Sunday, November 30, 2008

Craft Area

Yeah! I'm so excited that our playroom projects are finished!

(click here to see the post about the gutter bookshelves; eventually I'm going to put a gutter underneath the chalkboard to hold the eraser & chalk).

Here's the wall before & after:

(click on the pics to enlarge them)

Here's what I started with:

Letters: from Hobby Lobby (99 cents/letter)--painted red with borrowed paint

Clothesline: bought the clothesline at Lowes & tied it around screws that then were screwed into the wall. I put a yellow star (47 cents each) on top of each screw with hot glue. Also hot glued the little boys & girls(39 cents/applique) to regular clothespins (50 cents).

Magnetic Chalkboard: Primed & painted a 24 x 36 sheet of metal with chalkboard paint($10.98) and I cut, painted, glued, & caulked screen mold to make the frame for the chalkboard.

All in all, it was a fun project & I'm glad I did it. The clothesline & letters were easy and inexpensive. On the other hand, I will probably not make the chalkboard again. Here's why:

1. It took about a week to complete: one day for priming, four days for painting because the chalkboard paint has to dry for 24 hours pior to sanding & adding another coat (the directions say it works best if you have four coats), one day for gluing the frame on & caulking, and one day for touch up painting & hanging.
2. The screen mold was really difficult to cut exactly so it would frame nicely. I ended up needing Stacey's dad to help me with his heavy duty machine that cuts precise 45 degree angles. Thanks Papa J!
3. I'm assuming I could find a 24 x 36 magnetic chalkboard for less or slightly more than what I spent because I saw a chalkboard (not magnetic) on sale for $12 at hobby lobby. My cost was only $25.84: sheet metal($7.08), Screen mold($3.30),Primer(4.48), and chalkboard paint ($10.98). I had borrowed the gorilla glue, caulk & red paint, and I already had the screws.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Modeling 101

Rob and I went on a date last night. Our first activity was shopping for new clothes. Rob had some birthday money he wanted to spend and some shirts he needed to buy. While we were there, we ran into this male model. Not sure who he thought he was, but I thought he was pretty handsome. Here's some pics I took of the model. . .

I think Rob was inspired. I'm so proud of him for buying something other than t-shirts (his trend for the past 10 years). Hopefully Rob will look just as great in the shirts as the guy in the above pics :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Thomas Thanksgiving

We had a blast yesterday celebrating Thanksgiving with family. We enjoyed Martha's new dining room. Here's the table where our generation sat (19 of us!):

The cousins:

The cousins plus spouses:

And we had twenty kids ages 5 and under plus four more ages 16, 14, 12, & 8. (So 24 total for those who are counting)
The littles (Ridge & Bo loved their turkey cupcakes):

The middles & the bigs:

Here's the whole crew:

The blue family (poor Sam was done with pictures, and my clan had resulted to screaming "cheese"):

I thought I took some pictures of all the kids playing in Nana & Pops' backyard. It was a sight to see for sure. But I guess I took those with another's camera. Oops! I did get one representation of play though:

Hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Putting the kids to work

Haley has had a vacation this week as the kids have done ALL the housework, including preparing the green beans for Thanksgiving.

Here's the proof:

I gotta go... the kids are asking for all my dirty clothes so they can wash them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Rob

Rob is 35 today, and I thank God he was born. I was thinking about everything my husband is to me and to others. He’s pretty hard to describe.

When he was younger he was often called unique and interesting. I think I would continue to use those words now, but include loving, talented, compassionate, sincere, humble, entertaining, imaginative, inspirational, dreamer, empathetic, passionate, encourager, wise, thoughtful, visionary, artistic, witty, joyful, tender, magnetic, driven, and strong. I’m sure I could come up with many more.

I fell in love with Rob by watching his actions with others. He encouraged others, and he didn’t hesitate to care for those difficult to love. Kids were drawn to him, and he always stopped to play with them on their level. He was talented, and he used his talents to glorify the Lord. He was a leader, and he lead humbly & with compassion. So you can see why I fell so hard. . .

