Friday, December 31, 2010

He gave all he had - The John Tanner Story

I am amazed that I can call John Tanner kin... he would be my great great great great grandfather. This short movie highlights some of the most significant details of his life.

(For some reason I cannot embed this particular video.  You can watch it here.)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

He is the epitome of love

Merry Christmas!  Take a moment and watch this sweet video about our Savior, whose birth we celebrate today.  I love these accounts of how He can change us and how his love is light that cuts through the thickest darkness.

My husband spoke in church last Sunday and focused his message on the miracle of the change of heart that only Jesus Christ can facilitate.  He pointed out that the concept of change is a theme that we seem to focus on at Christmastime, whether consciously or not.  Think about a few Christmas movies and can you see how a change of heart is very often the theme?

I am grateful for his birth, his life and his love.

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The one thing I want

Funny how our wants change over time.  Our changeableness is beautiful to me.  Sometimes its painful of course but ultimately it proves that we are not necessarily destined to be anything but that which we choose to be.  I like that.

For example.  When I was little all I ever wanted seemed to arrive on Christmas morning.  Barbies, new clothes, My Little Ponies, and a banana seat bike.

I love the memories but oh how my wants have changed.  My boys keep asking me what I want for Christmas and they are bummed that they get the same, seemingly boring answer time and again.

I want to see them smile.  Can words express how much I love being a mom?  

What one thing do you want above all this year?  From the gut, first answer that pops into your head.  Please share! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Tree Inspiration - 2010

I fell in love with this Anthropologie window display and thought that it would be fun to try and recreate it on a Christmas tree.

Well, it was fun and I do like my tree but I reaaaaally wish I had been able to find some of those orangey bulbs.  The closest I got was a peach/pink color.  Let me know if you ever see them anywhere!  I tried to get plenty of white bulbs but I thought I needed more so I brought in a strand of white bulb lights that I had.  I like how it looks personally.

The other challenge was to find those honeycomb paper balls.  They are all over the net but not the right color or size.  And they were surprisingly pricey too.  I found a three pack of white wedding bells at the dollar store and simply cut them before opening them up.  I was unable to make them into circles but the oval shape kinda grew on me.

The boys helped me to make "groupings" where they combined random colors and shaped of bulbs with several strands of ribbon that I had on hand.  Each grouping shared one hook.  The paper garland was easy of course and I only used around 12 sheets of paper.
{yay toy camera effect}

On to something totally different next year!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pile of Life


I am writing this from underneath a giant pile of faux Christmas tree branches, boxes of ornaments, baby food containers, messy crockpots, unfolded laundry and four sleeping children to report that I am alive and well and that I found a bag of chocolate chips in here, so no need to worry.

I do have my cell phone and I am intermittently placing calls with a very placid and calm voice, reassuring various committee counterparts that things are clipping along and getting accomplished.  I am very aware that my greatest skill may not be to oversee committees but rather my ability to KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON in spite of it all.

Highlights of my day:
  • -Witnessing a rather intense 3-boy verbal battle about who "did it."
  • -Reading The Friend magazine to my kids and enjoying a sweet Christmas story, but not before we played a "make up your own caption to this picture" game.  (ie: "Dad, why is there a giant dialogue bubble coming out of your mouth?  Ack, its happening to me too!)   Try it.  Its fun!
  • -Watching baby Oliver beg for more sweet potato puffs by clapping his hands together and chanting, "mo mo mo mo mo mo."
  • -Jared home from work.  Always my fave.

Yeah there were more but its hard typing with one finger from under this here pile.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Old friend and sweet vintage pics

Happy birthday to my dear friend Sarah.  We met around age 2 when our families moved next door to each other.  What luck to have such a great friend right next door!  While my family has moved all over the place, her family is still in that house where we played as kids decades ago.

Love you, Sarah!  Happy birthday!

