Getting Organized: Bedroom Shelves

Friday, July 31, 2015

You would think I was nesting or something with all the organizing and cleaning I have been doing lately. I have had such an itch to get everything organized and clean for when we start school in full force. Once we start it helps so much to have everything in it's rightful place. Considering all the effort and care that I have to put into homeschooling I guess it could count as an extra child. Whatever is in the water, it has sure been motivating me. I have been inspired by i heart organizing. I love all the helpful ideas and projects!
I had Josh build me these shelves when Luke was on the way. We really needed more storage space in our room and the only place to go was up. I am so thankful I married a handy guy! He did a great job. I did paint them though with the leftover paint from our room. I had intended to organize them all before I had Luke but what ended up happening was placing whatever I could fit on the shelves; helter skelter. This is the reality. I am hoping that they won't go back to looking this way again.
So here we are almost two years after Luke's birth and I am finally getting around to moving things around to make them look pretty and functional. I am not beating myself up too bad; I do have other things higher up on my totem pole.
You see that black cabinet? It has been a thorn in my side ever since Josh brought it home to lock up his hunting guns. I have begged him to move it, but he has refused to budge. I have even moved it myself, only to find it back in it's place. I have finally given up and have made my peace with it, though I should really just spray paint it. I got my shelves so I guess my man can have his gun case. It does give me peace of mind to know all his guns are locked up safe and secure. Most of the baskets hold all of his hunting and hobby paraphernalia. Forget the diapers and baby clothes. I do have one basket reserved for diapers and wet wipes above the changing pad, making it very convenient when changing a poopy diaper.
As we have added on to our family over the years and not our house I have been realizing the importance of getting organized. If I don't, the only other option will be for my head to fall off from all the clutter clogging up my brain. Each year I am slowly conquering different areas in our home; making my life a little easier and our space more efficient and livable.
I find I am way more productive during nap time. I can think much better when my little guy isn't attached to me; disabling me from doing anything. Luke was very considerate and slept soundly while I arranged and rearranged. My room wouldn't be complete without a sweet sleeping baby on my bed.
Israel drew me some beautiful flowers for Mother's Day that I immediately framed. I was looking for just the right place to put them and I think I found it. They bring so much color and joy into the room. I love looking at them everyday! I am so blessed to have such a talented son. I think I am going to hire him to do some more artwork for our home. 

I am so glad I finally got around to organizing these shelves. It didn't take me that long and I love looking at them now. They make the room seem airy and brighter. I am definitely not organized in every area of my life and home but I do love it when some parts are. It's funny how you can talk about doing something forever and never do it. I have been finding that instead of talking and thinking about doing things I just need to start doing them or I never will. Now to tackle the other cluttered spots in the house.

Do you feel the need to get organized before school starts again?

What projects have you been working on or putting off?

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Our Homeschool Room

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Now that I have our lesson planning underway I have been determined to get our school room under control.
Here is what our school room looks like on a normal basis:
It's taken me a couple weeks but I can finally say our school room is clean, organized and ready to be messed up all over again. I know the inevitable will happen, but boy does it feel good to know where everything is and have a place for everything! 
It's amazing how much can be accumulated over the year. The bulk of my time organizing the school room was spent going through all the kids school and art work. I had such a hard time throwing anything away. I made myself get rid of a lot but I kept the bulk of their artwork. I know I am bias but it is just all so good. I found some big storage containers to store their masterpieces in. They will stay safe and sound until I need to pull them out and reminisce on their childhood someday.
We only have 2 bedrooms but have been so blessed to have an enclosed porch at the front of our house. It has had many transformations over the years, but I think I have finally found the perfect set up. Not only we do school in this room, but it also our art and lego room. 
Most days the legos and craft projects take over the room; making it hard to find a clear spot but I am so thankful that we have a creative space for the kids to create and learn. Sometimes it doubles as my sewing and craft room also.
My ideal school room would be right off of our kitchen, have tons of work and storage space, and be self cleaning, but I'll take what I can get. Although I prefer having the kids at their desks, we often find ourselves in the kitchen and living room also as we work throughout the day.
I bought our tables and bookshelves at Ikea and have been very happy with them though I can't say that for all of Ikea's furniture. Everything else I found at yard sales and thrift stores. I had curtains on the windows at one point but took them down because I love all the natural light that comes in during the day, now I just need to clean the windows. We don't have a lot of wall space which is frustrating at times but I made sure to hang a world map on the one wall that we do have open.
I have organized the bookshelves into categories as best as I could; making it easier to find books- -Language/ Math/ Animals/ Science/ Art/ Sewing/ Crafts and of course most of the containers contain legos. I went through all of our books and got rid of those that we never really used or didn't work for us; keeping only what we really need and have loved.
I was tempted to buy new storage and but have tried to make do with what we have, forcing me to be creative and think outside of the box.
I have tried different rugs in here but have found it is easier on my sanity to do without; keeping the floor easier to handle the constant messes and spills that take place.
I am sure our school room will continue to metamorphosize as our needs change and the kids grow, but for now I am thankful for this little space that produces so much creativity and learning.

