our house daily

On a good day, when I have the house picked up before my husband gets home, I suppose it can look like we didn’t do very much during day.  I guess if it looks the same in the morning and evening, then nothing happened in between, right?


Right now, I just have the two boys with me at home during the day, so naturally it becomes “boyish” around here while sister is at school.

Just a snapshot of what happens here on a regular basis…


The orange one that got away.


Friends came over = snack time x 2.


A little extra decoration in daddy’s office…


The vehicle lineup, protecting our fireplace from… something?


And I can assure you that those hand weights are not there because I worked out this morning…

How many times a day do you tidy up?  Do you let it all go until the end of the day?  My husband said that he realized our house is like my office or workplace, and having it be a mess would drive him crazy if it were his “desk.”
(What if your co-workers came and messed up your desk 14 times a day?)

I tidy up every day (several times a day) because it is… it’s my office.

But, it does my heart good to stop every once in a while and notice the imagination and fun and childhood that is going on around me.

It’s their office too.
Play is their work.
And who am I to mess up their work? 🙂


antique door farmhouse table

3 years ago, I went to Canton, TX.  If you live nearby and have never been, well, go.

I drove there in my husband’s little green Honda Civic, which I thought would mean that I wouldn’t purchase anything large.


Years before, a friend said, “Someday, I want to make a kitchen table out of an old door.”  That stuck in my mind… so naturally, when I was in Canton and came across a stack of old antique doors, I couldn’t just walk by.  And then I saw it… he was so beautiful, I had to have him.

A dark wood, 5-paneled, old pocket door with an oval brass handle.  I mean, I couldn’t just leave him there.  … And the dream of the kitchen table, right?  So, I made a quick phone call to the husband, “Hey, I want to buy this door… and make a table out of it. It’s only $30.  I could maybe pay for it now, and come back tomorrow to pick it up with a truck?”

To which he answered (like my awesome husband does), “Sure, whatever you want sweetie.”  Followed by, “I just don’t want it to become an unfinished project that sits in our garage forever.” (he knows me too well)

So I bought that little guy.  And rather than come back the next day, I folded down the seat in that little Honda Civic, stuffed my “future table” through the trunk, hanging out the back of the car, tied it down, and took him home like a true East Texas country girl.

And it sat in our garage for 3 years.
Now, to my credit, I didn’t actually start the project, so that means it wasn’t unfinished, right?
It was just a door… that sat in our garage for 3 years.
I tried it in our kitchen – it was rectangular; our space was square.
My husband said, “I think it’s too narrow to have two people sit across from one another.”

I don’t know how many times I set it up in our garage on saw horses over the years, just to see if it would actually work.


He looked pretty, but he just never fit in our house quite right.

Fast forward 3 years, and we moved to a new house.  Is it dumb to say that I considered the size of the kitchenette in our floor plan to see if my door table would fit? 🙂

After considering tons of other tables that we could purchase, I knew that this was still the one that would make me happy.  And my husband said, “Do what you want.  Get the table that makes you happy.
Thank you, for giving me the freedom to do something that seemed so silly at the time.  (I even cried about it… sheesh)

I bought the chairs, bench, and table legs at the unfinished furniture store.



We had stain leftover from the cabinets in our new house, so we used that to match the door and the seats.


Isn’t it lovely?



The most exciting step for me – putting the legs on. It started to look like an actual table.


And there you have it.  After 3 years of waiting, and 2 weeks of sanding, staining, painting, sealing, drying, screwing, buying glass inserts… there it is!


I LOVE it.
I’m so glad I decided to go ahead with it.  And that hubby encouraged me to do it.


It has so much character.

table_doneedge table_donehandle

It makes me happy every time we use it.
So, I don’t mind cleaning crumbs out from under the glass, or wiping it 3 times a day, or whatever.
I’d have to say, it’s one of my favorite DIYs that I’ve ever done.  And it’s useful too. 🙂

So come on over and enjoy a meal with us, or a game night, or a crayon-coloring session with our kids. We’re saving you a seat!

