House Tour

05/26/13

First off, let me say how much we love our home! We still feel like the most blessed people on the face of the earth every time we put our key in the front door. Having been in our new house for over 5 years . . . when do you stop calling it “new”? Maybe it’s when you start making changes and it becomes a little more worn in? We have not made any major changes beside putting cabinets in our laundry room (by ourselves 2 days before our first Thanksgiving in our house) and changing out all the light fixtures for ORB!

These pictures were taken a couple of years ago and have sat in a folder on my computer. After starting this blog a couple months ago, I thought “why not?” put them up! So here they are and I’ll be updating a few since some have changed.

Living Room

Living Room

Living Room

Living Room

Living Room

Hallway

Living Room

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Yellow Guest Room

Yellow Guest Room

Yellow Guest Room

Yellow Guest Room

Yellow Guest Room

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Blue Guest Room

Blue Guest Room

Suitcases belonged to my paternal grandparents and hold Caroline's dress-up
Suitcases belonged to my paternal grandparents and hold Caroline’s dress-up

Blue Guest Room

Upstairs Landing
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Upstairs Guest Bath

Upstairs Guest Bath

Upstairs Guest Bath

Upstairs Guest Bath
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Craft Room

Craft Room

Craft Room

Craft Room

Craft Room

Craft Room

Longaberger Baskets
Longaberger Baskets

Craft Room
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Master Bedroom and Bath

Royal Copenhagen and Bing & Grondahl plates starting with 1903 collected by my grandmother
Royal Copenhagen and Bing & Grondahl plates starting with 1903 collected by my grandmother

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Suitcases belonged to my maternal grandmother
Suitcases belonged to my maternal grandmother
Handpainted tiled pieces that belonged to my grandmother
Handpainted tiled pieces that belonged to my grandmother

Master Bath
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Laundry Room

Laundry
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Den/Office

Den/Office
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Dining

Dining
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Kitchen

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It’s time to CELEBRATE

04/04/13

So many things to celebrate RIGHT now!

It’s spring!

It’s getting warmer!

It’s stays lighter longer!

The main reason to celebrate . . . EASTER!

It may mean many things to you but to me it’s the season to revisit something that was done for me a very long time ago. 2000 years ago, to be exact. I believe, as does my family, that God sent His son to die on the cross to save us from our sins. We were separated from God and He gave us a way back to Him. The freedom this brings to my life is indescribable and the joy and love that permeates our family is palatable. One of our traditions is to have our Easter Family Dinner together, an egg hunt with our granddaughters and then to all attend one of the special services at our church (www.cathedralofpraise.org)!

Several of our family members are usually involved in the service and this year was no exception. My son was the host of “Jeopardy”, a comedy spoof (pulled off Alex Trebeck to a tee) to open the service and my sister-in-love was a part of the choir that would be an integral part of the worship sets.

Holidays around here are one of our favorite things. I start making lists for the menu, shopping, timing items, etc. If it’s gotta get done, I’ve gotta write it down, email it to myself and put a reminder on my phone! Seriously!!! One good thing about emailing your menu or lists to yourself is that you can pull them up year after year to use again or revise. Saves a ton of time!

One of the major players of our get-togethers is our table . . . love, love, love setting the table. My mom always had a beautiful table, even for everyday dinners and thus, I love to set a table!

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 I feel like when you put a little more effort into your table, adding special touches, it not only shows but brings a bit of your personality to your table, the celebration, the reason you’re all sitting down together . . . for this holiday, it’s to celebrate new beginnings, a fresh start . . . HOPE! Nothing says that like COLOR! For this year’s table I purchased a few yards of fabric (yellow) and pulled out a piece of gingham I had bought a few years ago for a baby shower. The baskets are individual baked potato baskets that my grandmother had. I used some scrapbook stickers to put the initial of each family member on a plastic egg to mark their place setting.

All I did for a centerpiece was make a cake!!!! Add the fabric, a few extra eggs and voila!
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If you are on VINE (the new video app equivalent to Instagram), you can find my profile and check out the stop action video i did of a place setting. TOO FUN! Why? Because I can! Remember, if you can . . . you should . . . I did!

