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June 29, 2010

Two Tips Tuesday: Pretty Little Clothespins and Pom Pom Flowers

Tip #1: Pom Pom Flowers

I have been wondering how to make these flowers ever since I saw them in an issue of Coastal Living Magazine.  It was in the background and rather subtle but I loved them!  They were purpley, full of whimsy and fun, and added just the right simplicity to be so very ME! I had it in my head on how to do them but then I came across this amazing and simple tutorial and I knew I had to pass along this fun find to all of you. Everything about the blog  Domestifluff is amazing so be sure to check it out. 

The above picture is mine (and I made that vase years 12 or one of those great pottery painting places.  Who knew I would still use it this long?) and I chose to make my pom poms a bit longish since I liked the look.  This was super easy and super fun and it looks just fabulous on my table! 

Tip #2:  Pretty Little Clothespins 

Disclaimer:  To all of you seasoned crafters...yes, I am aware that this has been done before and you may have already seen it.  But maybe many of you are like me and love to see the same craft with a different spin. So I put a fun little organizational element into this one...

Are any of you like me and drawn in by ordinary things made super duper pretty?  Okay, because me too.  And I have wanted to make pretty clothespins with pretty paper for a pretty long time.

I am getting pretty repetitive.

So I whipped out some scrap scraps and had a blast!  Here is what you need...
Pretty paper  
(ok.  enough)
Mod Podge
Nail File

1.  First you need to pull all the clothespins apart and remove the springs.
2.  Trace the top of the clothespin on paper and cut it out. There are different ways to do this but this is the way I did it.
3.  Use the paintbrush or fingers to coat Mod Podge the top of the clothespin. Smooth with fingers and add a finishing coat.
4.  I used the nail file to kind of sand the paper edges down to create a more finished and organic look.  I like that it ended up slightly distressed.
5.  Let it dry and just pop the springs back using one that is already assembled as a guide.

Easy peasy and you can use them for anything!
I am actually not finished with this blue and green set.  I am either going to put numbers on them or add cute little sayings like tasty, mmmmm, yum, and sweet.  I like the sayings idea the best.

This one was fun.  I had this scrap paper that had the days of the week on it with all these cute little chores and things.  So I decided to make Days of the Week Clothespins for some organizing flair.  They turned out so cute!  I love that Saturday has a glass of lemonade and Sunday has a pile of books with a cup of tea on it. 

If the pictures are hard for you to see...

Monday: Dusting polish and cloth that says "dust me"
Tuesday: Vacuum
Wednesday: Van that says "mom's taxi"
Thursday: Bags of groceries
Friday: Broom and dustpan (I could not fit the laundry basket on there!)

I made some for the 4th of July but forgot to take pics.  Here are some dark ones so you can get the idea...(the fun 4th of July printable is from here)...

Happy Tuesday Friends!

June 27, 2010

I Confess: To Bowing Down to Other Gods

Chilling title, huh? 

I have tossed around writing this post for quite some time but I always know that when I write it...I am accountable to it.  I have a post started back in December titled Wife Confessions and I cannot finish it because it is so painful to realize the many things I do are not so "Proverbs 31ey and wifey." )or is it wifely?  Are either a word?)

Now I want to explain my wording.  I have found that I make light of the word IDOL. I mean, it sounds meaningless to me after learning to speak churchese for the last 13 years of walking with Christ.  Don't bow down to idols.  OK.  Like what?  Statues? Altars with pictures of the hottie from two doors down all over them?  The entrance to Neiman Marcus? What is an idol?  A television show where people sing?

Ahhh...but when I just tweak the semantics of this entrapping sin and call those same idols...GODS.  Whoa.

The term is then NOT lost in translation.  Nope.  It is pretty clear what an idol is and I am seeing them creep up in my life faster than I can gain victory over even one.  I just gather them in like berries in a basket.  And eat them.  One by one by one.  Then the basket becomes empty so I fill it again but with more.  So I can eat more and still have some left over.  Are you getting the picture?

And the other problem is that they seem innocent at first.  Harmless. Let me list some for you and maybe you can relate...

