Monday, February 27, 2012

Word Decor

I hate white walls. As soon as I move into a new home the first thing I do is paint every wall I can. The problem with my home now is that I have ridiculously high ceilings in my stairwell. While I love how it looks, it makes it very difficult to paint. I figure I'll get to it one day…but for now…I will paint words!

Wall decals like this can be extremely pricey (nearly $50.00 for a single phrase). And because James and I like to have very specific words on our walls, we would have to custom order them. And that gets even more expensive. So because I'm cheap, I'm willing to take the extra time to stencil on my walls.

All you need is a level, pencil, tape, stencils (mine are from Michael's), paint, touch up paint.

Use a 40% off coupon from Michael's for your stencils 
(they also accept 50% off coupons from Hobby Lobby…who knew?!?)

Start by leveling off a straight line on your wall and use clear tape to mark it off 
(this way you will leave no line on your wall)

Next use the pencil to outline the letters onto your wall. 

I first tried using a flat bristle brush to stencil the letters on, but the paint would seep through,
 making for a lot of touch ups! 

So then I just outlined my letters with the pencil,
then used a small tip brush to paint my letters.

It's that easy…but it's time consuming. 

This is in my front room. The first thing you see when you enter my home. 
Proverbs 3:3

 This is in my stairwell.
1 Corinthians 13:13
I love this photo display. 
But I have to update the photos. I have none of my sweet baby Ella! 

I just love the freedom of owing a stencil. I can choose any phrase I want. And I love to decorate with words; especially Bible Verses. 
It's peaceful, inspiring, and a great way to see God's words to us!

My entry into Strut Your Stuff sponsored by Appliances Online and the Bosch Washing Machines

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Many Faces Of My Babies

Babies make have the cutest faces. They can be so expressive.
I have never been able to delete the multitude of "same shot" photos from my computer. 
I will sit there in front of my kids snapping away until I get one picture of their "cute face".
But when I've uploaded them onto my computer, I find it impossible to delete all the other ones I've taken. 

Josiah at 4 months old.
He had refulx and he wasn't the happiest baby, so getting pics of him smiling was really hard : (

I've never know what to do with all of those pictures I've taken. I don't scrapbook. 
I may one day…but it's not today.
So when I found that I could just cut and paste them all together I thought this was the perfect way to get all my favorite face pictures next to each other.

 Micah Brian at 4 months old.
He was by far my fattest baby. 

Ella Beverly at 8 months old. 
Happy as can be!

And here's where I can see God's fingerprint every day!
I am just so thankful for modern technology! 
Here's to memory preservation!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Play With Them

It's hard for me to get the energy to play with my boys sometimes.

That sounds horrible.

They are so funny, creative, and silly. And I can barely muster the energy to giggle with them.

I have laundry, dishes, dusting, bathrooms, cooking, baby rearing …well you get the idea.

But to actually take time to play with them.

I have always admired those moms who are able to be really crafty with their kids. But sitting and doing crafts doesn't seem to be my niche. I'm not exactly the most artistic of gals (you should see my attempt at a dog…it looks like a squirrel…a really messed up squirrel).

My boys play together great most of the time. But I know that this time I have with them will be over so quickly, and I don't want to waste it just trying to always clean my home!

I've come up with some clever ways to do this more often…here's my top ten.

10. Take 15 min before I do the dishes to play a board game.

9. Chase them around the kitchen island 15 times or until I can't breath any more.

8. Build a fort with them. And then destroy the fort with them.

7. Have them help with folding the laundry. I don't know why, but they think it's really fun.

6. Make a "craft" for daddy. Like a heart with stickers on it (cause that's about as crafty as it gets in this house)

5. Let them help me with dinner.

4. Tell stories at lunch with them.

3. Let them paint the tub.

2. Sing silly songs with them (youtube has been very helpful)

1. Dance party. This is my ultimate favorite. 10 min of non-stop cardio for everybody!

This is my embrace the camera moment. Who knew I could still do this. We're now trying to teach the boys how to do this. I know what you're thinking, and yes, I probably will regret this decision later.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Velcro Wreath for Every Season

I was getting really tired of coming up with a new wreath every season.

I'm thrifty. Okay lets be honest…I'm cheap.

I hate spending the money to buy or make a new wreath.

So I thought I'd be super clever and make ONE wreath that can serve through multiple seasons!


Genius, right?

Just velcro your flowers or "fixings" right to your wreath, and change them out by season.

Here's how to do it!

