Tuesday, December 18

I Believe...

This wasn't God's will.  God didn't allow this tragedy for some greater good. God didn't "need" more angels. God doesn't harm His children to bring them closer to Him. God doesn't kill babies- ever. Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy.  God comes to give us LIFE.  Abundant life.  I believe God wept over this loss just like we are, more so because he created every one of these precious lives and He knew the plan He had for them, a plan for them prosper...a plan with hope and a future.

God gave man the power of free will. God also knows there is evil in this world right now.  He gave us instructions in His own prayer to ask for deliverance from evil.  Yes, I believe in satanic evil. I believe we saw that power at work in Connecticut last week. Evil.

So what do we do? How do we live in a world like this?

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly trust in Jesus name.  Christ alone; cornerstone. Weak made strong in the Savior's love. Through the storm, He is Lord. Lord of all. When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale my anchor holds within the veil. When He shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in Him be found. Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless stand before the throne.

There will come a time...God's justice will be revealed.  Everyone chooses their master.  Jesus is my Lord. I belong to Him. Do you?

Sunday, December 16

Waiting Here For You

I didn't realize that Christy Nockels (from my hometown of Claremore) sang this song until I looked it up to post here.  There are so many thoughts running through my mind right now that have to do with theology and my belief system, even some about the politics of gun control. But today doesn't seem to be the day for that. Today is a day for continued prayers. Prayers for the families and community...and our nation.  Today is a day for tears. Today is the day for living out songs like this one...

Monday, September 3

Leftover Burlap Becomes Bulletin Board

This little project was pretty exciting for me.  I saved a wad of cash and got something even better than my original want.

I saw a framed bulletin board at Hobby Lobby for $70 on Saturday.  Now, I would never pay that but I was considering the $35 when it went 1/2 price.  Ya'll know that you never pay full price at Hobby Lobby because everything goes 1/2 off sometime. Right?  But because I am a little cheap frugal, I decided to wait on it.  I'm so glad I did because as luck would have it, I came across a pinterest pin using burlap to make your own bulletin board.  Ding! Ding! Ding! Lightbulb moment!  There is this huge painting I stuck in the attic that would be the perfect frame.  Always always always keep your old decorating stuff so you can "shop the house" and repurpose things later.  Here is the picture in it's original form-
I pulled off the paper backing and popped out the print.  This was a steal at $10 from Old Time Pottery a few years ago.  It was a steal because the frame is heavy, sold wood, and it is huge.  I never was crazy about the picture but it served a purpose for a time.  

I covered the back of the picture with cork from Lowes ($10) and trimmed the excess.  Then I covered the cork with the leftover burlap.  I wrapped it around and secured it every few inches with my arsenal of choice, the glue gun.  If you don't get at least 3 first degree burns from your glue gun, you aren't really crafting. Tip: the cork is THIN. You may want to use the cork from an actual bulletin board that you tear a part.  The price is about the same. 

Pop it back into the frame and then use a staple gun to secure. 
 Then I found a hot guy with tools to change the hooks for me. The painting went horizontal but I needed the bulletin board to hang vertical. 

It's really helpful if that same hot tool guy will hang the board for you.  

Done. The $70 bulletin board for $10 plus leftover frame and leftover burlap. 
Labor Day weekend is over so I'll be taking a craft break now...but then again...there are so many ideas on pineterst...I may have to sneak in one or two more in the next few days. 

The Easiest Project EVER

This is the easiest project you will ever do.  In fact, here are the directions ON the project.
I used the leftover burlap that I had from the fall pennant garland but as I was thinking about this the options are endless.  Find the perfect fabric from a napkin, placemat, hankie, tshirt, scarf, scrap material, pillow case, sheets, even some great scrapbooking paper.  

I can see these all over...big message boards like this one...little message boards attached to bulletin boards or on doors or bathroom sinks with a reminder list for the kids.  

Pair it with a set of the dry erase markers and give it as a teachers gift.  

