So Long New Testament

Well this week I finally finished reading through the New Testament.  It only took me about 20 months…hahahahahaha.  And yet, I am not one bit down on taking 20 months to read through 27 books because I really soaked them up and pursued understanding and love for God’s word versus quickness or a goal.  I needed to really break them down and so I did just that.  And it worked for me.  I can truthfully say I really deeply enjoy reading the Bible now and that is huge.

Revelations was waaaaaaay better than I ever imagined.  I really really liked it…even loved it.  It brought on big convictions and made me toe the line on issues in my heart.  It brought about major awareness and serious perspective.  This life is just a blip and Jesus is coming…like a thief in the night.  And not for one second is this all about me, but every last single bit is about God and His glory…how can we bring Him more glory and honor.

And now I’m diving right into Genesis and the rest of the Old Testament.  Hold me.  I’m nervous, but excited at the same time.  I’ve never read the Old Testament…just like I’d never read the New Testament.  So far, Genesis is awesome…even though I’ve only read chapter 1…and that took me two days.  Ha.

God is dang creative.  So many actions I boxed off…He was on it.  Loved how The Message put it in 1:1-2:

“Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness.  God’s spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.”

And then He set to work creating like no one had ever created before or ever will create again.  His thoughtfulness and creativity is not lost on me at all.  It makes my jaw drop and just sit in awe of all the ridiculously marvelous things He did.  Geez.  He’s the Creator of the ages and I’m His kid…His offspring…created in His image.  I cannot wait to see what all He has waiting in the Old Testament for me.

Happy Friday.

Owlegories!

We recently received two new DVDs in the mail.  Owlegories!  I was so interested to see how these were.  We love movies in our house.  I always like watching new things with the kids and when I read about Owlegories and how they use nature to show God’s truth I was on board.  Plus these peeps are native Nashvillains :)

Here’s a little snippet from their website:

You can tell a lot about an artist by what he creates. That is the theme behind Owlegories, the animated series. Owlegories teaches kids about God through the amazing things found in nature and revealed in God’s word.   

The banner verse for Owlegories is Psalm 19:1-4:  “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

Honestly, when we first started the DVD I thought Hudson, Solomon and Harper might have outgrown their targeted audience, but I ended up being wrong.  All the kids loved it.  It was funny and clever and had good stories and was full of scripture and God’s truth.

I really loved how they based everything from nature…it was great for our outdoor loving kids.  Plus, we are on a huge bird kick right now…because of a thrift store Book of North American Birds book I brought home from Kansas :)

The Owlegories! team so kindly offered you guys a 25% off promo code for anything in their online store.  Just use PITTERPATTER25 in the “discount” bar at checkout.  Head over HERE and check them out.

And check out my Instagram for a fun giveaway for your own Owlegories DVD.

Happy Thursday!

10 Evening Things

1.  This morning was crazy town.  I locked my keys in Josh’s truck at the post office with my phone.  I harassed the postal workers by ringing their bell approximately 113 times before someone final came and said through the door in a slightly annoyed voice “Can we help you?” because it was way before opening hours.  They let me use their phone to no avail because Josh Kelley was not answering his.  I then ran back to the gym and caught Alissa in time to catch a ride to our house.  Only to be reminded by Josh that we only have one set of keys to his truck…which I locked in and myself out.  While waiting for a locksmith I ran to get some donuts at Krispy Kreme because ummmm, donuts make the world go round only to hear the lady over the drive thru intercom say after I placed my order “Well you are going to kill me, but we are out of donuts.”  Me “You’re out of donuts????”  Intercom Lady “All we’ve got is one dozen sprinkle.  Our belt broke down.”  And then it felt like the apocalypse.

2.  Waiting for Target popcorn is hard.  It’s even harder when you spill your bag right after receiving it.  Lucky for that kiddo I had extra.  Mom to the rescue.

3.  It’s not new news that I love our public school.  It is the greatest.  And the teachers are the greatest.  Next week is Teacher Appreciation week and I have been game planning.  The best teachers around deserve big love and appreciation.  And our art teacher is literally fantastic.  I have never seen kids do so many different and unique and creative art projects.  I love how she uses sooooooo many different supplies and techniques and let’s the kids really create.

4.  We finished The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe while I was sick in bed with a stomach bug.  I was sad I missed out, but the kids just couldn’t wait.  And I ordered several Aslan shirts from a friend who is adopting.  It was meant to be.

