Friday, October 29, 2010

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait....

I have a philosophy when it comes to purchases or decorating my home.  If I can't figure out exactly what I want where or if I can't find or afford what I really want, I wait.  I'd rather have nothing or do nothing until I know what I want or find what "speaks to me", or can afford to get what I want.  Actually it's kind of exciting know that it will happen one day.....I will find exactly what I want or be able to purchase just the right thing for the spot!

That's why my kitchen cabinets have had nothing above them since we remodeled our kitchen.  Nothing I happen to think of just makes me jump up and down.  I think I have an idea now, but it hasn't been until recently that I thought of what I'd like there.  It will take awhile to get it to that point though.  So there we go again with waiting.  But that's okay.

One big thing I've waited on concerns living room furniture.  We've had our living room furniture since 1990!  Maybe I shouldn't tell that....I guess it's kind of embarrassing.  It's been through life with all my kids.   But.....what I want I can't afford, or put it this's not #1 on our priority list.   There are always other things that come up that have to come first.   I LOVE Johnston Benchworks furniture, but I would also settle for used furniture with the right bones to have re-upholstered in the prim fabrics that I love.   I'm always on the look-out for a good deal on either of the above options.

That's why I was so excited to find my newest purchase at the antique gallery that Joy and I frequent.  I passed by one particular booth and saw "it".  It was a blue chair and it was a fabric pattern that I loved!

I figured it would be way out of my price range, but imagine my surprise to find a price tag of $90 on it!  I was thrilled!  I came home and presented my case to Jason.  He said yes.  I decided that when I went back, if it was still there, it was meant to be and if it was gone, not meant to be.  I was really really happy to find it still waiting (for me).   :)

I'm not really comfortable with haggling on prices, but I thought it was worth a try to just ask.  I mean, all they could do is say no, right?  So I asked if the owner of that booth would take any less for the chair (actually I thought the price was already reasonable and I was getting it anyway), but I had to ask.  The clerk asked me to make an offer.  I didn't know what to say, so she suggested I offer $75.  So I did.  She called the owner and when it was said and done, I got it for 10% off, $81!  Even better than $90!

My intentions were that it would eventually end up in my living room, but for now it would probably go in my bedroom.  I had just the spot for it there.   I would wait until I had the rest of my furniture (that I'm still sort of patiently waiting on) before I put it in the living room.  However, when I got it home and put it in the living room in this corner, I knew it had to stay.  I love it there.  Actually, I love that entire corner! 

When the Christmas tree goes up, it will have to be moved to our bedroom for the Christmas season, but it will then be moved back. You know how everything always looks bare after Christmas decor comes down?  Well, now I'll have my chair to look forward to and it won't be so bare!  I love it! 

Good things really do come to those who now I'm waiting on the rest of it!  :) 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Just Us Girls

As you can imagine, adding a very active 2 year old little boy to our family has brought with it alot of change.  It is obviously a huge blessing to have Luke in our family and a good change; nevertheless change in itself is sometimes hard.

Having a demanding 2 year old who wants (and needs) to be by our side constantly for his own security, leaves very little one-on-one time for me to spend with Joy.  That is one change that's been a little difficult for us, and a little tough on Joy, even though she absolutely adores Luke and is a huge help with him (and I do mean huge).  Considering the age difference between all three of my kids, we had the same situation when Joy was born as Colt was used to having me all to himself as well.  And it is a little different because we do homeschool, so nobody gets breaks from anyone or anything 24/7, if you know what I mean.  But then again, I wouldn't want it any other way.

Well, we're finally to a point with Luke where he is secure enough to stay with Grandmama (my mom next door) for awhile.  So, for about six weeks now, Joy and I have had a day once a week, usually Thursdays, for about 4-5 hours for "Just Us Girls".  Let me say first of all though, that I realize that not everyone can do this; I'm very blessed with the advantage here in that my mom lives next door and we're talking about two kids at home during the day....I know many of you have more at home!  Anyway, Luke knows he goes to Grandmama's and has fun with her and then Joy and I come back after him (with candy, popsicle, gum, or some little surprise) and take him back home with us.  This is also good for him.  :)

