Mugs & Muffins 2015

Mugs & Muffins – it’s a ladies outreach event we put on annually where you bring your own mug and $5 at the door and we fill your cup with coffee and provide lots of muffins. If you’re looking for a simple women’s event this is the way to go.

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This year I was so blessed to work with the Mom’s In Prayer group that I pray with weekly. They joined our church in planning and working on this event since our theme was on prayer. Our speaker was Joy Moreau the Appalachian Area Coordinator for MIP. Our team has had the privilege of sitting under her encouragement before and we wanted to extend the reach and have her speak at Mugs & Muffins. She is a precious woman of God and she led us through several stages of prayer and showed us how simple praying with one other person can be. We also got to hear an awesome testimony from Anna Keck, a teacher at our school and Mom’s In Prayer chik. She shared a great story and encouraged women to accept the call to pray even if they feel like they stumble through their words and aren’t totally comfortable praying out loud which was her story a few years ago as a new believer in Christ.

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I personally loved the time we had at our tables this year to interact with the other women we sat with. We talked about the things we wanted to praise God for and thank him for. And then we spent time interceding on behalf of someone we know that needs to know the truth of who God is.

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This year the decorations and centerpieces flowed so well. It just came together as people added their touch to things. A very talented iron and woodworker in our church cut the wood discs for us to use and we turned the mason jars into cutey-patootey centerpieces with fresh flowers.

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This year was the first year my sweet girl came with me. Here’s how that happened: “Sophie, would you like to go to a gun show with Dad and Mitchell or pray for two hours?” I was sort of kidding about the pray for two hours but I wanted her to know it wasn’t just eating muffins for two hours straight so she wouldn’t be disappointed. She whole heartedly agreed that praying for two hours would be much better than attending a gun show. Ha! So she came with me and was such a sweet hard worker. I know I’m her Mama and all but the girl worked hard and it was a sweet moment for me to realize we were serving together.

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A few questions people have asked about Mugs & Muffins:

  • How do you plan if you don’t sell tickets?

Wellllll that’s the tricky part. We’ve never had an idea of how many people would come to this event. We’ve just planned on anywhere from 40-60. This year we had 75 ladies and over 22 churches represented. That was so exciting for us! The only problem is that we did run out of regular coffee towards the end. That’s not great when the main thing you’re serving is coffee and muffins but sometimes you just have to roll with it and move on. So that’s what we did. Next year we will be better prepared in the coffee department.

  • How do you get the word out?

We used fliers, email and Facebook. I happen to be married to a man who is very creative and really good at designing fliers. He made the flier below for us to post away. Not just on Facebook & Twitter but in town – restaurants, hair salons, etc. Also because our MIP team is made up of women from different churches they put the word out to their churches.

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  • How do you get all your muffins and coffee?

We made our own coffee the first year and then decided it would benefit us to cater that part out. So we used a local coffee shop in town this year and made some of our own as well. The Ladies Missionary Fellowship and other ladies in our church provide the muffins every year. They drop them off on Friday and we warm them on Saturday morning.
Linking with Kelly, Laura, Jen, and Mom2Mom

 

 

It’s all about where you let your focus land

What do you see in these two pictures?

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A laid up chick surrounded by…..

ice packs & meds

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A potty chair, wheelchair and walker?

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Or the blessings

Of cards from both young and old….(thank you preschool, 2nd and 4th grade and cheerleaders at CBS!)

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The encouragement shared through flowers and written sentiments from those who swing by.

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Where my eyes land and stay will determine the scope of the discouragement in a difficult season. If my focus is fixated on the sterile gray walker (which my sister helped change and pictures to come soon!) and the wheelchair and the pain meds then my outlook is downcast. But if I let my eyes and heart land on the sweet things like flowers, notes, and the love shown by my family and friends then my outlook will be different. Although it’s still a hard season it does not have to be overcome with discouragement. Staying in scripture is the number one thing that keeps my heart from becoming and staying downcast but next in line is focusing on the beautiful encouragement from my family and church family God has blessed me with.

So where are you choosing to let your focus land?

It makes a difference.

Linking with Jen today.

 

While I’m sleeping…….