This project is literally so easy I felt dumb for not thinking of it myself!

Sunday, September 2

Loving the Look, Hating the Pictures

This was our first attempt at the deco mesh decorating.  We went with a garland for the mantel and I have to say I love it so much more in person than from these pictures. Why does the color never turn out right?
Here are the steps.
Step 1- Buy or make a work garland.  I couldn't find one to buy at Hobby Lobby so I made one.  I used wire twine and pipe cleaners. I tied the twine to the table and door across the room so make it pull tight. Attach the pipe cleaners by twisting them every about every 5 inches. It ends up looking something like this:
Step Two- Using the large roll of deco mesh, start at one end and attach it by twisting the pipe cleaner.  Pull it down to the 2nd pipe cleaner to keep your poofs a consistent size.  
Create the poof by attaching it at the first available pipe cleaner like this-
Step 3- Add various other ribbons in a zig zab pattern.   
We chose a red burlap, green damask print, and a plaid.  However, after starting the plaid we decided we didn't like it.  No big deal, just pull it back off.  That's the great thing about working with this material...it is so easy to remove and start over until you have it like you want.  
Step 4- Add in picks of fall flowers, leaves, pumpkins, etc. etc.  We bought them in a bunch and then just pulled them a part. 
It is that simple!  Now, don't judge the top of the mantel yet...we are working on it...getting some ideas from pinterest to make it just right.  Don't judge the colors either. I'm not sure if it is the phone or the lighting or what but if you've been here you know that wall is a deep "barn red" and that is what the burlap is too.  I hate the way it looks pink here. Ya'll know me better than that, right?

Wednesday, August 22

Here is another yummy summer recipe...although not near as healthy as the Green Smoothie! This one I found via pinterest courtesy of BlogChef.net.  Here you go!

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup BBQ sauce
8 slices bacon (cooked until crispy)
2 cups shredded Colby-jack cheese
½ cup green onions (sliced)
½ cup tomatoes (chopped)
Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: Place bacon slices, 4 at a time into a cold frying pan. Heat to medium-low and cook bacon, turning once until it has reached a deep brown color (about 10-15 minutes), remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
Step 2: Lightly grease the grates of an outdoor grill. Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Place chicken breasts onto the grill and cook while turning and brushing with the BBQ sauce frequently on each side for 10-15 minutes per side (depending on the thickness), or until fully cooked (the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees).  During the last few minutes of cooking top each chicken breast with 2 slices of bacon and shredded Colby-jack cheese.
Step 3: Remove from the grill and top with green onions and tomatoes.
(Makes 4 Servings)
Be sure to check his site for TONS of other easy breezy favorites. 

Tuesday, August 21

The Green Smoothie

I've tried many new recipes this summer but the green smoothie is my favorite!  Sometimes I drink it for breakfast, sometimes for a snack, and even sometimes for my lunch.  It's super easy, super healthy, AND super yummy!  There are many variations of the recipe and I have actually tried it several ways but here is the recipe for my favorite.

Ingredients: one banana, frozen mixed fruit, 2 handfuls of organic baby spinach, water/ice
This is the fruit I like (from Target)
Dig out your blender and dust it off.  Now I don't know if the order matters but I put the frozen fruit on the bottom...about 1/2 of the small bag for 2 servings. Then break up a banana and drop it in.  Add 2 good handfuls of the spinach and about 1/2 cup of water and blend.  If I just bought the frozen fruit, I will often add a handful of ice to make it colder. Blend. Blend. Blend some more.  Sometimes you need to take a big spoon (I use the black Pampered Chef one--not wood!) and poke it all down a bit.  Don't poke too far or you will get a helping of plastic in your smoothie.  It's really that easy. It's really that good.  I don't think the calories matter when they are all healthy calories like this but it is probably under 100 anyway.

I've done it with peaches and strawberries...that is YUMMY too but using dark fruit makes it more brown than green.  Basically that means that this-
turns into this-
and just to prove that even your kids will like it....

