Thursday, April 27, 2017

"Every day is important for us...

 ...because it is a day ordained by God. If we are bored with life there is something wrong with our concept of God and His involvement in our daily lives. Even the most dull and tedious days of our lives are ordained by God and ought to be used by us to glorify Him."

~Jerry Bridges, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts

Hello friends. :)

Thanks so much for stopping by today! Unfortunately, I have nothing too overly exciting to share...other than I got sick *again*! A little over two weeks after the first time I had what seemed like the stomach flu (although no one else got sick), I got it again. Tuesday I was super sick all day...yesterday I had a down day of just recuperating and trying to re-hydrate. I didn't teach spin or anything....did some laundry and knitting and mostly just took it easy. I have no idea what is going on with me! I am really hoping it doesn't happen least not for a long time! It was quite miserable!

In other news...Madelyn has her first formal tomorrow evening. It is for our homeschool co-op. She is finally of age and gets to go! She is very excited (as am I ~ for her!)! I will be sure to share photos! It's a bit classier than a prom...a smaller number of kids go, Christian adults chaperone...and I think they eat there and that there is no slow dancing! :) It is held at a country club not far from my home!

OH! And Madelyn is trying out contacts! Chris and I decided it was time for her to be able to have some...she had an eye appointment and is now using trial contact lenses to see how it goes! She will even have them for the formal which is exciting too! Of course, I think she looks lovely with or without glasses...but for her, this is just great! :o)

I just have a few photos to share then I need to finish my grocery list!

Last Sunday after church, we had a "clean up around the pavilion" day (to get it ready for use during the spring and summer). They had to move the hay bale mover thing (I am quite unsure of its official name) so Madelyn got to drive the Ford tractor for the very first time! That's her daddy beside her...and in the hay bale mover lays her uncle (and Chris's best friend)! I wanted to remember the moment of Madelyn's first time driving the tractor....but also get the pic of my brother-in-law laying in the hay bale mover! Haha! It was funny!

Madelyn and Mama selfie (so many people say how much we look alike...but Madelyn and I agree...we don't look anything alike!)...

I almost didn't get this photo...but I am so glad I did! Chris and our BIL (They are truly best buds....each was the best man in the other's wedding)...riding on a dirt bike together. Haha! Such fun memories!

 Last week, I let the boys try painting with acrylic paints on canvas. They had a lot of fun!

Xavier did the top one and Jaxson the two bottom ones (they were trying to do Bob Ross inspired paintings)...

We are expecting thunderstorms this afternoon so after I pick up Madelyn from work (she does child care for a couple hours at our local YMCA) we'll run to the grocery store and try to beat the rain. I hope you enjoy your day!


 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.  Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.  Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

~ 1 Thessalonians 5: 14-21

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"I enjoy doing housework...

...ironing, washing, cooking, dishwashing. Whenever I get one of those questionnaires and they ask what is your profession, I always put down housewife. It's an admirable profession, why apologize for it. You aren't stupid because you're a housewife. When you're stirring the jam you can read Shakespeare."

~ Tasha Tudor

Now that the weather is warming quite a bit...we have been spending a lot more time out-of-doors! The children and I worked at tilling the garden and planting seeds the other day...

We've started red onions, white onions, broccoli, different kinds of lettuce and peppers! Below I started some marigolds. I hope they all grow well! :)

The clotheslines are getting a lot of use these days! Oh how I love line-dried clothes (even towels! I prefer a hard, scratchy, line-dried towel to a fluffy soft one! Is that strange!?)...

The children helped me....we worked at raking leaves and taking them away in the wheel barrow! We like to put them in the chicken run so the girls have a place to scratch and keep busy until the evening when we let them out to free-range a bit! :)

 “It's exciting to see things coming up again, plants that you've had twenty or thirty years. It's like seeing an old friend.” 

~Tasha Tudor

I took these photos last week...and I am happy to say that even today...things are looking greener and more cheerful than when I took these photos! :)

Above, you may notice the rhododendron on the corner of the looks like a sick tree now. Last fall I trimmed it. It needed cut was just too big. I started trimming and then there was a big I had to trim more to even it out....pretty soon it looked like a bonsai tree! Goodness, it looks truly silly but there isn't much I can do now except wait for it to grow again! It's one of those things I just look at and shake my head! haha!

