November 2013 archive

Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum

This video is making it’s way across the web and may I just say – AH-MAY-ZING.  Those cats are talented!  Gifted!  Anointed!  It’s incredible.  Goosegump inducing awesomeness.  Watch it, would ya?

The lyrics of this old favorite caught me and flat jostled me upon hearing them; moved me in a way they never have before.

This little drummer boy is heading out to see the King; the King of Kings, in fact.  He sees those around him gathering up the finest gifts they can find for this new born babe.  But he?  He has no gift.  He has nothing to give that is worthy of this royalty.

I am a poor boy, too – pa rum pum pum pum

I have no gift to bring – pa rum pum pum pum

That’s fit to give the King – pa rum pum pum pum

I kind of chuckled because I feel his pain.  I get that – we are in the same boat, my drumming friend.  There is so much I want to do and so much I want to give and so much I want to give towards, but it’s hard right now.  In this season of ThanksGIVING, I want to open my hands wide and pour out blessing after blessing after blessing to honor Him but I find myself short.  What can I give?  What can I bestow that would honor the King in a way He deserves?  Even if I was a millionaire, what could I lavish Him with that would be worthy enough?  What could I heap upon Him that would beat in line with His heart?  

Shall I play for you – pa rum pum pum pum –

on my drum?

I played my drum for Him – pa rum pum pum pum

I played my best for Him – pa rum pum pum pum

In those moments, the Lord spoke to me and showed me how I can give gifts to Him using  what I do have; gifts that are worthy of a King, gifts that would still truly honor Him.

Speak kindly to your husband and your kids.  (This season of life can get crazy.  Boundary testing and sleep training and diaper changing and shoe tieing all on top of the holidays – don’t let it rule you.  These people are your biggest blessing; let your words make them know that.)

Be patient with them. (No one is going to do things exactly as you would do them.  Your  husband trusts this home to you and is willing to help when needed, so show him some grace.  Your kids are only little once.  They’re still learning how to do things and how not to do things.  Show them some grace.)

Enjoy them. (My second best gift to you is under your roof.  Take delight in them.  Their differences, their similarities, their quirks and their ticks.  Press into those hugs and be quick to make memories.)

Spend quality time with them. (Time is ticking by, isn’t it?  Let the dishes rot in the sink.  Let the floors be covered in crumbs.  Let the laundry go and resort to mismatched clothes.  Play more dress up.  Play more farm.  Play more games.  Read more books. Leave a legacy of the fear of the Lord, not a legacy of cleanliness.)

Spend quality time with Me. (Oh!  I have much to show and teach you.  About you.  About Me.  I long to be with you even more than you long to be with your family.  Hard to fathom, yes?  But it’s true.  Keep carving out chunks for me and I promise to keep meeting you like I did today, too.)

Tell them what I’ve done for you.  (I’ve saved you from so much and am saving you still!  I don’t want mediocrity for you.  I don’t want survival for you.  I want life and life abundantly for you!)

These are gifts that will definitely delight Me.

Then He smiled at me – pa rum pum pum pum

Me and my drum – pa rum pum pum pum

Six simple gifts that will genuinely bless His heart and bring honor to His name.  Isn’t that my goal after all?  I have much to be thankful for, much to sing His praises about…and much to give in return. Happy Thanksgiving, friends!  May your heart beat in line with the King of Kings and may you lift up thanks to Him today.

Pa rum pum pum pum…

A Penchant for Pretty Packages

I love giving gifts, I love wrapping gifts, I love watching little eyes light up at the sight of something pretty… I mean, who doesn’t like to tear into something thoughtfully and beautifully wrapped?  Every year I do a different theme of sorts and these are some lovely inspirations I’ve had on my Pinterest boards as of late…

Burlap and jingle bells - it just says Christmas doesn't it?!

Burlap and jingle bells – it just says Christmas doesn’t it?!

Craft paper, flannel and deer.  This may be my fave...

Craft paper, flannel and deer. This may be my fave…

What fun!

What fun!

Who doesn't love a good word search?

Who doesn’t love a good word search?

Love this chalkboard type idea...

Love this chalkboard type idea…

The partridge paper is DIVINE!

The partridge paper is DIVINE!

Feminine.  Ruffles.  Gorgeous.

Feminine. Ruffles. Gorgeous.

For the kids - how cute is this?!

For the kids – how cute is this?!

Fresh evergreen - yes.

Fresh evergreen – yes.

Newspapers and magazines - repurpose and recycle!

Newspapers and magazines – repurpose and recycle!

Toddler scribbles into bows (or wrapping paper)...love this idea!

Toddler scribbles into bows (or wrapping paper)…love this idea!

Maps.  Need I say more?

Maps. Need I say more?

Can you tell I like brown craft paper?

Can you tell I like brown craft paper?

