Saturday, April 25, 2015

Our First Girlie Weekend! (didn't quite go as planned, but we learned) ;)

(disclaimer: we had a wonderful time. so blessed for these special moments... i am learning as a mom! this post might be a little long, but it is all for the family journal/blog)

There was MUCH anticipation for this weekend night away with my girlies.
Hadassah had been counting down the days to what she called the "Girlie Hotel".

The Plan:
I smile typing those words. How simple it seemed. lol.

Sean encouraged me at first to leave Priscilla. She is now 14 months old and still nursing throughout the day/ once at night.  Oh.. the thought was too hard! Even the girls didn't want her to miss out. I would be fine, right?

But... I realized real quick that it might have been a better plan. (Or not- Because God wanted me to be reminded to be DEPENDENT on HIM alone.  Boy, is she a handful!)

We got out of the house at a great time. Lydia practically did all the packing - snack food and all. The suitcase was neatly open on the bed for my additions. 
Sean loaded up the Priscilla's bedding and we were off! 
The only two items we forgot: Jessa's Book to sign (not that big of deal) and a noise maker to sleep with (of course we used an app instead).

We had a such an exhausting week, I knew it was going to be all about my attitude and how I approached this weekend. I am spoiled with my husband around. Even the fact that he speaks peace into my life. He encourages me often that all will work out great.

Priscilla decided to only sleep maybe 30 minutes the entire day.  A stop at Chick-fil-A was in order to get out her leftover energy. 
Oh my goodness. 
Maybe I was just tired, but I was dumb founded when ordering. The place was packed and I slightly panicked because my husband always does the ordering. I mean ALWAYS. Ha! I was pathetic. Really.  

"Uhhh.. how many nuggets? What is the price difference? Is it cheaper to get an adult meal? What kind of milk to I get them? Uhh...."

I just decided to forgo my own food till maybe before we left.
I kept looking over my shoulder at the menu while the girls were eating. I think some Moms were wondering what in the world I was doing because they were in my line of sight! Oh. well.

We made it to the Bins and my girls were ready to find craft supplies or whatever treasures presented themselves. Potty breaks taken care of and already two poopie diapers changed in the front seat, we were ready to go. I was only able to keep Priscilla content for a few minutes in the front of the cart while shopping (aka "digging"). What baby wants to sit for a fifth hour? On the back she went via Ergo. She shoved, pushed and was pretty vocal. By the end, she was screaming. 

This is were it started to hit me. I should have went without the baby. I really felt overwhelmed inside.  Even Dad usually manages baby at the Bins!! What is next?  Dinner and find the reserved hotel. We could make it.

The girls were thrilled with their new hat purchases and said it was one of the best "Bin" trips ever. I was a little flustered, sweaty and felt the headache coming on- yet happy to see them smile. I had to appear strong and not falling apart for their sake.

Found our next stop. Panda Express :)  This time it is the drive thru- I can manage.

Lydia ended up laughing at me because "it took me FOREVER" to order. Lol. I guess I was asking the lady lots of questions about how much food I needed to feed two young girls and myself. ;) Once again, Sean usually does all the ordering!!

I really didn't want to bring dessert to the hotel. That meant one more stop.. and I didn't think I could take it. Then I heard Sean say before we left. "Get a coffee and relax" Weeks before I promised the girls Krispie Kremes.

Then it happened. Sean called. I folded. I became weak. I can hardly ever lie to my husband about how I am truly feeling.

Somebody call the "WHAAAM...bulance." I cried for a few moments while I changed Priscilla in the front seat, baking in the hot sun. Did I mention I had a headache? Well, that had gotten worse. I apologized to the girls for my emotions getting the best of me. I really wanted this to be a fun trip for them and I.

Thank the Lord for my GPS on my cheap smartphone. We made it to the hotel and had a lovely dinner of Panda Express with donuts for dessert! Swimming was fun and refreshing. Priscilla and I both enjoyed the hot tub too. :)

Priscilla crashed while the girls and I was a new episode of the Duggars on TLC. We prayed and I knew tomorrow would prove once again for my trust to be in the Lord.

