Friday, August 29, 2014

A Wedding Barn = Re-purposing

My cousin, Jamie and her husband have a barn behind their house. However, this big red barn isn't used for animals. It's used for weddings and wedding receptions. Say what? It's true. It's equipped with sweetly rustic restrooms, a kitchen area, and a large reception area. I can just imagine tulle and Christmas lights draped all over the place in this barn.Or maybe just a thousand daisies. Or wildflowers peeking out of every corner! Any way you wanna decorate it, it is the quintessential rustic wedding barn, and I'm glad I got to see it and that I get to share it with you!

 I wish I would have gotten some better pics of the barn, but I couldn't fit my nice big camera in my teeny tiny personal bag. Please enjoy the iPhone pics I got regardless...

Downstairs Reception Area
If you think that's nice, wait til you see this:
The Upstairs Ceremony Room
 The light flow in this place slays me! It makes for a beautifully hazy, gloriously lit picture.

The Back of the Ceremony Room
 Light just floods in beautifully.
Another Angle of The Arch

Hangin' in the Barn
 In the above pic my Aunt Barb (Jamie's mom) is on the left, and my mom is in the middle. They look like twins, but they aren't. Then there's my cutie pie niece, Madelyn and my sis, Aubrey.

Me and Momma in the Barn
 I don't get many pictures with Mom. So I'm glad I asked Aubrey to steal this one.
"Proud to be an American!"
This barn will only get more spectacular as they continue to work on it! I am totally convinced of that. And to be honest, I am very jealous that
a) I didn't think of the idea first,
b) that it's not behind my house, and
c) that the landscaping right outside of the barn looks like this:

A Spectacular Spot for Outdoor Wedding Day Photography
 So, if you plan to get married in a town East of St.Louis, and would love a beautifully rustic barn wedding, let me know! I've got the best of connections for ya! (Junk Gypsies, my cousin has you beat on this one.)

Much love, Amber

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Birthday

Despite all the craziness of my grandpa's passing last week, I still had an incredible birthday on Sunday. My wonderful husband, sister and brother-in-law surprised me with a little family party on Saturday night and a date night with my hubby in Fort Collins, Colorado on Sunday night. I found my new favorite shop while we were there, and I also ate a delicious dinner at the Melting Pot with Dave.

In addition to those happenings, on Sunday morning, I also ran the farthest I've ever run. I huffed and puffed in the thin Wyoming air while my sister danced around like 7 miles is equal to a flight of stairs. Nevertheless, it was great and I am so thankful that I am capable to run such a distance. (Please pray for me. The 15k happens on October 5th. Yikes!)

Saturday Night Festivities
We had grilled chicken and veggies for my birthday dinner. How did my people know that I like that sort of thing?

Blowing Out the Candles

Yay for Cake!
 Dave had this cake made just for me. It was butterfinger flavored. Yum! I know that my sis had a hand in the cake planning too! Thanks Sis!
Flattering....I Know.
 Sunday Night Pics:

Remember I said I found a shop I loved? It is called The Perennial Gardener. Dave was on the phone while I perused through it until it was closing. When Dave came in to see the few small items I purchased, I gushed about how much I loved the store and I told him, "I could spend thousands in here!" Dave's reply was typical, "Well, good thing it's closing then!"
Chandelier I Loved

Hanging Metal Things from The Ceiling = Pretty.
 On our walk to the restaurant, I fell in love with this old world alley:

Pictures just don't do the store or these gorgeous alley flowers justice!

My Handsome Date

Looking Forward to Our Dinner Goodies!
Dave and I got the four-course meal. It was SO good and delicious! (I think my stomach is still mad me for eating all that cheese!)
Meat and Veggies Bubbling Away!

Mmmmm...Chocolate Covered Strawberries




 Thank you so much to my family who put all of these festivities together. --Aubrey also bought some super cute earrings for my birthday, and Dave gave me some super sweet gifts on Sunday after I regained consciousness from my run. He got me a bird feeder deck extender thing, a new cd and the beautiful black rain jacket that I fell in love with when we vacationed in Maine. Isn't that so sweet?

