Saturday, January 28, 2012

Words With Walls

To all my cyber friends I have a confession to make.

In person, I am a bit...well I like to...I have a hard time, I'm a chatterbox.  There, that feels better.  I bruise the ears of those I come in contact with.

I have learned through much introspection and thought that some of my incessant talking comes from insecurity.  That I am working on, the rest of it is just me.  I'm a communicator.  I love to chit and chat from sun up to sun down.

As I am playing working decorating our home and settling in, my need to communicate is coming out in my decor.  I want to put words everywhere!

This for the Laundry room:
This for the kitchen but bigger and vertical:
For the living room downstairs, the kids are really into the game Plants vs Zombies.  Even Anneliese talks about zombies.  I know, it's weird but they would LOVE IT
Danger Zombies RUN
For the downstairs bathroom
I already have the sign in the kitchen that says, All Because Two People Fell In Love.

Then there's the initials downstairs:
So apparently I'm just as chatty in my decor as I am in person.  So my question is this, would this be overboard?  Would you start seizing from over stimulation during a walk through?  There's a sign above our couch that says: The best place to be is together.  We have a mirror in the entry way with the word, family gracing the center.  I'm out of control!

Be honest, be brutal, because Pinterest is becoming dangerous.  I have ideas bursting out of me and I can't wait to dig into all the projects.  Wait until you see the party favors I'm making for Anneliese's birthday!  SO CUTE.

I can't help myself.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

ABC's Of Decorating

While wandering around Hobby Lobby with Katie R.  I found the cutest letters glued onto metal to hang on your wall.

Since they were 1/2 price I grabbed one for each of us in the family thinking I would do something with them somewhere in the new house.

I had thought about putting J+S=BTEGA above the couch but then I realize each little plaque required two nails!  That's a whole lot of nail holes I couldn't commit to.

Then I thought I would put them downstairs since I have neglected that space but I needed to paint before hanging anything.  So I got up early and put a fresh coat of paint in the room.  I considered attaching them to a large piece of wood but then realized it would weigh close to a hundred pounds.

After much thought I came up with the idea of hanging them from curtain rods on the large wall downstairs. 

"Huh?!" you say.

I went to Wal-Mart and for $2.97 each I picked up three dark petite curtain rods.  They are all the same I just extended the middle one out a touch.  Please forgive the pics, even though I have a nice camera I love to use my phone.  It's just so much quicker!

 I bought some ribbon that was the texture and width I wanted and cut 7 strips all the same length.
 Then I laced a ribbon through the back of each of the plaques.

I tied a cute little bow at the top and made sure they hung about the same distance between the rods.  Rinse and repeat twice or until all your letters are up :)

It turned out exactly like I'd hoped/planned!  It's a nice big display on a big wall.  Due to the petite rods it only sticks out from the wall about 1.5" which is important since this is a walkway.

I also really like this idea for combined families.  Since this is all first initials it includes everyone vs excluding one or more with last name initials.

Total cost: $30

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Babies, Princesses, Sweat, and Carpet

-I headed out Sunday afternoon to go meet little Titus Solomon.  My friend Wendy had her baby and being military, they don't have anyone close so I took some food and stayed for a bit.  My intention was to help my notoriously messy friend with housework.  By God's design (I'm sure), her new husband is quite the neat freak so I just got to sit and enjoy my friend and her new bundle.

-The song, Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman has been around for several years.  When it was first released Jared and I both thought it was a bit much (I believe the term "emotional glurge" was used by my spouse).  I would like to note, we had not had Anneliese yet (nor had the Chapman's lost their little girl at that point).  Now that Anneliese is more than obsessed with Cinderella and goes about the house singing, "Cineredda, Cineredda, DO THE DISHES DO DA WAUNDRY, poor Cindarelly," my take on the song has changed a bit.  Anneliese has her new "pincess" dress and has worn it daily with only brief breaks to wash it and her.  We have been making her wear actual PJ's to bed but as soon as she wakes she begs to put it on.  Yesterday while driving home from Wendy's, the glurge came on the radio and immediately reduced me to a bawling pile of goo.  Not just weepy, we're talking full on ugly cry.  Ok, I get it now...

-I've been doing some personal training in the house.  I was a bit nervous to see how it would work with the kids and Sophie, but I think it's working out pretty well.  Better than I thought it would honestly.  So if you hear of anyone (females only please) wanting to get in shape and have some accountability with some sore muscles please send them my way.  It will be even easier as the weather warms up and we can do more outside.

-It is my dream to someday replace the carpet in the house.  It's builder's grade and it has some pet issues from before we moved in.  Due to the ridiculous cost of such a venture, I believe I will settle on having Brooke's ChemDry come out and do the upstairs (they already thoroughly attacked the downstairs when we moved in).  They do a great job and guarantee their work.  It is amazing how much better things look and smell once they're done.  I highly recommend them, tell them I sent you :) 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Crock Pot Lasagna???

While tootling around on Pinterest I saw a recipe for crock pot lasagna.  I decided to give it a try and it's on warm (per creators directions if you leave it for the day, meat is already fully cooked) as I type.

