Saturday, December 31, 2011

Old Picture Tutorial

I started out with two smaller pictures and one large picture. They were a set with thick oak frames. To start I had to remove the paper backing from the framework. I used a butter knife to bend back the staples that held on the backing and I removed the picture.

I purchased a bottle of Modge Podge, a foam brush, and a book of scrap booking paper.

Tanner and I pulled all the sheets that had the colors I wanted and tore them into roughly 3"x4" pieces and began coating the old images with Modge Podge and sticking the torn pieces randomly.

Once we had the pieces glued down with the Modge Podge we put a thin coat over the top to seal it and make sure everything was secure. 

Here's the larger image completely covered

Here are the smaller ones covered and dried.  Tanner took special care of the one on the bottom.  He wanted it to be the one with the "S" on it so he added lots of butterflies for his mom.

I didn't get pics spray painting the frames, but it's super simple.  Remove the glass and the image, hang it on a clothes hanger or lay it on paper and have at it making sure to cover evenly in multiple thin layers to avoid drips.  Here they are put back together but before the final touch.

Jess T. owns a Cricut so I asked her to come over to help me make a couple letters.  We cut a 7" J,  a 7" S, and a 13" A in black vinyl.
We had our letter within minutes and I adhered them to the glass, hung the pics up on the wall and VIOLA!

without flash

with flash
I really like how putting the vinyl lettering on the glass (vs under the glass, onto the picture) creates a shadow and a decorative effect all it's own.  That's an Alisa tip from her Uppercase Living days :)

Total cost was less than $20 for supplies and the pictures were free!  Pretty good deal and it's exactly what I was wanting.  Add to it that Tanner made my "S" picture and it's something I will always cherish. 

Old Picture Project

If you'll remember I gave you a bit of a teaser about a project I've been working on.

In the lobby of the church someone brought in a set of Home Interior pictures and put "free" on them.  You don't have to tell me twice.  I let them sit for 2 days to give someone else a shot but when they didn't disappear, I loaded them up.

Here are the before pics:  The small ones are 5x7 and the larger one is...much larger (sorry I didn't measure it)

This is the After:

Total cost of supplies, $20.  I'll post the tutorial in a separate post.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Losing It's Allure

Jared asked his mom to watch the kids today so he could take me to my favorite restaurant (insert ahhhs here).

I didn't eat this morning because I wasn't really hungry.  I had a cup of coffee and by 11 I was feeling nibbly but I wanted to save my hunger for Jose's.  Hey, what girl wouldn't?  I debated what to get feeling free to chose what ever I wanted, knowing I would only eat until I was full. 

I picked the pollo magnifico because its, well, magnifico.  I got the lunch special and nibbled on a few chips while waiting for my plate.

The plate arrived and it was glorious. 

I ate the little mound of sweet mush.  I don't know what it is but I love it so I ate Jared's too.  Then I started in on the cheesy chickeny goodness.  Pushing aside the rice and beans, I slowly ate one of the mounds o' goodness.  It was tasty, it filled me and I asked for a to go box.

There weren't fireworks.  No one sang a song in honor of this plate of indulgence.  In fact, it was just food.  I was kinda surprised at my lack of emotion.  Could it be that removing the taboo or restriction from myself has removed the temptation?  There was no feeling of getting away with something.  I wasn't sneaking or cheating or taking a day off from my diet.  I was just sitting at lunch with my husband eating nummy food.

I boxed up the remaining pollo and had it for dinner with a small bowl of enchilada soup.  Its the end of the day and I'm satisfied, done eating for the day and all I've consumed is one order (sans rice and beans) of pollo magnifico and a small bowl of soup. 

I'm not saying I'm cured, that food will never be an issue again.  I am saying that I can see a light at the end of the tunnel and I am thankful for the healing God provides.  There is so much in my life He has brought healing to and I am realizing I thought this would just be my issue from now until glory.  I am thankful to see that doesn't have to be the case.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Leaps Tall Buildings

The other night I was snuggled deep in my bed fast asleep. 

I was dreaming and it was one of those dreams where you come in mid scene.  I knew something was wrong with Graham.  Specifically, there was something severely wrong with his feet.  Anneliese and I were there and were in danger and I was extremely worried about Graham's feet.

Jared appears and tells me to take Anneliese home where we will be safe.

I turn to Anneliese and tell her completely calm, "let's go.  Don't worry, Daddy will take care of Grahammy.  He's a super hero."

Then sure enough, Jared flies off into the air. 

When I woke up I immediately thought, "I have to tell Jared."

