Thursday, June 30, 2011

Paint, Heat and God's Loving Patience!

How's that for totally random titles?!?

Sorry the old brain is too far gone for whit and satire...although, I could use a good if you have one...I'll take it!

On a whim I decided that we Had to Have these tiered trays for the cookie stand!

So...I sent Jim out for some spray paint on his way home fun fun in the Northern Illinois Sun!

SssshhhYeah Right!   

Can I say it's stinkin' HOT out?!?

And, with the boys in VBS in the evening it's been impossible to sneak over to my parents' pool! least the boys will enjoy it while we're selling cookies most of the weekend ;)

Yesterday was such a dumpy bummer!   I finally got some quiet time (why don't I just put the breaks on things as soon as they head south and take some time out?!?).   Duh!

I've been reading this book that Jamie got me for my birthday....the chapter yesterday?  The Unseen Battle....especially once you get on satan's radar.....UH Hellooooo?  Makes sense once I stepped back from the situation.   Again...Double Duh!

Then I started doing my Bible reading for the day (and yes, with everything going on, I've really neglected reading my chapters everyday.....but, I Really needed this chapter at that moment so I guess it all worked out!)    

Yesterday's first chapter was 1 Sam. 14.   Jonathan and his armor bearer decided to go across to a Philistine hopes that God would work with them.   Everyone else was just taking it easy, sitting around weaponless and not knowing what to do.

I love how the Message says it:

There's no rule that says God can only deliver us using a big army.   No one can stop God from saving once he sets his mind to it.

God delivered that outpost into Jonathan's hands...and that small battle set off a chain reaction that delivered the entire army into Israel's hands...two guys, one with a sword...

Plus One Very Big God!

So, I may be feeling a smidge overwhelmed and slightly frantic....but when God sets his mind on something and puts it on our hearts, we Can Do It!   Everything will work out for this weekend....we will raise funds beyond our imagination to help Hackleburg and God will be glorified through it!

3 boys, 1,000 cookies and endless needs to be met....but God is so much bigger than any situation we will ever come up against (and I am so very thankful for that!!!!!!!)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sunny Side Up?

..Or Completely Scrambled?!?

I feel like that old "this is your brain on drugs" commercial...except I'm not On drugs and I don't think my egg made it to the pan (more like dropped on the floor and the cook slid in it!)


Allergies are kicking my behind! Just a reminder that I Am So Over Northern Illinois!!!!!

Poor Riley sounds like Darth Vader, has a constant runny nose and has teeth growing in all the wrong places! Do any of you have experience with this? Jim and I never had braces....his poor little mouth is a mess with Huge front teeth..little baby teeth not falling out while big teeth push in behind...UGH!


Cookies...oh the Cookies in this house!

My freezer is completely filled with boxes and boxes of Cookies!

We decorate all 51 doz sugar cookies Friday...yeah, I'm looking forward to that :/

Pray that they'll dry in time for us to leave the church at a decent hour!!!


Boy that was a lot of moaning!

So, on the flipside----

My flowers are blooming, our tdpole have turned into teeny tiny baby toads and Jamie has learned to mow the yard.

Riley's teeth will be fine (eventually)..and...we have dental insurance so it won't tank us when he sees the dentist.

We were able to reach our goal of 100 doz cookies....people have been pre-ordering them (won't sell out before the 4th...but that'd be fine with me!)

I'm thinking about partying on the 5th...or sleeping...either way, just keep taking one step at a time and we'll make it through :)


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Back To Work!

I've spent the last two days doing pretty much a whole lotta nothin!  And it's been GOOD!

But now, it's time to get back to work!

I've got a date with a paint brush, the washing machine, and maybe....just maybe.....the stove! (about time I actually cooked a meal around here!)

Happy Wednesday!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

From the Mouths of Babes....and Matthew West....

Saturday was day one of the baking craziness! 

My sister and brother-in-law came to help (and brought all of their fancy schmancy kitchen gadgets)
My mom came too...and helped until the. Very. End!   (she is a much better person than I am...seriously, I was about 2 seconds way from having a major temper tantrum...IN The Church Kitchen!!!)
This picture doesn't even begin to show ALL of the ingredients it takes to make 50 dozen peanut butter cookies!!!  10 boxes of butter, 40 eggs, 25 lbs of sugar, and can't remember how many packages of flour and brown sugar we used....oh and 10 lbs of Peanut Butter!!!
That huge bowl was constantly filled, emptied, refilled...and filled some more!!!
In the end we had 583 cookies...not quite 50 dozen, but good enough for me!!!

I was SO tired.   My legs hurt.  ALL that I could think about was--Crap, we're only half way done....and These Were The Easy Ones!!!!   I still only smell peanut butter....

My attitude was even stinkier!

Then I came home, tired, sore, and awful....

Jamie called me over because I just had to watch this video...

V8 smacking my forehead....

Me, Me, Me...thoughts of what was I thinking taking this on....all this garbage, when my focus really is on helping Hackleburg!

I love that my 11 year old gets this better than I do........
(and now I'm crying, thankful that even though I'm a selfish mess son Rocks!)

