Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday Tour Of Homes - Maitland

Want to live by me? 

I thought it would be fun to take a tour through what's for sale in my sleepy little town in different price brackets.  Ready? Grab your coffee and take a walk with me...

Starting on the very west side of town we have this cute little bungalow - isn't it adorable?  I love the cuteness of it.  You can buy it for 239K.  That flat leaf ivy covering the portico is just.too.sweet.  Click here to see the inside.  It's modern inside, but very cute. 

Ok, let's keep walking while our coffee's still warm.  Next up is this sweet house just one street over from my kids' school.  I hear it's been remodeled inside. It's on the market for 370K.  Click here to peek inside. It does have a nice kitchen.
 Moving on up... for those of you that have more jingle in your pocketbook than I do...take a look at this.  I swear the facade of this house should be in a movie.  It is to.die.for. If i could hug this house, I would because that's about as close as I'll get at 445K.  Here is the inside.  It's a little too over the top inside, but you MUST look at the back patio so keep clicking through until you see it. Swooooooooon.
 And, lastly, for you millionaires out there - do i have the house for you - for only 979K!  This beautiful home is across from one of our little lakes.  Nice huh?

I hope you enjoyed our walk today as much as i did - have a great Thursday peeps!

Monday, April 26, 2010

In Lock Step

                             Walker and Nate, Summer 2006

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.     - Proverbs 3:5-6

Linking to Darcy's Sweet Shot Tuesday

And then, the rain came.

I'm tired of the sound of my own voice
And I'm weary of adding to the noise
And I'm fearful of missing the point of it all 

 That pretty much sums up my feelings that began Saturday night and went through this morning, and when i heard this played on the radio on my drive back from dropping the kids at school this morning, the tears just came.

It was one of those weekends where the boys were at each other non-stop, and by day 2, my nerves were on edge and I just.couldn'  Big time mommy-fail.

I had no wise parenting phrases eschewing out of my mouth. I did have plenty of "How MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU TO STOP IT??!??"  flying out left and right.  And "stop it' could have meant stop hitting your brother, stop spitting on the ground (or at your brother), stop slamming doors, stop yelling at each other, stop Stop STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, tired of hearing my own voice. Tired of adding to the noise. And so very afraid of missing the point of it all.

And the sad part is, that seriously, in the midst of all of the referring, all I wanted to do is put myself in time out.  Give them to their dad for the rest of the weekend and hide.  I did not.  Even though I got "You're the worst mommy EVER." a couple of times.  And "I HATE Saturdays here" (chore day, which btw, takes them all of an hour and half if they would just stop the moping and get it on with it).  I troopered on. 

After church we changed, grabbed the basketball and sandwiches and headed to Phelps Park - my thought was to get away from the house, outside in the sunshine and just play. Yea.  Well, that was just the crowning moment, let me tell you.  While Nate and i were shooting baskets on the court, Walker wandered off, skulking about in all of his pre-teen angst.  I tried numerous times to re-engage him and finally when i did get him to talk to me about what was going on - he started crying.  He said being at the park reminded him of when Dad and I were still together and lived a few streets over and it was just too sad being there.  What do you say to that?  We packed up and came home. No words.  Just silence.

I had defrosted chicken for dinner and when we walked inside - i put it back in the freezer.  There was no motivation to cook a great Sunday dinner anymore.  I truly felt like there was no point, the weekend was trashed, and there was no salvaging it.  And then, over left-over pizza, and watching a repeat of Cars, laughter returned.  Snuggling commenced and the rain started to fall outside.  

We needed the rain at my house. I needed God to wash away that which i could not. Thankfully, his grace allows to keep starting over, again and again. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

This is Serious Business, Ma'am.

Doesn't he look like he's pouring over numbers and spreadsheets?  I almost expect to hear him say he found a solution to the financial crisis. 

Yesterday was BYKTWD.  Not familiar with that acronym? It was Bring Your Kid To Work Day. :)

That made it a little harder for us since we both work from home and there is no WOW factor for them. Well, aside from the fact that they got to stay home from school.

