Monday, December 30, 2013

I am not a very good blogger

So we've moved in. Had Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas already.. and we are almost to the New Year and I am finally finding the time to post something. I have enjoyed our new home and neighborhood tremendously. I am looking forward to all the changing seasons here as well.  We've had our open house, and the business of the Holiday Season is finally winding down. All is well with my soul, and with our home. We've had a few hiccups in this old house. The plumbing although mostly new has had some issues. Nothing my handy hubby couldn't fix though. I am enjoying unpacking boxes and setting up house. I still wish the master bedroom were bigger, but it's cozy.  Here is a picture of one of the smaller Christmas tree's we had this year. We had two inside and one on the small side porch.  As the New Year draws close, I have been thinking, not about resolutions, but about changes I'd like to see in myself this year.  I am hoping to be less busy and to spend more time with my Savior.
Here is another few pictures of around the house. I got a new camera from Bob for Christmas. Looking forward to learning how to use it!
This is the snowy view out the front window.

A Christmas fire in the new fireplace!

And finally our outdoor porch tree!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, September 14, 2013


So the House isn't done yet, but the wonderful lady we are buying it from has given us permission to go in at will and look around. I called her today and asked if I could set up some things I found for the fireplace. Obviously she said yes!  I can't wait until the new tile is put in around the hearth and the floors are done! It's gonna look sooooo nice! (Squeal!)

Friday, September 13, 2013


Moving across the country for anyone can  be daunting. I remember as a child moving from New Jersey to New Mexico and thinking my parents had gone crazy! I also remember wanting to "go home" so badly and being upset with them for not asking us if we wanted to move. Things were different then. My parents were doing a wonderful thing for us, even if we didn't understand at the time. There were a few things I would have wished they had done differently to help us with the move. In the end I know we, my sisters and brothers and I, were glad they did. With this in mind, when we move we have our children be a big part in the decision making, regardless of their age.  We try not only to take their feelings into consideration, but do all we can to make the transition smoother. Being part of a church makes that easier. We have an instant family to welcome us.

Also helping to make a better transition, I encourage the kids to get involved in new things. Anah has a role in the School play. I will post pictures about it later.

Faith is learning to ice-skate. Here are some pictures of her first time on the ice.
 One, two, three,... glide

One two three.. fall...

 It's easier with new friends!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Trading Spaces

Ecclesiastes 1:9

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

What has been is what will be,

and what has been done is what will be done;

there is nothing new under the sun.

(History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.)

There used to be a show on TLC that I loved to watch when we had cable. (And yes I mean cable and not satellite tv.) It was called Trading Spaces. Many of you have probably seen it. If not, basically it was a couple of neighbors, or friends, re-doing a room in the other's home. It was a great deal of fun to watch what they did and the reaction of the homeowners at the big reveal in the end.  It was from this show that I got to love paint, and what it could do for a house to make it a home. I love to paint cabinets, and furniture, as well as walls. At our last house I painted brand new kitchen cabinets before we even moved in. I know many a congregation member that thought I was a bit nuts. But I love white kitchens, even if it means extra work to keep them clean.
Since moving here to North Dakota, I've been collecting furniture. People here just throw it to the curb. I love this. At first I felt a little sheepish stuffing furniture in the back of my vehicle that others were throwing away, but I soon got over it. Refinishing these found treasures has been a wonderful way to pass time while waiting to get into our new place. Most of these items I'm not sure where I will put. In the end I will probably sell them.  I was thinking about all this today and wondered how many others out there are like myself, that have a passion for re-doing their homes, but can't afford to spend the money on it? I can't be the only one of my kind.... I know some of my very good sensible friends, I am thinking of one very dear to my heart in particular, that has had the same furniture since they got married, They only buy the best quality to last more than a lifetime.  I have some pieces I love, but after a while, I start to give much of my furniture a second look. I want to change them up. Re-create them, or get rid of them.
                                                                             (BEFORE ->)
So here's my idea, instead of trading spaces, why not trade furniture. I had a king sized bed that I knew would not work for us any longer in our new home.  Just way too big. So I gave it away.  I am happy that our bed has a nice new home. Yes, I truly look at furniture as part of my home, therefore almost family. About the same time driving home one evening, I saw a solid oak bookshelf/entertainment unit sitting by the side of the road. I turned around and knocked on the door. Yup, another curbside toss.  I promptly drove home to get my husband and a truck to haul it back to the place we are living. I have some before pictures that I will add here. But I digress, (easy to do if you're me) what if you looked at an object in your home that you no longer wanted or needed and put it up for trade. No cash involved, just a straight trade or give away. I love free things. Who doesn't!???  But I also love to give things away.  I thought, hey I've stumbled onto a great idea.. Unfortunately as the above verse states, there is nothing new under the sun. There's even a website that calls itself I am not recommending that site, or un-recommending it for that matter. Just pointing out that one already exists. My idea is even a bit more simple. Just use our social media outlets like Facebook, and Twitter, to share with family and friends any item you want to trade away, or give away.  A bit like kicking it to the curb to see items find a new home. When I needed to get rid of a tv I no longer needed, I mentioned it on Facebook and it was gone in a flash.  Right now I want some extra cabinets to redo to put in the new mudroom, anyone got some I can have?

