The Pennington Point Wed, 25 Nov 2015 15:56:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Today I am Thankful Wed, 25 Nov 2015 15:56:21 +0000 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!


]]> 0
Home from Vacation and Straight to Thanksgiving Mon, 23 Nov 2015 17:12:26 +0000 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!


]]> 0
It’s Really All About the Shoes Fri, 13 Nov 2015 15:45:47 +0000 It’s the time of year when I have to check the weather app before getting dressed every morning.  It might be 50° it might b0 90°, who knows?!  You can’t put away your sandals and lightweight tops because even though it’s too cold to wear them today, you might need them tomorrow.

Every October I celebrate the season changing by wearing my red boots every day. It’s a fin challenge to make that work and now that it’s over, I am enjoying my other shoes again.  While I don’t wear Louis Vuitton, I do love a pretty shoe.  Truth is, even if I could afford $1,000 for a pair of shoes I wouldn’t wear them.  I have foot issues.

I have Plantar Fasciitis and bunions and yes, I realize this makes me sound like an old lady.  I remember my grandmother complaining about the corns on her feet.  Now this is me.  I may as well get myself a giant sedan and start driving 10 miles per hour through town.

Anyway, I love shoes.  I spend my spare time searching high and low for some I can wear that are prettier than Crocs or Birkenstocks.  I do own both, but you have to admit they are purely functional.  The Birks keep my feet healthy so I wear them around the house, but when I go out I require cuteness.

I have talked about my Otz shoes before because they have a trendy, earthy look like Toms, but they have footbed support.  In fact, I like them so much that they made it onto my Holiday Gift Guide for Women.  I am not sure why they haven’t become more popular, but I get constant compliments on mine and they are so easy on my feet that I wore them to Disney and Universal Studios without any problems.

Loving these little summer dresses!

Interestingly, my red boots are also comfy for my feet as long as I don’t do too much walking in them.  For general running errands or going out with my friends they are just fine.  When my feet are not hurting, I can be more relaxed with my shoe choices, but I can’t ever wear shoes with no arch support, as in flats.  That eliminates about 93% of the shoes out there.  I see this as a good thing.  It makes shopping a lot easier.

I can wear wedges occasionally.  I have several pair and I wear them anytime I can.  These slate ones are my new fives. I found them at a thrift store, never been worn, in my size, for $20.  SCORE!


They are Dansko and if they were new they’d cost $150, so this was a steal!  They are surprisingly comfy and I also own a brown pair of Dansko Boots that I adore! (but did not get such a great deal on)

I’m looking forward to winter shoe weather because I love changing it up and even though it’s cool now, I did wear a pair of sandals earlier this week… my toes were a little chilly.  But it was totally worth it.


I am into loose and easy clothes these days. Sadly, I have gained back some of my weight that I lost, but I am still determined and working on it.  Life, as you know, gets in the way of our goals sometimes, but I am not giving up.  You’ve got to just keep looking forward!

So as the weather cools down I am playing with my shoes and layers and mixing and matching.  I am definitely an experimenter with my clothes and I have passed that love along to my girls who always look adorable!  Well, really my whole family is pretty snappy lookin’.

Family at church

Here’s to cooler weather and new shoes!  I’ve got both my sandals and my sweaters ready, just in case.

Have a great weekend.


]]> 0
The Great Furniture Switch Tue, 10 Nov 2015 03:28:35 +0000 furniture01

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!

]]> 0
Happy Book Lover’s Day! Fri, 06 Nov 2015 15:36:22 +0000 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!

]]> 0
The Story of the Washer and Dryer Mon, 02 Nov 2015 15:17:26 +0000 washer02

Do you ever have a moment of, “How did I get myself into this?”  Well that describes my entire Saturday.

It started a few weeks ago when I noticed that our washing machine wasn’t draining all of the water out and the clothes were dripping wet after the cycle ran.  So after each wash, I would have to run an extra rinse and spin cycle.  OK, no big deal.  That only doubles my laundry time, which is pretty lengthy already.  THEN, the dryer started to get fussy,  I assume it was wanting some extra attention since the washer was being so demanding, and it stopped drying as well as it used to.  The clothes would come out damp.  So I started hanging half of the wet clothes on the line outside and the other half stayed in the dryer.   I do actually enjoy the simplicity of hanging clothes on the line, but I didn’t see it as being a long term solution.  I’m no Ma Ingalls.

