Saturday, September 25, 2010


Payton found her daddy's iPod yesterday while we were cleaning out our car. I turned the music on for her and she proceeded to spend the next 2 hours playing with the iPod. She kept say "usic" and was dancing with the music. She also acted like it was a phone, talking to people as well.  She was so fun to watch.


Friday, September 24, 2010

A few of my favorite things

What a glorious morning here in Olathe. The weather for the next 10 days is in the 70's! Fall here we come.  3 of my favorite things are seen in this picture:

1. Windows open!!!!! My favorite time of year is whenever the windows can be open. I love fresh cool air flowing through the house. That is the first thing I do when I wake up, open windows

2. My quiet time chair - This chair is where I can be found many mornings starting my day off with the Lord. Before the house wakes (3 days a week after working out at 5:30am) I come to this chair to find rest and rejuvenation. This is precious time for me. Some days are richer than others, but what a difference I see in my attitude for the day, when I have started my day in the chair!

3. Chai - see my starbucks mug on the table, I don't make them often (caffeine and calories) but it is a treat when I do

Payton and I are off to some garage sales! Big neighborhood garage sales all around here this weekend. Some of the "Big Houses" are having them, we are off to try to score some deals for little man's closet.

Hope you all have a great Friday!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Payton is in such a mimicking stage. Monday while I was vacuuming she followed directly behind me with her vacuum, covering the exact ground I just covered. Tonight Steve had to aerate out yard for the winter, Payton found her mower and followed right along side the whole time.

Knuckles for a job well done!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Salmon Avocado Salad

We had an amazing meal the other night. I wasn't in the mood to cook, didn't feel like we had much in the house, but knew Steve wouldn't want to eat out, so while running errands, I was stuck behind a train and started browsing All Recipes an application I have on my phone. I knew I had an avocado to use up, so I started there. Needless to say, when I found this recipe, I was super excited to make it. I was very pleased with the results. Steve enjoyed it well enough, this is more my type of meal than his. We did have Alaskan Salmon that was used for the recipe from our friend John who went fishing out there but his family doesn't eat it. It could be made healthier, but the butter flavor on those mushrooms was so yummy.  I highly recommend this meal!!

I made some Raspberry Limeade to go with it. Simply had Limeade made that I added some frozen raspberrys to and let sit for a bit before the meal.

Salmon Avocado Salad


  • 2 (6 ounce) fillets salmon
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 12 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and cubed
  • 5 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled


  1. Preheat the oven broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the salmon on the foil, and brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Season with salt and pepper. Broil 15 minutes, until fish is easily flaked with a fork.
  2. Melt the remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the mushrooms until tender.
  3. Place the tomatoes in a bowl, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a large bowl, toss together the salmon, mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, cilantro, and jalapeno. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with feta cheese to serve.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dreaming is Risky Business

Steve spoke yesterday about Following the God given dream inside of you being risky. We are continuing our story on Nehemiah, how God gave him a vision/dream and he pursued it. Here are a few points from the sermon:

The path to your greatest potential is often straight through your greatest fear.
God wants to take you through those hard places to reach your fullest potential. So often we are limited by our human perspective and think we can't make it through something, but God is bigger and wants to give you more.

Dream Chasers know that playing it safe can be risky
The only place riskier then in the middle of God's will, is outside of his will. Playing it safe not only guarantees you miss out on what God has in store, it can also be dangerous

Dream Chasers know that their God is bigger than any problem or excuse
We as Christians often focus on the size of our problem, not the size of our God. We don't take that first step towards our dream, because we think of all the ways it can go wrong. We think, maybe God will show up. Nehemiah gives us the example that he assumes the God of the heavens will show up and take care of whatever problems they might face in rebuilding the wall.
How big is your GOD?
This is how big my God is...

God takes full responsibility for a life fully surrendered to him. What dream has God placed inside of you that you need to take action on?

My personal application involves taking a step towards a nudge that I have felt from the Spirit for about 2 years. Not long after we moved here, we had a guest speaker from The Urban Scholastic Center which is on a mission to develop socially responsible Christian leaders. They model and teach urban youth to become dedicated followers of Jesus Christ while placing a high priority on education, family and community. They are based in in the inner city of Kansas City.