My sister came up from Atlanta this weekend to help us out on the home front since my Mom had to go back for some appointments. She has been so helpful to us and the kids love her being here.  She took Sophie to McD’s and had some special girl time with her. Then they went peony picking. *Insert high-pitched little girl squeal.  I now am gazing at them as I type. Pink flowers do a number on me almost as powerful as my pain meds. Ha! Kidding.

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Linda also got to take Sophie to her soccer game and see her play which was awesome fun. And she she got to be a part of Mom’s In Prayer which met at my house. MIP is one of the greatest highlights of my week so I was really glad she could meet these awesome ladies that I pray with every week. She understands the power of a prayer group because she has her own group back home. She and I have had our own sweet times of prayer together and that has been really neat too. We don’t get that much living six hours away.

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I love the picture of Sophie and Aunt Linda talking together. They were discussing stories of nostril entrapment. Deep issues in this household. Linda got a green pea stuck up her nose when she was little in our Grandmother’s garden. The kids loved hearing that story. And so did I honestly.

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And here Sophie is reading a funny card from a friend. And yes, my children have overtaken my main source of transportation – my wheelchair! Every afternoon Sophie comes home and I give her an obstacle course assignment with the wheelchair and we time her. So she wheels into the living room and parks and does a flip on the couch and wheels back to foyer where she does three circles and back to dining room. She gets 3 chances to get the best time. It’s really become something she looks forward to each afternoon. And me too actually.

And for other awesomeness on the home front this week:

  • A friend brought over essential oils for me to try out – I’m especially liking the topical for the swelling in my ankle and I actually think it’s making a difference.
  • Our church is still overwhelming us with love and support through prayers, meals and words of encouragement.
  • Another friend sent a funny card and money to replace my black pants “that EMS ripped off my hot body” as she put it. BaHahahaha!!!!! I thought that was so sweet and am so appreciative.
  • Someone brought over gorgeous white peonies.
  • Our school cheerleading team baked and brought over cookies and left on our front porch at 2:00am. It took me all day to figure out who they were from but I finally figured it out! So sweet of them.
  • My sister is working so hard and staying busy – changing sheets, cleaning the kitchen, getting the things I need, helping with end of year teacher gifts errands, banking, carpooling the kids and so much more. She has been a blessing.
  • I am sleeping sooooooo much better.

 

Plantation ferns, cucumber sandwiches and peonies = Simply Southern

I’ve never done one of those home parties before where you have a representative come and sell their product and people that are interested come by and look and purchase if they want. I have a friend who asked me about hosting one for Jamberry Nails and I agreed and asked if we could also combine it with a Silpada party and so we did. And it was a lot of fun!

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Sophie was a really big help in the process. She was excited about this party herself because she got to have her nails done ahead of time by the Jamberry Nails Rep/Friend and she LOVED her soccer ball nails and her other funky ones too. She was excited about the potential of getting to pick out some wraps herself. She helped make the cucumber sandwiches which I got from here. They were really good even if I did make them! Now my lemon squares? Not so much. Let’s not talk about that.

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There were a lot of great give-aways and fun games. I regret I didn’t get any pictures of the Silpada table because there were some really nice pieces and the rep/now friend (I didn’t know her before) also did a great job making people feel comfortable but was not pushy in any way. I like that in a sales rep. Just tell me about your product and why you love it but don’t push me to buy it thankyouverymuch.

I think my favorite part of the day was preparing for it – flowers oh my goodness, I could eat them petal by petal. Seriously I love them. So arranging them was a fun part for me. Also, giving away door prizes is always so.much.fun. I love it!

 

 

A cup of sunshine

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Nothing better than a cup of sunshine on a cold winter day.

Thankful for the people, places and things that have brought sunshine my way this week…..

*Encouraging words from my Mother-in-law.

*Praying with my Mom’s In Prayer group and seeing God bind us together.

*Reading old notes from a little girl learning to write and who loves her Mama.

*Seeing the word of God take root in our family as we read through Proverbs.

 

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*Hyacinths, tulips and daffodils are sunshine on a stem.

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*Sweet Forgiveness – had to ask for it this week (failed to remember the gentle answer part of Proverbs)  and was asked to grant forgiveness as well.

Well, it’s cold out there but I hope you’re seeing rays of sunshine in your life. They’re there. Sometimes we have to squint to see them but they’re there every single day.

Happy weekend friends!

