Thursday, August 28, 2008

giveaway you won't want to miss

Christina at HsKubes' Haven at Home is having another of her marvelous giveaways. You won't want to miss out on this one! Check it out and join in the fun.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Surviving Fay

I haven't been spending too much time on the computer lately as we've been weathering out this storm. The wind has been rather inconsistent. I'd image that it's been steady at 15 mph with gusts around 30 or so. I had one gust hit me while I was out feeding the chickens and it knocked me back. That was sort of fun, but other than that, it has been more of a rain maker. I'm not talking about the 33 inches that some places had. It's been a steady moderate rain. I think that, thus far, our rain gauge has measured about 4 inches over 2 days. Most of my time has really been taken up in keeping the children occupied, since they can't go outside.

I was going to take my camcorder and video tape some of the wind, but then I didn't. So much for good ideas... haha

We're supposed to keep on with the steady rain until Wednesday. By then we'll all be ready to get outdoors!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

pinching pennies

I love foaming hand soap. I hate the price. One day I decided to try using regular liquid hand soap and watering it down, just to see if it will work. Well, it did. I came to find out that this isn't some amazing discovery on my part, but that many people do this already.

I bought the foaming pump. Once the soap was gone in it, I refill it with a solution diluted to 1 part liquid soap to 2 parts water. Sometimes I dilute it 1 part soap to 1.5 parts water. Different brands have different consistencies of soap. I stir it gently to dilute the soap. Not only do I get to have my wonderful foaming soap, I'm saving a whole lot of money.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First day of school

The first worksheet for this school year. Lydia did okay. She didn't sit in the chair long...but I didn't expect her to. Ethan was a bit whiny when I gave an instruction he didn't like. John remembers A LOT from last year. I'm so glad...maybe all that teaching stuck with him? :P

Yes, the wall has still not been painted. :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

flipping through images

Yesterday I was scouring the internet looking for cute images for my blog. There were scores of images that I found that had this same message, but this particular one keeps coming back to mind. I am not implying that it is cute.

It speaks enough for itself, really. If people want a dirty house, that is certainly their business. But my life is waste if I'm a good housekeeper?

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! --Isaiah 5:20

As for me and my house, today, we are cleaning blinds. We (me and the children) have thus far cleaned 3 sets of 70-inch blinds. Talk about heavy! I still have a few single window width blinds to go. Some of the blinds are in rooms where children are sleeping, so it will have to wait an hour or so.

Here's how it worked today: I pulled the pull cord to make the blinds easy to tote. Then I laid them over the clothesline. John sprayed them down with a mild cleaner in a spray bottle while Ethan hosed them off with the water hose. Lydia played in the puddles. After about half-an-hour had passed I went out to give the clothesline a good shake, to get off excess moisture. An hour later, I brought them back in and hung them up. Well, I hung up two of three. The blinds that go in our bedroom are far too heavy for me to lift and fit into the hanging clips. That will have to be a job for my muscular hubby!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I'm just starting to see the dawn after the night, the light at the end of the tunnel, the rainbow after the storm or whatever. I haven't had as many posts throughout the summer as compared to the school year. Well, I really have been busy. From school's end to camp I was completely absorbed in youth camp. We got back from camp, had 2 weeks of down time and then had our church's homecoming and revival from Sunday, August 2nd to Friday, August 8th. Since we've been home, I've been working fast and furious to do some spring cleaning. Yes, I am aware that it's not spring. But when you live in the deep south, you just can't bear going outside with the heat and humidity.

The summer cleaning (can't really call it spring cleaning) has been arduous to say the least. I had mentioned in a previous post some of my goals. We now have a dedicated study/school room!! But the best is that we have three school desks for the children. We still have the wooden desk that was Jeremy's as a child. It's going to be for extra storage. But it's also going to double as a place I can put my sewing machine. The white dots on the wall are from where we had this wall foam insulated a while back. The house is starting to need some TLC: markers on the walls, minor patch work where stuff used to hang in the walls, etc. Hopefully that will be coming up soon.

Yes, that is a rocking chair in the school room. Any homeschooling parents who have homeschooled with a baby will understand the wisdom in this! The box spring is from the boys' old beds and will be taken off to storage once the weather clears up. On the bottom photo, you'll see our dry erase board, which I'm really excited about. The two pictures on top of the adult desk need frames. One of them is of the Ten Commandments and the other is of John 3:36. Since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Pro 1:7), then what better decor than this? On top of the filing cabinet are three totes full of school craft supplies, flash cards, etc. I don't know what to do with it. Ideas?

Then there's the matter of the bunk beds. The kids were really excited about them at first, but now they seem to be sort of scared of them. They'll adjust :) Well, here's my next project: I will have to make some sort of bedspread. On our bunk beds, the bottom bunk is a full and the top is a twin. My kids make their own beds, of course, except Lydia. When the kids were on separate twin beds, making the bed wasn't a lick of trouble for John. Ethan, being just three, has some trouble. I usually go behind him and pull out a few wrinkles. Anyway, they have had a great deal more trouble with a cumbersome comforter on the bunk beds. I can't find what they need in stores. They need a matching set for a full and a twin, but they need to be a lot shorter and thinner too. I'll have to find some creativity somewhere and figure out a functional bed spread for them. Anyone have any ideas they can share?!?!?! Until then, here's their room. Organized and least more than it was.

Here is Lydia's new room. Now, this was the play room. Lydia was sleeping in the study. I really love having a play room. The toys seem to stay out of the living room that way. But I would much rather have a school room than a play room.

I don't think you can see it from here, but I love her bedsheets!! They are ecru in color and have eyelet lace around the top. I had them when I was at home and my mom let me take them when I got married. I'm in the market for her some sort of bed spread or comforter too. I don't have anything feminine!

Our house has undergone lots of changes during the seven years we've been here. Our home has a square footage of 1192. When it was just me and Jeremy, it was roomy. When it was me and just 1 baby, it was still comfortable. With 5 people, you have to get creative when it comes to conserving space. When we converted our coat closet to a pantry, we used the play room for storage. Granted, in Florida, you don't really need a coat too much. A few layers easily do the trick in the coldest weather. Anyway, since Lydia's needs the closet space we're still trying to be creative. Every little trick helps!

I really hate to throw away gift bags. They're so expensive. I had about 50 thrown up in the top of Lydia's closet. Here they are now, organized by size, with wrapping paper in the very back and tissue paper in the very front. I opened up the largest and smallest sizes to give an idea of how big they bags are. The box they are all organized in is a 10-ream box of copy paper. It fits very neatly in the top of the closet.

Although this closet is still pretty full, you wouldn't believe what all is in here. There are a lot of baby essentials that can't take the attic heat: bottles, a mobile, etc. There are two sets of luggage, an easel, a few guns (not loaded, of course), and some toys ... and that doesn't begin to tell everything! Before I de-cluttered and organized, it was packed from the floor to the clothes and from the shelf to the ceiling!

Speaking of de-cluttering, I'd say that over the past month, we have probably taken 12 or more bags to good will or thrift stores. It is amazing how fast clutter builds up. I really thank the Lord for the health and vitality He's given us to accomplish this work.

If any of you out there have tips or links to good organizational blogs or web sites, PLEASE share!! Thanks everyone.

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. --Proverbs 14:1