Monday, April 21, 2014

Fifth Grade Party

Oh. My. Goodness... I know everyone says this but how did this happen?  I attended a meeting today to plan the fifth grade party for my eldest son.  Wasn't he just like this yesterday??
And now, in roughly 90 days, he'll be in middle school...


God is so merciful to us.  John was saved at the age of 9 and continues to amaze me every day.  He's smart, funny, kind, and most of all, loving.  He looks out for me and always opens my car door for me.  He hollers, "you ok?" from another room when he hears something that could have been me getting hurt or dropping something.  He's the one who made me a mom.  What an amazing job I have to be his mom and get the privilege of raising this young man.  He's Chuck's mini-me... their fifth grade pictures are almost interchangeable.  Freaky!

Enjoy the good days and try to ignore the bad ones.  I've been feeling very down lately and lots of feelings of inadequacy and failure and uselessness.  Cognitively, I know that is not true but alas, I'm a woman and we are prone to irrational feelings at times.  The fact they are irrational doesn't make them go away.

Keep it Simple,

April

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Thy word have I hid in mine heart...

It's often said that what comes out of your mouth is what is in your heart.  Probably why the Psalmist was directed to 'hide God's word in his heart'.  It keeps us grounded.  I admit, I don't read enough of God's Word.  I purposed to read it all the way through in August of 2012.  Right now, I'm 84.2% through it.  I didn't do it in a year but I will finish it soon.  I'm reading chronologically so I'm in the new testament now... piece. of. cake. compared to the last year of the old testament!!

Anyway, here's my thankful picture of the day...


My youngest, practicing his Awana verses on the fridge.  He writes them in dry erase marker then erases a word or two at a time til he gets it.  It's frustrating for him because his brother reads a verse once or twice and it's in his head.  I think God gave this one, though, a special gift for understanding what he's memorizing.  He gets it and is able to apply it.  Both my boys are so different but both are so affected by God's Word.  They know it's living inside them and someday, they will be able to pull verses out of their heads effortlessly when they need them most.   I'm so happy my kids are learning to dig into God's word at a young age.  I'm thankful for our ministry at church.  

Keep is Simple,

April

Monday, January 13, 2014

This is the job I wanted

Last night, I was allowing myself to get so down and self-deprecating, it was pathetic.  I was actually teary-eyed as I complained to my husband over the phone, "how did I let the kids get this far behind in their books?  I can't keep up with it all!  Other mothers have it all together.  I can't do it as good as they do it.  My kids are not doing well because of me."  Of course, because God, in His infinite wisdom, gave me a husband who is Godly and understands that I'm crazy, he just said, "Honey, I love you and that's not true at all.  I'll talk more with you when I get home."  


After I got off the phone one of my children asks me why I'm crying.  Not wanting him to feel like it's his fault, I just say that I'm having a hard time doing a good job.  He says, "who said you were doing a bad job?"  Instantly, before I could even have a rational thought, my Spirit said, "Satan."  David didn't even bat an eye and said, "but he lies."


Then, this morning right before I opened God's Word in my morning time, I got a notification from a friend and she posted this to her facebook page... click below...


Don't you just love it when the Holy Spirit reaches out and hugs you and says, "I know where you are, I know what you are doing and I'm proud of you."

Keep it Simple,

April




Saturday, January 11, 2014

New Year, New Goals, blah, blah, blah!!!

I started out this year thinking, "I'm really going to document more and keep a better record of stuff."  Yeah, right.  

Oh, look, it's already January 11!

We're starting a new finance class at church tomorrow and we are very excited about it.  It's called, "Navigating Your Finances God's Way."  They have a facebook page here:  https://www.facebook.com/CompassFinancesGodsWay

Awesome study and we highly recommend it.  Anything you can do to make your finances better is a good thing.

So here's my picture for the day:

The awesome folks at our church took advantage of the frigid temps the other day and made 'snow' down the back hill of our church and let the kids come sled!  My kids were happy and that makes me happy!!

That's what I'm thankful for today.  

Keep it Simple,

April

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Plan to EAT... sounds simple and it really is...

You've all heard the old addage...


 Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Well, guess what, they are right!!  I'm going to share with you the single greatest tool I have ever found for my meal planning.  And let me tell you, people, I've tried them all!!!  There are those that give you your menu for the week then give you your grocery list.  Well, guess what (now I sound like my nephew that says, 'guess what' every five seconds!), my family doesn't enjoy someone else's menu every week.  They love the stuff that makes them feel like home.  I have those same recipes that made me feel like home when I was growing up.  Super Duper Potatoes, Hoppin' John, Zucchini Quiche, Mom's vegetable soup, etc.  I have them all and I love them all!!  So does my family, ok, maybe not the quiche.  So here's what my friend Sarah showed me...


And, in keeping with my frugal spirit... they just emailed me that they are running a sale for black friday!!!  

Plan to Eat - Black Friday Weekend Sale

Remember my post about my menu on the fridge here?

Well that worked great until I decided to add a recipe or take one away or something.  I knew I wouldn't take the time to make a new magnet block and I knew it would bug me if something wasn't uniform.  Soooooo, we do this now...


So far, this new plan to eat website has really been a God send!!!  I can easily save my recipes there, drag them to a virtual calendar, then send a grocery list for the week to my phone and get the stuff I need for the week.  So very easy!!!  and Simple!!  ahhhhh, don't you feel better now?  It's almost as orderly as Tuesday was this week with the date of 11/12/13!!  Everything in its place as it should be.  :)

Anyway, I had been really falling down on the job of cooking meals lately because of my failure to plan.  We were eating out way too much and not getting time at the home table.  Love love love this!  Hopefully, you will too.

Enjoy!  I'm going to put up my Christmas tree now... Fa la la la la la la la la!!!!!

Keep it Simple,

April

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Let the little children come to Me...


The picture above is a pic I just took of my son's bible.

Well, the coolest thing happened tonight.  As most families will agree, my kids, although both from the same gene pool, are total opposites.  John will see the end goal (going to the pool) and immediately set out on a mission to get done the required tasks (job chart done) and lickety split, the kid is done.  David will spend much more time trying to get out of said jobs and still think it's ok after all the discussing, arguing, begging, and finally sometimes, disciplinary action, that we go to the pool.  ugh.  Well, tonight, Chuck was headed to work and he asked me what was wrong.  Instead of my standard "nothing", I answered him.  I said I was dreading getting David to do his job chart.  (we use www.myjobchart.com and it's wonderful!!)  He said he would talk to him on the way out.  Well, David came in and immediately asked to go to the pool.  I said I'd be happy to take him and John for a bit if he was caught up.  Well, of course, he's not.  So he set about the loooooooooooooooooooong, sloooooooooooooooooooow, job of getting it all done.  It's not much people.  So with each task, he would get sidetracked and get on something else and I had to keep pulling him back in.  Finally, he was down to his Awana verses.  They have to at least look in the book every day and be ready with something on wednesday nights.  Makes it easier when wednesday rolls around and they don't have to cram.  So he opens his book and goes in the other room.  Minutes later he comes running back in... he says, 'momma, you won't believe what God just showed me.'  Well, that doesn't come out of his mouth every day so I perked up... 'what?'  He said, 'my verse I'm supposed to illustrate is Proverbs 1:8-9.  I said 'ok, what is that?'... he looked up at me and then slowly read it...

My son, hear the instruction of your father,
And do not forsake the law of your mother;

then he slowly read the second line again... then he looked up at me.

He said, 'God is showing me that He knows exactly what we were talking about and He is telling me that I should do what you want so we can go ahead and go to the pool.'  

I said, 'David that is amazing.  He can show us stuff all sorts of ways.'

Mom, Mr. Jimmy says that the Bible is the living Word of God and that He uses that to speak to us.

David, you are so right.  You'll remember this verse and this day for a very long time.  I can remember each time God directly gave me a message or a lesson.  It's very special to get to recognize and hear directly from Him about a specific thing.

Mom, you wanna know how I know that He's talking just to me?

How, David?

Look at the example in the AWANA book... the stick figure mom has curly hair!!!

Then  he ran out of the room, got a pen and underlined the verse.  This is the first verse he's underlined as far as I know.  Then he asked me to write the date.  I can't tell you how thankful I am to my Jesus for touching my child in such a tangible way today.

The God of the Universe spoke to my son.

He reached out to Him like no other can and gently said, "listen to her, she's trying to help you."

