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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Beach Babies

We have one more day left on the beach before heading home. I am always sad to leave.

My kids have been having such a wonderful time. Just look at these faces....

We have been collecting lots of fabulous shells for a neat little project once we get home. Can't wait to share it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Beach Ideas: Good and Not-So-Good

This week, while at the beach, we have had some GOOD ideas and some NOT-SO-GOOD ideas. Observe....

Teaching Belle to surf... GOOD idea. The girl is a natural.

Sending Jeb off with a bag of Cheese-its to feed the sea gulls... NOT-SO-GOOD idea. The attack was ruthless, and the boy is now terrified of anything feathered.

Momentarily ignoring Estella's incessant requests to leave the beach and go to the pool... GOOD idea. The girl begged herself right to sleep.

Letting Pat (my brother-in-law) wake up early and go out surfing... NOT SO GOOD idea. The lifeguard starting waving him in, but he couldn't figure out why. Another surfer (a local) informed him that it was "probably because of the five foot bull shark that had been circling them." Oh, ya' think? Needless to say, Pat paddled his surfing self to the beach.

Matt playing with the kids in the ocean while Mommy soaks up some sun... BEST IDEA OF THE WEEK.

Matt thinking it would be awesome to surf with Jeb on his back... WORST IDEA OF THE WEEK. Bless his little heart. I'm that mom who probably should jump up and make sure everything is ok, but instead, can't stop laughing long enough to offer assistance.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A few snapshots from the beach

We are in Florida!! So far we couldn't ask for better weather, better company, better kids, or a better time. I am never more happy than when I am sitting on the beach looking out across the ocean. Amazing, amazing stuff.

Here are just a few quick snapshots from our trip so far. The first is of Jeb tonight at Harry T's. The next is a close up of my awesome sunburn, and let me just say... the picture does NOT do it justice. So painful. And the last picture is the view off our balcony.... (all taken from our iPhones.... Better quality pictures to come, of course.)

If you have a favorite place to visit, thing to do, or place to eat here in Destin, leave me a comment and let me know. Share your wisdom! We are always looking for some great new suggestions. I'll try a few out and let you know how it went!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Little authors

I have spent a lot of time writing lately. (aka... every single spare second of my day... as if there are so many spare seconds.) The girls have been completely uninterested in what mommy does until recently. They saw an article I had written several months ago and my name in print and decided I might be sort of cool. Maybe. Since then, they have been asking lots of questions and telling me they want to write a book, too.

Let me just be honest, I make time to do little projects with my kids, but I really want to finish this book asap with as few distractions as possible. (Yeah, right in this house--no distractions. Ha!) I put them off as long as I could, but today, I finally gave in.

This was such an easy little project for them to do. I let them write and illustrate their own story. Instead of staples, I punched holes into several sheets of typing paper and tied on some cute ribbons. I told them to brainstorm their story lines, then let them go at it. Belle is still working on hers, but Estella Dru finished today. (I had to do her writing for her, but wrote what she said word for word. She is reading really well, but we're still working on the writing. I can't believe she's starting kindergarten next month!)

Estella entitled her story, The Fairy and the Human. Catchy, right? Here are a few pages.

Now if only I could come up with a title for my story. Sigh. I can't believe The Fairy and the Human is already taken. That's what I get for not being on the ball.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Call to Confidence

I lost a little over 15 pounds when I got diabetes.... BY DOING NOTHING BUT EATING AND DRINKING LIKE A MAD WOMAN. I ended up weighing less than I did when Matt and I got married... ten years ago, before children. And then... I found out I was on the brink of death, began insulin, and gained it almost all back. Thanks for saving my life, insulin, but seriously?

Not that I was overweight to start with. I mean, I would LOVE to look the way I did before I had kids... it's a goal of mine, but I'm not crazy obsessed with it.

Or am I?

Every single time I try on something, my immediate thought is... if only I could lose five pounds, I bet it would fit better. Honestly, I can't remember a time when I didn't have that thought... even at my tiniest. It's ridiculous. I'm all about staying fit and looking your best, but where does this never good enough mentality come from? Just this past Sunday, the girls and I were trying on bathing suits in a dressing room, and every single one Belle put on she said these words, "Oh my gosh. My belly looks so fat. Get it off." She is seven.

