Harris Family Addition Video

Friday, March 31, 2017

The road to getting an addition put on our little 2 bedroom, one bath has been a long one. A lot of prayer, waiting, work and headaches went into the process.

We are SO, SO thankful to our amazing contractor, workers and volunteers who put countless hours in to help us see our prayers answered.

It's been amazing living in our new space over the past few months with our precious new baby.

From the start, I knew I wanted to make a video of the whole process from beginning to end. I normally take a bajillion photos of everything but I haven't fooled around with videotaping that much, but I decided to give it a go.

It's not perfect by any means(as you will see) but I couldn't be more happy with the end result and that I took the time to document everything. It still baffles me at how easy we can forget things and become complacent and discontent. Even a few weeks after moving into our addition, I would often look around and wish we had done this or that differently, instead of just being thankful.

No matter how good you have it; the comparing doesn't stop. I don't think we will truly be content till we get to our heavenly home. Thankfully God is always quick to put me in my place and help me to remember his goodness and grace and all that he has done for us; despite how undeserving we are.

I finally had a chance to put together all the videos I took and edit them. I literally started bawling when I watched it, because it brought back so many memories of how we waited so long for this and how many hard days there were to get to this place. God is SO good!

When I first started recording, I knew I had to put it to music and the song that came to mind was "Beautiful Things" by Gungor. It fit perfectly. He really does make beautiful things out of the dust!

If you are waiting and praying for something, please keep persevering in prayer and being faithful right where you are!  He sees you, he hears you and has the best for you...in his perfect will and timing!!

Enjoy! And thank you for following along with us on this journey!

Be sure to let me know what you think!

If you haven't read all my posts on how our addition came to be please go check out these posts!

Our New Addition

Addition Update #1

Addition Update #2

Addition Update #3

And be sure to check out The Before and After of our new Kitchen and My Kitchen Inspiration Post

Have a great weekend!!

Linking up here!

My New Dream Kitchen: Before, In Between and After

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The kitchen is the heart of the home and in our case this is true, as there is hardly a moment that it is not being used. Unfortunately our tight little space wasn't always heartwarming. It was like being in a tiny claustrophobic box. 11ft. by 9ft. to be precise. Though we have a lot of good memories in that little kitchen, it was often very frustrating.

When we bought our charming little cottage of a house, it was perfect for Josh and I, Israel(2) and our new little baby Judah on the way.  But as we grew exponentially, it became harder and harder to all fit comfortably. It was like going into the chocolate factory with Willy Wonka, where it seemed impossible for everyone to fit through the door, but somehow they do.

We of course made do and I learned a lot in that little kitchen, as I tried to make everything somehow fit and washed loads and loads of dishes by hand, and eventually in a mini dishwasherLooking back now, I truly believe God performed a miracle for us, because it just does not make sense that meal after meal came out of that little kitchen; much like Mary Poppins' magic carpet bag.( for some reason movie metaphors keep coming to mind;)

When things began to get more difficult in that space I started dreaming of a bigger kitchen and becoming more and more discontent. I would drool over pinterest images of big, beautiful kitchen spaces. I would often get frustrated at the kids and my husband that I didn't have an efficient space to feed my family in and would make excuses for my behavior. Eventually God showed me that I needed to be content right where he placed me and learn to make the most with what he had given me, and really it was a cute little kitchen; emphasis on the word little.

As I surrendered my heart and dreams to him, he so faithfully changed my heart and attitude. Though I still struggled at times, God truly changed my heart and I can honestly say that I found contentment in him; right in that tiny little spot. You could say this blog was birthed in that kitchen:)

If things had gone as I had wanted, we would have moved or added on a long time ago, but there might have not been such a great work done in my heart and I might not have experienced the growth that God wanted to do in me. It's been quite a long road, but I am so thankful that everything came together in God's perfect timing and we were able to add on last year.

If you have read my addition updates, you might have noticed I didn't show that much of the kitchen because I wanted to wait for the Big Reveal. I love before and afters! My favorite show is Fixer Upper, because it is so amazing to see the drastic changes that can take place with hard work and great design. (and I just love Chip and Jo!)

So if you haven't read how this kitchen came to be, please go back and read those posts so you can get the big picture.


I really wanted to show you the before pictures in this post so you could see all the room we gained. That whole wall in our living room came down to make way for our much needed dining area. The back wall of our kitchen was the end of the house. With the addition we added on 14ft. to the back of the whole house to include our new kitchen, our master bedroom and bath.

                                                                              IN BETWEEN

The thing that made the biggest difference is that the wall between our living room and kitchen came down. I can't tell you how long I waited for that wall to come down! It just opened up the whole house! I cried tears of joy when I saw it for the first time!

As you can see Josh did just about everything minus the plumbing and electricity. So thankful I married a handy man!

So this is where our old kitchen was. It is now our dining area. One of the biggest things that I wanted for our family was to be able to sit down at the table all together. This is now possible! Josh is going to make me a new table (when he gets the chance) For now we are making due with a folding table, but it works!

Okay so now for the big reveal!!!


After the addition was finished, Josh and I would stand in our new kitchen in unbelief that this was really our house. Our house is not huge by any means now, but it feels so big and open, and just perfect for our family.

Our final inspections were finished last week and I was so giddy to take off all the stickers and give the windows a good cleaning. We have a ton of projects yet to do, but it feels so good to be officially finished.

I couldn't be more in love and thankful for my new dream kitchen. It's everything I (and Josh and the kids) hoped,  prayed and dreamed of.  I share more in detail about what inspired me for this kitchen in my post here.

