Monday, February 22, 2010

More Favorites

So I have decided to devote Fridays to 'some of my favorite things'. I have heard of other blogs with Friday favorites so i will try to stay organized in my thoughts and commit to other things. I am thinking of organizing my blog days a little better..
For those of you that remember i have sorted my daily chores according to days of the week with alliteration. I am currently thinking of how much i need to add to that list but still rely on it for our home to semi-function. So if you have any suggestions i welcome them!! Mopping Monday- i sweep the whole house & mop. Tidy Tuesday-iron, dust, straighten up. Washing Wednesday-wash, dry, put away all dirties. Thorough Thursday-scrub bathrooms. Frugal Fridays-cut coupons, grocery shop.
I am considering the following things in revisions:
1. I need to plan the menu for the week before i cut coupons & shop but that is often hard to do all in one day. I am also thinking of how Brennan is at Mothers Day Out on Tuesdays and it is easier to shop with just one. (There is actually room in the buggy for the food!!)
2. With Brennan potty training we are needing to wash more often to have clean undies.
3. I need to think on a monthly basis too.

For now here are some more of my favorite things. Stay tuned for this Friday-I will post some more things. 


My laundry room has this great peg board wall!!

Our car DVD player. I couldn't get to my moms (5 hours away) without it!! Not a huge TV fan, but these were $95 for a double set and Ben had just sold a camera. Knox doesn't use his yet, but before long..
My hubby has recommened this to me-a "moleskin". It has my weekly grocery list, meal plan, calculation of money spent etc..
Both the recipe book stand and the recipe book.."Deceptively Delicious" check it out here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

House Story


So if any of my readers have known me very long then they most likely know the "Blue House with Stairs" story. Which i will briefly give the short version for those of you who do not know it. Then i will share the story of how we got the home we currently live in.
Blue House:
I was 3 years old. It was Christmas. My family lived in Dothan AL. My older sister got a blue dollhouse for Christmas, complete with stairs and everything. I told my parents I wanted a blue house with stairs. THinking that i was just a discontented 3 year old wanting anything i didn't have they said that next year i could ask Santa for one. Feeling misunderstood-my 3 year old self said 'No- a real blue house with stairs!' Half laughing, they told me that i 'needed to ask God about that'...so every night when we said our prayers, i would pray to God for a blue house with stairs. They didn't know exactly how to deal with me about that. Not too long after my dad was offered a job in Scottsboro Al. Happy in his current occupation, he declined..three times. On the fourth he consented to at least come. Long story shorter..we looked for homes for a day and a half. Nothing we saw interested any of us. Until the realtor said 'Well there is this one old house. It would need a lot of work..its..well' and as we pulled into the drive i jumped out of my seat "That's it!! Thats it that is the blue house with stairs!!!" (very Miracle on 31st street..i know i know..)
So..i grew up in that house and many of you may remember it. 
When Ben was offered a job here, in Athens Tennesssee, we didn't have much luck finding a house we could afford. There was this one house built in the year 1900. (The blue house was built in 1907, i became a wuss for old houses back then and never lost the thrill of a home with a past). It was for rent with the option to buy.  We moved in and i was thinking 'this is gonna be great' until we had a guy solicit us for x rated films, a neighbor knock on the door at 9pm asking if we had been 'hit' because 4 other homes on the block had been broken into..not to mention that it was easier to get in our front door with a credit card than it was with a key..so we went looking for a better (uh..safer?..) area.
Not much luck until one day Ben picked me up from the school i taught at and brought me to this house. As we drove the one mile from the school i was thinking wow-good location..Then we went inside. The kitchen was yellow and the master bath was too. There was blue willow (a family favorite) in every room..as we walked through it i was saying to myself "Don't get your hopes up this is more than you can afford.." The lady was the kindest, most gentle lady ever and very encouraging to us. We walked away downhearted once she told us the listed price though. Days later we recieved a call from her saying that someone else had put an offer on the house, but that she couldn't get us off her mind..didn't we want to come one more time? I was thinking 'no that is torture. We know that we can't afford it.' But my kindhearted, faith filled hubs insisted. 
When we got to the house she came to the door with eyes red from apparent crying. Not knowing her well or wanting to pry we didn't ask questions. She said "I'll just step out while you guys look around..take your time"  We had caught the reason she was selling. Her husband had passed from cancer recently, her mother's health was getting worse and she had decided to move in with her.  i assumed all of that was the possible reason for her red eyes..When she came back in though she said "Ya'll i have been sitting on this couch the last 2 hours praying and i just feel like you are meant to have this house. Flattered yet checked by the reality of our bank account, we declined any ability to act on that desire. So we were honest about that with her. She responded with "Well, what can you afford?" We asked what the monthly payments were which she didn't know because the house was paid off with her late husband's financial state. She said that she would work with us and whoa..were we elated! 
So not long after we moved into this home built in the 1950's. We have kept in touch with thesweet lady we bought this house from and she came to a baby shower that i had for a friend and toured it with our little changes here and there. With tears in her eyes she walked into Brennan's room and said 'I always thought this would be a great nursery..I am thrilled that you will raise your family here!"
And so are we!

Friday, February 12, 2010

A few of my favorite things..

