A Lot Horrible…and A Little Good…

I am sitting with a warm cup of coffee and listening to Christmas music as my boys build wooden blocks on the floor.

Yes, I know it’s bit early for Christmas music…but I just can’t help myself.

I know that some are saddened that the hot weather has passed, but I have to say that I absolutely love this time of year.

The chill in the air, the coziness I feel in a warm sweater and baking seems so much more appropriate than in the summer.

I think warm fresh bread tastes better in the Fall and Winter.

Yesterday my five-year old son was asking to try a sip of my warm decaf-coffee. I humored him and waited for the response I’d get after he tried it.

He looked very thoughtful for a moment and said…“Well mommy…It’s a lot horrible…and a little good”. He got me thinking, as often my boys do with light bulb moments that remind me check in with my personal thought life.

It reminded me that far to often I allow one negative thing in my twenty-four hour days to dictate how my whole day is viewed.

The day can be going beautifully and there can be a terrible smudge that appears…a child misbehaving..an argument between brothers…so many good things can occur in a day….but then my positive view the day becomes destroyed. Just one minute is all it takes. Homeschooling has been a tremendous blessing, but there are those moments when you wish the school bus would come pick them all up. ( In a moment of frustration.)

Do you ever have this happen? Frustration attempts to take hold of your day…plowing through even  the most positive of days. Just that one event or moment takes charge of your attitude toward the rest of your day.

I have in fact been working on this in my heart and my head. Praying God would make me aware of my attitude and how I view the very breath He gave me…each second…not to neglect joy that He provides in my life, even when ugliness occurs.

So my goal this week is to make a habit of happiness.

When the things that make my day dark occur…I want to get through them and come out the other side still thankful and appreciative of the day, regardless of its bumps and pot holes that attempt to flatten my tires and take me off my path.

Be encouraged in moments like these.We can pass through the dark clouds and return to the bright day of sunshine first with the help and strength of the Lord, and our willingness to be aware and be prepared..to be proactive about the outcome of our attitude.

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Kind Words, Kind Hearts…

I am so often telling my boys to repeat what they just said, but in a kind voice…with kinder words…

I truly feel as that though I am writing lines to a play as I try to teach kind communication them.

I also try to back off just as often and let their practice of kindness to take hold of their hearts. I desire for it to come naturally and purposefully.

Have you ever heard it said that “What comes from your mouth is whats in your heart?”

I think this is so very true, and also such a great reminder to all of us…of all ages.

It’s never too late to improve on you “kindness” vocabulary. Think before you speak and be certain what will be said will either be neccessary and uplifting, or lacking in neccesity and innapropriate. We have no right to tear others apart with our mouths.

I’ve told my children many times “Once said, words can never be taken back”.  One can apoligize for their folly, but those distructive words can hang in the air forever in the mind and heart of the offended. Once hurt, some find it difficult to look away from what words were said and might even begin to believe those harmful things about themselves.

Let our words be those that please the Lord. Words that lift the hearts of others…whom He has also created in His Image. Words are powerful and we must choose them wisely, for they are a reflection of our heart.

Cars, Monster Trucks and Strawberry Shortcake?

What a plan I had…really I did! It was a good plan…to take my 3 boys age 7, 4 and 2 shopping for two little friends birthday gifts….girl…friends…

So we buckled up and drove off to find some “girly gifts”.

We don’t shop frequently for unnecessary items…but of course that doesn’t end the ever-present desire for “I want this Mommy”, I wish I could have that Mommy!

I gave my speech on the way to the store…the typical one and also the speech I give when we are on our way to shop for someone…other then us…

“Boys…now listen up…we are going to look for some birthday gifts for our friends…we are not to ask for anything for ourselves…nor do we touch anything..and keep your voices quiet…People are trying to shop calmly…Do you hear me?”‘

“Yes Ma’am”…responded my two oldest, and a mild grunt from my 2-year-old…

Upon arrival we all latched hands and walked into the store. The first 5 minutes were relatively successful…but the last 10 a bit of a struggle….

“Mommy look at these monster trucks. We could buy some for our friends birthday! ” replied my 4-year-old.

“Sweetie we are buying gifts for girls, I don’t think monster trucks are want they’ll want.”

