Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Ten

Happy Tuesday, Y'all!  Time for Tuesday Ten!


Oh.  My.  Stars.  We have had some serious behavioral issues round our neck of the woods this week.  All I'm sayin' is thank the Lord school starts soon...very soon.  And it hasn't been terrible stuff, just simply Harrison not listening and talking back to me.  We've resorted to spankins, restriction and taking things away from him, but nothing is working.  Finally (and kinda sad that it was my last thought), we just sat down and prayed about it.  So, this is a new week and we're all hoping for a much better outcome.  I told Harrison we weren't doing anything fun until he got his self together, which actually proves to be punishment for me because it means I'm stuck in the house too!  Okay, I'm done ranting, but I figured it'd help if I just got it all out there...  Check out his chore chart for the week and tell me this isn't just pitiful!  The check marks are days he did his chores - Every day.  But the sad faces are days his behavior warranted no pay for said chores.  One (ONE!) good day out of two weeks - Yikes.

It's no secret I'm a fan of Ann Voskamp and her blog A Holy Experience.  As I read her blog (on that particular day where the above-mentioned behavior issues hit the fan) titled "When You're Finding it Hard to be Patient," boy oh boy, it was just what I needed to put the day into perspective.  Her writing has a way of igniting the conviction of the Holy Spirit in the most engaging way.  Ann says, "Patient people dare to gratefully accept people where they are.  Grateful for who they are now, appreciative of works of art not yet finished, but still deeply loved."  How very true for children, and heck, for me too...I'm one of those 'works of art not yet finished.'  Definitely a work in progress.


Pinterest!  If you haven't heard of Pinterest, you're missing out.  My dear friend Jen got me hooked on it and it is SO addicting.  Seriously.  Imagine loads and loads of crafty tutorials, decorating ideas, gardening ideas, recipes and party planning ideas all in one place??  (and really so many more categories than that)  That's Pinterest.  Once you set up an account, you can go in and add "pins" to your boards which are basically like a favorites list of sorts.  Mine are categorized for crafting, recipes, decorating, organizing, etc.  Besides posting my own pins, I can "repin" any of my friends ideas to my board.  It really sounds complicated and took me a bit to figure it out, but it's so cool.  Try it.  And then promptly let me follow your boards.  Some ridiculously cool things I've found on Pinterest...
Pilgram Hat Cookies
Made from cheap wood shims
Cute mustache pacifiers


With the end of summer, brings kick-starting a new year of MOPS.  I love our MOPS group and am excited that the 2011-2012 year will be my first year as co-coordinator.  Next week, our core group of leaders will be trotting off to MOPS National Convention in Nashville.  I'm excited to go, but knowing how homesick I get, I'm a little nervous at the same time.  In the end, it's always worth it.  So, I spent a few days this week brainstorming and putting together pages of ideas for our new year.  It's going to be great!  If you're local and interested in MOPS, check out our Facebook page here.  If you're not local and are wondering what MOPS is all about, check out the MOPS website here.


Just a few weeks ago, I misread the directions on the bread machine and had major pizza dough fail!  And would you believe I screwed up pizza dough again??!  Yes, I'm serious.  Needless to say, we went out for pizza that night...which then got me thinking maybe I should mess up supper more often. 


My Harrison can be sweet when he wants too -- key words there, when he wants to.  I made pancakes for Saturday morning breakfast for my little men.  As Harrison was clearing the table, he says to me, "Man, that was good good breakfast."  I said, "Well, thanks...maybe one day you'll get you a wife that'll cook you good good breakfast."  And his reply, "Yep...just like you."  Besides the fact that given his behavior towards me for the week, this comment was endearingly sweet.  I told Justin the story later and his synopsis was, "That boy's playin' you like a fiddle."  And that may be true as well, but for now I'll take what I can get!


I love a good thrift store and a few months back, Brig and I ventured into a new one on a lazy Saturday afternoon.  I managed to come out with two things, one being a plum-colored knit jersey dress that just happened to fit perfect and look perfect and is ridiculously comfortable.  I've been wearing that thing to pieces - total cost $2.50.  The other item was this black knit jersey handkerchief-hem skirt. 

Ick...I'm not a fan of the tattered handkerchief-style skirt, but for $0.50 (yes, that FIFTY CENTS), I figured it was the perfect excuse to remake it.  Here's the after...and I probably should mention that I pretty much love this skirt now!


