My Horrible, Hidden Disaster Area!

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Yeah, I know. Eventually, I will get back to regular posts. I think my life will slow down... eventually! But now, onward to the Simplifying!

*I'm beginning to wonder about this process. It's very humbling, I think, because if you were to come to visit me, you probably wouldn't see any of these areas that I am broadcasting to all of you on here. But as I go through more and more, I think that it's a good thing to get all of those areas out of the way, so to speak. If I know about the worst, and I know they
are the worst and not the norm, then maybe it's easier to be honest with myself that even though there are cluttered areas, I'm not the world's worst mom because I have a couple closets that are filled up or because I get behind on laundry, ya know? Besides the fact that it's making projects that I dread more fun because I get to show off the results, and therefore, they aren't the worst anymore!*

This week I did my linen/storage closet. It really had WAY too many things going on in there! And it's not finished on the inside (with Sheetrock, ya know?) so it's not pretty
and it's just so darn convenient to toss stuff into because it's right by the washer and dryer, and right off the way to the main bathroom, and *sigh* it was awful!



Yeah. It was BAD. When I told Josh that I intended to do the closet for this weeks Simplifying for Sanity, he
laughed at me. Not just a "hahaha" kind of laugh but a rolling around, holding his gut kind of laugh! "Good Luck!!" he told me.

Good Luck, indeed! I'd need it! LOL!

So first, I took
every single thing out of the closet and rushed about for about 15 minutes putting it all away or out in the trash can.

Then, GUESS WHAT! I found the floor! And it was GROSS! It had this yucky red carpet in there (I couldn't have told you this morning exactly WHAT color the carpet was, but trust me... it was RED!) So, since I am just so
handy I decided to use some of the flooring scraps that we had to put a new floor in there! I really do think that this closet should be completely trimmed and finished, but that's a project for another day! And even though the flooring it's meeting is cherry wood and the closet is pine, I think that it looks MUCH MUCH better!




Of course, the inside walls are
still not finished, but I think I did a pretty good job all by myself! AND I only had to call my darling husband once, and that was only because I'd been fighting to get the wood back together and the entire thing popped up at me! He's such a sweetie, and came and stood on it while he laughed at me and gave me directions to secure it to the floor :)

Then, I had to decide what I wanted to put back in there!

I didn't have any where else to store the paint cans, so in they went!




Then I stored all of my paper products and things I need to grab a million times a day (like the febreze, air freshener and windex on a shelf I installed, hopefully, right about the kid's reach (as long as they don't stand on a chair anyway!







I hung up some nails to keep my cleaning stuff off the floor:




And I stashed the carpet cleaners and vaccuum in there as well (but my batteries had died at the point! Sorry!)

But it's all pretty now, and at least LOOKS organized and not like a tornado hit it or something.


I also found some neat little treasures hidden back in there!


I hadn't seen these shoes in months! Now I know why!



And isn't it adorable?! I have absolutely NO idea where I am going to put it, but I'll find somewhere!




And there you have it!

Show Us Your Life: Cleaning Tips!!

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Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner




Ok, I know I am a bad, bad blogger here lately (what with all my computer time being spent wrapping up details for the ABSOLUTELY AWESOME YOU MUST CHECK IT OUT Give-away and Raffle over at At the Well:In Pursuit of Titus 2) But while I do have a few minutes this evening, I thought I would do a Show Us Your Life post seeing how much I do love blog parties... even though I am late with it!

This week, everyone is sharing their cleaning tips.

How FUN! LOL.

Contrary to what you may believe from the past Monday's post about cleaning my horrific bedroom, the main parts of my home are usually clean.

What?!?

No, seriously!

Stop laughing, I mean it!!

I'll even prove it to you! I'm gonna go take some pictures!

Ok. Besides the glare from the light (Sorry! I had to climb onto a chair to take a picture of the whole thing!) that is honestly what my kitchen looks like right this minute!



And part of the living room. (My husband politely -lol, not really- requested not to be in the picture, so I pointed the camera at the kids as he dodged out of the picture!) Yeah, sure there is a laundry basket sitting by my chair, but see how neat and clean the floor is?

