Monday, July 21, 2014

Things That Must Be Said

Even if God had never included #5 in His list of Ten Commandments, I'd still have reason enough to talk about my parents every time the opportunity presented itself.  

And even if I hadn't been born into their family, and raised in their house, I'd still think they were the two most Christ-like and well-loved people I know.

But, since these things are so, and this is my blog, I can't help but write a few words about a very special milestone in their lives.

Over the weekend, we celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the day my dad became the pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Tennessee.  

We celebrated all week-end with hundreds of people who know and love my parents.  Our sweet friends at Faith hosted a wonderful reception, and there were songs sung, words spoken, and tears shed (mostly by me), all in their honor.  

Chances are, you've never heard of my parents.  They're not rich, nor famous, nor have they written books or had buildings named in their honor.  And yet their influence has reached deeper than anyone I've ever known.  First, in the lives of the three of us behind them here...

And through the years, in the lives of those with them here...

And then farther and farther into the lives of virtually every person that has ever met them.  They are great people.  But that's not the power behind that influence.  It's the fact that Christ lives in them and they live Christ every. single. day.  It's that grace flows out of them and feels so authentic that when you've been with them, you feel like you've been with Jesus.  These aren't just my words.  It's how all kinds of different people describe them all the time.

But, since I'm the one with the privilege of writing here, I'll speak for the masses.  Thank you, Mom and Dad, for your influence.  When I "grow up", I hope I'm just like you, because you're just like Christ. 

If you'd like to get to know my dad through messages from the Bible that will point you to Christ, click here to visit their site.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

DIY Mason Jar Lid Coasters

Looking for a fun craft to do with the kids or some friends while you enjoy these fleeting days of Summer?  Here's an idea for you.  And it'll come in handy when you're relaxing on the porch after the job is done!

People are loving Mason jars for all kinds of decor, but the lids are super-cute, too, when you transform them into custom coasters!

I first saw this idea here on, but I've seen several other crafty bloggers pinning their own cute versions to Pinterest as well, so maybe you've seen this done!  

Here's my version, made with just a few basic supplies.  I'll include a little online supply list down below if you want to order online!

You'll need some wide mouth Mason jar lids, some self-adhesive thin cork (cork contact paper should work just fine), hot glue, and some stamps and paints to decorate.

Just use the lid insert to trace your cork for cutting...

Hot glue the insert to the outer ring to keep it together...

Then use some basic craft paint to decorate.  I used my letter stamps for an initial, then stamped on some dots using a pencil eraser as my stamp.  (Don't forget to wipe your stamps clean before the paint dries on them.)

Painter's tape helps make stripes, but obviously the possibilities are endless!

Once the paint is totally dry, just peel off the paper backing, and adhere the cork to the inside of your lid!

I took this project with me when I spoke to a group of ladies at a church recently, and it was so fun to see everyone's unique designs!  

Make a set of these the next time you need a hostess gift, or just make some for yourself.  Either way-- remember to have fun, enjoy Summer, and sip some tea with your favorite peeps! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

ÄPPLARÖ, LJUDA, and Other IKEA Words I Can't Pronounce

Remember when my husband and I went to Atlanta a couple weeks ago and I told you we came back with something big?  I wasn't ready to show you what it was at first because I still had that little tinge of "I hope we haven't made a huge mistake" hovering in the back of my mind.

But, I'm pleased to announce that after setting it up, looking it over, spilling a few things on it, and living with it for several days, I'm loving our new dining table and chairs on the screened porch!

Please tell me you like it, too.  It's the ÄPPLARÖ table with folding chairs from IKEA, and although I can't pronounce it, it definitely speaks to me.

You might remember that last year was the year we finally traded our free porch furniture handed down from my parents for some newer, sturdier pieces, and did a little makeover on the screened porch.  (Click here to read all about it.)

Well, we stuck with our original $25 Craigslist table I wrote about way back here.  But, we've been keeping our eyes open for something bigger that would work better for when we have company, and when we saw this table in IKEA for only $149, we decided to go for it.

It's pretty big with it's 55 1/8 " square top, and I have to admit that I wasn't sure we could get it, plus the 8 chairs, and the other cart-full of stuff into the truck to get it home.

Here's Dave with his, "I love you enough to follow you all through IKEA while you ooh and ahh and stress over what to buy even though I'd rather be in the food court with a cinnamon roll, so why do you doubt me?" face.

And, of course, I shouldn't have because he packed it all in perfectly with still plenty of room left in the back for a few stops at Ballard Designs and some of my other favorites.

Have I mentioned he's awesome?

And once we got home, he and my son had the whole set assembled in no time.  

I added the runner (from Marshall's) and these black and white striped LJUDA placemats from IKEA.

And the VARLIG hurricane lantern is also from IKEA, link here, as well as the chair cushions, but I can't seem to find them on the website.  

Even though this set does take up more of our room than before, I love that it allows us to gather with even more family and friends.  And we spend a lot of time out here!

If you're thinking about this set from IKEA, you should know we love ours.  A fabulous look and quality for the price.

This is not a sponsored post, just sharing some IKEA love.  What's your latest IKEA find?