Food.  Ya gotta eat, right?  A basic need.  Of course. Ah yes but food can become my friend.  My "go to" for comfort and endorphin release. NOT to my GREAT COUNSELOR.  Food that only induces guilt and worthlessness.  Never conviction that prompts me to action and repentance.
Buying...anything. I jokingly call shopping my retail therapy but I think it grows into an unhealthy thing.  I can not explain to you what glee I have in buying just a little something.  I rejoice over a cute grocery list pad! New sponges bring me indescribable joy.  And bananas!  If I have bananas in the house I feel complete.  I am so strange.  But then we go in to the land of indulgence when I need to buy a new outfit for bible study because I fear recycling an outfit or shirt within the 8 week study.  Or I need a new bag because the one I am using is not seasonally to date.  Most assuredly, it becomes an idol when I feel that familiar discontent that is truly...coveting.
Media and Techy things.  I say this because this blankets a lot of things for lots of people.  Personally, I don't do facebook because I go to confirm a friend and some unseen force pulls me in to people's photo albums and I have no idea who they are but I am on photo 32 before I realize I am a modern day peeping tom.  Or as we say today...I am an active participant in this trend of voyeurism. 
I have a cell phone but can only dial a number and text.  
I don't have cable buuuuuuuut...hulu is a devious thing.  Hubbie and I used to read in bed and fell asleep at a nice 11:30pm.  Now the stupid LOST series has us up until 2 am and there is no stopping our need to see it to its completion.  It disgusts me.  Yet I will do it again tonight.  Because...I CAN!

These are only 3 of the many but I can honestly tell you that they are all consuming.  The funny thing is...the alternatives to all 3 become sin for me too.  This is a great tool of the enemy and I marvel at the subtlety. 

For example.  When I finally get off my rump and consistently run again, I will very possibly grow obsessed.  Again.  I will drive myself to run faster.  Run farther.  And I will calculate my pounds lost.  How many more to go.  Count every calorie.  And think about it every waking minute thereby increasing my waking minutes because I am...obsessed.
Or when I shut  the TV off and pick up a book.  I love to read.  Love it and prefer it to television.  But I will read a book in its entirety in a day or two.  And pick up another.  And if I am reading a particular author, I need to read EVERY book written by that author.  And I will do this at the expense of my kids and my husband who needs my attention. Because I am running the race to finish the book.  And when I finish I am sad too.  I need therapy.

Or when I save money and try not to spend money, I am discontent. 

In a nutshell, ANYTHING can become a God.  And I know why this is the case for me.

Because God is not my God.  At least not right now.  He is not my hope, not my comfort, not my shelter in time of need.  He is not my counselor, my living water, the lover of my soul.  He is not my heavenly daddy, my provider, my deliverer.

Because I am.  And I suck at it.

I tell you this because there are days that I have intentionally gone to delete this blog and not care what anyone thinks of me anymore.  I grow tired of not hearing from people, losing followers, or  wondering if people like what I have to say.  There are days I wished I was back to 3 followers and no expectations.  Just me.  Writing when I felt like it and posting crafts whenever I wanted to.  Now I feel like it is a burden.

Then I stop.  And realize another GOD has emerged.  One that I attempt to bless and cultivate rather than let God do all the work.  So now I am going to do just that.  I am going to let God be the head of this blog and not me.  And I am so excited to find out what it will look like.

In the meantime, are any of you wondering what gods are in your life that you don't want there?  Because I can tell you that there are far more for me than I even listed.  And I am here to say that I am going to have VICTORY and God will get all the Glory.  

I am tired of competing with Him for Glory. Because it is what I am doing.  I want praise.  recognition.  Attention.  Fame.

You know what I used to want?  To meet people.  Make friends.  Share Christ's love.  Influence women for God.  Be the best mom I can be. To be REAL AND TRANSPARENT was my passion!  What happened?  

I simply let other god's rule me.  And even as I write I fear no one will relate, no one will care about this inner battle I am putting out there for all to see.  But God cares and He sees my heart.  And I pray it encourages one of yours. I need to get real again.  And just be who God wants me to be in life and even in this blog. 

God,  please bless this post and use it for your glory.  Not mine.

June 21, 2010

The Cloak of Sickness Has Fallen

Dear Airborne Germs That Carry Potential Disease and Sickness,

Hi. No. Wait.


