Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another Update on Everyday Life...

Here is another one of my jumbled updates, seems to be becoming a normal occurence!
Friday evening after swim lessons, dropping off the older two at a lock in and Matt's Date with Joslyn, Matt and i sat down to do some brainstorming on the ever present struggle of space for us to get everyone around the dinner table. We dreamed about building into the garage for a dining space, adding a 3 season porch were we could eat all of our meals, and thought about closing off the pantry in our kitchen to have a wall to put a table at, but then we decided to think about solutions that we could actually make happen;). We decided it would be best to start looking for a bench or plans for building a bench that would slide back in the corner and eliminate having to pull the table out every meal or having to gather chairs from around the house. So, I was finally a bit content with the fact the=at we at least had a plan and some direction! Well-guess what I found the next day-yep-a bench at the thrift store! I was actually there to find a dress for a wedding we are leaving for this weekend. But in the process was able to solve some of our meal time dilemma! So I sent Matt back later that day-pretty sure the bench would already be gone. I always let him do the inspecting of structure, quality, etc-and of course to do the heavy lifting! But he called and said he could not find it anywhere-I was heartbroken. I had worked everything out in my mind already-I know-I shouldn't do that-but I just couldn't help myself. So, awhile after he had returned home, he called me out to the garage to look at something. THE LITTLE SNEAK HAD FOUND THE BENCH AND THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FUNNY TO TRICK ME-HOW MEAN! Thanks hun!! So here is the before. I just needed to prime and paint it white. With the space in our house being small, light colors are more and more important to me!
Here is the after. I weathered it a bit and covered the cushion on it as well. And oh! There is lots of storage underneath!!! I will try and get a picture soon of the two little ones sitting at the bench-it is pretty sweet. Now, all seven of us are around the table, no chairs have to be pulled from other places in the house, no highchair has to be dragged in from the garage every time we eat, and we are finding more and more meal times to sit and laugh around the table again.

We are so very excited about this upcoming weekend! And actually, for us, it begins tomorrow! Matter of fact, I should be packing right now(I hate packing). Anyways-our friend Monika is getting married! She is a precious friend to us, and was one of Matt and I's first students when we began in ministry. So this is a pretty special occasion for us! Monika was here a few months back for a visit and while she was here we worked on picking out some fabric for me to make a bunting for her wedding. But what we ended up doing was making napkins in her wedding colors that could be used as a bunting. That way, after the wedding, she would have all these fun cloth napkins for her home. I am just in love with this idea! So earlier this week, this is the fun package I sent to her. I will have to post some pics after the wedding of them. And I think it appropriate to add-yes, they were made from reclaimed linens as well as dress shirts.

I unfortunately did get to spend much time on sharing about Noah's 3rd birthday, so i thought I would share a few little things today. Noah is absolutely enamored with Thomas, or any train for that matter-we are also a fan of chuggington around here. Well, I have probably sold a countless number of the vintage Thomas sheets but as his birthday was approaching I actually had to do some tracking down of them myself. So, a few months ago I found one and began planning out just how to it for his birthday. I used a large portion of the sheet for a quilt that I am actually still working on, Noah does not like me taking it out of his playroom where his trains are, so it is coming along quite slowly, but i was able to finish a pillow for him.

I was also able to take two of the panels and add them to some pj pants I made for him.

Here is another look at those pants. Somehow the stripes just said train conductor to me.

Summer is coming and we thought we would give Noah a buzz-I felt pretty reluctant-but it is pretty tough to keep up with everyone's haircuts around here, so for the summer, we gave it a try. It was quite to event around her, everyone wanted to watch this!! Noah laughed through most of it, the girls moaned, and Cole wrinkled his nose as each long lock fell to the floor. Taking pictures of the event helped me to not cry.

Once Noah starting itching, it wasn't too fun anymore! But I just love those cheeks!!!

Here is the lovely little man with his new doo. He laughed when he saw himself in the mirror. Whew!

I felt like I was running a race this past week. We had tilled up the garden awhile back, but I had not gotten a chance to get them planted until a few days ago. Fortunately, two of the girls were happy to help out.
There are still a few things to get in the ground, but they will have to wait until we are home from the wedding.
The flowers are starting to fill out, and how fun it is to see all the color coming to life!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Littlest Man is 3!

A very sleepy and happy boy full of evidence from the day's activities. Fresh raspberries popsicles and chocolate cake still gracing his face . Life is good!
No more riding on his sisters pink Barbie Hot Wheels;)
Noah is captivated with Thomas and trains right now and it has been a lot of fun to add to his collection.
Grandma and Grandpa Watkins, and Aunt Molly came out for the day on Wednesday to celebrate his birthday. Noah chowed on Grandma's yummy brownies!
The Thomas quilt is in the works for Noah-I may just finish it if Noah allows me to take it away for awhile.

