Tuesday, April 24, 2012

taking a break

but you might have guessed that already since i haven't posted in a very long time.  this blog became something that felt more like a chore than a creative outlet for me.  so, I'm taking a break.  not sure if or when i'll be back.  I've enjoyed the time here on the blog, just need some time away from it, from the computer in general i think.  i can spend way to much time on it.  most times i feel encouraged by other mommy bloggers but sometimes i leave feeling like I'm not good enough, don't make enough nutritious dinners, don't spend enough time playing with kids, or reading my bible.  i get caught in the comparing. it isn't good for me.  so there are just a few blogs that i read now.  ones that appeal to me, not just because of the way the look and the photos and the design, or the awesome crafts they do,  but because the words these women share inspire me to be a better Christian, wife and mom.

Under the Sycamore by Ashley Ann
Whatever by Meg Duerksen
Contented Sparrow by Megan

thanks for joining me in my little space of the world wide web.  now go check them out. be inspired.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


ha ha.. I'm going to title this post the same as the last because I'm not sure we were really in Hawaii. it has taken me awhile to get the words together to write this post and share photos and today I'm not even going to do the whole thing. i just wanted to share another blog post that spoke to me this morning, brought me back out of my little pity party and got me headed in the right direction again... hopefully.

you see it rained every day we were in Hawaii. not just a little shower here and there, but big storms with hail and tornados, 15 inches of rain fell in the time we were there. we had one really lovely day of sunshine and that was it. i came home from our trip feeling frustrated and bummed out. after a few days passed, i got really frustrated and bummed out with myself! i had missed an awesome opportunity to dig into the Word, to grow in my relationship with my Lord, and to be amazed by his power. it wasn't the kind of power i had planned on, full of sunshine and ocean breezes but it was most definitely His power!

He promises to be faithful! it was right in front of me the entire time and i missed it. the beauty of his storms and then the rainbow to follow. i'm hoping i don't miss the next opportunity he gives me to praise him in the "storm" and to see beyond my expectations. He has great plans for me and gifts for me, if i only open my eyes and hands wide enough to receive them.

Friday, March 2, 2012


yep... Hawaii! in less than 24 hours we will be on our way to Hawaii.

just dave and i.

we have been wanting to go to Hawaii for years, and now we have friends that are stationed over there, so we are going for a visit. we are so excited. seems surreal for sure!

i have lots still to do and just got a call from the school that i need to pick up the kids at 12 due to bad storms coming our way. so i better get off the computer and get to work.....
all i can say is.... my GOD is the most amazing artist there is. i can not wait to see this beauty with my own eyes.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

HUGE transformation

well here she is... Daves new office space and ware house. isn't she beautiful? well, not here, she's not, but she becomes beautiful. Dave has big dreams, that's one of the reasons i love him so much, and the best part is that usually if he dreams it, it happens.
this building had sat empty just about a mile from our house for many many years. the roof had completely fallen inside, it was a MESS to say the least. reminds me a lot of this project.

but it had good bones, great location and a lot of potential.
dave met with the owner and worked out a deal and it became property of Reliable Building Services about 6 months ago.
the above picture is standing inside the building looking right up into the sky. nice sky lights if you ask me :)
the guys worked hard, and carefully, to take the old roof down without knocking the concrete walls down. this was a dangerous job and i did lots of praying while they worked.
photo above with with all the new trusses on.
i will leave you with on last photo of the inside before they started hauling trash to the dump.

dave is using 3/4 of the building for warehouse and shop space, the other 1/4 is for offices. last night i went over to the office to clean up a little bit before he had a big meeting today with a homeowner and architect.

i snapped a few photos with my phone before i left. it sure has come a long way!
the colors look really off, it is really more of a light tan, but this is the front lobby area. the door to the left leads into Daves personal office. we stained the old concrete floors. they have so much character, i just love them. i found the chairs at a used furniture store and re-did them. i love taking on projects as well. mine are just a little smaller scale. :)
still the lobby area
lobby again

the photo above is of the second office. dave has a whole crew working for him now. God has really been growing the business. we are blessed for sure.
this is Dave's office space. he has a great bright window to look out of during the day. the color is off in here as well, it is a medium dark brown. desks are from IKEA.
the chairs i got were 4 for $40 bucks. then i just bought two curtain panels from walmart for $12 to recover them. i love how they turned out. they just needed some cleaning, sanding, new urethane, and recovering. look as good as new... and they are comfortable.
i did some paintings for his walls.
rug is from walmart too. he still wants to build a big long work space in the back of the office but that will come with time. i'll try to get over there with my real camera too some time and get some photos of the outside and the workshop as well.

hope you liked the little tour of Reliable Building. If you are local to Greeneville TN and are in need of any home repairs or a custom built home give us a call. 423-342-4331.