What about you?  Do you have something that you always wanted to do, and then finally got around to finishing?

my daddy retires

This Friday, my dad will retire. I cannot say enough about how proud I am of the years of hard work he has put in, and how excited I am that he can now direct all of that energy to the things he really loves… and maybe even relax a little bit. 🙂

My dad went to West Point, served in the Army, became an Army Ranger, got married, had 4 kids, worked several jobs, and finally landed in his current job.  He has been there for just over 28 years.

Congratulations dad!  You’ve earned a well-deserved break.  And it means that you can come visit whenever you want now. 🙂

In view of my dad’s retirement, here are 28 things that I love about my dad.

He is gentle, but firm.
He makes a point to tell me that he’s proud of me – every time I see him.
He does everything with integrity.
He wakes early in the morning to spend time in the Word… And with coffee.
He has been faithful to his wife for over 40 years.
He raised 3 men who know how to treat a lady, and a lady who knows what to look for in a man.
He tells me, “I love you, doll” on a regular basis.
He has worked hard for 35 years to provide for his family, without complaining.
He loves my kids.
He invests in my husband, and loves him too.
He spends time investing in the lives of other men.
He cooks for my mom.
He joins my mom in pouring into young marriages and families.
He has been a “student” of my mom, learning what she loves and what makes her happy.
He has been a faithful servant in their church for 30+ years.
He loves to work with his hands; he taught me how to use a table saw.
He was a daddy to all my little friends growing up, and still invites them to come over and visit even though we’re grown.
He spent Sunday nights at AWANA when we were growing up, teaching my brothers to memorize Scripture.
He built us a sandbox and a fort when we were kids, and built memories with it.
He lived next door to a grumpy neighbor for 20 years and taught us how to be patient with someone.
He and my mom worked hard in jobs, rental properties, and side jobs to provide us with everything we needed.
He is never too old to learn something new.
He taught me how to fill up my car with gas the first time, and even to change my oil. (which I forgot)
He has a good sense of humor.
He and my mom paid for my first car, my college education, and our wedding, and in doing so set us up for a financially successful marriage.
He is patient.
He is a peacemaker.
He loves Jesus.
I love you, daddy.  Thanks for being a great example of all these things, and more.

why I don’t hate football season (anymore)

In writing that, I admit that at one point, I did not like football season. (maybe hate is a strong word)

It goes like this…

First season of marriage (no kids), I loved football season.
Football season meant that every Sunday he watched football and I had a great excuse for a long extended nap on the couch. Quality time together, right?

Then we had a kid. And 3 years later, another kid. And this year, another kid.
And taking a nap during football was no longer an option… but watching football (for him) was still an option… if I would let him.

My husband played football in high school, and it was one of the most formative things in his life.  He loves football.  Watching, listening, playing… anything.  I wanted him to watch the games and enjoy them.  But there was this thing that would creep in every Sunday (and Saturday if you count college football) and steal away his enjoyment of it, and my level of enthusiasm in letting him.

It was called bitterness.

Bitterness at having to entertain the kids while he watched.
Although he would often offer to help, I felt obligated to say, “No, you can watch, go ahead.”   *mumble grumble*
“I’ll watch the kids.”   *mumble grumble*
Bitterness in seeing all that needed to be done around the house and thinking, “Doesn’t he see the laundry and the dishes and the… (whatever)… and he just sits there?”

Again, he would offer to help and I would say no thanks, with a smile on my face and a grumble in my heart.

Then this year, something changed.  I can’t say what spurred it on, except for the small (but HUGE) realization…
He works all day.  He invests in the lives of other people all day.  He provides for his family, and then comes home to a family that needs him and his attention.  He helps get the kids bathed, in bed and tucked. He spends hours on Saturday morning managing our finances.  He spends other free time doing building projects for our home, or hanging Christmas lights, or mowing the grass, or washing cars, or…

Now, he gets to have lunch meetings when he’s at work, which I would consider “fun,” since going out to lunch with 3 small children isn’t exactly fun.  He gets to have adult conversation, which I would consider fun, but he also has to deal with those adults on a regular basis. 🙂

However, I get to do things that are fun for me during the day – work on crafts, do some freelance graphic design work, have a play date, take the kids to fun activities (work, but also play), have lunch with a girlfriend (even if there are 6 kids between us)… He doesn’t get to do that.   He very rarely gets (or asks) to go play poker with the guys, or have hobbies, or have time to do something that he really wants to do.  That’s just the nature of life with a busy job, a wife, a house (and rental properties) and 3 small kids.

