Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pinterest Finds...

Raise your hand if you love Pinterest? I do! I do! What I love most about it, is that when you need an idea, you can get it immediately. If your feeling uninspired, you can quickly get inspired. Each week I am going to start sharing a few of my favorite pins for the week! So here ya go....

Great Mirror

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Great Quote

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HomeMade Icepacks using Dawn

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Becoming......

Becoming a mom---- This is my first blog post regarding this topic and (oh-wow) where shall I even begin. In an attempt to read as many "parenting" books as possible throughout my pregnancy, I have come to the conclusion that regardless of what I read, I just won't know until I experience it all! However, I do believe that the best thing I can do now is to prepare my heart for motherhood by strengthening my daily walk with God and pray for wisdom as I do become a mom. This weekend I thought I would jot down, what I believe to be, important aspects of motherhood. Here is my list: Availability, Involvement, Teaching, Training, Discipline,Nurture, Modeling Integrity, and Memory Making. These are just a few as the list is never-ending! Each week I am going to focus on a different aspect and do my best to zone in on the details of each. So this week is Availability. The key verse I attached to this was Deuteronomy 6:6-7--- These commandments that I give you today are to be on your heart. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
This verse teaches me that I have the responsibility of impressing the Word each and every day into my children's hearts. All I can do now though is get my heart in shape, so I can help shape another. One book that my mom recently got for me is called Checklist for Life: For Moms. It is packed with little bits of wisdom to share with your kids. I love it and can't wait to use it one day (once I get all the diapering, eating, and sleeping down). Be Blessed!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sundays Devotion

This weekend I have been reading a great deal about Mary (as in Jesus' mom). She fascinates me. What a woman she must have been. I took some time to write down words that came to mind when thinking of her character... words like-- holy, humble, simple, servant, trusting, and faithful came to mind. However, I think the word "sacrifice" should be attached to Mary's name. Her whole life seemed to be one of sacrifice. Mary's character shines as she accepted the responsibility of a virgin birth and being an eye witness during His death. In Luke 1:49, she proclaims that The Mighty One has done great things for me; and Holy is His name. These powerful words struck me! What if I woke up daily and said these words. What if my attitude throughout the day reflected these words. What if? Isn't this what God desires most? Mary may have been meek and mild, but she sure did have a lot of courage. Hoping to find a bit of her sacrifice and courage this week. Be blessed.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Vanessa Carlton-- Album Review

Hello blogworld. I decided to today it was time to jump back on my blog and start posting again! Sooooo..... This afternoon I spent a little time on I-Tunes looking for new albums that are coming out soon. I stumbled across Vanessa Carlton's new album Rabbits on the Run. I previewed each song and loved every song on the album (This rarely happens). I really liked the songs, Carousel, Hear the Bells, and Get Good. I have her first album and still listen to it, even if it is nearly 8 years old. This album seems so different in comparison to her others. I love it when artists try new things and don't stay stuck in a music box. She talks a lot about how nature inspired her throughout the making of this album. She spent time traveling to places she has never been and broke free from her own label so she could create the album she believed in. If you're interested listen to the youtube videos below to hear her story about the making of this album and the four elements that make up Rabbits on the Run. Below that is her song Carousel. A children's choir sings along with her and it is gorgeous! Enjoy Friends!


Monday, June 6, 2011

Philippians 4:8

Philippians 4:8

The house is quiet now. My husband is sleeping. The fan blows cool air. Storms have passed for now. Everything is quiet... except my mind and my heart.
I began my quiet evening by browsing on Ann Voskamp's website, A Holy Experience. Her words stir me. Her word are unique and always reach parts of me that have been tamped down from day to day life.I started reading one of her blogs about teaching children to be grateful. At dinner, her kids write down things they are thankful for on sticky notes. She posts them on the window in their house and they stay up as a reminder of God's goodness. She went on to discuss that being grateful is more important than math and history. This is what she quoted....

"Because what will the math really matter if they are bitter? If the house is immaculate — but my attitude a mess? If they can count — but they don’t know how to count all things as joy? If we get the lists done, but have lost happiness in Him? How can any grammar skill outweigh the fact they don’t know the language of grace and thanks? What good will it be if they can recite all the major British battles — but they don’t know to see beauty? What am I teaching our children if I’m not living simply, quietly this: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Phil. 4:8). Focusing on what is beautiful, good, true –isn’t this the truest education?"

