Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Worry

This week we will be going to a hospital so my 3 year old son can have surgery on his hands. The doctor doesn't know what the growths are, but isn't worried. Right now I feel neither scared or anxious but that may change. I used to worry all the time, as a child I was nervous and anxious. I bit my nails, sucked my thumb and twirled my hair (and would pull it out). My first grade picture is lacking in hair.





A few years ago I realized I never worried about things that were in my control, I only worried about things out of my control, like other people and their choices, health issues, if other people liked me and what they thought about me. Worry for me was a huge burden and though things still bother me, I don't feel compelled to worry all the time anymore. I pray, I am thankful for the many blessings and I let go of the worry. I don't put things out of my mind or deny their existence, I just don't let them become all consuming.

Monday, May 9, 2011

No such thing as Perfect

No matter what someones life may look like, we will never have the whole picture and no one has a perfect life.Everyone can think of someone who seems to have it all and then some, they have; looks, money, closets full of beautiful clothes (worn once), fancy cars, monthly spa visits, pottery barn homes, and Better Homes gardens.  People like that always make me twinge a little, but then I remember that they are no better and no worse than me and just like me they are not perfect. We all need to give each other a break. Everyone has problems and everyone faces conflict. That is life.

Sometimes...
We can't change our circumstances,
but we can change our attitude.
Sometimes,
We can't change the way we feel,
but we can change how we act on those feelings.

Imperfect people will be perfectly disappointing. And there is no such thing as perfect!!!

"When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are."
— Donald Miller (A Million Miles In A Thousand Years: Why Some Live Make Sense And Others Don't)  

Friday, May 6, 2011

Good Habits


In college I started participating in a “No Buying” day, one day a week where I would not buy anything. I don’t leave home everyday now so it is easy to continue this practice. I like having a designated day, mine used to be Thursdays. Now there are no rules to this exercise other than no exchange of money can take place, you can barter, trade or accept free items. My friend introduced me to the idea, she had a bunch of free items on a table and encouraged people to take something and choose to be a non consumer for one day a week.

I also have decided to make Thursday my Donation Day, I will choose items to give to others or donate.
Recently I have felt compelled to be more generous. I am blessed and I want to be generous to others. I have a few things I am doing already, but I want to keep them quiet, so I don’t get self-righteous. I want to be liberal with love but practical in application.    

Have a great Weekend.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fun Idea!

I have this old poker chips holder made from bake-a-lite. It was my grandparents and I inherited it a few years ago. I wanted to display it in an unconventional way because it is so cool and needs proper admiration. I found travel shampoo and lotion bottles at the dollar store (3/$1) and they fit perfectly. I filled them with some hand soap, homemade muscle rub massage oil, and some lavender scented (after shower moisturizer) spray.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kids Crafts and Art Display

I love making crafts and I like my kids to color and create their own artwork, but my frig can only hold so many "creations". I also have a very small kitchen and the less cluttered the better so I put a ribbon up and used simple clothes pins that my kids can use to display their works of art.


The large picture frame originally contained a large mirror, we are on year 2 of bad luck (haha). I might paint it later on, but for now I like the extra area to display inspiration and creations. 
 
The desk is part of an old dresser that we re-purposed and I just screwed supports along the wall and used old stack-able baskets for support. As long as the kids don't sit on top it should hold.

This room only measures 8.5 feet by 11 feet it is cozy but we have a place where projects can be left without being disturbed ( as long as we remember to shut the door). 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Burlap . . . Affordable and Stylish

Great things about Burlap
  1.  It is cheap around $1-2 per yard
  2. It is versitle
  3. It's durable
  4. It has visual interest (or the texture looks nice)
                                                                                   I had some old canvas from when I painted (B.C. before children) they were half finished and hibernating in a closet for 6 years. I decided not to buy anymore craft supplies so I used what I had and put them to use.  I used 3M spray adhesive (spray glue) and a regular desk stapler.  
1.) I cut the canvas so it would wrap around the sides
2.)  Stapled one side (on back
3.) Sprayed the glue onto the canvas
4.) Pulled the Burlap tight and smoothed any bubbles
5.) Folded edges down and stapled in place
This took about 30 minutes to finish 4 canvases
                                             
I glued a tack onto a clothes pin and placed a photo the position can be easily changed. The burlap is a nice neutral background. Pictures and memorabilia are updated for seasons, birthdays and holidays.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

How to Enjoy Staying at Home

Being at home can be enjoyable but sometimes you have to get creative. Boredom can be the catalyst for creativity so when you are feeling bored, rejoice and then

                          Find Some Inspiration
         We all need a little Inspiration and fresh ideas. This doesn't have to cost anything or be a huge production; small, manageable, quickly finished projects are good to create and accomplish. Decorating doesn't need House Beautiful worthy just something that brings you a little joy, embrace some whimsy



    Here are some of my recent creative projects:
    Canvas covered in burlap

    Artwork display

    Notes to self

    Kids work area

    Texas Cosmetic Hold em'

     Re Purposed

    A lot cheaper than PB

         And I have my 10 year class reunion coming up this June as a reminder I put up my pre-twin pants for                     motivation.  Just because I have 5 kids doesn't mean I want to look like I have 5 kids! Ha!
     
