Monday, May 23, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things II

I have said this before, and I'll say it again. There is something special about nieces (nephews too, I'm sure...I just don't have any).

Especially since these nieces are my sister's daughters.

A sister's daughter is a tiny bit like your own girlie.

My older sister has three girlies. Each one two years older than the other.

Molly is my special Molly. I wanted Rhianna to be 'Mollie' but I didn't get what I wanted. Two years later, Kurt and Kelly had their first girl, and I finally got my Molly. I love her grin when I tell her how excited I was to finally get my Molly.

Molly is a not only a cousin to my girlie, but a sweet little friend to her too. She is smart as a whip and sweet as a gum drop. My prayer for Molly is that she will use her strength of intelligence to teach the world about Jesus.

Bethany, girlie #2, is a character. She marches to the beat of her own drum. (One that I can relate to) We are both child/girl #2 in the family lineup. My prayer for her is that she can always feel freedom in her silly personality. And that she can laugh and giggle her way through life, praising God the whole time.

Annie looks so much like I did at her age. So much that when she saw a picture of me at 2 years old, she said "Me".

I am her Auntie JuJu and I love it.

There is nothing more precious then to see her running to me yelling "JuJu~JuJu" with outstretched arms. And when I found out she screamed for me the whole ride home after leaving my house? Yea. I loved it.

Kya is the last little girlie of this trio of girls. She has the sweetest nature. Always smiling, always cooing, always~always happy. I can't wait to watch her grow up into a little lady of her own. My prayer for her is that she will always be cheerful, an encourager, a sweetheart. That she will still use her smile to make others happy.

These girlies are a few of my favorite things...

I pray that the Lord will guide their footsteps. Every step of the way.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Tonight after Riley was sent to bed early as a punishment, he declared that he was running away in the morning.

Our conversation went a bit like this: (R:Riley, M:Mom)

R: Wake me up early 'cause I'm running away and need to pack some things.

M: Oh yeah. Where are you going?

R: I don't know. I'll find somewhere.

M: Well, you might want to rethink it. Its been raining alot lately and you will get wet.

R: I'll pack an umbrella.

M: What about snow in the winter?

R: I'll pack my snowsuit.

M: Won't you be scared to sleep outside all alone?

R: I'm getting an apartment.

M: Oh yeah? With what money?

R: I'm packing my wallet.

M: Do you know how much it costs to get settled in an apartment?

R: No.

M: About $2000.

R: Oh. Maybe I'll just go to Nick or Sevi's.

M: Well. Their moms might not want another boy. Besides. I'll miss you.

R: Oh, well I'll come visit you. Three times a week. Monday. Wednesday. Friday and then I'll spend the night on Sunday. You can do my laundry.

M: Oh. Thanks. Can I make you dinner too?

R: Yea. I guess.

M: Well, it sounds like a plan. I guess you better get some sleep for your big day tomorrow. I did want to tell you that you might want to rethink this. I'm going to Connecticut in a few weeks and was planning on only taking you. But if you aren't living here, I guess I'll take Rhianna and Reagan.

R: (pondering slightly) Well. I guess I could wait a few weeks until after the trip to run away.

M: Yea. You could. And you might want to remember that we are moving there soon. Why don't you wait until we move there to run away so you can still visit me three times a week and have your laundry done?

R: But I don't know anyone good enough there to run away to them.

M: Well. When we are there for a week in a few weeks you could scope out some people and make a better plan.

R: Yea. I guess I could. I'll do that.

M: Or you could just not run away. You know I'd 'kinda miss you don't you?

R: Well, I could wait.

M: Why don't you wait, graduate high school, go to college, find a great Christian woman, marry her and then move out?

R: Will she be pretty?

M: Maybe.

R: Well. I guess I could wait to run away until then.

Phew. Looks like I get to keep my little guy for a few more years!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I thrive on routine. And right now I have a routine.

The routine of chaos.

Every morning I wake up and wonder what day it is.

Because depending on the day, it depends on where I work and what I do.

And it is mentally exhausting.

Once I am moved and settled, I will be working full-time. Which is more hours than now. But at least it will be routine. And I thrive on routine.

There are two moments in my day where tradition reigns and I can be happy.

