Thursday, March 31, 2011

The next idol?

Okay, so I don't even watch American Idol. But this is what it's all about, right? Getting a shot to go pro?

My LittleLad has got some talent! He might even get the lyrics right next time. ;)

Monday, March 28, 2011


It's amazing to me, how one book can make such a ripple in the world. It's as if everyone who reads it has a sudden light bulb moment. The darkness is being illuminated. ah-ha! Yes, this has been missing. Yes, I've been taking so much-- far too much-- for granted. And, yes, GOD, there is so much-- yes, so much-- to be thankful for. Please understand that this doesn't always come easily to me. I dislike cold weather and I often let it damper my spirits. I know, right? What a wimp. Such a minor thing to gripe about. But I'm admitting my issues. I'm trying. Plus, the day's events were particularly hard today. Not in the minor way. I'm not at liberty to go into it just yet, but we do need some prayer. And yet, despite the circumstances, we have SO MUCH to be thankful for. There's no reason for discontentment. God always provides what we need. Always. This revelation was so late for me: the present-in-the-moment thankfulness for everything around me, all the blessings constantly poured out... so much time was lost... and I don't want that for my kids. I want them to grow up content. Joyful. Realizing how blessed they are, despite the circumstances that they may go through. Enter, the birth of the Eucharisteo jar, so that these little blessings of mine can write their own blessings... so we can see the jar fill, overflow... like our lives, so jam-packed with amazing detail and gifts, waiting to be recognized and received. So that the nails of discontentment will be driven out by the nails of thankfulness.

33. a boy learning to whistle

yes, I got the picture, right before his hand went down his pants, what can I say?

34. Niece, beautiful in boots and beads

35. Babies, nestled

Lord, keep changing me.

Open my eyes.

Show me


Sunday, March 27, 2011

New to the Shop

I finally got mostly caught up today, listing supplies and paintings to my etsy. Thanks to the crummy coldness, I bundled up... and stayed inside. According to our local weather station, a new record low maximum was set. Today's high was 39 degrees which breaks the previous record low maximum temperature of 41 degrees set back in 1955. :( Not a record I was happy to see broken. Annnnnnnywho, I'm surviving through games, coffee, music, and painting. Thanking God for good food and the arts. And, because I'm so stinkin' nice and I need something to celebrate, I'm offering a 25% off coupon that can be applied towards anything in my shop, until April 10th (obviously does not apply to photo packages which are prepaid and then "bought" through etsy.) As if my stuff isn't priced cheaply enough already. But, hey, it's hard to get started and make a name for myself. I do SOOO-OO appreciate the encouragement, prayers, and kind words from friends and family. This code even applies to new things I list, supplies, etc. Yay! Just use coupon code JST4U, at check-out. And, if you're local, you can contact me to pick your item(s) up and I'll also take off the shipping fee. Go ahead, clap.
Here's some of the newness goin' on:

S is for Syrup

The Minister's Wife

Handmade Fairy Book C is for coffee
Three Wise Women

Hope it's warmer where you are!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

You Only Need To Look

I'm being renewed, day by day, reminded of so many gifts, trying to slow down and enjoy every moment. It's changing my life. I'm able to say no now, without guilt. I'm finally savoring each moment (or trying to) even when we are busy. Just talking to the kids in the car, on the way to the store. Telling stories and playing around while we grocery shop. I'm learning not to forfeit my time.
I've numbered my blessings on here, but there's also an open journal in my kitchen, one in my bedroom, one in the van, and the Eucharisteรณ jar in the kitchen. (Yes, I will blog that soon. Promise.) Too many to count, but why not try?

24. having a firepit in our backyard. and a little boy who tries to roast his turkey dogs with his hands guarding his face from smoke.
25. still harvesting from last year's garden, at Papaw's house.

26. Wooden toys, played with by topless toddlers

27. A child laughing and barn, beautiful, just beyond the fence

28. trying to stand like Daddy does

29. seedlings, pushing up through darkness, towards light
30. Growth, period.

31. fedoras, on anyone.

32. Indians with bows and yellow cars, taking back their land ~ imagination at work
What are you grateful for today? I'm finding that the more I look, the more I find. And the more blessings I find, the harder it is to see anything negative around me. I may not have a well-functioning dishwasher right now, but I have four little ones who have been helping me!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Latest Photo Op

Have I mentioned lately how fun and amazing my friends are? It's a blessing, for sure.

#21 friends who pose as zombies for family portraits

22. Couples who are still in love

23. Unposed, spontaneous hugs

Sweet Shot Day

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wildlife Safari Field Trip

Woooohoooo, here we go... wild animals meet wild animals!
(we were on the drive, going, like 3mph, on dirt paths... just FYI)
The boys ALL braved the snake. And wanted to take it home.

