December 16, 2013

Mama Wars....the Good & Bad {part 2}



*If you haven't read part 1 yet then click here.

Last time we talked about what I consider some pointless subjects for mama's to war over. Things that while very important are still personal decisions that each family must make for themselves and should be respected by others. The ones I mentioned are by no means an exhaustive list and I'm sure there are many more like them pertaining to individual families but suffice it to say I am totally for not getting all excited over what others do or don't do in a lot of areas.

But on the flip side of that I'm also fully convinced that there are some things that we should be fighting for as a mama....and I truly believe the Lord has been showing me some things to enforce that belief even more just recently. While there may be several things that I mention here that seem separate, in reality they are all very closely related to each other. I hope that sharing here helps your own heart to be challenged to go to war with me!

~ Modesty: Yes, I know, it's an old subject that gets brought up pretty often by some and can be a huge controversial issue. But y'all, it really is important or the Bible wouldn't have it in there! It's an area that has long been near and dear to my heart and one which I believe is becoming more and more needed to take a stand for as time goes on. Regardless of your thoughts on what style of clothing choice is right for women (and men) the truth is that there is an overall, Biblical standard of modesty if you search it out that should apply to everyone. It's important for SO many reasons not limited to but including-being honoring to God with our bodies, respectful of ourselves, others, and most especially our spouses, helping to prevent struggles with lust, and showing a difference from the world and those who don't know Christ. If I hadn't already been taught how we should be set apart in this area there have been a couple of things I've experienced just recently that have confirmed the conviction in my heart even more.

One such experience happened at a parade, where we ended up standing next to a family with the mom, a daughter, and two sons. The girl was probably about 8 while the brothers were older with one of them probably being about 13 or so. As the first band that had cheerleaders/dance girls walked by the sister loudly proclaimed that her brother would like seeing them and joked about him looking at them, etc. The mom laughed and played along with her even though the son was seemingly embarrassed by it. Then the little girl heard the next band and peaked around us to see the most scantily clad girls yet and proceeded to laugh gleefully while once again telling her brother that these would be his favorite of all while the mom laughed when he asked her to hush and said she's got your back. I just stood there completely stunned and saddened by the entire episode. How awful that not only did this young girl already have such a skewed view of how dressing immodestly attracted the most attention, but she also viewed the idea that her brother lusting over the ones with the least amount of clothes on was totally normal and expected. The worst part? Her mom encouraged it and was amused by it! Even after knowing how far our world has come in the area of what is appropriate and Biblical in showing nakedness and Godly, sexual behavior I'm still shocked every time seeing or hearing it first hand.

Another instance recently was when taking the girls to the Nutcracker on ice performance. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed seeing the play but afterwards while waiting to be picked up the behavior and attitudes about modesty were once again extremely disappointing and saddening. 3 of the girls were supposed to be Arabian dancers and while their performance really wasn't over the top suggestively their costumes left a lot to be desired when it comes to covering up. (think Jasmine's outfit from the Aladdin movie) As they pranced around in the lobby having pictures snapped I noticed the older man dressed as Santa Clause giving them extra special attention each time he passed. And even going so far as to sneak in "playfully" on one of the pictures while putting his arms around the girls bare backs/stomachs to pose. Did they know him? It seemed like it. Was it still appropriate? Not in my opinion. Oh, but the worst part once again? The adult women/mothers who were joyfully taking their pictures and bragging about not only how fabulous the costumes were but one went so far as to say that they picked the perfect girls for them because of how good their bodies looked in them. And everyone smiled and agreed like that was such a good thing! Not to mention they all seemed to think that the older man's attention was just all in good fun. Needless to say, I was once again totally amazed by it all. 

I shared these two incidents to not only show just where things are in regards to how people view modesty and covering up, but to also point out that there are so many that actually know better who instead of fighting it choose to just look the other way, excuse it, or go along so as not to "hurt anyone's feelings". I'm declaring today though that this is an area that I think is worth battling over, both for our sons and our daughters! Modesty (both outwardly and inwardly), sexual purity, and standing against the world's view on these matters ARE important to the Lord. (1 Tim. 2:9, Matt. 5:28, 2 Cor. 6:16-18, 2 Tim. 2:4 and many more scriptures) And that makes them important to me too! Jesus loved sinners while he walked on the earth but He always, always stood against their sin as well. Sadly, just as in His day the ones who are sometimes the ones that fight against what's right the hardest are those who claim to know Him best. But that just makes the battle so much more important so that we can show those who don't know Him what the truth really is!


I truly think that we can live out a Biblical standard of modesty ourselves, speak the truth in love to those who will hear it, and then separate from those who won't that would be a stumbling block to our own families. Not to be prideful or arrogant or bring glory to us but to honor the One who we belong to and be more holy and pleasing to Him. "But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved,  but whom the Lord commendeth." 2 Corinthians 10:17-18
"As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." 1 Peter 1: 14-16

This has become a much longer post than I intended and I've only hit on one thing that I wanted to talk about "warring" over! I guess this may just have to turn into a longer series than I thought. Before I go let me just say that I think the BEST way to fight these issues is with prayer. For us as mama's to have wisdom, for our children to be protected and become discerning of what's right and wrong for themselves, for our husband's who are bombarded with images (both real and not) that make their battle for purity more challenging, and most of all that those around us who are choosing the wrong path and maybe not even thinking about where those choices may lead them, their children, and others as well. But after we pray, pray, and pray some more then I think we also need to take action. 

