Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ooh, Pretty!

I was at Target today. I haven't been there since I bought Chloe's school supplies a couple of weeks ago. And so I decided I'd take the grand tour and scope out some clearance stuff. And oh, the things I found. They have some summer things like flip flops and table cloths and summery wheel spinny things for 90% off. But I didn't need any of those things. Not even though it was 49 cents. But I made a mental note before vacation to look through the picture section because they have one seasonal isle that was on clearance. So I passed through and found two matted and framed sailboat pictures- for $4.98 each- mwahahaha. I didn't even think much about the boats because you can remove the back and put your own thing in there if you want to. I thought about doing another couple of pear things. But I needed something in the living room. I've been thinking of buying a huge canvas and doing some sort of painting. I even thought about a sailboat. But then I saw a fantastic- huge mirror- for $14.98 and I was sold. So for $25 dollars I revamped one wall in the living room.

Here's the yawn-inducing before. I knew that the mirror was too high but I never got around to fixing it. But I never really realized that it was *way* too small for the space.
And here's the much better after. Except that they still look small in the photograph...not sure about that.

Boat #1...

Boat #2....

And here's a better photo of them together. I'm mixing styles a bit but I like it and well, I guess that's all that really matters. I think that I have to change the color of the walls though. The furniture just blends right into the wall. Throw pillows would probably help but they're kind of a pain to live with. So my thought is to go with a lighter shade of beige (not sure if that will help with the couch) and to paint every bit of trim and furniture (side table, armoire) in a crisp white. And do white curtains instead of the gray-blue that we've got going on in there now. It makes things kind of dark. I'd be copying these bloggers- they've posted what colors they used- because I think it really works. And it's light and bright and is really what you want in a 10x15 foot space. Then I could do brighter pillows and possibly even an area rug if it didn't cramp things too much. I like their bedroom idea too. It's a bit fancy for my taste but it could fix the problem that we have with the breaker box being in our master bedroom. I've got lots of thoughts and I can't wait to get started.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Apparently painting for fun agrees with me. I've felt so inspired lately and I even finished a painting. And I am completely happy with how it turned out. I might do some minor tweaking but other than that I'm signing it varnishing it and I'm done. I might even do a pear series or something. They're fun to paint, it hardly takes any time at all, and they're *green* so it's a win-win-win. Except I did buy a red pear once that I intended to paint so maybe I'll do a red one too. And in other things artsy related- drumroll please....Amanda has been invited to attend The New York Conservatory of the Dramatic Arts. Um, yeah, wow! IN NYC!!! The thought right now is for her to attend their summer session next summer. So my kid could be spending a month next summer in NYC! I'm so excited for her. She'll be spending about the same amount of money as she did for AMTC but it covers her room and it's in a fabulous city. So, nothing is set in stone right now but she is applying.

And I wanted to add this just because it's funny. Apparently the antibiotics I'm taking are causing me to have very vivid and extremely weird dreams. Let's see- one night I dreamed I had a moustache. The next night I dreamed about talking, biting trout and whitewater rapids. The next night the dream was so bizarre that I won't even type it out- but it concerned people that I went to high school with. And the next night I dreamed that all of the Buttons were in a communist country and were trying to run away. But it was comical, like a musical, and there were car chases and we eventually got out of the country by stowing away on a cruise ship. Because cruise ships often depart from communist countries. But it's keeping me from sleeping well. There's lots of running in all my I'm hoping that everything will be back to normal soon.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

First Harvest

Back to happy thoughts. We've been sick since we got back from vacation and two full weeks inside the house gives me *way* too much time to think and get frustrated. Chloe missed the entire week of school last week. Sigh. But I think we've nearly conquered this thing and that will be nice. And maybe I'll get out of the house next week.

