Wednesday, July 25, 2012

cowboys, prayer and cowboy church.......

oh. my. GOODNESS!
last saturday night, Miss J and i went to our very first rodeo.
hey.......any excuse to wear boots and cowboy hats
 (forgot the hats though:)
and a chance to see real live cowboys in this
tropical world we live in.
and like i said...
OH
MY
GOODNESS!
did we have a special night or what!?!?

actually, for us wannabe cowgirls,
it wasn't a whole rodeo but bullriding from
the professional bull riders.
but it was enough and it was COOL, trust me!

let me tell you, those are some HUGE bulls!
it was just really cool, seeing the cowboys with their hats on, leaning over the bull cage,
helping the rider get seated on that wild thing.

clearly, everybody has a job to do......
a very important job, since this is
ONE TOUGH SPORT.
and it is definitely a sport and these are very talented athletes.

the night started with music blaring and fireworks,
as well as the letters PBR (professional Bullriders)
set on fire on the floor.
you had to see it.
the arena is dark, the giant letters are burning and the announcer starts
to introduce the bull riders.
when their name is called, they walk through the flames to line up in a semi circle.
quite spectacular.

but the MOST spectacular thing was when the announcer asked
the audience to stand for the invocation.
Prayer!
at a public sporting event in America.
imagine that.
Prayer.

and what a prayer it was.
basically, this is what it said.......
they prayed for safety for them and their families.
prayed for our soldiers, our country, the President, the Colorado shooting victims.
they thanked God for his many blessings.
they prayed for forgiveness of sins and yes, much more.
it was something else!

i noticed the cowboys, some holding their hats on their chests,
some kneeling, some on all fours.

clearly, they took this very seriously, as we all should.
and the audience was very reverent.
also quite surprising for a big arena full of excited people.

this had me so stunned and moved,
that i went home and looked up the rodeo, bull riding, and cowboys praying.
guess what.......
now i'm even MORE impressed!
these men know that what they do is very dangerous.
in interviews, they refer to the power of prayer.
they know that guts and bravery are never going to be enough.
these men rely on their faith every time they get on the back of one of those bulls.
in a world of "political correctness".........
they PRAY.

they pray over the bull rider as he sits atop the bull, they pray in the locker room
before they come out, and they pray in front of the crowd every night.

and that's not all.
their faith is so important, that there are now
"Cowboy Churches" all over the country.
wherever there is a bull riding contest, there is cowboy church.
whether they meet in the bleachers, in a barn or in a little country church,
they gather to worship and pray.
one pastor said they have simple services........
filled with country/gospel songs and a simple message to take them through the night and into the next day.
lessons to use, lessons to live.
and plenty of prayer.
we had a pretty remarkable night.
moving.....that's what it was.  very moving.
so good to see prayer like that at a sporting event.

i'm not suggesting that these men are perfect.
they are no more (or less) perfect than the rest of us.
they just seem to wear their faith boldly.
i was so impressed that night and look forward to the experience again.....and again.
quite a lesson for us all:)
God Bless the American Cowboy.....
and God Bless All of you, Too!
Suzanne

Monday, July 23, 2012

How's That Summer Bucket List Coming Along?

so what about it?
are y'all having FUN and making lots of MEMORIES this summer?
been working hard on that summer bucket list?


well, don't worry.....there's still time!
if you're planning a beach vacation,
check out these cute things.......
(click on the photos to be taken to the shopping site)


an adorable personalized little dolphin beach bag filled with beach toys.
and.....
a personalized chair and umbrella set.


or if sleepovers are in your future.......
this bag is a MUST!

