Fall fun

Hi everyone!  Can you believe we’re more than half way through September?

We are back into homeschool full swing, which was a mite painful to the girls this year because we never completely quit school over the summer.  For good reason– last school year we took a week off almost every month, to go to the beach house as it was being built.  So we really needed to keep going with school over the summer to get things accomplished.

After the very first full day of fall school, Julianna declared that we needed donuts as a reward.  I told her we needed to survive at least a week of school before we deserved donuts.  And so that Friday morning on the way home from work,  I stopped at WinCo and grabbed a dozen, much to their delight.  We might survive.

Last week I got a dab of canning done– just some peaches and tomatoes.  I will probably do more tomatoes in the next week too, as our tomatoes are producing really well.

In years past, I canned SO much that I got really burned out.  But doing half a dozen jars at a time is pretty painless.  And I like the idea that when Emily and Julianna help me, they are learning the same skills that our other kids did in our mega-garden days.
Another project I had fun doing was painting and stenciling a little old dresser that we have had ever since Amanda, our oldest, was a baby. Here’s a photo of it a few years back in a different color.

Now with so many kids moved out, the dresser didn’t have a purpose at our house. But we were in need of one more dresser at the beach house,  So once again I pulled out my favorite color of teal paint, which I’ve used as a signature touch of color at the beach house on several other pieces of furniture.

This time, I also incorporated a bit of stenciling, along with some new black pulls on the drawers. Here’s the stencil I chose for the drawers.

The dresser is a very simple one, and I like the way the little black embellishments jazz it up and play off the new pulls.  I hadn’t really stenciled before, but once I figured out that it only takes a TINY bit of pain on the dabber, it all went well.

A final fun touch was a roll of black and white contact paper added to the outsides of the drawers:  just cut, peel, and stick.  Easy and adorable!

(Oh, and the owl stencil down near the floor!  I almost forgot about that.)



I ended up really pleased with the makeover, and I love the idea of more life for this sweet little dresser that spent years in so many of my kids’ bedrooms.

This week we are at the beach, and my daughter Erika and I have been talking about her possibly doing a bit of blogging her.   She is just embarking on the homeschooling adventure with her three little ones ages 2-5, and is interested in an ‘unschooling’ approach.  I am hoping she might find time to write here every now and then, to share more about this twist on homeschooling.  More on this later as we get the details figured out.

I am hoping to write here a bit more myself, as I have missed writing, and would like to do it a little more regularly.  I’d love to hear what you’ve been doing lately also.  Fall projects?  Crafts?  Activities?





  1. i have found your information about how you bottle tomatoes really useful. Having picked more than enough to make as much chutney and some tomato sauce/ketchup as we need for just two of us as well as eating tomatoes in salad. , I remembered what i learn t from you last year. Having only smaller quantities i simply reduced the tomatoes by simmering and poured it into ice cube trays once frozen I tip into freezer bags or boxes which I can then use a little or a lot at a time to add to to recipes

  2. Your dresser is adorable! Great ideas and follow-through!

    I’ve been freezing my garden tomatoes as I always do and caring for our first born, our son we adopted at birth! Projects=survival mode and procrastinating on writing thank you notes!

  3. Super cute dresser make-over, Mary! Which room is it in? I love the little owl on the side too.?

  4. Love the dresser! Our project over the last two years has been foster care….meaning nothing else ever gets done!! LOL

    I’ve missed your writing!

  5. Karen McIntire says:

    Love the dresser, My childhood dresser (50+ yo) is in the basement, and I have the prefect place and ( now inspiration) of how to utilize it !!! Missed you the last few months

  6. Thank you for writing more! 🙂 I love the dresser. So cute! We’re working on some projects here: landscaping, interior painting, and the never-ending task of getting rid of stuff. Ha!