Today I am Thankful

Today I am Thankful

Last week when I was at Disney I got to meet a couple of y’all and that was wonderful!  I love meeting you all in person and getting to chat with you.  Each of the ladies I met asked me the same question that many of you ask me, “How are things going with your daughter?”.

I have stayed away from this subject on the blog for several reasons.

  1. There really isn’t anything to tell.  We don’t hear from her and know very little about her life.
  2. It is painful.  I like to be positive and encouraging here, but I want to be honest.  This is a very hard subject for me and frankly I just don’t like to talk about it.
  3. The haters.  It is a sad, sad world out there and people sure do enjoy tearing others apart.  Every time I mention anything about my hurt over this situation people come out of the woodwork to throw stones at me and it’s just so dumb and mean.  I simply don’t want to dredge up the crazy.
  4. The very, very limited accessibility we have with her is a precious treasure to me and I don’t want to lose that by saying anything that would hurt her in any way.  Sometimes you just need to keep quiet and pray, so that’s what we’re doing.

But I know that many of you care about us and wonder how I am.  I get asked about it several times a day, and your tenderness has been a blessing!!!

Here’s the answer: I am really, really sad, but I am OK.  In fact, I am finding places of joy and peace that I never knew existed before because I never needed it so much.  I am learning humility and hope and trust in the God who knows exactly what we need.

I am still working on some other lessons I need to learn, like forgiveness and confidence in who I am in Christ without being affected by what other people think.  Those 2 things, yeah, not easy.  I read once that if we won’t forgive someone else then we don’t fully understand the depths of our own depravity.  That really helps me remember that I am no more deserving of forgiveness than anyone else, no matter what they’ve done.  The Bible is clear on that.  But honestly, there are a few people that my flesh would rather never see or hear from again.  Just being real, not saying it’s right.

God is even using that battle to grow me into a stronger, wiser, more valuable member of the Kingdom.  I do want that, even though it hurts like H-E-double-hockeysticks.

This week, as we move into the holidays I am fighting the grief again.  My heart breaks daily and God beautifully mends it every single time.  He often uses you all to be His messenger of love.  Those of you who have sent me cards and messages, you have held me together.  Every note of encouragement is a healing balm to me.  Isn’t it amazing how you find out who your true friends are through these kinds of trials?  I have been shocked (and saddened) at who has been hateful and even more surprised at many who came out in force to stand firm by my side.  Those people are my earth angels (great, now I’m picturing Marty McFly from Back to the Future and that song “Earth Angel”).

God uses our suffering for our good, and knowing who you can really trust is a very good thing!  I have been so, so grateful for that.  And He has shown me where I am strong, thickened my skin, held me up in times of trial and proved to me that I can survive what I would have thought would kill me.

OK, I am reading back through this and it sounds like a real downer.  I don’t want to leave you with anything but the tremendous hope and gratitude that I have in what God can do and how great He is to use my hardships to help me and the people I love.  Nothing but good will come of this trial, that I am sure of.

Here are a few things that I am so, so thankful for…

  1. He has lovingly removed some toxic people from my life.
  2. He is teaching me to forgive, which is my biggest challenge.
  3. He is showing me where my value lies, which is in Him!
  4. He is making me more loving and understanding.
  5. He is giving me new friends who are trustworthy.
  6. He is strengthening my relationship with my other kids (this part has been SUCH a blessing!)
  7. He is teaching me blind trust and giving me that kind of joy that only comes from the Holy Spirit and has nothing to do with circumstance.
  8. He has strengthened my marriage through this, when it could have easily gone the other way.
  9. He has blessed my business, how amazing!!!
  10. He has give me the opportunity through this to encourage thousands of you who are going through a similar trial, which is an incredible gift to me.

Yippee!!  Look at what a great list that is! I hope that encourages you to be thankful this week and for whatever God is doing in your life.  It can get really hard, but oh so rich with blessings along the way!  Make your own list and see what great things God is doing.