BUT this blog isn't about proving to you that I do clean, but telling you a few of my tips for cleaning! So here they are:

TIP #1: Lots and Lots of Coffee!
(OK, Ok, I'm just
kidding! Sheesh! Don't be so serious!)



TIP #2: Always, ALWAYS wear good lace-up shoes!

The FlyLady says this is one of her most important rules, and when I worked as an at-home customer service Rep, and when I worked as a Mary Kay consultant, both companies STRESSED always getting dressed to your shoes. It puts your mind in the right frame to get up and MOVE! You're ready for anything, anytime, and you're comfortable while you do it! (
And YES, I was, and still am wearing my lace-up shoes and my pajamas at the same time! I put them on when I before my feet hit the floor in the morning and don't take them off until my head is hitting the pillow at night, except to bathe of course! Oh, and yeah, my socks don't match:P)


TIP #3: My Control Journal.

Now what does this have to do with cleaning? EVERYTHING! I write down anything I see that needs to be cleaned, so I don't have to think about it. Then when I'm cleaning, I just turn to my "Cleaning" tab and work my way down the list! It keeps me focused and it also keeps me from getting distracted and wasting time on things that didn't
have to be done! There are several websites that teach you how to build your very own control journal, but of course, I recommend The Flylady's!




TIP #4: Good Music and Good Audio-books.
Music has a magical way of getting your blood pumping! When you are listening to your favorite song, it's hard to sit in your chair and waste time; you want to get up and dance! So I get up and dance while I clean! I keep a variety of good audio-books and programs on there so I can listen while I work on the more tedious jobs!






TIP #5: Good, All Purpose Cleaners.
When I walk into the kitchen in the morning to get my first cup of coffee, I grab my spray bottle of Lysol 4-in-1 cleaner and a roll of paper towels and carry them with me pretty much where I go. I also have polish for the wood, Windex, and Dawn detergent. And that's it. That's all I buy! And they keep my house shiny, cut through the toughest stickiness the kids can deposit and none of them have really over-whelming smells that make me sick or aggravate the kids sensitive sinuses!





TIP #5: Get ya a good feather duster.
Whether you realize it or not, dust makes a house look, feel, smell, and seem dirty, even if it's really not! I use mine like ALL the time. I mean, come on! It's just fun! LOL. And it really doesn't take that long. I can dust all of our pictures and surfaces in the house in less than 10 minutes if I hurry!





TIP #6: Keep the shiny things clean!
I mean, the mirrors, the sinks, the faucets, the windows. When something is SHINY and the light's reflecting off of it, it helps make a room look clean, even if it's not perfectly clean! (Trust me on this one!) I keep one of these microfiber gloves in each bathroom and the kitchen because they are FANTASTIC for doing a quick swipe without any cleaner at all.




TIP #7: Make sure the essentials are handy!
(And no laughing about my Santa canister in my bathroom!) This, ah-hem, canister holds my microfiber cloth, Clorox wipes and my sink brush. The trash bags (this was in the bathroom) are right within arm's reach (we don't have a single cabinet in the bathroom to hide them in!) but not obtrusively so and the shampoo is the extra stuff that I don't use, therefore it gets delegated to a cleaning product!




TIP #8: Keep your toilet clean- ALL THE TIME!
It is SO gross going to a public restroom where there are streaks and stains and who know what else all around the toilet bowl, and I don't know about you- but I won't use them if they are yucky like that! So why should OUR toilets be any different?!? I don't even have a regular toliet brush anymore because I don't need it. I have this glass sponge that I keep in a vase that has that old, unused shampoo in it, and I swish the toilet several times a day. It keeps it clean and white (although I am sparing you the picture, but I can prove it if I have to!!) and since toliet bowl cleaners are nasty, stinky, poisonous things (which I won't keep in the house) and can only be used with caution, this is an awesome alternative, because I can swish the entire inside and outside of the toilet if need be! I change the water and soap once a day, and also I do disinfect the toilet in the mornings with 4-in-1 because I have little boys who aren't very good at aiming!




