Free Concert

So this past Saturday we were able to enjoy a great concert by For King & Country!

Our small town had a two day event by the river but due to a wet, rainy weekend they ended up canceling it hours before the concert!  A large church nearby opened their doors to allow the show to go on! It was so wonderful of them, and more were able to see the band perform than if it had still been outdoors. The band could have just gone home, but they chose to stay in town and bless our city.  Their hearts were evident in that small act.

Joel and Luke Small bone have such an amazing story and they shared it with everyone again. (A few years ago I put 2 and 2 together and realized their big sis is Rebecca St. James!!)

We love this band, and they did not disappoint!  They even came out into the crowd and our 12 year olds year was made when Luke gave her a high five!!!  I tried to get a video of it, but was lousy – except I did get her face of sheer joy after the fact!!

I have had their songs on reply in my head!

I would love to chat with you on Facebook ~ or follow me on Pinterest!  See what a “few of my favorite things” are!

Blessings & JOY ~

Sadie

 

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p.s. my blog posts may contain affiliate links to items that I love, use, or want to share. Thank you for helping support Cottage & Hen ♥

Boy Mom

I met this beautiful mama in 2009 when my hubby was first stationed here.  She has always been so cheerful and optimistic; such a sweet spirit.

She isn’t always smiling because life is always amazing; she is always smiling because she knows that God is always with her!  Her life is a testimony and anyone who knows her is blessed!

Love you, Casey!  Thank you for letting me capture you and your handsome boys!!

I would love to chat with you on Facebook ~ or follow me on Pinterest!  See what a “few of my favorite things” are!

Blessings & JOY ~

Sadie

 

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p.s. my blog posts may contain affiliate links to items that I love, use, or want to share. Thank you for helping support Cottage & Hen ♥

Depression

I’ve wanted to write a post about this for years.  I know its not a happy post, but I think its something that should and needs to be addressed.

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Ps 34:18

I grew up in church, but I have suffered from depression (and anxiety) for over 20 years.  It was years before I ever shared this with anyone, including my husband.  Depression is widely spoken of in the public sphere, but often frowned upon in the Christian world.  Yet, 1 in 4 women take mental health meds.  Despite the many articles and speeches on this issue, women (and men) often do not feel like they can talk about it and more often than not do not find the support they need.  In fact, many times I have left church feeling more drained and depressed than when I arrived.  Shame and stigma are often causes for suffering alone.

“But I am afflicted and in pain; let Your salvation, O God, set me on high!” Ps 69:29

Many christians who suffer from depression struggle between what we know to be true and the darkness that we feel to be true.  With that being said, we often feel that we are not “good enough”; or that something is “wrong with us”.  How can someone who walks with the Lord struggle with these dark feelings of hopelessness when God is our Hope and Strength?  So these feelings of darkness get stuffed back down and are not talked about, or shared with others.  One can only hold that in so long before breaking.

“Answer me quickly, O Lord! My spirit fails! Hide not Your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear in the morning of Your steadfast love, for in You I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.” Ps 143:7-8

The church should support and not shun those who struggle with depression and anxiety.  Those who have not struggled with it will not fully understand it, but in no way should it ever be disregarded.  Nor should those who do struggle with it be told something is wrong with them.

“But God, Who comforts the downcast…” 2 Cor 7:6a

Depression and anxiety is very real, its not “all in your head”, and the church needs to do a better job in supporting those who face these demons regularly.  Brandon Peach says it like this, “It’s not a character defect, a spiritual disorder or an emotional dysfunction. And chief of all, it’s not a choice. Asking someone to “try” not being depressed is tantamount to asking someone who’s been shot to try and stop bleeding. Such an attitude can dangerously appear in the Church as, “if only you had enough faith.”

“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Ps 30:5b

I know from personal experience how exhausting it is to constantly be battling it.  I know personally what it feels like to be told that I’m “doing something wrong” in my Christian walk and that is why I feel this way.

“…for You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for joy.” Ps 63:7

Lets rally around our sisters and really listen and encourage.  Give that hug and just be there when you are needed.  No judgement.  It’s all about loving others, by showing (and sharing) the love of Christ.

God is good, and is the reason I am still here today.

Blessings & JOY!

