Friday, July 31, 2009

The first challenge

Today is the first day of Melinda's Operation Organization challenge. For eight weeks starting today, we all pick an area of our homes that NEEDS some ORDER. We announce it on Friday (starting today) and then work thru the week to complete it. Pop on over using the button in the right sidebar to check out the rest of the details.

Now for my First Mission (yes I choose to accept it, I even created it!) HA!

First, I have to tell you, I love shoes. I wear mostly flip flops for casual wear, but like some variety with in the flip flops and I love dress shoes, especially little flirty ones! So I buy/own/hoard shoes!

Before I show you my "before" pics, you have to promise not to cringe. This is all about keeping it real and honest and trying to improve our lives.

With that said - This is my current organization system.

I know - embarrassing!

This is what happens when we are running late and I can't find matching shoes -


And I also have a bad habit of discarding my shoes wherever I walk into a room. (I have mentioned before - I am a barefoot kinda gal at home!)

foot of the bed

doorway to bedroom

next to dining table

So in addition to cleaning up this mess, I am also going to attempt to keep my shoes in one place in the house or put them away.

Of course - I do have help scattering my shoes -

And finally, proof that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree -
Come back next Friday to see how it turns out and what I've chosen for my next challenge.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The truth hurts....

Is it bad when you pull into the gas station with the 32 oz yummy iced coffee for 74 cents and your toddler starts chanting, "Coffee, Coffee, Coffeeeee!!!?"

Is it bad when your 6 year old son in the car notices a McDonald's bag and tells his father - "Mom must have needed coffee. She's crazy when she doesn't get her coffee!"?

Is it bad when the barista at the Target Starbucks remembers you and offers the extra shots when he sees you?

I love me some coffee. I am probably (read definitely) an addict.

photo by Nikki L.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shake another hand.....

Welcome Sitstas! For those of you unfamiliar with SITS, it is a great blogging community meant to encourage visiting and commenting on other blogs. I am so excited to be today's featured blogger.

I am a mom to 3 daughters aged 11, 9 and 2 and one son age 6.

I am a wife to an amazing husband

I am a Christian and I am not a blog "specialist". Like me, you will find that my blog covers a lot of different aspects.

I have book reviews and giveaways. Check out the current book giveaway that ends on Friday! I have several more reviews in the next few weeks!
I have some DIY projects. I have another in process now, that I hope to post next week! We are doing a great tile backsplash!
I have crafty posts.
I have humorous posts.
I have some recipes. I'll start up Menu Monday again in September.
I have tributes.

(You might even find some other nuggets, considering I didn't start tagging in the beginning, because I didn't know what I was doing!)

Like I said, a little of everything! So kick back, take your shoes off (I'm a barefoot kinda girl), stay and look around. I love your comments and I'll be sure and return the visit!

Monday, July 27, 2009


Recently overheard at our home -

Sha Sha (11) to NiNi (9) - "Why do you always come to me with your problems?"

Dad to girls - "Are you sure you want to paint your desk 'Home Depot' orange?"

Mom (you don't really think I'm giving you my age in parenteses, do you?) to girls - "I swear that if you move that pile of stuff one more time without putting it away, I will dump in all in the trash!!!!!!"

NiNi to mom - "Dad needs a pudding knife? Where is it?" (She meant putty knife.) A lot of confusion ensued until we figured that one out....

The boy - during a conversation about crossbred dogs, "So that dog is a terriyaki, since it is a terrier and Yorkie?"

Gigi (2) to open jack-in box - "Daddy in the box?" Do you see a resemblance?
Later, she would giggle when it popped out and say "Hi, daddy!"



Blue Like Play Dough

Perspective is a wonderful thing. A lot in life depends on perspective. When you go through something difficult in your life, are you hard and rigid, unyielding to the point of pain and breakage? When it's over, do you sigh "Whew, that was hard, I'm glad it's over!" OR Do you in the midst of the situation, say "You know what, I can get through this? God has equipped me. What can I learn or impart to others, right here, right now?"

I have to admit I have been guilty of being the stiff, unyielding child in many situations (even the last year or so). God has been working on me in this area, so I was thrilled to read Blue Like Play Dough by Tricia Goyer.

As moms, you know that motherhood comes with pulling, stretching and tugging on you in every direction. This book is filled with nuggets of wisdom. Once again, I have marked a dozen passages that ministered to my heart.

Tricia shares personal accounts from teenage pregnancy to dealing with her grandfather's death and everything in-between. From reading her accounts of God's hand on her life, molding her like play dough, you will recognize yourself.