How awesome is it that even in my sleep my subconscious thinks of Jared as our hero? 

He may not leap tall buildings in a single bound, but he most definitely a hero to his family, minus the spandex of course.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Light Meets the Dark

After my blog yesterday about my epiphany, I went downstairs and jumped on the treadclimber for a cathartic workout.

I have been reading the book during my workouts, but since I finished the book I decided to just have some worship thru music and sweat.  The first song that came on was Tenth Avenue North's, Healing Begins.

I have always loved that song and felt it especially poignant for other people.  Yesterday, however, it spoke to me.  Now that I've recognized the fact that I need to move beyond this brokenness (the food issue) and have recognized that I am trustworthy, I am capable, I am loved it's time to let the light come to where I'm broken within. 

Let the healing begin!

Merry Christmas Eve

**Remember the average?  Running out of daylight here people**

Merry Christmas Eve!

Today we are headed up to Platte City for Jared's family celebration.  I am so relieved to announce that we all are healthy just in the nick of time.  We had sick kids Wednesday, Thursday, and a slight remnant on Friday.  We knew we would be home free as long as no one new succumbed to the nastiness. 

I typically post a picture of all our brood in front of our Christmas tree.  Due to the plague it's been put off but I'll work on it before we leave for Grandma's house.

Due to Christmas being on Sunday this year, our little people will rise up early for service and as soon as Sunday School lets out we'll hurry home to a pot roast and presents.  I have been so pleased that not one of them objected to opening after church.  They didn't even seem phased by it. 

I guess when it's what you do, its what you do, regardless of the circumstances.

Have a blessed day with friends and family!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Figuring It Out, 35 Years Later

Slowly but surely I am figuring out just who I am.

This may sound silly, but for the majority of my life time I have wished to be someone else.  Someone thinner, someone richer, someone tan, someone shorter, someone taller, someone blond or brunette, someone from a nuclear family where mom and dad live happily ever after, someone quieter, someone more disciplined,  someone...anyone but me.

Now that my life is likely 1/3 or more over it's time I start being content with me. 

This may sound alien to some, but I believe we all go through phases of "finding oneself."  This is not a new topic to me.  I was pondering on this very thing just last January.

My new epiphany has so much more to do with who I am and what I want for this life. 

First of all I am officially done with my obsession with food.  It's a process but I am determined to live like a naturally narrow individual.  I have been reading a book called Women, Food, and God.  While there was a lot to take in and it was life changing, she's a heretic.  She's not a Christian writer as I was lead to believe.  She uses foul language and claims we are all God, but....She does speak some truths and I have come to recognize that when we are open God can speak to us through any medium.  So my new way of living is to follow my natural full and hunger signals.  I will eat only when I am hungry and I will stop when I'm satisfied.  No more diets, no more restricting.  My goal when I started this weight loss process was freedom.  As I wrote a few days ago, I am still in bondage.

Well, no more!  I will trust myself because it has been 10 years since I lost the weight.  10 years of adjusting my diet, my exercise, my way of life.  I am an adult and I have proven over 10 years of maintenance that I can in fact, be trusted with brownies and not gain 100 lbs.

Happiness and contentment cannot be found at the scale.  I've been there, super thin and still miserable. I've been super heavy and miserable.  Now it's time to just be.  I am confident that the Lord would really like me to spend my emotional energies elsewhere. 

Oh, and I hate running long distances.  Short runs I can tolerate, long runs I despise.

I do not like to sew either.

I do love to sleep in.

I love to spend the the day in my PJ's with my kids.

I really like to vacuum.

I'm madly in love with my husband and one of my very favorite things to do is sit with him on the couch and watch TV.

I'm obsessed with coffee.

I do not have to be a size 6 to have value as a human being.

I was designed to be a mom, a wife, a friend.  There are times I think that these things aren't enough.  That I need to, I must accomplish more.  I must do more in order to earn the space I inhabit. 

One thing I learned in that book is that I have "The Voice" that tells me daily that I'm really not worth anything.  That nit picky, rude, unloving voice browbeating me into compliance.  Well, she's been fired and from now on the only voice I'll listen to is that of a loving God, and a precious loving husband.

Bringing Up The Average

My last few months of blogging has suffered.  I used to blog every couple days and I really enjoyed the creative outlet.  Over the last 3 months my average has been about 6 posts a month.  That's pathetic!

It seems like everyone I know has been struggling to get on blogger and put some thoughts into words.  I guess it's  a good thing.  It means we're spending more time in real life vs the cyber world.

