Monday, September 29, 2014

Pretty Tissue Poms




The window seat in the little girls’ room has been one of those places where I wanted to do a little something special to make it cozy.  Often it has multitudes of stuffed animals on it.  Usually it has scads of dress up clothes strewn upon it, or dangling out of it.

It is a well-used, well-loved area of their room.




At one point I thought of papering or stenciling that area.  I also considered curtains just in front of it, to give it a more secluded feel.

But then one day, a couple of months ago, I had an idea that I thought might work.  Tissue poms!




They are fast, easy to make, inexpensive, and make instant impact.

So I made these three little tissue poms and hung them from the ceiling over the window seat.




I love how sweet they look.



And in case you have always wanted to know how to make these yourself, (like maybe my cousin Beth Ann!), here are the directions I found for them years ago at Martha Stewart. Try them yourself!|/274329/tissue-and-crepe-paper-crafts/@center/276982/craft-tools-and-projects|265163




Don’t you just want to go in and sit down underneath them?  Smile

Friday, September 26, 2014

Girl Time


I recently shared the story of our trip to Virginia to help my sister paint her kitchen cabinets and shared the before and after pictures.  And then I told you about the fun that Glenn and the other kids had while I was away in Virginia.  But I haven’t yet told you about how the trip blessed me through the time I had with Alix and Kate.

One of the things I most looked forward to when I thought about the trip, was the long car ride with my girls.  Alix is 16, Kate is 14, and they are wonderful companions.  We had some very meaningful conversations.  And we had comfortable quiet.

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Lately we’ve had a lot of talk around our house regarding courtship, marriage, relating to boys and girls, etc.  Since we have 4 teen children, thoughts naturally begin to head that way.  And they aren’t the only ones who think about it.  Glenn and I can’t help but think about whether our kids will marry, what kind of homes their potential spouses are being raised in, and what type of people they might be. 

So the girls and I decided to take our Biblical Courtship cd’s to listen to during the drive.  The sermons are so good!  They stimulated a lot of conversation during, as well as after we listened to them. 

But that wasn’t all we talked about!  We talked about many things, admired the beautiful scenery, enjoyed some snacks we took along.  (like peanut M&M’s and licorice)   For dinner, we stopped at a Roy Roger’s restaurant in Virginia.  Alix was thrilled.  Oh my goodness, Roy Rogers is one of her heroes!  She has watched many old episodes of his television show.  Although Kate wasn’t as excited as Alix, she was still very appreciative and raved about the biscuit she and Alix shared.  In fact, they liked the food so much they begged to stop there again on the way home the next week.  So we did.

While we were at Minda’s house in Virginia, they were a huge help.  They helped us prime and clean all the cabinet doors, and some unpainted baseboard trim, too.  They helped make many of the meals and some fun desserts.  They had a great time playing with their cousins, swimming and jumping on the trampoline, and watching a few movies.  On Saturday, they even did some household cleaning jobs for Minda while she and I were painting top coats on the cabinets.  That night at dinner, when we were sitting down to dinner, my 7 year old nephew asked the girls what they had done that day. When they told him the various things, including cleaning the bathrooms, he replied, “Did you want to?”   Ha!  They moved furniture with us, went shopping with us, and laughed with us.  There was a whole lot of laughing.

    Alix and Kate and Cousin Jordan:

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   Here are some funny pictures Kate and Cousin Cameron took of themselves:

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It was an opportunity that doesn’t often come along.  A chance to spend concentrated time with two of my girls.  For them to get to know their long-distance cousins better, as well as my sister, and vice versa.  A chance to serve others and yet have so much fun at the same time.  A chance to learn new things – and see new things, especially at the Museum of Natural History which we visited one day while we were there. 

It was a gift! 

One which the three of us will be able to look back on and feel thankful for, always.

Friday, September 19, 2014

What Glenn and the kids did while I was away…


While the older girls and I were in Virginia helping my sister with her kitchen cabinets, etc., Glenn and the kids were quite busy here at home. 


I realized somewhere along the road to Virginia, that it was probably the first time I had left home for a few days without preparing any meals, giving any directions – other than weeding and watering plants – or going over medication or school schedules!

My children are growing up.


And my husband is a wonderful dad.

For most of our married life, Glenn has been alternately self-employed and employed by others.  But no matter what, he has hardly ever taken much vacation time.  He is the employee who will go in the day after a major holiday so others can be with their  families. 

But this time, things were different.  This time, he was the one who took off time to be with his family. 


In the weeks before I left, he planned several fun activities to do with the younger kids. 


They went to the Indianapolis Zoo.

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They went to a large indoor playground at a church nearby.  They stayed for 3 hours!

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He took them to a Fall Festival in a small town close to us.


He took them to Steak and Shake.


They cleaned out the van and gave it a car wash and oil change.  (probably more rewarding for me than the kids…)


He took them to a matinee in the middle of the week.


He read to them.


He let the three little girls sleep in our room on a blow-up mattress the entire week.

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He took them to a toy store and to Claire’s Boutique.


They went out to lunch several times and for ice cream cones.


He read the Bible with them and prayed with them.


He spent time with them. 


As memorable as the trip to my sister’s house was for the older girls and me, the time Glenn spent here with the other kids was equally so for them. 


He gave them a gift that will never gather dust or be stored away in a box in a closet. 





(he also built a surprise for me in the kitchen… more on that soon..)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Kitchen Reveal, And a Little Extry


Several weeks ago, one of my sisters emailed me and asked if I would help her paint her kitchen cabinets.  Because she lives in Virginia, and I live in Indiana, this was a little more of an undertaking than might at first seem obvious.  I needed to shuffle a few eye and dentist appointments, send regrets for a baby shower and first birthday party, and figure out what to do about school.  However, Glenn was very encouraging and he really felt I should go – and that I should take Alix and Kate with me.  He knew it was an opportunity for memory-making that doesn’t happen often. 