Monday, February 27, 2012

multitudes 65-77

continuing the list:
65- time to exercise at the YMCA
66- that i actually ran 2 miles today
67- a shower alone and time to do my hair and makeup
68- sweet time with friends, talking about the lord and raising our families
69- grocery shopping done for the next two weeks
70- a menu planned out for the next two weeks
71- friends lending me clothes for our trip
72- my niece who is going to do an awesome job with our kids while we are gone
73- that we get to go on a trip of a lifetime-just the two of us
74- for friends meeting their newest daughter in China this weekend
75- for a delicious dinner made special for me last night by the Wids
76- for the plans coming together for a girls weekend
77- seeing life long friends being truly happy

Friday, February 24, 2012


missionaries come in all shapes and sizes....

our children at school
sponsoring a child through Compassion International
being a missionary over seas
helping out an neighbor
using our gifts and talents to spread the love of Christ... that is what it is all about.

using what we have been given to Love on other people.

i am so proud of both of my parents as they are both using their talents to do that very thing.

Dad is in Chad, Africa right now with a medical missions trip with the church. Dad doenst really have any medical training but the village also was having problems with their generator and water pump... two things that are of daily use to them and help with everything they do each day. I am amazed and proud of my dad. never in a million years could i picture him on a missions trip to Africa. He comes home in just a few short days. They are working at an orphanage. i told him to hug on some babies for me. mom thought he might try to bring one home if he could :) you can follow dad journey by going to the Spanish River Churches blog here. please join us in praying for the team as they finish out their time in Chad.

Mom isn't in Africa, but just as much using her talents for the Lord. mom is an awesome seamstress but got a little burned out. she tried doing a little sewing business and things just werent taking off like she had hoped. it is hard to put a lot of heart and time and energy into something that doesn't work out like you had hoped. Mom recently donated a bunch of her dresses to their church's clothes closet, but she also found this great opportunity to help show love and joy to kids struggling with cancer. you can check out the blog post about it here.
mom and her sewing buddies have made 20 bags filled with goodies to send off to young cancer patients. i know those kids will feel blessed with a new hand made gift. while mom and her friends sew the bags, they pray for the children receiving them and that is the greatest blessing of all.

so we don't have to travel far to be a missionary. we just need to do what we do best and love to do, but do it for the lord.

mom and dad, so proud of you guys. thanks for being a good example to us of sharing Gods love and story.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

i pinned it, i did it - kids crafts

tuesday required some watercolor therapy... for me anyways :)

kids didn't have school and we had two extra kiddos with us all day. i found this pretty project on Pinterest and thought we could all enjoy it.

it is a wet on wet watercolor technique. click here for the full instructions....

my bigger kids had a harder time just painting blobs of color and letting it run. they wanted to really paint flowers. made me a little sad that they are already fighting the tendency to make everything look perfect and how it is in a photograph rather than letting go and being creative, taking risks....

i enjoyed the project as well. the last photo is mine. might frame it and put it in the girls room.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ww- bathtime

dave will kill me for that first picture.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

jori eating with spoon

i realize i haven't done an update on jori since she was 13 months! wow... now she is almost 19 months. these photos were from the beginning of January. she LOVED greek yogurt and she LOVED feeding herself.

she was so proud she was able to use the spoon all by herself.

i just love these pictures. growing up so fast!

multitudes 52-64

i missed my monday list, just didnt have time to get to the blog yesterday.
so i will add to it today:

thanking Him for:
52- sunny cool days
53- new books from the library
54- raelyn receiving her very own library card
55- visit with good friends
56- being able to walk to the park
57- watching kids enjoy friendships while the mommies did also
58-warm baked bread and fresh fruit
59- being able to help out a friend
60- safety on the roads
61- more pieces of Dave's office done
62- instant gratification projects
63- watercolor therapy
64- dad doing great things in africa

