Sunday, August 30, 2009

Smile At The Simple Things

We took a road trip on Saturday (the morning of cartoons was interrupted by the telecasting of T. Kennedy's funeral...I won't post what Jamie had to say about that!) Ended up at the new Sonic a few towns over...the boys love Sonic, mostly because Corey thinks it has something to do with Sonic the Hedgehog! (and I really, really wanted a cherry limeade!)On the way back I spotted Riley eating the lime from his cup! (lovin' my super mad photog skills while driving?!?) We had a blast, froze eating outside but still fun. I'm making an effort to find the fun in our makes it a bit more enjoyable for all of us :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Walmarts Prayer

Dear Lord,

Please bless all the people at the Walmart who annoyed the heck out of me today! Radically infiltrate their lives this week with your all consuming love...especially the gansta wanna be who dropped the F bomb every 2 seconds while we were in line and referred to the woman with 501 items in the Speedy Checkout as a "crack wh***" (real nice), that same woman who had the million items then didn't have the $$ to pay for said items...bless her indeed! Also, don't forget the man in the beater truck who tried to run us down in the crosswalk! Father, show them love in a way that only you can!!! Rock their Worlds!

(And just for good measure, please add in the band at the bar down the street with their 10 min sound check...yes, if I can clearly hear you 2 blocks away in my upstairs bathroom with the windows closed. Your mike works! check,check, CHECK!)

Have a good week, remember to show grace to those around you...even the seemingly unloveables! I'm off to watch Goonies with my little goonies!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Birthing a Dream

Have you ever realized how similar fulfillment of dreams is to childbirth?

At first it doesn't seem real, this little seed planted deep inside your heart. As it gets bigger you stretch and grow until you hardly recognize yourself! Its exciting but terrifying. I was never one of those patient souls who could wait to find out if my baby was a boy or girl. Always so curious to see what this precious little bundle would be like, what features would he have? Dreams are like that, we know they're there, but have know clue what it will look like in the end. I wonder how long the gestation period is for a dream? Its definitely not 9 months!!! Sometimes it feels like we'll have an elephant instead of a new life!

Then comes the fun part (yeah right)..labor! It hurts. You think you'll never recover. Man, you seriously have NeVeR felt pain like this!!! Its like your heart's being ripped out. You cry for God to take the pain away, but there is no epidural for the spirit. Then when you think you can't take one more second...its here! All shiny and new...nothing what you expected in your mind...but beautifully perfect.

Last night while I was pondering all of this, I came across Jesus trying to explain his departure to his disciples:

John 16: 21-24

A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you what ever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you shall receive, and your joy will be complete.

As I'm typing this post Jamie has Petra blairing in the background..."Be of good cheer for I have overcome this world!" ...I could go on quoting Petra Praise all day! So thankful that God moves even through little boys blasting music while they clean their rooms!!! I think I'm going to sign off and take a moment to do some praising of my Dream Maker!

Chillin at the Park

The boys had a chance to play at my old elementary school's playground today. We met Amber and her niece (but I think the Terrible Three-some intimidated the poor thing!). It was kind of funny watching them play in the same place that I ran around in so many years ago! They even had these wooden post things that I remember flipping over....for some reason they seem so small now! Here's a few shots of them hanging out: Riley was a total maniac on these hand rails! He went over them so many time that he got blisters! (you can't tell from this picture, but he's pretty far off the ground! Made me super nervous, but I just need to deal with it!)

Corey wasn't that into the park....he wanted to stay at Grandma's and play Super Mario you can see he didn't win ;)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Surviving Life's Minefields

I've come to this conclusion that life is kind of like playing Marco Polo with God in a giant minefield. We listen closely, but still every once in awhile bump into a land mine (spiritual and physical!). These last few months have been like that at least....everywhere I turn I'm bumping into something, causing it to explode!

Is it that God's guiding me in the wrong direction? Probably not, more like I'm not fully listening to my Father's voice. Kind of like hearing him and then running full force into a wall! (and to think that I complain about how well the boys listen to me!!!) It seems like the closer we get to the finish line, the more land mines Satan has in store. I'm a little battle weary, but I refuse to give in when we're this close!!!

