Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year, New Attitude

I am very excited to see what 2009 brings. Right now I am thinking particularly for Kustom Kate! I truely believe I have a fresh new and clean looking perspective on Decorative Paint! Hopefully I will have an opportunity to share that with some new clients here in the Tulsa Area.
Although the "Old World" and "Distressed" looks are still hanging on (barely in my opinion... but I have my own preferences), I look forward to communicating that there are still ways to incorporate decorative painting techniques keeping a traditional style and clean lines. Which is where I believe the trends are going!
I have laid some ground work in the past 6 months, and I have to remind myself that it takes time to not only introduce myself to a new market, but that I am also ultimately trying to inrtoduce a progressive style to a slower-to-change market.

Anyways... the last couple months have been challenging... but I now find myself full of anticipation to see what God has in store for me professionally and personally for 2009!

I have a creative bug today that is making my skin itch! Don't worry Mike, I have to finish the Kitchen Cabinets before II start something new :)

Here is a picture of one of my favorite 2008 projects:
Paisley Bathroom (I also applied a Chocolate Brown Metallic Plaster to the Ceiling)

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas and After

Our first Christmas on the road was busy!!! We started a bit stressed not knowing what lay ahead... in the end everything workied out just fine... actually we had a really nice time!
We left the house at 3pm on tuesday the 23rd... got about 7 mins away and had to turn back for Mike's glasses... not too bad considering our history of having to go back 3 times for EVERY road trip...we were on the road by 3:30.
We passed St Louis around 10 or 10:30 pm. That's when it got icy. We decided to stop for the night and finish up the last 3 hrs in the morning. Smart.. it was REALLY slick!
We did our best to divvy up the time between mine and Mike's families, and I think we did a pretty good job. It's not easy... but it wasn't stress-free before we moved out of state either.
We enjoyed quality time with siblings, parents, and our 9 nieces and nephews. We were also lucky to sneak in a visit to Grandma's, hang with aunts uncles and cousins, and a handful of friends!
Not bad for such a short trip! Yesterday we went to service at Stone and went to Portillos for lunch with Lonna Erik bethany and Amber then hit the Road by 2pm.

We pretty much drove like it was our job making only short necessary stops. Arrived at our home a little after Midnight. So it basically took 10 hrs from I80 and Harlem Ave of(purely) driving at an avg speed of 80mph. (5 over on most roads)
Mike had to work today and is fighting a cold and cough. The following picture illustrates how tired he was tonight.... he just went to bed!

We had a great time and it was great to see everyone that we did!

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Time with God

Over the past couple weeks I have gotten into a bad habit... starting my day without spending time with God. I felt myself slipping away and feeling out of touch with the wisdom and understanding he has shared with me.
I realize that a relationship with God starts with ME seeking HIM. He is always there waiting for me.
I have been getting back on track the last couple days and can feel the pieces coming back together. Praise God.
Is God #1 in your life? Imagine how much better things would be if you had a personal relationship with the creator of the universe...
He is my source, my strength, my provider, my healer, my savior, and my best friend.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Yikes it's 15 degrees out... definately the coldest I've seen Oklahoma yet! Hard to believe we were sweating in 70+ yesterday putting Christmas Lights out in the bushes!

I believe I only have to go out for one quick trip to the post office and paint store on these icy roads.

This weekend was productive... most shopping is done. Got caught up on paper work, Mike helped with the Christmas greeting cards, did some cooking and grocery shopping for the week too!

I also finished one out of 2-3 christmas presents I am kintting.

This morning it was back at it with the workout routine. Tough but not as bad as day 1. Like I said to my cuz I can't believe that I used to run 7 miles a day! We'll get there! I think my total today was more like 1.5

Now it's time to get to work, I have 2 dressers to fix up and pain black for my customer. I am going to put a snakeskin texture on the damaged areas... Hope she likes it!

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Quick Post

Okay, I need to be brief because it is time for me to work out. Hopefully today will be better than yesterday!
Then it's time to shower and head over to the Habitat for Humanity Women Build house. We are painting today... YAY!!! The original goal was to get the family into the house by christmas.... the schedule is tight... so we'll do the best we can!
This weekend I have a couple of pieces of furniture to paint for a customer of mine. We'll also have to decide if we want to put out some christmas lights... it's a wierd year because we were gone over Thanksgiving... now we have about a week and a half before we leave again.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008


Not and exciting post... but here's the latest...

Once we got back in town I got a bit of inquiry for Kustom Kate. I have been working with a super nice lady in the Grand Lake Area of OK. I love working for her... it's just a bit far... usually I am totally up for a nice drive... but the first day the winds were so gusty it actually jerked my car around and scared me. Yesterday was fine though.

Mike and I have this small room in the house... kinda off to the side that has served no purpose except to house the clutter of my ever so busy art business (note sarcasm). Anyway, we agreed to move my inventory out to the garage, [we'll insulate and create a work area]; so that we can turn this small otherwise useless room into a designated work out room.

We have dust off and put together our stackable/universal weight bench we bought when we first got married... that way we'll have both strength and cardio. I, of course am going to (maybe after the holidays) want to get those little stick on mirrors from Ikea and create some sort of a pattern on one wall... we'll see if that gets vetoed :)

Anyways I was reminded of how out of shape I am in this morning.

In (less than) 2 weeks we'll be going to Chicago area for a short Christmas visit. Hopefully we can see all 107 people we want to in that time ;) in the mean time I have a little work booked and Christmas Shopping to finish up!

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Today's Project

A customer asked me to help her find a "chunkier" mantel than the 2x12 she had sitting on a couple brackets... I said I would then got to thinking... just add another 2x12 fill the crack and paint it black. So I offered to do that here I go again opening my big mouth...
Anyway I got up this morning and thought it would be so much easier to build and paint one at home and then bring it to her considering it took me 2 hrs to get home yesterday.
So I did the 2- 2x12's... then thought it needed more, so I cased it out, filled the cracks, put a venetian plaster finish... then a black stain rub.. it either looks like leather or tortoise shell... either way I hope she likes it.
If my experiment with trying to charge the camera with the PC works, I'll try and get a better pic tomorrow.
Now time for pajamas, a little bit of waffle cone explosion ice cream and some tube.
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Monday, December 8, 2008

Costa Rican Saga

We've been back for several days... I haven't gotten around to posting... Here we go!
On the day before ThanksGiving Mike and I headed out to Dallas for the night (about a 5 hour Drive)
After a short night's sleep we headed over to DFW. 2 Flights later we landed in San Jose Costa Rica where Mike's parents picked us up from the airport.
We stayed in a hotel for 2 nights and then on the way to head up to the vacation rental house we stopped at a zoo for a quick walk. After the zoo we stopped at for lunch. Sometime during lunch a theif or two broke into the Rental car that we were riding in with mike's parents. They took 4 bags... 3 of them belonged to Mike and I one to his Mom. Kind of a buzz kill... time has passed and I have now told this story to a couple dozen people so I may seem even tempered now... however Mike and I were both beyond angry and all other sorts of emotional.
We went back to Sanjose, Waited 'til monday to get a new passport for Mike. Then stood by staying in hotels at a not so cheap rate until we were finally able to go home.
Costa Rica is a very beautiful place. I think it was an attractive place to go because it was affordable... however I felt that they have caught on to tourism. In many places they did not place rates in plain view... my opinion... so they could charge tourists extra. 2 of 3 cabs that we took did not turn the meter on.
No one in the US Embassy spoke English until you some how found the counter for american citizens... there were also no signs in english pointing you in the right direction. Once you got to the window the guy said "was your passport stolen too?" Pretty much his opening line for every american... HMMM what does that mean?
However although we were frustrated and whatever else... we, along the way heard and witnessed much worse travelers stories. One guy was stuck there over a year after getting mugged. Think about it no proof of ID... no money for an airfare ticket? You need money to BUY a replacement passport!
We came back home to a home that we realize by the world's standards is luxurious. We are greatful and feel blessed.
I have no desire to leave this great country or spend tourist dollars in another for some time. I have no intention of holding anyone else back... I just don't have any desire to go far for many days any time soon. Call me a home body I don't care.
The End
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful For:

God's Grace and Unconditional Love (Even though I mess up ALL the time)
Freedom from Worry
My Husband
My Loving family and Friends
Cats (Especially Iris and Lily)
Low Gas Prices
Plants and Seeds
Light Bulbs
Cell Phones

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What's new?

