Sunday, January 30, 2011

Valentine Blog~Swap Goodies from Hannah!

It's SWAP time~ Valentine's Style!
I got an exciting knock on my door on Saturday! My mailman delivered my Valentine Swap Package from Hannah!
My gifts were all tied into the acronym:
H~Heart pancake rings AND recipe for "Red Velvet Pancakes w/ cream cheese glaze"!
E~"Easy on the hands oven mitt" (and it's a cupcake! Helllooooo cuteness!)
A~Apron (it's reversible! Darling stripes on one side, darling cupcakes on the other!)
R~"Ring around the collar"necklace. (handmade and I AM going to copy this!!)
T~Towel (matches the oven mitt and apron...I almost don't want to use it, it's so cute!)

Along with my sweet goodies, AnnaPreston sent Lindsay and Anna some little goodies too!!
They were thrilled!!

Lindsay's gift came in handy this morning while she waited for everyone to be ready to leave for church!
Thank you so much, Hannah! What a fun gift, I love each and every item and it really couldn't be more "me"!

Go here to see everybody else's loot!
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Love, A Stripper and other Randomness

We have been going from one thing to another around here. I feel like a need a secretary or a personal assistant!
I did, however, make time to put out a few little Valentine's Day decorations (Anna and Lindsay LOVE holiday decor) okay, so do I!!

My "Southern Living at Home~ Dress Me Up Plate", is one of my favorite things.
(Thank you, Dawn Smith!)
I couldn't think of a more appropriate verse about "true love" than John 3:16.

The mantle is something I look at so I put most of my little touches there.
(go check your local Kohl's to see if they have any of these precious mercury glass candlesticks on the Christmas clearance section for $2.99 like ours did!)
It's funny how just a few little bits of pink and red can get you feeling all festive.
Our weather has been so beautiful for the past few weeks. It has been in the mid 70's, so Lindsay has been doing a lot of "chalking" outside. Just about every inch of our patio and sidewalks have her little "drawings" (which are honestly usually just scribbles). She ventured to the front yard one evening while waiting for Grandma and Papa to come to dinner and we literally were blown away by what we saw.
I asked her what she drew and she said, "A fwower garden, Siwwy". Duh.
Now THAT, is what I call a blessing.

Another HUGE turn Lindsay has taken is her tolerance at the dentist. Yesterday was the third cleaning she has endured completely from start to finish, including the fluoride treatment AND X-rays! (In the past, we have had to drive an hour to another dentist who puts kids like her under sedation to do the work.)
It helps to have Daddy there.
It also helps to be in charge of your own suction tube thing-y to use whenever you feel like you need it!
Anna got her bottom braces on and her teeth cleaned at the same time. AND, the BIGGEST NEWS is that Lindsay has done so well over the last few visits, that Dr. Petras says she can have braces too!! She is OVER THE MOON about it (until she actually has them on, I am sure!!) Hers will be a limited version of what normal kids would have. We are NOT going for perfection here, I told him we just want to get those"Bucky Beavers" under control! (of all of our girls, Lindsay's teeth are the most crooked~of course. She was also the one with ear tubes. If it CAN happen, it will happen to Lindsay. Poor thing.)
And to think that I was so happy that none of my girls sucked their thumbs, thinking that we wouldn't have to deal with braces...UGH!
Now to figure out a way to pay for them along with Anna's braces AND Shae's college tuition...
uh, the the big space between Shae and her sisters (unintentional) seemed like it was working in our favor for a little while there...
In the midst of our crazy lives these last few weeks, Lindsay got a very special phone call,
from her "Best Buddy EVER" at camp, Micah. He has graduated college and is living in South Carolina with his family...but we are hoping he might have time to come to camp this summer!
Anna's schedule is getting busy too. Basketball is twice a week, which keeps us hopping, but it is fun!
It's fun to have a friend from school on your team, and Aubrey is a fun one!
She's turning into an aggressive little player too! (much to her Dad's delight!)
Speaking of her dad...along with all his other talents,
it turns out, He's quite a "stripper". ;)
My purple (garage sale score) furniture is 1/3 ready to be painted. The bench is completely stripped and sanded (not that I did any of it..I got weary of the whole process after doing one of the flat side pieces...). Scott warned me that it is not as easy as "all those bloggers make it look... blah blah blah" (I stopped listening right around there).
There is a chair AND a precious dressing table still in my garage as of right now (but they live here under the constant threat of "being loaded up and taken to the Salvation Army!") and they are still purple. I'm not sure they will be sticking around here much longer. I am hoping to find my personal stripper (and his change of heart) out there working on them soon though.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Valentine's Day Decor Idea

One of my favorite blogs to read is Eighteen25. There are always fun ideas and beautiful pictures to look at. Right now (it is actually a few posts down) there is a link to download this darling print for FREE! Just go here and get one for yourself! I downloaded the brown, pink and red one, then uploaded (is that the right word?) to Costco and had an 8x10 print made. I am going to put it in a white frame later, but I wanted to hurry and share this idea, so you get what you get!
And just for a laugh...Anna and I spotted this hilarious pillow at Home Goods last weekend! I wish I would have splurged on it but my husband may have actually acted out the phrase!

