Monday, March 28, 2011

Show 'N Tell: DIY Container

I just love getting food items in cute & reusable containers.

Enter: this tin with these nasty things. They actually were expired over a year ago, so when I cleaned my pantry out this year, I decided to repurpose this awesome tin!

I'm obsessed with straws. If you know me, you know. I just am. It's wierd, and just...silly. But true. I recently found the plastic straws at my favorite Dollar Tree store, and kinda bought most of them (for when I run out...then I can you know...get some more out!). I needed a container, and this one is PERFECT.

If you know me, you also know I have a sweet love affection with Modge Podge. It's simple, cheap (I buy it @ 40% off at HobLob), and EASY.

My kitchen is Navy blue with white cabs, so I'm going with an Americana theme in there. Enter super cute paper and a few cute ribbons to cover up a mistake:

Seriously, guys. It's fun! You should try it! Total cost of this project: $0 {cuz I already had all the stuff.}

Book Thoughts: "Chazown" (Groeschel)

I just signed on to a program through WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, where I get to get free books if I blog about them...(Um, okay...yes, please!)

Here are my thoughts on "Chazown" by Craig Groeschel.

You must know, to start off, that I am a Groeschel fan. I have read several of his books, and participated in several small groups in his video sermon series. He's authentic. He's real. He's down to earth. And he doesn't beat around the bush.

I mainly picked this book because, after all, I am a Groeschel fan. I don't have to worry about random theology thrown in. He's usually just a Biblical kind of writer, which I like.

Chazown's subtitle is: Define Your Vision, Pursue Your Passion, Live Your Life on Purpose.

I didn't look too much into the book past that when I signed up for Blogging for Books. Interestingly enough, I thought I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I know what my passions are, and I feel as if I already life my life on purpose (most days). God may have different plans than we, though, and we need to be ready and willing if He changes our path.
Whether you're at a fork in the road or are just driving along aimlessly, this book is a helpful tool to reach your ultimate goal of "living life on purpose." Groeschel takes the Hebrew word for vision, "chazown," (pronounced khaw-ZONE), and creatively encourages readers to find our purpose.

"Where there is no Chazown - no dream, no revelation, no vision, no sense of our created purpose - we perish." (p. 9)

The book is broken down into very short chapters (which is great for this Momma of a soon-to-be-5-year-old). It reads easy, and quite literally guides you through questions, self examinations, meditations, and even a few charts to help you truly dig deep into the person God has created you to be.

Guiding you through your Core Values, Spiritual Gifts, and Past Experiences, the author encourages you to combine the three in a Venn Diagram of sorts, seeing where they merge. Then you will find the Chazown. Then, instead of leaving it there, he talks about what to do to get it into action.

Then he breaks down our Chazowns, relating them to the spokes on a bicycle: Relationship with God, Relationships with People, Finances, Health & Fitness, & Work. In this section, he helps readers see that when a spoke is out, the wheel will not work properly. So it is with us: we must be Biblically balanced people as we travel on this road called life.

Get ready to be challenged. Watch out for your Chazown!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. Below are some resources in case you're interested in reading this book on your own! I highly recommend it, as it was enlightening and motivating, along with Biblical and down to Earth. The first chapter is available from the publisher, as well.

{Also - not to beg, but please rank my blog so I can win cool stuff!}

Check Berean Bookstore for your very own copy, or as always, you could stop by my other favorite place to buy books: Amazon.

Chazown by Craig Groeschel (Chapter 1)

Multitude Mondays 4.0

39) The anticipation of seeing lots of my family.
40) My sweet D's "sleepy eyes" when he wakes up.
41) Snuggling with a 4 month old for HOURS on end...he's so sweet.
42) Having family at my house...such a rare treat.
43) Seeing D excited to go to his MeMaw & PaPaw's house
44) A random (and free) date night this week with my blue-eyed love.
45) Listening (and crying) during worship...God's presence is so real.
46) Talking to the lawyer about ADOPTION {I should say finally, but instead I'll say "YAY!"}
47) Late night catching up after a long day away from each other.
48) Showing my 5 year old grace when he messes up {just like I've been shown over and over}.
49) Hearing my 2 year old nephew call our dog, Gilbert, funny and cute!
50) Kissing that same 2 year old nephew and hearing him say, "Have Mercy!" cute is THAT?!
51) Having intellectual conversations with my almost-7 year old niece. {How can she really be SEVEN?!?!}
52) Seeing D have the time of his life with his boy cousins {including but not limited to "wrastling" on the air mattress}
53) Having my bestie just "drop in" on her way through town...and getting to snuggle with her 8 month old and 3 year old {who I love like nephews!} - love you, belle!
54) Hearing my Momma's voice on the phone most every day.
55) Sitting next to my Mom one week in church, and my brother the next. I {heart} my family...
56) Hearing someone's story and having it impact your life...{Be careful the weight you put on your children's shoulders...something you say could impact them the REST of their life.}
57) Singing at church...just love our worship department, and the songs we sing to our Father...
58) Advice from my Dad...who knows EVERYTHING about woodworking...on our lovely fence out back.
59) A surprise visit from my other bestie (I have 2) and a random (and sweet) gift - love you, beffie!
60) Seeing children's fear of my sweet pups melt when they see how cool he really is!
61) 2 words - SMOTHERED.CHICKEN. Oh my word, that was amazing.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Multitude Mondays 3.0

