Friday, May 23, 2014

5 for Friday -- I may be a blog statistic

So this month confirms it...I may be a blog statistic. I don't know where I recently read it, but the statistic was that most blogs fail in the first three months. Well there you go, I haven't posted in over a month. Life has been busy, sweet and happily busy. I am hoping to get back on the blog wagon, if for nothing else, than preserving these precious family memories. I have been planning a catch-up post for a while, from Easter to present, so we'll see when that ever happens. Be ready friends, it will be loaded with little boy preciousness.
I have been trying to eat a tad bit healthier. When I say tad bit I mean I have been trying to eat more fruits and vegetables and not eat an entire bag of Lays Dill Pickle Chips in a day. (Side note - they are super good) Smoothies have been my friend. This morning when I was making mine I accidentally grabbed the chicken broth carton instead of the almond milk carton. Thankfully I put it in first. When I poured some in I thought "Whoa what is wrong with the milk!" Then I realized I had grabbed the wrong carton. It nearly made me hault the whole smoothie operation, but I pressed on and the smoothie was good.
Part two of my trying to get healthy has been Pilates. I love/hate Pilates. I usually do it every Spring to take off the extra Winter weight I seem to gain every year. Usually it works like a charm. This year..nope, nada, ain't happenin' says my body, you are thirty now. As in 3-0- thirty. But it does make me feel better so I'll keep poppin' it in for a while.
We have been trying to do a little yard work lately here and there. I LOVE planting flowers in the Spring. I STRONGLY DISLIKE watering flowers in the Summer. I have tried to learn over the years what works best in the dry, sandy land at my house. Daylilies like my sand and they don't mind that I don't pay them much attention. That reminds me of this verse "Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." Luke 12:27 NKJV So much truth in that verse that I need to remember daily, not to worry, God's got this, all of this.
We picked up a few more flowers to plant yesterday at Lowes. I am hoping it is not a waste of my money. I have tried to steer clear of lots of new things and stick to the basic Lantana and Verbena that don't require much water. Hoping to get this lovely blush shade of Verbena planted sometime this weekend. I also picked up some Shasta Daisies because they are my childhood favorite. My Grandma has beautiful daisies. I have never had much luck with them, but I won't give up.

Hope your weekend is filled with blessings and happiness!

Linking up...
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Friday, April 11, 2014

Give me's Friday!

ONE~ We survived the opening day of T-ball. I found out soon that two children on the same team can be challenging! Along with helping out in the dugout - overload! We had a fun time and I love watching them! They are too cute in their uniforms!

TWO~ Sometimes I get super organized and have it all together and actually cook lunch before church on Sunday morning. The key word in this is {SOMETIMES} !! My family is anti-casserole for sure, but this one seems to be a hit at least for now.

Pork Chop Casserole
1 pack boneless pork chops
1 can cream of onion soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 package Lipton onion soup mix
2 cans of water (measure from soup cans)
1 1/3 cups of rice

Spray casserole pan with cooking spray. Add rice. Mix together soups and water (I heat them in the microwave for about 2 minutes so they mix well). Pour soup and water mix on top of rice. Add pork chops and sprinkle dry soup mix on top. Cook at 300 degrees for 2 hours.
** I have found with my oven, if I cook this at 300 degrees for an hour and turn off the oven without opening the door, it is perfect once we are home from church. All ovens are different so you will have to play with yours. Also sometimes cream of onion soup is hard to find so just substitute with cream of chicken or mushroom. The last two times I made this I was out of the dry soup mix so I just added a little seasoning salt to the top of the pork chops and I couldn't tell the difference. Pretty basic recipe!

THREE~ I snapped this picture of my boys before their second t-ball game this week. They were already being super sweet so I didn't even have to tell them to pose. I usually don't get lucky enough to capture these moments so this was definitely blog worthy friends!

FOUR~ Thursday morning we were up early and I tried to convince my little one to go on a date with mama for breakfast before speech...
Me: Since were up early we can get ready and go have a breakfast date!
A: What's that?
Me: Where we go out to eat, just you and me, and talk.
A: Well...I don't want to do that!

