Sunday, May 31, 2009

Found Art

This is a plug for my very good friend, college roomate, and VB teammate.
Her name is Leeana (Miller) Tankersley and she has written a  book that you can pre-order on Amazon right now.  It looks like an amazing book, but she is an amazing gal.  She and her husband also have a blog about their twins (Luke and Lane).  Leeana has always been a person that makes me laugh in life, as well as makes me think deeply about life.  I am so proud of her.
So everyone, go order the book now.
And thanks to my great friend Ashley for filling me in on the pre-order!

The description on the book's back cover says:
Found Art is about seeing a certain beauty in an object, a beauty that isn’t inherently there on first glance. It requires vision, a look beyond what is to what could be. 

Navigating a relationship with God in the midst of chaos, confusion, and disappointment can be disorienting. And though glimpses of God appear here and there, more often readers face the frustrating inability to find him in the midst of any of it. 

But what if, like a found artist, God were busy creating something enduring from the scraps and the cast-offs? What if art is seen, not in spite of, but because of, the raw materials?
Through the lens of Ecclesiastes 3, Leeana Tankersley shows readers that sometimes they must let something die if they are ever going to be born again. Sometimes they must fight to keep their roots planted while life is trying desperately to uproot them. Sometimes they must mourn as grief is the only passage out of their pain. And sometimes they must go to war while in the very next moment they long for a day when peace is possible without it.

Any one of these scraps might be a discarded item, but collaged together, they become something entirely different. Art emerges from the carefully collaged odds and ends. God takes the unlikely moments of our lives and pieces them together into something of beauty and worth. 

(taken from Amazon)

Lee, I wish you all the best with this book, I can't wait to read it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

We have sprouts!

our sunflowers have sprouted in the small pot as well as outside.!!

i am excited about our future flowers (and my cheap sun hat)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Obsessions as of late

I have an obsession with rain boots (wellies) on my kids.  They are so great for Fl. summers and so cute in pictures.  We shopped around at few stores this season and finally found our favorites and the most inexpensive too at TJMAXX!   I am also obsessed with figuring out iLife 09 and its photo editing tools.  I might go a little overboard on the editing, but who really cares anyway, it's not like i am selling them.  O is wearing the yellow fireman boots and C is wearing the camo.

But First, here are last years photos:

and here is what last years looks like now.  The green ones got pitched in the trash.

Now, here are this years boot photos so far:

P.S. if I really needed a pair (and I just might) I would want these

these are pretty darn cute also (ebay)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Here is Our Heart

It blew my mind when I read today's Motivation for Mom's because it is EXACTLY what I was praying for my children today and the last few days.  Ever since God impressed upon me to pray Matthew 5:8  for my boys.  "Blessed are the Pure in Heart for they shall See God."
In my journal today I wrote on my thoughts about Purity.  In my mind,  a pure heart does not let any outside/worldly influence crowd the space where God resides.  So i struggle with how to teach my kids to stay pure in such an impure world.  When boys in general are so easily enticed by the lusts of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.  The two verses I came across in my studying purity this morning were

1) James 4:8 "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.  Cleanse your hands ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double minded."

2) I John 1:7 "If we walk  in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His son, purifies from all sin."

This second verse seemed to lift the burden of my thoughts.  It made me understand all over again that it is not about our actions or about us purifying ourselves.  We need to pursue fellowship with Christ and allow Him to purify us from within.  So instead of my boys constantly struggling to keep themselves pure, they need to pursue Jesus wholeheartedly.  They need Faith in his cleansing power!  
  So how do they take hold of Jesus as their own?  Mike made a comment the other day that impressed me.  He said , "How will my sons ever know my heart, unless I give it to them?"
Which tells me that we can't expect our children to live for Jesus and understand how he can change their hearts as He has ours unless we share it with them.  Unless we bind it on their hearts and meditate on it day and night and talk about it as it is life.  Because they are our children, we pass down not just physical traits, but character traits as well.  They inherit our sin, YUCK! Oh, how we want them to know how they can be set free from such bondage. How Christ can take the pride, fear, lust, anger, insecurities, judgement, and lies and create Purity!

May God help us in this journey!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Here's to hoping that our project of planting sunflowers today turns out beautiful.
I will be the first to say that my thumb is anything but green.
C and I took an hour planting these and as soon as we finished the storm came and watered our seeds.  Grow please Grow!  

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

movie night

I like Netflix, but sometimes we pick movies on our list that we might not otherwise watch and then end up really disappointed.  Like last night for instance, we tried to watch The Bank Job.  We watched 5 minutes of it and i had to turn it off.  I should have known since I had to skip over the very first scene.  There was so much flesh and I am so not comfortable with that.  No matter how good the movie might be otherwise, I just can't watch it.  I used to hate it when we would be young and watching a movie at our house when my Dad would walk in the room and hear or see something that offended him and he would turn it off, no questions asked.  
Those seemed like such harmless movies back then, but in this day and age it seems so different.  I remember when I was 13 and at a basketball camp, I called home to ask my mom if I could watch Dirty Dancing with the team.  I sure hope my kids are that sensitive to what goes before their eyes.  As I have gotten older, you would think I could handle more, but I think I acutally tolerate less.  
Like the old song goes, "Oh be careful little eyes what you see..."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More Etsy loving

Just thought i would post some of my favorite dresses by Amanda Archer
found on Etsy (of course)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Homemade Playdough

