Saturday, January 30, 2010

Small Space Living - Going Up

We're a homeschooling family and lovers of books. We have hundreds of new books coming into our house each year. This can get difficult in a small space. There are two main solutions for a glut of books -
1) Get rid of them
2) Find more places to put them

For getting rid of them, I love paperbackswap!

But, I still have so many books.  One of the best things we've done is to put bookshelves above all the doors in our hallway.   We are able to store tons of books this way . . . and I think they look nice, too.   Also, by putting them in a hallway, they really do not affect your decor or clutter up your rooms.


We've added several more books since this picture was taken.    We now have shelves over each doorway (maybe I can get a newer picture on later!).


As you can see, each shelf holds a lot of books!!


What's your favorite, organized way to store your books?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Loving My Husband Friday





Loving My Husband Friday is for taking the time to focus on the positives of marriage. A time to build up your marriage and your spouse. Focus on something you love about your husband, something he did to encourage you this week, or just a tip on how to keep your marriage strong. Let your husband know you're bragging on him ... everyone loves praise and accolades. Try to spend the rest of your week focusing on all the great traits of your spouse ... especially when you are tempted to focus on the bad! And don't forget to pray for your husband and marriage as you write your post.

Add a link to your post to the link. Then pray for the marriages of the others who post, and give each other a little encouragement to keep our marriages strong!

I was having a little problem getting my prescription refilled early in the week.   I was out of medicine and had called the doctor's office who told me the doctor needed to look at my blood work first and they'd call me back.  Aaron left in the evening to go to work - and still no call from the doctor.  So, Aaron stopped by the doctor's on the way and gave them a stern talking to.  The nurse practitioner, herself, called me a little later saying they'd called me in my prescription.  At the time I didn't know Aaron had gone in and raised a stink, or I might have been a little embarrassed . . . but, I am thankful that he went to bat for me.  It's nice to have someone who will stand up for me when I need it (and be a little mean for me . . . since I really have trouble doing that!).  The office called me again the next morning to make sure I got my medicine.  I've never had such great service from the Doctor's office! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

WINNER!!!

The winner of the giveaway is #43 - Smart Cents Mom!


True Random Number Generator  43Powered by RANDOM.ORG


Congratulations!  I'll be sending you an e-mail for all your information!


Now . . . here's everyone's great tips!!


  • Sort and rotate toys. The stored toys will be a hit when they're brought out the next month.
  • Go through your mail right away when you bring it inside. Throw out the junk and put the bills into a folder with the dates due for each section. Saves time later!
  • I use file folders to organize and categorize utilities, EOB's, medical expenses, credit card info/bills, work expenses, check stubs, and donations all in separate folders. Then when it is tax time or anytime I need to find any of those easy to loose papers I know right where they are all! 
  • If you don't use or forgot you even had it -- give it away to someone who could use it!
  • Open the mail with a garbage can next to you. Get rid of the junk mail right away.
  • USE your space, really! Don't limit space to it's technical use (i.e. toilet paper under the bathroom sink!), but think about all those nooks and crannies and what type of things you could store there!
  • I have a little date book and I write down my monthly to-do list and then keep a list of my weekly need to do and want to dos and CHECK THEM OFF.
  • Label maker! Need I say more.
  • I use baskets to hide everything. So maybe not organized, but it looks like it is!
  • Look thru the mail right away. Throw away all junk, put the bills in the holder on the desk, magazines in the rack, etc.
  • Get rid of the clutter.
  • I love my label maker and baskets to sort like things together!!
  • I keep things labeled, such as our plastic totes, make it easier to dig out the bin I need when the time comes around
  • Every week I tackle one room or closet and this keeps me on top of the clutter.
  • I use wipe containers to store trashbags
  •  keep a baggie clipped to the fridge with a magnet. In the bag I put labels and pop tops that schools use for educational items. I then give mine to my grand sons each month for their schools. 
  • Clear plastic shoe boxes - you can easily see what is inside, they stack nicely and are usually only $1 at Wal-mart! I stick a big 2x4 white label on the front so I know at a glance what each one is for.
  • Make the most use of space with shelving and baskets!
  • When bringing in a new clothing item see if there is something of a similar item in the closet to give to charity so that you are not doubling up on items
  • I'm a list person through and through!
  • Have a place for everything/everything in it's place!
  • Get rid of it, clutter is not anyone's friend!!
Thanks everyone for all your great tips and for entering!  Hopefully we can all take a few of these tips to transform
our homes into more organized spaces!!

