Thursday, May 19, 2016

Life Lately

 Things have been a little crazy around here lately. For the last several weeks we've been dealing with all kinds of things from potty training, to a nasty stomach bug, to colds, to a bedroom renovation, and just in general trying to recover from all of that and get back into our normal groove. I am a very routine oriented person, so when things start getting a little wacky with our schedule I have a hard time coping.
 As it is, life is starting to settle back down and we've been getting our rhythm back. I thought I would share a little bit about what we are currently up to these days.

//Recently read// The Seven Laws of Love by Dave Willis. I enjoyed reading this book as Dave covered different aspects of love from commitment, sacrifice, truth, and fear, to grace, healing, and love that lives forever. The first section of the book is dedicated to an in depth discussion of each aspect of love and in the second section, Dave offers practical ways to live out love in our relationships with our spouses, family, neighbors, friends, enemies, ourselves, and ultimately, our Creator. I was impressed with his applications for loving ourselves. That is such a huge thing right now, "loving yourself" and I'm not too sure what to think about it. That mantra sounds almost selfish to me, but I thought Dave did an excellent job of navigating this section. Rather than making it all about taking time for yourself and caring about yourself, he came at it from the perspective of loving who we are in Christ and how Christ has a plan for our lives. Altogether, this book was an inspiring read filled with practical life applications.

//Cuddles// With Taylor. Did I mention that he's been teething? Yep, finally got some molars through on the bottom, now we're waiting on the top ones to come through. At random times throughout the day, Taylor will gather up his choice of blanket in his arms and scoot his little bum across the floor to me looking for cuddles. If Big Brother is awake, this usually turns into a three-way cuddle complete with songs and stories.

//Excited// about some sewing projects that I have in mind. I go through phases where I love/hate sewing. After a particularly failed attempt at sewng, I decide sewing is not that great and why don't I just buy whatever it is I'm trying to make?? Weeks later when I successfully complete another small project I change my mind and decide maybe it's not so bad after all and with a little practice...

//Decorating// the boys room. We recently tore out the old dry wall and put up new, so that meant new paint as well. I chose a dark teal for their room and I have plans to accent it with orange, tan, and bits of navy. Some of those sewing projects I'm excited about? They involve curtains, a changing pad cover, a pillowcase, and quilts (#gulp) for the boys room. I'm going with kind of an Indian/tribal/Aztec look for it. I'm already jealous of their room.

//Planted// our garden. With the craziness of the past few weeks, it just wasn't happening. Finally, this past weekend, we managed to get everything in the ground! And right before a rain shower came through! Before long we'll be seeing tomatoes, peppers, beans, corn, zucchini, butternut squash, lettuce, cucumbers, and melons gracing our garden. I still have flowers to plant as well and hopefully that will happen this week yet, if the weather ever decides to STOP RAINING.

 What have you been up to lately? I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Recipe // Custard Pie

 I have always loved baking. My earliest memories of baking were making biscuits and blonde brownies. They were my specialties. As I grew older, I learned to bake cakes, cheesecakes, and more. I still love baking;

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

On My Heart

 For awhile now my mind has been hashing out the purpose and intent of this blog. There have been stirrings inside of me for some time that as yet have never really been put into words. Words on a page make things seem so concrete, so much more set, final. The other day I decided to pen down some of those stirrings and what resulted was more than I expected. What flowed from pen to paper came almost faster than I could write it down. I don't know where all this will lead, but here it is, my heart on paper...errrr, screen...

Thursday, April 7, 2016

When Spring Opens Its Eyes

 Spring is playing peek-a-boo with us right now. The flowers are blooming, the trees are donning their green leaves, but the wind still has occasion to blow chill tendrils of air. The sun shines each day making you believe that it's a throw-the-windows-open kind of day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

These Are The Memories

 Life is a continuous cycle. It spins and swirls like a merry-go-round. It blurs away, moments caught up in an endless spinning. It is so fast that it can be dizzying. You know how it is when you're on a merry-go-round. It picks up speed and everything else fades away into a blur and all you can focus on is hanging on tight so you don't fall off. The effects of this means that moments can be forgotten. Those precious, fleeting memories, moments become a dim blurry substance and you wonder if you will ever get them back.
 There is a way to keep these memories fresh and alive in your mind. Write them down. Frame them through your lens. Take the time to still the rush and blur of life. Put pen to paper, light to pixels and freeze the moment. It's the reason so many people have taken to blogging either as a lifestyle blogger, a food blogger, or a personal blogger. We want to hold time still, even for a moment. We want to stop the merry-go-round just for a bit to see the life that is surrounding us. We don't want to forget it.
 These are my memories, the moments I want to remember.

