Tuesday, March 31, 2009
But yay! for orange.
I love this cheery wall, not so orangy (I'm sure that's a word, right?) but still warm and fun at the same time.
And how about this? Not quite my style but I love it anyway-the chandelier is pretty cool. And I love the orange topiary. Great idea.
I know I could snuggle into this at the end of the day, I've always liked orange and brown together, they seem so comforting. Like chocolate ice cream with sprinkles. They just go. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the burnt oranges and multi-color shag carpets that filled my home growing up.
And I love this wall. It's a little more orange than the first one-it looks like the color happy would be, if happy were a color.
And then there's orange for your table. Yum! Those cheery dishes would make Easter brunch look beautiful.
And how about the bedroom? I think orange looks awesome with the contrast turquoise. It's soft and calming, but still has a bit of zip to it.
And we all know that vitamin C is important, so yes, the color orange is actually good for you. Really, it is! Read on.
Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.
To the human eye, orange is a very hot color, so it gives the sensation of heat. Nevertheless, orange is not as aggressive as red. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people. As a citrus color, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite. Orange is the color of fall and harvest. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance. (From Color Wheel Pro.)
Adding a punch of orange will brighten your home and your day. The new valance I mistreated with this Waverly fabric is sure doing the trick.
It doesn't take much, but using just a bit of color here and there will brighten your home and make you feel all spring like. Where would you add a punch of color?
first four images from Better Homes and Gardens, last three from Pottery Barn
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Life as in, plants and something pretty. But houseplants are tricky, like children they need regular care but unlike children they don't yell, holler, or whine to get it. Because of that, most of my houseplant attempts have ended with slow, painful death.
Enter the humble succulent. (Thanks, Nester, for the idea.) It's got very little water requirements and just needs bright light. I think I can do this. I picked these guys (pots and all) at Lowe's.
Then I got out the spray paint.
When I was done this they looked like this:
Pretty huh? These guys are sitting happily (so far) on my kitchen table.
While I had the spray paint out and the sun was shining I did something else. I have a mishmash of teapots, cup, plates and other things like that on top of my kitchen cabinets. They were all different colors and were begging for some unity. A few coats of white and they look brand new. Amazing. I don't have a before picture because I'm lazy, and I had to move quickly to get those things outside and painted while the kids were busy doing something else.
Notice the books? That's a great way to add height to something you want to display. The books are hidden by the molding, all you can see from below is the teapot. And the books? Really old college textbooks. Yes, we're still getting our money's worth out of those!
And while I was feeling "painty" and had the primer out for another project, I painted this wall.
It used to be orange, (no before picture, remember-I'm lazy) like the wall next to it but I thought it needed some lightening up. I also thought I shouldn't have to spend any money to do it. So I just mixed up a few paints I had laying around and then hung the curtain rod a bit higher.
Oops, looks like we're ready for the flood. Let me fire up the glue gun.
Much better. Wanna know how I did it?
I took a panel that I had hanging somewhere else, cut it to the right length and hot glued it in place. Easy as pie and free.
All that for under 10 bucks. Because having a beautiful life means working with what you have and saying, "You know what, it's good enough." Which were my exact words about the curtains and the paint. And it makes me happy when I come down the stairs and see that lighter color. I love it and my new little succulent friends. And they haven't died yet!
To see how others are finding beauty this week head over to Melissa's-she's got some great ideas today on creating the life you've always dreamed of.
For our son's birthday we gave him a new room. The day we moved into this house, almost two years ago, he said to me, "But mom, I don't like red so much." This was after we spent two days painting the red wall in his room. What? Can you live with it? Please?
We thought he'd grow to like it, or just end up not caring about it. But every once and a while it would come up. He wanted change.
So, with the help of two sets of grandparents, we splurged a bit. We bought him the bedding of his dreams, we painted the red away, and we spray painted some accessories new.
His response? Well, you can see for yourself.
His exact words, "It's everything I've ever dreamed of!" Wow, why did we wait two years?
He loves it, loves the Ducks and thinks his little lamp and bedside table are totally cool. The best part of it all, the bedding is reversible. Right now it's Duck yellow, which for you non-Duck fans, is very, very bright. He thinks it's awesome.
This is the red before. Very red, and lots of blue accessories. Those met with a can of hunter green spray paint and are looking pretty good now.
It was totally fun redoing his room for him, and we loved his reaction!
Here's some other fun stuff today, Melissa at the Inspired Room is having not one but two giveaways! Head over there for a chance to win a really cool frame from Off the Wall or free tickets for a Woman Inspired Conference (it's even online so you don't even have to pack your bags or leave the house!)
