Thursday, December 31, 2009


I have had affections for all things Ballard Designs for years, but my wallet does not fit my appetite. Fortunately, their catalog is a great place for inspiration...Exihibit A

Ballard Designs Chaumont Console originally $999 on sale for $899

My "faux" Chaumont Console(becuase knock off is too strong a word) $115. The cabinet was $60 at a garage sale and I paid $55 to have it picked up, painted and delivered. It houses our 55 gallon fishless fishtank.

Stay tuned for Exhibit B Louis XVI Sideboard ...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


We are finally getting around to decorating "our room". It is becoming more and more important for us to have our "space". Here are some of the treasures we have found. Only little snippets till the big reveal when it's close to done...don't know when that will be.

Do you like my (new) hat? I found this lamp, or this lamp found me at a local antique store. I saw him and was intrigued and then I couldn't stop looking at him. I walked around the store several times before returning to his booth and snatching him up. He came with the first shade and it just wasn't him, so I replaced his hat with the second...much better! He is now "basket boy" in our house and I love him. The lamp cost either $22 or $28, I can't remember, but is any price too great a price for la piece de resistance? Unequivocally, NO!

Found this chair and a half at the same store with basket boy. I have been looking for a chair like this for a LONG time and the price was right $89 and $29 for the ottoman. The tray was $10.80 at One of a Kind, the store where I have my booth. Trouble with being somewhere with so many beautiful things, a lot of beautiful things come home with me.
These beauties were also found at One of a Kind, the first week I had my booth. I can't reveal the price because it was a generous good deal from another dealer. I loved these doves the most until I met basket boy, oh, emotions so futile! I will be looking at small quilts today in another dealer's booth perfect for in between the ottoman and the tray. Of course I have ideas for the tray, but you will just have to wait and see. The hint of color on the wall will be our new bedroom color - someday.
A friend sent us money for Christmas as she usually does, but this year we used it on ourselves. We bought the hat for basket boy, a bedskirt (that needs wrinkle releaser, since I don't iron) and three pillow shams. It looks beautiful! The bedspread was aquired years ago at Marshalls for about $50 and it was blue, but I got bleach on it, so I bleached the whole thing. I love the way it turned out, now it is an off-white, but the threading is still blue.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Today I went to Goodwill, two of them to be exact. These are my finds! I spent $54.52 for everything pictured here and I have big plans for these (soon to be) treasures. Stay tuned...

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Have you ever bought something for someone because the Lord prompted you to do so? You didn’t know why they would need that mug, plaque, book, etc., but He did. Have you ever been overwhelmed by His love for someone when giving them something that you knew He wanted you to give them? It’s amazing isn’t it?

Have you prayed that prayer, the one that goes something like, “Lord give me your heart for others, let me see them like you see them.” He has answered me time and time again, supernaturally enabling me to share His love with someone else. I think I missed it a lot of the time not realizing He was answering in a particular way and I guess I assume all of sudden I will feel like He feels and see what He sees, but I don’t. Usually I will be burdened with His great love for someone else and in those moments, it never dawned on me that this is His expression of love for this person and He feels the same way about me. Pretty amazing!

You know the flowers your friend brings to your house, the card with just the right scripture in it or the hot chocolate left on your doorstep on a cold, winter’s day by a friend who knew you had none. That is how He loves us - through one another. If we are not expressing His love to others, to the world, who is?


Everyone loves a good sale, Right? We'll let me tell you about a great one:

It’s a Hearts at Home
Black Friday after Black Friday Sale Dec. 7-11

Did you sleep in on Black Friday? Did you drag yourself out of bed, but still miss out on some awesome deals because you were standing in line too long at one store? Do you still have shopping to do, but dread the crowds, traffic, and cost? Let Hearts at Home help!

Their Black Friday sale has been extended to the week of December 7-11. Shop in the convenience of your own home and receive an unprecedented 25% off all of Hearts books and merchandise. They have great gifts for everyone in your family.

