this is who joined me for breakfast this morning….

Meet Darth Vader and the Storm Trooper

Then a few days ago as we were outside playing...and the mosquitos were just awful, this is what Braden did.

I wish I had gotten a "final"picture...he was coated in mud!!  I found out later that he was protecting his skin from mosquitos, like Bear Grylls, on Man Vs. Wild.
Makes sense, right?
And truth be told, he's the only one that didn't get bites that night....


In my quest to simplify life right now, I've been trying to FINISH some old projects that have been hanging over me, before I start any new ones. 

Last weekend, my strong man started on my (almost completely cost free!) compost bin I've been wanting him to build.  We planned this building adventure weeks ago and then Bill broke his knee cap and has been out of commission.  As you can see, he is back in "Honey Do" mode!  Can I hear an Amen?! 

He even had a little bit of help...

...until it was time to rest and dream about being a villian in outer space....

Remember this project
I finished. 
(I think I hear the Hallelujah chorus playing in the background...)

And remember this?
It turns out beautifully. 
I wouldn't recommend spending a whole lot of time taste testing....
not that I speak from experience....

And now, I've finally started on this.
Stay tuned....



They are powerful in my life.  I am truly blessed.
I was able to spend many luxurious hours with my sweet girlfriends, Connie and Meleah, on Sunday, perusing the Canton flea market.  Under the circumstances, I didn't really have any money to spend, but enjoyed many rain-soaked hours, walking around (ankle-deep in water) with these amazing women.  They, along with so many other women friends, are treasures in my life.  But Sunday with these ladies was filled with encouraging words, sweet moments and precious conversation. 

And my sweet friend Connie blessed me with this t-shirt, that is so fitting right now...

Thank you, friend.