Fall Decorating: Pumpkins and Other Things

It's that time.  Yes, grab those kiddos and head to the pumpkin patch and apples orchards.

Traditionally, we would just grab a few pumpkins, gourds, hay bails, and cornstalks and call it good.  But that simplicity is a thing of the past.  I recently heard that, with the exception of Christmas, people spend more money on Halloween than any other "holiday."  I, personally, am not into Halloween.  I prefer to just decorate for fall in general, but it all goes hand in hand.

In a effort to save money, buy transition pieces that could work for eitherHalloween or Thanksgiving.  For example, I picked up this little beauty at a craft supply in town.  The colors work with my decor in the room and will work for any season.



16

It's TIme for Follow Me Wednesday

Welcome to Follow Me Wednesday Blog Hop!
3 Four and Under
is proud to bring you {Follow Me Wednesday}

Please welcome this weeks co-hosts!
 The Domesticated Princess    Let Them Eat Cake
All My Love for All My Days

Thank you for linking up each week, we really appreciate it!  
This is a wonderful way to meet new people and follow some awesome blogs!
Please remember to tell your friends! 
The more the merrier!

Here is what you do!
1. Please add your blog address to the blog hop list.
2. Please follow the host and co-host blogs!
3. We would love you to tweet about the blog hop.

4.  Please place the Follow Me Wednesday button somewhere on your blog
5.  If you are new to this hop, Welcome, and please leave us a comment and we will be sure to follow you back!  And make sure to visit this weeks co-hosts and show them some love.
 6. Then, visit the other blogs on the list. 
Follow them and I'm sure they will follow you back!
Please leave them a comment telling them you are visiting them from {Follow Me Wednesday}!
We all love comments!

Please link up family appropriate blogs only, any blogs that are not family appropriate will be deleted



3FourAndUnder

 




10

Sister Talk LIVE

It's a long one, but a good one.  Take a few minutes and watch it.

18

Sister Talk Tonight?




2

What I'm Wearing this Weekend

This weekend brings a load of fun to the Tulsa, Oklahoma area and I can't wait.  Everybody knows that half of the fun is what you wear to the event.  So, when I walk onto the grounds of the Brush Creek Bazaar on Friday morning, I'm going to be styling.   

I hear you.  I hear you.  What is this momentousness occasion that Danette is writing about?  Well, let me tell you.

The Brush Creek Bazaar is an event for the entire family.  It's a craft show and a children's play house with fair food and live entertainment!  To top it off, it's located on one of the most beautiful piece of real estate in Tulsa County.  

11

Coffee Mug Swap

Thank you, Dalayna from Pointing Up, for having a huge stroke of genius and inspiration.

I got the opportunity to participate in a coffee mug swap!  I have to say, this really is a fun way to meet people and to learn more about them.

10

Just giving you fair warning...

This week is going to be an insane week, literally.

So...you want to know why?

Here ya go!



This bazaar is an event for the whole family.  There will be shopping (of course), babysitting for the kids, live entertainment...everything!  If you live in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area I would love to see you out at the bazaar.  I'll be there somewhere running around organizing the main stage.

Ok, so yes, this week is a big one, but I still have several things up my sleeve.  

See you in the html...
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the arrow of direction

Don't be mediocre.  Strive for excellence.  You're better than the middle and you're capable of more.  You have a purpose and God has a plan, so aim your arrow at the mark.  Stare the target straight in the eye.  Shoot strong and shoot long and win.



44

an Age of Innocence

Have you ever wondered why kids seems to be so much tougher these days?  I work with many students every week and there are a few qualities that most of them have in common.

Most are extremely intelligent.
Most are extremely strong willed.
Most are emotionally stressed.
Most are disconnected from reality.
Most are under motivated.
Most are easily impassioned. 

These characteristics all seem to fall on the post 9/11 generation.

True, this is not your normal memory post spilling over the events of where I was or how I felt or what went through my mind as I watched the second plane fly straight into the second tower.  The only thing that I will say about that day is I was young enough and naive enough to believe that this tragedy had to be some kind a queer error.  No one would openly attack the United States of America.  It was an accident.  A mistake.

I grew up quick that year.

I may have grown up that year, but it seems as if this generation just behind me was born "grown up."

They were born with their innocence lost.  They were born in the midst of two wars.  They were born into a society that fought against itself.  They were born in the age of a cover up. (No, I'm not a truther.)  They were born to see and to question and to doubt.

