Surrounded

Image result for it may look like i'm surrounded

Hello Friends,

I didn't intend to skip all of last week but it happened. I write blog posts after we get Kambree down for the night and with the holiday her nights have been late and then I AM DONE.  So much has happened since I last blogged but something happened today that I can't quit thinking about.

Every other Sunday morning I work during our church service to display song lyrics and scriptures on the large screen.  I looked for a name for this task but I wasn't able to find anything.  I usually call it video ministry but that doesn't seem quite right either.   Anyway, we were about to sing Surrounded by Michael W. Smith.  Surrounded YouTube video We have sang this song many times but I noticed something that I had not noticed before.  At the top of the screen was

The Word says 
"For the spirit of heaviness 
Put on the garment of praise" 
That's how we fight our battles 

Praise!  This is how we fight our battles!  Not with worry and distress and doubt but with PRAISE!  In our distress we are not alone, we are surrounded by God and He is for us.  The lyrics in this song are simple but they evoke such emotion when our congregation sings them.  I immediately snapped the picture of the screen as if the words would disappear.  

PRAISE!!!  We so often isolate praise to times of joy and times of plenty but I believe that a life of praise, no matter the circumstance, is what God wants from us.  Praise Him in the devastating moments, praise Him in the turmoil, praise Him without end.  I know that no matter my circumstance the Lord is with me - He surrounds me!!!

I think this is a great way to enter the New Year and I pray that I'll make this my focus of this year.  I believe that I can have a spiritually powerful 2019 if I will replace my worry, fear, doubts, anger, frustration, etc. with praise. 

Image result for isaiah 61:3

While I was typing this post I listened to Surrounded several times but I also came across this great version of Way Maker , give it a listen.  

Does anyone want to join me on this journey or praise?  I would love to talk with you about it.  We could partner through the year as accountability partners.  Let me know how I can help.

Have a happy and safe New Years Eve.  



Friday Favorites



Welcome to Friday Favorites!  I have to be real and tell you that I am having a hard time recalling favorites of this week.  I haven't felt very well all week but I can recall a few moments that have made me smile.

Let's get started!

1.  As tiring as they are the school activities have been a favorite this week.  There was the class party this week.  These girls were happy to see me when I walked in the classroom, why one of them even commented that I had colored my hair.  


See the only boy in the picture below?  His name is John and Kambree has a little crush on him.  Y'all he is so adorable!  Kambree and John were in Kindergarten together and on the first day of school this year Kambree mentioned John and wondered if he would be at her school this year.  Well, when we walked in her classroom there was John sitting right across from her.  Kambree just looked at me and smiled really big.  I always try to take pictures of them because you never know they might go to prom together in eleven years or so.  


There was also the Jingle Bell Run.  The outdoor event was moved into the gym because it was a drizzly day.  So, it became a Jingle Bell Sprint.  


2.  After the class party we ran into Brooklyn and her Dad.  We were able to bring Brooklyn to spend the afternoon and evening with us.  We went to the park, to McDonald's, and to Santa's Country Christmas in Seagoville .  It's $20 per car and it's really fun. There is a lot to see.  The girls stood with their heads out of the sunroof for all of the drive.  It was a lot longer than I thought it would be and there are a lot of animals to see.  There are themed areas and we really enjoyed it.  


One of my favorite things about the drive was hearing the girls talk about Christ.  Brooklyn saw a cross and kept saying how He didn't stay dead and that He came back to life.  Both girls shared their understanding and it was really special.  

As much as the girls understood that Christ came, died, and rose again they have no understanding of the words to the song Mary Did You Know. They would both sing it very seriously and repeat this line over and over 

Mary did you know that your baby boy was sleeping on the hay

I'm telling you that they would sing in their best "opera" voice and it was the kind of thing where you kind of want to laugh but you don't want to ruin the moment.  I attempted to record them singing but I now have a video of my bandaged foot and a tissue that was on the floorboard of my car and the girls singing.  



3. Hitting send on a project this week has been another favorite.  I have been very swamped at work and hitting send on one file and moving a folder to the finished file on another job has definitely been a favorite.   

4.  My friend, Rhonda, sent me this pic showing me that my little blog has made it to her most viewed area in her web browser.  See the things is that Rhonda is not just a bit of a grammatical expert, but a lot of a grammatical expert.  I imagine that she cringes often as I misuse punctuation but she's my friend and she reads anyway.  


5.  Today was my last day in the office until next year.  I will still be working some at home but I won't have that long commute and I can have lazy mornings with no school or work rush.  Things have felt chaotic in our home the last couple of weeks and knowing that a long break is here is making my week great.

