I love the holidays. I love the community events, get together’s with family and friends, sitting in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa as the snow gently falls outside and baking Christmas cookies while watching holiday … Continue reading
If you would have asked me a few years ago if I would ever consider myself a homesteader, my answer would have been, “What’s a Homesteader”! HaHa Isn’t it amazing how our perspective for our lives change! But even … Continue reading
I’m so glad that you came back to visit my blog! Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest! For many years I doubted myself on whether or not I was equipping my children, as a homeschooler, with … Continue reading
I love homeschooling! I also love reading and listening to other homeschoolers stories, struggles and victories. I hope you will enjoy the homeschool stories I will be sharing from Guest Readers, as much as I do! Savor The Season Homeschooling … Continue reading
I was so blessed and honored to write a featured post for Amanda from Living and Traveling in Africa about my amazing travels to Guatemala. My family and I have a love for Guatemala Missions and we adore the land … Continue reading
Hi ya’ll! I have been nominated by Sarah Hauer at On The Way Home to be part of the Tour Through BlogLand. I am so excited that Sarah chose me to participate. So a Big Southern Thank You Sarah. … Continue reading
Today, began the new CO-OP year. For those who haven’t a clue what I am talking about, its our homeschool group that my kiddos attend. We meet once a week where my kids can “socialize”, you know the world thinks … Continue reading
Twelve years ago I stood at my Aunt’s grave. as tears flowed and shadows of uncertainty fall on my momma’s face. I wondered to myself, “Does my momma have regrets?”, “Is there questions she never asked her sister?”, “Are there words she never said?”. I looked at the grave and back at my momma and I realized those were the same questions I needed to ask myself.
See, as we were burying my Aunt after her loss with cancer, my momma was dying.
She also had cancer and even though at the time I didn’t know how soon it would be, I still knew she would be leaving me soon. Some might say I was being too negative. I say I was preparing my self for the inevitable. I was the baby. I was not ready for my momma to leave. But nothing I said, nothing I did, was going to stop her from dying. If I didn’t prepare myself for her death, it would be her death that would defeat me.
That night, after the funeral, I asked my momma and my three sisters if we could start having mother/daughter outings. Just to spend time together, to connect with each other. So on Friday Nights we all would go out. Sometimes to eat, to visit someone or shopping. But mainly to talk and make memories.
I asked a lot of questions.
I wanted to hear stories of her childhood and teenage years.
I wanted to know what it was like when her and my dad married?
Why did they wait til almost 40 to have me?
What was she passionate about?
Did she have any regrets?
We continued this tradition for about six months until the time came when she was too sick to leave the house. Three months later she was gone.
I am so thankful for that opportunity I had to share those moments before it was too late. I have been thinking about that a lot lately. Life is always so busy, moving so fast, that I begin to ponder if I would have an opportunity to share my life with my children. What if tomorrow don’t come for me? Would they know stories from my childhood? Would they know the story about me and their dad? Would they know what I am most passionate about? Would they know that I love them with a love so pure that only a mother can experience?
I really am not so sure. Life becomes stressful, and my days run into nights and it seems to never stop. I decided I didn’t want this moment to pass. If for some reason I never had the chance to talk to them about me, then I wanted to document it for them.
So what do I want my children to know about me?
1) I AM NOT A SUPERHERO! I do not have super powers. I am human. I am not perfect. I am flawed. As a mother I need you to know that I am just a person who makes mistakes daily. Who will always make mistakes. I try my very best when it comes to your life not to make to many messes but I can’t promise it will always be rainbows and butterflies, there will be days of dark clouds and storms but I will love you every day reguardless of the situation.
2) God will always be #1 in my life. No matter how much I love you, and believe me when I say I love you so much it hurts sometimes, God will ALWAYS be at the center of my life. God entrusted me enough to bless me with you all. He gave me life that will continue long after this chapter ends. There was a time that God was not my center. I was mad and angry, so I ran far away from God. But what I realized is that God gives us free will. He doesn’t control us, he loves us and gives us freedom to come to him, and even through the bad, he never left my side. I need you to always make sure God is #1 in your life as well.
3) My heart is filled with compassion. Sometimes I feel like my heart is breaking into a million pieces over the sorrow that I feel for children who have lost their parents to addictions, neglect or abuse. Those children who just want to feel love again and a sense of security. The homeless people on the street with no family or warm bed, that for one reason or another has lost their way, from a failed marriage, a job or even an illness and now they are alone and burdened. For the elderly people, who on their face shows years of hardship. From the cotton fields, to the coal mines, farms and factories they have worked their fingers to the bone to supply a roof over their families head and food on the table. Those same people, much like my daddy who would give you the shirt off his back with no questions asked. For the people in the third world countries who never have the opportunity to freely worship Jesus. Who so many will never know the love that he has for them or hear the stories of his miracles.
