PHANEROO \fan-er-o-oo\Greek: to manifest in word or deed.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Reflecting on this in a new way lately. I am reminded that whatever He promised He fulfills (Num 23:19), He does not take pleasure in the suffering of anyone (Eze 18:32), His plan has not changed from the beginning (Mal 2:10-16), He is deserving of reverance so that only truth be spoken of Him (Mal 2:3-9), He makes His character - His unchanging, unconditional, loving nature - fully known (Mal 3:17). His masterpieces are always perfectly planned, perfectly designed, and perfectly from Him and for Him. (Psalm 139:13-16).

Friday, March 26, 2010

Growing Up!

Lily has a loose tooth. Is it that time already to start losing baby teeth? I can't believe that she's growing up so quickly.

Schaeffer went potty today (both kinds - I'll spare the details) all by himself. He has a little frog potty that sits near the big potty in the kids' bathroom upstairs. I was busy getting things together for us to get ready to leave the house (that's always a feat). He was on his frog potty and Lily was on the big potty. She was coaching him, which was very funny to overhear. And then next thing I know they are both yelling for me to "Come and look!" We did the potty dance which sort of resembles Ring Around the Rosies. Both Lily and Schaeffer were stark naked as we danced. If these walls could speak!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Griffin is 11 Months

So much personality and independence! That's what this stage is all about for Griffin. He is pulling up to his feet. He crawls everywhere and right into the middle of the action. He grins from ear-to-ear when he captures our attention. He plays peek-a-boo and gives the biggest giggle when we say "Boo!" So much sweetness! He likes to give me big sloppy open mouth kisses right on my mouth (Mmmm!). He leans his cheek against mine to give and receive hugs. I'm lovin' every minute of that.

Griffin still has his moments with struggling with food, any food really. He is still gagging on textures. His favorite baby foods, or at least the ones that don't induce gagging and vomitting, are pears, sweet potatoes, and sometimes sweet peas. He still can't tolerate fruit puffs, crackers, goldfish, etc. And he gets choked up on juice from a sippy cup. I'm sure we will be working on all those things in speech therapy after his evaluation in late April (and still no words or babbling, but I know that'll come too with a little bit of help). I'm trying to enjoy the closeness of breastfeeding and trying not to rush through it or become too anxious about his feeding issues. I know those sweet bonding moments will be gone before too long and I will miss them.

Griffin is such a precious gift and a bundle of luv!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Yay! Lily got her glasses today. They got them done much faster than the estimated 2 weeks. She was quite overwhelmed the second she put them on. She immediately took them off and said, "I don't want to wear them right now." The gentleman at LensCrafters was really great about getting her to put them back on and had her look around at some fun things like gumball machines out in the mall. And then we played at the little playground in the mall and Lily wore them the whole time. She kept naming objects all around as if she were seeing them for the first time...maybe she was! She did really great wearing them for the remainder of the day and only asked to take them off twice to give her face and eyes a break. She has enjoyed taking them off to clean them with the cleaning cloth they threw in as a freebie, it's a Dolce & Gabbana cleaning cloth no less. Ha ha! I was so excited for her today because I could tell immediately that it made a difference in her little world.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sporting the Spectacles

Today Lily had an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. G, to test her vision. In about 2 weeks she will be sporting some new spectacles. He determined that she has very poor vision in both eyes but the right eye is the weakest. He called it strabismus ("lazy eye"). Although I've never noticed Lily to look cross-eyed. Dr. G explained that it can happen if left untreated because the brain will tell the weak eye to stop working and then the eye begins to float. He said she was "legally blind." I never understood what that meant when I've heard people say it before. Dr. G showed me by putting a lens up to my eye and asked me to try to read the chart. I could not even read the top line - it was crazy blurry! He said that's how Lily sees. Wow! But according to Dr. G, the good news for Lily is that she is young and her brain can still work really hard to focus. And if she is really great about wearing her glasses her vision will begin to correct and she may grow out of the vision problem (we are talking about several years). If left untreated she would most likely remain legally blind and she would develop crossed eyes. That doesn't sound good to me so we'll need to help her get adjusted to wearing glasses all the time. I know it'll be a huge change for her (remember, she is my sensory sensitive one that HATES change), but if we can make it her new normal then I know she'll do just fine. I let her pick out a pair of glasses today. We started with her favorite color: purple. In about 2 weeks her purple glasses will be ready and I think she'll become a more confident happy little girl when she begins to see her world more clearly.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Wardrobe for Spring

I love the color navy. It is really popular this year, which I'm so happy about. Like black is to winter, navy is to spring. Much like the color black, the color navy conceals baby fat. So here's my inspiration board with lots of navy. Most of these pieces I already own since they are so basic. I do want to get some fun colored ballet flats, flip-flops, and a few new accessories to mix and match. I'm a firm believer in owning good casual classics that never go out of style and that can be freshened up with inexpensive new accessories. Once I find clothes that fit and feel good (usually cotton and washable) I want them to be in style for years and years.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Blog Props

I wanna take a minute to give props to some blogger friends/family out there.