So that's that for now! I hope you can get something of use out of them, although I must reiterate that I am BY NO MEANS! an expert! LOL

I Done Did It!

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OH! I'm so excited! I love me some blogging parties! I've been eagerly awaiting today's Simplifing for Sanity from Lynette's blog.

So, this week I decided to do my bedroom. I won't even horrify you with before pictures (because I wouldn't make myself take them!) but I will give you a bit of a description:

BEFORE: My bedroom was covered, and I do mean covered!, with laundry and whatever else the children happened to drop in there. You couldn't walk on the floor it was so full of clean laundry in baskets, dirty laundry in baskets, toys and other miscellany on the floor. It was pretty dern rough.

I mean, I
want my bedroom to be sweet and calming, but at the same time, it's on the opposite end of the house from the living space and the children's bedrooms, no one is supposed to go in there except me and Josh so in theory it shouldn't get dirty. BUT what happened was that if I was rushed and didn't have time to fold and put away laundry then I just threw it on the bed. No big deal, right? Because I have to clean it up before I can go to sleep. Well... let me tell you something, Missus! It NEVER gets done like you plan it! In the rush of the day, I couldn't always leave the children unsupervised long enough to get a handle on it, and there's certainly not room in there for all of the monkeys being monkeys AND a monkey mommy cleaning, so it was just easier to hide it and pretend it wasn't there until I crawled into bed with the lights off, too exhausted to worry with it.

SO I decided that I was going to create a CALMING environment. NOTHING would exist in my bedroom unless it had a specific purpose for being there and a specific place to go. It took me about 3 hours to completely scrub everything and get it sparkling, but I DID IT! And now, I'm going to walk you through my NEW,
Simplified, Master Bedroom. :)

Now, My bedroom is roughly 14x14 and is actually the second smallest bedroom in the house, which also holds the house's largest bed (go figure, right?). BUT we chose it because it is so isolated from the rest of the noise and light. We don't even have any windows in our room because of how it's tucked in there!

Let the tour begin!


This is the view from my bedroom door.
The walls are actually BRIGHT SKY BLUE, which my new, relatively cheap, camera doesn't seem to like taking pictures of in true color.




The Hubby's Nightstand.
(The table cloth is actually brown, but again, the camera didn't pick it up :( ) Notice the entire lack of anything besides the phone charger and a lamp! No books, no soda cans or water bottles...NADA!




The bed all made up and my pretty painting.
Our bed is pale pink and dark blue. (LOL) All of the stuff has a gingham/floral pattern on one side and stripes on the other. The painting was actually found by my husband in a home he was remodeling. I love it!




My night cabinet.
I keep so many books and other things that I think I just have to have right by my bed, that I decided I couldn't really keep a bedside table clean, so I just moved this freestanding cabinet to use instead!



A slightly different perspective.
I absolutely HAD to have flowers somewhere in the room, so I bought this bunch of faux peonies for $3.00 at wal mart. The vase I had, and I mixed in some rose scented potpourri and apple scented pine-cones to hide the flower stems. (They actually smell really yummy together!) The mirror I had shoved into a closet and the candles are cranberry vanilla, with a vanilla reed diffuser. :) Believe it or not, the smell is seriously yummy!



The Dresser.
The candlesticks I found on sale at Fred's for $4.00! I want to get some nice pictures of me and Josh and put them between the candles, as well as some shorter candle sticks for the votive candles. One good thing about having a small room though- any angle you look into the mirror you can see the flowers on the cabinet!



The Chest of Drawers.
I have to admit, I was out of inspiration when it came to the chest of drawers. I wanted to keep this crystal punch bowl in my room (I'd be terrified it would get broken in any other room!) but I didn't know what to do with it. Truth to tell I still don't! (And I noticed that the candle was leaning after I uploaded the pictures but this is the best picture I got of it!)



But!
I love how it sparkles with the candle-light!



You see,
What I did: I took some taper candles (cranberry vanilla!) and two of the punch cups and some leftover rose potpourri and shoved it all together. This is what I got!