As a teacher, I would have to agree with Mrs. Voskamp.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Finding Inspiration

I have been a bad blogger. May 9th was my last post and I must admit that I have truly missed my daily blogging. The end of the school year is to blame. I decided today that enough was enough and that I needed to stop using that as my excuse. So, here's my unofficial comeback to my blog!

I thought I would tell you all about my NEW FAVORITE website that my friend Ginni told me about. It is called Craft Gawker. The URL is http://craftgawker.com. This site is a pool of inspiration, and gives you that "kid in a candy shop" feeling--- if you like DIY projects! Here are a few projects I think look desirable.
Crocheted Rocks
Crocheted Beach Stones

Repurposing old materials to make a key holder
Crafty Ways to Never Lose Your Keys

Doily Envelopes

Doilies and Lace DIY Projects

Overalls (Now I can't sew, but I may need to learn to make these)
Purple Overalls

and I saved my favorite find for last..... Bird Nest Necklaces. This WILL be made!
Bird Nest Necklace

Now it's your turn! You got search and find inspiration. Please let me know what you find!
Have Fun!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Voice Within

I read an incredible quote tonight from one of THE best books on Leadership, The Leadership Challenge, by Kouzes and Posner. I read that when we make statements with our lives that are consistent with our heart, that gives voice to what we really feel is important. How true this is. To me this means: Words Matter! All this began to remind me of all the roads I've traveled throughout life (especially in my later twenties) and how those roads have brought new words to my life. I pray I can continue to stay true to what my heart believes and listen to wise voices along the way-- Voices of truth and Reason.
Thought I would attach a song by Christina Aguilera, The Voice Within! Enjoy!

Tonight's blog was short and sweet! More to come this week.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Roasted Tomato and Thyme Soup

I absolutely LOVE the way Sophie Dahl talks about her cooking. She believes that cooking should be an adventure. I agree fully! This recipe she is preparing, Roasted Tomato and Thyme Soup looks absolutely 100% scrumptious! She also makes twice baked potatoes with chives! My mouth seriously watered as I watched her cook! I really want to be her friend, or at least hang out with her for a bit! I know the video is a bit lengthy, but every minute is so inspiring... at least for this girl!
Enjoy friends!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bless This Nest

I fell in love with this sweet picture! Definitely a must-d0!


Friday, April 22, 2011

It is well....

it is well2


Every single sin....

every hurt that we’ve cause another person,
every selfish act, every regret…

… was paid for by Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross. Every one of us is very much loved, treasured and wanted by God. I’m looking forward to celebrating that this weekend. Have a wonderful Easter!



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Noticing


Today, on the blog http://www.kindovermatter.com, I read about the Art of Noticing. Here is a piece from the blog:
When was the last time you noticed your life? Not the tasks and the to-do lists and the stack of dishes in the sink. Well, those too actually. But beyond that. When did you last notice how you feel after a meal? How your lover sounds asleep besides you? What your children do when they think you are not looking? How your lungs feel when you first step outdoors?

Life moves fast. Everyone says so. So fast that we spend it before we notice that it’s gone. Like a bowl of m-n-m’s that sit beside you while you watch a movie. You look up, and they’re gone.
What if you could slow things down with something as simple as
noticing? What if you realized that you needed rest before you collapsed? What if you didn’t feel like your kids were “growing up too fast?” What if you had time to savor your one precious, sacred life?

After reading this, I felt challenged to think about what I had noticed so far today.... Here is my list (I heart lists, btw)
1. I noticed the weather when I stepped outside.
2. I noticed love and joy as my 2nd grade students read their poems on stage today.
3. I noticed rudeness.
4. I noticed a hug a child gave me.
5. I noticed God calming me down when I was frustrated over a situation.
6. I noticed the wind blowing my flag nearly off its stand.
7. I noticed a baby bird.
8. I noticed the stillness of my home.

