Sunday, March 11, 2018

“Be the Hands and Feet” Book Review

I have read one of the Nick Vujcic’s other books and always find myself sitting at the edge of my seat, so to speak to learn about Nick’s life without out arms and legs.  As before, Nick did not disappoint me in providing a wonderful and inspirational book!  “Be the Hands and Feet” is about God’s call to Christians to go out and share His love and word.

Not only does Nick share his own advice and stories from his life and walk with God, but he shares many stories from every day people and the unique ways they share God’s love with others.  For the new Christian or even the seasoned Christian, this is a refreshing well planned and thought out guide for how to get out there and do God’s bidding.   There is so much information packed in this book that it’s a definite candidate for another read thru (which is saying a lot, because I rarely read books twice!)

Even more meaningful, is Nick and his father’s heart wrenching experiences with illness and death, and how their faith grew.  To be able to read of other’s doubts and reactions in really rough times, gives me hope that even I can keep my faith.  This book packs in so much inspiration and hope for all Christians of all walks, from the newborn Christian to the pastor that I highly recommend “Be the Hands and Feet” for all!

I am doing this review for Walterbrook Multnomah Books in exchange for a free copy of the book.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Like New Driveway

Before the driveway was covered
Mr. Right and I have been discussing the fact that we have some major potholes in our driveway, partially because we did some work on the part next to the house in order to pour cement and then because we have a lot of vehicles in and out of it.  When my older kids are home, they bring their cars with them, so we have four vehicles in and out, and then I have piano students in and out for two days each week, so we've worn the driveway down quickly (and part of our lawn.
We had fair weather today, and we decided to call and see if we could schedule a truckload of gravel to be dropped on the driveway.  They came in an hour!  That's service!  We actually widened the driveway, so we can park cars two wide.  Eventually, we plan to wide it more and also put in a load up near the house as well.

 This truck driver, knew exactly how to lay the gravel flat in the driveway, and even put extras into the holes at the end of the driveway.  It took very little raking to get it to even out!  It is pretty exciting to not have such a mud pit in the driveway now!  I can't wait for the part next to the house to get a load too!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Valentine’s Happy Mail

I love gifts!  Both giving and recieving gifts makes me the most fulfilled.  I know, there are many that don’t enjoy or value gifts like I do, but hey, I don’t enjoy hugs at all!  Gifts are my form of hugs!  That being said, it doesn’t need to be expensive at all to give my joy!

I have two children in college, so I love to find creative things to send in the mail to them.  Several years ago, I discovered Happy Mail!  The idea is, to find items that are non-traditional to send in the mail.  So, 1-2 times a month, my college kids, get a fun package in the mail, that is unexpected.   Of course, Valentine’s Day affords a great gift in the mail - a tin of chocolates!

For the Star Wars tin, I put: “Join the HEART side!”
For the Minnie Mouse tin: “There are so MINNIE things we love about you!”

I just put address labels on the back side and they go through the mail, just like that!  No box or anything!  I did choose these because they come in a tin and thought it'd be really cute and safe in the mail.

Yes, the are corny, but my kid’s friends fight over them when they see them!  The college students just love them!  It would be so much fun to get this in your mailbox, wouldn't it?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

New Entryway

 This the entry to our front door.  There is white carpet, so thick that the door doesn't even open without some major use of muscles.  I can't put a carpet here, to prevent the entry getting dirty, because the door would never open.  With 23 piano students coming through this door every week (and they walk across the muddy lawn to get there, because there are no sidewalks!), this area is getting dirty beyond repair! 

To at least keep the entryway clean for now, while I talked Mr. Right into cutting out this section of carpet and replacing it with some laminate.  We actually found two boxes of brand new laminate at the Habitat for Humanity for $12 each.  The expensive part was the trim between the laminate and the carpet. It ended up close to $20 each and we needed three pieces, one for each side. If there was some way to do the transition trim cheaper, I would be all over that!
 Here's the carpet and pad cut out.  We found red fir underneath and were pretty excited about the nice condition of the wood.  Someday, we plan to take out all the carpets and see what we have!  Hopefully we can go back to the original woods, but for now, we have too many projects!
Here's the finished product.  We didn't do any cutting of the laminate.  We used the full length of the pieces of laminate coming away from the door to make the size.  Also, side to size, we went as wide as full pieces, so we didn't have to cut them and make the transition difficult to create.  We talked about running it all the way to the wall to the left, so we could have an little entryway coat hanging place, but we are putting that in the addition where we'll enter in the future.

