Thursday, July 30, 2015

Whited sepulchres.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” – Matthew 23:27-28

This was a description that Jesus gave of the scribes and Pharisees. They paraded around like they were righteous and godly yet they were so full of sin.

When a person gets "bumped" you see what they are made of.  If they are truly godly, you see the response of love and joy and godliness.  You see patience and self control. You see long suffering and gentleness. 

Recently, I was able to watch a situation take place over a course of time. There was a godly couple who was trying to live for the Lord.  The godly couple was being attacked by some "friends." 

This couple poured out love on their enemies.  They would go out of their way to speak into the lives of these hateful ones.  They prayed, sought out wisdom, and strategically poured blessings on those who spitefully accused and abused them.  They had a genuine godliness . (Luke 6:27-28)

Then I watched this other group of “Christians” who rallied people for their cause, who spoke mischief and used their mouths of weapons.  These people poured out their “dead men’s bones” and iniquity.

Both groups of people got "bumped" …but the fruit each of these two "trees" produced was much different.

When you get "bumped", what comes out?

Are you the hands and feet of Jesus or a beautiful coffin?

Think about that. - Rejoicing in the Present

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Kitchen Re-do '15 - Finale'

To finish off the kitchen I made a few signs including a large chalkboard. 

I had a 50%-off coupon for Michaels, so I bought a large white canvas. Then, I took it home and sprayed it with chalkboard paint.  After several coats it was good to go. Voila'!  Sooooo easy!

I also made a smaller sign using a little paint and some scrapbook stickers. 

We were finally able to move back into the kitchen.  YAY!   I don't think I have every been so excited to start cooking again.  :-) 

Here are pictures of our finished product.  :-) 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Kitchen Re-do '15 - Backsplash

Our former kitchen had a thin faux brick wallcovering. We both liked it for the time we had it but we knew it was going to have to come off when we re-did the kitchen. The brick was so old that we would not be able to match it and the back splash had to be replaced. 

We found this beautiful stone back splash that we centered our whole kitchen around. It was something we both agreed on and felt like it was perfect for our budget as well as our design. 

Thankfully, "J" had previously done some tile work so we knew that he could install it himself.   He was a little hesitant about doing it, but within about 20 minutes, we knew that he wasn't just going to do a good job, he was going to excel at the project. 

Hubby is VERY MUCH a perfectionist on these projects so it made it all the better.

He had borrowed a tile cutter from a friend so the only expense we had was the stone and thin set. He...

  1. Measured each piece, 
  2. Fit the piece like a puzzle,
  3. Mixed the thin set ,
  4. Applied the thin set,
  5. Then put up the piece.
It looks like a professional did it.  I am so proud of him and thankful that God gave him that skill. Here is a picture of the good job he did.  - Rejoicing in the Present

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Kitchen Re-do '15 - Countertops & Faucet

I would be content to NEVER look at another counter-top AGAIN!  :-) 

We did soooo much research and shopping.  I originally wanted laminate, but then, after a bit of shopping, I decided their styles were "too much" and I wanted a butcher block.  Butcher block would have been perfect with the old farmhouse style I was wanting. 

However, after I did the research, I found that butch block took LOTS of work to keep up.  Pricing was not too bad and the look was beautiful; however, the upkeep and ages of my children, in combination, pushed us away from that.

I went back to laminates while glancing over at solids and granite a few times. When I sat down with the counter-top designer at Lowe's, I found out that, with the specials they were having, it wouldn't be a huge difference to get a solid.  We found a basic stone that complimented our theme. 

Next we had to look at sinks. After talking to friends and family, we quickly realized that the way to go was a stainless steel sink. We found a beautiful faucet from Lowe's, the Annabelle, that was exactly what we were looking for.  
Moen Anabelle Mediterranean Bronze 1-Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet
After deciding on all the styles, colors and types, we put the process in motion.  Lowe's coordinated it all and it was very easy. 

The one negative thing was that we were kicked back out of our kitchen again for about 48 hours while they were installing; however that is pretty normal with a kitchen remodel.

