Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Match Made in Heaven: Pairing the Rustic with the Romantic

Y'all. Seriously. Y'all.

I am a flurry of contradicting hobbies, interests and -- evidently -- dialects.

 It seems my writing has gone "south" because it was perfectly natural for me to write "y'all" -- twice even. I'd say blame it on my roots, but I am from up north. Can a measly nine months in Texas three and a half years ago have something to do with that?  I have tried to say "y'all" out loud, in gen-u-ine conversation, but it comes across so, so aWkwArd-liKe.  I occasionally can get away with it when I am trying to get my kids' attention, but other than that, goodness, it just feels weird.  

Another contradiction is my love for formal style home furnishings and rustic style (not to be confused with lodge style or cutesy-woodsy -- I think I just made that last one up).  The marrying of formal and not-so-much makes me giddy with excitement.

via country girl home

Please notice the formal lines of the wall, frames and entry table.  Yet it's all toned down with rustic touches:  the informal glassware, scuffed paint, suitcases and chicken wire in the frame.  I suppose most would call this style shabby chic.  However, since I was once unceremoniously informed that shabby chic is so "last decade,"  I prefer to call it Rustic Romance.  Uh, huh.  Rustic Romance is the new shabby chic.  And you can quote me on that . . . 

 So in light of my love for all things rustic and romantic (and due to the practicality of my nature), I have put in a special request with God to have the following installed in my mansion in Glory.  Because we all know it ain't happenin' in this lifetime.  Of course, it may be easier to link you to my Pinterest board

Ah well, let's just dive in, shall we?

What is more romantic than a gigantic puddle of perfectly pink sheers gracing a lovely window?  Answer: nothing. Absolutely nothing, my friend.

The thought of all this artistry waiting to be discovered above the heads of the room's occupants makes my heart sing uncontrollably. 

I am usually a silver frame kind of gal, but this would be in my cart in a second if I could manage it.  It's not so much the mirror itself, but the mirror paired with the lights that does it for me.  I am a sucker for twinkle lights.  Twinkle lights make everything seem magical.

I'd have some of these in a box like this in every room of the house, make no mistake!  ::sigh::

 One can never go wrong with sturdy, beautifully carved wooden french doors.  And the topiary plants are the icing on the cake.  Fits my love of all things rustic and all things formal nicely.  Tie it up in a big red ribbon and put it under my pillow, please.  Or outside on the east facing wall, because you know, nature likes to be . . . well, outside.

These are just a few of my favorite rustic romance ideas.  You can check out my Pinterest board for more ideas if this style appeals to you as well. 

And while we're at it:  I'd like to order me up one of these for THIS lifetime because A) it's red and
2) it's "Y'all" with cowboy boots. 'Nuff said, right?

What are your decorating preferences?  Traditional?  Contemporary? Eclectic?  GoodWill Boutique?  Share them in the comments so we can all enjoy!  Have a Pinterest board devoted to your style?  Link up in the comments! 

Counting it all joy,

Monday, March 2, 2015

Veggie Tales' Noah's Ark -- Review and Giveaway!

(Thank you to Gary Schneeberger at Grace Hill Media for sending me a review copy and a copy to share with a lucky reader!  All opinions are my own and have not in any way been influenced by receiving a copy for review.  Read on to see how you can win your very own copy of NOAH’S ARK!)

I'm a bit of a Veggie Tales Geek.  As in, I haven't met a Veggie Tales Video I didn't like.

When I was a newlywed, I couldn't wait to have kids and show them Veggie Tales. The first time I watched a Veggie Tales video, I was with my nephew. I'm not sure who had a better time, him or me. What fun it was to sing along with the bouncy, clever songs and catch the humor that was meant to entertain the adults while he was enthralled by everything about the movie.

About four years later, I had a chance to show my own kids.  Boy, we had some catching up to do because by then several movies were made.  My favorite to this day is "King George and the Ducky."

Big Idea Entertainment LLC has released their latest video, NOAH’S ARK and it's pretty darn cute.  It certainly lives up to the videos we have seen in the past.  Now, I haven't shown my children this particular video quite yet.  I have it on standby for family movie night and I want it to be a surprise.  I am confident they will love it as we recently watched CELERY NIGHT FEVER on Netflix and we all cracked up repeatedly watching it.

Here's the scoop from Grace Hill Media:
"Carrots meet cubits as VeggieTales builds an ark filled with fun, adventure and important lessons about trusting God in NOAH’S ARK, its first Bible-themed production in more than four years." NOAH'S ARK stars Wayne Brady and Jaci Velasquez, along with Larry the Cucumber, Bob the Tomato and a whole crew of Veggies.
"In NOAH’S ARK, Shem and Sadie return home from their honeymoon to find that Noah (played by Pa Grape) has begun, at God’s direction, to work on a massive ark, which his wife Naamah (played by Madame Blueberry) and sons Ham (played by Larry) and Japheth (played by Bob) are helping construct before the start of 40 days and 40 nights of rain.

