Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Blessings To You

May your Christmas this year be filled with every beautiful thing,
May you and your family be overtaken by the absolute wonders of His love
May you be blessed everywhere you set your feet
May your every dream, wish and desire come to pass,
May your cup completely and totally overflow
with love, hope, faith abundance and joy unspeakable....
May you open gifts wrapped in mercy and grace
and the goodness of things hoped for .....
Above ALL you can think, hope or imagine........
And most importantly, may you receive the GIFT of grace that is ours this Christmas. The gift that is full of what we truly do not deserve. The gift that we cannot earn. The one we cannot buy. It is never for sale. It is freely given..........
May you and your precious loved ones freely receive it this Christmas.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Perfect Christmas Picture

About this time every year I put myself and my family through this. The Christmas card photo shoot. Oh my! It is loads of fun! But I press in and push through anyway. Mainly because I know how much I will treasure these photos in years to come. Even though it can be stressful, hectic and just plain difficult- I still love taking pictures of my kids. It's not about getting the perfect picture for me, I do love if and when that happens, but more than that I really just want to capture their childhood. I want to document it. I want to remember it and most importantly I want them to remember and cherish it. So for fun I thought I would leave you with some of the many out takes from my attempt last year! I wouldn't trade these pictures for anything. They are priceless to me. Enjoy!
This is always good....
and this....even better.
How about this one?
And this?
There we go....that's it!

and ..................perfection!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Teddy Bear Picnic Birthday Party

One of Ashton's Gifts
The Party Table
The entry table with lots of goodies!
Emma Pearl in all of her fluff!
More of Pearl
My sweet friend Jennifer ...
(She was the very first P and G reader I met in real life just this year and we have since become really good friends! By the way, she just had a baby one week ago!!)
My dear friend Hastings holding her 8 day old miracle!!!
I have just received permission from her to share her story with all of you. It is amazing, encouraging and will make you fall in love with the Father all over again.....can't wait.
One of the favors...
Teddy Bear Tea Cakes....
Mama and Baby Bear
Caramel Cake. It. was. incredible.
Making a wish....
Delicious dot com.
Those lips.......
A sweet friend enjoying every bite!
And look at Graham! Isn't he adorable in his little bow tie?
Can I just say that his Mama made this bow tie...along with a matching belt!!
She also drove a VERY LONG WAY with three children all by
herself just to come to Ashton's party! She is amazing!!!!
This is his Mama!
My amazing friend Kellie with her twins,
Madison and Mason!
She is one incredible Mother and she parents with so much love and grace.
Her children are the absolute sweetest......
Big Brother Bennett waiting on his cake....

We had the most wonderful day. It was full of love, laughter, sunshine, incredible friends, great food, backyard football and photo sessions and the opportunity to celebrate our fifth gift. Our hearts are overflowing with thanksgiving this week for these reasons and so many more......

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Baby Bear

My baby bear recently turned one. Big sigh. The smallest member of our family has almost overnight turned into this precious little toddler. It is heart warming and heart breaking all at the same time. I find myself just staring at him throughout the day... while I'm putting in the tenth load of laundry or washing the dishes for the third time that day. I just stop and pick him up and hold him as long as I possibly can. This is what heaven must smell like....... a sweet baby boy. He is absolutely delicious and is the most mild mannered, easy going, happy and cheerful member of our entire family! We are blessed and my cup runneth over because he was born. Truly. He is more than I ever dreamed I would have. What a gift and a treasure in this earthen vessel I have in my precious son. My heart is thankful this week as I prepare for his first birthday celebration. We are having a teddy bear picnic with lots of goodies and giggles and treats! I am looking forward to it and will post pictures after the weekend. I hope that you all have a blessed week and spend lots of time being present in the moment with each of your precious baby bears......

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pumpkins and Pearls


Happy Monday!

Thank you to Henley On The Horn for tagging me today. Stop by and visit this amazing Mother of five very beautiful and precious children!

This is the first time that I've been tagged so I thought I would give it a try!

I will tag 6 people and those 6 will have to tag 6 more... you can use only one word answers.

