Thursday, February 26, 2009

God is so faithful!

I have had so many ideas of things to share recently and I have a few saved posts that I will get posted this week/end.
Today, I really wanted to share just how faithful God has been in our lives...especially recently. He has put some wonderful people in our path at church that have been prayer warriors with us. What an encouragement! Not to mention finally having someone on board and ready to do childcare swap! Praise God! We have been praying and looking for that for almost 6 years now! (They are also homeschoolers so a double whammy of blessing there as their schedule is flexible like ours!) Not just for the childcare though, it is wonderful to have friends! My husband has a few male friends now and we have had more people over to our house in the past 3 months than the past 5 years! Fellowship is so important and sometimes we miss that in these busy days where people spend more time in their car than in their home!

There is so much going on at once right now. We have been praying for vision and purpose in our children's lives as we raise them, but recently we have truly taken it to heart and realized how rapidly they are growing-we have 3-13 years until these boys will all be growing up and heading out in the world! I won't get into too much detail but when we finally took it serious to prayer and quit just talking about it...prayers have been answered! Things are coming to fullness before our eyes and I am SO thankful! (I should mention here that I also realized it the time is NOW that we need to go into action letting our kids learn about money, credit cards, savings, investments, reading business books if possible, learning the truth before the world lies to them and they fall into the same trap that I did!) My oldest son that I homeschool is asking me more and more questions about debit vs. credit cards, savings accounts, checking, and such. He is in 5th grade and I think this is fabulous timing to educate him and even see what kind of small business I can help him invest in, start or follow to help him possibly be set for life before he is even 18...did you know that could even happen??? Check out this link below for some amazingly inspirational reading from a young entrepreneur that started his first business at the age of 9 and he is now a millionaire in his 20's. Cameron Johnson
The Bible says we are to be the lenders and not the borrowers (slaves). How amazing to put this into action for our kids before they are out in the world!

DID YOU KNOW FACT: I learned this from our financial course...
Credit card companies pay Universities and colleges a little commission (if you will) based on the of debt that college students rack up (based on sign-ups during the years there). So those cool t-shirts, water bottles and even MP3 players they will offer your kids when they just want the free stuff and then get themselves snagged in debt actually profits the campuses they are paying! WOW!

We are also working on paying down debt and taking a financial course through our church. It is exciting to learn that most people not making more than they already do can pay off everything including their mortgage in 6-7 years! Yes, I said that right, 6-7 years! We are already 2 years into our refinance of our house so we didn't have a great start to that, but I am definitely believing that in the next 6 years we can pay off our mortgage and debts!! Amazing! I am realizing so much in this period of time! We also came into extra money recently through God's divine power and we have already paid off one debt and we are starting on another one next week! Can I just say how exciting it is to see debt start to get off my shoulders and under my feet?

Lastly, I wanted to share another thing that God instilled in me. My husband needed some attention this past week. He is full commission at his job and having a tough time with sales can make anyone bummed out. While I wanted to pamper him last week we didn't have the money. But this week when we got in some extra unexpected, (we put most of it to debt!) but I realized he is worth it for me to splurge on! So as I was trying to utilize a coupon I received for flowers online the thought came over me...it won't be soon enough for my idea. Plus, God inspired me...grab one of the numerous vases you own and take it to the darling flower shop around the corner and get him some flowers and take them to him at work! Isn't God awesome? Not only did I spend 1/2 of what I would have online but he LOVED them! The florist is called House of Flowers and they are amazingly talented! I wish they had pictures of their shop on their website, it is so inspiring, charming and well decorated!!! They asked how much I wanted to spend and gave me a beautiful creation for that amount! I hope to send hubby with the camera to get a picture of the flowers at his desk! In addition to the flowers, I curled my hair and dressed up my jeans and drove to his office and surprised him at his desk. Then we (the kids and I) took him out to our old favorite indian buffet for lunch. When I used to work we had a lunch date every day, so he really misses going out for lunches! It was a fabulous day completely inspired by God and his infinite wisdom! Not to mention what a great inspiration to others in his office. He said most people are baffled as to why he received flowers JUST BECAUSE and can't stop talking about it!

