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Extreme Makover

AHH Adoptive Family Receives Extreme Home Makeover:

Brian and Michelle Hassal, two time adoptive parents through a Helping Hand have been selected by ABC's Extreme Makeover. Their home is located in Northern Kentucky and this week a thousand volunteers will be building a new home for this family with quite a story.

The adoptive father, Officer Brian Hassall, was shot in the line of duty. The mom, Michelle, is battling a blood disorder and lymphoma cancer. Because of the medical condition, the couple couldn't have their own children, so they chose to adopt through A Helping Hand.

They adopted their daughter daughter, Alex, 8, and Sam, a special needs three-year-old boy born in China with a cleft palate.

Treatment time led the couple to miss work, and increasing medical bills put a financial strain on the family, who's now maxed out their credit cards and taken out a second mortgage.

The Hassalls were sent on vacation and will return in a week to a brand new home. To God be the Glory!!

The air date for this episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has not been announced. The show airs on Channel 9 Sundays at 8 p.m.

Secret Pal - March

Thanks so much to my Secret Pal. I LOVE my books. I have seen this ladybug book but have yet to get one! Now...I HAVE ONE! It is just too cute. Everyone should have one. I also love the little photo album. This will be perfect for Giorgi's Care Package! Now, I just have to get those photos in it!! Thanks so much to my Secret Pal!!

My Logo

I just got the news that the logo I designed was chosen! Yipee! I am so excited! This is for our January 2006 DTC group. Thank you to everyone that voted for #20!!


Well, I have decided to go forward with the 100 Good Wishes Quilt. Lisa W. made a good point, she doesn't want her little Tate to see someone else's and wonder where hers was! Hmm. Really good point. So, I am requesting Squares & Wishes and willing to swap! If anyone is interested just
email me! I am requesting 8x8 square if hand cut, 7x7 if rotary cut or you can even just send an uncut piece of fabric if you detest cutting. I have a rotary and it's super easy for me. :) You can address Giorgia if you like or one of her nicknames (Gigi or Giorgi). Thanks so much, I can't wait to get restarted on this project.


Thank you Lisa for my Quilt Square and Wish! I love it. Did you know that this fabric is very very similar to Giorgi's Sheets! I love it! Plus, this was the first piece of mail that Giorgi has received. I saved the envelope for her scrapbook. :) Thank you!

Nursery on a Budget

If you’re like me, you want to do your nursery but are not yet ready to commit to a theme. Afraid that you are going to change your mind next week, next month, or next year? Me too. Okay, I figured it out. At least, I figured it out for me and thought I would share with you.

When I think of my daughter’s room, what do I envision? I thought…GIRLY! What is GIRLY anyway? There are so many different things that are girly. So, I need to define GIRLY. GIRLY for me means sparkly! OK. It’s a start, and don’t think I didn’t contemplate HEAVILY on mixing glitter in my faux finish glaze! LOL. So, how do I make my daughter’s room sparkly. Then it hit me, I want one of those chandelier’s that I sometimes see in little girls rooms. That’s it! So, that was my starting point.

I have always found that in each room that I decorate, there seems to be one main focal point. I figured that this will be Giorgi’s. I also decided that since the chandelier was going to be the focal point,this will be the one item that I will splurge on. It’s the one thing that will be totally unique about her room, and I will design her room around it. Easy enough…right. My budget allowed me $200 for this. Have you priced chandeliers recently? This was not going to fit into my plan. Anyway, I searched on and off for the perfect chandelier for about 4 months. Then, I found THE ONE. I was in love before I even looked at the price. $199 and free shipping. Was that a sign or what!

Okay, so back to the room. Since the chandelier had little crystal flowers on it, I was thinking garden theme.

