little walk down memory lane...

Two years ago--the day before Easter, we sadly suffered a miscarriage.  Although it was a really hard time in our lives, I remember being filled with so much joy on Resurrection Sunday.  The undeniable fact that our Heavenly Father is our Comforter, Healer, Protector, Sustainer, Deliverer, Provider...could not escape me even in my pain.

It was a really good day.

Last year, I looked at this pic of our family several times and prayed...Father, if my family never grows beyond these four members, I will continue to give You all the honor and praise.  

And this year...all five of us (just 5 weeks until Joy's due date). I'm thankful and humbled that God granted me my request.

Resurrection Sunday

What a wonderful day we've had as a body of believers!  We serve a RISEN Savior and that's something to celebrate today and every day.
Our Easter festivities...

We got the girls a few little treats to enjoy.

This morning it stormed something fierce.  Luckily, the storm held off until church began so people were able to get there safely.  Service this morning was just fantastic.  I really can't even put it into words right now.  Yeah, I know...I'm at a loss for words!  Can you believe that? 

For several years, Uncle Corey has celebrated with us.  We love having him here on this very special day.

We decided against an outdoor egg hunt because of the gross weather.  The girls loved it just the same.  I think.


Tonight, we plan on watching the live-stream of  John Piper's last sermon as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist in Minneapolis.  I'm looking forward to it!  Click HERE to watch.

dyeing eggs

Just a few pics of  the girls dyeing eggs...

love this

Uncle Corey and the girls


Christ the Lord is Risen Today!

Hallelujah! Christ Arose!

I love to sing, especially songs about my Lord and Savior.  At bedtime, I sing to my girls...usually a hymn packed full of Biblical truth.  My girls love it--they both share my love of music and singing.  *Very soon I'll need to  post a video of them singing the Doxology.  It's so sweet.*

Here's my sweet Edy Rose singing Charles Wesley's, "Christ the Lord is Risen Today".  She has some lyrical issues (and wants no help from me), but she blesses my heart singing this wonderful hymn.
Christ the Lord is Risen Today! from Leslie Hale on Vimeo.

But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.  Acts 2:24

We serve a RISEN SAVIOR!
Happy Resurrection Day!


Amy's blog

My friend, Amy, has a wonderful blog.  She is a great writer and never ceases to import her wit into every post.  You'll love her content about life (in general), her kiddos, homemaking, and her love for Christ Jesus.  I recently helped her with a blog make-over.  Head over to Covet the Dust to check it out...


Easter Baskets from Tat

Last week, we received a package in the mail from Tat.  EASTER BASKETS for all!  What a fun treat!

The girls LOVED all of their treats...

...and PEEPS. *eww*
Thanks, Tat.  We loved the surprise!

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Joy's nursery featured...

So excited that It's Overflowing featured Baby Joy's nursery in a recent post.

 You can check out the feature HERE and  Joy's nursery reveal  HERE.

*I've created a link to the feature on my sidebar.


put a LABEL on it

By now, I'm sure many of you have heard of  the "Put a Bird on It" short made popular a couple of years ago by Portlandia.  Basically, this post has nothing to do with that skit. It's just a lame segue to my post title, "Put a Label on It". See how I did that?

Here's a better seque:
Any lovers of the sitcom, The Big Bang Theory?  It's one of our favorite shows.  Sheldon is a label-making fool. 
Sheldon: Wait, put this in the bathroom.
Leonard: What for?
Sheldon: I need to measure my fluid intake and output to make sure my kidneys aren't shutting down.
Leonard: I mix pancake batter in this!
Sheldon: No, that measuring cup has always been for urine.
Leonard: You had time to make a label for everything in this apartment, including the label maker, but you didn't have ten seconds to make a label that said "urine cup"?
Sheldon: It's right here on the bottom.
Leonard: Huh, I guess I owe the Betty Crocker Company a letter of apology.
Last week, Howard told Bernadette: not only does Sheldon have a label on his label maker, but on the label maker's label, in a teeny-tiny font, are the letters l-a-b-e-l.  

Love me some Sheldon.  I realize he's a fictional character, but he's a man after my own heart.

Graham pokes fun at me about my labels, but he secretly loves it (really!) and here's why...

 Here it is...in all it's glory!

One of my spring cleaning jobs included updating all of the labels around the house...Happy, happy, happy!
school closet 
In my closet, I cut scrapbook paper and printed my labels on opaque craft paper.

my closet
 same thing in the girls' closet

I've got a few friends, who shall remain nameless, that tease me about my label/bin obsession.  It's true, I've got labels/bins in every closet/drawer, but I'm a freak-a-zoid for organization.  Bins/labels/sharpie markers/and everything else organization--it's just my thing!

Life is much easier when you #putalabelonit!


tea party with Mamaw

Last week, the girls spent eight days in AR with Na and Pops.  I was back home in TX and missed them (longest they've ever been away), but I was busy cleaning and that kept me preoccupied.  Also, gotta love iPhone Facetime--it really helped me cope with them being gone for so long.  Na was also good about sending me pics each and every day.  I really loved and appreciated those little peeks of my girls throughout the day.

