Sunday, April 7, 2013

Organizing Make-up Central

So, I finally did it!!  I finished a Pinterest inspired project that has been waiting for a few months!  

Here is the original idea::

Our bathroom is very small and has little to no actual storage so we have to be creative.
Also I have lost quite a bit of my Bare Minerals make-up to little hands so getting it out of reach was the most important thing.
 There was a ton of dead space over the window in the bathroom so I decided it was just the spot for my project!

So I the original idea was to use a picture frame but I thought that a silver platter would look nice too!

I pared it with a little tine pitcher that I sprayed a fresh coat of paint on to hold my brushes.
I think I might paint some little flowers on it latter for a pop of color.  
What do you think?

Here is another Pinterest/ combo idea that we have LOVED in the bathroom!!
Here are the inspired links:

Simple shelf from a recovered pallet with the jars added to the front for even more storage.

And really, isn't it WAY cuter with the jars?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentines for Kids

Hi all!  Valentines is, well... tomorrow.  Sorry this is so close.  
But I wanted to share our valentines that we made.
You see I combed Pinterest for Valentines that I thought would be appropriate 
for a child to give and get from either gender to either gender.
In my search I didn't really find anything appropriate that wouldn't cost an
arm and a leg or take too much time to prepare.  
I got to thinking that I want what they give to point back to what 
love really is so we went with a scripture theme.

I looked through a bunch of verses but settled on John 15 : 13
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for another.

So how do you make this into a valentine?  You add a cute baggie full of Life cereal!  
I think they turned out pretty cute, don't you?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Raising Warriors

After the events of the morning watching the service of the Fallen Hero Officer Kevin Tonn, I have had time to reflect on them and I have a few thoughts I would like to share with you.

I have long know that I wasn't strong enough to be a military wife.  Please don't get me wrong I have DEEP respect for them but the fear and the time apart is something I just couldn't imagine.  I  have friends who are military wives I have so much respect for them and the HUGE job they do.  I guess God knew I wasn't strong enough because the man He chose for me wasn't in the military.  We support them and his brothers have all either served or are still serving and they are amazing men!  I have and do pray for them every time they were or are deployed over seas to protect my freedom. 

But I have never thought about raising a warrior, a servant, a defender of freedom.  Don't get me wrong I WANT my sons to produce all those traits but I never thought about what that could mean until today.  I watched as those parents mourned the loss of their son.  The baby she carried. The baby they brought home and held in their arms.  The child they loved, cared for, provided for and gave their all for.  The boy they raised to manhood who served not only in the Army but as a firefighter and then finally, submitting to his calling, as a police man.  They raised him well.  They loved him and supported him.  And while I do not know them personally, I do know that they are Christian parents who love the Lord and I am sure that they knew that he had to followed God's path not their own idea of a path for his life.  

So it got me thinking, if my sons are called to serve and that is their path that God has chosen for them, and I do hope they follow when they are called no matter where it is, it means I am going to have very bad knees.  I just never thought about raising them up to send them off.  The long nights, days, weeks, and months of prayer and fasting for their safety. Praying the they love God and serve Him and that God's perfect will will be done and accepting that His perfect will isn't always easy.  We are raising them to love our nation and all its freedoms.  That our freedoms are worth fighting for and that this is the land God gave us.  It would not be a surprise if they do chose to serve in some way. 

I guess I have just realized that as parents we don't know what their calling is and we have to trust that God has it in His hands.  I have so much respect for the many parents who have done that and have had to wrap their arms around a flag instead of their son or daughter.  The parents of all the warriors who serve in any branch of service from the military, police, fire and anyone who puts their life on the line for me and mine, please accept my deepest thanks. Please pray for those of us who may be raising up the next generation, that we will have the same strengths you have and we will pray for you and your sons and daughters who fight for us.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Choosing your priorities.

The other day I was invited to a wonderful woman's Bible study at a friends church.  I was so excited because I was looking for an affordable Bible study and one that I could bring my homeschooled children too and this was it!  One of the things they did was talk about how we fill our days.  The leader showed us an analogy where using rice and walnuts to demonstrate how we fill our days makes a huge difference in the day.  So I decided to make my own and to mix it up a little and share it with you all.