4) Animal Rescue burdens my heart. Yes I am an animal lover. And yes I know you make fun of me because I show you a thousand pictures a day of all the dogs who need a home, or the ones who have been adopted. Animal neglect and abuse lays heavily on my heart. And yes if there was a way, I would bring them all home. I know you think I’m silly for supporting so many rescues and shelters but what you probably don’t know is how many tears I have cried knowing an animal has been put down for lack of space at a shelter. How my wish is that all shelters would become NO-KILL, that all animals would have a chance to feel love and be loved. And when it’s my time to go, I would like that instead of flowers being sent, that a donation for an adoption would be made in my memory instead. And that I believe with all my heart that animals are sent to us to help us thru a hard time when we are not willing to let anyone else in.
5) Children’s Ministry is my passion. I will always be thankful for the wondeful leaders and teachers who saw a raw gift in me and took a chance on helping me grow as a Children’s Leader. And even though I knew after a season in my life, that full-time ministry was not what God had intended for me in our family, I still love to be involved, creating programs, putting ideas and events to life. Being able to be a part of leading a child to Christ will always be worth the sacrafice of serving an extra service or spending an extra day preparing lessons and activities. Use the gifts and talents God has gave you for his good. And if the season your in is not one to use your gifts, continue growing your faith and your walk with God until a new season approaches.
6) I will never regret Homeschooling you. Being able to teach you about life has been such an incredible blessing. Spending the days beside you as we learn together will be a gift I will always treasure. Watching you each grow into young adults might have been missed if we didn’t take the opportunity in front of us to school at home. I have enjoyed all the field trips we took together. I am not scared of the adults you will become. I know you will succeed at anything you put your minds and hearts to. And I am so proud of who you both are becoming.
7) I would give you the world if I could. Not because I think you deserve it. Not because I think you have earned it, but because I love you enough that I want you to see first hand how unfair and cruel this world can be. Don’t set your eyes on worldly desires but on God and his promises. The world will fail you, but God never will.
8) I loved my life as a child. It was a happy and carefree time with chasing fireflies in the summer and rabbit hunting with my dad in the winter. Watching tornados form the top of the celler and big family dinners and reunions with my aunts, uncles and cousins. Plastic water slides down a hill and pizza/french fries on Friday Nights while watching Full House. My playhouse out back with homemade curtains from my sister and tomato and salt rock soup. Swimming at the Lake, family trips to Dog Patch and weekends spent reading my new books. I may not have had big things or big trips, but I had family and love. Those are the things I remember the most.
9) I knew the first time I saw your father I was going to marry him. We met at a factory job when I was 19. There was something about the way he talked to me, that made me feel safe and content. I felt like I was home with him. It is a love that will last. Not always perfect but by morning the sun is always shining again. I will always be thankful for the love we share, for the home we built and the life we have.
10) I have dreams. My dreams consist of following God’s plan for my life. Of course I have visions or ideas of one day owning a Tea Room, finding an old 1900 Farmhouse to fix up/live in and to own a Dog Sanctuary. I would also love to visit London, Paris, Venice, Maine, Hawaii, Seattle, The Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. But I know as long as I follow God’s plan for my life, I will have no regrets at the end. Just know that you are my dreams. You are my life.
I completely understand if you don’t quite know what to do with all this information right now. But there will come a time in your life when you will be so thankful and grateful that you have my dreams, visions and stories. That there won’t be regrets on knowing what I was like as a child, or why I love animals the way I do, or what did I really think about homeschooling you.
Just know this was from my heart, for you to cherish and love.
I have no regrets in my life. There is no choices I would redo. Each struggle, each heartache, each laugh and tear has formed us to the family we are. Enjoy your life. Love deeply and have no regrets about anything. Remember we are just passing through so make as many memories as you can, serve as many people as God allows you to, and always strive to be better tomorrow than you were today.
sometimes your choice of bread will make all the difference so for our Shredded Chicken BBQ Sandwiches, I like to use Deli Style Hamburger Buns. Serve with a side of Homemade Potato Chips and Enjoy!
Tuesday my Church Connect Group, is having a Family Pool Party. We are all bringing finger foods to eat. I decided to make a Variety Pinwheel Platter to take. I will add the basic pinwheel, Bacon Ranch Pinwheel, Southwest Pinwheel and a Basil, Pesto Pinwheel. Be checking back for those great recipes!
I also decided to make Kid-Friendly Sushi, which is just Turkey and Cheese Roll Ups that I cut like Sushi. So much fun! And I think I will also make Mini Apple Pies for a quick bite size dessert. Can’t wait for a fun-filled night with friends!
Wednesday’s are also so rushed before I have to have the kiddos at Youth Group, so this week its Fast and Friendly Tacos. No frills, just plain ole beef tacos with a side of rice and beans. Can’t get with easier than that.
