Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Song in my Heart: Let Them See You



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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday Inspiration: Something Inside



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Friday, August 29, 2014

Ten Questions

I want to thank Michelle at New Horizon Reviews for tagging my blog for the Liebster Award!

I typically don't do many 'tag - you're it' type posts on here.  But...
1) I liked her questions and wanted to answer them. (except for one... you'll see...)
And
2) I always seem to need some good writing prompts these days!

So... here we go!

(1) What made you start a blog?
     
um... good question!  I've always liked to write and I think I just saw it as a place to express myself. An online journal of sorts. It has just sort of grown and developed over the years.
(2) What is one tip you would offer a new blogger?
     
Don't be afraid to hit the publish button no matter what you wrote. Your blog doesn't have to be just like anyone else.  It's yours.  Your thoughts, your platform, your writing.  Be yourself.  
 
(3) Where does your blogging inspiration come from?
     
God... my family... life... every moment
(4) What do you like best about blogging?
     
Having an outlet for some of the thoughts that roll around in my head all day.  #2 favorite thing is comments from readers.  I loooove comments!!
(5) Are you a morning person? Why/Why not?
     
No!  I would be an early to bed, late to rise kinda gal if I could.  But I do make myself get up before the sun on most mornings so I can have some quiet time before the busyness of the day gets in the way.
(6) Who has the biggest influence on you? Why?
     
Other than God?  That would have to be the Man of the House.  He is always there for me. He is kind, giving, and compassionate.  He's strong.  He has an amazing work ethic.  I admire him and wish I could be more like him sometimes. He supports all my crazy dreams and encourages me to go for them.  He comforts me when I feel like I'm falling flat on my face.  And he makes me feel beautiful. 
(7) What is your favorite book?
     
Nope.  Just no.  I can't do it.  This is one of my very least favorite questions in the history of questions.  Ever.   I love books.  So many books.  I can't possible pick just one as my favorite.  That would be like picking a favorite offspring.

(8) What is the first book you remember reading?
     
"The Three Little Pigs"  Which happens to be the first book I ever read by myself.  I was in kindergarten - which at that time was optional, so they didn't start teaching reading until first grade.  But I kept begging and begging my teacher to let me read, so she hooked me up.  I still remember how proud I was of myself for reading "straw"  because that is a very hard word when you are just starting out!

(9) How do you feel about print books versus e-books?
     
I like the convenience of e-books.  Being able to carry as many as I want with me in one lightweight device.  Lovely!  But nothing will ever replace print books for me.  Holding the book, feeling the spine give for the first time, turning the pages.  The BEST!
(10) What is your favorite piece of furniture? Why? 

     My bed.  Because that's where I sleep.  And read.

And thats about that.  (Michelle, I hope you will forgive me if I don't tag other bloggers and pass this on!)

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Spirit of Gratitude: August 28

I AM THANKFUL FOR:
Falling asleep snuggled up to the Man of the House
Curly hair
Pumpkin Spice Lattes are coming back early this year
Blowing bubbles
New year of guitar lessons begins for the Male Offspring
Reading to the grand baby
Text messages that make me laugh
The Man of the House bringing home pizza
Pumpkin ale
Late summer days that feel like fall
Fantasy Football draft day
Spending time with The Man of the House
Fried pickles
Picnic at the park
Family time
Early to bed
Shopping for school supplies
 Play-doh
Filling out school paperwork
Cuddling up for the length of the snooze button
The grand baby showing us how strong he is
Having too many ideas to keep up with
A house full of homework being done
The blurry quiet of a foggy morning

all photos courtesy of publicdomainpicture.net

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dear Moms;

The school year begins, I find myself looking back on my (ahem..) more youthful years when I had younger kids.  As I reflect on the things I know I've gotten right, the things I could have done better, and the times I fell flat on my face as a mother - I find myself thinking about how I so often felt as if the whole world (especially other mothers) were looking at me and scoring me as a mom.  And how,even though my kids are grown and mostly grown, and one even has a little one of her own - I still feel this way.

photo: publicdomainpictures.net
And I wonder:  How much was real and how much was me projecting my own doubts and insecurities onto others?  How much was me judging myself and thinking others must be doing the same?

As my thoughts chase that rabbit, they bring me to a realization.  One I wish I had come to many years ago.  And one I want to share with all of you - especially the ones just starting this journey we call motherhood.

