Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another "Kids Say the Darndest Things"

My daughter was talking to her Grandma the other morning and said, "Grandma, did you know that when we went to see Aunt Karen, we got to stay in an EIGHT STAR hotel?"

Grandma, "Really?" Looking at me with a question in her eyes.

"Yes, it was very fancy and it was called the SUPER EIGHT!"

I love how easily impressed they are and how much they cherish every new experience.

For years, my youngest princess has been asking for gymnastics lessons. She spends half her life upside down or flipping on my poor couch. She has photos of Shawn Johnson and checks her blog everyday. She really, really loves gymnastics. : )

But she had to wait until we were sure it was something she was truly interested in, and that we were able to budget it in. Two weeks ago, we were finally able to make that dream come true for her. I sat there watching her during her lesson, so full of gratitude that we could give her that experience. She loves it! Her only great disappointment? She thought lessons would be every day and they are only once a week. She'd move in if we let her.

Last night while I was waiting for her to finish up, I heard a mom on her cell phone telling a friend how much her daughter hates gymnastics and always says, "My mom makes me do it." Then the little girl came over , and I was shocked at her attitude. She made a huge scene, and when her mom told her to stop talking to her that way, the little girl said, "Why? It's a free state, I should be able to say whatever I want!" This girl was six, maybe seven at the oldest. They bickered back and forth and finally left the gym.

I'm not one to judge parents or kids. I know my own have made scenes in public, but the whole thing made me look out at my little girl about ready to burst with the joy of being able to finally do something she has wanted to do for so long, and it made me love her all the more.

I think parents sometimes forget to say no to their kids, or give them whatever whim enters their mind. The kids don't get the joy of seeing things like gymnastics lessons as a gift, not a right or something mom makes them do.

OK, I'll step off my soap box. I'm just so thankful my girls think staying in the Super Eight is a grand experience, and are so grateful for opportunities like basketball and gymnastics. I want to have that same heart toward the things God has given me, big and small. : )

Monday, September 28, 2009

Transformed Treasure

So, did you guess what I did with my little thrifting find?

Since I'm probably not the only fan of Shannon's "Bless Our Nest" blog, I bet you've seen this done before. (She's the pro, I just tried to copy) If you don't follow Shannon's blog, you should. : )

First, I wrapped it with painters tape.

Second, I sprayed it with Chalkboard Paint:


It looks a little lonely on the table by itself. I need to find a few little treasures to keep it company and maybe a fancier plate holder like Shannon has.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? : )

I Interrupt My Treasure Sharing... make sure you stop by Nesting Place today.

Because I love you all, I don't want you to miss all the giveaways she's doing today. She posts a new one every hour, so make sure you scroll all the way down to the bottom and enter them all, and then come back each hour to enter. I think there is going to be 24 giveaways total. Here's my sigh...ahhhh.

I want to win, but if it's not me, I hope it's you. : )

Saturday, September 26, 2009

More Treasure Hunting

I have been having so much fun on my weekly treasure hunts. I thought I'd share some of my latest finds.

One of my favorite finds were these Saltwater Sandals for Youngest Princess. We're still having pretty warm weather and I needed some school shoes. These were $1 and fit perfectly.

Aren't they cute? Apparently someone else thought they were cute, too. It was a good thing that they were only a dollar because last night at her daddy's flag football game, she took them off to play in the dirt and by the time we went to have her put them back on, they were gone. It doesn't sting so much to lose a pair of shoes that were only a dollar, but I was sad to see one of my treasures gone already.

I've wished for a long time that I had a glass pitcher that I could serve ice water or lemonade in, so I thought this was perfect for 50 cents. : )

I didn't follow my treasure hunting rules when I picked this handbag out.

I loved it and thought $2 was a good deal, but then I got home and couldn't find any outfits I could use it with. I'm not supposed to buy anything unless I know I can use it and I'm willing to part with something of equal function, size, or use when I get home so I don't fill up my house with junk "treasures."

Lesson learned. (But I still like it so I don't regret it too much. Would it be wrong to go and buy an outfit to match my $2 purse? Ha Ha) : )

My kids have gotten into the treasure hunting as well. The girls were pretty proud of the light switch covers they found for their bedrooms for 50 cents each:

I got the baseball sign from my last treasure hunt up. It's a perfect fit for Prince Charming's room.

