Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking Back and Going Forward

It's almost 2014. Wow. Another year has come and gone. I look back and I can smile about some amazing things that happened,but I also get sad about things that did not happen. I get very sentimental around the end of every year. I think of dashed dreams,false hopes,and have many regrets. I tend to be hard on myself come the last few days of December. I think of the doors we thought would open for us that were just slammed right in our face. I think of the dreams and aspirations we had,but they never came to pass. I take it in stride and know God has the best interest and plan for our family. It's hard to accept at times, though. Letting the God of the universe orchestra my life,the big picture. It should not be hard,I mean He only created the world in just 6 days. He took dirt and made man. He took a rib and created woman. It is ridiculous that I cannot trust Him with the minuet and big details of my life. The world is a pretty big deal,so why can't I trust God with my big deals at times? It's a part of a process of learning and growing. One I am still learning.

I also think of the awesome things that happened this past year. We were able to go to the beach twice and it costs us hardly anything. We were able to go to Texas and it cost us nothing. We aren't big spenders and this was only our second year to take a vacation since the 7 years we have been married. We made memories with our boys that will never be forgotten. The year was not all full of sadness because in the dashed dreams are God's dreams,God's plans for us. How much better they are! His plans are perfect and there are without flaw! So I can take comfort in His Word and know that by allowing my dreams to slip away,He is putting new dreams into my heart and soul. How amazing! I really cannot say enough about the goodness of God. Surrendering to His will is not easy,but it is so worth it. I am a frail,flawed human and I know I will mess things up. So by surrendering it to God I have full assurance things will be just as He desires.

Closing this chapter of life,I look forward to the new year. I look forward to making more memories with our boys at home and wherever God takes us. I look forward to growing more in my faith,being stretched more,being pruned more,and being broken more. I look forward to seeing what God does in the hearts of my boys and the hearts of family, plus friends. I look forward to see what doors God closes and what doors God opens. Like the song by Darlene Czech says, I give my life to the Potter's hands. There will be bad and hard times. For without them, how would I know the goodness of God? There will be joyous,happy times too. He will give and He will take away. But I will say blessed be the name of the Lord.

If I am full of myself I have nothing to give,but if I am full of Him I have so much to give others. So I want to be broken and continually filled with the glory and light of God so I can give to others what God knows they need. I encourage you to seek God whole heartily with all that you have. Let Him take dreams of your own and replace them with what He desires. Let Him break you so He can fill you with Himself. May we be women of prayer,conviction,love,and so much more. I pray you all have a blessed last day of 2013 and have a blessed new year!

Linking up with Darlene @ Time Warp Wife for Titus 2sdays.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Easy Canvas Print Win

For the first time ever I won something through a give-a-way. I enter a good bit of them,but was never picked as the winner. Just a few weeks back that changed. Bethany a friend of mine I have met through blogging had a give-a-way on her blog. I go in and out of blogging,so I had no clue until she let me know. I'm so glad I stopped by her blog to check it out. She blogs at Raindrops & Rainbows.

The give-a-way was for a free 8x10 canvas print from Easy Canvas Prints. I have wanted a canvas print for awhile,but I have not taken the time to really look into them and get one. Bethany also has one from there. Like she said in her post about the company, the process was very easy to go through. It was step by step and gave the information you needed to know which picture would work well. The hardest part for me,just like Bethany said, was picking just one picture. I have tons of pictures that I take. We were blessed to take 3 different vacations this year and I had took a lot of great pictures. I finally chose one and I am very pleased with it.

I chose one from our vacation to Orange Beach,AL this past April. I edited the photo at Picmonkey photo editor site and added the scripture. I am very pleased with the outcome. I received it today,so I have no input on durability. I am hoping that it lasts and doesn't give me any problems. Just from working on the site to get the canvas put together I would recommend using them to friends and family.

I just wanted to share this with my blogging friends.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Give-a-way Coming Up

For those who do not know, I make and sell jewelry among the other things I do at home. I don't have as much as I would like to have for making jewelry,but I love to do it. I love to do give-a-ways on my Facebook page, From the Heart Jewelry by Heather. I have done some for other ladies on their blogs also and I love doing that!

