Happy Birthday Annie!

Happy 2nd birthday sweet little sister!

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A Week In Review

Like any other weeks this one has had highs and lows.  The week started out pretty sad then frustrating. We had an amazing man in our lives and community pass away this week.  On Sunday his life was celebrated. What an amazing celebration it was, but for us left here, it is so so sad.  Before the funeral we had church service.  If you cant see there is an entire living room scene hanging upside down from the roof of the sanctuary.  We are beginning a series on The Sermon on the Mount.  We were challenged to start living life Upside Down.  To be noticeably different from the ways of this world.  Mr. Gene definitely did not live for this world but he did serve the people of it with Christian love every single day.20140115-100309.jpg                                                                  Funny, I feel like my living room is upside down all the time!

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20140115-100335.jpgThis image is what I’ve always dreamt being a Mommy was always about!  A girl to play dress up in my shoes!  I did totally miss the part about her carrying an iPod around in her pocket at 4 years old.  Didn’t see that coming!

20140115-100349.jpgThese girls!  This was taken about 5:00 pm on Tuesday. The time of day when everyone in this house is a hot mess regardless of how the day progresses.  However, Tuesday was a day!  I was getting water at work and dropped an entire Tervis tumbler full of water in my shoes.  Also I called to check on my perfect window panels that had not been delivered and it turns out they are SOLD OUT and will not be getting more. Oh!  And did I mention our blinds did not fit?!  We are getting new ones this weekend. Sadness!

20140115-100400.jpgWednesday morning I woke up to this!  I LOVE love notes! And my husband!

Wednesday morning I got to work and found a great surprise!  Earlier I had taken the chipped polish off my nails and thought how bare my fingers look now that they have gotten used to polish.  I have been lusting over the Butter Nail Polish at a shop in town for months, but it’s a little bit of a splurge for nail polish in my opinion.  When I arrived at work this fun new spring shade of blue BUTTER was waiting for me with a great pair of earrings.  One of my sweet friends spent the weekend at Mart and brought me back goodies! Talk about a mid-week game changer!

20140115-100438.jpgDoesn’t it look great with my new fab skirt from Target?!  Why do my hands look SO old?  Time for grown up moisturizer!

All week we have had our yard cleaned up.  They have cut down trees, cleaned up around the barn, transplanted bushes and cleaned out flowerbeds.  It is looking great around here!  I mean look at this trash pile!

20140116-191949.jpgIt is much bigger than it looks.  That lattice had a rose bush creeper type vine growing up the side of our porch.  It’s much taller than me.  The Cowboy says we can burn it but I think it will set the whole county on fire!

Today we both started an Advocare Cleanse.  I’m only doing a 10 day but Ben is doing the whole 24.  We did ok today.  We didn’t prepare enough lunch and afternoon snacks and were STARVING by dinner time.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Also, tomorrow is Annie’s birthday! How is this girl already 2 years old??

annie 092This was our first day as a family of 4.  Crazy how much babies grow in 2 years!

A rainy weekend on the Ponderosa

Now that it is finally 60 degrees, which feels like summer time, it is super rainy and soggy. At least when you know it is going to rain all day you can plan for it. The girls stayed up until about 10 last night so that will make a long nap today (thinking, hoping, praying and wishing). Also Daddy brought home our new rug last night so floor play is warm and comfy.

20140111-080318.jpgI couldn’t get the princess to stop twirling long enough for a photo.

The rug is basically just a 10×10 piece of thick higher grade shag carpet. Looking at it we could have even got a 12×12 or bigger. Our living room space is huge compared to the other houses we have lived in. At this point in the game, our almost grown-up budget couldn’t really afford a grown-up area rug. Also, I really couldn’t justify that price while I still have toddlers eating and spilling juice on the floor. This is perfect for our family right now and it is SO comfortable! It really pulls our living area together.

This is also the last day that I will have our vinyl pull down shades! The blinds are going up!

20140111-080305.jpgApparently it takes taking a picture to realize one of your pictures has fallen down on the top of your hutch.

