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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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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Jekyll Island Day 1

A few weeks ago, I was privileged to join Chloe on her 5th grade field trip to Jekyll Island for 3 days.

Now before you say, "oh, how nice."  Let me say, yes, we had a blast roughing it in our rustic accommodations.  And rustic it was!  Oh my word!  As soon as I get the pictures from a friend, I will definitely share them.  Let's say that all the Chlorox wipes in the world couldn't have cleaned that place!

The buildings were built in the late 50's as a hotel for the wealthy blacks during time of segregation.  The state purchased them in the late 60's (I believe) and 4H took over in the 80's.  Rumors are that the buildings were once condemed prior to being renovated. The place had some awesome history!

The facility was run in part by Georgia's 4H and the education programs developed by UGA.  Or something like that.  I never could figure out the relationship between the two.

 The instructors were marvelous and the kids had such a great time learning about the Georgia coast and marshes, marine life, and habitats.

Chloe had been looking forward to the trip all year and her cast didn't slow her down.  We were armed with yellow garbage bags and cheetah duck tape which allowed to her go wherever we needed to in order to fully participate!

Day one began by waking up at 4:30 am and making the 5 1/2 drive to Jekyll. I should have taken pictures of my sweet friend's car...as it was packed to the ceiling with bedding, luggage and rain boots.  We would be gone only 2 nights...yes, but we had to pack as if we were sleeping in the woods.

We arrived around 11:30 am and first up was lunch. 

During lunch our girls had the first KP duty.  AKA, lunch duty.  Out of the 4 schools present, our kids rocked lunch duty. They were the only ones that showed up so, I guess the exceeded expectations just in that!  Serving drinks, cleaning tables and trays, taking out trash were their assignments.  Better them than me...those garbage cans were disgusting.

Oh and the food, let me add that  I've eaten some pretty bad food in my day and this topped the list.  I'm pretty certain I would've been better off eating from the Taco Truck my friends keep trying to get me to visit.

I was a good sport; not complaining a bit.  Well, maybe just a tad!  I was NOT going to be that mom that couldn't "rough it."  And I refused to let Chloe be that kid that was too good for camp food and lodging.  Though there was a mom that did stay in the hotel down the road.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't secretly despising her!  hee hee!

Following lunch, we visited the slough.  The slough was a spot on the island in which the fresh and ocean water meet in sort of  a spring location.  This was not the kids' favorite class, but we did see an alligator which seemed to amaze these Georgia kids!


They did perk up for a picture near a cool tree.  This was a third of our group.  We had about 30 fifth graders and 25 adults. 

The next class was a trip to the marsh.  It was low tide and absolutely beautiful!  I learned more about marsh life and tides than I needed to, but it was a nice walk in the gorgeous weather.

The marsh was literally crawling with crabs!  Apparently, a bazillion mommy crabs had recently birthed babies.  I was slightly creeped out, but the girls were in love.

When it came time to smell and inspect the marsh, I was somewhat nervous....the thought of Chloe's cast covered in mud did not amuse me.  Nonetheless, I chilled out and let her go in...good thing we brought a ton of garbage bags!

At some point we did have an amazing dinner of spaghetti.  At least I think.  It was better than lunch.  I'll leave it at that.

The kids also had a class on fishing.  It was the "what you need to know before we go fishing" class.  In other words, how to tie a knot, the parts to a ocean fishing pole, etc.  This was one of those classes I wished Kyle was there for.  Fishing?  Well, not my thing.  

 The day ended with a lesson on reptiles.  Which of course included, well, snakes.  Now this was totally cool and I was into it.  This southern girl is not afraid of snakes.  Chloe, well, she wasn't so excited. They handed her the snake and she wouldn't go near it.

After some encouragement from a friend, she opened up and went for it.  I was so proud!

It cracked me up to see my girl acting like such  a diva.  While that may not surprise you, it did me.  My girls have never minded getting dirty.  I'm the O.C.D. momma running around with the wipes and sanitizer.

She did open up and go for the 5 foot snake that came out later. I failed to capture that on camera.  Bad mommy.

Day one left us totally exhausted and in bed at 11 pm.  The kids went to bed dreaming about the most anticipated lesson:  shark dissection.  Me?  Not so much!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Another Fun Project

I am in LOVE with my Silhouette even though I don't use it nearly as much as I should.  Over the weekend, I made a little gift for a friend of Chloe's that has everything you could think of! 

