Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Take This Job and Shove It..

Mr Brown has officially put in his two week notice and I can share the good news! 

He has joined our team at B & K Wood Products and my family couldn't be more thrilled to have him. He has a great respect for the forest industry and the business my family has operated for four generations. We will be working together on several projects and I am excited to see how that goes. I have always said that we would work well together. 

Tanner has worked at a surface mining facility for over three years now and while I have always been thankful for his job, I have never liked his schedule. He works both day and night shift while rotating four days/nights on, four days/nights off. They give us a calendar for the year and that's how it goes. He misses about every other month of church (because he works four Sundays in a row) and that is so incredibly hard on us. 

I am proud of Tanner and the passion he has for his work. He is a wonderful employee and I am certain his boss will hate to see him go. I may be biased, but I think we made the best hire we have ever made. :)

I am so excited about spending more time with my husband and (hopefully) never have to give him up to night shift again! I love him too much. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Guest Post: A Leap of Faith + Adopt Shoppe Auction

I met the sweet Hudson family over a year ago and let me just say, these are genuine people. I have been praying about a way to contribute to their adoption fundraising efforts and  felt led to auction some of my Adopt Shoppe collection. This auction will take place on my Instagram account (@mrsbrownandco) between Monday at 8PM and Tuesday at 8PM.  These coveted necklaces are gorgeous and I can't wait to show you which ones are up for grabs! I will post the selection on Instagram very soon. Can't wait until Monday! 

But, in the meantime, get to know the Hudson fam!

A Leap of Faith

Jon and Christella with their children Grace, Miley, Freddy, Oliver and Kalli

If you asked me anytime in the past couple of years if we intended to have more children, a definitive "yes" would not have been the answer you received.  I would usually respond with something like this:

"I don't think so.  Three children is already a lot, and frankly, I'm exhausted! However, if there is one thing I have learned in life, it's that I never know what God has in store.  If we felt God was calling us to have more children, then we would do it, but I would need to be absolutely positive it was God's calling. I would need God to write me a letter, just so things were perfectly clear!"

Little did we know, God was (again) working a change in our selfish and stubborn hearts.  One day, the realization hit me that God has in fact already written us a letter - the Bible!  His Word gives us the instruction we need, and the call to care for orphans is prevalent throughout that precious letter!  When I turned to my husband to say, "He HAS written us a letter!", I was halfway crying, somewhere between shock and excitement as I grasped the reality of what that meant.  :)  

It's not that God calls every person to adopt - there are many ways each of us can actively engage in the orphan crisis.  Read Orphanology by Tony Merida and Rick Morton for suggestions.  Prayer alone is a powerful way to fight for the fatherless.  Maybe your prayers are the reason we are adopting!  But we feel God has made it clear that adoption is one of the ways our family can advocate for orphans.

So, I guess the exhaustion will just continue!  :)  But we’re so thankful it will.  We love our kiddos ferociously, and are ecstatic that we will have TWO more!  That’s right – God did not stop by opening our hearts to just one child, but two!!  Our amazing son, Oliver, is 4-years-old and has albinism.  He is beyond stunning inside and out.  Personality PLUS!  Our beautiful baby girl is 2-years-old and has been diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy.  We are naming her Kalli Faith, meaning “beautiful faith”, in recognition of how God has led us to her.  Never, ever, ever, ever would we have dreamed we would be a family of 7.  Yet here we are, praising God and thanking Him and still not fully understanding why He is blessing us with the precious responsibility of discipling five amazing little lives!

God has been shaping us and molding us to recognize something - IT IS NOT ABOUT US!  It's not about whether we are tired or worn out from working through temper tantrums or doing endless piles of laundry.  It's not about whether or not we'll have money to take a vacation, or be able to involve our children in any extra-curricular activities.  It's about family.  It's about sacrifice, which really is so very, very minuscule compared to the sacrifice Jesus made to adopt us into his family.  It's about loving God so much we'll do whatever He calls us to do.  It's about precious children in the world who deserve to have a family.