So far, for our "Just Us Girls" time, here's what we've done.  We've gone shopping (some for real shopping, but mostly window shopping) and out to eat.  Joy loves the antique gallery/flea market as much as I do, so that's a fun thing for us.  We've been to the mall and visited the photo booth and rode the carousel there and had a fun you can see!  :)

Believe it or not, Goodwill is a place Joy likes as much as me, so we've done that as well.  Those were all places of her choosing!  But we decided it would be fun (and more budget friendly) to just have 4-5 hours at home also, so the last 3 weeks, that's what we've done.  We've watched The Sound of Music (a movie we both love) snuggled together on the couch.  And most recently, can you believe a simple game of hide-and-seek was what she wanted?  We played indoors and we both had lots of fun with that....shh...don't tell anyone how much I enjoyed playing hide-and-seek!  Then we brought out the craft supplies and crafted. 

I think that particular day of hide and seek and crafting has been our favorite yet......crafting and talking. 

Joy designed a T-shirt and painted a hanging wooden flower and I stained and distressed some old wooden spoons I had picked up at GW at some point, put some old labels on jars that I purchased at the antique gallery and grubbied some little nubbie candles (also found at GW).

This past Thursday wasn't filled with much as my little girl has been really sick this week.  Wednesday she had a fever of a little over 105 degrees.  After two doctor visits, we thought it was strep only, but I think she had even more going on, as in possibly the flu.  I think we're finally on the downhill swing of that, but she's run fever for 6 days straight.  We did have about 3 hours for "our time" on Thursday, but we mostly just sat around and talked, although we did do each other's nails, as she just wasn't feeling well at all.  (Please remember her in your prayers....and that the rest of us don't get whatever it is).

We're going to try a nicer outing once a month that involves money spending and reserve the remaining Thursdays for special things we can do here at home together.  With Christmas coming up, I can see those times at home being the most special anyway!  We both look very forward to Thursdays!  :) 

It's amazing how that 4-5 hours once a week of "Just Us Girls" time is so refreshing, and beneficial to our relationship!  It was important to me that Joy know how special she is to me and how proud I am of her.  I've had a great time and I believe she has too......Luke and my mom are getting one-on-one time together and we're all building memories in the meanwhile.  :)    

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More Goodies Waiting on Our Front Porch!

Within the last week or so, we've received a couple more packages.  Both were too big to fit in the mailbox, so they were waiting for us on our front porch.  It's so exciting to look out there and see a box of goodies waiting to be opened!  :)  

I won Gina's Fall Bingo Giveaway (of Cap Nap Inn Primitives).  But she sent so much more.  She told me there was something in there for the entire family, and boy she wasn't kiddin'!  It was like Christmas!

First of all, here's some of the goodies that were for me and Jason.  The picture frame and butterfly are both Joy's, but all of the rest of the fall stuff is mine!  She made Jason a "World's Greatest Dad" cup cozy insulator sleeve!  And she made me a "World's Greatest Mom" one.  They're so cute!  Jason really liked it and thought it was cool, Gina.   

Also included in there was cream and sugar room spray made by Gina.  It smells yummy!  I love it.  There are two fabric pumpkins (love love those), another distressed paper mache' pumpkin painted by Gina (very cute), some of her fall fixins (also smell wonderful), chapstick and a pin, and a crow.  So I got to decorate a little more, which I'll share a little later in this post.

But first I have to show you what she sent for the kids.  I think Colt was tickled (and surprised) to be included in one of my prim friend's packages!  She made him this rock star guitar pillow.  (Click on the picture to see it a little closer).

She had the package addressed to Joy because she had been working on something for her all along for her new bedroom.  And here it is!

Isn't that the cutest?  Joy loved it! It's perfect for her room.  We don't have it hung up yet, but we'll get to it soon!

And she included something for Mr. Luke too.  He got a little monkey friend!  When I wanted to get his picture, I told him it was like his book, Caps for Sale.  So he had to put two caps on his head, just like the peddler in the book.  :)

I asked him what he wanted to name his monkey, and he said, "Give Me Caps".  You have to know the story, to know that line, but I guess we'll call him Caps I guess.  :)

Thank you so much, Gina!