I am feeling very blessed today for the adventures, ideas, inspiration and love of Christ that gives me so much fullness! I know that God is faithful and that he put me here to encourage so I truly hope this post can encourage you to find the joy, peace and happiness he gives. I hope you can search into the corners and minutes of your day and find the colors and touches of him in your life that brighten it even in the midst of cold weather, financial strains, exhaustion, fussy kids, illness or anything else you might be dealing with today.
Be Blessed!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hobby Lobby Happiness

Friday we took most of the day off from homeschooling to get out of the house! Occasionally, we just get cabin fever and need to get out! We did various errands like picking up my husband's ginseng that he loves, hitting the library, post office, and then hitting Hobby Lobby. Another blog mentioned they had 80% off their clearance which I figured even on my spending freeze would be a safe venture. I haven't shopped there very many times so I enjoyed taking the extra time to browse with the kids happily in tow! Imagine--there wasn't a single fuss!!! Praise God!

I hit major success! I found some fabulous finds for a total of $27! Not bad at all!! Especially knowing that if my new treasures get used I can resell to the local decor consignment store! :)

Here is what I found:

Two gold fleur de lis ornaments from Christmas which I will paint silver and put on the wall or somewhere to fit in somewhere in our house!

Fleur De Lis decor piece that is white with black worn effect, I am considering painting it black and wearing it to show the white underneath.

A fabulous picture that says Hope with a nest on it, perfect for spring!

Small black lamp with a red/black shade which has found a new home in my bathroom, now I am thinking I need to get some red satin/silk fabric to make my own shower curtain to tie together the yellow, red, black and white I have going on now.

Lastly, my favorite piece...they had on clearance a cloche with an iron metal base (I don't think that is what really went with it but a gal pieced them together and thought it was the case.) well regardless we couldn't find a second metal base like that so there was a cloche glass top sitting there with no price tag...I felt so bad for it I had to ask how to save it. The mgr said based off the $12 price of the combined other item, she would sell it for $6. Finally! A cloche of my own and not only that, I didn't even have to spend $10!!! I need to find a bottom for it but I am so excited!!!






Sunday, February 22, 2009

Blog Giveaways

Go check out this website for a great giveaway on her blog. I am really getting into these blog giveaways and meeting new people! What a great little digital universe we have to explore at our fingertips! :) Copy and paste the link as I am having issues with the link uploader tonight. Sorry!

http://themaisyreport.blogspot.com/2009/02/my-first-give-way.html

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fro' Me to You

My dad should enjoy this post. As I thought of the various things I could post for my Fro' Me to You post I realized I have a few "back in the day" pictures uploaded in my computer! Here is a glimpse of me as the daddy's girl that I grew up to be.





Here is the more recent version, this was over 6 years ago on my wedding day. My dad was the photographer, but my husband did a great job of taking the camera and getting a few dad and daughter shots for us.



As the years pass, isn't it neat to reflect on where we came from and what we have become.
Happy Saturday! :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Childhood Things

Wow, it has almost been a week since my last post! I have checked in every day but not enough minutes in the day to organize my thoughts! One of my 5 boys got sick on Friday night and then Saturday our fabulous day of love ended up with me lounging and resting to avoid getting ill myself! I caught up on a few movies I picked up from the library though and my darling husband made a breakfast that he knows I love! :) I also found a way to manage eating 2 of these fabulous cookies everytime the opportunity arose in the past week! :)


Now onto the childhood favorites...

Maybe it was that my body was starting to test the strength of my immune system (I used to long for my baby blankets when I started to get sick) or maybe it was simple nostalgia but I decided on Friday to pull out my old blankies that are off limits to the kids and show them. Yes, I am selfish with this set of things, they are my treasured-forever comforting-blankets from my childhood. If they were in better shape I might share, but one of them is so worn down and I just adore it!!! The Winnie the Pooh one has matching stripes on the back side and it has a cute hole from my puppy I got in high school and edges coming undone, but I still love it! My youngest son acted like it was a rare painting as he looked and said, "Whoa, this is old, don't touch it, right Mom?" Uhm yeah, moving on...