AND
The piece with the most history and meaning in the entire room to me! This painting was done by a dear friend of mine (Charlie Litherland) for my sister-in-law. She hung it over her mantle for years and when I lived with them it was a constant in the house. When Harmony was born, that was all she would look at while we were at her house. So, my ex-sister-in-law graciously offered to give the painting to us since Harmony was obviously delighted by it. It's hung in every single home Josh and I have shared since Harmony was 2 months old, been all around the country and through some crazy adventures with us! It hangs on 'my' wall so it's usually the first thing I see each morning when I roll out of bed!



So there you have it! I'm pretty proud of what I've accomplished!

Days Like Today

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Therefore, having been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand,
and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

And not only that,
but we also glory in tribulations,
knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
and perseverance, character;
and character, hope.

Now hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts
by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
For when we were still without strength,
in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Romans 5: 1- 6


I have been feeling very downtrodden the last few days.

The children try me at every opportunity, my husband's taken to working extra jobs in the evening to ease the financial burdens we had unexpectedly placed on us, I am 'officially' out of kindergarten curriculum for Harmony and am having to "make-up" some to keep her occupied until our unexpected bills are paid and we can afford to buy the next levels (not that she minds, and she is still learning things, but it takes a lot of extra time on my part), the wedding is looming ever closer and my duties for it are getting more time-consuming, Harmony's graduation is coming up, and my plants are starting to droop in their now too-small containers (thanks to the gloomy, cold weather).

Then, although I am already busy, other things keep coming. My step-father is going to have to have both a vascular bypass and a gastro bypass in the next several months, the school needs someone to design a set and background for Harmony's graduation. The neighbor's dogs get into my trash-cans and it starts pouring rain so the trash is not only stinky, but wet, moldy, and stinky. An over-whelmed friend stops by for a hug and another friend to help relieve their stress over their baby, and another for some fresh coffee and encouraging words.

The boys get sick and I'm up with them all night until i have to get up before the crack of dawn with other children with nightmares, I start showing signs of sleep deprivation and my outlook suddenly darkens. Then the cats all forget where the litter box is and decide to go on the new carpet right before your in-laws show up! Or the phone rings with a call I really need to take right as the baby runs head first into the table.

Do you ever feel like that? Like there's a million and five things for you to do and all you want is an afternoon where all the children fall asleep without an argument, a great show on the History channel, a fresh pot of coffee, a gooey chocolate cookie and sunshine?

*sigh*

I used to think that being a Christian meant either one of two things: either you were a 'real' Christian and cheerful and giving all the time, or a 'fake' Christian and grumpy like the regular people. There was no in between.

However, the farther I get along my walk, the more I realize that a good attitude when things are annoying, over-whelming, or at their worst is not some magic thing that happens suddenly when you become a Christian; it's very hard work!

"These things I have spoken to you,
that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation;
but be of good cheer,
I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

Oh, if only there was a big red button that said "Perkiness" or "Cheerfulness" and all we had to do was press it to improve our mood! The world would be full of people in good moods, who always smiled understandingly and volunteered themselves to help you with even trivial things!

If only the children always behaved, and the bank account was always full!

If only I didn't have so much to do, or if only the day was 36 hours long and there were 10 of them in a week!

"If only," as my mom says, "a frog had wings, it's butt wouldn't hit the ground so hard."



So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.

Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
Romans 12:1-3, 11-13 (The Message)

Fortunately, I don't think God intends for our lives to be easy. I don't think things are going to go the way you want them to, regardless of how much you plan, or how hard you pray.

You ever see a child trying to take a portrait, you know the one I mean. The one who is over-tired, over-stressed, and although the rest of his family is going about their business happy as clams because of Mom's thorough planning, this one child has just had more than he can take. Somethings not going right for him, and he's too immature and doesn't know how to express his frustrations so he does the one thing he does know: Cry. (He's just a baby, after all!)

That's how I feel sometimes. I want to sit in a little corner and cry, maybe throw a few things and kick the wall a couple of times. But I can't because I know that I am a Wife and a Mom, a Friend and a Sister, a Daughter and a Grand-Daughter. I know that I don't have the luxury of exhibiting that level of immaturity, regardless of the moments that the feeling hits me.




