WFMW: Google Reader Alternative


I don’t like change. Not a bit. I also don’t like to upgrade or fix things that aren’t broken. Makes being a blogger tricky with all the technology and whatnot.

Anyway, The Google has decided to shut down its Reader and that’s a bummer since I use it every single day. You might too. So, I thought Feedly was a good alternative (and easy since I just put in my Google account info) and it pulled up my list of blogs and sites I already subscribe too. This little post explains more about how Feedly works. I really like how it’s more visual than Google Reader.

If you subscribe to my blog via a RSS subscriber, you’ll want to try it too. Or you can have posts delivered painlessly right into your inbox by submitting your email at the end of this post. PLUS, every month I will be giving away a lovely item from The Vintage Pearl to a random subscriber. I’m nice like that.

So, while change doesn’t work for me, new things do.

*Completely random side note: The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
(best Bible ever) is only $1.99 for Kindle at Amazon. Perfect for family reading, especially these weeks before Easter!

DIY Easter {String Art} Cross


During (our long and sickly) Spring Break, we perked up to do a special (and easy) DIY project that we will stay out long after our Easter baskets are put away.

Easter {String Art} Cross Plaque


  • Piece of unfinished wood (Hobby Lobby $2.50)
  • Paint
  • Embroidery string
  • Small panel nails
  • Hammer

We painted our wood first:

After the paint dried, we tapped 12 nails in the shape of a cross into the wood. We did two at the top, four in the middle, two on either sides and two at the bottom.

[Kitty can’t resist The String]

photo copy 2

And we just started wrapping it around the nails going with the shape of the cross. It works best to loop the string around the nails multiples times to get it started. Keep string taunt and wrap away!


This was a super easy project for my kids and they really got into it.


And a simple reminder that He is Risen!


*Pallet Family Mission Statement

Murphy’s Law of Parenting

When everything that could go wrong, does.

It’s Murphy’s Law. And when you apply that to parenting, well, it’s epic. And usually quite true in our house. So, I mentioned a few laws for parenting on my blog Facebook page the other day.

If you wear white, your child will play in mud.
If you declare the family virus over, the dog will puke.
If you mop the floor, a juice box will explode.
If it’s clean sheet day, the bed wetter will strike again.
If you desperately need a nap, they won’t.
If you catch up on laundry, wait, that will never happen.

And as usual, my friends over there had responses that made my day.

So, on this Monday, I thought I’d share some of my favorites. I hope it makes your day, too.

If you change a diaper, your baby will poop. – Sarah Rodrigues 

If the kids are away for the night, you can’t sleep. -Heather Duggins

If you cook their favorite meal, they won’t eat it. -Sara Sorenson

If you vacuum the car, a bag of cereal will magically appear out of no where and EXPLODE in your back seat. -Kayla Kingsley

If you need to go somewhere, the gas tank will be empty. -Jennifer Vermeire

If they’re playing quietly and the phone rings, they’ll need you right NOW.

If you donate a forgotten toy, they’ll remember it and beg to have it back  -Elizabeth Smillie

If your kids decided to play together instead of fight, one or both with get hurt and the crying starts anyway. -Heather Ingrum

If you only pack one diaper, they will poop twice. -Kimberly Daley

If no one’s been in sight for 15 minutes and you decide to go to the bathroom, you will immediately be swarmed with company. -Hellen Potts

If you look good, NO one sees you. If you stay in your pjs-no make up- haven’t showered-smell like baby puke, EVERYONE stops by to see you! -Sarah Rock

If you finally have a child sleep through the night, you will inevitably find that you, in fact, are sleep trained so that you wake up at the times when your toddler typically does. -Sarah Klawikowski

If you clean the bathroom one or more of your boys when then pee all over the seat and the floor. -Brook Wright

If you are about to get intimate with your spouse, they will start screaming bloody murder in their sleep. -Michelle Anderson

If buy a favorite snack in bulk… Suddenly no one likes it anymore. -Joni Thompson

If you get out of the car , with your arms , elbows , fingers and pinkies loaded with stuff, a child will drop something and refuse to pick it up the 5 feet from the car to the house . ( And stand their and cry over their one thing they dropped). -Alex Jackson

Finally get the carpets cleaned. (not the cheap cleaning either – the GOOD one) Someone will throw up immediately after. Red punch. -Julie Crockett

If you plan to get up before the kids, they will get up earlier. -Amy Corley

You’re welcome.

Do you have one to add in the comments? C’mon it’s fun. It will make you feel better.

For When Motherhood Asks You to Be Brave

My teenager stood at my bedroom door unsure if she should come into the war zone. She was the only child in the house who didn’t have a fever or her own puke bowl.

We were on day six of the Apocalypse, also known as the stomach bug from the pit of Hell. Believe me, you don’t want details. But if it can be washed, it has been. And I’ve cried twice.

