Tuesday, May 31, 2011

{April Showers, Bring May Flowers...a GIVEAWAY!}

I nearly missed it, this being the last day of May and all. But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to giveaway some of the pretties I've been working on!

I've picked my favorites in mums...
in bias tape rosettes....
and roses!
Now it's your turn! Three sets {two pairs}, three winners, three times the fun!

Each winner receives his or her choice of TWO sets of earrings in my shop in your 
choice of color....but the catch is you gotta share one with a friend. 

{I won't technically track down said friend and confirm the exchange, 
but hey let's share the love...shall we?!}

Here's the dealio:

I need your help spreading the word about my new pretties and promoting my shop, 
so here are the ways to win:

One Entry Each for the following.

1. {Mandatory} Visit my shop and come back and tell me what you would pick for you and your friend.

2.Be a follower of my blog and comment that you are.  

If you've been lurking, don't be shy...just select Follow in the toolbar or Follow right over there --------> ya know where it says followers.  I'd love to see your smiling face there or blog button or exclamation mark {what's that about anyway}...whatever you fancy.

3.Follow me on twitter...even better if you already do {woot woot}!

4. Like my facebook page and leave me a comment.  If you have already liked it 
{woot woot} then just leave the msg.

5. Favorite my shop AND favorite one item, come back and comment on which one...
can totally be the one you wanna win. AND an extra entry if you tweet your favorite item from my shop. Select the listing, scroll down, and 'click' the Twitter button on the right hand side.  This will automatically post to your feed.  Make sure you include my twitter handler @jennilynncar, when you do. 

THREE entries each for the following. 
6.. Tweet, Facebook, or blog this giveaway. 
Must include links, twitter handler, and hastags, as it applies.
{Tweet} Yo, I wanna win some earring bling from #RagamuffinBeauties and @jennilynncar! Do you? #etsy #handmade #giveaway http://ow.ly/56lGz

{Facebook} Hear he, hear he! Giveaway @Ragamuffin Beauties!  Come one, come all! http://ow.ly/56lGz 

{Please note, these are just suggestions.  I like to be silly on the Twitter and Facebook, but I get it...it may not be your thing.  No judgment, honest....but all the cool kids are doing it.}

FIVE entries each for the following.

7.  Buy yourself something nice from the shop!  Or your neighbor, or the postman, or the supermarket check out lady who gives you crazy eyes 'cuz you shop with coupons.  {Whatevs} 

{Policy Mumbo Jumbo}
Giveaway open for one week.  Comments accepted until Monday, June 6th. at midnight CST.  Winners will be posted in Tuesday's post and will have 24 hours to email me.  
All winners selected by random.org. 

GO get 'em tiger!


Monday, May 30, 2011

{Memorial Day and my selfish heart}

I think of myself as pretty patriotic, a proud American if you will.  Today instead of being moved by the buzz in social media that I was so quick to retweet, I sulked. My husband worked today and the kids and I were supposed to pick up on school where we *ahem* left off  two weeks ago. In the quietness of the house after being given some aggravating news I let every bit of my energy pile up into a great big pity party.  I let the weight of the world crash down as though I had nothing to be thankful for, let alone today of all days.  I sobered up real quick when I read this post.  Then I saw Rachel post her Tuesday Prayer Request and I quick poured my pity party into an email.

{numero uno} Hubs hates his job.  He works in law enforcement and his job is heavy with emotional baggage that tears him down daily. My daily prayer for him is to find an opportunity for joy, work unto the Lord, and breakthrough.  We got some crappy news regarding a change in the their payroll which will result in a loss so to speak in pay.  It just feels overwhelming.  We want peace, we want God to move, we want to obey.

{numero dos} My nephew Carter is having major surgery Thursday in Boston to remove am ostomy bag that he has had pretty much all (nearly) four years of his life.  His daddy, had to stay in Texas to {THANK YOU JESUS} start a new job and his heart is heavy not being there for the first time for his little boy. We want healing, we want comfort, we want grace. www.cartermcates.com

{numero tres} So selfish, I want to attend Blog Sugar.  Not going to happen. Feeling fragile about how much I have invested in these 'so-called' on-line friends....because to me they are just friends.  My heart grieves that I can carry someone {read: many} in my heart, that I may not meet this side of Heaven. Realizing my investment has created a void for desiring friendships I so need locally. I want strength, I want deep friendship, I want a Blog Sugar sponsor {keeping it real, folks}.

