Friday, June 26, 2009

Unwanted Items....

I love things that people discard. I've been known to walk around Vanderbilt's campus on move-out weekend just to pick up things that the students have thrown out. One year we found an awesome digital camera, no kidding, on a trash can. It turned out to be one of the best cameras we ever had! It lasted 3 years. I've picked up shelves, chairs, laundry baskets, clothes, you name it, I've probably found it. Chris is mortified by my hankering to take a peek inside a dumpster from time to time. Seriously, you never know what you'll find. Just to clear things up, I've never actually gotten inside a dumpster to fish around, I just look from the outside and grab things that I can reach that are relatively clean. (OK, so I know that some people are still silently cringing inside, thats ok.)

I've been in the sewing mood lately. I've made several skirts for Grace, dresses for both girls, onsies, a dress for myself and other various things. I am just trying to develop my sewing skills, you see, I really don't know much about sewing, I've never taken any classes, but I like to do it. So I am teaching myself. Fabric is so darn expensive these days that I can't justify the cost of just practicing with it. SO this is where the goodwill outlet comes in. ($1.39 per pound at the most!) I've gotten some awesome materials to work with there, and I love the challenge of finding something that may be ugly in it's original form, and creating something else with it.

I've noticed that some people cringe at what I put in my basket. (Well, maybe that was just my mom who shuddered at the 70's bed sheet I picked up.) But if there is one rule of thrifting (and dumpster diving wink, wink!) you can't look at an item for what it currently have to see the potential in it, and what it might possibly become!

Just for giggles, I will post some picture of a few of the things I've made. I especially love the dresses I made out of the shudder-worthy sheet.
both made out of sheet
Skirt made out of old "grandma" shirt
(the white t-shirt was stained, so I covered over the stains with some well placed freezer paper stencils)
my dress made out of discarded fabric (I am learning to use elastic thread and have seen several tutorials online...not so hard!)
bird cage that was previously hideously ugly

Camera strap cover out of broken belt
gross brownish-gold hippie flower, now a pretty pink for one of the girls rooms

Monday, June 22, 2009

Oh Deer...

Oh deer, I realized that I hadn't posted pictures of Grace's finished big girl room and other significant happenings in our lives as of late. First things first, aren't these shirts cute? You can't really read them... but they say "Deer to Daddy's Heart" Perfect for Father's Chris thought it was a little cheesy, but warmed up when he saw these adorable faces staring back at him.
Secondly, doesn't Grace Ann look proud of herself in the picture above? Well, she should be... she POOPED in the potty! Yes, folks, that's right... no pee pee yet, but we've pooped twice in the potty. This picture was taken right before we got in the car to go pick out her first poopy present.... She picked out this big girl dress from her closet, and has on 'farkly' shoes of course....all dolled up for the trip to Target.

And here are the pictures of her big girl room... painted and everything! (probably about 3 months overdue... Oh well) You can't really tell from the pictures, but the walls are a really pale pink-ish beige color. It's from the Ralph Lauren collection, Tea Rose, I think... maybe Gardenia, I can't remember. But it looks pretty good with all that's going on in there.

In the picture above, you can see a snapshot of my mom (Izze) and Ann Burton together. Grace has really been curious about 'daddy's mama' lately and has wanted to know everything about her. She sleeps with this picture in her bed most nights and I can hear her talking to it when she wakes up. So cute. She is trying to think of a name to call Ann... she is still a little confused since she hasn't met her and can't see her in the flesh, but she definitely knows that Ann loved her... today she told me she thinks she'd want to be called "G-G." So we'll see if that sticks.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Have you ever been paralyzed with fear? I mean, really overtaken by it? Yesterday, a few (thousand) times, I felt like I was either drowning or being strangled by fear. My body physically hurt, it was hard for me to breathe. It felt as if every muscle fiber in my body was so tight that I was sure that I was going to pull something simply by blinking an eye. I was trying my best to take my mind off of things, to pray 'continuously' but I couldn't shake it. I drove (through tornado-like winds) to pick up Grace from school. We had to stay a few minutes in their 'safe room' because of the tornado warnings, but by the time we made it home, the sun was peaking though the clouds.