5.  I’ve got an itch to chop my hair all off.  It happens every few years.  The last time I had short hair was in maybe 2010/2011.  It is time.  And why yes that does say How To Style An Undercut :)

6.  We have the Most.Amazing.Bank.Ever!!!!!!  They recently had a Make A Difference Day and included our Harper by donating to her Swaziland trip.  Cue 5 million tears.  I almost died.  They also wrote the kindest and sweetest notes on the back of the giant check (how fun!!!!) for Harper.  And there were balloons.  And so many smiles and hugs.  Kindness is alive and well people.  It’s true.

7.  THIS!!!!  I cannot wait to dive in.  I was surprise gifted this by Courtney because she knows how much I love a good book about grief and loss…hahahahaha.  It’s so true.  I really do.  I am so excited to get to this one.  And Foreword By Shauna Niequist…be still my heart.

8.  Orders.  And key fobs have been in full force due to end-of-the-year teacher gifts.  If you are local and need some Timbali for those sweet teachers too…I can hook you up.

   9.  Last weekend’s Bible Journaling class was so much fun.  I got to hang with a whole bunch of lovely teenage girls in a crazy beautiful place.  Loved all the girls so much…it was an honor.  My online Bible journaling class is still going on and the next one will begin May 4th.  Message me HERE if you’d like to get in on the action.

10.  And I’ve had some extra solo time with this guy and I kind of love it.  Tomorrow morning we’ve got a donut date…scheduled after this morning’s donut debacle.  He can barely wait.

Happy Wednesday Night!!

*amazon affiliate link

Show Me What You Do Now

I’ve got a new favorite jam in Flo Rida’s My House song.  Suggestion:  Don’t watch the video with your 4-year-old peering over your shoulder.  It’s not the most appropriate of content..his house consists of things like liquor and scantily clad ladies dancing on tables and body shots :)  When it comes on the radio though I turn it all the way up and our van is bumpin’.  It’s crazy catchy and has my ear immediately.

Welcome to my house
Play that music too loud
Show me what you do now
We don’t have to go out
Welcome to my house

Show me what you do now.  I sing that line the loudest.  It’s my favorite.  It reminds me we all have something to show…we all have something to give…we all have something to offer to others…we all have personal gifts and abilities.  It reminds me comparison is the worst kind of game between people, but especially mothers and women in general…

I’m guest blogging over at 107 Market Street.  CLICK HERE to continue reading.

Happy Tuesday!

Friday Randomness

*We tried several new recipes this week that were awesome and thought I’d share.

I like to make my own taco seasoning…it’s easy and I just keep a jar already made up and ready to go.  This is the best taco seasoning I’ve tried so far…it’s got a perfect little kick to it and I probably won’t try another because I loved this one so much.  Sooooo yummy.

Plantain nachos…OH MY!!!!  Insanely ridiculously good.  We topped ours with ground beef (seasoned with above taco seasoning), romaine, tomatoes, green onions, salsa and homemade guacamole (avocado, sea salt, salsa and a lemon juice wedge mashed together).  Crazy good.

Mug Cakes…yes, please.  Josh Kelley liked the peanut butter one…I liked the chocolate cake one.  I subbed coconut sugar for the maple syrup equally and I did add a little cold almond milk to act like ice-cream…ice cream is definitely better, but this worked.

Ranch Steak Salad…hold the phone party people…this was a massive hit.  Sooooooo good.  And the leftovers the next day were even better.  I didn’t have any mayo or coconut milk for the dressing so I subbed in plain greek yogurt and almond milk…perfecto still.  And our salad was just chopped romaine and spinach…I’ll pass on kale all day long…not my jam.  Definitely will be making this again soon.

Cauliflower Fried Rice + Asian Turkey Meatballs = Uh-mazing!!!  This was gobbled up in no time by every Kelley.  I need to double the entire batch for next time.  I also ditched the green beans in the cauliflower rice and you can sub corn starch for arrowroot in the meatball sauce.

*Josh Kelley broke out the bocci ball set this week.  Then a tournament ensued which might have ended in some tears.  Hahahaha.  This is life.

*Amon and I had some solo time this week while our littlest was at a visitation.  We did things like play play-doh and pretend to play yahtzee and fold laundry and buy food products online.  It was a wild time.

And then he fell asleep like this.  If you didn’t know it, I really like this kid.

*I sent this sweetness off into the world.  Sigh.

*Today I’m making THESE and THESE for a movie night with friends.  Long live cookies.

*There’s been lots of outside play and sunshine too…until yesterday when it started raining.  The weekend is looking mighty fine though.

*Revelations has been off the charts and my online Bible journaling class started Wednesday.  I have been checking in each day and sharing about what I’ve been reading and journaling.  Revelations is absolutely amazing and I am deeply loving it…hard, but good.  God is really challenging me with His word and truth.

If you’d like to jump in on the online class just message me HERE.

