one from the archives :: three boys in the tub {2011}

Throwing it back to 2011. The boys trying out our new claw foot tub, shortly after moving into our new house in Germany. threeboysinatub2011

Even now they enjoy taking baths together. Usually only two at a time since they are bigger. When they finish and are all clean, the floor is flooded with water from practicing swimming techniques and water fights that break out. I take a deep breathe and think to myself, “That’s one way to get the floor washed!” Ah, these fleeting childhood rituals.



make it monday :: mod podged map chairs

On the long list of my favorite things about living in Germany is something called Sperrmüll tage or what we Americans overseas call junking day. Twice a year in each village people can put unwanted household items that won’t fit into their regular trash out on the curb. Over the years, I have decorated our home with many items found on junking days. Some of my favorite things are those I picked up on the side of the road, took home and cleaned up. I take the old saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” literally!

Last fall, I picked up these two old school chairs on the side of the road with the intention of using them in the garden. They sat in our garage until just a few weeks ago when I got the idea to use them for a project I’ve been wanting to do.
I pulled out my old Rand McNally road atlas, tore out a few pages pages and gathered the following supplies.
{1}Mod Podge Matte Finish {2}Poly-sponge Brushes {3}Fine Steel Wool {4}Krylon Dual White Paint+Primer Flat Finish

After cleaning the chairs and letting them dry in the sun, I taped off the seats and sprayed them with an even coat of paint+primer. It took a can of paint for each chair to achieve full coverage.

I then cut the atlas map pages to fit the seat of each chair. Using a sponge brush I painted a thin layer of mod podge on the chair seat. Starting from one corner of the map, I carefully placed it on the chair seat and smoothed it down as I went to avoid air pockets. This step takes a bit of patience as the mod podge will dry fairly quickly and you really want to be sure you have the map placed as you’d like it so you do not have to reposition it.

After placing maps on both chair seats, I applied another thin layer of mod podge on top of the map to form a sealant layer. Be sure to move your brush in the same direction and try not to leave any excess mod podge. This will avoid being able to see brush strokes when it has dried.

I then took my fine grade steel wool and lightly sanded the edges and random surfaces of the chair to give it an weathered look. The last step was to give a light sanding to each chair seat to remove any cloudy spots or obvious brush strokes and give the seats a smooth finish.



This is a fairly inexpensive project when you have most of the items on hand as I did.

My out of pocket cost for this project ::
Two school chairs :: FREE
Rand McNally Large Scale Road Atlas :: Had on hand {found in a book store approx. $14.00}
Mod Podge Matte Finish :: Had on hand {found in a craft store, 4oz. bottle cost approx. $5.50}
Poly-sponge Brush :: Had on hand {found in a craft store, 3 pack approx. $2.49}
Fine Steel Wool :: Had on hand {found in a hardware store, 12 pack approx. $4.00}
Krylon Dual Paint+Primer Flat Finish :: purchased in hardware store, 12oz can approx. $8.00

DSC_0507:: O-H-I-O ::


Giving these old chairs a fresh look and personalizing them to our family with maps of the states that we are originally from was an easy afternoon project. I am very happy with how they turned out. They will look great in our craft room!



Andy’s 7th birthday party

The boys were out of school yesterday and today for the German holiday, Christi Himmelfahrt known in English as Ascension Day.   It is celebrated on the 40th day after Easter Monday.  The name comes from the New Testament, where it is described how Jesus ascended to heaven having shown himself to his apostles 40 days after the resurrection.  The Germans also celebrate Vatertag – Father’s Day on this day.

With a break in the regular shuttling of the boys here and there, I had some time to go through the photos we took at Andy’s birthday party last weekend.  Andy invited 6 friends from school, nine boys in total makes for a rambunctious group!  We played games, ate yummy food and celebrated our Andy.  He received lovely gifts and thanked everyone with a hug.  This sweet boy of ours is all heart and soul.

Thanks to everyone who sent gifts and birthday wishes.  You helped make his day extra special and we truly appreciate your thoughtfulness.

I hope you enjoy this short slideshow I put together to share with you.




video rewind :: alex & andy SO BIG!!! {may 14, 2009}

Video rewind to a few days after Andy’s 1st birthday.  Ema & Epa were visiting us in Brussels.  We were getting ready to celebrate Ema’s birthday.

Sending our Happy Birthday wishes and love to Ema today.  We miss you SO much!



this moment :: 8 may

I just keep falling in love… ARIThisMoment8May

We’ve got a celebratory weekend ahead of us. Starting with Andy’s birthday party with friends tomorrow. On Sunday we will celebrate a special Mother’s Day as it falls on Andy’s birthday this year! Steak, cake, and gifts!!

Wishing a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend to all the nurturing, amazing women I am blessed with having in my life.



{joining :: soulemama}

this moment :: 1 may


We wrapped up another swim session yesterday.  Each session consists of eight classes given for an hour three times a week.  Parents are not allowed in the pool area during class.  The last day of the session is reserved as a ‘show’ day.  On that day, we can go in the pool area and watch the class to see progress made.

I always well up with pride when I see how dedicated and how hard the boys are working at becoming better swimmers. Ari, especially, looks to his big brothers for encouragement.  In this photo, Andy is cheering him on.

Happy May Day!  Wishing you all a lovely weekend.



{joining :: soulemama}