Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Beautiful Words to Remember

I am nearly done with an amazing Bible study I got to be a part of this summer with some amazing women! I highly recommend "Gideon - Your Weakness God's Strength" by Priscilla Shirer.  All I can say is that it was AMAZING!  Today, like everyday, there has at least been one truth that resonated with me.  This is the truth that struck me this morning in my quiet time:

Priscilla writes:
"Seeking God and His will must remain our constant desire and aspiration, even after we've began seeing His strength demonstrated in our lives.  Otherwise, we will be submerged beneath the momentum of human approval, momentary convenience, personal desires, or misplaced ambitions.  When the dominoes of life cave in, our level of steadiness will be equal to our fellowship with the Father.  
Consider Jesus, After all, there is no better illustration of someone staying true to the task at hand."

Mark 1:35-38 Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.  Later Simon and the others went out to find him.  When they found him, they said  "Everyone is looking for you."  But Jesus replied, "We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too.  That is why I came."

"Jesus was intent on doing the Father's will...and nothing else.  So He purposefully and faithfully sought the Father for direction, and then stayed committed to the divine purposes for which He had been sent even if it meant disappointing a crowd of people to do it."

Oh Lord, how I need you!  

Proverbs 3:5-6  "Do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take."

God has stirred this verse I memorized long ago as a child of 7 or 8 years old anew in my heart  for the past few weeks.  I know it so well, yet I am seeing it again in this season of my life with fresh eyes!  Sweetly, He is reminding me again that my dependence for EVERYTHING is in Him.

As I've pondered this, I thought of what a beautiful sight it is to behold a mother with her precious newborn baby!  She knows that her child fully relies on her and she is always near. She lovingly and readily provides for her child, even anticipating any need that could arise making preparations in advance.  She lavishes her love on the child she adores with tender kisses, touches, and gentle swaying as she rocks her beloved in her arms, speaking comfort and peace to frantic cries for help. Distance and time spent away stir a desire within her heart to be near her child.  The feeling of separation sometimes so great that she must go to her child, even when the child is sleeping, just to peer into that little face she loves so dearly.  She must be near.  Her heart compels her.  She yearns to be close. She longs for the moments she can wrap her little one tightly in her arms, right next to her heart, knowing it's rhythmic beating yields a comfort and familiarity words cannot describe.  To this tiny baby, her scent, her face, her voice, and even just her mere presence brings comfort and satisfaction.  The bond between mother and child is truly amazing!  What a beautiful sight to behold indeed!

Like a helpless baby in the arms of my beloved is where I want to be!  Where I need to be.  A place of complete and utter dependence on my Father.  I am helpless without Him.  I need only but to look upon His face, feel His presence.  Oh that I may gaze upon His beauty and delight in His sweet embrace!

Psalm 27:4 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.

Friday, November 9, 2012

I can't believe this guy will be 11 tomorrow... 
 and this precious girl will be 4 in a few days!
 I love them both to pieces!  So very blessed!
Happy Birthday Garrison Emmanuel (Novemeber 10), and Liliana Grace (November 12)!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Moore From Katie {Guest Post}

Hey, Everyone! I am excited to announce my first Guest Post on Simpy Niki!  Katie from Moore From Katie  ( joins us today with some wonderful tips for new moms!  It's good info for anyone who is pregnant, just had a baby, or just hopes to one day!  :)  I would love to hear your comments or tips about anything that worked for you!  Enjoy!

Tightening and Toning in the Post-Partum Period   
by Katie Moore {Moore From Katie}

After the joy and excitement of having a baby, a new mother will quickly come home to the reality of a changed life and a tired body from delivery. Delivery is a natural process but requires a lot of recovery time before a mother begins to feel normal and ready to be active again. After the birth of my daughter, it took about a week and a half before I felt more like myself and ready to create a new schedule for myself to get active again. Some mothers may take a shorter or longer time to feel energized again, but taking your time to recover from delivery completely is the most important part.  

Even if a new mom reaches her pre-pregnancy weight quickly does not mean that her body looks exactly as it did before pregnancy. Most often, mothers have lost muscle mass due to lack of physical exercise in the last few weeks of pregnancy. Additionally, a woman's stomach muscles can be completely stretched out of shape by the baby. A particular number on a scale will not excite a mother whose belly still looks swollen and pregnant.

