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Jaimee Coon

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I’ve wanted to build one of these tomato cage Christmas trees forever.  This year, I was determined to make it happen.  Let me share with you how SUPER easy this was to do…and inexpensive compared to what you would spend to purchase one already potted and lit.First, I found a couple tomato cages at Lowe’s.  I bought these last year during the Christmas season;  I just asked where they stored out-of-season gardening supplies and the clerk led me right to them.I didn’t bother to secure the cages into my pots as I assumed the weight of the greenery would keep them in place.  These pots already held soil from summer plantings so I just turned the cages upside down and placed them on top of the soil in the pots. Next, I secured the tops with wire to make a pointed top for my tree (Fireman always has a roll of…

One of the most daunting projects on my Sixteen Days of Getting my House in Order was painting the cabinetry in our kitchen.  I finished the week-long project early-mid October, so we’ve been living with white cabinetry for six weeks now. My overall six-week-in evaluation?  I cannot believe the difference white cabinetry has made in this space.I thought I would share more details about my process in this post, and also give an update on how the paint is holding up in our busy family kitchen.First of all, there were a lot of beautiful things about the original kitchen, specifically the warm tones of the wood stain and the textured travertine backsplash. However, as we’ve worked to make this home more our style, the dark colors in the kitchen began to clash more and more with the brighter, whiter spaces we were developing in the remainder of the house.  (Plus, although you…

Today I’m sharing a little DIY project because it’s been awhile.This year, more than any other, I am committed to savoring small moments during the Christmas season.  I’ve found that these moments can sneak up on you when you least expect them.  Here are a few from our weekend:Roaming through Santa Claus House in North Pole with the kids and stumbling upon a video of a lady painting glass ornaments from the inside.  Captivating! (To clarify, the lady wasn’t on the inside, but her paintbrush reached inside the ornament.) Turning to see my two teenage sons carrying the very heavy Christmas tree box up two flights of stairs…and realizing it was no longer heavy for them.  My heart filled with gratitude and thankfulness for two strong, maturing young men in our home.  Watching my daughter open the first Christmas storage box and seeing her eyes fill with delight at the light-up…

Okay, I’ll admit it.  When I originally committed to getting my house in order in Sixteen Days, I truly believed I would be done by Labor Day.Please don’t laugh.Have you ever experienced one of those seasons in which it felt like each circumstance and event was strategically lined up for the sole purpose of challenging your personal resolve and commitment?  In spite of best-laid plans, sky-high inspirations, and truckloads of work ethic, so many things came flying your way that you finally had to throw up your hands in the air, take a gulpy deep breath, and do the one thing that is ultimately.so.very.difficult.Surrender?The thing is, in the midst of surgeries, septic issues, broken garage doors, red-eye flights, bladder infections, a very sick dad, and a deeply-loved family member working her way through her own life-altering decision, one Scripture verse keeps running through my head over and over again.We can…

One goal I had in mind when I set up my Sixteen Days of Getting My House in Order was to rethink our household food storage.Our kitchen is not large, and therefore does not offer many options for food storage.  One way I’ve worked around this dilemma is to repurpose furniture pieces as food storage areas.Just this morning we finished “moving in” to one of these repurposed furniture pieces and I quite simply can’t believe we didn’t do this sooner. We have needed a designated space for snack items, lunch prep things, plastic utensils, and party items (think birthday candles, candy sprinkles, etc.) for a long time.  This hutch sits directly in the midst of our dining/kitchen/living rooms which makes it an ideal storage place for these items.  The only thing is, when we tried to use it without adequate shelving, it ended up looking like this:I’m sorry you had…

The last few weeks I’ve been preparing a Bible study based on Annie F. Down’s book Let’s All Be Brave.According to Annie, painting risers on the stairs as part of my Sixteen Days of Getting My House in Order definitely qualifies as brave.Here’s why:”The moment you take that first step,the moment you start,little seeds of courage,the ones already planted there right now,begin to sprout in your heart.You aren’t headed out to find courage.It’s in you, it is blooming,and it is with you as you say yes to things that seem scary.”p. 23, Let’s All Be BraveThe thought of painting my stair risers was, indeed, scary for me.  In spite of many hours painting furniture, walls, and various accessories over the years, painting laminated risers in a high-traffic stairway scared me.I was afraid the paint wouldn’t adhere, afraid that it would chip and scuff over time, worried that painted stairs would negatively…

Every now and then a girl needs to post a DIY project, especially if it’s simple and inexpensive.If it happens to be the month of September and the project just happens to be fall-themed, even better.These urns started out as flimsy white plastic containers from a thrift store.  They were $2 each.  I loved the shape and knew I could do something creative with them.I mixed up a chalk paint mixture of 1/2 cup Sherwin Williams Pussywillow (a gray/taupe color) with 1/2 T unsanded grout and started painting.  Chalk paint sticks to almost anything, including dirty, cheap plastic from a thrift store.  Truly.Here they are, still damp from the paint.  This picture doesn’t look much different; however, the paint color darkens as it dries.Once dry, I applied Annie Sloan’s Dark Soft Wax,with Miss Mustard Seed’s waxing brush (although you can use any dry paint brush, or even a soft cloth),…

What is this love between a mother and a son?In moments, her heart so overwhelmed it truly aches.Her soul and spirit pregnant with hope for who he will become.Right now, a celebration of his nearness.So many high stakes and choices and crossroads ahead for him…for young men today.What is this love?Bending down to retrieve another sock left behind, all the while whispering a prayer for his life-giving and salt spreading and servanthood in the halls of school today.  Because this daily bread is now, this present, and grace abounds right now.Complete, unconditional forgiveness for the neglected sock in light of these more important things.Complete, unconditional love to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things.A mother’s heart beats with the cadence of prayers for her son.I am listening to a beautiful story in the mornings this week, a love story between a mother and a son. …

For a moment, can we interrupt Sixteen Days of Getting Our Houses in Order to talk about the color pink?I just picked up the mail and was tickled (wait for it….) pink when I saw the front of the new Ballard Designs catalog.  Have you seen it yet?And then on page 6, this beautiful chair and ottoman.  In pink.I don’t know about you, but something about this bold pink color reminds me of this ~And this ~And this ~This isn’t the first time I’ve painted or decorated something, only to see within days a similar furniture piece or style.  I like to tell my family I’m ahead of my time. Truth be told, it’s most often coincidental. Here’s a Before of the little pink desk I finished painting last week. Found at a local thrift store, it was pretty beat up and tired-looking, but the the top took stain beautifully,…

In spite of falling somewhat behind in the Sixteen Days schedule I set, the experience has proven tremendously rewarding and purpose-driven.Being a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend and church member, and attempting to be sensitive to how the Lord would order my days (as opposed to me rushing into my own schedule and asking Him to bless it), the truth is that ordering one’s house cannot always take top priority.  However, the good news is that I’ve learned much in the process and am moving forward with continued inspiration and determination.  For my own sake, I needed to plan the days the way I did, understanding they would be tweaked as circumstances required ~ things like, oh I don’t know, spending two days processing a moose in your backyard??  You know, random things like that.Here are a few reflections on my Sixteen Days journey so far:   1)  Making the…