Friday, April 25, 2014

Girls French Cottage Bedroom Redo Idea Page - Progress!

Well, It's getting done.  It's been slow but we are starting to see progress!

Yesterday I got the new replacement window in and it's already feeling lighter and brighter.  Such small things really do make a difference when the project has been in suspended animation for 2 weeks due to puking kids.  Also began tearing down plaster walls and putting up new Sheetrock or if the plaster was in really good shape, just putting Sheetrock over it.  Time saver!!  The second dormer wood vaulted ceiling is also nearly done!  Now for the annoying delightful cuts around the beams.  That will be done today once we finish homeschooling.  Then off to puttying 10,000 nail holes and imperfections.  Wish they made something like this for my face.  HMMMM... 

Still have a lot to do, but it's closer than it was yesterday!

All in all, the time consuming stuff that makes you sigh and grit your teeth are nearly completed... which means I can give  into my ADD and check out some things with which to decorate!!


 I thought I would share with you some pics that make my little heart beat faster! :)  Not saying all of these will end up in my girls room but they all have some element that I love.  

Well, Here goes!


 I made Jars like these ages ago. My jars have all farm animals on them (we live on a farm with animals).  The initial pillow is darling and although we will be having quad bunk beds opposed to a headboard, this one is so cute!   The whole feeling of this is nice.  Love it!






 So many cute things... so little time.


I love redoing dressers and one day I will show you some pics but until then, I like this.  Layla over at the Lettered Cottage always does such an amazing job redoing furniture!  Not sure this is the way I'm gonna go but I'm thinking I want some shabby to the room.  Maybe a little frenchy theme ;)

Or maybe this dresser... Love it!

Next up: Chandeliers, a new love.

Speaking of French, here is the chandeliers I ordered.  Love these!  I have ordered 2 and might go for a third.  Don't judge me :) I like chandeliers!  Excited to put these up but I still need to putty holes and paint the ceiling before that.






This will also be going somewhere in the room.  It's a little chandelier-esque candle wall sconce.  Prrrreeeetttyyy!  Thanks to my friend Kim over at David's Pasture for giving this to me.  Great Family, Truly Organic Farming, Amazing Food.  Check 'em out.  Tell them Brandy sent you :)  Anyways, Now I'm hungry!!!  Focus, Focus!


 These are super cute.  I have some left over frames with no glass.  And naturally I have chicken wire as we keep chickens.  Yes, please!














I love the paint job in this quaint little reading nook, the curtain, and the gutter book shelves.  Cute.  The READ and the shelves are definitely going into the girls reading nook their daddy built them. 

DARLING!  The gallery wall here is nice.  My daughter Hannah like this!  BUT I imagine I will also integrate some Bible verses in there along with embroidery hoops with cute patterned fabric.  

I  already have a rug like this I purchased at Home Goods.  Love that Store.  LOVE!  LOVE!!   This rug is  heavenly to lay on.  So plushy and soft but honestly nearly impossible to vacuum!  It's a much softer color of pink than the one in the picture, but you get the idea.  



Well, that's about it for now.  I'm so excited to do this for my daughters.  Being in a big family can be hard and I want them have a place that 'is' them and 'for' them!  This is one way I have always shown my kiddos that I love them and are worth my time and hard work!  I also love that they love helping me on their rooms!

What ideas do you have??  Would love to hear your take on what I should put in this space!! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Lost and Lonely Mamma - No Pretty pictures, Just the Ugly Truth

Have you ever felt so completely alone all the while being surround by people.?  That feeling like there isn't another person in the world who cares, so you cry out, your spirit breaks, you just don't want to be... anywhere, anymore.  It feels like God doesn't care about you anymore, that you are at your end, your mind has betrayed you and along with it everyone else in your life.  

BUT, here are these little people.  How are you suppose to take care of them when you don't feel like taking care of yourself?  You dredge on to do what 'your suppose to do', isn't that always the way.  Keep going with no real hope, no real help...  They are not blind.  They see the tears, they know there is something wrong with mamma and the fear of that brings tears to them.  This makes your anger, fear, loneliness that much harder... Fear and dread, failure and hopelessness.

I write this because this is real... this has been me, this was my REAL.  What a lonely place to be.  I have visited that vast, empty, terrible place more times than I'd like to admit in my 36 years.  This is a place that I have been recently in my life.  Life shattering kind of stuff had knocked me down.  Way down.

