Happily Ever After…

Everyone loves the old fairy-tale ending: “And so they lived happily
ever after.” But in my opinion the best part of any true-life story
only
begins with these words. Certainly life’s greatest challenge is
raising a family. My own life has been exciting, 
rich and immensely
rewarding in every way. I have been lucky enough to win fame 
and
fortune beyond my dreams. An yet, the greatest and most satisfying
success 
by far that I have enjoyed lies in my children. Helping them,

watching them grow, has been my greatest joy and privilege.
~ Art Linkletter, 1959 ~

Very true words from Mr. Linkletter! Raising children… and then watching your children raise children… has got to be the most rewarding thing we’ve ever experienced! This week our family added another bit of “happily” to our “ever after”… Another grandboy!

ZekeWelcome to the world, Ezekiel!

A Finished Project… And a Just Begun Project!

Since our youngest daughter Kate got married and moved out, we’ve been slowly but surely working on remodeling the upstairs. Plugging along, like Aesop’s Tortoise… and we know eventually we’ll get to the finish line. (And then we’ll move downstairs… but don’t mention that to my carpenter… he needs to see some light at the end of the tunnel!)

First, we worked on Kate and her sister Jordan‘s old room. And we moved in… How nice to have a bit of extra space to spread out! Then we began working on our old room. That went a bit faster because we had a deadline… Grandboys were coming to visit and needed a place to sleep! After Hubby ripped up the old carpet and sanded the pine floor, my Dad came over and helped me paint!

When we pulled the carpet up in the now-spare bedroom, we decided there was no time like the present to yank it off the steps as well. Our motto is, “If you’re gonna make a mess, you might as well make a big one.” So we did, and Hubby sanded the steps too. And we’ve been trudging up and down the bare construction steps since May. The California Kids went home mid-June, and then we had some wedding-related company, who may or may not have pondered taking up a collection for us, considering the state of our steps and the last remnant of original flooring in the upstairs bathroom. When it was back to just the two of us, I started the task of painting the steps.

Which, by the way, can be interesting. We went with an oil-based paint for durability, since the steps are a high-traffic area in our home. Each coat took quite a while to dry, and with each coat, I had to alternate steps so we could still get upstairs and downstairs. (Incidentally, if you go upstairs and downstairs by skipping steps for several days in a row, you will become well acquainted with muscles you didn’t know you had.) We also were careful to not paint on days when there was a possibility of little visitors or pregnant visitors due to the smelly-ness of the paint.

So. It took a while.

And then came the fun part! We’ve been trying to decide what to do to snazzy up those plain steps for quite a while. I had pinned a whole bunch of ideas on Pinterest the past few months. Maybe a carpet runner? A painted runner? Stenciling? Words? What words? One day toward the end of July, my friend Beth posted a photo of steps with the “In our home…” motif on my Facebook page. It was perfect! Almost. I thought I wanted a slightly more industrial feel to the lettering, so I went looking for it on Etsy, and found one I loved! And it was perfect! Almost. We had 14 steps instead of 13. And the shop graciously added another “step” for me in a custom listing!

I couldn’t wait to get started!
It took a bit of measuring…

Process1

And a bit of patience…

Process2

But it began to shape up nicely…

CloseUp2

And I love the finished project…It’s good to get things done!

StepsDone

And if you look closely, you’ll notice a bit of dirt on the steps…

CloseUp1

But that’s okay, because it means my carpenter has moved on
to the next project… A new bathroom floor!!!!!

Floor1

I think I need to take this man out to dinner!

MyGuy

The Past Few Weeks…

The past few weeks were very busy…

We had some very special company…

Our California Kids!

IceCream

I’ve not had time to sort through photos yet…

Shoes

…but thought I’d give you a peek…

Flower

…into our days together.

Leaves

We played…

Fish

… and fished…

Movies

…and rested…

Climb

…and climbed…

Craft

…and crafted…

Playground

…and played some more…

Chicks

… and met new friends…

Who Is This

… and were a bit goofy…

BEthany

…and smelled the salt air…

Beach

… and got some sand between our toes…

Sleep

… and pretty much wore ourselves out!

:-)

But we’d do it all again in a heartbeat.

Blossom…

This past Sunday, Hubby’s Mom and Dad had a little garden party…

…In fact, the garden WAS the party!

Azaleas

I mean, look at all that COLOR!

Winter Berry

The sky was a little gray that afternoon,
but that seemed to make the colors even more vibrant!

Lambs Ear

Mom and Dad have a knack for creating color contrasts in the garden!

Lilac

Everything was in bloom, and very fragrant!

White Flowers

Even the tiniest of blossoms…

Bleeding Heart

… seem to tug at your heartstrings.

Outside In

So I went home, and brought some Outside In.

Go not abroad for happiness,
for see,
it is a flower blooming at thy door.
~Minot Savage~

Branching Out…

In the midst of a long-distance Mother-Daughter phone conversation, somewhere mingled with Design Ideas, Mommy Advice, Airplane Tickets, Business Brainstorming, Children’s Drawings, and Plans-for-When-We-Next-Get-Together, my oldest daughter Jordan and I came up with a Brilliant Plan. While we were talking about the possibilities for developing a single design, the idea of a Grand Collaboration popped into both our heads at just about the same instance! And so did a quote that we both liked…

Home is Where You Are

It’s been nearly four years since Jo’s family has been back on the East Coast, and a good part of our conversation was about  Jo, her Hubby Luke, and her boys Jack and Derik traveling back home to Delaware for a couple of weeks in the late Spring. We’d both been searching online for airline tickets, and let me tell you, the price of airline tickets for four people to go across the country is nothing to sneeze at… As a matter of fact, it could make one swoon and fall over in shock.  But, where there’s a will, there’s a way!

