Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday Morning, Pinterest

Saturday Mornings . . . the proverbial sleep in day . . . three of my boys don't quite grasp the meaning of the term "sleep in" and were up bright and early with Randy. I am thankful Randy is a "get up early" kind of guy and always has been, which allows me to "sleep in".

Cameron and Cody are playing nicely together this morning. Katelyn remains in hibernation of which I am surprised as Ryan is watching television in the basement . . . her room is there. EJ and Randy are off to take care of a few errands . . . and me, I am enjoying my second cup of coffee.

Easter Vacation began yesterday for my boys . . . school let out at 11:30 a.m. They are out of school all next week and the following Monday. I pray the weather will be nice ALL week so we can get outside to play and run off a little "boy" energy.

Tomorrow is April Fool's Day . . . I need to plan a few "surprises" for my boys. Maybe Pinterest has some ideas . . .

Do you Pinterest?

For those of you who do not have even the slightest clue of what Pinterest is . . .

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard full to overflowing with great ideas, recipes, fashion, decor, decorating ideas, etc. Think of it like this: You know how you go through a magazine and either dog ear the pages or rip them out for future reference? Most times the pages are misplaced or lost . . . or maybe you just have no organization to keep all of those pages tidy and organized. Well, Pinterest would be a better option for you. Pinterest allows you to browse through other Pinterest User's ideas and boards . . . you can then repin the idea, picture, website, recipe, etc. to your own Pinterest Bulletin Boards for future reference. Organize them by subject . . . like: recipes, life, photos, great toys for boys, house, garage, fashion, encouragement, funny, cute . . . etc. I have come across so many great ideas through Pinterest. If you haven't looked at Pinterest, I challenge you to "take a look".

Here is an Example of a cupcake I found today on Pinterest . . .

Clicking the link on this picture will take you to the recipe! Awesome . . . Right?

Maybe you are looking for a little decorating inspiration.
Photos like this one may assist you on your journey.

How about a little repurposing?
An end table that has been repainted, turned upside down, cushion added and it is now a pet bed - four poster pet bed!

Or maybe you need a little Wall Decor inspiration . . .
This is gorgeous!

Whatever you are looking for . . .  Pinterest!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Today was a get out of the house and get some errands run . . . Do you ever have those days you plan out to the "T" only to have it plop on you?

Well, I had one of those kind of days . . . and I wasn't very gracious about it. Let me rewind to the beginning of the day:

The alarm sounded at its normal weekday time . . . I hit the snooze button a time or two and then woke the boys from their slumber. As soon as those growing feet hit the floor it started . . . the teasing, fussing and arguing with one another. I immediately called for them to come to my room and gently, but sternly reminded them that this type of behavior was not nice and is not how we treat one another. (In one ear and out the other . . . I guess that should be in three ears and out the other three ears!) The boys assured me the understood and returned to their bedrooms to get dressed for school. Within mere seconds it began again . . . frustrated that my three youngest sons could not get dressed for school without bickering, I again called them into my bedroom and spoke to each son individually . . . again, they said they understood and had no questions of what they were told. "Do you understand me?" was the question I asked them to make sure they completely understood they were doing wrong, and they answered "yes". Finally, the boys headed to the main floor for breakfast and then off to school for the day. Whew . . . now I can focus on the day ahead.

I made sure Ryan was out of bed, dressed and had breakfast. While he was busy with that, I called my Mom for a chat. It had been a few days since we had the opportunity to chat . . . we love to chat, but when the kids are all home it is almost impossible, so I really enjoy the opportunity to relax in our sitting room while drinking a cup of coffee in the quietness of the house as I chat with Mom.

Ryan began schooling for the day without coaxing . . . Woo Hoo!!! We are down to around five weeks of school remaining and Ryan has Spring fever pretty bad. I was thrilled Ryan buckled down and did his school work so we could easily get out the door to take care of errands.

First stop after we left the house was the Office. Since I have been homeschooling, I rarely get into the office. However, I can accomplish all of my work and keep up with what is going on through technology. Praise the Lord for that! So, when I stopped in unexpectedly this morning everyone was thrilled and had those little "I have a question for you" "Oh good, you are here, I need you to look at this" "Wow, are you a new employee?" and so on . . . I laughed and then took care of "things". I do miss being into work during the week, but am Thankful that at this time in our lives when the boys are young,  I can be there and Homeschool them as we find necessary.

