Decorating for Christmas

Vivian helping with the lights. She's a good helper.

Its kinda hard to decorate for Christmas when half of your kitchen is in the dining room and the other half is on your back porch.  Nevertheless, we are trying to muster up some Christmas spirit in the Warren house.  I type this as I hear hammering in the kitchen as the new floor is going down.  Hopefully, after all the dust settles, and most of the items are returned to their rightful places, Viv and I can finish our decorating in preparation of opening our home this weekend to family who are coming.

Vivian knows that right after Thanksgiving, we decorate for Christmas.  This is her absolute favorite time of the year.  She always bugs me the whole week of Thanksgiving, perpetually asking “When are we going to decorate for Christmas?”  It was no different this year.  We finally pulled out the tree…even in the midst of the kitchen remodel, and got it ready for decorations.

Vivian’s friends came over and helped her decorate the tree in her room.

They did a wonderful job.  It looks beautiful!  When I clean up all of the construction dust and put things to rights, we will take pictures and post them next week.  Hope you are enjoying this wonderful season!


We Even Renovate Barbie Houses!

For Christmas, Vivian asked for a Barbie doll house.  So, Jonathan, my brother with wonderful carpentry skills, volunteered to make her one.  After we got back from Colorado, Jonathan came into town for some R&R and to build the dollhouse.  The morning after he arrived, he and I set out to find supplies to  make the house.  Vivian went to Nana’s house for the weekend to give us some time.  Vivian also wanted a Barbie car and furniture, of course.  So, I asked Jonathan to stop at Goodwill on our way to Target to see if I could find a Barbie car, or things I could use to outfit her house.  Some people would cringe at this thought…not me.  I would prefer to recycle and reuse rather than buy everything new.  I did not find any furniture, but as we were rounding the aisle, lo and behold a pink and white wooden dollhouse exactly like the one Vivian asked for.  I wanted something nice that I would not mind having in the living room.  I did not want anything cardboard or plastic.  I wanted something that would last.

The only thing wrong with it was that it had permanent marker in the attic and was missing its front door.  Steven measured and cut a new front door and outfitted it with a new doorknob.  He also primed and painted over the marker that was in the attic.


We went to Target and bought a dining table, refrigerator and vanity set.  A good friend already gave Vivian the bathroom set.  I could not find any beds, so we made them.  I went to Hobby Lobby and bought unfinished wood pieces and we made the bed and sofa.  I also bought the princess crown wood cut out and some small dowel rods and ends to make curtain rods.  I sewed curtains and made a comforter and pillow set.  I also covered the sofa.  Whew….that was a long evening!  We had to have it all done before Vivian got back from Nana’s house.  If you think making pint sized curtains and comforters would be the worse thing you ever had to do, check out this:

All these little parts to take apart and take out!

Look at all the waste it made!

Here is Jonathan helping place some of the furniture.  He always has a funny sense of humor.  He put the grandpa barbie doll in the smallest room close to the entertainment center so grandpa could see it.  Lol….

What was really funny about Vivian discovering her present from Santa was, when she opened it up, she said “That smells like Kilz!”….hahahahahhaa….we used Kilz to cover the permanent marker.  She is only 5.  Can you tell that she has helped us renovate a house or two!  Hahahahaha……………..

Vivian finding her Santa present


Instead of building a doll house with the supplies Jonathan brought, he turned it into a bookshelf for my room. Yay!!!!  🙂

Thanks Jon!


November, where did you go?

Hello, my name is Andrea.   I thought I should refresh your memory as to who I am since I didn’t manage to write one  post in November!  Oh well.  Lots of things have been going on…houses to be worked on, things to get involved in, holidays to be celebrated! 

Thanksgiving was here at my house.  My mom, dad, brother, sister and nephew came up from New Orleans to help celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.  We ate lots of turkey sandwiches, worked on a very complicated puzzle and played with Skyler.

Yup, he’s a cutie! 

Today, we cleaned out the rent house we have been working on.  We touched up the paint, installed thresholds and worked on the bathroom plumbing.  I think this is where most of our spare time in November was spent….putting the finishing touches on this house.   It seems like it took forever to get this one fixed up, but, when I think about it, we only worked there on Saturdays and, every once in a while, on a weekday evening.  So, when you work at that rate, you don’t go anywhere fast!  I came home today with a huge red pine stain on my arm.  I spilled the stain I was working with and accidentally stuck my arm in it..yuck!  It looks like a really bad spray tan.  This stuff doesn’t come off very easily! I also was using some oil base paint to finish up the baseboards in the master bedroom.  I was covered in paint and stain by the time I called it quits.  I almost felt like I was going to have to put a capful of paint thinner in my bath water in order to get all this junk off!

Every time Steven, Vivian and I walk over to the “little house” as Vivian calls it, people cross the street and go the other way (away from us).  I never thought about it until I took a good look in the mirror before going over there today.  We wear old paint clothes with dried caulk and thirty colors of paint and none of our clothes match.  Meaning, I have on an orange shirt, a blue skirt, pink leggings and whatever jacket I could find.  We must look like the Florence Street hobos when we step out! HA!  Check out this pic if you don’t know what I am talking about.

One of those Florence Avenue hobos

Last night was our church Christmas banquet.  We laughed a lot and had a great time amongst friends.  Before we left for the banquet, we decided to take a family picture for our Christmas card.  Here are some of the pictures.  Steven took some of Vivian while I was getting dressed.  Some are from earlier in the evening when Vivian and I were playing in the snow.

Haha...this has got to be my favorite one!

My family

Good night!


Close to My Heart – Stampaganza!


To all of my scrapbooking and crafty friends out there, November is Stampaganza month at Close to My Heart.  What that means is that if you purchase two sets of Acrylix stamps, you get the third free!  Yay!  I am SUPER excited about this.  It is a great opportunity right before the holiday to pick up gifts and stocking stuffers for your crafty friends.  If anyone is interested in placing an order, please leave a comment.  Click on the link below to view the full details on the flyer.

CTMH Stampaganza!

Merry Christmas!


I woke up this morning singing:

“Come on, ring those bells,
Light the Christmas tree,
Jesus is the king
Born for you and me.
Come on, ring those bells,
Every-body say,
Jesus, we remember
This is your birthday. ”

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Vivian opening her presents this morning.  Steven told her that in celebration of Jesus’ birthday, Santa delivers us all a present.

Vivian opening presents

Vivian 09

Daddy Steven putting everything together (like good daddy’s do):

Christmas 09

And lastly, Vivian wrote Santa and asked him for a purple “buggy” and a brown baby.   This is what she found by the tree this morning:


Last night at Nana’s house:

Nana's House

Vivian & Rayleigh

Warrens 2009

It was really muddy out at Steven’s aunt’s house.  I accidentally closed my hair in the door and, when getting in the car, got mud ALL OVER my skirt.  I had to borrow Nana’s red jammies.