Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Growing People Change

I'm not who I need to be, but I'm not the person I once was.



Source.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has  become a new person.  The old life is gone; a new life has begun.
 2 Corinthians 5:17


The Gospel changes EVERYTHING.

I always struggled with the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  I graduated from high school without knowing the answer to that question.  I graduated from college not knowing.  Honestly, I still don't really know the answer.

But let me share what I've learned as Jesus is transforming me.

God put me on this earth on purpose and for a purpose, and although I don't know for sure what "worldly profession" I would choose, I know that spiritually, I (we) are here for the purpose of glorifying God (1 Corinthians 10:31.)

What does that look like?

One way that Scripture lays it out for us is in 2 Corinthians 10:5.

So for me, I'm working on "taking my thoughts captive and making them obedient to God."

Why do I have to wash 4 loads of laundry today?  Because I love Jesus.
Why am I up at 4:00am to give a breathing treatment?  Because I love Jesus.
Why am I changing stinky diaper #3 today?  Because I love Jesus.  
Why am I reading my Bible today?  Because I love Jesus.
Why did I forgive you?  Because I love Jesus.

Putting focus on Jesus may not change my circumstances, but IT DOES change my perspective.  Instead of asking God to TAKE ME OUT of a circumstance, I'm asking him to LET ME SEE HIM in that circumstance.   And instead of asking God to CHANGE THINGS AROUND ME, I'm asking Him to SHOW ME WHAT IS BROKEN WITHIN ME and asking Him to change it. (Psalm 139:23-24)

I am excited about how He is changing me; how He is working IN ME and THROUGH ME!  I am amazed at His GOODNESS and GRACE!

And it all started with the Gospel.

Join me at E-4!

Sincerely,

Leigh

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day 2014

False alarm on having school today.

The district schools are shut down, and, although Olivia's preschool operated on a delay this morning, I didn't take her after we watched Kevin ice skate out to his truck this morning!

This means Olivia didn't get to take her Valentine treats to her friends today.  We spent yesterday afternoon making these applesauce treats for her classmates.





Olivia and Davis both enjoy these squeezable applesauces for snack time.  I was stocking up on them at Target a few weeks ago when this idea came to me to turn them into Valentine treats for Olivia's 4-K class.  Of course, these are already plastered ALL OVER pinterest (and I thought I had an original idea.  HA!)

I found the free printable tags here.  Olivia and I printed them on white card stock and cut them out using craft scissors.  Olivia punched the holes in the top of each tag, and I tied each tag to the applesauce snacks using bakers twine.  Easy peasy! 




Then Olivia helped me decorate a little box to carry her treats in.  We simply covered a cardboard box (this one is the box that mandarin orange snack cups come in from Sams) in red and white striped wrapping paper (left over from Olivia's Minnie Mouse birthday party.)  Just to dress it up a little, we wrapped the box in black polka-dot ribbon (also from the Minnie Mouse birthday party), and finished it off with a pink heart!  This way, Olivia's teacher can throw the box away or save it and use it for crayons and things!

On another note, Kevin and I celebrated Valentine's Day last night with a "date-night-in" dinner.  




Kevin was disappointed when the weather dampened his surprise plans for a real date night.  He arranged for sweet Miss K to come watch the little ones so he and I could go out to a nice dinner.  Can I tell you that my heart shattered when he let me in on his little secret and told me we wouldn't be able to go.  I've been saying for MONTHS--I mean MONTHS peeps--how much I wanted to go OUT for a nice dinner.  To sit down at the table and not have to get up 38 times to get refills on milk, pick up fallen sippy cups and forks, get extra napkins, and not hear, "How many more bites do I have to take?" 

Are you pickin' up what I'm laying down????  

I desperately wanted to go OUT and be SERVED!  Have someone bring me a salad.  My entree.  Refill my beverage!!!  WAaaaahhhhh!  (I'm still crying on the inside!)

But not all was lost.  We put the kiddos to bed early, and made a delish dinner for ourselves!

Lamb...yummmm.  Shrimp Scampi.....yummmmm.  Roasted asparagus.....yummmmm.  Thyme Roasted Potatoes....yummmmm!





Here's who I'll be spending V-Day with!  


This picture KILLS ME every time I see it!!  Those piercing blue eyes and that dimpled smile all under a Clemson hat!  

Oh.  My.  Gracious!  

This is just how I saw Kevin for the first time in the fall of 1999 in Physics class at Clemson.  I went back to my apartment that very day and told my roommates, "Y'all, there's this guy in my physics class that has the MOOOOST AMAAAAAAAZING blue eyes!"  

