Archives for July 2013

Allen’s Final Chapter

This is part 3 of an inspirational story written by Sophia's Dad. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here. Gripping the edges of the dentist’s chair while the drilling commenced and waiting for the assistant to suck out the saliva in my mouth before I aspirate into my lungs, I feel my phone vibrate in my pocket.  It’s 5:35pm on Tuesday.  Given a brief moment of reprieve from the seemingly endless drilling, scraping and oh yeah; readjusting that dam device that keeps your mouth cranked open almost to the point of permanently creating a smile like the Joker from Batman I peak at my cell.  “Alan just passed away five minutes ago.” His estranged father at his bedside, his fiancé driving home from work having just left the Care Center (which I admitted Allen to just a week prior) a few hours earlier. “He sat on the edge of the bed,” straining to readjust himself to get his cancer filled lungs to cooperate as best as possible. He simply said, “I can’t hold on any longer, I’m ready to go.”  His head dipped down on his chest. There were a few feeble attempts to fill his lungs with precious oxygen and he was gone.  He left this world with a whimper, not a bang. To some, Allen’s story was a tragic story with all the makings of a “tear jerker” you might see on The Lifetime channel.  For others, it marked the end of a long and hard battle with the ‘The Big C’. As I read the text while allowing the dentist to have his way with my teeth despite my silent protest, a … [Read more...]

All You Need Is Love Sign

I haven't gotten this project right yet but I'm going to share it with you guys anyway. I really like this frame. It suits the rustic decor that goes with living in the mountains. Originally, my mom made this sign for our wedding we had here in Mammoth. She stenciled the letters of our names on a piece burlap, painted the letters white and framed it. After the wedding, I decided I wanted to stencil "all you need is love" on drop cloth and use the frame. Rather than using stencils, I printed out my own letters using Georgia font (size 400). I was going to trace them on the drop cloth and paint the letters the same way I did the monogrammed pillows I made recently. My husband thought that sounded like too much work and suggested he spray paint the letters I had printed then glue them on the drop cloth. He talked me into and it ended up looking pretty good. This is before I glued the letters down. I wasn't crazy about the drop cloth. It was too light in contrast with the color of the frame. I don't know, I just didn't like it. So I pulled all the letters off the drop cloth, stapled a piece of burlap over the board and glued the letters back on. I know it sounds a little crazy but I do like the burlap better. And now, I'm still not in love with it! I like it, but I think it would look better if the letters were painted on! I'll give it a few days to see if I really like it. I may have to sneak a quick paint job in without my husband seeing (I don't want to hurt his … [Read more...]

Hamper Basket Makeover

I like having a good project to work on- something to paint or re cover is always fun. I enjoy looking around thrift stores for something I can re do. This may seem weird to some people but it is sort of therapeutic for me and gratifying to see the transformation. When I spotted this old hamper at a thrift store, I knew it would be fun and easy to re do. Actually, if I had the right style of house, this would have been a cool vintage piece to fix up. I would have re painted it the same yellow and cleaned it up a bit. My house is not ecletic at all though. It wouldn't work in our house as a vintage piece.  All I needed to do with this was wash it off with a hose and give it two coats of spray paint. I used Rust-Oleum gloss protective French Roast.Once the paint was all dry (I gave it 24 hours), I unscrewed the top and used a staple gun to cover it with my favorite material- drop cloth! I say favorite, because I've done a bunch of projects using drop cloth you can find here. I like it because it is sturdy and it looks like linen.Here is how it looked once it was painted and the top was covered. It needed something extra, so I trimmed the lid with smooth nickel furniture nails. I think it gave it the finishing touch it needed. Before and After Total Cost- $20 Hamper- $5 Spray Paint & Furniture Nails- $15This was so simple to do and came out pretty good. What do you think? … [Read more...]

Summertime Pics

As I scroll through the dozens of photos I've taken of Sophia in just the last month, I can't help but feel overwhelmed with love and happiness. Sometimes I think back to the 72 hours it took to bring her into this world and I can barely even remember all the pain I went through because that finite amount of suffering seems so utterly insignificant in comparison to the infinite amount of joy and value she has brought into our lives. So it's no wonder why I take so many pictures of her. I can't help but want to capture the so many great moments of her life. With mobile phone photography it's easy to capture every waking (and non waking) moment of her life. I'm not sure if this is such a good thing. I hadn't thought about how this may affect her until now. As she gets older, she may act differently when she knows the camera is there. This may make her self-aware which could be a bad thing because a lack of self awareness is what makes children so precious and innocent. This is something for me to think about. Do you take a lot of pictures of your children? What are your thoughts on this? Anyway, as I glance over at my little toe headed daughter, her ink blue eyes catch mine and I can barely suppress a smile and think, I can't imagine my life without her and I'm so grateful I've had the opportunity to capture so many great moments of her life that I will someday get to share with her. We had a great time at Timmy's First Birthday. She wasn't happy with me trying to put a … [Read more...]

