Thursday, June 20, 2013

A before & after look at our new dining chairs

I couldn't decide what color to paint these dining chairs. I thought that I was going to paint them black and I may at some point, but I decided to go with French Linen and antiquing wax in all the floral swirl carvings. We spend a lot of time in our dining room. We eat in here, play in here, and have school in here. I love how much light it gets during the day, but at night, without an overhead light or many lamps, it gets nearly too dark to enjoy. chairs just felt like the wrong way to go. What do you think? They're a coat heavier than the china cabinet.



So that's them. These are the chairs our family will sit at every day. The ones they will spill things in...where they will learn...where stories will be told...where my children will complain about what I feed them...Sweet memories for my soul.
Linking up to No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pretty in Pink

Today I'm linking up to Savvy Southern Style's Wow Us Wednesday!

My daughter is two years old. The honey and I still call her "the baby" and think of her as the baby. She's two, so I guess she still kind of is :) But she's growing. Growing so fast. I wanted to capture her nursery before it changed.
I'm a sentimental person, so a lot of the decor in her room was mine or the honey's when we were babies. The big rocking chair has rocked my sister and I, my aunts two children, and all three of my babies. So many family members have rocked in that chair and loved and cuddled and shushed and sang off key. Being able to add that layer of special to her room was important to me.



Photo: Dolly storage #whatablessedness #prettyinpinknursery


Earlier this year, she and the boys switched rooms. The furniture set up just seemed to work better that way. This is what her nursery looked like when we first brought her home. I loved this room. It was so bright and happy and relaxing.



Oh how you've grown, my darling!

Monday, June 17, 2013

China Cabinet before & after

This has to be one of my most favorite projects so far. Thank you so much, Geimer family for giving us this beautiful piece of furniture. I am so pleased with the china cabinet's new look, that I just can't picture our home without it. Like honey says, nearly every piece of furniture in our house is for sale. He's probably right :) But I really do love this piece. Being able to display some of our treasured heirlooms makes me so happy.
Here are some pictures of how this china cabinet was transformed from simple oak to French country.
It started out in two pieces, like this. No worries, though. We have it attached securely now.
I painted the cabinet ASCP French Linen. I only ended up doing one coat. I liked how it looked more like a wash and screamed "French" to me. I lightly distressed it and did I mix of clear and antiquing wax.
Instead of putting my crystal out for show, I decided to put it in the bottom cabinet and keep the cabinet shelves more casual.
The china was a wedding gift and the chintz is on permanent loan to me from my mom. The wine on the bottom shelf is a dessert wine that we'll be opening on our 10th wedding anniversary. Gotta keep it safe!

I included corks from the special events in our life in this teacup and a small chintz pitcher.

Now, the only question is...What do I do about the hardware? I just can't decide. So, for now, it'll be like this :)
Happy Monday!

Thursday, June 13, 2013


A couple of months ago, our Sunday school class did a study by Gary Thomas called Sacred Parenting. If you haven't heard of it, I strongly encourage you to read the book or look into the videos. They are really incredible.
Until I participated in the Sacred Parenting study, I had viewed my children as blessings and felt it a true honor to be their mommy. I will always see them that way, but there was a shift that the study caused in me- parenting is a spiritual discipline. Right? Like one of the hardest. The book states, "caring for children is such an effective discipline in shaping our souls and forming the character of Christ within us." Children have a great affect on us, don't they? They make a love well up inside of us like we've never known before...They also make the crazy side of us well up like we've never known before :) Not that I know of that crazy side...
What areas do you feel actively refined in? Is it in your patience, like me?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

So blue

I am so excited about the new look for our dining room table. It has been in my husband's family for a very long time. In fact, he grew up at this very table. It was where I had my very first meal with his mom and dad (the time his dad forgot my name during the prayer). But most of all, it was our very first table. It felt so big to us for those first few years. I always had a table cloth on it and had it staged "just so." A tough piece to part with...But, as I've learned over the years- you change...your family grows and certain pieces just last for a season or just work in a particular home. If I had a big house with a breakfast room and a separete dining area, this table would be just perfect, but I don't, so I think it's time to part with her.
This dining table represents a lot of happiness for our family, so I wanted to paint her in a happy color. What's more happy than duck egg? The original color is oak. I first painted it in the color grain sack, but it wasn't right, so I put a coat of duck egg on top...rubbed in just the right places, stepped back, and knew it was the right finish.

