Saturday, March 19, 2011

A House Fire, A Home Lost

We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. ~Romans 5:3-5

As I post this and stare at these pictures, I am so full of every emotion conceivable.  My sister's house burned down two days ago.  She lives just a few miles from me. 
  I praise the Lord that she and my precious niece and nephew were not hurt.  She lost everything in her house, but the clothes she was wearing.
It is photos like the ones above that are upsetting her the most...a life of memories, of infants coming home from the hospital, a first smile, a vacation, a tiny foot print tucked so neatly in an album...all gone so quickly...these photos and records of precious memories.  She loved photography and had albums and albums of her sweet of our mom, who had long since passed away...all gone.
I stood in her house and looked around at everything charred and remembered where the Christmas tree had stood just a few months before.  I could remember the children when they were little and all their toys scattered.  This was their home...where they had lived since they were born.  Seeing their faces covered in tears as they looked at a house that they once called, 'home'...

Oh, how I love to come to this place of fun, a place of creativity, and often a place of little blog.  I have become friends with many of you and ask for your prayers.  Prayers of grace, as I don't think we offer enough to each other in this fallen world, prayers of peace...and mostly that my sister would see this tragic event as an opportunity to glorify the Lord.  This will be a lengthy process for her and her children.

Blessings to all of you... 

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lunch for Leprechauns

This is the same idea as my 'Lunch Box Love', but different holiday!
My daughter gets the goods in this lunch box...I am sticking to Spider Man for my son!
You have to have some 'gold' at the end of the rainbow!
Instead of O'Malley, I wrote in O'Mason for my son and McAshlyn instead of McDowell!  So very Irish!
The little green container holds some ranch dressing for the cucumbers and celery.  I added a few drops of green food coloring.
My youngest daughter enjoyed this little lunch today.
A shamrock shaped peanut butter sandwich, some green ranch, cucumbers, celery, sour cream and onion chips, a sprite, and activia yogurt (the container is green!) plus the 'gold' chocolates make this lunch perfect for my little leprechauns (mischievous little elves!)

Other ideas?  Throw in some green grapes or a green apple...maybe make a corned beef sandwich instead!  Oh, and be sure to have some 'Lucky Charms' for breakfast!

I don't have one thing to decorate my house with for St. Patrick's Day...not really sure why, because I usually go all out for the holidays!  However, I always have fun making any day special for my kids.  I will be gone this St. Pat's Day to see my sister in Memphis! Yaaaahoooo!! I am so excited to see her!  I will pack this little lunch for my kids with a note on the true meaning of St. Patrick's Day and a note telling them how much I will miss them!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you!

Since it is typically a party day, I will link to these great parties!

Lunch box: Hobby Lobby; stickers: Target; green fork and spoon: Pottery Barn for Kids; glitter shamrocks: Micheal's; 'Gold' Coin chocolates: World Market (also in the dollar bin at Target); green and white check fabric: scrap bin at Hancock Fabrics

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Give Her a Dream

You have stolen my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.  ~Song of Solomon 4:9

My nine year old daughter has been asking a lot of questions lately.  You know the ones.  In one of our recent conversations, we discussed marriage and what it means to be married.  I told her that when I was her age, I used to dream of that special day, when I would get to wear a beautiful dress and walk down the aisle to stand face to face with my 'Prince Charming!'  Many of our quiet 'girl' conversations are about boys.  Certainly, I wish that she didn't care a thing about stinky little boys, but I listen, nonetheless. 
We do have boyfriends.  She is way too young to even think about that!  I asked her if she ever dreamed about her wedding day and the special man that God is preparing to be her groom, and she answered, "No."

Since we have been preparing to have 'the talk' with her, we decided to first give her a dream...

