“Labor” Day Weekend

Labor day weekend is a four day weekend this year!!  Yippee!!  Again, my list is so long, I’m really not sure where to start and I’m afraid because of that I have not gotten much done.  Ugh!!

 

I have been working on getting my fall decorations out and in place.  It might be 100 degrees outside but I am moving on.  I am done with summer and ready for fall.

 

We have been trying to do some outside clean-up, but as I mentioned, it’s 100 degrees outside…literally.  Ugh…

 

For the past 6 months I have been purging my house.  I had a revelation last January.  I just couldn’t take it anymore.  Every single corner and crevice of our 2000 sq ft home was crammed full of stuff.  And, to my surprise, I didn’t even know I still had some of the stuff I found, didn’t know why I still had some of the stuff I found.  Crazy how much stuff you can accumulate over 10 years in the same house.  This is the result of the de-clutter (can’t believe I’m showing you this)
I tried to make it look as big as it really is, but it was impossible to capture the overwhelming mess.  If you can see toward the back next to our garage fridge is a large stack of tubs which are full of more junk.  Ugh…

 

I am making myself sweat through the mess because if I wait one more week to have a garage sale, it will all go to goodwill.  Hopefully soon I will be able to post after pictures of a clean, organized garage.

 

In between getting things done thinking of what to do next I was perusing my craigslist app on my phone and found a winner!!  Hubby picked it up today…
Chair and ottaman set in pretty good shape for $75, yes please!!  Not sure if I will keep the red check and put it in our bedroom, or whether I will recover it.  Definitely will be changing out those wimpy little legs.  Those won’t last a week in my house of boys.
Hope your weekend has been productive and relaxing!!
Blessings until next time!!
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First Day For Me….and Jesus Calling

Today was MY first day of school.  I am the director of our weekday program at church – Mother’s Day Out.  Today we welcomed around 140 children into our classrooms for the first time this year.  We survived!!  And, I can say with confidence that this was the best first day yet out of the five I’ve had as a director.  There were the usual tears (from kids and moms alike), bumps, and odd building issues (cricket invasion).  But there were a lot of happy, excited faces (kids, moms, and teachers).  Excited for their new adventure to begin.

This morning I woke up with a case of the first day jitters and headed straight to my favorite devotional that is my go-to especially when I am feeling a little overwhelmed.  “Jesus Calling” . It is written as if Jesus is speaking directly to you from His Word.  Every time I pick this up I feel like it was written just for me just on that day.  But, you know the awesome thing about God?  I have several friends who have this same devotional book and they feel exactly the same way!!  God is soo good.  Stress and worry has become so common these days, it’s just part of everyday life.  We have become used to it. 

A couple of weeks ago I was awake at 4am full of worry and stress and this is what I read:

“STOP WORRYING long enough to hear My voice.  I speak softly to you, in the depths of your being.  Your mind shuttles back and forth, hither and yon, weaving webs of anxious confusion.  As My thoughts rise up within you, they become entangled in those sticky webs of worry.  Thus, My voice is muffled and you hear only “white noise.”

Ask My Spirit to quiet your mind so that you can think My thoughts.  This ability is an awesome benefit of being My child, patterned after My own image.  Do not be deafened by the noise of the world or that of your own thinking.  Instead, be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Sit quietly in My Presence, letting My thoughts reprogram your thinking.”

It seems that at those times we most need to hear from God are the times we are most stressed.  Our minds are so full of “anxious confusion” from our own thoughts of worry, our own efforts to problem solve, that we can’t hear the voice of God.  I wonder how many times we miss the blessings, take the wrong path, make the wrong choice, simply because we were too worried to simply pause and listen for God’s voice. 

The day that I read this was a day filled with lots of important decisions.  I needed to hear God’s voice.  I photocopied this page out of my devotional and hung it up in my office, so that throughout the day when my thoughts of worry began to create too much “white noise”, I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to quiet my mind.  What a glorious power we have if we would only remember to use it. 

Today when I picked up my little book, there was a different message, but still a reminder that God is in our corner.  How amazing. 

I challenge you…”STOP WORRYING” long enough to hear His voice, and remember God is there for you…let Him fight your battles. 

 

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Happy Fall!

This has been an INsanely busy week for me at work!!  So I am looking at a very long list of to do’s for the weekend.  Hopefully I will make it through the not so fun stuff so I can get to the fun stuff.
With the cooler weather I have been itching to start decorating for fall.  It might be a touch early for that I know, so I decided to work on making some cute decor items.  I have pinned many on Pinterest and last weekend I took some time to make my own version.

 

I have seen many different burlap pillows floating around Pinterest.  But, it is kinda itchy so I didn’t really want to have them inside.  But I thought they would be great outside.  This glider bench is on my tiny front porch.  These were super easy to make!!
I started by cutting the burlap to the size I wanted the pillows.  I didn’t worry about being exact about the cutting because I knew I would trim it later, and because I didn’t really care if it was perfect 🙂
Then I found a font that I liked and typed my phrase “Happy Fall”, positioned the paper under the burlap and grabbed my orange sharpie.  (I used a piece of poster board that I had on hand to place under my work so the sharpie wouldn’t get on the table where I was working.)  This part went really fast.
Then I decided I wanted to line the burlap with something so I couldn’t see the stuffing through the burlap.  So, I searched through my stash of fabric and found some white cotton.  I cut it a little bit bigger than the burlap pieces.  Then I got my sewing machine out.
I chose to use a zig zag stitch that was wide and pretty close together, and of course orage thread.  I sewed almost all the way around, then I trimmed the edges with my pinking shears, stuffed and sewed up the hole.  Easy peasy!!

