Monday, September 29, 2008

Stuck like Chuck ....

When you are married to a 'hunter' and they are out past dark, it can mean one of 2 things: They killed something or they were killed. Seriously -- that is what goes through my mind. Chad and our friend, Chris, took Cameron and Drake (Chris' son) out to ride around on this property that Chad manages about 20 minutes from home. Lara (Chris' wife) and I went to a little home party, took the girls (who behaved AMAZINGLY -- Kennedy brought her manners and EVERYTHING) and went home. We were expecting to have the boys waiting on us when we got home at 7:30 and no one was there. We tried their cell phones, straight to voicemail. GREAT. It wasn't quite dark yet, but it was getting there. We decided to start dinner and hope we would hear them shortly (you can hear Chad's truck as it turns into our 'hood) ~ by 815, still no boys, still no answering of the cell phone. FINALLY - the phone rings at 8:30 and it's Chad - he said he got stuck. They took the 4wheeler (that's not really a 4 wheeler, it's a camo'd out 4wheel drive golf cart) and it got stuck. They had to CARRY the boys on their shoulders for 2 miles -- seriously my husband WALKED 2 miles back to his truck. They get the truck to pull the 4wheeler out and THE TRUCK GOT STUCK!! I was laughing SO hard -- but Chad said Cameron and Drake were SCREAMING and loving EVERY MINUTE OF IT!! SO here are the pictures -- terrible, I know, but I will never have a good night picture .....

Pulling up:

Mud was EVERYWHERE ...... even on the ROOF!
We asked the boys to show us how they got the truck out of the mud ..... keep in mind, this is a JACKED UP 4 wheel drive truck and look how HIGH the mud is!!!

and then 2 sec later, Cameron dropped his drawers and PEE'D in the front yard .. you would think he is Dave McAuley's kid!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Can't stop 'til I get enough ....

or is it 'Don't stop 'til you get enough?' -- all the same, you will now have that song planted firmly in your head for a while.

The bathroom remodel is under way!  We were having MAJOR issues in our guest bathroom and honestly, this is something that needed to be done.  The tile was cracking (it was just installed poorly) and honestly, I had 'tried' to repair some drywall myself and it looked REALLY bad.  SO, as usual, we got all the tile on clearance of the clearance and called our friend that owns a construction company to see if he had workers that were free.  He did and because he is an AWESOME guy, he is doing it just to keep them working so they can feed their families and is not making any $$ on the project .... well, I'm sure he's making SOMETHING, but it can't be much b/c he is supplying some materials and he's charging us hardly ANYTHING for the labor.  I had to make sure it was for 2 bathrooms and not just one that he was quoting me and sooooo here we are today.  ANYWAY, I was THRILLED with the price and prayed that if we were meant to have this done (seriously, I prayed about the decision - because this isn't something we HAD to do, but it would need to be done EVENTUALLY).  Obviously, it's meant to be.  Here we are today:

Kid's jack & jill bath (before):

I am keeping the wall color green and we are tiling the shower in a 12x12 tile and then tiling around to the chair rail and going down.  They are going to carry the tile over to where the sinks are and tile from the chair rail down and try to cover up where the granite we had installed 2 yrs ago does not come up high enough (to cover where our old formica was).  I tried to fix it, but again, I do not ever need to go into the construction business.  It is just a shower in there, so we're going to hang a white shower curtain and then possibly make a valance out of the fabric I have left over from the kid's playroom - so it will all F-L-O-W ..... something I have been working on for 3 yrs!!

Guest Bathroom (before):

This has been my favorite bathroom for a while.  I love the 'cottage beach' feel to it.  Again, the chair rail that you see was to cover up where we removed an old formica countertop.  I picked out a 3x6 tumbled stone and a 1x1 tumbled stone to use as the listello.  They are going to tile a 3" listello with the 1x1.  THEN they are going to start where the TOP of the chair rail is and go down with the 3x6 ~ we are going to put a 3" listello there as well, then top it off with a cream travertine pencil ledge.  It's going to be BEAUTIFUL! I can not wait!!   

This is where they are going with the guest bathroom!  Isn't it AWESOME!??!  They will be done tomorrow or Thursday but let me tell you, he is ROLLING through it.  I think they will finish the kid's bathroom shower section (and there are just 2 guys!!).  I can't wait to get this tile sealed - it's just going to be gorgeous!!  
So once I get done with this, I'll just need to DECORATE!!  I have a few people helping me, thank goodness.  I don't know where to go or how to go about it, so I enlist my friends.  I don't think they mind!

***** END OF DAY PHOTOS *****
Guest Bathroom --- the tile wraps ALLLLLL the way around and covers up my very 'poor' job of drywall repair!  YEAH!!  Bonus: the grout lines are VERY SMALL!!!  AND we are using a dark brown grout.
Kids bathroom:

This bathroom has been my nemesis since the day we moved in.  It doesn't have a tub so we've had to work with it just being a shower.  My kids only shower as it is, so it's not an issue.  The issue has been there is no door (it broke) so we are having it built up to accomodate for a shower curtain.  