I have been working on a couple different projects and have blogs in the works.  One project is ideas for those outdated framed prints you have from Home Interiors.  You know the ones, they are full of pinks, blues, and typically have lots of flowers. 

They were super pricey in the 90's and have great frames.  Problem is they're outdated.  So whats a girl to do?  As soon as I put the finishing touches on mine I'll show you step by step.

The kids are so excited about Christmas that they can't talk about it without grinning ear to ear.  I love to see the excitement in their faces.

I have been putting together a rag quilt for my newest nephew Zayne.  I'll give you a sneak peak but you'll have to wait until after he opens it to see the finished product.  I've only made 2 quilts in my entire life.  One for Zach and now one for Zayne.  I sure love those boys.
I gave my little girl a framed image of her, Grandma NeNe and baby Zayne to put in her room.  She LOVES it!
She put it on her dresser and goes in just to check and make sure it's still there.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pics Galore

Tanner turned 10! Double digits!!

He made cupcakes for his Sunday school class. It started out as,"let's make some green cupcakes.". But his creativity took over :)

My children are weird.

We had a Christmas party for the kids and we let them decorate their own cookies.

Tanner made a Jayhawk cookie and then wouldn't eat it.

This is Elijah's. Noticing a theme?

He wouldn't eat his either. I told you they were weird.

Anneliese in her favorite raincoat and her "happy shoes". Love that girl!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy 10th Birthday Tanner Riley!!!

When it all began.  9lb 3oz 24"!
Tanner and his Sydney
Always so silly
Love this
That's my sweet boy
So full of love. 
God has great plans for that huge tender heart Tanner Riley!  I can't wait to see what He does through you!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Heaven In A Bowl

I made this today and it is absolutely delicious!! And so incredibly easy. You simply must try it!!! Just click HERE and it will take you to the recipe.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

And Here We Are Again...

As many of you can probably relate, my life is cyclical.  I always seem to end up back where I began.

I want things to be easy.  I want to be fixed.  I have been on this weight loss/management journey now for almost 10 years.  I joined Weight Watchers when my sweet Tanner was just a couple weeks old.  Next Sunday he turns 10.

I lost 86lbs and lost my mind all in one fail swoop.

I have really enjoyed reading over at Can You Stay For Dinner?  She is a gifted writer and has been through a similar journey.  I sat in front of my computer yesterday morning reading, sipping coffee, and crying.  She put a lot of my thoughts and feelings of the last decade in eloquent written form.

After I lost my weight initially I lived in fear of gaining.  I lived in a prison of my own making.  There was no freedom in what I had accomplished.

Since my Dad passed priorities shifted.  I've done a much better job of not being obsessed with the scale.  I don't weigh multiple times a day, I don't even weigh daily anymore.  All of this is good for my emotional and spiritual health.

But then today I stepped on the scale for the first time in weeks and I'm up 17 lbs from March.  I immediately had all those emotions of fear wash over me.  Is this a slippery slope?  Will I be able to stop this gradual gain and get back to the healthy weight I prefer?

It seems so silly.  It just doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, except this issue runs deeper than vanity.  It's deeper than a pair of jeans.  My weight is directly connected to how I am doing emotionally, spiritually and physically.

Every time something gets hard I search for a quick fix.  I wish for an easy answer.  Not just when it comes to weight, but finances, homeschooling, house work, organization, anything that takes work.  I am reminded that we are naturally destructive.  I don't want to do what comes natural.  I need to be consistent and determined and diligent.  All things that go against my nature.

So here I go again.  I am jumping back on the healthy band wagon.  I am determined to use the beautiful work out room my husband so generously provided.  I am determined to keep better track of what I'm putting in my mouth.  I am determined to do a better job.

Why?  Because the only difference between someone who loses weight and keeps it off and someone who loses weight and gains it back is one simple thing.

The one who keeps it off refuses to stop trying.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Altic Updates

-My mother in law mentioned I really should update my blog and she is so right!  Yes Anita, I put it in writing that you are so right :) 

-Tanner had a second opinion on his back yesterday for the scoliosis issue.  After many many X-rays he was cleared.  Tanner does not have scoliosis.  He has some neck and hip issues but they are minor and easily corrected.  Jared and I are greatly relieved and so thankful our little man is good to go!

-Anneliese is all about "Princesses."  She is a princess, brides are princesses, anyone in a dress is a princess.  Well, after today Tanner has nicknamed her Rapunzel.  If you've seen the movie **spoiler alert** Rapunzel has long golden locks with magical healing powers.  In the end her hair is cut and she loses her powers.  Anneliese's hair was cut today by Graham.  She now has a super short spunky do.  I keep reminding myself how cute she is and not how long it took to grow those 3" that are now missing.