My husband and I spent much time preparing for our daughter to be a 'bride for a day.'   While he stayed home with the two younger ones, I took her to the beauty salon to get a beautiful hairstyle befitting a bride. 
Next, we stopped at the drug store and bought some Lee Press on Nails (with glitter tips, of course!)  Then we went to the Bridal shop to try on dresses (we told the clerk we were just looking for a 'special occasion!')  She tried on several and told me that she felt like an 'angel!' 
She looked like an angel. 
 After playing dress-up, we went across the street to the jewelry store.  I had prompted the jeweler, so he brought out some beautiful rings.  We discussed what the ring means and why we wear them.  Those fake nails made it all look so real! 
After departing the jewelry store empty handed, we drove to Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens.  It is a lovely place where lots of weddings and receptions are held.  We got to see the splendid orchid display inside the Conservatory.  My daughter felt like a princess running around that castle of glass with flowers dripping from the walls.
There was a light rain, but we still managed to cover the outdoor gardens.  I watched her as she ran and played and thought about how much she is growing up.  I asked God to help me embrace it, instead of wishing I could put a cap on childhood and keep her little forever!
As we were leaving, we had the good fortune of seeing a real bride during her photo shoot.  We stood and watched and remarked how great it was to see a bride on her special day!
We climbed in the car and Ashlyn put her little veil back on and fell asleep on the way home...such a lovely innocent this little bride-to-be.
We went straight to our church and quietly entered the dark sanctuary.  Her dad was sitting there trying to keep the younger two quiet.  My daughter was very surprised to see him, because she hadn't known he was a part of this special day...
He walked her down the aisle, and she told him all about the day.  They sat down and he gave her a little blue box with a locket.  The other blue box contained a key.  He explained that the locket was to her heart and the key was for her future husband.  He will hold onto it for now, he said.  He gave her a card that started like this, "You are my dearest angel.  My firstborn child.  You have a heart of gold..."  It ended with a prayer for her and her future husband.  I hadn't expected the card and appreciated how much thought he put into it.  She might not know it now, but one day she will cherish that card and the words of sentiment from a father who adores her.
Rob took our other children home, and Ashlyn and I went to Dunkin Doughnuts.  It was late and the Bakery was closed.  I had planned to take her to look at wedding cakes and to eat a cupcake to end our special day.  She didn't know the difference and was thrilled to get a powdered-covered-strawberry- filled doughnut.
We talked about the surprised look on her face from earlier that morning.  I asked her, as I often do, "What was your favorite part of the day?"
She answered, "The Lee Press on Nails and playing dress-up!" 
Yes, of course.
She is only nine years old.
I hope to encourage those of you with young daughters to hold their hearts.  I did not grow up knowing that I had value to a Lord and Savior who loves me so much that he died for me.  How my choices might have looked differently as a young girl and into adulthood... This world will offer darkness.  We can become desensitized to what is visible in our culture today.  Even though I have prayed that the Lord would close my children's eyes and ears to the things they shouldn't see or hear, my children have heard many things that can be difficult to explain.  Their little brains just don't have the cognitive skills yet to understand some of the heavier things in life!  Our desire was to show our daughter how very much we value her and how special she is...and how the God of the universe is mindful of her...that He values her.  It is our hope that she will value herself.  We can only counter the darkness of the world by looking for the light and seeing the beauty that the Lord intends. 
You are all children of the light and children of the day.  We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. ~1 Thessalonians 5:5

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Working on Projects

I have been working on different projects...taxes (ugh), painting, sewing, and refinishing some furniture.  I painted this brown chair white and put it in my shed.
I bought these garden tools at Hobby Lobby and decided to hang them as a little spoof on art!  The little brown shed needed some color!  The 'wallpaper' is actually scrapbook paper that my son helped me tack to the wall.  He will do anything that involves a hammer!
I covered the little camp stool in some pretty check fabric I found in Charleston. 

More on all my projects later!

So much to do and so little time!  I am finally done with getting my taxes together for my little shop!  That was more than I expected, especially since I am not the most organized person!

I have missed my friends in blog land!
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