We bought a 24x48 inch piece wood at Home Depot and had it cut into 16x16 squares. I then sanded, painted and drafted up something on my Silhouette. Chloe had a say in the design and we came up with a sweet little gift for a sweet little friend!

I'm sure I will be popping out more of these as the girls seemed to love it.  It's amazing what can be done with vinyl, wood and ribbon!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Another Lesson

It has almost been 2 years since the Hubs lost his job.  Can't believe it, but it has.  As I look back, I see God's blessings, but I also have frustration, resentment and fear.  I started to feel sorry for myself.  He is on his second temporary job.  We are still without benefits of any kind.  And, I still feel like we're in storm after storm with no rainbow in site!

I've been playing the comparison game a lot.  If I'm honest, I'm coveting...ya know, one of those commandments listed in the Bible?!  Wishing for the car I can't have.  The clothes I want.  The vacation that's no where in our future.  The new paint I think I need for the house.  The emergency fund that seems will never be full.  Fearing if we can pay for the girls' school.  And, I find myself becoming angry with friends for what God's blessing them with.

As I sat in church a couple weeks ago stewing over something I read on facebook, I prayed that God would work in my heart.  That he'd help me again, to be content.  And, boy did he ever!

I watched a sweet momma hold her little girl in the seats far ahead of me.  Then I watched that same little girl walk over to her father and climb into his arms and it took all I had to not tear up.  That sweet girl has cancer.  Her beautiful bald head was covered in a sweet bow and she clutched a much loved on bunny.

God gave me perspective as he often does.  I know that momma would give all the things I'm coveting to have her daughter healed.  She'd freely give every last dollar to know her baby wouldn't have to go through another day of treatment.

There she was, worshiping God in the midst of the most incredible storm of her life.  She was teaching her children to love God with all they had no matter what the circumstances.

And then there was me.  Quietly stewing about a friend who had hurt my feelings.  Upset about things that didn't matter.  Feeling mad at God because we had weathered our storm for nearly a year and I didn't get the rainbow I had wanted.

None of this compared to what I was witnessing in front of me.

God sweetly whispered again that I had everything I needed.  I had him.  He had carried us through that storm and gave us the ability to testify to his faithfulness.  He would carry us through the next storm.  And no matter what the outcome, he would be all I need.  No car, clothes, friend, vacation, or emergency fund would ever bring as much true joy as God could.

I'm so thankful for the answer to prayer that morning.  The sweet whisper that could turn my day around and help me get through the week ahead.  And, most importantly, the ability to focus yet again on what truly matters in my life.  Him.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

An Unplanned Easter

Easter with the family usually entails lots of traditional fun stuff.  The big ole' egg hunt complete with lots of candy and prizes, a great dinner with ham and all the fixings, and time relaxing with the family.

I had planned to host the shin dig this year.  Had the menu planned, the egg hunt ideas in my head, and was even dreaming of the yummy cake I was going to decorate!  But...and I say but, like all well laid plans, there's always a chance things won't go as planned.

Unfortunately this year, we had to scrap all that I had laid out in my head.  Mother in law ended up back in the hospital in Rome and we had to revamp our Easter Day.  Well, let me say, we chose to.  No ham, no egg hunt and no pretty pictures in the backyard swing.  And I really was ok with it all.  Welp, maybe not about getting a decent family picture, but the rest I could take or leave.

God really worked on my heart Saturday night as I thought about how crazy the day would be.  The Hubs would leave at 5:45am to set up since the "so sweet" drama teacher felt the need to move our stage set up during spring break.  The girls and I would awake, do breakfast, give them their treat baskets, and be at church by 9am.  We would worship and serve, tear down and be at Grandma's hopefully by 2pm.  I planned a fabulous lunch at Wendy's (so, not my fave) and then an hour drive to the hospital. We would do dinner out someplace with Dad in law and the grandparents.   I knew we'd be home really late and exhausted.

I started thinking about how we have really tried hard to teach our girls the true meaning of Easter, or Resurrection Day as I call it.  I wanted to put little emphasis on all the fuss and God was helping me do just that.  I mean seriously, Jesus didn't get a fun egg hunt or a ham.  Nor did he get a cute little white cake decorated with peeps and gumballs and a big ribbon.  He lived a glamor free life, died for sins he did not commit, and escaped death just as God had planned.

