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Oooh, Niiieeee

That’s what Adam said when we finally got some fabric back on his chair.

We started Tuesday morning, and he helped me rip it apart.

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And by Wednesday night, we had a great chair for Adam’s room!
It’s a little loosey-goosey – I should have pulled the denim tighter.  And the cushion still needs some tweaking, but overall, I’m really proud of my first upholstery project, and I can’t wait to get home from Showcase and snuggle up with him again. :)

Furniture Feature Fridays Visit thecsiproject.com

Farkle Sparkle

When my brother was little, he had a pet frog that he found outside and named Farkle Sparkle.


He let Farkle Sparkle go free, but that cute little frog came back to say “Hi” every year.

Yes, every year, Farkle Sparkle came hopping up onto the patio, much to little Brett’s delight.


Well, Farkle Sparkle has found a new home at our house.

That’s right, Adam met Farkle Sparkle for the first time the other day.


And not only did Farkle Sparkle move 15 miles over to my house, but he brought the neighbor’s cat and became a toad, too!


Crazy stuff, huh?

Showcase, Here I Come!

I’m taking a little vacation later in the week.

Four days, in Minneapolis, with 2000 other Creative Memories Consultants!  I’m pumped!


Nancy O’Dell will be there.  (She’s working with Creative Memories on a new line – she is a HUGE believer in preserving memories!)


And Nick Kelsh.  You all know how I love Nick Kelsh.


And I will be there!  Woot!


I’ve got some posts scheduled during that time, so you may not even notice that I’m gone.


But, I really want to share the fun, so I’m having a SHOWCASE SPECIAL!  Order $25 or more off my personal website before Saturday, July 31, and get a FREE GIFT!


Not sure what to get?  How about some TRADITIONAL SCRAPBOOKING supplies?










Or maybe you’ve been wanting to get started in DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING…Creative Memories has a very reasonably priced, easy to use software program that can help you out.


Not a scrapbooker?  How about one of these?


Or this?


Or, pass the word along, or surprise someone with a gift!



Right now! 

Order $25!

I’ll send you a gift when I get home from Showcase!


I’ll match your gift to your order.  Order digital?  I’ll send you some digital artwork.  Order traditional, and I’ll send something that you can use with your scrapbooking.  Either way, you and I will both be really happy!


Shoot me an email or comment here with any questions!

My First Kitchen

You’ve seen my current kitchen here. 

It’s not a big kitchen, but it’s a heck of a lot bigger than my first kitchen!


This was the kitchen the first time I saw it:

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See that little stove?  It was broken.  The first time we cooked in it, the oven went to 600 degrees in 10 minutes.  Yikes!  The previous owner moved across the street, and when we asked her about it, she said she never used it because they ate most of their meals at her mom’s (who also lived across the street.)  This was a grown woman, with two children, who never used her oven.  Seriously?

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My aunt and uncle had a perfectly good stove that wouldn’t fit because we only had room for an apartment sized one.  So it went in the basement.  And for over a year, we used the cooktop upstairs, and I carried my pans up and down the basement stairs to bake.  It was handy for frozen pizzas in the man-room, though!  We did finally replace it though.

Anyway, the total floor space was about 6 x 4.  You literally could not have more than one person in there.  The best thing was it had 2 pull out cutting boards.  We used them as counter/prep space.  I don’t know what we would have done without them.

Pretty crazy, huh?


But in the two years we lived there, we added some of our own touches, to make it a little more comfortable, at least.


But notice that I never did paint over the spots where the mini-blinds were attached.


The terrible stove corner…you couldn’t stand in front of the oven to open it – not enough room.  The weird corner is a brick chimney.  I would have loved to expose the brick, but it seemed like a lot of work. :)

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The inspiration for the room: vintage pyrex dishes.  I still have a huge collection, in boxes, in my garage, that I can’t bear to part with.


Remember this cute little table?  It sat directly across from the fridge.  The door to the basement was on the wall to the left, next to the stove.

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This was above the stove – a really cute little area.  I had some trivets hung in between the shelves and stove top.


A messy look at the shelves Bart built to match the previous built ins.  Right before we moved, I put simple white, cotton curtains over 2 out of the 3 in order to hide the mess and make more storage.  You can see some of my pyrex collection.  It was so fun and whimsical. :)




I look back at these pictures and remember how simple life was without the farm and Adam and I’m a little sad.  But then I remember the drunk college students who stole my pumpkins, and partiers who walked up and down our road to the bars loudly every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and the crazy neighbors who yelled at us when we left, and I’m glad we moved. :)

The Kitchen: Let’s Start at the Beginning

Mar. 1, 2008:  We took possession of the house.
We planned to:
a) paint cabinets
b) install dishwasher
c) new stove
d) new countertop and sink
e) new flooring
f) remove wallpaper and paint walls

Shouldn’t have been too hard, right?
So how did we get from this
to this

to this?  (To see more of the finished kitchen, click HERE.)
Well, if you’ve ever remodeled an old house, you’ll recognize this story.  Maybe not the exact details, but the concept is the same.  Here’s what happened.

