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It’s About Time ~ JORD Women’s Watch Review

Not often do I get a chance to just take a minute to reflect with you and just step back and relax. I have been trying to look at my year ahead and figure out my goals and where I want to be this time next year. Time is something I always am saying I never have enough of, so when I had the opportunity to review a product by JORD, I excitedly jumped at the chance. Why? Let me explain…

Wooden JORD Women's Watch Review by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

*post sponsored by JORD Wood Watches – opinions are all my own (see full disclosure)

I had seen their gorgeous wood watches here and there on various fronts and loved that not only were their products pleasing to the eye, but actually made with life in mind. And…who can resist jewelry made out of wood? This may just make me change my motto, “Tools over jewels”. Read more

Nourishing Food: Feeding my Large Family

Sometimes life can get so hectic we can lose ourselves and finding our way back can seem daunting. I am an artist on many levels, but have been missing the time to express myself in a culinary fashion. With running a business and blog while homeschooling my six children, I have ached to get our diet straightened out and provide nourishing food for my family. Now is the time that I’m taking my kitchen and my family’s health back.

Mother of 6 Chooses to Nourish Her Family | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

*this post is sponsored by Blue Apron and is 100% my own opinion.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you would know that we have had some heart-wrenching losses with two of our children returning to their heavenly home too soon. I have always been a proponent of healthy eating, but when a few things were amiss in the health of my family, I began to study in-depth. It wasn’t until I made some drastic changes to our diet that our family began to be fully nourished. I’ll elaborate on more of those details in time, but for now I have had a heavy heart about going back to Read more

Vintage Chest Gets Modern Makeover

Each month I have fun participating in our Themed Furniture Makeovers, and this time around I’m letting my oldest son step up to the plate with his latest project piece, a vintage chest of drawers. AND…I have an awesome giveaway for you!

Themed Furniture Makeover | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

I totally encourage my six children to join me in my work and they are always chomping at the bit to have some fun with paint and learn a trade. When I went to pick up the primitive cupboard I just used to show you how to update old wood with stain, the lady also offered us this vintage chest. My furniture lovin’ self could have taken it as my own, but I offered it to my son and he chose to purchase it. (he knows to bring his wallet along when mama is on an adventure. hee hee)

Solid Wood Vintage Chest of Drawers Before Makeover | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.com

It solid as a rock and it took us a great amount of effort to get it down her narrow, twisting flight of stairs. Oh, the stories we have! Read more

My Christmas Wish to You

My week last week was supposed to be a staycation clean-a-thon, right? Instead it became a week-long series of trials that can really test ones strength. The weekend before my break my kids and I got a slight head cold and I complained, but I had no idea how slight that was in comparison to the events yet to come.

Finding true contentment in our daily grind by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

If you follow me on social media, you know what I’m talking about. At first, I was elated to kick off the week by cleaning our home from one end to the other, top to bottom – a winter spring cleaning. My kids were on board and were the most awesome helpers and we were knocking our project out of the park.

It was about the second day that my husband’s car died on the way home from work and I went to jump-start his car. The headache that event can be is nothing in comparison to following him home knowing it would soon die again, only to have your break line bust while driving. Yep, peddle to the floor and stressful as can be. Read more

Reclaimed Game Table from Rocking Chair

Today is Themed Furniture Makeover Day, and is one of my favorite times of the month. Can you blame me? One of my passions are redoing furniture, and the fact that I get to do it along with the best in Blogland, just makes it all the more sweet.