The morning.

And bedtime.

The morning routine is a bit hairy but it is still a routine.

The kids get up and dress themselves.

They get their breakfast shakes.

They play together or read some books.

I crawl out of bed (weary from another late night of studying) about 15 minutes before we have to leave for school.

I check their bookbags, sign homework, help tie shoes, wipe faces.

You get the idea.

I drive them up the road a few blocks to the school.

I used to say memory verses with them on the way to school. Last year we learned Ephesians 6.

This year.

I failed them. And I'm saddened by the lost minutes of time spent memorizing God's word.

We used to have a prayer. Where I would pray for each child that I was taking to school. For the teachers, prinicpals, superintendent, school board.

Again, I failed them.

And I miss it.

I realize how much we lost as a family from not doing this.

This summer? It will be put into our routine. Somewhere.

One thing that hasn't changed at school drop off is how my kids say good-bye.

They get out of the car blowing me kisses and hugs.

What is hilarious is when Riley stands at attention and salutes me. Seriously. He has done this for over 2 years now.

He read a book in kindergarten where the word 'salute' was mentioned. He asked me what it meant and I told him. Ever since he has insisted on saluting me goodbye in the mornings.

I shudder to think what the teachers think of my parenting skills. I'm sure it looks like I am army rigid with my discipline by making my son salute me.

This morning was extra cute. After Riley shut the door to the van, he hugged it. Like he was trying to hug me.

It makes me realize that in all my failings as a mother, I just might be doing some things right.

The other part of my day where there is guaranteed routine is polar of morning.


Every night the kids get on their jammies, brush teeth, go potty, etc. while I am in their room setting out clothes for the next day (gives me an extra 15 minutes of sleep...I'm thinking ahead here!)

I start with Reagan. Then Riley. Then Rhianna.

I stop at each bed individually and have one on one time with them. It is the greatest time of my day.

First they pray. Then I pray for them.I just started doing this. I already was praying for them. Why not pray out loud with them,and only for them, by their beds every night?

I read them a chapter out of a book that only we are reading together. We read fun adventures where they beg me to use my 'voices' and then they smile and giggle.

Once I have read to them and tucked them in I ask them two most important questions:

"How was your day?" "What was the best part?"

Two simple questions. But so very important.

There have been times that I have forgotten. They instantly remember and call out to me "MOM! You forgot to ask me how my day was!!"

The sweetest times are when Riley will yell "Mom. Come back. I didn't get to ask you how your day was."

Makes me smile. Makes me feel special. Makes me feel loved.

Bedtime can take an hour and a half. A long time for a bedtime routine. But I wouldn't trade those moments for a world of free time. They are completely priceless.

I pray that these simple moments of routine are remembered forever and held dear in their hearts.

I know that my routine will change.

Most likely drastically.

And thats okay and good.

But I pray that our routine of praying. talking. reading will never change.Ever.

Monday, May 16, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

As many of you know, I love purses. (Shoes too, but purses especially.) My love for purses was dormant until I began selling custom purses. Then a monster was unleashed.

I started my TLC Kavnas business in 2005 and it has blossomed into a huge success.

For those who do not know what TLC is all about I would love, love, love to inform you.

TLC Kanvas is a company that was started in 1981. They design the style of the handbag, but let you create the colors. Imagine that. You get to become as creative as you want. The sewers know all too well how I get a bit carried away with this. (Yes. Stripes, dots and daisys do go together!)

It gets better.

All of our bags are washable. Not wipe of the side of the bag with a damp cloth washable, but throw it in the washing machine washable. Ladies, do you have any idea how nasty/germy your handbag is? Check this out (but do it with may make you sick!)

And it gets better.

Did you know that every single piece of our product is made right here in America? Better yet, right here in Ohio? Many of the designer handbags are made elsewhere and are imported. We are proud to be 100% American made!

And it gets better.

You can get this product for free. Pretty nifty, huh? We have an incredible hostess plan and the favorite part of my job is helping the hostess order her free product.

My favorite experience? Was when one hostess actually let out a 'whoop' when she ordered a whole new set of luggage and more...FOR FREE.

And it gets better.

All of our product has a guarantee. Up to 3 years depending on the fabrics. Find that anywhere else.

