Monday, December 24, 2012

Buddy's Gift and {Etc}

Today is our last day with Buddy. This morning he left a note for the kids saying that he stole a couple of gifts from Santa to give to them early. 
James came up with this idea. I adore that man!

They were so excited and I'm sad to see him leave, he's been such an awesome and fun tool for us!

Here's some of the other shenanigans Buddy caused…

 After our "Grinch Party" Buddy dressed up as the Grinch and even stole Super Dog to make him Max.

 After Micah had to have a visit to the ER for a cut near his eye, Buddy got into the First Aid kit.

But as you can see Buddy is quite sweet to our kids!

I also wanted to mention a couple of other things (completely unrelated of course).

Today my first article has been published for I was conted by them to be a contributing author a while back. It has been truly amazing to see how God is using this blog to take me in other directions!

If you have a few extra minutes today go and check it out! Let me know what you think!

How My Dad Impacted who I Chose to Marry.
By Bethany Brittenham

One more thing! If you're visiting from the giveaway at Yours Truly Blog, welcome! I'm excited to have you here! And if you haven't heard about it…you might want to check it out. There are about a million prizes being given away including one of my very own SHOP items!

The Vanilla Rose Ring and Earring Set!

Merry Christmas Eve to you all! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

You Just Have To Laugh

Some days I just can't even attempt to catch my breath.
You know the days…

It starts in the middle of the night with somebody peeing in their bed, or the baby crying, or they fall out of bed, or they have a bad dream.
Then they all wake up exhausted, cranky, whining, and feeling naughty.
They fight with you over breakfast, over what they wear, and over what is going to happen that day.
The baby has a blow out as you are strapping her into her carseat, and you're running late.

Then this is the car ride. Only it's this times 3, because the boys are fighting with each other (even though they don't even sit next to each other to avoid that exact problem).

I watched this video like 4 times in a row. It's hysterical!

This is my life. Only…they are usually not quite this rude.
I've never actually had a cup thrown at my head (knock on wood).

But it's the "Mommy! MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY!" that gets me.


What's even funnier is when I don't even hear it. James will come into the room and say...
"Will you answer them already?"
"What? I didn't even hear them."

Having three kids 5 and under is stressful. But sometimes you just have to laugh.

Because putting pants on your head is way cooler than on your legs.

Josiah @ 18 months

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Icing for You {Shop Update}

 I love when I have the chance to add some new things to MY SHOP!

Thought I would share them with you today.

I wear these or a version of these thing nearly EVERY DAY!

Gorgeous Philippians 4:13 necklace

Find this inspiration verse necklace HERE

Set of three gorgeous rose earrings.

Find them HERE

This is my new "go to" ring. It goes with everything and I can't take it off!

Find my copper heart ring HERE

Find me on Facebook too!
Thanks for stopping by today!

Use the code NOSHIP01 to receive FREE SHIPPING on any item and let me know you stopped by Life Unexpected!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Teaching Grace Through an Elf

I totally caved. I couldn't resist getting an Elf on the Shelf for my kids.

James and I had been feeling really conflicted about how to deal with Josiah's questions about Santa.

I didn't like lying to him, but I didn't hate it either! I didn't' grow up believing in Santa and I'm having so much fun with the magic and joy he brings my kids. I wasn't ready to let him go yet, but I also had a great desire to bring Jesus back into the focal point.

Enter….Buddy the Elf (don't be jealous of our huge amount of creativity in choosing names)

After reading this blog post about the topic I was so determined to let my children love the magic of Christmas and love the joy that Jesus brought when he was born.

So Santa wrote a letter to the kids explaining why he gives gifts (because Jesus was the ultimate Christmas gift) and why he has so much love for children (because he has Jesus in his heart).
The letter also talks about Buddy, who can be naughty. But because of the grace that was shown to us by Jesus, we too should show Buddy grace when he does silly things!

