Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Have a "hoppy" birthday!

We have a nephew that celebrated his third birthday, and a niece who is about to turn six. Because of our move, I knew that I wouldn't have time to make them a gift, so I sent them this birthday postcard to let them know something would be on its way soon.

I first drew an outside scene using colored pencils and chalk. I had a frog sticker set and placed a frog, bug and flowers to complete the picture. I haven't done a hand drawing in a while, so it was a fun "kid" thing to do. 

Isn't it great to just get out the crayons and imagine for a bit? 

Monday, September 28, 2009

Our New Home: loving the details...

I love finishing touches, don't you? Here are a few at our place right now that I really love:

This new faucet in bathroom 1 was installed by a friend of ours who is a plumber. Randy not only donated his labor, but also a few things for the bathrooms, including this faucet.

The built-in vanity in bedroom 2 was painted white. It looks so clean and neat looking. The handles have small flowers on them. 

And speaking of handles...you can find several of these in the kitchen. They were so dark before a couple of the ladies cleaned them up. Looks like copper to me, doesn't it?

A couple of us worked on lining the kitchen cupboards with patterned Contact paper. I was very pleased with the result. It's making it easy as I've been working on putting things away in the kitchen. 

As I'm writing this, Q is working on the hardwood floors. I'll show you a picture or two of that when he's all done.

Our New Home: finishing up the remodeling

Last week was spent hurrying about to get the house ready for our Saturday moving day. Among a few little things, here are the big things that were accomplished...

The painting in both bathrooms was completed. This is bathroom 2 looking really nice with that beautiful yellow paint. There are a few small things left to be done in this room, so in the meantime, we're using the smaller bathroom.

New bathroom tile was put in above the tub in bathroom 2.

The laundry room now has new tile. I'm really liking this look. :)

Uh-oh....didn't I say that I would never show my toes again around here? Well, it's what's underneath it that I wanted to show you. The carpet man came and put in this plush and very soft carpet. I like the color and how it matches every room.

Next...the fine details that we love!

We're home!

Just a quickie to let you all know that we moved to our new home on Saturday. Everything went well, including driving my old car out here. Our friends, Sean and Tim helped us load and unload all day. Tim's wife, Allison, arrived at our condo in the morning to help pack the last minute stuff. We're thankful to the Lord for help, safety and provision during our moving day.

Since then, we've been unpacking and getting adjusted to our new place. There are still a few things to finish and repair, but it should get done this week. Between Quentin and Pastor Kemper, it will get done well. The staining of the hard wood floors took longer than expected, so Q hopes to get the polyurethane on today so that we can move all of the dining and living room furniture in there. For now, that stuff is hanging out in one of the bedrooms. It's pretty tight, that's for sure.

In the meantime, I'm resting and working on setting up the kitchen. I'll share more pictures and such during my next break. I've gotta go...there are lots more boxes to be unpacked!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Getting down to the last few days....

While Q has been working on the parsonage with the rest of the crew, I've been catching up on things at home. We had hoped to move in tomorrow, but it will not happen until next Saturday. I'm at the library writing this post because of the lack of internet access at home. Last week, Quentin asked the company to switch things to the new house today. Q called the company this morning to let them know of the change, but I've not been able to get online. So, we'll just see what happens.

We're getting down to the wire, folks. Can't wait to be in the new place. While things are busy, know that I haven't forgotten all of you! I've got more ideas and projects in the works, so stay tuned.

On a really good note, we have heard that there is someone interested in buying our condo. Pray that this is the right person. It seems like the perfect time, too. As we're moving out, they can be moving right in. God knows what is best and we're trusting Him for the outcome.

All for now! We'll be heading down to Lafayette tomorrow morning and staying the weekend. There are more things to be done down there and I'll have my camera ready to capture all the action. Thanks for your prayers during our big move. Pray that all goes well next weekend.:)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Our New Home: floors and more...

