The truth as I know it:

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time & miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands. ~~~ Kristi Larson

Monday, February 22, 2010

Is Cosmo Real?

Or is it spelled Cozmo when it's a name?  Because it appears that Meg has an invisible friend named Cosmo.  She talks about him all the time.  She tells me if he has a fever or is crying, or just needs to be held.  The boys think that Cosmo is the character in a movie, but I don't think so.  As far as I know she hasn't seen any movie with a character named Cosmo, so it appears that she has been visited by her guardian angel and his name is Cosmo.  (I heard a long time ago that maybe our guardian angels are actually invisible friends as children.  Sounds sweet enough.)

I have been.... gasp.... cough..... back of hand to forhead..... dieting.  Sort of!  I mean, I'm not really dieting as much as I am depriving myself of all the really good food in life.  Like Girl Scout cookies.  I didn't realize when I ordered all 10 boxes that I would be trying to cut back by the time they arrived.  This is for the birds!

Now, wanted to just leave you with a few photos of the remodel we did in our attic.


The old carpet and the "tear out" portion of the redo.

This is the before before... meaning before there was ANYTHING, there was attic.

That gray door was the old attic door.  Now it's a nice four foot opening.

And Liam sleeps in here.  We call it Lego land because it's where he plays Lego.  And his cave where he sleeps! 

More shots of the cave.  I couldn't get far enough away to get a shot all at once.

This is the Lego land portion.  I know it looks like the ceiling is plywood, but it's actually bead board.

Connor's side is decorated in a cowboy theme.  Which came in handy because my dad is a cowboy so we had lots of "props" from his house.  These were his boots when he was a kid.  They are now decor on Connor's bookshelf.  The stuffed shirt (pillow) behind the boots was also my dads as a kid.

These holsters were my dad's.  The horseshoe hook they are hanging on is one my dad made a while back to use as a hat rack for the nursery, but it works out perfectly for a holster hanger too! :)

I bought this old license plate from a junk dealer.  I don't know if you can see it, but there are two little rodeo themed lapel pins on the cowboy pillow.

The curtain that is hung on Connor's bedroom entrance was actually the curtain on my dad's windows when he was a kid.  They are "Roy Rogers".  The hankie that's tied around it was also my dad's.  It's Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.  The little red chair looks so cute in there next to the Rodeo poster.  

As a result of our upstairs redo, there is NO furniture downstairs except for our dining room table.  We moved all the old living room furniture up to what used to be the shared bedroom of the little boys.  Now that their beds are in the former attic, we have a "play room" with a TV and the video games so the adults have reclaimed the downstairs!  Praise be! 

That's the last of the exciting home tour until after the downstairs furniture arrives.  Hope you enjoyed seeing how a big family can cram themselves into EVERY SQUARE INCH of a three bedroom house! :)  I really believe that if we need any more space, we'll either have to move up to the big attic (with the pull down stairs) or we will officially have to get a new house.  :(

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Jack's Room

The albums tacked to his wall were up in our attic.  When we cleaned out the attic, we laughed so hard at all the junk we've kept over the years.  Why?  But turns out that a bass playing boy likes retro album covers as wall art.  :) My Ace Frehley, Loverboy, and Van Halen albums are being enjoyed by another generation... hehehe.  Yes, those hard rockin' albums were mine, not Brian's.

I saw this idea in a magazine for kids furniture and loved it.  Jack had one old skateboard that he didn't use anymore and I purchased a cheap one at the discount store.  It made the perfect space to wrangle all his trophies into a nice organized display.  I painted the little canvas with the guitar on it.  I took a sheet that had been at my grandmothers house and covered a canvas, then I did a guitar on it.  At the time, Jack wasn't playing bass, I should probably do another one with a bass guitar on it.  Sorry the photo is so blurry.