When I realized that, my whole view on football changed.  I began to view 3 hours of football as something that I could give to him, rather than something that I could use to harbor bitterness.

“Darcie, what if you could give your husband a gift, every week, that you knew he would love, that would refresh and recharge him (unless his team loses), and it wouldn’t cost you anything except a little time and the effort of playing with your own kids?”

So, I started looking up the times when the Dallas Cowboys played on Sundays.  Noon game?  Let’s make it home from church in time so he can watch, and I’ll take the kids outside to play.  7:30pm game?  I’ll tuck the kids in so he can catch kickoff.  Monday night game and we don’t have cable/satellite at home?  Send him to a restaurant to watch.

How much does that cost me?  Not much.  How much is the return value? Worth every minute and snotty nose wiped.

Now, this is not to say that every once in a while, I don’t have a breakdown and say, “I just want help with the kids!  Stop watching for just a minute!”  Or that life doesn’t get in the way – the phone rings, someone stops by, kids have issues… That still happens, but I’d like to think that at least I’m getting better at asking for help instead of harboring bitterness.

So, wives, moms… I don’t write this to toot my own horn, but to ask, “What is your husband’s “football”?” What is it that he enjoys, but doesn’t get a chance to do because of job, kids, home maintenance, making-wife-happy-stuff?  Is it poker, hunting, sports, woodworking, photography, chess, tinkering with an old ’54 Chevy… what is it?

Consider giving it as a gift to your hubby.

It changed my whole attitude and outlook, and I’m a much happier wife too.

morning routine

Quickest blog post ever…

So, seasoned moms with school-age kids… what do you do to make your school mornings run more smoothly?

I tend to find that every 1 minute that I take to prepare the night before is worth 2-3 minutes of “morning” time.  Time just slips away too quickly in the mornings, and there are also the “grumpy waking-up, I needed more sleep, I don’t want to wear those clothes, I hate brushing my teeth, I can’t find my shoes” unanticipated delays in the morning that make them hectic.

So… what do you do?

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poor moses

We have three kids.  It is very easy to get impatient with them.

Like today.

They were picking on each other, being mean, complaining, whining, fussing… like kids do.  And that’s just two of them – the third is a baby.  He just cries, but it’s not really his fault, right?

Anyway, I started this Bible study 4 years ago.  You go through the Bible one book per week for 3 years to complete it.  Yes, 3 years to complete it.   Why have I been doing it for 4 years?  Because I felt like I needed to start over.  Mainly because of Moses.  He’s my man.

We have three kids.  Moses led a group of millions of whining, complaining Israelites.  We’ve had these kids for 6 years. (the oldest)  Moses led those people for over 40 years.  Complaining.  No wonder he struck the rock instead of speaking to it.  I would have flipped a lid.  At the first mention of “We were better off in Egypt!”, I would have said, “Great.  Head on back.  Have fun with that.”

And what did Moses get for it?  With one slip – taking things into his own hands,  demonstrating his frustration with the people of Israel by striking a rock instead of speaking to it like God commanded, he was voted out.  No Promised Land for you.

I would have been right there with you, Moses.

Then, in thinking about the “great” men of the Old Testament, I started thinking… These men were all called to do these great things.  They are remembered as the “big men” of Scripture.  But they were all called to do jobs that were not glorious, not fun, a lot of work, full of complaints, dirty and without much gratitude from the people they were serving.  (Though we make them out to be glorious heroes, and we make feature films out of them.)

Moses: Millions of dirty, exhausted, beaten-down Israelites.  Ungrateful. Idolatrous at times.  Complaining.  40 years.  In the middle of the wilderness.

Noah: Surrounded by wicked people.  Unrepentant. Physical labor building the largest boat known to man at the time. Exhausting.  With no applause.