And, I was also one of the winners of Linda of Parker Paradise's giveaway.  I wasn't even sure what all was included as it was to be a surprise.  And boy did she include alot too.  Just look at all of this!

I have already have plans in mind for several of these items and one being in the new bathroom makeover!

Thank you so much, Linda!

Now for where I added in some of the fall goodies:

The fabric pumpkins went on the bench in the foyer.

The distressed paper mache' pumpkin went beside the fall blessing blocks on my side table with the pump lamp.

The crow had to be added to the little bench with Mr. Scarecrow and the other crow.

I added some of the fall fixins to this bowl on my kitchen table....

.....and to this wooden box inside the black bowl in the kitchen also. 

I've already been using the room spray (my house smells really good right now) and I'm trying to find places for more fall fixins! 

Oh, and one more thing.....I just made a new entry in the adoption journal, Journey to Luke.  You can click here, if you'd like to read it.  It has a little more information than yesterday's blog post, if you like to read more about how it's going with his adjustments.

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  Thanks for the very sweet comments on yesterday's post about Luke!  Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!  :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We First Saw His Face.....

A year ago, we first saw his face, our Luke's sweet face, that is. 

It's so hard to believe that it was a year ago that we fell in love with that face, and it seemed like forever then until we could bring him home and cover him with hugs and kisses. 

Sometimes we look at him now, and can't hardly believe that we have him with us.  It just seems like such a miracle and although people say Luke's blessed to be in our family, the truth is that we are the ones that feel blessed. 

Has it been easy or perfect?  Definitely not.  We can tell we're older this go around with a 2 year old.  There have been different issues with his adjusting and us doing whatever it takes to make sure he feels secure, as well as us just finding a new normal.  But then one little hug or kiss with a "I lub you mama", and it's hard to remember all of the trials.  

Last year this time, we were praying for him and now he's praying with us!  He likes to pull us together and (sort of) bow his head,kind of leaving one eye open while he prays about every English word he can think of.  He doesn't like to be left out or leave anyone or anything out of a prayer.  :) 

Just this past weekend, I took him to the bathroom, and while we were in there, he said, "Mama, you are SO cute." (imagine him saying it very quickly up to the so and holding the SO out a just a bit).  Do you have any idea how that melted my heart?   I guess he's heard that from us a little often?  :)

Last year on this day, October 19th, as we were getting ready to go out for dinner, the phone rang.  It was Xiaoqing, the wonderful China SNs adoption coordinator of BAAS, with Luke's referral.  We had her lock his file that night while we reviewed it and consulted the medical issues with doctors.  Two days later, we sent in our Letter of Intent to adopt (LOI) and just 6 days later, we received our Pre-adoption Approval (PA).  That was when we were able to share his picture with you all and boy were we thrilled!  And tomorrow will be the anniversary of the day we met him face to face in Hohhot, China for our Forever Family Day.  Four months tomorrow was the day.......June 20th (Father's Day).  Can you believe he's been home with us four months already?

If you'd like to read (or re-read) the story of how we knew he was ours, you can click here.

I'm thanking God today that he chose to bring Luke into our family and that he entrusted us with this precious little boy, who makes us laugh everyday and covers us with hugs and kisses.  :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Carving and a Favorite Recipe

Friday night, Colt and his girlfriend, Amber, brought home a couple of pumpkins and carving kits, one for them and one for Joy and Luke.  They set to work carving their pumpkins out on the sunporch while I worked nearby in the kitchen on Jason's birthday dinner dessert.

It was very obvious that our family is not very experienced with pumpkin carving.  :)  However, Amber was a pro.  Colt was Amber's assistant. 

Luke wasn't interested, except for being in the middle of the mess (being a little brother).  Joy stepped into unknown territory, and ploughed right into carving hers....

....with a little help from Colt in cleaning out the guts (as she called it and didn't care for that part). 

She actually did a great job though.

Pumpkin carving is a mess thing, isn't it?

And not exactly done really quickly, either.

Amber and Colt finished their's first.  Their pattern was a very intricate design.......see the owl?  I was impressed.

Joy's took a little longer, but she stuck with it to the end until her little pumpkin guy was completed.  He's got a cute little goofy face, don't you think?