 

But then, my perfectionist kicked in.  Ugh.  All those little frays from the burlap were driving me crazy.  So…I decided to pull them all off to make a fringed look.  Love it!!

Well, that’s it for today.  Must get going on that to do list…

Fall Party

 

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Back to School

I have always been ready for school to start.  Ready for the routine, ready for the kids to have something to keep them busy everyday, ready for them to be separated for a time so they don’t kill each other.  This summer is different and I can’t quite put my finger on why.  I’m not sure what happened to the summer.  It seemed like we just got out of school.

 

Garrett, Gavin, Amanda, Caleb

 

Today I am a whole bowl-full of mixed-up emotions.

 

 

A junior, my Garrett is a junior??
My baby girl is starting high school??

 

 

Caleb…5th grade???  His last year of elementary school??
Gavin…4th grade???
What happened?? I blinked too many times…

 

As time grows closer to children leaving the nest I find myself trying harder to gather them in.  I know the future holds so much, and I’m excited for every second of it.  As Jeremiah 29:11 reminds me “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  I know God has BIG plans for each of them, and that gives me peace.
My advice is the same I heard from friends who have gone through this before me…don’t blink.  Enjoy every precious moment.  Don’t wish for tomorrow, enjoy today.  It sounds so cliche, and I remember when my kids were younger I rolled my eyes and said in my head “ya whatever, I know”…but I didn’t know.
I can’t wait to hear all the wonderful stories about their first day which I’m sure will be fantastic!!
 I will be waiting, very impatiently 🙂
Praying everyone else has, or had fabulous first days!!
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Lightening Up

It has finally cooled off a little here, and I am feeling a little like diving into a few projects at home.  As if I don’t have anything else to do right?  Anywho…

After our third trip to the beach last summer I decided that this is where I am meant to be…

This is my happy place 🙂
But, for many reasons we are stuck in the concrete jungle, as my husband says.  So, for now I wanted to find a way to bring the feeling of my happy place into my home.  I have always gravitated to warm colors – brick red, brown – earthy colors.  But now I find myself more and more drawn to the colors of the beach.  The blues and greens of the water, the various shades of beige on the beach, the coral and yellows in the seashells and sunsets.  Something like this

 

source

 

My next step in the lightening up process is drapery.  This is what I have now

 

I’m thinking something like this would be nice
source

But since this blog is new, I thought I would rewind a little and share with you where I started a few months ago.

The first step was the front door, I had been seeing so many cute colored doors on Pinterest.  So, I went on a search for paint, on the mis-tint shelf.  And, I found the perfect color, $7.00 for a gallon of paint+primer!!  Score!!
Not in the blog mode I did not take a before, but here is the after
Love!!
Then it was on to my biggest issue in my house – all the orange oak.  I am soooo over it.  I swore after painting all the trim and cabinetry in our old house that I would NEVER do that again, but just like with childbirth, I think I am removed enough from it to get started again.  So, start is just what I did.  My hubby and kids were out of town one weekend, fishing, and I dove head-first into my deconstruction project.  Here is the before

You can see on the bottom where I tested a couple of paint colors before I found one I liked. I ended up choosing Glidden Antique White.  I went with the paint+primer because there was no way I was sanding all of that and I wanted to save a step.  You can see how dark it is and that is with the lights on.  (Forgive my photography skills, still learning how to use my camera.)  By the way there is another built-in just like this on the other side of the room.

So, I started painting…  (I did not sand anything, just cleaned it all really good)

You can see in the photo on the left that I was too lazy to empty all the shelves before I started.  I’m not a very patient person, and I needed some gratification to motivate me to keep going.  You can see the yellow glow the orangey oak causes.
Then after I started painting….I decided to start deconstructing.  I had always thought it would be great if we could put our TV and all it’s components in this built-in.  So I did some measuring, and got out the saw.  I used a jigsaw to cut the second shelf to the length I wanted to remove.
Let me tell you, that was a boogar to get out once I cut it!!  But, I finally got it out.  Then, I turned it sideways and cut it to fit as a side piece for the newly created smaller shelf to the left.
Woo HOO!!
Then, more painting, and yes I did clear the shelf off 🙂
Much better picture…taken in the daytime, and no orange cast.
Here it is now reloaded with all of our stuff (really the daytime pictures with the natural light are so much better, I’m going to remember that).
I still need to get a cord cover for that ugly cord, and I plan on painting the oak paneling above…someday.
Every since I finished this I have been trying to convince my hubby that I need a table saw and a nail gun, for my list of future building projects.  Anybody with me??
School starts Friday, so maybe I will have time soon to tackle those drapes.
  I read a post today from one of my favorite bloggers that really hit home. “Seven Signs You Might Be Decorating out of Fear” – head over to The Nester and see if this describes you.  I am done being afraid of decorating,  if I like it then that’s all that matters!!  🙂  Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings. I hope you enjoy it, and are inspired to try some DIY.
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