Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Painting Furniture and Remembering Grandpa

One year for Christmas, my precious grandfather made my cousin and I toyboxes.  They are over 40 years old and made of real wood.  The original color is still on the inside.  I could never bring myself to cover it.  It was last painted when I was a teen who was interested in the faux painting craze. For the last many years, it has been in Grace's room holding her American Girl collection.  Recently we decided it was time to paint it properly.  She decided on a clean white. 

Jeff is most familiar with the sander, so he did that part, and we are grateful.

The cats are always in on our projects.  (If they only had opposable thumbs... )

 Grace gave it five thin coats waiting an hour in between each coat.  It was a labor of love.

Here it is, all finished and ready to go back into her room.

It warms my heart to know that she will love and care for the toybox as I have all these years.  Here is a picture of my grandfather and me in a bike sidecar that he made for us grandkids.  I sure miss him.

He was one of a kind.  I am thankful that I had so many wonderful years with him in my life.

Monday, July 18, 2016

30 Things To Love About Summer

Right now it is HOT and humid.  I start to melt when it is over 85 and the dew point is over 69, so when it is in the 90's, I am miserable.  I start to think that I would much rather deal with winter and I conveniently forget that I don't really like winter much!  Haha.  (I am not so easy to please. Extremes in temperature are a bother. ) So, as in the winter when I am looking for things to love, I am going to do that now about summer to remind myself of the pleasures of summer, not just the uncomfortable parts.

  • Swimming pools!!!  Nothing better than a jump into a pool on a hot day.  
  • It is easier to cool off in the summer than to keep warm in the winter with pools and A/C.
  • Air conditioning is nearly everywhere these days.  
  • Shade trees are awesome.  Saturday we were at an outside gathering and there were amazing trees to sit under which provided a cool retreat.  
  • Ice cream tastes best in the summer.  
  • The world is green and full of blooms. 
  • My garden is bursting with life.  
  • Even summer thunderstorms are way better than winter ice and snow.  I love to hear the thunder roar.  I love the relief that rain brings.  
  • Rain!  I love rain.  After a drought a few years ago, I will never complain about rain.  It is such a gift.  
  • No school.  
  • Less structure to our days. 
  • Fewer weeknight commitments.  
  • Grilling!  
  • Riding bikes
  • Vacation days
  • Not having to bundle up to go outside, just go! 
  • Farm markets
  • Yard sales
  • Backyard parties
  • Library reading programs
  • No shoveling snow in the sumer.  
  • Fruit and vegetables are amazing when in season. Cherries and watermelon are my favorites and I only eat them in the summer.  
  • Sunshine (no drab days)
  • More time to read
  • Baby birds in a nest near a front window to watch
  • Mowing the lawn (my son's favorite job)
  • Picnics, reunions at parks 
  • Band camp, VBS, worship arts camp 
  • Iced tea on the deck under the umbrella AND
  • Hammocks
Come to think about it, maybe I do love summer after all! 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Vacation Week Recap

Happy Monday, friends!  Well, vacation is over.  This year, vacation was part stay-cation and part camping cabin at Lake Michigan. The following pictures are from New Buffalo City Beach.

As usual, vacation takes on a life of itself, never going quite as planned, but always a blessing to be away from the ordinary.  The beach towns along south-west Michigan have always had a spot in my heart.  I find them quaint and filled with nostalgia.  And fudge, lots of fudge!

We actually did not swim in the lake this trip.  Trevor had a fresh knee wound and I do not like the thought of lake water and a bad cut. So, we enjoyed the campground's pool quite a bit this trip.  It was hot, so the pool was a relief.  We spent a day with Grandma, too.  All in all, we had a lovely break.

The hardest part of vacation is having Jeff back to work and our oldest essentially back to school, as band camp starts today.  He will have two weeks of band camp and then school officially starts July 27th.  It is amazing how fast time flies!  Trevor is spending this week with his nana, so it is just us girls this week.  We have some painting projects calling our names!  I leave you with a few more pictures of the cabin.

Friday, July 1, 2016

8 Things I Love About Where I Live

This is a short list of some of the things that I love about where I am living, as I am purposing to love where I am and not brood because I am not where I want to be, or at least where I think I would rather be.

Here is pretty amazing.  And when we moved here, nearly 3 years ago, I immediately noticed that people were more friendly than my beloved hometown.  (blush).  So here goes... after a few flower pictures.  :)

  • I like my current house a lot.  It is almost the perfect set-up.  I would rather have the laundry downstairs where my room is, but going up and down the stairs is good for me.  My home has a dedicated space for my home scholars.  The entire upstairs is a teen haven.  Only the laundry calls me up there.  And, there is so much storage.  I love the closet underneath the stairs.  (Another wonderful thing about those stairs!) Talking about stairs, there are pull-down stairs to the attic storage.  Amazing feature!  And, I have all new appliances, which is a total blessing.  And did I mention that I have worked hard to create flower beds nearly around my whole house?  And most of all, this house is very affordable.  Houses are so much cheaper down here. 
  • Our house is in a somewhat bike friendly area.  It is not the rail-to-trail that I long for, but we have oodles of quiet streets to ride around, and they are working on the bike paths.  One is being finished that goes over the highway to a farm market that I love.  I will admit that riding my bike up and over the bridge is going to be a big challenge, but I will make it a goal.  Plus, there is a rumour that a coffee shop is being built on the path in a little strip mall that is being built.  I have always said that I wanted to live near a path that goes somewhere, like a market or coffee shop.  Now I will.  
  • The library here is part of a group of little libraries around the state and I have access to so many books.  I even have access to all the libraries in the county.  And to top it off, I can have ebooks, 10 at a time!!!  I don't have to leave my house to get books.  Amazing.  
  • We have a few friends from our church who also live down here and we are working on building community.  It has taken awhile, but little by little we have formed a small group and are meeting on a regular basis and praying for one another.  I count them among my dearest friends and will miss them if and when we are able to move.  
  • There is every convenience down here that is up north (except Trader Joe.) The mall is full of great stores and is only a 10-minute drive.  They just built a lovely Costco.  We have less congestion down here, actually.  
  • I have found THE BEST orchard down here.  I will probably drive down here just to get their apples in the future.  They are 91 years in business.  I love them.  Last summer, I am not kidding, I ate tons of them.  I just got an email today that they are reopening this week.  I am on my way!!!  
  • This might be quirky, but we live a mile from a train track and I love to hear the train coming.  First, you hear it from far away, then as it gets closer, obviously it gets louder, and I find myself thinking about trains and how I have always enjoyed them.  This track is not used on a constant basis and the trains do not go super fast, although they are talking about allowing more trains.  I love being near it.  If I lived closer, I would probably stop what I am doing and watch them as they passed.  I know I am weird.  I hate traffic noise and planes, but trains remind me of being at the dunes and anything that can put me in a good frame of mind is OK by me.  :)  
  • And finally, look at this water park.  It is ten minutes from my home.  When they finish the bike path, we could ride there if we are ambitious. (We'd have to cross a highway at a light and navigate some light traffic along the way.) We spent several hours at this fine pool this past week.  It is a lot of fun and it was not crazy busy when we arrived in the evening.  

These are really only a few of the reasons to love living in Greenwood, Indiana.  I may add to this list as they come to mind.  I am truly blessed to live here.  Thanks for reading!