Hope you're finding fun in your day, whatever it brings.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Well, at least for me.
Today you won't be reading about spray paint, or Star Wars cakes, or big girl beds, or anything like that. I've found a great opportunity. It's a chance to attend She Speaks. Lysa Terkeurst, the founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries is giving away one scholarship to attend She Speaks, you can read all about it here.
She Speaks is a conference designed for women speakers, writers or ministry leaders. Or for those of us who want to be; or who want to be better at, well, speaking. It's a chance to learn how to hone your skills, develop a message, be heard and mostly have an impact with the things you say. God is raising up voices, those who will speak His truth and deliver His Word, She Speaks is a place to get better at doing those things.
So this an opportunity for those of you (and me) who feel that certain nudge. Those of you who have felt it know what I'm saying. It's a pull and push at the same time, a gentle whisper and a loud roar. It's the racing heart and light headed feeling when you feel God is saying something, speaking, to you. I've felt that, and lately often. I know that there is something brewing, that He's got something in the works for me.
I've always had a love/hate relationship with public speaking. I don't recall my Bible college speech classes with much fondness, and when asked to speak I still feel that instant urge to either wet my pants or throw up. Or both. Unfortunately, being in ministry means you're asked to speak in public from time to time. And when I am, and after those crazy feelings subside, I usually come to enjoy the process-preparing a message or a teaching, searching the Word, spending time listening and praying through it.
But most of the time I feel a little clueless about how to really go through the process and end up with words that make sense. Or end up with the ability to get through the message without a lot of "ums" and "ahs." This is where She Speaks comes in.
Because you see, when He speaks, I know I need to share it. When He speaks, it's no longer about me, but about being obedient to share the message that's burning inside. When He speaks my abilities or wisdom (or lack of) no longer matter.
But it sure would be helpful to have a few more skills on how to take what He speaks and make it relevant to those who desperately need to hear it.
So when it comes down to it, when He speaks it makes me want to be a better she who speaks. A she who handles the Word well, with grace and truth. The opportunity to attend She Speaks would be amazing, having a chance to learn from those who do it well would be so very cool. Because, honestly, being blessed with this scholarship is the only way I'd be able to go. You know, bills are pretty important to pay and there's those three little people in my house who like to eat and stuff.
Now, go check out Lysa's site and then read more about She Speaks. And, maybe, just maybe, I'll be there too!
Monday, March 23, 2009
We may grumble by that early morning wake up call that disrupts our quiet time. We might sigh at the interruption of a little one who needs help with something we know they can do themselves. We may just even roll our eyes a tad at the mindless games and art projects that seem to consume our days. Am I alone here? Or is this something we all feel, at least from time to time?
There is so much more than meets the eye in our everyday lives. God is at work, doing something bigger, something eternal in us and in our kids. If I meet each day with that mindset then I will readily embrace each opportunity to love on my kids, spend time with them and do God's work for them. These are the most important opportunities I will ever have, I must not waste them!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Six. Five didn't seem that old, but somehow six seems so much more than a year older. He's changed and grown and become very passionate about Star Wars. This kid lives, eats and breaths Star Wars. He's even been caught standing in the middle of the street trying to force balls as they roll by in the wind. Seriously, he's done that.
So, of course we had to have a Star Wars party for him. He invited six of his closest friends to a Jedi training academy party.
What's Jedi training without Jedi robes?
Each young padawan received their own robe for the afternoon's training exercises, and there were plenty of light sabers around for each to train with.
After they received their robes they got their first challenge. Their goal was to travel through Dagobah without falling into the swampy mess (that was the grass). They had to use teamwork to move three cardboard pieces around so each one could cross safely, while only standing on cardboard. It proved a bit more difficult than we thought, but our quick thinking Jedi trainer (a.k.a. Dad) shortened the course along the way.
Once they completed their task they were rewarded with Yoda Soda. It was a huge hit, just Sprite with a few drops of green food coloring. I've seen it done with ice cream too, but we were trying really hard to limit the sugar. Yes, I know-what kind of parents are we?
After the Yoda Soda we moved on to light saber training. Their objective was to keep a balloon in the air as long as possible, while bouncing it with the light saber. Our winner did great-he had 45 bounces before the balloon hit the floor.
Our birthday boy's exuberance (can't you see it on his face?) led to him only hitting it three times, he took more of a kill the balloon approach.
Once each padawan had a try we moved on to the big event.
