That Easter Weekend that My 2 Year Old Saw Angels and Told Iranians About Jesus

By 10:27 PM , , ,
It has been a little unbelievable yet somehow awesome Easter weekend. Why do I say that - well maybe the title of this post sparked your curiosity?!? If not let me say it again...this weekend my two year old 1) saw angels and 2) got to witness to two Muslims who just immigrated to America from Iran about Jesus. 

Let me explain.

Friday morning, ironically Good Friday, my husband went in to little E's bedroom to wake him up to get ready for school just like he always does. Except this morning their conversation was very different than normal. Our two year old son tells his Daddy, "Daddy last night there were two angels in my bed and it scared me. They were standing in front of my blanket and I was scared but they said don't be scared." He went on to tell him, "they were like people kind of but not really and big." The conversation continued with a few more details but the facts didn't change. 

Meanwhile I am in my bathroom getting ready for work. Josh comes in and says, "uh, Chelsea...you might want to ask E to tell you about last night..I'm pretty sure he saw an angel." Totally confused (we have not talked AT ALL about angels to our TWO YEAR OLD son) I ask E if he slept well last night and he continues to tell me the same thing he told his Daddy. Except this time there is a little more. "Last night there were two angels in my bed and it scared me. And I was scared but Daddykeith said 'don't worry - it's ok - I'm always right here." 

By this point I am literally bawling. Daddykeith is my precious grandfather who was a second dad to me my whole life until his tragic and unexpected passing seven years ago. Needless to say my two year old son has never met or talked to my sweet DaddyKeith has he passed away 5 years before he was born. He has seen a couple of pictures and heard us talk about him some but it would be very strange for him to dream about someone he has never meant. None the less I tend to be a skeptic and asked him if anyone else was there...kind of expecting him to say yes my grandmother was also there or my mom or dad or Josh or I - basically anyway to confirm he had instead had a dream which included Daddykeith - still strange but possible. He shook his little head and said "NO, Mommy. Just Daddykeith and the angels. You guys are not angels." I went on to ask him why if he were scared he didn't call for Mommy and Daddy. He responds, "because Daddykeith told me it is ok and he is ALWAYS right there." 

How in the world does a two year "dream" about his great-grandfather he has never meant and angels and describe so clearly what he saw. I'm not sure what in the spiritual realm was happening in my home Friday but I sure am beyond delighted to know my sweet grandfather is watching my son. I also know that until this weekend the spiritual realm was something I read about in the Bible and believed but honestly the thought of angels and even demons tended to seem more like a fable than a reality. This weekend my perspective is totally changed. 

Hebrews 1:14 (ESV)
14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?


Pretty amazing right? And that was just the first story from this weekend. Here is the second. 

Today, for Easter, we went to my parent's house for Easter dinner. My mom teaches ESL and texts us about an hour before dinner and says one of her students and his wife are coming to join us for dinner. Long story short they are a Muslim couple that have just immigrated here from Iran. Little E had brought his resurrection eggs (that I blogged about in a recent post) to my parent's house because he wanted to show them to his grandparents. Little did he know when we put them in the car our two year old son would actually use these eggs to tell this Iranian couple about the Easter story and that it would be the very first time they would have ever heard this true story. Who knows what, if anything, will come of it but I do know that not many two year old's get the opportunity to witness or share about Jesus with someone who has never heard about him. 

Yup, pretty amazing weekend if you ask me. 

And just for fun here are some pictures of my family this Easter weekend. 

The three of us after church on Easter

little "E" before church

I love this man - fun on the farm egg hunting

fun "tiger" face painting at the egg hunt 

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Welcoming spring with open arms

By 9:52 PM , , , , , ,
Spring. 

Such a sweet word. Today was a simple but perfect Sunday. After church we spent the full day outdoors doing our annual mulching and major yard work and left enough time to play in the yard, read books, eat dinner outside, and make s'mores around the campfire. So thankful. Truly soaking up ever second of our last few weeks with a two year old. How is it some of the most unplanned, uneventful days can turn into some of the most special?