The reality is that if it matters to me, it matters to God.  It really does, even the ugly parts.  But the reality of that, is He wants to work on my character.  He used my pity party no matter if it was worthy or not, to turn my eyes to Him.  To seek Him.  To thank Him.

And in turn, it reminded me to thank them...

 {My Daddy}

 {My BIL Corey}

...because they have and do sacrifice so much for our  country.  The men and women who have, do, and will fight for and serve our country deserve your thanks and your prayers today and everyday.  Don't let embarrassment, politics, or pity parties keep you from thanking your fellow man/women for their selfless service.  While you are at it, thank their spouse, their children, their Momma because behind every good soldier is a proud family serving right alongside.


Friday, May 27, 2011

{Date Your Mate}

I'm guesting over at Erin's blog

Check out how me and my sweetie do date night! Yeow! (In the words of Gussy!)

{InstaFriday & On My Heart...and a winner}

Okay friends I have to be honest, I kinda forgot about Insta Friday and On My Heart til last night right before we walked out of the house to go out of town.  I quick snapped some photos of things around my house I love to share in some what of a cheater fashion.  Wouldn't you know when I got to the car, in my impatience they never saved....still trying to figure out Instagram. Frustrated, I just figured I'd wait until I scrolled through to the one photo I got last Saturday.

Bella asked to participate in a Model Search at an Outlet Mall about 30 minutes from our house.  As Saturday morning approached I thought she was going to bail on me.  It was quite a big deal for her Daddy to give the okay to such a thing and even more that Bella would even want to...so not my girl's thing.  We got there on time...can I get an amen...and quickly signed in to be told it would be a 4 hour wait for her age group. What?!?! We decided to make the best of it and browse the stores.  Bella is obsessed on trying on heels and had to get a pick in these.

As it inched closer to the time for the youngest group we decided to go watch as we were losing steam in the walking.  Grabbing the only spot to stand and watch we stood patiently waiting for it to start.  We watched as kids walked the cat walk practicing fro their turn and Momma's gave last minute instructions.

My stomach churned and my cheeks got hot.  I scanned the crowd of people catching face after face of little ones from the 4-8 division made up in make-up, heels, and hair teased and hair sprayed to give Dolly a run for her money. And it just went up from there.  My heart for my little girl looking at everyone, I could see in her eyes that she was doing the comparison dance.  The longer we sat, the more I we heard.  We overheard Mom's coaching their daughters on winking at the male judge...teenage daughters.  We overheard the banter of the criticism of the competition. The snide remarks and not so muffled laughter if someone tripped a little or outfit wasn't as polished.  I kept Bella as busy as I could playing on my phone, whispering words of encouragement into her ears.  Sending silent prayers that her heart wouldn't be penetrated by the back biting surrounding us.

I don't know if the make up, the heels, or the hairspray are at all damaging to these little girl (and boys), but we as Mothers and society telling them that beauty is measured in physical characteristics and outward appearance is. As each winner was called in varying divisions of age, kids left the stage crying.  A four year old crying that because in their eyes they weren't good enough is wrong.

In the end my heart is guilty of judging too.  I let the experience serve as motivation to be more intentional with my little ones in setting their eyes on what Christ calls beauty.  On the way home I shared my heart with Bella and she with I.  It was a beautiful time to connect and invest and I was grateful.

Sorry InstaFriday readers if that was a little heavy for your Friday reading.

Thank you for all who commented last week!  The winner is...

Yeah Jess!  I will email you, your Shutterfly photo book later this weekend friend!

Linking up with Jeanett and Casey!

XO Jenni

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Well, I didn't make the cut, but I'm still....
{attending Snap 2012!}

Thank you so very much for all your votes and social media blitzing on my behalf, totally blessed me!  It was also a fun way to introduce my new Ragamuffin Beauties products.  All items will be listed by Monday!

So the winner is....

