Friday, September 30, 2016

Joy in a Tidy Kitchen

Do you ever notice how fantastic it feels to be in a room that is tidy? Central places of the home...such as the kitchen and living room...can quickly become cluttered and untidy for people. They are the busiest spots of the house and can accumulate things quickly. Keeping my kitchen island clean is always a difficult task I have.

 I always feel like I can just *breathe* easier when a room is clean.

My home is older. My kitchen is not my ideal (as the cupboards were like this when we moved in). Maybe you have rooms in your home that aren't your favorite but there isn't the money to redo them right now (or ever). Keeping even your least favorite areas in your home clean and tidy can still make them enjoyable places to be! 

I am thankful for my kitchen. I am thankful for what God has so richly provided for us. Maybe one day we can redo it...and maybe not. Either way I am content, truly. It's a great feeling. :)

It is raining here abundance! Our day will be filled with schooling, housework, and maybe a movie! Jaxson's best buddy is coming over this evening to hang out and sleepover ~ so the children are looking forward to that! Thank you for visiting me here today. I hope you found some encouragement! Have a lovely weekend friends!


Linked up at: Strangers & Pilgrims and Raising Homemakers

Monday, September 26, 2016

As September Comes to an End...

 Cooler temperatures have begun to set in here in PA. The days have been full of blue skies and sunshine though..and it is quite warm when standing in the sun! They are calling for thunderstorms this afternoon and I am quite happy with that. It's quite nice to have a change in weather from time to time.

Chris has made great improvements to our simple home over the years...and has really focused on the inside this year. It is wonderful to have such a talented, hard-working husband. I completely adore him! I am hoping, Lord willing, that next year we will have the funds and time to replace the upstairs windows of the house and finish putting the siding on the dormers and front top...

I found mums at Aldi for only $2.99! What a great deal! I put a couple on the front porch and some in my log planter in front of the garage. They haven't completely opened yet but will be stunning when they do...

All five of us have been working hard at preparing for the upcoming winter weather. Chris splits wood most evenings and then the children and I work at stacking it. Hard woods go in the wood shed...

...and soft woods get stacked outside. We have 4 rows (pictured below) so far! The soft wood burns quicker than the hard woods. They are not the best choice...but men who cut down trees for a living offered the wood to us for free (they even bring it and leave it in our yard for us!) so we won't say no to free wood!

It makes the yard look a bit crazy...all these logs and stumps laying around....but that's okay. I am truly grateful to have the wood! It's glorious to stay warm and toasty throughout the winter!

The children have their tree swings up....they have so much fun swinging on them...

We had a fire pit/cook out area in the woods behind our house. We haven't used it for years though and it had grown over with ferns and weeds. The boys decided they wanted to clean it they did! They made a clearing through some of the wood...

They mowed and weed-eated and raked and more. Everything is a bit rugged....some of the seating needs placed and the one bench/table will probably turn into fire wood...but that's okay! The boys were just so thrilled to have gotten it so cleared and tidy! I was impressed at what a good job they did too!

They re-did the fire pit stones...

You can see more logs in the background for us to cut, split and stack...

A view of our house from back in the cookout spot!

The days are full of schooling, walks/runs (for exercise and also to visit the barn cats....I love them!), spin classes, housework, hanging laundry out, grocery shopping, reading, sticker making and more! Oh, I love autumn! I'm so glad it is here! I hope the days seem to last a while as I am not hoping for winter to come crashing in anytime soon! :)

I have to switch laundry and then clean out the fridge (as well as other things that need my attention) I best be on my way. Thank you for stopping by!


Linked up at: Strangers & Pilgrims

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

*Trials & Joys*

The sun outside is shining brightly and the skies are beautiful and blue. It is an absolutely lovely day here in Western Pennsylvania! Life isn't perfect matter how idyllic pictures may make it seem...but it is a life loved and lived attempting to glorify God in all things.

My laptop died on Saturday. The Lord was wonderfully gracious to me though as I had just finished a sticker order and sent it out and also had just finished our church's worship guide (I digitally assemble our church's *bulletin* for each Sunday) and sent it to our church's tech guys. I got up to get some breakfast and Chris sat down to check the weather and called out to ask me if I had turned the computer off. I hadn't. It had just completely shut down on its own and we couldn't restart it. I have a computer friend trying to fix it (so grateful for him!).