Mommy! Look at that car! We could get some for our friends…and us…it would be nice for everyone!”

I stood there thinking” Oh my word…what have I gotten myself into?

Look at this pony…what about strawberry shortcake?Image Detail

My boys have no idea what to buy for a girl…all their ideas don’t apply…way to go mom!”

Then we moved to the gift bags…I asked them to pick a special one for each of their friends…as I was walking down the aisle I realized my two year old had grasped onto a handful of balloons that were blown up and of hanging with strings from the ceiling.

Explaining to a two year old that “No, in fact we cannot buy the balloons even if they make you happy and smiley!”, was not the easiest of arguments to win, but I persevered and we moved on.

While trying to find the perfect gift bag…we seemed to have become entangled in a bit of a balloon mess…I think the clerks thought that the circus had come to town and was shopping in their store.

As we were walking I spotted the detergent isle..I needed clothing detergent…I suddenly heard my 7-year-old say “Mommy, why are you buying something for yourself?” Remember? We’re not buying things for ourselves today.

Are you kidding me…I thought!

He truly thought it was for me…How funny! I had to explain…”Do you know what this is? It’s to wash our clothes…all of our clothes, for our whole family.” “Oh,  sorry Mommy, I didn’t realize”.

So, regardless of the craziness of our small shopping trip , the boys were very well-behaved (Thank the Lord), it was just too much decision-making for one mom and 3 boys to handle.

Although I am now exhausted from this hilarious and hair brained idea of a morning… I wouldn’t take it back.

These are the things that make motherhood so memorable, living in our own little storybook of a life perhaps.

As my 7-year-old said to me the other day ” Mommy, every good story has bumps along the way.” He sure was right.

Attempts at teaching generously and sharing may seem never ending and difficult…but quite frankly I’m still learning too. The more we give, the more we want to give. Giving is better than receiving.  I want to teach that all year round, not just at Christmas. To see someones face light up and spread cheer into their life somehow is priceless. To know that someones heart was made happy from a small gesture of kindness…that’s awesome.

Overall, our trip was successful and gifts were bought. We came home and filled the gift bags and are excited to give what we picked out for our special friends.

So whether your shopping with your kids for Cars, Monster trucks or strawberry shortcake…you can be sure to make memories…and learn some lessons along the way. I’m certain of it!

They Have My Heart…

There is something truly precious,  a treasure that is discovered within the Motherhood of raising boys.

The bumps, bruises and scratches…the noise that happens..that is created by their very presence…

Dressing like cowboys…trying on different hats…wanting to wear the hat the other brother has…crying about the hat…

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wrestling…playing…someone always gets hurt…crying again…angry but for a moment

forgiving…hugging…the beauty that happens…

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Big wheels…scooters…rock collections…dirt…mud…baths…

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wants a snack…wants a hug…wants another hug…pick me up please Mommy?

Wants to read…reading to each other…sitting side by side giggling at the funny story…

the bond…the joy…to see this treasured and amazing sight…

the sweetness of brothers…brotherhood…

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it’s positively lovely…

what a blessed life I’ve been given

to watch…to learn…to grow..

while raising three little boys…

that have captured my heart…

that have my heart

and always will.

Celebrating the Resurrection Together…

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

After finding this lovely idea on Pinterest, my boys and I tackled this project together this week. We are anticipating the growth of grass from the seed that surrounds the crosses.

It is a fun was to remember Jesus’ sacrifice for us, and celebrate the Risen Lord.

I encourage you to find ways to place a family focus on Christ and His willingness to save us from our sin.

For children, creating and using their hands is a great way to make an impact and set the stage for great questions to be asked and appreciation and thankfulness to be developed as they learn the truth about Salvation.

This is a fantastic way to open their eyes and hearts to the Cross.

 The website I got the idea from was:

http://wearethatfamily.com/2012/03/diy-mini-resurrection-garden/

A Full Plate…

A rush of excitement…the joy of
service…the pleasure of creativity…the satisfaction of a completed task…a job well done…I so enjoy these feelings and stirs of emotion that I receive when a opportunity arrises that I

may use my gifts for the Lord . Although fulfillment comes from these times, I find myself realizing I’m overcommiting myself beyond my capability or calendar.

