Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Simple Changes Can Be Big Improvements!

Ok....I *know* what you must be thinking..."Katy, those walls are ugly....I hope these are the before pics".....but actually....no....the photo above and below here are the afters and I am thrilled about it! I scraped and scraped wallpaper....Finally getting most of it off. It was in my kitchen. It was horrible wallpaper....don't believe me? You can't imagine anything tooooo bad...?
Scroll down please.....

Voila....as you can see (look at pic below)...I had balloons in my kitchen. and that big white streak above the balloons used to be a border of happy little clowns. Yes....I am serious. It was awful. My kitchen looked like a circus. AND....although I have been working on it....I have even more of this hideous wallpaper in my laundry room!!!! *However* I am absolutely *thrilled* to have gotten done what I have so far. Such little changes can be such a big improvement in a room...don't you think?

And...something as simple as adding an extra lamp to your living room can be a big improvement! My mom gave me this lamp below and I put it on top of our entertainment center and it just makes the room glow even more. (I prefer lamp light to most kinds of overhead lighting).
And.....as I type....Chris is working at installing a new *adorable* country looking screen door for me!!! :) Wooooohooooo! I got it at Lowe's. I will be sure to add pics when I can...but I am not sure that he will be able to finish it tonight...he needs to trim it to the right size etc. But I am just thrilled that something as simple as a screen door will do wonders! :) Know what I mean? I am easily amused! :)

If you have simple things that you have done to your home that improve it's look or comfort...I would love to hear about them! :) Hope you are all having a nice week! Thanks for visiting! ;)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Wagon Train Is Here!

It is just so neat....this wagon train. They camped out on my FIL's land and today they are doing a 10 mi. loop and then back to camp here again. The people are so friendly and the horses are beautiful and seriously....I totally want a horse and buggy. I want to trade my van in!!!

Below is my nephew and my son, Jaxson with Chris's Uncle Rodger. He is going to ride with them a bit today. My mom is too. :) He is getting the horses, Matt and Malachi all ready! :)

Miss Madelyn..... :) (Xavier wasn't in the pics because he got to go to the races with his pop-pop. My dad runs the wreckers when there is a wreck on the track so they all get to sit in the middle of the track and my kids love taking turns getting to go and watch!)

The start of them all setting up camp for the night..... (and Jaxson down in the corner)....

Everyone set up....(doesn't that look so incredible?).....

Matt and Malachi.....hungry boys.... ;) ........

Oh my goodness.....isn't this little boy one of the cutest things you have ever seen?? Look at him holding those two huge horses! I am so so glad those horses are well trained...if they would have moved...they would have taken that lil boy with them!!....**and seriously...I plan on finding hats like that for my boys....go ahead and think I am crazy....it is just tooooooooo cute!**

I thought this horse was just beautiful.....don't you think??....

There were also some mules there I should have taken a pic of. **I love mules!** They were gorgeous. And some HUGE horses too.....it was horse heaven there! :)

I love old fashioned stuff like this. Seeing most of them wearing the clothes too was awesome! I loved it! It is such a fun experience! Hope you enjoyed sharing in the pics with me! Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"The ideal home.....

...is one in which the family may be most completely sheltered to develop in love, graciousness and individuality, and which is at the same time most accessible to friends, toward whom hospitality is as unconscious and spontaneous as it is abundant. Emerson says that the ornament of a house in the friends who frequent in."
~Charles Keeler, The Simple Home

"Homemaking is one of the sacred tasks of life, for the home is the family temple, consecrated to the service of parents and offspring. As the strength of the state is founded upon family life, so is the strength of society based upon the home. The building of the home should be an event of profound importance."
~Charles Keeler

Each day at my home is another day where I attempt to make it more comfortable for my family and anyone who stops by. I truly enjoy homemaking and being home with my children. Although...I do find that sometimes I lack really "playing" with my children. Sure we read and play games at times...and of course we homeschool...I am with my children often...however...I think sometimes I forget to focus on enjoying these young years. The time passes by so quickly. Even though I know this....I still find myself just trying to get through each day....of course, I enjoy my life....but we all have struggles in some way or another. Some days the kids argue and bicker so much that I don't know if I could stand it! Some days go super well and I internally criticize myself for ever feeling flustered on the bad days. Does/has anyone else ever feel/felt that way?
I *do* really try to constantly remind myself that our lives are but a vapor. In the blink of an eye...kids grow and change....babies are born, people die. There is a season to every purpose under Heaven. I don't want to just make it through my days....I want to *enjoy* them. I would love to hear if anyone else struggles with this....and if anyone has ideas on how they stay focused on the simple things and make each moment count.

