Sunday, February 28, 2010

MAKING YOUR HOME SING: WHO DOES YOUR HOME REFLECT?

Making your home sing Mondays

Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing?

It can be an attitude or an action. Motivation, our attitude, baking, encouraging our husband or children (if we have either one), organization, cleaning, saving money....the opportunities are endless.

Some people love to decorate their homes. They love to paint, remodel, and change things up. Then there are people who live in their homes for years only making the smallest of changes, if they make any at all. People who don't fix up their homes until it's time to sell them.

When my husband and I moved into our previous home the master bedroom was painted an extremely bright yellow. I never liked that color for a bedroom and neither did he. However, we lived in that home for many years and never repainted that room, until we decided to sell the house.

I have had several friends tell me the same thing. "Why didn't we fix up the house while we were living in it? Why did we wait so long to paint, remodel, empty the garage?....etc. We fixed up the house so nice and then we sold it. Why didn't we make the changes while we were living there?"

Can anybody relate?

My husband and I have a few things we want to do this spring or summer. Painting will be involved. There may even be a slight remodeling project in the bathroom or bathrooms. There is even talk of painting or staining the kitchen cabinets. Nothing expensive anywhere. Just a little paint here and there. Maybe a new floor in the bathroom(s), maybe not. Probably not!

It has always been hard for me to "commit" to a color. I often have a hard time picking just one color I like. Repainting the family room took forever because I couldn't narrow down the color palette.

We've been talking about repainting the bathrooms for years, but I can't seem to decide on the colors. I know I want beadboard in my house but I can't decide where I want it. The entry hall? Bathroom? Kitchen? Dining room?

Moving makes you make a decision. But what if you're not planning on moving?

I want my home to reflect the people who live here. Not the people who lived here before us. We have some outdated wallpaper on some of the walls and people, it's time to make some changes. It's starting to peel and that's not pretty. The stair railing and banister needs painting as well.

I have a love/hate relationship with antiques which I will spare you a post on. At least for now :0). Some antiques I tend to view as another person's taste and another person's budget that you are now displaying in your home. They reflect the other person's tastes but not yours.

When we first married we were blessed to be given furniture, drapes, pictures and knicknacks that once belonged to our parents and grandparents. We still have some of those things today. However, as a young wife I often felt like I was living in someone else's home. Where was the "me" in my home?

I probably sound ungrateful and in some ways I was. I was thankful for the items we were given, but also had a desire to have some furnishings and accessories that we picked out to suit our tastes, you know? A few furnishings can be picked up on sale or yard sales for cheap. Plus, there's a strong heartstrings "pull" that you get from things that belonged to your parents or grandparents and it can be hard to part with those things, even if they don't suit you.

This is turning into a rather long post, but my point is that we have plans to put the "me" into our homes this summer. We have lived for many years with the tastes of the former owners on the walls. A little paint is cheap.

Are you making your current home into a home? Or are you waiting for your next home or your "dream" home? Beauty can be found in small things like a roaring fire, the soft lighting of candlelight, the scent of a small bouquet of flowers, as well as in the bigger things like paint or stained cabinets. Don't wait till you move to put "you" into your home! Make it sing today!

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own Making Your Home Sing Monday Linky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post. Also, please don't forgot to leave me a comment!

Friday, February 26, 2010

FAITH INTO ACTION

I love organizational books! I love books about getting rid of clutter. I love books about cleaning. I love them! Can't you tell? They are my secret vice.

If it makes you feel any better, some of them were books that I bought with a yearly gift card that my son gave me, and some I actually got at the thrift store.

Why do I have so many books on organization? It beats me! But it makes my heart happy to have them. I just know that, in one of these books, is the answer to all my organizational needs.

Plus, I enjoy organizing so I enjoy reading books about it!

Whenever I feel like I need a little motivation, I can pull a book out and suddenly I am inspired to clean out my cupboards, toss out some clutter, or sort through my sock drawer.

Maybe you aren't into organizing. Maybe you're into cookbooks! If you're a homeschooler, like me, you probably have a ton of schoolbooks as well as reference books.

