Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Celebrating a Life

Our house looked quite festive this Sunday as we celebrated Jacob's birthday with family and friends.  We hung paper lanterns in the dining room....

and attached pennants we made out of scrapbook paper throughout.

We also made a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting that turned out quite delicious.

Letter to Jacob from Mommy on March 26, 2011

My dear son,
Eight years ago, on a beautiful spring day, I held you in my arms for the first time and fell in love. Today you are all of eight years old and my heart is still completely and forever yours. You are like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day and we cannot imagine our lives without you. I am always amazed at how self assured you are for one so young and I can already see in you glimpses of the great man you will one day become. How I love your witty, slightly sarcastic sense of humor and your great laugh, they light up my days. You are energetic and full of life, and I enjoy watching how you delight in playing sports with your dad for hours on end.  You are so artistic, always creating something, and your knack for finding beauty in the simplest of things is very refreshing.  Above all I admire your great love for God and stand in awe of how powerfully He is working in your heart.  Recently you shared with me how you believe God has called you to be a missionary to China and I know that since then you dream of learning Mandarin and helping the people in that country come to know the One who died so that they could live.  These are all good and noble dreams my love but never forget that it is only through Him alone that all this can be accomplished.  If He is your all in all then there will never be a task too great for you, for nothing is impossible for Him. On this day my greatest wish for you, my sweet Jacoby, is a life filled with His grace and His love.
I love you more than words can express and I hope you have a very Happy Birthday.
Your Mommy

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring's Temptations

I am currently working on creating a gallery wall in the dining room and am in the middle of doing some arranging on the floor to get a feel for what I want.  

The entryway still looks like this, far from finished.....

I must confess it is hard to get these projects done with nature, in all its spring glory, constantly beckoning me outdoors. I have not been able to resist lately and have spent most of my afternoons biking with my men ...
kite flying at sunset
and cheering on the sidelines at the basketball court ;)

I will hopefully finish a few projects this coming week and have pictures for you soon.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Long Distance Relationship

I came upon Jacob, phone propped up and speaker on, playing a piece on the piano for Isaac Daniel.  How I wish they were not 1,700 miles apart and could grow up together......

Friday, March 18, 2011

A House Well Live In

It is no secret that I take great pleasure in creating a lovely home for my family.  My goal has always been to design a home for them that is not just pleasing to the eye but is comfortable and can take on the reality of our day to day life as well. The four men in my life are typical males that do not like to admit they care too much about such things but I have observed on a daily basis how much they enjoy relaxing in a beautiful space and they are always quick to compliment my efforts. The littlest one has even been known to give me decorating advice every now and then. "Mommy this green and blue rug would look so much better if it were red and blue. Don't you think so mommy?" he said to me the other day as he stood looking intently at the new rug I bought for their bathroom.  Ah yes, the men in my life care about such things more than they like to admit!

Although there is a perfectly good schoolroom and playroom that we use often enough, fun, learning and real life happen all over this house. Below you will see our formal dining room table. The table sits in a room with two large windows that let in a a lot of light. Why use it only once or twice a year for formal dinners when it can be used everyday for other useful endeavors? It is a very pleasant, sunny space in which to write, read or study a little geography in. I make sure the table always has stacks of great books, fresh paper and even a microscope or two so that curious young minds will be drawn to it day after day.

Reading on a comfy sofa either in the family area or in the front living area is a daily occurrence around here....

so are legos on the coffee table.

Math is much more fun when done next to the formal living area window where all kinds of birds can be seen resting on the branches of  a pear tree....

as fun as language lessons at the breakfast table while enjoying the tartness  of a tangelo in the early morning sun.

A house well lived in indeed, and I would not want it any other way.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Before and After Family/ Living Room

This is what the living/family room looked like before we closed on the house.


This is what it looks like today.


Below is what the fireplace looked like the day we moved in. (Apparently pink and muave were all the rage during the early 90's)


After: (a closer look at the fireplace)

We are so enjoying this room now! All the effort was well worth it. For details on where we purchased the items in this room check out our house tour page. 
If you have a fireplace you would like to remodel come back to the blog soon because I will posting a detailed account of how we did it complete with pictures.
We did not remove any of the fireplace bricks but instead chose to cover them with thin plywood and moldings. Hubby and I have no previous carpentry experience whatsoever so if we did it so can you!
There are still many things to be done in this room but I am glad that the hardest part is over.  I will be hanging curtains panels I bought at Ikea on either side of the door and the window so the roman shade edges will be hidden.  We will also be replacing the door with one that has a full glass panel (to better mimic a window and provide symmetry).  I will post pictures of the changes as they occur.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Distractions Outside My Window

Adorning the streets of my neighborhood this week are rows of beautiful pear trees in full bloom. I am fortunate to have a large elegant one right outside my living room window and every time I pass it by I cannot help but pause briefly to enjoy it's exquisiteness , it's beauty takes my breath away.
To think that just last week those trees stood bare, having been stripped of their enchanting blooms by winter's bitter cold winds and today they stand regally, clothed  once again in white allurement.  It reminds me of how our lives in the hands of a loving God are like those trees in so many ways. The harsh winters of our trials threaten to tear away the loveliness He has wrought  until His mighty powerful hand sweeps in to bring forth the Spring. My dear friend, do you find yourself in the midst of a fiery ordeal today? If so, take comfort in the knowledge that God is faithful and Just and what He has promised He will surely do.