You know how play dough becomes more pliable the more it is worked? Wouldn't you like God to work so much in your life as a mom that you are like putty in His hands? Are you willing to let God use you where you are? Are you heeding His call on your life, even if it doesn't seem in line with your desires? God is there all the time. He loves you and wants to mold you, if you will just be willing to be "smooshed" a little.

Tricia Goyer is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including Generation NeXt Parenting and the Gold Medallion finalist Life Interrupted. Goyer writes for publications such as Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family, speaks to women’s groups nationwide and has been a presenter at the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) national convention. She and her husband, John, live with their family in Montana.

If you are interested in following Tricia's blog, you can get to it from here.

You can read more and purchase the book here.

OR Leave a comment here by Friday, July 31 for a chance to win your own copy!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

From little girls to pre-teens?

If you have followed my blog for the last few weeks, you know my 3 princesses all had birthdays very recently. I was at a loss when it came to birthday presents for Sha Sha (11) and NiNi(9). I finally convinced them to bypass the presents and to go for a bedroom remodel. We did a lot of de-cluttering too. I forgot to take before pics until in the midst of the de-cluttering process, so you will have to use your imaginations to some degree.

So, here's the before -

Walls were lavender with light pink canopies and baby pink quilts with fairies.

The futon and other stuff they willingly parted with.

Another view close up of their lavender walls.

The sick blue/purple desk that had peeling paint. We mixed the leftover lavender with some bright blue leftover from their brother's bedroom to get this color. I have never been happy with it in the last 6 years.

And now - Drumroll please.....

The after photos -
The walls have been called hot pink, Barbie pink, and hubby calls it Pepto-Bismol pink.


The new comforters and shams are reversible. Solid orange on one side and Pink with stripes on the other.


They each got a new memo board for things special to them. The tissue paper flowers were made for their birthday "fiesta".

The girls and I found these cute mirrors at a yard sale for $10 for the set. They also got new dressers.

Since we got rid of the futon, the girls now have 3 beanbags to crash/read in.

The other new dresser.

The desk painted "Home Depot" orange with 2 coats of polyurethane to help minimize chipping. That blue still showed thru on the back, but since it faces the wall, I'm not sweating it. We still want to do something with this chair. Any suggestions? I do have a LOT of orange paint left....

So, what do you think? Is this room fit to carry my darlings into their teen years?

Friday, July 24, 2009

I'll Beat it yet!

Then join me as I take part in Melinda's Operation Organization: The Battle for Order beginning July 31st! Every Friday for the next eight weeks, participants choose an area of our homes to reorganize. At the end of the challenge, we will have EIGHT reorganized areas of our homes. Woo Hoo! Can you smell victory?!

Do you dare to join us?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

DIY rocking chair refinish

I have been itching to do some re-purposing....

I also wanted to get Gigi a chair that is her own size.

So when I came across this gem at a garage sale for $5, I snatched it up. I looked at it and thought "It can't be that much work."


I had read on another website that Easy-Off Oven-Cleaner worked well for removing paint. I happened to have some handy. So I sprayed it down and let it sit for 5 minutes. Wow, the paint did come off pretty easily, too!


However, I didn't count on how many layers of paint were on this chair!


These are the colors I remember seeing. Lavender, Navy blue, yellow, aqua, red, and white. Whew! Three rounds of stripping. 2 coats of primer and then 2 coats of glossy white paint.

The finished product - and Gigi loves it!


A Perfect Mess

This book is thought provoking. I am struggling through it, but not because it is bad, but because it stirs things in me, and maybe hits too close to home. It is a study on several Psalms. And I am about halfway through and have dog-earred some pages. I thought sharing passages that have impacted me might be a good way to showcase this book, so -

1 - First, read Psalms 42:8-10. "These three verses rip the mask off artificial prayers filled with fake happiness and pithy sentiments. They remind us of the freedom we have to pour out the messy sorrows of our hearts to our heavenly Father instead of trying to suppress the sad stuff.....Do you ever wonder why, since our Savior consented to suffering, we try to avoid it at all costs?....Most of us do everything we can to sidestep the slightest twinge of discomfort. But dodging pain makes for an anxious existence. And trying to cruise through life in the single gear of 'happy' makes for an ineffective witness. How can we expect others to connect with our faith story when we've edited out the hard parts, the parts they most identify with?"

2 - Psalm 42:11 "Authentic joy is often forged in the kiln of ache. Horrible messes really can lead to hope-filled messages.

