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Don't forget to make some memories!

Decorated Memories

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, Making Your House a Home | 0 comments

Preparing our homes for Christmas is fun and at times a bit overwhelming. With our long to-do lists and the many details each item demands, it’s easy to forget the true reason for the season. So as we rush to place baby Jesus in the manger: let’s linger, share memories, and relish the precious gift of eternal salvation through Christ’s birth more than 2,000 years ago. What an honor it is to gather around the Nativity and talk about how God’s past decision to send His only Son into the world makes our present joys and our future ones complete. As you gather, ask each family member to share what Christ’s manger means to them. In doing this, you’ll be decorating your home, and the hearts of those who mean most to you, with the sweetest of memories. Memories...

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Celebrating Autumn

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, Making Your House a Home | 0 comments

Thanks to some unexpected garage-sale finds, I was able to create a beautiful fall “wreath” for a grand total of $1.75. If you are fortunate to live in the country or somewhere you can gather a handful of nature’s fall bounty, you may be able to do the same for a little bit of nothing. Searching for seed pods and colorful grasses and leaves would be a wonderful treasure hunt for the children in your life. (Just be sure to supervise so no one gathers an armload of poison ivy or poison oak!) My finds—a large, square, woven tobacco basket, a garland of fall leaves, and two packages of dried fall seedpods/grasses/reeds—seemed to be made for each other. The grasses and reeds were crumbling and possibly buggy, but for only a quarter a package, I didn’t mind throwing away...

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The Magic of Mirrors

Posted by on Sep 1, 2016 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, Making Your House a Home | 0 comments

When I was a child, one of my favorite, most fascinating activities was to walk around with a hand mirror held just under my eyes so that the ceiling became the floor, and the rooms in our house were turned upside down. Yes, I bumped into my fair share of furniture and stubbed my toes more than once, but that didn’t stop me from playing “the mirror game.” I loved the way a mirror seemed to turn everything upside down and backwards, and how it could make a room seem twice as big and the light from a window twice as bright. And how if you looked in a mirror at yourself looking in another mirror, it multiplied the image to infinity. It was almost magical! When it comes to decorating, mirrors can still work “magic.” There is no...

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Scones for Breakfast (or any time!)

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, Making Your House a Home | 1 comment

My great-grandparents came over on a ship from England and settled in Kansas, so maybe it’s no surprise that one of our favorite breakfast treats at the Raney house is scones. However, this English pastry wasn’t even on my radar until a few years ago, but now we make them often, for company or just because. Here’s the recipe I’ve revised from several English scone recipes to suit our American taste. Real English scones aren’t quite as sweet and generally aren’t frosted, but instead are served with clotted cream and jam. You can decrease the sugar and leave off the icing for a more true English scone. But these are our favorites! Scones are a great treat to make with children because there are several tasks that can be doled out: cutting the butter into the dry ingredients with...

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The Magic of a Little Paint

Posted by on Jul 7, 2016 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, Making Your House a Home | 0 comments

I’m a firm believer in the power of paint! Paint is something that can make a big difference for a small investment, so even a family on a tight budget can make their house bright, cheery, and personal, with just a little paint. Paint often goes on sale at home improvement stores, but I’ve also found nearly full cans of paint at garage sales and on the “oops” rack at Home Depot (where people return custom-mixed colors that didn’t work for them). You can also create a new paint color simply by mixing two or more colors and stirring well. And spray paint is only a few dollars a can at any department store. You don’t have to paint the entire room to get the pop of energy paint offers. It’s possible that one accent wall is all you’ll need...

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A Little Birdie Told Me!

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, Making Your House a Home | 2 comments

Shortly after we planted our flower pots this spring, a pair of robins decided the hanging basket of begonias and caladiums on the front porch looked like a very nice place to build their nest. I admit I was a little frustrated that the nest displaced the prettiest caladium leaves, mashed down the begonias, and made it hard to water the basket but avoid getting the nest wet. Oh, how glad I am that I decided to let that nest stay! After only a few days, the robins rewarded us with this… And then this… And finally this! It reminded me of the many nests I discovered growing up on the farm, and those I watched with our children when they were small. Those robins have been so much fun to observe, and they’ve taught us so much. Here...

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