Life for me mostly feels like an alien living on a strange planet. These are my ramblings…

Archive for December, 2011

When the Poor Get Creative

If 25 years of walking with the Lord has taught me anything it’s that He has the BEST ideas and finds the BEST deals!! All you have to do is ASK Him! In May of this year I spotted an old record player outside of our local thrift store. Every time I drove by for about two days it was sitting there…forlorn…alone..dirty…looking at me with puppy eyes calling to me as I zoomed by in my minivan. It was in HORRIBLE shape, but as my mom says it had “great lines!” I couldn’t stop thinking about it and finally stopped in just to ask how much they would sell it for. The ladies looked at me blankly like I didn’t get the memo that the piece was about to RIP at Pickens County landfill if only they could find a man to lift it, but they squeeked out  “$10??? and I yelled “SOLD!!!” a little too loudly.  The thing was SO heavy and SO gross that Bronson gave me “the look” when he had to go pick it up in his truck. He did NOT see the “lines” and thought that the fact that I wouldn’t allow it in the house yet until all spider eggs and dirt had been eliminated should’ve been a MAJOR CLUE to let this item PASS. It was summer. It was hot. And it had no future…yet.

NEVERTHELESS (WHY are you still reading???), I had absolutely NO plan what I was going to do with it.  So it sat and I waited and prayed (yes prayed-hence my comment about HIS awesome ideas above).  Two months later the idea came to me as sweetly as dew on the grass of Liberty…God said “Amy. why not make it a bakery for Zoey for Christmas?”  TRALAAA!! The angels sang! It was September and four months seemed like just enough time to squeeze in 15 minute paint stripping sessions while the kids were watching SpongeBob, trudging up to the attic at 11:00pm instead of watching the news to put ANOTHER coat of paint on it, having trouble falling asleep because you just didn’t quite know what color would look best on the trim, etc.

I do have to say my awesome husband was VERY sweet and helped make it even cooler than intended with his touches. Christmas morning he even turned to me and complimented the victory (aka God’s idea). SCORE!! It’s always good when your husband doesn’t think you’re a complete retard…

The point of the lesson, children, is to ask Him (aka God) for good ideas. If your kids are small and don’t know that Baby Alive is supposed to come in a box, then get creative and ask God to help you find a good deal next time you drop off at the Goodwill or pass a yardsale. He truly is the best shopping partner. You may not be into sweet shops, but I should have my mom do a guest post on all the comforters and perfect pillows He’s found for her..whatever your vice may be, He’s the best!

So without further ado (if you’re still reading), here is the Sweet Shop of 2011! Thank you God for such a creative, fun idea!! Best thing is that Zoey is running her first non-profit business and she’s only 3!! The sky is the limit!!

BEFORE….(and PS…sorry I’m not one of THOSE bloggers who takes 100 pictures with a super nice camera). These are the best I could get the idea though..


GUTTED and WHITEWASHED…this could be a sermon illustration…or a devotional for decorators! 🙂

PS. if anyone wanted dibs on the 1970’s record player with gold trim…sorry. it’s a goner…


TAADAA!! The final product! Everything refurbished except for the cupcakes!


Found a WHOLE box of push lights at a yard sale for $2.00…great lighting featuring an apple pie will bring in customers don’t you think??

ABOVE:  Zoey’s happy little face on Christmas morning.

BELOW: coolest thing is the oven (thanks to Bronson for making it happen). Just switch on and bake (aka red light bulb)!!



The total cost= $10 for record player + $20 for materials (wires, plexiglass, spraypaint, red lightbulb, apron/hat) + $10 for adorable vintage fisher price cupcakes off Ebay that I just had to have so I could relive my childhood…all other items were given to her for her bday or from her play kitchen. All paint and scrap wood were leftovers which brings the grand total to $40!!




