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Wife to Adam, mommy to Alexa & Adlee Grace, Christ follower, owner at NewSpring Church, lover of Clemson football, and all things monogrammed. Looking for ways to simplify, serve, and teach my girls what life is all about.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Update

This week has really flown by! Well, all except for yesterday because I had to work until nearly 6pm, and on a Friday everyone leaves early! I typically leave early (or don't work at all) on Fridays, but this week I was off on Wednesday instead. So, I worked 10 hours the other days to make up my time. I'm really stingy w/ my PTO (paid time off) for some reason, I can't stand to use it.

Last Saturday I finished up my last exam, and I ended the semester with 4 As. That was certainly a great feeling when I got my final grades on Thursday! As for next semester I will not being going to school. It just doesn't seem to be in God's plans because nothing is working out. If you remember, last semester I changed my major because there wasn't anything for my major that fit my schedule. Well, this semester is the same way...there is nothing at night or online that works at all. As a result I have decided to take the semester off and spend this time focusing on Alexa and myself. I really haven't been expecting a break, but apparently God wanted me to have one...so that's where I stand with that.

We have really been enjoying the Christmas season so far...and we are trying to keep it very simple. Christmas isn't about presents and decorations, it's about Jesus, and that's what our whole year should be about. Don't get me wrong, I like decorations, and I like gift giving...but those things shouldn't be the focus of Christmas. Wednesday was a perfect reminder of this for me.

We (Jodi, Brad, and myself) along with about 65 other volunteers from NewSpring went to an elementary school in Greenville, and the Anderson campus did 3 schools in Anderson County, and we gave almost every child a new pair of shoes and a backpack with school supplies. It was an amazing experience. I can't even begin to describe the joy it brought me. Seeing the faces of those children was such a blessing. It was also heartbreaking to think of the conditions these children face every day. We were told 90% of the school we visited live below the poverty level. Obviously all of the children didn't need new shoes, but most of them did, and they were very appreciative. Most of them couldn't stop smiling and talking about their new shoes.

These are all the shoe boxes wrapped up on the auditorium stage.

Volunteers putting shoes on the children

Allison and one of the little girls looking through her new backpack


It was such a humbling reminder of how blessed we are, and how much we take for granted. I try to be thankful, but I don't think there is any way we can be thankful enough.

Mimi was nice enough to keep A&W for us so we could participate in the giveaway, and when we were finished they met us for lunch and an afternoon of fun! We took the kids to Chuck E Cheese, and they had a blast. W has been before, but this was A's first trip and she seemed to really enjoy it! They played some games, but mostly rode on the different rides. The mommies and mimi also played a few games :) All in all it was a great afternoon, and I am looking forward to taking them back when they get a bit older!

Today we finally got our Christmas cards printed, so they will actually get out before Christmas. LOL! Tomorrow is Christmas at NewSpring, and if you aren't already going to a church service, I would highly recommend coming to ours! It is going to be AMAZING! I am so excited. Our services are at 9:15, 11:15, and 6pm...get there early!!

Well, that's all for now. I hope you all are enjoying Christmas, and I hope you have a great week. God is so good!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Aloha Friday


Thanks to Kailani over at An Island Life we are learning about Aloha Friday, and taking it easy! Lucky for me, I have the day off today...so Alexa and I are spending the day together. So, if you wanna play along, check out the rest of the participants at An Island Life and link your own question. Here is mine...

What are you doing today?
I'm spending the day with Alexa, cleaning, and taking my last 2 exams. All in all, a great day! Nothing better than some special mommy-daughter time! These are the days I love most...great memories!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Beginning...

...to look a lot like Christmas! Honestly, not really around our house...too many other important things to do other than decorate. Hopefully we will get some work done on that this weekend. I am off tomorrow so that should help. We still haven't figured out where the tree is going because Alexa's kitchen pretty much takes up the entire area behind the couch, and that is where it has been for the past several years! I am definitely in the Christmas spirit though, and I am really looking forward to having a few days off with my sweet girl!

I am taking my 2nd of 4 exams tonight, and then I will take the other 2 tomorrow. Then I am going to an engagement party for one of the girls in my home group, and I can't wait. I don't know if I have mentioned my home group on here or not, but I am really enjoying it. We are having a great time getting to know each other while we grow deeper in our relationship with God. What more can you ask for??!! I have always wanted a group of Christian girlfriends that I could hang out with...not that I don't have Christian friends, but not just a group of girls that all hang out together. This has truly been an answered prayer for me.


Here is Alexa in the most precious Christmas tee Jodi and I designed for her. I am really pleased with the way it turned out. If you can't tell from the picture, it's an ornament with her initial in the middle, and it has vinyl over the top and little snowflakes floating around inside. Too cute! Don't you just love her expression...after she takes a picture now she will say 'oh that's a good one' or 'that's a good smile mommy'. It is the cutest thing! Love my little Diva Princess :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

WW: I love this part!

For more Wordless Wednesdays go here or here

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Check it out!

Leigh-Ann is hosting 10 giveaways over the next 10 days. Guess who is the first giveaway!! :) Head on over to her site and check them out!