*And we are reading aloud The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe together.  Last night I could have curled into a large womanly ball and cried like a baby in the corner.  I will never get over the love of how C.S. Lewis portrays Jesus in Aslan.  And even more, I love talking this out with our kids.  This literature is just so rich and I love seeing and hearing the connections they are making in it.

So it’s farewell to another week and hello to the weekend.  Hope you enjoy and soak it up.

Happy Friday!

Harper’s Painting Party

Harper turned 9 at the end of March and when we asked her about what she’d like to do to celebrate she asked if she could ask some of her favorite girls over to paint.  How could I say no to that?!?!?!  A girl after my own heart.

The beginning of April was crazy for us, so Harper’s celebration was pushed back a few weeks.  She was totally cool with it.  Harper’s easy going.  She’s a breeze and laid back.  Her requests were simple..,to paint with her friends, funfetti cookies and cool ranch Doritos and that was it.  It was on.

I let her pick out plates, napkins, straws and cups.  Yes, Star Wars plates and rainbow napkins…this is Harper!  I even threw in some popcorn, chocolate chip cookies and ice-cream for good measure.  She loves Starbursts so I hit up the Dollar General for a small party favor too.

We invited all the girls in her class, a non school friend and cousins.  This was the crowd who showed up.

Harper told me one day after school before her party…”________ said she can’t come to the party because she’s not allowed to go to strangers houses.”  :)  I totally get it…school parties can be tricky.

She was not one ounce disappointed.  Her day was made.  It was bright and fun and the girls were a blast.  Canvases were a plenty, paints were shaken and brushes were washed and ready to be used.  I gave them the rules…paint anything you want and enjoy all the snacks.  One girl leaned over and whispered “This is the best party ever.”  My day was made instantly.

They painted their hearts out and filled up on yummy snacks and lemonade and played in the sunshine and drew beautiful chalk masterpieces.  They created make believe worlds and played in them…everyone having their own role.  There was the most amazing conversation between all 7 of them while they painted about who exactly is Rey’s father and how Luke, Kylo and Han all fit into the picture.  Each girl had her own little thoughts and feelings and I relished in listening to them hash it all out.  They were wild and free and delightful.

It was such a good day and such a sweet little party.  It was easy and lovely and colorful.  Simple is good for our family lately and this was just what Harper and I needed.  She could not have enjoyed herself more.

Happy Thursday!

Mother’s Day {Noonday Collection}

Mother’s Day is right around the corner.  After Mom died I did not look forward to this holiday for about 2 years, but now, the healing and restoration God has brought about in my heart turned my dread into thankfulness.  My sadness into dancing.  My “whoa is me” into “whoa God is good”.  I had a damn good mom and I have an amazing mother-in-law and two beautiful birth mommas who gave Solomon and Amon life and our littlest’s momma who is working and loves her and incredible women in my life who are to all be celebrated and honored…mommas, birth mommas, waiting mommas and hopeful to be mommas….every last one of them.

Noonday Collection is my top purchase with a purpose. They are my go-to and have been for a long time now.  Today is the last day to order to ensure your Mother’s Day gifts arrive in time.  I wanted to share some of my favorite items plus an awesome Mother’s Day deal they have going on.

I have purchased so many of these items for people in my life.  Ask most any lady in my life and it’s likely I have gifted them with Noonday at some time…if not multiple times.  They are my jam.  My fave.  My diggity, no doubt.  And it doesn’t hurt my best friend is an ambassador, so I know I’m not only allowing my purchases to affect women around the world, but my best friend who is working hard as well.

Sunny Day Necklace

Velocity Necklace

Kathmandu Bag

Great Escape Bag

Faceted Glass Bangle, Jade

Marketplace Bangles, Set of 5

Woven Dreams Bracelet

Desert Flower Infinity Scarf

Modern Fable Scarf

Tidepool Earrings

Cubed Studs, Gold

You can also check out all their SALE ITEMS HERE.

 If you share some Noonday love with some sweet ladies in your life this Mother’s Day I would be oh so grateful if you chose Ashley Mills as your ambassador at check out and Laura Kelley as your hostess.  And don’t forget we’ve got a Noonday party on the books for Thursday May 19th so you can see the awesomeness in person.  As always, all are welcomed and there is sure to be tons of good food, drinks and insane laughter.

Happy Wednesday.

Camp Create

Yesterday was wild and my mind was all over the place which is just what my mind does these days.  Camp Create has been stuck in there hard and I can’t quit it.  And I don’t really want too either, but honestly, I can’t wrangle all my feelings and thoughts even still.  It was good you guys, so flippin’ good and challenging and has given my heart and mind a run for their money.  I’m still trying to work it all out so in the mean time I thought I’d share some pics.