Now that we have the rug down, the Cowboy-turned-interior-decorator has about 4 other projects he wants to do in here. ” Whoa, boy! Baby steps!” We obviously still have a lot to do but we’ve also come a long way. This paint color is my favorite! When I went to all the decorating blogs looking how to make this huge living room look smaller and warmer, Benjamin Moore Woodgrain Brown kept coming up. I was hesitant to paint such a big space chocolate brown, but it is perfect.

I also painted a little nook in my pantry with chalkboard paint this week. The pantry is right off the kitchen and right by the backdoor. This wall always holds calendars, reminders and notes so I thought chalkboard would be fun!

20140111-080327.jpgWe have Dress Yourself Saturday at this house. Amelia picks out her own outfit and can wear whatever she wants as long as it’s weather appropriate. Somehow, dress yourself Saturday moved it’s way right into Friday this week. Also, we are not a SpongeBob family, but my dad thought this hat was colorful and cute and picked it out himself.

I declare that is enough productivity for one week.  I predict an afternoon of food, puzzles, Candyland, tv, naps and reading.  We may get crazy and have a dance party with the karaoke machine!

20140111-104040.jpgI’m still reading Crazy Love and I’m in a state of awe with every page I turn.  It is so obvious the Lord is in the book.  It has been revealed to me that all of our days are numbered.  There are some precious things that matter in this life and a whole bunch of stuff that doesn’t.  Some days the things that matter drive me straight up the wall.  So far, today is not one of those days.  For that I am thankful!

The Freeze of 2014

Well, it’s been a rough few days on the Ponderosa.  Single digit temps have no place in Georgia!  Sunday my inlaws came down to winterize our pump house and well (they are way good to us kiddos!).  Monday we covered all the water hose faucets, put the kitties in the barn with food, water, a space heater and a blanket and forgot to leave our water running when we went to bed.  Dumb, dumb, dummies!

20140108-211858.jpgYes, we are obviously animal lovers!  These really are great little kitties.

I woke up to take a shower Tuesday morning and no water. BOOOOO! I still can not believe we did that.  Luckily, again, we are right across the pasture from my in-laws.  This meant pancakes and bacon for breakfast while we showered and dinner and dessert for bath time.  While the fellowship and food was wonderful, it has been very stressful getting dressed with 2 toddlers (is a 4 year old still a toddler?  Or a kid?) in 2 homes.  And even though it’s close by, going outside when the wind chill is below zero is not acceptable.  Plus, yesterday morning Amelia’s school was delayed 2 hours due to cold weather.  Since my office was not delayed for cold weather I had an intern for a few hours. She’s cute but my productivity is way down when she participates.

These past 2 days have made me a grump.  Cold weather alone puts me in a funk.  Add on the stress of no indoor plumbing (no showers, no way to brush teeth, no coffee, no way to wash lunchbox items, no washing hands after changing diapers, no flushing of toilets) and trying to get back into a routine from Christmas break all in one week about did me in. I also have not had a way to work in quiet time since Sunday and I feel the difference.

Today I was sitting at my desk eating lunch.  This is after I was 15 mins late to work thanks to children with no sense of urgency, not sleeping well, so waking up late-with no coffee and a train.  So as I sat at my desk eating warm soup that my mother in law sent with me I realized the blessings in this story.  It’s almost like that soup warmed me all the way to my soul

20140108-211837.jpgEvery family has frustrations, but I have a mother in law that randomly brings frozen garden veggies to my freezer and sweets to my kitchen table when I’m not home, who sends lunch with me to work many days and does a whole host of other things to help us raise our children.

20140108-211910.jpgWhile being at work for almost 2 hours was not ideal, it is always nice to sit beside this girl and learn about her. She sat on her side of my desk at her “office” and drew a picture of herself with her teacher and her teacher’s daughter.  They were on a play date together.  I love that she adores her teacher.  Always good to have affirmation that your children are were they are supposed to be.

20140108-211819.jpgAnnie’s school sent home Snowman Soup (marshmallows, hot chocolate and a candy cane) to warm them up from all the cold.  Not only did they give Annie one but they also sent one home for Amelia.  They are always so kind to think of both sisters!

msAnd these two,  there are no words!  There is no way I would get through a day without the encouragement and support my parents provide.  In about a year they will be living in our town.  There have been very few times when I regretted being an only child.  Maybe because I am still spoiled???? Nah!

