May 26, 2009

Go West

Tomorrow I will be packing and I couldn't be more excited. I think Jacob is equally excited to be getting rid of me for a week and to have a return to bachelorhood. Where am I going? you ask. Well, I am going to see five of the bestest people in the whole wide word - my older sister and her crew. I miss them, terribly.

Here we are a few years ago the day before she had her third child. We were at the Cheesecake Factory - a tradition I am sure we will keep during this visit. Yes, those are her real eyes. Look, I do not have a fancy-schmancy photo tools, so that's as natural as it comes. And, her daughters are blessed with those same big blue beauties!
Don't we just look fun? We are. We laugh a lot together and cry a lot together. I cannot wait to be together and just have some good old-fashioned girl time. (Sigh) Oh yeah and at night we will have lots of time with the littles - love them!
As for Jacob, he will be spending lots of time with his video games and watching after our tomatoes. He will love it.
Thursday just can't get here fast enough.

May 20, 2009

another wonderful wednesday

Clouds amaze me. Simple as that. They amaze me. I mean really God put together a bunch of water molecules and they decide to congregate until the air gets too thick. Well, now we all know what happens next. But isn't that amazing? I mean really in the real sense of the word a-maze-ing. ( defines as "causing great surprise or sudden wonder.") Do you see where I am headed with this?

Do you remember lying in the grass as a child and looking for pictures in the clouds? I do. I still do it almost every day. Well, maybe not the lying in the grass part. Clouds are ever changing and constantly grab my attention. They can be bright or dark. They can be cheery or create fear. They can be wispy or frumpy or look like little dumplings sitting in the sky. They can be pink, purple, gray, or how about orange? Yeah, a sunset can be beautiful but add in some of those colorful clouds and that sunset is a-maze-ing! Yep!
Okay, so onto the Bible with this babble. I'm in Job. In what other book are so many of God's wonderful masterpieces listed one right after the other? Yeah, can you imagine being Job and just shrinking with each new item God added to the list? I shudder at the thought. Just before that though beginning in Chapter 36:24, we read where Elihu reminds Job of God's majesty using the clouds and rain and thunder. We can continue reading all the way through chapter 37.

Here are a few highlights from the passage.

Chapter 36:27-29
For He draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man. Indeed, can anyone understand the spreading of clouds, the thunder from His canopy?

Chapter 37:5
God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend.

Chapter 37:11-12
Also with moisture He saturates the thick clouds; He scatters His bright clouds. And they swirl about (can't you just see those little wispy ones?) being turned by His guidance, that they may do whatever He commands them on the face of the whole earth.

Chapter 37:14-16
Listen to this, O Job; Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God. Do you know when God dispatches them, and causes the light of His cloud to shine? Do you know how the clouds are balanced, those wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge?

I want to spend more time considering the wonderful works of God and less time on the measly works I am doing. "Remember to magnify His work, of which men have sung. Everyone has seen it; Man looks on it from afar." - Chapter 36:24-25

May 19, 2009

"I'd rather be yard saling"

Okay, so I have kind of forgotten that I graduated this past weekend. I am officially a Master of Education, or at least I have a crinkled piece of paper that says I have earned a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Yay for me!

Remember the other day when I said I would rather go yard saling than go to my own graduation? Well, maybe the day would have started differently had that not been the case. It really is all in a state of mind. Saturday morning did not get off to a good start. Here's a basic run-down of events.

1. Had my head too far into shower when turned the icy cold water on - nice extra wake up call of freezing water dripping down my face. It actually took my breath away.

2. Next, moved Jacob's wedding band that he had left in the shower. Drain strainer was not over the drain hole for some reason and ring goes rolling the length of the bath tub right past me and straight down the drain.

3. Made it to the gym early (highly unusual for us). Whew!

4. Made a friend in the line up that happens to be a member at the church where we worship.

5. Heard nothing but my heartbeat as I walked to be hooded. (Why do I have a sudden fear of being in front of people?)

6. See picture below.

Hubby thinks it is hilarious that I am about to blow away due to all the silly regalia
catching wind in the storm that just blew into town.

Okay, no one is laughing any more. It got worse but we quit taking pictures.
BFF's mom jumped into the car.

Now you know why I have a crinkled piece of paper that says I have earned a Masters of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Yes, it got soaked too, and as if I haven't paid enough money over the last three years, I now have to pay $20 to replace a piece of paper. Anyways, I'm done. Whoo-hooo! I really am more excited than the picture shows even if I didn't get to go yard saling.

May 14, 2009

Window Treatments...kind of

Okay, so I've been wanting to do something to dress up our windows but I could not figure out what to do. I LOVE our beautiful crown molding around each window. It just adds a certain punch of character that makes me adore our house, and I did not want to detract from the simple beauty of the white painted wood. The window frames especially pop in the living room since the walls are painted Blue Tang.

The other day I saw some bamboo placemats at the store. I was immediately drawn to them but didn't really need them, so they spent a few nights there. Well, I passed by them again when I went back to return a tablecloth I had bought on that first trip, and it immediately hit me.
These placemats can be made into window somethings.......

So, I scooped up two packs of bamboo placemats for $4.99 each, and then it was off to JoAnn's for some ribbon. I had no idea how this was going to work, but I knew what I might need.

Add a hot glue gun and some iron-on sticky strip stuff and for under $15.00 and less than an hour's new window somethings. They were cheap, easy, and do not cover up the molding around the windows.

All of my supplies, minus the iron

Backing the ribbon with that sticky stuff....
can someone help me with the name of that, please?

Lining up the placemats to cover the brown edges with the green ribbon. I rolled up the bottom and glued them all the way across.
I just tucked the whole piece on top of the miniblind brackets.Ooh, I am getting giddy just looking at this. I can't believe I did it.
Now, I need some teacup hooks to get the blind cords up and out of the way.

