Five on Friday

My  mom was in town last week and she watched the girls so Graham and I could go to dinner.  He took me to CORK in Tyler--great food and great music.

After our date we ended up at...wait for it...TARGET!  I spotted some bar stools that I could only wish for, but later Graham mentioned seeing the same ones.  In a rare moment he said, "Let's get them!"  What?! Our old stools were top heavy and the girls have tipped over several times so I'm sure that was his determining factor. I wanted them because they are AWESOME!!  Win, win!!

Wednesday, my head was pounding.  I reached up to rub my temples and realized I'd forgot to take off my crown! :)  Girl mom probs, right!?

East Texas weather has been back and forth, back and forth!  Last week, AG's soccer practice was like a spring day.  This week, it was windy and cold.  BLAH! I'm ready for spring to stay!  P.S. Sunday it's supposed to be in the 20s!  

Joy and I trying to keep warm while big sister practices

Did you catch my post: Studying God's Word?  I'm praying it helps a few of you as you grow in godliness!

Driving home from church AG requested to hear the "sad love song".  Once we pulled in the driveway, I shot a little video of her singing it.  So sad.  So funny!  My little melancholy girl make me laugh!
Check out the video:

Sad Love Song from Leslie Hale on Vimeo.


Studying the Word

I lead a discipleship group/Bible study once a month.  We have been studying the book of 1 John for some time and it has been wonderful--wonderful fellowship, friendships, worship, accountability, and growth in godliness.  Over the course of this study, we have really learned the book of 1 John and we've also talked at length about how to read our Bibles.

Too often, we feel compelled to start in Genesis and just read through the Bible.  We set up reading plans to get us through the Bible in a year or so.  We check off books we've read and move on to the next.  Hear me out; I’m not saying these plans are all together bad.  They aren’t.  If you are reading your Bible, especially on a daily basis—GREAT!   About two years ago, I read through the entire Bible and it proved very beneficial for me. (I definitely recommend reading through the entire Bible.)   But, the in-depth study that I craved was pushed aside in order to get through the required reading plan.  It seems like I’m contradicting myself.  Yes, I think Christians should read through the entire Bible, but I also think it’s so important that we camp out in the Word and not get bogged down with reading plans.  Make sense?  Clear as mud?

Recently, I listened to an old (1980 is old, right?) sermon series by John MacArthur on studying the Bible and then I read a coordinating article.  [Click HERE to read the article]   He gave wonderful advice which sparked something in me and I really wanted to share.  *By the way, these are my words, not MacArthur’s!! Just go to the real article if you want the good stuff!!!
  • Spend the majority of your time studying the New Testament because it explains the Old Testament.
  • Take around 7 chapters per New Testament book and read them over and over for an entire month.  For some books like 1 John, which only has five chapters, you’ll read it over and over again for a month.  For other books like Matthew, which contains 28 chapters, you’ll read 7 chapters at a time for a month.  That means you’ll be in the book of Matthew around 3 months.
  •  As you are studying the books of the New Testament, read through the Old Testament like a narrative--a story.
  • As you read the New Testament ask questions and answer them.  Use a commentary to help you along the way.
  • Stay in one translation throughout your reading.
  • As you read the New Testament, determine key themes for each chapter in each book.
  •  Don’t make the text say what you want it to; understand it in the context it was written and interpret scripture with scripture. 

Similar to memorizing scripture, this type of repetitious reading will implant God’s word in your heart and mind.  You’ll begin to recite scripture in your prayer time.  You’ll begin to remember and recall God’s truths.  His words will become active in your life. 

My advice in a nut shell:  Don’t be afraid to CAMP OUT in a passage!  Study God’s word, persevere, and you will grow in sanctification!

Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness. I Timothy 4:7


Thanks for the Feature!

Just a quick post to thank A Stroll Thru Life for featuring my Gallery Wall!  Thanks so much!
A Stroll Thru Life

I'll be back tomorrow with a post on Bible reading.  Can't wait to share!


Five on Friday

Let's tap into the senses (or a twist on the senses) for this 5 on Friday post:

[ONE] reading, learning, loving...
I've just started A Loving Life: In a World of Broken Relationships by Paul E. Miller.  Over and over in the Scriptures we are commanded to LOVE. It's not easy.  Why is it so tough for me? For starters, it's against my nature.  But I'm challenged and convicted by God's Word and I long to be obedient.  
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.  I John 4:7-21

[TWO] learning...
I'm getting more familiar with my doTerra essential oils.  I've been rubbing a little On Guard and Lavender mixed with coconut oil on my babies' feet after their baths.  Joyful loves her little baby massage!  She's got it made in the shade!

I'm still learning about the oils and I'm SO open to tips. Help!

[THREE]  playing, feeling...
The weather outside is AWESOME!  Nice spring temps.  Are they here to stay??

[FOUR] listening...
I've been playing Eva Cassidy on repeat these days. I love her voice--one of my favorite female vocals. Her story is sad, but her music is lovely.  *I love how the shuffle on my iPhone reminds me of tunes I've forgotten.  

[FIVE] tasting...
Did y'all get to check out my cream cheese mints recipe this week?  Click HERE for the recipe.  They are delish! 
I'm looking forward to the spring temps and time spent outdoors this weekend!!  Have a good one, y'all!


I've Been Featured!!

I've jumped back on to the link-up party bandwagon!  Love it!!! It's really fun for me because I get to meet new people, soak up great ideas, and share projects from the blog.  Recently, some of my posts have been featured on several different blogs.  I'd love for you to check out the features.  Plus, the ladies that featured my work have some pretty awesome blogs that I'm sure you'll enjoy.  Thanks for the little shout out, girls!


My gallery wall was featured on Pickled Okra: Saturday Spotlight.