:-( No breakfast date for this mama! Ha!

FIVE~ I saw this on pinterest a while back. So cute find it here. I am so ready for a beach day!! It is my happy place!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

give me's friday!

So this has been a busy, busy week. I feel like I have run around like a chicken with it's head cut off all week and the weekend doesn't look like it will be too slow either! We have had fun though! Here's a few highlights of our week...

1 ~ Life on the farm is crazy busy this time of year. Tobacco must be set out (planted) and corn must be planted as well. Along with all the other chores the farm requires and the occasional cow that likes to get out. :) My boys love this time of year and I love to snap some photos of them "working hard."

2 ~ A good friend of mine threw a little park day party for some of her kid's friends and invited us. It was so cute. The kids did a scavenger hunt, planted seeds, ate a picnic lunch, and had dirt cups for dessert. She is so talented and had the tables at the park so cute. I didn't get as many pictures as I should have, because I was enjoying all the good conversation. :)

3 ~ Our neighbors chicken keeps showing up at our house and somehow manages to get herself shut up in my boys "shop"(playhouse, they call their work shop) or in our dogs pen. I do not know how she manages to get in there. Then just as quick as you see her, she disappears. She has managed to scare the boys a few times! I think she may be a magic chicken!

4 ~ I spent a good bit of today baking and tried out two recipes that have been on my Pinterest desert board for a while. I made brown sugar blondies and cake batter chocolate chip cookies. The blondies were my favorite, but I bet the kids will like the cookies best. I made a bunch for the booth my church will have at Relay for Life this weekend and decided since I was baking anyway, to make some for my boys' tball team for opening day tomorrow.

5 ~ Here's a baseball mom quick tip I figured out today - Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work great at getting out clay stains on cleats. The boys have pictures tomorrow as well and I wanted their cleats to look a little better. They look almost good as new. Even with A wearing a pair of hand-me-downs, they look great.

I hope your weekend is great!

Friday, March 28, 2014

give me's friday!

1. My boys had a busy week last week, plus they both spent the night with my parents once last week. By Saturday they were WIPED OUT! These are pictures of them Saturday afternoon. They were in the midst of a deep sleep. The "I better wake them up or they may not sleep tonight" kind of sleep. I love watching my boys sleep and being able to snap a photo.

2. Sunday was a busy day for us. We had a meeting at church late that afternoon followed by an evening service. So to spare my boys of sitting through a lot of talking later, we dropped the boys off with my parents after the morning service. Being that the boys were gone I had a chance to go feed cows with my husband. (Yes on Sunday, sometimes it must be done) I forgot how much I enjoy feeding cows with him. Usually I don't tag along because the tractor is full of boys! I actually really wanted to get on the couch, but felt bad for him and decided to go along, but in the end it made for a great afternoon.

3. I was "that Mama" on Monday at co-op. And by "That Mama" I mean the Mama whose child is peeing off the top of the playground equipment Mama. Pants dropped and all. And before you go taking his side, it was not a "mergency." When I got to him (he didn't see me coming) I overheard him tell another child "That's funny isn't it." Y'all. I was disgraced! I saw him out of the classroom window where I was helping clean up so we could go home. I immediately went to him, pulled up his pants, and marched him to the door. All my friends were watching. They got a good laugh about it and about the fact that even though I was steamin' mad I stopped for a split second to put a bow in a little girl's hair who asked. They all reminded me that he could do a lot worse. I have good friends. I haven't got the "you're kicked out of co-op because your child has no raising" letter yet, but I am waiting.

