Friday, May 30, 2008

The Park and Lowe's Deals!

We got to go to the park this morning with my friend and her two kiddos. We had a good time catching up and letting the kids play. Here are a few pictures for you (Mary Helen took some of them!).

Also, I mentioned this morning that I got a really good deal at Lowes. Last night, Joel and I headed up there for some carpet cleaning stuff, and as we were pulling in the parking lot, he handed me a $10 off $50 purchase coupon. My carpet cleaning stuff came to right under $40, so I figured if I got the price to $50, I would be getting something extra for almost free. I happened to find a clearance cart that had floating shelves. Regular price: $29.9? Clearance price: $7.49. I picked up too, and after my $10 off, I spent a grand total of $45 and some change! That's like getting $60 worth of shelves for $6!! I couldn't believe it! I can't wait to get them hanging somewhere!

Here are a couple of photos of the girls painting birdhouses yesterday.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Me? An Award?

I got up this morning, and had this comment from Mrs. B: Hi again! I just wanted to let you know I have an award for you over at my blog! I know not everyone likes these, so please don't feel obligated to do anything with it. HA! I think I mentioned here once that I have a little problem with pride? I'm obviously not completely over that little hump! Seriously, I am honored!

So, wanna know what award I got? Drum roll, please....

Isn't that the sweetest thing? I think that's the best award I could have asked for! I love this blog thing, and I love all the sweet people and great ideas!

Mrs. B. has become one of my daily fixes. She is so sweet, down-to-earth, and creative! She has the same taste I do, and I love seeing her new ideas and projects. So, if you've not met her, please check her out!

Now, to pass on the award! Hmmm...if I hadn't gotten this from Mrs. B, she'd definitely be on the list, but here goes:

Emma at Chatting at the Sky (even if she is a monster mom sometimes!! Aren't we all?)
Susie Harris at Bienvenue

I hope Emma and Susie will pass them along!

The girls and I are hopefully headed to the park this morning, and I got an awesome deal at Lowe's last night, so check back for those posts later!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tackle it Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Today, I did quite a bit! First of all, I cleaned my desk and entry way. Then I took the girls for an alphabet scavenger hunt. We didn't find all the letters, but we went until they got tired of it (which just so happened to be when we got up the road to the house where we have an open invitation to play on all the cool stuff in the backyard). So, we played. Mary Helen asked if we were at the park. You'd think she's never actually been to the park. She's actually been to lots of parks!

Anyways, I also got some pictures developed and put them in frames and hung this collage.

I also put these pictures and shelves up in the playroom.

To finish off our day, the girls and I went to have watermelon with my grandparents. I think we have a new favorite fruit!!

Yesterday I made these new pillow covers.

And, just because it's my blog and I can, here' a picture of Joel and Mollie!

Be sure to check out what other moms are tackling at 5minutesformom!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Organized the Blog for you!

I figured before I got too many to handle, I would label all my posts. I love to look at someone's blog and be able to look at all their projects or whatever by a single click, and not have to look at page after page. So, here you go. To both of my regular readers! I found out tonight that my mom doesn't even read this regularly! Can you feel the love?

We've had a low key day. I sewed covers to two couch pillows (have to get more fabric to do anymore). I cleaned out a closet and did some laundry. Mostly just a regular catch-up-on-cleaning Monday.

Joel and the girls got to go to a cookout and swimming with some friends. I had my bi-weekly Bible study with 3 teenagers.

I'm worn out, and am going to call it a day. Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My Birthday Week is Over.

I love birthdays! This year I turned 26, and I have been celebrating all week it seems! Friday night, Joel and I and some of our friends went out to eat at a really yummy seafood restaraunt. Saturday night Joel's parents and our nephew came over for grilled hamburgers and a campfire complete with smores.

Mary Helen really enjoyed toasting marshmallows, but she didn't like eating them because they were "sticky". This from the girl who has been covered in paint since Wednesday. Anna enjoyed most of it, but she didn't want to hold her smore either. Lee pretty well enjoyed it all! He's kind of like his aunt Hadley, who loves anything sweet or chocolate! As you can tell from the picture, Joel enjoyed his!

Last night and today I worked on a sewing project for the girls. I made them each a crayon roll, and got one matching bag done. I have the other cut, I just ran out of time and steam before I got them both done today!

Today, we went to Augusta, and I headed to Joanne's grand opening sale. I got some tin stars to complete my over the fireplace ensamble. They were half off!! Here's what it looks like now. My goal for this room is denim slipcovered furniture with a few country accents. I am trying to figure what to do on the mantle. I am thinking of doing a fringe garland, like the Nester shows here. OR, if I can make it look good, I am going to use some star curtain hangers to support some grapevine twisted with twinking lights (I'm sure you have a hard time picturing that in your head!).

...and I know that's abuse for a fireplace to look like that, but this is the playroom, and it's going to have to do for this season of our lives!

So, we finished off the weekend at Olive Garden with Joel's parents, Joel's brother, and 3 neices and nephews!

Until Next Time,

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sewing, Painting, and Bruising!

