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One Husband, One Wife, Five Children and Everything in Between

Category Archives: The Oldest

This is the last of the Teen Room Re-Do how-tos. (that’s a mouthful!!)

We have many of these ottomans in our house. They make great, durable seats for kids and bonus storage. As part of my teen room make-over, I decided to recover a couple ottomans that were in her room. The original ottomans were black and blue.



Before beginning, measure your ottoman, because each one can be a little different in size. Mine were 15″ x 15″. The lids were a little bigger (16×16). For the base of the ottoman I cut four pieces 16″x 17″. I wanted plenty of extra length to wrap under the ottoman to secure. For the lid I cut one square (16″x16″) and four strips (16″x 3″)

{After looking at the pictures I realized that I should have ironed the fabric to get the seams out. I am a slacker mom, and ironing is not my thing, so make note that ironing really does help. Not only will it get your creases out of the fabric, but make seams and fold overs much easier}

To start, make the slip cover for the lid. Lay right sides together of one strip and the main square, and sew together. I used a 1/4″ hem.


Sew all four edges the same way, leaving the corners of the strips, for now


Place two of the strips, right side together to form one corner and sew. I only sewed it closed half way, to make my ticking a little easier.



IMG_0723Flip fabric, right side out, and place onto the lid. Be careful to line up edges just right.


With the lid laying upside down, fold over the flap in the middle. I tucked my fabric under, about 1/2″ to keep material from fraying. With out pulling to hard, place first staple in the center, on the under part of the lid


I learned this in an art class about placing canvas. Repeat for all four side, pulling fabric, and placing one staple in the center. Flip lid over and check for smoothness.

Then place two staples on each side of the center, tucking material under as before. Leave the corners open.

Sorry these next two are so blurry

Sorry these next two are so blurry

Gently pull corner out. Pull corner to one side, close to the edge and smooth out, much like gift wrapping.


While holding that down, fold over to create a smooth corner


Staple in place and repeat for the other 4 corners.



All done with the lid!

Now for the main ottoman piece. Measure the sides and length. As I said above, I cut 4 pieces of fabric into 16″x17″ for my ottoman that was 15″x15″. This allows a 1/2 seam on the corners and extra length for tucking and stapling.

With right side together, sew all four pieces together, make a cube slip cover.

Turn right side out and gently pull the cover over the old ottoman.



Pull it down, leaving about an inch or so at the top. Be sure to test your length to ensure you have plenty for the inside. Flip the ottoman over and remove the feet.


IMG_0738Pull fabric corner up (like you are wrapping a gift again) and screw the foot back in, through the fabric, but only half way


Tuck the rest of the corner under the foot and finish tightening the screw back in.


Fold extra fabric under, and secure with staples. repeat for all four corners. Flip ottoman back over. As you can tell, the lining at the bottom of this ottoman needs to also be replaced. I’ll save it for another time.

Now to finish the slip cover.

IMG_0742Starting with the corners, because you want to make sure there is enough fabric, tuck and fold in the same way you folded the corner on the lid and bottom of the ottoman.







Secure with staples, folding the fabric under for a more finished look. You could add rick rack with hot glue over the edges if you aren’t satisfied

IMG_0748IMG_0749All done, good job!!




Nifty 50


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Do you remember Martha Stewart in the earlier days? One of my favorites was her “It’s a Good Thing.” They were easy little decorating ideas that were simple and usually inexpensive.

As part of my Teen Room Re-do, I was needing new light and plug covers.


Washi Tape to the rescue!




It was so easy. Simply wrap the plugs with tape. I matched up patterns when needed to give a more uniform look, and then hung back on the wall.

The day I was taping them, I had taken the covers and tape to an event my son was involved in for school. While I was sitting and waiting, I kept busy wrapping in tape. Another father was watching me, and asked about it. The plain inexpensive plugs are the best, and you can change any plug or switch to match any decor that you can buy tape for.

IMG_4699Here is a sample of my washi tape collection. Duct tape would also work, but is much more sticky. {a-hem I have even more than what is pictured below}


Nifty 50

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We recently were able to re-do our Oldest Daughter’s room. It is so cute and makes me want to hurry up and finish the other rooms. You can see more pictures of her room here.


The fun thing about DIY projects is that you don’t have to use store-made and manufactured decor. With some creativity, a little money, and a sewing machine I was able to make several projects that tie her color palate together.

To make this curtain I used one I bought several years ago as my guide. As I was studying my old one, after I bought all my material to make the one for my daughter’s room, I found that it was actually made from a regular curtain panel. It would be super easy to do. I already had it in my mind what I wanted to do, so I stuck with my plan.