As the night unfolds, I await and am interested to find other noticings!
Be Blessed!
andrea

Monday, April 18, 2011

Choice Words

I am reading a (teacher) book called, Choice Words By Peter Johnston. In this book, I am learning about how seriously the language teachers use in the classroom plays out in the development of our children's histories. The words we use everyday, teach them about who they are and what they will become. Our words shape the choices they make and how they learn. To me--- THIS IS HUGE!!! The language I use daily is THE most powerful tool I have. Stepping away from this thought makes me think, "Wow, what and honor." and it also makes me say, "Wow, that is pretty scary."
This book has caused these ideas concerning literacy to shift into my personal life as well--- relationally, emotionally, and spiritually. Relationally, as a wife, friend, daughter, sister, coworker...etc.. my words can uplift and encourage or demean and discourage. Emotionally, the words I say about myself can make or break my day. Spiritually, I can choose to let my language serve our creator or take away from his glory. Vygotsky said,“Children grow into the intellectual life around them.” Therefore, it’s our job, as educators, to try to employ phrases that will increase our students’ sense of identity, knowing and agency. As adults, we are still growing into our lives, and therefore it is still our job to increase everyone's sense of identity, knowing, and agency!

I will leave you with one of my favorite songs by Nichole Nordeman, called Legacy. We can choose our words, our footsteps, and the legacy we will leave for our children.



Sunday, April 10, 2011

From Where I'm Standing

From Where I'm Standing.....This is the title of one of my favorite songs. A song from the movie, I'm Reed Fish. This song has been one of my favs for awhile now. For some reason it always puts me into a reflective mode.
From where I'm standing reminds me of the perspectives we all share and how unique they are based on our journey's through life.
Where are you standing right now? What are the things you notice?

I started thinking not only about my perspective, but about God's. Does he see me the same way I see me? Of course not. His eyes catch my every move. His ears catch every sound and my every thought. I pray this week to be aware of God's presence and to try and get a glimpse of his perspective.
Enjoy the song and your week friends!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Home for my Books

I'll admit it. I think I am a bit of a book addict. Always have been. I started my love of books in 1st grade when my teacher began a contest to see who could read the most books. My mom was a teacher, and I begged her to bring home books every night! Sure enough, by the end of 1st grade, I had read well over 2,000 books. I consider this is good addiction. Nothing that requires therapy or medication.... just time and a cozy chair. I like having a variety of books stationed in different parts of my house. Now some people like having one book going at a time. (My husband) Here are a few of the books I am currently reading that can be found throughout my home.

Living Room Book
This book is in my living room and has already provided me with non-stop laughter. The story is set a small town in the south and the main character wants to leave her little town and find greater things. The Dairy Queen is where she and her sister meet to plan their future, while eating dilly bars. My father in law gave me this book after her read it.


Living Room Books Cont.
These books spend their time in my living room, resting on our glass coffee table. These are great books to pick up and inspire thoughts and ideas as well as interest a guest while visiting.

These are two gardening books that traveled from my grandmother's shelves in West Virginia. I am hoping they will provide Daniel and I new gardening tips as we anticipate what will come of our garden this year. Tomatoes, spinach, and peppers... oh my!

Kitchen Book
While shopping in downtown Charleston, Daniel and I found this book in Williams and Sonoma. We started flipping though it and kept saying, "Oh, that looks good." After little thought, we decided that this would be our Charleston souvenir! Each page makes you want to spend more time in the kitchen enjoying food!

Before Bedtime Books
I have been reading Tracey Hogg's Baby Whisperer book. It is interesting and has lots of neat ideas.

Morning Books
This is my basket of books that I keep in my cozy corner. I read these books during my morning devotion time. This basket houses, The Power of a Praying Wife, Mark for Everyone, My Solo Devotion, My Bible, The Incredible Christian, 1000 Gifts, the Art of Loving God, and Live to Make a Difference.


As I think about my love for books, I think about Mrs. Eishenhaur, Mrs. Hartenbach, Mrs. Alleman, Mrs. Miller, and Mrs. Blake. My K-4th grade teachers that left a lasting impression on my life as a reader, instilling a love that has grown since I was a child.
It all started with a teacher and it never ends. I love teachers and am thankful to be one!

Be Blessed Friends!






