Themed Furniture Makeover Day

ANIMAL is the theme for today, and I have to tell you that my project has been in my brain for two years now…yes, TWO YEARS! I acquired a broken down antique Morris rocker when I needed parts for a custom rocking chair I was working on. (Read the full story here to catch you up to speed)

An antique rocker base is the inspiration for this animal themed makeover. With recalimed barn wood and a pile of junk, it is now a junkified game table for Lego, chess, checkers...fun! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Over the years, I’ve used the springs to create Christmas tree toppers, the rockers to make custom signs, and the arm rests for a fun beachy project. I’ve made use of all the parts except the back rest, spindles, and the base. The back rest will be turned into something functional soon, the spindles I am waiting for the holidays to roll around. Here’s the leftover base:

An antique rocker base is the inspiration for this animal themed makeover. With recalimed barn wood and a pile of junk, it is now a junkified game table for Lego, chess, checkers...fun! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

There’s a piece of the other broken rocker, a remnant slab of first growth reclaimed wood we used to make these custom kitchen shelves, and the cast iron pieces that adjusted the rocker back. Arent’ they cool?

An antique rocker base is the inspiration for this animal themed makeover. With recalimed barn wood and a pile of junk, it is now a junkified game table for Lego, chess, checkers...fun! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

When I turned the leftover base upside down, I saw an animal. The legs looked like a hoofed animal, and what better time to get my rear in gear and do this thing up right than our makeover day? So, here we go…

I start by taking off the pieces that held the rockers on. That is some solid wood, friends!

An antique rocker base is the inspiration for this animal themed makeover. With recalimed barn wood and a pile of junk, it is now a junkified game table for Lego, chess, checkers...fun! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces Read more

DIY Duct Tape Zippered Pouch

It’s high time I take a break from all my furniture makeovers and get my craft on. You have to understand that I ache to create, and it’s been waaaay to long since I’ve “played”. Used to be I would stay up late into the night creating some treasures to greet my kiddos when they woke up the next morning. Now, I’m so busy and have fallen off track. sigh…

Today, I’m getting back on track. My choice of media for my fun – duct tape. Yup. You gotta admit, everyone from young to older(er), can have fun with duct tape. Just look at all the colors and designs there are now…it’s amazing! This stuff has gone from Hillbilly Chrome (as it’s called around here), to Designer’s Dream.

Make a duct tape zippered pouch from repurposed items. Perfect for back-to-school pencil case, baby, beach, snacks, and crafters too! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Such fun colors, and ooooh….the possibilities! When I see some blogger friends getting crafty with it, I knew I had to have my turn. My kids would love it for a homeschool project, and it would get my craft cup full again. Yay!

Here’s what idea struck me as I was laying in bed one night (doesn’t it always happen that way?), a repurposed duct tape zippered pouch perfect for most any occasion. I dare you to say that 3 times fast. hee hee.

Make a duct tape zippered pouch from repurposed items. Perfect for back-to-school pencil case, baby, beach, snacks, and crafters too! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Seriously though, this is a basic craft and so versatile too. This project is simple enough that it can be done by young ones paired with an adult or older child, and completed alone by at least a 7-9 year old and older.

Ready to get your craft on? Let’s get started! Read more

Teaching My Kids a Trade

If you follow me on social media, you know I occasionally share pictures of my kids working on their own pieces (yes, I’m one proud mama). Today, I want to take a minute to showcase their work for you because I believe that learning a trade is just as important as book learning.  I am so absolutely blessed to have my kids with me at home, they are my sidekicks, my apprentices, and my biggest fans. I’m getting see them bloom under my teaching.

Of all of my 6 kids, the oldest four are the ones that have worked on items to sell in my shop. All the purchasing of worn out projects is their responsibility, and almost all of the labor involved in recreating that find is theirs too. It’s hard to not jump in and “take over” at times, but they won’t learn if I do!

Take a look at the fruits of their labor. My oldest has done the most makeovers up to this point, with one of his latest being this grain sack coffee table.

Create a Faux French Grain Sack Table with Tape and Paint - Let a teenager show you how! by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

We were all so excited for him when it sold in less than an hour of listing it in my shop. It’s fun to work alongside and teach them the skills of earning a living. My hope is that they are learning to appreciate the value of a dollar and that hard work pays off, among other things.

