Friday, August 11, 2017

Hair Pin Winner ✽ A Special Surprise for YOU!



Rafflecopter and Maddy from "Little Bit of Sunshine" (littlebitofsunshineweb.wordpress.com) have let us know that the winner of some beaded hair pins of their choice from my shop, Under the Tapestry, is...

Emerald!!!

Congratulations, Emerald, and thank you ALL sooooo much for joining in my giveaway :)!!! It has been fun and encouraging to see so many entries on *my* handmade product!!!

As I watched the entries mounting and read all of your sweet, kind, and enthusiastic comments, I couldn't help but want to send a set of pins to each and every one of you! Unfortunately, that isn't possible... but I did decide that I *could* do the next best thing, and I want to offer each of you girls the chance to get these hair pins for *50 percent off* for the next week; you can use the code "SUNSHINE50PERCENT" until next Friday, the 18th :)!!!

I want to publicly tell Maddy thank you... I had so much fun with this giveaway, and it was only possible through her! She was pleasant and thorough, and was eager to do everything needed to make the giveaway happen, and it was such a great experience!

Emerald, your hair pins will be on the way soon. And to my new followers- welcome to my little corner of the web world! I look forward to getting to know you :)!

Blessings in the Lord,

Bri

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Under The Tapestry ✽ Two Years on Etsy



It was just over two years ago that Daddy and I were on the way home from church and we got to talking about how I wanted to open an Etsy shop.

From the time I learned to knit, I would pretend to run "dress" shop for my sister's dolls; hats and burp rags, diaper bags and baby booties, and paper patterns were in "full demand". I was 14 when I got my tatting shuttle, and as I quickly taught myself how to tat and even started creating my own simple designs, Mama started talking about this site where I could sell things I made. I was very intrigued and started thinking of one day doing that; at that point I thought of this future shop as "Bri's Beautiful Bits"... haha!


I really wanted to open one, but had held back because I was afraid that maybe I'd be too busy and would have to close it because I couldn't keep up, or maybe I wouldn't sell anything and I'd be wasting my time. On our way home from church that day when everybody was at home sick (poor peeps) and there was nothing to interrupt us, Daddy made sure it was something I wanted and not something I just talked about because Mama mentioned it, and then within a few weeks he sat down with me and helped me set up my shop with my first listing; my Tatted Flower Bookmarks. And Under The Tapestry was a reality!


The name for my shop was inspired by the poem "The Master Weaver's Hand". I loved Corrie ten Boom's illustration/recitation of the poem, and how the Lord plans everything to His own glory; how even when we may only see the mess of "the under side" of the cloth (our sinful hearts and nature), He is using even this to create a beautiful picture of His Righteous knowledge and nature. And since the word "tapestry" can also signify many diverse "threads", or things, coming together to make a whole, I thought this was fitting for my shop, since I offer a little of everything ;).

 
The learning curve has been bigger than expected, if I'm honest. I took a course on Etsy selling last month and learned that I knew nothing about keywords, haha :). I've already seen a tremendous difference in getting seen since I fixed it, but some things you'll always be able to improve! My next step is to improve my photography. Selling on Etsy certainly isn't just crafting all day long, as nice as that would be; I think the technological side has taken about as much work (and certainly more learning)! But I love making things up for other people to give as gifts to give to those they love, and it's so special to make up a custom order so someone gets the exact thing they wanted!

I'm excited to continue this venture, though, and I want to thank each of you for your support! To celebrate this special day, any orders of $20.00 or more will be 25% off, from now until Monday, August 14th. And each purchase will come with a little gift and a code to get a discount on your next order :)!

And don't forget- today is the last day to enter the giveaway for beaded hair pins on
littlebitofsunshineweb.wordpress.com!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Under the Tapestry Review ✽ And GIVEAWAY!

Me this morning: *goes to make coffee, pulls out a whole cup instead of a fourth of a cup to measure the grounds with*
Glad I noticed that one...
*turns on the coffee pot without water in it*
Hmmm... I may have needed that coffee. Haha ;).

It's been a great morning so far. I woke up before my alarm went off, finished a book, made some eggs and enjoyed some coffee before I got some Saturday chores done. I've still got a few left, but I just checked my email and wanted to share some exciting news with you :)!


 Maddy from Little Bits of Sunshine  (https://littlebitofsunshineweb.wordpress.com/) has posted her review of one of the hairpin sets from Under the Tapestry!!!


 Maddy was so much fun to work with, and we decided to offer a giveaway along with her review! You have up to *15* chances to win one of any set of hair pins from Under the Tapestry! You have until the 10th to enter the giveaway; and on the 10th, there are other fun surprises in store, because that "just happens" ;), to be Under the Tapestry's 2nd anniversary... so you'll want to come back for more details then :)! Maddy will announce the winner on the 11th, and then she will give me the contact information of the winner so that I can get your hairpins sent out to you :).


 So, go check out Maddy's blog and get in on the giveaway -we are thrilled to have you :)!


Which hair pins would you pick if you won :)?

Friday, August 4, 2017

July review ✽ Hello August (Finally)

Happenings:

-We finished up some DIY "Christmas crackers" (4th of July themed) with chocolate kisses, confetti, and a little paper announcing baby #10, to share with Mama's family :)!

-Grandpa, Grandma, Aunt Amber, James, and Aunt Tessa came over. We had supper, then passed out cupcakes and opened the 4th  of July crackers (all of us, because it couldn't be too obvious that we already knew what was in the papers, you know ;)...) with their special announcement <3. Abbi has since nicknamed the baby "Cupcake", due to this sort of announcement, so the name shall stick until we know who the little person is... and probably for a few weeks later, as far as the little ones are concerned, it "Seaweed" and "Geo" are any indication ;). Then we did sparklers and pop-its (I earned the title scaredy-cat because I wouldn't pop them in my fingers when even Tori did it after protesting... I know it's safe, but I just couldn't bring myself to actually do it, haha), and we had Daddy's handmade ice cream :). We tried to go to the fireworks at the lake, but they were already turning people back because they had run out of room :(. Oh well.. we know for next year. Things have changed since we last went... what, five or six years ago?!

-Tori, Bethi and I went to stay with my Aunt Tessa for a few days, and had a wonderful time (not that we expected any differently :) )! Aunt Tessa and I crocheted, we played games and watched movies, went on a walk in my Aunt's beautiful neighborhood, laughed and talked, discovered that my Aunt Amber, Bethi and I all decided independently, all at the age of about 12, that we wanted to do our future kitchens in a cherry theme, and when Aunt Amber stayed overnight, I stole her baby every chance I got, haha! He's so precious <3!

-When the rest of the family came to pick us up, we got to see my Great-Grandma. It had been about 11 years since I had last seen her, and so that was a blessing! She lived in Iowa right up until we moved out of state, and since we've been back Mama has only been able to see her with a couple of children at a time. We met at a park... the little ones had fun playing in the field, we took family pictures, Mama told Great-Grandma about Cupcake ;), and we had a wonderful time <3!


-Andrew apparently went wild picking fireworks on the fourth... hahaha! Mama texted me that she was scared for the day that Josiah, manly man that he is, would get an opinion in this sport, since Andrew was having such fun, haha! Hamburgers for supper, 4th of July pictures that were finished seconds before it began pouring rain, a power outage, getting power back, more homemade ice cream, sparklers, and pop-its kept us busy until Daddy and Andrew were ready to set off their fireworks! Andrew was thrilled with it all, a strong contrast to his first... and second... and I think third... 4th of July celebrations, when he clung to Mama's neck in terror, poor guy. This year it was Noah's turn to be very unhappy at the festivities, but obviously Daddy and Andrew have hope of bringing him around ;). The grand finale was the lighting of Mama's (one and only) firework she picked out, favored simply because it had a heart cut out in the package that glowed when if was set off... which I failed to notice until AFTER it was done firing, and it went out just as I did, haha!