Nevertheless we, according to His promise,
look for new heavens and a new earth
in which righteousness dwells.

Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things,
be diligent to be found by Him in peace,
without spot and blameless;
and consider that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation
but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:13-18

Our day-to-day trivial matters are not to be seen as a frustration, or something to crack our wills like a rock on a windshield. No, they are gifts from God. The gift, if we choose to be steadfast in our belief and love, of perseverance.

And when we persevere, we develop character, and with character comes hope: our hope in our salvation and the omnipotence of God.

We must look at our tribulations as an assurance of the presence of hope. And when we hope, we can make it through the hardest days with a smile on our faces, because "we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."

Even annoying things.

Even painful things.

Even troublesome things.

Even awesome things.


And that's where a Christian's smile comes from in the midst of trouble. That's where I'll look for my smile on days like today.

Save us, O LORD our God,
and gather us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.

Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Let all the people say, "Amen!"
Praise the LORD.

Psalm 106:47-48


Amen.

.

Gardening Fever

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For lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over
and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come,
And the voice of the turtledove
Is heard in our land.
Song of Solomon 2:12


Ok, I know the rain is not over and gone! As my cousin, Micheal, says, "I would much rather suffer through rain while March is coming in like a lion then to suffer through April being cold and damp!" And it is definitely coming in like a lion, March that is... It's been raining and storming for the past week straight!

That doesn't do anything to help me with the fact that my kitchen table has been over-taken by all my cool weather seedlings waiting to get out in the ground, or help the fact that my mother-in-law was kind enough to buy me two pink honeysuckle vine cuttings that are sitting amongst the veggies and sprouting leaves while they wait for the frost to past and get out into the garden. Nor does it help the fact that the trees are budding and I have gardening fever and can't get out of the house through the downpour!



That picture was taken last summer when we got the swing-set, but the purpose is to show you the HUGE embankment left when the previous owners cleared land for the house... and they did no kind of improvement or planning for the eventuality of
erosion. Last year, we were more concerned with getting the interior of the house live-able so my answer to erosion was planting grass plugs on the hill. It worked well, for a time, but grass here isn't evergreen, so the winter months have been hard on the embankment. Since we are to the point where everything else inside is basically cosmetic, this year, I can worry about the outside more!

But I have a master plan, see. (
lol) I have those two pink honeysuckles, which is just about the only native southern plant I've not found growing on our property, which I plan to plant at the base of the tree roots that are exposed so they can find some grip on the slick embankment. I want to train them into a background for our patio (area- it's not finished yet! lol). I absolutely adore the smell of honeysuckle; I grew up in south Georgia where honeysuckle grows so proficiently that it's considered a weed but it smells like home to me!)


I have over 500 Morning Glory seeds in Pink, Purple, and Blue (also gifts from my mother in law, who is so in love with Morning Glories and Passion Fruit Vines that her online name is Passiflora!) which I plan to scatter around for quick cover. They sprout in less than a week, grow quickly, and are annuals are here.

Then, I am going to scatter my 1000+ Creeping Thyme seeds amongst the Morning Glories. They take longer to germinate, and are evergreen perennials so by the time the Morning Glories are fading away, they will be just to the size to bloom and take over. :) Hopefully, by next year, the Thyme will be reaching it's full spread and I won't have to worry about anything but filler plants for where the seeds missed !
AND I should have made some attractive, natural steps to preventing the road from washing into my front yard! Not to mention that my yard should start smelling fantastic!


I've spent some time recently scoping out eBay for flower seeds as well. Vegetable and herb seeds are cheap enough for me to buy full price, but the flower I love get a little bit expensive!

I bought some rainbow colors of Holly hocks, which I am going to plant along the front of the house instead of the traditional shrubbery, and intermix with scabiousas and canary bird zinnias.




I'm extending our stone walkway another 60 feet and putting up a fence to contain the people parking in my yard. (The yard has a LOT of rocks in it, and people tend to not realize where the driveway ends, and where they should park their cars!). I am going to put up a trellis and grow wild wisteria up both sides of it. :)
Obviously this isn't just a stock photo of a plant, but this is kind of my long term goal :)



Then all along the fence line, I want to plant Sweet Williams and Plains Coreposis. I love how they tend to have the same patterning in different shapes!