Frying Pan Armor and other miscellany

Mornings in our household aren’t boring. Mitchell wakes up full throttle bounding down the stairs exclaiming, “I’m alive!!!!” I’m not sure if he’s surprised or just excited to still be living and breathing. Either way it does my soul good to hear his energy and excitement proving he is indeed alive and well. Yes, very alive. This week he suited up in frying pan armor? I guess because you just never know when you might encounter danger in the classroom.

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So I sent the picture to my Mom in an email who showed it to my brother who felt inspired to do the same thing. And this is my brother in his frying pan armor. Love my bro!

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Later this week my sweetheart showed up in the carpool line to give me these:

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So incredibly sweet. I was parked in the carpool line reading my newsfeed and looked up and there he was with fresh flowers in his hand for me. Oh.my.word….how awesome was that?! He knows my love for flowers and usually I’m hard to surprise so this was just over the top awesome.

Fantastical Fabulous Freedom Friday (we keep calling it different things and now none of us know what to call it.) was another great Family night tonight with 15 minutes of fame for each person. Sophie chose Wii bowling. Mitchell chose to give an online Mine Craft documentary while we all looked on. Randy chose for all of us to read in the living room. And I chose for us to play Uno and Spot It card games. The idea is catching on and we all look forward to it. Fun times.

The journey to healthy eating is still happening. Just more veggie’s and lean meat and much less sugar. Nothing psychotic or anything. Trying to be realistic about it all. Trying to eat only lean meat Monday-Friday and using weekends to pull out the red meat and dessert. They kids aren’t exactly happy about all this change but they’ve actually done very well with it and I’m proud of them. Mitchell has gone from daily Mississippi Mud’s to once a week ice cream and no sugar snacks after school or juice drinks. He even tried red bell pepper last week. Two bites. But hey, it’s a start! Thankfully I didn’t overdose my family on flaxseed this week like I did a few weeks ago. We all thought we had a stomach virus when I had actually put four too many tablespoons of flaxseed in our smoothies. Ha!!!! Not. good.

I’m loving the Bible Study I’m in right now – study of Gideon by Priscilla Shirer. I’ll share more about that soon. It has been a highlight of my week and God continues to solidify the truths He’s teaching me through this study. I see a new layer of community taking place in our group and this excites me. Community doesn’t happen over night. It’s a slow process and it takes work on everybody’s part. Patience is involved as well as risk. I see all this taking this place and I am thankful to God for His working in our church.

I hope you have a great weekend!

When Pinterest fails you and posers crash your nativity scene.

I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. It’s because of pictures like these. It looks so simple. Like all you do is go out in your front yard and pluck a few magnolia branches and then dig out your first grader’s red paint and whalah you have festive Pinterest leaves. Nah. It ain’t so.

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This is more like it……

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Thinly painted (even though it’s 6 coats) and dried out Kindergarden looking art work. Two leaves made me say some not very nice things so imagine what the entire branch would do to my sanity. It’s obvious you need some kind of specialty paint – maybe its just spray paint but I didn’t have any and I really thought tempera paints would do. Um nope. So back outside the branch with two red leaves went. Such an odd sight really. Brought back memories of being a Home Economics minor and never quite fitting in any of my Home Ec. classes. Oh, it’s so true. In sewing 101 I made a short sleeve blouse that was so tight up under my armpits  it cut the circulation off my arms. But I wore that thing – purple arms and all – because I made it. Never fit in. Just like these two red leaves.

So sometimes the decorating attempts don’t go over so well and other times they do with no apparent reason why.

Here’s the mantle – it still needs more greenery but I’m waiting to get some tree clippings when the neighbors are sleeping. Ha! Kidding. No, actually I’m not kidding.

Do you know notice anything different in the pictures below…like “which one of these things is not like the others?”

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If you guessed the Mine Craft posers then you got it right.  Nothing like having a creeper pose as a wise man or Steve as a nutcracker. Our son doesn’t say a word. He just places his latest lego creation amongst the Christmas decor as if it has always belonged there. And I love this about him.

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And for some Christmas drama and reason #10001 why we don’t do Elf on the Shelf:

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It’s dangerous.