I love this table round, but it has 2 leaves, so it can easily seat six. Email me if you're interested.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Plus half

My oldest son turned 5 and a half yesterday. I know it's not a birthday, but it felt like something to me. He's nearly on the other set of fingers and that feels big to me.

I've never met anyone like him. He's such a fun boy. So full of imaginiation and passion. You never know what he's going to say or what kind of a tall tale he's going to pull out. Even if he's spitting nails mad, you can always make him laugh and he, somehow, completely forgets the two seconds before. I love that he's either smiling or not far from it.

Sometimes I see some of my most favorite pieces of my husband in him. I see it when he's gentle with his sister or patient with his little brother. I see it in his artwork. He's so creative, just like his Daddy. He can find something to do anywhere. I've never seen either of them bored and they're always on the go.

He's also incredibly confident with the ladies, which is soooo funny. Confidence is actually something that I prayed over him before he was even born. I prayed that he would have self-confidence and always know his worth is found in the Lord. We all know the kind of roller coaster you can go on when you don't know that to be true in your life. I feel like I had a lot of fake confidence that eventually turned into confidence and my husband was shy for most of his growing up, but you'd never know it now.

My husband has a dear friend from high school with a quality that we have always admired in him. Thinking about him literally makes me laugh. My first memory of him is when my husband called him the night we got engaged. He couldn't take his call because he was in the middle of doing the tootsie roll at the club - ha! He doesn't take himself too seriously and I think that's a pretty important thing to remember. It sure does help you brush things off easier. (Note to self). Our friend's worth is deeply rooted, (going back to how his parent's raised him- parents: what a huge responsibilty we have) and if you don't see it, then he's movin' on.

Somedays I feel the weight of responsibilty of raising Godly young men and today is one of those days. I guess that's God reminding me that they belong to Him.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Not alone

Most days I feel like I need to be on a coffee drip. My honey wakes up at 4am and leaves the house at 4:30am, so he can get a run in before going to work at 6am. Did I mention that I've literally never heard him complain about it?  Even the nights I chat his ear off or make him watch just one more Downton or when one of our kids wakes us up in the middle of the night when he has just 30 minutes left to snooze. It's one of those crazy, wonderful things about his personality- contentment. He teaches me a lot. I'm so happy that our kids see that in at least one of their parents :)

I read a blog post this morning, titled, "To parents of small children: Let me be the one who says it out loud." (I've included it at the end of the post). If you are a mom and you write a blog, you've probably written a post like this. If you haven't, you will or you'll want to. I think this dad really sums it up.

I know several people who are pregnant and, being a mom of three, they've asked me lots of questions about this and that. I feel like I have to catch myself. Yes, I'm over the colicky stage and the 24/7 nursing and constant milk and spit up stains on my shirt. Yes, I smell better and my legs are shaved, but I still feel like I'm in the weeds most of the time- figuring them out, myself out, how to be their mom and teacher. Always questioning yourself. Sometimes looking them right in the eye and saying, "I don't know what I'm doing. I'm new at this thing too." When I say that, they always look surprised, like I've given away my secret. The other day, after saying that, my son said, "Me too." Hearing that actually took some pressure off.