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cheddar Apple Pie Dip

I was searching for a recipe on my all time favorite recipe website and I came across this one. It sounded strangely delicious and since I had a party to attend on Saturday night, I decided to make the dip. Let me tell y'all - DE.LIC.IOUS - I couldn't believe how GOOD it was! SO here is the recipe:

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 each: red and green apple, finely chopped (about 2 cups) --- I used those already cut apples and just cut them into smaller pieces, that way my kids were still able to enjoy the leftovers!
1/2 cup Planters Walnut pieces (I did not include this in my recipe, but didn't want to leave it out for people that like nuts)
1 pkg cream cheese - softened
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
Wheat Thins (I used the cinnamon ones)

Preaheat over to 375. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Add apples (and walnuts if you choose); toss until evenly coated.

Mix cream cheese and cheddar cheese in a medium bowl. Add sour cream; stir until well blended. Spread into 9-inch pie plate and top with apple mixture.

Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.

This was SOOOOO delicious and LIGHT! I am known in our 'group' as the 'one that doesn't cook or clean' and both things I brought last night were DEVOURED (I was so happy b/c I'm never 'the one') and on top of that, I managed to clean my house top to middle (still lack the kids bedrooms) AND take a shower ~ I feel so GROWN UP!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shameless request .....

I am in the midst of co-chairing a rather large event in the Tampa area.  It is called "An Evening of Hope ~ Angels Among Us" and is the major fundraiser for the Foundation Angel Program.  Well, I am in need of auction items - in a bad way.  If you, or anyone you know, is willing to donate ANYTHING to our cause, it would be greatly appreciated.   You would be suprised at what we get and what sells -- pretty much everything goes to a home on the night of the event!  

The Foundation Angel Program was created in 2006 when 2 people closely involved with the Greater Brandon Community Foundation lost parents to cancer.  They realized there was a need in the community for PRACTICAL needs.  So together, they formed the Foundation Angel Program and "An Evening of Hope" was born.  Basically, we match together companies and individuals that have a service with families that have a need.  Most charities do not cover lawn mowing, house cleaning, errand running, house painting, general house repairs, GAS CARDS, etc etc etc -- we do!   The funds raised are normally used for financial assistance (which, believe it or not, is not an 'all the time' request - we do not just hand out money), but we also understand that sometimes companies can not always donate their service in full, but they will heavily discount the bill, and then we pay that bill.  Sometimes, once the bill is paid, the company will then turn around and donate the money back.  It is a beautiful process and God's hand is in it everywhere we turn!  Shawn and I also serve on the Foundation Angel Program and let me tell you, it is a blessing beyond measure.  

Shawn and I would be forever grateful and humbled should any of you out in blogland opt to help us out ~ go to to check us out.   Send me an email at should you have ANY interest in donating an item!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kitchen Remodel

Now, don't get me wrong ~ there was nothing really wrong with our kitchen, except that my precious son had drawn on the cabinets with a black sharpie and no amount of elbow grease, Magic Eraser, NOTHING would get it off. We decided that if we ever sold our house, we would have to do something about that. Now, I took some friends advice and decided to go ahead and do it so we could enjoy it -- whether we sold our house in a year (NOT gonna happen) or 20 -- I want to enjoy it. When we moved from Nashville, we had to hurry and replace carpet, etc and I even said then: WHY did we wait to do this!

Before:  Builder maple 42" cabinets - pretty standard with dark sage green wall paint.  Yes, I took this picture in a panic.  The painter called and said she was coming in the morning and in a panic, I remembered to grab a couple pictures of the kitchen 'before'.  This is something I'm working on -- trying to get out of C.H.A.O.S (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) because my house is always a WRECK!

Another Before:
Apparently this was when Shawn came over and brought dinner, because that is her crockpot! HA!

HUGE DIFFERENCE, HUH!?!  We absolutely love it.  We have a guy that redid the floors and he came over to look at our guest bathroom (yes, leaky shower -- needs to be fixed) and he kept telling me how nice our new granite was -- NOPE -- because of the paint on the cabinets and the backsplash, our granite looks an entirely different color!  We painted it the Home Depot version of SW Svelte Sage -- it is a dead on match (I had a gift card to HD - so I didn't want to spend any more money than I had to -- my goal was to do this on a BUDGET).

View from the other side ~ everything that is on top of the cabinets is either brought from somewhere else in our house or was purchased at Hobby Lobby (I spent LESS than $75 on that trip and also bought Christmas presents at that trip).  There is an apothecary jar that I filled with pumpkins and gourds and a tin sign that says "Count Your Blessings" ~ I plan on changing that out with the season (the tin signs are ALWAYS at Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's)

I absolutely can not take credit for the decorating.  Shawn pretty much did all of that.  You should see HER house - I told her she needs to do a 'internet open house' so y'all can see how beautiful her house is decorated - esp right now for fall.  
SO here's the breakdown:
Repaint/glaze kitchen cabinets and island:  $900 (I received quotes of $1800+)
Kitchen backsplash tile: $225 (and I still have $65 of material to RETURN!)
Labor: FREE

So that is pretty much it ~ I hope you enjoyed it and it was worth the wait! It sure was for us!  Next up:  Kids Bathroom and Guest bathroom retile ~ cracking tiles in the guest bathroom and leaking shower in the kids bathroom (GOOD TIMES!!!) This has ALWAYS been on the list for redo since we bought this house - so I'm glad it's finally getting done.  It's SO nice having friends in the construction business that want to help you out!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stay tuned ....