Well that's it for this week.  I hope to be back Monday with a weekend update.  Have a great weekend and please take the time to enjoy some calm.










Winding Down!!



Image result for christmas wrapping memes


Y'all, it's Thursday.  Does anyone kind of wish that time would slow down just a little?  I just placed an order at Target that should be here by Christmas Eve because I think I need a few more things for Kambree and I don't think I'll have a minute to run to the store.    

Is anyone else with me?  Have I wrapped any gifts?  The answer is no.  Last year I had a wrapping assistant but I sense too much stress to impose on her this year.  Kambree carried gifts and stuff to school three days this week - come on Momma get it together.  Truthfully it was nice that it was all spaced out because she didn't have to do too much in one day.  I have had the gifts for the school staff for a long while but I bagged it up the morning that Kambree was passing it out.  Hello Yolanda, work harder not smarter - wait that's not how it goes.  I was proactive in my shopping but not in my packaging.  Our mornings would have been less stressful if I would have taken one minute to package items as I collected them.  

Image result for work smarter not harder meme

I have been telling myself all day that I will do better next year.  Someone text me the Monday after Thanksgiving next year and tell me to bag those teacher gifts!  I'm going to do myself a solid and set a calendar reminder!  I actually just took a minute to set a reminder on my calendar.  

Image result for wait until the last minute meme

So, these are a few things that are running through my head.  I'll be back tomorrow with some highlights from the week.   

Weekend Recap





Hi Friends!  I thought that I would finally recap our weekend.

 A long time ago there was a weekend and I'm ready for another one.  On Friday night Kambree andI ran to a couple of stores but shopping with a tired six year old girl was a mistake.  We usually stay home on Friday evening and that's what I should have scheduled.  Kambree was just done.  When we finally got home Kambree was so relieved.  Me too!

On Saturday morning it was very clear that if we didn't get Kambree out of the house she was going to go stir crazy.  We had a couple of hours to kill before Kambree's Grandmother was picking her up for a trail ride at a local horse park so me and Kambree headed out to the Crandall Christmas Festival - we saw a several people that we knew. The main thing that we did was wait in line for a balloon sword and face painting.  



It was a very cold morning but the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day.  We weren't there long when it was time to leave for Kambree's trail ride.  We bought some cake pops on our way out of the festival, as one does.  

After I left Kambree with her Grandma, I went to get my nails done then I headed home to get ready for my company Christmas party.  The party was held at the home of our Interior Designer.  Everything was beautiful and her home was a wonderful place for our party.  Our dinner was catered by Blue Mesa Grill.  The appetizers were the hit of the show to me!  There was chips, queso, salsa, guacamole, shrimp, and shrimp on a corn cake (something like that).  There could have not been a dinner and  I would have thought it was great.  There was a bar with many variety of drinks to choose from.  One of my coworkers is a Sommelier and I knew the wine would be amazing.  I tried the red wine and it really was great but I ended the evening on water and soda.  






In the few hours leading up to the party I wasn't feeling very well but I rallied to make it to the party.  While we were eating dinner I began to feel sick again.  We left the party shortly after at around 9:00. I later learned that we didn't miss much and many people left right after us.  

On Sunday afternoon I had plans for me and Kambree to attend 

Image result for gift of christmas 2018

Sadly this didn't go off as I had hoped.  The two hour event was just too much for her.  There's so much anticipation during the Christmas season and she wasn't really able to sit still.  I really enjoyed the show though and it will be a few years until I attempt to take her again.  


Kambree and I were both glad to be home after the show.  We had a good Sunday evening and prepared for the week.  

So, we had a pretty packed weekend but it was a good one.  Thanks for reading today!






  



Give A Kid A Book



Hello!  Happy Tuesday!  It's class party day and we're hanging on by a thread.  Kambree is so ready for a break and I am too.  Let me tell you what we did for a class gift.

Last Friday I had the idea to go to a thrift store and find some books to pass out to Kambree's class.  We would usually give a party favor type gift but I wanted to do something different.  I picked Kambree up from school and we headed to a local thrift store.  I was thinking that I might find books for anywhere from twenty five cents to a couple of dollars each.  Imagine my delight when I walked in and there was a sign that said a bag of books was $3.  I asked an employee and she gave me a flimsy plastic grocery store bag that I very creatively filled.  I searched for at least an hour through all the children's books.  Kambree hung with me for a short while but mainly she tried on high heels.  

I needed to find 24 books but I got hung up at 21.  Kambree helped me finish the search.  There were tubs of books in the room and we dug until we found everything that we needed.  There are some great books!  I would like to add some of these to our nightly reading stack.  