Not too much here... here's a brief summary...

Mike and I have been working on my "new" website in our free time. I believe you can see it if you type in www.kustomkate.com/test. That is not a live link because it's not for everyone to see. It's very general so far, we have a lot of work to do with the pics and menus. We're currently working on general look, and feel. Comments and suggestions are welcome. We plan to turn the kustomkate into a logo, and possibly have some tone-on-tone paisleys in the background.

I have been promoting Kustom Kate Pretty seriously, making progress, just not money. Thankful that God is my provider...and that Mike is working hard and my #1 supporter!

We have decided to continue looking for a church home. We have spent 4 1/2 months at AG Coweta and it is not seeming to be the right fit, so please pray for us!

I have been blessed with the spare time to volunteer at Habitat for Humanity 1-2 days a week. I am learning alot, meeting really nice people with giving hearts, and coming home with sore muscles! Pounding nails is hard work!

Mike is officially 1/2 way through school... YAY Mike! Now comes the hard part :)

We have been working on perfecting our homemade pizza recipe... any suggestions or crust or sauce recipes are greatly appreciated!

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Monday, November 17, 2008

If our Election really was about race... how would we be able to measure how far we've really come??

I write today with a heavy issue presented to me. Someone close to me is deeply concerned that Racism is still a very prevailant issue we face here in America today. And that was one of the greatest victories made on November 4th. It saddens me to think that ANYONE would vote to put someone in the MOST POWERFUL Political seat in the world simply because of their race. [Black or White period!] The election for the president of the United States of America is a great Blessing that we all get to participate in. It is about experience, morality, and policy… let’s not belittle this event or the people of this great nation to physical characteristics. While I tend to agree that racism is still a problem, I think we need to look at the issue with a well rounded perspective.

Here are a couple definitions I found on-line of Racism… (And yes I did copy and paste the ones that conform to MY view of racism and how it affects America today, and the point I will attempt to make. I am aware that there are other definitions, I will address that in a minute)

is power plus racial prejudice, a system that leads to the oppression of or discrimination against, specific racial or ethnic groups

is racial and cultural prejudice and discrimination, supported intentionally or unintentionally by institutional power and authority, used to the advantage of one race and the disadvantage of other races. The critical element that differentiates racism from prejudice and discrimination is the use of institutional power and authority to support prejudices and enforce discriminatory behaviors in systemic ways with far-reaching outcomes and effects

refers to beliefs and practices that assume inherent and significant differences exist between the genetics of various groups of human beings; that assume these differences can be measured on a scale of "superior" to "inferior"; and that result in the social, political and economic advantage of one group in relation to others.

Now a couple questions to mull over…
1. PREVIOUS to affirmative action were minorities, subject to [or products of] any or all of these 3 definitions? (my answer is yes)
2. What is the result of Equal opportunity Employment? (ie is the opportunity really equal when specific precentage of minorities are required?)
3. Are there government college grants available to you because of your heritage? Yes
4. Are ANY race-specific groups excluded from that? Yes, one

Now politically speaking: yes racism is still a problem in America today. The question is who is at a legal disadvantage? How can you call it Equal opportunity if it’s not an equal opportunity?

As for the other more traditional definitions of Racism where one group thinks they are superior to another because of physical features or skin color. I will make it known very publically that I think any such thinking is despicable and inhuman. Does THAT type of racism still exist in America today? Yes it does, it’s called hatred and it comes from the enemy. It exists all over the world; that type of thinking is ignorant and nasty. It’s everywhere… but it can be found in many forms: black to white, white to black, muslim to jew, atheist to Christian, Chinese to Korean.

Let’s be careful not to mix the two.

I believe that this type of thinking is not tolerated publically or legally in the United States. (Praise God) There will always be hateful people and hate groups. That’s why we need to teach our children and each other to love and care for one another as we are commanded to do.

I invite all comments, I have no problem being told I am wrong, please share your views.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Looking for ways to help feed the hungry?

A friend of mine was hired by the Northern Illonois Food Bank in Geneva IL to make this video where they express a sincere need for help in order to do the great work they do.

Don't have time to volunteer? Maybe you can make a donation!

If you are looking to have a professional video made for your business, or cause; consider link> T60 Productions.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Time to start shopping!

Those of you in the Tulsa area: Be sure and stop by Elegance By Design to kick off the season! You'll find anything from gifts starting under $10 to beautiful Christmas and Seasonal Decorations for your home!
For more info... please visit www.elegancebydesigntulsa.blogspot.com

P.S. All Furniture and Accessories are 30% off right now!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Tiny" Mistake

I have invested time, resources, and lots of energy into doing this big marketing push to Tulsa Builders. About 1 1/2 -2 weeks ago I found a great resource online with a list of about 250 builders. I wrote a nice letter with links and indiividually E-Mailed each one so I could attach pics and address it to each individual's name. That probably took me about 16 hours... well a few days anyway. I designed and ordered some new brochures last week, they came yesterday... they really gear toward model and spec homes.
My plan was to get a mailer out to each contact within a week so they would hopefully have the whole name recognition thing going. I wrote up another letter today and went to office depot to get them printed out. I came home and have been addressing envelopes for 4 hours. Got 'em all done with a cramp in my hand. So I started to sign and Tri-fold each letter because mike said after he finishes his homework he'd help me stuff each envelope with a brochure, a card, and a letter... then apply a stamp and "Kustom Kate" address label to each.
I signed and folded about 10 or 12 before realizing that the phone # in my signature at the bottom is 630 370 1788. Grrr.. any of my readers that know me know that is my OLD phone #! What a waste! Well.. there goes another $25 bucks... well that's nominal compared to all the real expenses going into this mailer. (The sad thing is the stamp for each envelope costs a couple cents more than the tri-fold full color 6-photo brochure they each get [thanks to vistaprint.com]) One more trip to the store... looks like I'll be stuffing away all by my lonesome tomorrow.

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The Box

I got my new brochures yesterday... Iris thought they came in the purrrrfect size box!

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election is Over

I am glad the election is over. There is an excitement about all of the talk and I tend to get really involved in the news, and radio talk during an election season. However, during that time there tends to be a division among people of seperate opinions and mindsets.
What is important now is that we follow the lead of both John McCain and Barack Obama and graciously accecpt the outcome.
God is in control and he intimately cares about our nation and each of our individual lives.

Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body what you will wear. Life is more than food and the body is more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than the birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing why do you worry about the rest?"
Luke 12:22-26

Praise God! Amen?

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted

I didn't get a sticker, but I voted! I waited about a whole 3 minutes in line... ahhh the beauty of living in the country.
This will be an interesting night... I hope I won't be crying when it's over. Edge of the seat night!
God Bless America!!

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Kitchen Cabinets So Far...

It's a big project... here's what I have done so far (Before and After)

Painting, Changing hardware, and Adding a frame to each door and drawer. I have 24 Doors and 10 drawers... It's a bit tedious but it is much cheaper than getting new cabinets! Look a bit updated?? Can't wait 'til the whole kitchen is done... I will post full pics when I get wall paper down, and backsplash tiled too... One step at a time :)

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ouachita National Forest

Yesterday we went for a 1-Day Road trip. There is a scenic drive down state called Talimenah Drive and it goes through the Ouachita National Forest. The very same forest that attracted us to this area and made us want to move closer to it. I took about 60 photos or so... and it's really hard to pick and choose, but I know I can't post them all.

This one was at Heavner OK State Park where we saw 50,000 year old Ruins

We had a really great time... we were enjoying the scenery and the great company so much we never turned the music on :)
We finished the day off with some Mazzios pizza and a couple of rootbeers. One of the best days I had in a while!

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

I generally pride myself in the fact that I don't lie to people... I really don't think there is any such thing as a white lie. Not saying that I have a perfect record I have made my mistakes...
I have caught 2 people in lies since I have been here... both relating to business... or business relationships anyways.
Both have "white lied" really for nothing that would have made any difference AT ALL. One said she got my mailer and I later realized that it had been returned to sender. The other cancelled a meet up and lied about the reason... I later saw her that same day.
See not even a big deal... but when you get caught in even a harmless lie... you lose accountability. PERIOD. Both people I will strongly hesitate to do business with in the future... or at least hesitate to take them for their word.
It's still a small world after all. Be careful what you say to someone... even a stranger!
Happy Haloween! I have an errand to run... then I am going to install hardware on cabinets that are finished [less than a quarter of them]. I'll post pics!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008


He can say that he wants to take your money and give it to those who are not willing to work for their own.
He can raise a toast to Rashid Khalidi on video
We don't even know where he was born
He has a dinimished value for Human life
He associates closely with those who are responsible for this national/worldwide financial crisis.
However his lemmings I mean followers I mean supporters continue to blindly support him. Why?? Is this loyalty out of pride? I just don't understand.... are they actually listneing to the news? Do they actually listen to the radio? Or do we consider SNL a reliable source?

I don't know about you but I believe in LIFE... LIBERTY and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

I don't believe in abortion, socialism and freeloading.

If a meteorologist were to forecast rain today, wouldn't you at least consider grabbing your umbrella? Think about it.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Random Post

My friend Katie's man posted this video and I got a kick out of it...

He also produces professional news and documentary videos... check out his webiste! T60 Productions

More random thoughts...

I started on the kitchen cabinets yesterday... it's gonna be great! Very Excited!

We got out first frost last night

Every morning I wake up to the radio alarm clock... for the past week the first thing I hear every day is of a fatal shooting... what is going on??? Sad and scary.

7 more days to vote!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Corn Maze

Saturday afternoon we headed out for our afternoon fall adventure. We knew we were heading to a place with a corn maze... I was expecting to find some pumpkins too, however they did not have any. It was a neat place! There were 2 corn mazes... one haunted [after dark], one not-haunted. We went during the day into the non-haunted of course... I'm a scardy cat :)
They also had a bunch of bonfire pits (you would have to book ahead of time), some kid's activities : things to climb on and duck races, and we saw a field with hay bales designated for paintball... It would be a great place to go back and spend the day with a group!

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Haloween memories...

Reading PErik's entry about carvng pumpkins with his sons brought back memories of the Wickstrom Haloween tradition ...
Every year my Dad would take Holly Ryan and myself to Sunny Acres on Rt 64 in West Chicago IL. But first we would go across the street to the Old North Pancake house for dinner where usually at least 3 of us would order Chocolate Chip Pancakes... FOR DINNER!! Yay! Could you tell it was Dad's night out?
After dinner we went across the street to pick out our pumpkins... He acted like every pumpkin we showed him was really really great as we carefully sorted through to find the perfect one!
Then we brought them inside and sifted through all the junk. Never failed, Ryan would always try and scare me and Holly by turning his back or hiding around a corner while putting on a scary mask. Makes me laugh just thinking about it... because he often succeeded.
Then it was time to check out. Dad always picked up a gallon of cider to bring home we were then allowed to pick a treat [for dessert]. I ALWAYS chose a pretzel rod dipped in white chocolate.
Then home to carve... Mom would wash salt and bake the seeds once we dug them out of the pumpkins. Great fun, great memories!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Heard this on the radio today

I can't take credit for this "notice" just thought I'd share...
it's from boortz.com Nealz Nuze


You small business owners out there are preparing for life under a Barack Obama presidency. One of our listeners sent us some new rules for small businesses based on Obama's ideals of change and fairness:

As of November 5, 2008, when President Obama officially becomes president-elect, our company will instill a few new policies which are in keeping with his new, inspiring issues of change and fairness:

1. All salespeople will be pooling their sales and bonuses into a common pool that will be divided equally between all of you. This will serve to give those of you who are under-achieving a "fair shake".

2. All low level workers will be pooling their wages, including overtime, into a common pool, dividing it equally amongst you. This will help those who are "too busy for overtime" to reap the rewards from those who have more spare time and can work extra hours.

3. All top management will now be referred to as "the government." We will not participate in this "pooling" experience because the law doesn't apply to us.

4. The "government" will give eloquent speeches to all employees every week, encouraging its workers to continue to work hard "for the good of all".

5. The employees will be thrilled with these new policies because it's "good to spread the wealth around". Those of you who have underachieved will finally get an opportunity; those of you who have worked hard and had success will feel more "patriotic".

6. The last few people who were hired should clean out their desks. Don't feel bad, though, because President Obama will give you free healthcare, free handouts, free oil for heating your home, free food stamps, and he'll let you stay in your home for as long as you want even if you can't pay your mortgage. If you appeal directly to our democratic congress, you might even get a free flat screen TV and a coupon for free haircuts (shouldn't all Americans be entitled to nice looking hair?)!!!

If for any reason you are not happy with the new policies, you may want to rethink your vote on November 4th.

Ask yourself honestly, how do you stand to benefit from his plan?

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Website Updated .. for now :)

I just finished updating the photo descriptions on my website... hopefully the extra verbage will get me some more hits!
Today I made some really unique samples for an interior designer I met with last week, I hope she's as excited as I am :)
Tomorrow I have another project at Mike's boss's house, I'll post pics!
I am getting the itch to get started on the kitchen... maybe next week I'll start painting the cabinets and take down the wallpaper... The backsplash will have to wait until I can save up for the tile!
I have a headache... maybe it's from so much computering??

Did you vote on my next painting?? (Scroll Down for Options vote in upper Right) I still have a tie! BTW any foliage on any painting I plan to do in fall colors :)
If you voted in the comments, I logged it in the tally, thanks!

