Monday, November 21, 2011

Orange Salad {Easy Thanksgiving Side Dish}

"This was originally posted in 2010. I had planned to make it again and get better pictures with better lighting this time. But the weather here this week is rainy and dreadful so I think I have missed my chance. It's probably all for the best anyway because I would have eaten the whole thing by myself before Thursday. I've never re-posted an old post here on my blog but this recipe is so stinkin easy...and so stinkin good...that I simply had to share again.

Need an easy last minute side dish to take to your Great Aunt Sally's house? This is your dish."

Click here for the recipe. Easy, cheap, delicious. You can thank me later.


I probably won't be posting again before Thanksgiving.

I will be busy preparing for my first Thanksgiving dinner with my mom in years.

I'm so grateful.

I'm also grateful for each and every one of you that leave pieces of yourself here with me. You bless and enrich my life.

Enjoy your families and may the food you eat produce no fat. ;-)

"My every mortal breath, is Grace and nothing less"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

InstaFriday {Homeschool Dance Edition}

photo (1)

This week we've eaten way too much of this stuff.

Busyness + sickness = lazy mom.

I'm not proud of it, but it happens sometimes.

Please tell me I'm not the only one.

photo (3)

I figure if I can eat one of these everyday, maybe I can somehow make peace with it all.


Sometimes God reminds me of how blessed I am to be the lead worshipper of a gathering of His people.

This week was one of those times.


Our homeschool tutorial {LCA} held their annual Fall Dance last week.

Remember last year's?

The Fall Dance is always themed and the students are encouraged to be creative with costumes.

This year it was a Hollywood theme.

Tyler and his best friend Ashten went as Barney Fife and Thelma Lou.

Here they are working the red carpet.

They took home their very own Oscar for Best Duo.

The dress was actually her great-grandmother's.

I'd wear that dress to Wal-Mart. It's gorgeous.

The time has come. #gettingoldstinks #wexler

After finding a couple of "sun spots" {for lack of a better word that makes me feel less old, we shall refer to these spots as "sun spots" here on my blog because...well, at least the word "sun" sounds fun and less geriatric.} on my face I decided it was time to break down and care about my skin.

I know, I know. Probably something I should have done long before now.

It' all so overwhelming though isn't it??

Boogoos of products claiming to do this or that.

Not to mention the second mortgage you need just to afford it all.

After lots and lots of 5 star reviews, both verbally and online, {and horrifying images floating around in my head of old ladies with turkey necks} I bit the bullet and went with Patricia Wexler's line at Bath and Body Works.

Supposed to be phenomenal.

And it is a simple line of products. Not overly complicated with a thousand choices.

It has a money back guarantee after a month too.

I will let you know how well it works on my "sun spots."

life rearranged

"My every mortal breath, is Grace and nothing less"

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Faith Without Deeds {Happy Day Project}

This post started a random acts of kindness revolution of sorts.

I don't think that was the intent.

That's the funny thing about kindness's contagious.

Two more bloggers {you can read about them both here and here} decided to keep the kindness going and thus "The Happy Day Project" was born.


happy day

I was inspired and accepted their challenge.

With trepidation.

You see, I'd love to tell you that I am just oozing with acts of kindness for others.

That huge chunks of my days are spent entirely thinking about what I could do for others.

But it would all be lies.

I struggle with this folks.

Big time.

"What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless." James 2:14-17


This walking out my faith thing is an ongoing process of conviction, obedience, and change.

This challenge was all three.


Day One's challenge was to "Treat a Neighbor".

We picked a family that had moved in two doors down over the summer.

We had yet to ever meet them. ::hangs head in shame::


They loved our goodies and were super appreciative of the gesture.

Turns out we were the first people to welcome them to the neighborhood.

I know. Sad.


Day 2 was "Hand Written Note Day"

I knew right away that I wanted us to write letters to my grandpa.

My only living grandparent.

But I was also challeged to send a letter to this lady.

She has a new baby, and stage four rectal cancer which has now spread to her lungs.

I even had my kids write to her as well.



When challenged to write a letter of encouragement to a woman they did not even know, my children looked at me as though I was asking them to speak a foreign language.

I was so convicted.

All this time I thought I was teaching them so much.

Turns out I was teaching them so little.

What had I been doing all this time???

Teaching them to love Jesus and to love others...but never showing them how to by example.

Sure we give to charities and sometimes take meals to new moms and folks in need at our church.

But when had they seen me doing for others without a cause or a special reason...just for the heck of it?

When had they seen me daily thinking of what I could do for others?