And it gets better.

In April they brought out their spring line. OH MY. I can't believe how absolutely amazing it is.

And it gets better.

From what they tell me the fall line will be even better.

Wanna see some product?

This is Grace Our newest clutch. Me? I have two. One in the black and one in the wicker. I this clutch. Gorgeous!

Meet Bailey I have her in Zebra. Love this hobo.

This is Lois my favorite of the two new hobos. A bit smaller than Bailey, but just as functional. I have her in purple mum.

My favorite 'day' purse: Amy. She is shown in wicker with a cordura base. She is gorgeous with a flower pin or a monogram on her side. She is an essential for any woman and is cross-generational. I own one (wicker with a red bottom) and we bought my mom one with a sky bottom for mother's day. She screamed with joy. Literally. Screamed.

This is our Boat Bag Very large and roomy with a nautical look. It is a must have for the lazy summer days spent on the boat or at the beach.

Meet Paige. The only one of the bags shown that I do not own...however, she is next in line. Just as soon as I decide what fabrics to choose...

This company is family owned and operated. It adopts each consultant as one of their own. Check out their website

Click on the link to check out our catalogs and get information on how to contact me.
I would love to give you get product that is washable, guaranteed, made in America, designed by you all for free.

Friday, May 13, 2011

12 in 12...A Day Late

Yesterday I had such a wonderful time snapping snapshots here and there throughout my day.

But blogger was down so I couldn't get on. Here I am...doing my Twelve in Twelve. A day late.

The first few pictures are of the beautiful nature that is in my backyard. I took these right after a downpour, so the leaves still have droplets on them. Gorgeous:

The last picture of the leaves is one of my favorite. This tree was dropped from the heavens into my yard. Literally.

This tree started growing in the perfect place in my backyard. The awesome thing is that there is no other oak trees of this breed in my neighborhood. Which means a bird must have dropped the seed. It is now a tall tree that is gorgeous!

I saw the rain boots of a little girlie sitting on my stoop. Couldn't resist getting a shot of 'em. Aren't they darling?

And the little girlie the boots belong to? Well. She's darling too!

I am helping a friend plan the spring carnival at Rittman Elementary (May 21st 2-4 pm for those who are interested in coming :o)

I ordered a new carnival game and it came yesterday. It looks like fun and will be enjoyed by all!

At dinner we had BBQ wings (my kids' favorites) and cupcakes for treats:

Books at bedtime!

And a book for me...which I highly recommend.

I pray that God will pour blessings upon you as He has poured rain and drenched the earth the past few days.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Bitterness is an ugly root that tries to grow and control our hearts.

Sometimes,at our house, we fight this battle. With all of the hurts, disappointments, jealousy or anger; the frustrations begin to grow.

Then with Gods help, we overcome them only to be hurt again. Its like weeding my soon as I get it cleaned out, a small weed will pop up. Daily I must weed our hearts so we can be beautiful in God's eyes.

(Not my actual garden...but wouldn't this be amazing?)

A few weeks ago, we were going through a stage where Riley was getting really mean towards Rhianna. I could see it worsening and then recognized it as resentment.

One night at bedtime, I sat on his bed and told him that these actions were going to stop. Immediately.

I told him I knew of people who were chronically bitter. And it wasn't pretty.

I told him I loved him too much, that he was too good of a person for me to let him become bitter.

I told him he was on an ugly path and it would only get uglier as time went on.

I wasn't sure if he was totally comprehending all of this. But wasn't sure how else to get through to him.

He looked me dead in the face and went 'screeeeecccchhhhhhhh'

I'm sure my face had a startled look, not sure what he was doing. Maybe even worrying that he was convulsing??

I asked him. "What was that?"

He said "My brakes. I'm not going to go down that path anymore. I'm stopping"

Then he proceeded to act like he was driving a vehicle.

Again, quizzically, I asked him "and what is that?"

He said "Me. I'm driving a jeep through the woods. Away from the path of bitterness and to the path of happiness"

My heart skipped a beat.

He got it.

Ever since, if he gets a bit moody I just say "Riley, what path are you on?" And he usually grins and straightens up.

I try and be compassionate towards the little man. He has been through entirely too much and has recently been frequently provoked.

