Monday, September 29, 2008

At last...My bathroom gets a face-lift

This post is for my mom! (Hi MOM!) I know you can't drive all this way to see my bathroom makeover so this is the next best thing! I love you and miss you both (hi DAD.)

My bathroom...

Out of all the rooms in the house, the master bath room was the most atrocious. Here's the reason...

The hideous "doctor's office" wallpaper!

This paper has not one, but TWO layers. The second paper one had to be removed by wetting it and scraping.
Here's what was under 2 layers of "marbled" wall paper. It's terra cotta (which by itself could be alright) but it was sponge painted with GOLD!

I found some "oops" paint at Lowes for $5 last year....

I decided to do this project (after it had been on my "to-do" list ALL summer long) while Bill was on an overnight business trip. It's more fun to do all of this work if it's a surprise.

We've been ripping wall paper off slowly over the past 8 months or so. This is our ugly bathroom with one layer off.
The before before look. Hmmm...I can understand the concept of covering this paint job with wall paper, but where'd they get this wall paper from? This is not an office space folks!

(I couldn't get the fan cover to pop back in!)
and after.


I really love the contrast of the white trim and accessories with the green paint.
My bathroom feels like such a sanctuary!
Here's a good before shot.
and after
I (bravely) removed the mirror and put it back on all by myself!

I'm trying not to spend too much time in here now....

How's that for a $5 make-over?

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Here's another fun thing we did at the Hay Creek Festival.


Scrippito is carving on two layers of rolled out clay exposing the darker bottom layer.

The lady running the both had some very beautiful pieces and showed the boys how to carve.Each child was allowed to draw in one square.

Logan made a sunflower.

Lance made a design, top right hand corner.

Liam taking a stab at it.

His is the viney one in the center.

It was fun to see what designs they came up with.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


There's something idyllic about pears...

So beautiful!

OH, yeah, anyway, pears. Where was I? Today, I will show you my favorite way to eat pears. I like them fresh, but they are even better poached in cinnamon and spices. This takes me back to my childhood. Having been born in Holland, I have a plethora (I love that word!)of favorite dishes that I really miss and don't get to eat very often. I've found some recipes on the internet over the years so I can replicate them. This isn't the exact recipe but it's pretty darn close!

You do need to peel the pears and core them. I use a melon baller kind of thing to scoop out the innards. Make sure your pears aren't too ripe, just barely. They will get cooked anyway and need to be firm.

Do you like my blue gloved hand? My hands are SO dry and I'm trying to keep from having to wash them with soap too often. I digress...but thought I should explain.

Place the pears in a large pan. The size depends on how many pears you are using. I like to use apple juice, you can use cider as well, I just didn't have any on hand.

Use 100% apple juice, let's keep it healthy folks! Add a couple of cinnamon sticks, a shake of cloves, nutmeg, whatever floats your boat. Oh, and vanilla. A good teaspoon or more. (The real stuff!)

And then just simmer on low for a while. The longer you let them sit the more they absorb the flavors.
Okay, you need the amount of time? Maybe an hour, more or less is fine. Then let it cool down completely if you are putting them into plastic containers. (Me and plastic don't mix when it comes to heating it, BAD for you...)

Remove the cinnamon sticks.

I put mine into two quart glass jars, I still can't believe that all those pears, and all I have show for it is 2 stinkin' quarts...and those boys eat them so fast!

I'm the mean "canner", I don't let anyone touch the canned stuff till it's all WAY out of season.

These are outrageously good. Dessert quality.

Enjoy Fall's bounty.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Summer in Review

I can't believe summer is already over! I thought it would be fun to share our summer summed up in a few pictures. I promise, my next few posts will be food-related! I have all sorts of posts coming up of cooked pears, roasted chicken with potato and leeks, apple cakes...just to whet your appetites and keep you coming back for more.

Our summer began with our usual trip to Cape Cod. Sparklers on the beach is our custom every year. We go with 3 other families, stay in the same beautiful house, and cook yummy food and play scrabble all week long. This year we had 17 people.

This is my favorite pic of the boys, taken at the Cape.

Here are some of my favorite flowers growing in the garden.

They have all since dried up. The poor flowers at the top of my long driveway only get rainwater, there hasn't been too much of that lately! Usely they last into September.

We found this "mask" on our property when we moved...

Here's a shot of my garden before it really took off. Notice the HORSE? That was Liam's homeschool co-op project, he had to play a "pony express rider" and Oma C. made him the horse. This is where he now pastures...

And, oh so sad, our Kimba had kittens and then subsequently "left" with them. We haven't seen or heard from them since. Precious has taken over all of our affections, quite happily.

Oh, we can't forget our garden path! Bill, me and the boys worked so hard on that project. We re-covered the walkway, washed and rinsed all the stones and put them back. Then we proceeded to burn out our well pump that same day. But, we don't really want to remember that.

The beautiful rainbow. The boys and I were "spell-bound" at the beauty of this gorgeous rainbow over our house. What an awesome reminder that God keeps his promises.

L3 turned 7!

Summer's bounty of fresh fruit wrapped up into our favorite pie. I have never, EVER, made this many pies in my life, let alone, in one single summer! Peach blueberry raspberry was our favorite, but I did make a lot of just wild raspberry, blueberry, and peach by itself too. Yummy! I miss them already.

Oh, tomatoes. This was a another first for me this summer. I have canned tomatoes before, but I've never made salsa before. If I may say so, it was incredible!

Cousin Jeff from NJ, kindly shared his tomatoes with me and his roma tomatoes were "out of this world good!" I made slow roasted tomatoes with them, they are insane!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wagon rides...

L3, L2 and L1 on a wagon ride at the Festival...

A volunteer jumped up and sat on the front seat with them
A little squished

There's something really funny and cute about this picture
(not the guy's butt!)

This was one of the boy's favorite things at the Festival.

Hold on tight boys!
Going down a very steep hill!

Lukie had to get "in" on the action too.

The Topiary Lady has moved!

The Topiary Lady has MOVED!

I'm not longer updating this blog....Come visit me on my new site at for lots of recipes, ideas, homeschooling stuff, and more!

My boys

My boys