Though I love to sew, I've been a big fan here lately of quick projects...like quick as in less than an hour.  I came across this tutorial on Pinterest the other day for a makeup brush roll and couldn't get the thing out of my head.  And it couldn't have come at a better time either, as I was desperately needing a new way of storing my makeup brushes.  The bigger ones are always easy to find, but I waste time every morning digging in the bottom of my bag for those smaller eye brushes.  No more!  This tutorial was ridiculously quick and easy.  I changed the dimensions a little from the original tutorial, as I wanted to include room for two more big brushes.  Easy peazy!


...It's another quick and easy project that I found at the perfect time.  We came home from church Sunday afternoon and Harrison showed me how he dropped his Veggie Tales Bible (yet again) and now the spine was torn from the pages.  Definitely an easy fix with a little Gorilla Glue (love this stuff!), but I figured now was a good time for a Bible cover tutorial that I recently came across.  I don't remember where I found this tutorial but I basically adapted it to the dimensions of Harrison's Bible and added easy-to-carry handles.  And of course it had to be camo and have his little name stitched across the front.  This project literaly took me less than an hour (including the monogram) and Harrison loved it!  Anything that makes him proud to carry his Bible makes me happy!


Dontcha know I had to put something food-related in a Tuesday Ten!  At the grocery store, I grabbed this Betty Crocker (she's the best) Decadence Supreme Chocolate Mousse cake mix.  The cake mix and the mousse frosting mix is all in the box - nice!  I whipped this up for Sunday supper and it was great!  We're still noshing on leftovers the next day.  You keep it in the fridge, which is partly I think why it's so good.  I'm a big fan of icebox cakes that are cold - Yum!  The only complaint (which really isn't a complaint) is that I didn't realize until I was making the mousse that there's only enough mouse to frost the top only of the cakes.  Meaning there's not enough to traditionally frost a round layered cake all the way around.  It was still great without the extra frosting, and my waistline will probably thank me for that later.

So you can see it's been a slow week, but anything but boring for sure.  Partly slow because we've spent a lot of time just staying home...due to the behavior issues noted above!  Hopefully, things are improving in that subject.  We'll be back to our usual shenanigans before long!

AND...as usually for Tuesday, we're featured today over on Sweet Shot Tuesday at My 3 Boybarians...#59!
Have a blessed week! 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Memory Monday

Taking a quick glance back one year ago....

Our little Briggy was getting his very first haircut!





Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday Ten

It's time for Tuesday Ten yet again!  It's been a fun-filled week 'round here, and we're enjoying summer break.  (Even though I'm a tad anxious for school to resume...we're enjoying it nonetheless!)

1.)  On Wednesday of last week, I took the boys to see Cars 2.  Probably Harrison's favorite Disney characters are Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater.  With a close second being Buzz and Woody of Toy Story.  Probably close to a year ago, we were at the movie theater and saw previews for Cars 2.  Since then, that boy has been so excited for it to come out.  B met us at the theater and the boys were so well-behaved (well, mainly Brig...Harrison's well-behaved 99% of the time anyway).  Both of them loved the movie; and to tell you the truth, I loved it too.  So cute!

2.)  After our morning at the movies on Wednesday, we shared Japanese chicken and veggies for lunch and then did a little school shopping.  As well as the realization that apparently 5-year-old's have an opinion about what they wear.  Since when did this happen?  Harrison's a typical boy and most of the time could care less about what he's wearing and gives me no lip when I set out clothes for him.  Nearly everything I picked up at the store and showed him, he had a negative opinion about.  So, I finally let him pick out something, and what does he choose??  The loudest, most obnoxious t-shirt in the store, of course with a TV character on it.  We just don't do characters.  We ended up compromising on a handfull of polo shirts and a few pair of shorts.  He still needs more things and Mama will be shopping alone for those!

3.)  Even though the boys have a swanky swing set in the back yard courtesy of Daddy, they love the Duck Pond Park.  So Thursday morning, we had a little park day.  With the heat wave going down now, we made it there bright and early...maybe 8:30 or so.  Harrison had been bugging me for days about when we could go to the park.  And here we were finally at said park, and in less than 45 minutes he was ready to go home, "because it was just too hot."  No hotter than our backyard...except that we have a waterhose, sprinkler, water balloons, slip and slide among other things to cool off.

4. )  For the first time ever, I made slider burgers for supper the other night.  Burgers on the grill are a regular supper for us, but it's just boring sometimes.  So, I decided to get a little creative and do mini burgers...sliders.  Oh. Sweet. Niblets.  These were so GOOD!  And Harrison just thought it was the neatest thing ever that we had kid-sized burgers. 