The thing is, you can read and read and read and become very knowledgeable about something. But what good does it do if you don't apply it? What good is all that knowledge if you don't use it in your life?

This just reminds me of our Bible quiet times. We can read the Bible and learn quite a bit about how the Lord wants us to live. But if we don't apply it to our lives, if we don't allow God to get into our hearts and change them, then is it going to make a big difference in our lives?

If we have all that knowledge in our heads but it doesn't get down into our hearts, then isn't it just a bunch of knowledge?

Reading God's word is awesome, but anybody can do that. Let's not stop there. It's when we read His word and ask the Lord how we can apply it to our lives that we start to see change. It's when we yield our hearts in submission and let Him work in our lives that we begin to bear fruit for Him. We want to put our faith into action.

Knowledge is great, but knowledge without action is just empty words.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU

As I mentioned before, it's dark in there. I have a fear of coming back and sitting down next to a total stranger, putting my hand in their popcorn, whispering "Wow, I really had to go!" into their ear, and drinking their pop and burping quietly but annoyingly into their popcorn.


If you want to know what I am talking about in the paragraph above, please pop over here to the Five Mom's as I am blogging over there today. But don't say I didn't warn you.......

Sunday, February 21, 2010

MAKING YOUR HOME SING: TUPPER WHERE?

Making your home sing Mondays

Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing?

It can be an attitude or an action. Motivation, our attitude, baking, encouraging our husband or children (if we have either one), organization, cleaning, saving money....the opportunities are endless.

When you first moved into your home, were you all excited about it? Was it exactly what you wanted, or close enough (given your budget)? Were you in the "honeymoon" phase of living in a new home?

Then, after living in it for awhile, suddenly things start to annoy you? It doesn't seem as attractive as it used to. Pretty soon, the things that charmed you before are starting to bug you. Suddenly you feel like you need more "space."

Before you ask, no, I am not doing a parallel to marriage. So you can breathe again.

Right after we moved in, about 12,000 years ago.......I set up my kitchen. It made sense at the time, so I put things in cupboards that I thought would work for me. They are no longer working for me.

Part of it is that after my dad died, my mother moved in with us, so we had to make room for her stuff. The other thing is that we have acquired a few more kitchen items now that we didn't have then.

I don't know about you all, but I do not like "things" cluttering up my kitchen counters. I have never liked having things like coffee makers or toasters left out on the counters. I want them hidden out of sight in the appliance garage.

However, I do like me some plastic containers, Tupperware or otherwise. After all, you never know when you might need to put away 50 pounds of leftovers, or a 12 course meal. You can never have to many Tupperware containers.

Except that I have.

Give me Tupperware or give me death!

Well, maybe not.....

Regardless, this week I have got to figure out what stays and what goes in this kitchen. I usually go through my kitchen drawers and cupboards at least once a year, and I didn't do it this last year. I blame blogging, facebook, and maybe even you people, since I like to read your blogs (even though I don't always comment. Sorry. My bad.)

I allowed the KitchenAid on the counter because it weighs a ton!!!! But now the new coffee maker is on the counter, as well as the brand new toaster that I got from Goodwill, and the brand new George Foreman grill that I also got at Goodwill. Hey, they were both brand new, never been used, and we needed a new toaster and I wanted to try out the grill since our friend raves about his. I also have a few knicknacks out.

All this clutter on my countertops is driving me crazy. The appliance garage is overcrowded and complaining about it. So now I have to figure out what goes where. At least until my hubby agrees to buy me a new house with a bigger kitchen. Perhaps the size of a football field?

I don't know if this will make my home sing this week, but it will make me happy and sure make getting dinner easier without all the clutter on the counters.

So where do you people keep all your small kitchen appliances? Are you innies or outies?

