Monday, October 8, 2012

Command Center

When we moved into our house a year ago one of my goals was to make a Command Center.  You know, an area where all of our "stuff" goes.  I originally thought that it would be in my laundry room, but I quickly realized that this was not going to work because I would just make piles in the laundry room and leave it.  I really needed something that would be in my face every day so that I would be forced to do something about it.  So, I made my fabulous husband put together something in a very, very small area in between our garage and our kitchen.  I feel like that we have optimized this space and I love every inch of it!   I wanted to show you a few pictures and over the next couple of days, I will walk you through the transformation.  Did I mention that my husband is a rock star for being the brains behind this whole operation?  I love him!



This was phase one of our little project.  It took me a month to get to the little details!
We decided to go with the Rubbermaid track system.  The nice thing about this is that as our needs change, we can easily interchange how we have things set up.  I think the hubs likes this because it looks manly.  Argh, Argh, Argh!



I saw this on my favorite blog and I tucked it away as a must do one day!  I know that hers is better, but I just love that my kids get to come in the house everyday with this as a reminder about themselves...(and I loved the movie, The Help, too!)


This is where we will hang our coats, but for now it holds our Busch Gardens bag!


A before picture of our white boards.


This is an after picture of my white board.


Middle School is quite an adjustment for me and for Brayden.  So, I made a calendar that tells us if he is on "A" or "B" day.  He also serves at church on the "C" schedule and this helps with that too.  Whew, my life is getting very confusing!  Lord, help me.


We have 3 hooks in this area where the kids hang their book bags.  Also, as you can see in this picture we have two inboxes.  One is for mail and one is for...I haven't quit decided yet!


This is the boot tray for the kids to put their shoes in and it fits nicely under their book bags.  


This is my new industrial looking mat.  I love it because I don't have to vacuum it--not my favorite thing in life! 

I wish that I could get a picture of this whole room, but it is such a small space.  So, you have to enjoy it piece by piece.  


One last picture.  Ahh!  I just love this space.  Now do you agree with me?  My husband is a rock star!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Where have you been?

I can still remember my grandmother asking me that very question almost every time I walked in her door.  It was her lovely way of making me and my sister feel guilty about not coming over enough.

Over the last couple weeks, I have asked myself that very question many times--not audibly mind you. It has been a CRAZY month and I have felt guilty over not blogging.  However, I have been taking care of the hottest fires in my life and to be honest feeding my children and washing their clothes has been a hotter fire than blogging.  I have sooo many blog ideas to share, so when I have time it will roll out like butta!  I am talking a pantry redo, a new command center, braces, birthday parties...oh the list will go on.  Until then, check out a few pics from the last month!




Brayden at Lake Gaston! 


I grew lots of tomatoes in my new garden...this was my biggest one!


We did crafts.


We took these boys to Go Ape in Williamsburg....AMAZING!


A few Busch Gardens trips.


Brayden's team celebrating after his first out of the park home run! YES


Monday, August 13, 2012

Bold




This week has been one BOLD week!  Let me give you 3 reasons why!!!

1.  The kids and I declared last Wednesday Bold Day for the Hodges!  We spent the afternoon doing bold things all over our area.  I thought that I would show you some pics:


We started our day off with making a card and giving our mailman some Twizzlers!


We made tons of homemade salsa!  So, we delivered some chips and salsa to our principal and her office staff that are working so hard this summer to make the school year a success!


I took the kids out to lunch.  We tried to buy lunch for the gentleman behind us but he wouldn't let us.  Oh well!  The lady at the cash register royally messed up the amount that she charged my credit card, but I was feeling BOLD and exhibited much kindness instead of frustration.  So, I guess we were still BOLD at Subway! 


This is just a pic of Brayden having a good hair day! Handsome boy!



We bought school supplies for STUFF THE BUS!



We went to the Dollar Store and like little fairies, we stuck $1 bills in various things around the store. Someone will be very happy when they can purchase something from the Dollar Store with that dollar.









We put quarters in the machines at Kmart and didn't turn them.  We left them for the next happy customer that wanted a treat!


We went by the Waters Edge Church offices and delivered home made salsa and cookies!  Taylor made them a poster and a note too!  We have the best staff at Waters Edge.  They work so hard and we wanted to be BOLD and let them know just how much we appreciated them!

To end the day we delivered cookies, chips and salsa to my mom and her neighbor.

The kids kept saying, "Mom this is so much fun.  This feels so good to give."  I love that.  There isn't a better way to live a BOLD life than to be gracious, kind, appreciative and giving!  


2.  This past week, my mom had a family member visit from out of town.  My mom had the privilege of leading a family member to a relationship with Christ.  The family member listened to Stuart's message of BOLD from last week and cried and said that she wants to know Jesus!  Wow.  BOLD.  It makes me so thankful that I have a husband that is so faithful in listening to the Holy Spirit and is obedient in being BOLD on Sundays.  It also makes me grateful that my mom was so BOLD to share with her how to become a Christ follower and how to read her Bible for the first time!

3.  I probably should have ended on that note, but I can't!  Stuart had the privilege of pastor swapping with a good friend of his, Pastor Daniel Floyd at Lifepoint Church in Fredericksburg, VA this weekend...talk about BOLD!  I don't get to visit other churches very often, so this was a special treat for me.  We felt so welcome at Lifepoint Church and they were absolutely amazing hosts.  On the flip side, our church loved having Pastor Daniel Floyd speak at our church.  It was a very neat experience!  

