Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Life Moves Along Too Quickly!

Halloween has come and gone ~ Thanksgiving will be upon us before we blink!

I haven't posted in some time due to many factors.  Sick kids, busy schedules, Jack being diagnosed with brain cancer and trying to help the family anyway I can, etc., etc.

During this time, I've been de-cluttering the basement ~ again ~ and have made the decision to end my makeovers.  I just have too much stuff!  The stuff is beginning to take over my life and I don't like it.  There are so many other things that I want to fill my life with.  So, if I lose some of my followers, that's okay.  I plan on posting about life stuff now ~ prayer requests, kids, how the Lord is working in my life, friends, etc.

I want to thank those that will stay with me through this change.  I appreciate all the comments that have been left and did have fun with the makeovers.  It's just time to move on!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

2 Sick Kiddos = No Makeover This Week

Just a quick post ~ both kiddos are down with bronchitis.  I was hoping it was a bad case of allergies, but turns out to be worse.  Started meds today, hoping that DH and I don't catch it!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Goodwill Goodie Finish Friday .....er... Saturday :)

Somehow yesterday got away from me and I didn't get my post up!  I traveled up north to have lunch with DH and stopped on the way home to do a little shopping.  The kiddos are trying to decide what to be for Halloween ~ actually DS is debating whether he is too old this year, you know, he's in middle school now :)  DD, at the moment, has picked Angelica from the Pirates of the Caribbean 4.  I think that it might have something to do with the fact that she met "her" at Disney World in May.  First she was all about being Rapunzel (she also met her), then quickly decided that it had to be Angelica.  Luckily, I have found a costume in her size ~ not thrilled about buying a pre-made costume as I grew up having my mom make all our costumes.  But I have tried to put one together at Goodwill and haven't had much luck.  Plus GW seems to keep raising their prices, so by the time I would get all the necessary pieces, the costume would actually be the cheaper way to go.  If DS decides that he isn't too old, he's going as Captain Jack Sparrow.  No luck on finding a costume in his size.  Boys end at size 10-12 and then jumped to an adult size large.  So I'm searching for pieces.  I've found a hat, wig with beads and all, and a shirt.  His may not be as "authentic" as her, but I'm trying!

The weather took a turn for the cool, but it sounds like next week we could be back into the high 70s, low 80s.  Oh how I love fall!

Onto this week's makeover!  If you remember from Monday's post, this is what I upcycled (I guess that's the proper term to be using!) ~




Quite a few bloggers that I follow have done these and I was so happy when I finally found one.  So many possibilities!  I love decor like this ~ you can move it from place to place and re-purpose it without much work!

Here's what it looks like now ~


And add a few finishing touches for fall and you have ~








Never knew you could transform a cheese plate into a piece of versatile decor, did you?!? 

Not sure what will be up next on Monday ~ have to take a look around and see what I feel needs some new life breathed into it!  Leave a comment and be sure to visit again on Monday!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Goodwill Goodie Makeover Monday

How can September be half over already???  We have been experiencing great fall weather lately ~ it was in the 90s last Monday and then dropped into the 70s.  Mornings have been a bit chilly, but I'll take it.  Even though I love the hot temps of sun, fall is my absolute favorite time of the year ~ the smells of harvest hanging in the air, the vibrant colors of the trees, delicious aromas coming from the kitchen, the cozy glow of candles.  It's also when I seem to have the most energy to de-clutter and get those makeovers done. 

Today I'm heading back into my pile of goodies.  I have seen a lot of these type of makeovers and couldn't ever seem to find one to try.  However, over the summer I snagged one.  So this week, I'll be working on this ~


Not only am I going to be getting back to that pile, I'm getting back on the treadmill (finally!).  I thought that once school started, I would be able to get back into my rountines.  It seems like something has always come up to keep the treadmill on the to-do list.  But, today is the day.  So I'm off to get the running shoes on!  I'll leave you with the latest update on my buddy Jack ~

(Sunday) No specific update tonight. Jack is resting soundly. His shunt is performing just as it should. They are currently trying to wean him off of the blood pressure regulating medication that he has been receiving since the surgery to remove his tumor. If they can do that, then he can move out of the PICU and down to the standard Ped's floor. (But between you and me, we're in no hurry to leave the PICU - - the kids here receive excellent one-on-one care, and seeing as he is still having some difficulty with his sight, swallowing, and the use of his left arm, I think he'd be better off staying up here a bit longer!)
We created a CaringBridge website for Jack....the web address is http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jackconlon1. However, I don't think you'll find anything there that you haven't already read here on FB. (We did put up some pictures of him, though!) But, if you know of someone who does not have a FB account, feel free to pass that site onto them - we'll try to update that as often as we do FB.
Thank you all for your continued prayers - - we'll take all we can get, as Jack's fight has only just begun!
God bless you all. ~ Nikki

Friday, September 16, 2011

Heartbreaking Update on Jack

Nikki posted an update late yesterday on Jack ~

Sorry to keep everyone waiting to hear an update on Jack. He did not have to have his breathing tube reinserted.....so, all is well there. However, we got the oncology report back on his tumor yesterday and it is in fact malignant, like we thought. The extra bad news is that it is a very aggressive type so Jack will need to begin radiation and chemotherapy treatments as soon as possible.
Tomorrow morning, Jack will have a permanent VP shunt placed in his head to control the drainage of fluid from his ventricles. This is something that we did not want to see happen. In fact, his neurosurgeon had been waiting to see if his brain would re-route the fluid on its own without relying on the drainage tube that he has been using, thereby enabling us to avoid the placement of a VP shunt. However, even though he has been making progress in that area (he has been outputting less and less fluid each day), the doctor is not comfortable waiting too much longer to have a shunt placed. Jack can't start radiation or chemo until at least 10 days after any surgery, so if we waited on Jack's body to correct the flow of fluid, that would put off his start of treatment even more. So, at around 7:15am tomorrow (Friday) morning, Jack will have a permanent ventricularperitoneal shunt put in.
This is breaking our hearts. By having a shunt, Jack will never be able to play contact sports.....meaning football, baseball (too much risk of being hit by a ball), and possibly even basketball. We don't even have to say to all of you how much of a blow this is to our little Jackie......the little ball boy for every sporting event he's ever been to. I know God must have some sort of reason, some sort of plan for all of this, but I am just not seeing it. I'm trying, I really am, but I am just too mad about this turn of events. I have been praying for a miracle - - for something to change or happen so that the shunt will not need to be placed - - but I'm not seeing my prayers answered tonight. I'm trying to trust that God will have everything work out for Jack, but I'm too caught up in my emotions right now. God will just have to put up with me being very angry about this for a while....it's the least he can grant me right now. I know it's not the end of the world - just having Jack with us will be a blessing in itself - it's just very hard to accept.
I'm sure everything will work out in the end - - things tend to do so - - but my faith is really being tested now. I praise Him for bringing Jack safely and successfully through such a major surgery to remove the majority of the tumor and for helping him through the many trials he has had this week, and I also praise Him for bringing all of you together - - never before have I seen a community (in Clarion and beyond) come together so closely for someone the way it has for Jack, and we truly do feel the blessings of that. We're just going to need some time to mourn the loss of these opportunities for our little guy.
Thank you all so much for all of your continued prayers, thoughts, everything. Please continue them if you can.....Jack has a tough fight ahead of him, but I know that with all of you praying for him (and with his own tough little spirit!), he can overcome this incredible obstacle.
God bless you all, and please pray for a successful surgery in the morning if you read this in time.
~ Nikki