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own Making Your Home Sing Monday Linky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post. Also, please don't forgot to leave me a comment!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

COOKING WITH MOM'S THE WORD: The battle for lasagna

Don't let the title fool you. You aren't going to get any great cooking advice or tutorials here. I tend to cook with a bit of a sense of humor and a lot of panic and prayer. However, my family is still alive and I haven't lost anybody yet. Here are some miscellaneous cooking tips for you:

  1. Decide to make lasagna for dinner. Do a quick inventory to see if you have all the ingredients. Check to make sure you have everything except don't worry about checking to see if you have enough lasagna noodles. Just assume that you have them, because you always have them, right?
  2. Go sit down and have a chat with your mother, forgetting that you have meat browning on the stove. At some point, realize that you have probably burned the meat and let out a little scream. That will make your poor mother jump, and you know she needs the exercise.
  3. Remember, you always have lots of lasagna noodles so don't waste your time wondering if you have enough. Be happy that you have noodles and don't worry about boiling them. That is for organized people who have lots of time and plan ahead. That is not you. When it comes time to put them in the pan just add a little extra sauce and they'll be fine. Don't worry, be happy.
  4. Drop an egg on the floor, especially with the dogs nearby. They can always use a little extra protein in their diets. Wonder what lasagna is spelled lasagna. Wonder why it isn't spelled lazonyah. Or lazahn-ya. Or lasonyuh.
  5. As you are halfway through making the layers, run out of lasagna noodles. I repeat. Run out of lasagna noodles. Put out an all points bulletin.
  6. Send your son to the pantry to look for more noodles. Say "Are you sure they aren't there?" when he says he can't find them.
  7. Go in there and look for them yourself, then say "But I always have lasagna noodles. How can there not be any lasagna noodles? I always have them!!!" as if it's impossible.
  8. The impossible is now possible. Live with it.
  9. Make sure you have another son old enough to drive so that he can drive to the store and buy you some lasagna noodles.
  10. Be thankful you have a sweet son who didn't complain at all!
  11. Look at the clock incorrectly so that you start cooking dinner thinking it's actually 4:30 when it's really 3:30. That way dinner will be ready an hour earlier than anyone is around to eat it. Wonder if you should replace the clock, your glasses, or your eyes. Ask the young neighbor to teach you how to tell time.
  12. There is nothing for this number. I just like even numbers.
This has been another episode of Cooking with Mom's The Word. You're welcome. Don't mention it. Please. I beg you. Don't mention it......

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

WOULD YOU LIKE SOME CHEESE WITH THAT WHINE?

O.k., here's a question. If I said to you that I was going on a diet, you would know that meant I was going to watch my calories, be careful what I ate, try and do some exercise, etc. You would probably even work with me and encourage me. Not go against me. Not sabotage me. Right?

Right?

So......how come when I tell my body that I am going on a diet, it ignores me or acts like it has no idea what I'm talking about? Hmmmmm? How come my brain doesn't seem to remember that fact and instead reaches for the Dove chocolates that somebody bought me? Hmmmm?

And why did somebody buy me Dove chocolates anyway?????

To read the rest of this and hear more of my whining please pop over here to the Five Mom's blog today. It's my day to blog.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

MAKING YOUR HOME SING: ON "THOSE" DAYS

Making your home sing Mondays

Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing?

It can be an attitude or an action. Motivation, our attitude, baking, encouraging our husband or children (if we have either one), organization, cleaning, saving money....the opportunities are endless.

Every week I sit here and prayerfully think, What can I do this week to make my home sing? What is one thing I could do to make this week go better for my family and myself?

Nearly every week, I pretty much stare at the computer and come up blank. Every week I keep hoping that I'll be able to come up with that one thing that will magically fix everything forever. Hoping that maybe I'll get that one thing down and never have to work on it ever again.

Wouldn't that be lovely? Of course, once I attained that perfection, then what would I do? At least I have lots of areas that can be improved upon and lots to keep me busy.....lol!

People change, needs change, circumstances change. The best thing to do is to learn to be flexible.

You ever have a day where everything just seems to be going along "normally" and then something happens and suddenly, your whole day has totally been thrown for a loop? It can be something small or something big.

How often do we forget that we can bend? How often do we forget that we don't have to have everything "perfect?" How often do we forget that we can be flexible? We can change our game plan.

