Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thankful Thursday 184-187

184. Tree Huggers

185. Giant dandelions

186. Exploring new places

187. The mountains are so close to home

(Although our closest mountains are not on fire, they are awfully dry. We've had massive fires in our state, and it seems much of the western states are on fire. Please pray for those suffering from losses because of wildfires, they've been heavy on my mind)

a punk, a pumpkin and a peanut

Monday, June 25, 2012

Peaches and Grace

Butterflies flitted back and forth across the dusty mountain road. Some surprising me with their bravery, heading straight for the windshield, only to zig-zag back to the wildflowers on the side of the dirt road.

When we arrived at our destination, we found a picnic table perfect for our family. Placed the sandwich fixings on the table and created a delicious mountain meal. (You know, the kind that would be a typical, boring meal at home, but in the "wild" tastes extraordinarily delicious.)

As I stood at the table watching my sweet Littles shoo various flying distractions away from their meal, a tattered black butterfly landed on my shirt, under my chin. We laughed. He moved over to Mr Toddlerwhisperer's shirt, so Mr T. placed the core of his peach on the handle of our cooler.

And that's where the butterfly stayed, even after the peach was knocked over, until every bit of sweet nectar was savored.

So, of course, we found the peach core and placed it on the table. No sooner than we did, our little butterfly friend found it too. He remained there for the rest of our lunch, and when we checked on him after our adventure hike, he was still there. You had to know, this was probably the best day of his short life.

Now, I don't know what tore his wing, and I don't know why he was so unafraid of this family of humans, but God knew that this sweet butterfly needed a special treat. And it was our pleasure to provide it for him.

James 1:17

New King James Version (NKJV)
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

Grace Laced Mondays

Friday, June 22, 2012

There's a storm a'comin!

It crept slowly, eeking out the blue skies...yet captivating us with the sunset.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins
1 1/2 cups Pamela's GF Bread Mix & Flour Blend
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk 
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) Grease or line muffin cups

Combine the first four ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix together until all moistened. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups. (my yeild was 10)

Bake for 15 minutes in pre-heated oven, check doneness (mine were turning golden, yet were mushy in the centers) turn oven down to 375 and bake an additional 5 minutes.


Thankful 181-183

181. My friend G. She's awesome. I've known her my entire life...(well except the first 3 years) and we've stayed friends all along. She was my RA in college, we got married the same year, and both have shared the joy of being mommas to two children each. Well, she called me this week. She knows I need to get back into shape, but has never been judgmental. Told me we were going to work out together. Either at her gym or mine. Her gym was hot yoga, so I was like...NO. My gym I was not up to date with my membership, but neither was we each paid a day pass membership, and were able to have our kids watched for 2 hours and we did this:

For over an hour. I was sore, but felt alive again. Annnd...because July is my last month to be a SAHM, she forced me to asked me to update my gym membership for July so we could work out together for a solid month. It almost makes me teary eyed to know how much she really cares about me, wanting to help me shape up, lose a little weight and get some quality time together before school starts. What a great friend.
In the meantime...I'm doing what others have said Bob Harper said to do when you can't get to the gym...

182. 20 jumping jacks, 20 lunges, 20 push-ups 3-5 times a day

183. VBS nightly this week from 6-8:45 It has been wonderful to drop the kids off, and go on a date, just being with MR Toddlerwhisperer for a few hours uninterrupted! 

Have a wonderful day! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Grace in Gardening

We've spent quite a bit of time developing this soil. It's been pretty much a compost pile, most of the year. Coffee grounds, watermelon rinds, cucumber peels, cabbage ends and pieces...really any fruit or veggie waste has been going into this section of the yard.

We finally began our garden by by digging into the dirt yesterday. Rich deep colors were dug up and spread. We placed an organic fertilizer, and raked out big pieces of roots, sticks, concrete stones, and old vines that had somehow got mixed into it.

Then came the planning..."yes, let's put the tomatoes in the back this year, they took up a lot of space here last year." "a walking path in the center would be great." "this particular plant grows large and spreads"

Next, the planting. Digging deep bowls for each plant. Separating each with high walls to hold in water. Then the watering. Filling each bowl with life giving water.

