books, daily life, faith life, home, home projects, homekeeping

This and That

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Today I’m at home working in the kitchen.  I’ve cleaned out the fridge and washed it thoroughly.  I’ve also cleaned out the freezer.  I still have our chest freezer to go through but that’s pretty up to date.  I use a freezer inventory form to keep track of stuff so I don’t over by.  I think I might need one for the fridge because I have 3 jars of salsa in there; all opened!

I’m making spaghetti sauce right now and later this afternoon I’ll be making some banana bread.  The bananas are perfectly freckled so I know it will taste yummy.

Last night Michael and I picked out the tile and flooring for the master bath.  Today I’ve been looking at paint samples.  The names of them crack me up.  There’s Encounter, Heavenly Day, Blue Gate, Storm’s End, Floral Cascade, Air Kiss, Escape, and Breezy.  All of these are shades of blue.  The one I’m going with is Clear Blue Sky.

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It’s a really small room so I want something light and airy.  Everything will be new in there.  The smallness of the room is good because it won’t cost a lot to redo everything.  We’re getting a new vanity and toilet, too.  We’ve been here for 23 years so it’s about time.  The hall bath will be next!

I’m reading Feeding Your Soul:  A Quiet Time Handbook and this was the summary for the chapter I read this morning:

Our choices, primary and secondary, enable us to make and preserve space in our lives for God.  Relationship with God is the “best dish” among all the possibilities of life.  It falls to us to hack back the busyness of life and choose to make room for Him.

What a powerful reminder that it’s the choices I make that affect all that I do and that God is waiting to spend time with me.  He’s always available.  I’m the one who needs to put Him first!!

books, daily life, faith life, home, homekeeping, homeschooling, simple living, thankfulness

Here at Home/Monday

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Monday is almost always laundry day.  I try to get it started as soon as I get up and have it all finished before I go to bed.  It doesn’t always happen that way but a lot of times it does!  Years ago when I was homeschooling, I read about the Pilgrims and how they came ashore on a Monday after being in the harbor for a while.  When they came ashore, they had lots of laundry from the voyage over and did their washing right away.  That is why washday is always on Monday.  I don’t know if any of that is true but I liked the idea and followed.  I notice that “days of the week” towels always have Monday as laundry day so maybe there’s some truth in it after all!

Mondays are also for straightening up the house after the weekend.  There are only two of us here now but it seems like we always have a lot of things out of place after the weekend.  I’m not sure why that is because we’re usually out and about on the weekends.

I also like to spend some time at my desk planning for the week ahead; checking my calendar, planning meals, planning chores, etc.  It makes the week go so much better when I know what I’m doing ahead of time!!

I’ve been working at getting the rest of my homeschooling books together to take to a used curriculum sale next Monday night.  I did really well there last year so I hope to do the same.  If I don’t sell what I take, I’ll bring them home to get ready for the state convention in June.  Whatever doesn’t sell there will be donated.  I don’t want them back in my house!

I read a great article this morning about setting the tone for the day.  Our thought life can either encourage or discourage us even before we get out of bed.  Thinking about the Lord and all His goodness to us and being thankful for Him can really make the difference between a good day or a bad day!

afternoon of life, beyond homeschooling, daily life, home, homekeeping

Here at Home/Friday

routine

Fridays are usually quiet here at home.  Today was no exception.  The sun was out after 3 days of heavy rain and I think it washed most of the inch worms away.  Happiness and joy!!  They aren’t as bad as two years ago but close.  I’m hoping they won’t be back.

My days here at home are ordinary.  Cleaning, organizing, reading, working on crafts, Bible study, listening to music or podcasts, and many other things.  It’s not exciting work but I always remind myself of what Elisabeth Elliot said:  “Ordinary work, which is what most of us do most of the time, is ordained by God every bit as much as is the extraordinary. All work done for God is spiritual work and therefore not merely a duty but a holy privilege.”   I can do my ordinary work here at home to His glory.  Being a homemaker is a holy privilege.  It’s a high and holy calling!  And I can be thankful that He has called me to this and He has sustained me in it.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”  (Colossians 3:17)