We added "Zero" to the sunporch potting bench.  Luke is a little scared of him and says, "Yucky, yucky."  :)

I talked Amber into taking their's home for her family to enjoy.  

Thank you Colt and Amber for the evening of pumpkin carving and for thinking of Joy and Luke too.

By the time they finished, I had Jason's dessert of choice for his birthday dinner (on Saturday) completed.  This is an all time favorite of his, and so easy.  I thought I'd share the recipe.  I didn't think to take a picture of it and it was all gone by Saturday afternoon.  lol!  But here's the recipe:

4-Layer Delight

First Layer:

1 cup flour
a stick butter
1/2 cup pecans (I use pecan pieces)
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Second Layer:

1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup Cool Whip
1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese (softened)

Third layer:

2 small pkg. instant chocolate pudding (could use other flavors I suppose if you wanted).
3 cups milk

Fourth layer:

Large ctn. Cool Whip (I use the rest of what wasn't used above).
Pecan pieces (sprinkled on top)

Mix together first layer and press in bottom of 9 x 13 inch pan.  (I spray mine with a little Pam first).  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes (sometimes it takes just a bit longer until it starts to brown a little....not too much around the edges).

I mix all the other layers in separate bowls while this first layer is in the oven.  Then after the first layer comes out of the oven, let it cool a bit.  Then add the second layer over the crust.  Add third layer over the second layer.  And add fourth layer on top of third layer.  Refrigerate.  (Best if made the night before and sits in the refrigerator overnight).  Enjoy  :)


Thanks so much for stopping by!  And thank you for the birthday wishes for Jason (he thanks you too). Luke enjoyed singing, "Happy Day Day to You" (many times).  :)

 I've also been meaning to tell you that the little girl, Molly, that I featured on my blog, has found a family!  (There were actually several families interested in her!)  That's one less orphan and one blessed family and little girl!  Now I hope Bart finds his family soon too!

Have a wonderful week!  :) 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

He's 50 Today!

Today is my hubby's 50th birthday.  Yes, he's 50 with a 2 year old!  :)  (We've decided that fact is going to keep us young)!  

Jason was born in 1960.  I thought it would be fun to see how things were in 1960, so I did a little research!  Here's what I found out:

- The average cost of a new house was $12,700.00

- The average income was $5,315.00

- A gallon of gas cost 25 cents.

- The average cost of a new car was $2,600.00.

- A loaf of bread cost 20 cents.

- The average monthly rent was $98.00.

A few things have changed, haven't they? 

I'm so very thankful that 50 years ago, a baby boy entered the world that God knew would one day be my husband.  He's a Godly husband and dad and we love him dearly!  I'm glad he's my man. 

Happy birthday, Jason!  :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Little Fall Inside (Part Two)

Thank you for the kind comments on the kitchen and dining room fall decor!  I appreciate each and every one! 

I am back to share the little bit of fall decor in our living room/foyer and sunporch. I had taken more pictures than I realized and I'm still a little slow with the new blogger format, so it was easier to divide it into two different posts!

Keep in mind, it's very simple, and I only sprinkle small touches (I really don't have that many fall decorations) among my everyday decor.  However, I love the colors of fall, so I'm enjoying the added touches.

Anyway, we'll begin with the living room.

The fireplace:

A little closer look at the Mr. Scarecrow with the crow on his shoulder guarding the hearth:

And the mantle:

A little bit to the crates beside the recliner:

On the cedar chest coffee table are the pumpkins that Joy and Luke picked out when we went to pick apples.  

 On my makedo end table between the two recliners:

On the piano:

On the other end table, my "pump lamp table":

And a little in the foyer/entryway:

And just a little touch to the sunporch since that's the first place we see when we come into our home through the backdoor:

Mums instead of the geraniums on the potting bench would have been better.....but I don't have any yet.  :)  But then again, I could probably look at geraniums all year.....did I mention how much I love red?

Can you tell I love sunflowers?

And that's it.  That's fall inside our home.  As of now, I have a fall wreath outside my front door, but would love to add a little more out there.  Maybe I'll share that later, if I get to it!

I sure have enjoyed touring your homes seeing all the fall colors!  Before we know it, we'll be decorating for Christmas!

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Have a great week!  :)