Tuesday, August 31, 2010

a little tip: Stair Bucket

Okay..so, I have made no bones about the fact that I love LOVE my Car Bucket.

I have loved how my Car Bucket has helped me to keep my car clutter down and even non existent! I have been using mine since the original post, and I have to say it has helped me in huge ways to keep my out of the house stuff in order, as well as the in the house stuff out of the car when the trip is over.

I have instituted another "bucket" in my life that I wanted to share ...as I shared with you in my post about my Steedly entryway, I have stairs separating the living part of the house and the bedrooms. My laundry room is downstairs, which means there is alot of lugging up and down those stairs on a daily basis.

There is also a ton of clutter on the stairs ALL the time. This is my unimpressive attempt at reminding myself to lug things up or down the stairs "next time" I am going the direction the stuff belongs.  Usually, I walk right over it because it is too many things to grab and I will just get it next time. 

Since my CB worked so well, I have been working on instituting my "Stair Bucket"  ..which is a cute basket that sits either at the top, or the bottom of the stairs that works the same way I use the CB. I put everything in there that needs to go up the stairs, or down them..the key to making it happen is that instead of it being set all over the stairs, it is ordered into one container that I can grab on my way up/downstairs

Also, like my CB, it has to be emptied when I get to where I am going, but it seems like that hasnt been too much of a problem because I am not letting it get to be a ton of stuff before taking care of it.

I have to admit that since starting school a three weeks ago, clutter has become a HUGE issue around here! I dont have as many productive moments to declutter, so any time I can cut the clutter down on my way to do other things is a huge bonus!

So, what do you think? Are their other areas of your house that you can use a "bucket"? 
Do you have stairs, and use a different method of keeping them clear of clutter?

I would love to hear if this idea works for you..it does work for me!

Monday, August 30, 2010

On Your Mark ...

I worked a shift at the ICU this past weekend ...that means some disarray this morning!

I am in disaster relief mode, which is not good since we started week #3 of Steedly School this morning. We are lagging behind, supposed to be starting in about 10 minutes ..its not gonna happen.

But, I am determining this minute that my use of time resource to get my head together is WORTHY use of those resources! We will start school late, which will make us have to do school a bit after lunch. I will have to postpone my shower til later, and my cup of coffee will not be a leisurely one this day! I will be overwhelmed with laundry for a bit this morning, but it will be better by this afternoon ..

Ultimately, I will feel better because I took the time now to get those things done that will help all the rest of it run smoother.

Do you have those things that need to be done in order for your head to be fully engaged on the most important things in your day?

* is the the dishes done?
* is it your face washed, or your shower taken?
* that cup of coffee, or two?
* your bible reading done? prayer time in?

I have found that sometimes it is worthy of my effort to do what needs to be done to clear my head.

Its not stress, exactly. I dont feel stressed right now, but I can tell that if I dont get a couple of things taken care of before embarking on our day, that I will feel stressed later. I will be irritable if our school table is cluttered, we cant find lunch dishes because the dishwasher hasnt ran, we have to stop school to clean the school room floor enough to play our learning games ...yeah.

So, I need to go do some dishes, start a load of laundry, clean off the school table, straighten the school room and get our home more STRESS LESS!

What can you do right this minute to clear your head?!

Not sure?  ..dont forget to use your Stress List to help you figure it out. Assign some Stress Strategies and get you a great day ready for you! :)

And, most importantly ..dont forget to get your day to God and let Him give your peace in your spirit as you put your hands to the things that are the most important for the tasks He has given you!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Our Steedly House: Bedrooms

This week for the 4 Moms Open House tour, we are in the bedrooms!  ..I will confess that these pics are from a post I put on our family blog aobut 6 months ago, after I had finished all the painting and while things were still dust free and somewhat ordered :) ...right this minute, not so much.

First, the boys room ..these are more snapshots of the decorations we have in there. They boys are in bunk beds and, other than the dresser the rest is just open space for them to play. Their boys are in bins under their bed, when they are not scattered all over the floor! :)

Above our little monkeys beds ...

We havent added Joshua's name yet, but we will when it is time for him to move in with his brothers.

Then, the master bedroom ..again, more just snapshots of the room. ...

We have a vanity that opens into our bedroom, which I love...almost as much as I love how I have my OWN sink :)

We have a guest room as well, which is doubling as Joshua's room while he is between mommy's room and brothers' room. Hopefully, we wont traumatize him by not giving him his own nursery ..I dont plan on telling him :)  ..that picture though is not gonna happen, as I dont want the mess that in there on any type of recording device that can be referred to in the future :)  I think that the 4 moms are doing a second part for bedrooms next week, so maybe I will feel motivated to do that :)

So ...that is the Steedly House so far..feel free to go back and visit the entryway, dining room/kitchen, living room and schoolroom. And thanks to the 4 Moms for hosting the open house! :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Peace is Good

I posted this last summer, as part of a 12 week bible class study I did with my girlfriends at church ...this lesson was one of my favorites and I have been pondering many of its promises ...I have done some editing to include a couple different posts.
Peace is something that everyone wants, and those in Christ are promised to have in abundance. Through the Spirit we are able to fill the hole in our spirits that desires peace more than anything. We have peace at our disposal through the God we serve, and the Son who died for us.

