Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

So, I realized today that I didn't post a SINGLE post in 2012! My life has been reduced to statuses and pin boards. I miss the days when I had time to sit and think about what to write and then have it make sense as I type it :) What's kept me so busy this year? Well, here are some point form memories from this wonderfully busy year!

- Experienced the pain of labor without the joy of holding a child when I got kidney stones for the first time.
- Opened up Bedeckle and have had a great busy year.
- Homeschooling Jackson in Kindergarten and Owen in K4 - enjoyed watching them learn!

- Judah Pie turned 1!
- Celebrated our 9th Valentine's day

- Experienced our first febrile seizure with Judah. Landed us in a children's hospital in Philadelphia for 2 days. He had viral meningitis.
- Began planning our raised bed gardens for the 3rd (or 4th?) spring
- Welcomed a new little nephew into the world!
- Olivia Adeline turned 3 with a princess party! So fun having a girl.

- Jackson turned 6 and had a lego birthday party.
- Judah threw away my wedding rings
- My mom came and stayed with the kids for a week so....
- ...Nathan and I went away for the first time to Jamaica for our anniversary!

- Went to Canandaigua with Nathan for a work trip .
- The kids and I played in the pool and had a wonderful time together.
- Jackson had a terrible fever and we found out when we got back that he had Lyme's Disease.
- Visited family in Canada.
- On the way home Judah ,who showed no signs of being sick, had another febrile seizure in the car while we were driving. We were 45 min from home and the nearest hospital. We were then airlifted to a children's hospital where we spent another 2 days. Thankful for God's healing and protection.

- Lots of swimming

- Owen turned 5!! He chose an Angry Birds Birthday Party
- Are you still reading? If so, I'll buy you a coffee if you're ever in town :)

- Started our homeschooling year with Jackson in first grade, Owen in Kindergarten.
- Went to see Beth Moore with Friends

- Nathan turned 34
- Welcomed my new little nephew into the world!

- I coordinated a wedding on my 33rd birthday!!
- Had several shows for Brown Eyed Girlies and thankful when anyone gets excited about what I do

- a wonderfully busy month!
- sadly found out that my dad died. a truly heartbreaking time for so many reasons.
- had a great time with both of our families for Christmas
- ended the year with another seizure scare but can see God's provision and protection over our family so immensely that one day I really need to sit down and right it all out!

What a great year filled with more blessings than I can name! Happy New Year to all 3 of you that still read this! :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Giving from grateful hearts.

There are a lot of things that we can all be thankful for. Basic things, like food, water and shelter.  Since I have had my children I have had a great feeling of urgency to make sure that they understand how much we have been blessed with by God and how we need to be giving to others.
We know three guys who have started a group called 58ten and have been moved by God to start an orphanage in Kenya.

Their name comes from Isaiah 58:10 “if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.

image source:
As we have tried to find ways to show our kids how to love others and show kindness to them, we couldn’t think of a better way than to sponsor one of these children and as a family pray for “our” Mutua. Over the last few days since sponsoring Mutua, my kids have asked while we are eating “momma, does Mutua have food for lunch right now?”. While hugging me the other day one of them said “momma, it’s really sad that Mutua’s mommy died and he can’t hug her, isn’t it?” I am thankful as I listen to the wheels turning in their little minds about how much they really do have to be thankful for and wanting to help Mutua.
I love what the Lord, through 58ten, has allowed us to be a part of and how it’s already affecting the thinking of our kids.
It’s for this reason that for the rest of this Thanksgiving week  Brown Eyed Girlies will be donating 100% of the profits from my sales to help get Mutua’s orphanage up and running.
They need new roofs, mattresses, blankets, spoons, paint, sponsors for the children. $40 helps to purchase a “Start up kit” for the orphans that includes many of the basic items that they will need as they move in (blanket, bowl, spoon, mattress).
I look at how little it costs to help these children and wonder if you will join with me in helping to support this new orphanage in Kenya, and to help little ones like Mutua and hundreds of others get care and nourishment that we have been so blessed with having ourselves.
So, while you’re Christmas shopping this week for the ones you love, why not purchase something and know that you are having a direct influence over the lives of struggling children in Kenya.
I thank you, 58ten thanks you and Mutua would thank you too!
**Please enter code “58ten” at checkout **

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The day I have dreaded for 8 years...

