Thursday, October 7, 2010

Redeem The Time

I was at my sweet cousin's house in Northern Michigan last night, and taped to the windowsill above the kitchen sink was a note that read:
"The days are long
The years are short
Redeem the time"
She is a wonderful mom to five beautiful children and after I read that I thought, what a great reminder to enjoy every moment and use every moment for the glory of God! I started thinking about moms, dads, aunts, uncles, and grandparents and the godly influences we can all have on a child's life. It is so true that the years are short, they seem to pass by quickly.

This reminder also applies to every season of life, not just raising, disciplining and loving children. It applies to the college years, young married years and even years spent working a job and building a career. We must use every moment fully and to the glory of a great and mighty God.

Lord, redeem the time!

"There is always enough time, to do the will of God. For that we can never say, 'I don't have time.'"3 - Elisabeth Elliot

If God gives us something to do He will also give us the time necessary to complete the task. He will not frustrate us. Though everyone is given the same daily allotment -24 hours- God is very creative with the 1,440 minutes within.

 This morning a dear friend mentioned this very thing on her facebook status, stating:

"The Lord lovingly reminds me that it isn't about the amount of hours in a day or what we get done in a day BUT instead Whom we serve and how we love. Lord redeem the time... that it would be Your day and not ours alone!"                       -- Rhonda Phegley


 I believe the Lord is trying to tell me something here! The Lord is sovereign and it is no coincidence that this has been brought to my attention.

3. Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline: The Glad Surrender (Old Tappan, N.J.: Fleming H. Revell, 1982), p. 103

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fall Break Project Numero Uno - Complete!

Who knew painting and then beating up furniture could be such fun!?

I gave you a sneak peek in a previous post, and now the painting and distressing of the dresser is complete!

I wasn't on the ball enough to take a before picture of the dresser, you know, all together and in it's natural glory, but I did get one of all the drawers before I took the pulls off and another one with the black base coat. I'm going with tans, reds and whites in the second guest room/office so I wanted a red dresser, distressed with black showing through. Never done it before, but figured it would be worth the try! Okay, enough words, on to the pictures!

I borrowed the blue wall from my hallway for these pics since I still have yet to strip the two layers of wallpaper in the room this will go in. I kind of like it with the blue! Anyway, I love how this turned out! It is exactly what I wanted!

Now on to Fall project Numero dos! : )

Friday, October 1, 2010

Lists: Fall Break Fun!!

If you just heard a faint squeal slice through the air from the direction of Kentucky, don't be alarmed! It was just me celebrating the start of my week-long fall break from nursing classes! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE what I am learning and count it a tremendous blessing to be in the middle of second semester with only two more semesters to go before acing the NCLEX and being dubbed a full-fledged RN. But nursing school is like taking a drink from a fire hose...sooo much information in a tiny amount of time to have to digest and apply. It can be a tad bit overwhelming at times.

So, since I'm a list person and I have yet to officially lace my little blog with lists galore I figured the first list should be one of leisure and joy!

So what is on tap for my week of freedom you ask!?

A furniture painting project (which I'm already half-way finished with!)  Check!
• Sleep! Glorious, wonderful, Tylenol PM induced sleep!
• Photography (both a family portrait session for my sweet cousin and her family and then whatever my eye fancies, both are fun and relaxing!)
• Some time well spent behind the wheel of my car
• Time with family!!!
• Sushi and time spent with someone special : )
• A deep cleaning of the humble abode
• A sewing project!!! I found the fabric below and LOVE it! It will hopefully be fashioned into a fall dress for a precious little two-yr-old.

• My cousin's wedding! I'm so excited for her!
• Some journaling, Bible reading, other reading and time spent in deep thought.
• And a few other things that may just be fodder for future posts : )

So, now that the list is complete, it's time to get started!!

Easy Fall Decorations

 Woah. I'm actually getting a post on here that I "hoped" I would post in a timely manner! That's progress kids! As promised in the last post, this one is about my fall decorations. They are out, they are complete and they make me smile!

