Thursday, February 6, 2014

Winter Wonderland

Our first family snowfall!  The kids first time seeing snow.  First time I've had snow fall at MY home.  So excited, entranced, enamored.

My little girl got her Christmas wish.  She's been praying so hard for snow.

The view out our front door.

Like the cardboard shelter?  Love how creative my husband is for our kids.
 Snow painting with colored water!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Pink Princess

When Ivory first heard we were moving to Georgia I watched her countenance fall and her heart sigh.  Upon being told she may see snow and that she would get her very own bedroom painted pink she jumped up and exclaimed, "Thank you for moving just for me!"  While it hasn't always been that easy for our little girl to adjust to this move and there have been tears shed, she has adjusted very well.  And the pink bedroom has played a very big part in this process.  Due to the a surprise generous gift before Christmas we were able to decorate the kids bedrooms and surprise them with new rooms Christmas morning.  The boys room was only partially completed but Ivory's received a complete overhaul within a matter of days.  I still can't quite believe we pulled it off without even one all-nighter.

I am already not the best photographer and I have found it especially difficult to photograph bedrooms, so just believe me when I say it's even cuter in person. 

I still have some tweaking to do.  Like perhaps a few more throw pillows.  Obviously, the frames will not remain empty.  Just waiting for pictures to come in from the print company.  We will most likely eventually change out the light fixture.  Jason painted her bed frame and I found the perfect comforter at Target.

I forgot to take a before picture of Ivory's room, but it was basically just like the boys room, only a little smaller.

A princess must have special beds for her dollies. My grandfather built + painted the white crib for me when I was a little girl.  Jason and I built Ivory the Barbie canopy bed for Christmas last year.

Ivory is happy to finally have a safe place to display her porcelain doll from Pa away from her ball-throwing brothers.  Again, the picture frame will be filled soon.

A special hook on the back of her door to hold her special Ice Cream bag used to cart around art supplies + other goodies for during church.
An orderly little spot to store her jewelry.  Aunt Debi brought back this gorgeous little jewelry box from her cruise through Europe. 

Family photos and chocolate from her stocking.  And Ivory's room wouldn't be quite complete without flowers.  Anyone who knows Ivory well is aware of her love affair with flowers--so they were a must.
Ivory woke up Christmas morning in her new room absolutely ecstatic.  Most fun Christmas yet.

Princess approved.  