25) Hearing D in the backseat singing with Chris Tomlin {"and if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us? and if our God is with us, then what can stand against?"} Now there's something great to teach a 4 year old. {Thanks, WBGL!}
26) Seeing my love passionate about something new in his life.
27) The burn after the workout...feels so - bad it's good?! Did I confuse you? Because now I'm confused...
28) When people seek truth...{it's so neat to watch}
29) Getting a voicemail from my Daddy. I {heart} him...
30) Hearing someone smile over the phone {I know I'm not the only one who can hear someone smile...}
31) Hearing D giggle...{oh my goodness, have you heard him giggle?}
32) Conversations with friends on the couch
33) Scrapping with a friend while dreaming of our future children God will bless us with.
34) Watching people pray at the altar at church.
35) Hugs from one of your dearest friends.
36) Listening to D read "I Love You Through & Through." I am trying to get it on video. I will post if I do. It is unbelievable cute. <3
37) Being carless for 1.5 (+) days {it's not so bad being couped up in the house...we got lots of cleaning done!}
38) Having God tell others what he's telling you...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Show 'N Tell: DIY Magnets

I'm always looking for creative gifts to give people on our little to nothing budget. I found one! Magnets!

Now who doesn't love a good, cute, and functional magnet?

I did copy this off a blog, though I can't quite remember which one {sorry!}. I tried it though I was skeptical, and I am happy!

It was actually kinda fun to make them.

What you need: glass stones (Dollar Tree), Round Magnets (Hobby Lobby), Modge Podge, 1" circle punch

The first 5 I did, I traced them and pasted them on. {Hello, waste of my time...maybe I'll catch you later.} Then I tried to use my 1" punch, which worked wonderfully! It was super quick and easy! Then slap a little MP on there, wait to dry, then glue the magnets to the backs.

What, do you ask, is holding those pretty mags? Gift card tin boxes! I got one at Dollar Tree, and have been combing clearance racks for more. I tried painting them {BAD IDEA}. For now they will hold my magnets.

Total cost:
$1 (30 glass stones)
$4.20 (50 round magnets)
$1 (gift card holder)

If you put 9 mags/tin box, the gift costs a grand total of $2 {give or take a little}. I'm totally doing these for teacher gifts at the end of the year!

Linked up to these parties:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lent Update

Well, good grief.

I have been eating healthier steadily since Octoberish. Been losing weight and working out more since Januaryish. Been trying since July of 2009. In that time, I have slowly stopped {or reduced at least} my intake of unhealthy foods {including candy, chocolate, ice cream, desserts in general}.

Since I put out there that I was not going to partake in those sweets for the next 40 days, my taste buds have been ATTACKED! Seriously. It's a reminder that God is working in me. It's a reminder to pray in those moments where I feel weak.

And so I say to you, friends, Lent season will not be easy. Not that I thought it would be. But, I'm experiencing a variety of temptations that I haven't experienced...thoughts that I haven't thought for a while. Food is my issue. I realize not everyone has this issue {bless your souls}, but man, this isn't easy!

The reminder that God is working in this sacrifice is so comforting to me.

Thank you, God. Thank you for letting me see/experience my weakness so that I can see your face more clearly...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I didn't grow up practicing lent. In fact, I don't even think I knew exactly what Lent was until I went to Olivet {college}. There, in an Ash Wednesday service my sophomore year, Dan Boone, encouraged us to dig deep and discover what Lent is really about.

And though I don't consider myself a scholar or a philosopher, but I am a follower of Christ. And I do think there's something to this Lenten season. As a follower of Christ, I can give up something in order to focus on the beauty and suffering of Easter. I can, in God's grace and strength, come into this Easter season with a renewed sense of sacrifice, though my sacrifices are nothing compared to God's own son...

That first Lent, I gave up chocolate. That was hard. As a college student, I think I ate a lot of chocolate. In the Lents past, I have given up lots, from TV to caffeine to sweets and online games. Things that take up my time, energy, and mind. In giving up those things for the short 40 day season, I learned something each time (like how giving up caffeine cold turkey is a BAD IDEA.) I also learned spiritual how much time I was "wasting" on things less important than the cross and the mission therein.

This Lent, I am giving up something that I love: sugary sweets, treats, candy, and desserts.

I was praying about this, and sweets kept coming to my mind. I kept fighting it off because, after all, I have slowly eaten less and less sugary snacks/items in the past year or so. But it isn't gone completely. I still treat myself now and again. {And who doesn't love those cadbury eggs or ice cream?}

You wouldn't believe the amount of time I spend thinking about whether or not I have the "calories" left for treats, etc. I think about what my next treat will be. I think about how little I can eat on a given day in order to indulge in a treat.