Sadie

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p.s. my blog posts may contain affiliate links to items that I love, use, or want to share. Thank you for helping support Cottage & Hen ♥

Earn your Premium Starter Kit

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So, I think this is kinda cool.  I mean, who doesn’t like FREE?  If you become a Young Living Member with a Premium Starter Kit, you can get “thank you checks” that will pay for the cost of the PSK!  How?  Simply by sharing this amazing wellness company with 3 (or more!) of your friends who become members, too!  When they sign up with a PSK you will receive $50 from YL bonuses!  $25 for the Start Living Bonus and $25 for the Fast Start Bonus!  Is that just not amazing?!

Bam!  Premium Starter Kit paid for!!

I wish I had known this when I signed up!!

If that got you excited, you might like to know that for every new distributor you personally enroll with a PSK, you’ll not only collect $50 but 25% of their orders for the first three months, too!

Being a wholesale member (think Costco) with Young Living gets you the amazing product at 24% off without the membership fees!  Yes, you pay to become a member…BUT YOU GET PRODUCT WITH THAT PAYMENT, unlike other wholesale companies.  Over $300 worth of product for only $160!

In the Premium Starter Kit you receive the Everyday Oils Collection and it is definitely named appropriately!  Those babies get used in our home on a daily basis!

Every day I am grateful for Young Living!

Blessings & JOY!

Sadie

Member #1622294

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Please use the “become a member” link above to sign up, or enter my member number (1622294) manually when signing up.  TIA!

Why We Chose Homeschooling

So, our oldest started High School this year.

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This was our second year in the public schools off post.  What a difference!  For one, there isn’t any PTO’s – everything is student ran.  So, no volunteering available for school dances, etc.  Which, in our home means our kids don’t get to attend.  When we lived on post and our children attended post schools, the PTO was wonderful and I was able to volunteer at their school dances!  I absolutely loved being part of the PTO and I think it had a huge impact on our kids’ academics and attitudes.

Our son has always struggled academically and as a result has had an IEP since 2nd grade.  When he arrived at this new school they told him his grades were too high and removed it.  As a result his grades and confidence fell.  I was so frustrated.  But he didn’t like being in the IEP classes due to other kids’ bullying him so I didn’t fight for it.  Maybe I should have. We did before and after school tutoring and it didn’t seem to help.  No offense to teachers, but going to school at 6:30am to play a board game, isn’t tutoring in my book.

He would get bullied at school.  Nothing too serious, just stressful when its a daily occurrence.  He would come home so angry.  So angry.  We would not even talk to him for about an hour so he could calm down and we could start to see his real personality again.

I keep tabs on our kids’ grades and his weren’t getting better.  This is High School.  These four years shape you and play a huge part in your adult life.  As a parent, I couldn’t just sit back and watch him just get pushed through with “passing grades”.  That isn’t going to help him understand the curriculum.  What would he do when he went to take his SAT??

After many tears, prayers, and talks with hubby, we decided that pulling him out mid school year was in his best interest.  It would be a lot of work for us and it would mean I couldn’t work in my salon as much.   It would also mean that these next 4 years he could have a personal tutor (me!) to help him succeed.

The perk of homeschooling that we’ve witnessed in these couple months?  His attitude.  OMStars, his attitude has changed – and for the better!!  He is, once again, the sweet young man we know.  It makes my heart happy.  I want our children to succeed academically, but more importantly, I want them to succeed in life!  Who he is, what he does, and how he serves Jesus is what will matter for all eternity.

Homeschooling our high schooler had me terrified, but we are already reaping the benefits!

Our middle child is in all advanced (pre high school) classes, yet she is bored.  So bored she draws on her papers, or mutilates her notebooks.  While in class.  Don’t even get me started on the stories they come home with.  Or the automated phone calls that we get about inappropriate behaviors that have been discovered during school hours.

Homeschooling has been such a pleasant experience that we are planning on homeschooling all three of our children next year!  Homeschooling allows your children to learn at their speed.  Because, isn’t the ultimate goal that they learn what they are taught?

Blessed!

I would love to chat with you on FacebookTwitter  ~ or follow me on Pinterest!  See what a “few of my favorite things” are!