So there you have it!  I think that this sermon series will go down in history as one of my favorites...and it is not even over yet!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bold



We just started a new series at church called Bold!  It has been so good.  Stuart defined bold as:  an extraordinary behavior by an ordinary person because of an extraordinary experience.  When the kids and I did our bible study this morning we decided that we would put this principle into practice.  We have declared Wednesday--Bold Day for the Hodges! We are going to be exhibiting some extraordinary behavior of giving, love and appreciation.  It is my prayer that as a family we will daily live bold lives.  But, I love the idea of making it the forefront of our mind for a day!

We are still making out our list of things that we want to do, but here are a few ideas that we have going:

1.  Go to the dollar store and tape a $1 bill behind a toy--surprise!
2.  Buy things for Stuff the Bus.
3.  Leave the mailman a gift
4.  Put quarters in some gum ball machines for someone to enjoy.
5.  Visit our principal at school and bring her some treats....it is hard working in the summer!

So, we kind of got in a rut, do you have any other BOLD ideas for us?  I promise to do my best to document our journey tomorrow!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Harpersville House--Memory Lane

I am so frustrated at myself.  I am terrible at taking pictures.  I never think to do the before/after pics of things that I have done.  I was so hoping to share with you some of the pictures from the first house that Stuart and I bought in 1999.  It was such a beautiful house with so much character.  The outside was beautiful---a lot of work, but beautiful nonetheless.

Sorry about the picture quality...hey this was before digital cameras were affordable!





It was the perfect set up.  The house was actually on a main road.  But, it backed up to a school with a parking lot.  We were serving at a church doing Student Ministry, so we had lots of students coming in and out of our door and they were all able to park behind our house.  It was so awesome to never have to worry about parking!!

As far as the inside...I don't have any pictures!  I do however have lots of memories!


We had toilet paper, lots of toilet paper.  Students love to toilet paper houses and trees!


We had lots of parties and showers in our beautiful backyard


We had students at our house all the time.  This poor girl, Jessica, lost in a game of silent football.  When you loose in silent football you have cruel and unusual punishment.  She thought that she was drinking toilet water, but we tricked her and she really wasn't!


We tried to get pregnant for 3 years before having Brayden.  I dreamed of this baby room for a long time.  We did a fire fighter theme...before it was so popular.  I had the hardest time finding things to decorate his room, but his room was totally decked out in fire fighter stuff...fire pole and all!



We brought Brayden, our first child, home to this house!



We had generations of family in this house.  This is my pawpaw, my dad and Brayden (The Montgomery Boys)!


We had our first pool at this house!  I was 8 months pregnant in the summer.  Stuart came home from a mission trip and I informed him that I was hot and that we would be buying an above ground pool that day.  We immediately went to the pool store and bought one.  This is by far our most spontaneous purchase we have ever made!  However, we have had a pool in our backyard ever since and we love it.  


This is our last party at our house, Brayden's 1st birthday! We were surprised when we found out we were pregnant Emma and that they would be only 18 months apart.  As soon as we found out, we decided we needed to sell our house (we had lived there 2 years) and buy a bigger/newer house with a smaller yard.  I think that it was for sale for only 1 month before it sold.  


We have lived in 7 houses since we have been married.  Stuart is a bit of a nomad.  We just moved a year ago and I fully expect him to get the itch again in the next couple of years--although he has promised me 10.  I just love that no matter where we live, we have wonderful memories of family and friends.  We have always felt like our home is a place that we want God to use and He has!  
So grateful, so blessed!







Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hodges Olympics 2012





Is anyone else obsessed with the Olympics?  Our family is totally into the Olympics.  Of course, I love swimming because I grew up swimming, my girls love watching gymnastics because they both love gymnastics, and Brayden loves any competition--two weeks of it and he is in heaven!  So in anticipation of the opening ceremonies we celebrated our first Hodges Olympics last week!  We had a blast.  I thought that I would show you a few pictures from our adventures!


I used my coat rack for this stand.  I hung a red tablecloth over it.  The medals are on the sides.  I made the poster so that it would hold the event signs.  We changed the signs before each of the Olympic events.






I made the medals out of paper plates.  We had gold, silver and bronz-ish.  The kids were really excited about these!




Here are the signs for each event.  We decided to have all water events because it was sooooo HOT!  The events that we had were: 
   *rowing
   *synchronized swimming
   *hand stand
   *diving
   *javelin
   *shot put
   *basketball
   *obstacle course 

We wanted the kids to get really excited about the upcoming events so we had opening ceremonies.  I made each of the kids shirts out of spray paint and I bought flags for them to wave as they came into the pool area.  We also had a torch that we lit, Olympic theme music that we downloaded and a microphone to announce everything.  The microphone was a hit!

The Parade of Hodges--get it, like the Parade of Nations?


We have some excited children!


The whole Hodges clan!  Check out the torch that we lit in the background!  Just like London, ha!


I had to issue the Hodges family with their own shirts for our own Parade of Hodges...possibly better than Ralph Lauren's design during the London Parade of Nations!  JK! 
I cut out each letter and some stars with my Cricut.  I used double sided tape to hold each letter down and then just spray painted over the letters.  The kids really like their personalized shirts.  


After each event, we announced the winners and played the National Anthem.  The kids stood on the steps and we awarded the medals.  The kids LOVED this.  It was like they were getting real medals!



All of the kids were such good sports!

We had a clipboard that had all of the "official" results.  Grampy was the judge and he did a great job ensuring that everyone had some of each medal!
During the closing ceremonies, each of the kids stood on the steps and got a trophy.  I printed out silly things for them to get awards for.  Brayden got the award for "Best one word answers!"





Even Grandma and Grampy got awards!


We ended our evening with a wonderful cookie cake from Sams Club.  I had them decorate it with Red, White and Blue and put Hodges Olympics 2012 on it!  It was such a special memory for all of us.  We are all looking forward to the Winter Olympics in Kansas now!