Thursday, April 30, 2009

Easy Spring Tree Craft

I started this project way before my back went out and landed me in bed. Thankfully for the past two Fridays I have had a sweet friend come and be a mother's helper. Megan is 17, homeschooled, my boys piano teacher, a sister to five brothers and two sisters, an awesome cook(she made a "fancy lunch" for the boys last Friday- eggs, pancakes, bacon, and toast!), and a wonderful helper! She successfully kept my four children in line! All while feeding us and cleaning my house. Plus she helped the boys finish the Spring Tree craft we had started 6 weeks earlier.

This is a super easy project so even your littlest one can make a pretty spring tree.

  • Start with a sheet of heavy paper. We used watercolor paper, but you could use cardstock instead. Have your child draw a tree (or draw a tree for a younger child) and color it in with a brown crayon, leaving as few white places as possible.
  • Next take a cheap watercolor set and paint the rest of the paper a light blue.

  • While your page is drying cut out squares from white and various shades of pink tissue paper.
  • When the paint is dry attach your tissue paper. Place a pencil in the center of a square of tissue paper. With your fingers push the sides of the tissue paper up and twist it around the pencil. Remove the tissue paper "bud" and glue it to the tree.

This is the one my two-year-old did with a little help. If you twist your squares tightly around the pencil they will stay in the shape of a "bud". These are a little loose, but still make for a pretty spring picture!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Frugal Bathtime Fun


One youngster in need of a bath

A bottle of baby bath and an empty foaming soap dispenser. Place a teaspoon of baby bath into dispenser, fill up with water, shake to mix together and...

Bubbles galore, with endless, frugal bathtime fun!

For more Works For Me Wednesday visit Kristen at We Are THAT Family.

Monday, April 27, 2009



Its reflections week at I Heart Faces. I recruited my son, Caleb, this week. We used an antique mirror that my mother-in-law gave me to capture Caleb's reflection. I had a hard time choosing which picture to use, because he was so cute in many of them. I love the seriousness of his big brown eyes in this one.


For more great photos of reflections visit I Heart Faces.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Book Review

I just finished reading a novel called Higher Hope. It is the second book in the series called A Tides of Truth by Robert Whitlow. The series is about a young woman, Tami Taylor, who is studying to become a lawyer. She desires to live for the Lord, while surrounded by the harsh and worldly aspects of the legal world.

In the book, Higher Hope, Tami is working as a law clerk for the summer in a Savannah law firm. Tami stands apart from the other clerks because she stands up for herself and her beliefs. Therefore, her boss assigns her to a case that involves a preacher who is accused of slandering the owner of a development company.

When I first received this book I didn't think I would enjoy reading it. I normally don't read books that have legal plotlines. As a matter of fact this was my first one! As I read the first couple of chapters, I started to wonder if it would be a pain to try to finish the book. There was one character in particular that had what I view as fanatical religious ideas and characteristics. However, I didn't want to give up on the book and I continued on. I'm glad I did! I really enjoyed Whitlow's writing style. Plus, it had just enough romance in it to keep my interest piqued. It soon became hard for me to put the book down. I didn't agree with some of the character's convictions, but that made the book all the more interesting for me. I would definitley enjoy reading the rest of the books in this series.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tagged for Eight

Bloom Where You Are Planted tagged me for this meme that features 8 answers to each question asked.

Eight Things I Look Forward To...

1. Spring

2. Working in my flower garden

3. Fresh vegetables from the garden (noticing a theme here!).

4. Being back on my feet and able to care for my family.

5. My children learning new things each day.

6. Weekends!

7. Hot coffee with flavored creamer each morning.

8. Visits from my sisters and brother.

Eight Things I Did Yesterday...

Oh boy, this could be difficult. Since I have been on "work release" for the past 5 weeks! I don't know if I can come up with 8 things, but let me see...

1. Crocheted a baby washcloth.

2. Unraveled said baby washcloth, because I didn't like the looks of it (5 times)!

3. Cleaned sink and toilet(on my knees :) in my bathroom. SHHHH- don't tell on me.

4. Folded a couple loads of laundry while laying on my back, no less. I'm getting quite proficient at it!

5. Finished a book I was reading.

6. Started a new book.

7. Watched a Little Bear DVD with Lauren, again and again and again. I'm pretty sure I can quote all 12 episodes word for word!

8. Did a little blog reading. Okay, I did a whole lot of blog reading, but I have to keep entertained some how.

Eight Things I Wish I Could Do ...

