Monday, January 31, 2011

All About Me

My name is Ashley and I am married to a wonderful man {who totally supports my addiction to crafting}. I am mother to 4 children....3 boys and one spoiled but sweet little girl!! I live in Texas...hate the weather, but love the people! I am super blessed to be surrounded by family I love, friends that rock and a God that rules!!

This blog was originally intended to brag on my kiddos and have a digital scrapbook of our every day lives...but it has morphed into a little bit family and a little bit crafty projects!! I have always loved being crafty...scrapbooking, painting, drawing and now special projects to beautify my home.  

Some of my favorite projects:
Paper Wreath

I had noticed SO many of these paper wreaths in BLOGland, but I wanted to make mine slightly different.  I wanted to add more color to the wreath instead of plain white paper with black print...and I LU-HU-HUVE the way this one turned out!!

Bag Holder

 This project was all about function...I was getting overwhelmed by all the "crap" meeting me every time I would open our front door.  I decided we needed some hooks, but not just any hooks would do!!  I am so glad I branched out and used this old piece of was the perfect fit for the space!!

Spring Rag Wreath

 I really enjoyed doing this project...I hadn't ever really worked with material.  I had to pick and choose colors that correlated and it was more difficult than I had anticipated!!  {I stood in JoAnn's for an hour just staring at all the lovely material!!}

I hope you will stick around and have fun reading about my super wonderful family as well as learning how to complete some fun crafty projects!!

Thanks for visiting,

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Valentine Door Decor

Well, this is a super simple idea to decorate the front door for Valentine's Day. What's funny is that I came up with it all on my own!! Ha! What i mean is, usually everything I "make" is a copy of someone else's work!! Well, for once this is my own idea....not that a million people haven't already done it too...but I haven't seen before, so I can claim it as my own!!! Ha!!

You need
*a super cute Valentine plate {purchased from Target for $1.99}
*ribbon, tulle, fabric, etc
*hot glue gun and glue
*letter for the center
*paint and brush

Simple tutorial:
Paint the letter and let it dry...I used acrylic paint and it did not take long to dry!! Hot glue the letter to the center of the plate. Gather your fabric/ribbon/tulle and hot glue it to the back of your plate...make sure it is centered! Let that sit for a few minutes to set completely. You are SO DONE! Now hang it up! I put it inside my bare wreath and LOVVVVVVE IT!! I hope you try this because it is so easy and so cute!!

Hope you have enjoyed the tutorial!! Have a wonderful week!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Personal Treasure Trove

After the hubbs and I cleaned and rearranged our master bedroom I was left with an extremely messy scrapbook table! I also had a huge Rubbermaid tub that turned out to be my own little treasure trove!! I opened it irritated that I had yet another box to go through...but as soon as I opened it I was giddy with delight!! It was full of some of Aidan's old artwork, his preschool and Kindergarten graduation certificates...but mostly it had super sweet notes and pictures drawn for yours truly!!! What a sweet find!! {I only cried a little!}

Look at that...."I love my Gaga, and Mommy and Nanny. Love Aidan Riley." cute!!
And his sweet orange hand print!!

He drew a Quickway truck for his Papaw...adorable! And what a sweet picture of his baby sister...and her name.

After the first sweet treasures, I ran happily back to the above tub to see what else I could uncover!!

More GOODIES!! A paper sack puppet, a sweet heart from his preschool in Austin, and a picture framed dove!! Just beautiful!!

And look at this sweet card...he wrote it for both himself and Finley...just for me!!! priceless!!!

I hope to look upon these tresures again in another 10 years {along with with added ones from Finley, Breslyn and Owen of course!} with great excitement and giddiness!!!

I am so thankful for the chance to uncover all these beauties!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Austin City Limits

A season of growth happened for our family when we moved to Austin. Not only did we move down to a "strange" city {in every sense of the word}, we only knew one other person there and we were scared. As a couple we had to cling to each other and go through this new journey together. Now as we look back at our time in Austin/Round Rock, we know that that was exactly what we needed and that many couples could benefit from that kind of experience.

Upon telling a friend our plans to move, she told me she could never move away from her mother. They were close...friends more than the mother daughter relationship. And I understood. Why would you leave a good thing? We were leaving our parents, friends, church and our "way of doing things" behind us....all that was left was one husband, one wife, one son and a BIG BIG GOD.