Find gifts for friends, teachers, bible study leaders, bus drivers, and everyone else on your list. You may even find something for yourself. This is a great time to stock up on all those Hearts at Home books you’ve been wanting to read.

Let your family know how much you would love a Hearts at Home gift certificate so you can use it for your Hearts at Home conference registration and/or Mom’s Night Out tickets.

Go to, choose your gifts, and enter code “HEARTGIFT” upon checkout. You will receive 25% off your total purchase (before tax and shipping).

I also want to fill you in on a couple of other great opportunities!
Be sure to check out Jill Savage's blog this month (she is the founder and CEO of Hearts at Home). She is doing one giveaway A DAY through Christmas.

And, if you stop by the Hearts at Home blog December 8 - 11, you will have an opportunity to win a Heart's at Home prayer journal. The prayer journal is a brand new resource from Hearts at Home.

Merry Christmas from Hearts at Home!

Monday, November 30, 2009


Isn't it beautiful? Compare it to the previous picture. I told you she was the BEST painter EVER!!!

Here is my new set-up at the store:

I am so excited about this! Can you tell???

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Remember last month when I was looking for direction in my business, well I have it. The ladies tea I participated in really encouraged me in my faith and business.

For a year and a half I have had shelves at a local gift shop. It has worked beautifully for me and my customers. It is close to where the previous owner had the tea shop, so it is convineint for customers and they can special order things and pick them up there. I visit the shop once a week and restock, until now...there is no more room on my three big black shelves. So, next week I am taking a whole booth, that's right 80 square feet to with what I want. That means I have lots of space to fill, enter hutch #1:

This beauty is being painted by the most fabulous furniture painter east of the Mississippi. She works wonders with paint. I will use the hutch to display my products (mostly teapots) and will also sell it. Have I ever mentioned I LOVE furniture? I mean REALLY love furniture! This will give me an opportunity to buy a lot of furniture and decorate till my heart's content. I have always loved decorating too and am grateful the Lord is giving me the opportunity to do not one but TWO things I love - tea and furniture. Oh and be a wife and mother, etc. etc. He is pretty AWESOME that way!

Monday, November 16, 2009


It was the eve of Judah’s dedication. I was at a local department store looking for something to wear. It had been six months since I gave birth, but the extra pre-pregnancy pounds were still hanging around. I was NOT going to wear maternity clothes to his dedication when he was SIX months old.

I tried on several dresses peeking ever so quickly in the unforgiving dressing room mirror to see if the outfit would suffice and make me feel somewhat normal for the day. I had a lot of “NOs” hanging up. Returning my items to the “I’m not taking this” rack I made my way back to the ladies department and then I saw it – a leopard dress. I LOVE animal print. Then I heard it, “You can’t wear a leopard dress to your baby’s dedication, it’s not appropriate.” What? Who said that?

Grabbing the dress I headed towards the dressing room and tried it on. It fit nicely and I could look at myself for more than a few seconds. As I turned to look at my profile I heard “You look six months pregnant.” I am buying this dress I said with determination! It was only going to be about $20 with the sale and coupon.

As I headed towards the register I stopped in the purse department. For as long as I can remember I have only had one purse at a time because I do not like the hassle of changing purses. So, I keep it till it falls apart and then I get another. Mine was beginning to fall apart, so I looked with great interest. I found not one, but two awesome purses on clearance, which would be further reduced by my coupon. You know I cannot resist a good deal. Then I heard it again, “You can’t wear a leopard dress to your baby’s dedication, it’s not appropriate. Two purses, now that’s just extravagant.” What was going on?

Before I knew it I was in full on battle with the enemy. He was accusing me, as is his nature, but he was accusing me to myself. The battle was so fierce I almost began to cry in the purse department. I called my husband for back-up, but he didn’t answer. I frantically kept dialing the number, no answer. It was just me, the devil and the leopard dress. I have come to know my Father so intimately I recognized the attack from the enemy almost immediately. But would I win?