Monday, November 28, 2011

What's For Dinner

I have a crock pot of goodness brewing in the kitchen.  I CAN'T WAIT.  Dinner may come early tonight for this hungry chick.

I threw together Gina's Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili.  It smells amazing and I eat this stuff til I hurt.  Its my favorite and it's incredible over her Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice.  Here's the pics and the links to her website. 


Chicken Chili:
Cilantro Lime Rice (I use brown rice and it's just as nummy!):
 Thank you Gina for making eating healthy taste SOOO good!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Brennan's Ipod Photography

Brennan has an Ipod Touch that he received for his birthday from all our family. He asked for a new song on his playlist so I hooked up the ipod and all his pictures uploaded to my computer. Here's what he's been up to:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all have a day full of gluttony planned!  Wait...that came out wrong.

Enjoy your family, eat a reasonable breakfast, and enjoy a sensible lunch/dinner with your family!

I personally decided to start my day off with a chocolate protein shake.  My mom just happened to leave a package of Starbucks instant coffees in my pantry.  On a whim, I blended half a packet into my shake.  HEAVEN!  Not kidding, simply delicious!

Jared and I are thankful for our precious family. 

Yesterday we found out that our Tanner has severe scoliosis.  The little guy has been having a lot of back and neck pain over the last couple months.  We kept thinking it was growing pains or possibly the need for a quality mattress (he currently sleeps on a futon).  He woke up yesterday with a kink in his neck and was crying due to the pain.  I took him into the chiropractor for the first time.  She immediately was asking me all kinds of questions about our family history.  I keep struggling with how in the world I could have missed this.  His back looks like a "S".  We are doing a whole lot of research and working towards treatment for him.  Poor Tan man.

Jared has started the Christmas gift spreadsheet.  He does it every year and the kids and I love it.  The gifts start appearing and they are all numbered.  No one but Dad knows which number belongs to which kid.  Having such a large family I really appreciate all the thought and time he puts into this.  He does the shopping, the gift wrapping, and then brings home the presents to put under the tree.  So much easier than me trying to get things when the kids are with me 100% of the time.

Tonight our tree goes up.  It's been a tradition for several years now.  As soon as Thanksgiving dinner is cleaned up we start pulling out decorations.  It's so fun because after Christmas each year I buy new decorations at great discounts and then put them away.  I love getting them out and using them for the first time.  We all have extra excitement to decorate our new home.

There is so much to be thankful for.  God is good all the time, all the time God is good.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Duggars #20

I have been stewing about this for a few days and wanted to write a blog defending Michelle's right to her choice.  I'm beginning to hate that word, choice.  Abortion activists beat us over the head with it proclaiming women must maintain the right to kill their children because it's their choice to do what they will with their bodies.  Why aren't these same activists defending Michelle Duggar?  Why doesn't she have the right to do what she wishes with her body?  Does our society only shout out their support when the choice includes the death of a child?  Needless to say this infuriates me!! 

I am part of a homeschool group on Facebook and a mom posted this as her take and I felt she did a great job and I totally agree.  Here is Anne Marie Cottle Reese's take on the topic.  Thanks Anne! :