Once again, when we got to the Southern Womans Show I realized next time it will be a "big girl" event only. We managed to get the two stroller through crowds of people, get one free sample for Hadassah who had no interest in the event- whatsoever-, and find the main stage.

I really wanted to post a cute picture of my girls with Jessa, but this is as good as it gets (on the left). We had to wait an hour watching a Goodwill Fashion show (while I stood nursing!!!). It was pretty interesting and thankfully Lydia had her phone so Hadassah could busy herself.

There were so many people! Oh, my goodness. The "meet in greet" line went out a back door! We like 19 kids and Counting, but not enough to wait with two toddlers in a line that long! Elizabeth, Lydia and I could have handled it but shortly after she was on stage, we left. We pretty much knew her question and answer time was going to be things we have heard before.

We came. We saw. We left.

Ben and Jessa did walk in about 10 ft from us. The girls thought that was pretty cool. I felt bad, it was the entire reason we came.

My girls are genuinely sweet to me. They are so flexible and encouraging. We talked about it a lot on the way home about things we would do differently and the fun we did have. I know this was the first trip of many to come. Lydia turns 13 next month.. we have some time.

Priscilla did not ruin anything. My perspective needed a little adjusting and the Lord showed me that. No matter what I was "feeling" it was all about enjoying the time with them. Embracing and loving them, no matter how weak I felt.

Last year this trip would have been financially impossible and that is amazing. I am thankful. God is good!

Have you ever taken a weekend trip with your daughters? Where did you go?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Making Memories

Don't we look cute? Fifteen years of marriage last month. Sure do love him and all my beautiful babies. 

What a restful little piece of heaven our river trips have been. It is perfect, only about 5 minutes from our house. It is now nicknamed "Treasure Beach" because we always find some sort of treasure. We have also made it our mission to pick up whatever trash the weekenders leave behind. We love making small campfires and watching the kids.

All parents should find that little "escape place" as a family. A quiet spot away from home, away from the mess, away from screens... a spot that doesn't cost money.  Don't you agree?

I don't want to miss out before they are grown. Sean and I were reminding ourselves, these are the memories we are creating for them.

And please don't assume we have some perfect life. Evenings like these we find rest because there has been fighting. There has been stress. Yet, the open air allows us to breath and enjoy all God has blessed us with. And yes, we come home to lots of showers and sand, but it is all worth it.

How can I not enjoy these lovies?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Easy@Home Pregnancy Test Strips {Product Review!!} :D

Everyone has been wondering if there will be a Buckout Baby #8, so how convenient this review was for me!!!

Easy@Home are great pregnancy tests. Perfect because there is a ton (20 tests) in one box!
Many moms want to take more than one test at a time or even over a period of a few weeks. :)

They are very reasonable priced at ONLY

(Although there are no cups included it is very easy to find a substitute!)

and the reveal...
NOT Pregnant.
(FYI- The faint line on the far left is where the strip attaches.)
I have plenty of tests left ;)

About Easy@Home One Step HCG Pregnancy Test Strips:
Detects the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which appears in urine very early in pregnancy. Regardless of the technical language, this test works just like most other pregnancy tests out there. It measures the levels of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in your urine. This hormone is produced by the cells of the embryo that will later form the placenta. The level of HCG starts to increase from its basal level of less than 5 mIU/mL directly after implantation, and doubles about each 48 hours during the first weeks of pregnancy.

- All tests FDA approved and over 99.8% accuracy
- Easy to use
- Will work 5 days before your missed period
- Earliest detection, greatest sensitivity level - 25 mIU/mL

Keeping it real,
Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above in exchange for review from Giveaway Service website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Reference ID: pmc55430fdfdac11fc3771a9b94e2bb854

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Shine Bright Kids, "Whatever Wanda" {Book Review & Giveaway!}

We loved receiving Whatever Wanda in the mail last week! What a treat to own ALL 3 in the Shine Bright Kids series. This time they are touching on the "bad attitude" (is what my 3 and 4 year old called it) of Wanda. Mordecai loved finding the star on each page again! 

Both Hadassah and Mordecai understood she was not being very happy and thankful about her circumstances. 

