October 28, 2008

Partially Decorated

We all know I'm the kind of gal who can't rest until I get a lot done. Moving was no exception. As a matter of fact (and my binder can reassure you), moving is one of my most favorite things to do in the world. This time, I did it slowly on purpose. I had to savor it, for more than one reason.

I've been compiling photos of things I loved for a year now (wow, it's really been that long?) in a little folder on my hard drive. I've used it for inspiration over and over again. One by one, as I put things away and moved furniture around, my ideas began to snap into place.

I also consulted with my 3 kidlets often (yes, including Mabel) to see what they liked, what they wanted and needed around the house. Mostly I wanted it to feel warm and inviting, with character and charm - in a modern way. I want to display their artwork and handmade items. I want to collect a few things that make me giddy inside, things that make them smile, too. It is important that this be OUR home and that all of us together have a hand in putting it together.

Our home isn't done. No way. I hope it never is. What I am realizing is that, while something may make me happy for a while, that doesn't mean I have to stop there. I can get all caught up in the next burst of creative inspiration and redecorate all over again. And if you're thinking 'money' - let me just tell you, learning more about living green has stretched its way over into my decorating as well, I'm proud to tell you. I do a LOT of thrifting these days, with excellent results.

Here are some photos.

Mabel needed a high chair. Goodwill had this beauty for $5.

See that highboy dresser? I found a set of two of them last Spring at a local antique mall.

Remember those lamps from Crate & Barrell? The bird is from Savers - $2.

That afghan (the boys' absolute favorite thing) was also from Savers and that end table, Goodwill. Frames are from Target.

All but two of these frames were thrifted for a buck apiece and gutted. I haven't yet removed the Anne Geddes print (but will) or the map. The birds will stay. The new frames (the blue and the white/green toward the bottom) are from Target.

The embriodered Hummel was found at Savers.

That was my rocking chair when I was little. I think it fits in Moo's room nicely.

My Belle and Boo print (frame from Hobby Lobby).

Who the heck is this?!?! Just kidding. That's moi, age 4.

I found this cabinet at Goodwill for $10. I knew it would be perfect for my fabric. It has sliding glass doors, which I love because they keep the dust off of the fabric and still let me see and swoon. There is one gouge out of the wood near the bottom there that I have to get after with paint.

More to come soon, including the kids' rooms and these.

and these (assuming I can figure out where to put them).

October 27, 2008

Still Praying for The Nielsons

If my prayer request has inspired anyone to read more about Stephanie and Christian Nielson, I am glad. They need our continued prayers. Christian has been released from the hospital for rehabilitation and Stephanie is finally being brought out of her medically-induced coma, since their plane crash in August. Stephanie's burns (to more than 80% of her body) are slowly healing, but she will be hospitalized until December, with decades of rehab and dozens of surgeries ahead of her.

I have stopped several times recently to think about them, particularly the all-consuming, romantic, snuggly love Stephanie and Christian have for one another. That inspires me; I want it. I think about their kids, being raised by family while their parents recover, and I am grateful to have 3 of my own.

If you are still following this story (and if you want to, catch up with her sister Courtney's blog here.), please read this amazing update. It's a bit long but gives more detail in one place than I've seen before:


Keep fighting, Nie Nie and Mr. Nielson! You are so inspiring and we're praying prayers of comfort, grace, and healing for all of you!

October 26, 2008

Halloween is coming, Part 2

Halloween is coming. That means costumes.

Trevor wants to be a troll. Actually, that's not entirely true; he wants to be a ninja, which I will not allow. Ninjas are too violent. A troll costume necessitated a large overcoat (scored at Savers for $9), a wig chopped all to heck, and some white face paint. We're also going to tie a pillow on his back and give him a walking stick.

Andy wants to be a puppy. As in when he grows up. So I found a used bunny costume (at Goodwill for $4) to turn into a puppy outfit. I removed the head, feet, and tail and added black spots. Then I used earmuffs and fashioned puppy ears that would also keep his ears warm while out trick-or-treating. Though not finished, he insisted on modeling them for you.

Mabel is going to be a lamb. I found a black sweatsuit and sewed rolled polyfill on the front and back for wool. Then I made a hat (actually the one Andy is wearing in his picture) that included little lamb ears and when I put it on her, she was cute enough to eat!

She didn't think so.

I don't think I'm going to dress up this year for trick-or-treating, but if I were, I'd be the Virgin Mary.

Halloween is Coming, Part 1

I love Autumn. It is my very favorite season. I love the cider smells, the newly-sharpened school pencils, the leaves blowing around, though I am not particularly fond of the super-blustering of South Dakota. Anyway, Autumn brings with it Halloween, which I also love.

