April 27, 2012

8 things

1}  We just finished up our Missions Conference at church.
We have it every year. My Uncle Danny comes up from Houston, TX and kicks all our rears and tells us to stretch and to increase our faith and to fork over our money for all those missionaries who are out there across the world doing what we can't do ourselves... go ye into all the world and preach the gospel... to the regions beyond...
He skins us. And we come back three nights in a row, asking for more. Because it's that good to get skint sometimes.
Because sometimes we need a reminder that it's not all about us, it's about them too- the them that are lost and need to hear the good news, the awesome news, that there's more.

And we can take a big part in sharing that good news by forking over our money.
It's not complicated. And it's a good thing to do.

2}  Two missionaries also came to our conference.
Because what's a Missions Conference without missionaries?
Kinda lame, that's what.

3}  Josh Stokes was one of those missionaries. He's going to Spain.
He's a second generation missionary, a missionary kid.
His dad went to Spain too, at age 50.
Josh married Denise Cox and now they have four kids.

4}  Denise's parents used to babysit me when I was a little girl in Texas.
Denise and her sisters had big hair, and big shoulder pads, and a waterbed that I was afraid of drowning in, and all the Archie comic books my heart could desire.
I wanted to be them when I grew up.
And when Josh got up to preach on Sunday, I couldn't help but feel really nostalgic.
I kept remembering how I used to walk into the Cox's house with my bushy 8 year old eyebrows, and Bro. Bobby would open the door and ask me if I liked yardbird and I never knew what to say because I didn't know what yardbird was and it was years later that I found out it was just chicken.
And Miss Kathy would come out if the kitchen in her wheelchair and tell me I didn't have to eat yardbird, she'd made me a PB&J.
She always used white bread and both their eyes smiled and I could always tell they loved each other alot.
And Bro. Bobby would ask me if I wanted to watch The Three Stooges, and I always did, and right before he'd pop that VHS into the VCR, he'd say in his most serious voice, You can only watch this if you don't laugh. Promise? 
And I'd sadly say back to him, I guess I better not watch it then. Because I knew that was a promise I couldn't keep, I laughed all the way thru those movies.
He said it every time, and I thought he was serious every time, but he always ended up letting me watch it anyway. I laugh every time too, Sunny Jane.
And I still love The Three Stooges, now that I'm all grown up.

5}  I remembered how Miss Kathy got so sick that time and how everyone from church poured into the hospital and there were people praying in every corner and she lived and got to see her kids grow up, even though the doctors said there wasn't a chance.
It was a miracle.
And after that, she had to have her arms and legs amputated, and she'd pinch my cheeks with her hook thingy and tell me she loved me. And when I stepped on her fake foot one time and felt really bad, she said, Why feeling so bad? I can't feel it! And then we both laughed.
She had eyes so full of shine and smiles, and they told me she was able to go to her youngest daughter's wedding right before she passed away, several years back. I wasn't there, but I know this- Miss Kathy's eyes must've shone at her wedding girl and lit up the room, in spite of her being so sick at that point.

6}  Now those Cox kids are grown up, all in church, and Denise is about to head over to Spain with her kids and missionary  husband.
And don't you know that right about now Miss Kathy's eyes would be smiling over that?
Don't you know that Bro. Bobby sees his children serving God and his heart pretty much busts in happiness?
Don't you know that Josh's dad, in the nursing home now, sees his boy going across the Atlantic to take the Gospel to the same mission field he himself was so burdened for, and under his frail, sick body, his heart beats and says, Lord... how can You be so good?
Don't you know that sometimes when God is that good, all you can do is cry?

7}  I guess what I'm trying to say is this: There's nothing so beautiful as seeing the generations serving God together.
And there's nothing so wonderful as seeing a parent's faithfulness pay off.
And I loved seeing Josh Stokes up there crying over the same people his dad cried over.

8}  And I want to say thank you to all those faithful. To all the ones who've fought the fight and some finished their course. To the ones who get up there and skin us all when we need it. To all the ones I've watched and tried to mimic throughout my life.
Thank you for taking the time to smile and shine your eyes at me.
I love your faithfulness.

April 20, 2012

diy: easy stuff

Disclaimer for this post: I couldn't write a decent tutorial if my life depended on it, but I'm more than happy to post the following links to other blogger's lovely tutorials.
And since I also couldn't take a truly awesome picture if my life depended on it and do the tutorial justice, all the following photos are borrowed.
I can never seem to come up with my own amazingly, creative ideas and therefore must live vicariously through other amazingly, creative blogger's lives. God bless all their hearts.
The end.


Don't you just love the whole DIY, upcycling, and repurposing trend?
Me too!
It's fun, it's cheaper than buying new, and it's satisfying somewhere deep down in my guttiest gut.
When I'm looking for new ideas and inspiration, I ask myself three things: Do I love it? Is it cheap? Is it easy?
... but especially is it easy? Because easy peasy = I love it, and difficult = I'll unashamedly quit halfway through the project.

