Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pigeon Forge 2012

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with our family. I hope you did too! I did not get a single picture that day but it was a busy and fun one. After eating turkey our little family of three hopped in the minivan and headed for the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, TN area.

We had decided a couple months back that we wanted to take advantage of the long weekend and go on a little family vacation. We had an interesting trip and by interesting I mean.....some fun times and some really not fun times. Jonah only slept 30 minutes on the ride there (5 hours) and was running a low-grade fever. We thought maybe he was working on some molars because he always has a low-grade fever with his teeth. After we got to our room that night and gave Jonah a bath and put him to bed he woke up shortly very upset and was very warm. He then proceeded to throw-up. Michael was holding him at the edge of the bed and it went ALL over him. I felt so bad for both of them! Sorry for anyone with a weak stomach.

We checked him and his fever was at 103! He was also wearing one of those fleece one-piece pajamas so I immediately took him out of that and it came down and then we gave him more medicine for the fever. It eventually went down with the medicine and he got some rest but we had a mess to clean up that night and Michael had to just take a shower. Looking back we are glad he caught the brunt of it and not the bed, pnp or carpet.

We had planned to go to the Ripley's Aquarium that next morning but we felt we should wait and see how Jonah was feeling. He was in a good mood despite still having a fever and having to keep meds in him for that. We decided to forgo the aquarium that day and just hang out near our room in case he felt bad again. He would not eat much besides fishes and water. We considered going home but he never threw up again and the fever was reduced by the meds so we decided to make the best of it since we had the room for 3 nights.

The first day we took a ride on the trolley through town. Jonah was excited to get to ride on a "school bus." He did so good and loved looking out the window and eating his fishes. About halfway through the trolley ride, he fell fast asleep sitting up and Michael grabbed him and put him in his lap. He was so tired. I did a little shopping at the Carter's outlet while Jonah napped and then we got lunch. Jonah still would not eat any of the normal things he likes (fruit, banana, pb crackers, oatmeal, french fries). So we looked like the bad parents just munching away while our child sat without any food. Ugh!





We also went to visit the geese near the Old Mill area down by the river. Jonah liked watching them but didn't want them to get too close. It was chilly but not freezing that day and he felt up to walking around. There were a ton of pigeons that would fly down to the banks where we were and just walk right around us. It was freaky because they would all of sudden just take off in flight and scare us. Jonah would just laugh and laugh when they took off and it spooked him. We got a few pictures down there too.








Those pesky pigeons.


The mountains looked especially smokey on this day.




That night was not too bad but Jonah starting having a hard time breathing with his stuffy head. He likes to breath through his nose when he sleeps so that was the problem and he still kept getting a fever so we had to get up and give medicine in the night. The next day we went to the aquarium and basically Jonah liked the first part as you come in the door where they had a big tank of little fishes and it was nice and bright. After that all the places were very dark and they had loud music playing throughout it. He really hated the rest of the aquarium and we just struggled through since we had payed $60 to get in. He was pretty much miserable. Also it was SO crowded. We had no idea it would be like that or we would have known he wouldn't like it with the darkness and loud music. It was definitely better for older kids. We won't go back for a while. Oh well....live and learn. He was so ready to leave and so were we. The rest of that day was spend relaxing at the room and napping and then going out to eat. Jonah seemed to feel some better but that darn fever came back again at bedtime.


This was the first tank in the main entrance that he actually liked....it was all down hill from here.



See what I mean about dark?


This is how he looked most of the time in the aquarium.



That night was not fun but his fever did break that night and then the head cold got worse. And he would not take any medicine from the cup and got very upset. None of us got much rest that night until he finally took some benadryl. Needless to say the next morning we packed up and were headed home by 7:00 that morning. We got home safely at lunchtime on Sunday and laid low. Thankfully his fever was all gone and he was eating a little better. It was a trip with some fun memories and some really bad ones. I think the main thing we learned was that we really need to research better about places we want to take him that cost a lot of money because he may not even like them. The $1 trolley ride that we thought of last minute was more fun for him than that big expensive aquarium. LOL

I will just end it with there is NO PLACE LIKE HOME!! Especially when your baby is sick!

Monday, November 19, 2012


We are all so blessed aren't we?! Sure, life can throw you curves and get you down but at the end of the day there is always, always something to be thankful for. Some days I am overwhelmed with how grateful I am for my life.