The guitar stand in the foreground is lighted and it looks super cool when the guitar is hanging there.  Plus, it keeps the guitar off the floor.  The blue chair in the background was also at my grandmothers.  I can't believe she had some pretty cool art deco style furniture, but she did! It's really neat, blue velour.  :)

These are the before photos.... the flag came from Brian's cousin in Ireland.  It was hanging in their candy store and they sent it to Jack! :)  But now the flag is looking for a new home.  We're trying to think of something really cool to do with it.  Maybe the ceiling?  

This photo is taken during the process of painting so alot of stuff is already down off the walls, etc.  But the bed WAS on the floor.

The wall was a mess from all the stuff that had been hung and rehung.

I really hated to paint over these cool denim walls, but it made the room look really small.

We still had the stenciling on the walls from when it was a nursery.  "Brush your teeth, say your prayers and kiss your Mama goodnight!"  

Next stop.... the new sleeping space for the little boys.... Have a great Thursday!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tour of Homes

This is probably only of interest to those who have seen my house... but I have a few shots of the work we've been doing around the house.

Remember the aprons?  They are still there, in Meg's room.  These aprons belonged to my two grandmothers.  The lighting is terrible in this photo, but the walls are a soft pink and the tin panel the aprons hang from are pink, cream and green.

This is Meg's bow holder.  It's attached to her closet door, which is covered in a soft green striped toile with pink designs.  

Meg's bed, it looks red in the photo.  I hate this lighting.  It's actually a very nice bright pink color.  This bed was originally brass and belonged to my paternal grandmother and aunt.  When my grandmother died, my aunt was going to throw it out so she asked if I might want it!  :)  Well, yeah! 

Another one of the bed.

This quilt was in the bottom of a box of stuff I got from my Grandmother's house when she died.  I was actually thinking most of the stuff inside was junk, and most of it actually was.  But this quilt and a box of letters from my uncle and my dad when they were in basic training were both inside the box! :)

My mom and her friend pieced and quilted this for Meg.  I love the Holly Hobby type dolls.  I had a quilt on my wall when I was little that my grandmother made me with a very similar theme.  

This was actually also in the box from my Grandmother.  It was a bedspread, but it worked very nicely as a curtain. 

These dolls were the ones the lady gave me at the adoption conference a while back.  Remember the lady who said, "God told me to give these to you"?  Well, these are the Russian mother and daughters that she gave to me.  I love them. They now hang on Meg's door.  

So, that's it.  Meg's room... I'll show my room and Jack's room soon.  Jack's room is the biggest difference right now.  Of course, the two little boys both have new rooms, but it's hard to show you their space because it's so tiny you can't get a photo of it.  But everyone has officially got their own bed in their own floor space and that's priceless.  

Hope you are all having a great Monday night.  

Happy Birthday Vitaly Lubimov!  We love you! 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

I thought I remembered taking some photos of the heart candy in the grass last year.  So I looked back to be sure.... and sure enough, this is proof!  Yes, last year on Valentine's Day, I was outside barefooted!  That's how it's supposed to be,  but tonight we are expecting snow, again.  Sigh!  Is anyone bored to death of me whining about the weather?  I am!

Remember when I felt loved just because my mom came and helped me take down my Christmas tree?  Well, the love has reached a whole new level.  Both the queen mums were here this weekend (mine and Brians.)  I'm not saying that I'm such a slob that they felt sorry for me.  I'm not saying my house was so out of control dirty that I had totally given up on trying to clean it (or ever having it clean again.)  I'm not saying that I called them and whined about it.  But it's something like that.  And these two amazing Mammas met at a halfway point, rode together to my house (about three hours for both of them) and CLEANED all weekend.  And you know what?  Both of them have THANKED me for LETTING them come clean.  And told me how much FUN they had.  Hmmmm, well, if you really insist, and since you had SUCH a great time scrubbing my floors, oven, sinks, toilets, windows, and clothes, then I guess you can come back next weekend! :)

