Tracking

Friday, September 28, 2012

Family room decorating updates

One of my favorite things to do is check out decorating books from the library. Since most good decorating books run between $30-$50, free from the library works better for my budget.

One of my reads earlier this year was "The Imperfectly Perfect Home"


A couple of the areas that stuck out to me that I wanted to improve on from this book is my lighting and area rug in the family room.

First for the area rug, I really went back and forth on colored pattern or more natural. I ended up with a natural looking jute/wool blend because quite frankly I didn't want to commit to a color and pattern. I like pattern to be in smaller pieces (like pillows) because I change so much. I ended up finding a great deal for about $200 for an 8x10 area rug.

  At first I wasn't sure because it was such a subtle difference from the carpet, but it really does define the space without adding too much distraction, just some texture. I went with the jute/wool blend because I wanted it to stand up to the traffic but not be too rough because the kids play around on the floor in the family room. Overall I am pretty pleased. My only complaint is some of the wool loops have have come loose.

Below you can see why I decided on more of a natural look, the slipper chair on the right and the covered ottoman on the left have enough pattern.
(I will take a picture of the whole room soon as both the chair and ottoman cover are new, just didn't want to clean everything up)


This little girl kept trying to get in the pictures.


The second area was the lamps. I have had floor lamps that shot the light up towards the ceiling ever since we got married. I think my mom get them from a garage sale for $10. The book was talking about how terrible these lights were because they really didn't light much, just the ceiling. So I was on the hunt for some table lamps and a floor lamp. I have had the table lamps for about 8 months, and got the floor lamp from a garage sale today and fixed it up this afternoon. Again, since I don't like commitment to expensive decorating items, the table lamps were a couple dollars from Goodwill and the floor lamp was $3 from a garage sale. I did have to purchase DIY shades from Hobby Lobby for the table lamps, but had all the supplies for the floor lamp.




Before
&
After



Here is sister bear trying out the lamp. The only problem I realized once the shade was recovered with the same linen I had recovered the table lamps with is that the original shade was very yellow in the inside. So instead of shining clean and white like the table lamps, it is yellow due to the interior lining. This is also a problem because the way the lamp shade is angled, you can see the yucky yellow interior, so I might be on the hunt for a new shade, but since the project only cost me $3, I have some wiggle room for a new shade.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

?????Boy or Girl?????

The time has come to share the gender of our new baby brewing in my belly.

Let's start by saying that Steve and I both guessed boy, we had an early ultrasound and there definitely was something protruding between the legs.

Here is a video of Payton revealing the gender

(you only need to watch 1 minute of video, if you don't want to watch it, just skip down the page and see the pics)







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GIRL!

The story for those who care and for my memory.

At 12 weeks there really was something "protruding" but the tech told us that girls can protrude too. I really wasn't convinced that a girl could protrude that much (there was a stick between the legs)! Once again I am reminded that I really know nothing about medical things, leave that to the professionals.

So we really had boy on our minds, we had boy names, I was planning Colton's big boy room for the BOYS. We decided we didn't want to just find out in the sonogram room (how we had with the previous 2) so we had the tech put it in an envelope. We really didn't know what we were going to do next. I thought about gender reveal party, but Steve wanted it more intimate, which I appreciate. Hil, next door, gladly received the envelope from us and made 2 cakes to cut in to (one for Steve and me and one for the kids). 

Last Friday morning we went and got the cakes, left the kids at the neighbors house for a bit and Steve and I cut into the first cake. 

We.were.shocked.

We really thought boy, it took a couple minutes to set in, we really had to change our mindset, but we are thrilled to be adding another girl to the family. 

We then let the kids cut into the cake and Payton is beyond thrilled to have a sister. She has been saying this whole pregnancy that she wants a sister. 

I was actually nervous going into my appointment as I was almost 19 weeks and hadn't felt movement. With our recent miscarriage, of course my mind went to the worst. We are so grateful for a little healthy girl growing in me.

So we have no names for girls, but I will say that I love a reason to redecorate a room, so the nursery will have a few changes. Steve is already praying for wisdom on how to make 2 little girls the center of his world. 

Some come February, Team Southards will have more girls then boys. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stay Home Days

Stay home day is PJ wearing, no make-up kind of day.
As we have gotten back into the swing of schedules, I have realized how important Wednesdays are for me and the kids.

Wednesday = Stay Home Day

Both Sister Bear and myself need this day.

I have learned as Payton has gotten older that she is a homebody. She is still getting used to going to school again, she whines that she doesn't want to go, yet when I pick her up she has loved it. Her teacher asked why she didn't want to go to school and she said she wanted to stay home and do craft projects with mommy. When it is bedtime and I tell her the next day is a stay home day, she gets so excited. Last Wednesday was beautiful so I took them to the park in the morning, and it seems that wasn't even the best fit for our day. She loves a day we stay in our PJ's and just hang around the house all day.  No agenda!

