Monday, March 20, 2017

From Frumpy to Fabulous Farmhouse

Last summer and fall, my daughter, her husband, and a builder friend renovated an early 1930's farmhouse next door to their church and transformed it into a youth house, "The Mustard Seed".

The house has undergone two renovations. Here is the house before the first renovation. Over the years, the "picture windows" and the "colonial" front door with sidelights and semi-circular fanlight were added, as well as fake shutters and a makeshift connection between the home and an added-on two-car garage.
And here is the home after the first renovation.

In the current restoration, four-over-four style windows appropriate to the style and age of the home were chosen to replace the ground floor picture windows and uneven-sized windows on the second floor.

Skinny front porch posts were replaced with beefy square columns.

The crumbling front porch floor...

 and steps 
were rebuilt.

A pair of refurbished doors replaced the "colonial" front door, semicircular fanlight and sidelights.

The makeshift connection between the added-on garage and the original farmhouse was torn out leaving a covered passage.

Outdated shiny brass door details and light fixtures were exchanged for...

black, size-appropriate light fixtures and mailbox.

Two black porch swings replaced an out-of-date glider.

As the exterior of the house was getting a facelift, the grounds were getting a makeover, too.

Over-grown bushes were torn out. Wheelbarrow loads of top-soil and mulch were added.

Reclaimed bricks were laid to outline the beds.

The Mustard Seed also got a coat of white paint (Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore).

The broken up driveway was repaved and a brick lined sidewalk was added up to the new front steps.

Large stone pavers were laid in gravel to lead visitors to the backyard.

Where there were once an assortment of chairs and makeshift log seats, now black rockers welcome teens to gather around the fire pit.

What a transformation! My next couple posts will give readers a peek inside at the metamorphosis to the main floor and upstairs. The interior is just as amazing.  

Parents of teens in this community are hopeful that wholesome friendships forged under the supervision of godly adults at The Mustard Seed will prevent the scourge of teen drug addictions sweeping our country. You can listen to a podcast by the pastor on the church's vision for youth in suburban Kansas City  (

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Simple Spring Wreathe

My youngest daughter made this cute Spring wreathe that would be easy to copy.  Even a non-DIYers can tie an adorable straw Easter bunny to a grapevine wreathe and add a grosgrain ribbon!

The bunny is on sale now at Jo-Ann's, and there are great coupons. 
Order on-line:  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Galentine Party

On Saturday, just three days before Valentine's Day, my young and dynamic friend, Julia, hosted a "galentine" brunch.

The amazing turnout of about a dozen a young girls, 

their mothers,

plus a few of us "mature" women proved the value women place on friendship!  

 There was a vast variety of food:

peach-mozerlla skewers
chocolate crumb muffins
pear almond tarts
pear crumble coffee cake
Italian Frittata
Zuchini Rawls
and a whole array of desserts
 The food was amazing, but the time spent chatting with women was the highlight. I hope some of you will pick up on this idea and invite women of all ages for your own "galentine" party next year!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

January Tea Party for a Little Lady

Words are not needed to capture this birthday tea party. Pictures say it all.