Friday, August 29, 2014

From my Front Porch ~ August 29, 2014

Welcome back to my weekly series, From my Front Porch, where I share updates from my home and family. My hope is that you'll fix yourself a cup of coffee or tea and imagine us sitting together on my front porch, chatting about life and catching up on the latest news!  I hope you'll join me each Friday on My Front Porch!  

We have been getting back into a good school routine this week! Still some extra busyness hanging around, but I guess I should get used to the fact that that is just the way my life will always be!!  :)

It has been a beautiful week here on the Georgia coast, with deep-blue skies, cooler temperatures, and refreshing breezes!  Hannah and I have been riding our bikes in the mornings, and it has been so pleasant!  I snapped this picture the other evening as I crossed the big bridge and saw the huge car carrier in the river. I just feel so blessed to get to live here and enjoy this beauty on a daily basis!  :)


One day this week, I took Luke for a sports physical, and decided it was a great time for a little mother-son date!  It turned out to be a perfect time for Taylor to join us, so I treated them both to lunch at Chick-fil-A and enjoyed the time with these two handsome guys!  :)  Been missing Tay since he moved out!

Last night was the first SC football game of the season.  We were prepared with our "tailgating on the couch" football food and Gamecock T-shirts, but apparently the Gamecocks weren't quite as prepared for the game as we were!! Especially their defense.  It was a sad night!  :(

I tried something new for the game inspired by something I saw on Pinterest. I made individual Taco Dips in clear punch cups.  I think I scored a touch down with these!  :)

We set up an assembly line and layered the cups like this: taco meat/refried beans + sour cream + guacamole + salsa + queso + Mexican 4 cheese + sliced green onions and some cilantro.  The only complaint I heard was that it was difficult to dig down into the bottom of the cup to scoop up the meat/bean mixture!  :)

In other news, my handsome hubby has been in Washington, DC this week! Love this picture of him in front of the White House, where he had a meeting!  :)

Would you please pray for my brother-in-law, Burlin?  Remember that sting ray sting he got while visiting here?  Well, it has really turned nasty and I'm worried about his hand!!!  Check out this recent picture he texted me!

Well, we are off to the airport in Jacksonville to pick up Hannah's friend, Kendra! Remember her?  She's coming for a two-week visit, so I'm sure I'll have lots of fun pics to share!  :)

Have a great weekend!

Thanks for stopping by my front porch for a visit! I'd love for you to take a moment to "sign my guest book" (leave a comment!) so I can know that you stopped by and enjoyed your visit!  Please join me again next Friday on my front porch!  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Review and Giveaway of La-Di-Da Baby

I can't keep my hands off the lovely baby items that I've had the privilege of reviewing from La-Di-Da Baby!  They are just so soft and sweet!  :)  These boutique quality handmade items are created by a mother-daughter sewing team and are extremely well-constructed, adorable accessories for your baby (or grandbaby)!  :)

Debbie Alleman and Missy Dawson, owners of La-Di-Da Baby sent me three lovely items to review and keep for use with my granddaughter.  :)

The brightly colored terry cloth bib with cotton face has an inner layer of natural batting and a plastic resin snap closure. It comes with a matching burp cloth, which is also constructed from 100% cotton face with a heavy-weight (10 oz) 100% cotton chenille backing. Both items are pre-washed, pre-shrunk, and come from a smoke-free home.  The bib and matching burp cloth retail for $8.00 each and would last through several children, due to their high quality construction.  

Click here to view all the bibs in the Etsy shop and click here to view the burp cloths.

You can see how cute these items are in the picture below, especially the one where my granddaughter, Sarah, is the baby model!  :)  What you can't discern from this picture is how nice and thick these are and how well they are constructed!  My daughter-in-law was very impressed when she saw these! They are so much nicer than what you can buy in the average store and would make excellent baby gifts!

The other item I was given to review was a premium sheet saver.  The sheet saver has 3 layers:  minky cuddle on top, layers of absorbent cotton batting in the middle, and a waterproof layer on bottom.  Oh. my. word!  This cuddly sheet saver is amazing!  It is so soft that we all want to feel it and rub it against our faces!  :)  This very practical baby accessory has snap attachments on the corners for easy removal.  If baby wakes up soaking wet in the night, instead of having to change the crib sheet with half-open eyes, just unsnap the corners of the sheet saver and throw it in the wash. You should have a dry sheet underneath (or can snap on another sheet saver), so you can put your baby back to sleep in a clean, dry bed!  :)

Click here to view this item in the La-Di-Da Baby Etsy store.

