The Nightstand

Since I have been staying home with my son, I finally am getting around to making our house a home (since I am here looking at it all day!) I’ve been trying to do small things that make a big difference and when I look at them, I smile. This is definitely  one of those projects!

So there is a color that is called fushia or berry (and a multitude of other things), but I love it. I have a tendency to gravitate towards this color and purples. I don’t know what it is. But I love it.

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I bought this small dresser last spring for $10 at a garage sale.  SAMSUNG

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So I…

Wiped clean, repaired the broken drawer track, sanded, applied wood filler to holes and dents, sanded again but with fine grit, primed (2 coats), painted (3 coats), and poly-coated (2 coats). Whew!!

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The specifics on the paint color: I started out with the above color then decided to go one shade darker in Benjamin Moore’s Summer Plum. ACE Hardware has 1 pint paint samples for around $5 and it was more than enough for this project. I also used Glidden’s Gripper Grey Latex Primer (I had it from the door project) along with Minwax Polycrylic in Satin.

But it was all worth it now that I have this!

IMG_3356I really liked the shape of the original hardware, but didn’t decide until it was finished if I should leave them as is. I think it adds to the character for them not to be all brass and shine. I was missing a pull to start with and then another was corroded. I am going to look for some small crystal drawer knobs.

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IMG_3362 Nice smooth top!

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I even went the extra mile for myself and lined the drawers with wrapping paper I bought 4 years ago. Apparently, I liked it so much, no one was worthy to recieve a gift in it and it has sat unopened. Seize the day, right?

One last look… before AND AFTER!

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I love it and it was so worth having my alarm clock, water cup and my glasses on the floor at night for a week!

 

UPDATE 6 Mar 2013: I got the knobs for it!

 

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Learning to love in action

Sydney Smith mistake quote

I think that if God told us what His plans were before we were ready to hear them, we would just nervously giggle in disbelief and fear. He is so kind to call us into this fostering adventure ever-so gently.

As of now, we have completed all the requirements and are just waiting for my fingerprints to come back to start Emergency Foster Care. We will provide temporary, short-term care for children aged 0-2 who whould otherwise be in the shelter while waiting for a foster family, typically 30 days or less.

A few peope have asked how we started this. It was actually a series of events that led us to pursue foster care:

  • We’ve always talked about adopting. We don’t know how many or when, but it’s always been something we knew would happen. This opened our minds for the idea of loving other people’s children as our own. We still want to grow our family through adoption, but all in God’s timing…
  • Jason and I took a “spiritual gifts” test when we were first married. We were both surprised that “hospitality” topped both our lists.  It made sense, but we never realized the similarity and had no idea what that meant besides liking people to come over and hang out.

Fast forward to this past year…

  • I heard the statistics of how many children are in foster care and how many of them stay FOR MONTHS in the shelters since there are not enough homes for them. This broke my heart and although we thought doing foster care was not for us at this time in our lives, I started volunteering with a private, Christian agency called Lilyfield. I was on an email list that was called upon to make meals for families who had a new placement or when the agency was having a training. I felt that for something I was passionate about,  I could at least be involved and support the cause.
  • Being involved led me to learning about respite care. It is essentially certified babysitting for those who have foster children in their home. This sounded like a good idea, something we could be involved with, but still in a support role. Respite care providers are fully certified foster homes, but care for children who are already placed when their foster family chooses not to take them on a trip or just need a break. It typically ranges from overnight to a week.
  • My friend Heather, who is stationed in Japan, came back to Oklahoma for a two week duty and couldn’t leave behind her little 11 month old sweetness, Eva. I watched her, along with my 17 month old, during the day while Heather worked.

2012 06 20 Nathaniel Eva Bath

  • They had fun together and I gained the confidence to know I could at the very LEAST keep two children alive. :o)
  • Some friends were expecting a baby and were having a hard time arranging for childcare between her maternity leave and their daycare slot opening up. After looking at our schedule & our capabilities, we decided there was no reason we couldn’t help them.  Not only did a space open up for them,  but my eyes were opened to the fact that there was no reason why we weren’t pursuing our passion “to defend the cause of the fatherless” in full throttle.

true love in action edited

This verse jumped out to me like lightning: “Let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and truth.” 1 John 3:18.

We knew this is what “loving with actions” was to OUR  family and the time was now.

I know it is going to be hard and it will hurt. But I can do something. Even if that something is loving on a child that I don’t know and won’t see again. I’ll have to wait for heaven to see if I made a difference in someone’s life. We will have to depend on Him to fill our tanks back up, ’cause boy, I can forsee some hard times.  We are holding onto the promise that He is our strength and with Him all things are possible, including enduring things for the benefit of His kingdom.

Under the Pinnacle Plan, Okahoma recently has removed all infants and toddlers under 2 from the shelters. There are studies proving how permanently damaging shelter life can be to children that young, as they don’t have the opportunity to bond and learn from a primary caregiver. In June 2013, that age will go up to 6. There are plenty of kids of all ages that need someone to provide for their basic needs, along with love and patience.

What grips you? What breaks your heart? What compels you? If you do anything this year, act out the love you verbalize. Don’t talk about it. Show the world what love looks like. Get involved in something.

