Valentine Dinner

Saturday night, our Valentine dinner was lovely and I had a great time. We had 18 adults, 8 kids and 2 babysitters!  Thanks to all who came and brought food.  Here are some pictures from our lovely night.  Forgive my camera, it does not like low light.  If I cross my fingers, I may get a better one for my birthday next month.  🙂

Brad and Ashleigh

My favorite thing in this picture is the ladder in the background.  Will I ever get all of these tools and things outta my house????  🙂

Doyle and Rebecca

Valentine Dinner

Brandi, Brian and Amy

Maggie and Tony

Valentine game

For an icebreaker game, we played: Name as many couples as you can in the bible.  Ashleigh and Brad took home the prize for naming the most biblical couples.  I believe they managed to name 9 -10.  Mike and Cynthia won the prize for being married the longest and Tony and Maggie won the prize for being married the shortest.  I was relieved, I thought that Steven and I had been married the shortest.  I am glad I did not win my own prize! Ha!

After we games and dining, we discussed, “If God Sent Valentines, What Would They Say?” and we talked about how God already sent Valentines (little messages).  God tucked them into our Bibles to give us encouragement and hope for all of our life situations.  

Then, Sunday night, Pastor preached a wonderful message along the lines of: Since we have favor with God, what do we have to fear?  That no matter what situation you find yourself in, you can always take comfort in the fact that we are HIS kids and he knows and understands what we are going through. He is our shield, He is our hope, He is our protector, He is our friend.  He gives us strength, He lifts us up, He is our food, He is our drink, He supplies our needs.   Here are his scriptures from that message.  I hope you find encouragement and comfort by reading your Valentines from God:
I am complete in Him … who is the head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10)Andrea

I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).

I am free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me (Isaiah 54:14).

I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me (1 John 5:1).

I am holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16).

I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5).

I have the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

I have the greater one living in me; greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).

I have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).

I have received the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus … the eyes of my understanding being enlightened (Ephesians 1:17-18).

I have received the power of the Holy Spirit to lay hands on the sick and see them recover, to cast out demons to speak with new tongues. I have power over all the power of the enemy, and none shall by any means harm me (Mark 16:17-18; Luke 10:17, 19).

I have put off the old man and have put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of Him who created (Colossians 3:9-10).

I have given, and it is given to me, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, men give into my bosom (Luke 6:38).

I have no lack, for my God supplies all of my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

I can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one with my shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16).

I can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13).

I show forth the praises of God who has called me out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

I am God’s child – for I am born again of the incorruptible seed by the word of God, which lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23).

I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).

I am a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I am a spirit being – alive to God (Romans 6:11).

I am a believer, and the light of the gospel shines in my life (2 Corinthians 4:4).

I am a doer of the word and blessed in my actions (James 1:22).

I am a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).

I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me (Romans 8:37).

I am an overcomer by the blood of the lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelation 12:11).

I am a partaker of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4).

I am an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).

I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people (1 Peter 2:9).

I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:2).

I am the temple of the Holy Spirit; I am not my own (1 Corinthians 6:19).

I am the head and not the tail; I am above only and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13).

I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).

I am His elect, full of mercy, kindness, humility, and long-suffering (Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12).

I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the blood (Ephesians 1:7).

I am delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13).

I am redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness, and poverty (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Galatians 3:13).

I am firmly rooted, built up, established in my faith, and overflowing with gratitude (Colossians 2:7).

I am called of God to be the voice of His praise (Psalm 66:8; 2 Timothy 1:9).

I am healed by the stripes of Jesus (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).

I am raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12).

I am greatly loved by God (Romans 1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4).

I am strengthened with all might according to His glorious power (Colossians 1:11).

I am submitted to God, and the devil flees from me because I resist him in the name of Jesus (James 4:7).

I press on toward the goal to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward (Philippians 3:14).

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20).

With all this in our favor, we don’t have to live in anxiety, fear, doubt and gloom!

What we desperately need is a spiritual break-through … a fresh refilling of the Holy Ghost every time we gather together so that we can remain “steadfast and confident and unmovable to the end!” (Hebrews 3) … “always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15) … “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;” (Titus 2:13).

Buying a piece of history: My new table has arrived!

About three months or so ago, Steven and I took a drive down to the Old School House Antique Mall in Washington, La.  Washington is a charming town full of history and well preserved old buildings.  Their Main Street is largely intact.  When you walk down the sidewalk you are transported to back in time.

When we were at the School House we came across a booth containing handcrafted furniture by a local artist, Mr. Walter (last name excluded for privacy).  Mr. Walter rescued wood from a pre-civil war warehouse that was being taken down.  Mr. Walter used the wood salvaged to make tables, armoires and other significant furniture pieces.  We were very interested in his work and commissioned him to make a ten foot long dinner table.  Wednesday night, Mr. Walter called us and told us our table was ready.  Since he does not cut his boards down (as he explains it, you can’t really do anything with a two inch by ten foot old board) our table came out to be ten foot and one inch, by forty-six inches wide.  Mr. Walter delivered our table tonight and it is beautiful! 