But Shem doesn’t understand Noah’s unshakable faith in God, particularly when animals start arriving two-by-two – while the rain is nowhere to be seen. When the deluge does come, Shem begins to understand Noah’s determination to preserve humanity’s future … and the importance of trusting in God."
 There are several memorable moments in this video.  My favorite lines from the film is when Shem is encouraged by his brother to help them finish building the ark. "Grab a tool.  It's 'hammer-time.'  And when Larry whistles to the two piglets ("Bacon" and "Pork Chop") and then says, "Everything is better with Bacon."  I can't forget to mention the funny homage to Terminator 2 where the wives of Noah's sons all wield caulking guns filled with tar to repair a few holes in the ark: "Hasta la vista, baby."


So, I bet you are wondering how you can get your own copy -- for FREE.  All you have to do is leave a comment below on your favorite Veggie Tales movie or funny line from one of the movies.  Easy-peasy.  I will have one of my kids draw a name out of a hat and announce the winner on Monday March 9th.  Don't forget to check back to see who's won.

To learn more about NOAH’S ARK, and to order the DVD, visit the official VeggieTales website at, or call the toll-free VeggieTales Hotline at (844) 2-VEGGIE (U.S. callers only).

Counting it all Veggie joy,

Monday, February 23, 2015

Your Spouse Wasn't Meant to Complete You

Divorce makes you look at marriage a little differently.  What an understatement.  I suppose that statement could be taken many different different ways.  Let me qualify it.

I am trying to be careful to not let my divorce define me. There is so much more to me than the fact that someone chose to walk away from me and our children.

Just like walking away, love is a choice.

A choice you make everyday in spite of how you feel. In spite of the weather.  In spite of morning breath, dirty diapers and college tuition.  In spite of renewed acquaintances from long past.  In spite of your financial bondage or freedom. In spite of the attractive cashier who compliments you. In spite of the fact that your spouse has gained 30 or 60 or 120lbs. In spite of the fact that when you vowed "in sickness and in health," you never dreamed that "in sickness" meant caring for them in every aspect of daily living.  In spite of the fact that you have drifted away from your spouse and you are no longer working toward the same goals or dreams.  In spite of the fact that she has changed from the girl you married or he hasn't changed nor developed his potential as you hoped.

Love is a choice.  And you make that choice day after day.

At any rate, I was so eager to be married because I thought once you fell in love, life became all about, well, love.  Babies and a quiet little ministry also, but mostly love.  Most of what I dreamed about was what I could get out of marriage.  What marriage could do for me and how it would make me feel.  I intended to love, honor and obey, for sure.  Throw God into the mix of course.  I wanted to do things for my husband and be submissive.  But mostly I dreamed about:

Yep, that kind of love.

I knew in my head that there would be hard times.  I couldn't imagine what that would be, but I knew it would happen.  Turns out, the hard times came in the form of losing loved ones, financial distress, miscarriages, illnesses, frequent job changes, moving an incredible number of times, deployments and major surgeries.

But those hardships were met with determination, strength, unity and overcome by

Yep, that kind of love.

Until they weren't.

Look, I'm not saying that I think my marriage would have survived or even ended differently had I more fully lived out the following truth (It would have taken both of us living it out this way to survive successfully).  But I am saying that I would have had a more fulfilling marriage -- perhaps a more Christ-like marriage if I had only realized:

My spouse was not meant to complete me. Only God can do that. God gave spouses to each other, in part, to spur each other on to a better relationship with Him. Marriage is not a matter of "what can I get out of this." It's a matter of "how can I serve, love and encourage you to a deeper love for the Lord."  It's give it all you got regardless of how much your spouse gives or doesn't give.  Whether we acknowledge it or not, there are three people in every successful marriage : You, your spouse and God. It's living out the "threefold cord is not quickly broken" analogy from Ecclesiastes 4:12.

I believe if marriages are lived out this way, then fewer marriages would end.  More marriages would be fulfilling.  And more marriages would be Christ centered. And that is a very joyful thought.

So, when I say I am not going to let my divorce define me, rest assured, I am going to let this new perspective define any future relationship.

And that prospect is a very joyful thing.

Counting it all joy,

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Recent Card Making Frenzy

One of my favorite past times is making cards. I love pouring over Pinterest and scrapbooking magazines to find ideas so that I can duplicate them. Many times, I am looking to use certain colors or a theme and use the ideas I find as a springboard. Sometimes, I have enough of the materials that I can duplicate the card almost exactly, but most of the time, not so much.

Did I just admit to not really having much creativity in my own  card making?

Hmm . . .

At any rate, I thought I would share a few of those cards with you.  Please don't hesitate to ask questions.  Although, I can let you know up front that I do not keep notes on materials I use.  If you are interested in a particular stamp or die cut, I can probably dig up mine to give you a manufacturer/company name.  Most of the paper I use is plain cardstock, but I do love My Mind's Eye brand of papers.  I buy them in packs usually 6X6.  But I have been known to buy a 12X12 paper pack from time to time.  I almost always purchase paper, ribbon and embellishments from Hobby Lobby.  Also, I find most everything either on sale or in the clearance section of their craft and card making dept. 


