Grace

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{image via pinterest}

The last few weeks have been really hard for our family…physically and emotionally.  We have gone through some changes in the last few months.  Not only are we expecting a sweet little boy, but Landon has been going through school to start training for real estate appraisal.  It has been a lot of work for him going through classes after working a full time job.  Financially, it has been hard for us as well but God has provided everything we have needed along the way, and I know He will continue to do so.  Landon works very long hours, only getting a few hours of sleep every night.  I’m so inspired and encouraged by such a hard working husband.  He always makes time for us girls, but works so incredibly hard to provide for our family.

For the last couple weeks I have also been only getting a few hours of sleep a night.  I find myself easily stressed, angry with the girls, and short on patience.  Then I lay there at night and feel so guilty that I haven’t been a good example to the girls.  I get out of bed, go to their room and pray for each of them.  The next day, I feel like the cycle starts all over again.  Last Monday I took Brooke to the doctor and found out she had bronchitis.  Tuesday morning Lauren threw up all over the car twice.  And then I lost it.  I just couldn’t do it anymore.  I was under so much stress trying to take care of three girls, trying to take it easy for the baby in my belly, and trying to get ready for a trip to South Carolina.  The trip where I was supposed to rest, relax and come home refreshed.  I was very torn on whether or not I should go, but Landon really pushed me to get on the plane Friday morning.  If you read this post, you would know that I left Friday morning, only to have to return the following day due to a little pregnancy scare.  I left my phone charger at Sarah’s, and therefore had nothing to “do” on the entire trip home. I’m thankful for the quiet time…I thought, and prayed a LOT that day. I realized that I’m not always the best mom, that I have made mistakes, but that I FORGIVEN.  His grace is more, his strength is enough. I couldn’t help but think of this song the entire day:

Lord, I Need You (Matt Maher)

Lord I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You, I fall apart
You’re the one that guides my heart

Lord I need You, oh I need You
Every Hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Where sin runs deep, your grace is MORE
Your grace is found, is where you are
Where you are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Lord I need you, oh, I need you
Every Hour I need you.
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You.

So teach my song to rise to you
When temptation comes my way
When I cannot stand I fall on You
Jesus You’re my HOPE AND STAY.

The second verse is my absolute favorite.  “Where sin runs deep, Your grace is more.” So encouraging and so filled with truth.  This week has still been a trying one….but when the thought that I can’t make it through the day crosses my mind, I think about this song.  I need Him every minute, every hour or I won’t be able to make it through the day.  When I feel like I have no strength, HE is my hope and stay.  Through the hard week, I’ve been encouraged.  I’ve seen His goodness, faithfulness and love.

***I have a huge praise!  Thank you for all your prayers.  I was told in the hospital that I had PUPPS, which I had with the twins.  It was a lot worse at that stage, forming little tiny blisters all over my belly.  Over the course of the week, it tuned into a flat and splotchy rash.  When my doctor looked at it on Wednesday, he said that it was not PUPPS, but was some sort of strange allergic reaction.  Today, the rash is almost gone!  I’m so thankful!***

DIY Cloud Garland

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I thought I would post a little “tutorial” about how I made my little cloud garland for Beckham’s Room.  It’s quite simple and very inexpensive!  I just love the little happiness it added above his crib.

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Of course, I don’t have EVERYTHING you need pictured.  You will need a needle, something to stuff your clouds with, felt and thread (i used embroidery thread).  I used stuffing from an “old” pillow we were never going to use for these.  You could also use polyfil, kleenex or even toilet paper (i won’t tell).

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Step 1 // Trace some fluffy clouds on your felt with a pencil.  Your clouds would turn out even more awesome if trace then with a disney princess pencil.  You can make the clouds various shapes, or use a stencil and make them all the same.

Step 2 // Cut 2 layers of felt at one time so that each cloud will be the exact same shape.  After I cut my clouds, I inverted both cloud shapes to ensure the pencil lining was on the inside of the cloud.

Step 3 // I used a whip stitch to seal the edges.  I do not sew, and actually had to google what a whip stitch was.  I decided to use blue thread to show you the stitch (i do realize that most ladies know what a whip stitch is, but just in case, I’m saving you a google search).  Once I got towards the end of the little pillow I stuffed and then closed up the cloud!

Step 4 // I cut a continuous piece of embroidery floss  to stretch how far I wanted on the wall.  I threaded each cloud through the back layer of felt towards the top so they would lay flat against the wall.  Once I secured the garland to the wall, I moved the clouds to space them the way I wanted.

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I just love his dreamy little room!  I hope this tutorial helps a little.  These would be so cute as a mobile as well.  Happy Crafting!

a whirlwind weekend

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For my birthday this year, I was given the gift of a plane ticket to South Carolina to visit Sarah for the weekend!  It was something I was really looking forward to!  The week before I left, Brooke came down with bronchitis and Lauren came down with a stomach virus.  We went back and forth about me going, I tried to change the flight schedule (too costly), and we decided that I couldn’t miss out on the opportunity.  Here’s a collage of my very short trip…

1 // Best Friends.  There is nothing like it.  Sarah has been there for me through a LOT.  She is such a huge example to me as a Godly mother wife and friend.  I’m so thankful that even though we only get to see each other for a few days every few years, it’s like we are never apart!  I enjoyed the short time I got to spend with her and her sweet family.

