Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Come on in! {summer decorating edition}

Happy Tuesday, Friends! I've been busy around my house and thought I'd share about what I've been doing. First up is in my laundry room. (I have never shown this room before because it's not very pretty.)

There are still things I need to do in here, like paint behind the washer and dryer and maybe even that door, but this room is so much better now than it was two weeks ago. Do you have a catch-all spot? I have a few places like that in my house and around the kitchen, because I hate clutter on the countertops. If things get left there for too long, I find "better" places for them and one spot was on top of the dryer. {As if that isn't bad enough that I give things new homes, then I forget where I put them.}  I cleaned that whole area off and I also cleaned the cabinets out that are above the washer and dryer. I just organized things, got rid of a few things that were old, like sunscreen that had expired, and what was on the dryer is now in those cabinets. I put a new tea towel on the top of the dryer along with a bowl that holds the dryer sheets, a candle and a small box that holds odds and ends along with the brush that we use for our German Shepherd. Our trash can stays in here because we have a German Shepherd that loves to dig things out.

Remember how I mentioned last week that I'm not really eating gluten anymore? Well not only have I been pain free since the day I quit gluten, I also have a lot more energy. The time I used to sit around at night, I now get up to do things around the house. I've been doing laundry later at night, like on this night when I did the small load I'd started that afternoon. I've found if I do one load of laundry a day from start to finish- meaning I wash the clothes, dry them, fold them and everyone puts theirs away- I stay caught up on laundry. Sometimes the boys do it all and other days I do it all.

I love to repurpose things in my home, meaning I love to take things I have in one place and move them to another place. This picture was in a hallway somewhere, and now it's in the downstairs half bath. {Ignore the extra nail holes.} I love the picture, the hymn and it's new home in that little space.

I also really love to for things to look pretty. I love little jars and pots of flowers, I love candles and for my home to feel inviting and warm and to smell good; I am like this partly because we have dogs and I don't want people to smell them when they come in my door.

{This little green plant in the picture above is new and from HomeGoods. I love their artificial flowers and arrangements and I bought this on Saturday when I bought the hanging plans for the outside.}

{This is the one I mentioned yesterday.}

Speaking of HomeGoods, I love their candles. My favorite brand is the DW Home brand and this one pictured above smells heavenly. It's very subtle. I love candles, but I don't like anything to be too strong or overpowering. I love their candles in every season, but I mostly love how inexpensive they are. This one was only $10 and the same one on their website was $16. I always find things when I go to that store, and it is seriously my favorite place to shop.

This is my dining room and this plant also came from HomeGoods....I bought some little flags over the weekend and put them around the downstairs. I also always keep lights up on my fireplace mantle. The current ones I have are some that Toddley bought me a year ago, that are red, white and blue. I love warm lighting and twinkling lights...I think it gives ambiance in a living space and it makes it seem cozy and inviting to people who come over. I love having people over and love being able to show hospitality to them, and I love the Bible verse that talks about that in Hebrews:

Don't neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it.  Hebrews 13:2

I've been told that my home is warm and inviting and I really believe it has nothing to do with the way it looks; I believe it has to do with those of us who live here and the Holy Spirit that is in us. I love the art of homemaking, and I do believe it is an art and a gift or a talent. We're all given gifts, talents or abilities, and I believe that one of mine is to show hospitality to others. I don't say this to brag; if you know me, you know that's not my intention. These are things I've been told by people I'm friends with. I love to pray regarding our home; my prayer is that our home would be a retreat or a haven that is filled with peace and that when people step inside the door, that they feel sense the presence of the Lord Jesus. Someone told us that once~that they felt peace here when they walked through the door. That wasn't us, friends; it was the Holy Spirit and ultimately that is what I want people to experience when they come into our home~the Holy Spirit and His peace that surpasses all understanding.

Aside from that, there are a few things I do every single day: I vacuum all the time. I mentioned we have dogs...there are three of them and Callie the German Shepherd sheds terribly. I also do laundry everyday. If I see a dusty piece of furniture, I dust it right then. I am always wiping off the surfaces in our home, whether in the kitchen or in the bathrooms~again, this is because of our dogs. Before I go to bed at night, I make sure things are picked up downstairs...if there are dishes laying around, they get put in the dishwasher. I fold the blanket I used, I make sure the kitchen table is clear, I get the coffee pot ready for the next morning. It's kind of like a nightly reset...and doing all of that makes my mornings smooth and enjoyable; I am also a product of both my mom and my dad and they are both very neat and orderly people. Their homes are NEVER dirty and when Mom says something was filthy in her house, I laugh. Her idea of filthy and my idea of filthy are two entirely different things. (I'm laughing as I write that.)