I did not make him dress up - he decided to do that on his own - my little accountant.  He actually hates numbers.  I did, however, make him do research on my company, and do a report on who we are, what we do and what countries we are in.

He also had to write down our org chart and look up our CEOs and VP names, and also create a very small industry term dictionary.

Let's just say he was ready to go back to school this am LOL.

Now, this one? He had it MUCH easier. First of all, note the attire.  That is business casual, or Spongebob Business casual. Spongebob football jersey? check!

Secondly, hanging with the sales division (aka known as Vance) - life is good.  It's all about getting the client, parties, girls, dinner, know how those sales people roll.  Just kidding about the girls.  He was a little disappointed in that.  So was Vance.

Anyway, another day in the books for our working class :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Few Things Annoy Me More Than Stuff Like This...

I mean, seriously.

 Did someone actually sit down at a product design meeting and say  "What we NEED to do is make the opening to the jar SMALLER than a normal size spoon.  That way, it will add some excitement to the entire event of actually EATING these things."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Needing some "experienced" girls...

Don't give me that look.  Not that kind.  I need web guru help.

If any of you had created a true ".com" website - i have some questions for you and any feedback is much appreciated!

  1. Who did you use to register your domain? (Ex;, etc)
  2. Did you find that there were things you should have taken into consideration first?
  3. How long did you purchase your domain for?
  4. Did you use one of the domain sites templates to create your webpage or did you hire it out? 
  5. If you hired it out, who did you use?
Much hugs and squishy face blow kisses!


Monday, April 19, 2010

Yes, I was laying in dirt when i took this picture.

Doesn't it make you feel 'fairy'-like? I want to touch the furry stems of that squash plant and feel the droplets of water hit my cheek as it falls from the leaves. 

It had just rained late this afternoon and I needed to get away from the laptop and the taptaptap of commerce.  One of the benefits of working from home.  Slipping out, bare feet, in the damp, soft earth when work gets a little chaotic.  I don't think i can go back to working in a real office.

Nothing like the air after a cool spring rain....

I can't wait to pull that beauty out of the ground for a wonderful, crisp salad....with some of these pretty cherry tomatoes below...

Thanks for indulging me on my trek through my garden.  I never thought I would fall in love with something like this.  It's amazing. I sit on my back porch and watch it rain on my little patch of dirt, and thank God for blessing us with something that keeps giving and giving.  He is so good.


Leaving my comfort zone.

When I was growing up, my dad took a lot of risks that many people wouldn't take. At the time, I thought it was because my dad knew everything he was doing was going to work, no chance of failure.  ( BTW, i shared that with him one day last year, and he started laughing so hard I thought he had temporarily lost his marbles.)  I never thought it had anything to do with being brave, or having faith. I just thought he.knew.everything.

He was a stock car driver when my mom met him and during the entire time they dated, until one day, when my mom was 6mths pregnant with me, and he got goaded into an illegal road race with my mom in the car. That's when things came to a grinding halt for the aspiring Richard Petty.  Thankfully, my mother had some sense or I probably wouldn't be here.

Sorry, bunny trail.  I do this a lot lately.  Ok, where was I?  Oh, the comfort zone and my dad.

Well, i guess he had to put some of that risk taking into other things. He became an engineer because he got bored building houses for my grandfather.  That job moved us to Metarie LA - where he promptly quit because he hated Louisiana - without another job waiting. ( He found one within a week btw). He moved us back to FL, where he bought a trucking company.  A trucking company?? He knew nothing about how to manage a fleet of trucks, independent drivers, and logistics.  Then he started buying rental houses.  Don't even get me started with his parlay into the stock market.

Some of these things didn't work out. Some of them did.  Some money was lost. Some money was made. Life went on.