After the office, we needed to meet Randy at Lowes. He had a lunch meeting and was free afterward ~ worked out even though I would have liked to have been done with my errands before I needed to pick up the boys from school. Anyway . . . into Lowes we went and headed for the tile section. We are tiling the boys' bathroom ~ a make over kind of thing and needed wall and floor tile. I found just the right ones at Lowes and was thrilled to show Randy. He wasn't as thrilled as I was . . . the tile had to be ordered AND they didn't have floor tile to match. (Insert frustration here.) Immediately, I sensed my hubs was not going to cooperate with the "design" of the bathroom. He didn't want to wait for the tile to be ordered . . . I found exactly what I wanted and thought we should get it and then look for floor tile elsewhere . . . he thought we should buy it all in one place.

Would you be shocked if I told you I blew it?

Would you understand if I told you . . . I saw the finished bathroom in my head?

This girl KNEW exactly what the room was supposed to look like . . . the HUBS was throwing a big ole wrench into the design. If we didn't buy THIS exact tile, we probably wouldn't find anything else that would work with "the design".

Needless to say, we didn't buy the tile at Lowes and YES, I opened my mouth . . . stated my opinion and then turned and walked away. I blew it with my husband . . . big time.

I am being brutally honest with this "post" because I came across a post on another blog today that hit me between the eyes . . .

"What We Hear Makes a Difference" by Holley Gerth at her "Heart to Heart" blog. Her post today spoke about the things we hear and the things that were actually spoken. (Insert BIG WARNING exclamation points HERE!) I won't use her examples, but if you want to read her post, click on Heart to Heart and it will take you right to it. Instead, I am going to continue with my "story". . .

Remember, I blew it . . .

My Hubs said, "this tile is probably special order".

I heard, "this is NOT the tile we should purchase".

My Hubs said, "I don't see any floor tile in THESE colors".

I heard, "I really don't know if I like the design".

My Hubs said, "Maybe we should go to a tile store to see if they have what we want for the walls and floor. We should buy it all in one place."

Can anyone relate? I felt like a "shopping failure" but it really was not my Hubs' intention at all. He was simply concerned that ordering or purchasing from two separate places would cause problems with the colors matching and we would hate the end result.

Wow! I am ashamed of myself. There was no reason I should have taken offense. Holley had some VERY helpful tips and I am going to type them up and put them on our message board to keep them handy!

Here is what Holley wrote:

Truth and perception can be two totally different things. What can we do to have a hearing check?

1) Ask - Simply say, "This is what I heard. Is that what you really said?"

2) Filter - Run whatever you hear through the truth of God's Word. Only receive what aligns with what God says.

3) Focus - A lot of times we misunderstand because we're only half-listening. If something seems odd to you, stop and give it your full attention until you really figure it out.

4) Err on the side of Grace - Most of the time people are not trying to discourage us. If you're not sure how someone intended a remark, give them the benefit of a doubt.

5) Pray that God helps you hear with His ears - He's the only one who can accurately perceive everything. And good news--His Spirit lives within you. Jesus promised the Spirit would "lead us into all truth."

After Lowes, we did go to a tile store . . . we did take that extra time to work out what we wanted. In the end, I truly believe we are going to LOVE the result. It was so much better to rethink it ~ together.

Tonight, as I write I wish I had a "Do Over" button to restart the day. However, we all know that is impossible. Instead . . . I guess I should hit the reset button by asking forgiveness from my Hubs and my son . . . yes, he was with us. Of course, I won't forget to kneel at the Throne of Grace . . . I need to ask forgiveness there too.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Praising God for a New Week!

This morning was one of those rare occassions when I was thankful for Monday morning to arrive. It seems almost wrong, doesn't it?

Last week came and went with its own set of challenges . . . the weekend included. As a Mom to five, I felt just about every emotion possible . . . Frustration and disappointment being at the top of the list. Have you ever gotten to the point where you simply need to find that "safe and quiet place" for your sanity? Well . . . that was where you would have found me on Friday afternoon.

Ryan and I struggled through a week of home school. Ryan was completely distracted with everything and simply did not put forth any effort . . . which left me disgusted, irritated, disappointed and frustrated. Friday afternoon arrived and he still had plenty of school work he had not completed for the day to keep him busy into the evening. I asked, instructed and then demanded he focus on his studies . . . to no avail. Friday afternoon about 2:00 p.m. I retreated to the serenity of our master bedroom, turned on some Christian music and relaxed.