The first few cards are birthday cards from what I call The Yellow Collection.  On account of literally.

The next few are cards given to the masculine members of my family.

I believe these were all thank you cards.  As you can see, they are more feminine in design.

These next three were cards are ones that I made for my children this past Valentine's Day.  It is so funny to see their faces when they get cards from me for Valentine's Day.  We had an entire discussion about the various kinds of love and how WE are choosing to celebrate, not just romantic love, but the love for family members and friends.  We even gave goody bags to those we especially wanted to remind that they are thought of fondly. 

These last couple of cards are my favorite.  Classic in look, design and color. ::sigh:: Makes me happy, happy, happy!

The card above is my homage to Audrey Hepburn.  She pulled off the little black dress look so well.  This was a card I gave my niece because she was Audrey Hepburn for Halloween.  Love, love, love it!

Well, that's what I've been up to lately.  Please feel free to share cards that you have made or even random things that you have been doing to keep busy these cold, cold days of winter.

Counting it all joy,

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My (current) Top Ten Favorite Things

Saw a fun post by Courtney over at Women Living Well and it inspired me to write something similar.  Thanks Courtney!

So, here goes dear reader.

10.  I am starting the list off with something I am not fond of, so bear with me -  ha!  I am not a tv football fan.  After nearly 15 years of constant football Thursday through Monday during the months of Aug through January, I can barely stomach tv football.  I would MUCH rather see a football game live.  I did sit in the room with my children (who were interested in the game) and watch the commercials.  That is, when I could be bothered to look up from my crocheting.  The commercials were largely disappointing -- some, inappropriate.  But then, what can be expected when you have the Super Bowl on, right? 

Why this pic on my list?  Regardless of your stance on the deflation controversy, the good call/bad call argument or football in general:  this is a great photo.  Maybe this is a great photo because of all those things.

9.  If you know me IRL, the fact that peppermint coffee creamer made the list, comes as no surprise.  I don't usually do store-bought coffee creamer, but I occasionally make an exception for this yummy concoction.

8. My wooden handled crochet needles.  I promise, I am not an 80 year old woman.  But I truly enjoy crocheting.  Last night, The Affectionate One and I watched YouTube videos on how to crochet a slouchy hat, boot cuffs and a cute shrug for her.  Good times.

7. My slippers.  I love slippers in the winter. These have got to be my most favorite of all time.  Even if they are upside down at the moment.

6.  This Bible cover was a birthday gift.  I've often looked at them and either decided that either they looked cheap or they cost too much.  Seriously, I am offended every time I see a decent Bible or Bible cover and it costs $49.99 + if ya want a really nice one.  It's like price gouging at the Christian bookstore.  "OOOO!  Here comes a Christian!  Let's charge an arm and a leg for everything that pertains to only them!"  So, I never purchased one on my own.  So glad that someone was kind enough to gift me with one.  And, dang, it's cute!

5.  Another sweet soul sent me a Bible study recently.  It's on adorable paper and in a format she designed herself.  It follows the Swedish Bible study method.  You can watch a YouTube video explaining the Swedish Bible study method by clicking here.

4.  I made this card for my niece's birthday.  She was Audrey Hepburn last Halloween and she rocked it.  This card screamed Audrey Hepburn to me.  Maybe it's the black outfit and pearls combo.  What ever it is, I love it enough to have taken a picture of it before I gave it to her.  LOL

3.  These are the Essential Oils I use most often.  Peppermint is great for rubbing onto your temples when you have a headache.  I have yet to use any over the counter meds for headaches since getting involved with Young Living Essential Oils. The other three oils shown are what I put into a tall glass of ice water -- hello metabolism boost!  It helps keep my blood sugar level too.  Seriously: the combination is a miracle in a glass of water.  I also like to diffuse Theives essential oil to ward off sickness and to make the house smell yummy.  I don't have a picture bc I tossed the bottle when I ran out of it a couple of weeks ago.  I will be purchasing another bottle soon.  I hope.  Fingers crossed.

2.  I have been learning a lot about forgiveness over the past two years.  Just when I think I have a good handle on forgiving, something crops up and I am reminded that forgiveness is indeed a process.  It certainly does not come naturally to me.  I tend to hold onto things when someone hurts me -- just keepin' it real, dear reader.  I am thankful for the forgiveness that Christ has shown me.  How can I not extend that same forgiveness to someone else?

1.  This is my girl, The Affectionate One  (and the blogosphere says a collective, "Aw.").  She is currently learning to play the ukelele.  She and her "yuke" top my favorite things list.  Love her.  Love her yuke.  Love that she is learning such a fun instrument.  I hope that one day she will be confident enough to play for the Lord.

That's it!  Please leave one or two (or ten) of your favorite things in the comments.  Share the love!

Counting it all joy,

Verse of the Day