DIYP #7-Giving Old Things New Life

I like old things. But I’m not really an antique collector.  
I’m not that refined.  I’m a collector of old stuff.
If I see an ancient metal bucket in one of my in-laws rickety barns or an old handmade bird house sitting on the side of the road. I know I could put them to use.
Oh, I’m so kidding about scrounging up free junk and then decorating my home with it.
Or not.
I think there are people paid to do this.  They are called garbage collectors. 
Yep, I’m comfortable with that title.  Because the used shoe fits nicely.
My mom asked me once, “When you guys get some money, will you buy new things?”
Why would I do that? And what does money have to do with it?
Here are some of my favorite old things, I’ve found new uses for:
1. An old blanket chest that looks lovely wearing red, serving as a coffee table.
2. In my entryway, I have an old dresser without drawers.  I use the top to display seasonal stuff and the shelves as a shoe rack for my kids.
3. My hubby pulled these old window out of a condemned building in Miami.  All you have to do is ask!  The old screen costs $5 at a Flea Market.
4. An old shoe drying rack, I use as kitchen shelves.  I fell in love with this piece at a second hand store.  It came just like that with all the flaking paint!
5. I love my old $10 wagon!  It’s rusty and squeaky and the perfect planter!
6. I’ve had a small (albeit useless) collection of glass doorknobs for years.  How do you like them as a window covering in my bathroom?  The curtain is a single panel that I draped over the knobs. Do you think I would make The Nester proud with this window mistreatment?
7. I bought this little red metal medical table at a flea market for $15.00.  I cleaned it up and let the chipped paint add character to my bathroom.  It holds magazines, kleenex, and other bathroom incidentals. 
8. My battered front porch bench that I rescued from a garage sale for $25.  I love this old bench.  Someone put a cute tin skirt on it to cover up some damage.  Matilda, my rag doll, welcomes our guests and reminds people not to ring the door bell during nap time.
And yes, that would be a dirty diaper on the bench.  What can I say?  It was a doozy!  

So, the next time you come across something old and useless, turn it into something new and useful!

Food for the Soul:

Romans 6:4 “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

Get ready for a fun giveaway on Monday! Hint: Take a picture of yourself in your apron because the Apron Queen is visiting THAT family! Really-get your pictures ready!

Welcome to My Pity Party! & Impromptu Giveaway!

*UPDATE* Congrats to Barbara H. of Stray Thoughts.  You just won the Barnes & Noble Giftcard.  Email me your address at and I’ll mail it to you!


Hi! Welcome to THAT family’s blog.  I’m so glad you stopped by for my pity party.

This time last year, I couldn’t even define the word blog.
Now, I’m whining about not attending a massive conference for women bloggers.
It’s called evolving.
You know, I cook for my family at least 5 days a week and I have never once wanted to attend a cooking conference.
And I clean randomly every day and yet I’ve never wanted to spend oodles of money flying to other parts of the world to enhance my skills.
Go figure.
But give me a platform to share My Rear View, my unique mopping-style or unhealthy love for Sweet Tea? And don’t forget pictures of my perm-induced childhood ‘fro! And I just want to learn more.
It’s called obsession Passion.
So, I’m bringing a great bottle of whine to this hopping party and a plan to attend at least one blogging conference next year where I will know absolutely no one and feel completely out of my comfort zone.
That’s how I roll.
I’m actually not too bummed because the BlogHer conference is coinciding nicely with our family vacation.  And if I had to choose spending a weekend with people I’ve never met and my favorite people in all the world, well, it isn’t even a choice.
So, leave me a comment and tell me ‘if you’ll attend a blogging conference in the future’ and I’ll randomly pick a winner Sunday morning to win a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble (courtesy of the PTA at my kid’s school for being a room mom-I never got around to spending it)!

THAT Family Tree Society

I’m starting a club.

I feel like a 10 year old girl making friendship bracelets!  

Want one?

One of the things I love most about blogging are meeting those other families. . . you know the ones!  

Nearly every day, I have an email or a comment saying, “Us, too!  We are THAT family, too!”  
It does my heart good to read that I am not alone.  

I smile at your disastrous stories and laugh at your embarrassing moments. 

Because if anyone understands, it’s THAT family.

You know what it’s like to go to the swimming pool and see toothpaste smeared in your toddler’s hair because she brushes her hair with her toothbrush. You’ve taken your son to the dentist to have his first cavity filled, only to have him tell you on the way home, that something doesn’t feel right. You aren’t even surprised when he tells you he didn’t say anything to the Dentist because, “I didn’t want to overwork him.”

Every time I read one of your stories, I feel connected, even related to you, like your my long lost cousin, twice removed.

Only I’ve never met you and you’d never give me a kidney.

Yeah, except for that.

I thought it would be fun to have a little society for us!  You can grab a button for your page and join the club where the perks are few and the benefits are slim.  

