An IKEA Towel

We went to IKEA, little A and I, last week.  She had a Dr appointment in the next city over,  we were running out of glasses and I like to see what other deals I can get there.  We seem to break glasses with flare.  We go through at least 15 glasses a year.  Since the IKEA trip we have broken 2 glasses already.  {I know what you practical minded people are thinking, “Why not get plastic?” I’ll share my weirdness with you, drinking milk out of plastic is gross to me, and then I am afraid of BPA leaching into my drinks, as I told the kids when we were looking for drink containers for school I don’t want men with man boobs, and now with the whole breast issue for me, no BPA!!!}
So as I was saying, we went to IKEA.  Since I was on a time crunch we skipped the upstairs much to little A’s chagrin.  She L O V E S to run and hide, and climb, and look, and open.  There are signs all over that it is family friendly, kid friendly, climb, touch, open friendly we let her have a go at the place.  We went upstairs only to go to the elevator down to the bottom floor, we were out of the place in just over an hour.  Which if you have ever shopped with me you know that is amazing.  And if you have ever shopped at IKEA you know that is also amazing.

We stopped and collected some glasses, ended getting some super cute flamingo glasses not at all practical but so adorable.  We looked at the fun kitchen gadgets, and moved on towards the towels and aprons.  In the kitchen towel area, little A found a super cute stripe~y towel that she insisted we needed and put into our yellow bag.  As we wound our way through the store, we found some interesting prints, we decided that those would be nice for C’s bathroom since the re~do project we never did get any artwork, or ceiling trim for that matter, put up.  {Keith and O did replace his bathroom window and Keith is planning on trimming out the window tonight.}

When we got home little A showed my sister the cute stripe~y towel.  My sister suggested making it into smaller dish towels for little A’s kitchen.

Here is what I did and if you want you can do it yourself.

DSCN3705Take 1 super cute stripe~y towel

DSCN3714Cut it into quarters, I did not measure I just folded it in half and half again and pressed hard, then cut along the folds.DSCN3717I rolled/folded the raw edges twice, so it would not unravel over time.DSCN3720I rolled/pinned/sewed the raw edges, because it was already a towel the other two edges on each quarter were hemmed making less work for me.DSCN3721Ta~Da 4 super cute little hand towels for little A.DSCN3707They fit perfectly with her cute pink and blue kitchen.DSCN3711Washing “hot toffee tups” and sitting pretty on her shelf.

I decided next time we head out to IKEA I will pick up a few more, then I can make an apron and dish cloths for her to take to a birthday party.  How cute is that?

Today is the last Friday of school for us!  I cannot even begin to express how happy I am about this.  Although part of the joy might be based on the fact that I actually thought today was Thursday.  I can see the end of the year and it makes me very glad!

Go hug your kids and share some love.  Life is just too short!
jen

Advertisements

A Letter to the Cute Blonde Girl at Chick Fil A

Yesterday little A and I took our weekly {or bi~weekly} field trip to chick~fil~a.
On our way out I couldn’t help but notice a teen couple.
The observations started while they were ordering and we were getting a refill of sweet tea.
{the drink of the gods}

Here is my letter to that cute blonde girl.

Dear cute teen girl,

Don’t you know your value?  Don’t you know that God created you for a purpose?  Don’t you know that you are special, you are important, and you have a whole life ahead of you?

If you know this already, did you notice that your boyfriend only has one thing on his mind.  That is not the furthering of your education, not college or your career, or even your future family.   He does not view you as anything more than a make out in his truck partner.  You are his preferred choice to fulfilling his sexual desires.

When he ordered he walked away from you, leaving you to order after him and to pay the bill, he left you to collect straws and napkins while he texted I can only assume a buddy and not his mom.

When you paid, and collected the bag and the accessories, he grunted at you and walked away.  Did you hear him?

When you went to leave he let the inner door swing shut in your face, to get out before I quit holding the outer door for my 3yr old child.  He still did not have your best interest in mind.  Leaving me to hold that outer door for you.  Did you notice?