I felt at that time that for some reason, I should get involved here. Long story short, I have heard the same gentlemen speak different times, I have personally spoke with him, almost every time a sermon has been preached the last few years challenging me to step out and do what God has asked me to, my mind always goes back to USC.  Have I taken any steps yet? 

I always seem to have an excuse. Childcare has been the biggest one, which I know there are opportunities to help that are behind the scenes and I wouldn't have to leave Payton.

So sitting in service, listening to my husband speak, I was once again challenged. It is interesting to me, because I don't feel like I have a burning passion to be involved with inner city youth, that would be far down my list of passion areas, but I can't get away from the fact that I feel God is telling to do something.  

So I am going public. Public declaring that I am going to contact the center and ask how I can help. I figure if I am public about it, I have more accountability and can't keep "putting it off."  So if you read this and see me or talk to me, ask me what I have done to make steps in that direction.

Who knows, God works in funny ways, it might not be at all about me and the youth. It might be another person I meet on the journey, or it just might be me that God has some work to do with and this is the path for that change.  

I don't want to guess what is in store, I will choose to walk and see where it goes...


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Payton's New Room

Payton's "Big" Girl room is pretty much done.  The whole room cost me under $50!!!!  Most of the decorations came from Steve and my first bedroom. Yes we had a pink and green room when we first got married, which is completely different than now.

I originally had envisioned more of modern room with totally different colors, but when I scored the Pottery Barn bedding for $20 (Retailed over $400) at a garage sale, my whole idea changed quickly. I am easily swayed by a cheap, great deal! And since I like to redo things, I figured even if I kept this for a few years then changed, I wouldn't feel bad about my $20 spent.

Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure, see the breakdown after each picture

Pottery Barn Queen Bedding (Quilt, Sheets, Sham, Throw Pillow, Valance) = $20
Head Board - Recovered a headboard that I had used with this bed in guest room - Fabric $12
Night Stand - already owned
Dresser - free from neighbor, had painted it awhile back with "oops" paint
Art Canvas (3) - already owned, purchased from Marshall's many years ago (from original master bedroom)
Piggy Bank - Gift
Green Decor Piece - Already owned
Wall Color - was already this color when we moved in

Up close of headboard, I love this fabric and under $6 a yard you can't go wrong. If you live in KC area, you have to check out Home Fabrics & Rugs on Metcalf and 119th! You can kinda see the sheets that came with the set, white with green polka dots.

My 20 minute project the other day. I wanted to spruce up my lamps (small one for nursery) and I never could decide on pictures for the frames, as Payton changes so quickly so I decided to add my own little touch. I went to town with the hot glue gun, and $2.40 later ...

Ribbon = $1 per roll = $2
Scrapbook Paper = $0.20 each = $0.40
Scrapbook letters - already owned
Lamp shades - already owned
Frames - already owned (were navy and white but sprayed them white awhile back for another room)

Flowers and vase = already owned (yes from original master bedroom)

Dresser - Free from neighbor, painted awhile ago
Mirror - Already owned, painted white awhile ago (Steve had bought these for his first office and I used to hate these mirrors until I spray painted them white when we first moved here)
Flowers, frames, basket with books - Already owned
Rocking Chair - Cracker Barrel rocker from Papa Southards (Steve's Dad)

I am very excited for the completed project, especially with the price tag, that makes a job a successful for me, cute and cheapo!

Here is a picture for the guest room now. The twin beds were moved in here, and since I had no budget for this room, I just used my old queen bedding and pillows for this room.  I have wanted to do something with this room for awhile, but with the rate that we add kids and move rooms around, it isn't worth putting money into this room until I know what it will be used for long term. So it stays simple and clean, which is nice for a guest room.

And progress is being made on the nursery, paint is done (yes it is dark navy and I love it), here is a teaser of the room with my new $0.60 artwork ...

Hope you all are having a great weekend!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Groups Celebration and Apple Picking

Well we are a little late in reporting our weekend, but nonetheless...

Friday we celebrated the Community Group Leaders at Indian Creek Community Church.  My friend Judy did an amazing job putting on the event.  Check out her blog HERE for great pictures of the evening. 

yes I have noticed in pictures that baby weight has moved to the face, oh well, what ya do with that :) - good news scored that dress for $6 off Target Clearance, gotta love Target!

Our good friends The Zimmers. Mike is the Groups Director at the Olathe campus (he is an engineer full time, volunteers for the groups position). Candace is back to school to be a PT. Their son Ethan (E-man as Payton refers to him) is one of Payton's best buddies.  

