Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Garland Is Showing!!!

I am participating in The Nester's Garland Show and Tell. I have never done garland before but when I saw her garland I was inspired to try. So here it is. Tell me what you think.

Here is the full length view with my new Chocolate accent wall. Please disregard the black trash bag in the bottom of the picture. It is a bag of clothes that we are dropping off at Goodwill.

Here is the left side. I want with pine cones and berries. Everything was 50% off at Hobby Lobby. The vase I already had. The rocks in the vase are from a gem mining trip the kids and I took and the large pine cone is one we found at my Dad's house. The baby shoe is Caleb's bronzed shoe and the bird I got at the Habitat Restore for $1.

Here is the right side. The funky basket I got from a lady who was freecycling a huge trash bag of baskets. The pine cone is another from dad's house and the shoe is the partner to the one in the photo above. The bird is also from the Habitat Restore for $1 but it is a little smaller and different from the one above.

Our stocking holders are silver and spell out PEACE. For some reason, the stockings are not hanging. I think we had the fire going the night before and had taken them down for that. Anyway, they are hand knitted by a friend of my mother-in-law. They each have our name and the year we were born and they are red, green and white. You can't really see them in this picture but, I have a strand of colored led lights in the garland. I think I need to change the batteries.

Here is my newly painted front door with a wreath that a good friend of mine had her mother make for me.

Here is our tree. I take down all our window treatments and hang sparkly snowflakes in the windows with fishing line.

These are the things my kids are not allowed to touch.

These are the things I let them play with.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. I know I will enjoy looking at everyone else's decorations.

Monday, December 8, 2008

All I Want For Christmas Is My 2 Front Teeth!!!

I know . . . I am so slack but, I have been soooooo busy. My house looks and smells wonderful. I love Thanksgiving/Christmas time. I wanted to share some pictures with you, my faithful readers. Jeremy lost that other front tooth finally. I told him we had to floss it so it would be healthy for when the Tooth Fairy came to get it. I just tied the floss around the tooth and kept tightening and tightening until the tooth just popped out. He was so scared it was going to hurt, that he didn't believe me when I showed him it was out. Then he stopped crying and started laughing. He was excited about money from the Tooth Fairy. Here are some pictures from that day:

Caleb has also lost his fair share of teeth the past few months. It looks like he only has his front 8 teeth. He recently lost all 4 canines and the pre-molars right behind them.

Judah did not want to be left out of the picture taking and gave me a "CHEEZY" smile. Although he is only 3, he has already lost one tooth. See
this post for the whole story. This baby is going to need braces.

We also took our Christmas card pictures. Our church decorates for Christmas better than I ever could. The past 3 or 4 years, we have taken our picture there. Let me know what you think.

I will take some pictures of my Christmas decor soon but I have to go put a cranky 3-year-old to bed.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with their families. We ate SOOOO much yesterday. It was all so delicious. I am so excited because today we are putting up our Christmas tree and other decorations. I will post some pictures later. But for now, I just wanted to wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season.

Friday, November 21, 2008

New Family Pictures

We had pictures taken last month for the homeschool yearbook and I just thought that I would share them with you. It had been 2 years since we had a portrait taken and with the exception of Judah looking like he is straining to go to the bathroom, I think that they turned out rather well.

Caleb wanted "crazy hair" for the pictures.

Jeremy wanted "spikey hair". Don't you just love the indredibly loose, crooked tooth sticking out of his mouth?

Judah loves to have his picture taken and this is the face he makes when you say, "SAY CHEESE!!!"

What do you think?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I am NOT dead . . . just really busy!!!

I know it has been a while since I've posted on my blog and I don't really have the time to update everyone right now. However, later tonight, when the kids are in bed, I will post an uber-long update complete with pictures. Just wanted to let everyone know that I was still alive. Until later . . .

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Some Fun Amidst the Gas Shortage

Tuesday nights I meet with a group of ladies at a local Starbucks and we read our Word, journal and share our journals with each other. As I was pulling into the parking lot, my gas light came on. I had heard other people talking about having trouble finding gas but had not experienced it for myself. I left Starbucks and took a longer way home so that I would drive past the most gas stations. Every place I drove past had plastic bags over the pump nozzles or had no prices up on their signs. As I drive toward the last station before home, I can see people at the pumps. I pull in behind a car where a man is topping off his tank, closing his fuel door and getting into his car. In the time it took for him to pullout and me to roll forward, an attendant came and put a bag over the pump nozzle. I calmly roll down my window but before I can speak, he barks, "We're outta gas!"