This may sound over-the-top to some, but to anyone who has ever struggled with self-image you will understand the conflict. This battle was not about a leopard dress and a couple of purses, this was a battle for my soul. Would I agree with the devil, who is a liar or would I agree with the lover of my soul, my Maker who created me in His image? What does my poor self-image say about Him? To Him? It says He is a liar. I knew that was not right.

I would like to say I pulled myself together, prayed a heartfelt prayer, resisted the devil and he fled, but it did not happen that way. Rustling up any strength I had left I headed to the checkout with the leopard dress and two purses, but my insides were churning. I did not feel like a daughter of the Most High God, so isn’t it great that the title does not depend on my feelings? I walked out of there with a dress and two purses for $50, so I should have felt great, but I didn’t. There was still a full on battle going on inside my head.

You know our thoughts come from three places? God, the devil or ourselves and I always used to think the accusing thoughts and negative thoughts were always from me, they are NOT! The accuser of the brethren was throwing anything he could at me to bring me down and at this point I was not fairing so well. I told my husband all about it when I got home and still almost cried just remembering, but somehow when I got dressed Sunday morning I felt beautiful.

Our pastor always does a word study on the name of the baby being dedicated and he said this about Judah...Judah means this “He stood facing the congregation with his arms raised to the Lord” what an awesome picture of the name the Lord gave me for my son. Then the pastor gave me the microphone to share my testimony about how the Lord named Judah. It was a wonderful day!

Can I just tell you that many people told me they loved my dress after church. Ha, ha devil! And I told some of them the battle I fought to even buy that dress. They understand the battle and encouraged me.

I would like to tell you that it is all behind me and I came out victorious, but I am still fighting this battle, AND I know my Father is VICTORIOUS. I continue to seek Him to restore me in this area. The pictures from that day still make me want to cry because I am not happy with the way I look, but I did go out recently and buy all new clothes in a bigger size because I am going to be at peace with myself and my God until we work this self-image thing out*. And WE will because He is faithful as I seek Him in EVERY area of my life.

*This in no way means I'll be this size forever. It means that I am NOT striving to lose weight. I will do what He shows me to do. The Lord and I will address the issues that keep me at this weight and with His help, the weight will come off in due time.


And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. Revelation 12:10

There is a great chart (issue 9, page 21)that has these three headings:


and it lists what the voices sound like. For example: God - doesn't compare you to others, Self - compares you to others, Satan - forces comparison

I highly recommend going here (click issue 9, page 21) and printing this chart and keeping it in a prominent place. I'll be taking it with me shopping for a while!

Chart is from an archived issue of House2House magazine

Sunday, November 15, 2009


As I mentioned just minutes after leaving the tea party…

I got a phone call and it was a neighbor of my mother’s boyfriend's son. She said that my mother told her I wanted to sell the business and she was calling to talk about it. (That was not exactly what I said) I was caught off guard, but I was still basking in the Lord’s faithfulness and presence. I was “self-controlled and alert” because I know “My enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) I was on my way to another event that would keep me out until 6 p.m. that night. I was tired. This was no time to have this conversation; I said I would call her back.

Two things that stood out to me here:

1) It was so like the he enemy to try and catch me when I was busy and tired, so I would get caught up in the moment, 2) BUT it was SO LIKE GOD to go before me and show up in a big way just moments earlier giving me firm footing in my faith to fight one little tempting phone call (fiery darts)

Do I want to sell the business? If that is what God wants, but like I said I do not feel released.

One lady came up to me after the tea and said, “You have a ministry. People need to be taught this. We are raising a generation of children who will not know how to have a face-to-face conversation.” Wow, when you put it that way! My business is a High and Holy calling.

The previous owner saw this business very much the same way – a ministry. To me she was a forerunner for what God called me to do with this business. I can do what I do with this business because she was faithful in what He called her to do. When God hands the baton to the next minister I will know and I will joyfully pass it on. For now I stand firm in knowing this is what He has called me to do. There are still days (many) that I am busier than I would like to be and want to throw in the (tea) towel…BUT GOD!!!