1. Sew more than just a few straight seams here and there.

2. Take awesome pictures with one of those fancy pants cameras

3. Play piano proficiently

4. Sing beautifully

5. Give more money to help needy children.

6. Adopt some of those orphaned children.

7. Visit my brother and sister-in-law and two nephews who are on a 6 month missions trip in Southeast Asia.

8. Work in my gardens.

Eight Shows I Watch...

We can't get cable out her in the boondocks and we don't have the dish. Plus with T.V. going digital we only get 2 or 3 stations depending on the day and weather! Here are a couple of things I do like to watch, but aren't "shows" per say.

1. The Waltons

2. Tales From Avonlea

3. Pride and Prejudice

4. Used to love watching Masterpiece Theater on PBS, but can't get a single PBS station now. One of the things I must give up living way out here in the country!

5. Anne of Green Gables

6. Anne of Avonlea

7. Any old movie

8. Anything with a historical/romance type theme

I'm supposed to tag eight other people, but quite a few ladies in my blog "circle" have already done this or been tagged. So, if you want to join in have it at it!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Becoming An Encourager

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:13

Raising a family is demanding work. As mothers there is so much on our plates. We must meet various needs throughout each and every day. There is laundry to do, disagreements to settle, meals to cook, messes to clean up and discipline to dish out. With all these duties to attend to it can become easy to just dole out cookie cutter discipline for each infraction. Not taking the time to look deeply at each child involved.

To read more of my most recent article on encouraging our children visit AT THE WELL~ click HERE


Also 5 Minutes For Mom is doing an awesome 2 week Mother's Day Giveaway. Take a few minutes to check it out. There are some amazing prizes.

Mothers Day 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

No More Bare Bottom

We have a dilemma around here. It involves a two-year-old who can't keep her pants up and therefore walks around all day displaying her backside for all to see.

I don't remember my boys ever having this problem. With my daughter, Lauren however, it has become a chronic condition. All day long I ask her to pull up her pants because her bottom is showing. She dutifully hikes them up, but within 2 minutes her little crack is peeking out again. So, I have come up with a solution...



Oh yes, isn't this just the most fashionable child you have ever seen! No more bare behind thanks to a onesie snapped over her pants. As you can see the pants can fall down all they want, but there can be no complaint of immodesty!

Just don't call the fashion police on me!

For more Works For Me Wednesday visit We Are THAT Family.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Self Portrait


Just a little bed-head going on!

Nothing glamorous here- no make-up or hair brush, just al-natural!


To see more self portraits or to enter one of your own visit

I Heart Faces


Monday, April 20, 2009


"Give, and it will be given unto you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38

It's amazing to me how I have read the whole Bible, but can always find a verse that I either don't remember ever reading or a verse that speaks to me in a whole new way. Luke 6:38 is a verse I don't ever remember reading. Obviously, at the time I read it, it didn't hold substantial meaning for me, because it never sank in. The other day this verse jumped off the page at me.

For the past 4 weeks I have been surrounded by people who have given and given and given some more. I am awed at the amount I have received. I am touched by the love and care given to me. It is "A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over...". It isn't a few niceties here and there. I have been blessed with an amazing amount of kindness and selflessness. Picture a big barrel. Inside it is full of blessings that others have given me, not just loosely packed, thrown in haphazardly, but packed tightly together. Pushed, finagled and squeezed until the seems are bursting with goodness.

This is how I feel. The kindness, love, giving and prayers have been poured out into my lap and at times I don't feel very deserving. But, with my new knowledge, thanks to God's Holy Word, I now know what to do with my overflowing lap. I will return the kindness bestowed upon me. I will give to those who need to be given to. I will return the kindness shown to me and I will PRAISE God from whom all blessings flow!


A special thanks to my dear friend Jackie who sent me a wonderful care package in the mail. She sent me a beautiful heart-felt note, some yummy smelling Mango Mandarin Body Lotion and a batch of chocolaty cookie bars that are a chocolate lovers dream come true! Love you girl! Your thoughtfulness really touched my heart.

And to my sweet friend from Little Toes and Cheerios who sent me a CD of worship music and a DVD with pictures from my blog set to some of my favorite songs. I received this before my back went out, but it has been such a blessing to me. THANK YOU! I have been watching my DVD and it is such a treasure to me! I get teary every time I watch it. Love You!

