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Jun 30, 2013

What a Privilege

Last week was our VBS at church.  I had the absolute privilege of teaching "Life Application" (where we take the night's Bible story and teach it and make it connect to a kid's life) to 5 year olds and Kindergarteners.  Over the four days, we had about 1,100 kids on our campus.  So, let me say again, what a privilege.

Our theme verse for the week was "Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He's the one who will keep you on track."  And watching little minds try to memorize that over the course of the week was darling.  But getting to take that verse, and the stories of Samson, Gideon, Ruth, and Jonah, and teach those little ones to trust in God, be a good friend, make wise choices, and focus on God was the best part of the week.

My family has been dealing with some big stuff over the past two months.  My dad was recently diagnosed with cancer and it's been a hard road, full of emotional ups and downs, questions, and more tears and prayer than I can even describe.  We're fortunate.  Fortunate to be able to go to the best doctors at the University of Pennsylvania, fortunate to have a strong support system of family and friends and a wonderful church body, and fortunate to believe in a God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  

But things like this verse in Joshua, and watching God move in the hearts of over a thousand kids, are a constant reminder of His provision and sovereignty.  And I continuously realize what a privilege it is to get to worship and serve Him.

My dad starts treatment tomorrow.  He'll be taking a pill that is a type of targeted treatment for his specific cancer.  And the farther into this journey we get, the more I realize that there's nothing I can do but pray.  I believe in a God who healed the sick countless times.  And I believe in a God who still does just that.  

Jun 25, 2013

DIY Succulent Garden

I'm proud to say I can check one thing off of my summer project list!  My succulent gardens have been planted!

This project was so so easy and really fun.  Probably the most creative I've ever felt when planting something.  Oh, and did I mention cheap?  I created four separate container gardens for under $18.  From what I've read, succulents are super low-key, very resilient, and just need to be watered a bit every few days, so here's hoping that these little gardens grow and flourish in their new home!

If you're thinking about planting your own succulent garden, here's what you'll need:
An assortment of succulents (I chose four different types from Lowe's...any nursery or home improvement store will likely have a vast selection of succulents since they're popular right now.  Mine cost $14 in total and I chose little ones since a few of my containers were on the small side.  Pictured below is less than half of what I got!)
A few containers to plant your garden in (from what I've read, these can really be made of anything, glass, stone, wood, etc.)
Potting soil
River stones or aquarium gravel

Putting these together is as simple as filling your containers with potting soil (I've also read that it's good to mix some sand into your soil), arranging and potting your succulents, and then covering the top of the soil with your stones or gravel!

For my containers, I had a few old tea tins that I've been trying to figure out what to do with, and they made darling little dish gardens.  I also had a larger pot that was originally brown, so I spray painted it gold and planted away!

Jun 22, 2013

Succulents

I have quite the project list for this summer.  Painting, sewing, framing, creating a headboard.  But one of the things thats the easiest to accomplish (and maybe one of the little things that I'm most excited about) is creating a succulent garden!  I've been drooling over some of the succulent arrangements I've been seeing on pinterest, in magazines, and elsewhere.

My mom taught me to appreciate having green in any room...she always says that having a plant brings life to a room.  And so, in every room I've lived in, I've had plants.  Ever since painting and redecorating back in January, I've had a lack of green in my room.  Except for one vine-y plant on a windowsill, I've got nothin.  And I've decided that a succulent garden would be perfect.

What do you think....succulents...love them or hate them or just indifferent?

Today is the Day! Giveaway Winner Announced!

Dresses from Shabby Apple 
Thanks so much to everyone who entered the Shabby Apple giveaway.

The winner is Katie K.!  Congrats Katie!  Hope you find something great from Shabby Apple!

I always love running giveaways on HTB...I love getting to surprise someone and make their day when they won.  Who doesn't love free stuff??  So keep checking back for more giveaways in the future!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jun 13, 2013

Lately

a wedding (and drum circle) // a beach trip // meetings // house/dog sitting // a chubby kitten // a baseball game // ice cream // and lots of time with my favorite boy


oh, and enter my giveaway!

Jun 12, 2013

Guest Post // Caroline on Marriage

Ok, so I'm really excited about this.  I have an awesome gal to introduce you to today!  Caroline runs a little blog called jcaro and I've been so blessed by it over the past few months.  I feel like we're friends.  Is that creepy?  Did I just become that sketchy blog girl who called a fellow blogger I've never actually met a friend?  Sorry Caroline.  Eeeek.