This is a tough blow ~ Jack lives and breathes sports.  It's going to be a tough fight for him ~ I pray that the Father will provide peace and comfort to the family with this bad news.  I ask Him to grant Jack the courage and strength of David when he faced Goliath.

Please continue to have Jack and his family in your prayers.


P.S. Just received an update ~
Jack is out of surgery, and his permanent VP shunt was placed very successfully!! Praise be to God! There's more to tell, but please know that we're forever grateful for everyone's prayers, support, kindness, and faith - even when our's falters. We'll post more when we can. Thank you all, and God bless!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Update on My Little Buddy

Just received another update on my buddy, Jack.  It appears that he is need of some extra prayers tonight!

So, since Jack's breathing tube was removed yesterday, things have been quite eventful. At 6:30pm last night (and please don't be alarmed when you read this), Jack had a mild seizure. His right leg was twitching, his left arm wouldn't move, and he wasn't very responsive. They gave him some anti-seizure medication immediately and the seizure stopped. However, it took quite some time for him to get use back in his right leg and arm. (It took him until this morning to wiggle his right toes.) The docs said that sometimes this happens and that he might have mild swelling in his brain that caused it. So, at 11:00pm last night, Jack had a quick 3-minute MRI (after a 10:30pm fire alarm! Fortunately, it was just a false alarm.) The MRI did show some small swelling but it didn't appear to be near the brainstem.
Over night, he was continuing to have problems coughing up the gunk from his lungs and upper respiratory area, so they used a small vibrating device to break up the gunk and then tubes down his nose to suction it out - - he hated that last part! The Respiratory docs continued to do that every 4 hours overnight and throughout today.
In speaking with Dr. Menezes and the rest of the docs today, they are concerned that they removed Jack's breathing tube a bit early. At the time, he was showing very good signs that he was ready to have it removed, but in hindsight they feel that maybe he was a bit too tired and that could have been a sign that his brain wasn't ready to control everything on its own yet.
So, as of right now, they are watching Jack to see if he can make some improvements on his own. He has continued to breathe fairly well today, but he has shown moments of irregular breathing where he takes too long to take a breath and then takes quick ones to make up for it - - - all of this while he is sleeping. And while he has gained movement back into his right leg and arm, his left arm and leg are showing signs of being weaker and when he smiles, the left side of his mouth doesn't go up as high as it should.
We are trying not to be too scared. Basically what all of this means is that they will just have to re-insert his breathing tube and give his brain a chance to reduce the swelling and take control of things again. It's better to ere on the side of caution and not take chances with the brain stem, rather than just let him go as is right now and then cause further damage.
So, more prayers are needed tonight!! Our little guy is still fighting - - he was VERY vocal today (even with a garbly voice) that he wanted to leave here, he wanted to go home, when is he going to be done with all of this?!, and he wanted to eat a snack!! We have every faith that God will provide us with the right people to make the right decisions for Jack to help him fight the best way he can. Please send prayers up for him tonight if you get a chance!! We would really appreciate it!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Goodwill Goodie Makeover Monday, An Update, and A Finish

Just gettin' this one in under the wire! 

Received another update on Jack ~

Jack had his breathing tube removed today!! He still has a lot of gunk to cough up, so here's hoping that he gets it all out so that they don't have to do it for him. :-( He also had the dressing on his tumor surgical site changed, and that was VERY traumatic as those bandages are VERY sticky! He was so unhappy about that. But, he's resting now, and hopefully we'll get him coughing some more to clear out his airways. Thank You, God, for Your continuing watch over our little man!

I have spent a lot of my time the last few days in prayer for this little guy.  I pray that blessings like this continue to appear for him in the days ahead.

Once the word was received that the surgery had went well, I suddenly had all this energy and so I put it to good use ~ praising the Lord and prepping a few makeovers! 

This week's is something that I have had for awhile.  It makes an appearance in one spot, then heads back to storage in the basement for awhile, then will pop up again somewhere.  A few years ago, I hosted a couple Homemaker's Idea Company parties and earned a lot of free and half price items.  At that time, the company was all about their baskets and using them to organize your life.  So I spent my "money" on baskets ~ lots and lots of baskets!  I ordered mainly plain brown ones because they matched all my wood furniture. 

I'm so over the brown color now, but I hate to get rid of all these baskets.  The construction quality is second-to-none and they are so easy to take care of.  You can even dunk them in a tub of water to clean.  I've sold a few, but still have lots that are sitting in the basement.  I sat staring at this particular basket the other day when a light bulb popped on ~ why not paint it!  So I took it outside and did just that.

Here's what it looked like before ~


This is how I had it displayed last year for fall ~


Because I am so happy with how it turned out and it's already re-displayed, I'm sharing the finished makeover today!   Here's how the painting of the basket turned out~
 



Yeah!  Black is much better.  I started out using a matte finish spray paint because I was afraid that glossy would be too shiny and run.  But the matte was too flat.  So after one coat of matte, I carefully sprayed a coat of glossy ~ it went on so smooth.

Once again, new life to an old treasure.  Guess what I'm going to be doing to those other baskets sitting in the basement :) !

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forgotten

This is my post from last year.  It still speaks my feelings about this day and so I'm just going to re-post it.  I hope that we never forget this tragic day in our nation's history.



Where were you 10 years ago?   I was in the kitchen ~ standing in shock as I watched those planes crash into the Twin Towers.  It's still brings tears to my eyes.   The wave of patriotism that followed was amazing ~ everywhere you looked there was an American flag proudly flown.  The country came together as one that day.  Those that lost their lives, that gave their lives, and that lost loved ones are still in my thoughts and prayers.


