Friday, August 22, 2014

"A 'Sweet Sale' That Ended Even 'Sweeter' In The End"

Turn your speakers up for some old tunes! :)

You know where all these things come from don't you?  My lovely runs outside on the trails!
So...  Before summer hit I was planning and thinking of what we might do this summer. I'm  constantly thinking of the "Fruits of the Spirit" which I want to teach daily to our children....and little Miss Emmie is always eager for more of our fruits activities... I remembered our lemonade sale last summer and how much they LOVED it!  Instantly it was put on my heart to do something more this year with the money.  But the real task is hoping your kids will want to be a part of that and have a positive attitude about giving back to the community instead of using it for ourselves.  Honestly they were surprisingly good and were fine knowing they might get a "small treat" with the leftovers.  :)  So it was decided...We could show some compassion towards the sweet elderly residents with a "Sweet Sale" and sprinkle them with "kindness" and beautiful flowers to bring cheer to their day! :) 

So we baked all day Saturday! 3/4 cup this! 4 eggs for that! 350 degrees and don't burn them! My brain was overtaken by ingredients and cookie dough! I was living in the moment of kids in aprons and this good cause that I forgot we live in Texas and the weather is Crazy!   We woke up Sunday morning to GLOOMY skies, POURING rain and CRACKLIN lightening!  OH NO!!!  I forgot to look at the weather!  I look at the weather on my phone and for Sunday & Monday it showed lightening strikes!  :(
So we went to church hoping it would clear and saying a little "Please Lord" prayer for it to clear.  
I couldn't believe how the skies completely changed and the sun popped out.... the people came and donated generously!  It felt so good!  Perfect stranger stopped and gave us $10 just as a donation!  We were so shocked and thanked them and told them we were using it for a good cause.  We told them of our plans and he reached in his pocket and pulled our $25 more!  WHAT!  These generous people kept coming!  We raised $145 total! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your thoughts or well wishes or donations!  My cup was running over that day!  I loved our kids seeing how others responded when they knew their money was going to be used for something good.  

So it took us all week to get all my kids home to put it all together so we could make our delivery.  
It was an experience and everyone had their part.  The nursing home residents were trying to come out the doors as we were coming in. There are several common areas where they all sit together.  They were smiling and sweet when they saw my precious children God has blessed us with.  We rolled our wagon in and showed them all the flowers and told them about our "Sweet Sale" and that we used our money to buy them flowers.  We told them we were going to put them one in their room for them.  A worker walked around with us and opened the doors for the 40 residents so the kids could put the flowers on their bedside table.  My job was to pull the wagon down each hall and try not to roll it over one of the ladies toes that was barefoot and following us the whole time.  There were some in their rooms when we arrived and greeted us in the sweetest way.  It was fun to see their faces light  up when they saw all my kids carrying little jars of flowers.  The kids were eager and wanting to get to the next room.  One time,  I turn around to see an old lady holding Noah's face and kissing his cheek.  He let her....  and then I find out afterwards 3 ladies kissed him.  LOL!  He said one time someone tapped him on the shoulder and he turned around and there she was with her lips puckered right in front of his face!  Makes me laugh!  One kissed him and said, "Honey can you get me out of here and go open that door right there for me?  Come on,  Let's walk."   I'm glad he knew better!  I forgot to go over that detail with the kids!  Ha! 

 We had one refuse our flowers.  He apparently was kind of moody.  He told us he didn't want any and before I could stop her... little Jensie walked on over to his dresser and put them flowers on it..... slightly bumping an airplane he had sitting there and knocking it to the floor.... GULP!!!!!!!!!!
  He was not happy about that!  I picked it up for him and told him how sorry I was but he was pretty feisty.  The plane was fine and not broken but we left him alone so we wouldn't disturb him anymore.  SIGH!  
You know them Orange kids.... wherever they go... there could be sweetness and fun....but there could be screaming or accidents.  We do try...but we aren't perfect.  
I couldn't help but think how "he didn't want any of our flowers".... that's perfectly ok...he can't help it. I thought of how sometimes as humans we pull away from people, resist help, clam up and want to be left along because we are sad or guilt stricken or going through a tough time or just don't feel like ourselves.  I think that's ok and it's life.....but sometimes we have to open the door and let the kindness in.... let people help us....let the sunlight in the room... let God send in his troops.... Even a little tiny tot could bring you joy if you let them.  :) 

I wish I could write all that they said to us.... just the sweetest experience.  Proud of the kiddos for hangin in there while we sat and visited with them.  I almost lost it going down the last hall.... it just came over me the sadness of aging and sometimes the mind going. Their rooms were decorated with pictures and were sweet... but it made me think of our own family... and my eyes filled  up with tears BUT...thankfully there was lemonade right around the corner for us to enjoy with the residents!  :)

The kids are already talking about next time!  :)  So I guess that's a plus?  :)  I will end the details and show a  few pics of it all.  Lots of Lemonade! Lots Of Love! Lots of Fun!  

