Saturday, September 22, 2012

What happened to the rest of July, August, and September...

It was completely unintentional that we would stop posting --- especially so abruptly. Honestly, we've just had no time. Our three older children started school back the first week in August, and since their mom live an hour and a half-ish away... lets just say we spend a lot of time in the car. 30 hours a week (every other week), to be exact. Not to mention our four year old is in pre-k, and I am homeschooling 2nd grade for 7 year old boy. And then there is the baby... that is attached to my hip, unless he is in bed, trying to sneak out the front door, or tearing our house apart :) but I digress.

Our creativity hasn't stopped... I'm still creating seasonal crafts to decorate the house and have recently fallen in love with creating funtional pieces of furniture from recycled things - see the "Them Two Birds" tab. My hubby is still having an ongoing affair with his iTunes, and we plan on continuing our concert tour with the Of Monsters and Men concert at the end of November. Just not much time lately to sit down and really document anything.

People who know us well know that we are in the midst of great trial with an outcome that will change our life and family forever. I'm not at liberty to write about that right now, but I'm almost sure I'll have a whole book to write when all is said and done. I think even those who know us well may be fascinated with the behind the scenes version of our story :) So prayers for us despite the outcome would be great, that God make Himself known.

Hopefully, it won't be another two and a half months before I post again... but if so, know its because our life is crazy busy.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Music Monday on Thursday

You have heard me mention a lot of bands and genre of music that I really like. What you haven’t heard was of my fondness of country music. Why not? Well, because up until recently, I never liked country music – or perhaps, I never gave it a fair chance…. Either way, I swore off country music my whole life. I’m not really sure why. It could be that I grew up in New York – I didn’t know anyone who listened to country. And after moving down here to Georgia, I held on to anything northern with all my might. Including my resistance to southern culture (including grits and country fried steak and gravy – which I thoroughly enjoy now).

I believe it had a lot to do with my pride. God has been faithfully chiseling away at my pride, one painful chip at a time. I thought I was too good for country music. It was beneath me. Why was I so arrogant…? Seriously, I am AARON COOMBS. I know no wrong - unless it pertains to others (especially country music). What I believed and what my family believed was inspired by God Himself… I do jest slightly, but what a jerk!

My wife likes country music, and for my sake has for over two years suppressed her desire to listen to it - at least while I was around. Until a couple months ago she turned the car radio to a country station…. The beginning of my demise (just kidding). After enduring my heavy sighs and eye rolls, she said “I don’t know why you don’t like country music, it so very similar to folk music – that you like so much.” God’s timing is impeccable. Any other time that comment would have been followed by more sighs, eye rolls and some ridiculous arrogant reply that probably would have fueled an argument.

So, I thought about what she said and started to compare what I knew of country music to folk music. Musically, they are very similar: acoustic guitar, bass, occasional fiddle, banjo (I secretly want to play the banjo), maybe a harmonica, drums, keys, etc. they sound a lot alike. I think the difference that gets me is the vocal difference and lyrical content. Country singers tend to be twangy, sometimes over dramatizing the southern drawl – not a fan. Now, I will say there are always extremes, and not all singers sound like deep south mountain folks. But for some reason those have always left the biggest impression in my mind – thus deterring me from wanting to listen at all.

Lyrically, country music consists of a lost dog, a broken pick-up, a fishing hole and a girl that’s too good to be true. I’m not bashing these things: I have been sad about a lost or deceased dog, I like pick-up trucks and fishing, and I am married to a girl that is too good to be true…. But I didn’t grow up in a culture where all these thing were going on at the same time. We didn’t go muddin’ in New York. And you wouldn’t fish in the Hudson river…. Even though my family moved to Georgia when I was twelve, we were very out of place. Kinda like we were air-dropped in the middle of a jungle tribe somewhere.

So, now twenty-five years later, country music is starting to grow on me – slowly, mind you… my job requires me to work in a lot of different cars each day. A few weeks ago I decided that instead of changing the radio station in each car, I would listen to whatever station was on – therefore forcing myself to broaden my realm of musical influence.

I will say that at this point I don’t know one country artist from another and I generally don’t like female country singers, although I do generally like women vocalists. And there is WAY more country music that I don’t like than what I have found that I do like – for the time being, anyway. That being said, I realized that most of my attraction to country is that it is different. It’s a change for me. And I like change (most of the time…).

So, whatever style of music you prefer, there is something for everyone in every style of music. Which doesn’t mean that you have to abandon what you have always enjoyed. But, perhaps, by expanding our horizons we will have a greater opportunity to connect with those who favor a different genre of music. Which in part, will help to build community. Which is a very good thing….