We are very fortunate that another attack has not occurred.  I believe that we have our armed forces to thank for that.  No matter what your view of the war taking place is, these men and women deserve our support, deserve our respect, and deserve our gratitude.  They have stepped up and volunteered to keep our country safe and free.  If this war wasn't being fought over there, it would be here on our land.   The next time you see a serviceman or servicewoman, thank him or her.  They were not forced to enlisted, they did it of their own freewill because they believe in this country.  This is the type of courage that our country was founded on.  The United States of America truly is ~ Home of The Free Because of The Brave!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Update on My Little Buddy

I just wanted to post an update on how my little buddy, Jack, is doing.  He had his surgery yesterday and his mom just posted an update on facebook ~

I know people have said this phrase before, that "words cannot express" how they feel about something, but it is a statement that rings very true for us. Words really cannot express how blessed we are, or how thankful. Jack's condition, although a VERY scary thing, has shown us how loving and faith-filled our family, friends, neighbors, and even folks we've never met in person truly are. We've always known how blessed we are - 3 beautiful children, wonderful family and friends, and a caring community - but this crisis with Jack has brought all of this to the forefront for us. There aren't enough words for us to thank each and every one of you for everything you've done for us - the gifts and words of encouragement for Jack and the rest of our family, running errands and helping to provide for Derek and Emma for us, and most importantly prayers for Jack and our family. If anyone ever has a crisis of faith or questions God's grace in their lives, I challenge them to hear Jack's story and know that the power of prayer WORKS and the Father's blessings rain down upon us in times of trials and fear!
As written previously, Jack's surgery was VERY successful!!! Many hours of tears, fears, hopes, and prayers led to a joyful conclusion. The neurosurgeon was able to remove all but .3 % of the tumor!!! He purposefully left this very small piece behind because it is right near the brain stem - since that controls breathing, swallowing, his heart, his central nervous system, etc, he did not feel that it was worth the risk to remove it but then put Jack's life in jeopardy by doing so. So, once the oncology report is back, (in the next 5-7 days), we'll decide the next course of action on Jack's road to recovery.
Our prayers were answered, everyone!!!!! The surgeon's hands were guided true and all of the other health professionals involved in Jack's surgery were watched over as well. Praise be to God!! We thank Him beyond measure for every one of you out there who prayed for him and kept him and our whole family in your thoughts during this difficult time. We understand that we are not unique or special.....we are not the first family to have a sick child, and, unfortunatley, we won't be the last. But we do feel special in that all of you out there sent prayers and love to our little guy, and we truly feel that that made all the difference! We are in exactly the right spot for Jack to receive phenomenal care, but your prayers were the turning point!
Jack will have a breathing tube all weekend, and he will be sedated as well in order to keep him comfortable while he is assisted in his breathing. Once the doc's feel that he is breathing well on his own and the brain stem was not compromised during surgery, he'll be slowly taken off sedation and his breathing tube will be removed. Right now, he continues to open his eyes now and again when he hears us talking to him; he squeezes our fingers when we ask him to, as well as stick his tongue out at us; he also lifted his legs! He is a tough little guy who we're sure will make a remarkable recovery.
If anything changes this weekend, we'll try to update everyone. Also, as so many of you have suggested, we'll look into getting a Caring Bridge account for Jack since there are some people who would like to be updated who are not on Facebook.
Thank you all for listening to my ramblings!!!  You know me - I talk a lot anyway!  Maybe I should let Tom do these updates from now on. ;-)
Happy Saturday, everyone! And in Jack's words before the surgery - - "Boo Michigan. Go Irish!!"

Praise the Lord!  Thank you to all who have been lifting this litte one and his family up ~ prayer really does matter.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Goodwill Goodie Finish Friday (on Monday!)

Well ~ the Finish Friday post is ready to go.  It was a weekend of ups and downs.  On Friday, I found out that one of my best little buddies was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor.  He's just 5 years old.  My mom has been battling brain cancer for almost 9 years now, so I know what lies ahead for him.  It sounds like surgery will happen this Friday ~ a long time to wait, but the up side is that the best possible neurological team will be available by then.  Then chemo.  Please continue to keep him in your prayers.  They seem to be working already ~ it appears from scans that the cancer is contained and isn't in his back ~ PTL!  One sunlight beam thru the clouds.

Sunday, the family headed up north a bit and took in the Britt Draft Horse Show.  Growing up, my family was involved with showing Welsh ponies ~ just a bit different than a draft :)  The kiddos have never watched drafts being showed, so it was a fun learning experience for them.  We arrived early enough to watch some of the show prep in progress.  Did that bring back memories!  The day ended with all 18 6-horse hitches in the arena.  What a site! 


Yesterday, we spent the day celebrating the marriage of my husband's best friend.  He experienced a very painful, out-of-left-field divorce.  Then a year ago, a wonderful woman entered his life.  She is everything that his first wife wasn't and could never be.  We are so thrilled that God has brought these two together.  They both experienced such pain when their first marriages ended.  We can see the healing that has taken place for both of them thru this relationship.  Three boys are very blessed thru this marriage!  It was a perfect day for a wedding yesterday ~ beautiful weather in a beautiful setting.  God is so good!

The makeover was ready to go on Friday, but my heart was so heavy that I just couldn't post it.  After a weekend filled with prayer and a few light beams, I'm ready to spend a little time on something that now seems so frivolous.

If you remember, this is what I worked on last week ~


Here they are, all shiny and new ~ or at least new to me!



Just a tad different!  It's crazy what a little spray paint can do.

This is how I have them displayed for now ~ that is until I get all my fall decor out.  


Fall is definitely in the air.  I may break into those fall totes this week if I can find the time.  We had some rain this weekend and the grass decided that it needed to grow.  So I'm hoping to get the mowing done today.  AWANA starts back up tomorrow evening which also marks the return of date night for DH and me!  It's nice to be getting back into the routine of school and activities. 

Tomorrow I may post this week's makeover.  Be watching!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Prayers, Prayers, Prayers!

There will be no Goodwill Goodie Makeover Finish Friday this week.  I just received word that a dear friend's youngest son has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor.  They have drained it and are awaiting surgery.  I have tears running done my face as I type this.  He is just the sweetest, sports loving kid ever!  We have gotten to be good pals over the last year and it breaks my heart to know what he will be going thru.