As a Stay at home Mother and Homeschooling parent it is easy to over commit very quickly. It seems that since I am at home most of the time that it should be possible to do many other things. My heart jumps for joy when I get the chance to help out in a creative fashion, or offer my time in some helpful way. I find myself creating projects for myself to do when really the time isn’t available, I just desire to do them. Unfortunately, that’s when the truly important areas of focus start to blur and I discover I’m not super woman. It isn’t possible or practical to pile on more projects or commitments than humanly possible. Not only that, my home and family suffer when my heart isn’t beating in their direction and my brain waves are all over the map.

What I have come to realize in the past few weeks is the my life had become similar to a buffet line…

A large plate…so many wonderful food choices…so hard to choose….so I end up filling my plate completely and half way through eating my meal I discover the challenge is far more than I can conquer. My eyes were far larger than my stomach…

As it goes with my life…I see a chance to do something…too many somethings…And what comes with that is that everything gets half done…and possibly with an exhausted and frustrated attitude…

What kind of lesson am I teaching my boys if I can’t handle my daily schedule and those extras I add into it? I want them to learn how to make good choices and base those choices on what is being done for the Lord, and not what is for self.

Do you ever find yourself running back and forth between commitments on fast forward.

It’s difficult for one’s heart to find an established place in a life that is full of filler … things..activity and motion that provide nothing more than busyness and a tiresome mind.
Take time to weed the garden of your mind. Establish what you can and can’t do…and abide by the guidelines which you have prepared for decision making. Boundaries are healthy in life as a whole.

Pray that the Lord will make clear what he has created you to do and that He will make known the tasks that He has called you to.

Rest in the thought that your plate can be cleaned completely if need be…there are those times that a clean empty plate may be necessary.

I’m looking forward to spending time in the areas I’ve been called to and wait on the Lord’s direction so that I know where to follow Him with each step I take.

No more over flowing and impossible to finish plate for me. If it’s what the Lord commands of me, it won’t be impossible. If it’s not His plan for me, it won’t be on my plate. I pray He will teach me to commit only to what He wants for me and this life He’s created.

Primitive Grubby Cake Candles!

Saturday while my husband was at a meeting, me and my wonderful batch of craft loving kiddos got to work on a fun project.

I found this project on a website I would highly recommend

to craft making ladies! Great ideas are found here!

http://eyeballsbydaycraftsbynight.wordpress.com/category/candles/

On the Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night…her candles came out perfectly lovely. They remained the sweet shape of a votive, where as mine turned into what looked like a rounder shaped ball cake candle.

This was my first try…so my grubby primitive candles had my husband reaching for what he thought was a delicious muffin when walk in the door..”sorry dear”!

Maybe next time they will resemble the candle it was meant to be originally!

Anyway…here was what we did…and you can do it too! It’s not terribly hard and the outcome was quite rewarding.

First you will need some inexpensive votive candles…I purchased mine at Wal-Mart…

Then…I used a small pillar candle…also bought at Wal-mart…I picked yummy scents of Vanilla Cookie…Cinnamon…Hazulnut…and other warm and inviting aromas.

You will then need an old saucepan …and a large pot of sorts.I filled the larger pot with about 3 cups of water then placed the saucepan inside the pot with the water…a make shift double boiler if you will…

Once your items are ready..it’s time to begin…. 

Place the pillar candle in the saucepan and turn temperature on high to get the water boiling.

If the water is boiling to rapidly, turn down the temp a little but continue to watch as the wax melts

Once the wax is melted, pour it carefully into a aluminum pie pan.

Let it sit for a few minutes until the wax begins to harden a little.

Once it’s tolerable to touch, pick up one of your white votive

candles and begin packing the wax around it. You will begin to see that the cake candle look with begin to appear!

Continue with each candle until you achieve to desired look and texture. After the candles were formed I placed them on foil to cool. Just for fun I sprinkled a dusting of cinnamon on the top. I love the way it looked, now I just hope it will burn nicely with the candle!

I was able to make 5 candles with the wax of the 1 small pillar candle.

Great Success!

I will making more of these and am so excited at trying new ideas involving candle making.

I wish you the best as you attempt this fun and easy project!