My oldest three have worked alongside each other most of the time. They are Mr. I, Miss C, and Miss S. When I receive a piece of furniture for free, I take turns giving it to them so they can work on it. Here is a table I found on Craigslist free section and gave to my daughter:

Teaching my kids a trade - a long-lasting lesson in life skills by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

It was in great shape with wear to the top, and just needing a color change. My son found this Broyhill nightstand at a thrift store and purchased it himself to be his project piece.

Teaching my kids a trade - a long-lasting lesson in life skills by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

They have fun working together, and my yet-to-be-remodeled living room is the catch-all for all our projects.

Teaching my kids a trade - a long-lasting lesson in life skills by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces Read more

All Work and No Play

Just a week ago we entered into a new year and I did a post about different projects I worked on, but I didn’t talk about the behind-the-scenes activities much.  I want to take some time to shed some light on my little part of the world and get personal.

If you haven’t been here before, then you wouldn’t know that I am a homeschooling mom to 6 of the most precious children in the world – not including my little girl and other baby (which I believe was a boy) that are now in heaven.  You can read more about my baby journey here.

As part of our what we call “language lessons”, our homeschool curriculum has the children in grammar grades learn to recite this poem:

Work by Anonymous
Work while you work,
Play while you play,
This is the way
To be happy each day.
 
All that you do,
do with your might,
things done by halves,
are never done right.
This little poem has been on my mind for the last nine months because my life has been a whole lot of work and has had to forget the play part. Before starting my business and blogging, you would never had seen me with a cell phone in hand or, gasp, on Facebook.  I hated the idea of social media and getting techie. I can do all that stuff, but didn’t need it.  I spend most of my days barefoot, without makeup, and creating culinary delights with our whole food lifestyle.
I’ve had to give that up for a time.  It is hard for me not to constantly “talk” about my children and my husband because I love them so much.  I’ve often thought about having a mommy blog, or a foodie blog, etc. because there are so many aspects I’d love to share with you, especially how blessed I am. Obviously, I’ve found a whole new world in blogger land and am feeling this is God’s direction for me.
So, you may be asking, why haven’t I shared more?  Well…this past year put me through trials that were soooo stinkin’ hard.  My pregnancies are not what I would say easy. No, I don’t end up in bed rest each time, but my start to them is very hard physically. Because we had two losses in between our four year old boy and last little girl, this time was particularly scary, but I chose to lean on God throughout it all.
My, now 9 month old, sweetie was supposed to be born at home in our newly renovated bedroom, and be welcomed by all her brothers and sisters, and we were to relish this sweet fleeting time.  God had different plans.
Premature Baby Gives New Take on New Year and God's Promises of What's to Come by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
 Our sweet little bundle came 6 weeks early, which in most cases I could have delivered at home and then been transported to a hospital with babe, if need be. We called our local hospital and they said that unless I was in an emergency delivery state (as in pushing on the way there), they would not let me deliver there.  So, we decided to head to a bigger hospital an hour away since they were more equipped for premature birth.  Let me just say that I had no idea I would be spending the next 3 weeks in a hospital.
Premature Baby Gives New Take on New Year and God's Promises of What's to Come by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
You have to understand that I am a home birth lady (except for my first boy) and minimal intervention is the most glorious part of the experience.  Going to the hospital is a not something I relish, especially to deliver a baby.  Upon arrival they noted that I was 2 days shy of the 34 week mark and because my water had broke prematurely, they thought it better to stop my natural labor so my little one had a couple more days to mature.  I won’t go into too much detail here, but not being allowed to eat nothing but popcicles and ice chips for 2 days will drive a person CRAZY!!! (I had an IV and was getting “nourished”, and I know they had their reasons, I’m glad they did).  I was a bad girl and ate a little bit anyway.  My hubby gave me bits of his food and I ate and drank to a degree because I knew what a long journey I was in for and for sanity’s sake had to do it.
Premature Baby Gives New Take on New Year and God's Promises of What's to Come by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
The view from the first room I was in.