It's been two weeks since we've begun renovating the parsonage. So much has been done in the last week and I wanted to share some of the highlights with you.

Since we've decided to keep the hardwood floors in the living and dining areas, Q buffed them to get them ready for staining. It's going to look real nice when it's all done.

The dark burgundy walls in the living and dining areas has transformed into something much lighter and inviting. The color is called "Coffee House."

This is the master bedroom, painted in the light blue color called, "Sicilian Sky." We painted the other bedroom in the same color and hope to have a different decorating theme for each room. On one side of the room is some wood paneling. We're leaving it alone for now, but Q thought it would be neat to white wash it some time in the future. Pastor Kemper worked on making new wooden frames for things around the house. You can see him here making one for the air conditioner.

I'm loving my new kitchen cupboards painted in white. This picture was taken before the handles were put back on. The walls were painted a very light tan called, "Western Adobe."

This is the laundry room which was painted the same as the kitchen. The eyesore on the bottom left (the washer/dryer hook-ups) will be taken care of and the vinyl flooring is going to be replaced.

This week, we've had a plumber working on both bathrooms, the laundry room and the kitchen. Some nice yellow paint has begun in the bathrooms, too. Small cleaning jobs are getting done as well. We are continually thankful for all who have come out to help us each day.

Next time...the bathroom remodeling, carpeting and more!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Apple-Blackberry Cake

I made this delicious cake and brought it for everyone to enjoy while we've been working on the parsonage. I found the recipe in Martha Stewart's Living Magazine from this month's issue. It is perfect for breakfast, as a snack or dessert. You can add whipped cream to it if you like--yum!

Apple-Blackberry Cake
Makes one 9-inch cake; serves 8-12

granulated sugar, for pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan, plus 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) cut into pieces
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
4 McIntosh apples (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges
1 cup (1/2 pint) blackberries
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
whipped cream, for serving (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, and dust with granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together melted butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, the milk, and eggs in another bowl. Whisk into flour mixture.
2. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Arrange apple wedges over batter, and sprinkle with blackberries. Gently press fruit into batter. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar and the cinnamon, and sprinkle over fruit. Dot with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Bake until top is dark gold, apples are tender, and a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Let cool. Serve with whipped cream if desired. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A floral anniversary card

A couple at our new church just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. We were invited to a simple get-together at the nursing home where Julie's husband is living. It was a great encouragement to her as we all gathered around talking, eating cake and looking at old family photos.

I made this simple anniversary card for them using decorative paper I had on hand. The paper was so gorgeous, displaying flowers and wavy lines, that I just had to use it as the main artwork on the card. On a piece of paper I used a calligraphy pen to write, "happy anniversary." I made a 3-D flower by cutting out one of the flowers from the left over paper and using another paper flower and button to stack the three together. That's all there was to it--easy, fast and simply beautiful.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

Our church had a special patriotic service this past Sunday. The service was geared to remember the events of 9/11 and to encourage all to remember the freedoms we have in Christ and in our country. Several people sang songs and both Q and Pastor Kemper preached a sermon. There were also a couple readings and a military medley was played on the piano.

Many wore patriotic colors that day. Q's and Pastor Kemper's ties were almost identical.

This paint bucket display was put together by one of the members. With the recent painting of the auditorium and the current painting of the parsonage, this is a neat way to fundraise to pay off the bill. It was up at the front of the auditorium during the service, but then put in the back so that people could put their change in. I thought it was a great idea, so I had to show it to you!

I was reminded that I need to keep praying for our country and for our leaders. I may not agree with all that the President says or does, but I must pray for him. The Bible says that "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord." God is in control of what happens in our country. The following verse is a wonderful one for all of us to remember at this time in our lives.

