Archives for December 2007

That new room

I’ve been pokey at sharing pictures of the boys’ room, because first of all the trim work is not 100% done, and second, each time I go up there it looks like, well, a kids room—not super-neat. SO finally I just decided I’d share these pictures that I took the day they moved in, and if I actually get that ‘perfect’ DONE AND CLEAN picture later, I’ll share that too.

It is teeny, but in a fun cozy way. The boys love it. I can’t believe how much storage space there is under the beds! The first picture is taken from above. The door is to the left, next to the plaid bed, and on the far wall you can see the adorable window my husband installed. The room also gets light from a skylight and a window in the family room, both of which are high enough to peek over the 3/4 wall of the new room. I really like the airy feel that the 3/4 wall gives the bedroom. The wall is 7 feet, but the ceiling in the room goes up to 12 feet at the peak.

This second picture shows the view of the room from the window-bed. You can see the way the wall doesn’t go quite all the way to the ceiling. You can also see the cute little halogen touch lights that the boys have over their beds for reading. You may also be able to see the really cool paneling we put around the room. It gives the room a fun, rustic feel, and I was excited at how nice the pictures looked against the ‘plank’ look of the walls. It’ll be even better with all the trim done. I’ll try to remember to show you a final picture later.

Oh, and yes, the big shebang for which I need the fancy dress IS a New Years thing. I will share details and pictures after I get back tomorrow. I found some cute shoes, and this afternoon a dear friend brought me her whole jewelry box from which to choose. Too fun!!!!

What Christmas looked like

Checking out the biggest package on the heap

Sitting amid the chaos

Basking in the glory of finally getting the princess tent that Santa forgot last year

How can you not love a man who….

…when you sit down to watch “The Italian Job” with your teenagers, he tells the kids, “Mom’s sister is in this movie.”

And he means Charlize Theron.

And, bless the man, he seriously sees a resemblance.


…to think about.

The Dress

So I paid for upgraded shipping and impetuously got TWO of the dresses shipped to my house — the Target one and the Coldwater Creek one. (As cute as the Overstock dress was, I just wasn’t feeling the love for the bare halter thing.) They both arrived on Christmas Eve– Merry Christmas to me!

Well, Target won easily. The Coldwater Creek dress was lumpy around the waist, whereas the Target dress flowed in the most flattering sort of way. It also is just a tad more daring than the Coldwater Creek one, which I liked for the evening we have planned. However I’m now trying to decide which of my beautiful Ethiopian scarves I’m going to use for a shawl. I have one in terracotta, one in sky blue, and one in a deep chocolate shot with green.

And jewelry….I need jewelry….hmmm…..time to raid my sisters’ jewelry stashes, I think..maybe Bek would have something glamorous and dangly….. (broad hint).

And shoes….something good for dancing…but elegant. I have black high-heeled sandals but my feet will die. Can I soldier thru? Silver would be gorgeous, since I am leaning towards dangly silver jewelry. But then I’d have to buy something…

Hmmm….thinking, thinking.

One thing I just have to mention: both Target and Coldwater Creek have easy return policies. Target lets you print off a prepaid mailing label (not that I’ll need it — that dress is sweet!) And Coldwater Creek lets you walk in to any Coldwater Creek store and drop off your return. I was all psyched to have to pay return shipping, so I was delighted to see that wasn’t needed…


I just had to show you the sweet gift that our kids from Grandma. She came to our house with the back of her car packed with pillows– a new one for each child. And then she presented each child with a new pillow case. Aren’t these just the cutest pillows you’ve ever seen in your life? This gift touched me on two levels. First of all, she took the time to make each child something special. And second, she made each pillow case one of a kind. Just like my precious kids.

I am off to play with my family. I’ll be back after Christmas to tell you about the dress, and to show you pictures of our boys’ new room. It turned out just adorable!

