Boys Can Be very Helpful

Boys Can Be very Helpful

It has been a full few days with furniture rearranging and friends and dental appointments.  I may need a whole day’s nap to recover.

Last Saturday my girls decided to go out for some thrift store shopping, so I was left alone with the 4 younger boys.  It was either going to turn into a Lego-fest or I could use their future man muscles for the greater good, so I decided to have them help me rearrange some furniture.  I promised them the whole afternoon to themselves if they would help me.

I needed to use some of the junk I bought recently so we brought it in the house to figure out where to put it.  While we were at it we cleaned under the couches and dusted everything.  The amount of dust in this house could fill a king sized mattress.

I had an old fridge (don’t ask me why I bought this….it just spoke to me) and a worn section of fence to put somewhere.  So I would point, “Let’s try it over here” and we kept moving things until we got it how I liked it.  This is not only an opportunity to help Mom, but a lesson in future husbandness.


We put the old fridge in the corner and hung our metal letters over it.  We are keeping blankets in the fridge.  The irony is not lost.


I moved one of the couches back to make the room seem bigger.  I used old footstools behind it to keep it from pushing back against the window.


Over the other couch I hung a fence section.  I like putting something extra big over that couch.  It makes the low ceiling feel taller.

Using junk to fix up a room!

When James saw the fence he immediately said, “You paid money for that?!  We probably have everything you need to make one in our trash wood pile!”  Yes, but for $10 this one is done.


To make room for the fridge I had to remove some things and put the TV on a dresser that was a little short.  Plus I needed a place for the DVD player and Wii.  So I had one of the boys throw a little shelf together with junk wood.  It’s perfect and James is happy we used the wood pile.


The piano stayed where it was….it just got a little accessory update.

Having the boys help rearrange the furniture!

The rest of the house got picked up and straightened too and we settled into Saturday afternoon all relaxed and ready for the week.

On Sunday after church we drove to Austin for my parent’s 51st anniversary.  We hung out at my sister’s house for a few hours then headed home to get ready for a day full of company the next day.  It was fun to all be together.  With the kids all growing up we don’t go out as a whole family much anymore.  Our 15 passenger van was wondering why we hadn’t taken it out for a joy ride for so long.

Monday was a simple time of friends and burgers on the grill and kids running around making too much noise.  Everyone left by 9PM because I had to get up early the next day for a dentist appointment.

I’ve been dealing with some tooth issues for a couple of weeks, so I had been anxiously waiting this day.  He thinks he figured out the problem and I am, hopefully, on my way to a pain free mouth again.  Dental problems stink.  That’s all I have to say about that.

Let’s talk about junk and furniture again.  It’s a much happier subject!

This next weekend our family will be going to the Forge Conference.  It’s great teaching, wholesome families and great fellowship.  I’m looking forward to it!  If you decide to attend please find me and say hello!!!

Have a great day!


Come Join Me for a Pinterest Party!

Come Join Me for a Pinterest Party!

I’ve been in a crafty mood lately.  It must be the cold weather mixed with my lack of time for getting whole rooms remodeled.  But I felt a need to get my craft on.

So I made a few things, just simple stuff really.  And the fun part is I am going to be at a local Michael’s this Sunday from 1-3 to show how I made them.  And to hang out with those of you who stop by!  I am joining Hometalk and Michael’s for a party all over the country.  If you can’t come to mine, I’ll bet there’s one near you!


Juts look at the cuteness hanging over my couch!  It was so easy to make I am almost embarrassed to be doing it at the party.


I may have to redecorate my whole living room around these lovelies!


It just makes me happy.


And because I can’t stop with just one thing, I also made this little bunting.


I love the combination of decorating and inspiring.


And if you follow Michael’s on Hometalk  you could win one of five $100 gift cards!  Go, Go!  I will wait while you go do it.

Follow to win!!!

Thanks for coming by and letting me show you my crafts.  And if you want you can follow me on Hometalk too.  (but I won’t give you a gift card for it)


See you there!

Old Clothes and Japanese Restaurants

Old Clothes and Japanese Restaurants

Being a true American, I overate on Thanksgiving.  I made some eating decisions before the big day arrived so I wouldn’t lose sight of the fact that I am on a diet and regret my choices.  I would allow myself a little bit of dressing and one sliver of pie (in addition to the turkey and salad of course!).

