Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Gordon's - photo shoot

My good friend Trish asked me to take pictures of her girls.  I already got to take pictures of Kenadee last year when she was 2 years old.  This year Kenadee is 3, and her new little sister, Pieper, is 3 months old.  These three girls are sooo precious and I really enjoyed taking their pictures...not to mention they are GREAT models!  Here are a few of my favorites.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Why Weight?

This world tells us that we need to look a certain way.  Like we all need to fit into the same type of mold.  Tall, skinny, pretty.  Who decided that anyway?  I am surrounded with negative comments about appearance every day.  The comments might not be about me, but they still hurt every time I hear them.  Because I am a woman.  And because it makes me wonder, "Well, if thats wrong with her, then whats wrong with me?".  It seems that no matter how perfect a person may seem, someone will find something wrong with them.  "They need to get their teeth fixed", "They need to lose about 10 pounds", "She needs to get that mole removed", "She looks like a man", "Look how big her tummy is".  Do these comments make you feel good?!  Not me!  They hurt me, and make me hurt for my fellow sisters.

And why is it that when someone compliments you on how you look, they have to add, "have you lost weight?"  Does this mean that to look pretty I have to get skinnier?  Maybe not, but it seems to be the first thing anyone notices or cares about.

 God has created each one of us to look different.  We are not made from the same mold, so why are we all trying to fit into the same one?  Why do we look at someone and criticize their appearance?  Who are we to say these things?

Some of us have wide hips, some of us have big feet, some of us have huge ankles, some of us have larger noses, some of us are covered in freckles, some of us are abnormally short, some of us have weird hair lines, and yes, some of us are bigger than others.  So who cares?!  Thats the way God made us!  If you criticize someone because of their appearance, well then you are criticizing God's work of art.  Does it really make us feel better to do that?  To insult the Creators work?

I want to be different.  I want to be set apart.  I don't want to be scared of a number on the scale.  I see the way my body is made, and I see that it is different from every other person.  But that is not a reason to hide, it is a reason to rejoice.  I am beautiful.  I have what?!  I have curves...I am gonna own those curves!  I don't want to be ashamed of how God made me just because I am told that I don't fit a certain mold.  Most of all, I don't want to raise my daughter to believe she needs to look a certain way.  I want to teach her to love herself, and love others, and accept that everyone is different.  That is the way it should be.

Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes.  You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.
1 Peter 3:3-4

Our beauty will one day fade, and all the plastic surgery in the world will not be able to "fix" us.  We need to clothe ourselves with God's love, and His beauty, which is not seen on our outward appearance. It is seen in our heart.


Friday, August 12, 2011

DIY art project

I have been wanting to update our living room for a while now, but I wasn't sure what to do.  One of the main things I was wanting to do was get some new art work for above the couch.  I had a few ideas in my head but I was too picky and couldn't find anything that I loved.  One day we were shopping at Flatirons mall, and we walked into this really fancy store, and I saw exactly what I wanted.  It was like 3 wooden canvases with bird and branch silhouettes.  It was perfect!!!...but it was $600!  That was a little out of my price range...actually a lot.  So Johnny and I decided that we could make it ourselves.  So as I distracted the store lady, Johnny pulled out his phone and took a pic of the art (which I'm sure is not allowed in a fancy store like that!)  Here is the pic of the art from the store.

So off we went to Home Depot to get the supplies for our new project.  Here are the step by step instructions on how to make a beautiful, wooden canvas art project!

Step 1- Take your crippled husband to Home Depot to pick up some wood! Hehe :)  
You need: 
-rectangle piece of plywood, and get a Home Depot person to cut it into thirds for you
-3 1x2 pieces of wood (the long ones on Johnny's shoulder in the second pic)
-wood glue
-wood stain (whichever color you prefer)
-picture hangers
-black paint
-little paintbrushes
-wipe on poly
-sand paper 
Step 2- Measure out your 1x2's so that they act like a frame for the back of your plywood pieces. Cut 'em up.