Personalization Mall is one of my favorite places to shop....
check out one of those three above for gifts or just for fun:)

(okay, okay.....no more shopping:)
well.....nothing major.
this outdoor chalkboard is such a COOL idea from Lowes......
but who has time to put the pieces together and assemble? 
 I guess if you need it this big,
maybe.
but you could paint chalkboard paint on any old framed mirror or picture
you find at a garage sale.
Or just buy a piece of ply wood, sand and seal it REALLY good,
then paint on a frame and hang it up.
TONS of summer fun:)


I saw this at Holiday Crafts and Creations.com.
But then again, these flower balls are made from paper flowers you put together.
personally, being the lazy person that i am,
i would buy styro balls from your craft store, cheap, bright flowers and styro glue
(or hot glue) and voila.....
you have pretty flower balls hanging from the trees for summer parties!

how about a "twist" on a favorite board game?
spray on dots to make a HUGE twister game in the backyard.

have you heard of those 30 day photo challenges?
how about buying the kids a throw away camera and making a challenge for them?
then, put together a little album for show n tell in the Fall.
ideas for daily photos are as simple as;
*what you had for breakfast, lunch...
*favorite summer snack
*BFF
*summer splash
*bike photo
*family photo
*their bedroom
*favorite stuffed animal/toy
*ice cream photo
*find a bird/butterfly photo
*picture they colored/drew
*something orange/blue/pink.....
*flower
*something they found.....
anything really!
can you tell i really like this idea?

and Mom...while they do their little photo shoots,
sit back and have yourself a little
 Peach Flip
~frozen peaches, lemonade and sprite in the blender
SOOOOO GOOD!


that's it for today.
except one quick reminder.........
fun little summer moments spent at home,
 doing simple things like playing in the backyard, coloring or taking photos
 may be the best gift you can give.
think about it.......
in a world of iphones, computers, video games and sports camps,
giving kids the chance to have quiet time, unstructured time may
sound crazy but with school around the corner,
very much needed!
i don't know it all,
far from it.
some days i think i know very little!
but i know one thing.......
i wouldn't trade lazy summer days with my girls when they were little
for all of the camps, activities and games in the world.
just hanging out is good,
which is why the focus here is time together,
HAPPY times together.
XOXOXOX
Suzanne

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rustic Chic Turquoise Decorating.........

Okay, the news these days is quite sad.
more than sad.....downright tragic.
so on this silly lil ol' blog,
let's get back to mindless, simple,
hopefully happier stuff,
without ever forgetting what others may be
 going through.

let me tell you about my latest decorating obsession.
R
U
S
T
I

C
H
I
C
and my favorite color,
 which is darker than aqua yet with similar tones.........
what i call rustic chic turquoise.
i totally love it.
it works with any decor, in my opinion.
and in particular, works in my home.
i just don't have a whole heck of a lot of it.......
Y
E
T
but i will be adding touches here and there as i find it.
have i written about this current obsession yet?
i kinda feel like i have but..... OH WELL:).
 in a nutshell, 
using my white sectional as a starting point,
this would be my idea board.
complete with the happy cow:)
look at all the cool things pictured here.......
from the awesome table to the chair, armoire, FAUX cow hyde rug
to the pier 1 lamp and the amazing pillows.
and the floor.....can't get more rustic than that!

and so you know, i have been eyeing this cow at Z Gallerie for some time.
i love the colors but most of all, 
i love the happy cow.
(i've always loved cows.....those big cow eyes are so sweet:)
and can you guess what this painting is called?
the
HAPPY COW!
don't you love it?
okay, don't feel bad if you think i'm crazy.
that just means you are siding with my husband in sending me to the crazy farm;)
hahahahaha
moving on to some other items i love......
this rustic turquoise bed and side table is stunning in it's way.

these dining room cabinets are so pretty!
and how gorgeous is that touch of lilac paired with the turquoise.

this necklace and bracelet set, while stunning,
is just an example of how everyday items can serve as decor inspiration.
don't you think?
hey.....trust me, i've bought things telling my husband i needed them
because they were inspiring me.
it works:)


this next thing, i am SO doing ASAP!
i have a rattan chair that was very comfortable but lately
we feel it's not so anymore.
so i've been thinking and thinking.....what kind of chair would we like?
then i remembered i have two studded, faded leather chairs downstairs!
so i'm going to cover the cushion and add some cool pillows.
i can't wait!!!


i love this little sign.......
the lettering and distressing is just the right shade.


this vase is so pretty.....mixed with the fall flowers.


well, there you have it.
my obsession with rustic chic turquoise.......
and don't forget the happy cow:)
hope you're having a great Saturday!
Suzanne

Friday, July 20, 2012

That's Why I Pray.......

and why i love country music.
frankly, it is the only "popular" music my girls listen to....
the only they are allowed to listen to.
there is good and bad in anything.
but there are FAR more songs/videos like this one by Big and Rich.....
That's Why I Pray.
Click on the You Tube link to watch it if it doesn't play.
It is well worth the few minutes it takes.