God's got my back.

He loves me and my family.

I cannot express how full of joy I am right now.

Off to make some tea, put the boys to bed, and go to bed early.  Praising God all the way!!!


Keep it Simple

April.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bunk 'Em Up!!

Just wanted to share the boys' room after we moved them in together.  They love it, we love it and can't wait to have some awesome time together getting the other room ready for some fun!

Here's some before pictures of both rooms:

This was John's room.  We sold this bedroom set to someone at church.

This was David's room.  This is the infamous Brumm bed from the 1800's.  No one would let me get rid of it so now it's at Chuck's mommas house til one of our boys wants to get rid of it...errrrr... I mean use it in their house!  :)


Next starts the cleaning out process of the rooms!  Ugh.  This is my least favorite part...




Then we got some full over full bunk beds from a friend that was moving... they were unfinished so I stained them, then put a coat of poly on (in the garage, in the rain.. took almost a week to dry!  grrr)





The black duvet covers bugged them so back to Ikea they went!  This is John's closet in this picture so the next thing was to get David's clothes where he could get to them!!




I will be posting details of the closet redo soon.  Chuck did a great job and it took some doing but we got that Ikea PAX unit in there!  whew!

Keep it Simple...

April

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Woo hoo! First day of 4th and 5th grade!!!

Here I go... like every other mother just did yesterday, I'm going to say it...

Where did the years go???

Wasn't it just yesterday that they looked like this?


Now I'm waking up to this...


Today is the day the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Feeling very thankful today.  Enjoy your day, no matter what, and find something to do for someone else.

Keep it Simple,

April


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Travel Wall Update!!

Just wanted to show y'all our travel wall update!  I've been wanting to add photos of our missionaries for a while and just kept getting sidetracked... *squirrel!*... anyway... here it is!!!  I'm so happy now our kids will be able to put faces with them and it reminds us every time we walk down the hall to pray for them!







Keep is Simple,

April
:)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Take Control of your Money!!!

I wanted to share a quick tip for managing your money that we have used for several months now and it's working great!!!  If you find yourself wondering where your cash went then this little app will be your fav thing!  It's called EEBA on your phone/tablet/etc.  It's available in the app store or the play store.  Here is the link to a video about it...


Just search for EEBA in either your app store from your i product or in your play store for your android device.  TRUST ME ON THIS... your life will be easier when you know where your cash goes.

Keep it Simple,

April



Saturday, April 20, 2013

Meet my new friend, Astrid

I just have to share this great app my friend, Teresa Wade showed me.  It's called Astrid and it's hilarious!  Very effective To-do list (you all know how much I love lists) but you can do all sorts of other things with it.  Here's a little youtube video telling you about it if you care to watch.. 
Also, when I 'assign' a to do item to my hubby, it reminds him with hilarious little quips like if you miss a call, it says, "oh aren't you popular!  Want to call this person back?"  or if chuck 'snoozes' a task date, it says something like, "excuse me, I don't like being ignored."  Makes us laugh every time!!!  
Hand-phone
Anyway, I hope this helps the 'list lover' in your life... or if you are the 'list lover', enjoy!!!

Keep it Simple,

April

Friday, March 22, 2013

Thankful for the Little Things...

So, I just got back from a 2.59 mile walk/run (mostly walking!) and I was just overcome with thankfulness.  I know how far I went because I'm a gadget girl and just love an app that helps me stay orderly... my fav when walking is RunKeeper.  
Not just afterward was I thankful but even while I was walking.  
It wasn't too hot, 
I didn't have to pee, 
my music was super awesome, 
my sons are at the tennis courts with Chuck (who is home for the weekend!), 
there is wood ready to build a fire tonight 'cause it's cold enough again (go figure), 
there is a steak marinating in the fridge with my name on it (marinating in the best marinade for steak EVER), 
I have a fresh tub of blue cheese to spread on my steak while it's hot (oh my), 
I got 4 new plants today at Walker Nursery
I had a coupon for a free plant that I found on the back of my Ingles receipt where...
I got blue cheese stuffed olives on their olive bar,
my tooth has not hurt in 4 days straight, 
my back is better, 
the sun is finally out, 

AND I scored cool new bluetooth headphones on clearance at Best Buy today...

