May 31, 2009

Chalkboard Dust

It's been awhile since I felt like gettin' a little crafty. This week I finally did a couple of crafts that have been sitting in my 'to do' pile. I made the chalkboard (above) and it was SO easy!

First of all, I asked my hubby to ask his cabinet installers for any damaged doors that they might be throwing out. You know, one man's trash is my treasure...

Ask and you shall receive! Some of the ones he brought home were unfinished, but a couple of them had this beautiful stain. Not wanting to damage the stain, I taped the edges.
*Notice my trade mark in the picture above? Yes, it's hand sanitizer! Two bottles.

I purchased this can of spray chalkboard paint at Home Depot for under $5. The quart size brush-on was $12. I think if I were doing it over again, I would go for the brush on kind, but that's just personal preference. The spray was very quick and easy.

After the first coat ... still wet and shiny. I gave it two coats and let it dry over 24 hours before writing on it. The can suggests wiping the entire (dry) board with the side of a stick of chalk to prep the new board before writing on it. You know me, I followed directions. And then washed my hands.

This is what we see as we come down our back stairs. I decided it was the perfect spot for a weekly memory verse.

May 28, 2009

That is what judgment can do to a soul.  It can take a beautiful individual and rip it to shreds. 
Who are we to judge?
Who called you to judge?  Criticize?  Set the standard?

We all do it.  We often judge the book by the cover.  Or the girl by the shoes.  Or the mom by her children's manners.  Or the man by his financial choices.

We are not called to sit in the seat of judgement.   It is a seat reserved only for the Eternal Judge.   He created me and He knows me, the motives of my heart.  If I am being judged by anyone other than the most high king, who knows me so intimately and still loves me as his own, it inconsequential.  And yet, to be judged is painful.  It strips away joy.  

  I cannot truly be myself if I think I will be judged.  If I am near the judger, I am automatically on edge, aware of my every move, word, action. There is no freedom to be me.   Walls are erected.  Have you ever been in that position?  Maybe you've been around someone that has little tolerance for children, so you suddenly become acutely aware of your child's behavior, manners, speech, volume.   Judging them through the eyes of your own judger.

 I once attended a women's group that left me feeling judged because of my wardrobe (or lack thereof).   I began to notice that the women in this group dressed a certain way;  wearing only the best brands our city could offer.  While I dressed appropriately, I could not afford, nor did I want to spend  our hard earned money on the new spring collection.  Judgements were made and walls were built.  Friendships that could have been were missed.

So I've been pondering these questions lately:

In what areas do I judge others?

What have I missed out on because of my judgements?

Am I allowing other's judgements/standards to hinder me?

Am I listening only to the one true Judge?

May 26, 2009

The Mind of a 5 Year Old

Meet Mr. Grape.  He joined us for lunch today.  He's a happy kinda guy.
Edited to add: My little man came up with these on his own.  And yes, he LOVES fruit and veggies!

Unless you eat part of his lip.  Then angry eyebrows appear.

I'm hoping to look like this guy if I keep eating these.

My 5 year old told me he wanted to type on the computer this afternoon.  I set him up on Word and told him to just use the letter keys.  Pretty soon I heard the mouse clicking so I approached ready to reprimand.  But I stopped mid stride when I noticed that he was changing the font style and size on his 'document.'   Ummm .... when did 5 year olds get so computer savvy?  I didn't teach him that.  Neither did his preschool teacher (me).  He must have learned that in Sunday school... ?

May 20, 2009

Feathered Friends

Remember these guys?  
Our little yellow ducklings are gone, replaced by these white/black beauties.  It is a little miracle that we still have the original six, alive and well!  

Doodle still likes to snuggle.

They've been outside for about 3 weeks and love it.

We gave them our preexisting garden/weed bed.  It was already fenced in.

Hubby just added some wire on the top to keep out predators.  Notice the sticks growing out of the ground in front of the fence?  Those used to be my rose bushes.  Who knew they were so tasty?!  They have their own spa/pool, too.
Life is tough for these guys.

May 17, 2009

Sunday Rest

If you do not stand firm in your faith,
you will not stand at all.
Isaiah 7:9

May 15, 2009

Humility and Groupings

Today's car conversation between 2 nine year old girls went something like this:
Girl #1: I like your hair up like that.
Girl#2: Yeah.
Girl #1: It looks really good!
Girl #2: I know!

Humility at its finest.

I've mentioned a certain friend of mine has an amazing ability to group things.  (By the way, she didn't say "I know" when I complimented her on this.  We're so grown up like that.)  Here are a few examples from her home:
This is a little nook just outside the master bedroom door.  I love the picture arrangement.

The master bedroom is so soothing.  Soft green and white with black accents.  I really took this picture because I've obsessed over her lettuce/bunny picture for about 5 years.  I'm in therapy over it.

Her stairwell.  I guess that's a little obvious.  But you get the point of her creative eye.

On yet another note, below is a little tiny makeover I did this winter:
Before, in daughter's room.

After, in bonus room.

My dad made this pie-safe when I was a little girl.  It originally had punched tin in the area where the fabric is now.  Teddy bears on rocking horses, no less.  Hello 1982!  Over the years it has held my sweaters, my daughter's clothes, and now it holds my fabric.  Nope.  Never held pies, but it has kept lots of things 'safe'!