 

Quite possibly the perfect package?!  Lots of things I love...

Quite possibly the perfect package?! Lots of things I love…

I haven’t landed on exactly what I’m doing this year, as I haven’t bought a SINGLE.GIFT….yet.  Hopefully soon?!  Then I can get wrapping!

Those People

The Phipps family is heading to Denver to celebrate Thanksgiving with our family in the faith and we are soooooo excited!  We’ve made a few quick trips now and then but this time we’re going to have four solid days with some really solid people.  Wrex has to work Friday in Wyoming – HUGE BUMMER.  In an effort to save money, we’re only taking one vehicle which leaves me transportation-less on Friday.  So?  I put out the all-call on Facebook and we were humbled and blessed to have so many friends respond with offers for us to borrow their cars/trucks/vans.

The first friend to reply is such a dandy.  When I called her back, she said she’d leave the carseats in and that we could borrow the vehicle all weekend if we needed.  She said, “Heck,  come in, eat a meal and have a party at my house if you want – I don’t care!”  She and her husband are THOSE people.  You know, the ones that send you home with way more than you came with…the ones who feed your kid snack after snack and drink after drink and let them take the cup home…the ones who upgrade their things and bless people with the earlier version instead of selling it for a little pocket money.  They are those people who really get what our stuff is all about and Who it really belongs to.

This house we live in?  It’s the Lord’s.  The car I drive?  It’s the Lord’s.  The car I borrow?  Also the Lord’s.  The paycheck my husband draws?  The Lord’s.  These kids of mine?  The Lord’s.  The clothes in my closet and the shoes on my feet?  The Lord’s.  The animals in our pasture?  The Lord’s.   He’s allowing me to borrow them, to care for them and to use them for His glory. 

Every. single. thing. we. “own.” is the Lord’s.  They are not ours.  When we regard them as His, we tend to hold them a little more loosely; we don’t put our hope in them, we don’t idolize them, we don’t hold them with selfish ambition.  When we know that these things were provided by THE Provider, we gain a mindset that acknowledges His provision.  It’s an understanding that pushes out that orphan mentality that makes us snatch up our stuff, hold it close to our chest and shelter it from outsiders; the mentality that tries to convince us that we better not lend them out because “what if?”  What if something happens and they are damaged?  What if something happens and they aren’t repairable?  It’s the mentality that tells us that the Lord will never provide again; it’s the mentality that puts the something above the someone.

But, when our faith isn’t in an object, a funny thing happens.   When we release our grasp on these “things” and share them more freely…when we are willing to open our hands to give them away…

hands our hands are now open and ripe for the receiving of the blessing that lies in giving.  When our fists are so tightly clenched around our stuff…stuff that moth and rust will destroy or that thieves can steal …we can’t possibly receive any of the blessings and goodness of the Lord; our hands just can’t contain it. 

He is a giver.  He doesn’t withhold good things from His kids – why should we withhold our things from our fellow brothers and sisters?  He will provide.  He always has.  He always will.  And sometimes that provision comes in the form of our being willing to share what we have been given with others.

Thank you, sweet friends, for living a life with hands wide open.  I pray the Lord blesses you; blesses you with His presence, His goodness and His grace…and with even more for you to give away.

That’s My Girl

I had gotten a few Christmas things out of storage this week for a MOPS event we had downtown, one of which was a little, rustic Christmas tree.  I have a set of two and the smallest one wound up in the house, thanks to Sawyer.  This girl LOVES “decker-ing” (decorating) and she loves Christmas  – where EVER does she get those passions from?!  Ahem.  Needless to say, this little tree has provided lots of entertainment.

Last night, we plugged it and she went to town decker-ing it.

IMG_3225She decided to make the little tree, little brother’s tree and had the idea to use his toys to adorn the branches.  Genius.

IMG_3227I particularly love the pacifier…

IMG_3226Daddy even helped her make a star for the top…because every good tree has to have a star on top.  Just ask her; she’ll tell ya.

IMG_3224She was quite proud of the finished product, as was I!

IMG_3228She’s the sweetest little thing, that girl.  People keep asking her what she wants for Christmas and all she keeps saying is, “All of us family together!”  That’s my girl…

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

What are you thankful for?

The question that will be asked around countless dinner tables a week from tomorrow.  The question that shouldn’t take much thought to answer…

The Lord’s grace…my family…my friends…my home…my amenities…my freedoms…

I’ve written about some of the things I’m thankful for here and here.  And here and here and here.  Gratitude is a beautiful thing!  I know it delights the heart of the Lord to hear His children thanking Him for the good gifts He has given; gifts we don’t deserve but gifts He gives regardless.

Ann Voskamp posed this thought:

What if the question around holiday tables wasn’t: What are you so grateful for?
__
But rather: How are you changing the world because you are so grateful?

