Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Time, His Time

Hello, my name is Hailey, and I can't get out of bed in the morning. No, I really hate getting out of bed.  Ever read this book by Dr. Seuss? Its a favorite around here.

Dr Seuss Beginner Books: I'm Not Going To Get Up Today! by Dr Seuss

"The alarm can ring. The birds can peep.
My bed is warm. My pillow is deep.
Today's the day I'm going to sleep."
 - Dr. Seuss

That's how I feel most days. Once I'm up I'm fine. Even if its at 5am. Once I'm up, I'm fine. I LOVE my first cup of coffee, but its half decaf and I can survive just fine without it. Really.  It's just the whole getting out of bed thing I have a major problem with.

And it becomes an even bigger problem when I feel majorly convicted to get up and spend my personal quiet time with God - praying, reading the Bible, and just being still and listening - before the kids wake up.

A few weeks ago I got together with some of my dear girlfriends for the purpose of sharing our current joys and struggles, holding each other accountable, and praying together. I am SOOO BLESSED beyond belief to have chicas like them in my life. I need my regular turn in the spotlight to admit my failures to those I can trust, knowing they will pray for and encourage me. I had to admit to them that since we moved (in October) I hadn't even unpacked my alarm clock. SHAME ON ME! I've become such a lazy bum. I really want to be a Proverbs 31 woman. Verse 15 says she rises also while it is still night. Ouch.

At this get together, one of my besties gave me a old light blue glass bottle she had found in the woods near her house. She knew I'd appreciate it. It was inscribed with the former contents - Arabian Balsam - and the name of an apothecary in Providence, RI - E. Morgan & Sons. We all discussed what I might do with it after I looked up more info about it on the internet. Another friend, that I'm just getting to know more and am quickly discovering is a kindred spirit of the treasure hunting type, had a great suggestion.  I should write my commitment to God, roll it up, and stuff it into the bottle. Then I should set the bottle out somewhere I will see it often to remind me of my commitment to get up early for time with God every day.

As soon as I got home that night I dug out my alarm clock and set it for just before 6:00am. That was my goal - to be out of bed by 6:00 every morning. The great thing about home schooling is that I don't have a bus or official school clock to make me get up at a certain time. The bad thing about home schooling is that I don't have a bus or official school clock to make me get up at a certain time.

The next few mornings I was up and at it early. Lovely. Well, that didn't last long before I resorted back to the old habit of hitting snooze in my sleep. Several times.  It's not my fault - I do it in my sleep! So I haven't gotten up that early many days since. SHAME ON ME! I guess I need to move the alarm clock to the other side of the room? Oh....yeah...last resort....PRAY and ask God to help me get up?? Duh!

Well, I was picking up the house the other night and still had the watch face I picked up at a Florida thrift shop laying on the counter.

Where was I going to put this? What was I going to do with it? Then I got the "Aha!"

I have a picture of me and some of the girl friends mentioned above that's been resting on the window sill above my kitchen sink. I see their faces throughout the day and I'm reminded to thank God for them, pray for them, and remember the things they are holding me accountable to. I set the little blue bottle beside it and perched up the watch face between them. 

Oops, I intended to set the clock hands at ten of six, to symbolize when my alarm is set, but I accidentally set them to ten of seven.
I know this little display isn't going to magically get me out of bed early every morning. But I think that visual reminders of what God is telling me to do or what he has done is a good thing. I'm currently in a Bible study going through the first book of the Bible, Genesis, and its had me thinking about the ways that God and those who put their faith in him would establish visual reminders of commitments.

Because I've put this "out there" I invite anyone to ask me how I'm doing - the more accountability the better. Got any helpful tips? I'd welcome those too. Or better yet, pray for me!

Do you have any commitments that you're struggling following through on?

Have you established any visual reminders of commitments you've made to God or others? I'd love to hear about them!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sea Shells & Sand Dollars

This past holiday we managed to spend a few weeks 10 minutes away from Disney and NOT GO!! Our kids only asked about it a few times and never made a big deal about the fact that we never made it there. We're outdoors people, trying to instill that same passion for nature in our kids. Disney Shmisney. Get me to the mountains or the ocean! So in between hubby's flu and cellulitis episodes (yeah...our holiday vacation didn't go exactly as expected), we tried to spend as much time as possible as family in the great outdoors. I brought home just a few natural souvenirs this year.