Here are a few of my favorite things:




It is amazing how this all fits in with the Sincerely Fro' Me to You timing, but I will be making another post in honor of that fun! :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

S.W.A.K. Valentine's Success

I just wanted to share today the blessing that it has been to find the wonderful women in blogger-country recently. Inspiration, support, love, wisdom and much more has been shared, found and appreciated!

If you are coming into this Valentine's Day with no money to spend and wanting to show your sweetie just how much they mean to you---here is an idea! Share your heart! This special holiday showcases hearts and love everywhere, often we think that giving monetary gifts to someone shows our love is special. Not that monetary isn't special, some of my favorite things are monetary, like my wedding ring! Although,my husband proves that the heartfelt things mean the most. When I email him to tell him what he means to me, out of the blue, he calls me in tears. When I push him to meet up with his old drum corp friends that he hasn't seen in months and he would rather stay home with me and the kids, he feels so blessed to have me looking out for him and wanting him to have male friends in his life. And just Wednesday when I started the post in honor of him at 9:33 am and I didn't finish it until around 9:45PM because I had so much love built up and my words flowed so many times in so many directions. The best feeling in the world was sitting next to him as I let him read it and watch his eyes well up with tears, have him hold me so tightly and thank me for marrying him. I love flowers, but I can honestly say that we have already had our Valentine's Day and it meant the world to both of us!

Love your honey with everything you have inside of you. It won't cost you a thing but it will be worth a fortune!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine's Wreath

A Little Birdie told me how to do this project! It is fabulous, easier than I thought and SOOO cute! I got so excited as I was finishing it! It took me about 2 hours I think, but that is with cutting the fabric and keeping two children busy with their own Valentine's projects.
Here is the finished product. I love it! By the way, the ribbon I found on clearance at Joann's in the wedding section for $.97 and the fabric was on sale so I only need a 40% off coupon for the foam wreath itself. Making this project less than $10 which I think it looks WAY cuter than the stuff they were selling for about $15 (on their 50% off sale). I fell in love with this fabric so I might have to find a use for it in our bedroom or another room, it is sooo pretty! I blended two fabrics together. Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"There was no Search, but there was a find..."


The title of this post come from the endearing words my husband wrote on a wall at a restaurant as the statement of how we came together. My husband and I both came from painful previous marriages and divorces with our fabulous children in tow. We know that God brought us together in his amazing timing, grace and ability! Here is the unfolding of our journey to each other and beyond.
My second day working at a new job I called a company for a quote, the man on the phone (little to my knowledge) was my future husband! We became friends quickly, easily and supported each other for over two years through phone calls and emails as we dealt with sleep issues, potty training and various other new experiences like having our children sleep with us so we didn't feel so alone! States apart but growing together through life and experience and friendship was an amazing and new feeling I had never felt before!

It was in April of 2002 that I asked him to call me at home to talk...not knowing how this amazingly fun, outgoing personality becomes super shy when it comes to women! He didn't call! The next day I asked him why he didn't call, he said he couldn't, so I offered to call--a little bolder than I remember feeling! Instead he DID call the 2nd night and after 2 minutes of awkwardness it all ironed out and we melted together into 8 hours of conversation! YES, 8 hours! After that we talked every day through email and many hours on the phone at night! We couldn't get enough of each other!

Two months later my son and I were flying out to meet him and spend a "friend weekend" site-seeing and having fun-we absolutely had no other intentions but to have fun! We were completely comfortable with each other immediately and I still could not believe this man was available, he is so sexy, caring, comfortable, fun, charming, smart and so many other things I can't even begin to list all the words that describe him! We knew that we had something incredible and he told me not even a week later that he was praying that if I was the person he was to be with that things would be guided completely by God. I was completely adoring him for his diligence and seeking guidance through prayer!