Here are my first two wee tomatoes. They're pretty and pear shaped...and they still taste like tomatoes. And I hate tomatoes. I tried one. I even chewed it up and swallowed it. And besides the tomato flavor it was, well, OK it was gross. And the slimy inside stuff...blech. But they're pretty and pretty counts. Thankfully Travis loves tomatoes and he said they were good. And I like cooked tomatoes and salsa so I still have hope.
And my mini cor carrots. One of them had actually gone to seed by the time we got back. I thought that the seeds would develop on the green stuff but nope. The carrots themselves get hollow inside and develop seeds. Overall the carrot thing was a bust but maybe I'll try again next year. And there's still basil growing and a pumpkin. Although I have yet to see any female blooms on the things. So we'll see. I'm sort of kicking myself for not growing cilantro. I picked up the package in the spring and really considered it but didn't get it. You have to have cilantro for salsa. So now I'll have to overpay for it at the store. Ah, but no worries. I'm resolved to not freak out about anything. And to get some fresh air. I think I need it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

More Thoughts...

I was thinking today about what I'm going to do next year when Halle goes to school. I have had this thought several times and the thoughts just sort of swirl around landing wherever. I think about what I'm interested in and if I'd want to do that all day, every day. I picked up my paint brushes for the first time in I don't even know how long. And I thought that maybe I should take a drawing class and practice really hard so that I don't have to go sit in a boring office making somebody's copies for them and answer their phone. And decided that I don't have to be the best painter in the world or be in a gallery or sell anything because, well, I just like painting sometimes. I like it when I have paint on my hands. And why does it have to be anything bigger than that? Yes, eventually I will run out of walls to put things on but that day is not today. And I realized that I don't want to do that. I don't want to be a chef and cook for people all day, every day. And I don't want to be a designer either. I don't really want to go to graduate school. And I thought that maybe there is nothing in this whole wide world that I can imagine doing for my whole life. And then I thought 'I want to be a minister of music'.

I should probably have my head examined. But I like leading worship and I like conducting choir rehearsal. But honestly, for the most part I don't really like church. What? I guess I should say that I don't like the church machine. The machine that makes you fit into the mold where you say the right thing (whether or not it's actually the truth) and you wear the right thing and God forbid, you say something that's truthful and challenging because if you do you're going to hear about it on Monday morning in the form of your pastor chewing you out. Because they don't like your hair or your clothes or your face and type A women freak people out. You couldn't possibly be intelligent or have anything meaningful to say so you get relegated to office duties and don't get to visit people in the hospital and pray for them or do anything to help anyone because the fact that you exist just really pisses people off. And instead of someone saying 'hey maybe we should drop our stones and give her a chance' they just keep throwing them. Because you couldn't possibly be human and they couldn't possibly be making your life a living hell. Because there are very few Christians mature enough to say 'You know what? It's not about me. I may not like her leadership style but God placed her here and I'm going to support that'. And the funny thing is that it always surprises me when it happens. And I'll just add that I made mistakes. Which I always say but I'll say it again- I didn't do everything right. But I really, really tried to.

Ministry to me has always been about helping people. Seeing God heal people emotionally, physically and spiritually. And leading worship is the way that God called me to do that. I can't imagine doing anything else and I can't imagine doing it either. My dad worked at the Post Office for his whole career. I don't think that was his calling. My husband works in the computer field but he's a teacher, really. And a song writer. Millions of people do what they have to do and never get the opportunity to fulfill what they're passionate about. I think that I just didn't know it was still there. And I never thought I'd have such disdain for the machine. I've been a follow the rules, that's just the way things are girl for such a long time that I don't even know what to make of it.

So there you have it. A rant whether you were ready for it or not. I guess I have more to sort out. I usually just stuff it down and don't think about it because I'm kind of tired of all that. But for today I will take care of my kids and maybe finish a painting and move on. Except it doesn't feel like I'm moving on, it feels like I'm sitting completely still. Stuck in some prison and for what? I have no idea. I'll get back to that painting though.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I really, really want to post about something interesting. Unfortunately there is nothing going on right now that is interesting. Dr.'s appointments and antibiotics are beyond boring and I'm just over the whole thing. I came back from vacation inspired and hopeful and ready to tackle everything on the home front- even painting the cabinets. But I've been sidelined since then. Now the only thing I've accomplished is watching way too many Gilmore Girls episodes. You know you've watched too much when you start thinking and you hear Lorelai's voice in your head. Sheesh. But I'm on antibiotics and so I'm hopeful that I'll be able to start some things soon. Actually today I will tackle the house and clean until I'm ready to pass out. It's amazing the mess that happens when the big people are incapacitated. And now the little people that made the mess are incapacitated which means I get to clean up. Coffee definitely helped on the energy front.