Please lift him and his family up in prayers.  I know that God is the Great Healer and Comforter, He has a plan for this little one.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

And The Winner Is........

Drum roll please.........


The winner of my 75 followers giveaway is.......


tamera- country at heart!!!

I want to send a thank you out to all my followers ~ old and new ~ that signed up.!  Tamera, please email your address so that I can get your prize sent off!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Last Call for Entries!

Here it is August 31 already ~ last day to sign up for my giveaway.  Tomorrow I will draw for the winner ~ be watching for the post!


Today I spent a lovely day with my dear friend Hayley.  We headed out to drop off all my donations to Goodwill and then to pick up supplies for her new business venture.  She is making the cutest hair bows and blocks ~ check them out here.  It was good to have some adult conversation without little voices interrupting!  We got in a little shopping as well ~ found some great deals at Wal-Mart, some summer clothes clearanced out at $1.00! 


Home now, putting away all my deals, and waiting for the kiddos to arrive home from school.  After the dreary day yesterday, the weather has turned HOT again ~ near 90.  I'm sure they will be tired just from the heat today.

Last night, DS did well again at supper ~ ate more green beans without a word, even had seconds of the main dish ~ bacon cheeseburger pasta.  It's so nice when supper doesn't involve an argument! 




Tonight it's my night out with the girls before the wedding on Monday ~ DH's night with the kids.  I have a feeling it will be frozen pizza for supper ~ everyone's favorite :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Only 2 Days Left!

Yesterday I finished de-cluttering my closet and dresser.  Whoa ~ was there a lot to donate!  14 bags!  Where it all came from I'm not sure ~ perhaps one too many trips to Goodwill ~ LOL!  I think I heard the closet rod breath a sigh of relief.  No more buying just because it's a good deal.  I'm getting rid of too many thing that match nothing.  If it doesn't work with the clothes I have, it's not a steal even at a few dollars.

The kiddos had a great day at school.  DS has yet to bring any homework home ~ he's been getting it all done at school.  DD had 2 worksheets ~ math and cursive handwriting ~ but she zipped right thru them.  DH had a boys night out last night with 2 of our great friends ~ one is getting married on Monday, so it was like his "bachelor party" (if you consider eating at Bonanza and being home by 10pm a party :)).  So we were on our own last night for supper and the kids requested grilled cheese sandwiches.  DS takes his with some ham add, DD has to have the classic. 




Add a side of green beans and the kids were happy.  Notice that DS has 4 beans on his plate.  This is a big serving for him and a huge deal.  He has been a picky eater since 18 months old and getting him to even allow veggies on his plate has been a struggle.  We've been thru it all with him on this issue ~ throwing fits and throwing up.  Within the last few years, he has made big improvements ~ this being one.  He actually ate all 4 last night without saying a word.  Usually he tries to negotiate his way out of eating any.  DD on the other hand could live on veggies and fruits alone.  Oh, the difference in kids!

Today it's raining and that has zapped my energy to do anything.  So instead of de-cluttering the next closet, I've been linking up with several blogs (see sidebar).  It's been fun looking thru all the link-ups.  There are so many creative people out there!  Haven't come across much prim, but have seen lots of repurposing.  Is that a sign of the economy or are we just becoming more aware of throwing things out instead of looking at them in a different way?  I did a little painting yesterday on an upcoming makeover ~ I must say it made quite a difference on the item.

Hard to believe that August comes to a close tomorrow.  Christmas will be here before we know it ~ it's already arrived at Hobby Lobby by the looks of it.  I seriously don't know why they even put the Christmas decor away there ~ it was out around here before the 4th of July even passed!

Just a reminder that there is only 2 days left to sign up for my giveaway!  Enter here and please share on your blog!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Goodwill Goodie Makeover Monday

Finally ~ I have time to post another makeover.  I had all these big plans to post one a week this summer ~ well, the pool had other plans!  The makeovers didn't happen, but a fabulous tan did :)

The kids are back into the full swing of school this week.  They started back last Tuesday, but we had scheduled early outs every day at 1:30 due to heat.  It's a nice way to work back into the schedule, especially the 6am wake-up call every morning in order to be on the bus at 7:05.  I won't be surprised if we have a few early outs this week as well ~ temps are suppose to hit the 90s by the end of the week again.  Maybe I'll be able to get some sun-time in before fall officially hits :)

Yesterday, after church, we spent the afternoon finishing up the mulch around the house.  Something that should have been done when we moved in 5 years ago, but something that didn't happen until we decided to sell.  Have you ever notice how that happens!  It's okay while you're living in it, but when it's time to sell things suddenly need sprucing up.  Oh well ~ it does look much nicer, even if we will enjoy it for a little while.  Then I started to clean up my flower bed.  Things are slowly starting to fade and I'm ready for a tidy, fall look here.  I cut back a few of the day lilies that have gone to seed and a hosta or two that the grasshoppers have gotten to as well as the sun.  It looks better although there's a few more hostas that need to be moved or at least divided, but I'll wait until it's bit cooler to do that.  We did have some good help, at least with driving the mower and cart around :)


You can tell that we've been in need of some rain ~ look at that poor grass!  If it weren't for the water grass, I wouldn't have had to mow for over a month now.  When I do mow, it's like a dust storm! 

With that project done and the kids back in school, I'm working on downsizing everything.  I don't want to be moving things we don't need or want.  Today's project has been my dresser and closet ~ too many clothes!  I have a habit of keeping things (not just clothes) just in case.  I'm trying to break that habit ~if I didn't wear it all summer, if it doesn't fit, if it doesn't match anything, etc. it's going to Goodwill.  Some one else can enjoy it.  The plan is to start with the closets and work from there ~ a little at a time until the whole house has been de-cluttered and downsized.

I'm also getting back to the treadmill ~ the summer wasn't kind to my waistline :(  The poor treadmill was neglected all summer while we had fun in the sun.  Now it's time to get back to it.  Two years ago I dropped 30 pounds, and some how a few have crept back on.  Time to take them off again.  I'm hoping that with the kids out of the house for the day, it will be much easier to stick with the walking/running routine again and not snack all day long.

Taking a break to post this makeover though.  I found these beauties a while ago and couldn't decide what colors to use on them.  Now with the upcoming move and new wall color, they have been made over and look great. 



I bet we can all remember the apple decor craze.  Isn't it funny how something catches on and then it's on everything!  Sadly, the apples are no longer :)  Come back on Friday and see what they look like now!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Is anyone reading anymore?