5.)  In the spirit of trying new things...  We decided to combine the boys' rooms this week.  Brigdon moved into Harrison's room, which is the bigger bedroom.  Brigdon's room is now our new playroom (details below).  With Harrison starting Kindergarten in just a few short weeks, I figured now would be a good time get both boys in the groove with combined rooms.  They pretty much have the same sleep schedules...they both wake at the same time, though Brig heads to bed in the evenings maybe 30 or 45 minutes sooner than Harrison, and both take afternoon naps still, of which Harrison won't any longer after school starts.  Harrison's twin bed has always had a trundle bed underneath and that's where Brig's sleeping for now.  We hope to have them bunk beds (details below) soon!  And I should add that taking the crib down and storing it away was a little bittersweet.  It helps to know it's not being put away forever!

6.)  Part of my desire to combine the boys in one room was the beauty of a playroom = one room for all toys.  They always play together, but between two bedrooms, there were toys strung from one end to the other.  The new playroom has been great!  The toys and books are all organized and they can both quickly pick it up at the end of the day.
The new playroom!

7.)  Another number dedicated to food!  Except this time, it's more of a community awareness thing.  I had a major lasagna fail this week.  I don't claim to be the greatest cook on the planet, but there are very few things that I cook that my bunch doesn't gobble up.  And lasagna is usually a big hit, especially Crock Pot lasagna.  Friday morning, I was putting it all together in my Crock Pot when I realized we were out of ground beed, so I subbed sausage thinking it'd be fine.  Except this wasn't ground Italian sausage (which is a really yummy swap for ground beef in Italian dishes), it was like kielbasa-type sausage.  I sliced it thin, browned it a little and then added it to my tomato sauce.  All afternoon while it was cooking, it smelled so good and we were looking forward to digging in.  Something about the sausage cooking slow like that all day just gave the entire thing this terrible taste.  The funniest part though, is that Justin and I neither one finished our supper.  We just couldn't do it.  But the boys - holy smokes...Harrison had seconds and Brig had thirds.  Thirds!  After finishing his third helping, he even whined for more.  At least the boys loved it, but I'll be sure to not make that mistake again. 

This boy loves Mama's lasagna!

8.)  As noted above, we're on the search for bunk beds for the boys.  I have in my mind exactly what I want, but finding it in our budget is another issue altogether.  Dreaming of something like this... 
Courtesy of Pottery Barn Kids at a price tag of $1,199.  Yikes.

But will probably settle on something like this...
Courtesy of Walmart.com with a much lower price tag.  I'll be cranking up my sewing machine to jazz the beds up with matching quilts and such!

9.)  We just love Sundays.  By far my favorite day of the week and always has been.  There's just something about starting and ending the day in church on the day specifically set aside for worship and for rest.  Our Sunday's usually go something like this...  Breakfast early (breakfast every day of the week is early for my bunch!), hurry and dress, Sunday School and worship service, something yummy for lunch (chicken and dumplins this week!), naps for everyone (including Mama and Daddy), followed by church again.  Besides spending a Sunday precisely the way God intends it to be, it feels great to start the week on Monday well rested.  All too often the weekend buzzes by and Monday sneaks up and we don't even feel like we've gotten a break. 
"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest..."

10.)  We had big plans for a group outing with friends to the Jump Zone, but after a little scheduling snafoo, we ended up at the Museum of Science and History...or MOSH.  Though Harrison was disappointed at first that we couldn't do Jump Zone, this was our first time at MOSH and he loved it.  Even Brig was intrigued with a lot of the exhibits.  It took us about two hours to do the museum, just in time for lunch.  After lunch, we drove home and both boys were exhausted.  Sweet music to my ears!

Love his "cheese" face!

Logan, Meghan and Harrison watching the fish

Logan, Meghan and Harrison with Mr. Spaceman

Be blessed this week!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday Truth

"But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details!  There is only one thing worth being concerned about.  Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her." 

