Life is currently crazy town…this should be the Kelley family life motto.  Ha.  I don’t even know what makes it so crazy, but it feels it.  I have about zero thoughts to share.  I hate when I do that because I love to get on here and type away.  It’s good for my heart, but thoughts are hard lately.  Today I had an eye appointment with the two littles in tow.  The doctor asked me if anything big happened for us in 2015 and I sat there and stared him the face blankly.  I CANNOT THINK.  I mumbled a few words and ended with “I’m sorry.  I just can’t think most days.”  He laughed.

I did want to share a few really really important things.  Like….

I FLIPPIN’ LOVE HAVING A PRINTER.  It’s divine and amazing and great and awesome.  Friday night, I’m not even kidding, Harper and I sat around printing and scanning things.  Nerd Alert!!!  She would come running in and say “I really need a copy of this.”  And then we’d copy it like we owned a limo and mansion.  We’re so fancy…you don’t even know.  And now you will be singing that song all day long.

I laughed out loud at myself yesterday because I needed to print off a schedule for an upcoming conference.  I did my normal routine of emailing Josh Kelley with whatever it is I need printed and then realized I was sitting at the table WITH the printer.  I shot him a text telling him what I had done.  That Josh Kelley is a witty one.  Always keeps me rolling.

This weekend I made THESE cookies.  If you haven’t made them yet, please please please do.  They are like tiny morsels of heaven.  I am not kidding…Morsels.Of.Heaven.

The goal here was to make enough cookies for a birthday shindig and also enough cookies to take to school for staff on Monday morning.  And after I made all the cookies I realized there was no school on Monday, so as a result we ate 5 million cookies this weekend because we cannot be trusted with cookies in our house.  We are a very untrustworthy cookie bunch.

They ate cookies all weekend too.  I am that mother.  No shame people, no shame.  Cookies for everyone.

I’ve had a few spots open up for this weekend’s Bible journaling class.  It’s this Saturday from 1-4 at our house.  You can read all the details HERE.  If you’re interested email me or message me HERE.


Yesterday we did a whole lot of this.

MLK Jr day always gets the best of me and with cold temps we all just burrowed in pretty tight.  Hudson and Solomon did spend quite a bit of time outside with hammers breaking all the ice in our bird bath.  Hudson was convinced he was legitimately frozen when he came back inside…he does worry well 🙂  It never fails when I read Martin Luther King Jr books I sob.  Like sob sob.  Last night I cried so hard Hudson broke down and sobbed with me.  Oh wow!  We are clearly a hot mess around here, but seriously, such a special and important man and day!!

   And currently littles are sleeping so I’m off to journal and work on some orders.  Oh and we’re having THESE for dinner tonight.  3rd time in less than a week people.  I even printed off the recipe so I no longer have to pull it up on my phone.  Forgot to tell you I added some chipotle seasoning and chili powder to spicy the chicken up a bit and subbed plain greek yogurt for the sour cream and almond milk for regular milk.  Whatever way you go…they are good!

Happy Tuesday.

Seven Things

1.  I’ve had some unplanned solo time with Hudson lately.  This is very rare.  We did things like play mancala, look at legos on the interwebs, watch the lego movie…he’s kind of lego crazy.  I told him the other day while at his 7 year check up that I was going to ask the doctor if I should be concerned about his love of legos.  He is the child who was born with a furrowed brow…his brain thinks through everything and leans toward worry.  He looked at me with his furrowed brow and said, “Are you really worried about me?  I do think about Legos a lot.  Is that normal?”  Sweet thing.

2.  I bailed on Christmas cards this year.  We like to keep this season relatively not crazy busy and Christmas cards are always daunting to me…so this year I nixed them.  And the world is still spinning.  Shocker right?!?!  But for your viewing pleasure here is the picture I thought would be wildly funny to send to people.