Just checking to see if anyone is reading my blog anymore.  I know that I have 78 followers ~ but only 6 of you have entered my giveaway :( 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

REMEMBER!

Just a quick reminder that entries for my giveaway must be posted by August 31!  Be on the look-out for changes to my blog coming soon!  Enter here!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Iowa State Fair Spelling Bee

I just have to share a proud mommy moment ~ on Friday, DS competed in the 5th and 6th grade division of the Iowa State Fair Spelling Bee and placed 3rd!  A shiny trophy and new dictionary have found a place of honor on the fireplace mantle.  70 other students from across Iowa spelled their best that afternoon.

Some of you may be familiar with the national spelling bee and may have even watched when it has been televised.  The students involved with that are given a list containing every possible word for the bee.  DS was not so lucky with the state fair bee.  The words are totally random which makes studying nearly impossible.  Oh, he was provided with a sample list in the info packet but only a select few showed up during the actual bee.  I could not believe the difficult words these kids had to spell! 

We are so proud that he placed 3rd and he was happy as well.  He's already talking about next year and hoping that he can at least place 3rd if not 1st.  It will be his last chance to win as 6th grade is the last grade eligible. 

The 3rd place was great, but I think the best part of the day was watching (from the stands) him congratulate the 2nd and 1st place kids.  Must be doing something right.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Giveaway Update

I've decided to wait until the end of the month before I will draw for the winner of my giveaway.  So ~ KEEP THOSE ENTRIES COMING IN!  Please remember to share about the giveaway ~ I really would like to see a few more entries!  Check out this post to see how to enter.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

75 Followers Giveaway!

Finally ~ I have some time to post up the details of the giveaway.  Since this is my first one, I'm going to keep it really simple.  To enter leave a comment (on this post) about your favorite Goodwill Goodie makeover featured on my blog ~ new followers are welcome to enter, the more the merrier!  For a bonus entry, share a post or photo about the giveaway with link to my blog on your blog ~ let me know if you do so I can get you entered twice.

I need to do some checking on shipping rates, so it may be limited to residents of the United States.  By chance, does anyone know how much more shipping to anywhere outside the U.S. costs?  I'm planning on researching it tomorrow and will let everyone know if I'm going to have to limit it.

Are you interested in what I'm giving away?  Everything included is a Goodwill Goodie!  Here you go ~


The shelf is a Goodwill Goodie makeover of mine ~ the house, star, candle tray are just goodies.  The candle is battery operated ~ oops!  that's a clearance find at Dollar General, but at $.50 a goodie as well!

Be sure to share for that extra entry!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Goodwill Goodie Makeover Monday

Due to some technical difficulties (I'm blaming this hot, hot weather we've been having), I was unable to get the Finish Friday post up or the giveaway post up.  It looks like everything is cooperating today.  Instead of a project ready for a makeover, I'll share last week's finished project.  If you remember it was the nice, round piece of wood that I just know everyone was envying ~ LOL!


Here's the finished makeover ~


I'm sooo happy with how it turned out.  This weekend I was in one of my favorite prim stores and there was a plate similar to this for $25!  Mine cost nothing near that ~ in fact I think I paid $1 for the plate!

Here's the display ~


Notice the courting candle holder ~ Goodwill find for $.50!  I did purchase the Scentsy warmer new ~ I just had to have it.

I've got the giveaway package narrowed down, now I just have to take the time and get the post ready.  Keep watching for the details, I'm hoping that everything continues to work today and that I have time to get it all posted!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

75!!!

Okay ~ thanks Trish at The Boyd Homestead Farm!!  I now am up to 75 and that means GIVEAWAY TIME!  Tonight I will work out all the details of the prize and how I am going to determine the winner.  Should have it posted by tomorrow.  Watch for details!  Continue to share, please!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Giveaway Announcement!

So I have decided that as soon as I hit 75 followers I will be having a giveaway!  Stay tuned for more details ~ still working on what the prize package will include.  Just need 2 more ~ tell your friends, share on your blogs!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Goodwill Goodie Monday Makeover

So this week isn't looking to start much better than last week ended.  DS ran a temp between 101.7 and 103.3 for two days and then yesterday the blisters appeared in his mouth.  However, DD's blisters are starting to disappear.  Our pediatrician said that it's uncommon for kids this age to come down with hand, foot, mouth virus ~ usually it occurs in infants and toddlers, but somehow my 8 year DD and 11 year DS have had it within the last week.  I guess the good thing about them getting it now is that it is not as painful and doesn't last as long at their age.  Plus once you have it, your body develops antibodies to it and you can't get it again.  Mark another childhood illness had.

It has been so hot and humid here for the last few days, it hasn't been awful being confined to the house.  One step out the door and I have sweat running everywhere.  In fact, it's been so hot that even a trip to the pool hasn't sounded fun.  You almost literally can't breathe from the humidity in the air.  I'm so glad that I painted several goodies ahead of time a few weeks ago.  I've been able to work on a few in the basement instead of having to venture out to the shed to prep and paint.

I've been wanting to try my hand at one of these for awhile now, but just couldn't find the right one to makeover.  Well, I finally found one that I think will work wonderfully.  Several times I've had a finished one in my hand at a prim store and then put it back because I just can't pay $15-$30 for something that I know I can make myself for a fraction of that.  Here it is ~


That's right ~ a round piece of wood!  I mean, don't we all want a round piece of wood!  Okay, so maybe I'm joking around.  It's all prepped and ready to go, I just need to put the finishing touches on it this week ~ and it looks like I'll be in the house for a majority of it so why not prim away.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Goodwill Goodie Finish Friday

Whew!  Didn't think I was going to make it!  This week has went by too fast again ~ both kids had science camp and then DD came down with what the doctor first thought was strep throat, but turned out to be hand, foot, mouth virus.  She's feeling some better today, but her mouth and throat are extremely sore.  I just hope that no one else develops it!

So, want to see how I finished off this week's makeover?  I started with a heavy base coat of black, then added a light coat of cream, sanded, then finished off with a light coat of stain and wax.

What do you think?




Here's the surprise ~ I'm not keeping this one.  When I saw this at Goodwill, I knew right away that I wouldn't be.  It actually is going to find a home in my bestie house, a belated birthday present ~ and she doesn't know it yet.  Well, I guess as soon as she reads this post she will!  She hosts Thanksgiving every year at her home for her entire family and is always on the look-out for Thanksgiving decor.  I thought it would be a great addition to her displays, possibly finding a place on top of her cupboards. 