Anywho, I have to get to bed. These pictures reminded me that I have leftover cake in the fridge, and if I don't sleep now, that over-sized slice will be gone by morning! G'night! -Amber

Saturday, August 23, 2014

 My sister and I got to go to the St. Louis area the past two days to spend time with family due to my grandfather Leonard Niggli's passing on Monday. It was such a wonderful excuse to see extended family, even though it was a very sad occasion. I took a bunch of pictures for your viewing pleasure. Please enjoy:

Me and my Cousin Jamie's Youngest Sweetie, Laney Mae
Aubrey, Madelyn and Grandpa Gene

Grandpa Gene Daiber took us for a ride on the Kubota to see his fishing ponds while we were in his neck of the woods. I have a date with my fishing pole and that pond next time we go!

The Place Where my Grandpa Niggli Was Buried

Great Grandpa and Great Grandma Niggli's Gravestone
Grandpa Niggli's gravestone hasn't been added yet. I plan to visit the graveyard at another time though and get a picture of Granpda Leonard Niggli's gravestone.
The Graveyard
 After visiting my Grandpa's grave sight with my parents, sister, and neice, we all went to see my cousin Jamie's house and barn. I loved driving around learning more about the history and heritage of my family. I bet you didn't know that the Niggli name is Swiss. I still have very extended family that owns the Mohr Niggli winery in Switzerland! (Visiting this winery is on my bucket list!)

After all that, we went to my cousin's house and barn. I included some pictures below:

My Cousin Jamie's Barn (downstairs)
 The above shot is of the downstairs of the barn. There is a reason why I am sharing this with you. I will tell you more about it soon!

The Amazing Upstairs Barn
 Isn't it gorgeous the way the sunshine spills through the barn slats? I just love it!

 I loved spending time with family! We had a huge party of people at Mazzio's Pizza.

My Cousin Kristin and Mom Visiting

Aunt Carla and Cousin Hayden

Aubrey and Grandma Daiber at Grandma's House
Baby Madelyn


Madelyn was gracious enough to eat some ice cream with me as an early birthday celebration kick-off for me. Isn't that sweet of her? She's so excited I'm turning 32.

This trip was a wonderful whirlwind. I am so thankful I got the opportunity to go! I love and miss all of my family dearly. Thankfully when we going again, it will be under happier circumstances. 

Flying Home
This is what the three of us did on the plane ride home. I wish I could sleep easily like my lil' sis.

With such a full end of this week, I am exhausted! May you all have a wonderful weekend! I will get back on here soon!

Love, Amber

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bittersweet Reality

Today is a very bittersweet day. The bitter part is that at 2:22 a.m., my Grandpa Niggli passed away. He hasn't been doing very well the past few days, and had fluid on his lungs. He was even placed in Hospice this last weekend. I am so glad that my aunts and mom can be at rest now that he has passed, and that he will not be suffering, but, it's always still sad to lose a loved one.

Just yesterday, we told the girls that my grandpa wasn't doing well, and as we talked about it, we prayed for him. Lydia shed a few tears, and Julia grieved with maturity (she didn't want to cry), but we had a very sad few moments thinking of the illness of my grandpa. So, as I thought about telling my girls the news this morning, I knew they would still be sad, but not too shocked.

The girls were up super early this morning because today is also the first day of school for them. So at 6:30, Julia came up stairs and I told her about the news of my grandfather's passing. She didn't say a whole lot at that point. When Lydia came up just a few minutes behind her, I told her as well and she didn't say much either. So, in the next few minutes I explained to them that they should say something kind when something like that happens. Maybe something like, "Mom, I'm so sorry to hear about your Grandpa's passing, are you ok?"

As I was still explaining to my girls about sympathy, my sister called. Lydia wanted to express her sympathy to her Aunt Aubrey right away, so I handed her the phone. Dave, Aubrey and I had to suppress our laughter when Lydia said, "Aunt Aubrey, are you ok? I'm so sorry to hear about your Grandpa passing out." I'm so thankful that even in sad times, children are able to make us laugh. Even if we do have to suppress that laughter for the sake of their feelings. Awwww, Lydia.....so kind.