Merry Awkward Christmas!  You have my full permission to use this for your screen saver.  #yourewelcome

3.  Sasquatch Design Company is still selling new tees for the Ngungwane Garden Fund.  Crazy soft.  Crazy cool.  And crazy good community you will be linking arms with.  It’s such a good purchase with a purpose this Christmas.  Check them out HERE.

4.  Josh Kelley and I had a rare few hours solo the other night.  We went to the gym and then ate BBQ nachos.  Speaking of BBQ nachos, I have officially found THE.BEST.BBQ.NACHOS.EVER!!!!  Edleys wins the top BBQ nachos award.  I can’t even talk about it…makes me weepy.  Eat them and then email me with all the love that has built up in your heart because of their sheer goodness…then buy me a plate of them to say “thank you”.

5.  Amon has become a bed hopper.  In the morning when he gets up he moves from bed to bed to bed.  He likes some snuggles in the morning.  The other morning I heard him climbing up into Harper’s top bunk and heard her say, “Hey there my big boy.”  Geez.  They are ridiculous together.

6.  Our kindness advent yesterday was taking cookies to our police and fire station.  Today we are taking a treat to the salvation army bell ringer at our local grocery store.  And tomorrow we are buying Christmas for a family.

7.  And I still have plenty of things for sale if you need a last minute Christmas gift.  I’m shipping out asap so things have plenty of time to arrive before Christmas.  Check out available items HERE.

Happy Thursday!

8 Things

1.  I’m on a new lunch kick which includes an almond cracker, mustard, turkey, pickle and cheese.  It’s divine.  Amon loves it too, but he loves pickles and cheese way too much to wait and devours those right away.  Pickles rule our world currently.

2.  I took the plunge and got an under cut.  I let my friend Brooke do it and honestly, I totally love it.  She did an awesome job.  Afterwards I drove through Taco Bell and ate it alone in my quiet car before having to pick up kids.  It was like a mini vacay.  I snagged some of my hair for Brooke’s picture and it reminds me of a rats nest.  And taking a picture of the side of my head proved to be quite difficult for me…I feel like I look very, ummmm, serious and somber…a true deep thinker.

3.  If you’re local you should check our my brother Chris’ Made South events in September:  Supper & Songwriters at Carnton Plantation, BBQ & Bourbon Market Preview at Harlinsdale Farm and Made South Market at Harlinsdale Farm.  We will actually be out of town and I hate we are missing it.  I’d be there in a heartbeat.  You can check out tickets HERE.  And 10% of proceeds from all three events will benefit Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital of Vanderbilt at Williamson Medical Center.

4.  We’re inching closer.  The Ngungwane playground fund is officially at 24%.  Every bit counts and every bit is so exciting.  You can make your tax deductible donation HERE.

5.  This is where Amon waits when our littlest one is still napping and he’s awake before she is.  He sits and listens and looks under the door and sometimes is a tad on the loud side.  They’re kind of thick as thieves.

6.  My nephew Cooper, who made Josh Kelley and I an aunt & uncle, turned 15 this past weekend.  You guys, I can’t even.  He’s way taller than me and so darn cool it’s killer.  How can this tiny baby nephew who use to call me Wa-wa and give me crab kisses be this big?!?!?!  He’s like a full on man-child now.  Big kids tend to be fond of cash money gifts so we obliged, but we did buy him giant balloons and then I made him let me take pictures of him doing what he loves most.  15 is kind of a big deal.  Geez I love him.

7.  More orders.  Key fobs, name pillows and canvases oh my.  If  you’d like to place an order message me HERE.

And 8.  I have a new go-to dinner with THIS chicken recipe (I only use a 1/4 cup of everything instead of 3/4 and it’s amazingly delicious…and I nixed the cilantro & lime & magic green sauce because I always run out of time and start eating the chicken the minute it comes off the grill…sooooo good) and THIS cooked veggie recipe (I use any and all veggies, but the cauliflower is my fave.)  It’s easy and quick and I can prep everything the night before and really quickly.  Make it and enjoy!

Happy Thursday!