If we are going to be the best mothers we are capable of being...

We have to stop judging ourselves - and other moms in the process!

We need to stop worrying about whether we're better than Mom A or not doing as well as Mom B.

We need to have the courage to be willing to proudly say when we have nailed it  AND to ask for help when we are barely keeping our head above water.

We need to stop the comparison game and focus on teaching and loving our kids to the best of our own individual ability.


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Monday, August 25, 2014

Three Things: I Enjoy About Back To School Season

It's back to school time!  Our schools started back to class today.  There's just something about this time of year.  I've always enjoyed it, even back when I was the one going back to school.  Here's a few reasons why:

photo: publicdomainpictures.net
1) Back to School Supplies: I love brand spankin' new school supplies!  From a never written in notebook to a freshly sharpened pencil and new pens.  The very best of all this always has been and always will be the new box of crayons.  One of the best simple pleasures in life is opening that box of crayons and seeing all those perfect little tips pointing up at you. Selecting just the right color and putting that crayon to paper for the very first time.  (yes, I am in my 40s and I still love coloring!)

2) Fresh Starts:  Every new school year is a new beginning.  New classes, new teachers, a new chance to start over and do your best. 

3) Quiet Time: C'mon... what stay at home or work from home mom doesn't love back to school because you know it's gonna mean a little bit of time to yourself while the kiddos are in school?  Getting to go grocery shopping without someone hanging on the cart begging for every sugary item on display. You know it!  Sadly, I'm going to be missing out on this perk of the back to school seaons this year as I will be watching the grand baby while the female offspring is in her college classes AND working the after school program at our local elementary. 

What's your favorite thing about back to school?


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Friday, August 22, 2014

Sometimes, There's Cake

This is a very short fictional piece I wrote based off a daily writing prompt from Sarah Selecky.  The assignment was two parts over two days.  First, make a list of 10 unrelated sentences.  Second, each sentence became the first sentence of a scene.  Then you write for 10 minutes. Here's what I came up with:

Sometimes, there's cake.

A rich chocolate.  A moist carrot with tangy cream cheese frosting.  Or maybe something decadent: a red velvet or a black forest cake.

Sadly, today is not one of those days.

Cupcakes.  I'm so tired of cupcakes.  Tiny little pre-portioned nuggets of cake.  When what I really want today is a big slice of overindulgence.


I make a face at the cupcakes as I pick one up for a closer look.  White cake.  Vanilla frosting.  With Sprinkles.  Sprinkles?  Are we a bunch of eight-year-olds gathered for a birthday party?

With that image in mind, I stick a finger into the mound of fluffy frosting and swipe it into my mouth.  The sugar hits my taste buds and clings there.  Immediately I begin to concede my former opinion.  Cupcakes might not be so bad after all.

I peel back the paper and take a bite. Cupcakes are technically cakes.  Just smaller.  Mini cakes.  But cakes all the same.  Another bite melts the last of my resolve, and my grumpiness.  

The cupcakes win.  For today. Tomorrow, there might be cake.





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Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Spirit of Gratitude: August 21

This Week I Am Thankful For:

Having air conditioning off and the windows open
Quiet time
Ordering a new phone
Pistachios
Holds waiting at the library
Sending packages in the mail
Splitting the last brownie
An early morning start
Eating hot wings with the Man of the House
Cute phone covers
Staying up late watching scary movie
Preseason football

Lovely coral nail polish
Smoked pork roast
The energy coffee provides

Fresh baked biscuits
The Target Cartwheel app
Mom dropping by
Ice cream cones
Laundry is caught up


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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

When You Feel Small


When I look around at all the beautiful things God has created, it is easy to feel very very small.  There is so much which is awe-inspiring.  Breathtaking.


The rolling mountains around my home. 
The deep oceans.
The vastness of space.
The seemingly endless variety of unique animals.
The complexity of plant life.

It's humbling to think that of all this - he cares for humans most of all.  That of all these things he made - He chose US to be created in his image.  That He cares for us.  He is mindful of us.  He tends to, weeps and sings over each one of us!

That he gathers us to Himself and calls each and everyone of us "beloved".


Out of all the things great and small in this endless universe - God notices us and cherishes us above all others.  Ours are the names engraved on his hands.



