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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Shabby Chic Side Table

We bought this little table from our friend's auction when they were moving to Sierra Leone, Africa to become missionaries.  I liked the lines of the table but it was black and the room is a little dark so I decided to work on it a bit.

I found Mrs. Cottage's CeCe Caldwell Chalk paint in white and decided to use it.  I like CeCe Caldwell because it is easy to use, easy to clean up and is non-toxic.  I also love it because the paint names are after places here in America and that just makes me smile for some reason.  :)

I took the table and put plastic under it and began the first coat of CeCe's paint in a white.  It goes on sort of thin so I knew that I would need a couple of coats.  I was not wanting a solid white, though.  I was looking for a shabby French looking table.

From there I just let it dry and went into the kitchen to put on a loaf of bread.  Have to keep busy!

Then I did a second coat of paint.  After that coat dried I sanded it a bit to give it some age.

Here it is after I sanded through to the black in spots.  

A quick coat of wax to seal it and that's it! It was super easy and I really love the way it turned at. 

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Beach Bedroom

We used a non VOC paint for the walls that we got at Lowes. Sorry I can't remember what it is called. Mr Cottage bought the bed linens at Target for a gift for Mrs. Cottage last year. It is in their Shabby Chic collection. The four-poster bed they got when a furniture store was going out of business.  The sign hanging over the bed reads "Be a joyful mother of children". We got it at Ross.

The mirror we got at the Mile Long Yard Sale for a $1 (Who can beat that?). The branch is a willow branch I re-purposed from the tree trimming last year. I used fishing line to hang the starfish (I need to make a trip up to the attic to find more. Mrs. Cottage usually hangs them on  her beach cottage Christmas tree.) The bassinet was a gift to Mrs. Cottage from Mr. Cottage. 
Another shot of the mirror.
This is on the wall behind the bassinet. The plaque we got from LifeWay. The two girls we got from Cracker Barrel a few years ago. (I don't know if you can see but one has a basket of flowers the other is holding a dove.) They are supposed to be me and my sister. (I am the one with dove)
The small sign with the footprints is one of four I made for Mrs. Cottage last Christmas. It says "In memory of the tiny feet that touched my life but never walked this earth..." 
The wind chime was a gift from my aunt to Mrs. Cottage from Newport Beach, California. The Lamp Mrs. Cottage and I did a re-do on the shade (will post about it soon). The shell frame we bought at Ross. The dolphin Sculpture came from an artist at Newport Beach. The floating candle (on the bottom shelf next to the box) was from another aunt who got it at Newport Beach also. The box has a starfish on top and is from Ross. The table is a Shabby Chic re-do (will have a post up on it soon).
Here is a closer look at the table.

 This is a close up of the shade we did on the lamp.
Proverbs 3:24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

How To Build A Chicken Feeder With Mr. Cottage

Building a PVC chicken feeder was quite easy.  Depending on what size you want to make you need the following.

Shopping List: 

1 PVC Pipe
1 PVC "Y" Connector
2 couplers This has threads on one side.
2 Caps
PVC glue

Now you need to know the height of your run or how tall you want it in your barn or coup.
Our run is about 4' tall and we have it there in the run so that you do not have to open it to feed the girls. In hindsight, I wish I would have put it in the coup because the rain gets into the part with the food.  Next time I will do this instead. I would make it at a comfortable height for you to pour the grain in it.

I made several so I used full-length tubes, but they also come in 4' sections.  So take your hacksaw and cut the pipe.  Put glue on the outside of the pipe and inside the smooth side of your coupler.

Related Article: Building A Chicken Tractor

Insert the tube inside the coupler.  This is now the top used to pour in the chicken feed.   Screw on the cap to keep out the rain from the top of your feeder.  Turn over your pipe and apply glue.  Put the glue also on the top side of the "y" connector and insert the pipe.  You are now almost done!  Take the tube and turn upside down and add glue to the bottom of the "y" connector and also on the 2nd coupler, put them together and screw on the cap.  Now you wait for the glue to dry.  When it is dry flip it right side up and strap onto your coup or your chicken run.  Then you are ready to fill it with your chicken feed.  Make sure you keep the lid on to keep out the moisture and keep your feed fresh.