Colored Playdough

1 cup water
1 tbs vegetable oil
1/2 cup salt
1 tbs cream of tartar
food coloring
1 cup flour

 Combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring in a saucepan and heat until warm.  Remove from heat and add flour. Stir, then knead until smooth.  The cream of tartar makes this dough last 6 months or longer, so resist the temptation to omit this ingredient if you don't have it on hand.  Store this dough in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Taken from a book used often in our house


PFR formerly known as "Pray for Rain" to those of us keen on Christian music in the mid-1990's.  Famous in the Wheeler household for such songs as Goldies last Day and Great Lengths.
I digress, lately the Connell household has been praying for rain. Not just sprinkles, but lightning, and the crack of thunder to be specific.  Our prayers were answered mid-afternoon yesterday, and it was an amazing down-pour.    It is hard for kids to understand why we pray and how God even listens and answers. Good ole' Fl. has needed rain, so we decided to ask God to water the flowers, grass, and trees because they were really thirsty.  A few days of praying and waiting in anticipation and suddenly the storm was almost here.  We sat outside eagerly waiting for it.  First the clouds got dark, really dark, then the wind started to blow harder and harder, we could see the dark clouds moving overhead and hear thunder off in the distance.  We sat and waited to see who would be the first one to feel the raindrops on their skin.  Once the raindrops were felt, a minute went by and all of a sudden it is as if a train was coming down the road, the rain was so loud and was announcing it's arrival.  There were cheers and glee and running around outside getting soaked with big smiles on our faces, because we knew that God had heard our prayers.  We knew this rain was for us just as much as it was for the dry, thirsty ground.  Lightning and Thunder soon followed and two giddy boys watched from the window panes of our front door.  
I was so glad that we received an ideal storm for teaching my kids,  the way it came and went was perfect, we could use all of our senses to tell it was coming and when it came it was a huge arrival and did not disappoint.
That night before bed, we thanked God for listening to our prayers and answering us.

Owen's prayer went something like this:

Daddy: " Thank you God for the lightning and thunder"
O: " Thank you God por da witenin and punger"
Daddy: (smiling because of hearing punger) " Thank you God that Owen is so cute"
O: "Thank you God dat I'n so Cute"
Daddy: " Thank you God for my family"
O: "Thank you God por Daddy's family"
Daddy: "Thank you for Loving us, Amen"
O: " Thank you por wuving us, Amen"

Rain Rain come again!
picture was taken with my mobile, a few months prior

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A great day!

Pictures that tell the story of our day of celebration

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Caeden

My oldest child, for the past four years, you have filled our hearts with joy and laughter.  When you were just a babe, God gave me a prayer for you.
 Prov. 2:1-11:
We pray, Caeden, that you will listen to God and treasure his instructions.  That you will tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.  That you will cry out for insight and understanding . Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure.  Then, Caeden, you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.
For the Lord grants wisdom and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.  He grants a treasure of good sense to the godly.  He is their shield protecting those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of justice and protects those who are faithful to Him.
Then, Caeden, you will undestand what is right, just, and fair, and you will know how to find the right course of action every time.  For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy.  Wise planning will watch over you .  Understanding will keep you safe.

May the Lord protect you as you start school this year, and grow even more independent and responsible.  We pray for your salvation that God will grip your heart and never let you go.  May you always know how deeply you are loved and may you be compelled to love others as Christ's love manifests through you.  Every day you live life to the fullest with such enthusiasm and inquisitiveness.  We love being inspired by you, and laughing with you.
We love you
Mom, Dad and Owen

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Air Craft Carrier or Cruise Ship

Our message in church this morning was really fabulous and challenging.

Orlando, our pastor, gave an analogy about the church choosing to act like a cruise ship or an air craft carrier. 
 If you think about a cruise ship: 1) it is all about you when you are on the ship, 2) when your time is up, you have accomplished nothing all week, 3) it is very self-serving

If you think about an air craft carrier: 1) each person on the ship has specific job to do and works together to accomplish a mission, 2) each plane on the ship is sent out to aid/protect/serve others, 3) it is very service oriented

His examples were more easy to understand, but you get the picture.  In my life and in the way we want to train our kids to live, we want to be an air craft carrier.  I do not want my kids growing up thinking that life is all about how they can be served and how life can be comfortable.  But, if I look at my life now, do my kids really see a service oriented life. 
God has been tugging our hearts this past year to give up material things and not hold so dear to the temporal.  We have been getting our house ready to sell and be available for where God wants to be and what He wants us to do.  I have no idea what that will look like.  If we have to  live in a trailer, ok; if we get to buy an RV park and move, ok; Not to us OH Lord, but for your glory!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Lilly Pulitzer

I read in a magazine about how lilly pulitzer
had celebrities design some clothing and the proeeds are going to a charity 
for kids with EB.  That is the same disease that took the precious life of jtsetsma.
On the lillypulitzer website there is a link to this family's blog.
The mother and father's first child was stillborn and their second child has EB.  We can follow their story and pray for them as we did with Jameson.  

Friday, May 8, 2009

For the love of Bikes.....and Etsy

Just browsing on Etsy and came across all these great items that could each find a place in my home or on my family members bodies.  We love bikes in this household, and since I love Etsy, I thought I would do a bike search.  Well, i didn't look at all hundred and some odd pages, but I did list some below:

this clock is a bike cog design

what a fun scarf, for when I go to the BMX track on those chilly nights:)

for next two t-shirt prints

really cute clutch

for this tee and the print below