Do you have a school room? 

If not how do you make do with the space you have?

Do you have a hard time throwing away your children's artwork?

Linking up with some of  these great link parties!

Modeling Christ at Home

Friday, July 24, 2015


I felt like the woman I saw at the grocery store yesterday; freaking out at her young child because he was touching everything. I self righteously looked at her with disdain and thought to myself that I would never treat my kids like that; especially not in public. I know I get mad at them and often lose it, but she was just plain nasty and I thought from what I saw; she must be like that all the time. I really felt bad for her child, and yet here I was freaking out at my son because of a pencil. Yes, a pencil. I really hate pencils. They are somehow always missing, never sharpened and always eraserless.

I wasn't feeling well, emotionally and physically. I was having a hard week experiencing some difficult personal situations. I had just started to get a head cold, my nose was dripping, I had a headache and everything that everyone did aggravated me. I had given my son a few math pages to do. I called him several times to come do them. He had to go the bathroom. He had to get a drink of water. By the time he finally sat down; I was fuming. Now he was complaining he couldn't find a pencil. I knew for sure that there were plenty of pencils in his supply box. I told him to look for them. No, he couldn't find any. I started screaming. "JUST FIND A PENCIL!! If I have to come in there and find you a pencil, you are in big trouble." We continued back and forth. He crying and I losing my patience and my voice.

In the meantime my younger son was asking me to pour him some gatorade. I had told him no. A few minutes later he came out proudly proclaiming that he had poured his own. I was still dealing with my older son, so I let it go. I found my son a pencil and though this said pencil wasn't the right one I ignored him and told him to get to work. Soon after I heard a big ker-thud and a splash. I knew that sound all too well. My little guy had spilled his cup of gatorade all over my newly swept and mopped floors. I tried not to yell at him but I think I said his name very loudly which brought tears streaming from his eyes.

I tried to ward off the tears that were now welling up in my eyes, and cleaned up the floor. I proceeded to get dinner ready and told them they needed to eat before they went to church with Daddy( I was not going because of being sick) I did not feel at all like making them dinner. All I wanted to do was lay on the couch, watch other people make food on Chopped and veg out. I knew that they needed to eat so I told them I was going to make them sandwiches to which they replied, "We don't want sandwiches!" Come on! What kid doesn't like sandwiches?  Mine, I guess.  I was on the verge of losing it again and told them that if they wouldn't eat what I made they would have to make something themselves. No matter how mad I get, I don't want my kids to go hungry.

They finally left and I was able to be left alone...with the 3 younger children and... my thoughts.

After the pencil diabocle, I felt really bad. I brought my son close to me and told him that I was sorry and asked him to forgive me. I didn't make any excuses for myself. I told him that he needs to listen and use whatever pencil there is even if it doesn't meet his standards but that I should not have yelled at him. He hugged me and even offered an I love you.

Here is the heart of the matter in me sharing this with you. Whether we are in the store or in the safety of our homes; God sees our hearts, our words, our thoughts, our actions. Unfortunately we tend to be different people in different places.