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Ephesians 6:16

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Q: What could be better than a FREE weather forecaster?

A: A weather forecaster that uses words like "delightful" to describe the day!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


God prepared me for months for this event. It was a tea party at a local church for 100 women. They invited me to speak and bring tea. The topic "Biblical Hospitality". It was a wonderful time - from the months of preparing my heart to minister to these women to the 200+ cups of tea I made. It went beautifully! My heart was full when I got there and overflowing when I left.

I was as excited when I left there as I was when I wrote this. Knowing He had called me and was preparing me was beyond description. Bringing stories to my recollection to share with these women. Making His word come alive, so my passion would ignite them.

Earlier in the week I read a story by a local pastor titled DIS-CONNECTED. In it he recounts overhearing a father talk about taking his teenage daughter and a friend to a football game. During the game she was texting and when he asked her who she was texting, she pointed to the friend next to her. That story startled me! I have a lot more to say about that in another post. It was part of my argument about the importance for these women to open their homes and share Christ's love with a "dis-connected" world. I'm not talking just the "world", I'm talking about the people in your church. The ones who sit next to you week after week and you never say more than, "Hi, how ya doin?'" scootin' away before you hear their answer. I encouraged them to do it despite the condition of their homes.

That may sound simple to you or you may be one of the many that will not invite others over because your house is not "just right". People are lonely and hurting, they just want to be asked, invited, included, so please you be the ONE! Be the one who invites, opens and includes someone who just needs a friend. Afterall, God does not care about the condition of your home, he cares about your spiritual condition and that is obedience.

Romans 12:13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

1 Peter 4:9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

These women got the message! Their comments heartfelt and sincere after my talk. God spoke to their hearts and moved in their spirit to obey His call to hospitality.

What I love about tea is it is a simple way to answer the call to biblical hospitality easily, affordably and in a relaxed atmostphere. Things happen over a pot of tea that may not happen otherwise - people let their guard down, they open up and they share their lives. The art of brewing tea causes us to slow down long enough to be PRESENT.

So, I encourage you as I encouraged them - INVITE! Then I want you to come back and share your testimony with me, because I know there will be one because God is JUST THAT GOOD!

What happened minutes after the tea party in the next post because...your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

Friday, October 30, 2009


Okay, so it doesn't take a lot to impress me or get me really excited. When I saw this here I immediately grabbed the broom. This is not a practical joke or a broom is standing upright in my kitchen...I'm just giddy over this. Maybe because I haven't been feeling good, maybe because I haven't been out of the house in two weeks or maybe, just JOY is complete today! I'll go with the latter. Now...if that thing would start sweeping...whoa, it'd be just another day in PARADISE.

Go on, you know you want to try it. Did it work? Are you excited?

The why of this: On this website I read it has something to do with gravitational pull that only happens 4 or 5 times in 60 years. I don't know and I really don't care...I'm impressed.

By the way, the bristles are not spread apart.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Isabella (2nd grade) and I completed this lapbook today while the little ones were playing office. This lapbook is part of an online class that we purchased at We have completed classes with this professor before and have loved them. The price was right (I would have paid full price - it would have been worth every penny). The class comes complete with videos, vocabulary list, worksheets, a research guide and everything needed to make this lapbook.

We learned about Leonardo da Vinci, the Montgolfier Brothers, Sir George Cayley, Otto Lilienthal, Octave Chanute, and Dr. Samuel Pierpont Langley.

DID YOU KNOW: When Langley attempted to launch his plane, the Great Aerodrome it lurched forward and ended up in the river. Two months later, trying again, he also failed. He was riduculed in papers all over the U.S. The New York times reported that a man-carrying airplane may be built one day, but it would take engineers one to 10 million years to do it. WRONG! Just nine days later, Orville Wright made history and flew the first powered airplane.