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  (1 Corinthians 10:31)

daily life, home, home projects

Downed Trees and Gazebos

For a long time now Michael has wanted to take down two trees on our property.  One was an oak in our side yard; and though it was on our property, most of it was leaning and hanging in our neighbor’s yard.  The other was a tulip (poplar) tree in our backyard that is right off the deck. I knew these had to go but the cost was keeping us from doing it.  And I was not looking forward to seeing them cut down while they were still living.  But two weeks ago we got a great deal on taking them down and our neighbor said he would pay for half on the tree that was leaning toward his house.  So, down they came…and with a lot of tears from me.  We’ve lived in this house for almost 23 years and those trees were always there.  I was sad to see them go but knew it was necessary.
Now that the poplar was near our deck, we looked into getting a screened-in porch.  I was picturing something like this:
But when we found out the cost of building one, we decided not to go ahead with those plans.  Instead we decided to look for a nice gazebo that has screens all around.  After shopping at several places, we found this one:
Michael bolted it to the deck so it is safe from storms.  Of course, if a hurricane blows through we’ll have to take the canvas off.  
Last night Michael strung little lantern lights inside across the top and they look so pretty.  This will definitely become my new place to sit and relax in the evening!  I absolutely love it.
afternoon of life, beyond homeschooling, daily life, home, simple living

Try to Catch Up or Begin Again?

It has been a long while since I’ve been here and my posts have been few and far between.  I think a lot of that is because I’ve been on Facebook.  I’ve come to realize that I miss blogging and that I’m spending too much time on FB.  Last week I remedied that.  I added Chrome Nanny to my browser and have FB blocked for most of the day and evening except for a couple of hours.  It has really helped! I also deleted the app from phone, which was a huge time waster.

I have debated whether to catch up everyone (those of you that are still here)or begin again.  I thought I would add some highlights from the last few months and then begin again with, Lord willing, more regular posting.

Now that I have a lot of free time, I want to use it wisely.  I especially want to help young moms.  To that end, I have babysat the children of two moms while they went out (on separate days). One mom went shopping for clothes she needed for a wedding.  Another mom went to the library and enjoyed the quiet.  I hope to do more of this in the coming months.

I took over 1,000 books to our local homeschool used curriculum sale and our state convention’s sale.  What a blessing to have those out of the house!!  I still have many more to go but our “schoolroom” (I’m going to have to call it something else now) looks so uncluttered.  A breath of fresh air!

Our ladies’ Bible study finished up The Afternoon of Life: Finding Purpose and Joy in Midlife.  If you are in the afternoon of life (children gone, etc.), I highly recommend this book.  It helps you navigate some of the changes impacting your life and it does it from a biblical perspective.  The main premise of the book is pouring our life into others; now that I have time what am I going to do with it?  Serve self or serve others?

I attended some weddings, graduations, showers, and parties; had lunches with friends and dinners out with my husband; went to the movies with my girls, and shopping with my son.

I also had many quiet days at home where I am in the middle of various organizing/de-cluttering projects.  I’ve also been working on my embroidery.  I’ve decided I want to embroider quilt squares for our bed but I’ve purposed that I will not start it until I finish ALL my other projects.

I went to Williamsburg for a weekend retreat with our Women’s Leadership Team.  It was a time of planning for the fall.  We had a great time of fellowship, prayer, devotional, discussion, and food!

Michael and I took a quick weekend trip to NJ.  We went to Wildwood with my brother-in-law and his wife.  We rode bikes on the boardwalk in the morning and in the afternoon walked around and had all our favorite foods.  Good memories!

Well, that’s enough for now.  Lord willing, this blog will not be too quiet anymore!

home, thankfulness

Day 16

No, you haven’t missed any of the days between Day 7 and today.  I just haven’t been on the computer that much.

Today I am very thankful for my husband.  He is always cheering me up and encouraging me in the faith.  My favorite thing about him is that he makes me laugh.  I am so thankful that he encourages me to serve the Lord.  I’m thankful that he is a hard-working man and because of that I was able to stay home while we raised our children.  Now that they are all out of the home, I am still able to stay home and spend more time in ministry.

I love you, Michael!!

home, simple living, thankfulness

Day 2

I am a homebody.  There’s no place that I would rather be than home.  Studying the Word. Working on projects.  Baking.  Cleaning.  Reading. Listening to music.

I am thankful for my home.  Our family moved to Virginia in 1990 and this house as been our home for 22 years.  Yes, some of the walls are crooked and the bathrooms need updating but that’s ok. This house is full of memories and love.

Thank You, Lord, for providing this home and filling it with joy, laughter, sorrow and everything else good that You have given us.