I have a photo of them actually UNDER my kitchen table wiping down the stuff no one ever sees.  I mean, that is something they know I would never do... if no one will see it, what's the point?  :)  I'll share the photo next week when my little camera is charged and ready for download.  But in case you didn't get any loving from your own mom for Valentine's Day, I don't mind forwarding this post to her (just send me her e-mail address) so maybe she'll get some ideas for next years big love fest! :)

Is it sad that after 16 years together, hubs and I did not exchange cards, did not even say, "Happy Valentine's Day" to one another?  What we DID do was go to Wal-Mart last night at 10:00 PM.  Now I am in Wally World 2 x week, at least, but 10 on a Saturday night is a whole different experience.  I have so many questions.  The main one is what on EARTH you would need so badly on a Saturday night at 10:00 that you would drag your kids out at that late hour and subject them to shopping?  My kids were not with me, they were home with grandmothers, but there were ALOT of kids there, very sleepy, whining, crying children.  And I wanted to cry with them/for them!

Happy Valentine's Day, dear peeps!  I wish you a sparkling clean house and so much love!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Does this mean I'm normal?

I have gotten a kick out of Sara Palin this week.  I have laughed as everyone laughed at her, but I have been laughing WITH her.  You see, I write things on my hand all the time.  I don't really think it's that unusual, or maybe it is.  But I personally am prone to forgetting.  Right now, at this very moment, in red Sharpie, it says, "socks, Valentine's, pipe stem" on my left hand.  I mean, you would think that I could remember those three simple things for the next two hours until I get to Wally World, but I might see a chicken in the road and then all would be lost.  I'd spend $80 wandering around the store wondering what the heck I came in there for.

So, I don't want to judge whether or not I'm "normal" by any politician, but just this once, maybe she has brought a little normalcy to what I already considered a very normal thing.

What about you?  Do you write stuff on your hands?  How do you remember what you have to do in a day?  or are you one of THOSE people whose brains just function properly?  Bleck!


That was my original post for the day.  Awe-inspiring, thought-provoking, I know, I know... how do I do it, you must be asking yourself! :)

But then I got this text forwarded to me from Gwen, who copied it straight from Heidi Weimer's FB page.  After I read it, I felt a little flat about my musings of the morning... humph!  I suck!

Preface: I can't say what every person should or should not do nor will I judge a person who doesn't supposedly "get it." That's wrong...

1) Scripture says that if we see someone in need and we have something that would fill their need yet DO NOT fill it, we do not have the love of God in us. [We have a family; orphans don't; we therefore should share with the orphan what we have that they do not.]

2) Scripture says that we must do to others what we would want done to us (or our own biological kids, for that matter). If we were orphaned, we would want to be adopted. Period. Not just visited or taken care of in a group home. Adopted into a family. And we would want the same for our biological kids.

3) Jesus didn't just come to visit us or care for us in our orphaned state; He came to lay down His life to adopt us. James 1:27 uses the phrase "visit orphans." The word "visit" there is the same word used for when Jesus came to "visit" us. He didn't leave us as orphans; He adopted us. He didn't see us in our orphaned state of despair and say, "Oh, poor things...I wish someone would do something about that." No, He adopted us. Changed our futures; our destinies; our families. We are to follow Him and do as He did.

4) How can we not? How can we look at the children in the world without families and say, 'No, not worth it.'? Our lives are not our own. We are called to pick up our crosses and follow Him. Not our own plans or desires or conveniences. Ain't nothin' about this whole "following Jesus" thing that is supposed to be convenient. Ask Jesus if the Cross was "convenient" or glamorous.

So, should every Christian adopt? Well, I like to turn that question on its head...What is a good reason a Christian SHOULDN'T adopt? Most reasons are self-focused if we are really honest with ourselves.

[Obviously, many people are not "fit" to adopt right now, but that is usually due to our own messes we've made with relationships, finances, life choices, etc, and not something put in our way stopping us from adopting.]