I had purchased this video (below) at the grocery store a while back for $9.99. Of course because God orchestrated all this, the video ties in perfectly with the class.

My sister sent us a book on Leonardo Da Vinci last year which will be our prep work for the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit at the High Museum in Atlanta that we will visit soon.

I am so thankful that God directs our steps, makes resources readily available and ties it all together.


Our new "office" for the preschoolers.

Kaira's first day on the "job"

I saw this idea a while back here, but finally got around to finishing it today. It was a hit! We are on a little break from school while mommy is not feeling so well and this kept Kaira busy for at least 45 minutes today. Now Annais is playing at the "office" and putting things in envelopes and delivering mail. I love when something actually works out like you hope it will.

To complete the office I used: An old phone, bought a keyboard and mouse from Goodwill, used an old mouse pad, put several different pads of paper in the organizer, play money, envelope sized sale papers, envelopes (the remittance kind that I never use), old address labels, play money and a printout of a monitor stuck to the wall. I will add more stuff as I find it and as it is consumed. (Kaira almost used a whole pad of sticky notes today!)

P.S. One stone did make its way out the night before last. Thanks for the prayers.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


the rest of my life.

I read this quote today:

"We need to ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our lives." Pastor Pete Wilson

and you can read the article where it was quoted here

This is very timely! I have been out of commission for a week and a half with kidney stones.

It was a week ago last Wednesday that I woke my husband up and said I have a pain in my back that feels like a pulled muscle, but it is not and I need to get this checked right was 11:35 p.m. We called a friend to come and stay with the kids and we headed to the ER. We were there all night. I left with lots of pain killers in me and lots of paperwork and the two kidney stones I arrived with.

In my mind our only choice was to get these little suckers blasted as soon as possible because we have four kids, homeschool, know HURRY, HURRY! So, on to the urologist. Well, he said they would not do anything till the next week, so here is another prescription for pain killers and I will see you on Monday. If they are still there we can blast on Tuesday. Tuesday? That was four whole days away. He was in no hurry.

We scrambled. My kids were shuffled all over the place. Friends, neighbors, even strangers came to watch the kids at my house. The kids loved it (although I think they did start missing Mommy). I missed my life and I had no clue even after the blasting when I would feel better. I still have the stones. They are persistent and they are in NO HURRY!

Through this, at least when I have been awake, everything I have been struggling with has been amplified. When you are not feeling well things tend to look worse than they actually are or things that you did not even know were wrong come up.

Today a friend prayed that the Lord would help me find my mustard seed and as I close tonight that is my prayer too. I need that mustard seed to see me through tomorrow...when I try to slow down.

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Matthew 17:20

Monday, October 12, 2009


Many of you know that I run a tea business and it is a blessing and I love every minute of it. Although I must say recently it has been getting harder and harder to keep up with the business due to other demands - homeschooling, having an infant and life happening. It was almost two years ago to the date that this happened:

A local tea shop in announced it was closing and I was devastated. A few days later the Lord began to speak to me and give me what appeared to be a business plan for an internet based tea store. I spoke to the owner the next day and here I am!

Because of things the Lord led me to do a couple of years prior I was positioned to make this transition fairly smoothly complete with access to wonderful free resources at the local college including an attorney and business coach.

Last night as I packed tea and listened to my children play in the den I could not help but wonder will I regret missing this time with them.

The business has never been a burden on us financially, but it also has not added a penny to our household income. Every month it has produced enough to pay its own bills and the loan we took out to purchase it. I do have a significant balance on a credit card that I hope to have paid off soon. I do not want money to be a deciding factor for me.

My dilemma:

I love tea and I love the tea business. I love the people I have met and the opportunities it has afforded me, but I love my family more.

The bigger dilemma:

I do not feel released to give it up. More than anything I want to be obedient, so I must trust God’s timiring as I did two years ago when He called me to this. Everyone asked me repeatedly how I was going to do this and I continually replied I don’t know, but God does. He has been faithful and He is STILL DOING IT.

