It’s Fair Time!!!

Our family looks forward to the Northeast Florida Fair every year. Mike and I went as high school sweethearts and have continued taking our kids throughout the years. But in 2016, we went to the fair in a way that we never had before.

Our youngest son is involved in 4-H and has found a love for caring for animals, and surprisingly… He LOVES to be in the show ring in front of others! With that being said, we had some encouragement and (a little nudging) from close friends to allow him to show an animal in the fair.

Now, Mike may have grown up hanging out with his friends in the barns at the fair, but as for me, I can only say that I had walked through a time or two…

I can tell you that I laughed my way through most of the fair last year… enjoying every moment of it…. But found humor in how I was being thrown so far out of my comfort zone all I could do was laugh.

I asked A LOT of questions… some were answered… some, we just figured out along the way. The day that the fair was over, and my tired body and brain were resting… I began a list of what I had learned… and things that other people may need to know!

So Moms (and dads), today, many animals will load up on trailers and make their way to the fair grounds… It’s an exciting (and a bit stressful) day as we prepare for an exciting week…. Maybe you are like I was just a year ago… facing a fear of a First Week of the Fair…. Or maybe you have done this for years and just need a little pep rally to keep going…

We are still learning as we go…. But I can tell you… NO matter what… it’s going to be a GREAT week! Our family will be together, and our Boy will be in his happy place!

  1. I have not found a LIST of what to do or expect… our families theme for the week has been… “Learn as you go”!
  2. Every family has had their FIRST time of fair week… it was a learning experience for them too. Just because it may appear they’ve “got it all together” doesn’t necessarily mean that they do.
  3. Perfection is NOT expected! Do YOUR Best!!
  4. Enjoy the moments…Smile and Laugh!!
  5. Allow and encourage your child to take responsibility of their animal and tack area. Lessons learned from this alone are priceless!
  6. Don’t expect everyone that walks through the barn to understand the time, money, and energy that you have invested to be there.
  7. You don’t have to tell people that either… your reward will NOT be the praise of other people, but watching your child grow through the week!
  8. Listen to other’s advice, you can gain so much wisdom from those around you… but do what is BEST for your family!
  9. Even when the pressure is on and moments are tense, remember why you are doing this!
  10. What’s better than a Blue Ribbon??? A Happy Kid that has Learned a lot!


There are still many lessons to learn… I’ll be sure to keep notes during the week and share them with you soon!! If you happen to be at the fair, be sure to visit the barns. Come encourage some kids that have worked very hard… for a long time to make this week happen!

For the Mom who is preparing for the First Day of School:

For the Mom who is preparing for the First Day of School:

Can I encourage you for a moment? I wish I could meet you for coffee and listen to your nervous heart… but since that can’t happen, go ahead and grab your favorite mug and just sit for a while and be encouraged!

I am now homeschooling my youngest child, but I’ve not done this for so long that I have forgotten all of the anxiety that comes with preparing for the First Day of School!

I want to share some tips that I learned and figured out along the way through the years of my NOT SO LITTLES getting ready for their big day….

1.) The list of supplies that your child will need is Certainly needed… No teacher should ever be expected to provide all of the necessities for their students, but sometimes money is tight… especially if you are shopping for multiple children…

But reality tells me that your kid will NOT use 4 packs of notebook paper, 2 boxes of tissues, 5 boxes of crayons, 10 glue sticks, 2 packs of pencils, etc all in the first week of school… so… Send it in as you can afford it!

Remember, if you are stressing over this letter from your child’s teacher, it’s likely your child will stress also!

2.) OK… so maybe you waited too long to order that personalized “Rocking Kindergarten” T-shirt, or you didn’t get that backpack monogramed….

While all of those things are Cute as can be… they don’t make you a better mom…

Nor does simply writing their name inside with Black Sharpie make you any less of a great mom!   Relax!!! Enjoy the “Mom”ents… not the stuff!!!

3.)   Trust me, your little will NOT remember that their backpack didn’t’ match their lunch box… BUT, they will remember how mom reacts to the stopped trains in our small town or the traffic in the parking lot that will BE CRAZY BUSY… so plan ahead for that!

4.) Go ahead and plan breakfast for you and a girlfriend following drop off cause, Let’s face it… You will NOT have time to think about your own breakfast BEFORE school… and you will need this time to recover! This is the perfect time to let the tears fall… or the rejoicing to begin!

And last…..

5.) 3 MUST-HAVE accessories for any mom in the Drop off/Pick up Line:


*A Cute Hat

*Lip Gloss

These are perfect for the moments that you need everyone around you to think that you’ve got it all together… Even when it feels like life is falling apart!