Good question, yes?

Shouldn’t we be acting out our faith and moving mountains for other people because we can’t contain our gratitude?  Shouldn’t we be tripping over ourselves looking for moments to bless and aid and assist because we’ve been so blessed and aided and assisted?  Shouldn’t we be giving so sacrificially of our time, resources and talents that we’ve nowhere to turn and no one to point to except the Lord?

Yes, let’s give upwardly!  Let’s give the Lord due praise – EVERY.SINGLE.THING we have comes from Him!  He is most worthy of our gratitude…but less us also give outwardly, in His name…

I have a friend who posted on Facebook about her morning experience. She was in the waiting room of her doctor’s office waiting to be seen when an elderly lady came in; one who was obviously sick and needed medical care.  The elderly lady didn’t have money to pay her copay so they had her reschedule her appointment to a day when she would have the funds.  My lovely friend, jumped up and paid the co-pay. 

That is Christ in action.  That is a life changing the world because of gratitude.  That is a life living out the ‘giving’ piece of ThanksGIVING…because how can we have Thanksgiving without the giving??

I pray that as you’re enjoying your family time and your turkey dinner…as you’re counting your blessings and recounting the goodness of the Lord…that the borders of your heart are expanding and that the world around you starts changing because of your gratitude.  And not changing just for this season…for good.  We are blessed to be a blessing so let’s live it…

We’ve Got it Good

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Wrex is a really great dad.  He loves his kiddos and he loves to bring home surprises and give them good gifts!  (Remember the rabbit?)  Tonight was no exception.  As he was driving home from the sale barn, he stopped at the appliance store and brought this home…

IMG_3165Is there anything better in a kid’s world than a huge cardboard box?!  I think not!  He got out the razor blade and went to town cutting windows and a door…

IMG_3167We got out the crayons and markers and started making it cute!  We put shutters on the windows…

IMG_3169

and planted flowers by the entrance…

IMG_3171Daddy even made her a key!

IMG_3172She decided she wanted it to be restaurant that she would call “Sawyer’s” so we wrote that on the door…

IMG_3173and we moved the play kitchen in from the toy room so she could get those orders out!

IMG_3183Wryder got to help cook a little bit, but he had to stay out of the kitchen for tonight.  :)  I’m sure once the new wears off he might get invited in…

IMG_3180She had a grand ole time and Wrex and I “ate” until we our “devit” cards were maxed out!!

IMG_3174I’m so blessed to have such a thoughtful, caring husband.  It delights my soul to know that he thinks of us during his day-to-day activities…enough so to go out of his way to haul a huge box home just to make his little girl smile.  He’s a keeper, that one…just ask Sawyer.

As we were eating our real supper tonight, she saved her green beans for last.  Wrex said, “Eat ‘em up so you’ll get big and strong,” to which she replied with a quivering lip, “I don’t want to get big because then I won’t fit on your lap!”

Oh, honey, trust me – you’ll always fit on daddy’s lap…he’ll make room for you, no matter how big you get.  He’s got it bad for you, sweet girl…and we?  We’ve got it good…

Pinterest Picks

Oh, Pinterest.  I don’t spend as much time with you as I did in the beginning…and that’s more than fine with me…but you’ll always have a special place in my creative heart.  You make organizing for the holidays a lot simpler, as I love having all of my PINspiration in one, easy-to-find place.  I’ve jumped on a few times here lately and these are some of my favorites as of late!  ***Beware – randomness ahead***

These little fellas look so divine…

Apple Pie Cookies

Apple Pie Cookies

One of the cutest mobiles I’ve seen (and simple, too!)…

Seriously cute

Seriously cute

This bunk bed will soon be built for a little cutie that resides in our home…

This lady has some great and EASY plans!  We've made the seesaw - WIN.

This lady has some great and EASY plans! We’ve made the seesaw – WIN.

I need want this!  Better buy some more glue…

How fabulous, yes?!

How fabulous, yes?!

Hysterical. You’re gonna have that song in your head all day now, huh?!

foxI would sip on this if it were in my hand…

Anything coffee is good in my book!

Anything coffee is good in my book!

Lovely.  I think I’m heading to the chicken house again this afternoon…

Oh the things I can do with these!

Oh the things I can do with these!

How incredible is this double shower curtain concept…

Fancy nancy!

Fancy nancy!

Crocheters, Sawyer would DIE for this

I mean c'mon - how adorable is that for the little chicken girl!?

I mean c’mon – how adorable is that for the little chicken girl!?

Great guestbook idea…

Who doesn't love celebrating birthdays?!

Who doesn’t love celebrating birthdays?!

Painted pinecones will be happening soon…

How cute and easy?!

How cute and easy?!

What are some of your favorites you’ve found lately?!  Paste your Pinterest link in the comments so I can follow you!

