Monday, June 30, 2008

The Stillness of the Morning...

Do you hear that? you hear it? If you're saying to yourself, I don't hear anything, well, then, you heard it! That's the sound of quiet. No TV, no radio, no yelling at one's brother or sister to get out of his or her things. No cartoons. Ahhhhh. If only every morning were like this one.

I don't know why it is that I've had an extra hour to myself this morning. Mr. G never sleeps this late (he's my early bird child). Miss M, on the other hand, usually has to be pried out of her bed with a crow bar. I guess they're especially tired this morning because they went swimming last night in Uncle Butch's pool. They're usually very hungry and wiped out when they get out of the water, but for G to sleep this late is unusual.

Having this extra time has given me a chance to catch up on some of my favorite blogs. Nester ( ) is giving us a tour of her new home. I'm going rummaging through my linen closet for some curtain panels to hang on my porch! I also found Kimba's blog ( ) and she has inspired me to go antiquing or junking and spray paint something! I'm definitely going to be spray painting some plates!

Check these ladies out!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It Ain't Easy Being Green...

Remember our "good old friend, Kermit the Frog" singing that song? While Kermit was lamenting the difficulties rendered by his hue, these days, being "green" brings with it a whole new meaning. I must admit that being "green" was not something I easily embraced. I preferred convenience to environmental responsibility. I guess I had a hard time seeing beyond the present. But lately, I have had almost a conviction, if you will, about being a better steward of our earth. We've made a few changes around the house that has gotten us on the path to living greener.

First, we've started recycling. Now around here, there's no mandatory recycling program, so its up to us to sort and drop off recyclables at a local recycling center. Since I don't have bins yet for plastics and newspaper, we're just doing aluminum cans. The majority of our drinks come in cans, so we should have a lot to drop off in a short time.

Second, we're changing out our old incandescent light bulbs to CFLs. Honestly, this is one thing I thought I wouldn't do. I remember the old greenish light of the old fluorescent bulbs, but nowdays, its hard to tell them apart from incandescents. Derek brought home two big packs of CFLs from work today, and I've already switched out most of the lamps.

We've also been doing a few little things like running the dishwasher and dryer either really early in the morning or late at night, hanging up some clothing to air dry, using ceiling fans, and keeping the doors and curtains closed during the day to block out the hot sun. I've even bought reusable grocery bags. Hopefully, over time, we'll be able to do things like improve our home's insulation, trading our van for a more fuel-efficient vehicle (wouldn't a hybrid be nice?), and using no VOC paint when I decide yet again to change the color of a room.

I guess this "green" thing really isn't as bad as I thought it might be. In fact, most things that we can do to help the environment will actually save us money. Now that's right up my alley!

Monday, June 16, 2008


See that blinkie over there? There, on the sidebar. The one that says, "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful"? I got that from Nester, who writes one of my favorite blogs, Nesting Place (there's a link over on the left). She has challenged her readers and fellow bloggers look around them to find things in their homes and lives that may not be magazine-perfect but that are beautiful nonetheless. So this morning, after Derek left for work and the kids lay in their beds for a few more minutes, I took Nester up on her offer. Here goes...we'll begin in the bedroom.
Here is that toile bedroom I wrote about a while ago. See those BLOOD RED walls? Sigh. Hopefully they'll get repainted soon. But, I digress. The IDHTBPTBB in this isn't actually the paint (although my paint job is far from perfect!). See that bedside table? Its a folding tray table that my kids and their cousins have eaten off of in the living room countless times. The tablecloth? A remnant of fabric that doesn't come close to fitting it (its only about 4 inches long in the back and is actually paper clipped and clothes pinned to keep the front corners from being too long. Not perfect at all.
Hey! Look over there to the right...see that beautiful famed art that is surely from a high-end art store? They're actually postage stamps from my collection that I put in frames I got on clearance about 15 years ago at KMart (they had Christmas prints in them-I ripped those out and, voila!- new frames!).
Now to the living room. See that lamp? Spray painted. Used to be gold. It even has some places where the black chipped of and the gold is showing through a bit. But with the new shade, I love it.

And finally, the end table. Now this table belonged to Derek's Mom and Dad. It sat by Pa Smith's chair for years. He had pictures of all his granddaughters lined up on it and a bowl of candy that he'd sneak into on occasion. It has lots of little scratches, but I treasure it because it was Otis and Beulah's.