I felt as though my legs had been cut from under me, that as I lay there bleeding that God walked past and didn't reach out to help but walked on by.  I knew this wasn't who my God was.  I knew that wasn't what was going on, but I was mad... I was mad at God!  'How could He let this happen???  Wasn't I just trying to be a good wife and mamma?  What had I done to deserve this?  Didn't He care anymore?  

I know that it is taboo to be 'mad at God'.   BUT, I was.  I was hurt He didn't protect me.  I was angry that I had obeyed His desires for my life and yet it seemed as though I was being punished.  I was confused.  Honestly I was at a loss.  I didn't have control.  I love control.  I love to fix things.  I love to be told the truth.  I love my role as a wife, as a mom, as an artist, a designer.  Everything that I was, was... gone.  Now, I was nothing but broken.  


This broken, I couldn't fix.  I wasn't suppose to be able to.  I wasn't suppose to 'get back up'.  And I didn't.  Not for awhile at least.  I was told, "do what you have to do to take care of the kids".  Get school done, dinner fixed.  So, that's what I did.  Like a robot.  Do, do, do... 

Then I began to read.  I picked up my Bible as I had done in years past when things got hard.  I read and read.  Got up early and read.  It wasn't working like it had in the past.  My magic 'fix it' button wasn't working.  I found myself wrestling with God.  Trying to figure out my faith, His love, His willingness to let me get my butt kicked.  The more I read, the more I read about myself in the Bible.  I didn't like what I was reading.   That's when I realized I hadn't been talking (praying) with God in a while.  Not the pray at meals and bedtime for the kids kind of stuff.  No I mean, talking to the one whom I love about the many great things He has done for me, the wonderful things He had given me, how amazing He was.  No, I had stopped talking with Him awhile ago.  I just didn't realize it.  I wanted to Bible reading to 'cure' my problem that I had with God.  I had to realize that all the while I was neglecting the 'love' part of my relationship.  NO, I was MAD at Him.  He let a ton of terrible crap happen.  Why did He let that person lie about me, why did He allow this and that.  My heart had changed and I hadn't noticed.  I had continued on with my outward obedience in reading the Bible and praying with the kiddos.  I enjoyed reading it, Loved hearing great messages, yet somehow I had changed.

Like a teenager who doesn't get their way, I decided, NOPE, not talking to HIM anymore.  Jerk.  Yes, I wanted Him to treat me good, like the Loving child I am :)

Then one day, I read something.  It changed me and split my already war torn heart open just enough for Him to put His healing hands inside.  

This is speaking of the nation of Israel had just been rescued out of bondage in Egypt by Moses.  They had seen the parting of the Red Sea and the Lord's many provisions and yet, they rebelled against the Lord when hard times came.

 Hebrews 3:4:7-
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years.  Therefore I was angry with that generation,  And said, "They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.' So I swore in My wrath, "They shall not enter My rest."

Suddenly I realized He had been trying to bless me.  He had been trying to commune with me, to love me, to give good things and joy into my life but because the 'day of trial' had come into my life a few too many times, my own heart had gone astray.  Looking back I can see it as clear as day... Every time something really hard, and there has been a lot of those things, came, my heart would turn from Him.  This was never a conscience thing, but looking back it is obvious.   I think I just never let my heart return to Him when I felt hurt or abandoned. ( I will share some of my story someday.  Maybe when I feel it will be helpful to someone out there.)

It was like a bad break up, It wasn't Him it was ME.  It was ME!  A light turned on!  Oh dear, tears streamed down my face.  It was ME!

Trials rolled in and my heart rolled away.  He was angry with His child like He was angry with the Nation of Israel, His chosen people.  He wasn't punishing me with these hard things, He allowed them to humble me enough for me to realize that 'He has me in His hands'.   He sustains me.  He allowed those things so that He could reach in and take back what once I had so joyfully given Him.  My heart.  

What He didn't give to me as I didn't trust Him was the same that He swore to the Nation of Israel.  They did not enter into His rest.  I kept waiting for His rest to come to me.  It didn't  and I couldn't understand it.  Didn't He promise to give me peace?  Didn't He say I could cast my cares upon Him because He cares for me?  Funny thing is though, I didn't even want to talk to Him.  I wanted things 'my way'.  I wanted not to hurt anymore.  I wanted Him to bless and care for me while ignoring Him.  He sure got the short end of that stick. 