So I look at the man and ask the obvious question: "How can you be out of gas? I just saw that man fill his car with gas."

He spits on the ground and barks back, "We're outta gas!"

Now the New Yorker is rising up in me. I say, "I am on E. I only want to put $20 worth in. May I please use the pump before you close it off."

He looks at me with an annoyed look on his face and says what I am being to wonder is the only thing he knows how to say, "We're outta gas!" Then he starts to walk away from me. He was so rude and uncaring. So now New York girl is furious at the sloppy man that is putting bags over pump nozzles. She was about to lose her Christian witness but I reigned her in and reminded her that it was no use and Southern Hospitality and friendliness is a myth. She, however, is far stronger than the girl who wants to be treated nicely here in the south instead of being called a Yankee as they spit brown juice from between their teeth. So she squealed the tires as she buzzed past said sloppy, rude attendant.

Hey, I never said I was perfect. I have my flaws. But don't treat me that way, don't call me a Yankee and say it like it is a bad thing. First of all, the war is over. It has been over for more than 140 years. Second, my dad's family was in Texas at the time of the Civil War and my mom's family was in Italy, so I had nothing to do with taking your slaves away. Get over it! Treat people the way you want to be treated. OK , so I should not have sped out of the gas station but sometimes I get so tired of people hearing my accent and then changing how they treat me or asking me where I am from and then asking me when I am going back. This doesn't happen as often as it used to and we have met some lifelong friends whom we love dearly but every now and then, it happens.

I digress . . . Back to the story. But I believe in customer service so when I got home, I called the gas station and told the manager what happened. He informed me that they were getting a shipment of gas in around 1 AM. He was only slightly less rude but I am sure that he has had to deal with lots of phone calls and angry people who can't find gas.

So Yesterday, I knew I had to get the boys to the Y for their PE class for 1 PM. I didn't know if there would be a line to get gas so we left the house at 10:30 and headed to the gas station. On the way, we picked up a guy who was trudging down the country road with a gas can. I know, its not safe but I felt like it was safe to pick him up and I would want help if I were trudging up the road with a gas can. He was very grateful and friendly and we are all still alive.

(SIDE NOTE: Sometimes we are called to do things that conventional wisdom would say is dangerous and crazy. How many times have I been helped by someone who was willing to go against conventional wisdom . . . NOT HERE IN THE SOUTH MIND YOU BUT UP NORTH IN NY AND MICHIGAN AND OHIO AND INDIANA AND PENNSYLVANIA, ETC. I am not saying that you should pick up hitch hikers on a regular basis but I would like to call every one's attention to Matthew 25:31-46. Pray and use discernment.)

Anyway, back to the story. We reached the gas station, said goodbye to our hitch hiker and pulled right up to the pump. I put $20 worth in and decided to take the kids to lunch before their class. We went to Long John Silver's. They had never been and I hadn't been to one since high school. Jeremy was very excited for shrimp and hush puppies. Caleb stuck with the old faithful . . . chicken. They loved it and had a great time. They decided that they were going to make faces at each other. They were trying desperately to cross their eyes but were having very little success. However, what I did happen to capture with my camera made me smile.

The last two pictures are my favorites.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Silly Pirates

Now that it is finally cool enough to play outside without the risk of heat stroke, we have been taking afternoon trips to the park. Sometimes we pack dinner in the cooler and Michael meets us after work for a picnic. I am hoping fall lasts at least a month. You never know here in the south. It could be in the low sixties and breezy one day and ninety and humid the next.
Anyway, we went to the park the other day and I took these pictures of the boys pretending to be pirates and making silly faces.

This was their attempt at an action shot. It is the most posed action shot in history. I think Judah was walking the plank and Caleb was making sure that he would actually walk the plank by holding a cork pop gun on him. Jeremy was the lookout guy. Doesn't Judah look pleased to walk the plank? They make me laugh.

My cutie pies . . . and, YES, I know they need haircuts. After we left the park, we went out for burgers and then for haircuts.

Judah is always wanting to make silly faces for the camera. He's too cute.

The park has this really cool thing that you crank like 6 times and after you hear a bubbling noise, you talk into it and then it repeats what you say. In true boy fashion, Jeremy was having the machine repeat all sorts of bodily noises back to him and then laughing as though there was nothing funnier in the world.

And here's my oldest angel. Soon he won't be interested in going to the park and playing pirates. That makes me sad.

