finger lickin' good finger paintin'

I was feeling brave.
The twins are almost two, finger painting should be fun now, right?  And wouldn't it be sooo cute to make thank you notes for their birthday with personalized handprints?  Mom's and their grand ideas...

So, I found this recipe for homemade finger paints:

2 c. flour
4 c. cold water
Food coloring
Pinch of salt

Heat flour and water over low heat, stirring occasionally until thick.  (this took me almost 20 minutes).  Remove from heat, add salt and allow to cool.  Add food coloring and store in refrigerator after use.

Everyone was getting pretty impatient by this point.  And I plopped big gooey bowls of vibrant paint on the table.  V e r y tempting.  Finger painting now became hand painting...

And hand painting became face painting...

And chair painting, and table painting, and dripping down little legs into puddles on the floor painting...

And of course, who could resist tasting it?  Not my gang, that's for sure!  Next time I might try adding food coloring to vanilla pudding.  

Now that would be some yummy paint! 


first love, first glance

There's a song that keeps playing over and over in my head lately.  The words are so beautiful and every time I hear it, love for my Saviour overwhelms me (you can listen to it at the bottom of this post).  I'm left with a longing--a longing for that first love.  That fervent, burning love that sees only Jesus, hears only Jesus, wants only Jesus.   I didn't know just how distracted and busy my life had become until Jesus started leading me to that verse in Revelations where He is confronting a church in Ephesus  (and where He is lovingly confronting me):
"I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love."   Revelations 2: 2-4
Just look at that list of commendable things they had done!  All of them were praiseworthy.  And I look at the different "things" I do for Jesus, all in His name, and I realize that many of them have become habit.  Like a marriage that has grown too comfortable and lacks pizazz, that's what my love for my Savior has been lately.  He's overwhelmed me with His love (here, here, here, and here). He's held nothing back.  And He longs for me to do the same.  To hunger and thirst for Him.  To desire Him more than anyone or anything else.  He desires me.  ALL of me.

I was moved to tears when I read this beautiful post.  Sami shared this same scripture that God has been leading me to.  And my heart just resounded with renewed longing, with sorrow for moments I had missed with Him, but with excitement for what tomorrow will bring.  She posted a letter from God to herself and encouraged others to do the same and to link up with her.   I was so excited to get alone with Him and hear what He would say to me.  I remembered this blog that was created to share some of my conversations with God and I realized (with chagrin) that I haven't added anything to it in almost eight months.  I asked Him to speak to me, to write me a letter.  And He was so faithful.  I have to admit, I expected a well deserved note of correction, but this is what I felt Him tell me,
My Joye,
I've missed you.  I love you.  I yearn for you.  Your love is like the sweetest of perfume.  I've missed sharing secrets with you, talking long into the night, laughing, crying, and listening to the beat of each other's heart.  You are my first love and I long to be yours.  Please know that I'm not angry with you-- I'm jealous for you.  Just spend time with me and I'll fill your heart with greater joy than when grain and new wine abound.   
I treasure your love.
I am yours,
How can I not respond to a love like that?

My Jesus,  
You have given me such grace!  And I want to know you more.  I want to hear the secrets of your heart, the depths of your love, the recklessness of your mercy.  And I want it to resound in my own heart.  
I want to love you more.  To sit with you and lose myself in the fire that burns in your eyes.  You deserve all of me.  You deserve so much more than I could ever give, and all you ask is to be my first love!  So come and fill me, Jesus, with the passion of Heaven.
Your Joye 

meeting needs

God is stretching me  (and no, I'm not just referring to my pregnancy!)
He's stretching my faith, my heart, my hands.  
He's daring me to be uncomfortable.  He's inviting me to live on the edge--to give out of my own need--without expecting anything in return but still having faith that He will provide.
And I'm not very stretchy sometimes.

My husband sees needs and he is moved to do something.  I am moved, but so often feel incapable of doing anything.  I wait for abundance to give.  He gives all he has.  He comes home telling me about families in need and his plans to help lighten their burden and I stare at unpaid bills piling on our table and I feel my heart grow numb.  "God will take care of us,"  he says with confidence streaming through eyes lined by stress from his venture into the instability of self-employment.  And I know it is true.  God has always taken care of us.  We have been so immensely blessed.  I am surrounded by robust, rosy-cheeked children in a beautiful home.  We may live week to week, but there are some that live hour to hour.

Keep my heart soft, Lord
Keep my faith strong
Keep my hands open, Lord
Knowing you are the Giver
Of all I that I own

Keep my heart soft, Lord
Keep my faith strong
Keep my hands open, Lord
Knowing the greatest gift 
Is you and you alone

"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"  Acts 20: 35



A screen just blinked on my laptop and it read, "You are running on reserve power".

The battery icon is almost depleted revealing that only 5 percent of it's energy is remaining.
I'm not at home and I forgot my power cord.  Great, just great.  My only free time and now this happens.