Blessings & JOY ~

Sadie

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p.s. my blog posts may contain affiliate links to items that I love, use, or want to share. Thank you for helping support Cottage & Hen ♥

LuLaLove

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I love LuLaRoe.  No, I am not a consultant.  I discovered them back in 2015 when not nearly as many people wore them as now (at least in our area).  I would get lots of looks due to my flashy legs.  Now, we just smile at each other and point at our legs and say, “LuLaRoe?”  Yes, they are bringing people together!

Between myself and my 2 girls we have 26 pairs of leggings and I have 1 Perfect T.  I like their Carly dress and Sarah cardigan, but don’t own either as I am frugal and want the perfect one before I fork over that many dollars!!!

The main reason why I love LLR and their trademark buttery soft leggings is the simple fact that they STAY UP where they belong.  When I first discovered them, I got the Tall & Curvy size leggings.  I am 5’8″ and wear a size 10/12 depending on brand and style.  The TC fit well and were long!  The band went a bit higher than I like, but it does cover my “mom belly”.  My friend suggested I try their One Size as well and they fit, too!  A little shorter in the legs, but perfect for the warmer months.  So now I had both sizes to browse through for all my fun prints!

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Another reason why I love LLR is because I have seen first hand the confidence their fun and stylish clothing helps bring other women.  They went from sweatshirts and yoga pants to cute LLR outfits and their confidence boost is simply amazing!!  I even feel that way often.  I get the “muffin top” when wearing some of my jeans, but I’ll put on a pair of LLR leggings and BAM!  I can tackle the day in style and confidence!  I find it amazing and wonderful how something so simple can have such a profound effect!

I also love the fact that they are made in the USA.  Well, all but the leggings…which is pretty much all I buy!  Naturally.

I now have a handful of friends who sell LuLaRoe.  I order a few from each when I cannot live without something… one has to snag them quickly before they are gone, gone, gone!  OMStars, there was sheer madness over the holiday leggings!!

Over the past 6 months I have bought both OS and TC leggings.  Some of the TC are short and too big.  Like, the ankles aren’t even tight!  Even though they say not to dry them, I wanted to simply to see if it would fit better afterwards!  A few arrived like that.  Then I ordered a few OS and they were too tight, so they ended up in my daughters drawer (she wears a size 4).  Well, the last kicker was an adorable owl print I just ordered in OS.  It was SOOO extremely small that I couldn’t even get it over my knees.  No joke.  I took them off and looked at the tag, fully expecting to see ‘Tween’ on the label.  But, no, it indeed says ‘One Size’.  I’m finding it hard to know exactly what size to buy anymore!  The quality control has seriously been lacking!  All my suppliers are amazing ladies who are more than happy to return or exchange.  It’s just the hassle and frustration of it.  Not to mention you’re already so in love with the fun pattern – possibly even your unicorn print!!

It is a sad day because I think my faith in LuLaRoe is dwindling.  I will have to start purchasing my items from local gals only to ensure they actually fit!  Here’s to hoping they figure out this drastic sizing discrepancy soon!!  Leggings are life!

Who else wears LuLaRoe?  Do you just love them??  Do you have any stories to tell?  How about any unicorns?? My mother-in-law just gave me my unicorn print in leggings for Christmas! ♥

I would love to chat with you on FacebookTwitter  ~ or follow me on Pinterest!  See what a “few of my favorite things” are!

Blessings & JOY ~

Sadie

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p.s. my blog posts may contain affiliate links to items that I love, use, or want to share. Thank you for helping support Cottage & Hen ♥

The Legend of Thieves

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This graphic cracks me up!  Obviously, the only thieves you want to let into your home is the essential oil!

So, one of my favorite oil blends from Young Living is Thieves.  I always have it on hand, we use it daily, and it is the #1 oil that we diffuse in our home.  I love the spicy blend of clove, cinnamon, rosemary, lemon, and others!

But, why the name Thieves?  Legend has it that four 15th century french thieves formulated a special aromatic combination of clove, rosemary, and other botanicals to wear while robbing the dead and dying.  Although the plague was highly contagious, not one of this morbid band of thieves ever contracted the dreaded black plague.  This story is what inspired YL to name this amazing and spicy blend!