Monday, March 28, 2011

Young House Love Inspiration

One of theeeee best blogs can be found at younghouselove.com . This blog is written by a husband and wife, John and Sherry Petersik. They devote much of their time to renovating older homes. I love to watch their ideas become projects and projects become masterpieces. They are so funny and offer so much advice on how to be a DIY(er). A few weeks ago, I read about a project they were doing in their living room. They wanted to add color behind their couch with eight frames they had purchased from Ikea. However, they wanted the cost to be low, but the outcome to be beautiful. While contemplating art that could be framed, they considered the idea of putting scrapbook paper in the frames, until they could decide on something they liked. After a trip to Michaels and $5.88 later.... this was born...


This was the picture. The picture that had me sold. The picture that my husband and I agreed would give us inspiration to create our own 8 frame art.
Saturday provided the perfect opportunity to get our frames hung, since the rain kept us captive inside.

First, Daniel took my butcher paper, rolled it out, and traced around the outline of the frame. This would give us a good visual to figure out the placement of our collage. (We got this idea from Young House Love). Then, I placed them on the wall by eyeballing where I thought they looked good.
Next, I called in the husband again. He checked my placement with his handy dandy level and sure enough, I was pretty close, but slightly off. He adjusted my mistakes and began hammering. He is so good with perfect measurement (me... not so much).

After careful thought and careful precision measurement by my awesome husband, as well as sanding and repainting where scratches were made, we were ready to hang our work. We pulled the paper from the wall and put up our art in its place. This was the final result.


We were both pleased as the spring colors changed the feel in our home. I love the way they all compliment each other! What project are you working on? Please tell me about it! In the meantime, I can't wait to see Spring reveal itself.... as our days get longer, weather gets warmer (excluding the past few days) and yards liven up with beautiful flowers. Be Blessed by the beauty God gives us!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Meal Plan


Monday- Homemade Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Chips




Tuesday- Stuffed Peppers


Wednesday- OUT with Family

Thursday- Fish Tacos


Friday- Southwest White Chicken Chili



Saturday- Steak and Homemade Shakes

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Thirsty for Truth


Today's sermon was centered around John 4, which tells the story of the Woman of Samaria, known to us as The Woman at the Well. Our pastor reminded us that as Jesus was traveling into Galilee, he took a tour through the city of Samaria. He choose this path, not because it was the only path to take, but because Jesus loved ALL of the world, and HAD to go through this town to talk with its people. As he passed through, he grew thirsty. I thought more about this story when I got home from church and wanted to find more. I dug back into my Bible and then ventured onto a website called kyria.com and found an article entitled, Thirsty for Truth. Below is a part of the article that I liked. It was written by Liz Curtis Higgs. I have highlighted the parts that struck me!

We don't know her name or age. But her conversation with the Lord is his longest one-on-one chat recorded in Scripture. Reason enough to give our sister from Samaria a fresh look.

It was high noon on a hot day. Jesus, tired from traveling, chose a sensible rest stop—Jacob's well outside the town of Sychar—while waiting for his disciples to go into town for food. When our unnamed woman appeared with clay jar in hand, Jesus made a simple request: "Will you give me a drink?" (John 4:7).

Uh-oh. (1) Jews weren't supposed to speak to Samaritans. (2) Men weren't permitted to address women without their husbands present. And (3) rabbis had no business speaking to shady ladies such as this one. Jesus was willing to toss out the rules, but our woman at the well wasn't. "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman," she reminded him. "How can you ask me for a drink?" (John 4:9).

She focused on the law; Jesus focused on grace. ( As I read the Bible, this seems to be a reoccurring theme as we get to know our Jesus)

The rest of the article goes on to tell her story and talk about her gutsy, yet kind demeanor with Jesus. All in all--- I learned that our response to the Lord should be somewhat the same. We must first confront our true selves, experience his grace and share the good news with the world.

Have a blessed week. May your thirst be quenched!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake

Once again... while blog browsing, I ran across this amazing recipe on, Joy the Baker. This recipe started screaming, "Try me, Try me!" I listened and I am so glad I did. It was one of the yummiest 5 minutes my life has offered. (Yes, I downed it very quickly). Below is the recipe that I highly recommend making. It is so simple and only requires a few ingredients! The best part was the little marshmallow bits that swam up my straw while I was sipping away! Enjoy my Friends!
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Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake

Print this Recipe!