He got another addition to his room this time:

It doesn't fit the sports theme, but it looks good with his play mat. Now I've got to get that up on the wall.

Speaking of Prince Charming-

Hey Mom, whatcha doin'?

I'm a treasure. Take my picture!

I think he's impressed. What do you think?
OK, that's enough treasure sharing for now. Do you think this post could be any longer? I'm going to save my newest favorite find for a post all its own. Can you guess what I did with this old serving tray I found at Goodwill?

One of my favorite bloggers inspired me and I had fun with it.

Stay tuned...

W.O.W. Coffee Winner!

True Random Number Generator Min: 1 Max: 3 Result: 3

I was excited that HEIDI was the winner. She is such a faithful W.O.W. participant and hasn't won yet. Plus you should go over and see how much she got done in a week! Wow really fits.

Congrats, Heidi! I'll get your Starbucks card to you soon!

Friday, September 25, 2009


Saeed returned home to his wife and kids last night. I wish I could have been a part of the celebration at the airport last night. It was too late for my kids, but I celebrated from home.

Here's some excerpts from a local news station report his homecoming:

A man who says he was in Iranian custody and threatened with his life, has come back home -- safely.

29-year-old Saeed Abedini spent the last couple months in Tehran trying to win his freedom.
Just when he thought he wouldn't get it, he did.

It was an emotional homecoming for Abedini, a reunion nearly two months in the making.
The mood is one of immense joy now, but lately life for the family wasn't this way.

Two young kids without their dad, a wife without her husband.

“I was just waiting, praying maybe one day I can see my family again.” said Saeed Abedini

Friends have been waiting for this day, too

“I'm a family man, to see a dad reunite with his family is pretty touching.” said Doug McFerrin, a family friend.

“The thing that really goes through my mind when I think of Saeed coming home is miracle because I don't know the odds didn't look good for him.” said Thomas Velasco, a family friend

Abedini, an Iranian born-Muslim, converted to Christianity.

He went back to his home country to help Christians meet in underground churches.

His work got the attention of Iranian authorities, and they arrested him.

“I didn't know what will happen in next hour, sometime scared to be beaten, be in jail.” said Saeed.

At times he was threatened with death.

But when he heard friends were praying for him, he says it gave him strength

“Sometimes I got very weak, but when I heard people are praying, it just like made me again live.”

Thank you so much to all of you who were apart of praying this man home to his family. I can't believe how much this family's faith and being able to be a part of watching this miracle happen has strengthened my own faith and given me so much joy:

Praising God today!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

W.O.W. Results- Room to Move and Create

I'm thankful more of you jumped in for this week's W.O.W. Challenge. So many other "priorities" and distractions popped up this week I wasn't expecting. I would not have finished as much without the accountability of knowing I'd have to report to you how I did.

I'm excited that the area is now cleaned up. I can see the floor and I have space to sew and scrapbook. Now if I only had the time! : )

My Messy Craft/Office Area Behind the Couch


Here it is After One Week:

Actually, I'm sitting in front of that laptop right now. : )

I'd hoped to have it decorated and organized as well, but that proved to be more than a week's worth of work. Well at least more than this week could handle. But like I always say, I'm celebrating how much further ahead I am on it than I was last week.

The additional organizing and decorating might be my next W.O.W. project. Anyone up for an October W.O.W. challenge? Hope so. I need the motivation to finish this thing.

I'm especially excited about the thread spool holder I made:

Remember how I've been grounded from spending more money on decorating? Well, this was my cost-free solution. My in-laws gave me this cool antique printer's tray but I didn't know what to do with it. It sat in the garage for years waiting for me to be inspired.

When I was searching for decorating possibilities in the garage the other day, I found it and remembered the leftover pain from my green wall. Voila! Inspiration! Thanks Joe and Nancy! : )

I had really hoped to have it actually mounted to the wall for this unveiling, but I promised King Charming that I wouldn't drill holes in "his studs" without his help, so I have to wait for him to get to the "Honey-Do" list before it will be up.
Hurry up, Honey. : )

Your turn! How did your projects go? Link up and then tomorrow I'll announce the coffee winner.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wise Investing

From God's Word:

Click and Read
Matthew 6:19-21

Key Verse:

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. -Matthew 6:20 (NIV)

Without Googling his name, can you tell me who Millard Fillmore is?