Hope you like it Hayley!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Possibility of a Giveaway!

I'm soooo close to 75 followers that I'm considering doing a giveaway!  As soon as that followers number hits 75, I just might set up a giveaway for one of my Goodwill Goodie makeovers.  Then maybe another one at 100.

What do you think?  Any one interested?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Goodwill Goodie Makeover Monday

In the last 8 days I have spent 24 hours at the pool and 3 hours on the mower.  Tan doesn't even begin to describe how I look!  My hometown county fair is on this week and I think it will provide a nice break from the pool.  I was the 1992 Franklin County Fair Queen and in 4-H for 9 years, so I always try to make it back at least once.  There is always something for the kids to do and I still enjoy looking through the 4-H exhibits. 

This week I have selected something holiday"ish" for a makeover.  Take a peek ~


I've already given it a nice black base, but not sure what color it will end up being.  Come back on Friday and find out!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Goodwill Goodie Finish Friday

Well, summer has finally arrived!  Two days in the high 90s and three trips to the pool!  Softball ended this week and that will free up a lot of our time.  Not much planned for the rest of the summer ~ we went to Disney World at the end of May for vacation, so maybe a few day trips around Iowa.  Swimming lessons will be next week and the kids are excited about that. 

Onto this week's makeover!  I thought about just painting it black, but then decided to use black as the undercoat and give it a top coat of burgundy. 



I couldn't distress it as much as I would have liked because even with a heavy coat of black the original purple kept wanting to show through.  So just a light sanding and some wax, add a pip berry ring, and candle and here's the resulting display ~


Notice the candle board on top of the table ~ it was a previous makeover of a cutting board that I've now turned into a candle board.  Got to love the versatility of these prim makeovers!  I picked up the two crocks at the end of last summer for a steal ~ $5 for the large and $2.50 for the small.  Thought that they work well to prim up my plants.


Hard to believe that the 4th of July is here already.  I did manage to put a few extra Americana items out around the house.  I leave most of my Americana decor out year round ~ there's just something about the red, white, and blue that calls to me.  So much pride in it and for it!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Goodwill Goodie Makeover Monday ~ is BACK!!!

Yes ~ motivation has definitely returned!  Not one, not two, but 6 projects are in the works!!!  I figure that gives me 6 weeks of Goodwill Goodie Makeovers at least.  The pile has gone done slightly, a few have even been weeded out to return to Goodwill. 

So, what am I working on this week?  This ~


Now, I'm sure that everyone is thinking ~ "Why in the world would she change that beautiful thing?"  LOL!  I assure you that it will look even better by Friday.  The paint is dry and I'm going to try to get it sanded today.  Then I need to gather my other additions. 

Oh, does it feel good to get back at it.  With all the stress of buying another house, getting ours ready to sell, re-vamping the new one, showings of our current one, ballgames, practices, dance camps and classes, I needed a stress-reliever!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Motivation seems to have returned

Rain and 70 degrees?  Is it really the first day of summer?  I had planned to take the kids to the pool and spend the afternoon soaking in some sun, but the weather had other ideas.  In fact, it looks like it may be this weekend before it's warm enough to venture to the pool.  So, I've decided to sort through my pile of makeovers-in-the-waiting and see what I want to keep for the new home and what will find it's way back to Goodwill.

I have found a few pieces that I think will fit into the new kitchen.  It will be the first kitchen we have had that has the open tops on the cupboards ~ I'm excited to have that extra display space!  So I'll be putting the first coat of paint on this afternoon.  Check on Monday to see what I'm working on!  It feels good to be back at it!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Extreme Couponing

We just returned from a lovely weekend spent in Branson, MO.  While there, I had a chance to watch a few episodes of TLC's Extreme Couponing.  I can't decide if I'm impressed or repulsed by what I saw.  Yes, the amount of money that was saved was impressive.  However, the, what I would considering hoarding, behavior displayed was not.  I admit, I love getting that great bargain and saving all the money I can on items.  But to have a "stockpile" worth $75,000 and continuing to buy more and more because it's an awesome deal, is something that I have a problem with.  Dumpster diving, sneaking around at night going through other people's recycling bins in order to get more and more coupons, and stealing coupon inserts from people's newspapers sitting on their front porch ~ and making children help ~ signal some major problems.

I've clipped coupons, and sometimes actually use them.  My family is not brand-loyal.  The majority of the time, the generic is cheaper than the brand-name with a coupon.  Maybe it's because around here, our grocery stores do not double or triple coupons and don't have any type of loyalty card benefits.  It would be near impossible for me to duplicate what these people are shown doing on the show.  Not only that, but I don't think that I would want to.  Their houses are so full of items, it would take years to use everything that they already have, and yet they keep buying.  They spend hours and hours every week clipping coupons, hunting down coupons, surfing the web for coupons, and planning the next shopping trip.  What about their family?  I wonder how much time they actually are spending with their spouses and/or children, outside of couponing together.

They spend so much time planning, that some actually pre-order massive amounts of an item so that they won't clean the store out.  One lady purchased 400 boxes of cat food, 500 containers of yogurt, 150 boxes of cous-cous (which, by the way, her family had never eaten before), and 50 bottles of hot sauce.  Also included were bottles of sports drink, infant formula (her children appeared to be 5 and 7), and packages of pre-made noodles ~ 300 to be exact.  She had to separate everything into 8 carts so that the register didn't freeze.  Then as everything was being scanned, she stood there shaking and sweating and completely exhausted.  She had spent 24 hours planning this trip, searching the neighborhood at night with a flashlight going through recycling bins.  She hadn't even slept.

I wondered just how much time tracking down one coupon on the internet would take, so I gave it a shot today.  Two hours down, and I still can't find a single coupon.  I did find a toll free number that I can call once a month in order for coupons to be sent to me.  I was on hold for 10 minutes, so I hung up.  Maybe I'll try again tomorrow.  I'm sure that it's because I'm new at it, but I won't spend my entire day searching for coupons.  My family is too important. 

Couponing is great, I still will use one if I come across it, it is something that we actually use, and it makes it cheaper than the generic.  However, the behavior I witness on the show is not something that I want to duplicate.  Saving money is a good thing, but it is not worth dumpster diving for that 55 cents off the 353rd box of cat food.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

M.I.A.

I'm still here!  I thought once the kids were at home on summer break, I would have a moment or two to start blogging again ~ yeah right!  Softball started the day after school let out, and it has been crazy ever since.