I ended up working very late on Monday evening so when I got home I was immediately on "get Kambree in bed" mode.  After Kambree was asleep I began wrapping and labeling all the books.  I sat with a TV tray and watched the end of Dumplin' on Netflix ,  Here is the wrapped stack and the label too.



I know that the kids would probably rather have the party favor type bag with stuff like an eraser, pencil, maybe some candy, but I hope that some will appreciate a new used book.  I'm excited to see which book Kambree gets since she's one of the 24. 

So, that's all for today.  I hope you all have an amazing Tuesday and that you are finding calm as we near Christmas Day.  



Bags O' Kettle Corn


Hello friends!  It has been a good weekend.  I'll write a recap later but right now let me tell you about some delicious kettle corn.

Amber, the daughter of my friend Linda, cooks the best kettle corn.  They have the whole set up where they go set up at festivals and make large quantities of kettle corn.  Amber was at an event Saturday and I ordered several bags of popcorn from her for Kambree to pass out at school.  We did this last year too and Kambree had a blast passing out popcorn to lots of people  

Amber is taking orders for kettle corn that will be cooked this Wednesday, the 19th.  You can message Amber on her Facebook page Christmas Kettle Corn .  The bags are big,y'all!  They are just $8 a bag.


Last year I bought three bags but this year I bought four bags because Kambree enjoyed passing this out so much.  I had a couple of teachers let me know how good they thought the kettle corn was.  



I buy these food safe bags at WalMart and I make lots of perfect sized bags to pass out.  I pour the kettle corn in a large soup pot and I fill the bags with a large spoon.  I only share this because I tried pouring from the large bags to the treat bags - it doesn't work.  #trustme


I might print a label to put on the bags but I might not.  Here are the 30 bags for Kambree to pass out.  


As I was bagging the popcorn it occurred to me that I could put Jolly and Little Elf in the bag and give them the credit for bagging all the kettle corn.  #mommastired  I thought about leaving a mess like the time Jolly made brownies but the thought of waking up to a mess, even a pretend mess, was just more than I could handle.  


You can get some kettle corn too!  Local friends reach out to Amber for Christmas kettle corn  Take a bag if you have a gift exchange to attend or pass some out to your neighbors and get a bunch for the staff at school.  

Thanks for reading today!  







Friday Favorites


Looks like we made it to Friday or if you ask Kambree you made it to "pajama day".  Every day this week she has asked if the day after this is pajama day.  She was actually excited to go to sleep so she could wake up and it be pajama day.  I'm working from home on Friday so it just might be pajama day for me too.

Let's kick of Friday Favorites!

One

The school did some testing last week and we are thrilled that Kambree did great.  The school tested at the first of the year and set a goal of where she should be now and we are thrilled that she exceeded that goal in reading and in math.  She was ecstatic too!  She received a certificate from her reading teacher.  Her elves are celebrating with a confetti party and a $10,000,000 milk chocolate bar.  


You might notice that we have an additional elf.  This is Little Elf and he has been around for a couple of years.  Kambree couldn't keep her hands off of him and he's been missing.  He's been found and he has the same rules as Jolly.  This is why Jolly told Kambree that she can hug him once or twice but any more would not be nice.  Jolly knew that it would be so hard for her to never touch him.  She's done great with two hugs and putting him where he goes to rest.  

Two

Our visit to the North Pole Express was definitely a highlight this week.  Read all about it here North Pole Express Recap


Three

I am still feeling the love from the Favorite Things Party that I attended last Friday. 




Four 

A definite favorite this week has been people feeding us.  Sunday after church Linda let me know that she had a pan of chicken spaghetti for us. It wasn't just a pan, it was a huge pan.  Then there's my Mother-in-law, she's been feeding us for a few weeks.  Wednesday night she asked if I could do a drive by to pick up some soup and cookies, last Thursday she brought food to our house and cooked it for us, Monday evening she sent mexican casserole home when I picked Kambree up from her.  Y'all, that soup that she had for us is so delicious.  It's like a turkey pot pie in a bowl, so delicious.  On the days that I drive into the office I get home kind of late so we really appreciate being loved on with food.

Image result for someone cook for me

Five

Today when I picked Kambree up from school we headed to Aldi.  I have been wanting to visit Aldi for a couple of months but I really have not shopped during my recovery.  Let me tell you that it was great to see the variety of items offered.  I forgot how great the prices are on produce and the selection of cheeses is great too.  There were several gift items that caught my eye as well and a couple of things that I hope to go back and pick up for Kambree.  

Six

I have had three people randomly tell me that they are enjoying my blog.  One sweet friend stopped me after church and told me that she's really enjoying it.  I was so surprised, I didn't even know she was reading.  I so appreciate anyone that takes the time to read and to receive such nice feedback is definitely a bonus.  