My dad and I were talking once last year, during the period of time when we were seeing bank after bank close their doors and you couldn't turn on a television without seeing something about foreclosures and job loss, and i asked him how did my grandparents make it through the depression without dying of stress related strokes or heart attacks?? (they're still alive, in their late 90's).  He said in all seriousness, faith, of course. They never doubted that God would provide.  (I personally don't think faith had anything to do with that race car driving of his, more like stupidity, but i know it did with his business dealings later in life).

This post isn't really about my dad and his faith.  It's about mine. I think it's time to leave my comfort zone and have a little faith of my own.  I might have an opportunity that I need to act on.  And while this would have scared the daylights out of me last year, for some reason, it is not having that same affect on me now.  I'll share more in the next post about this journey.  Right now, I need to pray on 2 Corinthians 5:7.

We live by faith, not by sight.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Power of Paint Party Link Up!

It's my first link to Domestically Speaking's Power of Paint Party - yay! I sound way more excited than I really was. I needed the push. I've had this black, Pottery Barn shadow box sitting in my garage, well, honestly, TWO garages for the past 7 years.  That's right.  7 years i lugged that thing around.  Didn't really like it.  Didn't want to give it away.  I have a BFF that's doing the same thing with a boyfriend.  But, I digress.  Then this week I had my own Oprah AHA moment.  I decided what i didn't like about it (manly, modern, black) and what i did like about it (deep, sturdy, inside shelving, classic shape) and just decided it just needed to be feminized.  A cabinet sex-change if you will.

 Here it is before.  Obviously, it's dusty in my garage.  Not gonna do anything about that problem...

Swung by the hardware store and picked up these....

Please note - if you've never used spray adhesive before (i had not) they are not all created equal.  In fact, i learned that the one on the left is evil for projects...take a look...i sprayed and it dried cloudy.  Which i had to scrape off.  GRRRRR...i was so mad, and also afraid if i took too long to scrape it i would never get it off, so i didn't stop to grab the camera until i was working on the last bit of it left in the corners.

 and that's when i decided i need this...this is what we call redneck sangria.  No, i do not put ice in my red wine NORMALLY.  just in sangria. and, yes, i do realize this is an iced tea goblet....

And then i tried again. After i went to Michael's to pick up the adhesive on the right in the picture above...much better...

Looked good...on to spray painting it. I will not lie. I did not sand.  I did not prime.  I'm not really crafty and I'm impatient....but shout to the spray paint I used (above) LOVE.THE.TRIGGER. No pointer finger pain from holding the nozzle down.  Really good coverage too.

I would show it hung on the wall, but the man is out of town until today and he was saying something about waiting for him to do it, blah blah studs, and blah blah how much the thing weighed, and and and ...i got tired at some point and zoned out to DWTS on TV.   But this is where she'll go - just higher of course.  Look at the roll of TP gazing lovingly at it's new home. I think it will be happy there.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Standing on the Promises Is Not The Same as Sitting on the Premises.

**this post is an archived post i wrote last year on the 'old' blog.  Don't worry, I'm not breaking my promise to dig up bad memories.  This has a purpose.  Proverbs 31 ministry is hosting their annual "She Speaks" conference where aspiring authors can attend and study ways to lead ministry in their lives. Whether it's through writing, bible studies, speaking engagements, etc. Author Cecil Murphey has been generous enough to give a scholarship away through MaryBeth Whalen's blog - who i believe is the chair for the writer's track at the conference.  Please visit her blog today if you have an interest in learning how to develop your own ministry and would like to enter the contest for the scholarship.  Entries close THIS THURSDAY at midnight - Good luck!

That was a direct quote from my pastor, Bryan Fulwider, during a sermon last year.  Don't you love it?

What he was saying, of course, is walk your faith talk.

Can you be OUT of peace? You can. Well, you can FEEL out of peace. I am. At this very moment, I am very much not in a state of peace, a state of grace or state of anything other than being.

