January 2015 – A Month in Review

Ahhh, the start of the new year.  I always get such a bug to clean, organize and purge. And one of the first things I do is take down all the Christmas stuff as fast as I can.  I tend to put it up early but I’m itching to take it down January 1st and in fact that’s what I typically do on New Year’s Day.  This year Olivia was having a little trouble letting go of her Christmas tree.  In years past I have let her keep it up as long as she wanted but this year we thought we’d turn it into a Valentine’s tree.  Why not and it’s good for another month and a half!


I tend to watch TV in the basement a lot during the winter.  I find it kind of like hibernating.  It’s kind of funny that you’ll never find me down there in the summer.  These two are my TV watching buddies.  But all they do is usually sleep!


This cracked me up so I had to take a picture.  This kid is just like me.  Hats all winter long whether you are indoors or out.  We even sometimes sleep in them.  She taking after my very weird habit!


These two!


I have no idea why I took this picture but looking back it makes me smile.


Here is Miss Molly trying to get the message out with her snazzy bandana…SHOP SMALL!


Just Livy and I playing with glow bracelets in the dark.  What else are you going to do in January?!


I just love this curled up, covered nose thing Molly does.  She looks so darn cute!  I hear this is a husky thing….covering their noses to keep warm.


Check out this lovely gift from Michigan Awesome.  I love that we have built such a great relationship with such an wonderful company!  And that nut mix was to die for by the way.


This was too funny.  I accidentally left Molly downstairs and she was making sure to let me know!


Ending the month with some pretty flowers.  I gotta have fresh flowers during the winter, it helps me survive!


Kitchen Cabinet Project!

So I decided to re-paint my kitchen cabinets, something I said I’d never do again after the last time!  But they were showing a little wear and I wanted them a little updated.  Back when I did them the first time 8-9 years ago, they didn’t have all the cool paint products that they do now.  I was initially going to use chalk paint until I went into a local store that carried paint that behaves like chalk paint as far as ease of use but holds up much better!  After getting educated a bit I decided to use a product called Paint Couture.  And set out to pick my colors from the samples given.


It didn’t take me long to pick out what I wanted and decided on two different colors for the uppers and lowers.  I brought my paint home and was ready to go!


Here is a little reminder of what the kitchen used to look like….


So I started with the lowers because I was dying to try out the new darker color.  At this point I became a little nervous about it being too dark.  But a quick picture text to my two design friends put me at ease enough to keep going!


After one coat on part of the kitchen I could already tell I was going to love it!


After finally getting 2-3 coats on everything, it was time for the glaze.  And then my big oopsy happened and I went flying back to the store in a panic.  They forgot to tell me that i needed to do a coat of lacquer BEFORE doing the glaze or it soaks in too much.  Thankfully that solved the problem because I didn’t want everything looking like this hot mess!


I had to take one last picture of my Disney table before painting over it.  Loved this thing but it doesn’t match anymore.  I even tried to re-create it but it wasn’t working with the new colors.


After much messing around with the glaze I finally got a section of the lowers done and the hardware on.  LOVE!


And here is the final kitchen.  I’m quite happy with it.  It just looks a bit more updated and this fancy paint should hold up much better!  I highly recommend it.  Once I learned how to use it and worked the kinks out, it’s pretty awesome stuff!


Now, I have the bug!  What else can I paint?!

Fendi – 2014!

Another holiday season full of Fendi’s antics!  Here are all the fun things he was up to the month of December!

He arrived on 12/1 with some decorations and a nice note for Olivia.


Then he had all kinds of adventures and even brought a few little gifts!


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On Christmas Eve he brought her a gingerbread house.  She loves when the magic is lifted on and she can touch him and say goodbye!


Until next year our Yuletide friend!

Christmas 2014

Christmas has come again! One fun tradition we started a few years ago was Christmas Eve church with my two best friends and their families. None of us ever had big Christmas Eve plans, everything was Christmas Day, so we started going to church together. It’s turned into an annual tradition. Liv and I getting ready to go…


The three of us typically have a nice dinner at home after church and the tradition has been crab legs the past few years.  YUM!  After that we usually watch a Christmas movie and hit the hay so Santa can come.  Which is of course when the real work begins!  I do think we have the pets all set!


Bill and I open our gifts on Christmas Eve, another tradition we started after having Olivia. Her gifts are the only ones under the tree on Christmas Day so this is the nice, tidy calm before the storm!  The weeks of shopping and wrapping are complete.


Good morning!  Time to open presents!


I will spare you the million pictures I took of present opening and just share a couple!



Molly REALLY wanted her presents!


After the fun at our house it was time to head to Pani’s house for the day!  Whose gonna clean this up?!


Oh look, more presents!  :)


Grandma and her girls!


My mom started a tradition several years ago of family gifts.  The Galganskis and the Denhofs always get some sort of fun family gift.  Years past have been things like gym memberships, an RV rental and camping trip, Cedar Point Trip, a weekend in Detroit and Tigers game.  Always awesome stuff we can do as a family.  Sometimes there are clues involved as we try and guess.  Here we are trying to figure out what this gift is all about!


Hmmmm, we still aren’t sure!


We put the clues together and figured it out!  A trip to Mackinaw Island complete with dining and bike rentals!  Boy, do I have a pretty awesome mom!  ♥


Some more present opening with Meg and her new headband!


And Suzie-Q got the Thal’s box this year.  A box that has been passed around for YEARS!  The receiver has to give a gift in the box the next year!


Mom and Craig taking a festive picture in their Santa hats.  We were lucky to have Craig join our celebration this year since he is usually out of town.


Just a Molly & me selfie.  She was a good girl at grandma’s house!


Last but not least, the ladies in our matching hats!