I know everyone is not like this, and that's fine...but I do think homemaking is a gift/talent, and it's definitely something I love and enjoy doing for the people I love who live here with me. I love creating a warm environment for them. I especially want my husband to be glad to come home everyday and a lot of that has to do with my own attitude. I've heard it said that the wife is the emotional barometer in the home and I believe it's true; his mood can be made better or worse by mine. I love cooking dinner for him and my sons and I love making things I know they love. Just last week Toddley asked for meatloaf one night, so you'd better believe I made it for him. He never requests anything, so when he or one of the others does ask for something in particular, I make it. Noah asks for things a lot, too...and I try to make what he asks as well.

I loved writing this post; I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse of my home. Thanks for reading! Love to all.

Monday, June 29, 2020

weekending & Hello Monday linkup

Happy Monday, Friends! I'm linking up with Tanya at The Other Side of the Road for this blog post.

It was such a good weekend. I visited with my dad on Friday and then took him home and as I left his house I called my mom to talk...she was making BLT sandwiches for dinner and asked if I wanted to come over. Of course I jumped on that offer after I made sure Toddley didn't have plans, so I cut through one of the country roads on my way home and that road took me out to Fayette County, where they live. I love country roads!

I was stopped when I took these...mostly and even if I wasn't, there were no cars around me. I love all the green of summer. I love how lush everything looks and I love the sunsets and the way the clouds look. I have a thing for clouds, did you know that? I love what this verse says:

LORD, your faithful love reaches to heaven, your faithfulness to the clouds. Psalm 36:5

I love seeing all of this out in the country. While I was at Mom's house eating BLT sandwiches, Todd and the boys went to Chili's for dinner with a couple of their friends. Todd came back home shortly after I got back and he ended up staying outside to put together a bench he bought for the deck. It was too big, though and he took it back. I went to bed early that night and was up again early on Saturday. I sat down for some quiet time that morning and had laundry going at the same time, then my mom called and asked if I wanted to go out with her and my sister Trish. I did. I folded some clothes and made the bed, then got dressed and they picked me up. The only place I wanted to go was to HomeGoods for a new candle, because I burned mind all the way down. 

And every once in a while, I hit the jackpot there...yesterday was that day. I found a banner I wanted for our fence in the backyard, I found the candle I'd been looking for that I wanted to replace the one in the living room, and I found two really cute hanging plantar things with lavender inside of them. Let me show you.

I love how it all turned out! The throw pillows on the bench came from Hobby Lobby...Toddley met me, Mom and Trish there and we bought them yesterday along with a shadowbox that he needed to put some commemorative things in. The cushions in the turquose chairs came from Lowe's and the hanging pots with lavender are artificial and from HomeGoods.

Todd also took the bench back from Friday night and replaced it with a smaller one that is a darker color, and that's where we will store all of the cushions while nobody is out there. 

Too bad it's too hot to sit out there and enjoy it all, but it is. Good old Memphis weather. 

Saturday night Toddley worked with the sheriff department, so I had the tv and most of the house to myself. It was GLORIOUS. I watched The American President, a movie from 1995 that I loved with Michael Douglas, and I talked on the phone to my best friend and my mom-in-love. 

Toddley came home earlier than I expected, so that was nice...Noah and I were the only ones here when he came home. We were up early Sunday for church and the service was so good! The active families pastor and my friend AJ preached...I told him I could have listened to him for a couple more hours and I wouldn't have complained. I can't wait until they email the sermon to us, I plan on listening to it again. That afternoon after all the boys got home from lunch with friends, Todd and all of them (plus a few extra) went and met his friend Chris out by his house about an hour away for a day of swimming. I had another evening at home alone and enjoyed it thoroughly. My favorite night is one spent at home when I'm by myself. I'm such an introvert and since the quarantine, I rarely get the tv to myself. 