The last two weeks Georgia has been experiencing the most beautiful spring. As the trees awake from their slumber and spring flowers begin to bloom, it makes my heart jump with joy. Even the pollen can't get me down (thanks to the frequent thunderstorms we are having). 

By the way if you don't already own a set of Resurrection Eggs and you have kids at home you MUST order some. Pulled these out with the Easter decor today and it was so special going through each egg with our almost three year old. My favorite part? When he opened the last egg (the white one) and it was empty and he said "I was so surprised it was empty" and I got to use that as a tool to explain the resurrection to him. Just awesome.

Our God is an awesome God isn't He?


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Easter Basket ideas for Kids AND Adults

By 11:13 PM , , , ,
Easter will be here before we know it and if you are planning your Easter basket for your special someones I have a few ideas for you.

For KIDDOS:

I recently ordered this personalized book for my little guy and absolutely LOVE IT. It includes his name on every page and his picture is in the book twice which he thinks is the coolest thing ever. I had every intention of saving it for his Easter basket but loved it so much I simply could not wait to give it to him. He loves it as well. We literally read it four times last night. The story is great and such a great way to explain the meaning and purpose behind Easter to your kiddos.




Another favorite place to find Easter basket goodies is the Target dollar spot. I recently stocked up on $1 Paw Patrol items (which is his favorite show right now) to stuff his basket with on Easter. I scored some socks, coloring books, tattoos, and candy. 

Or, if you want to go the easy route and yet still really impress your child, see below...

For ADULTS:

If you are looking for a cool Easter basket idea for your young child, adult child, spouse, or friend Gourmet Baskets make some AWESOME baskets. I recently received this metal beer bucket basket as a gift from Gourmet Baskets and my hubby was SO excited. It came stocked with several specialty beers, popcorn, candy, and more and is all stuffed in a functional yet adorable metal tin "gift bucket."



They also sent me this awesome Easter basket that could be for a child or adult. It is truly awesome. 






Another favorite Easter basket idea for adults is to add a few tickets to experience something together. I am a huge fan of "memory" gifts and like to stuff tickets or certificates in Easter eggs and send the adults on an adult egg hunt. 

I hope you found these ideas helpful. 
What is your favorite item you have ever received in an Easter basket?

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LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta + Coupon

By 4:09 PM , ,
With over 2 million LEGO bricks under one roof, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta is a LEGO lover's dream! 


Come share our world of color, creativity and family entertainment. Bring your mateys and race your own pirate ship on our aquatic table at NEW Pirate Adventure Island! Come ride Merlin's Apprentice and Kingdom Quest! Don't forget to check out local Atlanta landmarks in our MINILAND and learn new building tricks in our Model Builder Academy. Don't forget to check out one of our five 4D movies, including NEW The LEGO Movie 4D: A New Adventure! It's the ultimate place for LEGO fans young and old!

This coupon entitles the bearer to $5 off one (1) walk-up full price admission ticket. 

Not valid with any other discounts, coupons or offers, and cannot be used with online or prebooked tickets. Only one coupon per transaction. Printed coupon must be surrendered upon purchase. No cash value. LEGO, LEGOLAND and The LEGO logo are trademarks of The LEGO Group, 2014 The LEGO Group. 

http://atlantakidsguide.com/coupon.php?regionid=386&bid=11242&dealid=1312


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Life lately + Current Favorites

By 10:59 PM , , , , , , , ,
Time flies. How is it already March? 

Last weekend we had the opportunity to spend as a couple with a few of our awesome friends (who just happen to make up our church small group) in the mountains and it was AMAZING. We had the best time. We laughed and laughed and laughed some more. It was good for the soul! Oh and the mountain roads were CRAZY.


Currently I am in St. Louis for a work trip and it is freezing. 

OH - and I found the BEST yard sale find ever last weekend. I only paid $20 for this you guys. Worth. every. penny. 


WHAT I AM READING

So far this year I have finished:

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
LOVED IT. Give it a 9/10.