As we sat in Nate's Jeep that afternoon, I remember it being a cool fall day. Everything was just perfect. It was my favorite time of year. I loved Fall and everything about it. As an added bonus, we had started dating Oct.1st and that gave me even more reason to love this season! We were sitting together and after only dating for a few weeks, we knew we were going to get married. In fact, two weeks after we began dating, we planned our entire wedding on the way home from him meeting my family in Canada. So many things just seemed to come naturally and we were so thankful to the Lord for arranging our lives in such a way that we were like minded in most ways...all of the ways that were important...until this afternoon.

This afternoon we were talking about really important things lots of couples need to talk about before they get married. You know, how we thought we'd handle situations, how many kids did we imagine we'd have, what we thought about certain topics - all those things that are important to talk through but you can't really understand how you will handle them until you go through them.

That leads me to this one thing that threw me for a GIANT loop that day.

In the course of talking about children, Nathan naturally moved to how they would be schooled. Well, I didn't really ever think about that. I mean, what's to talk about? They'd go to school just like I had. My mind wandered quickly about how they'd go with me to pick out all of their new school supplies just as my mom had taken me. We'd shop for their new "back to school" outfit - that was a favorite tradition that we did every year and then I'd wait for them as they waited for the bus to come and take them to school. It made me smile to think about doing the same things with them that my mom did with me. But I was shaken quickly out of this dream by one word. One word came out of his lips that for some reason I thought I'd never have to hear in my lifetime (related to my life anyway...). 


I am chuckling as I type this because I remember this day so vividly.

He said "Well, of course we'll homeschool..."

Of course?!?! Was he just not able to see the amazing walk down memory lane I had just had in my head? Did he not see the satisfying smile on my face at the thought of putting my little ones on a bus and watching them wave at me as they drove away? Was this a test?! Nate was good at giving me an occasional test. Perhaps this was one.

So, I responded in the only way that I could muster... I began to cry. The tears rolled down my cheeks and I looked out the window (classic). Nate asked me what was wrong with a smile in his voice. And then there was no holding back. I told him exactly what I was thinking.

I sobbed,(it all seemed to come out as one long run on sentence)...
"Homeschooling?! I don't want my kids to be socially retarded, I don't want to have big bible bangs and wear jean jumpers and bobby socks, I don't want to drive a 15 passenger van!!"

And there it was. Everything that I was thinking at that exact moment. Nathan, who I am sure was taken aback by my emotional response, replied "Is that what my mom looks like?" and all I could say was, "NOT ANYMORE!!!"

Poor Nate! For the next half hour he sweetly tried to talk me off of the ledge and assure me that the kids would be just fine. They would function well in society because we would teach them how to do so. They would relate well with others because we'd try to raise them to be compassionate, caring people. My mind drifted off as he spoke and I remember thinking that even though he was making valid points, this was the one thing that I am sure he'd change his thinking on. Yup! I am one of those dumb saps that went into marriage thinking I would be able to change his mind on something. I accepted everything about Nate. I was thrilled to marry him - but this one would eventually disappear as we began living our life together and he'd see that "normal schooling" was the best thing for our family.

Silly Shyla.

God had other plans.

Nathan had been working construction and after we were engaged he was offered a position with a company that sells curriculum and educational/administrative tools to Christian Schools and Home Schooling families.

A coincedence? I think not. God continued to order our steps.

