Monday, August 29, 2011

Just Do the Thing

Happy Monday!  I think mmiscellany monday is the perfect place to share this post, so read and then head over to lowercase letters to check out some other random-type posts. 

God has a list...ok, it's probably a long list... of things He's working on with me.  Now that I think about it, He's probably thinking "Ok, Jess, when are you just going to trust me?"  Do you have a few things on your list?  Just do the thing.  Beth Moore said this during a conference and it keeps coming back to my mind.  Just do the thing God's asking you to do.  No matter what it is. Just do the thing.

Letting go.  That's one of them.  This refers to many areas of my life.  I'm a schedule person.  I love to have things scheduled out and know what's happening when and for how long.  Are you like that?  But God wants me to let go a little bit  a lot.

I'm a bit on the shy side.  It's not TOO bad, but I do feel uncomfortable in new situations and words don't seem to come out the way I want them to.  I'm working on it.  I need to let go and relax.  Being a stay-at-home mom makes this more challenging. Sometimes your adult interaction is very limited and I seem to 'forget' how to interact with others. 

A few weeks ago, the kids came with us into our church service for a couple of special songs.  We were all sitting behind a great couple that we are getting to know.  I so enjoy this couple.  They were singing with their kids and at one point they raised their hands and closed their eyes while they were singing praises to the Lord together. 

Like I said, we were right behind them.  Now, we sing out every song and really enjoy it, but lately when I sing, I feel God saying "Let go and TOTALLY enjoy it".  He doesn't want us to worry about what we look like or what others will think. 

 When Kayla and Noah saw the family in front of us, Noah did the same thing. Then Kayla followed her little brother's lead.  For the rest of the song, theyraised their sweet little hands up as high as they could, closed their eyes, and sang out to the Lord in their sweetest voices. I would give anything to have a picture of that, but I didn't have my camera.  So I thought about it.

That's what I want. At some point we become so self-conscious that we worry too much about what others think. Kids don't care. They'll come out in the craziest clothes. They'll dance to their own song and not worry about not doing it right.  Don't you want that back...the ability to just be totally free and not have a care in the world what someone next to you thinks.   Maybe you have it and are wondering why it's so hard to just let go and feel that release.  Maybe you're like me and you get nervous thinking about it. 

Next time I feel like that, I'm going to try and just let it out. 

God, help me to let go and feel everything You want me to feel. Help me just do the thing You've been telling me to do for so long.  Help me let go and feel  complete freedom in You.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Write a comment!  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one!  Maybe it will help us 'just do the thing' if we share what our 'thing' is.  What do you think?


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Friday, August 26, 2011

Product Review

I'm in love with these cleaning products.  

I love them because...
1. They smell GREAT!  Hours after I wipe down my counter, I can still smell the fresh scent. 
2.  They are made in the USA!  (Minneapolis, MN to be exact)
3. They are very reasonably priced...and I found mine at WalMart.  They didn't have ALL the products, but the basics are there.
4. You can use the All Purpose Cleaner to make different cleaners. I love that. It's cheap. It's easy. 
5. It's 98% natural and safe for kids.
6. Did I mention how great it smells?  (I have basil and lemon verbena)

I have some fun stuff coming up next week!  Be sure to check back.


friday favorite things | finding joy

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Wreath

Happy Thursday, everyone!  Today I'm linking up with Gussy Sews. The prompt this week is 'your favorite color'. 

Through the Inspiration Workshop at Gussy Sews, I found Ashley's sweet blog, The Vanilla Tulip.  Go check it out, she's full of inspiration and encouragement! A while back she posted about a book wreath she made and linked to the fabulous tutorial. Also a blog to dig into and enjoy! Let's see if I can get any more links in this post.

Well, I made it that day. And the color it is when you're finished is just beautiful!  And it didn't cost me a thing!  Well, if you get picky, I did buy the items at one time...just WAY before I decided to do this project.  One gapevine wreath found in the closet, two previously read books, and a bunch of glue sticks later:  I have a gorgeous wreath!  In person, the color is just so rich looking!

The tutorial calls for you to paint the sides of the book.  I didn't want to bother with that so I just took out my distressing ink (or any brown ink would do) and inked the paper edges of the book. Totally fast and easy.  Don't worry about covering it all.  I picked out two books from my stash that I enjoyed but wouldn't likely read again.  I liked the idea of having books that I had a 'history' with.  I usually feel attached to a book by the time I finish it. 

I love the creamy color of the pages with the black type.  It really could go anywhere.  I can't decide where to put it, so I hung it on the inside of the door....and I like it there.   

