Tuesday, February 28, 2012

March Showers Bring May Flowers....

So I know it's "April showers bring May flowers" but I just couldn't help myself....

Today was beautiful here in NC-close to 70, light breeze.  Tomorrow's supposed to be warmer.  What is a crazy girl like me supposed to do with a bare door?  I'm not really into decorating for St. Patrick's day ...but it is GREEN!

So I saw this "wreath" on Pinterest a couple months back....
Original pin I saw.

and thought if I see a green umbrella, I'm getting it and I'm making it.  Sure enough, a few weeks ago I spotted one at Target, just sitting there.  I practically ran over to snatch it up.  Poor Bennett was hanging on for dear life to the cart as I sped down the aisle...as if everyone else is looking for green umbrellas;)

Ya'll know I had to add the little "D" somewhere!  I've had this little egg for a few years-it's just an egg with a sticker on it-lol.  He makes his way into my decor pretty much year-round and I thought he'd be perfect on this spring wreath.

So this is very easy to make!  If you'd like to make one for yourself you'll need:

  • a large umbrella (this one was $12) 
  • tissue paper or newspaper
  • fake flowers (got mine at Walmart) 
  • other fake greenery (had it in the attic) 
  • some cute eggs (had them in the attic)
  • maybe a nest or two;)
  • moss  
  • ribbon  

I opened the umbrella just to the little button then stuffed the front 4 folds with tissue paper to make them puff out.  Then I shoved my fake greenery and flowers in there.  And then really just took my moss and hot glued the eggs and nest to the moss.  I may have glued the moss a tiny bit to the tissue but it stays pretty well.  You can add whatever spring item you want.  Tie your ribbon at the bottom, you can add more of that too!

Now you can have yours hang straight but I liked it at an angle so this is what I did to get that look...

Just took some clear wire and tied it around the door knob, looped it around the umbrella base and secured that with hot glue so it wouldn't slip down the umbrella.  Pretty clever, huh?;)

I feel like I can get away with this because it has been sooo warm and flowers are starting to pop up everywhere....but really I don't care.  I always decorate early and I'm sure the neighbors already think I'm a little strange anyway:0

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Friday, February 24, 2012

"Letting go of our plans"

A friend of mine asked if I would write an article for her MOPS newsletter this week.  She asked that I write about our story with Bennett and what we've learned. It brought back some yucky feelings I had but good to see how far we've come....

As I sat in the patient room waiting for the doctor to come in, I knew something was wrong.  It was taking much longer than it usually did and I began to worry.  I was 17 weeks pregnant and up until this point things had gone well.  That was until 24 hours before when I realized some test results never came back in the mail like they should have when all was "normal".  As I sat there watching the door handle and waiting to hear the rustling of my chart, I envisioned a little girl.  I had no idea yet what we were having but I was sure it was a girl.   She was wearing a dress that matched her big sister but she didn't look like them and something was very, very wrong...she had Down syndrome.

The doctor finally came in and after too much small talk, my biggest fear was confirmed. The test results did not come back normal and the probability of my baby having Down syndrome was very high.  During the next few days further testing was done and on December 26, 2008 we found out through an amniocentesis that we would be having a little boy and he in fact had Down syndrome.  He also had a major heart defect that would require surgery.

That day was one of the worst days of my life.  I felt like the perfect baby we were supposed to be having was taken away from us.  So many terrible thoughts went through my head.  For a brief minute I thought to myself-maybe he won't survive, maybe his heart defect is too big to fix, maybe that would be for the better.  Having a child with special needs was NOT in my big life plan after all.  I did not sign up for it and really wanted no part of it.  I knew we had options, which thinking back now brings me to tears because although I would have never ended the pregnancy, it's estimated that 9 out of 10 women do.  9 out of 10 women didn't want the baby I was going to have.

Where was God in all of this?  I felt like he left us to sift through this huge mess. Did he just let our baby have Down syndrome and now he wasn't going to help us out?  As the weeks went on I  would think how did this happen to me?  I was a college athlete, did well in school, I was healthy.  Things came pretty easy to me and that's how it was supposed to be for my children...PRIDE.  I would see other pregnant women glowing, knowing nothing was wrong with their baby, all would be perfect for them....JEALOUSY.  I would read the statistics about children with Down syndrome and clinch my fists....ANGER.  And then I would see an adult with Down syndrome walking around in the store with most likely their elderly parent....SADNESS.  All these feelings:  pride, jealousy, anger, and sadness came to me and I couldn't understand why God was allowing all of this.  Why would he bring me such terrible feelings from a little baby I was about to have?

I had 5 months to prepare for this baby and in those 5 months I prayed a lot.  I began to realize that these feelings were not from God.  God isn't about pride, jealousy, anger or sadness.  He's about love.  And once I saw that my life plan was never really in my hands but in God's hands, I saw that this baby must be part of a much greater plan than mine.

"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."

