When Papa Comes Home

Life at my house I was standing at the kitchen sink filling Taylor’s bottle with water. Behind me both boys were throwing fits. Taylor was starving hungry, Jaxon had refused to eat his supper. Gerry was working late and so I had evening baby duty by myself. Why can’t there be peace in this house even when he isn’t here? That was what went through my mind in some form or another. Don’t get me wrong, there are peaceful times at our house even when Papa isn’t home. It’s not all chaos. But there is just something about the end of the day that brings all of the fatigue and stress to me and to the babies all at once and evenings can be rather hectic.

Until Papa comes home. When he walks in the door, there is almost instance calm. Maybe it’s just my heart that is instantly calmed…either way, I feel such relief when I see his truck coming up the lane. That’s not to say that I only look forward to his homecoming so that he can give me a break from tending two littles all day. But let’s face it, it sure is nice not to have to do this parenting thing alone. When Gerry walks in the door, I instantly have his support. More often then not, he will take Jaxon outside with him to mow or do yard work. After supper Gerry will often give both boys their baths while I clean up the kitchen. Sometimes even give Taylor his bottle.

I am so blessed to have a husband who is so willing to help out with the babies, even after he has had a hard day at work himself. I love the peace and calm that comes over all of us when Papa comes home. It’s the best part of our day.

P.S. There are some exciting changes coming to the blog!!! I can’t wait to show you so stay tuned!!!!

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I Am A Woman

Life at my house  Today I am going to share a poem that I came across in the latest issue of Daughters of Promise (May/June 2015). I’m not much into poetry, but this poem touched me; it speaks of being a woman and the sacrifices that women make especially as mothers. If you would like to read the full article that included the poem, click here and subscribe!

I Am A Woman by Christiana Moss

My willingness to carry life is a revenge-

the antidote,

the great rebuttal of every murder,

every abortion,

and every genocide.

I sustain humanity-

deep inside of me life grows;

I am death’s opposition.

I have pushed back the hand of darkness today

I have caused there to be a weakening tremor among the ranks

of those set on earths destruction.

Today, a vibration that calls angels to attention echoed throughout time;

our laughter threatened hell today.

I dine with the greats of God’s army-

I make their meals,

I tie their shoes.

Today, I walk with greatness, and when they were tired,

I carried them.

I’ve poured myself out for the cause today.

It’s finally quiet, but life stirs inside of me-

gaining strength.

The pulse of life sends a constant reminder to both good and evil

that I’ve yielded myself to Heaven and now carry its dream.

No angel has ever had such a privilege, nor any man.

I’m humbled by the honor;

I am great with destiny-

I birth the freedom fighters.

In the great war, I am the leader of the underground resistance.

I smile at the disguise of my troops, surrounded by a host of warriors.

Destiny swirling-invisible yet tangible and the anointing to alter history.

Our footsteps make our land for conquest;

we move undetected throughout the common places.

Today, I was the barrier between evil and innocence.

I was a gatekeeper, watching over the hope of mankind, and no intruder trespassed.

There’s not an hour in the day or night when I turn from my post.

The fierceness of my love is unmatched on the earth,

and because I smile instead of frown, the world will know the power of grace.

Hope has feet; it will run to the corners of the earth because I stood up against destruction

I am a woman

I am a mother.

I’m the keeper and sustainer of life here on earth.

Heaven stands in honor of my mission.

No one else can carry my call.

I’m the daughter of Eve, and Eve has been redeemed.

I am the opposition of death;

I am a woman.

A Lesson In Sharing

Instagram Play Date

You know those times when you tell your friends “We should totally do that!” or “We should totally do this!” but no one ever gets around to actually planning anything? Yeah…that’s how it usually goes with my friends and I. In this case, it was the brilliant idea to take our kiddos to the park for a play date. After weeks of agreeing that it would be fun to do, I decided to just do it. 

We met at the park in town close to the library and let our kids run around. Of course, it turned out to be a scorcher of a day and while we mothers baked in the open sun, the kids found some refuge under the playground equipment. If it wouldn’t have looked completely ridiculous (especially with three pregnant ladies) we mothers probably would have joined our children!

As a mother, one of the things that is important to me, is getting my children used to social interaction, especially with other children. I feel like as a first born and the only grandchild on my side of the family, Jaxon gets so very little interaction with other small children. He hardly knows how to play with them. I love play dates like the one at the park where he can get involved and make friends with all of the other little kiddos that he usually only sees at church. High on the list of lessons to be learned through social interaction? Sharing. Let me tell you, Jaxon has zero knowledge of the concept of sharing. Well, maybe not zero…he tries to share his toys with his baby brother, but that doesn’t go over so well with Taylor most of the time because it usually involves throwing the toys down on Taylor’s head. I know the day is coming when Jaxon and Taylor will be fighting over their toys, but for now, I want to try to instill in Jaxon a heart for other children and to learn to be self-less and maybe even curb some of that future selfishness. That’s why I want him to become accustomed to playing with other children; so that he learns that the world doesn’t revolve around him and so that he can begin to build relationships that will hopefully last him his whole life.