God is sitting beside me and we slowly share a smile...

To read more visit Internet Cafe Devotions where I am sharing today.


sew bright

I think I love fabric even more than I love sewing.  Colors just make me happy.  Bright, bold, flamboyant colors that just dare me to be grumpy.  That's why it made perfect sense to me to pull all my fabric out of their bulky bins and store them out in the open-- on bright blue shelves my honey made me. I found some lovely vintage contact paper at a thrift store and I adhered it to the back of the shelves.  A sewing table I found at a yard sale a year ago got a brand new facelift as well.  Space is an issue for this gal who loves to craft.  In other words, I have WAY TOO MUCH stuff and nowhere to put it!  This little sewing nook is actually in a corner of our master bedroom.  Good thing my husband's not a light sleeper, right?  

Every sewing corner needs it's own lighting.  So I threw a skirt over my ugly old lampshade and "dressed" it up a bit.  And just like any skirt, it needed a belt to go with it.  The great thing about this is that it's temporary-- I can change the look easily (and even wear it myself!)  
And that's the grand tour of my new favorite corner.

*This post is linked to DIY Day over at A Soft Place to Land.


the doubleday bday

Hallelujah!  We made it!  God answers prayers : )  I haven't gone into labor yet and the twin's big day was a hoot!  I'm sitting here staring at my fat swollen feet and I have officially decided to SLOW down and try to go to bed before midnight (at least until this baby comes with his own ideas of when mommy should and shouldn't sleep).

"Owl" tell you who make the cake--not this bakerella, that's for sure!  No, it was much too yummy to have come from my oven.  My mother-in-love baked it and my sister-in-love decorated it.  Isn't it so cute?  From across the miles, my parents ordered a jumper for the birthday and the kids LOVED it!  Boston and Astair's second birthday was celebrated with a whole lotta love and a house full of family.  We did cheat and have it a little early this year.  In truth, the poor dears really only have a birthday every four years because they were born on leap day!

Of course, you know me, I couldn't resist making Astair this hair clip to match her outfit...

And then, after my friend showed me the cutest little tie she made for her baby boy, I just had to make some for my gang...

We partied.  We bounced off the walls (literally).  We ate cake.  Lots of it.

And then we partied some more.

My twin's are two.  My babies are now not so little anymore.  Sniff.   It feels like just yesterday we were celebrating Thad's second birthday and now he's my big boy.  Oh, how time flies when you're having this much fun!  

Note to God:  Thanks so much for the answered prayer!!  I'm ready whenever you are!  Let's have this baby!  


just a little bit longer.

Dear Abba,

Have you seen my to-do list?  I know, I know.  Your eyebrows are raising and you're giving me that amused look.  My list is almost as thick as the phone book!  I've been rushing my time with you and I've literally been on pregnancy overdrive.  How are you always so patient with me?  

I can't believe that our little Legend will be here any day.  In fact, that's what I really wanted to talk to you about right now, Daddy God.  You see, I had to schedule the twin's birthday for this weekend.  It was really my only option.  And I so want them to feel celebrated.  Which brings me to my huge request--could you possibly keep our precious baby in my womb for at least two more days?  Yep, that's all.  Just two days and then he can have his very own birthday celebration with all the pomp and grandeur we can give him!  I really am so excited to see my little one's face, to hold his soft and squirmy body close to mine and to stare into his bright eyes, but...I feel like I'm speeding along right now at a frantic 90 miles per hour.  I just want everything to be perfect for his arrival.  So, I'm sure Legend wouldn't mind hanging out in his cozy, warm environment for just a wee bit longer.  Whaddya say?  I know it didn't hurt to ask.  

I love you, my Father!  

Your crazy girl

(Little note to all the eavesdroppers:  Is it weird to have a picture of myself in this post?  It feels weird.  I just couldn't find a single picture in my files to fit with it!)


butterflies and lipstick

Ah, my little Astair.  You are all butterflies and roses.  Lipstick and pretty poses.  Sweetness and independence rolled up into one dainty package.  And though you are tender, you're still one tough cookie.  You will hold your own with three brothers.  I don't worry about you.  There's a strength that you possess, a self-assuredness and independence that is tempered so beautifully with a gentle and quiet spirit.  You are my adventurous one, my curious little cupboard sifter, my happy-go-lucky easily entertained momma in training.  Everyday you ask momma to show you the baby in my tummy.  You pat him with your little hands and give him smooches.  You are going to love being a big sister.

pregnant parking

Dear State Parking Regulations Department,

I appreciate that you are conscientious and considerate of those who are handicapped and have gone many lengths to ensure easy access into public buildings by those who may have difficulty walking great distances.  I have only one complaint.  While I may not be handicapped, I am a VERY pregnant woman.  While walking long distances is healthy for most pregnant women, I fear that it may bring on early labor for such as myself.  I do not wish to give birth to my baby in a public parking lot.  I am sure this could cause traffic accidents and citizen paranoia.  Not to mention one very distressed pregnant woman.  I would kindly ask that you would consider adding special parking for expectant mothers in your regulations.