Soon after we were married, Nathan asked me to accompany him to a Homeschool Convention. REALLY!? These people have conventions? I had no desire to sit around and watch kids with clothes that were dated stand around and pick their noses while their mom breastfed her twins while looking over books. But, I loved Nate and I wanted to support him and help him out. So I went.

I won't lie to you. There were a few of those families there...but I was surprised at the amount of families that were the complete antithesis to my stereotype. Pleasantly surprised. Nate could tell and we drove home talking about it a little bit, but all the while I knew my heart had not budged a bit in that direction.

Fast forward two years....
We were expecting our first child.

Fast forward 15 months....

We were expecting our second child.

Fast forward 19 months...
We were expecting our 3rd child.

Get the idea? I'll spare you the thoughts and emotions that came during those years (they weren't all bad! :) I love my munchkins!!) But I could quickly see my idea of homeschooling getting closer to a reality instead of farther away.  And I still wished it away.

Enter baby #4.

Enter baby #1 becoming a 5 yr. old and a soon to be Kindergartener.

Enter a summer of dreading the inevitable.

Enter my loving Savior patiently softening my hardened heart and allowing me to choose to submit happily to my sweet, patient husband who only wants what's best for the family he's been entrusted with...not to make my life 'miserable'.

I am sure there are those of you who are asking "Why not Christian School?" - I'll give you another one word answer - Money. "Why not Public School?" - For us, we desire that our kids receive biblical teaching and so that left us with the best option for our family...homeschooling. It's not a last resort. It's intentional.

Welcome to the day I have dreaded for 8 years.

I am a homeschooling mom.

There. I said it! :) But seriously, I am happy to be able to work through life issues with my kids. I am excited to be the one to live the Gospel for them and show them Jesus (pray for me). I am pumped to continued to see them progress developmentally and read, and write etc... What a fulfilling life God has created me to be apart of. It's not my own. It belongs to Him and as long as I keep this in focus, I will be able to accomplish anything for Him.

I am thankful for the opportunity to school my kids at home.

Now let me leave you with a few pics from our morning.

Jackson Chase - 5 yrs. old.
Owen Samuel - 4yrs. old.

Olivia Adeline - 2.5 yrs.old

homemade donuts! yummy treat!
Starting my day with smooches from these kiddos?! Yes, please!


Judah pie. 6 months

Monday, August 29, 2011

Where does the time go?

Well, I can tell you that it's been spent at the pool, doing laundry (or at least watching Nate do that one and then joining him at the folding stage) taking care of a baby and his fun filled siblings, preparing for our first full year of homeschooling (Jackson starts kindergarten! talk about 'where does the time go!', Owen turned 4, and on and on it goes. Someday I will take time to fill you in on all of the details but for now - a new picture of our family. So blessed!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Motherhood as a Mission Field.

I wanted to share what I read today over at What a great reminder!

Motherhood as a Mission Field
June 16, 2011 | by: Rachel Jankovic | Category: Commentary

There is a good old saying, perhaps only said by my Grandfather, that distance adds intrigue. It is certainly true — just think back to anything that has ever been distant from you that is now near. Your driver’s license. Marriage. Children. Things that used to seem so fascinating, but as they draw near become less mystical and more, well, real.

This same principle certainly applies to mission fields too. The closer you get to home, the less intriguing the work of sacrifice seems. As someone once said, “Everyone wants to save the world, but no one wants to help Mom with the dishes.” When you are a mother at home with your children, the church is not clamoring for monthly ministry updates. When you talk to other believers, there is not any kind of awe about what you are sacrificing for the gospel. People are not pressing you for needs you might have, how they can pray for you. It does not feel intriguing, or glamorous. Your work is normal, because it is as close to home as you can possibly be. You have actually gone so far as to become home.

Home: The Headwaters of Mission

If you are a Christian woman who loves the Lord, the gospel is important to you. It is easy to become discouraged, thinking that the work you are doing does not matter much. If you were really doing something for Christ you would be out there, somewhere else, doing it. Even if you have a great perspective on your role in the kingdom, it is easy to lose sight of it in the mismatched socks, in the morning sickness, in the dirty dishes. It is easy to confuse intrigue with value, and begin viewing yourself as the least valuable part of the Church.