Somehow they messed up my due date and kept me from laboring longer than was necessary, but when it was time to stop the magnesium (that’s used to relax the muscles from contracting) they wanted me to jump into labor.  Baby was fine and I told them that you’ve been telling my body to stop and now you want it to jump-start?  I was getting so much heat for not starting an inducing drug, so much to the point that they told me I had better start labor by this specified time or else….or else what?!  They were patient with me waiting for labor to restart on it’s own, but I got so fed up with being harassed that I gave in to minimal dosages just to stop being bothered (I am absolutely not the norm, so I feel for them). Remember, I’m used to a homebirth with a qualified EMT nurse-midwife, and this is nothing like what I was used to, except that my firstborn was also been in a hospital with a nightmare birth.

Needless to say, when you start that sort of stuff it puts you through a horrible labor, and even though I delivery naturally at home without drugs, this messed up birth was more than I could handle and took an epidural.  I knew the risks of the epidural causing baby to struggle and she did.  Her heart rate jumped all over and they were afraid they’d have to take her by c-section. To say I was angry was an understatement, but I chose that route.

Thankfully, our baby was born without any problem breathing and was doing great.  This particular hospital isn’t equipped so that you can room-in with your baby. The babies are placed in a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) instead, and my room is in a separate wing.  If I had known that hospital was equipped that way, there is no way I would EVER go there again.  I nurse my babes on demand, co-sleep, and wear them so they get the full heart-to-heart experience and there is no way I can do that in a place where no food was allowed, no bathroom for new mom ( a man had to have built that place), and no phones. Keep in mind that I have 5 children at home who where freaked out because the last time mom left pregnant to go to this same hospital, she came home without our little girl who died upon premature delivery at 21 weeks from a subchorionic hematoma.

Premature Baby Gives New Take on New Year and God's Promises of What's to Come by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

So, why were we in the hospital for 3 weeks??  I really have no idea, except it’s all about numbers and regulations.  She had to reach these specified hurdles in order to qualify to take her car seat test – an hour long sit in a car seat while they watch her stats.  I am thankful for her special care, but some things were unneccesary.

I also strictly nurse (no bottle feeding) and they put her on a 3 hour schedule for feeds (I don’t do schedules!!).  My routine was this: take her out of the incubator and try to get her to nurse, if she was too sleepy I’d hold her until I needed to eat or go to the bathroom (remember I had just delivered a baby!), while out I would take care of calling and try to get a minute of sleep.

Premature Baby Gives New Take on New Year and God's Promises of What's to Come by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
This is my second room during the bonding program – a bonus in all the chaos because I got to stay free and got 3 free meals. Praise God for the wonderful program at this hospital!
This little ray of sunshine would make my day and I would crawl up in to the window sill to soak it all in.
The nurses, by my request, were supposed to let me know if she woke while I was out so that I could nurse her.  Some of them eagerly abided, but for most it is a norm for some of them to not want a parent in there?  Nooo, of course, not. You mess up their schedule and they just want to bottle feed the babies and keep you at a distance.  I can’t tell you the number of times I would go in at the scheduled time to find her screaming or finding her so exhausted to the point she wouldn’t wake up to nurse because she had been screaming and they never called me. How in the world could we get out of there with those crazy issues?
Premature Baby Gives New Take on New Year and God's Promises of What's to Come by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
Because the nurses worked in shifts, there were a few special ladies in there that saw my plight and worked hard to make sure I was notified, and even bent the rules for me.  During that trying time, I got to share with those nurses my faith and about my life, as they shared with me.  I made waves in that NICU because I wasn’t the norm (didn’t really want to create waves, but somebody has to stand their ground!) and I think God put me in there for a reason.  God bless you, my nurse guardians!
Premature Baby Gives New Take on New Year and God's Promises of What's to Come by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
I never once left that hospital during that 3 week time, and for the most part was alone because we had children at home needing care and my husband had to go back to work. I don’t know what hell is really like, but in my mind (a hormonal new mom mind) you couldn’t get any closer. But…I had God. Even though I was “alone” in a massive hospital full of people, I could talk to him and cry to him. I don’t know what I would have done otherwise because not only was I in the NICU, but had never been apart from my kids or husband that long.
This was my first escape to sunshine in the courtyard after the most dreary, nasty cold winter since 1965 we had here in Ohio. It was my absolute therapy.
Premature Baby Gives New Take on New Year and God's Promises of What's to Come by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
This little bird reminded me of a windged fried my kids named Cheepside at home.
To make matters worse, they got so utterly sick when I was gone, and I couldn’t be there to take care of them.  They couldn’t even come to the hospital for fear of passing it to me, or worse, our baby for weeks.  So they didn’t get to see her until we left.  Oh yeah, and our chest freezer died while our frozen goods went to pot, my shop had the best sales ever in that time period, which was a blessing and a nightmare for me to maintain sales from a smart phone that I just received days before this event…I could go on, but you get the idea. You can imagine what my husband was going through.
Premature Baby Gives New Take on New Year and God's Promises of What's to Come by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
Failing the first car seat test.
My little girl failed her first car seat test by doctors decision (although the nurse and I thought she would have been fine), which meant we had to stay another week.  The second test she passed and we were allowed to go home.  I could not believe how soft my car seats were and to see my kids, and to be able to touch them was unreal.
Premature Baby Gives New Take on New Year and God's Promises of What's to Come by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
My 3rd room I was very thankful for because I lost my bonding room and was going to have to leave the hospital due to no room. God worked wonders through the helpful hospital staff. Here I would sit to get my snippet of sun.

