Monthly Archives: July 2008

O.K. … FINE!


I’m not too proud to admit I’m a Messie with 3 Messie offspring.  I’m also not too proud to make my faithful commenters happy by posting AS IS photos of those rooms I slid past in the last post.  Here ya go:

Toldja so

Toldja so

  He has a great view, but too much light screws up the photo.  The only things in his otherwise empty laundry basket are about 4 wet towels that I put there myownself.  Here is where the clean clothes SHOULD be:

Here’s a redeeming shot, though I promised myself always that I would NEVER let my kids have a TV in their room.  Never say never…you may find yourself with 2-4 less rooms than you had before!

Never Say Never

Never Say Never

Here is the FROG.  It has potential.  I shoulda taken the photo last week when we finished cleaning and unpacking together.  The sofa/bed was bought for $10 at a garage sale and he LOVES it even though many humans would consider that mattress unworthy for the garbage.  Plus we can’t find sheets for it and he refuses to use ones I constantly cram on there.  See?  I tried to shelter you, but you asked for it!  I hope our friendship can survive such knowledge…

He’s dying to sell that Gretsky poster (by the TV) on ebay.  It has the Twin Towers in the background so I think it’s beyond cool and historic.  I won’t let him part with it…even if I have to rebuy it myself.

  Note the empty bookshelf and laundry basket.  ???  The only light in the FROG is that flourescent number you see reflected in the mirror.  There’s tons of natural light, though, but again, with the shade up, it makes the photo look like heaven beckoning, which is not an awful thought, just hard to see what you asked to see…

Boy Bathroom

Boy Bathroom

I neglected to include kid bathroom shots in the last post.  Since this bathroom is used by 2 parts boy and 1 part tomboy, I put the sports team pictures in here.  Look at the cute gender neutral shower curtain rings I got at Bed Bath & Beyond:

  Below is the guest bathroom all for you.

And because I’m feeling particularly generous, I will include a shot of the Pool Table Room.  I can never hold a grudge.  Although, I’m sure to get a call or strongly worded text message from my Wise Friend who will be sorely disappointed in me for losing the battle AND the war. 
Pool Table Room

Pool Table Room

Do not be concerned, my well meaning friends.  Here is where we have eaten every family meal together since we moved in on June 15. 
The Real Dining Room

The Real Dining Room

And here is where you can loll afterwards. 
This was taken at 11:00 am.  Rest assured that it is shady and relaxingly cool post beach trip/supper/dessert.  Beth is fake reading “BBQ USA.” 

I hope you’re happy now!


Ya’ll come!


Well folks, we are no longer overwhelmed with boxes, so I’d say it’s about high time for some comp’ny.  Just in case your summer of 2008 is already completely booked, here’s a short tour of the place where you & yours are always welcome, any time of the year for a coastal getaway.

My sweet & artsy mama painted this and had it hanging outside our front door in TN.  From there it moved to just inside the garage door in MI,

which was the mostly used door.  It isn’t hanging in its new spot yet, over our front door, but the sentiment remains.  Here’s what you see as you stand just inside the front door.

  You have two choices…walk straight ahead or turn right.  Let’s turn right.

To your immediate right as you enter the front door is the Livin Room.  (You have to say it like that too…LIVINROOM).  It is the same basic set up as the TV room in the Michigan house, without the TV.

  This is the rest of the LivinRoom, complete with sofa back table computer desk wannabe.  Oldest just looooooves having his picture taken.

If you walk through the LivinRoom, you will bump right smack into the pool table.  A very good wise friend advised me to “Just Say No” to pool tables in the DininRoom, but that was a battle I had no strength to fight.   Besides, we eat most of our meals outside.  But I will not put a picture of the “pool table room” here.  So there. 

Beyond the DininRoom is the kitchen.  

I spend a lot of time in this space.  Ignore the full sink and empty wine glasses and look beyond to see the beachy items of joy!  On the right window is a sweet plaque from my friend/neighbor/co-worker Debbi.  It says “Dream BIG and grow into it” and I love it.  It’s not particularly beachy, but I think that is a great spot for me to remember that thought and pray with/for her and myself and others to do so daily.  Also, to the left side is some smelly sticks (I think normal people call them incense or something of that sort) given to me by another neighbor friend.  They smell like Michigan apples and are a reminder of my beloved friends up north.  My neighbor friends took me out to dinner & gave me these things before I left Michigan and told me they would miss me.  Even though I hardly ever came to the bus stop like the other good moms.  (Tune in next week to read what my Ypsi neighbor is STILL DOING for me!  You will LOVE this story.  I have been very blessed with neighbors).  Needless to say, I have VERY high expectations for my new neighbor friends here in South Shore Estates.  This kitchen nook is a fun spot since many items were previously in the bathrooms.  They are so happy to be in this new sunny spot of perpetual attention.