I have been spending small moments in the morning and before bed praying for peace regarding my ex and my church situation. This morning, when it was just me and my coffee and my bible promise book - not one scripture regarding peace touched me. None of them felt 'strong' enough or 'powerful' enough to hold me upright for being around my ex in church this morning. They all felt small and meek. I didn't want anything small and meek. I wanted my grandfather and his hell, fire and brimstone sermons somehow justifying my righteous stance. Validation - where was my scripture on validation????

So, i then flipped pages under the heading "anger". Certainly I could find something there, right? I did. Unfortunately, they were all saying the same thing. Be slow to anger, quick to repent. WHAT??? I can't be just ANGRY without APOLOGIZING FOR IT? Well, that's not working for me today.

And then, when i decided that i should just hang it up this morning, my thumb stopped on this:

A new commandment I give unto you. That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. - John 13:34

That is going to be hard. But, I put my face in my hands and said God, if i can't get to "love" today, at least get me to "peace."

I closed my bible, swallowed one last sip of coffee and got in the shower and then went to church.

And then, as we were standing on the front steps talking to the pastor's wife, ready to walk in, He showed up with her and my kids. I mean, it's a big church, with more than one way into the sanctuary. He seriously showed up in perfect time with our arrival.

God, where is my peace? Can't you cut me SOME slack? So, in we go, them in front. They chose their pew and we walked past and sat 3 pews up. As i'm getting Nate settled into the pew, i feel Vance telling me to move down. THEY ARE SITTING WITH US? seriously? IS THIS ANOTHER TEST?

They call the kids up to the front for the lead in to Sunday school, and as I'm leading my son to class, the hymn starts.

"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,When sorrows like sea billows roll;Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,It is well, it is well, with my soul."

God has a wicked sense of humor.

The ultimate link for linky parties :)

IMO anyway :o)

I stumbled upon Sausha's page and then got lost there while i was supposed to be listening to a conference call for work.  Yes. Bad, i know.  But seriously, conference calls are so last year. At least that's what i keep telling my boss.

What was i saying...oh yea...the ultimate linky hook up...see how easily i get off track?  Sausha did a wonderful thing and grouped together different linky parties by day of the if you want to schedule to participate in one - no more flying by the seat of your pants - you can actually plan. I'll let you know how that works for me.

Click HERE then gold star it.  If you don't gold star, you're missing out!

anyway, visit her blog.  I personally love it!

Beach Sweetness

Words can't describe how i feel about my babies.  Even when they're not babies anymore.  Indulge me while I continue to archive old photos for fear that i don't have them saved somewhere precious.  Linking to Darcy's Sweet Shot Tuesday :)

This is at Playalinda Beach.  You have to park across the street, and take the boardwalk over the dunes but the prize is that get a beach barely frequented by anyone. It's almost always us, and maybe 2 or 3 other families.

This was taken with my old Minolta film camera.  That camera took the absolute best pictures. This is Walker, 13 mths.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Whirlwind Weekend

I think I'm still recovering from all the activity over the weekend.  Note(s) to self: Self, do not under any circumstances plan more than 2 big events in one weekend. And, further, by no means whatsoever - make those events on separate Florida coasts. sigh.

 This is what i get when i fail to put down every event on one master calendar.  Do not let the men in your life manage your time or you will find that you won't have any left. For important things.  Like sleeping. eating. blogging.  You know.

We cleaned like a family possessed Friday night because we knew we wouldn't have time over the weekend - much to boys' dismay.  "CLEANING? ON A FRIDAY NIGHT?? Good grief woman, have you lost your mind??"  Ok, they really didn't say that last part, but the look on their faces said they were thinking it.

I didn't get pictures of the football game from Saturday afternoon because i ran errands - but from what i hear, it's probably best.  Major loss.  Upset boys. Fighting.  Glad i missed it.

But i picked them up, stuffed them into the car and drove to Tampa to pick up "the teenagers" for the last hockey game of the Lightning's season.  This is my future step-daugher (can i say i despise the word "step"?) - she's the 3rd one back with her mouth hanging open. sigh. 


and the little "almost" teenage trouble maker - Walker...too cute even when he gives me that look....

and then we got up bright and early and drove BACK across the state for the Cub scouts Blue and Gold banquet at Fort Christmas for the little one.  He is crossing over from Bears to Webelos this year - I am so proud of him and i love his den - it's a great group of kids and parents.  I heart all of them :)

I present Den 8...