4. We tackled shoe shopping on Thursday. Of all the things I do with my boys this tops out my least favorite. Nonetheless, we were close by the shoe store and I knew pickings would be getting slim. The older my boys get the UGLIER the tennis shoes get. I don't know if that is the case for girls, but no one is making cute little boy shoes. They are all neon green or orange, which draws my little fellas in. I try to explain that not everything we wear matches up with NEON! My boys always seem to be WILD UP when we get in the shoe store. Probably because I walk in circles. I even had a good talk with them before going in because, well I REMEMBER previous trips. We got shoes, I don't love them, but we got shoes. I only felt as if I was going to get the shakes once or twice. Then we booked on for a nice lunch a Cracker Barrel (their choice). I reminded myself that it is such a blessing that I had money to buy my boys shoes, as some Mamas are not as fortunate, and I will try, really try, to have a better attitude the next time we need shoes. Which I hope is not until the Fall.

5. Tuesday was National Ag Day. Now I didn't write a post full of agriculture education or a post advocating for agriculture, but I wish I did. I want to learn more and grow in this area. One way I am learning and growing is by reading other advocates blog posts. I learned something new from Confessions of a Farm Wife's post, When GMOs were Prize Winning, Not Picked On. I hope you will read it. I realize many people have concerns about what they eat and there are many misconceptions out there. Before you judge or make a decision out of fear, research.

Hope your weekend is blessed!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

breaking out of the mama funk...

This week has been full of blessings, that I am sure of, however two days this week I have found myself in a little bit of a "funk." The kind of funk! The first day I didn't think much of it, just survived. But the second day I started thinking about the things that have helped me turn a & I might combust! kind of day into a kind of day. These are the things that help me...maybe they'll help you too, or just remind you of what does help you, so you'll be ready. 'Cause honey...Mama said there'll be days like this!

1) Praise and Pray...I try to make this my starting place. Sadly it's not always. But you'll often find me praying "Dear Lord these children are driving me crazy, please help me to see them as you see them." That is a prayer I turn to a lot. I want to see my boys as my Savior sees them. In fact I want to see all God's children how he sees them, young and old. So I often pray this prayer about others too (not the driving me crazy part, ok, yeah sometimes I do pray that :)).

2) Turn on Worship Music...I love the Pandora app on my phone. It's so awesome how God can orchestrate the right song playing at the right time to lift my spirit or to speak truth to me that I need to hear.

3) Read the boys a book...I once heard that if you want to change your mood do something for others. It kind of stuck and turns out to be true for me. My boys love to be read to and I have always loved reading to children. Even when I was a classroom teacher it was one of my favorites. Now sometimes my boys may be in a grumpy mood as well, and tell me they don't want to read a book, but I tell them right back...too bad because that's what we're doing. This works for us. We find ourselves snuggled up on the couch captivated by the pictures and stories. Now it may take more than one book and the fussing may return, but we always have a few moments of peace and it usually makes for a peaceful time afterwards. Books are medicine friends! Pick one up!

4) Read my Sweet Savior pins on Pinterest. I love Pinterest. I pin these beautifully designed Bible Verses because they speak truth to me in that moment and in other moments that I need them.

5.) Paint with my before you think I've come off my rocker, just understand that even though it makes a mess it lifts all of our moods. I am no artist, but painting relaxes me. I think it relaxes my boys too. They are always up for painting. Playdough works well too!

In making this list I also thought about how making a phone call to complain to my Mama/husband/friend sometimes have come into play. I know that sometimes we do need to "get it out" and I think it's fine to talk with someone about what we are dealing with. However, for me, I have really been challenged lately to speak only positives about others - starting with my husband and children. So if "getting it out" means talking negatively about others, I need to refrain.

I did all of these on my second bad day this week. God showed up, y'all. I turned on my worship music and really forgot all together it was still on. After making lunch for the boys, I was cleaning up the kitchen while they ate. The song "Redeemed" came on by Big Daddy Weave. I know my boys have probably heard this song before, but I had no idea they may know the words so clearly. Out of the blue my wild, crazy and rough little four year old started singing "I am redeemed. You set me free. So I'll shake off these heavy chains, wipe away every stain, cause I'm not who I used to be. I am redeemed." In that moment I melted, God humbled me, and I praised him.

