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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Barn Birthday Party for my 2 yr old

Pinterest & I have a love/hate relationship. I love it when I'm planning and gathering ideas for parties, my home, crafts, etc. But I hate it when I can't decide when to stop!

My mother-in-law found some great Barn Themed invites and other party extras a while back and gave them to us to use for Chazaq's 2nd Birthday Party! They were the spark that started me searching Pinterest and finding all the things I needed to make Chazaq's 2nd Birthday Party a blast! Here are some pictures of what the day looked like when it all came together!


The photo props were a big hit with all the kids!


I found the cake instructions on Pinterest (of course!) I'm not that creative on my own, but I'm a pretty decent copy cat.

Decorations courtesy of "Nana".

Farmer Chazaq himself!

The menu consisted of various fruits & veggies from "Chazaq's Garden", BBQ Beef sandwiches made in the crock pot, "Farm Fresh Eggs" aka deviled eggs, Butterscotch Haystacks, and S'mores on a stick.














One of the games we played with the kids was "Cattle Round-up". I simply purchased balloons with cow print on them and challenged the kiddos to keep them in the air as long as they could. They played for the longest time and really enjoyed it!

Check out my Pinterest Board to get the links to all my inspiration!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Game/Play Room

Welcome to the most abused room in our house.  We have 3 kids under the age of 6.  Now you understand.  This is where the play happens.  It occasionally spills into the kitchen, living room, bathroom (even I have no idea how that happens) but I try to keep it mostly confined to this area.  (I apologize for the horrible lighting.  It is apparently never a good time to photograph this room.)

When we had 1 child and even after we had 2 little girls filling the house with laughter,  a small cabinet in the kitchen was perfect to house our small toy collection.

A few more years, another kid, and somehow the toys have outgrown this space and it was time to kick them out of the kitchen.



I told you I was addicted to Sterilite Shoe Boxes!  Each box houses a different type of toy.  We have Polly Pockets, Barbies, Hello Kitty, cars, Happy Meal toys, Little People, etc.  I've found when the toys are organized in this way, the kids play longer with their toys, and they also put them away by themselves easier.  They are learning that they can not get out another box until the first box is put away.

My wonderfully creative and handy husband built the shelves and the window seat. I love seeing the girls with a book sitting on the seat reading.  It's also a great view to the bird feeders in the backyard.  We could watch the birds for hours!

Here's a peek at the rest of the room.
 Jeremy & I make a pretty good pair.  He made the rack for all the pool table gear and I painted the art.  I'm no artist, I just like abstract, bright paintings and I'm too cheap to pay someone else to scribble on canvas when I can scribble some paint on my own.



I think this is really supposed to be a formal living room/dining area.  But we're not formal people so this works much better for us.  Don't you LOVE the red wall?  It's one of my favorite things about our home.  Oh, and the cornice boards!  My parents-in-law and husband helped me put them together! I'm a black leather jacket kinda girl so black "pleather" was used for the window treatment.  (Yeah, It's another favorite thing.) Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you're enjoying the tour!


31DaysToCheaplyOrganizeYourHome />

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Craft Closet

I love to craft.  I sew, paint, crochet, sort of knit, and it must be hereditary because my children also love to create things with their hands.  All this crafting can take up a lot of space.  From Fabric to Pipe cleaners, Pom poms & paint, we've got quite a collection.  I've tried several different storage solutions, but I must say, I think I've finally found something that works for us.

My name is Dana & I have an addiction to Sterilite Shoe Boxes.


This is just a few of the many that I use to store all my stuff.  I used my Dymo LetraTag to label each of the boxes.  Before this system I had everything in 2 huge crates that I had to almost completely unpack to find 1 item.  Now I can just grab the box with the supplies I need and work quickly and easily!  I find I'm much more apt to craft if I can get to things easily.  My husband really appreciates that things can be put away easily, too!  I even have a box labeled "in progress".  This helps me keep my start ups under control and hopefully I'll begin finishing things completely before starting something new.  Well, hopefully.  I also store items waiting to be purchased from my etsy shop here.

This closet is under our stairwell and also serves as our family shoe closet.  This is by no means all of our shoes, but they are the most often worn.  The rest of the collection is stored in our bedroom closets.


And talk about your Mutli-purpose room!  This also serves to store our collection of board and card games.  If you haven't played Things, it is a must play for your next family get together.  It's guaranteed to produce some great laughs!

A few chairs and a folding table round off the storage in this little closet that really does a lot!  Jeremy used wire shelving from Home Depot to create my shelves.  Each shelf holds up to 80 lbs.  I love them!  Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great day!



