Family Room Reveal

The kids are napping.  I am wandering around the house wondering what to pack next.  I think I'll write a blog post instead.  Yes, that sounds nice.

I'm finally going to show you what happened in our  family room.  I painted it way back in April, and was trying to get it done all summer.  There was still one more fun idea I wanted to do, but it will have to wait for the next house.  When we moved in the room looked like this...

Yes, a lovely basket of apple border....oh wait, make that TWO layers of different apple borders on top of each other.  But I finally got them off...

And then I started doing something like this...

And then you pour some paint and this happens...
And you thank the Lord OUT LOUD that you remembered to put down plastic drop cloth.  Yikes.

All in all, it turned out something like this...

I now realize I don't even have pictures of the entire room because I never took my "final" pictures.  These snippets will have to do, as the room is now entirely packed away.  You can see more pictures of the tv wall in this post about the family art.

So there isn't anything too special about this room, but a few little things to share with you in the near future, such as the ruffle lampshade, refinished dresser, and how to steam drapes.  I moved that little rocking chair to the other side of the room beside the tv (the kids kept rocking it INTO the dresser....a big "no-no" after I just finished painting it).  We also installed a ceiling fan, because Simon would apparently burn up during the summer without some moving air to keep him cool.  He's so hot (oh yes!).

The best part about this room is when these 3 (apparently I can't count, maybe I think of the girls as one unit?) 4 people are in it with me...


Newborn Sleeper from Tshirt

Thanks to This Mama Makes Stuff, who shared a great tutorial and pattern here on making a newborn sleeper from a large t-shirt!  I used up one naptime to make one for our friends who just had their first baby boy, and who also happen to be IWU grads.  I was pretty happy with it, and if you are an IWU grad and you have a baby, you'll probably get one in the mail too.

Yes, I know this picture is sideways, but I don't feel like taking the time to change it.  You get the general idea.

"Never Too Young"
Congrats to Jon, Amy, and Carter!


Indiana, again?

In attempt to help you use your imagination, I'm not putting any pictures on this post.  Words.  Just words.  Take that, blogosphere.

Wow, it's hard to believe that almost a year ago, I wrote this post about moving to Maryland.  I'm not gonna lie, parts of this year seemed to take forever (like the winter), but as a whole, it has gone by so fast.  I haven't written much about Simon's job in a while because frankly, it wasn't turning out the way we had imagined.  What we hoped would be a perfect fit just wasn't fitting.  And as time went on, going to work became harder and harder for Simon.  
The issues at hand involved the desire to work in an office setting with other people (as opposed to being alone all day except when with clients).  If you know Simon, you know he loves to have a good time during the down time, laughing with people and brightening the day.  He would also benefit from a set schedule rather than a loosy goosy flex schedule. 
After talking with his regional leaders, he was pointed in the direction of looking at the Edward Jones headquarters for a new position.  When the job he really wanted fell through (for no apparent reason), we were left with no ideas and were willing to move anywhere.  
This is where the story gets crazy.  See, my parents go to a financial planning company that they rave about and when they're feeling brave, they joke about Simon working there.  When I shared our dead-end job search with them, my mom asked if she could suggest their financial company.  Simon went ahead and submitted his resume (on a Friday), and the same day got an email to set up a skype interview on Monday.
I'll spare you the gritty details, but lets sum it up to say that by Friday of the same week, Simon accepted a position with a financial company in South Bend, Indiana!

The company is privately owned, and although they don't advertise themselves as a Christian company, everyone who works there is a believer and faith is integrated into everything they do.  They work in an office together and do a lot of things as a team rather than as individuals.  I think it will be a perfect fit for Simon.  
He'll be continuing to get more licensing and move into more of an advisor role over time.

We know that this job wouldn't have been possible without first moving here and doing what we did and what Simon went through.  It's really a God thing.  God had been preparing us for several months, and we both felt like a move was coming soon.  We would not have guessed it involved going back to Indiana, but we have to admit, we're thrilled about it!  Another thing: when I was at my parents a few weeks ago, my mom was telling me that they have felt like there was a reason they needed to get their basement finished... like someone was going to need to live there.  She thought it might be a college or exchange student, or maybe my sister and her husband after he finishes chiropractic school.  Never in a hundred years would she (or I) have thought it would be us.  (If you haven't picked up on it by now, yes, we are going to live in my parent's basement to start).  

Simon starts in one week.  ONE...as in, August 22nd.  I'll be here in Maryland packing and enjoying our last days in Maryland bliss.  We'll be moving around the 2nd weekend in September.  This entire situation has been surrounded by prayer, and with the timing of this job and how quickly it came about, we trust that God has prepared a place for us.  
The downside to moving will be leaving Simon's family.  I have really enjoyed getting to know them better (as I had never lived around them since we had been married)... now I feel like they're truly my family too, and leaving comes with sadness.  And we'll KEEP making that 8 hour drive!

Indiana, here we come!


Nature Wall Art

I haven't forgotten to tell you about a few more details!

While in my parent's garage cutting trim, I noticed a bucket of the leftover trim pieces the contractors had left behind.  I knew instantly they needed to be used, for what other than wall art?... so I went to work!