Related Article: Raising Chicks

This is a self-feeding feeder, as the birds eat the food comes down the pipe and into the "Y" connector for the chickens to eat freely.  Just refill as it gets low.
The girls love it!!!

 I love it and recommend it!  Now if you will excuse me, I am back to my breakfast.  

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Harvest at the Cottage

Hello there! Welcome to our cottage.  We just love to decorate and the change of seasons gives us an excuse to do it.  Now that the days are chilly it really is time to pull out the bins of decorations from the attic and get the cozy feel of fall in this cottage of ours. 
We found this great mirror at a yard sale but the finish was not looking very good.  I took some Annie Sloan's Chalk paint to it and this is what I got.  

Then out of the attic box, I took two garlands of pumpkins and two leaf garlands and one of bitter sweet and we braided them together with some white Christmas lights.  

In the center, I made a little arrangement with some fabric mums and sunflowers.  I even put in some of our turkey's feathers.

On the coffee table, I took a simple vase and put in some red sunflowers that Mr. Cottage bought us fresh from the grocery store.  We put it in a glass vase but put the vase in a burlap sack from the Bakers Creek Store that we got from a great giveaway from Deep Roots At Home blog.

The front porch I add some fall feeling to things with homemade grapevine wreaths and scarecrows.  We usually get the scarecrows at the Old Time Pottery.  The Crow's we got at the Dollar Tree.  The stars we got at the Old Time Pottery.  The blue rain boots are my sisters (he he) and they are stuffed with corn husks.  The old chalkboard sign is just an old piece of wood that I painted with chalkboard paint.  


I have a few pumpkins here on an old wagon on one end of our front porch.  I have to get the rest out of the attic. 

 Here is Brianna as we are working on cutting down the corn stalks that are all dry in our garden.

Here we are going to get another armload to bring to the front porch in bunches.

 Mr. Cottage and I working hard.  

Loading up the corn stalks.

My beautiful turkeys.

Even the road home is beginning to be decorated for fall. 

Do you decorate for fall?  If so, what are some of your favorite ways to decorate?  Share with us, we love to hear from you!

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lights, Camera... Action? - A Man Called Peter Movie Review

Hello! Brianna here again with the DVD in hand to bring you the my next amazing movie. This is one movie that if you have never seen it, you are missing out. A Man Called Peter, made in 1955. Its based on a true story written by Catherine Marshall (Peter's wife) in 1951. (Click on the photo of the book below for a link to the book)

This is an amazing movie and one of our family favorites. It is about a young Scotsman with not only a dream but a calling. He leaves his native lands, says goodbye to family and friend alike to embark on the future that God called him to. It is not an easy road, but it is a road that changes not only him but his new country and for the better. We need more men like Peter Marshall today. Please join me. Turn down the lights, grab your drink and buttered popcorn and let the movie roll. I hope you like it.

Here is a link to the movie (click on the photo)

Starring: Richard Todd as Peter Marshall, Jean Peters as Catherine Marshall, Marjorie Rambeau as Miss Laura Fowler, Jill Esmond as Mrs. Findlay, Les Tremayne as Senator Harvey, Robert Burton as Mr. Peyton, Gladys Hurlbut as Mrs. Peyton, Richard Garrick as Colonel Evanston Whiting, Gloria Gordon as Barbara, and Billy Chapin as Peter John Marshall.

Here is a snippet of one of our favorite parts of the movie:


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lights Camera... Action? | The Adventures Of Robin Hood Movie Review

A Look At Entertainment From The Daughter Of A Hollywood Actress. 

Hollywood has not had a reputation for promoting morality in a long time. Movies, video games, and TV shows, even shows that are for the family are filled with sex, violence, and swearing and it is harder and harder to find good quality entertainment. It is easy to dismiss and make excuses to ourselves... after all, it is "Just" a movie, or just a video game, etc. But guys, God really does care about what we see and hear. And that is what made me think to do this blog post. First, I want to talk about what the bible says about the things that we watch and then, let's talk about some great movies, TV shows, etc that we love to watch.

First, what God says...