But I love him way too much to let it destroy him.

Can you pray for him? I see so much positive potential for his future. He is so wise for an 8 year old. God must have some serious plans for this kid. I'm just scared that as his mother I will fail him.

As much as I try and be the one to teach him ~ I am the one who learns so much.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!

The special day where we celebrate our Mothers.

For the gift of life, for the sacrifice in raising us and the blessings of love.

But what has been on my heart lately are the mothers who constantly give of themselves. Without thanks or praise.

The single moms who have no support system.

I am a single mom.

One who struggles with loneliness.weariness.exhaustion.frustration.stress.hurt.anger.

But I have a support system.

I have God who takes care of my every need.

I have Jesus Christ, the best friend.ever.

I have my mom who is there for me.

I have sisters who help me.

I had a dad who loved me.unconditionally.

I have a brother who plays with my boys.

I have an amazing brother in law who loves my kids.

I have an aunt who helps babysit my kiddos.

I have cousins who are amazing with my kids.

I have friends to help lessen the loneliness.

I have so many people holding me up in prayer and doing so many kind deeds that sometimes it amazes me.

I have people in my life who are wise and are willing to guide me through tough decisions.

But what about the single mom who doesn't have any of these things?

All of us may have contact with them in one way or another.

Whether it is through work. Or school. Or just an acquaintance.

But you know at least one.

One that needs some encouragement. Just a smile. Some form of acknowledgement that you care.

Just show her love and mercy and compassion. Like Christ would.

Many people don't understand the pain we bear. The loneliness. The self-doubt of how to raise our children. The intense weariness. The constant anger or frustration at the other parent who abanodoned us and our children. The pain from years of abuse that still hasn't healed. The pressure we have of trying to give our children a 'normal' family life.

What can you do to show the single mom in your life the mercy and compassion of Christ?

Don't remind her that it was her choices that led her to this place! We already know this and you can trust that we are our toughest critic.

How would Jesus treat her if He were walking the earth?

I think of the woman at the well. We know she had five husbands, but it doesn't mention children. There is a strong possibility she had many.

How did Christ receive her? How did Christ speak with her? How did Christ show her love? Did He condemn her? Did He ridicule her for her prediciment? Or did He just show her the way to a life of forgiveness and healing?

I have been so blessed. I have such a large support system. I have friends who call and check on me just 'because they were thinking about me'. I have a mother,sisters and many friends who help me with my children. I have a wonderful church family who supports me in so many ways.

What I am asking for is some attention to the single moms who have

Why not be the vessel in which Christ can minister to her?

Why not be the one she can count on for words of encourgement and compassion?

Why not be the one she can trust, admist all the hurt and abuse she has been through?

Why not be the one who sends her a card that just says "I care"?

Why not be the one that reassures her she is doing a good job raising children? And give her kind words of advice on how to make it even easier?

Why not take her kids for her. Just so she can get a bit of a break.

If you are a man, play ball or wrestle with her boys. Build something with them. Pray with them. Show them what a real man, a Godly man, is all about.

Bake cookies with her daughters. Read with them. Hold them.

Why not be the one who her children can count on to love them?

Why not be the one who she can count on to be on her side?

Why not be the one who she can count on to be her friend?
Even when she is grumpy from the overexhaustion of doing a mulit-person job.

Why not be the one who hugs her when she is beaten down emotionally?

Why not be the one who promises to pray for her and offers to pray with her?

Why not give her hope?

Happy Mother's Day to mothers across the world. Especially those who are doing a spectacular job alone.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Have you ever woken up and realized you are really late somewhere?

And then realized it was a dream when you woke up (for real) and realized to your utter relief that it was in the middle of the night?


That happened to me today.

Only I didn't wake up from a dream.

It was real. A true to life nightmare.

I was supposed to be a chaperon for Riley's 2nd grade field trip to the Cleveland Natural History Museum.
The bus was promptly leaving at 8:45 am.

I got a text from a friend at 8:44.

"Where are you?"

This weekend my final project is due on Healthcare in our Nation.  And I was up until 3:30 the night morning before researching and writing and rewriting and researching some more.

Needless to say, I didn't hear any of the four alarms that went off.

