Read My Apple Tree Story here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Great Power of Words

I’m going to try to ask myself throughout each day: Did my words today build up or tear down? Did my words encourage or discourage? Would God be pleased with what came out of my mouth today? Did they heal or hurt?

We have great power in the words that we speak and the people that we impact. Whether it involves my children, husband, friend, or a complete stranger, I want to be more mindful of this as I go through each day. I pray that the words of my mouth and the thoughts on my heart are pleasing to God.

I received a nice surprise in the mail today. A hand-written note from a complete stranger. It had been mailed to my church with my name on it. It was from a nice couple who had visited our early service. This simple act of kindness – these simple words – meant the world to me and I have no doubt that God spoke through them to me. I needed to be reminded of the power of words. Words are an incredible gift God has given us. I want to try harder to honor God and use my words in a better, more pleasing way.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Children Spell "Love" ... T-I-M-E

Don't be fools; be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good.
Ephesians 5:16

A little more of my prayer I shared in church ...

No one loves us as You do. No one cares as You do. You are patient and true and wait with open arms for us to return to You in truth, prayer, and in the ways that we live. God, remind us the great power of prayer – especially when it comes to our children. One of the best gifts we can give them is to pray for them. Whether we have yet to become parents, or have grown children, please don’t let us forget to give our children’s lives to Your care and to acknowledge that You are in control. We give You every detail of our children, and we ask You, God, to be with us as parents and mentors to guide them, encourage them, pray for them, and teach them Your ways and the importance of inviting You into their lives and into each circumstance.
Ella and I enjoyed a wonderful girl's day in Charleston at Disney on Ice. We laughed, hugged, held hands, and made a memory that we both will remember forever.

"The best things you can give children,
next to good habits, are good memories."
Sydney J. Harris

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

25 Random Things About Me

I came across this facebook note I participated in almost exactly 3 years ago. I enjoyed reading it again, as some things remain constant and others I would disagree on or would change. I will one day soon go through and update this. Thought I would share, for those of you who want to know me better!

1. What I am most proud of is our daughter, Ella. She is such a tenderhearted, thoughtful, generous, loving, full-of-life, funny little child. Each day she brings more and more joy to our lives, and I am a better person because of her.

2. I have the most amazing husband. He also makes me a better person. Although we are very different in ways, our values are the same, and we work so well together as a team, which I feel is so important in a marriage. He works so hard for our family and I am proud of the life we have made together. He is just a GOOD person.

3. I want to have another baby NOW, but am realizing that that may not be in God's plan. Through our struggles, I always knew that God knew what was best for me, but I have learned an even more powerful thing -- when we wait on God's perfect timing, and when we trust God fully, He will bless us with something far better than we could ever imagine. Sometimes our disappointments are allowed by God so that He can give us something immeasureably better. Ephesians 3:20 says, "God is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine." How powerful is that?!

4. I love to decorate. Love going to fabric stores and love rearranging furniture for a new look in our home.

5. I love to be pampered. I could go for a massage every week if I could. Or a pedicure. That is pure relaxation for me.

6. I am surprisingly very athletic -- am not always as prissy as I seem!

7. I love a clean house, but I hate to clean.

8. Love my church and my church family. Have made the most amazing, true friends. I am also proud that Ella is 4th generation (living) in that same church!

9. Yes, I am a true MB native -- born and raised right here at the beach.

10. Love to travel, although since Ella came along, I have absolutely no desire to ever fly again!

11. I am very sensitive.

12. Always hated studying. The opposite of my smart, studious husband.

13. Have good intentions. Wish I could follow through with them more often.

14. Absolutely LOVED being pregnant. And didn't mind the delivery either (had an epidural!). Can't wait to do it again soon, hopefully. (see #3)

15. Also one of the very few of my friends that waited to see the sex of our baby until delivery day. Some people never understand why we made that decision, but it was right for us. It was the hardest decision NOT to break down and find out, but by far the BEST decison we ever made. It was SOOO worth it on that very special day. I will do it again next time.

16. I get distracted very easily. Sometimes I have to read something 5 times before "getting it." Again, unlike my husband!