Dear Harper

The winter pics I took of the girls were featured on Dear Harper: Find Beauty Friday.


My gallery wall and slip cover makeover were featured on It's Overflowing: Share Your Creativity

**Shameless plug: Click HERE to view the page with all of my featured posts over the years.


Cream Cheese Mints

I have a recipe for y'all!!  Shocker, I know!

Sunday, I hosted a baby shower for a friend.  I wanted a sweet snack to go along with the cake--homemade mints sounded yummy!  Of course, I went straight to Pinterest to find a recipe.  After searching for a while, I finally landed on one that looked quick and easy. Long story short, the recipe wasn't good--vague instructions and limited details.  I've had this happen to me before with pinned recipes.  Bummer!!  You'd think I'd learn my lesson.  After throwing out two batches, I tweaked the recipe and came up with my own that worked!    

Cream Cheese Mints

*These mints take about 5 minutes to prepare, but need to sit for about a day before serving.

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
optional: 1 drop food coloring 

In a large bowl slowly cream the cheese.  Add the peppermint extract and food coloring (if using).  Continue to cream until the cheese is light and fluffy.  Slowly add the powdered sugar.  As you are adding the sugar, make sure that the cream cheese and sugar mix well before adding more--scrape sides as needed.  The mixture will be light and fluffy.  Either spoon the mixture into little balls and place on waxed paper or put it into a plastic sandwich bag or piping bag.  *I used a Ziplock, cut the edge, and piped onto waxed paper.  Sprinkle a little granulated sugar on top of the mints.  Let the mints harden for about 20 minutes and then use a fork to flatten.  Let the mints dry for approx. 8-12 hours and then turn over to let the bottom dry.

After messing up two batches with the faulty recipe, I only had about 12 hours for my mints to dry.  They were good--very tasty, but a tad too soft.  I recommend making these mints at least 24 hours before serving.  Next time, I think I can make them look a little prettier, too!


Five on Friday

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!  Some folks think this little holiday is silly and maybe it is, but I've always enjoyed it.  Even from a young age, my daddy made me feel special for Valentine's day.  Candy, cards, flowers--what's not to love?  It's nice to have a day set aside to pile on the love.  It's fun!  And I like fun!


The girls and I made our Valentine a little something special for his office.  That little hand-print in the top right nearly wiped me out!  Paint everywhere, I tell ya!!!


This week, we have had one of Graham's seminary professors in for a special visit.  He spoke at our church on Sunday and then again on Monday night.  It was such a treat.  Sunday night, he came over for dinner and brought me TULIPs.   I appreciated the sweet gesture and his humor! 


My Valentine gave me a gorgeous cameo necklace.  He found it at a local boutique and said he thought it looked like something I'd like.  Nailed it!


Totally random, but for those of you around my age, you may remember the good 'ole days of the gold rope chain fad.  I think I last wore mine in the eight grade.  It was the thing to have--that, along with suede jackets, and Doc Martens.  My dad found mine on a trip to Taiwan and I was so excited to wear it!  I've kept it all these years and randomly broke it out the other day.  I'm kinda liking the simplicity of it.  Yes? No?    


Did you catch my post on gallery walls and competing spaces?  Check it out HERE.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great weekend and a Happy Valentine's Day!


AG presents...

Here is the video I promised of AG presenting her rendition of "A Boy Who Cried Wolf" at CC.
AG & Aesop's Fables from Leslie Hale on Vimeo.


Love them? Hate them?

Recently, we were given a great wingback chair.  The chair has wonderful bones--so comfortable, great shape, and great condition.  I just love it.  One thing, the fabric is a little 90's jewel-toned-ish, but the chair is great. Really it is!

I'm finally starting to figure out my style--sort of.   I don't know if I could write it out exactly, but I know what I like.  With that said, I love the slip-covered look.  I love the cottage-y feel when traditional meets comfort.

So...I measured my chair, looked at a bazillon different types of covers, and placed my order.  The new cover fits nicely for a non-custom slip-cover.  I'm pleased with the look.  Until...

Until someone sits in it!  

Seriously, it's held up great.  It even falls back into place nicely.  But for an OCD-ish, type-A, clean-freak like myself, it's a tad frustrating.  Just a smidge.

I know it can't look perfect.  That's not the look of a slip-cover.  It's not in its nature.

It very rarely has to be re-tucked-which is a huge plus!

And I just love the way it brightens and softens up my living room.

I imagine how great it would look on dark wooden floors.  A girl can dream.

So LOVE beats out hate.  I love my slipcover!

What are your thoughts on slip-covers?  Love them?  Hate them?

Linking up:  It's Overflowing

Five on Friday

Happy, Happy Friday, y'all!!!

KK came to visit us last weekend!  Friday night, she and I went out without the kiddos! It was so nice to have some girl time with my friend.  We went to dinner, shopped, and  had the best time catching up. Oh yeah...we ended our GNO at Walmart!
Inappropriate?  Too far?  That's me.

It's been cold around here and us Texans are dreary and tired of being cooped up in the house...
above: AG made a "beach" in her room, Edy dressed all cozy-fied for the winter weather, and too much time indoors makes for some unhappy toys

Spring break is just around the corner and I am getting my ideas together for my spring projects:
I've pretty much decided to paint the bottom half of my kitchen cabinets and I just love the inspiration pic.  Thoughts?  Also, we are planning an IKEA trip soon and I may have to snag these curtains.

Do y'all follow the Dowager Countess on Twitter?  If not, you should!!

Favorite quote from this week's episode:
Isobel: How you hate to be wrong.
DC:  I wouldn't know.  I'm not familiar with the sensation.

Did you get to check out my easy-peasy craft project this week?

We have an extremely busy weekend, but I'll be back Monday with a sweet video of my AG presenting at CC.

Have a great weekend, y'all!