Worth Celebrating

“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”

Matthew 28:

 

Worth celebrating: An empty tomb.

 

We’ve done just that, starting with Raynes’ first Easter egg hunt.

 

Raynes' first  easter egg hunt

Like his father, he seems to enjoy anything hunting related.

It was obviously so worth the $10 I spent to have his white polo shirt monogrammed with his stacked initials so he could wear it in these Easter photos.   Nothing says Easter like red flannel pajamas, rain boots, a Walmart puffer vest and a ski hat.

Raynes hunting eggs on easter morning

 

We attended a beautiful (packed!) Sunday morning service at our church followed by last-ditch effort for Easter photos back at the house.  Our reality looks something like this:

 

Easter kids reality3-2

Trying to get a photo with 3 kids on easter morning ain't happening

 

The reality of what easter morning looks like with three kids

 

 

 

After 15 shots and threatening the kids with no Easter candy until I got one shot where we all looked in the same direction without crying, we were able to capture our almost-family photo that I wanted.

Because we all know, beggars can’t be choosers.

 

Easter me and kids -2

 

The reality of what easter morning looks like with three kids

 

As if we don’t have enough of a reason to celebrate this Sunday, my Mom’s birthday also fell on Easter this year.  And…. Mike and I will be celebrating our 13 year wedding anniversary tomorrow.  Bang, bang, bang. (onomatopoeia’s are my  favorite).

My cup runneth over.  Yes it does.

(Listen to the end of our church service  singing hallelujah yesterday- always a favorite)

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Weekend Simplicity

Weekend Simplicity is dinner with friends followed by a game of Farkle, family style.

Weekend Simplicity

 

 

Because it’s never too early to teach your children the importance of a good dice roll.  A true life skill according to some.

Weekend Simplicity

 

 

Good Friday called for some good cupcakes– blue food coloring to boot.

Weekend Simplicity

 

 

Weekend links:

 

Last but not least, a happy 88th birthday to my Meme!  If this is what drinking bottled water and eating organic vegetables for 40 years does, than I’ll keep on a drinkin’ and a eatin’ like you tell me to.

Weekend Simplicity

 

Easter Sunday has become my favorite day of the liturgical calendar.  Looking forward to tomorrow’s third day.

How to throw a ‘Far Outside the Ordinary’ book release party….

How to throw a Far Outside the Ordinary Book Release Party {Grateful Simplicity}

 

Want to know the makings of a great book release party?

It’s quite simple really: A beautiful memoir, delicious food, partner with a meaningful cause, have live music, gorgeous blue skies, free booze and dear friends.  A good time is guaranteed.

 

Grateful Simplicity (Far Outside the Ordinary)

 

Grateful Simplicity  {Book Release Party}

 

Grateful Simplicity  {Book Release Party}

 

Grateful Simplicity (Far Outside the Ordinary)

 

FOTO and FSN Launch Party-0057

“The caterpillar dies so the butterfly could be born.  And, yet, the caterpillar lives in the butterfly and they are but one. So, when I die, it will be that I have been transformed from the caterpillar of earth to the butterfly of the universe.”  - John Harricharan

Grateful Simplicity  {Book Release Party}

“It’s an oddity many traumatized victims realize during a crisis.  Life changes only for the wounded, those directly hit.  There was a line between us now. They were normal; we weren’t.”  -Far Outside the Ordinary

FOTO and FSN Launch Party- speech2 (1 of 1)

“81% of the American population walk around with a book in their head. Only 2% ever get that book out of their head and publish it.”

Grateful Simplicity | Book Release Party

FOTO and FSN Launch Party- outside7 (1 of 1)

Grateful Simplicity  {Book Release Party} (1 of 1)

Grateful Simplicity  {Book Release Party}

Grateful Simplicity  {Far Outside the Ordinary - Book Release Party}

Grateful Simplicity  {Book Release Party}

Grateful Simplicity  {'Far Outside the Ordinary' Book Release Party}

Grateful Simplicity | Fresh New Start Board

Grateful Simplicity  {Far Outside the Ordinary - Book Release Party}

Grateful Simplicity  {Book Release Party}

Grateful Simplicity  {Book Release Party}

Grateful Simplicity  {Book Release Party}

Grateful Simplicity  {Book Release Party}

Grateful Simplicity  {Book Release Party}

Grateful Simplicity  {Book Release Party}

Grateful Simplicity  {Book Release Party}

Grateful Simplicity  {Book Release Party}

Grateful Simplicity  {Far Outside the Ordinary - Book Release Party}

Grateful Simplicity  {Far Outside the Ordinary - Book Release Party}

Grateful Simplicity  {Far Outside the Ordinary - Book Release Party}

How to throw a 'Far Outside the Ordinary' book release party {Grateful Simplicity} How to throw a 'Far Outside the Ordinary' book release party {Grateful Simplicity} How to throw a 'Far Outside the Ordinary' book release party {Grateful Simplicity}

Grateful Simplicity  {Far Outside the Ordinary - Book Release Party}

FOTO and FSN Launch Party-vicki-0083

No one liked a good ol’ hand shaking party like my Dad.  I think he enjoyed looking down on this this one.  Especially since his friends had alcohol, not water, in their bottles this go round.

http://gratefulsimplicity.com/2014/04/birth-book-2.html

Click HERE to find out how you can help Fresh New Start.

Far Outside Ordinary can be purchased in kindle edition from Amazon, hardback/paperback from the author websiteBarnes and Noble, as well as iBook format for your iPad.

