Buntings, Adoption & Skinny Trees

This weekend I made up some fun mini Christmas buntings.  Each strand is over 8ft long and includes 50 flags.  They are $25 flat.  Shoot me an email (pitterpatterart at gmail dot com) or send me a message HERE if you are interested.  I have 5 available.

I’m also working on getting some key fob sets made up, but also working on orders as they come in, so if you know you would like a set, send me a message and I can make sure I get them made up for you.  More name pillows, key fobs and a 4×12 canvas headed to their new owners.  Can’t say enough how appreciative I am for your business.

 

I also still have some canvases available for purchase HERE or click on the Currently Available button at the top.  These are ready to ship.

In other news…2 things:

1.)  The kids school had their Trojan Trot to help raise money for school equipment.  I seriously could not love this school more.  It was super fun getting to walk for an hour with both the kindergarten and second grade classes…my kiddos and all their friends who they spend so much time with 5 days a week.  Amon rocked his stroller after his legs were toast.  Toddler stamina is pretty low :)

 While walking with Harper’s class Amon drew quite a crowd and of course brought up lots of kid questions about why are family looks a little different.  I don’t mind these questions at all.  I like that kids want to know and I like to help and assist with answers and the processing of them.  I also feel like our kids are pretty equipped to answer these questions on their own as well.  “So you wanted another kid and he needed a family and God put you together…”  Another friend chimed in, “I’m adopted too.”  I said, “And what a blessing you are to your mom and dad.”  And then I really started crying like a big lady baby.  They all giggled at me and one little girl even said, “Oh I didn’t mean to make you cry.”  I told them all sometimes I just cry happy tears.

Adoption is hard and laced with all kinds of loss and brokeness for the birth family and the child, but God is sovereign and mighty and only He can bring restoration.  I have all kinds of complicated feelings about it.  I hate that I will never fully understand how Solomon and Amon feel as they grow and process their stories.  I’ll never be able to fully grasp the loss they grieve because I haven’t experienced it…so sometimes all I can do is beg God to be all their answers and all their heart needs and in the same breath praise His name and shout prayers of gratefulness that I get to be their Mom.  What a privilege and honor.  I walked away that day beaming with gratefulness that 4 crazy good kids call me Mom and for the opportunities we are given to be apart of this community.

2.)  On a less emotional note…we got our Christmas on this weekend.  Josh Kelley could wait no longer.  Our past, much fuller, but much older Christmas tree finally bit the dust last year, so this year we pulled out this skinny guy and you know what, I love it.  Harper was super skeptical at first.  Especially when it was just like a stick…no limbs spread out yet, but then it came alive and we’re all digging the skinny tree this year.  And honestly it works great for our small space.

Doesn’t everyone wear toboggans and gloves while placing ornaments on their Christmas tree?!?!?!?

And Full Count’s Christmas tree lot is opened early.  So you can go ahead  and get your live tree now.  They’re located at Foxx Pools in Hendersonville…780 W Main St.  All money raised goes towards sending kids on mission.  An easy win/win.  We would totally get one, but alas my allergy kid would probably die.  Ha.  No dying on Christmas.  Go check them out and let your Christmas tree purchase mean something extra this year.

That’s all I’ve got.  A random smorgasbord as always.  Thanks for stopping by and hope your week is off to a grand start.

Happy Monday.

For Sale

First, you guys are the kindest.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  You are always wildly loving and kind…throwing it around for everyone to scoop up and be encouraged with.  Love it!

Second, I have 3 canvases for sale.  GO HERE or just click on the Currently Available button at the top.  These are ready to ship.  I also am working on key fob sets and some Christmas mini buntings this weekend.  I will post those as soon as they are ready.

Third, it’s Friday.  Hope you all enjoy your weekend.

Peace out.

Choosing To Celebrate

Everyday I wake up is another day I get to choose how I live.  My day is full of choices.  God left us with the Holy Spirit and choice…this free will.

Today marks 3 years since Mom suddenly died.  It still baffles my mind because 3 years seems like a long time ago.  3 years ago Amon wasn’t even born.  3 years ago none of our kids were in school yet.  3 years ago I was still in my twenties.  3 years ago I was a very different person.  Yes, 3 years seems like a very long time ago.  And still, it seems like a snap of my fingers.  I miss her hugs and her kisses and her voice and her phone calls and her laugh and her prayers and her wisdom and the way she loved my kids and made over Josh Kelley and how she drove me crazy.  She was this fun, wild, wonderful, Jesus loving lady of a person.