Payton stealing the balloons at the end of the night

E-man trying to get in on the action

Saturday we had a great family day. Picnic in the park and apple picking!

It is a little early for apple picking, but this Orchard wasn't far form our house, it was small but they have a large variety

Payton checking out the goats on our way to pick
Good view of the apples from up there

Of course we had to give it a try
Family shot
Daddy made Payton work hard for  her apples
Enjoying a cool apple slush at the end of a hard hour of picking!

The Southards are getting excited for FALL, how about you?


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

2 strikes and I am out

When it comes to trying "crafty" or "creative" things, I don't often plan well. I just do it and if it works great, if not, I learn from it. I am detailed in other areas of my life, but not with trying creative things.

About a year ago I dyed some curtains and a bag bright fuchsia. I was very happy with my couple dollar investment, as the new color improved those 2 items appeal.

Well I have had this yellow dress for a couple years that is really comfy, but I have to be super tan to feel like it looks good on me.

So I decided to invest an whole $2 to buy some dye to give this bad boy a new look.  I headed to JoAnn's with my 40% coupon in hand and decided on a rich purple color that would look great for different seasons. I followed the directions and threw it in the laundry machine ...

and the result ....


I would never wear this color, as it would wash me out completely.

So I decided to go ahead and just go Navy, as that is very dark, for sure it would cover the yellow and once again could be worn for different seasons. So back to JoAnn's with my coupon, another $2 and the results ...


I guess I have forgotten my color wheel from middle school art class.  Yellow and Blue make green.  Well, this is not my color, but I should be able to get away in the fall with wearing it, maybe layering a different color below. I have considered trying black, but at this point I am over it and will wear it for what it is. 

Not all projects turn out successful, oh well :)


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Baby Boy Nursery Inspiration

I am super excited to have a reason to redo a room

If I could afford to redecorate my house every year or two, I would
I love to decorate
I love the hunt for CHEAP decor
I love learning from others who know what they are doing
I really don't know what I am doing
but I enjoy it!

I am learning to not be so matchy-matchy
To have variety

Recently I have wanted a navy blue room
I had decided whether baby #2 was a boy or girl, the nursery would be navy blue with different accent colors depending on gender
When I decorated Payton's nursery, I stayed with the color the room already was
I also took almost all hand-me-downs and spent under $50 on the whole room that is including the furniture
I am very thankful for hand-me-downs

It was a nice, simple, clean room

But now I get to dream
So navy.....
Then I spotted the orange giraffe throw at Home Goods
So navy and orange....
kinda close to gator colors :)
Then right after we found out it was a boy my friend Mindy showed me a mirror she tried to sell in a garage sale, but got low offers for
It is unique mirror with leather and animal hide 
kinda western
And then the wheels started rolling....
Navy, Orange, White, Classic yet Rustic
Went to home goods and found some unique, cheap decor pieces
The excitement was growing

I text Steve and said I need a European deer mount and some sheds (antlers)
He said he liked where this was going
I found a wall color I loved in Pottery Barn's most recent magazine and went online and found the exact color
I love seeing examples of colors because we all know little swatches don't do much

My budget falls between $100-$150 for the whole room makeover
Thanks to living by a great Home Goods and my DIY desire, I will stay within budget

Here is the picture one more time, my goal is to finish in the next 2 months before the holiday's hit

FYI - this means I also get to decorate Payton's big girl room and that redo will be about $50 for the whole room, I have scored amazing deals. Keep an eye for that room make over very soon!


Not in a hurry

I am so thankful to stay home with my little peanut.
I thank my husband for his hard work for our family and the sacrifices made to make this happen
Today I reflected on the fact that I don't have to live my life in a hurry

Now there are days I hurry, but that is due to my poor planning, not because I have to
Today Payton and I stopped by Cracker Barrel to pick up an item and it was raining. Dolly was on the radio when we came outside and Payton and I started dancing. 
Then she wanted to rock in the rocking chairs
so we did
Then she sat at the little rocking chairs and wanted to "play" checkers
so we did
We had errands to do, but no serious schedule to keep
I wondered what the people inside thought as they watched (if any were watching)
It made me thankful that I can sit and do with my little girl
I get excited to dream about her getting older and making memories together
because we aren't in a hurry!