"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." -- Ephesians 3:14-21 (ESV)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shake, Rattle, and Roll

Old news now, but we had the excitement of an earthquake yesterday. Centered in Mineral, Virginia, it rumbled through at about 1:50pm and measured 5.8 on the Richter scale.

I was at work, of course. My office location is about 80 miles northeast of the Mineral. Weirdly, at first we thought maybe a tornado was going through because the rafters in the open second story of our building were shaking. Then we felt it in our feet and legs. Before I recognized it as an earthquake, we were running to get out of the building - our thoughts were that the roof could cave in. But it turns out that we should have stayed inside, under our desks. I knew that, but it had been so long since I had experienced an earthquake like this one.

When I went back inside after a minute or so, I called Beau to see if he and the kids felt it. They had. He told me later that while he knew what to do because of his childhood in California, he was more scared and flummoxed about it because of his responsibility as Dad. He kind of forgot the training he had in his concern for the kids - Molly was napping upstairs and he had Jesse with him. He was torn about what to do with both of them being in two places.

In any case, a friend at work and I strategized what we would do in certain disaster events (tornado, earthquake, etc). And Beau and I discussed what we should do at home, too.

Now we prepare for the effects of hurricane Irene. Just lots of rain for us, fortunately. Praying for safety for my friends and family in the eye of that storm.

Friday, August 19, 2011


I have been spending a lot of my internet time perusing and pinning at Pinterest.com. There is so much cool stuff, from home decorating ideas, to recipes, to pictures and tutorials for hair-dos and nails.

I have printed a lot of recipes and tried a few of them.

I found a DIY idea this morning that I was able to implement right away (take a produce tiered hanging basket and hang it in the bath/shower for the kids' tub toys). I had one of those things in the basement not being used. I immediately grabbed it and took it upstairs to hang in the kids' bath. Perfect. Genius.

I feel like an idiot when I look around that site, too. I see great ideas for keeping kids occupied in restaurants (use the cutlery to form a tic-tac-toe grid and then use the sugar/sweetener packets to play the game).

Anyway, my head is swirling with projects that I'd love to do for and around our home, recipes that I'd love to cook, things I'd love to learn to make. Where to start?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Snap Movie Review: The Help

Usually a movie adaptation of a beloved novel is disappointing (I'm looking at you, Simon Birch). But then there are the adaptations that almost (ALMOST) surpass the brillance of the novel (I'm looking at you with adoring eyes, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy).

So where does The Help movie fit? It's solidly in the LOVE category. I love everything about the movie - even the little changes from the book.

The casting is nearly perfect. Emma Stone does a great job as Skeeter. Viola Davis is sublime as Aibileen and if you ask me, she deserves an Oscar for her performance. Octavia Spencer as Minny is perfection (she narrated that character for the audiobook, to perfection as well - she IS Minny) and she should receive a nomination, too. Bryce Dallas Howard as Hilly was solid - I've read that she was the weakest cast member and I can see where they think that, but I thought she played her well. Sissy Spacek as Hilly's mother is great (hilarious) and Alison Janney as Skeeter's mother is great, too. The weakest were the men, but this movie was not about the men.

The one actor that I expect to actually get a nomination is Cicely Tyson as Constantine. She was in just two scenes, but both were so powerful, emotional. Both scenes brought me to tears. But Constantine made me cry when I read the book, too.

If you loved The Help book, have no fear of the movie. It's a very faithful adaption that will be as beloved by fans of the story.

I give The Help 5 stars out of 5.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stuff and Such


1. Movies: Saw Cowboys & Aliens in the theater when it opened. I liked it. My favorite part was Daniel Craig and his perfect and consistent American accent.

I'm going to see The Help with my mother and sister-in-law tomorrow evening. Looking forward to it, especially since the reviews are solidly good.

2. Books: Finished Full Black by Brad Thor on the drive home last night. Tenth in the Scot Harvath series, it's a fun read/listen.