31DaysToCheaplyOrganizeYourHome />


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Peek into the Mack House

Here's a peek into our kitchen. When we moved in a little over 8 years ago, I was in love with all the space above the cabinets.  Over the years they've been adorned with Fiestaware, Christmas Garland, and even a traffic light.  I love to have conversation pieces mixed into my decor.  When I found the "Fingers crossed" piece in Home Goods a couple of years ago, I knew I had to have it.  I continually joke that I cross my fingers with every meal hoping it is a success!  You'll also notice "JOY" and "Blessed" placed there.  Sometimes it's important to have a reminder of just how good I have it.  I'm very "blessed" so there is no reason to not have "Joy"! 

I use the big black basket to corral all the items that need to make their way upstairs to the office.  It gets a little overrun most of the time, but it helps keep the counter clear and lets me tote everything up with ease.
I made these little pumpkins a couple of years ago.  They were really easy and are a fun way to add some Fall into the house. Even when it's still 100 degrees outside!  Thanks, Martha Stewart!

 This was my answer to the phone jack that we no longer use that was right at eye level next to the pantry.  I think it's a much better way to enter the kitchen and to start our day!


Just one last photo of the hallway/pantry.  Oh, and I made the wreath myself, too!  I hope you enjoy and get some inspiration! Have a joyfully blessed day!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Zoan's Butterfly Birthday Party


So....There's this new thing I'm a little addicted to.  It's Pinterest.  If you haven't heard of it, but you're one of those people who hear of something new and immediately google it or do whatever you can to find out what it is, just know, You Have Been Warned!  It's dangerous!  It's like clipping pictures from magazines and filing them away, only with easier access and less clutter.

For Zoan's 5th Birthday, I used Pinterest to help me gather ideas.  There were so many good ideas!  I enjoyed being able to plan things out months in advance and have a place to collect my plans without a lot of paper clutter plus it was easy to access.  Zoan loved it all and afterward told me it was "The best day ever!"  I'm so glad it's easy to make her feel that way right now.  Here are some of my own pics from the day.  Enjoy!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Proposal

For winter break my Senior year at SAGU Jeremy asked my parents if he could spend the first week or so with them, then he and I would drive out to Arizona to be with his family.

If you have never had the pleasure of meeting my parents let me give you a little insight.  The only seasonings found in my parents house are salt, pepper, cayenne & on occasion, Cavender's Seasoning.  My dad grills meat.  Every. Chance. He. Gets.  Every night we were with my parents, Daddy grilled, and every night Jeremy stood outside talking to him.  Jeremy tells me it was about the 3rd night before he finally got up the courage to ask Daddy for my hand in marriage.  My dad's reply, "You can marry my daughter, but if you ever hurt her, I'll kill you."  Permission granted.  I do think that to reinforce the "I'll kill you" promise, Daddy added a little extra cayenne to Jeremy's burger.  Point taken.

We had an early Christmas with my family and then drove out to Arizona in the Honda Accord.  New Mexico is very icy in December.  At one point we slid off the road and spun a lot.  Scary!!!  We got back on the road, and safely made it to Phoenix.  I finally got to meet Jeanene.  I'm not sure she liked me at first.  I think most of it had to do with the fact that she hadn't met me before and Jeremy was going to marry me. (I think I've grown on her through the years.)  We spent a little time in Phoenix before flying to Minnesota to be with Ranae's side of the family.  Again I was amazed at this gracious, kind and loving family.  They took me in like I was their own. I remember sitting at the dinner table and Grandpa Hofer coming behind me and squeezing my shoulders.  With a smile on his face he called me his new grand daughter. I felt so welcomed and hoped that would one day be true.

The next day we all went to church in the morning and then went tubing in the snow.  That evening, several family members mentioned that maybe Jeremy & I would like to go out to dinner, just the two of us.  I was having so much fun with the family that I didn't want to miss out spending time with them.  I had no idea that Jeremy had been planning this very day for MONTHS!  I dressed in a black velvet dress, and Jeremy's Aunt Pam let me wear her beautiful mink coat.  Just before we left we played a quick game of Spanish Race Horses in which Uncle Kevin had the honor of being "Ar'ted".  We took Rachelle's car to dinner at Kincaid's.  We had a seat by a window and could see the snow falling outside.  Absolutely beautiful!  I don't remember what we ate, but I remember Jeremy getting a phone call from the family.  He said it was something about a movie they were going to watch or something.  We finished our meal and began to walk out to the car where a limousine was waiting.  I remarked, "Wow!  Some girl is pretty lucky!"  Jeremy told me to get in.  The sound teenage girls make at a Jonas or Justin Bieber concert?  That was the sound in my head right then. 