My Mom arrived around 3:00 p.m. which brought me out of "hiding". She wanted to be here when Cody arrived home as it was his birthday. We chatted a few minutes before the other boys arrived home. The tension in my body slowly diminished throughout Mom's visit. Watching my boys and Grandma interact blesses my heart. Cody was so excited to see Grandma and gave her plenty of hugs and luvn. After a bit, Mom needed to head home to make dinner . . . our visit was sweet . . . isn't it something how God timed my Mom's arrival? Just when I needed it. It doesn't matter how old I am . . . there is something very special and calming when my Mama is in the house. Mama's are ALWAYS needed . . . even when they have nothing left to give ~ that thought made me stop and think about how my children NEED me.

Our evening concluded better than it had begun . . . to which I was truly thankful.

Saturday, Randy was working on a few things around the house. EJ and Cody were helping him . . . they love to be the "go-for" guys when Daddy needs something. I was working on household accounts when Cody came in to my desk carrying a small box. "Mommy . . . does this look Yea big?" The question caught me a bit off guard, so I asked him to repeat his question. "Well, Daddy said he wanted a tool that was white and Yea big, so is this Yea big?" I began to chuckle . . . such a sweet question! Bless his heart, he wanted to get Daddy exactly what he wanted so he checked with Mama to make sure it was right . . . all the way down to the size . . . even though he wasn't sure what Yea big was.

Ryan had to finish his schoolwork on Saturday . . . much to his sadness. He responded with, "But it is SATURDAY!" I smiled and reminded him of the assignments he had not finished on Friday. Needless to say . . . he DID finish all of his assignments.

While Ryan was finishing his school work, Cameron and I headed upstairs to tackle the closets. As much as I dread switching around clothing from Fall/Winter to Spring/Summer, it had to be done. It was also time to sort through clothing to see what was being handed down from one son to the next. The perfect time is when we are changing out clothing for the season. I made sure each closet had ample clothing and then put together totes of donations of the clothing that remained. At one time, I had two boys wearing the same size clothing  . . . so, I had plenty of clothing to set aside. The task took the majority of the afternoon and we were all ready to relax Saturday night.

Sunday began quiet and lovely, but soon erupted into argument between the boys. Although they were instructed to stop all fussing between them, they continued as if nothing was said to them. Then came the issue of telling on a brother to get him into trouble . . . even though the brother that was "telling" had also been involved in the "act". Needless to say, that did not go over well with Mom or Dad. Randy and I are consistently teaching our boys right from wrong, however they don't always choose to do the right thing regardless of the consequences.

Sunday afternoon was pretty much a carbon copy of Sunday morning . . . I had finally had enough. Nap time! It was ridiculous! Needless to say, those boys took a nap and were in much better moods when the woke (and so was I).

This morning . . . Monday Morning . . . I actually looked forward to today, even though it is the beginning of another week. I love that in the morning, all things are new again. It is like we get a "do over" each day.

Ryan is working diligently to get his classes listened to and assignments completed. The other boys are at school and Daddy is at work. Katelyn is off to college (she commutes each day) and seems to be having a pretty good day, so far.

I have managed to get Ryan on track with his studies, fed the dogs, took care of emails, found a Christian Author  . . . I am excited to read her books. Sally Clarkson is her name . . . I love that I can download books and read them immediately with my Ipad! There were three that aren't available for download, so I had to order them the "old fashioned" way. Two cups of coffee and lunch are done.

Before I pick up the boys I still have to:
  • complete my bookwork for the office
  • pick up crickets for the lizards
  • grade and check Ryan's papers
  • have devotions
  • exercise
  • check our dairy delivery order - add needed items
  • get Ryan through his school day
  • make thank you cards for Cody's birthday gifts
Better get moving or I won't get my list done!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Birthday in the House!

Friday we celebrated our youngest child's birthday . . .

He turned SIX!

Here are pictures of his SPECIAL Day!

 Mama and Katelyn made Minion cupcakes for Cody's special Birthday Treat at school.
Liking the giant beater is awesome!

Cody was super excited about the Minion Cupcakes!

Homemade Twinkies

Gifts from Grandma and Grandpa!

Angry Birds!!!

Opening ONE gift for Grandma to watch.

Beautiful Grandma!

Cameron being silly.

Cody decided to put on all the shirts Grandma and Grandpa gave him at once.

Beautiful Birthday cake made by a very special person!

Katelyn made a HUGE cupcake and tried her hand at Angry Birds!

Make a Wish and Blow out the Candles!

The cake is yummy.



the "Stash"!

He was very happy!

EJ's turn at being Silly!


Beckett was worn out from all the party.

 What in the world?