We took down the wallpaper.  The plaster was damaged.  We decided to take off the plaster and drywall the north wall (the one that had the stove and now has the counter.)
We decided to put in a bathroom above the kitchen, so we took the plaster off the east wall to run plumbing (the NEW stove wall.)
We decided we may as well replace that tiny window on the north wall while we had it torn apart anyway.
And then, since there was no insulation in the west wall, I think the logic was to tear out the cabinets, insulate, drywall and replace cabinets with stock cabs from Lowes.
April 16, 2008  (We had to be out of our house on May 1.)
But then, I went to Lowes, and found out the difference in price for one wall of cabinets vs. three walls of cabinets was only $700-$800.  Yeah.
And another new window came in.  The other 2 in that little space didn’t even MATCH.  Like seriously, the two in the same hole, did not MATCH EACH OTHER!
May 14, 2008 (Yeah, we’d moved in by then.  And that stove didn’t work.  And is still in my garage.)
And now, I bring you video (because I magically stopped taking pictures.)
We got our appliances a couple days after my due date, and I used my stove for the first time the day I went into labor.
I had open cabinets with no doors until Winter 09.  The heat vent was put in in Jan. 09.
We FINALLY got flooring March of THIS YEAR.  Crazy, crazy.  And the trim still has to be painted.

It was a LONG process (2 years) but so worth it!  And we managed to do it CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP!
I’m working a budget breakdown, and I have some “just keeping it real” pictures to show you, too. :)

UndertheTableandDreamingFunky Junk's Sat Nite Special

BFFs at the Fair

Maybe this should be a Wordless Wednesday Post.  I’ve never linked up there.


Oh, well.  It’s just too darn cute to wait. :)



This is Adam’s best friend, Tay-tay (Tanner.)  Adam lays in bed at night and talks about him.  I ask who he played with at daycare, and it’s always him.  There is a 6 week age difference (Tanner’s younger) and they have been together for over 3/4 of their short lives.  They fight, of course, like 2 year olds do, but in the end, they make up and hold hands again. :)


We took them to the county fair last night.  We saw the animals, tractors and spent a kazillion dollars on the rides (I think they rode the cars 5 or 6 times.)  They shared juice, cookies, and goldfish, and the first of many fair experiences with each other.

Two farm boys, destined to visit the fair together MANY times as they grow up.

New Friend Fridays

  Smart and Trendy Momsbadge

Dad’s Dutch Friends

My dad has a thing for old tractors.


Adam and my Dad on an old John Deere.


And he also spends quite a bit of time on a message board for old tractors.

And he used to be a tractor mechanic.

And when the implement dealer announced they were closing, and Dad was losing his job, the first thing he did was take the big, black parts manual home.

So, when some Dutch guy started asking questions on a chatboard about restoring an old John Deere, guess who had all the answers?  That’s right.

Two years later, Dad was still pecking away with his pointer fingers on the keyboard, trying desperately to learn how to send his buddy Wiecher (pronounced Veeher) pictures of spring planting in Iowa.  And Wiecher was packing his bags.


Wiecher and Dad contemplating another tractor problem.


In June, Wiecher, his wife Marion, and friends Peter (another tractor enthusaist) and Gerrie came from Holland to see us!  Well, mostly to see the tractors, but to see us, too!


Mom, Marion, Gerrie

They flew into New York, rented an RV, and drove to Iowa via Niagara Falls, Chicago and Minneapolis.  A long drive.  Then, they parked in my parents yard for a week and toured area farms, visited implement dealerships, and went to the big Two-Cylinder Expo in Waterloo, Iowa.img_2583

Peter and Gerrie (Peter likes blue New Holland tractors…we had a hard time getting him on this JD!)


Wiecher and Marion

Although we were all nervous to meet each other at first (Wiecher admitted they were nervous, too) I cannot even describe how well everyone got along.  They spoke English well enough to understand my dad’s teasing and jokes, and we were all very at ease around each other.  I truly hope we get to visit them someday, too.  But it’d be pretty cool if they bought a retirement/vacation home here, too, which they did mention!  Wouldn’t that be fun?

Isn’t the internet amazing?  Of course, we bloggers know the power of internet friendships, but isn’t it cool that two men in their 50s, half a world away from each other, found each other through a common interest and the World Wide Web?

Very cool, indeed!


Adam in his “clompen”s.