There are a number of ways in which mothers need to study their own roles, and begin to see them, not as boring and inconsequential, but as home, the headwaters of missions.

At the very heart of the gospel is sacrifice, and there is perhaps no occupation in the world so intrinsically sacrificial as motherhood. Motherhood is a wonderful opportunity to live the gospel. Jim Elliot famously said, “He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Motherhood provides you with an opportunity to lay down the things that you cannot keep on behalf of the people that you cannot lose. They are eternal souls, they are your children, they are your mission field.

Faith Makes the Small Offering Great

If you are like me, then you may be thinking “What did I ever give up for them? A desk job? Time at the gym? Extra spending money? My twenty- year- old figure? Some sleep?” Doesn’t seem like much when you put it next to the work of some of the great missionaries, people who gave their lives for the gospel.

Think about the feeding of the five thousand when the disciples went out and rounded up the food that was available. It wasn’t much. Some loaves. Some fish. Think of some woman pulling her fish out and handing it to one of the disciples. That had to have felt like a small offering. But the important thing about those loaves and those fishes was not how big they were when they were given, it was about whose hands they were given into. In the hands of the Lord, that offering was sufficient. It was more than sufficient. There were leftovers. Given in faith, even a small offering becomes great.

Look at your children in faith, and see how many people will be ministered to by your ministering to them. How many people will your children know in their lives? How many grandchildren are represented in the faces around your table now?

Gain What You Cannot Lose in Them

So, if mothers are strategically situated to impact missions so greatly, why do we see so little coming from it? I think the answer to this is quite simple: sin. Discontent, pettiness, selfishness, resentment. Christians often feel like the right thing to do is to be ashamed about what we have. We hear that quote of Jim Elliot’s and think that we ought to sell our homes and move to some place where they need the gospel.

But I’d like to challenge you to look at it differently. Giving up what you cannot keep does not mean giving up your home, or your job so you can go serve somewhere else. It is giving up yourself. Lay yourself down. Sacrifice yourself here, now. Cheerfully wipe the nose for the fiftieth time today. Make dinner again for the people who don’t like the green beans. Laugh when your plans are thwarted by a vomiting child. Lay yourself down for the people here with you, the people who annoy you, the people who get in your way, the people who take up so much of your time that you can’t read anymore. Rejoice in them. Sacrifice for them. Gain that which you cannot lose in them.

It is easy to think you have a heart for orphans on the other side of the world, but if you spend your time at home resenting the imposition your children are on you, you do not. You cannot have a heart for the gospel and a fussiness about your life at the same time. You will never make any difference there if you cannot be at peace here. You cannot have a heart for missions, but not for the people around you. A true love of the gospel overflows and overpowers. It will be in everything you do, however drab, however simple, however repetitive.

God loves the little offerings. Given in faith, that plate of PB&J’s will feed thousands. Given in faith, those presents on Christmas morning will bring delight to more children than you can count. Offered with thankfulness, your work at home is only the beginning. Your laundry pile, selflessly tackled daily, will be used in the hands of God to clothe many. Do not think that your work does not matter. In God’s hands, it will be broken, and broken, and broken again, until all who have need of it have eaten and are satisfied. And even then, there will be leftovers.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thank you, Jesus.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

House Updates....