In retrospect (hey that's a big ole word for this southern girl), I realize we really did have the best Easter ever!  We spent the day worshiping our Savior, thanking God for the sacrifice he made for us, and loving on our family.  While the hospital may not have been the ideal spot, I wouldn't trade our time with Mother in law, playing Mancala with Dad in law and watching my girls be content in what God planned for our day.

Besides, I'd much rather watch Rylie dance on the air vent in a hospital than clean the kitchen!  Just sayin!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

copy cat baby gift

Remember my facebook garage sale addiction I mentioned here?  Well, I stole this idea from someone who was selling these cutesy little diaper wipe containers for $13.00.  Yes, I stole it.  I'm sure she's not the only one making them and I did change it up a bit.

Anyhoo, they are super cheap to make and so fun!  When I had Rylie someone made me something similar only it was made with fabric.  I must say, my creations are way cuter!

I bought the travel sized wipe containers at Target in the travel section. Of course they weren't in the baby aisle as one would expect.  Darn Target!  They were a whopping $1.19.  I also picked up these little travel sanitzers and ripped off the label.  They had a cute holder; only I grabbed blue and they didn't match, so off they came! 

I used my Silhouette, my newest love, and cut out the lettering and polka dots then applied them to the containers.  And, wah-la!

Some cute packaging, a laminated tag (that doubles as a diaper bag tag) and some ribbons make it the perfect little gift! 

If I call you friend, and you're having a baby, expect one from me!  Just ignore the price tag...it's the time and thought that count, right?! Oh, and no stealing my ideas!  hee hee!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Lot of Selfishness

Life around this house has been crazy lately.  Not because I'm happily (well, mostly) home with kiddos all day 7 days a week, or that I have a million spring clean projects to do, or that I've felt icky because of the pollen.  Oh and then there's Chloe's whole fall off the bike, end up in an AirCast incident.  The reason real is that my mother in law had a heart attack over two weeks ago.  And honestly, in the beginning I was an ugly daughter in law who hates to admit her selfishness!

Let me back up to 3 years ago.  "MIL" we'll call her, had a heart problem which required minor surgery and lots of appointments.  Since "DIL" (dad in law) was not in the state (another story for another day), I had to take her to several appointments and the ER which was more than inconvenient with 2 kiddos.  It was serious, yes.  Did she almost die? Well, not really but depending on who you talk to, she did.

Then there was the fact that when my mother had major kidney problems requiring 2 major surgeries and a removal of one kidney and the possibility of cancer, no one seemed to have much sympathy for how I felt. Yes, poor me.  See my selfishness???

So, when we got the call late on a Saturday night that she (MIL) was again in the hospital.  I thought ok, we will just wait and see how bad it really is.  So, we waited while the tests were run and life went on for 2 days.

That Monday we visited, which made me irritated since it was over an hour away and we wouldn't be home till really late.  And, we had to take the grandparents who are over 80 and can't drive such distance.  Upon arrival I was able to speak directly with the nurse who informed me just how serious her heart condition was.  I was speechless. She told me that her heart was at 20% function, she had in fact suffered a major heart attack and they weren't sure why. Her heart rate was through the roof and unstable.  More tests needed to be performed.

All I can say is God was convicting my heart as I had been so selfish and only thought of the inconveniences this had put on MY life.  Very embarrassing to admit.  God was calling me to sacrifice whatever was before me in order to help in whatever he had planned for my  MIL.  Not to mention she was the one lying in the bed and my DIL had been sleeping on a small pull out chair for 7 days and he's not the smallest man on the planet!

God has softened my heart more than he could ever before. As we visited this weekend after her stint surgery, I wept as my dear Chloe cried for her grandmother.  Seeing her sweet tenderness allowed me to see God through my daughter.  It reminded me of the unconditional love that God has for all of us and the compassion that I need to show as well.  I was convicted of how much I do for others, but tend to forget my extended family's needs.

We're praying that she will recover quickly as there are still many unknowns.  She may need more surgery, she may need rehabilitation.  We just don't know.  What I do know is that God is in control and I have peace in that!