Happy Thanksgiving!  May the joy of the Lord be your strength!


Home from Vacation and Straight to Thanksgiving

Home from Vacation and Straight to Thanksgiving

I should be starting this morning with enthusiasm.  I have grocery shopping and Bible study, answering emails and getting the house ready for Thanksgiving all to do this morning.  But instead I am drinking hot tea in my jammies and considering a 10AM nap.

Our family was on vacation last week and now I am so worn out from all of the running around and eating and keeping up with active boys that I need a break from my break.

We went to Disney World.  It was wonderful and magical, but I got so tired that by the time we pulled in the driveway on Saturday night at 10:00 I wasn’t sure if I could make the walk from the van to the house.  Yesterday I stayed in bed until noon while watching trash TV.  After that I dragged myself to my recliner and stared at the walls, not even trying to get anything done.  I slept almost the entire day and I still don’t feel caught up on rest.

I’d like to stay in my post-Disney stupor today too, but life won’t let me.  We are having a houseful of people here for Thanksgiving, which is such a wonderful blessing!  Since I love my friends, I can’t just lie around wishing the holiday elves would bake the pies and find room in the fridge for all this food.  I have to actually get up.

This morning while I was unpacking my suitcase and putting away the vacation memories, I decided not to put my hair supplies away just yet.  You see, I got a little obsessed with doing fun things with my hair for Disney.  I created a different style for each themed park and it was so much fun that I am thinking of doing some more things with my hair for the holidays.  Maybe a Christmas tree or some kind of fountain.

Here are the styles I did last week.  I got so much interest in them on social media that I will do individual tutorials for them over the next few weeks.  I just need time to recover first.

Right now I have a week filled with baking and shopping and cleaning and hopefully getting some rest before I have to get up at 4:00 on Black Friday to take my teens shopping.  In preparation for Thanksgiving Day, I made a Pin board with some great tips, games and recipes.  This will help me when I get to the store and forget what I was planning to cook.  If you have a great Thanksgiving recipe, I hope you’ll share it with us over on Facebook! I need all the help I can get.

We will be moving all of the furniture out of our living room to make space for a few more tables on Thanksgiving.  I am not sure where the sofa is going to go, I may be crawling over it for the next 4 days.  Hopefully I can still get a few naps in while we get ready for our guests to arrive!

Happy Thanksgiving week my friends!


The Great Furniture Switch

The Great Furniture Switch


Normally our Saturdays are all about bathroom cleaning and naps.  But this past Saturday took on a life of its own after James informed me that he really wished I would switch the living room and dining room.  He asks for so few things around here.  I tend to run the show when it comes to room arranging and décor, so I felt like I should do it.

Great dining room/school room!

The new dining room/ school room

Also, I didn’t mind that it would be motivation to get everything really clean, as in buh-bye dust bunnies and cobwebs.  Under my furniture gets pretty bad.  Plus, my area rug was on its last leg and I had been wanting to roll it up and throw it away.  So on Saturday morning I informed the boys that it was going to be a mom/boy work day.  After they leapt for joy and thanked me for the opportunity, we got to work.  Plus I bribed them with money.

Dining room is a homeschool room.

The schoolroom side of the dining room.

We have gone back and forth with these 2 rooms over the years with pros and cons for both arrangements.  On one hand, the way it’s been for the past couple of years had the dining room right off the kitchen which is handy and makes life easier.  On the other hand, when the living room is in that spot we hang out in there a lot and spend more time relaxing as a family.  BUT that means when you walk in our house you’re immediately in the dining room, which isn’t my favorite.  See?  Pros.  Cons.

dining room school room for a homeschool family

The view of the front door from the school area.

Doing this kind of job is complicated, like one of those little 3×3 slider puzzles with an empty slot that you slide the pieces around until you have them in order from 1-8.  You can’t do it without that empty slot.  In the same way we needed to create an empty place to begin the great furniture switch.