Thank you ever so much,

A Momma due any day now


snow daze

The Diary of a Snow Day in Louisiana
First of all, if there is even the slightest chance of snow, call everyone you know and they will call everyone they know and schools will be cancelled, businesses will be closed, roads will be shut down, and everyone will be advised to stay home.  Keep in mind this will all occur BEFORE the first little fluffy white flake appears.  Yes...before!  Snow in Louisiana is almost as big of a celebration as Mardi Gras.  And this Yankee girl thinks it's hilarious!  Schools were closed in my hometown only if snow drifts were higher than your car and you had to shovel your way out of your house.  

I will admit, though, it is fun to see snow in this cajun country.  My kids were ecstatic (never mind Boston's initial expression in the picture above)!  It snowed for about two and half hours and although the snow melted once it reached the ground, the biggest, fluffiest flakes swirled around us and made us feel like it really was winter.   We threw soggy "slush"balls at each other and caught snowflakes on our tongues.  We stomped around in our rain boots and eskimo hats.  And then it stopped as suddenly as it came.  The stubborn southern sun bumped the snow clouds out of the way and it looked as though it had never happened.  Just another snow day!  (And only one of my children would stand still enough for pictures).  But oh, how his expressions melt me.  

This fleeting winter snow reminded me of the first snow in 60 years that southern Louisiana was blanketed by in December of last year.  It snowed several inches and Thaddeus had a blast!  His daddy pulled him around the neighborhood on a makeshift winter sled, they made snowmen and had snowball wars.  He wore a scarf and gloves for the first time.  It was pure joy.

So, what do you do after it snows in Louisiana?  You peel off your jacket and your gloves, eat a hot bowl of gumbo, and relax....because everything is closed, after all. 


Lollipop, lollipop

Love is....
sharing my favorite lollipop

making you laugh
and willing to be the joke

savoring the sweetness of you
bringing color to black and white days

kissing marshmallows off sticky faces
and then brushing teeth


our love: pictures, poem, and a promise

My poem to you

There are moments with you I treasure
More than words can say
There are moments when you've kissed me
And taken my breath away
But more than any moment
And stronger than winds of time
Is this amazing privilege
Of walking by your side

I love you, my Forever Valentine.


Being His.

Valentine's day is just around the corner.
And Love is in the air.
Love IS the air I breathe.
It fills my lungs, lingers in my senses, reminding me that I am loved.
By a Savior who is the very definition of love.
It's written on His hands.
My name.
Tattooed on nail scarred palms.
It's in the shape of a cross,  the gentle breath of grace, my hiding place.

I am loved.
So my Jesus tells me.
In love letters He writes me when I'm still enough to listen.
In sweet serenades from chickadees and little lilting voices.
Warm blankets and tender looks.

And my love for him?
So meager.
Meted out in half-finished devotions.
Exhausted metaphors.
A half-lit flame I'm ashamed to have let sputter.

Jesus-whispers fill my soul, "Be Mine."
"I am already yours."

My heart longs to answer.
Throw blazing logs of love on this fire.
Let the desire of heaven spark my own.
Turn these cold ashes into burning embers.
Jesus is waiting.

(If you visited this page and there was no picture:  my little ones published this post before it was finished!  LoL.)


one thing you never outgrow

10: 30 p.m. and I'm on the phone with my mamma.
A blubbering sobbing mess.
Who else can you call when you feel that low?
We've been fighting the dreaded stomach virus.
And I finally caught it.
Feeling weak and miserable beyond relief.
But I'm still needed.
Little people tugging at me.
Babies wanting to be held, to be fed, to be rocked to sleep.
And I needing the same thing.

Me, the mamma.
Feeling like the little girl.
So I call.
From over a thousand miles away, my mamma's voice.
Hugging me through telephone wires.
Letting me know it's going to be ok.
Loving me at my lowest.

Mammas are someone we never outgrow.


womb baby's room

Trees are the trend in nurseries these days.  And I couldn't help but succumb to their whimsy.  Not to mention that I already had a half gallon of white paint sitting on my laundry room shelf.  That and my stash of scrapbook paper-- which just may be the best few bucks I've ever spent-- made this room's decor an easy choice.  I'm loving everything about this room--especially the price:  absolutely free.  I used items I already had around the house (and even a twig from the backyard).  Oh, and just in case you're a little confused about why I'm posting yet another nursery room, this one is for our womb baby who will be making his grand appearance in a little over three weeks.  The other nursery I decorated was for our almost two year old twins.  We moved them out of this room a few weeks ago.

If you look closely, you just might find the name we decided on for our little man (and an open socket/electrical hazard--but we'll pretend that's not there)

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