Saturday, May 23, 2009

Great Video for Design Inspiration

After coming home from a garden/graduation party, we found two worn wicker chairs sitting on the curb near our house. We've taken them in to refurbish and reuse. But the challenge ahead is, Hwat color should we paint them? We looked for inspiration at one of our favorite painted wicker websites, Maine Cottage - ok, so it was the only site I know of with painted wicker without googling it.

Found this - Here are some wonderful images, colors and words from a designer at Maine Cottage

ENJOY!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

doll house

i found this article and pic on a new found site called ohdeedoh from apartment therapy. i did this in my room when i was a little girl. it was where i kept all of my sylvanian families. i can't wait to have a place like this one day for the girls!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

my babies

before i turn in for the night i want to post about my kids. i love them. they rock. each one is awesome. each one exudes energy and spirit, different from their siblings. this afternoon out in the backyard, there was rhysie, on her own "stage," with a song on her lips; blaise bouncing on my lap, having found his voice, practicing his oratory; ransom, running around chasing a friend with a pool noodle, making loud, boisterous noises as only little boys do; and kyrie, my nature girl, building a home for her pet slug, "slimey."

these last few days, i have been trying to savor the hugs and kisses. be in the moments i am nursing blaise, my last babe. this season of life, when they are my chicks, in our nest, safe from the world, is full, sometimes to overflowing, but it is coming to an end. i linger with my snugglies and sit a little bit longer in the rocking chair with a satisfied baby. my favorite quiet space is the boys' room. when they are sleeping, and all is at rest. i love what soule mama wrote just recently about her fourth babe. so what i am trying to say here in this place is that i am enjoying this time. i am endeavoring to remember that they won't be little forever and i am content in my circumstance of being their mama, their comforter, their nurturer. thank you Lord for this great pleasure.

new babies

i just found out my friend alston is expecting a baby (her third)!! i feel like everyone i know is having a baby - well, not everyone but you get the point. please check out her company b.wise papers. she is so so creative and talented. and she is an amazing mama to two adorable boys (+ babe).

with the list of expectant mama-friends i need to get some gifts out to the mail! what fun - i get to play the stork!

Monday, May 18, 2009

books on the brain::location & content

i am a reader. my husband is a reader. my children are readers (or at least 1 out of 4 read now!) so i think i need to include in this little chronicle of mine, the books i read or want to read this year. its good to see progress.

books we read shape who we are as people. this idea is a heavy one because it means we have a responsibility: to God, to our hearts and to our neighbor, for what we bring in to our minds. i want to have books that are character builders. not only goes for myself but also for our children. simple mom has a great post (read towards the end) about books in the home. as i was thinking about where we wanted to put our books in our new digs, it got me thinking about what we are reading, what our kids are reading and how location and content can ultimately mold the moral and creative imagination of our littles. now we just have to find a good set of like bookshelves to create this space (the ones we currently have are not tall enough, thus they take up way too much space - Lord, can i have built-ins? sigh.)

book list 2009:

reading:

john adams by david maculah
tipping point and outliers by malcom gladwell
the great omission by dallas willard
book of john in the bible
the blessing by john trent, ph.d. & gary smalley
9 o'clock in the morning by dennis bennett

want to read:

(re-read) animal, vegetable, miracle by barbara kingsolver
90 minutes in heaven by don piper with cecil murphey
a grief observed by c.s. lewis
orthodoxy by g.k. chesterton
the idea of a university by cardinal newman
the omnivores dilemma by michael pollan

completed:

a tree grows in brooklyn by betty smith

simple mom's top 10 twaddle free children's books:

1. madeline by ludwig bemelmans
2. best friends for frances by russell hoban
3. ferdinand by munro leaf
4. frog and toad are friends by arnold lobel
5. george and martha by james marshall
6. make way for ducklings by roberty mccloskey
7. winnie-the-pooh by a.a. milne
8. if you give a mouse a cookie by laura numberoff
9. alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day by judith viorst
10. lyle, lyle crocodile by bernard waber

Sunday, May 17, 2009

creating a haven

i have been back for a few days - what a wonderful rest for the mama! & a special time to be with family celebrating grandma's life here. this time away in california meant that i was not able to stick with tsh and the simple mom cleaning party. so i am going to start slugging it out again -starting with our bedroom. since we will most likely be out of our current digs by october (we find out in july), our wish list for the new home is growing and intentional. i am going to continue to add to it so that i can have specifics to bring to the lord in prayer (my mom encouraged me to do this!)

we were discussing our bedroom this afternoon - how its not really what we want - i.e. cluttered, hodge podge, disorganized ... you get the point. what is it that we want? we want it to be a haven for our marriage, a place to retreat with minimal "stuff," a quiet place to rest without "the other" chaos of our home. i absolutely love the tips mandi shares at organizing your way. tsh at simple mom has some wonderful suggestions and just overall practical mantras for making this special room, what it is - SPECIAL. so this week (along with clearing off surfaces for the cleaning lady) i will be working on our room and closet. bear with me as i do an abridged version - i am plugging along, just a bit more slowly.

if you haven't checked out any of the pictures that tsh posts - they are SO encouraging. its kind of funny because we have a lot of the same furniture she does from ikea!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

family connections

i have been in california since last friday for my family. my grandmother passed away last monday. she had been ill for 4 1/2 years since she had a stroke. i was able to fly out with just baby blaise for a little time away from our life on the east coast to be a support. thanks to my dear husband, his parents and our babysitters, i was able to go to the funeral.

