Thursday, February 28, 2008

House Renovation {part 1: the den}

If you've been with us long enough you've probably gathered in your mind that Justin and I have lost ours. In just a matter of days we will have been married for 6 years and in those 6 short years we have lived in 6 different houses. The house we currently reside in is the youngest of those 6. We're not totally crazy, we have owned and renovated only 4 of the 6. When we moved to Dothan last summer we had a lovely lot that we fully intended to build a lovely house on. However, as we're taught in Proverbs 16:9, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps", our plans were not His plans and due to some underestimating of the expense involved with building a house (and actually having dirt to build it on) we determined building wouldn't be a wise decision. We truly feel the Lord confirmed our decision in many ways. So we sold the lot and the search started for a house we could make a home. We aren't really new house people so I'm not sure what we were smoking when we thought we'd build a house... oh yeah, Erika talked us into that one! We always joked that if it doesn't have termites, wood rot, plumbing problems, shag carpet, old wiring, etc., etc., etc., then we are definitely not interested. We looked, and looked, and looked, and looked... you get the point. And then one Wednesday night after church we decided to "drive by" this house. We had seen it before but not given it much thought. It was on the market for well over a year and half (maybe 2).

So we looked and this is what we saw...

And then we turned the other way and this is what we saw... (minus "Red" the painter who gave us the most astronomical painting quote you could ever imagine... I think he was scared of the task and thought "I'll bid so high they'll run the other way"... we did!)

Honestly, it was one of the ugliest things I'd ever seen. The flier advertised "designer vertical blinds in every window". I do believe that the words designer and vertical blinds are oxymorons. The room pictured above is what we call the "den"... it is the room you walk into from our side entrance. The carpet was white, the walls were stained very dark, the "little foyer" area you see pictured above was covered in corduroy wallpaper. There were vertical blinds everywhere... and yet despite all of these flaws we were still drawn to the house. We both saw such potential in it. This is where I go deeper so hang with me PLEASE...

We have a good friend, Tommy Tolleson, and from my understanding the following ideas originated with him so I can't take complete credit for them, but I can whole heartily agree with his assessment and evaluation of taking something old and making it new.

There was something about this house that intrigued us. We could see past the ugliness of it's emptiness, windows, walls, floors, cabinets, bathrooms, ceilings... shall I go on? We knew from past experience that we could do "something" with it. Does any of this sound familiar to you? I'm hoping so and if not I hope that you'll read carefully and consider this comparison. What we (anyone, not just us) can do to a house, the Lord can do to a person's soul. He can take something old, ugly, worn out, sad, lonely, empty, angry, and sick and make it a new creation. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" A "heart renovation" is an eternal renovation. All the money and effort we have poured into this house we know will not last, we know will be outdated, we know will fade; but what the Lord can do to a person's heart is eternal. So, as I prepare to show you what I think is a dramatic renovation, I hope in your mind you will be reminded of what a dramatic renovation our Lord can do in a person's heart. It's about a billion times more shocking and dramatic than a simple coat of paint on walls and trim. I also hope that you will be encouraged to think of things in your life (whether it be a home, a relationship, or whatever) that could benefit from a "simple renovation". We live in a culture that is so driven by consumerism that we have trained ourselves to think that we always have to have "new" things, when I'm convinced that what we already have or what is used can be just as good if not better! I'm thankful that we have a gracious Savior who looks at us, sees our ugliness and decides He can "work" on us, rather than toss us to the wind! I've been stalling on posting pictures of my house because I keep thinking, "well, I'm not really done yet and there's still some crap in the corner" but then as I type this I'm reminded that similar to how I will continue to work on this house, the Lord continues to work on us and truthfully, this side of Heaven we will always have "crap in our corners". So, without further adieu... the den after pictures!

Stay tuned... more rooms to follow!

{by the way: if you live in a new house, are building a house, have new things, etc... please don't think i think any of those are "bad" in anyway... i am just simply making a point that this house sat here empty for so long and no one was able to see any potential in it. there were a handful of people who had looked at thise house and said, "you bought that house!!??" when i told them which house we had purchased. i wish they could see it now! :) }

Eating & Sleeping

Wow! It feels good to be loved... 38 comments on the BOY post will do a person good! Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement and excitement! We are on cloud 9 and can't wait to meet the little guy! If he's anything like the other 2 (& even if he's not) I know we'll absolutely love him to pieces. We thank God for the abundant blessings!!