Thankfully, I had the worship guides and my sticker sets saved to a thumb drive. I lost all my music (thousands of songs) and playlists for the spin class I teach (I had over 60 made). They are still on my iPod but if I plug it into this new computer, I'll lose them I can't change or redo any of the playlists. I am so hoping that our friend is able to save our old computer so I can still use it for that! Eek!

I *do* praise the Lord though that we had money in savings and were able to purchase a decent (but not very expensive) laptop! I am back to making my stickers and after trying to put all my usernames and passwords in my different emails and sites that need them....I think I am *finally* getting back to normal with this new computer! It was a bit stressful!'s amazing how much is saved and vital on a computer! To lose that old one really threw me for a loop (and I am not even really into social media or doing a whole lot on the 'net)! I am not an internet junkie at all (I don't even own a smart phone nor do I text or anything!) but I love having it for numerous reasons...a few being things for homeschooling, email, checking the news and weather and also my sticker business! :)

So far today I have been kept busy with tasks of life (as well as praying in the midst of it all for friends and even people I don't know ~ but need prayer! Praying while hanging laundry or washing the dishes is a great use of your time!) :) I taught a spin class early this morning...came home to shower, send Chris off to work with a kiss and began homeschooling with the children. I began laundry and hung it out on the lines. While the children worked independently for a bit on their schoolwork I was able to do a little reading! We did our Bible curriculum together and then had lunch. Now, we're all just relaxing a bit before we head outside to stack wood. Chris splits a bunch each night when he comes home from work and then the next day, the children and I stack it. :) Getting ready for the winter! :)

I brought a tree I had stored in the garage back into the house recently. With the new living room, there is more room for it. The lights that had been on it died so I had to put new ones on. I like them...they cast a warm glow throughout the living area. We haven't really done a "Christmas Tree" for years...I am not into them (as I am unsure that the Lord is truly honored and glorified by us having one at the time His birth is celebrated) but it means a lot to the children so I said we could put some Christmas ornaments on it during that time of year and they can enjoy it. I really think they miss the cozy feeling of the tradition.

If you look in the picture below you can see out the evening window...the wood stove to the left and back behind the wagon (and the reflection of the tree lights on the window pane)...far, far back is Chris splitting wood...

A look out the other window in the evening hours...

One other thing I was working on today....planner clips! Aren't they darling? I just love them! My sister had found a shop on etsy that sells uncut felties. She told me about it and I purchased a small grab bag (you can request one certain feltie to be included in the grab bag....I, of course, asked for the sloth). People make headbands for children and other fun crafty things with them. I made planner clips and they are just *too* cute!

 Honestly, isn't this sloth peeking out from the top of my planner just too sweet!? (Yes, I confess, simple things give me joy....and I'm okay with that!)

A little peek into my planner and how I map out my days and to-do lists...

I teach spin class this evening as well...although on nice days I don't always have a class. In the winter the class fills up with people trying to keep weight off and get their exercise in despite the cold and snow. These nicer days of Autumn people enjoy spending their evenings outside in the nice weather and I don't blame them! :)

I need to hang another load of clothes out on the line and then get to stacking wood! Thanks so much for stopping by to visit me here and I hope you have an enjoyable rest of the week!


Thursday, September 15, 2016

New Valances for the Living Room

My mom, my sister and I all met at JoAnn's last week and found fabric for valances for the new living room. I'm not 100% in love with the fabric...but I don't dislike it either. I am still getting used to it. The pictures aren't totally accurate as the flash makes everything appear much brighter than it truly is.

My sister was kind enough to take the fabric and sew valances (with a lining) for in the living room.

When I first put them up, I wasn't overly thrilled with them...but slowly, they are starting to grow on me. I think I envisioned a different look (although I couldn't actually describe truly *what* it was I was envisioning)...but this works and definitely warms the room up a bit...

It's going to take me a while to get used to them. But once I do....I am sure I'll like it. Maybe one day I'll change it up...but for now it works.