So I found the site southern hospitality through this photography blog..I have begun to visit those because of my husband's interest and gifting in this area (to chick his site click here).
Her site linked to several design sites and some where home decor.
Ben and I LOVE to design and decorate our home. We only dream of people consulting us for their home..more Ben than me. He is edgy and can be modern. I am more traditional and lean towards the antiques.
I wanted to share some of my favorite things about our home with you. I will save the story of how we got our amazing house for another post. For now here are some of my favorite things i look at every day:

Our master bedroom. No need for a headboard with these great windows.
Isn't this handmade cabinet built in our kitchen amazing? Perfect for all of Ben's books.


Here is our closet room. It used to be a washer room closet before the house was remodeled by the previous owner. Large enough for a twin ben mattress and frame that Ben and his dad built.
In the hall across from the boys closet playroom is a chalkboard that Ben & his dad built.
Gotta love those pastel bathroom tiles. We lucked out and this wallpaper i found online calmed down the pink a bit.
My favorite color has always been yellow, so i don't complain too much about the retro colors we were stuck with. But this behind the toilet cabinet is super unique and allows for a lot of storage in a super small bathroom.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Brennan's pastimes

Playing the drums while Ben plays the 'tar'..
Using 'squeeze' (Handy manny pliers) to fix Knox's play station..
Walking a mile in mommy's shoes..
Naptime...
This is what happens when you turn on Elmo..

B-ish

There once was a little girl who knew the two of these men. She never saw one without the other. Where there was Ben-there was Ish. They lived together, played together, laughed together, slep...well not really that. But Ish was jokingly called Ben's first wife by this little girl's daddy..Thus the name "Bish". Dear girl..
We were honored to have our dear buddy in for a visit and his (well not officially) wife to be (an old friend of mine from college strange enough!)

Brennan loved Uncle Ish-here he is wearing his hat..we usually tell Brennan only girls wear earrings..there goes that theory! Love you Ish (and sorry for the no make up pic Amba!)

Good for your heart

Valentines Day...What does that mean to you? What did it mean to you as a kid..before the days of thinking about your crush or spouse? For me it meant roses or a card from dear old Dad (my faithful Valentine for almost 18 years). It meant parties at school where homeroom moms brought red Koolaid, but MOSTLY and without fail it meant homemade heart shaped tea cakes! My mom makes these EVERY year of my life. I wish i had access to our old photo albums and could show you some pics of the past. One year we had a big Valentines day party at my house and all of me and my sister's friends dressed in 50's outfits and after school  they all came over for treats that of course, included these treasured cookies.
So today Brennan and i were walking through the kitchen and in the back of my mind i was contemplating what to do for his little Mother's Day out class. It was snowing and FREEZING. I had already gone to the store for the week but the party is tommorow. As if i needed a sign (and as if he read my mind) Brennan said "mommy, cook". So we got our butter, flour, sugar, vanilla, rolling pin, cookie cutter and just for the heck of it i put on an apron. Think it made me feel even more 1950's perfect homemaker-ish..anyway. Then Brennan and I embarked on our first addition of these blessed tea cakes. Here are some pics:

Little B helped in EVERY step of the process! Lately he LOVES to help cook..and he loves airplanes..we are thinking chef or pilot...hmm either way we get a pretty sweet deal-good food or quick travel!
Last batch..look closely-he wanted to put the last one on the pan (its a big ball of blob!)
Finished product: one happy little man!!!


Happy Valentines Day friends! How are you celebrating?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tutoring

So i haven't talked about my tutoring students much.. They are absolutely HILARIOUS!!!!!  I tutor on MOnday and Tuesday nights at 7:30. Knox goes to bed at 7ish. Brennan goes to bed around 7:15 sometimes as late as 7:45. So it works great..plus its $200 a month and i get to use my degree (and LOVE for teaching!)
I just have to tell you the stories from the last two nights! (Ben says that he loves to just listen to their lessons as i teach! :)
Monday nights are a little 4th grade girl who is absolutely darlin. She is small for her age, has long blonde hair, glasses and an ability to bundle layers and look messy while smelling of yummy laundry detergent and hard wood burning heaters..Last night i was working with her with her language homework. The assignment was to write a story using a realistic character from a previous book..I tried not to spew my drink when she said "How do you spell al-va-suden?" I told her to try her best, to say it out loud slowly and coached her 'all of a sudden?' i asked, but that is how she spelled it-"alvasuden"..Yes friends, she meant 'all of a sudden'!
Tonight i was tutoring a 5th grade student in History. He has radical wild hair that goes in every direction. He is very intelligent, mostly just lazy and unmotivated. He comes up with some funny stuff. Tonight we were talking about the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations. I was coaching him through what took place when the League of Nations. I said 'there had just been a World War, they wanted to form a way for countries to settle things in what kind of way?' He said 'treaty of versailles'..i said 'you are not even listening to me!'  I repeated the sentence four times-blank stare..Finally i said 'what is the opposite of war?'..he said 'not war'..i said 'Stop/go..off/on..war/?." Stil his answer..NOT WAR!! I laughed out loud and said 'dude, you're killing me'...war/ PEACE!!  It was just a clue to answer the bigger question of how they wanted to settle things." Please don't think i am mocking him or that he is incapable of intelligence. His dad is a medical doctor, who also has an engineering degree..his genetics alone prove that. He trully is smart. I believe it and have told him that MILLIONS of times. If you have any inspirational tips they are welcome.  I have been candid and creative to the inth degree..but i am not claiming perfection..(i didn't even pronounce Versailles correctly!)..Its just funny some of the things that come up. At the beginning of the lesson i was told that Arizona was one of the 7 continents! And that the continent we live on is Australia!
Gotta love my job!