I thought I'd post these pictures of "Raiger" (aka Paige) that I took this morning while trying to get the girls ready to walk out the door. She's a hilarious child if you haven't gathered that yet. She's like Morgan in so many ways and in so many ways she's not. I've lost a lot of sleep since Morgan was 19 months old but I certainly don't remember having to threaten to lock the pantry to keep her out. A lot of the time Paige is found in the pantry... even after meals. I think she is intrigued with the choices, although right now they are rather slim. This morning after she had oatmeal and a biscuit for breakfast she pulled out the Cheerios. As you can tell from the pictures she knew she wasn't supposed to be doing what she's doing. When Mom was here she couldn't get over this child's eating habits and even joked that she thought Paige may have an eating disorder, as in, she can't get enough of it... EVER! She keeps us laughing and constantly picking up food off the floor (& everywhere)... we should have named her Gretel.

I snapped another picture of Justin reading to the girls last night. After 19 months of sleepless nights with Paige we decided to take the plunge and push Morgan's 2 twin beds together and put them in the same room.... halleluiah it has worked! Paige sleeps like a champ in there next to her sister and we are all soaking in as much sleep as we can in the next 4 months!

As I promised, I'm going to be working on some house posts soon! I'm think of doing room by room to keep my sanity! Stay tuned!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's a....

little man! :) We're really excited and I'm not sure what to think about a boy... my mind has been in "girl land" for the last 3 & 1/2 years! We had a great appointment and as far as we know everything looked great and healthy. He's measuring a week ahead which doesn't surprise us... both the girls did at this point too! Thankfully all the L.D.'s (Little Debbies) didn't have too much effect on my L.B.'s (as in lbs) ... I thought for sure I'd break a record for weight gained in a month... that'll probably be next month! Anyway, just thought I'd share the exciting news! We're thrilled and I'm even more thrilled for Justin, he's a great father to the girls and I know he'll be a great father to his son! :) It even sounds weird saying it!!

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Keeping Honest

For those of you (Abby!) who were so impressed with my sprouts and my "healthy" eating... I thought I'd keep myself honest and let you know one of my other favorite snacks these days.
I also thought it would only be appropriate to show you how many I ate last week...
While I do love sprouts and fresh veggies, I also love Little Debbies.... it's all about balance, you know?
We had a great weekend and it was nice to be around the house for most of it. The girls are all better (Praise the Lord!) and it makes for a much happier little family! I snapped a few pictures of them this weekend and thought I'd share.

Having a pregnant mommy can be very hard on 2 little toddlers, my patience are short and sometimes I get upset over things that really aren't that big of a deal. But there are somethings about having a pregnant mommy that can be really "cool" (as MCS would say), like stopping by Dairy Queen for ice cream and french fries after we had DINNER at church Friday night! :)

I really couldn't resist taking this picture... can you blame me!?

This is pretty typical for Paige in the morning... she's not a morning person... can you tell!? But she can eat a whole bowl of cheerios with milk and not spill any... pretty impressive for 19 months!

Morgan building a "sled" while Paiger gobbles down the rest of her ice cream!

Sister inspired me to make some cafe curtains for my kitchen windows... just thought I'd share!

We're off to the upholstery shop for the last of our goodies... pictures will be coming soon!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008


the "sprouter" after I robbed it of half it's goods

My harvested sprouts in a great Tupperware veggie container (thanks Jen!). I placed a damp paper towel under the sprouts

my half eaten turkey wrap loaded with sprouts... mmm!

My friend Susie has been growing sprouts and I've been thinking about how exciting that would be! Well they went out of town this weekend and I had the pleasure of babysitting the sprouts and the pleasure of eating the sprouts. I never knew you could grow your own sprouts but let me tell you... they are FABULOUS! If you like sprouts you have to try this... if you don't like sprouts you need to try them again because they are simply delicious, healthy and organic (Ashley-- you should grow sprouts & grind your own flour!). I put mine on a turkey sandwich today and topped it with submarine oil & vinegar dressing... mmm!! Her "sprouter" came from the Rescue Mission Thrift store... don't go there to get one, they probably won't get another one for 10 years. But they have them on ebay but don't buy that one... I'm wanting it! :) Her seeds were already sprouting when she delivered them and I watered them 2x a day and covered with a damp cloth. The ones on ebay come with instructions. She bought the alfalfa seeds at the local health food store. You're supposed to soak the seeds over night and then put them in the sprouter... and in 4-7 days you have delicious sprouts! Go ahead... try it out! They're delicious. I love them on salads, wraps, and sandwiches! They're especially good on a tuna melt sandwich!! Just thought I'd pass this along... go ahead and give it a try! Tomorrow I'm going to post about my yummy smoothies I've been making... I just feel the need to share the love! :)

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flu AND croup

This is what we do for fun around the house when we're sick! Isn't Justin a cute elephant?

