Archive for July, 2012

Raising Adults, not Children

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Harry and I have been trying hard lately to stop telling the boys (mostly the twins) to “do this”, “stop that!” to things they know better for.  We have simply started asking them, “Are you making a good choice right now?” They will stop and think about what they are doing, and look at us knowing the answer is inevitably “No” and quit their fighting, bickering, banging on pots and pans etc and move on.  It is helping them to start to evaluate their own actions and make good choices.  We are however raising adults that will one day need to know how to make good choices.

Many amazing things have happened to us since moving to Greenville, without a doubt I know we are supposed to be here.  Something huge is on the horizon for us.  On three separate occasions we had strangers lead us to an amazing Catholic Church near downtown Greenville, led by the Franciscan Friars.  The priest there has been very successful at helping the poor in the immediate area, he is building a school and a convent as well.  We all have heard the call to help in any way we can.  So today we got started, I took the boys to Costco and after signing up for our new membership had them each pick out something special they think a child their age would like.  Along with a list of needed items we packed up our car and they helped me load up the food pantry at church.  They were all so excited to help and understood that today was about giving and not getting.  We decided to put this family activity on our monthly to-do list and keep it up.

So for their hard work we headed home to make some homemade popsicles

We used pear slices to add to the Zoku maker to make fun faces.

This was suppose to be a cat, but had a mind of it’s own

And for those of you that have a Zoku maker, I kinda cheated but unfrozen freezer pops work great…and super easy

St. Paul

Monday, July 16th, 2012

The letters of St. Paul to the Corinthians are so amazing to me especially since no matter how many time I read them something new pops out, and it is so awesome how God talks to us.  I am a big fan of Fr. John Riccardo, a priest I found years ago who posts all his homilies and talks online for free.  It is a great Catholic resource and is better than watching re-runs of whatever is on tv.

This link is a direct download from last weeks homily based off a Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 12: 7-10


“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I need to keep this quote close to my heart.

Update:  For those who have requested a link to the rest of Fr. John Riccardos talks…

Taming the Wild

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

One of the major selling points of our new home was the yard.  The established trees, shrubs and hidden pathways through out the property had me sold before we ever looked at the house.  We don’t have to buy anything plant-wise for this place there is enough stuff that we can separate or rearrange.  There are little surprises everywhere.  Taming however is going to be hardwork.  I suddenly realized the old saying, “A gardeners work is never done” is overwhelmingly true.  But I love it all none the less.

(Jonah being a big tree)

So after many plans and unpacking inside has come to a halt we are finally able to stick our hands in the ground, pull some weeds and tame our wild yard….one very small section at a time.

Out our kitchen door you step onto the deck.  The large holly although beautiful I thought we should try to trim it up like a mushroom instead of a huge rounded off bush.

(Inspiration Photo)

My inspiration came from a picture I found on Pinterest of what looks like a holly bush trimmed in the shape of a mushroom (on the right side of the image)

Here is a before and after…

We need to find a smaller gnome for the garden….I kid, I kid.  Yes Harry went in, head first.

I did manage to get a few herbs (near the red mushrooms) into one of the few sunny spots in the yard a couple weeks ago.  The basil is loving it.

We found not one but two little bird nests which we left undisturbed.  Even birds don’t like being evicted. Unless you are a yellow jacket, please leave our yard!  They make their nests underground so you have no idea where they will come up.  They are aggressive little ones and will call all their friends to move you out their turf if they feel threatened.  Anyone have experience with these?  Suggestions?

I had been eyeing these umbrellas from Academy for weeks now, it’s a nice burst of color for our deck.

So here is just a little start of our very big yard project, one weed removed, limb chopped and leave raked at a time.

We found a big patch of (what I think are) lazy eyed Susan’s, They are a nice gift from our yard!

Master Bedroom (Progress)

Friday, July 13th, 2012

There is a children’s book called “The Napping House” I think of every time I go to bed here in our new place.  It is the best bedroom for sleeping….or napping.  The AC kicks on loud and cold, and both windows look out onto trees so it is like we are sleeping in the treetops.  I kept our decor simple.  I’m not a big fan of flowers on the bed or pink or rosy colors in the bedroom.  Just doesn’t seem right for Harry to be sleeping in a bed of flowers. Thankfully he agrees. Our room has a slight beachy feel to it.  I love the yellow duvet cover from West Elm, The dove/peacock pillow cover and the basket over the bed are also from there.  The dust ruffle is temporary and doesn’t match.  The two lamps are a score years ago from JC Penny.  I have my grandparents hope chest with a sheep skin rug my sister brought home for me from Ireland.

The art over the dresser is a DIY from yours truly.

It is a bright splash of color in the room.  Everything is a work in progress as I think I might white wash over it to tone it down a bit…still not sure.

We or maybe I should say that I am in decision making process of upgrading our queen size bed to a king.  It has never felt big enough especially with kids that join us in the middle of the night. Upon moving in, our queen size box spring would not fit up the stair case causing us to go buy a two piece box-spring.  That started the conversation.  Then when the bed broke in half the other night…that continued the conversation.  However, Harry fixed it.  It won’t break and doesn’t need to be moved (that is what I get for marrying an engineer)….except down the hall to serve as our guest bed.  So I have high hopes that a king, not Elvis, will soon be residing in our home.

So my dilemma will then be whether I a) change the yellow out with something new or b) buy the yellow in a king size.

My back up choice would be this duvet (also from West Elm) that caught my eye.  However after looking it at for a while I started to see what resembled a bird face in the design.  I love the pattern but instead of flowers I would be thinking of Portlandia’s “Put a Bird On It”….

I’m up for suggestions!

A Better Handle

Monday, July 9th, 2012

A better handle on our hardware in our house, I could not live with the gold for much longer not to mention all of the doors looked like someone was making a mad dash to to get into said room (especially the bathroom).  We have lots of interior doors and I knew I could not buy all new hardware.

So, I painted it! I removed all the bling…

Then I used steal wool followed by a Deglosser to get any further residue off of the handles

Then on to my new favorite spray paint.  We refinished our previous homes front door and used this same technique to polish up our old front door hardware.  After living with it for several months and seeing how durable it was (especially it being an exterior handle) we knew this would work in the house too.  And at a whopping $6.00 a can (for the whole house) vs spending $10.00 each on new interior hardware it was a no brainer.  I hope we can get by with it for at least a couple years.  We’ll see how well it holds up against the boys.

I mounted all the hardware on a big piece of cardboard courtesy of our furniture boxes from Ikea…

And after living with it for over two weeks now…I love it!  It makes such a difference in the house.

Pie Face

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

J-Man is really into cooking or baking, he is my big helper these days.  He snuck a box of pudding out of the pantry and decided he wanted to make something so we whipped up a quick chocolate pie…

Don’t mind his knees, he is outside running ALL the time too, falls gets back up and is off again.  Just being a boy.

He may just be helping to lick the bowl and spoon afterwards….

Showing off his clean face…

Hugs to everyone!