I was trying not to let on that I was about to burst inside with all the anxiety I was feeling. I felt helpless. I took the girls upstairs, put them in my bed, turned on the Elmo Potty Show and just collapsed on the floor. Luckily Elmo is so riveting and our bed is so high that Grace didn't notice. I pulled out the nearest Bible and opened it; 2 Samuel 22 was what it fell upon. I skimmed over it and came across words like: waves of death, consuming fire and cords of the grave, and quickly decided this wasn't the passage I needed to read right now. I grabbed a chunk of pages, flipped them over and found myself at Psalm 18.

Guess what? They are the SAME PASSAGE. I don't know how many chapters are repeated in the Bible (maybe I should look it up) but probably not that many. Obviously God had something for me in these words. Still overcome with fear, and not really wanting to look at the scary words I mentioned above, I read it from start to finish several times.

The first thing that really stood out to me was this verse: (Ps. 18:16 and 2 Sam. 22:18) "He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me."

Duh.... Satan is too strong for me... he is more powerful that I am! He is tormenting me today, playing on one of my greatest fears. Satan was winning, he was strangling me and pressing me in on every side, and I was physically feeling it. I don't realize that the devil is that REAL sometimes. So the first thing I had to understand was that these feelings were NOT from God and were directly from the enemy.

Secondly, David cried out to the LORD. He couldn't save himself. If we could save ourselves from the Devil, what would be the point of God? Why would we need him if we, on our own, were strong enough to deal with Satan's attacks? (Ps. 18:3-6 and 2 Sam. 22:4-7) "I call to the Lord...and I am saved from my enemies." {Here come the scary words:} "The waves of death swirled around me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; for my cry came to his ears."

And God showed up: the next 13 or so verses are filled with heroic imagery. God is moving heaven and hell to come to David's rescue, because he called.

Lastly, God gave David the tools he needed to defeat his enemy. (Ps. 18:37-40 and 2 Sam. 22: 38-41) "I pursued my enemies and crushed them...You armed me with strength for battle...You made my enemies turn their backs in flight..." In David's time, he was fighting actual wars and battles, but if we could see the invisible battles the Devil is waging against us, it probably wouldn't look much different.

I think yesterday, God revealed to me one of my most prominent fears and the fact that Satan knows it too. The fear has crept back in even today, but I have been able to recognize it as attacks from the Devil and have been able to pray against it. I know this fear will not just go away, so one of the reasons I am writing this is because I want to remember. I want to remember how God delivered me, but also how Satan attacked. I often think that these feelings are God 'trying to tell me something' or 'prepare me for what is about to happen...' but I also know that "Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14) Satan is clever...he can weasel his way in without us even realizing it. He knows exactly how to play on our weakness, I think I often underestimate what he can do. Thankfully, God is on my side and that means that I will always win...

James 4: 7 "Resist the devil and he will flee from you."

Monday, June 8, 2009

the secret

I think Grace holds the key to something marvelous. Right now she holds the secret and it's something I desperately want to learn.

You can't help but notice her joy. Everyone comments on it. We ran some errands this morning, and she drew a crowd at each establishment. Women and men alike were drawn to her big eyes and rosy cheeks, not to mention her voice, which at this moment in time, has one volume. She talks to everyone she sees, and is incredibly excited about everything. I can't tell you how many times a day I hear this: "Mama, Mama, come here, look at this!"

She has been singing "You are my sunshine" for several days now and inserts a name in place of 'sunshine' more often than not. For example: "You are my daddy, my only daddy, you make me HAPPY when skies are gray, You'll never know dear, how much I LOVE you, so please don't take my daddy away." It is enough to melt your heart.

