Wednesday, April 18, 2012

DaySpring {Redeemed Review and Giveaway}

One place I love to shop for gifts, and for myself is DaySpring.  It has tons of quality pieces that not only inspire you, but will last through the years.  DaySpring just released a new collection this Spring called "Redeemed."  And I LOVE it!  I mean seriously, it's awesome!  Here is a great description of the Redeemed collection..."The Redeemed collection is about Jesus Christ, the work He’s doing in us and how we express that to the world.  It speaks of how we see the pieces of our lives as used up, messy, or disconnected, but God uses all the pieces together to make something beautiful." ~Sarah Markley

I was given these pieces by DaySpring to review...
Ecc. 3:11

Both of these products are fabulous!  They are attractive, well made, and inspiring.  The vase reminds me of a huge mason jar/glass milk jug.  It's really thick glass, and just beautiful!  The ridges and lines on it are stunning.  The coasters are so pretty that I don't even want to use them!  I just want to find a nice way to display them.  

 Now is the fun have a chance to win one of these...
Isn't it pretty?!  

Here is how to enter this DaySpring Giveaway...
-Leave a comment on this post, any old comment will do
That was for some extra entries...
-Blog about this giveaway, come back and share the link
-Tweet about this giveaway...make sure you have me included in your Tweet, @katelynferguson
-Like DaySpring on Facebook
-Follow DaySpring on Twitter @DaySpring

5, that's right, 5 total entries you could have for this giveaway! 

The giveaway will end on Sunday, April 22 at midnight CST.  

{The giveaway is for the Truly Redeemed wallet only, the coupon code can not be combined with any other offers and shipping rates will apply to your order.}

{DaySpring provided me the Beautiful In Its Time Glass Vintage Vase, and the Redeemed-Blessed ceramic coaster set for free.  My opinions are just that, my own.}

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What the Lord has been doing...

My, oh my, this post is semi-serious, well, it's not hilarious put it that way, but I wanted to tell you all about how the Lord has been working in our family lately.  As some people would say, let me testify :)

March 31st was my last day as a children's pastor at our church.  It was our Easter Eggstravaganza, and it went great.  Selfishly, I am happy it went well, so I could go out on a good note.  More then that, our elementary area has almost doubled each week, awesome!  I knew I needed to look for a job since we can't really cut it on Eric's salary alone.  Without getting too personal and what not, our church is going through a campaign right now, and we committed all my salary and more.  So to be faithful to our commitment, and faithful to God, we are continuing to give that.  Well, it's hard to give all of your salary when you have none!  So, let the job hunt begin.  Now, I am sure some of you are like aren't you a counselor?  Yes, I am, I have a master's in clinical counseling, but I don't want to be a counselor.  Make sense, yea, it doesn't to my husband either.  I love doing premarital counseling, and meeting with some kids, but overall, I have no desire to do private practice.  I did it for about a year, on top of working for the church and I got way too burnt out.  So then after Lucy I pretty much have just stuck to seeing premarital couples.  Which I truly enjoy, so I will continue with that, but it's not enough to make up for the loss of my salary and it's unpredictable at times.

So when I started looking for a job I would spend all of nap time every day just looking and feeling defeated.  It's hard to look for a part time job that you didn't have to work Mon-Fri.  Childcare is a huge mountain for us.  Since we have no family around to help with the girls, it's just me and Eric doing Molly and Lucy patrol.  We have a great babysitter, but even with her low cost fee, it started not making sense when you added everything up.  So all we could do is trust the Lord and pray something would work out.  To date I had applied 5 different places, but next week Eric and I will be at a conference all week, so I knew I had a little time to slack off, then hit the job hunt hard when we got home. 

Last Tuesday I got a call from our realtor, also one our really good friends' father.  I interviewed with him and his wife right after we moved here back in 2007.  They were looking for an assistant and that's what I had been doing for over a year in Cincinnati before we moved.  At this point Molly was 2 months old, going back to work really didn't cross my mind, I knew I was starting grad school soon, and to say I might have not acted too interested in working there would accurately describe that interview.  They are fabulous people, I was just not ready to throw myself back into the work force yet.  Plus, they were looking for someone wanting to be a realtor and could really help their team.  We parted ways, called them a couple years later when we wanted to buy a house, and so goes the relationship.  Okay, back to last Tuesday, I get a call from our realtor asking if I was looking for some part time work.  I knew he knew because of his daughter and son-in-law, our best friends.  So I said yes, and we chit chatted a little and hung up.  A couple hours later his wife calls and asks if I could come in the next day to start.  What?!  I was so not prepared for that at all.  So like a little kid I was like "yes, yes, yes!"  So after hanging up with her I call Eric and said "umm, can you watch the girls tomorrow, I have a job {insert huge grin here}." 

