Sunday Scripture: Friends

I have been overwhelmed lately.

With heavy emotions and sadness over all the tragedy happening all over the world, but especially so close to home.  With worry about the future of the leadership of our country.  With busyness in our everyday summer schedule.  With stress over the things on my to-do list.  With frustration, when my kids are at each others’ throats and not doing a darn thing I’ve told them to.  With, with, with.

I need to breathe.  I need to pray.  I need my friend.

Luckily, she is literally on her way to my house right.now.this.second.!!!!

And with that thought, I feel some of the weight fall off of my shoulders.  The thought of an entire week surrounded by my children and my God-daughters rekindling their relationship with each other, while being in constant proximity to my best friend….just soothes my soul.

Sunday Scripture: Friendship

Today’s Sunday Scripture Image is from In-Courage

Usually, we go to Montreat during the summer.  Or at least hide out in the mountains for a week.  But this year, the whole crazy train is coming to my house, and I couldn’t be happier.  So I’m signing off for the week for some much needed Betsy-time.  Follow me on Instagram if you want to know what we’re up to!

Have a Blessed Week!

How to Drive this Mama Crazy

Having three kids, a husband, a dog and a house has changed me.  For the better, I’d like to believe.  I mean, compared to when I was a single 20-something living alone, I cook more, am more responsible, and way more frugal.  However, I feel like my anxiety levels have been amped since having children.  I’m not quite a hot mess {yet}, but there are little things now that stress me out…and often push me over the edge.10 Ways to Make Mama Crazy #quirky #OCD #anxiety #humor #parentingHere are my top ten things that give me a slight twitch.

1.  The dog barking.  And she does so….a lot.  I mean, a mouse farts in Cleveland and my dog is going crazy.

2.  Cracked doors.  A door is meant to be open or shut…there is no in-between.  And I simply cannot sleep if the bathroom door is open at all.

3.  Things on the floor.   Shoes, clothes, toys.  Pick them up for crying out loud….because 9 times out of 10 I am carrying something or someone, and can’t see the crap that you’ve left on the floor until I step on it.  {Darn you, Legos!}

4.  A messy playroom.  I’m not sure why this room stresses me out so much.  Maybe its the level of clutter, or the reminder of all of the materialist plastic “stuff” we own {that is mostly unplayed with or broken}…but I. Just. Can’t.

5.  Tapping.  Whether it be my toddler banging on the table, my handy hubby hammering in the garage, rain dripping through the gutters, or the guy in church whose right foot is tap dancing through the service….just stop.

6. Dishes.  My husband is a “Soaker.”  Every dish needs to soak, regardless of what was in it.  Including water glasses, cereal bowls and stray spoons.  They constantly live in the sink or on the counter just next to the sink.  And somehow they can’t make it that extra foot into the dishwasher. “Let them soak til morning…I’ll get them then!” he says…Nope.  The idea of four dishes cluttering my kitchen overnight is inexcusable.  I lose sleep over this.

7.  Agressive Drivers.  For some reason, I am constantly getting cut off or flicked off.  Maybe I’m a terrible driver {don’t you DARE ask Dave…}, but every time another driver gets mad at me, I take it extremely personally.  I will stew over the reason I got the finger for the rest of my ride home…I mean, what did I do????

8.  Wrinkles in bed.  And I’m not talking about mine…. The sheets moving around each night, shifting so that there are large wrinkles in the fitted sheet…it’s just not right.  I know he loves me, because I make Dave re-fit the sheet every night so it’s on nice and tight.  And on laundry day, when they smell good and fit oh-so-tightly on the bed? A little slice of Heaven.

9.  Hair.  In oh-so-many ways.  It drives me nuts when I have a stray one stuck to the back of my arm…tickling and teasing me until I look crazy swinging and batting at my batwings trying to find it.  And the little stray ones that stick out of various places on my face my eyebrows.  I just have to get them. Right. Now.  {Even if it makes us late for church!}  And don’t even get me started on my daughters’ hair.  I don’t know how they don’t walk into walls or fall down manholes….it is always in their faces.

10.  Odd numbers.  The thermostat must be set to 70 or 72….never 71.  I may make an exception for the 5’s.  And I hate it when bloggers make “Top” lists that aren’t 5, 10 or 15.  I mean, who ever hear of “Top Nine Ways To Drive This Mama Crazy?”

