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Mopping the Floor: Blogger-Style

On Being THAT Family


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Do It Yourself Projects (DIYP)

Click here to see list of complete list of projects:

Marriage:

Wedding Shower Lovelies

I’m old and I got married a long time ago.

Times have changed so much in the last 15 years, my wedding decor is laughable. 
But, I have hosted a few showers. 
And I’m all about the favors, cookies are my choice.
Here are some of my favorites:
(from Bake @350)
Wedding Monograms, Wedding Monogram Cookies, Wedding Cookies by Rolling Pin ProductionsWedding Couple Wedding Cake Cookies,  Wedding Couple Wedding Cake Decorated Cookies, Wedding Cake Monograms by Rolling Pin Productions
Let’s be clear, I’m all about cookies, for any occasion!
Check out Kelly’s for more fun!

Thank You

I started blogging around six months ago.  It was a whim.  It was a selfish act.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t even open it to comments for the first 4 months. 

I wrote.  For me.  
It was out of defiance, really.  I filed away another rejection letter from a Publisher, turned on my computer and rebelled.  Every post I wrote was an act of revenge, “Well, then, fine.  I’ll just publish myself.”
I’ve written about my kids and their fiasco’s.  My bad mommy moments have been on display.  
One word comes to mind:  selfish.  
I didn’t plan to allow comments.  I didn’t plan to meet other people.  I didn’t plan to be moved with compassion.  

I’m glad I didn’t plan.
And that’s why I want to say thank you.
In the past six months, I have traveled to Africa with Shannon and Sophie.  Tears have puddled on my keyboard as I have watched these two ladies struggle with their emotions and closely watched how they fit Africa into their everyday lives.  My family sponsored Bereket, a five year old Ethiopian child who lives in extreme poverty.  I think about this precious child every time I eat. Which is all day long. A giant lump forms in my throat each time my kids pray for him at bedtime.
Between loads of laundry and dishes, I have met and grown to love courageous women who are fighting cancer, like Heather J.  She makes me laugh everyday.  I glean from her strength.  And she has reminded me that I still believe God can heal.  
Reading through the grieving heart of a woman who lost her twins in utero has touched a place in me I didn’t want to visit.  Journeying with Lisa as she mourns the loss of a three year old cousin has moved me.  For days, I couldn’t wipe away the image of a tiny white casket from my mind or of a childless mother.  Thinking of her, I have whispered prayers over my own children and sat by their sleeping bodies and wept- from love, sorrow, guilt and thankfulness.
Following Happy Mommy‘s chronicles of her desire to have another child after her husband’s vasectomy reversal have been inspiring.  I love watching her life unravel and I can’t help but root for this lady who longs to grow a new life, again.  As I did last week, when Baby Mama, pushed out her sixth baby, at home.
I have dreaded the deployment of Kim’s husband that has left her a Situationally Single Mom. She is a hero and I can’t help but think of her empty bed when I snuggle up against my husband.
And these are just a few . . . 
My perspective has changed.  In just a few short months, my world has grown.  Blinders have been lifted from these shallow eyes.  
God has renewed my compassion for parts of the world I will never visit.  He has used the challenges of others to remind me that I have much to be thankful for.  In His Sovereignty, He is teaching me to blindly trust in Him, even when I can’t trace His hand, I can always trust His heart.
So, thank you.  Thank you for blogging.  You are making a difference.  
And, thank you for reading.  It’s my desire to remind moms they aren’t alone.  I pray through my silly, nonsense writing, you can see my heart and know that I am just a simple mom who has been changed by this bloggy world.  
And, by a very BIG God.

Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You-The Strangling

Last week I started a little weekly blast from my past.  I call it “Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You” because I’m fond of my childhood afro.  And because I’m sincere.

  
Very sincere.

The picture I grabbed out of my overflowing photo box that will NEVER see the inside of a scrapbook for obvious reasons is of my two children about six years ago.
A picture speaks a 1000 words, so the saying goes.  

And this photo is certainly screaming something: pain, struggle, ‘help me’ comes to mind.
This entire period of my life is a blur.  I remember snippets of it.  I think most of it has been blocked out for my protection.
My husband and I lived in Florida.  Our daughter was two and our son was a few months old. We didn’t have any money.  We didn’t have any friends.  We didn’t like the church we were Youth Pastors at.  We lived on love.  

When we could muster it up.
It was hard.  
I remember this day though. 
The morning started out terrible.  My little girl decided to ‘share’ Skittles bite-sized candies with her 4 month old brother.  I called 9-1-1 when I saw red ‘blood’ oozing from the corners of his mouth.  Let’s not even discuss that my TWO-YEAR-OLD WAS EATING CANDY FOR BREAKFAST.  It’s called survival, my friend.  Pure and simple.
Our nearest relative was a thousand miles away.  I felt so guilty they didn’t have any photos of our kids, especially the baby.
So, I dressed them.  Well.  Sort of.  I cleaned their sticky bodies.  I had postpartum.  They had clean underpants.  

This was no small victory.
I decided a picture was in order, you know, in case another disaster struck.
And so with my disposable camera and a burst of courage, I put my baby in my two year-old’s lap for a picture.  Not my finest moment.  
You know what’s funny?  I was so proud that I got them together in one photo. 
When I got around to developing that roll of film 2 years later, our lives had changed considerably, so had my perspective.  
That’s when I noticed it was a photo of an attempted strangling.
I was glad my relative never got the photo.
Cause now I can laugh.
Food for the Soul:

Psalm 30:5 “…Weeping may endure for a night, but Joy Comes in The Morning.”


