Ken’s office.

A top notch remodeling company is storming Winter Park, Florida. It’s so exciting! Ken and his business partner, Richard, are busy getting all the details in order for their their new residential remodeling company. One of those details was finding office space to rent, and they’ve secured a place! It’s really so quaint — here are some pictures.

View walking into office, which will be the “conference room”:




view walking in


View walking into adjoining room, which will be Ken’s private office:

view in ken's office


window view

(See that arched window?? Here’s the view from it, which will be a view from Ken’s desk):

direct view from desk


Back to the conference room . . . here are the views from those windows:

table view, view out main window


Can you see him eating his lunch at that table?? I’m so excited for him. He’s looking forward to getting settled in!

I get to help decorate this place . . . fun, huh??

We’ve already been busy getting it just right for the new company (and by “we”, I mean mostly Ken – although I have been helping to paint the last couple days).

I love Benjamin Moore paint colors. Ken loves Sherwin William’s actual paint base. Back in Maryland, we painted our whole remodeled house with Ben Moore colors *in* a Sherwin William’s base. It was a happy union. Down here, I bought a 5 gallon bucket of a color I *thought* I loved (I did on my MD walls) – turns out, it’s not loving being on the walls of a Florida home. I’m not loving it either. Ben, I’ll always love you and I’m sure we’ll be reunited someday, but for now I’ve been let down and I need some space. It’s time for me to explore other options.

So, we chose Sherwin William’s colors for the office. Since olive is one of the company logo colors, Ken wanted to do an accent wall in olive. I went along with it – it IS his office, after all. Considering my love of all things gray, I had to choose an olive with undertones of gray. Well, at least “gray” is in part of the name. Here’s the color of the accent wall, followed by the color of the other walls:

SW 6165 Connected Gray:







connected gray


SW 6162 Ancient Marble:

ancient marble


I like to choose colors from the same color strip (which is what we did here), so the undertones are the same. I have no idea if this is the way it’s supposed to be done, it’s just the way I like colors blending in my house, so it’s the way I decided to blend colors in the office. I hope the two rooms’ final look comes together the way I have it pictured in my head!

Oh, something fun to stay posted for – we found some cool “alligator leather” chairs for the conference room. I’ll share photos when the room all comes together! 🙂


P.S. If you have a few extra minutes, take a look at the city of Winter Park: It’s really a beautiful city (town??). Well, whatever it’s called, it’s lovely.

P.P.S. I really don’t know why there are such large gaps between my text and photos, and since I’m new to blogging, I don’t know how to fix it. Sorry, it doesn’t look pretty, but at least it’s not cutting anything out!

First day of school.

What a day of mixed emotions! Jake started high school today! Actually, he pretty much started last week. But today was his official first day with Circle Christian School, a private home school academy where he’ll be taking classes twice a week. His classes are: Humanities (which includes Language Arts and American History, presented through a biblical worldview), a 3 hr. class; Biology, a 1.5 hr. class; and Algebra 1, a 1.5 hour class. Of course, his day will include a lunch break and a couple 10 min. breaks. It’s going to be a challenging year for him, based on what we see the in class overviews. I’m sure he’s up for the challenge! I really look forward to learning alongside him. He’ll have a few other subjects at home as well, altogether earning 7.5 credits for 9th grade.

Anyway, back to the mixed emotions part. It’s a complicated thing to be so proud and excited and sad at the same time. It seemed not too long ago that I was taking pictures of his first day of Kindergarten. Really, he’s the same sweet, sensitive and funny and thoughtful boy he was at 5. Just in a bigger package. We checked his height this morning; he’s grown over 1.5 inches just since April!

