Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Little Paint here...and a Little There...

I wanted to paint our back door. I had wanted a more colonial blue color...with a little more gray in it....but ended up with this folk blue color. I like it and love that it gives a little *pop* to the back porch! I only needed a quart of the paint and actually still have paint left over!

While I was standing at the paint mixing desk at the store, they had some quarts and gallons of paint labeled "mistints". The quarts were only $5. I saw one with a burgundy color which was exactly the color I wanted to use on the bottom half of my bathroom! You can see when I started the renovation here. Just a little *note* ~ when you look at the photo below you will see that there used to be two doorways into this bathroom. Previous owners had built the one doorway in with this wood. It's not attractive but as we aren't sure exactly what we want to do with it right now (ie: open it up and put another door there or make a closet there or what...?) it just is what it is! ;)

So here's a look into my downstairs bathroom. It's truly nothing fancy but I like how cozy it feels with the new paint!

I painted that little table/cupboard beside the toilet as well. It used to be teal and green...

I have a lot of paint leftover in that quart as well! My brain has been thinking and thinking about what I could use it for! :) It's amazing how a few coats of fresh paint can make a room feel different! I am pleased with how it turned out and *love* that the paint was so inexpensive! :)

I'm taking Madelyn for her driver's permit test today! Eeek! It looks like it is going to be a beautiful day in Western PA...despite the unseasonable heat! :) We've got wood to stack, schooling to do, sheets and quilts to wash and hang out on the line and I teach an exercise class tonight. It'll be a full but good day, I hope! I hope yours is as well!


Monday, September 25, 2017

A Clean Kitchen is a Happy Kitchen! I suppose the title of this post isn't totally accurate. Kitchens can't be happy...but women who *work* in those kitchens can! :o) I try to keep my kitchen in a general cleaned-up state. I clean up as I go when I cook or bake. Dishes are done often  and I wipe my counters *numerous* times a day! My island can be a bit of a catch-all though and it drives me bonkers! Even with just a few papers on there it looks so messy! I took the time to sort through and organize any things on the island (and have the children put away their belongings...I remind them that the island in the kitchen isn't the place for their sunglasses....even if it is called an *island*! haha!).

I am posting these pictures (and words) because I wanted others to see a normal, less-than-perfect kitchen. It isn't magazine-worthy. The cupboards and counters aren't made from expensive wood or marble. The island was bought at a consignment-type store. It's old and the paint is peeling in a couple places. My floors are *not* pretty to look at....(honestly I would love to rip them up and get to the wood floors beneath but that will be a LOT of work that we don't have time for right now). So ~ I said all that *not* to complain (at all)! But just to show you that a less-than-awesome kitchen can be clean, tidy and look (at least to me) appealing just because it is well-kept. 

You don't need a lot of money to have a clean kitchen. All it takes is some elbow grease and sweat! If you constantly work at keeping it tidy and well-organized it doesn't take much time at all!

Side Note: I got that little CD player inexpensively. I have a Return to Me soundtrack in it right now which I play quite often. It has Dean Martin, Jackie Gleason and others playing on it and I *love* it! Return to Me is one of my favorite movies actually! I think they have the whole thing on Youtube if you want to watch it!

I gotta run! Things to do! I just wanted to pop in and share the joy of a clean kitchen. I know some people (my daughter is in this category) clean up after all is said and done....when it is overwhelming. Whether it be in the kitchen or with anything you do.... I encourage you to clean as you go. It makes everything a whole lot easier! And definitely keep your kitchen tidy! It makes it a joy to be in, cook in, sing and dance in (along with Dean Martin), and spend time with family in. The kitchen can be such an important part of a home. You'll enjoy it more if it's *clean*!

Have a great week! I hope you found encouragement here!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

"Let me never be ashamed...

...of the truth of the gospel, 
that I may bear its reproach, vindicate it, see Jesus as its essence, 
know in it the power of the Spirit...