I do have a couple more pictures and these are from the Denhof Christmas.  We were the hosts this year.  Hear are the little kids getting their gifts.  We separated them from the teens this year and did a fun game with the older kids.  Wish I’d taken a picture of that!  It was pretty funny!


And then after everyone left, Olivia got to open her presents from Aunt Anne. ♥


Another fun and blessed Christmas with family.  What could be better than that?

December 2014 – A Month in Review

Just a quick overview of this month excluding Christmas because it’s a post in itself!  The first fun thing to happen this month was Olivia bringing home the class ”pet”!  Thankfully it’s not alive.  It’s a little plastic monster named Spike.  And he had to do everything with us all weekend!


I got the upstairs tree up pretty quick this year!


Just a random picture of Molly begging.  Pretty much a constant around here.


Olivia’s class did a holiday play this year.  A Wish to be a Christmas Tree.  It was adorable!


Another random pet photo (Frankster).  I think I took a lot of random photos this month due to getting a new phone.  Testing out the camera!


So the way Christmas fell this year, Olivia had several days off before Christmas and it was great.  We had a lot of time to do fun things that we otherwise couldn’t fit in!  We watched a lot of Christmas movies together!


We took a long trip out in the middle of nowhere to see the house with 100 inflatables!  It was actually pretty cool to see!


We also had time to make lots of cookies!


I did a lot of wrapping of course.  I hope everyone thinks my gift tags are as cool as I do!


Having Liv home also means messes that appear out of nowhere.  Like this one shortly after she promised to keep her room clean….


This year Molly decided to give a gift to our mail lady since she has treated Molly so good this year!


One last thing we had time to do right before Christmas was make a gingerbread house!  It was pretty fun and I was surprised how cute it turned out!


One last picture……Molly enjoying sleeping with her new friends!


Now on to Christmas…….

Olivia’s Birthday Trip to Chicago!

We had to postpone Olivia’s birthday trip until Bill felt better but that was OK, it gave us something to look forward to!  It was our first time taking the train to Chicago and now that we have done it I don’t think I’d go any other way.  Olivia was mesmerized for quite a while just watching out the window.


This guy did a lot of snoozing…..


Train selfie :)


Liv loved our view from the hotel.


First thing we did was get some lunch and Rainforest Cafe was the birthday girl’s pick!


Then the rest of the afternoon was spent shopping on Michigan Avenue with the highlight of course being the American Girl Store!


A picture with our new friend back at the hotel.


The view at night was so pretty but the fog cut off the tops of all the tall buildings.  The most shocking thing was when it started getting dark around 3:30-4.  I’ve never been in Chicago this time of year before so I never thought about just how early it gets dark in the early days of Winter.


We spent our second day at the Museum of Science and Industry.  What a cool place. I hadn’t been there since I was in middle school.  And it just so happened they had a Disney exhibit while we were there.  It could not be more perfect for us!


Our favorite Disney ride…..well one of them anyway!


They had a lot of very cool original costumes from Disney movies.  Our favorites were Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean and Santa’s costume from The Santa Claus.


Cinderella’s Castle made out of Legos…


Walt and his awards and honors….


Then we hit the rest of the museum and learned all about farming, space exploration and all kinds of cool stuff!




There were so many awesome Christmas trees too!


It was a great weekend and I think Chicago is one of Olivia’s new favorite places!  Happy 9th birthday to my sweet girl!

November 2014 – A Month in Review

We started out this month with a fun birthday celebration at a neighbor’s house.  As we were chatting she came to the realization that I’d never seen her ”shoe wall”.  To say I was curious would be an understatement.  I had to share the photo.  It was as wonderful as I imagined it would be!


My Christmas cactus started blooming this month!  I started calling it a Thanksgiving cactus since it was in full bloom right around then.  Then I stumbled upon this article by a botanical expert only to find out that it actually IS a Thanksgiving cactus and that most Christmas cactuses sold in the United States are technically Thanksgiving cactuses. Just a bit of trivia for you that I found very interesting!


Here is Livy writing me a bit of poetry one night.  She wrote a poem called ”Why You Shouldn’t Watch Honey Boo Boo”.  I could not stop laughing.  She has no idea just how on point she is!


I just had to take a quick picture of this bathroom art I put up in Olivia’s bathroom, it’s so cute!


So there were not too many photos in the middle of this month due to another health crisis at the Denhof house.  We’ve figured out we are just going to have one major one each year as seems to be our trend.  And it seems to alternate between the two of us!  Long story short, after collapsing in an airport it was discovered that Bill had a virus attacking his inner ear causing him to be very ill.  It was two rough weeks and then gradual recovery but he has made it.  During that time, my duties as nurse were complicated by the vast number of prescriptions!!


Just a picture of the pets getting ready to rumble.


It was Olivia’s 9th birthday this month!  We planned a big trip to Chicago and to the American Girl Store only to have to postpone due to Bill’s illness.  I felt so bad to top it off I had the flu on her birthday.  We still made it as fun as we could with a trip to Toys R Us and cake and ice cream with Pani and Craig.  Pani did her usual Zehnder’s cake.  She asked if they could do a Minecraft cake and they said no problem, they’d done plenty.  After picking it up she called me in a panic fearing it was the ugliest cake she’d ever seen!  I assured her that Minecraft is indeed ugly and Olivia would love it……..which she did!

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I love this picture of Olivia sleeping in her hat.  We were under a high wind warning and it was just nuts outside.  She was having trouble falling asleep but apparently this helped her cope!


One thing I find very strange is I have not one picture of Thanksgiving!  Not one!  I am guessing it was because of dealing with Bill and everything but we still had a great Thanksgiving hosted at my house as usual but I have no idea where the camera was!  So I will round out this month with a picture of Liv’s little tree.  We always kick off our holiday decorating with her little pink tree!