Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kitchen Redo...progress

Just because we haven't posted about the kitchen lately, doesn't mean no progress is being made. With some vacation days between the holidays I am trying to make good progress.
The ceiling has a fresh coat of white paint and there is a new light fixture in the dining room. The new light and paint brighten up the space so much!
We also started with the upper cabinets. We removed the doors to get ready for paint. Thankfully the inside of our cabinets are in great shape and a light wood finish, so we are not going to paint inside - that saves a lot of work!
So far most of the upper cabinets have been primed and painted. The doors have one coat on them and are waiting for some more coats. I am so happy with the results so far!
We are trying to do as little construction as possible, but the cabinet above the stove needed to be changed to make room for an over the range microwave. The current cabinet was 5 inches too big. My solution was to buy a new smaller cabinet to replace the old one. Dan's solution was to cut the current cabinet in half and cut out the 5 inches from the center. Well, much to my dismay, Dan's solution seems to be the best option because I could not find a matching door style at the local home improvement stores and getting a cabinet specially made would be $200 or more. The cabinet pieced back together pretty well, but he hasn't tried to cut the doors yet...to be continued...
Next up...replacing hinges and hardware on the painted cabinet doors and getting the kitchen back to "normal" in order to host my family (15 additional people) for New Years!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Goodies

I love and hate making holiday treats. I love looking at them and eating them, of course, but the preparation and clean-up I hate. Regardless, these have to be the cutest treats I've ever made and they weren't too hard either.

How to:
1. Dip Nutter Butter cookies in melted chocolate (I used almond bark with a scoop of peanut butter in it).
2. While chocolate is still soft, add an m&m for the nose, white chips for the eyes, and broken pretzels for the antlers.
3. Use a toothpick to add melted chocolate to the eyes.
These are really easy and I will definitely make them again!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Step One: Wallpaper Removal

What a nightmare!! Anyone who has removed wallpaper knows what I'm talking about. I didn't think that it would really be that bad because I knew that the wallpaper was only about 10 years old. But I guess it doesn't matter how old it is, it is still GLUED to the wall.

Here is an official BEFORE picture of our kitchen. I know that it is not that bad. But we really want to update it and brighten up the space. The biggest things are the beat up linoleum floor and the "older than me" appliances. But why stop there? We are also planning on painting
cabinets, replacing the hardware, and getting a new counter top - bye bye fake butcher block!
To start, I bought a wallpaper scorer and the blue striper gel. We had a scraper from previous drywalling projects. Those are really the only tools you need in addition to A LOT of muscle.
Here is the main wall of paper that needed to be removed. Those are little roosters on the wall.
At this point I was cursing the previous owners for puting up the paper and rubbing my aching shoulders. I might add that the next day I could not raise my arms above my head without massive pain!
I might add that removing wallpaper is a very messy job. It would be nice if it all came off in long strips, but that would be too easy. The floor where I was working was covered with tiny pieces of paper. As Rebecca watched me, she told me that I had to sit on the naughty bench for making such a big mess. But she finally let me off the hook because I told her that I would make sure to clean up all my mess.
But at last, a few days later it was done and the spotty paint job underneath was revealed. Next up - painting the ceiling and walls and getting the cabinets ready for a coat of paint. (No promises on when the next post will be!)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Our Little Bowling Fairy Princess

We went bowling with some friends which is something we did often before having kids, but haven't done since Rebecca was born. This was her first bowling experience and she had a great time. It was slow going, but once we started using the dino-ramp Rebecca even got a strike! She was everyone's cheerleader.
Rebecca dressed up as a fairy princess for Halloween. We had a few neighbors and family that wanted to see her and then we went to a friends house for a little party and the kids had a great time in their costumes.
Coming Up...we have started our kitchen re-do. I wish I could just post the before and after pictures, but this is going to be a looonngg process. Project number one should be done later this week. Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

busy, busy

We've been staying pretty busy around our house. Dan finished harvesting last weekend which was a huge blessing. We have had a great stretch of weather which has made working outside very enjoyable and easy. Last weekend we also made applesauce. I got apples from a local orchard and we filled all the jars I have and also froze a few containers. It was a lot of work, but so worth it!And of course I have also been crafting. Here's the latest addition to the house. Again I got the idea from here, one of my favorite blogs, Creative Crate. I need to print off some more black and white photos to fill up the frame, but these were all that I could find at the time.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bathroom Art

I've always wanted to put something on the wall behind the toilet, but what? Bathroom decorations are hard! But the first time I saw this on Creative Crate, one of my favorite craft blogs - I also love her playlist, I knew it was just what I had been looking for. This blog is full of great ideas and I've gotten in the habit of just copying the images that I like and saving them in my craft idea file on my computer so that I don't forget or have to try and find the same post again when I have time to be crafty.