That quote hits home hard. Everything that we have is not really ours. It is God's. We are just entrusted with managing it here on this earth. Whether it is our home, our finances, our children, our spouse's soul...it will all leave this earth one day or we will leave it. We cannot take it with us when we go. Does God delight in how I manage my blessings? Am I being a blessing to someone else? Am I telling God "thank you" enough? All I know is that I am trying....everyday.

Several of my Facebook friends have been posting what they are thankful for and it is so encouraging to read those each day. I just have to throw out all the things I am thankful for both big and small. Because there is so much we do take for granted until they were to disappear from our lives. So I will list my things I am thankful for but just know that even if all of these things were to disappear...I would still LOVE my God and trust in Him...because "the Lord is good."

I am thankful for:
  • Christ's sacrifice for my sins which were/are many
  • My husband/my best friend/my partner in parenthood: He is a blessing to me and Jonah and strives to live and be an example of Christ. He is not perfect but I love him anyways.
  • My son Jonah, my baby boy and light of our life. He shows me what true love it everyday.
  • Our warm home and the shelter it provides.
  • The ability to work and the position I hold that provides for our family.
  •  Our parents marriages: Godly parents are a blessing and the fact that both sets of our parents are still married is a blessing to. Not very many people can say that these days. They provide great examples of what marriage looks like and how it can change and grow through the years and still be intact.
  • Our parent's faith: They made sure we learned about God at early ages and they have lived imperfect lives that are washed in God's grace but they continue to love and trust Him, providing wonderful examples for us.
  • Our parent's help: Both of our parent's have helped us out in various ways over the years and I am always thankful for their help (without overstepping boundaries), whether it's watching Jonah so we can have a date night or coming to the house to help with a big project.
  • Our siblings: I am so thankful for the brothers, sisters, and brother-in-laws and sister-in-laws that I have. They each bring their own uniqueness to my life! Life would be boring without them that is for sure!
  • My Church Family: Not many people can say they have attended the same church for all of their life and still love it! Our church family is small and close-knit but we still welcome visitors with open arms and love. You will not find a more friendly church that ours. We are a group of imperfect folks that are all on the same mission, to further His kingdom. 
  • Little luxuries of life: warm water, electricity, Internet, AC, lots of TV channels to choose from, comfy beds, indoor plumbing, working vehicles.
  • I am thankful that we are debt-free! (except for our house)
  • Thankful for good mail days. I love getting mail!
  • A toddler that can communicate with me now! Wait.....I take that back LOL
  • Having a great camera to capture all of life's memories.
  • Thankful for the great teachers I have had in my school days. So many taught me things that I use everyday. Teachers are special people!
  • Thankful for the seasons that bring their own special events and holidays. They make life more interesting! I think that is why God created them.
  • Thankful for coffee in the morning and thankful that International Delight makes the Caramel Machiatto flavor.
  • Thankful for vehicles that are dependable and for a hubby who knows how to work on them.
  • Thankful for dreams and ideas that keep us excited about days to come.
  • Thankful for my girl-friends that each bring something unique and fun. I have old and newish friends and I love them all. I may not get to hang out with them as often as I used to but I do think of them all the time and recall fun memories we've made together.
  • I am thankful for my washer and dryer. They make laundry day so much easier.
  • I am thankful for my small town that I live in. It is small and has it's little dramas but it is home to me and it is a wonderful place to raise a family.
  • Thankful for my grandparents both alive and passed on. Each one teaches me about life and show me what love looks like. All of my grandparents are hard working people that have earned their years to rest (even though they are all still active). I am thankful I've been allotted this time to continue to learn from them.
  • Thankful for potatoes. I've never met a potato that I didn't like. Same can be said for bread. I love me some carbs but they don't love me unless you count hanging around on me as love.
  • Thankful for bursts of creativity where I can make and learn new things.
  • Thankful for my health. Our health is something that is so hard to get back once you've lost it.
  • I have many more things but I will stop here....I am thankful for it all!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hutch Re-Do With ASCP {Before & After}


Sorry I just had to say that...and technically it's still not finished because I still have a couple more shelves to put another coat on and wax and some hardware to put on (need longer screws than what they came with), but I am considering it DONE.

The background on this piece is basically that I bought it at a yard sale for $25. It had been sitting on the seller's in-law's wrap-around porch for 2 years and it was completely covered from rain but not from bugs and general dust and pollen. So it was filthy!! It was however a very solid piece and I just thought it had great lines. I know my hubby thought I was a little insane when I called and told him I really wanted to buy this huge hutch and paint it. But he helped me haul it home and that was a feat in and of itself since thing weighed a TON.