The excerpt above is a portion from the story of two sisters -- Mary and Martha.  Two completely different sisters, actually.  Picture Martha:  Type A, a little OCD-ish, clean-freak and to-do-list oriented.  (Sounds vaguely familiar.)  And then picture Mary:  Anti-Type A, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants, never-make-a-plan and totally in-the-moment.  Now, don't get me wrong, though Mary and Martha are quite different, neither is better or worse than the other.  They're just simply different

As the story in Luke goes, Jesus and the disciples had been traveling to Jerusalem and they came to Mary and Martha's house.  Martha -- being Ms. Hospitality that she is -- welcomed them into her home.  She quickly went to work a-cookin' and a-cleanin'.  All the while, her sister Mary simple sat and visited with Jesus while He taught.  I can picture Martha in the kitchen just stewing away, slamming cabinets and such (not that I've done anything like that) until she finally has enough and rushes to Jesus.  She says:

"Lord, doesn't it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work?  Tell her to come and help me."  (Luke 10:40b)

To which Jesus (that guy never misses a beat) replies, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details!  There is only one thing worth being concerned about.  Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her."  (Luke 10:41-42)

Luke doesn't go on to explain what happened from here, but I can imagine that after Martha's reality check, she settles down and lets go of her worries. 

Wonder if it's really that easy? 
To instantly let go of your worries? 
To turn them over to God and let Him work on His time frame? 

For me, it's not so easy. 

The apostle Paul lays it out simply in Philippians 4:6-7a, where he writes, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.  Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understsand." 

So, in all actuality, it is rather simple.  Set the worries down and pray about everything.  And, in my opinion, the most important part comes next.  "Tell God what you need..."  While taking into account He is the all-knowing all-powerful creator of everything and know exactly what we need, we still need to voice them to Him.  Not in a way that gives him a check list, as in, "Okay God, I've got myself in a pickle here, and I need You to do this, this and this to get me out of it."  Unfortunately, that's not the way it works.  Sadly, more often than not, my prayer is not focusing on needs -- whether mine or someone elses -- it's focused mainly on what I want.  Because I have it all figured out in my head God; You just need to get a move on.  Right. 

I'm pretty sure He deserves much more than my selfish to-do list. 

And slowly but surely, I am learning this.  Just trusting day-to-day -- no, moment-to-moment -- on an attitude of gratitude. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday Ten

It's that time again...time for Tuesday Ten!  I think this just may be my blog favorite.  A nice way to summarize our week!


Eight years ago today, I married my very best friend.  And he's still my best friend today.  As Brad Paisley sings, "I thought I loved you then..."  Here's to many, many more years!
Our Wedding Day - July 12, 2003


A group of my girlfriends took a day trip up to St. Mary's, Georgia to visit the St. Mary's Aquatic Center with our kiddos.  We got to the park right at opening time.  The kids were able to play for an hour or so and then we took a break for a picnic lunch and we right back to the water.  I really wish Brig could have held out a little longer, because Harrison wanted so badly to stay and play more.  I was surprised that Brig took right to the play area.  He wanted to climb and do the slides just like Brother.  With so many of the other kids much bigger than him, I ended up climbing up there with him and every time I ended up soaked.  Finally, I got the bright idea to do a little bribery in which Harrison was promised a milkshake if he'd do the slides with and keep an eye on his brother.  Smartest idea ever!  I could sit back and watch them have a ball from a distance.

Silly boy
Havin' a blast!

Both of them completely zonked out post-milkshake


Yes, a pedicure is a blog-worthy event -- for me at least.  These only happen about twice a year and boy was I in dire need of it!  Justin had Friday off (because of our date night...see below), so while the boys were napping, I slipped out of the house for an hour by myself.  Lucky for me, the nail salon just so happens to be right next to Starbucks.  Coincidence?  I think not. 

Yes, I'm aware these are Flintstone feet...but they're pretty good to me, so I can't complain.

In honor of our anniversary, we got a sitter (Meme & Papa = The best kind) and headed out for some alone time to celebrate.  Justin planned the evening and --  just his style -- it was low-key and casual....but so much fun.  We had supper at Texas Roadhouse, by far J's favorite restaurant.  I didn't complain because we hadn't been there in a while and those roasted peanuts are the best!  After supper, we played a round of putt-putt golf...and managed to keep it a secret from Harrison.  He wouldn't be too happy if he knew we were putt-puttin' without him!  And, in true date night form, we grabbed ice cream before heading home.  I think by the time we picked the boys up and got them in bed, it was just shy of 11:00 p.m. and we were both exhausted.  Guess that's a sure sign we're aging.  A "night on the town" is more of a "late afternoon on the town...I gotta get to bed!"