my grandmother and i were not close. i wish that we had been. but one thing i know is that she was a really wonderful person. she was an artist, a sculptor. she was an italian american. born in brooklyn to immigrant parents. she was a war bride. she was a mother of three. she was so many things that i am now. its funny, that when you begin to focus on someone's life, and what they did, who they were, there is this an amazing connection that you can have -- you begin to discover why you are the way you are. i am going home tomorrow and i go home with a stronger, more unique identity, ties to my grandmother and my auntie that i am so proud to have.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

life

yesterday i did not party with you'll in my cleaning spree b/c i had to get to the doctor's office for a quick visit. my grandmother passed away monday. so i am taking the baby and flying back to california for a few days. dear husband is staying with the kids, with the help of our wonderful babysitters and my incredible in-laws. (thank you!!) i was running around getting errands done before my trip, so there was no time to work on the home. but when i get back i will just resume where i left off! i am really looking forward to it. this system is so stressfree, it seems. maybe part of that is the house is already spotless. no dustbunnies, no dust. period! but i won't have bragging rights (as you all will) that i, myself, cleaned the entire house from top to bottom!

so life happens. and death too. my grandma june was in her mid-eighties and had been going downhill since a stroke about four years ago. she is with the lord and no longer held back by this world. she was an amazing artist (sculptures) and i know that i have a lot of her qualities, as well as favoring her (looks wise). we weren't as close as i had hoped to be with her. but i know that she loved me and prayed for me. if i can find it i will post the poem i wrote and recited for a grandparent's day event at my elementary school. i will also try and find a picture to post of she and i.

please do pray for my dad and his siblings especially. (my grandfather has already passed on). thank you!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

easter 2009

after church

easter basket goodies



portuguese easter bread


holztiger figurines courtesy little bits



blaise with his new hat knit by grams



graham with blaise



my easter bunny 8 mo.
i wanted to share some of our easter with you'll. we had a wonderful weekend with friends. tommy and amy lowe were in town, along with the some other navy friends, the betz' (formerly jess morris with new hubby ryan). church was wonderful. awe can remember the sacrifice that our savior made for us and the victory we have in his resurrection.
oh death where is thy victory, oh death where is thy sting?


the reason for a clean home ...

i love this quote from simplemom.net in today's post:

We clean our homes because it's sanitary, because it's enjoyable to live in a clean space, and because when our haven is organized and neat, we're able to focus on the things that really matter to us - like relationships.

facilitating real relationships and fostering a loving home, through hospitality is one of my heart's desires. this is a topic i plan to explore more at greater thing. does anyone have any resources to share a theology of the home?

day two: get out of the way of the professionals!


before.

before.


before.


today it was raining and damp here in newport, so it made for a bit of a challenge with the kids. i knew that i had to take rhys to preschool and that rosangela was coming at 11:30am to clean the house. in between, we were running over to my friend's home for a quick rainy day playdate. i was trying to figure out what we were going to do outside the home all afternoon (during when the boys are usually down for their naps and the girls and i get our quiet times). but another girlfriend (who has come over with her kids when her house was being cleaned) let us crash for a few hours. it was not until almost 5pm that i got a call from rosangela!! they had just finished.

yep folks: 11:30am to 4:45pm they cleaned, non-stop. and the house was amazing. AHHHH-MAAAA-ZZZING! it smelled so fresh and clean. god bless her!! it was a two-women job. that means if i had tried to do what they did it would have taken me at least 10 hours and probablylonger without a "system" and even longer had i had the kids with me, underfoot.

because of yesterday's clean sweep i have two tasks for tomorrow. one: make use of the "sell" and "give" boxes; and two: declutter all of the drawers and baskets that i stuffed full of junk that i "swept" off of the surfaces! its most likely going to continue raining here, so its a perfect day to do this. i will be modifying the spring cleaning party list to fit our home and pictures will be included. also ...
the spring clean party will go on a little longer here in our home b/c i will be heading out to california on friday for my grandmother's funeral. i am sure with jet lag and such i won't get back in to the party groove until next weekend. i am really enjoying this event so far and i think each time i come in to a space that has been cleared up and decluttered, my soul feels a little less burdened. clean, free, at peace, calm, zen-life.
today tsh at simplemom.net posted a very inspiring thought that sums up my feelings:
And the most important goal to spring cleaning in ten days? Decluttering. Getting rid of stuff. Saying goodbye to those things that are clogging your living spaces, and therefore causing visual stress.
When you have only what you need or love, it’s so much easier to clean - cleaning those surfaces several times a day isn’t as big a deal, because there’s not much stuff to begin with.
I encourage you to focus on getting rid of stuff. Make a hard-and-fast decision to kick out those things you don’t need or love. It sounds painful, but once you get into it, it’s cathartic, refreshing, and even fun.

Monday, May 4, 2009

join the cleaning party!

today i have headed over to simplemom.net to join the spring cleaning party. kind of reminds me of the folding parties my mom would have us kids do together (you know, folding the dreaded mountain of clean clothes!) but this will be way more fun!

i have hired a cleaning woman to come every two weeks to help me out. with four little ones under 5 1/2 and not getting the sleep i need b/c baby blaise is cutting teeth, and also being buried under the immense loads of laundry and piles of dishes -- i know when i need to call in the reinforcements.

but that means i have to prep the house for her. which is where this spring cleaning is coming in handy. plus who knows when we will be moving to our next duty station - so i need to start now with the decluttering. it will be a segway into my quest for more order and organization in our crazy home.

more on this later ... for now i am off with my two boxes for the "sell" and "give" stuff ... i will have a few pics of before and after (hopefully!)