Since then, we have been working our tails off to pay the hospital bills we incurred from being there that long, and am thankful is was not as long as others have had to endure.  I have felt as if I’ve had to pay for our daughter to be ours in some ways.  My furniture work is what’s been keeping our heads above water.  We are just shy of being done with those payments and I can tell you it is only by the grace of God we have been able to take care of this debt.

Premature Baby Gives New Take on New Year and God's Promises of What's to Come by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesOver and over again, a piece would sell just in time before we had to make payment.  There was one time we didn’t have a penny for it and I had worked so hard on some furniture, but nothing was selling in time.  It was down to the wire and 2 of them sold in one day and I couldn’t help but shout and praise God for His timing.  Why he waits sometimes is a mystery to me, but I am always needing a patience lesson.
I am enormously blessed to not only have our little girl, but my family.  Things could have went wrong and we lost another baby, but God saw fit to heal my past wounds with this sweet little girl.  No words can express my gratitude.
Premature Baby Gives New Take on New Year and God's Promises of What's to Come by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesMy goal in this coming year is to be more real with you, to share more of what God’s doing in my life so that you can be blessed too.  My brain is forever reeling with ideas, and aching to make my life normal again. I haven’t really been able to do that in so long because furniture needed to be done to generate income.  You can lose a bit of yourself when that happens and it’s easy to lose joy in what you do.
My homeschooling has been lacking zest due to our current circumstances, but that will be remedied soon, my lack of pep in the blogging department is going to change, our diet is going back to healthy, and my business is going to get some much needed changes as well. My bedroom is still not finished and our bathroom is still partially tore up, not to mention our living room needs finished and the entire rest of our house!  sigh.
It will all be done before this summer is over if not before if I have anything to say about it because once that hospital bill is gone, I am going DIY crazy around here and gaining my sanity back.  Maybe you have no idea what it’s like to live in a 1600 sq. ft. home with 8 people, 1 dismantled bath, and furniture everywhere, but amidst it all I’m surrounded by things I love. Kudos to my family for putting up with it all, including a crazy painting wife/mom.
If you’re still reading at this point, I thank you.  My readers are why I do what I do in this blogging world and you have been tremendous support this year.  I urge you to take a minute and consider where you are today in your relationship with your heavenly Father.  Without Him I would have been truly alone in that hospital.  Without Him I would be lost.  Do you need some time to grow closer to God?  I’d love to be an ear for you and a prayer warrior for you if you do!
Let’s make this year a good one!

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