We’re so thankful for this young man in our family and are grateful for what the Lord is doing in his life. We look forward to seeing what special things lie in store for him in the future! We will miss him while he’s away 2 days per week, but feel much peace about where he is studying and what he is learning it makes it worth it.

august 2007 020jake 1st day 9th grade

First day of 2nd grade (Jake on the left, Cole on the right); First day of 9th grade. Super cute either way! 🙂

Keeping me on my toes still at home are 4 other “Maucklets” who look to me as their primary instructor – yikes! Although there is a desk in each of the rooms upstairs (girls’ and boys’), they all decided to work near each other at the new table in the dining/school room. I am loving the way the room is coming together and it’s so pleasant to be in that I happily agreed. (More on the room in another post). Marissa called out to everyone to give her a hand moving all the chairs from the kitchen table to the dining room table (since I don’t have the chairs refinished yet). It was sweet to observe them excitedly preparing the place they were going to be working.

first day school 2014 4

We all fit around it with room to spread books out a bit. And, it doubles as a cafeteria at lunch time:

first day school 2014

Dean initially said while sitting at the table early in the day, “I’m so excited to be starting school again!” I think the enthusiasm wore off by the end school time. The kids overall were eager learners. We got a visit from a wild visitor — a gopher turtle crossing the front yard — so we took a break to observe it closer.

gopher turtle

That led me to make studying gopher tortoises with Dean and Marissa our science for the day. After all, we do live in Florida now and should be familiar with the natural habitat. Here’s what they each dictated to me for the science journals:

“The gopher tortoise grows to 10-16 inches. They are a wild species. Do not touch them. They are endangered. The females have a flat bottom shell, and the males have a bump on theirs.” (Marissa)

“A gopher tortoise has strong legs for digging tunnels and holes. It can live as long as 100 years. Other animals find safety in the holes. When the eggs are in cooler temperatures, it hatches a male. If the temperature is warmer, it hatches a female.” (Dean)

Now you know a little bit about gopher turtles, too! Just what you’ve been dying to know, huh??!!

gopher turtle first day school

(That’s one of our kitty cats right next to the tortoise)

I wouldn’t say we accomplished a whole day’s worth of school, by any means. But we enjoyed our time and put up a good effort! So that’s good enough for a first day for me.


P.S. Jake came home saying his day was OK — not bad and not great. First days can be like that. The setting was pretty overwhelming and he only knew (more like, recognized) one other person. And it was a girl. So it’s not like they hit it off. 🙂 But he has a positive attitude about it all and I appreciate that. He’ll know plenty of other kids in no time!


This guy just turned 7.

dean2dean 4dean


Yikes! I can’t believe my baby is that old! And it’s been never a dull moment since he came into the world. He’s keeping us smiling (the things that come out of his mouth!), dancing (he likes to come up with “new moves”), laughing (the expressions he can make!) and sleeping well at night, in order to re-coup and keep up with him the next day.

He had a mishap around the pool last weekend so we got ourleselves an introduction to the local children’s hospital near to our new home. He ended up with 7 stitches but received so much attention from the family I don’t think he minded the whole ordeal! When I mentioned putting a healing oil onto his wound to help reduce scarring, he told me, “No, I want a scar. Scars make you look tough.” Since that fateful night of stitches–with siblings and parents, an aunt, an uncle and cousins fawning all over him about it–he’s run into opportunity for a few other more minor injuries as well. If I didn’t know how much it is annoying him due to the hindrance of swimming time, I would think he was purposeful about it!

I tucked him into bed last night, his foot wrapped with medical tape, a Band-aid on his thumb and a rather large scar on his left shin, fresh-free of stitches. I thought to myself, “Man, he looks tough!” 😉


dean driving golf cart 3  dean driving golfcartdean driving golf cart 2

Dining Room Re-do, Part 1.

Every year, nearing the end of summer, I go through something equivalent to the “nesting” a pregnant woman experiences toward the end of her pregnancy. Each year when August rolls around, as a homeschooling mom, I feel the need to get the house all in order and our school areas organized and beautiful. I love to set up a study area for the kids and me that is pretty, tidy, and functional. This year is no exception. However, it’s a little different in that we are still moving into our new house!