1. Where is your cell phone? Nightstand

2. Your hair? Blonde

3. Your mother?

4. Your father?

5. Your favorite food? Comfort

6. Your dream last night? None

7. Your favorite drink? Fruit Tea

8. Your dream/goal? Living It

9. What room are you in? Office

10. Your hobby? Photography/Writing

11. Your fear? No Fears

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Published

13. Where were you last night? Home

14. Something that you aren’t? Selfish

15. Muffins? Chocolate

16. Wish list item? Second Car

17. Where did you grow up? South

18. Last thing you did? Diaper

19. What are you wearing? Col.3:14

20. Your TV? Off

21. Your pets? None

22. Friends? Quality over Quantity

23. Your life? Romans 8:18

24. Your mood? Grateful

25. Missing someone? Hubby

26. Vehicle? Denali

27. Something you’re not wearing? Make Up

28. Your favorite store? J.Crew

29. Your favorite color? Pink

30. When was the last time you laughed? Today

31. Last time you cried? Airport

32. Your best friend? Hubby

33. One place that I go to over and over? Target

34. One person who emails me regularly? Granny Smith Green

35. Favorite place to eat? Houston's

The 6 people I tag are:

This Blessed Nest

Granny Smith Green

3 Peanuts

Perfect Sentiment

Twinkle Life

Humble Pie

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Be Still And Know

Be still and know today that no matter what, He is for you and not against you.
Be still and know that in each and every circumstance and situation He is more than able.
Be still and know that your names are written on the palms of His hands.
Be still and know that every hair on your head is numbered.
Be still and know that He sees the end from the beginning in that very painful situation.
Be still and know that He can release His power for that marriage that needs to be resurrected.
Be still and know that He has something even better in store for you.
Be still and know that He draws near to you when you draw near to Him.
Be still and know when life seems unfair.
Be still and know that He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Be still and know that He will right every wrong and fight your battles for you-
you don't have to fight any more.
Be still and know that your latter shall be greater.
Be still and know that He hears your prayers.
Be still and know that He is working all things together for your good and His glory.
Even the really difficult things.
Be still and know that He is going to cause increase and prosperity to come upon your house.
Be still and know that He is orchestrating and ordering blessings on your behalf.
Be still and know that you are about to shine like the morning sun.
Be still sweet daughters and know that today He is pouring out .........
His peace. His joy. His love. His hope. His provision. His restoration. His recompense. His wisdom. His ideas. His strategies. His gifts. His creativity. His favor and His blessing upon you like never before.
Be still and know......

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! -Psalm 46:10

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

photo credit: Martha Stewart
I wanted to share one of my favorite fall recipes with you again this year. I cannot describe how incredible these muffins taste! My family begs for these every year! They are absolutely delicious! I want to thank my amazing friend Kellie for her wonderful recipe! Treat your family this weekend and make a batch or two!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1 and 2/3 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
mix all of the above into one bowl
2 large eggs
1 cup of Libby's plain pumpkin
1/2 cup of melted butter
1 cup of milk chocolate chips
mix this part in another bowl
Then combine both bowls together and spoon into a muffin pan
Bake on 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Makes one dozen of the most delicious muffins you have ever tasted!

Seasonal Delights

google image

I am using one of my photos from last fall again this year! Isn't she a beauty? This is my absolute favorite type of pumpkin! We are all so excited and so thankful that Mr. P and G is finally home for a few days! So we are heading to the Pumpkin Patch in the morning and then to a Fall Fest! I absolutely love fall. I love filling our wagon with babies and pumpkins! I love eating caramel corn and drinking hot apple cider. I love the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin spice. I love the sound of my children laughing and jumping into huge piles of leaves! I love their little rosy cheeks and the way they always smell like peanut butter and apple juice. I also enjoy filling our home with the scents of this amazing season! I will post my favorite fall recipe next! I hope your weekend overflows with the abundance of this very special time of year!

Monday, September 7, 2009

In Response

Pearls and Grace Dress Up Cabinet

Thank you so much to each one of you for your comments, kind words and questions! Here are a few answers to some of your questions and I will post more in the next few days! To those of you who asked for pictures of the nursery, etc.- I would love to show you once I have curtains up and pictures on the wall. There isn't very much to show you right now as I feel like we are still living out of boxes! But, here is a picture of my girls' dress up cabinet to tide you over. I have to say that I love it as much, if not more than they do. It is absolutely precious!

Granny Smith Green asked "How do you do it all?"