The sacrifice we have seen from our family and friends in support of this journey has been overwhelming.  Total costs to bring both children home is upwards of $43,000.  I can confirm that we earn less than that in one year, yet God has brought us $32,000 of those expenses!!  Those are some c-r-a-z-y numbers!  The generosity and love has been God-honoring.  While the work has been hard, and we’ve had many moments of worry and stress, it has been a rewarding time.  It has been a learning experience, giving us insight on how we look at helping others.

Recently, I was asked if we wished we could continue having biological children.  My simple answer, "No."  God had a plan for our family, and we are thankful He's allowed us to have children both biologically and through adoption.  This process did not begin for us with just the desire to have more children.  It came from the burden on our hearts for orphans.  All our children are OUR children, no matter how they arrived in our arms, equally precious and fully loved.

I have to say, God is SO cool!  If you sincerely pray for Him to change your heart to desire the things He does, He will do it!  And thankfully, He is patient and takes things slowly with us.  He knows how selfish we are and how long it takes us to come around.  :)

New Little Hudsons, we are ON OUR WAY! 

Read more from Christella and the Hudson crew here.

(The Adopt Shoppe approved this auction.)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tutorial: Painted Baseball Letters

Carlee wanted Rylan's name painted on those little wooden letters you find at hobby lobby. Easy peasy. She picked up all of the supplies and base coated them for me.

Supplies include:
Wooden letters (thickness varies, pick whatever you want)
Paint (we used an off white and a deep red)
Precious Metals Premium Leafing Glaze (if you want yours to look antique, obviously you can omit this)
Paint brushes 
Paper towels 
All from Hobby Lobby. 

Begin by base coating the letter with your base color. Remember to get the edges. 

Let that dry and then start in with the antiquing step. 

I LIGHTLY brushed on this glaze in certain areas. Then took a paper towel and rubbed it in. This stuff is very dark and you only need a tiny bit.

Finally, I painted baseball lines. Or whatever they're called. Just at random spots on each letter. 

Paint two curves lines. On one side make a  "v" shape all the way down. On the other side, do the "v" upside down.

It really is simple! But I think it turned out super cute! 

If you're anything like us, you will get paint on your hands. And obviously face. :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Fun

Happy Easter!

We have had a fun filled weekend spent with our crazy fam plus a lot of friends!

Bombshell's {Carlee's salon} grand opening was Saturday. It was so much fun. With the Easter Bunny and a bouncy house you can't go wrong! 

Many friends and family that I don't see that often were there and it was great catching up. I think I held 3 newborns and seen at least 2 preggo bellies! Babies everywhere! 

I made the backdrop for the Easter Bunny pics. Super fast, easy and cheap! 

Carlee and Luke E. Bunny. 

Tanner and Max also got in on some Easter Bunny action.

Max is a teeny bit afraid of the "babbit".

We had supper at Tanner's grandmother's house Saturday night. We came home early and crashed out on the couch. I slept like a baby!

We all went to church with mom and dad Sunday morning. Tanner and I went to pick mom, dad and Hunter up and surprisingly.. Hunter and Tanner had the exact same Easter shirt. Hahaha! I think mom and I must have the same taste. 

If you don't want to read all about my super adorable nephew, stop reading now. :)

Ok, isn't he the cutest thing you've ever seen?

I said Hunter looks like our child (with the matching shirts). So, we took a family picture. But he's taller than me even when I'm wearing heels! :( Wahhh!

We ate at mom's after church and hunted eggs with this sweet boy. He really enjoyed it. Especially the eggs Nana put cookies in. 

He's so much fun... And he humors his momma and aunt E with all the many photos we take!

We finished up out Easter with a supper with the entire famjam and I did a little crafting for baby Rylan. :) Tutorial to come. 

I hope everyone had a fabulous Easter and celebrated the true meaning of this special holiday. 

"Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, Come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave"

My 3 Easters as a Brown: <3

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Weekend Recap

Best weekend ever!