8-10 large marshmallows

3 large scoops vanilla ice cream or a heaping 1-cup of vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup of milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place marshmallows on skewer and toast until slightly charred over a gas flame. If you don’t have skewers or a gas range, you can toast the marshmallows on a sheet tray in the broiler for 2 or 3 minutes. Keep an eye on the marshmallows as they’re in the oven. They’re liable to burst into marshmallow flames pretty quick. Place on a plate to cool slightly.

In a blender mix together ice cream, milk, vanilla extract and toasted marshmallows. Save one or two toasted marshmallows to top the milkshake(s). Blend well. For a thinner milkshake add more milk. If you’d like it a bit thicker… add more ice cream. Pour into glasses and top with toasted marshmallows. Enjoy on the quick.



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Black and Blue Berry Yogurt Blast (and Wheat Germ)

If you like Blackberries, raise your hand! Meeee!!!! I do, I do!
I have loved blackberries since I was a little girl. Summer mornings were always spent in the woods, tending to the blackberries before the birds enjoyed them! Mom loved to make pies and cobblers. I just liked eating blackberries.
One of my very favorite yogurts is the Blackberry Yoplait Light.
This is it below:


This morning, in my attempt to be more health conscious, I decided to kick my breakfast up a notch! I added fresh blueberries, a dollop of whip cream and a dash of wheat germ. It looked good, smelled good, and ohhh man, did it taste good! I let my husband have a little taste and he put in a request to add this to the breakfast menu. I smiled, not just because I was glad he liked it, but because I snuck in a little smidgin' of wheat germ. (He always makes fun of my wheat germ jar that I keep in the fridge).
So what about wheat germ? Has any one out there added this to their diet?

I learned about wheat germ while reading book about Eating Clean that a friend let me borrow last year. I learned that wheat germ is a part of the wheat kernel. The germ is only a very small part of the kernel. The word germ has nothing to do with bacteria; it simply refers to germination. The germ is the reproductive part that germinates and forms the wheat grass. Within this germ lies a healthy dose of daily vitamins, like Vitamin E and Potassium. It is packed with protein and antioxidants. I love it because it is an easy way to add nutritional value to a variety of foods.

How do you add nutritional value to your foods. Any secrets? Please share!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Blessings

My amazing mother shared this song with me a few days ago. Please listen to this song with an open heart. It may leave you with a renewed spirit. Be Blessed by Him!

Monday, March 14, 2011

J-O-Y




I fell in love with this beautiful quote that truly makes so much sense. Perfect sense, actually.
In what ways did joy show up today?

I heard joy on the radio while listening to 106.9
I felt joy when a few of my students were truly connected with today' lesson.
I smelled joy while my husband prepared dinner (Spaghetti with Italian Sausage)
I saw joy while watching the students prepare for their Broadway performance, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

That was my string of twinkling lights today! What was yours?
Shine On My Friends!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Thoughts...

It's late Sunday night. I'm drinking my chai tea (ahhhhh) and reflecting on what today has offered. Sunday's are always my day to re-center, re-group, and re-organize the upcoming week. But this Sunday was different. A bit extraordinary and ordinary. Yes. That is how it can best be described.


This morning we discussed God's greatest commandment in Sunday school class. Reading this part of Mark, reminded me of what this life is all about. Jesus amazes me in this passage when he was asked by the Jewish people what the most important commandment is. His response-- impeccably simple- yet so thorough--- "Hear, Oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." (Mark 12:29-30) We had a great discussion about these profound words that we so often forget. After Sunday School, Daniel and I were sitting in the sanctuary, getting ready for service to begin and I pulled my Bible from my bag and noticed a book called, The Art of Loving God, that Ginni Poole gave to me a few Sunday's ago. I had not had the chance to read much of the book yet, but a little voice said, "Open up the book, and look inside." I wasn't sure why I felt the need to read it, but I did. I opened the front cover and began reading the introduction on the inside sleeve. Right in front of my eyes, sat the same scripture we had just discussed. Coincidence--- I think not. God was there, right in front of me, talking to me, encouraging me with his greatest commandment.