I usually like to be nice.  Cordial.  Upbeat.  I can even be annoyingly perky. But not to you.  You are a pesky, frustrating, nasty little imp who needs to be confined to a dingy, cell of a petri dish; never to emerge again until you are destroyed.

Ella after her blood work.  (The scary spots are iodine)

You keep bothering my Ella who is sick. Once again.  So much so that her high fever, whimpering and sputtering sounds...that would frighten every mom alive...and lethargy sent me on a whirlwind ride of doctor visits and tests today.

All because of YOU.

She had to be poked with a needle for blood work.
Sustain a stick in the throat to test for strep.
Endure chest x-rays.
And forgo a nap through this whole process.

Luckily, she bypassed an almost inevitable antibiotic shot that burns know.

All after just recovering from an ear infection.

I, for one, wanted to tell you that this particular mommy is a little irked. I do NOT like seeing my baby in pain.  I do not want her to cling to me in the swimming pool instead of splash around with glee because she feels so awful.  And I do not like running all over town when all I want to do is hold her and make everything OK.

So I am just warning you that I shall defeat you.  I will do it.  I don't know how but I will do my best.  This is battle and I come wielding a can of Lysol, a bowl of fruit, probiotics, and a bar of soap.  Um, cuz that is all I have right now.  But I will fight you. Oh yes.  The wrath of me is upon you.

So, you pesky, slimy little virus, I just want you to know I am on to you.  And I am watching you.  And I will defeat you.

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

June 16, 2010

I Would Marry Him All Over Again!

Today we celebrate 8 years.  

I am so grateful that God placed this special, gentle, kind, loving man into my life.  He is everything I am not yet together we complement one another so beautifully.  I am loud and outgoing.  He is quiet and introverted.  I like to be in front of the crowd and he likes to serve behind the scenes. He is logical and analytical.  I am a dreamer and quite emotional. But we both make each other laugh.  We both love the same things like being outdoors, all about family, being home bodies, addicted to roller coasters, coffee, and playing UNO.  We are both competitive, fiercely protective of our family and friends and in love with Jesus Christ.  

Over the years there has been an ebb and flow to our relationship that has made us stronger.  And he is still the man I fell in love with from our very first date.

And I have watched this man grow from being a wonderful husband to a wonderful foster father to these precious babies...

To being a loving and wonderful father to his own...

Cati and Daddy

 Christmas in North Carolina...2006
5th Year Anniversary (at a friend's wedding)

 4th of July 2007
 Christmas 2007

January 2008
 6th Year Anniversary June 2008

Ella and Daddy (Ella is a few days old)
Ella and Daddy (Ella is 17 weeks)

Mother's Day 2009:  Baby Dedication at Church

 Touch a Truck (so fun) 2009

Christmas 2009
April 2010
 May 2010

I love you, Brandon.  
You amaze me at the wonderful husband, father, and man of God that you are.
Happy Anniversary to the love of my life.

June 15, 2010

Two Tips Tuesday: Temporary Break but here's a little Somethin'

I actually have some wonderful tips planned that will take me through the summer...I think.  I am just so busy!  I started this blog last July and of course, summer is always busy.  But with a house you are trying to fix up and completely move into seems more time consuming!  Plus, so much of my personal stuff is still in boxes.

And now there are swim lessons and bible studies and planning birthday parties ( I went a little nuts planning the girls party last year...they have birthdays 2 weeks apart) so my days have been full!

So will you still stick with me while I iron out the details of my life?  I truly am NOT tipless.  Just timeless.  I was attempting to be cute there but it fell flat. But you get me. 

I hope to be back next week with more tips and more stuff to to blog about.  I have all these ideas running around in my head. One is to let my Hummingbird Lane blog go. I just can't do two.  And so many things I want to do for this house would make a great two tips and then it just would not make sense.  So I think I may have a tab here on my blog strictly for Hummingbird Lane so you can peek in on my new digs.  What do you think of that idea?

I am also planning some first ones!  I have never done them before but I can explain why later.

Do you like how I am telling you all my plans with absolutely nothing to offer you today? What can I give you. bout...

My recipe for this amazing cake from last years birthday party for the girls?  It is a great summer treat and sooooooo easy.  Here goes....

What you need:

8 ice cream sandwiches (regular size)
A gallon of your favorite ice cream flavor
Hot fudge
Whipped Cream
Toppings of choice if you wish

Place a springform baking pan and plate in the freezer (maybe an hour) I did it for less because I am so impatient.