If you snap the ribbons off, this ultra-soft sheet saver doubles as a changing pad or a perfect place to lay baby for "tummy time."  Or, when no one's looking, you may want to borrow it from baby and lay it across your pillow when nap time arrives!  ;)  I'm not kidding -- this thing is irresistibly soft and luxurious!!!   

Check out the cuteness below!!  :)

Now for the fun part -- you have the opportunity to win a special La-Di-Da Baby item for your own use or to give as a gift to a new or expectant mother!! Just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to win one set of three organic burp cloths (a $36 value)!  

These top-quality burp cloths are handmade from 100% organic cotton fabric, 100% organic bamboo fleece, and 100% organic batting!  They are countoured on one side to comfortably fit around your neck and straight on the other side to keep your shoulder dry.  And . . . . get this -- "The bamboo fleece is an incredibly soft fabric, even softer than minky, and is known for its absorbency."  What?  How can any thing be softer than minky??  :)

I'm sure you will love these amazing burp cloths!  Enter the giveaway below and be sure to tell your friends about it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesday's Tip {from a Mom of 10} When Your Day Needs an Intervention!

Ever have one of those days, especially as a homeschooling mama, when everything was going wrong?  Maybe everyone "got up on the wrong side of the bed?"  Every one's nerves are on edge and you feel like you are about to explode!?!  Today I want to share some helpful ideas for a day going down the wrong track!!

When your day desperately needs an intervention, try one of these tricks:

1.  Take a coffee break.

Fix yourself a cup of coffee or tea and fix the children some tea or hot chocolate.  Give everyone a mug (and maybe a cookie); put the baby in the highchair with some juice and a cracker (or in the crib if he or she is cranky) and have a little coffee break (or make it a tea party!) with only pleasant conversation allowed!  (Don't rehash the morning's problems!)  Perhaps combine this with trick #2 below.

2.  Read the Word and pray.

Get out your Bible and read one of the tear-stained pages that keep you going in the rough times!  If your children are readers, ask them to each read (or quote) a favorite passage.  Pray!  Get your children to pray!  Ask God to rebuke the enemy and to fill your home with His peace.  Refuse to give Satan the victory!

3.  Go back to bed and get up again.

Seriously, I've done this!  I've sent everyone back to bed for 15 or 30 minutes. I've gone back to my bed and cried and prayed and read some words of encouragement, whether from The Word or from a favorite book, such as, Seasons of a Mother's Heart by Sally Clarkson. Then, when my spirit was calmed, I got up and "woke up" each of the children very cheerfully, and said "Good Morning" like that was the first time I had seen them that day!  :)  I often sang, "Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory!"  :)  And we just restarted the day on a better note!  (Try it; it works!)

4.  Take a walk.

I recently read an article about how taking a walk can improve your mood.  For many years, when I was deep in the trenches of homeschooling many children, we would stop our school work at about 11:30 or 11:45, find shoes and coats if need be, get out the double stroller, and take a walk around our neighborhood. Sometimes, I let the older kids ride their bikes while I walked with the younger ones.  Then, we came home and ate lunch.  Sometimes, I put a pot of quick Taco Soup on to simmer before we left the house, so it was ready to warm us up when we got home.  It was heavenly on a chilly fall or winter day!  Somehow, the tensions of the morning almost always evaporated on this walk, and we all came home feeling cheerful and refreshed!  

5.  Take a PE Break.

This is similar to #4 above.  Sometimes a little break for physical exercise can do wonders!  It provides a scene change, relieves stress, improves mood, and gets out some of that extra energy that little kids (especially boys) always seem to have!  As boys get older, and that testosterone kicks in, if they don't use some of their aggression up through hard physical work or sports, they will direct it to their siblings; therefore, plenty of hard work and exercise is essential to the peace of your home!  So, on one of those days, send the kids out to run and play for a bit!

While they are outside exercising, you may want to squeeze in some exercise, too.  May I suggest a T-Tapp workout?  These in-home workouts come in all lengths, from 5 minute workouts to hour-long workouts. The popular TappCore DVD contains 9 powerful moves that can be done during little breaks in your day and can also be done with the kids!  There are even try-before-you-buy moves on YouTube that you can do for free.  Currently, I'm part of a group that is doing a little challenge through the month of August where we commit to doing two sets of 8 of these Tricep Trimmers every day.

Did you know that today (August 26th) is Teresa Tapp's 57th birthday!?!  It's amazing, because she sure doesn't look her age!  In celebration of her birthday, Today Only, you can get 57% off of any T-Tapp workout plus FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $57!!!  If you've been thinking about trying a T-Tapp workout, there will never be a better time than today!!!  

Shop the T-Tapp website here.

