The House

Guest Bathroom Update

When we moved to Jacksonville, I used the shower curtain and other items from the boy’s bathroom update from 2012 as shown below for our guest bathroom.

bathroom 44
Minnesota: Boy’s bathroom

That means that I had been looking at that same unironed, wrinkled red, brown and tan shower curtain, towels and bath rug for over 6 years.

Magnolia Falls House 033
Jacksonville: Guest bathroom

Sometime after we moved to Jacksonville and the photo above, I finally ironed the curtain and it made a world of difference. Ironing is just not my thing, people but jeepers, I can NOT believe that I left it like that for several years. How embarrassing.

This is another shot of the Jacksonville guest bathroom, after I affixed a border around the mirror and covered the ugly medicine cabinet with a piece of artwork but before we replaced that ugly light fixture.

Mirrors (3)

So earlier this summer, I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to update the guest bathroom and asked him if he’d help me remove the ugly builder’s mirror and medicine cabinet. I also dreamed of putting shiplap on the wall across from the toilet. He said he would but not until the fall 😦 . He also said he wanted me to model the bathroom after our friends, Dee and Eddy’s newly remodeled bathroom since he really liked the style. Here is a photo Dee sent me of their bathroom.


It turns out the delay was a good thing because other friends from church mentioned that they were driving to southern Illinois to pick up a truck load of old barn wood and said that we could have some for free.

Bathroom (2)

I cleaned off the wood and brushed on a coat of polyurethane to protect it since it was going into a humid bathroom.

The first step in our bathroom transformation was for Carl to remove the mirror and medicine cabinet and patch the wall, including filling in some holes and spraying orange peel spray over the repaired areas to match the rest of the texture on the walls.

Bathroom (1)

When he was done, Carl installed our gorgeous wood on the largest wall, going about two-thirds of the way up the wall.

Bathroom (6)

Then I painted the remaining walls the same color as Dee and Eddy did, but just slightly darker (Sherwin Williams Sea Salt/Comfort Gray).

Bathroom (3)

Next I placed a tile border, just like Dee and Eddy’s bathroom, but in a different, beachy style.

Bathroom (5)

Instead of patching the medicine cabinet with drywall, we decided to make an inset tiled shelf framed with leftover wood.

Bathroom (7)

This is after the outside molding was completed. We plan on putting a shelf across the middle but we haven’t done that yet.

Bathroom (8)

After the finishing touches, like a new free-hanging mirror, shower curtain, towels, rug, artwork, outlet covers, wastebasket, hooks and toilet paper holder, the bathroom was complete!

I love it so much!

Finished bathroom (3)

This is with the light off so you can see our light fixture better.

Finished bathroom (2)

And here is the wall across from the toilet and sink.

I thank my handy husband for his hard work in helping me complete my vision. And thanks again to Dee and Eddy for the inspiration. And to our friends, Ed and Brenda, for the beautiful wood. This room was definitely a group effort! I know that our guests will really enjoy it.

It's About Me, The Husband, Traveling

Savannah – Day Two

On Friday, we walked to the Historic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, which has been open in it’s present form since 1912, and had a tour.


St. John the Baptist Cathedral (1)

The Cathedral is one of only a few with hand-carved Stations of the Cross (as opposed to paintings or reliefs).

St. John the Baptist Cathedral (4)
It was hard to photograph due to the light pouring in the windows on either side.

The Cathedral is very reminiscent of the grand cathedrals of Europe. It was quite beautiful.

Then we walked to a few more Squares that we had missed the day before. We also came upon the infamous Pirate House, which supposedly housed pirates back in the day and is now a restaurant.

Pirate House

After that, we drove out to nearby Tybee Island to see Fort Pulaski.

Fort Pulaski (1)

We spent several hours at the Fort in the museum, getting a tour and walking the grounds on our own. It was so cool to see the shelling on the outside of the fort from the Union forces during the Civil War.

Fort Pulaski (4)

We learned that although it took 18 years to build the fort, it only took the Union troops 30 hours to breach it and cause the Confederates to surrender the fort. There are many cannon shells still lodged in the fort. This is also one of the only forts that we have ever seen with a filled moat surrounding it.