I came across a really good article Friday and thought I'd share it with you. It's put out by my favorite curriculum company. Click here to read it for yourself. It's about homeschooling and I share it with you in case anyone reading this is considering that an option for their family. With unsure times and so much uncertainty about what fall will look like for students, it's a very timely word from Charlene Notgrass. Notgrass is the curriculum I've used for years for history/social studies. All my guys loved the books and the pictures and everything written within the pages. If you ever want to talk about homeschooling, I am here. I loved what Charlene said in her article, and I almost could have written it myself~our reasons are similar, as to why we chose to homeschool.

On a lighter note, look at this drink I made Saturday night!

It was so, so good and very low in calories and fat. I had coffee leftover from Saturday morning so to that I added 1 tbsp of chocolate syrup, a splash of milk, and a handful of ice. I blended it with an immersion blender and got another glass that was about half full with ice and added 1 more tbsp of chocolate syrup and poured the iced drink over it. I had TWO glasses of it because it was not unhealthy.

I had it again Sunday night, because it's refreshing and satisfied the craving for a milkshake I had.

Look at my beautiful sister and niece. Lisa [on the left] celebrated her birthday on Sunday and I shared this picture in honor of that. Isn't she pretty? Her and Erika both! Erika is my niece that is pregnant with her second set of twins. SECOND. Did you catch that? Her girls, my great nieces Kinsley and Kylie, are three and a half and her second set [also girls!] are due in August. We're praying for healthy babies and a safe delivery for all.

It was a great weekend, like I said. How was yours? I'd love to hear! Thanks for reading...love to all.  

Friday, June 26, 2020

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, Friends! I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals for this blog post.

I've way overposted on social media this week, but I blame it on our world that's falling more and more to Jesus before my very eyes. I feel like I need to preface this post with that disclaimer: This may be long, so feel free to either skip this post entirely or be prepared to hunker down for a bit. It's been a week and not a bad one.

Here's a little bit from this past week.

My quiet time with Jesus has been my favorite part of the week. The Lord has been showing me so much during my Bible reading each day. I've been in the books of 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Jonah, Micah, Hosea, Amos and Isaiah. I finished Wednesday morning with that top picture with the verse out of Isaiah. I know the Lord is using what I learned through studying Hosea the past few months in showing me how it all connects. One thing I know to be true: the Lord teaches me through His word. He is my Teacher and the best Teacher of all.

Another favorite of mine is seeing my dad's handwriting on the pages of my Bible. We shared this chronological Bible for years, alternating reading it each year. I make notes as I read in my Bible; apparently the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, because he does the same thing.

Swimming in this pool with my mom in love last weekend was my favorite. We had such a great time and didn't want to leave!

Jonah and Noah have the coolest room. It's lit up like the fourth of July and I love all the flags they have hanging. They ordered two new ones last week and have been extra diligent in keeping their tiny room spotless.

Speaking of tiny...look at my "babies" a whole thirteen years ago. I was having a moment Sunday night when I registered them for their senior year of high school and wrote a whole blog post about it this week. I may have made myself cry.

A few of my favorite things~this awesome Bible study on 1 and 2 Kings called Trustworthy, a good and strong cup of coffee and the beautiful flowers from my step-mom.

I cleaned my closet this week. I got rid of a lot and organized it all...and you know that is one of my favorite things.

This podcast is another favorite of mine and I've been listening to several this week.

Other favorites from the week include:

~staying home all day on Monday to catch up on house work, Bible reading, Scripture writing and laundry.

~spending all day with Mom on Tuesday. Quality time is my favorite love language!

~spending four hours with my friend Amy on Wednesday. We were making edits to my portion of the Bible study we wrote on Hosea. It was a fun four hours and went by quickly...and I never thought I'd say that.

~eating healthier. I am one week in and going strong at cutting way back on eating, and eating less carbs and less sugar. I'm having SOME of those things, but I'm limiting myself. It turns out that gluten makes my body ache and since I've not had much of the stuff I have been pain free. I am also less about seven pounds. I'm not doing this because of weight or the way I look~I am doing this because my body is the temple of God and I want to honor Him in EVERY area of my life. That means in what I read, what I watch, things I listen to and the food I eat.

Being pain free is my favorite. As a result I've been sleeping  better and I have way more energy.

