Our Journey Home

Friday, November 30, 2012

Modesty: The Fashion Test

Wubs and Bella, holding some treats for our family movie night!
I have been reading a wonderfully practical, Truth-filled book about parenting girls. It is called Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl by Dannah Gresh. I heard about this book one evening as I was listening to Focus on the Family on the radio, and I have been wanting to read it ever since! I have been encouraged and challenged in many ways. In the most recent chapter I have read, I learned about a Fashion Test. It is a great tool for all women, not just little girls! wink! Here it is:

The Raise and Praise Test
Target: Am I showing too much belly?
Action: Stand straight up, pretending you are in worship, and extend your arms in the air to God. Is this exposing your belly? Bellies are very beautiful, and they need to be saved for our husband.
Remedy: Layers are a great solution to short shirts. Tank tops can be a girl's secret weapon to keep that belly covered under a fun trendy shirt!

The mirror, mirror test
Target: How short is too short?
Action: Get in front of a full-length mirror. If you are in shorts, sit criss-cross applesauce style. If you are in a skirt, sit in a chair with your legs crossed. Now, what do you see in that mirror? If you can see your panties, your shorts or skirt are just too short.
Remedy: Buy longer shorts or skirts. Or, try pairing it up with some leggings.

The "I see London, I see France" test
Target: Can you see my underpants?
Action: Bend over and touch your knees. Have a friend look at you from behind. Can she see your underpants through your pants? Are your pants so low that she can see the top of your underwear over the waistline of your pants?
Remedy: Wear white underwear or again, use a tank top that will cover you up all the way past your pant's waistline.

The over & out test
Target: Is my shirt too low?
Action: No one really lives standing straight up all the time! We bend and stretch and move, and sometimes, our clothes do too! Lean over a little bit. If there is too much chest skin showing (or cleavage) your shirt is too low.
Remedy: Today's fashions thrive on low shirts. Layering them is often the only remedy.

The 'Spring Valley' test
Target: Is my shirt too tight?
Action: Place the tips of your fingers together and press into your shirt right in the valley in the middle of your chest. Count to three and take your fingers away. If your shirt springs back with force, it is probably too tight! Even if you aren't showing too much skin, too much shape is just as inappropriate.
Remedy: Buy bigger shirts. Don't buy shirts based on the size, but instead buy based on the fit.

I am really excited to continue reading this book! I am so thankful that the Lord has allowed me to be the mommy of two precious little girls. I am so very blessed!

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."- 1 Peter 3:3-4

Thursday, November 29, 2012

a scary mommy moment

I had just arrived home with our three children from a quick trip to the grocery store. I hadn't even taken off my jacket as I started to put away the food we had purchased. JJ was happily following me from the kitchen to the pantry, helping me unload the grocery bags. When I set a bag of flour on one of the pantry shelves, I heard a small sound. Kind of like a little cracking sound. I heard it again and I instictively reached both of my hands up and stood with one knee out. I grabbed onto the pantry shelving unit as it started to buckle and separate from the wall. It all happened so fast. Our pantry was about to possibly collapse. "Wubs! Wubs!" Wubs came to my aid quickly and I asked her to pick up JJ and carry him into the living room. Then I told her to bring me the telephone and close the pantry door. I knew that this could be dangerous if the shelving  fell down, and if someone was going to get hurt, I only wanted it to be me! wink. Wubs did great! She babysat her siblings while I was locked in the pantry, holding up the five shelves. I called the church and asked to speak to David. I tried hard not to sound panicked as I told my wonderful husband  about the current situation. He came right home (he was here in no time!) and  he found me in the pantry, doing my best to prevent the shelves from crashing down. David handled everything! He got all the food off the shelves and removed some of the boards,  so I was able to let go. I started crying with relief! I was so grateful that the Lord had orchestrated every detail in such a way that no one got hurt! Here are a few pictures from the excitement!
The boards were removed from the shelving unit, but you can see where one whole side had pulled away from the wall.

This is a picture of our kitchen counter, covered in pantry items! Our children have never requested so many snacks as they did yesterday afternoon. wink!
David is going to install a new shelving system and I'll be sure to post an update!
"May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perserverance."- 2 Thessalonions 3:5

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: cookie cookie!