The timing of Nester's challenge is funny, since this is an idea that Derek has been trying to get through to me for a while (maybe not as elequently as Nester). "Honey, quit worring about it. We don't live in the Smithsonian! It doesn't have to be perfect!" Of course, he's a man, a man who never thinks about cleaning or fixing things up-what did he know? Well, maybe more than I gave him credit for. Thanks Nester, for driving home an important point. Stiving for perfection will drive us crazy (and to the poorhouse) in the end. We don't have to have a home that looks like it came straight out of a Pottery Barn catalog for it to be peaceful, warm, and comforting. What matters is that the things (and people) in that home make us happy and feel loved. And that definitely is beautiful.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Here's my Daddy. Isn't he cute?

My sweet husband. He's such a good daddy.
Happy Father's Day! I love you!

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Laundry War...

As of this moment, all of the towels in my house are clean, folded and put away. All 48 of them (yep, I counted-and that doesn't even include hand towels or washcloths) are stacked neatly in our bathroom linen closet. That doesn't happen around here very often. It seems that no matter how much I wash, dry, and fold, there's always at least one straggling towel laying in the hamper. Or at the end of Meghann's bed (the most likely place).

How did we get so many towels? We got most of them as wedding gifts. The rest, probably only about 4 or 5, I bought over the years when I redecorated the bathrooms and needed new towels to hang on the towel bar. You know, the kind you don't actually dry your hands on. But the everyday towels that we got 10 years ago are still being used and honestly, are still in good shape. It sure is hard to wear out a JCPenney towel!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A new day, a new project...
Last night Derek and I were enjoying one of those rare moments when Meghann was doing her thing in her room and Gaven was glued to his shows on Noggin in our room and we had some couch time all to ourselves. Those moments don't come often. Usually we have one or both of them bouncing around us, wanting our attention or something from the kitchen. They don't leave us alone for long! But they did last night, and apparently, all that quiet got Derek thinking..."We need a new project, " he said. You see, before Gaven was born, and we were one of those much-easier-to-handle-one-kid-households, we started projects all the time, usually involving a paint can and a paint roller. After Gaven came along, though, the funds were a little tighter and trying to keep up with two kids (one of them being something akin to a human tornado), made our projects fewer and farther between. But lately, we've been wanting to get back on the home improvement bandwagon. So naturally, we decided we want to paint. Something. Not sure what, just something. Surely there's a room somewhere that screams out for a coat of paint! Funny thing is, it took a little thinking to decide which one. Finally I decided on the master bedroom.
If you read my post from last June, you'll remember that I re-did the room in black and white toile. I loved my toile from the minute I opened the packages, but, as strange as it sounds, I had an awful time picking a paint color. I knew I wanted a soft, muted blue. But even after bringing home 827 soft, muted blue paint chips from Lowe's, I couldn't find one that said "pick me!". So I did what every self-respecting wife knows NOT to do: I let Derek pick the color. And what color did he pick? Something soft, restful, easy on the eye? No, not Derek. He chose red. Not just any red, but blood red. Now, before it sounds like I'm about to go off on his choice of hues, let me say that I don't hate it. I almost like it enough to keep it. Its just that it doesn't convey that kind of French Country kind of air. It almost looks Paris boudoir instead (not that that's a bad thing, exactly-just not what I was going for). So, we will paint the room that has (yes, we counted) 5 layers of paint already on it! Maybe one day we'll get the right color...
But which color? I already know that picking a blue will be difficult, so I started thinking about other colors. I was about to fret when I read Nester's post about her favorite paint color, Tobacco Road ( Here's a picture of it in someone's entryway:

Isn't that just the perfect color? Neutral, yet not neutral. I started thinking that that may be the color I'm looking for. It would look great with black and white. The color is a discontinued one from Duron (never seen that around here) but a very close match can be made by Lowe's. Now there's where a monkey wrench gets thrown in...see, Derek works at a building supply store, just not one with the name "Lowe's" on the front of the building. I'd probably be a divorced woman if I came home with something from Lowe's! Now my job is to find out what shade of Porter Paint (the kind Derek's store sells) matches the one from Lowe's that matches Tobacco Road! Whew! Time to put on the home improvement detective hat!
Posted by Angela at 8:45 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Where has the time gone?
Catching up...

Has it really been almost a year since my last post? Well, needless to say, a lot of water has gone under that proverbial bridge since then. Our pet, Peanut, didn't last long. Happily he has found a new home with a family much more "pet-friendly". Not that we didn't love Peanut; it was just that he was a little too "high-maintenence" for us. It didn't help that the kids were terrified of dogs-any kind-sweet ones like Peanut or big mean ones like the one down the street. Poor Peanut. Everytime he tried to play with them they'd jump up in a chair. Guess we're just not a pet family.