Plus it's the same color as my dog.  Maybe that's why I like it so much!

Hope your Thursday is great!

JessPosted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Storage Dresser Filled

The dresser I  painted and distressed FINALLY has handles and a purpose.  This week, it became home for all of the kids art supplies that were floating around the house.  I had these handles from Target. They were on another dresser before that one was painted for my daughter's bedroom. 

This drawer holds Color Wonder markers, chalk, homemade crayons, dry erase markers and erasers (just squares I cut out of felt), and Crayola Window Markers. 

Here's the crayons and markers.

This drawers houses the colored pencils, glue and stickers.

Beads, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, and paints.
Coloring books.

Paper and bigger projects.

I love using dressers for toy storage. Everything is concealed, so if/when things get messy, you can get to it when you have time and don't have it staring you in the face every time you walk into that room. 

How about you?  What's your favorite way to store and organize things that can easily take over a space?

Have a great Wednesday!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

An Inviting Front Porch

Hey there! 

It's Thursday and I'm linking up again with Inspiration Thursday at Gussy Sews.  After a couple of less humid days, it's going to get hot and muggy again. I'm dreaming of greeting the crisp fall on my front porch with a cup of coffee in my hands.  Well......not MY front porch, but my dream front porch.  Our house really has everything we wanted...except the front porch.  These are the front porches of my dreams. I found all these pictures from good ol' Better Homes and Gardens a few years ago and have had them in a binder.

Come on over and have a cup of coffee with me!

July 4th Decorating
I love this table. In fact I go back and forth about painting my kitchen table a good country shade of red.  Still thinking.
July 4th Decorating   Beautiful.
July 4th Decorating
I just love everything about this house right down to the white picket fence.  So inviting and comfortable.  Can't you just see the kids playing in the yard, adults enjoying a cold glass of homemade lemonade while Grandma and Grandpa arrive and come up the walk? 
Looking at pictures like these can get us a wishin' for what we don't have.  If I just had....  That can be a dangerous place to linger.  I get stuck there sometimes. When I do, I just come up with a list of the many, many blessings we have.  There are things we can do to add our touches no matter where we live.  It's those touches that make our homes warm and cozy for our families to come home to.  Our homes should be places our loved ones can't wait to get back to.  Where they feel comfortable, loved, cared for.  Today my goal is to add a few touches to add to that feeling. 
Add to that feeling with your attitude as well as your home decor.  We can get so busy that we forget to take the time to look our kids or husband in the eyes.  Nothing says "I cherish you" more than a sweet Mama looking them in the eyes. 
Today, find a way to show them they are loved. An author I love is Lauraine Snelling.  She writes of one of the characters in her book is blessed to be a blessing to others.  You are blessed to be a blessing.
I'm off to tidy up this place! 
Ms. Jess

Monday, August 15, 2011

I Love You Because...

When decorating our house, I like for our things to mean something. It needs to either be made by one of us, or something that is old.  I love this way of decorating, but it definately isn't the fastest way to fill up your house! It makes me happy to look around and think of the memories associated with each item.  Maybe it's Grandma's dish towel or a chalkboard I made with a meaningful sentiment drawn on it. We can take the time to make our homes beautiful while being resourceful.
Last week I finished a few things that were on my to-do list.  One of which was to find a way to make these. I totally love them, but they didn't really go with my house.  I just thought there must be a way I can do it with what I have.  Totally love her product, so go buy it if that's what your style is. 

I just took 2 cheap-o frames from WalMart (they didn't even match) and painted them.  Added the mat, (had those in the closet...painted them both because they didn't match either) and put a piece of scrapbooking paper in the frame.  Once it was closed up I wrote on the glass with these chalk markers. To fill in the blank, I just use a gray Crayola Window Marker.  It just sits ontop of the frame.  These are hanging on the wall you look at as you come in the house from the garage.  That's where the kids and I most often enter or exit the house. 

I also finished the shelf for under last week's project. Love how it turned out.  I picked up the unfinished shelf at Hobby Lobby for 50% off because it had a crack in it.  It's mostly for looks, so I'm not worried about how much it can hold.  I plan on hanging a couple things, but haven't found just the right items yet.  I painted the shelf with our leftover trim paint and then sanded it to distress it. 

Is it cooler today where you live?  I actually opened the windows this morning!  Fall will be here before you know it!  I'm just itchin' to take out my bins and start sprucing the place up.  Let's plan on making the most of the next couple of weeks so we can decorate without the clutter
Here's to a great week!
Blessings and Hugs,
Ms. Jess
Linking up with Heather for Life Made Lovely Monday
and Jen over at CraftOManiac.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Most Beautiful Gift

I Love being a Mama!