A Good Day and a Gift from Goo Goo

Today?  Was a really good day.  I think we were all desperate for some family time together that didn’t involve someone feeling like death warmed over.  We had breakfast and cooked some pretend food in the toy room kitchen…

We let Sawyer get a little outside time in since it wasn’t too chilly or windy and we cooked some more in the barn…

IMG_3105

 

IMG_3104We checked the mail and found we had a gift from Goo Goo so we all put it to good use…

IMG_3128

IMG_3129

IMG_3130

IMG_3131

IMG_3132IMG_3133The kiddos bathed together and got all snuggled up in their jammies…we ate a little supper and Sawyer watched a little show before bed.  It was just a simple, good, familial day…my favorite kind.

On the Mend

This (ruggedly handsome) man…

1424326_10153446389340335_806608494_nis my hero.  I have no idea what I would’ve done without him the past 11 years!  He makes me whole.  He’s patient and kind and loving and encouraging…he’s a voice of reason in my not so reasonable existence…he leads us in the ways of the Lord and prays for us and with us and over us…he works hard to provide for our family so that I can stay home and raise these babies…he’s a selfless servant in the truest of forms.

I for sure have no idea what I would’ve done without him this past month.  I have been ILL.  (I’ve written about it a few times but in an effort to spare you of boredom and more self-pity, we’ll just leave it at that.)  And he?  He has MORE than picked up the slack around here.  He’s played games and read books and changed diapers and fixed meals and washed dishes and bathed babies and folded laundry and let me sleep and bought medicine and bought more medicine and cleaned bathrooms and taken kids to church and helped with projects I started and and and and and…

And?  As I’ve been typing this, I got to thinking that I’m not so sure how out of the ordinary this stuff REALLY is regarding him.  Even when I’m well (or as well as I can be – ha!) he does these things.  He is, bar none/hands down/no competition, the best husband and daddy anyone could ever ask for.  He shows love to me in every kind of way I can even think to imagine, even through helping with housework.  I hear women talk about their husbands and how they wished he’d help more with the kids or help more around the house or be more involved/romantic/loving and I’m thankful I know nothing of that world.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have NO IDEA how I landed such a man.  I am blessed beyond measure by the way he loves me.

163432_181295991894117_6762074_nHe’ll probably be happy to know that I think I’m on the mend!  I scrubbed the kitchen floor this morning and then cleaned the rest of the house…so I guess I’m either getting well or I’m CRazY.  (No comments on that one.  Please and thank you.)   I can’t walk…but my house is clean.  Maybe he’ll carry me to bed…

DIY: Red Hot Applesauce Jello

In the midst of all this sickness, this yummy goodness sounded tasty to me yesterday so I ventured off the couch and made a quick batch.

Red Hot Applesauce Jello

Red Hot Applesauce Jello

The first time I ever had this was at Wrex’s family’s house for Christmas one year and I fell in LOVE.  It’s like Christmas in a bowl!  We have perfected the recipe and its consistency over the years so here is the official recipe.

Red Hot Applesauce Jello – Makes 12+ servings

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup Red Hots (you can use Cinnamon Imperials if you can’t find Red Hots.  They work….they’re just sugarier, where as the Red Hots add some spice!)
  • 1 packet Knox Gelatin
  • 6 ounces Raspberry Jello
  • 1 large jar of applesauce (5-6 cups)

IMG_30581.) Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a large pot.

2.) Add in 1 cup of Red Hots and boil and stir until dissolved. 

This will make your house smell DIVINE!

This will make your house smell DIVINE!

3.) Slowly add in 1 packet of Knox gelatin to dissolved Red Hot mixture.  Make sure to remove any clumps that may not get dissolved well.  They don’t taste good.  :)

This will help the recipe not be so soupy.

This will help the recipe not be so soupy.

4.) Mix in 6 ounce of raspberry Jello until dissolved.

IMG_3062

Wrex’s mom says you can use any red Jello, but we prefer raspberry.

5.) Remove from heat and then add jar of applesauce and mix well.

You can use either original or unsweetened.

You can use either original or unsweetened.

6.) Pour mixture into a serving bowl and place in freezer for about 2 hours.  After 2 hours, place in refrigerator.  Don’t forget about this lovely stuff in the freezer; if it does freeze, the ice crystals later melt and it gets soupy and not as good.

There's a LOT of volume here so it really needs freezer time to set it.

There’s a LOT of volume here so it really needs freezer time to set it.

7.) Try not to eat the whole bowl in one sitting.

Seriously, this stuff is delish.  I have a certain pregnant bestie that loves this stuff.  And? I love her so much that when she came to see Wryder the weekend after he was born AND told us she was pregnant herself, I made some in my 5 day postpartum stupor.  She MUST be loved.  Haha

Enjoy!  Let me know how you change it up and what you thought!

 

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