Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Signs, Signs, and more Signs

Several months ago I asked for some sign ideas from you fabulous readers.
I got tons of great ideas and have slowly been working on creating them.

For the next several weeks I'll post a few at a time. 
Hope you ladies like them! 

Suggested by Paige:

You Can't Be a Smart Cookie

Suggested by KEM:

time to get to work

Suggested by Barbara:
Be Cheerful and Pass It On

Monday, March 26, 2012

A List of Randomness

1. If you are like me and LOVED using the Picnik site that is closing soon, 
you'll LOVE the new PicMonkey which was created by the Picnik team! 
And it's FREE!

The things I love about this site are:

  • It's FREE!
  • It's similar to PhotoShop but it's SIMPLE {and did I mention it's FREE?}
  • It's online - no software required and you can start working on editing pictures on one computer and finish on another. How cool is that?
  • It has SERIOUSLY TONS of options: Crop, Rotate, Exposure, Color, Sharpen, Resize, Effects, Touch Up {like teeth whitening, blemish fix, wrinkle remover, spray tan, plus many others including my FAVORITE....weight loss!}, Text, Overlays, and Borders. 
Seriously if you've always wanted to edit your photos but don't have the time or money to spend on Photoshop, this is your answer! 
Check it out! 

2. We had book club at my house last night. 
Our book this month was The Hunger Games and after dinner
 and discussion we went see the movie. 
If you haven't read it- you so should ....along with the other two in the series. 
Such an interesting and thought provoking story! 

I always love the book way more than any movie 
but I will say this movie was very well done! 
{And it was my first HD movie. I loved the fancy leather rocking chairs but that screen is BIG- so big it kinda made me a little sick to my tummy with all the motion!}

3. I made these tiny little individual 7 layer dips 
{that I first saw on Pinterest} 
for book club and they were a big hit! 
They were easy to make it just took awhile to assemble the layers. 
{my layers were: beans, sour cream, guacamole, chunky salsa,
 cheese, tomatoes, onions/olives} 
I did figure out something that made it go much faster-
 I started using my cookie dough scoop. 
If you don't have one, you definitely should get one. 
I use mine for making cupcakes, muffins, brownie bites, 
as well as cookies and a ton of other things. 
It was perfect for making the layers the same size!

4. A friend told me about another series she was reading that was
 similar to The Hunger Games and I started reading it this weekend and am hooked.  
The first book is called Matched here's the Amazon book description:
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow. 

5. I also made a Strawberry Margarita Cheesecake Trifle for dessert
and it was super yummy!
The original recipe can be found here and I tweaked it a bit.
I used half the butter and fat free condensed milk and cream cheese.
I made little individual cup trifles and they turned out super cute!
A great spring-like, light dessert!

6. I'm pretty sure I've never been more proud of my sweet
daughter as I was this weekend.
After a heart wrenching Friday night and a very sad, quiet Saturday,
she went to a slumber party at one of her very close friends house-
a friend who also tried out for drill team officer and who made it.
She knew it would be hard to go but she knew C would be sad if she didn't come.

Earlier last week her friend C sent her a picture
 of a sports bra she had seen in a store.
For drill team practices the girls must wear all black-
except for officers who can wear colored sports bras.
So C sent her a pic with a message saying
"When we are officers we can buy and wear this!"

So before going to C's house on Sat.,
Madison had me take her to the store and
she bought C the exact sports bra from the pic.
She wanted C to know that although
she was sad she didn't make officer, she was truly happy for C.
Oh how I love my sweet,  big-hearted girl! 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Randomness on a Saturday Morning

I'm sorry I've been such a blog slacker lately. 
My life is usually super busy but this past month has been uber CRAZY!

Let's the past month there have been:

  • Two out of town dance competition weekends {where the girls did GREAT!}
  • A job interview and a week of waiting to hear if I got the job {I DID!}
  • Spring Break {YAY!}
  • Testing 30 kindergarten students for the gifted and talented program
    Testing for 5 years old is kind of like herding cats!}
  • Traveling to Houston for a Project Dance weekend
  • My dad's 67th birthday {Happy Birthday Daddy!}
  • Doing some more painting and more work in our kitchen
  • Our 10th anniversary {Happy Anniversary to my sweet husband!}
  • Planning my Random acts of Kindness Birthday Party {can't wait!}
  • A week of preparing for drill team officer try outs
    {CRAZY detailed and long process}
  • A week of supporting, cheering on, and praying for my sweet daughter through the exhausting week of officer try outs {seriously one of the most grueling and demanding weeks you can imagine}
Last night was the end of the officer tryout week. 
And although my sweet daughter was not selected as an officer
 I could not be more proud of her if she had.  
Watching your child put their heart and soul into something- 
working as hard as they possibly can- and then not getting it? 
Oh my goodness. It was truly awful.  
Although she knows that God's plan is the best plan, 
her sweet little heart was broken last night. 