As the helplessness and godlessness of our culture continues to saturate our society, they are, literally attacked by adults and other students who want nothing more than to destroy their lives.  In my mind I have this mental image of little monsters and big monsters chasing these students around the halls of their campuses and into our homes and just sucking the life and soul out of them.

They have to be strong...or maybe emotionally distant is a better description.  They are under attack.

And that is just...well,...sad.

To think that they will never believe that a humanity has an immense capability to love and to do good.  To think that they will never know what true peace on earth could look like.  They will always question and always doubt.  They will always analyze and look for the cracks in the truth.  They will relate the present heavenly Father's love with the "love" of their absent earthly father.  They will justify their mother's lack of affirmation with the belief that they are worth nothing.

But in spite of these negiative possibilities we must remember this: they are only possibilities.  Maybe God put these characteristics in this generation knowing the challenges of the age they would live in.  Maybe He gave them the strength to stand up against the injustice.  Maybe He gave them the wisdom to ask the tough questions and demand answers that make sense and work.  Maybe He chose this generation to be the greatest of all.

I don't have the privilege of being a parent just yet, but that is a blessing that I often pray for.  When I do have children entrusted to my care, I hope that God grants me the wisdom to see the possibilities of their lives...to see that they are a generation destined for greatness and not calamity.  

May I challenge you with this thought?  When your children are driving you to the brink of insanity with their questions and their strong willed spirit think how God could use that for His glory.  How He could literally change the course of history with one person who is sold out and dedicated to the purpose of restoring justice to the world. 

The events of 9/11 may have robbed be of my innocence, but it will never rob me of my hope--a hope for a brighter peaceful future.  A hope for a world full of life, love, and children.


17

Why I Believe Friendship is Always Worth It




I've struggled with writing this post for a number of reasons.  First, if I write this post and someone reads it, a lot about my own person will be public.  I don't like that.  Second, it's just hard to write because I'm still battling the internal consequences of this encounter.

Two summers ago, I found myself in a terrible disagreement with one of my dearest friends.  Really it was just a difference of opinion, but I was so stubborn refusing to allow her opinion.  I still believe I'm right.  She still believes she's right.  No one is ever going to change either of our opinions.

In the end, that relationship was severed for quite sometime. The circumstances revolving around our disagreement are not important to the story so I will spare you those details.  To say that our relationship has been tense is an extreme understatement.

Over the last couple of years she has asked to meet with me.  Each time I declined, and with good reason too, but about two months ago, I reconnected with her over a Saturday brunch.

As I sat across the table from her, she recounted the stories of her world traveling, of the lives that she'd touched, of new relationships formed and lost.  I looked across the table at a lady that I no longer knew.  I could remember the joys of our friendship.  I could remember the activities and the places.  I remember long nights in the dorm room studying, watching tv, eating guacamole chips, but as I looked at this face I wept on the inside...

...and I missed our friendship.  

I missed her.  

She has become a remarkable young woman and one that I value and respect, but I don't know her.

But here's what I know now.  None of my stubbornness and none of my strong willed attitude is worth the loss of this friendship--of any friendship.  It's just not worth it.

True friendship is a blessing.  And how rare it is.  To find a person who will never judge you.  To find a person who will hold your deepest, darkest stories as her own secrets.

Here's the deal...
          Friendship is always worth the cost.
Friendship is always worth just dropping it.   
Friendship is always worth forgiving.  
Friendship is worth the uncomfortable encounters.  
             Friendship is worth it all.

In actuality, our relationship will probably never be the same, and that's fine.  But I will work to build that friendship again and hope and pray that we can again laugh and remember the past with joy even those few years of complication.

57

Sister Talk


Oh yes we did. 




Always, keep your chin up...and avoid the double chin. :)


Fierce, eh?


I've never been drunk, but I think this is what it would look like. Eww.
37

For the Love for Coffee Link Up

I love coffee.  I know that I've already written at least two posts about my love for coffee, but seriously, I love coffee.  I'm one of those people who travels out of her way to avoid going to the same Starbucks because the baristas will remember that I was there at their store earlier that day.  
Yes, that's me.  
The one watching her rearview mirror before pulling into the coffee house hoping, praying that her friend doesn't see her pulling in...again.
I'm one of those.
And I'm proud of that.
Show your coffee pride and link up with us today...or this week...or at least sign up for the giveaway.  It's a good one.

See you in the html,
Danette
Photobucket

Hey all you coffee lovers! Today is the day that we celebrate our
beloved drink, COFFEE!