Normally in years past, for the two big flower pots on my front porch, I would just put some mums in them, put some pumpkins around them and call it good. This year, I wanted something different. I found these pumpkins on sale at Hobby Lobby and I liked that they came in various sizes. My immediate thought was to stack them on top of each other to create a Fall time topiary to greet my visitors. Since they were made of styrofoam, I bought a dowel rod at Lowe's and used a hammer and chop stick to make pilot holes through the middle of the pumpkins. Then I just pushed the dowel rod through the pumpkins in the appropriate order, and viola! Stacked pumpkins.

I found the floral grassy stuff in the floral section and decided to just plant the pumpkin topiary in the middle of it.

And to finish it off, I bought some of the colorful beaded picks to stick into the pumpkins for some added pizzazz. Simple, fun and pretty! I hope that the sun doesn't fade the pumpkins too much so I can reuse them next year! But I'm thinking that if they do fade, I can just get creative with some spray paint to spruce them up!

I didn't leave out the mums this year, I just moved them lower into my flower beds and added some to some other pots from the backyard that I painted to match the ones on the front porch.

But seriously, now that my fall decorations are out, my mind has already turned to the Christmas decorations and call me crazy, but this year the front door will be painted to coordinate more appropriately with Christmas! Mandarin Orange is great for Spring, Summer and Fall, but it really just clashes with red!

And there you have it, nothing fancy, just simple yet festive. Fall!

And Daisy Lou is stopping by to make a visit with this special little outtake. My dog hates my camera. When I say hate, I mean when it gets close to her, she physically turns her back to me. I told her to stay and this was the look I got! I love my dog. Because just like me, she is a mess!

-------------------- Sneak Peek -----------------------

 I started a new project today! This is the hint and I will post when it is finished!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall: I Welcome You With Open Arms!

The image below makes my sweat glands quiver...

Popsicle anyone?? After suffering through the horribly oppressive summer heat that feels the need to bring a side-dish of humidity, I can't adequately convey in written word my enthusiasm for the fact that Fall weather has officially arrived in the Ohio Valley. Haul out the pumpkins, get the mums in the ground, open up the windows, build up the bonfire and crank-up the tractor for the hay rides because Fall is upon us! Yay!

Summer, I turn up my nose to you and your ridiculous heat. My sweat glands are personally thankful that your time on center stage is through. It's been real, but take a hike until 2011!

Okay, okay, enough with the drama, but seriously, it was one of the hottest summer's in recent history. But now that cooler temperatures are here, I have hit the outdoors to ready the flowerbeds for fall (which translates as pull the weeds that have taken over in my neglect due to medical microbiology over the summer and second semester nursing two weeks later.) Seriously at one point there was a weed by my front door that was nearly taller than me. And I'm 6-feet wasn't a skimpy weed!

So normally, I just skip decorating for fall because I'm too excited and ready to just decorate for Christmas, but I am taking a different approach this year. As I get older, time does indeed seem to be racing by even faster. I've thought a lot about this lately. My dad told me once, "Don't wish your life away." It was in the context of me whining about not being able to go out with friends or do the things my older brothers could do. I am quite certain it followed me saying something like, "I wish I was older so I could do that." I'm sure we've all been there. But my dad's wisdom was more than I understood at the time. I get it now. I don't want to wake up when I'm 50, 60, 70 or even Lord willing 80 years old and think to myself, "Why didn't I live more in the moment instead of always pining for the tomorrows?" Sure, it is wise to set goals and make plans (as long as one's heart stays open to God's plan even if it alters our own.) But I want every day to count. This summer was a stretch for me. I love to be outside, but I dread to be hot. And it was melt your face off hot, but I made the best of it. I think the most fun this summer was "Camp Amby." Every now and then I have the privilege of entertaining the various kiddos of my friends and family. And in addition to games indoors, I added to my kid-entertaining-arsenal a slip-n-slide, a sprinkler and some water guns. It was hot, but we stayed cool and had a watery blast in the meantime!

And so with summer behind us, fall upon us and winter ahead (insert childish squeal here!) I am planning to continue to make the most of each day. I'm working on new fall decorations and will post pics soon (I hope) of my creations. Until then, I'm posting some inspirational and "cooler" photos from the days past of my favorite seasons.