Happy birthday to our favorite seven year old twins, Abigail and Avery! We love you!
"We love because he first loved us."- 1 John 4:19

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

18 months old!

JJ is 18 months old! I can't believe how fast he seems to be growing older! Our 'baby' has become a toddler and wow- he makes our life exciting! JJ is climbing everything these days, and if he can reach it, he will explore it. JJ loves to play ball, wrestle, play hide and seek, and go outside. He isn't just walking anymore; he is running! JJ talks a lot now, too! He surprises me sometimes because he seems to have new words every day. JJ continues to adore his sisters and he frequently runs up to them to give them bear hugs. We love our little boy oh so much!
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud."- 1 Corinthians 13:4

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Operation

"Do not merely listen to the wor,d and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."- James 1:22

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Busy in the kitchen!

This weekend our kitchen looked like a small bakery shop! wink. When we started Sweets by Sarah Jane, I never, ever thought I'd be at a point where I'd actually need to say no to cake orders. But, the Lord has blessed us abundantly with many baking opportunities, and we soon realized we needed to set a boundary for my little side job. David and I decided that I can really only handle two orders per weekend. This weekend, I only had two orders, but wow! They were BIG orders! wink.  I made one birthday cake, and four dozen cupcakes. That was really fun- I love making cupcakes!  Next, I needed to make four cookie cakes. The cookie cakes were for a family celebrating the birthday of their quadruplets! All the orders were due on Saturday, so it was funny to see all the boxes of goodies spread all over our kitchen table and countertops! Here are some pictures from this weekend's baking adventures...
Adorable Miss Morgan had a gymnastics party! It looked like a LOT of fun when I stopped at the gym to deliver her cake and cupcakes!

I honestly couldn't even fit all the cupcakes in the picture! Four dozen cupcakes is a LOT of cupcakes! wink.
Here are the cookie cakes for the sweet quadruplets! Kate likes puppy dogs...
and Ava likes kittens!
Will likes Mario..

and Jack likes John Deere tractors!

Thank you so much, VonCannon family and Farrell family, for allowing me to be a small part of your special celebrations!
"Jesus looked at them and said "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."- Matthew 19 :26

Monday, November 19, 2012

Our night of crime...again

 Last year, we had some special fun for Pastor Ryan's birthday... do you remember? We knew we had to do something even more exciting to help our children's pastor celebrate his birthday again this year! We started planning ideas for this year's birthday surprise about a week ago, and below, you'll get a sneak peek at our plan! wink.  I hope you'll drive past Faith Baptist Church today! We had SO much fun!
Ta da!

hee hee hee!( These pictures are of the marquee outside the front of our church.)

Next, we lined the road outside of our church with batman/ Chapman signs. If you are wondering where we got the signs, we...ummm, uh... "voluntarily-helped-the-city-of-Youngsville-clean-up-the-old-election-signs". wink!!

We also needed to reserve the first parking space for the Chapmobile...

Lastly, we decorated all the pastor's office doors with Chap-Man signs!
ps- I love you, Pam! Thank you for a wonderful night of crime, filled with memories!

"The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic."- Psalm 29:4

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Funny: again?

 Earlier this week, I took the children to a local park to play and enjoy the beautiful fall weather. Wubs really wanted to let JJ ride on her lap down the swirly slide. JJ was content on the little tunnel slide and I wasn't so sure about allowing him to take a turn on the bigger slides. However, Wubs said, "Mommy, you can trust me! I will protect JJ on the slide, I promise." and I melted. She loves her brother so much, and since I was going to stand at the side of the slide, I figured it would be okay. Emma Grace guided her little brother up the stairs of the tall slide and they both giggled with anticipation. However, JJ must not have understood the concept of sitting on Wubs' lap because I heard lots of  pleading from Wubs at the top of the slide, then an angry 18 month old's squeal. The next thing I knew I was catching JJ after a few sommersaults, a spin, and a head first descend down the spiraling slide! My heart was about to beat out of my chest and Wubs was in tears watching from the top of the slide. "Mommy! I am so sorry! He wouldn't sit on my lap! I'm so sorry!" I smiled and nodded to Wubs so I could assure her that she wasn't in trouble, but honestly, I was speechless- I was so scared! wink. JJ pulled away from my embrace and took out his paci. His eyes twinkled and he exclaimed, "Again?" I had to laugh!! *sigh* Being a mommy to a little boy certainly is exciting! (And he isn't even 18 months old yet... wink.)
Pictured below- Three sweet little children, fresh out of the bathtub, dressed in soft jammies, having a fun dinner picnic in our living room. We are so blessed!