And so...for the next 40 days, sugar is...out of the picture. The thought of it, the smell of it, the taste of it, and the lure of it...well, probably not the lure of it. You get the picture.

And my understanding of fasting is that we chose prayer and commune with God instead of indulging in whatever it is that we're fasting. Now this is something I can look forward to.

I'm sure I will keep you posted on the progress. What are you giving up for Lent?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

DIY & Show 'N Tell: Frame Changes

Okay - so I am crafty. I thrive on being crafty. I love it. I love turning things from one thing into another. It's makes me feel good. Call me crazy, but it just is.

Sometimes it can be simple changes...all you need is a fresh coat of acrylic paint. Here are some examples of frames I just finished this week.

I'm not a big fan of gold...never have been {hope I never will be}. Some people love it. Great. Not for me, though.

Someone gave this to me as a gift, and I love it. The phrase is so sweet, and such a reminder of what the ultimate goal is in loving my sweet brown-eyed boy. However, the gold just doesn't work for me. The prachment paper in the middle is a creamy tan-ny color, and I thought about doing it in white, but then realized how cool it would look in navy.

{And doesn't it look sharp in navy?}

I'm still working on my office/craft space. It's eventually going to be a sage-ey green color, but for now, little decorations here and there can make a big eye-poppin' difference. Here is a cork board I got @ Staples for 50cent (yes, 50 cents).

It's fine in black. Really. I just wanted something a little different.

Enter some green acrylic paint. Does a world of difference. It's cute now! {Now if only I could get it on the wall where I want it...maybe if I bat my eyelashes? ;-)}j

And who doesn't love a make-over picture frame? This frame is unique, and I paid less than $2 for it a Hobby Lobby on the clearance rack. It's an odd gold-y, platinum-y, brown-y color...and I wanted it in my office/craft space for my new favorite pic of my boys. So...I used the same paint as my cork board. Check out the difference!

I think I'm going to try something to spruce the frame up a bit. What do you think? Flowers? Buttons?

I linked up to the following:

Friday, March 4, 2011

13 Hours Boy Free

So - I have the pleasure of being in my own home/space for 13 whole hours without my boys. {Not to say I don't thoroughly enjoy them...just they're gone for the night.} I have time away sometimes, but it's usually doing "Mom" shopping, etc. This also means I get my alone time away from my house (usually).

Today, I told myself, "Self - no anything but what you want to do." And I answered with a resounding "CRAFTS!" {Note: I do need to sleep, too...}

So I'm here to give you a sneak preview of the {count 'em} 7-9 projects I got done in the mere 4.5 hours since they've been gone so far. Now it's time for me to watch a chick flick and chill for the rest of the night.

Here are the pics of quite the mess I have on my hands. However, soon, I should be able to put it all together, and show it all off {probably in separate posts - sorry! That way I can link up to fun linky parties!}

Stay Tuned...

Until later, friends...I'm off to enjoy a chick flick GUILT FREE!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Biggest Blessings...

My biggest blessings: My boys.

{Oh my sweet are they?}

I quite literally don't know what my life would look like today without these boys. Aaron is not only the love of my life, but also my closest friend. I love to laugh with him, and I can't wait to grow old with him. Dillon is the best gift God could have ever blessed us with. Adopting him is changing my life every day, in a new way, and teaching me more about God and His love for us. Gilbert is the kind of friend you always need...cuddles when you need it, plays when you wanna, and protects if ever there is an intruder (or moving leaf) in the yard.

I {heart} my boys!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Multitude Mondays 2.0

I have so enjoyed watching for my moments to be thanful for. No pictures today, but I will try to have some next week in my MM post.

Be blessed, y'all!

11) Seeing D's face when he sees his BFF across the way at the mall (or church or school). Priceless.
12) Sitting across from a friend talking about adoption, and knowing that these days of adoption being "taboo" are so over. What a blessing.
13) Having a sweet brown-eyed 4 year old take my hand out of the blue.
14) Smiles and swimming together as a family
15) Dancing in the kitchen with my love.
16) Pure joy seen in my 4 year old as he plays with strangers at a random playground.
17) Being down TEN POUNDS!!!!
18) Sneaking kisses and looking over to see D beaming at us...he needs us to love each other!
19) Being in the very presence of the one and only Holy God...and the changes it makes in a person {thank you, God, for this experience this week}
20) Counting down the days until I can see my Marmi & Ceec (Mom & Sis, for those of you who don't know my wierd nicknaming complex - more on that later, I suppose) {16, in case you were wondering}
21) Seeing a friend after a long {and I mean l.o.n.g. time without seeing her} - Love you, Kim!
22) Walking to school for the first time this year!
23) The bright sun showering through the window in my kitchen...and the warmth it brings on a chilly morn.
24) Having a church family...doesn't make me miss my family any less, but I sure do love them all!
25) Making lasagna using "teachable moments" and learning patters {he got it!}