-I got really excited and eager to add baby sets to my shop, and I started crocheting. A lot. I didn't think it was too much. But, the Gideon cyst I developed AGAIN from crocheting, said differently.
So, figuring it wouldn't be wise to continue to stress my wrist out like that before it's healed, I took a crash course on making good selling listings, and found out I've been doing my keywords all COMPLETELY wrong, and had to start from scratch with that side of research and everything. It was worth it I think, but I was simply crocheting. Really? Who knew it was a dangerous sport! So, in the past weeks, I've been researching, re-writing descriptions, tags and titles, and posting new listings... but I'm still learning and have lots more items to post, so things are constantly changing in Under the Tapestry :)!

-Noah became obsessed with science videos... haha! Specifically a video about a puffer fish making sand designs. Every time Daddy sits down to do ANY work on his ipad or laptop, Noah wants to run over, climb in his lap, put his little hands behind his head, and watch the fish. It's even stopped him mid-scream to hear it; then when it was over he went back to crying, haha!

-At 2:30 in the morning, Emmi caused Mama to research whether frogs can burp. Our family is weird. (She is also keeping our family concerned and entertained by her sleep walking antics...)


-Abbi and Emmi got their ears pierced :D! Abbi requested it for her birthday, but Mama didn't want to leave Emmi out (they do everything together, and Emmi would have been the only girl without for another year, otherwise!), so they did it inbetween the two birthdays :). Mama said after they left, Abbi told her, "Thank you for letting me get my ears pierced. Ever since I was three, I've been suffering, wanting earrings..." Dramatic! Hehehe...


-We stayed for our first after-service church lunch, and Tori and I sat with some of the other girls... invariably, the longest conversation we had was about cats. I'm not sure if all girls talk about cats, or if I just draw out cat facts from everyone I know, haha. I dreamed recently that Daddy had business with somebody in the neighborhood we drove through to look at lights last year (that had a power outage as soon as we got there, so we saw nothing), and I drove him there and played with the guy's cat while they talked, and when we left a stray he would feed tried to get in the car with me, and I was sooooooo sad at having to leave him behind that I gave him a peppermint... I'm not sure what good that would give a cat, but whatever, hahaha! ALSO. I have spent years joking that all Pastors have to sign an agreement that they dislike cats before they are given a church... we've met so many Pastors who will tell you they don't like cats right off. Our current Pastor has multiple cats, though. I guess it's not a requirement ;). (And Josiah fell asleep standing up... what? Why?!?! Haha...)

-Gramma and Papa Nate came over afterwards, and brought water guns with them! Mama and Tori and I stayed safely inside, but the rest enjoyed a water gun battle ;). Abbi ended up with three outfits on so she "wouldn't be as cold" (here? In summer?!), and about the third time she and Emmi came in to fill their guns, Gramma asked, "Don't you have a hose out there?!"
"Yes."
"Why aren't you using it?" *peaks outside* "Papa has a bucket out there for you, stop making your Mama's carpet wet!"
"But if we fill it out there," Abbi explained, "They will get us while we're filling our guns!" *goes outside... and starts squirting everybody trying to fill their guns at the bucket*
Yeah, I wonder why she thought they'd do that... ;)

Laughing at:


-Taking pictures of Noah in the front camera on my phone so he can see himself while we take them... that was too funny, haha! That ^ is his face as he noticed he could watch himself do anything he wanted, hahaha!

-Laying on my bed talking to Bethi, and being like, "A few nights ago I dreamed that it was Christmas again and I totally forgot to decorate our room for Christmas, even though I had been looking forward to it all year, because I was so sad I ran out of time last year. And I kind of thought it was real, and I was so disappointed that I'd have to wait yet another year. And I only just now as I remembered it realized that I hadn't missed it." It kind of felt like that moment in "A Christmas Carol" when Scrooge realizes the spirits did it all in one night, of course they can, of course they can! Hahahaha!

-Noah BITING ME because I won't wrestle him. (Actually, this was only funny the first three times.)

-Andrew, meaning to tell the little ones to put their toys away while they eat: "NO FOOD, at the table!!!" This was after Emmi said one time "NO CHEWING WITH YOUR MOUTH FULL!!!"... So we had a whole bunch of fun laughing at the two together, haha!

-Josiah, given his first ever Starburst: *quietly tugging, turning, and examining it, the wrapper rips just a little bit*
"Oh... it this the candy? Inside it?"
Poor thing, haha! I helped him figure out the difficult mechanics ;).

-Abbi: "Oh? What is "Alone Yet Not Alone" about? Is it a sooooonnnnnngggg?" *begins singing* "Alone, yet not alooooonnnne!"
Me: "Ummm, yeah, actually it's a song too."
Abbi: "Oh cool! I made up a song that was already made. Can I hear it?
"....That's my favorite song."

-Me, going to close the freezer: *hits my own shoulder with the door*
"Ouch."
Tori: "Ummm... I heard a crunch."
Me: "That was the ice."
Tori: "Oh. I thought it was your shoulder, and I was like, all you said was ouch?!"

-Stalking Mama's Facebook because I literally blanked out on what we did the last half of the month, and I haven't been journaling to consult that, haha! And a sister helping me write this. There is power in numbers, y'all.

Reading:

-"Brother Andrew". The cover on our copy is really weird looking and Daddy questioned my reading choices when he first saw it, haha! It was interesting... and then just after I finished reading it, one of my friends asked me, "Have you ever read Brother Andrew?" And I am telling you all, it is getting really weird how often someone asks if I have read a book or watched a movie JUST after I have done so. It's getting scary...

-"Benard's Vision". This was a book our church gave out about a mission in Kenya, and I had it finished in 24 hours, haha. It was interesting, and neat to learn about the place our Elder does mission trips to.

 -"A Layman's Look at Cults and the Occult". This was written by our Elder for the church leaders in Kenya/India at their request, and he gave us a copy, so I'm reading it, haha :). (Isn't it odd how when you know what an author sounds like, you read their writing in their voice?...)

-"On the Edge of Tomorrow". This was kind of disappointing. The guy was a Catholic doctor missionary, not a Christian... not that it made much difference, because his mission was to create good relationships between Asia and America, not because he wanted to bring them the gospel- catholic or otherwise. A nice mission, but not one with eternal worth...

Quotes I liked:

-"Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more," -1 Thessalonians 4:9&10. Like, how beautiful is that <3. I pray the Lord allows that same love to be poured forth from my own heart stayed on him!

-"Oh Lord of the oceans,
My little bark sails on a restless sea,
Grant that Jesus may sit at the helm and steer me safely;
Suffer no adverse currents to divert my heavenly course;
Let not my faith be wrecked amid storms and shoals;
Bring me to harbour with flying pennants,
 hulls unbreached,
 cargo unspoiled.
I ask great things,
 expect great things,
 shall receive great things.
I venture on thee wholly, fully,
 my wind, sunshine, anchor, defence.
The voyage is long, the waves high, the storms pitiless,
 but my helm is held steady,
 thy Word secures safe passage,
 thy grace wafts me onward,
 my haven is guarenteed.
This day will bring me nearer home,
Grant me holy consistency in every transaction,
 my peace flowing as a running tide,
 my righteousness as every chasing wave.
Help me to live circumspectly,
 with skill to convert every care into prayer,
Halo my path with gentleness and love,
 smooth every asperity of temper;
 let me not forget how easy it is to occasion grief;
 may I strive to bind up every wound,
 and pour oil on all troubled waters.
May the world this day be happier and better because I live.
Let my mast before me be the Savior's cross,
 and every oncoming wave the fountain in his side.
Help me, protect me in the moving sea
 until I reach the shore of unceasing praise." -The Valley of Vision

-"Oh, my soul
Oh, how you worry
Oh, how you're weary, from fearing you lost control...
Oh, my soul
You are not alone
There's a place where fear has to face the God you know
One more day, He will make a way
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down
'Cause you're not alone." -Casting Crowns, "Oh My Soul"

-"If God is preparing you to make an impact on this world for His kingdom, chances are he will take you through a season of solitude. This is a season when you learn that you can't lean upon anyone but Him for your confidence and when you gain the strength to stand alone even when no one stands with you." -Leslie Ludy

(I saved quotes this month, y'all ;)!)

Fails:

-Forgetting to roll up the van window, and ending up with mosquitoes galore inside. And Mama seems to be their favorite treat during the summer. Oops.