Making it a natural part of daily life to be burdened for others?


The reactions of my children led me to one realization...this was EXACTLY what I was supposed to be doing.

I was determined at this point to fully submit to the process...and whatever God would ask me to do.


I knew this was no longer a fun challenge I signed up for in the blog community.

I knew I would never be the same.



Day 3 was "Gift Card for Homeless"

My sister lives in downtown Nashville so I knew immediately that I would be using her knowledge of the city to help me with this.

Little did I know that when I told her what I was doing, and asked if she could point me in the right direction, she too would be compelled to get involved and give too. Contagious.

Armed with 3 gift cards to a local grocery store, I prayed that God would put us in the path of exactly who He intended us to help.

I was drawn to a certain man on the corner that we had encountered as we entered the we went back.

We parked so that we could walk up to him, personally give him the card, and hopefully talk with him a little.

He was precious. So gracious. So nice.

I just wasn't prepared for what happened next.

As we stood there talking to him, a car stopped at the light yelled for us to come over. They had a warm throw {still in packaging} that they wanted us to give to him.

I couldn't get over it. I was wrecked. And as we walked back to our car I was overcome with emotion. One random act of kindness had prompted another. How cool was that?!?! Contagious.

We encountered two others in need and my sister was even able to help one man up a hill in his wheelchair. He was so grateful. Smiling from ear to ear.

My cup runneth over.

I was filled with a joy I had honestly never felt before.

And the best part?

My kids said their only regret was that they hadn't brought their own money and that they wished we could have spent more time handing out cards. Contagious.

I wasn't the only one being changed.

Day 4 was "Book For a Friend"

I prayed about the book and the friend.

Can't wait to hear about how God uses it.

Unfortunately I was plagued with a horrible head and chest cold the rest of the week.

I was unable to complete days 5, 6, and 7.

BUT God still had plans for me.

On Monday as I sat at the window waiting to pay for my Starbucks, I felt God prompting me to pay for the car behind me.

I'm gonna be honest here folks...this was a scary thought for me. Starbucks is not cheap and I had no idea what they had ordered or how many people were ordering in the car even.

I did it anyway.

Oh the look on the Starbucks guy's face.


Also I could not stop thinking about the man on the corner in Nashville.

I went to the store and put together a care package of sorts for him.

We will be taking it to him this weekend and I simply cannot wait.


**It took me 3 days to try and write this post.

The words just would not come easy.

Something I had to digest.

I have been affected by this kindness thing in a way I never saw coming a way that words just do not seem sufficient.

I beg of you this...challenge yourself for just ONE day.

Put one foot in front of the other and just act in kindness {randomly} towards someone else.

Don't think about it too long.

We think way too much people.

Don't worry if it seems silly.

Don't worry about their reaction.

Just act.

"You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Giveaway Winner and a Little Bit of Random.

A huge thank you to each of you that left a comment sharing what you were grateful for.

Reading your comments blessed me each day.

I used the Random Number Generator to determine a winner and it was Rachel.

Rachel, your book and Starbucks card will be in the mail soon. Enjoy!

For the rest of yourselves a favor and add '1000 Gifts' to your Christmas lists.


photo (4)

It has been one of those weeks around here.

A venti salted caramel mocha latte kinda week.


I have had a nasty head cold since Tuesday.


Wastin' away in Nyquilville.

Colds are the worst.

photo (2)

Actually this stuff is the worst.

I have no idea if it really works...but I do it anyway.

Dear flavor creators at Emergen-C: Buttercream. Think about it.



The week wasn't a total loss.

Thanks to my mom and coupons I was able to get all of this for $36.



We've been participating in the Happy Day Project this week.

Have you?

Can't wait to tell you all about it.

Life changing stuff.

"My every mortal breath, is Grace and nothing less"

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fall in Tennessee {Sweet Shot Tuesday}


I took this picture in Gatlinburg last month while driving through Roaring Fork Loop.

Historic house + yellow and turquoise paint = big puffy heart love.

Fall + Tennessee = Gorgeous.

Sweet Shot Day

"My every mortal breath, is Grace and nothing less"

Monday, November 7, 2011

Giving Thanks Giveaway {1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp and a $10 Starbucks Gift Card}


Four years ago I started a blog.

I figured I might have 2 followers at most...the grandparents.

Today I am pushing 100 followers and I was just nominated for a few snazzy awards.




You write such sweet comments on my blog...and encouragement on my heart.


Back in january, I declared that 2011 would be my year of joy.


Counting the things I am grateful for.