Oh sweet boy I pray deep in my heart that someday you will know what it feels like to truly be Redeemed. With tears in my eyes I pray that you both know, that you know, that you know, you are Redeemed and have a home in Heaven. I pray you and your brother have a real relationship with God, have awesome faith and boldness for your King. I love you boys.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

what farm boys do...

In honor of National Ag Day, I am pulling out a post I wrote this past Summer, but never got around to posting.

What Farm Boys Do...

The morning has been quiet. Peaceful, maybe a little too quiet. No sooner did those thoughts run through my mind do I hear "Get your foot out of my field!" Oh Me!

And I wonder if any other Mamas hear so much fussing over fields! (Which are throw rugs...yes this is what my boys fight over throw rugs, but they make for awesome fields!)

However, this is what my farm boys do, sun-up to sun-down they farm and they farm hard. They've really never taken much to other toys, at least not for long. Except for blocks that yield themselves to bags of seed, bales of tobacco, etc. My little one rises early and happy, like his Daddy. Ready for the day he exclaims "I've gotta go check my barns and then bale hay." The oldest thinks he is the best tobacco stomper there is, because his Nana tells him so.

"Time for breakfast" I call out. The little one calls back "I gotta crop one more row." Well I'll be, I guess they needed one more dump to fill the barn. And who am I to let breakfast get in the way with the barn being filled?

national ag day

It's National Ag Day! I love my farmers, young and old!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

be beautiful for me

A big part of starting this blog, for me, was to write about how God was speaking to me. Mostly in hopes that HE could use it to encourage someone else. However I have found that these are the hardest posts, the ones I hang on to and file away because they bear the deepest parts of my soul. In hopes of clicking "publish" more often, I am going to try and post something encouraging on Sundays. Let me know what you think and I would love to hear how God is speaking to you.

I have issues. Self esteem issues. I don't know where they come from but they hang around and creep out at the worst possible times. I truly believe this is just a way that the Devil attacks me and sometimes it takes me a little bit to see it as that - an attack. A few days ago I was getting ready for a gathering. At this gathering I would see people that I don't often see. While I was attempting to get ready I looked in the mirror and it happened, I thought it and I said it... "You look awful." Yep, and I truly believed it, as I have many times before.

Yet this time my Sweet Savior whispered to me "Just be beautiful for me today."

Oh my, such inspiring words. And I knew deep in my soul what he meant...just be kind, encouraging, loving, and serve as if you were serving me.

"Just be beautiful for me today." Wow. How many times have I made my getting ready time about stressing out about how I look to others, when I could be praying to my Savior to use me in the lives of the people I will see, to point them to Him. To glorify him, to praise his name.
Ladies, young and old, I pray the next time you are discouraged about something on your outside that God will whisper to you that HE is concerned so much more about your inside. And to him you are lovely.

Friday, March 21, 2014

give me's friday!

1. If you want a telemarketer to hang up on YOU...let your very talkative, somewhat wild four year old answer the phone (wish I had this one on video).

2. It's not everyday you find a chicken in your doghouse. My boys found one in our dog Bruno's dog house on Thursday. It made for an interesting morning because we don't have chickens and I wasn't aware that any of our neighbors had chickens either. Turns out a neighbor recently bought some chickens. This dear soul must have had a fox or something chasing her. So maybe our little Bruno was a hero with all the barking he was doing the night before. He also nicely shared his bed for the night. Her name is Lucy and she was a little hurt. Other than that we were sad to see her go. I may or may not have have texted my husband that it felt like Christmas finding a chicken in the dog house. (No we are not getting chickens)

3. Wet days make for farmers working on equipment in the shop which makes for extra greasy clothes. Mama always said Dawn Dish Detergent is the best for getting out greasy farmer stains. I believe she is right as I have tried lots of different concoctions over the years, but you must put a little scrub into it. Wouldn't that make an awesome commercial for Dawn... a farmer's wife getting out his stains?!? Somebody call Dawn, but you heard it hear first. :)

4. With Spring on my mind this verse has been on my heart...

5. Spring is here! The weather is nice here and I hope it is where this finds you!

Friday, March 14, 2014

March Days...

