Friday, December 25, 2015

A Very Merry Christmas!~

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!~

It is our very first holiday season of being entrusted with this 101 year old building.

While still figuring out the ins and outs of the wiring, lighting, repairs needed and more, we couldn't let the season go by without adding a little holiday cheer...

Just love the details of the side doors and can't wait to paint them with fresh paint in the spring.

While working with some wonderfully talented local florists over the holidays, a co-designer and friend heard me discuss my budget conscience decorating ideas for the building this first season of ownership.  She created these fabulous boxwood wreaths for the front doors of the church!~  I love them and love her for making them for us!~

I'm pretty sure that these metal posts once held a connecting piece and signage. For now, I added box elder tree twigs to make an arch. I intended on adding greens and twinkle lights, but electric issues are complicating my lovely plans.

Perhaps next year, we will have wreaths complete with beautiful bows in the windows.... 

and a fancier light fixture above this stained glass window...

For now, I'm thankful for angels with bells in windows,

doors to paint fresh in the spring,

architecturally appealing designs, regardless of chipped paint...

jingle bells, pine cones and red berries on red doors...

Merry Christmas to all!~ 
May your holiday season be filled with true Hope, Joy and Peace.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Special Holiday Event!~

I attended the sweetest event today 

 The creative owner and her lovely assistant hosted A Very Blogger Christmas Open House, and it was fabulous!~ 

 Upon entering the boutique, one couldn't help but to notice the wonderful refreshments. After being greeted to the event and given a gift of A Mother's Nature Lavender lip balm, my friend and I were offered sangria. Yes, please!~  Oh my, is that a sprig of thyme in our glass? Love the added touch and the special straw (sorry, didn't get photos!~). After being served sangria, we were offered a candy cane which would give us a percent off all purchases for the day. There was one 40% off cane, and my friend was fortunate enough to draw it! (I received 20% off which was quite lovely as well).  And so we shopped, and this is just a bit of what we saw....

The adorable boutique is just one of many wonderful shops in Rockford, Michigan and if you are in the area, I highly recommend a visit. Upon leaving the shop, with bags in hand, we were handed one final gift, a ribbon bound foilage sprig which looks amazing on my dining room table.

For the next four days, the girls at Bailey and James Boutique are celebrating the 12 Days of a Mitten Crafted Christmas featuring local Michigan crafters. It's a great time to visit them, and a great time to enjoy the holiday in my hometown of Rockford!~

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Taking a walk.... stories from the church

Some time ago, long before our family was entrusted with this stunning fixer upper, I was told a story while out for a walk......

I was getting a morning walk in, which entailed breezing right past this building. As I walked by, dreaming of it's potential future, I stopped to talk with our neighbor who had recently moved from the home he built just a few doors down to a more manageable property just a couple miles away. He was at his son's house which happens to be directly across the street from the front entrance of this church. 

We chatted about the transition that he and his wife were in since moving to a new home that is easier to maintain in their later years.  The conversation then transitioned into a story about their early years.....

Mel was 13 when his father was one of the deacons at this church. His father was responsible to arrive early on Sunday mornings, unlock the church doors, turn on the lights and heat, if necessary, and have the building prepared for all of the morning activities.  At age 13, Mel loved getting out of bed very early and going with his father for this responsibility.  The funny part was that Mel wouldn't walk into the building with his dad once they arrived.  Regardless the weather, he would sit in the car and watch out the window at the house across the way.  Every Sunday morning, as soon as he saw the front door of the neighboring farm house open, he would exit the car, straighten his hair and shirt and walk across the dirt road toward the family that was exiting their home. In particular, he walked up to 10 year old Mary, and ask if he could please escort her to church that morning.  Years later, they were married at the front of this church.  When Mel told me this story, I just sighed - it was the sweetest thing!~

Mel and Mary's families have quite a history with this particular church and though this building has not been used as a church since 1985, Mel has been escorting Mary to church for close to 70 years now.  We hope that he will once again escort his bride to this particular church, whether for a neighborhood get together or just to swing by to say "Hi".  Tony and I are excited to see Mel and Mary, and others grace the steps of this building for occasional neighbor gatherings once again!  We look forward to hearing many stories from it's past and know that there will be more stories to come!~  On that note - I'd better head up there and start doing more clean up!!!  It's the dirty part of our story!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Reclaim this Church!

What you see is what you get...and what you don't see is what you get.  Oh, and there were things left behind? Well, you might get those things too!

Those were the pictures that the real estate agent had taken for the sales listing of the church. What you see is what we got.  

There were many things not pictured....

Oh, and there is much more. Those things not pictured, lucky us, we also got. (I've not taken a picture of the kitchen yet, but can you see the glimpse of the pink counter tops by that lovely avocado green refrigerator?)

While the church was in a transitional title state this past August, a film company used the location for some shooting of a television series that might be picked up later this year. There were quite a few items left behind.  Two wonderful neighbors and I consolidated props that were scattered in the basement and main area of the church...

We really did not want to get those things too!~ Thankfully, 2 weeks after we closed on the building, the director made 2 trips with a truck to remove most of the items and yours truly took a huge load of trash to the dump (another great neighbor insisted on helping me collect that trash, claiming it was therapy!)

The most therapeutic and exciting part for me so far has been prying down the 2 dividing walls that were put in the main area of the sanctuary when the former owner ran his screen printing and embroidery business in the building.  We aren't done yet, but tearing down part of the walls has been quite rewarding for 2 teens, myself and my mom.  Guess what was found inside one of the walls - a whole 20 cents!~ Yes, we get that too - now added to the broken window fund.

 (The window you can see all the way through the 2 walls is above the original baptismal tub. Neighborhood hot tub anyone? Yikes!~)

My main man wants to tear down the upper part of the walls, hoping in minimize any potential ceiling damage.  He has been over the top busy with his real job, but once he digs into this, I know that he will think it is therapy too!~

We are making some "reclaim this church" progress and we will all be excited to see more light!~