Not a smiler, but I love this fella


A month or so ago, Justin helped Harrison roll the change in his piggy bank.  It's the first time we've emptied it and the only reason was because it was so full that you couldn't even fit in one more coin.  So last week, Justin carried him to the bank so he could cash his rolled change into bills.  Justin said the teller asked Harrison, "How'd you like your bills?  Twenties?"  To which Harrison replied quickly, "Yes, ma'am."  didn't even want a bank envelope; that money went straight into his pocket.  So he gets home and busts in the door.  He runs over to me and pulls out his little wad of cash.  He is so stinkin' excited and says in his matter-of-fact, this-is-the-way-it-is tone, "Mama!  I'm, like, almost rich!"  That kid never ceases to crack me up.  That same day was allowance payday, so he got money for that too.  And for Mama's proudest moment...after counting out his cold hard cash, he took out money "for Jesus" (tithes) and put the rest back in his piggy bank. 


I couldn't have a Tuesday Ten without something food related.  I try to cook something special every Sunday for my bunch...like a Sunday Supper.  And this has to include dessert.  Chocolate pie is an old standby and with the heat lately, a cool creamy dessert fit the bill.  Usually, my chocolate pie consists of a store-bought graham cracker crust, instant chocolate pudding, and topped with a tub of Cool Whip.  While it's pretty darn good like that, I decided to church it up a little.  I made my own graham cracker crust with crushed graham crackers and melted butter.  Since I don't own a pie plate, I pressed the crumbs in the bottom of a springform pan.  Then came the pudding and the Cool Whip...nothing special here, but then I topped it with mini chocolate chips.  So, so yummy!  And in the process, the thought never entered my mind to grab a picture.  And since I used the springform pan, when the sides of the pan was removed, it was a pretty pie too. 


Guess this is along the same lines as food...  Am I sensing a pattern here?  I got on this bread-baking kick maybe a year or so and for a while was making homemade bread every week -- sometimes twice a week.  This was like yeast-rising, dough-kneading kind of bread.  And though it tasted great and made the house smell pretty great, it was a lot of work.  So, I got to thinking about maybe investing in a bread machine.  Months went by and I fell in and out of the bread-baking kick until one day Dear Ole Mom asked me if I'd be interested in her bread machine.  She was getting rid of it, so I gladly took it off her hands.  Man oh man, this thing is awesome!  I have used it nearly every week...and not just for bread.  At this very moment, pizza dough is rising in there for homemade pizza tonight.  It's unbelievably easy...dump the ingredients in the pan and push a button.  The machine mixes, kneads, rises and bakes.  We still get the yummy, fresh-baked-bread smell in the house, but I barely did a lick of work. 
Oh sweet niblets!


The bathroom redo saga continues...   I finished repainting the cabinets and LOVE how they turned out.  Before they were plain-Jane honey oak finish.  Ick.  Now, they're a nice satin black.  I love the contrast between the dark cabinets and the new pale green walls.  Now if we could just get around to that new countertop...



Super exciting news!  Our very best friends found out weeks back that they were expecting twins.  Today, they got the news that the twins are both baby girls.  I am quite excited to get to stitchin' on some prissy, girly things, which is completely foreign in our neck of the woods.  Can't wait to love on Payton Brooke and Ashlyn Avery Thomas!


Wednesday morning, Harrison and I cleaned out his closet, organized the toys and rearranged his bedroom furniture.  While weeding through old toys, he decided to let Brig have his play workbench.  Really and truly, Brig is the only one who plays with it anyhow.  So we gathered all the pieces and set it up in Brig's room.  That boy was so tickled to have the workbench in his room.  It's now the first thing he plays with.

Have a great week!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Memory Monday

Taking a quick glance back one year ago...

We were right in the thick of summer.  Hot, muggy mornings outside and nice, long afternoon naps (for the boys, not for me) in the A/C!

This time last year, we were finishing up Vacation Bible School at church...Harrison's first VBS experience actually.  He had the most fun that week and I had the privilege of leading his class. 

My other little pipsqueak -- this time a year ago -- was on the verge of feeding himself.  It's no surprise both my boys are good eaters and love the eat.  (Have you seen their Mama...enough said)! 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Garden Update

A few pictures to show how great our garden is doing...  Harrison is so proud!  At this point, we've now harvested some of our veggies...limas, squash, corn and okra.  Unfortunately, nearly everything else (with the exception of the pumpkins) was eaten by the deer.  That means no green beans, cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumber or tomatoes.  Those jokers even chomped down our sunflowers!



A Baby Pumpkin

Corn's taller than my boy!


And another first...  Meme & Papa's chickens have started laying eggs!  What fun!