Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday Favorites

Whew! We made it!  Friday is finally here!  I managed to blog all five days and worked four of those days!  Yay me!  This was my first week with four days of Nannie"ing" and it went well.  It's still going to be an adjustment being committed for four days a week, but we'll get there!

I'm linking up with Momfessionals, Grace and Love Blog and A Little Bit of Everything and for Friday Favorites - be sure to link up or check them out!

My Friday Favorites are going to be random, and I mean really, really random! Here we go!

Favorite Quick Biscuit Recipe:  Mayonnaise Biscuits

It sounds weird, but they are super easy and super yummy and do NOT taste like mayonnaise!

2 cups self rising flour
1 cup milk (I use fat free)
6 tablespoons mayonnaise (I use Duke's)

Mix together, but don't overwork.  I use muffin tins to get a uniform size and bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes or until the tops are brown to your liking.  I have added Tastefully Simple's Spinach and Herb Dip Mix, Italian Seasoning and even cheese to these just to change them up, just a little of any goes a long way, do it to your taste.  I often halve the recipe since there are just 2 of us.  I use a large cookie scoop to put into the tins.  You can scoop onto a baking sheet, but I don't really like them flattened out.

Favorite Baby Wearing Wrap:  Sleepy Wrap ( Now known as a Boba Wrap)

I purchased my Sleepy Wrap from a children's consignment sale years ago and the name has been changed to Boba Wrap.  You can check it out here.  I'm a plus size gal and the idea of baby wearing is a bit intimidating when baby carriers have buckles, latches and snaps not meant for us fluffy girls.  Other brands, like a Moby Wrap, are similar, but have double the width of fabric and it's just too much to handle.  I like the Boba Wrap because it is lightweight, I can tie it to fit my proportions and it comes in many colors.  Learning to wrap and baby wear takes no time at all and it's the best hands free option in my opinion.  I am looking forward to utilizing it with sweet Caroline in the upcoming months - we tried it out for a bit on Monday.
Favorite Chicken Related Gift So Far:
So, you don't have to be a chicken mama to enjoy this gift, but I am, and I do.  My sister gave me these reusable containers for eggs and I love, love, LOVE them!  I love opening the door and seeing my girls' hard work :) Aren't they beautiful!
My Favorite Custom Order through my Etsy Shop so far:

Ok, so to be fair, I've had a few favorites, but this set was one I did for a Christmas gift and it turned out SO super cute.  The recipient goes to church with us and just moved into a new house and can't wait to finish decorating her laundry room with the signs!  Sweet! I hope to have a set in my shop SmallTownGirlDesign soon!
Finally- my favorite Winnie the Pooh meme:

Yep, this one is pretty perfect.  And I am ROCKING the winter body! HA!
Have a great weekend everyone! Thanks for stopping by Faith, Family and Friends!



Thursday, January 7, 2016

Thinking Out Loud Thursday - Grace, Marriage and PMS

Good Morning Everyone!

I'm linking up today with Penny and Vanessa for Thinking Out Loud Thursday...take some time to go check them out today - they always have something great to share! I'm listening to Vanessa's vlog as I type this intro today! :) are my Thursday thoughts!

Grace - we hear the term randomly in our lives, especially if you're a Christ follower, but also in different phrases, like good gracious or she's so graceful for example.

But do we, or even can we, really grasp grace?  It's one of those concepts that baffles me often.  And sometimes we really just need to sit and breathe that grace in...and shut our mouths long enough to recognize God's grace in our lives, our marriages, our homes, and most importantly in our walk with God.

Grace is undeserved, unmerited and invaluable.  We can't earn it, buy it, barter for it or even steal it.  God gives it freely, not because He has to.  Not because we had a good day.  Certainly not because we are without flaws and it's a reward.  And if you're blessed like me, and I sincerely hope you are, you have been given a husband who loves so unconditionally it's really a testament of God's grace given to me through His child, my sweet RC, to love this mess of wife, even when, no, especially when I'm not so loving of a wife.