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Forgotten At Christmas

Alan Riley

My father was born on this day- December 22. For his entire life, he was always getting “combination” presents – birthday and Christmas. Every year on his birthday, there weren’t balloons and birthday streamers. His birthday decorations were Christmas trees, Christmas lights and Santa Claus stuff. When he did get a separate present for Christmas, chances are it would be wrapped with… you guessed it- Christmas paper.

I remember him telling me how as a child he couldn’t help but feel a little cheated. People were so busy celebrating Christmas that his birthday got overlooked.

A couple of years ago, I saw a cartoon in the Atlanta paper that really touched my heart and made me think. It was drawn by Mike Luckovich, the Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. It showed a little girl with a birthday hat on standing in the middle of a sea of gaudy Christmas decorations. The dejected looking little girl says, “You know, when your birthday comes at Christmas time, people just forget all about it.”

Standing behind the little girl, looking equally sad, is Jesus.

“Tell me about it,” he says.

Just like the little girl in the cartoon – and my dad in real life – Jesus’ birthday is all too often forgotten about because of Christmas. How ironic! What started out as an observance of His birth has somehow morphed into gaudy decorations, parties, shopping, songs about decking halls and jingling bells, and some vague acknowledgment of peace on earth and good will among men.

The real Christmas is remembering the greatest and most costly gift we will ever be given. It is when we stop to take in the awe of the only child Who ever chose to be born. It is when we stop to remember this child would soon also choose to give His life up. For you. For me.

Let’s purpose in our hearts that this year we won’t get so caught up in Christmas that we forget Jesus’ birthday.

~found at Streaming Faith (hat tip to Learning Patience)

because hypothetical shopping turns out to be terribly fun…

..please help me some more.

Which one do you like best?

Sublime evening dress — Coldwater Creek

Black Illusion Dress –

Isaac Mizrahi —

Hypothetical shopping

If a person happened to need a swanky, swirly, curvy black dress– something designed to flatter a size 12-ish figure, where might one find such a thing?

(No, I can’t tell you more. Yet.)


This evening I was sitting at the dinner table thinking about how tired I was. I’d painted for 8 hours almost non-stop. I was still wearing my paint-spattered clothes. I had paint between my toes, and paint in my hair and paint who knows where else. Now I was thinking about the next step — helping the boys dig out the clutter in their old room and organize everything to fit into the new room. Next I wanted to repaint their old (camo-green) room in girl-colors for my little girls. And then — curtains. Maybe some decorative painting on the wall. A bit of spruce-up for my own bedroom. Oh, and my 9 and 12 year old girls were rumbling about getting THEIR room painted…colors of their own choice instead of little-sister-chosen pink. Oh, and yes… there is Christmas thrown in there, and my son’s 16th birthday. With all I have to do, basically the next week or two will roar by like a freight train. (Just why did we decide Christmas was a good time to add a new bedroom and move four children into different rooms anyway??)

In the midst of planning my next move(s) I suddenly tuned in to the children chattering around me. Their faces came into focus, and for the first time all day I really paid attention to them. My 12 year old daughter was glowing with enjoyment over the fact that they’d gotten to watch High School Musical 2 that afternoon, AND the fact that I’d just said they could watch it again tomorrow before we send it back to Netflix. She was singing me the best parts, with my 17 year old daughter clarifying some of the English words for her that she doesn’t yet know. My 5 and 3 year olds were also talking to me. The other kids were in the room too, some doing gymnastics over strategically placed pillows, and others finishing dinner or starting to clear dishes.

I was tossing out replies and smiling and turning my attention from person to person. I had so much to do that it didn’t seem like a time to just BE. To just sit. And yet that’s what I found myself doing. In the midst of everything I suddenly felt a deep calm. I sat smiling, luxuriating in the moment, admiring the beautiful faces of my children, and feeling utterly at peace. It was a tiny oasis. A moment in ‘the zone’. The millions of things I had to do didn’t have to be done right then. And the space I occupied at that moment was rich in warmth and love and happy faces and a peaceful heart.

It was a gift, I think.

A gift straight from God to my hurried heart.

Peace that passes understanding.

Oh, how sweet.