It makes me so happy that my students can come in the front door, take their shoes off, and not destroy my carpets!  I love, too that we have a clear spot for entering the house! What do you think?  Not the cheapest project, but it does save us in replacement of the entire carpet in the living room, because there was no way we would get it clean.

Monday, January 1, 2018

A Prairie Girl’s Faith Book Review

As a young girl I was a huge fan of all the Laura Ingalls’ Books!  I read every single book in the series and even tried some of the extra books written by Laura’s daughter, Rose.  You can imagine how excited I was as an adult to find this lovely book, “A Prairie Girl’s Faith” by Stephen W. Hines which is an exploration into “The Spiritual Legacy of Laurie Ingall’s Wilder.”

This book had many interesting thoughts and research on Laurie’s and Rose’s Spirituality, but it also included many findings on music, recipes and writings of the pioneer’s of this time period.  After reading this book, I yearn for more from Laura, herself on her own spiritual beliefs and growth.  Many findings seem to be supposition and the remainder of the book seems to be snippets of the rest of the Ingalls lives found through reading her newspaper articles.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but found it to be somewhat disjointed from the actual idea that it was on Laura’s spiritual legacy and each chapter seemed to be a different topic, not necessarily in line with the title. As a musician, I especially enjoyed much of the history and discussion of the hymns and songs of the pioneers, although, I’m not certain they were unique to the Ingall’s family.  For the fan of Laura Ingall’s Wilder, I do recommend this as a good read.  It may leave the reader wanting to read many of the resources in the Bibliography as well.

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for this review, but all opinions are my own.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Remodeling deals

We are converting our carport into another living room/piano studio, bathroom and much needed laundry room.  It’s all very exciting, but a lot of work.  Funny, we were talking to some friends who made it seem that they were doing some remodeling of their own in their own new home, and the look on their face when they realized that we were actually doing our own labor was priceless.  I guess when I say we’re remodeling, I actually mean we are doing the work.  When other’s say it, they mean they are paying someone else to do the work!

Needless to say, one of the reasons that we are doing the work ourselves, is that it saves us money.  So, I’ve been frequenting the clearance aisle of Home Depot, just planning what is yet to come!  One time I was there, I found these tiles for the new bathroom!  I was worried a little about making the purchase too far in advance, so I took pictures and sent the to Mr. Right.  He actually was in Home Depot a few days later, so he picked up what we needed.

The other not so exciting item that I got on clearance, was a bathroom light/vent for $30 marked down from $120!  It’s not really a fun part of remodeling, but hey, I can think of a lot better things to do with my saved $90 than buy a bathroom vent!

What about you - do you find deals and buy them on the spot for future remodeling projects?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Piano Student Gifts & Top 5 Piano Teacher Gifts

Last year, I gave my piano students a Christmas ornament that I found that had music around it.  This year, I noticed that some of my beginner students are learning to play their pieces with their left hand holding their book open.  They are always relieved when I clip their music open with my clothespin.  I decided to make some cute clothespins for my students to hold their books open for at home!

Speaking of which, wondering what some good ideas are for gifts for your piano teacher this Christmas?  Here’s my top 5 ideas for your favorite piano teacher:
  1. Gift card to a favorite coffee shop, restaurant, or store.
  2. Amazon Gift Card.
  3. Gift Certificate to a favorite online music store (mine is, btw!)
  4. Purchase something off of the studio/piano teacher’s online wish list.  Ask if they have one.
  5. Food item - chocolates, hot cocoa, wine, etc.

These are just some of the things I like.  I’m currently building a new studio space in my home, so I would love a Home Depot card, a new doormat, really anything for the new space!  Some teachers don’t care for the music themed gifts, because there’s only so many you can have, but for me, I love them so far!