Speaking of The Help - I highly recommend the audiobook. Read by three wonderful narrators, it's the best way to read this particular book.

3. Facebook: There's a trend in "You know you're from ..." groups floating around FB. Someone opened one for my college. At first the folks posting memories were from more recent years so I didn't ask to join. But then my sister joined and others from her group. We had some overlap there for a couple of years, so other folks I knew started chiming in and then the flood of alumi from my era took over and it's hilarious to remember funny random things and also to see what we all look like now. It's a complete time suck.

4. Pinterest: Speaking of time sucks, Pinterest is huge. Too many fun recipes, creative ideas, inspirational decorative bits.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Room Redo: Before and After

Here's the before shot - sports themed bedding, space theme vinyl wall art. Such a weird mix.

Here's the after shot. Grown-up plaid patchwork quilt, coordinating blue wall with stripes.

Yet, to come - the rest of the superhero vintage-style tin posters for the wall. We're waiting for Iron Man and Batman to arrive (hoping they come on Monday).

We all like it. I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

Here are some extras:

A peg rack behind his door. I kept a few of the space vinyl things for him. They work, I think.

[EDITED to Change:] I found two storage cube things in Molly's closet. Flipped them on their sides, stacked, and put the blue one on top. Took three of the fabric bins that went in the storage cubes and put them into the blue piece. Fills that space better.

What's awesome is that it occurred to me to use the fabric bins in the blue piece while I was in the shower this morning. While I was putting on my make-up, I could hear Jesse saying they should be used in his room (they were on the floor in Molly's room overnight). I went in to find them in the exact place I had thought of, too. He's a bright boy.

[Edited to Add:] Here's the finished poster wall. Forgive the poor quality - it was a quick shot taken with my Blackberry. There are better pictures on the real camera that's upstairs, still.

Happy boy. Happy Mama. *whew*

And with that, this project is complete. I'll post a few more pictures tomorrow.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Boy's Room Redo

A couple of weeks ago, Jesse reluctantly went into his room (after jumping on Molly's bed with her) for bed time. As he climbed into bed he said, "Mama, I hate my room!" I asked why, to which he replied, "It isn't special. Will you paint my room red?"

So out of left field, the things our children say sometimes, right? Although, really his request was not too far out of left field. He's expressed his love for Molly's room before - it's painted green with all of the finishing touches that make it complete. His room was not complete - the mirror that goes with the dresser was still on the floor leaning against the wall.

We had a brief chat about his room in that moment and I offered to paint one wall, but not red. Some conversations on FB about it resulted in my sister offering her son's last bedding set - it's a patchwork quilt of light blue and red plaid, stripes, and denim. What's great about it is that it isn't childish, so it can be used for a long time with different motifs through the years to come (unless he decides he wants an orange room someday). And I have sheets to go with it already, too, so that saves the budget.

I'm going to paint the long wall where his bed goes a pale blue and do a red chair-rail stripe with a thinner red stripe about 2" above it. That way he gets the red, but not a whole wall. And he gets some wall color, but Mama doesn't need to move furniture out of the room to do it (his room is tiny and there's no way to remove the pieces in order to get access to all walls. Moving his bed is the easiest thing.

I had the thought to get some superhero posters - Spider-man (of course), Superman, Iron Man, etc. - to hang on the painted wall. He liked that idea a lot. The picture is one of the posters I found for him - in all there will be 5 - Spider-man, Batman, Superman, Captain America, and Iron Man.

And then I remembered this little shelving unit that I had found at a yard sale years ago - it's blue (slightly darker than the intended wall color) and perfect to hang on his wall. So that will get hung, too.

The last thing is his ceiling lamp, which is one of those DIY hanging lamps made from the cord kit and a lampshade. The shade is plain right now, but I'm thinking to paint the edges in a darker blue.

I'll take before and after pictures and post them on Monday. This is a full weekend project, I think. And now it's time to head to Walmart to buy paint.