Image result for thank you meme

These have been a few of my favorites from this week.  What have been some of your favorites this week?  We have some fun stuff planned this weekend and I'll tell y'all all about it next week.  Enjoy the weekend! 

North Pole Express Recap




Hello Friends!  Happy Thursday.  I'm so glad to be coming at you today with a recap of our visit to North Pole Express in Grapevine, TX .  We were invited and treated by my friend, Sheri.  Her daughter, Brooklyn, is a sweet friend of Kambree's. 

We left at about 5:00 and headed to Grapevine.  We had a 7:45pm boarding time.  I mentioned our boarding time to a couple of friends and they were sure I meant 7:45am because they know me well.  I can't lie about this y'all - I was very worried about being able to hang because 7:45 feels late on a Sunday evening.  We were pumped though and I was able to hang just fine.  Anyone else like to be in their pajamas before 7:45?  On Sunday evenings I usually try to have Kambree in bed before 8:00 to set her up for the week but when there's this much fun to be had I'll make an exception. 

Everyone is encouraged to wear their pajamas and I was going to feel so silly if Sheri showed up not in pajamas, but she showed up in pajamas that matched with her husband and Brooklyn.  It was a very cold evening so I had on double pajamas and so did Kambree.  Kambree wore a dinosaur onesie over her elf pajamas.   She took the onesie off for a few photos.  

We did a quick walk through the gift shop with the girls and I made note of a few things that the girls would like.  Both of the girls received special North Pole Express souvenirs from their elves.  Before it was time to board the Dallas Cowboy game was finishing up and Keith, Sheri's husband, went and stood in line so that we could do other stuff with the girls and he could finish watching the game.  It was great to have a spot at the very front of the boarding line and even better that we didn't have to wait in the line with the girls.

Part of our visit to the North Pole Express included a picture with Santa.  We were able to choose from several poses and this is the one I chose.


Our next stop was to see Santa's Reindeer.  There were several reindeer but not all of the ones named in the song.  We heard that some "escaped" and there was a search for them.  Rudolph was quite an outgoing reindeer and definitely enjoyed reindeer games.  He practically headbutted Kambree with his antlers.


Look at Rudolph photo-bombing us.  A stranger stood in a chair to take that picture of us.  


Y'all are probably thinking that we are some cute looking Moms - well, you are right.  Our girls were having a blast and that makes us very happy.  You may also be wondering where I bought my cute hat - sorry ladies, my Mom made this hat a very long time ago so there is no link to share.  #madewithlove


When we left the reindeer there was a tent with a few props for picture taking.  We messed around in there a little while.  I really like this first picture of me and Kambree.  






Soon it was time to get in line to board the train.  Fortunately we had a spot at the very front.  We dropped the kids off with Brooklyn's Dad and went to pick up a few snacks.  


The inside of the train was decorated so pretty and the atmosphere was definitely merry.  The bench seats moved in a way that allowed the bench seats to face each other and that was fun.  


I snapped this selfie before we realized our seats could face each other.   


There were elves greeting us and working on our train, but we had the cutest elf with us.  


Kambree ended up in my lap for a little while.


When we boarded the train they gave everyone a small cup of hot cocoa. The cup is neat and has a lid, we have used it for hot cocoa at home too.  During the ride an elf gives everyone a cookie too.  Halfway through the ride Mrs. Claus boarded our train to pass out a "Believe" bell to all the children.  Sheri told our elf that we would like a bell too, so when Mrs. Claus and the elf came to our seats the elf told Mrs. Claus that there were four believers.  Look at the magic as Sheri receives her bell.  I'm so glad they gave all us girls a bell.  


When we arrived at the North Pole we snapped a picture with this elf that sounded so much like an elf when he talked.  


When we arrived at the North Pole it was snowing very heavily.  There were snow covered trees everywhere and it was very pretty.  On an unrelated note - how pretty is Kambree's hair?  She has the pretties beach waves.  


Up next was Santa's Workshop.  There was a show but Sheri and I left the girls with Keith so we could pick up a few things.  #helptheelf


We ended the night with a quick carousel ride before we headed home.


Sheri and I agreed that this was a one-time experience and that our girls are probably at the max age to really enjoy it.  I am so glad that we experienced the North Pole Express.  I have heard of it but was never able to attend.  We give a huge THANK YOU to the Franklin family for including us in their Christmas festivities.  We'll always remember this night.

Have a great Thursday.  I'll be back tomorrow with some Friday Favorites.  













Friday Favorites - March 1, 2019

Hello Friday!  I feel like Brooklyn with those Hulk smash gloves - we smashed this week and I'm glad to see it nearing an end.  I...