**************    I’m Just Kidding!!!!!! *****************

There is NO reason to fake it!!! We are all Moms… We face many of the same struggles and insecurities… Embrace it!

Enjoy the “Mom”ents!!!

The Days are long… but the Years are Short!

Happy First Day of School!!!!


Feel free to share this with any friends that may need Relax and Enjoy the “mom”ent!!!

Blaze New Trails

A year ago, my family had the opportunity to attend the FPEA Homeschool convention in Orlando, FL.                                               While I have been a mom for almost 25 years, our homeschool adventure was Brand new. I was confident that this was the plan that God had for our family in this season of life, but still overwhelmed and CLUELESS of what to do and how to make it happen.
We went to the convention to learn all that we could, to glean from others, and hopefully come home ready to Run this race that had been set before us. 

I remember feeling excited and anxious when walking through the vendor exhibits. Everyone was so helpful and wanted to offer  the “perfect” program for my child… While it all was intriguing and so many great opportunities to learn, I still was consumed with not knowing what was Best for my 4th grader. 

Until… I had the opportunity to sit in a session with Holly Giles. She began to share her story and I began to cry when she said these words… “My child didn’t fit into a box”… and at that moment… it was as if the Lord spoke to my heart and I knew… Mine didn’t either!  

You see, while there are so many options of Amazing curriculum… it was in that moment that the pressure for me to do what works for someone else was lifted! 

After all, this was the very reason we decided to begin this Homeschool journey. 

Our youngest child learns best while working and doing hands on activities.  He is such a hard worker and loves Everything outdoors! Why in the world would I have thought it would be best to have in sitting in a desk all day while he daydreams about the great outdoors?? 

Homeschooling is not for everyone… but I am confident that in this season of life, it is Best for us! 

I am so grateful for Holly’s sweet words that day, and her continued encouragement! 

Holly has been gracious to share ideas from her own Homeschooling journey in a book called “Blaze New Trails”  and you can learn more about her and her book over at

There are so many great unit studies in this book. We are still working thru it, and so very thankful that she has made this available. 

I was not able to attend the convention this year, but I am so excited to show you some inTenTional designs that I was able to create for Holly. I loved working on these inTenTional designs for her and I’m so thankful for her opening my eyes to ways to Blaze New Trails in our homeschooling adventures! 

My Circus… My Monkeys

Today begins the “Grand Finale” of the Mixon Mobs 3 Ring Circus all living under one Roof!
With one kiddo planning a fall wedding… one kiddo home from college for the summer… and us finishing up 5th grade with the youngest, we have the amazing opportunity to have one last “Shin Dig” of a summer together…
Rather than me being like a Trapeze artist and just keeping life “balanced”, My prayer is that Mike and I will continue to be great “Ring Leaders” for our kids… to be able to still have influence in their lives and continue to encourage them along their individual adventure and journeys… and to make some Sweet Memories along the way!
I’m looking forward to the weeks ahead! Life will be Busy… and I’m sure a little crazy living with this bunch of Clowns, but, this Is My Circus… and these Are My Monkeys!
I’m gonna keep leaning on the Master… think I’ll go eat some Pop Corn and cotton candy… and Let the Greatest Show on Earth begin!


Today’s been a really busy day… and since I have committed to having inTenTional Tuesdays… and yet I wasn’t very inTenTional with my writing time today… I thought I’d take a moment to shine like a Proud Mama should and share a post from my son…. Yea… I think He’s pretty cool… and I think you will too!
I am pretty sure all mom’s have at some time prayed… “Lord, I hope they Love You and I hope their relationship with you is REAL!!!” and then… out of no where… you see they post on Social media… and you KNOW it’s real… and a Mama’s prayers are answered!
From Leighton….
I never imagined the amount of conversations that could start from simply wearing one bracelet, but I’m so thankful. This is probably the part where you’re wondering, what does HWLF even mean? Well, it’s a response to the commonly asked question “WWDJ?” You’ve most likely seen these letters at least once or twice, or a million times in your life… So, what would Jesus do? He Would Love First… that’s right, He would simply love first. So often we forget the importance of loving others. And by loving, I mean just letting people know you care, & letting them know that you’re there. Before this year, my definition of witnessing to others went something like “oh, just open the Bible and show them John 3:16.” And don’t get me wrong, I think reading the Bible to those who are lost is an amazing thing… However if I’ve learned anything lately, it’s that loving people as they are, showing kindness to people even when they don’t deserve it, and just being the hands and feet of Jesus is SO much more significant than showing them a bible. You can teach people about Christ all day long, but ultimately people will learn way more from your actions. So much more is caught than taught. Every year, My mom challenges me to pick a word that I want to focus on & work towards for that year. So this year, I want to love. We’re all flawed, all imperfect, and we’re all so unworthy of Jesus. But no matter who you are, you were made in the image of God, & because of that… you deserve my absolute respect, and my 100% love. I want to avoid those “hey how are ya” conversations, and really dig deep. So this year is a year for love, love without bounds. And for you? I strongly encourage you to choose a word too. It can be so encouraging to look back at the end of a year & see just how much you’ve grown… My mom actually made me this bracelet, & every penny that goes towards these go to a really cool ministry that I’d love for you to ask me about! Each bracelet is only $10 & you can get pretty much any color-combo/design you want, so If you’re interested, I’d love for you to join me and have a word for the year!
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I love you more than a Penny….