The counter tops turned out to be exactly what I was looking for! - Rejoicing in the Present

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Kitchen Re-do '15 - Dishwasher/Cabinets

When we talked about getting a dishwasher, it seemed like something very far into the future.  We had no space for it and the cabinets that we did have, did not even measure correctly to exchange a dishwasher for a cabinet. 

We would have to literally cut out two cabinets and try to re-patch the second cabinet up or pay at least $5,000 to get new ones.  We also looked into a professional company coming and repainting our cabinets.  That option was about $3,000.  So, after exploring numerous options we decided to stick to the original plan and paint them all so that they were matching. 

The last option about killed Hubby and I, but it was the option that worked for our budget.  The total cost including primer, paint, tools, & new hardware was about $300.  You could probably get by with even less than this, but we wanted to get good-quality paint, so that it would last.

The FIRST problem was that we got kicked out of our kitchen.  To paint the cabinets, you have take the doors off and take everything out of the cabinets.  Then you sand them down.

Hubby gets only so much time off during the week and so we were trying to work on it during that time frame. It was a busy time of year and he couldn't take extra time off.  This was also when "T" ended up in the ICU, so we were kicked out of our kitchen for weeks.

("A" learned how delicious fast food is and now his favorite restaurant is McDonald. He consistently asks to go to "Donalds" to get "gogurt." I think he was the only sad one when we moved back into the kitchen.)

We had to move back out of the kitchen when we had the the new countertop installed and then another partial move for completion of the back splash.  It was definitely a process. 

This is what we did to our cabinets:

  1. We removed all the doors and hardware.
  2. We sanded the actual cabinet box.
  3. Then we had a carpenter friend cut out a portion of the cabinets to make a space for the dishwasher.  He took the remainder of the unused space and made it back into a working cabinet. Yes, he is pretty awesome.  :-) 
  4. Then we were able to sand all the doors down (outdoors)
  5. Next we painted the cabinet boxes with primer and then our paint color.  We gave them 2 coats of each.
  6. Lastly we did the doors. We sanded them, painted them, antiqued them and then reattached new hardware.
  7. We attached the doors to the cabinets and it was done.
Now, this was over a 2-month period.  By the time we installed the countertop, we only had the cabinet boxes primed and painted; we still did not have the doors done.

Antiquing is really an option that didn't have to be done. In fact, my husband isn't a big fan of it.  However, with two little ones, I figured that the doors would look like they were "antiques" before the week was up.  So I decided to antique them before the kids could. 

Because I did the "farm kitchen" look, I was able to get away with it and it only added to the look.  I REALLY love it.  Once I painted the doors, I took sand paper and sanded down the corners and fronts of the doors in random places.  Like, I said before, I really love it but it's an acquired taste. 

Next time, we will talk about our counter-tops. - Rejoicing in the Present

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Kitchen Re-do '15 - Lighting

I really struggled with lighting for our kitchen. Our kitchen has a low ceiling with a cut-out for the lights. 

When we first moved in, there were clear acrylic lighting panels and halogen lights. It made the room feel really closed up.  So we ripped out the panels to open the room up but we never could find the right lights.

As we began to work on the kitchen, we decided to re-do the lighting as well. 

Noelle and I were at IKEA where she found 3 lights that she thought would be perfect for my style.  I wasn't sure about them, but after they were installed, I knew they were perfect for the job!

Coal-black pendant lamp ikea chandelier
We bought a coal-black pendant lamp from IKEA.  I had a 
retired electrician come in and tear out the old halogens.  Then he cut holes and installed the new ones.  I patched up the old holes and painted the area.

Because Denny was retired, he gave us a GREAT price on the lighting.  We are still using him around the house to do electrical jobs.  He has done a great service for our family.

We also had lights under the cupboards and above the counters that never worked, so toward the end of the kitchen job, we had Denny rip out the old ones and install LED lights. 

A few tips:

  1. Find a retired electrician or a friend that genuinely knows what he is doing.  Make sure they know what they are doing! By hiring an individual instead of a company, can save A LOT of $$$$$
  2. Look around for lighting.  From yard sales, to DIY Pinterest ideas, from Lowe's to IKEA, you have A LOT of options. Most things can be wired for lighting.  You can make lights out of Ball jars and Christmas lights. Look around!