What are your thoughts about mama wars? Do you agree that there's some things we have to fight for? I'd love to hear from you while we wait to continue the discussion next time.....

                                     Tyra 

(linked up at The Modest Mom blog here) 

December 8, 2013

Mama Wars....the Good and Bad {part 1}


I'm going to write about something that's been on my mind and heart a lot lately. Hopefully it will come out as well in words as it has in my thoughts so that it can help someone else! We've all heard about "mama wars" over various subjects and just to be honest I think most of it is silly, immature bickering that everyone needs to stop making such a big deal over. Notice I said most of it, which means I obviously do think there are some things worth fighting for. Now I also think there's a right and wrong way to go about it, but still some things do require a battle. It's just part of the world we live in due to sin and our human nature. Before I get into what I think we should be warring over though (which will probably be in part 2), I'm going to share a few things that I don't feel are appropriate or worthy battle grounds. So here goes....

~ What you feed your kids, when you feed your kids, how you feed your kids, etc. Now don't get me wrong, I have very strong opinions on these things for my own family; partly because I've had to. And there are tons of stuff out there that I think is pure junk and shouldn't be given to anyone! BUT if your idea of what's best (or what you can afford) is different from mine and it works for you (or even if it doesn't!) then it really isn't any of my business. I will gladly share my thoughts if asked but until I am any of them expressed are just my own opinions and lifestyle and in no way meant to induce feelings of guilt or inferiority in anyone.

~ To vaccinate or not vaccinate, ah...that is a HUGE question these days, right?! But once again as stated above, one that although I hold very strong opinions on myself is in no way what I think should be required of everyone. I love researching things and prayerfully considering what's best for our family and I think everyone should be doing that, but giving or not giving shots once again just isn't a decision anyone can make for someone else. Now I will GLADLY tell you what I found out in some of that research and may even secretly hope it changes your mind since I think most vaccines are horrible (just keepin' it real!) but I will also fully respect if it doesn't. And furthermore just keep my mouth shut if not asked to share. No warring here, mkay?

~ Natural childbirth vs medicated, breastfeeding vs bottle, birth control vs not preventing (unless it's abortive of course and then I'll probably be pretty outspoken about it), natural medicines vs conventional, homeschool or private, Christian school (no I don't really consider public school a valid option, even though I still wouldn't tell you that if you choose it unless you specifically ask me), debt-free vs credit cards, and any other number of similar, personal choices that a husband and wife make for themselves!

Seriously, this list could go on for a while since there really are a LOT of these kind of issues that just aren't something that can or should be decided on by anyone else but you in your own way (hopefully by prayer and scripture for most of them!) and for your own reasons. I guess that gives an idea of what I mean when I say most of the typical things that trigger "wars" are just pointless though. Now that we have that part out there I'm going to be sharing what for me are some things worth fighting for. Ones that I feel like God has really placed on my heart, especially recently, for a reason. And I'm praying that it may just help some of you join the battle as well! Until then what are your thoughts on this subject? I'd love to hear them!

                                                                    Tyra

*linked up here at The Modest Mom blog*

(ps. I should have added that I do often share things on my personal FB page or here that I'm rather passionate about......some that may not be exactly right for others and some that should be important to everyone! My giving out info there or on the blog isn't always meant to change minds or disagree with others but may just be part of me being me. But then again I read stuff all the time that helps me better myself in many ways and I think that's a good thing so there may always be a reason for what I share that can help someone else!)

November 29, 2013

Black Friday Lilla Rose Deals!!

Don't miss this fabulous Lilla Rose black Friday sale going on now through midnight on Saturday! Details and a picture of a new holiday flexi are below. I'm also offering a buy 3 products get 1 free (up to a $16 value) through me. Just email me after your purchase! Please comment or email me with any questions or if you need help! Use the link here to place an order.

 
Tyra

November 27, 2013

A Day of Thanks

The kids and I have been studying various things about Thanksgiving the past couple of days and today we read the first proclamation given by George Washington after the House of Representatives requested that he declare a public day of thanksgiving and prayer. Here was his response a few days later in October of 1789. 

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
 And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

What a blessing to read about what a strong foundation this country was established on! But at the same time saddening to think how far we've come. We also read that the Pilgrims dug seven times more graves than they built huts......but still chose to set aside a day to be grateful and praise God. How discontent and ungrateful I so often am in comparison! While going over some of these things the verses in Colossians came to mind that say...."all things were created by Him, and for Him; and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist." What a reminder of why we should be thankful to Him, not just tomorrow but every day....because without Him we have nothing and are nothing anyway! Just the thought of Him loving us enough to give us Jesus should cause us to praise Him. And I know most of us have WAY more to blessings in our lives than that! I'll leave you with just one more verse of scripture that's been on my heart a lot recently that sums up how I want to feel tomorrow perfectly: Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. I looked it up and one of the meanings of selah can be to pause for praise or worship. That's what I want most for our family on Thanksgiving, is to take time to stop and acknowledge everything God has done for us! I hope you and your family will be doing that as well.

