Category Archives: DIY

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You’re here! I’m so excited! On February 26, 2005, I started this blog, and for the next two weeks, I will be looking back at the past TEN YEARS of blogging!

Ten years has gone by in the blink of an eye. At least, it seems so at times. I’ve been browsing back through old posts and, while the style of my photos (lots of borders and filters in the early days) has changed, the core of the posts has not. It started with a few posts about my kids and that’s pretty much the same today. I wrote about things we did, places we traveled, movies I loved, following my love of photography into a business, family, friends, parties, scrapbooking, memories, happy times, sad times, publishing my novel. So much of our life.

Ten years is a really long time.

So, for the next TEN DAYS, I will be looking back, sharing old photos and favorite posts, and there will be GIVEAWAYS!!!

GIVEAWAY INFO: There are four ways to enter through the giveaway box below and each will get you five entries in the drawing.

• The first option is the only one you HAVE to do in order to be entered. I’ll ask one question in every day’s giveaway. You just have to enter your name and email address, give a brief response to the question, and you’re in the drawing.

If you want more chances to win, you can …
• Join my mailing list (if you already have, enter your email address so I can verify)
• Tweet about the giveaway and copy/paste the link from Twitter
• SHARE about the giveaway and the BLOG-IVERSARY on your own blog, Facebook*, Pinterest, etc. and link to that as well.

All giveaways will end on my actual BLOG-IVERSARY, next Thursday, February 26th, so the giveaways will all be OPEN until then.
The winners will be announced in a blog post on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27th!

* Note: If you share on a private Facebook account and we aren’t “friends”, make sure you change the audience of that one post to “public” so I can see it. ;)


I’ve got a paperback copy of my first young adult novel ready to sign. The Truth About Drew was published last May.
It’s a sweet, uplifting, heart-warming story full of friendship and family with a journey to faith and a mystery surrounding a boy and his notebook.
Enter below. Tell a friend! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have any questions at all about the giveaway, feel free to ask.


mom’s day card

How is it the middle of May already? I’m not complaining. The weather is lovely and we are in the teens in our “last day of school countdown” now. That’s just fine with me.

Thought I would share the little Mothers Day card I made for my Mom this year. I can’t remember where I saw a hand sewn card (Pinterest or on a blog perhaps!), but I liked the idea and I wanted to give it a try. I found some extra double-sided cardstock I had lying around (I think from the original Project Life kit) and trimmed it into a card size, folded it and trimmed a strip along the bottom of the front so the blue on the inside would show through and match the blue embroidery floss I chose to use. I wrote “Mom” in pencil in a pretty script and sketched some little x’s into flower shapes. Then I poked holes through the paper with my needle to make it easier to stitch and went for it.

I think it turned out pretty cute. :)

around here

I started a project. Another one. ;) I forgot to take a before and after picture, but in the picture above (right) you can see the mirror is made of that cheapy builders grade stuff. The vanity is the same. We didn’t really want to replace it. Trying to save money where we can. So I sanded the surface to rough it up a bit and painted it a dark black/brown color in semi gloss. It looks really good so far. Needs another coat (maybe two). Jake walked in last night and said “Woah!” He said it looked like a whole new vanity. I will take more pictures when it’s finished. Will probably paint the mirror for now, but I think we need to replace that and the horrid round hollywood lights before we sell.

Mom and I got out and ran our Couch to 5K this morning. We are on Week 2 Day 2 now. It’s helping her to keep running when I just start talking about random stuff, keeping her mind on other things. I’m proud of her. And me for getting back into it. Always feel so much better and more focused after a run. Jake says after his big race, he’s going to run with me and help me go longer distances and improve my time. That’s good, since I’m as fast as a turtle right now.

Well, it’s almost here. After working so hard for the past 6 months running with his Road Warrior team, the Fifth Third River Bank Run 25K is just 3 days away and Jake is ready!!! Getting really excited to go cheer him on and celebrate his great accomplishment. Also very excited that my cousin Josh and his family are coming up from Ohio. Lots of moral support. The more the better!

