Monday, February 25, 2013

Around the House

I'm moving right along in my clean out the house project.
Of course, I'm doing all of the easy rooms first:-)

On the left when you enter our home is our living room.
I confess that we don't use this room much.  If I were building a house, I would eliminate this room, although in this house, this room has many of my favorite things in it.  
This house has a living room and a combo kitchen/family room.  In my dream house I would combine these spaces for a big great room.
In fact, when we were house hunting we did see some houses like that, but unfortunately there were always other reasons it didn't work out.

Luckily I had all of these furnishings from our previous home.  Nothing in this room is new, even the pillows are about 8 years old.

But you know, I still love everything in this room.  I hear on blog land that red, yellow, and green rooms are outdated ~
but I'm not tired of it yet. 

I left this little picture up after Christmas.
My aunt made it, probably in the 60's, out of her "teacher" jewelry.  She stopped teaching at that time, and took many of her costume pieces and crafted this tree.  It is made of mostly earrings and pins and I just love it.

It's one of those things my girls will fight over when I'm gone:-)

More of my real plant project.

Since I took the above picture, I have added 2 crosses to my collection of family and antique prayer books.  The one on the left is actually a rosary from a little shop in Vatican square.  The other cross is made from the stained glass window of the tiny little church in which I was baptized.

The painting above the fireplace was the "cookie" that started my redecorating about 8 years ago.  Do you know the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie?  I bought the painting at Nell Hill's because I loved everything about it.  The colors and the subject.  It's hard to see but it is just a corner of a living room with a comfy red chair and a table piled with books.

I brought it home to a house with burgundy and hunter green.  My house had been decorated in those colors in some form for a long time.

So, just as in the book, the painting "required" new living room furniture, which of course meant that the dining room needed change, and on to the kitchen, and you get the idea.

Of course, this was all in our previous home, but I wasn't tired of the look when I moved so I tried to make it work in this house too.

We had the woodwork painted white and the walls yellow, and changed the tile around the fireplace to absolute black granite. 

A better picture of the painting.

That box on the table is my treasure chest.  Full of little trinkets and JUNK.  The grands, especially Cooper and Ben just love it.  It was put away for Christmas and Cooper just noticed it was out.  He kind of hinted, because he knows that you can't ASK for a gift from the box, but he was sure hinting:-)

I also have a pile of books from place we've traveled.  We don't buy one everywhere, but we frequently purchase a book with fabulous pictures of the place we are visiting.  It's fun to read and learn more about the area.  And, the pictures are 10 times better than the ones I take.

On the books is a little dish I picked up on a trip to Door County.  When we travel, I don't do a lot of shopping, but I pick up souvenir pins of different places we've been and I keep the ones from overseas here.  The USA pins live in a little basket in the guest room.

These are some from our cruise to the Baltic this summer.  It's a little thing, but fun to look at.  They fit easily in your suitcase, and are pretty easy on the pocketbook too.

Little glass candy that I bought from street vendors in Venice.  Love it.

This is probably my favorite candle of all time.  I love that it is from Kansas City too.  I used to shop at the Trapp flower shop in KC.

Favorite photos greet you when you come into our home.

Laura bought me this little pillow in Arizona when she was expecting Elizabeth.  Little did she know that Elizabeth and Grandma would love to have tea together,  those are little tea cups and teapots on the pillow.

Just a glimpse of the before, with the previous owner's stuff ~ gives an idea of the paint colors when we moved in.

Whew, that was a lot of pictures and if you have been reading my blog for awhile, there aren't a lot of changes either:-)

Thanks for visiting.

Joining Richella for her Grace at Home party.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Our Exciting News

I can finally share our exciting news!
It's a 

We can't wait to get her

We already love her.

But her mother and father are especially ready for her to be home.

Our daughter, Jessica, and her husband, Ryan, are adopting a little girl from China.  We have been anxiously awaiting the official OK to share the news and they finally got it.  They are looking to travel to China hopefully in April.

Our little Claire.

How sweet that my grands are bookended by my grand girls.  Elizabeth is the first born and dearly loved granddaughter.
She is followed by Benjamin, Cooper, and Jackson.
Each a delight in their own special way, and I often say, as I watch them at play, I know why God gave me 2 girls.  Boys are ACTIVE and LOUD.  I do love every minute though, even when they wear me out.  Each of my boys is so different from each other, and they are so different when you can get them in some alone time.  Together, well, watch out!

And, sweet little Claire will probably be my last.  We can't wait to meet her!

Laura and I had a shower for her {and her mom, Jessica} last Sunday.
I struggled with an Asian theme, but it all came together.
{I know the tablecloth is a little big}

My centerpiece was bamboo {which was also the prize for the game we played] and some little lanterns I found at Pier 1 and some Chinese blocks that I gave Claire for Christmas.