-Starting soup in the crockpot for supper. And leaving it on warm. Instead of High. For two and a half hours. We had pizza for supper.

-Warming up said potato soup... and the potatoes STILL AREN'T COOKED, because they were brown potatoes instead of golden, and it had been cold after sitting in the fridge for 16 hours. We had pasta for supper.

-Finally completing that ridiculous soup and having TWO MEALS WORTH. I consider this a fail, because after round four of cooking/warming this stuff... I was really tired of it :P.

-Peter: "There is a guy asking Mommy if we had ants in our house!"
Me, closing up letters to take to the mailbox: "Oh, really? Mama, is there someone out there?"
"Yeah, pest control."
Brain: well, i'll take the letters out later so i don't have to run into him. i'll work on canvases instead. i should try that idea to use the window to make my reverse side tracing neater.
*slaps my paper up in the window and starts the graphite transfer*
The guy ends up like right under the window, and I quietly back away from the window thinking, yeah, that totally worked. Never mind...

-Me: *Drives to Sonic*
*goes to order and can't even reach the button*
*has to open the door and hang out to talk to the guy on drive through*
*goes to pay and the card screen is only showing half on the screen, it doesn't take my payment, and I'm really bothered, now out of the car at this point*
Mama: "Just get back in, they'll let us know if it didn't go through.
"But I'm not sure they will come out until they get payment.
"Better go in. Just take the card and tell them the screen is messed up."
Me: *almost walks through a door into the kitchen*
*finally heads to the correct window*
*passes a guy carrying what turns out to be our order*
*has to run back to the car to take it from him*
*can't take all the things before opening the car door, feels bad for opening the car door because it kind of hems the guy in*
*the guy goes to hand me the cup, I reach for the door, he takes back the cup just as I reach for it, he tries to hand me the cup as I reach for the door* Multiple. times.
*I finally get back in the car and sigh*
Mama: "Only us..."
Me: "You mean only me."
Mama: "Wellllll...."
^That's me y'all. I just try to live life in the most convoluted way I can so that you all can have a laugh and then realize how good at this whole '"life thing" you really are, even if you may not feel it. Anything beats me trying to do ANYTHING in public, hahaha!

Grateful for:


- ^That little guy. And his love of books. And yeah <3.


-And his little snuggles when I put him down for a nap! (Usually... the past two days he was angry about it, but he fell asleep quickly today, so I hope it wasn't a new thing. Usually he comes and whines at me until I realize he is tired; then he giggles when I pick up his blanket, and snuggles right into me. I love it!)


-Chatting with a friend and weeding the side bed, which was totally neglected while we put in the vegetable garden. I LOVE gardening- even weeding. Maybe especially weeding. I've missed it! I prefer to do it somewhere other than on pebbled sidewalks though. It's very rough on the knees, haha. Last time Tori and I were out there our legs had a chewed look after we'd been kneeling there for a while, haha.
-My planner, and a cute new bag one of Daddy's employees sent home with him.
-Doorposts bible studies :).
-Those who share their knowledge about selling on Etsy.
-Ideas from Daddy on how to create/display items better :).
-Timely "how are you" notes <3.
-Psalm 22.
-To be "caught up" blogging... haha. It's a relief ;).

"Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!" (Psalm 96:9)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

June review ✽ Hello July (Also Late...)

Happenings:


-Emmi turned 7 :)! She and Abbi planned a fun surprise for Mama; on her birthday outing, they went to Lowesto pick out some flowers, without telling Mama they were for her :). Then when they got out to the car, they said, "Surprise! These are for you, and we didn't tell you, because you always say you don't need a gift!" Sweet girls!

-This right here is how you save your banana from being eaten in a family of eleven...


-Mama went out of town to attend her Grandfather's funeral, taking Noah, and leaving me in charge of the house whenever Daddy was at work. A wasp gets in the house the next day, and I vacuum it with the shop-vac. Which is blowing air OUT the other side, because there is no filter. I kind of freaked out, but somehow it managed to stay trapped until I got it outside.


The night Mama left, Josiah turned to me like this, and said, "Bri... can we have a family fun night?" ("Almost Family Fun Nights" are known as assuaging grieving spirits at our home when family members take a trip, haha!) Instead, we started reading "The Children who Stayed Alone"... grreat choice, huh ;)? (Not really, because we have not finished yet, because nobody seems very interested.


-Then, that Saturday, Emmi trips on a table, and falls flat on her face... right on the gum that flew out of her mouth while she was falling. And that gum is firmly lodged in her hair.
I text Mama asking for advice, but service was iffy for Mama all week. So, I research for myself, resolved not to chop this child's hair while Mama is gone. I suggest Peanut Butter, but decide on olive oil. Tori sees I texted Mama that I might try PB, and goes, "No, don't do that! I saw a video where someone tried that and it just became one with the gum and made it worse!!!" Good thing I hadn't started with that, haha! Emmi lost three hairs, but all was good. That was more excitement than I anticipated while trying to get everything ready for church the next morning, haha...

-Our vacuum lover became a singer for a day...


Also, he got his own useable sweeper vacuum, so he's doing a ton of good with his hobby now (and vacuums even while watching movies).

-We got to meet up with one of my closest friends! She lives over an hour away from us, and has been at college anyway, so this was the first time I had seen her since we moved back, and, oh, how special that fellowship was!


-We celebrated a very special Father's day; Mama and Daddy announced that Baby #10 is due to join us sometime in February next year <3. What a blessing this is! We're so very happy, and I can't wait to meet this little one. We're kind of split on who thinks it will be a girl and who thinks it will be a boy... and if it was a boy we'd finally be evenly split boys to girls, but it's been years since we had a little girl... so we can't wait to see what plan God has!


-Under the Tapestry had a few sales and I have a whole slew of items either to be re-listed or released in the next coming weeks! I designed some new bookmarks on a whim, and once I went to upload them, I decided that it was time to include all the colors I have available, and I'm excited about the wider range of options :)! (Bethi and I have decided that the messier my bed, the more productive my day; today has been a decent state of productivity, it appears.)


-Peter gave me a banana sticker, and it's on my laptop keyboard now, and the rest of my family has let me know that it's kind of time to let go. But now I'm used to seeing it, in all it's faded out glory, haha!

-Mama started reading "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" aloud, and Mama and Tori and I went crazy pointing out all the ways that "Anne of Green Gables" is just an improved copy.

-I took what felt like a crash course in Photoshop graphic design for a new opportunity I have. But it's so fun to know I can do that now!

-We got a new coffee pot, and I discovered it wasn't coffee that I no longer liked, but decafe coffee from the keurig. I am a very consistent coffee drinker once again. It's wonderful.


-Abbi learned that you can NOT reuse stamps to mail people a reply... hahaha!

Laughing at:

-Daddy to a friend at church, talking about how we don't take summer break but school all year round: "Yeah, since Shelby was gone last week, they were on vacation."
Me: *tries not to laugh*
Mama: "Actually, I think Bri made them do some school..."
Pretty much everybody's brain: "Great job! Slave driver." Haha!

-Josiah's bear now has a last name, too.
Meet Popcorn Lips.
(Me recently: "Where is Popcorn?"
Bethi: "Popcorn?"
Tori: "Oh, Popcorn LIPS?"
Me: "Yeah?"
I haven't lost food, y'all...

-Peter, after we watched Disney's "Peter Pan" for the first time in his life:
*Sitting at supper* "I wish my name was Peter Pan... I already have the Peter."
*Wanders to Mama after supper* "Can you make my real name Peter Pan?"

-Bethani: "Guys, the outline of my curtain looks like Mary Poppins."
And it did?!??!?!?!

-Mama is reading "Trumpet of the Swan":
*chapter ending* ".... and he fell asleep wondering why a fox barks."
Josiah: "And then the fox ate him."
(Me editing this: *reads this one an accidentally spits because I found it funny again.*)

-Also while reading "Trumpet of the Swan":
*one of the Cob's ridiculous speeches, like, three chapters in*
Peter: "They can talk?!?!?!?!"

-Abbi trying to sight read the name "Pierrino Mascarino": "Peanut... Mascara?"