When you trotted along behind him because he raced ahead ignoring you and the conversation you were trying to have, he was not thinking about you. Or actually he was, but not the way you really wanted him to be thinking about you.  Did you realize that he was not listening?

When you got to his truck and he climbed into his seat and shut the door, leaving you to hold the bag, and the accessories and open your own door.  He still did not have your best interest on his mind.  Remember how awkward that was opening the door and climbing in with the food bag?

When you climbed in to the truck, that is when he noticed you, when you sat down and he climbed on top of you to make out, that is when he wanted to listen to you that is when he was willing to talk to you, to pay attention to you.

You are worth so much more, than make out partner, you have value far above rubies.  God created you with great value, he formed you in your mother’s womb, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.  You are worth so much more than the position that boy has given you.

You need to leave that boy and look for or wait for your own gentleman.  A true gentleman does not order first, does not expect you to pay, does not grunt at you, ever.  A true gentleman does not leave you behind while racing out the doors, he waits for you and treats you with respect holding the door for you.  A true gentleman walks with you listening to you and talking with you, not about you in a text.  A true gentleman is not going to let you struggle holding the bags and open the door while paying you no mind as he climbs in the truck.  A true gentleman knows you have more value than to climb on top of you in the chick~fil~a parking lot.

Cute blond girl, you are worth much more.  I hope you find that out before it is too late.
best regards, the mother with the toddler at the second door.

I was heartbroken for that girl.  How will she view herself when her boyfriend decides he is tired of her, how will she feel when she realizes that he never loved her?

We need to protect our daughters, teach them value in their body, in their mind, and in their heart.  We need to teach our daughters that some boys are truly only after the shell of their body, they are not interested in who they really are.

We need to teach them that how a boy treats you while dating is how he will treat you when you are married.  We need to teach them to value their bodies, how they view themselves and how boys view them.  We need to teach them to be cautious how they dress, what does their father think of that bikini or the other bikini, that short skirt, that tank top.  Better ask the man who loves her most who wants her best, whose desire is to protect her and guard her, ask him.  At one time he was a teen boy, who knows that their hormones block thinking skills, ask her father what he thinks about her outfit.  If it is questionable explain her value to her, explain that she look cheap like a fake jewel and she is really worth more than rubies.  Teach your daughter, question your daughter, hug your daughter, {does she smell like a boy?} Talk you your daughter.

This parenting job is hard, but, if you are a parent it really is your most important job.

Go hug your kids and teach them their value.
jen

A little bit of funny the last week of school.

The end of school brings crazy rushing get projects done, study for final exams, and try to motivate the kids to finish strong.  End of the year means class parties, finals for the big kids, and awards.  Trying to get up and moving is getting more difficult, leaving on time is a challenge but the year is ending and summer vacation is quick approaching.  Here are a few quick funnies from the past few days.

~Tuesday morning I told little A that I needed to color my hair.  She put her hands on her hair and said “oh mommy do brown like me” I smiled at her, she took that as a cue to keep going “pretty please, pretty please brown like mine”  I told her we’d see what color it turns out to be.  A few minutes later while coloring my hair with her company, she said “Oh mommy I like your green hair”  WHAT!?!?  I am not going green “look mommy your hair is turning green, now it is turning blue.”  Looks like it is time to shut the girl out of the bathroom when I am doing that task.

~I went to help Keith with some of the house project this last weekend.  When I came out, he was perched on top of a ladder and holding something over his head.  He looked over at me and laughed.  “What? I came to help.”  “You need to go back inside” he insisted, “I don’t want your help.”  I could not figure out why, his answer ” you look ridiculous in that outfit.”  It was my set painting outfit I was covered in many colors of set, most of Wonka set had rubbed against me, or I had used my shirt as a handy rag, and the new kitchen paint was prominent along the sleeves.  I laughed at him and kept cleaning up his mess outside.