 I can't be bothered with fixing the formatting tonight! the post starts with the kitchen in the middle - the rest are just updates of the house that a couple of friends have asked to see...

mostly just b/c it's clean. :)

Hutch from kitchen moved to living room from kitchen
still desperately looking for a dresser to replace the sofa table.
my blessing -  FREE and PRETTY piano!!

my kitchen curtains...not done but you can see the fabric etc...
So...remember WAAAY back when we started our kitchen's been so long - here's a refresher. I am not even sure how many days we are on now - but the good news is that it's ALMOST DONE!!!! So, I will spare you the details and throw in the pics....
my sweet nate got the baseboard and trim done!

woot! woot! wood floors!!

i *heart* my plate wall!

in case you missed the wood floor :)

playing with the curtain to see if i still like them! :)
nate is amazing! he cut a hole in the wall between the kitchen and livingroom and made the archway match our 50 yr old arches that are already in the house!

Thursday, December 02, 2010


I have had a lot on my mind lately. Various things - nothing earth shattering - but some involving priority changes.

I have been thinking for several days about how to write this post without sounding "scroogish" and without being misunderstood - and let's face it, I was waiting for TIME to sit and type it all out and then read it over a million times making sure that it communicated what I was trying to express. Then I came across this post that shared pretty well (and prettily!) how I am feeling about this one aspect of this season for us this year. It doesn't mean it won't change next year, but for this year I am truly feeling the less is more feeling.

Then I saw this video:

and felt like my priorities needed to be rearranged again. I am not a "save the whales", "we are the world", "go green" kind of girl - but i'd like to hope that i am a care for the fatherless, widows, and those in need kind of Christian. Which made me think - in the busyness of this life, what am I REALLY doing for others? What am I teaching my kids about helping and meeting the needs of others. I am constantly telling them to prefer one another when it comes to sharing with each other and not being selfish - but is that REALLY teaching them to meet the needs of others?

I have toyed with the idea of no gifts this year and just giving that money to ?...or going back to basics and just giving handmade gifts - which would be fun for me but perhaps not so much for Nate when I sew him a new shirt! LOL :)

I want my kids to see Christ this Christmas. Not STUFF. I told Nathan that I was struggling to find a meaningful gift to give the boys this year and then it hit me - the most meaningful things that I can give them this year are my time and the Gift of sharing Christ with them.

I love presents like the next person - but my birthday was in November. Maybe this year we would be more happy with the right focus on the Perfect Gift and not the perfect present!

50 FREE Shutterfly cards? Count me in - please! :)

This post is about Shutterfly's holiday cards. I've been trying to find a good deal on Christmas Cards this year and 50 free ones is just the ticket!

I really like Shutterfly's cards - they are printed on premium card stock, have a nice thick feel to them. Their site is really easy to navigate - so it's easy to personalize your cards. I have used Shutterfly to make baby books for the kids, and they each enjoy looking at them! We are due with our 4th little one on February and I am planning on using Shutterfly for the birth announcements!

As many of you know I have a small business and have recently used Shutterfly to print out pictures of the little girls modeling my items! They were a big part in helping me have great sales b/c people could see what my items looked like when they are worn.

If you are a blogger, you can get 50 free holiday cards by blogging about the company - see here
I can’t think of a better deal than FREE!!!

I didn't see them before, but I think maybe I will do this one this year. It's been a busy year and I am not sure I have time to write out a whole letter this year - so this seems like a great option for me! It's called a Tell a Story Card.  LOVE IT! Short, sweet and to the point! This 5x7 stationary card, printed on premium card stock is colorful and playful.

So, Hopefully Shutterfly sees this and sends me a code! :)
Where do y'all get your Christmas Cards?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Check out this giveaway at Spend Freely!

Head on over to Spend Freely ! Trisha is hosting a giveaway for Brown Eyed Girlies there!! If you've never heard of Brown Eyed Girlies - stop in and check it out!

Spend Freely is a great resource blog to find all sorts of sales/giveaways nationwide to help stretch your dollar and find great deals! I have taken advantage of her findings and saved our family hundred of dollars! I have Spend Freely in my Reader so that I don't miss a single deal!

So, what are you waiting for?! Head on over to Spend Freely, enter the giveaway for my shop and then scour her site for all sorts of great deals!!

Giveaway closes Nov. 16th at 10pm - so spread the word!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Confirmation that my belly SHOULD look like a soccer ball...