One day, the girls went over to their great-grandmother's (Mamaw) house for a tea party.  Na sent me these pics...

Looks like they had a good time, doesn't it?


spring cleaning...

Spring cleaning is FINISHED!  It was long, hard, but SO rewarding.  My house has never been cleaner and I just love that feeling--stress-free for the moment!

Here's the run-down:
Ava/Edy's room: 4 hrs
master bath/closet: 2.5 hrs
master bedroom: 3hrs
laundry room:1 hr
Joy's room: 1.5 hrs
kitchen/entryway: 10hrs
hall bath: 1 hr
office: 2 hrs
garage: 3 hrs
grand total: 28 hours

Yes, that's a long time, but I spread it out over a couple of days (remember my kids were in AR) and I touched every square inch of this house...I'm not joking.  It was that kind of cleaning.

Indulge me as I show off some of the hard work...
Graham helped me with the garage, but he cleaned out his shop and really got it looking nice.  It's been really junky since we moved in.  I just love that he loves to organize as much as I do.  I was tickled with the finished product! Doesn't it look nice!

Now...before you start judging me by the next photo, let me take a quick second to explain:
Our house has a ton of tile, we live out in the country (lots of dust/dirt), and our house isn't elevated off the ground (everything gets tracked in).  I said all of that to say, the tile throughout the house was bad.  They've probably been this way since we moved in, but I didn't take a great look at it--looks can be deceiving.  About 7 months ago, I really noticed how bad it was, but I was in the midst of morning sickness and whatnot.  *Disclaimer: I mop every week without fail, but the dirt/dust embedded in the tile wouldn't come up with just an average mopping, it had to be scrubbed.  The worst places were the entryway, around corners/doorways, and up against the baseboards--where the dust/dirt settled.
Wanna see the pic? I know you peeked anyway.
 [left=dirty, right=clean]
Multiply this by like 1 million and you get the idea.  Oh yeah, picture me with knee pads on, scrub brush in hand, bucket of hot water/pine sol, and clean mop.  I scrubbed every.single.solitary.tile in our home and it nearly killed me, but I can say without hesitation that they've never been cleaner--except maybe for the day they were installed! *I have to say, the photo really magnifies the dirty side. It wasn't as easy to see as you would think or it wouldn't have taken me 2 years to take action.

Had to show my worn out knees after nearly 6 hours of scrubbing.

The final day of spring cleaning was spent doing fun stuff: touch-up paint, decorating, putting out fresh candles, labeling (post to come), and other little touches. 
Our laundry room is the only room in our home that has brown walls.  I always keep a little paint on hand for occasional touch-ups.  Apparently, I kept the wrong color so now I have a dark brown smear on the wall.  It's okay, I am repainting this room soon--hopefully before Joy gets here.

The run-down:
ceiling fans: check; baseboards: check; refrigerator/freezer: check; every cabinet/drawer/nook/cranny: check,check,check; dusting: check; walls, check; carpets: check; tile: check; you name it: check, check, check!

Saturday, I had a completely clean house and we went to pick-up our girls in Texarkana! YAY!  They hadn't been home an hour and I noticed a sticky blob on the kitchen tile.  It reminded me that we live in a fallen world.  I had to laugh/sigh/die inside--Ecclesiastes personified.  It's all vanity...futile.  Until our Lord returns, the tile is going to continue to dirty, the dust is going to acquire, the walls will get scratched.  I'm so glad I can say this world is not my home!


baby shower

Last Sunday, the ladies of my church gave baby Joy and me a wonderful shower.  It was so special and I was truly blessed.  My friend, Ashley, was so kind to take pictures for me while I enjoyed the shower.  What a huge load off for me! Thanks again, Ashley.

How cute are all of the decorations? The hostesses really did a wonderful job with everything--vintage, and sweet, and classy.  A special thanks to my dear friend, Kara.

I was so glad my sweet momma got to be there.

I was in the midst of mingling with folks and low and behold my Aunt Cherie showed up!  What a wonderful surprise! Cherie, I was so glad you were there to celebrate with me.

Even though this will be my third little girl, there were lots of wonderful things given just for Miss Joy Tatum.

My mom gave me this cute diaper bag.  I love it!

How neat is this baby cradle made from diapers, bath towels, burp cloths, and wash cloths?

Our church is filled with talented women that can quilt, craft, crochet...you name it!  I received several wonderful crocheted blankets and two gorgeous quilts.  *A little side story:  Two little girls in the church each crocheted Joy a blanket (not pictured) and some little hats.  I will treasure these items forever.  I hope my girls will follow in their footsteps and learn to quilt/crochet and be so generous to others as they have been to me.

There it is...my crazy laugh face.

My friend, Kara, knows me too well--three matching outfits for three adorable little girlies!
I am so thankful for our church family and humbled by the love they have poured out to me and my growing family.

...blessed beyond measure