Thursday, December 31, 2015


I love to reflect and analyze.  Sometimes, it's not the very best thing for me because I can get stuck in that place whether it's something of a victory or a failure.  But today being the last day of 2015, I will reflect on things.

Overall, it was a great year.  Here we all are, our family of six.  We've stayed alive, we've been healthy, all of our needs have been met and many desires as well.  If we have been lacking in anything, it's been our own fault.  We have SO much to be thankful for!

This morning, my devotions were based on one 'little' word: mine.  It's actually quite a big word!  What comes to your mind when you think 'mine'?!  Some of what comes to my mind is family, relationships, work, careers, free time....

What didn't come to mind, unfortunately, was God.

When Jesus came to earth, He laid aside everything!  His glory, His possessions, His comfort, His rights.  Even, occasionally, His opinions.  He laid aside His body and He even gave up His life!!

But something that He did not, WOULD not, give up was His right to call God his Father.

And that is the only thing that I can rightfully call MINE!  Everything else is HIS!  And rightfully so.  He loves my kids even more than I do.  They are HIS and he can take better care of them than we can!  He is concerned with my relationships even more so than I am.  He is mindful of our work, careers, finances.... it's all His and He works for our good.  He is aware of our desires; He wants us to experience joy that only He can give!  He has ownership and control over it all. The only thing that I can claim as MINE is God as my Father.  That is a constant.  Nothing can take that away from me (Romans 8:38-39).

Beth Moore has a great way of stating this: 'In the midst of so much we cannot have, God says to His children, 'Forsake lesser things and have as much as you want of Me.' Remember John 3:34 says that God gives His Spirit without measure.  While God is the owner and possessor of all things, He freely invites us to be as possessive over Him as we desire.  He is my God.  And your God.  He's the only thing we can share lavishly without ever lessening our own supply.'  Isn't that brilliant?!!

So in light of being an adopted child of God (Romans 8:14-17), I hope that will change my perspective during 2016.

I am selfish!  I have a tight grip on my husband, my kids, my life and my happiness.  But just as Jesus did, I need to lay down these things and cling to the one thing that is mine that will never change: God as my Father, Christ as my Savior, and the Holy Spirit as my Advocate.

I don't know how exactly, but I hope that I can carry on with this concept of what is truly mine in the next year.  I hope that I'll be reminded of this when I'm feeling selfish.  When I inwardly or outwardly insist on what I want, what I think I need, when I can't think clearly because I'm so caught up in MYSELF!  I hope and pray today that I can be caught up in God!  God leading and directing me as wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, servant.... No matter what 2016 may hold.  No matter what I may have to 'give up' that wasn't mine in the first place.

On a previous 'reflection post' of the New Year, I wanted to be more intentional.  Being intentional is so important because if we aren't, things can slip.  Well this year, I hope I can intentionally remember that God is mine and He will give as much of Himself to me as I want.  And that offer is good for anyone that will accept Him and I should be making that known!  I know that myself and others could definitely use more of His power and authority and love and grace in my life every. single. day.

So here's to a Happy New Year of un-apologetically claiming God as my Father!

(If you haven't taken the step in your life to call God your own Father, message me or someone you know that can help you take that step!  It'll be the best thing you will ever do!  If He isn't yours yet, then the sad truth is you have nothing to call 'mine'.  Struggle with this and make a decision to follow Christ!  John 14:6)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Our Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course!

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love that Jordan (my Carpenter) is such an imaginative, spontaneous, and creative guy!  He puts his mind to something and it happens!  One of his favorite shows is America Ninja Warrior.  He loves that people put so much dedication into training and have so much to show for it in the end.  That they accomplish these crazy extreme obstacles based mostly on upper body strength.  Jordan has become very educated on food and diet and exercise (through hours of podcasts each day) and it's transformed the way we take care of ourselves around here... mostly by eating a low-sugar diet. And he's also become more passionate about weight-lifting.  With the last season of America Ninja Warrior in swing, Jordan started work on our very own warrior course!  First things first, he brought home a swing set someone had offered him to be used for the main support system.  