So here are a few cheapy, easy DIY projects that I've found over the last couple months. 
Some of them I've tried, some not yet. But I'm getting around to it because I love them all.

1}  Pretty, pretty fabric flowers. Tutorial at Fabric Envy.

Aren't those just so pretty?
Perfect for making and gluing to hair clips for a bunch of little girls I know.
And a great way to get rid of your fabric scraps. If you have any. Which I don't. Because I hate sewing and why the heck would I have fabric scraps?
But if you have fabric scraps, you can make fabric flowers.
(Or give them to yours truly.)
(Thank you in advance.)

2}  Button hairpins. Tutorial at Craft and Creativity.

I kinda have a thing for little girl hair clips. Can't imagine why.
But seriously, how easy can you get??? 
Who doesn't have old bobby pins and buttons lying around?
I even have superglue. Except the darn lid is super glued shut, and that tube of glue has therefore been rendered useless.

3}  Bottle cap magnets. Tutorials at Craft and Creativity and at Martha Stewart.

These make great gifts. I should know. One of my friends gave me a set of four for Christmas last year and they're one of my favorite things in my kitchen. 
And you can use super cute scrapbook paper instead of photos, if you like. That's what my friend did.
And I just love them. Really, really love them.

4}  Necklace holder. Tutorial at Visibly Moved.

I made this a few weeks ago. Well sorta. I found the wood down by the railroad tracks and bought my knobs for astoundingly cheap at Hobby Lobby and then I was like, Now what?
Fortunately for me, I have a friend who has a husband, and he took it home and drilled holes and installed the knobs. 
I have awesome friends like that.

5}  Paint dipping. Tutorials at Hi Sugarplum and at Little Bit Funky.

Have you ever heard of paint dipping?
Me neither. I mean, now I have. But before I heard of it, I had never heard of it.
But now I have. Since last week. Understand? Are you confused? Because I am.
So far I've dipped my knives (every color, like the spoons above), and bought the paint to do my living room end table and to do my cheap Target bookshelf.
I'm super excited to get them done!
Here are a couple more paint dip photos from Centsational Girl.

I'm going to do my bookshelf marigold and white. But I'm not sure about the table yet. I bought some blue paint (Benjamin Moore's Blueberry) for it, but... did I do the right thing? Should I go with green instead?
I can't decide. I'm going to mull it over for the next week.

And there you go. Pretty pictures, easy tutorials.
Go make some stuff and satisfy your guttiest gut.

April 19, 2012

sunshine baby

Our sweet sugar babycake, Lily, had her adenoids taken out today.
She had alot of fluid hanging out in places it wasn't supposed to be, and her hearing was bad.
Seriously, Lily's favorite words are huh? and wad you say, Sun?
So the adenoids had to go.
Karen told me she was going to have them taken out a couple weeks ago. I was like, Bummer, but whatever. Big deal. Happens all the time.
But then last night at church, I was watching Lily up on the front pew. Being bad as usual. Climbing all over the place, looking back at everyone, smiling oh so sweetly at me when I gave her the look and told her to turn around.
And all the sudden I thought, What if?
And then the next thing I knew, I was imagining knives slipping, and blood everywhere, and hearts stopping, and caskets, and no more Lily ever again.

I got all freaked out, and cried myself to sleep.

It was a waste of moisture though because Lily survived just fine, and we won't have to buy a casket after all.

Here she is, getting ready to go under the knife and possibly die. She wasn't worried. Unlike me. Unlike her moma who's had a lump in her throat for two weeks, just thinking about it all.

That cap on Tim's head. I have no words.

All loopy and doped up and about to conk out.

And finally, all done and on the way home. Poor baby.

Guess why she's crying in that last picture.
If you're thinking it's because she just had her little adenoids cut out with a sharp knife, you're wrong.

She's crying because she wanted to come to my house.
She gets done having surgery, and the first thing she wants to do is come to my house. And cries because she can't.
Her wikes me and my house.

And that's why Lily will always be my sunshine baby.
Her and her chubby cheeks.

April 12, 2012

sweeter than sweet

Sometimes Shelly, Karen, or Jenny will take a picture of one of my numerous nieces or of my one Lone Ranger nephew, and the picture will just... melt my kneecaps. Turn them straight into jello.
Bring tears to my eyes and make my nose run.
Make my heart go flip flop.
Make my frizzy hair go all unfrizzy.
Make my breath smell good.

(I'm totally lying about that last one )

(My breath has never smelled good in it's life.)

Anyway, Karen texted me a few pictures yesterday and today.
My kneecaps melted and my nose ran.