I did stick to my goal except I had a second sliver of lemon pie that night.  Although I felt too full, that wasn’t the problem.  The problem came on Friday night when we went out to eat with my aunt and uncle.  That’s where I lost all sense of right and wrong.

We went to one of those Japanese restaurants where they cook your food at the table.  It was a sight and even though I just ordered chicken, shrimp and veggies, there was something about that food that caused me to lose control.  My plate was piled high with deliciousness and it was shamefully enough to feed a small country.  And I ate every.single.bite.

Afterward I pushed myself away from the table and may have been slightly green.  It left me feeling sick and I am not kidding…..I continued to feel stuffed the rest of the weekend.  If you are reading this in 2014 I am probably still full from that meal.

On Saturday morning I decided enough was enough with my closet full of clothes that don’t fit me and I started cleaning.  I had Elijah, my 10 year old, helping me by throwing away trash and carrying large mounds of clothing from the closet to my bedroom.  I’m not kidding…..there is a mountain in there!  I almost lost him at one point and thought I might have to dive in after him.

I made myself let go of everything that’s too big, which was almost everything.  Now this is embarrassing to admit, but I felt so sad getting rid of those things!  I know it’s just clothes and it’s a victory and all that.  But cute, modest, plus-sized clothes are hard to find and as I watched them get tossed onto the pile I felt pangs of sadness.  I really will miss some of them.

I’m not sure what to do with them now.  I am considering selling them on eBay or Craig’s List.  But that would involve a lot of work and I don’t know if photographing clothes, listing them then packaging them to ship is how I want to spend my Christmas holiday.  What do you do with your old clothes that are perfectly good? 

We spent the rest of the weekend doing the second most popular Thanksgiving tradition….the decorating of the house for Christmas.  It’s a slow progression and this full, tired, nearly clothesless mom took her sweet time getting it all set up.  Each of the kids had an assignment involving some form of Christmas decorating right down to the repair of last year’s nutcracker decoration.

I am so glad I painstakingly stored it in my closet and have been stepping carefully over it for a whole year only to pick it up and and have it fall apart in my hands and need to be completely reassembled.

Note to self: just go ahead and store the nutcracker decoration with all of the other Christmas ornaments this year.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and I really hope you were wiser than I when it came to your food choices.  May your December be merry and bright and all your nutcrackers be intact.


Make Your Own Christmas Coffee Table!

Make Your Own Christmas Coffee Table!

I felt like a change this year….not the same old holiday decor that I have been using for years.  And since none of my old stuff has any real sentimental value, I decided to try some new things….just for fun!

I started with my coffee table.  It’s the centerpiece of my living room, so why shouldn’t it be Christmas-adorable?

I started with a furniture dolly that I bought at the flea market last summer.  I plan to make it into a permanent coffee table, but it’s been sitting in the corner of my living room waiting for me to have time to do something with it.  So I used it as a base for my holiday-licious table.

Then I cut up some heavy duty boxes.  You know, the ones my husband makes me keep from appliances that we have had for over a year.  My daughter, Hope, and I cut the boxes into sizes we needed to fit the space, then taped them together using duct tape.

Make a Christmas coffee table!

Then I wrapped them in cute wrapping paper (that I bought at Target).

I used the glass top from our old coffee table and voila!  A whole new holiday look!

Make your own Christmas coffee table!

Don’t you love it?!  And all it cost was a few rolls of wrapping paper, which I have enough left to wrap quite a few presents.

Make your own Christmas coffee table!

Last year we made a candy cane fence for the front porch from a pallet….I love free Christmas decorations!

Make your own Christmas coffee table!

Be sure to follow me on Facebook!


Bringing Home the Good Old Days

Bringing Home the Good Old Days

I’ve been wanting to show you a few of the things I brought home with me a couple of weeks ago when I was helping my parents pack to move.  Since they were downsizing I got to keep some things that I love.  One piece I took was a chest that had been my grandmother’s.

This, boys and girls, was what we used to have to play music on when I was a little girl.  We didn’t have ipods with 7 ka-jillion songs on it.  Nope, we had record players and radios.  If we wanted to listen to music we had to do it in the living room where everyone could hear it.

I remember thumbing through her albums and playing music while we danced around the room.  She was all of 4′ 10″ tall and so funny when she danced. She was a character.

I am not sure what I will do with this chest eventually.  But for now it’s going to sit in my living room and remind me of those bygone days of 60s music and eating Mrs. Baird’s Honey Buns while we laughed before Grandpa got home from work.  Then we had to be quiet.