                                                   Blessings,
                                 Tyra

November 25, 2013

December Flexi is Here! {Lilla Rose}

Just had to share a picture of this gorgeous flexi clip!! They released it early so you can purchase for the holidays and it is already selling out fast! This would look great with so many outfits, whether in your hair or on a scarf. Let me know if you have questions and be sure to click the icon on the right to visit my website!

 
Wouldn't this make a great Christmas gift?! :-)
 
Tyra

November 20, 2013

No Complaining?

I saw this 10 day challenge on facebook yesterday and was very intrigued by the idea. Mostly because I recognized it as something I SO need to do! Health issues, extended family problems, and just every day circumstances sometimes pile up and I tend to find myself being negative over everything. Not exactly following the verse in the Bible about being thankful no matter what. Anyway, after reading about it and deciding to try it I promptly became involved in the stress of dealing with 3 out of 4 kiddos having a nasty viral bug and kind of forgot about the challenge. (oops!) So I can't honestly say that last night was totally complaint free. But I'm determined to do better (and today has been pretty good so far I think) and am praying that God will use this to help me see what a bad habit I've gotten into in this area. I'd love to have you join me! No matter what life may be throwing at us these days I KNOW that we all have so much to be grateful for. Here's a verse I found a few weeks ago that's really been sticking with me: "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah." Psalm 68:19 The BIGGEST blessing in my life is that God saved me, not to mention that He has given me so many added benefits since then. So there is ALWAYS something for me to be grateful for. I'm hoping this challenge will help me stop complaining about the not so great things in life long enough to remember that!

So what do you say, can we do 10 days of no complaining? I think we can with God's help!

                                
                                Tyra 



                                     

November 7, 2013

New Lilla Rose Items!

Just wanted to share the announcement of some new items from Lilla Rose today! They are also offering 10% these items for one day only plus free shipping on orders over $30 until Saturday. If you've been thinking about placing an order or getting some Christmas gifts for anyone then this is the perfect time! (I'm kind of loving the new pearl headband myself) Here's a graphic with the new items and some info about the sale. Be sure to click the Lilla Rose button on the right of the blog to go shopping and message me with any questions! Enjoy.



                                Tyra

November 1, 2013

Some Must Have Baby Items {at our house anyway}

I see a lot of blog posts about things you need (or don't) when having a baby. Some of them are good and useful, but somewhat based on the assumption that your baby will be the eat, sleep, change, basically non-fussy type of child. If in fact you find yourself with one who is slightly more challenging to care for than that, then this post is for you! (by the way, I really don't like the phrase "is he/she a "good" baby?".....while some  babies definitely require more care than others for various reasons that in no way makes them "bad". Just sayin'.) Ok, so moving on, here in no apparent order are some items or tricks that we've found extremely helpful when dealing with all 4 of our kiddos. Oh, and for the record, our first one cried way more than he slept. Literally. And our other 3 haven't been too far behind that so let's just say we have lots of experience with fussiness around here. ;-)

Skipping over the rather obvious necessities like diapers, wipes, and clothing.....this is some of our favorite go-to stuff when getting ready for another little one:

Exercise ball: nope, this isn't to get mom back in shape after the birth (although it kind of has that added benefit) but it IS perfect for bouncing a crying baby to sleep. Or just bouncing period if they need soothing like all of ours did. Trust me, you will quickly become a pro at it if the need arises! (as a side note, when our first was born we didn't know of this little trick and used a straight back wooden chair to bump back in forth in for soothing. Yes, you did read that right. Our carpet had permanent indentions afterwards. You do what you gotta do, you know?)

White noise: this can be water running from a faucet, the vacuum cleaner, a blow-dryer, a noise machine, OR best of all this great website/app that we found with child #3. I kid you not, y'all, this really works not only to help the babies calm down but also to drown out other noise as well so if they ever do eventually go to sleep then they won't get woke right back up. I've spent many days bouncing and listening to this as loud as it would go. Yes, it can get a little annoying after awhile but it is way better than a screaming baby. Trust me.

Probiotics: this is something we didn't know about with our first 2 but that has been great for the last ones. Our babies are born with huge stomach/digestion issues (which is probably where a lot of the crying comes from) so giving them these help to soothe that. Here's the brand we like best which has even been proven in a medical study to help with colic. You can find it online or at several pharmacies and health food stores as well.

Pacifier: I know there are different opinions on this and that's fine! Everybody has to do what works for them or decide what their own preference is. For us, we love pacis around here! Our babies with all their health issues/pain just need some extra soothing and pacis seem to help them so much. There are all different kinds and it may take a little while to figure out which one works best for each baby so don't give up if they don't seem to like a particular one at first!

Those are my top favs for things to do with fussy babies, but here's a few more things we also used with some or all of them that helped with reflux/stomach/allergy issues: colic calm gripe water,  chiropractor adjustments, homeopathics, essential oils, propping a contour pillow sideways on a regular one....the baby lays in the contour and can't roll over and is at an angle to help them not choke as bad too! Genius, huh?

