DIY Project

We bought this church pew quite a few years ago off of Craig’s List, and it was a great addition to the mud room at the farm.

I was very thankful when we fell in love with Twin Oaks that I knew right away there was a spot for the pew here too!

Even before we left the farm, I had a plan in my head to bring life back into this pew.

The guys sanded some spots on it for me a few weeks ago – areas where a certain cute puppy had chewed on it.

This past Saturday I did not have a lot of kitchen work (WHAT?), and figured I would have enough time to complete this project in one weekend.

Thankfully, Grant helped me with the painting part!

This was the first time I have ever used Annie Sloan chalk paint, and now I AM HOOKED.

We washed the bench with dish soap and water, dried it thoroughly, and the first coat of paint was on in no time!

This paint is pricey ($32, I think, for that small can above), but you get what you pay for!

It had no odor and very low VOC’s.

We only used half of the can of graphite colored paint to complete this whole project – so this paint goes a long way.

It only took about one hour for the first coat to dry.

We waited a bit longer than that and then applied the second coat.

Once the second coat dried, we decided the seat of the bench was the only area that needed a third coat.

We did that the next day.

After painting the seat again, I took some sand paper and did some light distressing.

I wanted to keep the distressing subtle, and I even painted back over one area that I had distressed across the top of the bench and did not like.

After I finished distressing it, I applied a coat of clear glaze.

It was easy too!

I added a second coat of glaze to the seat of the bench.

After it dried, I buffed it one more time – kind of like waxing a car.

Addie Mae and I have now been eyeing up our old beat up kitchen table and chairs.

I do have a full can of white Annie Sloan paint too.


There’s also that buffet downstairs.

Spring better get here quick, or I might go a little crazy painting things!

The finished bench looks just like the picture I had in my head!

I, of course, am envisioning the bench with the furniture we are about to buy for this room as well!

It looks even better with the furniture!

Stay tuned – Lord willing I will be able to show you it all together sooner than later!

The Year of the Dog

We have two very precious reasons to celebrate Chinese New Year!

Tate and Eliza!

We do, however, enjoy putting our own spin on it!

There are many traditions in China related to this holiday – most of them based on getting rid of evil spirits and bringing new luck to your family.

Also, each year is assigned a Chinese Zodiac, which rotates through a twelve year cycle.

This year is the celebration of the dog, which represents loyalty and honesty.

We enjoy sharing the littles heritage with them, just like we have with Grant all of these years.

This celebration gives us a great opportunity to talk about things like luck, evil spirits, and most importantly – Jesus.

Although China celebrates Chinese New Year for fifteen days, the calendar showed the actual Chinese New Year this year as Friday, February 16th.

We decided to celebrate this past Sunday evening.

It was super fun getting everything ready!

We had two very excited kiddos!

Illness was keeping us separated from our favorite people again, but we decided to go ahead with our celebration because this coming weekend we will be celebrating Grant’s day with another delicious Asian party!

I think these recipes need to be on our regular rotation!

Especially those cupcakes!!

We got out all of the chopsticks that we bought while in China, and I have to say I really enjoyed using them and only turned to my fork to get the last two bites off of my plate!

Instead of following the Chinese tradition of filling a red envelope with some money as a gift to represent prosperity, we bought some red bags and filled them with candy for the kiddos.

I guess I don’t need to say they enjoyed and are still enjoying their bags of candy!

The food was delicious, Tate and Eliza felt special, the conversations were deep and good, and even though we were missing our favorite people, Eliza did say we were having a “big circle day!”

Chinese New Year 2018 – you were a hit!

The Grands

I guess it goes without saying that spending time with my grand babies is about the best thing ever.

They are SO fun!

And terrible cute!

We love to go to River’s Place for lunch and a play date.

We are so thankful that these precious people live five minutes up the road!!

Spring will be here before long, and I bet our visits to each other become more frequent with better weather…because today our neck of the woods is covered in ICE!

This season of life is JUST THE BEST.

I love being NaiNai!!!

Sledding at Twin Oaks

We all were so happy to finally have quite a bit of snow here at Twin Oaks!

Snow is even better when the temperatures stay above zero so the kiddos can go out to play in it!

The boys worked hard at building a great sledding hill in our backyard, and enjoyed it for many days before the snow finally melted.

Grant even joined them one afternoon and would give them a great big push off the top of that hill!

The snow also brought lots of birds to our feeder.

We all love watching them – but especially me!

The views off the deck are so beautiful.

We have had some warm temperatures as of late, and all that snow is gone!

I know we should be wishing for spring by now, but I think some more snow would be OK too.

It just seems like winter wasn’t very wintery!

Hope you all got to enjoy some of the beauty of winter this year too!