2 //  Good Food.  Sarah picked me up from the airport, and we headed straight to Zaxby’s for lunch.  Always good times.

3 // Sweet Girl.  I got to spend a little time outside with this beauty on a gorgeous Greenville morning.  She was calling all the ants to come play.

4,5 // Cookie Kiln.  My friend Nora makes the most amazing, yummy and beautiful cookies.  She is expecting her first baby, and I loved seeing her even if for a few minutes.  I placed an order to bring home to the girls, and I couldn’t have imagined them being any cuter!  They LOVED them!

6,7 // “Old” Friends.  I sent a few things to Lauren to personalize for Beckham…back before the twins were born she embroidered some beautiful clothing/blankets for them.  I loved meeting up with her before catching my plane – such a sweet, beautiful and inspiring mom and wife.  I got to bring home all the special little things for Beckham too and I can’t wait to see him in those tiny clothes.  If you live in the Greenville area, check out Cardinal Embroidery!

8 // Traveling Buddy.  I woke up Saturday morning with a few symptoms that were quite alarming.  I called the doctor and they asked that I head to labor and delivery to make sure everything was ok.  I could feel Beckham kicking away, and we decided it was best to come home early and get checked out at our hospital.  It was so reassuring to feel him kicking the entire trip home.

9 // L & D.  Hopefully my last trip to Labor & Delivery before November.  I stepped off the plane at 5, saw Landon, cried and he took me straight to the hospital.  They did a complete work-up on Beckham and I.  He is doing GREAT – we got to see a full ultrasound of him, and he is growing ahead of schedule!  Amniotic fluid and placenta looked great.  I have a UTI which caused the bleeding and pain, and PUPPS rash which appeared suddenly the same morning.  Both very uncomfortable, but I can deal with them knowing that my sweet boy is healthy!!!

I’m so thankful that God is in control of every situation.  He provided a very quick and inexpensive way home through a family friend, and my girls were in good hands with Poppy and GiGi.  Even though the hours were few, I still had a wonderful time on my trip!

Baby Bump Update – Beckham’s Room Progress

Well, three months from today, Lord willing, we will be meeting our little guy!  Like I’ve said before I feel like a “first time mom” all over again!  Feeling Beckham kick, hearing his heartbeat, seeing my growing belly…just just never gets old, and I’m loving every minute!  I love watching how excited the girls get about their brother.  They include Beckham in their conversations and activities.  They tell him to put his shoes on, and to take a nap.  Lily lays her hand on my belly whenever she is near me, and that just melts my heart.  I can’t wait for them to meet him!  Beckham is doing great – he is very active and growing on schedule.  I’m thankful for a healthy little boy so far.

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Beckham’s room is coming along!  We have been SO BLESSED by family and friends being so generous to us with this baby!  Beckham’s room used to be the guest room.  My parents had a very nice bed in there, and when we found out we were expecting, they told me to sell it and keep the money for Beckham!  We had a couple of very sweet friends just GIVE us a crib, rock & play, bumbo, and more! Between such generous gifts, and the money I made of selling the furniture and bed, we have not paid for any of his room renovation!  So thankful!  I have also been doing a lot of DIY projects to save money.  Here’s a few of the things I have been working on!

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1| wood slice chalkboard.  purchased on etsy – it was much easier to buy than make for me.  i love it!

2| refinished an old sitting chair and stained the letter “B” that Landon’s dad made for us.

3| refinished an old dresser we found on craigslist.  it didn’t come with top drawers, and finding baskets were a headache, but I finally found some plastic ones that were the perfect size and spray-painted them.  this blog post has a great tutorial for the spray paint i used.   the crates and star above the bed were found at a local vintage shop and were a much cheaper option than purchasing or making shelves.

4| cloud garland.  i used some felt, embroidery floss and stuffing from an old pillow to make this cute little garland for free since i had everything on hand.

5| pillows.  i really wanted a few pillows that i had seen on etsy.  they were $30 a piece though.  hobby lobby has some great, plain pillow cases for $4.99 (2.50 when half off!) and i used some diluted paint to duplicated two of my favorites that i had seen.  i used stuffing from an old pillow – so the total cost for two pillows was $2.00.  they aren’t perfect, but that’s what makes them fun!

I’m really loving how his room is turning out!  It’s dreamy and calming.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Hello new blog, fall and Brooke’s first day of school

Welcome to our new little blog.  Of course, we had to change the name from Four Girls & A Daddy.  That just wasn’t going to work anymore.  🙂  “Blissfully Blessed” was something that just randomly came to mind when thinking about our life.  Out of a list of five blog names it was the one that Landon picked!  I’m really enjoying WordPress, although I am severely technically challenged.  I am afraid I couldn’t figure out how to switch all the perma-links over, etc.  I’m confused, and if anyone has any advice, that would greatly be appreciated!