-Josiah is rolling around on the floor, playing with Noah, when all of the sudden he sits up and tells us, "Noah is not even little! See, my sock fits him!!!!"
Yes, dear. Because never could that mean that maybe you were small ;).

-*We are watching "God of Wonders"* "The Lord sends his snow like wool, Psalm 147..."
Tori: "We don't wear wool in SC."
Me: "Ahhhhhhh, maybe if we'd just wear more wool, we'd get more snow!"
Tori: *nodding with a look of wisdom* "Preparing for rain."

Josiah cleaning up pictures he has drawn: "I have to do my paper work!"

Peter, playing Ring-around-the-rosie with Noah: "Ring around the rosies, a pocket full of posies, tissue, tissue, we all stay up." (For those who don't know, Emmi fractured her arm right before Peter was born by playing this game, and so it's kind of frowned upon here, haha!!!!)

Laughing extra hard at:

-Finding on my "Blog post prompts" page, "'I need another pair of ovens'". I can't remember what this was supposed to remind me to include. But now I need to know the story. Tori?

Reading:

-"In the Secret Place", written by Corrie ten Boom's nephew Peter. My favorite previously un-known fact about their imprisonment for their work protecting the Jews was that his mother hide a page of her bible in her hair when she was arrested.

-"Return to the Hiding Place", written by Hans Poley, the ten Boom's first guest during their work with the Resistance. It was neat to get to know the ten Boom family through the eyes of someone outside of the family. And Hans Poley's story was interesting in itself. The book is not as intense as the movie it inspired, which may have been a good thing. My heart was racing for hours after the climax of that movie, it was terrifying.

Quotes I liked:

Fails:

-^^^Writing down quotes I liked.

-Asking for a tissue: "We need a tortilla!!!!" Umm?

-Realizing as I made popcorn halfway through the month that I hadn't had any in weeks, and wondering how on earth I could have forgotten my favorite snack. And then only having it once the three weeks after, and it wasn't even my idea when I did make some. What happened to me?!

-Getting in the car and forgetting to check how full the tank was. And not knowing that it not longer sounds a warning when it's too low. And the car not starting when we go to head home. And Mama got in the driver's seat to see what's wrong and realized that it's so low it's below the empty line. It just barely made it across the parking lot to the gas station.

-Blogging. Again. Gah.

Thankful for:

-My wonderful Daddy!
-The blessing of a new baby brother or sister <3 <3 <3!!!
-That Mama was able to attend her Grandpa's funeral.
-For her parents sweetly offering to let her go with them, and being such a blessing on the trip!
-Knowing how to get gum out of hair ;).
-Friendship!
-My banana sticker ;). Ha!
-All the support others have shown my Etsy shop lately!
-Ice cream ;).
-The Psalms!
-And my copy of "The Valley of Vision". This is such an encouraging book, y'all!

"Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name." (Psalm 30:4)

Friday, July 28, 2017

May Review ✽ Hello June

I realize these posts are super outdated, but honestly, I write the month review posts for myself anyway (they're fun, haha!) and they were already almost done, so you can skip them if they feel too old, haha... plus, I had to post them so I didn't not post this month's, too, because I can't put them out of order ;).

Happenings:


-Bethi turned 12! She's grown up so much lately, and it's been fun to "get to know" her as one of the "older" sisters now. She and I are a lot alike, except in the ways we definitely aren't, and so we have good fellowship with a little unique spice to it... haha :).


 -Mother's Day came and went. The little ones made Mama some crepe paper flowers and scrapbook paper ferns, and they turned out so cute, haha. I am so thankful for my Mama and all that she does for us, day in and day out. She's one of my best friends, and I love spending time with her and how we can talk about anything together!

-Daddy moved a boulder. Like, it really qualified as a boulder. I turned it over once, and then I left it for him, haha! He was on a mission, and  he got it where it needed to go! There was joking that it would be easier to dig a downhill trench then roll it by hand, though, haha!

-Gramma brought us strawberries and now we have so. much. jam. On homemade toast... YUM!

-I was laying Josiah in bed and gave him the teddy he has slept with for almost a year now.
"Did you ever name your bear?" I asked.
"No."
"What are you going to call him?"
"I don't know."
"Graham?'
"No."
"Honey?"
"No."
"Cream?"
"No."
"Franklin?"
"No."
"Peter?"
"No... I will name it popcorn."
Popcorn it is, and popcorn it shall remain.
Then cue the sass as he examines his bear: "Who put this scarf back on? I had it off. For a reason!!!!"
Well sorry, buddy...


-I won 7 pieces of clothing in a giveaway??!??! That was fun :)! And I almost scrolled past the announcement, ha! And one was a solid grey Maxi skirt... I love it!

-This snail WOULD NOT STOP COMING TO OUR PORCH to visit no matter how often I place him back in the flower bed. I didn't want to un-home him, but I also really didn't want to crush him, and that was in danger of happening a few times. I carried a box out that I couldn't see over, and I was horrified when I walked back and saw him scooting around the rug. If I had felt a crunch, I would have called my day over right there and then.
Tori named him Smooth Move.



-We officially unpacked the last box since moving... yeah, again. We found another one. Haha.

-Daddy went on a business trip and there was so much cleaning, hole filling, painting and home repairing going on here. And we went to the duck pond to see little ducks. Mama kept adding to her list every time she finished something, haha! We set up a new printer, made some framed hymns with it, cleaned the car and car seats, and did a LOT of yard work... in between it raining ALL WEEK, of course. How come whenever you gear up to actually accomplish something outside, it rains?
Noah helped me weed the side bed :)...


-Noah learned to close his eyes while we pray, and Josiah picked out his own dinner fork, haha! (That's a serving fork, if you can't tell!)



-Peter imagined a monster, and Tori brought said monster into a "reality"... too cute!



-I read, which was a big improvement on last month... ha :). I also revealed some canvases I've had ready to go in Under the Tapestry for a while!


-We made chocolate cookies, which is not really worthy of being announced, but making chocolate chips is one of my favorite things to do, so it gets mentioned anyway, haha.

-Also, Josiah was obsessed with a lizard that wouldn't stay off the back porch, whom I started calling  Bill (a very literary lizard).

-My Great-Grandpa passed away. We have only seen him a couple times in the past ten years, but I remember how much we all enjoyed getting to know he and Great-Grandma right before Abbi was born. Grandpa definitely got down on little people's levels and enjoyed spending time with them!

Laughing at:

Sibling: "Do we have forks clean?"
Me: "No. You could use a nasty fork.
....WhooOOPS. I mean disposable."
My true feelings come out, haha... I hate disposable silverware, it's not even close to shaped right. I'm a silverware snob, lol.

Peter: "Bri, whenever your bed needs made, don't do it."
"Why?"
*Ignores me* "And stay out of your room, because I'm going to...
"...I'm going to....
"I'm going to do something. Something that is a surprise."
Hm, wonder what the surprise is? Haha! Love him <3.

Josiah is playing at the park, Tori and I are standing talking to the side, when we look over and see Joey hanging on some climbing bars with his leg all twisted and doubled up and it kind of looks caught, but he's not worried or moving or anything and I thought maybe he had it under control.
Josiah: *looks back and sees us looking*
Very calmly and matter-of-factly: "I kind of need some help."

-Andrew and Peter laughing at "The Wizard of Oz". Never, and I mean never, have I seen those two very different people laugh soooooo hard together at a whole movie. "It. was. humorous."

Reading:

-"The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady". This is a re-read. I just love the pictures, and the little nature poems, and the descriptions of the flowers and birds and their doings. My Grandma had this, and I was going to peruse it while I was at the house alone when Andrew and I went to visit them last month, but it wasn't on their shelves any longer... I found out a couple weeks ago it was because she gave them to us, hahaha!

-Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Pioneer Girl". Mama read this recently and couldn't keep all that she was learning to herself. She kept reading parts to me every time I'd walk in, and she told me that I just needed to read it. I won't spoil the Little House Books, haha! There are some major plot twists from fiction to factual, although it's very interesting!