I also want to thank each of you for all your thoughts and prayers. I am really blessed to have such wonderful friends. The comments you have left me over the past month have really touched my heart. For those of you who have sent me e-mails thank you!!! You are all so special to me!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

View From My Recovery Room

For the past four weeks I have spent most of my time in my bedroom. I have found it is the most comfortable spot in the house. Our couches are 16 years old and broken down. They sag just a bit too much and I can't lay on them very long before my back starts hurting.

So, I have spent my days staring at the following items and thought I would share them with you!


This is an antique drying rack, given to me by my mother-in-law, filled with antique linens an old quilt and one very beautiful, blue wall hanging that my sister Marisa made for me. I am hoping to hang it on my living room wall this summer. I have the rod and all, just need to light a fire under my husband! This wall also has antique plates and a tea cup on it. Just a few of my treasures!


To the right of my bed I have baby pictures of my kids to gaze at. These never get boring!


Right underneath the pictures is this wash stand. The boys picked me some pussy willows to help me feel better and my parents bought me an Easter Lily, so I have a touch of spring right in my bedroom. On one side of the stand I have a basket full of yarn and crocheting projects. On the other side is a stack of crochet books and a small sewing basket. Just a few items to keep boredom at bay.


The wall straight across from my bed has this cross stitch wonder. My sister Shelly made this for me and I absolutely love it. It is just like the Sycamore tree up on the hill behind my parents home that everyone in my family loves.


Finally to the left of my bed is a set of double windows and this is part of my view. Where you see the shepherd hook is where my largest flower garden is. Too bad I can't see it when I am lying down in bed. But, I am happy that the birds land on the shepherd hook as they look around for predators before they partake in the birdseed that I have had the boys place out for them.

Well now you know what I have been looking at lately! Some of you have asked how I am doing...well I'll tell ya, I'm hanging in there! On Friday, my doctor said he was pleased with my progress. I can stand for about 10 minutes before my back hurts so bad that I have to lay down. He gave me a good talking to. Telling me that now is the critical period. I have to be really careful not to overdo it, just because I am feeling better. He said if I do something to mess it up now I will be in a world of trouble. So, I am still on work release as Joel puts it! Spending most of my days flat on my back in bed.

Last night Lauren called out for me around 1:00. I climbed into bed with her and waited for her to fall back to sleep. I came back to my bed and as I got in I must have moved wrong, because pain shot down to the back of my knee. This morning I am dealing with constant pain again. Please pray for me. I had to go back on the pain medication. Please pray that I didn't do any major damage. I so desperately want to get well and back to being a momma and wife.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Little More About Me

It's time for the Friday grilling. Nope no chicken or steaks are on the grill. Just a meme where you enlighten your readers with your answers to some simple questions. Check out Golden Goodness to read more from other bloggers.

1. Do you prefer reality tv or dramas or comedies?

Dramas. I'm a big sap!

2. If you could have free cosmetic surgery, what would you have done?

I don't know if this is considered cosmetic or not, but I would have laser surgery on my eyes. I have had to wear glassed since 4th grade. I would love to be able to wake up, get out of bed and be able to see clearly without fumbling for my glasses.

3. What are you itching to get but you have 'bitten the bullet'?

Something that I would like to have, but don't really need, is a fancy camera, not just the point and shoot variety I have.

4. Do you have a bad habit that you hope your children don't pick up?

Sarcasm. I tend to let remarks roll off my tongue that tend to be a bit sharp and uncalled for.

5. What was your favorite meal growing up?


6. What meal did you have as a youngster that you don't have as an adult?

We had liver once. I remember gagging so hard that I had tears running down my face!

7. What is your earliest memory of a "vacation"? Where'd you go?

When I was 5 my family took a trip to Florida with my grandparents. I vaguely remember it. Just bits and pieces.

8. What was the "Best Thing" you ever got for Christmas, before age 12?

A Cabbabe Patch Kid. My younger sister and I got one. I remember spending days with her playing with our dolls. Great memories!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I Heart Faces- Spring



I took this picture of Lauren, 2 years ago. It was her first experience with dandelions. She kept trying to eat them!

For more spring pictures check out I heart faces.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Vege Garden Here I come



Three weeks and two days ago, (exactly one day before my back went ka-plooey) I planted some tomato, pepper, dill, cabbage and a few petunias in some starter cups. I use small plastic drinking cups, about the 2 oz size, that I poke holes in with a push pin. Then I place them in plastic shoe boxes in a window that has a southern exposure. I love seeing my plants growing and knowing that in another month or more I will be placing them into my garden. MMMM- I can't wait to begin reaping the benefit of home grown goodness.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Few Unknown Facts About Me

I found this meme on my friend Amy's blog. It is hosted over at the blog Golden Goodness. If you get a chance go check it out! It looked like fun, so I thought I would jump in and give it a try! It's called Grilling Goodness and it is super easy. Just answer the questions provided and in the process share a little insight about yourself.