Heather of the Hills (my sister-in-law) just started an Etsy store selling her adorable crochet hats. I am the recipient of many of these creations - one in particular always gets me lots of compliments. And she has made one for each of my babies. I love them! They make great baby gifts or grown-up gifts.

I love Red Hair (and who doesn't?) makes cutie-tutie hair bows, and all sorts of unique hair accessories for little girls, but I bet big girls could wear them too. I love her fabric flowers! I Love Red Hair came to our area when she and her husband were called to minister to folks in and around our 'hood.

Excelsior Praise! just started a blog. Welcome, Excelsior Praise! I will be following you and seeking you for homeschool words of wisdom.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Certificate of Authenticity

For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in
my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully
and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful.
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the
depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

{Psalm 139:13-16}

Have you ever designed something that you were really proud of? Maybe a painting, a poem, a handmade ornament, a scrapbook page, a hand-sewn dress, a flower arrangement? How did you go about designing it? Did you look at inspiring works around you? Did you find inspiration in your surroundings, maybe from the colors of the season or from a swatch of fabric? Or maybe you created something based on a sensation you experienced when you were visiting a new place or sharing time with someone you love? When was the last time you visited an art museum and was surrounded by the magnificence of the works or art? Have you ever reflected on each piece there before you and wondered how the artist could create something so unique, so challenging, and so emotional?

As I read through these verses the other day, I was suddenly reminded that I am knit together by God. I know that seems obvious when reading it, but I've read this passage a million times. It's one that you usually see on baby announcements or plaques for nursery's. But as someone who loves to create and design, I was intimately pulled into this passage in a new way. I read it as if a piece of art were reflecting on the work of the Master Artist.
Before the Artist began his work, He had a plan - an inspiration - to create something completely authentic. He had a vision for His next masterpiece. In His mind's eye He saw the finished masterpiece. He was not out to copy something that already existed. Instead, He created something new and different from anything out there. He wanted something "wonderful." The medium may be the same - flesh and bone - but no two pieces are the same. The Artist spent hours, days, months, years and even centuries planning the masterpiece before He put His brush to the canvas or His pencil to the paper. Each brush stroke, each placement of color, each completed piece reveals a little bit more about Him. Over time the masterpieces are displayed together in a collection to tell a story about the Artist and His inspiration. Perhaps He found inspiration from His surroundings. Surroundings that include sparkling, glassy seas, vibrant colors more brilliant than jewels, beautiful creatures who make harmonious music, and most amazingly, Jesus. That is the inspiration He used when He designed the world, and me, and you.

We are masterpieces designed by God. We are originals. We have a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the One True Artist. We were first an inspiration, then a work in progress, and then a final masterpiece. Maybe sometimes I forget this truth and I begin to fall into a boring rut. A rut that's not at all inspirational or creative. Or, even worse I chose to take the easy way and try to make myself into a carbon copy of others I see around me, all the while, forgetting that I am an original, created for a specific purpose by the Master Artist.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fashion Inspiration

I've always thought Reese Witherspoon was so cute. If I were a guy I'd want to date her. LOL. If I lived in LA I could see how we'd be BFF's. She's a good Southern girl, she seems kind and gracious. She's never scandolous. She's a mom of two and a great actress. And to top it off, she has amazing fashion sense. If we were BFF's I'd totally raid her closet! I love her casual chic style. It would be perfect for my lifestyle as a SAHM. Her style is modest but fun. And those fabulous handbags of hers could fit all my junk and all 3 of my monkeys' junk. She should start up a clothing boutique called Reese. Maybe I'll give her a call and let her know!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Home Tour: Update

We enjoyed our tour today of the house for sale. It has a nice layout that flows well and would accommodate our family well. I totally forgot to take pictures while there, so here are some of the photos from the listing.

Here's a back view. It has lots of large original wood windows. We have a love-hate relationship with original wood windows. They are beautiful to look at, but not energy efficient.