That's about all I can think of at the moment. I'm sure there are more things we tried but after a year or more you tend to forget stuff from lack of sleep. haha Hope this helps someone else who may find themselves at a loss for what to do with an overly fussy baby. The hardest thing can be feeling like no one really understands so let me just assure you that you are not alone! On top of all of this my babies also all eventually ended up on special formula, they all had tons of allergies and reflux, there was more than one day that I cried right along with them because I didn't know what else to do, and it just took time, patience, flexibility and lots of help to make it through it. So hang in there! You can do this. 

If there's anything you would add that worked for you please feel free to do so in the comments! Or if you are going through the sick and crying baby phase at the moment and just need to vent then by all means do so. We will totally get it and not judge at all. I promise. :-)



                                        Tyra

(linked up over here at My Joy-Filled Life and here at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home)


                                           






October 31, 2013

How Can It Be....She's 3?!

Am I the only one who feels like time has flown by recently? It seems like only a few weeks since this was happening instead of 3 years! But even though it's went by crazily fast, those 3 years since our baby girl was born have been challenging, joyful, and everything else in between. We celebrated Darcey's birthday last week both at home and with family. And although we were all a little under the weather with a cold (hence the pajama type clothing in the pics) it was still a fun time seeing her so excited to be 'growing bigger". :-) Here's a little peak into our celebrating....







 
We are so thankful for the blessing of having this little girl in our lives! She never fails to make us laugh with her silliness and melt our hearts with her sweetness. Not to mention amaze us with some of her words! :-) I can't wait to see what God has in store for her as she grows up.

October 17, 2013

Lilla Rose Sale and Flexi Clip Giveaway!!

I don't post here often about my Lilla Rose business but just wanted to let you all know about some current happenings and share a giveaway I'm doing!

From now until tomorrow night at 11 pm central I will be giving away a free flexi clip (from the sizes/style available in my inventory) to one lucky winner! Here is the link to my facebook page to enter. If you don't have facebook but would still like to enter then visit my webpage via the button on the right of the blog and leave me a comment here with your favorite item and/or the size you would need.

While you're there browsing, be sure to check out the flexi clip of the month ~ Harvest Freestyle. I love the colors on this one....it's perfect for all your fall outfits! There's also a great sale going on now through Sunday with 10% off all items and 15% on select things featuring black, brown, and orange color schemes. (using those words in the search feature can help you find them easily!) Be sure not to miss out on this great opportunity to buy something for yourself or stock up on gifts.

*The giveaway is for new or returning to me customers only. If you've been purchasing from another consultant I want to be respectful of their business! Winner will be announced Saturday morning. Good luck!



September 29, 2013

Field Trip to the Columbus Ships!

Well, another week has flown by and while we had a sick baby as well as some other issues that kept us from a full workload for school we still made it to our field trip on Friday! Here's a little rundown on it and some pictures for you to see.

The Christopher Columbus replica ships were in port about 20 minutes from our house so we planned up a fun outing to go tour them. It was a warm, sunny day here in AL and we had a great turnout for the group.  The replicas are of the Nina and Pinta. We had a guide that shared some info about the ships and we were able to go on board and look around as well. Here's a link to the site that shares more about them. It's a fun way to learn about how they traveled back then and the history behind Columbus' discovery. And here's a look at the ships!

                                        The Pinta


                                         The Nina
 
 
So there's our last field trip for Septemeber! Can't wait to plan up some new outings for next month and be back to share them with you all. :-)
 
(linked up with Field Trip Friday over at Home to 4 Kiddos)



September 23, 2013

Cute, Modest Outfit Ideas

I've been thinking about some of the posts I've read on various blogs about modesty recently and how there's always ladies who ask questions about what that looks like in day to day life. So I thought it would be fun to share some of the outfits myself and the girls are wearing right now to help someone get some ideas! These aren't the best pictures but at least you can see the clothes we have on well enough. These are outfits we just threw together from random things we had. I'll try to share where the pieces come from if I can remember! :-)


This outfit is what I wore to the bee keeper field trip we had last week. Skirt is from Cato, tank top is a super old favorite from American Eagle, and not sure where the white t-shirt underneath came from. :-)

 
Not a full length picture but this skirt goes to my ankles. It came from Target as well as the navy shirt. I'm wearing a half-tee underneath which I love and want to get more of!
 


This is a skirt I found on Very Jane ( a deal a day website that you really need to check out if you haven't already). It's so cute and she loves that it's comfy too. The t-shirt is from Target. We like shopping there. :)

 
This skirt was on clearance at Walmart a few weeks ago for $2.50! The tank top came from there too and the denim jacket from Target. She has a couple other shirts that work with this skirt as well since it has so many colors in it.
 
So there's a few outfits we've worn in the past week. Hope you enjoy seeing them and it helps someone get some good ideas of modest clothes that are cute and fun to wear!
 
(linked up at the Modest Mom blog for Modest Monday. Be sure to click over there to see Caroline's outfit and other links.)

September 20, 2013

Field Trip Fun!

The first few weeks of homeschooling have gone by rather quickly for us. I guess that's partly because we've been so busy doing a lot more than just school work! Some of that business includes a few field trips that I thought I would share here for anyone interested.