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Habitat Monday

I went back to Habitat today to help out in the office. The ladies in the office were very nice and very happy to have a volunteer. I spent the day making copies and doing some data entry. Not bad, I tend to be a bit more of a physical labor/ people person. But I don't mind doing a little office work now and then.
I was amazed with the wonderful women I met today, both working hard for a cause they believe in. Both foster mothers of multiple kids. How brave and compassionate. Very admirable.

I should be doing more. I know I'll find that niche.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

What should I Paint?

I have decided to do some oil paintings and see how they sell. My friend at Elegance by Design offered to display them in her shop... so we'll see how it goes!
My thought was to take some pictures of things here in Oklahoma for inspiration, so the other day I was driving around looking for some interesting "subjects" then again yesterday Mike and I did some driving around and took some more pictures. Here are some pictures I am deciding between for my next project, please feel free to vote! I will paint what you vote on and then post the finished painting!
This could be fun! It also makes me more accountable to get going!





To view more oil paintngs by Katie Stenglein :
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Friday, October 17, 2008

First day at Habitat

Today I finally did my first volunteer shift at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. I had fun... it's actually a lot busier in there on a week day than I expected.
My job was to sort through a corner with a bunch of CARDBOARD boxes containing drapery rods. And then organize the drapery rod and miniblind section of the store. Not too bad... however only like 5 mins in I had already found 2 Brown Recluse Spiders. I'm glad I found them in the beginning... I was on my toes after that and actully saw no more :)
Remember my earlier post : After we MOVED we learned that they like cardboard. Yikes!
Like I said not a bad day I will go back :) Actaully I signed up for a different job monday. We'll see what I'll be doing.
Happy Friday! Have a good weekend!!

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mighty to Save

I LOVE this song! It's no Perik and Crew... but Hillsong will do :)
It's kind of a long version... but this is one of those songs I just wish would go on forever anyways!

They were singing this the first time we went to Coweta First Assembly... maybe that's why we kept going back?? J/K well, maybe not kidding :) There were even a couple crazy pentecostals cheering, hooting and hollering... loved it!

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

A great weekend with and old friend and a new friend!


My friend since Preschool, Sheri, came to visit with her Hubby Steve and their 2-year old son Shawn. As you can guess, preschool was a long time ago for me so Sheri and I are old buds... However, Mike and I had the priveledge of meeting her Husband, Steve, for the first time. Steve is an American soldier, He has been over seas for our country the last few times I've seen Sheri, so it was great for us to finally meet and befriend him!
We enjoyed a couple of home cooked meals, a bit of window-shopping, a "Safari" adventure, and some late night game and trivia playing!
All was fun and relaxing, however, Safari was an absolute delight! There is a place called Safari Santuary that is tucked into the countryside, literally 1/2 mile outside of our neighborhood. It's open to the public on sat and sun, only. I have been dying to go since we moved here and was delighted with the experience! There were at least a dozen tigers, 4-5 lions, a Liger, (yes! a cross between a lion and a tiger), puma/mountain/cougars (we learned that these are all different names for the same animal), linx, 16 foot long snakes, donkeys, ostrich, lama, sheep, loose chickens, ducks and pigs just walking around! There are also monkeys, wolves, alpaca , alligators, and a zebra!
Safari was very interactive and kid friendly... a must-activity for any or all future visitors!
We were able to feed the big cats raw chicken legs and all of the others animal crackers. One of the monkeys was really funny, he dipped the crackers in water before eating it... kinda like dunking cookies in milk. :)
Here is a video of me feeding a Tiger:

It was cool... but also a bit scary! They were only 6 feet away... [that's only one of me!] There are more pics and videos on Mikes Blog check 'em out!
All in all a great weekend!

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Today I Must Hussle!

I was supposed to be on a job today... however my supplies went to Palos Heights... Yikes. Anyway I called early enough yesterday that they were able to overnight a new set of designs which I received today. I am happy about the prompt service... however now I have to rearrange my schedule.
I am now doing the job tomorrow... but I also have out of town guests coming tomorrow... which I am very excited about, but I have a time crunch on my hands! YIKES! I have been cleaning and getting things ready all morning. In another hour I should have the house cleaning finished. Then all I have left to do is finish trimming the bushes I started on yesterday and rake up my MESS!... Then, finish up my meal planning and grocery list... then a trip to walmart! There were also a couple of activities I wanted to look into for the weekend... but that's no big deal... Now that I put it that way... I am not in that bad of shape... I might even have time to make some browies!

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Favorite Sammy

Yesterday I enjoyed one of my favorites for lunch... a roast beef sandwich with swiss cheese and red onions (I put a little red onion on just about anything), usually some lettuce too... but I didn't have any.
I remember a conversation in my mom's kitchen a few months ago where Mike and my brother, Ryan, were making fun of me for choosing swiss over american to pair with roast beef.
Sorry guys it's just better!

What's your favorite sandwich??

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

He is Listening

Yesterday I was sitting in a waiting room (not literally). I felt torn between a decision and a necessity, a passion and a routine. I found myself face down before God a couple times. I asked of him "Lord you know my needs, you know my desires, you know my passions, show me where to go next." Between sunday and monday I surrendered my heart and my will to Jesus a couple times. (It's easy to get caught up in routine and sometimes we need to reinstate our commitment to Christ as christians, the first time should not be the only time)
That little voice reminded me of a volunteer opportunity that I have been hesitating to commit to. I have been putting it off thinking "I just need to book a little more work", "I just need to get a little bit ahead before I commit my time", "How can I commit my self to others when I have nothing good going here?"
God answered immediately and filled the need that I was going to try and "band-aid". He opened the door as if to say "you have nothing holding you back, now make that commitment".
I poured my heart out, he was listening. He answered immediately and loudly. He cares about every single persons needs, give your worries to God today, he really cares! :)

Thank you for being a loving God, thank you for your intimate involvement in our lives.
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Monday, October 6, 2008

It's Monday again... wow! Is it just me.. or do the weeks just FLY by? I spent last week catching up on my contacts... I need to pursue Kustom Kate more this week. I have also decided that it's time to look into some options for a part time income. The extra income will be very helpful and I will also have some structure. I just keep finding myself running in a circle... it's time to change things up a bit.

Ideally I would love to find a work-from-home situation where I can have some flexibility to pursue painting... but I think I need to keep my options open.
I am hoping that my ears will be open to any guidance or opportunity.... I am counting on God to lead me a bit (or a lot).

I really don't want to get wrapped up in something full time where I won't be painting. Paint really is my passion. I don't care if I am painting ceilings, walls, canvas, furniture ANYTHING!! Will this economic situation still afford a place for me?

I am open to suggestions.... or prayer :)

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Home :)

I had a nice trip back to IL... Every minute was packed with visiting and projects! It was fun... but long too! The last couple days I spent with my friend Katie... we put a nice finish on some of her kitchen cabinets... something I promised to help her with before I moved. We were both very pleased with the outcome. She is going to send me pictures when she gets all the doors and hinges put back together... I'll post before and afters!
Next trip home will be Christmas... I think that will be a short visit, but we are hoping to see some more friends next time! I think Mike and I are going to try and make it to Stone for Christmas Service. We'd really like to see everyone!

Now I am back home. I have spent the first half of the day catching up on business and trying to get the wheels turning again... One thing I really don't like about going out of town as an entrepreneuer is that inevitably you tend to lose ALL momentum. The next week or so will be lots of hard work getting things going again. We have one more trip this fall and that is it for a long while!

