A Good Place to Dream

I have always dreamed of a beautiful bedroom.  And my dreams-they are not lofty. I didn’t even dream of the finest furnishings or the most gorgeous decor, because who am I kidding?  I have three accident-prone kids, two cats who don’t like each other, and a messy hubby living with me.  
I just wanted a bedroom that spoke to me and felt like me.  And one that didn’t have padded walls and straight-jackets on hand.  I’m just saying.
I love old things.  But I didn’t want an old bed because I knew it would likely be another decade before I had money and my hubby’s consent on such a project.  
So, we shopped the scratch and dent section at a nearby furniture store and smiled pleasantly at the eye-rolling sales people when we bought mismatched bedroom
We painted the walls chocolate brown and I found that quilt for $40! (I always be king for my queen bed, so it covers more. Plus one of the people who sleeps in that bed is a cover-hog. Ahem).
Above my bed:
Our slightly scratched furniture didn’t include a dresser mirror. So, I saved the one from our old worn-out furniture (which I sold in the newspaper for $300!). I’m mixing up the colors of the wood here. But I love it!

My favorite part of the room, is the bench at the foot of the bed.  I drug my hubby through a flea market for two days until I found it.  Because I’m a thrifty bully.
I squealed when I stumbled upon that rug.  It’s the reverse print of my quilt.  I didn’t embarrass myself though because the employees at TJ Maxx know me.  (Although that embarrasses my hubby!)
Old stuff from my in-law’s farm and photos of my kids complete the top of the armoire.  
The antique (replica) laundry basket holds the pillows I throw off my bed at night.
I found this curio cabinet at a garage sale!
And this old door?  Yes, it speaks to me.
So, does the $40 leopard print chair I bought off Ebay!

Check out Kelly’s for some inspiring master bedrooms!

Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You-A Velveteen Pregnancy

Welcome to Sincerely ‘Fro Me To You! I’m so glad you’re here.  It wouldn’t be as fun without you. And I mean that in all sincerity.  My week is a lot funnier when you play along…not that I laugh at you or anything.

After a couple of years of marriage, I got the itch.
You know the one.  
I wanted a baby.
We scratched that itch for about a year with no luck.  We started infertility treatments and continued down that painful road for another two years.  {Sidenote: A special thank you to my hubby for putting up with my multiple personalities during this time.  One medication in particular, caused out-of-body experiences in which I laughed at things that weren’t funny.  In public.  Fun times, I tell you! }
We were on staff at a church during that time and were bombarded with advice on conceiving, including but not limited to my very favorite: “Have you tried a coffee enema yet?”
Um, no.
Once we exhausted our insurance, we started down the road to adoption.  We proved we would be suitable parents with our HIV tests and Home study.  And then we waited.  And waited.  And waited, some more.
That’s when I got pregnant.
And please do not say it was because I finally relaxed! 
With every pregnancy symptom I experienced, my hubby would cheerfully say, “Aren’t you excited?”
Um, yeah, let me wipe the vomit off my chin.
Hip, Hip Hooray.
I had a great pregnancy and gained more than 50 pounds, but less than 100.  As I neared my due date, I had one outfit that fit nicely.  One.  It was green and velveteen.

I went 9 days past my December 31st due date.
I burned that horrid velveteen outfit.
And I’m pretty sure right before my hubby snapped this picture he said something like, “Aren’t you glad you’re getting huge?  That means a healthier baby!”
Hip, Hip Hooray.

SECRET Red Plate GIVEAWAY (for newsletter readers!)

*Updated with Winner* Congrats to Jerralea! You won!

I have a red plate-given to me by a family member years ago. I LOVE IT. I love how it makes my family members feel special when I serve them dinner on their birthday or if they need a little boost of encouragement.

Christian speaker, Sue Heimer, is giving one of these special plates (value $32.75) to one of my newsletter readers! Yay! I encourage all of you to start this special tradition in your family.

You can order a plate today and even get free priority shipping if you order two!

Grace-Based Parenting Tip #3 & Giveaway!

*UPDATED* Congratulations to Ami!  She won the book.  Come back next week for another Grace-Based Giveaway!
I want the best for my kids.
I want them to have a great childhood, a good education, Godly character traits and a bright future.
I want them to pluck the black hairs from my chin when I’m decrepit be successful in life. 
Through the Grace-Based parenting resources, I’ve learned that aiming my children at a future focused on success isn’t the same at aiming them at true greatness.
Doesn’t the phrase true greatness just make something deep within you stand up and say, “YES! That’s it! That’s what I want for my kids!”
The world defines success by these measurements:  wealth, beauty, power and fame.
Okay.  Suddenly, I’m not feeling so successful. 
In Dr. Kimmel’s book, Raising Kids for True Greatness, he defines true greatness as “a passionate love for Jesus Christ that shows itself in an unquenchable love and concern for others.” Directing them towards true greatness helps to focus them upward and outward, rather than inward.
Aiming children at success complicates their lives and contributes to self-absorption. 
How many self absorbed grown up children (a.k.a adults) do we know?
Dr. Kimmel teaches that true greatness is easier to achieve by building four qualities in a child’s heart:
  • A Humble Heart-a reverence for God and respect for others.
This is the last thing our culture is teaching our children. We can’t leave this up to the school system or even the church.  It’s our responsibility as parents to teach our kids how to respect others and revere God.  
What does a humble heart look like?  We are working on developing this in our home: a mutual respect for each other’s ideas and thoughts (as in the oldest child dismissing everything the younger siblings say). I think our kids take cues from us..they are always watching.
  • A Grateful Heart-An appreciation for what they have been given and Who has given it.
I think complaining and grumbling is the direct result of an ungrateful heart.  We all know how it feels for our children to act unthankful!
A friend of mine shared this idea with me: create a ‘blessing box’ and jot down a small note EVERY time a blessing comes your way, from little things like finding a $1 on the sidewalk to big stuff like Dad finding a new job. I think this will teach my kids just how many blessings we have. During Thanksgiving, open the box and read the blessings. I’ll show you our box after we finish making it!
  • A Generous Heart-A great delight in sharing with others what God has entrusted in you.
Perhaps this is the one quality that we have really hammered home. We have had so many opportunities to give lately (Russian friends from The Persecuted Church) that I have planned a special day on my blog to encourage others to give:  One Day to Give.  God has given us so much and we are learning that not only is it fun to give to others, it feels awesome!  
We wanted to take it a step further and teach our children on their level.  We took 3 plastic boxes and had them decorate them with stickers: Spending, Giving, Saving. Every dollar that comes their way, they take a percentage and place it in each box. It has really taught them the value of money and they are having fun watching their pennies grow!

  • A Servant Heart-A willingness to take action in order to help someone else.
On Labor Day, I was very proud of my kids and hubby. They took this principal to heart and spent several hours collecting trash at the pond near our house.  No one noticed or said thank you, but I knew they really ‘got it’ because they weren’t looking for praise.
But I also think this is the weakest area in our home. We are all selfish by nature and it’s easy to slip into the habit of taking care of ourselves first. I think it’s easier for them to serve a stranger than their siblings. So, we’re working on it!
When my last child leaves home, I want to be able to hold my hubby’s hand and look into the mirror and know that we’ve raised truly great kids.
And then it won’t matter if the world calls them a success.
Because they will be.
If you would like this amazing book, Raising Kids for True Greatness, leave me a comment by Thursday noon (CST). Family Matters has been kind enough to donate one!
For more great tips, visit Works for Me Wednesday!