Thursday, June 30, 2011

In Progress

I have been talking about working on the women's restroom at church for months now!  And I've been promising pictures for months, too.  Well, today I'm finally delivering.  The restroom isn't quite finished but I thought I'd share some progress shots.  Especially, because I have a pretty cool Before and After to show you, too.   Ready?

 I bought this coffee table at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store for $20.

 It was dated and scratched up but it was sturdy and had a pleasing shape.
I knew I could turn it into an amazing bench.

So I did.  I painted the legs and then used a camping mattress (only $18 at Fred Meyer, versus the $69 for the same amount of foam at Joann Fabrics), some batting, and a textured curtain panel to make a cushion.  I covered my own buttons and tufted the seat cushion and now it makes a lovely perch for a bride and her wedding party.

While I was at the Re-Store I told the employees what I was planning to do with the bench.  They said, "Well, we also have this old piano bench.  Five bucks if you want it!"  I wanted it.

 Dingy old cushion.  It was actually crunchy when I removed it. 
Fabric should not be crunchy.

 I forgot to take a true before photo of the piano bench.  The above pictures already show the legs painted.  So this picture of the inside of the bench shows you what the wood looked like before painting.  

And here you can see the after on the right.  
I totally forgot to get a shot of just the piano bench.  Next time!

I'm still waiting for the baseboards to be installed.   
The gorgeous mirror is from Ikea.

Here's the sink in the stall area of the restroom.  
The mirror will be framed in dark wood, too.

A few sweet wall decals to add interest.

And the doorway to the hallway that leads down to the dressing room area.  The hallway wall is the same color blue as the walls in the stall area. Funny how the lighting/camera make it look pink.  Oh, well!

Hopefully soon I'll get to show you some before pictures of the whole bathroom and also the final after pictures. This has been such fun project for me!  And I've really enjoyed spending time with all the lovely women who have helped, too.  I hope they will feel beautiful in this space.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Black Butte 2011

We are so blessed to be invited to Black Butte every year by Grandma and Grandpa Bob.  Their cabin is a place where many wonderful memories have been made.  We had so much fun that the week just flew by.  I didn't take out my camera very often because very often I was having fun just enjoying my family or working on jewelry or going for a bike ride or playing tennis with my handsome husband.  The weather was perfect and we just had a fantastic time!  Check out the slideshow below for a sampling of some of the new memories we made this year.

And here are some videos for those of you who like to watch other people's home videos.  Weirdos.   Just kidding.  They are pretty cute...especially if you already love my children.

Thank you, Grandma and Grandma Bob, for inviting us to stay at your cabin again this summer.  We always enjoy spending time with you!  

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Home again, home again, jiggety jig

We had a FABULOUS week at Black Butte Ranch with Geary's family.  I am unpacking now and can't wait to download the pictures from my camera.  Vacation post, coming soon!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Swimming in the Unforced Rhythms of Grace

A couple weeks ago I wrote about Learning to Pray in the Bathroom.  I had no idea that on that very day our community would begin a journey in which praying, "I don't know what you're doing but I'm sure it will be great because everything you've done so far has been beautiful" would become a lifeline.  I didn't know that I would be learning that lesson just in time to live it in a very big way.

I was chatting with a friend about some of that stuff and marveling over how God is already growing beauty out of the ashes of a very difficult situation.  I said, "...and there is grace enough to go swimming in."  My friend replied, "An ocean.  And we're drowning."  And that immediately brought to mind some lyrics from the hymn that I walked down the aisle to.

Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

I spent a bit of time yesterday afternoon watching all the YouTube videos I could find of this song and letting the truth of it's words and the beauty of it's melody wash over my heart and mind.  I'm still feeling peaceful and floaty from it, as if I really have been bobbing along on a current of glorious love, which of course, I have been!  And so I thought I'd share one of my favorite versions from yesterday in case some of you also need the reminder that grace is unfathomable.  It is too deep to be measured.  It stretches so much further than our eyes can ever hope to see.  It propels us forward into the arms of the One who knows all things and who will make everything right.

Thursday, June 16, 2011



Yesterday I decided to go grocery shopping with only Miles.  He decided to be cranky.  He then decided to lunge for a bag of grapes.  I decided to let him hold the bag of grapes.  He decided to eat the grapes while we were shopping.  I decided to let him.  We both decided that eating a lot of grapes was better than being/having a screaming child in a cart.  Don't worry we paid for the eaten grapes.  And even though Miles' diaper this morning was decidedly a thing of epic disgustingness (existing words could not describe so I made up my own), I decided we would probably make the same decisions again.



"Ew!  Don't eat things off of your feet!"

"Stop licking your brother's hair."