...Let the weeds that grow in my soul be cut at their roots; 
Grant me to know that I truly live only when I live to thee, 
that all else is trifling.
Thy presence alone can make me holy, devout, strong and happy. 
Abide in me, gracious God."

~parts of a Puritan Prayer ~ from the book: The Valley of Vision

"Christian marriage is designed to portray to the world an image of the bond between believers and Christ......A Biblical wife submits to her husband because she desires to live according to God's will - not because her husband is a perfect leader."

~quotes from the book: On the Other Side of the Garden by Virginia Ruth Fugate

Alongside my daily Bible reading...I am reading a few other books. It drives me crazy that I am reading 4+ books at a time....but yet, I get so anxious to start one I can't help it! A couple I have been reading and would like to recommend to you are the ones I linked to (and quoted) above.

The Valley of Vision is a "collection of Purtian Prayers and Devotions". It helps facilitate prayer and often says how I feel with much better words! I know my Lord doesn't require me to be eloquent in my speech...I pray in my own words as well. But the prayers in this book are truly beautiful and really help me to lay my heart before God!

On the Other Side of the Garden is a beautiful book on Biblical Womanhood. It is convicting and encouraging! Be ready to underline or highlight as you read it because there is a lot of great info in there to soak up!

I've also been reading "Growing Deep in the Christian Life" by Chuck Swindoll. It's a really good book so far too. I think I am halfway through it.

I really wish I could just stay focused on one book. I am so frustrated with myself to have so many being read at once. Oh well! I am thankful for the truth and wisdom I am getting from each one! :)

I would love to know if you have read any of these books or maybe what you are reading currently?
I hope your week is absolutely lovely!


Friday, September 15, 2017

Organizing in the Kitchen!

Hello friends! :) Thanks for visiting me here today! We've had a busy week and I bet you have too! We've been doing normal homeschooling, cleaning, laundry, cooking, running errands, teaching spin class, groceries etc. All the things that must get done!

While the children work independently on their schooling, I like to take the time to organize if I can! I found a couple lazy susans at Aldi while getting groceries earlier this week! They were a great price and they worked perfectly for where I wanted to use them!

I used them in my spice cupboard so that it made items more accessible in there! No more knocking things over when you had to reach in the back to get them! :)

I like to keep my kitchen tidy through the I am often washing dishes (the children put them away), wiping the counters and putting dishes in the dishwasher. I also organized in our island yesterday but didn't take any pictures! It's not overly exciting...but knowing it is more organized than it was before makes me happy! :)

Jaxson has been drawing (as usual) and his creations keep getting better and better! It is so exciting to watch the gift God has given him improve!

Mickey likes to be close to us at *all* times. Here he is sleeping in a chair that is in the corner of the dining room (while everyone is doing school in there!). As soon as I walk off to do the laundry or wash the dishes...he is stuck to me like glue! If I sit down, he is on my lap. I am *not* complaining though! I love it! :)

The older two children are out and about...busy helping others (which brings *such* joy to me!)...Jaxson is here with me. Chris got home from work just a bit ago and is now outside working on a chicken coop for my mom. She needed a new one and was going to try and build it herself....but my sweet husband said he would do it! If you follow me on Instagram (link in sidebar) you can see a photo of it! :)

I need to get supper started (my stomach is a rumblin'). I also want to go out and sit on my back porch in one of the rocking chairs and visit with Chris while he works! So I am getting off this computer! ;o) Have a great weekend! Thanks for dropping by!


Friday, September 8, 2017

What's Cookin'?

So, I've noticed I've gotten into a rut of making a lot of the same meals week after week. I decided to buckle down a bit with my meal planning and try some different recipes!

I've made broccoli cheese soup before but not in quite a while. So this is what we had for supper Wednesday evening! (We went to a picnic Monday evening and had BLTs on Tuesday night!).

Above was before we thickened it a bit. Below is the finished product! Everyone enjoyed it!