Ok, so are y'all tired of hearing about my sick kids yet? I am. I'm scheming up some really fun posts with house renovation pictures so stay tuned... it's destined to get better than this!! As I mentioned yesterday, Morgan was getting better, Paiger worse. Yesterday afternoon I took Paiger in to see our wonderful pediatrician. To me there's nothing better than a young female pediatrician who has 3 kids who can sympathize with all our weaknesses as mothers & our crummy illnesses. Paige's breathing was squeeky and labored and she was diagnosed with croup on top of flu! We had a dose of steroids there in the office and I've never seen a medication work on a child's breathing better than that! There are times when I take things so simple as medication for granted. Thank you, Lord, for all your provisions!!

On a side note, I believe that all pediatricians' offices should be well equipped with the following: 4 waiting rooms with doors that close for those patients who are: newborns, well, sick, and those who are throwing up sick... the pukers definitely need their own room with a toilet and door that closes. Our office has a room for newborns, a section for well, and a section for sick... but the throw-up patients get mixed in there with the sick patients and let me tell you, it's not a pretty sight. What 3 year old can tell their parents they're about to ralph, much less hit a target... just let them camp out in the bathroom until they are called... for the sake of those waiting who can't handle sights like that! Can you imagine what I saw yesterday while waiting?!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust...

Morgan is better. Paige is worse. I'm hanging in there and trying not to get it. Paige didn't sleep last night, therefore, Mama didn't sleep last night. Yesterday was Justin's 30th birthday. I was so sad to not get to do anything fun and exciting for him... maybe next week!!

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Not Croup.... THE FLU!!!

Dr. Darby has misdiagnosed her daughter with croup. Croup would be good, well not good, but around here I'd take anything over the flu... and guess what we have... the FLU! We took Morgan to the ped this evening after battling 104 fever for 36 hours. The swab only took seconds to test positive. The dr offered Paige a prescription just in case, I told her she had her flu shot and was feeling great.... well we came home to sick Paige and a 101 fever.... I called back for the RX and sure enough all I could get was the answering service... I guess we'll be back in the morning! Thank you all for your prayers... they are much needed. Especially for this pregnant tired mama not to get it!! Love y'all!


Croup... again!

We've got one sick little girl. She woke up yesterday morning with a fever and a little cough... well it has now turned into full blown croup. This is the 3rd time she's had it. We were up most of the night. Her high fever is starting to come down this morning... but as you can see from the picture, she's still feelin' pretty rotten. "Mom" left yesterday morning and we sure do wish she was still here. Please say a prayer for little Morgan, we're going to try to avoid the ER today and hold out until the pediatrician opens at 6pm. We also hope that baby Raiger doesn't get it. Thanks for your prayers. LA, we're so sad we missed out on Mabry's birthday party yesterday, we'd give anything to have been there!

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Thanks Mom!

After a long day yesterday the laundry room has been transformed... here it is BEFORE:
It had a "Harvest Gold" refrigerator in it... but the paper really brought the beauty out!

It was a beauty no doubt!

2 coats of primer

Happy Darby during the transformation

Connie admiring her work!

YEA!! A finished product!

Justin even took part and changed out all the dark brown outlets/switches to white! Thanks Justin!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Watch your back....

My WINGBACKS & CAMELBACK are BACK! I'm thrilled with the results. My husband has informed me that they are my Valentine's present... this is the best he's ever done (good thing I picked the furniture & fabric)! He lucked out that they just so happened to be ready today!! So, without further adieu....

the lovely Wingbacks before (circa 1982)


Isn't she so much more beautiful now!?

And even lovelier with her pillow!

A close-up of her wing & limey green welt! :)

The camelback BEFORE (light dirty pinky-peach)

The camelback AFTER!
I'm excited to say that our house is getting much closer to completetion. Mom and I have worked tirelessly on a few projects and we're getting closer (w/exception of those pesky bathrooms with ALL that foil wallpaper... but we've started them!). I'll try to get some more before & after pictures on soon! It took us all day, 3 coats of primer & 2 coats of paint to paint the laundry room (over the foil)... I'll put some pictures on soon! I feel like I'm about to fall over now!! Until tomorrow my friends...
ps- The orange sink in the bathroom stays for sure! I can't wait to show befores and after of that room!
pps- Erika, I need some help with what to put on the camelback as far as pillows go... any advice!?