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

I'd love to have you leave a comment and tell me your favorite interventions for a very bad day!  You can also share your favorite T-Tapp workout!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Marriage Monday: The Feminine Wife {Link up}

Welcome back to Marriage Monday!  I'm so glad you've joined me as we focus on strengthening and promoting godly marriages, both in our nation and in our own backyards. 

Since the beginning of the year we've been looking at the characteristics of the godly wife. Today I want to take at look at the feminine wife. 

Due to the overwhleming influence of the feminist movement on modern culture, we have almost totally lost the concept of femininity.  We now live in a unisex culture where clothing, roles, and even marital partners are seen as interchangeable.  

However, God, in His infinite wisdom, created mankind as male and female.

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created He them."  ~ Genesis 1:27

"And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good."  ~ Genesis 1:31

Masculinity and femininity are good and normal and right.  They are designed by God and reflect the full spectrum of His characteristics, while a unisex society of interchangeable genders is a perversion of God's design.

As we've already discussed here in previous weeks, the quickest way to a man's heart is to respect and admire his masculine qualities.  While it may be popular to do so, criticizing, ridiculing, or teasing our man in the sensitive area of his manliness is the quickest way to destroy our relationship!  Men are vulnerable when it comes to their masculinity, and nothing makes them feel more masculine than being appreciated and admired by a feminine woman!

In spite of our current cultural conditioning, most men are naturally drawn to feminine women.  When women are feminine, and somewhat vulnerable and fragile, it tends to encourage the protective side of men.  (This is something that needs much encouragement in this day of violent, irresponsible men!) 

Deep down inside, most women still desire to be wildly loved and cherished by the man of their dreams. All but hard-core feminists still find it desirable to be treasured by and spoiled by a man that they love.  

Sadly, women have been conditioned by society to believe and communicate (both verbally and nonverbally) that they don't need a man and that they are better than the poor male "species" in every way. They are encouraged to be tough and independent and self-sufficient. What this has done is taken away the incentive that men once had to overcome their base tendencies to use women for their own desires and to be lazy and self-serving by rising up and protecting and providing for a woman and her children.

Caution: Don't take my words too far to an extreme -- I'm not saying that women should be totally subservient and dependent on men.  There is certainly a healthy degree of competence and independence for women to have. But, our culture has obvioulsy let the pendulum swing way too far in the opposite direction!  When women are feminine and somewhat vulnerable and fragile, they tend to encourage the protective side of men.

Unfortunately, most women have been so brainwashed and conditioned by the feminist agenda, that we don't even know what it means to be feminine and we may even bristle at the thought of developing some feminine qualities that were standard in times past!!

What are some feminine qualities that men find attractive and desirable in women?  Generally speaking, men are attracted to:

  • long, flowing hair
  • natural looking make up and hair colors
  • soft, feminine clothing
  • soft, nicely manicured hands
  • sweetness and innocence 
  • carefree charm
  • a sunny disposition
  • tenderness
  • gentleness
  • gracefulness
  • womanly figure with feminine curves 
  • gentle, kind speech 

Some "masculine" traits to avoid:

  • ultra-short manly haircut
  • rough hands with chewed fingernails
  • tailored, masucline clothing styles
  • sloppy "sweats" and t-shirts
  • unkempt, slovenly appearance
  • sitting and standing like a man
  • rough, coarse language
  • telling dirty jokes
  • smoking
  • overly loud, boisterous voice or laugh
  • speaking harshly or with excessive sarcasm
  • excessively thin or excessively heavy body

It is so easy to fall into the habit of doing what is easy or comfortable and neglecting our appearance, and yet, our husbands do like to take pride in their wives' appearance and femininity.  We should do what we can to be attractive for our husbands and to dress and wear our hair and carry ourselves in a way that pleases them. Generally, we choose our clothes and hairstyles based on what pleases ourselves or our girl friends.  How often do we consult our husbands about such matters??  And, if we ask them, are they afraid to tell us the truth because we will react violently??  We may argue that what our husbands like isn't "fashionable".  I don't think most men care that much about the latest fashion trends, but they do care about how we dress and carry ourselves.  Do we care enough to find out what they really think??

Homework Assignment:  Are you up for some homework?  Your assignment for this week, if you choose to accept it, is to ask you husband to tell you honestly how he likes you to wear your hair, and what clothing styles he likes, etc. You must promise yourself ahead of time that you won't argue with what he tells you!  Have some ducktape handy, if need be, but don't react to what he tells you!  Just listen and apply your new found knowledge!  

All of the posts in this series have been designed to help you build your marriage and to be a strong, confident, suitable helpmeet who is an asset to your husband. Use this list to catch up on any posts you may have missed.

