Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Fall Pumpkin Door Sign

Monday, I flipped my calendar to October! Was anyone else as excited as I was? I love fall, and I know that technically fall officially began in September, but there is just something about October 1st that screams, "It's Officially Fall!" Pumpkin patches, hayrides, bonfires, pumpkin/apple cider donuts, changing leaves, mums, cooler temperatures; I could go on and on about all the things I love about fall. I was excited to change my porch decor and get fall represented but I didn't have anything to hang on my door. I had always wanted a painted pumpkin sign and I decided that Monday was the day I would finally get that accomplished.
I loaded the boys up and headed to Lowe's and purchased a piece of 1/4" thick plywood for $5. That's all I spent making this sign (and a couple hours of my time, but time crafting is such a joy to me)!

Here's the instructions:

  1. I free handed a pumpkin shape with a pencil on my piece of wood.
  2. Cut the pumpkin shape out. I used a scroll saw (super easy, took about 3 minutes)!
  3. Paint the pumpkin. I gave my pumpkin two coats of white paint.
  4. I watched Junque to Jewels tutorial on buffalo plaid HERE! Katie did a great job explaining the process and it was very easy to execute! I wanted a thick buffalo plaid and I only had thin painters tape so I just doubled up and voila!
  5. After the buffalo plaid was done, I let it dry (or use a hair dryer to make sure paint is dry). I removed all tape and did any touch ups needed.
  6. After it was dry, I freehanded the word blessing on the sign. I didn't spend very much time measuring. My goal was a completed project is better than one I never finish because I take too much time trying to make it perfect. It was actually very freeing not worrying about perfection (and I actually had more fun)! 
  7. I used a staple gun to attach twine to the back.
  8. Hang on your door and stand back and enjoy! I love when I pull out of my driveway and the sign catches my eye. Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Life Changing Relationships: A Tribute to a Friend

Relationships are the conduit God uses to bring change in our lives. Through the course of life, we are all bound to meet people along the way that impact us deeply. Friends that leave an indelible mark  upon us forever. God has shown His grace to me by allowing one of those friends to be Sandy Badgett. I've had the privilege to know this special woman for 14 years, she has invested in me as a friend and mentor.  My heart has been heavy since hearing she passed away this past Sunday. She was gifted with words, and always had the right thing to say to encourage you no matter the life situation you were facing. Now as I look back, I realize to an even greater degree the gift she gave me. It was truly remarkable the way she would draw on her vast wisdom. And that only came from walking with Jesus for many years, and through learning from the joys, trials, and sorrows of life. She was truly a woman of God. Whether she was speaking to me about being a wife, a mother, or someone in ministry; she always encouraged, and always pointed me to Jesus. 

My heart has been searching for peace and comfort knowing Sandy is no longer with us. After hearing of her diagnosis of brain cancer in February, I thought there must be a mistake. The results had to be wrong. Sandy has impacted so many children and women for the gospel, through many years of faithful service to the Lord and doing life with others. While out on a brisk morning run, I pleaded with the Lord to deliver her from this cancer. We still needed her here. She made such an impact on the world. She made such an impact on me. I thought surely the Lord would deliver her from this diagnosis and bring glory to His name. While I don't understand why the Lord called her home, I stand in confidence that God is sovereign and He is on His throne and reigns over all things. Nothing happens outside of His permission. His plans are greater than our plans. Understanding His sovereignty brings peace and confidence. Knowing Him allows me to rest even when I question. Yet, the Lord did deliver her from her illness, on a beautiful blue sky day in September (Sandy loved blue sky days). It wasn't in the way I was hoping, but perfectly according to His will and plan. She is in the presence of her Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ and she is more alive today than ever before. Great glory is being brought to His name through the many lives she impacted and touched, through the stories being told, and the lives she molded. Now, I pray that all the people she impacted and ministered will be compelled to pay it forward. 

How do we carry on her legacy? To encourage others. To have gospel conversations. To invest in another spiritually. To simply give time to another. Ultimately, to use relationships for God's glory and our good.