During our vacation to Pigeon Forge we visited the Titanic Museum one day. Dathan is crazy about history and has always been a little fascinated with the story about the Titanic since first hearing about it so he really wanted to go. The museum experience was great. So many artifacts and real life details that you don't get just anywhere. Plus, you get to pretend to be and actual passenger on the ship and find out at the end whether you made it or not. The kids got to have audio recorders that they could punch in a code and listen to at various stations which gave them lots of neat info. All in all  it was a really good field trip that we fully enjoyed. The price is a little steep but well worth it if this is something you are interested in doing. Oh, and don't miss sticking your hand in the ice cold water! It was a very sobering thought realizing just how terrible it must have been that night to be on board.

Next we visited the Helen Keller birthplace (Ivy Green) in Tuscumbia. Delancey has recently gotten interested in sign language so we thought it would be a fun trip after doing some research about her. The house and grounds were neat to see, although you basically just walk through yourself so not as much info as we were hoping for. It was still an enjoyable tour though and remarkable to think about all of the handicaps she overcame and still managed to have a full life. Makes me realize how much I take for granted and fail to be thankful for so often!

This week we were able to go hear a local bee keeper talk about his work and learn all about the bees, how honey is made, and the process to gather it. Not to mention all the many things it's good for and what you can make with it. The kids had a blast and learned so much. I highly recommend that you look up your own local place if you have one nearby that is willing to provide a field trip!

So there's some of what we have been up to as far as field trips goes. We have another one coming up next week and plan to keep doing maybe a couple per month so be sure to check back as I share more!

(linked up to Field Trip Friday over at Home to 4 Kiddos blog)

August 27, 2013

Happy Birthday to Our Little Men!

It's been a week of birthday celebrations around here for our 2 boys! So crazy that we now have a 10 year old and 1 year old in the house. Where does the time go?!
 
First off was Dathan turning 10 last week and we took a fun trip to the Smokey Mtns to celebrate his special milestone. He had a blast picking some places to visit and eat while we were there. It's unreal how quickly he is growing up into a young man! Love his tender heart and funny, artistic personality. He is definitely one of a kind and I wouldn't have it any other way! And just look how handsome he is too. :)
 
 
 
 
Next up when we got back home was Daxton turning one so we had another special milestone to celebrate! I'm still in disbelief that it's been a whole year since he was born but we are loving this fun age that he is now. Taking a few steps here and there but no full fledged walking yet, which has not slowed him down in the least. Jabbering in his own language, laughing with his mouth opened wide, and overall bringing lots of joy to our lives. So thankful for this sweet, baby boy!  He had a blast eating his first cupcake (made from black beans. true story.) or mostly smashing it on his face. And look what a cutie he is too. :)
 


So there's a little post about our boys! Grateful to have them both in our family. Such a blessing to raise them and watch them grow! More pictures to come later of all the fun we've been having the past week......


                                      Tyra
  

August 19, 2013

Summertime Randomness {a what we've been up to post}

Is it just me or has summer literally flown by?! Seems like only yesterday we were finishing up our school year in May and now it's already the middle of August! Anyway, I haven't written much about things we are doing these days so thought I would share some of the fun and crazy moments of our lives the past couple months. Here are the 4-D details, in no certain order.....

~ Daxton is taking a couple steps here and there but hasn't totally started cruising yet. It definitely doesn't stop him from getting around though! He also seems to love climbing so we have to keep a close eye out for that.

~ Delancey has discovered sign language in the past couple months and is loving it! It's so fun seeing her so excited about learning something new. Can't wait to see how she progresses in the future.

~ Dathan is still loving making his own movies. He writes scripts, takes pictures, records, and then puts it all together on the computer. I really think he may go somewhere with this when he's older!

~ Darcey has grown up so much in the past few months! I have to sometimes remind myself she's still only 2. She loves learning new things, writing, drawing, reading, and watching her favorite shows. Her vocabulary never ceases to amaze us.

~ The kids have all loved swimming at my parents, of course. The liner had to be replaced on the pool this year so they didn't get as early a start as usual. And now it's already seeming cooler than normal so the water is getting chilly. I'm sure they will try to get in as much of it as possible before they start freezing!

~ We've done some school days here in there finishing up various subjects and grasping a few concepts a little better after having a lighter load with the new baby last year. The kids weren't totally crazy about it but it's been good for them I think.

~ A missionary friend of ours is home from Brazil and has made a couple of trips down to see us this summer. He is a great man of God and the kids absolutely love spending time with him! So glad that they can have real heroes to look up to in their lives instead of what the world would have them admire.

~ Got to attend a campmeeting in TN back in July for a few days. It was such a blessing to fellowship with other believers and hear some great singing and preaching. The kids had fun making new friends and Delancey got a new penpal as well.

~ Allergies and other health issues have abounded this year. Some days, well, weeks really have been rough as we struggle with reactions to the chemicals they put on the crops nearby. It can be challenging to try and do just normal life stuff when the way you feel isn't normal. Not to mention, how it effects our sleep habits. Chronic tiredness is the worst. thing. ever. ((yawn))

~ We've enjoyed doing some Bible/Character studies in the past couple months. I think I've learned as much and been convicted over certain behaviours more than the kids! It's amazing what the Lord can show you when you're truly desiring to learn. Another neat thing was that several times what we had been studying about during the week was the same or similar to the devotions Blake would share with us as well! No coincidence there I'm sure.