A fun school room/ dining room

This vintage fridge holds blankets and is a playful addition to the dining room.

We took a sofa out to the front porch and then started sliding furniture back and forth, cleaning as we moved each piece.  It was like a dance: step left then slide right, push, shuffle, sweep, repeat.  We even had music playing to keep us moving.  We listened to everything from Rascal Flats to Star Wars soundtracks.

great homeschool room!

The school table and bookshelf with our favorite books on it!

Slowly, slowly we chipped away at it until the furniture had been moved and the rooms were clean.  Then we started the process of finding the best arrangements.  Once we got the basics in place, it was time to take care of the finer details like walls and shelves.  It’s a matter of trying something, stepping back, adjusting, wandering around the house looking for just the right object, trying again, over and over.  I still have a few things to do and I’ll be tweaking for the rest of the week, but we got it mostly done.

Use the kids' initials for wall art!

I’m still searching for a few of the kids’ initials.

We even went through all of the school books and supplies (which was a monster job!) and we cleaned out the games and movies.  I am telling you, we left no stone unturned.  By around 5:00 we were all so exhausted that we collapsed in our new living room and just stared at each other.  No one moved for about half an hour until the debate began over who was going to get up and make us all something for dinner.  That could only mean one thing….pizza.

Fall dining room

Sweet little pumpkins as a centerpiece

On Sunday morning we were still worn out from the day before (and the past few stressful weeks), so we decided to take a day off from everything.  No church, no cleaning, no social media, no school work, no nothin’.  We piled in the car and headed to the city to just hang out together, have a nice meal and relax.  We did a little shopping for a few things the kids needed, saw a movie, had some Mexican food and walked around in the gorgeous weather just enjoying being together.  It was the nicest day I have had in months.

Great living room on a budget, chalkboard wall, hard to arrange!

The living room with chalkboard wall.

This week I have a few things to wrap up in the newly arranged rooms and a lot of school to get done with the boys, but it should be nice and simple.  My older kids each have projects they’re working on, so we’re all buzzing around doing our thing, helping each other and spending time supporting each other.

happy living room on a budget!

The other side of the living room

And now that there are no more dust bunnies in that part of the house I am feeling a weight off that I didn’t realize I had.  I always crave clean, but seldom seem to get there.  This is nice.

Family living room on a budget

My sweet floating shelves and chalkboard wall

And making my husband happy on top of all of it makes it kind of a perfect weekend.

Have a great week!

Happy Book Lover’s Day!

Happy Book Lover’s Day!

This post contains affiliate links.

Did you know that tomorrow is Book Lover’s Day?!  Oh boy, I could get into that one.  I live by the philosophy that you can never have too many books.


I love, love, love to read books.  And if I don’t have time to read, I get an audio book for the car.  I’m from the 70s when we were told over and over, “Reading is FUNdamental.”  I would choose books over jewelry, chocolate or cute shoes.  If that doesn’t express how much I love books, then you will never understand.

On our anniversary over the summer, James and I went to a bookstore after eating a nice dinner and I spent the whole time trying to convince him that we needed more books.  Visions of the pile next to my bed that I haven’t read yet did pass through my head, but I pushed it out long enough to buy 2 more.

In addition to MY BOOK, here are a few that you might like for your library.  These are kids’ books.  Let’s not even talk about the amount of kids’ books I have.  These are all from my friends at Thomas Nelson.  They have a great selection of books for all ages!

For the little ones, this book, I Prayed for You is precious!  It’s a hardcover book teaching them how much their mama prays for them.

For the 3-7 year old we love the Mercer Mayer books like, You Go First.  We have had them around since my 25 year old was this age and I can still hear her sweet little voice “reading” the lines with me.

In age 8-12, my son absolutely loves his Nature Bible!  He carries it around the house to read and to church and he’s so pound of it.  Your young lady or gentleman will love it too.