Something for nothing...
You've probably heard of those women who walk into a CVS or Walgreens and walk out with $50 worth of stuff for, like, $2 (if not, go on over to and check it out). I just recently found out about this way of shopping and got inspired. Now I'll never be like some of those coupon queens, but I have learned to shop differently. We now have about a year's supply of bar soap and shampoo! More importantly, though, is that when I can get some of our necessities for next to nothing, I have more money for those extras that we might otherwise pass up. And for me, its a way that I can be a better steward of the money that God has blessed us with.

Sum-, sum-, summertime...
School is finally out! I sincerely doubted whether I'd make it through that last month. 29 kindergarteners and a lot of rainy weather (=no recess) can make you doubt your career choice! But, alas, I persevered! And now we have 2 months of leisure. Or as much leisure as one can have with a 9 year old and a 3 year old, that is! The best part of summer vacation for me is the early mornings. Funny how I have a horrible time getting up early through the school year, but as soon as school is out, I wake up quite early in the morning. I love being up when I don't have to rush around and get myself and 2 children ready for school and daycare. I take my time, start a load of laundry, and enjoy the quiet.
Posted by Angela at 3:37 PM 0 comments

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Meet the Newest Member of Our Family!

Introducing...Peanut! I said it would never happen, a dog in my house (or any other animal for that matter). But how could you say no to that face? He is an awfully cute dog, and (so far) he behaves quite well. Can't say the same for my children though. They love Peanut, but since they've never had a pet, they're not used to animals around. They are both a bit-no, a lot- skiddish about dogs, so its going to take some getting used to.
Posted by Angela at 9:10 PM 0 comments

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Weight Has Been Lifted
Ahhhhh.....I feel like I've lost 30 pounds. Or rather, my closet and dresser have lost 30 pounds (actually, that may not be far from the truth!). I finally did something rather than just read FlyLady's email; I actually did what it told me to do. And what a difference it made. This afternoon, while Gaven was napping and Meghann was practicing her triple toe loops in the kitchen, I sorted through the dozen or so emails in my inbox from FlyLady and her trusty sidekick, Kelly. One of them was a challenge to take 15 minutes to go through your closet and weed out the pants and skirts that don't fit, are old, or just don't make you feel pretty when you're wearing them. Of course I couldn't just stop at 15 minutes, nor could I stop with just pants and skirts. I kept going until, not only had I reduced the clothing in my closet to about two-thirds, but the contents of my dresser drawers were lessened considerably as well. I finally gave myself permission (with FlyLady's encouragement) to let go of all those things that I "might need", "might wear", or "might-lose-enough-weight-to-fit- into" again. I was a little hesitant at first, but after a couple of minutes, it started to feel good. Getting rid of the stuff I don't or can't wear. Why should I keep that stuff around. Pretty soon I was pitching stuff left and right! You know what? I'm not missing a thing, either. I kept thinking (while pitching the items in the Goodwill pile), why did I keep that?I seem to have a bad habit of that, too. The other night, while completing another of Kelly's challenges, I decluttered the top shelf of my closet. I found an old Pampers box (from when Meghann was a baby-she's 8 now!) full of old shoes and purses. Now, obviously I hadn't intended to wear them again, since they were in a box on the top shelf that was way back in the corner. And after looking through them, I can confirm that no, I definitely wouldn't be wearing them again. Or rather, wouldn't be caught dead wearing them. Yep. They were that bad.I don't know why I resist FlyLady's and Kelly's missions. I feel better when my house is clutter-free. That isn't to say that it's ever been totally clutter-free. With FlyLady's prodding, though, I'm getting closer!
Posted by Angela at 4:08 PM 0 comments

Friday, June 15, 2007

Get in the Game!
We just finished up VBS for the week, and what a great time we had! I helped out with Meghann's class (first and second graders). We had such a good group of kids, all 23 of them! Gaven had an absolute blast! He couldn't wait until "Bible Kool" every night!
Posted by Angela at 9:42 PM 0 comments

Back on the Wagon...
Well, I'm back on the wagon again. The FlyLady wagon, that is. Since school went out a couple of weeks ago, I decided that I would try to get my house under control. Not that its a total wreck, mind you. On the surface it looks pretty good. But lurking behind closet doors, under beds, and behind furniture is my dirty little secret: clutter. So, I re-upped with FlyLady the other day in the hopes that her 427 daily emails would motivate me. So far I've decluttered the laundry room and both of the bathrooms. Not too bad, but I still have the master bedroom to do-ugh!
Posted by Angela at 9:35 PM 0 comments

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Counting Down
I got this from mesogoofy2’s blog, who got it from harleysmom, who in turn got it from TNchick. (thanks ladies!)