Magnolia Story by the Gaines
Also loved it! Another 9/10. This one I of course had to read on my plane flight down to Waco (which you can read all about here). It was great. Really great writing and so interesting. 

Currently I am reading:  

The Secretes of Midwives by Sally Hepworth
So far so good. Good but not great. I think it is wrong to rank before you are finished so I will rank once I finish. Look for my ranking in a later post. 

The Optimistic Workplace by Shawn Murphy
Ok so I am only a little over one chapter in to this book but so far I love it! Stay tuned for a final ranking once I finish.

WHAT I AM CRUSHIN' ON:

The Bible App's Devotional Plans. 

Ya'll I love these. You can download free devotional plans (many are only 5-7 days long which I love) on just about any topic through the Bible App for FREE. They are really good studies and are offered by some of my favorite authors. 

I just finished "Your Home is An Embassy," and I will never think of my home the same way again. Highly recommend it. 

Currently I am working through "40 Days of Lent," and "Find Purpose and Passion In Your Daily Work."

WHAT I AM EXCITED ABOUT:

We have booked our summer vacation! Get ready...we are going back to the happiest place on earth! Spending the first half of our week at the beach and the rest at Disney. SO EXCITED. Even though we were just there last May (and technically I was at Disneyland in November) we can't wait to get back! 

BIG NEW - prepare yourselves! We are going to build our dream farmhouse. We are in the very early stages of planning right now but having a blast designing. For those of you who have built your forever home please send me all your tips! 

WHAT I AM DREADING:

All the bills I need to pay this weekend, errands I need to run, and all the steps to get our current house ready to list on the market. Oh and meeting with a lender to find out exactly how a construction loan works. That's not the fun part. I just want to start designing and planning. 

FAMILY LIFE:

These two guys make me SO happy. The littlest one makes me laugh every day. He is such a pill and so sweet at the same time. His latest line is "Mommy, you my best buddy." Be still my heart. 





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Visitor's Guide to Waco & Everything Fixer Upper

By 8:14 PM , , , , ,
All of you Fixer Upper fans are going to love this post! I'm sure by now you have heard of one of my husband and I's most favorite shows, Fixer UpperThe two stars (Chip and Joanna Gaines) live near Waco, Texas and basically work magic on old "fixer uppers" in their area. They own a real estate company, a renovation company, and a retail shop annddd Joanna blogs! They seem very laid back and down to earth on their show which is one of the reasons my husband and I love them so much! Oh, and they work together, and raise four children on a farm! Yeah, so they are pretty much all-stars. 


This past weekend we finally had the opportunity to visit Magnolia Market, better known as "The Silos." We had an AMAZING time and got the opportunity to experience a good bit of Waco so I had to share because now I want you all to go check it out as well...so if you’re planning a trip to Magnolia Market, follow this fun tour to see Magnolia Market, some Fixer Upper homes, and a pile of other fun shops and spots in the Waco area!


Waco is about a 90 minute trip outside of Dallas. We flew in to Dallas, rented a car, and started our journey. The car ride is a pretty ride (you pass a lot of farm land) but not a lot of commercial so just be ready.

Your first stop on the road trip needs to be about 20 minutes outside of Waco at "The Czech Stop." It is in a Shell gas station on the left side of the interstate. They have a bakery inside and TRUST ME when I tell you it is totally worth the stop. Incredible. Our favorite was the eclairs. VERY cheap and some of the best I've ever tasted. Although I am not sure you could go wrong at this bakery.



Our next stop was Magnolia Market {601 Webster Avenue, Waco, Texas}. There are paid parking lots nearby but even on a crazy crowded Saturday there seemed to be plenty of parking on the streets. Street parking is free. We parked and just walked the two-ish blocks to Magnolia Market. Another option is to park downtown and take the free shuttle (just have to give a tip). 



The Market is INCREDIBLE. Totally awesome experience. The store is more of a thing to see than anything...Joanna has such a neat gift for decorating and her ideas had my brain spinning. The store was decorated for Valentine's Day and featured some really neat displays. 