20140108-211829.jpgTHEN I got home this afternoon and we had water!  No busted pipes or anything!  We got lucky this time!  The sinks are already dripping for tonight.  Tomorrow is a new day and while I’m excited to see it, today wasn’t too shabby itself.  I should spend a little of my fingernail time on my toenails.

I bought some chalkboard paint today for a fun upcoming project.  Stay tuned!  All these ups and downs are what make up life, whether you are on a “ponderosa” or not!

Epiphany!

Did you know that today is Epiphany?  What a great reminder on a Monday!  The revelation of Jesus Christ!  A reminder that He is alive and not silent.  That he is the light!  Hooray!  I learned a few things this morning… 1. it only took 2 weeks of winter break to get completely off schedule 2. My girls have no sense of urgency 3. I DO NOT do cold weather 4. It’s hard to get dressed, devote some time to the Lord, make lunches and do whatever else it is I do in the mornings before the girls get up.  What do I do?  What time do you get up?  I absolutely do not think I can do earlier than 5:45.

20140106-165915.jpgSo I’m trying to read a little in between cooking and refereeing the little people (I may get a half a page in!)  I have tried and tried to read at night but I fall straight asleep!

20140106-165928.jpgAlong with cold weather, I jokingly told my husband I would cook dinner in the nude if he’d fix the starter in the gas log fireplace.  I’m totally not doing that.  Surely he will think fuzzy pajama pants, Uggs and a thermal shirt is sex-ay!  Right?

20140106-165955.jpgAnd hopefully these apple cider onion glazed pork chops will be good enough to distract if he doesn’t like the fact that I’m cooking in pjs! ha! I mean, he is home and the fireplace still isn’t on so I’m good!  Children have to eat… 🙂

Good news is that he did come home with the living room blinds! hip hip hooray!!!  AND I did get 2 beautiful dresses at the Lilly sale this morning.  Terrible selection on scarves.  Did you watch Downton Abbey?  What did you think?

Downton and Lilly Keeping me Warm

I would say the weekend was productive enough for a weekend. We found a rug we are having cut and will pick up hopefully this week. We will have the blinds put up before Annie’s birthday (all about deadlines). The guy came to look at our outdoor projects and is starting Saturday. In the middle of all this productivity the girls and I went shopping and lunching with Nana while the Cowboy put out a weeks worth of hay, I had dinner with some girl friends and we had an AMAZING morning at church. Our theme for the year at church is Living a Missional Life. Our church is really big on missions and while I do think it is important to serve people at the ends of the earth, I think the mission field is also right in front of your face. One of Ben’s bosses said once “Africa is in the congregation.” While our church is still focused on global missions, the theme of the year is what is in front of you with Colossians 4:5-6 backing it up. If I had to pick a defining moment of 2013, finding this church would be at the top of my list!

20140105-172027.jpgNot the cutest church picture in the world, live from the messy playroom, but they are still sweet.

After lunch and a nap this was in my inbox!!!!

20140105-172041.jpgI LOVE the Lilly Sale!  Hoping for some Easter dresses and maybe a new murfee scarf

THEN I realized Season 4 of Downton Abbey premiers TONIGHT!! Oh Matthew, I will miss your face!  But the show must go on!

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It’s chilly today but they are projecting weather colder than I normally tolerate tomorrow.  So cold that my sweet father in law came down this afternoon to put covers on our waterhoses and a light in our pump house so everything doesn’t freeze.  Living across the pasture from your inlaws has many perks!   I DO NOT like the cold.  I do not like it at all, but I think Lilly Pulizer and Downton Abbey with hot tea and my hot husband will make it bearable!

Panels Purchased!

I did it! I really did it! I purchased curtain panels for the dining room.  I have decided that it was easier for me to commit to having a second child than it is for me to commit to drapery, bedding or a purse.  That makes complete sense, right?