You can see in this photo the massive windows with lots of wide trim and the beautiful hardwood flooring - but not so beautiful wallpaper. This was one of the bedrooms. All 5 bedrooms were upstairs along with 2 full baths...more on that in a minute.

The landscaping is pretty and mature. I took note of all the azaleas, crepe myrtles, and other ornamental indigenous shrubs.

The living room was quite large and attached to a sunroom. The sunroom attached to a sunporch. Lots of light!

The home did have a few drawbacks. The 2-car garage had been converted into a workshop in such a way that the entire structure would need to be demo'd if we ever wanted a working garage. But the workshop could serve as extra storage and/or painting studio (Yay for me!). The laundry room is in the dark, damp basement (Boo for me!). The closets are teeny tiny.

And then there are these...

Yes, that's pink tile and avocado green fixtures (Jen, those are all yours if we get the house).

The kitchen was last updated in the 70's. The 70's were good, partially because I arrived on earth in '76, but the 70's were not good to kitchen designers. Luckily the kitchen has tons of potential with plenty of space for a renovation.

On a positive note, the home was very well kept despite the lack of updating. It didn't appear to need many repairs. And the backyard was level and a nice size. There was a separate gazebo/outdoor dining area that would be very awesome for Summertime dinners and having friends and family over.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Home Tour

Tomorrow we are going to take a look at this house that's for sale. From the description it sounds like a good fit for our family (5 bedrooms and 2.5 baths in a smaller and older version of what we already have). I'll take some photos during the tour and update soon about what we discover, which hopefully won't include a colony of bats - flashback from another old house we once owned!

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Glaze of Glory



I had my first experience with paint glaze today. I've wanted to try it for a while. I purchased these crosses about 4 years ago at Big Lots. I love Big Lots, by the way. I liked the design of these crosses, but I didn't much like the Italianate paint job with the fake terra cotta look (although they do sorta match my kitchen decor like that...hmm, interesting). I decided to go with black even though now that seems sort of boring considering all the awesome colors I could've chosen. But I was a little hesitant to use a vibrant color for fear they'd look like souvenirs from Tijuana. (Well, and also because I have 10 cans of black spray paint in my garage from another project that never happened.) I may decide later to reverse the colors and use an off-white base with a dark glaze. That would've been very nice come to think of it. But it was fun to be creative again and get paint all over my hands.

I've always had an intrinsic need to create art in my life. I feel happiest when I'm painting and creating. I love to oil paint, but only when I have the time without distractions. Nothing is worse than getting all my supplies out, getting into a groove, having fresh paint mixed exactly the way I want it, seeing a canvas coming to life, and then suddenly being forced to stop before I'm ready. I guess I'll need to learn to get over that if I ever plan to paint again. One day I'll post some photos of my oil paintings on here. I'm starting to get this major urge to be creative and artistic again. This little glazing project just fed the urge. I'd really love to try my hand at glazing an old piece of furniture, like an old chair or small accessory table. The glazing process is quite simple and the sky's the limit. I'm going d-o-o-o-w-w-w-n in a glaze of glory (thanks Bon Jovi).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Gaze Upon The Beauty

Here are some beautiful farmhouse specimens in and around our area. All of these are different in their own unique ways, but somehow they are all united in their practicality and simple elegance.

Maryville, TN

Philadelphia, TN

Knoxville, TN

Strawplains, TN

Powell, TN

Maryville, TN

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Griffin is 10 Months (Feb. 23)

Griffin has been doing all kinds of new stuff this month. The week that he turned 10 months he advanced from crawling army style on his belly to crawling on his knees. This seems to be much more efficient for him and allows him to get around faster. It's almost time to put the baby gates back up. I really hate those things, but they are a necessary evil. I'll have to retrain the older two about the rules of the gates, like how to not leave them open when Griffin is around and how to not slam them in each other's faces as a form of revenge or torture (you gotta love the sin nature).

Griffin has been imitating and doing new tricks to get our attention, like banging toys on the table or squealing until we look at him. He then gives us a big grin. It's really cute. He likes to give me big slobbery open-mouth kisses and grabs hold of my hair or shirt and pulls me toward him to give me a big hug. I really enjoy the affection!

Unfortunately he has been battling some itchy eczema and cutting a lot of new teeth at the same time. That has interfered with his sleep (and mine too). This past week he has been tolerating baby food a little better. He has only gagged a few times when I've attempted to feed him - and he thankfully did not vomit any of those times. That's progress!

Don't Be Fooled by the Blocks That I Got

The newest craze in our home...