"Uh...potholders are not towels."

and finally, this whole conversation:

"Why are you wearing two pairs of underwear?"

"You told me to put clean underwear on!"

"Yeah, I kind of hoped you would take the dirty underwear off first."



Noah was refusing to smile while Auntie Em was trying to take pictures of him.  His reason?  "Presidents always look great in pictures and they never smiled."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Sunday

Secret Agents...

or Rap Stars...

You decide!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Three Boys, One Room

 Last August, I did something crazy.  I decided to switch all the bedrooms in our house.  Geary and I moved into Miles' nursery.  The boys' bedroom became a catch-all room that I hoped to turn into a craft room.  And the old master bedroom became home to all three kids.  It's been nearly year since that big switch-a-roo and yesterday I put the finishing touches on their new room.  Here's a little before and after tour so you can see how the room has evolved from a master bedroom to a room full of boys.



Green!  The paint is Peter Pan by Miller.  It's the same color I used in their old bedroom--might as well use up the leftovers!  Noah's bed is directly in front of us.  His headboard is an old beat up bookshelf that I found at Goodwill.  I like the industrial feel it gives to the room. The foot board is one of those cubby shelves from Target.

Here's a closer look at Noah's bed.  His nightstand is another cubby thing from Target. And the green box on the top shelf acts a sort of drawer for Noah's flashlight and little treasures that he doesn't want his brothers' to get into.  So far, they are semi-respectful of his property.  The robot poster is handmade from wall stickers we found at The Dollar Tree.


Turning slightly to the left, you see the bunk bed.  Right now Toby sleeps on the bottom and nobody sleeps on top.  But eventually, Toby will move up and Miles will sleep on the bottom bunk.  (Miles' crib is in our room right now).  To the left of their bed is that little nook that I had painted red.  I primed over the red and painted it a very pale blue and added bookshelves made from pine boards.

 The blue table is the $6 Lack from Ikea and we already owned the little white chairs and step stool.  The boys like to color here and it also becomes a restaurant or lego table or fort depending on what the game of the day is.

The bicycle print is my own artwork.  It's hard to tell in the photo but the orange background is actually a diamond texture.  And the R2-D2 print is an image I found online.  Both frames are thrift store finds painted white.

This orange memo board/organizer is another thrift store find.  It used to have a Harley Davidson decal on it but I peeled it off and then added the robot stickers (same as the poster stickers) So far, it's more decorative than functional but we all like it.  And once in a while Miles leaves little surprises in the pockets, like half eaten crackers or bits of paper.

Moving left again, I stacked two cubby organizers from Target for lots of vertical storage.  They are both bolted to the wall and each other for safety. The airplane hanging from the ceiling is called The N-2 and was built by Grandpa Bob.  It was the prize-winning plane in Noah's flight competitions last summer.

All the toys are organized in these fabric drawers that I found at Target and Fred Meyer.   I used my friend Kristal's great idea of name tag holders on a key ring to label each bin.  These labels are also great for hanging on diaper bags or backpacks.  I also have them on our laundry baskets.

I didn't buy all the bins at once.  Just one or two at a time, whenever I saw them on sale, over the course of this year.  Spreading out the spending was a good use of our money.  Plus, if I had bought all the bins last August, I would have missed out on getting the great orange color that just came out this spring!  I like that all the bins together mimic the pattern of the boys' quilts.

The closet in this bedroom is the smallest bedroom closet in our whole house.  It was quite a challenge to fit three boys, their toys, and all their clothes and shoes into one room.  Here's how we did it.  All the shoes are in an over the door shoe organizer.  The left side of the closet holds Miles' shirts on the hanging bar and a stack of wire drawers that I found at Home Depot.  Each boy gets two drawers for pants, pajamas, and underwear.

The right side of the closet holds Toby's shirts on top, and Noah's shirts on a lower rod.  The three green boxes hold socks for each boy.  And the floor of the closet is home to Space Bags with out of season or bigger sized clothing, and a bin full of puzzles.

We also utilized some under bed storage for toys.  These long, shallow tubs are great for Lincoln Logs, blocks, train sets, race tracks, Duplos, foam swords, and other oddly shaped long toys.


I used the same labels but just attached them to the plastic tubs with clear contact paper.  Can you see my reflection in this photo? It looks like I'm trying to climb a hill of Duplo blocks!

And turning left one more time, we've gone full circle!  The boys have a nice big window with a view of the backyard.  They get lots of natural light and really seem to enjoy playing in here. Also, in real life, this room is never this clean.

Thanks for taking the tour!  I hope you liked what you saw.  I sure had a good time putting together a fun and organized room for my three best boys! (Even if it did take me almost a full year!)