Thursday, February 16, 2012


thats the word i think of when i think of my friend heather and how she looks while waiting for the arrival of her daughter Esme'

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

valentines day 2012

the day started out lovely, we had our valentines addressed and sealed, valentine boxes made and decorated and ready to bring to school, special treats for the teachers, some cute hand made decorations around the house.

i got all the kids off to school and then jori and i ran a few errands. i wanted to pick up a few things for dave's new office, a rug, some picture frames and some canvases to paint something a little special for him.

came home got jori down for a nap, turned on some great praise and worship, got out my old paints and brushes and started painting. it was a little painful since i haven't done it in so long, but in the two hours i had to myself while jori slept, i was able to finish the paintings, clean it all up and take a shower!

i headed to school to pick up brenna first and then the others. we were going to surprise daddy at his office... this is where my day quickly changes.

kids were CRAZY! so much sugar at school i guess. everyone screaming at the same time in the car. i don't handle the noise well. when we got to the office, dave was in a meeting that i wasn't expecting. he thought he would only be about 10 more minutes.... that turned into about 30. so we all waited in the car until he was done. no one was happy by this point. my nice calm, quiet day had gone out the window. i hated how i let circumstances change my attitude so quickly, but i could feel myself going down hill fast! i had very little patience and was not speaking very kindly either.

by the time dave was done and we got in the office we got a text from our sitter and there was a miscommunication and she could not baby sit....

i tired to pull myself together, but was not doing a great job. my expectations for the day were unraveling like crazy.

we got home and did homework, but none of us with a very good attitude. i kept looking at the wall where i had hung the project we did for valentines. it was from 1 corinthians 13:4-8. it listed what God says about love. it is patient, it is kind, it is not jealous, it is not easily angered, it cares for others more than it self. i sure was not being a good example of these things to my children.

i had to stop and put myself in time out for a minute. i had to change my attitude and change it fast.

i had prepared a fun dinner for the kids while we were out. i had purchased all the stuff to make individual heart pizzas. so that became the dinner for ALL of us. i set the table with pink and red, the kids made their pizzas, we ate them up, had ice cream in cones, watched Funniest Home Videos and got ready for bed.

i was EXHAUSTED. it wasn't the day i had planned but God had something different planned out for me. he wanted me to reflect on his word and show Christ to my kids. he was giving me an opportunity to talk with garret about our reaction to things we don't like or don't have control over. it was a teachable moment. one where we both learned something.

i am thankful for it. for the moment with garret. i know it will stay with him longer since it was something he saw me struggling with as well. these are the moments that matter. that last, that mean something.

i wrote all the kids a card and some reasons why we love them so much, even when they are hyped up on sugar and driving me nuts :) they took turns reading them out loud, they loved them. the night ended up turning out all right.... the flowers, wine and chocolate covered strawberries dave brought home helped too :)

and so today is a new day. i asked for forgiveness from the kids, we ate a special breakfast together before school and we will try again for a date night tonight. thankful for new beginnings each morning!

i will leave you with this that i found over at the "Whatever" blog. i just love reading this blog.

Monday, February 13, 2012

multitudes on monday 40-51

kids are still sick... even with some medicine :( the baby has been up since 5:30 and very inconsolable.... it's days like these that are hard to come up with a list of things you are thankful for, BUT it is days like these that it is so important to do so. thanking God even in the moments we don't feel very thankful is when and where we find our joy in him.

40- the beauty created by the sun, and frost, and shadows this morning on the way to school
41- that it was 16 degrees and NOT negative 6 degrees this morning
42- a warm house
43- kids snuggling in my lap this morning
44- jori leaning over and giving brenna a genuine hug, just because
45- that we made it to school on time, without speeding
46- pacifiers and blankets
47- clean windows
48- my camera
49- scissors and glue sticks and fun valentine paper
50- Gods description of love 1 corinthians 13:4-7
51- for a haircut

ps...if you want to continue to follow leah's story you can read latest blog post here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Carrot Cake Cheesecake

was a WINNER!
Carrot Cake Cheesecake
click the photo to take you to the recipe.

it was so GOOD. i have to say, it was more labor intensive than i am used to but it was for a special occasion. plus i am not much of a baker, but the result was delicious.

it was so moist and just plain yummy. i liked it because the cheesecake part was not overwhelming. I'm not a huge fan of really rich cheesecake, i liked the lightness of it.

so go try it out!

adding to the list:
34- thankful it's friday
35- medicine for my sickies
36- for a prayer group i am a part of at our kids school
37- for frozen dinners
38- for a husband that is super helpful
39- for strawberries
40- for blogs that inspire me to be a better mom

Thursday, February 9, 2012

i pinned it, i did it - recipes

i have a few yummy recipes to share with you guys:
Cheesy Biscuit
the first is yummy sweet and cheesy biscuits. these were super easy, i had everything on hand and they tasted great. i have actually made them a few times now and the fam loves them. click here for recipe.