Camp started on Wednesday so I arrived on Tuesday with the other teachers/helpers.  Let me give a shout out to my sweet FIL who picked me up at 5:15 in the A.M. and took me to the airport.  He’s a gem you guys.  In the 6 A.M time frame he sent me this picture.

Since he was already up he went ahead and got to it.  Isn’t he the cutest with his trout?!?!

I spent a good bit of time in airports and passed the time with Big Magic
and Bible journaling.  I still haven’t finished Big Magic…I like it, but there’s a lot of Oprahisms…That’s a real thing :)  I do love love all her thoughts on creativity though…it’s good stuff.

Once in Kansas, I was swept right up into the people I was surrounded by.  Kimberlee and I laughed all the way from the airport to the Craft House and I gained approximately 7.2lbs from her cooking.  She exudes the confidence of the holy spirit living in her and speaks that into those around her.  Meg was Meg and genuine and great and fun as always.  She’s a rare and good one…totally legit and just brings you right in.  Di was a new friend and I wanted to crawl into her lap and let her stroke my hair and hold me and advice me on all my problems.  I’m for real.  She’s also is a turtle farmer…again…real thing.  Jeanne was freakin’ awesome and the laughter alone with Jeanne made the trip totally worth it.  Plus she is insanely talented and I could have watched her teach all the live long day.  And Amber was the southern comfort and truth my heart needed.  I wanted to take up residence in her heart and brain.  And she could relate to things like goo-goos and moon pies and RC cola.  Ahhhhhhh!  Then throw in the crazy awesome 11 ladies who joined us on Wednesday night and, well, I just about died from the goodness.

I ran almost every morning because #halfmarathontraining  Loved the scenery.  Loved the running company and chatting I got to do with Jennifer.  And I loved coming in afterwards and finding a spot to listen and join in.  Sometimes I would stretch in the kitchen floor and just soak it all up.  Kimberlee getting her cook on, ladies mulling around and chatting, coffee going.  It reminded me of Mom on so many levels…sweet kitchen, good food, great conversation and even better people.

This is Di telling a very captivated audience about her turtle farming experiences.  Seriously…turtle farmer…real thing.

Eating Kimberlee’s food is, no joke, one of my top most favorite things to do.  It’s good.  Like real good.  And Kimberlee herself is just wise and asks good questions and listens and feels like home.  I did realize something this trip…I took about zero food pictures because here’s what happens:  I eat the food.  The end.  No pictures because the food is in my stomach.  I would sit down with so much anticipation of what I was about to put in my mouth and then I got to business.  I would finish eating, look around and everyone would still have a plate full left and I’m all licking my plate clean.  It was a little awkward :) but oh so good.

 I taught my Bible journaling class, but also got to help in so many other areas…dishes, food prep, serving and anything else.  I also got to create.  So much creating and at leisure which I am completely not used to and I absolutely adored.  Some days I got teary while creating because it was so special to me.  It’s really rare I sit and just create for the sake of creating.

Listening and learning from Jeanne while she taught and just had regular conversations was a highlight for sure.  And Meg had the most awesome bag project for us too.  I Bible journaled and regular journaled.  Good for my heart in so many many ways.  Being still and quiet.  Just all so rare for me.

We went junking.  We hit up antique stores and thrift shops and yard sales and the barn.  It was amazing.  I over purchased an awesome $5 tool box and $7 green and white striped afghan…I over estimated my suitcase size for sure…luckily there were some ladies who weren’t mad at helping take items off my hands.

One thing I couldn’t pass off to someone else was this Kansas road sign I found.  It spoke to me…like called my name “Laura, buy me and take me home.  Make me yours.”  I almost lost a finger prying it out of a giant stack of metal signs.  So it had my heart.  I had to make it my carry-on which was hilarious…especially watching security guys shove it through an X-ray machine.  Di and Robin even finagled a sweet handle out of packing tape and cardboard for me.

 I went home crazy grateful and challenged and honored to have been apart of this amazing time together.  I carried this little globe Di gave me close by in my bag and ate ice cream for dinner in the airport.  I might not have my time and feelings and swirly thoughts about Camp Create completely worked out just yet, but I absolutely know God is doing His thing in me.  I am waiting and anticipating what God has in store.

I trust Him.  I trust He is working in me.  I trust He is changing me.  I trust His plans for me and our whole family.  I see how He is using incredible people in my life to speak life.  I cannot wait to see what He has in store…watching Him do what He only can do.

Happy Tuesday!

PS:  Today is the last day to register for my Online Bible Journaling Class.  You can read more details HERE.