First measure the window you will be covering. This window was 31″ wide x 43″ long (measuring the outside of the molding.) The curtain is made of two main pieces. When cutting fabric you will add about an inch on all sides to your desired finished size. The top panel is 36″ wide x 14″ long (38″ x 16″ before sewing, allowing 4″ for the curtain rod and ruffle area at the top), and the bottom panel is also 36″ wide, but 42″ long (38″ x 44″). The inch all around allows for a double fold over hem, giving a nice finished look to the curtain. You will also need four strips that are 58″ long and at least 2″ wide. (This is how wide I cut mine, but kind of wish they were a little wider.)

You will also see that I decided to line the curtain. The fabrics that I had picked out were a thinner cotton quality, and since it will be getting afternoon sun, I wanted something with a little more thickness. My main problem with lining was to figure out how to achieve the smoothest look. I stumbled on this post, and was a little discouraged because I HATE to iron. More than that, I also hate to pin. I set everything aside for a week, until I gave in, and decided that this was going to be the way to go. Of course I had NO idea where my iron was. Seriously! One of the things that the House of Hempworths post said, that I thought I would mention is that there is no need to measure and cut your linings to the measurements above, because they will actually be a little less, as you will soon see.

The first thing, after you have your main fabric cut out (the top panel, bottom panel and four ties) is to prepare the two panels for lining. Fold over  and iron on all sides of the panels towards the wrong side. Mine was about 1/2″, folded over double for a more finished look. This really will make adding the lining easier. I went ahead and pressed both panels.

Once you have the hems ironed, lay the lining under one side of hem. I started with the top panel, and pin in place along the long edge and one side. It does help if the lining piece is cut close to the same size of the panel.


Now that you have two sides pinned, trim with scissors the extra fabric on the lining so that it fits neatly under the hem on the two remaining sides.





Pin the remaining hems in place. Repeat for the other panel.


When you begin to sew the hems, leave one of the long side. It will be folded over to make the curtain rod place. I sewed the two sides and bottom hem first, then pinned the curtain rod area in place.


With the curtain rod area folded over, the top panel measured 10″

For the curtain rod, fold over 4 inches. 1 1/2″ for the top “ruffle” area, and 2 1/2″ for the curtain rod to be placed. I marked it lightly with a pencil and then sewed in place.

The bottom panel I hemmed all the way around, adding the lining. (Sorry no pictures)

For the 4 tie strands, place wrong sides together, sew the length of each tie. Turn right side out, using a safety-pin as your pull. Tuck 1/4″ in side of each end and sew in place.

Now, to put the two panels and tie strings together.

Lay the bottom panel, right side up. Measure  from each side of the panel to place the ties. Mine was 9″ in on each side.


Place a second tie in the same spot on the back of the bottom panel and pin to hold. Now, place the top panel, right side together, so that the bottom of the panel matches to the top of the other panel. Pin in place, being sure to secure where the ties are. Repeat on the other side.


As seen here layered is the top panel, tie, bottom panel, tie

Finally, sew the to panels together, with the ties in place. Be mindful of where the ties are at so that you don’t have to rip anything due to a loose tie that got in the way.

Iron flat, and hang over the window.

I find it easier to tie the curtain up once it is hung.



With the curtain down, it help keep he room dark and cool, perfect for these summer mornings of sleeping in.

I also made a couple of slip cover for her ottomans in the same fabric. Ottoman are so great for extra storage and seating.

Nifty 50

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I am the mother to a high schooler! I realize it is a little late in the school year, but I cannot fathom how quickly time has passed. She is already 15. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! {Sorry about that} Wanna know the really fun thing about teenagers? They are no longer tween-agers. Not even a year ago she was ready to paint all her walls purple, plastered in posters, and knew more about life than I ever could. I am just crazy about her, and regardless of all the times I “was ruining her life”, she has blossomed into a marvelous young lady. She recently proved herself to be strong and brave when she underwent surgery to correct scoliosis. I realized that I wanted to do something really special for her (room remodel)  that this is probably the last time that we will be “designing” her room. Kids grow up so fast. so. so. fast. Soon to follow will be a few posts about my DIY projects. Here are some pictures of the room redo. IMG_4697 With it being her room remodel (and not mine) I let her have full say in what she wanted from paint colors, bedding, and accessories. I added a little flair here and there. To begin with, we ripped all the 1980’s wall paper that was on this West wall. That was a fun friday night project. , it was only one wall that had paper that was probably hung when this house was built. She wanted all white walls, but I encouraged her to add a little more, and she choose really, really, really light grey. (The ceiling and “short” wall are white and the other walls are grey.) IMG_4699Floating shelves are great for the bedside accessories. She insisted that she didn’t need a lamp. In one of the DIY posts I will show more close-ups of the plugs and light-switches that I covered in decorative wash tape. IMG_4702 Instead of a traditional headboard, we went with these modern paper tiles. They can be painted any color (she choose white) and come in many styles. They were very easy to install. You can look here or here for your own. I spray painted them in gloss and used a double-sided tape to apply them to the walls. IMG_4730 IMG_4703


