August 30, 2012

Pinner Winners

I personally believe that Pinterest is the most wonderful thing ever created, well, next to Swiss Cake Rolls.  I thought I'd start, on a regular basis, sharing some of the amazing things I have discovered.  No need for me to keep all this goodness to myself!  ;)

1. Pinned to "My Room Ideas"
 Kiki's List shows this gorgeous and brave room transformation.  I love the color combo.  So happy and brave.  Did I mention how brave she is to paint the ceiling?!  Love it!!!

2. Pinned to "My Yard and House Ideas"
 Becky, from Organizing Made Fun created an amazing workspace in her shed.  I love, love, love the idea of a painted peg board!  So many possibilities: the garage, the barn, my office...

3. Pinned to "My Food Possibilities"
Southern Plate gives a great recipe for Slow Cooker Coke Chicken.
I made it this week (with a few alterations) and it was a big hit at Casa de NEM.
I didn't have Coke, so we used grape Fanta.  I substituted a lime for the lemon, and used boneless chicken.  We shredded it and served it on buns.  Success!

4. Pinned to "My Organized Life"
Julie from Kreative Jewels is brilliant!  I love this clever way to store ribbon!

5. Pinned to "My Accessories"
Selina Lake used these for a photo shoot but they gave me an idea: paint my own curtain rods in FUN colors!!!  This will look adorable in my girls' rooms!

So, what's your favorite pin this week?  Do share!

August 28, 2012

Do We Have to Have Water?

We were asking ourselves that question last week as we dug our THIRD well.  Did you know that digging a well is one of the most expensive items when building a house?  We dug three, so we suddenly began knocking things off our list.  We can't live without water, but we can live without stamped concrete on the front porch.  
We hit water (beautiful, gushing water) and my husband cried with relief.  It reminded me of several novels I've read over the years where farmers prayed for rain or dug dry wells in the midst of a drought.  

Things are moving right along on the inside!  Our plumbing and electrical are roughed in.  Which means they've done all the inside-the-walls work they can do.  Next up: a roof and then sheetrock!!!
My boy standing at my "kitchen sink" window. 

This is our future mudroom.  I happen to think a mudroom is the most necessary room in the house when you live on a farm. ;)

People have often asked, "what are you doing different in this house than your last?"
Here is my answer:
 A keeping room off the kitchen.  It's smaller than a family room, but just the right size for a cozy conversation.  See that silver board that runs behind the fireplace?  I learned how to hang insulation behind there this weekend. Woop woop!

We're moving right along on the outside too:

 The front is shaping up nicely.  No, this is not the final color for the front.  The shingles just happen to come in tan and the siding just happens to come in grey.  This week they are putting on the roof.  Did I mention we're having a metal roof?  Oh the sound of rain on a tin roof makes me smile!

August 22, 2012

Are You a Lifeline?

Assume the best in others.

That's how I try to approach all relationships in my life.  This world is already full of hard lines and jagged opinions.  I don't want to add to the hurt the world offers.  Why do we assume the worst in those we should be loving deeply? Negative assumptions only breed pain and often shut doors that could lead to beautiful treasures.

Relationally speaking, it has been the hardest year of my life.  Twice in nine months I've been the recipient of someone assuming the worst in me.  I followed the path into depression after the first blow.  I know, I said the "D" word.  That's how deep the pain of assuming the worst in someone can cut.  Even a girl with everything in the world going for her can be broken by the assumptions of others.  It took a long winter {and frosty spring} for me to crawl out of the grip of  depression.  It's not a topic I've pondered much until I found myself caught in the swirl of self-doubt and emotional pain.  I've often prided myself on my happy-go-lucky attitude toward life, so writing the "D" word is scary and humbling.
But it was real, and it stunk, and I felt very alone.

Over the course of the summer, and with much love poured over me from my Lord and my precious husband, I was breaking free.  Free from the curse of words.  Free from the grip of painful assumptions.

Until today.
Today I learned of another who has been assuming the worst in me.  Someone I thought would always believe the best has presumed the worst.
My heart breaks over the assumption that I would choose to be devious and vengeful.

