My New Project


So I mentioned this past weekend that I wanted to go to the bookstore and purchase one of author Amanda Blake Soule's books. I definitely went to the bookstore - actually we (meaning myself, Jim and Jake) went to both of the ones we have here in town. I didn't find either of her books at one (they were out...or maybe it was because I couldn't get to one section because someone else was hogging up the space in front of the racks...probably the latter, come to think of it), but I did find The Handmade Home at the other. I sat for I know at least 30 minutes while Jake played and Jim browsed around absorbing anything and everything I could about the projects she gave detailed instructions on how to make. I ended up not buying the book...I really wanted to see them both before deciding. That's the bad news. The good news is, the small amount of reading and looking through her book that I did, gave me an idea - an idea to make a quilt using Jake's outfits that he wore as a baby and has now, obviously, outgrown. I immediately got crazy looking on the Internet, finding a pattern, looking at ones that others have done, and dragging out and emptying the storage bins that have been full of things from his days as an infant that I just haven't been able to part with.

Since then, I've been cutting...


itty, bitty squares of fabric.

I've also been to a quilt shop that's literally 5 minutes from our house to look at fabric to finish off the centerpiece of the quilt.

I've never ever tried to make a quilt before. But honestly I try to block that thought from my mind. Believe it or not, my expectations for the end result are still super high. After all, I am ruining perfectly good clothing. (Eek!) My one hope when I'm done with all the work is that I have an awesome keepsake to carry around with me as long as I live, and when I look at each square, I'll be reminded of the baby Jake once was and the memories we made when he wore that...or that.

So I'm not sure how long this will take me, but it's moving pretty fast. Mostly because I've figured out that it doesn't take long to do as long as you have the right tools and also because I'm working like a mad woman to get it done. I literally can't wait to see it finished! And I can't wait to share more pictures of the progress.

With that said, I'm off to go make a few more cuts before calling it a night.



Right now I'm sitting at my computer in a room by myself watching Dancing With The Stars (because, let's face it...Jim nor Jake have any desire to watch it with me). My face is blue. I just washed it, and I applied a deep cleansing mask. I've started doing this more regular. I found it keeps the oil and dirt down, and my skin looks so much better. I'm also cutting quilt squares when a commercial comes on (I'll blog more about my new project later on.). Jim is reading Llama Llama Red Pajama to Jake. He's also watching TV in another room...House, to be exact. And yes, I realize none of this has anything to do with the title of this post, but I just thought I would throw it all in in case you were wondering how we're spending our time on a Monday night.

So to get to what I came to say - I feel like Jim and I are in serious limbo right now. So many decisions are up in the air for us. Jim's retirement date is steadily approaching...September 1st is the first date that he can file retirement papers. He's been told by the United States Air Force where to live, how long to live there, what job to do while he's there for over 20 years, but now it's time to do something different. Exactly what, we're not sure. That's kind of where the limbo part comes in. We're not sure where life will take us next. At this point, I feel like Tuscaloosa is where we'll be. Mostly this is because we've formed attachments. I have my job. We have our friends. We have a church home. We have Jake. That's especially where it gets tricky. We both know as he gets older, changing schools, making new friends, learning new routines, will only get harder. These are things that don't allow us to move forward. Take this past week for example. Jim proceeded to take pictures of the outside of our house to use on a "For Sale By Owner" ad. He even did some research on advertising and commonly asked real estate questions. We thought it would be best to go ahead and put our house up for sale and possibly rent until we're more sure about "what comes next." It cuts more of the strings that hold us here in case Jim doesn't find the right job when he's out in the "civilian" world. It's one less thing that keeps us from being separated later staying here to try to sell our house while Jim works and lives elsewhere. Frankly, it's very stressful...wondering what to do, wondering how to prepare, if there's a need to prepare for any change at all. Who knows...we could be right here, two, three, five years from now. On the other hand, we could possibly be living in another city by this time next year.

So what do we do in the midst of it all? We keep living life, we keep doing what we normally do (like running into Jake's room when he calls for us to come see the bat on his TV...not literally, of course...we can thank Wow! Wow! Wubbzy for that one), and we leave it all at the feet of our Saviour. Only He has the right answer. Only He knows what the future holds. We remain still, listening for His voice. And when we hear Him, we'll know we are in His will and following His plan for us. We also rest easy knowing that God is never in limbo. He always knows what next and always a plan. And knowing Him, it's better than one that Jim or I could ever decide upon for ourselves.

Hip, Hip, Hooray!


The weekend is here!

It's Friday evening. We're home from work and school and soaking up these night hours and the fact that for the next two days, we'll be agenda, no to-do lists.

Jake is in the tub as I type singing the "Hokey Pokey", and the odds that he's pouring water on the floor are 99 out of 100. Jim is on the couch relaxing and watching TV. And me...well, I'm blogging...and thinking about what I'd like to do for the next two days.

I've told myself I'm not going to do any cleaning. I even told Kara (whose family I took pictures of a few weeks ago) that I wasn't going to do any cleaning. But when I looked at the toilets in our bathrooms and noticed a black ring starting to form around the inside (How does that happen so quickly anyway?), I decided I might at least do that much.

A trip to the mall will most definitely be in order at some point. After all, I have $75 in virtual dollars to redeem at The Limited. This weekend is the last weekend I can use them. Finding something to buy so I can use them will definitely not be a problem. My co-worker and friend, Kelly, and I went one day this week "just to look". I wanted to buy one of everything in the whole store. So yeah...I definitely won't have a problem adding to my wardrobe.