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Finally... the DIY on my interior barn door

AFTER (left view dining room, right view living room)

Almost two years ago I was inspired by this interior barn door over at KillerB Designs. Although I loved how this door looked, even more so did I desire the functionality of it. See we have a 1970's "open" floor plan in our home. Basically, the living and dining room are one big room with a fireplace stuck in the middle of it. We also have no foyer... so there was no place for shoes and such unless they were just lined up against the wall as you walk in. Even more disturbing than that was that you could see straight into the dining room from the front door. You know... the awkward moment when someone shows up unexpected and you haven't swept your dining room floor in a week, because the baby is just going to keep throwing stuff down every five minutes, and you can't hide it from the unexpected visitor? Yeah... you get the point :-)


There is also something about a never ending circle of a room, that causes the kids junk to just continuously move about the house, hiding in nooks and crannies. SO, after putting this on the list after many other updated and changes that we desired in the house, we finally got all of the materials and just did it. (and by "we", of course I mean mainly my wonderful husband!)

 Much like KillerB I am too cheap to spend the hundreds of dollars that is quoted online to install this door, and the hardware that she purchased are not sold at the Lowe's or Home Depot in our area, so I had to do a little extra searching. Also, the biggest difference between KillerB's design and my own, is that I had no wall to attach hardware to. We had to find a rail for the ceiling that could be screwed  into the ceiling joists. Despite the store associates telling me it wouldn't work, I trusted my very handy husband and purched this rail and wheels from Tractor Supply Co.

I was not sure what color I wanted the door but teal is one of my favorite colors, and I love unexpected pops of color in our home. I was absolutely floored when I went to a local building material surplus store and found this wood called "BluWood" due to the color it changes when treated with an eco friendly product. Apparently, this should have been more expensive then the regular peices of lumber I was planning to buy, but we happened to walk in 10 minutes before close, right before a holiday weekend, in which the owner was ready to leave and get to partying :) He sold me this wood $4 a piece and each piece was twice as long  (or more) than I needed. I bought five of these for $20... and even greater than that I decided to keep the color on one side then sand and antique the other side, so I didn't have to buy any paint! Total out of pocket cost for our interior barn door? $110!  

No, that's not Aaron having a snack... that is wood glue. Why he keeps it in a peanut butter jar, I am still not certain of. So at this stage he used wood glue to hold all of the wood together as he nailed in the supports on the top of both sides. I chose not to buy extra hardware as supports and instead used antiqued 2x4's on the dining room side. I knew would eventually want to hang something on the living room side of the door, so I opted for cutting one of the blue board in half long way and using it to support on the top and bottom edges. I absolutely love the way it turned out!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Music Monday - Jonathan Peyton

I want to take this opportunity to introduce a new friend who is a new up and coming musician. Its not often that you get the opportunity to get to know a musician personally or watch his career take off. His name is Jonathan Peyton. A really cool guy. I met him for the first time in November of 2011. We met at the home of a mutual friend after a meeting about starting a church plant in Woodstock.

As we talked, our conversation easily went to music. I quickly learned about his love for music and that he was in a band. - Cool, I thought, I already really like this guy. As we talked he told me about a cd he was trying to get recorded and produced. - Wow, I was impressed, this young guy is really persuing his dream.

We went our seperate ways that evening to meet again two months later at the first service of Sojourn Woodstock church. I was excited to get to know Jonathan better as we worked with a group to start this church. He is such a genuine guy who cares about those he is close to and is eager to serve his Savior. He has a desire to learn more about who God is and how he can honor Him and is humbly willing to share his heart. He is a hard worker (which is hard to find in young guys these days), working two jobs while persuing a music career. Jonathan has been busy gaining support by performing in coffee shops and doing house shows.

So after months of raising funds, recording, mixing and producing the mission was accomplished! Saturday, June 2nd, Jonathan threw a free cd release concert - his is first ever six track EP called Like A Ghost.

Jonathan Peyton's musical style would be a blend of folk, bluegrass and Americana. His style is unique and diverse. Vocally, his sound is powerful yet soft and heart-felt. Musically, his acoustic guitar is backed by a dobro, stand-up bass, banjo, tamborine, drums and bgv's. He also plays the harmonica and mandolin in some songs. This talented guy has artfully combined these instruments to create a great, enjoyable listening experience that promotes thought and inner reflection.

Jonathan Peyton's musical style is new and refreshing, sure to satisfy and guaranteed to be a success. You can find his single for free on or the full album on iTunes for less than $6 - it's well worth skipping lunch for one day!! Join the many in support of this new musician - so he can eat lunch and for our listening enjoyment!!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Music Monday - Over The Rhine Concert

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but is there something that holds a special place in your heart? Maybe your spouse, or a special vacation, or a valuable possession. Maybe certain music always takes you back or is always there as the new memories are forming. As you may know, I have a lot of favorite bands and my wife and I have some favorites together too. One of my all time favs is Over The Rhine.
The first time I heard of them was at a Christian music festival called Inner Seeds in the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds sometime during the summer of 1992 (I think – it was a long time ago…). It was their Patience tour, their second album. Their first album was Till We Have Faces, released a year or so after they first started performing in 1990 – a little OTR history lesson. To be introduced to the band live was revolutionizing for me. After the first notes and the captivating, liquid voice of Karen Bergquist, my perception of music drastically changed. This was unlike anything I have ever listened to. The bands ability to marry music and vocals into one unified and complimentary sound was, well, heavenly (and I don’t use that term lightly). As I look around the audience the looks and expressions were the same: wide eyed, mouth opened and awestruck! After their performance I immediately bought their first two albums (on cassette… yup!) – I only had so much money to spend, I was 17 and broke, but it was well worth the investment. Those two tapes will have shaped my perception of music from then on.