At the store when I am with all my children; I want to look like I have it all together and treat the situations that arise in the store with gentleness and wisdom(though I don't always.) I want to do the same at home; in front of my family, but I find it is much easier to let myself go with just my children as the audience. I easily give into my flesh and make excuses for myself, but when I come before the throne of God; it is to him that I am held accountable for my actions whether at home or in public. The awesome thing is that I can approach his throne with confidence and find grace in my weakness and in my need.

"God's grace to us is greater than any frustration that is threatens to unravel us."- Gloria Furman (Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full)

How great a thought that God's grace is there for me when I feel like I can't control my reactions. It is there for me when I  am out in public. It is there for me before my husband and children and it is there for me as my inward thoughts and motives are revealed before God.

I know that I am flesh and blood and that I will most likely freak out at my children again, but I desire to say no to my flesh wherever I am...because God is there also.

On those days when everything seems to weigh my spirit down and gives flight to my flesh; I pray that I will choose by his grace and strength to not only do what is right, but what is pleasing before God. He has entrusted me with these precious souls that are looking to me to model the likeness of Christ not only when we are out and about but also when we are in the confines of our home.

Do you find yourself lashing out more easily when you are home? 

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Lesson Planner Review and Special Offer!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

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Although we have been homeschooling through the summer, our school load has been much lighter and has not required much planning. I have basically wanted to work on our core subjects while keeping the kids accustomed to doing school work. We also are going to take a chunk off of school in the fall and winter so it has become a no brainer why we should continue school through summer. Come August we are getting ready to go into full gear and that means lesson planning.

Lesson planning has always been a daunting task for me. I generally like things to be neat, clean and in their proper places but I have come to find that I am unfortunately organizationally challenged. In other words...I don't know what the heck I am doing!(at least when it comes to lesson planning)Thankfully there are people out there who are actually gifted with amazing organizational and planning skills. Though I am sure it helps to be born with these talents; I am gleaning as much as I can from those who are blessed in this area and trying my darndest to get as organized as I possibly can.

Last year I hunkered down and determined to lesson plan; even if it drove me to tears. So I did...a whole week's worth and it took me a whole week to do it! After we went through the first week of planning, I kind of winged it for the rest of the year. I knew pretty much what we needed to do and we had a schedule but I felt like a merry go round with all the kids on top of me pushing me in different directions. " Mom, what are we doing today? Mom, what do I do now?" It was causing me to become very dizzy, as you can imagine.

That is why this year I have solemnly vowed to take the time to make time and succeed in the lesson planning department. I might not figure it all out at once or plan our year perfectly, but I sure am going to try.
I have tried many different lesson planners over the years and was looking for something different this year to get me excited and motivated to lesson plan. I came across Alica Hutchinson's new planner and blog-- Investing Love on instagram( I love instagram!)

I knew her planner was the one for me. It was just what I was looking for! It is detailed yet concise; cute yet functional.  I love that she has month by month pages as well as a full calendar. I also really liked the calendar just for unit studies and that she has the planner separated into quarters so it is easier to break down the year. It has everything I could want out of a planner and to top it off... she shows you how to use it! I can't believe I am saying this... but I am actually excited to start lesson planning! What has happened to me!? What ever it is, I am ready for the new, more clear-headed me!

Just knowing that I have a good foundation of  lesson planning in place for our school year, gives me such a feeling of accomplishment. I can feel the weight of the school year and all that it comes with; getting lighter and lighter. Not only am I reveling in this new found joy, but I want you to also. Do you struggle with lesson planning, organizing and figuring out what you need to accomplish for your children's education? I am right there with you! Even if you are not gifted with amazing organizational skills I believe that you can still become organized and tackle lesson planning with ease and excitement by learning from those who have paved the way.

Alicia has been so gracious to offer a discount on her planner to all of my readers! Yay! So if you are getting ready for the school year and don't know where to start. Start by ordering her planner and let her help you make it fun, and dare I say easy! You will also want to read her very helpful post on planning your school year.

I still have so much to learn about lesson planning and I am sure will do a lot of tweaking throughout the year but I know I am getting off to a good start thanks to Alicia!