 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:4-10 (ESV)

That passage of scripture talks about how God's mercy on us, the same mercy He showed when He sent His Son to die for us...when we didn't deserve it.  We deserved the fiery wrath, we are blessed to have the opportunity to be rich in His grace.  Not because of our works our goodness, but SOLELY because of Him. 

Do you have those days when you're speaking to your spouse and you hear yourself being fussy, saying crappy things and think "WHY am I talking to them this way?"  Well I do.  And often it's while I have my monthly cycle and PMS has overtaken my body and more importantly my mouth.  I'm not sure how those hormones manage to manifest themselves through my big, fat mouth, but they sure do.  And it ain't pretty. 

Case in point...last night I was fussy for no real reason, other than I'm having this random pain in my back and it's made me a bit grumpy for the last week or so.  I don't know what tipped it over the edge, but my poor sweet husband ended up with the load of stinky, crappy fussiness on his head.  We have a to do list a mile and a half long, and I'm not a patient person in ANY way.  I want it all done yesterday.  Now mind you, my own list is sitting there, so many things on it, some that have been there for years, but I have my blinders on to it obviously and take it out the rest of the list on my husband.

He could get mad, he could fuss back, saying well how about this or how about that on YOUR list.  But he doesn't.  He gives me the helpless look of "I want to fix it, but it's 9pm and I can't do it all tonight", never once raising his voice or pointing his finger back at me.  That folks, is grace.  It's God's grace working in and through His child, reminding me that He loves me, He gave me His child as my husband for this reason (and SO many more) remind me and assure me that HE is there, even when I'm crabby, even when I'm wrong, even when I keep talking long after I should. 

Now, I know I'm waaaaaay more blessed than many.  I have been married once before, and it wasn't pretty, and it wasn't all my ex-husband's fault.  Sin is ugly, you can't put makeup on it and cover it up.  It's just nasty, vile, smelly and dark.  But when you see God at work in your life, you begin to realize how His plans, His mercy, His grace all come together for our good.  Not because of us, of anything we did "right", but because He created us, He loves us...we can choose to honor Him by living lives worthy of His praise, but we'll never get it perfect.  I'll be fussy again, I'm sure.  And maybe one day, my sweet RC will say "stop it" (although in four years it hasn't happened yet - that man, I swear y'all - I won the super grand deluxe version of the lottery with him) but until then, I'm going to apologize (which I have, a couple of times) and try to do better. 

This was a heavy post for today, but it's what's on my heart.  Be kind to those around you.  Say thank you, I love you, you mean the world to me...let them know, make sure they know. by your words AND your actions that you do value them and are thankful that God gave them to you...they need to hear it! 

To my sweet RC - I love you forever, the most and to the moon and back...

Hugs and love from SC,

PS - who can help a girlfriend out with a recommendation for PMS drugs for my mouth!?!?!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Ten Tuesday Thoughts

Happy Tuesday Everyone!  We survived the first Monday back after Christmas!  Here are a few random Tuesday thoughts running around in my head!

1- Taking the Christmas decorations down is just depressing!  I am happy to have things back in place, but not seeing my beautiful tree and fun little decorations everywhere just makes the house look blah.  I did decide to leave my tree up in my sunroom for a little while longer since it has mostly snowflake ornaments from my Margaret Furlong collection.

2 - This is my Bible study plan for January.  I tried to do the December one, but I'll be honest, I failed, big time with just not setting aside the time to do it with all of the craziness of the holiday season.  But it's a new month and a new day - and I have a notebook ready just for it (I'm an office supplies nerd, and I love all things paper, pen and pencils)  Feel free to follow along with me - it's not too late to get caught up!

