December 29, 2009

Catching my breath . . .

Whirlwind!! That describes Christmas around these parts! So do the words wonderful, cozy, family-filled. Three kiddos, three puppies, six very hungry happy grown-ups {myself included} made for a house bursting at the seams with JOY!!

I only took seventeen pictures. But I had a blast. Usually I'm behind the camera. This time I was in front of the kitchen sink so much, that when I found the break I craved, I jumped right in, camera happily forgotten!

Christmas Eve candlelight service, lasagna frozen through after an hour of cooking, a Christmas tree loaded with goodies, Santa's many fun surprises, stocking for the big kids, too. Most of all, the gift of forever in heaven with our Maker.

Coco, Dustin, Paigers, Kate & Big Daddy . . . Thanks for making the long trip South. It was the best Christmas ever!

December 19, 2009

Gerg Schmerg

Sorry Ladies, he's taken.

And he just became a lot more desirable.

He's officially an architect!!

Anybody need custom house plans?

December 18, 2009

Bonnie's Apple Walnut Salad

There is nothing like Bonnie's Apple Walnut Salad. It's perfection. And the red is so pretty on a holiday table. Super easy, super special . . .

1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp flour
several red apples

Combine flour & sugar, add egg, add vinegar, add buttermilk. Cook until thick, while stirring. Cool. Pour over diced apples and walnuts.

Darling Bonnie and her family are so very dear to me. They've been friends of my family for many years. Their son Stephen passed away yesterday. Please cover Bonnie & Red's family with your prayers.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

December 06, 2009

Power Cookies

Power Cookies

2 c. brown sugar
2 c. white sugar
¾ cup butter
1 c. shortening
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
3 c. oats, uncooked
2 c. coconut
2 c. craisins
1 c. choc chips (I use more like 1-1/2 cups)
1 c. chopped nuts

Cream the brown sugar, white sugar, butter and shortening together. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Combine four, salt and soda; beat into first mixture. Add remaining ingredients and knead into first mixture. Drop by heaping teaspoons, 2 inches apart, on greased baking sheet. Bake in 350 oven about 10 minutes or unit browned. Let cool about 1 minute before removing from cookie sheet.

If dough is cold I cook an extra couple of minutes . . .

*Can roll into logs, wrap, chill/freeze then slice and bake.

Duck, Duck, Goose!

There were lots of ducks, much to Ben & Cameron's delight, at the little Shadowbend Pond on Thanksgiving afternoon. Cameron was the only goose!

November 29, 2009

Another "After"

The stone is complete! I'm pleased as punch with how it turned out! The game plan is to lose the glass doors, and get a pretty fireplace screen. I'm currently drooling over the following . . . Another project I'll be working on is getting my youngest to sit on the sofa, not the coffee table.

November 26, 2009


I am so thankful. All of this, every good thing, gifts from my Father. I am so thankful.
-James 1:17

November 23, 2009

Before and after . . . Almost!

Picture taken from MLS listing . . . As in, before we even moved in.
I knew the mantle would have to go as soon as I entered the room.

I took this picture during inspection. It doesn't really capture the early 90's feel of this glossy orange oak mantle and slightly peachy flesh-toned tile. The giant TV space to the left of the fireplace had more of the glossy orange wood above it. The cheery yellow paint clashed perfectly!

Still trying to figure out the best solution {not to mention least expensive} to the lovely glass doors with brass and oak trim. Take out the doors? Paint the brass? Remove the old mesh screens currently covered with dust?

Today the paint is dry! And not a moment too soon. About an hour after Leo {my fabulous painter} left Benjamin put his sweet little hand print right in the middle of the new satin finish on the bookcases.

Stone surround and hearth go in tomorrow morning. Construction dust is happy dust!

It's going to be pretty just in time for the holidays!
Stay tuned, more pictures soon.


November 20, 2009

House Notes Part Two

The hideous family room fireplace is GONE!!!! Wet paint today and tomorrow. Pictures by Monday, promise.

We're good. We're great! Survived short but miserable colds. Cameron survived another round of teething. We may even get out the play-room Christmas tree this weekend.

More soon . . .

In the mean time, here's my handy-man and his make-shift tool belt.

Aunt Coco can't believe he's already stuffing his undies!!! Aunt Coco doesn't have a boy!

October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween to all my favorites . . . Buzz Lightyear, Bumblebee, Ladybug, Dinosaur, Super Why and Woody. May you eat all your candy and not rot your teeth out!!

