Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend in Salado... and chair redo

The weekend after we found out about Mom's news, I got to spend the weekend in Salado with my dearest friends from Kaufman, Stefanie (on the right) and Crystal.  We had set it up months ago and, as always, God's timing was perfect.  It was exactly what I needed!  We slept in.  We laughed, we shopped, we cried (every good Girl Weekend has that, right?)....

We tried on awful wigs...

We ate wonderful food.  I just basked in their company.  And we missed Debbie, who couldn't come!  I am so happy here in San Antonio, but I really wish they would move here...

I also refinished some chairs for Kelly.  Here is the before:

And after:

 The chairs were previously black, with white primer underneath.  With chalk paint you don't have to strip anything first, so when you distress and the layers show through, it just adds character.

 Really pleased with the way it turned out!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Redemption Refinishing

This is the China hutch I refinished for my friend Brittany.  I LOVE the way it turned out.  I have decided to open a small business refinishing furniture for people and selling refinished furniture on etsy and craigslist.  I have no qualms about buying furniture, redoing it, and charging what I feel appropriate.  I find it a little trickier deciding what to charge people to refinish what is already theirs.  So, a very wise friend explained that I should do a project for a friend and charge them minimum wage by the hour and that how little I make would give me an idea how much my time and skill are really worth.  So, I love Brittany and I really would have done it for free, but I asked her to pay me minimum wage and this was a very educational experience for me!  I'm definitely worth more than minimum wage...

This mirror was fun to work on because I tried Annie Sloan Chalk Paints.  LOVE Them!  Pricey, but you make up the money because it requires no prep work.  No sanding!  No stripping!  So easy to distress.  I will definitely be using them in the future.
Here it is finished.  I did one coat of Paris Grey topped with two coats of Old White, then distressed and waxed it.
The problem with sanding a piece down that you want distressed is that it takes all the imperfections away that would look awesome once it was distressed.  So this mirror has a lot of character because I didn't have to sand it to make the paint stick.

My business's name is Redemption Refinishing.  A friend came up with the name and I like the idea that I'm taking tired, worn furniture and giving it a new life.  Yesterday I got a tax number, business cards, an etsy shop, and drew up plans for a shed for me to work in.  I have several projects already in line.  I am so excited to have found something I love doing and could actually make money from!  I will share the etsy shop's link when I've posted something for sale on there.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

From the Fire

     Tonight was the prayer vigil for my mom and I would like to wholeheartedly thank all those that prayed for her. Kyle, Chuck, and I have spent the evening praying over her, loving on her, and singing to her.  Just cherishing every minute.   I know I haven't been posting on my blog much about mom, but that is because she is a pretty private person and preferred me not to.  Tonight, however, feels like the time to share my thoughts on her cancer. 
 In Beth Moore's study on Daniel, she presents three different answers to walking through the fire:
  • Scenario A: We can be delivered from the fire. Dividend? Our faith is built.
  • Scenario B: We can be delivered through the fire. Dividend? Our faith is refined.
  • Scenario C: We can be delivered by the fire into His arms. Dividend? Our faith is perfected.
     I know that, in direct answer to our prayers, God can reach down and immediately heal my mom. All glory would go to him, and He is more than able. I believe that with everything that I have. Two weeks ago, a family member and I agreed to pray specifically for disclosure. A prognosis from the doctors, information from my mom, we really wanted a clear answer and everyone on the same page. Just a few days later, our prayer was answered. Information came. I feel a peace about having received an answer and I believe that this time, God's answer is that my dear mom is going to have her faith perfected. She is terminal. I do not believe it will last very long. In fact, having witnessed my dad's decline in health with a 10 month long battle with pancreas cancer, I am absolutely comfortable praying that it won't be long. I don't want her to go!!! I cannot fathom a life without my mama. But how selfish of me to want her suffering to be prolonged so that I can get used to the idea!
     If I am completely honest, I admit that I wasn't very worried about this in the beginning. Concerned, yes. I felt like she was in for a tough battle. But Satan is wily. I am sometimes tricked into thinking I am safe because of what has already happened in my life. As if tragedy is a vaccine! "Got your tragedy shot?" "Check! I'm done." How foolish. But while I sometimes get caught off guard, I know that God is sovereign. His ways are not our ways. Where was I when He laid the foundations of the earth? I know He has a plan. I know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. My mom is looking forward to seeing my dad. To seeing my son. But it is so hard to let her go.
     In some ways, it is truly a blessing to have lost someone before this because I know. I know God will carry me through. I know I won't become a bitter person; I will have joy again. That I can rejoice even in this.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

More Camping Pics

 I snapped a few portraits while camping...
 My awesome mother-in-law, Gloria
 My handsome nephew, Carter
 My fav of him
 Sweet Ruckus Magoo
I am going to use this one as his 2 yr. portrait.  Love it!
Okay, this was not while camping, but I had to share.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oklahoma Camping Trip

We spent a long weekend up in the Oachita mountains of Oklahoma camping with Kyle's family.  With the Stringers, camping means trail riding horses everyday.  I had the best time.  I always really enjoy it, but it used to really take a lot out of me.  This is my first time to do this since my surgery and I felt awesome!  I would get up and hike with Seth and nephew Carter in the mornings and be ready to ride after that.  Blake was just in awe of everything.  He loved every minute.  Seth even rode on his own a couple of times and did really well - just around camp, though.