Then I want to mix hostas, astilbes, and lavender phloxes down the walkway that will seg-way into my cosmos and black-eyed susans around the porch.




All in all, I know that it's very ambitious, but it never hurts to plan! I have all the required seeds/seedlings, I just have to be able to get them in the ground! LOL

Just for Fun!

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I was reading one of my darling friend's blog, Sarah Ruth Today and saw a post she did about 99 things. The post is a list of 99 things you could have done, and you are supposed to highlight the ones that you yourself have done. While reading this I saw a lot of fun things that I have done, but also so many things that I HAVEN’T done!

So here goes! The Pink are things I have done, And the Blue are things I haven't!

1. Started your own blog but of course!

2. Slept under the stars – I have, Sarah, and it IS beautiful!
3. Played in a band (Bass, ba-bass, ba-bass,bass, bass...LOL)
4. Visited Hawaii- I would LOVE to!
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to DisneyWorld
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantisDoes NOT on purpose count?
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors- (At least the Native American ones!)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37.
Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing This is me your asking- LOL- I LOVE IT!
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight- in Mexico's Luna Madre... the most beautiful beach I've ever seen!!
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching- Yes, but not on an 'official whale watching ship!' They just swam near our boat and we watched them as long as we could!! LOL
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving (Does cliff diving count?!? I've done that! LOL)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter-(and I was SO scared!)
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89.
Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Got a tattoo
94. Had a baby (LOL, surely not me!)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
(Many times- almost my entire yard is a garden! Although I am seriously allergic to them! I keep my hydro-cortisone on tap just in case!)

A Day In the Life of ME!

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Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

My day starts with the sound of cathedral bells at 4:30 am. (Yeah, OK, I know I live out in the middle of the boonies, but I have this great alarm clock that I found that has all these different, peaceful, sounds to wake up to and go to sleep to... I just love it!) This is the ONLY time of the day that it's quiet and peaceful around here, so I get to lounge around in my nice fuzzy robe and slippers, drink some coffee, and have some private devotion time. (Which is usually where my 'Morning Musings' or my 'Thoughts About God' come from!)

Josh usually leaves around 6:15 or 6:30 for work and I have the house to myself for a couple of hours after I see him off. :)

Then I will check my email and Facebook, and do any work online that needs to be done. I will make my daily checklist, and start a load of laundry, and get myself presentable.

Before the kids get up at 8:00, and with whatever time is left before then, I do the rest of my morning routine, and try to clean up any mess that's left over from the night before. Then I start breakfast, and drink another cup o' Joe while it's hot.

Then the kids get up and I help them get dressed and do their hair and teeth, and we make beds and do morning chores (the kids feed the animals, fold and put away laundry, and clean their bedrooms). We sit down to eat breakfast while I read the children's daily bible study to them.

We sit down in our circle and do our Bible Lessons, phonics, science, and counting games (all of which include the little guys) and then I put the three youngest children in the play yard and we move to the office where we do English, Math, and Latin.

We usually get finished 30-45 minutes before lunch time, so the children go outside and play after we pick up our mess and I do another load of laundry, and whatever house or yard work needs to be done.

We eat lunch at 12:30, and the three little ones go off for their nap after we finish at about 1:00-1:15. The three older children and I clean up lunch, and then Harmony goes off to work on her typing and Spanish while I work with the older twins. Forrest and Regan are off for their naps at 2:30 and Harmony and I work on history and journal and do whatever else she needs or wants to focus on. Harmony goes to her room for nap/quiet time at 3:30 and I clean some more... and make another pot of coffee.

Once the house is cleaned, I put supper in the oven, and spray Febreze and light some candles all over the house so it smells nice and pretty when Josh gets home from work. Then I usually sit down to rest, read, and drink my coffee until Josh gets home.

After Josh gets here, I finish up supper, and we spend about 30 minutes catching each other up on our days. Then the children get up out of bed, wash up for supper and we eat about 5:30.