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."  II Chronicles 7:14

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mom's best carrot cake

My dad really loves carrot cake. My mom enjoys making it for him on his birthday. It's been a while since I've made it. I used to make it for my kindergarten class after we went to the farm. I used the fresh carrots we picked and used them for this cake. Since we have an abundance of carrots growing in our garden, I decided to use those to make carrot cake for my in-laws. What makes this cake so moist is the crushed pineapple. You'll love it, too--guaranteed!

I only have a 3x5 card with the handwritten recipe on it, so I don't know what book the recipe comes from. Enjoy!

Carrot Cake

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs
8 1/2 ounces crushed pineapple (juice drained)
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

First mix first six ingredients then add the oil; stir and add the eggs. Add carrots and nuts and stir all together. Finally add the pineapple. Pour batter into a 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

When the cake is cooled, you might want to make your own homemade cream cheese frosting. This recipe comes from Camp Ironwood's cookbook called, Come and Dine.

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons margarine
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Allow cream cheese and margarine to stand at room temperature until softened. Beat with mixer. Add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla to the cream cheese mixture and blend until creamy. (Add more powdered sugar if the frosting is too thin and more milk if frosting is too thick.)

Decorative candy bar wrappers

It's been a long time since I've made candy bar wrappers, but with Q's parents coming for a couple days, I thought it would be a fun thing for them to enjoy. It's a great hospitality gift for any guest that comes into your home.

All you need is some scrap booking paper, decorative edge scissors, glue, ribbon, and a pen. You can also use buttons or any other embellishment. I made this floral one for my mother-in-law. I just measured out the paper according to the size of the candy bar, then wrapped it around. I used a glue stick to seal it in the back. I made a tag with my own handwritten message and used a piece of pink ribbon to tie it on. 

I made another one for my father-in-law. I wrapped white grosgrain ribbon around the middle and glued the "Welcome!" tag on it. When I was done, I placed each candy bar on a set of towels that I put on the beds. They absolutely loved it--and so will your next overnight guests.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A bit of a blogging break....

Q and I have been especially busy spending time with his parents this weekend and working on the parsonage. We're heading to Denver to take them to their hotel so that they can begin their fall tour with A.C.E. ministries. Then, Quentin and I will be spending a couple nights in Lafayette to spend longer days working there. We're hoping to move in this Saturday and we've got a lot to do still. If it doesn't get done, it will be okay. I'd rather have it done well and ready for living then rush through.

I've got a few things to post about when we return so stay tuned. In the meantime, take a look around my site and have fun.

I'll talk to you all soon. :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Our New Home: The renovation begins, part 2

While the men worked, the ladies were busy cleaning the master bathroom and wiping down walls, shelves and cupboards in the other rooms.

Julie, our church organist, worked all morning in this bathroom. 

Our pastor's wife, Shirley, worked on bedroom 3 while I worked in bedroom 2. Later, Julie and Donna worked in the kitchen, and Pat worked on cleaning some things outside.

In the afternoon, the men pulled up all the carpeting and took down a lot of hardware to get things ready for painting. This is Q and Dick in the master bedroom.

This is bedroom 2. It's a really good size and the closet is enormous! Bedroom 3 is very small and has built drawers and is covered in wood paneling. It will probably be my sewing room.

When we got done yesterday, we headed over to Wal-mart to pick out paint colors. I'm very happy with our decision. Can you guess what color goes to what room? There are four basic areas: the living/dining area, the kitchen/laundry area, the two bathrooms, and the two main bedrooms. The four colors from left to right are the following: coffee house, western adobe, sicilian sky and bearnaise. We are leaving the wood paneling alone in bedroom 3 so it won't get painted except for the ceiling and around the window.

I stayed home today to get things ready for my in-laws arrival tomorrow, but Q went to work on the house again. His main job today was sanding the floors. We've decided to have wood floors in the dining/living areas instead of putting carpet back in. We're really excited about this! Everyone there continued cleaning the walls to get them ready for painting.