As always Christy Ziglar did a wonderful job illustrating, captivating those little ones attention!
If you don't own all three it would be a wonderful Easter present for those Lovies in your life. 

PLUS, I am giving one copy of "Whatever Wanda" 
away FREE on my blog!
Just enter the Rafflcopter below. 

Giveaway will end on EASTER so spread the word!!!

Hope you had a wonderful Palm Sunday!!

About the Book
This new book, Whatever Wanda, is the third title in the Shine Bright Kids series! The Shine Bright Kids series provides children and their families with the tools to teach the importance of making good choices. The series explores such topics as: using good judgment, taking responsibility, having a positive attitude, and demonstrating perseverance. Wanda is in serious need of an attitude adjustment! She doesn’t want to accompany her family to the Rubber Duck Days Festival, and once there, she won’t participate in any of the events or join in with her friends. Soon Wanda receives some helpful advice and learns that: “Sometimes you have to believe something will be great before it actually is. Being positive is a choice that makes everything better, not to mention, a whole lot more fun!”

About the Author:
Christy Ziglar, financial planner, mother of twins, and niece of legendary motivator and the world’s original optimist, Zig Ziglar, is bringing the same timeless wisdom and ageless advice to an entirely new, younger audience through her Shine Bright Kids picture book series. Christy, her husband, and their twins live in Atlanta, Georgia.

About the Illustrator:
Paige Billin-Frye lives with her husband in Washington, D.C., where she gardens and grows food in her city yard. She has illustrated numerous children’s books and works in a studio over a neighborhood hardware store. Coincidentally, Paige has amassed a collection of rubber duckies of all sizes across the years.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Using Harsh Words

After an orthodontist appointment last week I swung into the grocery store with three of my kids. I loaded up the car and proceeded to return my cart.

Then it happened- Cursing, yelling and name calling.

What appeared to be a young Grandmother (walking with them was a mother/girl with an infant) proceeded to grab her grandchild's arm whom was maybe only 6 years old.

What caught me off guard was the little boy. As his wrist was being pulled along he didn't say a word, but quietly looked ME straight in the eye. Literally. Not even as embarrassment, but a blank hurting stare.

I felt stunned.

Granted we all have heard the Mom or Dad chewing kids out while shopping at the grocery store. Dropping the f-bomb or calling them obscenities named for a donkey. We politely ignore it with our head down or roll our eyes and push our cart away.  Yet, this was different.

Elizabeth heard the commotion and we got in the van. I watched in grief. She shoved him in the car, yelling other choice words. I wanted her to see me watching. I did stare and I hoped she noticed. I wanted to help him. There was nothing I could do. Grandma shut the SUV door and lit a cigarette while her daughter got in the back with the infant.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Matthew 18:6

My heart broke and was angry at the same time. I can only imagine this is the life this boy comes home to every day after school.

Then I looked at my own heart. The sad reality is I face the same issues everyday. God has been schooling me in my tone and the very harsh words I use with my own children. 

This Grandmother's sin is no different than mine.

The gift God has given me is grace. Redemption in Christ. The Holy Spirit convicts me of wrong and turns my heart to repentance.

I have taken the advice of a schooled mother to gently get down to my child's level and speak to them with a soft, firm, corrective tone. It is amazing when put to practice.

Recently, as a family we listened to a bible study on anger. Four points given when correcting children: "CALF" Calm. Attentive. Loving. Firm.
Talk about convicting when your children are sitting in the room with you!

We need to be aware how anger can consume our home if we are not careful.

A soft answer turns away wrath, the Proverbs say. Wrath in myself and even bitterness in my child or teenager.

"Parents can often see their own shortcomings and failures in the sinful behavior of their children! When parents realize that their children have inherited their own even natures, this should make them very patient and wise in disciplining their children...
Let all your dealings with the children be done in love. Angry words, sharp reproof and impatient answers are infectious. Love demands self- sacrifice. It takes time, attention and perseverance to train our children in God's ways."  -Raising Your Children for Christ, Andrew Murray

There was nothing I could do for that little boy. All I could do was pray.
God help me to see those eyes in my own children when I am tempted to tear them down.