Cinnamon roll pancakes... Mix melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, put in a squeeze bottle and squirt onto pancake batter on the griddle.... Made these for dinner tonight. They were a hit!
the next recipe i wanted to share are cinnamon roll pancakes. we have also made these a few times and they are SO good. click here for recipe.

if you want to follow me on Pinterest click here. what have you pinned (and actually done) lately?

I'm getting ready to try a new one here today as well. tonight we are celebrating my sister in laws birthday so i'm going to try my hand at a Cheese Cake... but not just any old cheese cake. I'm going to try this: Carrot Cake Cheesecake
Carrot Cake Cheesecake
i'll let you know how it turns out

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

ww- brenna and daddy

photos from December 2011 in Florida

Monday, February 6, 2012

multitudes on monday

this weekend was quite different from the last but i am equally as thankful for it. i had the honor and privilege of meeting Elizabeth Grace and spending some time with her amazing family on Saturday. She was born just before 2:00pm on Friday and was still living and being loved on by her family on Saturday morning. I rolled over in bed and looked at Dave and I said, "this is crazy, but i need to go, i need to go now." And since he is so amazing, he said, "go get in the car"!

so thats what i did, i hit the road about 10 which got me to the hospital around 2:00pm. Elizabeth Grace had made it 24 hours! i stayed with leah and the family for about 5 hours and enjoyed every second of being there. Elizabeth was 5 lbs of love and life! she had a strong little grasp and perfectly shaped lips. Elizabeth made it through that second night and lived a full 48 hours! Complete gifts from God, only through His grace and miracles.
Elizabeth is now in heaven being loved perfectly by her heavenly Father. No better place. Leah and Onan have felt the prayers from so many on their behalf and are truly overwhelmed. God has held their hand every step of the way and I know He will continue to do so.

I am honored and humbled to be Leah's friend. she has taught me so much about trusting and PRAISING God no matter what the circumstance, being thankful no matter what He brings our way, knowing He has our best interest in mind.

thanking Him for:
22- meeting Elizabeth Grace
23- her smooth delivery
24- the amazing amount of time she spent here on earth being loved on by so many
25- comfort in knowing we will see her again in Heaven
26- safe travel there and back
27- a husband that willfully can hold down the fort and support me in a spontaneous trip
28- all the hundreds of people that are praying for the Cocas
29- kids happy to see me when i got back home
30- a little lady that is all of a sudden talking real words
31- for garret meeting his AR goal at school
32- for the proud face he had when he told me
33- for life sprouting up out of the ground

there will be a service for the Cocas tomorrow evening (tuesday Feb 7th at 6:00pm) please continue to keep them in your prayers.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

i pinned it, but i didn't do it so well :)

ha ha... its true! there were a few projects i tried to do for Raelyns party that didn't turn out so well.

i have seen this picture posted on Pinterst over and over and i laugh each time....
some times our best plans don't turn out quite like we had hoped. :)

my birthday party fails:

i tried making some homemade play dough for the volcano. not sure what i did wrong but it turned out terrible. it seemed alright right after i made it. but when i got it out of the bags for the kids to play with it was soggy and wet and terrible. it was like playing with really think pancake batter. they didn't seem to mind though. we laughed and laughed and it still worked ok to make our volcano shape.

my second fail was trying to bake mini cakes in mason jars.... i saw this on Pinterst and just loved how it looked. so i tried it, problem was, the both 1/4 of the cakes never cooked all the way, again a soggy slimy mess. oh well, we live and learn.

if you want to try your hand at these projects you can find them here. I'm sure it was just my mistakes that made them terrible.
The Softest and Squishiest Homemade Playdough