~We only have a few days left of school.  On Tuesday I was trying to motivate them to finish with fun.  On our way to school I said “Only 5 more wake-ups then C will be a SENIOR, only 5 more wake-ups and R will be a HIGH SCHOOLER.  To which O told me to stop talking and R told me, “mom I’m only going into 8th grade.”  Yeah I need more sleep.

~Asking little A about her Bible story at church, she goes from one story to another, telling us that “Daniel caught a lion with his fishing pole”  maybe she is not the best listener in the class.

Butterfinger~Curse you Butterfinger Bites.  Have you had them yet?  I am ashamed to say once I opened the bag I hid them from the kids.  They may or may be gone already.  I admit I am a chocolate snob.  I only like good dark chocolate, I like dark it can have add ins or it can be solid dark.  I love good chocolate, the candy in the check out line does not tempt me.  I had a coupon for these and they were on sale so I grabbed a bag to share at movie night.  Yea I did not share.

Go hug your kids they need your love.
jen

Hunting for a Beach Condo

????????We are hunting for a beach condo.  I am noticing a lot of things on these listing sites, I thought in the interest of your sanity I would give you some definitions and tips for searching.

????????Tip #1 “a short stroll to the beach” is really translated into, a burning, hot, schlep your stuff 3 blocks down the street over the foot bridge and across the sand, only to realize that you have to drag the kid 3 blocks back to go to the bathroom because some people cannot “go” in the water.????????Check out the amount of stuff we need to bring down each day.  Our beach is private so we leave everything when we go in for lunch or to the pool.

Tip #2 “garbage disposal”  you have got to wonder what is wrong with the condo if they offer up ,including garbage disposal, how bad is the rest of the place that they choose to highlight the garbage disposal?

????????Look what babies they are.????????Tip # 3 “sleeps 8”  if it offers to sleeps 8 but does not show pictures, 3 of your kids will be sharing a queen bed.  And after a night of that no one will be happy. Trust me.

????????Tip #4 “sleeps 8” if they show the sleeping places for 8 in pictures, don’t forget to count the chairs around the table and counter.  Meal time is quite difficult if everyone is sprawled all over the house dripping water, juice, and ranch on everything.  Again we learned that lesson the hard way.

????????{bonus tip, make sure the big kid knows how to cover completely with sunscreen before letting him have a tube}????????Tip #5 you will need more sunscreen than you brought.  Go ahead and buy a few more spray cans, a sunburn the first day on the beach makes the rest of the family miserable.  We overload sunscreen, we repel water so no worry about sun burn for us.  Seriously water beads up on our skin after day 2, by day 5 we really do not need to apply because when we get wet you can see the white sunscreen on our skin.

Tip # 6 “exotic dining” should be interpreted as one dark, of questionable origin, dine at your own risk, and don’t ask to see the food police comments, restaurant.

Tip # 7 “colorful locals” actually means there is a crazy man on a bike that comes through making weird noises, a woman wants cat food for her kitties and if you don’t take your trash all the way to the dumpster someone goes through it while you are sleeping.

Tip #8 if the condo provides breakfast, be sure you are allowed to get the “free” breakfast.  Trust me when I say they get kind of cranky when you go and you are not supposed to.

Tip #9 you don’t really need to bring every last thing, there is a Wal-Mart located within 15 minutes of everywhere in America.  They have everything you need and many things you don’t need to make your trip enjoyable.

????????Tip #10″equipment provided” if the condo provides water toys realize that the person renting ahead of you might not be so nice on toys and you may in fact have to buy your own boogie board because the kids who played on it last week broke it and shoved it in the toy cupboard so go to Wal-Mart and get that boogie board that was broken.

Tip # 11 do not wait till the month before to spend hours looking…  Seems this is the one we struggle with the most.

Tip # 12 toilet paper is provided, but not the amount a family of 8 will need for a full week.  So be thankful that Wal-Mart is only a few minutes away and grab a package for your family.