Anyway, this is for the bone tired and the not ;)


To parents of small children: Let me be the one who says it out loud

March 12, 2013

IMG_3044I am in a season of my life right now where I feel bone tired almost all of the time. Ragged, how-am-I-going-to-make-it-to-the-end-of-the-day, eyes burning exhausted.
I have three boys ages 5 and under. I’m not complaining about that. Well, maybe I am a little bit. But I know that there are people who would give anything for a house full of laughter & chaos. I was that person for years and years; the pain of infertility is stabbing and throbbing and constant. I remember allowing hope to rise and then seeing it crash all around me, month after month, for seven years. I am working on another post about infertility that will come at a later date.
But right now, in my actual life, I have three boys ages five and under. There are many moments where they are utterly delightful, like last week when Isaac told my sister-in-law that “My daddy has hair all over.” Or when Elijah put a green washcloth over his chin and cheeks, and proudly declared, “Daddy! I have a beard just like you!” Or when Ben sneaks downstairs in the morning before the other boys do, smiles at me, and says, “Daddy and Ben time.”
But there are also many moments when I have no idea how I’m going to make it until their bedtime. The constant demands, the needs, and the fighting are fingernails across the chalkboard every single day.
One of my children is for sure going to be the next Steve Jobs. I now have immense empathy for his parents. He has a precise vision of what he wants — exactly that way and no other way. Sometimes it’s the way his plate needs to be centered exactly to his chair, or how his socks go on, or exactly how the picture of the pink dolphin needs to look – with brave eyes, not sad eyes, daddy! He is a laser beam, and he is not satisfied until it’s exactly right.
I have to confess that sometimes the sound of his screaming drives me to hide in the pantry. And I will neither confirm nor deny that while in there, I compulsively eat chips and/or dark chocolate.
There are people who say this to me:
“You should enjoy every moment now! They grow up so fast!”
I usually smile and give some sort of guffaw, but inside, I secretly want to hold those people under water. Just for a minute or so. Just until they panic a little.
If you have friends with small children — especially if your children are now teenagers or if they’re grown – please vow to me right now that you will never say this to them. Not because it’s not true, but because it really, really doesn’t help.
We know it’s true that they grow up too fast. But feeling like I have to enjoy every moment doesn’t feel like a gift, it feels like one more thing that is impossible to do, and right now, that list is way too long. Not every moment is enjoyable as a parent; it wasn’t for you, and it isn’t for me. You just have obviously forgotten. I can forgive you for that. But if you tell me to enjoy every moment one more time, I will need to break up with you.
If you are a parent of small children, you know that there are moments of spectacular delight, and you can’t believe you get to be around these little people. But let me be the one who says the following things out loud:
You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out a way for your children to eat as healthy as your friend’s children do. She’s obviously using a bizarre and probably illegal form of hypnotism.
You are not a terrible parent if you yell at your kids sometimes. You have little dictators living in your house. If someone else talked to you like that, they’d be put in prison.
You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out how to calmly give them appropriate consequences in real time for every single act of terrorism that they so creatively devise.
You are not a terrible parent if you’d rather be at work.
You are not a terrible parent if you just can’t wait for them to go to bed.
You are not a terrible parent if the sound of their voices sometimes makes you want to drink and never stop.
You’re not a terrible parent.
You’re an actual parent with limits. You cannot do it all. We all need to admit that one of the casualties specific to our information saturated culture is that we have sky-scraper standards for parenting, where we feel like we’re failing horribly if we feed our children chicken nuggets and we let them watch TV in the morning.
One of the reasons we are so exhausted is that we are oversaturated with information about the kind of parents we should be.
So maybe it’s time to stop reading the blogs that tell you how to raise the next President who knows how to read when she’s three and who cooks, not only eats, her vegetables. Maybe it’s time to embrace being the kind of parent who says sorry when you yell. Who models what it’s like to take time for yourself. Who asks God to help you to be a better version of the person that you actually are, not for more strength to be an ideal parent.
So the next time you see your friends with small children with that foggy and desperate look in their eyes, order them a pizza and send it to their house that night. Volunteer to take their kids for a few hours so they can be alone in their own house and have sex when they’re not so tired, for heaven’s sake. Put your hand on their shoulder, look them in the eyes, and tell them that they’re doing a good job. Just don’t freak out if they start weeping uncontrollably. Most of the time, we feel like we’re botching the whole deal and our kids will turn into horrible criminals who hate us and will never want to be around us when they’re older.
You’re bone tired. I’m not sure when it’s going to get better. Today might be a good day or it might be the day that you lost it in a way that surprised even yourself.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
You’re not alone.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thoughts on the first week.