For Thursday I decided to cook a larger meal with the past couple nights before that wasn’t “big dinners”. I chose Roasted Lemon Pepper Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes, Mac-n-Cheese and maybe a loaf of homemade bread!
Friday is Take Out Night! This Momma needs a break (:
Saturday is quick and easy around here, so its Subs and Pasta Salad!
I love parties!
I love planning parties, decorating for parties, and hosting parties.
During the year, we don’t buy our kiddos a lot of extra except what they need, such as new shoes, clothes, items for an activity and ect. So when their birthdays come around, I always want to make them special. I will just say for the record, that yes I
sometimes always go overboard. It drives the husby crazy!
But I also like to host birthday parties for family and friends as well. And when I plan birthdays for them I have to stick to a budget. I will say it’s not always easy.
My two great nieces turned four and five a few weeks back. they came to stay with us for a few days the week of their birthdays, which happens to be two days apart from each other, and I wanted to make it special for them.
Since I have been tutoring this summer, I happened to have two of the kiddos at my house that day, whom my nieces know from church. I thought wouldn’t it be fun to throw them a small birthday party! Of course my mind started spinning as I got to planning. Even though I wanted to make it special, I also needed to keep it small, in the budget and on a time schedule.
My daughter Lindy started looking for leftover party supplies I keep stashed around the house while I started on cakepops. I prefer making cakepops for small parties. They are fast, easy and so much fun. I make my cake and icing homemade and I had white chocolate and sprinkles on hand from all the baking I do so I was out no expense.
Lindy found green and yellow streamers that a friend had gave to me, that I thought would make a great background. Next we found a roll of leftover pink tablecloth from a church fundraiser last year. I also found a teal tablecloth that was leftover from Lindy’s birthday last month, that we used for a table runner.
It was starting to come together and so far I hadn’t spent anything.
I realized that we didn’t have plates, forks and napkins so I ran to the store to pick those up and found the cute yellow striped straws for .50. I left the store with my supplies and only spent $4.00 plus tax. When I got back home I placed the forks in a cute pink bucket, finished the cake pops and decided on strawberry lemonade to drink. I mixed together half a package of sugar-free lemonade koolaid and 1/2 pack of sugar-free strawberry koolaid, added a lemon slice on the side and “voila” we had party punch.
Instead of using party cups, I used these cute plasic hug juice containers that I save and reuse. they were perfect with the yellow striped straws.
At Lindys party, we had photo props, so I pulled those out, put them in a cute bucket, added a couple frames that I had picked up at a thrift store several months back and hadn’t used and we had a really cute photo booth.
I used a couple cute colored bowls for goldfish and gumballs, also left from Lindy’s party.
I placed the cakepops on a cake stand and we were almost ready.
The last thing we needed was party hats. I found a few pieces of leftover scrapbook paper that I had used for a craft and elastic string I had bought for another project I am working on, and we made these cute, tall party hats.
The kiddos love them!
Meet Jessie! Look at that sweet face!
It was fast, threw together all before 1 pm. It was cheap, spent appx $4.50 total and it was fun!
Meet Silly Maddie!
Instead of games we let them draw with chalk on the driveway, have fun with the photo booth and watch a movie.
They had a blast. Happy Birthday Girls!
I got to thinking, I know other bloggers must have amazing party ideas as well.
So I got with some fellow blogging friends and we shared ideas.
Dawn from HomemakingHacks has an amazing post on….
Creating your own party decor will help make your party a success! The best news is that it’s probably a lot easier and less expensive than you think! With the help of basics and simple color coordination, you can make all different types of matching party goodies in under an hour.
I am so in love with the tape bunting around the jars! So adorable! And so creative!
Another idea I love comes from Katelyn from What’s Up Fagan’s
Several years ago, I decided not to just throw a birthday party for my daughter, I decided that she needed to do it with me. And not just her, the rest of her siblings needed to help too. It was a perfect way to teach them responsibility, kindness, even organization. I knew my children would have the motivation to help with such a great reward so I went to work. As they have gotten older, they help more and I do less and less.
Being a homeschool momma, I am all about my kiddos being independent and learning life skills at an early age. Love this!
And make sure to drop by and check out Crystal’s Birthday Parties on a Tight Budget from Crystal and Co.
If you’re like a lot of party-lovin’ moms, you practically drool over fabulous pictures of designer birthday celebrations with gorgeous fondant cakes that START at one hundred dollars…and then reality hits: not in the budget this time. But do you know you can host an awesome kid’s birthday party on a really tight budget? It’s possible! Read on for some of my favorite money saving suggestions.
Thanks Crystal for the Awesome Ideas!
I hope you have enjoyed all of the amazing tips to help you stay on budget for your next party.
And make sure you check out each of these amazing blogs!