Hope you are having a Happy Week!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lessons I Have Learned From My {disabled?} Daughter

Today it's just Lindsay and me at home. Shae is back at college, Anna and Scott are up at camp serving 160 junior high kids.

As I listen to "Go Diego Go" playing on the TV and hear Lindsay answering the questions he asks, laughing hysterically at the funny parts while she plays with blocks, my mind wanders to what could have been. {a dangerous place for a mind to go}
Lindsay is 13 years old. Thirteen. In seventh grade. Jr. High!
She should be at Jr. High "Winter Camp" this weekend with all the other kids her age.
She should be able to dress herself, take care of her own hygiene, and text her friends on a cell phone.
But God, Almighty God, allowed Lindsay's life to be altered when she was just 8 months old.
Heart failure. Brain damage. Blindness.

a small price to pay for,
a pure heart that loves with no reserve,
fresh, pure JOY on a daily basis,
the BIGGEST, most sincere, loyal and loving heart....ever.
And the greatest gift God ever allowed our family to have.

HE could have easily taken her home to live with Him in heaven all those years ago. But He loved us { Ohhh, how He loves us..} so much that He, in His powerful wisdom, left Lindsay in an altered state to live in this family to change us. {Ohhh, how He loves us...}

My mother-in-law and I were talking about Lindsay today. She told me that she had mentioned to my father-in-law how sad it sometimes made her to see Lindsay playing with blocks when she thinks about Lindsay's age. He told Dottie that all that doesn't matter because she is happy. Happy she IS!
She really doesn't know what she is missing, only WE do. Her life is so beautifully simplistic.
I often catch myself comparing my life with that of others, (which the Bible specifically warns against) thinking how great it would be to be able to run errands quickly, or just tell everyone to "go get dressed for school" and only have myself to get ready. But, I realize that God, in all His wisdom, gave me this child so that I would "turn my eyes upon Jesus"!

"At that time Jesus said, I praise you, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children."
Matthew 11:25

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Time Flies...

Shae's month home has gone by so quickly. I can't believe she leaves tomorrow night to start her second semester of college. Weird.
We have enjoyed having her daily presence in the house so much. I have LOVED having her go to spin class with me in the mornings especially. One morning on our way home from the gym, we got the most beautiful glimpse of Mt. Shasta.
We kept saying how beautiful our little city is and how thankful we are to live in such a place.
We also admitted that it is nice to "see" the snow in the foothills and on Mt. Lassen and Mt. Shasta...but so nice that we can enjoy it from afar!
Scott has had his fill of snow at camp this week as he prepares for a Jr. High retreat this weekend and he LOVES to remind me that "You don't REALLY want to live where there is constant snow..."
I don't know. I'd still move anywhere in "the south" tomorrow.

Another thing I have enjoyed so much is the gift my girls gave me for Christmas. I have been a fan of Tyler candles ever since I got my first whiff of the Tyler "High Maintenance" candle at my SIL, Lisa's house in Dallas a few years ago. Since they are made in Tyler, Texas and were unheard of in California, I bought 5 candles on that trip and I am sure Scott had a cow when he had to pack them!
I'm happy to say that Redding now has a few places that carry these wonderful candles. The BEST part is that there are so many OTHER Tyler products now too!
Shae and Anna got me candles, hand soap, dryer sachets and ....LAUNDRY DETERGENT! (which is expensive, so they got me the little one). I bought unscented laundry detergent to mix with the Tyler to make it go further, and I am only using it for...
My sheets! Oh gloriously "high maintenance" scented ironed sheets! Ahhhhh.

Tomorrow is our "goodbye" day.
I wonder how Lindsay is gonna do saying goodbye to Shae again. She has gotten used to having her big sister around. She insists that Shae sit beside her (and by "beside" she means that the chairs must be touching).
I don't think Shae has minded, the conversation is usually pretty sweet.

"From the fullness of His grace, we have received one blessing after another."
John 1:16

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Save Your T-shirts!