Here's where you can get really creative. I made flowers first. But for my other seasons I thought you could make hearts for valentines day….shamrocks for St. Patty's day…well…you get the idea.

Cut squares of velcro. Mine are about 1"x 1"

I bought this twig wreath at Wal-Mart for $3.50.

Make sure you space your squares out far enough apart to allow room for all of your different "

*sorry for all the multiple uses of the word "fixings" I know it's not that clever*

Something else to think about when making your "fixings".
If you don't have a covered porch you might not want to put felt or any other fabric on your wreath. It may deteriorate with harsh weather.
Just a thought.

And there ya go!

Isn't she pretty. I love it! I'll be adding more to it, when I get the chance. More posts to follow and ways to add new "fixings".

bits of splendor monday

Friday, February 17, 2012


I feel like I've been living in a cloud of worry lately.
Ella had some blood work done and her tests results came back with some elevated liver enzymes. This could mean nothing. Or it could have something to do with her lack of weight gain.
The Dr. doesn't seem to be terribly worried, which is a good sign. But this has been enough to send me spiraling into worry.

I am not a worrier by nature. One of my friend's calls herself a "catastrophic thinker". You know…the kind of person who thinks that the world is coming to an end when you find a mole. But this has done it for me. Liver enzymes and lack of weight gain. She's only gained a couple of ounces in the past two months. My eight month old baby weighs as much as the average 3 month old.


What makes this harder is that I can't get her into the specialists at the Children's Hospital for 2 weeks (nutritionist) or 3 weeks (GI specialist). So for now, I'm stuck with this sense of worry and panic. So I look up websites like this that talk about how deadly it can be for elevated liver enzymes. That doesn't help. At. All.

What I need to be doing is giving my worry to God. I KNOW that He is in control. And I KNOW that Ella is His child, not mine. And I KNOW that His plans are perfect.

These things I know, but I listen to the evil thoughts put in my head from the Devil. I look at Ella, and I am full of fear for her. Worry is consuming.

I desire to be consumed with Christ, but I keep getting in the way! I pray for peaceful thoughts. When I can choose to direct my thoughts on Christ, my worry diminishes. I feel hope in Him.

There are always going to be moments in our lives when we can worry. And I know that I will always be worried about things. James and I love this verse ~ Isaiah 41:10 ~.

I can't tell you how many times I've prayed this verse. It's an anthem in my head. It has been so helpful, in those really dark moments. I will find my encouragement in God, and continue to seek his peace.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shredded Beef and Avocado Enchiladas

These are the best enchiladas I've made yet. I have to admit that I'm not a HUGE fan of spicy food. This had just engouh kick that my husband loved it, and that I could enjoy all the flavors without burning my face off.

These take some time. So make sure you give yourself a good 4-5 hours before you need to eat!


For Beef:
1 1/2 lb chuck pot roast
1/2 cup water
2 tbs chili powder
1 tbs cumin
2 1/2 cups beef broth
3 tbs red wine vinegar

For Sauce
2 cups medium salsa (also used a pineapple chipotle salsa YUM!)
6 oz cream cheese
1 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 can black beans, rinsed

2 whole diced avocado
Whole Wheat Totillas
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Sour cream

Put roast in pan pour water in pan, and cover with tight fitting lid. Simmer for 30 min. Then brown all sides of roast in pan until water is evaporated.

Add beef broth, cumin, chili powder, and red wine vinegar, cover and let simmer for 2 hours or until the beef pull apart EASILY. If you don't wait until it is very tender your beef will be tough.
{You could also do this meat in the morning and leave it in the crock pot on low and then shred when you get home!}

Shred beef with your fingers or with two forks. And add shredded beef back into pan with the extra sauce.

Add salsa, cream cheese, green onion, olives, black beans to pan. Simmer for 10 min.

Layer your salsa mixture, beef, and avocado onto a whole wheat tortilla. I was able to get about 7-8 large enchiladas filled with the mixture.

Fold tortillas and lay in a 9x13 pan.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 30 min.

Remove from oven and cover with as much cheddar cheese as you'd like…(I like a LOT).

Pop back in over for about 5 min or until cheese is melted.

Serve with sour cream.


And while this might not be the most healthy of recipes…it's worth the splurge!

Friday, February 10, 2012

How to Cover a Kitchen Chair for Less than $1 each!

My boys are gross.There is no way around it. They are adorable. They are sweet. They are silly. But they are filthy! Especially Micah, he's constantly dirty.