She wanted lots of places to hang pictures of her friends or Bible verses she was memorizing. You’ll see magnetic and cork places, including these 6 metal scalloped pieces. Also her best friend gave her this poster. Young girls need to be reminded how perfect they are in every way, and I love this. It fits her to a T. IMG_4710I let her pick the colors for the walls, but while I was painting, I thought it needed more. So BOOM, I gave her a bright yellow accent wall. The dresser I picked up for $10 in a tag sale and gave it a fresh coat of paint. The Subway art and cork board was kind of her inspiration pieces, and spider man is a splash of her personality. IMG_4711Every girl needs a vanity area. This desk was just some free thing that we have had, but I painted it white. The mirror was on discount and I spray painted it blue. In another tutorial I’ll share how I recovered the ottomans. IMG_4712This mini-wall is perfect as part of her space. The top half of the chalkboard also has magnetic paint underneath it. (the round circle things under “Queen Alex” are actually magnets). IMG_4723 IMG_4746 Another post to follow will be how I made this curtain for her window. She rarely has it pulled up since she likes to keep her room dark and cool. Especially this summer. IMG_4741One of the last things that she made sure she had been a full length mirror of her very own. It was fun to pick out designs with her and talk about what works and what doesn’t. SHe was always sure to tell me if she didn’t like something and I complimented the design ideas that she had. Three more years of High School will pass by without any stopping. I’m glad we shared this together and she will get to enjoy her space with her friends.

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I originally wrote this for my daughter and her friend’s blog several years ago. At the time they were both just starting middle school. I think the message is one that needs to be heard no matter your age.

Being in middle school is filled with many challenges and complications. Not only are you more aware of what other friends and peers are thinking, wearing, and doing, but it also seems that your body changes everyday. I know in our house, my tween seems to grow everyday. However, it seems her body isn’t growing “evenly”.

One week it seems her feet have grown two sizes. The next week her shorts are a little shorter. The following week nothing seems to fit, and her feet have grown two more sizes.

As a mom, I have the privilege  to sit back and watch as my girls blossom and bloom into  beautiful (and very individual) flowers. There are many changes for us ahead. Changes physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Perhaps you are also going through some of these similar changes.

To help us (and yes I said “us”) prepare for these changes, we are reading a fabulous book together called “Preparing Your Daughter for every Woman’s Battle” by Shannon Ethridge. “Wait a minute,” you might be thinking. “Battle? I thought we were talking about womanhood.”

Yes, we are talking about. . .  (dare I say the “P” word?) Puberty. What you may or may not know it that there is battle going on all around you. Perhaps you have already noticed the bombardments of messages about sex. As your body changes from childlike to ladylike, you will encounter many ideas and thoughts about boys, dating, and your body.

I really enjoyed a recent chapter we shared called “Flattering Curves Ahead.”


Do you see this fruit in the picture? Don’t worry about which one you like to eat, but look at the fruit and think about the shapes of the fruit. Which fruit has the best shape? The long, tall banana? The round, bumpy orange? Perhaps the pear-shaped pear? Obviously the “best shaped” fruit is the fruit that is shaped the way it is supposed to grow. We don’t think it’s odd to see a long banana, but if the banana was big and round like an apple. . .now THAT would be strange.

It’s the same way with you. Think of yourself as a piece of fruit. We don’t decide how fruit will taste simply because of the color on the outside. It is what is on the inside that helps us to know what fruit we like. Take this pear, for example. When I eat a pear I do not like it when they are hard and crisp like an apple. I like pears to be soft and sweet. If it’s too soft, like a banana though, it isn’t going to be good either. It’s not the shape of the pear that makes it delicious, but how the pear has matured and grown.


It’s the same with you. No matter how you look





curly hair,

straight hair,





blue eyes,

or green. . .


You are beautiful you!

Make no apologies for how you look.


Consider this Bible verse:

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

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

Your workmanship is marvelous

and how well I know it!

Psalm 139:13-14


Your beauty, your true beauty is found on the inside. Even though it may seem like there is some other girl who has it all:

the perfect hair, the perfect laugh, the perfect friends

it doesn’t make YOU any less important or wonderful.