Mom loved others because God loved her.  She invested in people’s lives because God was so deeply invested in hers.  She cared because God cares.  She was compassionate and generous because God showered her with compassion and was so generous in love to her.  She told people about Jesus’ love for them because He commanded her to.  All the good things about Mom were because of God’s goodness in her.  Same for us all.  Everyday I want to take deeply into my heart the meaning of life is Jesus…anything that’s even remotely good in me has nothing to do with me at all and everything to do with Jesus Christ living in me.  Alone, I’m a lost, lost sinner…God covers that all up…washes it away…restores and renews.  I’m nothing without Him.

I’ve made several lists since Mom died about what exactly has shown itself as the beauty in the ashes for me…for my heart.  Oh how I can celebrate that what Satan planned for harm and destruction, God used for good.  He is so so good and sovereign and mighty.  He heals and comforts and redeems.  Since Mom died occasions, celebrations, death anniversaries, etc have taken on a new meaning for me.  I’ve decided they’re not meant to be done alone, but instead shared.  I have much to celebrate.  I have so much joy in the Lord.

Everyday we get these choices.  We get one shot at this life and honestly, I don’t want to waste it.  I want to do the important things…I want to make those right choices.  When faced with grief and sadness and loss in such a broken world we simply need Jesus.  We can’t fix ourselves…never have been…that’s the love and hope and mercy and grace and redemption in Christ.  I don’t always make the right choices.  I screw up a lot.  People and things get under my skin.  I don’t like everyone I meet.  Every day God meets me right where I am and pushes me to try and make this vapor I’ve been given worth something…and that something is for God’s glory…for His name to be made known.  I want to love, invest and care for people…those are the important things.

I cried as I prayed with the kids going to school this morning.  God has just drastically wrecked our hearts…changed our perspectives…shaken us up…and He has brought me so far in this journey of healing and learning to take true comfort in Him.  I’m humbled and honored and grateful to be His daughter.  So today I had a choice and I have much to celebrate and be grateful for.  The world needs more joy…more encouragement…more “You are not in this alone”…more Jesus.  In true Sandra Hall form I wrote letters.  This is what she did.  36 to be exact…for the 36 months since I last kissed her face.  It may sound corny, but when preparing to write these letters I prayed for the recipients.  I prayed God would give me words to write…I wanted these to be meaningful and to encourage.  If I planned correctly, they should be arriving in people’s mailboxes today.

Today I thank God for having her as my mom.  For blessing me with the time He did.  For making her such a beautiful woman in Christ.  So much to celebrate.  So much to be thankful for.  Too much love to keep to myself.  Here’s to you Sandra Hall!

Fear & Faith, Orders and Advent

Can you tell I have all kinds of randomness on the brain today?  It’s true.  This is my brain, all the time.  A slew of a million different thoughts all fighting for my attention and then I bounce between them all.

God has really been pinning me down on my fear and lack of faith.  Why do I doubt His plans…He’s the creator of the universe…THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE…He went to the cross for me…He gives me breath and can take it away in an instant…He owes me no explanations and I am here for His glory…why do I doubt His ways?  And I’m beginning to think when we fear something in life, that’s a sure sign we need to run head on into it with Jesus…trusting His faithfulness…giving Him all we’ve got.  Yes, every day He’s meeting me and sticking this idea of being fearless and brimming with faith in Him…believing He will do what He says He will do and acting on His promises.  It’s consuming my heart and mind.

**My Bible is the ESV journaling Bible…bought it on Amazon…several different options**

  I’m still working on orders and I’m moving as quickly as I can.  I’m shooting for fast turnarounds.  I also bought a bunch of new fabric the other day and am working on several key fob sets.  I’ll let you know when they are ready for purchase.  If you’d like to place an order for Christmas or want to pre-order a set of key fobs shoot me a message HERE.

And Christmas is so upon on us.  Josh Kelley mentions every day putting up all our Christmas stuff.  And it isn’t officially Christmas until Amon breaks an ornament and yesterday in Target…well, that poor deer ornament didn’t have a chance.  Bring on Christmas.  Thanksgiving is around the corner which means the end of November is closing in, so last night we got to thinking and brainstorming about our Kindness Advent for this year.  We even threw in some new things…my favorite being Josh Kelley’s recommendation to surprise someone with one of those large Christmas inflatables in their yard or on their door step…just think this over…can you imagine how fun that will be?!?!?!?  I’ve already been in hot pursuit of the apparently oh so coveted 5 foot inflatable Olaf that every store in the surrounding area is sold out of.  No luck yet.  Anyways, he will be mine and then we shall gift him on someone’s front lawn all in the name of spreading kindness and Jesus :)  For real, it just doesn’t get much more fun than that.