I made THESE swig cookies this weekend.  Sooooo, they tasted delicious, but I think I did something really weird to the icing because after they sat out for a while the icing became very glisteny, meltish and sticky.  Glisteny and meltish ARE real words.  Despite my probable conundrum with the icing texture they tasted delicious.

I think I’m going to be making THESE for Saturday’s Bible journaling class.  My friend Alissa made the best homemade vanilla ice-cream I’ve ever tasted for our friend Courtney’s swimming baby/birthday gathering.  It’s all I can do to not think about the amazing combo of her ice-cream and those cookie bars.  #ivegotcookieprobs

My friends and I poorly communicated on who was making what for our little baby celebration.  There were iced sugar cookies, fruit pizza, homemade ice-cream and banana pudding.  Last minute we ordered pizza.

June’s Bible Journaling Class is this Saturday.  I have 4 spots left and it’s not too late to sign up.  Email me or shoot me a message HERE.

I cannot believe June is here.  We are wrapping up baseball this week and I’m officially one month away from Africa.  This makes me excited and my blood pressure rise.  So much to get done before we leave.  So many things to purchase to take with us.  I have about 10 different lists going currently and sometimes I start to breath rapidly and can feel my chest caving in…that’s not normal right?!?!? 🙂  Crazy excited though…excitement wins for the Overwhelming Feeling Award.  Cannot wait.

Our youngest little one got a hold of red paint.  This was her shirt when I found her.  The path of her red paint destruction included, but not limited to, our couch, rug, coffee table, floor, bed spread and Amon.  We shall never speak of this incident again.

And I have currently read 1 Corinthians 15:35-58 a minimum of 42 times.  I have stayed here for days and days and read and read and re-read.  And then gone back and read again.  And then cried.  And cried some more.  Never have these words held such weight and hope and made more sense to my heart.  Pain and loss and grief are just everywhere and there are few words to say which can do anything, but God…the hope in Jesus and the promises He lays before us when we are flat out broken…no, shattered…that’s all we can hold onto.

 Happy Tuesday!

9 Things

1.  Tuesday is looking up people.  Our foster daughter’s case worker surprised Josh Kelley before 7am…again…but 1/2 of us were still asleep…all the ladies of the house…and I’m happy to report the ones who were awake were all wearing pants.  This is progress compared to LAST TIME.  I will gladly take progress 🙂

2.  In other fun Tuesday news, Josh and I have our first date night since the 1st of January tonight.  At the top of our “what to do for date night options” is drive thru Taco Bell and nap in the car.  If you see us parked in a parking lot, it’s likely we are not making out, but snoozing…let us be!

3.  Kelley kids have been on a bit of a downslide with the end of year chaos going full steam ahead.  No one wins the best sibling award lately.  They can fight hard that is for sure.  And then I find them congregated doing their thing again and I’m reminded they actually do really love each other.

4.  This picture can only mean one thing, and one thing only…Bunny’s Cake is in the house.  And there was lots of it.  Baked goods can change the world and eating a cold piece straight from the refrigerator can make your faith stronger in Jesus. #truestory

5.  I am super excited about a new project I’m going to be giving a whirl starting soon.  Josh Kelley and I are talking through details…it might be just a summer gig or it might  just stay forever.  Who knows!!!  All the details coming soon.

Spoiler Alert: It involves you & free art 🙂

6.  Harper reads to us every night before bed.  And it makes my heart want to burst and my eyes to leak a watery substance.  I’m a total hot mess lately.

7.  Harper and Amon got their summer cuts.  Harper just up and decided she wanted to cut all her hair off and, well, it’s her hair, so we let her do it.  This is the shortest Amon’s hair has ever been and immediately he grew and because extra spunky.  Hudson and Solomon are next on the list.  Summer means tons of sun and swimming and even less bathing than normal…and you all know what that means…so off with the hairs!!

8.  All the details for June’s Bible journaling class are coming tomorrow.  So excited for this class and cannot wait to see what God has in store!