Here are some BEFORE shots.

 This is just the top part. Like I said....It is a huge piece.

 This the bottom after being cleaned up and hardware removed.

 This is the very top which had the clean lines I was drawn to.

So this thing sat like this in my basement for a couple of months while I pondered all the insane amount of work that this was going to take to get it to the painting stage. I envisioned needing a palm sander and spending hours sanding every inch of this thing so I could prime it. Then I envisioned two coats of primer (and several hours) and then probably two coats of whatever paint I decided on (more time and work). I was exhausted already so I kept putting it off.

Then amazingly I heard about this chalk paint for furniture where you didn't even have to sand or prime. I cannot for the life of me remember where I first read about it (probably Pinterest) but I was immediately interested and began extensive research into it. I read several reviews from other bloggers (love the blogging community by the way) and of course everyone mentioned how expensive it was. But all I could think was "who cares, at least you won't have to sand and prime." I was sold. So as luck would have it, there was a stockist in the next closest city to us. I went in and the sweetest clerk helped me out and told me all about it and I was fired up to get started.

So here is my review of the Annie Sloan Chalk paint (ASCP) and some DURING photos.

  • I paid $28 plus tax for my quart of ASCP at my stockist and got Pure White. I later went back and bought the clear wax too but applied that with old t-shirt rags.
  • The cost is worth it!! It goes a long way, covers like not other paint I've ever used and can be watered down (very slightly) to make it last even more.
  • It cleans up just like any other water-based paint. Super easy to clean up and I had way less drips than with other types of paint so hardly any mess...and I am a messy painter.
  • Hardly any distinct odor to the paint. The wax has an odor but it's not harsh.
  • My piece had a lot of imperfections in the wood and the paint just covered it all and masked it beautifully.
  • The top of the bottom piece was a wood veneer (plastic stuff) and I painted right over and you would never know the difference.
  • I do wish I had known to thin the paint a bit with a tiny amount of water because I think it would have saved me from having to buy another quart of paint to finish out the top. Although, this piece really was so large with so much surface area that I may have still needed another quart. I had to do two coats to get the coverage over that dark wood that I wanted.
  • I was scared to death of the waxing part after reading lots of reviews and some that it didn't turn out right or they used too much. I didn't buy the brush just because my stockist didn't have any in stock and I was ready to move on the waxing stage and didn't want to wait to get a brush. I had success with using a cloth but probably would have had more even wax coverage with the brush. I will be getting one in the near future though!
  • I really cannot think of anything to complain about with the paint. It lived up to my expectations and then some.

Now time for the AFTER pictures. Some plain and some with it decorated for Fall.

If you have questions about the paint just let me know. I will try to help. My stockist can be found HERE.

Linking up here:

Home Stories A2Z


Creations by Kara

Friday, November 9, 2012

New Pages & New Jonah Stuff

Well Jonah has found his little voice and now we can't get him to be quiet. LOL! I love hearing the things he says and he will repeat just about anything we say. So we are having to really watch the way we say things (we don't say bad words anyways) but just having to watch our tone and any other derogatory things we might let slip.

The theme of this week has been "I do it mysef!." Whether it's taking off his jacket by himself or opening the door or going to get his toy.....whatever it is he does NOT want any help with it from anyone. He even gets upset if Michael (Daddy) tries to help and Daddy is his favorite! LOL

It is taking some patience from us but we are catching on. As long as he is being respectful to everyone, that is all I care about. He is still very good about saying thank you and please, too.

Jonah is pretty much talking in sentences now and it is just amazing how quickly they catch on with the talking. He has learned several of his little friend's names and once he knows their names he does not forget who is who. He seems to have a really good memory for a 2 year old.

Jonah still loves a routine (just like his Mama) and when something is outside of his routine we've found it's best to let him know what's coming next so he doesn't freak out on us. For example, last night we had a funeral visitation to go to so I was explaining where we were going and what we were going to do (i.e. hug some special people). He wasn't thrilled with the idea because it wasn't in our routine but he did pretty good.

He has been really playing well with his toys and he officially loves trains and trucks the best! Total boy and I love it! Good thing Santa is bringing him a train table this year. :)

I have also had time to work on two scrapbook pages layouts. I used free templates and some papers I bought online. I love how they turned out. I just love scrapbooking fall stuff!