As I walked away from church, I wanted more. I wanted him to knock on my door at home, have a cup of tea, and teach me more about his greatest commandment.
This made me wonder how often am I aware. How often am I oblivious to His calling? How often do my own pleasures keep my from growing closer to him?
This week my prayer is that I can experience more of this Great Commandment. What does it look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like? As you begin your week, think about these questions. Ask yourself, "What am I really trying to accomplish? What actions characterize me? Does my thinking lead to problems or solutions?"

Be blessed my friends!
I appreciate all your comments-- please keep them coming!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Different Eyes

As an educator, I have been blessed with the gift of working with children and teaching them about our world and how to live in it. As an educator, I teach children how to read, write, speak, and think. What a privilege! As an educator, I not only teach, but I am taught. Kids teach me new things everyday. Today I noticed one of my students was saying the words, "Snip-Snip-Snip," as he cut his "ch" and "sh" picture cards apart. Remembering that I had said the same thing last week when I was helping him cut his cards, I said, " Seth, I heard you say snip-snip-snip while cutting." He said, " Yeah Mrs. Noles, that is what you say when you cut."
I stopped and my first thought was "Hallelluah, he has been listening." But my next thought was, wow-- how powerful my words are and what an impact they can have. I thought of this more throughout the day!
Later this evening, I came home and noticed that my mom had posted a Youtube video about some of our friends at her church. Once again, I was blessed the children in this video. Once again, I learned another lesson. This lesson was about perspective. Please take the time to listen to the story of two children, Luke Blain and Allie Greenlee. Both have a strong connection with each other and with the Lord. Watch and Be Blessed!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I saw this picture and it reminded me of one of the many things that my mom always told me that I thought was silly, and now realize is true. When we would be stuck in traffic or behind someone slow, she would say that God was just placing a guardian angel to keep us from harm on up the road. I would laugh. Now, I know how true this is. This picture also reminded me of a song called Entertaining Angels. Remembering how important it is to treat others with
kindness as we go about our daily lives. I wonder if I have ever entertained an angel? I hope so. Be Blessed Everyone!


Monday, March 7, 2011

Good to Great




I just started Chip Ingram's book, Good to Great in God's Eyes. I have been wanting to read it, since I have listened to the series on his podcast. The first chapter is titled, Think Great Thoughts. He spends time talking about great thinkers, such as, Augustine, C.S Lewis, and Martin Luther. From these great thinkers, we are still reaping the benefits of their thoughts. He believes that in order to live an influential, fruitful life for God, it is not possible to have a mind filled with flawed, pessimistic, cynical thinking. Later, he goes on to discuss the word, dwell. He found this greek word, logizomai, for dwell, was not a casual word. It means to deduce, to reason, to calculate, to ponder, to deliberate, to subject analysis or thought. He asked the question, Where do you dwell? What do you think about when you drive? What do you listen to at home? What channels do you find yourself being attracted to? This has really challenged me to take a step back and look deeper into my own life and ask myself some really tough questions. I did find comfort in this statement: God loves me at this moment as much as he ever has and as much as he ever will. Really? I'm as loved right now as I will ever be! Now those are great thoughts. So as Monday comes to a close, I hope this has offered a bit of motivation for the week ahead. Take time to ponder, to dwell, to notice the good that God is doing. And remember, you are today where your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.

Be Blessed.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Starring Drew Hussell..... My Bro.

My brother is seriously talented. Every time I hear him sing, he gets better and better. He recently, recorded himself covering the new Chris August song titled, I Want to be Real. In this song, his voice sounds so clear. I noticed a little bit of country flair mixed in too. I especially love the high note escalade at the end. He is a really funny guy, but completely pulls of the seriousness in this song. I really think this is the only time he is serious! I also posted a video that he and his friends recorded a few years ago in a local restaurant in Point Pleasant. This video explains his personality very well-- showing off his not-so serious side. Let me know what you think!

video



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Feeling at Home: Simple Spaces