That's about all I'm thinking about at the moment! It's definitely been a summer full of good and not so good times but looking back I'm thankful for every single one I got to spend with my kiddos. We are getting back into the swing of schooling more full time again. But first we have a couple of birthdays to celebrate in the next week! Can't wait to share the details of all the fun with Dathan turning 10 and Daxton turning 1. Until then.....

                                   Tyra 

August 1, 2013

Walk for Life Fundraiser!

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to volunteer at our local Choose Life pregnancy center as a receptionist. Some of the things I saw there was heartbreaking, but it was also encouraging to see how many young ladies received help. They provide several different services but the most important by far is the free ultrasounds that so often are what makes the abortion minded clients change their minds.

I haven't been able to volunteer since having our last little "D", but we are excited to be a part of their Walk for Life fundraiser  this Saturday to try and help them get more money for the ministry they provide. We would greatly appreciate you visiting our page to get more info and donating to our team if you feel led. And if you can't give then please pray for Choose Life that their needs will be met as they work hard on this issue. We need to be doing all we can to save the lives of these precious babies!

If you happen to be local then be sure to come out and join us for the Walk as well! There's free food and fun for the whole family. Either of the above links will take you to a page with all the details or you can click on the picture below. There's only a couple more days left so don't forget to spread the news. Thanks and have a blessed day!

July 28, 2013

Lilla Rose Consultant

I guess the topic of this post is pretty obvious from the title so I'll just share a few details about what it means.

I'd seen these things called flexi clips online for a while, but finally was able to see them in person and purchase one a couple months ago. It was perfect for this busy, worn out  sometimes tired, mom who had been resorting to boring ponytails for so long! And even better was that it works in all different kinds of hair so I can share it with Delancey as well. (I will admit that I haven't practiced up with a lot different styles and up dos yet but the ones we have done are really cute!)

Anyway, I've had a couple people comment and ask about it so thought it would be fun to do a party or something to share such a great find. Then I realized that there wasn't a ton of requirements or start-up cost just to sign on as a consultant myself.....and here I am!

I won't go into tons of details about all the sizes, kinds, etc or the fact that this company also offers other cute products at the moment. I'll just let you click through to my website and browse around for yourself! But be sure to email me with any questions and definitely stay tuned for more info in the future. Can't wait to get started on this new adventure!

Here's the link for the website again in case you missed it above. Oh, and my facebook page as well. Look forward to selling these fun, unique hair accessories to all of you!


                                                         Tyra

July 10, 2013

Thoughts on the "why" of Modesty

Summer is definitely here and with the temperatures rising everyone begins revisiting the question of modesty (or lack thereof) and what is "okay" to wear or not wear as Christian's. There are so many things we could talk about on this subject (and I've got about a million thoughts in my head about it for sure!) but today I wanted to just focus on one in particular that has stuck out to me. 

I recently saw a blog post by a young lady that became instantly popular and received lots of attention and praise. The main point of her message was that she was choosing to not wear bikinis like most of the other girls she knew. Now this idea in itself might sound good (although her choice of a swimsuit in place of it was far from what I think is modest either...that's an issue for another day!) but it was her reason given for the choice that caused me to pause. She said it was a "sacrifice" for the men she was going to be around. Hmmm, really? A sacrifice. Like she was paying such a huge price and having to be different from her friends was a hardship but she was doing it just because it was best for others. Wow.

There are so many other words and reasons that come to mind when I think of why we should choose to be separate from the world and modest in how we dress. Before I get into some of those though let me explain my reaction to the idea of modesty being a sacrifice. When I think of sacrifice I think of something big being done. One of the definitions of the word is to give up something for the good of someone else but it also says that what you're sacrificing is something of value, importance, etc. Hence the hang up for me on bikinis. Why would not wearing one be considered so hard to give up? Because it's unpopular? Because you want to look good? Because you might be made fun of or not get as much attention as the other girls? I'm just not seeing any of those reasons as being valuable. Are you?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that when I think of sacrifice,I don't think of not getting to wear what the world thinks is best or what helps me fit in with everyone else or what shows off my body more and makes me look good. Instead, I think of Jesus. I think of Him giving up heaven to come down in a body of flesh. I think of Him taking my wicked sins upon Himself and suffering on a cruel cross in my place. I think of how holy and righteous He is and worthy of so much more than what He chose to do for me. But He did all of it anyway, because of love. Now that is a real sacrifice.

And us? We're just called to obey, to serve, to glorify, to try to be holy like Jesus....for the exact same reason. Love. Love of a Saviour who freely gave His blood for our sins. I wouldn't call that a sacrifice, I'd call that an honor and privilege.