May 13, 2009

Wonder-Full Wednesday

Today, I am starting a new project in which each Wednesday I will post a scripture and devotional thought. I have entitled it Wonderful Wednesday because I will be searching through the wonders that God has revealed to us in His word and His creation. One of my favorite feelings in the world is finding a scripture that I had forgotten about or seeing some part of God's creation and soaking it all in like a child asking why and how and just being awed by Him. Our God is truly full of wonder in all His ways. I hope you will enjoy the journey as much as I already am!

For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God,
which is in you through the laying on of my hands,
for God has not given us a spirit of fear
but of power and love and self-control

2 Timothy 1:6-7

As Paul writes here to Timothy I cannot help but think of my own life lately and the spirit of fear I have allowed myself to posses. It is my own personal struggle and I know this. Fear can be so crippling and debilitating, and it has nearly left me stranded. My personal fears have been based in self-esteem and self-consciousness. I have found myself seeking the approval of others too much and this has led me to literally fear what others think of me or the things I do. I have found it hard to be myself even around those I know love me and accept me no matter what. Then last night a break through. "What am I doing?" I asked God in my prayer. I knew then that I was taking the focus off of God and turning it to me. I realized I had not been fanning into flame the gift of God's forgiveness and grace. Instead, I was blinded by the smoke of a fire that was dying out and grasping for others' input to help me through the haze. So, today I will take my fan (my Bible) and work to get the fire burning and then into slow-burning embers. God will help me to love more, God will give me the strength to control my fears, God is the power I need to really live.

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you NOT to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the World.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us;
it is in everyone.
As we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

"borrowed from" Marianne Williamson
from A Return of Love

image from

Have a blessed day!

May 12, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday - except it's Tuesday

Today was my first official day out of school, and it was wonderful! I no longer have to go to any classes, compile a portfolio, write lesson plans, or prepare for an evaluation. Wait.....yes, I will, I'm going to be a teacher. Graduation is Saturday and then the real job hunt is on. Anywho, I'd rather miss graduation and go to a yard sale this Saturday. Is that bad? Oh well - guess I'll have to wait for that perfect frame until the next Saturday morning.

In the mean time, I am spending most of my time around the house and getting things spruced up. Today was packed with working in the guest room to get ready for my step mom who is coming for graduation. I accomplished a lot and not a dime was spent! I was so proud of myself for staying home until it was time to go get Jacob from work.

I have been really intrigued by this "shopping around the house" concept I have read about on other blogs. One of my favorite guides has been The Nesting Place. Here she talks about how she shops her house and decorates on the cheap. It has encouraged me to really nestle into my own style with this house and be the same creative force I have been in the past. There is far more satisfaction in doing a makeover for little-to-nothing than just going and buying a generic piece at the store. Don't get me wrong, I will spend a little money when the bargain is right.

But, here is a glimpse at my freebie (or close to freebie) guest room makeover today.

This is the guest room before. It has been my dump room for the last few weeks. It was definitely not suitable for guests. Those stacks on the bed are all of my lesson plans and portfolio materials. What a mess!

Ta-da! Guest room after a couple of hours of work. Not too bad - if I do say so myself!
Notice the picture above the bed? Cost = $1.99

The frame and matte came from dad's old house and has been in my attic for almost a year now. The chipboard letters and scrapbook paper came in a little scrapbooking set on clearance at Ross Dress for Less. I guess I could count the $1 for renting the Secret Life of Bees that I was watching last Sunday afternoon when I made this.

Here is our file cabinet turned bedside table. Literally, I turned it sideways so it would look more appropriate next to the bed and not stick out so far. That pretty tablecloth helped soften it up and has colors similar to the wall art above the bed. The tablecloth is from India and was given to us by my mother-in-law. Her mother got it when they were missionaries in India. I love it!
Don't worry - I'll get some hydrangeas in that pink vase just before my step mom gets here.
Picture frame round up. All of these frames except for the big gold one were in my things to sell at our next yard sale. Disassemble and cover with vintage white spray paint....another magic transformation. Did I mention that the can of spray paint was on clearance at Wal-Mart a couple of weeks ago for $1? Seriously. I know I couldn't believe it either - I bought two cans of it just to make me a believer. Ha!

Here they are after being painted and sanded. I should have gotten a close up. Ugh, this picture makes me want to paint this room really bad! That picture on the wall is me and my sis when were younger (obviously younger, I suppose). It's one of my all-time favorites. Hey sis, remember these funky brass candlesticks Mom always had around? Yep, I painted them and then stuck them in the bathroom. Jealous? It's okay, I would be too.

Here they are all displayed. I am still debating if I want to wrap the actual candle part with the same brown ribbon that I have on the picture frame. We'll see.
I will have to post more before and after pics soon, but it is late and I need to get in bed!

May 5, 2009

Return to Cozumel

Happy Cinco de Mayo! With all of the swine flu and fighting that has been giving Mexico a bad rap lately, I thought we should pay some homage to its highlights with a little (and I do mean little) Cinco de Mayo meal. The menu consisted of fish tacos with a green chile ranch sauce, homemade guacamole, mango salsa, and southwestern salsa. Not your traditional Mexican meal but definitely inspired by dishes made south of the border. We LOVED it! It was fun too because it brought up good conversation about our honeymoon in Cozumel. Here are some pics of our fun feast this evening.

the guacamole Jacob made, half-eaten here

Jacob with the small spread. He was sweet and put all of the lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese in little glass bowls. Notice what I put on the table - the salsa in their store containers. So, he scored better on presentation than I did.