new room

I have been wanting to paint the house, the whole inside as well as all the yucky honey brown trim & doors, for over 2 years. It felt like such an overwhelming project, and seemed like it needed to be done all at once because one thing led to another thing looking bad:(. My dear friend Kelly agreed to help, apparently there are people out there who actually enjoy painting, another year past, I still couldn’t pull the trigger. Finally, with Mari’s graduation party looming near (little did I know), I had the motivation I needed. Another friend (interior decorator background) came with her Sherwin Williams paint samples and helped pick out the colors, which I then ammended a bit with help from my BIL & SIL Rob & Pam because Mari couldn’t handle an all gray house:(. Mari & I chose teal (Intense Teal #6943) to accent. I decided to just go for it. And, as long as we were painting the trim, figured we’d start with repainting the built ins. Funny story there … my Dad originally painted them 12 years ago, I guess they were hard to paint and I told him after he finished that it looks like they could use a 2nd coat. His response “you know when they can get a 2nd coat … in about 10 years”.

The teal is pretty bold, but Mari & I LOVE it!

happy birthday mari

As with all birthdays right now, not the way we planned to celebrate an 18th birthday (we were actually going to do an Improv party) but we are so very thankful for technology to still celebrate.

Mari is all set up to receive her Zoom calls, we set up 4 friend call meetings on the hour from 1-5pm, they all went the full hour! And, then had a family Zoom party. I am thankful that for maybe the first time ever, we thought in advance and didn’t wait until the last minute to purchase gift(s). So, she actually had a couple of things to open … and 1 was even a surprise (the Broadway puzzle)!

Tobin made her a salted caramel cake that was delicious! And, we ended the day with Apples to Apples and Frozen.

This girl is a joy to my heart! God is growing her up so beautifully:)

Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones

Proverbs 15:30


Saturday we continued our games in alpha order with Battleship, had to make it a bracket tournament since it’s a 2 player game. Ez won.

We’ve been watching Lego Masters, amazing! So, we had a Lego challenge for the kids, they had 1 hour and the theme was “fantasy”. Mari won this one (I know some of you are thinking, is everything in our house a contest … the answer, often but not always).

It’s hard to tell but that is Rapunzel with her golden hair hanging from her tower.

We also did some painting the last few days, that will be in the next post:)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

happy birthday kelly

We celebrated Kelly on Monday, it was a big one, 50 . We weren’t planning a party, he didn’t want one but we were at least going to go out to dinner, not in the cards in our current quarantined state.

I invited our family to a virtual party … it was great, we had relatives from Chicago, Grand Rapids, Nashville, Traverse City, Phoenix, St. Johns & local, we never would have had that many at an actual party. It was really nice to connect with everyone.
Tobin & I made a flourless chocolate cake that was delicious!
To wrap up the evening, Kelly started playing guitar (as he often likes to do)
which always draw in Mari to sing
… the big surprise was Tobin joining in on the piano, harmonizing & playing chords!

So very thankful to God for this man that I get to do life with:)

I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing Your praise before the heavenly beings. Psalm 138:1

sunny day

Trying to take advantage of the sun yesterday … I think we have rain for the next couple days. Mari is drawing on the deck

these boys, they often don’t get along as I wish but especially right now, I’m thankful they have each other.

and much to my sadness, they would all rather be inside playing on or watching a screen … I believe so much in the benefits of “outdoors” that it’s worth the effort (really battle).

Be strong & courageous, do not be afraid, for the LORD your God is with you, He will never leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

PS we have a song to that verse if anyone wants to hear/learn it:)

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Ezra Kids Mari Tobin