Although you can't see it...close up on the valances are imprints of birds and leaves. You may be able to notice in one of the photos above if you enlarge it. :)

I am having some issues with my google storage if some of my photos aren't showing up for you, that is why. I am trying to get it worked out....but we'll see what happens. I think it is silly I even have to *pay* for a storage plan. Oh dear!

I am thankful it's a beautiful day here because I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with things today and a bit down....the sunshine helps though! :)

I hope your day is full of sun and smiles! Thanks for stopping by!


Linked up at: The Dedicated House: Make It Pretty Monday

Monday, September 12, 2016

Cozy Warmth

As cooler temperatures and less humidity set in here in PA, I have found myself yearning for the cozy warm feelings of autumn! It can still be hot in the sun...and after a good work out, I love a cold shower....but overall, things are starting to cool down and although I don't look forward to winter....I plan on soaking up every *single* moment of fall!

Nothing says cozy to me more than a good ol' batch of homemade vegetable beef soup! So I made that for supper one day last week...along with some whole wheat rolls...


While reading during his school time last week, Xavier fell asleep. I just love him in all his cuteness here...all cozied up under a blanket...

Fall scented candles are burning a lot these days...

My home smells of a warm blend of pumpkin, vanilla, and apple cider scents!

Along with schooling...I have my checklist of things to accomplish today (you can also see the latest stickers in my SHOP there! Bibles! Aren't they adorable!?)...

I have clothes finished in the washing machine that need to be hung out. I also have some other chores awaiting my attention and children's school work to look over, so I best be going! :) You can bet at some point today I will be cozy and warm snuggled under a blanket while reading for a bit! I hope you have an enjoyable Monday! Thank you for stopping by!


Linked up at: Strangers & Pilgrims and The Dedicated House

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Cozy-ing Up the House!

So, I finally decided to bite the bullet, so to say, and begin to hang things in my living room. I don't measure...I *eyeball* it (which seems strange to me as I can be such a perfectionist about some things). It's all quite nerve racking during the process. I'm always nervous about how it will turn out once I step back and see it from a distance.

Mind you, the pictures look a bit brighter than real life since I had the flash on my camera...

Adding decorations here and there have really cozied up the new living room. When we first moved into it, I was quite nervous that I wouldn't be able to achieve the same cozy warmth that we had in our old living room. Chris was confident in me though, and that was encouraging. It's slow-going but it is happening *bit by bit*...

The living room stays a decent, comfortable temperature in these warm months because 1. it does not get direct sunlight pouring in 2. we have a ceiling fan going 3. and finally...we have this oscillating fan...on the floor...that helps move air around. I didn't intend for it to sit day it was quite hot and I brought it down from the upstairs and plugged it in there for relief. Instead of finding a better spot for it, it has remained there and does it's job :)...

So far, this is the only decoration hanging in the laundry room (I realize it is not centered...that was purposeful as I plan on obtaining a few other things to hang around it in a grouping!)...

My hard-working and talented husband got the bifold doors put on the coat closet in the laundry room! All that is left is for me to paint them (ugh...I thought I had finished with that part!) and the trim to go around! Yay!

Sunshine filled days are just perfect for hanging the clothes out! I love that stiff feeling they the money it saves (since we aren't using the dryer) is fantastic!

 Yes, yes....pumpkin, vanilla, and fall scented candles are burning in abundance here despite still having temperatures in the 80's. I just *can't* help myself! The smells just make everything so much more enjoyable!

And before I go...I am excited to share that Chris has wanted to buy me a KitchenAid mixer for years! I don't *need* one but it is just something he has always wanted me to have. The price (even on sale) was always a bit high though. Well, while at an auction this past Saturday, he found one in like-new condition and got it for me! I had met my sister up at JoAnn Fabrics to find fabric for my curtains in the living room and when I got home...this was sitting on the counter!

I love that it is white so it works perfectly in my kitchen!

So that is what has been happening around here lately! What have you been up to? :)

I teach a spin class tonight, the children have music lessons with their instruments, and later this evening we're going out to friends' to get wood from them (for our wood stove). They had cut down some trees and knew we heat our house by wood and offered the wood to us (wasn't that kind?).

I best get going as there is much to do! I hope you had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend and warm wishes for the week ahead!


Linked up at:

A Wise Woman Builds Her Home