Thursday, July 21, 2011

Projects, Home Decor

If you've been reading my blog long, you may recognize this piece.... it was a thrift store find from several years ago that I "restored" for my bathroom at my previous house. It was originally yellow with a brown, ugly fabric covering the back panel. I painted it white and replaced the fabric with a bright yellow, blue and green floral print. At the time, I was very proud of it. Well, it has found a new life in Libby's room... with a fresh coat of white paint and some lime green polka dot fabric (just stapled it over top of the previous fabric)... looks very cute and will be very practical in her room for books and nick nacks.

Been shopping at Hobby Lobby.... found these cute pieces on clearance.

Jacob and Libby watching wrestling. (I don't get it). But thought Rufus looked cute.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


That's the Cardiovascular Center (CVC) at the Univ. of Michigan hospital. Pretty, huh?

I spent some time there last week while my dad was having open heart surgery. I haven't spent whole days at a hospital other than when I had my babies. I am not writing this from a patient's point of view, though. That's another thing. This time I was a visitor. Here are some observations:

1) Spending time at the hospital, sitting around and waiting, is tiring and hard.
2) People who have been sitting in a hospital over a few days waiting on their loved one to heal are lonely, bored and want to chat and be your friend.
3) Patients have to check their dignity at the door.
4) Those people who have been sitting there for days and want to chat, often want to chat about whether their loved one has peed and pooped enough to go home (don't worry, dad, I didn't discuss any of your personal business with any strangers).
5) The vast majority of the doctors, nurses and technicians we met were very capable, extremely nice and very helpful.
6) Occasionally, you find a good nurse who calls you a "freak" and you don't like that one so much after that.
7) If you take a picture of your loved one when they are first moved into ICU after surgery, you might get called a freak. Your siblings might not stick up for you, either.
8) In a big hospital complex, you get lots of exercise going back and forth to the parking lot and cafeteria. It is very easy to get lost, which gives you more exercise.
9) It's okay if the surgeon is a little aloof and not very talkative as long as he is a world-renowned expert in cutting up whatever your loved one is having cut up. (It helps if he is kind-of cute, too!)
10) Sometimes families get called back from the surgery waiting room to meet with the doctor and return a few minutes later crying. (Praise God our family was not crying after we talked to the surgeon who worked on my dad).

I only spent 2 1/2 days at the hospital.... God bless those who stay much longer with their family members.

And thank you God for awesome hospitals and healthcare people and that my dad came through so well!


Never been a fan of birthdays. A few days ago, I turned 41. As always, my kids came through with LOTS of signs all over the house.

And I bought myself a present of two puzzles.

And otherwise, it was pretty much just another day.

Monday, July 11, 2011


It is TERRIFYING to sit in the passenger seat of the car while your 15 year old drives. If you've done it, you know I speak the truth. If you haven't, take my word for it.

This is how she parked at Chik-fil-a.
Goody, goody! My house is coming together. Here is my dining room. Table was $100 on Craiglist (bought it for the store, but then decided to bring it home). Curtains from my room at the apartment.

Living room.... my new rug (another Craigslist find). I have plans to get new furniture- a darker fabric... so that is why the rug doesn't really go with the couch. (Signs on the walls were made by the kids and their friends for my birthday!)

Breakfast area.... so cozy.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I admit it. I sometimes take pleasure in the bad behavior of other peoples' kids. :-) Because sometimes I get to thinking that I am the only one whose kids talk back, sass, forget their place, throw tantrums... and it's all because I am a horrible parent.

Recently I had some reassurance that maybe I'm okay. We had a boy (he's 15) at our house spending the day between church services and we'll call him "M". I have liked this kid since I met him two yeras ago. He loves God and has a very tender heart- as evidenced by his frequent prayer requests at church for himself and his attitude and his relationship with God. He's a very likeable kid from a very likeable family. In 7th grade when he was "going out" with Sarah, he asked his mom if it was okay for them to hold hands. I like a kid who clears his romantic adventures with his mother.

Anyway... to look at this family, you would think they are just the perfect little family with these three very well-behaved boys. "M" is the youngest.

I was working on a puzzle in the dining room when I heard M on the phone with someone and M didn't sound happy... he was nearly yelling. At first I figured he was talking to a friend or one of his brothers from the tone of his voice. This is what I heard, more or less:

"Yeah, but you are saying things about me that make it sound like I am a horrible person."
"NO! I DIDN'T!!!!"
"I was NOT trying to go over your head!"
"That is not what I said!"
"It's just not fair... "

Then a pause....
And a quieter, more polite...

"Yes sir."
"Yes sir."
"Yes sir."

Another pause....

"Okay. Fine."

Then Sarah says, "Did you hang up on your dad?!!"
M says, "Yes, I just hate him"
Sarah says, "M!!! Your dad is nice!"