I do try to homemake and decorate my home in a simple....yet enjoyable way. I can sit and really just relax in my home or in my yard. Of course, there are many things that are still a *work in progress* or aren't even started yet....but I do attempt daily to just look at my surroundings and enjoy the blessings provided...the flowers in bloom...my children playing outside....the look of a neat yard (I just love when a yard is neat and pretty)....etc. I will prayerfully thank God for the blessings I am given....but like I said previously....when the children start fighting or I have one of "those" days where everything goes wrong etc....I just try and make it through the day. I guess I shouldn't expect each day to be perfect...but I do want to change my way of thinking...that whether it is a good or bad day....it IS a day that the Lord has made.....Let me rejoice and be GLAD in it!

Below is a picture of the walkway I have been putting together with stones from my mom. She had them but the decided to do a different look with her garden areas...and let me have the square stones.....so I have been working on this....a way for guests to get to our back door. :)

On a more serious note....my FIL (father in law) had a heart attack the other night. Chris and I were out working on the walkway pictured above when he got a call from his dad on the cell phone. His dad wasn't feeling well and needed Chris to come right down (we live only a quarter mile or so away from them). Chris's dad has had heart troubles previously...so Chris new this wasn't good and hurried down.....long story short...they took him to a local hospital and then transferred him to another hospital with a good heart specialty dept. He had to have a catheritization done and 3 stents put in. He is still in the hospital now. I worked at the family meat market yesterday....as did Chris and his brother. Chris's sister and mom went to the hospital to be with my FIL and wait while tests and the cath was done. We have a busy weekend coming up too...with the wagon train coming that I mentioned previously in another post. Prayers are much appreciated. I am already so thankful for the prayers and loving concern of many family and friends. We continue to pray that he will heal well and not suffer any problems because of this.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with me. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

"The contented man is never poor.....

...the discontented man is never rich."
~George Eliot

You all want to know the sure-fire way of getting a young girl to do her chores? Have her put on an apron! I kid you not! Madelyn absolutely loves when I do housework in one of my aprons and always wants to put hers on! She has been playing in hers all morning...and when asked to pick something up or help out with something around the house...she is much more happy to do it...as long as that apron is tied around her waist! :) My boys even like to put aprons on (the ones that are full body...more of a "man kind" I guess!)

What have I been keeping busy with lately? Oh....lots of things....among the normal housework like dishes and laundry; dusting and vacuuming....

I made some homemade laundry soap. (Usually my hubby, Chris, makes it for us...but my friend, Aimee, did it on her own so I thought I could do it too....and ta da!)......

I went to a book sale at the local library earlier in the week...and got a bunch of books for the kids and me! This isn't even a pic of all of them! :)

Did a little shopping with my aunt who was in town and my mom....and got this pottery to burn a candle in. Isn't it c*u*t*e*? :)

And....while at Tractor Supply one day...my mom saw parsley planter kits on sale and got my sister and I each one....and here is a pic of my parsley growing!!! Yippee!

Our garden outside is in full swing too....Chris needs to till up between the plants and then we will go out and do some serious weeding. But the plants seem to all be coming up nicely...so that is exciting!

A wagon train is coming through our area this weekend and will be stopping at my inlaws' meat market! My mom and Chris may ride in it for a bit too! I will be sure to take pics! I have no idea what to expect with this! They camp out and then ride for miles!

Well...I need to run....I have clothes out on the line and more waiting to be hung out! I live a truly simple and happy life. I am so thankful for it. Is everyday perfect? Not at all....but overall...I truly try to be content with the simple things. It makes life so much easier! I do, sometimes, struggle with wishing we had more etc....but that is something I am really working on. I want to be completely content and thankful for our blessings. God has blessed us and I don't want to take that for granted!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Each comment and thought you leave for me is much appreciated! I hope you all have a great start to your week! :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nothing Sweeter......

.....than heading for bed and hearing your 5 year old (who was tucked in a lil earlier) singing "Amazing Grace" as he lays in his bed waiting for sleep to take over. I can't even describe the joy that filled my heart as I heard him. I just had to stop and share that quickly! ;)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Our New Recliners :o)

Here are our new recliners that we got recently. They are quite large for the space....but let me tell you...once you sit in them...it's like being in a cloud! They are so comfortable and soft! To be honest...when we first got them home I panicked. I almost balwed because I didn't like how it looked and how big they were. (They sure didn't look that big in the store!)....but I went to bed and prayed and read Psalm 105 and I calmed down. I realized that we are blessed to be able to have these comfortable places to rest our bodies. We were blessed that we could afford them! So I began having a thankful heart instead of a discontented one...and let me tell you...the peace that comes from that is wonderful! :)

I keep trying to move both recliners to be at the same angle from the rooster table...but it never seems to stay how I put them! LOL :)

It's a rainy day here in PA. Our church festivities that were planned for our local festival downtown have been cancelled. So....I guess we will enjoy an evening at home!

I just had to share this last pic with you really quick....I walked past my church bag (I use it to carry my bible and sunday school things in) and this is what I see peeking out at me.....

hehehe...isn't that too cute? It's still there even as I type. It's a little monkey beanie baby type thing wrapped in a blanket and snuggled into my bag! I am not sure which one of the kids did it...but just looking at it makes me smile. I hope it gives you the same reaction! :o)

Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday! :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Days Drifting Away.....