All kinds of makeovers going on here, huh!?!   Kitchen is done -- will post pictures tomorrow!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fasting ...

So I've totally been convicted this weekend at church ~ we have been 'challenged' so to speak, to give up something for 1 week.  Something that is getting 'in the way' of our relationship with God - well that something for me is blogging, blog surfing, internet, internet surfing, facebook, etc etc etc - you get the picture.  I have freely admitted to my husband that being on the internet and reading blogs, etc, has been an 'escape' for me.  WRONG ~ when I really should be turning more to the word of God.  I do have a bible study that I'm doing, but I work on that for just 30 min a day, sometimes cramming in 2 or 3 days in one night - I'm sure I'm not the only one that does it.   Our pastor encouraged us to follow simple 'steps' to help handle whatever it is that has a stronghold ~ I worry about money.  A LOT and the thing is, we really haven't been affected by the change in economy much except for gas prices.  Yes, I'm in the real estate industry, but by following a strict 'debt diet' - we have managed to pay off such a huge bulk of debt that when my income dramatically decreased (I'm talking MASSIVE) ~ it really didn't affect us much ~ and I know that I am TRULY blessed to be in that position.  Chad has a wonderful job that I pray he will stay in until he retires, I have wonderful opportunities every day and the hours that I spend 'wasting away on the internet' literally are eating me ALIVE ~ SO, for the next week, I'm taking a break.  I will check my email, but only because of work related and I'm co-chairing a big charity event and feel like that needs to be the focus on my attention.  

I have so much to post too - but I look forward to this break, to getting things done and to fully engrossing myself in the WORD - oh and I PROMISE to post pictures of my finished kitchen b/c it is DONE!! FINITO!!  

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Be Still ...

What a crazy week this has been ~ I always enjoy a long weekend, but I seem to feel rushed during the week!!  We had a lazy Labor Day weekend.   I sang for the church youth on Sat night - let me tell you - a room full of 1st-5th graders - HOLY SMOKES! They were on FIRE and it was so great to see these kids excited about Jesus!!  Kennedy was excited she got to sing in the microphone ~ hey, she worked her connection, she's not doing anything she hasn't learned - HA!

Monday morning we had breakfast at the home of our Worship Pastor and his wife ~ who have become very dear friends of ours.  Russ is an A-MAZ-ING singer and his wife is just as good.  We love love love them and enjoy their company.  Russ fixed a COUNTRY BREAKFAST for us on Monday and let me tell you, we had to be ROLLED out of their house ~ it was insane and reminded me of 'home'.   Everything was set up so nicely ~ this was the table:

And the spread of food ~ YUM!

Then we went to Palm Harbor for the rest of the day.  The rest of week has been full of distractions.  I honestly feel like I am just going with the flow - do you ever feel that way?  I'm certainly not feeling I am having any kind of 'impact' on anyone.  Cameron and I have been walking Kennedy to her class every morning and having breakfast with her.  It really is kind of a pain, but Kennedy and Cameron love it and I will go through the 'pain' of having to look presentable at such an early hour in order to spend a few extra minutes with them both.  Today was an overly frustrating day.  Cameron had on a new watch and when we were leaving - ALMOST TO THE CAR - he screamed "MY WATCH" - I knew it was a cheapy and I offered to go to Wal-Mart and buy him another one - he BEGGED to go back and look for it.  We couldn't find it (and here I am in my head thinking "Man, the devil is REALLY trying to get me NOT to go to Bible Study) - it was 8:15, I had to be at Bible Study by 9:30 AND still drop off Cameron - NOT TO MENTION I was not presentable AT ALL.  We found the watch -- IN MY PURSE -- and off to Cam's school we went.   I was mumbling and grumbling, frustrated and RUSHED ~ I turned the corner to Cam's school and this is what I saw:

It spoke so clearly to me.  I dropped off Cameron, went home, got ready to go to Bible Study (I needed to be IN MY CAR by 9:00) ~ and when I picked up my keys, it was 8:59 AM ~ God totally worked it out for me and I knew that he would.   Psalm 46:10 says 'Be still, and know that I am God' ~ that is my problem.  I am never 'still' (and i'm not meaning in the figurative sense) and funny thing is, the bible study I am doing is called "Discerning the Voice of God" - HELLO!!!!  

So I am going to slow down - still tackle all my projects, but the more I try so hard to get them done, the less I get accomplished.  I am going to "Be Still" and listen.