 The Baking Begins..... Noah looks hungry!  Look out!

 Little Jensie in her apron.... a sassy baker

 tied dyed cupcakes.... what will they turn out like?

 Whooo Hooo!  So cool!  We put orange icing and sprinkles on top and Emmie told everyone, "When you bite it, there's a surprise inside!"  So cute!

 Pumped! Excited! READY FOR ACTION!

 A perfectly sunny day for a sweet sale with sprinkles on top!

 Getting the jars ready for the flowers...perfect job for the little ones :)

 Little girls always know how to make good use of things.... The lids are now tea party plates and the rings are.... yes... bracelets!!!  LOL!

 Everyone picked out their favorites!  I picked out some filler flowers :)

 Time to wash the wagon so we can make our delivery!

 Sitting outside the nursing home by their fountain.... all ready to go in.  :)

 This lady followed us around the whole time!  She was holding the two little ones hands at the end and started dancing just now.  They were going to make her stay back and not follow us around because supposedly she starts a cussin sometimes.  LOL!

 We really weren't suppose to take pictures...but I didn't know that until the end... we had to get a pic with her because her name was Emmy Lou just like my Emmie Lou!  She was so, so sweet!  

 After drinking the nursing homes juice... we got the real kind.  Ha! 7-11 Slurpee Style!   Always such a treat!

 A few selfies on a hot afternoon

 I love this one!!  

Me and My Little Sweetie Pies!  

Until next time... good luck to everyone going back to school!  We aren't ready but I guess we will do what you do.... get out the old backpack.... spruce ourselves up with a new outfit and shoes and don't forget the haircuts!!!  I guess I'll stock up on coffee and kleenex.... Deep Sigh!!!

Here are some great verses for back to school....

Ephesians 4:32
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Proverbs 3:3
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.

Monday, August 11, 2014

"He's Such A J-O-Y Stealer!!!!"

Ok...Here I go.....
 So ya'll gon think I'm crazy.... but I've been in the DESERT!  I finally know my diagnosis after our previous sermon at church... We all have those times in the desert... It's LIFE! Jesus was in the desert! But guess what!  Me, Myself & I & my little family are just great! We have had a lovely summer!  I am happy & blessed & wonderful &  at a good place in life!
Feeling COMPLETE!!  J-O-Y Bank = 100 :)
  Actually... it's when you are in a great place that He tries to steal your J-O-Y!!!  So watch out!
So why in the world have I been in the desert???????

Well.... we went to Tennessee.... Had a great trip! But.... Ever since then...... the desert sand has been in my eyes!  The confusion and questions have started stirrin about where we belong. It hit me and Nathan both at the same time????  Why are we still in Texas?  We love our family!  There ain't a dang thang wrong with Tennessee & by golly there is a baby there needin his Aunt Angie to love on him!  :) I've seen death.... I see LIFE.... I see how it all happens so quickly!  Why do we want to wait till our parents are old to get back? So many questions!  We LOVE our life in Texas....but....  Is this where God wants us to be?  
Confusion!!  Minus 20 in the J-O-Y Bank! :(

Next....Three people have died... one being my grandpa.... my daddy's dad.  He was a piece of my daddy who passed 7 years ago.  They looked alike.  He lived to almost 87.  Also, two of my friends just lost a parent.  I am sad for them because I "know" what the family is going through... because I went through it!
Grief!! Minus 20 in the J-O-Y Bank! :(

To top it all off.... probably the one  hardest of all.... to be discreet....someone dear to my heart is going through a confusing time.  I see the emptiness in their eyes.  It's like they have fallen off the planet and not in my life anymore.  :(  I  pray...but am devastated for them. 
Minus 25 in the J-O-Y Bank! :(

 Every time you turn around...somebody has cancer... or fighting for their health or happiness in this life.  Dad Gum.... people are just sick and dyin and gaaaaaaa!!!!!  I know that's what's suppose to happen but I'm tryin to spread JOY around and all I want to do is SPIT.
J-O-Y Bank needs a replenishment!!!!