Jared and the kids won't can't do ricotta or cottage cheese so the one other time I ever made lasagna I made it with Velveeta and mozzarella like Anita makes it.  It's actually quite yummy and resembles the enchiladas I make in my opinion but with noodles vs tortillas.

Can you put lasagna in a crock pot and have it turn out decent?  Well, I will let you know!

Check out her recipe HERE

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bonjour Mon Ami

It's That Time Again

I have been asked to speak at the Woman's retreat again this year on February 17, 18.

I went through a very similar time of upheaval last year preparing.

God has decided to work me over, air out my closets, and grow me in ways I didn't realize I needed.

I have been reading a lot lately.  Some good, some bad, some life changing.  Regardless of what I consume intellectually He is using it for His glory.  There seems to be a common thread and I'm excited that it falls perfectly in line with this years' theme (not surprisingly).

When reading through So Long Insecurities by Beth Moore she reminds us that God has granted us strength and dignity and given us security about our future.

Proverbs 31:25
New Living Translation (NLT)
 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
      and she laughs without fear of the future. 

I can't think of a better way to show a woman love!  To grant us security and strength.  God has given us dignity and no one can take that from us.  
What great love He has lavished on us!  That we should be called children of God.  I ask that you would be in prayer for those of us teaching and preparing for the retreat as well as for the hearts of the women who will be attending.

I truly believe we all need to be reminded what awesome powerful God we serve that has only our best in the forefront of His mind.

Jeremiah 29:11
New Living Translation (NLT)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Better Together

Jared and I wanted to allow Dustin and Alanna to have a romantic weekend so we offered to take the kiddos for Friday night and Saturday night.

Jared went and picked up the cousins Friday night around 5. 

We made homemade pizzas for dinner and it was a huge hit.  There were a couple impatient kiddos asking for things as I was working on it but for the most part it went off surprisingly well for 9 kids!

My favorite part of the evening was prayer time.  We went through out normal routine and added in the cousins oldest to youngest.  Kelby thanked God for all Christians being able to go to heaven and live with Him eventually.  So sweet, oh and he also thanked God for Auntie's bread and pizza.  A boy after my heart :)

You can tell what they typically say night to night because our kids each say "thank you for everyone else" after mentioning a few people by name.  Dustin's kids thanked God for "all my friends and family."

We had Anneliese, Kennedy, and Clara all in Anneliese's room.  Other than a slight discipline issue with Anneliese, they all went to bed easily.

Graham and Elijah slept in their room per usual.

Brennan, Tanner, and Kelby all crashed in Brennan and Tanner's room.

Cora made up a nice bed on the couch downstairs.

The younger 5 were in bed by 9, and the older 4 stayed up until 10.  I was so impressed with how quiet they were and we didn't hear a peep out of anyone until 7:30.  Success!!

I had great plans for homemade waffles for breakfast but they all requested cereal.  The waffles made a great lunch and the kids ate a ton.  How much you ask?  They ate this entire recipe:

6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup baking powder
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons white sugar
6 eggs
4-1/2 cups warm milk
1 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
It may seem like a lot to house 9 kids, but they are really very good and the house is quiet.  I feel so blessed by our new home.  We have had no issue making a wonderful cousin weekend full of games, giggling, and snuggles.  
Now to bathe them all and get them to church by 8...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Power Of Spray Paint

All of the fixtures in our house are a shiny modern brushed nickel.  They are super sharp but just not my style.  I looked into replacing the ceiling fans in our master bed, living, and family rooms.  Just for two fans we were looking around $300 total.  That seems ridiculous since they function perfectly and the house is only 5 years old so they're relatively new.

My sweet father in law agreed to come over and help me take them down so I could paint them.  Yep, paint them.

Here is what they looked like before (ceiling fixtures are difficult to get good pics of shockingly).
Silver with blond blades
We took them down and took them apart. Fortunately the blades are cherry on the alternate side so we didn't have to replace them. I used a $5 can of hammered black spray paint.
Richard propped it on a board and pole

 It didn't take long at all to paint the fans and they dried super quick.  Putting them back up really only took about 10 minutes each.

And here's the after!!  I am so pleased with the difference and they match perfectly!!!

Not only pretty, but perfectly functional
We also took down one of the dome lights in the living room and gave it a quick coat

Much better!  Slowly but surely I'll paint each fixture.  It's just so much cheaper and you don't have to sacrifice your preference just because your cheap frugal. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Easy Artwork

I used the same scrap booking tablet that I purchased for my bedroom.

I picked the ones that matched best
I picked up these two pictures at Goodwill for $4.99 each. They had dog artwork :) I thought the frames were super nice and they even had matting under the images in case you wanted to use them. I'm sure they were pricey new.
I took them apart so I could paint the frames white.
I used the dog pictures as guides to cut the best sections out of the scrap booking paper.
Once they were dry I cleaned the glass and put them back together.
They turned out perfectly! Anneliese and I love them :)

It's So Green It's Money

Please accept my apology for the title.  I couldn't help myself.