Even if you have lost all of your pregnancy weight, you are probably still seeing the effects of pregnancy on your body. Dieting will not be effective if your muscles need to be tightened and toned. Before jumping head first into an exercise routine that your body isn’t ready for, it’s a great idea to speak to your doctor first. My doctor answered all of my pre-delivery questions about labor pains, breastfeeding, and optional choices like
cord blood banking and immunizations; my doctor also was available to answer all of my post-delivery questions about dieting, exercising, and emotional health.
The following three exercises can help you regain your pre-pregnancy shape.

Toning the Tummy

Most often, mothers bemoan their bellies in the post-partum weeks. Stomach crunches and sit-ups are effective for
tightening abdominal muscles, but in the early weeks after childbirth, these exercises may be quite painful. To gently tone the tummy in the post-partum period, you simply need to engage the abdominal muscles. This can be done while sitting, standing or lying down. Imagine that you are wearing a tight corset, and consciously begin suck in your stomach muscles as you perform your daily activities. Use this time to hold your baby in your arms or in a sling, I did this at every chance I could to make my exercises seem less like work and more like bonding.

Tightening the Thighs and Buttocks

If the first sight of your legs in months is horrifying, you probably want to do some gentle toning for your thighs. Squats are very effective at strengthening the thighs and buttocks, and you do not have to do hundreds of them to see the results. You may want to get into the routine of doing four or five squats every time that you get up from the couch or sit down in the recliner. Hold your baby in your arms for added resistance. If you get into this habit, you may do forty or fifty squats each day, which will tighten your thigh and buttock muscles in just a few weeks. 

Strengthening the Arms

To beat the arm flab that comes from several months of inactivity, you may want to begin to lift some weights. As you nurse your baby holding him in one arm, you can use dumbbells to work the muscles of your other arm. Do not forget to work the triceps. These muscles on the underside of your upper arm can give the appearance of "old lady flab" on your arms when they are underdeveloped. Even just lying on your back and lifting your baby over you is a great arm exercise; I always brought my daughter back down for a kiss in between each lift.

Exercise in the post-partum period does not have to require hours of time and a trip to the gym. By using these three tips, you can begin to tone your muscles before you even get back to the doctor for your post-partum exam. 

“Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.”

Monday, August 6, 2012

Charity: Water {Drops of Love Campaign}

Okay, so I’m pledging my birthday this year to help fund a water project with Charity: Water. What’s all this about giving up my birthday, you ask? Well, if you know me well, you’d know I’ve never been one that wants anyone to make a big fuss over me and I never ask for anything for my birthday. But not this year! I’m asking you to shower me with the awesome gift of your donations to help change lives!!! I thank God I’ve been given another year to enjoy my life, my children, and my family! I want others to be able to have the same opportunity. You see, many people die from a problem that has a simple solution – lack of clean drinking water. This is something that just should not be, especially since it doesn’t take much to help. Please consider giving something...$33 honor of my 33rd Birthday??  :)  Of course anything helps...if you're able to see this post, you most likely have $1 to spare!  My goal is to raise $500 by my birthday, August 22.  That amount can actually give approximately 25 people or 5 families access to clean water! :)  Amazing, right?!!  Please consider giving what you can!  Thanks in advance for your support!

To give and learn more about this, please visit my Charity water page {Drops of Love}

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

{Re} Retired Glamor Seeker!!!

There's nothing glamorous about changing diapers (I've actually graduated to wiping bottoms), folding laundry, or tackling a sink full of dirty dishes. I've tried to find the beauty, and really, there just isn't. I suppose that the beauty lies not in the work itself, but in the attitude of the worker.  The Bible says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." - Colossians 3:23-24  That pretty much sums it up!  I have to admit, I am weary and tired and just plain worn out in my job being a mom and wife right now.  There are some days that I just want to hop in the car and drive with no actual destination in mind, just to get away from all the demands.  No worries, I'm not planning on doing this!  ;)  However, I have to remind myself sometimes that this life I'm living now is the fulfillment of one of my dreams.  I have a wonderful life that I love, and I'm passionate about my role as wife and mother to the family God's given me.  Being a wife and mom were not my only dreams, I actually have many!  So sometimes I get a little discouraged about the "work" I am doing now, and a little frustrated about how challenging it can be.  Don't we all?  Sometimes I lose my focus a bit and think this may be all I ever do in life.  At times I compare myself to others who are doing the very things that I have longed to do my whole know, the glamorous stuff.  Trust me, the grass is never greener on the other side.  Each one of us has our own struggles and load to carry in whatever we do in life and whatever season we're in!  It's at times like these that I have to remind myself what and who I am "working" for and why.  Okay, so today, this is a quick little reminder to myself...and you, if you're struggling a bit today! ;)

What am I working for?  The bigger picture and ultimate goal is that I am partnering with God to raise four godly children destined for their home in Heaven, who are passionate about Jesus Christ and spreading the gospel!  All of the not-so-glamorous "work" is just part of the package! 

