Monday, December 02, 2013

Blog Resurrection: Dressember 2013

Well hello there. Long time no see!! I thought I'd write a bit about Dressember here on the 'ol blog so I have a bit more room to expound. If you didn't already know I'm participating in a global awareness/fund raiser for International Justice Mission called Dressember. For the entire month of December I, along with women around the world, am going to wear dresses. Now some of you may be thinking what's the big deal? Well, if you know me, you know it's a big deal. Give me jeans; everyday, anyday. I like wearing a dress now and church, or some girly event, or maybe even on a date with my hubby, but for the most part you will see me happy in a pair of denims. Especially in December. I mean, BRRRRR!!! How thankful am I that leggings and boots are "in". Add to that the fact that I only own a few dresses...and 2 pairs of leggings...and 1 pair of boots. Time to get creative!! This is so far out of my zone it isn't even funny. But a chance to raise awareness about the topic closest to my heart? To raise some extra money for an organization that is on the front-lines of freedom fighting? Bring it on.

So I'll apologize now for the onslaught of pictures of me to come. I don't know that I'll post my outfit every single day. Let's be honest, some days I don't leave the house. And those days are spent in my comfy pants cleaning or sewing. So there won't be a dress happening on those days (which is permitted!). But on those other days that I have to get dressed and see the general public, it will be in a dress! And you may see it pop up in your Instagram or Facebook feed. But you can get over it. : )

Day 2: I can't even tell you how much I love posing, by myself, to then be splashed across your computer screen...
I love the heart behind Dressember. The heart that says women are created to be feminine and lovely and there are women out there who are denied that basic right. They are denied the freedom to wear a pretty dress and heels if they so desire. They are denied the right to be anything but what they are forced to be. I love that women around the world are saying "Enough!".

So would you consider donating to IJM? Every little bit goes a long way in securing a future for so many around the world who can't fight for themselves. Here is the link to my personal goal page.

Here is the video...have a watch. And thanks for taking the time to read about what I'm doing!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Where I'm At...

I'm listening to this song over and over right now...

It perfectly puts to words my thoughts and struggles as I attempt to navigate the path set before me...

The path that feels so different from the paths I see being lived around me...

HE is so worth it...

  • I could just sit
  • I could just sit and wait for all your goodness
  • Hope to feel your presence
  • And I could just stay
  • I could just stay right where I am and hope to feel you
  • Hope to feel something again
  • And I could hold on
  • I could hold on to who I am and never let You change me from the inside
  • And I could be safe
  • I could be safe here in Your arms and never leave home
  • Never let these walls down
  • But you have called me higher
  • You have called me deeper
  • And I will go where you will lead me Lord
  • You have called me higher
  • You have called me deeper
  • And I will go where you lead me Lord
  • Where you lead me
  • Where you lead me Lord
  • And I will be Yours
  • I will be Yours for all my life
  • So let Your mercy light the path before me

  • Called Me Higher -- All Sons & Daughters

  • Tuesday, January 08, 2013

    Well Hello There Stranger!

    You know it's been a long time since you blogged when you can't remember how to actually get to your blog.

    Happy January!! All over blogland people are writing about the freshness and newness that this month brings. It is a good feeling, that idea that there is a whole new year waiting in front of me, full of who knows what!

    November and December flew by. They were ca-razy months in the Kauffman household. I finished up working for the year on December 10th, so I was busy pumping out the last of my bags up until that point. Those 3.5 weeks off were glorious. I had time to do some projects I never had time for before. Funny enough, a lot of those were sewing projects. : ) I'll talk about those more later when I can put together some pictures but I made stockings, sock bunnies, and slip-covered a chair and ottoman. I also did some much needed reading and movie watching.