Big news to share ~ we are moving!  It has been a tough decision, but DH is now working 80 miles from home and will be at this dealership until at least the end of the year.  Then we don't know what he will be doing for the company, but it most likely will involve more travel.  Also, the Lord has been working hard on both of us on several things ~ I'll share in later posts.  Lots of praying has been going on and DH asked for a sign that we were moving in the right direction ~ and a house came up for sale that fit what we were looking for.  We looked at it, put in an offer, and the sellers accepted it.  Talk about a sure sign from up above!  So the acreage went on the market this week and now we are praying for a quick sell.  It would be great to be moved in by the time school starts in August, but we trust that it will sell in His time and not ours.

It's about half the size of our current home, so that means some downsizing has to take place.  I'm okay with that ~ it forces me to clear out the clutter, but it also means that I may have to retire my makeovers :(  So my blog may have to undergo a makeover.  Not sure yet ~ the makeovers may just have to take a leave of absence for awhile until we get all moving in.  Time will tell.

For now, I may just stick to sharing how the Lord is working in our lives during this transition.  Although, I'm not sure I can give up the Goodwill trips altogether :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Another hard loss in the family...

Just a quick post to ask everyone to keep my husband's family in your prayers ~ one of his first cousins passed away suddenly yesterday.  She was 52 and a blood clot went to her lung causing her to die instantly.  She leaves behind her husband, 4 grown children ~ the youngest just graduated college last weekend and will be getting married in a few weeks, and 3 grandchildren.

All prayers are greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm still here......

Ugh!  It's been waaaaaayyyy too long since I have posted, but please stick with me.  The last few weeks have been filled with too much sadness in my area ~ several deadly car accidents leaving children without their fathers, the passing of a family friend from cancer, and the passing of my dear grandpa.  I'm planning on a post dedicated to him shortly.  Knocks the wind out of a person.  These are the days that I am truly grateful for a loving Father and a strong faith knowing that He has everything in control.

There have been a few rays of sunshine though, and I plan on sharing those as well.  The makeovers are still on the back burner and begging to be moved to the front :)  If this crazy weather ever remembers that we are in April and not December ~ snow and sleet today, schools north of us let out early! ~ I could get back at it!

Please don't give up on me ~ I cherish each of my followers and your comments!  Let me know that you are still here!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sad news....more prayers needed

Just received some sad news ...  my friend Hayley's uncle passed away this morning due to his injuries sustained in the car accident.  Please continue to keep her family in your prayers.  Thank you all so much.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Urgent Prayer Request...Please!

Tonight I'm asking all my followers and anyone who visits my blog to lift up one of my best friend's family.  Last weekend proved to be full of not-so-good news for them.  Even though they know that the Lord is in control of everything, I know that all prayers sent up for them would be much appreciated.  You can read about the events that have taken place on her blog ~ Consider it All Joy.  Please take a moment to read her post and then say a prayer for them.  I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Treasure Principle

Where does time fly to?!?  It certainly has flown away from me this winter.  Without motivation and too many kid activities, the makeovers have taken a vacation.  I promise that the change in the weather is starting to bring back the much needed motivation to get back at it.

The little free time I have found has been filled with reading some great books.  I'm addicted to anything regarding Bible prophecy and have finished quite a few new reads dealing with it, as well as revisiting a few favorites.  I find comfort in reading about the end times ~ I know that sounds strange to some, but it gives me a peace to know that everything happening in today's world is in God's hands and plans.  The recent earthquakes in New Zealand and now in Japan should be a wake-up call ~ Jesus' return could be very close at hand.

Not only have I been absorbing prophecy, I've also finished re-reading Randy Alcorn's The Treasure Principle.  It's just a little book (93 pages), but it delivers a big message.  During this last year, God has been working on my heart regarding increasing our giving.  DH and I have both felt God's tug.

My MIL and Step-FIL gave this book to DH for Christmas in 2009.  Although we both read it at that time, and did do a little extra giving, the Principle didn't really take hold.  I could blame it on lots of things ~ too little time, too little resources,  too many other "needs", etc., etc.  The fact is we didn't make it take hold.

As I was cleaning off my bookshelf a few weeks ago, I came across the book again.  So, I decided to re-read it.  Boy, did it hit home this time.  I've been feeling unsettled for quite a few months now and couldn't put my finger on what was bothering me.  I kept thinking it was the winter blues, but it seemed deeper than that.  My heart has just been heavy.  I think the answer was "hiding" in the book all along.

The Treasure Principle is about discovering the secret of joyful giving.  It is an eye-opener about how God wants us to see money and possessions ~ and where we should really be storing up our treasures.  In today's world, it's so easy to get caught up in more, more, more for me, me, me.  When actual, everything belongs to Him.  Nothing we have on this earth is truly ours ~ NOTHING.  Everything, including the money in our wallet, is His.  We shouldn't be in a race to see how much we can hoard for ourselves in our homes or bank accounts instead we should be living by this verse in Matthew ~

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Matthew 6:19-21

I'm a saver ~ kids' toys, kids' clothes, sentimental anything, money, etc..  I have a hard time letting things that are tied to memories go.  My dad drilled it into me to not get rid of things because you never know when you might need them.  Our basement was proof of my problem of not passing things on.  I had totes full of clothes and toys and misc. items that I just might need some day.  They were weighing me down.  They were weigh heavy on my heart ~ but I didn't know it.  Then this little book popped back into my life.  Suddenly it hit me.  These things aren't mine, they all belong to God and it's my job to use them in the best way possible for Him!  I really don't have the right to be storing them in our basement for years and years.  I should be using them and then passing them on to someone else who needs them.

So for the last few weeks, I have been passing God's blessings to me on.  So far I have cleaned out 8 totes of blessings and it feels wonderful.  My heart is filled with a peace I haven't felt in a long time.  I realized that I really had no ownership of these materials ~ it's like they were on loan from God and it's now time to give them back or pass them on.  Before, when I would go through the totes and try to downsize, my heart would ache and I would become emotional thinking about the memory associated with each item.  Now I almost feel excitement when I think about the person who will receive the blessing.  It truly is bringing more joy to me than the items ever did or will!

There are 6 keys to The Treasure Principle ~
1. God owns everything.  I'm His money manager.
2. My heart always goes where I put God's money.
3. Heaven, not earth, is my home.
4. I should live not for the dot but the line.
5. Giving is the only antidote to materialism.
6. God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving.

Alcorn spends time explaining each key in a very real, easy to understand way.  It's a "quick" read with a big punch.  I would encourage everyone to read it.

