Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Holiday Weekend!

July is here and its shaping up to be fun and busy!

This is the holiday weekend, and we have plans for grilling and fireworks, with friends here on Monday.  Then on Wednesday, my niece in love and her boys are arriving for a 2 week visit!

We have plans for swimming, visiting the zoo and Hershey's Chocolate World, exploring a creek, Valley Forge, besides lots of hanging out and the kids playing!  It's going to be awesome!

My friend found these great plates for me and I am looking forward to using them around the house!

What are your plans for July?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My Sister, My Friend

This cutie pie in the middle is my dear friend Amy, sister of my heart.  She and her family became special friends to us four years ago when they visited our church.

They are from Texas and were in our area (about an hour away actually) because her husband was starting his residency at a major hospital.  Being a long way from home and new to the area, they were looking for churches and found ours and we hit it off right away.

We spent holidays, and birthdays together.  We got together to visit and to shop and to have lunch and tea.  We never run out of things to talk about.

We've shared hard times, and loss together, too.

Emma did some nannying for them and is very close to them as well.

Last night Tony graduated from Residency.  Today Amy had a big chunk of time while Tony worked his last shift at the hospital.  Emma and I drove to spend the afternoon and into the evening with her.  

It was the best time, and I'm going to miss her so very much.  God is so good to give our families each other.  What a gift this friend is to me.

I'm so thankful for her.  

This and That

After a wet spring, we hadn't been getting much rain here in June, but this week is changing all of that.  Thunderstorms have been making their way through and giving us plenty of rain.  The garden is loving it.

I had a question about my shower curtain.

 A few showers and those wrinkles steamed right out!

I bought my shower curtain at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  It was a bit pricey for me, but I get a discount through Kay so that brought it down to Target pricing.  I reminded me of fabric I used to make Sarah a dress five years ago this Christmas!

It was one of my favorite dresses ever.  I still have some scraps of this fabric in my stash!

Someone also asked to see what my cabinets looked like before I painted.  I don't have a great photo of the whole cabinet but I do have some of the other section that is yet to be painted.  They are the same cabinets.

Just a light oak.  Imagine these done in ASCP Old White!  It's going to be great!  This photo is old, by the way.  We don't have those couches anymore and the table is turned and the hutch is over by the front door now!  I think this was before Tim stained the table and sealed it.  Oh yes, you can see that the table legs are not painted!  And we still had both Samantha and Sadie with us!  They are under the table.  Wow!  Memories!

On Wednesday Emma and I are meeting up with a dear friend from Texas.  I'll take photos, as its the last we'll see her for a while, and share them with you later this week.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Day Out With My Mom (And Progress on My Bathroom)

Yesterday, Mom and I went out to for her Mother's Day gift - lunch out and some shopping.  I took her to a restaurant she had never been to, on the Susquehanna river, John Wright Restaurant.  The day was warm and pleasant, and we sat on the patio at a table with an umbrella and a view!

 We had a delicious lunch and good conversation, and as we were preparing to head out to shop, it started to rain.  

The first place we went was Tollbooth Antiques in Columbia.  With the rain, the humidity was high, and while it wasn't a hot day, that humidity was something, and Tollbooth has no air conditioning! It is located in an old warehouse!

I found this treasure  - 

It is a heavy, high quality mirror, and is likely going in the hall bathroom.  It is on the mantel for now but I may move if from there as it's not hung and I'm worried it will slide and fall.  This mirror is going to have to be hung properly, due to the weight of it, and not in my usual whack a nail up and hang stuff.  This will require Tim's great skills, and so I have to wait and be patient!

Don't you think it will look amazing though, with my white painted vanity, blue and white shower curtain and these - 

I think my Mom thinks hanging plates in my bathroom is 'weird', though she didn't say so, exactly.  She said, "I wouldn't have thought to hang plates in the bathroom."  Then I said, "I know!  Don't they look great though?" She didn't comment!  ha ha!  It's all good though, I have confidence in my design choices!  I love them in there!  Cheryl mentioned either here in a comment or on Instagram, that the shower curtain reminded her of Williamsburg!  I think so too, and I love it there, and that is why I thought this mirror would look great in there, too, even though it's not perhaps exactly Federal Style.