Although it is just the beginning of summer...the days are drifting by slowly but surely. Some days seem to pass quicker than others. I spend time hanging out clothes and cleaning (and plan to start walking outside with the kids on nice days too!).

The kids spend their days riding their bikes and lil tractors around; Driving trucks and swinging. I wish I still had their energy. I think my goal is to regain the energy I used to have and try to keep up with my kids outside! Talk about exercise! LOL

As one bloom dies...another blossoms...

Our garage door.....I just enjoy looking at it. Is that weird?

The girls are well....keeping us well satisfied in the egg department!

Fast trucks ;).......

Perfect play spots....sunny enough to see...shady enough to enjoy....

The kids spend a lot of time in this dirt pile playing with the trucks! I love it!!! :) They also spend alot of time at the basketball court riding their bikes in circles! Usually...like popcorn...they come inside at different intervals...with a booboo on the knee from a collision with each other...or a "he said, she said" incident between them.

And...an exciting pic of the siding I mentioned the other day!!! YIPPEE! Chris still has to finish the top dormers and the soffet and fashcia....but just look at the progress!!! wooohooooo! I seriously can't wait for the whole thing to be done!!!! :)

This week is a local western PA festival in town. I plan on taking the kids down. Tomorrow I will probably take them to the book sale at the library. Wednesday night...our church's praise team will be performing downtown and I am participating in a puppet show to music. It's fun :)! Hope you have an absolutely fabulous day! :) Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Our New Desk!

So...here's the story about our new desk....it is a Better Homes and Gardens desk from Walmart. Normally...they are almost 160 dollars! Although I liked the look of it...I couldn't see myself paying that much for it. Well...while at Walmart last week....they have a lil area where furniture items are marked down...low and behold...there is the box with the desk I like!!! AND....it was only 40 dollars!!!! I kid you not! Like, 75% off!!!! I was so thrilled!!!

So....last week, Chris put the desk together for me. Didn't he do a beautiful job? It's very heavy and solid! Of course, I typically like old fashioned "real" desks that don't come in a box...but I loved the look of this one and it works perfectly in my bedroom! :) Chris even did all the wiring for me when moving the computer over. I hate working with all that...it stresses me out trying to put everything in it's right place! LOL

Please excuse my bedroom floors....it is still the plywood. We improve our home as time and money allows. Since it is a floor that works....it has kinda become a non priority! LOL It has taken a beating...as you can see....but it still works! :)
AND...exciting news...Chris has finished the siding on the one side of our home!!! YIPPEE!!! It looks sooo good! I am thrilled! One more side to go!!!! WOOOOHOOOO!!!! :) (Can you tell I get excited over little things? hehe).

And before I go...an update on Jaxson's ear. He has taken his meds from the dr. and the swelling has gone down. After the swelling went down..we could see a place where he had been bit. I think it was a spider bite. The culture the dr. took came back and it was negative for any infection or anything...so that is good! So...he is all better now and his ear looks just fine! :) I am so glad it never hurt him! :) Thank you so much for asking about him!

Thank you for coming by to visit. I truly appreciate it and love reading each comment! I hope you all have a beautiful Monday!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ooo! Excitement! Come and See!!

I purchased some graphics at Trina Clark Graphics at some really fantastic prices. (I LOVE her stuff!) And I think my blog now has a good amount of "country" and a good amount of "blossom"! What do you think??

Thanks so much for coming by to take a peek at it! I got a new desk on clearance the other day....(one I have been wanting and was thrilled it went on clearance....I got it for 75% off!)...so Chris and I need to transfer the computer to it...cords and all...blah. I will be sure to post pics sometime this weekend or next week sometime when I can!!! :)

Talk to you soon!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Making Strawberry Jam

Tuesday morning...the kids and I loaded up in the car and headed to my inlaws' meat market to make strawberry jam with Ma (my mother in law). Each of the kids helped at times....mashing strawberries, stirring the sugar in etc. :) They also had fun playing with my nephews who were also there! :)

Ma and Xavier......

Madelyn mashing strawberries....

Xavier....trying to hide ;).....

Jaxson riding the bike...LOL...it doesn't look like it...but he *was* smiling at the time. He loves that bike! :)

Today....along with housework and spending time with my littles....I may make an apple pie. Chris would be thrilled. He loves when I make desserts...although my waist doesn't like it...LOL! :) I will have to see though....last evening I smashed the middle finger of my right hand. It hurts soo much. It is swollen and bruised and sore. Typing isn't easy either. It's amazing how difficult things seem when you injure a finger! So...I may attempt the pie today..or wait. Not sure yet. We will see what the day holds! :)

I hope to make some grape jelly soon too. I need to get some lids for some jars and then I will be able to make the jelly! YUM! The strawberry jam is fantastic and I am so looking forward to the grape! Homemade jams and jellies are really the *best*!

Wishing you each a wonderful Thursday! Thanks so much for stopping by! :)