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I can’t believe we are already saying good-bye to summer!  I really love the summer, but with the excitement of meeting baby Beckham, I’m welcoming fall with open arms.  I love every season, but there is something so “homey” about fall.   We have a LOT going on the next couple months, so I know that our little guy will be here before we know it.

Things I’m looking forward to…
Trip to South Carolina to see my best friend and her family
Brooke’s 5th Birthday
Lily & Lauren start “school” (one day a week)
Beckham’s Baby Shower
Starting a new small group at church with some AMAZING people
Pumpkin Desserts (of course!)
Cozy Sweaters and Boots
Beautiful Fall Weather
Family Time
Hopefully saying goodbye to some crazy allergies
BECKHAM
Thanksgiving with my sweet family (of six!)

My sweet Brooke started school last week.  She did so fabulous, and I’m so excited for her to make new friends and learn new things.   There were definitely tears that morning, but I saved them for when I got to the car.

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I can’t believe how grown-up she looks here.  Such a difference a year makes!  She is in the pre-k program which thankfully, is only half days.  I’m so thankful for my sweet girl.  She has such a tender, sweet heart.  She is always thinking about others before herself.  I am in awe at the fact that a 4 (almost 5!) year old has such a giving, caring heart.

PicMonkey Collage

For now we are enjoying the last remnants of summer – hope y’all are too!!!

Last Day of Summer & Apple Streusel Bars

I can’t believe the summer has come to an end for us!  It has been unusually cool for Oklahoma, and we  just had to spend our last day of summer outside this morning!

Love my happy and carefree girls.  
Although there can be a LOT of fighting, pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth in our house…these girls truly do love and care for one another!  It’s such a beautiful thing to watch them grow up together.  
I also have to share this recipe.  I have been craving apple pie, apple crisp and apple oatmeal lately.  These are wonderful.  They have a wonderful, flaky, pastry-like crust and a nice crumble topping.  I did make a few changes to the recipe which I will post in italics!  I hope y’all have a wonderful rest of your summer!

Apple Streusel Bars
Sweet Pastry:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
Apple Filling:
1/2 cup sugar (i used 1/4)
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon (i used 2 teaspoons)
4 cups sliced, peeled apples (i used gala and fuji)
Glaze: (i cut the glaze recipe in half)
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon almond extract (i used vanilla)
Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 9×13 baking dish (i used a 9×9 to have thicker bars…just increased baking time by about 10 minutes).
For the crust mix the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until you have pea-sized crumbles.  Stir in the beaten egg.  Gently press about 2/3 of the mixture onto the bottom of the dish.
To prepare the filling toss the apples with the sugar, flour and cinnamon.  Spread over the crust.
Sprinkle the remaining pastry mixture over the apples and bake for 40 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned.
Allow to cool completely and prepare the glaze.  Whisk the powdered sugar, milk and extract until blended.  Drizzle over the bars and allow the glaze to set.

ENJOY!!!

Baby Bump Update – 100 Days Left!

I can’t believe we will meet our little guy in just 100 days (countdown set to my scheduled c-section)!  I was shocked when I looked at my countdown app a couple nights ago!  This little guy keeps me up at night.  On average I have slept maybe 3-4 hours a night the last couple weeks.  I have to visit the bathroom at least once every hour.  I have to ice my back throughout the day. I HAVE to eat cereal and look at Pinterest late at night.  Usually at 12:30 on the dot.  My allergies are so brutal right now, I can’t breathe.  But the funny thing is, I enjoy it.  It’s quiet, and I get to spend time with just Beckham.  It’s the time he is most active, and I know that I won’t be pregnant again so I’m really soaking it all in.
Beckham’s due date is Thanksgiving Day.  Of course, he will be here before that, but he’s our little Thanksgiving Baby!  I really enjoyed summer, especially since the heat has been so mild here in Oklahoma, but I am SO ready for fall.  The weather, the activities, the FOOD, the multitude of pumpkin desserts, and the holidays with a sweet new baby boy.
The next couple months will FLY by I know, so I’m also trying to enjoy these moments with my girls.  Brooke starts school on Thursday and turns FIVE in just a few weeks.  The twins start school (one day a week) in September.  Tear. They are all so excited….I can’t believe how big they are getting to be.   
We got a LOT done this weekend in Beckham’s Nursery.  I wanted to add a few rustic elements to his room, so I found a branch that worked perfectly (and was free!) for the curtain rod.  I finished making the bed skirt with stitch witchery, of course.  Total cost for the skirt was $5!  I love looking in there and seeing it all come together!
Here are a few funnies from the sisters lately….they are really cracking me up with all their questions.
“Did Beckham go poop?  You need to change his diaper, he stinks” – Lauren (while going #2)
“Did Beckham take a nap when I did?  Oh he’s still sleeping – WAKE UP BECKHAM!!!” – also Lauren
“I need to give Kep-bam kisses and hugs” – Lily (sometimes she confuses his name, but she is always hugging and kissing my belly)
“Does Beckham want some of my cookie (as she smears a fudge round all over my shirt)?” – Lily
“Wow mom your belly is getting big, but not too big yet.  You look so cute” – Brooke
I love them.