Cricut Gifts

Cricut Gifts

On the last night of my Blissdom trip I was supposed to stay with my sweet friend Shaunna.  But her dad had a medical emergency so I thought it best to just stay in a hotel.  I’m happy to say that her dad is doing a bit better, but he still needs our prayers.

I had a darling little basket of goodies to leave for Shaunna, which I didn’t get to give to her.  But I still have to show you because I used my true love, the Cricut for a couple of the gifts.

Since Shaunna uses paint in her furniture restoration business, I got the idea to use paint cards as a thank you note.  I just picked two that blended well together and used my Cricut to add the note, “Thank You” to the top card.  Punch a hole, run some twine through it and you have a fun card that was free.

Her two kids are so adorable so I wanted to give them a little something.  Shaunna and I have had several talks about homeschooling which meant I had to bring them a jar of fun, educational toys.

I’m sorry I didn’t get to give her my Cricut gifts.  I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet her sweet family.  I’m mostly sorry I didn’t get to sit up all night talking with her, laughing, crying and doing what girls do.

Remember to pray for Shaunna’s dad.  Maybe I should get a few more paint cards and send him a “Get Well Soon” note.  :)

UndertheTableandDreaming

My Blissdom Experience

My Blissdom Experience

I’ve been mulling over what I wanted to say about Blissdom.  The main thing I want to express is how impressed I was with the team that put the conference together.  Seriously amazing.  They did an incredible job and I can’t even begin to imagine how much sleep they lost while working on it.  It was beautifully done.

I met amazing people, I learned so much that I will never remember it all, it was everything I expected and more.

But it wasn’t for me.  Like going to the mall.  I don’t go to the mall.  I don’t fit there.  I felt the same way at Blissdom.  There wasn’t a thing wrong with it, it was me.  It was a square peg, round hole kind of thing.

On the first day I realized that my goals are different.  I don’t think I really care about growing The Pennington Point into something huge.  I just want to bless others and connect with them.  I just want to share what the Lord has done for us.  So I guess looking back, I found my own way by going to Blissdom and seeing that I don’t actually want that.  The pressure is lifted to try to grow and I feel released from it.

The best part was meeting so many gorgeous, talented, loving and generous women.  My favorites were those that would sit and talk with me about themselves, not just their blogs.  They blessed me with their thoughts on everything from God to family to business.

Cha Cha and Kellie.  I couldn’t have asked for better roommates.  We gave each other room to breathe.  We left each other alone when we needed it and hung together when we needed it.  It couldn’t have been better.

Cha Cha, me and Kellie

Cyndi, from Walking in His Grace, would have to be my number one favorite person that I met there.  She was the opposite of me….bubbly and energetic, adorable and a little feisty.  I hope you’ll check out her bog, it is uplifting and joyful.

Me, Cyndi and Cha Cha

I fell crazy in love with Gina, from The Shabby Chic Cottage.  Besides being talented and beautiful, she didn’t come across like she had anything to prove.  She was by far my favorite speaker.  She gave me extra time and helped me with my etsy questions.  I’m so glad to be her new friend!  I am inspired by her.

Laryssa, at Heaven in the Home, and I had a wonderful conversation over lunch.  She blessed me with her honesty and love of the Lord.

Kristi at Pink and Polka Dot was really fun to meet.  She made me feel right at home, like it was the two of us.  I really liked her and can’t wait to read more of her blog and learn from her many slip cover ideas.

I met so, so many other bloggers.  I have a stack of business cards to sort through.  I was in the home blogger tribe and they were a great group, very supportive.  I’ll be sharing their blogs with you as I go through them.

I’m glad I went.  It was worth the time and effort.  I won’t wonder what it’s like any more.  I can check it off of my list of things I want to do in my life.

It seems odd that going and discovering that it isn’t my cup of tea has helped me understand myself better.  I know what it is that I really want and what I don’t.

Blissdom has given me the confidence to know who I want to be in my blog and in my life.  It helped me meet new friends that I would never have known otherwise.  It showed me that no matter what, I should be myself and not worry about what others think.


That may not be what the other bloggers took away from it, but for me…..it was just perfect.

Coming Home Again

My drive home from Blissdom was difficult.

On Sunday morning I started feeling sick.  I had a little cough and was feeling a bit achy.  But I took some Tylenol and it held it back.  Late that night, after church and meeting with friends and driving for hours I knew I was getting sicker.  The chills, the aches and cough were worse.

By Monday morning I was full out sick with a capital ICK.  The original plan was to drive 8 hours to my parent’s house, spend the night and then Tuesday finish the last four and a half hours home.  By Monday at noon I knew I was not going to be able to drive on Tuesday.  I was really sick and I just wanted to go home to my husband, my babies and my bed.

