Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kids Clothing

I am linking up today with Kelly's Korner on where I get my kiddos clothes. Let me start by saying there was a time when saving money on kids clothes was not my top priority...Back when I had only one child and we had 2 incomes. Now with 3 children, homeschooling and one income I have to say I LOVE to save money dressing my kids and it all pays off when someone oohs and awes over and adorable outfit. So here's how we do it at the McClendon's

**I always do the first two I either sew to save or buy used before any other option...That makes it really easy on our pocket book**
1. I NEVER pay full price for anything. So my first stop for my daughter is most always a great consignment shop in another town. Or the sale rack at about 2 chain stores here locally and one consignment store.
2. For my little one (3 yr old) I make as many clothes as possible for him. He is still small so I love Jon-Jon's, longalls, appliqued shirts and gingham shorts...I am addicted! So it is a good thing I know how to sew it saves TONS of money on those types of things. This child of mine gets 90% of his clothes via hand-me-downs from the grandchild of some wonderful friends at church. So normally what I make him is dress clothes, school things and anything holiday related. I also sew alot for my daughter I love to make her clothes I wish she was still small.
3. I shop the children's place alot for my older son. He loves to actually have outfits (rare for a boy) and they have wonderful pieces that work well together making it easy for him and I to pull together a nice wardrobe for less.
4. I have recently discovered EBay for their clothes I have saved alot of money since being introduced to it. I see lots more things coming from there.

I want to add one small thing...I am picky about what my children wear not really the brands or anything but I like for them to dress age appropriate. My now 11 year old daughter and I have had a fight or two in a clothing store but I want her to look like a little girl (okay a young lady) not a street walker! I think she needs to be young as long as possible I don't think it is healthy to allow her to dress like older girls.

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful to live in a country were I am free to practice my spiritual and religious beliefs as I please whether in my home or in a church. I am also thankful that I am never condemned and my life is never in danger if my opinions of the spiritual nature don't match what others around me believe. I think while I am expressing thanks for "governmental freedoms" I would have to say I am also thankful to live in a country where I can choose how I school my children. Since for this family those two things go hand in hand.

I love my Papa so much that I know even if I lived somewhere that didn't allow me the above freedoms life on the line or not I would still worship and sever Him. He is a good Papa and I just can't resist being at His feet.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy Birthday J-Bug

Yesterday September 27 we celebrated this sweet little girls 11th birthday!

That happens to be my favorite picture of my daughter Jesse. I think she was almost 4 when it was taken. (Save me the lectures on the passy!!) But it seems to capture her real personality.

It is beyond hard for me to believe that my oldest child is now 11. The memories of the day of her birth came flooding back as her and I talked yesterday. I was SOOOO young when she was born and scared to death to be a mommy. But that day Wednesday, September 27, 2000 at 8:04 p.m 4 hours after my water was broke my whole life changed. I become a mommy and it was all thanks to this wonderful treasure sent from God. I don't think she will ever realize the positive impact she has had on my life, her daddy's life, or the others around her. She was my mothers only grandchild that she ever got to meet or have a relationship with....I marvel at how God's divine plan was at work from the moment this sweet child was conceived. I believe Jesse will grow into an amazing young lady as she lady has. She is responsible, respectful, very helpful and most of the time (you have to allow a margin to factor in her age LOL) a real joy to be around. I feel blessed to be her mommy and I know her daddy feels the same way. We are two really lucky parents!

Happy Birthday J-bug aka Lovebuttons, Chicken legs, JJ, J, Jester and all those other pet names we have called you over the years! We love you very much!!!

This is a more recent picture of what our sweet little girl looks like also capturing her personality to a T!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I have to admit I had skipped this post yesterday because I thought I was having trouble finding something to be thankful for. Then I looked around. So this week I am thankful for a wonderful husband who works hard to provide for his family. He loves me and is a wonderful daddy. And I am thankful for 3 healthy children God has trusted us with. They are our treasure for sure. I am also thankful for a wonderful church family who are right there when you need them praying just as hard as we are. And friends I am thankful for our nearest and dearest friends those who love us not matter what and listen no matter how long we might rant about what is going on. These people are true blessings in our lives. God has done a great job putting just the right people in our paths lately and I am so thankful for that.

When I have a hard time realizing how good God is I just look around. We truly are blessed people here at our house! Blessed and Thankful!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Early Works Field Trip

Yesterday the kids and I got to take part in our first homeschool field trip. It was alot of fun we went to Early Works a childrens museum in Huntsville only about an hour from here. It was a man who impersonates our 16th president Abe Linclon. He was all dressed like Linclon and he talked for an hour all about his life from birth until his assasination. It was very fun! After the talk we broke into groups and went to different stations to hear more details about Linclon. We ended our outing with a picnic at a local park only 2 blocks from the museum. We had so much fun and my kids are even asking to do a unit study on old Abe. Small perk of homeschooling this little trip only cost us $20 for admission and we packed a lunch...totally a money saver:) Here are a couple pictures...enjoy!

Photo credit to my friend Nicole Knight! Of course I didn't take my camera...Are you suprised!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I thought I better get my Thankful Thursday posted tonight because we are going on our first home school field trip tomorrow.

God showed up in 2 well really 3 big ways at our house this week. I will just kind of leave it at that for privacy reasons which I am sure you understand. But I do want to be really sure that HE gets all the glory for what HE is doing. Even though I shouldn't have been surprised I was at how HE provided just what we needed. For some reason I can really feel God moving for us in all of this.

I guess the best thing to say would be I am thankful for blessings only God can ordain.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I have to share-Testimony

I believe it is important to keep record of what God is doing in our lives and around us. So I just had to share 2 quick little stories.