May 11, 2009

What Kids Say ... and Hear

While the flu lasted a week, the recovery has taken a bit longer.  I'm still looking for the brain cells I lost while down.  If you happen to see any that are labeled "creative juices" please notify me immediately.  I will come by and pick them up.  I did read 4 books over the past two weeks, so surely my brain cells are reproducing a little!  

FYI: my 9 year old informed us last night at dinner that if you slap yourself on the head (as if that is a common occurrence... ahem) you lose 2 brain cells.  However, if you blink twice, you gain two brain cells.   Good to know, huh?   So I'm thinking if I just sit here and blink rapidly for an hour, I may be asked to join Mensa.

On another note...
Even though it is an extremely busy time of year, I love May. The month is full of things wrapping up for the year.  It is like taking a deep breath of fresh air after a storm.

This is my last week of teaching preschool.  I was reflecting on what a fun season of life this has been.  Five year olds say the funniest things!  Put 15 of them in a room and it makes for many humorous moments.   A few weeks ago we were doing a unit study on community helpers.  We had a pediatrician come for a visit.  She was describing bones and showing some x-rays.  She did a beautiful job explaining how God created each part of our body in a special way.  The discussion turned to the fact that most bones are designed to hold us up and not bend or move.  She had each child straighten their legs and feel their knee caps and explained that this was one bone that you could actually move with your fingers.
Standing in the back of the room was an adorable little red head.  He ever so innocently reached for his crotch and exclaimed, "Hey! I just found another bone that moves!"
That poor pediatrician didn't see that one coming!  We quickly moved on to the importance of healthy eating.   We didn't dare make eye contact for fear of making a scene of two adults in hysterical laughter.  Kids!  They are so fun!

Just this week, I had another reminder that my children are little sponges.  Smart ones at that.
My 5 year old and I were having a little snuggle time when something came up about fighting.  He looked at me and said, "God's not in that."  While I love that phrase, I couldn't remember ever using it.  I said, "Honey, you're right, but where did you hear that?"  He replied, "At Leslie's church... in big church that man said, if you are fighting, God's not in that."  WOW!!!
Our visit to that church was back in March.  Sometimes I don't even remember what I heard in a sermon the week before.  This little guy was remembering a truth from two months ago aimed at adults!  I was humbled and blessed to know that my children are listening to God's word.

Run Papa!  Run!
Thank you, Mimi and Papa for the new big-girl bikes!

May 10, 2009

My Mom

You've been the inspiration for my own love of mothering.
In each step of mothering, you've shown by example how to love, laugh, listen, and enjoy life.

You've been my cheerleader.  
When I learned to walk you cheered me on, knowing it was one step toward you, yet one step toward growing up.  You cheered me through the wonder years, making the small accomplishments seem grand.  You cheered on through the teen years, even when I acted like I didn't need those cheers.  I did.  You cheered for me as I became a woman, found the man of my dreams, and stepped out on my own.  You continue to cheer for me as a mom.  Your encouragement always seems to come at the perfect time. 
Everybody needs a cheerleader.  Thank you for always being mine.

You give love freely.
Not only have you lavished love on me my entire life, but you also opened your heart to my husband.  Thank you for welcoming him as a son from the beginning.   Then, as our family has grown, you've showered your love on the little loves of my life.  Never withholding.  Never playing favorites.  

You make life so fun.
Every ride in the car is a joy ride.  Every trip to the beach, a fond memory.  Life is not dull.  It is lived to the fullest.  You wrap it up in spontaneity and top it with lots of laughs.  Every walk in the mountains is an adventure.  You are my favorite traveling buddy, pounce player, shopping girl.

You listen.
You listened when I would whisper childhood secrets.  You listened when I cried my heart out over teenage woes.  You continue to listen when I just need to be heard.  You listen to all of my silly mothering stories.  You listen and you laugh.  You listen and sometimes cry with me.  Most importantly, you listen.

Today I celebrate all that you are to me.  My mom.
I love you dearly.  I do not take for granted how blessed I am to have you as my mom.
Happy Mother's Day!!!

May 2, 2009

Remodel: Back Porch

Ahh spring!  Time for us to start using our screened in porch again.  This year we decided it was time to pull out the power washer.  Again.
What a job.  With all of the trim being white, it shows the mildew so easily.  Not to mention the pine pollen (the bane of North Carolinians' existence in spring) and typical dust that comes with screens.  We decided to take the bull by the horn and paint the trim brown.
I was pleased with the color.  Even though the white had that cottage feel, we were tired of the grime.

We decided to make a few changes in the structure as well.  We removed the white pickets and added some Y beams to the existing support beams.  We even painted the wicker furniture in the same cocoa brown.

 Hubby also added an 8" shelf all the way around the porch for me to set things on.  I found these adorable little wooden chairs for 75% off at World Market.
I wanted to incorporate some sheers.  These came from Walmart at $5 a piece.  I love how they blow in the breeze.  This is what you see when you first step onto the porch:
One last thing on my "want" list was accent lighting.  I also found these cute straw string lights on clearance at World Market.
 The church bird house came from my front porch. Just a coat of spray paint to freshen it up.
We use our screened porch from March to November.  We eat most of our meals out there (I love breakfast on the porch), weather permitting.  Now we can enjoy it sans grime.

Check out some other amazing remodels at the Remodeling Guy.