If you decide to join in, share your THAT family stories with me (email sometime or send me the link to a post you’ve already done.  I will highlight a couple of random club member’s blogs and stories every month! (You only need to send me one story, old or new). You can also just add the button to your page because in your heart, you can relate!

Oh, and we need a motto for THAT Family Tree Society: Where Not Every Branch Forks.

So, grab a button and come back for my best THAT family post.  I’m reposting “The Super Glue Incident” on Sunday to give you a prime example of why we are THAT family!

In an effort to highlight and link to your THAT family post, please answer the following questions when you have a chance.  I will RANDOMLY choose one blog post each Sunday to share with my readers, until I d
on’t have any more!-EMAIL me these answers:
1.    Tell us a little about your blog (name/reason why you blog):
2.    How long have you blogging?
3.    How would you define THAT family?
4.    When did you discover you were a part of THAT family?
5.    Where can we find your blog?

Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You-My Jane Fonda Moment

Welcome to this fun little weekly carnival of memories!  If you want to link up, you can read the guidelines here.

The last few weeks, I have played it safe with my ‘Fro posts. I’m not ashamed to reveal my overly permed hair or my scary polyester attire, I just wanted to give you a break.

From all the laughter.  And the mocking.

But I’m bringing back the smiles.  Just for you. Yes, I’m talking to you.  I know you’ve had a rough week.  I know you need a quiet moment to get away from the kids and laugh.  From the belly.

And so, I’m putting away my pride and I’m doing this just for you.  Because I care.

My Jane Fonda moment, sincerely ‘fro me.

I have no idea why I was dressed like this.  It wasn’t a costume party. I think that would make this easier to swallow. 

Oh no, I owned that getup and wore it every Saturday morning to watch televised gymnastics. I had an unnatural desire to be an Olympic gymnast.

I think my leg warmers were in the washer.  Too bad because they just made this outfit even more frightening.

I was in a gymnastics class as a young girl, but my dream was short-lived due to finances.  So, once I got into high school, I paid for lessons with my own money.  Yes, I was the big girl in the little girl class.

Sad, but true.  Even worse?  I wore this outfit!

Oh.  And I permed my hair, just for you.

The Top 5

My top 5 Favorite photos from our recent trip back to my in-laws farm:
1. My son asking his cousins to remove their shirts so he can teach them the art of arm tooting.  I was so proud.
2. Meeting Daisy and her drool.
3. Climbing into the hayloft of a very old barn for a family picture and praying it held our weight.  You know, since Nanny fixes biscuits and gravy every morning.
4. Giving Nanny her own pair of flashy rubber boots (with hot pink liner) so she can impress the cattle and fish.  And then watching her pose in them!
5. Laughing at my hubby trying to roll a hay bale!  Better than pictures of us rolling in the hay!
For more great photos, visit 5 Minutes for Mom!

The Day I Became Me

The fifth grade was a year of firsts for me. I wore glasses for the first time, had my first complexion breakout and it was my first year in public school.

I attended a small private Christian school up until that year. 

And the difference was vast.

For the first couple of months, I felt lost.  The learning curve was great and I struggled to fit in and find friends.  I was behind in Math and ahead in Language Arts.

Eventually, I found a friend or two and some acceptance.

But I will never forget the day that I found me.

Since fifth graders were on the cusp of middle school, a special speaker was invited to hold an assembly to help prepare us.

I was excited to have a break from the classroom and I remember filing in with the other fifth grade classes.  I sat down on the gym floor and listened as the speaker began.

He was enthusiastic and charismatic.  And funny.  He started out telling jokes and made us feel comfortable.  “I’d like to do a little experiment.  Can I have a volunteer?” he asked.

I don’t know what possessed me to raise my hand.  I was pretty introverted and lacked a lot of self-esteem.  But I raised my hand eagerly with everyone else.

And he picked me from the one hundred students.

He asked me to come to the stage.

I was a giddy mixture of fear and delight.  I hated that everyone stared at me and loved it all at the same time.

“What’s your name?” he asked.  I answered into the microphone.

“Can you go with my assistant to another room?  It’s part of my experiment,” he said.

And so I did, nervously.  I was only gone for a minute or two and then we returned to the gymnasium. 

“Welcome back, Kristen.  We have just one question for you.  It’s very simple.  Okay?”

I nodded my head.

He flipped over a giant chalkboard and said, “Do you see these two lines?”

I looked at the lines on the board.  One was long, one was short.  That was it.

“Yes,” I croaked.

“All you have to do is tell me which line is shorter.  Can you do that?”

Well, of course I could.  I remember thinking that’s it?

I pointed to the shorter line and said, “That one.”

As soon as I said it, the other kids started whispering. 

“Are you sure?” he asked.

I looked again, “Yes.”

The speaker asked the boys and girls to tell me if I was right.

One-hundred pair of eyes stared me down and they started yelling, “No, that’s not it.  It’s the other one.” 