We are still, slowly, working on our house. There is more siding that needs put up and Chris has been working on plans for a back porch (Hooray! A porch with a roof is something quite necessary for a home, I think. That way, you can place a mat out there where muddy shoes/boots can be removed and not track things into the house. We have a *mud room* but oh how we have to sweep, vacuum, and wash the floors so constantly in there. It is tedious and a back porch will be *just* the thing to help that! I am so looking forward to it!

Not having the dormers sided makes the house look pretty rough. The paint on them is chipping and peeling...but I know Chris will get to them when he can. I have truly learned patience as a wife with a fixer-upper home over these past 17 years.

Previous owners enclosed the front porch...which makes it nice to have the extra room...we used it as a school room for quite a few years...however, it is not a lovely room at all...and it would be *much* better suited to be an open porch. It is painted as well and the paint is chipping and peeling. I hate to put the money and energy into repainting it though because truly, it looks have a section of the house be sticking out painted...while the rest of the house is sided. Gutting it and making it into a normal porch (or tearing it off completely and totally redoing the front porch) takes a lot of time and money....things that aren't in abundance here. the meantime, I try to plant flowers, keep the yard mowed and tidy and do my best to keep things looking neat and taken-care-of.

 I tell you what....dealing with the abundance of leaves that the trees leave behind is no easy task! I wouldn't trade it though! When the leaves grow on the trees and everything is in its full is truly beautiful (I love trees!).

I have found my favorite garden flags to be ones from Toland. They don't fade and are good quality! I like to get them on amazon when they are priced well (or if I have a gift card or something)! I don't like all their designs either (I am quite picky)...but I do love the tree one (pictured above) and some other ones I have.

Our hens have really been enjoying the nicer weather! They spend a lot of time out in the sun....eating up bugs! :)

One negative thing about having chickens free range...our dog loves (and I mean *loves*) to roll in their droppings. It's really gross and always requires a bath. It's frustrating after just bathing him and off he goes to find more to roll in. Oh dear!'s the middle of the afternoon and I only have a part of the yard mowed! I best get out there and continue mowing! Thank you for visiting! I hope your days are going well and that you are able to enjoy some of the sunshine! I hope you'll come again soon! :o)


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like"...

"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine..."

~Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

 Spring is here and I've hardly had the chance to enjoy it as I was terribly sick from last Wednesday through this past Sunday. I felt as if I was never going to be back-to-good again. It started, as I said, Wednesday later morning, early afternoon. I had an eye appointment early in the morning and was fine and chipper. When I got home I noticed I felt a bit odd and went up for a nap instead of eating lunch. When I woke I tried to eat a bit of something...swallowed one bite and then realized I just couldn't eat anything at all. I went back up to bed.....tossing and turning and gradually feeling sicker and sicker in my stomach. I would lay down.....then feel so I would sit up and then lay back down again. There was just no comfort.

Sparing you all the yucky details...I definitely had the stomach bug of some sort (although graciously, the Lord has kept the rest of my family from getting it!). It took me *days* to eat. I drank some but was pretty dehydrated as well. I just felt so ill and my skin hurt....body aches and just all around *blah*. As you can see in my planner pages that I posted above and below...they are pretty bare. (I even had to miss our homeschoo co-op's performance night where X and Madelyn were square dancing with others! My mom video'd it for me but I still haven't gotten to watch it yet. I was so disappointed to miss it!)

Sunday afternoon/evening I started really feeling better thankfully! And as you can see below, my days are back to normal with eating and chores! (Although Monday's Bible reading didn't get I was playing catch up with everything all day then hit the hay that night....I did read my Bible Tuesday...but just hadn't marked it in my daily habits yet. I try to consistently be in the Word...)

Supper last evening...

And here are just a few photos that I had previously forgotten to post (from the past two or three weeks!) and definitely want to share!