A few history buffs will be able to tell me, but most of us won't have a clue.

Millard Fillmore was the 13th President of the United States of America. You would think we would know the name of someone who held such a prestigious office, right? If I don't even know the name of someone who was president, who will ever remember me when I'm gone? Does this life even matter?

It is a sad fact that most of us will be completely forgotten within two, maybe three, generations after we pass away. Here today, gone tomorrow. No matter how much we gain or accomplish, no matter how noble the causes we fight for, no matter how powerful the positions we hold, our lives truly are just a vapor.

Solomon saw it. When he looked at the works of mankind, he said, "I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind" (Ecclesiastes 1:14 NIV).

This has been a reoccurring theme for me this week. I've been reminded so much in sermons and my own study time, that time is short. So what am I doing with it? With the time I have been given, is it possible to do something meaningful? Can I devote myself to something more than chasing after wind?

I've been looking at my life and doing some self-inventory. I don't have the answers yet, but I've been going through my day today asking:

  • What in my life has eternal value?
  • In what ways am I investing in eternity?
  • What activities am I wasting my time on?

It's been good just to ask the questions. If this is all there is, then life is utterly meaningless. I should just go have fun, eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow I die. But since this is not all there is, I want to build a life that is meaningful and purposeful.

Our pastor taught us this weekend that the key to a purposeful life is doing life as if you are doing it unto God. Whatever you do, do it unto Him. I'm not famous or powerful. I am a mom. I'm a wife. I'm a homemaker. Not very exciting!

Cleaning my toilets, changing the diapers, serving my family, all of these appear meaningless, but they have the potential of being more eternally significant than being President of the United States if done with the right heart. If I do my life, the things I've been called to do, and do them as if I was doing them for God and for His glory, that work will last. And it will bring me joy.

Personal Application:

Do your own self-inventory this week:

  • Can you identify ways you are chasing after wind and wasting time?
  • How are you investing in eternity?
  • If you were to die tonight, is your life in order? What would you be able to take with you?
  • Are you ignoring eternity or building up treasure there?
  • How can you do your own life as if unto God? What meaningless activities can become eternally significant just by changing your heart and attitude about them?

Dear Lord,

Thank you that this life is not it. Give me an eternal perspective and help me to build my life in a way that will have eternal significance. Help me to set aside the things that are worthless and to strive for the things you value. Show me how to do my everyday life for you.

In Jesus' Name I pray,


More of God's Word:

So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective. - Colossians 3:1-2 (The Message)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Princess and the Three Knights- And The Winner Is...

I'm so excited about the winner of The Princess and the Three Knights giveaway. Before I used, I prayed, "Lord, let the winner be the person who will be the most blessed by winning this book today."

I'm excited because I can tell this winner is a true fan of Karen Kingsbury.

So without further ado...

CONGRATULATIONS Tina Harden! You are the winner! I hope you and Katie love this book as much as my girls and I do. Please email me your mailing address so I can get this sent to you right away.

Have a great weekend everyone!

What am I doing this weekend? Organizing my craft and office area of course! Did you know that only one person is playing along with me this time around for W.O.W. ?

If you've ever thought about playing, this is the week to do it. The odds for winning the coffee are REALLY good! Hee Hee! I'm sorry if I chose a week that didn't work well for all of you. I'll do another one soon.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

W.O.W. - Can I Do it in Only One Week? : )

It's time!

Do you have an item on your to-do list that never gets done because of all the other stuff you have going on? Something that is driving you crazy in your house or something with your work that you'd love to see done? Why don't you join me for the Within One Week Challenge, otherwise known as W.O.W.?

If you haven't played before, I hope you'll check out the past posts and then come back over and join in. You'll be surprised how much fun it is to tackle these things with support.

My project is going to be a toughie. I will really need your cheering to get this done.

Right before school started, we decided it was time to move Oldest Princess into her own room. The girls have always shared a room which has been a great thing, but recently we decided we wanted to give them the experience of having their own space. They both love it, and I love having quality time with them one on one when I tuck them in at night. PLUS, we now know which one has been keeping the room messy. : ) Remember my little "distwacted" girl?

The problem is, I had to give up my guest/craft/office space to make it happen. If guests come to visit, Oldest Princess has already been informed she'll have to bunk up with Sissy and give her room to the guests, but I needed to find a home for all of my "stuff."