A friend of mine is doing a 12 days of Christmas this month and is giving away things each day. The blog is Life Unabridged. Today is the 3rd day,so you haven't missed too much. I will be participating in the give-a-way on this blog. I was so excited when Chelsey asked me to participate.

I will be giving away a chain necklace with a charm and birthstones like this one below.

This is the birthstones of my children. If they do not have children,then grandchildren,or something similar. I have made several of these for friends and family. I love them! I have made a few that were just for children that had different charms on it. They are a big hit. I have myself two. I made one with my last name initial,month I was married,and an I Do charm. I can do most anything one wants.

Alabama football charm necklace.

Girl's necklace with guitar pick,May birthstone,cross,guitar charm,Believe charm,and soccer ball.

I made myself this one. Spring colors with cross and Hope charm.

Remember to check out Chelsey's blog, Life Unabridged, from now till November 23rd (she won't be doing give-a-ways on Saturday or Sunday) for great things she is giving away!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Guest Posting Today

I am sharing today over at a wonderful blog called Laced With Grace. Iris asked me a couple weeks ago to share with the readers there. I was so excited and humbled! I love to write and share with others. So I was delighted and accepted the offer.

Go check out the post titled Renewing Our Minds and be sure to follow the blog, Laced With Grace. It's got some awesome bloggers there!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Happy birthday Aaron!

My sweet second born son is turning 4 today. I cannot believe it!! Michael Aaron (named after his Daddy) came into this world on this day 4 years ago. He is a bright little boy. He is full of wonder and has a big imagination. He loves playing with cars,tractors,trucks,anything that goes vroom! He is a left handed child and he is very smart for his age. He loves to learn,read,and color. He speaks so well too. I love him so much. I cannot wait to see what God does in his life. He loves music and to sing. He love to be outdoors and loves to swing. He can make you laugh a lot and loves his brothers. Our life would not be the same without him for sure. He is a very sweet and affectionate little boy.

We will be celebrating his birthday by taking him out later this evening to spend some time with him. He's so excited and so are we! We're so thankful to God for blessing us with him as our little boy.

Monday, October 21, 2013

White Chocolate Blonde Brownies

I am a sucker for brownies,anyone with me? I bought some white chocolate chips a couple months back to use for a recipe at church. I pulled them out this past week to put them in the granola bars that I was making and to my surprise there was a brownie recipe on the back of the package. Divine intervention? Na,but I sure was a happy girl!

I have never made brownies from scratch and I decided to give it a whirl. I had everything on hand in the cabinets which is rare for me. I usually lack one or two ingredients. I whipped up the ingredients in the bowls and put those babies in the oven. I really was not sure if they would even taste good. It seems that I can find these awesome looking recipes online and when I attempt to make them myself,well it does not turn out like they said it would. I was just hoping that I did not waste the ingredients again.

White Chocolate Blonde Brownies

1/3 cup butter or margarine,softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup white chocolate morsels
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

  1. Heat oven to 350.
  2. Line 9-inch square baking pan with foil,with ends of foil extending over sides; spray with cooking spray.
  3. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer (I did it with a fork) until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder (if you use self rising flower,do not use the baking powder), and salt; mix well. Stir in chocolate and nuts (optional). Spread onto bottom of prepared pan.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center (also check the corners) comes out clean. Cool in pan. Use foil handles to lift brownies from pan before cutting into.

White Chocolate Blonde Brownies

I must tell you that these brownies were the best ones that I have ever tasted. I lie not. I am not exaggerating either. I was not sure how they would taste. They were moist and soft. They were not too sweet,but had the chocolate chips in them. Oh,boy. The boys loved them too! It was goodness in every bite. I had to share them with y'all! If you do not want white chocolate,I am sure you could use chocolate ones instead.

What's a favorite dessert of yours to share with us?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Games anyone?

I have always loved to play board games and nothing has changed. Though I am 30 years old, I am still a sucker for board games. My husband on the other hand is not that crazy about them. He plays because he likes to spend the time with me,but he would rather be doing something else. I don't force him that much,only a little.

