Happy Memorial Day!

Monday's 10 Things

Here's what I'm most thankful for, right now!
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1. The many men and women who have served, and continue to serve in our armed forces, protecting our freedoms. (Including my brother, go Steven!)
2. We finally made it to our first weekend of staying at our summer house. After 10 months of renovating the house, it didn't really seem like we would ever get to this point.
3. Lots of fun family memories created.
4. When on our first night there, Claire announced, "we can pretend this is our house!"
5. A successful landscaping project completed this weekend.
6. A phone call from my dad at 6:30 on Sunday night asking if he and my mom could take Claire overnight so Eric and I could go on a date, (plus get some sleep, and go to breakfast in the morning too before picking her back up!)
7. Having Eric as my partner on this adventure of parenting, and wow is it ever an adventure right now.
8. Cruising on our scooters around town, so much fun!
9. It's Farmer's Market season!
10. Safety driving home today in the middle of a horrible storm.
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What are you most thankful for today?

Fresh Start Sunday

Greater love has no one than this,
that he lay down his life for his friends.
~
John 15:13 (NIV)

Sewing Advice

This has been making its way around the blog world,
and it just cracks me up!

Before & After : Buffet

When we bought our summer home, the former owners had a buffet along one wall and it just fit perfectly. Knowing that we didn't already own a piece of furniture to put there, and also knowing how much storage it would add, we tried to buy their buffet as part of the home purchase. It first made it into the deal, and then got taken out.
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After doing some Craigslist searching, I came across a listing for "A beautiful art deco era buffet". After an email exchange with the girl selling the piece, I went to check it out. I should have listened when she advised me to "not be scared by her neighborhood" that the exact opposite was true...it certainly was not the place for Claire and I to be hanging out! The buffet looked good, so I paid her cash, and then took all the drawers with me so she couldn't turn around and sell it to someone else!
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A few days later, my strong husband, plus a strong friend of his and a narrow L-shaped staircase later and the buffet was loaded in the car and heading to my house!the piece had a shine to it and needed some light sanding firstnext came multiple coats of primerFinally, two coats of Benjamin Moore Ice Cube Silver ceramic painta major draw to this piece was that it still had all of its original hardwareall moved in and ready to go!

Monday's 10 Things

Here's what I'm most thankful for, right now!
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1. 87 degrees! I will not complain about being hot as this is just what we've been waiting for!
2. Our family's first Grand Haven walk of the year.
3. Watching Claire in her own little world riding in her wagon, loving life.
4. Spotting my parents on their boat and hopping on to hang out for a bit.
5. Claire swimming in Lake Michigan in her underwear, happy as can be.
6. Pictures and window coverings in our new summer house...making it feel that much more like a home.
7. Spontaneous visitors at our new house!
8. Our summer constant ice cream eating has begun. Yum!
9. When Claire asks us, "what was your favorite part of today?"
10. A really exciting week coming up ending with a long weekend.
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What are you most thankful for today?

Fresh Start Sunday

Blessed are all who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways.
~
You will eat the fruit of your labor;
blessings and prosperity will be yours.
~
Psalm 128:1-2 (NIV)

Sweet Little Collection

Back in January, I shared with you a few prints that I ordered from Studio Mela, one of my favorite Etsy shops!
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I recently added a few prints to our collection:

Hopefully very soon I'll work up the nerve to start putting holes in our newly painted walls, and then I can share with you my plans for pulling all of these together!

Before & After : My Dollhouse

When I was young, my dad built me a dollhouse. I can still remember opening Christmas gifts in our living room, when the whole family moved into the kitchen for snacks and a little gift-opening break. When we returned back to the living room, there it was waiting for me!
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My parents held onto the dollhouse all these years, and the last few it's been in our basement collecting dust, and probably providing a home for some spiders. It was finally time to get it all cleaned up and ready for Claire to use.
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Here's the before, complete with some '80's country wallpaper...And the after...First up was giving the entire dollhouse a fresh coat of paint. Benjamin Moore Dove White on the interior and Behr Paris White (actually looks like pink) on the exterior. Next, I used scrap booking paper to wallpaper each of the rooms. And finally I sewed curtains for each of the rooms. While sewing the teeny-tiny curtains, I remember thinking to myself, "this is how my child will know I love her, I'm hand sewing curtains for her dollhouse!" Then I had to remind myself that she's 2.5 and the curtains are totally irrelevant to her!
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Here's a few of the rooms...bathroom & baby's roomgirl's room & master bedroomliving roomWe filled the rooms with Fisher Price dollhouse toys. Someday if she decides that she wants to set it up as "real" dollhouse she can, but for now these are just fine (and unbreakable!)The first time we showed it to Claire, with arms way open wide she exclaimed "oh, wow!" So I'll take it we did alright!
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Holy smokes, this is blog post #400!
I sure
am addicted to blogging love to blog!