Friday night Tanner and I sat on the couch and caught up on all of our many shows. We brought food home and ate on the couch. That's nothing unusual. :)

Saturday we ate breakfast together then I became Tanner's employee and he bossed me around as he mowed. I did a lot of round-upping and such. It was a beautiful day and I was just happy to be outside. We met our friends for supper and I loved on sweet Dallas. 

This morning we slept in (until after 8) and then got up and ready for church. After a Panera breakfast (Tanner had 3.5 soufflés) I led worship with some super fun kiddos. 

Then Keila sent me this adorable picture of Max. He's a handsome little boy.. And no longer my sweet baby!

We got home from church, napped and went to work at Carlee's salon {Bombshell}. Grand opening is Saturday and it's going to be so much fun. I'm excited about the bouncy house! 

The entire family showed up at Bombshell and all productivity halted. Max had us all at his disposal. He used his new bubble gun to "shoot" his nana and papaw. 

Gahhh... Can't get any cuter!

We all ate together then parted ways. Funny how I'll be seeing everyone again tomorrow, Lord willing. Not everyone is as blessed as I am, and I realize that. On most days, I see all of my close relatives. We are a tight knit family. We are all strong, confident people on our own.. But when you have us all together, we're nearly unstoppable.

Rest up, tomorrow starts a new week! :)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Guest Post: Tutorial {enlarged photos}

I have something fun planned for today! A sweet friend of mine is taking over my blog for a craft tutorial! YAY! Mrs Jenna Payton and I went to high school together and have always stayed in touch. She is a craft fanatic and I envy her mad skills. She and I are also alike in the fact that our initials didn't change when we got married.. and I just noticed that when I typed her married last name! :) 

Listen up, folks!  

My name is Jenna Payton. I am a wife to Kaleb, mom of 2 furbabies {Lulu and Molly}, Family and Consumer Science high school teacher, diy crafter, Pinterest enthusiast, and a small business owner. 

Recently, one of my Pinterest boards was features as a board of the week. Super excited about this! Weekly emails go out to millions of Pinteresters featuring board that are interesting and one was MINE!!! This inspired me and I organized my Pinterest and made it ready to impress new followers! I currently have 87 boards that are very neatly organized and I am adding to those daily. Follow me!

The small business came from a hobby. I started making wooden door décor hangers for myself. After posting these on Facebook it created a buzz. I started getting asking to make them for others and just branched off into a business. Designs by Jenna can be found at On Main in Greenville, KY and The Gift Horse in Madisonville, KY, and ordered online. Coming soon to Etsy as well. 2013 was my first business year and it is going great! Check out my designs

While I love everything I do my real passion is a diy crafter (thank you Pinterest for the millions of ideas). The latest craft project: Super easy and cheap way to enlarge pictures

To start this project simply find the pictures you want to enlarge and save to a flash drive.

Take your flash drive to the nearest Staples.  Ask to get your pictures printed as engineering prints. They offer 3 different sizing to choose from.

18” x 24” for $1.79
24” x 36” for $3.59 currently on sale for $3.00
36” x 48” for $7.29

I choose the 24” x 36”. Most stores can do it while you wait some ask for you to come back the next day. If you have a drive it would be a good idea to call ahead.

Now, that you have your prints…go to Lowe’s. You are looking for foam board.  The board I found would fit all three of my pictures on it. It cost $28.00. However, if you wanted to go super cheap you could use cardboard or a foam piece out of a shipping box.  Next, you need an adhesive.  Loctite spray adhesive ($7) from Lowe’s works the best and will not cause wrinkles in your pictures

Measure the foam piece and cut down to the desired size. You want the print to wrap around the board so allow for that. I used my trusty jig saw that I cut my door décor out for my business. However, I understand that not everyone has one of those lying around. A simple box cutter will work just fine.

Once the foam board is cut to size, spray a thin layer of adhesive to the board and sides of board. Lay the print on top. Center and press down to board. Smooth out any wrinkles with your hands. Fold the sides of print around the board. Carefully fold corners to look neat.

I was worried that my sides would not hold. I used staples around the back to make sure the sides would stay in place. Tape could also be used. 

Voila! Finished! Just hang in desired location! Cheap, easy, and fast way to create an enlarged print. 

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