So I had to go looking for inspiration. And Coastal Living is a good source of that. I really love that magazine since, well, it's coastal *and* there are lots of cottages. Because beach people like the relaxed feel of a cottage. Can you imagine kicking off your flip flops in a big modern space?

This kitchen would be perfect for me if it didn't have the gingham inspired ceiling. I like painted ceilings but this is a bit too country- for me. You might love it. But I love the island and space and white-ness of it. Do you guys like open shelving? I think it looks nice but I can't imagine having it myself. It makes me think that I'd have to rinse whatever dish I was using before I used it- dust you know. I've also found that whatever is up high near the stove gets a greasy, dusty, sticky film on it. Maybe not with this really big vent hood thing. Overall I like the simple, laid-back style and the white makes it look very clean. But not as clean as this one. I love the retro appliances. And the glass fronts on the cabinets are fantastic. I'd have to at least add some brightly colored dishes and small appliances though. Got to have color. Actually this is about perfect. Of course, my favorite color is green so I would love it. But those windows on either side of the stove are fantastic. And I am sort of drooling over the stove. That's another thing I came home inspired to do- cook. Angie (my sister in law) subscribes to a weekly Publix e-mail that sends her recipes for the week along with a shopping list that centers around what's on sale. So she's always making something interesting and new...and I'm pretty much stuck in a 5 dish rut. So as soon as we're all better I'm going to make pesto. Yeah, I know, easy peasy- but I've never made it before and if we all like it then I have 6 dishes that I make. And I'm growing basil again and have to do something with it. But I always imagine that I'd be much more inspired with a stove like this. A girl can dream, can't she? And while my favorite color is green, this shade makes me kind of nauseous. Maybe it looks different when photographed (the sun hitting the island makes the color look less, um, vomitous) but it's really just overload to me. I like the layout though and the cabinets to the ceiling. I'm not sure what the letters are for and I'm not really into that but in a different color (white with bright accents) this one might be my favorite.
So there you have it. My borrowed inspiration. Actually I should have borrowed my inspiration from Mr. Clean because that's what I'll be doing for the next few hours.

Friday, July 17, 2009

First Day of Third Grade

Today was Chloe's first day of third grade. And I forgot to get a picture this morning. Why? Because when I got her up this morning, I also checked on Halle who was very hot and when I checked her temp. it read 104.9. Yeah. The last three times she's gotten sick we've had temps like this, before then she was strictly a 102 girl. I didn't freak out like I've done the last couple of times, mostly because she wasn't throwing up this time. I gave her some ibuprofen and some cold water and she was in a really good mood. Which is why I didn't immediately call the doctor. Her temp came down to 104 very quickly and she was joking around and asked for pop tarts. So, yeah, she was OK. But in all the hullabaloo, I forgot to take Chloe's picture. So the pictures from last nights registration will have to do.

She was so excited that she primped all day long. "Mommy does my hair look good like this"? "I think my hair looks good over one eye". "Can I have some lipstick"? "I want to be like Amanda". And therein lies the source of it. She wants to be like Amanda- who didn't care about any of that until she was 11 or 12. I'm so not ready for that.
I did notice a huge difference between this classroom and her last. This one is much more sparse without the bright colorful, school type decorations. Even the rug they sit on is plain. So do kids just outgrow that between 2nd and 3rd grade? They have individual desks instead of the quad tables they've been sitting at and all around the room just says that they're in the big time now.

She did end up having her best friend in her class. I'm not sure how that worked out but I'm glad it did. I am really happy that she's happy and I know we did the right thing by sending her back. I was really unsure about it even as late as this past Monday but Travis and I just made a decision and stuck with it.