We gals had an Idea…
…Take that single quote about “Home,”
create some Art around it,
and get those designs on the website, post haste!

Home is Where You Are

Jordan was feeling rather artsy that day, and jumped in feet first,
and got the ball rolling by coming up with
a beautiful sketch in her loose, happy style...

HomeIsWhereYouAre

Her Mama, on the other hand, was a tad bit slower, and took a couple days
to produce a matching papercutting in her somewhat-tight, in-the-box style…

WherYouAreCut

And then we set to work to produce a sweet line of prints and cuts that we’ll be
selling on our Etsy shops and websites to help play for those tickets!

WhereYouAreLine

Click Here to Purchase on our Website!

Or Click Here to Purchase on Etsy!

And don’t forget to stop by THIS POST and leave a comment to enter my current Giveaway!

And My OTHER Girl!!!

Wow!

This has been a week of my girls doing amazing things!

Our oldest daughter, Jordan Boesch is the featured artist today on

Annapolis & Company
Creativity in the Everyday

Mary Beth is doing an awesome series about young creative ladies.

It is truly inspiring.

And so is my girl, who made her Mama cry as she read the interview.

…And also laugh when she saw pictures of her
sand-covered chock-full-of-life Grandboys!

Jordan, who mastered Spencerian Penmanship at the age of 15,
has a design business where she specializes in hand-drawn
logos and lettering for websites, branding, and marketing.

If you are in need of an artist that will work with you to
create a very special look for your business or blog…

Go visit my girl at…

Hey There. Design

And My Girl….

Exciting News Flash!!!

Our daughter, Katie Donovan is being featured for the next few days on

One King’s Lane!!!

They’re producing her beautiful hand-lettered art on canvas,
and framing them in pretty white frames!

Look for her wonderful quotes, like this one…

And yes, I borrowed that picture to share with you, because

1. I’m her Mom and am pretty sure it would be okay.

and

2. The original is hanging in my art room.

And it is awesome.

Writing a Story…

Quick post today… Feeling a bit lazy on this Day of Rest. Hubby is under the weather. And speaking of weather, it’s been dreary and rainy all day. So, today we’ve stayed home, rested a lot, and caught up on the laundry. I hadn’t thought much about the Pie from Scratch story until just now, when I read today’s Our Daily Bread. This quote sort of sums up today’s devotion…

All of us are writing a story with our lives
—one that affects others now and in the future.
~Dave Branon~

“Story” is a word that I’ve been hearing a lot lately. It seems to have suddenly taken on new meaning. I hear about “story” on blogs and in meaningful conversations, and they’re talking about more than a fairy tale. A person’s “story” is what they are, where they came from, where they are going, and who they touch along the way. Our personal stories are woven into the stories of the people around us. Annie’s story actually is inspired by grandparents that poured their lives into their grandkids. Thinking about how their influence affected my life makes me want to evaluate the “story” I’m writing today… and Everyday.

See all the blog posts about making
Pie from Scratch!
by clicking below!

The Everyday…

We got to go to Disneyland last May with these two Cuties…

It was the first time I ever visited Disneyland, and what an incredible day! Awesome food, fun rides, and lots of time with the Grandboys! I know we all treasure the fun events we share with our families. We’ve got photo albums filled with those special events… birthdays, vacations, weddings, celebrations of all sorts. We always remember to bring the camera along to capture the memories.

But the Everyday… I wish I had taken more pictures of that over the years. The days that weren’t all that exciting, but that also held the most living. The Real Life days. The ones that included PB & J, nap time, chores, and bedtime stories. Because they were just as awesome.

Back in the 90′s, there was a lot of talk about “Quality Time vs. Quantity Time” in the parenting circles. There were convincing arguments for both sides, as if we needed to choose one over the other.

I think families need both.

We need special memories of fabulous celebrations.

And we need special memories of Everydays.

See all the blog posts about making
Pie from Scratch!
by clicking below!

Do Great Things…

We all want to do great things.

To have some great accomplishment, some “I did it”
worthy of being engraved on our tombstone.

But maybe somewhere along the line, the price tags got switched,
and what is now considered “great” is really not so great,
and what is considered mundane is really pretty awesome.

I ran into this blog post this morning.

I often complain blog about my “To Do List.”

About how long it is, and how in the world
I got myself into all the things I get myself into,
and how to get it all done  on time and
before somebody calls to see if it’s done yet.

But then… maybe I didn’t get myself into those things,
but instead was placed there for a reason
by Someone who had something to teach me.

It may have been to teach me that the last “To Do List,”
the one before that was filled with really mundane things
like snotty noses and dust bunnies and piles of dirty dishes
were actually the real Great Things.

Soooo…

I guess whatever our hand is finding to do,
is exactly what we should be doing at this very moment.

And it is a Gift.

The Gift of “Now.”