I set out to make a gathering a little special with a few things I already had on hand. Brought in a little of the excitement of the season through color, some fun objects and a great dessert and set the tone for a wonderful day with my family . . . the most important part of my life!

Here’s a few more pics of our day . . .

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Great Easter “baskets” from Lands End!

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IMG_2362Caroline reading her new book to Sarah

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Scrumptious Green Bean Bundles
1/2 slice bacon
6-8 green beans
1 stick butter (melted)
1/4 cup soy sauce
tsp garlic powder
Wrap beans with bacon and use toothpick to secure; Mix sauce and pour over each bundle; bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until bacon is to your liking! Wait for the applause . . . it will come!

This was our side dish that has become one of our holiday dinner staples. We had it alongside our new crockpot roast!

roast

Coffee Marinade for Roast
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1 cup Italian dressing (any brand)
1/4 cup of beef broth or worcestershire sauce or Dale’s steak seasoning (we use the Dale’s)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Salt/Pepper to taste
Mix in ziplock and add roast of your choice (we use either churck or sirloin tip)
Marinate overnight. Before placing in crock pot, sear each side of the roast (optional) in a little olive oil. Cut up 1-2 onions in rings on the bottom of your crock pot and place roast on top of onions. Pour in marinade. Slow cook on LOW for 8-10 hours. ENJOY!

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Caroline Grace enjoyed her “loot”!

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Our angel, Sarah Elizabeth, wasn’t feeling well and STILL had her beautiful countenance!

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Our son, Brad and his beautiful wife, Julia, with their daughters along with my in-loves, Bill and Shirley . . . proud great-grandparents to Caroline and Sarah!

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Ryan, the host of “Jeopardy” and his precious wife, Jenny Lynn!

Celebrating the season with those you love and cherish is a true blessing! I tell folks all the time that I am the most blessed person I know!

It was a HAPPY EASTER and one we will drink off of for a long time.

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World Down Syndrome Day

03/20/13

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Psalm 139:14

Our Angel

There are some folks that will celebrate a special day tomorrow and some that won’t!

Just like some folks have an extra chromosome and some don’t!

Our family is part of a very special, select group who will celebrate an incredible holiday this week. World Down Syndrome Day is on 3/21 to symbolize a third copy of the 21st chromosome in people with Down syndrome.

I took some time this week to remember the birth of our granddaughter, Sarah Elizabeth, three years ago and I was reminded of a poem I had read many years before she was even born!

Sweet Sisters

This is a poem, written by Emily Perl Kingsley. She wrote it to help others understand what it’s like to raise a child with special needs.

A Trip to Holland
When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”
But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

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We landed in Holland three years ago as we welcomed our precious Sarah, who has Down Syndrome, into our family! Our son, Brad, and his beautiful wife, Julia, never even asked about Italy and proudly introduced us all to the greatest gift our family has ever been given . . . and we LOVE Holland! Celebrate the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome on March 21 as we will be celebrating our angel, Sweet Sarah!

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Sarah collage

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HERE WE GO!

03/12/13

Am I ready to ride the blog WAVE? Not sure! Will I step out onto it? Here we go!

Are you ever ready for something new? Will you ever feel that now is the time to start something? Really?

Okay! I’ve had several folks tell me that it’s time and I’ve fought it every step of the way until this week when I felt an overwhelming sense to STEP . . . just step . . . step OUT! So here goes . . .

WordPress? Didn’t know what it was.

Plugins? Nope. Dashboard? Well, maybe.

To tell you the truth, I’ve written several of these “posts” over the last couple days and apparently have not saved/published/viewed/etc. them the “right” way because when I go to view . . . well, they are back to “template” view, you know, the verbage THEY put up until you get your stuff uploaded. So this time . . . 3rd, 4th time, I will copy what I’ve typed and save it somewhere else and then . . . then . . . I can copy into this very same window  . . . . J I C !

So . . .

If I Can, I Should . . . I should! I will! I’m getting ready to hit the Publish button!

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