Thankfully she wants to go back on Monday. For the last two years she's cried for the first 6 months. If I can avoid that at all then I want to.

And completely off the subject but very yummy are the Ranier cherries,mmmmm. Very sweet and a nice back to school treat. And they're buy one get one free at Publix right now, nice.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Energy Efficient Stuff...

So when you spend a gazillion dollars on something it seems like you should get more satisfaction from it than merely being comfortable. I mean, shouldn't you be able to drive it or something? I have realized in the last couple of days that we are willing to spend big bucks in order to not be miserable. And even more to be healthy. We're having the ducts cleaned on Thursday- I'm pretty sure that's *never* been done and we had this UV thing installed too. Travis has suspected for a while that the dirty air ducts were at least contributing to my feeling crummy, so we'll see what happens. Oh and I thought that being energy efficient and all that this unit would be smaller. Not so. This thing is *huge*. It's actually bigger than the behemoth it replaced. But it qualifies for the $1,500 tax credit. That made the price a bit easier to swallow. Couple that with the energy efficient windows and we will hopefully see a decrease in our electric bill.
And see the cool new thermostat-thingy? I don't know about you guys but there is always a fight at the Button house over this thing. I like it colder because I get hot, Amanda likes it warmer because she gets cold and Travis likes it warmer because he has to pay for it. I'm always accusing him of pushing it up to 78 and he's always accusing me of pulling it down to 70 because well, those things are hard to read. But no more! The a/c guy said that we should leave it within 3 degrees constantly and it will automatically switch to heat if the temp gets to be below 69- pretty cool. Or warm, as the case may be.

And here's a little thing I meant to show you guys months ago and then it just seemed lame after we installed it. I tried to find a picture on the internet since this one just looks kind of creepy (yes, we need a new tub). Anyway, we installed this one after our other shower head broke off- seriously. We were kind of panicked thinking we were going to have to hire a plumber. But after talking to my mom (who does *all* of the home repairs at their house) she said it was easy-peasy to replace. And she was right. The previous arm for the shower head was plastic. Not sure what brainiac thought that one up but it was. We replaced it with a metal one that was really inexpensive and this eco-flow shower head. Ours does not have 3 modes like the one in the link. But it was only $20 at Target and has paid for itself several times over since we purchased it. I really think we're saving that much per month. How? Well the kiddos like to take really long showers and Amanda takes really long showers and well, it just adds up. It also conserves hot water. It used to be that in the winter time we'd get through 1 1/2 showers on a Sunday morning before all the hot water ran out. So two people always ended up really unhappy. We had this thing for the whole winter and we never ran out of hot water. I also love that it's hand held so it's much easier to wash the kids hair. Eco friendly or not, I wished we'd purchased one years ago for that alone. And for those of you (Mary) that noticed how low the shower head was before it added a few inches so I no longer have to bend over backwards to wash my hair.