2 summers ago, we began our school year on picnic tables under outside our camper we were living in while we remodeled our home in Maryland. This year, in our “new to us” Florida home, our dining room will be serving us two-fold: for mealtime and school time. Therefore, it has become my latest room in focus. With classes scheduled to begin next week, we’ve chosen this week to be our “soft start” for school. We’ll be painting the room, refinishing the Craigslist dining table, getting each of the kids’ school books organized and typing up daily and weekly planners. I may even squeeze in a lesson or two of math! (This is where all 5 of our kids would emit a collective groan!)

Here are some before shots of the dining room/study we’re working on:

dining room before 2 dining room before 3dining room, before paint

The color is a blend between mauve and terracotta — I really couldn’t teach the kids in these conditions!

And here is the before shot, courtesy of Craigslist, of the table and chairs we’ll be working on, and next week (if all goes as planned), we’ll be eating and studying at:

dining table before 2 dining table before

One could fit a small army around it, and has great legs so I can’t wait to make it beautiful! 

Stay tuned for a posting of the “after” look. I’m excited about how it’s going to turn out, if I can get the idea for it out of my head and onto the table! 

–Beth 🙂

Girls’ Room Re-do.

When we decided to start painting our “new-to-us” house in Florida, Ken and I both agreed to paint our girls’ room first. The room they ended up making theirs was a grain mustard color with dingy blue drapes, and not at all appropriate for two young ladies. Here are some before pictures. I think you’ll agree it had to go!

girls' room before 1 girls room before 2 girls room before 3

We also wanted to switch up the bed situation. The layout wasn’t flowing like we wanted it to. The twin beds weren’t working for the space. Since the girls ended up sharing a twin bed most of the time, we decided to use the beautiful full size bed given to us by a friend of my parent’s. It had previously been our guest room bed, but since we anticipate more visitors in Florida than we had in Maryland, we knew we wanted to upgrade the guest bed to a queen size. So we brought the bed from the guest room and then decorated with everything we already had. We decided the room needed an area rug to soften the space and quiet it a bit, so we found one on clearance in Target! It’s an indoor/outdoor carpet and very easy to clean. We love how it pops in the room! We also picked up the night tables at an antique market in a nearby quaint town called Oviedo. Ken and his brother David and all the kids were very patient while my sister-in-law and I scoured the place. But we came away with the night tables so it was a successful visit! It all came together quite beautifully and the girls are really happy with the room. I’m so glad! The colors throughout the space blend so nicely and I can use pink, purple, grey and aqua (as you see a lot of in the photos) as accents. The color we used on the wall is called Coquette, from the Baer paint collection. Enjoy these “after” shots:

girls room after 1 girls room after 3 girls room after 4 girls room after 6 girls room after 7 girls room after 8

girls room after 2

It’s so much cheerier and brighter now! A beautiful room for beautiful girls!

girls (2)

–Beth 🙂

An Afternoon Treat.

We’d had a busy week. It was Friday and we all felt like having a little fun. And a treat! We had been hearing about a great ice cream place called Jeremiah’s – Italian ice, to be exact. So the kids and I headed over there in the afternoon, since Ken had a work appointment and would be a little late. We took our nephew, Jonathan. Since he is a regular there, he helped us know what was most tasty. We each ordered at the window, and then sat at a table with an umbrella – it was a hot afternoon, and our gelati (Italian ice layered with soft serve ice cream) was such a treat! If you ever have the chance to get an ice cream, Italian ice, or gelati at Jeremiah’s, take the opportunity. You won’t be sorry! Our crowd ordered chocolate ice cream, sour apple Italian ice, sour apple gelati, strawberry lemon gelati, and cotton candy gelati. I would recommend them all (well, the sour apple Italian ice wasn’t my favorite). I sampled every variety. 🙂


at jeremiah's 1

It cracks me up that Dean couldn’t take the time to look up from his ice cream while the picture was being taken!





New Digs — a photo tour.