At this point some skeptics may say, I only got this job because of relationships that were already established, our it was luck, or because I interviewed with them before.  Let me tell you how I feel, it was ALL God.  This job met every single "demand" I had for a job.  We don't need childcare because Eric has graciously arranged his work schedule to be home/have off every time I am in the office, I can do some of my work from home, and it's flexible.  If one of the girls is sick, I can stay home and make up with the hours later.  I literally feel like God heard my cry on this hunt and answered me.  Will this job always be perfect, no, but what job is?  I love the work, I love the people I work for, and best of all, I am good at the job.  I am a little rusty now, it's been 5 years, but it's all coming back, and I am gifted for this job.  God also answered our prayers by providing this job before I got my last paycheck from the church.  We are so thankful and overjoyed in all of this! 

So I will work one full day a week, two half days, and the rest from home.  We live about 10 minutes from my new office, and I will be assisting a team of 3 Realtors.  I will mainly do lots of paperwork, marketing, website updates, newsletters, some blogging for them, and whatever else they tell me to do :)

So the Lord has been up to a lot in our little family, and next week I can't wait to see what else he is up to when Eric and I attend Exponential.  We also will be seeing my two very best friends in the whole wide world.  I have not seen these girls in over 3 years!!  Way too long!  But that's what happens when all our husbands are pastors and we are too broke to jet set around and visit, ha!  So we will be soaking up lots of bonding time next week in sunny Florida!  The girls will be off with grandma and grandpa all week.  So we will see how that goes!  It will be Lucy's first time away from us, and Molly has been away from us, but it's been over two years.  Fun times :)

How has God been working in your life?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My, oh my and a Winner!

Well, I guess Spring Break for Molly meant Spring Break from the blog, too!  It was an unintentional break :)  We have been busy doing something different everyday, and it's been fun.  It has caused me to break away from the routine and try something new.  Even new as in a trying a different park.  The girls have had fun, and so have I, but we are all ready for school to start again.  Molly has been asking how much longer till she can go back to school.  Hope she keeps that school love up all her life!  I sure didn't have that!

First to get started we need to declare a winner for The Mercy House giveaway...
The winner is Lauren!!  I will email you Lauren with all the details!  Congrats!  And thanks to everyone who entered!  We will have another fun giveaway from DaySpring next week, so check back!

So again, in pictures, and not all instagram this time, ha, here has been our week!

On Saturday morning our little village had a town Egg Hunt for the was quick to say the least.  They lined all the kids up from ages 0-10 on one side of the grass and then scattered candy on the lawn, blew a horn and the kids took off.  By the time Lucy and I got about 5 feet, Molly came back and said the candy was all gone!  She still had fun putting candy in her basket, and all Lucy wanted to do was eat everything we collected!

On Saturday night we decided to dye our eggs.  Eric's mom gave us some goose eggs to color when they came to visit.  They are so much fun because they are huge!  As I was giving Lucy a bath I left Molly to the expertise of her dad and Uncle Nick.  They had fun...Molly tolerated them, ha!

In the process of having fun this week, I got my haircut by the sweetest girl from church.  I think I was more excited to go sit in her chair and talk!  She did a fabulous job!!
On Easter morning the girls were excited to see what the Easter Bunny brought...Molly is really into flowers and gardening, so she got her own gardening tools, gardening gloves, a pot to plant flower seeds, and some other little odds and ends.  Lucy got some little stacking and shape toys, sunglasses, and a Max and Ruby coloring book.  She loves Max and Ruby, it's so funny! 
My children hate "formally" posing for pictures, this was the best I got from Molly.  Their dresses matched, well coordinated, same print, different styles.  When my mom comes to visit, we are going to get their pictures made, and I pray they smile for them!
We have been to 3 new parks this week.  The girls have loved every minute of it.  Last Friday we took a picnic lunch with us.  Molly thought that was so cool, all she wanted to do was eat, all Lucy wanted to do was run around.  Eric and I both were good and tired when we got home!

