Thursday, May 29, 2008

A good day at Good*will

I'm trying to find some cute little art to brighten the nursing moms room at our church. So I headed to Good*will, hoping for a bargain and was not disappointed! I found 2 cute prints (cutesy might be the word, but they're better than blank walls!), three brand name shirts for my kids, a vase, and a homeschool book from Christian Liberty Press, one of my favorite publishers. Thanks to 50% off "red tag" items and framed art, Total bill: $5.60. Not bad.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Birthday Pancakes

Sweet little K, the baby of our family, turns 2 today.
Happy Birthday, Little Dear!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Overheard, "BLT" Edition

I have not been very good about writing down quotes from all the kiddos lately, but every 5 minutes something funny comes out of A's mouth. The 3-year-old formerly known as the BLT (Busy Little Toddler) always has a busy mind, busy body, and - happy for you - a busy mouth!

Since I'm worried I'll not remember the cute things he used to say, I thought I would first take a walk down memory lane.

"Gulley, gulley, gulley" 12 mo. old - the sound A. would make, with paci in mouth, when we were tucking him in at night. We all loved the "gulley gulley."
"ka wass, kie" tr. "car wash - cry" At 18 mo. he was deathly afraid of the carwash and would tell perfect strangers how he cried. Who knew that this phobia would become an obsession?
"If you have a valid wash code, please enter wash code." The phrase uttered hundreds of times, at the peak of his car wash obsession, when he would act out the process with his cozy coupe under the swingset. age 2 1/2 - 3.

Now for the recent chatter...

"Hey Mom! God made the birds!...and the sky!...and everything!...and His glory!"

"Mom, when I eat this, it will go down into my stomach." "Yes, A, it will." "And then it will go down to my reflections!" tr. "intestines" A's current obsession is the human body.

"I want to watch 101 Salvations!" tr. "Dalmatians" - he recently saw the classic animated version for the first time and loved it.

Now head over to Not Before 7 to see what other tots have to say.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Music for a Monday in May

I love Indelible Grace Music! They occupy more space on my iPod than even U2 - and that's saying something. Matthew Smith played an awesome concert at our church last fall and I'm hoping to catch them live in concert somewhere in Georgia this summer. If you want to know more or buy CDs, go to their site and check it out. Good stuff!

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Dryer's Mine!

I love that I have kids old enough to do chores and actually be helpful. (Yes, chore post is in the works and coming shortly, I promise.) What a blessing that my son, S, can sort and start my laundry every day! But I learned the hard way that a 13 yo boy just doesn't "get" what can go into the dryer and what can't. (For that matter, even sweet husbands have a hard time discerning that.) Yesterday he asked about a pillowcase and dried my favorite chocolate-brown linen pants without a thought!! ugh!

So -- I'm very proud of my boy for his mastery in the laundry room, but I think from now on, I'll govern the dryer!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Two Important Rules

Rules I made for myself. Rules I often ignore. Yet, when I follow these rules, life just works better around here.
Rule No. 1: Stay home on Mondays. I made this rule about 10 years ago and when I abide by it, my whole week just goes better. Saturday's a work/prep for Sabbath day; Sunday's the Sabbath. A quiet Monday at home allows us to catch up without feeling pressured. It takes some discipline and learning to say, "no," but I will have margin in my week!

Rule No. 2: Rest for 30 min each afternoon. Yeah, right! I have 5 kids and I homeschool! Despite that, if I carve out time to relax and refuel in the afternoon, I am a much nicer person in the evening. Without it, I'm a zombie by dinner and too exhausted to enjoy the sweetest time of the day - when the whole family is together. Even working furiously all day, I still don't get everything accomplished, so why not take a short break that will benefit everyone?