When we had our children, one thing I could not wait for was to play board games with them. Is that crazy? I had no idea what all I would go through before getting them to that stage,but hey we survived! So now my two oldest are big enough to understand some of them and it's been really fun! I taught them how to play Uno,which we play a lot. I also like to look online to find fun games I can print out. I particularly like one site called Free Homeschool Deals. It is such a great place for educational and fun resources. Jamerrill has all kinds of neat stuff,including a list of free ebooks for the day. You can go to the site and just search for any of the three games.

A few months back I found 2 bingo games and 1 memory game. I was so excited! It's hard to find these in stores anymore. Everyone plays them on the tablets or computer I assume. I love technology,but I love playing actual board games. It is so much funner!

The ABC Memory game.

My boys have enjoyed this one. It has helped my oldest recognize his letters more. I love how colorful it is! I took postal tape and laminated the boards and calling cards. I wanted them to last and we all know with kids that is hard to do.

We first used play coins,but needed more. So Daniel picked out the patriotic buttons for us to use.

States Bingo game.

I almost flipped out,okay, I did flip out when I saw this on her site! I had been looking for a way to teach them the states,but in a fun way. My boys loved this game the best! My middle son recognizes each state by site,and he can put some states with the right names. I did the same thing with the postal tape and laminated these boards and cards.

Aaron playing states bingo. He is a smarty pants!

Daniel playing states bingo. He really loves this one.

ABC Memory game.

We have not played this one yet. I have 3 more cards to laminate. I ran out of postal tape and have totally forgot to buy more! So typical of a busy Mom right? It matches the upper case letter to the lower case letter. It should be fun when we play it!

Don't forget to check out Jamerrill's site where she has tons of free stuff to help educate while having fun! That was a goal for mine this year in home schooling: make learning fun! I have suceeded so far!

Linking up with The Better Mom today.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Our Fall Trip- Pumpkin Patch

Fall is my favorite season of the year. I love the coolness of the air,college football,and the beautiful scenery. We usually don't have a long Fall,but we have had some Fall days already here in Alabama. It's been so wonderful!

Last Monday I took my 2 oldest boys on a field trip with our home school group to a pumpkin patch. We don't celebrate Halloween,so I wasn't sure if the farm would incorporate that into the patch. I was very pleased that it did not! It was just Fall decor and pumpkins. There were about 50 kids there with our group. My boys had SO much fun too. I even had fun just watching all the kids. It wasn't far from our home here in Alabama,just across the state line into Mississippi.

They had some neat things the kids could do. The funnest for the kids was just running around in the patch, I think.

The kids loved playing on the old time hay stack. They had bells up there and the kids raced to the top.

My second son,Aaron,loved it.
Daniel and Jachin,our Pastor's youngest son.

The kids loved the corn crib. It was my first time to see one.

Aaron got on the metal horse to try it out. This was so cute!

They had it decorated so good! An outhouse for us to take pictures in.

Seth and Aaron playing on the wagon. Seth is one of their friends we go to church with also.

Kaleb and Daniel playing checkers. Kaleb is our Pastor's oldest son.

They had a general store where they sold snow cones and popcorn for a $1. It was so cute! The kids ran around and played on all the stuff they had set out in the patch. They had a hay maze,tire swing,wagon to get in,a checker board,and a fun house. That isn't all either. We also went on a hay ride through the nursery part of the farm. My boys really loved that!

So cute! Aaron isn't as social as Daniel. He just kind of played by himself a lot. So I followed him around taking pictures. :)

Enjoying a snow cone and popcorn before the hay ride. Another Mom snapped this photo.

Aaron in the hay maze. It had already been kind of messed with by the big kids.

Riding the tire hose swing. So cute!

Seth,Aaron,and Daniel having fun. Such a neat idea!

Another snapped by a Mom there. Aaron decided to push the truck ha!

My big boys playing with the checker board.

Our home school group. This isn't all of them either. So blessed!

The people that were running everything were so nice! We knew some of them from teaching at elementary schools that a lot of us Mom's attended when we were younger. It was nice to be around such friendly faces. I really want to take them back before they take the Fall decorations down for Christmas decorations. If not it was such a fun experience for them and the rest of us.

We ended the time there by having a picnic lunch in the patch. This was our view. Such a beautiful Fall day!

 We usually don't do much until November for Thanksgiving,then December for Christmas. This was something new for us.  What Fall activities have you done this October so far?