The front opens up to reveal a record player on the left and a radio on the right.

I was thinking about painting it, but my family freaked out when I mentioned it.  Of course, they freaked out when I said I was going to paint the piano and that didn’t stop me.  Nothing is safe here.  I am simply not a fan of brown.

But I have other projects to get to first, so I will leave it there and let my mind fill with ideas.  Then one day I will pick one and before anyone knows what happened I will have done it.

That’s only one of the treasures I stole……I mean my mom let me have.  When I have time there are several things I got that I want to reframe or paint or cover to update them then they will feel right at home next to my flea market goodies.

And kids, the next time you’re bored at Grandma’s so you stick those earbuds in your ears to listen to your favorite songs, think of your Aunt Lisa and how she had to play all of her music through this big cabinet when she went to visit her grandmother.

Those were the good old days.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook!


My Summer Home Tour!

My Summer Home Tour!

I am so, so, so glad you stopped by for my tour da casa.  Life here in the Texas Hill Country is sweet and simple.  Nothing fancy, but we love every bit of it!

Right inside the front door is the living room. 

We built this room ourselves on a wing and a prayer since we had no idea what we were doing.  Even though the room is small, I worked and worked until I found an arrangement that would give all 11 of us a place to sit comfortably.

I used to wish for an entryway, but then I decided that the porch could be my entryway.  Making the most of what I have is my favorite pastime. Below you can see a chair I painted and recovered, a clock I made from an abandoned bird cage stand and some lockers I painted to use for the kids’ school books.

All of our furniture is from flea markets and hand-me-downs.  I take what I find and remake it into what fits our home.  I’ll paint anything….like our piano!

Many of the small details in my home are from my etsy shop, Shop 24.

Just through the living room is the dining room/school room.

The black table is for eating and the white table is where we homeschool with the added benefit of having plenty of extra table space when we have guests for dinner…which is pretty often.

The long buffet behind the black table serves two purposes.  The kids can use it as a desk during the day and we can serve food from it at mealtime.  I try to get as many uses out of one thing as I can.

My big chalkboard wall is constantly changing.  I can draw anything on it depending on what mood I’m in….and I can be moody.  So it changes often.

Even though we don’t do sports (you wouldn’t want to see me do sports, I run like a chicken) I used a sports theme for the summer.  It makes us want to get outside and play!

The other side of the room is the school space.

I use the giant white board for school and to write a new Bible verse every day that we try to memorize.  I also sometimes write lists or chores on the board.  You can read more about how I keep my homeschool area organized!

Around the corner from the school area is our little study room.

I enclosed part of the porch to create this teeny room.  But don’t measure its usefulness by its size….we couldn’t do without it!  The kids can go in there to read or work on their computer or do some quiet school work.  They can close the door and concentrate.  Perfect!

And the letters on the wall are not supposed to be a word.  I’m just slowly gathering all of the kids’ first initials as I see them at flea markets.  It takes time to find nine vintage letters.

On the other side of the dining room is our kitchen.  We built the kitchen all by ourselves on a shoestring budget.  Two ranges, two microwaves, two fridges….it’s perfect for a large family!

In the picture below you can see my kids’ lunch area, my stained glass that came from an old church and my beige chalkboard wall (next to the electric range) where we keep a running grocery list.  Gotta stay organized!

If you go out the kitchen door you step onto a deck that leads to our pool.

It’s a simple, above ground pool.  My son and I built the deck and we built our own outdoor furniture so I can sit right there and work on the blog while the kids swim.

I love sitting out there.  What we lack in expensive luxury, we make up for in peace and tranquility.

Before we go back inside let’s walk around to the front of the house where we have an outdoor eating area, the “Pavilion.”  I found the old sign at a church bazaar and hung it there and the name stuck.  I put the eating area in the front because that’s where the evening shade is, and I am a shade kind of girl.  We eat out there as much as possible.

We had our 25th anniversary party out there a couple of years ago and it was a beautiful evening!

The rest of the house is bedrooms and bathrooms.  With 9 kids in a small house I have to get creative about bedroom spaces.  My 19 year old daughter sleeps in an enclosed porch area.  We made it to also serve as a guest room.

This girl is a bit of a minimalist.  All she wants is a cozy place to sit and some beach things around her and she’s happy.

Two of my boys share a little western themed room complete with horse in the barn that I painted myself

And two of my teen girls live in a finished out attic.