????????Tip # 13 DO NOT FORGET YOUR CAMERA.  I actually have the Thirty ~ One Pocket~a~tote it hooks on the back of my chair, and I can keep my camera inside dry and away from water but close by so I can snap a picture in the moment.  Oh I have to tell you the special the month of June!  This is one of my favorites! For every $35 you spend you can get the Large utility Tote for only $10.  I love mine, and plan on getting more this month.  There is the most adorable flip-flop print I need.  3 of these bags fit in my Sam’s club cart and it holds towels for all 8 of us.  If you do want one click on over to Ellen’s Thirty One and tell her I sent you!

????????Tip # 14 take full advantage of beach pictures, get a great one and there is no need for the annual Christmas Card torture.????????  Or grab some cute things and get a super cute picture!????????

What a great family!

????????Tip # 15 don’t forget books.  Lots of books!  We are a family of readers and cannot actually take enough books anyplace.

So there you are 15 tips for looking for a condo. We are still looking.  More accurately we are waiting for a reply from one of the many renters we contacted.  So far no one seems in any hurry to get back to us.  Which is weird.

Here is a freebie a tip to condo renters.
Tip #1 IF you really are interested in renting it out reply in the 48 hours you promised you would make your reply.  We are a pretty awesome family looking at your perfect condo and want to give you our money to stay at your place!

Go hug your kids life is just too short.  What is your favorite beach place or tip?

jen

A Week in Review.

A week in review, ever seem to have weeks where you know it was actually only 7 days but sure felt like a lot more?  You know the weeks when you think every day is Friday and are shocked that tomorrow is only Tuesday?  That was our week!  It was crazy busy, crazy not fun with so much busy.  I prefer to not be so busy.

Saturday Keith and O began the pulling off of the vinyl siding on the houseDSCN3526Doing some termite repairDSCN3518Taking out the old single pane added in the 1970’s windowDSCN3592Putting in windows and fixing problems.DSCN3603And Putting in more windows.

DSCN3547Attending a ballet recital for little A (the cute ballerina in the picture)DSCN3554Her recital was in a real theater which made it impossible to take pictures.DSCN3557She loves balletDSCN3574Checking out the fish.DSCN3578I love this pictureDSCN3589The paparazzi is always taking pictures.

Graduation parties.  We spent Sunday going to a few graduation parties.  Hard to believe some of these kids that I celebrated their birth by giving shower gifts are now graduating.

Monday was the only night Keith was able to come home to work on the wall, he climbed up the ladder and pulled off more siding before the rains moved in.  And has not had a free minute to work on it since then.  I have spent the whole week holding my breath afraid the historic society will come after us.

Awards Night and a math project.  Tuesday O had a friend over for a few hours working on “the best math project ever” or at least that is what the assignment was listed as.  I think her teacher may have been a cheer leader at one time.  She and her friend were to find 10 shapes to take pictures and label the mathematic properties and put into a report folder.  It took 2 days to work on, the girls are way ahead of schedule since the project is not due until next week Thursday.  But being smart girls they realized that this week was the only time they would have KB has a softball tournament this weekend, and they will be slammed with studying next week for finals.  After woking and dinner we rushed out to the middle school awards night.  DSCN3633I am proud of R who earned highest honors award (earning a 4.0 or higher in all subjects all year long)

 Wednesday night while eating dinner O gave J a serving of strawberries and bananas, he picked out the bananas and then left the strawberries {He is an extreme picky eater.  Extreme.}  After eating dinner he asked to be excused, I replied “eat those strawberries first”  He looked at me, instantly filled his eyes with tears, and said ” I hate to repeat myself…” {Me WHAT?!?!} “I hate to repeat myself I don’t like strawberries”  Grace of God kept that boy in his seat.  I just looked at him and said “choke them down, choke them all down.  I don’t care if you don’t like them”  He sat and cried for a few minutes choked down 2 slices (they were small berries and he had 4 slices to make up 1 whole berry)  Then he looked at me and asked in a kind voice “can I have a whole banana instead?”  Yes you may.  Yikes!  I know he is just trying his way, wanting to know how far he can go, they all did it, they all continue to do it.  My job is to show him the line and not let him pass it.  Looks like I will be showing him the line more often than I want this summer.

