Monday, August 30, 2021

Quick Trip South

It's always fun when we have a chance to take a quick trip down south to see my parents.  Winkler Road Baptist Church had invited me to speak to their ladies for a meeting they were having.  So, we decided to leave a couple of days early and spend some time together.

Playing games is always fun!  We love Ticket to Ride

The boys love rough and tumble cousin time.  Wow, these guys are growing!!

Mom and Dad took us to Chuck E Cheese to play some games.  The kids loved it!!

And then we swung by Costco for lunch.  Cheap and Super yummy!!

And it's always customary to take a golfcart ride!!

There were just a few tears, too.  My parents realized this was Brenna's last visit to their house as a single lady.  Their little granddaughter is growing up.  So many lasts are happening these days.  It's quite emotional.  It's strange how you can be so happy and so sad at the same time.  I'm thankful for this time of making so many wonderful memories!


Monday, August 23, 2021

Preparing, Sampling, and getting ready!

I put on facebook the other day how most people sample cakes prior to their wedding to decide their wedding flavor.  Not my Brenna.  :o)  We have been sampling chip dips! It has been so fun!!

Brenna wants the ceremony to be sweet and very symbolic.  She's incorporated many personal touches and it is going to be so unique and memorable.  But for the reception, she just wants it pure fun!  So she decided to have a chip dip bar.  I think we've narrowed it down to 4 dips that we will have.  She also wants a soda bar with cherry and vanilla syrups.  It will be so fun!

Beth and Brenna have been looking at different music and are planning the ceremony.  I love to see the bond the two of them have.

 Tomorrow will make one month until my baby girl is Mrs. Blankenship.  We are planning and preparing for the big day!

Thursday, August 19, 2021

HER House

 HER House.  What comes to your mind when you think of your home? Do you think about all you wish it would be?  Do you think of the parts in your home that you wish were different? 

 I think every woman has a list in her head of what she would change....bigger kitchen, bigger bathtub, this room moved here, a new couch....I think we could all make a big list!  And then we hop on social media and see other's homes.  Then, we think we need to paint the walls, add a new on-trend color to our decor, and have a manicured lawn that doesn't have any weeds.  Comparison can rob of a woman of her purpose in building HER Home.  Let's face it, our home will never be the same as anyone elses.  Even if we built the same exact structure and filled it with the same exact decor, the dynamics of the people that live in your home would make it a completely different place.  This is where comparison becomes dangerous.  It makes us discontent with the things we have. It makes us discontent with the people God has given us.  

2 Corinthians 10:12  "...but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."

It's important to remember:

~Everything you see on social media isn't exactly showing the whole picture.  Did a friend just post a picure of a beautiful plate of food that she is serving her family for dinner?  It is colorful, nutritious, has every food group balanced perfectly, and her family LOVES it!  While those may be true, she took the picture on her clean table, not by her sink that is full of dirty dishes.  We really aren't seeing the whole picture, just the good stuff.

~Just because we get a new couch, or new plates, or new whatever, doesn't mean eveything in our home will be perfect.  I don't want to have an, "If only I had _____________" attitude.  That kind of attitude is never satisfied and soon there will be a new thing to fill in the blank.

~God filled my home with my people.  I'm in the season I'm in.  I don't have little ones.  I have wonderful middle schoolers, one elementary kiddo, and two amazing adults in my home.  I have a husband that is all mine.  I don't need to compare and wish for a different season in my life.

~I have everything I need to have a home that glorifies God and pleases Him. He knows that my home will never be totally manicured and perfect.  He knows that the people in my home (including me) will never be perfect.  God doesn't get glory because we're perfect, we will never be!  He is pleased when we are striving to please Him!  That means when we make a mistake, we get it right.....with Him and all those involved.  That means we are content with what we have, who we have, and where we are in life. 

1 Timothy 6:6 "But godliness with contentment is great gain."

I recently heard someone say, "A home is more than a structure to hold belongings and shelter us, it's where our very life is lived."  This home that God has given me is the place where I will live my life.  It's where my husband and children will live their lives.  I want to fill it with contentment and peace!

Monday, August 16, 2021

What to do with your wedding dress?