He says that;

"The eye is the light of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness."
Mathew 6:22-23

In other words, Jesus is saying that you are watch.

"Do not be deceived: bad company corrupts good morals."
1 Corinthians 15:33

In other words, you are who you hang out with. When you hang out with people who are "bad company" or even spend hours a day with actors that are "bad company" on your TV set or on your IPad...watching and playing games and movies that are vile, sexual, or very violent the bible says it corrupts good morals.

The typical American teen spends more than 5 hours watching TV, DVDs, playing video games, or surfing the net. -Nielsen
King David in the Bible had it right when he promised that:

"I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar." Psalm 101:3 A

Maybe we should put this on our TVs to remind us all before we turn on Netflix or our favorite Cable show or even our favorite weekly show. I think that this is a commitment we should all make as believers and is so easy for us to forget, yes... even me.

Or how about:

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8

What if we used this verse to filter our TV shows, movies and video games? How many would we omit?

What about shows with cussing (cursing, foul language, swearing).

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
Ephesians 4: 29

"For, whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech." 1 Peter 3:10

"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water." James 3:9-12
See, God really does care what we see and hear. So let's talk movies...

One of my favorites is an old movie called The Adventures of Robin Hood. This movie was made back in 1938 and stars Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone and Claude Rains.

Get your popped corn with melted butter and get ready for an adventure. Watch as Robin Hood a Saxon lord who, in King Richard's absence, fights back as an outlaw rebel leader against Prince John and the Norman Lords who are terrorizing the Saxon people.

Click on the photo to watch the trailer and to check it out on Amazon 


I See You...

Three simple words none of them exceeding three letters but they mean so much. I see you. No I don't mean as in "Peek-a-boo-I-see-you" I mean "I see you", I see your worth, your meaning, your tears, and struggles. I see you for you, and I care.

Sometimes I get caught up in my own crazy life and I forget to look around and tell the people that are hurting because they feel alone or they just had a fight with their mom or someone they had grown up with hurt them. Or they just need someone to talk or pray with late at night -when I am exhausted and just want to crawl into bed and sleep- that I see them, I hear them. I feel their pain, and so does He.

Recently I picked up a new devotional You Were Made To Make A Difference (By the way really great devotional) this morning the chapter was talking about seeing with His eyes. Even when things are prettier when you don't notice the ugliness that surrounds us, even when it's easier to ignore. To close your eyes and ears and keep walking.

A few weeks ago I felt that I was supposed to go with my dad to meet my baby cousin who wasn't expected to live (If you would like to read his story read The Other Side Of The Waiting Room and Long Road Home...) No one was forcing me to go, if anything it worried my parents that I was going. But in the end, I found myself walking through the door into the delivery room three hours from home with my dad and aunt.

For the first time I realized what I was about to face, and to be honest I was scared as I stepped through the camera in hand (I was there to help take photos of my cousins little life) That day changed me. But for the first time in a really long time I was able to see. I was able to feel. As horribly painful as that day was it was also healing.

It opened my eyes again it pulled the stoppers out of my ears and it found parts of my heart I haven't felt in years. It ripped away the rough scars that covered my heart and left me changed. It allowed me to see the pain in others lives. To see the outcasts and in a small way step back and say I see you. I hear you. I care about you. I feel your pain. I love you and so does He.

How much do we miss with headphones jammed into our ears listening to our favorite songs (nothing against good music) or entranced in our phones texting our friends? How much do we miss? I get it, it is easier no safer to stay plugged up in our own little worlds unconscious to the struggles and tears of those around us. It is safer not to feel.

It is safer to bury ourselves in our school work and sports and after school activities because the world is a scary place. But we miss so much beauty when we are hiding... we miss out on the great adventure of life and the plans he has for us.