And they are MESSY eaters. They use the seat cushions of my kitchen chairs instead of napkins.

Exhibit A

When we bought our chairs a few years ago I was more interested in the color of the wood then the seats themselves. When I found the perfect color I bought it without thinking about the seats. They are microfiber which is good for stain management...but they are still fabric. This is NOT good with toddlers!


So I was fumbling online to find some sort of vinyl covers for my seats. They were expensive, and quite frankly...tacky looking. So I took a trip to Wal-Mart. Found a table cloth for $3.50 (I first made sure it was an easy clean material, like vinyl), and decided to try it on my own!

So here's what I did to cover my boys chairs. Easy. Easy. Easy.

Step 1: Remove Seat From Chair

Each Chair is different and remember don't force anything.
You don't want to break your chair!
{Now I sound like my mother} "Don't force'll break it!!"

Step 2: Measure and Cut Tablecloth

I laid my seat onto the tablecloth and used a marker
to outline exactly where I needed to cut the cloth.

Step 3: Use staple gun to staple tablecloth to seat (borrow one if needed. So worth it!)

Make sure you pull on the cloth as you go. You want it to be tight.
Loose fabric will not look as nice and it will be easier for kids to rip.

Step 4: Screw seat back onto chair frame.

And you're done! While these may not be the nicest looking chairs. I'm certainly happy with how it came out for under $1 a chair! This project didn't take me more than an hour and it was worth every second! Now the boys have their own "special chairs". And I have a much easier surface to clean up after they are done.

Now if I could just figure out how to protect the rest of my house....

five days five ways | feature friday free for all

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Micah's 3rd

Happy 3rd Birthday Micah!

We are so proud of you!
Here's to another amazing year with you!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I ruptured WHAT ?

The past 2 weeks have been pretty rough.

There has been a huge stomach bug going around. And it hit my house last week. Thankfully, we've all made it through and we're ok, but Ella was sick for about 2 weeks with diarrhea. And that is not good for my tiny (13lbs) 8 month old who's having trouble gaining weight as it is.

Then on Sun night I had THE WORST PAIN OF MY LIFE. That is not even an exaggeration. It came out of nowhere, crippling me to the floor.. I could barely speak to James. I can't even imagine what I looked like to him. I'm sure he was terrified about what was happening to me.

Turns out I had a ruptured ovarian cyst. I must admit that it was more painful than labor. I wasn't prepared for it, and there was no end in sight. I had no idea what was happening and I had no idea how long it would last. I fell asleep after a couple hours of intense pain and woke up the next morning a 4 on the pain scale instead of a 10. Which was a really good sign. Today I'd say it's a 2 and I'm able to get back to normal on a 75% scale...which I think is pretty good!

I didn't go to the ER. I'm the kind of girl who will wait until I think I'm dying to go there. And I figured since I wasn't throwing up or didn't have a fever, I most likely did not have appendicitis. We went to the Dr yesterday and I was already feeling better.

But while there we had a weight for Ella. Not. Good. She has only gained a couple of ounces in the past few months. I know that she's a happy and healthy little lady so I'm not terribly worried. But to be safe the DR sent us to Children's Hospital to have her blood drawn. *Note: I am crazy impressed by the phlebotomist who can find a vein in an arm that tiny*. We're still waiting to hear back from the Dr on the results of the tests. But we are pretty optimistic that she's just skinny! Praying for peace though.

Even in these trying times I know that I serve a God who is supreme in my life. And a God that can heal me, and protect me. But...I'm pretty sure my husband would not hate it I wanted to visit the Dr a bit more often.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Abby's 1st

I love babies.

I love {mostly} everything about them. Pretty much everything minus the sleep deprivation.

And one of the saddest days for me is a 1st birthday party. It just signifies the end of their
"babyhood".My niece Abby just turned 1 and had a snow princess party. It was a blast and Abby looked so cute. But to me it means that she's not a baby anymore. And it breaks my heart.

But I am grateful that she is strong, healthy, happy, and surrounded with love.

But prepare yourself...picture overload is ahead.

The tutu I made for Abby. You can find one here!

Josiah's new fav pose.

Embracing the Camera with my sister and a Peach Martini

My Aunt and My Mom

I think I do like this cake!

My sister's beautiful family

Micah: "Pa listen to me".

Abby needed help. Good job JoJo

I am so grateful for a family that comes together to celebrate these milestones with each other. I am blessed to have a sister who loves my kids as much as I love her kids. So thankful to have her in my life!