The Abiding Wife

The Respectful Wife

The Accepting Wife

The Admiring Wife

The Supportive Wife

The Humble Wife

The Grateful Wife

The Joyful Wife

The Content Wife

The Trustworthy Wife

The Kind Wife

The Sympathetic Wife

The Pure Wife

The Serene Wife

The Celebrating Wife

The Wise Wife

The Wife as a Suitable Helper

The Diligent Wife

The Sensible Wife

The Discreet Wife

The Homeworking Wife, part 1 

The Homeworking Wife, part 2

The Obedient Wife

Understanding Submission vs. Obedience

Ten Traps to Avoid as You Strive to be a Submissive Wife

Your Turn to Share:

Are you a feminine wife?  How important do you think it is to cultivate femininity? Do you dress and wear your hair to please your husband, your friends, or yourself?  If you chose to accept the homework assignment, what did you learn about what your husband likes and dislikes?  Did it surprise you?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on being a feminine wife!  Please leave a comment here on my blog or over on my Facebook page, so we might all be encouraged! You may also email me at if you wish to share a private testimony or a guest post.

If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!

Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to Christian marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog!  Thanks!

marriage mondays

Blogs I link up with from week to week:

What Joy Is MinePhotobucket Making Your Home Sing Monday!  

Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth


a-wise-woman-builds-her-home         Messy Marriage      Mom's Morning Coffee

    Wholehearted Wednesday     A Little R & R

Proverbs 31 Link Up  

     Graced Simplicity

Hearts for Home Blog Hop   Hope In Every Season       Faith Along the Way

Please link up your blog post on marriage below by entering the url of your specific post.  Where it says "Your Name" enter the title of your blog post, not your personal name!  Thanks!  :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

From my Front Porch ~ August 22, 2014

Welcome back to my weekly series, From my Front Porch, where I share updates from my home and family. My hope is that you'll fix yourself a cup of coffee or tea and imagine us sitting together on my front porch, chatting about life and catching up on the latest news!  I hope you'll join me each Friday on My Front Porch!  

Whew!  Can I admit that I'm a bit tired this morning?  Even with my new found energy (thanks to Plexus!), it has been a rather eventful and exhausting week!!!  

Last Friday my house was a flurry of packing and moving, as we lost two full-time residents!  :( Taylor moved into a college house where he is serving as a Resident Director for a college ministry.  Tiffany left for grad school in South Carolina, where she will be pursuing a master of music degree in piano performance these next two years.  These are both good things, but after the dust settled, I did feel a bit down last weekend as I adjusted to the idea of having a smaller family at home.

Thankfully, Amber was still here visiting, so that kept the spirit of adventure alive!  :)  

On Monday, my sister and part of her family came for a visit and to collect Amber.  They live in Ohio, and always enjoy their annual visit to the beach to see me!  :)   My brother-in-law always looks forward to fishing in the surf . . . . but he claims he'll never do that again after what happened to him this time!!  He was stung by a Stingray, which caused him unbelievably intense pain!  We discovered that immersing his hand in HOT water brought the most relief from the fiery pain!  Look how swollen his hand still was more than 24 hours later!

Even with his injury, Burlin's love of fishing prevailed (much to Matt's delight)!!  They moved their fishing adventure from the ocean to a river!  :)

It was fun to have them visit, and I'm thankful to have had a few days to visit with my sister!  :)

They left Wednesday afternoon, and on Thursday morning we dove in to a new school year.  Probably not the best decision on my part!  ;)  I probably should have waited until Monday and gotten "my ducks in a row" -- but we did it and school is underway!  I forgot to take Back-to-School pictures, so maybe I'll do that on Monday. 

One more thing before I go.  I'm so proud of the boys! Ever since we moved here, their room has been a nightmare!  Of course, they started off with six boys in that room, so it was wall to wall beds and dressers and there was never enough room in the closet, so they had stuff piled up everywhere, and basically, the room was so bad I just refused to go in there!!!  

Well, now, Joe is married, of course; Tyler has graduated and moved out, and now Taylor is gone.  So, Chris, Luke and Matt went in there and CLEANED and ORGANIZED their room and closet so well that I didn't even recognize it!  I forgot that room had two windows!  :)  Take a look for yourself and be impressed!  :)

What about you, have you started back to school yet?  Are you back into your "fall routine" or still in "summer mode"?

Reminder:  Don't forget about the Lilla Rose Sale!  You can get 10% off the new styles and 20% off retiring styles now through Saturday at midnight!

Thanks for stopping by my front porch for a visit! I'd love for you to take a moment to "sign my guest book" (leave a comment!) so I can know that you stopped by and enjoyed your visit!  Please join me again next Friday on my front porch!  

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