A little humor in all this is before we took our trip to TN, I had purchased an engraveable necklace at a jewelry party.  Well... the first thing that came to mind to engrave was the word COMPLETE.  I put it on when we got home from TN.  THAT'S WHEN THE SAND STARTED BLOWIN IN MY EYES!!!!! It's like the devil wants me to rip it off my neck!!!  I don't get it... I'm happy, family is great, life is good, the Lord is in my heart & I feel close to him... what am I doing wrong?  I study and read about these times and how God just needs us to trust HIM and not our own understanding.   He wants us to rest in HIS control.  He wants us to hold his hand and walk with joy throughout our day!  He wants us to sacrifice our time for HIM.  He wants us to pray without ceasing!!!  

I believe I am doing these things but I think I get distracted by others and their pain.  I know I just need to bring all my requests to HIM and move on through my day.  I ask myself why do I think of these things so much??  Why is this so crippling to me right now?  I think it's because it's all "close to home" with me.  This could be me experiencing these things. When people close to me hurt... it really hurts!  All you have to do these days is turn on the tv to see all the sadness going on around our world.  God wants us to rejoice together & mourn together but somehow I got too dusty during the mourning that I couldn't see to get back to the rejoicing again!   Life is Life & we all go through it some time or another.  I do not worry... I am not scared... I embrace the days God gives us & want to be a light for Him.  But sometimes it's hard to maintain that when people around you are confused or hurting. 
 I talked to my mama briefly about this and even told her I might write about it.  She laughs at me at how one blog post I am up and the next down.... Ha!  I looked back to see if this was the case and it's not really.  If you read this blog... it's gonna be REAL... so just know... I am doing the best I can!   I am open & transparent and that's just me! I am not "above" being in the desert and no one else is either!   I know "being real" can sometimes help others & I also enjoy reflecting back at these seasons of life.  :) If you are wondering why in the world I'm in the desert and my problems don't seem as bad as yours or others... well.... that's just it you see... Satan will use anything he can to "steal our joy" and you just have to catch him red handed and refuse the temptation of letting the sad... the bad consume you!  

 I can write about this because I am coming out of the desert for now and just got back on the J-O-Y train!  The music is fun!  There is laughter and dancing!  There is peace!  
For now... I am giving all my concerns to God & having J-O-Y with all He has given me!  
I am soaking up my precious children before they start back to school!  
I am going to love my husband!  I am going to take care of our home!  I am going to try to be a light to others!  I hope you all have a J-O-Y filled week and if you are in the desert.... stay strong!  
You will be air lifted out soon!  God Bless You All!  

Here is a little of our "Summer Joy"  :)

Stuffed her bean bag chair she got for her bday.. .Thanks Blane!  :)

 My front seat buddy
 He loves the park!

 Sweet & Sassy hair do

 Ya'll remember the show "Mama's Family"... well this is "Naomi" :)  LOL!  

 This kid is growing so fast!  Ready to hang with big brother and shoot air soft guns... not yet buddy!

 Did we get out???  LOL!

 Yep!  Should we switch plates?  Why do I look like the pig here?  LOL!

 Good times with good friends!

 Shootin bb guns.... 
Pettin the snake at the library :)

Just one of Emmie's random creations ..... Leaves, rocks, glitter and some red berries!  Life is so simple with my sweet Emmie Lou!

Found this on my phone... Noah took a selfie... drew an arrow on his forehead pointing down at himself.... This kid!!!!

Happy Meals for Happy Friends!

Homemade slime!  OHHHH WOWWW!!!!!

Smores on the grill.... yep.... we did it!  Too hot for a fire and we just needed some sweet :)

Not too flattering of me... but I do love having fun with my kids and being silly is the best!!!

I will never forget this!  It was mild as can be on a July Texas day and mistin rain... we layed down in the grass for a selfie.... Gunner was laughing soooo hard!  Fun times!!!

If ya live in Texas ya gotta have cowgirl boots!  

She is a people stopper!  :)  I am soakin up her cuteness and her "own little personality in the makin"  She makes us laugh so much!!!

Just a random night... can we fit anymore in our bed?  Everyone wants Mama..... we have to take turns!    LOL!

 Emmie went to Art Camp!  She had some beautiful pieces!
It was very "art-y" :)
this was her favorite!  
SCORE!!! TV in the camper!!!  

Big 'Ol Turtle

Plenty to go around :)

Gunner caught a big catfish!

Just a little happiness that showed up on my doorstep.... Crazy how sisters always know just what you need... a little something colorful to lift the gloom that consumes the world and weighs on us too much sometimes.  Thank you Sissy!!!

Until next time.... I'm singin "I got that JOY, JOY, JOY JOY Down in my Heart!!!!"
Stay tuned for our "Orange Kids End of Summer Sweetness"

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