I FLEW out of bed texting Carrie like mad.  Only to find out the buses were pulling out.  Riley, who had already been up and dressed, was bawling his eyes out.  Me?  Felt like the world's worst mother.ever.possible.

I called the school and asked if I could just drive up there and meet them.  Thankfully, they said that was fine.

I flew like a maniac and got ready.  Ran Rhianna up the hill to school and then headed up Interstate 71, driving like a mad woman.

At one point I did get a text from my friend that said this:  "The way you drive I figured I'd see ya go flying by us." 

Thankfully, she was on the bus with Riley's teacher.  She quietly told her what happened and that I was on my way. 

As I was frantically driving up 71, Carrie kept me up to date on their progress.  I knew I wouldn't be too late but wasn't sure how much he would have to miss.

I told Riley that I figured we would only miss the first 15 or 20 minutes of the field trip.  He wasn't impressed.

While I was driving, I quick tried to figure this story problem in my head:

If a bus, going 55 mph, leaves Rittman at 8:45 am and a mini van going 90 mph, leaves Rittman at 9:25am, at what point will they meet up?

I had prayed while I was rushing around at home that God would somehow slow them down and somehow speed me up.  "Please, dear Lord. Don't punish Riley for my mistake."  I opened the Bible to Jesus talking to Mary and Martha and this is what it said:  "I have heard your prayers".  

I was only about 20 minutes from the museum and I got a text from her.  She said they were there. But they were waiting on the other bus to arrive so they could unload.  That. Was my answered prayer.

We parked and rushed in.  Just then I got a text from Carrie saying her group was with my group and directed me where to go.  We flew around the corner and there they were.  They had just started the tour. We hadn't missed a thing.  Not one minute.  Then, Riley was impressed.

The day ended up wonderful. The kids had a great time. We saw dinosaurs, telescopes and a planetarium. Which I love.  It was a blast.

Riley was so forgiving and understanding.  I am so amazed at his forbearance of me.  I learned a lot from my 8 year old today.  How unforgiving would I have been?  How impatient am I with others when they fail me?  Somewhere he learned patience, forgiveness and forbearance.  Not from me. 'Cause I learned it from

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Praising Him

Have you ever been chastised by yourself, from the past, for something you are doing in the present?


I don't blame you.

Let me explain.

I've been whinging this past week. And from my previous post, we all can remember that I said I wasn't going to do that anymore.

But. I have been. 

Funny thing happened though.

I was looking through old posts and came across the one I wrote on whinging. 

I got to this paragraph and almost croaked:

How often does God put up with our whinging?  Do we do as the Children of Israel did, whine and complain and throw tantrums at our circumstance?  I wonder what other provisions God had in store for the Israelites?  Provisions that He never gave them because they whinged their way through the desert for 40 years. How often would they praise God for the provisions He gave them?  Do you think He had more to give but was waiting to see how they reacted?  What blessing is God holding back from giving us because we are not thankful for the blessings we already have?

Wow. I already had forgotten.

And myself in the past, reprimanded myself in the present.

I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed with it all:

Raising kids
Selling a house
Finding a job
Finding a place to live
Must I go on????

Anyhow.  I hadn't been praising God for all the wonderful things I have:

My children
I could go on forever...

I am going to stop worrying.stressing.panicking. and start praising

I decided to start right here.right now. On this blog.

Know what God gave me the past week? Amongst many other blessings?

Spring blossoms.

I love the beauty of fresh spring flowers.

Such a promise of fresh newness.

I spent the past few days working outside in the yard and flower beds.  Digging in the fresh soil.  Planting some new flowers.  Mowing the lawn.  Breathing in the spring air. 

It was glorious.

I"ll share with you what God has given me in my corner of the world:

I will praise thee, O Lord  my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore
~Psalm 86:12~

Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart,
~Psalm 111:1~ 

And to stand every morning to thank  and praise the LORD, and likewise at even
~1 Chronicles 23:30~

And he hath put a new song in my mouth even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD
~Psalm 40:3~ 

Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise
~Jeremiah 17:14~ 

And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people
~Romans 15:11~

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever
~1Chronicles 16:34~

So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations
~Psalm 79:13~

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
~Psalm 5:11~