Not only are we passing along these material blessings to other families, we are passing along the Principle to our children as well.  They have gotten into the Principle right along with us.  It's been amazing to see how excited they are to pass along toys, clothes, books, etc. that they have to others that are in need.  

A quote from the book  ~ "The more you give, the more comes back to you, because God is the greatest giver in the universe, and He won't let you outgive Him.  Go ahead and try.  See what happens."  That's not saying that the money will come flowing in by the tidal wave, but that God will bless you beyond your wildest dreams.  This is the one time God says to test him ~
"Test me in this...and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it"  Malachi 3:10

My challenge for you this week is to give more and see what happens.  Trust what God has promised to those that do.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

Spring is definitely in the air today ~ possibly hitting 70 here in Iowa!!!  The snow is just about all melted, much to my delight!  The kids have been spending as much time as possible outside after school which means a lot of wet, wet clothes to wash every day.  I had forgotten how wet this time of year is ~ the yard is mud from one end to the other.  Oh well ~ I spied some green grass today and some of my plants stayed green under all the snow!

I thought that I would make a return to Thrifty Thursday today.  With the warmer weather, I'm feeling more like blogging again.  I didn't think that winter would have affected my desire to post, but it sure did.  The cold temps made it impossible to paint and the pieces that I had ready to prim just sat in the basement in a box.  Maybe I can get to them now!

I hit Goodwill after Valentine's Day this week and found a few treasures.  Next year's decorating will be a bit more than it was this year!  Here's what I snagged ~


I actually had purchased the hugs & kisses wall words before Valentine's Day with the intention of applying it to a tile.  However, with all the kids' activities and a few snow days, I never accomplished it.  Everything else I picked up for a mere $3.50!  I think that they will be great additions to what I have.

DH shocked me with a new Willow Tree for Valentine's Day.  I wasn't expecting anything as he had surprised me with gorgeous diamond earrings for Christmas (as well as every special holiday/day in 2011).  I still have it displayed with my Valentine's Day Scentsy warmer ~


Here's a different view of the Scentsy warmer ~


It seems that a lot of us have been busy thrifting again ~ everyone must have spring fever!  It's been fun to see what everyone's been finding.  What's been your favorite treasure lately?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Finally ~ A Goodwill Goodie Finish Friday!

FINALLY ~ a finished makeover!  This winter has just zapped all my motivation to do ANY makeovers.  With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I pulled out my decorations and discovered just how few I have.  I had planned to cover the heart with a rusty star, but decided that this box is a perfect Valentine's fit.

Here's the before ~


And the Result ~


Here it is displayed on the mantle ~




I still haven't decided if I want to keep it black or put a coat of red or burgundy over it.  The black makes whatever I sit on it really pop, so for now it's staying black.  This is really all I have for Valentine's Day decorations.  Perhaps I will start keeping an eye open for a few "heart" items at Goodwill that need a good "updating" ~ LOL!

How about all of you?  Do you decorate lots for Valentine's Day?  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Let the Lord guide me

For the last few months DH and I have been struggling with our Middle School Sunday School class that we teach.  This year's group of kids has been frustrating most of the time and we have been seriously contemplating "retiring" as teachers.  They just wouldn't stay focused and the level of disrespect continued to escalate.  Many, many prayers have been sent up about what to do.

The planned, store-bought lessons that we had used the last 5 years weren't cutting it anymore.  I had tried planning our own lessons digging into the books of the Bible one by one.  We were becoming more and more frustrated and the kids were becoming more and more out-of-control.  For the month of December, we always take a break and watch a movie as part of their Christmas present from us.  This year we picked Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  It was a good breather for all of us I think.  Even though we had watched it 2 years ago, the kids stayed interested and paid attention.  Maybe it's because we hinted that there may be questions dealing with the movie in the Bible trivia that we always play at the end of the Sunday School hour :)  That is the only time that everyone pays attention and contributes to class!  Perhaps it's because the winners always leave class with candy!

Last week was the first week back to regular class.  All week I had tried to prepare something as a lesson, but I just wasn't feeling that anything I came up with was going to work.  So I went with nothing, and I mean nothing prepared.  I was actually quite calm about it ~ no panic feeling about what were we going to do with 15 middle schoolers for an hour with nothing planned.  I had decided to turn it over to the Lord.  I would let Him show us what to do with these unruly middle schoolers.

I sat down, took out my Bible, and said nothing.  The questions started to fly ~ "What are we doing?"  "Are we going back to those boring lessons again?"  "Do we have to do anything?"  "Can't we just sit and talk?"

Out of my mouth can the answer ~ "We are going to split into 2 teams and play a game."  The kids went wild!  They couldn't believe that we were just going to play a game the whole hour.  So into 2 teams they split without any arguing or hassles.  I questioned them about the Gospels, had them find verses, threw in the occasional Narnia question ~ the hour flew by.  We even received a few thank yous for the candy as they left the room.  DH and I looked at each other ~ we couldn't believe how much info we pumped out to them and how much they sucked in!

So yesterday I did the same thing  ~ let the Lord guide me.  The same answer came again.  This time the questions dealt with salvation, verses about salvation, the Lamb's Book of Life ~ which lead to a terrific discussion about whether or not a person can lose their salvation.  The kids were so focused and involved ~ even the ones that are so shy we can't even get them to say hello to us.  We were overwhelmed when class ended. 

We are feeling better about continuing on as teachers.  We still feel that strong pull to be leaders for this age group in our church.  This is a critical time in these kids' lives.  They need strong Christians to show an interest in them ~ some that are willing to listen to their questions and help them find the answers.  Even though, we thought that we were seeking the Lord's guidance about how to handle the class, it took total surrender of it to Him.  DH and I feel like the kids are getting so much more out of class ~ we are enjoying it again.

It's just another reminder of how we need to totally surrender everything to the Lord.  I cannot be in control of things ~ He needs to be.  I need to seek what He wants from me, need to be quiet and listen for His voice in my life.  I can't wait to see what He has in store for next week ~ I think that the kids are excited as well.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Oh Me, Oh My!

Where has the time gone?!?  I can't believe that it is so far into January already and I haven't posted any makeovers yet!  Never fear ~ they are on their way!  With the holidays, get togethers, kids on Christmas break, I just haven't had time to finish any.  They are sitting here, looking at me just waiting.  I'll give you a sneak peek of what the weeks ahead will reveal ~







(You might recognize this one!)

Please hang in there with me ~  I enjoy having all of you as followers and appreciate all your input!  I promise, makeovers are on their way!