So here it is my new bathroom art. It was suppose to be a "free" project by using supplies I already had, but I ended up buying a new frame because I didn't love the one that I already had. So it cost me about a half hour on my Cricut and $12 on a frame.

I couldn't have done this without my Cricut - love it!!
Rebecca had fun finding letters she knows and she learned a few more too.
The finished project up in the bathroom.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Giant Green Bean

The new "green bean" is up at the farm, at least that's what Rebecca calls it. The rest of us would know it as a grain bin. Dan has been working very hard on getting this grain bin moved from near Kellogg to Marv's farm near our house. There was a lot to do involving this move, but here is my non-farmer, shortened version of the whole process: First Dan disassembled part of the grain bin in its original location and had the top of the grain bin moved by a special trailer. Then the grain bin was reassembled in its new location. Lots of hours and helping hands were needed, but things went pretty smoothly.
Taking the grain bin down a few rings.
The new pad of cement for the grain bin.
The grain bin top going over Interstate 80.
The grain bin top reached its new home.
The grain bin in its new home with only 2 more rings to add.
Some more helping hands and the 2 shiny new rings added.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Birthday Girl!

Rebecca celebrated her 3rd birthday this past Tuesday and we had a family party for her on Sunday. We continue to be amazed at how fast she is growing up! She has been talking for weeks about wanting a Strawberry Shortcake cake. So with the help of a few figurines, she got her wish.
Opening gifts - this one is from Grandma and Grandpa Pontier. Thanks!
We took a few pictures outside before church. For the past year Rebecca has not loved the camera and usually will not smile or look at me. But today I found the trick - she loves to look through her scrapbooks that I have made for her. So I told her I needed cute pictures to put in them so she could look at them all the time. She ate it up and finally smiled for me!

Monday, August 30, 2010

the last bits of summer

The last weekend before school started we did a few fun things. We made it to the State Fair and were able to spend some time with my brother Jon and his wife Tonya. Tonya's family has dairy goats and Rebecca enjoyed petting the goats.
We also got together with Dan's family for supper and went to the park afterwards. It was hot, but lots of fun.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Weekend at the Lake

We enjoyed a great weekend at Lake Rathbun with friends and my sister. We had great weather too - the humidity moved out for a few days and we were very comfortable. I didn't seem to get very many pictures of the action in the boat, but we did a lot of things. Dan and I both like to ski and we are learning how to wake board. We can both get up on the wake board pretty well and are learning how to stay up :) We also did a fair amount of tubing. Rebecca also likes to ride on the tube with me as long as we go slow.

This is by far the best picture of the weekend!

Monday, July 26, 2010

6th Anniversary

We celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary this past Saturday on the 24th. We knew we wanted to spend some quality time together, but didn't make plans until the day before :) Rebecca spent the evening with some friends. We went out to eat at Johnny's Italian Steakhouse. It was the best food and service we have had in a long time - a very relaxing meal. After dinner we went to Grays Lake thinking we would just walk around the lake, but then we saw the paddle boats and for $5 for a 1/2 hour, we couldn't pass them up. Here are some pictures from the water.
After we got off the water we decided to so check out the new pedestrian bridge over the Des Moines river. The bridge has a really cool design. It was nice to just stroll on the bridge and enjoy looking at the river and skyline.

We are thankful to God for another blessed year of marriage!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I'm finally here!

I finally made it to Viterbo University. I have been working on my masters degree for the past 4 years and this week I am graduating! This is also the first time that I have been to the campus which is in La Crosse, WI. Here are a few pictures of the at campus and by the river.
I miss being home with my family so much! But I'm glad to have gotten this far and can't wait to be all done later this week!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Have some fun in your drawers!

I got this simple idea from here. Although these drawers don't get much traffic so I used craft paper instead of fabric and did not protect the paper with anything. This was so simple, it took me all of five minutes to measure, cut, and tape. Most won't ever see it, but it will make me smile ever time I open the drawers.