This was the first morning with Buddy, who had gotten into the hot chocolate mix and ate nearly all of it. The boys couldn't stop looking at him. Look at that concentration on their faces!
They laughed and giggled. We cleaned up the mess together and told Buddy that we forgave him for his sill behavior. We told him we understood that he just wanted to be part of our family and we should have included him last night when we drank hot chocolate without him.

This has been so much fun! And each day when we put Buddy back on the fireplace mantel (so he can watch ways we show each other love and grace though out the day) we tell Buddy something that we love about Jesus, so he can go back to the North Pole and tell Santa something new about Jesus. We decided to nix the "Naughty or Nice" list. Santa thinks all children are wonderful and wants to bless them all.

This has been a great parenting tool, and a fun one!

Last night's was the best.

All the guys were escaping to trap Buddy before he made a mess of the playroom.

So what are some of the ways that you try to incorporate Jesus back into Christmas?
I'd love to hear your ideas!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Come Lord Jesus, Come.

This was the first tragedy where I found myself sobbing. Not just once but all throughout the day.
How can this be? How can somebody take the life of a child?
They are innocent. They are perfect. They are children.

The rumor is that it was an entire kindergarten class.  I am so grateful that they are now with Jesus. This world is broken, ugly, and full of pure evil.

Now they are with a warm, loving, compassionate Savior. Praise Jesus!
Revelation 21:4 "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." 

This song brought so much peace to my soul.

I found myself asking "How, God?"
I then went to see James at his work. Which just happens to be an elementary school. As if it wasn't hard enough to hear it on the news, I walked into a school and saw the faces of children everywhere. Perfect, sweet children.
James reminded me of a quote from Billy Graham's daughter Anne,

"I believe that God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman that He is, I believe that He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand that He leave us alone?"

This quote heartbreaking  and full of truth. Our society has been kicking God out of everything for years. He is probably asking us "How can you let this happen?" "How could you kick me out America?"

James and I were mentioning the fact that in Washington D.C. they are now calling them Holiday Trees instead of Christmas trees. Seriously?! I just fear that one day they will no longer call is CHRISTmas but instead call it Chris-mas, taking Christ completely out of the season. What can we expect? Our world will feel as though Satan is winning. But the fact is HE WILL FAIL. Christ will win. There is no way around it. Satan knows he's going down and he's trying to take people with him.

But Jesus will be triumphant! One day he will return. Last night while praying with my kids and holding them extra tight, we prayed; "COME LORD JESUS, COME". 

Rescue us from this place, take us home. I'm ready Lord, I'm so ready!!

1 Cor 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Burlap Frame

Much like my obsession with chalkboard paint I have now developed a love for burlap.
It's so funny to me too, because it seems so "country" chic. I remember the days when burlap bows and chicken decor went hand in hand.
But it's all the rage again, and since I'm a trend follower I had to jump on board!

So here's two of my new favorite additions to our home.

~ Burlap Frame Ring Holder

I have this in my kitchen, so my ring has a pretty place to rest when it's about to get messy!

~Burlap Collage Frame

I can't take any credit for this frame idea. It was all my sister's. She has a cork board in her home full of photos from their sponsor children with this quote from Mother Teresa,
"Live simply so others may simply live".
So I stole the idea (and the quote) and made one for our play room.

Here's the step by step tutorial on how to do it. It's crazy easy!!

I had an old frame which I removed the glass from. What you are left with is that wood or cardboard backing. This is what I applied the burlap too. I decided to glue it to the backing of the frame instead of the glass because of the color of the board and this way if I ever decided to "repurpose" it again, I still have the glass.

Lay out the board and measure out your burlap.

Cut the burlap

Apply Mod Podge to the entire backing.

Lay burlap down onto backing. I then cut twine to the exact measurement of how I needed them to lay on my board.

I then used hot glue at the edges and cross points (at the X) of the twine.
And voila!
Put it back into the frame (which I spray painted white) and hang it!

(Noticing the frame is crooked. Serves me right for not using the level)

I love the frame in our playroom. It's a great reminder that we have family in Africa too. I hang our sparser kid's artwork right next to my bio kid's art. After all, they are part of the family too!