Well, that's about all I can think of, Friends. Thanks for reading! Love to all.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

throwback Thursday

I had a moment Sunday night, when I had some spare time on my hand.  I had to report grades for the second semester of their junior year and I submitted their lesson plan for the next school year, and before I could submit it all, I had to register these babies for their senior year of high school. 

I mean, they are still my "babies", right? Even if Noah (on the right) towers over me like a brick wall. This is how they'll forever be in my mind. Four years old, living their best lives in all the John Deere green they could find and riding their little tractors all over the downstairs of our home. 

Those were the days when we were always at the local elementary school that Graham and Drew attended. I was always room mom and volunteering for everything~copies, lunches, health room, laminating, you name it, I was there. We would pack up for the day and go to CES and we'd spend the whole day there. We'd take lunches~theirs were always in their John Deere tractor lunch boxes~and loads of Matchbox cars and they would play wherever I worked that day.

And then it was their turn to start kindergarten, and if Jonah even heard the word "school", he would start crying. He didn't want to be separated from his twin brother, like he knew would happen once August came for their kindergarten year. The principal at the time wanted to do that and I agreed to disagree with her choice, but we made the best out of a hard situation. Up until that point, they'd never spent even one minute apart from each other.

I got a job at that same school right after they started kindergarten that year. For the first two weeks of the school year, I worked in the health room all day long every single day. The third or fourth week of the year was when a job position opened up and I jumped at the chance to work there part time. I became the lunch lady and was in charge of about six hundred or more students as they ate lunch  in three different shifts everyday. I wore an apron and passed out ketchup packets, hugs and love. They never knew what I was doing as I worked there, but I'd walk that entire lunch room and pray over each and every student. I could always spot a new student from their first day, and I always told my friends if I knew someone's name, it was not for a good reason. 

It was not a glamorous job, but it kept me humble, it kept me busy, it allowed me the opportunity to put my eyes on all four of my sons everyday they were there, I got to know all of their friends and their teachers, and it paid me a minimal salary. It was the best job I've ever had and my favorite to date. I am not kidding when I say that. It was loud and chaotic, but let me know you something~when I needed to get those kids' attention, with my voice or a certain clap, I could quickly gain the attention of over two hundred students at one time.

I worked three hours everyday~I'd be with all the students for lunch, then I would put the teachers' mail into their mailboxes in the faculty lounge. After that I'd help out in the office and answer phones or do anything else that was needed while I finished my last half hour. For a few months I worked full time as I worked my job and also filled in for the "office lady" Kathy as she recovered from surgery. I also took cash to the bank after my job everyday and that gave me "comp time" that I would bank and save for field trips with my boys. I am telling you, the Lord gave me favor there both in the school system and with the principal~even if I did crash into her car my very first day of work. Not even kidding.

I loved my job, but I loved being with my kids the most. 

And now, they're about to done with school. We started our homeschooling journey the year they entered into the fourth grade and we've never stopped. We pulled Graham and Drew out during that same school year, but after the Christmas break. I had two in fourth grade, one in seventh grade and one in eighth grade. This will be our ninth and final year of homeschooling. 

It's been fun and it's been terrible. It's caused me to lose sleep and to have a panic attack in the middle of the night as I thought of something I'd forgotten in their curriculum. It's been easy on some days and on other days it was impossible. They've loved it and they've hated it at times. I've also loved it and hated it, depending on the year and the attitudes they had. But really, none of them ever had bad attitudes.

They're independent in their work, meaning they don't need me around all that much. They know what to do each week and the work gets completed. Unless Jonah makes copies of the wrong math and the semester gets messed up, but it all worked out in the end. I've been a terrible homeschool mom and I've been a good homeschool mom. What we've done has worked and what we've done has failed. 

I suppose what I'm saying is that it's been a journey and one we'll never forget. It just seems like they should still be four years old and so little and cute like this. (They're still cute, though.) 

If you ask them what their plans are for after high school, they will undoubedly tell you they don't know what they'll be doing. I know they do not want to go to college. We are okay with this, but if they don't go to school, the rule is they have to work full time. Once they're working regularly, we begin the process of letting them go, meaning they pay for their own hair cuts, they shop for their own clothes, they're no longer required to tell us quite so much of their whereabouts.