Soooo…now you know all my quirks {or at least the ones I’m comfortable sharing….}.

Still wanna be friends? {If you do, please be sure to “like” me on all your social media channels….those pesky little “like” numbers are what bring home the bacon!  And leave me a comment with one of your quirks….I know I’m not alone out there…

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Sunday Scripture: Love Matters

I have no words to express my emotions about the tragic events over the past couple of weeks.  My heart is broken for all the lives lost, for the families, and for us as a country.  We are all God’s children, and all a broken people.Sunday Scripture: Love MattersAnd with all of the animosity and controversy over the different #matters movements…I think we are losing focus over what God wants.  Love thy neighbor.  Treat them as yourself.  Love your God and love His children.  All of them.  Period.Sunday Scripture: Love Matters#LoveMatters

Have a blessed week!

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{The images in today’s Sunday Scripture were found here and here on Pinterest.  The original images were not able to be found on the actual websites.}

How to Turn a Necktie into a Bowtie Tutorial

Last weekend, we took off to Atlanta for the weekend to spend some time with Dave’s family and watch one of his cousins get married.  We had a fantastic time watching all of the kiddos play together, and the wedding itself was magical {more on that later!}.

We don’t get to dress up as a family very often, so I ordered some stuff online so that our family would be nice and coordinated, like any southern family should be.  I got Millie a coral dress with arrows, and the boys matching coral neckties.  Jayna and I already had navy dresses that went with Mille’s dress too.  The only problem was, when Lincoln’s tie arrived, it was waaay too long.  Obviously meant for a real boy, not a toddler.

Luckily, I happen to be a problem solver.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternHere’s how my “how to turn a necktie into a bowtie” tutorial.

The first thing I did was to rip out the stitches that held the velcro neck piece onto the tie, since it wasn’t tied traditionally {which I prefer for a child, anyway}.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternThen, I ripped the seams that went along the entire length of the tie, and opened it up.  I left the seam that made the tie pointed at the end.   I stuck my finger into the point and folded it the opposite way, so you could see the seam, and the tie folded lengthwise in half.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternSorry for the bad picture above, but I measure and cut four inches off the bottom of the tie, making it 3″X4″.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternThen I turned it right-side out and ironed it flat.  Turning the raw edges under a little bit, I glued around the open area, so it was sealed all the way around.  I forgot to take a picture, but I used more of the fabric to cut a 4″x4.5″ piece of fabric, and a 3″X2″ piece.  I folded both of them length-wise and sewed them together, right sides together.  For the 4″X4.5″ piece, I did the same thing as the piece above and folded the two raw ends inside and then glued them together.  You could use fabric glue in a tube, or do what I did, and use fabric hot glue so it won’t wash out.  The small piece will be the middle of your bow tie, so the ends can stay raw.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternSo I ended up with four separate pieces of double-sided rectangles.  The one on the top with the velcro was the original neck-piece from the tie that I bought. I stacked the middle-sized rectangle on top of the large rectangle and scrunched together in the middle.  How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternI threaded a needed and wrapped it tightly around the middle of the bow tie a couple of times before sewing through the fabric too.  Made it nice and secure, so the bow will never fall apart.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternThen, sew the raw end of the smallest piece of fabric to the middle of the back of the bow tie.  I made sure to line it up…so that way when I wrapped it around the front, the other raw side ended up in the back, hidden.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternThen I centered the bow tie onto the neck strap.  I put a couple of stitches down to secure the bow tie onto the strap and make sure it was on there straight.  Then I wrapped the smallest piece of fabric around both the bow tie and the neck strap,  and put a dab of hot fabric glue down to secure it.  How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternAnd to finish it off,  I top-stitched it to keep it secure.  The great thing about it is that because most of it is hidden, you don’t really need to worry about your stitches being perfectly straight.  You can even see where I messed up with the glue gun on the left part of the bow.  But it’s all on the bottom and the back, so it’s totally not noticeable once it’s on the kid!How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternAnd considering I had no idea what I was doing when I started this project, it still only took me about an hour, including taking the pictures for this bowtie tutorial.

How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternShe altered a too-big necktie to create this adorable bow-tie! Step by step tutorialShe altered a too-big necktie to create this adorable bow-tie! Step by step tutorialAnd as cute as this guy is in them…there will be many more bowties in our future!