Saturday, August 11

Oh. My. Gosh.

Is it too soon to say that fall is here?  Maybe so...but we are watching Panther football, preparing for Weddington Warrior football (half time shows actually), and buying all the school supplies.  The weather is even cooperating.  It's decent outside right now...although I have to say I am hoping for HOT and SUNNY this week so we can get some more pool time in.  Ya'll know I am a summer girl but I do admit I'm kinda looking forward to chili, blankets, and a school schedule.  Oh. My. Gosh. It has happened. Somehow. Someway. I have gotten old.

Friday, August 10

The Challenge of Coupons

Do you coupon?  I did. Then I didn't. Now I do. Couponing can be a challenge if you really want to make a difference but if you put a little time in, the savings will be substantial.  I don't do multiple stores anymore. I stick with Target, Harris Teeter, and go couponless at Aldi for other items.   Here are a few hard fast rules for making the most of your grocery dollar.

1- Stores often put items on sale to coordinate with a current coupon.  I know it sounds too good to be true but it's the case.  So while the 2 for $4 sale on Eggo Waffles at Harris Teeter is good.  You would also want to pair that with the $1 off 2 coupon in last weeks paper.  Since HT is doing super doubles this week that means you can get boxes of Eggo Waffles for $1 each. Always look for coupons to pair with ads.

2- Buy when it is on sale, not when you need it.  No I didn't need 10 cans of black beans this week but they are on sale for .50 so why not stock up now instead of paying .90 a can later?  Same thing with meat- stock up on what is on sale and keep your freezer stocked.

3- Use the internet for resources. There are many (many) sites out there that lay the whole thing out for you.  Do a search and find a site that focuses on your store of choice.  Let someone else put in the time while you also reap the benefits.

4- Don't blow your savings with impulse buys! The grocery store people LOVE it when you do this.  Don't overpay on one item when you are there to save on something else.

5- Keep a list of your "goal prices."  I have this saved in my phone.  It helps me to know if a sale price is really a good deal or not.  I just add to the list as I find a great deal. It's helpful if you list it as a price per ounce or per roll of toilet paper etc to make sure you compare apples to apples.

Now, go clip some coupons!

Sunday, August 5

We Weren't Crazy

20 years ago, I said yes to that first date. 17 years ago I said "I do."  6 years ago we moved halfway across the country. We were young, we were wild, we were restless. We were a lot of things, but we weren't crazy....

When Good Ideas Go Bad

The idea:
Use leftover coffee to fill ice cube trays creating coffee cubes that won't water down the flavor of your iced coffee. 

The ugly truth:
I have a brown sticky mess in the freezer. 
The cubes required so much force to pop out of the tray that more than one went flying across the kitchen. 

The takeaway:
Maybe the $1 trays from Target were the problem. While they were cute, the quality was questionable.  Maybe I'll try one more time. Then again I really don't mind watered down iced coffee. 

Saturday, August 4

The Whole Chicken Thing

I'm a bit more censored on Facebook than on my blog. Shocking I know.  But this is totally my space to say whatever comes to mind and know nobody really reads it anyway.  So. Here are the thoughts I won't put on Facebook...not today anyway. 

*I don't care who marries who. Sorry Baptist friends. I really don't think that is worth fighting over. I do however care that people try to tell me where I should and shouldn't eat my chicken. I'll eat my chicken wherever I choose to do so. 
*I think ALL business owners have a right to voice their opinions. Even if they aren't popular.  If I feel strongly enough about them to boycott their establishment based on them, then I will but that is MY choice. Only mine. I'll be danged if any government or church is going to tell me I have to protest this or that based on this or that. In fact, if you tell me to protest it- you can bet I'll probably be there the next day just to show you how I feel about that. Take your marbles and go home now. 
*The above goes for both the left and the right wing. I have my own moral compass and it isn't swayed by party lines. 
*How dare people who preach tolerance become so intolerant of differing opinions. That's ironic, don't you think?
*Now I think I'll go by Starbucks first and then Chic-fil-a. Wow. I'm such a rebel to both parties. Or maybe I just like good coffee with my rockin chicken?