Jeremiah 29:11

And then I realized that God didn't just let Down syndrome happen.  He made my son carefully just like he made my daughters but with a little something extra;)

"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb,"

Psalm 139:13

In God's eyes my son was perfection.  He made him just the way He wanted to make him.  

Bennett is now 2 years old.  He has a fixed heart and is healthy as can be.  In the 2 years that he's been with us, he's brought us more joy than we could have ever imagined.  Never in a million years would I have thought having a son with Down syndrome would be such an amazing thing.  I feel like I've been given this little gift!  God gave us this beautiful little person to love and to cherish.  Through Bennett we've learned to be more accepting towards others that are different from us.  We learned a whole lot of patience.  We've learned to let go of our plans and give everything over to God.  We've learned to not sweat the small stuff.  We've learned that Bennett was made perfect in God's image and that we wouldn't change one thing about him.

Raising a child with special needs is hard, there's no doubt about it.  But the joy and love you experience is indescribable.  It's something I never thought I wanted, until I had it.  To think that so many women choose to not let these precious babies come into the world.  If they only knew the love that would come from it.

If they only let go of their plans and let God step in.  

Adrienne is the wife to Mike and mother to three:  Ainsley (7), Harper (4) and Bennett (3)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A simple solution...

...to annoying problem:  Where to hang all those jumbled up necklaces?  I've had my necklaces sprawled out all over the bathroom counter this week because I was determined to do something with them.  Sure, I've had jewelry boxes in the past but nothing really good for my necklaces or my earrings for that matter.  I was getting frustrated because I wanted a simple fix and didn't want to spend money to do it.  And I just couldn't find something I really liked, and then I saw this pin:

I knew this is what I needed to do!  I could not take another stressful session of untangling 5 necklaces when I was already running late!  I had the hooks and I had the towel rack that wasn't being used behind our bathroom door!  Perfect!  It's not in Mike's way and it's right near our closet.  Now I'm a happy, more organized mom who is always running out the door...

Again, not sure why I had extra shower curtain hooks but I did and I was so excited when I found them! Don't ya love when a project works out easily?  Doesn't happen very often.

Got any spare towel racks?  Got some extra shower curtain hooks?   And even if you don't, they're super cheap!  Now go organize those necklaces!!

Now I need to find something to organize this mess:

Another day I suppose.  Here are some cute pins I found for organizing earrings though:

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Crazy Craft Weekend.

This past weekend was cold and rainy so I decided we would knock out all of our school projects ie: Valentines for classmates for both girls, Valentines mailboxes, prechool Valentine project for Harps and of course the 100 day school project for Ains.  Whew!  We got it done and in true Adrienne fashion I may have gone a bit overboard (cue in Mike's voice, from the other room) "Adrienne are you going overboard in there?";)  Sooo maybe just a tad....

Crazy, silly valentine mailboxes!  Ainsley was supposed to make one for her class and then Harper just wanted one too.  I got the idea from this pin:

These aren't Valentine boxes but I just ran with the idea.

The girls contributed by piling on stickers and writing various things.

For the project I used: tissue boxes, egg cartons for the eyes, pipe cleaners for the eye lashes,  craft paint, I cut out lips from foam paper but I recently saw perfect sized lips at the dollar tree in the valentine section!, and then had to add a bow;)  It really was simple and the original poster has a better tutorial if you're interested in making one!

Ainsley with her Valentine box:

Next up was Valentines gifts.  Pinterest came through once again and we had a good time making these cute little bookmarks with treats on the back for girlfriends:

Love how the last color is "my valentine"!!  Just went to Ace Hardware and picked up some paint sample cards, used the heart punch that I happened to have-not sure why I have a heart punch but I was so glad I did for this!,  and then attached ribbon-so easy and cheap! The girls were able to punch the hearts and I was very surprised (with some hard work), Harper was able to attach the ribbon:)

And the back:

Nothing fancy!  I know, I'm so corny with the "booksmart" saying;)

And for the boys in their class:

Swedish fish!

Now, I didn't come up with these ideas on my own, no way!  Pinterest people, pinterest!  I changed things up on some of the ideas but for the swedish fish, I did just what they said.  Go here and here for the original pinners!

Then we did Ainsley's 100 day project and I got the idea from googling "100 day project ideas", pretty simple.  Here's what we did:

Once we agreed on the goldfish, I googled "fish sayings", lol and thought this one was appropriate;)  I did end up covering the goldfish in a varnish type paste to keep them from cracking and going really stale-(thanks mom for that idea!!)

So that was our weekend!  Oh and Harper did a really cute heart project and recipe card for "A Happy Heart" but I totally forgot to take pics and she already turned it in;(  Her ingredients though for "A Happy Heart" included:

  • Kisses from mommy and hugs from daddy
  • Loving Jesus
  • Smiles from Bennett
  • Playing with Ainsley
  • Snuggling with "blankie"
  • Icecream
How sweet is that?!  Love her!

Ya'll know I live for this stuff so all in all, it was a great weekend!

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