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Sunday Scripture: Nicene Creed

My Bible Study small group is taking a break from our traditional studies for the summer, and participating in one of the IF: Equip app daily devotionals.  I went to the IF:Local Conference a couple of years ago, and loved it so much that I downloaded the app, and have been doing their daily devotionals ever since.Sunday Scripture: GodToday’s Sunday Scripture is is straight from the IF App!  Check it out here. 

So we chose the 9 week study of the Nicene Creed for our summer study.  Easy to follow along with, but if someone misses a week or five, no problem jumping back in.  I’m loving the dissection of each part of the Creed, the history and Scripture backing up each phrase.

And it is such a great reminder of how awesome our God really is!

Have a blessed week!

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Road Trip Bingo with Chick-fil-A

Well, it’s about that time in the summer where we pack up the kids and go on road trips!  All throughout the month of July we are in and out, with and without kids, beds full of company.  Just like every other family, we love traveling.  And since we started ’em young {they were each about 6 weeks old for their first road trips}, my kids are used to being the car for hours on end.  That being said, it doesn’t mean they don’t get bored.

So when Chick-fil-A came out with a Road Trip Bingo on their blog, I pounced on the opportunity to download the free printable  for our next trip.Free Printable Road Trip Bingo from Chick-fil-A #sponsored #ad #roadtrip #freeprintable #cfamoms #chickfilamoms #cfaone @ChickfilA

With four different versions to print, the whole family will be able to play.  And with my new Chick-fil-A One app, I’ll be able to order lunch ahead of time….and maybe a cookie for the winner!

Happy travels!

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Back on the Weightloss Bandwagon

With our Vegas trip looming, I’ve buckled down and climbed back on the bandwagon of eating healthier and toning up.  I hadn’t realized that I had fallen off…but when I think back to the past couple of months, I realize that I’ve had more “cheat” days than “good” days thanks to happy hours, birthday parties, dinners out, etc.

So with a month to go before our trip, I started going to the gym {either the YMCA or bootcamp} at least 4 days a week, or at least working out in the house.  When I went to the Y, I did my treadmill routine and then either took a class or used the equipment for a half hour.  When I workout at home, I have been doing this quick workout {takes about 15 minutes}.  Add a toddler to the mix, and not only are you adding weight, but also agility {don’t land on him!}.  He also helps my form as he likes to sit on me during sit-ups and under me during planks!

Quick 15 minute at home whole-body workout #exercise #workout #weightloss #cardio

I’ve also gone back to eating my egg white omelets each morning.  It’s amazing what a difference they make.  I’d been eating about 400 calories worth of cereal, fruit and coffee {creamer/sugar} for breakfast each morning.  Again not really thinking anything of it, since it’s not like it was french toast or anything.  But when I switched over to a high protein 100 calorie meal and stopped adding sugar {still gotta have that creamer though….}….I was able to cut out 275 calories out of my diet by 8am each morning.

I’m feeling much better in general, and will definitely feel great for Vegas!

Want to read more about my weightloss?  Read this post on how I lost 30 lbs in 15 weeks.  Or, this post for tracking your weightloss {with free printables}.  Or even this post on my no-fail arm workout.

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Sunday Scripture: America

Our neighborhood is celebrating the 4th of July today, on the 3rd.  Which I’m sure everyone who works appreciates, since tomorrow {Monday} will be a holiday.  So today is filled with Patriotic festivities, BBQ, and late night fireworks.

I’m not sure about your neighborhood, but our is large enough to have a Facebook page.  Where some of my neighbors feel like it is their duty to air every concern, complain and agenda they have.  Although often entertaining to read {these people are adults?!!}, it’s also frustrating to see so many privileged people complaining about the stupidest things.   In fact, the whole country is like this, choosing the silly little things to get upset about, taking sides without researching, and forgetting just how privileged we all are.

Despite all of our problems and our uncertain future, I am still so, so proud to be an American.  I’m proud to be a Christian in America {where I’m so blessed to be able to practice my religion freely}.  And I hope that even if it’s just for this weekend…our friends, neighbors, and fellow Americans can truly put their gripes and differences aside to celebrate our freedom together.

