Tuesday, December 24, 2013


We've had a lot of early snow this year and the kids are just eating it up. Actually, we all are. We spent quite a few days outside as soon as school was done. (I do love the snow!)
 It's been fun watching the kids really get into sledding. Tanner is fearless and Alexa has found something that although challenging for her keeps her active and having fun!

It's all melted now but it would have been nice to keep it for a white Christmas! We're just hoping for a bunch more this winter!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Gingerbread houses

We made our first gingerbread houses last year and are continuing the tradition. This year we bought a mini set of four houses so that each kid could decorate their own and mom and dad could share.
We let them sit overnight and everyone ate theirs the next night. I'd rather we eat them fresh than let them get stale and eat them!
We had so much fun as the smiles can attest to. :)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas round here

With birthdays and moving going on we got a little bit of a late start to our holiday decorating this year!
My favorite thing about having a fireplace mantle is that I now have a safe place to display my creche that was passed down to my mom and now me from both of my great-aunts. Howard added some soft white lights and it looks beautiful.
The kids were given free rein to decorate the Christmas tree how they wanted. We have some pretty funny groupings of Christmas balls/ornaments/candy canes but it looks pretty nonetheless. Howard did his magic with the lights which pleases me now end. :) Doesn't everyone naturally have balloons around their tree? They are the leftovers from Alexa's birthday which I will post about soon.

My sweet hubby was working overtime this year to give me some Christmas lights outside. Lights are one of my favorite things about Christmas and I love coming home to this.
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


I made my first batch of applesauce a few weeks ago. A friend who lives nearby had me over and showed me the ropes of applesauce making. We split the batch and I came home with ten 3-cup containers of sauce.
My mom's applesauce was always a favorite when I was a kid and has spoiled me from ever wanting to purchase applesauce in the store. They are just not the same!
We used Stamen, Empire and McIntosh apples for this blend. I actually want to make more next year and try to make my mom's blend as she had perfected it after trial and error.
Warm applesauce is the best!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013



     On August 16, 2012 I signed on here and wrote about dreams and home styles I love. I had no idea the adventure our family was about to embark on! I was simply writing musings.
     A few months after that blog post I restlessly asked Howard if I could just look online to see what kind of homes were available in our price range. He agreed that it was fine to look although he jokingly says that he should have known better because I seem to run with whatever's on my mind to look into!
     Well, the looking, turned into contacting realtors, viewing properties and driving around a lot. The exploring turned up the possibility of finding land and building ourselves. We ended up stumbling upon a property that was too expensive for us but that we loved. The realtor there directed us to another piece of land nearby that we felt immediately was "ours". There was such a scenario of perfect timing that I really believe the Lord directed our steps. We needed to sell our house and rent (so that we had money in the bank) for the bank to give us a construction loan. Our house sold a little over three weeks on the market and we closed a month later. 
     I don't do change well and it was such an incredible upheaval in a short period of time. We rented a townhome 35 min. from where we used to live in an area I was totally unfamiliar with. I did not love the townhome living and with small children we often felt very hemmed in BUT the park down the road was a constant outlet for us. It was very quiet in the area; a first considering all the traffic noise of our old home. We had some really great times in the rental but were also quite ready for the build to be over by the end. What I did discover is that I loved the change! Exploring the area, getting to be with my kids in unplanned opportunities and experiencing a type of living we otherwise would not have picked for ourselves.
     What amazes me the most as I look back on this is that I shared in my Aug. 12 post that I really loved Craftsman style homes and wanted to live in one when I was old. When Howard and I began looking at house plans online we quickly gravitated towards cape cod and craftsman style homes. It floored both of us because Howard thought he was anti-Craftsman. Cape cods are much more expensive to build which settled our decision!
     When we began looking I was hoping to find an already built home with a decent piece of land for our kids. What God gave us was a big chunk of raw ground where we could build a home that met our needs. And He saw fit to bless me with one of the desires of my heart in the form of a Craftsman style home. I cannot express how much I view this home as a gift. We did not expect it and have ended up with much more than we had ever thought possible.
     This is the best I can do at condensing my thoughts so here's a brief glimpse at the home. For the record, I am still over the moon about Craftsmans and I've read up on them since building one. If the house only had stone, wood and light it would be perfect by me. My focus is more on that than decorating. I love natural elements and simple lines. :)
There is stone and architectural shingles on the house as we have no shutters in keeping with the style of our home. We picked one bold pop of color for this one peak and we are so glad that we did.
The only color we have in the house so far is the laundry/mud room. I am all about taking chances with color and I knew this room had to be as bright and sunny as possible. I absolutely love it! (There are plans for built in storage all along the wall, but it's years down the road. Baby steps!)
The steps are probably one of my favorites. I love the newell posts, the stained floors (which are just bare pine steps stained to blend with the downstairs hardwood) and the square spindles. Love them!