9.  And if you are looking for a killer treadmill run this one is great.  I have a whole board of HIIT treadmill runs on Pinterest so I can change my runs up constantly…keeps things fun.  I did this one yesterday and was drenched and then continued to sweat even after my shower.  I hate/love when this happens.  Anyways, I wanted to pass it on.  So good.

See you tomorrow.

Happy Tuesday!

A Rather Lengthy Final Call

**Along with 500 other random thoughts I’m writing today, this is also the final call for the Swaziland trip.  Come next week we are booking flights so we’ll be legit.  If you are wanting to join our team the time has officially come.  Speak now or forever hold your peace…or message me HERE

**I’ve been missing Florida and my Aunt Linda and Uncle Tom.  It’s easy to let the world melt away when we’re in their home and our feet in the sand.  Right before we left to drive home I noticed all our water bottles ready to go…I lined them up neatly.  Being a family of 7 has been crazy amazing and crazy hard.  Our time with our littlest is dwindling.  Her parents are working so hard and their hard work and love are paying off.  In one hand we hold joy for how God redeems & brings about hope and in the other hand we hold tears because we love this little girl and we love her family and it will all just be kind of hard.  Sigh.  We’re learning the ride of foster care.

**They received a prize at school for selling candy bars and then got it stuck in the corner of the wall.  They sure do fight hard, but they sure can work together and love hard too.  Being brothers and sisters is grand.

**Lots of sweet little boy pictures as of late.  They are wild and crazy and sweet and fierce and kind.  Geez.

**Order, orders and more orders.  4×12 canvas, name pillows, tooth pillows and key fobs, oh my!

**I visited Thistle Farms this week with a friend.  It about cracked my whole heart right open.  Love and community at it’s finest and rawest and realest.  If you have never heard of Thistle Farms or Magdalene please, oh please check them out.

“Magdalene is a residential program for women who have survived lives of prostitution, trafficking, addiction and life on the streets. Thistle Farms is our social enterprise.”

We got to sit in on their mid-week meeting and then have a tour.  It absolutely blew me away.  Afterwards I was able to learn more about some needs, so April’s Bible journaling class fees will go towards purchasing items to assemble welcome basics for the women entering the Magdalene house.  If you would like to attend the journaling class just send me a message HERE.

**And I have been ever so slowly making my way through Romans.  It totally had me stumped big time…why so many confusing words and concepts in Romans?!?!  I was limping my way through it at a snail pace…partly because I just didn’t understand like any of the words and the other part because after I realized I didn’t understand any of the words Satan used this to make me not want to open my Bible.  I don’t like not understanding.  I don’t like feeling intimidated or not good enough or not smart enough.

I have a lot of insecurities.  Every day I battle so many of them…I don’t feel like enough.  I feel left out and like an outsider.  I feel like I’m too weird or quirky.  I feel like I’m not pretty enough or how I think far too frequently about how my thighs smoosh together.  I feel easily judged and I judge too easily.  My house is dirty.  I eat my emotions.  My clothes are plain and simple.  I haven’t had my hair done in, hmmmm, I might be closing in on a year.  Geez.  I’m not business savy enough and I can’t make pretty dinners.  Most days I feel over my head…completely overwhelmed and unequipped…and full of anxiety.  I’m this big sinner who just messes up all the time and honestly, some days I just feel like too much of an outsider.

While I was in Florida, I told my Aunt Linda how I just did not understand Romans.  How I wasn’t getting it.  She then pulled out this lovely Message Bible with commentary and light broke through.  I loved every single bit of it.  Right there on the beach my big take away was we’re all a bunch of misfits, none of us good enough on our own, but God, well He’s the God of the insiders and outsiders and He’s going to use us and be mighty in us no matter how unequipped or too messy we feel.

Pieces of Romans from The Message:

“…became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing.  When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do, but on what God said he would do.  He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said.  The same gets said about us when we embrace and believe the one who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless.  The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with Him.”

