Wednesday, September 29, 2010

insanely preparing

busy is an understatement!

my hubs and I have been preparing for 2 parties, back to back, at our house starting tomorrow night... FOR 35 PEOPLE EACH. 

actually it's just the sort of thing I like to do except I get ridiculous with all of the details. i mean, really ridiculous!

our church is starting a new, and exciting, I might add, building campaign that kicked off this week.. 

so here are some of the things that we, and a few of our friends, have been preparing for the next couple of nights.

a fancy fruit platter
crab cakes with a remoulade sauce
shrimp cocktail
mini mozzarella balls with basil and roasted red pepper
stuffed mini baked potatoes
angeled eggs (as my friend calls them) 
mixed olives
chicken satay
homemade guacamole, salsa and chips
cheese ball & crackers
vegetables on skewers poked into a pumpkin to look like a bouquet

white chocolate covered brownie truffles
chocolate truffles
pumpkin roll
ricotta cake
apple pie
pb & chocolate pie

apple cider
raspberry fruit punch
flavored iced tea
fruited water

and so in all the preparations, cleaning, decorating, project making, etc., I totally forgot that I was going to be a guest blogger over at Art's Chili.

i'm embarrassed, to say the least, that I would excitedly commit and then completely forget.

Kat, I know you understand. Thanks for even thinking of me to do it. I am honored.

I'll post photos of my crazy gatherings.
Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday! ~ monkey moos

These guys are a couple of monkeys!
Grant & Cooper just having some fun while Braaten does a photo shoot. 

Visit "5 Minutes for Mom" for more Wordless Wednesday posts.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

party time!

This was my recent birthday celebration. My hubs made the cake with Grant and then they decorated the kitchen. It was wonderful. We always decorate the kitchen and also the birthday person's chair. The cake was great, the cards, and the special presents the kids picked out for me. They get really excited to shop for just the right gift. 

I love you, my wonderful family!

Other parties in the news:  We are planning to entertain 35 people a night from church for 2 nights in a row at the end of this month in preparation for a building campaign we are doing.

Homemade hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and a clean house decorated in a fall theme is keeping us really busy right now.

Volleyball and soccer games are filling up the planner, too! 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

My Menu Plan:

Monday- Chicken Pot Pie with a side salad

Tuesday- Spaghetti & Garlic Bread

Wednesday- Asparagus Strata & Corn Bread

Thursday- Steak and Rice & Beans

Friday- Chicken Salad Sandwiches on the go

We’re heading up north in Michigan to Petoskey to visit friends for the weekend. I'll be cooking with my friend, Barb.

Visit Orgjunkie to get more great ideas on menu plans.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

transformations ~ continued...

This room was changed piece by piece.

I think once you get the paint bug, it's all over. I have got bitten by it in the past year through decorating blogs, and things haven't been the same since.

So here's what was done...

This hutch was purchased when we had our first baby. We also bought a small dresser to go with it. The top piece of this hutch comes off and when our little guy was born, we put a changing pad on top of it. As he got bigger, we put the hutch back on and have had the set for 14 years now. We later bought a bed to match.

Needless to say, I got a little tired with the "pickled" wood and wanted to freshen it up.

I decided to go with white and I plan on distressing it later.
I added these bird stickers from Michael's to add a bit of whimsy.

Here is the matching daybed.

I went with green to offset the white and make it a more colorful space.

This second dresser was the first piece in this room that I painted.

I painted right in the room so that we didn't have to drag furniture in and out of the house.
You can take the risk of possibly spilling paint on to the carpeting. Thankfully that didn't happen here.

And this is after it was done. I added a couple of glass knobs from Hobby Lobby.
At 50% off, I think I paid $2 a knob.

If you click on the above picture, you'll see that I distressed it a little with charcoal paint mixed with glaze.

My next project was to spray paint this framed mirror to add a punch of color.

I purchased this little table from T.J.'s and looking back now, it was too expensive.
I just might return it. We'll see.

I found this beauty at Goodwill for $5.99.
I could not believe my eyes when I spotted it.

I sanded it with my "Octo", from Skil, which is like a Mouse only different.
It is the handiest little sanding tool!

I painted it the exact same color as the green table I want to return and I absolutely love it!

This little chair was $1.99 at GW and I painted it yellow and changed the fabric on the cushion.
All the bright colors make me happy.

That's my guest room transformation. I still have to hang curtains and add a few more finishing touches.

~~ storytime ~~

Melanie is devoted to our kitties, Molly, Lilly, and Ying. She has been taking the time to visit with them on the porch and tell them their story.

She reminds them of how scruffy they once were and how little they were when we took them in. I'm sure she tells Ying that she is a blessed little kitty because her sister, Yang, did not make it when her Uncle Scott found them abandoned on a boat. I am sure she tells her how pretty she has gotten, and that she loves her soft, shiny fur.

She has to whisper into Molly's little ear that her older brother, Austin, thinks she is, in fact, a boy kitty. She probably follow's that up with the fact that Mom says she must then be renamed to something like Mikey. Melanie most likely assures her that she is definitely a girl and will keep her beautiful name.

And finally while holding Lilly, her little red and white kitty, she reminds her that she was the one that got to name her. As we shouted out various names on our way home, and Melanie called out the name Lilly, the 7 of us agreed wholeheartedly that she must have that name.

I don't know about you, but I would love to sit on that same porch during storytime with Melanie and hear my own story. The story would be told that God knew my name before the beginning of time when He knitted me in my mother's womb. I would listen intently while being told that I was named after my mom after my four older sisters did not receive the name Carol at my father's request. I would lovingly listen as I was reminded how much I resemble my mother, with brown eyes and very similar facial features. I would feel the love on that warm sunny day as my storyteller lovingly shared my story.

What a blessing to hear how God made each one of us in His loving care~ even 3 little kittens from Indiana!

He is an awesome God!

Thank you, Melanie, for reminding us each that we have a story that God, the author and finisher of our faith, has written.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

~transformations~ and more

The "more" part of this post is about me having the hardest time getting into my blog. I desire to write daily blog posts and also to read my favorites, but I just haven't been motivated. Everything is fine with me, life is good in our home, things are really busy, etc, etc, but I can't put my finger on why I can't get back into it.

Please bear with me as I find a new routine and start to blog again. I love hearing from you all and also seeing what's new with you.

Thanks for hanging around.

And now for ~transformations~...

I have seriously gotten into buying things at garage sales, Goodwill, and the Salvation Army to transform them into pieces that I love. It's been fun and rewarding.

Can you see the desk in this photo? Barely... I know. I don't have a good "before" picture, but I wanted to share some of the things I have worked on over the summer.

I wrote this post about a table I refinished for my entryway and noted that my girls' desk was what inspired me to paint it in the first place.

I don't remember the exact color I used, but I glazed it with burnt umber mixed with a plain glaze to tone down the color. I then sanded it by hand to distress it.

The drawer pulls are original to the desk, but I painted them and the chair white with a little distressing as well.

Here's the finished product. It goes great in Braaten and Melanie's room.

My girls and I worked on the bulletin boards above their beds to match their rooms. They have travel photos, pictures of friends, and postcards on them that they collected while we lived in England and traveled to different countries. I love their bedding, too!

See?? Now I feel better that I finally put a new post up!
Granted, it is not the follow-up "travel" posts that I have been meaning to put up, but I will be sure to finish those. I need blog about our vacation for the 2nd blog book I want to have made.

Blessings to you!

I'm linking up at