God’s faithfulness has been interwoven in every aspect of this business and contiues to be. I want Him to be glorified in this and I want to represent Him to the best of my ability, which I feel is lacking in every area of my life right now.

He called me to be a wife, mother, homeschooler and business owner in that order and I do not want to get that confused.

When you think of me please pray and if you have been in this situation and God spoke to you, please share. Any scripture for encouragement or words of Godly wisdom are welcome.

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. HEBREWS 13:20-21

Thursday, October 8, 2009


My kids love granola, but the last time we were at the health food store the price for a small container had skyrocketed, so I did not buy any. I was reading one of my favorite blogs the other day and found a recipe for "Lazy Granola" which is just my speed these days. I gave it a try on Monday and I was AMAZED (as were my children and husband). It tastes just like the delicious (expensive) granola from the health food store. If you like granola you must try it! For the recipe visit The Finer Things in Life

I do not have a picture of mine, but there is one in Amy's post.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I've seen this on here before using laundry baskets, but these paint can boxes worked beautifully. As you can see I stacked them four high except in the middle where I stored my 24 pack of water bottles and the Bumbo turned upside down, so I could store liquid dish soap and hand soap in the crevices. Games, the beach umbrella, the umbrella stroller and other miscellaneous items fit behind the boxes. We packed a family of 6 for 10 days at the beach. I gave everyone a 5 outfit and 2 pairs of shoes maximum and brought a roll of quarters to do laundry midweek. The Pack N' Play did not fit in the back, so it will be packed in between the bench seat and the front seats just before we leave.

When we came home I unpacked one box at a time and emptied it and then put it out for the trash, so another bonus...NO suitcases laying around!

For more great tips check out We are THAT Family!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Tonight we were about to make an impromptu run to the Dollar Store to snag a blow up pool for a $1. When I tried to start the van it would not start, so my husband charged the battery while Isabella and I waited in the car. She was obviously afraid, so I began asking her questions. She was afraid to be in the car while he was charging it because she was afraid it would roll down the hill, so I explained to her that the "park" feature still worked. Then she began crying as we backed down the driveway because if we got stuck at the store "Daddy would leave the little ones alone while he came to get us" and I assured her that would not happen. Daddy would not leave the little ones at home, he would bring them with him or someone there would help start our van. I said we need to trust God Isabella...I knew this was a "teachable" moment. It was important she go with me and face her fear and trust her Father.

Isn't it interesting how irrational her fears were, but aren't all fears irrational? Fear is not based on Truth.

Ever seen the acrostic FEAR? False Evidence Appearing Real

As we left the parking lot I explained to her that we can always trust God. I told her I was glad she trusted me and the words that escaped her lips left me speechless, "Me too, if not my life would be a disaster." Wow! That was a loaded statement.

Remember my struggle with retreating to old seasons? Well, here is my revelation. Plain and simple it is FEAR. A spirit of fear that the bible tells me DID NOT come from my Father. I am struggling with trusting Him right now and my life some days is a "disaster" - I am going to remember what Isabella said. So much wisdom for such a little girl. A girl who knows her Father and trusts Him and believes He is a good Daddy. On days like today I learn much more from my kids than they learn from me.

Trusting our parents is important, but trusting God it is VITAL!

Friday, September 11, 2009


We vacationed in Panama City, Florida a couple of weeks ago, so I thought I'd share some of my favorites shots. Stayed tuned for the important lessons my kids taught while gathering shells.

It is hard to get spacing right when putting text under the pictures (for me anyway) so, I'll sum it up here. Most pictures of Kaira were of her in a chair or in Judah's Bumbo, she would not touch the sand till the last day. Our silly picture is becoming a vacation tradition. Judah loved the water. We stayed a walk away from the state park and went to the pier several times to see a family of dolphins, which was much cooler than seeing them at an aquarium. I have never seen them in their natural habitat and so close up. The sunset from our screened porch was amazing.

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