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My Surprise!

OK…so have you been curious what I’ve been sneaking around about?! Well…the hubby had to leave bright and early on Tuesday morning for business trip. With 3 kids under 5…soon to be 4 kids under 5:-)…and having a hubby that travels a bit—I tell myself that I have 2 choices. I can “woe is me” to be solo…or I can rise to the occasion and get C-R-A-Z-Y. I like choosing the later of the two;). SO…I decided to once again get crazy! Remember last time he went out of town for a week when he went to Africa for 10 days last month? Crazy me decided to build a garden the last 2 days with my 3 crazy kids:). You can check out my last “hubby away let’s surprise him when he gets back” post here. You can trust my surprises with all my kids taggin’ along are never simple. I was made to thrive under chaos…that’s just the way I roll;).

SOOO…the minute Richard stepped out the door on Tuesday morning—I decided to take a “before” picture of the office off of our bedroom. I had cleaned it out in hopes to make this Isaac’s nursery–but for months I just couldn’t decorate it and let my heart go there. I was protecting my heart, and honestly–even after our referral I found myself still protecting my heart with Isaac’s unknowns. After Angie sent the recent updates—I truly felt the Lord saying “Trust me Andrea–he is going to be okay!” I’ve been on cloud 9 with excitement and expectation…and trusting my Lord in new ways…and I felt the “go ahead” to truly open my heart and trust Him in news ways. And by golly, it’s time for my munchkin to have a nursery! Here’s what I was staring at on Tuesday morning…

We decided to put Isaac in my office off our room so he is super close to mommy and daddy…and I told Richard I’m not moving his room until he BEGS that he no longer wants to be so close;). We have done lots of attachment research and reading–and it’s best for little ones like Isaac to get to be super close and even cosleep and share a room for awhile–so his room just off of ours will be perfect. Our other 3 kiddos have their own rooms down the hall…so in a few years they can draw straws who gets to share…I’m guessing Isaac and Frank–but for now…everyone has their own sweet space:) Only Isaac’s wasn’t so sweet on Tuesday…

This was worthy of a “Design on a Dime” show…only WAY better. Seriously. They do a nursery in a few days—BUT do they have 3 kids under 5 “helping” them??? I think not. This was total HGTV + Reality Show material. If I could have had a camera man following me around town the last 3 days it would have been a woot! 3 days + 3 kids under 5 + a serious budget…check it out…

Day 1

First thing first–I had to get rid of the green paint. TWO coats of primer and we were ready for blue…Every one served their time…and we all wore “stinky pj clothes” so it was okay to get messy…We turned on the fans…and raised the windows.

Day 2

We hit the town on Wednesday to find accessories we’d need. This is what we found…and the pictures show what we did with it…

Fabric Felt Storage containers (Home Goods) – $10 and $15 {total $25} (I already had 1 because it was given at my Bible study’s shower from one of the girls…I decided to roll with it as my color scheme!)
(Laney, Parker and Frank donated stuffed animals for the bin)
4 12×12 blank white canvases (Dick Blick Art Supply) – $3 each {total $12}
2 window treatment panels (Home Depot) – $13 each {total $26}
sweet sign (Old Time Pottery) – $12
fabric for baby bedding and canvas art – $60
THIS DIDN’T GET DONE…I ran out of time:)…but I’m working on it TODAY and I’m sure I’ll be done by the weekend to show you! Here’s the fabric that is about to become fancy baby bedding this weekend…
paint (Home Depot) $40

I had gift certificates saved from a baby shower…so although it came to around $200 after tax—I only had to dish out $6.50! We bought the crib in the Fall—and I forgot we needed a mattress…then a friend stopped by with a gift for Isaac and it paid for the mattress! YAY! I was so excited because after we had our surprise referral and things were tight—I knew I’d need to be creative with the nursery. SO…just a bit over by $6.50 out of pocket;).

Day 3

This was serious decoration day…but first we had to put the crib together!The crib box was way too heavy to carry—so we had to open the box in the garage and carry it piece by piece.

And then…WA LA…

Then of course we had to accessorize some…
We have gobs and gobs of Africa accessories…so I ran around the house and grabbed a few fun things to add to the nursery:) Love the drum…

The absolute funniest part of the whole process was watching mommy (me!) carry this from the basement to the upstairs…WHEW.
It was. not. pretty. Now I have a few marks on the staircase wall in the basement to paint over. I almost fell down the stairs a few times…but I overcame…and it was worth it;)

Then last night in the wee hours of the night…I was texting and email my adopting friend Melanie Strobel back and forth (aka multi tasking) while I made these…The great things about this whole set is that it only cost me $12. They are 12×12 canvases. I googled “elephant templates” and “africa “templates”. I saved them on my computer and then opened up in Word to make larger—then printed off. Then used some of the bedding fabric as the cut outs. Glued on with Modge Podge and then painted Modge Podge over it. AND…done! Super simple, super cheap…and super cute!NOW…the nursery STILL has some finishing touches…truthfully it’s only 3/4 done. BUT I told you I would share my surprise today—so as of today…it looks like this…

Now up…the nursery bedding—an absolutely TO DIE FOR YUMMY NAME BANNER…it’s my most favorite thing of all…Martha Stewart white pom poms (I’ll share a tutorial when I’m done for this…it’s tooo cute) and last but not least an hand-made hook rug made my yours truly. JUST KIDDING. I’m NOT making a hook rug;). But the REST I really am doing this weekend! I THOUGHT about making a hook rug but there’s no way I can pull it off in a weekend and I’d like to be done by Sunday so I can jump back into blogging my scripture readings!