I ♥ Faces - Texture



This week's theme for I heart faces is Texture!  The texture can be found in nature, from a building, or added with an editing program.  I chose a picture from our afternoon tour of a numerous covered bridges last August on vacation.  I worked at getting a good shot of Josiah all day!  I like this photo a lot . . . I just wish he had cracked a real smile!

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Make sure to check out the other entries at I heart faces!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Final Day for Giveaway!!!

Today is the last day to enter my Giveaway!

I'll post the winner on Monday!  Good Luck!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Loving My Husband Friday





Loving My Husband Friday is for taking the time to focus on the positives of marriage. A time to build up your marriage and your spouse. Focus on something you love about your husband, something he did to encourage you this week, or just a tip on how to keep your marriage strong. Let your husband know you're bragging on him ... everyone loves praise and accolades. Try to spend the rest of your week focusing on all the great traits of your spouse ... especially when you are tempted to focus on the bad! And don't forget to pray for your husband and marriage as you write your post.

Add a link to your post to the link. Then pray for the marriages of the others who post, and give each other a little encouragement to keep our marriages strong!

I love my husband's bald head!  I love that I can kiss his head without getting a mouthful of hair.  I love having the shorter hair on the sides to run my fingers through.  I love that he is secure enough in himself to not even consider doing the comb-over or complete shaving of his head (IMO the modern day comb over).   I think he looks sexy!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In His Word Wednesday




Leviticus and the beginning of Numbers are pretty dreary books.  Leviticus lays out laws and regulations.   We see God striking people dead for their disobedience.  You begin feeling like He has no pleasure with His people at all.   Then, tucked away in the midst of numbering the people, these verses are like a bright light.   After reading them the first time . . . I had to pause and go back and reread.  It was a breath of fresh air . . . God's blessing upon his people.  The blessing is beautiful and is full of love for his people.   


The LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:  

" ' "The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face towards you and give you peace."’
So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them."  - Numbers 6:22-27


For more encouragement in God's word visit Megan at Daily Essentials and Deals.

Wordless Wednesday - Evil Returns

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Building Our Marriage Challenge





Wear his favorite perfume. (Don't know what it is . . . ask him!).

Monday, January 18, 2010

I ♥ Faces - We Are Family


This week's theme at i heart faces is We Are Family. The photo must be of a family . . . and has to include an adult. I took this photo last summer. It's of my parents and all 13 of their grandchildren. If the babies had just been looking, it would have been perfect! But, I still love it! Join in the fun and post your best family photo!
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Loving My Husband Friday



Loving My Husband Friday is for taking the time to focus on the positives of marriage. A time to build up your marriage and your spouse. Focus on something you love about your husband, something he did to encourage you this week, or just a tip on how to keep your marriage strong. Let your husband know you're bragging on him ... everyone loves praise and accolades. Try to spend the rest of your week focusing on all the great traits of your spouse ... especially when you are tempted to focus on the bad! And don't forget to pray for your husband and marriage as you write your post.

Add a link to your post to the link. Then pray for the marriages of the others who post, and give each other a little encouragement to keep our marriages strong!

I'm very thankful that Aaron gave me time to take a nap yesterday afternoon on his day off. He gave me a prescription for a nap (which I appreciate . . . even though he did so because I was grumpy). My nap was short lived, but was still nice!



Thursday, January 14, 2010

You Capture - Winter

This weeks You Capture theme at I Should Be Folding Laundry is Winter.
The end of last week brought cold weather and snow, and so I snapped these shots.

