worlds collide

One thing that I love about teaching at our school is that it lets me use my crafty side way more than traditional schools. The kids are currently learning to knit, and I’ve mentioned our sewing projects in previous posts. While I love getting to craft with the kids, decorating is a hobby that I never really thought of crossing into my life as a 7th grade teacher. I have been happily proven wrong!

On Fridays, our students participate in service learning. This year, kids could choose to volunteer at a garden, teach at a local science museum, or create a documentary about our school. Their fourth choice, which I’m leading, was to volunteer with a local non-profit called the Green Chair.

The Green Chair was created by a former parent with a heart for families recovering from homelessness or joblessness. The organization collects gently used furniture to distribute to these families and start them off with a place that feels like home. It’s been so much fun to see how enthusiastic the kids are about their work! They have scrubbed tables, dusted dressers, and vacuumed sofas with smiles on their faces. They will soon be organizing a furniture/household goods drive. If you have gently loved items that you would be willing to part with, hang on to them- I’ll post details as soon as we have them!

In the meantime, I’m enjoying the surprising collision of what I thought were two very distinct areas of my life. I love the way that God has used this experience to show teach me about creative ministry and how there are so many ways to use the interests and talents He has given us for good.

bringing a little swedish style to bank of america stadium

This weekend, Zach and I traveled to Charlotte to watch his our beloved Panthers take on the Bengals (courtesy of Zach’s birthday present from my dad). Although it rained the whole day  and the Panthers lost, we still had a great time at the game. Plus, we had the memory of yet another Wolfpack victory fresh on our minds to ease the pain. Also making the day a little bit easier was a Saturday stop at my favorite Swedish wonderland. So while Zach was doing this:

I could do a little of this:

Yes. I brought an Ikea catalogue to an NFL game. Don’t worry, I did actually watch the game, but football is just so looong and I had to do something to placate my multitasking side. While we didn’t come away from our shopping trip with anything huge, I was able to pick up a rug pad (I know, you’re so excited), some weirdly adorable fabric, and some little white vases I’ve been eyeing for a while. We weren’t really in the place to make big purchases, but I was drooling over these for the head seats in our dining room:

Majby Chair

I also LOVE this set- the color, the pulls, and the fact that they went to the extra effort to line it with fun paper:

Edland Cabinet

I was hoping to get some of this to make pillows for the fireplace room but, alas, they were out of stock. Looks like we’ll just have to go back. :)

Sofia Fabric

with krylon flavored sprinkles on top

I was pretty excited about the extra dose of happiness that our newly upholstered ice cream chairs brought to the front porch, but their polka dotted joy was a bit stifled by the sad, stained state of our metal Ikea table.

Thankfully, a few coats of primer and Banner Red spraypaint later, our little table has joined in on the party. I love how quickly and easily a little spraypaint can totally transform something!

Don’t forget to check out the other inspiring ideas at the Shabby Nest!

monday musings

prepare yourselves for a bit of randomness.

1) I’m being a rebel today and not capitalizing my post title. Because I like to live life on the edge. And because sometimes I feel like capitalizing things is too formal, and I’m not formal. On the other hand, I am a language arts teacher and I spend the better part of each year telling kids not to use things like “alot”, so I sometimes feel bad going against the rules of English. But not that bad.

2)      At another yard sale last weekend, I got a watch/heart rate monitor that had only been used once. I had been thinking of asking for one for Christmas, so I was thrilled to find one for a fraction of the retail price. I wore it to the gym last week, and it turns out that I have been working out waaay above my zone. It also turns out that my husband was well aware of the fact that I am a psycho elliptical maniac but knew that it would take cold hard data to convince me.
3)      Normally, I try to limit my Diet Dr. Pepper intake to one on Monday (because it’s Monday) and one on Friday (because I’ve made it through the week) Last week I broke this rule times fifty. This may be associated with the amount of e-mails in my inbox.

4) I bought Zach socks for his birthday. Yes, I did buy him other things. But I also bought him socks because I am 87 years old at heart (and because he never wants anything which is good, but terrible for birthdays). In my defense, they were nice socks.
5)      In our small groups at church, we are reading Radical by David Platt. I’m only about halfway through the book, but so far I LOVE it. Several of the points he brings up are things that I have sat in church and thought about, but assumed I must be wrong because the environment around me was so contrary to those ideas. It is also challenging Zach and I in awesome ways. Just was a warning: it is not for the faint of heart or easily offended.