First off, I want to show off my first sewing project! I am very new at this, I've only sewn a few straight lines besides this little purse. I found lots of tutorials online, and made this bag. I am totally loving it! (If you're related to me and a girl, you can be looking for this at a Christmas near you! ~ you can pick your own fabric if you want!)

Yesterday, I decided to paint a little desk I've had for years to put in Mary Helen's room. On the way out, I got tangled up, fell out the door and got this:

But, I did paint the desk, and the girls painted bird houses made for them by a family friend. We all had fun painting, and I'm only in pain when I move, so that's good!

I forgot to get an after of the desk...I'll get one soon!

Today was my birthday, and I have felt so special! Friends that you don't get to talk to often enough call, and friends stop by with apothecary jars (Thanks, Tracey, How did you know I would LOVE it??), flowers (thanks, Amy!!), or lots of thrift store jars and other things for my collections (thanks, Aunt Sheila!). I also got a gift card to Joanne's so I can sew something else!!

Until Next Time!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Weekend Wind-Down

What a fun weekend!

Friday night, we had our couple's Bible study. It was great, as usual! We have so many great friends, and it's fun to see a handful of them every other week. I think Joel and I are growing closer together through this, and I hope that others are as well. We did get big news from one couple, who found out they are expecting their first baby! I've never been the sentimental type, but ever since I've had babies, I get all emotional when a woman finds out they're pregnant. May be it's because I know what she's headed for. The hardest, most wonderful, most challenging, most rewarding stage of her life!

Saturday, I went to work on Vacation Bible School stuff at church. I think we made some good progress, and we have a plan for the next work day, and we should be ready to go for VBS!

After that, I headed to spend my Lowe's gift card that my mother-in-law gave me for Mother's Day. I finally got a big metal barn star. It was one of those moments that if I'd been in a movie the lights would have all zoomed on it and angelic music would have started playing! I have really been wanting one, but haven't seen one yet (especially since I haven't been really shopping at places that don't sell groceries!). So, I got that and a pretty tuscan wall basket for my front door. I will show you when I hang the star!

Saturday night, Joel and I just relaxed and took it easy.

Sunday, after church, we made the 3 1/2 hour drive to Jane and Adams house for Lee's birthday party. The ride up was pretty good, and the party was fun (Mary Helen LOVES a good birthday party). I forgot my camera, so if someone emails some to me I will post them. The ride home was not as grand, since Anna got sick just in to the trip. Joel and I had a good time, though, and laughed a lot.

Here are some pictures from the other night when the family was over.

Until next time,

Thursday, May 15, 2008

kids, decorating, life?

So, last night when I couldn't sleep, I was thinking about my blog. Many blogs I read have a theme. Decorating. Kids. Shopping deals. Crafts. Mine seems to be so random, so I was thinking may be I should streamline and stick to one topic. Then it hit me. It really is all one topic. LIFE. Our life. So, I hope you'll stick around to see and hear all about my latest decorating project, craft project, what my kids or husband are up to, and how I saved $40 dollars at the grocery store yesterday (seriosly!).

Today, I made some little curtains for my island. It has always been a bit messy under there, and I decided instead of letting it collect junk, that I would put curtains on there and make it useful. Now, I have sippy cups, plastic plates and bowls, snacks, and ziplock bags under there.

I think now I will take down the poor, tired fruit napkin curtains and use the same fabric to make new curtains. Then, in a couple of months when I'm bored I'll put up some totally cute, fresh fruit napkins! My poor sweet Joel is learning to adjust to all our fabric!

I also wanted to show you all a totally cute gift idea. My friend, Tracey (I would link you to her cute blog except she doesn't have one...isn't that a shame??!) got one of these and decided to make a few. Here are the pictures she took of her little creations! She took an acrylic frame with a magnet on the back (or you can use one of the free standing ones for a desktop version), fixed it all cute with the first initial and scrapbook paper, and slapped a post it pad on there! How adorable is that? The second picture shows it gift wrapped in an envelope.

So, that's us for tonight. We had a fun night with Joel's family here. I'll try to get those pictures up soon.

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tackle it Tuesday ~ Matching Coupons to Sales

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Today's Tackle it Tuesday for me is to match my coupons to the sales at my stores and plan my menus and shopping list. I love, but they don't show sales for my two local grocery stores. So, I am going to have to do it myself. Hopefully I can save big and not lose my mind in the process! I would also like to use some stuff I have in my pantry and freezer too.

Yesterday, I was busy in the kitchen cleaning out my refrigerator. It was in desperate need! So, now I will have room for my shopping trip tomorrow. Now, if I can get to my pantry today, I'll have two tackle its!

Check out what everyone else is tackling at Tackle it Tuesday at 5 Minutes for Mom!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

About Stay at Home Moms

Well, here is my passion. I could go on and on about the calling to be a stay at home mom. I don't want to make anyone think that I think of myself as any better than a mom who has to or is called to work outside of her home. I realize the circumstances are different in every home. My passion is encouraging moms whose heart desires to come home, but the world has made her believe that they can't survive on a single income.