AngleSo I thought they were on sale for $39.99 and I used some 'fun' money to pay for it and got there to pick them up and they had been marked further to $29.99!  Woo hoo!  The link is HERE.

None of the above are overly huge things.  They are all small but together they remind me that when I do little things to make the day better for my boys, my Heavenly Father orchestrates days for me sometimes JUST TO WATCH ME SMILE AND ENJOY THEM.  Doesn't that just make you feel as if you have been hugged??  When you get all green lights on the way to the highway, when you make a new yummy recipe, when you just WAKE UP every morning and get he privilege of serving Him throughout that day.  It's all amazing and I hope I will always notice.  I pray that when my day isn't going as I had hoped, I will thank Him anyway.  I know that people all around me are having devastating days. I have had them before too.  But today was nice.

Enjoy your day... remember it's up to you to enjoy it... whatever it brings... 

Keep it Simple,

April

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Less will always give you More...

Good Morning!  Can't believe it's been since January since my last post.  My how time flies.  That's such an overused phrase, isn't it?  Well, February went by in a blur and I guess the biggest change in our lives is that after three years of begging, my youngest finally was allowed to play full pad football.  I prayed he would hate it, but he. loves. it.  Oh my heart hurts to see him get hit but he really loves it.  Smiling the whole time through practice... oy.

On a totally different note, I read a wonderful article yesterday and LOVED it!  I'm implementing it immediately!!!  I found it on Pinterest (of course!) and it's about clutter.  READ ABOUT IT...

So it was painful when I began UNSUBSCRIBING with no mercy.  But the process has begun...

I asked

Is this email useful??

Have I ever, more than twice, clicked on something from this sender??

Do I consistently delete this type of email daily??

Those are the questions to ask.  And you will be happier when it's over.  I usually have dozens of emails in my inbox every morning.  Soon, I'll have less than a dozen.  Ahhhh...

Keep it Simple!!!

April


Friday, January 18, 2013

Sausage, Egg, and Cheese pleeze!!!!

A good friend of ours has chickens and PLENTY of eggs!  What a blessing they have been!  We sometimes take care of their farm when they are out of town so, when I can, I get some eggs from her and they are scrumptious!  If you ever have the chance to have REAL eggs (not the kind from the store!) then you should definitely do it!

I wanted to make a 'take and run' breakfast snack for the boys and maybe for Chuck when he needs it.  So I searched Pinterest and found lots of great ideas.  Here's what I came up with...


Start with a dozen (I could have done fine with about 8... you'll see why in a minute)


Then, because I was pressed for time I dumped this bag into the well, beaten eggs.


Then dumped what was left from the cheese bag... it was about a cup.


Here's why I could have done with 8 eggs.  It made way more than 12 'muffins' but that turned out fine too since we're fasting this week, I could eat one little one to 'test' it and not blow the whole week!


Ta Da!!  They popped right out of the muffin tins (I sprayed them to death with Pam) and they were easy to reheat for 30 secs in a paper towel in the microwave.  Yummooo!
I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!
I pin my cooking successes on my board on Pinterest so follow that there... thanks!

Keep it Simple,

April


Monday, January 14, 2013

Imitation is the Purest Form of a Compliment!

Oh my, ur gonna die when you see what I got accomplished today! Well, it wasn't me at all actually. It was God intervening in my day to make it easier and pour out blessings on me and my family! A VERY nice person helped get me started and then basically did this for me. I got the idea for the playroom re-do from here:

I love her blog and you will too... so I'll just post the pictures below and let you ooooooh and ahhhhhhh like I did when it was done!!!

I'll start with BEFORE




Then we started with her ideas from the other blog mentioned above... 


I found this pillow set at Marshall's with my momma.  I just loved the blue and white but didn't have a clue I'd get to use it somewhere so soon!  The fabric swatch on the pillow came from Fabrics and Furnishings in Conyers.  If you are in the atlanta area, please visit them, they are amazing!!!  

I used velcro to lightly secure the cushions you're about to see on the tops of the bookshelves/benches.


See?








High marks from the judges!!!


I hope you have enjoyed this.  I look forward to using this room so much more now.  We are continuing to fast and pray this week.  Already had one answered prayer and the boys were so excited to hear it.  Can't wait to see what the week will bring!

Keep it Simple, 

April