Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Books Read in 2014

I have done this post every year for the last couple of years. I keep a small notebook with a list of books that I have read and have been keeping the notebook since 2004 (wow 10 years! I didn't even realize that) I have added some quotes from some of the books that I have read but mainly it is just a list of all the books that I read.
I am in no way close to finishing a book so I feel like I can post this today, right now, even though 2014 is not yet, officially over. I haven't even counted them all up so I have no clue how may I have actually read.

The Maze Runner-James Dasher
The Sea of Monsters-Rick Riordan
Grave Consequences-Lisa T. Bergren
The 5 Love Languages-Gary Chapman
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH-Robert C. O'Brien
The Scorch Trials-James Dasher
First Love-James Patterson & Emily Raymond
The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion-Fannie Flagg
Full Disclosure-Dee Henderson
Confessions of a Murder Suspect-James Patterson
Confessions:The Private School Murders-James Patterson
The Death Cure-James Dasher
Daring Greatly-Brene' Brown
The Kill Order-James Dasher
Landslide-Veronique Day
Circle of Grace-Penelope J. Stokes
Sing-Lisa T. Bergren
Fifteen Minuets-Karen Kingsbury
Unspoken-Dee Henderson
My Fathers Dragon-Ruth Stiles Gannett
Divergent-Veronica Roth
Glittering Promises-Lisa T. Bergren
Insurgent-Veronica Roth
Allegiant-Veronica Roth
The Best of Me-Nicholas Sparks
Jane Austen Ruined my Life-Beth Pattillo
100 Cupboards-N.D. Wilson
Mercy Come Morning-Lisa Tawn Bergren
Four-Veronica Roth
The Fault in our Start- John Green
The Dragons of Blueland-Ruth Stiles Gannett
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society-MayAnn Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Undetected-Dee Henderson
Forever with you-Robin Jones Gunn
Love Does-Bob Goff
Grand Total: 35

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Currently................December Edition

Listening...............Christmas music.......lots and lots of Christmas music. some of my favorites are: How May Kings by Downhere
Just a Girl by Brandon Heath
You're Here by Francesca Battistelli
there are many, many more that I love but these are just a few that have been really awesome this year.

Eating.....................yummy sweets. brownies, cookies, cakes, bread puddings, petite fores. seriously I need to stop but it is all so very yummy. I think some peanut butter fudge may be in my future.

Drinking............still coffee. every morning coffee, water during the day and sometime apple cider with the hubby at night

Wearing..............sweaters and boots (and leggings, I never thought I would be wearing leggings again but I have two pair (about to have three) fleece lined leggings and they are soft and comfy and I love them. it is winter time here and while I probably won't be liking it in a month or so I am ok with it right now.

Feeling...............a bit yucky. whatever I have has decided to hang on for the long haul it seems

Weather..............cold as previously mentioned and the past couple of days it has been a bit gray. it will be nice to see some blue skies among this cold feel better feel better

Thinking................about spending Christmas with my family

Enjoying................the Advent Study that I am doing

Reading................. Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

Tuesday, December 09, 2014


in Sunday school this last weekend we were all asked to share when was a time that we felt close to God? my brain immediately went to one thing and I stuck with it.

let me just say my introverted self hates questions like this. really, just group questions in general. I don't like speaking I groups (even our Sunday school class who I know practically everyone and is not overly large) that is my issues though.

I want to be able to think about it longer. I definitely had a good bit of time to think about my answer but my brain said its answer and instead of wording it well I soaked in everything else that everyone was saying, their answers, and I loved it all.

my answer went something like this. "missions trips. I went on a few when I was younger and one with this guy(as I pointed to my hubby.)"

I probably sounded like a dork. it is true......the times I've felt closest to God was on missions trips. meeting the people wherever we are, going to new places, building things needed to help others, VBS camps, medical/dental work, sharing God's word with others. most of the time stretching for me but always good and wonderful and life filling.

that was the big times for me. but as I listened to others speak I realized that I can daily experience His presence and usually do. in nature. the sun rise in the morning, the sunset at night, stars bright and shiny, puffy clouds, ocean waves (well that isn't a daily experience but that sure would be awesome.) mountains, wind. huge trees.

then there is my children's face, my husbands love. and the beauty I find around me. a picture, photograph, painting, song, words read, time spent, arms wrapped up and held.