10 Firsts

1. First best friend: Christine Cundiff

2. First car: 1992 Geo Prizm

3. First love / crush: Mike Moore (my big brother’s friend-I was 4, he was 17)

4. First vacation: Gatlinburg, Tennessee (it’s still one of my favorite places)

5. First job: medical billing

6. First piercing: ears

7. First concert: Alabama

8. First record/cd bought: Shaun Cassidy

9. First real love: Derek

10. First screen name: dbsams

9 Latest

1. Latest alcoholic beverage: none (t-totaler here)

2. Latest car ride: to get haircuts for the kids

3. Latest movie watched: The Empire Strikes Back

4. Latest phone call made: Mom

5. Latest jacuzzi bath: 2 years ago

6. Latest CD played: U2

7. Latest time you cried: while watching “Extreme Home Makeover a couple of weeks ago

8. Latest meal: KFC for supper today

9. Latest curse: cr@p (not much of a curser, either)

8 Have You Ever

1. Dated one of your best friends: no

2. Been arrested: nope

3. Fallen in love at first sight: not really

4. Been in a TV program: no

5. Had your heart broken: oh yeah

6. Said you love someone without meaning it: no way

7. Made a prank phone call: no

8. Shoplifted anything: no

7 Things You Wear

1. capris

2. bracelets, always

3. hoop earrings

4. toenail polish (red)

5. a watch

6. contacts

7. my husband’s socks

6 Things You’ve Done Today

1. laundry

2. made French Toast (okay, heated up Schwan’s French Toast)

3. picked Derek up from Work

4. took the kids to get haircuts

5. packed for our trip tomorrow

6. surfed the net

5 Favorite Things (not people)

1. Mexican food2. scrapbooking

3. peach iced tea

4. my laptop

5. fresh sweet corn on the cob

4 People I Can Tell Anything

1. Derek

2. Jill

3. Mom


3 Choices

1. Black or white? black

2. Summer or winter? summer

3. Chocolate or chips? chocolate, hands down. unless the chips are Doritos…

2 Things to do Before You Die

1. travel to Europe2. travel the U.S. by RV

1 Thing You Regret

1. spending, rather than saving more

Posted by Angela at 8:16 PM 0 comments

Sunday, June 3, 2007

School's Out!
Ahhhh. School's out. My life of leisure can now begin. Yeah right (insert eye roll smiley here). If only I could convince Gaven to sleep past 6:45 a.m.! He's such an early bird. But it is nice to not have to get up and get myself and the kids ready for school and daycare. There is pleasure in knowing I don't have to shower if I don't want to!I realized a couple of days ago that I'm not going to get by this summer with just hanging out at home everyday. In between several cries of "I'm bored" from Meghann, I decided to scout out summer activities for the kids. So far, besides VBS at church next week, I found out that our local library is planning a super summer program for kids. I think Meghann will enjoy the "mystery" theme. Maybe a visit or two to the library each week will keep her happy.
Posted by Angela at 5:36 PM 0 comments

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Paint Thickens...
I just love toile. I have wanted a toile bedroom for years, but Derek has this thing about having a "too girly" bedroom. So for the past several years, we've had more masculine bedding and colors. Well, a few weeks ago I decided that it was time I decorated the bedroom the way I wanted to and ordered toile curtians off ebay. The bad thing, though, was that it took about 3 weeks to find the matching comforter! But I found it the other night and it is on its way! Now, the only thing we have to do is decide on a paint color for the walls. We've lived with the gold color that's up there now as long as we could. This is the same gold that we put up to cover the horrendous orange color that Derek picked. The orange color that matched nothing else in the room (I hated it too much to actually buy bedding to match!). The orange color that made me feel like I was sleeping inside a pumpkin. Needless to say, that's the last time Derek got to pick the paint colors!Here's the lovely toile that I've bought (only ours is in black and white):

I can't wait to get the new paint on the wall (we're leaning toward a gray-ish blue). I'm going out of town next week and Derek has said (or threatened) that he's going to paint while I'm gone. Who knows what I'll come home to...
Posted by Angela at 5:37 PM 0 comments

Here Goes Nothin'!
Well, here's my attempt at blogging. I've finally entered the twenty-first century! Now if I could figure out how to text friends and download music to an I-Pod, I'd really be in business! I remember, in the not-so-distant past, being "up" on things. I could program a VCR, set up a computer, and even send email. But lately I feel like the technology train is passing me by. So I'm making a conscious attempt at catching up, thus this blog. Now, I don't really know if my life is interesting enough to actually post it on the internet, so bear with me. So, without further ado, here goes....
Posted by Angela at 5:27 PM 0 comments