In defense of my machines, they are both over 12 years old and in washer/dryer years that’s like 115.  They have been troopers about the extreme workload that is expected of them in our home.  So maybe they were just dying of old age and exhaustion.  But last Friday, the washer bid us its final farewell.  We knew from the banging noise and burning smell coming from our utility room that it was over.

I called a repairman and he came to call time of death.  “No point in trying to fix it,” he said, “the _____ is completely busted and the ______ needs replacing which would mean pulling out the ______ and ______.  It just ain’t worth it.” (I don’t speak repairman so this is a loose interpretation)

He told me the dryer wasn’t far behind, so may as well replace them both.

I texted James and let him know that our Friday night date just went from dinner and a movie to walking around Lowes trying to find good deals on laundry sets.  And by good deal I mean not a good deal because these machines are so expensive now that I think the two of them cost more than my first car.  He wasn’t happy about it, but after 29 years of marriage he was smart enough to know that he would be less happy living with a wife who had to drive 10 miles to the Laundromat every day with 6 loads of dirty boys’ clothes in her car.

We took our time, looking at each machine and Googling reviews and trying to gulp down how much money we were about to spend.  We found a dryer in the clearance section that we decided to buy because it was significantly reduced in price, then chose the matching washer that they had in stock and we could take it home to install first thing in the morning.  Great.  Ring it up.  Oh sure, our next 2 sons won’t be able to go to college, but they will have clean clothes.

The next morning was install time, aka tear the house apart and make messes that will take weeks to clean up.  Because the new washer is a top load and the old ones were front load on pedestals, I had to tear out the shelf that spanned the top of my machines and remove another shelf across from them.  That meant finding new places to store all of the things that we kept in the shelves and drawers we were removing and not replacing.  Plus, I don’t know about you, but I tend to find things I didn’t even know I have when I empty cabinets which left me with a plethora of odd and ends that are still sitting in my kitchen while I try to find new homes for them.  It’s everything from a specialty light bulb to party napkins.  I’m at a loss.

The kids pitched in and we got the room emptied and cleaned after a couple of hours, although the kitchen looked like a utility room bomb had gone off.  James jumped in at that point to install the new machines, which involved 2 trips to the hardware store and at least an hour of digging around in our garage looking for spare dryer parts we could rig because the “great deal” we got turned out to be missing some essential pieces.  I only cried twice, which is a good day in our world.

After a few more hours, they were both scooted into place and ready to try.  I loaded exactly 6# into the washer, according to the manual and turned it on for its inaugural run.  Beautiful.  It swished and cleaned the clothes like any good youngster.  I felt kinda sorry for it, all innocent and showing off without knowing what it was about to get itself into.  We run our machines pretty much all day every day.

I piddled around during its cycle to keep my eye out for leaks, excessive shaking or any protests from the machine, which was great because it gave me 45 minutes to put away some of the junk that we had piled in the kitchen.  It did great, no problems.  When it was done, I reached in to pull the laundry out and made a startling discovery….. in order for me to get the clothes in the bottom of the machine I have to stand on my tiptoes, lay my stomach across the front of the machine and tip myself all the way into the drum with my head and some of my upper body inside of the washer.  My feet actually have to lift off of the ground.

Flashes of falling in, screaming for help and my family not hearing me for hours only to walk into the utility room one afternoon and find me head down in the washer with my legs kicking wildly went through my mind.  This. Is. Not. Good.

And the dryer is not much better.  The opening is so low to the ground and the drum is so deep that I practically have to get on my knees and, again, get inside of it to reach the clothes in the back.

Here’s the good news: Our clothes are clean (and the utility room is spotless).
Here’s the bad news: I think I am going to return the washer and dryer and get another set of front loaders with pedestals.

I just can’t see myself doing this when I’m 60.  I could break a hip.  Or die a sad and unnecessary death.