Now I just can't pull out vintage pics without posting a few of my mom.  I see lots of "old" elements in these pics that are totally modern and in style today!  The Polaroid has enjoyed a resurgence of its popularity, her awesome, cheek protecting glasses, her pullover, the light fixture, etc...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gratitude - 11/16

Enumerating all the things I am grateful for could literally take a lifetime, so lets start there.  Life.  I am grateful for my life.  For the chance I have to take a whack at this big pinata that we call home.
{Such a pretty pinata!  Found at}
Isn't a pinata a fun metaphor for life?  I like it at least.  You are blind, you swing wildly while hoping for a lucky strike, and when you do make contact, awesome stuff often comes out.  And you leave it mangled... OK maybe not.  :)

Many of the things that I am most grateful for are most likely obvious.  Here are a few things I cherish that are a bit beyond my short list.

The silence in between notes of music.
The choice we have when we look at something to decide if we will find beauty in it.
Hearing your mom's voice when you open your mouth.  For good or bad :) it makes me feel connected.
The sound of my kids squeaking away at their instruments when they are first learning.
That yummy, smoky smell of fall.
Learning.  Realizing what you "knew" was incorrect and feeling your heart and mind bend to the change.
Dreaming in color.
Random memories.  Like a big icicle hanging off a corner eave at my adolescent home.
Toiling through life then taking a pause to look back and realize how guided you have really been.
Protein and the way it makes that hypoglycemic feeling go away.
The turkey sandwiches Jared makes for me when I am in a hurry.  He always tries to make it extra yummy with spices or deli mustard or something. :)
The way Will asks politely EVERY DAY if he can use my shower though I don't think I have ever said no.
Tyson's insanely soft, kissable skin.  I can see myself fighting off young ladies with a stick when they discover it one day.
The way Zach loves the shape of numbers rather than loving numbers for what they are intended to be.
Oliver's smile for every single person and the number of smiles he gets back.  Love.

OK, I'm gonna blow a gasket if I keep thinking this way!  That's enough gratitude for tonight.

Thanks for reading... :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Not normally a fan of diaper bags...

I saw a few of these beauties at a local boutique and again saw them on Bakerella's blog.  Not only are they super pretty, but the details and quality are impeccable.  They are kinda fluffy/girlie for my taste but again, decadent and pretty to the max.  I love that they come with so many useful things too, like a fold out/removable changing pad and matching wipe container.  Not a huge fan of their name though: Petunia Picklebottom.  Wha???

Saturday, November 13, 2010

An Attitude of Gratitude

I was so happy to see this new video for the way it helped me think about some everyday things that I don't always "see" but that I am deeply thankful for.

Over the next days until Thanksgiving day, I want to dedicate several posts to some of the things I am the most grateful for.  I think this can be an opportunity for me to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.


Bakerella is a super/awesome/cake-pop-babe.  And I loved getting to meet her with a few of my favorite gals, Renee and Sarah!  I wonder if I will ever actually make cakepops...  I think a scenario of Sarah or Renee making them and me consuming them is a much more viable probability.

I think I have super cute friends. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rainbow Bookshelf

I saw that Design Mom has an organized-by-color shelf and I loved it so I gave it a try.  I am not a designer AT ALL but I am enjoying the results nonetheless!

My eldest says it looks the same as before.  Time to check for color blindness!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I Can't Stop Smiling

This little man Oliver is one smiley kid.  He seriously brightens the day of everyone he sees with a big, gummy, whole face grin.  (please excuse the horrible quality of these cell phone pics!)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Flea Market Find

I can't believe I forgot to post a pic of what I found at the flea market I went to when my lil' sis was here.  I am so glad I didn't die when I saw these because, ya know.  That's possible.

I just happened to have a bunch of bottles of my two favorite carbonated beverages on hand, so you get the full effect of these vintage soda crates.  What are the beverages you ask??  You shall receive.

Izze!  Sparkling fruit juice.  Soooooo good!  Clementine, blackberry and grapefruit.