Ironically, we don't have a busy schedule that I would think she needs a break from. We have chosen to keep her out of activities until she is older, allowing freedom for family time and flexibility in our schedule. I can't imagine how she would be if we were actually running around all the time.

I need the day for housework and laundry. I have seen so many different schedules people use for cleaning, many include a little housework/laundry each day. I have learned that doesn't work for me. I am a person who likes to complete a task when I start it. Laundry feels like it goes on forever if I am doing a load each day. It seems to get stuck on our floor folded in a basket for much longer when I slowly work on it. Same for housework, I love the sense of a freshly cleaned home. Now I know everyone is in different stages and has different schedules, there might be a day that I have to do small tasks each day, but at the season we are in, and knowing my personality I need a day to get "everything" done. It helps that we have our Community Group at our home on Wednesday evenings, so I want the house to be clean for that. I have recruited my helper, Sister enjoys dusting and cleaning windows right now.

So if you need us on Wednesday, we will be at home, sporting PJ's and all-natural faces, if you stop by we would love to have you in, I just might put a mop in your hand.

Monday, September 17, 2012

She Showed Up

In February I wrote THIS post about my opinions of McDonald's, but more importantly about following the prompting of God's spirit to speak to an outspoken Atheist at McDonald's playplace.  I just went back and read the post myself, and it almost brought me to tears. 

The condensed version for those who don't want to read the whole previous post (which I completely understand) is that I was at McDonalds and the kids were playing the pla place. I was sick and really didn't want to be there. I overheard 2 women's conversation. One was a Atheist and one was a Christian who was doing a great job discussing topics with the Atheist. I felt God prompting me to share my story with the Atheist. I fought it, I don't like those conversations (really any conversation with someone who wants to debate Christianity). 

Finally I had to either share my story or leave the place and know I was disobedient, so I shared about our miscarriage and my brush with death and God's sovereignty in it all. Long story short (since this was supposed to be the condensed version) I invited her to church and really expected her to show up. 

That was 6-and-half months ago. I would think about her time-to-time as I drove past McDonalds and would say a prayer for her.

TODAY SHE WAS AT CHURCH!!!!!!!

Actually she has been at church for a month, I just spotted her for the first time today.

After church, most everyone was gone (pastor's family is one of the last to leave) and my kids were running around with some older kids. The mom walked by on her way out and said something about Buster being so cute. I said thanks, then took a look at her and knew she looked familiar. Which could have been because she was at church, and I recognize a lot of faces.

Then it hit me, it was Tabitha (the Atheist) from McDonalds.

I said, "Didn't I meet you at McDonalds and isn't your name Tabitha?" 

She was floored that I remembered her name. I don't think she recognized me until I said something. Sure enough, she has been attending The Creek for a month. Her kids love Sunday School and she says the sermon's have a really good message about Love. She likes that we serve our community (ICCC does do a great job, loving and serving our community around us.) Her husband and all 4 kids were there. I was just floored.

I introduced her to Steve and she said she knows it is a big deal for an Atheist, then she corrected her self and said an Agnostic like herself to be in church, but she really felt at home here. 

Ladies and gentlemen she is working her way down the list and I believe soon enough she will understand the love God has for her and will see herself as God sees her, a Child of His! Once she does, I know her life will be forever changed and her family's life will be completely different. 

So there we have it, Tabitha showed up after almost 6 months. This just encourages me to follow the leading of the Spirit and trust God with the results. Many times we will never see the results of our obedience, but I am so grateful that I get to watch this journey.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

We won!!!!!

Steve and I were completely blown away. 

When we posted this POST on Wednesday, we were in 7th place with 46 votes. Then you guys started rolling in with the votes. All of a sudden, we thought, hey we might actually get 3rd place and get a prize pack. 2nd and 1st place were so far off (1st was literally a couple hundred votes away) so we were excited for 3rd.  3rd place saw that we were getting close, and hurried to add more votes, but eventually we passed him. 

Then, we got close to 2nd, and thought that would be so cool to get 2nd. As we started getting close, 2nd place upped his votes and started pulling ahead, then all of a sudden we left him our dust. We were still over 100 votes from first and just thrilled to get second.

Disclaimer - I saw "WE" really the prizes are completely for my husband as they are all hunting, but this was me entering my husband's world and I am competitive, so I was up for it.

By Thursday night and Friday "WE" became a lot bigger. We were floored by the number of you that were circulating the contest in your areas of influence, even one friend who has friends all over the world that they were recruiting to vote. Our numbers started climbing BIG time. 

