Monday, February 28, 2011

Louie Giglio - Laminin

A Day of Thankfulness and Well Wishes

Today is my birthday.  How old am I you may be asking and I will politely tell you that is not a polite question. :) Actually I am joking, I don't think there is anything in the world impolite about asking a person their age because it just means how many years God has blessed you with and God has ABUNDANTLY blessed me with 33 years!  I remember thinking just before I turned 30 that I was supposed to be dreading it, running from it but I found myself embracing it.  I realized that my life was just beginning, I was a new mother, had a descent career finally etc....  I have found the 30's to be fabulous.

Today was a wonderful, happy and uneventful birthday.  I had actually planned to leave early this morning and drive to Lulu's for my special day with my family but that didn't work out because of Patrick's work.  Lulu's is one my most favorite places to be.  I could spend the entire day there just relaxing and watching my kids play.  Arden and I were treated to a birthday lunch with a very special friend and then we spent the rest of the day playing in the backyard.  Cash, Arden and I drug a blanket and pillows out into the backyard and actually laid down for a bit. It was perfect weather for it. Then we moved on to playing Huckleberry Finn, Cash loves to pretend he is Huck Finn and I enjoy playing along with him. :) It makes me feel like a kid again and playing with your babies is medicine to the soul. :)  My sweet mama and daddy sent a present home with me yesterday but I was instructed not to open it until today so this morning Arden opened it for me.  Thank you Mama and Daddy, I love ya'll both so much!

With all that being said I have to talk about Facebook and birthdays.  I have heard people say many times in status updates that Facebook sure does make birthdays fun and I agree 100%, Facebook puts a whole new twist of fun on a birthday!  My birthday wishes actually started yesterday, the day before my birthday so I got two days of blessings and well wishes.  I am still in the process of trying to either "LIKE" or respond to all the very thoughtful wishes.  I know that it only takes a moment to wish someone a happy birthday on Facebook and I am guilty of not always doing it, I am going to do better.  I would lie and tell you that reading all the well wishes  did not make me cry but for those of you that know me well know that I am a crier! They did make me cry, they OVERWHELMED my heart, I know it may seem silly but I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook and seeing well wishes from people that I haven't seen in 10 years but still, I love them just as dearly as I did back then, it is really special to me and makes me thankful for something so complex as Facebook.

Everyday I long to see God's face, to feel his presence and I have tried to embrace little things every single day with my children to show them God's love for us.  It could be a bird or a squirrel out in the yard, flowers blooming, you get the idea.  I am in a place, a season if you will, in my life where I need God more than ever, I want to learn his word, I want to show His love and  I want to share his kindness with others.  Simple as it may seem, seeing all the birthday wishes today on my Facebook wall was God showing Himself to me today.  Thank you all from the depths of my heart for taking a minute today to share love with me, a simple girl who is seeking God and is seeing Him in all of you!  

I love you all for all kinds of unique reasons!!! I pray you are all seeking God too.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Girls Weekend With Mama

My Mama and I have always made it a tradition to take a trip together one or two times a year.  It is usually a weekend trip but since she is retiring maybe we will be able to stay an extra day or two :).  A couple of weekends ago we went to the coast for the weekend.  We actually went to attend  The Williams Brothers Concert which was so awesome!! If you aren't' familiar with them you should Google them.  They are a gospel group from Smithdale where my mother is the postmaster so she knows them and their family.  They invited mama to come and so off we went.  It was so moving, so spiritual and so much fun.  We didn't have plans for the rest of the weekend and really just wanted to go with the flow so we headed out Saturday to Ocean Springs.  We ate lunch at McElroy's and then spent the rest of the day walking around all the neat little shops.  It was so much fun, the weather was beautiful and so was the company.  We ended up going to a movie that night, I forget the name of it, "Just go with it" maybe, Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler were in it, we always love going to a good comedy.

Me and my favorite girl! My Mama

Arden's strong will....