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Beef Chimichangas

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Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 cans (8oz each) tomato sauce
2 tsp. chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
12 flour tortillas (10 inches)
Melted butter or margarine
1 can chopped green chilies
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a skillet, brown the beef; drain. Stir in onion, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, chili powder, garlic and cumin. Brush one side of tortilla with melted butter. Place about 1/3 cup of beef mixture off-center on buttered side of tortilla. Fold end closes to beef up and over to cover. Fold in both sides and roll up. Fry in oil until browned (1 1/2 - 2 minutes per side). Drain on paper towels.

Combine remaining tomato sauce and green chilies. Heat through.

To serve: spoon sauce over chimichanga and sprinkle with cheese.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

10 months old!!!

I just can't believe that Sarah is only 2 months away from 1! She is getting better at sleeping, but still has a ways to go. She never stops moving and loves to get into everything she's not supposed to! She was ready for her nap when I finally got around to taking her pictures today - so she's all seriousness and no smiles!

10 months - Bear
The monthly picture with the bear.


10 months
I finally caught her . . . she kept shaking her head 'no'. I guess she's tired of getting her picture taken all the time.


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To see how much she's grown, check her out at one month, two months, three months, four months, five months, six months, seven months, eight months, and nine months!

In His Word Wednesday

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation." Exodus 34:6-7

I am reading through The Bible in 90 Days: Cover to Cover in 12 Pages a Day (New International Version) and finished up Exodus last night. These words, spoken by God to Moses, really struck me. It's such a wonderful description of who God is . . . His grace and love . . . His forgiveness . . . and yet His justice. What a mighty God we serve!!!

Join Megan for more In His Word Wednesday!

Wordless Wednesday - Yummy Snow

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Serenity

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The word Serenity has been on my mind a lot this past week.

How can I find Serenity with 5 kids . . .
2 of them boys (who are ALL boy) . . .
one of them a girl that makes all boys look calm and serene . . .
a baby who loves to be held, but only by me . . .
and is into everything . . .
and still hasn't learned to sleep at night?

How can I find Serenity with constant noise . . .
the aforementioned kids . . .
a husband who LOVES to watch TV in the evening . . .
a crying baby . . .
a media and technology loving family?

How can I find Serenity with a never ending to do list . . .
kids to teach . . .
a house to keep up . . .
a family to keep fed (on as little money as possible) . . .
not to mention outside forces pulling at my time.

How can I find Serenity in the midst of chaos?

As I begin my journey to Serenity I have more questions than answers. I see obstacles. I wonder if it's possible. And, yet my soul longs for peace . . . calm . . . Serenity

This year I am going to spend time in prayer with my Father . . . asking Him to help me find Serenity. I plan on searching God's Word for verses to help me on my journey. I plan on making small changes in my life, to give me the Serenity my heart desires.

As I've been pondering all this, God has whispered into my heart, "Serenity doesn't come when the world around me is calm, but when my inner spirit finds calm DESPITE the chaos around me."

And so, that is where I am. This year I am going to try to find Serenity in the midst of the chaos. I'm going to try to put my focus on my Savior. But . . . I'm also hoping to inject a little Serenity into my chaotic surroundings.


Building Our Marriage Challenge



Give your spouse a massage.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Getting Organized ... A book review and a GIVEAWAY!!

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As I've read through fellow bloggers' goals for the new year, I've noticed organization on many people's lists. I read a book last year full of organizational tips ... Confessions of an Organized Homemaker: The Secrets of Uncluttering Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life by Deniece Schofield. This book gives you ways to get organized in almost all areas of your life. Now, I've spent a lot of time reading organizing blogs, books and coming up with plans on my own ... and I still found some great ideas to implement. If you are just beginning your organizing journey, then this book will be a great help to you! Her ideas are easy to implement.

Because this book is such a big help and because so many people are wanting to get organized at the start of the new year ... I am going to give my copy away to one lucky reader!!! This is the first giveaway at The Peer Review! Entering is simple!!!

  • Tell me your favorite organizing tip
  • Follow me (or let me know you already do)
  • Subscribe (or let me know you already do)
  • Post about my giveaway on your blog
  • Tweet or Facebook about the giveaway
That's 5 possible entries!! Leave a separate comment for each one. The giveaway will close on Saturday, January 23rd.