First, Friday afternoon as I cooked diner Duece and I were helping each other unload the dishwasher. Not our favorite all! But as he sat on my kitchen counter drying dishes he looked up at me and said he wanted to tell me something. I said ok sure. He made Jesse leave the room, I am not sure why. But he proceeded to tell me about how the other day when "Daddy (Michael) had gotten the phone call with the bad news" and we were so upset he did like he was told and prayed about the situation. I remember going into my bedroom so Michael and I could talk in private and the kids asking why I was upset. I just told them that it was grown up stuff and asked that they please pray. So Duece did...he is so great at doing this. But anyway back to the kitchen. He told me that when he prayed God had spoke to him on the inside you know in his spirit and told him "that everything was going to be ok!" I was stunned at what Duece was telling me but even more stunned when he asked if I believe him. "Of course I believe you Duece!""This is the very thing we would expect out of you!" That kid NEVER seems to amaze me. His heart and love for God shine in him so much. I was humbled that it took my 7 year old to remind me who really had my back!

One more story...On Sunday night I took my children's group from church to the local rec center park for our "Back to Sunday Night" kick off. Or in other words our little get together celebrating an end to the summer break. We had originally planned a pool party but due to recent rains here water temps were a little low for that:) Anyway, we loaded the bus with about 10 children and 3 adults. The playground was already hoppin and we just joined in. When it came time to do our devotion I asked for volunteers from our group to invite the other children at the playground to join us. Several did I think around 6 or 7 sweet little Hispanic children joined our circle. They listened intently to my devotion about letting the little children come to Jesus b/c the Kingdom of Heaven belonged to them. They answered my questions during quiz time and really seemed at home in our group. At the end our group surrounded Duece to lay hands on him and pray for his tummy ache. I opened it up for the children to pray as we normally do and God really showed up. After several of "our" children prayed 2 of the visitors prayed for Duece also. It was a wonderful time of fellowship. I love when God shows up and gives you confirmation that what you are doing is just what He wants you to do!

I am so blessed to work with children during this time of revival and renewing! I know these children really have the Kingdom of God at heart...I am humbled to know and work with all of them!

Of course no camera!

Ok so those of you who know me really well know that I seem to always leave my camera at home when I most need it. And I so needed it yesterday. After church we headed down to the campground to visit my dad and enjoy a boat ride. The weather was perfect not hot at all and overcast. But due to all the recent rain the water was COLD, however that didn't stop my 3 bathing beauties from jumping in. My dad got a new boat a couple months ago and it is so nice and comfy for the family. We enjoyed a scenic ride around before stopping off at the kids favorite island for a swim and to use the rope swing. It was a wonderful time of laughter and fellowship. We all really enjoyed ourselves. I just hate that I didn't take the camera along to snap some shots of what might have been this "seasons" last boating/lake trip. Oh well I will learn one day...maybe:)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I kept saying I was going to get this post up yesterday but that really never happened. We had an interesting day. I sewed all morning while Cooper was at preschool and Jesse and Duece did their seat work. After getting Cooper we had lunch, more school and got ready for me to go teach my CWJC class. Then playgroup, home, diner and then more school. So no post but I am thinking better late then never.

I shared the other day that Michael and I were going through a very trying time right now. But I also shared how we have decided to praise God all the way! So I am going to try every Thursday to do a Thankful post. Because I know the only way we will ever get through any of this is by trusting God to meet all our needs.

This week I am thankful for....The annoying tree that had invaded Ms. Cranford's fence needing to be cut down. I am also thankful for some hemming a sweet friend asked me to do for her. Both brought in a little extra income. God seemed to provide just what we needed to get through that week. I am so thankful for that!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Build up a wall the enemy is coming

God has really been at work in mine and Michael's life lately. I had been really "down" for a while when a prayer meeting started at our church. The purpose of the prayer meeting was to "pray for our church and our community". But what happened to me at or as part of those meetings I believe was God's way of preparing me for some not so great news Michael and I would get 2 days after that last prayer meeting. At the very first prayer meeting my pastors wife had a "word" for me about an "opening or a doorway and it being bright and lined with blue pots." My details are fuzzy because it has been several weeks ago so excuse my vague quoting. Then Jeff our pastor told me that blue was the color of truth. I was so excited to hear those things since I had felt a little off course as far as what God was doing in and through me. Then there was Michael he was experiencing a spiritual low at the time and was really dragging me down. After they prayed over me about him and our marriage God started to move instantly. On the last night of prayer service Jeff and April invited everyone down for individual prayer to be "more filled" for continuing our endeavors. When April prayed over Michael and I she told us to build up a wall to keep the enemy out or in other words do what God is telling you to do right now so the enemy can't get in and God can work out his plan. And Jeff added to that with " I see multiples for you in the form of blessings not one big one like when Cooper was healed but several different ones and we would recognize those as God." (Jeff if you are reading this and it needs correcting let me know!)

Ok so fast forward 2 day after that service. Michael gets a phone call when he comes home from work. I can't share all the details with you Michael and I have decided somethings need to remain private. But it was shattering for us in the financial department. Our lives are going to be seriously impacted. And not for the good. After he hung up the phone we talked about Aprils word and how it felt like the enemy was on our doorstep and it was up to our "wall" to keep him out. We are scared, nervous and things are really grim for us right now in that area. But we don't think God has delivered promise after promise just to leave us in the dust. We know whatever we go through will be for His glory and we will praise Him no matter the storm.

I am going to take the advice of a friend and blog during our journey to downsize ( HA a process that started a long time ago again God preparing us). And I will also use this as a opportunity to share about what God is doing in our lives and in our community and in our church. It is all noteworthy!

I am thankful for April and Jeff. I honestly feel like their words were prophetic in our lives. I can't wait to see what God uses us to do during this time.