I was 19 years old.  

On the one hand, it feels like a lifetime ago, but on the other hand, it feels like just yesterday.  

Either way, Kevin, I love you to the moon and back!  Today, you're a stronger MAN, FATHER, HUSBAND than you've ever been, and I know the BEST IS YET TO COME!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sincerely,

Leigh

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snowmagedon 2014: Round 2

Another day of fun in the snow!




















Let me preface the next several pictures by saying that Kevin used our little "penguin" sled as somewhat of a snowboard and successfully "snowboarded" down the hill.  Well, I was immediately up to the challenge, and I just knew I too would be successful!  The pictures speak for themselves...

































































By this afternoon, the snow was melting at rapid speeds.  Looks like our snow days are over, and it's back to school tomorrow just in time for Valentine's Day!

Sincerely,

Leigh

Snowmagedon 2014

We **HEART** snow days!





We spent all of yesterday out playing in the snow!!







The kiddos (and the kids-at-heart) had a most enjoyable day!







And just when the cold got to be too much, we came in and warmed up with bowls of crockpot beef stew and cornbread! 









I kept waking up throughout the night last night fully expecting to be without power.  Each time I realized the house was still warm, so I would say a little prayer of thanks as I drifted back off to sleep. 

We're about to bundle up for another day of "snow" much fun!!  And this afternoon we're making snow cream!!

Sincerely,

Leigh  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Teacher's Care Package

Olivia's teacher has been out sick for almost 3 weeks now.

While we don't know any details of her illness, Olivia did want to send her some love.




I'm quite sure that tissue, hand wipes and sanitizer won't bring about any miraculous cures, but we hope it brings a smile to Mrs. C's face!



Sincerely,

Leigh

Monday, February 3, 2014

Guest Suite: In the Middle of Things

We've been working on our guest bedroom and bathroom over the past week.  The guest suite is far from finished, but there has been big progress.

Here's how the guest room looked a few months ago (yellow walls, grody ceiling fan and all!):







And this is the guest room today...





So far, I've painted the ceiling and Kevin installed a new ceiling fan.  Three walls are painted Benjamin Moore China White, and the wall behind the bed is Benjamin Moore Van Courtland Blue.



Like I said, the room is far from finished.  I'm bouncing around some ideas about what to do for some sort of "headboard" behind the bed.  The curtain valances aren't finished.  I bought 84" panels for this room (as you can see in the before picture) but they weren't long enough to hang above the window trim.  So I debated ways I could lengthen them, but I ultimately decided to turn one of the panels into 2 valances.  I still need to put the finishing touch on them.  So I'm left with a full panel to do with as I please.  I may use it as a shower curtain in the adjoining bath (or not...I don't know yet.)  And I've purchased the supplies to make 2 side tables for the bed (for about $12 each!)  

Now for the adjoining bathroom.  I didn't take any pictures before I started, so here's the "in-progress" stage (mess and all)...




You can't tell from these bad pictures, but the walls in the bathroom are a lighter version of the yellow that was in the bedroom.  All of it was painted in FLAT paint which I despise!!!  Flat paint absolutely sucks all the light out of a room, AND it CANNOT BE CLEANED!  It's a pet peeve of mine.  I use nothing less than a satin for my walls because (#1)if it gets scuffed or dirty, it can be wiped down, and (#2) the satin gives just enough sheen to reflect light around the room.  WIN!  WIN!





So far, I've painted the ceiling the same Van Courtland Blue as in the bedroom, and Kevin and I have started to hang beadboard wallpaper.  It's the same Allen + Roth Beadboard Wallpaper I used in Olivia's bathroom in our old house.  





The wallpaper is only about half way finished.  Once it's all hung, I like to caulk around where the paper meets the crown molding and the base boards, and I also caulk all the seams.  The directions don't say anything about caulking, but I did it in our old house to make the seams and ends look more finished (since I'm not a professional wallpaper installer, I had some boo-boos to cover up!)  Plus, in my mind, I'm thinking if all the seams are caulked, it will prevent steam from showers from getting behind the paper and causing it to peel off in the future (although, this bathroom isn't used on a regular basis for showers and such.)  The final step will be to paint the wallpaper in a Semi-Gloss White.  I can't wait to have this finished!  I adore the look of white beadboard walls and a blue ceiling!

I'll post more pictures when things are further along!

Sincerely,

Leigh

**Update**
Click here to see completed guest bathroom.
Click here to see completed guest bedroom.