17. I love to dream.
18. I love looking at houseplans. (again, refer to #17!)

19. Love Springtime. Pink Tulips. Photography. Being a Stay-at-home Mom. Time with friends. The beach. Shopping (big surprise there). And laughing hysterically with my husband while watching "The Office."

20. Wish I enjoyed exercising more than I do. Ella and I love strolling through the neighborhood, but other than that, it's hard to get motivated.

21. I have little self-control when it comes to food.

22. Have some college regrets. (I miss my freshmen girls.)

23. Seem to have a better day when I make my bed in the AM. If I don't get around to it, sometimes I actually make it right before getting into bed at night! It makes me feel better.

24. Never broken a bone in my body, except my toe ... does that count?

25. Have so much to be thankful for, and am extremely blessed in every aspect of my life.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Without You, God, We Are Nothing

I'm excited to announce the winner of the fabulous chalkboard GIVEAWAY is ...
(#5 was chosen using
I KNOW you will love your brand new custom magnetic chalkboard and thank you again to Vivian from Posh Pilfer for sponsoring this giveaway and to all of my wonderful readers that participated.
Here is just a little bit of the prayer I shared in church yesterday...
Heavenly Father,

We come to you today seeking Your presence and inviting You into our hearts.

We see Your good works, Lord, in all we touch and see. Without You, we are nothing. God, You are everywhere. We are surrounded by Your presence. Remind us, Oh God, that we are Yours. Remind us that we can enjoy life here on earth only because of You. We should spend time in Your word every day. Forgive us as we let life too often get in the way. Show us how to better manage our time so that we can better serve You, all to give glory, honor, and praise to You and only You.

God, help us to NOT live in fear of possible dangers, but in the joy and peace of knowing that You are in control. We seem to be surrounded by sickness, pain, fear, financial burdens, homelessness, war, sadness, loneliness, hardened hearts. Comfort us, God. Let us feel Your loving presence. Life is difficult and suffering is an inevitable part of it. But no matter what hardships we face, big or small, You are still our God and we give You the glory. Even when the outcome is not what we want, we trust in You. We resign ourselves to Your care and keeping. We turn to You, God, with all our triumphs and failures and give You all control and honor.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

3 Month Blog GIVEAWAY!

I am beyond thrilled to offer you this exquisite, vintage, practical, Magnetic Chalkboard as a GIVEAWAY for reaching the 3 month mark in the blogging world! Thanks to you, I have over 30 followers, have written almost 50 posts, and have had over 2500 visits. I have shared my life with you and am honored you have followed in my journey. You have supported me through extremely kind emails and comments, have passed my link onto friends, and have made this venture so much more rewarding for me. If I can brighten someone’s day, bring encouragement to a friend, and hopefully bring just one person a little closer to our amazing God, then it will all be worth it and I will be happy.

And this is my THANK YOU to YOU …

Vivian from PoshPilfer has offered ONE LUCKY READER this absolutely incredible Magnetic Chalkboard!!! It is made from a recycled, ridged, frame which has been painted a Brushed Nickel to go perfectly in ANY room!

This frame measures 10 ½ x 16 ½ and hangs vertically with a sawtooth photo hanger. It has a paper finished back.

I have seen these in designer magazines hanging in kitchens and I love that look! Perfect for leaving notes & reminders to family members, writing recipes on, or for sharing inspirational words to be reminded of every day. How awesome would it be to write a different Bible verse on each day for you and your family members to learn? It could be a great family conversation for dinner time and a perfect way to spend time in God’s word TOGETHER as a family each and every day. Life seems to always “get in the way” but this could be the perfect way to remind yourself and to teach your family the REAL reason we are here and can enjoy this life here on earth. It certainly puts life back into perspective.

The only work Vivian does is quality and I have no doubt how proud you will be to show off your beautiful, vintage-framed Magnetic Chalkboard. (And how cool is it that it is also MAGNETIC!) She also does custom orders, and at incredible prices. So … get your Christmas list out, check out her shop and get her busy making yours before the mad Christmas rush starts!

TO ENTER this incredible giveaway, all you have to do is:

Leave me a comment saying what room you would put your chalkboard in = 1 entry.

