Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Decorating 101.

so i am finally getting around to posting some pictures of my home.
call it a...

Christmas House Tour

without walking thru my home.
although you would be more than welcome to do that at anytime...
as long as you are fine jumping over mounds of laundry.
it seems there is always some somewhere in the house...


Christmas is my most Favorite time of the year.
i love to decorate for Christmas.
i love all the lights. and greens.
i think it makes a home feel so warm and cozy.
and then good smells and candles burning.
yep. cozy.

it is for these reasons, i decorate (most years) before Thanksgiving actually gets here.
i am totally able to be thankful for all the Lord has blessed me with
sitting beside a Christmas tree...at my Thanksgiving dinner.

some people don't like to mix the holidays.
i am not one of those people. :))

and please, please, PLEASE note...

i am inspired and encouraged by reading blogs and flipping thru instagram.
i LOVE it.
i get so many fun ideas, so much information.

i know it is hard for some.
they feel attacked, and un-creative, and discouraged.
that is not my intention, so if you feel that way, while looking at this blog,
either stop right now, or

please DON'T you dare feel that way.  :)))
know that i am posting these to inspire you, as others have inspired me.
i rarely do decorating the same, from year to year,
i just don't,
so this is also for me to remember THIS year.

know that much of what i do, is inspired from magazines, pinterest, instagram...so many sources.
don't think i am super creative,
i don't know that i am.

just a really good copycat. :))
with yard sale finds a lot of the time...

i hope to find a few more K's for the stair well down into our basement...
the big black one, i got at A.C. Moore, and spray painted it, and the turquoise one, i purchased at Home Goods- one of my most favorite stores...

this centerpiece on my kitchen island, was totally pinterest inspired...i had everything already, and just put it together. i think i got the *fake greens at Flower and Craft Warehouse, years ago. The deer i got at a yard sale this summer, which i was COMPLETELY tickled with, because deer are so trendy right now. the Christmas balls came from Walmart, years ago, and the big pine cones I smuggled home from Chile. I was sure they were not going to be in my suitcase anymore when I got home, but surprise, of all surprises, they were. Yay!! The candle holder was also a yard sale find...there is a teeny chip on the top rim...but i bet ya don't notice unless you totally stare at it, in person. ;)

i think the scale came from walmart, when kaycee was a baby...so that's 10 years old already. :/
the greens came from Henry's Greenhouse...one of my most favorite spots to visit and get ideas from this time of year...you can find them here.

this black cupboard came from Goodwill years ago, for a couple bucks, and I spray painted it black...you can see the pathetic job i did from this angle...but only from this angle. ;)) the globes were collected over the years...for they are pretty trendy right now too. ;))

this cupboard had doors on it at one time, and i took them off. i used to have it sitting on an old table, but since have gotton rid of the table, and was tickled when i could bribe my husband to hang it for me. ;)

my lovee, kaden, had to sneak in a picture. he is really a pretty cool kid...but i think he might know it. :/

these glass jars are from walmart, and yard sales. i spray painted those 2 lids...they look way cuter that way in my opinion. ;)

my pinterest inspired, chalkboard painted, wood slice. Also pretty trendy right now. i just LOVE them. a little piece of nature inside.

my newest art gallery wall. the kids have to do this barn picture in art class in 2nd? grade i think? so hopefully curriculum doesn't change, (haaahaaahaa) and in a few years, i will have each childs barn picture hanging here. i spray painted the frames red, because i like a pop of color. some verses printed off the computer framed and hung. and the deer head i just got at Home Goods. i just had too. it wasn't even on clearance, i just flat.out.bought.it.  please know, i do do that sometimes. ;))

the candle, and reindeer were each purchased at yard sales. the reindeers horn is actually broken off a bit, but you cannot tell, unless you really study him, and his leg was broken, but i hot glued it, and it's hidden in the greens (which are actually from a broken down fake christmas tree).

this picture is taken in my sunporch, which i just painted all white, and am totally in love with it. i have lots of greens, and trees and lights in this room, right now, and it looks so festive and pretty in the dark, especially from coming in from my driveway. ;)) again, yard sale red twig wreath, and a reuzit swiped sign that i painted chalkboard over.