We actually got to see some fall color!  Can I just say that seeing Kyle on a horse - how well he works with them, not to mention how good he looks - was maybe 30% of why I married him?

 Carlton and Gloria - best in-laws ever!  Carlton bought me my own saddle!!  I love it.  Now, to get a horse... hopefully next year.

Kyle and his mini-me:

Seth burning a stick.  It was really cold the first night.  Well. It was in the 30's that night and that was plenty cold for me.  I live in San Antonio for a reason!  Even Dallas was too cold.  Thank you Auntie Sue for buying us that electric blanket for our wedding that we didn't register for, it has been used countless times.

Kyle's sister Kali has a miniature horse named Puddin'.  Oh. My.  The boys were in love.  Blake and Cullen were always on him.  Seth was a little big.

Any time you would go to get Cullen off, he would lean away and yell "Don't get me off!  Don't get me off!"   He would have slept there if possible.  By the way, don't you just love slack little baby muscles?  So cute.  I could just eat him.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pedernales Falls Camping trip

First off, we went camping with our friends the Pattisons at Pedernales Falls State Park.  It was gorgeous!!  Even during extreme drought, when the falls aren't even flowing, there are still huge deep gorgeous pools of water that they inexplicably won't let you swim in.

You'll have to excuse different styles of the same photo.  I am having so much fun with Photoshop Elements.  For those of you who have Photoshop, or Elements are you aware of the FREE actions Pioneer Woman and Coffeeshop Blog offer?  They are amazing!  I have had and enjoyed PW's actions since last year, but I just downloaded about 15 actions off of Coffeeshop blog and am having fun playing around with them.

love the lens flare sunkissed look!

The falls from higher up

Do not be too harsh on our looks in this photo!  We have on no makeup and we all slept pretty horribly.    
We borrowed my parents tent since Leni and Nate don't have one, but we neglected to borrow tent poles.  So, Leni and I slept in the tent with all the kids.  Oh, did I mention I forgot a fan?  So hot.  Barely slept.  Cullen kept waking up b/c he was too hot also.  The men slept outside.  Preston and Seth slept in the trailer and when they woke up they woke Kyle up to tell them they were going on a bike ride.  Kyle looked at his watch b/c it was still dark and it was 3:45!!  They went back to bed.  Even without much sleep we had a wonderful time. We hiked and swam and listened to Nate play the guitar .
Cullen and Ruby mugging down. - PW's Lovely action

Sunkissed action from Coffeeshop

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blake's 4th Birthday

 Blake's 4th birthday was August 20th and for the first time ever I actually paid to have it someplace because it was just so hot!!  We had it at a gymnastics place and it was awesome!  I only wished I had been a little better healed up so I could goof off in the foam pit and on the trampoline too.  He wanted a "friend lion" for a cake so this is what we came up with.  Definitely not in the same league as previous cakes, but he loved it.  I cannot begin to express how much I love that little boy.  He is my little mirror for sure!  He of all the boys is the most like me and I get a glimpse of what I must have been like: affectionate, sweet, stubborn, a very slow eater, and messy.  Hmmm, maybe I'm still like that?

 Friggs on his first day of school.  He is at a new school and in second grade.  He is quite outgoing so he's made several friends already and likes his teacher.
I cannot keep this kid out of the spaghetti noodles!  Always worth getting in trouble over and climbing pantry shelves for.  Pick your battles, dude.
This is the Ruckus Magoo.  We have phased out calling him Nutters.  I'm not saying this is any better.  Ruckus Magoo has several songs that go with his nickname.  One song is to the tune of "The Princess Pat."  Anybody remember that one?  Blake has a song based on Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" but it's "Potentate"  Does anyone else do this?  My poor children are growing up with a skewed sense of normal...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What's More Fun Than Dirt?

Mud, of course! Of course it hasn't rained, but the boys made their own mud next to their little pool.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dirt and Other Fun Things

What's fun? Sittin' in the dirt...
I already posted this on facebook so I won't retell the whole story, but in a nutshell, the boys climbed their bookshelf, made it snow, then went to sleep in a blue wonderland. Clean up time with shop vac: 2.5 hours.
Who doesn't love a little filth?

Saving a snack for later...
Who needs paper?