Root Beer Floats

are the best summer treat!especially when enjoyed in the backyard with great neighbors!

Monday's 10 Things

Here's what I'm most thankful for, right now!
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1. A very fun filled family getaway day, outlet shopping and visiting Frankenmuth.
2. When Eric surprises me saying "I'm taking Friday off, let's go do something!"
3. After a little bit of a rough patch with our two-year old Miss Attitude, getting our sweet fun-loving girl back.
4. New landscaping in our side and back yard giving us much more usable (and attractive!) space.
5. Hanging out with neighbors on weekend evenings.
6. Watching Claire play with our neighbor kids and seeing how much fun they have. 10 kids age three and under all living within shouting distance of our driveway, love it!
7. Having the privilege of just staying home on a Monday after a very busy weekend.
8. My house has almost fully recovered from my pre-craft show neglect.
9. Eric's pulled hamstring is healing!
10. Bee sting + Benedryl = child playing quietly in her bed.
(and hopefully sleeping very soon!)
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What are you most thankful for today?

Fresh Start Sunday

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
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John 15 : 9-12 (NIV)

Craft Show Visitors

The best part of the craft show by far was the visitors we had!my favorite visitor of all, Claire!
(and Eric too, not sure where he was during the picture!)
kuddos to Eric who took Claire all day and kept up with her despite a pulled hamstring!
great friends from church, Sara & Triciamy nephew Keegan, and nieces Molly, Emily & Haileymy aunt Norma
(and Uncle Dale, somehow he disappeared for the picture too!)my in-laws, Del & Marymy college roommate and great friend Abi along with her son, Noahour former neighbors (and blog readers), Patti & Anne Veltema
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Thanks to everyone who stopped by, you made our day!

Craft Show Recap

The way.too.long.anticipated craft show finally arrived! As luck would have it, I woke up to rain on Saturday morning, but thankfully it had passed by the time we arrived at St Pats. It remained hot and sticky the rest of the day, but we didn't feel a drop all day.
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My mom, dad and I arrived at 8 am to begin setting up. I was convinced since the entire display had been set up in my basement for weeks that it wouldn't take long to set up once we arrived, but we still took about the entire two hours to get ready.
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By the time the show started, I was so giddy about how it had all come together. The display came together exactly how I would have hoped. Here's a look!the last thing we wanted was to have a
standard craft show "booth"
my mom and I set out to create a vintage feel in our display

we used items like an antique chair to add to the charmthe door was one we had taken out of our summer home. it was the exact length of the table and worked perfectly as a backdrop, and for displaying my yarn wreaths.
my dad has built a cradle and changing table for each of his grand kids. he made a set to sell at the show. they worked great for displaying items too!
and a few close views...I don't anticipate participating in this same show again as it really didn't draw large crowds at all (a jewelry vendor near us only sold one pair of earrings all day, and another vendor of small sewn items had sold nothing at all). I do feel great about my display and product though, and certainly wouldn't rule out doing another craft show sometime in the future!

Monday's 10 Things

Here's what I'm most thankful for, right now!
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1. I survived the craft show! It was a lot of fun, and I definitely learned a lot.
2. My mom and dad for not only contributing items to the craft show, but for all their help with the display too.
3. The 60% chance of rain worked its way through the area during the night, so we were dry all day.
4. All our friends who visited us at the show!
5. Eric for taking Claire all day long on Saturday and kept up with her despite a pulled hamstring.
6. Hearing what Claire prayed for before bed on Saturday, "thank you Jesus for a great day!"
7. A much needed Sunday afternoon nap.
8. Order has (almost) been restored to our house.
9. An entire Sunday evening spent outside with neighbors.
10. Several weeks of summer left and absolutely no agenda.
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What are you most thankful for today?