Saturday, June 04, 2011

A Tale of Two Breakfasts

Wednesday morning, Toby woke up and stomped into the kitchen.  I could tell he was very grumpy.

Jeana:  Good morning!  Do you need to go potty?

Toby: Nooo! (You must read this with a whiny/growly voice like Iago the bird from Aladdin)

Jeana:  Are you hungry?  Do you want some cereal?

Toby (remember, Iago voice):  Noooo!

Jeana:  Pancakes?

Toby:  Nooo!

Jeana:  Okay, well, why don't you go somewhere else with your attitude and come find me when you have an idea of what you'd like to eat.

A few minutes later...

Toby (still with Iago voice):  I want muffin toes!

Jeana:  Muffin...toes?

Toby:  I want to eat muffin toes.

Jeana:  Uh...what??

Toby starts crying.

Jeana:  What's wrong?  Are you hurt?

Toby:  Noooo!

Jeana:  Are you sure you don't need to go potty? Go potty!

Toby:  Muffin toes!

I was done.  Toby got a time out and I wrote on Facebook, "Toby wants 'muffin toes' for breakfast.  Huh???"

But it wasn't very long before I realized he was saying TOAST not toes.  And muffin toes could only be one thing: English muffins!
Saturday morning, Toby woke up and bounced into the kitchen.

Toby:  Good morning, Mom!

Jeana:  Good morning!  You're happy today.

Toby:  Yeah.  It's the weekend!

Jeana:  It's the weekend?  You like the weekends?

Toby:  Yeah!  We get doughnut and we get to play Wii!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Learning to Pray in the Bathroom

I am vacuuming the women's restroom at church when they come in.  It is nearly finished. Just put up the baseboards and caulk behind the sinks and then we can add furniture and artwork.  I can imagine the brides, standing in front of the huge full length mirror in their dazzling white gowns.   Beautiful.

"It looks wonderful in here!" she says.  I smile.  I am pleased.  After all, it is for them.  This room.  This space.  This reflection of the Creator's beauty, for them to be reminded that the King is enthralled with the beauty of his bride, the church. (Psalm 45:11)

"I've been watching you work all these weeks and wondering how it was all going to come together.  And then I walked in yesterday and it just popped!  It looks so beautiful."  I am honored by the compliment.  She continues, "And I think you should..." the suggestions come flying.  I have had this conversation with other women, too.

I try to be diplomatic.  I try to explain why I have chosen the things I've chosen.  I try to listen with humility--maybe they have ideas I haven't thoroughly researched yet.

"Well, what about this, I think you should...."

"I looked into that, too, believe me."

"What about Craigslist?"

"I've been scouring Craigslist, believe me."

"Well have you...?

Believe me.

And then I wonder if they know I have a plan?  I wonder if they believe that I knew how the puzzle pieces would interlock from the beginning of the project.  I wonder if  they think I am just making things up as I go along.   Probably, they are just excited about the project and want to be part of it.  The suggestions are not bad.  Some of them even seem great.  But they are not part of the plan.

Later, I am hanging curtains and someone else comes in.  "I love coming in here.  I love seeing what's new each week and every time I come in it just gets better and better!"  I have to peel myself off the floor.  Such encouragement!  I am grateful.  And I prepare my heart for the suggestions.  But instead I get questions.

"What are you going to do next?"  I tell her about some artwork.  She responds, "Oh!  That's going to look amazing!"

"What are these for?"  I show her how the mirrors will be framed.  "I love it!  It's going to be fantastic.  I'm going to want to live here!"

Even the things she is confused about are met with praise, "I can't really picture it but I'm sure it will be great.  Everything you've done so far is fantastic."

Have you figured it out yet?  That these words I am typing are not really about the bathroom?  I mean, they happened.  But they happened in the Shadowland.  They are a mere wisp of reality and the thing I am really talking about is so very, very solidly real.

So many times I have come before the throne with suggestions.  "Dear God, please do this.  Please give me this.  Please make this work out they way I think it should."

I have treated Yahweh like he is some big wish-list granting genie.  I have said,  "This is beautiful!  Now please do these things my way."

I have questioned and questioned his way.  I have not believed, really believed that he has a plan.  That he has known how all the puzzle pieces would interlock from the beginning.  I have acted as if he is just making things up as he goes along.  I have forgotten that he is the Designer.

What if...what if, instead, I asked, "What are you going to do next?" and "What is this for?" and  "I don't know what you're doing but I'm sure it will be great because everything you've done so far has been beautiful."  What if I wanted to live in the space that he is creating.  What if I approached the throne with a heart that said, "I love coming here.  I love seeing what's new.  Every time I come before you it just gets better and better."  What if I believed him?