We are linking up our stories, recipes, favorite flavors, and memories
made with coffee in hand. Anything about coffee and how much you
love it goes! Best part is you get to meet other coffee addicts,
yay! 
* This is not an intervention d: *

Let's get things kickin'!
This is only our 3rd month for this link up, and I am excited to see
how it has grown. Shooting for 40 link ups this week. Yes, this is
much smaller than the average link up, but I am hoping this small
(shall I say intimate?) kind of link up allows for more interaction,
more networking, and more READERS rather than followers.

1. Link up your post about your love of coffee
2. Follow all of your hosts (the first 5 links)
Dalayna @Pointing Up
3. Meet your fellow coffee lovers :D
4. Enter the awesome caffeinated giveaway from our lovely
hosts after the linky.




<Coffee Cards designed by Yellow Umbrella Designs>

a Rafflecopter giveaway




8

Say Hello to Misty from Monkeys and Tutus!

My name is Misty and I blog over at Monkeys & Tutus! I am an Army Wife stay at home mommy to 3 kids under 3! My blog is a compilation of all the fun and chaos that goes along! Here are my 3 crazy beautiful babies!




I am so thrilled that Danette asked me to do a guest post for her! I have been debating on what to share with you all and after my manic Monday I learned some important things about blogging and some great life lessons in return and that's what I'm going to share with ya today.



In the past month I have been working really hard to grow my blog and make it something that people would want to read, a place other toddler mommies can go to find fun ideas and I have poured my heart and soul and a ton of time and money into making it just that.

Monday while looking at my stats I saw something weird, I had noticed it before but wasn't really sure and when I did some investigation and then got really freaked out. It basically looked like most of page view were coming from a referring sight that turned out to be a Russian Porn site! As you can imagine I had a total freak out mostly because I post a lot about my family, lots of pics of my kidos etc. Long long long story short (you can read full story here) I had that massive freak out only to find out it was just what is known as referrer spam! In the complete haste of my panic I went a little crazy! I deleted every post that had a pic of my kids on it.  I spent hours taking down pics of my kids from everywhere and I was on the verge of shutting down the blog.  I made twitter posts, facebook posts and a blog post saying I had been hijacked by pervs and I was shutting it down.  I felt sick and distraught and thought my blogging life was over.  (cue dramatic music, ha) In my crazy hasty overreaction not only did I delete a lot of important posts, a lot of hard work and spend countless hours worrying I ignited fear in a ton of people because believe it or not, a ton of bloggers have this crazy referrer spam in their stats site.  Luckily I had a lot of amazing support and people that helped me find the solution.  I was overwhelmed with the sweetness of my readers.  I got links, posts saying don't quit and lots of help to calm my irrational fears!


The purpose for me telling you my crazy story is two fold. First, if you notice 'pregolum' or anything like that in your referring urls or sites ignore it! Do not click on it :)  Its just stupid spam. Referrer spam (lots of links and info on referrer spam here) Clicking on it only makes more spam come in and makes it worse. The more you click the more you get. The more you ignore it the less you will see it.

Second, it taught me a valuable lesson about hastiness, mercy and grace!


It is not good to have zeal without knowledge,
nor to be hasty and miss the way. (Proverbs 19:2 NIV84)

Ignorant zeal is worthless; haste makes waste. (Proverbs 19:2 MSG)

Proverbs 14:29 Amp
He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is hasty
 of spirit exposes and exalts his folly.

Those verses pretty much sum up what happened to me! I was very 'zealous' if you want to put it that way!  I was passionate about the reasoning behind my madness and hastiness.   Untimely I was worried about the safety of my kids but there were a lot of different ways I could have handled it. A lot of easier ways that I could have taken care of things until I had time to do my research.




Proverbs 29:20 Amp

Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a [self-confident] fool than for him.




The same goes in many areas of most of our day to days.  From small things to huge things, if any of you are like me, its all to easy to jump to the bad conclusion and run with it before knowing the whole story.

Its easy to fly off the handle at someone in traffic, its easy to judge the lady screaming at her kids in the store, its easy to get mad at someone for being late, its easy to think the worst instead of assuming the best in every day situations even when we don't know the whole story.


Did you ever hear the story about the man on the plane with 3 loud rambunctious kids and he is just sitting there not even paying attention to them.  The other passengers are getting angry because the kids are being awful.  Another passenger finally says something to the man about needing to control his kids and he says I am sorry their mother just died and I am still in shock and I have no idea how to tell them.  

Of course the passenger (as well as most people reading this) have a total paradigm shift.