Fresh Start Sunday

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
~
Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

Directions to St Pats

For those who have mentioned visiting me at the craft show this weekend, here's some directions!
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St. Patrick's Church
920 Fulton Street
Grand Haven, MI 49417
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from Grand Rapids:
take I-96 W toward Muskegon
take Exit 9 on the left toward M-104/Spring Lake/Grand Haven
follow through Spring Lake
merge onto US-31 S toward Grand Haven
take a left onto Fulton (apx 1 mile past the drawbridge)
church is on the corner of US-31 and Fulton
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I will not know the location of my booth until I arrive on Saturday morning, so just browse around and you'll find me!
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The craft show is from 10 AM - 5 PM.
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AND...while you're in Grand Haven, be sure to check out the sidewalk sales downtown as well as Art on the Riverfront down at the city marina.

Rain, Rain, Go AWAY!

Okay, we started out the week with the
prediction of 81 and sunny on Saturday.How are we now looking at 83, humid and 60% chance of rain?!?
Not cool.

Monday's 10 Things

Here's what I'm most thankful for, right now!
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1. My dad, who is celebrating a birthday this week.
2. A break in the humidity. I can handle the heat, but no humidity for me thank you very much.
3. Cooler temperatures + A/C off and windows open = great sleeping tonight!
4. My favorite season is just around the corner, but no, I'm definitely not wishing away summer.
5. It's craft show week!
6. (Most) of my goals for how much inventory to prepare for the craft show were met.
7. Eric for accepting our less-than-clean house, no-dinner-plans-made state of affairs lately as I'm cramming for the craft show.
8. A week from now order can be restored to my craft room (and entire basement for that matter!)
9. I am officially done working on projects on our summer home for the remainder of summer.
10. A really nice family staycation.
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What are you most thankful for today?

Fresh Start Sunday

Stronger
by Hillsong United

There is love that came for us
Humbled to a sinner's cross
you broke my shame and sinfuless
you rose again victorious
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Faithfulness none can deny
through the strom and through the fire
there is truth that sets me free
Jesus Christ who lives in me
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You are stronger you are stronger
Sin is broken you have saved me
it is written Christ is risen
Jesus you are Lord of all
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No beginning and no end
You're my hope and my defense
you came to seek and save the lost
you paid it all upon the cross
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So let your name be lifted higher
Be lifted higher be lifted higher
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This song has been on repeat on my iPod
for a few weeks now,
and is well worth downloading

Blogcation Recap

Blogcation was good...productive...necessary.
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It looked something like this:* i learned the art of assembly line production
(I don't like it, but it is efficient)
* 25 zippered pouches were made
*my craft bag was packed each weekend we headed out
* 10 pull string pouches were made
* tablecloths were sewn and my craft show display created
* craft show packaging is set, (thanks Eric!)* 20 pillows were sewn
* my serger ran out of thread
* i wanted to say lots of bad words while trying to re-thread it
* i used google and you tube to try to figure out how to do it
* loads of cards and gift tag sets were made
* i made a serious dent in my fabric supply
(woe is me, I'm just going to have to buy some new fabric)
*we had a very enjoyable week-long family staycation* 20+ yarn wreaths were made
* my summer's favorite things auto-posted, hope you liked them!
* we threw a backyard party for about 40 family & friends* i did way too much stress eating
* 20 + flower pins were made
*i've decided it's time for the craft show to just hurry up and get here already!

Summer's Favorite : Day 10

Day 10 : Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet MakerConfession time : our family eats W.A.Y. too much ice cream during the summer. In fact, I was pregnant with Claire over the summer months, and I'm pretty sure the 5 bonus pounds I gained over my doctor's recommendation were due to my summer ice cream consumption.
~
This is our first summer with our very own ice cream maker, and we are having so much fun with it! I don't know much about other ice cream makers, but we have the Cuisinart model and it's been very easy to use and clean.The only thing I can't guarantee is that if you eat some of our homemade ice cream, this cute little girl's finger hasn't already dipped in it for a sample!