I'm trying harder to listen, not jump to conclusions and the real kicker: BE PATIENT!!!! I literally bumped into this verse today:

Jeremiah 29: 12-14

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."

I'm listening now Lord....and seeking you with all my heart! On a plus side, Jim has an interview tomorrow and another couple of leads in the making! God is Good all the time!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Desk Finale

Here's what we started with...a very basic particle and laminate white desk (it was free and it works!).

Jamie wants a Navy room, so I obliged his request....hence the bright blue and yellow "Blue Angels" desk! First I washed and primed the desk and drawers. Then I started painting. As I said in the post with the chair, I really wasn't happy with the way the blue covered...but Jim was able to work his magic and it's beautiful!

I was really stumped on what I could do to make it look like "Navy" and not Michigan State fans! Then one night I was looking at the drawers, the Navy slogan is "Honor, Courage, Commitment".....three words, three drawers....WE have a Winner!!!

To paint the words on to the drawers, I first printed them out in the size that I wanted. Then I rubbed the blank side of the paper with chalk, taped it to the drawer....and traced the outline with a pencil. I'm not sure how well you can see it, but there is a chalk outline of the word on the drawer.

So, I just painted inside the lines and here we are!
For the top of the desk I wanted to somehow bring in the Blue Angel's theme, without taking over the entire desk (I want Jamie to be able to focus on his studies, not the drawings on the desk!).
I repeated the same chalk process with this crest I downloaded. Then I just simply filled in the lines....I thought the little air planes would be the hardest, but really getting the larger yellow section even is still bothering me! (but he is 9 and has a tendency to..ummm...take great care of his things...hahaha, so I'm not going to kill myself over it!)

And the finished desk (without the logo on top)!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Definitely NOT A Future Entomologist!!!

Or a bee keeper!

We've always known Jamie is more sensitive to bug bites, but now bee stings are definitely on our list!!!

The poor thing was sitting outside on the porch when a bumble bee landed on him, he got up to go inside and it stung him right on the bridge of his nose by the inside corner of his eye! (Mom!!!! You said that if we didn't hurt a bee it wouldn't hurt us....ooopppps! My bad!)

The poor thing swelled up like a balloon! This picture is actually pretty decent compared to last night...even after 3 maximum doses of benadryl. His lower eye lid swelled up like a golf ball...freaked me out a bit, but Jim said there really wasn't much we could do about it. I guess Jim's grandpa was allergic to bees and had to carry an epi pen. From what I know about allergies, they just keep getting worse with each consequent I foresee us having to carry one too in the future!

Poor little munchkin!!! (don't worry about him too much...we've spoiled him with steak, cherry cobbler, and Grandma W. bought him a special toy to make him feel better!)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Sky is Falling

Last Tuesday night we went out to view the Perseids.....a meteor shower seen from late July through mid August, but the peak viewing is August 12 from 12-5 am. We decided to go out about 10:30...still a bit early to see meteors, but just after 11 they really got going!
Can you tell that they were absolutely thrilled with me snapping pictures in complete darkness....Corey kept saying "Oh! MY EYES!"

They kept getting closer and closer to a corn field, so I made them look from the car. Riley sneaked up through the sun roof:
It's ok mom!

Riley spied one while I blinded Jamie with the flash ;)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

"Perceptence" part 2 my first post sounded more whiny then I deleted it....I can't control the things that happen to me, but I can control what happens to this blog :)

The last few days have been total, bottom of the barrel, junk days. Everything has seemed to go wrong, but I learned today that our perception can distort our reality. Which is soooo true. I let Satan swoop in and knock me flat on my face! In an instant, the things that I hold so tightly as truth were rushed out by a flood of doubt. Things like: who are you kidding, God's never going to come through in this...why bother if all that happens is we get knocked're a bad mom and a naggy wife!