On the 4th of July he was flying out to meet my family and I knew that we were going to be getting married even though we did not discuss it at all yet. As he was flying out that day (immediately after 9-11) he called me from the Chicago airport--his last stop before reaching me! He mentioned a friend told him he might have issues with terrorists traveling on the 4th of July, minutes later he called to tell me his flight was cancelled and he would have to call me back. I was in a panic! What happened? Was he safe? Should I drive the 45 minutes to the airport so I was there to meet him just in case? I was so anxious to hear back from him but he wouldn't answer his phone. I later found out that he was pulled aside and surrounded by 12-15 policemen because he said the word "terrorist" in the airport so close to 9-11 aftermath. They finally looked at who they were dealing with...a man in shorts, Hawaiian shirt, sandals, with a canvas bag containing: a diamond engagement ring, a picture of me and his cell phone. He explained that he was going to propose and they finally after 2 hours agreed to let him go. One of the officers was nice enough to try to help him get him mindset back on what he was doing--proposing in 45 minutes to me at the airport.

As he stepped off the plane he grabbed me and kissed me and immediately asked me to marry him. I thought he was joking so I just smiled and said "sure". Then he stopped me and said, "I have to ask you something". He walked me over to some nearby seats and got down on one knee, pulled out the ring and honestly the next 10 minutes were a blur, he said the most heartfelt things to me that I sobbed and couldn't even see what the ring looked like through my tears. When he finally asked of course I said YES and we melted together in a bent together hug of sobs, tears, joy and love. Minutes later we broke apart and kept smiling and pulling ourselves together to notice a crowd around us containing not just passengers, but airline attendants, pilots and airport staff applauding and congratulating us. What a show they must have witnessed! We were engaged exactly two weeks after we had finally met face to face. We were married three months later. We have now been married for six years and I am still blissfully in love with this amazing man that God blessed me with to live with forever!

There are SO many qualities to my wonderful husband. He is so supportive of me as we decided to homeschool and many other decisions that we have come to together. I have been so blessed to have him in my life. I have told him many times that he is the first (and last) man in my life to make me feel secure, safe, loved completely, honored, cherished, faithfully committed and appreciated! I can list so many things he does for this family aside of simply providing for us. I simply pray that all of us can show him daily how much we appreciate, honor, love and adore him for his selfless acts. From playing with the kids to helping with laundry to maintaining all of our vehicle details and still wanting me to snuggle with him every night!
Baby, this is devoted to you! I love you and always will!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Consistency...

I read a home decorating book a while back that said to look around and figure out what you tend to decorate with because that is what makes you happy! So as I looked around and noticed things, I figured out what I have in almost every room of the house...

My wedding pictures! Still! Six years later and I don't get tired of looking at them ever!

What about you? What do you find you decorate with everywhere?

Friday, February 6, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things...

My dear girlfriend in CA asked me to define some of my favorite things this week. I decided since I am very new to blogging, I should go ahead and make a post with some of our pictures. So you are all invited to come in and browse. I would love some hints, feedback and ideas for making inexpensive alterations to bring things alive. It is all a work in progress! We built our home 5 years ago and until about a year ago didn't have much that matched at all except the living room!
I am finally finding my niche for getting unique things at random places to put here and there.
Anxious to hear feedback! :)
This is my newly painted yellow bathroom, I am looking to finally pull it all together, but I already love the warmth that the yellow created!
The builders actually commented when we built our house that it was original to do wood vinyl in the bathroom and many others have commented. I have always loved the look and wish I would have chosen this same vinyl for our living room instead of the other wood vinyl we chose. Oh well!

