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Friday, April 27, 2012

What's up Buttercup?

Here's what's up in our neck of the woods.
Lots of stuff happening....
Sadly, housework has not been one of them though.  So I will spare you from any pictures of my kitchen table covered with wedding projects and necklace orders and the counter full of dishes..
(yes, I said counter. They have out grown the to dirty dishes)

I know life will get back to normal soon and when the dust settles from all the chaos of the events going on, it's all this fun stuff that will matter most in the end...
not that I had an immaculately well organized home.
(But if my "end" comes suddenly, I have made my girls PROMISE to wash all the dishes on the counter and fold the mountain of clothes in my bedroom before anyone enters the house!! I'm not kidding)

UPDATE:  Here are the flowers the girls planted. You can read about them {here}.
They brought them with them so they could water them....sweetness.
I see sprouts!!

 Yay to a buggie full of Target flip flops in the girls sizes at Dirt Cheap for $1.50 a pair!

Major bad decision here...
Decided to paint my toes a nice yellow to match my accessories.
The color choice was bad enough but the paint job that I slapped on literally 5 minutes before getting in the car was atrocious!  I sent a pic of my feet to Lydia saying SOS.
She sent me a pic back saying OMG.

We were on our way to meet my mom who was coming in from out of town for Lydia's shower...hence the big smile on my face in the above photo.  After she got out of the car and did her traditional "happy dance" upon arrival, she did her once over to check me out and when she got to my toes, I promise... she gasped out loud.  Then she said one word..."UGLY" as she pointed to my toes.
Yeah Mom, we already established that. But thanks.
The girls and I keep saying we are gonna get her a bumper sticker that says
"Loni. Keeping it real since 1943"
Gotta love her!!

We are in the thick of "Shower Season" for the bride to be in our house!
This is a pic from one a couple of weeks ago that her bridesmaids gave her.
It was small and intimate and super sweet.

This week she had a themed shower and it was all about cooking....
I can't wait to share all the details with y'all soon. 
Fun, FUN, Fun stuff happened and she was certainly showered with gifts as we were blessed to see lots of ladies we haven't seen in long time.  

This is the morning before we left...I didn't  even realize me and Lydia kinda color coordinated until I looked at this pic... but that really doesn't matter cuz we got to town too early and needed to kill some time so we decided to hit our favorite thrift store. 
 I found several goodies....

And decided I liked this yellow shirt I found better with my outfit. 
 So I paid for it and then went back into the dressing room and put it on.  
Lydia was like, "Seriously Mom?  Seriously?  You're kidding right?"
Although, looking at the pictures now...I totally like the first outfit better.
*Note to self...stay away from the color yellow!  The two of you ain't jiving this week!

The grand babies stayed for a few days after the shower...
LOVE that.

Paw Paw taught Rosalyn how to drive the 4-wheeler...

Miss Jules latched on to THIS particular baby and went nowhere without it all week.

Paw Paw found a little bird that couldn't fly.
The wedding bird cage worked beautifully.
(Thanks Elizabeth...perfect timing!)

He was doing much better the next day so we released him.
I think his face here says it all.... 

 I just couldn't get enough of these curls.

Paw Paw and Roz played a little baseball.
Paw Paw is a great coach and really helped her with her batting as he explained how important it is to keep your eye on the ball.

When we enlarged that last pic, we discovered Paw Paw follows his own instructions.
(we got a serious giggle out of this one)

Sorry for the Julia Rose photo dump.....but those chubby fingers.... wrapped around this dirty tiny baby...and those curls.  Forgive me.  But I am a grandma you know!  

 I introduced my littlest little women to "Little Women".
It's a favorite of my original little women.
Lydia hated Friedrich when she was little because she thought it was disgusting how OLD he was and of course she loved Laurie...but while watching it this time, she said he isn't so bad at all....that she can appreciate their love now.
I do believe my little woman is growing up.

Which by the is my baby girl!!
Here she is trying on her cap and gown for her graduation that is in two weeks!  
I witnessed this beautiful and exciting milestone as I was working on Lydia's wedding invitations.
This is when I have to remind myself of my word for 2012... {Embrace}
Embrace the change Stephanie....Embrace.

