Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Free-For-All : links to click on and devotions to begin

I CANNOT believe believe we have begun February.  In fact I just realized that Ash Wednesday is NEXT WEEK, which means its Bigger Than The Bunny Time!  If you don't have a hard copy make sure you head over and download the ebook version and then go over and get the songs (one day we'll finish the last 2.  Life kind of happened rapidly around this point as we worked on adding two more littles to the Colony.)

I had the privilege of leading worship with my hubby at the SEBTS GO conference last weekend.  The spirit was thick and moving and it was an honor to be a part of it!  Here is one of the songs we did:
GO Conference Worship: O Praise the Name - Lead by Josh Via from Southeastern Seminary on Vimeo.

This month is a HUGE month for a couple of products that I am pretty passionate about.

Young Living's starter kit is 10% off this month.  Make sure you head over to my YL site and put your order in before this deal runs out.  (PS- you only have a few more hours to add onto my monthly order so if you are wanting the wholesale price without signing up let me know so I can add your oils onto my order!)

Next up is Norwex.  I actually just took advantage of their February sign-up for FREE incentive.  I was asking my sister-in-law (who sells this stuff like its going out of business!) if she could tell me how to get the dusting mitt.  (the dust in the Colony casa is OUT OF CONTROL!).  She told me that it actually came in the jump starter kit, along with a handful of other amazing products.  All you have to do is pay the $10 shipping fee, no strings attached, no sales required!  And I said, I'm in!  So if you love the products and want to be able to buy yours at a discounted price head on over here and sign up, or just look around and order some of your own products to see for yourself how amazing they are!

I know, short and sweet blog post today but I just finished  putting on a pot of chicken bone broth, eating up a couple of eggs my chickens just laid this morning, and am heading outside to begin my pallet fence around my soon-to-be-garden.

What have I become?!

Happy Friday friends!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Good Gifts From My Father

I like lists so much that I even have lists that aren't written down anywhere, they simply are written and stored away in my mind.

(Yes, I am aware of how weird that sounds.)

This list even has a title, because all good lists must have a purpose and title.

I call it the "Want and Wait" list.

It is a list of things that I would love to purchase one day.
But because they aren't necessarily needs, I can't justify their purchase at the particular time.

The things on my list lay more in the gray know, things like an extra set of sheets, a nail gun (Don't judge. I like power tools.  So much so that I received a sander for Christmas!  Yup. Amazing. I actually prefer power tools over kitchen gadgets if that gives you any idea of my passions.), even some accessories and clothing items.

Anyway, my list has been known to be pretty lengthy at times.

About a year ago I added some rain/garden boots to my mental "want and wait" list.  I had shoes that worked just fine while keeping up with the chickens and doing yard and garden work.  But it sure would be nice to have some outside working boots so I didn't get my jogging shoes all muddy.

So on the list they went.  They sat there for a while.  I'd look at the boots in stores when I'd be perusing around.  I even looked online to price them and find a deal, but never felt the freedom to actually buy them.

A couple of weeks ago I was over at a friend's home helping her organize her storage area/garage.  I love to help women feel content and at peace in their home.  Plus, throwing junk away and making piles of unused items to get rid of makes me all giddy inside.  Bring those two things together and you have the makings of a very beautiful thing!  Anyway, I was sifting through bins of fertilizer, paint and camping gear when my friend came up to me with a pair of rain boots and nonchalantly asked if I wanted them.  (There also happened to be a couple other items on my list that she was getting rid of.)

Man what an awesome gift.  My Heavenly Father knew my heart, softened the heart of my friend to be used by Him, and gifted me this pair of boots through her.

He used her generous heart.
Blessed me with a good gift.
And in this gift I have been reminded, every time I put those boots on, that God does love me.  He provides for me.  And he cares about even the littlest of details.

I'm not saying that God will always give you whatever you want.  Oh no.  But sometimes he wants to shout his love through a gift that will bring Him greater glory!

I am so thankful for a God who hears me, sees me, and loves me, a sinner saved by His grace!

"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"
Matthew 7:11

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

String Party 2015

If you have followed our family for a while you know what I'm talking about when I say "String Party".  If not, let me explain...