I changed the destination in the GPS, adding several hours to my drive and headed for home.  I called James and asked him to tell the kids I’d be home around 8:30, but that I was sick and wouldn’t be very chatty.  With each hour I was getting sicker and sicker.  I was miserable with chills and fever that the Tylenol wasn’t helping.  All I wanted was to make it home and crawl into my own bed.

As I pulled up to my house, I could see the kids watching for me out the living room window.  James came running out of his office first and gave me a big hug (no kisses, he didn’t want to get sick).  The kids came dashing out the front door calling, “Mommy, Mommy, we’re so glad you’re home!”  Then Levi saw me.  I wish I had a video, but the image is forever burned into my memory.

He got a look on his face of pure joy, he spread his arms wide and took off running toward me as fast as his three year old legs would carry him.  I called out, “Levi!” as he threw himself into my arms.  I scooped him up and he gripped my neck as tight as he could.  James backed away and the other 8 kids waited a few feet away.  They all knew that this was Levi’s moment.  After a minute or two (time stood still to me) he looked at me and said, “Mommy, you were gone,” and then he started to cry.  He buried his little head into me and hugged me some more.

I whispered to him, “I’m sorry Buddy.  I’m back now and I won’t be gone any more.”  He mumbled back, “OK,” forgiving me.

I wanted to hold him forever, but my sickness came flooding over me and I couldn’t stand there holding his 35 pounds any longer.  I felt like I would faint so I turned to James who helped me set Levi down.  He still clung to my hand as I hugged the rest of the kids.

I fell right into bed as my wonderful children unloaded my things from the van.  Levi climbed up next to me and snuggled up close, chattering all about the fun he had while I was gone, showing me all of the artwork he made.  The rest of the kids hung around in my bedroom chatting for half an hour until I painfully said, “Guys, I really need to sleep.  Can we talk more tomorrow?”

They all drifted away, but Levi started to cry again so I told him he could stay a little while longer.  I flipped on the TV and we laid on the bed together, watching American Idol and enjoying just being together.  He’d tell me what he thought of each audition.  “She sings bad, Mommy,” or, “He did a good job.”

My cough kept me from talking, so I’d smile and stroke his little back, soaking him in.

I’m so glad to be home to my little family.  I’m trying, between coughing fits, to spend time with each of the kids today.

Blissdom was good, but this is the real bliss.

Cricut Happiness

Cricut Happiness

I’ve been busy with my love, the Cricut again.  That little machine makes me happy.

I got a blank metal sign at Hobby Lobby and used my Cricut to add a Valentine’s Day message.

In getting ready for Bissdom, I used the Cricut to decorate my computer.

Cutting strips from old book pages adds just the right touch.

The Cricut will cut the letters you need and then with the touch of a button it will also cut the shadows for a double layered effect.

For my two roomies I wanted to make a Blissdom survival package.  So I filled these little buckets with goodies and used my Cricut to put their names on.

Every girls needs a bucket of love.

Oh my Cricut, how do I love thee….let me count the ways….

UndertheTableandDreaming

Piles, Kids and Friends

Piles, Kids and Friends

I’ve spent the last two days surrounded by piles.  Piles of things I need to take with me to Nashville, piles of to-do lists, piles of school work that I need to leave behind for the kids.

It has been harder to prepare to leave them than if I were taking them with me.  One would think the lack of a crib, diapers and 24 hours worth of kid friendly DVDs would lighten my load.  But it’s really the same because I have to be sure there are enough diapers, meals, toilet paper and schoolwork at home while I am off traveling the world.  Because let’s face it….James is not going to the grocery store.  That’s not his area of expertise.

I wanted to leave something special, something little, for each of the kids so they know how much I will miss them.  I carefully chose some books off of my shelf to loan each of the girls.  For Patience, “Little Women.”  Faith gets “Beautiful Girlhood” and Hope will be getting one of my all time favorites, “The Mitford Series.”  I got candy for Noah, Adam and ‘Lijah.  I’m leaving a textbook that my friend gave us for Grace and Jacob to read, “Systematic Theology.”  (thanks Autumn!)

I wrote them each a simple note to go with their book/candy.

I hope you don’t mind my saying….my kids are so great!  No whining, no arguing, they are respectful and loving.  It’s a joy to be their mother and I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving for 9 days without telling them so.

Little Levi gets something wonderful.  Blissdom sent us a package and in it was a recordable storybook book from Hallmark.  There was a note that said that they knew we might be leaving our children and this book would be a way they could hear our voice while we are gone.  Waaahhhh!  Sniff, snort, HONK!

I can picture him carrying it around under his arm and saying, “This is my Mommy book.”   He can open it up and hear, “I love you Levi,” in my voice.