The hope in Christ is insanely wonderful.  He takes me when all I feel like is an insecure misfit…an insufficient sinner and says, “Hold up.  Wait a minute.  I have a plan and it’s good and brings Me glory.  I made a promise to finish you out to completion.  I have set you right.”

On this Good Friday I am so grateful I can plunge deep into God’s promise and come up strong because of a risen Savior.  God takes all my insecurities and makes me absolutely good enough, loved and cherished because of Jesus.  This is hope at it’s finest.

Happy Friday.

Let’s See…

So officially there have been no random posts this week, so why let a week slip by without one!?!?!

Amon’s speech has come leaps and bounds lately.  It seems like everyday he is saying something new and coming up with these wonderful little sentences.  This morning as he looked me squarely in the eye he said, “Morrow I want a choc-kate donut…with pinkles.”  Translatioin: “Tomorrow I want a chocolate donut…with sprinkles.”  It was the cutest thing my ears have ever heard.

Josh Kelley and I don’t watch TV hardly ever.  Not that TV is bad or good or whatever, we just have zero time…and no cable…or netflix…or any of those other TVish services.  A few weeks ago he came home from the library with the first season of Sherlock.  And then the world began to spin out of control.  You guys, it’s so good.  Luckily there are only like 3 episodes for each season, but we’re binge watchers which may be worse…Or maybe better…I can’t quite decide.  For the first season we sat down on the couch after everything was done for the night…around 10pm and then we binged on all 3 episodes putting us going to bed in the AM hours.  So we still get all our stuff done we just forfeit sleep.  Who needs sleep anyways?!?!?  We just got season 3 yesterday from the library and I am fully prepared for those dark circles under my eyes to darken.

My bestest friend Ashley, who is a Noonday ambassador, is having a sample sale on her Facebook page HERE.  Everything is 50% off.  So many great items.  This is one of my favorite Noonday bracelets…I still wear it all the time…only $12.  What?!?!?!  Check her album out.  And if you can’t view it, just friend her so you can shop.

 We haven’t done birthday parties in several years.  We decided this year we’d do small parties for the kids again.  Solomon is typically very decided about what he wants when given a choice about something…never much wavering.  And then we told him he could have a small party and the dude just could not decide.  It was quite hilarious.  Finally he settled on a sleepover with 4 of his friends…well 5, if you count Hudson.  They are both over the moon excited.

We were at church a few weeks ago and they had a big sundae bar set up for everyone…ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, sprinkles, m&ms and cherries.  As Sol stepped up to the table to make his, he turned to me and said, “This is what I want for dessert at my party…but with brownies.”  Brownies in little jars are now awaiting their owners and their topping choices.

Our kids have been crazy about the frozen water in our wagon.  Every morning they all get dressed as quickly as possible and then spend the remaining time breaking all the ice.  Kids are so weird and extremely interesting to me.  Baseball bats take on many different roles around our house.  And Hudson’s face kills me as he stares all satisfied at his broken piece of ice.

And now I have to exit and make some homemade chocolate sauce.  It’s kind of the only way when you have 2 homemade recipes from by 2 of your aunts that are both equally delicious and it takes about no time at all.  Bring on the sundaes.

Hope your weekend is grand.  Enjoy it and thank you so much for reading!

Happy Friday.

Thoughts After Midnight {Part 2}

Well, I’m on a roll.  What can I say?!?!  Yes, here I am again…after midnight.  No Kelley kid in our bed this time…just me and my wandering mind. And I’m happy report no snakes showed up in Amon’s bed last night.

*Why if all surrounding public schools were not out for Veterans Day was Amon’s little MDO out?????  I was graced all day with his presence.  I did however nap when he took a nap and I dreamed about chips and queso.  Good thing it was taco Tuesday night for dinner.

*Grocery shopping with a tribe of small children is not for the faint of heart.  More jewels in my crown?  I think so.  And queso got added to our list after my enlightening dream.  And Amon’s pose…he clearly comes by it honestly.