Monday's 10 Things

Here's what I'm most thankful for, right now!
~
1. Warmer weather is returning again.
2. A wide open week ahead!
3. A little ice cream social with neighbors on a Sunday night.
4. Watching how two year olds play together.
Best friends, fight, fun, steal, best friends again!
5. Another room is almost completely set up in our new house,
and I'm loving how it's turning out.
6. Two get-togethers last week with a good friend and her son.
7. Watching as Claire fell asleep all snuggled up on Eric last night.
8. Seeing how tiny Claire looks in her new big girl bed.
9. Strong allergy medicine. 'Tis the season!
10. How hard Eric works at his job, especially when some weeks are much less enjoyable than others.
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What are you most thankful for today?

Fresh Start Sunday

HE KNOWS MY NAME
Tommy Walker
~
I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands
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I have a Father
He calls me His own
He'll never leave me
No matter where I go
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He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And He hears me when I call

Favorite Picture of the Week

She's so Betty Draper
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Tutu.
Over top of a dress.
With an apron.
Pink socks.
And jewel slides.
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She makes cooking very fashionable!

Cream of Coconut Cake

I tried out a new cake recipe when I hosted family on Mother's Day. I happen to love coconut, so when I saw this recipe, I knew it was calling out my name. (Not to mention, any cake recipe that begins with a box of cake mix is a sure winner in my book!)
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Cake Ingredients:
1 package white cake mix
3 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cream of coconut (in the liquor aisle, I didn't know that!)
1 (8 ounce) container of sour cream
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Frosting Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
4 cups confectioner's sugar
toasted coconut flakes
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Cake Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease pan. (I used two round pans for a layered, taller cake)
3. Combine the cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, cream of coconut and sour cream and mix well for four minutes.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan.
5. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes
6. Let cool.
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Frosting Directions:
1. Combine the softened cream cheese, vanilla, milk and confectioner's sugar.
2. Mix until smooth and spread over cooled cake.
3. Top with toasted flaked coconut.
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Yum!

Monday's 10 Things

(Tuesday edition, yup, that's my week!)

Here's what I'm most thankful for, right now!
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1. An awesome Mother's Day!
2. Being greeted in bed Sunday morning by
Claire announcing "Happy Smother's Day!"
3. My mom and all she has and continues to do
to support her family.
4. Two of my Grandmas who are no longer living,
but were amazing mothers/grandmothers.
5. Seeing Claire on Mother's Day in one of my old dresses, so sweet!
6. Claire's 3 hour nap.
I thought those days were done, but I sure appreciated it!
7. Sneaking in about a half hour of shut eye for myself.
Why don't I do that more?!?
8. My husband, yeah, he's hot.
(Yes, I can say that, it's my blog!)
9. A rainy day to stay home in sweats and no make up all day!
10. A great ending last week to my second year in MOPS.
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What are you most thankful for today?

Fresh Start Sunday

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
~
Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

Monday's 10 Things

Here's what I'm most thankful for, right now!
~
1. A great night away with Eric! Whew, we need to remember to not let so much time go by again before our next getaway!
2. Remembering what it means to be a husband and wife first.
3. Coming home to our baby girl and knowing she had a great time with her Papa and Grandma while we were gone (and was sufficiently worn out as is evident in the picture above!)
4. My dad for giving us the bulk of his time for the last 9 months to do our house renovation. There's absolutely no way we could have done it without him.
5. Watching the relationship between my dad and Eric grow and evolve as they spent lots of time together working on projects.
6. Hearing my neighbor preach in church this weekend. What an amazing testimony he has!
7. A successful surgery for our friend's daughter.
8. Making my Monday To Do List and knowing its full of a lot of fun projects!
9. It's May already! Where did that come from?!? Doesn't matter, it means summer is just about here!
10. Wood chips are being laid right now in my yard. They look (and smell) so good!
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What are you most thankful for today?

Fresh Start Sunday

Praise the LORD.

Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.

Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.

Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,

praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,

praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.

~

Psalm 150 (NIV)