 And upon hanging up after talking with my mom on the phone for about 30 minutes while we caught  up on all things important in the world.  She immediately called me back to tell me some incredible news that she couldn't believe she forgot to tell me!!..... She got this inside info straight from the horses mouth in her monthly V.I.P. email she receives....brace yourself people.....

Bluebell's newest flavor is gonna be RED VELVET CAKE!
Woo Hoo!  You can read all about it {here}.

Well, if you have hung in here with me to the end, I'd love to hug your neck.
So sweet of you to be interested in our shenanigans.
I just love y'all so much. 

Oh and don't forget about my Mother's Day promotion I have going on in my shop!!
You can read about it {here}.

You get one of these FREE with each Hymn Necklace your purchase!  

Hope y'all have a fantabulous weekend!!
I get to see my momma AGAIN!  squeal!  Two weekends in a row.
Woo Hoo!

Stephanie :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"Those kind of people"

This past week while Nick was preaching a revival, he mentioned something that always humbles me.
It's a great reminder of who we were.
Where we came from.
And what the Lord has done for us.

You see, we were "those kind of people"...
You know... the kind that  never goes to church but sends their kids on the church bus.
The kind that never goes to church but lets their kids go with the neighbors.
The kind of people that "churchy folk" love to shake their head at and pray for their poor children...

Yeah... that was us.
I'm not proud of that but it is true.
We were so blind we actually thought we were great parents because we made sure our children went to church.  I mean,  I was so proud of it  I even videoed it! No lie.
I stood in the living room videoing out of the window as the girls waved goodbye and proudly climbed on board the bus in their little dresses with their little bibles tucked under their arms.
Yeah....we were awesome parents as we sat there in the living room watching TV while waiting for them to get back home. We were so ignorant and blind. We honestly thought we were doing something great.

And so do so many other parents out there who are still yet to be transformed by the grace of God.

You see..... I can assure you that this sweet neighbor with 3 kids herself to get ready on her already hectic Sunday morning had NO idea what the Lord was going to do in our family through her one act of obedience.
I promise you that she never dreamed in a million years that the very man that her kids were scared of and intimidated by  would one day lead countless children to the throne of grace.
And that the very family she was burdened enough over to inconvenience herself every Sunday would one day have a church van ministry of their own.
And I guarantee you that she never ever would have imagined that just a few years later, our family would answer the call to full time ministry and that my husband would become a pastor.
Crazy stuff!!

That's what the grace of God does y'all!
God takes the most unlikely people and does some unimaginable things through them ....all for His glory.

Yes, we were some of "those people".
The kind who need Jesus.
Just like hundreds of people you probably know. Maybe even your neighbor.
I'm so thankful that when my neighbor, Leslie,  saw us out in our yard barbecuing on the weekends whooping it up with our ice chests full of beer and my often immodest way of dressing that she didn't shake her head with disgust and keep her kids at a safe distance.  I'm eternally grateful that instead, she always stopped and spoke to us.  She let her kids play with mine.  She gained our trust.  Took our kids to church. And loved us into the kingdom of God.  Her one act of obedience has had a HUGE impact on the kingdom.

And you know what?  When God did begin to draw us to Him and we began to seek Him to find a church...we didn't even end up at Leslie's church!  Nope.  We did visit it, but that isn't where the Lord eventually led us.  And guess what?  That's OK.  It's not about gaining church members.  It's about gaining brothers and sisters in the body of Christ.  It's about kingdom work.  The big picture.

It never ceases to amaze me that before the Lord moved us off that Navy base, we went from having our kids picked up for church to picking up kids to take to church!  Amazing Grace indeed!!

What about you?  Do you know any of "those kind of  people" that God wants to use you to show His love to?  It might cost you some time.  It will probably be an inconvenience.  But your one act of obedience might cause a ripple effect that continues throughout eternity.  What a thought.

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.  Amen."  Ephesians 3:20-21


Friday, April 20, 2012

Everyday Gratitude ~ the extra gooey kind!