Summer's Favorite : Day 9

Day 9 : Pronto PupsIf you ever make a trip to Grand Haven, Michigan, a trip to Pronto Pups is a must. No, they are not corn dogs, so definitely don't call them that! They are hot dogs, dipped in a special batter, and then deep fried in vegetable oil. They make them as you order them, and you have the choice of ketchup, mustard or plain.A few things to know:
Pronto Pups is seasonal, although they open one weekend every January
you may just have to wait in line
they slide down really easy
and don't order just one for goodness sakes, you'll wish you had another!

Summer's Favorite : Day 8

Day 8 : Birkenstock SandalsThis is my second summer now wearing these Birkenstocks. I've had multiple pairs of Birkenstocks over the years (yes, I wore them in high school when it was cool to wear them in the Winter with wool socks!), but this is by far my favorite pair.
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I love that their easy to slip on for when Claire and I are in and out of the house playing, and I think as far as sandals go, I feel pretty put-together when I wear them!

Summer's Favorite : Day 7

Day 7 : SangriaEarlier this summer, Eric stopped by our local market, Kingma's, to pick us up something for dinner. While perusing the wine section, a sales associate pointed out New Age wine to him. He suggested that we try mixing one bottle of red wine with one bottle of white wine to make sangria. So we tried it, complete with lots of cut up fruit and some gummy worms on the bottom and it was so good! No more messing around with sangria recipes that include a whole list of ingredients...just two $7 bottles of wine will do it for us!
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We've tried to keep a supply of these on hand as you just never know when friends might stop by and you need to mix some up!

Summer's Favorite : Day 6

Day 6 : Weber GrillsThis post is for Eric.
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Eric treated himself to this shiny new grill last year and I think he has a crush on it! He even named it Julia...he thinks "she" looks like a Julia. It was not a cheap purchase, but he promised me that since the entire grill is made of stainless steal, no parts will need to be replaced. And I have to admit, if we're going to have a grill parked on our patio, it might as well look good!
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And talk about brand loyalty...Eric has a smaller version at our summer house, plus a Weber charcoal grill as well (perfect for s'mores!)

Summer's Favorite : Day 5

Day 5 : Yamaha Vino ScootersHave I ever told you how awesome my husband is??? At the start of summer, he went ahead and booked our babysitter for about every third Friday throughout the summer to make sure we could get out for some summer date-nights. Yeah, he's good!
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And date nights only get better when we get to head out on our scooters! We've made it a tradition of driving past the beach and all around town before heading to dinner. And then after dinner taking another cruise around town before we grab ice cream and head for home.
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My favorite part: driving and looking in my rear-view mirror to see Eric following me.
Eric's favorite part: waving to the motorcycle drivers going by, pretending we're in the same "gang" as them!

Summer's Favorite : Day 4

Day 4 : Fruit Salsa

This is a highly labor intensive recipe (think lots of chopping), but so worth it in the end!
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Ingredients:
1 onion
1 pepper (green, yellow or red)
2 jalapenos
4 cloves garlic
3 kiwi
1 mango
1 cup pineapple
1 tomato

Directions:
Chop all ingredients and add oregano, salt & pepper to taste
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Any of the ingredient quantities can be changed a bit depending on your preferences. Not only is it delicious, but it's such a colorful dish, it's always a fun one to bring along to picnics! (and I haven't met anyone that didn't like it!)
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I promise I'll take and post a picture next time I make it!


Summer's Favorite : Day 3

Day 3 : Step 2 Arctic Splash Water TableBesides Claire's swing set, this has hands down been our best summer toy purchase to date. We pull it out to our front porch almost every afternoon. I love that she can play by it, and I don't have the stress that I would have if she was playing in a kiddie pool. We fill it with sand toys, washable crayons, you name it and she goes to town!And how's this for a bonus : this past winter we brought it inside and filled it with dry beans. It provided hours of entertainment, and all it required of me was picking up some beans out of the carpet when she was done!