I love that I can daily experience Him in what sometimes is called the little or small things but they are not. they are the big things in life and they are the important and they are some of the best experiences and ways to draw and be close to my Savior.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas Card Chandelier

Every year we get Christmas cards and I love, love, love it
Every year I consider not sending Christmas cards and then I think of all the Christmas cards that I receive and how sad I would be to not get them every year and I go ahead and send them. I love this time of year all the glitter and magic and awe. All to celebrate our Lord.
Along with getting cards every Christmas there is the need to figure out where and how to display them. I have hung ribbon on the wall and taped them to the ribbon, I have hung ribbon on the windows and done the same. last year I taped them all to the kitchen cabinets. this year I wanted to do something different. I have been loving all the hoop art the I see, my daughter has a few hanging in her room. I decided to make a hoop chandelier for our Christmas cards. I searched pinterest for something similar and found this and thiswhich i thought was really cute as well. but this would be the one that i wanted.
I found the hoop at a thrift store. I was not ever searching for it but there it was screaming for me to take it home. there were four in the pack. i had the red polka dot fabric (really the only fabric that was very Christmasy) and the fabric scissors, a hot glue gun was used as well.
I found this tutorial, by one of my favorite bloggers, Under the Sycamore, about cutting and wrapping the fabric around the hoop.
Hot Glue Gun (with hot glue)
bakers twine
hole punch for the cards when you get them
my cute little hoop once i was done all the wrapping and hot gluing
then i grabbed my green bakers twine and used it to hang the hoop up
we got our very first Christmas card in the mail today and I went ahead and hung up the picture on the chandelier. our elf, Alex, he was pretty excited about it too.
i just punched a hole in the corner of the card and used my red bakers twine to hang the card.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


after trying to convince my children to be the Mary  Poppins cast or Alice in Wonderland for the Incredible Halloween party that we were invited too and trying to convince my husband that the Care Bears would be comfy and fun (that wasn't happening) the kids both decided that they wanted to be the Frozen cast.
SHOCKED! you say? well believe it. along with a ton of other children, probably even families across all of the world we went as Elsa, Anna, Olaf and Kristoff.
Little Girl already had an Elsa dress and we decided to surprise Golden Boy with the Olaf Costume.
Now it was time for my costume.
I almost purchases a royal blue tulle skirt from ebay but came across this pink skirt that I was just going to give away so I went out and bought royal blue fabric dye and attempted to dye it
 the first dye attempt was in the sink. it didn't come out nearly as dark a I wanted it too and after speaking with a lady, who helped us tie dye a shirt for my mother in law while we were camping, I decided to try it again in a small pot on he stove. that still didn't work like I wanted. after speaking to my mother she mentioned that when ever she dyed things she would use the washing machine method. I still did not get the exact result I was looking for but by that point I was tired of buying fabric dye. luckily it wasn't all that expensive. especially when you have coupons to the craft store.

 I looked at Anna's outfit on google and remembered that I also had the green (teal) colored shirt that I could wear then I saw this pin and decided to get a black tank top to wear over the shirt. I found the black tank top at Wal-Mart for .50 cents. SCORE!
I didn't want to take the time to make the designs on the shirt and I considered making the cape but was just over it after I worked on my husbands so I grabbed a scarf that I had and used that and tied a gold ribbon that I had around wait. tied up my hair in braids and even had  little white piece that ran through one of them.
 for my husbands costume I found this wonderful tutorial.
it was for a little boys Kristoff costume but I knew that I could make it work for by husband as long as I had a black tshirt. luckily he had on in his closet and that worked. I pretty much followed her tutorial on all of the things that I bough (at hobby lobby) and he wore a long sleeve shirt under the black one that he already had in his closet and the hat that we already had as well. it was great.
we had a great time at our friend costume party.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Currently.......November Edition

Listening.............Pandora stations when I run.