Who am I working for?  Jesus!  Colossians 3:23-24  If I focus on just this fact, it makes the work a little easier!

Why do I need to work so diligently at what I do?  Because of the ultimate goal, and because God has given me a family that I am responsible for and He always requires good stewardship!  I want to see the fulfillment of all that God has called them to do in each of their lives.  He's got some wonderful plans for each of them!  I am laying the foundation right now!  It's tough, but just like with a beautiful building or structure, laying the foundation never looks glamorous and it's hard to imagine the beauty that will be seen when the project is done.  It looks nothing like the finished project!  But the beauty we will behold when it's finished is worth all of the labor!

So although I am tired, and sometimes my heart yearns for a more glamorous life, I am reminding myself to be content in the work that is before me and what I've been given.  I am {once again} retiring from the insatiable task of glamor-seeking!  ;)  The road ahead is long and hard and might get a little dirty, but I'm in it for the long haul!  The task of Motherhood is no small thing, and if this is the only thing God gives me to do the rest of my life, then so be it.  Sometimes, we hear so much louder the voice of the world that attempts to diminish the great, and glorify the unnecessary things in life.  Really, the thing we are searching for is not the things we're chasing anyway.  It's Him!  Dear Lord, please help me to see my tasks through your eyes with the right perspective.  Help me to do this work as unto You and work at it "with all my heart."  Renew my passion for the work you have given me.  Renew my passion for You and remind me that it's you that I find rest in when I'm weary.  Stir up and increase my passion for my current ministry - wife and mother.  Fill me afresh and anew with your Spirit and give me renewed hope and strength for my days.  And for all those who are reading these words and need the same, I pray this as well in Jesus' name.  :)  I pray also that these scriptures will bless you and encourage your hearts!

"Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.  They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest." - Psalm 126:5-6

"Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life.  And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God.  God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past." - Ecclesiastes 5:19

"The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing." -Psalm 34:10

"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." - Psalm 16:11

"The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving." - Psalm 28:7

 "But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.  For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield." - Psalm 5:11-12

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lalaloopsy Display Tutorial

Have you entered the world of Lalaloopsy yet? Well, if you have little girls, I'm sure you've at least heard the name a time or two! I have 2 sweet girls who LOVE Lalaloopsy dolls! We have all kinds around here (even more than what's pictured here)!  They are the cutest dolls! I like to sew, so of course I love the clothing designs and big button eyes! As our collection has grown, we've started to have an issue with storage. The teeny tiny ones aren't really a problem since they're doll house sized, but have you noticed the regular size dolls don't sit up well on their own with such large heads? Each of them come with little friends too, so they're getting harder to keep up with. I suppose we could just put them a storage bin in the playroom somewhere, but I think they're too cute for that. I'm not really one who likes just throwing everything in a toy box either. So I thought of the cutest way to display them! (At least I think so!)  This is my very first tutorial, so bear with me!  ;)

Here's what you need:
Spray Paint (optional)

 Doll display stands (mine came from Michaels and Hobby Lobby)
 Glue gun/glue sticks or any extra strong glue
 Super strong magnets (mine came from Walmart)
(WARNING!!! Magnets as well as small objects can be harmful to small children.  Please consider this if you will be using them in your project!)

Alright, let's get started!

 1. Place your doll in the stand. 

2. You might need to adjust the height.  The feet should lightly touch the base of the stand.

3. Find the little friend that came with your doll.

4. Decide where 
     friend should go on base. 
Glue one magnet to the center of the friend and place another one on top (don't glue this one).  This is important so that you know the magnets match up properly and you don't glue them on the wrong sides...they'll repel each other.

To glue the other magnet to the base, simply add a dot of glue to the one you placed on top of magnet you glued to the friend and set it down on the base.  If you purchased metal display stands, gluing a magnet to the base will not be necessary.
That's it!  Looks easy enough, right?!  Here's a few we finished.  And for the spray paint???  I thought the stands would look so cute spray painted in coordinating or contrasting colors!  What do you think?  Try it!  I'd love to see yours if you do!     