Same goes with someone cutting you off in traffic, someone being unnecessarily rude to you etc.  Its much easier to be hasty and get angry with out knowing the situation. 


I learned a valuable lesson in being hasty and my readers taught me a valuable lesson in mercy and grace.  It would have been so easy for them to just say ok and unfollow and be done with it or to say omg shes crazy and way to over reactive but so many of them reached out and offered support. 


Every day we do things that go against God, be it little or large, we all sin and we all fall short of His glory but He is always right there offering us grace and mercy.  How sweet is it that no matter how hasty we are in our day to days Gods love and mercy are always new.  





Matthew 5:7 Amp
Blessed (happy, [a]to be envied, and [b]spiritually prosperous—[c]with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!

Thank you, Danette for the wonderful opportunity to share some ramblings from my heart!  




Thank you, Misty!  I appreciate Misty and her willingness to guest post.  Don't forget that tomorrow is the launch of the Blue Jay Boutique!  Hope to see you then.



2

Follow Me Wednesday Blog Hop



Welcome to Follow Me Wednesday Blog Hop!
3 Four and Under
is proud to bring you {Follow Me Wednesday}

Thank you for linking up each week, we really appreciate it!  
This is a wonderful way to meet new people and follow some awesome blogs!
Please remember to tell your friends! 
The more the merrier!

I would like to welcome our co-hosts for this week
All My Love for All My Days   
and
Chasing Hailey 
A big thank you to last weeks co-hosts!  We had over 100 blogs linked up again last week! 

Here is what you do!
1. Please add your blog address to the blog hop list.
2. Please follow the host and co-host blogs!
3. We would love you to tweet about the blog hop.

4.  Please place the Follow Me Wednesday button somewhere on your blog
5.  If you are new to this hop, Welcome, and please leave us a comment and we will be sure to follow you back!  And make sure to visit this weeks co-hosts and show them some love.
 6. Then, visit the other blogs on the list. 
Follow them and I'm sure they will follow you back!
Please leave them a comment telling them you are visiting them from {Follow Me Wednesday}!
We all love comments!

Please link up family appropriate blogs only, any blogs that are not family appropriate will be deleted



3FourAndUnder

 



24

Setting the Perfect Table

As you know, I could only aspire to be the great Martha Stewart.  Literally, as a child I would love days when I could stay home from school only to watch Martha Stewart Living on the television.  As a child when most girls were sneaking to buy Seventeen magazine, I was begging money to buy Martha Stewart.  My dad says it best, "You were a child who thought she was thirty."

Well, now I am thirty twenty-nine and I would still love to be Martha Stewart.  She may seem hard, but she has a passion for perfection and beauty especially during the holidays.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about decorating the perfect table.  (You can read more about that here.)  But truth be told, there is way more to setting the perfect table than just the decor in the center.  Another key element would obviously be the actual flatware and setting of the dishes.


In the illustration above you will find helpful tips to setting your table to perfection.  One thing that is important is to make the flatware arrangement work the best with your dinner party or family get together.  Personally, I love unique flatware and dishes.  Not everything has to be "matchy-matchy" but it does need to coordinate.  Check out this image from Anthropologie.


I hope that is illustration is a aid to you and I hope your holiday preparations are coming along quickly. 


Here's some exciting things happening the rest of the week. 

On Wednesday the Follow Me Blog Hop is HAPPENING!  (Doing the happy dance.)  I'm one of the co-hosts for the week and I'd love for you to come back and link up.  Then, on Friday at 5pm CST, the Blue Jay Boutique will be open for business.  Also, All My Love for All My Days is getting a new look.  It will all be unveiled then!  

Ladies, I'll see you in the trenches.  :)

Pointing Up: The Wonderful Heather!: You all are in for a special treat today. I mean it! Heather Lawless from Lawless Life is with us today sharing a little about herself and...
8

Sister Talk! Happy Labor Day!


Music from today's post is from the blogger Julianna Morlet.  She blogs at She's the girl that sings.

Don't forget the grand opening of the Blue Jay Boutique this Friday!
2

Time to Say Goodbye & Hello

I read yesterday that "Goodbye" comes from "God bye" which came from "God be with you."  

It's Labor Day which is our goodbye to summer.

Goodbye to the memories.

Goodbye to the late, hot nights.

Goodbye to a closed season.

But hello.

Hello to a new season...

Hello fall...and may God be with you.




Don't forget that this Friday, September 7th is the opening of the Blue Jay Boutique!
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