Happy Valentines Day friend!! Since today is all about LOVE… I wanted to write a sappy post about the man who’s been my Valentine for 27 years. He has been my rock and my hero. They say that opposites attract and I would have to agree with that!

I always like to arrive EARLY… I’m pretty sure he plans to show up LATE!

He walks into a room LOUD and PROUD… while I prefer to sit QUIETLY in the corner…

I often care WAY TO MUCH what others think of me… Sometimes I wished he cared just a little more!!!

I am definitely the DREAMER… and He is the REALIST!!!

But this my friend is what makes us a perfect team! He has loved me when I was not loveable and he has supported every dream I have had along our journey through life together.

I may be the one that talks and writes about inTenTional… and I may be the one that adds the details and special touches to each inTenTional event… but my Superman is the Blood, Sweat, and Tears behind it all. He has a servant’s heart and has the gift of giving…

Mike is definitely my Chip Gaines for this Joanna!


It is a privilege to be his wife…

With a love like this and a life together that’s worth celebrating, I could end this post right here… but I want to be real… and let you know that it’s not always been a fairytale.

Marriage is tough… and it takes hard work!

Years ago, as a young bride, I felt the need to hear constant words of affirmation, and I often looked for Mike to tell me my “Worth”.  I still love to hear those sweet words… but I don’t depend on them to get me thru my day!

No matter what he said or did for me, that was not enough…

You see, there is only ONE that could truly satisfy and tell me my worth. It took years for me to figure this out. (John 3:16)

The opinion and thoughts of others does not define who I am. I am who God created me to be… and that’s enough!

Take a look at these 2 Pennys. The one that is Shiny and New…How much is it worth?


Now look at the other  Penny. I found it lying on the dirty streets of downtown. It had been kicked to the curb and forgotten. Many people walked over it without the thought of even picking it up. It was sticky and covered in sludge and dirt… How much is it worth?

You are Correct! 1 Cent… Why??? Because it’s maker says so! It doesn’t matter what has happened to the coin, where the coin has been, or even the appearance of the coin. That does not determine it’s worth.

The same is true for you my friend…although You are certainly worth WAAAAY more than 1 cent…

No matter what your life story looks like… Your life experiences and relationships (good or bad) do not define your worth. You were designed and created by a God that loves you… and He thinks you were worth dying for!

Here are just a few of the inTenTional designs that I have created. I wear a penny Everyday… because I need a constant reminder! I love sharing this story… Maybe you will share this story too… and help someone else know his or her worth.

I would love to create a piece for you…






You’ve Waited All Week For This….

You know what today is???? inTenTional Tuesday!!!!

Last week I “dangled” a hint for you… so I am so excited to finally share it with you.

Today for inTenTional Tuesday, I’d like to introduce you to something that I call inTenTional Designs…. These are hand crafted, custom made, one of a kind pieces of jewelry and accessories.

I have always loved being creative and making things for people. Especially something that is meaningful. I also love to encourage people to share their story… so, I have used the gift of creativity that the Lord has given me along with the love of storytelling and created a way to generate some funds to help offset the cost of inTenTional Ministry.

inTenTional Designs are Hand Stamped with your word or phrase and then embellished with beads and coordinating dangles to create a one of a kind look that you will love!

inTenTional Designs can be worn as a leather wrap bracelet or necklace, a bangle bracelet or added to a key chain, or even hung from your rearview mirror.

My daughter Lindsay has worked with me to design each piece. If you know Lindsay, you already know that she believes a girl can Never have too many accessories!

These are a few pieces that I have had the privilege of designing….

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So… what’s your word??? Do you have an idea of something you would like stamped?

Who’s that someone you would like to create an inTenTional Design for?

Or maybe you would just simply want to come along side a girl that has a God given dream of an inTenTional Ministry and you’d like to help out…

I would love to create an inTenTional Design for You!

If you like what you see… I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to comment, share my blog, or even email me at