And he was right.

It was one of the most memorable times I’ve had with my sister since we’ve been wives and mothers.  We laughed almost every day – most days at least once until we cried.  What was so hilarious about sanding and painting cabinets, organizing drawers, and moving furniture in several rooms of her house?  I can’t even tell you.  It wasn’t one thing, it was a myriad of things – playful looks we gave each other and our kids, comments the kids made, funny little accidents like painting a few doors the wrong color, jokes about aches and pains and cankles. 

We worked almost nonstop from Friday through Thursday evening of the next week.  Although  Alix and Kate and I took Wednesday morning to visit the Museum of Natural History in D.C., and eat lunch *in* the Taco Bell, we spent the days hard at work.  Even the day we went to the museum, I put a quick coat of paint on the barstools while in my pajamas before breakfast.  Alix and Kate spent time with their cousins, Cameron (11), Jordan (almost 10), and Caleb (7) and I think Cameron especially was glad to have some girl time with her cousins.

So here’s the result of that week of fun, hard work, and laughter. 






Minda’s cabinets were red oak – and she wanted white.  Because her counters and appliances are also white, we thought it would be good to have a contrast color for the island.  This light gray went very nicely with the flooring and wall color, which she didn’t want to change.



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We found a couple of lamps from other places in her house (mostly her closet I think) and put them on the counters to add warmth and coziness.


I spray painted all the knobs – who knows how many? – in Krylon’s oil-rubbed bronze, after first priming them with a spray primer.  It would have been faster to use a spray polyurethane to seal them, but we already had a quart of Polycrylic.  So I painted two coats on very carefully with a paint brush, making sure not to let it glob up in drips which would easily chip off later.


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The little wire basket had been on top of her upper cabinets with some dried flowers in it.  They looked a little sad, so we pitched them, but Alix used a degreaser on the little basket and it looked very cute on the island with some napkins and fruit.


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We pulled a few of her hardbound cookbooks out of another cabinet and set them next to a sweet wooden recipe box.  Next to that we set a plate rack with some pretty dishes on it. 

We swapped out the old dark rug for a new, neutral-colored one.


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From the front door, the kitchen looks inviting and draws you back into it.


Although I didn’t get a great before shot of the light fixture over the sink, believe me, it was somewhat tired-looking with the new white cabinets.  So we picked out a new shade and a pendant kit and I replaced the old with new.  I write that very calmly, but I have to say I was so thrilled when I was able to get the wiring right on it and realize that I changed a light fixture all by myself! 

(Thanks to Glenn for showing me how to do it last year. Winking smile)


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Minda also found a tablecloth (maybe in her closet?) which was just the color she wanted to include in the kitchen.  We just draped it over the existing rod.


This is the best “before” I have of the opposite side of the kitchen.


On this side, we decided to paint the pantry door with chalkboard paint.  More for the contrast it would provide, rather than necessity.  We loved it!  We only painted the outside of the door and the edge which shows when it is opened.


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That second picture helps you see what that wall looks like in its entirety, with the hallway leading to the front door. It also shows our creative way to store all the pencils that had been falling out of the little letter holder. 

A crystal vase!

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I also screwed little cup hooks under the upper cabinets in a few spots around the kitchen, to get the black wires up and out of the way.


On this wall is the chalkboard I made for Minda last year from a calendar frame we found at Goodwill.  It looked a little lonely next to the thermostat, so I asked her if she had anything black and white to add to the space.  Of course she did!  I think she needs to sell admission to her closet for those of us looking to shop our house.  She has a goldmine in there!


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On the counter, we put a few things to add interest and texture, like the wooden mouse cutting board, a container of flowers made from wood shavings, a vase for her wooden spoons, and a little basket for coffee things next to the coffee maker. She already had all these things, they just needed to be pulled out of hiding and admired in new places.

The bar stools were dark cherry wood, so they didn’t look right in this new white kitchen.  I simply unscrewed the rush seats, sanded the stools, primed, and then painted a coat of gray paint, with two white coats on top.  I lightly distressed them so the gray would peek through.  And there they were – *new* bar stools which looked great at the island.

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One more look at the difference!





Since we were there and doing all that painting, we went ahead and did the cabinets in both upstairs bathrooms as well.  I’m sorry I don’t have *before* shots – we were *busy*!  Smile  But just imagine the same red oak cabinets as the kitchen. 


We chose white for the kids’ bath, which brightened up the whole room considerably!

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I painted these knobs, too.  They used to be wood with brass rims.

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And then dark gray, Benjamin Moore’s “Dolphin” for the master bath.

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I wish I had taken a picture of the vanity side a few days after we took this one.  While Minda was gone with the boys one evening, I hung pictures and pulled out the wicker hamper to a new spot, plus put a little white lamp with a wicker shade on the vanity counter.  They looked homey – and she liked it.  Smile


Throughout the week, I was literally everywhere in the house - at her request -  changing things, moving stuff and organizing as I went along.  I had a blast!


Again – no *before* for this room, but we switched places between the large white hutch and the sofa, brought up the “coffee table” and basket from the basement, pulled in the standing lamp from the adjacent dining room, rearranged the small side table and the things on it, and created a gallery wall with pictures Minda already had in frames.

This room became so much more cozy by the changes!

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And that’s it!  A kitchen reveal and a little extry!  Winking smile




I’m sharing with these two fun ladies