I imagined every garden theme imaginable, even butterflies and ladybugs. My daughter would not be a baby-baby so I wanted a theme that would grow with her. I wanted to paint a beautiful mural on the wall. But after I paint the beautiful mural, it’s never going away. LOL. What if she ends up hating it and wants Dora on the wall. NO. So, I ruled out the mural. (Love Dora, just not on the wall). So, I want pretty neutral walls. I then decided to go with a faux sky. It’s cheery, serene, soft, and kind of shabby chic and of course, the chandelier would look fantastic against it. Done. Plus, in the future I can change the look of the room with accents. I don’t have to commit to a “THEME” per say.

Paint is going to give you the biggest bang for your buck. It’s cheap and easy. I highly recommend painting your ceiling. It gives off a very finished look. Even consider a border as an accent instead of wallpaper. I am not a very big fan of wallpaper if you ever want to remove it, it is nerve wracking!
The best finishes to consider for children’s wall are satin, semi-gloss or eggshell indoor latex paint. Smudges of dirt will wipe right off with a damp cloth and some mild soap. You might be able to get away with a flat paint, but only in a room where the child will primarily be sleeping and not playing.
Spend the extra time prepping the room. You know, taping the woodwork and other stuff for clean lines. Time has been my best friend. I have the luxury of having lots of time to do all of this without catering to the needs of a family. My pooch Pirate is very low maintenance. But when it comes to to saving money – you can do it too.

A must have for me was a white armoire. I didn’t mind if I have to refinish one, just needed one. I found mine at Kmart for $149.99 with no tax. Delaware has no sales tax. Yahoo. Anyway, it’s not as sturdy as I would have liked, but for the price I am definitely not complaining.
As you know, I am going with a white furniture theme. I began looking for a crib. There are just way too many to choose from. Is my daughter going to use a crib or co-sleep? How old are children when they outgrow the crib? All of these questions were swirling around in my head. Hmmmm. Ok, here is my take. I want a crib and I hope she sleeps in it. I will co-sleep if I have to. So, do I want to put a chunk of money into a crib that she might never even use? Not really. As luck would have it, a member of my freecycle group offered a white crib to me and a friend gave me her crib mattress. DONE.
*NOTE: The National Safety Council explains things to consider when buying a crib: http://www.nsc.org/library/facts/cribtips.

I already have a full size bed in this room since it was the craft/guest room. I am not a fan of toddler beds. So, it stays. I am thinking…before I do the co-sleeping thing, I would sleep in the full size bed with the crib scooted up lengthwise beside the bed. It’s sort of an in between concept.

Other furniture? Look for dual functional furniture, instead of a changing table, find a dresser that you can place a changing pad on. Put all of the diapering necessities in the top drawer. So I needed a few more pieces, so I decided to look at garage sales, thrift stores, or freecycle.org to buy pieces to refinish. As my luck would have it, my boss at my second job offered me her daughter’s furniture. Her daughter is all grown up and out of the house. The furniture is around 27 years old but good stuff. I was jumping for joy. Sight unseen – I knew I could make it awesome. So, I got it and it looks awesome. You can refinish any piece of furniture and make it great. *NOTE: Do make sure anything you buy secondhand complies with current child safety requirements.

I don’t stain furniture…too much work. PAINT! Paint is cheap. Okay, I know that stained pieces are beautiful, but my budget screams PAINT. When refinishing…I cheat. I am NOT sanding. Use BIN primer and it bonds to anything. Then paint. At least two coats and let dry thoroughly!! I picked a high gloss. It was the look that I was going for. This way it can be easily cleaned as well.

If you have a bunch of non matching pieces, after you paint them, tie them together a little more, by switching out the hardware. I found my crystal knobs online for a fraction of the cost of Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Safety - Older furniture is much sturdier for child use and don’t forget to anchor to walls. One of my friends cousins little boy was climbing a dresser when it fell on him and was severely injured. He needs a nurse 24/7. It is devastating for the family. So, this is one thing that I am adamant about….securing the furniture in the nursery. I am considering it with a few other pieces in my house. The price is so minimal.
Don't forget a place for you to sit in the nursery. Pick a comfortable chair. You'll be spending many nights there with your baby, reading her stories or rocking her to sleep. I don’t have one yet. I’m working on it.