This jar represents you day.  You choose how you fill it.

These lentils represent all the things that distract you from spending time with the Lord.  Things like chores, bills, children, laundry, cooking, friends, facebook, and well, you get the idea. 

These blocks represent time with the Lord.  The building blocks of our day really should be spending time with the Lord, praying and serving others. 

So how you fill your day can make a big difference in the outcome.

If you start by filling it was all the "things" you have to do or by all the little distractions first you just won't fit in all that time with the Lord that you had hoped for at the start of the day.

BUT if you start your day with the Lord, seeking Him first... 

and then add everything else...

you will find that...

it all fits!

So I decided to make this jar as a reminder to me that what I decide to fill my day with makes a huge difference on the day and the focus.

I thought that a scripture verse will tie it all in as a beautiful reminder.

So here is my completed jar!  What do you think?  Do you think that having this as a reminder for you you might help you keep your time with the Lord?

Here it is put in its spot in my kitchen garden window so that it is always right in front of me while I am working.

Have a blessed day!

Our Celebration of the Feast of Epiphany

Hi all!  I wanted to tell you about something super cool we did this year.  When we were growing up my father and step mother had this night that we had on December 12th when we all had to get together sing carols and read the Christmas story.  In our family we called it 12th night and it was a required family attendance night.  This year as we prepared for Christmas I was reflecting on that tradition.  I was wondering if it had any roots in Christian tradition so I hit up my good friend, Google (love you Google!).  I found out that there IS a 12th night tradition but my family had it all WRONG!!! 
 It is traditionally celebrated on the 12th day AFTER Christmas.  It is the time when Christmas decorations are taken down and when they celebrated the coming of the season of Epiphany.  So this year after making all the Christmas gifts for the family I thought what a great idea!!  We will continue the celebration until then and end it with the feast of epiphany, God showing that Jesus was the savior and king, and put Christmas celebrations away by turning it back toward the Lord.  So I had to learn more.  What would I do with 5 kids to celebrate an event I had never really heard of?  Again, I LOVE Google!!  

It is defined by the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary as "the evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking" 

In my research I found it was tradition to have a feast, serve  wassail, a King Cake, and some even gave their gifts at this time.  Well, the last thing my kids needed was more gifts but the feast, cake, and cider sounded pretty good!  I also saw that they would have a candle lit dinner to help to remind us of the star that the wise men followed to find the baby Jesus. 

 So this year I put together a plan and started with serving a nice dinner by candle light (the kids LOVED this!),

we learned about what an epiphany is, what the 3 main signs were that Jesus is king (the wise men, His baptism, and his first miracle), we sang I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In and We Three Kings of Orient Are, Talked about the symbolism in the gifts the wise men gave and then served the kings cake... or in our case cupcakes!  Since this is our first year I decided that everyone would get a treat in their cake.

This year they each got a chocolate kiss in each of the cupcakes.  Tradition calls for a dry bean or pea but since I have a child with a legume allergy I thought chocolate sounded WAY better!

Here they are finished with a butter frosting.  Nothing too fancy because I was tired after getting all of the Christmas decorations packed up.  But they were TASTY!!

I have to say that we had such a good time and the kids learned so much that I think this year we will do this with all the church holidays and quite possibly some Jewish ones too!  I think we can learn a lot about the Bible and Christian history but celebrating in a hands on way!  I am actually looking forward to February when Purim rolls around!  

Finally we said good-bye to Christmas and packed up all the decorations.  It was a wonderful Holiday season celebrating Thanksgiving, Birthdays, Christmas, New Years and the Feast of Epiphany.  My advice to you is try new things (or really old ones!) and make new traditions with your family in the new year!

 The Christmas train has left the station!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I finished the girls room!

In my continued effort to get my house organized I finally got to tackle the girls room!  I had my mother's helper over on Thursday and I had the ability to tackle the enormous job!  Now before I get to the before's and after's I have to tell you that I have been avoiding their room for a while.  I have purged SO much stuff over the last 6 months it is crazy! So when it came to before pictures I did the closet but didn't do the rest of the room.  It was just too messy!  
So here is the before pics (I am so embarrassed!) with the afters. So after I purged, cleaned, purged, cleaned some more, stopped to fed the kids and take the mother's helper home, and cleaned some more, made a few labels, and finally I was done... well as done as its gonna get for now!