1. What's one of the best things you've seen lately?
2. Has Spring brought you something you don't like?
3. What kind of sandwiches do you like?
4. Do you carry GermX with you at all times?
5. Does each person in your house have their own hamper or do you have a central hamper for everyone?
6. How often do you balance your checkbook?
7. What's the hardest thing you've done lately?
8. Are you a texter?

My Answers....

1. The Goldfinches outside my window with their drab winter plummage replaced with bright, cheery yellow.

2. For anyone who reads my blog this is a no-brainer... my aching back. BLAH! One thing I have to praise the Lord for is that I can now stand for about 5 minutes at a time, before I have to lay back down.

3. Love deli turkey sandwiches with all the fixin's on thick slices of bread.

4. Um....YEAH! I think the number of bottles of Germ-X, I have stashed in my purse, vehicle and diaper bag would break some sort of world record!

5. I have a hamper on the master bath. A hamper in the boys/main bath and Lauren has a hamper in her bedroom.

6. Never! That's my husbands job. Thankfully he keeps on top of it and does it monthly.

7. The hardest thing I've done lately is having to stay in bed. It has been hard on me to have to rely on everyone else to care for me, my children and take care of our house.

8. Don't laugh to hard, but I wouldn't even no how to text someone. We only have a tracphone, which is a cell phone where you purchase one years worth of service and the amount of minutes you want. We only use it when we really need too. This is one of the ways we keep our monthly expenditures down.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


I love this picture of Lauren! She is busy making dirt cakes in the soybean field! What else would you do on a gorgeous spring day!

Visit 5 Minutes for Mom to see more Wordless posts.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Still Laying Low and A Bit of Randomness

Well, not much has been happening here. How much excitement can one have when she is spending her days in bed? However, the doctor did say I should see more improvement this week. Right now I am feeling a slight improvement. I am able to stand for a couple of minutes at a time. Which may not sound like much, but it is a big improvement from two weeks ago.

Through this whole ordeal I am learning how very blessed I am. Both my parents and Joel's parents have selflessly helped take care of Lauren and Caleb. Not to mention all the laundry they have folded. My church family has kept us fed for the past three weeks and one of our elderly neighbors has made us 3 meals in the past week and a half! The love everyone has shown our family is so amazing.

Early, early Monday morning we got pounded with 6 inches of wet, heavy snow, which so generously knocked out our electricity for 16 hours. Thankfully my parents live just around the corner from us and they took this whole motley crew home with them for the day.

Just the other day I got up and took a quick peek out my bedroom window and saw that my lilies, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths were poking their little green heads up through the ground. Now they are all covered in snow. And it is snowing again today. ARGGG! I am so ready for spring.

But, more importantly I have to get my back healed or I won't be able to enjoy planting season. I love to be able to kick off my shoes and walk through the freshly tilled soil. I love the feel of the dirt, the smell of the dirt, the miracle of green sprouts growing in my garden. I am trying to get my mind wrapped around the fact that I might miss out on the planting this season. I'm not sure all that bending over will be something I can do, especially with the planting of my cold crops (lettuce, spinach, radishes, cabbage, etc). I will probably have to sit on the side lines this year and let others help me out. HMMM- that's going to be a hard one for me.

And finally, a quick prayer request. I think having mom in bed is really taking its toll on my children. Attitudes have been less than cheerful and there seems to be a lot of bickering and unhappiness flying around. Please pray for my children, cuz I'm having a hard enough time keeping my sanity while stuck in this bed.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Review- DVD Bible

The Read and Share DVD Bible from Thomas Nelson Publishing consists of thirteen bible stories from scripture. The stories come from the Read and Share Bible by Gwen Ellis. This DVD is ideal for toddlers and pre-schoolers. Each story is 3-minutes in length, which is ideal for the short attention spans of younger children.

My own children 10, 7, and 2 watched this video. My 10 year old watched the whole thing and declared them good to okay. My 7 year old said he liked them and my two year old lasted about 2 minutes. I wasn't suprised that she didn't last very long. She has never been a big fan of T.V.!