I look at these flowers...weeds, really...but I see the most beautiful gift I have been given. Noah picked these for me. JUST for me. He came up to me with his sweet voice and said "I have sumpin' for you!" Just now I was hit with the idea that these flowers are like our offerings to God. Compared to what God has and can do, our offerings are simple weeds. Not to God. To Him, our Heavenly Father, they are a most precious gift from His most precious child. You.

What ever you are doing, do it for Him. If you are doing the dishes, or vacuuming, or cleaning up old milk on the floor and Play-Doh in the carpet; do it for Him.

Ms. Jess
friday favorite things | finding joy

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Thursday, August 11, 2011


We love salsa.  What's even better than this homemade salsa?  Using your home grown tomatoes in the recipe! 

adapted from this recipe (Gotta love Pioneer Woman!)
2 cans diced tomatoes (in the summer I use fresh and probably chop up between 6 or 8)
2 cans Rotel
1 small to medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, chopped (no seeds....unless you really want to add some heat)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cumin
1 to 2 bunches cilantro, chopped (save some to add at end)
1 t lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and blend with an immersion blender (love that thing). Add some rough chopped cilantro and stir in.  Serve cold. 
Hey there friends!

Thought I'd share another favorite recipe of ours. I made a batch of this and shared some with our new neighbors. I just added a tag made with an A Muse Studio stamp I had and my favorite Copic markers. The neighbors were kind enough to give us a desk and a large horse for the kids to play with on.  The horse is so fun. I think it's what every wannabe farmhouse needs.  We'll probably never have a real horse, so this will have to do!

Have a blessed day! 

Linking up with Gussy for Inspiration Thursday!
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Monday, August 8, 2011

Pottery Barn Idea

Hey there gals!  Happy Monday!  This weekend I made these Pottery Barn inspired wall hangings for the play room. 

I started with two of these unfinished frames from Hobby Lobby...

Painted two coats of chalkboard paint on them and roughed them up with sandpaper.  To make the 'art' I picked up a box of 100 colored pencils from Target.  I planned on picking out what I wanted and then giving the rest to the kids to add to their supplies.  I cut a piece of AMuse Studio paper (my FAVORITE craft paper) to fit in the frame and used this glue

I haven't decided what to write on the bottom part of the frame.  I'm still thinking.  I have a shelf with hooks that my husband rescued from the curb when some new neighbors moved in down the street that is next on my list.  When I hang that underneath, I'll take a picture of the whole area to share. 

Today was the first day of school.  Does anyone remember the commercial for an office supply store that takes place during a back-to-school sale and the mom is pushing a cart singing 'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year'? I kind of felt like that all day. 
I LOVED having my kids with me all summer, but today was a great day!

How about you?  Have you completed anything that turned out cute?
More projects to come so keep checking back! 

Ms. Jess 

I'm linking up with Heather for Life Made Lovely Monday

and Jen over at CraftOManiac.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

This Makes Me Happy

Hey Gals!  It's been a crazy few weeks away from home, but I'm back in the saddle again.  We took a trip up to North Dakota to visit family and friends and then stayed for a while at a lake in Minnesota with more family.  It was wonderful to visit and catch up with so many of our close family members!  We settled in at home last week and I spent this past week getting everything ready for school.  Kayla is entering her first year at public school. Kindergarten!  So exciting.

I just wanted to share something that made me smile when took it home yesterday.

I found this new planner at Hobby Lobby while I was bargain hunting.  It is so cute and is an Aug-next December planner.  Love it!  I love getting organized at the beginning of the school year.  It just makes me happy to look at it!

Excuse the pictures, but the weather changes so much this time of year.  There is a monthly calendar...

...and a day-to-day area to plan with. 

There is also a great section of tear-away lists.  I SO love making lists.  Lists make me happy.  Neat looking, well organized lists.

There is kind of a peace in a house that is organized and taken care of. It also comes with a sense of accomplishment.  It really is up to us mothers and housewives to keep the household running smoothly.  If I don't keep a calendar up to date, I have no chance of remembering all that I need to. Our families really do count on us to take care of that.  My husband says that I take care of the P.R. for our family.  And you know what, I love it that way.

Check back later this week for some before and afters.  Tonight is 'craftapalooza' at my house.  The kids will be going to bed early since they seem to be exhausted today and I plan to finish a few fun projects including a Pottery Barn knock off frame. Come back to check it out!

Sure missed all you ladies and I can't wait to dig into your blogs to see what you all have been up to since I've been gone! Hope all is well! 

Ms. JessPosted by Picasa