My family

My family

Monday, September 30, 2013

Junk Bonanza

This weekend was the 7th annual Junk Bonanza held at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN. I have been on such a flea market kick lately. This was right up my alley! There were hundreds of vendors selling re-purposed "junk". Needless to say, I was in Heaven!! :) 
Jim decided to go with me because Canterbury Park is known for their horse racing simulcast.  Even though we went our separate ways, it was an awesome day!!  I spent hours browsing and taking pictures for future projects.  He spent hours betting on the horses.  Win-win!! :)
I have decided to redecorate the main floor of our house. This floor is made up of one large room split up into the den (my favorite place to hang out), the dining room and the kitchen. We have chocolate brown leather furniture now so it's my plan to brighten/cozy it up. I am going with a cottage-y feel similar to my favorite blog - . You should check it out......Layla is an awesome decorator.

I found the cubbie frame pictured above and knew I had to have it.  It is exactly the color I want to bring into the main floor.  The blue inspiration came from the vintage mason jars I love so much (below).  I knew when I first saw it that it would make an incredible wine rack.  So......after a little negotiating - which would make my dad proud! - I loaded it into the truck. 
I can't get enough of mason jars so I had to pick up some of those up.  You can find the "new" version of the blue mason jars at Target but the lids don't have the oxidation that I really love. 
My only other big purchase was a great black, distressed deacon's bench I found.  This beauty now has a home right inside my front door in the foyer.  Well......almost.  It's about 18" too long so my sweet husband and I are going to have to find a way to cut it down.  I think I see a few new tools in Jim's future.  :)
More knick-knacks, burlap and linens I couldn't pass up.....


I'm already looking forward to next year!! :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fort Snelling

I have this thing for cemeteries.  Weird, right?  There's just something about them that peaks my interest.  Maybe it's the history buff in me but I'm always so interested to find out the story behind the people resting there. 

On my way to pick Denise up from the airport last month, I decided to take a detour. Fort Snelling National Cemetery runs along the route to the airport.  Needless to say, it was simply breathtaking.


The fort/cemetery is located at the juncture of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. The US military built a fort back in the early 1800's. Now, it is home to over 180,000 soldiers as their final resting place.


What hit me the hardest was the inscriptions on the stones.  I wasn't expecting the soldiers' spouses to be buried with them much less to see their names carved into the stones too. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Scrapfest 2013

Whew......what a wonderful weekend!! :)  Delanie and I attended our first ever Scrapfest at the Mall of America.  We didn't know what to expect when we signed up be we were definitely not disappointed!!
What could be better than spending two days at the biggest mall in America scrapbooking with my favorite girl?!  We arrived bright and early Saturday morning to shop shop shop our way through the hundreds of booths.  We brought so many cute projects home. 

Back story:  I started scrapbooking the year Garrett turned four......1998.  Debbie Smith - the director at Garrett's preschool - got me hooked!  We would have monthly crop nights at First Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, TX.  Several of our friends would gather and work on our scrapbooks until the early hours of the morning.  Those memories are among some of my fondest. 
Way back then, I fell in love with the work of a "celebrity" scrapbooker named Becky Higgins.  I could relate to her style and her get-it-done attitude so it's been fun to follow her career over the years.  Guess who I met at Scrapfest???  OMG......Becky Higgins!! :)

Let me tell you, it takes a lot for me to be starstruck.  That being said......when I saw Becky in Archivers I started shrieking and giggling like a school girl.  Thank goodness Delanie had my camera (because I would never have been brave enough to ask for a photo!).  After our chat, I was on Cloud 9 for hours!

The mall was absolutely packed!  The photo below is one of the workshops being held throughout the weekend.  Is this awesome or what?!  Thank goodness this only comes around once a year because we were completely exhausted by the time we were done. 
Delanie and I signed up to take a workshop Sunday afternoon.  I really love mini-albums.  What a great way to showcase a special event in one awesome little package.  This is what our completed album would look like.....

The hour-long class sped by.  Seriously, it felt like we were in the classroom for five minutes.  We have tons to do to complete our scrapbook.  I can't wait to get started! 

P.S.  Isn't this little lady the cutest scrapbooker you've ever seen?? :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Hang in there....

Sometimes life can be so difficult.......curve balls, stress, bad hair days.  Hang in there because I have faith in you.  :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hello Buddy!!

Jim's job took him to Florida this week.  He and Dave flew down to attend Glass Week.  While he was there, he decided to show Dave his old stomping grounds. 

This is the photo I received mid-day yesterday.  Jim took the picture from a local restaurant in Tampa.  We should all be so lucky to have this view during our work day! :)

Jim started this morning with a visit to his best buddy, Teresa! :)  Of all the people and places in Florida, Jim definitely misses Teresa the most. 