I was reminded at church that I don't have to see it to believe it. The answer might be completely irrational by this world's standards and yet, God can still make it happen in a big way! Therefore, I'm putting the past days' traumas behind me and counting on God to come through!

Jamie said that they learned about "perceptence" in church today....aka 9 year old version of persistence. His little lesson on such a big world really helped me see that even if I don't get answers right away, I need to persistently hold on to hope! Keep knocking and God will answer in some way, shape or form!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rivers of Joy

My new favorite song is by Jars of Clay, The Valley Song..."I will sing of your mercy, it leads me through valleys of sorrow to rivers of joy".

I've been reminded that even when we go through those valleys, God places little blessings along our path. How often do we just go through life with our heads down, pushing forward...waiting for the pain of this season to be over? But then, we miss it. We miss the beauty of the every day. We miss small miracles like a perfect blue sky, the stillness of quiet moment or the sound of your child's sweet sleep.

Jamie had a little skate party outing through church....Jim was home, so I took a small "momcation" for the afternoon. I took myself to my very first movie alone....kind of intimidating. I'm by nature a very social person. The thought of going "out" alone is sooo uncomfortable! But guess what, I did it....and I had a great time! Julie and Julia is a great movie that I could have watched over and over! I won't give away the movie, but it was a good feel good kind of movie.

In that alone time, I discovered why I hate slowing down, being have time to think...but then you also have time to just Be! In the quiet, I realized that God blesses me each and every day without exception! It's up to me to be open enough to see the beauty in the small stuff! Last week at church there was a verse that I've heard a hundred times, but for some reason this version just hit me...or maybe it was that I really needed it at the moment!

2 Cor. 4:16-17 (PH)
This is the reason we never lose heart...these troubles (which are temporary) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of proportion to our pain.

These troubles only last a moment, but God has a reward in store for us that is out of proportion to our pain! Out of Proportion, not even, not just above...but OUT OF PROPORTION!

Take heart and remember that though the valley seems long, that river of joy is just around the bend...and God will be there the entire way!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

DIY Blue Angel Chair


This started out as an old white desk and chair that was given to us by my parents' neighbor. It was ok, but Jamie really wanted a Navy themed now we have a Navy Blue Angels desk.
Most of you know the basics of a chair's really not terribly complicated!
The hardest part of the entire chair project was getting the crazy screws out of the bottom of the chair!!!! (oh, and pulling out all of the staples from the nasty old vinyl covering!!!....but Jim did that...hahaha!)
All I did was put the pad on the fabric and cut around it...skimped a bit because I am going to make a throw pillow with the leftovers!
Staple around the edges (I pulled the corners in first and then folded the edges up). You can trim the excess if you want, but I didn't have that much, so I left it as it. Then you just rescrew onto the perfectly painted chair (yeah right!)...and there it is....a Blue Angels desk chair!

I still have some work left to do on the desk. I'm really not that happy with the way the Glidden paint is covering so I'm going to try sanding and maybe rolling the top and side of the desk. (it did just fine with the legs and other smaller sections, but the bigger areas are all's driving me nuts!)

Come back next week to see the finished product!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

River Rug Rats

We spent a few hours today on the river with some was supposed to be a heat index of 105 today...thankfully, it was cloudy with a good breeze until the storm hit (remind me to be firmer when I see a T-storm warning on my blackberry....the line at the dock was ridiculous!). Jamie spent the weekend with my parents so it was just our two little river rug rats! They love tubing and Riley actually skied with Jim he'll be up by himself before the end of the year!

Riley's impression of a bull rider:
Someone was getting a wee bit too confident in the tube..he kept trying to "surf"
The Red tube from hell....Jeremy's new toy! His poor brother got some major air and it just spun like a he didn't puke all over that thing is amazing!
Wanna Race?
Jim got Riley up on skis just before it started raining! He's so proud of himself! (now he definitely thinks he's hot stuff!)
I wish this was a better picture, but it'll have to do to commemorate this milestone! (too hard to snap pictures and drive the boat....practically threw the phone at Beth to have her shoot it, but it's kind of hard to do that and hold a squirmy baby too! At least we've got something!).

