The Find

We have a neighborhood trade page on Facebook.  This can be a good thing or a bad thing.  You know, you run across a thingamajig that can do whatsit and it’s only a buck.  So, you grab it and throw it in a cabinet never to be heard from again, or at least until you reach in, find it, and then list it on the trade page for fifty cents.

That may be the bad, but the good can go oh, so good.  For instance:

img_20160412_184406166 img_20160412_184414143 img_20160412_184439128

This beautiful armoire was $25!  Yes, that’s right, TWENTY-FIVE SMACKAROOS!  I snagged it in April with the intention of painting and selling it for profit.  As it sat and I brainstormed what to do with it, I decided I couldn’t let it go.

And a plan came together…img_20160418_222311088


And a project piece armoire became…



A dress-up closet.

We tallied the cost and with the paint, scrapbook paper, stain and poly, we were under $100 for the whole project.  The kids love it!  I love it!  And I definitely think it went from trash to treasure.  Woo-hoo!

End of the Rainbow

Spring!  There is nothing like it as we soak in the cool days, blooming flowers and the smell of rain.  After the rain, comes the rainbow.  For some reason, the past few years have brought many beautiful rainbows to our area.  At the beginning of May, I even drove through one!  I had never seen a double rainbow until a year a few years ago.  Now, we see them at least once a year.

In March, we were heading out after a thunderstorm in the early evening and got to spot another double rainbow.  There’s so much joy and hope that we experience when we see that rainbow (double or not).
IMG_20160314_183856514 Emmie had had her surgery.  We were through that hurdle.  We were waiting.  Watching.  Healing.  And then we see the rainbow.  A reminder that God is there.  That He is in control.  Every time I see a rainbow, I am reminded of God’s everlasting love and care for us.  No matter what we go through, He is there.IMG_20160314_183915462_HDRI have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. -Genesis 9:13


Thanksgiving 2015

IMG_20151126_124215207_HDR IMG_20151126_131151973_HDRIt took me a good week to sleep off the jet lag which meant that when Thanksgiving came around, I was just coming out of the fog.  We managed to pull together a spread for our family.  We rotate our Thanksgiving every year.  One year we’ll hit up Grandmere and Papa’s house.  The next year is Ge and Granddaddy’s turn and then the third year is at home.  I love to cook Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s my absolute favorite meal.  This year, despite the fog, was no exception.  The only thing that could have made the day even more awesome would have been having Y home.

We made the most of it.  I even made homemade cranberry sauce which was yummy and super easy!


Mark enjoyed the turkey leg.  Renaissance faire, anyone?!


I made pies.  While they looked lovely, they did not taste too yummy.  Oh well, we’ll try for next year.


We played outside with neighbors and made silly faces…IMG_20151126_172047512 IMG_20151126_172051905_HDRuntil it got dark.  Then we made a fire and roasted marshmallows!IMG_20151126_185956352

After Zoe got a couple of hours of sleep, I woke her up and we hit the sales (don’t freak out.  It was midnight).   IMG_20151127_043414069

We shopped with my friend, Tracy, until 7 in the morning!  And we missed all the crowds but still got all the deals.  Insane exhaustion ensued but we had a wonderful time!


Fancy Schmancy

We recently purchased the new Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and also re-vamped our supper meals.  We’re doing themes for each night.  It makes planning a bit easier and it keeps us from having tacos one night and enchiladas the next and fajitas the night after.   Flipping through the cookbook, Zoe found a recipe for crepes and then all the other kids saw it too.  That was the number one request for Breakfast Night.

Sure, I think.  I can do this.  I made crepes in high school.  And then I remembered.  I didn’t make crepes in high school.  Our French class did and there were a ton of kids who got it right.  But not our group.  Our group had some issues.

This all came to light as I went through five or more crepes that ended their miserable life in the trash.  It was so bad, a neighbor heard my pleas and attempted to help.  She too threw in the white flag.

Just when I was about to quit, I found my groove.

And my springform pan.IMG_20151024_182249832 IMG_20151024_185312951And voila!  Success!

We’ll definitely try this again and not wait over 20 years either!

A Post about the Cat



I know.  But all our newest members deserve a post or two solely devoted to them.  Even if they are the four legged kind.

This cat, ya’ll.  Could not have been a better fit to our family.  He is the weirdest cat we have ever had.  He refuses to drink out of a water bowl but prefers to drink from the faucet.  He loves to sneak up behind Zoe and just stand there.  Only he belongs on counters.  He has decided that 5:30 is my wake up time.  Every.  single.  day.

And the kids.  He tolerates them so well.  They will scoop him up and he just goes with the flow.  None of our cats have ever done that.  They will usually wiggle, hiss, or scratch to get down if a child just grabs them up any ol’ way.

IMG_20150601_202859_376 Feet are his favorite toy.IMG_20150608_122623_516 And Josiah’s school box (appropriately covered in cat fabric) is his favorite hiding place.IMG_20150615_221137_278 Boxes work too.IMG_20150627_163902_231 And we can spend a ton of money on cat toys but he prefers pretty much anything.

IMG_20150627_163915_867He wanted to help us decorate Y’s Welcome sign.

Yeah, we love this crazy, weird cat.  He fits so well in to our crazy, weird family.

