Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Presperving Memories: November 27-December 2

 These are a few random pages I've scrapped. The first is from 2009 in the spring picking berries with my oldest two girls, the next 2013 for Grace's 4th birthday and the third 2009 from Grace's first Christmas. I keep them organized by year so I can jump around! Sometimes I do that because I get a new kit I really want to use for something particular, or I have a specific subject for one of the gals I work for as a Creative Team member.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

When Life Gets Crazy and We Want to Know the "Why"


The first of November my daughter came down with a fever. We had no idea on that evening this would be anything more than just a typical kid illness. After several trips to our amazing pediatrician over the next week we landed in the hospital for another week. At the end of it all we are left with very few answers, but very grateful hearts that she is steadily healing. 

Time and time again the pediatric team and the numerous specialists we met with over the course of the week told us just how very sick she was, but how amazed they were she wasn't worse, crediting our regular pediatrician for sending us to the hospital as well as the emergency room doctors for assessing the need for very specific tests which led to her early diagnosis. They began treatment with their working diagnosis before it was fully proven and within 12 hours we saw dramatic improvement. While we greatly value the wisdom and knowledge of every doctor we encountered, we credit Jesus our Healer for the speed with which she was diagnosed and treated. 

Our human nature wants to know why things happen. Most of the time I come to the conclusion it is simply a result of a fallen world. While I rarely can see more behind the why of our trials, I know the Lord uses these things to deepen my faith. I have never physically felt the prayers of the saints in the way I did during our hospital stay. I felt emotionally calmed, physically strengthened, and a peace I cannot explain. We asked the doctors specifically what to ask people to pray for and they gladly told us. When we were given good reports we immediately gave praise to the Lord.

I learned so much about how to support and encourage those who are walking in difficulties physically. Bringing those who are supporting the one who is sick meals in the hospital is something I never considered. Specifically praying for certain aspects of hospital life is another one. I also was greatly encouraged by the many verses of Scripture sent to me via text. One of my dear friends who spent a lot of time with her son in the hospital sent me verses and told me she knew I may not be up to finding them on my own and she just wanted to encourage me. Wow! She was so right and every verse sent to me was exactly what I needed in the moment. 

I also learned the need for rest and giving myself a space to cry. It was appropriate that I did not break down in front of my already frightened girl. We barely understood what we were being told and those big medical terms can be terrifying for children! The trauma of four IVs and 2-3 lab draws per day for testing left its mark, but I had to be calm and confident for her as we held her through all of that. When I needed to cry, I went to a place I could cry without interference. Getting that emotion out left me space to be what I needed to for her. I also took the advice of my husband and friend after the initial 24 hours of being awake and went home to sleep soundly. It was hard to go home, but it was what I needed to be sustained for the following days.

I have two very specific moments which I will forever remember. The first was when one of the doctors finished answering our questions after a very lengthy very medical explanation of some complicated and pretty scary things. After we said we didn't have any more questions she looked at me and said, "You are taking this really well. Are you sure you are okay?" We smiled and told her we were trusting the Lord and while it was hard, yes, we were okay.

The second moment came just a few hours before we were sent home. One of the nursing assistants was chatting with me and asked what my husband did for a living. When I told her he was a pastor she broke into a huge smile and said, "I thought you were believers! I'm not aloud to ask, but I wanted to that first time I met you." We had a wonderful chat at my daughter's bedside and an opportunity to pray together before she left the room.

Those moments were very small in the scheme of my sweet girl and our search for answers as to what was attacking her little body, but they were moments of hope which gave me an assurance that when I am weak Christ is my strength. 

Honestly, I think it may be the grace of God that we do not know Why? In my human nature there is no Why? which I feel should justify the suffering of my sweet daughter or makes it okay that she now begins to panic at the thought of a needle. So, I'm not asking. I don't need to know. I just need to press on and trust.

We have been home a week. My girl may wear out a little faster than normal, but other than that she appears very healthy. She is eating well, running into leaf piles, and bickering with her sisters over trivial things. All of these are normal and I welcome them! We may never fully know what was behind all of this as we continue seeing specialists and receive test results. She may never be sick again, but we are also prepared this may be an onset of an autoimmune disorder. In the midst of all the uncertainty we see His hand and are choosing to say, "Blessed be the Name of the Lord!"

Credit: Medic: Bundle by Dream Big Designs

Preserving Memories: November 19-25

Life was turned upside down for the last several weeks around here. We are getting back to normal, and the Thanksgiving break has given me opportunity to do a little Scrapbooking! The first two are from our summer family camping trip. Everything else is working on my 2009 album.

 Template: Freebie from Fiddle Dee Dee Designs

 Kit: Funky Christmas by Pretty in Green (retired)

Kit: Reindeer Games by Chelle's Creations (Retired)

Kit: At the Beach and At the Shore by Chelle's Creations (retired) 

Kit: At the Beach and At the Shore by Chelle's Creations (retired)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Thin Stix Creativity Pack from The Pencil Grip, Inc.: A TOS Crew Review

The Pencil Grip, Inc.
My girls love it when I give them supplies for arts and crafts and just let them create with no agenda or purpose or art theory. Kids are incredibly creative and come up with some of the most amazing works of art when we just give them freedom to make. Thin Stix Creativity Pack from The Pencil Grip, Inc. is an incredible tool for this kind of free creativity because they are the most mess-free paints I have ever seen! We had the opportunity to review one of the smaller sets of Thin Stix earlier this year. When I opened the box and the girls saw this amazing box inside they all began jumping up and down begging to open it up!
Thin Stix Creativity Pack
 This set of 24 colors will keep your child engaged for a long time! In addition to the vibrant traditional colors there are also neons and metallics. 
Thin Stix Creativity Pack
Thin Stix Creativity PackThin Stix Creativity Pack

 We decided to give rock painting a try with these fun, fast-drying paints. We haven't tried rock hunting but I know it is all the rage on social media and I thought this could be a fun activity. If we don't end up hiding any rocks we can just use them in our flower bed.


 Grace liked to put lots of layers on her rocks. These this was really good for her style of creativity. are perfect for that because they dry so quickly.You can see she was working on 3-4 rocks at the same time. This is perfect for her personality since she tends to jump from one thing to the next and not having to wait long kept her occupied longer.

I don't have photos of myself, but I also painted some rocks! These paints just glide on their surface in such a smooth way. They were really enjoyable to use personally. I  Their chunky nature means your projects will not have tiny details, but we just adjusted our expectations and had such a great time using them!

While one might think mess-free paints are more suitable for pre-school and younger elementary students, my 10 and 12-year-old daughters really love them as well. When we were done with our rocks the girls asked if they could keep on creating. This is the sign of a quality product. No matter how much I may love something, if my girls aren't engaged it really doesn't meet our needs. Rose is working on a picture of a school bus.

 My favorite rocks the girls created were the pepperoni pizza slices! So adorable! My rock was a beach scene that didn't turn out quite as lovely as their creations. Some other good uses for these would be posters and painting clay projects. We haven't tried that yet, but I think they would work beautifully.

Although Thin Stix adhere fabulously to porous products like paper, they did have the tendency to wipe off with enough pressure on the rocks. This is no big deal as I usually coat our placing them outside to keep this from happening in the rain.

The girls chatted and created for well over 90 minutes. Wow! Winner in my book!

Make sure to see what my Crew-mates had to say!

Thin Stix Creativity Pack {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Friday, November 3, 2017

Preserving Memories: Week of October 30

 Two layouts from 2009 with me pregnant with Grace and 2 layouts of our current family photos. Wow! Time moves so quickly, doesn't it mamas?