Our sewer issue is no more. Whatever was clogging it up has made its way through and it’s running like normal again. So relieved about that.

we built a table

Way back in April of 2010, I thought it would be fun to try to build a dining room table ourselves. I had seen lots of great plans on Ana White’s website and I found THIS FARMHOUSE TABLE and we went for it. This table is solid and sturdy and I love that we built it with our own hands. Well … mostly Jake’s hands, but Zach and I helped a little, too. And I’m the one that spent several hours sanding that sucker.

You might have seen a little glimpse of the table in the pictures I recently shared from Chloe’s birthday.

It is obviously not finished yet. I did a lot of sanding on it and planned to simply paint it black or a very dark brown, but I never got around to it. We used cheapy wood so it’s not great quality to be able to stain it and I’m fine with that. We got a couple of high back chairs from IKEA and two of their inexpensive unfinished pine chairs (the kids’ chairs) :) and I will be painting those to match whatever color I paint the table. For now, I threw an old lace curtain over the table as a table cloth. I find myself staring at the table more and more each day as I walk through the room, thinking it’s about time, so soon I will get some paint and finally finish this project. I’d say it’s a little overdue. When I do, I will share the finished product here.

Ana White has some really great plans for all sorts of furniture. There are many many on there that I would love to try to make someday. If you are into DIY, definitely visit her site and browse. You will be inspired.

paper snowflakes

Chloe and I looked up paper snowflake patterns on Pinterest and made a bunch to put in our front porch windows. I think they turned out pretty good and they look cute out there.

And there it is! My house numbers hand painted on the front door as I mentioned in my last post. LOL! And notice my two-tone house. Hopefully we’ll get the rest of it painted in the Spring.

Had a nice week. Jake got tickets through work for The Story Tour at Van Andel Arena last Thursday. I thought my Mom would enjoy it for her birthday and when I mentioned buying another ticket for the seat next to ours, Jake suggested I take his ticket and have a girls night with Mom. Awwww. He’s so sweet. We had a great time. It was a wonderful concert with some of our favorite Christian artists singing Christmas carols (my favorite was Natalie Grant singing “O Holy Night”, my favorite Christmas song) and then performing songs inspired by The Story by Randy Frazee, which is the stories of the Bible from Genesis to Revelations written in story form. Very interesting. We really enjoyed it. The orchestra that performed the musical score was awesome. There were some really wonderful songs that focused on great men and women of the Bible.

One thing that I have always loved about concerts like this is that feeling of being among family. Praising God in an arena full of fellow believers, singing songs together, feeling God’s presence in the room. At the end of the night, when the songs were over and the room was quiet, they had all of us in the audience sing “O Come Let Us Adore Him” a capella. Just gives you chills. :)

On Friday, Mom’s birthday, we got together at the farm with my brothers and had a little pizza party. I made mom a birthday cake. :) It was the first cake I’ve ever made her. I’m such a bad daughter. We hung out for a few hours and played Blokus and Scattergories. Good times!

Saturday was quiet around our place. Chloe went to her BFF Olivia’s birthday party in the evening. She had such a blast. Those two are so cute. I just love that she’s found such a sweet friend. Chloe is such a bold personality and I think Olivia balances her out just right.

And I have to say that Sunday is one of my favorite days I’ve had in a long time. Things have been busy lately and I’ve missed my husband. We really needed some time together. So the kids went with Grandpa and Grandma to church and spent the day at the farm while we drove to the east side. We visited Heather and Jeff and the girls. Jake got to meet Violet for the first time. I got plenty of time holding Violet, too, after Scarlett and I played (she knocked me over and climbed on me and giggled. hehehe!) and I read her The Velveteen Rabbit. Violet is so precious. I fed her a bottle and then we “danced” around the room with Scarlett. Dad and Mom Noorman stopped by to meet the baby, too.

After our visit, we went out to a late lunch together at Max & Erma’s. It was so nice to have so much time to just be together. Then it was a trip to IKEA with my trusty list. I always have a list of things I want before we go there. It’s so easy to get lost for a day if you don’t and it’s even easier to spend twice as much as you planned if you start wandering around in there. We stuck to the list and got everything we needed. Then we did a little Christmas shopping for the kids at Target. They have such great stocking stuffers. I love Target. Got everything on our list in there, too. So we stayed on budget and the day was a success!