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I think it's pretty funny, let me just say right off the bat, that I would be doing a post titled "Culture."  Growing up in the rural South with a graduating class of 77 people, I am probably not the most likely candidate to speak about anything refined.  But when I think about the culture we live in, it seems to me that we are so far off track that there will be no way of going back.

I started to think this morning about our country and the state of things.  And immediately I also was reminded of Sodom and Gomorah.  But God promised that if there was just one righteous person to be found, He would not wipe them from the planet.  I hope that is what will save our country from complete ruin, that there are a few righteous people left here, to spite our current culture.

On Sunday, there was a guest speaker at church and he talked about marriage.  He talked about how many things Christians have embraced and "normed" into our marriages that had pagan origins.  He went through a whole list of things, and I was amazed to see how many things we do as a Christian family that are not Biblically sound.  Down to the wedding march we play at our services!  Can you even fathom it?  We are starting our marriages to the tune of a pagan hymn.  It's no wonder that American marriage institution is in such disarray.

But the saddest thing to me about our culture, and I think this is a world-wide phenomenon, is how little we value life in it's natural state and how much we crave "perfection" (and I put that in quotes because the world culture defines perfection differently than Christ defines it.)

A friend was telling me a story yesterday that has continued to echo in my mind since I heard it.  She and her son and her son's friend, were outs somewhere together.  They passed a little girl and her mother holding hands, walking in the other direction.  My friend's son saw the little girl and said, "Isn't she cute!?"  The boy that was with them said, "You think she is cute?!?"  You see, the little girl had Down Syndrome and my friend's son, who has obviously been taught the beauty of life, not aesthetic beauty, just saw a precious child.  His friend, who has obviously been taught to judge on the standard of what the world defines as beautiful, did not see the precious creation, the adorable little girl, and the spritely spirit of the toddler, he only saw a "defect."  My friend said if they hadn't been in public, she would have squashed the boy!  :)  But I'm sure her words were effective in getting the point across to him.

At any rate, I just think that our "culture" has  become unrefined in the ways of the Lord.  I think we have gotten so far off the right path, that even as Christians sometimes we aren't able to differentiate between true Biblical commands and worldly expectation.  It's hard to know what to believe and where to turn.  I need leadership and mentoring spiritually, but how do you know where to draw the line on what's too much theatrics?  It seems to me that we are so engrossed in today that it's almost impossible to discern what God thinks of all this.

I'm clearly not making much sense. I am jumping from topic to topic, I'm just trying to process so many things right now that I don't hardly know where to start.  And maybe it has something to do with all the snow.  You know, Southerners are not equipped in any way to deal with so much time in the house! :)

Psalm 32:8
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Oh Southern Winter, where art thou?

I live in the South... remember!  What the HECK.... ANOTHER snow day! Grrrrrrr!

It's so bad, I was actually laying in bed, awake, but hoping the kids wouldn't wake up, changing the words to the Justin Timberlake song, SexyBack.  I swear, it went something like this....

Snowy day.... Can I whip them if they misbehave?

I won't bore you with the rest of the horrid lyrics, but I think you get the point that I've been driven over the edge here! HA.... anyone out there?  Please.... leave me a comment.... I need a laugh... say something funny!

Also, here's a photo of Meg in her new Poppy Dip Twirl skirt.  It's way cuter than the snow photos! 

Friday, February 05, 2010

A Favorite Photo Friday

We have had a short-term foster baby in our house this week.  Well, not actually a baby, but my dog is my baby too, so this qualifies in the life of a dog lover.  Anyway.... we have had our very first Labradoodle.  If he is any indication of the breed characteristic, I have fallen TOTALLY in love with him.  This is Jasper (didn't hurt that he was named after a Twilight character either.)

How can you not love a dog that comes into your home and in less than one week, he's sitting in for the bean bag chair?

Seriously, this is one of the most laid back puppies I've ever seen.  I was expecting the worst.  I'm not a huge fan of labs because they often seem totally neurotic and hyper (over breeding) and I figured that this one would be no exception.  Boy was I wrong.  He's a total couch potato.