I really prefer a long weekend here and there. Then you don't tend to lose touch with everything so much. Anyways.... here we go. This afternoon, I am going to be working on a couple samples I started a couple weeks back and some pedestals for Elegance by Design in Tulsa. I am also considering formulating a project or 2 that I could possibly put together for a class maybe at the library or park district... just coming up with ideas anyway. I also need to open up a bank account for Kustom Kate here. There is no 5/3 bank in OK.

Tonight we will be watching the debate... I am also considering baking some cookies :) I like Mike's idea about popcorn for the debate too!

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Home for retreat and visiting!

I've been "home" for the past week... it has been busy and jam packed. I have enjoyed visiting with family..... time flies by! I'd love to se and visit with more people but it just isn't possible.
I got home from dropping Mike off at O'Hare... hae was here for about 36hrs. And have been catching up on E-Mail and blogs for the past hour or so. What's funny is: I turned on the TV when I sat down to my computer time... I put on what looked like an animal planet type program... I JUST noticed that it is not in English. Ha! What a nerd.
This is a picture of a Cake Rose Made for Retreat

I was at painting retreat thursday through yesterday afternoon (My main reason for this trip)... I started and finished a painting... can't believe that! Here's a picture of my painting.

I go home wednesday... hopefully to booking work and some busyness... however I wouldn't mind a bit of rest. :)
I am going to watch the Bears Game tonight with a bunch of my cousins... really looking forward to it!

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Thursday, September 18, 2008


This week has really been great so far! I have so far finished a job, AND met with a handful of clients and designers! I am thrilled to finally be hopefully settling into my little niche here in the Tulsa area!
My mom comes in today... I am really looking forward to her checking out our Oklahoma living! It will be a fun weekend and I am sure it will fly by!
I also am going to have to do some work while she is here... I consider that a blessing! All this hard work is finally starting to come together. Yay!

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Beautiful Sunday

Today has turned out to be a beautiful suprise... after experiencing our share of Ike's effects last night, today is gorgeous! The temp dropped, but there are cartoon-like clouds scattered across the bright blue sky. The cool fall breeze is a refreshing blessing!
We are a little dissapointed, however that we did not get the bears game on our TV... hopefully there won't be to many more sundays where our Bears are not broadcast here. I am thinking of signing up for the option to watch online... any suggestions??? We're hoping we can do that and then hook the laptop up to the TV?

I gave Google Chrome a try a couple times this past week. I have a couple of comments:

Love the 9 real-time favorites on the front page
Page loads are not flawless
Where is the refresh button?
Why only an address bar? Where's the search bar?

Mike informed me that it was released a bit prematurely... so I am guessing that they are working on these things...

Enjoy your day!
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Elegance by Design

Elegance by Design is a unique furniture and accessory shop in Mid-Tulsa, located at 5151-A S Mingo Rd. Most of the furniture and accessories sold in this great little shop can be found nowhere else in the Tulsa area! The few items that you might find in other area shops are likely to have a better price at Elegance by Design... so it's worth stopping by to take a look!

This week Kustom Kate and Elegance by Design have teamed up offering a display of Kustom Kate's Fine Finishes that we guarantee you will never have seen any thing like before! Stop by... take a look! We dare you! You won't be able to keep your hand off!

Here are a couple of preliminary photos... just a sneak peek!

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Come See my Work!! ... If you can

Today I will be debuting my wall finishes in Tulsa Oklahoma! By the beginning of next week I will have completed 3 finishes at "Elegance by Design" in Tulsa OK!

So... any of my Tulsa readers who would like to see my work in person please stop by!

5151 A S. Mingo Rd Tulsa OK 74146
(918) 622-0199

Pass this link along to your friends!

Also Please Check Back to view photos next week!!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mid Week

I'm glad that I've got a lot accomplished this week. My mom is coming to visit next week... and my friend Sheri is coming mid-october with her hubby Steve and son Shawn.
I have gotten the other 2 bedrooms organized and a fresh coat of paint... well.. almost, I'm almost done with the second one. I like how having guests always motivates me to get more projects done!
There are a couple other more extensive projects that we want to have done but we have decided to put those on hold while we save up a bit :) This fall is getting pretty booked up anyway!
It's a little drizzly today... and Iris is on "her" chair snoring... a perfect day for a cat-nap! Not for me! I have more to do!
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Productive Mode...

When we first got here I was full of energy... the past few weeks I kind of ran out of steam and even allowed myself to feel a bit sorry for myself... we all do it... then I decided to make last week COUNT! I had a couple ups and downs but at the end of the week I had a small handful of encourageing events.. this past weekend we did some organizing.

Yesterday I woke up with a fresh perspective and renewed energy. I got up at 6:30 (for those of you who don't know... this is extremely early for me... usually 7:30 is a good time for me :) )

I finished a project hanging over my head, (the bathroom)
Solidified with the design shop which projects she wants to do, and ordered supplies.
Went to Sherwin wiliams and got paint for 2 other bedrooms,
Picked up produce at the grocery store and oil and filter for the mower.
Came home and moved the "office" to the room we discussed putting it
Called and scheduled an exterminator.. (we have yet another situation)
Painted one of the bedrooms.. most of it
Made homemade broccoli-potato soup
[After dinner Mike and I had a 30-minute rest... watched a show]
Then I finished painting the one room while mike worked on home work (in his "new" office)
I knit for a bit while he finished homework
We went to bed and I read for a while.

I was tired and sore [mostly from moving full bookshelves... I deserve it] But I felt like the couple of weeks I spent procrastinating and wasting time and feeling sorry for myself... I made up for some lost time in one day! Time to get going again! Lots more to do!!

Have a great day!

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Monday, September 8, 2008


I know I already posted today but I wanted to share my excitement for the Bears victory [over the Colts] last night...
Orton didn't drop / play badly like usual
Urlacher Looked like he's back in this season... hopefully his back will stay strong...
Hester... everyone likes to see what he's gonna do
Matt Forte! Looks like a great pick... I also like that he gave the glory to God in his short interview after the game!
Hopefully it'll be a great year... Bear Down Chicago Bears!

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Bath Finished

Well, I finally finished the bath that I said I was going to finish 2 or three weeks ago... a few things came up... procrastination being one of them.... oops! Anyways finally done... on to some thing new!



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Friday, September 5, 2008

Things I want to do this Fall...

Go to a corn maze and a hay ride
Meet new people
Have the neighbors for brownies/dessert and coffee
Get a new front door
Sell some painting jobs!
Carve a pumpkin
Lots of scenic bike rides
Grow in my walk with God
Vote for our next President
Paint my kitchen cabinets and tile the backsplash
Make potato soup and chili on cool days
Watch the Bears play football with my husband
Knit fun scarves and sweaters
Help people in need
Maybe a weekend road trip to enjoy some colorful leaves!

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Last night's television

We watched 2 things last night on television :
America's Got talent:
Interesting show... we don't usually watch reality TV but they kept advertising it during the Olympics so when we came upon it we decided to check it out. Once again there is an over critical out spoken english dude judging the show. Is he trying to be like Simon or is this a cultural thing? Anyway I don't know if a single person besides the 4-year old made it throught their act without getting buzzed [by him of course]. Isn't he compromising his credibility as a judge when he nixes everyone...? Or if you're going to be that critical, I'd like to see YOU get up there and show your talent.
Republican National Convention:
I enjoyed the supportive speaches by Huckabee and Guiliani. I did not, however see Romney speak. Sarah Palin... I thought McCain was genious when he announced her as his running mate. Now I am convinced! This is going to be a very interesting election.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Part timer or not?