We have alot of projects going on at home. I am hoping to show all of you my new fireplace wall. It has taken alot of spackle and paint but it looks good enough to eat. You'll see what I mean.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I've been tagged! I feel so special! Mom in High Heels tagged me today. So, here are 7 completely obscure things about me that you probably never wanted to know but I am going to tell you anyway.
1. I hate the feeling of newspaper. It gives me that creepy, tooth hurting feeling like nails on a chalk board.
2. I don't like drinking out of plastic cups. Id' rather have a glass. . . especially at a restaurant. Maybe it is a cleanliness thing. I don't know.
3. I love octopus. It is delectable and reminds me of Christmas Eve.
4. I was in college before I had a driver's licence.
5. I firmly believe that there is a right way to load a dishwasher and it kills me to watch someone fill the dishwasher in an inefficient manner. My mom calls it anal retentive. I just call it doing things the right way.
6. The hangers in the closet have to hang a certain way. The clothes have to all be facing the same direction and everything has to be color coded and stored with like items. My husband calls it psycho. I call it organized. Everyone can always find what they are looking for in their closets and draws.
7. I am a compulsive toilet paper fixer. If I am anywhere and the toilet paper is not hanging over the top then I have to fix it. I have done this at church, in restaurants, at friends' homes, . . . OK so maybe I am a little crazy.
And now I have to tag 7 other people. Please leave a comment here if you participate.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Our Dental Fiasco!!!

OK, so the boys are all in bed and I thought I would share with all of you what has been going on with our family since Tuesday. Tuesday was my brother's birthday so we went to my mom's for dinner and cake. Whilst we were there, Little Man

decided to run into a wall and knock a tooth out.

At first, we couldn't find the tooth but, then Michael found it.

We called the dentist's office (which, of course, was closed) and the recording told me to put the tooth in milk and go to the ER. We went to the ER and they took us back right away. The doctor came in and checked his mouth to make sure nothing else was loose and told us that they don't reattach baby teeth. He said he thought that there was still a piece of the tooth in the gums but that we would need an x-ray. He told us that we should go to the dentist first thing in the morning and gave the boy a Popsicle. I paid a $75 copay for a red Popsicle!!!

The next morning at 7:30, I called the dentist and they worked us in for 9 AM. They took and x-ray and confirmed what the ER doctor told us. He didn't knock the tooth completely out, he cracked it below the gum line. She referred us to the pediatric dentist. They made the appointment for 11:30 today because they didn't want his gums to close over the broken tooth.

So this morning, we go to the pediatric dentist and they point out that he broke the root into a few pieces and explained how he would remove it. Upon further examination, said dentist informs me that Little Man has 2 other cavities that needed to be filled. I was grateful that they didn't have to put him out . . . they just gave him some nitrous oxide and Novocain. They were done in 20 minutes. The boy was drenched in sweat and tears but recovered as soon as we left the office. This traumatic experience was brought to you by the number 223 (as in dollars that our dental insurance won't cover).

All in all, I can't complain. It could have been worse and Little Man was back to his crazy, rambunctious self within an hour. Tonight, right before bed, he said, "Hey Mama, watch this!" I cringed as I watched him run and throw himself on the floor like he was sliding into 2nd. Will he ever calm down?!?!?!

Yes, I know he needs a haircut!!!

Guilty Feelings and a New Layout

I just thought that I would post because it has been a whole week since I've written. I feel bad for all 3 of my readers . . . guilty even. They must have missed me. Well, I am still here. We have had a very busy week. After the kids are in bed, I will sit down and type out what has happened since Tuesday. But for now, I just wanted you all to know that I am still alive and all is well . . . finally.

I did add a new fall layout to show my excitement for my favorite season and to celebrate the temperture being below 80 degrees for the past few days. YAY!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Join in the POOPIE Fun!

The Nester over at the Nesting Place is having a Mr. Linky party for all the POOPIES in blog world. For those of you who are new, POOPIE stands for: People Opposing Objectionable Pretend plants In the Environment.

So I thought I would start out with violation # 1 . . . Ivy atop the cabinets in the Master Bathroom. I kind of like it up there only because the ceilings are so high and I feel like it needs something. Plus it goes with my wallpaper and I wash it in the shower once a month so it is not all gross and dusty. It used to cover the tops of my kitchen cabinets but, I took it down to wash it and decided not to put it back up. Here are my two faux pas:

Here is one of those trees in a basket that has two-tone leaves. One side of each leaf is dark green and the other side is burgundy. Not very realistic looking but I wrapped some clear Christmas lights on it and it has become a great night light.