Outside is the famous Magnolia bakery, green space to play, swings, food trucks, and perhaps my most favorite spot - The Green House which is another store with more outdoor-sie stuff you can buy. I particularly loved the way she displays her herbs - now I need a chicken feeder! 











After Magnolia Market our next step on our tour was to grab a bite to eat. The food trucks looked delicious (we snagged a smoothie from one) but the lines were CRAZY long so we headed over (near Baylor) to one of Chip's favorite lunch spots - Vitek's Barbque. It was so delicious. Great atmosphere and great food! 

Next on our tour was Harp Design Co {808 North 15th Street, Waco, Texas}. For anyone who watches the show Clint Harp, the owner, is one of the Gaines close friends and designs a lot of the furniture for Jo on the show. He owns his own store which we loved just as much as we loved Magnolia Market. They had some really neat stuff and most everything was pretty affordable - which we were pleasantly surprised by! 


Finally it was time to take a look at some of our favorite "Fixer Uppers" homes from episodes we had watched in the past. The first was The Harp Home (pictured below). It was easy to view as it is on the same land as his shop. Unfortunately the Harps have actually sold it now due to privacy concerns, which I totally understand, but it was still very neat to see. 


I have to sidebar here to note how sad a place Waco is - it was quite depressing and still so run down. My husband and I have often commented how we wondered when Chip and Joanna would run out of homes to fix up in their area...let me tell you...it will be awhile. The homes Chip and Jo have done stand out between all the thousands (literally) of run down homes in the area. I can't imagine how much of a difference this sweet couple must be making for their community. 

Next two houses we visited were both on Gorman Ave. The first is the two story home at the corner of 20th Street and Gorman Avenue and the second is on the corner of 28th Street and Gorman.  The second one, called the Beanstalk Bungalow on Fixer Upper was one of my favorites with adorable window boxes to gorgeous farm house looking paint finishes! 




Next stop is Joanna's first shop - the original Magnolia store {3801 Bosque, Waco, Texas}.  You can’t go inside any longer but it's still cool to see their original sign and how small the shop used to be...plus as an added bonus they often park their food truck outside so you can get cupcakes fresh from the bakery without waiting in the bakery line. 


The next stop is the home from the Pilot episode of the show. .It is located at the corner of Castle Avenue and Chateau Avenue in Waco.  It’s fun to take a peek at the home and the Fixer Upper style is very evident from the roof tiles to the colors to the curb appeal.


After the home from the pilot episode we drove about 30 minutes to McGregor, TX to view Chip and Jo's Bed & Breakfast better known as the Magnolia House {323 South Madison Avenue, McGregor, Texas}. The 1800's home remodeled by Jo now serves as a vacation rental property - but be forewarned. It books a year out! None the less it is still fun to take a peek from outside the gate and spend some time in McGregor. Ya'll we LOVED McGregor. Honestly, even more than Waco. There are some really awesome stores downtown and and this really neat old theater. It honestly just feels like your going back in time. You have to checkout a store downtown called "The Vibe." I could have bought out the entire store if only it would have all fit into my suitcase. And the prices were SO cheap. 




Next stop (well really three stops) are one of Jo's favorite places to find vintage finds.  The Cedar Chest, The Cedar Chest Too, and the storage Chest (in between the two shops) {31707 West Highway 84, McGregor, Texas} are the places to go for some vintage and antique treasures. We were so impressed with the prices and the abundance of novel items we saw. We could have spent a week in these three stores alone. 

Last stop on the tour (because no trip to Waco is complete for total Chip and Jo fans such as ourselves) was their actual home. The Gaines live about 45 minutes outside of Waco in a GORGEOUS farm house off the highway {8601 Mazzini Court Flower Mound, Texas} . While you can't see a TON you can see enough to know it is totally gorgeous. We drove by and then turned around and drove by once more in order to snap a few photos and take in the beauty. They live close to Lake Waco and you can easily go a little out of your way to see their home on your way back to Dallas. 


Hope you enjoyed the tour! Please let me know if you are headed to Waco and decide to follow this guide! We had a blast and hope to go back one day with a Uhaul (only half joking). 

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