I have always thought that I was glad to be strong willed, determined and capable of doing things myself.  Independant and proud!  However I did learn several years ago that although there is nothing wrong with being that way I should never be so "proud" as to proclaim myself entirely capable of survival alone, so I will clarify that I will always need my Jesus to survive, I can NEVER do anything alone, I will never take credit for my accomplishments God be the Glory.  I am also thankful that God made me capable, willing to at least try something before I proclaim I can't do it. Now with all that being said I am certainly going to be counting on HIM to be my strong tower for let's see the next, well for as long as he gives me the privilege of raising my sweet baby girl Arden.  WHOA!!  This little girl is determined to do things her way.  She is 2 after all and very into "doing it by meself".  One afternoon this week it was nap time so I wondered to myself if she would be willing to go down without a fight or not.  Sometimes she just flat refuses and other times she asks to lay down.  Oh how I love those days.  I am sorry, oh how I LOVED those days.  This week it was as if she had an evil plan and it could only start moving forward after I put her down and left the room.  We were rocking and it was very obvious that she was tired, heavy eyelids, rubbing her eyes, know what i am talking about.  She then asked me to lay her down so of course I did.  The house was so quiet and Cash and I were playing in the yard.  After about 2 and half hours I heard her talking.  It was strange because she takes longer naps than that on most days and because when she wakes up she is usually yelling for me.  But what  I heard coming from her room was quiet talking, and playing.  I thought to myself "uh oh she never went to sleep, what has she done".  I opened her door to discover that she had climbed out of her crib and was sitting on top of her dresser.  She had stripped from the waist down, slipped her legs into one leg hole of another pair of pajama's (yes it was a pajama day at our house, i don't put her in them for naps) which made her look like she was wearing a really bad mini skirt.  She had opened the drawer of her dresser and taken all her clothes out.  Some were on the floor, some in her crib and some in her lap as if she were trying them all on.  Fashion show perhaps?  When I opened the door she proudly proclaimed "Mama I tee tee'd".  I quickly realized that she didn't have her diaper on and no telling what I was about to find.  What I found was that she had in fact wet in her crib all over her pillow pet and her bumper pad and some of the pajamas that she had I assume pulled into the crib while she was still in it.  But what else she had done blows my mind, how did she do that? Why did she do that?  Thank you Jesus that the dresser didn't turn over!  She had a huge puddle in the empty top drawer where her clothes once were.  Now  I will never know if she climbed in the drawer and tee tee'd or sat in the drawer.  I do know she didn't wet on top of the dresser and it leaked into the drawer, the girl had to have gotten in the drawer.  And she did this all so quietly, as not to disturb the rest of the house.     Needless to say that I rearranged her furniture that evening before she went to bed so that she can't do that again.  I am sure her wheels are already turning as to what she can try next!!  Lawd help me!!! :)

Surprise Mama 

Here is how I want to wear my pj pants mama!

I just can't imagine how that got there. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Things I have learned this week....

I like it when other mothers or other women for that matter share things they have learned.  It could be something as simple as a shortcut in a recipe to something bigger like changing a bad heating element in your over.  I can mark that off my list of "things I may need a man for" because I can do it by myself!  So if you need to know how to do that, call me!  On to the point.  Yesterday I learned that a steam mop does in fact blow out hot steam, much like an iron and if you are idiot enough to put your hand under it while pushing the steam button, you may in fact get burned.  I am just saying, I am not saying I did that just that I believe in my genius mind that is what would happen. :)

Any questions?

Monday, February 21, 2011

And so it goes...

I haven't blogged in a bit and I assure you it isn't because I have been kicked back eating bon bon's (whatever those are).  I have mostly been chasing kids, teaching them manners which most days I think I am failing miserably and trying to make a few memories along the way.  Last week Arden pulled her first "nap time stunt" which has got my wheels  turning on getting her a big girl bed.  She still sleeps in her crib and it really hasn't been a problem but last Wednesday she climbed out of it during nap time.  I have no idea how, all I know is she did it without breaking any bones.  I heard "someone" messing with her door knob and when I opened her door I fully expected to see Cash standing there but it was here and she just smiled and said "I fall out".  Sure you did Arden, sure you did! :)  She hasn't done it again so maybe I have some time in my twin bed search. Wednesday must have been the day for my children because as we were leaving church that night, Arden stepped off the sidewalk and into the driveway, as I went chasing her to get her out of the parking lot Cash yells "get back over here you little huzzie".  WHAT?????????  Yep, that's what he said.  He may have heard that word from me but it is what we yell at the heifers on the farm when they won't get back in the fence.  Guess we need to rethink that one!! :)  They are little sponges, I am learning to be cautious with what I allow them to absorb.

Monday, February 14, 2011

All You Need is Love......