The picture below was a little gem I rediscovered when going through my photos from Alaska. I took so many pictures while I was there, I honestly forgot taking some of them! This one was on a tour of a native village set up for tourists taking the riverboat cruise on the Chena river. It has the feel of "ready for winter." Which speaks of my mood three seasons out of the year! Ha!

And I don't have high hopes for a good snowy winter like we had this past winter, but I'll keep my snowy pictures close by to remember the days of hiking in the snow with a frozen nose and joyful heart. : )

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Morning Motivation!

Okay, I shouldn't use food as a motivator, but one of my favorite bloggers posted a favorite recipe and it had me at "blueberry!" *chuckle*

Okay, okay, it had me at "White Chocolate Blueberry Bread Pudding!" There. I confessed.

As my two eyes gleefully scanned the ingredients list I was thrilled to see that I had everything but the white chocolate. Easy fix! I scooped my flip-flops onto my feet, grabbed my keys and be-bopped to the grocery store!

Now this is wonderful providence that this recipe came into my life as I am making changes diet wise, and have been making an effort to have foods on hand for a good solid breakfast before starting my day. Mind you, I know that white chocolate and bread pudding for breakfast may not be the healthiest, but I made a few changes, as I usually do to any recipe.

I used splenda instead of sugar, used a smaller baking dish and only half a loaf of bread, I used Cinnabon brand cinnamon bread, white chocolate chips instead of breaking chocolate into chunks and added pecans. It is sitting in my refrigerator this very minute, awaiting it's 375 degree debut into my little toaster oven! Monday morning will be one that I'm pretty certain will not see the snooze button! I just hope it isn't too sweet as I can't do sweets in the morning!

(Screen Shot from Scribbit: Motherhood in Alaska)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day Weekend: in Review

I have said it before, and I'll always say it again...

There is nothing quite like getting behind the wheel for a road trip!

Those that know me, know that I love to drive! (And if you didn't know that, you do now!!) Some of my best thoughts and revelations have come to me behind the wheel of the various cars I have driven over the years. Tears can be shed, songs can be sung, heart to heart talks can be had, prayers can be said, new roads can be explored....Ah! and freedom can be had on the open road.

So, needless to say, I was a bit excited to say the least when my mom and I planned a road trip for the long Labor day weekend with my two beautiful nieces!

Destinations: Chattanooga, TN and Cleveland, GA (to visit the fabulous Babyland General, birthplace of the Cabbage Patch Kids!)

If I made the time, I could scan the picture of me and my first visit to Babyland General. I was eight or nine and had some mondo-thick glasses on my face. But I was the hap-happ-happiest girl alive!!

Am I the only one that LOVES the new cabbage patch doll smell?? And I chuckle as I type this, because without an appropriate caption, the photo above just looks REALLY creepy!

So the drive to Cleveland, Georgia from Chattanooga follows the B-E-A-U-TIFUL Ocoee River. On the drive there, I was doing the best I could on those winding mountain roads to slow down so my nieces could see blessed individuals that had placed their lives in the hands of river guides while they went white water rafting. I'm sure the girls' eyes were just as starry as mine were. I adore being out on the water, well I don't even have to be on the water, being near it brings me just as much joy. I have been white water rafting once in my life, last year while I was in Alaska visiting a dear friend. It was beyond amazing! Moving through the gorgeous scenery with a beautiful blue sky above and the mountains of Denali National Park all around. The rushing frigid glacial waters lapping against me and the peaceful quietness of God's creation!

Yeah, I can't wait to do it again!

So I had another wonderful moment by the river's edge with two sweet girls who bring our family such joy. I think the three of us could have spent all day climbing on the rocks, running the trails and dipping our feet in the refreshingly cool waters of the Ocoee. At one point we sat on the rocks, chatted about life, watched kayakers and rafters go by and picked some pretty wild flowers for Nana who stayed in the car to take a nap while us girls ventured out to play.

That weekend getaway was just the break I needed to unwind, refresh and take in some of God's beautiful creation. And to spend some wonderful quality time with some really great gals!