Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 365 Baby!

Somehow, I managed to stick with this yet again.  I know a few of you guys are still with me doing this 365 too.  Are you still loving it?  I sure am!  I'm realizing that at least half of my month is packed with the panicky 4:00 pm photos of anything I can find, in order to get it done, but you know... I'm alright with that.  This one was dinner ingredients.  Mmm... pasta...
I dug through one of the few remaining boxes in my garage to find these babies. 
I can't remember this day, other than we had some hopes of someone coming to view our home, and for the 400 th day in a row, I made Ava's bed.  It's getting old, I'm not gonna lie.
Baking therapy. 
This is how my daughter empties the dishwasher. I'm not sure I should be 1) proud of her organizational skills 2) scold her because there's probably dog hair on her pants now getting onto our nice clean flatware or 3) laugh because it's weird.  I think I'll go with number 3. 
So.  Spring break was kind of boring for us.  On the final day, we busted out of the house, hit Seattle, and the Science center.  This was in the butterfly garden.  I love that place.  And I love that man. 
Crafty therapy.  I found these prayer candles at the dollar store, printed our Seder dinner Order of Service onto vellum that one of my BFF's, Nurse Nicki, gave me for free, and used glue dots to adhere them to the candles.  They were lovely and all flickery at our Passover table, and I let everyone take them home that night.  People love a little something to tuck into their purse on the way out the door.  True. 
I only took this photo to make my brother, Officer McJakey laugh.  He absolutely hates it when people post what they ate on Facebook.  And more than that, he's got a friend who posts photos of his dinner all the time.  For some reason, I find this hysterical- both when people do it, and that it makes my brother react.  And pretty much half my life has been about making my brother react or laugh.  I'll take either.  Jake... I ate fish tacos with about a cup of pico de gallo on them.  And they were goooooood.  The End.
I don't know what to say.  I blew out my exposure a little but my man wanted a copy of this one, so I figured it must be kinda okay, and I put it in here.  Plus, I didn't have anything very exciting to eat for dinner that night, so I had to go with something else... (Again, that was for you Officer.)
How does this happen?  I want to know. 
When I showed Adrain this photo he laughed because it was very fitting for the day I was experiencing.  It was bananas. 
This recipe began with such promise... and that's all I'm going to say about it. 
I might be obsessed with roasted asparagus. In fact, I think I ate nearly everything on this baking sheet. If you haven't tried it, get thyself to a store and get thee some greens!
Self timer is a beautiful thing.  I love weird shots like this.  Me, carrying a tray of birthday party favors. 
Adrain convinced me that we should eat these at least once a year.  I didn't have time to post it on Facebook for my brother. 
Magical.  That's what I thought when I saw this photo.  That one tiny moment of sheer delight, captured in a photo.
Playing with Auntie's gift... bubbles never get old.
The sun came out.  As did a fun straw handbag, and white sunglasses.  Nothing says sunshine and Summer's coming to me like white sunglasses.
I want one. A baby goat.  (Not a farmer.  Just to clarify.)
Dug these out of a half-packed box.  This has been a constant theme over the past two months in case you haven't noticed.  There will be a day when I will throw every piece of cardboard I can lay hands on, into the trash can.  I can not wait for that day. 
I have a theory, that a lady should never drink alone.  So if you call a girlfriend, and she is also pouring a small glass of chilled white wine in her home, you are no longer alone. Savvy?
Passover Seder dinner.  One of my favorite things in life.  I absolutely love everything about this night, and the symbolism involved.  If you have never participated in one, you must find one.  My table is only so big, or you could attend mine next year. 
My child was whacking pecans with a rolling pin for our Resurrection cookies the night before Easter, and I took this.  She is wearing a little necklace that was my mother's when she was a little girl.  Isn't that sweet?
I didn't get Easter baskets as a kid.  Or chocolate.  Or eggs. I just wanted to get that off my chest.  I feel better now. Thanks.
If you want to inflict torture on yourself, have a birthday where you invite every relative you have, and then make your child write them thank you notes.  Torture, I tell you.  But at least we had cute cards!  Every year, for as long as I can remember, we've taken a photo the day of the party, and then sent copies of that as the thank you.  Costco postcards are wonderful, can be slightly personalized, and arrive in your mailbox.  Thus saving you half the torture you would have inflicted upon yourself.  I can't help you with actually getting your children to write on them.  You're on your own with that one, but I'm pulling for ya.

 This is the day before I went buck wild and painted my coffee table white.  This was also the day I was mildly obsessed with two outdoor pillows from Crate and Barrel.  I let that go after calculating cost plus shipping and handling.  Sheesh.  I don't need a pillow for the out-of-doors after all!