Window Treatments

Window treatments are a place where you can really save money by doing the work yourself or buy very inexpensive one. Luckily for me, I wanted sheers and they seem to be the cheapest. I found them at Value City. Some have told me that it's very inexpensive to make them with cute fabric or even using twin sheets.
*NOTE: Make sure to use those safety gadgets to wind up blinds.

Find a way to create lots of storage space. You'll probably need more room than you think. Once the clothes get bigger and are joined by shoes and other accessories, you'll need every inch of closet space you can get. Not to mention a place to put all those toys! For extra storage, I did custom closets with adjustable shelves to grow with my daughter. I have the armoire and dresser, plus those under the bed containers and 2 Rubbermaid containers hidden underneath the crib.

Buy inexpensive accents to pull the room together. I have my enchanted twinkle tree in my room. I think the total cost was less than $30. I personally don’t want a lot of stuff on the walls, I prefer the simplicity. Some rooms over stimulate me; this is what I am trying to avoid. It’s not for everyone though. Do what makes you happy.

Inexpensive ways to accent would be to frame pictures from children's books for inexpensive art they'll love. You can find books at thrift stores or garage sales for pennies. This is also a good way to use books if baby has eaten a couple of pages but you don't want to throw them away!

Okay, I this is how I saved money on my nursery.

If you have trouble reading this chart, the best way to view it is if you click on it. It will take you to a separate page. Once there, scroll your mouse over it and in the left top corner print options will appear and in the bottom right corner a photobox with a bunch of arrows will appear. click on this photo box and it will enlarge to a nice "viewable" size.


Hi Desiree. I am trying to respond to your comment about Quilt squares, but my email won't link to your email or comment and I can't find your comment!! Ok, I am now confusing myself. So, Desiree, if you read this, comment again on this post so I can find you. Thanks. Stephe

Girlie Duckies

Ventured out to Target this morning! Big Mistake. No, not really cause look what I found...

Giorgi's Bathroom is Lemonade yellow with flower accents. I original thought about doing a duckie theme. But, I am not a big duckie fan. If only they made a girlie Duckie. Well, I found one! Thanks to Pat and Tamara, those Christmas gift certificates just bought all of Giorgi's Bathroom Accessories! I LOVE them!!!

Disney Find

Today was a fun day. I went to a couple of yardsale with the intent to find a headboard that I could refinish for Giorgi's room. Didn't find one but I did come across a whole bunch of Disney Movies for sale. Half of them had never been opened! $2 a piece. What a great find. My favorite is the Kind and I. Boy, Giorgi's Disney video collection is definately coming along!

Madeline – Lost in Paris
The Fox and the Hound
Belle’s Tales of Friendship
The Aristocats
The King and I
Swan Princess III
The Three Cabelleros
The Spirit of Mickey
Melody Times
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh I
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh II
The Book of Pooh
The Parent Trap
Summer of the MonkeyBeethoven’s 4th

70 Random Things about Me

(and we’re talkin’ random!)
Ok Donna, I did 70 of the 100.
maybe I'll come up with more.