Awards chapel, for the big kids.  O earned Highest Honors (a 4.0 or above all year) and C earned honors a 3.5 or above all school year.  So proud of them!  O also earned highest grade in her class Life of Christ and Journalism.  I have no pictures my batteries died in my camera.

Yesterday I made a return to Hob’Lob since we were near car line pick up I decided to shop a little instead of going home only to head back out again.  While looking at fabric little A announced she needed to go to the potty.  We headed to the bathroom, as we were walking she became more and more distracted, we were running out of time so I hurried her along.  “Honey you need to hurry up we need to go get the kids”  Little A was almost to the end of the mirror aisle and replied “I’m tumming.  You just need to relax”  SHOCKED I turned around she even had the same open hands motion that her big brother does when he is using the same expression.  I stopped in my tracks got down eye to eye and said “We do not talk to mommy that way, do you understand”  she burst into tears I think she understands.

I need to have a chat with the big kids about monkey see, monkey do.

C is trying out for our school musical, he did get a call-back which we are thrilled with, he goes back on Tuesday to try again.

Today little A has a dr appointment in the big city over, which means shopping for me!  We plan on stopping at IKEA to get more glasses we brake about 3 a month so every so often we need to replace glasses.

Enjoy your weekend.  We are going to do more work on the siding, they are to the electrical panel on the side, and the last window to go in on the side.  Fingers crossed that the historic society checker was on vacation and we can get it done before we get a letter.  O’s room is on stand still until we get the air conditioner moved.  Patiently waiting.

Go hug your kids I hope your weekend is relaxing and enjoyable.  We don’t have a parade in our city but I remember in college walking down the mountain to watch the parade.
jen

I Have Created A Monster

????????????I don’t exactly know how it all began.
I don’t know where I went right.
I don’t know what happened.
But I am thrilled.
Even more, Keith is thrilled.?????????????????

I have created a baking monster.
I now have lost reign in baking in my kitchen.???????????

How did this happen you ask?  I have no idea I just turned around and discovered that O has taken to baking like a fish to water. {Although not exactly, she was not born in the kitchen, born in a baking dish, born with a spatula in her hand…  she was born in a nice sterile hospital with drugs… Drugs are good.  Or at least the drugs they give you in the hospital are good}????????

She is a bit of a baking snob, like her mother.????????

She is on the quest right now for “her own” sugar cookie.  Try 1 was a great start but had no real flavor.  She is ready for try 2.
While she is trying we are happy to be sampling her cookies.We will all enjoy her efforts while she finds the perfect cookie.

She already makes pancakes, cupcakes, and frosting, from scratch.  She is brazen and bold in the kitchen not afraid to fail, in the process she succeeds.  She makes her mama proud!

????????She is an excellent cup cake maker.

What about you?  Do you have a favorite cookie, recipe?

Go hug your kids, they need your love.  Break out a batch of cookies for dinner tonight!  I’ve pulled a cup of butter out for O to make something when she gets home today.

jen

Go Big For GOD and Other Things That Bug Me…

It is graduation time in the south east.  Hey, we start in August, so we get out earlier.  Earlier so we can enjoy the immense heat, {reached 96 here yesterday} we can go on vacation before the rest of the country, and we can get back to our normal lives before all the tourists come down.

Since it is graduation time I keep hearing the phrase GO BIG FOR GOD or the variation DO GREAT THINGS FOR GOD.

Don’t get me wrong there is not a thing wrong with “GOING BIG” or “DOING GREAT”

But

If that is what we are telling our children as they graduate we are missing the biggest picture of all.

The small quiet servant.  The old lady who is a prayer warrior, the camp director who prays during the service at night for each camper, the worker bees, the church of GOD needs them just as much as the Pastor, the church of GOD needs the vbs snack maker, the older couple who cleans the sanctuary each week, the team of guys who pull out the tarp on the gym floor every time, the chair ministry, the woman in the kitchen who knows where everything is and how much to put out at once.  The church needs the people who do not GO BIG or DO GREAT.  The church needs  people who DO for GOD.  They do what they do to honor God.