I ♥ Faces - Best Face Photo



It's birthday week at i heart faces and to celebrate they have a new logo!!! The theme is your best photo (it must be taken either in Dec. 2009 or early Jan. 2010). I took this picture in early December. It was in the sunroom at my in-laws house ... and I liked the way the light was shining in across her face. Maybe not the best photo ... but I love it!!

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Happy Birthday, i heart faces!!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Viking Memorial Stones

We're still studying the Vikings in our homeschool. This week they made Viking Memorial Stones. Here they each are carving their runes into the stones.

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I didn't get any pictures of the final products - maybe I will track them down next week.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Loving My Husband Friday


Welcome back to Loving My Husband Friday!! Let this be the year that you focus on your marriage and make positive changes in your relationship. Even if you don't want to participate on your blog, I encourage you to at least try to focus on the good of your spouse. Tell your spouse something they've done to bless you or something you love about them every week! Let's build strong marriages!


Loving My Husband Friday is for taking the time to focus on the positives of marriage. A time to build up your marriage and your spouse. Focus on something you love about your husband, something he did to encourage you this week, or just a tip on how to keep your marriage strong. Let your husband know you're bragging on him ... everyone loves praise and accolades. Try to spend the rest of your week focusing on all the great traits of your spouse ... especially when you are tempted to focus on the bad! And don't forget to pray for your husband and marriage as you write your post.

Add a link to your post to the link. Then pray for the marriages of the others who post, and give each other a little encouragement to keep our marriages strong!

Sarah will be 10 months old next week and still doesn't sleep through the night. In fact ... she has many nights where she is up 3 or 4 times. When she cries and I go in to check on her, she sees me and immediately wants to nurse. At her 6 month check up our doctor told her to just let her cry. So, on Tuesday night, Aaron started getting up with her. He's been up with her for 2 straight hours each night this week ... we're hoping she actually sleeps soon. I love that Aaron is willing to help me in this area, and help me with this burden (which was close to becoming unbearable for this girl who needs her sleep!!). I am very thankful to him! I love you ... and hopefully we'll all get sleep soon.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I ♥ Faces - "I Heart Faces"



This week is a special week at I Heart Faces . . . in honor of their one year blogiversary, this week's theme must contain their i heart faces logo. I'm seriously lacking in creativity, but here is what I came up with.



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“I am submitting this photo into the I Heart Faces logo photo contest. By entering, I am granting I Heart Faces LLC permission to consider my photo for use in the marketing and promotion of their website.”

Wordless Wednesday - Box Fun

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One Word for 2010

I enjoyed following along with Heidi at Mt. Hope Chronicles as she focused on the word Lovely throughout 2009. Then, I found Ali Edwards' blog and learned that she was the originator of choosing a word to focus on throughout the year. I thought it sounded like a really neat idea - and decided to give it a try.

I've been thinking and praying about which word to use for this year. I've decided on serenity.

se⋅ren⋅i⋅ty - [suh -ren-i-tee] –noun
1.the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; sereneness.

Synonyms:

calmness, composure, cool, patience, peace,peace of mind, placidity, quietness, quietude, stillness, tranquillity

Do you have a word for 2010?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas Celebrations - Part 3

Over New Years we celebrated Christmas with my side of the family. I didn't get too many pictures, but here's a sampling of our fun.

Picnik collage

Building Our Marriage Challenge



Take some time to make some goals, together, as a couple for the year.

Do you want to have a certain number of dates this year ... a getaway ... better communication ... to make more time for intimacy? Make your marriage a priority in 2010!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Christmas Celebrations - Part 2

We celebrated Christmas at our house on the Tuesday after Christmas. We didn't arrive home until late Monday night - so our traditional Christmas menu was forgone this year. Instead we had doughnuts for breakfast and pizza for lunch! I'm looking forward to getting back into our normal traditions next year.

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(They don't look very attentive, do they?)

Caleb read the last part of the Nativity story (as he calls it!).
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Looking for the Christmas Pickle:
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Josiah found it!!
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Sarah's first Christmas!
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An actual picture of me!
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Our indoor picnic supper:
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