GSG when I read your comment you know that I had to laugh.....:) I wish you all could see me with all four babies hanging out of two different grocery carts. I push one cart and pull one cart. Rushing up and down the aisles trying to read my own handwriting off of some version of a list. There are usually at least two crying and the other two have opened at least half of what is in the cart. I allow this craziness just so I can get through the shopping. In addition, it never fails that someone has to go potty- right when I am trying to pay. I don't think they really have to go you see. It's just the novelty of discovering what the bathroom looks like in every single store and restaurant in town. Of course, it never fails that during the checking out process- someone has reached over and grabbed a packet of reeses cups and is very politely slurping the chocolate and peanut butter right through the wrapper. Oh yes. We've got it together over here alright. :)

But I try. I try really, really hard. I also do my best to pray every morning for God to pour out the anointing of Motherhood upon me and the anointing of love upon our family. In fact, if I had to say in one word HOW I do what I do. It would be just that. Love. That's what motivates me and drives me and encourages me. That incredible, beautiful love that I have for each and every one of them. That doesn't mean that I do not feel discouraged or frustrated or even worse, like a complete failure. I do. I really have those days. We all do. I certainly have made my mistakes. But the desire to pour out that unconditional love I so desperately want them to experience trumps those feelings every time. LOVE NEVER FAILS.

It's interesting to me that the very thing that was stolen from me as a child and even as an adult is the very thing I am determined to give my children. Maybe it's because I know in a very deep and unfortunate way how hard life is without it. Life is beautiful- but life is also hard. The hard times can be a little easier if you have incredible parents and extended family to lean on. To trust. To seek counsel. To gain wisdom. To pray for you. To offer hope and encouragement. To love you unconditionally through the hardships. I have never known unconditional parental love. I have known abandonment. I have known rejection. I have known abuse. I have known all of those things that go along with that- but never unconditional love. There is so much power in it. It will hold a family together tighter than anything else......

So when I am on duty 24 hours a day 6 days a week, week after week, without an ounce of help or support .........I just simply love. When I am fighting back tears from the sheer exhaustion of my duties....I love. During the 19 months of showings and open houses and four different buyers and the fatigue of keeping a house "show ready" with four babies underfoot.......I love. After a huge move and a husband working and living in another state for months......I love.

I am driven by it. Motivated by it. I chase after it. I desire that to be the center of my life more than anything else. I want my children to relish in it. I want them to know in the very core of their existence- that no matter what..........they are loved.

It's Raining Pearls asked " Will there be another Pearl Event?" and "Have you thought about compiling a book?"

Yes! There will be another Pearl Event!

In fact, the desire of my heart and I believe what the Lord is calling me to do, is to create an event in Atlanta, Dallas and NYC. This is not set in stone but it is in the very beginning stages as there is a lot of time, effort and attention to detail that goes on behind the scenes. I would love to host this precious event every weekend. It was that life changing for me and I am still in complete and total awe of how our Heavenly Father moved and orchestrated that night. We did video tape it but decided to wait and tape several more events and then create one DVD to share with the blog community. :)

If you would like The Pearl Event to come to your city, church, group or organization please let me know. I know that God will work out the details....

In response to the book....all I can say is.....

My heart. My dream. My desire. His hand. His power. His timing.

I have been writing for years and desire for Him to use every single piece of my testimony to encourage and give hope to a broken generation of women while using my love of all things beautiful to bring a breath of fresh air into His kingdom.


Stylish Suburban asked "What is your favorite nursery decor for boys?" and "How do you feel about white nursery furniture compared to wood?"

I absolutely love an all white nursery for boys and any type of white crib. When I say "all white" I mean taupe, cream , linen, etc. Shades of white. I purchased white cribs for both of my boys and it did not feel or seem too feminine at all to me- having said that, I am ultra feminine. :) I think it's that light, white, airy look and feel that just makes your heart skip a beat. My thought process behind what we created with the boys is that one day they are going to want a Star Wars, Toy Story, etc. etc. room. While they are little, well, Mama wants and needs to create a beautiful baby sanctuary!

The most recent crib I purchased is from Restoration Hardware Baby. It is very handsome and a really beautiful shade of white and extremely sturdy. My favorite "type" of crib style is the old wrought iron cribs and even the Jenny Lind cribs but I was worried after our oldest boy literally "broke" his crib that those styles would just be too delicate for our babies! Our girls had a crib from Bratt Decor. I do not like the name but love the crib!

For bedding I love Shabby Chic Baby- which all four of mine had. Shabby Chic closed for a bit and then I just read that she is coming back -even better and more beautiful than before. Hopefully she will be creating a new baby line. I also absolutely adore Pom Pom, as well as Belle Notte and House Inc. - just to name a few.

I hope this helps a little Stylish. Thank you so much for your questions!

Elizabeth at Kentucky Mama asked if I had any reading suggestions on discipline and my thoughts on discipline.