See the bike next to the elf? It’s made of metal and it fell on.my.head and about knocked me out. Okay, not really but it hurt. That was the last ‘trick’ Elfano ever did. We have an off brand elf that’s missing a nose with a Hispanic name. “Elfano”. He wrote a note and signed it Elfano with the intent of having an Italian accent but instead it was read by the kids as El-fano with a Spanish twist and it has stuck. Trust me, it’s no problem-o. It’s just very typical of our family.  But ever since the elf induced injury he pretty much just sits on a shelf (ironic isn’t it) and gets moved like every 12 days. Lame but true.

Hope you are having a great start to the Christmas season!

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Tulip & Asparagus Arrangement

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I just love this flower arrangement that a friend told me about years ago. It’s very easy.

What you need:

  • tall cylinder vase (can also use mayo or pickle jar but best results are with the cylinder style vase)
  • one bundle of asparagus (keep the rubber bands that hold them together)
  • one package tulips or your favorite kind of flower ($5 at Walmart)
  • Cute ribbon (any craft store)
  • Place rubber band around vase or jar and then place asparagus under the rubber band. Tie ribbon around the rubber band. Put water in your jar and throw in your flowers.

Flower Find

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This is my latest flower find in my neighborhood! A simply gorgeous tree that blooms everywhere around here. I have no idea what it is but there’s a vacant house across the the street from us and this purplicious tree has branches spilling over onto the sidewalk so I figure it’s totally fine for me to snip some branches and clean up the street some. I have enjoyed them so much this week. And yes, I did take my step stool with me across the street and climb onto it to snip the branches. I think I must have felt somewhat guilty about it because a lady walked by and I looked down from my step stool and asked her if she wanted some. A total stranger walking for exercise and out of the blue I ask if she would like some of the branches I was cutting. That’s just weird. She was really nice but declined my offer to tote around purples branches on the rest of her 5K. See, that’s what happens when you start buffing the body with power walks and such….you don’t take time to steal the flowers. What a shame! Ha! Okay, for real ya’ll, I did NOT steal the flowers. They are across from my house and it’s a totally overflowing tree that extends beyond the fence and into the premises of the public sidewalk. See, I’m not guilty at all. Just paranoid that I might get caught. There’s a difference.

The art of stealing flowers

Flowers are by far a fetish of mine. Tulips are my favorite and they’re in major bloom right now which means we’ve had tulips in our house for the last several weeks. Walmart has them for really cheap. Like almost two dozen for $5.00. But after buying them for three weeks in a row I decided I should not spend anymore of the grocery money on flowers. The children probably wouldn’t understand why they had to eat tulip petals for breakfast because there was no cereal in the house. So I fought the urge to buy those gorgeous tulips the last time I went shopping. And I was rather proud of my self discipline. That is, until I walked by my neighbor’s yard. And her flowers were just begging me to pick them. Really, ya’ll, they were. It was very tempting to just snip them right then and there because I did have a pair of scissors on hand in case I found something beautiful that was begging to go home with us. But I didn’t.

I decided I should wait til dark.

Or a more novel idea would be to just ask our neighbor for a clipping.  I told Randy about my idea and he was mortified. I said, “Oh but they are so beautiful, Randy, and she has tons of them!” And he replied very matter-a-factly, “Annnnd, they’re THEIRS.” I laughed and said, “Okay, so I’ll go in the dark and snip them.” That’s when he about had a heart attack. He was finally okay with me calling and asking our neighbors for a clipping and it ended up being such a good thing because we had so much fun together. She even sent Sophie home with a big wheel to borrow for the afternoon. Not to mention these that I came home with:

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I’m not sure what type of tree this was. An orange blossom or something like that she said. It had huge thorns on it so I had to trim those off. I threw in some yellow jasmine and I’m loving this arrangement.

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A real pretty cutting of her huge camellia bush thrown in a round vase I’ve had for years. It’s a great size vase for magnolia and larger blooms.

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A repeat of the orange blossom tree thingy. Just two branches put in my Grandmother’s old vase. I love the simplicity of this in our kitchen.

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She had three different types of camellia bushes and for some reason I felt guilty taking from all three so I just took from two. This is maturity friends, maturity I say! I’m growing up. Okay, so these camellia’s are also in a dish of my Grandmother’s. I realize all these flowers will be like dead in one to three days but I don’t care. They add such a beautiful freshness to a home and even if it’s just for a few days it’s worth it.