I finished up Anneliese's room and I'm in love!  It turned out just as I'd hoped.

First of all I would like to admit I'm cheap.  Yep, bonafide cheapskate.  I have only purchased super cheap paint in the past and thought if you did otherwise you must have money to burn.

I have changed my ways!  The miss tint that I purchased for Anneliese's room was Glidden primer + paint in one.  It retails for $34/gallon at Wal-Mart.  I actually hesitated to pay $15 per gallon for the miss tints (!), but I'm so glad I did!  Not only was it the EXACT color I'd hoped for, it covered the entire room (not a super small room, plus it has really high ceilings) plus the bathroom with just 1 gallon and 1 coat!  No joke!  I was insanely impressed with how easily it covered.  Obviously I would have had to use two gallons of the cheap stuff and a whole lot more time.  I have a new favorite that I will actually shell out the cash for.  I was super impressed.

bye bye baby blue

Kitchen chandelier turned princess posh

Artwork by Mommy, remember Altic house=pants optional

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Girl's Room

Now that we're settled it's time to make this house our home!  I have been really enjoying making small changes here and there.

Yesterday I changed out the kitchen cabinet pulls from a modern brushed nickle to an old world antiqued bronze.  So pretty!  I had a couple light fixtures I had picked up off Craigslist over the last several months and those went up almost immediately.  Tomorrow Richard and I are going to take down the silver fans in the master bed and living room and give them an old world make over with a can of spray paint.  I'll post a blog with the pics later.

Today I plan to take on Anneliese's room.  It's blue and blue just won't do!  I went to Wal-Mart this morning to pick up an iHome radio from a Craigslister for the workout room.  I decided to run in and to my delight they had 2 gallons of apple green in the miss tints!  SCORE.  Everything she owns is pink so I thought a fresh green wall would be a nice compliment to all the pink.  I can't wait to see it done and finally put up her curtains.  There is also a chandelier in her future.  I found a cheap black iron kitchen chandelier on craigslist for $10 that will get a shiny coat of white paint and some pretty pink beads before it goes up. 

Anyone else just love home projects?  I live for this stuff!  Stay tuned for pics of the madness :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dog Sitting

We are keeping the Robins little doxie for a couple days and Anneliese is smitten. Btw, pants are optional in our home apparently :)

So Long Insecurity

Psalm 116

 1 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
   he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
   I will call on him as long as I live. 

I try to be transparent.  It is my goal to be authentic and show you myself warts and all.  In the last several months I have been lonely.  I felt disconnected and tired.  Relationships are hard.  Relating is difficult when we are all so very different.

After spending some time one afternoon with Dana M, she explained that her daughter had come home from school expressing the same thoughts and feelings.  She wanted a friend, a bestie, someone to hang out with.  Dana explained that if she asked God He would provide this for her because He cares for her.

Dana and I talked about how no matter our age, we all desire the same.  We want someone to relate to, someone who gets "it".  I know that this is something all of us women long for.  We are at the core, relational souls.  We need communion.

Amy C and I have been searching for a study, a group curriculum that would speak to the women of our church and unify them.

She and I started reading a book called, So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore.  This book is a game changer.  We are all lead by our insecurities.  They plague our relationships and imprison us.  Through reading this book my eyes have been opened to the humanity of the women around me.  They are not competition or a measuring stick and their talents and qualities do not have any impact on who I am and my value in Christ just as my talents and qualities do not detract in anyway their value in Christ.

I cried out months ago for companionship, for communion, for someone who gets it.  God has heard my cry and opened my eyes to the beautiful Godly women around me.  My heart is full of love and affection for the ladies God has put in my life.  I am saddened that I have let my insecurities keep me from diving into the blessings of your friendships.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Year In Review

What a year 2011 was!

Just shows to go ya! (that was purposeful) You think you know what you have in store for your life and then without notice it all gets turned on its head!

May 16th (I remember the date because it was my Dad' bday) we embarked on a 7 month process that would excite us, scare us, grow us, exhaust us, and eventually bless our socks off.

We decided to take on a massive project of adding onto our house at Russell to make it a better fit for our growing family (7 people +1 bath= headache).  After some wise counsel, we decided instead to put our house on the market and purchase a house that better fit us.

Instantly, we had an interested party so the wait began.  Waiting for the bank, waiting for the new house to be ready, waiting for the buyer to be ready.  Slowly but surely all the doors shut except selling the house.  It sold quickly and we were left stunned and worried.

God had a plan and we decided to just trust and wait.

We ended up in a different house that was a better fit for us both financially and space wise.  While the other house was amazing, it needed updating and had a lot of formal space (entry, formal dining) that we wouldn't really utilize.  Our new home is a perfect for our family.  We use every square inch and having more bathrooms has been an amazing blessing.

We ended up in a beautiful home, in an awesome neighborhood where the kids have already made connections.  We see now that we needed the first house to encourage us away from Russell (a home we created and loved) in order to be blessed with this home.  It has been a blessing both space wise, and financially.

It was a long journey, but now that its all over we are so thankful. 

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