Jen of My Kid's Mom!  Congrats Jen!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

{SOS: I need your vote! GIVEAWAY}

Alright lovelies, it's crunch time for the Snap Conference ticket giveaway!  Voting ends TONIGHT and I have no idea if I am in dead last or first place so I need YOUR help!  Amidst all this campaigning for votes I'm trying my best to update the shop and want to offer you a little incentive.  I have four new products with over 70 new listings I will be getting listed to the shop over the course of the next few days and YOU get a chance to win one of each!  Woo Hoo!

Here's the deets:
  • One entry per Tweet or Facebook status, this includes RTs of my tweets regarding the giveaway or past Snap tweets. {Must be posted prior to 12:45 pm CST, otherwise unlimited entries!}
  • Three entries per Blog post, must include details of this post and link AND link to my Twitter and the Snap Conference Ticket Giveaway post. {Link: http://www.snaptheconference.com/2011/05/oh-snap-i-want-a-free-ticket/} {MUST be posted before 10pm CST and you MUST list the link of your post in your comment entry.}
  • FIVE entries for voting for ME!  This is totally honor system, since I have no idea who did or didn't vote, so be nice and don't lie...it's bad for your health. Only one entry per person.
{If you have done ANY of the entry options prior to today's post you can still enter for each completed entry task!}

Here's a sample Tweet and FB status' to post:
  • {Twitter} Hey friends pls vote for @jennilynncar #25 on the @SnapConf Ticket giveaway! http://ow.ly/52W19 Giveaway for vote here: http://ow.ly/52XHM 
  • {Facebook} Hey friends please vote for @Jenni Cates Carlisle #25 on the @SNAP. Creativity at Your Fingertips. Click link, scroll down to #25, select VOTE! Easy peasy! http://ow.ly/52W19 and WIN prizes for voting here: http://ow.ly/52XHM
Oh and what do you get for being such sweet friends?!?!  Your choice of one of each of the following NEW Ragamuffin Beauties products soon to be listed in my shop:

{Ragamuffin Rose Earrings}

{Ragamuffin Mum Earrings}

{Ragamuffin Rosette Earrings}

{Ragamuffin Pearl Necklace}

Over a $30 value!  I'd love one of my sweet and loyal readers to win!  And I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to win the Snap Conference Ticket too...as would my bank account!

Leave all entries on this post and I will post the winner tomorrow!

Remember Snap Attendees: 


Friday, May 20, 2011


Oh yeah you heard me, Oh Snap!  It's my phrase of choice and fits perfectly with the  ridiculously amazing creative blogging and social media conference, coming up next April in Salt Lake City baby! Woot!

I told Tauni, I would be the official Snap cheerleader, so here I am...

Okay maybe not but I have a cheer:

Blogging, Twitter, Facebook is our game!
Oh Snap, Oh Snap!
Social Media is to blame!
Oh Snap, Oh Snap!

We love handmade and can't get enough!
Oh Snap, Oh Snap!
We're not just Mommy bloggers...hush that stuff!
Oh Snap, Oh Snap!

Okay so it might need a little work, but I think the sass is a nice touch.

So what is all this Snap business about?  It's an amazing opportunity for me to gather with like minded friends who enjoy creative blogging like me.  The ladies behind Snap have proposed an opportunity for YOU to help pick someone to go for FREE.  Since you know FREE is my middle name and the fact that I use Oh Snap like it's going out of style...it should totally be me, right? Well, go vote for me...please, pretty please!  I am not above groveling. #justsaying ( <----- see major Twitter addict, I MUST go!)

Here's an additional Top Ten of why you should pick me:

1. This blog needs some serious help,
so I need another session with the amazing Tauni and her infinite wisdom!

2.  I want to laugh til my side hurts when I get to see Char again!

3. So maybe some of Jen's creative genius will rub off on me...yes please!

4. Because I wanna squeeze my FAVORITE sisters,
the precious Jess and Mique! I {heart} these girls! And I REALLY
wanna shop Queen Bee Market!

5. Because, maybe just maybe I'll get a chance to hear Shelley sing again
(did ya'll know girlfriend can SING!) and share our hearts over dinner!

6. I need more glitter and unicorns in my life and Stephanie 
brings that awesomesauce to the table every time.

7.  I get to bring my blogging partner in crime, Missy.

8. AND, Missy and I convinced our hubbies to tag along! What?!?!

9. My babies love me more after a break, just keeping it real.
This homeschooling Momma needs a break
at least once a year ya'll...and my 'job' doesn't exactly have a vacay benefit.