She just has such a wonderful heart for God and has a gift for writing!  She's the kind of blogger I read posts by and then decide I need to become a more intentional writer, you know?  Anyway, she's here!  today!  writing for you all on the best moments in marriage.  So grab a cup of tea and enjoy!

____________________________________________

Hello Heavens to Betsy Readers! My name is Caroline and I blog over at jcaro.com. I'm pretty stoked to be over here with y'all!
My husband and I just moved into our first real place (before we were living in a dorm for my job!). We now live in a condo in Houston, and we’ve spent the past two weeks *trying* to recreate Ikea showrooms in our place (um coolest, cheapest rooms ever, right?) We just celebrated our 1 year anniversary, and while our first year of marriage rocked, year two is starting to top it.
Yet, I feel this constant tension. Even though I am genuinely content with our life, our life isn’t as it appears online. If you read my blog or follow me on Instagram (@janecaro), you see just a glimpse into our life. You see the moments when I whipped out my camera and we posed for a photo. Or, in the case of our bed above, it took 10 minutes to get that bed photo-ready, and it was still looked wrinkled! The moments you and I capture are happy moments, but I’m becoming to realize is the best moments aren’t captured. They can’t be. There's so much more to life.
Some of the best moments in marriage are the messiest. It’s reconciliation after a disagreement or trusting Clayton when I doubt myself. 

It’s telling Clayton to be quiet as he continues to talk when I’m trying to go to sleep.  I’m half annoyed, but even though I wouldn’t admit to him, it’s secretly fun.

It’s being completely vulnerable – sharing insecurities and doubts that I’ve never entrusted to anyone.

It's realizing how selfish I am and yet being loved just the same. It’s accepting grace from him, which gives me a glimpse of our Father’s grace.

It’s being so angry when a little part of my heart goes off saying “this doesn’t matter, Caroline” and mid-sentence giving Clayton a hug. Love spurs humility that crushes pride to ground.
In a world that documents and showcases so much of our lives, may we also remember that the best moments don't have to be documented to be the best. May we remember that in the same way that our lives couldn't possibly be captured in a blog or an instagram feed, others can't possibly share the full story either.  

Embrace the messy, the tears, and the challenges, because in relationships, these bring about the best moments - they bring us closer, cause us to trust one another more, and love more deeply.

Thanks so much for reading! I'd love for you to stop by and say hi over at jcaro.com. I'll do my very best to share the full story! 

Jun 10, 2013

Dress for Success // A Giveaway!

Dresses from Shabby Apple 
I'm so excited to be able to present a partnership with Shabby Apple!  Shabby Apple  is an online retailer that features vintage and retro dresses and styles for women (including vintage-inspired swimwear!).  I love browsing their collections and own a few pieces from Shabby Apple that I adore!

So, to properly introduce this partnership...I've teamed up with Shabby Apple to giveaway a $50 gift card!  I'm so excited about this giveaway and this partnership...so enter away!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jun 6, 2013

Dear Boyfriend,

Yesterday, we spent a perfect day together at the beach.  You seemed a little muffed when I suggested leaving at 8am, so I pushed it to 8:30, which ended up being closer to 9:15.  As my mother's daughter, my first instinct was to think "we're behind schedule!", but the longer we're together, the more I'm realizing how much better it is to forget the "schedule" and just live in the moment on these little trips that we take just the two of us.

Yesterday, we lounged, we walked, we ate, and we talked.  My favorite parts of the day were probably the three miles we walked on the beach and the six hours we spent in the car.  That seems like a long distance and a lot of time, but those types of things always seem to fly right by when I'm with you.  I loved asking each other silly questions like "What saying would you like to put into 1,000 fortune cookies?" and singing songs together from our road trip playlist.

I loved everything about yesterday.  I hope I remember it forever.

Love, Betsy

Jun 3, 2013

A Random, Fun Little Date

I was super hyper last night.  AJ came over around 8:45 and I just wanted to get out of the house and go do something.  Unfortunately, there's not a ton to do in a small town at 9pm on a Sunday night.  When we decided to go to Wal-Mart of all places, I wasn't sure it would be the remedy for my energy.  But it turned into one of the best little random dates we've had in quite a while!

AJ found a Wal-Mart scavenger hunt online, and we proceeded to check off as many things on the list as we could!
This random little date turned out to be so much fun...we burned a little over an hour and had lots of laughs (and photos) to document our little adventure!  We found the link to the scavenger hunt here.  (we tweaked it a little to work for us!)
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