It was a little over 27 years ago that I said "I Do" to the man of my dreams.  I remember the days leading up to my wedding and all of the fun preparations.  My Mom and I made many wonderful memories together.  We planned, crafted and shopped.  I remember trying on my wedding dress for the first time and feeling like a princess.
But then, after the wedding, we put my dress in a big rubbermaid container.  It has stayed that way, in my parents house.  It has taken residence in their garage, made a move with them, been put in the attic....what good parents I have!
I remember, after my wedding, asking myself what I would do with my wedding dress.  I didn't want to sell it.  But when would I wear it again?  It was then I knew I wanted my daughters to use it.  I didn't want them to wear it, I knew they would want to have the fun of picking out their very own wedding dress, but I knew I wanted them to use a piece of it.  You know, the "something old" idea?  I thought it would fit perfect!  So, 27 years ago my dress was boxed up in dreams of one day having a daughter that wanted to use a piece. 
Well....those dreams came true.

Brenna and I made her bouquet.  She wanted it big and spriggy.  It's full of lots of greenery and white flowers.  It turned out beautiful!!!  I asked her if she would like to wrap some of the lace from my dress around her bouquet.  She loved that idea.

So we took my dress out of the box (we brought it back from my parents house last time we visited) and I pulled out the scissors.  Brenna gasped and said, "Oh Momma, are you sure?"  And then I told her, "Oh yes!  This has been a dream of mine for over 27 years!"  Although she was fighting tears, I  was not.  I was so proud and so happy.  

The countdown is on.  We are reminded daily of how many days until the wedding.  Today it's 39.  39 days until my Brenna is in the place I was 27 years ago.  She has wonderful dreams in her head.  She has hopes and desires.  My prayer is that those dreams will be fulfilled for her one day.  Just like mine were for me today.  


Thursday, August 12, 2021

School begins! 2021-2022

Here we go!! School year 2021-2022 has begun!! We have 2 middle schoolers and only one left in elementary. How is this possible?

My Silas is in 7th grade. We are noticing that this year the work load is really increasing. But, I think he's ready for it! He is definitely entering into those teen years and I love the young man he is becoming!

We always start the morning with Bible class together.  Ever since I started homeschooling my younger three, I have them do Silas's Bible Class.  This year for A Beka Bible they have every 5th day with no video.  It says to use that time for chapel, or extra Bible memory work.  I told Silas and Micah that they are going to trade off each week and preach a message to us.  They are excited and already coming up with great ideas of what to preach!

Micah is in 4th. So excited for him to have Ms Amsbaugh. She's my favorite. And it makes it even more memorable if you have poison ivy on your first day of school, right? It means we had a great summer!!

Callie is in 6th grade. She's such an amazing student and so organized!!

I can always tell when it's time to start school and summer should be kiddos get restless and need structure!  We really had an amazing summer and made so many great memories, but I am so excited about this schoolyear!  We have some great goals and it's good to get on a good schedule again.  Plus, it means fall is on its way!!! So ready for everything pumpkin season!!


Monday, August 9, 2021


 Every wise woman buildeth (Proverbs 14:1)

We had an interesting meeting at church a couple of nights ago.  We are almost ready to start clearing land and building our new church building.  We had our General Contractor come in and go over the plans and discuss the future.  

I found a couple of things interesting:

~He was very focused on the architectural plans that had been drawn up

~He was very focused on what the people of VSIBC wanted

~He gave lots of input of how things should be done and showed lots of wisdom and confidence, but ultimately he stressed that we are building this church building together!

~We left with a sense of unity, definite purpose and direction.  Even though different people have different responsibilities (some will pull the permits, some will write the checks to the sub contractors, some will work on the drywall) we all are working together to see this church built!

It made me think about the verse I have been pondering, Proverbs 14:1.

Just as our Contractor is going to build our church, I am called to build my home.  Every wise woman buildeth her house!  So, if I want to be wise, I will build my home.  What exactly does this mean on a day to day basis?