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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Days

Then, suddenly, he's picking up the schedule for his junior year of high school.  She's a grown woman with a child of her own.  And you realize how quickly the years went by and how quickly the next few years will be gone.

You find yourself longing for one more...

One more time feeling the warmth of a small body snuggle in your lap.
One more tiny hand holding yours.
One more first day of school.
One more hot, weary day of watching little league games.

You think, if only there were more time.

photo: publicdomainpictures.net

And there is...


Not the days of little sleeper pajamas, bedtime stories, or practicing for spelling tests.  But there are days ahead to look look forward to with anticipation.

New stages and seasons.  New accomplishments to celebrate. New memories to make. 





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Monday, August 18, 2014

Three Things: I love about the Man of the House

Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways".  Unfortunately for me - and for the readers of this blog - Mrs Barrett Browning was far more poetic than I find myself to be.  However, I could come up with three simple reasons I love the Mr to share with all of you ...


His humor:  Don't all those surveys always tell us that the majority of women say what they want is a man who can make them laugh? Yep!  And most days the Man of the House can get a laugh out of me.  Is much of my laughter accompanied by rolling eyes and with a little groan?  Sure.  He's got that kind of sense of humor.  But it's still laughter.  Sometimes it bubbles up even when I don't want to laugh.  When I want to be grumpy, or mad, or when I want to just pout about something.  Somehow he can still manage to make me laugh despite my best efforts to be in a bad mood. 

2) His encouragement:  He believe in me, even when I have little to no faith in myself.  When I wanted to start an Elsy shop - he was right there telling me to go for it.  When I say I want to write - he tells me to just do it.  (and reminds me that what I do each week on this blog is, in fact, writing.)  While my mind tells me all the reasons I can't.  When  fear raises up to choke my dreams.  He is right there, pushing me past the excuses and cheering me on to take a leap of faith.

3) His physical attributes:  Call me shallow... but the Man of the House is just plain HOT.  And yes, I love that about him.  I don't know how he manages it, but he is somehow even better looking than he was 22 years ago when I married him! 



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Thursday, August 14, 2014

When You Buy a Hat, I Give a Hat

I debated with myself for a while over whether or not to post about this here.  But finally after much prayerful consideration I have decided to share with you all something I am trying to do through my Etsy shop, Queen B's Busy Work.

Along with your help.
 
Pumpkin Hat
puppy hat
For every hat purchased from Queen B's Busy Work between now and December 31, 2014 - I will create and donate a children's hat for a pediatric cancer patient. 
 
Football hat


Candy corn hat
 Simple as that... Someone buys a hat - I give a hat.

So, please... keep Queen B's Busy Work in mind as you do your baby shower, birthday, holiday shopping.  If you feel compelled - spread the word about the promotion. 

And Thank You in advance for helping me put a smile on the face of a child!







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A Spirit of Gratitude: August 13

I AM THANKFUL FOR:

Lots and lots of coffee
Reasons to be up late
Grocery shopping deals
Trips to Target with the female offspring
Packed suitcases
Goodbye kisses
Clouds below the plane

 Safe travels
Relaxing days
Phone call from the grand baby
Fresh baked banana bread
Laughing with my nieces
Visiting the art museum
Seeing a Monet (and a Degas, and a Van Gogh) up close

Silly phone booth photos

Exploring a new yarn store
Little lighthouse on the lake

Route 66

Crazy soda flavors
Pop's on Route 66
Round barn

Yummy food
Visiting the Oklahoma City National Memorial


Gardens tucked into the middle of downtown

Fuzzy baby ducks

Someone else doing the cooking
Hanging out with sister and BIL
Road trips

Fields of hay bales

Crossing the Mississippi
Memphis at night

Nashville mornings
Awesome customer service at the Walgreen's
Coming home
Huge boxes of cereal
Lunch with Mom, sister, and female offspring
World Market sales
Fresh baked bread
Playing "Bean-boozled" with the family

Trips to Nature Center
Gray wolf pups
Sitting in the car while the rain pours down
Staying up late eating spinach artichoke dip
Celebrating Dad's birthday with both my sisters
The cousins playing together
Getting back to "normal" routine
Years of laughter
The Man of the House coming home with rainbow pictures
Hummus veggie wraps
Birds singing in the rain
The Man of the House coming home at the end of his work day

What are YOU thankful for this week?


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