The weekend was good, always nice to have an extra day! As always the time flies by so fast! Here we are, starting another week. I am really hoping to make some ground withe Kustom Kate. It has been a bit of a slow process, and at times frustrating. However I just have to remind myself that these things just don't happen over night.
I plan to do some volunteer time this week, I am also considering looking into a part time job. I am not thrilled about it completely, but I need some structure, It also wouldn't hurt to make some extra money.
However, I have done this before and it usually turns out to be aggrivating. Never fails either a crappy part timer that pays about as much as I spend in gas to get to and from starts to hog all my time because it starts out with "yeah we just need someone 15-20 hrs a week". Then it turns out "oh can you come on saturday... and sunday too... oh, can you stay a couple hours longer today ... and tomorrow?
...Or as soon as I pick up a job, people start calling with painting needs which is what I really want to do. And I have a panick attack trying to juggle both until I finally decide to quit the part timer... then guess what happens? No one else wants paint!
Well so I said to Mike last night... I really need to make this week count! And I really mean that... not that I haven't done anything I mean I have done lots of marketing... More that I ever have before...and I've been praying, it just takes time.
Any suggestions?? I feel like I'm running to stand still.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

Well it actually starts today! Maybe we'll go out maybe we'll stay in for dinner... then possibly watch a movie... depending on the homework situation.
The main point is to get a good rest so that we'll be fresh for our ride tomorrow morning! I ordered us both padded bike shorts, but they won't be here 'til next week... so we'll just have to tough it one more time. I'm sure we can handle it :)
Other plans for the weekend include organizing the garage! (Yes, again... it's like a 5-step process. We're on step 3.) Hopefully some swimming! (looks like it's going to be in the mid 90's for the next 5 days) And then maybe another ride on monday! We'll see, it's just going to be a low key holiday weekend, I'm looking forward to it!
Oh, I was just just talking to my sister and she told me about this geocaching... it's like a treasure hunt for everyone! You just go to their site and type in your zipcode, or any zip code... and then you get gps coordinates. Go find the geocache! I guess it could be a clue or a coupon or whatever... but you then leave it there for the next people. I think it's a great "rainy day" activity... maybe not actually in the rain... but something you can always do when you're bored! It's www.geocaching.com (sorry you'll have to copy and paste, I'm not handy at making links).

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's Even More Official! I'm an Okie!

I actually got it a couple days ago... I'm not sure how clear the pic is... if it's too clear, I will prob take it down in a day or so.

I went to drop our bikes off this morning for a tune. They really need it and this bike shop had a pretty quick turn around time... we want to ride again saturday... However they barely said 5 words to me while I was in there and between 5 employees and not more than 3 customers in the store I couldn't help but feeling like I was not welcome. Oh well, maybe they were just having a bad day... we'll see how it is when I go pick them up. If they're still crabby there are many other bike shops in Tulsa. The only thing that stinks is that the owner lives across the street from me. Like I said, we'll see.

A carpenter came out to look at some work we want done this morning. (Replace front and back doors, eliminate some walls and create a custom bookshelf) I can't wait to hear back... hopefully we can afford at least one of the projects! He told me "this is not a $200 project" Yikes, I know.

I just ate 2..... not one but two hot pockets for lunch. That was probably really dumb but I did it anyway. You know how it is... they look really small in the package.... and I didn't really feel like another salami sandwich or ramen noodles.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Our Weekend...

Friday night we were originally planning on another attempt at perfecting our home made pizza recipe... which is always a fun adventure for us! ... then just before Mike got home I went to get the mail and there was a coupon for our favorite mexican resaturant... well the ingredients won't go bad right away.... we'll make pizza this week :)
After burritos and enchiladas we decided to cruise by the theatre and see if anything interesting was playing... I had thought I remembered seeing preview for Pineapple Express... however I really didn't remember what it was about... we took the risk and had a few laughs.
Saturday morning we got up early to meet the Tulsa bike club for one of their weekly rides... I really liked being on an organized ride... However we really hadn't been riding since the spring and even then only 10-12 miles at a time.
The frist 5-7 miles I had a tough time because I was trying to keep up with everyone that does this all the time. As we neared the end we missed a turn... I was sore and tired and a huge storm was fast approaching (poor mike) we waited it out and did the last 1.5-2 miles in a light rain. Even though we missed a turn, our ride still measured out at 35 miles. It was long and tiring... and I definately have a case of bicycle butt... however encouraged to get back on and do better next week!
The rest of the day was lost though... here is me zonked on the couch... as you can see, Iris saw this as a prime snuggle opportunity!

Yesterday we went to church and then came home and did some chores... Mike in the yard and me... painting the bathroom... again... almost done! I'll finish today. Then meet Mike at the Tag Agency so I won't get busted again for my outdated plates! It's time! Oh, I guess I didn't mention I got 2 tickets not one on friday... again... my fault... I deserved it!
Last night we watched the closing ceremonies for the olympics... In the beginning I was making comments on all the silly hats... then I decided to get in the spirit...

Nerdy I know :)

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Thursday, August 21, 2008


I love the way my hands smell after chopping up celery.

We had a good visit to the vet. Cats are healthy, makes me happy because I love my girls!

Exterminator said the few spiders we have found indicates that we likely don't have a problem, just need to seal the doors up really good.

Mike put screens on the plumbing pipes on the roof, haven't seen a frog in about 2 weeks.

Taking care of a pool is easy and not that big of a deal.

It's been a rainy week. It's supposed to start heating back up.

I signed up to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, I am looking forward to the orientation meeting on tuesday.

I'm looking forward to seeing my husband later. He's my #1 biggest supporter and I'm his... go team!

Olympics have been really fun to watch... but I feel guilty watching anything else... I don't want to miss out on any big moments!

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This Could be considered Part III

I would have to say that the beginning of my journey was ingrained with 3 specific lessons that changed my life:
1. God Loves Me and Everyone Else in this world more than each of us can fathom. That’s what drew me into this walk.
2. During our time at CUMC, I talked about how Pastor Mary always reminded us that God is good. That means that he does not desire to condemn or destroy you. He wants to shed his mercy and grace on you and forgive you for whatever is causing your pain.
3. Third and probably one of the most powerful and life changing little pieces of wisdom I could ever share with anyone. Give it to God.
At the time we started attending church and clearing the brush out of our path, I mentioned that we were on a super tight budget. We were also experiencing inter family relationships that were close to destroying our marriage. And there was more, but just between those 2 things I know I was feeling plenty desperate.
One Sunday Pastor Mary talked on “Giving it to God”, meaning your worries, hurts, afflictions, addictions, anything that is weighing you down. And I couldn’t help but thinking, why would I give it to God? He already took the sins of the world on his shoulders, why would I throw more at him “I can handle this”. And I’d have to say I still feel that way sometimes, “I got myself into this mess, it’s my responsibility to get myself out”. However friends, something we must never lose perspective on… God is greater than anything and everything. And God is going to triumph over the enemy every time, just ask him to intervene.
“Call your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1Peter 5:7
The first thing I “gave to God” was the bitterness that I was harboring against a couple people that had hurt my feelings. Bitterness was not a common problem for me, but one event in my life allowed it to take root, and it was all consuming. So if you are holding your forgiveness back from any one or anything, including yourself, PLEASE let go of it and let God take care of it. I had let that bitterness take control for almost a year and it affected my health, my marriage and it invaded my thoughts. (That was definitely the devil hard at work… and he was winning)
I asked God to intervene and almost immediately I finally felt relief. I felt 15 lbs lighter, the battle was over. I was and still am so thankful. My health began to improve too.
Another worry that we Gave to God at this time was finances. We began to tithe, often doubling our weekly offering (we started very low) on a regular basis. God just continued to bless us, soon, there was no money stress, and we were tithing at least 10% of our income and giving to local shelters and relief efforts too. Giving to God is a way of showing your trust and faithfulness to him. He honors that and always provides for those who show this faithfulness.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19
I share these lessons I have learned from my heart to yours. These are not just things that I have heard on Sunday morning and feel obligated to repeat. These are real things that happened to me in the worst and darkest moments of my life. I was lifted up and now have direction. This direction gives me strength to look the next mountain straight on and know that I have the power of the Creator of the Universe standing behind me.
I have begun to fight another battle, a burden that I never before Gave to God and it is time. Pray for me as I sweep the dirt out of another corner of my life.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Frog Sitch