 10. I want to meet my FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!

{InstaFriday...and a little giveaway}

Apparently, Jeannett claims to be the rule maker for InstaFriday... I guess since it's her link up {whatevs} ...and told me on Twitter it doesn't count if I create my post in my head.  So here ya go, here's our week in pictures....

We had sweet cousins in town so we decided a picnic and park date was required. 
Sadly I only got pics of my kids...terrible I know.

I love that this guy still loves being a kid...

And how she poses, even when she is adamant that she doesn't want me to take her picture.

My sewing machine actually got some action...mind blowing I tell you!  
I had to invite my favorite companion too...
Isn't my cup and coffee cozy adorable?!?! 
Truth be told typically I would totally have Dr.Pepper in it 
{can I get an amen Mique?}, but I was sipping Peach Tea...yum-o!

Shopping with these:

for this yummy bounty
is much more enjoyable...don't 'cha think?
{Yes, I posed the produce..I would have made them smile if I could.}

And look at this Mommy's muncher...

...I just wanna nibble him!

And because I wouldn't be doing myself justice, here is some random....
  ...wait for it...yes folks salt.  
I lovity, love, love kitchen stuff!  
I found this gem for $2.50 to hold my sea salt and I'm smitten.  
I know, I'm a weirdo...and I'm okay with it.

I'm still working on that Creative Estates post, but in the meantime I still have some Shutterfly Photo Book Codes leftover from our sponsorship...who wants a free book?  Leave a comment and I will pick a winner and announce in next week's InstaFriday post!


{on my heart...}

Motherhood.  I would say parenting, but really that would be my way of distributing this Momma guilt to my Hubs and I need to learn how to play fair.  My dear friend Rachel posted this incredible post this week, appropriately titled {Using My Words}.  Here's my response:
fat tears. truth echoed. rebuke accepted. so thankful you obey the prompting of the holy spirit, this post was so timely. needing breakthrough in parenting. desperately. are things terrible? no. are they inching further and further away from the cross? yes. an inch a part from jesus is too much. i convince myself that being strict or more conservative in my parenting comes with a sharp tone, tongue even. the truth is, god always speaks truth in love, and if he is my standard, how can i justify the opposite? thank you friend. you can add this to tuesday's prayer request. please, i/we need the body's covering. thank you friend, you are precious to me. love!   
 I do my best to guide and love my kids through the challenges of the world's influence.  I say no a lot.  I set firm boundaries. I'm not always the fun parent.  But the heart issue that stings is that a lot of time I'm an unkind parent.  I'm so consumed with impressing a point that I give little thought to the tone of my voice or the words I choose. Reading this verse, Psalm 139:4 " Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. " crushes me.  To know God knows my hurt before I lash them is embarrassing at best. And then I read this, Proverbs 15:4, " The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit." To know I am responsible for crushing my littles spirit is more than I can bear.  
Why is it that I can be so focused on protecting the wounds they can endure spiritually, physically and emotionally from others but I set up an exempt status on myself. Most people will agree that we as Mothers, have the single most influential impact on our child's life. Yet, I allow pride to supersede that truth.  I also believe the outward behavior and speech from someone reflects their heart.  What must my precious babies think of my love for them when I place the value of what I think over the value of what they mean to me.  Does my heart point them to Jesus with my words or away?
  We adopted a behavior rule from our old church that our children are To Obey Quickly, Completely, and Cheerfully...who wants to obey cheerfully when Momma snaps a command at them?  We also discipline by explaining that if our children know the consequence to disobeying then they are choosing to be disciplined, so if I know the Lord says, "..a perverse tongue crushes the spirit" then I must choose to break their spirit? A lot to take in.  Being disciplined by the Holy Spirit is not for the faint of heart, but the outcome of loving my littles the way God intended me to is a gift I will receive with open arms.   
I am also humbled when I think of this little guy:
my nephew Carter. Carter received his gift of life three years ago today. Amazing considering this little guy went into surgery like this...
and three years later we are rejoicing that he is getting bigger and healthier every day!
 So many struggle to have babies and fight to keep their babies alive, how can I take for granted these precious babes that God has given me? 
 Oh how they make my heart swell! 
Choosing this verse:
Psalm 35:28 " My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long. "
to pierce their hearts today.
Please consider joining the precious family who gave Carter life by signing up to be a donor.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

{Waiting for Superman}

With God's prompting, we chose to homeschool two years ago.