 Satan's lies sure do have a way of weaving into beautiful relationships.  Here's what I've learned, though:  Not only does it hurt the recipient, but it also robs the other person.  The two people who assumed the worst in me distanced themselves from me, missing out on the blessing of a beautiful, genuine relationship.  They also forever lost out on creating treasured memories with me and my family.

Judgement and speculation only create chasms, heartache, and pain.
Let's assume the best in others.
It can be a lifeline to us all.

August 21, 2012

Steps of Faith

I've watched him Sunday after Sunday.  He slips in, always in the same seat; always wearing the same clothes, no matter the season.   I don't know his name, but I watch him praise our Father, so I call him brother.  He doesn't look like the others in the room.  He savors the free coffee a little more than the rest, which caused me to wonder his story, his plight.

A few weeks ago I learned that he is homeless.
I don't know the circumstances, but I do know that he is faithful to worship each week.

This past Sunday, I was brought to tears when I happened to see him pull out his wallet.  As the offering plate passed by, he dropped in a few dollars.
A homeless man, offering himself.
He doesn't have a home, yet he offers the Lord a true sacrifice.
A man who worships in a church with a soundboard that costs more than my home is willing to be faithful and know that his giving is a step of faith, an act of obedience... regardless the amount.
His couple of dollars was most likely more of a sacrifice than most of the crisp twenties that landed in the plate.  The widow's mite.

As I pondered his obedience, I had to reflect upon my own soul.
How much of a step of faith am I willing to take?

August 20, 2012

Last Lil' Bit O Summer Fun

 Since our summer was consumed with moving, before I knew it, we were starting school.  We usually start near the end of July after our summer travels have ended.  This year has been flip flopped all around.  Our travels didn't begin until August.  In the last 2 weeks, we've been to the lake, the mountains and the beach.  School?  What's that? ;)

 Just kidding!  We have had a great start to the school year.  It's been a much smoother transition than years past.  It's hard to believe this will be our 4th year homeschooling.  Time flies!

 I'm so glad we had a little r&r before the craziness of schedules begins.
I'm also so thankful for seasons.  By the end of each season, I have new memories to hold on to and the excitement of what is to come.

August 11, 2012

Making Progress

We closed on our house Friday, June 29th and broke ground on Monday, July 2.  Over the last 5 1/2 weeks, we have seen incredible progress.
The kids standing in the floor at the "front door" July 24th

 The first floor goes up, July 27th.

No, this isn't our house. ;) This is my inspiration house.  I am sure they probably called the police as I stalked their house several times before remembering my zoom lens to take a picture.  I really liked the "barn" roofline.

 This is my version of the barn roofline.   It was so much fun designing a house from scratch.  Totally loved it!!!  (August 3rd)

 Our windows arrived and definitely help complete the farmhouse look I was going for.
Today we worked on the back porch and deck.  Some dear, hardworking friends toiled alongside us.  Well, the boys hammered while the girls picked up trash and swept out the house.  There is something very rewarding about putting our own sweat and muscle into our future home.

August 3, 2012

Fun in the Details

 Doncha love it when things just come together?  I had ordered this hot pink duvet cover from PB Teen clearance for my daughter's room.  Last week as I perused the IKEA aisles, I found these matching curtains. Hello 98" long!!!  $12.95 a PAIR.  Seriously, I couldn't buy fabric that cheap!  I was wondering how I would hang panels in her room on a tight budget, since she has two windows.  The other IKEA shoppers may have cast a strange glance as I squealed in delight.  So for $26 I got FOUR  98" panels.

While we're on the subject of fabric, I bought a yard of each of these .  I'm not sure where/how I am going to use them, but I couldn't resist.  Aren't they fun?!

We've stared at our plans for 13 months.  Tweaked here and there.
Dreaming, planning, tweaking.
Progress is being made and it is a wonderful sight!
I'll show progress pics next time.  My husband is doing an amazing job on our dream.  He has the tough job of scheduling all of the trades while I have the fun job of picking out the fun stuff.