...when I was a child my mom and her sisters concocted a brilliant idea called a string party.  Instead of drawing names or getting standard Christmas presents, the three moms would spend the year collecting small (but AWESOME) gifts from dollar stores and other such places for each of the nieces and nephews.  Then, one night, when we were all together for the holidays, they would stay up (way past their bedtime) and decorate a designated room (usually a living room that would be covered with a sheet until the big reveal the next morning) while having way too much fun (moms and dads aren't EVER supposed to have fun).

Then, after breakfast, us kids would anxiously wait by the sheet to be given our designated yarn color, the sheet would be dropped, and we would excitedly follow our yarn string around the living room to retrieve our clothes pinned toys and gifts.

Now, years later, we have continued this tradition with my family.

Each family is in charge of 3 gifts for each child (but sometimes we get a little out of control;).

We come together (the current string party gathering place is my parent's barn) and us adults are able to use our ninja-like skills to string the yarn all over the barn and disperse the toys for each kid on their particular colored string, which is half the fun!

The next day (or after nap time) when the adults say it's time, the kids wait outside the barn with their bags awaiting instructions.

Once the doors are opened they know to start at the potty (because every old barn has an extra toilet sitting around in it that has all the leftover string party strings sitting inside, ha!), and jump in the fun!

This is the newest String Party attender.  She was SO excited to be joining us this year!
The littlest active members of the string party have their own little string that they follow on the side with an adult.  That way they don't get clobbered in the mass of strings toys and children!

It has become a highlight for our kids (and us adults)!

It's way more fun when all my siblings and their kids can join us, but life happens:(  Hopefully next year we will all be back together again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Words Worth Remembering

Me:"Why do I always have to say the same thing over again?"
Jude:"Because my ears don't want to listen to you."


Jude:"Mom, I'm not sweaty yet (from working out) but when I am sweaty I'll let you feel me."


Jude (talking to Siri): "Um, I love Hotwheels cars so could you put some new ones in my mailbox for me?"


Jude:"We should look it up on giggle!"
(giggle = GOOGLE)


Jude: *achoooo* "Bless you myself."


Jude (watching me change outfits):"Mom, why do you keep changing your clothes on and off?"
Me:"Because I'm just not feelin' it, ya know?"
Jude:"What does that even mean?  That doesn't even make any sense."
Me:"I just need to find something more comfortable for today."
Jude:"K. I'm just gonna turn around so only my legs see you being inappropriate."


According to Jude...
"Mackin' Akarica" is Captain America
"Staw Waws" is Starbucks


Rainy:"How long have you and daddy been married?"
Me:"Almost 14 years."
Jude:"That's a lot of minutes.  That's a lot of five minutes!"


Jude:"Cai, I'm telling on you for nothin'!"


Cai:"If I was going to see Santa I was going to ask him if I could have five sunny side up eggs sitting by the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.  And add bacon and sausage and eggs too."


Jude:"I have a lot of bless you's.  I LOVE bless you's."


Jude:"Mom, is this the 'Ever Be On My List' song?"
("Ever Be" on my lips by Bethel worship)


Zeke:"Mom, we should make a tacky."
Me:"What's that?"
Zeke:"You know, those houses that Indians lived in made of sticks and cloth."
Me:"Oooohhh, a Teepee?"


Jude:"I don't really like babies cuz' they lick me."

Saturday, January 23, 2016

#MayviaInUG ~ Part 5

~ Don't forget to catch up on Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 first ~

What a time Mayvia had in this distant land (called Africa) with their friend they call Kelly.  They had fun seeing her in her own environment, they had some much-needed face-time and shared some very special moments together where they discussed dark seasons, parenting struggles, God's hand on their lives, life in general, and it may have been mentioned that the girl named Tasha needed to change out her silver-hooped earnings that she had worn since the 10th grade.  It was also mentioned that the girl named Tasha had never even taken those hooped earnings out except for mandatory purposes (we call these soccer games).  So dangly earrings were purchased for said girl named Tasha and she finally entered her 30's (right before her 37th birthday! Yay).

These conversations the 3 girlfriends had, they were things that needed to be said, but were only conversations that could be had when looking the recipient in the eye.  The 3 girlfriends laughed all the laughs, cried all the cries, and now it was time to say their farewells.

Saying "see ya later" is never the fun part, but the inevitable part of such an adventure.  (And knowing that the girl called Kelly would soon be coming back to her native land was also helpful.)