I took them outside and used things I found in the backyard as my design.
I started by tracing some leaves, sticks, and rocks, onto some paper, then cutting them out.  I taped them onto the blocks and spray painted.
However, I noticed that when I took them off, the spray paint "mist" had gotten underneath the paper, except for where the tape was.  So there were very distinct little squares were the tape had been.  To help remedy it, I tried applying "mist" to the other white parts without completely spraying the board.  It mostly did the trick.
So for another approach, I just laid a branch with nice leaves on the wood and sprayed it.  The one with green/white leaves was done this way, and I LOVE how it turned out.  For the other green one with "globs" on it (those were the rock shapes), I thought it needed more, so I laid some sticks on it and sprayed over the whole thing.

My favorite is, of course, the center one.  I got lucky and found the most lovely piece of driftwood in the stream.  I thought I would have to screw it onto the board from behind, but using 2 nails works sufficiently and that baby ain't goin' no where (excuse my grammar).

To finish them off, I attached picture hangers to the back...

Hang them however makes ya happy, and you're done!  I'm excited to try this in other capacities and use more varied materials.  Get your brain wheels goin'... you can think of anything! Do it do it. :)


gDiapers For Sale

I used cloth diapers all the time for Christian, but have not been as faithful at using them for the twins.  In fact, I haven't used them since March, and I don't even know why, I just got out of the habit.  So I have these wonderful cloth diapers sitting around, and I'm offering them to you or someone you know!
All diapers are used, but only for a few months.  They are clean too!

gDiapers for sale: originally $15-18.  I am selling for $10 each.  If you buy 6, I'll give them to you for $9 each.  I have 12, 6 of each color.  
Size MEDIUM (13-28 pounds).
I'll ship them for a flat rate of $5 (or hand deliver if you're close enough!).
2 colors: orange blossom and creamsicle
(aka: orange and cream)
Just look at these chunky monkeys!
-Since they are used, you can expect minor wear and tear.  One or two of the liners that have yellowed slightly, and one of the snap "ribbons" is fraying slightly at the end.  Neither of these things affect the use, and if you use them, you'll add your own wear and tear.
-These are just the diaper covers.  You still need to purchase the cloth insert, found here, or use regular prefolds.

Thanks for considering, and I'd appreciate if you'd pass this information along to someone you know who may be interested in cloth diapers!  And also so you know, I have 2 garage sales coming up and I'm planning on trying to sell them there as well.  Or to anyone else I might meet on the street.  Or the grocery store.  You get the point.  So if you're interested, act fast!
Thanks so much!


DIY Family Modern Art

I was so happy for the chance to do a guest post on Lemon Tree Creations!  Just in case you didn't get a chance to see it, I'm putting it here too.

If you're a mom (and you probably are) then you know it can be hard to involve your family in your creative endeavors.  Sometimes you feel like you're "going it alone" and maybe even feel guilty for ignoring house chores or a screaming baby just to finish that last sewing stitch or paint that last bit of trim.  Am I right?  This project is a great way to get everyone involved, even your skeptical husband!

What you'll need:
Canvases- any size or shape, as many as you want (we use one per person)
Paint- acrylic craft paint, watercolor, or regular latex house paint
Paint applicator- whatever you want! (brush [duh], sticks, flowers, golf balls!)
Patience- when working with your children (or maybe in your case, husband)

I had 3 canvases I got on sale a long time ago, and wanted to use them in our family room*.  My daughters are too young to paint, but my son loves to use watercolors.  We decided we'd each paint our own canvas: but what to paint?!  To take inspiration from nature, we went with good ol' ROYGBIV.  a.k.a: the colors of the rainbow.  Each of us were assigned 2 colors, and the end result would put all the colors in the appropriate order.
My son used a brush and watercolors, for simplicity.  I had to guide him, like, "paint some more right here."  A few times I might have actually moved his arm too.  The great thing is, it doesn't matter how messy or crazy it might seem: it ends up looking like high price modern art.  If elephants can paint it, so can your toddler.

For my painting I used a tissue pom-pom leftover from my girls' birthday party in March.  Using acrylic craft paint, I just blotted paint all over the canvas.  The end result wasn't quite as cool as I had hoped, so I went back over it with a paint brush, smacking and spattering white paint to add some more dimension.

My husband was a little bit psyched about his idea.  Using a mix of latex and acrylic paint, he dipped golf balls in paint, then putted them across the canvas.  He's not normally the crafty/creative type, but you wouldn't know that when it comes to doing these paintings.

Then just hang them on the wall, and you might end up with something like this:

My husband and I did this project a few years ago as well, applying the paint only with objects found in nature.  I used a flower, he used a branch.  He's really proud of that one too.  They turned out like this:
(Also see the 2nd picture in this post to see them hanging in our previous home).

This project is a great way to help each person in your family feel proud of something hanging in your home.  And it's not just something they made at school that you framed and hung up, it is REAL art on a REAL canvas.  The time spent together making them is also part of the fun memory that you remember each time you see it on your wall.

So get creative!  You really can use anything to make these.  Maybe have a theme for the whole family: use all sorts of kitchen equipment to apply the paint, or maybe different food items!

Thanks again to Lemon Tree for allowing me to be a guest.  Have a terrific day, and thanks for reading!

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