On Tuesday I took the girls to the Mitchell Park Domes here in Milwaukee.  I have always wanted to go there since we moved here.  So I finally did, and it was awesome.  They have 3 very large, indoor domes full of flowers, trees, and plants.  They have a Tropical Dome, a Desert Dome, and a seasonal/special exhibit dome.  Right now the seasonal is all set for Easter/Spring blooms, and it looks so pretty!  I have heard people getting professional pictures taken there, especially at Christmas time because they have it so decked out and it's gorgeous looking.  And since Molly is really into flowers right now, I figured she would enjoy the trip, too.  I will spare you with just a couple pictures, since I literally took 174 pics to be exact.  It was too pretty not to capture, and the lighting was gorgeous in there.  I can't wait to go back!

That's been our week in a nutshell!  We have been busy, we have been lazy, we ate a special lunch out yesterday, we have had lots of fun!  I also have been cooking and baking all sorts of new recipes off of Pinterest.  I can't wait to share those with you!  Have a great Thursday!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Life in Pictures! {instagram style}

I love my i-phone, like love, love, love it!  I have never had a "new" phone before, we get used ones off Ebay or get the free ones with our contract.  So when Eric surprised me with one to say I was excited would be an understatement!  I love the camera on the i-phone, it takes better pictures then my regular camera!  Plus, I am in LOVE with instagram.  I just love how quick and easy it is to take a pic {semi} edit it, and post it.  Voila!  So fun and easy!  Now all you non i-phone users can use instagram, too.  I highly recommend it.

Here is our life in pictures this week {instagram style}
This bridge is in our little village where we leads to a nice walking/running trail, beautiful flower garden, playground, and lots of other little trails and fun stuff.  We love playing at the park and then crossing the bridge back to the village to go to the malt shop.  Yes, we have entered Mayberry and I love every second of it!

Yesterday a box of Easter goodness came for the girls.  It was from my mom and step-dad, and they delivered this year.  The girls had fun spreading the Easter grass all over our living room, mom and dad however, did not have as much fun cleaning it up!  Thanks, Grandma!  This was Molly and Lucy posing after the big box reveal.  Lucy is happy, I promise, I think she was trying to kiss Molly, who knows?!

I saw this recipe for pancake muffins going around on Pinterest, but never pinned it.  Then this morning while I was trying to figure out what to make for breakfast, I got on and pinned it.  I didn't click the picture, I just used the recipe that was typed out under the picture.  It was super easy!  1cup pancake mix, 2/3 cup water, 1/2 cup syrup, top with whatever you want!  We chose chocolate chips, yumm!  You bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.  To do over, I would bake longer, mine were done, just kinda gooey.  They tasted great, next time I would want them a little more done.  Maybe because I filled them so full?  Next time I think I will bake them for 15-18 minutes.  Again, quick and easy!

Today was Molly's last day before Spring Break starts.  Tomorrow is the Milwaukee Brewer's home opener.  So the kids celebrated today by having a tailgate party at school.  They grilled hot dogs, had chips, cookies, and juice boxes.  They reenacted the Sausage Races, if you don't know what that is YouTube it, they are pretty funny.  They did all things baseball today, and Molly was so excited about the day.  Like was up and dressed by 6:15am so excited.  School starts at 8:39, ha!!

Tomorrow starts Spring Break...on the agenda is a picnic and playing at the park.  I am trying to have something to do everyday of break so we all don't go insane!  So if you have any ideas for me, please speak up :)  Don't forget to enter The Mercy House giveaway here, it ends on Sunday night.  Please, please enter!  You don't have to have a blog, just leave an email!

Have a great night, friends!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Miss Lucy is 16 months old!

Yesterday Lucy turned 16 months old!  Wow oh wow!  She is growing and changing it seems like daily!  I feel like her concept of the world and her vocabulary are exploding!  Lucy is pretty quick, sometimes a little too quick for this momma.  Molly and Lucy are still pretty much best of friends.  Lucy cries when Molly is gone too long and Molly is always the first one in Lucy's room in the morning. 