I love this arrangement. I purchased all these flowers at AC Moore. I tried really hard to find flowers that looked realistic. It is very springy . . . not very fall-like but, I love it.

This is another simple arrangement that I like. It is pale pink roses and some greenery in a really cool pink vase. I love roses and the real ones never last. I've tried drying them but they always look so sad . . . and dead! (P.S.- Notice my Tobacco Road wall behind the arrangement. I just did that yesterday!)

This wreath is one of my favorite fall/winter decorations. I purchased it from Princess House when I used to be a consultant for the company. I pair it with this silver bowl fuul of glass stones and a pillar candle. At Christmastime, I have a crystal bowl that I set in the center of the wreath and I fill the bowl with Christmas balls.

I had this old grapevine wreath. It is heart shaped. It used to have some eucalyptus on it but it crumbled off. So, I threw this together but I hate it. I think it's the shape I hate or maybe it just feels too "country" with the raffia bow. I don't know. Maybe it's the leaves on the burgundy flowers. I think they look shiny in the picture but they are not shiny up close. I think I will be making a trip to Hobby Lobby for a round wreath and something more autumn-y (that's not really a word) to put on it. The daisies and burgundy hydrangeas were the most autumn-y things I had to put on there and I hate it. I need to go shopping. Help!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Finally Finished . . . Well . . . Almost!

I have been so busy with getting back into the full swing of homeschooling, and moving rooms around, and sorting through old stuff, and doing outside work on the house, and . . . and . . . and . . .
I feel like life needs to slow down a little bit. Anyway, I finally finished a project that was bothering me. I just couldn't figure out what to do with my huge, pain-in-the-neck living room windows. Here is what I posted when Nester had her Mistreatment Par-Tay:

I had asked for help and many of you had some really great ideas. A couple of days later, I tried this:

I took down the panel from the middle window and added panels to the 2 end windows. I had all 3 toile panels up but it just didn't look right. So, I took them all down. I liked the way the bottom of the windows looked but even after I removed all of the upper panels, it still looked unfinished. I figured I would take a break and come back to it later. Maybe if I distracted myself with a different project, the answer would come to me . . . and it did!

We went to a birthday party for the daughter of dear friends. When I walked in to the kitchen I noticed that she had taken her blinds down but the room was still cool even thought the sun was setting into the windows. She told me they had bought this film for the windows at Lowe's that blocks out 99% of the UV rays and 80% of the heat that comes from the sunlight that shines in the windows. It looked so good! I couldn't even tell that there was anything on the windows and they had done it themselves. It is about $32 and I would only need one package so I have decided to leave the top of the windows naked and get some of that film. I will leave the blackout fabric in the windows until the summer is really over as it has helped with our cooling expenses. Thanks Kevin and Heather!!!

So, I returned from the party with renewed inspiration. I only had to put the finishing touches on the bottom half of the window. I dragged my mother and my sister with me to Hancock Fabrics and we were there for like 2 hours. Everything I LOVED was $24.99 a yard and I knew I needed 6 or 7 yards for this idea I had in my crazy head. There was NO WAY I was spending $150-$175 on those windows. I could have gone and had custom drapes made for that!!! After a little while, the lady in the decorator fabric department decides that she was going to help me. I guess I was getting on her nerves. I kept taking all the rolls of fabric and draping them over each other and walking across the room to see if I liked it. She was clearly getting annoyed. So I showed her the fabric that I had used to make my panels for the bottom of the window and explained my idea to her. She leaves and comes right back with a steely blue chintz for $4.89 a yard. It goes perfectly with the blue stripes in the panels. I think she was just happy to be rid of us. She recognized me the other day when I was in there to buy some fabric for a valance for Jeremy's room. She looked a little nervous. Anyway, here is what I've done:

I purchased some curtain tieback pegs on clearance at Target and 2 yards of brown satin ribbon. That paired with 2 safety pins and 2 tea cup hooks and I had successfully achieved my vision for this window. I successfully covered the awkward break between the windows. SO HAPPY!!! I also took the 2 side panels from the upper windows and covered the pillows on the 2 chairs. I love them!!! The only thing I still want to do is to add the trim in the following picture to the 2 hanging edges of the valance. Here are my fabrics all together with the trim:

I will have to take a new picture when I get the window film put up. Let me know what you think.