Thursday, March 22, 2012


{WARNING!!!  This post is super long and wordy, but I hope you find it's worth your time to read through.  I hope it all makes sense...I wrote it pretty late!}

I love to read a good book. There are two books that I would like to share that I absolutely love. I have had them many years and unlike most books, I revisit them quite often. My goal is actually daily. While I love fiction books, I also enjoy books that help me grow spiritually. I am a busy wife and mother of four and as most of us have discovered, life is not easy. I need books that remind me to stay on course and focus on what really matters in this life. In the past I have been a part of a great group of moms from my church that meet up and do book studies together. We have read some really great books together! I really enjoyed the discussion and fellowship. I found that I got so much more out of it because of our discussion time. Some of the Bible studies we did together were video series, which tremendously deepened what I took away from it as well. If you have never been part of a small group that meets for Bible/Book studies on a regular basis, I highly recommend you try it. No matter what season of life I've been in or how busy I've been, this has always been something that I've made time for.  Find a good group to join in your church or community, or maybe just find a group of ladies and start your own! Let's face it, as moms we need all the help we can get! Our plates are FULL and we wear so many hats. Okay, so back to the books...they are both by Stormie Omartian.  If you click on the links, you can preview a small portion of both books!
About 11 years ago, I joined a small group at a church in Florida I used to attend that was reading/studying The Power of a Praying Wife.  I had not been married long, and didn't know a whole lot about what a godly marriage should be, so it was a tremendous help to me.  I have used this book and the other ever since!  I have a method I used that I'll share later.  Either during or right after we finished The Praying Wife book, someone from my church anonymously gifted me with the Praying Parent book.  I thought it was so sweet, and I actually wanted it and already had plans to purchase it!  Thanks again, whoever you are!  ;)  Both books are filled with extremely short chapters (perfect for busy moms of little ones) followed by a prayer.  I love that each chapter focuses on a specific need concerning your husband or child(ren).  The prayers that follow are full of scriptures and there is a short list of scriptures at the end.  Both have topics that are specific to struggles or areas of concern and need for either husbands or children.  It has really helped me to learn what areas I need to cover my family in prayer.  I can't say enough about how important these two books are to me and what a blessing they've been in my life!  I have seen God's faithfulness throughout the years with the prayers I've prayed for my family.  I must stress that I do not believe that there's a secret formula or any special prayers that will  bring us the things we want or the changes in life that we desire!  However, I do believe that there IS power in praying God's word over our circumstances and praying in agreement with His word for the things we desire.  He's a good father and He longs to give us the desires of our hearts if it's in accordance to His will.  When we're seeking God to change our circumstances through prayer instead of taking matters into our own hands, how pleasing that must be to Him!  It is His will that He is not only Savior, but Lord of our family's lives as well as our own.  If we are praying over these matters and seeking God on their behalf truly desirous of this, how much more does God want this.  Our families are His children!  Could we say that He loves them, desires that they love Him,  know Him, live for Him, and make the right choices in life even more than we do?  He created them...died for them...loves them with an everlasting love.  He knows them way more than we do...or ever will for that matter.  There is power in praying God's word!  I love to see His faithfulness to His word!  While there is nothing that should replace Bible reading, these books give me a great starting point for prayer.  I have used a method for all these years that I strive to do daily. 
My Method
How I began:
The Praying Wife book has 30 chapters, so I read the whole book in a month reading a chapter each day.  It doesn't matter when you start, it'll just take a whole month this way.  Could it be read quicker?  Sure.  But I just wanted to really focus on the prayer and scriptures at the end of each chapter, meditating and taking the time to further study or find scriptures for each topic that the chapter represents.  I wanted to devote some of my quiet time that I spend with God each day to the specific prayer topic for each chapter and continually lift up that need throughout the day.  Make sense?  So I wasn't quickly reading through a chapter and praying a quick prayer and being done with it each day, but rather setting aside a part of my day to lift up the need mentioned in each chapter, meditating on God's word concerning the need, and focusing my prayers on it throughout my day.  After I read through the book, I just continued to pray the prayers, using them as a point of focus for my daily prayer time.  Every now and then I'll read chapters in the book if I need to refresh my memory on a specific subject.
So this is my method.  On day one of the month I read chapter one.  Day two...chapter two, and so on.  Since the Praying wife book only has 30 chapters and some months have 31 days, I just take the extra day to start at the beginning of the book and pray the prayer for chapter one...and on day one of the following month, I pray chapter one again.  The first chapter is praying for yourself (the wife), so I thought it couldn't hurt to use this extra day to focus on myself and have some heart-to-heart time with God about me.  Can't hurt, right?!!  I do the same for the Praying parent book, starting with the first day on the month praying the chapter one, day two chapter two, etc.  This book actually has 31 chapters, so there is no need to repeat chapter one.  However, on the months that have only 30 days, on day one of the following month I can just pray the chapter 31 and chapter one prayers together.  (I actually try to use both books daily so I'm covering both my husband and children daily.) 