-Jaxon running along behind his papa trying to keep up with him as they work

-Taylor and Jaxon, each other's best friend and worst enemy

-Jaxon begging to have his shoes on so he can go outside and work with his papa

-Taylor's chattering that sounds so much like a real conversation

-When Jaxon tells me "Hi" repeatedly throughout the day

-The way Jaxon repeats "love you" (sounds more like "lah you")

-When Taylor tries to climb all over my lap

-Family nap times when there is barely room left for me on the bed

-The weight of my children in my arms and my heart that is filled to bursting

"Precious memories, how they linger, how they ever flood my soul"

 What memories do you have that you want to hang onto? Do you have a way of recording them to keep close?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

//Book Review// 40 Days of Decrease

 I'll start off by saying right away that this book wasn't what I expected at first. I imagined that it would be a good discussion on fasting and different ways to fast and how that plays out in our lives. 
 What I found it to be is a 40 day devotional with a fast for each day. For each devotion excerpt, there is a scripture reference and a place to journal or jot down notes. There are also sections at the end of each chapter for reflection and also the history behind lent. Reading the history and theories of lent was less interesting for me than reading about different practical ways to fast.
 With this book, I would have preferred a discussion on fasting with practical applications for carrying it out in our everyday lives. The devotional style of it did become a bit more intriguing close to the end and I decided it would be interesting to read it as such and follow along with each of the daily fasts.
 This would be an excellent book to read in preparation for Easter.

 This book was provided by BookLookbloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Why I Use Essential Oils

 My journey with essential oils really began last summer. I was looking for a safe, effective alternative to regular bug spray. It pretty much goes without saying that bug sprays on the market are loaded with things that just aren't very good for you. Although I didn't research them indepth, I knew I wanted a safer product for my children. We all know how kids are with sticking their fingers in their mouths and I just couldn't bare the thought of slathering them down with something that was bad for them.
 I heard of the Doterra essential oil blend that acts as an insect repellant and knew it was worth a shot. 
 Summer went by and I continued to see the ever growing craze for essential oils all over...well, everywhere! I had a lot of questions about oils, but my main one was "Do they actually work, or are the results all in people's heads??" My friend that I ordered from was so wonderful in giving me honest answers about oils. She recommended I start with the introductory kit from Doterra which consists of lavender, lemon, and peppermint essential oils. Fast forward several months and I took the plunge and ordered a physician kit and became a wellness advocate. (More on that in a bit.)
  So then, the big questions, why essential oils? Do they work? I feel like I am learning the "why" of essential oils the more I use them. It's all about wellness. I will state right now that essential oils will not cure you and there is still a time and a place when you need to make use of antibiotics. With essential oils it's all about promoting your health. Not so much fixing what ails you, as helping to maintain your health and helping your body's natural defenses against illness. Sounds pretty great, right? Are they effective? In short, yes, they are. We have been amazed at how well they actually do when we put them to use. It took me awhile to "think oils" and often I would think of them as a last resort always ending up wondering why I didn't think of them in the first place. Now, I look for any excuse to whip out my oils. (I was literally bummed the other day when Gerry's headache went away before I could get oils on it. 😜) It feels so good knowing that I am using natural means of improving and maintaining my families health. 
 As I already mentioned, I have become a Wellness Advocate with Doterra. This means that you can order oils through me as well as sign up under me to become a wellness advocate and take advantage of their wholesale pricing. If you are interested in this, or have any questions about oils, you can find my Doterra website here or by emailing me at the_essential_home {at} yahoo {dot} com. 
 You can also follow along over on Instagram where I will be talking about all things oils and posting DIYs using essential oils. Hope to see you there!