This may be bad timing to make this particular statement but here goes....I think Valentine's Day is a dumb holiday.  Aren't we supposed to love everyday?  Do we really need a "day" set aside to do something really special for someone we love?  I am learning everyday how important "little" things are.  A friendly hello, a smile, a hug, a pat, a courteous gesture, a sincere word, how difficult is it to express these things to the people we love and the strangers we come in contact with?  Isn't this in fact how Christ would want us to act every day.  I know it is not practical to think that I can actually walk around with a happy smile on my face all day long every single day of my life but I am challenging myself in ways that I have not ever done before.  I am reminding myself that although I may think that someone does not deserve my kindness, my affection, my forgiveness, my friendship, my love, my respect, the truth is I don't deserve it either but God gives it to me willingly and lovingly every single day in spite of my failures.  HE loves me and he doesn't set aside a "day" to do it, to show it.  He does it every single day with sunshine, smiles and hugs from my children and my health to name a few.  So although Valentines is about romance and ok I get that, don't let it be the only day you extend something special to someone you love, or to a stranger you don't even know, everyone is struggling with some kind of adversity. :)  I have always heard the saying "you don't really know love until you hold your own baby" and now that I have my own babies I know that in fact is VERY true.  I know what love is, I have experienced love on levels that words can't explain and I am grateful for those I share it with!  So to celebrate "Valentine's Day" here are a few quotes on love that I thought worth sharing!

A loving relationship is one in which the loved one is free to be himself - to laugh with me, but never at me; to cry with me, but never because of me; to love life, to love himself, to love being loved. Such a relationship is based upon freedom and can never grow in a jealous heart.
-- Leo F. Buscaglia 

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage.
-- Lao Tzu 

Do you love me because I'm beautiful, or am I beautiful because you love me?
-- Oscar Hammerstein

Falling in love with someone isn't always going to be easy... Anger... tears... laughter.. It's when you want to be together despite it all. That's when you truly love another. I'm sure of it.
-- Author Unknown

I am so glad that you are here... It helps me realize how beautiful my world is.
-- Goethe

I love you, not for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.
-- Ray Croft

If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin Into his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
-- Emily Dickinson

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
-- Mother Teresa

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
-- Maya Angelou

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Picture Memories

Art day!!

The funnies thing about this picture is she is not potty trained!!

And he couldn't get Arden do this without him doing it.  He actually was using the potty.

Let me explain, this is a "camping" fold out tarp that you can picnic on.  It weighs about  2 or 3 pounds.  The light in Cash's closet is a pull chain that he can't reach so the other day I tied some garden twine with a small hook on the end so he could turn it on and off himself.  Within minutes he had hung the camping tarp from the hook which obviously pulled it out of the light entirely.  Now there is no light! :) Boys will be boys!

The Johnston Clan at Ella's birthday party

Me and my sweet Aunt Carolyn

Hayride shots, The Earls family!

Malain and Arden

Papa and his babies

Mama, madilyn and Julie D

Alese and Billy

Our Sweet Birthday girl

Me and one of my oldest and bestest friends, Julie 

So the girls painted their nails

Arden did this by herself! Go figure.

Ready for a ride in our pj's

I must say this is some serious exercise!

Here comes Alese

My little boyfriend! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I only have a moment to type as supper is on the stove and Arden will surely notice that my door is closed.  Once she tries to open it she will discover that it is locked and then she will begin to knock, kick and yell "mama" until I can't take the dog barking at her anymore and open the door, so..............

Cash was just playing in the floor with his combine, tractors etc....  he said to me, "mama, my man got dead on this combine so I am gonna stop and get him some milk and pray for him".  If you are wondering why I am blogging this it is because we as mother's love to hear reassurance that our children do listen.  It made my soul smile to hear my son say he wanted to pray even if it was just for his toy farm hand!!  :)  Thank you Lord!

Monday, February 7, 2011

He said WHAT??????? Another Cashism

Tonight after telling Cash twice to get up in his bed he said to me, "I am you ole cow"!!!!!!!!!!!  I could do nothing but laugh, hard with tears rolling down my face!  The look on his face when he said it made it even funnier.  I know that he really didn't know what he was saying and that he LOVES all things dairy farm so i didn't   beat him down for it!  Now if he would have called me a heifer.......... :)

Jesus Girls....