    The Obenchain clan came for Christmas and what a great time we had. I hadn't spent Christmas with my family since Libby was 2 months old...she is 6 now. That is sad. We incorporated all of the old traditions which included Christmas Eve gifts of new pajamas for the kiddos, breakfast casserole and mimosas for Christmas morning with the incorporation of Grinch Punch for the underage, making sugar cookies, watching Christmas Vacation (which we can all quote) and Charlie Brown Christmas, and lots of sitting together chatting over a cup (or 4) of coffee. I don't know about you, but coffee tastes so much better when you drink it while chatting with a loved one! I also got to see the new Les Miserables movie with my mom and Danielle. Oh, gloriousness! I could write an entire post about that. It was special to watch it with my mom because the first time I saw it live we saw it together in Boise.

    And now here we are: 2013. I've been a business owner for a year. Did I tell you we paid the business off? In October?! 10 months in and debt free! I was blown away by how the orders just kept pouring in. Granted, it got stressful and by November I was so ready for a break but I won't complain. I can only pray that God continues to bless us in this area. We are outgrowing this little house of ours and are starting to really pray for guidance about what we need to do about that.

    So we are looking ahead at what this year may have in store. We'll have two girls in softball this spring which will make for a busy time, especially if Matt decides to coach Anna again. We have a couple of trips in the works; one to Ohio in March and the other to Idaho in July. Oh the glamourous life I lead, Ohio and Idaho. Sigh. We look forward to spending time at the beach in the summer. Maybe even some camping this year. We'll finish one school year and head into another with a 4th and 1st grader. And that is only the stuff I 'know' will happen. A year holds so much!!

    Happy New Year friends!! May you be blessed in abundance this year!!

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    The Only Truth

    I'm supposed to be sewing but when I broke down in tears again I had to stop and get it all out. There is has been too much death lately.

    A few weeks ago we heard of a young mother about my age who simply did not wake up. I think she had 3 kids. Now she is gone.

    Last week my brother-in-law's mother died after her 2 year battle with cancer. She was amazing. She was 73 but acted 53. Matt knew her well as he had spent many a night at Merle's house when he was a rowdy teen.

    Last week was also 7 years since dear Diana passed from her battle with cancer. And then the next day was 2 years since sweet Micah was here for his short, wonderful 48 minutes.

    And then, a day or so after that, a little 7 year old boy from our church, who goes to school with my girls, unexpectedly died from a viral brain infection.


    Yesterday I was trying to explain to Anna about the luminary remembrance they were going to have for the little boy and I lost it. I grabbed her and Libby and held them close as I cried for that mom who lost her son. Mom's aren't supposed to have to say good-bye to their babies. Kids aren't supposed to lose their mothers until they are old and ready to go. It's not right. 

    And you know what? I found a new freckle on my big toe near the nail. Where does my brain go? Cancer. I've read the medical stuff. Watch your nails, they say. And I've tried to ignore it. To say it's fine, it's just a freckle. I have a bunch of them already. But after this last week, I'm admitting that I get scared. I scheduled a doctor's appointment so I can put my mind at ease, but still I worry. Matt just shakes his head and says I overreact. But I'm a mom. How do I not? My biggest fear is leaving my family behind without me. 

    Why am I telling you about my freckle and my fear of cancer? Because I'm tired of carrying it around as a secret burden. I'm shining light on my fear and sending it away. ENOUGH. 

    Oh, but how God knows when we need him. He knows. He understands and he meets us where we are. I pulled up a Bible website this morning for the verse of the day, cause let's be honest, the verse of the day is all the Bible I get sometimes. 

    "You are right and you do right, GOD; your decisions are right on target. You rightly instruct us in how to live ever faithful to you. My rivals nearly did me in, they persistently ignored your commandments. Your promise has been tested through and through, and I, your servant, love it dearly. I'm too young to be important, but I don't forget what you tell me. Your righteousness is eternally right, your revelation is the only truth. Even though troubles came down on me hard, your commands always gave me delight. The way you tell me to live is always right; help me understand it so I can live to the fullest."    The Message Psalm 119:143

    He is the only truth. His goodness is the only right in this sad, messed up, crazy world. His promises will be tested time and time again and they will always prevail. And so I cling to those promises. I cling to who He is and give thanks that each of these families are in the palm of His mighty hand. I'm in the palm of His hand and He's got me...and my family. 