Sandy was known for her beautiful handwritten notes. I am so thankful to have received many of them, always full of wisdom, truth, and encouragement. In one such card, a powerful declaration of truth has brought me great peace, comfort, and encouragement in my time of grief. She said, 
"May we each continue to walk this earth remembering to Bring Glory, Build Relationships, and Be Thankful. All the Glory goes to God. It is not about me, it is all about Him."

As I read this note, I could hear her voice. As if saying, "Kate, press on and allow this manner of living to be your theme until we meet again."

As I close, I am reminded that God really does use relationships as the conduit to bring change into our lives. I am a better person, wife, mom, friend, and follower of Christ because of my friendship with Sandy.

What relationships are you investing in?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Books to Read In Kindergarten

My third baby is starting Kindergarten tomorrow! Cue all the tears for this momma. My little guy is excited and ready to go, which makes it a little bit easier on me. It's so hard letting go, but a wise friend once told me years ago that the process of letting go is a gradual one that begins the moment you hand your newborn baby to anyone other than your husband to hold. There are many little moments and milestones along the way to prepare not only your child, but you, for them to leave your home someday. Tomorrow, we will hit another milestone. It's really true the days are long, but the years are short. For five years I've been nurturing my baby and he's grown, and is ready for this. He is going to rock Kindergarten, and I will be here cheering him on every step of the way!

Here is a quick run down of the books we are reading to get even more excited for Kindergarten! We have several of these in our personal library from years past when Cooper and Max started Kindergarten. I also reserved some of these titles at the library to have some new books to read!

(Amazon affiliate links)

A Kissing Hand for Chester Raccoon (The Kissing Hand Series)

Kindergarten Rocks!


The Night Before Kindergarten

Planet Kindergarten

The 12 Days of Kindergarten (Pictureback(R))

The Best Thing about Kindergarten

Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Back to School Prayer Guide

The end of summer is a time of preparation. The school supply aisle is buzzing with activity, and teachers and staff are hard at work preparing to welcome our students back to school. Excited kids and parents head out for back to school shopping for new clothes, shoes, and fresh haircuts. All, in preparation of starting our students off on the right foot. Parents and students will be facing many emotions in the coming days. Some will be filled with excitement, some with anxiety and fear, or many a little mixture of all these and more. The best way to prepare for sending our kids back to school is prayer. I've created a Back to School Prayer Guide full of things we can pray for our students, teachers, district staff, and for the safety of everyone in our schools. Join me in praying for our students and teachers this school year.

A few ways you can implement this prayer guide include, going on a prayer walk around your school during non-school hours. I love to jog up to my kids school during the summer or on weekends and pray for the teachers, students, and their safety; all while getting in a workout. Find a friend or two and meet at a home or set aside a regular time to pray together for your school. Encourage your family to pray for your student and their teachers. Write your kids teacher a note of encouragement and let them know you are praying for them this school year. Don't forget to pray daily with your kids before school, for their school day. I have created a free printable, of the prayer guide below, for you to refer back to, click HERE to print. Have a great school year!

·      Pray they honor God in their thoughts, actions, and words.
·      For the Lord to place them with the right teacher for their individual learning style.
·      Pray they would have a passion for learning.
·      Pray students will show respect for those in authority (teachers, principals, and staff), as well as other classmates, and themselves.
·      Pray that students will show compassion for their fellow classmates. That they would exhibit kind and caring attitudes toward others.
·      Pray for new students, that they will feel welcomed and included from the very first day. Pray they make connections and new friendships begin to form.
·      That students would make wise friend choices. That they would find a few Christian friends to encourage one another in the faith. 
·      That they would be a good influence on friends, and they would have the discernment to know when others are not a good influence.
·      That they would put forth their best effort in all their studies.
·      That they would demonstrate self control

·      Pray they will find great fulfillment and joy in teaching daily.
·      Pray they have a passion for teaching and investing in our children. Pray that their enthusiasm will be contagious and pass down to the students.
·      Give them great creativity in planning lessons that will make learning fun and memorable for their students.
·      Pray that they feel respected, supported, and appreciated by faculty and parents.
·      Pray for their home life (for any spouses, children, and circumstances they may be facing outside of school).
·      Pray they will have patience, grace, and love for their students.
·      Pray that they will make connections with their students and their class will bond together for a great year of learning and growth.
·     Pray they have a positive work environment and good relationships with co-workers, staff, and principal.
·      Pray for their salvation.