Next time....painting, carpets and fixing more things! And go ahead--take a guess at the colors in each room. It will be revealed soon.:)

Our New Home: The renovation begins, part 1

These past two days have been very busy ones for us. Q and I went to our new house yesterday to begin the renovation process. It looks pretty nice on the outside, but the inside needed a lot of work!

The parsonage has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room/dining room area, big kitchen and a laundry room. There is also plenty of lawn space and an area on the side of the house where we can do some gardening.

We were so grateful for the seven church people who joined us to help us work on our new place. The first thing Quentin began doing was taking down the dirty popcorn ceiling in the master bedroom. He and Dick worked on it all morning long. They used a spray bottle to loosen it up for easy removal.

When we took a lunch break, this is what Quentin's hat looked like. It was quite a mess!

This is the completed ceiling. All it needs now is some paint.

Jim worked all day on the guest bathroom. It was quite a tedious task of cleaning the tiles.

Next time....what the ladies did all day and the carpet removal....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My marvelous sewing finds!

Yesterday afternoon, Q and I stopped by Goodwill just to browse...

But then, I saw this huge bag of vintage sewing stuff that I could not pass up that was marked for just $3.00!!! 

There were a few embroidery patterns, a Singer "how-to" booklet, and tracing paper,....

....some pearl snaps, tailor's chalk, buckles, crochet needle (?) and rings (does anybody know what those are used for?),....

....eighteen packages of seam binding, bias tape and rick-rack (a few were remnants), six spools of thread and a bit of ribbon and elastic....

....and ten packaged zippers! I told Q that I had "made out like a bandit!" There was one problem though that I did not realize until I got home. The entire bag smelled like smoke, so I've been airing out these treasures and even sprayed them with some generic Fabreeze. 

Do any of you have any suggestions on how to get the smell out? Should I just hand wash everything?

In the meantime, I've got to figure out where to store my new finds! I'm so, so, EXCITED!! :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Garden: seeing a bit of red...

When we stopped by the garden today we were excited to see some red going on! Yahoo!

This tomato was the only one that looked ready to be picked. We have a lot that are still green and many more that are very small.

We're hoping to go by the garden later this week to see how they're doing. There are only a handful that are beginning to ripen, so we want to wait until there are more to make things with. We've got some recipes ready for salsa, sauce and ketchup. I'm not sure how much we'll be able to do because we're moving soon, but one thing is certain--

there will be lots to share!

He knows our needs before we ask Him

The Lord has reminded me of the verse that says,

"For your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." Matthew 6:8b

Since leaving our last ministry a couple of weeks ago, we have seen God continue to provide for our needs. Here's a list of things that He has been doing for us that I just had to share with all of you!

1. At the reception our last church gave us, we received many cards with money and a gift card. It was an overwhelming amount that brought me to tears. 

2. We received a Kohl's gift card in the mail and were able to get two articles of clothing, one for each of us.

3. A friend of ours took Q to help him get my car fixed (it's been down all summer!). They came back with a free car battery and now I'm good to go!

4. I spent part of a day with a friend of mine and her little boys at their house. We talked about grain mills and I told her how Q and I would like to get one some day. Next thing you know, she's pulling out an extra grain mill she had and said I could have it! She sent me home with this awesome grain mill, two loaves of bread and some grain to get me started.

5. Our new church took care of a couple meals and gave Q an honorarium when he filled in for the head pastor. It was for a Sunday that we agreed to help in before Q took the position of assistant pastor.

6. Q had a temporary job for a week and we are grateful for any bit of work he can get.

7. We just found out that our house utilities will be taken care of by the new church. We'll be moving into the parsonage next week and we're excited about this as well as the cleaning, painting and perhaps new carpeting going in this week by the church members.

I'm sure there will be more blessings along the way during these early days in our new ministry. I'm keeping a list to help me remember that God is good all the time. I'll share more in the days ahead.

Our God is good, isn't He? There is no need to fret or worry about things because He already knows what we need. I'm always amazed at even the blessings He gives before we even ask Him.

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."  Ephesians 3:20-21