Oh Well . . . I guess I can snuggle with THAT guy . . .
Hey Dude . . . Stop Staring at me!

Friday, March 23, 2012


Today, Kelly over at Kelly's Korner is hosting

(Show Us Your Life, Moms of Big Families)

Here is My Post!


If you have not visited my blog before . . .

Welcome, so glad you are here!

Let me introduce myself . . .

My name is Julie

and I have FIVE kids ages 19, 9, 8, 7 and 6.

There is quite an age span from #1 to #2 . . .

Not the way I would have planned it,
but God did.

Our daughter, Katelyn is 19 years old and a Freshman in College.
She is a blessing to Randy and I (hubs and I) and has been from the moment she was conceived.
(Nine years after our marriage).

Ryan is 9 years old and is a very active boy.
He is currently in the 4th grade.
He is home schooled.
Ryan is very competitive and loves "action".

Cameron is 8 years old and is our "reader".
He loves to read, read, read . . .
(generally NOT a boy trait, I know!)
Cameron is in the 3rd grade.

EJ (Evan James) is our "sensitive" one.
EJ loves to play baseball
and is VERY good at it.
EJ is in 2nd grade.

Cody is the "baby" of the family . . .
he turned 6 today.
Cody tries his best to keep up with his brothers.
He is in Kindergarten.

Three of our boys attend a Christian School.
One is homeschooled.
Both can be a challenge.

My husband and I have owned and operated a business for 15 1/2 years. I have the privilege of working from home  . . .
which is really great since I home school Ryan.

Life at our house is NEVER boring . . .
and generally not quiet unless the boys are asleep!

I always tell people . . .

We were spoiled with our girl ~ she has always been calm, fun loving, very agreeable and always chose to do the right thing.

THEN . . .

God gave us BOYS!

I suppose he wanted us to enjoy BOTH ends of the spectrum!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Birthday Prep . . . Excited Almost 6 Year Old

My day was VERY busy. 

I had several errands to run in preparation for Cody's 6th Birthday tomorrow.

Cody will be taking Birthday Treats to school tomorrow,

so . . .

I searched and searched for a fun and unusual cupcake for Cody's special day.

I found it!


Minion Cupcakes!

The recipe called for Twinkies, however do to a peanut allergy, Cody cannot eat Twinkies because they are manufactured in a facility that also processes peanuts and/or tree nuts.

Hmmmmmm . . .

First roadblock!

I decided to look for an alternative . . .

I found it!

I found an eclair a.k.a. Twinkie pan!

Here is a picture of the freshly baked homemade Twinkies.

Impressive, Right???

Road block - gone!

Next was to make the cupcakes . . .

no problem there!

Katelyn then made the little Minion guys . . .

The are Adorable and Cute!!!

Which made this little Minion lover VERY happy!

Cody also got to lick the beater attachment . . .

 Oh Yeah Babe!

 The Concentration!

 So delicious!

Judging by his face, fingers and shirt . . .

It must have been pretty good!

a Few of My Favorite Things

Changing things up a bit tonight. A few of my favorite things . . . in pictures!

On the wall up the stairs . . . my kids - the letters read "Our Family" 
(family didn't make it into this picture)

An orchid in our foyer.

Decor on this table . . . treasured gifts from my sister.
The art ~ drawn by Katelyn.

On one of the built ins in our library . . .
a lantern, books and photo of Uncle Sam, Ryan and Aunt Darlene
On another shelf in the library is a Senior photo of my niece Gabrielle.

Standing in the foyer . . .
a photo of our library this evening

a view of part of the kitchen . . .

a Potterybarn vase/container + candle + glass rock = gorgeous and relaxing beauty

a photo of my kiddos at Easter a year ago
surrounded by candlesticks, candles and beautiful pewter ~
(Lisa Leonard designed the pewter and I chose the words)
another favorite in my kitchen . . .
easily viewed
a simple reminder

a photo from the other end of the kitchen
We absolutely love the layout and functionality.
another view from the dining area looking into the kitchen
with the lights dimmed
and more light
in the window dividing the kitchen from the eating area
my boys
family rules
Our dining table centerpiece

We love clocks, so when I found these . . .
framed clock art, I bought them
I still love them!
a close up
a few things that make me smile
a niche in the corner of the family room
the perfect place for beauty!

I hope you enjoyed "a Few of My Favorite Things"!

Do you have any favs you want to share?

Copyright Text

Our Lives Uncripted is written by me. All pictures are personal and cannot be copied. No portion of this blog can be copied and/or sold. All content copyright JCP, All Rights Reserved!

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