Saturday, June 18, 2011


It may sound cliche, or super cheesy on this day celebrating Fathers...

But, my boys do have Superman for their Dad!

He runs into burning buildings without hesitation, holds peoples' delicate lives in his hands...

He helps those in need.....tirelessly working on projects that seem so hopeless...only to accomplish so much with his group!
He loves their momma in a way that I can only pray they learn to love their own wives one day...
 ...and he loves them So everything for them to have the best life possible
 He shows them what it means to be a man of honor, dedication, truth and hard work...he guides them in how to love the Lord with all their hearts.....he lives to put others first....always help those in need..those in trouble...those who are hurting.

Words cannot even begin to describe my feelings toward Jim....I am so very thankful that God put him in my life, that we were blessed to have 3 wonderful boys and that I am privileged enough to watch him be this amazing Dad!!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Renewed Furniture

You all might remember this beauty from last week's long list of projects:
After lots of resanding (remember the post on how Not to Stain a Table?!?), Jim was able to fix my snafoo and actually teach me a thing or two!
 Countless coats of Polyurithane later...we have an acceptable set.....well..almost...
 ...acceptable enough to sell to some stranger at a yard sale....but when my best friend Amber put dibs on them, I told her I'd sell it to her only after I fixed the little things that annoyed me about them (and put a few more coats of poly on so that it would be toddler proof and super wipe-able when her darling 1 yr old tossed food all over the white legs !)

Some how or another, ya know in the midst of ALL that I was doing last week...I lost the before pic of this end table!!!

I loved matches my soon to be finished hutch/dresser's HUGE..takes up way too much space in the ol' bedroom. too got sold on my sister's garage sale :(

I keep telling myself really was too big....yeah....ok...suck it up, another one will come along Miss Thing!

I've been bitten by the refurnishing bug so expect a lot more pieces in the future!!!!!!!

Happy Thursday to you all :)   

It's beautiful and sunny and my kiddos want to swim, so I'd better get moving!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Go Big or Go Home!

So, most of you in the area know our crazy, oh my goodness..what in the world did I do, plan!

...but for those who don't....

After the past weekend's success in raising money to send to Hackleburg Helping Hands, we really felt like we weren't quite done yet....soooo....

I signed us up as a vendor in Winnebago's 4th of July Fest.   

Seriously, this is huge...big time....makes you take some major pause going from a little lemonade stand to an actual Event!

After trying to figure out how many cookies to make...which is completely impossible....Jim just said let's set a dollar amount that we'd like to reach and go from there...

This Saturday we are beginning to start baking..wait for it...wait for it...

100 Dozen Cookies!!! I feel a smidge like Dr. Evil when I say this to people!

The ingredient list alone is so overwhelming!  40 lbs of powdered sugar...6 doz eggs...160 oz peanut butter....44 lbs of Butter!!!  Don't even get me started on flour!

This is becoming so much bigger than anything we can handle on our own...

If you could keep this in your prayers, I would really appreciate it!!!  Already this is spreading like wildfire..who knows what all God will do through this little stand...but He does work mightily through the little guy and you can't get much more meager than us!   Pray for favor, that we could raise unbelievable God sized amounts to help out Hackleburg.  Pray for volunteers that will come alongside us as we bake bake BAKE and during the Festival on the 3rd and 4th---and that the weather will be spectacular and draw huge crowds!  And last, but certainly not least, pray that while we're out there selling, we would have divine appointments to show God's love :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Best Lemonade Stand EVER!

Friday and Saturday was the day for the boys---

First we set up at my sister's garage sale for the day on Friday.   We prayed over the stand, asking God to just show up and totally bless our efforts to help Hackleburg!

Kim was our first customer--getting there at *yawn* 7:20 a.m.!  (Kim, we seriously need to get together more often....Love Ya Girlfriend!)  She was a sweetheart and bought cookies for her Hub And her coworkers!
Then the waiting began!
I love this shot---can you tell they are already sick of having the camera in their face?!?
By the day's end, we had raised $80 for Hackleburg!!!!!  

From. A. Lemonade. Stand. At. A. Garage. Sale. People!  WOW!

Saturday was gloomy and cold, but we still headed out for our town festival's parade.  So again, the first thing we did was pray that we could have a good day to be able to send a bit of hope to Hackleburg!

Our neighbor boy (can you call a college student a "boy"?....we've been here for 10 yrs so I guess he'll always be a boy!) came over and said that he'd been waiting ever since we put the sign out in the morning!  He bought a doz cookies!
Before the rush...notice the "full" lemonade?!?  Yeah, talk about craziness!!!!  We had baseball teams getting ready to walk in the parade, families waiting for the parade to start (even people dashing across during the parade!), town police officers, some of Jim's fellow Alabama volunteers....tons of people, people, people!

Oh, the cookies that we sold!  On Friday I went to Crystal's with about 9 doz cookies...almost completely sold out!  I had to get up at 5 am (ugh!) to make another 7 or so doz cookies (yes, I was cutting out sugar cookies at 5 AM!)