And.... he brought it to the backyard with the lawn mower!  

Here's the free play set in all of it's glory!  (Stay tuned.... next summer we'll be painting it up so it's more attractive!)

Next, more frame pieces.... 
The height of this structure is 13ft.
Next, some beams to connect the two together.  He also added holes for the pegs (like a peg wall), a salmon ladder, and some rings!  The rings are adjustable so the whole family can benefit from them.
Jordan took the balls from our bocce ball set and drilled holes through them.  Can you guess what these are for?!

 And he's always figuring out better ways to do things: He hooked up this hook part onto his drill to more easily spin and set the balls into place.

See what I mean?  (Imagine the drill is spinning and the hook is twisting the eye bolt into place. Pure genius!)

We bought rope and braided it ourselves with a strange kind of braid, a speed rope braid.
Jordan added more height to the salmon ladder since he quickly mastered it and needed more of a challenge.  

(Next year we plan to set the tramp into the ground)

 Jordan added many more holes on the peg wall so that he can work on his stamina of going up, across, down and even down/up the angled boards to the far side.

And then there are the monkey/pull up bars!  Easy peasy, right?!  Not for me, they TWIST!   There are also straps lining the opposite of the cannonballs.

It's a bit camouflaged so hopefully it's not an eyesore to the neighbors!

So far, our obstacle course has peg walls, a 12 ft rope, rings, salmon ladder, monkey/pull up bars, straps, and cannonballs.  We hope to add a rock wall for the kids next spring, a slack line, and also a warped wall, of course!  If you have an obstacle course yourself, we'd love to see it!  There isn't much inspiration out there for this kind of thing outside of a gym!  What do you think?!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

camp 'woodland' bedroom

I was asked to design a two year old's room to be something that can grow with him.  There was no particular theme in mind at first.  At two, it's hard to know what a little guy is really passionate about.  Some people will do a car or sports theme for their boy but who knows if they're really going to be into that!  But this characteristic is true about most boys: they are little adventurers!  So my mind went to the outdoors.  It's natural, neutral, and timeless!   And who doesn't love the outdoors?!

Little Elliot's room turned into a Woodland Camp!

Here are some before pictures:

And the after (it was a bad-lighting day for pictures, btw!):
I wanted to place these branches a bit lower or do a whole bunch on the wall but realistically this two-year-old-adventurer would be all over that!  So they're up higher for now!

Painting these branches is such a fun DIY!  I can't wait to do more sometime (but for my own home!)

 Just a few extra touches....

 It's so fun when your client helps you pick out the bedding!  We both really loved the H&M comforter with the triangle pillowcase from LOD.  I found this sweet plaid pillow in green at Home Goods and the green sham at Target.  The lamp is Target as well.  The bed is the client's own that will maybe someday be stripped and stained but it adds to the natural wooded element for now!

 I LOVED picking out prints and creating this collage.  It can easily be added to and pictures can be swapped out!
 Teepee picture above is my own creation.  The compass sign below is Target.

 The animals and tree prints are all from different Etsy shops.  They're all absolutely amazing!  The Aztec print below is from Target, as well as all of the frames.

 This dresser was the splurge of the room from Land of Nod!  It's in midnight blue and just gorgeous!
The letter 'E' is Target, everything else was from flea markets and antique shops.

This floating shelf was from Home Goods.  Under the window it is the perfect little bookshelf or can be a desk.  We had wanted to incorporate a desk but you can't always have it all in a small room.  This was the perfect solution.  And how about that camping chair?!  I found it for a steal at a flea market!
 Hobby Lobby had a great selection of some woodland/outdoors themed items.  I loved this little bookend.

When working within a budget, not everything you purchase has to be brand new.  There's a lot of charm to be found in old pieces!  Here are some of the collages I put together for this room as we went along.  Hope they can help you if you want to do a similar theme!