As most of you are familiar with, we moved from a beautiful home in Maryland that we had recently remodeled. Now we’ve moved into a beautiful home in Florida, but it’s not recently remodeled (well, except for the pool — more on that later!). Here are some shots of the house very soon after moving in. It is wonderfully “live-able” but also has plenty of future projects for us to dream about. Good thing I’m married to such a handy man!

Here is the view from the front; we’ve already pulled the picket fencing. The front yard is much larger than the fence encompasses and it chopped up the yard, also making cutting the grass within the fence possible only by push mower. It looks much more “open” now with it out. 

front of house, before fence takeout










Here is the side view; it’s what you see as you pull up the driveway. We love the palm trees!

front of house, from driveway

This is the great room — a family room/kitchen combo. We are getting used to the commotion and noise level produced by sound bouncing off high ceilings and wood floors and an open floor plan.

And with our family, there are plenty of sounds bouncing!

We have plans to update the lighting, and “quiet” the backsplash. It’s a tad busy for our taste. We eat many meals at the table in the kitchen and need to get a table for our dining room so we can have more dinners together in there.

family room to kitchen view                                                 

Another shot from the family room to the kitchen. It’s fun being able to observe most of the kids’ interactions while I am busy in the kitchen — a room I spend much of my time!

kitchen and family room combo











These are a couple more angles of the great room. The kids’ bedrooms are upstairs, where you see the balcony railings. It’s so convenient to just call up my orders and instruction to the kids! There is a boys’ room and a girls’ room and a bathroom for them to share. Oh, and what a terrific ledge is in the family room — perfect for housing Ken’s carved decoy collection!

 kitchen to family room.jpg 2 family room, view coming in from lanaikitchen to family room

I’m still playing “musical furniture” with the place. I am so thankful that most of the furniture we brought with us is fitting quite nicely. I’ve listed a few pieces on Craigslist and found a few as well. I’ve even been able to “barter” some of my pieces for some of my sister-in-law’s pieces! It’s been quite handy!

And now for the fun part — the pool! Wow, what a blessing this has been. Sometimes it’s still hard to believe we are able to enjoy such a luxury daily, right in the backyard! There is a lovely hot tup that spills into the pool. We’ve even been sitting in the tub while a rainbow arched over the side yard. Just beautiful! This pool was put in less than a year ago and was well-designed..pool

Dean gives it a thumbs up! This is the view from the lanai. You’ll notice the barn in the background. We hope to pull it down sometime and relocate it because we have a great big backyard to view but the barn blocks it.view from lanai to pool

The lanai has a lot of space to work with. Thinking a ping pong table may find it’s way here eventually! 🙂

lanai, continued









The lanai has some really cool screen panels that push all the way open or can be fully closed. This is the view from the pool area.view from pool to lanai

Finally, the front porch. We briefly discussed how taking the railings down could give it even a more spacious feel. So one rainy Sunday afternoon, Ken just hacked right into those old railings. We do love the way it looks. We have columns to work on but it’s just fine for now. 

porch railing takeout

As I said, we’ve got plenty to enjoy and plenty to work on in the future. I’ll keep you posted as we make updates around the place and give you more detail on each room. I’ve already been picking out paint!

–Beth 🙂


From here on out.

Well, I have spent many late nights trying to email, re-send and then email again . . . with only about a 50% success rate. I have discovered that a certain number of my intended recipients are not receiving said emails due to the attached photos. I narrowed it down to only 5 photos per email and they’re *still* not going through! Ugh. So, I’m resorting to posting photos here on the blog instead of trying to bulk email friends and family. I just don’t care for the thought of some getting the emails and some bouncing back — and I don’t know who it’s bouncing back from! It’s taking quite a lot of brain power on my end to keep trying to make sure this group or that loved one hears from me, so going forward you’ll find updates and photos here. Check back often or, better yet, click the “follow” button so you don’t miss a post or picture! Thanks for your patience while we’ve been sorting these technology issues out — it’s definitely not my strong suit! For now, feast your eyes on this — I have 3 of these bushes right in front of our garage. They’re just beautiful and I get to enjoy it every time we pull up to the house.                             — Beth 🙂