We get to structure our day however we choose.  Choose whatever curriculum fits our child's learning styles. Break whenever we choose, for whatever length we choose. Choice after choice, we make each one.  And I take every single choice for granted.

I watched Waiting for Superman, this weekend and I was left heart broken and bawling.

I listened as statistics and footage showed me a 'back alley' if you will, of the public school system and how it is or isn't failing our children.  My opinion, based on the information provided (if it is accurate) is that we are failing our children,and that is heartbreaking.

Having been a product of the public school system I somewhat agree with the information provided.  I never lived in a low income neighborhood that would have been labeled as a low performing school, even still I had my fair share of teachers who poured into me, teachers who picked up a paycheck, schools that were a blessing to attend, and schools that were less than an acceptable.

In the end I was afforded every opportunity for success. I look back at those opportunities and I am embarrassed. I'm embarrassed that I took 10th grade English, not once, not twice, but three times.  I'm not embarrassed because a learning impairment kept me from doing so, but because I chose to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and not make school a priority.

This documentary gave a voice to those parents, many single parents, struggling just to provide their children with a safe and credible learning environment. When one little boy, no older than 11,  said while being interviewed that he wanted to got to a charter boarding school because he wanted a better life for his kids I felt the enormity of the situation. What happen to care free days when our littles went to school filled with beautiful daydreams of becoming teachers because their teachers inspired them to. 

Please hear my heart, teaching is one of the most sacrificial professions there is.  This post isn't about the teachers, the system, the unions, or the schools...it's about our babies being the next generation and their sweet spirits are broken.  It's about taking for granted that most of us can chose whatever path best suits our family, be it public, private, homeschool or anything in between.  It is also more about me really understanding the tremendous gift I have been given to be able to teach my children at home.  This film motivated me to fully embrace this amazing gift and pour out all that I have for my babies, until there is nothing left because they are worth it.


Monday, May 16, 2011

{Servant's Heart}

I have a great pair of french doors with inlay shutters at the back of my house.  Perfect for watching the kids frolic fight in the backyard.

Last week, I used those windows to watch my hubby teach my son a sweet lesson of how to love and serve his future bride well.

Shortly after dropping my SIL and I at the airport back in March for Creative Estates, my Hubs with kids in tow made their way to my FIL's house.  He lives a good hour and half from us and we don't nearly get enough time to visit regularly. Because my FIL works from home, it was a perfect chance to catch him before they headed home.  My in-laws had recently pulled up several bricks from their backyard patio.  Being ever so resourceful the Hubs offered to take the bricks off his hands.  We have a compact car and an old truck that might make it 30-45 miles from home.  This was going to be a long term commitment.  My father-in-law offered his truck and so began the trek home...back and forth to get it all home.  Quite the ordeal since we all got up around 4am!

He was so excited to show me the fruits of his labor when I got home.  He designed a brick slab to set our backyard swing on.  Not finished, but the gesture was worth it's weight in gold. He took the initiative to use some free time while I was gone to do something sweet for me.  This week he has finally had enough of a lull in his busy schedule to set to work at leveling the ground and preparing to make it a permanent slab.

I watched as my son handed his Daddy each brick.  Precision to ensure the work was done according to plan.  I watched as my son eagerly looked to his Dad for direction, willing to help.  I watched as sweat poured down on my Hubby's brow to complete this labor of love.

To most people, a brick slab doesn't evoke heart palpitations, but to me it is swoon worthy.  My hubby and I love to swing on the swing in breezy summer evenings, dreaming and reminiscing.  It's our special spot.  A year earlier he transformed the swing my parents gifted us by replacing the worn fabric cushions with more permanent wood seating.  I love how he values this sweet spot to continue to approve upon it.

More than the makeover on our special spot, I love the legacy he is weaving for our children.  I love that my son will value investing in his marriage.  I love that he will learn how to serve his wife.  I love that he longs to be the man his Father has become.

I am blessed to have an amazing husband who is an equally amazing Father.  So thankful that he willing serves me and builds up our marriage in ways I never knew I needed.