Fort Pulaski (2)

Our next stop was Wormsloe Historic site to see the beautiful moss-covered live oak drive made famous in the filming of Forrest Gump.

Run Forrest

Here is my photo taken through the gate.

Wormsloe Site (2)

Because sadly, that was as close as we could get.

Wormsloe Site (3)

We didn’t realize that it would be closed by the time we arrived. Darn it.

Wormsloe Site (1)

After another 15,000 steps (or almost 7 miles) of walking, we decided to head on home after successfully exploring Savannah and the surrounding area.

It was a fun time away and I’m glad that we spent time exploring beautiful, historic Savannah, Georgia!

It's About Me, The Husband, Traveling

Savannah Road Trip – Day One

After some contemplation, Carl and I decided that we didn’t really feel like the 5-1/2 drive back and forth to Santa Rosa Beach, especially now that beach season has passed. So instead, we decided to make the much shorter 2-1/2 hour drive back and forth to Savannah, Georgia, a place that we have yet to visit, for a few days.

We left on Thursday morning, arriving in Savannah at around noon. Armed with a map and walking tour guide, we set out to see the 24 Historic Squares established in the middle of neighborhoods (called wards) in the 18th and 19th centuries.


It was a lovely sunny and warm-but-not-too-hot day for walking through this lovely, historic district learning about the history of the area and admiring the beautiful homes. At each square we visited, I would pull up the description and read about the history of the square, who it was named for and why they were significant and learn about historic homes surrounding the square. So many grand old homes dating back to the mid-1800’s!

At one square, all the surrounding streets were blocked off by barricades and police cars and we noticed all sorts of heavy equipment and antique props throughout the square.

Movie Set on the Square (1)

Even the cobblestone streets were covered in dirt. We quickly realized that it was being used for a movie set. When we noticed a “City Dog Pound” prop and a semi truck parked nearby with “Disney Buena Vista” on the side, we thought…what live-action film could Disney be making involving dogs?

Movie Set on the Square (3)

Since 101 Dalmatians has already been done, I quickly landed on Lady and the Tramp. Later that day, we talked to a police officer at one of the barricades and he confirmed that I was correct! It was amazing the amount of work and equipment (dozens and dozens of semi trucks parked along the area) needed to film one presumably very small scene of a movie. By the next morning, everything was loaded up and workers were scraping up and sweeping all the dirt from the streets. When you see the live-action Lady and the Tramp movie in a few years, think of us when you see the park scene with the Dog Catcher!

One of our favorite sites on our walk was the old prison.

Prison (1)

It still had some of the original iron doors intact.

Prison (2)

We also enjoyed walking around the historic Colonial Park Cemetery. It was interesting how they had stacked up the old gravestones along the outer walls, assumingly because they no longer could identify where the original gravesites were located.


We walked along the river front, even stopping for ice cream at Leopold’s, where ice cream has been made on site since 1919, as a reward for all of our walking.

Leopold's Ice Cream (1)

After walking back to our hotel and then finding a local pub for dinner (where I had Savannah specialties of Fried Green Tomatoes and Shrimp and Grits), we headed out and walked around some more at night for a few more hours.

Exploring at Night (1)

When all was said and done, we walked a total of 27,803 steps (or 12.5 miles) on Thursday!

You can believe that we crashed hard when our heads hit the pillow that night!

I’ll tell you about Day Two tomorrow.

Just for Laughs

Mega Millions


Tomorrow morning when I wake up, I’ll find out if I’ve beat the 1 in 303 million odds of winning the all-time world record lottery jackpot. Because, no, even with the prospect of winning $1.6 billion dollars, I’m not staying up until 11pm ET tonight to see if I’ve won.

