About Me

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Thanks for visiting! My name is Lori and I am married to my high school sweetheart and have 2 beautiful girls. What is 'Life With Sugar & Spice'? It's a blog where I will share everything from my faith in Jesus Christ and my girls (sugar and spice) to thrifting and decorating! I started it as a way to showcase our everyday life to family out of town!
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Monday, December 10, 2012

Keeping it Simple

Since getting over my pity party that I discussed here, I'm happy to report that my attitude has changed!

I'm so thankful for God's unfailing grace. His patience with me. How he can show me what I really need to be doing.

I've been praying that God would help me focus on the birth of Christ and find ways to make the season more memorable than what's under the tree. Or what's not under the tree.  I'm a slow learner so it has taken me time.

In fact, I'm thinking that next year our Christmas may look the same.  Whether the Hubs has a job or not.  I've been wrestling with the sad commercialization of Christmas.  The amount of money wasted on "stuff."  I have a few friends that have radically changed the way they do Christmas and I am eager to do the same. I read this article posted by a dear friend on facebook that rocked my world!

I want us to give more.  To serve more. And to buy less.

 So, here's a list of ways we're keeping it simple...ways we're focusing on Christ, the real reason we celebrate.  Some of these things we've done all ready, some are still to come:

* Obviously, with no income, we're keeping gifts to a minimum.  We have always kept gifts to 4 total.  A need, want, and spiritual gift.  And there's the Santa gift (#4).  I know, I know....we started it and so we'll continue until the youngest, well you know.  We have been blessed by some amazing friends who have helped us purchase a few gifts of mostly needs for the girls.

* Serving those in need.  We all ready sponsor a Compassion child.  We will write letters to her this month.  We will also participate in our church Giving Tree and I plan to find ways to serve at MUST ministries.

* Using Scripture Adventures curriculum called, Christmas Adventures.  Each day we read a verse and find out where some of our Christmas traditions originated and how they point us to Jesus.

* Making a Jesse Tree from the website A Holy Experience.

* Attending Back to Bethlehem event.  An event that recreates the city of Bethlehem at the time of Jesus' birth.

* Attending Johnson Ferry Baptist's Christmas Packages.  Though the girls are nearing the age of being too old for this one, it has fun activities and crafts for the family.

* We have a few parties to attend with friends and at the girls' school.

* We'll be watching movies, making cookies and crafts.

What I'm not doing is fussing over my decorations, or trying to make too many goodies.  I'm not worrying about who I can't buy a gift for. I'm not filling every day with an activity or a place to go. 

With the Hubs home, I've been trying my best to enjoy time with him.  To relax and just let each day contain what it may.  Some days I'm great at it, and some days I fail.  Thankfully, each day is new and I get a do-over!

It has been such a blessing to all be home together. Though I wish the circumstances were different, I wouldn't give up this extra family time for the world!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Trying to be Thankful

The last couple weeks have been quite busy.

I have to admit though, that I had a really hard time being thankful this thanksgiving. I had about 2 days where the tears just kept falling. I would be fine one minute and then crying the next.

I didn't want to travel to see my family. I didn't want to get out of bed. I didn't want to celebrate Thanksgiving or even think about Christmas.

I was overwhelmed with the fear of the unknown. Fear of wondering how much longer we could continue on unemployment. I began to wonder if God's plan is for us to lose our home. Whether I should put the girls back in school and find a job.

I didn't want to decorate for Christmas because I knew that we wouldn't be buying much.

I guess you could say that I was having another pity party. Never did I imagine that we'd be on week nine of unemployment, round three.

Then God gave me a reason to be thankful.  Well, several actually.

We were asked to pray for an 11 year old girl that was just diagnosed with bone cancer. A girl Chloe has met. Then a local pastor was tragically killed leaving behind a wife and 3 small kids the day before Thanksgiving.

I was reminded...again...that my girls are healthy today. My husband is here by my side loving me more today than ever before.  We have an army praying for us.

We have an amazing life. Our problems are so meaningless in comparison.

As I go into this Christmas season, I'm trying to focus on these things. Instead of the petty things I can't buy, I'm trying to focus on what it's all about. Jesus.

When everything is taken away, that's all that matters.

I know that I will still have moments of sadness. Moments where I'm fearful of what God's plan is.

But I can be sure that my God is one of grace and mercy. And he will graciously remind me again of what truly matters.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Girly Gifts

For the girls at Elevation, I decided to make a few take always.

I wanted first to eliminate the possibility of having 50 cups lying around the house. I decided to make the girls all water bottles. This was probably the best single idea I had!!! I found these at walmart for under $1 and then used my silhouette to personalize them.