We decided we could set up the area behind our couch in the family room as a mini craft/office area for me. So we moved all the stuff into the Family Room and there it remains. Take a look:

I've been procrastinating because I have no idea how I'm going to organize all of this stuff. My goal is to work on it 15 minutes at a time and see what happens by next week. This needs to be a "no cost" project, so I need to use what I've got. It will be interesting to see how it all comes together. I can't wait to have that spot organized and usable.

Your Turn!

If you blog, write a post and link up here about your goal for the week. We'll all stop by and cheer you on throughout the week.

If you don't have a blog, leave a comment and we'll cheer you on from here.

Next Wednesday, stop back by and read how I did. You'll have a chance to tell us all how your week went. We'll celebrate whatever you were able to accomplish, even if it wasn't perfect, and I'll draw one winner for coffee on me.

I do hope you'll play along! I've switched to MckLinky for our links. I think you'll find it much easier to use. Let me know if you have questions! : )

It's Time to W.O.W. -

But I can't do my blog post just yet. It will be up here later today. Can't wait to see what you all have planned!

Stay Tuned....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Free Movies Online

We have been members of Netflix for awhile now and really enjoy the "Watch Instantly" movies that comes with the membership. But recently, my husband discovered a new website called that has higher quality video (Because of our Internet speed, not fast enough for DVD quality on Netflix and Hulu has longer buffer) and much of the same selection as Netflix Watch Instantly. It also includes some of my favorite TV, past and present. And best of all it is FREE! There are a few commercial interruptions during the movies, but not too much.

I've been reading my girls the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books and just discovered a series of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle shows I can't wait to show them on there.

AND I ALMOST CRIED WHEN I SAW ALL OF THE HGTV EPISODES I CAN WATCH!!!! We stopped paying for cable awhile ago, and the hardest thing for me to give up is HGTV. My friend, Daiquiri, tempts me to her house often with the promise of turning on HGTV while we eat lunch. Don't worry, Daq, I'll still come over, but NOW I CAN WATCH IT AT HOME! YIPPEEE!!!

Happy watching!

I am giving away a copy of Karen Kingsbury's new children's book, The Princess and the Three Knights this week. Don't miss out. : ) Click here to enter.

Don't forget to stop by Works for Me Wednesday at "We Are THAT Family" for more tips from other bloggers this week.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Odds and Ends and a W.O.W. Announcement

I had so many things I wanted to talk with you all about this morning, this ended up being an "odds and ends" post.

First- Don't miss my latest giveaway. It is such a sweet book! And I'm a new fan of Gabrielle Grimard, the illustrator.

Second- Please keep praying for Saeed. We were just told that often this government will release you and then have you murdered so they aren't responsible. Please pray him all the way home.

And Third- Man, you guys are NO HELP AT ALL!! : ) I put up a poll asking which week you'd like to W.O.W. and it was very nearly a three way split. Soooo.... since I can't make everyone happy, and I'm getting anxious to get going. I'm going to do one this week, Sept. 16th - Sept. 23rd. I'm really hoping a lot of you will play along even if this wasn't your first choice. Be on the lookout for a project you want to accomplish in one week's time and come see me on Wednesday to get started.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Princess and the Three Knights- I Want You to Have One

Thank you to everyone who participated in this giveaway. It is now closed. I'll announce the winner today, 9/19/09

When Zonderkidz contacted me and let me know they were sending me another book to share with you all, I was so excited and waited for it to come in the mail like a little kid.

When The Princess and the Three Knights by Karen Kingsbury arrived in the middle of the afternoon, I knew I wanted to wait to read the story to my own princesses when they came home from school, so I just sat on the living room couch and enjoyed the illustrations over a cup of coffee. I know it sounds cheesy, but the only word I could come up with to describe these pictures was "lovely."

This truly is a beautiful book. I hope it is OK that I snapped some photos of a few pages so you could have a sneak peak:

I just wanted to step into the pages and be in that world for a little bit. The illustrator started out as a muralist. I want to invite her over and have her paint a mural in my house! Think she'll make the trip from Canada to accommodate me? : )

When the girls got home from school, we snuggled up on the couch and read the story together.

The theme of the book comes from 1 Corinthians 13:4,7 "Love always protects."