If you would like to get your school year started off right also, go order Alicia's Lesson Planner!! Make sure to take advantage of her special $2 discount just for faithful with the little readers! (So make sure to subscribe today to my mailing list...no pressure;) Her planner was already very reasonably priced at at $7.50 and will now be only $5.50 for you!:) Enter the code-- (FAITHFUL2)-- and be on your way to a well planned school year!! Happy Planning!


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Speaking the truth... even when it's hard

Monday, July 20, 2015


I have always been a people pleaser. I have never been able to handle being told I have done something wrong, being embarrassed or knowing that someone is mad at me. I can remember when I was around 7 or 8, my family was over some friend's house for dinner. I touched their t.v. nob and my dad yelled at me in front of everyone. He apologized to me for yelling at me but I was hysterical. I could not be consoled. He had to take me outside and walk me around until I could calm down. My children are the same way.

Still today I want people to like me. I get a sinking feeling inside my chest when I know someone doesn't like me. I have always been the friend who tries to tell you what you want to hear. I listen more than put my two cents in and empathize as much as I am able. But as I have grown in my relationship with the Lord and my friends I have really tried to speak the truth...in love. I might not always say the right thing the right way but I am tired of trying to please everyone, because I can't. It hurts too much when I try so hard to do everything right and still do or say something wrong to offend someone. It is impossible to be perfect. Only one walked on this earth perfect and blameless and he still was mocked, beaten, rejected and scorned.

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. Proverbs 27:5-6

My husband is good at always telling me the truth exactly when I don't want to hear it. I know of course that he is right, but still I tend to get defensive. After I have had time to think and clear my head I am always so thankful for his wisdom and insight. He loves me or else he would not tell me what I don't like to hear. I have learned a lot from him.

I tried to speak the truth into someone's life recently. They didn't take it well. I might not have said it the right way but I know my desire was to speak truth into their life and not tell them what they wanted to hear. The words I heard back... hurt. I bemoaned what I had said at first and apologized. This is why I have always steered clear of saying what I felt was true, because it's hard. It's hard to have people you love reject you and think badly of you. It's hard to be the bad guy. It's hard to walk this path to calvary, but it is the only way.

Are you afraid of speaking the truth because of the consequences? I know I still am but I would feel worse if I didn't. If we don't speak the truth...who will?

"Instead speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ." Ephesians 4:15 NIV

I don't want to stay that little girl afraid to do anything wrong or have anyone mad at me. I want to fear the Lord, speak the truth in love and grow and mature...becoming more like Christ.

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Update on homeschooling through the summer

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Every summer I have grand visions of completing all my goals and bucket lists but find that I aim higher than I realistically can reach. I feel like this summer I gave myself a lot of room for flexibility while setting attainable goals for myself and the kids schooling.

I knew that in order for us to take off more time in the fall and winter;( when the air is actually not suffocating us) we would have to do school work through the summer. I didn't expect us to have a rigid schedule but wanted us to be able to have a good momentum of play and school work so that when we did start back in full swing, it would not be such a shock to my kids systems and I would not have to break them in all over again.

So far I feel like we have hit a good groove and  have been able to accomplish what I was hoping for. I have still had to remind my boys almost every day why we are doing school but they have been getting better and now don't try to fight it as much anymore.

 We will still get together with friends some mornings and plan activities but when we come back home and I get the little boys to bed, we will work on school. I am really happy with how we are still able to get out and come back and get a lot of work done.

Our main focus this summer has been Reading, Writing, Language Arts, Spelling and Math. I am also having them work on these practice test books, as we are getting ready for testing and evaluations the end of this month. We are always doing some kind of art project and science is so much apart of our daily lives. They are experiencing far more fishing and exploring than they would me reading to them about it.( Not that I am against science or art books)

The big boys are with Josh at adventure camp and I can't believe all that they are doing!! Rock climbing, jumping off waterfalls, and of course catching toads.
I know I have said that I am done with the library but we actually ventured out to the Library and Israel got his own library card. I think I must have lost my mind. We only picked out a few books but the kids and I had fun looking at all the great books. I am hoping they will be more responsible than I have been and that no books will be disappearing behind dressers or be devoured by monsters under the bed. I can hope. I love when we come back and they are all huddled together poring over their books.