Since then I have had the pleasure of hearing them live three times – twice with a buddy and fellow musical connoisseur and twice with my amazing wife (the first with her was our first date!!). We saw them last week at Eddie’s Attic with some great friends! This show was just Karen and Linford casting their entrancing spell with guitars and piano. I should point out how well their voices blend - there is very little distinction between them - so well that when singing together they sound as one. This is the product of their unity - as husband and wife and band mates for over 20 years- and that their music comes from their very core. They have been given the gift of breathing life to their music. As if a part of them is given up in every song.

As I mentioned, around two years ago my first date with my wife was seeing OTR. I knew then that I would marry her. And I knew that music would play a vital role in our relationship. OTR is one of those bands for us that will never age, or ever get dull. It is a reminder of late nights on the couch with coffee and a fire in the fireplace. Of time spent with great friends, and singing along at every opportunity. The music that we share has a way of bringing us back together. If only briefly, we can forget about the busy, hard times that life brings and gaze at each other starry eyed or hold each other in a loving embrace singing cheek to cheek. God is kind to offer moments of respite to rejuvenate our souls and to remind us why we love each other.

While I was thinking about OTR and how to try to communicate who they are, the theme of unity kept coming up: their unity both musically and vocally – as in a marriage. Could God use the gift of music to exemplify the relationship of husband and wife or the relationship of God and man? That may be a stretch, but when music and voice are merged together as one, it is truly a marvelous sound to behold – truly divine! A gift from the Creator of music – for our enjoyment and His glory.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Re-use Mismatched socks

As I went through our mismatched sock bag this morning... who am I kidding, it has actually taken a whole week :-)... I realized there are just some socks that I have been staring at for two years hoping to find mates to. 132 socks with no mates, to be exact. So... after sorting through them and deciding which ones were worth still searching for (about 20), I pondered what to do with these socks. It seemed like such a waste to just throw them away, and why would anyone drop them off at Goodwill for someone to deal with? So I turned to Google to find some nifty ways to reuse them. Here is a list of things I found.

Sock coffee cozy handmade gift

There are so many ideas... just get out and cyber space and find them!

Friday, May 11, 2012

What I learned about being a mom... From my Dad!

For those who know me, you know two things... We have lots of kids and I have an amazing father who loves watching them for us! My dad has raised me and two siblings by himself since I was 18 months old. He managed to hold down a job to provide for us, put us in sports so we didn't miss out on anything, and be there for all of it. One of the things I think about often is how he showed up for every practice and every game of travel fast-pitch softball, basketball, and choir for 9 years.

It's normal for your dad to provide for the family or to be there for sporting events, but my dad was my mom too. He was there for all of the uncomfortable female milestones with no help. He helped me go shopping for clothes, and dresses for dances, he planned my sweet 16 and encouraged me when I felt I didn't measure up. He stayed awake all night with me when my high school sweetheart broke my heart.

He's been there through my first marriage and was there when it fell apart. And when no one else was there to keep my children when I had to go to work full time he was always available to take care of my babies. Even since Aaron and I have been married he has seen when we needed time away from the kids to grow our marriage, and has pushed us out the door to a movie. I've never met a person who didn't like him. He'd give you the shirt off of his back and ask nothing in return. That's my dad!

So in honor of mother's day I want to express what I learned about being a good mom from my dad.

1. Showing your children your relationship with God does more than telling them about one. - He read the bible to us and we went to church, but than that I remember seeing him daily reading God's word like others would read a magazine, newspaper, or new best seller. There was no "quiet time", that was just his regular reading material of choice.

2. The truth always comes to light. - He always told me this as a teenager and the older I get the more I see its truth.

3. Sacrificing for your children never returns void. - I have learned to sacrifice because of his example and would sacrifice for anything for him.

4. Always be there to cheer your children on... They will remember. Like I said above, I remember him being there for everything. Nothing feels better than knowing someone is cheering you on.

5. Praying with your kids will last a lifetime. - I remember anytime I was afraid, worried, sick, or hurt the first thing that would come from my dad's mouth was "in the name of Jesus" or some quick prayer. I have found that to flow from my mouth in those same situations and am thankful for that.

6. Your children's trust in God will mimic yours. - My dad always had so much trust that God would provide, even when he didn't make enough to make ends meet. I find it helpful to recount God's faithfulness through those days as well.

7. Spend time playing with your kids. - We played tennis, spades, chess, and bowled on a regular basis.

There are a lot of things from my childhood that made my life horrible. More than you could imagine. BUT when I look back, the best part of my childhood was having my dad as my mom. I wouldn't trade him for the world!