Lamps are from Pottery Barn-rare for me to spend that money but they weren't too bad in price and I love them! The mirror I bought 1/2 off from Pier 1.
The Fleur de Lis is headed for my wall downstairs, I will see if hubby puts it up today, otherwise I will do it. I should mention...I got it free! My husband KNOWS me so well! A man at his office was joking and said here, want this $50 coupon for this store? He had just bought a couch and they sent him a thank you coupon to get him back in...what he didn't see was the ability to use it on a $50 purchase, I got a french picture in a black frame and this together and walked out the store paying...$0! Can't tax NOTHING! ;) That was a great day!
This mirror has something about it that I love, I can't explain it! It has herbs all around it and doesn't quite make sense for a bedroom I am sure, but I fell in love with the size and perfection of the mirror if that makes sense! The pink of the flowers makes me happy. I have wondered, since it is ceramic tiles all around *seriously this mirror weighs like 65lbs* but maybe I can paint the tiles to change the room a bit or something? Need ideas here! (side note: got it at a garage sale, the guy said $5 and I was thrilled, then he saw my delight in it and said Free! I couldn't get him to take the money!)
This is my mom's old dresser mirror, I love it! I am surprised I love it too! But it has the aging of the glass in it makes it real neat! Birds aren't quite my thing, but my MIL got us the "lovebirds" on the left, so when I found the other bird for $.60 on clearance somewhere I thought it would balance it out. The hatbox was from a gift set on clearance at Walgreens, I took the beauty products out and gave them as a gift and use the hatbox for my special gifts my friend in CA sends me, that is my memory and happy box! :)
My husband picked out this mirror in 5 minutes at my favorite little decor store and put it up the minute we got home from our anniversary trip a few years ago. Time for a new branch of those berries that my MIL gave me, the kids have played with their parachuting men over the side a few too many times, devastating the berries, but having a blast! lol
This is another anniversary gift, we tend to buy one big gift together for the house every year on our anniversary. The store in Door County (BLISS! My favorite place to go!!!) displayed this, it is about 3 foot tall, and I kept hovering around it. I saw another woman looking at it, so I asked him to hold it for me so we could decide. As we bought it he told the story of how it was so unique and he bought 5 of them, only 1 came flawless, the others came broken or chipped and he couldn't get anymore! Perfect! It was meant for us! It is called "The Kiss" and this could have been painted of me and my husband, it looks a lot like us! :) This is above our pantry in the kitchen.
This was a find at World Market, when we were looking for warm paintings and such for our new house, this was the first thing we bought. I am originally from KC so Jazz is a big thing in my family and background! I loved the feel of this, but the poor thing sits on a white wall--need to find a good color to go up against a sage wall around the corner! It is richer colors but with the flash it doesn't show half of the picture with the glare.
This is my hurricane that I found at my nearby gift store (Three Orange Doors), I found it on sale for $10. I think it is mercury glass on the bottom. I use it most of the year.
Another find at Three Orange Doors, the topiary matches this sage bathroom and leaf design beautifully, I got this for $4! The shelf was made for me by a student that I worked with 10 years ago when I was a T.A., he was so proud to give it to me and I have treasured it and used it ever since! The darling little house ornament with ribbon was also from T.O.D. for $2.50!
Ah, my toile curtain I bought from Target, I love this thing!!! I would put toile all over my house, but I have a houseful of boys and I think they would tire of it! I love black toile especially!
This is the poster I got from my old job for $30, then 2 years later I found this table at a garage sale and haven't touched it, I love the vintage feel of it being chipped and worn--got it for $8!
Thanks for looking! I am anxious for ideas and feedback! I am new to decorating so help is welcome!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Blessed Weekend!

What an amazing weekend we had! Friday night just sitting at home with the kids watching Brady Bunch on dvd thanks to our wonderful library!
Saturday we did some chores and errands and then the kids watched themselves while hubby and I went to the concert. It was amazing! We thoroughly enjoyed it! I enjoyed Chris Tomlin as well even though Israel was the real reason we couldn' t wait to go! :)
Sunday, what started out with inviting a few friends over after church turned into 15-16 people at our house playing Wii, napping, watching the SuperBowl, eating a ton of food and laughing like crazy! Our pastor even joined up with a nap on the kids bunk bed and then playing Wii, and getting the sole attention of our 5 year old for the last 30 minutes he was here! He had to show off jammies, Mario Kart skills and try texting with the pastor's iphone! Oy! :)
We feel very blessed to have such a wonderful church family that joined us and filled our house with energy, fun and love all day! *happy dance*
Enjoy the pics from the weekend!


Kaiden adored his time with our pastor...raspberries were a highlight of laughter as well!



My husband is the one holding the guitar.