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

    The DIY Project That Saved My Marriage

    Let's start from the beginning. My husband seems to think that he can take up as much space as possible in the bed when he sleeps. And I'm not the cuddling type. Before sleeping sure, I'll cuddle for a bit. But once it's time to really drift off and sleep -- don't touch. This only really became a problem in the last 4 years or so. The fact that my husband technically goes into a coma when he sleeps adds to the problem. He'll fling himself over towards the middle of the bed and I'll inevitably get an elbow in the face or a knee in the back. Some nights I could push him and he'd roll away again, but some nights it wasn't happening. So guess who ended up on the couch? Well, I'd had enough. Who doesn't know how to sleep on their side of the bed? I will admit there were unkind words muttered at my husband's sleeping form at 2:00 a.m. more than once. 

    Enter a local furniture store auction. King size mattresses being auctioned off. Plush, pillow-topped, king size goodness at an extremely affordable price. Let me add here that our queen size mattress was now 10 years old and had two canyons embedded in it. It was bad. When you wake up with a sore back due to your crap mattress it's time to remedy the situation. But I digress. Matt tromped into that auction and walked away with the answer to all of our problems. Or so we thought. 

    Sure, a king size fluffy piece of heaven was great but we lacked the necessities to use it. Luckily a friend had an extra set of king sheets, which were the only major necessity. We took apart the queen, stuck it in the basement, and flopped our king on the floor. Enter Pinterest. I've spent the last year researching what kind of bed I would want. I knew I didn't want a footboard because they are obnoxious. It had to be something my handy Amish carpenter could make since the budget is always an issue. I narrowed it down to two options and then let Matt have the deciding vote. He has much more of an opinion than any man should when it homes to home decor. These were his choices:

    Well, I was going to show you his choices but the embed thing isn't working {annoyed}.

    Basically the choice was between a simple wooden headboard possibly painted a fun color, or an upholstered look that I found via Pottery Barn. He, surprisingly, went with upholstered.

    Thus began the upholstering journey. This is getting long and wordy for a DIY post so I'll cut to the chase. We decided to use painters drop cloth as our fabric. It's a nice neutral color and it's CHEAP! For our king size we used one drop cloth = $20.00. The batting was $2.19/yd and we used about 14 yds. A lot of the wood was leftovers from Matt's shop but we'll end up paying for some of it, maybe $75.00. We used some muslin to help with the actual upholstering (thanks for the tip Kelly!), about 6 yds at $4.00/yd. So we now have a brand-new king size bed for under $200!

    Building the frame...little man is all about helping daddy.

    Upholstering the headboard...that sucker is fierce heavy. I strained my back helping Matt heft it around.

    Supports and legs

    When Matt started designing and building our one concern was transferability. We know we'll be moving again at least once, but chances are probably more than that. We didn't want some ginormous, heavy, awkward bed to try move from house to house. So, he built the bottom with cams that will just unscrew when we want to move it. I was going to take pictures of all of that stuff but he put it together last night when I was away as a surprise!

    And here it Pottery Barn copycat bed that I ADORE. 

    After living without a headboard for a year this read-in-bed girl was thrilled to prop herself up again. Our old headboard was spindled (is that a word?) and so I was constantly adjusting my position when I wanted to lean against it...this is so much better! 

    And you can tell I'm not a regular DIY blogger as there is no staging going on here. Yes, that is still our queen comforter in our king duvet cover. And I need to start looking at some fun Euro shams and other pillows. We need to get king size pillows and I need to decide what accent colors I want. And what I wouldn't give to get some stinkin' paint on the walls! I'm so not an all neutral, white-on-white, girl. But all in due time! There are a few adjustments to the bed that we might make but they can wait until we move and it gets taken apart again. 

    And now sleep is sweet. Matt can fling around all he wants and I'm undisturbed. No more physical abuse in my sleep. I'm tempted to go climb in now with a book and some coffee and enjoy that headboard!