"To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God."- Psalm 25:1-2

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our thankful turkey craft

To decorate our refrigerator door for the month of November, we made a thankful turkey craft! First, the girls cut and glued a turkey (did you see the eyelashes, wink!), then put a brad through the center. On a white construction paper circle, the girls wrote several things for which they are thankful. We attached the white circle onto the brad so the list 'wheel' would spin! I didn't want to prompt the girls at all and it was so sweet to hear them discuss their lists! If you spin Wubs' wheel, you would read:

Bella's list says:

We'll be adding this craft to their keepsake box! We try to set aside a few things each homeschool year to save for the girls to enjoy one day,when they are grown.

ps- We have been enjoying a great 1st Thanksgiving video series online! It is free and it was created by Scholastic. If you are looking for a good resource to teach your little ones about why we celebrate Thanksgiving, click here!

"We love because he first loved us."- 1 John 4:19

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

my most embarassing motherhood moment, to date

We had just left Bella's ballet lesson and I needed to run into the dollar store for a few items. I ran through the parking lot with all three children- it was a cold, rainy day! We grabbed what we needed and stood in the checkout line. Bella said, "Mommy! Why does that man have such long hair?" I looked at the man standing only feet away, just ahead of us in the line. My face turned red; she said it awfully loud! I lowered my voice, "Well, some boys like to have long hair." I kept my eyes on the man, waiting to see if he was going to turn around so I could give him an 'I am sorry if my 5 year old just insulted you' smile. Bella must have noticed where my gaze was fixed, because she looked at me, she looked at the man, and then back at me. "No mommy! Not that man, THAT MAN!" Bella then proceeded to point straight at the store clerk- who was female. I wanted to crawl underneath the chip display!!! The clerk had a ponytail all the way down to her waistline, which had gotten Bella's attention, but since she was not wearing any makeup and her uniform shirt was black... Bella had made a terrible,oh-so- audible mistake. wink! Yep, my most embarrassed motherhood moment, to date! ha ha ha!
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."- Romans 12:12

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sweets by Sarah Jane: a little update

I haven't posted any Sweets by Sarah Jane pictures in a while, so I thought I'd share a little update! The Lord has been abundantly providing opportunities to bake for others and we are so thankful! Here are just a few of the latest sweets from our kitchen..

This cake was for Wubs' precious friend, Lanie. Lanie gave me very few requests for her cake; she told me that she wanted a Pet Shop cake and that her favorite color is blue. We love the Robinsons!
This cake was made for a music recital performed by some of our sweet friends, Aubrey, Bailey, and Clara! We love those(very) talented girls!
This cookie (and the cake just below) were for a sweet 11 year old who was celebrating her birthday with a spa party! Hooray for Kelsey!

This baby shower cake was made for a surprise party my friend Anita was hosting. Anita is a sweetheart and it is always a joy to bake for her parties!
"And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewars those who earnestly seek him."- Hebrews 11:6