Okay.. I waited around last week and the plumber never came. We have had one more frog since... today I thought I'd call another plumber. The answer I got was "maybe they came in through the air vents under the house, call a heating and air guy" That was a bit aggrivating. Thanks for the help Mullin Plumbing! Anyway so I turned to my trusty old friend Google. And here are some things I found:

1. The frogs get in through the roof vent and come up through the toilet. It has happened to me twice. No way to avoid it unless you put a screen on the plumbing vents. This will also keep the roaches out.

2. Years ago my parents had a toilet that wouldn't flush right, plumber found nest of tree frogs in the vent stack near the roof. Easy access to the toilet if you know how to swim, swimming rat was much more disturbing.

3. My aunt, who lives in Tampa, Florida, was cleaning her downstairs toilet today. She poured in a bleach solution and left to let it do its work. Shortly, she heard her dog barking furiously and splashing noises coming from the bathroom. When goes in, she discovers a very large bullfrog (exactly how large I don't have specifics on) in her toilet bowl. She removed the frog and put it in a container full of clean water, hoping to wash the bleach off of it, but alas the frog died shortly afterwards (if this behavior sounds at all odd, it may help to know that my aunt works for an animal cruelty prevention and rescue organization).

Understandably distressed, she calls the water company and asks how a frog could get up through her toilet. She's lived in this house for 22 years with no such incident, although they have had snakes get in through open doors and trapped in their swimming pool filter. The employee from the water company said that, yeah, it happens. Her sewer system is apparently "open," meaning that at some point a pipe has separated between her house and the main sewer line (or in the sewer line itself, in which case other people on her block could experience similar situations). She asked "Well what is there to keep a snake from coming up through my pipes and getting in the toilet?"

4. All houses have a sewer drainage access for cleaning, perhaps there is an opening and it got it there - OR - you have one hell of a cleaver frog on your hands!!

5. this happened to me last night only it was a toad. I am almost certian that it came in through my septic. The plumbing works both ways! After falling into my vent pipe he probably followed the sounds of flowing water everytime I flushed the toilet until he found the sewer drain pipe. Then he simply followed the pipe to the source.

6. The WGH is convinced the little froggie came up through the toilet itself, i.e. via our septic system.

Conclusion: I AM NOT CRAZY! But we still need to find the source!

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Highlights of the past week...

Per Request a-la Anne-i-o, one of our infamous "Toilet Frogs" This one a little bigger than the others... sorry it's not actually IN the toilet, they're usually out before we find them... Yeah so how do we know? Where else could 5 frogs in the same bathroom actually come from??

Our little landscape project this weekend... and it all started with one little bush :) It's nice to actually have a little landscape... we moved into a blank slate which is great! But we have a lot of work cut out for us (over time). The bush is called Monrovia... I also put in 2 kinds of day lilys (Stella's and pink ones Yay!) the 2 pink flowers in front are just annuals... I'm thinking carpet Phlox in the spring.

A sneak preview of the bathroom where I removed the wallpaper... see before pics in previous posts... Yes this is the one that had the moldy wall.. ick... nowi it's nice and clean :)

Side note... On Regis and Kelly this morning, I saw them make waffles with a batter out of a [whip cream-like] spray can... There's something wrong with that... I didn't know that it was so hard to add water and an egg to the mix... they also said the can says "organic" whatever.

I was also watching CNN before bed last night and saw a story about a bunch of Christian Students going to SanFrancisco for an anti-secular Rally. Kinda made me cringe... I don't understand how they think spreading the message of love is going to be effective by YELLING at people for their lifestyles. I know my instinct is to close my ears when someone is yelling at me... or yell back!


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Friday, August 8, 2008

More of my Story

When Mike and I decided to get back into church we decided to kind of “Church Shop”. Neither of us were either against or for finding a Catholic church the main idea we had was, let’s find a place that is close to home so we will be more likely to go regularly. We also felt, we are trying to get back in to the presence of God, he will be there no matter what [christian] denomination or bible translation is being preached.

The first place we tried was a small Luthern Church that we drove past often. When we walked in we had to fill out name tags, everyone else had cross-stitched name tags that they took off a wall every week and put on. Yikes! A little uncomfortable for someone just trying to quietly check a place out. We did not go back (maybe once but that was enough).

So we decided to continue our quest… (Mike picked this time) there was another church that we passed by often, it was a Methodist Church [Community United]. So we went there… we quietly snuck into the back row… really got inspired by Pastor Mary’s sermon, and came back the next week. Each week moving up a row or two and going home with hymns in our heads.

On a side note, if you are in that spot in life, and are looking to get close to God again, know that any church that you walk into wants you there, and wants you to come back. It’s important that you find a good fit, maybe some people in your age group that you can connect with, maybe a certain energy during the worship time, maybe a pastor shares his or her teachings in a relevant way to you. Sorry for the deviation, but a couple of people have asked me “how do I get started” so that’s what I have to share. Just be careful, be sure they are teaching from the Holy Bible, there are a variety of versions, “New World Translation” is not one of them, even though it says “Holy Bible” on the cover (don’t be fooled).

Anyways, we spent 2 years at CUMC. During that time I learned and heard things I never had before.

One of the things Pastor Mary said every week was “God is Good!” and the congregation would respond “All the time!” and then the reverse. Not that I didn’t know that God is good, I still can’t wrap my mind around how GREAT he is. But something I took away from my Catholic up bringing was to be a God-Fearer, I felt more guilt than Grace. Now I live in God’s Grace. When I mess up (all the time because I am human) I know that not only is God going to forgive me, but he’s actually going to grab my hand and pull me back up onto my feet again.

I have so much more to share about the time we spent at CUMC and the spiritual growth I [and we] experienced as “babies in faith” but this post is getting to be long enough. So we’ll save it for another day. Happy Friday everyone, and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Beginning of My Story...

I originally began blogging when Mike and I started volunteering with the youth group at Stone Church as a means to open ourselves up to the students. Over time, I have come to enjoy sharing my thoughts and day to day events… I have also invited many to read my blog, and always hope to some how minister to any readers in need. (If any have accepted my invitation :) ) So… if you have come by invitation or by chance, today I want to share something close to my heart. And maybe if you can relate to “My Story” your heart will open to what I have to share.