The Unperfect Christmas

No Norman Rockwell Picture here. Only us Smiths.  Oh the family drama that comes each year like your annual OB exam (sorry men). You know it’s coming but cringe and hope its not as bad as you remember.  The strange thing is that once a year you actually choose and make the effort of driving to a house to spend time with certain family members that you have NO connection with other than the sheer fact that you are actually related to the same person somewhere and somehow on that family two trunked-tree (for in-law family circles that connection gets divided in half just so you know)

I feel more affection for my postman than I do for some family members, making my heart feel something similar to the “before picture” of the Grinch’s shrunken, puny, heart.  So for that one day I will be sipping eggnog and sitting on the couch in my Christmas sweater putting 100% faith in the fact that the Lord WILL swoop in again to my rescue, take over the controls, fill me and help some love seep out of my tiny pores to the extent that when I leave and ride home, I will sigh and be amazed at thought “Wow! That wasn’t so painful. HOW in the world does He do that in me EVERY year!!! He is SO good at loving the unlovable (myself included!). And for that I am truly thankful.

Another real unperfect part of Christmas includes making Christmas cookies with my kids.  This tradition goes as follows as the 2nd annual traditions has occured… (and hopefully will be easier every year as my kids get older and wiser, right? no seriously, right?).

1)  I assign give my hubs the beloved task of sanitizing and scrubbing the kids hands and making sure it is understood NO boogers or sneezing is allowed in the following process.  Also important that one child puts on a shirt is wearing (nevermind the fact that no PANTS on said child were present, but alas was not important for pictures taken from the waist up).

2)  Cookies are rolled and cut. One child dumps massive amounts of sprinkles to the point half the bottle is gone (never-mind the fact that some are FALL sprinkles leftover from Halloween. I smile and nod while letting the guilt go that “our cookies won’t look as pretty as my friend Emily’s and WHY I didn’t think ahead and buy icing and NEW festive sprinkles.:  As I turn to slide another batch into the oven I vow silently…GET IT TOGETHER NEXT YEAR WOMAN!!!

3) One child discontent with scarfing ONLY 3 large cookies and begs for more squashing that nice warm fuzzy moment.

THE GRAND RESULT: a bunch of dismembered gingerbread people and misshapen trees. They taste fabulous by the way but are far from attractive and mostly just Christmas pieces.

But this memory will hopefully be remembered in a different way. I hope my kids remember the Charlie Brown music playing in the background and the jokes and laughing we made as we rolled out the dough.  I hope they remember my apron and how silly I looked trying to appear like I know what I’m doing!  I hope they never find out my dirty little secret that I actually DISLIKE making Christmas cookies with anyone other than myself (because I do it RIGHT! haha).  But I do it for them with a smile because I love them more than my own selfish self.  I do it because one day I will be by myself with perfect, beautifully shaped trees, and I will probably collapse sugar sick with a milk mustache into my motorized lazyboy all alone just WISHING they were here.


So for this Christmas, even before the big day comes, GRACE is here. I can feel it in our laughter and in our small moments of peace.  Right here in Liberty, God’s grace abounds.  Grace covers our family, our traditions, my attempts to be a good mom, our complicated family dynamics…it’s there amidst it all and I am so thankful. Thankful for the one who not only gave so long ago more than we can imagine, but continues to give and give and give, every year. There is no present that could be better.


Oh come let us adore Him, He is Christ the Lord! 


Merry Christmas everyone! 




Here Go’s Nothing….

Sometimes Facebook is just not enough to get all of my ramblings out. I do not expect anyone to read this blog, but am simply looking for an outlet for my ramblings and thoughts. So if you do NOT like….

1) kids and all they include! 🙂 Hopefully 2012 will not have a lot of posts about poop!

2) thoughts about God

3) being creative, laughing

then this is NOT the blog for you!

I do feel the need to clarify and ask for grace in my spelling, my grammer and crazy repeated use of run-on sentences (yes I’m aware and I don’t care).  I also may only post once a week, so don’t hold high hopes that I will be “together” like all the other bloggers.

So here’s to nothing! We shall see how it goes!

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