The whole house has gone to the dogs!  Connor is not naked, by the way, he just has on shorts.  I couldn't make a post about how great Jasper is without a photo of Couch potato number 2.  He might get jealous.  :)

When I called Meg to dinner one night this week, she didn't come.  I went in to fuss at her about coming when I call, even when she is watching Mickey Mouse, and this is what I found! :()  SOOOOO precious!  By the way, I know that her blanket is ratty, and we can actually afford a new one, and she does have two new ones, in fact, but she won't use them.  She prefers the one we gave her the night she left the baby home! :)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Fancy fancy...

Do yourself a favor and don't EVER make this "Fancy Macaroni" from The Pioneer Woman!  Seriously people, I'm telling you, do NOT do it.  Because if you do, you can kiss your size 6's goodbye and start shopping at the big and hefty store.  I know that all things are okay in moderation, but you'll find yourself at the gourmet food store on the other side of town, buying cheeses in bulk specifically with this macaroni in mind.  You'll dream about the various flavor combinations you could create.... would bleu cheese go well with the goat cheese, or should I stick with the Dubliner?  If God eats, I promise this is on the menu in heaven at least once a week!  I mean seriously, if I were God (the world would be a mess, but that's not the point) I would have three cheese macaroni with bacon, and butter, and bacon drippings, and onions and..... every single day of the week.  Cause if I was God, that stuff would be so darn healthy you could thrive on it and broccoli would be fattening and clog your arteries, but again, I'm just sayin'.  But trust me, don't make it!  Okay fine, but I warned you!

And these aren't edited yet, but I couldn't help proving the point that we actually DID get some snow around these parts.... finally.....

The pile of clothes that welcomed guests to my sister-in-law's always tidy and neat home!  Bwahahahaha.... all part of my evil plan to force her to live like we do! hehehe

My GORGEOUS niece, seriously, think Boden is looking for models?  

Liam, little stinker!  This is what he does when I say "smile"...

And last but not least, this is what our little Russian princess thought of the cold snowy sledding experience.  :(

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

No words, just see for yourself....

I can't even do justice if I try to introduce this.  I've tried to think of something adequate to say, but how do you describe something God has done?  This is Melanie Hollis' daughter, she is precious!  And I'm so proud that Lydia is my friend!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Not Me Monday

I do not feel like I was bucked off a bull at the rodeo from all the sledding we did this weekend.

I do not get treated like the maid around here, my children the little royalty, me the faithful servant.  Get me this, get me that, help me with this, bring me that!  Anyone else ready for the snow to melt?

I am not seriously considering renting a very large heat lamp to hold over my city until every street in town is dry and ice free.  I have NOT considered marching my children down the street to the superintendents house and BEGGING him to open school tomorrow.

I have not been chanting a mantra of "melt, melt,  melt" since I woke up! :)

I am not considering just tossing out everything that's not found a home since our remodel.  If it's still sitting around looking for a home, maybe it would like to have another home altogether, right?

I am not going to brave the grocery today (not a good idea in the South after a snow storm in the first place) with all four kiddos because we are.... gasp..... deep breath...... sharp pains in my heart..... out of coffee!  Gasp, choke.... cough.... sniff sniff..... moment of silence!  I know.... HELLLOOOOOOO, has my husband noticed the name of the blog.  Don't you think it's important to say something when you use the last scoop (TWO DAYS AGO) to make the morning coffee..... sniff sniff sniff..... I mean, this is serious error on his part.... does he not fear for the safety of his children, who are on their fourth day of wet snow clothes and "Mom, can you help me get on these layers so I can go out again?" by leaving them here in the house with a coffee-less caffeine addict?  Sheesh!

So, what in the world have you NOT been up to?  Please share your insanity, it'll make me feel better, or maybe worse, but either way, it will be some small connection to the world outside my laundry room!