We drove around Minneapolis and looked at Christmas lights adorning some amazing homes.  In one particularly stunning neighborhood we came across a Santa Claus walking down the center of the street.  He was walking like a drunk and asked our driver if he could have a ride.  This small town girl was scared!  What in the world was a drunk Santa doing stopping our car and asking for a ride?!  The driver told him he'd have to ask us so Jeremy started rolling down the window.  I learned later I was supposed to get out of the car, but I was so nervous I nearly pushed Jeremy out the opposite side of the car trying to stay as far away from Santa as I could!  He offered us his very last present if we would only give him a ride.  Jeremy finally talked me into at least checking out the gift.  Inside was an engagement ring.  Jeremy got down on one knee in the limo and asked me to be his wife.   In case you haven't figured it out, I said "YES!"  As we drove back to Pam & Randy's house we called my parents and shared the good news.

When we arrived, everyone acted as if they had no idea what had occurred.  I showed off my ring and they all acted surprised.  I guess we had left Santa on the curb after we got the ring because he started knocking on the back door while we were telling the story.  I didn't realize it, but "Santa" was really Jeremy's Uncle Kevin, whom I had just met that morning at church!  After Santa arrived, they asked if we wanted to watch a movie.  These sneaky folks had been video taping the ENTIRE EVENING!  We watched footage of us getting into the limo and of the whole escapade with Santa!  They'd been watching from a mini-van on the side of the street the whole time!

I'm not sure what ever happened to the video, but this has to be one of my favorite memories of all time.  I knew from the start that this was going to be a wonderful family belong to.  I know the future husbands of Zion & Zoan are going to have a lot to live up to, as Jeremy has set the bar high for our daughters expectations, and our son is learning how to respect and honor a woman from a pro!

It's been 11 1/2 years since that proposal and every moment has been more wonderful than the last.  Jeremy and I just celebrated our 11th anniversary this past weekend.  I think the quote from Dr. Seuss says it best.  "You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams."





Thursday, June 16, 2011

More about us...

The spring semester flew by.  We went on lots of group dates, ate lots of breakfasts together and grew more and more fond of each other.   One conversation that stood out to me was when Jeremy asked me, "if I could be any animal, what would I be?"  My first choice was a white tiger and my second, a black panther.  His choices were an eagle and a wolf.  Apparently it was some psychology quiz where your choices represent something else.  The first choice is how you perceive yourself and the second represented what traits you would want in a mate.

We celebrated our birthdays in April.  I gave him a stuffed wolf. (wink, wink)  He gave me a leather journal he had made himself.  Loved it, wrote in it often, filled it with stories of our days together and what God was speaking in my life at that time. 

We were both planning our internships for the summer, he with his dad in Phoenix, and I in Colorado with my uncle.  Before the summer began, I flew out to Phoenix.  The days I spent there were so full!  We went to a baseball game, jet skied at the lake, went to church, and I loved every minute!  I remember thinking, "How did I get this blessed? This family is amazing!" 

The only glitch was trying to get Elwin to understand what I was saying.  My Texas accent was still pretty thick and trying to explain that my dad worked in the oil field proved very difficult.  Elwin, "What does your dad do?"  Me, "He works in the 'ol' field." Elwin, "What is that?"  Me, "You know, the 'ol' field."  I finally resorted to spelling.  "O I L,  he works in the 'ol field."  It took me a while, but I finally learned to say "oy ill".

In July he came to visit me in Colorado.  We had a great time and he met more of my extended family.  They approved and teased me incessantly.

We emailed every day, sometimes several times a day.  We didn't know it at the time, but we had each printed off every email we received.  He was better than I and printed off all that he sent and received!  We still have those emails in sequential order in our file cabinet.  I need to have them bound in a book so they will keep forever.  I still get a laugh when I read back to some of the things we shared. I still have all the snail mail we sent that summer as well.  Maybe someday the Mack Pack will want to read all the mushy letters of their parents.  If not, that's okay, I still get all tingly when I read my letters from Jeremy.  (Happy sigh)

We came back to SAGU in the Fall and continued to fall in love with each other, still not having uttered the words.  Oh, and the first time we held hands....briefly in the airport as I was heading back to Oklahoma after meeting his parents.