And I’ll leave you with this…Amon looking all emo and hip to the jive enjoying his lunch in our kitchen floor.  Those eyes and hair…killing it.

Happy Wednesday!

PB Hot Fudge Sauce Is Where It’s At

I could not be more thrilled Josh Kelley is back in the country and last night I went to bed at 8:30…what?!?!?!?  It was glorious.  He had a great trip with Full Count Ministries to Nepal, but honestly, I’m pumped he’s back home.  This is where I tip my hat, throw my raise the roof hands in the air and a-freakin-pplaud all you single moms and dads out there.  My hat’s off to you!

In my crazy…no one will sleep, everyone is sick and Amon is puking on everything and anyone in his barf range, single parenting week I dealt.  A) Because that’s what parents do…they deal with what life hands them…for their kids and their own well being.  And B) I made this incredible peanut butter hot fudge sauce and then gave it away.  I clearly cannot be left alone with an entire jar of this crack, but I did need to taste test A) to make sure it wasn’t poisonous and B) for my sanity!  It’s crazy good.  Make it now, taste test for yourself and then pour it into a jar or several small jars and give it to people you love along with a carton of vanilla ice cream.  Just do it.  It will make their day brighter.

*Cooking Note:  I did not have bittersweet chocolate or cocoa on hand so I subbed semi-sweet chocolate chips.  I also did not have heavy whipping cream and subbed almond milk.  And lastly, I don’t even know what a double broiler is so I just threw all the ingredients into a pan and heated them on medium until they were melted together and stirred to combine…totally works.*

Now I need to get back to re-claiming our house and getting some serious colorful orders completed.

Happy Monday Peeps!

Ralph

I feel this week…and this year…because let’s face it 2014 is coming to a close…would be no where complete without a puking post.  It’s just what I do.  It’s what my kids do…typically in groups of 3 or more.  Sadly, this throw up post is all Amon.  I know, I know…one kid blowing chunks isn’t nearly as funny as 3…or more, but I’ll work with what I have :)

To your shock and astonishment I spent another sleepless night with sick Amon.  If vomit wasn’t bad enough all on it’s own, he decided to take it to a new level spewing in all the worse places.  It’s just what he does.

Maybe the worst was…wait for it…maybe I should let you mull it over…okay I’ll just say it…on our new couch…MULTIPLE TIMES PEOPLE!!!!  I died a little inside with each convulsion of his tiny body.  I was screaming inside “Noooooooooooooooo, not THE couch…the “oh so lovely, I want to marry you and make out forever and ever amen” couch.  Say it ain’t so, but I have the stained dish cloths to prove it.  I’ve decided we should never buy a new couch again…until Amon has moved out.

Next up, oh, hey how about all over himself and his carseat in the car rider line while dropping the kids off this morning.  Yep!  This was made worse by Hudson’s immediate freak out because all the kids were still in the car and Hudson is a pity puker.  We figured this out finally after we thought all the kids had the stomach flu when they were much younger, but surprisingly Hudson was still eating and acting like he was totally fine…was just puking with the rest of them.  We soon realized he never thew up on his own…it was always with someone and they were the throw up initiators.  And then a stroke of genius, Hudson wasn’t sick…he was a pity puker.  He cannot see someone else throw up without throwing up himself.  I was that kid too.  He comes by it honestly.  This is when we put into practice…Run!  Whenever someone barfs, we tell Hudson to run!  But when you’re stuck in your car in the car rider line, there’s no where to run.  So I had to get real serious fast to avoid two kids blowing chunks all over our car.

(Maybe I should have issued a warning to all you weak stomached people before starting this post.  Warning:  If you are easily made queazy, read no further!)

Hudson, look at me.  Look at my eyes.  You can do this.  Do not look at Amon.  Eyes here.  Eyes up Hudson.  Don’t look at it.  Eyes up.  Keep going going. Whatever you do, do not look at Amon.

And finally he was out.  I felt as if I had just dodged an entire land mine.  I feel like there will be a level in hell where people clean throw up from kids car seats.

He crashed when we got home and took a pretty decent nap.  Then barfed all over me, himself and our bed.  Why didn’t I just put him in his bed because every kid bed in this house…all 6 of them has a waterproof thing underneath the sheets, but I’m happy to report Josh and myself never pee the bed, so no such thing on our mattress.  More puke.