I took home only one big white pine cone that one of my kids found for me on a walk around our neighborhood. I'll add it to the stash from last year that I still haven't done anything creative with yet.

Our townhouse is in the middle of the state but we drove out to the west coast a couple of times. The ocean becons me. Both days I collected as many little iridescent shells as I could while chasing a toddler around the beach. Apparently she found them as interesting as I did.

Here they are rinsed off and spread out.

I'm not sure if I'll just put them in a glass container to display or glue them onto something or what. Anyone got suggestions?

One outdoor experience in FL was kind of cool although it didn't result with anything tangible we could take home. Maybe its just the homeschool mom in me, but I get excited when life presents unexpected learning opportunities that we can actually experience and not just read about in a book.

We were taking a walk through Lake Louisa State Park and there were tons of animal prints in the sand along the paths. A sign that we passed early on indicated we were likely to see this type of evidence.

It was fun to stop and try to identify them on the spot (when the kids weren't trudging through them and ruining them before we could tell them to stop and look).
Deer tracks
Bobcat tracks
I'm trying to train my kids to have eagle eyes for spotting interesting things when we're outside. But they don't usually need my help. Ever since she was a baby, this kid would spot a ladybug across a room and point it out.

On the drive home from FL we decided to take an extra day to make some stops in South Carolina. We did an overnight on Hilton Head Island (because two days at the ocean in FL just wasn't enough) and then made a short stop in Charleston as well. Our hotel in Hilton Head (that we HIGHLY recommend and hope to revisit) was on the beach, and although the temp was only in the 60s, that didn't stop the girls from getting into their bathing suits and playing on the shore.


It was my hubby that found a sand dollar that first afternoon and our oldest was happy to display it for the camera.

Of course I saved it. I did several rinses and soaked it in fresh water back at the suite and planned to take it home to bleach. The next morning we went back out to the beach again when the tide was around the same spot and this time I walked up and down the beach looking for more sand dollars. I only found two more but was happy with that. After taking them all home, soaking, rinsing, and bleaching, this is what I'm left with:
These will compliment the starfish (that originally came from South Carolina too) that were on display in my bathroom before we moved ...when its finally time to unpack them.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thrifting in Florida

This just confirms why I never blog any more. Yup, a reality check. ::sniff, sniff:: A little over a month ago I had this pipe dream that I was going to set aside time as my birthday present to myself, to pump out a few posts...but that never happened! I started a few and well, just got too busy. So here's a little catching up from the holidays. I'm trying to finish what I started but don't expect too much more anytime soon.


This was our second year spending a few weeks in Florida around the holidays. Last year I braved a few antique shops with kids in tow and lived to tell about it. This year I never made it back to those antique shops like I wanted to but I did manage to do a little thrifting. The first word that comes to mind to describe the thrift shops near our townhouse down there is GROSS. But I was desperate for a little treasure hunting action so I just hoped that if the rough was that rough, the diamonds I'd find would shine that much brighter. Here's what I ended up with:

First, one of my favorite finds is this vintage chandelier that I'm going to hang in my girls' room.

The "crystals" are a light amber color.

I took these pictures before cleaning it at all. It was very dusty and dingy so it'll sparkle and shine even more when its actually clean. I'm planning to repaint and set up this {curb alert} canopy bed for my oldest daughter and I think I might hang the chandelier over/inside the top so she gets her own private fancy lighting. (I don't plan on putting up a canopy over the top of the bed, just hanging panels around the sides.)

The light fixture is unique because it has a super long chain cord that can just plug into a wall outlet - that means I don't have to mess with anything electrical to hang it and it can be easily moved if we re-arrange furniture or swap kids around (3 kids, 2 bedrooms) down the road.

I took my oldest daughter with me the first stay of thrifting and she's actually the one that found this large, slightly rusty, cast iron key for me. I should have added something to the photo to show scale, but it about 8 inches long.

I'm so proud of my girl for noticing this on her own, recognizing its potential, and bringing it to me! Apple doesn't fall far from the tree... :)

I found this huge canvas to hang in the downstairs bathroom of our FL townhouse. The bathroom walls were bare and you know how I feel about that.