And we can’t forget the teen in your life!  Here’s one that will spark great discussion and thought in your teen and the entire family, Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door.

While they may each have their own books, studies show that reading aloud grooms them to read more on their own.  Pick up any of these books and start reading as a family.  Do some fun voices and make the words come to life for your kids.  If you can show them what a joy reading is by reading out loud to them, they are more likely to love to read throughout their lives.  It doesn’t even have to be a book that is targeted for their age range, just read.  My 8 year old can listen to the teen books and the teens can hang out long enough to hear a shorter children’s story.

How will you spend this Saturday?  Me, I will be in my hammock with a stack of books and not clock to tell me to stop reading.

Join me on Facebook for more conversation!

5 Tips for the Days When Mom Gets Sick

5 Tips for the Days When Mom Gets Sick

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5 great things you can do in advance to prepare for the days when mom gets sick

As we approach the winter it’s a good time to prepare for the possibility of sickness in the family.  It happens to all of us occasionally, we catch a bug that’s going around and before we know it we are in bed.  All day.

In our house, it typically starts with one of the kids and works its way around until Mom gets it.  This place can’t run well for long without Mom!  Who is going organize the meals and make sure the homework gets done?  Nope, we mothers need to stay well, but it’s not always in our hands.

Mom, with some preparation you can get a couple of days of rest and the kids can take care of things while you’re healing.  Of course, this won’t work for babies.  They can’t take care of themselves no matter how much you prepare.  That’s when you lean on your friends or your husband takes a day off of work.  Look, life happens.  See it as an opportunity to bless someone by allowing them to serve you (something I am terrible at!).

But for the kids over 3 years old, they can take care of most things for a couple of days.  You will have to lift your head occasionally to check on them and do a few small tasks, but you can make it a lot easier on yourself if you have some supplies in place for that dreaded sick day.

  1. Food – We always keep some quick fix foods on hand that are exclusively for sick days.  Crackers, cheese cubes (which can be frozen), nuts, cereal, canned fruit and beef jerky are all food that can be stored for long periods of time and don’t require cooking.  I keep ours in a sealed bin at the top of the pantry and pull it out when I am sick (otherwise someone eats it when no one is sick!).  If you don’t have this, make a list of foods that someone can pick up for you at the store like bread, bananas, peanut butter and yogurt so the kids can get eat without cooking.  If they’re old enough they can fix their own simple lunch.  If not, it is still easy for you to do with almost no clean up.
  2. Books – I have taught my kids to love books and I keep some up on a high shelf and can pull them out when I need to rest. For the little ones, a book like Count My Blessings 1-2-3” is perfect because it has some fun movable parts and if you’ve read it to them before, they will know where to count as they turn the pages.  For the middles, try “Duck Commander Devotions for Kids” by Korie Robertson.  It’s adorable! And the older kids might like “Dream Treaders,”  by Wayne Thomas Batson as the first book in a trilogy (I find mine need trilogies because they read so quickly!
  3. Toys – I have, for as long as I can remember, had s few toy sets tucked away for an emergency.  Believe me, needing something new for the kids to do can be an actual emergency when you are ill.  This would include good toys, not free stuff from their Happy Meals.  Think of Christmas and how you don’t see the kids for hours after they open their presents.  This is a similar concept, only it’s not a gift and these toys will get put away again in a day or two.  Sets like Legos and Playmobile are good for this.
  4. DVDs – In our home we only let the kids watch a movie once a week, so when sickness hits the house I don’t feel so bad that they are watching shows all day long for a few days.  I like to buy new ones during the holidays when they go on sale and tuck them away for a time when the kids really need to be kept occupied.  Also, think outside of the box and get a few that teach Bible lessons like those at Thomas Nelson.
  5. Little Helper Prizes – Teach your kids to help you by having a little chart made up in advance to play “Mommy’s Little Helper.”  You can make a list of helpful things for them to do and offer prizes for the amount of points they get at the end of the day.  I keep a box of prizes with the toys from #3.  As they do these activities, give them a tally mark in the box and at the end of the day add them up.  Each mark is a point and they get prizes at the end of the day.  Ten points gets a prize from the box.  Prizes will be things from the dollar store like a roll of tape, piece of candy, some string, a fun eraser, teeny spiral notebook, etc.  This will help to make them aware of helping plus do some of the thinking for you.