Momma Mia!  Where did the time go?!
I promised y'all I wouldn't dump 4 weeks worth of pics on you all at once again
but here I am doing that very thing!!
I promise it wasn't intentional!
I just can't keep up with how fast time is flying by in our family at the moment.
What is faster than warp speed?  
Superman flying faster than a speeding bullet?
Speedy Gonzales running around yelling "Arriba! Arriba!  Andale!  Andale!"
Whatever it is happening in our neck of the woods.
For reals.

As I uploaded these pics and was looking over them,  my heart was so full...overflowing! 
 Like the kind of overflowing that takes place when you microwave too much oatmeal in a bowl that's too small...It just kind of explodes and then oozes out everywhere.
Well that's me at the moment... with all that's going on with weddings and graduations, I've had a few emotional moments of boiling over and exploding...some out of stress, some out of momma emotions of all the change that is taking place.  But somehow the Lord has always managed to speak to my heart and help me focus on all the good stuff He is doing in the midst of the chaos.  I'm pretty sure people are praying for me!  Otherwise, my faithful friend named Mrs. Fever Blister would have already popped in for a visit like she always does when things get this stressful  busy in my life.  
So, I m basking in all that He is doing for me lately...and it's a lot.
Like the gooey overflowed oatmeal that gets on everything and doesn't wipe off easily...
that's what I hope my gratitude looks like to the Lord.
Gooey goodness that sticks to everything.
Weeks 13-16
 Day 85: for sunny Sundays and fresh cut grass.

 Day 86: for afternoon rides on the four wheeler.

 Day 87: for fancy new fonts.

Day 88:  for having my favorite Christian singer/songwriter of all times "like" one of my hymn necklaces in my shop.  This blessed my socks off :)

Day 89: for sweet buttons in my mailbox.
Day 90: for a few moments on my back porch swing listening to the rain.
Day 91: for getting to hang out with my sis-n-law :)
Day 92: for cute shoes from a sweet daughter.

Day 93: for happy mail full of Easter goodies from my momma. :)
Day 94:  for vintage finds that are EXACTLY what you were looking  for!  Woo too!
Day 95: for my church family...grateful indeed for the group of folks the Lord has connected us to.
Day 96: for discovering pleasant surprises while working on my taxes.

Day 97: for being ridiculously happy and relieved that I'm finished with my taxes!
Day 98: for finally being able to sit at my table again.
Day 99: for God's grace in my family.
Day 100: for reading stories about Jesus to my grandchildren.

Day 101: for backyard shenanigans with this girl.
Day 102:  for having all three of my girls together this week and the giggling that has taken place.
Day 103:  for a visit from the girls adopted grandparents who got to meet their "great grandkids" today.
Day 104:  for a lovely shower for a certain bride I happen to be very fond of!

Day 105:  for this moment.

Day 106: for the privilege of getting to serve the Lord along side this man.
Day 107: for walking into church and finding this  sitting on the pew.

Day 108: for getting to know this special family this week during the revival and seeing how they are cultivating a genuine heart of worship in their children.
Day 109:  for Blake and Lauren getting to join us in revival tonight.  I miss the days of all three girls traveling with us in our ministry but I am so blessed when they do get to come.
Day 110:  for amazing friend who are willing to do what it takes even 1 1/2 hours away to help me find the "perfect" mother of the bride dress!  I texted with the size and style (cuz they didn't have it where I lived) and she texted me this pic 10 minutes later!!!  There ain't no mission impossible for this woman!!

And guess what?!....I'm gonna tell you in advance what I'm thankful for today...
My momma is coming!  I get to see her today and hug her and take in her wonderful smell that I miss so much.  I anticipate lots of gut busting laughter tonight...cuz that is what always happens when she's around! I can hardly wait!
Stephanie :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Making Memories

I found this little Raggedy Ann doll kit when Elizabeth was still pregnant with Rosalyn.
I've been patiently waiting until she was old enough to make it with me.
The time finally came and it was better than I had imagined.
Making memories is one of my favorite things  to do. 

Stephanie :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

For Your Splendor Lord

Do y'all ever listen to a song and from the first time you hear it, you feel like it's yours?  I mean, you had such a connection to the words that were sung that it just gripped your heart and you just listened to it over and over? Well, that's how I felt about the song, 
"For Your Spendor", from Christy Nockels latest CD, Glorious.  It's like an anthem for all of us ladies wanting to be the women God created us to be. And being the mom of three daughters and two granddaughters, the lyrics resonated deep within me.