The Chair

I’m not that big of an interior designer.  Who’s kidding?  I’m not one at all.  But I love to fill my house with uniqueness and color.  Awhile ago, I put out a request for my auction-going parents to look for one of those old kitchen stools from Cosco that has the steps that fold in.  I thought it would work well in the kitchen for long prep work and all my little helpers to use.  Well, my mom followed through and actually found one in pretty good shape.  DSC_1799

Okay, it was ugly and needed some work but the bones were in great shape.

I love to add my own personal touch to things but I was stumped as to what color I should paint it.  So, I sent out a plea on Facebook for my friends to weigh in and let me know their thoughts on the color.  Forty-five comments later…I still couldn’t decide.  Off to the hardware store we went with fabric in tow.  As a side note, I think that is the most comments I have gotten on one post!  Way to go FB peeps!



I know all my Facebook fashion friends are sitting on the edge of their seat wanting desperately to see what I chose.  Let me first say that the color was mainly chosen because it matched the closest.  That being said, it’s a flat paint and it may be updated to a different color at some point in the near future.

Here it is:



And here’s what I did.

First, I sanded down the entire metal.  Liam helped me remove the screws and pop the tabs on the seat cushions.  That took a bit of muscle and team work.

Then it was outside to spray paint.


With a little help.DSC_1804


After removing the old fabric, I used spray adhesive to adhere the new fabric.   And clothespins.  Lots of them.



Then it was time to fold metal tabs and put it all back together. I would love to get new rubber mats but we’ll see.


I purchased laminated/vinyl fabric to help it last a bit longer.  There is an Etsy shop, Laminates, that has a ton to choose from.  I bought two 18X20 squares and that was just the right amount.

I love having it.  I’ll pull it up to the counter to do some recipe searches and the kids enjoy climbing on it to work.  It’s even been a discipline stool too!




Mark beat me to Facebook so I’m just going to share here!

Fifteen years ago today, I walked down the aisle and pledged always and forever to the man God intended me to spend the rest of my life with.  My love.  My best friend.  My team mate.

We said no matter what we would stay together.  We were young, indeed.  And yes, very naive (just drive by our first home together…It’s amazing we came out of there alive).  I wouldn’t trade those young naive years for anything in the world.  We learned so much those first few years.

And each year has brought different challenges.  Different ways that the Lord has brought us closer to Him and to each other.

This year has not been an exception.  We have learned to lean on each other in ways I would never imagine we could or have.  We are learning more and more how to better communicate in hard situations.  And the joyous situations have brought us more joy than I could ever imagine.

We have definitely learned, this year, how precious each and every sweet laughter and deep exhale is.

I could not imagine walking this special needs journey without Mark.

I could not imagine walking these past fifteen years without his caring, compassionate and patient (long suffering comes to mind when we think about my crazy emotional self) love.  He reminds me so much of the Lord’s agape love for us.

So, Happy Anniversary to my knight!  I am so blessed to have you!

Warm Fire, Warm Home

I believe I mentioned that we were working on the fireplace changing it out from a decorative electric to a funtional gas.  With hosting this winter, it meant it was an extra slow process.  But it’s done!

Dry wall up, fire going.  It was so cozy warm and awesome!

 Working on the stone.  This was lightweight stone facade called Air Stone.  It was easy (don’t ask Mark…he was the cutter), to cut and went on with their adhesive glue gloop.  Once we got in to a groove, it got easier and went faster.  I placed, marked and handed off.  Mark cut and sometimes installed or would hand back to me to put the glue on and stick up.

 I really do love it! It makes the room so much more inviting  It wasn’t expensive either.  We paid around $75 for the whole facade and had plenty leftover.

June Visitors Part 2

Papa and Grandmere came up to visit Josiah for his birthday.
 Emmie loved her hugs.

I had a project for Papa & Mark…extend our patio in the back with pavers.  They started to work on Friday and found this…
 Not just one.  A whole nest of mice.  Mark was gracious and moved them to the hill to be snake food safety.
Bryant thought he would help.  He’s holding the toy box down.  Sunny, the dog, was the supervisor.

 And of course, there were stories to be read!

Kids’ Closet

As I was plotting and planning how to get Emmie in to the girls room, eventually, I came to the realization that a crib, bunk beds, vanity and dresser would not fit in their room.  They have the smallest bedroom with the most windows making room arrangement limited.  So, we came up with several options.  We could try and move the dresser in to the walk-in closet and limiting the amount of dresses and toys that could be stored in the room.  We could get rid of the vanity.  But, Zoe and I worked hard to revamp it and it’s just too beautiful to get rid of.  
After much pinteresting (I made up a new word!).  I finally decided the time had come to take the hall/seasonal closet and turn it in to a kids’ closet.  At first, I was just going to get the girls’ clothes in there but then we decided to go ahead and get all seven kids dresser clothes in the same space.
And here’s where I’m so grateful that Mark is a engineer.  I tell him what I want…

 And he makes it happen!

He did quite a bit of planning and consulting with our pastor who is a carpenter.  We were very grateful to have his input because these shelves could be hung on by our monkeys and they are not going anywhere!  Each kid has two large white baskets (1.5 bushels) and then two sets of smaller drawers for personables (also called “unmentionables”).  Emmie’s clothes are still in the sitting room which is now the nursery.  They’ll move when she moves.  I have a shelf above Zoe and Ace’s clothes that still holds the clothes we are sorting through (as well as the space on the floor).  My shoe storage is now in the boys’ walk-in closet and their coats are hanging up in their rooms.

I’m thrilled with the result and the kids absolutely love it.  We’re still teaching them to NOT get dressed in the closet but it’s a process and they are learning.