(Make sure to leave separate comments for each entry)

Mention & link my giveaway on your blog = 5 entries
(For example, leave 5 separate comments under this post stating you mentioned it)

 Mention my giveaway on your Facebook Wall = 5 entries

Include my blog link under your Blog List = 5 entries

Become a Follower = 2 entries
(If you already are a Follower, you may still enter. I am loyal to my readers!!!)

Add my blog to your Computer Favorites = 2 entries

"Favorite" Vivian's etsy shop here = 2 entries

Make a purchase with Vivian from Posh Pilfer = 5 entries

This giveaway will end Sunday night, October 17 at 11:59pm and I will announce the winner Monday. Winner will be chosen by random selection at

As always, thank you for your faithfulness and continued support. And a BIG thank you to Vivian from Posh Pilfer on etsy for sponsoring this great giveaway!!! Support her by checking out her incredible shop!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Birthday Family Fun & MOPS Pumpkins

We had a wonderful celebration at our home for Wilson’s first birthday. We kept it simple by only having our family over Sunday for lunch, cake, and family time. We were very blessed to have 4 generations in our home for such a special, memorable day.

Ella and Wilson were so happy spending time playing with their cousins. Poor Wilson is completely outnumbered with a sister and 4 other girl cousins, but he will excitedly have a best buddy to play rough with come early March!

I made these pumpkins and gave them to Wilson’s cousins as party favors. The idea originated from a friend Chris, who has recently opened an incredible baby store called The Kangaroo Pouch. She is unbelievably talented and has made some incredible pumpkins. You should see these things! She was kind enough to teach me how to make them and I loved how they turned out! Thank you Chris! (Her store is AMAZING … stop by for a visit.)

We have started a MOPS group locally and I am the Creative Director – funny because I am so NOT creative! We meet for fun meetings every 2 weeks while our younger children play together in the nursery. So far it has been a huge success, as we have had to already place people on a waiting list! So, these pumpkins were also our “craft” for this week’s MOPS meeting. We decided to keep things simple by using the smaller pumpkins and just do initials, since we were limited on time. I think (and hope) they were a big hit today. I tied a cute ribbon around the stem and popped a light in the bottom.

I got everything from Michael’s … I think I cleaned them out of their small pumpkins! Think they also have everything at AC Moore. They are kind of expensive ($8) but you can find them on sale occasionally for 50% off. And the lights are $3 each. And then you actually use a regular pumpkin carving kit – mostly the puncher/poker to trace/”dot” your pattern and then the saw to finish.

I want to touch more on our amazing and inspirational speakers we had today. More in a later post – too much to say about it! Also, keep checking back as I have an exciting giveaway planned very soon! I am SO excited about this. I wish I could enter myself, however I don’t think that would be too fair! I am, though, going to order one for myself. You won’t want to miss this one!!

Her children stand and bless her ...
Proverbs 31:28

Friday, October 8, 2010

Birthday Boy (My Friday Favorite!)

I can hardly believe that today I am wishing my sweet little boy a Happy 1st Birthday.

Wilson, you have brought so much joy to us and all our family.

You are a happy, loving, little boy, full of energy, with a funny sense of humor and full-of-life attitude.

You absolutely adore Ella and have begun calling her name.

You follow her around wherever she goes.

Your eyes twinkle when you see her and you tremble with excitement.

As parents, it brings us so much pride and happiness to see the love and friendship you and Ella share.

For this child, I have prayed.
1 Samuel 1:27

You have your daddy's determination and drive, which I love.

You light up my life each and every day.

You, Wilson, are the absolute perfect addition to our family.

I pray each day that you will allow God in your heart, serve Him, be a witness for Him, let Him guide your every footstep and lead you down His path, and bring all honor and glory to Him in all that you are and do.

My son, attend to my words, incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and healthy to all their flesh.
Proverbs 4:20-22

I pray for your wife, and that God leads you to a kind, genuine soul who also loves and serves our Lord.

And I pray that God shows us, your parents, how to teach you His ways.

We already see so many incredible qualities in you and we are so very proud of you.

Each and every day with you is so special and we look forward to all the fun times ahead.

(By the way, today you climbed out of your highchair and onto the kitchen table. You like to give me a nice scare ... several times a day! Can't wait to see what this next year holds - some excitement I'm sure! But that's just one more thing I love about you!)

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord.
Psalm 127:3a


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