Once we were settled, we began to explore Austin and all it had to offer. We loved going to the City Wide Garage Sale, walking around all the malls, driving around campus and yes...watching the people that are clearly trying to "Keep Austin Weird"! Ha! But the most important place we found in Austin was our church home.

We fell in love with Cypress Creek Baptist Church which became Church at Canyon Creek!! We also fell in love with the people there. CCC was an amazing place to worship, fellowship, seek and follow. We had an incredible Sunday school class....wonderful teachers and amazing friends. While worshiping there we learned so much about being a true Christ-follower.

Unspoken prayer requests didn't exist was all honesty all the time. Our SS group met together all the time to get to know each other better, to find out where each family was hurting and needed prayer or a meal brought to them. When I lost the first baby, my sweet friends came and supported us and brought our family meals. I met one of my best friends through that church...our kids played together, our husbands played together.

While in Austin we bought our first house, had our second child, grew in our relationship with each other and especially with God. Being away from what was comfortable, what was known, what was always done, going where we always went, seeing who we always saw, worshiping where we always was the most incredible learning experience ever. I wish for every couple, every family to go through the same set of grow closer
to each other and
closer to

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Winter Mantle

Well the time had finally come to take down Christmas decor and put up....?....I dunno what. This is an awkward time for decorating. It's winter yes, but what the heck do you use to represent this "season"? Fake snow? I I struggled for a while on what to put on our mantle.....I ended up deciding on white. Yep....white....plain old white....boring. But after adding a few more details {which also added a little color} I was happy with how it turned out!! My favorite part? The awesome white sticks sticking out of the mason jar!! I love it...and SUPER CHEAP....I just stole the branches out of my parents front yard. Their poor Bradford Pear tree was murdered by a reckless driver!! Enjoy my new mantle!!

I am very happy with the way it turned out!! Total cost....$3.24 for white spray paint....I had everything else!! Whoohoo!! Have a wonderful week and let someone know you appreciate them this week {SEE HERE}


Saturday, January 8, 2011

I feel very honored....I have received my first ever blog award!! Eeeeek!! I am beyond giddy! I want to thank Eisy Morgan for nominating me!! She has such a wonderful blog, and encourage you to stop over some time!!

There are 4 duties to perform to accept this award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

7 Things about myself:

1. I love the Lord, my hubs, kids, parents, in-laws and friends.
2. I long to find a new church home.
3. I just memorized my first Bible verse in a very long time!! Psalms 1:1-2.
4. I want a phone like my momma!
5. My favorite movie is Goonies!
6. I am slightly addicted to Coke, since my MIL told me they put prune juice in Dr. Pepper I can't drink it with the love I once had for it!
7. I REALLY need to clean up my scrap space.

15 Wonderfully Stylish Blogs:

1. There's No Place Like Home
2. Ashley's Avenue
3. Meet the Szymaski's
4. Ways to Prosper
5. Frugal Fabulous
6. Our Journey of Love
7. Toddler Awesome
8. Treasures From Our Family
9.The Branches
10. Katie's Keepers
11. Lamberts Lately
12. When Hello Means Goodbye
13. Paige's Page
14. SheShe Made
15. Praying for Abby Grace

Now I am off to let these wonderful bloggers know!!

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend. Tomorrow we are expecting snow! What? I hope good snow to play in would be just awesome!! I'm seriously doubting we are gonna get that much...but ya never know! Ha!

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!
I am an idiot...okay, really just not very computer savvy!! I am trying to learn how to hyperlink...I want to give credit to blogs that I love and that teach me things! So I am gonna try this...hmm.

I love this blog Meet the Szymanski's!!'s....see....if....that.....worked!!

{edited to add: IT WORKED!! Go me, Go me, Go me!! Yep, this is a big deal to a girl who gets so frustrated with a computer that I wanna cry!}

Friday, January 7, 2011


I am a little late posting this, but we went to the Dallas Stars game back in October with our wonderful friends Kyle and Julie!! We had a blast...we had a delicious dinner....great one was sitting in our sections...and the Stars won!!