Now instead of having to drag myself off the couch at night to clean up, (because even though the kids have chores, there is always more to do.) I love cleaning the kitchen until it sparkles and shines. There is something about getting new appliances that makes you want to keep them looking new. Though I admit sometimes I just don't feel like cleaning...period.

My favorite thing of all about the kitchen is all the light that pours in. It just makes me so happy! I love looking out the window above the sink as I do the dishes. Thankfully I have a beautiful view of our neighbors trees and can see the sun coming up. It's perfect!

A close second to the light and my window, is the pantry. I am SO glad we put it in! I really don't know how I stored everything before. Oh yeah...I remember I had to use our hall closet, the garage and everything basically was overflowing. It's so nice to come home after a shopping trip and be able to have plenty of space for everything.

I also love that the kids can all get their own drinks from our new refrigerator! It's such a nice convenience! Basically... everything is awesome!;)

Looking back it all seems like a big blur. It was such a crazy intense time, especially for Josh. I am so thankful for all the hard work he put into our addition and for giving me full reign( within our budget and time restrictions) to make it how I envisioned. Josh is thankful too...that it is all done and he is thoroughly enjoying it as well, as he is a great cook.

This post has been a long time coming and I am so excited to be able to share our  journey with you and give glory to God for his goodness and faithfulness.

There is still a lot to do in getting our house back in order after the addition. It feels like we have moved a couple of times. I can't wait to share more updates and before and afters. It really feels like a new home.

I still have to pinch myself that I have a Pinterest worthy kitchen...it really is the heart of our home.

I pray that whatever kind of kitchen you find yourself  in, that your contentment would be found in Christ. Because at the end of the day it doesn't matter what are kitchen looks like...but our hearts.

What do you think!?

Do you struggle to find contentment in your home?

What does your dream kitchen look like? 

Need some more small kitchen inspiration?? Check out Shutterfly's post on 80 ways to decorate a small kitchen. Featuring my kitchen!

Linking up here!

Printable Spring Cleaning List (from the archives)

Monday, March 20, 2017

I have a love/hate relationship with cleaning. I love things to be clean. I hate/dislike cleaning them over and over again. Sigh... But it must be done. I have been trying really hard to delegate as much of the cleaning as I can to my kids as they are getting older, but they seem to make more messes than they clean up. My main areas of focus in my home are the kitchen, living room and bathroom. If those areas are clean I can at least function. The school room and bedrooms are often sadly left neglected till they are so bad that I finally get everyone together to help do a big deep cleaning of them.

Spring seems to be the official season of cleaning and I admit my house could use some deep cleaning. I thought if I made a list of all the areas that often get overlooked it would hopefully motivate me to clean them. Because let's face it with 5 kids the state of my house is in mostly survival mode. I am just going for liveable these days. One day my house will be immaculate and dust and dirt free, but probably very quiet. So for now I'll do what I can and learn to live with and even love the chaos.

I don't know about you but I go through moods or spurts of cleaning. Somedays I just want to clean, clean, clean; wanting everything to be immaculate, and then there are those other days when I just do what I can to keep the house liveable. And then there are days want I want to do absolutely nothing! Though this sounds nice, there is usually not a day that goes by that I don't do some sort of cleaning. I try to be consistent with my main target zones so I don't end up getting overwhelmed; staying on top of the dishes/kitchen,living room, laundry and bathroom. Which really means I have to stay on top of my kids to do their chores and then follow along behind them making sure their work was up to code;P

It's pretty sad to admit but I usually only do deep cleaning when I am 9 months pregnant and in full force nesting mode. So that means that I have only deep cleaned my house every 2 years. I am due for another baby! Since God hasn't seen fit to give us one as of yet, I am going to have to will myself into giving our house a good deep cleaning because it really needs it!

I have listed all the areas in my home that I am hoping to tackle room by room. Some of the things I have listed are usually overlooked and others areas are cleaned more than others, but I thought it would be good to just list them all. Whether it be dusting, scrubbing, using some good ol' elbow grease or organizing; I think it's safe to say that these are all defined as cleaning. I hope you will join me as I attempt to spring clean and we can motivate each other! Happy Cleaning!

Be sure to check out all of my natural cleaning products!

---->Spring Cleaning List Printable

Do you have certain areas in your home that you focus on?

How often do you deep clean?

Do you have a love/hate relationship with cleaning also?

p.s. My apologies. One of the words on the list is spelled wrong. I thought I thoroughly went over it but I guessed I missed it:( It's just too much work to go back and redo the whole thing. Such is life. Everything is not always perfect. Thanks for understanding;) 

Linking up here!

Educational toys and activities to keep your toddler busy while you homeschool

Monday, March 13, 2017

We have slowly been easing back into our "normal" homeschool routine after having Ahava.

It can be quite challenging to care for her, give my students the help and attention they need and keep Luke and Simeon busy and occupied.

The biggest question I get about homeschooling is, "How do you do it with all different ages?" I am not really sure if there is an answer to that. Some days things go really well and some days they don't.

I am thankful that most of the time Simeon and Luke play really well together. I have found it really helps to have some dependable toys and activities on hand that they can get to themselves or need minimal supervision and help with.

I am sharing over at My Joy Filled Life , some of the toys and activities that are life savers in keeping my toddler occupied and quiet happy while I homeschool his older siblings. Please go over and check it out  HERE if you are desperate for some great distractions for your littles ones so you can stay on track teaching your school aged kids!

What are some ways you keep your little ones busy while you homeschool??
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