Also, Tim bought Karen an iphone a few weeks ago. She can do the whole Instagram thing now. Which makes me so jealous.
I mean, she didn't even know what Instagram was until the day after she got that iphone and I sent her a screeching text about how u can do the whole instagram thing now! 
And she was like, whats that?
And so I got Leah, in all her 12 year old technology genius, to set Karen up with the Instagram app, and now Karen is the coolest person I know.

And I sang Leah a song of loving adoration in honor of her technology prowess, I love technology, but not as much as you, you see... but I STILL love technology... always and forever. Our love is like a flock of doves, flying up to heaven above... always and forever... always and forever...

Somehow everything in my life always comes back to Napoleon Dynamite.

But here are the sweetest Instagram pictures you've ever seen:

Lily and Molly. These two are buds.
Lily tickles Molly's back and tells her princess stories when they're supposed to be taking a nap. And Molly calmly sucks her fingers.
Molly washes Lily's hair out in the bathtub. And then they brush each other's hair after bath time.
And Lily helps Molly get dressed up for playing wedding. Lily loves weddings. She has her own wedding all planned out. She might only be four, but she knows what color eye shadow she'll be wearing on that grand and glorious day.

My poor kneecaps...

Excuse me while I go blow my running nose...

And now you know why when I get to heaven, I'm going to ask God if I can have an iphone for my birthday.
... so I can do the whole Instagram thing too.

April 10, 2012

hi there!

Hey, I'm back.
Did you miss me? Were you desolate without me? Did you lose weight because you couldn't eat because you longed for my voice?
Yeah, that's what I figured. I'd feel the same if I were you.

This last month was happening. I can't believe I got so much done.

Living room redecorated. Check! (Pictures coming soonish.)
Did some redecorating at church. We've been remodeling. For a million years.  It's finally coming together. Check!
Every closet, cabinet, under-the-bed, drawer, and storage space cleaned out and organized. Check!
All junk taken to the thrift store. Check!
Kitchen table and chairs finally repainted. Check!
Craft stuff organized. Check!
Furniture rearranged in every room. Check!
Mom's room redecorated. Check!
Taxes finally filed. Check! (Speaking of checks... I get money back. I'm so happy.)
Got cute stuff for the tops of my kitchen cabinets. Check! (Been wanting to do that for like ever.)
Did some sewing. (Yep. Me. I sewed.) Check!
Did some baking. (Yep. Me. I baked too.) Check!
Saved a ton of money by repurposing, upcycling, and making things myself. Check!

Patted my own back vigorously until my shoulder blade popped out of joint. Check, checkedy, check!

I love writing check. I love writing exclamation points too.

The living room isn't actually complete. So you have to wait a couple more weeks for those before and after pictures, but... wanna sneak peek?

Okay, since you twisted my arms off.

Recovered my old throw pillows. Check!
Painted some plain old curtains because I was surely going to die if I didn't have marigold chevrons somewhere in my living room. Check!
Framed the girl's watercolor art. Check!
Made a... something... knob thingy like the one I saw on Pinterest. Check!

I had fun. It was alot of work, but fun work. I'll write all about it as soon as it's all finished.

And here's the last month in pictures:

Yeah, they're gorgeous babes...

Can anyone say cheesy?

She rather liked her cupcakes... that I made myself.
(I had to throw that in there. I didn't want you wondering who made those cute cupcakes and maybe dying of curiosity and stuff. And I can't help but be excited that I baked... without a hitch. That never happens!)

Tim and Karen... and a bunch of other church couples... went to couple's retreat in Seattle. They got a break. We didn't. We watched the kids.

I didn't mind watching them though. Look at their cute faces! Who could mind babysitting those kids?

Easter morning...

Moma made Easter eggs with the girls. She painstakingly blew the eggs out and everything.

I made the bunny cake. It was fun! And easy. Easy cooking always surprises me. Usually, I'm sweating when I cook. And crying.

Molly was pretty sure the whole cake was her's.

 Isn't Lily so pretty? She is. And Hannah in the background there is pretty... amazing too.

 A day at the park. And my beautiful Moma. And a baby who wanted to never have to look at a camera again.

Lucy, ever helpful, ever motherly. And Molly, ever wanting down so she can be all grownup and explore by herself. At age two.

Lily the beautiful.

Me and my friend, Talia. She's going to have a baby. I'm not.
But the girls did tons of flowers in my hair. So I could be a flower pot head.

 Also... I'm a sexy beast. What can I say? Some things can't be helped.

The Sexy Beast Who Missed You All Month

April 08, 2012

resurrection day

Don't you love the new life of resurrection day?
I love the new dress, the easter bunny cake with jelly bean eyes, the family ham dinner, the egg hunts with the kids, the easter lilies at church, the special church service, the soaring congregational singing, the happy faces.

But mostly, mostly, I love the taste of victory in my mouth. That victory that comes from being able to say...

He is risen!

Him, my Lord and Saviour, my Beloved, my Friend.
Risen indeed.