As for wearing bikinis(or any other article of clothing that is so revealing).......I'm still trying to figure out why a Christian lady would think that's so important anyway? Here's a verse that comes to mind when I think about what I'm wearing:

"For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Cor. 6:20)

Is not being a stumbling block to the men around us important? Yes, definitely! But I don't really think that is the only reason to dress modestly nor do I feel like I'm sacrificing my clothing choices for their sake alone. My first and foremost reason to be different in this area is to honor God.....because I belong to Him. I'm not over here patting myself on the back every time I put on my swim skirt and shirt and feeling like I've given up something special in not wearing a regular bathing suit. I love that by doing so I can save my body for my husband only and hopefully also keep other men from lusting over my flesh (and if we're honest keep other women from comparing what they look like too!) but my main purpose is really just to glorify God in my body. To me it isn't a sacrifice at all compared to what He's done for me. Because I could never repay Him anyway, but Him being so willing to die for me makes me want to be willing to live for Him!

So there are some things I felt like the Lord put on my heart after reading that article. I hope it was a help to someone reading. Just to be clear before I go, I think any small step toward modesty is a good one regardless of the reason, but I also think that we need to be careful about our attitude and reasoning behind the choice as well. Especially if we're putting the message out there for numerous others to see! Let's encourage and remind ourselves and each other to be holy because He is holy. And then any added benefits (like protecting men's purity) to that will just be extra blessings to our obedience.

                                                          Tyra

    ~  "I'll live for Him, Who died for me; how happy then, shall my life be!"   ~


(linked up with the Modest Monday post here)



June 13, 2013

Some Ideas In the Works

Just wanted to write a quick post about some things I've been considering getting into lately. I am really interested in some of these things but would definitely need to hear feedback to see if they are really doable. So in no certain order here are the ideas:

Lilla Rose ~ this company makes all different hair accessories. I've been eyeing them online for awhile but finally got to see them in person and purchased a flexi-clip to try. I love it!! It's such a great, easy way to fix your hair besides just the regular 'ole ponytail. Delancey and I can both wear it different ways so it's fun to share it too. Now that I've purchased one, I'd like to make it available to people I know as well! I'm trying to decide if I want to host a party, which would be either online or here at our house, or just become a consultant myself. What I need from you is to know if you're interested, if you know others who would be as well, and if you prefer just ordering online without seeing them or would like to be able to try them out before buying? Be sure to click the link above to see what they have if you haven't before!

Essential Oils ~ This subject is one that has become popular in recent months on various sites. We've used oils occasionally before but I made the plunge to order a kit from Young Living back at Christmas. It's another thing that I am loving!! There are so many things you can use them for and it's so good to have a natural way to boost immunity, clean, make bug spray, etc. If you're interested in trying their products please let me know and I can order at wholesale prices for you! This isn't a way for me to make money or anything but just something that has been a huge help to our family that I wanted to share.

Swim skirts ~ Here's another popular subject since summer has arrived. If you're interested in modesty and have looked around very much, you know that swimsuits can be hard to find or just plain too expensive if you're looking at handmade. I've been playing around with the idea of getting material and making some cute, easy swim skirts that you could wear over a regular suit or with a swim shirt. I've found some material I like and will be getting some soon to try it out for my girls. My question for you is, would any of you be interested in purchasing one if they turn out well? If so, what would be a price that would seem reasonable? Depending on what kind of feedback I get and how my first experience with making them goes I will have more info on this in the future!

Simple Haircuts ~ Okay, so this one may seem a little strange (but most of you already know that I am so that won't be a surprise! lol) and feels weird mentioning really but here goes anyway. I have always loved to cut hair and even went to beauty school for a couple months after high school (long story) and then worked at a beauty shop for several months as well where I learned a lot. I've cut hair for several family members and friends over the years and always enjoy it. Long layers, trims, simple bobs, and basic boys/mens cuts are what I typically do but maybe one day I'll even get brave and try something drastic! (I should probably get a dummy for that though so as not to lose any friends. haha) All of this to say that I've been thinking a lot about using my small talent to help out those who might need it! Haircuts can be pricey or if you try to go cheap they don't always turn out the way you want. Nowadays it helps to save money whenever we can so I would love to be able to give cuts for just a small amount to anyone local who would like me to! So would you be brave enough to use someone that isn't certified? If so how much do you think would be a fair price?

Well, there are a few of my newest, crazy ideas!! (I'm sure there's more but I don't want to be too overwhelming;) Please let me know of your thoughts, interest, questions or whatever in the comments either here or on facebook. I would LOVE to hear from you all!! :-)
 
                                         Tyra
                                         

June 9, 2013

9 Month Cutie!

This little munchkin is growing like a weed these days! Going from sitting up to scooting around on his tummy to crawling and trying to pull up.....he is definitely on the go! Jabbering in sweet baby talk and learning to say his first words (mama, daddy, and hi are the main ones we've heard so far) is the cutest thing ever. He loves to smile and laugh at everyone and never fails to melt our hearts with his sweetness.

He's finally able to tolerate a few solids, although our attempts to change from the special formula haven't gone very well yet. We are thankful for every bit of nutritional stuff we can give him though! Two teeth have broken through after months of teething symptoms. An amber necklace and Hyland's teething tablets are favs around here. He sleeps better than our other babes at this age but still wakes up about every 4-5 hours to eat. With his allergies and stomach issues that is great to us! (even though yes we are tired sometimes....just keepin' it real;)

So thankful for this baby boy that God has blessed us with. He is such a joy and we are loving watching him turn into his own little personality every day. Although it's a little sad to see him becoming less and less of a baby, it's also exciting to look forward too all the fun in the future!  

