Newest Addition to the walls

Easiest project I’ve ever done. Fabric. Embroidery hoops. Construction paper and painters tape to get the layout just right. Finished in 1 1/2 naps ūüôā




I bought all the fabric for about $18 with enough left to *maybe* make pillows if I ever learn how to use the sewing machine Aunt Kari gave me. {ahem. Ms. V when you’re in town *wink*wink*} The fabrics came from Hancock and a local place called Bernina in Stitches. The hoops came from JoAnn’s when we were in Memphis. How I miss JoAnn’s and Ben Franklin Crafts. They were $.99 and $1.50 a piece. Soooo pretty easy, pretty cheap craft.



Makin’ Progress….

To our Mississippi family…… We’re settled. Kind of. All boxes ar unpacked. And life is in full motion. Ben and I spend our days running errands, playing at the park, cleaning, and napping {a luxury for the tot.} He’s walking {and running when it’s to get to his daddy} so well; his words and sign language (please, more, done, eat…) are all coming along nicely. And, he’s discovered a love of small spaces. IMG_4760

I’ve been spending a lot of his naps looking like thisIMG_4750

{redoing a desk but not quiteee there yet.}

Here’s what we HAVE done:¬†IMG_4783

This used to be brown. I sprayed it white and distressed it a bit. Love it.

IMG_4774Painted this accent wall

IMG_4770to this beautiful soft blue. Bought the chair at Pier 1 to go with the table when we have guests


This is my favorite spot in the house right now. I just need nicer handwriting for my chalkboard ūüôā


Second favorite place: Chalkboard. To remind us what we live for.

IMG_4780I’ve taken off all the top cabinet doors to start painting them this weekend.

There is still so so much to do and it seems like we’ll never get done. Hopefully we’ll be closer before you get here!

Gratitude Tree

I’ve been seeing all these “thankfuls” pop up on facebook and blogs alike. Ever since I read Ann Voskamp’s 1,000 Gifts¬†I’ve kepts my own little list. Sometimes regularly, sometimes not. Then, Jones Design Co. (one of my fave fave faves) posted a printable¬†and I swooned. Did my own little spin…

I started with these materials plus my Silhouette. The first thing I did was wrap yarn around my wine bottle. 

Glue every 6 or so wraps after you push your yarn down to make sure there are no gaps.

Here is my end product.

I did a bit of funky toward the top. I like it. I may to another bottle completely spread out like this. 

Then I went to work cutting out my leaves. Did this while ironing so I didn’t “waste” time waiting for the machine to finish cutting…¬†

Cut a buncha little wormy looking strings…¬†

Use them to tie on the leaves. I tossed all my leaves in to our Halloween bowl and leave it sitting on the table.

Go out to the yard (or send your manfolk if it’s not too dark …¬†Unfortunately¬† it’s terribly dark when mine gets in from work… and I’m not one to wait around until Saturday ) to pick up some cool looking sticks.¬†

I found my best sticks in the “leafiest” part of the yard….

Each night at dinner, share your “thankful” for the day. Cliff and I both do this and Ben’s thankful is the thing he smiled at the most that day {the hub’s idea} then write in on the leaf. . . ¬†and we dated the back. }

We use the same leaf just because.

When you add them to your tree it may look bare {like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree really} ¬†

So I simulated what it would look like with lots-o-leaves…

As I was working on this post, I searched for “thanks.” When I came across the passages in the Gospels I realized something I never realized before. As Jesus broke bread {knowing full well it represented his body to be broken} and drank of the cup {knowing¬†his blood was to be shed for all those who would believe}




What?!?! The Son of God, the name at which every knee would one day bow, was giving thanks that he would die a death that was undeserved so that we might have eternal life that is undeserved. What a concept. Let me say this to you again….




He didn’t bemoan his “job.” He didn’t bemoan his president. He didn’t bemoan the agonizing death he would endure on calvary. He simply gave thanks.

“And when He had taken a cup and given¬†thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‚ÄúDrink from it, all of you “

A Celebration


This little man turns one on Thursday.

We celebrated last weekend with family. Pattygram, Big Al and /uncle Scott Bot came in for the party!

Ben always loves spending time with these two…

Here are some shots from the party!

 *Anyone else thinks my husband looks like a sitcom dad in this pic?? * Perhaps of the Dunfey variety?

He loved all his presents…¬†

….but not as much as daddy did.


It was a great day to be with the Pyles!


I’m still Creating. Are you still reading?

I'm still Creating. Are you still reading?

For a sweet friend relying on the hope of Jesus.


Life Lately

Ahhh. I can finally say that Im adjusting to my new life. Mommy….all. day. long. Mississippi. Meeting new people. Slow paced life. Just¬†being rather than doing all the time. I’ve come to enjoy my life here, most days.