I’ve made a Mommy’s Little Helper sheet for you to get started….just download and print!

Fun game to get the kids to help when mom is sick

Truthfully, there is no way you will be able to sleep all day while you recover, you’re just too important in these little people’s lives to be out of it for long.  But being ready with these ideas will make it a LOT easier for you (and them!).

Bless all you mommies who will deal with sickness this winter.  I am praying for you!

Holiday Gift Guide for Men

Holiday Gift Guide for Men

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Let’s face it…. guys are HARD to buy for.  With 5 sons and a husband on my list, I always appreciate some ideas for them.  So I made this list for you of things that we actually own and the guys love.  Here are 20 things that I would buy for my guys if we didn’t already have them!

Fashion —

  1. Suspenders – these are in style for the vintage loving guy.  My 16 year old son wears them every day and it’s a good look!
  2. Wood Watch – this made it to both my men’s and women’s list.  We love our watches from Jord!IMG_6054
  3. Plaid Shirt – plaid is in this year and your guy would look trendy in his favorite color mix.  I got ours at Target.
  4. Nerd Glasses – Not everyone likes the empty frames that kids are wearing these days, but I think they’re super cute and my trendy boys like wearing them.
  5. Bowtie – I got my boys this exact set last Christmas and put one in each stocking.  They wear them all the time.
Travel —
     6.  Toiletry Bag – My guys love having these.  They use them to keep their personal products in even at home.
     7.  Napwrap – This thing is so cool!  It holds your head, your arms, whatever you need to be able to sleep or relax while traveling.
     8.  Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones – These are a splurge that I got when I started traveling a lot and let me tell you… they are amazing!  They block out plane noise, kids crying, whatever and you can relax with music, audiobooks or just plain quiet.
     9.  External Battery – Several of us own these and I don’t know what we did without them.  It doesn’t matter what kind of phone you have, this will charge it.
10. Lael Bag – This bag is made by a company who uses the profits to provide meals for the orphaned and homeless worldwide.  We love ours and get lots of compliments in it.


Business —
     11. Command Cord Clips – Command makes some great products and these cord clips are no exception.  They keep your cords tucked away without damaging walls or furniture.  They’d make a great stocking stuffer!
     12.  BookBook phone case – My husband LOVES his wallet phone case (and I have one too that I am crazy about!)
     13.  Do Over by Jon Acuff – I read this book last spring when it came out and loved it.  For the man who wants to improve his work life this book is for him!
     14.  Back Scratcher – My husband has this exact back scratcher and head massager in his office and uses it a lot.  I’m thinking of getting one for myself.
     15. – If your guy drives or flies a lot he might love some audiobooks.  I listen to them constantly and there are so many great business books and Biblical encouragement books worth listening to!
Health —
     16. Shutran – This is an essential oil blend that is formulated especially for men.  My son loves it.
17. NingXia Nitro – This is another Young Living product that help clear the mind and enhance mental fitness.  What man doesn’t need that?!  It would make a great stocking stuffer!

     18. Dollar Shave Club Membership – Every month your man could get a fresh quality razor delivered to the door.
     19. Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle – This is my personal favorite bottle.  It holds a lot, fits in a cup holder, is easy to flip open and closed and keeps your drink cold (or hot).
     20. Lock Laces My guys just don’t care for tying their shoes, so these Lock Laces are perfect for them!  They go into your regular shoes and they lock instead of needing to be tied.
Well, I hope this list helps you with some ideas for the guys in your life!  Be sure to also check out my Holiday Gift Guide for Women!
Holiday Gift Guide for Women

Holiday Gift Guide for Women

This post contains affiliate links.


