Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bathroom Remodel

We spent about 6-8 hours cleaning this bathroom before we moved into our home last summer.  It was icky, let's just leave it at that! 

The shower was grungy, and duct-taped together on the side.  When Josiah's folks came out in August, his dad worked on our shower and got it sealed for us.

There were about 13 plastic hooks stuck all over the walls and doors.

There was a hole in the wall and many staples.  There was also a crooked shelf and junky towel bar I took down and a manilla envelope duct-taped to the wall over the hole with some ugly wallpaper stuck on top of it.

It's hard to see but there were streaks and grime all over the walls, in spite of our cleaning and scrubbing.


I painted the bathroom with a smoky blue called, "Cameron's Eyes."

I hung some of my favorite photos I recently took of the boys

My mom helped me put a new toilet seat on as the old one was kinda nasty!  Josiah put this new toilet paper dispenser in and I put silver outlet and switch covers on.

I went with brick red accents since the bathroom shower is that color.

We put a towel bar and clock on the wall.

To make one of the walls more fun I dipped a few different round kitchen sponges in white paint and made "bubbles" all over the wall.

The shower is all cleaned up and has a nice, clean shower mat in it!

We have a little basket with washcloths and toiletries for guests on this little cabinet shelf.
Since our guest room is downstairs, our guests use this bathroom. 
(This photo was taken without a flash and looks a little dull!)

I love the results!  Now, instead of dreading going into the kid's downstairs bathroom I find myself going in there more often to tidy it up and enjoy the new look!
Total cost of the bathroom renovation, including switch plate covers, paint, frames, photos, spackle, sponges, rug, towel bar, etc. is about $52.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Yay for Yard Sales!

 A clock for the living room and a huge basket to put babies in for photo shoots!
Shorts and t-shirts for Ali at 50 cents each

A cute Dr. Suess cap

My friend Laura was selling these dress-ups for 50 cents each.  They are too small for Ali but will be perfect for Katri in a couple of years!  Laura gets everything new and keeps it in mint condition.  I practically buy out her entire yard sale every summer!
A cute summer outfit for $1!
Clothes for Katri--Does she need them?  That's highly debatable but who can resist cute baby girl stuff?
Some cute shirts for Justy

Books for the kids
 Laura sold me a BRAND NEW roasting pan for $5--a wedding gift she never used. 
I can't wait to make a roast in it this week!
A cute skirt for Katri with the tags still on it--50 cents!
My friend Heather's kids said she'd never sell this old, beat-up guitar but it was the first thing I bought.  With the hat, it was $1.50 and they will be wonderful photo props!
I've found 3 nice bike helmets at yard sales this summer to help keep my little bikers safe.  This one was 25 cents.
This frame is soooo cute!  My brother is into cowboy stuff.  This will make a nice birthday gift for him, especially if I fill it with pics of his new baby boy!
 At Christmastime I wanted to get Justus one of these little singing things.  We ended up getting him something else.  I found this one, brand-new with the tags still on it for 50 cents.  I'm stashing it away for his birthday in August.
A never-opened fleece tie-quilt kit for $5!  It costs me around $20 to just buy the materials to make one so I'm thrilled with this purchase!  I'm planning to make it for Kate's first birthday.  Our kids all love and use tie-quilts!
A brand-new pool set for $2.  If we don't end up using it for pool parties (we have two other pools) it will make a nice birthday gift for a child or could be used as a photo prop for a beach shoot.
I know two little boys who will love to get these magnifying glass sets in their Christmas stockings!  25 cents each!
My friend Laura sold this Crayola art kit for $2.  Brand New!
Perfect for my baby gift stash, this handprint kit for $2 is brand-new
Brand-new zippered bags for make-up or odds and ends in my purse (50 cents for both) and some little Crocs for Katri to wear next year (50 cents a pair).
Brand-new books and art stuff!  These made for the perfect birthday party gift for one of Ali's little friends who loves crafts!
Brand-new bath kits from Avon for $2 each--Perfect for my gift stash!
Tupperware and Corelle!  You can't go wrong with either!  $4 for 12 medium-sized plates.
My favorite find of the whole YEAR!!!!!  I have been wanting to replace our junkier hand-me-down picnic table for a couple of years and prayed that the Lord would help me to find one this summer, if it was His will.  Found this table for $10 at my pastor's wife's yard sale!  We will paint it a grayish color to match the house!  Hurray for sturdy outside furniture for our frequent dinner guests to use!
This beautiful punch bowl set was still in the box.  I'm not sure if it had been used or not but I talked the owner down from $5 to $3 and I love it!  Perfect for Ladies' Nights, baby and wedding showers, etc.
We borrow my friend Amy's little green thingy (my mind is drawing a total blank here on what these are called) a few times a year to fertilize our lawn so I snatched up this like-new one from my friend Laura for $4 now that we own a garage to keep it in!
I'm decorating Katri's room with a "Garden Tea Party" theme and was thrilled to find this brand-new, never-used musical tea set at my friend Amy's sale for $1.  Ali used to have this set but over the last 4 years she has lost all of the pieces.  The teapot plays "I'm a Little Teapot" which is Katri's favorite song.  What a find!