The lighting is perfect for us. - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, July 20, 2015

Kitchen Re-do '15 - Design/Paint

Have you ever walked into Lowes?  

It can be quite overwhelming with all the options and ideas.  From Pinterest to Pottery Barn, I was just full of ideas.  In fact, I had so many options, it became difficult to make decisions.  I finally decided to talk to a friend who was just starting her career as an interior designer. 

She looked over my kitchen and color schemes and simplified some of my ideas.  I knew that I wanted my kitchen to be very bright, but I also loved the cherry red and robin blue style.  I wanted a homey farm-style kitchen; I wanted it to be warm but I also wanted things to look sleek and clean.  We had brick before and I wanted some of that again. 

So we went to Lowe's and then on to IKEA for some more ideas.  In just a short time, she was able to point me in the right direction.

I decided to go with...

  1. A creamy off-white color for the walls 
  2. A smokey greyish blue color for the cabinets 
  3. The back splash was to be stone 
  4. And the counters would be light stone cream. 
  5. The cabinets would have an farmhouse antique look and the new hardware would be stainless steel.   
  6. The new dishwasher would be stainless steel as well
  7. The decorations would be clean yet warm.  I made a large chalkboard and freshened up some things that I already had.
I felt like my designer-friend took my craziness and gave me the ideas I was looking for.   I would definitely recommend her for any designer project, small or large.  She offers consulting as well as furniture make-overs.  If you would like more information on contacting her,  feel free to message me or leave a comment below.  I will put you in touch.

I would say that getting a designer was definitely a positive idea. It's just nice to have an "expert" opinion and, if you can find someone who is just starting out, you can get reasonable prices with fresh new ideas.  Don't stress yourself any more with those projects--get some help!

Let's talk about the lighting next time. - Rejoicing in the Present

Friday, July 17, 2015

Kitchen Re-do 2015 - Intro.

When I walk into my kitchen, my heart lifts a little and I feel at home.  That isn't how it always was.  
When we first bought our house, we knew that many of the rooms needed to be updated.  The kitchen was one of the first rooms we started on.  We worked hard at giving it a fresh look with some paint, but it needed much more. 

The stove was nearly 60 years old and the wallpaper took too many hours and too many chemicals to get off. At that time, we stripped the nasty 2 layers of wallpaper, gave it a fresh coat of paint, hung some curtains and, after giving it a deep cleaning, called it a day.

I knew that my kitchen needed some appliances and some work but it just didn't seem to be in the picture.

So early this year, I decided that I REALLY wanted a new stove. It didn't have to be brand new but I figured that with my birthday, Mother's Day and our anniversary all coming up, I could get a nice one. 

I talked to a good friend about some ideas on how to install it and he offered to install it for us and Oh-by-the-way, he had a stove he was going to get rid of.  Did we want it?  Um, Yes!!!!!

It was a PRAYER request answered.  I couldn't have been happier!

Then, later on, my parents convinced us that we needed to get a dishwasher. They knew how much it would help our little family. ...and that is where it went "down-hill."

To install a dish-washer, we would have to redo the cabinets or repaint them.  Our counter-top was obviously needing to be replaced and, since we were doing the other things, it seemed the right time to get that done. The list started piling up and so, one dishwasher later, we were able to redo our whole kitchen. 

There were so many people that helped us with the progress, from design to install and everything in-between.   You vital people know who you are--we really could NOT have done it without you all!

So join me as I take you on a remodel of our kitchen... (to be continued)... - Rejoicing in the Present

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Summer camp, Vacation Bible School, Fundraisers are all coming up for those of you in the ministry. So I thought this would be a great time to share some skit ideas with you. These are the skits that we used last year for our Family Bible School. 

As part of our schedule for FBS, we always have at least one skit every night during our group time. Normally, Jeremy, the teens and I do the skits, but this year we handed them over to our creative friend, Dana. She worked hard and came up with some fun skits. So, these are her ideas.

The first night she did a skit where they sang "Take Me Out To the Ball Game" different ways. They sang it the normal way, then one of the actors sang it like Elvis and then it was sung opera-style. At the end they turned off all the lights and did the last version as glow figures. The video below gives you an idea of what the glow figures were like.