Father, please give me your eyes to see those who need a friend or a shoulder to lean on or an ear to hear their story. Give me your ears to hear. Your hands to help. Your heart to love the broken. Your feet to go where I am scared to go. Help me to see those that need you.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Adventure Room

 Well, here it is at last.  We have announced on our FB page that we have joined a ministry that helps women that are pregnant and their children.  Sometimes this ministry helps older children too and this was the case here.  We were notified about a little boy and they asked everyone to pray for him and mom and the entire situation.  We prayed about it and this little one was on our heart so we contacted the ministry and said that if things went through with this little boy (let's call him Gabriel) we would be interested in helping him.  We don't know if we will be chosen but we are off to prepare.  So off we went to brainstorm on a room design for a little boy of 6 that would make him feel special and make every night special.  We thought about an "Adventure" themed room, sort of like Indiana Jones looking but not cartoonish... like a real adventure.   Like you are out in the field, under the stars and searching for treasure.   We found a globe at a yard sale and we loved the colors in it.  Soft and muted like the desert.  We used that for our color pallet and then gathered things that were in that color family.

We loved the colors and so we took the globe pictured below with us to the local Lowes and took (forever) in the paint swatch section looking for the right color.

Here is a view from the other side of the room. 

We  decided that you can't go on an adventure without a suitcase right and these just were perfect.  They were a nice vintage suitcase set that a great friend gave to my mother knowing we love vintage.    You need cameras to catalog your finds, right?  Here are some vintage cameras that make it picture perfect.  Don't forget our globe and a great old map of the Holy Land.

We chose the colors of sand which may or may not be totally blurry in this picture *he he*

We thought about being on a journey and you would have to sleep in tents under the stars so we built a permanent tent over the bed with a heavy duty dowel rod and some rope attached to the ceiling.  We then used a canvas painters tarp from Lowes and draped it over the rod.  It looks so amazing (if I do say so myself... would that make me be talking to myself... hmmm).  Here it is below.

The curtains are awesome tab curtains that are pretty heavy but look great I think (found at a yard sale for a dollar for each panel... great price).  The frames on the wall we got at Ross for about $4 each and I drew some butterfly species in one and mushroom species in another.

Here is a view from the doorway.  We are not done with the linens yet.

Here is the room from another angle.   We have a homemade volcano that we are going to make into a lamp, some electric lanterns, some old hats, some hieroglyphic writing, suitcases and a great old key.   We still need to finesse it and I am going to be making bedding for this bed, but I just love it. Can you think of anything else this room needs?

Ok, I can... a little boy.

Pray for him, will you?  No matter what home he ends up in. Pray that he is safe, pray that he feels special and loved.

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27

Orphan Care, interior design, women, incarcerated, decorating for a boy, adventure, bedroom design, children's bedrooms, tent, sand, Egyptian, map, camera, photo, globe-trotting, travel, archaeology, bible, family, foster care, love, calling, outreach, nurture, mom, mother, open arms

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Long Road Home

Sunday was the funeral for my baby cousin. I have been procrastinating writing this post because I am not sure how to write it.  My whole life I have wanted to be a writer.  When I was a little girl I would lay on my mother's bed and tell my twin sister stories that I would makeup and my mother would type them out on the computer while I entertained Brianna at nap time.There are pictures of this somewhere I know but I will have to find later.   I am in the process of writing several stories but this will be the first story I have to write the ending on. How do you write and ending to a story who's characters tears and struggles are not just things of my imagination? How do you give the events that have ended this story justice?  I feel like I have used my words... and I have no  more, but still I  must write.
Sunrise on the way to the funeral 
First off I guess I should thank you, Carter, for helping me to find my heart again after so many years. I have just been through so many times that have broken my heart over the last few years that I found myself unable to feel.
I cried so much over the cruelty of others that when someone killed my animals and I found them, I just sat there beside my mom and I looked at her and said that I could no longer cry.
There were no tears left for me to cry. I just sat there void of one more tear.  I found myself stuffing my emotions down deep inside.
I didn't cry when you were born, I hid behind my camera quite well and locked all of the emotions away.  When I got home my mother put on some music and told me to write.  That not allowing myself to feel this would hurt me.  She put on the music and left the room and the wellspring that burst forth from my heart... words that I didn't know were there, tears I didn't know I had, poured out of me.
I wept and could not stop.
But they were cleansing tears...this experience of documenting your amazing life broke down those barriers and brought tears.  You know cousin, you have touched so many lives in your all too short one. You did more in 80 minutes to heal hearts and change lives than others do in their entire life.
You have made us realize that life is so short, and it is too precious to waste on petty things.  On misunderstandings, on times when someone hurt us, times when we hurt others.  On squabbles and arguments, on backbiting and family quarrels and he said she said...
This Carter is a new day.  It is a beginning...