SO…SURPRISE! Now…next time your hubby scoots out the door…jump on in and rise to the occassion and get some Africa in your blood;). We always talk and laugh about how our Zambian widows BLOW our minds at what hard workers they are…I thought about them as I brought that chair up…”I can do this! I can do this!” BUT The MOST fun part was showing him this morning (he came in at 3am). HE WAS BLOWN AWAY!!! And…he was also excited that he wasn’t going to be asked to paint another nursery;). Momma has it under control hon. And I assured him…if I can do this–I can totally swing 4 kids under 5. I can’t WAIT to be crazier with 4 this summer!!! Bring on a court date baby! This momma is ready to show Isaac his nursery!



Anna Morgan - April 23, 2010 - 1:45 pm

Great job Mamma! I pray for your family all the time. I am so excited for you all and for little Issac! God is great!
Take Care!!!

Gini - April 23, 2010 - 1:55 pm

LOVVVVVVE It!!! Awesome room! 🙂

angie - April 23, 2010 - 2:00 pm

IT IS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL, andrea! i LOVE the light and airy color scheme! can’t wait to see it in person…and can’t wait to see isaac in the room!

just FYI – you posted his photo…oops! just thought i would give you a heads up so that you can bur out his sweet face (even though i could look at it all day!)

Emily Shupert - April 23, 2010 - 2:09 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE how this space has been transformed! I am eagerly awaiting and praying for your sweet son! Had a dream about you guys a few nights ago as you minister to others and love them well….Blessings to this sweet baby and your entire family!


Shannon Bolton - April 23, 2010 - 2:12 pm

You did an awesome job on the nursery. Congratulations on the new edition to the family guys.

Jenn - April 23, 2010 - 2:12 pm

Beautiful!!! I LOVE IT! I saw those totes at Home Goods the last time I was there and did a double take…they are ridiculously cute!!!!

Great job!!

Marci - April 23, 2010 - 2:14 pm

Can you see my big smile ! You are supplied with the energy from above…the nursery is soooo adorable. So excited for you all. Baby Isaac is being prayed for daily. I was in adoration this morning and talking to sweet Jesus and put my prayers on Him for baby Isaac to grow strong and healthy…peace rested on me..Baby Isaac is going to be just fine,healthy and strong.

Amy @ Filled With Praise - April 23, 2010 - 2:29 pm

You never fail to make me smile. Very impressive…I am sure your hubby has come to expect projects while he is gone 🙂 I love it and I know Isaac will love it because his mommy and siblings put everything together for him with love. Now…bring on that court date 🙂

Jenny - April 23, 2010 - 2:51 pm

you.are.SUPERWOMAN! you’re totally going to be able to handle 4 under 5!!! it looks AMAZING!!! and i love that your kids helped you 🙂 so special!

Melanie Strobel - April 23, 2010 - 3:07 pm

YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY AMAZING LADY! Can’t wait for Isaac to sleep, dream and play with his siblings in his fancy, functional and fun room. Let’s get that kid home!!!

Elle J - April 23, 2010 - 3:15 pm

Awesome work, Andrea!! Love the window and the color choices. I can visualize you sitting in the chair snuggling Isaac with a book and a song.

Lara - April 23, 2010 - 3:45 pm

Precious! Love the canvas idea, those are adorable!

Becca Harley - April 23, 2010 - 3:56 pm

Andrea – I love it!! I think that instead of me coming down there for a girls night out – you need to come hear and do that for me!:)

JonesEthiopia - April 23, 2010 - 4:19 pm

It is completely beautiful!! WOW

Megan - April 23, 2010 - 4:33 pm

It looks amazing Andrea! Again, you are such an inspiration. I often feel so bummed about my husband’s work schedule and feel sorry for myself that I can’t get many projects done. My main excuse is that I don’t know how. But over the last couple months I have found myself just jumping into the unknown and being a hands on learner. YOU have been my inspiration…and this adoption. I feel like I’ve conquered a lot through this process and I’m becoming a lot more confident in myself.
Okay…enough rambling. You did great! I love it! Can’t wait to see more!!! =P

Natali - April 23, 2010 - 8:32 pm

you did an amazing job, andrea! wow. you’re so talented :))

Sallee Couch - April 23, 2010 - 9:05 pm

great job!! keep that energy going!

Sara - April 23, 2010 - 9:54 pm

That is sooooooooooooo pretty and wonderful!!!! And I am totally impressed! 🙂

Kim - April 24, 2010 - 4:58 am

Gorgeous! Simply gorgeous!
So worthy of a Design on a Dime episode!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

Shannon H - April 24, 2010 - 7:05 am

Andrea, the nursery looks amazing!!! You are amazing. Can you come decorate my house?

Betsy - April 24, 2010 - 4:57 pm

Love it Andrea! Now can you come do mine??!! I have most everything, except the motivation to get started. Maybe when I see her sweet face that motivation part will kick in!