Helpful Parenting Article: Talking to Toddlers

I recently read an article by Janet Lansbury, titled Talking to Toddlers- 4 Secrets That Bring You Closer  that was helpful and informative. The article discusses 4 ways to communicate with your toddler to alleviate frustration and build trust. The first secret she points out is to talk normal. Don't talk baby talk to your toddler. Speak slowly and in shorter sentences. The second secret she discusses is to turn 'no' into 'yes'. An example, "I want you to sit on my lap" rather than, "Don't bounce on me." She explains that this may not always work but it is better than responding with no and don't all the time. Children appreciate positive instruction. It makes them more likely to respond with compliance and makes them feel more respected. The third secret is to give the toddler real choices. Rather than asking your toddler what they want to wear, ask them if they would like to wear the pink dress or the white dress. Give them two choices and let them decide between the two. Asking them a broad question like what do you want to wear is too overwhelming. Her final secret is to first, acknowledge. She explains that acknowledging your toddler's point of view can be calming. Toddlers get frustrated when they can't communicate what they want or need, and when you acknowledge their point of view it helps them feel that they are being understood. Landsbury points out,"That when a toddler feels understood, she senses the empathy behind our limits and corrections. She … [Read more...]

July 4th 2013

Dinner at Friends With the girls and babies Sophia and Timmy Sophia loved this little girl Sarah she met at the party. Just a few pics of our little angel Watching the parade earlier in the day. She wasn't happy- too hot and it was nap time. We had a great fourth of July. Hope you all made some great memories and enjoyed your day as much as we did.   … [Read more...]

Rustic Bench Made From Wood Pallets

My husband and I have been having fun working on projects together and creating things from wood pallets we got from a friend. A couple weeks ago we made shelves that came out pretty good. You can look at the project here. Then we made a sign with our family name on it that I really like. You can look at that project here. This last weekend we made a bench. He actually made it and I took pictures! We needed a bench with a place for shoes for our entryway. We have white carpet, so I try to enforce the "take your shoes off rule" and it's easier to have people do this when there is a place to sit to take their shoes off and a place to sit to put them back on. The bench serves this purpose and I really like the way it came out. I do want to make a cushion for it that I'll get around to making and posting soon. Here is how it looks right now. Here are the steps my husband took to make the bench. Because we have made the shelves and the sign using wood pallets, they are all broken up. He cut the section above to begin with the seating portion of the bench. He hammered the ends to another piece of wood to create a somewhat ladder. He filled in the wide open spaces with pieces of wood the same size leaving small openings between each slat. He measured 18 inches for the legs and cut. Using wood screws, he attached the legs to the inside portion of the ladder seat part of the bench. He used wood screws to attach supports for the legs. He hammered two slats of wood to the … [Read more...]

Allen’s Update

This is part two of an inspirational story Allen's Gift, written by Sophia's Dad Brett, a Physician's Assistant. Intractable vomiting.  In the medical world the word “intractable” is used when nothing given as treatment or therapy relieves the given symptom.  In this case vomiting.  I mean think about it,  remember  the last time you had “the stomach flu”? Or how about the last time you went out and drank way too much only to spend the next 2 hours in front of the toilet?  For me, vomiting represents one of those bodily functions that causes the afflicted to be so miserable, so “please God I’ll do anything if you make it stop” type of agony.  But in the back of our minds we KNOW the vomiting will end soon and life will once again return to normal for us. I spoke with Allen today on my cell. “Hey buddy, you hanging in there?,”  I asked. “Doing the best (long pause) I can with (long pause) what God has given ( long pause) me to handle today,” whispers Allen with obvious great effort. “I wanna (long pause) go home so bad, so (another long pause) tired of this”. This time the long pause came from me. “Hello? Brett? (long pause) Hello?” “I’m here Allen,” I say as I again clear my throat.  I feel a humungous lump in my throat followed by what seems to be a flood of emotion like a once peaceful lake escaping it’s boundaries due to a broken dam. “I’m here man,” barely escapes my lips. The lump now a painful cacophony of past emotional pains that I thought … [Read more...]