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Don't forget to make some memories!

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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Nothin’ Says Lovin’ Like Somethin’ from the Oven

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, Making Your House a Home | 0 comments

  It’s true. There’s just nothing that makes a house feel more like a home than the delicious scent of something yummy wafting from the oven. The lone, leaning apple tree at our house bloomed recently, and it has me hungry for some of the delicious Apple Crisp we make from those apples each fall.   It will be September before those blossoms turn to apples (assuming the bugs don’t get them first) but a delicious crisp can be just as easily made from grocery store apples (or peaches or pears or…use your imagination!) Our favorite recipe is very simple:  Raney Family Favorite Apple Crisp  4 cups (about 3-4 medium) apples, peeled and sliced thin Mix and pour over apples:  1/4 cup water 2 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. salt Crumble Topping  1 cup sugar 3/4 cup flour 1/4 cup...

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Fur Babies Truly Make a House…Well, Furry

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

If there’s anything that makes a house a home more than a family pet, I don’t know what it is! (And it’s a good opportunity for us to teach our children about responsibility as they care for their pets.) Our pets become almost members of the family, and offer so much love and humor and comfort and joy! They also offer a lot of fur and hair and dander. A lot! We had a sweet black Labrador retriever early in our marriage, and then after our kids starting coming along, we almost always had a cat in the house. One memorable summer, we owned eleven cats! Besides our faithful black cat, Frosty, our youngest daughter started feeding a stray kitty who showed up on our front porch. Biscuit rewarded us by presenting us with a litter of four kittens....

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