My method has worked out rather nicely for me.  While I have failed miserably to do this daily, like my Bible reading, I just pick it right back up and start the day that's on the calendar!  My goal has always been to this daily, but I miss days and chunks of time, and sometimes I've missed some chunks of months too!  :)  But I always find my way back to these books!  They are really good and great prayer starters.  I have to mention too that if I sometimes feel that one of my family members is struggling in a particular area of their lives and I sense that they need prayer, I stray from the day/chapter I'm on and pray for that need either instead or in addition to the prayer for that day.  I've done that many times and some days there have been a few areas that I covered with prayer.  I like my method, it works for me.  I encourage you to find a method  and some resources that work for you.  Your family needs your prayers!

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. - Isaiah 55:10-11

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Red Polka Dot Pants = Happiness!!!

Red Polka Dot pants go with just about everything...don't they?!!  :)  Well, they do in our house! We've rocked these bad boys at Christmas time, Valentine's Day, and everything in between! I think they are absolutely perfect with the new St. Patrick's Day shirts I made!  I love how the little rainbow applique turned out!  I love making these little boutique ruffle pants too. They are so versatile and go with EVERYTHING! I design them so that they'll last us a long time and grow with my kids. I sewed my girls some blue jean ruffle pants HERE, and they still wear them now as capri length pants!  So as the kiddos grow they'll eventually be pedal pushers.  You should totally make some!  Think of all the possibilities with color choices and lengths.  I've even modified a pattern and made them shorts!  Shorter (ankle or calf length) boutique ruffle pants are perfect for the fickle Spring weather and go great with shirts, tunics, dresses, and just about everything!  :)  I've used the Bella Pants Pattern by Pink Fig before, and it's great for beginner sewers!  

Monday, February 27, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

This year our Valentine's Day was less planned, rather busy, and everything was kind of thrown together... 
(still can't find Lily's other red bow!)

The night before (actually I got up super early before the kids woke up) I sewed some special little things for my little Valentines to wear to their school parties!

I whipped these up so quick and easy.
 Kaylani loves these red pants I made for her...remember these from back to school last year?  :)  Perfectly paired with some sweet little red sparkly shoes I picked up from Target!
 {Love these...I think we buy them every year!}

We worked on finishing up our Valentine's for their school parties before bedtime.

They didn't turn out so good.  I didn't realize Walgreen's wallet sizes are super itty bitty!

I used our 2011 Valentine's Day photos for this year's project.  I was a little sad to be giving one year old photos out, but that's just how I roll... sometimes!  :O)

When I took the pictures, I made sure to pose them as if they were holding something on the palm of their hands... 
or grasping something... we could add candy later!

I used Picnik to add the sweet messages.   
{Isn't it sad that Picnik will be gone soon?  
I'm not sure about all the details, but love that all the premium stuff is free until April 19th!}
Here's how they turned out.  They were teeny tiny, but we made them work!
Valentine's Day was a 1/2 day of school for the kiddos, so afterwards some friends came over for a playdate which helped pass the time until Daddy came home. We always put together a little something special for them each year. 

Again, it was rather hurried and thrown together for lack of time this year...

  but we had our little family party, and I think they enjoyed it!

I was provided with a great opportunity a couple of days before Valentine's Day to demonstrate what love really is to my children.  I'll share more about it later, but it reminded me that love really isn't just words, but actions!

My Honey brought home the sweetest presents for me that included flowers, balloons, a card, chocolate, and spa gift certificates!  
 The very next morning I broke 2 toes, so it will be a while before I get to enjoy my gifts.  The Podiatrist says I've got 6 weeks of recovery...3 of which will be in a super huge boot-like contraption.

Life is sometimes a little crazy, or busy, or hard, ...

and doesn't always go exactly as planned...
But I can't imagine a life without the love of the sweet little family God's blessed me with! 

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.  His faithful love endures forever." - Psalm 136:1