*So I totally forgot to tell you guys Amon is yet again on this “I’m going to stick everything I can find in the toilets” kick.  He flushed Luke Skywalker in the boys toilet upstairs.  How do we know…well Solomon saw him do it…then Hudson proceeded to lose his mind when the water started to rise.  Josh and I spent an insane amount of time plunging the thing.  It was intense and not pretty.  And in the end, we apparently budged Luke just enough for the water to pass by ever so slowly.  I should probably video tape and then post to youtube how slowly their toilet now flushes.  I’m sure it would be a viral sensation.

*We clearly have lots of bathroom issues in our home.

*Yesterday was s’mores bars, today was chocolate chip cookies.  Hey, you do what you have to do to survive.

*This is my new at home gym…because I eat too many cookies…and s’mores bars.

*God bless the public library.  Do you go to yours?  If not, I highly recommend it.  I usually can indulge in a total of 1.2 minutes of quiet solitude, but then Amon starts bullying a kid on the preschool computers by standing in his personal space and whispering in his ear, “my turn” pause “my turn” pause “my turn” pause…then the kid’s mom starts looking around like “who the heck does this creeper kid belong to?”  Enter me on the scene to apologize and then physically remove Amon from the kids personal space while he flails and screams “myyyyyyyyyyy turn”…like I said 1.2 minutes of quiet solitude.

*Oh and our library now has awesome lanyards they give out when you get a library card.  This is amazing for kids.  Easy to keep up with…hello, just hang it around your neck.  Everyone gets their own books and DVDs…everyone checks their own stuff out…I just assist with looking up on the computer their desired subject matter.  And please don’t envy how clean our car’s console is.

*Amon doesn’t have his own library card.  He would surely flush it.

 *Remember last night when I blew your mind…6 Saturdays to go and Christmas is on.  For all you locals who buy real Christmas trees listen up…Full Count Ministries is having a Christmas tree lot this year.  Yep.  I will always push buying with a purpose and here’s an opportunity to do just that with your Christmas tree.  All proceeds go to send students on mission trips…I love love love this!  The lot will be located at Fox Pools in Hendersonville…780 W Main Street.  They open the day after Thanksgiving and there may even be baked goods.  Now that’s a good Christmas tree lot.  Check them out on Facebook HERE.

*We’re still waiting on our first foster care placement.  I want to be as open and honest as I can throughout this process.  We did receive our first call last week, but sadly did not accept the placement.  We are technically only approved for one child because of our house size and number of children and the placement was for multiple kiddos.  I felt extreme guilt the following days, but just continued to give and re-give it back to God.  I bounce between anxious to receive another call because I believe this is something we are suppose to be apart of and then glad we don’t get a call because when we do it means a child(ren) and their family have suffered great loss and brokenness.  It’s a very different place to be.

*If you would like to order something for Christmas now is the perfect time to do so.  I’ve had some super late nights…lots of working and have whittled my list down to just a few orders left to be completed.  It’s nice to be caught up…I like quick turn around times.  You can contact me HERE if you are interested.

 *I watched this sermon by Pete Wilson Midnight Caller (how ironic is the name right?!?!?) and just yes…so worth the time!  Loved the insight and thoughts on prayer.  All week I’ve been trying to constantly tell God I need Him…I cannot do this life alone…I am not capable…I need Him!!!!  I can be so dang prideful…praying everyday for God to strip me of it.

*I’m really knocking this weeks blog posts out of the park…so enlightening and spiritual and you know, lots of high level thinking going on.

*Thank you for reading my crazy little piece of the internet.  I love the comments.  I love the emails.  You make me smile and encourage me and I think you’re straight up crazy kind for even stopping by…I so greatly appreciate it.  Now, yet again, give me all the sleep.  Going to try and settle this wild running brain of mine down.

Are we experiencing deja vu…a little Groundhogs day…maybe…Happy “technically already Wednesday.”