Most of us have lots of t-shirts that we can't bear to get rid of because they hold so many memories for us.  Our friend and faithful camp cook/ babysitter/ house-sitter (among so many other things), Shannon, made this awesome quilt for Scott and me last year out of all the old shirts from our camp summers!  Isn't this the most wonderful idea?! {I don't know how she found so many from SO LONG ago!}
The last 3 summers we have been ordering pink shirts for the girls, so I have been saving those......hope she's up for another project soon! 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Making Progress

Shae took art during her senior year of high school just to fill her schedule. I really didn't expect much because she has never been a coloring or arts and crafts kind of girl. So, I was blown away when she brought home three really good pencil drawings of shoes!
I have had them in my closet waiting to be framed for so long. I checked on having them framed...ouch! That idea was quickly thrown out the window, I can't believe how much it costs to have something framed these days!
So, Michael's to the rescue! I got three frames, with mats, for $5.99 each!
Shae was so excited when she came in from a long, very busy Christmas Eve shift at Bath and Body Works to see her art hanging on her wall!

Poor little {third child} Anna has had NOTHING hanging over her bed. I waited and waited for TJMaxx to get more of the big wooden or wire letters to do her initials...but they haven't had those in forever and there was no way I was ordering them from Pottery Barn (now that I don't have a hook up with a discount!)
Pottery Barn kids had some precious framed pictures of vintage Barbies that we loved for $36.00. Uh, no thank you.
I was tickled pink when I was on a date with Scott to Costco (yep, that's how we roll on date nights, we even shared one of those the almond covered ice cream bars on our way out!) and I found a Barbie calendar with vintage Barbie pictures in it for the wonderful Costco price of $7.49. I put that baby into may cart faster than you could blink an eye!
I went to another one of my hot spots, Ross, and found three silver frames (that I debated painting white...should I?) for $6.99 each. Anna and I picked out the pictures of the Barbies who were wearing pink, cut them, put them in the frames and there you go! All three for the price of ONE at PBkids!
(we have some Barbie pictures in other colors left if anyone might need one, just let me know!)

My main goal and new catch phrase for 2011 is Simplify. I refuse to be a prisoner of my stuff. Good thing I married Mr. Organizer. He has been all too happy to "assist" me in shedding my excess "stuff" and organize what is left. It really does feel good to pass things on to people who may end up loving something that I no longer need.
Now, to shed some of myself... :)

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas 2010

Christmas Eve dinner wasn't the same at all with just the five of us..but we cooked some steaks and opened our annual matching jammies.
The girls wasted no time getting cozy.
Shae pulled out the Pioneer Woman Cookbook and whipped up a little something. She may be able to hook a man one day with her Mac 'n Cheese making skills!
Christmas morning was fun, and we didn't even have to get up at the crack of dawn...Anna woke everyone up around 7:30.
Scott got me a Deadliest Catch T shirt. He thinks I am a Deadliest Catch junkie. What~ev~er!
{I will admit that I have watched every single episode now that we have Netflix :) }
Lindsay absolutely loves everything she ever gets. She is so refreshingly thankful for every little thing. She flipped out over the Sid the Science Kid and his buddy Gabriella dolls that Shae gave her.
One of Anna's favorites was the Justice snuggie from Texas cousins, Cooper, Hannah and Jackson. She has also VERY MUCH enjoyed a gift that Hannah actually received...a cell phone! Lots of talking and texting for those cute cousins now!! {thank you Brian and Lisa for letting Hannah finally have a phone!!}
Lindsay's best gift by far was the new "block box" and PINK blocks her bigDaddyboy made for her!!
Christmas Day was spent coloring,playing with blocks, finding homes for new things, and organizing closets.
I was thrilled when Brad and Beckie offered to have Christmas dinner at their house! Scott cooked a de-lish Prime-rib, I made some rolls and a salad and we headed over to see those cute boys.
Lindsay LOVES to go to "Austin and Gavin's" house. We don't see them very often because we all have busy schedules but they live about 2 minutes away from us!
The absolute highlight for Lindsay was when Austin said, "Hey "Winds", can I sit on your "wap"?" He could never know what that really meant to her.
We ended the evening by singing Happy Birthday to Jesus and blowing out His candles :)

Our vacation was full of fun and friends! The Cardwell family came back through Redding on their way home to Orange County from Oregon and were able to come for dinner again!
How thankful we are for good friends.
Lots of Shae's friends were home from college so they stopped by for dinner too!
Here are the uh, mature, college kids posing for pictures on the computer!
And, lastly, there truly is HOPE that Shae truly will "snag a man" at Liberty when they catch wind of her cooking skills AND her sewing skills.....she fixed her own pants! WooHoo!!

We are truly blessed and humbly thankful for the blessings God has seen fit to bestow upon our family. What an honor to be called a "child of God"! Happy Birthday, Jesus!
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