Eating.................yummy warm breads cider and seasonal lattes from Starbucks

wearing....................jeans and long sleeves/sweaters with thermals under them. it is low, low temps here. this is suppose to be the south too

 feeling..................ready for thanksgiving and time with family I said way, way too cold. low temps, cold feet

wanting.................some warmer socks and a new pair of slippers

needing................Thursday to be here so that I can watch parenthood

thinking.................about my sweet friend who is going on a missions trip

enjoying...............making elf tutu's

 reading................. a million little ways by Emily P. Freeman  only one chapter in but loved that chapter so much I am ready for the rest of the book

Monday, November 17, 2014

World Prematurity Day

 this tiny baby boy came into our lives over two months early and rocked out world
he is our tiny warrior miracle boy
2lbs 14oz
that is my dad's wedding band on his arm. 
he over came a lot and we are so blessed that God chose to give him to us.
 one of my favorite pictures of the two of us soon after he came home from the nicu (over 50 days there)
 here we are today. he is bright and brave and living up to his name being full of adventure 
 golden boy and daddy

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Thanksgiving/Christmas Sign

I pinned this tutorial a while ago and knew that I would use it someday.
I started with the Christmas side first "BELIEVE"
we had a good bit of wood left over from our porch covering that we had put on last year so I grabbed a piece.
I jumped the gun on it all though. I printed the letters in a font that I liked and cut them out and stated the process of transferring the letters to the wood, tutorial that I followed HERE
it was then that I realized that I pinned a tutorial on how to make wood look old and antique and realized that I wanted it to look like that.
see the top of the sign? i had completely finished the "BELIEVE" side and located this tutorial  that i pinned that uses steel wool and apple cider vinegar to make the wood look old.

after i painted the concoction on i went over the letters again with my sharpie paint pen and then started on the "THANKFUL" side. i didn't make that mistake again. i went ahead and painted the concoction on and then i transferred the letters onto the board. (i just used a regular pencil to do the transfer, i found that if i pushed hard enough on the paper then it would leave an indention in the wood and then i could trace the letters on the wood with the pencil and then trace them with the sharpie paint pen.)

here is the thankful side. once i was done with the letters i used some miniwax finishing polish so seal it. i'm not sure i would do that again. i didn't like the way the wax stuck in some of the grooves of the wood.
overall i am pretty happy with the look. i will have to post a picture of the "THANKFUL" side on the porch sometime

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Old Homes

one thing that comes with owning an old home is small closets. every spring we pack up the fall/winter clothes and pull out the spring/summer clothing. same thing come fall. all our spring/summer clothing gets packed up.

this happened last night. the hubby went through his clothes and made a donation pile and we packed things up. usually I don't looks forward to this event, wishing for bigger closets to hold it all. and my initial thought when we started was that I didn't want to do this. however when we got started it wasn't so bad.

It made me realize our blessing in clothing. I reminisced about certain things that we wore, when. the blue polo that he wore when we took family photos when golden boy was one.  the pink polo he purchased to wear on the way our little girl was born. the shirt he purchased when he attended the funeral of one of our favorite professors.

so many memories held in my hands last night in clothing. pictures usually get me all sentimental. I didn't expect it to happen with a couple of shirts.

unexpected blessing. my heart is happy in the remembering.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


i believe that I have heard "what inspires you?" at a womens event at our church. it wasn't a question that we had to directly answer but just the idea of having to answer it made me nervous. questions like that make my palms sweaty and my mind go blank. I don't really know why. I mean there can't be a wrong answer in that question, can there be?  no matter I still feel like retreating when some questions arise. 

it has been a little bit since I had that question posed to us as a group. for some reason that word popped into my head again today and along with the word, something that inspires me.

first let me share the definition on inspire:
1. To affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence.
2. To fill with enlivening or exalting emotion
    a. To stimulate to action; motivate:
    b. To affect or touch:
4. To draw forth; elicit or arouse:
5. To be the cause or source of; bring about:
6. To draw in (air) by inhaling.
7. Archaic
a. To breathe on.
b. To breathe life into.
when I think back to when I was younger some things that I remember enjoying were reading books and worship music. I think that something that inspires me is "words"
I remember keeping a quote book when I was younger, in fact I still have it. (now my quote book is on pinterest) but I am still collecting quotes. WORDS 
I absorbed books. one of my favorite authors, then and still now is Robin Jones Gunn. Her words are beautiful and true and lovely. WORDS
Praise and worship music.  Things have changed and continue to change in the music industry but there are songs that speak life into my soul, make me well up in tears and shout the words at the top of my lungs. a few recent are: Fix my Eyes by For King and Country, Oceans by Hillsong United, Multiplied by Need to Breathe, Overwhelmed by Big Daddy Weave. WORDS 
Scripture. I attempt to read Jesus Calling by Sarah  Young daily and try to read the verses that go along with each day. I also have a collection of daily verses on Pinterest that are so great it makes me smile knowing that God put them there for me. WORDS
and some of the new ways I read (I still love to hold a book in my hand and feel the pages) but blogs, websites, social media, encouragement from other people, most I don't even know. there is just so much goodness. blogs like A Holy Experience or Under the Sycamore and a blogger that I do know, she is my cousin and she amazes me with the words that she has inside of her and the things that she writes. I love to read her blog Such Small Hands and Two Sore Thumbs
instagram feeds like @bobgoff (I read his book Love Does but love seeing his words coming through my ig feed, it re-reminds me of Love and how to give it and share it with others)
and @Bottle_of_Tears an ig that I just started to follow after purchasing one of her bottles for a friend of mine. she is brave and strong and I love how she is using her life and story to help others.  WORDS
New, Fresh, Life altering, Life giving, Awing, Lovely, Graceful, True, Beautiful, Astounding, Amazing, Overwhelming, Inspiring........WORDS