Blessed Beyond Measure

I listened to a story from a dear friend last night, and it simply broke my heart! She was talking about some tough times she has faced over the past few years, and how her family wasn't there for her. It made me realize just how blessed I am to have my family.

Growing up my parents always told me they would love me and be here for me no matter what...even though there were times when they wanted to choke me, they always loved me. When I found out I was pregnant at 22 they once again proved to me that their love was unconditional. They were certainly disappointed in me, but they loved me through it all. They never judged me, or condemned me, and it made it so much easier to get through what could've been a terrible situation.

Standing over 2 years this side of that situation, all I have are good memories. I know there are people (probably even some who read this blog) who judged me, or condemned me...but that's ok, because I have judged other people for different things before too. It's easy to condemn when you aren't in their shoes! The truth is, we all sin, but some are more visible than others. God used that situation to turn my life around...and I am so thankful for that...and I am definitely thankful for the precious little girl I have because of it too!

God can use anything that happens in our lives, and He has certainly used Alexa so many times in my life. He continues to use her daily as a reminder of all the many blessings He has given me. Last night made me all more thankful for my wonderful family. God has and continues to bless me with and through them. I don't say it enough, but thank you God for my family, they truly are a blessing!

Monday, December 8, 2008

New Giveaway Site

5 Minutes for Mom has launched a new site called 5 Minutes for Giveaways where they will host lots of awesome giveaways. The first giveaway is for the new EASYSHARE W820 Wireless Digital Frame, and this thing looks awesome! This frame can connect to your network wirelessly, and play slide shows, videos, and MP3s! How cool is that?? This frame is valued at over $200, and from what I have read it is well worth it. What a great gift to give someone special in your life. Head on over here for your chance to win!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Little Angel

For those of you who are mothers, you know there is nothing more special than watching your child do something for the first time. Their first smile, first step, first anything...it is just special. Well, tonight was one of those nights for me. Alexa was in her first Christmas musical and she was just adorable. The two year olds on played a small part because, well they are two! She was so cute in her pillowcase angel costume her Mimi made for her, and a set of wings. She had a halo too, but she declined wearing it. I sat down front while she was on stage because she was having a bit of separation anxiety even though I was only a few pews away. She didn't seem to have any trouble once she got on stage! She was putting on a show. I am really proud of my little girl, she is growing up so fast. I know this is only the first of performances like these and it just makes me smile to think of all the wonderful times ahead!

Here are a few pictures from last night...I have a video that will give you a better look at her performance, but I haven't had a chance to upload it yet.

Look at that smile!

My little angel did a GREAT job on her debut!

I thought Mac was so cute with her hands over her ears while the older children were singing...couldn't resist the photo op! :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Accomplishments

Did you make a Christmas to-do list this year? Have you gotten to check everything off? The answer for both of those would be a big fat NO for me! I really had good intentions, but you know what they say about that. I am finishing up school this week, and I have exams next week, so after my last classes this week I should have a few more minutes to devote to this task.

In order to hold myself accountable I'm going to post my list of goals here and then check them off as I go.

Make gift list
Take Christmas card picture
Find Christmas card address list
Have Christmas cards printed (I can see those cards are going to be WAY too involved)
Purchase gift for the child my office is sponsoring
Coordinate office Christmas breakfast
Help decorate
Buy supplies for new Etsy item

I can't even think of the other things I need to do...I'll add to my list as I go. What do you still have on your list?

Monday, December 1, 2008

What I want for Christmas

I have really been struggling with Christmas gifts this year...both what to give, and what I want. I honestly don't have a clue what anyone around me wants or needs...and I think it's mostly because none of us need anything. Lots of people I know are asking for donations to their favorite charity, and that is such a wonderful thing. Why not give to those less fortunate than ourselves when we really don't need anything right??!! Absolutely. So, if you have me on your Christmas list for this year, please make a donation in my honor to one of the following.

NewSpring Church - this is a cause I am very passionate about. I love my church, and the work that we are doing is amazing. I am so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful church where God is working in a big way!

World Vision - this is another cause I believe in. You can do amazing things with just a little bit of money because of the options they offer. You can give a smaller gift, or you can put your money in the pot for a larger gift. They are also doing great things through this organization.

Having said that...and I meant every word! I have found something I want...notice I said want, and not need! This is SO SO SO cool! I think it would be awesome to have on my desk at work. 5 Minutes for Mom is giving one away every day for 12 days thanks to Dirt Devil, and you can enter separately for each one! I will definitely be entering every day in hopes that I win one...I would suggest you head that way as well and put in your own entry form! Good luck!

Oh, and there is another new post below, check it out. Pictures later this week, I PROMISE! :)

Etsy, etsy, etsy!!!

About 2 weeks ago I made my first sale on Etsy and I was SUPER excited. The buyer is a good friend of mine, and she bought the item as a Christmas present. I truly felt honored that she wanted one of my creations to give to a family member who I know is extremely important to her. As exciting as that moment was, today was even better! I sold a journal to a COMPLETE STRANGER! How awesome is that??!! :)

I have a really cute item coming soon...hopefully by the end of this week I will have it posted. Check back for updates. I am loving Etsy more and more every day!