When we first bought our house, two years ago, we went to Haverty’s to look at dining room sets, but nothing was large enough for our dining room and the prices were outrageous for pressed board, laminate junk.  I was definitely not impressed by any of our area furniture stores.  I looked at a couple antique places here, but I still could not find anything large enough to fit in our dining room.  I wanted a table that would entertain many!  I liked this table at Pottery Barn:


The cost: $1,600.00 (plus shipping) and since I cannot see it in person, I am not sure if it is the real deal or some piece of laminate junk.  It is six feet by 42 inches wide.  It comes with two leaves which would extend the table to nine feet.

This is my table:  (For more pictures, click here)

dining room table

Again, it is ten feet long and I don’t have to deal with the leaves…taking them in and out.  I also did not have to pay for delivery.  Mr. Walter brought me the article in the paper and some history on the building that was taken down.  He signed my table and gave us a can of Briwax to keep it in tip top shape.  How much did I pay for my table? $1,700.  That is a steal!

Article in the newspaper regarding the warehouse being taken down

Article in the newspaper regarding the warehouse being taken down

I am extremely excited!  I am having a Valentine’s Day get together, and I can’t wait to put my new/old table to good use!

I need to refinish the wainscoting.  We have decided to not strip the paint.  I like the light color in there.  I think wood would be too dark and, because I am stripping paint in the rest of the house, we are just going to leave it for now.  Now, if I can only get rid of the rug (that won’t happen until I refinish the floors) and the very ugly faux brass chandelier. I would like a chandelier similar to this:


***Update: I left a couple important details out regarding the table.  Thanks to those who commented! You are keeping me on my toes!  The table was made the old fashioned way.  Everything is fitted together without nails.  The only things that required a couple of screws were the straps under the table.  As you can imagine, a 10 foot piece of lumber, times 3, can get wobbly in the middle when moved.  Mr. Walter screwed to straps to the underside of the table for stability.  I hope that answers your questions!

Happy Friday everyone!


Dining Room Curtains Are Up!!!

YAY!  I could almost do cartwheels!  Lord knows I have enough space in the hall!  Steven put up the dining room bay window hardware and I just finished putting up the last curtain panel!  I snatched up some red damask silk curtains on clearance at Tuesday Morning almost two years ago .  The only problem was, they were only 108 inches long and I needed them to be 119 inches, so I recently added a charcoal colored panel to the bottom.  The curtains have been sitting on the table, waiting patiently for the day they would get pressed into service.  Today was the day!  Here is the BEFORE picture of the bay window.

To start, I had a hard time finding a bay window curtain rod that I liked.  There are only a handful of manufacturers who make bay window hardware.  Most of them are made to work on a track system.  Almost all of the bay window curtain rods that I could find were made so that the panels go on the rod and then you cover the mechanics with a valance.   I HATE valances and I wanted to use clip rings.  I also wanted the flexibility of opening and closing the curtains at will, as well as letting the sun filter in without all the elaborate curtain trappings.  The windows in the bay are beautiful and I did not want to suffocate them with material.  Last year, I ordered some other corner connectors through the mail, but when they arrived, they were very small. You could only use them with a half inch up to a one inch metal rod and the rod had to be hollow so you could insert the corner connector.  I needed a  large rod to hold up all of the curtains and I wanted it to be aesthetically pleasing.  I think it would look ridiculous to put a little skinny rod up on such a large window.    So, with a little creativity, I took this:

bay window hardware

and made this:

bay window after

bay window close up

The lucky find was the corner connectors by roth+allen I found at Lowes yesterday.  I was at Lowes for a different reason and was glad I puttered down the window hardware aisle.    Anyway… Here is the final product!  Now we only have the living room bay window hardware to hang up.

The only thing left for the dining room is: 1) Refinishing the floor; 2) Our dining room table  Our table is being made by a local craftsman out of 180 year old boards salvaged from an old building here in Central Louisiana.  I AM SOOO EXCITED ABOUT THAT!

Dilemma of the Day

I decided to sit down and finish sewing the last curtain panel for my dining room.  I have been trying to get it done for about six months now.  I don’t know why I stopped with only one to go.  I must have been really tired!  I put the finishing touches on the very last one and then pulled out the hardware that I am going to make into a bay window curtain rod.  I have searched high and low for a bay window curtain rod to my liking.  There are only few choices out there for bay windows and the few available on the internet and at JCPenney either cost way too much or was not suitable for my needs.  I did not want a double curtain rod and I wanted to be able to open and close the curtains, so the rod had to be nice to look at with the drapes tied back or pulled close.  So…I took a trip to Lowes and bought several pieces and parts and made my own bay window rod.  Right now it looks like this:

bay window rods

Overlook the rug.  It is temporary until I get new dining furniture.  Right now it is serving its purpose by protecting the wood floors.  Anyway… I am two curtain brackets short and need to run to Lowes to see if I can find two more.  Hopefully I can talk Steven in to cutting the rods down to size so I can paint them, assemble it all and get it put up on the windows before next week.  We have been in our house two years without any curtains….sigh….

Here are the dining room curtains that will be going up (hopefully) sometime this week.

dining room curtains

Off to finish the curtain rods……