As far as our house goes it has been a lot of trial and error. :) I am always reminded of that bible verse :Train them up in the way that THEY should go and they will never part from it. My interpretation of that is not only to train our children up in the admonition of the Lord but specifically in the way that THEY should go. Each child is different- wired completely different from each of his/her siblings. What works for one, may not work for another. You can call one child to the table and immediately he/she comes- while the other sibling resists. Just as each child gives and receives love differently - they also respond to discipline or correction differently. Which means for our house, that the manner in which we discipline is different for each one. Also it depends on the age of the child. I believe in bringing correction in love. That is my hearts desire. Does that mean that I never get upset or raise my voice? No. I absolutely do. But my heart is to" train them up" in the very best way that they should go. That takes time, patience and persistence. I believe those are some of the key ingredients in parenting little ones.

Here are a few books to help you along on your journey.

1. Parenting The Way God Parents- Refusing To Recycle Your Parents Mistakes (Katherine Koonce)

2. Grace Based Parenting- Dr. Tim Kimmel

3. The Five Love Languages of Children- Gary Chapman

Love being a Nonny asked to see pictures of the nursery and kids rooms. Soon!! I'm sorry I don't have any pictures for you yet but I will do a house post soon. I am working on it!

I also just want to say that you are an amazing Nonny! I love the way you love your family! May God bless you one hundred fold for the years of love and goodness you have poured into your precious family!

5 Bickies at Biscuits Are Never Boring asked: "Why did you move and how are you settling in?"

I guess the best way to answer that is to say that is was a God Move, a long time coming and an answer to prayer all rolled up into one! When we moved to the northeast 9 years ago it was never a permanent thing. But it was a career move for my Husband and a start of new beginnings for our family of three at the time! We absolutely love NYC and all of the amazing opportunities it has to offer. But we decided not to try raise a family in the city and moved "out" into a more suburban area and my husband commuted into the city, every day for 9 years. It takes it's toll on a family. We just longed for a slower pace and more time together, etc. but we are so thankful for the experience. I will write more about those experiences and reasons for our move as the Lord leads me to in future posts. :)

As far as settling in goes I believe that we are. I am doing my best to accomplish small things each day. My main concern is that I do everything possible to make sure the children feel like they are "home." It has been a hard transition with Daddy not home but I know it is just for a season and so I find my encouragement and strength from that!

I also wanted to let you know how much it meant to me that you would even ATTEMPT to come to the last Pearl Event! I am so appreciative of your efforts and so disappointed about the snow storm as well but I know that I will have the opportunity to meet you in real life again one day soon!

Elle at Elle's Cottage asked about having such feminine style- even with boys and my husband in the house.

One thing that I can say about that is that I usually ask Mr. P and G what he thinks and whether or not he likes something. (I'm sure he would much rather me talk sports facts with him)and I also compromise. I do not care for our bedroom furniture but he just loved it and we had been married for quite a few years and still did not have bedroom furniture! I just couldn't find what I had dreamed up in my imagination- so we bought what he liked and I dressed the bed like a gigantic, white, fluffy cloud! I have a weakness for linens. Love the linens.

I also do not adorn our home with lots of floral, chintz, trinkets, and artifacts. That's just not my style. I do not like clutter at all. I am a de- clutterer! I know there are lots of amazing homes that exhibit that style beautifully but I have so many "people" under one roof that lots of "stuff" would create more stress for me. Less is more. That's my motto. Surround yourself with only what you love and you will create harmony in your home.

Jill at Peeptoe Pumps and Pearls asked : "What is your favorite bible verse and why?"

I can remember attempting to read the bible years ago and thinking to myself , why on earth would anyone read this? HOW on earth can anyone read this? I don't get it! I would start at the beginning, the middle and at the end and I STILL did not understand it. It never, ever made sense to me. Try as I may, I just had the hardest time reading the word! He had to teach me HOW and then give me the revelation along with it. Once that started happening I couldn't get enough! Having said all of that, I don't have one favorite. I have many favorites and for many different reasons but I would love to share a few with you!

Joel 2:25- So I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten.

Romans 8:18- For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Proverbs 18:16- A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.

Isaiah 41:9- You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth and called from it's farthest regions, and said to you, You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you away. Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 61:7- Instead of your former shame you shall have double honor.

Isaiah 62:2-4 The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no longer be termed forsaken..

There are too many favorites to list but these are just a few of my personal favorites. The reasons why they are favorites is that they just speak to my testimony and what He has done in my life. I am humbled daily by how much He loves us and how He can and He will bring us out of those unfortunate circumstances in life. He is amazing that way.....

I will answer more questions soon! Trying to catch up today! Miss you all.....