Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

It's been a busy week! We had a very nice week-long visit with my in-laws who came all the way from the West Coast to the East Coast to see their grandchildren (and us). It was a great time of fellowship and fun. Since they left, I've been busy cleaning, baking and wrapping.

Wrapping with a 'W'. The other kind of rapping I dare say I could not do even if I had tried.

(And I HAVEN'T tried. Thankyouverymuch.)

I am officially done preparing for Christmas and am very excited now to spend a few days with my side of the family.

Christmas has come so fast this year. Probably because we spent the Fall months preparing and redecorating our living room finishing only just in time for my in-laws to come. So, to help me get in the Christmas spirit, Hubs and I are watching 'Miracle on 34th Street' - aka. the best Christmas movie ever!!

Although Santa is a lot of fun and we enjoy the Santa part of Christmas, we celebrate the real reason for Christmas - Jesus Christ. The greatest gift ever given was Jesus's gift to all mankind. It's free to anyone who will believe on Him. If you haven't received that gift, I pray that you won't wait another minute. He will change your life and give you peace. If I can answer any questions you have about God's free gift of eternal life, please contact me. I would love to introduce you to Him.

Speaking of Jesus, the girls and I read the Christmas story together yesterday and while I read, I asked them to listen and pick out one person or thing in the story and make it with their playdoh. (A friend of mine has a contest with her family every year of who can make the best nativity scene with cans of playdoh. Awesome idea!) The girls absolutely loved this and it made them really listen. I asked questions afterward and they were able to answer them. It was a lot of fun.

Well, hope you all have an extraordinary Christ-filled Christmas! God bless you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Big Reveal

Well, after hours and hours of hard labor and elbow grease, our living room is 99% done. The only thing left is to build the doors for the bottom of the built-in. (And possibly build an ottoman, but that's later.) I took pics, but for some reason had a hard time getting a good angle on the room, so try to imagine the missing pieces.

(And overlook the children's books, sewing machine, side table and Alice in Wonderland on the TV...)
Mantle Before:
Mantle After:
Built-in Before:
Built-in After:
Accent Wall and Couch, etc.:

So, we are super happy that things turned out 'cozy'. That was our goal and I think we accomplished it. We're enjoying just putting our feet up and relaxing at night now instead of sanding, painting, etc. It's been a long journey, but it was worth it! Now, excuse me while I go finish the rest of this Macgyver rerun with Hubs and my in-laws.
Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Seasons Greetings!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

He's done it again....

This is what I think of Hubs for spending so much time and doing such a great job on our downstairs paint, trim, built-ins, etc. He's my hero!

Hubs finished our biggest project, to date! My house is almost back in order and I couldn't be any happier. The paint is done! (And we like it!) The Christmas tree is up! (Ahead of schedule!) The old couch is as good as gone (currently waiting in the garage to be picked up by Salvation Army) and the new couch is arriving tomorrow!! I don't even know what to do with myself not having to step around paint cans, drop cloths and the ladder. It's amazing! I can see my kitchen countertop and have plans to deep clean it after picking up #1 from school in a bit! And I turned my sewing machine on again today after several days of not sewing. I have an order to fulfill by the weekend to ship to Hawaii, loops to sew onto my stockings so they can be hung on the mantel, another Christmas gift to sew and drapes to iron. But I wanted to stop by and show you one pick of our new paint. I'll post more once our couch is here and the curtains are ironed after being in a heap on the chair in my bedroom while all the painting was going on.

This is our contrast wall that wraps around our downstairs hallway. I really love this effect in this room! Better than I expected!!

Ta Ta For Now!

Monday, December 7, 2009

18 days left!!

So, you know that Christmas is only 18 days away, right? So, I've been making a list and checking it twice making sure I've gotten everyone's gifts, etc. since I can't wrap presents yet. The tree is not going up til at least Thursday night because of the painting, etc. and I have all the gifts secretly hidden in my closet behind my huge wedding dress and other clothes I will never wear again so that the kiddos can't accidentally find them. It's just too risky to drag out all the gifts until it's time to wrap them. Hopefully, I'll get to wrap them this weekend and put them all under our tree that is too big for this room now.

(The tree hasn't grown - our furniture has. We have a sectional waiting for us at the furniture store down the road and it will replace our old, but free, couch that is taking a little ride on the Salvation Army truck on Wednesday. Our sectional has been in town since last Monday and it is just killing me that we don't get it until this Thursday! They would have delivered, but Hubs is a realist and told the delivery people not to bring it til this Thursday because we had so much painting to do (approx. 40 hours of painting - who knew???), but I wanted them to bring it last Wed because this is our first brand new couch as a married couple of nearly 8 years and I just can't wait! But I had to wait and I think I might just make it til Thursday if the excitement doesn't kill me first. By the way, that is mine and Hubs Christmas gift to each other this year!)

Anyway, back to Christmas gifts....

I took #2 and #3 to Target this morning so we could get out of the house in the freezing cold and use some coupons that had to be used by the 10th, especially the coupon for Bliss - YUMMY chocolates and we went down the toy aisle because apparently I'm a glutton for punishment. I think everyone waited til now to shop for toys because it was utter chaos. I shant be going back there anytime soon with two kids that seem to only be able to shout the words "I want...." I thought I'd be sneaky and shop for stocking stuffers in the guise of letting them drool over toys, but with all the chaos and crowded toy aisles, I didn't get one stocking stuffer. It was craziness. I finally squeezed our way out of that section and headed for the checkout. I did manage to snag the last fold-up crib (more like itty bitty pack-n-play) for #3's baby dolls for Christmas. She loves baby dolls more than any little girl I've ever known. She will be so excited on Christmas this year. And #2 is having an animal kind of Christmas - she's the biggest animal lover and her mean parents won't buy her a real pet so Santa is bringing her the closest thing to a real pet (no potty training involved!) and some other stuff like that. Oh yeah, and while I was in the toy section, #2 went nuts over two things specifically that I just happen to have already bought her for Christmas. I can't wait to see her face when she opens them. She's my very expressive child and is a hoot to watch open gifts. #1 is growing up so fast, and I have to refrain from buying young toys for her so she's getting big girl gifts this year and I know she will just eat that up. She loves being the oldest and she's taking us through unchartered waters with all the new things she likes and does. I love Christmastime with children! It's so much fun and exciting! And we will get to be with my sister's family including their 4 kids along with my parents and brother! It will be much fun and I just can't wait!