There are days I just wish I could curl up in my living room with the sun beaming in with Staci beside me telling me how stressed she is about exams. Or go on a walk with Allison and Finn. Or see cute Raegan and Benjamin flirt while Kristy and I have Barbs. Or, walking into my office for two hours before heading to see the high school kiddos. Michelle and Calvin I think about on a daily basis and yearn for Bear to attack my leg when I come in the door. Kristin. Oh Kristin who really gets me and can encourage me with two words. And so many others. I cannot say how much I would love to chase Luke around sis’s new house {that I still haven’t seen} or have nana ask me yet again to hold Benjamin knowing he’s too squirmy for her. All that made up my life. A life that I loved.

Life is new here. I have hours on end to spend time studying and for the first time in my life I enjoy it! Somedays, I want to run out the house and leave all my¬†responsibilities. Today is not one of those days. Today, I think I could watch Benjamin waller around all day long and not get tired of it. We are starting to make a life here and I’m starting to like it and know there will be things I’ll miss when we leave. . . more than just Cliff’s family which has always been on the “positives list.”

Finding a church has played in incredible mood in my spirits lifting. Only been there two weeks but have met more people than my sweet baby boy has toes! And maybe fingers too. I am a creature of community. When I have it, I grow, I feel alive. I’m starting to get that back and cannot say how thankful I am for that.

Our little Squawk is not so squawky any more and spends his days blabbering and now doing what I call the pterodactyl (who knew it had a p?) shrill! He finds ways to put any blanket he comes in contact with over his face and is constantly¬†grabbing¬†anything in his reach. He giggles and wrestles the sheep his daddy bought him before we knew he was a he. He hugs Eeyore all the time and still prefers watching daddy over any activity I could offer. He’s becoming a little boy, not a baby. Watch out world, this kid’s gonna be trouble. I can already tell he has his daddy’s mischief and his mommy’s enjoyment of people. Deadly combo. This will make for funny stories.

I saw this in our lake yesterday afternoon…¬†

The Good. The Bad. The Ugly. {Memphis}


My great friends {Chris and Leanne} are incredible. They are working in Cambodia. Chris teaching students. Leanne helping stop human trafficking and educate the people of Phnom Phen. I spent 2.5 months with Leanne in Africa 7 years ago and have remained great friends with her. LOVE her. More than I could say. Anyway, they do this thing they call winners and losers. I’m stealing the idea for my time here in Memphie. We’ll start with the positive.

The Good:

  • Target: seriously, Johnson City. Get with the times and open a Super Target. Is it shameful that Target is currently my best friend? If you saw this Target you’d understand.
  • Mamaw. Goes to the grocery with me. Fixed us food when we hadn’t been to the grocery. Loves Benjamin Squawk just as much as my sweet mama.
  • The homestead. I’ll post pictures soon. Promise. Ms. Vicki and I are even going to have a little veggie and herb garden. Never done that before.
  • Ms. V’s exercise class. I have officially retired the preggo pants.
  • Cliff’s job. Free popcorn and “freestyle” . . . those fancy pants Coke machines that let you add flavors.
  • The park. Have chatted with the sweetest people there. Even flagged down a police officer who did not make fun of me for asking to help a hurt duck.
  • This weather. Not humid yet, in the mid to high 60s and several days without a cloud in the sky.
  • Fellowship Memphis. The church we just might call home for our time here. Multiracial body. When you read the ugly you’ll understand why this is so important to us! Bigger than we’d like, but in no way feels like a machine.
  • Benjamin. Smiling. Laughing. Having so much fun with him.
  • Realizing I had more good than I thought I would when i stopped to think about it.

The Bad:

  • Traffic. Like Roan Street at Christmas bad. All. the. time.
  • Missing Earth Fare
  • The price of organic milk. $7.50 a gallon!
  • Not getting to go to my mama’s or my sister’s whenever the heck we want.
  • Which means I don’t get to see my favorite ray of sunshine, nephew Lukie.
  • Not quite fitting into my pre-preggo pants which leaves me somewhat pantsless. Don’t worry. I do wear pants, they’re just a big snug. I now understand why moms wear high waisted pants.

The Ugly:

  • The segregation. Unfortunately, most crime is committed by people who are not white. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want white people out committing crimes either. It seems like an injustice to me that so many people have fought and lost their lives just for the majority of uneducated and poor folks to be minorities. I hate it. It’s ugly. I never realized it before.¬† That’s why the multiracial church is so important to us. This place needs Jesus bad. And not the smiley happy Jesus of church culture. The Jesus who came with a sword to end injustice and oppression of His people. We want to be a part of that here in one of the most segregated cities in our country. Memphis needs your prayers. Memphis needs Him.
  • Memphis was listed as one of the top 20¬† most miserable place to live by Forbes, MSN, yahoo, xfinity…

Sneak peek of our little place…


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