With all of this talk of the Duggars being pregnant again I have noticed a lot of (I assume because they imply) Christian people commenting on the different news stories that are on the internet and speaking of responsibility. I have heard this from other christian friends before talking about what stopped them from having more kids and I guess I don't get it. Why do people consider her/them irresponsible? I know that people say the high risk thing because of her age and health problem during the last pregnancy, but isn't it more responsible to trust and stay committed to the vow you made to God? Why would He set them up for failure? I guess it troubles me when I hear so many people suggesting that they need to control the amount of kids they have because they are being more responsible. I really wonder how many people go to God with which birth control option to use before using it. Now I am not saying that everyone needs to go and have a bunch of kids or that taking away the ability to have more children is wrong, I am just curious if people actually go to God and feel pressed by Him to take those steps because I know several people who took steps to remove the ability and have been regretful. Actually, the majority (if not all) of the christian women I know who have had this procedure have said they wish they could afford to reverse it and that startles me. For me, God said to trust Him with it and we use natural family planning and I am so glad He guided me, otherwise Julia would not be sleeping peacefully next to me :) I understand that we all have our reasons and especially our fears for making the decisions we make and then I consider people like the Duggars and people like Tim Tebow's mom who was told she needed to abort Tim because he wasn't alive and it might be dangerous for her health to continue the pregnancy. What would happen if we just said no to the world and totally surrendered to God's care? I consider Michelle Duggar and Tim Tebow's mom courageous for going against what the world says and sticking by what God has told them. I wonder how many of us let our fears get in the way of what amazing things God has for us. It is not necessarily 20 children for all of us or to abort or not, but sometimes it is as simple as not being afraid of standing up for Christ in public or giving up TV or certain music that distracts your heart. I have struggled with this for a long time because I have personally regressed due to fear. I used to be right up front basically ministering to anyone and everyone who would listen. I had no problem getting in front of a crowd and letting God have control of my tongue, but then fear started seeping in and I let it. I know how Peter felt when he was backed into that corner and denied Jesus. Inside he was terrified for his life on earth because that was the only thing he could see, but when reality struck he was devastated that he didn't boldly proclaim his Christ Jesus!! The reason I equate this and the Duggar's having a 20th baby is because it really is difficult to be an outsider in this world and totally trust that God knows what He is doing like they have done. They blindly said, "God, we leave it up to you." and God has taken wonderful care of them and blessed so many others through them. Even Peter who had been with Jesus minutes before denying him couldn't handle the pressure of being an outsider. The thing is, I know that all of us are brave and many of us struggle as we homeschool our children each and every day all the while the world tells us that our kids will be "messed up" from it. Even many christian people have looked at me like I was some kind of alien for homeschooling. I tried to quit, but God encouraged me and led me back to homeschooling every time. We all know what it is like to be in Michelle Duggar's shoes, but is there another area that God is pressing you about? For me, I have fought God and even told Him "no" when I should have been standing up for Him. I have even hid behind the homeschooling excuse to avoid other areas He would have me. He gave me certain gifts and I have a choice to either use them for Him or waste my time. We are teaching a new generation and they are watching as we say yes and no to God. Obviously, a lot is on my mind and heart and I am calling on my wonderful sisters in Christ to talk to me about these things. Maybe it was the sermon this morning or it was all the controversy surrounding the Duggars, but I have just been near tears thinking about how far from God so many people are that they don't even get the point of the Duggars having so many. I bet there are many times they wish they weren't considered a circus act and the horrible things weren't said about them, but it is not them choosing the amount of kids they are choosing to have complete faith in God's plan. I am genuinely curious about how others think and I can't wait to hear all of your thoughts and I want to thank you ahead of time for taking the time to read this :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Few Things I'm Thankful For

Inglehoffer Sweet Hot Mustard.  This stuff is what great lunches are made of.  I LOVE IT.  I like to have turkey sandwiches smothered in it, I even like to dip steak in it.  They sell it at Wal-Mart and I buy it two at a time.  It's cheap, it's delicious and I don't mind eating healthy when this is my condiment.  It's the bomb diggity.
I have always been a fan of Pike's Place from  Starbucks.  I went in to get my bag o' beans and the clerk demanded suggested that I try the Thanksgiving blend.  I am sold!  It's delicious.  I love coffee and I am typically a one maybe two cup a day person.  I could drink this stuff all day.  It beckons me.
Land O Lakes fat free half and half.  I made the mistake of getting regular half and half and using it in my coffee.  Never again will skim milk be enough for these taste buds.  So what's a girl who wants to fit into her clothes to do?  I thought I'd give it a try and I'm smitten.  It's really yummy and creamy.  Only 20 calories per serving, no fat, and still tastes better that skim milk.  In fact I could drink it.  It's num num num.

This glorious image is that of my pantry.  You read that right.  That is a pantry in my house.  Why did the single woman who built this home decide that a 8x13 foot pantry was a necessity?  The only reason I can come up with is God knew in just a couple years our family would be moving in and this would be amazing for a family with 5 kids (4 boys!).  Our kitchen is on the smallish side.  We were in such a hurry to find a house when I first walked in I thought the kitchen would be a deal breaker.  It's beautiful, it's just not what I pictured for a family of 7.  Then I wandered back into this and with my mouth agape said, "Uh, Jared!  You have to see this!"  We feel so incredibly blessed.
Jared and I have had our bed for 7 years now.  We have both been struggling with back and neck issues.  I struggled with the idea of replacing our mattresses.  It's just so stinking expensive.  After some research I decided to give one of these a try.  I found a family on Craigslist that purchased one and ended up buying a new mattress instead so I got this new for $60!  It's lovely.  I haven't woken up with a sore back since we got it.  It feels like my bed is hugging me.  The kids all have found the "smooshy" bed and are begging for one of their own.  I highly highly recommend.  This particular one is sold at Sams.