 One thing I want to add....I may have posted this before (I don't remember) but one thing I *always* do when I am cooking or baking is to clean up as I go! It is a *must* for me! I constantly wipe counters, put compost in the bowl, throw away trash and wash dishes. This helps so that when I am finished cooking ~ I don't then have to spend another 15 minutes cleaning it all up! Often, I can wash dishes or be wiping counters while something is simmering etc. I even do this while crafting or anything else I may do....I keep things around me cleaned up. I don't leave trash lay around and just generally keep things tidy! It really helps so that things don't get so overwhelming! :)

After making the broccoli cheese soup all I had left to wash was the crock pot I used to keep it warm until Chris got home from work that evening (he was running late). Everything else was washed and tidy as I went...

 Last night I made a chicken pot pie! It was good! It was supposed to be in a pie plate but I didn't feel that would be big enough for our whole I added more veggies to the recipe and then put it in this deeper dish. I had to use extra crust too. Everyone enjoyed it...even my boys! They don't usually like peas (neither do I) and they ate it all right up!! (and there were a ton of peas in there!!!). Success!

And before I go...I just wanted to share our new faucet quickly! Our old one was broken and driving me crazy! The top would fly off when you turned the water on and just needed replacing! Chris gave me permission to get a new one! I was looking at them online and kept asking his opinion...but he kept telling me to get whatever one I wanted! :) So I found one (it arrived in the mail yesterday) ~ and despite him having a long work day yesterday....after supper he put it in for me! I was so excited! :)

It works wonderfully! It's funny how such little things like a faucet can really make me smile! :)

A friend came over to visit for a bit yesterday. It was wonderful~ although a bit chilly outside we both dressed appropriately and sat in the rockers on my back porch! We had a lovely time visiting (and rocking away)!

Do you have any favorite meals you have tried lately? Do you ever find you get in a rut with your meal planning? Please tell me I am not the only one! :) Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a truly wonderful weekend! If you live in Florida or Texas please know that my family and I have been praying for you!


Friday, September 1, 2017

A Little Rearranging Indoors (Plus Other Fun Photos!)

You may remember that our piano used to be in our dining room. It's been there for years. I didn't mind it there...but because it stuck out so far from the wall ~ I had to move the table over a bit....which meant it wasn't centered under the light and ceiling fan. It always drove me a bit crazy... I decided it was time for a change! The kiddos happily took a little break from their schoolwork to give me a hand! So we moved some book cases and things ~ and then moved the piano into the computer room (our old living room).

Yes, the walls in this room still need redone. They need holes mudded and sanded...and just some overall TLC. Then they need painted ~ as does the ceiling. It will happen one day, Lord willing.

 Here's a look at the corner that the piano used to be in (below). It really frees up the area and allows the dining table to be in the middle of the room!

Some other fun photos from around the house...

Mickey sleeping with his baby...

I am totally getting into the fall spirit....burning fall scented candles...

 I've done some decorating out-of-doors as well. I have some things on the front porch too! :) I just didn't photograph it!

A look in my planner at what I have been up to lately...

Thank you, everyone, for all the thoughtful comments you made about my new porch and rocking chairs! It is very exciting to see all these things happening around here. We do things on our own, without debt...which means slowly and when we have the extra money. Chris and I will celebrate 17 years of marriage this month. So, although that is a small amount of time in light of eternity....for me that is almost half of my lifetime! We still have siding to put up on the dormers and front of the house and more renovations that need completed. Each time we get something more matter how gives us such a sense of satisfaction and joy! :)

Don't worry though....we definitely know these are just earthly things. Our true joy comes from Christ. In light of projects mean nothing. But in caring for our home and renovating things that need it ~ (and doing so without debt) is being responsible for the things the Lord has given us. :) I just don't want anyone to think that my love for home and our renovations is too much of a love for the world and the things in it. The Lord just gave me a love for beauty, coziness, and warmth. I get joy out of homemaking (and homekeeping) ~ caring for my home and family! :)

I am helping my Mother-in-Love at a local Farmer's Market this afternoon! :) I hope you all have a lovely, joy-filled weekend!