  This is another fun spot since most all of these fridge magnets are from 2 houses ago…York Court!  The kids are 5+ years younger in the photos and therefore so am I.  I also unearthed a favorite picture of 3 of my parents from my wedding day…my actual parents with Nana Shirley who continues to parent me even to this day.  What a treasure.  The joy in their faces (mom’s & dad’s) in this snapshot cannot begin to compare to the joy they are constantly feeling now in the presence of God.  Shirley looks good too, but we still long for that day.  Heavy sigh.  Now on to….

  The TV room.  This shot was taken while there were still Webkinz tossed from the upper level hallway to the way high shelf over the mantle.   Here’s the new & improved look:

  The girls are having a moment of sisterly Bliss  Now onto the bedrooms….

This is most likely where you will stay.  BigSis is always willing to bunk up with LilSis and/or sleep on the Green Couch when we have a visitor or 6.  This is the only bedroom on the ground floor and it has a bathroom just outside and a twin mattress on a trundle underneath.  BigSis is Queen of Sheba these days with her very own little ‘partment.

Now lets go upstairs

  Once we hung these pictures (and put a few more on the shelf…again…come see it yourself) it really felt like home. 

  The mom of one of my Kindergarten students gave me these 4 frames.  She said it was mandatory to update them every single year.  I love them and we all get a kick out of comparing the kids at the same ages.  And the very obvious differences between same kid each year!  This is at the top of the steps. 

Upstairs we have BabyKid’s room of which I refuse to put a picture at the moment due to his inability to remember the difference between clean & dirty clothes and their subsequent intentional roosting spots.  LilSis is much better about this.



She did the polka dots herself.  Very festive, don’tcha think?

BigBro isn’t quite ready to publish his FROG (finished room over garage) but it is PS2 Central.  A nice teen cave with a multitude of sports posters.

Now for the piece de resistance, the Master!

  This was the only room I didn’t like on the first visit, and it is the only room I truly LOOOOOOVE right now.  The paint is that rare baby-poo-green which I immediately thought was hideously nasty when the room was bare…and I soooo don’t even usually care about colors all that much.  I said to Hubby at that time that we would “definitely need new bedding.”  The curtains were left for us and the bedding we have now is exactly what brought with us from Michigan.  Do you detect the perfect match here?  I just find this another instance of this being the exact house God picked out for us, knowing so much better than me and loving me so much to patiently watch me figure out over time what a good thing looks like. 

  The bathroom is just as awesome:

  I have used this tub more in the month that we’ve been here than I used my Michigan tub in the 3 years we lived there.  This one has jets which makes it a very bubbly hot tub experience.   I read in the tub today from about 3:00 – 4:00.  Heaaaaven!

  Even thought my dad taught college level French, I didn’t pick up too very much, but one thing I do remember is the W. C. which stands for “water closet.”  That is what you see here…a fully walled off and closed off with an actual door “dooblay vay say” as the southern student of Francais would say it.  This was the perfect place for the Civil War artwork Hubby is so very fond of.  Very manly.  Balances out the flowers strewn all over the rest of the bathroom.  Still the baby-poo-green, but a surprisingly decent backdrop for all the brassy Civil War picture frames and all our various & sundry maroon flowery items.

So there you have the highlights.   When you come, we will cook you barbeque and boat you up & down the canal.  If the water’s low we can tow you walking.  After that you can read in the tub for as long as you want.  Then we’ll drive thru Sonic or Chick Fil A on the way to the beach and afterwards dine on fresh seafood.  It’s great fun here whether you go or stay put.  Hope to see you soon & very soon!


Nice plates — IN COLOR!


So everyone in Va Bch has personalized tags.  Apparantly, there is no additional charge, so with enough forethought and creativity, you too can drive away with the message of your dreams.  Some I’ve seen lately are:





and my personal favorite


The trouble is, the more I see, the more my brain seizes up and the more petrified I become that I won’t be able to think of one that’s not taken.  The best I have been able to come up with for my silver Pilot is


Any suggestions?

Here are a few I saw just today:

All of these were in the parking lot of a building where I had an interview today!  Here’s 2 more that I loved:

I’m devastated about that last one.  Not that I could’ve come up with it, but it’s just so darn perfect for me.  I am armed with a few more ideas though.  Thanks for the input!  Keep those suggestions coming till we survive DMV 2 Dreams Come True.