This last fruit is a mango. I remember one of the first times I ever saw a mango. My brother had brought it home from the store and it called it an alien fruit. It was a strange sight to see, like some sort of alien egg. Sometimes mangoes are even different colors and shades. The seed on the inside is even strange. (It’s like a flat disk.) Despite the oddity and uniqueness of the fruit, it is still a fruit.

The funny thing about fruits is that I don’t like all fruits. In fact, there are probably fruits that you like that I don’t. There may be girls you know that you don’t really like. Or maybe, there are girls that don’t really like you. It’s okay. In fact it’s more than okay. Because when it’s all said and done, we are all a little fruity. Learn to love yourself for you who are, not what you look like.

Today I’m thankful for The Oldest.


I had the honor this weekend to spend it as a host mom for our church’s big, fall, youth event. We had some of the 7th grade girls, which is why I am late posting days 5 and 6.

The Oldest was one of the girls at our house. Children seem to grow like weeds. It seems like the moment you blink they turn and grow-up. She is becoming a beautiful young lady. She has a unique balance of both Alan and I. She’s a really great oldest child, because she is well-balanced with independence and love. She cares deeply for others, and at the same time she has a fantastic sense of humor.

Although there are times she acts like a typical tween (the kind that is embarrassed to be seen with her parents), she really cares about things that are important to either of us. She also reminds me often of the need to show affection, and will sit in my lap and demand it if I forget. I just love that about her.

Although it can be hard for children to express their own faith in God, I see and hear the thing she says and does. I am most thankful to see her own love for God’s Word to know him more and share what she knows with others.

Today I am thankful for the Oldest.

11 Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power 
   and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, 
   for everything in heaven and earth is yours. 
Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; 
   you are exalted as head over all. 
12 Wealth and honor come from you; 
   you are the ruler of all things. 
In your hands are strength and power 
   to exalt and give strength to all. 
13 Now, our God, we give you thanks, 
   and praise your glorious name.

1 Chronicles 29:11-13

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It seems, when you are a child, that it takes forever for 12 years to pass. I cannot believe that I have been a mother for 12 years today.

I will never forget that memorable day. She was supposed to have been born on May 1st. Every day that passed it seemed like it was taking forever. The night before, Alan had a dream about tornadoes. We were living in Memphis, and that kind of weather pattern was pretty normal. Also Oklahoma City had tragically suffered to many tornadoes just a couple of days before. So we didn’t think anything of it.

Alan was working on some school work at the house. He had just finished a paper to be turned in the next day.

I was talking to my mom on the phone. I’m sure I was complaining that it seemed like she would never be born. Just before we were about to hang up, I felt a small pop (like a water balloon). I didn’t say anything to my mom on the phone, but we got off right after. Sure enough my water had broken.

The next moments seemed to go in slow motion. Call the Doctor. Pack last minutes items in the bag. Tie up loose ends, and we were off. Alan was in a bit of a daze. When we stood that the trunk of the car to put the bag in, he just stood there. Staring.

Once we made it to the hospital, they got us into a room and we were set to have a baby.

Sometime towards the evening, we noticed that it looked a little stormy outside. We knew it was bad when the sky seemed a greenish color. Sure enough the weather turned really bad, and we were in a Tornado warning. I knew it was bad when the hospital lost its power and the generators came on, but there was no air conditioning. (Memphis in May is quite warm- especially when one is working hard.)

Before long we were blessed with a beautiful baby. I’ll never forget Alan’s first reaction. “It’s a baby, it’s a baby, it’s a baby.” That’s priceless!

She was born on a Wednesday evening. She was immediately a snuggler, even to this day. I will never forget those first few days together. Happy Birthday sweet girl of mine.

A couple of days after we were home was my very first Mother’s Day. I never knew that I was able or capable to have such deep love for someone so very small. There is nothing like holding your first baby and the depth of love that overwhelms you. Every Mother’s Day, I always tell her that she was my first Mother’s Day gift.

I know I appreciate my own mother more now that I am a mother. It’s not to say that I didn’t before, but I never could have understood the kind of love a mother has for her child until I was able to experience it myself.

Today we celebrate the beautiful life that God blessed us with. For me, it is also a reminder of all that my own mother means to me. She is a confidant, friend, one I can share my frustrations with, personal coach, adviser, counselor, encourager, personal cheerleader, supporter, reminder, conscience, warier of danger and risks, so much more, and best of all- she is my mom. I love you mom. Happy Mother’s Day

The Oldest with my mom. She is wearing a formal dress that my mom had in high school.

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