3 - It is finally winter"y" feeling outside in SC - and for the first time in what feels like FOREVER, we have had a few dry days in a row!  It's pretty crazy how grumpy you can get from having to endure days upon day of dreary, rainy weather.  This Carolina girl needs sunshine.  Caring for chickens in the mucky yard is no fun either and I am so thankful for a break for a few days - the rain returns at the end of the week, so we'll enjoy it while it lasts.
4 - My first day with the sweet little one I mentioned yesterday went well.  Getting to know each other and how she likes to be held and fed and rocked and changed...that will take some time, but she already got out her first hissy fit while I was changing her diaper, so I know what she sounds like good and mad - glad we got that out of the!  I'm looking forward to getting to snuggle her again today and then her grandparents will each have her for a day before she spends the day with her daddy who is off on Fridays.  Here are a few pictures of our first day!
5 - Four years ago this week, I also spent my first day with another sweet little one, her mom tagged me in a picture on Instagram - I can't believe it's been that long!  Sweet Kendyl is a big 4 year old now, and I miss getting to be a part of her (and her sister and brother) lives on a daily basis.  They'll always be Nannie's kids no matter what!  Here is the picture from Kendyl's first day and a few from her birthday in November...I can't even handle how big she has gotten!
6 - I have committed to the Project 366 challenge for 2016 where you take (and share) a picture each day.  I am sharing them on my Instagram page (follow me at Born2Crop if you like) and using the hashtag #2016Project366.  Feel free to join up with me!
7 - New year means getting back on track with things in your life, right?  Well our top 3 items to work on in our house are working on our health, getting back to a budget and getting some big projects done both here in SC at our house and getting the house prepped for sale in NC.  I am going back to the envelope system around here for my budgeting, especially for the grocery seems to be the most effective method for controlling excess spending.  What are some ways you budget that work for you?
8 - I am hoping to link up with other blogs this year and would love some suggestions of blog link parties that you love to follow, link up with or host.  If you pass by here and have a blog of your own, please comment and let me know - I would love to follow you and hear your story.
9 - I am excited about my tv shows coming back from their winter break.  Is that sad?  I have a few that I really love and a few that just fill  white noise void that I pay enough attention to not to be lost.  I can't believe American Idol is getting ready to start it's final season!  I am a fan from season one and I'll be sad to see it go!  I am going to tune in to Shades of Blue this week and give it a chance, although I'm not 100% sold on Jennifer Lopez in a leading role on TV.  We shall see!
10 -   One of my goals for 2016 is to get my craft room cleaned out by actually using my "stuff" to make things and either gift them or sell them in my Etsy shop SmallTownGirlDesign.  I have so many items that I bought with a purpose and they just sit there!  I am hoping to work that in on Mondays and Tuesdays while Caroline naps.  But first, I must get in their and organize a bit - and that's a whole project in itself. 

So there you have it y'all - tune in tomorrow for a Wordless Wednesday view of what I've been up to for the last few months!

Have a great day,

Monday, January 4, 2016

So, let's catch up!

Good Monday Morning!
It's been a while since I've posted about my sweet chickens....well, let's be honest, it's been a while since I posted about anything at all.  Last we crossed paths, we were still on operation egg watch.  If you follow me on Instagram (Born2Crop if you'd like to) you got to see the big day.  I was actually IN the coop WITH my camera when the event took place, totally by chance, but it SO super thrilled me to be there!  My sweet Emma Rae did the honors of the first egg and when I picked it up, it was still warm.  Talk about WEIRD!  Since then, all of the girls are with the game plan and even with the shorter days that cause less frequent egg laying we are getting 4 eggs most days.  It's really quite fun to interact with them, give them treats and of course gather eggs.  If you've never had fresh eggs, I highly recommend it.  Here are the gals just this past week wandering around in the yard for some supervised free ranging time which is their favorite activity! I can't believe how big they've gotten and how each has their own personality.  It's quite interesting to see the pecking order in action and I've had to put my fussy pants on more than once to break up a bully picking on a lower order gal.  Not in my coop!