I already had the bamboo flatware and it was perfect for this theme.

The kitchen table held this centerpiece.  Our theme also included hearts because we used that favorite adoption poem:

Not flesh of my flesh
Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn't grow under my heart,
But in it.

Jessica made that cute map of China and I stole borrowed it.

And, finally, the favor, made by Laura.  The cookies were darling ~ and now Jessica has a cookie cutter in the shape of China!  We wanted to tie chopsticks to the ribbon, with out the wrapper.  But when I undid the package and saw that the chopstick holder had Oh! Happy Day! inscribed on them, we had to leave the wrapper on, because it is a VERY HAPPY DAY for our family.

{are those not the cutest cookies?  
my girls do not get their talent from me, not a crafty bone in my body ~ or baker either
notice the little heart at the bottom of the cookie?
that's where Claire is waiting for her mama to come and get her}

Our menu was almost entirely from Costco.  They have some yummy Asian food, orange chicken, egg rolls, wontons, etc.  We all enjoyed our little taste of China.

We can't wait to get our hands on that little girl.
She is very loved and we are so lucky to have her in our family.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sweets for the Sweet

Happy Valentine's Day

I found this cute little heart shaped dish while out thrifting the other day.  I love the little heart border.
and I love the dark chocolates that it holds:-)

We had the family over for pizza after church on Sunday to celebrate Valentines' Day.  Since we just returned from WDW we are a little Mickey crazy so I thought this trio of boxes from Target was cute for a simple centerpiece.

Grandchildren's places.

The grandchildren have a heart on their plate because we always read this book at Valentine time and always have a chocolate heart in our hand.  Lily looks and looks for a place to hide her chocolate and at the end unwraps it and pops it in her mouth.  We wait to unwrap ours till that part in the story.  The 3 older kids remember doing this every year and it was fun to watch Jackson this year.  He is only 3 so he probably wasn't allowed to pop a whole chocolate in his mouth last year ~ but he loved it this year.

You know, that's just a little silly thing to do, but I am convinced that little moments like these become memories, and I hope that when my grands are big, those little red hearts will hold a sweet memory.

Product Details

Sweet treats.

{we do use silverware and glasses, this was obviously a table in progress:-) }

I hope your day is full of love and sweet treats!

Sharing at Richella's Grace at Home party.

Monday, February 11, 2013

I Do Love Disney

       For the third January in a row we packed up our gang and headed to the most magical place on earth!

We spent 7 nights and 8 days doing all things Disney.

On our first full day we headed to Hollywood Studios minus Laura.  She woke up with strep throat and spent the day trying to get meds.  {she did}

These 2 kindergartners were trying to screw up their courage to ride the Tower of Terror.  {pictured behind them}
They were much braver than Grandma ~ they both went on and said they liked it.  They did it last year and did not like it a bit.

Here are my boys on the behind the scenes movie ride.  I show this pic to contrast it with the one below.

Here comes the flood and the fire ~

After narrowly escaping we found some friends of at least 3 of our gang.

Look at Jackson ~ he wasn't really scared, he just didn't want to go up to them.  I thought this blurry pic was pretty funny.
{won't this be wedding rehearsal ammo some day? lol}

Bob couldn't wait for the gang to eat.  I show this to show you how deserted the cafe was ~ we love the smaller crowds in January.

Then we ran into this famous duo.  Elizabeth explained which was Phineas and which was Ferb but I retained that info for about 3 seconds.  I have never seen this show and have no clue who is who.  Look at Jackson, he ran right up to get his book signed, and then...

P or F pleading with him to come back.

He was not successful:-)

Day 2 we headed to Epcot to breakfast with the princesses.
My camera died right after these pictures so I think that's why they are so blurry.

As I said, my camera died right after these shots so I took the rest of my photos on my phone.
I just got a new phone right before Christmas and I still can't sync my phone because I need to update my software.  I haven't done that because I was debating just getting a new laptop.
So, while I try to make up my mind, my photos are trapped!
I wanted to at least get a little of our trip up on the blog for the memories.

My 2 cents worth:

Each time we go to Disney we learn a little more about what to do and what not to do.  We love the fast pass system and use it a lot, but the concierge at the hotel said they are looking to change it up ~ just when we are getting used to it this way.

I definitely think that lunch reservations are a pain.  You have to stop what you're doing or not chance getting in a queue for a line because you might not make it in time.  That means a big block of time in the middle of the day wasted.  We had character dining at Animal Kingdom for lunch and ended up waiting almost 45 after our reservation time.  Never again.
We love the breakfasts before the park opens ~ that's our favorite way to do character dining.  You can take some great photos without a million people in the background:-)

The new Be Our Guest restaurant in Fantasyland is just beautiful.  We ate there 2 different days for lunch and the food was pretty good too.  Hopefully I'll get the pics soon and share a bit.