June 5, 2013

30 Day Health Challenge

Due to our multiple allergies we already have a pretty strict diet, but I've been looking at different ways lately to change it up even more in hopes of healing some of our issues and possibly toning down some of the sensitivities we have. I found something called the Whole30 which eliminates pretty much anything that can cause inflammation or sensitivities for most people. There are a couple things I don't agree with about it, one because it's based on the Paleo diet whose beliefs come from an evolutionist viewpoint that I think is totally wrong and two because I don't honestly think everything that they've chosen to eliminate is really bad for you and some of the things they recommend we are allergic to. So of course as with anything else we have to take that into consideration and make the diet into something that works for us. The idea for us is to just try to calm down our reactions as much as possible and hopefully heal our gut/digestion issues enough that when we add back other foods they will be easier digested and not cause sensitivities. It's something that seems doable for the 30 days but not something we think is necessary all the time. Anyway, that's a little background of the what/why of the idea so now here's the basics of how we're doing it.

Starting this past Monday we eliminated all grains, dairy, legumes, soy, processed foods, additives, sugars (even natural ones), and basically anything else unhealthy you can imagine outside of those things. Some of it we already didn't eat anyway and some of it is new, but needless to say it. is. hard. Basically we are eating meats, eggs, most vegetables, fruits, nuts, and good fats (like coconut and olive oil). Yep, that's it. Sounds fun, huh? :-) If you're wondering what that looks like in an actual day of meals then here's a few things we've tried so far: eggs, breakfast meat, and fruit, turkey breast and veggies, natural beef hot dogs and sauerkraut, hamburger steak with green beans, chicken wings and steamed broccoli, fried plantain and eggs with fruit, etc. We've also done some freshly made juices and smoothies as well as some "jello" made out of juice and gelatin (which is really good for you!). It's day 3 and we are hanging in there so far but I'm starting to see some detox and withdrawals in all of us I think so who knows how the rest of it will go!

In addition to eating changes we are also trying to focus on doing some exercising each day and working on spiritual/character issues as a family. As much as we want to be healthy physically, we want our hearts to be in good shape even more so! Spending time together playing and talking has happened a lot this week and not doing much media throughout the day. All these things are a work in progress and require not only diligence to keep at it but also patience while adjusting to something new. Let's just say that we are far from perfect around here! We are hanging in there though and hoping for some good results/rewards at the end!

I will say that the past couple weeks have been rough for all of us physically and our family isn't getting good sleep most nights. That in itself is super challenging and can become overwhelming after a while since exhaustion makes everything else so much harder. Our outdoor allergies are at the all time worst right now so it feels like we are just being hit with a lot at the moment. Prayers for strength and grace are so appreciated as we try to have wisdom in deciding what's best for everyone on this health journey. Thanks for reading and I will hopefully be able to give some updates as the month progresses!

May 27, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Bake

Here's a new dish we have recently discovered and are loving! Not only is it delish but also helps with us trying to be more grain free around here. Definitely a win-win in my book! I had seen spaghetti squash around blogland and pinterest a couple of times with different ways to cook it but hadn't found one in the stores to try. We finally lucked up last week at Earth Fare and after searching out some recipes I kind of combined them and what I sounded good myself to create this yumminess:
 
 
 
I just cut off one end and then sliced it in half, rubbed with olive oil and sea salt, then placed it cut side down onto a cookie sheet. Baked it at 400 for about 20-25 minutes while I browned some ground beef in a skillet. Added in spaghetti sauce and garlic powder to the meat and spooned that mixture onto the squash. (after flipping over, of course!) Cooked it like that for about 5 more minutes and it was done. You need to test for softness with a fork or spoon to make sure the squash has cooked thoroughly since times will probably vary with different ovens. We also topped with parmesan cheese the first time but didn't have any on hand tonight so did without. It was still great though so whatever toppings you like should work great! We had extra sauce mixture as well that we used for anyone that wanted extra.  
 
So there's our new favorite meal around here! Hope you try it and enjoy as much as we have! Oh, and I forgot to add that Daxton was able to eat it plain and loved it too so it worked as a meal for the whole family. Being that finding foods his stomach can handle is challenging that was awesome! :-) 

April 14, 2013

Springtime Fun

 
Here's a little peek at some of what we've been up to since the weather's been pretty. Love these crazy kiddos! :-)
 
 
 Flying her kite all by herself. She did such a great job!
 First time in the baby swing. He LOVED it!!
 My sweet girl on Easter after playing outside.
 Trying to pull the sword out of the stone.
 Getting ready to slide.
 One of the "little pigs" houses. :-)
 Watching the lady churn butter. (don't you just love the pigtails?!)
 So much fun on the playgrounds!
 Baby boy taking it easy at the park.
Climbing the ropes. (this is right before his foot got stuck! haha)

It's so nice being able to get out and enjoy the sunshine together! Can't wait to have more fun this spring and summer. As long as we can keep our crazy allergies in check it should be a blast! :-)