Monday, May 2, 2016

Creativity AND Compromise in the Kitchen

For me, house hunting is really fun. I know what I like and really know what I do not like and I make quick decisions. Our great realtor, Nate, told me that his job would be much easier if all of his clients were ... like me.

After one house fell through, we were down to the wire (our lease was about to expire), when I found a house on.line that looked perfect. 

When we arrived to see it, my expectations were super high and I was super tired. Immediately, I saw about 15 things I did not like about the house. And when I do not like something, that rarely changes.

As we got in the car, I think Dave (my husband)  and Nate (our realtor), about had heart attacks, because they both knew this was the perfect house for us. 

Fortunately, I listened to them and before we pulled away from the curb, we made an offer on what would become our new home. 

Now it was time to get creative with the things I did not like. Here is what the kitchen looked like when we first saw it.

A  beautiful kitchen, indeed, but...

     *Why is there a burner on the end of the counter?
My solution - cover it with my favorite lime green dutch oven.

     *Oh no, I hate utensil holders, and this one is deeply imbedded in the almost new tile. My solution - use it as a spot to hang pretty things. (this has become one of my favorite places to decorate)

At Christmas, it held some of my sweet tiny beverage ornaments.

But the thing that bugged me the most, was these brightly colored vegetables and COWS that were glued onto the beautiful white tiles. Big ugh.

It has taken me months to decide what to do. Hanging a picture over them did not work. Replacing the tiles was expensive. So finally I decided to paint them white. Not perfect ... but much better.

And here is where the compromise came in ... I had just finished painting out the ugly cows, when I received a text from Dave. "Hey, babe, I would like it if you did not paint the vegetables."

Believe me, I was tempted to text back, "Oh, sorry, I already painted them." But you know this thing called marriage is not all about what I WANT. I call this next picture, "Compromise in the kitchen."

Anything bugging you in your house? Might be time for a little creativity and compromise.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Wallpaper Be Gone (pretty please)

When you purchase a 100 year old home, it takes awhile to get everything up to speed. A sweet family lived here for 40 years before us and they took great care of this home. But it was decorated in an old style. 

This is our upstairs guestroom. See what I mean ... old decorations with beautifully maintained wood floors. 

When we first moved in (ten months ago) I spent ages stripping wall paper from the entry hall (red and white dogs) 
and a large border (green, brown and orange floral) from the dining room. Then we painted everything a yummy creamy white. (swiss coffee by behr)

Last week, I got inspired (read that, house guest were coming) to finally finishing stripping the wallpaper from our upstairs guest room. I was so happy when it was finished and felt very accomplished. 

I did not have time to paint before guests arrived, but I decided to decorate anyway. I already had the red bedspreads from our apartment. When I found lime green (my favorite color) light and heat reducing curtains on sale at Sears for $9 a panel (normally $25 a panel) my color choice was settled for me.

Here is how it turned out ...

What do you think?

Now I need the motivation to hem those cute lime green curtains and paint the walls. So ... would you please come visit? I will get it done right before you arrive. And, the tea kettle will be on.

ps. Here is the fun homemade thank you card we got from our sweet guests.




Friday, May 1, 2015


I am always looking for new and fresh ways to study an old and fresh book, the Bible. 

Recently, I was introduced to a creative group called Illustrated Faith. Using a few art supplies, and their own style, many have join in this new method of recording what is standing out in their Scripture reading. 

Doesn't this look inspiring ...
I have been doing a little experimenting myself, figuring out just what I want my style to be, as I reflect on Bible verses that I am studying.

Recently, I made this piece to commemorate the completion of our Woman@Park study of Philippians, and made a copy for all the women.

This one is from my quiet time last week.
Some mornings, I do not feel like getting out the art box, but I am enjoying the way it helps me focus on the words ... so I just outline it in my journal.

My friend, Anne, has joined in the fun, too. She started out simply and is developing a really cool style.

My favorite sister, Sue, always enjoys joining the party. (Sue said I could use her picture, if I call her my favorite sister. Sorry, Ruth. You are also my favorite and you have the coolest art supplies.)

Later, Sue wrote around the cross, some of the circumstances of her life that she is praying and giving thanks for.

So, what do you think? Is this something that you would enjoy trying? 

I love it, as it helps me reflect in a different way on the verse. (kind of a combination of things I have learned from diagramming, outlining and Precept Ministries observation worksheets) 

And, everyone's style is uniquely their own. If you want to see more examples, check out illustrated faith's Facebook page.   


Saturday, April 18, 2015

New, New and ... New

Life has been ... interesting around here lately. Lots of new things. Delightful new things. It is one of the reasons there has not been much space in my head for blogging.

Want to hear about it? 

New thing #1: In January, Dave got a new job.

It is a huge job, by the way. As Global Outreach Pastor of our church and its' five other campuses, Dave is busy, using his gifts to full capacity, and can I say, having a lot of fun.

This is at Park Community Church, the church we began attending when we moved here 4 1/2 years ago. It happens to be where my gifts are being used, as well.

I love it when that happens.

(We miss our teammates at WorldVenture.)

New thing #2: We just bought a home.

We thought we would rent our first year in Chicago and then purchase a home. But we were not ready ... until now.

The first house we liked, fell through, after inspection. The very next day I found "our house" on line, scheduled to see it right away, made an offer on the spot and won a bidding war. We move at the end of May.

(We have loved working with a great realtor, Nate Buttrey) 

New thing #3: You know we love being grandparents. Love it.

So, we are thrilled that Lillian is going to become a big sister in October. Yes, Daniel and Jenny are expecting their second baby. 

(My sister has been calling them Lilly and Billy. We will see.)

We are grateful to the Lord for this season of our lives.

What is new at your house?


Monday, April 6, 2015

My Three Favorite Gluten Free Products

Last week, my friend Liz, sent out an SOS that her husband was going gluten free.

I remember years ago, when Jenny first discovered her food allergies and wondering  ... what in the world I would feed this child?

So to help Liz out ... here are our families top three gluten free products

1. Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Bread. I buy it at Target and we like the 7-grain and the Mountain White. It is especially great toasted.

2. Namaste Foods: Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend. I buy this at Costco and it already has xanthum gum and the other weird bits that make gluten free flour work. I substitute it cup for cup in my usual recipes. (cookies, pie crust, pancakes, muffins etc.)

3. Organic Brown Rice Spaghetti Pasta from Trader Joe's. This is so good, I serve it to company and never mention it is gluten free.

So there you go, dear Liz. We do not use many other gluten free products. Many do not taste that great, cost a lot of money and have tons of sugar in them. 

But these three are golden ... they are on my list every week. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Learning Well: A Homeschooling Ecourse

My lovely long time blogging friend, Alicia Hutchison, has put together a fantastic ecourse on homeschooling. Alicia is creative and practical and organized ... a winning combo in my book. And her kids are adorable.

Along with her great ideas and skills, she has also put together a wonderful group of guest speakers, including ... me.

I had so much fun writing my talk and the girls think it might be the beginning of my YOUTUBE career. 

Alicia answers all your questions here.

We would love to have you join us!

Monday, March 23, 2015


I wrote on Facebook this morning, that we had no snow at Christmas, but snow today. I prefer it the other way around. Today is March 23, not December 23.

So, I am pretending that spring is still here, yes? This will melt quickly. 

Loved my instragram photo this morning ~

Spring inside/winter outside #marchmadness

 How is the weather in your neck of the woods?

ps. It is time for Fondly, Glenda to start blogging again ... I am feeling it in my bones.  
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