Just a little update on what we've been up to in March...
We celebrated Dr. Seuss' b-day with a party at our Homeschool Co-op. I have always wanted my boys to be Thing One and Thing Two for Halloween and they of course have never wanted to do such so this was a perfect opportunity to fulfill some Mama Dreams. I, of course, waited until the last minute on their shirts, but they turned out ok! The boys were excited to paint their hair blue. R (Thing 1) was upset that his hair would not stand up like his brothers (being that he had just had a haircut). I wanted to tell him I was sorry he got good hair and didn't get his Mama's wild hair like his poor brother did, but I restrained myself and just kept adding hair spray and texture cream. In the end all was well and A asked me about a zillion times if his hair was still standing up throughout the day. The party was complete with lots of Dr. Seuss themed food, goodies and a very cute photo booth.
March has also brought some nice warm days and mud puddles. Perfect for farm boys. I snapped a few pictures of them and couldn't help, but snicker at them in their shorts and boots.

I hope March is treating you well!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thoughts on Thursday

Oh me. It's one of those days where I don't think I can homeschool one. more. day. Granted, I love homeschooling. I love being home, unrushed, teaching my boy. I love that he gets lots of outside time that he loves. I love that he gets lots of extra time with his Daddy and Grandparents because he is homeschooled. And I love most that I have taught him to read, something that will stay with him through his life. I love striving to point him to Jesus each day and teach him God's word.

But yáll. It's hard. It's hard when he is being too stubborn to understand the way I am teaching the math. When he thinks he knows a better way . It's hard when he can read a story but cannot read a list of words. I do not understand and wonder, why? It's hard when his little brother seems to not get the attention he needs and misses his brother while he is doing his work.

But God didn't say he would make things easy. He just said he would be there through it all. Why would he make it easy? Then I would be tempted to try and do this homeschooling thing in my own strength and not through his strength. Even when I surrender each day to HIS will and pray for guidance. It's hard. My flesh gets in the way. I've learned I need to depend on him even more and I know he delights in that. So even though the journey is hard, if it brings me closer to HIM, if it brings my boy closer to HIM, I must continue on because I know this is what he has called me to in this season of my life. And I must praise him through it all.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

To-Dos and The Unimaginable

Lately I have been antsy about all the things on my to-do list that seem to never get done, but yet the list grows. Today my Encouraging Word from K Love was this...

"Yes I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me and I in them will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

In this simple verse that often times makes me think about ministry and growing God's kingdom, God reminded me that today apart from HIM I can do nothing. Accomplish nothing on my to-do list, mark not one thing off. But with HIM and through asking for his strength he can accomplish more in me than I might ever imagine. Thank you Sweet Savior for the unimaginable.

Ninja Turtle Intervention

We need a Ninja Turtle Intervention. Or an Engine Turtle Intervention as my youngest would say. We are teeter-tottering on the edge of obsession here. I blame their Daddy for this. Back last Spring he played the Cool Daddy and brought them not one, but the FOUR disc set of TMNT DVDs. We. have. not. been. the. same. since.

Ten out of twelve of their waking hours are filled with "hi-yas" and my personal favorite "boo-like-ka-shas."I thought we would be over this phase by now? I mean Spiderman only stayed around briefly. Elmo too, Elmo I could deal with. Elmo and I had a connection, I am sure of it.

Back in the Summer they changed my name. I was no longer "Mama," but now "April" and I was to constantly shout "Danger danger" and my Ninja Turtles would appear shouting things like "Where's Shredder?" and "Cow-a-bung-a Dude." I mean it was kinda cute that my boys wanted to take care of their Mama and all, but telling April you needed more milk took it a step too far.

It doesn't seem like this phase is going anywhere. We've been TMNT for Halloween, birthday partied it up Ninja Turtle style, bought the t-shirt and all. So I did what any self-respecting Mama would do. I played the Cool Mama card and made my boys a Ninja Turtle Valentine's bag for their Valentine's party at Co-op. And I even let them glue it together, because I know that's what April would do.