I also happened upon another great blog and became inspired to go buy a book by SouleMama. She's the author of The Creative Family and Handmade Home. I haven't decided which one I'll get. Apparently both are filled with super neat ways to re purpose what you already have lying around your house and show you how to's on tons of craft and sewing projects.

Movie-watching is also definitely in order. Jim has rented "Old Dogs" and "Couples Retreat". I'm excited. I've heard they're both great and super funny. I definitely love a good laugh...although I've had lots already this week. It's been week, that is - other than the multiple calls from Jake's teacher telling me he's having massive diarrhea (Note to self: Do not mix an antibiotic with Zyrtec. This causes lots.and lots.of diarrhea. End note.)

Speaking of Jake...he's calling repeatedly that he's "ready to get out" (of the tub). And since I'm assuming I'm the only one who can hear him because the other person who could do the job for me isn't responding, I'll answer his call.

...the Earth is the Lord's


and all it's fullness. - I Corinthians 10:26 NKJ

Then God looked over all He he had made, and He saw that it was very good!..." - Genesis 1:31 NLT

Happy Anniversary...


to my Mom and Dad.

Tomorrow they will celebrate the first day of their 43rd year of marriage.

If you asked either one of them, they would probably say they are more in love with each other now than ever.

They met on a blind date.

My dad was the first to say "I love you." My mom's reply was, "I'm not so sure that I love you." Some how, some way, he made her sure.

My mom often tells me that even though I was a surprise, I "completed" our family.

I think they complete each other.

My mom also often (okay, more like any time she can find a listening ear) tells us how they spent their first six months of marriage dad on orders in Turkey and her living at home saving every dime she made to pay to ship her belongings to where he was.

They became parents after 5 years of marriage, and then again at 10 (If you ask my sister, she might tell you those 5 years of being an only child where "golden.").

They have put God first in their lives and our family for as long as I've lived.

Their example inspires me and lifts me higher.

I feel more gifted than I deserve to be their daughter.

I love them both with all of my heart.

And I wish them the Happiest 43rd Anniversary any couple could ask for (I've been told they plan to spend it working on a house that's being built for Habitat for Humanity and then have lunch at Red Lobster. Sounds like a pretty good anniversary to me!).

Yes, Yes, Yes and No


Yes, I used my tripod to get some updated family photos. If you have ever timed how long the blooms last on tulips, it's definitely.not.long. I knew this, and Jim knew this. So we took a gamble at whether or not this would work...

and Yes, it did.

Yes, I do believe we're all sitting in the exact same position in every shot. Ha!

Yes, I wish we had thought to walk towards the camera in this one.

Yes, I took some pictures of Jake all by himself...

Yes, this one is my favorite...

Yes, this is what he wore on Easter Sunday.

Yes, I promise I let him have some fun and do what he loves to do...

"catch" squirrels.

Yes, he has fully recovered from strep throat...and the stomach virus he came down with on Sunday night

No...he just can't seem to catch a break. Sigh.



Oh be careful...

little feet where you go...

Oh be careful...

little feet where you go...

For the Father up above is looking down in love...

So be careful...

little feet where you go!

A Day Out With Thomas


While Jim had to be on campus today for A-Day, Jake and I spent our day with Thomas the Tank Engine.

We got up this morning and got ready as quickly as we normally would on a weekday (aside from packing a lunch and snacks and drinks and extra clothes - you know...just in case) and made our way to the Birmingham Railroad Museum in Calera. We've been here once before. You may remember our trip to ride the Pumpkin Express back in October. We had a great time then, and can see for yourself what a great time we had today.

We visited all of the animals in the petting zoo...multiple times...

and played on nearly all of the trains.

We heard roosters crow and whistles blow.

We played a game of putt-putt and purchased another train...Spencer. He's been wanting him for a while.

We met Sir Topham Hatt...

and went for a real train ride with Thomas leading the way.

Spencer went with us, of course.

Music played, and we met the conductor. He even gave Jake a Jr. Engineer certificate as a souvenir.

Jake got to stand up for most of the ride.

I took pictures.

After we pulled back into the station, we had a picnic lunch while we listened to live music.

We stopped for a few quick pictures of Thomas, and we waved Goodbye.

Today was fun...and I loved spending it with Jake...and Thomas too.

Thousand Words Thursday


All of these pictures are definitely worth a thousand times a thousand words to me.

Just a few that come to mind are...







and Thank you...from the bottom of my heart.

Alligators and Monkeys

The Very Hungry Caterpillar


Well, actually I don't know if he was really hungry...

but he was definitely a caterpillar.

Jake found him crawling around in our garage while I was busy vaccuuming out my car.

I stopped to play with him too. This is one bug that doesn't actually bother me.

He obviously didn't bother Jake either. But I wouldn't have expected anything different.

The Spiderman sticker came from his pediatrician. He has strep throat in case you were wondering. And yes, he was still wearing the sticker on his shirt at 7:30 this evening.

Playing with the caterpillar was lots of fun. Jake wanted to bring him in and let him watch TV with him. I had to explain that caterpillars only live outside. He said okay.

So we found a tree and put him there so he wouldn't accidentally get smushed when I back my car out in the morning. Jake was happy for him that he could go find his caterpillar friends. I'm happy for him, too. But what makes me even happier is that today's report from the pediatrician was nothing serious and with the help of one teaspoon of Amoxicillin twice a day for 10 days, Jake will be good as new again.

You are my God, and I will praise You; You are my God, I will exalt You.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!... Psalm 118: 28-29