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 5:19

If your heart wrenches for traumatized children put in situations beyond their control, here is more information on becoming a foster parent:

There is a Foster Care & Adoption Workshop on Sunday, January 13 at 2pm at the Lifechurch.tv Edmond Campus. To RSVP, please email Brenda at brenda.allison@lifechurch.tv.

www.okbridgeresource.com

http://www.lilyfield.org/foster-care

NEWSOK Article on recent changes to age limitations in shelters

DIY Corkboard Map

My sweet brother-in-law travels for work and mentioned that he would like to find a state map to track where he’s visited.

After seeing this from Design Sponge on Pinterest, I was inspired to try my hand at something similar.

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You’ll need:

  • A corkboard whatever size you want. Mine was 29″ x 35″  from Hobby Lobby ($12.99) and I used a 40% weekly coupon.
  • Map printable. Mine was from http://www.mrprintables.com/printable-map-of-the-united-states.html. I blew it up at Kinkos and it cost under $10 if I remember correctly (this is why one shouldn’t wait 3 months to post about a project!)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil/Pen
  • Paint pen
  • Craft paint for water (if you so desire…)

Cut out the map.

Tack it to the corkboard and trace it with a pen or pencil. I used a pen because I’m just daring like that (and ahem… a ball point pen may roll easier across the cork than a pencil.)

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Hawaii ended up being like interpretive art. Those islands are tricky! I went ahead and used the paint pen to trace the lines since I hadn’t gone to Kinkos yet.

Now this next part can probably be done several different ways, but this is what made the most sense to me.

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I cut up the map, then tacked it back down on one side and traced up the line.

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I cut out a state, traced the negative space around it and continued over the whole country. In this picture, I cut out Mississippi, traced it, then cut out Louisiana, then Florida and made my way north.

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Yeah! All my states are there!

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Trace the states with the paint pen.

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I decided it needed a little something, so I used some watered-down acrylic craft paint to make a “wash.” It was very subtle and I liked it.

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 I also wanted to add some sort of compass. I found one on Google images that I liked and just sorta free handed it with a ruler, a small lid and with pencil (this is where my bravery ends!) It’s not the best, but it totally worked for me!

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The finished project! Happy Birthday Chas!

The Pergola

It’s been busy around here and the Mister is ready for these projects to be finished. I don’t have the heart to tell him that I mentally add to the list. Every. Single. Day. And his assistance will nearly ALWAYS be required in some way, shape, or form.

Let’s go back a few months and talk about pergolas.

Pergolas? Yes, pergolas. They are big. They are beautiful. They are expensive. And I wanted one.

With a limited budget and time on my hands, I did some research and discovered Ana White’s site. She has tons of plans for almost anything you could want to build.

And she just happened to have a pergola.

See?! Isn’t it lovely?! And it just happened to be the perfect size for our space! Speaking of which… let’s take a look.

This is what we started with. We own a townhouse and have one of the larger yards on our street.  So we’ve got a piney-tree, electric box thingy, and mystery branchiness at the base of the fence.

Another view. Don’t be decieved. That greenery is nothing but weeds and decomposed pine needles.

Just a few steps in this lengthy process… After we cut down the tree, we had a nice stump. Room for a pergola, notsomuch a patio.

 

A friend came and removed the stump with a scary piece of equipment that would make me shudder if I was a stump.

But now we have a hole. Guess we have to till the ground some we can make space for the bricks…

This process totally reminds me of the old lady that swallowed a fly… then a spider… then a bird.

Then we (and to clarify, but “we” I mostly mean the Mister and sometimes Mister’s brother) dug some big holes with an auger, and set the posts. (Dear future auger-operators out there, If you need an 8″ diameter hole, get a 6″ auger. It moves around ALOT. Sincerely, the people with a 10″ diamter hole) Big thanks to Doug Reeves with GRA Services SecureSet. It’s a nifty thing that replaces cement for setting posts. See this YouTube video for more info.

We learned before we started the dormant plant growing near the fence was wisteria! *SwoonySigh* Can a pergola GET any better?! I can’t wait until this is finished! We’re getting so close!

*Screeching halt* AAANNNNNDDDD….. it sat there for awhile. Life got in the way. Who knew in 2 months you could grow a mystery weed that is over 5 feet tall!?  And other wonderful projects weasled their way in. My parents came from Texas to visit and give my guys a lesson on how to tile. Nothing like starting another big project while the other is halfway complete. Let’s get back to it!

     

Top goes up and cross beams are layed. Mountain is mowed and moved. Now it’s time for some patio. We used bricks we already had and had to mix two types. Not how I would have chosen to do it had we had an unlimited budget, but it works.

 

Alright! Let’s lay some sod! You know, because 107 degrees out is the very best time of the year to plant grass. :o)

Thankfully it survived and we learned how important it is the get the ground really level or some of your grass will drown.

We spent a few days training the wisteria. It’s making its way across, but really isn’t the most obedient of plants.

And a nice blurry side view of the finished patio. And after 4 months of this dragging out, it was done just in time to host some family fun making s’mores!

One of my favorite things about this project is how nice it is to use every day (well, early in the morning during these Oklahoma summers!) This is one of my favorite things to see when I look out there. The guys love being outside and it is such a great place to enjoy some fresh air!

And some water!

New Blog!

Thanks for checking out our new blog! I am planning on posting on a variety of subjects like what’s going on in our lives, projects I am working on, and probably a bunch of random stuff in between. Bear with me while I figure all this out and welcome!