Old Desk Revamp

We’ve had this desk for years now, a hand-me down from my Granny.  I love the lines of the desk and knew it would be a beautiful painted piece one day.  Now that I’ve gotten the hang of this painting thing, I thought it was time to pick a color.  I chose Urban Nature, a Pottery Barn/Benjamin Moore color but had the paint mixed at Home Depot to save money.  This shade of green matches our bedding just in case the desk winds up in our room at the next house.  I’d also love to recover the chair, but am going to hold off on that venture until we move and know exactly where my desk will be housed!  I’m really pleased with the final product but could kick myself for not taking a good “before” photo!  Here’s a few pictures with the desk in the background…hopefully, you can get the gist of it!

Here's the corner of the desk in a photo taken for our house listing
Here's a little more of the desk taken way back when...I can't believe how old my sweet girl is now!
Molly Kate holding onto the desk chair when she had just started walking...can I just say digging through these old photos last night made me super-sad? Time with little ones really does go by too fast.
My "new" desk, painted and oh so fresh!
From a different angle
New hardware from Home Depot...only $3.48 to update a very dated, large brass drawer pull!

Molly Kate turns 4!

I think I’m still in disbelief that my little girl is now 4!  While she’s super-mature and advanced for her age (she’s already reading and most recently can jump off the diving board in an 11-foot pool by herself!), I can’t believe four years have gone by since I welcomed my very first child into this world.  I will never forget the joy and utter awe that flooded my heart when the doctor laid her on my chest just seconds after entering this life. And I continue to praise God for knitting her together just the way she is…I pray and hope that one day when she is grown, we will be close friends.  As I see her growing in her understanding of the gospel and (most of the time) truly wanting to please God in her actions and attitude, I have every hope that we will be.

We had a two-fold celebration this year…last weekend we attended a mother-daughter princess tea party with our close friend from across the street.  She and Casey loved every minute of it!  On Saturday, her actual birthday, we had a few friends over for cake and ice cream and of course, presents!  All she wanted this year was accessories for her American Girl Doll, Bitty Baby Caroline.  She is really enjoying playing the role of mommy and I love fostering her desire to be a loving and sacrificial mother to her baby!  Here’s a few pics from our celebrations!

Ready for tea after hair, make-up and nails!
Princess Molly Kate with Cinderella and Belle
Molly Kate and her butterfly cake!
Cake close-up...this was my first time using fondant accent pieces and it was so much fun to make! The cake didn't turn out exactly like I pictured, but it tasted amazing!
Sweet girl with her daddy!
A quick family pic!
Mommy Molly Kate with Baby Caroline and all her gear!
Play time with the new loot!
Two of Molly Kate's favorite people...Mr. Jeff and Mrs. Andrea! They have loved our daughter so well these last few years and we will miss them terribly when we leave Louisville!
Our fam with our very precious friends, the Wiremans! How thankful we are for the friendship of this dear family!


A Good Work Fulfilled

Three years ago, Kevin and I began pouring every last second into thinking, researching and praying about adoption.  We became more and more certain that God was calling us to adopt a child from Ethiopia.  As the journey progressed, we found out He intended not one, but two sweet boys to be our sons and a certain verse became my theme:

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by faith.  2 Thessalonians 1:11

As our adoption journey drug on, I became more and more aware of how necessary God’s power would be to bring our boys home.  We knew He had prompted us by faith to adopt these children and so, in faith, we continued to trust that His power would prevail and the boys would one day be our children.  Yesterday, July 21, 2011, we stood in a family court here in Louisville, Kentucky to finalize our adoptions and we saw God’s good work fulfilled. The proceeding was more of a formality than anything else, but for me, it was a moment to worship.  My amazing God, the God of the universe, called little ole me to travel across an ocean and make two boys who were not my own my beloved sons.  He purposed, He called and He fulfilled.  Oh, how I love Him and how I praise Him for His power and His beautiful ways.

My precious family (officially!)!

Beds to Match

This past weekend Kevin and I tackled painting the three older kids’ beds in order to match their new chests.  I am so pleased with the end result!  Its not easy to put three children in one bedroom, logistically or aesthetically.  The new coat of paint really gives the entire room a clean, fresh feel.  All of the kids kept thanking us for working hard to make their beds “new”…I love how the Lord is creating thankfulness in each one of them.

Boys' bed before - a very old set of bunk beds from Kevin's grandmother!
Boys' beds after!
Bed with matching chest (don't you love the pictures of the boys when they were in Ethiopia? a constant reminder to me of God's goodness and faithfulness)
Molly Kate's bed before - a very old twin bed from my grandmother!
Molly Kate's bed after! (Even baby Caroline's little crib got a fresh coat!)
A closer look at the distressing on MK's bed

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

And a brand new wall at that!  In order to sell our home, we quickly realized that we needed to convert our house to a true 3 bedroom (we have always used our loft area as a master bedroom, but because it wasn’t enclosed with a door, we couldn’t list our home as having three rooms).  Kevin and our dear neighbor/friend, Jeff, constructed the wall in about a week (yes, major props to my hubby for his construction skills…I’m very impressed!) and we just recently finished all the painting and trim work.  This new wall needed decorating and my head kept dreaming of a mirror.

This is the picture that kept coming to mind (how I love Ballard Designs!):

I love this room, but especially the mirror!'

