Thursday, August 27, 2020

NEW

 I don't know about you, but I'm a visual learner. I always learn best by seeing. I always "hear" God best through seeing as well. The tiniest, everyday things can be monumental in my life as a I grow in character and faith. 

This past Mother's Day was a tough day for me. Yes, it was full of all the hugs and kisses and love from  my kiddos. It was also my first Mother's Day as a Foster Mom. I knew that my day was filled with hugs from someone else's baby and she was probably missing him something awful. Just the thought of that burns in the back of my throat all over again. What a great and heavy privilege.

Before this day, the hubster had gone out and bought me loads of Sunflower seeds. The packs told me how to plant/water them and said they would grow to about 6 feet tall. Oh, I couldn't wait to see them. I decided to bring the kiddos outside with me on Mother's Day to plant them - just before the rain came and watered them for the first time. We had such fun racing the clouds that hung heavy and threatened us in a "Fee Fie Foe Fum" kind of way. We giggled and squealed as we tried to plant as quickly as we could.

Then came the rain. 

Then came months of really hard things with the Covid-19 restrictions and missing my friends and family. Add to that allllll the things our Foster son was processing as his visits with his family continued to be held virtually.  He had new memories and opinions he was trying to process and we had some difficult days. Add to that all the evidence of brokenness in the world right outside my door. 

It's easy to say, sunflowers growing in my yard was something I was looking forward to as a visual of joy. They're my absolute favorites. 

Cut to yesterday. August something or other - it's all a blur at this point, am I right?

I've been the worst gardener this year because - Covid - 4 kids - Foster care - life. I actually made it out to the side of my house yesterday and was hoping to see some sunflowers. My surrounding neighbors have some beauties growing, let me tell you. 

I looked out toward the fence line and at first thought there was nothing there - not a sprout, not a hope, not even a chance. I looked again and saw this little guy. 



It was all tiny and low to the ground but it was a sunflower, nonetheless. 

One sunflower.

One, 1 foot tall, where's all the petals?, not near 6 feet or heading that way, sunflower. 

Can you feel my disappointment?

I was honestly mad. I was mad that I somehow failed to grow even sunflowers. I was mad that all my time has been eaten up and my introvert self can't even break away from things enough to handle her garden. I was mad that after planting so many seeds in 3 different areas in my yard, this. THIS! One itty bitty sunflower - what evidence of how pitiful this season has been. Right? 

No. Not at all right. Not even a little bit.  

My knee jerk reaction and frustration wasn't real - it was exaggerated. Grossly exaggerated.

I nearly missed the TRUTH that on my fence line was growing a sunflower. It was full of beautiful coloring and it was just the right size to bring inside and put in a vase. I also missed that on either side of it were smaller buds just waiting to bloom.  

I began to smile and I headed straight to the garage to get my pruning sheers. These beauties were going to come with me. I had waited so long to see them and see them I will. 



Ready for the lesson I learned by seeing? 

Planting seeds - doing the actual work of planting, watering, and waiting in anticipation is worth it no matter the size of the harvest. I had fully expected to see many, tall sunflowers. I had one tiny result. But without the work, I would have had nothing at all. I simply can't conclude that this beauty wasn't worth the work. 

Take this sunflower and apply this same thought to people. I can't conclude that all the work of pouring my heart, prayers, love, counsel into people isn't worth the work. I may hope for many, Big God results but even if all I can see is a short little beauty just sitting there being who they were made to be to the glory of God, regardless of my expectations, the effort is worth it. 

Isaiah 55:10-11 (ESV) "For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return without watering the earth, making it bud and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so My word that proceeds from My moth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it. "

Trusting God, who sends me out to lead worship or offer encouragement or smile at a stranger, means that I trust that He's in control. What I offer to Him in obedience will accomplish what He pleases. 

It's good to be hopeful and expecting of big things but it's important to be grateful for the small and good and imperfect.


I will remember this every time I look at these sweet sunflowers. 


~Amy


All of That For Just One? A Story of (Worth It) Work

Read More

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

I am a Foster Mom.

Just typing those words makes me sit up a bit straighter and hold my head up. And is that because I'm so proud of myself? Ha! NO! It's because of the face I see in my mind when I say those words; the boy I have the privilege of caring for.