Confirmation from my in box this AM :)

 How your baby's growing at 24 weeks:

Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he'll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

How your life's changing:

In the past few weeks, the top of your uterus has risen above your belly button and is now about the size of a soccer ball.

Phew!! I feel better! :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Put your gloves on?

 We have plenty of "growth opportunities"
and attitude adjustments that need to be addressed everyday.
I was reading this this morning and have been challenged with yet another way to be helping to guide my kids to godliness. If you are raising siblings...check it out!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Owen Says,,,

Well, as promised - Here are my "Owenisms" for the month...

- Owen's two favorite things...plastic shorts (gym shorts) and jiggy jog pants (sweatpants.)

 ‎- "mom, i'm gonna get dressed now, but I am NOT going to wear underwear today - b/c it's not sunday."

 ‎- "mommy! i just burped in my pants! that's funny!"

 - after passing an obscene amount of gas out of his hiney - i look at Owen with a bewildered look on my face to which he replies "it's ok mommy, that just means I had A LOT of pressure in my belly just now!"

 ‎"Livvie, daddy's gonna go see Mrs. Sippy this week" (nathan went to Mississippi)

"mom, are you downstairs, pocahontamus?"

‎"mommy...when i drink soda it's so so so spicy! It makes my eyes sparkly!"

"owen, you don't say no to mommy, that's disrespectful" ..."well, actually mom, sometimes I do say no, like i just did to you." :)


Thursday, October 14, 2010

sorry to bore you...

but I got nothing'.

i think often about blog posts to write and then they are usually reduced to FB statuses instead - b/c honestly, that's all I have time for.

a sentence that encapsulates the goings on of the moment or day. it's a busy/lazy person's dream!

i have been enjoying the things that my kids have been coming up with lately.

jackson (4.5yrs old) has given us some real laughs lately:

- I haven't had a chance to share this with you all yet but when I was 10 wks pregnant, the following exchange happened between Jackson and I...
"hey mom, can you come in here - we need to have a little talk."
(curious, i oblige) "ok Bud, what's up?"
(he motions for me to come and sit beside him on the couch - I roll my eyes and walk towards the couch)
he says, "mom, we need to have a talk about the size of your belly."
(GREAT! I knew this day was coming! If only i'd stuck with a work out regime... I swallow hard) "ok...what about it?"
"i think i know why your belly's getting bigger mommy. I think that you have a baby in your belly."
(sigh of relief!) "Oh really? That's what you think?"
"Yes. So, DO you? Do you have a baby in your belly mommy?"
(Since we weren't telling anyone yet...) "Well, we'll have to wait and see."

And as easy as that, the conversation was over! Until he turned around and said, "Oh! I have just one more question - 'when you push a baby out of your belly, does it rip a huge hole in your shirt?!"

- "hey mom, wouldn't it be fun if you had a dinosaur in your belly?"

- "hey mom, i went ahead and pulled out the cleaning chemicals in the bathroom if you decide you should clean it today..."

- "daddy, was stonewall jackson made out of stones?"

jackson split his lip open something fierce one afternoon. after much blood and milk...he was happily eating his lunch - by request...peanut butter on a spoon "b/c it's smooth and doesn't hurt my lip mama. i think it's protein too."

 well, i could probably think of 100 more, but I will save my energy for "Owen Says..." tomorrow!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Summer Catch Up in Pictures...

Eenie, Meenie, Miney and MO...due Feb.22nd
Sweet Little Owen turned 3!!

Pin the Tail on the Doggie
Kelsey gave him a baseball hat...and his first kiss! :)
The boys played in a fountain with some friends from Charlotte after church...we stripped them down and this was Nate's ghetto solution for drying their pants at 80 MPH
Handsome Lads if I do say so myself!
Went to the Greenville Zoo with friends... Our kids are the same ages.
Just.Can't. Stand. It.

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