So, the sweet part of this bittersweet day is that Lydia was able to make us laugh and also that it is my girlies first day of school. I didn't get any cute signs made but just so you know, Julia is in 2nd grade and Lydia is in 1st. Here are some pics from their big day!


Chocolate Chip Pancakes! Yum!

 I'm not sure why the peace sign was necessary...
 This is her school uniform (except for the pink sweater.) She will get to wear some form of this all year.
 Like big sister, like little sister...
 Lydia's skirt uniform was too short. So, we talked to her teacher and found out that a look alike outfit until we get a new skirt is fine. Isn't her little sailor's dress cute?

 And more PEACE!
Beautiful Babies!

Julia at her Desk
 At the private school we are sending the girls too, they call these desks offices. The girls are beyond excited about this.
Lyd at Her Desk Office
I love my girls. I miss them, and so does Saige, but I know they'll love their new school. Summer ended way too abruptly for me. How about you? Here in North Dakota, I guess it won't be too long until we will need snow pants, soup and hot chocolate to keep us warm and happy.

Much love to your family, Amber

Friday, August 15, 2014

School Decided!

After looking into many different options and praying about them, Dave and I have decided to put our girls into a private Christian School called Firm Foundations Learning Center. The girls will be taught at their own pace from a home school curriculum. They will get to be in the same class as one another, will set daily goals, and have mini classes that include science experiments and outreach opportunities. Dave, Julia, Lydia and I are very excited about what this school year holds! Please see the videos below. The girls wanted to share how they felt on their last day of summer. School starts Monday!

Happy Fall, Y'all! -Amber


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Incomings

Thank you to those of you who responded to my blog post from yesterday. One of my friends from Houston emailed me and gave me information about an organization helping people being persecuted in Iraq. If you would like more information about it, please click here. Another organization that I know has helped hundreds, if not thousands, of persecuted Christians is Voice of the Martyrs. If you would like more information about this organization, please click here. I plan to take some time and pray about how Dave and I can be a part of helping people being persecuted across the world.

Besides the email from my sweet friend, I also received something else today. I got my shipment from www.pictureframes.com. This is in regards to the post I wrote on Monday. If you'd like to see that post, you can do so here. I took some pictures of my new frames to share with you.

Little Cork board
 So, somehow I mentally measured wrong. I knew this cork board would be smaller than I originally wanted, but this thing is tiny. I tried to go smaller to save some money. But I didn't intend to go this small. In it's defense though, the cork board is very well made, and came packaged really nicely. My messy desk needs a lot more cork space than this. :/ I plan to make it work though!

See that messy, messy desk? There is school information and applications, coupons, magazines, a stuffed monkey that wants to be sewn, headphones and a lot of other junk on there. I hope this baby clipboard helps me organize! At least it will help a little...

However, despite my disappointment with the cork board, I am definitely not unhappy with my dry erase board. I. love. it. I put the dry erase board by our garage door. It's a perfect spot for reminders, love notes and whatever else needs doodled. And it's just the size I pictured it would be.

Pretty!
 I decided to add a little pic of the table I have in the hallway near my new, freshly hung, dry erase board. Below is a picture of the table.
Dave uses this table for storing things that need to go back and forth with him to work everyday. If it's not on the table, it's usually forgotton.

And, in the following picture, you can see how close my table is to the new, freshly hung, dry erase board.
Let me know what you think!

Thanks so much for reading today. Thanks again for your responses to my blog.

Gratefully, Amber

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Join Me

I've been trying to think of a light, fun post to write about today. But, mostly my heart is breaking. My chest feels heavy. Why? People in Iraq are being starved, shot, beheaded. Their persecution is in the name of Christ. What can Christians in America do to help these people? I've prayed. I have begged God to let them be rescued. I know God is at work. But like many people, I don't understand.

Do you know of a worthy organization to contact? Are there people going to stand in the gap for these people? I don't want to stand aside and do nothing. But I feel like that's all I've got. Nothing. Except I know that God will have His way. And I will continue to pray that the people in Iraq are miraculously saved. Please join me in this prayer.