Here's a random day in the yard giving them treats...they are so funny when they see the treat jars come's a free for all to see who can get to me first!
All the poop, early mornings and work involved with keeping their coop and run is worth it when at the end of the week, the basket looks like this! :) 
In the rest of my world, we are still cleaning out my other house, but making progress, I am still watching a family of 3 kids on Thursdays and Fridays and today I add a sweet little 7 week old princess to my list of Nannie's kids on Monday and Tuesdays.  Her name is Caroline and I can't wait to get my snuggle on with her this week!  I guess this officially brings me out of retirement as Nannie with a 4 day work week - we'll see how much I like it in a month or two! 
RC is returning to work today after a week and a half off and that will be weird not to have him around all day for sure!   We just celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary on December 26th and couldn't be happier!  It's seriously hard to believe four years has passed since we said our I do's.  God has blessed me more than I ever thought possible by bringing us together!  Here is a shot from our annual anniversary pictures session and I absolutely ADORE it.  It was a hoot to get the shot, but worth it in the end!
2016 has plenty in store for us and I can't wait to get back to regular blogging and share it with y'all.  For today, we'll call it done - can't reveal everything the first day, right? 
Have a great day everyone!

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year - Resolutions, Plans and Dreams

Happy New Year from Faith, Family and Friends!
So, if you've ever visited my blog before, or visited recently and witnessed the extended break I've taken...I can really, I can.  Ok, maybe I can't really explain, except to say - life has a way of getting away from us and when that happens, one day turns into 2 turns into 10, turns into my 3 month break.  We're just going to jump right in for the new year and I'll try to do my best of blogging Monday through Friday, and what that looks like, I haven't quite determined. 
Monday's post will catch you up on all things chicken (we FINALLY have eggs since I last posted) and just an update on life in general in small town life!  I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year's weekend and is ready to rock 2016!
Here's to a happy, healthy new year from our house to yours,

Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday - Remembering September 11th

As I scroll through my news feed on Facebook, look at Instagram or Twitter today, there's no way that you can't know what today is.  I remember where I was when the first plane hit.  In the car taking my daycare kids to preschool.  I heard it on the radio, proceeded to drop the kids off, almost in disbelief and not really sure what I was hearing or what it meant.  I went home and turned on the television just as the second plane hit the other tower and remember gasping thinking this can't be happening, and could it have been on purpose?  Obviously we found out it was and still today we are haunted with the images of the aftermath, the gruesome reminders that loved ones will never come home and many lives are forever changed.

I was a different person then.  I was married on September 11, 1999 to a firefighter.  By 2001 we were not happily married due to many circumstances and ended up divorcing a while later.  But I distinctly remember thinking - those wives and husbands sent their spouses to work that day as I did many times knowing that they had dangerous jobs, but they "would" come home again safe and sound.  But so many didn't.  They died doing what they loved and would probably do it again if they had the chance.  It's what they did.  There is a mentality that one has in emergency services and it's not just a job - it's their life.  My ex-husband is still a fireman today, but is a battalion chief who doesn't man a hose or drive a truck anymore, but I'm pretty sure that faced with the decision to save a life, he'd get his white shirt dirty in a heartbeat.

Like many I was glued to my tv for days, crying at the images, so sad for those left behind.  Evil comes in many shapes and forms...that day it came as hijackers, trained to die and leave a path of destruction as far and wide as they could.  We are still cleaning up that mess today - it's so sad to see evil's hand at work in the world, and leaders seemingly turning a blind eye to the events like September 11, 2001.

My prayer for today as we remember is, let's pray for the future of America - for the lives of those still here, the lives of our children growing up in a messed up world full of corruption and self centeredness.  As God is being removed by different branches of government more and more, I wonder - how far does it go before we realize that "one nation UNDER God" and "in God we trust"  are more than just words on our currency and in our pledge. 

Hugs and love to all of you reading this - may your lives never be impacted by the hurt and anguish of those families on that fateful September day