Kyle is hilarious and keeps us laughing constantly!! The boys sat behind us and had "man-time" and Julie and I sat on the front row and gabbed! I hope we get to do it again soon!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Humility and Hurt

Hurt first....Finley told me something yesterday that hurt me. I know those words will eventually come out of every child/teen's mouth, but it hurt nonetheless. I'm sure I said those same words under my breath at my parents...muffled just enough that I felt vindicated, but knowing that neither adult figure actually heard me. To be honest, if I thought either of my parents heard me say such a mean statement, it would brake me. I am a people-pleaser... especially when it comes to my family. Again, I know that Finn didn't mean what he said, but it cut just a little...maybe because he and I go at it more than anyone else in this house does!! Ha! The cut will heal and I will forget.

Humility second....It sounds like there isn't much difference in the words humility and humiliated, but man there is!! I know I have done a post in the past about humility, but I feel a strong need to write about it again. In current season of life we struggle with our finances. We live paycheck to paycheck...who doesn't? I personally know so many people right now who have had to rely on parents or grandparents or siblings to get by every now and then. Well, right now we very often have to rely on the generousness of our extended families. My parents pay for Finn to go to preschool...which is such a blessing...he loves to learn and cannot wait for Kindergarten...all because my parents have helped us. My Grandmother is always helping us here or there, but over the last few months she has helped us so much....and we couldn't have made it without her. Our family is so blessed by this generous arm that is constantly outstretched towards us. On the flip side of accepting help, is the feeling of complete humiliation. God is definitely teaching Joey and myself the hideous gift of humility!! Joking aside, I feel stronger for having known we could have fallen were it not for hand"ups" we have been given. I pray that my children will make sound financial decisions and be frugal, yet lead wonderfully abundant lives. But I also pray that we...Joey and myself...will be able to bless others, including our children, when they need financial help. What a blessing TO US to be able to pay it forward for those who are struggling. So there is a difference in humility and just have to get through the humiliation to recognize and accept the fact that humility is a great gift.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Torn in Four

{this is in no way meant to demean any families with 2 kids or less!! :)}

There are days when I think, OMGosh...I have swept this stinkin' kitchen 3 times already today, and I am doing it AGAIN! And I get irritated, but as I sweep I am all too aware that this "physically" challenging time will not last forever. One day they will be doing chores and picking up after themselves, and reading books all by themselves and they will know it all....and basically won't need me near as much...{insert a very sad face}. But ONE DAY I will switch from being physically exhausted to mentally spent!!

I am already worrying about how we are gonna pay for:
FOUR cars
FOUR colleges
FOUR weddings
AND possibly FOUR kiddos in glasses (thanks Joey), FOUR kids with toe problems (thanks Joey) and FOUR kids with dental issues (thanks me)!!
I remember how my heart hurt when I let Aidan go to his first day of preschool...what would I do if anyone made fun of my baby? And NOW...I have three more kiddos to fret over, stand in for and pray over. Finley is feisty, and I just worry about how we will handle himself in school. He doesn't handle jokes at his expense well....he is a loud, funny, smart kiddo, but still....I worry. I don't even know how I am going to handle B going to preschool, much less kindergarten. I know the pressures of being a girl...being pretty, skinny, popular, proper...perfect. I just can't wrap my head around that fact that my heart is actually torn into four pieces. It amazes me how love can multiply with the birth of each child!! I am so blessed and I know that I can lay all my cares (and worries) on the LORD....but I am human, and a I am gonna worry!! Ha!

I never expected to be a mother to FOUR kiddos, but I couldn't be happier or feel more blessed. Thank you Lord for each of my unexpected blessings.

I Have So Much To Say....

....enough to write a post everyday...but when I come up with post subjects I am always busy with another task that I can't take the time to jot down my ideas MUCH LESS run to the computer and feverishly type out everything I am feeling!! AND I have so many pictures I need to upload, that I don't know where to start either!! So I am gonna start off uploading some fun Christmas pics and go from there!! Enjoy pics from our multiple Christmas gatherings!!

Christmas was wonderful...each and every time we celebrated it!! I pray that we always gather together and enjoy each others company....I am so blessed to be around all these sweet people. I lurve my family {and friends}!!!