As I load up my van the piles are dwindling.  My to-do lists are getting shorter.  My etsy orders are finished and ready to ship.

I am really excited that I get to meet so many of YOU!  Some of you will be at the conference, two of you I get to share a room with (can’t wait to see you Cha Cha and Kellie!) and some of you are meeting me along the way to and from home.  That’s the best part, meeting new friends.

Now I just need to figure out how to get these piles from my van into the hotel room without a fork lift.

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Confessions of an Under-Sleeper

I often wish for more hours in the day.

I know God has infinite wisdom and my thinking is the equivalent of a pea, but really….I need more time.

Hi.  My Name is Lisa and I am a chronic under-sleeper (HI LISA!).  I stay up too late.  Being awake at 11:00 PM allows me to do the things I can’t do when noses are running and dinner is boiling over and the boys can’t find any clean underwear even though I bought them each 10 new pair last week.  I really don’t understand boys.

Anyway,  I stay up too late and then I have trouble waking up in the morning and then I stay up late again….round and round I go.

Would more time really help?  Or would I just fill it up with more of the same?  I start my night doing things like grading school papers and mending hems and end up looking up movie stars on Wikipedia because I am curious about how many times they have been married.  Or shopping for rugs I won’t ever buy.  I think I need therapy.

At our homeschool Mom’s Meeting last week a bunch of the moms confessed to doing this.  Sweet relief!  I am not the only pathetic one.  My friends are pathetic too, which, sadly, makes me feel better.

As I leave for my trip on Monday, I am really looking forward to the two days of driving all by myself.  Me and God are gonna have a long talk.  It’s been too long since I’ve been still and quiet enough to listen to what He has to say.  I suspect we’ll start with my staying up too late problem.  I’ll do some whining and complaining and then He’ll remind me that He made the sun, moon and the stars and I should trust His wisdom.

Deuteronomy 4:29 “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

I need to stop asking for more time and start using the time I have in a better way.  Maybe I don’t need to know how many kids Brad and Angelina have adopted.  Could it be possible that this doesn’t affect my life at all?  Wow.  I am having an ah-ha moment here.

Here’s to time with God.  Here’s to sleep.  Here’s to finding those packages of clean underwear.


Getting Ready for Blissdom

I’ve been like a busy little bee around here.  I got the Valentine decorations up and school finished for the week and am now working on my big trip.

Yes, I am leaving.  By myself.  With no children to ask me a million questions and a have desperate need for a Sprite.  No husband to say things like, “No, we are not stopping at that yard sale.”  I can stop for a potty break whenever my own bladder needs it and not one second before.  Motherhood has seriously lowered my standards of what constitutes a good time.

In just over a week I will drive myself to Nashville, Tennessee.  Home of the Grand Ole’ Opry.  I’m going to the Blissdom 2011 conference.

I was planning to spend this Saturday figuring out what to wear so I look my absolute cutest for the 499 bloggers that I’ve never met and will probably never see again.  But I just noticed that “Three Men and a Baby” is on TV tomorrow, which means I will be glued to that for at least a couple of hours.  I think we can all agree that it is one of the greatest movies of all time.  I can’t resist three womanizing bachelors trying to figure out how to change a diaper.  It makes me happy.

I am beginning to get a bit nervous about this conference.  I don’t do well with large groups.  I max out at about 4….after that I shut down and don’t know what to say.  This is going to take me waaayyy out of my comfort zone.  I don’t know what they will think of me.  I am kind of an acquired taste.

The reality is they probably won’t even notice me at all.  There will be a lot going on and plus it’s Nashville.  When I think of the Grand Ole’ Opry I think of Minnie Pearl, which I might not want to mention to my 499 new friends.  I don’t think Minnie Pearl is the hip thing these days.  I got the new Rascall Flatts album to listen to on the road.  I need to be up on the latest tunes if I’m going to the home of country music.

So tomorrow, after watching Tom Selleck carry a baby around for a while, I start laying out clothes and deciding if I need any new shoes.  In my opinion, a girl always needs new shoes, but James doesn’t agree.  He thinks I should be able to make do with what I have.  Men just don’t get it.  Really, make do?  How is that supposed to work?  Am I to wear my brown boots with my black skirt?  I.don’t.think.so.

This cold, drizzly weather makes us all want to bundle up on the couch and do nothing.  Which for my family this weekend means they get to watch me parade in and out of the living room in different outfits and have this conversation….

Me: How does this look?

James: Looks great Hon!

Me: No it doesn’t.  You don’t know anything.

Then I go back into my closet and come out again and again until I feel satisfied that I have made the perfect selections and James is convinced that I need new black shoes. See?  Good times.