Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sucking in our Breath

Yesterday we noticed a strange charge on our debit card. $25 from the Home Depot. We hadn't been to Home Depot for over two weeks and we certainly hadn't been there on Monday when the charge was posted. And that time two weeks ago? We used cash. And $25 even? Doesn't that seem suspicious?

We've closed our debit card to prevent further misuse, we've filed a claim with our bank. We've alerted Home Depot. We've done everything we can do but...we still feel so unsafe. Please pray for us. For financial protection. For our sanity...Thanks.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Car Lock Down Week

This is our car. It's not broken down. It's not being repaired. It's in jail. Yep, we've locked our car into our backyard and we're going to see how many days we can go without driving it. So far we've gone a day and half and we haven't missed it yet! Pretty much anything we need can be found within walking distance and if it can't be we will allow ourselves to use Geary's scooter. Want to join our Car Lock Down Challenge? Leave a comment here or over at Frugally Green. We'll check back in next Monday and see how everyone did.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Noah's Dirt Cupcake Recipe

1 cup dirt
1 cup soil
1 tsp water


Mix dirt, soil, and water until blended. Fill garden cupcake tray.

Bake in sun for 3 to 5 seconds. Add decorative weeds.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Fammy Bidness

Background: Geary started a summer job with the Public Words department in a nearby town. His first few days were great and it looked like his major responsibility was going to mowing the lawns of all the city parks. But then he got a really bad sunburn and got super sick. We thought it was heat exhaustion but after a trip to the doctor we learned that he had a virus that was enlarging his liver. It was a stressful few days of decision making but in the end we agreed that Geary should quit his summer job so that he could heal properly. He's much better now and his liver is back to normal.

We still wanted to find a way to make a little bit of extra money this summer. So we started The Family Business. We've been hunting garage sales and craigslist for free or cheap ugly furniture and fixing them up to re-sell on craigslist. It has been fun, challenging, exciting, and profitable. The best part is that we get to do it all as a family. We bought a playpen at our local thrift store (for only $2!) for Toby to play in so he could be in the backyard with us. Noah usually plays in his dirt piles or with his trucks near Toby. And Geary and I set up an outdoor workshop where we sand, sand, paint, and sand. There is a lot of sanding involved.

I wish I had thought to take before pictures of our stuff. Some of the transformations are incredible! Here are a few afters. Some are things we've already sold. Some are currently for sale.

This bookcase used to be an old dresser. I found it on the side of the road missing all it's drawers and brought it home thinking we could just stick boards where the drawers would go and voila! Instant bookcase! But Geary took it to the next level. He removed some boards so that it wouldn't be so deep. Then he actually moved the drawer supports to make it a three shelf bookcase (it used to have 5 drawers.) The pictures aren't the greatest but this little bookcase turned out so charming! I am so proud of Geary's hard work. We sold it for $35.


Here's something else we found on the side of the road for free. I painted it a brownish gray color and added a knob for character. It was an easy project and is currently on craigslist for $15.


These two nightstands we bought for $5 each. One at a moving sale and one from craigslist. They were both pretty beat up and ugly. But with black paint and new silver knobs--they sold super fast! For $20 each.


And this is my favorite. Geary told another teacher at Veritas about our little enterprise and she was very intrigued. Last weekend she found this little vanity on the side of the road and dropped it off at our house. It used to be dingy white with plastic knobs. It was cute but junky looking. I painted it black, lightly hand distressed it, and added pretty glass knobs. It should be a shabby chic treasure for someone! The best part is the little swing arms. You're supposed to put fabic on them so you can have a skirted table but still have easy access to your drawers and shelves. I think a black and white toile fabric would look darling. But wouldn't this also be so cute to hang towels on in a bathroom? Or necklaces in a bedroom? I hope it sells soon! But not before I get a chance to show the other teacher--she'll be shocked at how different it looks!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Guest Room

I haven't posted pictures of our guest room until now because basically, it was more of a catch-all junk room until last week. The room isn't finished yet but we're getting there.

This is what you see when you first open the door. That beautiful dresser was a gift from my friend Celina. She has one just like it and I had told her a couple times how much I liked it. So one day she was at a garage sale and she saw one and bought it for me! And then she didn't even let me pay her back! It is so perfect for the room and I just grin every time I look in there. I might put a fresh coat of paint on it but for now I'm kind of liking the distressed look.

The quilt set is from Rejuvenation Hardware but I bought it new in the package through Craigslist. Someone got it as a Christmas gift and it wasn't their style. But I absolutely love it. Here's a close-up for you.

Isn't it beautiful? I'm a huge fan of paisley and I love the soft blues, greens, and yellows in the print.
The closet doors are covered with yellow linen curtains from Ikea. We had to take the closet doors off because we wanted to hide something in the closet and that somethings legs stuck out a little too far. Are you dying of curiosity? What's behind the golden curtain?

Our treadmill!!! Which I should really be using more often. Maybe now that I can actually walk into the room I'll be motivated to work out on that thing.

This little side table won't be staying in the room. It's currently for sale on Craigslist as part of our summer Family Business (which I'll post about tomorrow.) We bought it at a garage sale for $5, painted it white, distressed it for that Shabby Chic look, and are trying to sell it for $20.

So, that's the guest room. Are you ready to make reservations to come visit us?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Recent Noahisms

Noah: That was a fun trip, was it?

Geary (in a "correcting" tone of voice): Wasn't it.

Noah: It wasn't? Well, I had fun.


Noah: What will we name our hose for the backyard?

Jeana: Huh?

Noah: If we get a hose in our backyard what will it's name be?

Jeana: ...

Noah: You know. Because our front yard hose's name is Lucy.

Jeana: Lucy?