How do you encourage your children to share?

Slobbery Kisses+Snotty Noses

Life at my house Motherhood

You have seen a lot of DIY projects on here lately. I love a good DIY project. It’s my goal as I decorate and organize my house. But let’s be honest. My days are not filled with one DIY project after another. Oh no…rather, my days are filled with wiping snotty noses, dirty behinds, laundry, cleaning, cooking, slobbery kisses, silly giggles, and moments where all I want to do is sit down and relax without someone crying for me to do something for them. I am in the trenches of motherhood. More often than not, I don’t even have time for all the projects that are swirling around in my head.

I would like to go beyond the fluffy Pinterest-y things and also talk about real life. Maybe it’s time for something different on the blog scene. You can find a tutorial for just about every project you can think of under the sun, so who really wants to read another DIY/home decor blog? Well, honestly, you’re still going to get a bit of that here, because part of the purpose of this blog is to document our home renovation so that we have something to look back on. But besides decorating and organizing, a few other things that I am passionate about are my family and motherhood. There are times where I wish I could talk about my experiences, share my perspective on motherhood and what it’s like on those hard days. And maybe, just maybe that’s what you want to hear too. Maybe you are a new mother and you have no idea what you’re doing (trust me, I don’t either!), maybe there are very few young mothers in your church/community and you feel alone, maybe you are a single mom without the support of a husband and maybe even without the support of family members. Or, maybe you are a mom of 6 and just want to sit down and relax and read about someone else’s mothering experience. If this describes you, then welcome. I know that it is the most wonderful feeling to join with other women who are in the same situation in life and to just communicate and share about your experiences.

I would like to do just that here. I want you to feel comfortable enough to share with me too.

DIY Mason Jar Money Bank

DIY Mason Jar Money Bank

Growing up, we kids always had our own money bank. Mom would give us empty mason jars and we would embellish them with stickers, glitter glue, and anything else that rocked our boats. We hoarded our quarters and dimes and nickels and pennies and the occasional dollar or two. Every so often we would decide to be miserly and dump all our money out and count it.

I decided to do the same thing for Jaxon and fill his jar with our pocket change. Then when it gets filled maybe we can start a little savings account for him and by the time he’s old enough to really care about money he should have a nice little chunk stashed away. All thanks to his thoughtful parents of course.

All you need is a mason jar with a lid and the embellishments of your choice. I chose paint and stickers with a little extra color in the fabric that I glued to the lid.DIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled Recycled I decided to paint the inside of my jar with enamel paint. This is totally optional; if you’re kids are a little older, they might prefer watching the money slowly build up inside their jar. I followed the directions on the back of the paint bottle and painted on two coats of paint with an hour of drying time between each coat. I thought about putting the stickers on as I waited for the paint to dry, but then I remembered, “No can do, cracker jack” (quote: Night At The Museum). I wanted to cure the paint by using the baked method (versus letting it cure for 21 days) so adhering the stickers beforehand would probably have been fairly disastrous. Simply set your jar in a cold oven and turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Let it bake for 30 minutes and then turn the oven off and let the jar cool in the oven.DIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledDIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledDIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled Recycled

To make the lid of my jar, I simply hot glued around the edge of the jar lid and then pressed it into the jar ring. To adhere the fabric, I hot glued around the top edge of the lid and pressed the fabric down onto the glue. I did the same thing around the sides of the lid, putting little folds in the fabric as I went so that it would hang nicely.DIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledDIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledDIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledDIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledDIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledIf you like, you can cut a slit in the top of your lid to stick the coins into. I used a kitchen shears to cut through the lid. Be sure the sharp edges are pushed to the underside of the lid so that they don’t cut little fingers!

DIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled Recycled

Once the jar was completely cool, (I waited till the next day; no particular reason other than I just didn’t get around to finishing it up on the same day) I had Jaxon help me apply the stickers to the outside of the jar.DIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledDIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledAnd that’s it! A fun little project for your kiddos this summer if they want to earn a little money! There are really countless things you could do with this. You could use chalk paint on the outside of the jar for them to write their names on, they could use glitter glue to write their names, they could cut shapes out of magazines and mod podge them to the outside…just have fun and let them get creative!!