We will be at the beach on Saturday. As much as I'm looking forward to it, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking... If only I would have worked out harder this last month.... I want to stop being a weirdo. I want to just keep eating healthy, keep going to the gym, and exude confidence. Why is that so hard?

And the truth is, even though I think I'm not passing on this ridiculousness to my daughters, they pick up on everything. And I mean everything. I think, as mommies, we not only have to enforce confidence in our daughters, but we also have to show them that we are confident. NOT easy for me, but essential.

Now please don't get me wrong. I'm not implying that I'm going to go do this and feel ok about it...

(But wow, wouldn't that be good? I'm just sayin'....)

But it does mean, I'm going to do all I can to stay healthy and fit, then try my hardest to be happy with myself whether or not I can fit into those size 4s.

I've seen this quote several times and love it. There's so much truth here.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. -Maryanne Williamson

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Do you have a middle child? I do. In every sense of the word... I do. Bless her sweet little heart, I love my Estella Dru to pieces, but that girl can push my buttons like no other. She is precious, loving, beautiful... a pro at turning on the water works for no good reason and a champion whiner. Every morning I wake up ready to "deal" with whatever she throws my way. And then I realized just that... I wake up ready for her to mess up. I remember the way she acted the day before that and the day before that and literally wait for her to do something wrong. And when she does... I have all those past mistakes in mind.

I was praying last night and thought... what if God was like me? What if He dealt with me based on my past screw ups? Wow. I doubt He would even look my way. He shouldn't.

A few years ago, Belle woke up and got in bed with me. I was holding her and playing with her, and she looked up at me and said, "Mommy, why do you like us so much in the mornings?" It stopped me cold. She was right! I do like them more in the mornings because they haven't had a chance to be bad yet! But the fact that she formed that thought... it hit me hard. Thank God His mercies for us are new every morning. I need to be more like Him. Much more.

So today, I woke up and instead of waiting on my middle child to make a mistake, I pulled her into bed with me, hugged on her, told her I loved her and how awesome she is, and declared July 20th as DRU DAY in the Slaughter house. If only you could have seen her little face. She was beside herself. It is now the afternoon, and that child has yet to do one thing that requires discipline. She has been nothing but sweet, kind, and a joy to have. Wow. Really makes me stop and think.

Estella Dru's favorite color is blue. She may be a little obsessed with it. So we have had a blue theme today. We began with a photo shoot in the backyard with a BLUE dress. And let me tell you... she worked it. (In this first one, she's showing off her BLUE silly bands.)

And then she decided to do a wardrobe change. We got this little bathing suit at a consignment store here in Springdale, and she thinks it is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen. She hangs it on a hook next to her bed and stares at it, waiting until we go to the beach so she can show it off. And I only paid $6, so I sort of love it, too. It is pretty fabulous.

Next... we made BLUE and white cupcakes with BLUEberries. It got a little crazy....

For the rest of the day, she is in charge of the remote and can pick what "activities" we do this afternoon. She feels so special.

I think it's awesome to pray scripture over your children. Estella Dru has her very own verse. Phil 2:14-16a... changed up just a little. I pray that Estella will do everything without complaining or arguing, so that she may become blameless and pure, a child of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which she shines like stars in the universe as she hold out the word of life.... (By the way, "Estella" means "star.")

So, here's my challenge to the mommies. If you have your very own middle child (or whatever ever order they came!) who is pushing your nerves to the brink, devote a day to them. Remind them how special and loved they are and go out of your way to show them in creative ways. I think you will be amazed at the result.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Wall Secrets

A friend of mine came over earlier in the week and kept complimenting me on my wall art. She asked me where I found it, and I laughed. Out loud. I wanted to say... "It's a pricey boutique downtown. You've probably never heard of it." But that would have been a huge and blatant lie.

The truth is, being a one-income family, we have to watch every penny. While decor is up there on my list of priorities, it's like number 592 on Matt's. The result is, I have to get creative.

So I thought I might share some of my wall decor with you and come clean about it. I did the math, and all total, I spent $15. Here we go...

I admit... I love the piece behind our bed. What is it? An ancient card table top I swiped from a neighbor's garage sale. Matt hacked off the legs, and there you have it. Price: FREE.