Saturday, July 21

Missing AirBear

This is going to be a gushy post. If you don't like reading about how awesome other people's kids are then you might as well just X out here right now.  Go on.

For those of you that stayed, you must love my kids too. They are pretty great, aren't they?  Well this gushing is about Aaron, also known as AirBear.  He spent the night with a friend last night and then went with them to the lake today. Anyone that knows me understands how hard it was for me to let him go. I like to keep my chicks pretty close to the nest. Sleepovers are cool but the lake...that really pushed my comfort zone. Brad forced urged me to let him go and I do trust this family and knew they would be just as cautious as I am (if that is possible).

It's been a long 27 hours.  As I type this I'm waiting for him to walk in the door.  Because he is such a good boy I think he'll even let me hug on him and ask a million questions and maybe even watch some TVLand with me as he drifts off to sleep.  Aaron is one of the most considerate, compassionate, generous kids I have ever known.  He is smart (like super- we have no idea where it came from- smart) and really funny too. He has the best sense of humor. I think back to when the kids really were babies and that was a good place but right now, even with Maci and Aaron being in these teen years, we are really enjoying hanging out with them.  They have this maturity about them. They make us proud.  It's not only an honor-- but a joy to be their mom.

While I've been missing him today I have been listening to a little Scotty McCreery...yeah, he reminds me of my Aaron...and I can so see this story unfolding in a few years....

Friday, July 6

What a difference a week makes.  Last week the big events included tide charts and sunscreen. This week they include $1 movies and the grand opening of Aldi. Oh well. For everything there is a season. That just means there will be more time for blogging- including an Aldi Tutorial for all you newbies.  You know who you are. Don't be ashamed, it can be intimidating the first time but I'll walk you through it. Yay for lazy summer days.

Sunday, July 1

No More Family Fun?

We've been getting the Family Fun magazine in the mail as far back as I can remember. Admitedly they have been hitting the trash the last few several months, but I finally opened up the latest issue to see what fun ideas I could get for our family.

I thumbed through the cutesy ideas for snacks, games, and craft projects when it finally hit me. We have outgrown the Family Fun magazine. Yeah. When did this happen? I'm not really sure but if I tried to decorate the kids PB&J to look like a watermelon they would totally make fun of me. Even Andy. Especially Andy.

Humph. Well then. Ok. So. Now what? I need a new magazine. I need the "Fun Yet Cool Things to Do So Your Kids Won't Laugh at You" magazine. It's a little sad but it's also a lot of fun...and much less mess.

Friday, June 22

Happy 13th Air Bear

Ah, It Feels Good to Be Home

Whew. Last year is a blur. I worked morning, noon, night, and midnight- all year.  My family forgot who I was.  They referred to me as that lady that works in her office. It wasn't pretty. So I made some tweaks, adjustments, all out overhauls to my work schedule and here I am. Back. Whew. It feels good to have some time for a life again.

What has changed? Everything. I "retired" after 10 years of teaching Kindergarten to be a work at home / stay at home mom.  I terminated my contract with a vacation booking company in lieu of getting plans together to work for myself.  I stepped back to get the priorities back in order. I stepped out of the insanity to find some peace.

I sleep a little now.

My kids are learning who I am again. My husband says he had really missed my cooking. My dogs even feel a difference.

Part of this priority arranging means getting this blog up and going again. I love it. I love having an outlet for my thoughts.  I love sending words into cyberspace not knowing or even really caring if anyone else ever reads them. This blog is a selfish thing to a large extent but it is also a way to journal and create a niche for our family memories to hang out there indefinitely.

So. If you used to read me, I'm back. For real this time. I'm not promising a post every day or anything but I am up for a little healthy blogging therapy.

Good to see you again world.