October 23, 2009

Just Ben

He's as fun as he is handsome. He's as fast as he is tall {current clothes sport a size 5/6 tag}. His growing feet continue to eat into my personal shoe budget.

This week at pre-school he learned the sweetest little song "God Our Father". Sung to the familiar tune of "Are You Sleeping", his version is a bit different than the original . . .

God our Fauder
God our Fauder
Once again
Once again
Thank you for our Blessings
Thank you for our Blessings.
Oh Man!
Oh Man!

Candid Cameron

Cameron-Girl and I had a little one-on-one time this a.m. After we dropped Ben off at pre-school we scooted over to East Shore to play. I could have stayed all morning, but it was too chilly to be out without a jacket . . . And since Cameron still doesn't sport much hair, I felt guilty lingering too long. And then of course there was the whole security guard issue, but I'll save that for another post.

The butterfly proved much easier to photograph, but wasn't as fun to chase!

Be still my Cameron. Be still my heart.

PS Eighteen month check-up . . . 21 whopping pounds {7th percentile}!

October 20, 2009

She is . . .

She is . . . captured by her brother's antics.

She is . . . SILLY!

She is . . . serious as a heart-attack. Committed to the task at hand.

She is . . . a quick study.

She is . . . feisty!

A firecracker.



She's a million different things, all wrapped into one.

To think some day I'll get to be her friend.

She is . . . already mine.

October 11, 2009

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

"Imitation is the sincerest flattery."

-C.C.Colton (1780 -1832)

I'm supposed to be original. I suppose I am much of the time. This time, however, I down-right copied a brilliant young woman, mother of three, who's blog I just love.

Have you guys stalked discovered this darling Darby? What about her sister Erica? Whether I want to find a good recipe or the perfect school-house pendant for my kitchen, one of these two savvy chics can be counted on to deliver!

I unabashedly admit to copying the fabulous kilim rug she put in her family room. It's easy-on-the-eye and the family room got cozy just in time for the cool temps! Wish I could copy her loosely-upholstered sofa and custom curtains. Just lack a little time and a lot of money!

Disclaimer!! Still need to sand the coffee table, wax it and paint the sweet baskets below. Need some umbrellas and a couple of walking sticks for the umbrella stand, but am waiting for the wee-ones to get out of the weaponry-stage!

Mr. Potato Head

October 05, 2009

House Notes

This sweet house is still a work-in-progress. This house and the people I share it with are among my greatest delights. I love the way sun shines in through the second floor windows. I love the view from my kitchen window. Love, love, love the sound of Ben and Cameron happily trotting down the stairs, one behind the other. We've been working hard in the yard, and it's starting to shape up. It's starting to come together. But we have a looooong ways to go . . .

We've had a couple of plumbing disasters. And a couple of weeks ago we noticed downstairs was seasonably warm. As in the A/C downstairs was cooling to an inside temp of 88. So last week we got a brand new air conditioner and furnace!! I can assure you, I'd much rather have some new furniture, a chandelier and of course there is the looming kitchen remodel that I can't stop thinking about. All in good time, right?

Here's one finished project. My parent's old headboard had some new life breathed into it by the adorable owner and artist of The Collection. I love the way it turned out.

Stay tuned for more . . . There's a sweet old rocking chair in my garage that's going to get a big face lift just in time for Cameron's big girl room. Or maybe I'll set a loftier goal and have it ready for Christmas. Think I'd better go get started . . .

September 18, 2009

So long, Tagalongs!

Anyone else out there obsessed with Tagalongs & Samoas? Gotta love those Girl Scout cookies, but it's a little hard on a craving when something can only be found for a measly three weeks a year . . .

We have a new-found substitute in our house. The great news is that the Walmart brand wanna-be's are every bit as good as the original. The bad news is that they are every bit as good as the original, and available year-round. To my super-cute skinny jeans hanging in my closet, I may need a vacation from you!

We opened the package last night about eight o'clock. There are five cookies left . . .

Make that four.

September 09, 2009

All Aglow!!

Did ya'll know we finally have a family picture again? As in, my darling daughter is nearing seventeen months and there isn't a single picture with the five of us {we count Ellie} in existence? I've turned into "that girl". You know, the one who's late, sporting dirty hair clothes, running late, craving coffee ten minutes before dinner . . . I digress . . .

I give you, with much excitement, new family pictures! My darling, darling friend Amy blessed us with this gift. The gift of captured memories, of talent, the gift of simple grace. I will treasure these photos forever . . .

I highly recommend that you scoot on over to check out her new site, Aglow, and promptly book your own shoot with this clever gal. She'll capture your heart with the images caught on her camera.

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