Petite Lemon {Giveaway}

UPDATE: Melody, comment #88, has been selected as the winner of this giveaway. Congratulations – an email has been sent your way.

I’m a sucker for personalized shirts.

I’d have family uniforms with our names on the back if my hubby would let me.  I think it all goes back to those matching red Christmas sweaters we wore in family pictures with our dogs (yes, they matched too) before we had kids. This is where I don’t insert that picture because I value my relationship with my spouse. Ahem.

When my newest sponsor, Petite Lemon, said they were going to send a Little Sister shirt to our little sister, we couldn’t wait! Look how cute. She may be turning six soon, but she’s my baby and I’m going to personalize that child as long as I can. We chose this cute Lil Sister baseball shirt with friendly owls. It’s a super soft adorable shirt!

I also LOVE Petite Lemon’s birthday, name and special occasion shirts:

Colorful Number Girl Tshirt

Playful Doodles - Big Brother Tshirt

I Love Dad Boy Tshirt

This great company also does personalized posters, growth charts, and more!

So fun! Today, Petite Lemon is offering a $100 gift card to one lucky winner! 

Go look around and leave a comment on this post with what you love.

This giveaway will end Tuesday.

WFMW: State of the {Blog Carnival} Union

This isn’t really a State of the Union address, but I was feeling political.

Mainly because my son is wearing this for my parent’s church Trunk or Treat Halloween night:

I have hosted Works For Me Wednesday for many years now. I have written an ebook about it and I’ve enjoyed the countless helpful tips I’ve found. Lately, I’ve noticed so many blogs (more than I can count) linking up posts to this weekly carnival that have nothing to do with helpful tips. Please don’t do this. It really dilutes the effectiveness of WFMW. Please, link up a helpful tip (tips on any subject are welcomed: household, craft, recipes, parenting, etc, just tip-related) and then link back to Works For Me Wednesday, so others can join in. WFMW guidelines. I am not referring to any specific blog at all, just in general, I’ve noticed and others who enjoy helpful tips have too.

I obviously have too much on my plate to police the links each week, so I can’t prohibit this. But I will also be evaluating in the next few months if WFMW has perhaps run it’s course…

Enough of that.

Fingers crossed y’all get a lot of candy tonight!

Disclaimer: No candidates were harmed or political statements made in the creation of this post :)

Share your helpful tips!

And Then God Took Over

In 24 hours, we raised $10,000 for Violet’s surgery! 

Officially. Blown. Away.

I was discouraged yesterday. My hubby and I felt it heavy, just the burden and the weight of it all.

I was in tears, as I asked my parents over dinner (who are an amazing support) if I would always feel so inadequate at this God-sized dream. “Will I wake up one day and know what to do next?” They reminded me to focus on today. God holds tomorrow.

I have plans and ideas and I try so hard to figure out “the how.”  I feel pressure because important people ask me for a 3-year plan and for a business overview and then they tell me to be more efficient and I feel efficient because I only cried once, answered a few email, Skyped with Maureen, read with my 5 year old, organized some volunteers and I put dinner in the crock pot-allinoneday. Ya know? 

But then tomorrow is here.

And God takes over.

I like the way He does things.

p.s. We will be selling the Beautiful Feet t-shirts and crosses until they are gone. The proceeds will go to the medical fund at Mercy House…we see some more baby births in our future! Thank you for being a part.

Beautiful Feet | Violet’s Story

Update as of 9pm CST We only have $1200 (of $10,000 goal) to go! More than $8,800 has come in for her surgery! 

Violet is one of our girls at Mercy House in Kenya, Africa.

She is just one girl. Like most of our girls and so many others in our world, she’s lived a life of pain and insignificance.

When I heard all the horrible details of her life before she entered our home, the roaming journey of a helpless orphan without an advocate in this world, I put my head down on my desk and I cried. I wept for Violet because I didn’t know if anyone else had.  She has experienced unspeakable hell in her few years on earth.

But God saw her sorrow and He went after that one girl… just as He does for each of us.

This is her story.

Maureen and I knew we had to help this child. She belongs at Mercy House and is being transformed more every day! We agreed to take care of her medical costs because we knew you would help us.

Our world wouldn’t define Violet as beautiful. She is scarred.

But God defines true beauty from the inside out and he makes beautiful feet for those who share the Good News!

Violet’s surgery will be before the end of the year. It will cost $10,000 US dollars. $1800 has already been donated for the surgery. Would you be a part of this story?

For a short time, we are offering these beautiful LIMITED EDITION Beautiful Feet shirts for $30, available in S-XXL. Please note shirts will be mailed 2 weeks from order.

(We found a gorgeous Kenyan model to show off our Beautiful Feet shirts. You can read about the shirt details and order in The Mercy Shop.)

Order one today while supplies last.

We are also selling these gorgeous handmade pottery crosses with the Beautiful Feet scripture etched on the back for $20. Order one here.

If you donate $100 or more to Violet’s fund below, you will be sent both shirt and necklace as a gift.

We need your help: please consider giving today and if you aren’t able to donate financially, please share her story.

Special thanks to NextWave Creative for creating and donating this amazing video and our t-shirts design. The counter below is only updating donations given thru it. People are also donating through our Mercy House site. Update as of 9pm CST $1200 (of $10,000 goal) to go! More than $8,800 has come in for her surgery! 

We are raising money for Violet until Dec. 31, 2012. Any money that comes in above and beyond her medical needs will be used for future medical needs at Mercy House in 2013. Your monetary donation is tax deductible. Please mark all donations VIOLET.