Yesterday, I noticed the sign out front of Zach’s school that told the dates of Holiday Break. Oh my goodness, I got so excited seeing that. Only two and a half weeks until break and I think I’m more excited than the kids at this point. This is the first year I have bought so many of the kids’ gifts this far in advance. And I’ve wrapped them already! What? Who am I? This is so not like me. I’m sure this is just a freak event and next year I will be back to normal, but I’m going to enjoy the here and now. :D

a mossy mess

Things are coming right along on the house, so I thought I would share a few pictures. I didn’t take a before picture of our back door, but this one of the kids from September shows the lovely yellowy color our siding previously was as well as the ugly yellowish border around the window on the door. So gross looking. I painted the small section of house around the door on our back porch, also the trim around the door and window. The new color looks so different at different times of the day. Sometimes it looks more brown and sometimes more grey. I love it either way. I will be painting that door, too, as soon as I decide on a color.

As you can see below, our front porch roof was nasty. This moss got on it from the trees above and has been slowly growing all over the roof and up onto the siding. So gross. I hated seeing that all the time, so I am very thankful we don’t have to anymore.

The porch roof is now replaced and it looks so much better. Jake and my brothers worked hard on it with a little assistance from Mom and I, who cut shingles ahead of time and for specific widths they needed so they didn’t have to keep stopping to measure and cut. It was quite an efficient little system we had going. I only wish we’d done that the weekend before when the guys did the back lower section of roof. It took them twice as long. Live and learn, I guess.

That mossy mess needed attacked, so Mom and I got up on the roof and scrubbed it off with some house cleaner. SO much better. Also scraped and prepped the window for painting.

Then the next day, we got up there again and painted everything except the shutters (I have yet to decide on a color for those). Lookin’ good!

We did more work last weekend. The old broken nasty storm door on the front of the house was removed and the threshold there had rotted underneath, so Jake completely replaced that and did a darn good job of it, too. I was so giddy. I can’t believe I’m so excited over house projects. I guess it’s because nobody wants to live in a house that’s falling apart and I feel better about our home with each project we finally complete.

Also, today I finally finished painting in Chloe’s room. I will share some pictures when it’s a little … cleaner. She goes through little spurts of cleaning her room nicely and organizing everything perfectly, then a week later it is completely trashed with clothing and stuff all over the floor so you can’t even walk in there. Time to clean so mama can take some pictures. :D

a new color

So, here it is. The color I chose for the house. I couldn’t resist trying it out on the garage. It’s sort of a grey with a slight brown tint to it. I think mushroom was in the name of the color. These were taken just after I painted, though, so it may darken just a bit as it dries, but I really like it. Especially next to that nice fresh white trim. WAY better than the ugly yellow-ish color it currently is. Now I’m really excited to get more painting done. Unfortunately, we’re getting low on days that are warm enough for the paint to dry properly, so we are going to squeeze in as much as we can and pray for some more days in the 50’s and 60’s before the snow starts falling and we have to hibernate for the winter.

Looks like my wind chimes could use a little paint as well. :)

iMac surgery

Well … I performed surgery on my iMac yesterday with the help of a couple tutorials I found online and my computer made it through with a brand new 1Tb hard drive beating steadily in its chest. :)

I’m kind of proud of myself for doing the research, taking the thing apart without breaking anything or tearing any wires (not easy, let me tell you) and getting that new hard drive in there. I use my computer for everything in my business as well as just personal stuff, so I was antsy to get it done since I have a wedding coming up.

I have to say THANKS to the two sites that were the most help:
TwistedMac on YouTube
Jason Tomczak
I found them both doing searches on Google and YouTube. If I hadn’t come across these sites, I don’t think I would have had the confidence to do it. They were both very clear with their instructions. The only snag I came across was that the layout of my hard drive is slightly different than what Jason showed on his site. Yikes! I panicked for a minute, but thought it through and took a chance on a couple of screws that looked like the easiest option and they were the correct ones. Phew!

My computer is back up and running and I restored the entire thing using Mac’s wonderful Time Machine program, which is the greatest creation ever, in my opinion. If you have a Mac with Time Machine, go buy an external hard drive big enough to hold a backup of your entire computer and run this program ASAP. Now. Go do it! I’m not kidding! ;) You won’t be sorry, especially if one day your hard drive decides it doesn’t feel like working anymore.

OK, that’s my advice for the day: BACK UP your important files! :)

AJAXed with AWP