So, that's all for now. I have a lot to do before then so I better get at it!

PS - Our next door neighbors in the rental our moving out. Bummer! (Not the house across the street that has been nothing but drama). They've been good renters, now we have to wait and see who graces our presence next. Keeping our fingers crossed for some more good renters!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Why I Don't Do Daily Planners...

I've mentioned before how I love making lists - and I really do. I make lists all the time of what I need, no - WANT - to do, and my lists really help me get things done during the day. Thanks to my C.I.A.D.D. (Child-Induced Attention Deficit Disorder), I now depend on lists or nothing gets done. When I graduated high school, my youth pastor and his wife gave me a great gift - a Franklin Planner. I loved it! It was the first time I'd had a planner and this was THE planner. All the important people I knew had Franklin Planners. My dad still uses his, I think. A lady whose kids I babysat for often had a Franklin then went to a computer-based Franklin which I really thought was 'WOW!' because computers were just so new to me back then which makes me laugh now because I mean, who doesn't have a computer now? Whose life isn't controlled by a computer these days besides my mom who refuses to be sucked in to this time-consuming, always-available and in-touch-with-everyone from past, present and future ordeal? Anyway, back to the Franklin - people even went to seminars to learn HOW to plan each day and make lists in the appropriate fashion. I loved my Franklin. It was compact, stylish and had flowers on each page. It was awesome. I was so organized it was ridiculous. I recently found my planner pages from 1995-1997 that are in my closet at my parents' house. I looked through them and it brought back tons of memories that I had forgotten about. I evidently used mine as a daily journal of who I saw/talked to and what the weather was like. I guess I take after my Papaw who journaled things and kept records of everything from weather, to rainfall, to miles driven, etc. Anyway, my Franklin was very special to me. Then, when I became a career woman I got another Franklin - a little bigger this time, but I didn't use it as often as I should have. Then, somehow after I had kids I went to a spiral bound calendar type of thing that worked for awhile, but now I've gone completely down to college-rule notebook paper in a one inch binder. It works for me - right now. I've been making lists and crossing things off. I even right things on my list that I've already done just so I can mark it off! How's that for obsession? Hey - don't judge - I like to feel good about myself and my accomplishments. I like to see that I've vacuumed upstairs and mopped the kitchen floor even though it won't look like it by the time Hubs gets home from work. But my system works for me. I just realized that in my Franklin I had to prioritize my tasks for the day with A, B, C, etc. and let's face it - children throw a monkey wrench into those kinds of lists. I was never getting A done before C and B sometimes never got done. It was depressing and I hated that things were not getting done in order. And then when B didn't get done it had to have an arrow pointing forward next to it showing me that it was being moved to tomorrow's tasks and I just hated seeing the same task on my list two days in a row. So now, I just write all my tasks down in random order and do whichever one I have time for first, mark it off, try another one and so on. There's no guilt in my current system. I don't have to prioritize with my ABC's and draw cute little arrows next to my unfinished tasks. In fact, today I didn't even look at my list. I just did whatever I needed to do at the moment it needed to be done. It was a great day.

Oh and by the way - this girl painted her last coat of oil paint on the baseboards tonight! I am done with that and have never been happier (or higher on paint fumes) than right now. There is even some color on the walls!! Hubs worked for 8.5 hours today finishing his part of the trim and cutting in the colors - It's so exciting to see color on the wall. We're on schedule to have it done before our new couch comes on Thursday! Hoping it stays that way. Then, we get to put up our Christmas tree (hopefully Thurs night - if not, it will be Saturday) and hang our new stockings...

Inspired by the Pottery Barn stockings, made from felt and other fabrics. Lots of fun to make!

Hope you all have a blessed Sunday!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas....

everywhere but here! We are still in the thick of remodeling two-thirds of our downstairs and very much behind schedule. Our goal was to have it all done by Thanksgiving, but thanks to some unforeseen circumstances like stomach virus and then kidney stones, we just couldn't pull it off. So, our new goal is to have it all done by the middle of next week. Keep your fingers crossed, say some prayers (I'm saying mine!) and Lord willing our living room, kitchen and hallway along with all the crown moulding, baseboards and new window/door trim will be painted and look very fresh and clean. Then, our new couch will be delivered and then we can put up our Christmas tree....finally!!! Hubs' parents are coming in on the 14th from California for a week, so we want it all D-O-N-E by that time. I'm excited to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. So, if I don't blog for the next few days it's only because I'm high on paint fumes, trying to finish last-minute Christmas gifts and sewing all new stockings for our family, not to mention - dusting every square inch of the house thanks to all the sheetrock dust.

And if you happen to catch a glimpse of my right bicep - No, I have not been working out with only my one arm and I am not taking up body building - I've just been sanding like a mad-woman and I happen to only be able to do that with my right arm which feels like it could fall off at the moment.

So, anyway, to end this post I give you a pic of my mantel. Instead of garland and stockings and all things Christmas, my mantel is decked with power sanders and painter's tape. Their days are numbered......