My friend, Angela, told me her husband "dates" their daughters so they will know how to expect to be treated some day when they are older and looking for love.

I liked reading a story to my girls that reminded them that they are worthy of love that doesn't take from them but gives to them. Love that desires to protect, not to use. I highly recommend this sweet story!

And of course it ends as all good fairy tales do:

Now the fun part! I get to share one of these books with one of you!

Here's how to enter the giveaway:

1. Leave me a comment and let me know you want to win.

That's it! : )

But of course, you know by now that if you want extra chances to win, I'll bribe you with getting the word out about the book and my blog. : )

Here's how to be able to leave extra comments for extra entries if you are so inclined:

1. Facebook the giveaway and invite your friends over to enter

2. Tweet about the giveaway and invite your followers over to enter

3. Blog about the giveaway and invite your readers over to enter

4. And as a thank you to my faithful followers, if you are a follower of this blog or become one before the drawing ends on Saturday, September 19th, you can leave me a comment telling me so.

5. Also, I want to make sure Zonderkidz gets some attention for their generosity. Stop by their website and look around. Let me know in a comment for another entry. I've really been impressed with the books they've sent me.

This is important: Remember to leave a SEPARATE COMMENT for each of these things you do. Each thing above earns you another entry and each comment is your entry.

I'll use the Random Number Generator on Saturday to see who wins. : )

By the way, the book comes highly recommended by Oldest and Littlest Princess as well.

Hope you are all having a great weekend!


Friday, September 11, 2009

8 Years Ago Today...

...I was pregnant with my first child.

I was teaching a classroom full of confused, frightened 12-year-olds with a ton of questions and I tried, but did not have all the answers.

I cried.

I prayed.

I was glued to the TV.

I thanked God for the important things in life.

I will not forget.

Where were you?

As we all remember today, I pray we will will use today to search our souls and and look again to the One with all the answers.

Love you!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Fall Nesting Bug and Thrifting Thursday Treasure Hunting

That title was a mouthful, huh? : )

Fall is in the air around here. The temperatures are still posting summer numbers, but it takes all day to get there, we wake up to chilly mornings, and all of a sudden I want to be Suzy Homemaker.

I'm using The Fly Lady's methods for keeping my house organized these days (sans the emails because they were too overwhelming for me. I'll post more about my new found organization another day)

I just finished cleaning Zone One this past week which included the front porch. My list said to "add a welcoming touch" so off to Michael's I went to create something for the front door that would say welcome.

Since most of you can't come over here physically to see, here's me opening my virtual front door to you and saying, "Come on in! Happy Fall!"

I can never pick just one picture. : )

I got the idea to use ribbon to hang it from The Nester of course. You use upholstery tacks at the top of the door to hold the ribbon in place. It took me two minutes to hang it. LOVE HER IDEAS!!! Have I mentioned that before. Hee Hee.

Well, I think King Charming can sense my nesting setting in and reminded me of our financial goals. (Thanks a lot, Dave Ramsey!) : ) Since we are "living like no one else today so we can live like no one else tomorrow", we are on a spending hiatus for the next six months.

This could put a serious damper on my nesting bug, but instead I decided to rise to the challenge and to designate Thursday mornings to thrift store shopping or as I like to call it, "Treasure Hunting."

My Rules for Myself for Treasure Hunting:

1. You don't have to buy. You are hunting for treasure. Only buy treasures that make you happy.

2. Use spare change.

3. When you bring something home, give something away.

I'm a novice treasure hunter. I did a lot of looking without inspiration, and then right when I was about to leave, I found my treasures!

Treasure Number One: Today, I only spent some extra quarters I had in my purse.

We've never had a napkin holder. I was using an old basket. This one looked pretty on the table tonight for dinner. And it only cost 99 cents. : )

Treasure Number Two:

When I saw this metal sign, I knew it was made for this room. Don't you agree? I couldn't pass it up for 99 cents.

I'll get a picture of it hanging in the All Star room once I get it up. I think I'm going to hang it above Prince Charming's closet.

I'll share more treasures as I find them! For less than $2, I entertained myself and kept my nesting bug satisfied.

Any other treasure hunters out there? : )

P.S. I have another giveaway coming from Zonderkidz. Stay tuned! My princesses (and their mommy) LOVED this one.