Later, how about some projectile chunks in the kitchen and all over some lower cabinets.  You know, very similar to when you spill something and it runs all down the cabinets and behind the doors.  OH MY GOGH!!!!!  Amon may wow his speech therapists, that is if he’s still not vomiting everywhere, with some new words next week.

I kind of feel like to really top the day off Amon should throw up directly into our book shelf.  Just to make sure he really ends the day off with a bang…puke leaking down in between all those books.  Or maybe just directly into my face…that would do it!

More throwing up here and there.  I gave him a bath because, well, he was covered in vomit.  #winning  He also proceeded to pitch many crazy irrational sick toddler fits, my favorite being the one because I wouldn’t let him eat the rest of his dried Cheerios he just threw up on.  I’m clearly the a-hole here.

So now I’m doing 5 million loads of laundry and trying to get my game face ready for the rest of the day.  In between all the spewing and irrational tantrums, Amon has slept like a little dream child.

2014 puking blog post complete.  I can sleep easy tonight.

And hey, it’s Friday, so Happy Friday!

Dear Kind People Of The World

Did you miss me after midnight last night?!?!?  Oh I was up, but taking care of a sick child this time around.  Amon rocked a crazy high fever, shakes, trouble walking, rapid breathing, the works.  I’m not usually a worrier mom when it comes to health stuff…in fact, I’m usually the mom who calls after it’s too late to even do anything, but when my heart kiddo did the whole rapid breathing accompanied by a slew of other symptoms I semi-freaked out momentarily, but then gained my composure and we snuggled the night away and Tylenoled up.  We headed to the doctor early this morning and super pleased with a bunch of negative tests and instructions to keep the meds up and watch his breathing.  I’ll take it.

I’ll say this week has been a tad taxing.  I’m pretty wiped out and straight up tired.  Many nights of 2-3 hours sleep, multiple sick kids and just keeping up with life in general.  It’s been a beautiful week too…bright spots everywhere, but today I was really feeling the exhaustion and emotion.

Amon and I ran into Kroger after his doctors appointment to grab a few quick things.  Two guys from the bank inside Kroger stopped us and asked if I was pleased with my current bank.  I gave a confident yes.  They asked why and I responded with “My mom works there.”  And I instantly was taken back.  She used to work there.  Not anymore.  I know this.  I know this well, but for some reason in this strange little moment I forgot and was instantly upon the words leaving my mouth unpleasantly reminded that is not true.  I wrapped the conversation up asap…sick kid, just came from the doctor, peace out dudes.  And off I went tears starting to well.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?????

We had just a few things so we hopped in the fast 1-15 items line and talked with our usual favorite Kroger employees who love us well.  And this sweet lady behind me was chatting Amon up.  He was quiet and reserved, but perked up when she showed him a bag of M&Ms and asked if he liked them?  “I eat dat” he responded.  I filled in, prompted and translated for him while we checked out.  As we walked off with our cart the lady behind me said, “Will you wait just one second?”  I smiled and said sure.  And then she reached out and handed Amon a bag of M&Ms she just purchased for him.  We said many thank yous and I tried to convey how grateful I was for her kindness.  Then I walked to our car, loaded Amon and our bags and cried in the front seat.

Dear kind people of the world…you are making a difference.  Please don’t let anyone detour you or inhibit you or discourage you.  Don’t let anyone ever convince you your kindness will not or cannot change the world.  You are changing people’s days.  You are bright spots.  You are providing light and love in this dark world.  Your kindness may be big and it may be small, but either way IT IS KINDNESS and KINDNESS MATTERS.

I don’t want to ever believe any different.  I don’t ever want to convince myself it won’t matter.  Maybe she saw something in my exhausted posture or in the dark circles under my eyes or my unwashed hair or in Amon’s tear stained cheeks, snotty nose or that he was still in his pajamas at lunch time, but whatever she saw it caused her to choose kindness in the form of a bag of M&Ms and it changed my day.  It reminded me of how we are all in this together and we should remember to rally around each other.  We should do the little things, the big things and all the things in between to convey to others they matter and they are loved and they are in our thoughts and on our hearts.

$1.49.  A small gesture of love that spoke a 1000 “I see you” and “You matter” to this tired momma and her sick littlest.  May we all choose kindness.  May we all choose to expose the love and care God has created each of us to give and give abundantly to one another.

To the sweet M&M lady:  You will probably never know, but you drastically changed the course of our day and encouraged our hearts.  And we are crazy thankful  you chose kindness.

Happy Thursday.

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.”