I'm enjoying the process of decorating this hall bathroom and not rushing to 'put stuff on the walls,' as is my usual pattern.

So what are you up to this week?

Joining Laura, Jemma, Stacey, and Laura for Thoughts of Home on Thursday!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Painting The Kitchen Cabinets

I started the process of painting the kitchen cabinets on Saturday!  I've been dreaming of this project for years.  Why did I wait so long?  Well, I wanted Tim fully on board with it, and he wasn't for a long time.  Then, I couldn't decide what paint I wanted to use.

 In the end I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White.  I didn't use any special technique, just two coats of paint and clear wax.  After the wax I lightly sanded with a 600 grit paper, and it is soft and smooth to the touch!

I'm so happy with it and can't wait to get the other cabinets painted, hopefully this week!

I am looking at drawer and door hardware - we've never put any on these cabinets.  Melissa at The Inspired Room (+The Inspired Room) is doing a series on kitchen inspiration and posted about using black hardware.  I love the way it looks, so now I'm thinking about that.  This whole series by her is great and I am storing away ideas in the event we do a small addition (kitchen and mudroom/laundry room).

I'm super happy with the way this cabinet turned out, and everyone who has seen it loves it too! Now I just have to figure out the day to paint the other cabinets.  I may do it in spurts over a few days, or may wait until next Saturday, but either way it should be done before Fourth! (can you believe that's a week away?!)

Happy Monday everyone!

Bernideen for BTTCG and Sandi for No Place Like Home

Joining Laura, Stacey, Jemma and Laura for Thoughts of Home on Thursday!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Delights of Summer

Lorrie asked what was delighting us this summer - here's my list so far.

Lights in the garden
Fresh Fruit
Grilled Chicken
School Break
Painting (things in my house)
Warm Evenings
Deck Dates

What is delighting you this summer?

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Tween Boys Room

Kyle's room was in need of some rearranging and organizing, even though he thought it was fine.  Unfortunately for him (but not really), when the previous owners of our cottage added a master suite, they decided to just make a door from this bedroom into the master suite.  What that means is that for us to get to our bedroom, we have to walk through his room.

That means we see it every day, many times a day, and when it needs some attention, we notice!  So Wednesday he and I, with some help from Kamryn, worked on his room.

You can see a few shots of what it looked like before in this post.

Here is what it looks like now.

 This is the view from the hallway.  His bed used to be across the window, his desk on this wall, and his bookcase much closer to the doorway into my room because of his bed frame.

 He suggested putting his desk under the bed, and it just fit.  It is mostly filled with Legos.

 He's definitely outgrowing somethings, but he is sentimental and not ready to put his PillowPal in storage. (smile)

 I found this great kids chair at Goodwill several years ago.  We've now made a reading corner for him.

 He loves these Professor Noggin games!

 Boy treasure: a flat rock, a tracker, a feather, good books...

Emma made his copy of Psalm 23, and Lindsay sketched George Washington for him.

Kyle's bed from my bedroom doorway.  This Astronomy posters are coming down this week, he needs help with the tacks on the top, or they'd already be down.  We have found that he absorbs information that he is surrounded by, so we put up things that correlate to his interests or that go along with his studies.  This last year he studied astronomy, before that we had a huge map of the US on his wall.  Still looking for something to put up for this year.

By simply moving his bed and putting the desk under the bed, we opened up a lot of space and made it much for functional for him, without having to do anything major in this room.

If my parents sell their house later this year, Kyle will be moving to another room, and this room will become a sitting room for my parents and they will have the master suite as well.  The window in this room will become a door, so they will have their own entrance or at least a door for emergencies or to just go out and sit on the porch! (which will be added)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Taking Care Of My Home

doesn't just mean keeping it clean inside and decorating.  It also means taking care of the outside of our home as well!

Yesterday Kyle, Kamryn, and I worked in Kyle's bedroom to rearrange furniture, organize legos (never ending job!), and purge some 'little kid' toys from his room.  More on this tomorrow.

In the evening, while Tim washed cars, I did a bit of weeding in the front garden and to plant a few new things.  I hope they take well in the garden and if they do I'll show you!