While the ladies on your gift list are easier to buy for than the men, we still need some fresh ideas.  So I thought I’d share with you some things that are favorites around our house.  These are all products that we own and love!

Fashion —

1. OTZ Shoes – These are my number one favorite shoe right now and I own several colors.  They have the trendy look of Toms with a foot bed that offers support.  I wore them all over Disney and Universal Studios and my feet never hurt!
2. Wooden Watch – This watch is on both my men’s and women’s gift list because we absolutely love ours!


3. Plaid Scarf – Help her stay with the trend of plaid this season.  My girls and I love the ones they have at Target right now.
4. Stamped Stacking Ring – I love stacking my rings and having words on them that inspire me.  The 2 rings I have say “abundance” and “valor”.  I was gonna get my kids’ names, but I can’t wear that many rings at once.
5. Rocksbox Subscription – I joined Rocksbox a few months ago and it’s wonderful!  They send me 3 new pieces of jewelry each month then I just send them back (I can keep it if I decide to buy it which I did with one of the necklaces they sent me).  Use my code “penningtonpointxoxo” when you join!

Home —

6. Plaid blanket – OK, so I have bought a few too many things at Target lately.  In addition to the scarf I got a fall colored throw that updated my living room.
7. Marquee Letter – My friend Heidi Swapp created a line at Michael’s of great letters that you can customize to your décor.  I painted mine to look like the old metal letters.


8. Bluetooth Speakers – I added a Bluetooth speaker to my kitchen when I remodeled it so we can play music while we are cooking and cleaning.
9. Instagram Book – If your friend is into Instagram, what about giving her a book of some of her best pictures that she can keep?  There’s a app called that can make it for you easy peasy.
10. Anything from Painted Fox Treasures – These items are unique and in every price range!  I own several of their things, but this Live Work Create bag is one of my favorites!  I get a ton of compliments when I use it.

Personal —

11.Mama Needs a Do-Over – I can’t make a gift list without adding my book to it…. the gals in your life will love it!

12. Selfie Stick – It’s the gift everyone needs, but you can’t take it to Disneyworld.
13.Handbag Light – This little gadget has helped me in a lip balm emergency many times.  It’s in the bottom of your purse or tote and when you put your hand near it lights up and helps you see.  Yep, gadget gifts are fun!
14. Yearly Planner – My friend Celia at The Printed Planner makes the best planners and I use mine every day.  It helps me keep up with my business, my kids, my prayers, my fitness…. your gift recipient will love it!
15. Wireless Earbuds – I use these every day on my morning walk.  The wired Earbuds would pull so I got myself a pair of wireless and now it’s so much easier.

Health —

16. Progessence Plus & Yang Ylang – These 2 essential oil products are my best suggestion for women…. they help support all things “girl.”
17. The Premium Starter Kit – Help your friend get started supporting her family’s health and wellness with this amazing kit that has 11 basic oils and a diffuser!

18. Everyday Grain-Free Baking by Kelly Smith – My good friend Kelly wrote this great book and it’s a favorite of our family’s!
19. Chilly Pad  – My friend Sara told me about these and I love mine!  It stays cool for hours and perfect for flea markets, exercising, any day in the summer, etc.
20. NingXia Red – Treat your friend to this dream start to her day.  It comes in a gorgeous bottle and she will feel loved!

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That’s it!  I hope you got some fun ideas!  Be sure to also check out my Holiday Gift Guide for Men!

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My Fear is Going to Get Expensive

My Fear is Going to Get Expensive

Last week after spending several days hiding away in deep thought and writing, I was glad to be home to my simple, sweet life and beautiful family.  What I was NOT glad to get home to was the…er…situation that had occurred while I was gone.  You wouldn’t think anything this big could happen in less than a week, but apparently it can.