A ‘Far Outside the Ordinary’ Book Release {Party!}

Today is a special day for our family.  After 4 years, we are celebrating the release of mom’s first book ‘Far Outside the Ordinary’ with a book release party this evening.  Her memoir has officially been published and is available in kindle edition from Amazon, (signed)  hardback/paperback from the author website, Barnes and Noble, and in iBook format for your iPad.

Fresh New Start will be co-hosting the event making it even more amazing.  Fresh New Start is an organization whose goal is to refresh and renew the young widow who has lost her husband to cancer.  Unfortunately, in our town there are all too many.  FSN was founded by LeeAnne Gibbs and they offer’s encouragement and support as the caregiver both starts and endures her journey through widowhood.  You can find out more about FNS by clicking HERE.

Mom and I were laughing today how my Dad was always a stickler for good (read in between the lines- “safe”) weather.  The rain storm has blown over leaving us with a crisp, beautiful blue sky in Tallahassee, compliments of my Dad I believe.  And even more so a true symbolism of what the book is all about.

We plan to drink a little wine, eat some yummy food and celebrate this milestone accomplishment.  Who would’ve known she would have tapped into her inner artist and author in her sixties? Goes to show, some folks seem to get better with age.

 

Far Outside the Ordinary by Prissy Elrod (a memoir). Available from Amazon.com and prissyelrod.com

 

Don’t believe me? Here are a few of the reviews so far:

“Far Outside the Ordinary keeps you slack-jawed and hooked from page one. You may need to remind yourself that this is indeed a memoir while reading about angels of death, high fashion, world travel, shady medical clinics, political high-society, murder, miracle treatments, and long-lost loves. All of this is wrapped up in southern-styled dramatic fashion to boot. This is just a primitive sampling of the gems hiding in Prissy Elrod’s debut novel. She expertly weaves her telling taking the reader from death and tragedy to life and love charming the reader with her witty and, at times, heart-wrenching truths, which were both universal and pointedly unique. The book’s first half contrasted with its second is all-together a roller-coaster of emotion. The treacherous lows juxtaposed with glorious highs makes for a thrilling ride that kept this reader wanting more.”- Nichole Healy

“This is an absolute treasure of a book with poignant messages on love, friendship, strength and hope. With a story that is both heartbreaking and inspiring, Far Outside the Ordinary connects the reader with the author, Prissy Elrod– a woman with remarkable resolve and strength, with an important story and perspective to share. She is surrounded by an unlikely group of people that forge an unexpected but deep bond through some of the most difficult circumstances. This is a wonderful memoir – personal and witty from start to finish, with aspects that would resonate with any reader. I didn’t want this book to end – it’s a true gem!” -Morgan Lewis

“I read this book in one day. I felt every possible emotion. Very tragic, sad and happy rolled into one. Definitely one of the best books I have read, made even better because I know Prissy. Hope to see more from her. I certainly recommend that everyone read this. Fantastic.”  – John Perkins

But tonight?  Tonight we shall celebrate because in the end, all that’s important is family, friends, and health.  And that is worth celebrating.

Children and Tithing

Children and Tithing | Grateful Simplicity

 

This parenting gig I have never ceases to amaze me.  Just when I think I’m starting to learn the ropes, wham-o, I’m faced with a situation where I have to think on my feet and I’m right back to second guessing myself. Kenley did something this morning that’s had me thinking all day.

As I was getting ready for church she walked into my bathroom, wearing her pressed Jelly the Pug dress (she’s always the first one ready) and brushing her long hair.  She was holding some cash rolled up on her left hand and she handed it to me saying “I’m going to give this to church today.  It’s $20 dollars.”

On a good week, my gal can earn up to $5 in allowance.  (Um, we don’t always have good weeks).

 

children church tithing

 

My first reaction, admittedly, was to say, ‘Kenley you don’t have to give that much money to church’ but I stopped myself because I thought who am I to give her a limit as to what constitutes too much money for God? What does that teach her? That we should give, but only so much?  Give, but not sacrificially?

Instead I said to her, “Wow, you take tithing to a new level Kenley! The Bible says we should give 10% and that’s 50% of what you have.  That’s awfully generous Kenley.

My thought process was this would give her an ‘out’ once she did the math and realized that she is giving five times more than most.  The girl is smart, she knew (and knows) darn well how much she was giving and she didn’t blink, hesitate, or recalculate. She simply said, “Yep!  I am giving twenty dollars” with a big, proud, dimpled smile across her face.

When we got to church, and the gold offering plate was being handed to her as we sang In Thee is Gladness I watched as she proudly dropped that offering envelope with her name in large, penciled letters across the top. She handed the plate along to the next person in the pew like it was no big deal, like she could have been dropping in the spare change I scurried to find at the bottom of my purse to hand her so she could have something, anything, to give when it came her turn.

No hesitation.  No second guessing.   She was deliberate and assured in her sacrificial gift.

I’m hoping that next time we are at Target and her sister is picking our Rainbow Looms and DVDs with her allowance she hoards saves that Kenley will still feel the same way.

Looking back, this giving on her part isn’t a one time thing. Mr. Robinson and I received a charitable giving report from our church in December 2013 and Miss Kenley Robinson received one too (just in case she needed it for her taxes).  There was a dollar amount on there high enough for Mike and I to look at one another as if to say well I’ll be darned.

While I’m sure I’m finding ways to screw up my kids I am grateful there’s a God who find His way into their hearts to be their source of Ultimate Influence.

 

children and tithing