Now we are back from the movies (we saw Finding Dory) cute film, and I have cut some branches off one of the maple trees in the front yard.  They were starting to hang over the driveway.

Here is a photo from a few Autumns ago.  You can see how it was reaching the driveway then.  It was a needed pruning.

In a few minutes, I'll be going out to mow the property.  This takes about an hour and a half.  I have my earbuds and Pandora to keep me company.  

What are you up to, today?

Joining Thoughts of Home on Thursday with Laura, Jemma, Stacey and Laura!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Beautiful Sky

There were storms in our area but we had mostly sunny skies all day.  Late afternoon we heard thunder while the sun was still shining and we had a lot of blue sky.  We never did get any rain here.

As we were sitting in the living room after 8:00 pm the light changed to a rosy golden color.  When I headed outside this is what awaited me. 

Thankful to know the One who holds it all in His hands....

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Welcome Summer!

I know that yesterday was the first day of summer, but for us we've been on summer break since the first week of May!  We are half way through already!

That said, we have really fun plans for this summer.  The girls arrived safely in South Carolina for their youth conference, around dinner time yesterday.  They are already having a great time!  Kyle and Kamryn went to see Thomas the Tank Engine and Percy yesterday at the Strasburg Railroad.  Kyle says he has outgrown that, (sad) but my parents took him along as a companion to Kamryn.  He did like eating out and getting ice cream and swimming afterwards, and spending the night!  So it was a fun time for him!

Later this week, my Mom and I are going to take him and Kamryn to see Finding Dory.  They'll enjoy that.

In two weeks, our niece and two sons will be coming for a visit!  We are so excited!  We are making plans for lots of swimming, exploring a creek, Hershey Chocolate World and Zoo America, Valley Forge.  Its going to be so much fun!

Here is a photo from last summer!

Then we'll have a few weeks of regular life before we start school again.  

Monday, June 20, 2016

Garden: What's Blooming

At 9:00 am my front garden is still mostly in shadow.  Since our house faces northwest, we get mostly afternoon sun in this garden. 

 It is my main garden, filled with Hydrangea, Roses, Peonies, Hollyhocks, Poppies, Feverfew, Bleeding Heart, Iris (2 kinds), some daisy like mums that bloom in fall, Purple Coneflower, Blackeyed Susans.

Let's see what's in bloom this morning.

 As you come up to the house you are greeted by this beauty of a spirea - goldmound.  It is lovely with chartreuse leaves and deep pink flowers.  Our lamppost (not pictured) is right in front of it.

 Then you reach the Larkspur and Hollyhocks.

 This Daylily is tucked in behind some coneflower, as is this Lychnis.
 My coneflower grows so tall!

 The Hollyhocks are such a deep color they are considered black.  I used to have beautiful pink and raspberry colored ones, but those died out.  I did sow these from seed and I hope to get more colors.  They are such a delightfully old fashioned kind of flower.

 The Feverfew is doing really well.

 More Hollyhocks

 My new Annabelle Hydrangea!  

 My poppies are short lived and bloomed already.  I think I may have one or two that haven't bloomed yet, and if I can catch them in bloom, I'll be sure to show you!

The weekend went well - with all the busyness, I had forgotten that Lindsay hosted a airsoft event at our house.  They had stuff set up all over the backyard and pasture, and had a grand time.  I had a lovely luncheon - didn't take one photo.

We had a lovely, laid back Father's Day yesterday.  Since we have heated up back here, we went to my parents house (Camp Geezer) to swim, grill, and hang out.  I only took one photo and it was a selfie!

The girls and their friends are on their way to the youth conference!  Sarah was feeling sick last night and so afraid she wouldn't be able to go!  Turned out to be indigestion and with the right meds, she went to sleep and was happy and excited this morning!  They are several hours into a 10 hour trip.  They'll arrive home Sunday afternoon - exhausted, happy and challenged in their walk with the Lord.  Can't beat that!

Happy Monday everyone!

Sharing with Bernideen for BTTCG and Sandi for No Place Like Home


  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent Saturday, doing things around the house, and then we swam. Kyle and Sarah left after that...