We canceled Spring Break plans and I warned people at the door that we were quarantined to our home.

My bedroom was littered with pillows and pallets and pathetic little people.

And I was in the middle of it.


“Mom, aren’t you afraid to catch it?” My teen asked from a safe distance. I had Lysol in one hand and an empty gatorade bottle in the other. I look down at my rumpled shirt and blew my unwashed hair out of my eyes, “Honey, I’m the Mom.”

It was a simple answer that held volumes of truth. It said:

Mothers push past our own fear of sickness, intimidating laundry piles, smells that turn our stomach and we snuggle up to sick breaths and feverish brows because that’s what we do. 

We run straight into danger–whether it’s sickness, hurting kids, temper tantrums or math homework–  we fight the battles instead of turning away from them. 

Some days we long to hold up a white flag of surrender. But instead, we mother on.

Motherhood is about sacrifice. It’s about putting someone else’s needs in front of our own. It’s about risk. It’s about bravery.

It’s about facing our fears head on.

And sometimes it’s a very real danger-the kind that asks you to kneel beside the bed of a desperately ill child or on your knees for a desperately wayward one. The battle can be bloody and heart wrenching.

We don’t always feel strong or courageous. Some days we cry and rant, but we don’t quit. Most days, we feel outnumbered and out of ammo. But our inadequacies don’t make us any less a mother-soldier.

Motherhood is about reaching deep and when you find nothing left to give, you reach for God.

The battle of life is, in most cases, fought uphill; and to win it without a struggle were perhaps to win it without honor. If there were no difficulties there would be no success; if there were nothing to struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved. -Samuel Smiles

I’m tired. I hurt for my kids. I’m disappointed sickness consumed our week. (But I am rejoicing that my little sick platoon can aim their vomit in a container now-silver lining).

I’m learning: When God stops you in your tracks, it’s time to slow down and pull close.

Just not too close, ifyouknowwhatImean.

My daughter returned to the Sick Room, holding two bright balloons she’d decorated for her siblings. She crossed over and handed them the simple gift and it made us all smile. Then she said the words I dreaded, “Mom, I don’t feel so well…” My husband came home a couple of hours later with the same confession.

And even though this battle is small and fleeting, I’ll conquer it. It will strengthen me for the unseen ones ahead.

Because it’s not if I’ll need to be brave again, it’s just a matter of when.

What’s Inspiring Me This Week

Do you ever wake up feeling like I was made for more than this?

This overwhelming pile of laundry.

This underpaid job I hate.

This sadness I can’t shake.

You feel that was because you were made for more.

“As long as you are alive, God wants you to go further, dig deeper, and draw closer to him. Every dream or desire you have that comes from God is an invitation for more intimacy with him.” -Holley Gerth.

This is the book–the guide– I needed 3 years ago, when I took the first step towards the dream that was so much bigger than my ability. I’ve had a lot of time to catch up on my ever-growing pile of nightstand books this week. You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has for You is inspiring me this week! I’m highlighting and nodding my head and learning. Because dreaming isn’t just for the crazy (me) or brave (not so much), it’s for everyone who breathes. God has more for you and when you dream, you are changed. And when you stare in the face of something so big is scares the soup out of you, He is there and nothing is bigger than God. Even the impossible.

I’m a firm believe in filling up on the Word, and books that inspire me to love God more.

Also on my nightstand this week:

Table Life – Savoring the Hospitality of Jesus in Your Home –Table Life is a call to transform the daily routine of eating meals into a celebration of loving connections and spiritual nourishment.

Redeeming Love –It’s been years since I’ve read this fictional retelling of Hosea and Gomer. I love this story of redemption. For every non-fiction book I read,  I always have an open fiction book, too.

What are you reading?

WFMW: DIY Resurrection Garden

Easter is just a couple weeks away, but as Christians we celebrate it every day, right?

It was easy to make, everyone got to add their own touches and it cost pretty much the same as making one large one like the picture above.

Supplies Needed: We found all of ours at WalMart and averaged about $7.50 per mini garden.

  • Terra cotta mini pot (tomb)
  • Terra cotta small tray
  • Small pebbles from Floral dept(one bag was plenty for three)
  • Grass seed (we have enough left over for the bare patch in our yard)
  • One small bag of potting soil
  • Small twigs and Large rock (smaller than a child’s fist) from the yard
  • Glue gun
  • Spray water bottle

1. Place mini pot on the tray and add potting soil around it.

2. Pack soil in and on top of the mini pot, forming a small hill.

3. Add pebbles coming from the opening of the “tomb”

4. Place larger rock half covering the tomb

5. Sprinkle grass seed on the soil

6. Glue small twigs to form three crosses (hot glue works best)

7. Stick each cross into the “hill” behind the tomb

8. Spray soil lightly every day with water bottle

9. Watch and wait for new life (grass) to spring forth!

It’s a beautiful reminder that He is Risen!