Now I can say that I love him even more. My love for this man, my husband and the father of my kids, continues to grow deeper and stronger. I not only see the characteristics I fell in love with, but I see both strengths and weaknesses. I see him use his talents well, and I see him struggle well in his failures, depending on the Lord for strength. I am drawn to my husband more as I see him persevere in trials, face conflict with humility, pursue advice before acting, accept success with grace, and give God the glory for all.

I am looking forward to continuing in the study of my husband for years to come. Thank you Lord for giving him to me, for he has made me better.

Happy Birthday Daddy!!!

To the best daddy ever, here are your kids:

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Sweet, kind, sensitive, empathetic, visual, entertaining, goofy, competitive, social, imaginative, content, hugger

Spunky, tender, artistic, vivacious, serenading, joyful, zealous, fashion-minded, funny, observer, independent, nurturer

Cuddly, sly, easy-going, charming, caring, witty, animated, playful, loving, pleaser, big-hearted, spirited, determined

The Art of Sharing

Friday, November 21, 2008

Why Read?

A while back (almost 2 years ago), I was talking to some friends of mine whom I love, respect, and cherish. We have different views on many things, but we do a good job of trying to understand each other. Anyway, we were talking about reading and book studies. They asked if Biblestudy was kind of like reading and discussing the same book over and over again. I said yes, because it is, but I neglected to mention it's impact.

When reading a book for a second or third time, you usually see some parts of it as new because you are reading with a new perspective, maybe due to a new life stage or new emotional circumstances. Whatever the cause, you gain insight into the characters or plot or emotional content of the book. And you may even learn something about yourself, possibly applying lessons the character learned the hard way.

Similarly, when reading the Bible again & again, great lessons can be learned. When I read, I gain new insight into the meaning of a passage or how that passage applies to my life. When gaining new understanding and new perspective, I have a choice. I can allow God to change me by applying what I've read or I can ignore it, usually realizing later that I should NOT have ignored it.

As I said in an earlier post, " I am a much better mommy when I spend some time getting perspective," meaning eternal perspective. I am a better mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend when I see the eternal perspective that is laid out for me in scripture. The day to day worries, the "large" heart aches, the overwhelming "to do" list, the sensitive feelings, and the scary trials(such as this summer for me), all seem to be abated with the knowlege that God is good, He is in control, He made me, He knows me, and He loves me enough to send His only son to die for me. I'm not sure where my hope would come from if I wasn't grounded in those truths.

I don't always understand why things happen the way they do.* I don't understand why there is so much hurt and suffering or why God allows it. But I do know that He is good. I can easily forget, and this is why I read the Bible over and over again. I need to be reminded. I can do nothing well without His strength and His unconditional love for me.

*Our pastor did a couple of series that answered a lot of questions for me. One called "Why?" from March-May of 2004, and one called "What if the Skeptics are Right" from April & May of 2005. There have been others, but these just stand out in my mind this morning.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nurturing Sis

We have not had the stomach bug for a really long time (Praise God!), but I guess Charly is still keenly aware of the possibility. Ridge had a major cough attack in the car, and I saw sweet Charly immediately move her hand under his mouth saying, "Sweet Ridge! You gonna throw up?" She was so ready & willing to catch the throw up if it happened. I wonder what would have occured had he really gotten sick. Most likely, my nurturer would have turned into a severely grossed out, freaked out, 3 year old girl. But you never know, she could surprise me. I'm just glad I didnt' have the opportunity to find out.

Charly and Ridge singing Little Mermaid

Charly sings 'Part of Your World' about 500 times a day and we found that it has rubbed off on her younger brother. Check out the video.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Welcome Mia!

Mia Jo Matthews was born to our dear friends Trisha & Marc at 2:22 a.m. this morning. Isn't she just precious!!!

We are currently babysitting their sweet dog Major. I brought him Mia's blanket from the hospital and showed him a picture on my iphone.

sweet puppy. . .

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tis the Season for Smores

Tonight we lit our first fire of the season, and got out the smores ingredients. We all had a great time.

Below, Ridge had just finished saying, "Oh hurt me. hot!" It didn't really hurt him, but he just didn't want to blow out the flame on the marshmellow.

He definitely enjoyed the finished product.

As did Charly. . .

And Cobb. . .