Love to all, Amber

Monday, August 11, 2014

Recommendations

Hello Blog world! I thought I'd take some time today and recommend some websites and an app I've recently found. I will give you the recommendations, but you have to have the stories along the way...

1. www.pictureframes.com

---I was looking for some fancy vintage looking frames to put cork board and a dry erase board in. You know, I wanted something Junk Gypsy inspired. So, I searched around our little town for neat old picture frames, but I came up empty handed. I just don't know how to find junk quite like the gypsy's do. At least not yet.
Anyway, I did a little search on the internet, and I found a site called: www.pictureframes.com. I noticed they were having a sale, and decided to order some frames, but then I realized something else. You can order the frame with the a cork board/dry erase board/chalk board in tact! Woohoo! I'll take it! I haven't received my new framed dry erase board and cork board yet. But when I do, I will definitely share pics!---

2. www.constructiveplaythings.com

---I randomly received a magazine for Constructive Playthings in my mailbox the other day. It has a lot of wonderful School oriented furniture and play things in the magazine. I haven't ordered anything for myself or my kiddos out of the magazine yet, but I've definitely made a long wishlist. If you are a teacher, a homeschooler, or a mom, please go check this site out. It's a fun place to dream.---

3. wordswag app

---My friend, Amy Roberts, introduced me to this app. It is $2.99, but it is great! I wish I would have had access to this app when I was an executive assistant at Keller Williams and when I was a full-time real estate agent. It would have made life a lot easier!
This app basically provides a background for you to choose that you can add words to. It is great for making coupons for a business, flyers, signs and other fun stuff. The fonts aren't basic. The words are arranged neatly and very nicely and it gives a very neat look!---

If you get a chance, take a look at these sites and this app, and let me know what you think! Also, please share any cool websites or apps you've found lately. Talk to you soon!

Love, Amber

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Family Garage Sale

Since we were home this weekend, I talked Dave into letting me have a garage sale. I've wanted to have one ever since we moved. But, whatever doesn't sell in the next few minutes is being taken to a donation center a.s.a.p.

We had a successful sale over all, and I am glad that we did it. Here's why:

1. We cleared a lot of space in our downstairs craft/storage room.

2. It gave us an opportunity to chat with our neighbors. Some neighbors even added items to our sale. Getting to know our neighbors is a huge blessing!

3. It gave us the opportunity to teach our girls about money.
---This summer we allowed our older daughters to earn $10 each. They earned this money by helping around the house and doing odd jobs. With this money, we've taught the girls about tithing, saving and because of today, earning. The older girls went with Dave and bought a box of popsicles with the money they earned. Then they came back here and sold the popsicles for 50 cents each. That means they both got to keep a quarter every time they sold a popsicle! They were in business!---

Young Entrepreneurs






4. Why would anyone want to just relax on a weekend? (Haha.)

Movie Night is tomorrow!!! Lydia's been begging to watch "The Sound of Music".

Thanks for reading! I will be talking with you all soon!

-Amber

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Musically Inclined

Hello Blog World! Did you all know that my parents have a c.d.? They sang all the vocals and had some friends make up their band. I don't think a lot of people know that. So, I wanted to do a little shameless advertising for my parents and their c.d. They didn't even have to ask me to. (I'm a really good daughter.)

This is what my parents c.d. looks like:
Victory Song | Get Glad
Vic and Ellie Mitchell = Victory Song

By the way, that's them on the cover.

If you'd like to listen to their music, please click here.  And please feel free to order some music for yourself while you're at it. 

The second song on their album is "Give Me Another Piece of Jesus." My Dad wrote it several years ago while he was a children's pastor at First Wesleyan Church in Bartlesville. It's our family fave. Although, we really do enjoy the whole album. (Call me bias.) The girls often ask to "listen to Mimi- Papa music!"

Another reason why I love the "Give Me Another Piece of Jesus" song is because the other day, Saige walked up to me and said, "Ina nudder piece a Jesus." (Translation: I want another piece of Jesus.) It was a wonderfully sweet moment. 

Maybe if my parents sell more of their current album, they'll produce more albums. I dream that they would!

Love, the best daughter in the whole world, Amber