(I researched it and I believe this idea originated on the creator’s Facebook page and ended up on Pinterest. Thank you, Melissa Holt for the beautiful idea!)

Edited repost from the archives

Six Ways to Help Your Children Find Their Way

He comes out of school smiling now.

I know the answer before I ask it, “How was your day?”

“Awesome, Mom.”

I pull him close and ruffle his hair, but not too close, he’s a 5th grader and has an image these days.

On one of these good days, he stops and I squint at him in the sun, “Thanks, Mom.”

I ask for what and he says, “you know.”

And I do know.


We both remember how hard last year was-how his confidence was at an all-time low, beaten down by bullying peers and demanding work load. He was sullen and angry. He dreaded school. I feared we were losing a part of him to a world that can be harsh at times. We moved to a smaller town and school for so many reasons, but we both knew this was one of them.

But even months later when he confided, “I just want to be good at something,” we knew he was discouraged and trying to find his way. What we really heard was a boy who longed to be more confidant. We have been searching for the key to unlock his esteem. Between moving, his God-appointed teacher and a new love, archery, we have seen profound changes.

His teacher pulls me aside, “Your son is a smart kid. He’s a great kid.” She’s not telling me something I don’t know, but she tells him this and he believes her. I thank God for this Marine-turned-teacher every day. She laughs and says, “He’s a talker though. Boy, does he love to talk.”

I smile because I know he talks out of confidence. He is comfortable in his own skin again. He feels safe.

After homework, he heads to the backyard to shoot his bow. He’s a good marksmen. It doesn’t matter if he’s the best or even above average, he feels like he is and that’s all that matters. I watch thru the window and see the arrow land in the middle of the bullseye.

He turns towards the window to see if I’m watching.


I am.

6 Ways to Help Your Children Find Their Way:

  1. Listen to what they aren’t saying: Are their grades failing? Are they angry, depressed, down on themselves? Kids don’t always communicate with words.
  2. Let them fail: Oh this is a hard one. But they never really understand success if they haven’t tasted failure.
  3. Encourage them to try new things: Not every boy will be a football player and every girl a cheerleader. We live in a competitive society where people have enough money to help kids perfect their skills.
  4. Reevaluate: I’m not a homeschool mom (yet). But we decided a long time ago to evaluate education for each of our children every year. We are open to whatever our kids need and it might not always be public school.
  5. Be there: I have this overwhelming urge to fix things for my kids and I’ve learned this usually makes situations more broken. While I can’t stop them from falling, I can be there to help them get up.
  6. Pray: It seems trite, but I believe we have seen a difference because of prayer. We asked God to lead us to the right school and to provide the right teacher. He did both and that’s no accident.

Remember: As Far as Everyone Else Knows, We are A Nice Normal Family

  • I got pulled over for speeding in a school zone the other day. It was the first time in a long time and my heart beat wildly. I frantically searched for my license and I handed it over and I said, “Throw the book at me,” only not really. He walked to the back of car and I snapped a shot of his lights in my rear view mirror. Risky, even for a blogger. He walked back to the window and said “I’m going to give you a verbal warning.” Then I got the lump in my throat and I may have told him I loved him. It’s all kind of blurry. Grace, thank you officer, I needed it that day.


  • I hurried on (slower) this time to the dentist. I don’t even want to tell you how long it’s been since I’ve darkened the doors of the dentist. My teeth have low self esteem and let me put it this way, I’d rather visit the female doctor every day for a week than have my teeth cleaned. Now I get to have a root canal and crown. They asked me if I wanted to pay extra for sedation. I said, “Is it like having a margarita?” Sign me up.
  • I had this long, confusing dream the other day and when I work up the only thing I remember about it was that the older my husband got in the dream, the more he looked like Brad Pit. I told him this while we were brushing our teeth. “Really?” he said, eyebrows raised. “Do you look more like Angelina the older you get?”
  • Every night when my husband gets home he does this: photo copyMy kids call out “levels of pain” and wrestles them into a hold. If they can wiggle out, they get to go to the next level. It’s one of the favorite things to do. How can this be normal?
  • And I’m not saying who, but someone’s pants may have ripped in this Quasimoto move:


  • My 6 year old is the baby of the family. The other day I overheard my 10 year old son ask her why she whined and cried when she didn’t get her way. She started crying and he handed over his bag of pretzels. She looked at him and said, “I’m just really good at fake crying. It’s my gift.” She KNOWS.
  • Before I had children or belly fat, way back in my 20’s, I met an exhausted mom of 4 who bragged she “trained” her hair and could go 4 days between washings. I thought it was pathetic and a little disgusting. (dramatic pause) Now, I see her as the Jedi of mothers. 
  • We are starting our Spring Break this week with two out of three kids (so far) with fever, vomiting, and freaky gastro noises. So that’s fun.