Even though they can only stand up in the middle, they are so happy to have their own space that they don’t care one bit.  And every single thing in this room was free except the wood we bought to build the shelves.  We found the headboards in someone’s trash and just painted them!

Below the girls’ attic bedroom is the master bedroom.  It’s my oasis on a hard day of homeschooling, laundry and painting furniture (which I am usually doing all at the same time).

I do most of my work in this room.  I sit in my recliner and work online after all of the kids are in bed.

My bathroom is another place I like to hide occasionally.

For some reason the kids don’t think to look for me there, so when I need a few minutes to myself I sneak in the bathroom with a book and a Diet Dr Pepper.

That’s it for my summer home tour.  It’s been great having you visit and I hope you’ll come back again soon!

Here are a few other amazing homes you might want to visit!!!

The Nester @ Nesting Place
Chris @ Just a Girl
Emily @ Decor Chick
Roeshel @ DIY Show Off
Marianne @ Songbird
Lindsay @ Makely Home
Sandra @ Sawdust Girl

And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook!

Living Room Color Reveal!

Living Room Color Reveal!

We’ve been sprucing up the place for the past couple of weeks.  Painting, dusting and furniture rearranging has everything feeling spiffy.

There’s nothing new but it still feels fresh.  I like that we did it with just a few cans of paint and a little bit of wood.  It took me a few tries, but I found a gray that I really, really like.  It’s Silver Song from Benjamin Moore.  What I love is it’s not blue or orange, but just gray.  I think the combination of gray walls and white trim is so elegant and lovely.  Not to mention clean walls….nothing says elegance like a lack of scratch marks and crayon rubbings.

Here’s what you see walking in the front door….welcome to our home.

The furniture used to create more of a long rectangle.  I thought a square would feel more open, so after we painted I only moved the bigger pieces back in and played with the arrangement.  This is much roomier!

I also like the TV tucked behind the rock wall.  It can be seen from every seat, but it’s not the centerpiece of the room.

If you look up you can see the rail we painted with a soft, blue-green.  Up there is the new “Lego room”.

I’m crazy about this little footstool I made last year with an old metal crate.

I left the hand-painted Bible verse on the wall behind the white couch, but I decided to add planks around it to add a detail that would give the room character.  They’re just 1x4s we nailed to the wall.  You can see it here in the corner.

Of course, my beautiful piano is still there.  I just moved it to the other side of the room.

Also, I raised the curtains from the top of the window to the ceiling.  It made a huge difference and I wonder why I didn’t do it a long time ago.

I know, the wall color looks like the same color it was before.  But it’s not.  It was green, but it was always hard to photograph.  So you’ll just have to believe me.

Next week I’ll show you the new and improved dining room.

Thanks for stopping by!

Follow me on Facebook to keep up with what’s happening at our house!

Linking to: Imparting Grace, Tater Tots and Jello, Transformation Thursday

My Book Bunting

My Book Bunting

While the bunting craze has been all over blogland, I decided I had to try it.  I thunk and thunk but nothing I thought of really appealed to me.  Then, in my sleep, it hit me.  You know how that goes right?  God’s genius that He was waiting for me to turn off my brain so He could tell me about it.

And I LOVE it.  Love with a capitol L-O-V-E.

That empty frame over my couch (you know, the one I change all of the time and it drives my family crazy) was ready for a new filler, so I made a bunting with old books.  Then I thought it would be perfect for ♥ Valentine’s Day ♥ and I added some love words.

So sweet, so loving, so easy and completely FREE!

I drilled holes in the corners of the books with my drill.  It took like, 10 seconds.

Then I used baling wire from our hay bales to string the books together and to hold them open.  And of course, my beloved Cricut cut the letters.

I asked all of the children if any of them knew what “je t’aime” means.  No one knew.  Who teaches these kids anyway?

Oh well, now I have some bunting.  JOY!

Follow me on Facebook!


How I Painted a Scripture on My Wall

How I Painted a Scripture on My Wall

OK y’all, despite the fact that I am terrible at writing tutorials, I am going to try to write one for you.  But if, when you finish reading this, you still have no idea how to paint words on your wall, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I first have to say that I did, in fact, use a stencil.  I originally was going to use my own handwriting since it’s not too terrible, but I taped a piece of wrapping paper (backwards) to the wall and tried it.  Bad.  Bad idea.  Thank God for His wisdom in giving people the idea for stencils because my wall would look like a giant mess if I used my own handwriting.  Not to mention that I am terrible at getting things straight.  I am great at looking at other people’s things and straightening them, but my own….not so much.