There was a time in my life when I complained about the loooooooong waiting process of becoming a foster mom. Twelve years ago, the hubster and I set it as a family mission - caring for a child from the foster care system. Twelve years ago, we thought we were ready. Twelve years ago, now almost 13, we had our first biological child and quickly learned we knew precious little about being parents.

The hubster and I spent time volunteering at summer camps for foster children. You all remember my posts about the things I was making for camp and my experiences there? Surely after all that exposure and training, we were ready. Right?

In the 12 years of waiting, we've been busy raising 3 beautiful kiddos of our own and made one giant leap from living in Michigan (where we were *this* close to being a licensed home) to living in Kentucky (where we had to begin the process again). We believed the entire time that WE WERE READY, ALREADY.

We received our foster care license in Kentucky and waited 7 months before we received a call for our first placement. This boy. This one we care for as if he were born to us. He came to us as a respite placement, meaning we were allowed to back out of the commitment after a weekend if we felt he was too much for us.




And I instantly fell in love.
And I instantly saw the amazing potential he had (if only he were encouraged).
And my heart has broken many, many times while learning who this boy is and what his life was before me.
And I dread the day I have to give him back but know I will send him back knowing he is loved.

This boy is proof that waiting is beneficial. Had we met him any sooner, we wouldn't have been ready. I can tell you, this boy deserves 12 years of waiting and growing on our part. He deserves the entire world if you can afford to give it.

I hope you all will welcome me back to this space of sharing my life and experiences with you. I hope you will all celebrate with me the new word I've added to my title of "Mom". Being a Foster parent has taught me so very, very much and I intend to share my heart and soul with you on that very topic.

Let's take this journey together, yes? We are not all meant to be Foster Parents but you are welcome to be a part of the village here. I welcome your questions, your advice, your encouragement, & your prayers.

~Amy



I Am A Foster Mom

Read More

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

**Thanks to the PR firm who provided complimentary tickets to view the show in exchange for my review following the show. I received no other compensation. The thoughts and opinions shared are mine and mine alone. Others may disagree.**

Ladies and Gentlemen, as my new friend Yente would say, "I have such news for you!"
You're all invited to a wedding! Yes, there will be a wedding all wrapped up in a very sweet time of deep tradition and family values.




FIDDLER ON THE ROOF has arrived in Cincinnati's Aronoff Center for shows from January 15-27 (2019).

I had the pleasure of attending opening night of this production last night and had such a great time. The cast brought to life everything we know and love of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. The music, the dancing, the lighthearted moments, and family values came through in rich tones that kept me sitting comfortably as their story was unfolding. The characters quickly felt like family friends and I found myself admiring the similarities and differences between us.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF is a celebration of traditions and the way things used to be for a specific group of people. The story is captivating and vulnerable as viewers are invited to see life through a different lens in a different time and place. I left appreciating some of my own values in a new way, inspired to grow individually, and laughing (still) at some of the scenes that had the whole audience in stitches.

photo credit: Broadway in Cincinnati

I have to call out Tevye, played by Yehezkel Lazarov, as the extra twinkle in the spotlight last night. Lazarov had an uncanny similarity to Chaim Topol, who played Tevye in the movie production of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. He was larger than life, with a bit of clever wit and endearment tucked beneath the brim of his cap. Lazarov was made for the role he played and deserved the standing ovation he received at the curtain call.

photo credit: Broadway in Cincinnati

Head to Broadway In Cincinnati for more information and tickets. This is one you don't want to miss! 

Broadway in Cincinnati Welcomes Fiddler On the Roof (review)

Read More

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

**thanks to the pr representative who sent complimentary item(s) for review. I was not compensated for this post beyond those items. This is my experience and opinion. Others may have a different experience or view. 


A classic from my childhood, and probably yours too, is A Charlie Brown Christmas. It's something I feel like I've watched every year since I was small. One of the things that makes it so great is the sound track. There is nothing like the nostalgia that hearing this music brings. 

Speaking of nostalgia, I began collecting vinyl records about a year ago after I restored an old turntable. There is something so warm about the sound of good music being played under a needle. You can imagine my excitement when I was given the opportunity to review (AND GIVE AWAY) a copy of the original sound track to A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi Trio. 