A Frugal Gift...

Baby gift for a new baby (and his big brother) in our church
(My finger is covering my last name)

Monday, June 6, 2011

An Exciting Testimony!

A friend e-mailed me this morning:

There's a guy at work that I may have mentioned before, Andrew, who we've all been getting to know more and more in the last few months. He's one of the guys we've spent time praying for, and he's pretty open to talking. He's the one who felt forced into believing in God, like he had no choice in the matter or something, and eventually chose to reject it. He's termed himself an agnostic ever since I met him. I've had chances to talk with him a few times, share why I believe and such. When one of his family members died, we Christians at work got him a card and took up a collection to help pay for a ticket for him to go home for the funeral. We've invited him to join us on outings and have just done our best to show him love, regardless of what he chooses to believe. Anyway, yesterday he stopped me at work and pulled a cross necklace from underneath his shirt to show me. I asked him if things had changed in regard to his beliefs, and he said yes. Of course, there wasn't time to talk to him then, so I told him I wanted to talk later. When we had a chance to talk I told him I wanted to hear what had changed, and so he told me his testimony. It was so neat to hear...he said that ever since he started getting to know us nurses, he's really been challenged in his beliefs about God. His father had given him a book a while back about God and he had shelved it because he didn't want much to do with that. But the more he got to know us, the more he realized that we honestly cared about him and weren't just trying to win a convert. When his relative died and we got him the card and the money, he said he went for a long walk and it just kind of hit him that that kind of love is proof that God exists. He started reading the book that his dad had given him. I guess one day Ashley, a fellow nurse, told him that she would rather spend the rest of her life without him than spend an eternity without him, and that really hit him hard. He said he always hated it when people preached at him, that it only drove him further away, but that we never did that. We cared about him and were genuinely interested in him, regardless of what he believed. He says he still has a lot to learn, but he's excited about learning and growing. It was so exciting to hear, and it was so cute because he smiled at me and said "and I blame you 5 nurses for causing me to reconsider what I thought I believed," to which I replied "I can handle being blamed for something like that." :)

I was SO excited that we could not only be friends in this life but that we'd be able to be friends for all of eternity. I told him so and that made him smile. We talked about how we all want to make a difference in someone's life, and I shared about how I often wonder if my efforts to show people I care and my bumbling efforts to point them to God ever do any good, and he told me that he was proof that I have made a difference in someone's life for eternity. He was going to wait and tell all of us nurses at one time, but when he showed me the cross necklace he was wearing and I guessed something had changed, he figured he better tell me today since we spent some time together.

I know it's totally God who drew Andrew to himself, and I'm so glad He chose to use me as part of the process. I know I can't take any credit for it, and I'm not trying to, but it feels so good to know that God was able to use me to help change Andrew's heart, along with my nurse friends.
Side note:  My friend and her co-workers meet once a week before work to pray for their un-believing friends at work!  I think this is so awesome!  I'm so excited to see how this has worked out!
Another huge praise!

13 years ago I prayed hardcore for a family member that I really cared about and wanted to see become saved someday.  I don't see this family member often or have much influence with him but as he's crossed my mind, I've prayed for him.  I just met a new friend this week and lo, and behold, she is a good friend of and a strong influence in my family member's life and told me that he gave his heart to the Lord 2 weeks ago!  All those years ago, I prayed for him to meet Christians and come to the faith in spite of the odds against it and it is awesome to see His hand working those prayers out in the here and now!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Skills!!!

After big brother and sister both learned to ride bikes without training wheels in the same week, "Little J" wanted to learn to ride a bike.  So, Daddy worked with him and now he can ride a little bike with training wheels.

Jer-Bear learned just 5 days after his sister!  However, he often fails to watch where he is going, like the time he hit a parked truck...

Ali is very motivated on her bike.  She and Daddy often take after-supper rides through the neighborhood for a long time.  One day I squeezed the 3 younger kids in my 2-kid bike cart and biked 2 miles across town to a friend's house and back, the uphill part was tough, I might add, and she rode all the way on her bike, and kept her balance without tipping over.

My little ones are getting independent!  It sure is tough to chase after 3 mobile kids riding up and down streets!
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