Saturday, August 13, 2011

Whimsical Beauty

My friend Janine thinks she can do anything if she only sets her mind to it. I haven't been able to convince her otherwise because, well, every time she sets her mind to something she wants to do...she succeeds.

  Janine is a fabulous wife, mom, friend, and cook, but recently she decided she wanted to learn to sew so that she could make clothes for her daughters.  A few months ago, she'd never touched a sewing machine.  Now she has her own Etsy shop called The Whimsical Peanut  and sells the most beautiful little patchwork skirts you've ever seen.  She also makes purses and aprons, and she's even making the costumes for the church's summer play.  Janine decided she wanted to make things, so she became amazing at making things.

  Janine is also my most eclectic friend.  She likes all kinds of things, her style is original and her musical tastes are varied.  She's crafty, quirky, witty, thoughtful, fun, and she's whimsical.

  What will this beautiful, whimsical girl do next?  I don't know, but it'll be whatever she sets her mind to!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Four Beautiful Sisters

Danelle’s beautiful girls!  I mentioned a few weeks ago in Danelle’s post how respectful, loving, and God-honoring her children are.  These are her daughters… gorgeous on the outside and equally as gorgeous on the inside. They are all unique, talented, and love the Lord!

Shanelle, oldest girl, 2nd born, likes all things classical. She loves to read and study language. She can be serious one moment and then entertaining the next. She has a way of making all younger children love her. She has a love of art and of story telling and can do both well. She has recently taken up guitar and harp and has done well in a short time. She is talented at volleyball but doesn't have a super competitive spirit. She is not afraid to express her opinion but does it in a humble way. She likes to keep us learning, as she uses obscure words.

Sydney, where there is competition she is there. 2nd girl and 3rd in birth order she likes to be in the middle of it all. Loves to play volleyball and be involved in as many things as possible. She is very quick to give out compliments and willing to talk to most everyone. She also likes to play the piano and sing. Her smile is contagious and her interest in others is genuine. She is willing to try new things and is not afraid of getting dirty.

Shelby is the 3rd girl and 4th in birth order and knows how to go with the flow. She is the most yielding but then has a way of letting her wishes be made know. She is always ready to cook or bake something. She also likes to play the piano and can read music very well and is learning to play the harp. She laughs much and has a giggle that makes us smile. She is interested in reading and volleyball, but more interested in earrings, fingernail polish and friends.

Sophia, aka Princess Fefe, the youngest of all and the most adaptable. She can wield the sword and wear jewels all in the same moment. She likes to be with all her siblings but also knows the value of being alone. She is bubbly and energetic and loves to help out the ones who are younger than her. She has an interest in music and likes to play the piano and is learning the harp as well. She is very athletic and has natural rhythm.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beautiful Laughter

"I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills." ~ Audrey Hepburn

The laughter of women is one of the most beautiful things.  I never feel better than when I'm laughing, that deep down joyful laughing!  My little nieces, pictured here, laugh like that.  They are joyful little girls, and they laugh often.  I remember a Christmas gift once, it was something small, but little Anna laughed with joy so much that she had tears in her eyes, and we were laughing just as hard with her at seeing the joy in her heart!  

Have you ever spent the day with people you don't know very well, and you spent the whole time fake-laughing?  It's exhausting!  Why do we do that?  I want to be like my nieces and laugh from my heart, from my spirit.  Joy is one of those beautiful inner qualities that makes our outside glow, but not when it's fake!  Try an experiment that I do a lot.  Try to go a whole day without fake laughing.  The easiest way to do it is to try NOT to laugh.  Real laughter can't be stopped.  Then you'll find out what really makes you laugh!  

Here are some things that make me laugh, I'd love to hear your list!