Above our entertainment armoire, same thing... another card table top I stole from Matt's grandparents. Price: FREE. To be honest, I'm obsessed with these things. I see them all over at antique stores and such and have to force myself not to buy another one. Two is enough, but they serve their purpose. Love them.

This is in my dining room and is simply fabric stretched across a wooden frame Matt built. I think we used a staple gun to secure it in place. I had a huge space on the wall I needed filled and no money to spend. I already had the fabric from a previous project, and Matt used scrap wood for the frame. Price: $0

I did actually spend money on this. It's an old church tile rescued from a dilapidated church. I scored it from a little antique shop in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, called Daisies and Olives. Price: I think $15.

Lots of wall space filled for not a lot of money. I have a few more ideas up my sleeve and will share them if they ever come to fruition. On another front... almost done editing my novel. Yay! I'll be honest, I'm sick of it. I need to walk away and put it in someone else's hands. So scary for me, but it's a MUST at this point. It's all running together!! I'm very ready to get someone else's opinion... I think I'll start with Matt. This should be interesting.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Evening Captured

We went to Maggie Moo's tonight. Not my fave, so Matt got me Orange Mango first. He is too good to me.

I started snapping pictures with my iPhone and soon realized that I was capturing a typical outing for this crew.

It started out so peaceful...

Notice Matt has more ice cream on his face than the 2 year old.

Things just went down hill from there...

They didn't want to leave. Lots of pouting...

Just before we left I randomly started videoing. I have entitled it, A Typical Slaughter Outing at Maggie Moo's. There's a surprise twist at the end, so be sure not to skip out early.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sweet, sweet night

It was a sweet night for us tonight. Belle and Estella Dru were baptized on the last night of VBX at church. They have been asking for quite some time, but we were waiting until the perfect moment... when it would be memorable and super special.

What made it the most special is that their daddy was able to baptize them. They were so happy and so precious. I am insanely proud of these two.

Here's a little clip of E Dru. Wow. Just makes my heart soar.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hang with me

Please bear with my blog neglect. I promise I am working diligently on other things and will do better here in the very near future. I have a feeling I'm going to be asking for lots of prayer and support, so stick with me.

Matt sent me this quote yesterday from one of our favorite pastors. I love it. I've memorized it. I needed it.

It's stupid to miss out on doing something because you're
afraid of looking stupid. -Steven Furtick

I can't tell you how easily it is for me to want to walk away from my dream because of the simple reason, I am afraid of looking stupid or being rejected. Even though I've felt called to this since childhood, fear lurks around every corner and laughs at me. I love that Casting Crowns song that says, ... but the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me, reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed. The giant keeps on telling me time and time again, boy, you'll never win... But the voice of truth tells me a different story.

I'm listening to the voice of truth, and no matter where this leads, it's where He wants me. Success of failure. Rejection or applause.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Break for stripes.

I have been putting all my extra time and energy into editing.

But today we took a break.

Zebra stripes for fingers and toes.

I love my girls.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


So I've been busy lately.

But I wanted to do just a quick post...

Thought #1) I got my new iPhone yesterday.

It's awesome. Love it. And love my husband for getting it for me.

Thought #2) My bracelet is getting loose, and I'm afraid any day now it's going to fall off... which will make me very sad. Yes, I can get a new one, but I tied this on in Brazil... and it means a lot. Maybe I'll have Matt 'repair' it. It's definitely not a fashion statement, but that's not the point. The day we passed these out to the people in Brazil is etched into my memory, and I guarantee there are hundreds of people there, young and old, still wearing theirs.

I talked about this little guy in the following video here. We met him on our very first visit to the little community in Brazil where we worked, and he stuck like glue to us every day after. Here he is in Hannah's lap at the outdoor worship service we attended late one night. He didn't know the words. He didn't really know what he was supposed to do, but he wanted to worship. I can barely watch it. I miss him and the people there. Oh, and notice his little wrist... he loved his bracelet, too.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Rough Life

What a rough life this boy leads.

I snapped these shots today through the screen door.

They propped him up in a chair with a comfy pillow, covered his legs in a leopard print towel, and served him a frozen drink.

Poor guy just doesn't have a chance.