I also wanted them to be covered with scripture. I found a cute back to school idea and adapted it to fit our event.
 Each bag had Hershey kisses, hair bands, mints, a pen, journal with their monogram, and gum. Each item represented a reason to celebrate the goodness of our Lord and had a Bible verse to correlate.  My goal was for them to be reminded that they need to fill their minds with the goodness of God's word!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Our Church Home

When we moved to the Atlanta area 6 years ago, we left behind the only hometown I'd known.  I spent nearly 30 years in the same 10 mile radius.  My parents and grandparents live in the only homes I can remember.

We also left behind the only church home I knew.  The church I gave my life to Christ in.  The church I was baptised in.  The church married my best friend in. And the church I dedicated my babies in.  This church home was where I learned to become a Godly wife, mother and friend.  It's where I found the most amazing friends that showed me what it was like to have a family focused on the Lord and his word.

These dear friends, though older (hee hee sorry girls), were much wiser and meant more to me than I could ever express.  We shared our early married years together, stories and aches of pregnancy, and navigated life as new mothers with babies and toddlers.  I truly don't think I would have survived those first years without their constant support, encouragement, and girls night outs!

So when we moved to Georgia, I agonized over finding a church home.  I thought we would never find a place where we'd feel at home.  Where we'd get connected.  Where we'd find amazing Godly friends.

We visited lots of churches.  The Hubs visited several while the girls and I still lived in Orlando.  One morning he called and said he had visited one, but didn't even get out of the car.  He just knew it wasn't for us.  I mean seriously, after attending a mega church, where do you go?

We even visited one church for 6 weeks and decided it wasn't for us.

So while at Chloe's first fall festival at her new school a sweet woman handed us a balloon and announced she was from Cedarcrest Church.  I quickly said, well, tell me about your church.  I'll never forget the first words from her mouth: "well, we meet here, in the school gym, and that's our pastor over there."

I thought seriously?  The elementary school gym?  No way!

Setting up and tearing down?  Are you kidding?  Let me assure you that other than the free coffee and donuts, this church had very few of the luxuries we were accustomed to.  (yes, I realize how bratty that just sounded).

Welp, God started moving me to visit that church that met in our school gym.  When I told the Hubs I'm pretty sure he laughed.  Nonetheless, we visited and after the initial shock of sitting in a small gym with maybe 100 people (2x the size of our previous sunday school class),we began to enjoy that small church.

At some point we knew that it was where God wanted us.  We had been searching for a large Baptist church and obviously that's not what God wanted for us.  And I'm so glad we followed his lead.

We joined that small church at a time in which they had just raised money to purchase property.  The chance of being a part of what God was doing was exciting.

Over the past 5 years (plus), God has grown the Hubs and I more than I could ever had imagined  He has used this small church to move us into places of ministry we never dreamed of being.  He has blessed us with incredible friends that have carried us through immense trial and heartache.  He  has given us friends in unexpected places that have become more like family.  He has taken us out of our comfort zone.  He has worked in the hearts of my girls.  He has taken the Hubs into the mission field.

Yes, he could do all this at any church he so chooses.  I'm just so thankful it happened to be one in our own backyard.

I'm thankful he moved us to attend the church in the tin can gym (as I so lovingly called it).   I'm thankful for the imperfections and how I've learned what truly matters most in ministry from them. 

I can't wait to see what God does as he prepares His church and His people for our new building.  I can't wait to see how he grows us and molds us for his glory. 

ELEVATION and the Hubs

A couple weeks
ago, I posted about our ELEVATION weekend, but failed to mention the hubs.

He spent the week building pieces for the set design and the wheel of destiny (a wheel the youth would spin to choose their afternoon activity).

The hubs helped set up the event at the local church we teamed up with and served by working his "light man" magic at the rallies.

What did he think of a house full of girls??? Welp, he was so busy he barely noticed! I must add that he did a tremendous amount of work helping me prepare for my girls.

It truly was a family affair. And in case you wondered where sweet Ry was, she was with Aunt B and Uncle S being pampered!


Last week I participated in my first official youth event as momma of a middle schooler.

Our church hosted its 3rd annual D-Now which has been renamed Elevation.

It's a weekend in which our church youth, 6-12 graders, gather in host homes for the weekend and worship God together. There are church rallies and activities, lots of junk food, and crazy kiddos praising their savior in not so traditional fashion.

the stage for worship
Chloe asked me to host 6th grade girls and I was excited to do so. I'd lie if I didn't admit that I was a bit intimidated. You see most host homes have basements and are quite larger than our humble home. Nonetheless, God's call was loud and clear!

 We ended up with 14 girls and 4 college girls in our home. When I say that they covered every square inch except for our bedroom, I'm not the least bit kidding!