Cupcakes in a Jar

to follow me on Pinterst click here

JUST A QUICK UPDATE ON MY FRIEND LEAH: her and her husband headed to the hospital last night around 5 to start induction... they waited for a few hours and were told to go home because there were no rooms available for them. so that is what they did! they went home and spent time with family and ate some dinner and seem to be doing ok. they will head back to the hospital this evening to try again. I know Gods timing is perfect and He is in control of every detail. please continue to pray for the Coca's.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

worship in pain

worship and pain don't seem to go together, but when we bring our anguish to God, we actually honor Him.

my dearest friend leah will be induced tonight to deliver her sweet daughter Elizabeth Grace. she will meet, and hold, and kiss, and love her and then she will say goodbye. Elizabeth will not survive long after delivery. it is hard for me to even write these words without them becoming all blurred from tears. BUT God is using this little girl and my friends story for His GLORY, and even though this time is extremely hard for them, they are worshiping our God and honoring him with their lives.

my devotions today say this:
"How you handle your pain says a lot about what you think of God. It indicates whether you trust Him or not, even in your deepest despair it says that you may not understand your circumstances, but you know who governs them. It is a difficult expression of faith when faith is hard to come by.... When life hurts, give it to God. Trust Him with it. When you're crushed, your faith honors Him in way that your faith at other times cannot."
(from Worship the King by Chris Tiegreen page 277)

click here to read Leahs journey and be challenged and blessed by peace that only the Lord can give.

please join me in praying for the Coca's

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"this is the day,

this is the day,
that the lord has made
that the lord had made
i will rejoice
i will rejoice
and be glad in it
and be glad in it"

i had to sing this to myself this morning. you see I'm not a morning person, I'm really not a night owl anymore either. i like to sleep to much :) BUT my children, especially Raelyn, seems to be getting up earlier and earlier each morning. this isn't a huge problem, but she insists on waking everyone else up really early with her. so both Rae and Brenna were up before 6 this morning. this made me very grumpy to say the least.... so i needed to get myself out of a bad mood and give myself a restart... ever have those mornings? they are probably a once a week occurrence here at our house. But the song did help! i should be giving thanks for the new day and that my kids are healthy enough to get up and be happy in the mornings.

so now on to Volcanos :)
the kids worked together to make a volcano at Raelyns 6th birthday party... to see the other things we did click here and here.

to make the volcano you will need:
1 plastic water or soda bottle
tin foil
a pan to put it in
play dough to form your volcano
gravel, dried peas, and cut branches for decoration

what we did:
1. i set the bottle in some of the play dough in the middle of the pan
2. then used to tin foil to make the shape of the volcano
3. then we gave each of the kids some play dough to form around the tin foil to make it look more realistic
4. after they worked on the volcano part, i gave them black gravel (from the pet department) and a bag of dried peas to use to make the surroundings of the volcano.
5. i had gone out in our back yard a little earlier and cut some small branches off of our bushes and they used them like trees to decorate.
- it really looked cool. they did a great job all working together.

then we ERUPTED the volcano! they loved this part!

what you need:
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of baking soda
couple of drops of red food coloring (if you don't do enough drops, it might turn out pink, our lava was a little on the pink side)
3 drops of dish soap

what you do:
1. add the food coloring and dish soap to the water and then pour into the bottle
2. add the baking soda in the bottle
3. start slowly pouring the vinegar into the bottle
4. sit back and watch :)

we did this over and over because they loved it so much, we just kept adding a little baking soda and then vinegar in the bottle.

this is great for explaining a chemical reaction for a science lesson... click here to see how else we have experimented with chemical reactions.

Monday, January 30, 2012

multitudes on monday

this weekend was nice, it seemed like maybe what normal people do on the weekend, enjoy each other, running a few errands, but mostly, no plans! it seems like our weekends are usually as busy as the rest of the week and it that just wears us all out. this past weekend was a nice break from the hustle and bustle.

so i continue my list:

13- thankful for slow weekends to enjoy my family
14- that dave and i got to work on a project together. i love working with him.
15- for protecting raelyn when she fell from a very high spot this weekend
16- for friends who show me what trusting in the lord and his plans is all about
17- thats some plans are coming together for dave and i to take a trip together
18- pancakes for breakfast sunday morning (that i didn't have to make or clean up)
19- thankful that baby slept through the night even though she was running a slight fever
20- for garrets continued progress in school
21- for raelyns ease with school