I just wanted to document that if I’m so blessed as to win such an excessive amount of money, these are some of the things that I plan on doing with it (besides investing and saving plenty for my family/children/grandchildren):

  • Donating a large portion to our church, some missionaries that we support and various charities that we are passionate about, including Teen Challenge. Probably even staring our own charity involving something our whole family can get involved in.
  • Providing each child, parent, sibling, niece and nephew with a new house, new vehicle and a little nest egg. You’re welcome, family!
  • Purchasing myself houses in those areas that I would move between as desired each season…Hawaii, Minnesota, Tucson and Jacksonville for a start.
  • Buying myself a new vehicle or two for sure. I’m definitely ready for an upgrade from the 2003 car that I drive.
  • Giving Anthony and Kameko their dream wedding and honeymoon and bringing in everybody that would like to attend (just the wedding, not the honeymoon…ha!).
  • Travel, travel and more travel! Some traveling that I would like to do includes cruising (of course) but more specifically some intercontinental cruising and some river cruising. I would love to visit Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland and more of Europe. I would also love to rent buy an RV and travel all across the USA.
  • Hire people to do those things I don’t love doing but do because somebody has to do it! Those things include grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, maintaining the pool and folding the laundry (I don’t mind the washing and drying…it’s the last step that I hate).
  • Yearly family vacations to all sorts of fun places.
  • Ripping out all the flooring in our house and replacing it with high quality, beautiful, hand-scraped bamboo flooring throughout.
  • Buying a new fancy adjustable bed that heats and cools each side independently.

That’s all that I can think of right off the top of my head.

What would YOU do if YOU won the jackpot??

The Family

What’s Up with the Family

I really do try to blog more but life is just different now with the kids (mostly) grown and on their own. I had thought possibly that I would stop blogging at my 10th anniversary, but with Anthony’s college graduation and wedding in the next year, I wanted to document those events. So anyway, I did want to give a few random updates on each family member.


1.2003 Coco Cuffs

Zack eating his Coco Cuffs, as he called them.

Zack is still working about 30-hours a week at the lumber yard and attending classes at FSCJ three nights a week. We were a little nervous since we found out that Zack had to take and pass remedial reading, English and math classes in order to obtain his certificate since he scored so low on the placement tests (I’m sure partly due to lack of trying since he didn’t think it would matter). So this semester he has remedial reading and one introductory computer class. And much to our joy, he actually said he likes the reading class more than the computer class, which is a little too basic/boring for him. He’s off to a good start and we are hoping to add a few more classes to his schedule next semester. Zack is an officially registered voter and is excited to vote in the primaries next month. If anybody is looking for a good political debate, Zack loves to talk politics! Or Marvel movies. Or video games. Or computers. Or current events. 🙂


Portland (16)...Thanksgiving Day

Anthony is working hard at his last semester of college. He spends most of his time attending classes, writing papers and face-timing with Kameko in Hawaii. We were happy to hear that he actually got together with his cousin, Abby, in Phoenix for dinner one night and they are planning on a camping trip together next month.


Thanksgiving with Gma and Gpa (3)

Kelly is finishing up her graduate coursework and working at an unpaid internship at a Mental Health Clinic in Minneapolis. She is enjoying it and gaining a lot of experience being a Mental Health counselor. She is also continuing her position as an AuPair coordinator for the Minneapolis area and oversees about local 10 AuPairs and families. And as if that wasn’t enough, she nannies for various children in her spare time! Her boyfriend, Avram, bought a rental house with his parents and he has been spending his weekends fixing it up over the past few months. During the week, he continues as a full-time inner city, middle school history teacher, a job that is not for the faint-at-heart. Way to go, Avram!


Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, LTD., Director
Owner/Director of the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic in Naperville, IL

My favorite, weekly Tuesday client had the nerve to try to start thinking about retirement (he turns 65 in December) and is cutting back on his hours so I’m only working for him twice a month now (as opposed to weekly), which is a bummer since I like working with him and my husband liked the money. I still have a total of 8 clients, which works out to about 10 hours of work a week, which is good with me but my husband would like to see more. Slave-driver!

In my free time the past few months, I scanned, edited, organized and saved to my hard drive and “the cloud” all 55+ photo albums from 1986 to 2006 (when we went all digital), which equaled over 37,000 photos and 75 GB of space. It was really fun reliving ALL of our family memories over the years and seeing the kids grow up before my eyes!


bike (1)
Carl’s 30th birthday fling!

Carl, who works more than 10 hours a week (barely) is excited for the cooler weather since it means that it is football season and so he can start on a few home improvement projects. The current project involves updating our guest bathroom before the deluge of visitors for Christmas. Stay tuned for a blog post when it’s completed!

5.Jacobsens joined us for next 3 nights (3)
Vacationing with good friends.

So many happy memories!