Saturday, November 15, 2008


So my sweet children (Cobb & Charly) told me that I look like napkins in this shirt.

I'm taking it as a compliment. Wouldn't you??

Friday, November 14, 2008

Crafty Day

Tonight we had Cobb & Charly's teachers over for dinner. The kids were so excited that they were bouncing off the walls today! It was so sweet, and we really enjoyed the chance to hang out with them.

To prepare for our dinner, we had a crafty day. The kids made placemats for their teachers. On the left side of a larger piece of construction paper, the kids traced "I am thankful for (insert teacher's name)" that I had dotted out. On the right side, we put these turkeys.

These little turkeys were made from their feet prints and hand prints. On some of the "feathers" we wrote things the kids appreciated about their teachers. Cobb said he was thankful for his teachers because they "move his clip up" (on the behavior chart). He also said he is thankful that they love him. Charly's were sweet, but I can't remember exactly what she said. They turned out so cute! We laminated the whole placemat then put googly eyes on the turkey on the outside of the laminate. I so wish I had gotten a picture of the placemats and of the teachers, but I forgot. oh well.

We also made a "Thankful Tree" for the laundry room door. I first saw it on Chrys's blog, but then saw this version on the same website as the turkeys. Here's a picture:

Not the best pic, but you get the idea. I cut out handprints of each of the kids in multiple colors. On each hand we put something or someone we are thankful for. I took it to be laminated (next time I might not b/c it turned out being a little pricey to laminate).

Saved by the Tic Tac

We had some errands to run this morning. Between 9 & 11 we went to the following: Target, C3 Alterations, Big Lots, Tuesday Morning, Party House, and Braums. Yes, I had all three kids. What was I thinking?
I don't know.
Did we arrive home happy?
Amazingly YES!
What saved the day??
A 50 cent box of Cherry Passion Tic Tacs bought at our first stop, Target.
(In addition to the cool noise the box makes when the kids shake it, they loved passing the tic tacs around and eating one at a time. Happy kids = happy mommy).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Accountability at 5:30 a.m.

Cobb: Mom! Wake up!
I say nothing
Cobb: Mom! You have to read your Bible.
Me: Cobb, honey, it's 5:30 in the morning. You need to go back to bed.
Cobb: But Mom!
Me: okay. I'm coming.
I sit up, but my eyes are still closed. I fall back to sleep in the sitting position.

Cobb: You're not moving.
Me: You're right. I'm coming
I get up. Cobb runs to the recliner in the other room to wait for me as I gather my coffee & Bible.
Me: Cobb, it really is too early for you to be up.
Cobb: But you are up.
Me: I know Cobb, but mommy tries to wake up before the sun so I can spend some time with God & read my Bible. You need to go back to bed til the sun wakes up. You can go get in my bed with Daddy or go back to your bed. When the sun wakes up, we can read together.
Cobb finally agrees & goes into my room to lay down with daddy.

I'm so thankful for my 5 year old alarm clock. This was one of those mornings when I was going to oversleep for sure. I am a much better Mommy when I spend some time getting perspective before the family wakes & chaos ensues.

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3 NIV

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Babysitting the Fifer Girls

Last night, we had the privilege of babysitting the Fifer girls at their house. The kids love getting to see each other, and it was a treat for Rob & me to be able to hang out with those precious girls.

We had story time. Here's Charly telling her story:

Changing locations for Abby's story. There was a "girl" line and a "boy" line. Abby led the group down the hall in tour guide fashion.

Back in Abby's room, Cobb tells his story:

Abby, Rob & Charly enjoying Cobb's story:

After baths & teeth brushing, Rob read "The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly."

And then it was off to bed for the Fifer girls, and Rob took our kids home to their beds.

In addition to the fun night with the Fifer girls, I ALWAYS love going to their house. Christman & Sarah are a great team for decorating and organizing their household. I so enjoy seeing their practical ideas for instilling in their girls the value of prayer and God's Word. I'm inspired. Sarah, as I said last night, I still think you & C need to have The Fifer Reality Show (or at least display some of those great ideas & decor on your blog).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bob, Rob, & Cobb

Not only do their names rhyme, but they also look identical. Love those Fathers & Sons. . .