Cut the ice cream sandwiches.  Cut them lengthwise first, then across.  This process will cause a lot of melting so put them on the cold plat and put them back int he freezer again until firm.

After the melting fiasco is over then it is easy.  Take your cut ice cream sandwiches and line the springform pan with them around the edge.  If you are working fast, you will have time to put the ice cream in the center.  Just scoop it all in there and smooth the top.  You are done!

Just before serving, remove the springform pan. Put toppings on.  I did this the night before and it worked best. 

A great summer treat (and right before Father's Day too!)

June 9, 2010

Lost In My Hood

I had no way of knowing that early this morning I would attempt to take an innocent walk with my girls around our hood and enter our neighborhood Bermuda Triangle.

It was lovely at first. We walked along and found pretty flowers.  A teeny frog.  Then I got adventurous. I decided to take them down streets I have not been on before.  What could happen?

I got us lost.  In my own neighborhood? 


The total kicker?  My friend Jen had to google map me to my own street.  From her house.


Oh, the shame.

The girls were dehydrated (ok, just thirsty) and passing out taking seated rests under tree covered parts of the sidewalk. As shown above taken from my cell phone.  

It was really quite alarming that I was lost about 20 feet from the intersection to my own street.  But this is par for the course in my life.  This is just what I do.

After I hydrated and fed them we had naps.  And the girls woke up a tad grumpy.  It must have been the arduous and tortuous trek I dragged them on. Soon, Cati and I are having another one of our "Mother/Daughter" spats.  As in, "Cati please come inside the house."And Cati responding with a glass shattering equivalent shrill scream of "NO!" and threw her croc flip flop at the window. And the girl has game cuz that sucker hit it HARD!

I was NOT happy.

So in order to teach her about how we need to be respectful of property, and because she could have broken a window, she will need to understand how we take care of property.  So her punishment was issued...
 I gave her this great stuff called Baby Girl Cleaning Products that would be safe for her to use.
Got it from the same friend who navigated us out of my own neighborhood.
 But it streaks on windows when the cleaner is a 3 year old.  I so created more work for myself.
And I began to get nervous because she was really excited at first.  So I kept making her clean.  
And clean. And clean some more.  Suddenly, this chore was not so fun.

My poor Cinder-cati.

Oh, but wait...where was my Cinder-ella?

Lounging on her chair, feet up with a cinnamon roll. 

This role reversal so did not work for the real Cinderella with her sisters. 

But I guess the ball, glass slipper and prince thing made up for it.  

For now, the cinnamon roll and watching Cati clean is all MY Ella needs.

June 8, 2010

Sorry Folks...No Tips. But I Do Have a Before/After Lamp Makeover

Well, not new. Just updated.This old lamp has traveled many places.  It has seen many things. It was my sisters for who knows how long and then I inherited it when I had my first apartment after college. I bought that lampshade when I first got married and I am really not sure why.  I must have loved it then.  And it has stayed with me because you always need a lamp. But it has begged for some updating. Some oomph.  A lampy light face lift.

And here it is....

So fun, right? Don't you just heart spray paint?  I love the paint color. Avocado.  And the lampshade is from IKEA.  
This lamp is still hanging in there with a fresh coat of paint and a new shade. I am full of complete glee when I shop my house and find new life for old things.

June 6, 2010


Do you ever have a snapshot moment that if you had blinked, looked down, or the sun was in your eyes, you would have missed it? A glimpse of something pure and true that imprints a forever picture in your mind?

 I had a glimpse like that yesterday.  It was not anything I would have thought significant.  My husband was chasing my daughters around the house and the sounds of giggles, sock covered feet hitting the floor, and pure delight surrounded me as I was just putting laundry away and other chores. As I stepped out of Cati's room, I saw Cati look up into the face of her beloved Daddy and this moment that lasted 2 seconds seemed to make time stand still and what I saw there was something bigger than the smile on her face.

I saw a child made by the hand of God. I saw a childhood memory in the making.  I saw a future yet untold.  I saw a life just beginning. I saw the gift of innocence.  I saw a trust and devotion for her Daddy.  I saw joy.