-"Jonathan Edwards and Justification." A little theology-overview by a few people. Some of us were sick one Sunday and we didn't go to church, and I read some of this, listened to some hymns, read some scripture, and listened to one of the Wednesday night sermons... it's on Romans, which, as you all know, is "my" book, so that's fun :). Also, the sermon was very in depth, which just makes it better!!!!

Fails:

Weeding the garden without wigging out. Seriously, our worms are so big. I actually literally thought I found a snake one time. I yelled.


*Mama calls, the phone stops ringing, I call back*
Mama: "Having issues with the new phone?"
Me: "I didn't know how to answer it. So I had to call you back instead."
I've got that down now, by the way. Thankfully.

Mama and Andrew and I: *clean the car*
There is no way this is a fail, right? Well...
Vinegar cleaner and South Carolina heat: "It's clean, but you really didn't care if it smelled good, did you?"
All of us thee next day: *gags*

*wears a new skirt for the first time*
Peter and I: *drop Frostie on it*
And yes, I actually totally expected that. I'm so clumsy...

Me: *talking on the phone while dusting*
"Iiiiim dusting a shelf I've already done..."
It doesn't help that if Noah thinks of books he empties the bookshelves, so I was having to have him removed every 30 seconds, haha.

Quotes I liked:

Oops. I read... but I was too lazy to write anything down, haha!
*insert some inspirational quote here and pretend it came from me*

 Then tell me which one you chose, please. Haha!

Grateful for:

 -Sweet Bethi!
-That God perfectly picked my Mama for me :).
-Josiah and popcorn ;). (Seriously, y'all, editing this now I have to say this is still one of my favorite things he's done lately, haha!)
-Baby ducks <3.
-The neat fresh look of dirt cleared of weeds and ready for plants!
-A clean car (that no longer smells like hot vinegar, thankfully!)
-A new printer!!! That has been such a help for my shop, too- printing templates, shipping labels, and things like that :).
-That the Lord gave his children so much creativity! Think how boring our life would be if he hadn't included that gift.

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thursday, July 27, 2017

April review ✽ Way super late

Basically, I totally still blog. I just... don't edit posts anymore. So, I've got a really full drafts folder right now ;).

But I thought that this afternoon would be a great time to go through some of those drafts with a coffee cup full of... ice cream. Haha :). Because that's my favorite way to eat ice cream (the more compact design makes the ice cream stay chilled longer- I hate melted ice cream!)

By the way; Daddy recently, pulling my old coffee cup out of the cupboard; "Um, I wouldn't use this. That crack runs all the way from the outside to the inside. If you pick that up, the handle will stay in your hand, and the cup will go the other way, and you'll have hot coffee all over you."
Me: "Oh, I know. I don't use it anymore."
Me that afternoon: *looks down at the cup I just started eating ice cream out of*
"I mean, you know, I don't use it for coffee..." Whoops. Haha. I wouldn't have hot coffee all over me, now would I ;)?

Happenings:

-We "officially"celebrated Josiah's third birthday, since he had been too sick to do it on his birthday, poor guy :(. He had a train theme, because he's just a super boy-ish boy who loves mechanics, and the bigger the better, and remember he doesn't think he's small, and all that. Haha :). He got to go to the zoo to ride the little train there as part of his special day :)!


-Andrew went to my Grandparent's house to help Grandpa remodel their porch (which looked great when they were done!), and I went along too. While we were there Grandpa took us to our second baseball game. Andrew went to one last year... and I went to one when I was about four. I remember nothing of the game that time, just sitting between my Grandpa and Aunt, haha. So I was pretty lost on what was going on, although I started to pick it up near the end. Mostly though, my aunt and I just sat at the end and laughed hysterically under our breath about pretty much every thing ;).

-I got back from my grandparents just in time to help out with one of the special needs respites I volunteer at... which was being held at the special needs baseball team game, haha! I've been laughing at the fact that I went to one game in 19 years... and then 2 in less than a week. Also, at the respite leader's face when she realized that I was so new to baseball. Ha!

-On Good Friday, Mama and Daddy announced that we had a new little brother or sister... waiting for us before the throne of God. It was sad to realize that this little one wouldn't be joining our family here on earth, but what a joy to know that we can look forward to the day we meet him or her to praise our Savior together forever! I think it definitely made our Resurrection just a little more tangible in what Christ has done for us and the hope that his death ending in life brought to us <3.


-We spent the 15th doing yard work all morning... then realized while eating lunch that we had church prep AND Easter dinner shopping and prep still to do. While doing all that baking... the little boys took big buckets and filled them with water to dump on their bedroom floor. So. much. water.

-We had a wonderful Resurrection Sunday, with all our little traditions; Resurrection buns, in which you wrap a marshmallow that "disappears" as it melts, which always confuses the little ones and is a fun picture of Jesus rising from the grave, eaten while we watched the "That the World May Know" documentary "The True Story of Easter"; did our study of the account of the Resurrection; and, although it hasn't been tradition since Tori and I were little, Mama decided to do an egg hunt for the little ones. We were watching old family movies and Abbi thought the egg hunt looked fun, and asked Mama is they could try it. I think Abbi was the first to say that she doesn't want to do another next year, because between Daddy and Tori everything was too well hidden, hahaha! It was funny...

-We cleaned the garage and unpacked the last box since we moved in!

-Peter turned five! He had a Teddy Bear themed birthday, because he was very intrigued by Noah's Paddington birthday, and he looooooves the book "Found". "It is my favorite book, because he loves the bunny. And you know what? When the moose says "Floppy my bunny!", the bear is sad.... and there...is a tear." *genuine sad face* Haha! He's too cute.


-Noah had his first hair cut (it was so LONNNNGGGG, hahaha!)... and now he looks so much older...



Laughing at:

Watching Curious George:
Really annoying character: "I jumped out of a plane without a parachute and lived to tell about it! I. Am. Awesome!"
Josiah: not to get attention or anything, but just quietly to himself because he can't hold it in: "No. You're not..."

I have terrible congestion for days and do nothing about it:
Mama: "Please take something. I don't want to send you out of town if you are miserable."
Cough suppressant: doesn't work after one time
*doesn't care, gives up*
*realizes that I have 24 hours to get it gone before I see my Aunt and her baby*
Me: takes vitamin c, grapefruit seed extract, acv, and takes a eucalyptus steam bath, not because I'm miserable, but because I WILL be well enough to hold my new cousin when I see him. Ha!

*Doesn't realize that the day Andrew and I are out of town is National Siblings Day, and one of my siblings calls me out for leaving them on National Siblings Day*

Me on Facebook: "*is cleaning glasses*
*brings glasses closer to my face to see if they look clean*
*accidentally stabs my eyeball with my glasses*
I'd like to say this is why I have glasses, but in all honesty, I think it's that I'm just clumsy like that..."
Facebook to Mama: "Ambrielle Shaffer just posted for the first time in a while."
Thanks Facebook. Thanks.

Emmi: "Bri, I found one of your shirts in my basket. Do you know how I know? When I put it on, it came down to my knees. It. Was Humorous.
...Humorous? I mean... enormous."
I think she was throwing humongous in there too :).

Emmi: "The other day Josiah was trying to do a somersault, but he accidentally did a somerSIDE, like this."
*demonstrates a cartwheel*

Abbi at being told she could use scented markers: "YES! I can make my card smell!!!"

Mama is giving the girls a pre-spelling test so she knows what words to have them focus on studying...
Abbi: "Here's mine. I went ahead and marked all the ones I spelled wrong."
And she did, too, hahaha!

  Reading:

-Pretty much actually nothing. I finished Robert Frost's poems. And.... yeah, I finished Robert Frost's poems. And read Phillipians and some Psalms and did my regular Ephesians study/reading. I also read some of Matthew Henry's commentary on Ephesians. So I guess that counts? I read the latest King's Blooming Rose magazine, too. Which was wonderful, as always :).

Quotes:

Brought to you by Robert Frost and Matthew Henry, because they're pretty much all I read, as mentioned before ^^^^.

"The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
Ad saved some part
Of a day I had rued."

"We make ourselves a place apart
Behind light words that tease and flout,
But oh, the agitated heart
Till someone find us really out.

