Another Before & After...

A few weeks ago, Holly and I hit up some yard sales to see what we could find. It was a great day! I found lots of projects to work on!
The first one was for our front porch. We had some wicker chairs passed down to us by my mom. And I love them, but they were a little too big for our little front porch. So, when I laid my eyes on these cute little chairs, I couldn't pass them up. Especially since they were $5 a piece!
Okay, now you are supposed to pretend there are two ginormous wicker chairs here. I was in such a hurry to put them away I forgot to get a "real" before pic. So you are going to have to use your imagination!

Now this is the during. I ran out of time to add any fun stuff to the table. Eventually, I would like to replace the table with a rolling cart kind of thingy and have lots more plants/flowers. But for now, this will have to do.

After a few days, I decided to shop the house to see what I might have to put out here. Just to make it look a little "homier". And this is the outcome:

Cost Breakdown:

Chairs $10

Paint $6

Fabric $2

Total: $18

Not too bad! There's so much more coming. My attic is full with lots of projects just waiting for me to find the time to do them!


Wordless Wednesday...


4th of July...

Better late than never, right!
Last year we met up with some of our friends and watched the fireworks in Nashville. Since we all had so much fun, even though it poured down rain the entire time, we decided to do it again.
This year we planned it out a little better and had 3 tents, just in case of rain! We got there super early so we could beat the crowd.
So I brought lots of things to keep the girls occupied, because knew they would get restless before the show began!
Emily & Elaina basically taking a bath in the bubbles we brought!

I also brought Elaina's tricycle and Emily's scooter to ride.

Little did I know the big boys would enjoy them as much as the girls!

We also brought corn hole, which kept everyone busy! They had a championship game and everything!
Emily and Elaina got in on the action. You can just see the pure joy on Elaina's face because she knew she was doing something she shouldn't!

Emily did what she does best - she bummed cotton candy from Josh! Sucker! Can't believe he fell for her charm!
Holly and I hangin out under one of the 3 tents.

All in all, it was a great day with great food, great friends, and great fireworks!

Definitely going to be a tradition at Casa de Barrios!

Big, Big New for Casa de Barrios....

Steve and I have had a little secret we've been holding in since we came back from Puerto Rico.
And it is going to change our lives for forever!
And no, I'm not pregnant!!!
(somehow everytime I make the announcement about our secret that's what everyone thinks!)
I'll give you a little background about the story, because it's pretty amazing, before I tell the secret. I know, I know, it's a pretty mean thing to do, but I like keeping the suspense going a little longer!
It's been pretty much since we were married, which has been almost 6 years, when I started praying for a career change for Steve. Before you start judging, let me explain. Steve has been in the car business for like 12 years. And as much as he, opps we, love the opportunites it has granted us, it really takes away A LOT of family time. On most nights, he doesn't get home until after the girls are in bed. And that's just not fair to him or the girls.
So, as we prepared for Puerto Rico, we both asked God to completely change us. Including our addiction to our material things and our financial stability. We asked Him to change our views and to open our eyes to how fortunate we are to be a family. And to show us ways we could change our day to day life in order to have a stronger family and more time to commit to His calling.
And wouldn't you know it - as soon as we turned it over to God - He made the change for us!!!
One of the guys who went on the trip with us, and was actually on our crew, was Jeff Haskins. We've known him and his family for awhile, but on this trip he and Steve got to know each other a lot better. So, when we came back, Jeff just mentioned to Steve about possibly coming into the HVAC sales industry. And through God's timing it is happening in a week!
In one week, we will be able to sit down and have dinner together as a family!
In one week, Steve gets to sleep in on Saturdays and watch morning cartoons with the girls!
In one week, I just might be able to go to the grocery store with no kids!!!
In one week, Steve and I will be able to have date night at normal hours instead of 10 o'clock at night!!!
In one week, my family will be able to be a "normal" family!!! (what ever "normal" means)
So, this is just proof that when you put "stuff" in God's hands, He will take care of it!!!


Puerto Rico...Day 1...

(Steve relaxing on the flight)
From the time we left Nashville, I could feel God's presence. He SO took care of us as we travelled! We had teens who had never been on a plane, one had never been more than 300 miles away from home. And no one had any issues as we travelled. No luggage lost, no sickness, we didn't get lost going to the hotel after we landed.
It was absolutely amazing!
Once we got checked in, it was pretty much dinner time, so we went to an authentic Puerto Rican restuarant. (which is actually harder than you would think).
(our authentic Puerto Rican restuarant) (a few of the group enjoying dinner)
We pretty much took up the entire place!
(Our girls amazing us)

Okay, so we're getting to the part that gave us all chill bumps!

Our servers wer AMAZING!!!

They helped us learn about the native food and how it was prepared.

(Steve's dinner - Monfongo)

(My dinner - can't remember the Puerto Rican name, but it was roasted pork & fried plantain)

Of course we still had on our matching shirts, so they asked why we were in Puerto Rico. And of course we were all willing to share our reason - isn't that why we were there in the first place? To spread the Word of God?

This prompted one of the servers to sit down beside Mike, our incredible Youth Minister, and talk to him about witnessing to a friend. You see, our server is a Christian who is trying to help a friend get to know the Lord on a more personal level. And he wanted some advice of how to handle this. So, Mike talked with him pretty much the entire dinner.

As we were getting up to pay the tab, the server came up to Mike and said instead of any tips, he would rather us pray with him. RIGHT THERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RESTUARANT!!!

And of course with out any hesitation, we all surrounded him, held hands, and prayed sweet words over him and asked for encourangement for him and to open his friend's heart to what the Holy Spirit was trying to show him.

(a couple of the servers)

It was proof that God had called us to Puerto Rico to serve His people and to share His love.

My God is an AWESOME GOD!!!


Wondering Where We've Been?

Well, we are back from Puerto Rico, been back for over a month now! I know I haven't blogged since April. Thanks for pointing that out Holly! So, I figure before it gets to be 3 months in between posts, I should update on a few things.
(the sunset at camp)
(Our Youth)
Puerto Rico was AH-MAZING!!!! There is no other way to describe it. Steve and I fell in love with the people. They are so open hearted, sweet, and giving. There are so many things to share about the trip, there is no way to put them all in one update. I'll try to do several updates on the trip and how God worked through us during the week. It was very difficult to leave the house we were building. See, we were the first crew to come in, so we got the foundation started, installed what we would call the sub-floor, and added most of the walls. Then there would be 2 more weeks of crews coming to finish the job. So, we didn't get to see the finished product, and that was really hard.
(What we started with)
(Steve hammering away)
(Floors are down)
(Walls are starting to go up)
(look - I'm helping too!)
(The homeowner - she was so excited to see the walls go up!!)
All of our crew cried the last night because we didn't want to leave each other. Our group really bonded and loved each other by the end of the week. It was amazing to watch these kids really learn about each other and open their hearts and allow someone new come in. We had two Puerto Ricans on our crew, Abner and Niaomi. All of us wanted to pack them up in our suitcase and bring them home. The awesome thing is we are able to keep up with each other on Facebook - LOVE IT!!! One of the sweet girls wrote me a note and said thank you for being my temporary mommy. Brought a tear to my eye!
(Knots Heads!!!! aka: our crew)
Since we've been back there's been a lot going on at Casa de Barrios, so I have lots to catch up on. Here's a list of things to blog about: (this is more for me to keep up with what I'm thinking, than for you)
1. Updates on Puerto Rico (I have over 300 pictures, so I have to decide exactly what I want to share)
2. 4th of July
3. Emily's Birthday
4. Some house projects I'm working on
5. My new toy Steve bought me (this goes along with #4)