Strawberry Iced Tea

Summer is upon us and as the days grow hotter and more humid (if you live in the south/southeast that is!) you will be looking for easy ways to cool off. I thought I would share this recipe for Strawberry Iced Tea that I came across.Strawberry Iced Tea Recipe

I made it as my contribution for the “Team Recommends” section of the Daughters of Promise magazine that I am a staff member of. (Check out the website here for more info.) Use your favorite method for making regular iced tea. If you don’t have a method for making iced tea, use the recipe below that my mom always makes.Strawberry Iced Tea Recipe

Strawberry Iced Tea (sweet)-makes 1 gallon

Fill a small sauce pan with cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. When boiling, remove from heat and put in 3 family size tea bags or 8 of the smaller regular size bags, cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove excess liquid from bags and add ¾-1 cup sugar to hot tea. Stir till melted. Pour over ice in 1 gallon pitcher. Add water to fill.

For strawberry iced tea:

Blend 2 cups of fresh or frozen strawberries in blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into pitcher with the already made tea. Add water to fill. Squeeze in 1-2 limes.Strawberry Iced Tea Recipe

This makes a refreshing beverage that would be perfect for relaxing on your front porch or in your hammock. You could also serve it at picnics and BBQs.Strawberry Iced Tea RecipeWhat do you do to stay cool and refreshed during the hot summer months?

Office Reveal: Before & After

Office Reveal

You guys, I am SO EXCITED!! The day has finally come for….the office reveal! I have been so anxious to share this with you all because, my goodness, the ‘before’ is a doozy and it makes me happy to see it looking SO MUCH BETTER! This is the horrible, awful before:Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office DecorBut let me give you some background before we dive into the good stuff! Ohh the suspense!

We bought our home in March of 2014; it was a foreclosure and let me tell you, it was pretty rough. Think broken windows, holes punched through the drywall in pretty much every single room…yeah. And the office area (what we designated as our future office area) was definitely in need of some help. The office is actually on its second stage of renovation. It had this horrible blue carpet that was also in the rest of the house (excluding kitchen and bathroom) and as you can tell in the before photo, it was very stained from…who knows what…and let’s not conjecture on the “what”. In the first stage of renovation, we took out the horrible carpet and replaced it with laminate flooring. A new window went in, the paneling was painted, and the built-in bookshelf that you can just see on the left hand side was also removed. This served our purposes for the time being, but as time went on we became dissatisfied with the laminate flooring throughout the house. It began to buckle and would actually pop up and down as you walked across it. Annoying, right? Who wants their floor to be moving under their feet as they walk on it?? My dad found a good deal on decking boards used in semi-trailers (yes, you read that right) so we decided to use it in the main area of our home, including the office space. The difference is incredible and we love our new floor! Renovation on the floor began the day after Christmas of last year. I know, we are such go-getters. Let’s not waste a moment, shall we? It took maybe 2-2 ½ weeks to get the new flooring down. Since we were tearing up the floor anyway, we decided it would be a good time to also tear out the paneling that we had originally just painted over and replace it with drywall. *happy dance* (For reals, who does paneling anyway??) SO, in the second stage of renovation, the office got new flooring and new drywall.

And that brings us to this pretty little space:Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office Decor

The gray paint does wanders to lighten up the space. To pretty it up, I DIYed several different projects like the bulletin board. Totally in love with my fabric covered bulletin board! Sorry, no tutorial for it, but it was so easy! I just used spray adhesive to adhere my fabric to the board.Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office Decor Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office DecorOffice Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office Decor Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office Decor I also spruced up my drab file folders using wrapping paper and spray adhesive! That tutorial can be found here.Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office DecorWhen I spotted the white metal waste can, I immediately thought stripes! The tutorial can be found here.

Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office Decor

My hubby was so gracious in building me a floating shelf for extra storage above the desk. It turned out EXACTLY the way I envisioned it in my head. The white boxes hold important documents for each member of the family (birth certificates, passports, etc.) and the large box in the middle holds legal sized documents.Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office Decor Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office Decor

It is so wonderful to have a space that is organized and ready to use for paying bills and writing blog posts. During the time that we were working on this space all of my office supplies were in complete chaos and it was so hard to keep on track with the bills. Having an organized, intentional place to work makes it so much easier to remember important deadlines for bills and it almost takes away the pain of dishing out all that money. =)Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office DecorOffice Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office Decor I absolutely love this space, and I love the process of slowly organizing and decorating my home. I just know it will be so much more enjoyable once everything has its own rightful home and it makes me happy to have this little office space set to rights.

Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office DecorOffice Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office DecorMy next organizing/decorating project is the entryway closet! Be checking back to see the final result of that!!