I am so incredibly grateful for every single person that has stopped by this little blog and somehow enjoyed reading my mindless ramblings about my life as a homeschooling wife and mom...and my great need for Christ in my life.

To say thank you, I am giving away a copy of Ann Voskamp's book, "1000 Gifts".

*Photo via A Holy Experience*

I cannot think of a better way to enter this season of Thanksgiving than to read this book.

Ok, so I can think of one thing that would be better...a $10 Starbucks gift card to go along with it.

"1000 Gifts" and a Venti Salted Caramel Mocha Latte. Life changing stuff.

**the fine print:
Ann has no idea I'm doing this...or who I am for that matter.

This is not a sponsored giveaway.

I believe so much in this book that I purchased it myself just to give away.

This giveaway is open to US residents only. Sorry.


So here's how to enter:

Simply leave one comment telling me one thing you are grateful for today...right now...wherever you this moment.

Bonus entries:

  • Follow this blog. The button is at the bottom of my page. (one entry)

  • Spread the word by tweeting about this giveaway. You can copy this if you'd like: Head over to "Mosaic of Grace" for your chance to win a copy of @annvoskamp 's 1000 Gifts and a Starbucks gift card. (one entry)

  • Share the giveaway with your friends on Facebook with this link. (one entry)

    That's a total of 4 chances to win.

    Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry and be sure I have your email so I can contact you.

    This giveaway closes on Friday, November 11th at midnight (CST) and a random winner will be generated.

    Linking up here:

    Giveaway Day

    "My every mortal breath, is Grace and nothing less"

  • I was nominated! Holy smokes!

    I am super excited and humbled to be nominated in a few categories over at The Homeschool Post's 7th Annual Homeschool Blog Awards.

  • Best Blog Design {thanks to THE fabulous Darcy!}
  • Best Photo Blog
  • Best Variety Blogger
  • Best Nitty Gritty Homeschooler

    If by "nitty gritty" they mean, some days I may or may not shower, the kids may or may not get through Math, and we may or may not get our dinner from a drive-thru, then by all means I have got some Oscar worthy material for them.

    Of course I am only up against the likes of The Pioneer Woman.

    Good if!

    Last time I checked Bobby Flay had not been to my house so I won't be holding my breath or anything.

    It is so fun just to be nominated though...especially in such amazing company.

    That alone makes me a winner in my book. Seriously.

    Head on over to the site and check out all the amazing blogs nominated in each category.

    And of course should you feel inclined to do so, any votes would be super appreciated.

    I thank you in advance.

    "My every mortal breath, is Grace and nothing less"

  • Thursday, November 3, 2011

    InstaFriday {Costume Day}


    Nothing makes me feel more empowered than starting off my week with a kitchen full of fresh fruit.

    Right now Honeycrisp apples and pears are my go to.

    If you've never had a've never had an apple.


    Of course nothing says lets see how empowered you are now like my children making orange rolls for breakfast.


    We visited Goodwill this week to put costumes together.

    We passed old vinyls and Adam pointed them out to Aidan.

    He immediately asked to "see" one of "those".

    Like they were rare dinosaur fossils or something.

    I think I aged 50 years in that moment.

    My 9 year old laying eyes on an LP for the first time ever.



    Our knockouts have quadrupled over the past 3 months.

    Fast growing. No maintenance. Blooms all summer and fall. Doesn't die when I touch it.

    Best shrub ever.


    We attempted to make Olive Garden's Zuppa Tuscana at home.

    It was fabulous.

    And super easy.

    I may post a recipe soon.


    This girl of mine has more style in her pinky finger than I will ever have in my entire body.

    She put this whole outfit together.

    She's 11.

    Good gravy!


    Found this guy curled up in my chair early one morning.

    It was still dark out and he was snoozing pretty good.

    He only does this when he thinks we are sleep.

    He's not fooling anyone.


    Every 9 year old boy needs a freakishly large poodle by his side while he plays Angry Birds.

    The iPoodle.


    We don't really do "Halloween" around here.

    Not that I think it's wrong per se...just not exactly right for us.

    We sorta feel like there is enough real evil in the need to add to it.

    We prefer to think of it as Costume Day.


    Personally, I like to refer to it as "Chocolate Day".


    With or without nuts.

    I'm not picky.

    Chocolate Day was lacking in the Baby Ruth department this year.

    Just an observation.


    The mercury is dropping so the Keurig is working over time.


    And date nights look like this.

    Four words people...

    Salted. Caramel. Mocha. Latte.


    life rearranged

    "My every mortal breath, is Grace and nothing less"

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