Then M's phone rings. {Uh oh!}

M: "Hello?"
"Yes sir."
"I'm sorry."
"I didn't hang up. I said good-bye"
"Well, you might not have heard it, but I did say it"

{I didn't hear it, either, but that's beside the point}

"Yes sir."
"I'm sorry".

It amazes me that M would act like this with his dad. But, it made me feel oh so good

Of course, in the car later, M was saying "My dad said I need to respect him, but, he doesn't respect me". There's always a "but" with us humans, huh?

So I said, "You know, M, God holds you responsible for YOUR behavior regardless of what another person does or deserves, including your parents". (Sound wise, don't I?)

M looked down, "Yes ma'am"

Two minutes later from M, "My dad is just so blah blah blah" (more disrespect)

And I turned to look at him with a smile and said, "M, what did I just say?"

M smiled and looked down, "Yes ma'am". :-)

I still love M. I still approve of my girls having him as a friend. I still hope one of them will marry him one day. But I mostly just feel like maybe I'm an okay parent after all.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Friendship, part II

Sat down at church on Sunday, opened up my bulletin and found this.... I laughed out loud (don't worry, it's pretty loud at beginning of the service at The Rock, so no one heard me laughing). "Make some new friends this summer!"?! Seriously God? You are SOOO hilarious!

Anyone who knows me, will be shocked at this next part.... I signed up! How could I not?!!! Of course, I regret it and hope no one calls me. I don't want to go and have supper with five other people I don't know. But for some reason, I was compelled by a force greater than myself.

I have to admit that after my previous lengthy post about how I have no friends, I have had to examine the opposite issue... and think about what kind of friend I have been. I go back and forth in my mind....

At times I think that, after all I have gone through, I really wish that someone would have fought for me. Where did all these friends go so easily? No fight? No insistence on my presence? Was I that easy to let go? Am I missed?

Other times, I think maybe it was ME who didn't fight.

Other times, I think, "But I wasn't (and still am not) in any condition to fight... true friends would know that".

Other times....

I know I have spent alot of time wrapped up in "Brenda" and therefore, haven't been so available for others.

Either way... perhaps God has some kind of plans for me this summer as I "make some new friends" in the Supper Club. If so, I pray that I will focus on BEING a friend and not just filling holes in my own heart.

P.S. Tomorrow I am going to be with my dad while he has a pretty serious (and necessary) heart surgery. Please (whoever may be reading this!) pray for him. The surgery is Wednesday morning. And if you are reading, dad... LOVE YOU! Can't wait to see you!

Libby Lou's Room

As promised, some shots of Libby's room. She picked the comforter first and we went from there. Three walls are light blue, one is lime green. The bed (and dresser) I found at a consignment store (not mine!!) for cheap and repainted them white for her.

Libby's favorite quote... she rubbed it onto the wall above the window.
The dresser I painted (also replaced the wooden drawer pulls).

Night stand is the little stand I painted at our previous house (if you remember). Very cozy room! I love it!!!! :-) And I can't wait for the girls to come home from vacation and see their rooms in person! :-)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Quite Proud of Myself Today

Soon I shall do another post with a follow-up to the whole "I don't have any friends" thing. Because what has been on my mind ever since is "What kind of friend have I been?" It must be addressed.

But today, I am proud of my handiwork and I want to share. I have had two days off from work in a row (woo hoo!) AND I've been alone... so I have made alot of progress on unpacking and organizing my new house. I got Libby's room all done (pictures tomorrow!) and it turned out so cute! Then I started contemplating Sarah's room. She chose a cranberry red for the walls and picked out a gorgeous black and cream damask comforter set... and she also picked out alot of other cute decor items. But she has no headboard or dresser. I think I've found a cute, cheap headboard from Target... but as for a dresser... it was hard finding the right size and color for the space.

Today, though... I had an idea. When I moved into the apartment, I bought these two dressers from my store that I intended for Jacob, but I ended up only putting the taller of the two into his room. The shorter one (which was probably a baby's changing table at one time) spent its time at the apartment in the girls' closet not really being used. I had moved it into Jacob's room at the new house, but he doesn't really need it.

That is when I realized I had some black paint leftover from a previous project I never finished.

Not realizing I should be documenting, I didn't take a "before" picture of the dresser... but here is a picture of the matching dresser.< href="">
First I removed the plain drawer pulls.

Then I started painting. To my delight, the paint was going on very thin and was creating this incredible antique/distressed look that is so popular these days. I ended up doing a second very deliberate coat of paint to cover spots that I thought were two thin.

This is the paint I used. A small pint that I had found for $3.98 on the clearance rack at Walmart.

The finished product.....

Close up of the new drawer pulls I found at Lowes.

The mirror Sarah picked out that I hung above the dresser.

I also got her curtains hung.... so, so cute. (Found them at Target). And here's a shot of her comforter (also a Target find).

It will look better once we get an ornate, metal, black headboard.

Boxes are left to be unpacked, but I am very proud of my work. And Sarah's taste. :-)