The Lord has begun to plant an idea in Jonah's mind, and I will let him be the one to tell you what it is, because it could always change. But he is starting to think along the lines of a certain path he wants to take. It's a good plan, and I'm happy for him. Noah says one thing, but I'm not sure how it's going to work out quite yet. 

If you wouldn't mind, would you pray for them alongside me, regarding that? I always ask the Lord to give them wisdom and guidance. I don't want them to take one step outside the will of God, and my greatest prayer for all of my sons is that they would all love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and that they would love others as they love themselves. I pray that over Alex, my bonus son as well, and I pray it over all five of their future wives.

If you see me out and about during the 2020/2021 school year and I'm crying silently, don't mind me. I'll be fine. This year is hard, emotionally, and even the third time around, it has not gotten any easier. They're not going anywhere, these sons of mine, but their childhood flew right by. It seems they started kindergarten and I blinked and they were in middle school. Then they hit sixth grade and I blinked again, and here they are soon to be seniors in high school. 

For you young moms, hug your babies~they don't keep, that is for sure. 

I'll leave you with some current pictures of my handsome twin sons.

This is Jonah with Chip, whom he loves more than anyone else in the house. Jonah is one of the hardest working people I know and has a work ethic just like his dad. He is so smart and is someone I consider an entrepeneur. He's run his own car detailing service since he was fifteen years old and has worked full time over a summer (last summer helping a church friend who owns a floor company) and is busy every single day of his life. I cannot keep up with his crazy schedule.

This is sweet Noah. Don't let this picture fool you~I forced him to do this for me the night before he left to go on a trip to California with his best friend. This was back in November of 2019. But he surely is a sweet little thing, not that he is little anymore. He towers over me! He is smart, kind, honest, sweet and diligent. He worked his first "real" job starting in the fall of 2019 at Papa John's, and resigned this spring to work with his best friend for a lawn service. He works two or three days a week and makes great money.

And this is one of my favorite pictures of them. It was the night they turned seventeen this past March, before the quarantine and COVID19 hit. 

I am going to say this one final thing before I wrap this up~do not think for one second our family is perfect. I assure you, we are the furthest thing from that. But, and this is a big one~in this house we love Jesus. 

We've raised them with consistency, we've given them consequences when they disobeyed, we've told them church attendance is not optional as long as they live under our roof, and my husband has been an excellent father/Dad/friend. We love our kids, sure, but we genuinely like them and love being with them. My husband gets most of the credit for this, because though I love them and am great for feeding, loving on and nurturing, what a son needs is a Dad. Not a "father", not a "friend", but a Dad. 

Todd has coached their teams, he's been involved in every aspect of their lives, he follows them and all their friends on ALL the social media outlets (I do not do this!), and he has done an exceptional job at all of this. I once heard a quote that is very true~whichever parent is the same sex is the most effectual parent. This means that a dad is the most important to sons, and a mom is most important to daughters. I will also say here that I have stepped back in my role of "mom" and I have let my husband do this...we do not always agree on everything, but I stand behind him and support him. 

Most importantly~I give all the glory and praise to God for helping us parent these four sons He has entrusted us with. I pray they always hold fast to Jesus, and that they never lose sight of Him in their lives.

Thanks for reading my blog. Love to all. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

women in the Word Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, friends. I thought I'd talk a little about where I've been reading in the Bible lately. This past Sunday found me in Amos, and I'd love show you a little of what jumped out to me. 

I normally do not love the prophesy books in the Old Testament. I don't really understand them, I never have and it's just not my thing. I told Missy that Monday~we each have our "thing" with Bible reading and prophesy is not mine. [Prophesy and history are her thing, especially when it has to do with Messianic prophesy.]


I just finished studying the book of Hosea very intently in the months since January, and it's because of that I can say that I am loving the prophesy books right now. On Sunday and Monday of this week, I read the book of Amos. It's a short nine chapters, and this picture above is from where I was on Sunday. I love what Amos 4:13 says.

He is here: the one who forms mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, the one who makes the dawn out of darkness and strides on the heights of the earth. The LORD, the God of Armies, is his name.

It reminded me so much of what I studied in studying for writing on Hosea. In chapter four, Amos was warning Israel (the Northern kingdom with all the bad kings) that judgment was coming to them if they did not return to the Lord and repent of their sin against a holy and righteous God. God is so holy that He cannot look upon sin.

Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, and you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Habakkuk 1:13a

Sin had to be punished. God gave them warning after warning to return to Him and just in Amos 4, He kept saying, "yet you did not return to me." Israel was stubborn and prideful, and their hearts were hardened toward God. That is what pride does, by the way, if it goes unchecked for too long.

God had given them chance after chance. All they had to do was repent of their sin and turn back to Him, but they didn't heed His warning. He warned them in Amos 4:2 of what was to come.

The Lord God has sworn by his holiness: Look, the days are coming when you will be taken away with hooks, every last one of you with fishhooks.

They had been warned that they would be carried off into captivity, and they were. Israel had enjoyed prosperity under an evil king and because of the fact that they were unwilling to repent, eventually they would be carried away into captivity by the Assyrian army.

Israel continued to reject God and though they were stubborn and prideful, God didn't abandon them completely because of His great love for them. He was always near them and you can read for yourself that time after time, He was moved to compassion on their behalf. All they had to do was turn away from sin and turn back to God.

Doesn't it seem so simple today, as we look back on these past events?

Why do I write about all of this, you ask? Well, doesn't it seem like our own country right now? As a whole and as a nation, we have turned our backs on God. We took God out of schools, it became legal to kill unborn babies, and we are biting and devouring each other in our own nation. We are prideful, as a whole and as a nation. We are stubborn and we have forgotten God. There are a few of us who love Him, sure, but we are definitely the minority. We could easily turn back to Him as Lord and Savior...but will we? I don't know the answer to that.

What I do know is that God is good. If we were to call out to Him, He would be right there, ready to forgive, just like what I wrote from Amos 4:13. I'm going to share it once again.

He is here: the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, the one who makes the dawn out of darkness and strides on the heights of the earth. The LORD, the God of Armies, is his name.

In His majesty as Creator God, He formed the mountains. He created the wind, and just like the Holy Spirit, though we cannot see it, we know the wind is there and we can feel the gentle breeze of it on our face. He reveals His thoughts to man when we read His word and that is also how He speaks to us today. He made the dawn out of darkness~His light (the dawn) pushes back darkness. Read what John 8:12 says:

Jesus spoke to them again: "I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life."

He strides on the heights of the earth, and as the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary states, "God treadeth down the proud of the earth. He subjects to Him all things however high they be."

The LORD, the covenant keeping God of Armies is His name. God is Creator and He always keeps His word. When we repent and turn from sin, He is compassionate toward us and He is abounding in love and mercy. He lavishes us with His grace. It's so simple.

Do you know Him? I want you to know Him like I know Him. You can know about Him and not know Him. He wants you to know Him and He longs for a relationship with you. So many people think they're not good enough yet, but He wants you to come as you are~messy and raw and vulnerable. He will take the old you and make a new creation. You will be forever transformed when you answer His gentle beckoning. 

If you want to talk, reach out. Don't wait! Do it today, we are never promised one more day here on earth. You can comment on here, email me, text me, call me, find me on social media. I'm easy to find.

[Instagram: jenlloydgoodwin]
[Facebook: Jennifer Lloyd Goodwin]
[Email: allboys@gmail.com]

Thanks for reading. Love to all.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

what I love about summer, or at least the theory of summer

I always say that I love summer, but truthfully? I do not. I was thinking about this last week and decided it's the theory of summer that I love and not necessarily the months of the hottest season of the year. I live near Memphis, Tn and we are known for HOT and humid. The humidity is what is so terrible and what makes my hair swell to epic proportions. If I lived in the heat without the humidity, I think I'd be okay. Anyway, we're all different and we all love and dislike different things, but here is my list and the why behind it all.

I LOVE to swim and to be in the water. I can swim or float, it does not matter, I just love being in water. I love being in the sun and having color on my skin from time spent outdoors.

I do not like being outdoors in the heat, unless I'm in water.

I do like being outdoors when it's cool at night, like the night I took this picture. Our deck and seating and lighting are magical and I love being out there.

I love summer reading. I have time to read all the time, though, so I don't know why summer makes it different. I'm currently reading from my own stockpile of books, or books that I'm borrowing from friends. I am also purchasing books on Amazon. Don't tell Toddley, though.

But, give me ALL the books.