OK, so I'm done with that. But it wouldn't be summertime if I didn't incessantly show you things that I'm growing. I get frustrated sometimes because things don't turn out the way I want to and by the end of the summer I'm tired of watering stuff and I think that I'm just not growing anything next year. And then I see the seeds in the store and I'm like a junkie. I cannot pass them by. My carrots were pretty much a bust. I think there were just too many carrots in that pot and apparently they like elbow room. We did eat some and I have a picture but I think I'll try them again next year. The only thing is that you only get 1 carrot per plant. Which means if you want a lot of carrots then it takes a lot of space. I'm not really into the whole one and done thing. But they are fun.
This is an updated picture of my yellow pear tomatoes. See? They are really not a one and done sort of plant. And apparently they take a while to ripen. I thought we'd get back from vacation and the ones I was watching so carefully would be rotten- but not so. I have noticed that some blooms aren't fruiting and are falling off. Not sure what's causing that. And I am going to have to stake them. If I could only kick the flu and get to the store. There are some blooms at the top that will take the plant out once those tomatoes get bigger. And these guys are way bigger than I thought they would be. I was thinking grape tomato size but these are bigger. And I'm still hoping I'll like them.
Oh, and the grubby looking orange thing is the kids wading pool. Last year I paid Grant to water my flowers but that's a lot to ask of a friend- coming over every-single-day. I also thought of a water timer but it was nearly $30 so I filled the kids wading pool with water and stuck the plants in it. They all have drainage holes in the bottom or on the sides so my thought was that they would suck up the water as they needed it. And it worked because they were all alive when I got home. I do wonder if too much moisture was the tomato blossoms problem though. We'll see. And here's my sunflower patch this year courtesy of the neighborhood birds. Oh and my new roof- just noticed that. I only had 3 plants last year and this year I have no idea how many there are. It looks kind of pitiful right now but in a couple of weeks I'm going to have a lot more flowers. I really love them. I wouldn't say that they're my favorite flower- I don't think I have a favorite- but they're so easy to grow. And they're so low maintenance, I just really love growing them.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just Really Happy

I'm sitting here listening to Chloe talk to me- she's oblivious to the fact that her constant chatter is distracting. And she reads really well now so I think she's reading over my shoulder. And she thinks it's funny. I'm also waiting on the a/c company to come out and replace our a/c unit. If you've checked facebook you probably already know that the four Button girls haven't been feeling well- flu and other things- and that our a/c died yesterday. The compressor is out and we could have just replaced that but our unit is so old that we won't be able to get any coolant for it next year so we'd be spending a big chunk of cash only to turn around and do it again at some point. Plus since we're planning on selling at some point in the near future a 16 year old a/c unit isn't exactly a selling point. But the nice thing is that we're also getting the ducts cleaned- I don't think that's ever been done- and we're having some UV thing put in that zaps all manner of airborne virus, bacteria, etc. That should be fantastic for me health-wise. Of course, we've done so much to our little house now that I'm not going to want to sell it. I've become attached to the place. Sigh.

And I have to say that in the midst of having the flu and all the other sickness in the house and the a/c and being hot right now I have tremendous peace and joy. God is really so good. I was looking back today at different things that have happened over the years and how we'd stress and flip out and how much at peace we are now and I'm thankful.

I don't think I'm going to do a play by play of vacation this time. We had a fabulous time but it really revolved around spending time with family rather than going to fabulous destinations. It was a great time of bonding with our family- especially the nieces and nephews and I'm just really thankful.

So fantastic was the bonding time that the last night we were there Halle just climbed up on uncle Shane's shoulders. She didn't ask she just did it. You know you're ok with Halle if she does that.
And sweet little Kyleigh *loved* uncle Trav. He was super excited- if you can't tell by his big smile in the picture.

Chloe missed the trash can on our way down and I was really picture happy- so I took a picture of it.

This is what happens when you don't want your picture taken and your wife wants to take your picture. Bahahaha! I love my honey.

On the way down to AL my parents had taken Chloe and Halle with them so the bigger Button peeps had a *really* good time together. We also had a fantastic time with Chris and Christy. Yummy food and great conversation. As soon as we got there miss Emma showed me her fabric stash- she's 8! It was so sweet. And she'd made a purse for Chloe. Like mother like daughter. Those were actually the only non-related people we ended up seeing while we were there. You can find Christy's account here. It was less than two weeks ago but so much has happened it feels like a lifetime already.
We didn't do any of the other Lakeland stuff that we usually do. Probably because of the amount of driving that we'd done, we were just wiped out. Travis took Chloe to the bouncy house place the night before we left (I stayed at Shane and Angie's with Halle who was sick) and I found out that the bouncy thing that Mary sprained her ankle on is no longer there. So Mary actually shut down an attraction. It seems like there should be an award or something for that. Maybe an ice cream sundae?
OK, so I guess that's it. I'm trying to think of something fun to post about later...I think my thinker will work much better once we have the new a/c unit in.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