On an unbelievably TRAGIC day in Colorado,
it's something to think about.
That's Why We Pray.
We need to Pray for those affected by this tragedy.....
the victims, their families.
the healthcare workers and police.
witnesses.
neighbors.
friends.
and the shooters' family.

Anyone who thinks this is or will be an isolated incident is just plain 
CRAZY.
Because our country is in trouble.
SERIOUS trouble.
That is what the song is about......how we are discouraged from speaking of God,
praying in Public.......keeping God in our Pledge of Allegiance.
and look where we are.
"Don't speak of God".....when we need to.
And we need to speak TO him.
There are those who will question.....
but it is not for us to question.
It is for us to pray and have faith in the only one who is always there for us.

We have no need to worry about what will happen in the next week, month year.
The people killed in this tragedy thought they would watch a movie
and walk out afterwards.
We never know.
Maybe all we can do is pray.....and hold those we love a little closer.
Enjoy those little moments.
Never take anything for granted.
God Bless all of you!
Suzanne

Happiness is.......The Long Hot Summer Edition

because while it's only mid July.....
it's been a loooooong HOT summer!
so hot, i think maybe i've been even LAZIER than normal!
which is why i haven't been on my blog much.
too hot + lazy = no blog posts.
seriously, this is what happens when i sit at the computer to write.....

awwwww....so cute:)
i mean, this heat is draining.
  all i wanna do is lay around like these cool guys..... 


but before you think i haven't been enjoying summer,
here are a few things that spell summer happiness to me.....
and we all need to think about the HAPPY in our life, 
past and present, right?
Happiness is.........

~having FUN is what summer is all about.
remember water balloons?
SOOOO much fun in the summer!
well, now some creative mommies have discovered how to have a water fight with sponges!

photo credit: Sponge Balls
super easy to make.....
just cut up 3 sponges into strips.  
gather them together and tie with dental floss.
fluff out your water sponge and you're ready for a water sponge fight!
COOL, huh?
now that's some serious summer fun, sure to make everyone
HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY:)

~Happiness is also.......
the beach!


going to the beach with a book and a CUTE hat are even better.....
(love this book, and what do ya think of our new hat?)

next best thing to going to the beach is EATING the beach.

haha......one of our favorite desserts is sand on the beach.
kind of like dirt cake except with vanilla pudding, cream and crushed vanilla wafers.
OR
you could experiment with happy beach cupcakes.

okay, enough about the beach, our happy place:)

~Happiness is an ICE cold treat.
if you don't like em, they make a CUTE gift!


Happiness is........
hanging out and just talking with my girls.
well, one of them.  the other is still at Boston Ballet but coming home soon.
happiness is ALSO that she is HAPPY, having FUN and made some wonderful, life-long friends!


but speaking of talking with your kids this summer, 
here is a list of great ideas from iMom re: talking with the kiddos.


Happiness is.........eating simple.
as in simple dinners!
like the good ol' 
B
L
T
Yum!

Happiness is.........
 lemonade stands.

my girls used to do this ALL the time.
so much fun and still makes me happy.
do yourself a favor.......
if you see a lemonade stand, stop.
you may be the only one (besides the mom) who does.......
and you will make some children VERY happy:)

Happiness is.......
cuddling and playing with my dogs.
they just make me happy, no matter the season.
this time i bring you my big boy,
Maui the Goldendoodle.....who doesn't know he is big at all:)
YIKES! hahaha

and last but not least,
Happiness is.........
staying inside on a hot summer day,
doing crafts with my girl(s)
like these SUPER CUTE headphone wraps!




we saw the idea on pinterest and in one night, Jordie was done with hers.
(mine took longer but only cause i was doing 10 other things at the same time:)
aren't they cute though?


okay, okay.....enough catching up!
time to get out and enjoy the day before it gets TOO hot and steamy:)
most important, remember this.......

XOXOXOXOX
Suzanne

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