It's About Me, The Husband, Traveling

Our Worst Vacation Ever

Carl and I were blessed with the use of my Tuesday client’s beach house in the Florida panhandle, near Destin, for the third year in a row. We left on Saturday for a few days by ourselves before having our Card Club friends, Pat and Don join us on Tuesday and then Dee and Eddy join us all on Thursday. We were all excited for lots of fellowship on the beach, delicious meals and games each night, plus fishing for the guys each morning.

Saturday after arriving, unpacking and shopping for groceries, we headed to the beach with cocktails for the sunset.

As we got out of our car by the beach, we both started coughing. As we sat there, we noticed lots of dead fish and eels on the shoreline.

A quick google search told us about the dangerous Red Tide hitting the Gulf Coast…Problem #1.

We tried to return to the beach the next day but it was even worse.

We only were able to sit there without coughing by downing water nonstop. We decided to abandon the beach and go hang out by the pool.

Problem #2: the pool was closed due to mechanical issues.

Yesterday we awoke to Problem #3: Tropical Storm Michael was worsening into a Category 2 hurricane* headed right towards us (we were in area of blue dot).

When our friends all decided to stay safe at home, we decided to cut our loses and head home ourselves after about 48 hours of vacation. We are hoping to be able to reschedule next month instead.

And that my friends, officially became our worst vacation ever!

*Michael continued increasing, reaching up to a Category 4 Hurricane so we are very grateful that we decided to jump ship!

It's About Me, Praises


Can you believe that I have been blogging for 10-years?! Yes, it’s true! From August 14, 2008 until August 14, 2015 I blogged about life, homeschooling and crafting at Kristy’s Corner. In 2015, after our move to Jacksonville, I felt it was time for a fresh start so I moved to Jaxty’s Place and have been blogging here since. Most of Kristy’s Corner blog posts have been made private, with the exception of the crafting posts.

I thought it would be fun to give you some facts about my blogs in honor of my blogaversary.

  • Number of Posts:
    • Kristy’s Corner: 1,431
    • Jaxty’s Place: 257
  • Most Popular Topic:
    • Kristy’s Corner: Crafting
    • Jaxty’s Place: The Kids
  • Most Viewed Post:
    • Kristy’s Corner: Due to being published on some crafting websites and being pinned on Pinterest, these two posts have some whopping counts!

(We still have two out of three of these trees – the red one got broken during the move to JAX).

(We don’t have these any more…they got all rusty after a few years.

  • Followers:
    • Kristy’s Corner: 43
    • Jaxty’s Place: 27
  • Number of Comments:
    • Kristy’s Corner: 9.6 thousand
    • Jaxty’s Place: 1.1 thousand
  • Most Frequent Commenter: It’s actually the exact same for both blog sites!
    • #1: My mom (yay for mom!)
    • #2: My dad (yay for dad and his “nice”)
    • #3: My aunt Gale (yay for auntie)
  • Search Terms That Brought People to My Blog:
    • Kristy’s Corner: 
      • Kris Humphries parents: 1,681 times (due to a blog post I wrote about our former pastor performing the wedding ceremony between Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian…I tried to find it but couldn’t)
      • braces: 204 times (I have no idea why this drew so many searches to my blog…yes, both boys had braces and I featured some photos but geez)
      • bottle cap wind chimes: 182 times (see post above)
      • tabernacle: 147 times (due to a classic blog post I wrote about Anthony’s school project)
      • eating pizza: 145 times (ha…apparently I blogged about eating pizza a lot!)
    • Jaxty’s Place: only one search has brought somebody to my blog
      • A painting with a road going off into the sunset (ha! What the heck? I don’t think I’ve even used that phrase ever in my blog or talked about that even remotely.)

For those that are still here, reading my blog, THANK YOU! For those that have been here from the beginning…an extra special THANK YOU! For those that leave me comments, which really do make my day and help me feel connected to you, an extra, extra special THANK YOU!

I keep wondering when it will be time to stop blogging but honestly, I do it for my family and my kids and my grandkids-to-be. Each year when I create my blog book full of family photos and memories, I hope and pray that one day they all will enjoy looking through these precious memories. I think it would be so cool to read a book written about my parents and grandparents when they were a young family. So speaking of that, it’s off to create my next blog book…Volume Number 10!