I used a level to get the painter’s tape straight.  Because I am a tightwad, I used the same two strips of painter’s tape all the way down.  I just kept moving them each time I would finish the line above.

I just eyeballed the stencil letters.  They aren’t perfectly spaced.  But I didn’t want perfect….I wanted a handpainted look.

If you notice, I have something in my mouth in every picture.  I used two brushes and held one in my mouth while I used the other one.  It’s a talent I developed from my natural love of eating.

This is what the letters looked like after I stenciled them (ignore the top line and look at the bottom three lines of words).

Then I went in with a small, thin line brush and connected the letters and closed up the open spots in each letter.  I also gave the ends of the words a little flourish.

That brush work made all of the difference!

For the big letters inside of the frame, I used my true love Cricut to make stencils with card stock.  Since they would only be used once, the card stock held up just fine.

Then I rubbed in a little bit of brown paint on each letter to give them some age and character.  I only did this inside the frame, I wanted a softer look on the rest of the wall.

It was a really easy project.  Just a bit time consuming.

And there you have it.  For those of you that have told me you want to try it….I hope you will.  It was one of those mindless projects that was easy to do even with the kids coming in and out and playing and talking to me.  I had them taking turns reading the verse to me, two words at a time so I didn’t have to get up and down.  While they read we’d talk about the verse and what it means.

I used a stencil by Plaid that I got at the craft store and those little jars of stencil paste.  I liked the paste so much better than using paint because it didn’t bleed under the stencil and it dried very slowly so I could wipe off the places I messed up (or would have if, of course, I ever messed up anything).  Also, if you really do decide to try this, I  suggest staggering the beginnings of the lines on the left.  They will naturally stagger on the right, depending on where each word ends, so if you stagger them on the left also it will keep you from having to do very complicated mathematical equations.

Happy painting!

I’d be blessed if you’d follow me on Facebook!

A New Summer Theme on a Shoestring

A New Summer Theme on a Shoestring

I am so excited to show my my new el-cheapo summer decorations.

For the past few years I used shells and did a beach thing, but I was tired of it.  So I did what I usually do, I obsessed over it for a while then I got an idea and obsessed even more.

I decided to use a sports theme for my summer decor.  I know, I know.  We’re not exactly sports people.  We don’t run, we don’t own skateboards, we don’t even toss balls around in the yard.  But this is not your typical sports theme, no autographed jerseys framed on the walls.  It’s vintage, or at least old and otherwise useless.

I rummaged for weeks in every thrift store within 100 miles and hunted and dug for just the right things.  I was looking for items that would bring an energy to the rooms but cost next to nothing.  Summer, outdoor fun was the message.  Once I found what I wanted,  I took it all out in the backyard and spray painted it with various shades of white.

Of course I changed out what was in the frame over the green couch, like I do every season.  I used a piece of beadboard that was left from our front porch redo a few years back and painted it with some leftover paint from my bathroom.  By drilling a few holes I was able to wire the rackets to the board.

On the coffee table I painted a wire basket that a friend gave me.  It was bright yellow, but with a bit of spray paint, it was perfect to hold my freshly painted golf balls, baseballs and badminton birdies.

Yep, that’s a bowling ball on the shelf below the glass.  I painted it white and wrapped twine around it.

One of my favorite things is the oval frame I found at the flea market and painted white.  It holds a fun picture of my three little boys being silly.  What says summer fun more than playing outside?  You can’t tell from my bad photography, but this frame is large, it’s a 16″ x 20″.  It’s hanging over the other couch in the room.

And now you can see what I did with all of the old trophies I found…..I took them all apart and re-assembled them.  Then I did my thing with spray paint and voila!  They are all white and summery.

On my piano I used my true love, the Cricut, to cut out a bicycle for the platter.  Love it!

Doesn’t it make you want to stop everything and go ride a bike?

Another trophy….

I used a loving cup to hold a little plant.

Now we’re ready for the summer.  The living room has a renewed energy and it’s bright and cheery.

I’ve got a lot more to show you in the dining room/school room.  But I don’t want to overwhelm you.  You might get confused and think I actually move around and do physical activity and I don’t want to give you the wrong impression.  I’m a slug at heart.


To see more, check out the summer 2012 edition of Splendidly Homemade!

I’m linking to these great parties:

Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special


The Girl Creative

Transformation Thursday

A Little Knick Knack

Somewhat Simple