Last weekend I had the awesome pleasure of attending our church's womens conference.  The only thing that made that better was that my sweet mama came for the weekend and went with me.  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!  It was just what my soul needed.  Lysa  Terkeurst was our guest speaker and if you aren't familiar with her she is worth your time.  You can find daily devotions and  encouragement from her at her blog or at Proverbs 31 Ministry, where she is the president. You can find them at  She had an amazing testimony, one that I never would have assumed but one that was very powerful.  She made a great point that God doesn't always make us "comfortable" but he makes us "comfort able", reach out to others, share your experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly, you never know when it could touch someone's heart!  Our past doesn't make us who we are, it doesn't define us!  It is not a secret that I was married before I married Patrick, it seems like another life ago.  It was a long time ago and it is rarely spoke of anymore, which honestly is okay with me.  However for whatever reason the Lord has been resurfacing some of my past lately.  What I went through was tough, I was young and it very likely would have qualified us for an episode of Jerry Springer, no joke.  I guess I don't "tell the stories" anymore for a lot of reasons, I got sick of talking about them, they were almost unbelievable, etc... etc.... Let me clarify what I meant when I said the Lord has been resurfacing them.  In the last month or so I have been thinking about how I have always said that if what I went through could help one person, if the Lord could use me to help just one person than it was all worth it, otherwise it was all in vain to me.  I use to use my story to reach people, specifically young women in very troubled relationships, I was proof that God delivers and protects because on more than one occasion my Lord WAS MY protector!  So why have I stopped sharing?  Shame? Embarrassment?  I know that people tend to forget about the fact that I was once before married so why bring it up and remind them?  A lot of people in my life now probably don't know and probably don't care but to me it has become something that I want to keep a secret but the reality is that is exactly what  I don't want to do.  I do not want to keep it a secret.  I don't want to confess to every person I come in contact with "hey I am divorced and remarried" but I am no longer going to sweep it under the rug, pretend it never happened.  I felt God dealing with me for whatever reason and yesterday I got an email from a girl that I only know from church, super sweet girl but I don't know her that well.  Anyway she shared with me that we were in a Bible Study together years ago, probably early 2005 and she was thanking me for my transparency, for being open about my experiences and what I had been through.  Her email meant so much to me, it made me cry and say "Thank you Lord for speaking to me through Candace"!  There may be some girl right now who is terrified as I was and has no idea which direction to run and I may could share with her what God did for me!  Why wouldn't I want to do that!

Lysa said "Rise and GO tell your story!!! What satan meant to harm you, God has MADE GOOD"

And all my Jesus girls said "AMEN"! :)

"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jer 29:11

Me, Lysa and Mama at the conference

Friday, February 4, 2011

Super Mom or Slacker Mom....That is the Question?

And one I refuse to answer because what I have taught myself as "stay at home mama" is that I am my own worst critic!  I feel the constant need to be super mom and accuse myself often of being slacker mom, although I know that is not the truth.  I look around my house and I see "stuff" in places that "stuff" shouldn't be, mail stacked on the counter, books and toys all over the floor, folded laundry begging for me to put it up (hey at least I folded it, right?).  I then turn and see that I have probably 200-300 pictures that I recently printed just patiently waiting to be put in an album.  I will get to them eventually when there are no more clothes to wash, meals to cook, kitchen to clean get the idea.  The problem is there will ALWAYS be something that needs to be done and I have to learn to relax in some areas a little.  I find myself often looking at the amazing blogs of other creative and crafty busy mothers and wonder "how do they do it".  I can barely make time to blog although I love it passionately, let alone find time to "create" and take pictures AND put them along with  detailed instructions on how someone else can recreate the exact thing.  I get ideas from other professional bloggers and I find myself in envy of their, well time I guess.  I must admit that my first thoughts when I am looking at their beautiful "things" is "what are their kids doing while they are doing this"?  Seriously, I LOVE to sew so much but don't have a "sew room" so when I do start a project I have to pull out the machine, the serger and everything else that my new project entails and I can't even think of starting something when my kids are awake because I have only been sewing for a year and well, I just have to concentrate and I just can't do that when I have to stop every ten minutes and take care of something for them.  This is my season right now.  I juggle what I can and what I can't I am learning that it is not my "battle" and these are NOT the things that matter.  What matters really is am I following Christ, am I seeking His truth every morning so that I may somehow in my "slacker" mom way resemble His love to my children because that is my MOST important job.

I am in the middle of a Bible Study with some of my "Jesus Girls" at church, it is called "Creative Corrections" by Lisa Whelchel and I highly recommend it to mother's.  One of my favorite quotes from this study is "Jesus is more concerned with what is going on in our children's hearts than He is about how well-behaved they are".  Wow!!  So my most important job and passion right now is my children's hearts.  I pressure myself into believing that if my children aren't well behaved then others are judging me and assuming that I am not a "super mom".  This is a tough for me because I am so critical of myself but I am learning to stop judging myself and start fully asking God to reveal Himself to me every morning and all day long so that I may invest in my children's hearts.  So next time you see us out to eat and Arden throws her food on the floor, along with 14 forks and Cash is up and down climbing on Arden's chair being loud and totally interrupting your meal, you can relax...their behavior may be completely obnoxious but their sweet little hearts are filled with love!  Oh and if you do see us out, you may just want to ask to sit across the restaurant, or better yet, you may just want to find another one entirely!  :)

Loving this "season" of our crazy lives,