We made it. Thankfully. I spent the last hour of the drive reading things from Laugh Break to Trav. We were laughing so hard- even Amanda, who was laying in the back seat with a fever. I think my favorite was this one. And I should have expected that the end of this trip would leave me very introspective. I think we have resolved some things though. The first thing is that McDonald's is never, ever an eating option again. I know, life changing, right? And the second thing is that Lakeland is the place we want to be. It's the only place we're looking right now. The job market in Lakeland isn't huge- but we only need 1 job. The location might not seem like much of a revelation but we've been very unsure of where we'd end up. But after spending so much time with my brother and his family and Trav's brother and his family we're certain that it's where we want to be. During the last 6 months I've expected God to just say 'this is where you're going to be' clearly but He hasn't. That's new territory for me. But when we were there I think we both just knew that's where we'd be. I suppose that could change but I'm not really expecting it to.

We drove a lot on this trip- 2,727 miles to be exact. It's less than 800 miles to Lakeland. But we drove to Kissimmee several times (that's actually where Disney and most attractions are, not Orlando) to be with Amanda plus over to the coast a couple of times and to visit grandparents...lotsa driving I tell you. But I had an opportunity to talk to my 16 year old nephew who is going through a lot right now. Things are happening there now that we need to be there for. And our kids had the opportunity to play with their cousins- all of them. It was heartwarming and beautiful and if God called us there for no other reason than for our family I think that's enough.

So where do we go from here? I'm not sure. Travis was able to meet some people that work with his brother and his resume is in there. I think it's always good to have a face with a resume. I ran into an old friend from college (he just moved back to Lakeland that week) and he suggested looking at our alma mater- d'oh, didn't think of that. And we'll just see what happens. There is the little matter of the house. I don't know what to do about that except fix the little things that we can for now. I think I'm going to paint everything very soon. I've tried stripping the varnish off of the kitchen cabinets and it really gunks up the sand paper- we'll see how that goes. And just see what God does. I do feel refreshed and re-energized on that front so maybe I can make some real progress. That would be nice.

I'm also struggling a bit with Chloe going back to school on Thursday. I really don't feel ready to let her go; it's gone by so quickly. But I guess if I have house stuff to work on, it's better for her to be in school than stuck inside the house watching TV while I work. Oh, and the car issue? Travis made a bunch of phone calls and found one place that could work on our car before we left. He and I drove there on Thursday and as we passed by I got a sick feeling in my stomach- and so did he. So we came home, prayed and felt like we should wait. We weren't sure what we were waiting for and we had to leave on Saturday. It didn't make any sense but we did it anyway. That afternoon I went to Target and the check engine light was still on (if you don't remember two different people told us it was a transmission issue) and when I came out it was off. I was a little nervous and expected it to come back on but it never did. We drove the aforementioned 2,727 miles and the car was completely fine. God knows so much more than we do and I'm thankful for that. I'm really looking forward to what He's going to do. And I promise that I'll share a synopsis at least and pictures from the trip soon. But they're all on Facebook if you *really* want to see them all ;-)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Million O'Clock

No there's no such thing as a million o'clock but it feels like it. We're on our way back and it's 11:36 pm ET. I think Georgia is the longest state ever- it's not but it feels like it. We've been stricken with sickness in the last couple of days. Halle apparently has a double ear infection. She was screaming last night "it hurts deep in my brain"!!! So very sad. It's only her second ear infection *ever*. We're keeping it at bay with an ibuprofen/tylenol every 3 hour switch plus homeopathic ear drops and numbing ear drops that Angie had. I'm hoping we'll be OK through tomorrow so I can take her to the Dr. on Monday- unless the homeopathic ear drops work their magic before then. It's worked for Chloe before but I'm not willing to give them any time past Monday- she's been pretty miserable. And Amanda feels like she has the flu. It's gotten progressively worse during the day.

But I sound like a negative nelly, right? We had a great trip, really. We just got a really late start today because Halle was up so late last night. I think we're close to Chattanooga so I'm expecting to get home around 2am. But at least we get to sleep in our own beds. Pictures and such later...