I made the ring holder frame the exact same way. Only I stuck a thumbtack into the middle to hold the ring. Easy stuff people!

After all…I love burlap!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

So What...

So what…..

I have only been to the gym twice in two weeks.

I let my children eat granola bars on the couch in front of the TV so I can get 15 more minutes of sleep.

Ella needs more jammies that fit her.

I have three loads of the boys laundry sitting in the laundry room waiting to be folded and put away.

I am becoming obsessed with Elf on the Shelf.

I have no desire to bake any christmas cookies.

My closet look like a tornado went though it.

Playdates at my house are insane these days.

I can't find Ella christmas dress I bought for her last year. (Ok... this one makes me really sad)

I have't done school with the boys in a week few days.

I can't stop drinking egg nog (at least it's the "light" version).

So What Wednesday

Friday, December 7, 2012

Mom's Don't Get Sick Days

It started yesterday. While I was running (which I hate to do in the first place) I had a shooting pain to the left of my belly button. I pushed through it thinking it was just a side stitch.

But then gradually throughout the day it got worse and worse. It got so bad last night that I couldn't sleep, and was shaking in pain. Now the pain is to the right of my belly button and more concentrated on the right side.

I've been to the Dr about this before, and I was told it's just a pulled abdominal muscle. But this time I'm starting to wonder. I've been working out consistently and my abs are gaining a lot of strength. Why  would I pull my muscle without even doing any heavy abdominal workouts?


So today my house will be a mess. My children will be eating dry cereal and granola bars to their hearts content. If only Josiah could change a poopy diaper, then I would be golden!

Too bad I don't have a servant girl.
I mean really James, that's all I want for Christmas.

Then this could be my reality…sleeping in my cozy bed drinking hot tea.

But because mom's don't get sick days this is more like my reality…

Hey….at least they are happy….

Monday, December 3, 2012


When I was growing up I had this little name card.
You know, the card that has your name at the top and a lot of facts or a verse to go with it.

The card I had said Bethany meant "House of Obiedence".  Just now, while doing a little research everything I found said it meant "House of Figs" or "House of God" (like th particular card pictured above).
It may have just been my parents way of encouraging me to be obedient. But either way, I'm sticking with my childhood memory and keeping my meaning as "House of Obedience".

"Why?" You may ask….

I was a pretty obedient child don't ask my mother that. I always tried to follow the rules. I got one speeding ticket; learned my lesson about the law. I got caught cheating (I know); learned my lesson about lying. I've always had a knack for following the rules. Even when I haven't always wanted to.

I didn't date much; I married my first boyfriend. I was a good girl.
I didn't always want to be a good girl. I made plenty of mistakes, but God was always there for me. Protecting me. Reminding me he was there with me, even when I didn't want to be there with him.
I may have always followed the rules but my heart wasn't always wanting to be obedient. I mostly always chose to do the right thing because I was a rule follower, and I didn't want to break the rules in fear of the consequences.
That is not what God wants from me. He wants a heart that yearns to be obedient to him.

I know a wise woman, Barbara. She is in her eighties and has a heart that is totally devoted to Jesus.
She once told a story of a time when God called her to do something that she didn't want to do. She said: "God, what if I don't do this? He said 'Then I'll find somebody who will.'." This has impacted me more than anything I've ever heard from her.
Our God is powerful! He is mighty and his will is supreme. His plan is true, just, and will be fulfilled; with or without our help. God doesn't need us to make his plan work, but he allows us to be part of it.
He allows us to see the blessings and the benefits of his perfect and pleasing will. All we need to be is obedient.

James and I are about to embark on a true time of trusting in God's plan.
Even though we know this may be a difficult time for us, we are working on being obedient, and trusting that his plan is good.
I have a snapshot of what our future may look like, but God has the entire piece of artwork. I am nervously and anxiously awaiting to see his glorious plan for our lives. Who knows what blessings he holds in store for all those who submit to his will.