**Oh and I strongly felt the eyes needed a black pupil, but my Raleigh begged me not to add one, because apparently when the TMNT really get in the zone with their fighting, their eyes turn white. Who would have thunk it?

Cow-a-bung-a Dudes,

Friday, February 14, 2014

Give Me 5! It's Friday!

Well friends, it's been a long week! I am so thankful for the sunshine I saw today and am looking forward to warmer temperatures tomorrow in our neck of the woods! Here are my 5 things for this week...

1. Our week started off on a very good note with our Valentine's Party at our homeschool co-op. The boys brought Valentines for their friends (ninja turtles of course), along with some cute bags for their Valentine's from friends. I am proud to say I did not fall into the Pinterest fad of homemade valentines. They are too cute, but my boys just prefer the store bought kind. So we kept it simple, except for the fact that I waited until after 8 pm on Sunday night to fill in 50 valentines. Lovely.
We are so blessed to have such a great co-op in our area. The day included a guest speaker on gun safety, lots of crafts, pizza making in the preschool room and a scavenger hunt in the preschool room. I mainly help out with Asher's group (preschool) so I really get to see a lot of what he does each week. I teach Raleigh's group first thing in the morning, but regrettably miss out on a good portion of his class time. But I figure this is a good balance for us, being that he spends a lot of time with mama through the week and sometimes Asher misses out on "mama time" while Raleigh is doing important subjects like phonics and reading. Both boys love going to co-op, so it works for us!

2. We had an ice storm in South Carolina this week. Never have I seen so much ice in my life! We lost power around 10:30 am on Wednesday and it was restored at 8:15 on Thursday night. Thankfully, we were blessed to be able to stay with my husband's parents who had a generator. So the farm boys got lots of good family time and playtime with their cousin. The ice storm caused a lot of damage. Our driveway was blocked with huge tree branches, and branches (not limbs, big, heavy branches) were also scattered everywhere throughout my yard. There are still many families without power and there are many hard-working men out and about working to repair the damage. My prayers are with them all!

3. The ice storm meant a lot of work for my farmer and the farmers in my family. We have three greenhouses that have been seeded (planted) with tobacco seeds to make tobacco plants to be transplanted this Spring. These greenhouses needed power to stay warm. So the men had to keep generators going no matter the weather. Also no electricity can mean trouble for cattle. Electricity ensures the cows receive water and are kept in their pens safe and sound. For some reason cows like to roam on occasion, especially when they are not supposed to. Thankfully the cows received the hay and water they needed and were safely guided back to their pens if needed. The ice storm caused a great deal of branches and limbs to fall on the cow pens that needed repair and some they will continue to need repair. Nonetheless we had some tired farmers!

4. With the ice storm taking up a great portion of our week, I didn't do anything fun with my boys for Valentine's Day. That makes me a little sad, but we were all just too tired, and many things needed to be done today. I did spice up lunch with a Valentine's heart brownie, courtesy of my girl Little Debbie. :) I do have them some Valentine goodies for tonight. There's not much cupid action going on with the farmer and I either. I did get a text this morning (after we had talked twice) "Oh yea Happy Valentine's Day." I know he had way too much on his mind and I also know he is extremely last minute. So with the only Dollar General in our community (no we don't even qualify as a town) still waiting on power, there was no hope for even a card and candy. It's all good through. I'll still keep him!

5. I almost forgot I got to read an entire book on Sunday! That hasn't happened in a long time for me and it definitely has to be a good read to keep my attention for that long. After loving Melanie Shankle's first book Sparkly Green Earrings I knew I would want to read her second The Antelope in the Living Room. So when my Raleigh wasn't feeling well and had a fever, I decided to stay home from church with him. I downloaded her new book on my Kindle and it did not disappoint. A fun read for sure!

So that's the highlights and lowlights of our week. We are thankful. blessed. and warm. I hope you are too friends! Happy Valentine's Day!