He surprised her at work this morning.  Let me tell you.....this was a HUGE deal!  He had been planning the trip for a few weeks and we have had to keep the secret that whole time.  That's super difficult for me because Teresa also works at State Farm and we talk daily.  Aren't they cute??? :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Jim's hang-out

OK, I will admit that I give my sweet husband a lot of grief over his OCD-like tendencies.  In my defense, let me show you exactly what I'm talking about. 
Exhibit A:  The current state of our garage.  Note that everything has a place and everything is in it's place.  Each season, Jim spends hours and hours and hours rearranging, hanging, moving and cleaning the garage.  It's a sure bet that, if you can't find Jim anywhere inside the house, he will be in the garage. 
In the picture below, Jim is replacing the shelving units. Yep, you heard right! He was not happy with the plastic shelves and decided to install metal instead.  Who knows when the plastic shelves might sag/break.....right?  Have I mentioned that Jim is on a first-name-basis with the guys at Home Depot?  I can't make that s**t up! 
Exhibit B: Last weekend, Jim bought new lawn chairs.....the ones that fold up into a self-contained bag. Great! :) 
However, we can't just store the chairs in the back of the truck (that would be reasonable, right?!). Nope, not my sweet husband.   More tracking had to be purchased and hung for the new chairs. Of course this required more arranging. Right after I took the picture below, he said "you're not going to make fun of me on the blog, right?". Hahaha......the man knows me too well.  :)
Exhibit C:   Another one of our recent purchases was a metal toolbox to store all of Jim's tools. 
Take a look inside the toolbox at the neatly arranged pencils, highlighters, flashlights, etc.  I almost wet my pants laughing the first time I saw this.  Admit it......don't you have the urge to shake the toolbox so there are no more tidy little rows?! :)

P.S.  Did you notice the lining of the drawer?  To prevent things from moving out of their place, Jim installed a rubber mat in each drawer.  Sorry ladies......he's taken! :)

All kidding aside, I could never love another human the way I love this man.  I give him a ton of grief over silly things like this but the bottom line is that I LOVE THIS MAN!!  :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I can see clearly now.....

Delanie got new glasses yesterday!  She's been mulling over the idea of "changing up her look" and decided it was time to take the plunge. 
Because the delivery date was initially promised for Monday, Sept. 9th, Delanie has been on pins and needles all week.  We finally got the call yesterday so she walked to my office after school. 
Presto chango....... :)

The pictures don't do her justice.  Her eyes look so big and bright with the larger, hipster (her word.....not mine!) frames.  Much to my dismay, she also looks about 10 years older now.  I wonder if it would make her stop growing if I put a brick on her head....  :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Our latest home improvement project took place over the weekend in our master bathroom.  As you can see below, we had the standard builder-grade mirror put in when the house was built.  Because Jim cannot sit still for long, I convinced him to "finish out" the mirror.  :)
Since we always see these types of mirrors framed with wood, we thought we would try something different.  After several lengthy discussions, we finally settled on ceramic tile.  This is the close-up of the granite in our bathroom so we decided neutral was better. 

In my head, I had the frame pictured as a chocolate brown glass tile.  No luck.  First of all, Jim preferred the ceramic tile below.  Secondly, the glass tile had a white backing that would show in the mirror reflection.  There was no way I was going to convince my perfectionist husband to overlook the tiny-hardly-there-almost microscopic sliver of white showing behind the tiles.......... so I was overruled.
Jim - 1
Charlotte - 0

The most tedious part of the project was cleaning the tiles.  The glue binding the tiles to each other had to be hand-scraped.  Slowly but surely, Jim got it done.  (Yes, that is the football game in the background!)

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Bailey was supervising............and snoring!  :)

Have I mentioned that my husband occasionally shows OCD-like tendencies?!  Surely I've mentioned it a time or two.  Let me tell you that this project was no exception.  You would not believe the time we spent discussing how to adhere the tiles around the mirror brackets.  Jim finally agreed that "no one would know but us". 
Jim - 1
Charlotte - 1

So here's the final result.  Do you love it as much as me?! :) 

I have enabled the comments section below......let me know what you think. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

2013-2014 school year - week #1

It's that time again!  Both of the kiddos are back in school.  :)

Delanie is attending Maple Grove Junior High again.  She is having a ball as a top-dog-ninth-grader.  Unlike back in Mansfield, TX, junior high in Minnesota includes 7th - 9th grade.  She loves all her teachers and classes. 

She is already coming home testing my French.  The first thing she said to me yesterday was, "Bonjour, je m'appelle Delanie.  Ca va?".  Hello, my name is Delanie.  How are you?  :)

She had to wear her WEB t-shirt on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I think the thing she enjoyed most about the day was helping the lost 7th graders to their classes. 

We are definitely past the years of posing for first day photos so here's the one I got from Delanie....


Garrett is in his first year at the University of Texas at Arlington (my alma mater!).  He's taking twelve hours:  History, Math, English and Music.  So far so good.  :)

He joined Christians on Campus and has been making tons of friends.  His longtime-girlfriend, Maci, is taking classes at UTA also.  Hmmmm.......very convenient!!

This is the first day of school photo I got from Garrett.....(captioned:  In Math class).  What a goofball! :)



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bumper crop

I cannot believe how many tomatoes I'm getting off the plants this year!  By the time Labor Day came, we had picked about 50!  There were so many that we couldn't eat them fast enough.  So.....I tried my hand at canning (jarring?).
First, the tomatoes got a good scrub....

I love mason jars.  I just love them!  I use them for so many things around the, scrapbooking supplies, etc.  Anyway, I digress. 

Next came the sterilization.  If you know anything about my husband, you will understand that this is the most important step.  I knew if I wanted Jim to come anywhere near these tomatoes, he was going to have to actually witness this process. 

Who knew peeling tomatoes was so easy?!  Scored them, boiled them and peeled them.......all in about 15 minutes. 

This is when Delanie walked into the kitchen.  Her first comment was, "oh man.....that is so gross!".  Hahaha, gotta love teenagers!

Next came the processing.  I have to admit I was a little scared of this.  There was tons of hissing and popping sounds.  I seriously thought the kitchen was going to explode. 

Voila.....done!  Out of about fifty tomatoes, I got eight jars of canned tomatoes.  They are going to be so yummy!!!  My granny would be proud.  :)