    Monday, October 01, 2012

    A Weekend in Hillsgrove

    We spent the weekend up north at a cabin with our church small group. To say it was much needed would be an understatement. Give me mountains (the PA version will have to do), a creek, crisp weather, a campfire, hoodies and jeans, no cell service or television, good food, games and well, I almost feel like I'm back home.

    We had 11 adults and 8 kids, 8 and under, in a nice 11 bedroom cabin. It was relaxing and a much needed break for me and my family. The weather was absolute perfection. We so enjoyed getting to know new friends and spending time together outside of our bi-weekly meetings.

    Enjoy the pictures!

    These swings were a huge hit. There were many an under-doggy given by the daddies. 
    Some lovely ladies...Heather, Sarah, and Kate. 

    Getting ready to enjoy pizza mountain pies and hotdogs over the fire. 

    The group going for a walk to the creek. 
    The girls with Kaela and Claire...Go Team!

    Little Man was loving this rock-throwing business. Luckily everyone stayed dry!

    Hey mom, look at me!

    Will & his buddy Benjamin. 

    They were very excited about their "dinosaur egg".

    Don't you love when you try to take a nice picture but everyone decides to look at different cameras...

    Enjoying the perfect hoodie-worthy weather around the campfire.

    Mommy needs a hoodie to match Will's hat (hint, hint).

    Libby and Kristel, the single girl in our group that the girls have made their new best friend.  Libby asked her to move in with us. Watch out Karisse...

    Campfire snuggles
    Now we're home and at some point it became October. I probably say this all the time but I really can't believe how fast the years seem to go. This month is full of fun things: fairs and parades, a certain little girl's birthday, being a tourist in my own county, a weekend away for Matt and I, and the much loved Fall Fest. And then it will be November. Sheesh. Just gonna enjoy it as it comes! Happy October!

    Friday, September 07, 2012

    A Bit Out of My Box

    Journaling. Always a struggle. It's funny because I was just discussing this very thing with some family members last week and we discovered that none of us are good at, or enjoy, journaling. Except my husband. Does that shock you? He is a consistent journaler. I often come schlepping out in the morning, bleary-eyed, headed for the coffee pot, and there he is: sitting on the couch with Bible and journal, pen in hand, writing away. He gets it from his mom.

    So here comes Lil Blue Boo. She started the Lil Journal Project and it struck me as something that I might enjoy and should try. And can I just tell you? I love it! Honestly, in the past four days, I've discovered freedom from traditional journaling. Now, I'm not artistic. At all. So it's a stretch for me to do creative journaling. But I'm finding that I enjoy doing new little pages each day. Oh, and the best part...colored Sharpies. Need I say more?

    The reason it works for me: she gives daily prompts or assignments to get you started. That is up my alley. If I have to sit and think of creative things to draw or doodle, it's not gonna happen. But give me the starting point and it's like a task to check off on my to do list. And artistic people everywhere cringe. Here is proof that this works for me though. This morning I read a quote from Miss Beth Moore and thought, I should put that in my journal. So I did!  

    So, I'm jumping out of my box, linking up to LBB, and showing you my pages. And yes, I blurred some stuff out but that's for me to know and you to never know. Unless you know what VIND means and then you can know.

    A blank sketch pad and some colored Sharpies...oh the possibilities!

    Day 1: Write with non-dominant hand

    Day 2: Sketch out one of the classrooms you remember from childhood

    Day 3: The Simple Things...can come back and add to this whenever I think of new things!

    Day 4: People-watching. And the page on the right is the quote I wanted to remember. It fits with some things I'm dealing with right now. 
     Does this sound fun to you? Cause it is! Try it! We are only on Day 5 and you can start whenever. It's your rules. Try out your creativity and escape the busyness of your day. I've been stopping whatever is going on around 3:00 and sitting down to work on the day's page. It gives my 45 minutes before girls come home and boy wakes up to just get away from the needs of the day. Something that is so important in a busy mom's life!

    Let me know if you decide to try!