Saturday, December 14, 2013

My Stress-Free Christmas List

After attempting to take Christmas photos with a dead camera battery, we tried again the next night and got this sweet one, among others!

Every Christmas I have to remind myself not to fall into the "Perfect Christmas" trap.  I have to focus on what is truly important and weed out the rest.  Here is my list to remind myself what's important:

My Christmas List
1. It's okay to say no. 
2. My kids aren't going to suffer if I don't make Christmas candy.
3. My house doesn't need to look like Martha Stewart or Pottery Barn.
4. I don't need to stress out so much about picking out the perfect gift.  It's the thought that counts. (right?)
5. No one is going to hate me if they don't get a Christmas card from me.
6. My super-mom status won't change if I don't make cut-out Christmas cookies.
7. I don't need to attend every Christmas show and activity in town.
8. It's okay to stay home and enjoy quiet evenings with my family.
9. The world won't end if I'm not involved in the Christmas choir. (gasp!)
10. I don't even really have to have a family Christmas picture.  The one from the summer will work just fine.  (won't it?!)

It may seem like a no-brainer to you, but I need these reminders.  The real reason we celebrate has less to do with hurry-scurry and more to do with slow-down-and-ponder.  Think about the baby in a manger.  Think about what he gave up to be the Savior of the world.  Amazing!  Enjoy!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Brace Yourself for a Whirlwind Tour Through My Summer Projects!

 One of my first projects this summer was transforming a whole bunch of boring black magazine files into something pretty to look at.  I just happened to have this fabric in my cupboards, so I went for it.  A little hot glue and voila!

 Here they are in on the kitchen bookshelf (where we do some of our schooling)... Also, you can see the chalkboard that I make out of an old frame from elsewhere in the house.

 Another project was to organize the drawers of the kitchen chest of drawers (seen above).  This tends to be a catch-all for all kinds of things.  I went to the Dollar Tree and got some organizing trays and cups...What a great feeling to organize those drawers!  This drawer is the "tool drawer."

 The biggest project of the summer (besides VBS) was painting the kitchen.  I really wanted this done before school started.  I happened to find some clearance paint at Home Depot called "Crisp Khaki!"  It was the perfect color for the perfect price: $7!  Below: Before

I had been wanting to change the wall decor over the table, so this was my chance.  had my husband dig up a pallet and make me a sign.  Then I got busy painting it!  This is our current family motto!

Whew!  Feeling tired yet?  
I also had seen a version of this chore sheet on Pinterest so I decided to go for it.  This is just scrapbook paper with sticker letters and then stuck to the fridge with a sheet of clear contact paper.  The magnets are made from laminated paper and glued on magnet circles. 

The little magnetic metal boxes are from Walmart.  I poked holes in them to drop laminated paper "coins" in them to signify how much $ they earn for their chores.  If they do all their chores on time, they get a dollar to spend at the store the next week.  They can make up for missing some with "Bonus chores".  
So far, so good!


Ohhh, my sewing/laundry room was a mess!  I went through my scrap/mending basket and found stuff I'd forgotten I had!  So I had a little fun playing catch-up.  I also (had my husband) put up this handy-dandy towel bar for my buckets of ribbon and buttons so they are not in my way.

Here are a couple of the sewing projects.  This dress I made for Joanna is a t-shirt maxi dress made from a t-shirt and one of my dresses that I don't wear.  It looks cuter on her!

And this little dress is made out of a super long tunic/blouse of mine!  I love it!

Ok, out of the sewing room and onto the school room.  Almost done! 

Found this ugly purple magazine file with the three sections (which is perfect for my three boys!) at Goodwill for $2.  I didn't want to spend $15 on something like this new.

I then purchased this amazing paint just for plastic!  Covered so well in just one or two coats!

And here is the result.  I am so thrilled with this!

We did take time to have some fun this summer.  We hit the pool about every week, sometimes with cousins, sometimes without.  My kids were pretty pumped to have ALL their cousins (from both sides, even the ones from IN) here for Ben's birthday!  (This is not all of them...there were 12 kids total)


My honey even took me away for a pre-school getaway.  I love him!  We had a blast, basically doing nothing!  It was the perfect way to end the summer. 

Happy New School Year from our house to yours!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Loving my new DIY!

 Deodorant and I have always had a Love-Hate relationship.  After trying every product known to man, I still get sweaty pits.  That's just how it is, and I have embraced that.  =) But then there is the problem that I can't seem to find one that doesn't react with my skin and cause a funky smell.  I had found one by Dove that I liked reasonably well, but I had been wanting to try one without Aluminum.  So I tried Tom's Aluminum Free.  And I hated it.  No one should ever wear Apricot anything under their arms.  Nasty.   I had to stop wearing that immediately and I had no deodorant in the house so I took a container of body butter and added some peppermint oil to it and rubbed in on.  I loved it!  So then I did some research and decided to try to make my own deodorant.  It's really not as hard as I thought it would be.  Actually it's easy!  And I love it!!!  I dumped out that Tom's stuff and replaced it with my own recipe: listed below.

DIY Natural Deodorant

1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
6 TBSP Coconut Oil (may need to heat it up a bit if it is still solid)
15 drops peppermint oil (or essential oil of your choice)
5 drops tea tree oil (natural antiseptic)

Mix together and let harden a bit in fridge.  Before all the way hardened, press into empty deodorant container.  (There will be a little extra.)  I keep mine in the fridge because my bathroom gets rather warm and I'm afraid it will get soupy (the coconut oil turns to liquid above 76 degrees).  If you don't want to keep it in the fridge then I would put it in a different container and just apply by hand.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Spray-Painted Beauties

 This desk has been sitting in our carport for MONTHS awaiting a fresh coat of paint.  Let's just say it had collected a LOT of grime in that amount of time.  Well, somehow we found the motivation to start sanding it and my husband did a fabulous job with the SPRAY PAINT!  Yes, I said spray paint!  I love it!

Here is another spray painted project that my husband undertook for the boys' room.  I desperately needed more storage since the boys clothes are taking up more room as they get older!  Three boys have a lot of clothes!  This was a hand-me-down from my brother and fits perfectly in the boys' closet!

And here is a photo of the boys' new color scheme.  These comforters and curtains were made from $4 sheets from walmart!  I've been meaning to get a photo of their room, but it is rarely clean enough!  This was a rare occasion and is still not perfect!  The boys love to display their artwork as you can see!  The bunk bed is positioned on the wall opposite this bed.  It is so much nicer for them to be in the bigger room.  They have more room to spread out!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Free Gift for YOU

To celebrate the FREE GIFT Jesus gave us when he died for our sins and rose again to give us his resurrection power, I am giving away a FREE GIFT as well!  Click here to download a free printable in pink, gray/coral, blue, or gray/yellow


Friday, February 8, 2013

Beautiful Things

  I don't know why God made us this way...but we love to be surrounded by beautiful things.  In the midst of the mundane of "everyday life", with all it's ...mundane-ness... it is refreshing for me to walk by something beautiful  in my house.  It's as if I breathe in a breath of fresh air or a new perspective.  Can't quite explain it but it makes me happy.  I think God designed it this way.  Here are some of the things at my house that make me happy...