Now, I will grant you that our family has never had two incomes. I was in college working part time to get myself there until we had Mary Helen. Joel's income has always pretty much been what we had to live on. But, one day, I realized that I had a choice. I could spend whatever money was in our account on clothes from the mall, convenience food, and new toys until the money ran out; OR I could learn how to make our money stretch so that we could have all the things we needed and Joel and I could have dates, we could go to the zoo, and we could do other fun things. The day Joel and I sat down to look at where our money was going (he had been keeping up all along), I literally cried. I realized I had no idea what it meant to manage money. So, we talked and planned out a budget. And I got a coupon organizer used it to split cash into categories. I had grocery money, clothing money, dining out money, and a few other categories.

So, I had choices to make. I could buy one shirt from the mall, or I could buy several things from consignment stores or clearance racks. I could buy lots of convenience easy foods, or I could plan my meals and shopping list, buy less and have some new candles or lotion. I could take the girls to McDonalds a couple times a week, or Joel and I could have a nice dinner a couple times a month. It became a game to see how much money I could save and what great deals I could get to make our money stretch.

We also did the snowball effect to get out of all of our debt. We are not rich by any means, but God blessed us for our efforts. We are now in a home that we thought would never be attainable. I am home and not trapped. We now manage our money rather than our money managing us.

Now, if only I could figure out how to keep my house clean and laundry caught up!


On another note, the Duggars have announced that they are expecting their 18th child! Wow! 18! There is so much controversy surrounding their decision to have such a large family, but I am so happy for them. They seem to be very happy and grounded in the Word. I'm not sure God would trust me with 18, but I will take as many as He gives. Now, if she can run a smooth house with all those kids, why is it so hard for me with 2? hmmmm....


Well, Happy Mothers Day to moms everywhere!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Strawberry Fun

Joel, the girls, and I went strawberry pickin' yesterday! Some friends of ours invited us out to pick, and they sent us home with all the strawberries from their garden! I have a freezer full of strawberries, and friends who have fresh strawberries, and have more to do something with fast! We all had a great time, and now I feel like Bubba Gump did about shrimp only with strawberries...strawberry ice cream, strawberry shortcake, strawberry truffle, strawberry pie....

I'll spare you the pictures Joel took of my rear end while I was bent over picking! (you're welcome)

Needless to say, yesterday afternoon was spent slicing and freezing strawberries.

Today was spent running around doing all our errands. I went to Wal-Mart and got a trunk full of flowers, some for my grandma and some for us, and spent the afternoon planting all of them!

Tomorrow is operation house recovery. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

This week over at Rocks in My Dryer, Shannon is hosting another works for me Wednesday. This week's themed topic is "What DOESN'T Work for Me Wednesday"! So, since I have been wanting to blog about this anyway, I am going to blog about why entertaining does not work for me.

We love having people over. I love people to drop in for coffee. I love to visit and chat and walk through the yard or sit in the rocking chairs. I love for people to feel at home here. So why don't I like to entertain? Here's the hitch: I am striving for hospitality. The difference, you ask? Simple. It's your motives. Entertaining is when you work your hiney off to impress your guests. When you cook a whole meal that is time consuming, but impressive. You are wanting people to notice your great cooking, your fine decorating, etc.

Hospitality is working to make your guests feel comfortable. Now, don't get me wrong, I like to cook yummy food for my guests, and I love a pretty table. I enjoy decorating our home the way we like it, but I do this for comfort, not for style. I don't let it stop me from having company because I don't feel like cooking. Some of our best times have been ordering pizza and just hanging out. I have been known to decide after church on Sunday afternoon to start a big pot of chili and invite several couples over after the evening service. Chili. Cheese. Crackers. Tea. Good fellowship! What else can you ask for? We've also done potlucks where I just fix a dish, provide plates and forks, and clean my toilet. Good times.

Now, those of you who know me in real life know that I am not a great housekeeper. When you come over, you might have to move a stack of laundry out of the way, and I might have to pull clean coffee mugs out of the dishwasher (somedays I might even have to wash one). I don't have a perfectly clean house. I don't have perfectly clean or well behaved kids. My bassett hound will try to sit in your lap. But this is home. All are welcome here.

When we have dinners just have couples over, I do try to get things looking nicer. I run the vacuum, and I set the table. Joel comes home five minutes early and helps hide some of the clutter. But, when you're here, we don't want you to feel like company, we want you to feel like family. And, when supper's over, please don't clean the kitchen, this is supposed to be a treat. A break. Get some coffee, and let's go sit in the living room. Dishes have never run away from the sink overnight. They'll be there tomorrow and I can do them then as I reflect back on the good times we had.

Check out what doesn't work for everyone else here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tackle it Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Well, I have a really fun project for Tackle it Tuesday!! I did a quick re-do on my guest bathroom. Here are the before pictures:

And, here are the afters....

I finally got to do my first mistreatments!! You don't know what a mistreatment is? Then you must visit the Nester's blog to read all about them. Find her here: The Nesting Place

Now, I need to paint...what color do y'all suggest??

Find out what everyone else is tackling here.