'Tis pity if the case require
(Or so we say) that in the end
We speak the literal to inspire
The understanding of a friend.

But so with all, from babes that play
At hide-and seek to God afar,
So all who hide too well away
Must speak and tell us where they are."

-Robert Frost (Some of his poems were just really weird... but I liked these two, haha :).)

"Only by pride comes contention; only by humility comes love."

"If others will quarrel with us, we must take all possible care not to quarrel with them."

"Christ is the lesson; we must learn Christ. Christ is the teacher; we are to be taught by him."

"We must be of a yielding and of a submissive spirit, and ready to all the duties of the respective places and stations that God has allotted to us in this world."

-"Matthew Henry's Commentary of the Whole Bible" (Ephesians)

 Fails:

-Apparently reading.

-Blogging. I'm totally optimistic here, aren't I, y'all? Hahaha! I didn't even journal more than once this month, what happened to me?!?!?!? But, I wrote people back in a more timely manner than usual, so maybe that was a good thing?

-I somehow managing to be the death of another nest of birds :(. I don't know if it's really my fault of not, but I'm beginning to feel it is. I have found 11 baby birds/eggs in the past two years, and I've only seen *1* leave the nest. (There is debate about whether a nest of three made it or not, so I guess I shouldn't count them in my figures). I felt bad for laying eyes on it when I found it, but they hatched and seemed to be doing fine, and I was literally just breathing a sigh of relief when I noticed they weren't fine, and, yeah. I cried, and I really want to know how we have any birds in the world anymore if this is normal?

-Making brownies that were supposed to taste just like our favorite mix, but "better!". It didn't taste just like them, and it definitely wasn't better... but the leftover ones were good with leftover frosting from Peter's birthday cake, so we still won, haha :).


 Grateful for: 

-Josiah's three years here with us! Especially since we could have lost him at his birth, I'm so thankful for the "extra" time we have been given with him <3.
-The great time Andrew and I had at our Grandparents. I loved getting to spend time with them and the fun things they included me in, and had some great conversation with my Grandma :). And while she was at work and the guys were working on the porch, I got to read my KBR magazine that got to me just in time, and worked on an order for my shop... which the pattern for was way super confusing to me somehow even though it isn't actually confusing at all, and I got nowhere on it, haha! Also, my Grandma showed me her favorite rerun of show Britain baking show, and I find it humorous how intense baking can seem when it's for a competition, haha. They were literally sitting there watching bread rise with baited breath... and I think we were too. So weird.
-The gift of Haven's little life. No matter how short, it fulfilled God's purpose... and how wonderful are the ways of the Lord, even when carried out in ways that we may not understand.
-The death and life of our Lord Savior, bringing us from death in sin to life with him.
-Hearty Herb Bread... just because it's good, haha :).
-Graham crackers... they helped greatly with Noah's haircut ;).
-Peter! He is such a sensitive, caring little person, and he definitely sweetens our lives! He loves to empathize... on his birthday he asked Mama, "Can we watch Finding Nemo at Supper?"
"Why do you want to watch that?"
"Because I want to cry." Hahaha!
-Bible studies with Mama, and good commentaries.

"O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.  O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever: And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever." (Psalm 136)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Baking, blogging, and gardening ✽ Also, Joey thinks he's 30 if you didn't know

If I were a good blogger, this would be the monthly wrap up post that I told myself I would do every month this year... or, the birthday posts that I have yet to put up. I'm such a bad blogger. I know you aren't "supposed" to say that, because since each blogger is different, there is no reason to compare, and you're supposed to just let it be unique, etc... But the thing is, I'm not even comparing my blog to other blogs, I'm just comparing it to the unwritten but completely thought out posts in my head. Why can't there be a way to just think those words into a blog post? Because I would get a whole lot more posts and a whole lot less thoughts of "Ughhhhh, I have so much piled up" if I could do that ;)...

Also, if I were a responsible person, I would be crocheting or answering emails, or even just getting ready for bed right now. But I'm not doing that either. It's kind of a "spill-random-words-for-no-reason, don't-even-care-if-people-read-it" sort of evening. I get those sometimes... that's where most of my blog posts that don't have pictures in them come from, actually. Now you know ;).

I just finished some banana bread... Our recipe has been coming out super dry since we switched flours, so per Daddy's suggestion I made some changes... left out 1/2 cup of flour, added a banana, cooked it at 25 degrees lower for a little longer... it seems to have worked texture-wise, I just hope it still tastes good in the morning? I'll let you know... I'm worried about it right now, haha!

We worked in one of the flower beds this afternoon. It's been SO long since I did any gardening, and I really enjoyed it, EXCEPT, the WORMS, y'all. I have never seen such worms. So long, so wide, so many. I'm not kidding, I pulled up one plant -not a big one- and there were *5* giant worms curled all over each other. *gag* I used to pick up any worm I found on the road and throw it into the nearest lawn, but I NEVER would have touched these disgusting things (I say that, but I probably would have found something to move it with without touching it. I've still never forgiven myself for not seeing if that moth could have flown if I'd picked it up out of the snow and it had just warmed up for a minute.). Now that we've cleared out the weeds, though, we're pretty confident it should be pretty good growing soil, ha. That is, as long as the birds don't get all the worms now that there are no leaves to hide under. They were having a wonderful time out there this evening... Also, we found 50 snail shells (okay, I didn't actually count them...), a cicada shell (ugh!), and a cocoon of some sort. Hopefully it makes it longer than the caterpillar we found last year. It was so cute and Daddy let me name it Jocke and it was a fun little caterpillar, and I typed a whole blog post out about it, and then I noticed it might be dead, and, yeah...

Josiah when Noah got up: "Can I feed Noah? Here Noah, want a bite?"
Josiah every day: "Can I vacuum the boys room?"
Josiah when he saw the leaf blower: "Can I use that?!?!?!?"
Josiah when I helped him hold the leaf blower: "Can I do it myself?"
Josiah when we're done blowing leaves: "But I want to do mooooooore!!! Please can I do mooooorrrreeee???" *cries*
Josiah while "watching" Noah while he sat in his high chair while we worked in the kitchen: "I'm the boss, I'm the boss, Mama and Daddy's the boss, I'm the boss, I'm the boss..."
The child neither knows he's small, nor when to stop. Help us.
But he still asks to be fed his supper? He's so confusing. But I love my growling teddy bear.

I hope y'all have had a great week and have a refreshing weekend, and I'll try to be back soon to live up to my personal blogging standards, haha :).

Blessings in Christ,

Bri :)

*Whoops, almost forgot a title... that's not important, is it ;)? What link would blogger give your blog post if it had no title?... huh...

Saturday, April 1, 2017

March Review ✽ Hello April

Highlights:

-We watched "Mary Poppins" and Abbi became a one man band (also, she told Mama that if the bankers had sung their song to her, when she "heard all that nonsence stuff, she would have just run and given the money to the birds!")


-We took a fun spring trip to the zoo...

-Followed by a snow day soon after, haha! That's SC...

-Our cousin, baby James, arrived on the 15th :)! Mama drove up to see him that day, and while she was gone, to celebrate, I helped the little ones make cookies and gave them super crispy chicken nuggets and chips for supper... like, I've never had chicken nuggets like that before and it was not supposed to turn out like that, haha. But the cookies were good, so it wasn't a complete fail ;). Also, it had been a while since I'd made chocolate chip cookies, and I was shocked at how far a double batch doesn't seem to go anymore, haha. The girls helped me make some one Friday, and we didn't have enough for everybody by the time we got milk again, so I had to make more because I had promised them cookies with milk. Josiah was so ecstatic to get two at once, though, heehee :). It was cute.

Another bit of excitement was very unappreciated, so it was not a highlight, but a very big part of our month... Mama was reading our nightly story ("Heidi", for the curious -so that we could read the sequels, written by one of the translators, which we just recently found... I hope they're good, because I've always loved Heidi!), and had just started another chapter, when Noah was toddling around the room, and got all tripped up and fell straight into the edge of the bed rails and split his little forehead :(. He was so calm about it, he cried at the initial pain, but within a few minutes he was perfectly quiet, didn't even complain about Daddy cleaning it up a bit to see how bad it really was. Mama and Daddy took him to urgent care, and we're very thankful that they were able to glue it rather than needing stitches, but they didn't get home until 3 a.m. the next morning! He's been so good about it, but it's so sad to see his poor little head, and he's stressing us out because he won't stop walking. Naturally, right? Haha.