this sign was pinterest inspired as well...i had this big old board in the basement for awhile now. so, i painted it white, and wrote these words on it using a sharpie paint pen. my most favorite thing to write/paint with now. i ordered them online, have not found them in craft stores just yet.

this Christmas tree is from 1961, i got it at a yard sale this summer. i love it. it has instructions from 1961 with it, on old newspaper. classic. i wrote the verse on the canvas behind it. i LOVED it when i saw it on pinterest somewhere, printed on a tea towel.

this piece of furniture i got at an auction for two bucks years ago, and refinished it. you can see it is not all old...the drawers were replaced with some kind of plywood, or something? but it's fine for my home. ;)) i have been collecting pieces to my nativity for years...i really love it. mirror is from reuzit, and i painted it roughly... tree is from  yard sale. that gorgeous map in the background is from my mother in law. whoop. whoop. :)) she used it for a "blind" in the sun porch window at my father in laws desk, years ago when they lived here. i rescued it from her basement, in her new home, (not enough people saw it down there.) :))))

a chalkboard painted wall underneath my living room stairs...

this pine cabinet used to be in my bedroom. it works really well down here now. it stores my tablecloths and burlap and such. the wreath, was from reuzit i think?, the candle pillars also collected over many years from yard sales, and painted...the goose was from an auction when we were first married...and the window sash i found in the basement, and just pinned an old quilt to the back... i took the double doors off behind this chair. they used to seperate the sun porch from my living room, and they took up SO.MUCH. ROOM. i pretty much had them opened all the time anyway, so now, they are in the attic...and i LOVE the space so much more...and gives me a little more space to play with. ;))

i love.love.LOVE writing.
i write on lots of chalkboards and chalkboard walls often in my home.
i enjoy making signs as well.
although it is all free hand...so it's not perfect.
i like to call it unique. :))
i have no tolerance for stencils, and rulers, and taping when i am painting.
call me impatient?


i would say this post is long enough.
 i didn't make it to the basement or upstairs,
but there is not much decorating there anyway.

lots of trees and lights.
my love is real trees, but alas, my marriage suffered from getting a real tree,
so i succumbed to fake ones for the last few years...
your welcome honey. :))))

all my trees have come from yard sales.
i do miss the scent of a real tree...i did put some real greens up this year...
which smelled good for a couple days...

thanks for stopping by.
may your December be filled with hope and anticipation
as we look forward to celebrating the Birth of our Saviour, Jesus.


Friday, November 21, 2014

I just can't clean this place.

so, my friend just sent me this video, and i had to laugh outloud.
and then share it.

it happened to come at the perfect time.
my husband, who happens to be the perfect man for me, most of the time ;))),
was just recalling to my brother-in-law, the HORROR he (my husband) felt over the time he dated me, over how my sister and i's bathroom looked.

it was pretty much a mess.
all the time.
(and that might be an understatement actually).

i would blame it ALL on  my sister,
but judging by how pathetic i am now at cleaning the 2 bathrooms in this house,
i know i contributed to the filth.

he must have really fallen hard for me, because he obviously overlooked that discusting bathroom, or else thought he could "fix" me. :))

i love that my man and i are married for 14 years.
i have grown SO, SO much in those 14 years, it is hard to think back to what i was like,
as that 23 year old babe he married. ;)

we can now agree that he has no idea of what my life as a mama to 5 is like
yes, he can watch the kids for a weekend, if i go away.
and can do a really fantastic job at it,
but a weekend is hardly a taste of the everyday nutsiness of this household.

[or that's what i tell myself anyway]  :))

insert. watch this video. and feel free to laugh outloud.

well. maybe.
you are probably only going to think it's funny if you are an overwhelmed mom
that cannot figure out where all the time in your day goes...

Monday, October 27, 2014

HE knows MY name.

this song has meant a lot to me lately.

like. i BLARE it at my house.
or anytime it's on the radio.
for real.

God is moving at my church.
RIGHT now.

he has shaken me. for the good. to the core.
it was time.

so now.
SOAK up this song. every word.
it is powerful.