My Rear View

I have more than 4,000 digital photos stored on my computer.  They are an unorganized mess.

A disaster of enormous proportion.
  
This makes me twitch.  A lot.

I set out the other day to attack this project.  As I was rearranging and deleting and organizing, 
I kept seeing these random, headless photos.  They were potshots.  
Interesting photos of uh, um, well, of -
My booty:

My bum:

My hiney:
My derriere:


Getting the picture? 

Sizzling Summer Vacation Spectacle Blog Carnival

Summer is just around the corner.  And I’m ready!  I can’t wait to don my swimming suit large coverup and get wet.  I’m also looking forward to our summer vacation:  7 days at Family Camp!  
I thought it would be fun to link up at the end of summer and share our Vacation adventures, blog carnival-style! Some of my best vacation memories are the unplanned, unexpected moments that had me pulling my hair out.  So, don’t be afraid to bare it all, well, keep the swim suit on, please, this is a family blog.  
If you have a 14 day World Tour planned, we want to turn green with envy.  If you aren’t planning a big vacation this summer, link up with a day trip post and pictures.  Whatever it is, share it!
Join the fun on Friday, August 29th.  (Mr. Linky will probably go up late, the night before).  
And, oh, I forgot to mention, every hour I will draw a random door prize winner from the Mr. Linky participants.  The door prizes will have a ‘vacation/travel’ theme to help you capture your memories or plan for your next trip (like a vacation journal, digital photo frame, picture frames, jewelry and more!  (If you’d like to get a little advertisement to your online store, contact me about donating a door prize.  I will link to all the donations.  Just email me if you’re interested.)


Loser, Loser

I am a loser.

A bon-i-fide, confirmed-one-hundred-percent L-O-S-E-R.
Now, before you put your ‘L’ shaped fingers to your forehead and say, “Loser-Loser” in a sing-song voice, let me clarify.
I’m not the “Looooser” kind of loser.  You know the ones who let their kids run bare foot thru a store, eat popcorn off the floor and hide in the clothes racks, scaring the willies out of innocent shoppers.  
Okay, my kids did this once.  Maybe twice.

But you have to go to the store and actually say to your kids, “Okay, go on, let me shop.  Have a snack from the floor and oh, there’s a nice lady you can scare. Now, go on and scoot,” to be labeled a true “Looooser.”  
When I say ‘loser”, I’m referring to my luck, or un-luck as luck would have it.
My daughter made this discovery.  Let me tell you how.
At bedtime the other night, she prayed:
“Dear God,  thank you for the day.  Help me not to have bad dreams.  And, I need to ask you something very important.  Can you please let me win the school raffle?  I really need a pink Nintendo DS Light because my mom and dad say it isn’t in the budget.  But I would also take pretty much anything.  I need to be a winner.  I reallllly do. Pleeeeaasee.  Pick me? Amen.”
Lovely.  Isn’t it?
I tried to explain odds.  And that they probably weren’t in her favor.  I also reminded her that God is SUPER BUSY.
She seemed to be putting a lot of stock in that prayer.  And technically, it was a prayer.  To God.
Well.  
My daughter did not win.
I thought she might be distraught.  I worried her faith might be shaken.  She looked at me and said, “It’s okay, Mom.  At first I just felt unlucky.  Like I have really bad luck.  But I think I’m just supposed to win something bigger.  God has something really big for me. And I think HE likes me to tell him about stuff.”
I was relieved she didn’t put stock in those kinds of prayers and I said, “You really don’t have bad luck. You just didn’t have good luck.”
Oh, the wisdom just oozes out of me in these parenting moments.
I even laughed to myself that she really thought a little prayer would put that toy in her hands. 
It was funny until I saw this, at Rocks in My Dryer.  A giveaway that I really wanted.

I also wanted The Cupcake Holder from a couple of weeks ago.  I put in my comment at Shannon’s and let the odds work.  I didn’t win.  
I was not about to make that mistake again.
It was time to get some help.  I approached The Thrown.  I couldn’t help it.  Maybe my daughter caught God on a off-raffle-winning-day.
“Dear God,  thank you for the day.  Help me not to have bad dreams.  And, I need to ask you something very important.  Can you please let me win Shannon’s giveaway?  I really need a pretty locket to put a picture of myself in because my hubby says it isn’t in the budget.  But I would also take pretty much anything.  I need to be a winner.  I reallllly do. Pleeeeaasee.  
Pick me? Amen.”
Well.
Apparently bad luck runs in the family.  I mean not good or bad, just in between luck.
See?  Loser.  I didn’t just lose two great giveaways, I lost something greater.
I lost my pride.  My little girl reminded me it’s okay to ask God for something small, even unimportant. I think if HE cares about the birds and what they are going to eat and wear, then HE cares about what I care about.  

HE’s that nice.  
No, I didn’t win. But that’s
probably because HE has something much bigger and better for me and I bet it has nothing at all to do with a ‘thing’.

For more great tackles, visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

Food for the Soul:

Matthew 10:29-31 “What is the price of two sparrows—one penny? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. 30 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”