Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

I love that song.  Don’t you?

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.
When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May.
I guess you’d say
What can make me feel that way?

What makes you feel that way…all sunshiny and happy?  Is it your husband or your kids or maybe the weather?  All those things make me happy.  Some days are easy.  The ones where everything just goes right.  The blessings all around you seem too many to count.  Those days are amazing!

But what about those days that are cloudy, or your husband does something that upsets you, or your kids are being extremely difficult (I’m sure that never happens)?  What about the days when God asks you to walk through something hard…really hard.  Do you have sunshine on those days?

First,I want to be clear here that I am not talking about depression or any other kind of mental illness.  I’m just talking about the ups and downs of life.  Finding joy in every circumstance.  God wants that for us and Paul had that all figured out.  Have I ever told you that Paul is one of my favorite characters in the Bible.  Okay.  He’s my favorite (other than Jesus of course).  For this very reason.  In Philippians 4:11-12 Pauls says, “ 11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

Now, I haven’t been through a lot of hardship in my life, but Paul did.  He was imprisoned, stoned, given the 40 lashes minus 1, shipwrecked, and betrayed by his friends(2 Corinthians 11:25).  It’s sort of mind blowing to me that someone could be hungry and content at the same time.  Man, I want to be like that!  So what was Paul’s secret?  The trick he used to stay content?  Well, he tells us in Philippians 4:13  13I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  

Yep.  Through Christ we can be content in all circumstances.  So instead of being happy because our spouse did something right or the kids are super awesome today, we can be happy because Christ fills us with His never ending love.  And then we can be full of sunshine on those cloudy days too because it’s not the sun or some outside influence making us happy.  It’s Christ.

So I’m changing the lyrics today because I want sunshine on the hard days too.

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.
When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May.
I guess you’d say
What can make me feel that way?
My Christ. (My Christ, my Christ)
Talkin’ bout my Christ.
sunshine on a cloudy day
 
 
 
signature_Sami

Nursery Rhyme Costume Ideas

Devin had Nursery Rhyme Day at school.  They got to dress up like a nursery rhyme if they wanted to.  I hit Pinterest and found lots of ideas, but decided on Hickery Dickery Dock because it was simple and wouldn’t get in the way.  Here he is.

hickery dickery dock frontHe loved the tail and thought it was SO silly.

hickery dickery dock backAll I did was print the words and the clock onto iron on transfer paper.  I cut them out and then ironed them on.  The tail was just some extra fabric I had at home that I stuffed and pinned onto his pants.  I used Grinning Like An Idiot for inspiration.

Here are some more ideas that I thought were pretty genius.

Spider

Mad in Crafts nailed it with this spider costume.

3 little pigs

If you had two eager friends, the three little pigs found on rainbowswithinreach would be perfect.

12734975315_fb54b57072_n

You could pick any animal costume and be on Old MacDonald’s Farm.  Froggy and the Mouse picked a cow.

jack and jill

This Jack and Jill costume from GrandmasNurseryRhymes is cute and simple.

There are plenty of easy options that you can put together at the last minute so don’t be intimidated or think that it is too much work.  Devin had so much fun showing all his friends from preschool his costume.

signature_Sami

 

 

Barbie Inspired Birthday Party

BarbiepartyIt is birthday party time around here. Our oldest and youngest daughters’ birthdays are only 2 days apart so each April we have two weekends in a row of birthday parties. This year Ellasyn wanted a Barbie party. I wasn’t surprised as Barbies are one of her very favorite toys right now. It was pretty easy to come up with colors, decorations, and girly ideas for this party. Because of all the girlyness involved we opted for her to not invite her friends that are boys this time.

Barbiebanner

I ordered the invitations and printables here. I loved the vintage Barbie silhouette look. So classy!

Barbiecookies

Barbiecake

I got the wonderful cake and cookies from my sweet friend, Alyse with B.E. Sweet Treats. She has been my go to baker for several years and is just the best! Ellasyn really wanted the Barbie to appear to be “popping” out of the cake, so Alyse made the cake plain on top and I wrapped a Barbie’s legs in cling wrap and stuck her in. I was so nervous I was going to ruin the cake, but it worked just fine. Then I stuck in some various picks from Hobby Lobby to add a little more fun and flare. She loved it and that was the most important thing!

Barbiephotoprops

Barbiepinata

We started the party with the Barbie photo props which were a huge hit. Then we moved on to the piñata. Next, we made a fun bead name bracelet craft. The girls did great but it was too chaotic for picture taking! Cake was consumed and presents were opened. The party ended with some Barbie play time. Throwing a bunch of Barbies on the floor for a group of young girls is always a fun time and easy entertainment.

MomDadEllasyn6

Ellasyn wore a personalized shirt with an iron on appliqué, a sparkly tule skirt, and a hot pink feather boa. My girls have always wanted to dress to the theme of their party! The party went great and was a lot of fun. It was neat to see how the girls all interacted with each other and got along so well. I love seeing Ellasyn forming such sweet friendships. Happy Birthday Sweet Ellasyn!

signature_janae

Where does your hope lie?

hope

A few weeks ago we had a storm come through with high winds.  It knocked a really big limb off our Bradford pear tree.  Actually the story starts last year when a different storm knocked a third of the tree down.  We were hoping to still save it, but after the last storm, it’s a gonner.

I found myself getting teary over losing this tree. First, I couldn’t admit that it was lost.  And when I finally came to grips with that, I was very upset.  Why was I getting so emotional over a simple tree?  Then I realized something.  That tree has been a constant for us since we moved to town 9 years ago.  It was there when we moved in.

outside

It was there when the girls were little.

100_0182

And it’s been here as they have grown.

girls

I watched it grow beautiful white blossoms every spring and lose precious orangish, red leaves every fall.  It feels like it has always been there.  Our kids grew.  We got older.  Even the house changed as we landscaped and painted it.  That tree was the one thing that stayed steady.  Never changing.  That’s why it was so hard for me to let go of it.  But then God gently reminded me that even though that tree was always there it didn’t provide any of the truly important things.  The comfort and joy that I feel at our house doesn’t come from that tree.  It doesn’t even come from the house.  It comes from my family and the love that we share.

You see.  We used to move every three years or so, so I was constantly reminded that the house, all the physical things, aren’t what makes us a family.  It’s our love for each other.  But it’s been a while and I was starting to put my trust in other things.  Like that tree.

We do that sometimes too. Lean on people or things instead of Christ. We use them as our rock and our hope in hard times when God is silently trying to draw us in to him.  And sometimes it takes a giant storm to remind us that Jesus Christ is our one and only rock.  The one true hope.

So as I say goodbye to our precious Bradford pear I will remember all those precious times but I will also know that our family will still flourish.  We still have our love for each other and above all the love of our Heavenly Father.

Z2

signature_Sami