Andy's 1st grade class carved pumpkins on a Friday and Andy was invited to have a special helper this year. His name was Neal. Neal is an Iraqi/Afghanistan war veteran with the U.S. Army who sometimes volunteers with the school. So Neal and Andy carved up a pumpkin. Trevor naturally wanted to carve his pumpkin as well, so we did just that!

A vampire pumpkin.
Andy was adamant about saving the seeds for roasting. Little does the kid know, his mom reads The Pioneer Woman and was already planning to roast seeds this year at her urging. (We used Seasoning Salt and they were delicious!)

Moo was just planning to look cute. She didn't enjoy the seeds but did think it was fun to squarsh her fingers around in the pumpkin pulp before roasting.

Since Andy had already carved his pumpkin at school, he was otherwise occupied while Trevor and I carved, rinsed, and roasted. He whiled away the time snarfing on a freshly rinsed Olive.

... and looking wiggety-wiggety-wack.

Olive isn't sure what to think of things, but she knows she's adorable.

The First Day

It doesn't make much sense for me to waste the bajillion photos I've taken over the past month and rush straight on to the updated/decorated pictures, so I'm sharing some that I've taken.

On the day I got the keys to our home, I picked the kids up from school with Moo and we drove over.

It was lovely. The expression on the boys' faces was so priceless - I was literally watching a burden lift from their shoulders as they scrambled through the front door and found their very own rooms. They loved it all. Every doorknob and closet, the kitchen, the bathrooms. They were excited about all of it. Such joy.

October 23, 2008

Ten Things

I wish I could tell you that the reason I've been so long in posting was because I was in full-out decorate mode for the house, or even busy making the 3 Halloween costumes on my list this year. Even that I was busy potty training Olive. But alas, none of these is true.

I've been too pooped to putter around. I have a nasty cold that is keeping me up a lot at night (on the plus side, I am halfway through a re-read of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince) and since I am not resting during the dark hours, my body has decided it wants to rest during the day hours instead. Great. Fantastic. I have no energy to do ANYthing short of necessary. I have literally gone to bed the last 3 nights around 8.

Also, I'm dealing with some comfy shoes drama this week and feeling icky inside, realizing that some of this drama will be mine to deal with for umpteen years. Gotta just give it to God and trust in Him.

So, what I needed today was a reminder of the happy things in my life. Here, in no particular order are 10 things that are making me happy right now:

  1. All of my children are reasonably healthy (not including snotty noses and the like) and going right to bed when I put them down for the night.
  2. I am alive, my children are alive, my mother and friends are alive, Praise God.
  3. I found some really cool vintage yellow towels in great condition at the local thrift stores and scored 4 of them for like $6.
  4. This year, finally, I get to MAKE Halloween costumes for my kids - even if they are only partially sewn by me, I'll still have a heavy hand in their fun.
  5. We went to the library yesterday; the boys got their first library cards.
  6. Hot green tea with honey (helps the cough).
  7. I am on the verge of a surge in income (commission) and am faithful it will come through.
  8. I get to watch what I want, stay up as late or go to bed as early as I want. I can eat what I want, fix what I want, dream what I want, and do what I want. Want to watch 7 hours of The Golden Girls? I can do that. Want to buy a bag of chocolate covered pretzels from the deli and devour as many as possible before the kids see? I can do that, too. Fall asleep with the puppy in the bed with me for 7 hours? Yep, that, too. I can even fart repeatedly in the kitchen.
  9. I got to see and hold and hear my mommy last week! We already miss you, Mom!
  10. The love, forgiveness, and support of Jesus Christ is making me smile. It is by Him and through Him that my life is taking beautiful shape. He doesn't promise us it will be easy, but He does promise to keep a plan and to carry us through it. He's in control. I am depending on His help to raise these 3 gorgeous kiddos and I know He's there. I am walking closer to Him now than I ever have in my life and that makes me very, very happy.

What is making you happy today?

October 14, 2008

Inhale... RELEASE

Oh Holy Jesus, thank you so much for the delivery of our homegoods. You have answered our prayers in plenty.

The movers arrived last night at 9:15. As in P.M. They weren't done until almost midnight. And I have to tell you something. They could have shown up at quarter past midnight and I'd still have invited them in and thrown a party. They brought load after load in, all the while the boys went NUTSO at the sight of the toys left behind at the house when we moved in with Nana. "Look, Twevor... our Star Wars ship! It's the Miwennium Falcon!"

So far, I've arranged the living room, the dining room, and the bedrooms. By arrange, I mean furniture only. I haven't filled a single drawer yet. The kitchen is nearly done.

Judy is thrilled to finally have a place to sit other than the floor. And I am thrilled to have a bed to sleep in that is also not the floor.