Friday night we tried to watch a movie, but we laughing and enjoying watching our numbers come real close to 1st place. We know others were watching the numbers too. At one point a friend text me saying "Bean (the 1st place guy) just woke his grandma up and had her vote." Bean, who was sitting comfortably all week in 1st, started to scramble. He was working hard and in the last few hours got over 70 votes. 

It still wasn't enough for the brute force of all of you!  We ended the contest in 1st PLACE with 505 votes! Bean came in 2nd with 463 and Big 10 in 3rd place with 327.




The first place prize pack was just that much better than the other 2 places. It is valued over $1000! We are just so giddy to have won (Steve probably wouldn't describe himself as giddy but he is super excited). 

We can't say THANK YOU enough to all who voted, we were just floored with your support.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Check out her rack!

Technically it is HIS rack, but I wanted to get more people's attention.

You know I don't enter my kids into cutest kids contests, honestly we all think our own kids are the cutest, hello, they came from us. 

Honesty alert here - I really didn't think one of my children was that cute as a baby, I won't say which one but I do think she is absolutely beautiful today, we all have awkward stages, hopefully her's is behind her (I love you sister bear).

So I am married to an outdoors man, a manly man, who did not like the idea of me making his son's big-boy bedroom a nautical theme because he thought it was too girly (we have compromised here, when the room is done you will see).

This carry-my-gun/bow-and-slaughter-animals-that-happen-to-walk-in-front-of-me-during-season man has entered a contest. 

There is a contest for the best Trail Cam pic. Now many of you, especially my friends who like me pre-Steve knew nothing about hunting, are wondering A WHAT?

So hunting is a little more sophisticated that I knew it to be. These men actually have camera's up on the property they hunt, scoping out the best deer to kill. 

I call it SELECTIVE SLAUGHTERING! 

I will end my rambling/commentary with a plea to vote for my husband. Hundreds of photos were submitted and the judges choose the top 10 and opened it up for public voting. There are some sweet prizes (if you are into that sort of thing) available. 

Steve made the top 10, but let's just say, he needs our help now.

He told me last night that some other wife must have posted it on her blog because 1 guy got 100 votes in one day. Top 3 get prizes, please take a minute to vote.


 Vote for "THE FREAK by Steve"

If you care to know why it is called the Freak, he has about 17 points on his rack which is absolutely ridiculous.  He is smaller then some of the others, but most of them have under 12 points. I won't go into the whole "how-you-score-a-deer" bit, because technically THE FREAK wouldn't score high on Boone and Crockett, but it is a really cool dear.

Thank for you voting for my adorable-cutesy  rugid-outdoorsman HUSBAND

Not the Freak (deer) but I won't say one way or another about the other dear :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Flower girl

This weekend Steve's Cousin got married. Steve was a part of officiating the service and Payton was the flower girl. I was pleasantly surprised how well she did. The wedding was beautiful, unfortunately I didn't get many pictures of the actual wedding.

We visited Papa and Granny Southards (other side of family from wedding) the first night and always have a great time visiting with them. 


Off to the wedding with the Coats family (Steve's mom's side of the family)



It is very difficult to get a picture of Buster without his "cheese" face.


The cute ring bearer and flower girl



With their cousins

Payton and Eden have so much fun together, they use their creativity and make fun out of nothing

Kissing cousins
We had to hurry back after the reception as Steve was preaching Sunday morning (the wedding was in Springfield, MO). We have had 2 weekends in a row of fun with family.

Far from Family

I love visits with my family. Living so far, is hard at times. Mom and Dad visited for a long weekend and we took them to my in-laws lake house. It is one of our favorite places to go and we loved sharing it with my parents.


Grandpa taking Paypay for a paddle boat ride



My dad really wanted to visit a cave while we were at the lake. It was his birthday weekend, so he got to choose. Ironically Steve has driven by the sign to this cave his whole life going to the lake and this was the first time he had ever gone in it. Even though we initially were humoring dad, it really was a cool place. 





As I was saying good to my parents, I felt that if I wanted to I could let myself cry. I love where we live, I just have wished I could live by my family (not half-way across the country).

As I was driving home from the airport, I had a thought. Maybe a comforting thought. I do wish I lived near my parents. I see so many of my friends with family close who are not only able to help with kids, but also have family fun time together. It hit me though, if my family lived here, we would not have time to invest in others. I know friends with family, are torn between family and friends. Steve and I feel called to invest in others. We love connecting people to God and other believers to grow with. I know if my family lived here, I would want to spend a lot of time with them, instead we are here alone, with time for others. I trust God for Kingdom impact and I believe that we have more time and availability being so far from family. So somehow that was comforting to me. It is comforting to know you are in the will of God and we feel that is where we are right now. Even if it means being 1300 miles from my family.