For the hall bathroom upstairs, I picked up this:

Its not anything I would have set out to buy new, but I was trying to personalize our vaca house on a budget and thought it was quirky and cute. Its a long board covered/painted with sand so it feels textured. The sand and birds both sum up a lot of our FL experience this year. The blue/green color in the birds is not an exact match to the bathroom wall color but close enough to look good against it. I never even got around to hanging it before we left. (But I can when we go back in June cuz hubby snagged a Jet Blue deal where the total airfare for 4 of us ROUND TRIP is $159. That's not a typo!) Sorry, just a little giddy about that.

I think this next item is actually a boys belt but I can just barely make it fit me.   If its on the last notch. And I don't eat anything. :) (I often want to cry because I'm a 34 year old woman with the body of a 12 year old boy, but I suppose it has a few perks.) The belt is very preppy, which I'm generally not, but I like it.

I like the brass buckle, and the color of the leather and the colors but mostly I like how the belt reminds me of our FL experience this year. We took one day to meet up with my BFF's mom in Clearwater and the beach was covered in horseshoe crabs. Another day, we found ourselves back on the west coast to see the manatees that come close to shore and there were thousands of little crabs making their way back to the water:

My parents and one of my brothers are big Norman Rockwell fans. They've been to his museum several times. They have framed prints around the house. I even found some interesting pieces for my brother at a yard sale this summer. (No pics of those - it was during my blogging sabbatical. Lots of goods to be found during that period, just no posts!) Anyhoo, I came across this deck of cards at one of the really gross thrift shops in FL. Each card has the print of a Saturday Evening Post cover on the front and information/facts about it on the back.

The cardboard case was a little beat up but the cards were pristine - most of them were almost stuck together around the edge like the deck had never really been torn apart and looked at.

Come to find out they are collectibles but not worth a lot (more than I paid, but not a lot).  I ended up giving them to my dad for his birthday, figuring he might like to look and read through them.

As I was rummaging through some jewelry at the register, waiting for the shop to ring up the cards, this caught my eye.

Just an old watch face (pictured next to a nickel for scale). Not even any glass to cover it. I love the gold, the patina - everything. I asked them to add that in - I think they charged me a quarter? I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing with that yet but maybe incorporate into a piece of jewelry? Or display somewhere I'll see it often as a reminder to manage my time well. We'll see. But that's about as steampunk as I get.

Speaking of jewelry, I did find a few packages of shank buttons in one of the shops.  I scooped them up for making my button bracelets. (I need to do a post on those some day!)

I brought my oldest daughter along my first day of thrifting and she found a china doll she just begged for. We need more dolls like a hole in the head so I wasn't buying it for her, but she had money her great gram had given her for Christmas and instructed her to buy whatever she wanted in Florida. She wanted it enough to spend her own money on it so this is what she got:

Her name is Mirabelle. Anyone else who is subjected to reading lots of Fancy Nancy books will understand. I'm not sure which thrift shop doll has creepier eyes - Mirabelle or Creepy Alice.


I actually got a few articles of clothing during my FL thrifting excursion, despite the general GROSS factor in the shops. I buckled on a cheesy outfit my daughter begged for. It's so cheesy I can't even show you. But these little like-new sneaks for my youngest are cute enough to share.

The clothing in most of these shops were so nasty I didn't even want to touch them but one shop seemed a little classier and had fun stuff like fur coats and vintage hats.

I picked up this yellow tank top thinking it would compliment the tan I delusionally thought I would get on this trip. (Ignore the wrinkles - I pulled it out of a pile for a picture.)

I also thought this tank top would go well with the aforementioned crab belt but what I liked most about it were the details on the fabric buttons.

I did wear this, once, with the crab belt, but it was too big and looked frumpy on me.  Apparently the buttons are destined for one of my bracelets after all.

Besides the tank, I also bought a couple of dresses for a few bucks each. They were both made of stretch cotton with a flattering cross over in front.

I liked the patterned satin details on this one:

This one could be worn as a dress, beach cover up, or like a tunic with leggings.

So that brings me to the end of the Florida loot low-down. The only other thing I had to share was this wicked cool couch they had for sale at one of the shops. I don't know why but I just loved it. Probably because it had an Anthro vibe.  Some might call it "old lady," I'll call it vintage. The color green, the velvet, the tucks along the back - all so awesome.

It doesn't really go with anything else I already own but I loved it so much that if it was closer to home, for $75, I think I would have caved. Our soon-to-be-ours home will have a homeschool/playroom and I think I would have designed that room around this couch just to make it work! BBUUTT its not closer to home so never mind. 


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