Noah: Yes, Lefty Loosey. And the sprinkler's name is Righty Tighty.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Keeping it Real

I should probably mop more than I do.

It's just that it's so much more fun to wash the baby!

Friday, July 11, 2008


"It sure is hot today."

"I'm melting..."




"It's cool. And refreshing. Hmm."

"With a sweet aftertaste. Yes."


"Woman, where have you been hiding this stuff???"


" Now go. Go! Let me eat this delicousness in peace."

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

30 Days of Skirts

The Experiment:

A couple months ago I told a friend that I wasn't sure but I kind of thought I noticed that I was maybe treated slightly differently when I wore a skirt. She laughed and jokingly suggested that I only wear skirts for a month and record my findings. "It could be called 30 Days of Skirts," she giggled.

Well, the joke's on you M, because I did it! I did not wear a skirt every day for a full month, but close. Instead I counted each time I wore a skirt or dress and yesterday was day 30. The total number of days since I started counting is 39.

The skirts I wore were all long bohemian style skirts. So I was still casual and not at all overdressed for any place I went.

How I was Treated:

On the days that I wore a skirt or a dress I noticed that more doors were opened for me and that people (men and women) would wait longer by doors just to open them for me. I had more offers from men to help carry things. And not just men who worked at the grocery store. Complete strangers. One guy carried a kiddie pool inside Fred Meyer for me, waited until I had paid for it, and then carried it to my car before returning inside the store to do his own shopping.

I don't think these offers of help from men were flirtatious in any way. The pool guy even mentioned his wife, saying, "I know how hard it can be for my wife to juggle kids, keys, and groceries. I can't imagine trying to add a swimming pool to the mix!" What I honestly believe is that these men saw femininity in me and in response rose up in their own nobility. There were also no hints of chauvinism. I never once got the impression that anyone thought I was weak or that some macho-man felt like he needed to help "the little lady."

I also noticed that I received more compliments on the days I wore skirts. My outfits were complimented, of course, but I also got praise for my jewelry, hairstyle, skin, and make-up. I don't believe I was dressing in a showy or show-offy way, but people payed more attention to my whole look when I wore a skirt than they did when I just wore jeans.

How I Felt:

Wearing a skirt made me feel prettier, more feminine, and more confident. I think that as a result of feeling those things I, in turn, acted more graceful, gracious, and gentle. So maybe my own attitude is what spurred the kindness of others. Maybe it was everything working together. One skirt day I went to the farm to do a favor for my mother-in-law. Immediately afterward I met a friend at Washington Square Mall. I didn't notice until I got to the mall that I was semi-covered in farm dust. But just the fact of wearing a skirt seemed to excuse my dustiness. I still felt pretty and as a result felt a lot more confident. I was able to focus on my friend and have a good time with her family instead of obsessing about how dirty/gross/ugly I must have looked.

Another benefit I found from wearing skirts was the pure comfort. On our recent hot days skirts kept me cool and I felt much more comfortable in them than I would have felt in shorts. With shorts on I would have felt insecure, immodest, and ugly. But skirts let me have a nice breeze and let me pretend that I was the beautiful girl in a summer perfume commercial with her skirt rustling in the breeze.

Okay, I know that last sentence was cheesy beyond belief. But it's a good segway to what I'm about to say. Wearing skirts helped me to feel romantic. I felt beautiful, confident, etc. And when I saw my husband regarding my outfit with appreciation...well, you know. Plus, wearing skirts forced me to shave my legs which was also regarded with appreciation. And, yeah. That's all I'm going to say about that.

The Conclusion:

I definitely felt that I was treated with more respect and courtesy from others when I wore a skirt. But mostly I noticed changes in me. Wearing skirts and dresses helped me to feel like a woman. Please don't read that as me telling you to start wearing dresses and skirts. Obviously, I don't believe that women must wear skirts and if you hate to that's fine. If wearing jeans or business suits or a potato sack makes you feel pretty and confident, do it! As for me, I liked the way I felt in skirts. I liked my attitude in skirts. I felt beautiful and because of that my desire to spread beauty was deepened.

I know that some people will get huffy reading this post and have a lot to say about vanity and clothes not having anything to do with beauty and how true beauty is inside and that God looks on the heart, etc. And I agree with all that. But I also think what C.S. Lewis said about playing dress-up is true. Just like children pretending to be grown-ups actually prepares kids to be adults, my putting on a skirt actually helps prepare my heart and mind to behave like a woman after God's heart. Of course I don't need the skirt to act like a true princess. But I am in no way opposed to using a prop or a mask that I can grow into. If putting on a skirt becomes my daily reminder to put on Christ then that is what I'm going to do.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Remember that time we went to the children's museum in Bend and Noah was painting something? And I promised that I would show it to you once I got it framed? Well...tah-dah!

It's a bird and a flower and I think it must be the most lovely painting I've ever been given. Okay, I do admit to being a bit biased...but still! I am super impressed with Noah's artwork. I even love the texture of the kids craft paper.

Family Update

Geary: sick with heat exhaustion a virus that is attacking his liver. He'll go in for more blood work (and hopefully more answers) next week.

Jeana: exhausted from essentially being a single parent while Geary is sick.

Noah: fully vaccinated and ready for Kindergarten.

Tobin: supreme trouble maker of the highest order.

Now you know why we've been a bit absent from the blog. Please forgive us and check back for more updates in the future. Thank you!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Frugally Green

I'm so excited to finally unveil a new blog project I've been working on with two friends from college.


Celina, Kristal, and I were all Upstairs R.A.s together in Memorial Dorm. And then Celina and I were Head R.A.s the year after that. And now all three of us are sharing our experiences and ideas on how to live in a way that is kind to the environment but also kind to our wallets. These two friends of mine have a lot of wisdom and I'm so honored to be on a team with them.

Go check it out!