This song is what drew the doting crowd as we waited for paint to be mixed at Home Depot. The paint guy was so taken with her that he forgot what he was doing. I often hear the comments: "Man, don't you wish everyone was that joyful?" or "Gosh, she just makes me want to be a kid again!"

I often times get annoyed at the excessive volume at which she speaks. I often tell her to be quiet, or talk softly, I get tired of constant noise... But why? I think that she has a lot to teach me.

She FEELS things; even little things. She broke down when her sticker flew off her shirt on the way to the car; She swelled up with pride when the small crowd of people clapped for her when she finished her rendition of "You are my Sunshine," and immediately started into another; when Harper is crying, she desperately wants to know what is wrong so she can fix it. Sometimes I take this as a nuisance, or just get frustrated because 'she is so DRAMATIC.' But maybe that's a good thing....?

She LOVES people with all her little 2 and a half year old heart can hold. She tends to notice what people CAN do, rather than what they CAN'T. She wants to be heard and known, and she feels the things she has to say are important. (and they are)

I commented to my dad this weekend about the fact that this child doesn't ever stop talking... and his response was this: "She's got so much going on in her head, she just can't keep it all in." That's true, she is truly bubbling over with emotion (and words), all the time.

Why have we tried to dumb this down? Why, as adults do we tend to hold things in, so as not to 'burden' people with our problems, or 'bother' them with our thoughts. That self-consciousness that creeps in (probably around Jr. High or maybe before) just seems to rob us of life. Are we truly living life to the fullest like this? How can we become more like little children?

I am not saying that kids are born without sin, and that everything they do is wonderful, but they hold a secret that I am desperate to remember. I am going to take more time to watch and learn from Grace. Sure, she has her issues... but don't we all? I want to help her hold onto this little piece of heaven that she has, and uncover for myself the secret that she holds.

Jesus tells us that unless we "become as little children, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3 New Living Translation)

(Mark 10:14-16 NLT) "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you, anyone who doesn't have their kind of faith will never get into the Kingdom of God. Then He took the children into his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

5 months

I can't believe Harper is 5 months today! It's almost been half a year since she was born. It truly feels like last week! As I hold her (and try to blog) she is grabbing both sides of my face with her hands, and breathing softly in my ear. Her breathing is so sweet-sounding! I love it... She is a rolling machine, and tummy time is no longer that... she's rolling everywhere. Sometimes she will stay on her tummy if Grace is laying beside her. If that is the case, Harper just gazes up at Grace like she is the best thing God ever created. Harps really takes in everything Grace does.

She's finally taken to eating. Plain cereal just does nothing for her, but if I mix it with some baby food, she loves it. Over the past week, she's starting 'eating' dinner with us every night. She is still puking like a champ. I kind of thought that would get better when she started eating more solid 'food' but I was wrong. When we start with butternut squash and other brightly colored foods, she is just going to be naked...all the time... I don't want all her clothes ruined.

This little dress was mine when I was a baby. Grace wore it the first time we took her to church... I think she was 12 or 13 days old. I think it's so pretty!

Here she is with her pink elephant. And this is the outfit that she's been in since she was born in her elephant pictures... Still the 0-3 month size... this is the last month she will probably fit into it (in length anyways).

Click Here for her 3 month picture...apparently I haven't posted the 1 and 2 month pic. in this outfit with the elephant... or I can't find them if I did...

Forgive me if this post is scattered and otherwise of poor writing quality. I got up at 5am and did A LOT today; Grace is currently trying to feed me her leftover strawberries, and Harper is crying. Can I go to bed now?

Monday, June 1, 2009

"Harp-ity Do Dah"

This song works wonders on a fussy Harper. Anytime she is crying or upset for any reason, Grace can sing this song to her, and instantly she stops crying. Works every time. The kicker is that she has to continue singing the song over and over because as soon as she stops, Harper starts crying again. It's kind of funny.

Here is the song... Grace is practicing her Soprano (I think... I know nothing about music...anyways, she's singing in the high notes...)