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday French Toast

Saturday mornings in our house are spent making breakfast....Jim usually has the honor if he's not working ;)

This French Toast Recipe was from a friend and I (of course) tweaked it a bit!

French Toast Casserole
1/2 loaf of bread, cubed (can be day old or either way)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk (whatever you have on hand)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 to 1 cup frozen berries

~In a greased pan (this fits a 9x9 or 9in round pan...double it to fit a 9x13), add the cubed bread and raspberries. I prefer to cut up my bread frozen because it doesn't squish all up like regular bread!

~Mix together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour over the the bread down into the milk so that it'll soak in.~Sprinkle about a 1/4 cup of cinnamon sugar (1/2 cinnamon and 1/2 sugar)

~Bake in 350 oven for 30-35 min. (if you're using the double batch, go more like 40 min)....or until set.
Mmmmmm....Enjoy your Saturday!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Secrets of Motivation!

As I've said before, the ceilings in our house are terrible...UGLY....the previous owners tried (I'm using that term very loosely) to patch or repair or..oh Heck...they had no freakin clue what they were doing!!!!!

I was searching the internet for an easy fix to their blunder....when I came across a tutorial using drywall screws and washers along with a repair screen. This was fixed over the botched area and then mudded over....worked like a charm....or so it looked on their website!

After much consideration, I decided that there shouldn't be a reason why we couldn't "screen" our entire ceiling and then just mud over it :) I called my trusty hubby, who was on a job scene, and told him my brilliant idea....lets just say that I'm sure the rest of the guys got a good laugh! I stuck to my guns, asked how much it would cost to use something like screen door material (I literally could hear his eyes roll over the phone!), not gonna happen....Well....what about tulle, that's kind of screeny and I can use a 40% of coupon for Joann's!!!!

Lets just say that Jim came home, ate supper and went straight upstairs to fix the ceiling! I guess he didn't want me to do something crazy with my new found remodeling confidence!

He still needs to sand it and will probably have to do a mudding technique, but HE DID IT! So...if any of you out there have work that needs to be's my your inner Lucy and come up with a hair brained idea...just sit back and watch how fast it'll get done!

Date Night

The other night I took Jamie out on a had been at least 5 years since our last "alone" outing. He had a blast! (note to self, don't wait 5 more years...need to do that with all the boys too!)
We were on a mission....find the perfect colors for his room and a fabric to cover the seat of his desk chair.
First stop...Beef A Roo....yes, it's a staple! Jamie surprised me when he didn't order a shake, but hey that's his choice :) He had a beef 'n cheddar plus cheese fries...I had a Cilantro Lime Turkey Club with a broccoli and cheese baked potato...mmmmm!
Then we were off to find that elusive Navy fabric! I had almost given up, when just around the corner was the absolute PERFECT pattern! NAVY....battle ships, air craft carriers, Blue Angles....he just kept looking at it in amazement! Perfect, now we have someplace to start with picking out colors.
Finally we headed to Home Depot and with a ton of searching found the exact colors we were looking for. We are painting his walls Skysail Blue from Behr. His wanted his currently white desk to look like the Blue Angels...this was the Hardest color to match!!!! Finally, again on a last ditch effort, we found Sorcerer's Hat from Disney Colors By Behr....perfect Blue Angel blue!!!! Jamie spotted the gold right away, Instant Delight also from Behr.

We still have a bit to go before we start painting the walls. I want to figure out how to redo the ceiling (the previous owners tried patching the plaster...not good..we have a ton of lines running across multiple ceilings). Once I've got that figured out it's on to painting, replacing the carpet and viola....a Navy room! (and one ecstatic boy!)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Panels and Mud...Almost Done!

So, I've been patiently waiting for my awesome hubby to start remodeling our house....the poor thing is run ragged! Why do I need the pro-remodeler? I'm sure I can figure this out...with Amber's help (Jim says she's officially the Ethel to my Lucy!)