LOVE you.
and most importantly.

God loves YOU!
the Creator of the Universe loves YOU!


Monday, October 20, 2014

Calli turned SIX.

Calli turned SIX on the 11th of October...
that's like already 2 weeks ago.

I am just finding my desk,
apparently my new organization system is really working this year.
so depressing, but that is another ballgame to talk about. :)

Calli. she shines. she smiles. a LOT. she giggles. a LOT.
she is my hugger. and kisser. she is loving kindergarten, and also loves mommy
picking her up at 1 pm. :))
she writes her a's backwards almost every.single.time.
it doesn't seem to matter that she writes them in her name a lot.
she counts well, but misses 13 pretty frequently. what does that mean, anyway?
she loves to color. and read.
she LOVES karolina. they are very, very good friends.
she takes care of her needs. sometimes before mommy. :/

here's some pictures of our celebration of calli ann...

[you can look here to read about the day she arrived, and you can look here
to read about her delivery...]



cousin- Piper.

calli- with cousin, Reese, looking on.

Uncle Matt- always trying to win over the neices/nephews, with Karolina, and wife, Naomi...
Aunt Meg, with neice, Destiny.

Mam-maw with cousin, Hope and Karolina.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

a little something on my heart.

it took every ounce of courage i had to show up at my first Moms In Prayer meeting.
it was held at a church down the street, and i had a few acquaintances that attended,
but no one that i was really "close" with.
i went. and i went the next week.
and continued, even when I didn't "feel" like dragging my other 4 littles out the door.
i went out of my comfort zone, and started praying outloud. in front of others.
and it got easier. and easier.
and now. NOW. almost 6 years later, i am leading that same Moms in Prayer group in my home.

WOW. God astounds me sometimes. well. most of the time actually.
How about you?

so...if you are an Octorara mom, and you want to pray for your children...please come.
it is a small group of moms who meet the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Tuesdays of each month.
bring your littles...they can hang on your lap, or play in my basement.
and we pray. sometimes we cry.
we.are.real. life moms. sharing in the blessing of mothering children together.

situations have come into my life.
and shaken me.
i cannot waste time NOT praying for my kids, and their friends, and their school.
it is a passion.
all in.

if you are not an Octorara mom, but would like to see if your public school has a MIP group,
check out their website: www.momsinprayer.org. there is a place there, where you can search for a group. or if you just want to check out their website, go for it...

Happy Tuesday.
They should be arriving any minute. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

divorce is hard.

nothing new there.

divorce is hard.
it's ugly. and hard. and tears families apart.
it makes things weird and akward.
and makes life way more complicated then it should have to be.

i think it's fair to say that i hate it.
i hate divorce.

i am not a child of divorce.
i have only ever been a niece of divorce.
a cousin of divorce.

but i experienced something last night that was HARD.

i went to the Memorial Service of my aunt.
my x-aunt?
no...that doesn't sound acceptable.
let's just keep it at my aunt.

my aunt Donna, who i haven't seen since i was 14 years old,
was killed tragically in a car accident on September 12th.
in California.
where she lived, with her husband, and family.
2 days before her 56th birthday.

it's so interesting when you get news like that.
someone i haven't seen for so long, yet memories flooded my mind instantly.
so...to Donna...some things i may have never told you...

she had always been one of my favorite aunts.
she had been married to my uncle Galen, my dad's youngest brother.
well. until i was 14. or I was 14 the last time i saw her "as my aunt".
they had always lived in California, so we didn't see them all that much.
but when we did, boy, was life a party!

and that's what i remember.
life was a party with them!
i hope i will always remember her laugh. it was great.
and full. and deep. and contagious.
she made us feel like gold. we were special.
she hugged us, and tickled us.
she got in the pool with us to swim.
she may have even played marco polo with us.
she played football with us in the yard.
she bought us things. Galen, might have contributed to the gift buying too? :)
two specific things i remember getting from them: a) a white "I love L.A. t-shirt."
                                                                                  b) a fancy antique purse.
my sister and cousin, Shelly, would put on "shows" for them when they came in for visits.
the one i most recall, was "Johnny and his bushy hair."
i can still recall the first couple lines of our made up jingle.
and how Galen would whistle, and they would scream and cheer for us,
when we were done. again, made us feel so awesome.