And my heart swelled and beat harder at the magnificent responsibility given to me as a mother. The love I felt was overpowering and almost more than I could handle.  I wanted to weep and dance as conflicting emotions clashed within my heart; as if it was more emotion than a person should be able to handle.

I even feel silly writing all of this here because those of you reading are unable to know my heart, the emotions that flowed through me as I stared at the face of my child for a mere moment while exiting a room. It would have been missed but for some reason God did not want me to miss it.  He wanted me to drink in the face of my child and see her in a way I believe...HE sees her.

I am so guilty of getting caught up in what ultimately does not matter.  My house.  Vanity.  What others think of me. Pride.  Busyness. Being a Martha when I desperately want to be a Mary.

But as I saw my child's face I saw that all of those things are not on her radar. Neither of my daughters are worried about paying a mortgage, tithing faithfully, or keeping a schedule. They are still children where their parents are bigger than life.  God is not questioned.  He just IS.  Swinging on a swing or jumping through a sprinkler is a memory that will be recalled decades from now and evoke feelings of home and nostalgia.

And I so appreciated this precious moment where I could stop and suddenly become keenly aware that I am daily witnessing a future in the making.  And my role within it is radically significant.  My walk with God will affect the walk of my children as the grow up. My actions will be watched and mirrored.  Even in adulthood.   It was like I suddenly realized I was seeing the very history they will live with for all of their days.

Of course, memories fade.  But I am still astounded by which ones remain firmly embedded in my long term memory.  The ones that have significance to me but would not to someone else. And you never know which ones they will hold onto. For all I know, I glimpsed the moment Cati realized that her big, strong, safe daddy was so much fun and she would always remember squealing and running as he rounded the corner to catch her and tickle her. What I do know is that these moments are precious and I need to attempt to handle each one with care.  So often I am careless with my words or even downplay something that would mean everything to my little Cati.  Like a picture she has drawn or a stick she has found and talked to like a friend on the sidewalk.  I need to stop and see life through her little eyes.

So I desperately needed to write this all down today.  Not so much for all of you precious friends of mine who take the time to read my little blog.  But today was for you, girls.

My Cati-Bear and my Ella-Roo,
One day you will read these words.  And you will know how I felt the first weekend in June, on a Saturday evening in 2010.  Because if I never wrote this, you may have never known it.  Life would go on and my glimpse would fade from memory. But I have wrote it here to remember that even the every day things are extraordinary.  They are part of our past that will shape our future.  And you girls, are extraordinary.  You are my daughters but most of all you are Daughters of the King.  And every moment matters. To God and to your mom who loves you with every beat of her heart. And as I type, the words become blurry through tears of gratitude for a God who loves us with an everlasting love. Whose will for our lives is so precious and we are to treasure life's simple moments because they are gifts. I just wanted you girls to one day be able to read my words  and have your own glimpse from your past as I glimpsed your future in the making.

 Girls, you are my heart.

June 1, 2010

Two Tips Tuesday

Tip#1:  Update Your Kitchen Cabinets...On the Inside

When we first looked at our house, I was kinda bummed about the kitchen cabinets.  They were not the best quality but I honestly like that they are white. But the inside of them were showing some yellowing and grime.  Totally grossed me out.  I thoroughly cleaned every inch of them but they still looked like this...

Look closer...

Ick, Ick, Ick!  
So I decided to paint them and I loved how they turned out!
So fresh and fun!  I am really loving the contrast between the wall color and the inside of the cabinets and the way all my white dishes pop.  It is so fun to open my cabinets!  It was a great way to update the kitchen and make things feel newer and more "me."

Tip #2:  An Old Window that Holds Memories

My dear friend Nicole has this amazing, old window at her house where she decided to commemorate her precious engagement and wedding moments with flowers!  The top left panel are the 3 flowers that were sitting on the alter where her husband proposed to her at our church.  They got married on that same altar exactly one year later!  The other 3 panels are petals she pulled apart from her dried wedding bouquet.

All she did was buy the window from an antique store, and got heavy, cardboard poster board that she was assured would not yellows with age, and went at it with a hot glue gun. That was it and so brilliant!

There are so many idea you could use with this old window photos of all your children or siblings, seashells from your favorite beaches, baby booties of all your children, etc, etc.  The list is endless and the look is just beautiful!

Happy Tuesday Friends!