These beauties came to visit one day a few weeks ago! :o) We always love when they come to visit at Aunt TiTi's! Audra smiling for me...

Madelyn was on a cookie-making kick a couple weeks ago. She made these snickerdoodles and also chocolate chip cookies (that I see I didn't get a photo of)...

Jaxson enjoys baking as my mom gave him an "easy apple dumplings" recipe and he made them one day. Everyone seemed to enjoy them (which made Jax proud)! :)

So there we have it. A "where I have been" post as well as some "catch-me-up" photos. I am just so thankful to be feeling better and getting back to the routine. The weather has been quite lovely (with some rain at times....but that's all part of spring!). I was even able to get outside and mow some yesterday! It felt really good! :o)

I hope your week has been going well. I hope you are looking forward to Resurrection Day coming up on Sunday! What a joyful celebration it will be! :o) My favorite time of the year! Thank you for visiting me here and for your patience...since I know it's been quite a while since I last posted!


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Laundry Room ~ Decor & Tips

A young mama friend of mine ~ raising many littles and doing a wonderful job of it ~ surprised me the other day with some decor she made me for my laundry room! I was *so* excited when I opened the present and saw it!!! The wood is stained and smells amazing too! :) 

She made me the laundry letters in the photo above and even included the twine and told me how to hang them up to display! (Chris helped me hang everything! He's pretty great! *grin*). She made me this sweet sign below....

...and these cute *wash*, *dry*, *fold* signs too!....

Initially, I was going to group it all together somehow...but then I found places for them to hang that I liked better! Here's another look at the laundry letters (Yes, we have a huge abundance of saved egg cartons from friends...for our chicken eggs :o)...

 Here (below) is another look at the other corner of the can see my folding drying rack sitting against the wall there too. We still have trim to do around the windows and the coat'll get done eventually! :)

Below is a picture of a shelf I got at a thrift store (I think) a long time ago....I never used it. Just saved it until I found the right place. I felt that it would work perfectly in the laundry room...and I love it! I have a framed watercolor print of chickens I got from etsy a long time ago on top (I love that print!) and my clothespin dress holder hanging on one of the pegs...

A closer look at the chicken print...

Deciding where things should go and making holes in the wall can be stressful! I am so glad when Chris is here to help me! :)

And quickly, before I go ~ I wanted to just share a few quick tips that may make your laundry-life a little easier (and cheaper)!

First...I wash Chris and my clothes in one load, towels in another load and the boys' clothes together in another load (Madelyn washes her own laundry). I don't separate things into lights, darks and whites. I wash it all together and on cold. I use hot water only for towels (and my exercise clothes). This saves unnecessary sorting and time! If an item is new and I am afraid it will bleed into other clothes I will either wash it alone once or else I put in a Tide color sheet (I can't think of the actual name of them...but they soak up any color that bleeds from your clothes that would otherwise get on all your other clothes). I seldom need to use them...thus why the name escapes me. :o)

Second...I don't use dryer sheets. I use dryer balls. They don't have to be can find them inexpensive actually in many stores. Norwex (which I posted about previously and I love) has them...but you can find them cheaper other places. I used to have three wool balls but the dog chewed two of them (which is strange since he doesn't do that to things....he must have thought they were a toy) so I only have one wool one and two plastic ones that look like hedgehogs (which I was given as a gift at Christmas time). They work wonderfully, speed your drying time and save money! Plus, you don't get all the chemicals all over your clothes either!! Win, win! :o)

Third...when it is nice out....I hang clothes out to dry! It saves money and the smell of the clothes when you bring them in is just *wonderful*!!

And finally...I encourage you to wash, dry, fold and put away clothes all in the same day. Don't leave them in the dryer.....finish it. It truly only takes a few minutes to fold a load of clothes (although small children's clothes can take a bit longer)...but just do it and get it done! It feels great to have it accomplished even if you know there will be another load to do tomorrow! (I usually do at least one load of laundry per day...this keeps it from getting overwhelming!)

So there you have it....some laundry room decor and some tips that keep my laundry routine running smoothly and as inexpensively as possible! :o) I hope you have enjoyed your visit! Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a lovely week ahead!