6)      I am not a cold weather fan, but I’m kind of ready for a chill to be in the air purely so I can light my pumpkin spice candle.
7)      Cold weather or not, I could not be stopped from buying candy corn last week.
8)      We went to Starbucks a couple of weeks ago, and I was thrilled to see that they have solved my “it’s almost fall and I want a pumpkin spice latte but I live in the south and it’s still 90-something degrees outside” dilemma. Enter: the pumpkin spice frappachino.

9)      Why is so much of this post about food?
10)      My husband sent me this last week. The Wolfpack is also 3-0 for the first time since before I was in college. We are also not currently entangled in any crazy tutorgate scandals. Just throwing that out there, in case anyone who is partial to baby blue was wondering.

11)   My nephews are doing well. They will need to stay in the hospital for a while , but we’re happy that they are making progress. Zane took his first feeding this weekend. Pray that they will become healthy eaters!

The Big Kahuna

As far as yard sales go, we have been on a major dry streak lately. Until this weekend, that is. This past Saturday, we hit the mother of all yard sales. It seriously makes me giddy just thinking about it. Great stuff, insanely low prices. My only regret is not getting more. It was at this yard sale that I scored my greatest find of all time EVER. It was originally marked $5. At first I passed on it, because…? I think maybe because they were selling furniture for $2 and this was smaller than furniture and it seemed like it shouldn’t be more expensive. I know. Zach and I have commented several times on how yard sale shopping totally messes with your head when it comes to pricing. When we came back to pick a few things up it was still there (amazingly).I bought it with a vintage chopper thing (which I fully intend to use), and I negotiated the seller down to $3 for both. Looking back, it’s sort of ridiculous that I negotiated with him, but in my defense, I didn’t know if it worked. What was it, you ask? Oh, just this:

Yes, a Canon lens, compatible with our camera, that retails for over $400 and sells used for around $350. In.sane. No, I haven’t decided if I’m going to keep it or sell it. Yes, I would love to show you pictures of our other finds, but our camera has been in quite the funk and has now bit the dust. Cue Alanis Morissette.

Can you handle this much cuteness?

I mean, one cute baby picture pretty much puts me over the top with wanting to hug and kiss this little guy:

Zane Abraham

But TWO? I’m trying to figure out if I can get our computer to teleport me to Utah.

Moses Robert

Our nephews are hanging in there, though their mom tells us that it looks like they just can’t get enough attention! Zane is recovering well from his surgery. Moses has been moved to the same hospital as Zane, but it now looks like Moses may have some of the same intestinal problems that Zane had. Please pray that the antibiotics they have given Moses will work well, and that he will not have to go through surgery. Please also pray for strength, wisdom, and peace for Robby and Emily. Thank you so much for your prayers for our sweet nephews!

How to save $28.50

Yesterday, I mentioned that I’m kind of in love with Restoration Hardware’s new product line. If I won the lottery, there are a few things that I might not be able to resist. On the other hand, there is one thing that I just couldn’t bring myself to pay for, even if I had a million dollars. 

“Antiqued Uncovered Book Bundles”. Super cute? Yes. Great for fall decorating? Absolutely. Worth $29? Not a chance. While the $29 price tag makes me want to beg people not to spend their money on these, they really did look great in the store. I like how the groups of books bring texture to the room, and that they stay within the neutral color palette that I am such a fan of. So, of course, I DIYed this pretty much immediately.
Our local used bookstore has shelves outside with old/unpopular books for 10 cents apiece. On our way home from church Sunday, I stopped by and grabbed a dollar’s worth of hardcover books, just to make sure I had enough. There is probably a precise, artistic way of removing the book covers, but whatever it is, I didn’t follow it. I just yanked them off. I liked the look of varying widths, so I tried to mix up the books in a way that would be interesting and would fit the spaces I planned on putting them. Then, I tied them with twine. Easy peasy.

I used one of my book bundles to swap out for a bowl of shells in the living room, because I think there might be a rule about no shells in the living room after Labor Day (even though I’ve absolutely violated it in the past). I used the other bundle to add some warmth and texture to our side table. It was a simple fall spruce-up, but I’m happy with how it turned out! I would also like to point out that each bundle cost me about 50 cents. Which is less than $29. Ok, math lesson complete.

**Update on the nephews**

Both boys are doing well! Zane had a second surgery today to check out how the things done in the first surgery were holding up, and to identify any new weaknesses. Things look good, and the doctors didn’t find any more problem areas. Moses hadn’t been eating and we were worried that he would have to be transferred to the NICU, but he’s looking better. Thank you so so much for the prayers! Please continue to pray for a speedy recovery for both boys and that they would be able to come home soon- they have an aunt and uncle who can’t wait to play with them!