Kentucky mom blog


Along with the one I restored, I also own a small, portable turntable that sits in my great room. Right now, my 9 year old daughter plays this album just about every day on there. She loves the music just as much as I do. I don't know what it is, but it just brings a smile to our faces.
...
...Maybe it's in the moments when we pretend to dance like the Peanuts characters. LOL

AND...Did you see that pretty GREEN color of the LP?  That makes this treasure of nostalgia that much sweeter.

cKentucky mom blog

Can you hear the sound of your favorite song right now? 

Head over to Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, or just about any store that sells vinyl to get your copy.

Or...

How would you like to WIN a copy of this LP for your home??? 

THE GIVEAWAY

A Charlie Brown Christmas [Green Vinyl LP!]


A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi Trio is one of the most popular and beloved holiday albums of all-time. This remastered recording on green vinyl includes 3 bonus tracks not on the original 1965 LP plus a 20-page booklet filled with images from the program and liner notes by Vince Guaraldi historian Derrick Bang.

Artist:                   Vince Guaraldi
Title:                     A Charlie Brown Christmas
Config:                 Green Vinyl LP
Item No:             F-8431
UPC:                     025218843119
MSLP:                  21.98 
Release Date:    8/24/2009
Record Label:    Fantasy Records
Genres:                Holiday, Jazz, Soundtrack, Children’s, Nostalgia

Track Listing: 
  1. O Tannenbaum  
  2. What Child Is This 
  3. My Little Drum 
  4. Linus And Lucy  
  5. Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental)
  6. Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal) 
  7. Skating 
  8. Hark, The Herald Angels Sing 
  9. Christmas Is Coming 
  10. Für Elise 
  11. The Christmas Song 
  12. Greensleeves 
  13. Great Pumpkin Waltz 
  14. Thanksgiving Theme

The Deets: Winner will receive one vinyl LP that will be shipped to him/her directly from the PR firm. Use the widget below to enter. Good luck!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack Now on Vinyl! #Review #Giveaway #ad

Read More

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. I may be eligible to receive a small portion of your purchase as payment.




Let me help you get some shopping done and share with you some ideas on my list! Just click the Pic and toss it in your cart. You're welcome!

For The Kids:


 










For Her:


    




 

For Him:
      
    
  

Shop The List! My Family Gift Recommendations

Read More

Monday, August 27, 2018

**this post contains affiliate links. I may make a percentage of each sale.**

Kentucky Mom Blog


I've been waiting (and waiting) to be able to build my dream dining room table but it wasn't exactly in the cards...or the budget...after we moved across state lines in early January. Don't you just love those additional costs to moving that just show up? 

Anyway, I decided that if I had to keep my current table, it couldn't stay "as is". There was just no way that was going to work with the look I'm going for in my new home. 

Chalk Paint DIY

There you have it. The before. And I know it isn't pretty, y'all. That's precisely what made me take a school day at home alone and a quick trip to Hobby Lobby for supplies.

For this project, I wanted to go with a two-tone look. I grabbed the color Primitive by DecoArt for the table top, Castle Slate by Folkart for the base, and the Home Decor Satin Varnish to seal it when the paint had dried.

Chalk paint DIY

I began by painting the top with one coat. It took three full coats to get the finish I was going for. I didn't want to see much of the wood color through the paint. Also? I absolutely adored the gray undertones of this white color.

Chalk Paint DIY

Chalk Paint DIY

I really liked how the white paint was finishing around the rough, old edges of the table. It gave it an aged look without compromising the beauty of the chalk paint finish. And the Castle Slate on the base was everything I hoped it would be. I only did 2 full coats on the base as I didn't feel I needed that much coverage with a darker color.

Chalk Paint DIY

Here is the table with one of the chairs painted in Primitive to match.

Chalk Paint DIY
I'm in love with the contrast of these 2 colors but mostly I love how they compliment each other rather than compete.

Someday I'll be able to build that Farmhouse style table and bench seat. But for now, I'm enjoying the simple upgrade to what I already had. It was inexpensive and took an afternoon to do. The chalkpaint dries pretty quickly which makes is a quick process.

Ready to do this yourself?

SHOP MY DIY By Clicking the photos below:




A Chalk Paint Table #DIY - Farmhouse Flip

Read More

Copyright © Amy Clary | Designed With By Blogger Templates
Scroll To Top