Random Stuff I Like

  • I love these pens. I have the 4-pack and I find I’m much more productive when I write my ‘to do’ list in blue or pink.
  • I love this (free) camera app  for my phone called CAMERA AWESOME: I just can’t get over the amazing pictures (and all the options). I usually never have my “big” camera with me when I want to snap a shot.  Look at this phone picture:
  • I’m getting old. This moisturizer makes me feel like I’m slowing it down. It’s my one beauty product I would splurge on (but haven’t had to yet because my husband’s company carries it when he wins “perk” points and because one jar lasts forever.)
  • The clearance “rack” at Dayspring.  I was looking for gifts for the hospital staff in Kenya and Christmas gifts for our babies and girls. Dayspring donated dozens of beautiful frames, Bibles for our babies and more!
  •  I had to miss my friend Bridget’s book signing. There were free cookies, so it was obviously a big loss. But I surprised her this week with this amazing NEW necklace from The Vintage Pearl. It’s the perfect gift for the cooks in your life!
  •  I splurged in Atlanta last month at the T4A conference and bought this oh-so-handy burlap 147 Million Orphans bag. It was a about $15 cheaper in person (FYI). I’m using it as a laptop bag (since my sweet child cut a string (straps) on my old bag), purse, grocery tote. etc. It goes to an amazing cause!
  • I’m missing the Allume Conference this year. My hubby is on his way home from a long business trip and I just needed to be home, ya know? I’m so glad I made that call. We have missed him so much!  Hope y’all have a happy fall weekend.

The Main Problem With Giving Our Kids the Easy Life

She carries her flute like it’s something special. She cherishes the instrument, not so much for what it is, but the potential it holds. She is a musician and I wonder at the grace and beauty of her flying fingers, at the music she makes.

Watching her start from scratch in a new school music department has been frustrating. She looked for a challenge and I looked for the easy way up the scale.

I had an urge. Do you know the one? It’s the one that emails on behalf of your child and asks for the easy way. It touts of talent and technique and does all the talking. It was the momma in me that has watched behind the scenes and has seen where hard work and consistent practice can take a girl with a silver flute.

But I was quiet. Because the main problem with an easy life is the trust and faithful pursuit that are lost in route. We didn’t say a word out loud (prayers don’t count, but really they do) and she just kept making her music.

We think we want easy in this life for our kids, like a lottery day, where it’s all luck and no hard work. Because easy is well, easy. But it’s in the struggle, the sweat, the story, we find Jesus. We learn to trust His plan, We learn the undeniable value of faithfulness and persistence. Victory tastes sweeter when it cost us something along the way.

August turned to September, September to October. She kept playing and I kept quiet.

And then, just like that on a plain old Thursday, it happened. People noticed and she played and played again for them.  Her class schedule was altered and she was placed in the highest band (out of 4) and put in the last seat. And then the next day, she skipped up 6 more chairs, second in the school district. Her face beamed. Her words tumbled out in excitement when she told me.

A few days ago, this girl played with 700 other junior high musicians and became the only 7th grade All-Region flautist from her school.

I wanted to cry. Not because of what happened, but because of how it happened.

It was a good lesson in hard work and giving up the easy life.


WFMW: Mini Laundry Room Makeover #MaytagMom

Our laundry room is directly off the kitchen. And by directly, I mean, next to it. Let me just make it plain for you: it’s very possible there could be a stray sock in the soup. Thatclose.

This has presented a challenge or two, since there are five of us and there’s more laundry than food. It’s a very small space and my XL Maytag Bravos set takes up the room. The one shelf in the room is too high for me to reach and so detergent and baskets and laundry whatnot are on the floor.

We can’t just shut the door to keep the laundry overflow either. The laundry room door has a pet door which leads to the garage so we can keep the kitty bathroom out of the um, kitchen. #firstworldproblems.

So, I’ve been on the hunt for some kind of practical laundry system to go with my beautiful appliances. My smart hubby came up with this $139 combo from Ikea-a tall shelf turned on its side, with a cabinet and the original hanging bar attached:

I love it. I added the chalkboard paint to the door to the spacious cabinet holding my Tide detergent because I’m sort of addicted to it.

Our muddy backyard (another project) has been presenting all kinds of stain-related issues lately, so I’ve been hanging out in the laundry room a lot lately. I love the way my Maytag Bravos XL help me fight mud and grass stains. My old machine would not only rip and shrink clothes, it would make horrible noises at me. I literally just spray and wash and I’m amazed at how little water and detergent I need to get even 5 year old stains out. Awesome!

My laundry room right now:

I mean my laundry is still not putting itself away, but it’s progress.

My mini laundry room makeover and my Maytag Bravos XL work for me!

Make sure you check out the Maytag PageMaytag Facebook, and Maytag Twitter

Disclaimer: I wrote this post as a #MayTagMoms Dependable Laundry Ambassador through mom Central Consulting on behalf of Maytag. I was provided with the Maytag washer and dryer set to facilitate my post.

You Might Be a Redneck

If the highlight of your 7 hour drive to Oklahoma is listening to Tim Hawkin’s CD, Pretty Pink Tractor.

If you’re proud your 5 year old has learned the words to the best song on the CD, Shave What You Need to Shave (a parody of this song).

If you start off the grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary celebration with a clay pigeon shoot in the pasture.

If there was a line.

If you’re attacked by a swarm of biting gnats and have the itchy whelps to prove it, but still don’t go inside.

If you hide behind the truck when the guns are going off because you’re a city girl and you don’t want to die.

If your husband is tickled you agree to shoot a 12 gauge shotgun for the first time.

If said shotgun gives quite a kick and a bruise and your husband finds this new development sexy.

If you have a family tick check.

If you expect chocolate gravy for breakfast.

If you sit around with family and tell snake stories.

You might be a redneck if you wouldn’t trade any of it.