Monday, November 12, 2012

a puzzling consequence

It was one of those days, and I was beginning to feel discouraged as a mommy. I had spent the morning redirecting, disciplining, revoking priveledges... and to no avail. There was no real repentence, and I had exhausted every child-correcting idea that I had in my toolbox. Every day, I ask the Lord to help me minister to our children in a way that brings Him glory. But, the enemy was whispering to me, lies about my failures as a mama and lies regarding the hearts of our children. On this particular day, I was talking to God (literally, outloud) and asking Him to give me an idea to train our second child in the area of problem solving without sinning. It was the Holy Spirit that prompted me to grab a puzzle.
"Bella, please put on your coat and shoes. We need to go outside."
"Why, mommy? Why do I need to go outside?"
"Come with me and I'll show you. I have a job for you."
I had the puzzle in one hand and I led Bella up to our mailbox. I dumped all the puzzle pieces on the ground. Bella looked baffled. Then I walked with Bella back to our house and I laid the empy puzzle board on the front steps.
"Bella, it is your job to finish this puzzle. But, you can only use your walking feet and you may only pick up one puzzle piece at a time. You need to walk to the mailbox, pick up one piece, walk to the front steps, and put the piece where it belongs in the puzzle. When you're all done, you may come back inside."
Bella began working on the puzzle as I watched from the window. I even managed to sneak in a few photos...

It took Bella about 10 minutes or so. She came inside, cold and a little irritated about the task I had given her. I sat on the rocking chair, put Bella up on my lap, and kissed the top of her head. I asked,
"Baby, did you like it when mommy told you that you had to do that puzzle outside in the cold, all by yourself, and you could only get one piece at a time?"
Bella shook her head no and scrunched up her eyebrows at me.
"I bet that wasn't much fun at all, huh? You could have been inside our nice warm home, sitting at our kitchen table, talking to Wubs, eating a snack and working on the puzzle. But instead, you were solving the puzzle the hard way- outside in the cold, one piece at a time."
I watched Bella's face soften as she listened intently.
"You know, just like that puzzle, when you solve your problems by pinching or using mad words or stomping your feet... you are solving your problems the hard way. It doesn't feel good to solve your problems like that, and you always always get a consequence, don't you? But guess what? God has another way for you to solve your problems, and His ways are the best! You can choose to sin or you can choose to obey God's words. Do you understand? You can choose the hard way or you can choose to give God glory."
*sniffle* Bella laid her head on my shoulder.
" I love you, baby! And guess what?  I am very proud of you for working hard and finishing the job mommy gave you! You chose to obey!"

 I was so grateful that God gave me the tool that I needed, just when I needed it! Every day, I am praying for creative ways to train our children; if you have any ideas to share, I would LOVE to hear them!
"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."- Proverbs 22:6

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday funny: what's for lunch

Bella makes me smile with all her cute little words and sayings! Here is an example from just the other day:

"Mommy, I'm hungry for my lunch."
"Okay... let's see...what should we have?"
"I know! Spaghetti sticks!!"
"Spaghetti sticks?"
"Yeah! You know, those sticks you cook into spaghetti! Spaghetti sticks are my favorite lunch, even better than Spaghetti-O's!"

Have a wonderful weekend!

"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall."- Psalm 55:22

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: He knows his mama loves him!

"But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veild is taken away."- 2 Corinthians 3:16

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hillridge Farm party!

Thank you so much, Jordan family, for inviting us to come celebrate Dustin's birthday! It was so fun spending time at Hillridge Farm with you!

This was our very first train ride! Although we have been to the pumpkin farm in years past, we have never been on the train. It was lots of fun!

Bella and Zachary on the hayride.

Bella and mommy went down the big slide together. Wheeeeee!

The girls loved the water wheel. We watched it go 'round and 'round...

Jumping in the corn!

Wubs and Katelyn rode down the big slide together over and over again!

Trent, Wubs, and Bella, burying Katelyn in the corn!

Hayride fun with Brooke and Trent!

Meghan allowed me to make the birthday cake. All the decorations and treats were so cute; it was fun to be a small part of such a sweet party!

The birthday boy, blowing out his candles! Happy birthday, Dustin!

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."- Phillipians 2:3

Monday, November 5, 2012


Bella woke up this morning, crying and very very hot. All she wanted was a popsicle (as you can see, the evidence is still around her little mouth) and her favorite blanket. I felt so bad for our baby girl! Then, about an hour later, Wubs told me she wasn't feeling well, either. We are praying that our two precious girls will be feeling better soon!

"All a man's ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart." Proversbs 21:2

Friday, November 2, 2012

Trick or Treat 2012

"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redeption, the forgiveness of sins."- Colossians 1:13-14