3 - Psalm 83:15-18 "Have you ever tallied up people who don't share your positions on moral issues like abortion and homosexuality in a mental 'enemy' column? Do you expend as much energy hoping they'll come to know the Lord as you do hoping they'll be proved wrong? Have you ever felt anything close to love for you enemies?"

And those are only 3 examples, people. This book is chock full of nuggets on how to apply the messages of the Psalms to your everyday life.

The book covers Psalms 1, 62, 139, 51, 83, 110, 8, 34, 23, 119, 149, & 150.

Caught up in the self-imposed pressure to do and be all the things they think a Christian woman ought to do and be, countless women are working desperately to convince everyone, including God, that they have it all together. Few have any idea that the Creator of the universe looks at them with delight even when they yell at the dog, drive a minivan littered with French fries, or think bad words about that rude clerk at the store.

A Perfect Mess offers hope to every woman who yearns for a vibrant relationship with God but worries she isn’t good enough or doesn’t do enough to merit His affection. With characteristic authenticity, speaker and author Lisa Harper shares poignant stories from her own imperfect life to showcase the real-life relevancy of the Bible in the lives of modern women.

As she guides readers on a story-driven journey through selected Psalms, they will be inspired to experience for themselves how God’s incomparable love transforms the messiness of life into a gorgeous work of grace.

Lisa Harper is a master storyteller whose lively approach connects the dots between the Bible era and modern life. She is a sought-after Bible teacher and speaker whose upcoming appearances include the national Women of Faith Conferences. A veteran of numerous radio and television programs and the author of several books, she also is a regular columnist for Today’s Christian Woman magazine. Lisa recently completed a master’s of theological studies from Covenant Theological Seminary. She makes her home outside Nashville.

Buy it here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Busy month

This last month has included 3 of our darlings birthdays and our anniversary, what was I thinking?

Actually, I like getting it all done and over with at once! My blogging has taken a back seat this summer but I am working on some fabulous book reviews and giveaways for the next 6 weeks or so and I have a couple of projects to share, so don't give up on me yet!!!

I'm on to you, sister!

Gigi is ready to be potty-trained.

How do I know?

Clue #1 - can undress herself.
Clue #2 - hates wet and poopy diapers.
Clue #3 - took off diaper in crib at naptime. Started screaming. Little bit wet sheet. Took her to potty and she went.

Probably not coincidental that we bought stickers just a few hours ago to use as a reward!? We can't use M&Ms around here. A bag wouldn't last very long with 3 siblings and prove too much a temptation for Mom & Dad. However, what self-respecting 11, 9 or 6 yr old want to parade around with Barney stickers?!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tomorrow's Treasure by Linda Lee Chaikin

If you've read any of my book reviews, you know I am a sucker for a good historical fiction book! The diamond industry and the conflicts in Africa have always been fascinating to me. I am amazed at the politics involved.

Raised by her aunt and uncle at the rectory in the small English village of Grimston Way, lovely Evy Varley remembers little of her missionary parents and nothing of South Africa, the land where she was orphaned during the Zulu War of 1878. But when Sir Rogan Chantry, the arrogant and handsome son of the local Squire, accuses Evy’s mother of stealing the infamous Kimberly Black Diamond, Evy sets out to prove the rogue wrong and clear her mother’s name.

Secrets abound, however, from the diamond mines of South Africa to the halls of her own beloved rectory. Strangers come to Grimston Way for their own mysterious purposes, a stunned Evy finds that her own aunt and uncle may have concealed disturbing truths about her family, and the dashing Sir Rogan has his own reasons to seek the missing diamond.

Yet despite Rogan’s seemingly rakish ways and the class differences that render a romance between them impossible, Evy finds herself drawn to the man who was once her childhood friend and now holds the keys to her heart. Faced with a dangerous past and an uncertain future, Evy must draw upon her wits and her faith to pursue Tomorrow’s Treasure.

I look forward to reading the sequel, Yesterday's Promise.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lives changed

Eleven years ago this weekend our lives changed forever. Hubby and I went from DINKs to parents. We went from carefree spontaneous people to people who had to drag the house with them everywhere and time feedings around outings.

We spent July 4th recovering from the awe-inspiring event that we had just witnessed. We spent Independence Day focusing on the fearsome task that lay before us, being responsible for another human being. We listened to fireworks outside our little one bedroom apartment and lusty newborn cries inside.

The last eleven years have held so much joy. The love for learning, the teachable moments, the gifts God has bestowed. Sha Sha is kind, she is flexible, and she is a delight to God and us as her parents.

We continually watch as God molds you into a beautiful young woman. Your beauty is more than appearance, it is in your heart!

Our lives were changed for the better because of the gift you are.