Sunday morning I was again up early (yeah I know it's becoming a habit) and we left on our 3-hour trip  to meet the family at the funeral home and on the way I wrote. I decided to write what I was thinking.

6:00 AM - I can't help but feel totally unprepared for this... Lord, please bring healing to our family. We have been broken so much. Please heal the hearts, hurts held by past wrongs and grief.

Sunday was like embarking on a journey thousands of miles away from where you just were a few days ago. Such a short time but I have grown so much. In four short days, life has changed dramatically.

8:34 AM - It seems so strange the last time we came through here in such a rush. Now, dad is worrying about being way too early.

We were early... sitting at the funeral home wondering what to do.  I call mom on dad's phone.  I tell her we are too early.  She tells us to walk around and pray, we do.
We silently pray ....
We head to the store to buy things for my aunt.  It feels so strange there, so noisy.  Life is just bustling and it seems so wrong.  There are babies everywhere... It breaks my heart.  I now know how mom must feel.  We have more babies in heaven than on earth.
I am at the funeral, my aunt asked me to take photos of everyone.
Snap... Snap.. Snap...
I get up and start snapping photos of sweet moments between friends and family, even strangers that showed up from my cousin's Facebook page "Prayers for Carter".
This time, I cannot hide behind my camera, this time, the tears come freely.  My eyepiece fogs up from my tears and I must wipe it away again and again.
I look at my dad, he is so broken... he too has stuffed his feelings for a long time and I watch him as they are rushing to the surface.
He is weeping ...
but not just for you, my sweet cousin, but for our babies (my siblings) that are with you.  The ones that slipped away silently, unseen and unmourned.  He realized that, and it has hit him hard.  You have become the face of those that have been lost to us... family members whose laughter never bubbled up in our hallways, the ones whose foreheads were never able to be kissed.
He is hurting...
I am glad mom didn't come.

My aunt and cousin are hugging, she motions to me to take the photograph and I know already it will be beautiful.

The sun is kissing them so sweetly and it almost makes me catch my breath.

My cousin's husband wraps his arms around his grieving wife, and I capture the moment.

The sun is so beautiful... such a tender moment captured forever... love... loss... holding on to one another so sweetly.  Bearing up under amazing circumstances... together.

A picture of marriage so beautifully displayed.

After the funeral service at the cemetery, we released 100 balloons. I think it was one of the most beautiful things I have seen. Yesterday we found out that someone had found one of the balloons with a message for Carter two hours away from where we released them.

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. For the week leading up to the funeral, I kept finding this verse every where. 

We went out to eat after the funeral. 

 It was so good to spend time with everyone.  Everyone was talking about family and old times, of  family members passed on... and I was struck by how my dad and his family, they looked like children again talking about it.  
Like orphans left alone in a cruel world, to face it all alone - and my heart broke for them.  

Hebrews 13:5 B 
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Please Continue to pray for our family. We still have a very long journey to walk and many lessons to learn. But with Gods help, we will walk it and learn it. 
Carter's story is not over, far from it is only beginning. He has just been carried from here to the mansion that God has been working on for us since he left 2000 years ago. 
He is no longer a little baby that is weak and small but is now made perfect.  He is an imperfect human like we all are that has been translated into perfection and living in that perfect place where there is no more death, no more tears, no more pain.  
What is left is up to us.  What do we do with his life?  Do we allow it to open our eyes and our hearts to all the pettiness that we have made life about or do we open our eyes and truly see...  But his life is not over, no it has just begun. 
Maybe that is why it is so hard to write this. 
Maybe I simply just don't know what to say... 
I am afraid that is all I can say. 
Perhaps it is enough, perhaps not.  
But I have given it my best shot. 
I hope these photos can tell the story better than I can.
Revelations 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

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If you missed the first part of this post please visit The Other Side Of The Waiting Room


Miscarriage, Child Loss, HPE, Family, Trisomy 13,