I put together this video for them. It's my prayer.
May they always see how beautiful they are in Your eyes Lord, and that their lives are for Your splendor!

Please read these lyrics then turn up the volume and enjoy!

I'm so concerned with what I look from the outside.
Will I blossom into what You hope I'll be.
Yet You're so patient just to help me see the blooms come from a deeper seed 
that You planted in Me.
Sometimes it's hard to grow when everybody's watching.  
To have your heart pruned by the one who knows best.
And though I'm bare and cold, I know my season's coming.
And I'll spring up in Your endless faithfulness.

With my roots deep in You,
I'll grow the branch that bears the fruit.
And though I'm small, I'll still be standing in the storm.
Cause I'm planted by the river by Your streams of living water.
And I'll grow up strong and beautiful
all for your splendor, Lord.

So with my arms stretched out, I'm swaying to Your heartbeat.
I'm growing with the sound of Your voice calling.
You're bringing out the beauty that You have put in me.
For Your joy and Your glory falling.

With my roots deep in You,
I'll grow the branch that bears the fruit.
And though I'm small, I'll still be standing in the storm.
Cause I'm planted by the river by Your streams of living water.
And I'll grow up strong and beautiful
all for your splendor, Lord.

"They will be called oaks of righteousness, 
a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor".
Isaiah 61:3

Stephanie :)

You can buy Christy's new CD {here}

Saturday, April 14, 2012

the egg hunt

How are y'all?!  
I took a sabbatical from social media while my daughter and grandkids were visiting so that I could soak up every second with them.  Whew....did we have us some fun!!  I want to thank each and every one of y'all for all the comments and emails that you have sent this last week that I have not been able to respond to yet!  I am hoping to catch up with them SOON. 
I appreciate y'all so much.

I  promised y'all a post on our egg hunt and here it is in all it's glory! 
 We don't normally do egg fact, I can't even remember the last one we had one with them.  I guess it was when their grandma still lived in Tennessee and they were all 7 yrs old and under!  Wow. Time flies!

As I was pondering that this would be Lydia's last Easter morning here at our house...I decided to make it a memorable one.  I normally do them a basket with candy....(my girls love them some candy now)  but this year we are all trying to lose weight for the wedding. 
 So they got this instead....
I could tell they were a little disappointed but they never said a word about not having a basket full of goodies....little did they know of the surprise that awaited them later!

What you are about to view is proof of why Easter egg hunts are intended for small children.
Their behavior is not becoming....and wow
...did we learn a lot about our future son-n-law!!

 The Participates:




And Blake.
Here he is on his way to get an egg he spotted when his bag spilled.

And that's when The Egg Bandit saw his opportunity...

This picture was taken seconds before Blake threw Marcus's flip flop across the yard.

 We should have known Marcus was gonna play dirty when this took place 3 seconds after the hunt started...


(I will say in Marcus's defense, he returned the said egg that was stolen....but only because the entire crime was caught on video!)

 Right about this time, Nick hollered out some hints on where an egg was hidden right where Lauren was looking and this is what Marcus does....
 I don't know if an egg was ever even found during this squabble.

This was one that they missed over and over again.  
It was quite entertaining for us spectators.

Here is another egg that was fun to watch them pass up over and over again....even with the "you're getting're getting're on fire!" hints, they still had a hard time with this one. hee hee.

The "grand finale"... 
This little scuffle was hard to watch. 
 Lydia dropped an egg and I thought Marcus and Lauren were gonna kill each other to get to it first.
Poor Maw Maw Dianne was scared for her life.

They actually survived the hunt without bodily harm and 
here they are checking out to see who the winner was.

 And that would be.....

Although... Lauren did find the big bucks in her egg so technically she's a winner too!

All in all, I think they were ok with not getting baskets this year.
Here they are decked out with all their egg loot :)

Now as if that wasn't enough, we actually caught some of the madness on video.
You don't want to miss this
so make sure your speakers are on and sit back and enjoy.

Lauren announced she wanted to make this a new tradition but I don't think we can continue once they all have children.  We'd have to hide the kids inside until it was over! lol

Stephanie :)
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