As I broke under the heaviness of His word.  As His word spoke truth into my hurt, I felt a tinge of that peace, that rest that had alluded me for years.  I felt peace knowing and understanding a reality that had just shattered my life.  That didn't have to go away to feel His peace, I just had to be willing to commune with the One who desired to give it to me.  

I've been there in that lonely, dark, place.  I've been there, being surrounded by overwhelming circumstances, no where to turn, life's responsibilities staring you in the face when you just know you can't go on.  But you can because I KNOW something.

He loves you.  You are not alone.  I am here.  You are here.  HE is here.  And He loves you enough to want to be there for you in this dark time.  Sometimes it's okay to be a broken mamma.  It's  in those 'times'  we can find Rest like we've never known before.  Ask me about Him, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He's pretty amazing, and I lost sight of that.  But being the good God that He is, He has taken my brokenness, and although I am still broken, the master potter is holding me in His most capable hands.  Thankful!

Thanks for listening, Brandy

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

ADD, ADHD, and Remodeling

Yeah, all three, right here,  That's ME!  Did I tell  you that although we have worked on the living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, and mudroom, I have yet to complete even ONE of those rooms??  I've slated walls in the living and dining room and painted all of them... hated the color so I painted them WHITE!  Yes, white (with 7 children...  Mr. Clean is my new BFF). 

Just to distract you or to keep your attention as I ramble, here are a few of my favorite additions to my living room!  Which by the way, the living room really has NOTHING to do with this post...  I like to mix it up and keep you guessing...


 Ahem, if I might have your attention again... My Goodness people! Accuse me of being ADD will ya???  Anyhow, I Layed all manner of tile floors, made light fixtures, painted doors and trim, tore down walls, and put walls up, but most importantly with all that work every room is considerably UNDONE.  Sigh.  I'm not kidding about having ADD or ADHD- both apply to my inability to stay on task or desire to constantly change what I am doing and the vigirous-ness in which I do projects.  I get distracted easily.  SQUIRREL!  

On that note I decided to head upstairs into my daughter's room for a little DE-construction.   Short ceilings and I mean ceilings so short there really wasn't room for light fixtures on the ceiling.  Dark saturated colors for the walls and hardwoods painted multiple colors.
Lots of plaster

Very Low ceilings

Non working lights hardwired into some of the strangest places

While fiddling with the ceiling we realize there was some BAAAAAAAD wiring. 

Who doesn't need an outlet in the ceiling that's connected to an extension cord, that's atached to a timer, that's hardwired into a light fixture, that doesn't work... oh dear.  At least they put electrical tape over the unused outlet ;)

So down comes the ceiling, plaster, lath, and all!  Messy.  Messy and itchy.  Messy, itchy, and dirty.  Melothesioma anyone?   No worries, my husband is an environmental chemist, we took our precautions and my husband assured me this did not contain asbestos nor was it friable.  He's so hot when he's nerdy!!! :)

Sincerest apologize for the horrible photos. 

 On a side though, it turned out good.  We had to leave the roof supports (silly huh?) which made the ceiling low but we insulted the roof, and put up wood.  Aaaahhhhh, vaulted wood ceilings!   Honestly that was more work than I care to admit to and it is not nearly done!  Hmmm... maybe I should just start the boys room now... nah...

Sorry about the poor lighting and fuzzy pics.  I phone camera!

I must be rubbing off on my husband because instead of helping me with my ceiling redo he tore a hole in the wall that hid dead space and made a quaint little reading nook for the girls.  It's gonna be charming!  

So far so good, as the saying goes.  So far I have yet to abandon this project mostly because it isn't livable yet and my girls things are piled in my son's room making it impossible to clean.  They are thankful for this.  :)

Still have to order the second chandelier, paint everything white, redo the flooring, and build in the quad bunk beds.  Which I am dreaming are going to come out something like this with slight variations.

Whew, I'm tired from thinking about all that needs to be done.  Tired and distracted...  I wonder what I should do with the boy's shelving? :)  SQUIRREL!

Later!  Brandy