Step 4- Check on your kid and make sure she's out of the way! If you have a kid, that is.
Step 5- Glue the frame pieces to the back of your plywood pieces and then nail them down.  (Make sure your plywood pieces fit together like a puzzle with the grain of the wood and everything.)
Frames are on!
Step 6- Sand those babies down!  You want them to be smooth and pretty.
Step 7- If you have more than one option for stains, try them out on the back of one of your canvases.  We chose the lighter one of the two because then the bird silhouettes would show up better.

Step 7- Wipe on the stain with an old cloth.  We did two coats just to get a richer color. Let it dry!
Step 8- Once its dry, use a pencil to draw your design.  I used the bird design, but we also saw some other cool designs like a world map, and a tree.  The options are endless!
Step 9- Start painting those birdies!  This was my favorite part.  Then, let it dry.
Step 10- Now comes the fun part...NOT!  Once the black paint is dry, use some ultra fine grit sand paper and go over each canvas very lightly, just smoothing some of the little bumps.  Once thats done, wipe on some poly with a cloth.  Let it dry.
Now treat this step like lasagna...keep layering it on!  I think we probably did around 8 coats total.
Step 11- Hang those beauties up!  It might be a little challenging, because in our case the Home Depot guy didn't cut each piece exactly the same it just takes a little extra measuring, but no big deal. Its worth it, look at that art! Woo!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Our backyard in progress...

So this is our backyard.  This is what we had to look at every time we went outside.  Our backyard isn't in the best shape.  The people who owned our house before us tried to "flip" it.  They did a great job inside, but they took every short cut imaginable outside.  Our grass is all weeds, our trees have all died because they weren't planted right, we have big random patches of mulch, and we have to look at our neighbors crap every day.

Our back neighbors confessed to us that they are craigslist junkies.  Not the kind who find good deals on stuff...they are the kind that find free crap and put it in their backyard.  They have a home made shed, a free hot tub, an above ground pool, a free deck for the above ground pool, a trampoline, and lots lots more.  And it just keeps piling up!

This year we decided to finally build a fence in the back of our yard so can get a little privacy and so that we don't have to look at the neighbors white trash back yard anymore!  Actually, our neighbor, John, confessed that he once saw me in my underwear letting the dog out one day.  Ahhhh!!!!!!

So here are some pics of the process of building our new fence!

I was the expert at keeping the posts level :)  But just so you know, Johnny dug those holes.  Actually, a machine dug those holes, but Johnny watched it dig. Hehe

Once again, me keeping things level.

I tell ya, it feels good to use a drill!  

Pops showing me how its done.

Here's the fence building team.  I am pretty proud of us!  We worked through some crazy heat!

And slowly the neighbors trash is covered up by our beautiful fence :)

Cooling off

At one point we noticed that the fence kept getting higher and higher, so we took out the level and realized that we made a mistake!  So we took a bunch of boards off and started over and everything worked out.

Johnny got to come and get his hands dirty too.

Then Johnny took my wonderful drill away and I had to stand and watch. Boo!

And here goes the last board!  

I really wasn't expecting to be able to do as much as I did on this fence.  I thought that Johnny and my dad would take over, but Johnny ended up having to work most of the time, and with two bad hips there was only so much he could do.  So I got to help build my fence with my dad, and it was so much fun.  I realized after that I really like doing this kind of work!  I like being a handyman!..well, handy-woman.  Not to mention I got to hang out with my dad the whole time.  What an accomplishment to get to say that I built my own fence with my dad!

So here is the finished product.

(don't look at our brown grass)

Now our next may have noticed in the first picture, we have forms set up right behind our house to pour cement for our new patio!  Our neighbor said that if we built the fence, he would pour concrete and make us a new, big patio...for free!  Well, below is what he's done so far.  He's taking his time thats for sure.  But its ok!  We have a little patch to enjoy!

Stay tuned for more backyard progress!