We have an official M-word situation.

I found out about it after I was doing some laundry.  I was peacefully moving clothes from the washer to the dryer when James came in and said in a tone that was out of character for him, “Lisa, you need to go out of here for a minute.”  It was the way he said it, so gentle and sweet, that sent me into immediate panic.  Like when someone says to you, “Sit down honey, I have something to tell you,” in their most remain-calm voice.  Fear goes up your spine.

And since we were doing things that were out of the ordinary, I just left the room.  I put the wet laundry down and walked away.  James must have been kind of surprised at my lack of arguing because he called after me, “Well look at you being all submissive!”. I could tell he was smiling even though I never turned around to see.  But I wasn’t really being submissive.  I was really pretty sure I could read between the lines and knew there was a you-know-what somewhere in the utility room and he was trying to keep me from seeing it.

Later on after my heart stopped pounding I decided to take the risk and ask him if this was a one time problem or if it had been ongoing.  He laid his hand on my shoulder and in the style of a great politician he answered me squarely, “We have it completely under control.”

Um….. yeah.  That doesn’t comfort me at all.  You may was well tell me that the atomic bomb is not going to land DIRECTLY on top of my house.  Oh well that’s just great.

I didn’t ask more questions.  I really didn’t want to know, but a couple of the boys while overhearing this brief conversation blurted out some disturbing information about things that had happened while I was gone.  I have never seen my husband move so fast as he leapt to put his hand over their blabby little mouths.  “SHHHH!!!!” he said then turned a guilty grin in my direction, “Really honey, we are handling it.”

So of course, last night I didn’t sleep a wink.  I just knew there must be dozens (or more) of those nasty creatures scurrying around in the dark doing who knows what in my house and what if one was in my bedroom?!?!?  I decided that the next day I would have to go to a hotel. Obviously.

And of course, I won’t be able to cook or do laundry since the kitchen and utility room seem to be their favorite hangouts.  We will be eating out from now until either an exterminator ends this invasion or the house burns down.  I am hoping for #1.

I informed James this morning of all of these plans and he laughed like I was being ridiculous.  Um, dude, if you thought I was hard to live with BEFORE this infestation, you ain’t seen nothing’.  In the nearly 30 years that we have been married I have held back the kind of crazy that is about to come loose if we don’t get rid of these things immediately.

I may need to send him a Hallmark card to apologize in advance.

When you are terrified of mice....

Do you think Hallmark makes those?  I mean, I have seen crazier cards.  Once I saw a card that said, “I am sorry you lost your job, but let’s be honest, you weren’t very good at it.”.

Now, I know that some of you are reading this and thinking that I am having an overreaction to a normal life happening and that I live on a farm and should not be bothered by this. Well just because I have horses and chickens and way too many cats does not mean I am comfortable with rodents inside my house!  In fact, what is the problem with my cats anyway?!  Shouldn’t they be helping here?!?!

I know that my fear is doesn’t make sense, but I think we are each allowed to have one irrational fear in our lives.  I am not afraid of flying or heights or germs….OK I am a little afraid of germs.  But this M-word thing is literally an I-think-I-am-gonna-throw-up kind of problem.  My instant reaction is complete hysteria followed by crying in the corner.  I can’t help it.  It goes all the way back to my childhood and watching my mother and grandmother standing on the kitchen table while my 5 year old brother chased a mouse through the kitchen with a broom.

Not that I blame them one bit.  I completely understand their fear and have no doubt that I have passed it on to my children.  There are worse things to be afraid of I guess.  I mean, this doesn’t come up very often in life.  Unless they become missionaries in a place where this is a regular issue, in which case I guess they will have the blessing of learning to overcome a fear.

But I plan to just avoid it at all costs, literally.