1. I don't let people in very easily.
2. I love chick flicks.
3. I am a certified scuba diver.
4. I am an Aries, born on the day they buried Martin Luther King Jr.
5. I love the Ocean and Boats!!
6. I have no desire to go to any of my high school reunions.
7. I was a competitive ice skater when I was younger.
8. I love to shop by myself! Prefer it.
9. When I am alone in the house, I have to have the TV on in every room on the same channel. Kitchen, Living room, Bedroom, Nursery! Now, that’s what I call surround sound.
10. I am obsessed with dead animals on the road. I am a magnet for them and am upset for the rest of the day.
11. Have been known to pick up lost dogs and hunt down owners.
12. Refuse to pay to see scary movies. I don’t pay to be stressed. I can do that on my own for free.
13. I absolutely love sparkly flip flops – boss hates them. Don’t care!
14. While in the Bahamas, had a large frog suctioned to my face and wouldn’t come off. Do you know how hard it is to laugh hysterically with your mouth shut, frog stuck to your face and half looped?
15. I daily self diagnose my own illnesses. Kinda funny.
16. I put my makeup on in the downstairs powder room.
17. Brush my teeth in kitchen sink ever since I read a report that a toothbrush must be at least 6ft. from a toilet. When a toilet is flushed, bacteria is airborne 6 ft.
18. Not fazed by Blood or Gore in anyway in regards to humans. Pet’s I cannot handle. Weird, I know.
19. Very creative.
20. Favorite actor is a tie between Jack Nicholson and Kevin Spacey.
21. Favorite actress is Angelina Jolie.
22. I wear my hair up every single day. Even most special occasions. It’s beautiful when down for only about 20 minutes. Argh.
23. I want to be Martha Stewart, with Oprahs money, minus the Martha attitude.
24. I love sportfishing.
25. When I went to Alaska, the most important thing I wanted to do was go salmon fishing.
26. New Found Sport – Yard Sale-ing.
27. Love to wear Black.
28. In High School I was feature majorette and co-head cheerleader.
29. I drive a Mazda Tribute – Dark Grey (Mom car)
30. My previous car was a Miata, convertible bright red stick shift. (Non-Mom Car)
31. Will NOT go anywhere without makeup on.
32. I drive the 7 guys I work with crazy every day
33. I don’t feel bad about it.

34. Most times I do it intentionally.
35. I am extremely sarcastic.
36. Routine oriented. (but not upset by spur of the moment fun stuff)
37. Can be ready to go at a moments notice. (that’s gonna change. LOL)
38. Extremely resourceful. I consider this one of my best qualities.
39. PackRat - I am working on it.
40. I love my eyes.
41. Too bad I am going blind. (need +1.25 glasses to read books)
42. I love my townhouse
43. I absolutely HATE yard work. Wish I could cement it ALL.
44. Can do all of my own electrical work.
45. Spend way too much time searching for a meaningful gift.
46. I am a great photographer.
47. Can’t sing a tune but will still sing for my daughter.
48. Gave my mother’s yorkie (dog) two injections every day for a year.
49. Dislocate my should every now and again.
50. Work really hard to prove a point!!!
51. Hate to talk on the phone.
52. Don’t mind going to the movies by myself.
53. Love suprises but if I am blessed with a baby shower and someone doesn’t make sure that my hair, makeup, and outfit are appropriate – someone’s in BIG trouble.
54. I am NEVER late and annoyed when people make me wait.
55. Love 80’s Funk, R& B, and RAP
56. I am not upset with delays in this adoption process.
57. CANNOT STAND condescending people.
58. More excited about giving a gift then receiving.
59. I was attacked by wild dogs in the British West Indies and was transported to the Vet clinic to clean me up before transporting me to the doctors. Couldn’t sew me up due to infectious disease possibility.
60. Love to have my teeth pulled at the Dentist (I told you I was weird)
61. I would never want a woman president. (no flames, I just think other countries would not give us the respect, not that a woman wouldn’t do a great job.)
62. I am Republican and I LOVE George Bush. (no flames)
63. I don’t not agree with EVERYTHING he stands for.
64. I love to fly. It’s part of the vacation.
65. Head massages are the ultimate.
66. I am always considerate of others feelings (well mostly)
67. I hate imposing on others
68. I try really hard to write emails that reflect my intent.
I am a research, spread sheet, list maker freak. LOL.
70. & most important. Totally excited about becoming a MOM to a little girl!!

Blogger Block

I am having Blogger Block!! It's been a while since I have posted, just don't know what to post. Do you ever feel like the weeks are just running together with no begining or end? I have mostly been playing catch-up. Anyway, help me get "un-blocked"! Is there anything that anyone wants to ask me or research for them. I like to research, but you all know that! LOL. Help me outta my funk! :)

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