After the embrace and the goodbye tears, Mayvia headed inside to board their carriage (we call this an airplane) back to their families (and husbands who were anxiously awaiting their arrival. Eleven children.  That's all I need to say.)

But not until Mayvia decided to throw all advice aside from the husband they call Josh and decided to brave the other distant land (called Amsterdam) because of a carriage changeover (we call this a long layover).

So, the girls called Mayvia put on their big girl undies (because the "p" word is NOT allowed in the vicinity of the girl named Tasha, ahem), purchased their boat tickets (we call these train tickets.  I'm running out of old-timey transportation descriptions.)  and headed out into the world of the unknown (actually, it's called Amsterdam).

The air was brisk and the wind was cold, so it's a good thing they dressed appropriately (that is called sarcasm).

They walked the streets of this unknown land (which was actually somewhat familiar because the girl called Heidi used to live here as a child) and basked in the culture... they walked toward their destination (the Madame Tussauds wax museum), to meat some of the most influential people in the world (kind of).

After scratching backs with all these famous people, Mayvia decided it was time to head back to the carriage station (called an airport) and head home to their waiting families.

Mayvia loaded up on familiar beverages that can't be found in the distant land they had been visiting (called Africa).  (It's also worth noting the MISspelled name on Heidi's coffee, and the beautiful sparkly fingernails.  Sparkly fingernails are a must when 3 girlfriends get together;)...

...and got comfortable for the long trek back to their native land.

While Mayvia slept the hours away, their little native children were busy preparing for their arrival.

Mayvia's adventures to this distant land (called Africa) had finally come to a close and they were safely back home with the ones they love.

Mayvia did many other things as well.  If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written...

Friday, January 22, 2016

#MayviaInUG ~ Part 4

~ Make sure to catch up on the story with Part1, Part 2 and Part 3 ~

Not all of Mayvia's adventures were exclusively for adults.  Both "May" and "via" were excited to love on the little natives who belonged to the girl called Kelly and the husband who calls himself Smooth.

The adventures with these girls looked like walking the "neighborhood" and scouting out the beautiful terrain in their home village.

They also got to know each other as we shared meals together (and played on the restaurant playgrounds while we waited for our meals.  America should really jump on board with this whole playgrounds at the fanciest of restaurants, but maybe not the hour or more wait that it takes for your food to come out.)

Especially when the restaurant is "relocating" and they have ripped out the entire backyard...

The girl named Tasha used to frequent this joint.
It was very sad to see it all ripped up, but at least they have rented other property to build again.

Another highlight of Mayvia's adventures was attending the church which the husband who calls himself Smooth helped to birth, called Jinja Town Church.

They worshiped together...

They got to snuggle the newest member of the AAI babies home, Noel...

See old friends...

Tasha, Susan and Heidi
The girl named Tasha actually shared this Susan's hut during her adoption stay.
This is the "kitchen" where the girl named Areyna used to help cook

After church the entourage headed out to eat and Mayvia got yet another glimpse into life in this distant land (called Africa).  Their broken down car is more common than not and the locals always come to help save the day.  Mayvia loved watching how all the people always seem to work together to make life work here in this distant land (called Africa).

Mayvia also witnessed how one is supposed to buy toilet paper (it's much cheaper off the street vendors in Kampala), wait for traffic (you are never guaranteed a non-stop trip without having to wait on cattle crossing the road) and the proper way to build a cancer hospital (it's amazing how these people build with sticks and mud!).

The scenery was enjoyed around every turn,

and Mayvia even took their turns carrying baskets of bananas on their head and sucking (and spitting out) sugar cane.

Then there was the photo taken at the risk of getting arrested.  But I won't mention which of the 3 girlfriends actually ignored the husband called Josh's words to be "safe and wise".

What a wonderful trip Mayvia had down memory lane, and peaking into a small window of the day-to-day life of the girl called Kelly and the husband who calls himself Smooth and their lives here in this distant land (called Africa).

But like all adventures...they cannot last forever, and the goodbye's have to come.  But not until after Mayvia witnessed Christmas caroling, Uganda style...

...and making the trek back to the carriage drop-off (which will now be referred to the airport again).

The hellos were coming to an end and the goodbyes were quickly approaching.

{TO BE CONTINUED...(one more time)}