They both refuse to take a bath without the other, which sometimes is easy to just get both of them bathed, other times I end up losing my patience and getting soaked!  Lucy loves being outside, and hates coming back inside.  She still cries when I drop her off at the nursery on Sundays, good grief the chick has been in there since she was like 4 weeks old, she should be used to it by now!  But she only cries for me, no one else, but me!  I think it's more of a she is trying to make me feel good by crying, but I am so used to it now, it no longer phases me!  And it doesn't phase the poor nursery workers either, they are so used to it!

Lucy is also the master do it, she imitates it.  It's pretty funny!  Lucy loves to play with babies, her Little People zoo and farm, legos, anything kitchen, phones, TV remotes, a lot of things she should not be playing with is what attracts her the most!  She also likes to stand on tables, chairs, counters, trust me, nothing is off limits here!

Lucy is now saying...where is it, where did it go, party, happy birthday, cupcake, achoo, more milk, she always says thank you, we are working on please, she also says oh no, "Melmo" for Elmo, Olivia- for the cartoon, and usually she will say something that you say, and you pretty much never hear it again!

Lucy is pretty fun to be around, for the most part.  She is one of the more difficult, high maintenance kids I have ever been around, she is her father's daughter :)  It's funny how different your two kids can be.  Molly is so easy going, literally, she likes to be on the go, Lucy, way more homebody and doesn't like riding in the car.  So we are trying to find a balance, mainly for my sanity!  But I adore how Molly and Lucy get along, how they look out for each other, and how they care for one another.  It melts my heart. 

Happy 16 months, Miss Lucy!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Miscellany Monday and Virtual Party for The Mercy House Kenya! {GIVEAWAY}

It's time again...Miscellany Monday!

1. Yesterday was my first Sunday to attend church as a "regular" in over 2 years...Eric taught, so it was nice to sit down front and listen to him with no worries!

2. Today is the first Monday in over 2 years I am not working!  Trust me, I have plenty to do here at home, but I am soaking up all my time just enjoying doing nothing!

3. I am starting a new Bible study with two cool sisters, I am beyond excited!  We are going to be doing "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God."  Can not wait!

4. I had my last event at church on Saturday, we did an Easter Egg-stravaganza!  It was fun, lots of people came out, kids got popcorn, snow cones, candy, prizes, the works.  It was a nice way to go out.

5. Lastly, I am hosting a Virtual Party for the beautiful ladies of The Mercy House Kenya.  If you have never heard of The Mercy House Kenya before go here and read ALL about it!  It's a beautiful ministry, with awesome people overseeing it, and their mission is totally Godly.

Or watch this little video to learn more!

I signed up to host a virtual party to introduce you all to their great shop!  The shop has beautiful items in it that the ladies of The Mercy House Kenya make.  I was given this gorgeous paper bowl to review, and let me tell you gorgeous does not begin to describe it!  It is made of old magazines wrapped up and shellacked together, but it's color and beauty are stunning.  Trust me, I am sure you are like "oh nice, old magazines."  But friends, let me tell you how amazing it just is.  Every time I walk by this bowl on my island, I am stopped by the colors, and I am reminded to pray for the ladies who made this bowl.  Best of all people are stopped by this bowl, too.  We had friends over and they all were like "what is that?" "Did you make that?"  It's a great way to start the conversation about this terrific ministry doing awesome things for the ladies in Kenya.  I am not sure I could be more excited about all of this!

Personally I have also ordered gifts for my family from The Mercy House Shop...
I got the paper heart ornament for my mom and mother-in-law, again, gorgeous!
I got the tote bag for my mom, way bigger in person!
I got the beaded necklace for my niece, she loved it!

You can not go wrong with anything from the shop!

So here is the you have a chance to win some store credit from the Mercy House Shop to get a little something for yourself!  Here's how you can enter...
1. Go to the Mercy House Shop, look around, come back and tell me what you would get...this is required to enter the giveaway!
**Extra entries..
2. Like The Mercy House Kenya on Facebook, come back and tell me you did!
3. Tweet about this giveaway, make sure you include me in the tweet...@katelynferguson, come back and tell me about your tweet!
4. Blog about this Virtual Party and Giveaway!  Make sure to leave another comment telling me!  
**Giveaway ends Sunday, April 8, at midnight CST**
Enjoy "shopping" and good luck!

**Disclaimer: I was freely given this bowl by The Mercy House Kenya, my opinions are just that, ALL my own**