9 slept in the family room
5 girls slept upstairs in the playroom
I have often been told by wise friends that God desires for us to use what he's given us to bless others and glorify him. That's just what we did.
smores by the fire

 These girls were such an incredible blessing to me as they giggled and had good ole fashioned fun!

Three of the college girls acted as their leaders and were such amazing young women of faith! I could not have managed without them.
3 amazing college girls
One of C's Sunday morning small group leaders and an answer to my prayers!

I was encouraged by their wisdom, that was beyond their years, and enjoyed their company. I was even sad when they left Sunday morning.

It was an incredible weekend of praise and worship and many lives were changed by the power of the gospel.
Though it took me all week to recover, i think i just may host again next year!

this would be my office.  a.k.a. home to their luggage!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Pinterest Pumpkins

Rylie has been begging to carve her Burt's pumpkin so we decided that Monday was the day!

Unfortunately, Chloe's Burt's pumpkin was rotten inside....second year in a row.  Daddy saved the night by running to 2 stores to find a replacement.  Swell guy he is!

this is what happened when we tried to pick it up...gross!

tradition is to throw rotten pumpkins over the hill across the street..our neighbors love it!
Our tradition typically goes like this: the girls dictate what the want, Daddy does most of the work, and Mommy gets to take pictures.

This year I'm happy to report that tradition has been altered and the girls did a lot of the carving and I even jumped in. Well, until I broke 2 carving tools!

 I think the Hubs was a bit disappointed when the girls decided on pinterest girly designs for their pumpkins. I, of course was delighted!

C decided on a flower and Ry selected a chevron pattern.

But don't worry, Daddy had his share of fun. He added this contraption to their pumpkins.

I'm pretty certain that the girls are the only kids in the world with pumpkins lit by LED lights, a battery and a mercury switch! Love that man!

Happy Fall Y'all!



Sunday, October 21, 2012

We're Hanging In There

I thought I should update y'all on how we're doing.

Welp, not much has changed.  The Hubs got word this week that a job we had been praying over for 2 weeks did not go through.  He has taken it really well, but I'm sure it's more to keep me comforted.

God is providing. 

Thankfully, his unemployment finally got approved and his previous company sent him a check for a partial week of vacation.  Such a blessing.

Hubs also spent the 2 weeks building his grandmother a small porch off the back of her house.  She's been begging him to take on the project, but there just hasn't been time until now.  Meme was very generous in compensating him for his labor.
not a final picture, but just had to share!

She also gave us money to fix the beautiful crack in my beloved (hee, hee) van's windshield that was the result of a 2x4 being shoved into it!  And in case you're wondering, yes, I'm still driving it....cracked windshield and all.

The Hubs confessed that he had a really difficult time turning in our September tithe check knowing we had very little savings.  In obedience to God, he wrote the check and turned it in last week.  Words cannot describe how proud I was.

We received an encouraging card in the mail and a generous gift card just a few days later.  It brought tears to my eyes and humbled me immensely.  God is so good!

We have been fairly busy with all sorts of committments...youth activities, school stuff, birthday parties, dinners with friends and sleepovers.  I truly believe it's God's way of keeping us from focusing on ourselves.  We've had very little time to sulk and have self pity.

I'd lie if I didn't say that I'm tired and weary.  Tired of trying to hold it all together and be strong on days my husband needs me to be.  To keep finding joy even when I just want to stay in bed. Holding back the tears when someone asks how I am.  Tired of suppressing every want and desire of all things material.  Tired of praying for the same thing for the last 2 years.

But thankfully, on days when I just want to give up, God gives me the encouragement I need.

I found this verse on a friend's facebook wall and have been reading it almost daily:

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith, of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."  1Peter 1:6-7

God is providing and he is using this long time of trials and grief to build my faith.  To build the faith of my husband so that it may be proved genuine.  And in the day that this trial comes to an end, we will be able to give all the glory and praise to him.



Friday, October 19, 2012

Halloween Ready

In previous posts I've mentioned Bestie S. My dear friend that is all things thrifty and decorating!

Ry spent a Sunday with her daughter and came home begging to decorate for Halloween. You see Bestie S decorates for every holiday from the front door to her upstairs. Knowing her, even the bathrooms have decorations!

And well, mine do not. I decorate for Christmas and that's about it.

True to Beatie S and her generous nature, she delivered a bag of Halloween decorations. Ry was literally over the moon with excitement!

I embraced the enthusiasm and went with it as the girls began hanging stuff all over my house.

I forgot to snag pictures of the beautiful neon pink and green garbage bag pumpkins gracing my front yard, as well as, the spiders and bats hanging all over the girls' rooms. 

While this is in no way my dream fall decor, they worked so hard and I'm so grateful for the simple joy it brought to my girls.

I sure do love that Bestie S! Everyone needs a gal like her!