~Just as our Contractor, we have plans that have been drawn up; God's Word.  As a woman building her home, God has given very clear, precise instructions to follow.  Am I doing that?  Do I even know them?  In order to be a wise woman building her home I must be in the Word daily.  And not just in the morning.  It should be the guide book that I refer to throughout the day.  Need help with disciplining the children?  It's in there.  Need help managing daily tasks?  It's in there.  Need help prioritizing?  It's in there.  Need help balancing the wife/momma responsibilities?  Yes, it's in there, too.  Just as a Contractor will refer to the architectural plans time and time again, we should be doing the same.  It's easy for us to google or Pinterest the answer to our problems or for ideas on how to make things work.  Let the Bible be your first and most valuable reference!

~Just as our Contractor was focused on the people of VSIBC and their desires, I should be focused on the people in my home.  They are precious.  And God has placed me to be the care taker and keeper of them.  The home I build is the place where memories are made and lives are lived.  Do I really know the people that live in my home?  Do they know that they are my focus?  My joy?  My life?

~Just as our Contractor stressed the importance of building the church building together, my home should be the same way.  Each person living under this roof should have a part.  They should have input that is valued and matters.  I don't want a home that is so run by me that they feel it's my domain and not theirs.  I want my family to walk through that door and feel like it is their haven, their place of refuge.  

I tell my girls over and over how wonderful it is to be "Keeper of the Home."  I get to do this!  I get to build my home for God's glory!  Is it always easy?  I think we know the answer to that question!  But, the time spent building my home is never wasted and never in vain.  So, let's build! And let's fill our home with a sense of unity as we work and serve together!

Friday, August 6, 2021

Does she really have to?

Things are getting real around here in our wedding preparation.  But.....does she really have to pack up her things?

(And yes, I do know the answer to that question.)

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Family Tea Party....enjoying each last bit of summer

 We are enjoying each last minute of summer that we have.  We decided to do a family tea party for lunch one day.  Liberty and Freedom were soooo excited!!  And it was nice to have everyone together.

Only a few more days left until we start school.  Tonight is supposed to be slumber party night.  Honestly I don't seem to make it past 10pm lately.  We'll see how long I can stay up! 

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Hiawassee, Georgia

We were so blessed to be able to take 4 nights and have a family vacation.  It was so great to have some time to get away and make memories together!!

It was fun trying to figure out where we wanted to go.  We chose the mountains of north Georgia!

For us it works so perfect to get a cabin in a pretty spot.  We have found that if we get a cabin with fun stuff to do right there, we are able to relax and have fun together.  It doesn't always make sense for us (physically and financially) to travel far and go here and there seeing and doing things.  Our vacation is for being together and relaxing.  The cabin we chose was perfect!  It had a creek running along the back.  We played and played and fished in that creek!  It also had a pool table, fooseball table, and cornhole.  

It's important to us to find time to just sit, listen to nature and read.  We love to do that!!

And of course play family games. :o)

Devotion time on the porch, with coffee, the cool of the morning and my love was one of my favorite times!

What made it even better is that my parents were travelling home from Michigan to Florida, so they were able to stop by for a few hours.  We loved it!!

I can't believe how tall my Silas is getting!!

There is definitely a different undercurrent happening in our family right now.  Brenna has a countdown to the wedding on her phone.  Daily (and sometimes hourly) she reminds us how many days until the wedding. She's so excited!  As she should be.  We are all so happy for her, but this Momma's heart is missing her already. I know we will love having this new family dynamic.  It's going to be great to welcome AJ to the family, but my mind keeps going to all the lasts we are experiencing with her.  Vacation was one of those.  

When it rained our little creek picked up speed and turned a coffee color as the water came down from the mountains.  It was so fun tubing!

We drove to Helen for a few hours and enjoyed the German town.  It was so busy!!

We caught lots of fish and Micah caught a crawfish!

Cornhole competitions were fierce!

My Beth enjoyed time writing by the creek.  I love her creative, book loving heart!

Most restaurants had their dining rooms closed because they can't find workers.  So sad.  We were happy to eat at a couple of places while out.

 I'm so thankful for this man of mine that new we needed a few days away.  We love being together!  And now we are home and hitting the ground running!  Lots to do with wedding planning, school starting and our church applying for building permits! Life is good!