    I will be linking them to their own separate posts this week. Enjoy your day!

    Saturday, April 30, 2011

    Non Fiction Books

    A few great Non Fiction Reads
    I recently discovered an author named Donald Miller and I am in the process of reading all his books. I have bought my three favorites and one I just started reading the fourth:

    A Million Miles and a Thousand Years

    Blue Like Jazz

    Father Fiction (previously To Own a Dragon)

    Searching For God Knows What

    I found these books to be inspiring and hilarious, they have struck a chord and resonated in my life. They are true and messy, he paints life like it happens.

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    Classics

    I read selected classic literature (mostly unabridged)  every year, my favorites are in no particular order:

    Jane Austen
    Pride and Predjudice
    Persausion 
    Sense and Sensibility
    Nothanger Abbey
    Mansfeild Park
    (I haven't read Emma yet and I know for some it is their favorite)

    The Bronte Sisters
    Wuthering Heights
    Jane Eyre

    Henry James
    The American

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    I won't own an elephant again..even if it's free

    Sometimes people want to give you very valuable items for free, but they often give you very large burdens instead. Below is the picture of an elephant gift, a once expensive item that lost it's usefulness. It was thoughtfully given but became something more than we bargained for.


      One Huge Project that My husband and I have been putting off for years. He and I had to lift it end over end to get it close enough to the fence for the tractor to pick it up. Not to mention this was filled with Styrofoam peanuts that scattered all over. The kids were helping clean up all that mess well past bedtime. But we had a lot of fun and it is so rewarding to have it gone.
    So long.... you giant luxury burden.




    I believe this experience has taught us when taking on ownership of "elephants"

    Free doesn't mean freedom (possessions can tie us down)
    Proper Care and Maintenance is also part of ownership
    Don't buy or (agree to own) something that weighs as much as an elephant.

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Mastery vs. Versitility

    So what is better... to do a few things perfectly or  a lot of things fairly well. I have many different interests but I am master of none. I enjoy learning about new topics, and trying new skills, experimenting with others ideas. I prefer to be somewhat of a Renaissance gal than have my PhD in one area. I am so glad everyone is different.  I am also thankful there are many single minded folks who have a passion for one area of expertise.
    I like the Ben Franklin's and Da Vincis but I also admire the George Washington Carvers and Marie Curies.

    I don't have allusions that I am anything like these amazing people but I purpose to make my corner of the world a little brighter.

    I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see.  ~John Burroughs

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    Spring Clean

    Cleaning is not my favorite thing to do but it is something that brings satisfaction and order to my home.

    There are three tasks in home keeping that are often lumped together, we try to do them all at once and end up overwhelmed and frustrated. To simplify my home keeping I follow these steps.

    Step One:                                       
    De-Clutter: First throw away garbage, give things away you don’t use, are broken, have extras, need repairing or replacing.

    Step Two:                             
     Organize: Put things away, pick up and stay focused. When you think you need more storage or space it’s time to get rid of stuff.

    Step Three:                                    
    Clean: This is a separate task but dependent on the other two. Cleaning is easier and faster if we de-clutter and organize first.

    I don't do this all in one day either. Sometimes I do a day of decluttering and then a day of organizing and a quick clean. Sometimes I get after a specific room. I like to break down these tasks into smaller steps so I don't get discouraged.
    I often get disgusted with all the stuuffffff  we accumulate. On Wednesday I cleared out 5 bags of garbage (paper, broken toys, things that needed to get gone) and 6 bags to donate and sell at my friends garage sale. 

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Cleaning Safely


     A study conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that the air quality in U.S. homes was 5 to 10 times more toxic than the air outside. Indoor air is typically contaminated by anywhere between 20 and 150 different pollutants, most of which come from petroleum based cleaners.
    The average person cleans about 350 hours a year, using about 25 gallons of household cleaning products.  Using naturally safe cleaners is better than breathing in toxic fumes and bathing in glass cleaner.


                                                                          VS.    
    Vinegar Spray
    Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82 percent of mold. Pour some white distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle, spray on the moldy area, and let set without rinsing if you can put up with the smell. It will dissipate in a few hours.
     Simplify
    I like being able to clean my house with simple items that are not harmful for me or my kids. I am really sensitive to smells and chemicals and I don't have to leave my house now after cleaning. They work and they are very inexpensive to make.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Average is as Averge does.

    Photo Credit
    I like statistics but I don't like being just average. In may ways I want to be below the average American like in hours of  watching television per week (avg. is 35+ hours) and consumer debt (avg.credit card is $6,000- $9,000). In other areas I want to be well above the average. I love to read but the Average American does not.