What makes your life tick?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Prayers for China

My heart is heavy as I listen to news of the earthquake in China - the more time passes, more devastation is uncovered. This, after the horrible cyclone in Myanmar last week. Join me in praying for the victims of these disasters.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Word from Mitford

A quote I just can't seem to get out of my head:

"Love is an act of endless forgiveness." -- Jan Karon, in the book Light from Heaven
(as quoted from the sign of the Wayside Pulpit, which Father Tim passes along the way)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Design Inspiration

Design Inspiration CarnivalMary at Not Before 7 is hosting a Design Inspiration Carnival this weekend. Home decorating is really not my strength. Many of my projects lie unfinished, victims of the tyranny of the urgent that is life as a homeschool mom.

But I enjoy my boys' bedroom. Even though it is not very polished, lacking some finishing touches. But I like what it represents in our family: letting them grow up.

When baby #5 was born, we knew that we'd eventually be bunking up all three of our boys in one room. We shopped extensively for just the right set of bunk beds and found a very flexible set with a trundle that could be placed in a number of configurations and still get 3 beds. They were gorgeous stained wood. They were also very expensive. We resigned ourselves to the cost, and I enjoyed the thought of creating a very traditional boys' room with plaid comfortors, stained wood, and antique toys as accents.
But then... we went to Ikea. And the boys saw a really cool "room" on display. Very high-tech looking. Very modern. Very different from what I envisioned - but they fell in love. After a quick conference with My Sweetie, we decided to go for it. After all, the big boys were almost 11 and 13 and they were entitled to opinions of their own about the space they live in. The room was cute, and the deciding factor: the entire room cost far less than the other bunk beds cost just for the beds.
So now I present our "cool" boys' bedroom:
Three of the walls are painted silver. Yes, silver! We used "Jimmy Neu*tron" gray paint as a base and then sponge-painted over it with a metallic glaze. (We're quite proud - it's the only faux paint finish we've ever done.)
The comforters are from Tar*get. They're reversible and the boys enjoy using opposite colors to personalize their space. They are from the same line as A's quilt, but I thought the stripes would be more flexible for boys-growing-into-young men.
The bunk beds and dresser are, of course from Ikea. Both have turned out to be a very good buy. I don't miss the big, pricey wooden ones at all. (I'd probably be constantly stressing about them getting damaged, anyway!)

We also got this little "rail system" (a kitchen towel bar from Ikea with hanging basket and cup) for each of the Big Boys to keep their precious items du jour and and any books or magazines they read at night. (Using the small, wall-mounted lamps in the picture above, also from guess-where!) This system is a hit with parents and boys alike because they have a place for their stash that can be kept neat.
This is A's little corner. His little toddler bed has the quilt from the Tar*get line that matches the boys comforter. The lion blankie and leaf canopy are both from - you guessed it - Ikea. He has his own little basket of books and a little back-pack of "rest time toys" hangs from the headboard.
The picture doesn't do this cute quilt justice - the bed is simply too small. It's a nine-patch style quilt with a different jungle scene on each block. When A graduates to a big boy bed, it will look really precious.

This is our black "accent wall." You have no idea how hard it was for this traditional southern girl to paint.a.wall.black. Yet, it totally works with this room and gives it that little something extra. We got this inexpensive round chair at a crafts store for under $20. Together with a 99 cent tub from our favorite Sweedish store, it makes a nice reading nook for the boys.

These shelves give the boys a place to display things that are precious to them - like Lego creations that take all day to build, yet could be destroyed in 30 seconds in the hands of one of our BLT's (Busy Little Toddlers.)

Lastly, my favorite thing in the room: the window treatment. I bought this fabric for next to nothing and fell in love with the bright colors. I bought an eyelet-making kit and made all the orange ties. It was a time-consuming and often frustrating task, but I absolutely love the result! Paired with some cocoa-colored bamboo shades and the window is one of the most "dressed" in my house!
So that's it. Even though we copied most of the design from a store showroom, we're happy with the results. Now, keeping the room looking this clean is quite another challenge with three busy boys. Especially when everything they're interested in comes with 1,000 small pieces! Don't expect to drop by my house and see the room looking this neat...
For more Design Inspiration, or to post about your own favorite room, head over to Mary's place.