Monday, July 30, 2012

My Foul Mouth

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things."

{Philippians 4:8}

Frazzled doesn't even begin to describe it.  Bedraggled can't cut it. Insane is probably even a little too demure a word to describe the frenzied, harried, on-the-edge, about to throw something across the room (please, don't let it be my coffee!), tired, stressed, anxious, unsure, insecure, completely DONE state that I was living in.

A mother of three beautiful daughters, wife to a super handsome and loving husband, maker of a comfortable and pretty home in suburbia, and friend to many great ladies who make a gal both laugh and feel inspired.  I sure had a lot of problems.

Actually, just one big one.


It's always myself!  From the first time that I can ever recall feeling sinful (envious of a friend's cute red and white polka-dot dress at her first birthday party), it's always been about me.  I certainly had a great time at her party (Casey - it was your cute dress at Celebration Station...oh, to be young in Clifton Heights!) but I've never forgotten feeling that negative emotion at such a young age, and one that was entirely dependent upon my own weakness.  I'll always struggle with sin, as we all will, but I'll also always have Jesus to set me upright again and bring me through it.


That's whom I need to lay this post - these thoughts, these feelings - at the feet of.  I had become so exhausted by this fast-paced, full life of being a homeschooling mother to three young children that I'd let myself get into the habit of voicing too much of the negative and not enough of the positive things that were happening around me.  I'm a naturally optimistic person, but what good comes of having hope in Christ if we're only saving it up for sharing with others in the difficult times but complain, nag and berate ourselves in everyday circumstances?

A few months ago, I was blessed and honored and extremely ecstatic to be baptized at our wonderful church.  It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and for reasons that are God-filled but not fully explicable or understandable, it ushered in a new phase of deeper understanding and desire for Jesus.  I found myself experiencing a week of tremendous, untouchable peace.  As with all good things, the come and they go, and I allowed myself to return to chaos.  Almost a month ago, however, my husband was baptized at our church, as well, and his bright love for the Lord and enthusiasm just overflowed into everything around him and reminded me that there is absolutely no reason why I cannot continue to abide in the peace that Jesus has promised us while we walk in this crazy, messy, uncomfortable world.

I just had to ask Him for it.  I just had to be transformed.

It's been a a few weeks now, and I've dedicated my tongue to what is helpful, beautiful, positive, joyful.  I now understand that it's not only gossip that God warns us about when he says to mind our words, but it's about building up each other and ourselves.  Keeping our hearts trained on Jesus and receiving His blessing of peace is so much harder (and I believe almost impossible) if we allow our words to focus on negativity.  

"The spirit of the Eternal spoke to me, his word was on my tongue," said King David {2 Samuel  23:2}.  His word is on each of our tongues, flowing from each of our mouths, resonating from each of our hearts.

His Word overcame this world, and our words can continue to bring forth His peace.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tutu sweet

I'm a lover of cupcake centerpieces, and my children are lovers of dance.  AND cupcakes (they could take or leave the centerpiece nonsense).

Alice and Rose had a spectacular time in their dance recital this year!  It was Alice's first recital as part of her Creative Movement class, and it was Rose's second recital.  This year she took a Cheernastics class but has previously done Ballet and Tap as well as Creative Movement.  Next year she's taking a return to Ballet and Tap (I'm not convinced that the fun of having two different pairs of shoes to wear isn't the reason she's doing it...).

You'd think that this pose-striking was just a dance school-related thing...

One of my lovely little lassies at home after their performance (which Charlotte attended, too, of course, and actually enjoyed!).  We had all of the grandparents in attendance and then celebrated with pizza and cupcakes afterwards.  The tutu cupcake tier made everything more fun - just replicate my homemade tier with plates and glasses (I always do a homemade one) and use a bowl or canister as the base with a child's tutu skirt around it.

(Note about the cupcakes: My two fabulous friends, Meredith and Diane, actually made them for our other fabulous friend Katie's baby shower that we through the day before, so I cake-cycled a few and just added my own frosting.  I am acknowledging Mere and Diane for their cupcakery goodness, because these were simply too delish not to eat!!  And Alice ate some baby head toppers...more on that later...)

"Let us dance in the sun, wearing wildflowers in our hair..."
{Susan Polis Shutz}

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's an art birthday party!

{what's a goody table without a sign to announce it?}

Rose is six.  Six?!  That makes me...doesn't matter what that makes me (31 next week, shhh)...but it's still quite hard to believe that the little blue-eyed, peachy-fuzzed (for almost two years), darling bundle of baby girl is now counting her years on two hands.  Before I run upstairs and make her tell me that she'll always be my baby (which I never ever do), here are some of the highlights from her art birthday party!

How did I ever plan a party without Pinterest?  {Insert a swooning sigh here} Rice krispie treat paint brushes for favors - slip a popsicle stick into rice krispie treats and dip into melted chocolate.  We used red Wilton candy melts for some guests and then regular Hershey's milk chocolate chips for friends with peanut allergies (no nuts in processing the Hershey's, but always check the bag to be sure).

Painting homemade canvases and decorating wands were our two big art projects for the party.  

Can I just say how much I love, love, love, like LOVE, this homemade canvas idea?  I adapted it from something that I saw (guess where?) on Pinterest.  My husband brought me home enough 2x4 foot cardboard pallets from work so that each birthday party guest could have one.  I painted the perimeter with gold metallic paint, used a permanent marker to draw faux antique framing onto it, and then taped a piece from a roll of newsprint on the front for painting.

Some of our fabulous artists at work.  We had 17 children at the party, which included four absolutely adorable Michaelangel-babies!

There's one now!  {My Charlotte}

Rose is enamored with our local ice cream truck, so we booked it to show up while the gang was painting.  I don't think that our neighborhood has ever seen it BEFORE dinner or bed time!  Gotta love your friendly neighborhood ice cream truck!  We do!

She works with a variety of media.

Be-jeweling wands.  AC Moore had 10-packs of liquid glue sticks that were inexpensive and a must for this project!  

At the last minute I also cut a frame out of a leftover cardboard pallet for friends to pose in with a bunch of props that we had around the house.  Nothing's more adorable than a pom-pom headed horticulturally-inclined rabbit and her cool musician sidekick.  (And Katie in this picture isn't only one of my very best friends in the world but the most renowned art project guru mama that I know!  She's the ultimate themed party planner, too!)

Painter's palette of cupcakes

Illustrating Ephesians 2:10

My beautiful six-year-old, who is so incredibly blessed to have so many friends and family sharing in the joy of her birthday with her.  

"For we are God's masterpiece..." {Ephesians 2:10}