The sound was deafening.  I walked around and looked from a different angle.  I squinted.  I looked confused.

The kids continued to point and scream, “Choose the other one!”

And then I did the unthinkable when the speaker said, “Do you want to change your mind?”

I did.

I changed it. I picked the longer of the two, even though I knew it was wrong.

And that’s when everyone let me in on the secret.  The kids were told to pressure me to choose the other line.

“Thank you, Kristen.  You can sit down.  By changing your mind, you proved that peer pressure is powerful.”

I was dumbfounded.  Speechless.  I sat down in shock as the speaker continued on about the dangers of giving in to peer pressure.  I didn’t listen closely because I knew exactly what he was talking about.

Something happened deep within me that day.

I was disappointed that I changed what I knew was right to make other people happy.  But I also vowed in my heart that day to never give in.  I would be strong, no matter the pressure.

That’s the day I found my voice. 

That’s the day I became me.

I’m tackling peer pressure with one of my kids today, click here to read some other tackles.

Food for the Soul:

“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.”- Psalm 18:30

Come back tomorrow for a very fun giveaway!

You Can Also Find Me Over Here Today

My kids attended Vacation Bible School at our church two weeks ago.

The theme was Power Lab with scientific experiments. The stage was decorated with beakers. They made slime in the craft room and had bottled Coke erupting like a volcano in Recreation.

And there were water games. Soaking. Wet. Water. Games.

Of course, this was the highlight of the week. Because kids and water? They go together.

My kids came home wet and happy the first day. They made gooey glittery test tubes and slid down the enormous water slide.

The next day, my son entered the car wet and tired. My daughter? Dry as a bone. 
With an explanation. (to continue reading, click here).

Going Once, Twice, Sold!

One of the highlights of our Family Reunion, besides having my cheeks pinched, was the Family Auction.

Every other year, when my hubby’s family gets together, everyone brings something to auction off.  The funds help reserve the cabins for the next reunion.
Now, I love auctions.  I love old things and new things.  Well, just things, in general.  Don’t judge me, m’kay?
As items were labeled and laid out on tables, I eyed some old family embroidered linens.  I don’t have many heirlooms from my side of the family and thought these would be pretty to have and then pass down to my daughter’s.  
My kids have never been to an auction.  We missed the last Reunion because I was in bed with a troublesome pregnancy.  The last one we attended was four years ago and my kids were too young to remember the excitement of buying other people’s junk precious items.
Well.  Who knew the love of auctions was inherited?  It runs deeply in the blood of my children.  They circled the table like vultures, eyeing their prey.  While the other kids played, mine counted their pennies.
And they asked questions.  Many.  Questions.  My daughter understood how the auction would work and she watched the clock (and drove everyone crazy announcing the time every 5 minutes).  
My son?  At six, let’s just say the workings of an auction eluded him.
A second cousin by marriage stood to start things off.  He began with the kid’s table.  My kids sat on the edge of their seats with their numbers in hand.  
And my daughter bid like a madwoman.  
It was embarrassing ya’ll.
She was completely out of control.  She bid on notepads, an old jar, a doily, a pink baseball hat, a bouncy ball, a Mexican tote bag and semi-gold jewelry that was lovely.  Oh, and she won a huge box of vintage Simplicity patterns from the 1950’s, for .50 cents.  I leaned up and tapped her on the shoulder, she turned around, beaming.  “Save some for your cousins,” I whispered.  
“I’ve only spent $9.75,” she said excitedly.
I leaned over to my hubby and said, “I think we might have a problem.  Maybe we could get her into the support group I attend.”
Well, my son’s interest was peaked.  Mainly because he saw his sister like this:
And, I mean who wouldn’t be envious of her purchased goods?  The girl had enough patterns to clothe the vintage world!
The thing was, he didn’t get it.  My son would raise his number as a package of Hot Wheels was being auctioned and then look weepy when the auctioneer said, “Sold!” and handed the prize to a third cousin.
He kept whispering to me, “Why am I not winning?  I keep holding up my number.”  I explained that you had to pay the most.
Several items slipped through his fingers like sand.  He was near tears.  The one thing he truly wanted was up next:  a package of water balloons.  250 in quantity.  
Oh, stop my beating heart.
The auctioneer started the bid at .50 cents and my son raised his card.  A cousin had the bid at .75 cents.  My son stood.   When the nod came his way, he raised his card over his head and screamed, “Siiiixxxx-fiiiftttyyyyy!”
$6.50 for a bag of water balloons that he kept in his pocket the rest of the Reunion.
And they were worth every penny!
P.S.  We returned to my in-laws farm and left our kids for 2.5 days while hubby and I snuck away!  My sweet mother-in-law filled up balloons until her fingers were swollen and sore.
(what’s left of the water balloons)
My daughter evaluating her new pattern collection!
I displayed my auction linens on an old ladder.