The next evening we were getting ready to do our story time, and Peter mentioned we were reading the same chapter we were reading when Noah got hurt, and everybody started talking about it... and Josiah asked, "You took him to the hospital last month?"
"Last night."
"Peter?"
"No, Noah. Remember, he had to get his cut taken care of?"
And then we realized, no, he didn't remember. He usually goes to sleep before Mama's done reading, and he'd slept through the whole thing, and had no clue how the cut got there or that it was bad enough to need help. So we had to tell him the whole thing, and he got up and gave Noah hugs and kisses. It was so strange. Also, Josiah is also the only one of the little boys who does NOT now have a scar over his eye, so, yeah, it seems that that is a very common deal with little guys.


-St. Patrick's day :). We celebrated with our customary cinnamon rolls with colored icing (store bought, because we all forgot what the next day was until like 9:00 at night... Mama remembered just in time!) and dressing in orange (the color for the protestant Irish, it's just a fun quirk Mama decided to change/add to make the day a reminder more about God's grace then anything else :).)

-We met little James last Sunday <3! He is a doll, so precious! Josiah was, I think, in shock at how little he was, although he kept asking when we could go see Aunt Amber's baby :).


-Noah turned *one*!!!

-We saw "Rogue One", and it was better than I was expecting... I actually really liked it :).


-And Joey turned 3!

Laughing at:

Mama and I walking through Food Lion with 4 cartons of ice cream, 2 bags of M&m's, a box of brownies, some fruit pops, and italian ice... "If anyone asks if we're having a party, please just say yes."

-Dreaming that a friend adopted three cats, and named them "Pantry", "Bullfrog"... and "Lou-it-be". Where did my brain get those names?!?!?!?!?

Me, checking Abbi's math:
*sees 11*
*mind reads it as a roman numeral*
*reaches for eraser, almost asks "Why would you put two?!"*
Oh. Oops.

-Daddy and I ran into the store after the respite I volunteered at this month, and it was very quiet. One of the cashiers was talking to the other, having no work to do, and was talking all about how she loves children, wants twins, etc, and Daddy said, "You don't need twins; you could just have one at a time and have 9, like I did."
She kind of nods, keeps talking about kids; *does a double take and looks at me* "You have nine kids?!?!?!?"
Daddy: "No, that's my oldest."
Cashier: "Oh. You look like you could have nine!"
Daddy: "She just said you looked forty."
Her face, hahahaha! Also, her friends face as she looked at her as much as to say, I dare you to get out of this one smoothly.... haha!

-Josiah, over e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.... "What EVEN is this!?!?!?" "What EVEN are you doing?!?!?!"

-Mama's crazy crochet inspiration she passes onto me... a mailbox cover, stuffed toy body parts to use teaching science... I think she really believes you can do anything with it. I'm threatening to make her learn, haha!

-Noah sticking his food down his shirt whenever he wants to be done, haha!


-Daddy and I are sitting looking at something together, when Mama starts laughing.
"What is going on?"
Mama laughing hysterically; "What smells like wet dog?!"
Daddy, in a "this answer is of course right" sort of way; "Wet dog?"
Mama, thinking he asked in a "Is that what you said" sort of way: "Yes, hahaha..."
Cue a ton of confusion, until I found out she was reading my blog and I had made her laugh uproarious sharing her own comments.

Quotes I liked:

"I love God as my Savior; I fear Him as my judge."

"May [the Lord] give you what your heart desires, and fulfill your whole purpose." (Psalm 20:4)

"I have the witness of my conscience, that you have done me wrong and violence; and yet I pray God, if it be His will, to forgive you." -Dr. Taylor, "The Book of Martyrs"

Reading:

-"Robinson Crusoe". I'd never read it, but Tori said it was good, so I've had it on my to-do list for a while now. I enjoyed it :).

-"The Swiss Family Robinson". This was coupled with "Robinson Crusoe" in the copy my Grandma gave us, so I re-read it. I remember *loving* it when I was little. Reading it this time... What in the world are kangaroos, buffaloes, penguins, and everything else doing on the same island? And how did every plant grow there? And how did the dad know what literally everything was just by looking at it without opening a reference book once? Lol! It's a fun book, but the guy meant it when he said he just wrote it to teach his sons facts about the uses of nature, haha... I just hope he told them where you actually find the stuff, too ;).

-"The Pocket Book of Robert Frost's Poems". I liked the biography in it, but the poems aren't as much like his "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" as I think I expected... haha :).

-Ephesians, Matthew Henry's commentary, "The Valley of Vision", and some of "The Family Daughter" here and there :).

Fails:

-Me: *mops the floor*
Me, two hours later: *goes to make some lunch of cottage cheese and peaches*
Fridge: *hurtles all contents at me*
Peanut butter jar: *throws glass and peanut butter all over the floor*
"Are. you. serious?!"

Also, I'm probably one of the few people capable of bruising their foot making a meal. (I'm not sure if frozen pizza sauce or refried beans fell out of the freezer; I just know it hurt, haha.)

-Blogging... haha. Sorry I left, guys! There will be several more detailed posts about some of the month within the next week... I never put pictures on them, but I'm not leaving them in my drafts for forever, haha :). I actually didn't do much writing at all, and I'm not sure why... I also didn't realize it until I was just trying to sort through my stuff! 

Grateful for:

-The Psalms, and being able to pick up my Bible freely.
-Songs to listen to while I crochet.
-Hope as I look forward to some things coming up.
-God's grace.
-Second chances.
-Pizza.
-Brownies and chocolate milk... not together, haha :). Although I bet that would be good.
-Mama making extra icing while making Noah's cake just so I could eat some... hahaha :).
-Tori playing Scrabble with me! She won, but since we don't often get to play, I was okay with that ;).
-The wonderful month we had, and the new one just beginning :).
-(Also, that none of my family does April Fool's, because a couple of them would be good at it...)
-Teaching Andrew how to play a new game.
-"Paddington Bear"... the book is a current trend in our house, and I'm glad he's cute, or this could be monotonous quickly, haha!

Oh! And, what do y'all think about the new blog look? Plumrose Lane (my former blog design host) seems to be down, and so I couldn't fix it when it went blank :(. So, I just changed up the sizing of what I was left with, and changed some of the contrasting colors since I didn't have the mix from the background. I also changed the font, but that was something I was planning on changing anyway. I LOVED the font... but it drove me batty that you couldn't see commas on it, haha. I feel like it's too plain, and yet it's rather more "timeless" then the old look. I'm very undecided, and yet pretty sure I'll probably end up leaving it long enough that it will grow on me and it'll stay... Tori says she likes it better than the old pretty one (::sniff::), but, anyway. I was sad when I couldn't use it anymore. I actually created my blog around that background a month before I "officially" opened "Forget Not His Benefits" and thought to myself that this one was going to be I'd stick to, after trying a couple on "Home Life"... but, I guess that plan didn't work out :).

Blessings in the Lord,
Bri

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February Review ✽ Hello March

Highlights:

-Daddy and Mama's anniversary :).

-Enjoying some fellowship with a few families from our church.

-Realizing that if I wanted to make chocolate frosting instead of popcorn or chocolate for my snack, I could. I was like, I want frosting, but I don't have time to make a cake.... wait, why make a cake? Lol! 

-Valentine's Day. We always do a little bible study with the story of Isaac and Rebecca, and Daddy gives us each chocolate and roses, and then we do pizza and a movie (we watched the new "Pete's Dragon", and it was actually really cute, but nothing like the first one, lol!)

Daddy during our bible study: "What was Rebecca doing?"
Emmi: "Working."
"What was Isaac doing?"
Josiah: "FINDING HIS KINGDOM."