Lots of stuff is jumbled up and I won't even talk about my closet. I'm thrilled to have something that is my very own to decide on and decorate. Beyond excited. But I am a bit stumped because my style pre-divorce and my style post-divorce is quite a bit different. Traditional vs. Mid-Century Modern; that's quite a gap. While I am thrilled to have anything to call my own, I'm working on a way to make the old, new again.

The family room/playroom downstairs is a complete mess, but the kids are having a terrific amount of fun. Both boys fell fast asleep last night just after midnight. Trevor passed out within seconds and after a prayer of blessing and a nightlight, Andy Roo was out, too.

Moo was mildly disturbed in her new room while the movers assembled her crib in about 6 minutes flat. She was entertained and then went right back to sleep once she was laid inside. Made my heart happy to see her there, with her butt high up in the air.

More to come...

October 10, 2008

14 Hours Until Judy Hits the Plains

I'm laying here in front of my computer, on top of a quilt I bought at a yard sale for $2 and under a quilt that I made for... more than $2, on the floor of my new bedroom.

Trevor and Andy are snuggled in a tangled lump asleep on the floor in the basement, surrounded by the four quilts I made for them over the years.

Mabel is asleep in her pack and play in her new room. Poor girl hasn't really ever had her own room; I could count on one hand the number of times she slept in her pink room before we left the house.

Olive just settled down in the kitchen.

We're all here. In our new home.


Man, that feels nice. Am I scared shitless? Absolutely. Have I thought of everything? Definitely not. Am I prepared? I think so. And God knows of the immense trust in Him and His will that I have. Even now, as my furniture sits somewhere between Chicago and Da Plains. I know it will work out.

The mover update stands thus: I will receive a phone call before noon tomorrow telling me of the delivery time on Sunday. If I don't receive the call, I have to call the dispatcher by noon. *Shudders.* Oh Lord, please let my stuff show up on Sunday.

One last thanks to Lulu and her peeps for putting us up and putting up with us (same thing? no?) until we got settled into our new house. Thanks, Lulu!

Coming soon - pictures of Nana in Da Plains. She lands tomorrow and we are all excited!

October 8, 2008

Still In Transition

Well, here I am. Stuck in Limbo.

Last I heard, the moving company would be delivering on or before the 12th. Good Lordy I hope so because we're moving in on the 10th and Nana is coming on the 11th.

I have very mixed emotions right now about this spot in my life. I am extremely excited and thrilled to be stepping forward on the path that God has laid before me. (Still scary.) I am honored and proud to have my children by my side, depending on me. I am blessed. I am also blessed to have had much help up to this point - and that is not something I take lightly at all. I'm not one to ask for it. Almost ever. Since November, I've had to let go completely and accept the help that we desperately needed when it was offered. For the record, I've never been more humble, either.

To those who have helped out our family, who have understood exactly what this undertaking has meant for me as a mother raising 3 children alone and lifted me up, to those who have given of themselves unselfishly and with love and respect for our family as it is today, to those who have understood when the checking account has hit zero and not held a grudge, and to those who have really tried to understand each of us and still thought more of the good than the bad about our new situation - I say THANK YOU. I have begged God to bless you.

I promise to try my best to do this right. I know I won't be perfect at it. But God is with me, helping me every step of the way.

Until the furniture shows up, we're all still in transition.

I've taken pictures of the new place already, but haven't had the time to upload them. I can't wait to share some photos of our new home. I can't believe it's finally happening.

October 2, 2008

Moving and Homemade Chocolate Sauce

I am waiting to hear back from my moving company, who just told me that they won't be delivering my household goods until the 13th or 14th of October. Holy Freaking CRAP. This is more than unacceptable and I am hopeful that the company I am paying to move my goods can negotiate this date with the driver. Or let me at him with a weapon, one or the other. So while I am waiting, I am reading Beauty That Moves' blog.

Where I discovered this yummy recipe that I plan to use instead of the pricey bottled stuff (not to mention the hydrogenated oils and unknowns listed in the bottled stuff's ingredients). Taken straight from BTM's blog:

Homemade Chocolate Sauce
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
splash of vanilla extract

Sift cocoa and sugar into saucepan, add water. Heat, whisking often until it comes to a boil. Let it simmer for a couple minutes. Add vanilla, turn off heat and stir. Cool for a bit and bottle it up! Store in the refrigerator and shake before each use.

October 1, 2008

It's About Time

Well. I sign my lease and pick up my keys tomorrow afternoon.

It's about time. And


*Deep breath.*

I'm going to be incredibly busy setting up house over the next week or two - and then Nana is coming to visit - YAY - so it might be kind of boring around here for a little while. I have a LOT to do.

I promise to share eventually!

Praise the Lord!