And now, to prepare my weekly menu, avoiding any actual time in the kitchen and not doing laundry.  It’ll be a challenge friends, but believe me, I am motivated!  And if you pass my house and see me in my front porch rockers, it isn’t because I have gone all Mayberry.  It’s because I am scared to go into my house.

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Oldies but Goodies

Oldies but Goodies

This week I am locked away working on my next book.  It turns out that I write better when I don’t have to do 8 loads of laundry a day or have to grade a dozen math papers.  So I have gone into hiding for a few days to get the first draft finished.  I’ll be back next week, but while I am away I thought I’d remind you of a few older projects in case you’re in the mood for something fun to do.

  1. We just finished moving kids’ bedroom around and the boy’s Lego shelves are being overhauled.  I thought I’d show you these giant Legos I made a few years ago that we put on the shelves to add a bit of a break from the bright colors and plastic.

    How to make a fun extra for the kids room.  Lego decorating.

  2. Also last week I was adding some pumpkins to the front porch and I was enjoying the fun of my painted houndstooth rug and I thought I’d share it with you in case you want to paint one for yourself! 

    How to paint a houndstooth rug! -- The Pennington Point

  3. The last big thing we worked on last weekend was cleaning out the kids’ school lockers.  Several years ago I found these old lockers at a flea market and because they were bright yellow the price was low.  No one wanted yellow lockers!  But a few cans of white spray paint later and they were perfect in my living room.  My school kids actually keep their school books in there and the extra lockers hold Wii games and extra school books.

I am always up to a something around the house and I am hoping to do some new arranging over the next few weeks in the living areas.  But don’t tell James.  I like to surprise him.

Be sure to stop by your favorite bookseller and pick up my book “Mama Needs a Do-Over” if you haven’t already!
Have a great week!  Happy fall!
Do You Need a Do-Over?

Do You Need a Do-Over?

This is a great book for moms who need a boost of encouragement to find their joy again!

Well this is the week….my book, Mama Needs a Do-Over, comes out in stores and I am more than a little nervous.

Isn’t it funny how when our vision becomes reality we tend to see only the possible things that can go wrong or be negative?  Or is that just me?  Maybe when you have a dream come true you just think about how wonderful your life is.  I lean the other way….to the dark side.

Darth Vader has nothing on me when it comes to seeing the negative and being kind of a downer to the people around him.  I know why God didn’t give me a light saber.  Or a black helmet.

OK, I see that I have gotten a little off path with this post which is supposed to be a joy-filled sharing of the book release.

This book has been a year and a half of work and through the process my life did some pretty big flips and flops.  Mostly flops.  I know for a fact that God isn’t going to let me get too comfy and He keeps me on the edge of my seat most of the time.  I have never been a person with a big cushion to lean on.  We don’t have a savings account or family we can depend on or even an air-conditioner that works faithfully (you would think that those first two would be what I panic over the most, but really you don’t even want to know what kind of evil overtakes me if I get over-heated).  Every day is a walk of faith, trusting Him to see us through as we learn more and more about His character.

And this book has been no exception.  It was as if He whispered to me, “You’re not going to write this book, I am,” and He proceeded to remove every confidence and thing I really trusted.  Bit by bit He tore my life down to one thing, Him.

And so I wrote.  And I poured out my heart and cried then laughed (before we get too deep…the book is actually funny ‘cuz I can’t write any other way) then pounded my fists against the keyboard and prayed.  He kept coming through for me.  One chapter at a time.

And now it’s out of my hands and into His again.

Recently I was watching the movie Facing the Giants and in the very end a small kicker (if you haven’t seen it, it’s a faith-filled football movie) says to the coach, “I can’t do it….I can’t kick that far!” in the final seconds of the game.  And the coach tells him, “Son, it’s your job to do your best and kick as hard as you can and then let God do the rest.”

And that’s how I feel today.  I am kicking my book out there and letting God do the rest.  May it bless you!  May it speak His words to your heart.  May you buy 3 extras to give to your friends as gifts.  😉


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