I don't remember which cookie site I saw the states with a heart at....I looked at so many to find the perfect recipes!!!!!  Needless to say, next time......double the smiley faces!  When I first really looked at them, I thought-- Great, I just made Walmart cookies! :)  But People LOVED Them!  

I adored The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle's sugar cookie recipe!  Best EVER!!!  I halved the amount of baking powder once on accident...both ways turned out fantastic!  One super awesome trick for rolling out the dough (from At Home With The Farmer's Wife) was to tape to your counter 2--5 Gal paint sticks just shy of the width of your rolling pin.  This made a guide for the dough, just shake in some flour between the sticks, plop down the dough and roll out some perfectly even cookies in a flash :)  I know it's like using the gutter guards when bowling, but I whipped out 5 Doz cookies in 2.5 hours....from making the dough to the last pan baked!!!  I'll take the cheater method please!

It took me forever to find a royal icing that I actually liked...3 disappointing batches (but they still sold, I'm just picky!).   This one was hands down the easiest and best to work with from The Decorated Cookie!!!!!  You have to go down a little ways, but it's the Royal Icing (sort of)....amazing...kept it's shine, didn't get crumbly or gross...perfect!
These peanut butter cookies I'm renaming peanut butter crack---over half of our sales were in these and they ran out first!  The recipe was from Food, Folks, and Fun :)
They were able to take a little parade break in midst of the lemonade chaos!
Full bags and Full Bellies!
We sold, sold, sold....even made the front page of a local news paper!

When all was said and done, the boys sold over $200 in two days!
Sunday morning, as I was laying in bed...half comatose from all the Baking...I felt like this wasn't supposed to be the end!!!  If 2 little boys could raise that much from a small garage sale and half a blocks worth of people waiting for a parade, what could we do in a larger event.......We Shall See!  (Details coming soon as we figure them out!)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lonely on the Outside

...I'm blaming exhaustion, but boy today has been emotional...

Do you ever just have those days when you feel alone?

I've been making my crazy fringe check list today and having a total pitty party!

--crazy people who homeschool..check!

--don't let the boys eat cereal...check!

--what?!? You make everything that you guys eat...check!

--wow, that's a lot of effort to put into painting old furniture...check!

Wallow Wallow Wallow!

Then I remember:

Jim did an awesome job fixing my staining mess!

I got a friend request from someone local, who wants to trade organic info!

My neighbor Loves all of my craptacular crafts!

So, I guess 1 isn't a lonely number...just needed to stop and think ;)

On a totally different subject, Riley is Covered in a rash today---too much junk at the gma's?---allergic to sunscreen?---too much pool time in the past 3 days?

That kid is such a mystery!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Refurbished Lemons

As most of you know, Jim just got back from a week in Alabama, helping with clean up in Hackleburg.

The boys were so obsessed with the families whose lives were turned upside down by the tornadoes.   They wanted to help, but what can kids in Northern Illinois do to help people 13 hours away----hold a few lemonade stands!

Can I just say that I am so blessed to have Jim as my husband!   Seriously, he can turn out a table made from 4x4 scraps and an old bank countertop in no time flat!

Hang our huge chalkboard/goodwill sofa painting for a menu board.
Prime, prime, prime!!!
Spray paint YELLOW and tada!
If you're local, Friday we will be at my sister's garage sale and Saturday we will be out in front of our house during the parade.

If you're not local and still want to help, I'd gladly ship cookies but I'd have to see how much shipping would be....otherwise, the super fantastic easy way would be to donate directly to 

What Was I Thinkin'

 Have you heard the country song What Was I Thinkin'?   

That was pretty much what was going through my head this morning....
 This is a hand-me down table that we got when we were first married....back in the late 90's...can you tell?!?  (oh, HGTV you done me Wrong!)
 My little sister is having a garage sale this weekend...

And considering my new found refinishing skills....

And the fact that we're trying to downsize...

I figured, let's spruce things up and try and make a few bucks.

Hours of sanding and painting later:
Here's a little staining tip for ya:

DO NOT Try to Stain something when it's a Bagillion degrees outside..oh, or when it's nature's Sauna outside (but without the rejuvenating facial benefits!!!)

I came outside this morning at 6 AM to beat today's heat wave and get a couple more coats on the chairs so that I could stain them later.

This is what I loverly table that was stained LAST evening...still wet and sticky, uneven and gross....

Moral of the story......go slow (like don't try and stain the entire table top at once), go thin (less is more, you can always do a second coat later) and when it's humid don't wait for 15 min for the stain to sink in....unless you like sanding table tops..A.G.A.I.N!

Ok, I'm off to go cry....or drink....or throw the table off the porch.....

Thursday, June 2, 2011

You Know It's Summer...

...when you spend all day outside and all evening sitting on the side of the porch eating watermelon! 

Juicy, sweetness...dirt trails to elbows...even had some neighbor setting off contraband That's Summer!

Corey is Not a big watermelon fan...he looks like he's about to spew chuncks if I make him take another bite for these pictures!
"Corey, come on buddy...give me one last good picture and your done."  Ha!  I'll pretend, but don't make me eat it!   One quick snap of the camera and he ditched the melon and hopped on his bike!

This is going to be a good summer indeed!