Jamie's room is paneled. Not with the nice bead board or knotty pine...plywood...UGLY plywood! When we bought the house, I hated the paneling, but the woodwork...oh..the woodwork! Makes up for all the terrible flawed things the previous owners did to the poor thing (we have an entire wall of CORK in our master bedroom! I've been trying to scrape it off bit by bit, the geniuses glued it to the wall!) At first my thoughts were to tear down the paneling and see what we had underneath, but Jim was adamant about people put paneling up for a reason!!!! (sure enough, while I was mudding I needed to pound in a few nails to make it tight....I could hear crumbly bits falling down behind the wall!!!!)

My only option in our budget seemed to be to fake new drywall. I used some leftover mud Jim had from a recent job and filled in the cracks of the paneling. Ended up using 2 coats and then sanded the whole thing down.

After I was finished with the first coat and half way through the second, Jim asked if I was using the small trowel or the big one....duh..the small one, it was a small crack! Well, it turns out that you put the mud on with the little one and then smooth the whole thing out with the big one.....sooooo much easier! (better late then never!) There were a couple of spots where the house had shifted, causing a big gap in between the panels. I fudged my way through and so far it seems to have blended pretty well!
Here's that finished wall, pre-sanding. (see that big area along the bookshelf....HUGE gap...mudded the heck out of it!)

Today I primed the entire room. There's a few spots that Jim needs to smooth (the spots that he sanded hahaha!). Then it's on to painting and decorating! Jamie wants a fighter jet room with blue walls and his white desk painted navy blue...we'll see what we come up with!

Have a productive week! (I'm off to book a massage....painting around those stinkin' trim pieces about killed me!)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Chalkin' It Up To Beginner's Luck!

I've been wanting to do a chalkboard forEVER! I had that little tin platter that I got for .99 at Goodwill, but didn't do anything with it....then my Grandma M's birthday came up!
I had envisioned something sweet (to match my Gma!). I knew that some where there was a verse in the Bible that said something about a good wife was more precious then rubies....Proverbs 31:10....decided not to quote it completely because I didn't want to give her something about a "wife"....she is SOOOO much more then just a good wife!!!

Anywhooo...the chalkboard~ Amber and I went junk shopping again, looking specifically for something for this project....went to all the stores, but nada...a big ol' goose egg! On a last ditch effort, I suggested Old Time Pottery. Amber found this picture for $1.99...PERFECT! (sorry, I forgot to take a pic before I taped up the frame!)

Figured since I was busting out the paint, I might as well do the platter too!
At first I tried a really old can of spray chalkboard paint, but it looked just like satin regular took the kiddos to Wally World and for $9 got a quart of chalkboard takes next to nothing, so I'll be chalking up everything!!!! (and yes, I was spray painting on my washer....ssshhhh....don't tell Jim!)

I attached a red ribbon to hang it, wrote the saying and blah....

So, I sent a pic to Amber, asking what does it need? Bling! (and I shortened the ribbon a TON!)

Ehhh? Still not there to tie in the red with the picture....

There was a creamy pearlish middle part of the frame....thought to myself..."Self, we should try and wash some red into the frame!" Do you think I could find any red acrylic paint in the house! Absolutely not...on a whim, I opened the junk cupboard (you know y'all have one!) and there it was so close it could have bit me! Not red paint, but RUBY nail polish!!!! It had just enough sparkle and looks perfect!
Then I decided I didn't really like the way the chalk kept fading and the cafe we used liquid chalk I was going to find one of those! I tried everywhere....finally about to give up when I called Michael's....They have them!!!! Oh Happy Day!
Here's the difference between chalk and the marker (the marker washes off with Windex).

It's not as super bright as this picture looks....just cloudy day and super duper flash on the camera phone! Comes in a bunch of colors and won't rub off with little fingers everywhere!
My cursive stinks....I know...failed it in 5th grade! Lefties just aren't ment to slant to the right!!!!! I haven't used true cursive since then....had to practice ALL night just to get that!!!