I snapped a few pictures as the sun poked through the yard this morning

It's funny how many sticks and rocks can come up to the surface when a gardener begins preparing the soil for growth. How the impurities are so easily seen when the the rest of the soil is raked about and smoothed. 

My life, like the soil, wondering why I have to go through a rotten fruit kind of a situation, when in the end it was meant to enrich my ground. 

My sin, so easily seen when my soil is disturbed.

Lord, may Your Word be a gardener's tool. Bringing my ugly to the surface so it may be removed. So my life will yield good fruit. ~amen

Grace Laced Mondays

Friday, June 15, 2012

My Sunhat Pattern

This pattern has been sitting scribbled in my notebook for about 3 years, so I finally decided to get it all written down and sized accordingly.

It's evolved a bit since I first wrote it down but I really like the result, I really like the coverage it provides and I really like the texture.

It's for sale, only $4.99 plus permission to sell products made from the pattern.
Instant download on
and also for sale on Etsy in the Toastycrow shop

Plus, if you buy from Toastycrow, you can use this code for 15% off. 

Thank you much!! Be on the lookout for the baby love cuddle blanket pattern I mentioned earlier. I hope to work it out this weekend.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thankful Thursday 174-180

174. kids splashing in the pool..

175. life in my thought to be entirely dead weeping willow...
176. finding some pretty swimsuits online that i want to buy.
177. telling the kids we are planning a trip to disney BEFORE i start working in the fall
178. selling odds and ends in my vintage shop recently
179. such a great visit with my friends over tea. :)
180. summertime fires in the fireplace on the patio after the kids are in bed.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thankful Thursday One Seventy Three

Today, I am only going to focus on one thing I'm thankful for. My friendship that has stood the test of time, weathered a storm or two...and has become stronger and deeper over the years. I have very few close friendships, never had a best friend in elementary, middle or even high school, but things changed in college.

I know it happened due to a mutual love of all things band related and concert goings.
This is us posing with Matt Slocum from Sixpence circa 1996 

I remember getting sick shortly after we met, and she came to my dorm room and brought me some fruit and a muffin from the cafeteria.

We were pretty much inseparable after that.
bustin' a jam

road trippin it up in Eureka Springs Arkansas
and even graduating college together (though she finished before me. :) )
And almost ten years after college, each of us married, and now, almost ten years after that we make trips across states to visit and catch up. Rejoicing in the fact that our husbands became fast friends, our kids LOVE each other, we get to see each other really soon again. 

so, for my Thanksgiving Thursday today

173. A friendship that God ordained

Monday, June 4, 2012

Grace Found in my New Vacuum!

We've got more carpet than should be legal, I admit it. We were rough on it when we first moved in to our house...lots of shoe traffic. Then came the children...oh boy. So many crumbs and stains and "unnecessary roughness" on these carpeted floors.

And all along for the last almost ten years we've been cleaning it the same way, using the same vacuum and slowly, almost without even noticing, it's been doing a poorer and poorer job on our carpet. Until, about two weeks ago, it finally gave up its fight and literally broke in two.

I knew we couldn't get a new vacuum right away, so I carefully duct taped it together, and continued to use it until Friday.

We researched vacuums, and not wanting to spend too much, decided on a Eureka SuctionSeal. I put it together rather quickly,  and began vacuuming shortly after. I was amazed at how tall my carpet seemed to be standing, astonished by what was being picked up into the collection bucket.

This vacuum is BOSS! Our entire house feels different. Fresher, cleaner, easier to breathe in. 

Made me think about my life. How many harmful or toxic behaviors are disguised by good intentions? (too much time on the computer, getting angry and snapping over silly or small things) How many bad habits am I pushing around my life with little positive effect? Just as it feels fantastic to get the dust and dirt out of my carpet and house, in preparation for my best friend and her family to come visit, it's time to look into the corners of my heart, and do some house cleaning here too, for my most important Guest. What areas in my life need Jesus to "lift and remove"??As I'm scrubbing the nitty gritty from my pretties this week, I'm going to make a conscious effort to ask the Lord to show me the areas in my life that need a good dusting. And I pray that He reveals His heart to you this week too.

This post is part of a link up through Gracelaced blog. 
Grace Laced Mondays