Three years ago-yesterday, it was a Sunday afternoon and I was taking a nap with Bell who was not much over 2 years old. A strange thing woke me from my sleep-something that I had never experienced-LABOR-THAT STARTED NATURALLY! Noah was our fifth yet to arrive and with all four of our older kiddos, I had been induced-I had never had the excitement of being able to say-This is it! I was pretty excited, with the likelihood of Noah being our last, it felt like such an incredible gift from the Lord to be able to have a moment like this. I still just cannot begin to express how precious this was to me. And how peaceful the transition was into Noah's entrance into our family. I waited for about a half hour to see if these contractions were regular, and while I paid close attention, I cleaned of course:) Still makes me laugh. I was still in quite a bit of shock because it was two weeks before his due date(another oddity-the other kiddos were always late). Well... I got the fun oppritunity to call Matt, who was in a meeting at church, and say...."I am in labor, you better hurry" We always knew that if I were to go into active labor on my own, I may just end up delivering at home with how quick my labors were(with the exception of my first). And of course to make the story a little more interesting, Matt did not pick up his phone the first few times I called and I was just imagining packing up all four of the kiddos myself and hauling them into the hospital while in labor-could have been interesting;) So, as I waited for Matt to call back, I called Mom and said "Can you come now?", Finished packing for the hospital, and had a friend come over to watch the kids till Mom arrived. Matt and I had such fun being able to walk in to the hospital and say, We are in labor! And sure enough as soon as I was settled into a room, they discovered what we already knew, Noah would be arriving very soon! Finally we would be holding the child I had known we had yet to meet since Cole's birth.

Noah turned 3 yesterday! I am amazed at how watching a little man grow can carry with it such tremendous joy and ache at the same time. Anxious to see who he grows to be, loving the new stages but wanting him to stay cuddled in my lap forever too. Yesterday, Noah was especially cuddly, I went out in the backyard to play with him, and all he wanted to do was sit in the grass all cuddled up in my lap. Thank you Jesus! What a perfect day for me to capture in my memories.

Friday, May 14, 2010

ThE wEeKeNd SaLe Is On......

Just a little reminder that the Whimsie Dots Weekend sale is in full swing. 25% off of your entire purchase, minus shipping. The photo is courtesy of my 10 year old daughter Madison.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Little Glimpses of Life...

This isn't going to have any profound order to it, it is just a glimpse of our lives the past month.
It is amazing the changes that can occur in one year! Last year the lawn mower was just a bit too much for Cole, he would do half of the lawn every so often. This year-what a difference in this incredible young man. He mows the lawn entirely every week! It has been unique to see our family change and see how everything falls into place. Just when it feels a bit overwhelming to accomplish all the weekly tasks, someone steps in and takes on a new role. It has been fun to watch Noah watch his older brother and want to be like him already!

I just love apple blossoms. I wish they would stay all season. I took some photos of these on a hike.

We spent some time playing on a sort of "island" near us.

All the kiddos

The boys

Noah is just about to turn 3, he is growing into such a sweet little man. And incredibly independent.

Madison picking flowers.

Can we say "Karate Kid"

This one takes a bit of explaining;) Matt and I have been praying-not to increase our possessions, but to decrease or simplify. When we bought our house almost 6 years ago and I started the shop, we were definitely taken off guard at the costs surrounding these things, and for awhile were definitely living a bit above our means. This has been an area we have continued to bring before the Lord, asking for wisdom, help, and direction. We have been able to live within the means He has given us for some time now but have some debt we would like to put to rest once and for all. We desire to use what He has given us wisely and to let go of needing more. And most of you know, we live in a very materialistic culture-funny how it never brings happiness or joy, and yet we buy into it quite often. Anyways, with so many unemployed and struggling, we found it even more upsetting to be tied to debts and commitments that we really did not need! Now obviously debt, we are responsible for, but! the Lord has been gracious and softened our hearts yet again and we have let go of some of our pride about even what cars we drive. Our van is older but paid for-yeah! But our second car(Matt's car) was a fun little SUV. Well around Nov last year, it broke down, and being that we were trying to live within our means-we were not going to rush out and get it fixed-we were going to save for it first-it was a decent amount of money to fix it. So we went to one car, for months. We simplified life and did just fine! But, others started noticing that Matt was driving the van everywhere, and a friend mentioned to Matt that he would take the car to his mechanics and see what they could do. Now Matt and I had wanted to sell it for quite some time and buy a clunker instead to be free of payments, but in this economy, we just didn;t see how it would work, what we owed was probably a bit more than people would want to pay, the effort was not something we wanted to waste, sooooo.....we had just continued to pray, and pray, and trust the Lord. And this is where it gets pretty cool! This friend who took the car, found that he could fix it, sell it , and trade an older car to us without us spending any out of pocket money. Wahoo! I know, it seems really funny, that we are excited to be trading down-funny that our older van being the "good car" makes us smile, but here is what it is-FREEDOM- we are free from obligation- free from materialism-free from the stretch every month. In the big picture, it is a small thing, but for us it has been a big victory- and we saw the Lord orchestrate it while all we did was pray and trust. So- we are now the proud owners of a beater 1990 something toyota camry-fully loaded with tape deck, key entry, and rust;) and we are as happy as can be! Someday we will need to buy a newer car, but we will relish this completely for now!