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Golden boys new hearing aid molds.
we get new molds every 2-3months or so. this is nothing new for us. we used to pick orange and black stripes when he first got his hearing aids because he loved Tigger so much and we called them Tigger ears. there came a point where he started to choose the color himself. I wish I would have marked the date. we have all of his ear molds from the very beginning. I will have to gather them all up and get a picture of them. but back to these. when he deiced on gold/yellow and tan it was because he wanted the colors of his school mascot.  it is an eagle and his feathers are brown (I don't think brown was an options and his feet and beak are yellow)
he was very excited to be getting his new molds. when we pulled them out of the bag I was thinking, yikes the kind of look pinkish.
I handed them to him and he looked at them and then looked at me. I said they look great buddy.
he said they aren't eagle ears and they are pink.
I held them up to his skin and showed him that they were tan.
he asked, "what am I going to call them?" (because they weren't what he was expecting and can't call them eagle ears)
I told him that we would show daddy and that maybe he could help us come up with something to call them. we got in the car to head to speech therapy and he was still looking at them and he was pretty quiet. then he sighed in frustration and said "I don't know what to call them." I let him know again that we could have daddy help us name them when we got home. he said, "I need to know now what to call them." I told him that I would try and think of something to call them. right as I had something in mind, he said, "I know what I can call them."
"what?" I said.
He said, "I can call them Goldie Treasure."
I told him how much I loved it and how creative he was to come up with that. the way his mind works.......I just love it. it didn't occur to me that he was sitting in the back of the van mulling over what it was that he wanted to name his hearing aid molds. sure we had named them from the beginning and it's our thing. I love our things. maybe no one else gets it but I love it.
here are the links to all the other hearing aid posts that I wrote when he first got his hearing aids. when we call them tigger ears. HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Currently........October edition

Listening.............Pandora stations when I run.

Eating.................nothing exciting (yet!) feeling board actually in what I am eating of course and water but coffee in the morning is so great. in fact I had some the other day with a bit of pumpkin spice in it and it was AWESOME

wearing....................still shorts and flip flops. I think I am tricking myself when I put on jeans but I am not. I end up getting way to hot

feeling..................excited for fall break

weather.................still hot. it will get cool, I know but I am so ready for it

wanting.................the book Bread and Wine and Authentic slow down and take it all in

thinking.................about way to much

enjoying...............this phase of life

and just because I love to read I am adding another on

reading.................on the last chapter of Love Does by Bob Goff. I have thoroughly loved this book. I think I don't want it to end and that is why it has taken me so long to read it all.  still stuck in Anna Karenina. I don't think I will make book club this month. in fact I know I won't I will finish it thought. I WILL. and A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (another book club read, enjoying it though)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I have this sweet friend, I'm not going to mention her name here. It wouldn't matter though, you wouldn't be able to find her. She kind of avoids social media, like the plague. (Which it kind of can be, right?!?) It sucks you in and takes over (sounds more like a black hole.) Either way I find myself easily falling into that black hole/plagueish pit. Don't get me wrong I am not bashing social media. My introverted self actually loves it. But her.....she doesn't easily fall into that pit. I admire her and am blessed that our paths crossed when they did. She is brave and strong.

I came across this post by one of my favorite bloggers Ashley Ann at Under the Sycamore. (you don't read her blog? well you should!)  She talked about a friend of hers and her struggle with her daily pain with Lyme disease and her beautiful company that bloomed from that pain. Bottle of Tears.