This Sunday Scripture is in hopes that Americans will come together this weekend to praise God for our blessings and freedoms. #SundayScripture #faith #America #Blessed #4thofJuly

Today’s Sunday Scripture image was found on Raising Up Rubies

God Bless America!

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Down on the Farm

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already met Noodle and Gelato, our foster bunnies.  If you’ve followed me for over a year, you know we had foster chicks last year.  You should really follow me on Instagram…What started out as a couple of curious foster bunnies exploring our playroom, turned into a summer adventure of farm experiences!What started out as a couple of curious foster bunnies exploring our playroom, turned into a summer adventure of farm experiences!Anyway, this year, we opted for baby bunnies, and our friend Mr. Paul happens to have a hobby farm up the road from us.  He helps out with the animals at Bee City, our favorite local petting zoo, and has quite the menagerie of his own.  So when he offered to let us borrow some of the baby bunnies from his farm, we jumped on the chance to visit the rest of the animals too!What started out as a couple of curious foster bunnies exploring our playroom, turned into a summer adventure of farm experiences!And we’ve been back almost weekly ever since!  Another year or so and I’m gonna just start sending the kids to work on the farm for the summer!  Some of the things we’ve learned during our visits:

Don’t wear “cute” clothes.  Or shoes that can’t be hosed off.  There is poop everywhere, so crocs or rain boots are best!What started out as a couple of curious foster bunnies exploring our playroom, turned into a summer adventure of farm experiences!Chickens love to be fed, but do not like to be caught.  Lincoln has no fear and continues to try to pick them up….they’ve learned to run away from him, but just can’t resist him when he’s got the feed tin!What started out as a couple of curious foster bunnies exploring our playroom, turned into a summer adventure of farm experiences!Although they are stinky, chickens can be beautiful!  And there is just nothing like fresh eggs for breakfast.What started out as a couple of curious foster bunnies exploring our playroom, turned into a summer adventure of farm experiences!The chicks and bunnies have helped the kiddos learn responsibility and gentleness.  I loved watching them interact with the animals, both at our house as well as down on the farm.  I’m just amazed at how comfortable they all are around 200 pound pigs and flocks of hungry chickens.  Nothing phases them!  And although we’ve returned the bunnies {who turned out to be escape artists who preferred to live in the dollhouse rather than their crate}, we’ve become regular fixtures on the farm!

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12 Essential Manners that All Kids Need to Know

Is it me, or do kids these days seem socially awkward, discontent and downright rude?  Not all kids, of course, but it seems that on a daily basis I’m out somewhere and completely appalled at what a youngster is getting away with.

12 Essential Manners that every parent needs to make sure their kiddo knowsSo, in case you were wondering what essential manners to teach your children, or to expect from the kiddos in your life…here is my unsolicited opinion.

  • “Please” and “Thank you” are givens for all.  “Yes, ma’am, No sir” is polite {and essential!} in my Southern home.
  • When you receive something {a gift, a snack, a compliment, a ride, etc.}, you look at the person and give a sincere “thank you.”
  • When asked by an adult to do something, do it without grumbles or questioning.  Even if you aren’t asked to do something, if you can, offer to help.
  • Share what you have.  Offer a guest a snack, take turns with toys, buy lunch for someone hungry.
  • When someone is speaking to you, look at them…especially if it is an adult.
  • If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.  Only comment on the way someone looks if you are giving them a compliment.
  • Don’t interrupt anyone, but especially adults.  If you aren’t bleeding and no one is in danger, it can wait until I finish my sentence.  Then, you may say “Excuse me…”
  • Open doors for others.  In our house, the men open doors for the ladies {we’re even teaching our two year old son!}, but you should always hold the door open for the person coming in behind you, and offer to go ahead of and open doors for people using strollers, wheelchairs, or who just have their hands full.
  • Take what you want, but eat what you take.  Chew with your mouth closed and wait until you are done chewing before speaking.
  • Bodily noises should be avoided if possible, but if not, say “Excuse Me” and remove yourself quickly to the restroom if needed.
  • Inside voices inside buildings and vehicles.  For the safety and sanity of everyone!
  • Speak when someone speaks to you.  Even if it’s just a “Hello.”  or “I’m fine, thank you.”

What would you add to the list of essential manners?  Anything you’d take off because I’m being completely unreasonable?  Leave a comment!

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