I love wearing less makeup in the summer. And the more shimmery the better! Because of how hot it is here, I can't stand to have a bunch of makeup on, and if I have a little tan, I don't need it that much.

I love this flag above Noah's bed and I agree with its saying. The boys have been spending Saturdays at a local beach area by our house, and I'd tell you more about it, but I want it to stay secluded and private for them. ;)

I love how beach towels smell like sunscreen~and even when you wash them a million times how they still smell like it; it's like it's baked into the fibers.

I love the long and slow days and the laziness of it all. I'm more likely to settle down and watch more shows and movies, or sit and read for hours on end. I love the sun setting so late, too, and I love seeing fireflies out the window.

There's a tree at my church that I love~it has yellow blooms and it only blooms through the middle of July. Once the extreme heat comes, it's back to just green. The yellow blooms remind me of fireworks.

I love the theory of fireworks, but I do NOT love fireworks. They scare me because of their unpredictability.

I love the summer music playlists I've made on Spotify and music plays nonstop in my home.

I love freshly cut grass and summer rain storms. I can smell the rain in the air, and it's one of my favorite smells.

I love not using the oven or stovetop and how my hubby grills out for us most nights.

I love all the fruit and all the veggies and how they're readily available.

I love seeing color everywhere in the flowers I admire.

I love the extended time I have to sit at my kitchen table and read the word of God and talk to Him in prayer. This time is so precious to me and I treasure every single second.

There's so much more I could list, but I'll wrap this up. Tell me some things you love about this time of year and some traditions you enjoy with your family. I'd love to hear!

Thanks for reading my blog! Love to all.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Hello Monday & Weekending

Happy Monday, Friends! I'm linking up with Tanya from The Other Side of the Road and her friends for this blog post. 

It was such a good weekend, one full of celebration, laughter, family and worship. I'll start with Friday night. We had Toddley's parents over for dinner, because it's been a minute since I've seen them. I didn't actually think about it being a night to celebrate Father's day, but since that was yesterday, I took advantage of it and we had a great evening. 

It's always fun being with them when they're here and I enjoyed catching up with them. On Saturday, a friend of mine told me I could swim in her pool because they were going to be gone all of Saturday, so I took her up on her offer.

And that's where I spent Saturday from ten until almost two in the afternoon. It was GLORIOUS. I am not kidding when I say that. My mom in love went with me, because she is the one I usually swim with in the summer. She has a pool in her neighborhood that we go to, but pools and summer are both canceled, so I was really wanting to be in some water...I posted this picture below on social media last week and meant it as a joke, but it's because of this picture that she reached out to me about using her pool for the day.

I mentioned summer and swimming being canceled, so I was having to resort to shimmery makeup to make it seem like I had some color on my skin from the sun. (Side note: I ordered this new illuminating face primer by Elf and that pretty new blush from Amazon last week and love them both~one was $7 and the other was $6. Bonus! It's not necessary to spend a lot of money on makeup.)

After swimming all day, I came home and showered and rested for a bit before going to my dad's house to celebrate Father's day with him. Toddley worked with the sheriff's department that night, so my sister Trish met me here and we rode out to Dad's together. I ordered a meal from Zopita's Kitchen here in The Ville on the town square (lasagna, salad, bread) and we took that and some Hello Dollies that she made out to their house. It was such a fun night, and it was better and more relaxing than being out in a restaurant. 

Not the greatest picture, but a fun night, and one I'm thankful for. I do not take any of these precious life moments for granted. Dad is 89 years young, and we are so blessed that he is in such great health considering his age.

I was back home at eight thirty and in comfy clothes. I vegged out and watched a show or two then went to bed. Yesterday morning was church and it was so good! During the worship portion, I got to watch the sweet daughter of a friend of mine who was on the praise team that day, and Bexley and I had a great time together exploring the grand foyer part of the building and listening to the music and singing together. She's a doll. After church I rushed home and finished getting lunch ready, then Mom and Bill came over and ate with us after church. It was nothing fancy~we had hot dogs and chips and dip, but it was fun and we were able to celebrate Bill. 

Toddley and I stayed in the rest of the night and had a nice quiet evening at home. Last week was really busy, so I'm looking forward to a slower pace this week. How was your weekend? I'd love to hear! Thanks for reading my blog...love to all. 💗

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