When I informed James that I thought I was going to return them, he looked at me, stumped.  I am sure it sent a panic through him of having to go through this whole experience next weekend.  All he said to me was, “But, but, they are here now and usable. Plus it will cost so much more!”

Yes dear, but you will be saving on the chiropractor bills from the back issues I would have from loading and unloading these machines over and over.  Not to mention the cost of taking me out to dinner every night because I am too exhausted from trying to wedge myself out of the washer three to five times a day.

He managed to convince me to try them for another week and then decide.  You’re my friends, so I am telling you now…. if I disappear in the next 7 days, call someone and tell them to check the washing machine.

]]> 0
5 Tips for the Days When Mom Gets Sick Fri, 30 Oct 2015 13:53:37 +0000 This post contains affiliate links.

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!

]]> 0
Don’t Ever Scoot Your Chair During Prayer Mon, 26 Oct 2015 14:37:38 +0000 This funny blogger will encourage you and lighjten your day!

I’m beginning to wonder if there is a sign on my back that says, “I’m a magnet for embarrassing things.” If not, then God is just getting some fun out of watching me squirm.

It happened on Saturday morning.  I attended a sweet ladies’ fellowship and prayer meeting at church.  We were divided into small groups of women sitting at round tables and were given instructions by our table leaders.  Each leader would read some things about prayer then we would all pray together, then she would read a little more and we would pray more and so on.

I was sitting in a spot at the table where there was a table leg right in front of me, which caused to me awkwardly straddle my legs around it. It was uncomfortable since my legs were forced into an odd position.  So during one of the prayer times I decided to adjust a little.  My chair was turned where I couldn’t move my legs enough to relieve the numbing that was starting at my hips and working its way down, so I lifted my buttocks a little bit and scooted the chair to the left.  Seemed innocent enough, right?  Well not in my world.

As soon as we stopped that short prayer time some of the ladies at our table took a little break to go use the restroom.  Then one of them leaned over to me and whispered, “Honey, are you having some discomfort?”  Thinking she must mean me wiggling around because of the table leg in my way I said, “A little, but I am OK.”  She asked if she could pray for me, which I thought was kind of odd, but OK.  She prayed, the ladies returned from the restroom and we went on with our table time.

As our time of praying went on I shifted again to keep my legs and lower back from going into spasm.

After the whole event was over and people were milling around, another lady quietly asked me if I was feeling OK.  The way she asked gave the impressions she was deeply concerned for me, so I asked her, “Why are you asking me that? Do I not seem OK?” She gave me her best poor-darlin look then she told me, “Well you seemed to be having a little gas during the prayer time.”


Her care for me was so sweet I didn’t have the heart to start laughing right then.  I just told her I was fine and thanked her for her concern.  Then I went to ask the first lady if when she asked me about discomfort she meant she thought I was having gas and she said, “Yes, I was very concerned for you.”


These ladies thought the sound of my chair moving across the floor was me letting out a big one during prayer!

I could die.

Can you imagine the reputation I have now built for myself there?!  I barely know most of these ladies and now they all think I have digestive issues.  And it’s not like I can go around to each person and say, “Hey, in case you thought I was tooting last week, I want to let you know it was just the sound of my chair scooting on the floor.” Nope, I am simply left with this giant hole in my dignity.

I don’t know if I will ever go back to another prayer meeting, but if I do I will be sure to sit still no matter how badly my legs ache and never.move.a.muscle.  Either that, or just wear a t-shirt that says, “Yep, I’m the one.”

Have a great week!

Follow me on Facebook to continue the conversation!

]]> 0
Fun Weekend Ideas! Fri, 23 Oct 2015 13:46:28 +0000 I’ve got some great stuff to share with you today as you prepare for the weekend!  I do a lot of writing for other sites and I forget to share those articles with you because my brain only works at half speed these days.  I think you’ll like these two….they are projects that our family is currently working on.

The two articles I am sharing are about the weekend, how to make the most of our time both and home and at church.  Weekends are such a precious opportunity to step away from the busyness of the work week and it’s so easy to either overload them with activity or spend the entire time staring at the TV and forgetting that there’s a world of rest & relaxation outside our 4 walls.