My faith journey began as a child like many of us. My parents sent me to Catholic School for 9 years (K-8) ; during that time I received all of the necessary sacraments. As a family we almost never missed a Sunday mass/service. I learned a lot about Religion and Catholicism during my up bringing… we learned the golden rule, 10 commandments, various bible stories, and the basic story of the gospel… All good things!

I went on to college and strayed a bit… however, tried to make it to Mass as often as I could. I would see a couple others there from school too. During this time, my mom was really questioning her faith and the Catholic teachings… which seemed to cause a bit of an uproar in the family. You see, at the time the rest of us were thinking how dare she turn her back on the “Church”? Growing up in the setting I did.. everyone I knew was Catholic… so the only “Real” church was the Catholic church. Now I know that it is not the church we are looking to be loyal to, it is God that we need to remain faithful to.

I came home after my sophomore year, and began working for United Airlines the next fall. During this time I almost never made it to church. I was traveling, mostly on the weekends with a very “junior” schedule, so most of the time it was just not feasible.

A couple years later I married Mike, neither of were in any sort of church-type habit… so we didn’t make it a priority. During our first year of marriage we argued a lot, we were on an uncomfortably tight budget, let’s just say stress was affecting both of our health and our relationship. I remember one day I was talking with my sister. At the time she had Sydney, and Marie was very little. She said to me something along the lines of “It amazes me that God loves me more than I love my kids”.

That really got me thinking… I REALLY love my sister’s kids… I love them so much it overwhelms me sometimes, when each of them were born, I felt like I knew them my whole life! It really got me thinking about God again. I wanted to know more about this “impossible”, unfathomable love. Mike and I went to church together for the first time in our married life (outside of weddings, funerals, Christmas and Easter) within a couple weeks.

Well that’s a lot for one post, so I will continue sharing my story in future posts.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Save a document

Over the past week I have been really wanting to share some thoughts... mostly thoughts on faith... which I plan to dive into a bit more on my blog... I plan to do so soon..
I have been jotting my thoughts down in a word document and I need take some more time to formulate my ideas...
However, on a lighter note... I just went into my word document and jotted another idea down and went to save and noticed that it is second nature to look for me to click the little disk icon to save...
Will it be an auto thought for the next generation? They probably never have had to save to disk... I wonder .. Is Microsoft going to change that Icon? If they do... what would it look like?

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Holly!

Today is my big sis's birthday so I thought I would honor her with this post! When we were little we didn't hang out that much.. we were 5 years apart so maybe our interests varied a bit...
However I always looked up to her... when I was in kindergarden and she was at school I would always play in her room (strawberry short cake behind the bed... there was a space between the bed and the wall.)
When she was in High School I always admired her taste in music and clothes. I would borrow her cassette tapes now and then... (oops without asking)
When she went away to college I cried myself to sleep for 3 nights... that's when we became friends and I would go visit her at Western Illinois University.
She took me to a resale shop called spirit in the sky... I loved it!
We've been the best of friends ever since.
She married a wonderful man Chris Adkins who takes the best care of her and together they have 4 irresistable kids Sydney, Marie, Luke, and Faye.
Happy Birthday Holly... You're the best BIG SIS ... EVER!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

War Week

Good Luck to the "Crew" at War Week. Great War Week video posts on www.erikscottberg.blogspot.com and www.misteng.blogspot.com
.. or you can click on "Mike" or "Perik" in my side bar.

I will be praying for your safety and effectiveness of your ministry! Have a great time!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Icky Wall...

At about 5pm yesterday I finally finished stripping the wallpaper in the bathroom... One of the last areas I had to do was behind the toilet ... which was awfully close to the wall. Mike was a nice guy and pulled the toilet for me!

I had a sneaky suspicion that there would be a situation behind there because I saw the paper peeling quite a bit more than average..... low and behold...

A Big Moldy spot! EEEW! Gross! Well, mold is just something we are not willing to tolerate in the Stenglein household!

Soooo... we took a quick trip to Lowes. (Unfortunately that's really our only choice... I know I know we would prefer Home Depot too)
When we got back we did all the preparations necessary for a quick switch-a-roo...
Mike cut the new piece while I cut through the old one... then we quickly yanked the nasty piece and swept up the debris so we could quickly slide the new one without having the wall open for too long. (Incase there were any mor surprises (spiders) lurking in there... we're really a pair :)

There's the new piece... I know ... It's blue! Well, it was the perfect size... and we really didn't want to buy a whole sheet of drywall... plus as an added bonus it's moisture resistant! No one will ever know once it's painted.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Our weekly visits...

For the past 4 sundays we have been "visitors"... it's nice to see and feel how different churches operate, and feel the chemistry.. and interesting to BE the visitor for the first time in a while....
But there's nothing like having a church home and family that you can "Come Home To" every week or multiple times a week.
This week we visited the Coweta First Assembly of God. Mike and I both really enjoyed the service, we felt God's presence there, and had a chance to briefly chat with a handful of the members of the congregation.
We chatted about it afterwards... and would like to go back again... if not several more times... we really enjoyed it! I say that with a huge smile on my face... as nice as it is to visit and observe, we both have hearts for service and are anxious to get involved in fulfilling God's will for our lives.
Oddly enough that is what the pastor talked about today..
"For I know the plans I have for you says God.
Plans for good and not for evil
Plans to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11
"When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
Psalm 139:16

Every one of us were created uniquely for God's purpose, let us not waste another minute in hesitation.
Thank you God for calling me to know you and be your servant, may the words that I say and write be used to glorify you, Jesus.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Master totally done...

Before... The walls were off white with a border... I took the border down before taking the picture... oops!

After... I of course needed to have a very green room... it's funny because I think I almost think I do it subconsciously in each home... Then I realized after I picked it. :) Anyways I wanted the walls to kinda glow... I did a simple metallic glaze and am happy with the results!

Closets... one of the more important aspects of "Mission - Update and organize Master Suite" (Before pic not rotated... whoops... you get the idea though)

I painted, bought organizers and arranged clothing by category... (I did Mike's too)

Now that that's finished I will probably take a break for a bit... save some pennies for the next project (except of course the bathroom I already started taking down the wallpaper in)... then I hope the next project will be a paid project in someone else's home! :)

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008


One of my favorite things to do is jam to some good tunes and paint... walls, canvas, furniture... whatever...

While painting my bedroom today some of my selection has included:
Bare Naked Ladies
Casting Crowns
Rig 'N Rich

Some other favorites ... Indigo Girls, Van Morrisson, Fleetwood Mac, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Johnny Cash, Al Green, Bob Seger, David Crowder, Paul Simon, Almost any Sound Track... and last but not least... Random All .... All Great Road Trip tunes too...

What do you jam to?

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Monday, July 21, 2008

First Project Completed...

One of my first projects was to get our bed and bath painted to our liking... I finished the bathroom over the weekend...

The Bathroom was blue with a border which came down with a small amount of elbow grease...

After: I painted the walls a dark greenish brown and added 4" Metallic Bronze stripes. I also painted the cabinets a cream color and rubbed an oak wax on them leaving color in the creases... hardawre is new too...


Yesterday I moved on to the bedroom... I got the border down in like 5 minutes... It came down like tape... I felt so encouraged that I moved onto the other bathroom while the steamer was already heated up... yikes it was glued to the drywall... I don't see evidence of even a primer... take a look at my next project...

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