Florida Meets Georgia

I was birthed into this world amidst sunshine and beaches.  My family welcomed me into the world in a small community on a Florida island before moving to Ormond beach where many of my brightest childhood memories were made amidst sunshine, palmetto forts, pine trees and beach sand.  Shortly before adolescence we moved across the state to the West Coast of Florida.  There I learned to perfect my yes ma'ams, enrolled in 4H, learned to shoot a bulls eye with a .22, saw my first manatee and picked fresh citrus off my friends trees.  College moved me to the panhandle of Florida, also known as LA (Lower Alabama) where I fell in love with sweet tea, fried pickles, and the teasing began by my Northern friends as my ya'lls and Southern drawl developed.  Marriage brought me lower into the panhandle to a small country town where I ate my first squirrel, learned the finer forms of redneck fishing, and caught wild hogs in our backyard smack in the middle of "town." 
Florida girl, born and raised.  I love Florida.  I love the sunshine, wildlife, citrus, warmth, beaches, and foliage.  But, I also love rolling hills, changing leaves, and fresh mountain air.  Mostly, I've grown to deeply love the deep South. 
In this past year God began working in our hearts showing us that the time had come for our family to move.  This was a heart wrenching decision.  We loved the people in our small town of Wewahitchka.  We loved the church we served in and the staff is like family to us.  But, when God says go you obey.  And over time our hearts began catching up to the call to go and we began looking forward with not just sorrow, but also joy and anticipation.
We weren't sure were that would be at first.  We were willing to move anywhere in the world God chose to place us.  Ultimately, God made it clear that the new place He has for us is in the beautiful state of Georgia.  We had never heard of the town when we first visited, yet it didn't take long to be swept away by the winding country roads, changing leaves, large historic Southern mansions, and quaint downtown.  Everything good you have heard about Southern friendliness and hospitality manifests itself in this town.  The people we have encountered are some the of the sweetest, friendliest, most hospitable and generous people you'll ever meet.  While part of our hearts will always reside in Florida, we are growing to truly love this small Georgia town.
We have never once packed up our family and home to move.  We know for certain that we have been completely bathed in prayer by so many because this has been one of the easiest transitions I have ever heard of any family having.  We have been extremely blessed by generosity and help on both ends.  Our Wewa church sent us off with more love, kindness, and gifts then we thought possible.  Our new Georgia church welcomed us in with overwhelming hospitality.  We had a ginormous moving crew unload our large Uhaul in 40 minutes.   They then proceeded to set up furniture, unpack boxes (the ladies unpacked my entire kitchen!), clean, and anything else we needed.  Our children were cared for, food slipped into cupboards and fridge.  We have been showered with gifts.  I have often reflected that there is no way on earth we deserve all this.  There have been very difficult seasons of life.  We have learned to joyfully accept those from God.  In the same way, there are some beautiful seasons of life.  Right now we are joyfully accepting this season of blessings.
In three weeks we bought our first home.  Yes, you read that right, three weeks.  We moved in less then two weeks before Christmas.  In time to set up a Christmas tree and due to the generosity of so many presents underneath it.  It was nothing short of a Christmas miracle.  We are completely in love with our charming 1950s home--quirks and all.  And yes, there are plenty of them.  While some days it feels like everything around us is breaking there's something about a home being yours.  And knowing that God orchestrated it all so perfectly makes it a blessing.  We try to laugh our way through the constant repairs and smile as we scrape off yet another layer of wallpaper hidden behind peeling paint. 
I love decorating our new home and may or may not have been dreaming and planning for the past year or so.  You can see the pinterest board here: Georgia Home.  
So, if you come to our  home any time soon, you'll have to travel to Georgia.  Expect to be warmly greeted by paint speckled hands, a glass of lemonade, and a little girl ready to show you her new very own pink bedroom. 
For those interested, here is a link to the church where we are excited to be serving: Rosemont Baptist Church.   

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Artistic Celebration

FIVE.  My little girl turned 5.  Yes, that means Kindergarten.  I have to say five is a blast.  Quite possibly my favorite year yet.  But then I'm pretty sure I said that about four.  And then the year before that, and well, I think you catch my drift.  Each year with this little sugar 'n spice girl of mine just grows sweeter.  Did I mention her party was back in August?  Why yes {hiding my face as a I blush} I am just getting around to blogging about it.

Some things I find special about this little girl of mine:
  • Loves to learn
  • Excited reader
  • Does math all day just for fun (so my child)
  • Carries sketch/writing adventure books everywhere she goes
  • Full of fun and creativity
  • Loves imaginative play
  • Thoughtful
  • Gives the sweetest hugs
  • Loves Jesus
  • Tender hearted
  • Spunky
  • Nature lover
  • Loves modeling for Aunt Debi
  • Loves going to church
  • Writes abundant sweet notes to Mommy
  • Creative dresser
  • Silly
  • Friendly
  • Brave
  • Always planning

For her birthday we had a small gathering of family.  Not all people are pictured here (we are still wading through some of the pictures), but here's a small glimpse into our special day celebrating this sweet girl of ours. 

Custom made artist smocks for our little artists.

Five of our six artists.

There were art style stations the kids cycled through.  Ivory could have spent hours at each station.

Art station for the adults.

We displayed the kids artwork as additional d├ęcor + inspiration.

African art work from Aunt Mel.

Sugar cookie decorating station...yes this was definitely a favorite.