A little later: "What are we supposed to be focused on?"
Correct answer would have been, you now, the Lord, but Josiah yelled very confidently: "CHOCOLATE!"
Haha. Speaking of chocolate, he refused to eat his fruit filled chocolates. He mashed all of them with his thumb to see what was in them, licked the fruit filling, and was like, this does not go in chocolate, it is gross. So he got a couple chocolate kisses, too.

-Getting to help out at both special needs respites this month, and hearing of another that I may be able toy get involved in. I'm loving helping out with these! Although I have never had so many names I actually needed to remember thrown at me at once, and I'm having such a hard time with them, and it's really bothering me, because knowing people's names is super important to me. Actually, knowing any name is important to me. I felt so bad for forgetting a friend's cat's name one time. Lol1

-Getting to make that bunny hat that I have wanted to make for so long :). Really loved that! I've been able to do so much crafting this month; I just finished another set today, but it's a surprise, so I'll wait to share it :).

-Mama inviting me to study Ephesians with her :). A couple years ago a friend and I read through Ephesians together, and we decided someday we would study Colossians together, because the two books are so similar. We did Colossians 3 last month (which has the most similarities, I think), and then right after Mama asked if I wanted to do Ephesians, and it's fun, because it's like I've come full circle, and it brings even more out when you can compare the two :). While we're going through it, I went through and read all the references for Ephesians, and it was actually a pretty involved church in the NT. Now I want to study all the other churches and see if they were mentioned as much, and it just gets lost in all the places and names, or if Ephesus really was a bigger part of everything, haha :).

-Driving to Walmart WITHOUT running into a pole (I never have yet, but it came close once)... haha!

-Having a several hours long chat with my best friend. It was such a blessing! I love how we can go without talking for a while and then talk for hours; and yet if it's only been a few days, we can talk for forever if we get the chance, too. Andrew was tired of waiting for me to get off the phone, though, haha...

-Mama finding a new youtube channel (Summit Kids) with songs for children that have scripture truths in them, and the little ones, even Josiah, singing along to them every night when I watch music videos with them. It hasn't even been a week and Peter has already memorized the choruses, he's too cute with them stuck in his head, hahaha!

Laughing at:

-The fact that William Tyndale had a friend offer to buy all of Tyndale's bibles for a hostile lord, so that this guy could burn them. He paid Tyndale's friend for giving him that pleasure, this friend then went to Tyndale and they printed 3 times as many bibles with that money. I don't remember that story at all, but it is literally priceless, haha! Nothing shall prevail against God's word and His will!

-Me, teasing Josiah:
"Nooooo, I think you're a bug." *pokes the bugs on his pj shirt*
Josiah: "No, I'm not. I'm just a jamma bug thing." *pauses, realizes that came out wrong* "I have a jamma bug thing. See?"

-Reading through 2 Chronicles in our family bible time, and Daddy getting to the part about King Josiah. We all looked at Josiah to see how he'd take that, and he was asleep.
The second night, chapter 2 on King Josiah: Joey is once again asleep.
The third night, Josiah is awake, but Daddy says, "Funny, he's just called "the king" for like the first 17 verses."
Josiah at about verse 16: *eyelids dropping shut* He never did get to hear it.
And he goes to sleep soooooo fast when he wants!!! He likes for me to be in his room when he goes to sleep. If I leave without snuggling him, I hear he stays awake for a few minutes, but if I agree to lay with him for a minute, he tells me goodnight, very determinedly closes his eyes, and is actually asleep in about 75 seconds. I'm so jealous.

Quotes I liked:

-"He was a brave Lordling, and we need his like: a new weapon of the old metal" -Tolkien Reader, Beorthtnoth (I actually liked this story least out of the book, but I LOVED that "new weapon, old metal" analogy!)

"[Children's] books like their clothes should allow for growth, and their books at any rate should encourage it" -J. R. R. Tolkien

"Let me reckon my old life dead because of crucifixion,
and never feed it as a living thing.
Grant me to stand with my dying Savior,
to be content to be rejected,
to be willing to hold unpopular truthes,
and to hold fast despised teachings until death.
Help me to be resolute and Christ-contained.
Never let me wander from the path of obedience to thy will.
Strengthen me for the battles ahead." -"The Valley of Vision"


Reading:

-"God in a Manger"... because I never finished it at Christmas, lol. I did, like, no optional things during Christmas, haha.

-"The Tolkien Reader", a small collection of stories and essays by Tolkien. I enjoyed this one :).

-Matthew Henry's commentary on Ephesians to go along with our study. I love his commentaries, it just takes a while to get through them, haha :). So much depth -which is a good thing!

I feel like I read a good bit this month (compared to how little I had been doing of it), but I didn't add much to my list. I've still been reading "Foxe's Book of Martyrs", because I didn't finish that last month, and I'm continuing to go through "The Valley of Vision", but that's about it. I'm just happy to have it back as a part of regular life again. I had so many things out of balance, and I'm just trying to egg back to a more consistent way to go about all the lovely things that life holds!

Fails:

-Mama asks me if Polycarp was martyred or just persecuted, before we start a movie about him.
Me, who had just started Foxe's Book of Martyrs, internally: "martyred. oh, but wait, there was that one guy who was just persecuted. that might have been polycarp. now i don't remember."
Me, out loud: "I'm not sure."
Movie starts, and they come to take him.
Me, internally: "drat it. i knew that's how it happened, why didn't i say so?"

I'm sitting on my bed answering emails, Andrew brings me so food.
*pulls the lid off my yogurt*
*goes to take a drink of my yogurt*
Ambrielle, WHAT are you doing, something is wrong with me.

That letter writing challenge I was going to join? Yeah, I wrote 22 letters or cards. I missed six. This is why I never join any challenges. Even the ones that are completely easy and part of my every day life anyway, I somehow end up missing. I HAVE other letters to answer, even, I just haven't found the time to sit down and do them, because once I start I can't stop, and so I didn't finish. Oh well, I'll write the other six, and I'll be glad that I at least gave it a shot. Lol!

-Getting Christmas posts up. I give up, y'all. I'm scrapbooking them instead, and I'll try to do better with my time this next Christmas, and actually do something with myself, ha.

Also, I fail at winning Monoploy Deal. I can't do it. Tori beats me 70% of the time, and the other 30% it's usually someone else...

Grateful for:

-Lemon juice (it makes the fruit tea we drink even better!) Josiah was funny when I first put it in, though. He usually helps me prepare the tea; throws away the tea bags, watches me pour in the ACV, puts the spoon in the sink. He saw me pouring lemon juice in, and he asked me, "What is that even?"
-Noah <3. The little guy is just such a snuggle bug, I love him so much!!! He's a doll. And he loves his feet, haha :).
-Waking up early enough many mornings lately to enjoy listening to the birds singing in the morning. And be productive and have that first little time of quiet to do my bible study, and various other reasons, but hearing the birds singing in the morning and hearing trains at night are two of my favorite favorite "little" noises, and that first morning in forever when I woke up that early again, I was so delighted.
-That Mama knew to give everybody activated charcoal and grape juice when Abbi got a stomach bug. Either it's a really weird coincidence (I don't think she could have been that sick and it's not really be something), or the stuff really works, because nobody else has caught it!
-All the wonderful things that have happened this month :).
-That we are saved by grace as the gift of God.
-That I, as a gentile, was welcomed into the family of God by Christ's sacrifice on my behalf.
-Our new bed spreads :)! Our old ones were looking pretty bad, and these new ones are a lighter color and really brighten up the room. Ad they're cute. I love them :). We went with "matching" ones again, except we each chose a different color of the same print, so that is fun :).
-That Daddy left FCS several years ago to join LifeWay. Now that FCS is closing, it's a big blessing not to be going through that uprooting that so many families are going to be going through now. It's so sad.
-Bibles in different translations, to compare and study.
-All my pillows, haha.
-Finding children's books I used to love that I didn't know we still had, and getting to read them to my little siblings.
-Words, reading, and writing.
-Letters and emails, so I can keep up with friends who are far away (the phone, too, although I don't use it that much).
-Peter's spontaneous hugs.
-People who ask how they can pray for you <3.

I hope you all have had a wonderful month!
Rejoicing in Hope,
Bri :)