Thieves essential oil blend delivers the naturally derived constituents limonene, eugenol, and eucalyptus in a warm-smelling blend that has made it an all-time favorite for many YL members! Thieves Vitality essential oil blend may support wellness when taken as a dietary supplement.  I think it is simply amazing, and we love to use it as a preventative for our immune system.  Try adding 1 drop to a cup of hot tea for a spicy zing! :)

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This blend is the basis for their A-MAZING Thieves line of products that includes (but not limited to) their cleaners!  I hate germs and we had always used bleach to disinfect our home (especially when we lived on post – that home was so old and run down, it never felt clean).  I rather dislike the smell of the usual household cleaners; they give me a headache.  So, when I became a Young Living Member, I decided to try their Thieves cleaner!  It cleans great, smells even better, and it also kills germs!  It is absolutely the best cleaner to wipe the kitchen counters down with!  If you are looking to ditch the chemicals, this is definitely the way to go!  I also love how its so cost effective.  It’s concentrated, so it ends up being less than a dollar per spray bottle! :)

I would love to chat with you on FacebookTwitter  ~ or follow me on Pinterest!  See what a “few of my favorite things” are!

Blessings & JOY ~

Sadie

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.  These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent and disease.

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p.s. my blog posts may contain affiliate links to items that I love, use, or want to share. Thank you for helping support Cottage & Hen ♥

What’s Your Word?

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Do you make New Years Resolutions?  Or, maybe yearly goals?  Last year I made a vision board…not many items were realized in 2016.  Kinda put a damper on my spirit, honestly.  I always have goals in life, and the first is always a great time to start them.  This year I have decided to focus on a word, with a few more vague goals that will be met in some capacity.  Ha, I’m slowly learning to out-smart the system! ;)

For 2017 my word is CALM.

Calm, because I suffer from anxiety.

Calm, because I’m a homeschooling mom again.

Calm, because I worry over things I cannot change.

Calm, because having a house full of teens can often be anything BUT calm.

Calm, because I often should take a deep breath before speaking (see above).

Calm, because, lets face it: life is rarely calm.

Calm, because I will need to lean on the Lord for grace, patience, and peace.

My chosen word ‘calm’ could also be described as ‘wait’, ‘breathe’, ‘patience’… :)

I’m really hoping this ‘Word for 2017’ works out for me!  Maybe I should also use some of my favorite oil blends from Young Living, like Peace & Calming!  Praying I am able to recall this word through out the days, weeks, and months ahead.  Trying to keep myself grounded, realizing what is important in the big picture.  What is important for eternity?  That is what I want to focus on.

This mama will be found whispering ‘calm’ to herself.

Do you have any goals, resolutions, or a word for 2017?

I would love to chat with you on FacebookTwitter  ~ or follow me on Pinterest!  See what a “few of my favorite things” are!

Blessings & JOY ~

Sadie

 

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p.s. my blog posts may contain affiliate links to items that I love, use, or want to share. Thank you for helping support Cottage & Hen ♥

family love {sneak peek}

Today I had the privilege of photographing my friend and her extended family!  And… can I just say this?  I was having some serious red hair envy!!  Thank you, Tina and family for letting me capture some special moments!

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I would love to chat with you on FacebookTwitter  ~ or follow me on Pinterest!  See what a “few of my favorite things” are!

Blessings & JOY ~

Sadie

 

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p.s. my blog posts may contain affiliate links to items that I love, use, or want to share. Thank you for helping support Cottage & Hen ♥

For the Love of Lashes

Earlier this year I became certified in individual eyelash extensions.  (Not to be confused with clusters!!)

I apply classic; I love how natural they look!

Even on shorter, thinner lashes (above) it makes a difference!

Individual lash extensions are applied directly to each individual natural lash.  It is a time consuming beauty ritual.  A full set can take upwards of 2 hours to apply.  A fill will be needed anywhere from 2-4 weeks.

No more need for mascara! You can actually say, “I woke up like this!”!!

Simply gorgeous!!  One must take special care of their new lashes.  You must refrain from getting them wet, especially within the first 24 hours.  You must also keep them clean and brushed!  Your lash girl will tell you how to best take care of your beauty investment!

Individual lash extensions are simply amazing! Have you discovered this new trend yet?

Blessings & JOY ~

Sadie

 

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p.s. my blog posts may contain affiliate links to items that I love, use, or want to share. Thank you for helping support Cottage & Hen ♥