The lights over the kitchen island are a nod to the era in which Craftsmans were built. They came out with the Edison bulb style just in time for us!
Kitchen counter and cabinet colors.
The amazing design in our hardwood. I love the zebra stripe as I've dubbed it. It's only strong in this one part of our floor but it's so cool!
Mantle decor. A pine cone tree Chase created with my mom and dad and a primitive decoration from my mother-in-law.
Our light choices were influenced by the craftsman style as well.
The view from our front porch. Warmer weather will find me out there many a summer night.
And that is how we ended up here a totally different direction than our rental or our old home. I am loving the peace, the more rural location and the single home living that we have not experienced since we were married. Home sweet home.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Clay Time!

We had the awesome opportunity to sign Chase up for a once a month art class with one of the moms from our co-op.
They studied Van Gogh two months ago and worked with real adult clay this past class. We were able to take home some of the leftover clay for the kids to work with at home. Alexa got in on the creating at home and is holding a mouse I helped her make.

                     Chase is showing off the bat he made.

    The neat thing about all this is that he is also how to work with each type of medium and was able to direct me in what supplies he needed to be able to mold, cut, create, etc.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Girl Time

Got to take my girlie girl out for a little mommy/daughter clothes shopping trip last week. We went looking for winter pajamas and stumbled upon the ones for her and her doll. There was no turning back once that happened! She was very pleased!

Monday, October 7, 2013


The story of this collage is somewhat evident from the pictures. My camera was on a multiple shot timer mode and we ended up with this great sequence of Tanner tipping over in his chair. He is most upset because he spilled his drink all over him. His face in the last photo says it all.

     My parents are in for a brief, but oh so sweet, visit. It's been five months since we've last seen them and it will be until after Christmas when we are all together again. To say that I miss them is an understatement.
     Not that long ago, when I was in rebellion to everything, I didn't think I could ever have a good relationship with my parents. Thankfully they never stopped praying for me and trying to bridge the gap between us. Today, I am so thankful for the example they have set for me, for their wisdom and advice, for their listening ear and their love.
      This lady and I struggled the most to find common ground. Amazing how now I see her in me in so many varied and seemingly random ways. She is gracious, self-less & compassionate. Things I struggle with and desire to emulate. I miss her when she is away and I am so very aware of how precious our time together is. Love you mom!

     My sister-in-law has been learning to hula-hoop and contrary to the picture I wasn't doing half bad either! I had so much fun trying to learn to move with her!

     We opted for a completely casual and less posed family picture this time and we had a great time trying out some new ideas!
      Nee Nee being the excellent grandma she is made salt dough ornaments with the kids. They just eat up their time with her! The kids all painted their ornaments and once they are dry will be sealing them with shellac.

     My parents made a humorous little video of commercial clips featuring them for their kids and grandkids to enjoy. The Good N Plenty commercial charmed the grandkids so much that they practiced it with my parents and performed it for the rest of the family. So cute and fun!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

And Somehow We're Back...

I have no idea why or how but I can upload photos to the blog for the time being. I do so hate to be computer illiterate!
Biggest change since all my posts is that I have two new nieces! My most recent being this little cutie who belongs to my baby brother (I feel so old when I think about it!).
She is adorable and I am completely smitten by her cuteness!