I have a dear friend who posted a challenge. She’s challenged herself to 24 hours of gentleness in her home, and I can’t tell you how badly our home needs a challenge like this! 

I just went head to head with my 3 year old. Gentleness was not the theme of that battle. The outcome could have  been different if it had been.  This simply goes to show, our home needs more gentleness. 

Ya know, God has a funny way of always making the pieces fit together. I just recently started a Bible study on James. And the scripture to inspire our 24 hours of gentleness? Yep, right out of James. “My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.” James 1:19-20

In order to establish 24 hours of gentleness, we’re going to need some rules. I’m simply brainstorming now, and suggestions are more than welcome.

1. Listen when someone is talking. No interrupting.
2. Say how you feel, “I’m angry.” Instead of throwing a tantrum.
3. Keep your hands to yourself. 
4. Speak kindly, use your words to build up – not tear down.
5. No yelling (this one may apply to me more than I’d like to admit.)

With our oldest being only 3, I’m wanting to keep the rules simple. Although I’m sure I could add a million rules to our 24 hour list (and I probably should for myself!) Do you have any suggestions? Have you ever challenged yourself to 24 hours of gentleness, or something else? 

Wish us luck! Here goes nothing… 


We adopted a cat, an adorable cat. Her name is Gabby. 
She’s incredibly loving. She’s gentle with the kids. She’s goofy. She’s really precious.

Oh, our soon-to-be 4 year old is allergic. I feel so bad for our daughter. Her little heart is broken, we have to take the cat back tomorrow. I know I could give her medication, etc etc. Quite frankly, I don’t want to do that to a young child.

If you would pray for her during this, I’d appreciate it. (And me, too. I’m pretty attached myself.)

Well, if you ask me, that’s just too depressing. On the bright side of things, we went swimming today! I love summertime, and I love living right up from the pool!

My kids are total opposites when it comes to swimming. Kayleigh is cautious, uncertain, and very slow to get it. Matthew, oh boy. Let’s just say he tried to jump in, several times, today.
In fact, Kayleigh insists on using Matthew’s bumblebee floatie. And Matthew? He refuses to use it, because he wants his entire body submerged in the water. He’s going to give me grey hair, no doubt.

I didn’t get any good pictures of Matthew, it was a little hard to do while still trying to convince him to keep his face out of the water (crazy kid!)

So, here’s to summer! I hope you all are enjoying yours. Just please pray for my little girl, as we have to give away her new kitty. Thanks.  

I saw a bumper sticker today, it read, “Imagine a world where there was nothing worth dying, or killing, for.” I had to read it a few times, just to really grasp what it would truly mean to live in a world where there was absolutely nothing worth dying for. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not live in that world. 

What would I die for? My children, hands down. And to live in a world without my children? I can’t even imagine, I’m blessed daily by them.  I’d die for my husband, although he’d never let me, he’d protect me with all of his strength, I’m a lucky lady.

Most importantly though, someone died for me. Someone died for you, too – believe it, or not. I can’t imagine if God looked down on this world and thought, “Eh, they’re not worth dying for. Let them figure it out on their own.” We’d be in big trouble, real big trouble. Jesus died so we could live, what an amazing love! 

 I’m thankful tonight that I have people in my life who are worth dying for, but I’m most thankful for the love of Jesus Christ who loved me so much he was willing to die in my place. 

BBQ, summer, going to the pool, finding the good sales – these are all very typical ways people celebrate Memorial Day. Absolutely nothing wrong with these, but I do think it’s vital that we stop for a few minutes. Just stop. Memorial Day. A day for us to remember. This is a very personal day for our family. 

For those who don’t know my family, my husband spent 8 years in the active duty Marine Corps, he deployed several times to both Iraq and Afghanistan (and Africa.) Needless to say, he’s lost more than a few friends. He’s had to experience the turmoil of war on more than one occasion. Saying, “Happy Memorial Day!” to him just doesn’t cut it. My husband has served beside some real heroes. Our son is named after one of them, Matthew.

So, I’m just asking that you stop for a few minutes today. Remember these men, remember their families. If you want to honor someone in particular, honor Cpl Matthew Conley – the man who our son is named after.  

As for us, we’re going to a BBQ. We’re going to watch our kids play outside, lather them up with sunblock, and enjoy our day. But we’ll remember, we remember every day.  

Far left, my husband. Far right, Cpl Matthew Conley – a hero. 

I’m really excited about my newest creation, homemade strawberry jam. I had no idea it was this easy to make! 

What you’ll need:

2 cups strawberries sliced (we got ours from the Farmer’s Market this morning)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar (this is what we started with, we didn’t use it all.)
1tsp fresh lemon zest

Combine all ingredients, slowly add the sugar. Be sure to taste as you go, you can decide how sweet you want it!

 While it cooks, use a potato masher to mash the big pieces. 

Let cook, on medium heat, for around 10 minutes. It will begin to thicken up.
She was such a big helper. She really loves cooking, I’m thankful to be able to share this with her.

Once it is finished, jar it up! It is supposed to stay good for around two weeks in the fridge. Enjoy! It was delicious, I couldn’t stop taking little bites as I was going. I can’t wait to give these out as gifts.


 What is your favorite jam recipe? Now that I’m hooked, I need more ideas!

I don’t know about you, but with two children I treasure silence. It’s really a beautiful thing. My three year old suggested we take a bird walk today. She’s fascinated with watching the birds eat from our two bird feeders, and she’s learned that you have to be very quiet – or you’ll scare the bird away. So, we went on a bird walk. She allowed almost no talking, she even told me my shoes were too loud! We walked, and enjoyed the beautiful breeze. It was honestly the most quiet I believe I’ve heard my kids be in days (sleeping doesn’t count!)
ImageShe found a pretty awesome pine cone. This was the only picture she allowed me to take.

Do you do any quiet activities with your kids? I’m hoping the excitement of this will continue, and we can do it every now and then. A silent walk was very refreshing.

10 years ago today, my husband made the smartest choice of his life – he took me to prom as his date. That kicked off the start of everything we have become today, it’s been a wild ride this far! 

You ready for this? First date prom picture!
I was 15 years old! I can’t imagine my daughter meeting her future husband at 15! 

We’ve learned so much along the way. I remember once we were on vacation in Gatlinburg, TN. This was after we were engaged, but before we were married. We got into an argument, and decided to go to the arcade for the evening. It ended up being the best choice ever! How can you continue to argue over something silly while playing whack-a-mole?! It was a great way to break the ice again, and forgive. Speaking of being engaged, here ya go..

Lesson learned here: Before you propose, don’t buy your dinner! Someone else will offer to pay, and you’ll have to turn ’em down! We joked that we needed to recreate the scene somewhere else and get free food (we didn’t, but it was tempting!)

I’m blessed to be married to someone who I truly love. Someone who works so hard for us, and who I know loves me more than anything. He’s a very passionate man, and I’m honored to be the woman he made the choice to spend the rest of his life with. I plan on celebrating with a green date tonight, and I’m looking forward to many more years! 

My love.

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