Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday Emma!!!

Our Cinderella Party, the cake turned out very cute!

Emma and her new vanity. She wanted these cool poms poms. She said she wants to be a cheerleader when she gets "bigger!"

My uncle sent this cool Playmobil doll house which she loved! Her vanity, this doll house, and her Polly pocket pool party were the big hits of this little girls party!!! We had to play Polly outside today. It's pretty fun, it's a little swimming pool with 2 slides, add your water and the dolls and let the party begin, thanks to her Grandparents!

Emma eating her first watermelon, which she loved! We had a great time!

Emma opening presents at her party!
Emma got a vanity for her big 4th Birthday with makeup! She decided to try out her new lipgloss all over her face! Looks like I'll have to teach her how to apply her makeup, but I'm in no rush! Maybe in another 20 years... They grow up so fast, don't they!
We still haven't had time to get the base boards in but we did get our first plant in our muti- functional room. We are calling it our sunroom/playroom for now! And loving the space. Before we painted and pretty much just redid the whole room, I hated this room. It was just a catch all room. But now Mario and I agree we love it! And I'm very excited about our new Hibiscus! We bought it at Sam's Club for $14.99 this weekend which is really cheap if you have priced them! I love the twisted bark. We found this nice glazed pot at Home Depot and stand to give it some height so our 2 fat cats can't chew on the leaves. We want to plant some lavender as well to give the room a nice smell! We hung some lights on these antique hooks across the ceiling. I got the idea from Olive Garden! Mario put a dimmer on the lights which is really relaxing. We plan on some nice summer nights in our fun room. Its amazing what a little paint and hard work can do for a room!!!

Last Sat. we worked all day in our soon to be garden! First Mario had to weed eat the entire area which took up most of our day. But we knew we had to get it down to the dirt before we could plant. Then we borrowed a rototiller from our friends which was a little more exciting. I think Mario actually enjoyed that part as you can tell by these pictures I took! Then the best part, planting our pumpkin and corn seeds! I'm hoping we will have something grow after all our hard work. The kids got to plant the seeds which they loved. I'll keep you updated on the progress. This is very exciting for us because Mario and I have never tried to grow pumpkins or corn before. I am looking foward to this fall and I'm hoping we can have a Fall Harvest party and decorate some of our pumpkins! Plus what a neat fall display we could have with all our corn stalks and different pumpkins. We planted 2 varieties of corn and 4 varieties of pumpkins! I'm hoping for a sucess!!! :)

Memorial Day

I hope everyone enjoys a nice Memorial Day with their families. Since today is Emma's 4th Birthday we plan on doing whatever she can dream up, within reason of course. We celebrated with a nice Cinderella party yesterday with some friends from our church. She had a really good time. I will post some pics later. We had hamburgers, hotdogs, watermelon (which Emma now loves) and of course white Cinderella cake! It was from Target and we have tried bakeries and all the local grocery stores and we think Target has the best birthday cake! Have a fun day. ~Amy

Monday, May 12, 2008

Our House "After"

This is our house after a lot of hard work, painting and landscaping!!!

We are going to have our chimney tuck pointed this spring, because unfortunately the ivy that was growing up it all those years destroyed a lot of the mortar and damaged some of the bricks.

We love to landscape so this is our favorite season!

My Mother's Day present a Japanese Maple Weeping Laceleaf, we planted it together as a family that's a great memory that will last forever!

Now we feel like people will want to come inside our home rather than keep driving by!

Our front lawn with our flower bed with our new Hemlock, we wanted our landscaping to reflect our style, all cottage!

Our House "Before"

I took this picture the first time we looked inside our "future home" with the realtor in Sept. 2006. Mario and I somehow saw something so much more than a house in dire need of a lot of love and hard work! We saw all the potential it had. We bought the "diamond in the rough" house of the block! The front porch light was literally hanging by the wires. There was absolutely no curb appeal! Our friends here in Iowa thought we were crazy! But we knew we loved the neighborhood and all the character the house had to offer. It just needed a family that cared about it enough to bring it back to life. It has taken us nearly 2 years and still going, but it's nice to reflect back on all our hard work and feel good that we're headed in the right direction...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Dance Recital Time!!!

Emma on our front porch and in front of the theater where her recital was held at! There were 1o1 different dances. It was about a 3 hour recital, whew! Our little Emma looked beautiful. I cried when her class went on stage! She just went out there and looked so BIG! I love to watch the little ones they are so cute! We had a great day!

Emma and Ethan enjoying some candy, flowers, and balloons!

Antique Egg Shaped Door Knob!

Mario found this gorgeous knob at an antique shop. It's probably from the late 1800's. It's from the Victorian era!

Our sunroom under construction!

It will be nice when we finish it! But it is taking a lot of work. We have to paint walls, ceiling, woodwork, and door. We are also installing new floor. Oh and new baseboards. Wow, just writing all that makes me tired! I can't wait until the decorating part of the project!

Antique Church Pew, After

We think it turned out pretty nice for being about 100 years old! We are going to use it to sit on in our sunroon/mudroom when we take our shoes off!

Oh, and our room is coming along, slowly! We are installing the baseboards tom! Yeah! Then comes decorating it! I want to put a table set in it to eat at, I have a lot of ideas but again I have to do it on a BUDGET!!! I'm learning to stretch that dollar!

Antique Church Pew, Before

We bought this church pew at an antique shop at a deal! This is the before pic before we restored it! It needed a lot of cleaning but nothing a little love and hard work couldn't take care of! The owner of the shop was planning on refinishing it but we wanted it "as is" and got a deal! Please excuse the room it's in. That's a whole other project we have been working on.

Mario and I knew that the Howard Products would restore the pew without the need of a complete strip and refinish which would lose all of the great original character. Restor- A- Shine Polishing compound along with steel wool would restore the finish. We also used the Howard Restor- A- Finish in walnut to restore the wood color back to its original rich color . Finally we applied the Feed-N-Wax preserve to seal all our work. The whole process took about an hour.

Ebay Deal!

We were very excited to find these Pottery Barn sconces on Ebay for $29 for both. They were used but in perfect condition. I'm learning how to decorate on a buget and still get nice things! And I think it's more rewarding when you find a deal. I think I'm going to start giving garage sale shopping more dedication!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

I just wanted to share that we lost someone very special to our family this morning Mary Lee, Mario's Grandma. She would always get me laughing. She knew how to make a person feel comfortable and it was very easy to just sit back and talk with her about "the old days" in her life. You would be was addressed as "Honey or Sweetie" which to me always sounds nice and makes me feel special. I will always cherish our visit to her home in Prescott when we lived in California. It was the most peaceful place. It rained the entire weekend we were there, so we played games with her and Mario's Grandpa Joe and had delicious meals. It was so nice coming from the fast pace life we had in California. We went shopping together in downtown Prescott which was when I first realized my interest in antiques. They drove us around their beautiful town telling us of the history and Mary Lee and I really got to know one another and realized we had a lot in common! She had a love for art and decorating. She was quite the artist, she had her paintings hung all through her house. I could tell she had a special place in her heart for Mario or "Chip" as she loved to call him. I feel very blessed that I got to know Mary Lee and I know she is in a better place with God. Mary Lee and Joe are an inspiration to Mario and I because they could argue like the best of them but at the end of the day you knew just how much they loved each other. You will be missed Mary Lee...
~Love, Amy