When was the last time you yelled at your child? Did you feel justified? What are they learning from you? Have you tried to use a soft assertive voice? Why not try?

From one parent to another,

Monday, March 16, 2015

Quality Source Magnetic Screen Door {Product Review!!}

I had so much fun doing this review. By far my favorite! Lol.
Last summer I was really was resisting purchasing a screen door. The are expensive!! But I really wanted the extra light and fresh air in the living room without the BUGS. 

Honestly, I was so excited to review Quality Source Magnetic Screen Door. It was perfect timing because the weather is finally changing. 

I thought I was going to be disappointed when I open the package because... well, there was not much too it, not even instructions. So I didn't mess anything up- I called on my dear hubby. How hard could it be!? The velcro is self adhesive and only took a few minutes, not seconds. ;)

Also, our doorway was a little smaller in width, so we overlapped the top a bit.

What I loved about the Magnetic Screen Door:

  • installation went quick, but recommend not installing it on a windy day! ;)
  • it actually closes on its own! there is a magnetic strip down the middle.
  • can remove it easy and store away when needed. 
  • velcro holds screen door well in place on all edges
  • the animals can come in and out (the chickens are not smart enough so it keeps them out! yay!)
  • -so far- good on the bugs, but it is really too early to tell. I am pretty sure it will keep flies out, not sure about those nasty mosquitos!

Domo approves too!

Tada! I am happy.

curiosity of children
Jack being obedient

Quality Source Photo Example

ha ha! You will NOT enter.

Sizes can fit to any door.

Like I said, the packaging through me off for a second, but overall a great screen door!
You can purchase yours on Amazon!

Keeping it real,
Disclosure of Material Connection: I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"No Longer a Slumdog" by K. P. Yohannan {Review & FREE Book!}

No Longer a Slumdog is a beautiful book with harsh realities. Harsh realities that go easily ignored in the comfort of our American lifestyle. This is a must read book. It is so important for us to open our eyes and hearts to those in need. It was a joy to read how God is moving through the ministry Bridge of Hope among these children in Asia. I even read excerpts from the book to my own children. How healthy it is for them not to forget what many children go through. 

This is a wonderful opportunity for you do the same. 

This is NOT a giveaway, BUT A FREE book to spread the word!! Please the time and order the book. Let your heart be open...

About the book:
139 pgs / Forward by Francis Chan 
Those with no voice—the suffering children of Asia—tell their stories. And as you listen to them, you share their anguish and rejoice in their triumphs. The whole world seems to stop as you look on.

"You girls stay here. I’m going to get something to drink.” But after a few minutes, the train started moving again, and Mom still wasn’t back! Our hearts were racing. The train kept going faster and faster. Where was Mom? 

Hope is growing in the hearts of those who never knew such a thing existed. In this truly gripping narrative, K.P. Yohannan shares their stories— stories of lives transformed, of families learning to love, of entire communities flourishing with new life. Witness as this next great wave of transformation sweeps the nations.

About the author: K. P. Yohannan 

Dr. K.P. Yohannan, founder and international director for Gospel of Asia, has authored more than 200 books, including Revolution in World Missions, an international bestseller with more than 3 million copies in print. He is on the board of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), and his Road to Reality radio program airs on more than 900 stations worldwide. He and his wife, Gisela, have two grown children, Daniel and Sarah, who both serve the Lord with their families.

Gospel for Asia's mission is to share the Good News of Jesus with those who have never heard his name. We train and send national missionaries to reach out into areas where the Good News of Jesus Christ has not yet been heard. For over 30 years Gospel for Asia continues to bring aid and hope to some of the most downtrodden people in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Watch these videos and hear the stories of transformed lives on No Longer a Slumdogs Website.

Gospel for Asia's WEBSITE

Gospel for Asia's FACEBOOK

Gospel for Asia on TWITTER

K.P. Yohannan’s FACEBOOK

K.P. Yohannan’s TWITTER

Please tweet and spread the word: #freebook #nolongeraslumdog @buckoutblessing
In Christ,


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