i always admired her long, brown, curly hair.
mine is straight. :/

i am so glad i went last night.
i know her parents, and siblings.
and her sister came up to us, and we hugged and cried.
and that was hard.
she has a lot of the same mannerisms as my aunt, and sounds like
her when she talks. :/
also talked briefly with one of her brothers, which also helped me remember all i loved
about Donna.
her sense of humor was outstanding.

i kept in touch for a little bit over the years, which eventually faded into nothing.
that's where it gets hard.
she got married again, and fell in love with a new family.
(exit us)
my uncle got married again, to Deborah, who I have also come to love.
(insert her new to us family)
and now we visit and share life with them.
which is great and fabulous, but...

there were never any real goodbyes.
just an exit. a fading away.
and that's okay, it is just one of the hard things in life.
the last memory i have of them together was at my brother's high school graduation.
that was in 1992.

thanks for reading.
pray for her family.
they are so sad.
and i am tearing up again as i type.

life is hard.
there are not always answers to life's hard things, is there?


Thursday, September 25, 2014


my cell phone.
it shattered.

do you have a visual?

i am carrying karolina in my arms.
my big purse is around the opposite shoulder she is clinging too.
you know...the one that holds everything?
i am also clutching my cell phone in that hand.
i am desending our back porch steps, trying to put karolina down.
who is now crying because she doesn't "want" to put her bike away.
and. well. she just woke up from her nap.
and hasn't had the time she "needs" to quite awaken.
but she needs too. it was 5:30 p.m. and now
 we are going to be late to drop off kaden at baseball practice,
if she doesn't put her bike away.

so i try to put her down. she is sobbing by now.
and it all happens at once.
her legs hit the ground. my purse flys off my shoulder to the ground.
and takes my cell phone with it.
it lands on the left side corner, and shatters.

no one to blame. but me.


how's that to start your day?

to make matters worse.
we get to kaden's practice, and he speaks loudly...
(he prefers to say he wasn't yelling at me), but i beg to differ
he forgot his cleats.

he is sitting in the front seat.
in his sneakers.
to go to baseball practice.

so. we leave. we go home. kaden is with me.
i did not appreciate being treated that way.
so. now kaden is crying.
because I forgot his cleats to bring to his baseball practice.
(in his defense...he is my oldest. responsible child. he has never forgotton
anything for baseball in his life, nor does he usually require reminding).

i had a hard time recovering from the mess of that 20 minute piece of my day.
is my life sometimes. and probably you have some stories to rival mine, right?



one of the highlights of completing our local summer reading program,
is FREE dutch wonderland tickets.

we finally went, and drug daddy along with us.
it was a pretty fun day.
we usually try to meet up with family and friends while we are there.
this year, it worked out to be with friends.

this is Calli and her friend, Sadie.

it is so interesting to watch my kids.
they really do cater to karolina. :)


school adjustment is going well.
i have a meeting with kaden's teachers next week.
that always makes me nervous.
and i am eating my feelings already.
i HATE that i do that.
my jeans are already tight from summer.
why can't i turn myself into one of those people who runs out their feelings?
you know there are people like that?
who enjoy running out their feelings?

i wish. i wish. :))

he is such a trooper.
fifth grade is proving to be a challenge for him in reading/writing.
the 2 go hand in hand this year, so that is very hard.
and very hard for the mama to watch.
i am sure i will get teary during the meeting.
trying to stick up for the difficulties he is having.

he got a 100% on his math test though.
he thinks he should get a prize. :))


and the fall Bible study i participate in started yesterday morning.
Gideon, by Priscilla Shirer- who happens to be Tony Evans daugther.
she is so good.
yesterday was *fabulous.

we are encouraged to memorize a new verse each week of the study.

i will leave you with my verse for the week, incase you want to join me. :))

the Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.

                           ~zephaniah 3:17.