We're closing in on the end of our first week of kindergarten, just as summer is beginning for everyone else. Our son knows no difference, so that helps. Lots of people have asked me why we are starting now and not in August or September, like normal people. One of the many things I embrace about homeschool is that you can start whenever you want. It's our lifestyle, so we're kind of always "schooling." We plan to go year-round, which was always a crazy concept to me, but we won't really be going year-round. We will take a break for a family vacation, we'll break for Christmas and dive into a unit study...we'll take as long as we need to in certain subjects, so nobody falls behind...In other words, we're leaving wiggle room for life.
Yesterday, I had an allergic reaction to some berries that I unintentionally ate. I had to lay down for a while to allow the Benadryl to work, so we had to take a break. Our son said, "That's ok, Mom, I'll just learn like ole' George Washington did..." and he went to his little work table and created a timeline, just like we had learned about in history the day before. He began with a sun that was smiling (as he so sweetly pointed out)- that symbolized the beginning of history. In the middle were 3 crosses- one was red to symbolize Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, which was the middle of history. The last picture was a rocket ship and a birthday cake for the end of history. He told me those were important things. Cake is always important.
Something I've learned in this first week is that I need a really good planner. My curriculum came with places to write down my lesson plans for the specific subject, but since I'm using two different types of curriculum (Heart of Dakota and ABeka), I found it difficult to flip back and forth to find what I was going to do that day. I just ordered this wonderful teacher planner on Etsy from Plum Paper and I think it's going to be just perfect. Plus, it let me pick my start month for June, not to mention I got to put my monogram on it :)
2013 & 2014 Teacher Planner


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My loves

Today was an off day for this mama, but these babes were little angels. Sometimes I find them like this and my heart just swells up.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A tiny house full of projects.

At the moment, our house is bursting at the seams with furniture to restore and transform. I was lucky enough to have a friend from church, who is moving, give me a huge dining table (that seats 8), 4 dining chairs, and a lovely hutch. Can you believe it? Me neither. Thank you Geimers!

I can't wait to start on the hutch and table, but since I'm limited on space, I have to tackle one thing at a time and go by the- "one piece of furniture in, another out" rule. I recently painted our dining table the most beautiful blue and I love the transformation. I hope someone else does too, as I will be looking for a new home for this special piece very soon. Here is the before picture of our dining table-

(I just sold the chairs today!)

Here's what I'm thinking for the new dining table, which we will be calling our own...

I would like to paint it old white a) Because I think this table was meant to be old white and b) It's one of my favs. And for the chairs, I want them to be pretty distressed on the arms and legs...I love the idea of painting them in graphite. Right?
But I think my favorite of all the pieces I'm working on is the hutch. I love a good hutch. Thankfully, it is in two pieces, so it's going to be much easier to work with. Now, if I can just work it out where it's completed on a Wednesday, so the guys in my small group can help Tim put it on top :) At first, I wanted to paint the hutch in "Lucketts Green" milk paint, but it just wasn't the right piece, so I've decided on french linen for the outside and maybe a surprise color on the inside...we'll see!
Better get a move on all of that! I can't wait to share the transformation with you.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Praise the Lord!

We got the MRI results today and they came back normal!
Thank you all for praying for our sweet little girl. We are so happy she is ok and praying that it was just her freebie.