My opinion of this DVD is that it was okay. It isn't my favorite, nor is it the worst I have ever seen, just somewhere in the middle. Most of the DVD consist of narration with the cartoon figures acting out the narration. The animation is simple but colorful. What I did like about the DVD is that each story was simple and easy to understand, perfect for little minds. If you are looking for simplified Bible stories for your little one, then this might just work for you.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Perfect Love

As I was picking up the thousandth LEGO of the day, I wearily sighed and felt the frustration mount in my chest. My seven year old son passed through the room and sweetly said, "I love you mom, you are the best mommy ever!"

It wasn't the first time I had heard this precious statement. My son rewards me with this affectionate statement daily. I never know when he will lovingly send out his adoration's. He never uses the statement as a vice to get something he wants or because I have done something amazingly, wonderful for him. No, he just shares his love with me unconditionally. Even on days when I know I really don't deserve such high accolades.

His statements of love keep me striving to live up to that title. Oh, there are days when I come far from reaching my goal. I fail at bestowing a perfect love. These are the times when I get down on my knees to beseech the Lord to forgive me and guide me. Then I seek out my children, wrap my arms around them and ask for forgiveness. I am a sinner and I will never be a perfect mother, but there is One who knows me and loves me all the same.

Thankfully we have a Heavenly Father who loves us in our less than perfect moments. His love is unconditional. We can't earn it. He gives it freely and it never ends. Even when we feel we have done or said the unfathomable, our God still loves us. He is perfect love.

"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in him." I John 4:16

How often do we as mothers fall into the trap of guilt when we don't live up to that "perfect mommy" status. We ask God to forgive us and He does. We ask our children to forgive and they do. But, we can't forgive ourselves. The guilt we carry around with us over past mistakes wounds us. We believe satan's lies that we are failures and we begin to crumble under the overwhelming load we have heaped on our own shoulders.

God doesn't want us to mother out of guilt. He wants us to mother from our hearts. To do that we must seek Him. We must know Him. We must forgive ourselves. When we do that we will truly have a mother's heart and we will desire to serve our families in the way that God intended.

We are blessed to have a Heavenly Father that is the "best ever"! He loves us when we fail. He cares for us even when we are in our worst moods. He adores us even when we are not adorable! He loves us because He created us.

To me there is an even greater goal to attain. God desires for me to be the best mommy ever, therefore that is where I should set my standards.

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:3-4

By setting aside any selfishness and looking closely to the needs of my children, I can follow God's plan for my life. How easily I can let myself get swept up into the "me first" mentality. But, if I am willing to set aside my ambitions and desires, then I can focus on being the mother God wants me to be. There will be times when I feel like I'm being pulled in a thousand different directions. And there will be times when I feel like calling it quits. But, I know during these moments of struggle I only need to look to the Lord for strength and guidance.

I am going to give up trying to attain perfect mommy status and aim for serving my family in love. My God has great plans for me and my little family. I only need to turn my face towards Him and He will show me the way.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


There isn't much to tell at this point. I am still flat on my back. I can only stand or sit for a minute of two before the pain is so excrutiating that I have to lay down. Joel and I have decided for the time being to stick with the Chiropractor. We will use surgery as a last ditch effort. I could really use your prayers. I am trying to keep positive about this whole thing, but I have had some moments of despair. It is hard to be stuck and bed and unable to help my family. I just want to jump up and make everything better. I am tired of the pain and fighting boredom. I've never been very good at being still. Maybe this is what God has planned for me...being still and knowing He is God.

This has been really hard on our family. Especially my youngest two children, Caleb and Lauren. Lauren just can't comprehend why mommy can't get up and play or get her drinks or eat dinner at the table with her. She has been spending most of her time at my mom and dad's house. They are such a blessing to me. I don't know what I would do with out their help and support. Thankfully they live just down the road from us, so my mom has been bringing Lauren home in the afternoons when Joel comes home from work. As soon as she gets home she climbs right into bed with me and we snuggle, read and play.

Caleb and Lauren have been spending the nights at my parents home. My mom wasn't too happy with me, when she found out that I laid down on the floor in Lauren's room on Sunday night. Lauren was crying so hard that she was on the verge of throwing up. So, I threw some blankets on the floor and made her a bed. I gingerly got down on the floor and laid next to her until she fell asleep. She needed and wanted her mommy, so I did what I had to do. However, when my mom found out what I had done, she gave me a lecture about needing to get better and not creating further damage on the disk in my lower back. So, since then she has taken over and is selflessly and wonderfully caring for my littlest ones.

Please pray for Joel as he takes care of us all, for my children as they cope with momma being down and out, and my parents as they care for Lauren and Caleb.
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