Ellie is officially starting Kindergarten in the fall but I have already done quite a bit with  her because she is so enthusiastic about learning! I am taking advantage of it! Of course her favorite subject is arts and crafts and she never ceases to get tired of doing new projects.
One of my goals this summer is getting the school room organized. I will feel so much better when I know where everything is and I can find things easily. In my mind I am so excited to get started and have a well running and efficient school room it is just the doing it that is hard. It takes me forever to figure out what we do and don't need and where everything should go. I am really bad at making little decisions. Bring on the big ones but figuring out the best way to file paperwork and organize all our supplies gives me a headache. I am improving and once I get started I find my groove. It is just thinking about how I am going to do it all that gives me problems.

Next project to cross off my list is lesson planning. I am so excited about this lesson plan that I bought from Alicia Hutchinson.  It is just what I was looking for! I can't wait to sit down and plan away. I think I am going to have Josh watch the kids one afternoon so I can bust it out. Look out for a post coming soon about my progress and a discount on her planner!! Yay!

I hope your summer is going as planned or at least as close as possible! If not give yourself some grace and do what you can!

Do you feel like the summer flies by also?
Do you set unattainable goals for your summer?
Are you schooling through the summer? If so, how is it going?

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This week: all things work together for good, insecurities, head colds, best friends and homegrown delights

Saturday, July 11, 2015

This week had a lot of ups and downs. So many awesome things happened and yet I got hit by some hard things in my personal life. You know those kind of things that everyone goes through but you can't share with the whole world. All I know is that God is on the throne and he is working all things together for good.

First off I wanted to let you know that I feel like I have been sort of hiding some things from you that I shouldn't have any fear of sharing. Everyone has insecurities about themselves whether physically or emotionally. One of mine is that I have always had an overbite(the correct term would be overjet but most people aren't familiar with that term)

After wanting braces since I was 13 I finally got them at age 34! I have had bottom partial braces on the top since February but got the last few ones on top this week. So I officially feel like I can say I have braces now. I hope to show a before and after picture some time in a later post though I honestly don't want to. Right now you will just have to take my word for it. I  know they will take some getting used to and until then I feel like I am wearing those bubba teeth from the dollar store. I am working on a post that I hope to share soon of my journey in getting braces as an adult.

The end of the week I got a bad head cold. I know it was due to lack of sleep and stress. I haven't been sick all year! Anytime I am stressed about something I usually lose sleep. I am much more prone to sickness when this happens. Thankfully after trying to get some sleep, giving my worries to God, some apple cider vinegar and  vitamin C tea; I am on the mend.

Of course I would get sick when my dear friend Lyla is coming to visit. Isn't that always the way? We have had a great time though of catching up and enjoying each other's company. We have known eachother since we met at a little Bible College and lived together over 15 years!! Since then we have tried to keep in touch as much as possible. It is hard now that we have our own families and live in different states but God has blessed us with such a beautiful friendship that no matter how long we are apart we always reconnect right away as if no time has passed. I treasure our friendship and am always thankful how God continues to use her to edify and sharpen me and make me laugh uncontrollably!
She came at the perfect time because Josh is on his way to adventure camp with our church's middle schoolers. Israel and Judah are also tagging along. They have been so excited all week. Josh has gone on this trip every summer for 12 years. I have gone once in all those years because I always have little ones to take care of. It is weird without the big boys here. Though I am going to miss them, I know that they are going to have a blast. I am so glad that Lyla and my little guys are here to keep me company.
Oh, I have to share something that I think is so cool, though I know many families have been doing this for generations. We ate sweet potatoes that we grew ourselves and made our own pickles from our own cucumbers! Aren't you as excited as I am?!?! There is something so satisfying about growing and eating your own food!  Josh deserves all the credit for doing most of the work but I most certainly helped to eat our little harvest. The pickles were so easy to make! They are addicting. I could sit and eat a whole jar by myself without even trying!

How was your week? 

Do you have braces as an adult? 

Do you get sick easily when you are stressed or lacking sleep?

What do you do to fight head colds?

Have you ever grown your own food?
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