 Guess what I spent a good majority of my day doing on April 27th?  Sitting in my car, waiting for hoodlums.  Exciting times. 
These are Nurse Nicki's hands.  She is soon to be wed to a gentleman my children call, "Toddy-Potty."  I told them they have to stop that, and that it's not nice to call people names.  But then I laughed, thus undoing any parental instruction I'd previously given.  Anyway, Nurse Nicki and Toddy-Potty are getting married and we needed to see the wedding venue, so while wandering around trying to visualize things, Ava picked a bouquet of dandelions for Nurse Nicki to carry around and "practice" with.  I thought it was sweet. 
Okay big confession.  I did not take this photo on April 29th.  Because I spent the entirety of the day laying on the couch, chewing Ibuprophen, and muscle relaxers, while icing and heating my back.  Which apparently hates me for some reason, and has decided not to cooperate with my never-sit-still-for-five-minutes lifestyle.  Adrain said this was God's way of forcing me to rest.  Yes.  Well.  I'm resting.  And I had taken this photo the day before while with Nurse Nicki, so it kind a counts.  Right?  Just agree with me and we'll all get along swimmingly. 
Still listening to my back scream at me... so I realize this isn't a very exciting photograph.  But at least I didn't lie about the date I took it.  Ava was coloring and that was that.

Now I'm going back to lay down.  Because if God wants me to rest, I'd better rest.  May must plan on being a pretty hectic month....

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Nesting. Because if Pottery Barn can do it, so can I.

Get ready.  I've been nesting around here like crazy this week, and I'm about to show you 847 photos to prove it.  I don't know what it is, but after every major holiday is over, I'm more than ready to deep clean and move out of that season, and into the next one.  I was planning to wait a while longer to pull out some of my beachy decor, but if Pottery Barn can unaplogetically send out their Summer catalogue in the middle of April showers, I can put out my summer decor.  Right?  (I am a woman, so this is how I rationalize life.)
 The only thing I spent any money on making these changes, was $9.89 on fabric for two new pillow covers.  The rest came out of boxes from my garage, as I continue to slowly unpack, from the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes debacle,  bit by bit. ($9.89 I can live with.) I'm beginning to think new pillow slips are a seasonal necessity around here, and if you could see what these people I live with do to those pillows, you would agree!  They are squashed, sat on, thrown on floors, cuddled on with dogs, made into forts, you name it.  They deserve a fresh new cover, several times a year!  (Poor things.)
 This season, I went with bold and crisp navy blue and white, and I really wanted stripes, so when I found this fabric on sale, I nabbed two yards of it. (I already had the other pillow.)  Ironically, I've been wearing a ton of navy blue lately.  Weird.   I also painted a fresh coat of white on my coffee table bench and I don't care who laughs at me.  (You know who you are!) The jury's still out on whether or not I should distress it.  I'm thinking not.  For now.  Until I change my mind.  Because I probably will. 

I get asked about my huge chalkboard all the time, so I'm going to talk about it for a second.  Yes, I made it.  I found a big, ugly frame in a clearance pile somewhere for about $7.00, containing a broken mirror which I promptly tossed.  Then I purchased a 1/4" thick piece of wood from Lowes, had them cut it to size for me, and coated it with many coats of chalkboard spray paint.  I painted the frame in Sherwin Williams, "Netsuke" and distressed it.  I'm about to change my message to something that will make you giggle, and I'll be sure to photograph it for you when I do.  (I have a smaller version in my Etsy store if you want one for yourself by the way!)
I made a starfish garland using curtain clips from Ikea that I already had, and making loose knots in a piece of twine.  Then I inserted the hook, and clipped a starfish to it.

I created silhouettes of my children (flanking my chalkboard) years ago, and they are very precious to me.  I hand-painted the small ones using oil paints, but I found an easier way for the larger, more recent ones.  In a nutshell, here's what I did:  1) Take a photo of your child's profile, making sure that it's printed out in the size you want your silhouette to be.  2) carefully cut out their sweet little head. 3) trace the profile and head onto card stock and carefully cut out with small, sharp scissors. (If you want traditional silhouette features like curls, or ponytails, hunt for images on Google, and use them for the head outline, keeping your child's profile for the face front.  Make sense?)   4) Adhere to contrasting card stock, and frame. 
 I filled this wooden bowl with seashells.  I found some really fun ones last year, at Crate and Barrel. 
I moved my bucket of sunshiney yellow flowers into the useless front room in my house that I pretend is my craft room, but isn't really, because I don't like to be away from my peeps, therefore do most of my creating at the kitchen table. 
I purchased the "BAKE" letters at Ballard Design when they went on sale a few months ago, and I thought I was moving.  I had the perfect spot for them in my new kitchen, but then when our buyer bailed, I packed them away.  I just decided to bring them out and enjoy them.  FYI- They are ridiculously expensive unless they are on sale. 

