random...and a discussion please.

First...does summer make you lazy cook too? 
We've been eating a lot of salads and sandwiches...or grilling.  If I do make a "real" dinner it looks something like this.  Do you have a favorite lazy summer meal?
And speaking of lazy...this is sometimes how we end our afternoons in the pool...throw in a little baby wash and you have yourself a bath.  The boys don't seem to mind...and it extends our time outside just a little before bed. 
The boys sharing a little breakfast time "dap".

We took the boys to play on UVA's campus...with their Virginia Tech football. :)
I think there will always be something about a college campus that I love...even if it's the campus of Tech's biggest rivals.  Moses, proving to be Doug's son, has been asking everyday when football starts.
And if you have never met our hoho...this photo pretty much sums him up.  Cute. Little. Stinker.  AKA a Happy Hoho monster. 
And speaking of hoho monsters...I'm working on a HUGE batch.  I hope to get them listed by the end of the week.  If you haven't asked me to reserve one for you...you might want to think about doing so...they go fast.  :)  They would make perfect gifts...because I can guarantee they won't have one. :)
And there will be PINK ones...but I won't be reserving those this go round...

And for the discussion.  I'm still on the fence about whether or not to homeschool.  Doug is over the fence and doesn't think we should...but I still want to pray and research.  Of course I would never oppose him if he says no...because I know that if we are supposed to...then God will change his heart.  For now I plan to do a "dry run" next year...since Moses birthday falls after the cut off date we could have a school year to try before it effects his public school experience.  

So this is where I want to hear from you...do you homeschool and why?  Were you homeschooled and hated it or loved it?  Why would you never homeschool?  Anything to do with homeschool I want to hear about. Ok...thanks friends!

Happy Monday and happy week! 

$1 fun.

I'll keep this simple.  $1.  Lots of fun.
I put it on a baking sheet...all of it out of the can.  And said...go for it.
They looked at me like I had a third eye.  Then they got over it.
It was a good, quiet, messy, fun 45minutes to an hour.
It smelled good. 
It wasn't long before they started to cover themselves...
Every so often they looked at me like "are you sure this is ok?"
And hoho only tried to eat it once.  That was enough.
After they were done...Moses spent another chunk of time painting everything in the backyard with it. 
And when we were completely done we hosed everything down. 
Good as new. 

Thanks for the idea Meg


be secure. period.

I mentioned before that I am reading Beth Moore's "So Long Insecurity".  
Unless you are part of the minority of women who have NO insecurity issues...then I highly suggest that you read it...to say it has been phenomenal is an understatement.  So many of the points she makes and how she shares them have me screaming "YES!!!" in my head of course (I don't want anyone thinking I am crazy---hehehe)

There is SO much I want to share with you about this book...so many thoughts are racing through my brain that I can hardly contain them but I thought that I would start with four points that she makes about the "quick" path to security.  So you don't have to wait until you get to this chapter of the book I thought I would share them...since I truly feel the same way and could have written them in much the same manner myself. 

The points are hers...the discussions are mine with her influence.
 Once again I realize that this may just be a journal post for me...and that is ok. 

Some ways to start on the path to being a SECURE woman draped in dignity. 

 1)Stop making comparisons. 
We are each made in the beauty of God's eye.  Each with our own set of plans, skills, abilities and everything.  Why why why do we as women feel such a need to size each other up?  Admit it...you walk into a room full of women and mentally start to compare hair, clothes, weight, height, how their kids are dressed and behaving, etc.  WHY do we make our own brand of crazy like this?  You wouldn't go to the market and compare the price of apples to cucumbers and then go on to complain that one is red and one is green...that one is sweet and one is not.  Right?  And why? Because they are two totally different things...meant for two totally different purposes.  And it would be crazy to compare them like that.  What makes comparing ourselves to other women any less crazy?

Let's make a deal. I will working on it if you will.  I will walk into a room with my OWN skills and looks and abilities and be confident that God did not make a mistake with me.  We cannot be compared to another for there is no other like us.  

2) Start personalizing other women. 
I think it is SO easy to forget that we are all in this together.  That there is NOTHING that we can go through that someone has not already.  As moms and women we have all struggled with the same issues...though some to more of a degree than others in different areas.  Then why do we find it so easy to forget the details of being human in that we all have feelings, dreams, cares, loves, hates, joys and sorrows and struggles.  I think if we can project THOSE thoughts onto others we would be making a HUGE leap into cementing our own security.  As in...seeing another woman (person) and our first thought being something like "I wonder what they are dealing with today...what are they happy about...what is bringing them down". 

I choose to remember this by the following scripture:
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful.
  1 Corinthians 10:13
And God's word does not lie to us.

3) Don't trip another woman's insecurity switch.
Oh my goodness...this one makes me crazy because it happens so much.  It KILLS me to see women doing this to each other.  And not only do women to it to other women...but truly our society does it to women (and men) all the time...via our culture.  Just think Victoria's Secret, or magazine ads or R rated movies.  There are things everywhere that are set and waiting to prick at our insecurities.  But society at large is one thing...woman to woman is another matter.     