 My baby....

Linking to Tara's weekend recap at Between You & Me - come on over and show off your awesome weekend!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dear Peggy, it's about your house.

I have to admit.  I did something I probably should not have done considering my house still has not sold.  I visited your open house yesterday.

Your sweet, charming cape cod with the gabled roof and red front door...

I fell in love.  Which is surprising because, Peggy, anyone who knows me, knows that I prefer old ranch houses that i can tear apart improve and heavens, i don' Plus, truth be told, my old real estate agent lives in that neighborhood and i was kind of afraid of running into her.  Yet, i went anyway.

The house had me at hello.  Your neighbors were also curious and followed me into your house and I think that's where i first learned your name, and that you had passed.  They told me about the neighborhood, the kids, and that this house was well loved.  It was.

 I think i stayed in that kitchen staring at your fruit wallpaper a little too long because i started to picture the canning i would do from my garden and seeing mason jars filled with daisies on the counter.  I DON'T EVEN LIKE WALLPAPER, PEGGY. sigh.

and is that a GAS STOVE??

Peggy, i hope your house finds someone who will love it like you did.  I know I think it's awesome.  If you happen to run into the Big Guy up there - could you mention that you know this awesome family that would love to live there. Just sayin'.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


They come in all forms, don't they?  Sometimes they're financial, sometimes they're work-related. Other times, they're HORMONAL. and I'm not talking about my own issues...

Walker, Lake Virginia, March 2010

...that smirk sums it up nicely.  I'm in trouble i think....patience...I need patience...

-This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. -  James 1:19-20

Friday, April 9, 2010

Inspired by...Pool Living

About this time every year I get a really bad case of pool fever.  It's allowed, i think, living here in the sunshine state.  I have a few pools saved to my favorites just in case i decide to crack open the piggy bank this year.

all photos on page courtesy of  HGTV RateMySpace
Most of the pools that you find here are in screen enclosures. AND most of them have no need to be, the way the most new subdivisions have zero trees.  So what they're trying to keep out of their pool, i have no idea.  Vance teases me and says i prefer "free-range" pools vs caged pools.  He's right.

I mean, come on, isn't this so much more appealing than being surrounded by silver mesh?

This last one is my favorite because of all the green space, yet it's close to the house.  I love the pavers too, they appear to be limestone. swoon.

Linking to Melissa's The Inspired Room  Inspired By Fridays.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Style Dilemma #1 - Meet My Kitchen and tell me what YOU would do.

I wish I could say wonderful things about my kitchen. Let me try....  uhm......still thinking......ok, i know! The subway tile we put up last year - LOVE IT. This pic was taken pre-tile - here is a closeup of it below..  That's about the only thing i love in this kitchen.  And that project was FREE. Tile was free and i did it, so labor was free.

but the rest - not so much love going on, i gotta say.  It's a small house that was great when it was only me and the boys, but now that there are 5 us and 3 cats, with me and the fiance working from home - it gets tiny really fast.  But that's an entirely different post about putting your house up for sale in this market.  Back to the issue at hand.

The question at hand is this - can i put up wainscoting or beadboard in that breakfast nook - or is that too casual for the cherry cabinets?  I want to trim out my windows and throw some serious chunky trim in there like you can see in the post a few days back, but i'm afraid it won't "go".

Anyone have an opinion?

Monday, April 5, 2010

We Make Plans and God Has a Good Laugh.

 walker, 3 yrs, Shell Island, FL

This was not the intended post today.  I was going to craft something relative to home decor and spring but I was reading Lysa today and her post struck a chord with me, and compelled me down a different path this morning.