By the way, and this has nothing to do with my above post... is there some sort of homeschooling law that requires children to drop their pencils a minimum of eleventy hundred times every morning?  I'm just asking.  The pencil drop has become the bane of my homeschooling existence. 



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Let me tell you how it works in my world okay?

For the past few days, I've been trying to make a really tough decision for one of my children, but I can't make that decision until two other things either happen or don't happen, (and I have no control over those two things either) so I'm waiting.  (A common theme of my life this year.)  Only (in case you hadn't figured this out by my many posts on the topic, ad-nauseam) I'm absolutely horrible at waiting patiently.  (work. in. progress.)

So yesterday, I'm stumbling along through my day in frustration, crying all over myself (because that's what I do when I'm in "stumbling mode," and yes, I am going to litter this entire post with parentheses, thankyouverymuch.) when mid-afternoon struck. Somehow, in the midst of all this indecision, I had decided that everything was falling apart in my world, and that God no longer loved or spoke to me. (I even considered deleting my entire blog, because apparently I would have nothing further to say to anyone since God had decided to quit speaking to me.  And yes, I am given to huge quantities of drama every so often.  Occasionally.  When I'm in the center of my own universe.  Don't be like me.)

I was running behind my hoodlums who were on their bikes, crying my eyes out, (and let me just say that when you're running trails, wearing sunglasses, and crying, you're just a general mess.) when I whipped off my sunglasses, swiped a sleeve across my eyes and crankily glared up at the grey skies.  (I was glaring at God, I'll be honest.)  I told Him on no uncertain terms (demanded, really) that He needed to make His presence known, and give me something unmistakably from Him this very day.  (I may have even raised my clenched little fist a bit, but I don't recall.  I know, I'm so mature.)

Fast forward to 8:00 pm.  (Still glaring at the Heavens and waiting for that "Word.")  My thoughts interrupted by the sweet voice of my baby girl asking, "Mama, will you do my devotions with me?"  My internal dialogue went a little something like this, "Oh-ho-ho...nice one God.  I bet you'll speak to me NOW, eh? Through a kid devotional?  Well, You'd better, cause You're running out of time to make good on that there request I made of You."

Yeah.  About that.  Guess what book of the bible I've been studying this past month?  Daniel.  Guess what Ava's devotional was titled?  "Worth the Wait."  Guess what I did?  Roll my eyes.  Guess what a portion of her devo. said?  "Have you ever prayed for something and had to wait forever for an answer? That's what the prophet Daniel felt like when he heard the city of Jerusalem lay in ruins.  He started praying and waited for weeks.  Then an angel came and told him, 'Don't be afraid, Daniel.  Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven...' (Daniel 10:12)...Keep on praying.  It's not like you're trying to wear down God.  But by continuing to pray, you become part of the answer, and your faith grows.  Don't give up."  (I cried.  I admit it.)

I still have no idea what decision to make, but I will not give up praying, and believing that God has the answer already locked down for me.



1John 5:14-15 "We are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.  And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for." 


Ava's devotional: "Devos for Animal Lovers; Cool things animals show us about our Creator" by Dandi Daley Mackall

Monday, April 25, 2011

Renewal

The other day, someone left me a comment filled with truth. She wrote, "Just watched Beth Moore video last night on WAITING. She submitted to us that waiting is only exhausting if we are waiting on "the answer" or "the thing" or "the person" or "the move." Isaiah says to wait ON THE LORD and then goes on to talk about how you will be renewed, refreshed, soaring!"

I can't tell you how much I loved this reminder.  When the unforeseen junk begins littering the road you're on, and you're getting off course, it's such an amazing reminder to know that if you simply focus your waiting on the Lord, and not the situation, you'll be renewed.  (I might have to write that verse on my hand.) 

And now, I'll leave you with some random photographs from our Easter weekend, served up alongside my new favorite encouragement from Isaiah 40:28-31
"Do you not know?  Have you not heard?   The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth."

"...He will not grow tired or weary..." 
"...and his understanding no one can fathom..." 
 "...He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak..."

"...Even youths grow tired and weary, and  young men stumble and fall..." "...but those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength..."
 
 "...They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary...." 
 "...they will walk and not be faint."

I guess the point is this; Life is sweet when we wait up on the Lord, and not our situation.  Gosh, I love that...



Like the fun numbered napkins I used for my Seder dinner table? I still have a few sets left, and you can order them here!