The other day I had a meeting to go to and at the last minute I came up with the "brilliant" idea of baking banana bread. Seriously, who sits there and thinks "Well, I am already stressed enough, so why don't I add to that stress by taking on the job of making banana bread? That way, I will just add one more thing to all the things that need to be done before I leave the house."

Who thinks that way? Me!!!! No problem, I thought. I figured I would just pop it in the oven and let one of my children take it out for me, since I would be gone.

When I removed the flour container from the pantry, I accidentally knocked a container of several pounds of pasta shells onto the floor. You guessed it.....the impact made the lid come off and I had pasta all over the kitchen floor.

For a minute I just stared at the floor in disbelief. I was just to busy to have this happen to me that day. Not only that, the dogs were having a field day with it! I couldn't leave it on the floor, and there was noone there but me to clean it up, so clean it up I did.

The egg shell broke and I had to fish it out of the mixing bowl. There wasn't enough flour in the container so I had to go to where we store the big bag and refill the smaller container. I got a couple of phone calls and my mom needed something. You get the picture.

So I rushed around making the banana bread, rushed out the door and found myself annoyed with the people driving slowly in front of me. It was also annoying because I knew that if I had managed my time better I wouldn't have been in such a hurry in the first place! I had no one to blame but me.

Then, I made it to my meeting a minute early!!! and found out that I had the date wrong. I was early alright. A week early. I had looked at the calendar wrong and had now wasted an hour of my day for nothing, or so it seemed.

You know, our lives are not always going to run smoothly. Our homes are not always going to function as we'd hoped. Husbands are going to forget to call and say that they'll be late for dinner, children are going to forget that they need 10,000 cupcakes by tomorrow, dishwashers or washing machines are going to fail right when we have company coming over and a ton of dishes or clothes to do.

Let's not forget that we can bend and we won't break! We can just accept the unacceptable and know that the Lord is in it. We can just trust that He can use the unexpected, because it isn't unexpected to Him. This week I am choosing to bend instead of rigidly trying to control my circumstances, and leave the control up to Him!

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own Making Your Home Sing Monday Linky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post. Also, please don't forgot to leave me a comment!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'M A BLESSED GUEST!

I'm a Blessed Guest!

Today, I have the honor and privilege of being interviewed by Joanne at Blessed.... During the month of February she is interviewing a different blogger each day, and today is my day!

If you haven't discovered Joanne yet, you'll love her! Also, this is a great way to find some awesome new bloggers too. It was fun answering her questions and I hope you'll pop over here for my interview!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

THE GREAT TOILET PAPER SHORTAGE OF 1973

Just figured I'd mention that it's Tuesday and I am blogging over at The Five Mom's blog today, so please visit me over there.

Let's just say that the subject of toilet paper came up. Specifically The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 1973, and maybe other subject matter that has absolutely no redeeming value. Unless you like toilet paper. I happen to be rather fond of it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

MAKING YOUR HOME SING: TAKE CHARGE!

Making your home sing Mondays

Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing?

It can be an attitude or an action. Motivation, our attitude, baking, encouraging our husband or children (if we have either one), organization, cleaning, saving money....the opportunities are endless.

Do you ever find your desires at war with your other desires? For instance, I love the idea of decorating and bringing beauty into my home. But my frugal nature wars with my aesthetic nature. Sure I can decorate frugally, but sometimes it's a compromise between what I want, and what I feel we can/should afford.

I desire a beautiful, immaculate, always neat home. But I also want my family to feel comfortable in it. I desire my home to be neat and organized, but then I also want to read blogs or books, or do something other than clean all the time.

I desire awesome meals made from scratch, but I also desire more time to do other things instead. I want to lose twenty pounds, but I want to be able to eat the food and treats that I like.

I desire consistency and a schedule but also want to be spur of the moment. What a bundle of contradictions we can be!

What if we have great plans and ideas for our home and family but never implement any of them? What if we give attention to the high maintenance children all of the time, and neglect the well behaved ones?

What if we only do the chores screaming for attention, and neglect the quieter, less in-your-face chores? Will we get anything done if we don't aim for anything?