I loved everything about her company. I wish I could say that I was quicker to order a bottle but I procrastinated. I contacted Lindsey through Bottle of Tears on Facebook and she was so gracious and thoughtful to put the bottle I wanted, quickly in the mail.

Now it is in the hands of my sweet friend and I pray she knows God sees her and feels His presence in this next week.

Check out the beautiful bottles and words at Bottle of Tears  you will not be disappointed. Share hope with someone you know.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Old Chair Makeover

Chalk paint:
I had been seeing it all over Pinterest and I just thought that it was chalk(board) paint in colors instead of black. my how I was wrong.  someone told me that the Annie Sloan was a bit pricy and where I had to buy it locally was a bit out of the way for me so I went to Home depot and got the Deco Art American Decor 8oz bottle in Lace.
here is the chair that I wanted to paint.
I originally thought that I would paint it red. (this was at least 4 years ago(or more))
as you can see it never got finished.
the thing that drew me to chalk paint was that I read or heard that you didn't have to do sanding. that  the chalk paint covered up and made up for a lot. I liked that idea.
so here is what the chair looked like after coat one.
it was a lot of work to get all those spindles painted, but I pressed on

here it is after the second coat

i took a close up of the chair to show that it still had a lot of streaks in it. I had a friend of mine tell me that she only did two coats of the Annie Sloan paint on a bakers rack that she painted. after seeing the second coat and all the streaks I went for a third coat. (note to future chalk painting self, buy the Annie Sloan or as another friend told me make my own chalk paint. I saw that on pinterest as well, here and here and here, I decided not to go that route because i thought that it would be just as expensive as buying that Annie Sloan, it may not be i don't know. I didn't price it all.)
the saying "third times a charm" worked in this case. here is my cute little chair with its third coat of chalk paint and then waxed. (that was a complete adventure) I used miniwax and I had no clue what to do with it but rub it on the chair. I read the blogs about how to apply and still felt like I was going in blind. I feel like I read something some where about possible putting the mini wax in a bowl or cup or plate and melting in a microwave for a couple of seconds before using.......that may be something that I for sure do if I attempt this chalk painting thing again.
as for the "Believe" sign. that will be another post for another day

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tie Dye

i put in this post, a sneak peak of something that we did while we were camping.
well here it is
we got to do a tie dye shirt.
my mother in law, crazy loves her, some tie dye.
her birthday was the week after our trip so we made a special tie dye shirt for her
the kids picked the colors (I got to pick one too) and we decided on a heart.
one of the ladies got the shirt all folded and rubber banded how it needed to be for the heart.

here are the kids with the shirt......ready to be dunked
little girl, helping me with her color
golden boy helping out with his color
after the shirt was dipped in the colors it had to sit in a vinegar and water bath for about 5min
the rubber bands are removed

and one of the ladies had the kids clothes their eyes while she unwrapped it......
here is their reaction to the shirt. i just love it.
next time we go they will be making a shirt for them to wear.

it came out so well and we gave it to her this weekend and she loved it.

Monday, September 22, 2014

#2014andycampingtrip part 3

 our camping trip via instagram
it was so much fun going on this adventure with my family

Thursday, September 18, 2014

#2014andycmping part 2

 a few more pictures from our camping weekend. these lovelies were blooming all over the place
the cabin that we called home for the weekend
 a sneak peak of something else that we did while there. more on this in a later post
 this child. she just melts my heart (and sometimes makes it stop, heart attach style, with the things she does)

 golden boy and daddy on a river float (we will all be participating in this in may)
 not sure why she just didn't get all the way in
 enjoying the mud

 who needs a spa when you can just give yourself a mud treatment
 I posted a picture like this on instagram and my sister commented with "America Ninja Warrior" she mastered this wall and fireman's pole this time around.

"him." so much to love  in this tiny bundle of a boy 
 I have a feeling this will be an annual or bi-annual brother/sister photo. YAY!
 a drive through Cades Cove
 daddy told them that he was going to turn the van into a jeep. they had to stay in their seats and buckled in but we would ride through Cades Cove with the doors open and the front windows down.

 couldn't get the best picture of this little guy but we did see a bear while we were in Cade Cove. they kids, and daddy were thrilled. (I was pretty excited to see it too) it was a great BIG blessing