Boylan Root Beer.  Wow.  Intensely good, especially with Breyers vanilla ice cream.  AND its not sweetened with the high fructose junk.  Its natural cane sugar.  Feel good about it, come on!

I am thirsty now!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Art Lesson

I have been a fan for some time now of J. Kirk Richard's artwork.  So when I heard that he was offering a few workshops in town, I had to participate!

One huge problem.  I am really, super horrible at art.  Like awful.  But I LOVE it and I am a huge appreciator of it!  I have even been a member of the Frist!  I hoped my love for art would make up for my woeful lack of ability.

Well... it didn't.  But I tried and I loved {almost} every second of my first actual art class ever.  Here is the place where we set up to paint:

Beautiful spot, huh!  I love Tennessee :)

First off, being a non-artist, I was not sure what to do about an easel.  I know they are kind of expensive and I couldn't justify the cost.  I knew Kirk might bring one but wasn't sure, so I brought the only thing I could think of that I had on hand.  A music stand.

See me in the back there?  Turns out he did have easels but not enough so it was a good thing I brought my stand!  I had to rig it up with clothes pins and I had to hold it still with my foot while I painted.  :)

People, I tried my hardest.  I really did.  But at the end, my stomach was all in knots, not sure if I should just revel in the fun of what I had just done or if I should run and never show my face again!  I did pack up rather quickly...

I thought about posting my final product but I don't want anyone to feel like they have to compliment it to make me feel better about it.  Just imagine some leafy colors and a red rectangle.

Here is the lesson I learned: I love paintings!  I don't love painting!

Saturday, October 30, 2010



Its fun but it never seems to end!  I am beat already and its not even actually Halloween yet.

Last night we went to the church for Trunk or Treat and tonight the boys went out in the neighborhood.  But first, this morning they participated in the Grey Ghost kids' 1k Race.  It was a very well done event and I am so glad they are doing this kind of thing!  Now if I can just make sure they don't eat their weight in candy...

And for their costumes, the boys chose...

A mime-
An Ewok (again.  yay!)-
Link, from Zelda-
And last but not least, a garden gnome-
Sugar buzzin.  G'night!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chair Makeover

This is kind of old news around here but I thought it would be fun to show some of the process of a chair makeover that my awesome sister McKenzie and I did when she came to Tennessee.

I love me a good hand me down and this here chair was just that.  But alas, over time it became a wee bit unsavory as far as pieces of furniture go, having been sat upon for so many years and even once puked upon.  Thank goodness for a sister who ambitiously tackled the redo with me or it may never have gotten done.  (I did not tell her it had been puked on until after she helped pull off the old fabric.  What are sisters for? :)

{The chair after Kenzie figured out how to remove the back.}

{More disassembly.}

{That is sure a lot of staples.}

OK, about the fabric.  I was wanting to use something I already had, so it was this green stuff or some really old Bob the Builder fabric I never used.  Kenz & I agreed it looked good but slightly boring so we had the idea to butcher a burlap rice bag from Costco and use a piece of it for the back.

{I love the contrast the printed burlap is with the green.  And can you see the stitching detail on the left that we left on?  That's my favorite part.}

When Kenz demoed the chair, she was careful to keep the pieces in tact so I could use them as a pattern. The green fabric was super stiff and I was really nervous about having the corners of the seat pucker so I used 1,000,000 push pins.  

Voila.  Business in front.

Party in the back.

I thought about fixing up or painting the wood but I decided that 1. I am all about the natural look and the character that defects afford and 2.  I was too anxious to be done to bother with it.  ;)

Thanks McKenzie!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Im just sayin'...

If you know me at all, you probably know that I sometimes say things that are borderline inappropriate.  Why should my blog be any different? (I blame it on my Gardner blood ;)

That said, cast your eyes upon this pretty little necklace that seems to me to be a very useful marital communication tool.
And on the reverse side:
Found at The Curiosity Shoppe, which I heard of on DesignMom.  ;)
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