And my mama heart? 
It was broken watching her learn, for the very first time, 
that you can work ridiculously, amazingly hard- 
giving something your complete and absolute best- and it not be good enough.

As a mama it's our nature to protect and guard our babies hearts. 
And although I know eventually their hearts will in fact be broken 
over learning some of those hard life lessons, 
this first time was harder than I ever imagined.  

Much of my evening was spent holding my sweet crying girl 
and telling her how proud I was of her 
{and occasionally telling her I thought it sucked too}.  
As a mama, my job is often to say or do that right thing and that helpless feeling- 
that you can't do anything to make it better- is awful. 

In the midst of the sadness of the evening- 
there were some incredibly sweet blessings. 
Watching Madison's sweet friend Amber leave in the middle of a birthday party {they were at the Hunger Games movie} 
to come to our house and cry with Madison was precious. 
Seeing the texts and calls from her friends {and mine}checking on her and loving on her was so sweet. Watching her text the girls who made officer and telling them congratulations 
and how they were amazing dancers and that she was proud to be lead by such a wonderful group of girls- even doing so through her tears, was precious. 
Hearing of the dad of one of the other officer candidates {who made it} 
asking for them to recount the results because they so believed that 
Madison should have made it warmed our hearts.  

My sweet girl went to sleep late last night exhausted but no longer crying. 
While her friend was here there was laughter and eating and 
talk of going to a party today of one of the new officers. 
Life is tough, but this I know to be true- it goes on. 
God causes or allows everything to happen in our life. 
And His plans, when we understand them or not, are truly best!

Happy Saturday friends!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Just Let it Go!

I love this saying. 
So easy to hard to do.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Would You?

Yesterday was the first day of spring break and it was rainy and cold and dreary. 
Just the perfect kind of day to stay home which is what we did. 
Our day consisted of watching movies, eating, napping, and playing cards- 
which was heavenly.

It pretty much rained all day- slow and steady rain.
Around 6pm we finally decided to venture out for a few errands.
Well of course the sky opened up and it started 
STORMING as soon as we did left home. 
It rained so hard that we could barely see the road ahead of us!

After our errands we had planned to go eat before picking up 
Madison from dinner with some friends 
but it was raining so hard we decided to go ahead and 
pick up something at a drive thru and head home. 

As we contemplated where to go, I saw someone walking on the side of the road- 
the other side of the road.
Now at this point it was POURING rain. 

I pointing out the young man and Tony made a U-Turn 
so that we could pull over next to him. 
We pulled up, asked if he needed a ride, and he said "YES!"
He jumped in the backseat. And this man- he was WET. 
Soaked to the bone bless his heart. 
{FYI- My sweet husband has a concealed hand gun permit 
so we were quite safe picking up this stranger}

He told us where he lived and Tony started heading towards his house. 
He told us quite a bit about him on the drive. 
He was new to the area, 24 years old, living with his uncle, and looking for a job. 
As we drove towards his uncles house he told us that 
he had walked to the mall to search for the job. 
That walk is at least 6 or 7 miles- and this young man walked it- 
in the rain just to try to find a job.

I thought about him quite a bit last night. 
Thinking about how much he was truly want a job- 
to walk all that way, in the cold and rain,
 just to get applications for jobs he may or may not get. 
I thought about the motivation that takes- and if I would be willing to do that. 
And I'd like to say I would- but sadly I don't think that I would. 

What about you.....would you? 

{And would you please pray for that young man? 
He has lots of challenges in front of him- 
and I'm praying for God to provide him with a job soon!}

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Seven- FOOD

So I shared awhile back that I was reading the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker.
The full title is 7 : An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess
Y'all it is so GOOD! 

Here's the description from Amazon: 
"7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence."

Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.”

Here's a  short video about the book:

Chapter 1 focuses on food
Jen chose 7 foods and for the entire month that's all she ate. 
Just 7. 

Two of my favorite quotes from this chapter were:

“When accumulation is not our bottom line, 
we are liberated to disperse our time and resources differently.” 

"Would Jesus overindulge on garbage food while climbing out of a debt hole from buying things He couldn't afford to keep up with neighbors He couldn't impress? In so many ways I am the opposite of Jesus' lifestyle. This keeps me up at night. I can't have authentic communion with Him while mired in the trappings 
He begged me to avoid." 

To me Jen's book is all about just that- letting go of the things of the world, and their hold on us, so that we can have true intimacy with Him.  

Such great food for pun intended! 

If you're looking for a challenging book to read, I highly suggest this one!
And if you've read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter! 

I'd also love to hear what 7 foods you would choose if you had to only eat 7 for a month. 
Mine would be: 
chicken, eggs, cheese, potatoes, green beans, apples, bananas