Rockin the Sabbath


I have 3 favorite CDs in the Pilot/Celica at the moment:

Mandisa–gotta love someone who witnesses to Grouchy Simon on national TV!  “Only the World” is my theme song on bad days–which, Thank God, I haven’t really had in a while, but still love the song.

This one’s from 2002 but I dug it back out again and love it just as much as I did way back in my early 30s 😉    Michael W. Smith’s  Worship Again  The song “Ancient Words” is haunting and thoughtful:

Words of life, words of hope/Give us strength, help us cope,

In this world where’er we roam/Ancient words will guide us home

Ancient words, ever true/Changing me and changing you,

We have come with open hearts/Oh, let the ancient words impart.

One last awesomely unique fave:

The band is Mission.  The album is Eucharist.  They played at the Willow Creek Children’s Ministry conference “Conspire” April 23-25, 2008 and rocked a number of old people and hymns in a most excellent fun worshipful manner.  I didn’t buy the CD at the conference but thankfully found it last week on iTunes.  If you iTune, listen to Joyful Joyful first–my favorite!  PLUS the proceeds go to charitable causes since all these guys love the Lord and have other jobs.  I can’t encourage you strongly enough to try a listen.  Hope you like!

Psalm 118:24  This is the day the LORD has made…we will “spin around with joy” in it!

Raindrops, roses, yadda yadda yadda


They’re not quite as shmoopy & girly as Maria’s, or as life altering as Oprah’s 


THESE are a few of my favorite things:

Believe me, this is a cool invention if I ever saw one…here’s what the polish looks like when you’re inside, and it changes colors when you go in the sun!  The top of the bottle shows the “outside” color.  Is there anything more excellent than carefully painting your fingernails at the beach and watching them change color? 

Okay, I guess that one is a little girly.  But wait!  There’s more!

Have you seen this?  HONEY BUTTER Ritz crackers….

and HONEY ROAST peanut butter?  Oh, SO DELISHEEEOOOOSO! 

It’s creamy, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

And here we have my new favorite gum.  Strawberry Lime Trident Splash.  It smells so good! 

Get 2 packs because the kids will raid them.  Any kids within a 3 mile radius. 

If you know & love the “Arnold Palmer” and don’t live near a Chick-Fil-A, you will love these. 

1/2 tea, 1/2 lemonade, all yummy goodness.  For when your mouth is tired of chewing.

And here we have a lovely hanger, recently purchased in VA Beach for the stuff I’m always losing. 

Sparkly AND useful! 


My hubby has proclaimed this the Worlds Best Good-For-You cereal.  “I have been saying for years they should make healthy cereal taste better.”  Honey, I guess they heardja.  Tastes like Cinnamon Toast Crunch!

Now how did that Top Gun get here? 

(Mario Lopez in smokin’ poses of the ’80s in the June 30, 2008 People magazine).  

((A quick and easy way to get your heartrate up at the Library)). 

Blue Lagoon, revisited.  Sigh.

And last but not least:

My brand spankin’ new very own library card!  Hooray!  Hooray!  Celebrate good times, COME ON! 

What are you loving these days?

21 days but still a landlubber


“It won’t be long” a friend said to me when I told her we would be living on a canal, but we don’t yet have a boat.  Well, she was right because we didn’t even make a month.  Hubby has been ebaying, Craig’s listing and basically drooling over the canoes in every sporting goods store in the Hampton Roads area.  Did I mention we finally got our Economic Stimulus Package?

So Craig’s List came through for us.  If you’re not familiar, is a buy/sell/swap/free website that you can browse locally for anything you can think of, dream up or just plain browse for when you got nothing better to do.  There was a great story about a guy who traded up a red paper clip on Craig’s List **not actually on Craig’s List, but still***.  His goal was to trade all the way up to a grill, then a boat, then a house.  Check in on that guy and see how he did it.    ANYWAY. We traded $250 for a dingy.  Voila:

Here’s where it is supposed to be.  Can’t you just feel the intense planning?

Here’s where it is:

And here’s how it got there.

Step 1:  Turn on it’s side, place cardboard boxes on the pavement, and scooch it through the narrow gate.

Step 2:  Glide effortlessly with manly strength across the wet grass.

Ever so gracefully…but alas, the gate to the water is much more narrow. So here she stays for now.

so close, and yet...

so close, and yet...

Yo ho ho!