1.  My son, who is literally the funniest person I know, and my daughter, who is the most beautiful. 
2.  My Aunt Robin
3.  My friend Cindi's birthday songs.  She writes them for us to the tune of other songs, so anytime I hear the originals I laugh, too, just thinking about the Cindi-version!
4.  The little audio clips my brother sends me of my nephews, who live in Arkansas
5.  The pictures Aubrianah takes of babies, some of them are so hilarious that we don't even send them to the mothers. We're worried they will frame it, put it on their wall, and we'll come over sometime and see it and start crying in laughter and they'll get offended.
6.  Our dogs.
7.  Really high singing.  Once, at a church, a lady got up to sing and she had a high, opera-type voice.  I started laughing so hard I had to get up and leave.  I pretended I was having a coughing fit.  

Real laughter is beautiful, and it has been several of our Real Beauty models' 'beauty word'.  What makes you laugh?  Comment here or on our Facebook page and tell us!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Beautiful Testimony

Titus 2:3-5
Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored.

My grandmother is one of the most beautiful women I know. She is my mentor, my example. She is amazing, and everyone who meets her sees that. She got married at 15 years old and she and my grandfather had 6 children. She was and is faithfully devoted to her family, working at the post office to support her family while my grandfather was in a sanitorium with tuberculosis. When I was growing up, Grandma and Granddad would come from Virginia to visit our Ohio home. Whenever my sister, brother, and I had friends over, they would all fall in love with my grandparents. It got to a point where we wouldn’t tell our friends Grandma and Granddad were coming because we wouldn’t get enough time with them! She is now 89 years old, has been married for 74 years, and has 60 grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.

Grandma has had a full life with great friends and many family blessings. She makes each and every one of her 60 grandchildren feel just as loved, special, and cherished as all of the others. She is always doing for others; to list all of the things she has done would fill volumes! She loves to tell stories, messing them up, backtracking, starting them over until she has us all laughing and laughing. She is kind to everyone, even when others don’t show her kindness. I have never seen her respond to anyone in a negative way; she is always nice, loving, kind, and gentle. My grandmother doesn’t know a stranger; she makes friends with everyone! She knows all her neighbors and invites everyone she meets to church. Grandma is fun, she’s wise, and she’s the classiest woman I know.

My grandmother has lived through heartache, things that would make other people bitter. Every parent’s worst fear came true for her when her daughter, my mother, died from cancer 9 years ago. Grandma dropped everything and traveled to Ohio to help my sister care for her. Grandma was holding Mom’s hand when she passed away. It must be sheer agony for a mother to watch her child die, but Grandma cherished the time she was able to spend with her daughter those last few weeks.

Whenever my grandmother visits or I visit her, I see her reading her Bible every morning. Not a day goes by that she doesn’t read it. I think a lot of times people don’t know the things they do that make an impact on another person. Seeing her read her Bible every day, her daily walk with the Lord, her love for the Lord that never wavers in good times or bad, and her devotion to taking the time to spend with Him no matter how busy her life was or is, that is a testimony that has had a tremendous impact on me.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Beautiful Girl!

In our house, we don't just have birthDAYS, we have 'Birthday Week'.  That means that every day this week we've been celebrating Aubrianah's 15th birthday!  She's gotten little gifts, a drink from Joe Beans, and most importantly, she's been able to use the magical "But it's Birthday Week!" to get us to get things for her or do her chores.  We don't's Birthday Week for our favorite daughter/sister! 

  Today is Aubrianah's actual birthday, though, so today she gets a Beautiful Girl post.  I tell Aubrianah all the time that she is 'practically perfect in every way'.  Practically, not because I see flaws in her, but because no human is perfect.  But Aubrianah has characteristics that make her an especially beautiful girl.  She is sensitive to other people's feelings, she's insightful, smart, helpful, and funny.  She loves pizza, soft pretzels, music, and shoes.  She's loyal to her friends and family.  She's super-shy, loves to visit with her grandparents, and enjoys reading.  She's crafty and computer-savvy, and you already know she takes amazing photographs.

  Aubrianah is the most consistent in our family with her quiet time, and when she says she's going to pray for someone, she actually does it.  There aren't many people I can see the Holy Spirit in, but she is definitely one of them. Her love for the Lord is almost palpable.  She's open to His leading, and she is willing to serve. 

  Happy Birthday, Aubrianah!  You are a practically perfect Beautiful Girl, and we love you!