Jonah: Sent to speak to an evil enemy nation.  Miles and miles from home.  Traveling in the dust.  Disobeying.  Getting swallowed by a big fish.  Not fun.  No applause.

David: Pursued by Saul who wanted to end his life.  Fighting giants.  Endless battles…

… on and on.  These are the Biblical greats.  All called to hard, endless, dirty, thankless jobs.  God didn’t call them to these jobs because they were good at them, or because they were great, great men.  He just called them.

And he called me to be a mom to these 3 children.  And be patient with them.  And serve them, even when they’re fussy.  Even when they don’t like the manna and quail (so to speak) that I put on the table.  Even when they wake up on the wrong side of the bed, or hit each other, or whine, or wet the bed, or spill stuff… this is the job that I’ve been given.  The job that I wanted.

So… I’ll be starting my 5th year of this Bible study in a few weeks.  🙂  Bring on the prophets!  God’s proof of his patience with us, over and over and over.  And a reminder of the patience I need to have when serving the little “nation” that has been entrusted to me.

craft: garbage disposal pods

I’m a CraftGawker junkie. I’m not on Pinterest because all my time would be wasted there, and my kids and husband would never eat, and the laundry would swallow our house…

… But CraftGawker, yes.
The only problem is, I “favorite” hundreds of things and I don’t make half of them. So I created a bit of a rule for myself, that I actually have to make one every so often, before I can “favorite” any more of them.

So here’s one of them! I got this recipe (is it a recipe if it’s for soap?) from here.
It’s SO easy and I had all the stuff I needed! I hate seeing great ideas for projects, clicking the link,  then you have to go out and buy 4 different things, plus have 10 things on-hand already before you can start. This is NOT one of those. 🙂


Visit her blog for the recipe. I made my own label for a jar to make it a little prettier in my kitchen. (again, already had an old spaghetti jar, so why buy one?)  I also printed the recipe on the back of the jar label so I won’t have to keep looking it up online. 🙂

Enjoy a fresh smelling kitchen!

summer theme day 4: ocean day

Last week was Ocean Day.  We kept it simple and stuck to the easy outline: cardboard box for a boat, magnet fishing poles, paperclip fish and Goldfish crackers for a snack.  My mom is a teacher, and she had some great resources for learning about ocean life too, so we got a bonus there.  Thanks, mom!





It’s been understandably more difficult to get a theme day done with a newborn in the house – no more schedule; we just fit it in whenever we can.  But, it has been really nice to have activities already planned out, along with snacks and a supply list, so we always have something to fall back on when the kids are getting antsy.

If you could do a theme day, what would you do?


summer theme day 3: bob the builder day

Well, we’ve done two more theme days, but are just now getting around to posting them. (I wonder why…)

The third one was Bob the Builder Day.  I didn’t take many pics, but we spent the day watching Bob the Builder, teaching the kids how to use a hammer and nails and screwdriver, and then for snack we built fun structures out of marshmallows and toothpicks!




He wanted to make a stoplight for his cars.  What a creative little guy!


Next up… Ocean Day!


summer theme day 2: bug day

Bug Day was the first theme day we did after baby arrived, so I’m glad it was an easy one! (baby pics to come soon)

Thanks to the Target Dollar Aisle (we’ll be there a lot this summer) we had a mesh bug container and some magnifying glasses to hunt for bugs in the backyard.  They might still be at Target if you look this week!





We searched the backyard and found two beetles, so one of our activities for the afternoon turned into searching online for what type of beetles they were, and drawings pictures of them.  Fun and free!



Then we made paper butterflies.  Clothespin, construction paper and markers.  Just color patterns on the paper, accordion-fold, and cut into the shapes of wings. Done!


Then after dinner, we surprised the kids with special “bug dessert.”  The old standard, dirt and worms in a cup!



Side note: her eyes.  Daddy is gonna have to watch out for all the boys…

I have to say, I LOVE having activities planned ahead of time.  It took a little bit of time on the front end, but simply having a 20-30 minute activity each day keeps us from going crazy.  The kids are happier and I’m more patient with them.  And it forces me to take the time to spend with them and do kid things.  No laundry, no dishes.  Just play.

I highly recommend it!