On Jan. 4, we landed in our new house in Mount Holly. Now, nearly 2 months later,we are nested and tucked away nicely in our home. Winter has given us the opportunity to organize and simplify spaces throughout our home. Now that our hearts are here we have gone from a house to a home. I decided tonite, that there should be an equation for this transformation, so I made this up: house + heart = home. Do you agree?
We have gradually worked on spaces throughout our home that needed " loved" We started in our kitchen by painting our chalkboard wall and writing song lyrics on it. Next, we moved into the office and gave our books a home by adding shelves along the wall. Currently, I am working on the "behind the couch" space. I convinced my helpful husband to put up our long white shelf. I added a few picture frames, but it needs more! I have been blog browsing and have found a few pictures of spaces I love. I'll post pics when I am finished. Having a home is a blessing. I want my home to be a place of peace and laughter, a place where family and friends gather, nature is appreciated, and love is present. For me, the more I can make my home feel like "outside" the better!

Love came first, then came marriage, next a new home.... I wonder what will be next???
Below are pictures that are inspiring me to create.

(I love the white picture frames and the simplicity of this space).



(Loving the chalkboard picture with the word dwell in the center. I also love the striped curtains. Bold but beautiful)


(Simple and Sweet)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Good Health

Since the beginning of the year I have attempted to change my lifestyle in regards to my health. Overall, it has been an up and down rollercoaster ride. Some days are great. Some days just stink. Others are so-so. I have noticed though, that when my diet and exercise are present, lots of other things fall into place. I feel better, look better, and have more energy. You would think I would have learned this by now and made exercise and eating well a habit. Well it's not! So how do you make the change? In my attempt to figure this out, I am challenging myself to a 30 day Shape Up Challenge. Beginning in March exercise will take a higher priority, as well as making healthy food choices. I have always read that flat abs start in the kitchen. This means selecting clean foods with a balance of protein and healthy carbs. This challenge will require a change of attitude, strength, and lots of pray. Anybody want to join me? I need accountability!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Inspired: 5 Things


Life inspires me. Life is full of moments and spaces in time that are forever impressed in my mind. Good things. It has also left me feeling drained and highly uninspired at times. I never let life take away the inspiration though. I promised myself that. I always keep searching. Sometimes it is hiding. Other times, it is essentially non-existent. The month of February always leaves me uninspired. It is my least favorite month. Why? Not sure. However, because God has been so gracious in giving us a little supply of Spring, the inspiration has snuck through my door. I'm locking it inside, and not letting it out! What inspires you? What takes hold of your inner being and stirs you? Right now, these 5 things are inspiring me.
Hopefully this has left you feeling inspired.

My 5.

1. Music- Music always stirs me up. Currently, I am loving Joshua Radin's new song Road to Ride on. I have to watch my speed in the car if I am listening to this song. It makes me press on the gas pedal (too hard). The beat is fantastic and the words are awesome. The first line says. "We've been waiting, anticipating, your arrival!" I think I will sing this to my future children. I just like it. Below is the song. You must listen!

2. KIDS- My students inspire me daily. I have been helping with our upcoming Broadway production, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. These kids are amazing. I love watching them put their heart and souls into their work. I always say that we perform based on how we practice. I can't wait to see their performance, because they are already practicing as if they are actually performing.

3. My Mom- My mom has in so many ways shaped me into the woman I am today. She left my brother and I with a lifetime of memories that no one can ever take away from me. That is priceless. I hope I can pass the same love for life onto my children (one-day). We love to share ideas for our classrooms, fun places we would like to visit, and so much more. We just love to learn from each other. This is a picture of her with my sweet cousin, Drake. He inspires me too. He is so caring and always takes time to call, text, or message me to see how things are going. I love them both.










4. LISTS- I am a serious listmaker. This is just the way my brain makes sense of life and all of its expectations. One of my favorite places to find great printable lists is http://organizedhome.com. There are loads of lists that help with organization. I also have a monthly budget printable that makes budgeting a "bit" more entertaining. It is colorful and makes sense to me. The PDF is located at: http://www.aba.com/NR/rdonlyres/492295ED-3DD8-4D46-905D-CFC3C3C7DF98/43856/BudgetEnglish2.pdf

5. THIS COLOR. AND THIS COLOR. I am loving blue and yellow. I am thinking I want to use these colors in my yard this year.


Now... inspire me back by leaving me a comment and let me know what inspires you! Love my friends!