No, thank you.

How close have YOU been to a zebra? Pretty awesome, pretty awesome.

capturing "aminals" from the van window...

Family field trips are the best kind.

I know I'm going heavy on the photos, light on the writing lately. Seriously, spring fever has hit me with a bang. I have so much to do, and I actually want to do it all. My energy is back. My happiness is back. (Not to be confused with joy, which I can usually maintain all year.) This here body runs on sunshine and warmth, and boy am I runnin'.

Even the broken dishwasher and 1K in repairs for the car can't get me down.

Anyone else get giddy when tanktop weather is upon us?

{happy sigh}

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Body Paint

Remember the painting pics I just posted?
I got busy and forgot to bring that paint inside. My bad.

(Mistake #1)

Today we had our Family Time at the safari ~so much fun, way too expensive, so many pictures to post, and laughs that we captured~ then I went on to the store, and Fred stayed home with the boys.

Fred let LittleLad stay alone in the backyard to dig, while he played ball in the front with the older kids. Fred's bad.

(Mistake #2)

When I pulled up, Fred simply said "grab your camera and follow me."

My 3-year old stripped down buck-naked, except for those white socks, and painted his entire body. Yes, even his back, tush, and boy parts.

At this point, what do you do?
"Don't ever do this again," I choked out while laughing hysterically.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ready to plant the harvest

Where was I?
Thankfulness for...
1. Tiny wooden signs that speak to my heart
2. Pot holders, handmade, threading memories and beauty together
3. blue-green ocean dancing, laughing eyes
4. sun-kissed faces
5. crooked grins holding in loose teeth
6. the ability to freeze it all and hold it, even if my memory slips
7. pollen, borrowed and carried, on the wings of a bee
8. ever-bearing strawberries, jumpstarting fruit on their own timetable, unaware that a frost is yet to come.
9. race-car running shoes jumping through overgrown wildflowers
10. growing my own food, including never-before-tried guaranteed-to-grow grapes
11. the sky in her eyes, thoughtfulness behind them
12. dirty fingernails, a result of earth burrowed
13. dew drops resting precariously on daffodil leaves
14. deep-royal specked wildflowers under my feet, as of yet unmowed, treasured by little people who press them carefully into heavy books.

15. brushes inviting hands of any age to take, color, paint the world
16. and cups that shout my name, happy face and red hair and all that is me

17. Words in her book that speak to my soul, as if they were my own thoughts, my own desires, my own hopes and dreams, shortcomings and despair... and grace, forgiveness.... thankfulness.

18. washing clean- anything. to start fresh

19. The desire to try, need to create, pleasure in being a "big kid"

20. carefulness, precision... his intensity, focus,
head cocked to the side, eyes squinted, to assess
May it change me. Forever. May it drive out my habits of impatience, negativity, hurriedness. And may thankfulness drive in love, joy, contentment...and stop time so that I can enjoy every moment to the fullest.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Trying new foods

Remember the amazing Secret Supper that I mentioned a few weeks ago? It was /drool/ heavenly. Even my Man said so.
The things is, he didn't grow up eating a variety of foods. He doesn't try new things, doesn't desire to, and doesn't understand why I do. This year will mark 14 years of marriage and he has yet to try a salad. not kidding.
But ~~shhh~~~ sometimes I sneak things like V8 into his chili and stew. He's never caught on. I might just save this man's health yet.

Annnnnywaaaay, I'm trying to get an earlier start with my kids. The boys are pretty good about eating anything. They love fruits and veggies, pastas and sauces, dips and even salsa and guacamole. My Girl, though, is not so easy.
And, really, when it comes to foreign foods, all of the kids may balk as much as my Man.
So, to encourage them to try things, I'm giving them a congratulatory sticker (or other non-munchable prize from the box) when they taste an unfamiliar food. It’s such a simple idea, yet it's working.
Today, thanks to Mong, we ate more goodies from Taiwan.

These are Wow Cow cracker/cookies. The only other English read, "The traditional cracker in the shape of an ox tongue." Mmmm... so appetizing.
They were actually quite good, slightly sweet

The snacks, below, were unbelievably thin cookie wafer things. I'm so articulate, I know. There's just nothing to compare it to.

Now this one I can describe. They're like sugar-coated gummy vitamins, only better! They're also organic and vegetarian (aren't the apple-head girl & crossed-out pig nice touches?)

The Energy E cookies were not a huge hit with the kids, but I like them. Without being able to read the label, though, I'm limiting myself to just a few a day. ;)

Have you tried anything new lately?