Finding a balance between work and play is not always easy, but it is necessary. Sometimes it is so easy to give attention to the "squeaky wheel" and let other things go. But when you do that, you often find yourself just doing little but putting out one fire after another. You aren't managing your home, your home is managing you. It's tyranny of the urgent.

Without a plan, without a schedule, without organization or discipline, the days can just slip by us. Our priorities may be set by our circumstances, instead of by what's really important. When we sit down and prayerfully make a plan, we are asking God to set our priorities for us.

It is your home. Make a difference in it today. Sit down with the Lord and ask Him to order your day. Make a plan, take charge of your day, don't let it take charge of you. That's how I plan on making my home sing this week!

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own Making Your Home Sing Monday Linky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post. Also, please don't forgot to leave me a comment!

Friday, February 5, 2010

FREEZER BURN IS NOT CONTAGIOUS


Today I am joining my friend Kim over at Homesteader's Heart for her Friday Funnies meme. Please pop over there for more fun!

My oldest son and I have an ongoing disagreement about the prime real estate in the freezer. I want the freezer above the fridge to hold only certain items, such as croissants, muffins, juice cans, etc. Since it's above the fridge it's a small freezer and I don't want to "clutter" it up. I like to leave room to put in whatever things I bring in from the big freezer that I might need to cook with that night such as meat or vegies.

My son, on the other hand, wants to use the freezer as a shortcut. He is willing to go to the big freezer to get whatever he needs but he doesn't like returning things there. So he will just stuff it in the kitchen freezer.

So, the other night he was heating up taquitos and instead of returning them to the big freezer, where they belonged, he put them in the little freezer.

My amazing powers of deduction, coupled with the fact that I was sitting right next to him, noticed what he was doing and so I insisted that he put them away in the big freezer. "They take up to much room and I only want that freezer for breakfast and things we eat every day." I said for the thousandth time.

So, my son starts laughing and says "Let me show you something" and he proceeds to empty the little freezer.

"Things you eat every day?" he says, and pulls out a bag of onion rings. "Oh yeah, we eat those every day." (Hey, I was just thinking we should start doing that! ) Then he pulls out a bag of vegetables "for breakfast," he says (Vegetables are very healthy and breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not combine the two?)

Next he pulls out not one, not two, but three freezer bags with a package of chocolate mini donuts in each one. "You shouldn't even eat these because they're chocolate" he reminds me. (You know, a little chocolate never hurt anybody, right?) Then he proceeds to consolidate the three packages into one freezer bag.

Then he pulls out a freezer bag with one pathetic little freezer-burned croissant in it. Honestly, it was so sad looking you would have shed a tear. Then he pulls out another freezer bag with a lonely little croissant in it too. He had way to much fun holding up these two bags. For a minute, I thought I was watching a Hefty garbage bag commercial.

He pulled out a couple of Italian ice cups which I am sure that he and his brother put in there. Not me, babe. He also pulled out a can of apple juice which, you will agree, can actually be eaten at breakfast.

Well, not the can, of course, although it would give you some fiber. You will have to actually make it as it's concentrated.

More stuff: frozen strawberries for smoothies, corn (not for smoothies), coffee beans, and a glow in the dark light stick. A glow in the dark light stick?

The thing that really perplexed me was when he pulled out a freezer magnet with a Best Buy receipt attached. How'd a fridge magnet get in the freezer? Do those things walk now?

I'll stop right there before I lose you altogether. You get the point. I have to admit, this whole thing was pretty funny and he had his brother and I in stitches. I guess you had to be there.

I will say that I noticed that he didn't pull out the frozen pancakes (I freeze them and then we pop them in the toaster for a quick breakfast). Guess he knew I'd win that one.

So, if you're feeling brave today maybe you should take a look in your freezer. You never know what might be in there. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The bunny, the whole bunny, and nothing but the bunny.

*munch, munch, munch* Oh, sorry, my bad. I know it's sick, and to those of you who are repulsed and offended by my vicious attack on the bunny, I want you to know that he hit me first. Look at those wild, crazy eyes. Is there any doubt as to who was the aggressor here?

For the rest of this story please go here. It's my day to blog at the Five Mom's. I hope you'll pop over and visit me today.