·      Pray God's protection over the school and all students, staff, and teachers everyday.
·      Pray that any plans that are meant to cause harm would be exposed.
·      Pray that any bullying will be found out quickly and handled, so that all students have a safe environment for learning.
·     Pray for the student’s spiritual safety and protection from exposure to any bad thing. Or anything that could possible cause a lifelong addiction (pornography, drugs, acohol, etc.).

District Staff:
·     Pray for the district staff, superintendents, and school board that make decisions that affect our children.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Friday Favorite-June 1

It's June 1st! My kids are out of school and we've had an great first week of summer. My hubby, Chris, left for a mission trip to Haiti, the day after the boys got out of school. I've tried to plan fun, little things though out our week to break things up and make memories with my boys. We've already made several trips to the pool and summer is in full swing. Here are a few of my favorite things this week.

one. Memorial Day. I took all five boys to Old Navy to get the yearly fun flag shirts they carry. A friend gave them to the boys as a gift last year and it was so fun to have them wear them on Memorial Day and Fourth of July. I know some of you are probably still stuck back at the fact that I took all five boys to Old Navy, by myself. A girl's got to do, what a girl's got to do 🤣.

My goal was to get a picture of all five boys in their shirts and a picture of the boys and I together. As moms we are always behind the camera, and it's important to get in front of it with your kids too. I knew they weren't going to be into it, but I wanted to try it anyway. I set up my camera on a folding chair, set the self timer and was pleasantly surprised to get this gem, that I will treasure for years to come. Sometimes, plans do work out!

Afterward, I loaded the boys up and we headed to our favorite shaved ice stand for a cool treat. It was so hot, and I was so proud of them for cooperating with me. After an hour wait (due to one sweet girl working the stand), I had five extremely hot boys, and the shaved ice could not have tasted better.

two. Nickel and Suede. My hubby and boys gave me some new earrings for Mother's Day and I am in love. These earrings are the best. They are so lightweight, I forget that I even have them on. They are a fun statement piece and make me feel put together. The owner/designer, Kilee, has five boys. We have just a little bit in common. I'm sure we would have a lot to talk about times five 😊.

three. Strawberry picking. We headed to Benny's Berries to pick strawberries. I talked about our berry picking trip last year here.  We love Benny's Berries because it's a manageable size to keep track of your kids, and the berries are fantastic. We had a great time picking perfect, red, juicy strawberries. I love that the boys had some unplugged fun. I was impressed that they followed the directions and only picked the red berries without white tips or tops. We made Homemade Strawberry Shortcake twice this week! We couldn't let those strawberries go to waste.

four. Cranberry Orange muffins from Costo. The little boys and I tried these muffins at Costco at a sampling event during our last shopping trip. They were delicious, and the boys loved them. When I discovered that they are made with fresh zucchini and carrots, I was sold. What mom isn't trying to figure out how to get their kids to eat more veggies? These are great for on the go or at home. If you are a Costco member grab a box!

five. Miss Freddy's Back Up Boot Camp. Anyone else feel completely overwhelmed with their digital images? Over the years, they have piled up. I am worried that I will lose all my images. I need help! I'm so glad that Casey has this free online course to help me know what to do to get those images backed up! This will lift a huge weight off my shoulders! Join me for Miss Freddy's Free Back Up Boot Camp. This is the last time she will be offering the course for free. Click HERE to register. Course starts Monday, June 4th.

six...I'll leave you with my last, but not least, favorite thing this week.  My little man is now walking. I love watching new walkers, they are adorable. The wobble, the hands, the wide much fun. I am still in disbelief that my baby is not only one, but walking. It goes too fast, but I'm loving every minute. He is such a joy.

Have a wonderful weekend and I would love to hear some of your favorite things from this week!