First, over on The Soul Spa I wrote 10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Saturday.  These are sweet, simple ways to embrace time with your family and connect with God.  It’s something we forget to do most weekends, so taking a look at this list may help find some purposeful ways to add the magic to this special day.

10 ways to make the most of Saturday -

Second, I wrote a post over on FaithGateway about a challenge we created as a family.  We were looking for ways to get to know some of the people at church that we haven’t met, but it can be intimidating.  Every Sunday we file past people that are supposed to be our church family but we don’t even know some of their names.

I came up with this idea for our family and we all absolutely LOVE it!  Even my younger boys have gotten into it and the results have been pretty amazing!  Head over to FaithGateway to read more about our Family Church Challenge!

A game to play with your family that will help you get to know new people at your church! #faithgateway

Don’t forget to check out my Holiday Gift Guide for Women and Holiday Gift Guide for Men!

Have a great weekend and be sure to make the most of this precious time together!

Continue the conversation over on Facebook!

]]> 0
One Rotten Pumpkin Can Spoil the Whole Bunch Tue, 20 Oct 2015 14:20:46 +0000 Where did Monday go?  I think I missed it somehow.  In fact, I somehow missed the entire weekend because when I sat down this morning to recount the past few days I can remember nothing.  Either it was so simple there’s nothing to remember or I blocked out something dramatic.  Or option number 3….I’m old and my memory is shot.

Whichever excuse, I have nothing to share about the past few days.

With the end of October looming, I am doing some holiday prep.  I don’t like these holidays that sneak up and are over before you can think, so I like to plan out some of the tasks early and get them out of the way.  I made a few Christmas lists and Thanksgiving invites and I set the pumpkins out on the porch.  Finally.

I bought 5 pumpkins about a month ago and they have been sitting in a pile at the edge of the porch ever since.  I have so many ideas for what to do with them, but in the end I just plopped them on a bale of hay with some mums and called it a day.  One of the pumpkins had already gone rotten, so I felt like it was becoming an urgent situation.  I didn’t want the rot to cross over to the other pumpkins and ruin them all, so I spent about 10 minutes setting them around on the porch.  I don’t foresee having any spare time in the next few weeks to decorate the porch more than this so I am settling for git-er-done over Pinterest-worthy.  Story of my life.

I also got some mini pumpkins for the mantle, but it’s not looking hopeful that they will get put up there.  It will only get done if I have a burst of creative energy at the same moment I have unexpected free time.  In other words, not gonna happen.  It’s OK, I can use the mini pumpkins for the Thanksgiving table decorations if they’re still sitting on the floor by the fireplace in another month.

In case you’re also doing some holiday planning, don’t miss my Holiday Gift Guides for Men and Women.  I filled them with products that our family owns and loves!

The next few days are filled with being home and working on my next book while homeschooling the boys.  I went to Costco and picked up easy meals (in other words, expensive) and told the boys to be prepared to do their own cooking and cleaning while I am wrapping up this manuscript.  Frankly, they are thrilled since their meals consist of frozen pizza and pre-made burgers.  I recommended they add a salad to their meal at least once a day, but the chances of that are slimmer than me making a Pinterest worthy fall mantle.

At least there will plenty of lettuce and greens for me to have all the brain food I need while writing.

We have worked out a schedule for the rest of the week where I am giving them lessons while I work.  It involves them checking in with me every hour to let me know what they are doing and I can give instructions.  I am writing each boy’s check-in down on a tablet next to me so I don’t forget which boy was supposed to be doing what and when.  If I don’t write it down then 3 hours will go by and I will get up to stretch and wonder where the boys are.  I won’t remember how long it’s been since they came to talk to me or what they were supposed to be doing.  They are getting too smart to fall for that, “So…. what do YOU think you were supposed to be doing?!  I mean, I know what it is, but do you?” routine.

Motherhood ain’t for the weak.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your week with your family and get at least a few pumpkins to decorate with.  Just set it in the middle of your table and enjoy!

Be sure to follow up with the conversation on Facebook!


]]> 0