The Bible is full of the quiet workers in the back ground, you did not notice?  Go look, they are everywhere some hardly get a mention by name.  You know the guy who served the water Jesus made it into wine.  {I don’t care your opinion of the “wine” Jesus made, I just read the Bible I did not write it and do not have to interpret it.}  What about the women who took the spices to Jesus body, or even the man who gave his family tomb for Jesus body.  What about the women in the old testament who prepared the passover feast, what about Moses’ mom?  The families of the spies in Jericho, they are everywhere equipping the saints for their jobs.  The mothers and fathers, who lived each ordinary day to GOD’s glory.

Did they GO BIG or did they DO GREAT?
Nope
They just did their job.
They did it humbly, quietly and unto the Lord.

We are making the graduates lives even more demanding than they are already doing on their own.
Hey welcome to the real world, you have graduated, do you have a career, a life plan, a summer job, a plan for your future, a direction to go, ALL while demanding that they GO BIG or DO GREAT THINGS…

What?

Are we SERIOUS

We want terribly immature people to make sure they GO BIG or DO GREAT when they don’t even know how to do their laundry or take the fastest route to the pool store.

Why don’t we tell them, “I am praying you honor God in ALL YOU DO, why not tell them “I pray that you are a SERVANT for God” or even “I can’t wait to see God work through you.”
Yes there are many who will GO BIG or DO GREAT, there is a future generations of preachers, musicians, worship leaders, public speakers, teachers.  True the world can use more Billy Graham’s or Jonathan Edwards, or even Martin Luther Kings.  They do need to be encouraged to listen to GOD and DO for God.  But how about we encourage them to SERVE GOD and let GOD show them the BIG and DO?

While saying GO BIG or DO GREAT sounds inspiring, are we really offering the best advice?

Here is another “christian phrase” that bugs me.

“God really showed up and showed off”

Really, he showed up?
God Showed up… Did you invite Him?  Did the event He “showed up” at come as a surprise?  Did He forget to “show up last time?”

I was taught in Sunday School, and in catechisms that GOD is omnipresent, that he is every where, at all times.  {I do not actually understand how He does this but the Bible says it and regardless of whether I believe it or not it is a fact} So since we have established that GOD is all over the world at the same time, He cannot then “show up” because to say that would imply that He had no part in the activity UNTIL you let Him know of the schedule.
So God did not in fact “show up” because He was there already.

God showed off…

Really, who is He showing off to?  Satan, the angel he kicked out of heaven, the one who has limits, or to humans who are little sinners?  To whom is he showing off to?  God does not need to “show off” He is GOD.  He is the creator of all.
He is GOD.

Maybe, you just stopped to notice?
Maybe, you were too self involved to see the miraculousness of GOD in your everyday life?
Take for example your heart, GOD keeps it beating, that is a miracle, is GOD showing off, or the fall you took as a child, do you see a scar, show off.  The car ride you just took, showing off again…

To say “show off” is saying that GOD need to prove something to someone.  It is saying that every event is not a part of GOD’s sovereign plan and now He has to come back and “fix” what He missed before.

He has nothing to prove HE IS GOD.
What about the godly man who suddenly died, the mother who lost her child in an accident?  The young lady who just died of cancer?  Where was GOD?  Did they forget to invite him, did He forget to “show off”?

When we say “God showed up and showed off” we are putting limits on GOD.

So maybe instead you should say “I stopped my selfishness and saw the miracles that GOD is doing every day.”  Maybe you should say, “I stepped out and watched the amazingness of GOD.”

He is GOD he is there and He does not need to show off.

So there you have it 2 “Christian Phrases” that really bug me.

Go hug your kids, I went to another funeral this weekend.  Share some love and go “do” something for GOD.

jen