The dominos are just a fun decoration that double as fun for everyone and maybe a lesson in patience too-why is it that they always get bumped after you set up all but a few!
Fresh air always makes the kids sleep so well! The trusty old swing has made it through another winter season. Looking forward to sitting outside in the nighttime air.
Cole, our oldest has been working through his Awana books the last 4 years with this goal in mind. The awana books have given him a chance to hide God's word in his heart-to memorize scripture. This was his last year in Awana and he accomplished his last book to earn the Timothy Award. He was pretty excited and so were we. They honored each of the kids at church and I was able to snap this photo for him. He actually begins youth group in a few weeks!! Hard to believe the 12 years of us being in ministry has passed so quickly! We began in youth ministry 2 weeks after Cole was born, so this is quite a milestone for us to have one of our kids now in the ministry with us.

Cole and some of his buddies who also earned their Timothy Award.

So, just a few little changes in decor. I finally took some time to get the shabby plates I have collected up on the wall. I just love how pretty pretty they are-so girlie. And it will be fun to add to them bit by bit. All thrifted-i might add!
Well-you will probably laugh-for those of you who have followed along with me. I am a compulsive furniture changer! Somehow it helps me deal with things I cannot change, like small space! Well, I switched tables and put a smaller table in the kitchen and put our dinner table out in the livingroom-wierd I know. We always struggle to consistantly sit around a table for meals but we just do not have space to fit all seven of us. We all too often end up sitting around the coffee table at meal time, but it is just not good for us not to have family meals around the table-so i did some more editing and moving of furniture to give us a table to sit around easier. We do have to pull it out at meal time but we are now back to eating breakfast together and doing our family devotions in the morning together, and dinner is around the table too. So that did give me a chance to plat around with the kitchen a bit, and it is comfy now.
I am slowly collecting red and blueware for the sofit.

Now-Mother's Day-I actually was given 3 dozen roses! So pretty to see all of those flowers together!

We spent the afternoon over at my Grandmas and my mom and Dad were there as well. It was fun because one of my Aunts and Uncles with my cousins were there as well. Their kids are our kids ages, which is the closest our kids have to cousins. It was so fun to see them play together!

Noah rested on grandmas porch steps while the guys plated basketball and the girls played with the neighbors dogs.

The clematis has bloomed and is breath taking! I am slowly working on covering all the ugly chain link fences around our yard with them! maybe we will have our own secret garden someday;)

Just couldn't pass this one up! Noah really LOVES ice cream but freaks out when he gets messy! And that happens quite often!

This was a fun find that I am hoping to find vases or bottles for-wouldn't flowers look so pretty in old milk bottles! Our I may just put our silverware in the bottles for easy mobility during the summertime when we cookout in the back yard.

Madi and I took a special treasure hunting trip recently to look for a tea set for the girls to have tea parties with. We actually found every thing we needed-First the tea pot- then we found three tea cups and then the three saucers- each item was found separately and they ended up making the perfect matching set! It is so fun to see the girls have tea parties!I found this gorgeous blue pottery on that same hunt with Madison. I love blue pottery and dishes! This was $2!

It is my newest member of the blue obsession.

And here is a fun little thing I thought i would share concerning my shop. I have mentioned before that I cut around 20-30 sheets into fat quarters each week. I tend to stay away from fitted sheets for a couple of reasons, 1 being they usually are too worn and 2 they are more of a hassle to cut. BUT! If they are in great condition and are a fabulous print-I do make an exception;) I tend to cut of the ends where the elastic is and save them for later to cut into smaller pieces. Well.......they tend to really build up and quickly! Well-the kids have been asking for ways to earn a little extra spending money and wondered if I had anything they could help with in the shop-Yeah! It took me awhile to organize things and teach them-but this has become a fabulous solution for bith of us! The older kids know that anything in this basket is ready for them to cut. They simply cut off the elastic and clip the corners so they are flat. Then it is quicker for me to cut inot useable peices of fabric for the shop. I pay them a specific amount for every peice they cut and we immediately pay them from the coin jar. They seem to enjoy working on this when they are watching TV. And there is no pressure on them but there is always a way for them to earn a little extra.

BeD LiNeNs SaLe ToDaY....

There is a bed linens sale in the shop today. All linens are 20% off. This includes fat quarters, pillowcases, bed linen scrap packs, flat rate boxes, quilt squares, and yard lengths of reclaimed bed linens. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask;) I hope each of you have a lovely day!