We decided that we would tackle two projects this weekend, window treatments for the living and dining room and an area rug for the living room (unless it turns out that rugs also fall into the noncommittal category).  I wouldn’t be as concerned about the windows because you can’t see us from the road but I think they will warm the place up and we still have Grandma’s vinyl roll up shades.  And the rug.. hardwoods are C-O-L-D.  I would tell you how cold it is outside but my car has said “ICE” all afternoon.  I assume that is really cold?!  Since Ben will not let me carpet the living room, because the floors are original and beautiful, I need to get a rug for the girls to roll around on.

When we moved into this house in April we had a complete blank slate. http://www.chroniclingthecomerfords.blogspot.com/2013/03/what-busy-weekend.html  I thought this was going to be great (and it is) but it is completely overwhelming.  One, we have never had a house with rooms or walls this big so we are basically starting over with all new décor and two, this is our permanent house.  I feel like I can spend money since we will be here for the long haul, but there is still a young people budget involved.  Plus, we are old enough where things don’t need to look cheap but still not completely grownups with grownup stuff.

All of these reasons is why I am SUPER excited about today’s find.  Have you ever been to Cost Plus World Market?  They have some really amazing things at pretty reasonable prices.  The thing about window panels is that 96″ panels at a “reasonable” price is still expensive.   I got this amazing panels today for $23.98 each!  I also bought the rods.  I really hope they live up the to reviews because they seem to be a steal!

drapes

Let’s see if the rest of the weekend will be this productive (and cost friendly)!  As I am finishing this post, Ben and the guy who is giving us a quote to do some outside projects is pulling up the drive.  SO EXCITING!  Yes, I do believe this will get me through winter! 🙂

In other resolution news… Francis Chan knocked me off my feet this morning reading the Justified Stress part of Crazy Love… “Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives. Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others or our tight grip of control.  Both worry and stress reek of arrogance.” OUCH!  All is true but that sure is hard to remember when you are right in the middle of crap!

Off to a weekend of putting out hay in the freezing cold for the cowboy and warm home improvements on the inside.  Just a little bit of our Life on the Ponderosa! 🙂

Winter Blues

 I start getting the winter blues about this time each year.  Today especially I am really longing for summer.  I mean, look at all the wonderfulness in this picture!

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And now look at the weather forecast..Image

Once I pass Christmas I am ready for things to start warming up. Unfortunately, winter is really just starting.  On top of the cold weather we have had way too much rain.  Yuck and yuck!

I try to find things this time of the year I can do to keep my mind off the weather.  I’ve planned vacations, done projects around the house, had babies, etc.  We are still trying to decide if we are going to try Disney this year or next.  I’m thinking next but it is still up in the air.  I am definitely not having a baby so that leaves room for projects.  The hubs and I have a list of things that we still want to do around here.  We have some big plans outside once things warm up but maybe we will focus on the inside for now, starting this weekend!  You think?  Maybe I can talk him into some Saturday fun?  He just told me yesterday I need to pick a room and start on things so maybe.  We continue to look at rugs for the living rooms and really need some thing on our windows.  Blinds, panels, who knows…

One of my goals for the year is to interact more with my girls.  To get on their level and do things with them rather than existing in the house around them.  I was successful doing this today.  Playing is so much more fun when you own a karaoke machine.  We also did puzzles, went on a bear hunt and ate popcorn.  I’m always nervous to set resolutions because I feel like everyone quits by February, but you never know unless you try!

Happy Twenty Fourteen!

Happy New Year! I hope your NYE was bubbly and fun! We had a party of 9 with some friends. Once the 5 little ones went to bed us grown ups watched football, watched the ball drop, kissed and headed to bed. It was not bow ties and high heels but it was a lot of fun. Crazy how times change isn’t it?

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My first goal of the new year (right behind cleaning the baseboards, which I have now completed) is to read this book. I’m one of the last people I know to read it. I’m really excited to see what Crazy Love is all about and what kind of changes it has in store for me. I ended 2013 going through Wonderstruck. It was a wonderful, eye-opening book. I’d recommend it for a group study or individual read.
I hope you all are as excited about this year as I am! At this moment 2014 looks very similar to 2013. Im a little unorganized, the girls are pretty whiny and the main man has been watching football all day. New beginnings are not necessarily clean slates but they are a good place to start moving forward and making changes.