After supper is chores (washing and putting away dishes, swiffering the floor, taking out the trash, and finishing up laundry). The children spend a little while catching up with Daddy and then the kids start taking their baths around 6:30 or 7:00 and put on their pj's, brush their teeth and hair, and are ready for bed about 7:30 or 8:00.

Jude goes to bed at 8:00, and we gather in the living room for some more family time while the children are sent to bed. The 2 year old twins go to bed at 8:30, and usually Forrest is shortly after them, about 8:45 or 9:00, while the girls stay up until 9:30 or 10:00.

Once the girls are all tucked in and snoozing away, I do a final run through the house, picking up ankle breakers, dirty clothes, and books left laying about. I straighten up the sofa and chairs and lay out breakfast, and do whatever else needs doing that I have time for. I lay out school work and clothing for the next day, and finally get a bath and into my pjs around 11:30.

AND, unfortunately, I am an insomniac so when I get to bed I usually end up reading or watching TV instead of sleeping (although I try!). I am usually asleep by about 1:00 am, though until the alarm wakes me up to do it all again!

(Oh, and a side note: this almost completely changes if we have to go somewhere that day! LOL)







My Favorite Advice

5:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children;
now I have six children, and no theories.
~John Wilmot



These are some of my favorite, albeit most of them are very silly!, pieces of parenting advice. Tis some of the best advice I've ever heard! LOL


Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell the name will carry.
Bill Cosby


Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.
P. J. O'Rourke


"Like all parents, my husband and I just do the best we can,
and hold our breath,
and hope we've set aside enough money to pay for our kids' therapy."
~ Michelle Pfeiffer


"Few things are more satisfying than seeing your own children have teenagers of their own." ~ ~Doug Larson.


"The quickest way for a parent to get a child's attention is to sit down and look comfortable." ~ Lane Olinhouse



"The reason grandchildren and grandparents get along so well is
because they have a common enemy."
~ Author Unknown



"If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?"
~ Milton Berle



"When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice safe playpen.
When they're finished, I climb out."
~ Erma Bombeck



"A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm."
~ Bill Vaughan.


Parenthood:
That state of being better chaperoned than you were before marriage.
~Marcelene Cox



And my personal favorite:

Be sure and dress your children cute;
you're less likely to kill them that way.
~Author Unknown

What a Lovely Morning!

4:52 AM Posted In Edit This 1 Comment »
Sing praises to God,
Sing Praises:
Sing praises unto our King;
Sing Praises.

For God is the King of all the earth:
Sing ye praises with understanding.
Psalm 47:6 & 7



I know that I have a million and five things to get accomplished today but I am having a hard time believing that it is almost 7am and my children are still asleep, my coffee is still hot, and I am dressed in my favorite snuggly sweater and khaki skirt... and they are CLEAN and it all smells so good!

My bathroom is scrubbed and sparkly, my sink is shiny, and the sun is barely peaking out from behind the clouds.


My cardinals are chirping, the cats are all purring, and the first of the more hardy spring vines are throwing splashes of green into the dreary woods outside my windows.



For ye shall go out with joy,
and be led forth with peace:
the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you with singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Isaiah 55 : 12





It's mornings like this that make me happiest. Despite the overcast skies and nippy temperatures, I can feel and see the promise of warmth, sunshine, green grass, and many happy days of summer. I can almost feel the praises of God being sung from under my very feet and being lifted up with the mist all around me; the land thanking Him for His mercy throughout another harsh winter.

And so, although I know that eventually the day to day rush will catch up with me, I wanted to spend a few moments and join in the worship. I wanted to share with you this perfect moment of peace that's filling me up, and recharging me for the day at hand.

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear,
though the earth be removed,

and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.

God is in the midst of her;

she shall not be moved:
God shall help her,

and that right early.

Come, behold the works of the Lord,

what desolation he hath made in the earth.
He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth;
he breaketh the bow,
and cutteth the spear in sunder:

Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth.


The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Selah.

Psalm 46: 1-2, 5, 7-11

I hope your morning has been even half as lovely and wonderful as mine!
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