Before                         ~                          After



Before                         ~                          After

Before                         ~                          After

Here are a few close ups of the bins on the top shelf. 

 Until I have the funds I am using the bins I have on hand.  Someday maybe I will get to upgrade them to a matching set.

I didn't give it a label yet but the bin next to this basket is for unused hangers.  That way they aren't cluttering up the rods and they will be easy to find to hang up clean clothes.

Now we get to see the girls room!  This is the closet door.  It has a lock on it (you can't see it) so they don't go in and change their clothes 30 times a day and completely destroy all my work!  I found the chalkboard in the closet while cleaning and almost tossed it but then I thought it would be cute on the door.

The girls beds are set up in a unique way in this house.  You see their room is REALLY small and has no wall that really fits a twin size bed on it BUT along with the closet (it isn't a huge closet but the largest in the house) it does have this super cool under the stairs storage area that 2 toddler size mattresses fit in PERFECTLY!  So to dress it up I attached fabric to the top and a princess net to the highest point.  The oldest girl sleeps under the net and the youngest sleeps on the other side. Please ignore the poor sleeping boy  under the pink net who fell asleep in my arms.  I had to lay him down somewhere!

The middle girl sleeps in the loft bed.  See how it fits almost perfectly over the opening to the 2 girls sleeping area?  I am sure I don't have to tell you how much they LOVE setting up forts under there!

Finally I found a great storage container for all those stuffed animals!!  Thanks Ikea!!

Somehow I missed getting pictures of the tea table and the super cute dresser that actually is where we store all the toys.  I have them all sorted out and now 3 days later they are still putting them back in their proper drawers.  

So what do you think?  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Here is what I am working on in the Kitchen!

So I have been working on the kitchen and I mean the WHOLE kitchen!!  I have only ONE cabinet left to go through!!  But first things first.  If you go to ANY coffee shop you can get all sorts of specialty flavors for your coffee right?  Well my kids get seasonal specialty oatmeal!  Here is one of my little princesses helping me get it ready.
 This is Candy Cane oatmeal!  They LOVE it!!  I just make the organic oatmeal from Costco and when it is almost done I add a bit of coconut sugar (I LOVE that stuff!) and a few peppermint sticks.  I use Bob's because they don't have any corn in them.  NOT the candy canes, they DO have corn but the sticks don't.  I have also used the organic candy canes from Whole Foods since they are also corn free.  Sometimes if they are really sweet I will add a few chocolate chips for them to stir in but that is a REAL treat!

Okay now onto the good stuff! Welcome to my pantry!  It is tiny but mine!

 Here is my pantry after I got rid of a bunch of stuff and even though it looks a lot better it is crazy to think I thought it looked great! 

This is the small lazy Susan cabinet again after I purged a ton and had things in a fairly organized fashion.  

 It looks terrible right?

I knew I need a few things to help me get the order I was looking for so I packed up the kids and went to Ikea, made a few labels and sprayed some jar lids (more on that later) Okay and here is the after!! 

Here is the label up close. 

 MUCH better!!  But that was just the start so lets see the other cabinet!

 Wow!!  So much better!!!  Now if I am getting discouraged on my quest to get things in order I just open the doors!!

Ahh... another nice clean surface!

 So as promised here are the pics of the jars I made.  I used recycled jars from all kinds of stuff!  Spaghetti sauce, olives, sunflower butter, all kinds of stuff!  I actually got a bunch of them off Freecycle a while back and I was already using them as storage in place of Tupperware   When I saw the idea on pinterest to add a knob and spray the lid I was super excited!!  I had all the jars already! I went right over to The Home Depot and picked up a bunch of wooden knobs for 97 cents each and grabbed a can of metallic spray paint and had a blast!  I am very pleased with the outcome!  Here are the ones with my labels and the others that are waiting for a purpose.

 This one is holding my homemade vapor rub.  No label yet but it is coming.
 The last thing I have to share today is the jar that was missing a lid.  I decided to spray the whole jar and use it as a vase!  I LOVE the way it turned out!!
So what do you think?