Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Mary Helen was invited to a tea party today. This is how we spent our morning...

You can guess that the pictures are in no particular order, but the girls wore their pretty dresses, and once we got there, they did make up, put on costume jewelry, and had their face painted. We had 3 cats and a princess. Then the girls were served green "tea" and little finger sandwiches and fruit. They had a great time!

This afternoon I have been doing laundry and cleaning house. I'm having company. My new friend, Elise, is coming to visit! We live in the same state, and met through blogging. We have several little projects planned, and I'm sure we're going to have a great time!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday - Art Area

I bought these buckets at Target in the dollar spot a while back, and had been using them somewhere else. I had the idea to move this little table in a corner of the playroom and corral all their art stuff here. Even though they don't always sit here to do all their little creations, it's easy enough to pick a bucket and take it with them.

another idea for keeping those preschoolers busy? activities in a bag...and I'm hosting a swap if you want to join in the fun! click here for all the details...

check out more works for me wednesday ideas at it's new home

Monday, February 23, 2009

Preschool Activity Swap!

I am hosting a swap for all you moms of preschoolers! Some of you need activities to keep those preschoolers busy while you homeschool your older kiddos, and some of you need to keep them busy so you can get your things done, and some of you would just love 15 minutes of mommy time!

What we will do is each mom will make 15 activity bags (15 max, we will cut the swap off at 15 participants)...there are ideas here and here, or you can search for your own or make them up!

You will send all your bags to me, and I will return your box with 14 different activities for your preschooler. Each bag should cost less than $1 (could be less depending on what you have around your house!) and you will pay to ship them to me, and you will send a check to cover shipping your items back to you ($8 should be a max for shipping each way).

If you'd like to join, please leave a comment here with your email address and what activity you would like to contribute (to keep from having duplicates). I will email you back to confirm and to give you my mailing address.

Please feel free to pass the word along to others!

**Sign up will end this Friday, or when we have 15 participants. Whichever comes first**

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Story of Us

In honor of We Are THAT Family's carnival this week, I thought I'd tell the story of how my hubby and I met and ultimately got married. For those of you who thought you were going to be reading about my story of giving my life to Christ, then you're in luck because the two practically go hand-in-hand! So, here they both are.

I'll start by telling you that like many people, I was living my life for myself. I thought I was really living it up, but I was still yearning for more...feeling an emptyness that partying and boyfriends could not fill. I was attending a church with a boyfriend when I saw truly devoted Christian families, and I thought a lot about them. I remember trying to figure out what they had that I didn't (and it wasn't just a husband!).

Now, I was one of those people who would say they were "born a Christian". I was raised in the church, my grandfather is a retired preacher, my uncle is a preacher, yada yada. I'm still looking for the passage in the Bible about God's grandchildren. I would have told you during those days of my life that I was a Christian. I fully believed that I would go to heaven. I believed there was a Hell, but I thought it was pretty empty with the exception of some pretty awful murderer types.

One of those days that I was thinking about a sermon I'd heard in that little country church, I prayed that God would show me what He had for me. I wanted to give my life over and let him have control. Not surprisingly, my first act of obedience was to break up with the boyfriend.

Meanwhile, I was carrying on with other parts of my life working and going to college. One day at work, a tall handsome dairy farmer walked in. I had no idea that he was the next part of God's plan! That was October 15, 2002. On October 25, 2002, Joel and I had our first date.

I did some asking around about him and learned that he was a Christian. I didn't know it at the time, but he and some people from his church had been praying that he would find a godly wife. I'm not sure I really fit the bill early on, but I'm trying to grow towards a worthy wife still.

Pretty soon, we were inseperable. Sometime in December we started talking about the future. We began praying together on the phone each night, and we began to see doors open for us to be married.

We were engaged on December 29, 2002; and exactly 5 months after I saw him for the first time, we were married on March 15, 2003.

It has been almost 6 years. I have heard so many people say that marriage is hard work. I agree, but the rewards are so great! I can't believe that we have such a wonderful marriage and friendship. He is everything I never thought I'd be able to find in a man. He is a godly man who loves me and our children. He is generous and kind. He puts up with a lot from me and as far as I know doesn't complain (he rolls his eyes when he comes home and I've moved the furniture around again, but he doesn't complain!). He works hard so that I can be home with our kids, and he balances it with lots of quality time with us.

God continues to grow me all the time as well. I will continue with more of my testimony another time. Check out the other participants in the carnival by clicking on the button below.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

What kind of container are you?

In my quiet time the other day, I came to 2 Timothy 2:20-21. The Message paraphrases it this way:

In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets - some containers used to serve fine meales, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.

I hope that God will use me as fine crystal and silver, to bring his beautiful gospel to those who don't know Him. One of the big things I heard from God during my weekend is that I need to share my story. So, if you're interested in my story, check back over the next few days to read it.

On another note, I'm getting closer on the John Deere dresser! Hopefully I will finish it this weekend!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Standing Shoulder to Shoulder

This weekend, I had the privilege of attending a ladies retreat with 65 other ladies from our small town. It was absolutely God-ordained and exactly what I needed. I have to tell you that for the month of January, my life has not been where it should have been with the Lord. I had neglected my quiet times almost entirely; and when I did get them in, they were shallow at best. I had allowed the Enemy to tell me lies. Lies about myself and my God. Lies about my salvation and my worth to the Father.

Thankfully, I had long ago signed up to be a part of the leadership of the retreat by being in charge of favors with a friend of mine. I really enjoy that sort of thing. Anyways, I went up the night before the retreat, knowing that something in my life had to change. I began seeing glimpses of Truth that I'd been neglecting even on the ride up with two other ladies. It never ceases to amaze me how God meets us where we are.

Our theme for the weekend was the same as our ladies ministry theme for this whole church year, Standing Shoulder to Shoulder. We draw strength from each other by standing together.

I'm sure this post could go on and on, so I will try to give you small glimpses over the next days of what God revealed to me, but for today I want to tell you that God showed me quickly that I am a child of His, and that I had allowed the Devil to have a foothold in my life. The biggest thing that I came away with is that God has given my my story - the challenges, sorrows, triumphs - to share with others.

I can tell you that this blog will continue with the same fluffy stuff that you've been seeing - my decorating projects, craft projects, shopping deals (did I mention the outlets near the retreat center?!), and life in general for me and us; BUT, I will begin to share more of my story. What God is showing me. My prayer is that my story might encourage you, and may be God will even use it to extend His kingdom.