God had a plan for us before we were even created. He knew what talents he was going to give each and everyone of us, but the problem is, He also gave us the God-forsaken (pun intended) right of free will. Ahhh, that blasted free will can get you every time. And some times, when our free will choices are not his choices, he re-directs us, and sometimes that re-directing stings. 

Nate, 18mths, Shell Island, FL

Never in a million, gazillion years did I sit down and say to myself "Self, i think you should manage operations for XYZ."   No.  I think I said I was going to grow up and marry some prince charming and stay at home and raise my babies and live in a grand house and have a little get the picture.   And here I sit, in a job that i did NOT interview for, in a role I wouldn't have chosen in a million years.  But you know what? I get to stay home every day.

Even though this is not a job i chose, it is a job that has blessed me with a wonderful paycheck that enabled me to both provide solely for my babies and still stay at home when my marriage failed.  God knew what was coming down the road at me, and friends,  he made sure to protect me and provide for me in ways I never would have imagined.  He doesn't ask you to tell Him how to make it work, he asks that you just believe in Him.

linking to Darcy's Sweet Shot Tuesday...late :)

I alone know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to bring you a hope and a future - Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Farmhouse dreaming...

Austin Patterson Disston Architects traditional living room

This is pretty darn close to dream house perfect for me.  I need lots of chunky, white molding.  Wood floors.  Lots. LOTS. of natural sunlight. 

III DomA Architects, Inc. III traditional bathroom
I think the very first house that made me stop dead in my tracks and say "I want to live there" was the Walton's house.  Do you remember it?  Very very simple farmhouse.  Kitchen was open to one living space, divided by the long pine dining table.  Big enough to house the entire family.  That's what i want.  A girl can dream, right?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What Were They Thinking?

Happy Good Friday :)

We're traveling tomorrow so i'm linking early to Hooked On Houses Freaky Friday post.  This is one post I can surely get excited about - linking up BAD real estate photos or even just bad decor and design photos in general.  I have to say, I was tempted to put a couple of, ahem, trouble spots in my own house but as i do have my own house listed, it was fun going through the real estate listings to find my own Freaky Friday entry.  Enjoy.

Here's the listing,

...and here are some take appears to be a waiting room with all those chairs against the wall - which btw, showcases cacti??
 Let's take a closer look at that pool table behind the that a roof and a sky INSIDE the house. Maybe they worked as designers at Epcot??

and last but not least...the piece de resistance....i hear porn music in the background...bow chicka wow wow...

Dirt Between My Toes

 sweet basil in my garden, March 31st, 2010

I love the morning when the sun is shining down so softly on the earth.  One of my favorite things to do is make a cup of coffee (super strong, but loaded with splenda and cream) and wander outside and walk through my yard.  I got that from my dad.

Every Saturday morning, he would get his coffee and we would go out to the yard and softly pad through the dewy grass to see what was coming up in the garden - and i think he loved it, also, because he could hear me gush about all of the Easter lillies he worked so hard on. I loved those flowers so much - but more than that, I just loved  hanging out with my Dad.

I think my oldest son has gotten that bug because he volunteers to leave the TV and his Rice Krispies and walk with me.  We had such a great time trying to capture those cardinals last Saturday. My little nature lover.  I hope he holds these walks with me in his heart as he gets older like I do the ones with my dad.

corn, 2 weeks from planting, March 30, 2010

Our garden is twice as big this year.  At the middle of March we planted Romaine lettuce, red and yellow onions, corn, green and orange peppers, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes (gotta have tomatoes!), watermelon, yellow squash, zuchinni, eggplant and cucumbers.  In between the tomato cages and rows of corn we planted sunflowers and marigolds.  The only thing we did from seed was the corn but it only took 2 weeks to go from seed to what you see above.  How can one put one bite of food in their mouth and not think God exists? I mean really? To watch a garden grow just makes me amazed at God's bounty and promise to provide.  My life has definitely not turned out the way thought it would, but God has shown me that He is always in control, he just asks for faith. His love does not end.

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. - Genesis 8:22