The 2nd night Dana asked my husband and I to join her and her husband to do the Small People Skit. Our skit was about 2 pastors' wives getting ready to play baseball. Our husbands were the arms so they fed us, as well as applied makeup, gave us water and helped us exercising. It was super funny. We also had some fun with the Chariots of Fire song as well as the Kung Fu Panda Song. Below is a video of some people dancing in a small people skit. It should give you an idea.

On the 3rd night, the skit was a baseball-spitting contest. They made it fun by making it look (through sound effects) like the person was spitting across the room, off the roof, around the world, between his legs and so on. After he would spit, the sound guys made a sound like spit hitting a bucket. It turned out to be very funny.

The last night, the skit used two baseball broadcasters who did a play on words with Bible characters. This skit was more for adults and those who know their Bible.

All in all, you can do about anything, you just need a big personality and lots of craziness to really get the kids going. 

We also played the Who's On First Skit. Everything went with the baseball theme. It turned out great. - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, July 13, 2015

"It Makes Me Happy"

Our little guy has learned how to debate an issue.  I will tell him to do something and he will say things like "I can't, IT'S naughty" or "It doesn't make me happy." Or he will stubbornly do something because "It made him happy."  In fact, that is really one of his favorite things to say. 

"But, Mommy, it makes me HAPPY."  What we are trying to teach him is that just because it makes him happy, doesn't mean it's good for him.  Ice cream makes him happy, but if that's all he ate, he would become very unhappy in a short time. 

We want him to learn that life is about pleasing God and making God happy, rather than ourselves. We are here to glorify God and live for Him.  Sadly, our society has become more and more selfish.  Their philosophy is: If it makes them happy, then it must be good. 

A good friend and I were talking last week about this very subject.  She mentioned that she had a ministry opportunity that she was really fighting due to the pressure and work it was going to put on her.  She kept fighting it but then one day, she realized that even though it was hard it wasn't about what was going to make her happy.  It was about making the right choice, the choice that was going to please God. 

Dear friends, sometimes it's not about what gives you butterflies in your stomach, it's not about what gives you a "high", it's not about what puts a smile on your face, it's not about the feeling you get when you do x,y, or z. It's about pleasing God!  It's about what makes God happy. - Rejoicing in the Present

Friday, July 3, 2015

Living Biblically

"Why are we surprised when sinners sin?"  This is a great statement made by my mom recently. 

Watching the news and listening to the "great debates" about different hot topics currently can be VERY depressing to someone who follows Jesus Christ. 

Truth has become debatable while sin is being embraced and promoted.  However Truth is a FACT. It's doesn't change with feeling or emotion.  It is a fact that I am women.  It is a fact that I am a mom.   I will always be a woman and a mom.

Jesus says "I AM the way, the truth and the life."  In my opinion, one of the biggest problems with Christianity is that we are trying to change sinners and make them stop sinning by rules upon them to prevent them from sinning.  However, until they know Jesus, they will never stop sinning.  We have to point them to JESUS!

Sin is sin.  Instead of trying to live right or righteously, we need to live BIBLICALLY.  If the Bible says it, then we must do it.  If the Bible gives a principle to follow then we must carry that out. 

The Bible teaches on the tongue, on the heart, on having love for God and other people, on marriage, on self-control and SO MUCH MORE.  We first must live it out and then give it out.

If we would live out our love for God and others and  give out our love for God to others, we wouldn't have to worry about what the government legalizes. 

It doesn't matter that sin has been legalized.  Just because it's legal doesn't make it right.  I am not going to hand my son a cigarette at 18 and say, well, now you are of age, here you go.  Go smoke.  I'm not going to say, well, son, since homosexuality has been legalized this is an option you should look into.  NO! 

I am going to pray and try my hardest to teach him Biblically what the Bible says about marriage, what it says about taking care of our bodies, what it says about our tongue and our heart. I am going to try my hardest to show Him what it means to love God and love others. 

We will NEVER have a revival by hating the people that sin.  We will only have revival by loving God, loving others, living Biblically, giving out the truth and praying through it all. 

-Rejoicing that I have God's Word.