AFTER --> I had originally thought I would paint it white. However, when I cleaned it up and took off the doors, I loved it. I also have the glass shelves. I did touch up the paint a bit, and will be adding some baskets to the bottom cubicles. I've also thought about using milk crates for easy viewing, but who knew those are so popular now they've become expensive.  Would love some ideas if anyone has some! Here are some more before and after shots.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Chaos, Craziness & Homeless

In a whirlwind of unplanned events my husband accepted a new pastorate across the country in Minot, ND.  We went from living in a 5 bedroom, 4 bath,  2860 sq ft on 2.5 acres in the hot desert of New Mexico, to living in an 800 sq ft rental apartment with only 2 bedrooms and 1 bath.  What an adventure! Through it all I must say watching my children adjust (the four that are still home) was amazing.  The girls, Anah 14, and Faith 9, took to sharing a room, and a bed, better than I thought they would. The eldest still living at home, Jeremy 20, found a job and got to work, our youngest son, Charlie 11, although a bit bored at times,  never complained.  After 4 months of cramped living we finally found a home that worked for us. We placed our month notice with the landlord, and prepared to start really living in our new community. A few days before we moved out of the apartment the deal on the new house fell through.

With no other place to go we moved into the church and quickly began looking for another home.  While browsing the internet for homes, my husband Bob found a for "sale by owner" that we called on and went to look at it. For me it was love at first sight. It was more than we had wanted to spend, and smaller by far than the previous house that fell through, but the neighborhood was/is perfect, located not to far from the church and close to parks, the zoo and good schools. We put in an offer and after 3 agonizing days, made a deal.

So this is our new beginning. We are still living in the church. Waiting on the close of our home in New Mexico. I have become a house stalker. Driving by our new home day and night, and dreaming of the day when we can finally move in and make it a home.  Much of the furniture we brought with us will not work here. So it's most all for sale. Any takers? I am replacing them with found items and things I rework from thrift stores and curb side tosses.  I am starting this blog as I hopefully learn to live a more simpler life. One of the things I learned from living in the apartment with the kids is that we don't need as much "stuff" as we brought with us. I am looking forward to getting rid of much of it.

I will be posting before and after pictures of things I find and redo. Pictures of the house, gardens, the kids, meals and life on the far northern plains of North Dakota. For you fellow believers, I will also share tidbits of my spiritual journey.  I look forward to experiencing the different seasons here, and especially looking forward to fall! Here are a few pictures of our new home!  They are still remodeling it so it won't actually be finished for a couple more weeks. I can't wait to move in!

Thanks for reading.