 Not tripping another woman's insecurity switch includes shying away from things like...dressing provocatively(um always)...especially if you are going out with friends and their spouses...flaunting your wealth in front of friends you know are struggling...basically we as women(and humans) need to watch out for each other and avoid setting up a situation where we will make others feel out of sorts and insecure. 
Beth does point out, and I agree, that some people will feel insecure no matter the lengths you go to avoid it...and that is there battle to deal with.  
The bottom line has to be, in every situation, did we do everything we could to a healthy extent to for everyone to perform at their highest capacity? Did we act in love? We were looking our for others and not the cheap thrill of attention getting actions?    

AAAhhhh...I love it.

4)We must be examples of secure women.
This is a sort of "change starts with us" point.  If we want to influence a culture of confident, secure women...then it has to start with us.  The same as anything else...want some light? BE a light.
It's that simple.

And that my friends...is just a glimpse at the awesomeness that is this book...I am going to read it again and again I know...it is that important.  I don't plan on losing another day believing lies that aren't true...as Beth states:

"We are surrounded by a superficial world making deceptive claims".

I don't know if a truer statement could be said about our present day culture.  And I, for one, will not be buying into it any longer. 

As always...would love your feedback if you would like to share...if you act ugly anonymously...you will be ignored.  :) 


another glamorous makeover.

This is what started my whole cleaning binge this past weekend.  I needed more space to work and store my stuff.  And that is a fact.  In the next house we buy...which I am praying will be sooner rather than later...there will be a sewing room.  Or we won't buy it. 

But since I don't want to spend my days annoyingly whining about not having one now...I had to make do with what I have.  Above are the before photos...and believe it or not...they were taken about half way through me pulling everything out.   It was crazy in there...I had stuff on top of stuff...things I didn't know I had...fabric that I had forgotten about...I found spools of thread stuffed in bags...it was a huge unproductive mess.

So I gutted it...
The coats moved away...and when needed will live in my new mud room. 
Anything that wasn't mine was banished to a new home.  
Then we went to Lowe's and bought some simple lumber and brackets.  I spent most of the day Sunday organizing and purging.
I measured and installed...Doug cut and sanded.  The shelves were easy peasy...and cost maybe $60 total to make.  

There is a place for everything...even a spot to hang some cute on the wall. 
Most of the colorful bins have been collected from Target over time...the top shelf holds things I don't use often and my Cricut...that I want to ensure is not touched by tiny hands. 
The prints are my own making...the "create" cards are from Michael's.
I love it...and I consider it a tiny version of what I hope to have one day.
Once again I love that there is a place for everything...and I know where everything is!
I can display some of my favorite things in a place that is not cluttered with cars and blocks and trains.
And this my friends, is proof that anyone can have a craft "room".  You just have to find a place for all the stuff in your closet. :)

Thanks for all the kind words about my mud room...and for understanding my crazy.

the least glamorous makeover ever.

Say hello to my least favorite room in the house.  
This is the before of my laundry/pantry/storage/mud room.

This is the room where everything lands.  I mean just look at it...there are toys, shoes, outdoor stuff, swimming stuff, paint, crock pots, linens, vacuums, etc...it never ends.  
It made me and my "must be organized and clutter free" self crazy.  And this room was in the way of my plan to get a sewing "room".  But more on that in another post. 

For now...this needed to be tackled.  And I excitedly did it for about $30. 
Ahhhh....don't those photos just make you breath better?  Or is that just my crazy?  I went through every nook and crazy cranny and purged purged purged.
My rule for organizing/sorting is that I only keep things that are useful or loved. Stuff takes time to take care of it and I have better things to do with my time than care for stuff that I don't love or need. 

About $15 went into making my new coat rack...since we no longer have a hall closet(more on that later).  I bought a piece of wood and some clearance knobs at Anthropologie...some paint and screws later and you have a happy coat home.  I also turned the shelf in the first photo on its side and stacked them to make shoe cubbies...we'll keep mittens/gloves/scarves in that basket in cold weather.
I love this...and all its imperfect randomness...
Then, without measuring, I grabbed some fabrics from my stash and made a cute curtain. :)  Anything goes in this kind of room...right?
I added a little rug to catch dirty shoes...the boys jackets and safety gear hang on hooks that they can reach.
Then I made this little bulletin board to help fill that space and cover up the breaker box.  You can see a tutorial over at Lemon Tree Creations.
But my very favorite part?  (and this is where you see just how nerdy i am)...

My favorite part are the bankers boxes that contain almost every single thing in this room.   I organized it and sorted it all.  Everything single thing that is in a box is written on the outside of the box!!!  It makes my heart happy.  Anyone can go in my mudroom and find anything. 

And that is my very short path to craziness home happiness.   


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