Party favors: personal watercolor set, initialed artwork folder, strawberry lemonade cookies, smocks.

The biggest hit by far: splatter paint.  Each station had a little history of the style of art and some artists who are famous for this particular style.  Pollock is one of the more famous splatter/drip paint artists.

The kids were completely covered from head to toe in paint--and happy as can be, especially this one.

This was the first birthday party the Eby + Bennett cousins have spent together.  So grateful the Ebys made the long drive to celebrate with us.

A party isn't quite a party without great food.  Here's a little bit of the spread.

A party in the South also isn't quite complete without its sweet tea.

Individual seven layer Mexican dip.  Additionally we served taco salad, tex mex rice, and queso.

Small photo albums on the table for entertainment + nostalgia. The kids helped paint the doilies.

I surely missed Aunt Mel for this cake making experience, but following her tips (thanks for the book, Melissa!) I had the best cake experience so far (my first year not claiming the kids frosted it...).  Jason did a fabulous job making, per Ivory's request, pink vanilla homemade ice cream (Nana's recipe).

Ivory's birthday actually fell on my birthday.  I can't imagine a better way to spend my birthday.  Surrounded by so many of my favorite people doing what I love and celebrating my firstborn I was completely overwhelmed with feelings of joy and extreme blessing.

Watching your little girl grow so quickly makes you snuggle each child just a little tighter.

It won't be long and he will be reading and amazing me with his math skills as he claims, "Yep, I'm a genius!"  Oh, this girl of mine.

This day could never have happened without an amazing team of people pulling it off--thank you to the many who worked hard to make this day extra special.  Thank you to my sister for capturing the day with these gorgeous photos.  Here's the link to my pinterest board for resources + inspiration: Artistic Celebration.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Golden Thread

Read this quote today on one of my favorite blogs and loved it.

“Just as a little thread of gold, running through a fabric, brightens the whole garment, so women’s work at home, while only the doing of little things, is like the golden gleam of sunlight that runs through and brightens all the fabric of civilization." ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Simple Simon & Co.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Children's Sunday

This may be my favorite Sunday each year...especially now that my two are singing with the preschoolers.  Ivory sings her heart out and does the motions with great expression.  Micah does practice.  Then, when the crowd comes he freezes.  And makes crazy facial expressions, and adorable, hilarious faces.  Love our church kids + their great leaders.

Korban was enthralled watching his siblings on stage. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Passing Through

Grandma + Pa were heading to Arknasas and decided to stop in for a short visit on their way.  Of course, there was great rejoicing.  The squeals of delight when grandparents are coming to town are music to my ears. 

Grandma + Ivory love to read together.  Here they are reading Amelia Bedelia--Grandma's favorite.

Pa + Grandma love to spoil--all of us.  This trip was no exception!  A dollar store date, Pepper's for dinner + dollar bills hidden under pillows to name a few excitements.  (Mom's personal favorite--Pa fixed the internet!)  We all *love* Peppers.  The kids favorite: queso + chips.

After our little Mexican fiesta we enjoyed a visti to the local marina.

The weather = perfect.

Ivory wanted to be sure to revist all the places as seen in our family photo book (when Debi took our family pictures shortly after Korban's birth). So much to see.

Ivory is still very much Pa's girl.

Some of the people most precious to me. Oh so curious. Exploring.  Micah = full speed ahead. Ivory = slowly meandering taking in every tiny little flower, ladybug + scenic detail.  Pa is very patient.

Micah found a sharp piece of plastic, "I  need to keep it. It's my sword.  It for stabbing sharks."  All boy.  Love it.

My kids have the best dad.
Watching form a distance. Dockside.
Daddy's shoulders are where it's at.
Micah was *very* frightened when we first climbed the tower, but it's amazing what a little assurance + encouragement from daddy will do.

So grateful for these visits with my parents + the special time with our kids.  Blessed.