What's a Star Wars birthday without a light saber cake? Last year he got R2D2, this year's was a bit easier. I just baked a 9x13 cake and cut it into three long pieces. It was a winner.
After the sugar high from the cake hit, everyone headed outside for a game of Yoda says. "Run around in circles, you will, says Yoda."
"Says Yoda, use the force, you must."
I think this was one of the favorites.
If Yoda says wasn't the favorite, Yoda's Asteroid hunt was. We hid one asteroid (a crumpled up piece of paper with a clue inside) in a balloon. Once the boys found that they were led all around the house in search of the birthday presents. This mom had cleverly hidden them in the pantry while they were playing Yoda says outside.
Then presents and thank you's and an episode of the Clone Wars as everyone waited on parents to come. It was a blast!
A few things I learned: keep those Jedi's busy! They were so busy running from one thing to the next that no one got bored, no one fought, and those two hours flew by.
And, don't clean beforehand. This really saves on the prep time. I did just a quick tidy up and cleaned the bathroom but left the rest for after the party. Because those Jedi are strong in the force but not too strong in their ability for cleanliness. That must happen as a Jedi matures. But these guys were very good at spilling Yoda Soda and throwing pieces of tissue paper all over the place. The kitchen received a prompt mopping after all those Jedi headed home.
Friday, March 20, 2009
But I live here, in the real world. And while my kitchen doesn't look like the one above, this morning it was pretty close. Things just don't always go like we plan. But they always work out. Usually I realize that my expectations are a tad too high. When I let go and just roll with it, the day goes so much better. Yes, that means things go undone and I'm learning to be okay with that too
Because really, if I lived in home where things were always perfect I'd probably be living with just me. How boring is that?
The messes that life brings wouldn't be happening because the people who cause the messes wouldn't be here. And that would be terrible. I love those three sweet sets of hands who tip things over, color on things (or themselves), drip milk on the floor or get toothpaste on the wall. Okay, that one really happens when toothbrushes fly, which apparently is a regular occurrence in our house. I love the people who call this house home and who really live in it. They mess it up and bring their friends in and laugh and play and scream and cry.
So I am encouraged today to find the beauty in the mess and in the things left undone. Because everything that didn't get checked off my to do list has been replaced with something much better and more meaningful: time with my family, time spent living and being. That is beautiful and that sure makes for a beautiful life.
To see how others are finding beauty this week head over to see Melissa at the Inspired Room.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
She eats Mac and Cheese daily-breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Running, jumping, falling, playing and gathering.
Three girls, one field of yellow mustard flowers and two moms with cameras.
Blustery wind, a few goosebumps, lots of fun.
We are so ready for spring around here.
My sister's pictures are even better, go take a look!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
We truly had a blast and we even learned a few things along the way.
Our youngest sure does shine when she gets tired. By that I mean she gets punch drunk, downright loopy and cuckoo the later it gets. We learned this as she entertained us at a late dinner our first night at Disneyland. She sang songs, she made faces, she danced around and she did this at about twice the volume that was required for the space we were in. She entertained us and everyone in about a five foot radius. This really made one last ride on Dumbo that much more fun. I think everyone on the ride could hear her belly laughs.
We also learned that our middle child is not a princess, she is a rock star. She was quick to let any cast member know this, you know how they call every little girl princess at Disneyland. Despite this fact she still loved meeting the princess. She was also our most adventurous kid, willing to go on more rides than the others.
Which brings me to the reminder we got about our firstborn. We were reminded of the fact that he generally does not like loud noises, the dark, the unexpected and the unknown. Which there is a lot of at Disneyland. By the end of the second day he was finally warming up to the idea of rides and he really liked most things much more the second time around. Despite this he loved being able to watch the Jedi Academy and get a new double light saber, and Mike and Sully's ride was a favorite for him.
Zac and I were reminded of a few things too. We were reminded of the wonder and magic that is Disneyland. We sometimes forget the power of imagination and the joy of childhood in the midst of the daily grind. We recapatured some of that this week. There were lots of looks between us, looks that said "Wow, this is so cool." It was so neat watching the kids experience everything. Seeing the wonder in their eyes. Listening to their laughter (when they weren't crying). Watching them experience it for the first time. It was pretty special.
We also remembered that we just aren't as young as we used to be. And we were pretty tired by the end of it all. But we're also grateful for two amazing grandparents who made the trip possible and who gave us a break to ride some grown up rides all by ourselves.
All in all, it was an amazing time. We'll for sure do this again (in a few years!)