     Some very sad statistics:

    1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
    42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
    80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
    70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
    57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
    70 percent of books published do not earn back their advance.
    70 percent of the books published do not make a profit.
    (Source: Jerold Jenkins, www.JenkinsGroupInc.com)

    I also know that if you can read and afford to buy a book you are among the wealthiest of the world. I read a lot of great books and so do my children.


    "You may have tangible wealth untold. 
    Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. 
    Richer than I you can never be – 
    I had a mother who read to me."
    — Strickland Gillilan 

    "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go."
    — Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!" 

    "Wear the old coat and buy the new book."
    — Austin Phelps

    "The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I [haven't] read."
    — Abraham Lincoln 

    "So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall."
    — Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Read Some Books Today!

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Why getting up when your alarm goes off is a good thing!

    Getting out of bed is really hard to do sometimes. The last 5 years I was usually awakened by a child, crying baby, my husband's phone and an assortment of other things. I was constantly tired and thought if I could just get 15 more minutes my day would be better. Well I rarely got the extra 15 minutes and when I did usually one of my great children would do something that would take me at least 15 minutes to clean plus a bad attitude. So my neighbor and I decided we would no longer be the victims of  morning chaos.
    Photo credit

    We purposed to get up and out of bed when our alarms went off the first time! No snooze button. Then we would text each other when we had our cup of coffee in hand. We have both missed a couple mornings but I feel so encouraged when I get a little beep and a text. Also I have some blessed time to myself. It is quiet and I can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee without having to re heat it 7 times. I love it, it is making a difference in how my day goes. I am getting more accomplished than before and my housework is done more quickly because I take time everyday and plan.
    I even get up early on weekends too. The added benefit to getting up on time is it forces me to go to bed at a decent hour. I also have cut back on my bad TV habit.
    I like being on time to appointments, I personally believe that being late is a form of rudeness. So now I keep my first appointment of the day with myself and I am on time.

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Gifts of Time

    # 3,4,&5 and myself

    What is the best gift we can give someone? Often I am overwhelmed by the needs of others I like to help others, but often I am not able. I have to give what I can in situations that I have little control over.

         I cannot give health... but I can provide a healthy meal.
         I cannot heal a broken heart... but I can listen and offer encouragement.
         I cannot make someone change... but I can pray for them.
         I cannot right all the wrongs... but I can offer hope by showing kindness.
         I cannot be everything to everyone... but I can love others the best I know how.

        The best gifts are:
                         Our time
                         Our attention
                         Our encouragement
                         Our love
      May you be a blessing to all you meet today.

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Blessings and Burdens


    I have more than I realize.
    Spring is here everything is fresh and new and I want to be organized. I want to get projects finished. I want to be able to start my garden and be outside more and more. Instead of Spring Cleaning this year I am doing a Spring Inventory. I am doing a COMPLETE inventory of my home. Does this sound ridiculous? Well I believe that writing down everything I have will help me to decide what to purge from my home and help me not to buy more things that I don’t really need and already have.
    I am going room to room and writing everything down some of the items are (but not limited to): furniture, art, kitchen items, clothing, appliances, bedding, and toys.  I think the kitchen, clothing and toys will take the most time.  Categorizing the items will assist in the organizing process and if we ever have our house burn down or broken into we will have a record for insurance purposes. 

     The inventory spread sheet looks like this:

    Item
    Type
    Condition
    Location









    I found that I have 7 queen size sheet sets (ridiculous)! We only have one queen size bed!!! I do not need 7 sets. I am going to keep three. One set of flannel and two regular sets. They are my favorites.

    Photo Credit
    We are blessed with so many things that they become burdens, so today I am starting to bless others and lighten my load. Taking care of people is more important than taking care of things.  

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    I'm not content enough...

          Content    –adjective
            1. To be satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.
            2. peace of mind; mental or emotional satisfaction
            3. Impossible (just kidding)

         I find it very hard to be content for long, and I would like to blame society.  American consumerism, advertising and even the government continually remind us of our need to buy stuff. Granted most of that stuff we can justify needing; food, clothing, shelter, furnishings, gifts, and computers. I find myself getting very creative in order to justify the purchase. 
         Stuff; it can be wonderful and fun to buy, we get enjoyment from purchasing a "need", and often guilty for buying a want. Often a the justification comes in the form of a "deal to good to pass up".  One of my favorite sayings is,"I'm going broke, saving so much money." 
      I find when shopping online I am much less impulsive, even if it is a good deal.


    Photo Credit
    But is is not all the fault of our global economy, it is perhaps harder because we are constantly bombarded with advertising and retail genius. Discontentment has been around from the beginning of time (see Bible; Adam and Eve) through the ages and even the Bard himself was not immune, but perhaps a bit more savvy.




    Nought's had, all's spent,
    Where our desire is got without content.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616) Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 3, sc. 2, l. 4-5.