And this is what we found at Garden Ridge yesterday for a fraction of the cost:

Then, with a couple coats of spray paint, we (Kevin took over on this one!) turned it into this:

Very happy with my new wall, a door to an actual bedroom and my mirror!

Painted Chest of Drawers

I knew I was looking forward to this summer and taking a break from home school!  For as long as I can remember, I have loved (loved, loved!) painted furniture.  Whenever I walk into antique stores, I sit and admire old pieces of furniture that have been re-painted in fun, new colors.  I’ve recently been thinking about painting Molly Kate’s chest of drawers, but was looking for just the right hardware.  Kevin indulged me and let me bop into Anthropologie (hands down my favorite store on the planet) on our way home from Alabama and I spotted the perfect knobs and handles for my little girl’s chest.  This find set everything else into motion and I’ve been on a “furniture painting” frenzy lately!  But I’m also having the time of my life…I love opportunities to express creativity as I think it reflects God image as Creator and I’m thankful He’s allowed me some down time to do something I love!

This blog was unbelievably helpful in getting all the right tools to paint furniture.  Since she has outlined her projects so well, I won’t do it here.  I will say there were four very necessary tools to make these projects work well…a power sander, a product called Floetrol (which can be purchased at any specialty paint store), a Purdy angled paint brush and MinWax Polyurethane spray to seal the pieces.  I will always use all of these for my future endeavors (and I have many piling up in my head!)!

These pictures make me realize our need for a good camera (hopefully my Christmas present this year!).  Sorry the color is not great, but you’ll get the general idea!

Molly Kate's Chest Before
Molly Kate's Chest After
Another angle
Boys' Chest Before
Boys' Chest After
The flash made the color too light in this picture, but you can see the entire piece!

Cobb Salad with BBQ Ranch Dressing

Per request of my mama, I’m sharing this delicious salad recipe…perfect for a hot summer day!  I did make a few revisions…instead of smoked chicken, we use three grilled chicken breasts (shredded), rubbed with chili powder and a little garlic salt and only one green onion.  I also substituted feta for the crumbled blue cheese.  My children, who normally aren’t thrilled on salad night, loved this recipe and usually ask for seconds every time!

  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 1 pound chopped smoked chicken
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 3 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 large avocados
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 (4-oz.) package crumbled blue cheese
  • 6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
  • 1. Layer first 4 ingredients on a large serving platter.
  • 2. Peel and chop avocados; toss with lemon juice.
  • 3. Layer avocado, green onions, crumbled blue cheese, and crumbled bacon over salad. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 8 hours. Serve with Barbecue-Ranch Dressing.
Barbecue-Ranch Dressing:
  • 1 (1-oz.) envelope buttermilk Ranch dressing mix
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • Prepare buttermilk Ranch dressing mix according to package directions; stir in barbecue sauce.


Discipline: The Glad Surrender – Book Review

I read this book back in the winter months, but for some reason (or maybe 4!), I never got around to publishing a review.  Let me start by saying my thoughts might be a bit biased as I absolutely love Elisabeth Elliott.  I admire the strength in which she pressed on under the most heart breaking trials and her unwavering faith in the Lord through it all.  The beauty of her heart shines forth in all of her writings and this book was no different.  At the particular time I picked this book up, I happened to really be struggling with discipline in all areas of life.  Funny how a newborn and months of sleeplessness can allow discipline to just fly right out the window!  But as I read, I was reminded of why discipline is so vital to being a disciple of Christ.  Christ invited me to follow Him and as His disciple, I am now under His orders.  How selfish I want to be with my life, my time, my body!  Instead of gladly surrendering my “rights” in order to follow the call of my Savior and give myself fully to His will, I foolishly try to hold onto what I deceptively think is “mine” and the result is a joyless, frustrating, meaningless life.  Precisely because this is my struggle, I found this practical book helpful in fighting my own sin in so many ways.  Nevertheless, I think it could be beneficial to any believer at any point in their journey.  Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

Salvation is a gift, purely a gift, forever a gift.  It is grace and nothing else that obtains it for us.  Discipline is not my claim on Christ, but the evidence of His claim on me.  p. 28

Awake my soul, and with the sun

Thy daily stage of duty run:

Shake off dull sloth and joyful rise

To pay thy morning sacrifice

(A hymn by Thomas Ken) p. 52

If I am to love the Lord my God with all my mind, there will not be room in it for carnality, for pride, for anxiety, for the love of myself.  How can the mind be filled with the love of the Lord and have space left over for things like that? p. 79

“Lord, when there are interruptions, it seems the disposal of the time I had planned so well has slipped out of my hands.  Help me to then remember that it has not slipped out of Yours.  In Your hands, these unexpected things will be fashioned into an unexpectedly beautiful design.” p. 102

Christianity teaches righteousness, not rights.  It emphasizes honor, not equality.  A Christian’s concern is what is owed to the other, not what is owed to himself.  p. 85

Worth A Look

I know Madden has had center spotlight on my blog lately…what can I say?  He’s my baby and he is s-p-o-i-l-e-d rotten!!  But, my dear friend Lindsay took some incredible one year shots of Madden and I think you should check them out here!  If you’re having a bad day, these are sure to make you smile…I mean, he seriously might be the cutest baby I know right now (and I can say that since he looks completely like Kevin and nothing like me!!).