Peace is mentioned 247 times in scripture. Of the gifts of the Holy Spirit it is mentioned second only to love. It is referred to in all but one of the books of the New Testament, and all of the letters of Paul. It is an ongoing theme throughout the entire Word of God, mentioned in all but 14 of the 66 books of the Bible. God and Jesus are referred to as the God of Peace, and the Prince of Peace.

One way to learn about peace, is to learn what it is not ...
  • Peace is not pretending that everything is "fine" ...because things dont have to be "fine" to be at peace.
  • Peace is not something we can achieve on our own ..its a gift of the Holy Spirit. Its a result of having Christ in our heart, not what we do or dont do
  • Peace is not "having it all together" ..because you can be at peace even when things around you are going crazy
Peace is...a reflection of God's character in us. "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through." I Thess 5:23

Peace is ...the message we speak to those around us. "You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.” Acts 10:36

Peace is...the result of our eternal perspective. "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17

Peace is ...what happens when we allow our minds to be of Christ and the Spirit. "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." Romans 8:6

Peace is ...the way of the righteous. "The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever” Isaiah 32:17

Peace is... a blessing from God. Psalms 29:11 ..."The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace."

Peace is ...a beautiful prayer for another believer. "May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" Hebrews 13:20

Peace is ...to give all our oppressive thoughts and emotions to him.”Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6

Peace is ...God's desire for His church. …”If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18

When we are full of anxiety, fret and stress we prevent this wonderful experience from filling us to its full potential. Not that its not available to us, but when we are using up our senses with those light and momentary things, they arent available to be filled with the calm that comes from our experiencing Christ, the Prince of Peace in us.
Calm, rest, safe, trust ...peace.

Welcome, Ifellowshippers ..I am so glad you are here ..have a very blessed day!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

a little tip: Showing off Kids Art

Having little ones in school now, we have some serious art work and such things that are most worthy of displaying in our house!

Part of our schoolroom is our "TA DA!" wall ..where we have several ways that we celebrate their paper accomplishments: 

* The Art Frame - a frame I stole from my sisters garage. I took some cork board sheeting and some spray adhesive. I needed several more layers than I actually put on there in order to use push pins. I didnt figure this out until after I had put the frame back together, so we tape everything to it for now.

* The Wire Line - the wire curtain rod, is from Ikea for $15, the clips are $10 for way more clips than you will ever use :) We keep ours up high because our little men like to try to hang their own art work, which doesnt work so much :)

* Clipboards - the clipboards are just boring old $1.50 clipboards from the office supply store. They have little metal loops on the back that allow them to hang on the wall.  We keep them nice and boring, BUT ..if I had girls I would tie cute ribbons to the clip part. AND, if I had several little artists I would add a name tag for each kid too.

We have these in their bedroom also ...they can change the art out so their current favorites are displayed per their choice :)

Right now, we also have our art prints for current art lessons on the wire line and our Steedly Schedule posted on a clipboard.

This allows for several ways to show off our little man's talents ...it works for us!  ....WFMW'ers, remember to refresh the site for the most current posts! ..thanks for being here!

Congrats Jessica!

Yay! The winner of our Seeds Family Worship giveaway is Jessica, from the Our Family for His Glory blog (one of my favorites!)!

She won the Power of Encouragement cd, the newest release from Seeds Family Worship!  ...sure to be a really great one!

She says, "Ooooh- I have been wanting some of these CDs for a while now. :) I really like the "Do not be anxious" song!!"

Yay for you Jessica!  ...I contacted you via your blogger profile, if you did not receive a note from me, please let me know!

For those of you how are bitterly disappointed, SFW has offered LPLS readers a 20% on all their cd's (excluding clearance) from their webstore!  Use coupon code: LPLS20 on checkout!

I would love for any of you get their music to come back and tell us who wonderful it was! I cant wait til we get our next one (it WILL be budgeted into next month's expenditures!)!

Thanks for all of your entries!

Monday, August 23, 2010

a little mom encouragement ...

So, if you are a mom of any kind ..skinny, tall, homeschooling or not, many kids or just a few, wealthy or only what you need ..we all have one thing in common. We got lots 'o work to do!

Its one of those times of the  year when our "expertise" is so vital ..as kids are moving into uncharted territory, feeling insecure and perhaps worried about what their future may hold (endless days of school :) Whether they are doing this at home, or not ..they need our reassuring arm and supportive encouragement to get through this tough days where they are constantly in "learning" mode!

On top of that, we have all our other "work" to do ..keeping home, managing the budget, providing attention to the smaller ones, maintaining a social schedule (for the benefit of all involved), grocery shopping (where is that gonna fit in?!), nurturing a marriage, learning more of God myself ..it is hard, but good work.

I am up early this morning, working on getting my head in the game when I stumbled on this little gem ...

"So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically 
for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless."
I Corinthians 15:58 (NLT)

This blends beautifully with one of the scriptures that Seeds Family Worship put to music. I am in LOVE with it right now ...

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. 
Commit your way to him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine the dawn, 
and the justice of your cause like the noonday sun."
Psalms 37:4-6 (NIV)

This work we do as moms is so important. What we do as nurtures of our homes, and security blankets for our little ones ..this is so vital to God's plan for growing godly children in these little "Christian Factories".  

I pray you do good work this week, work enthusiastically and remember you are working for the Lord! This is a just cause we are working on girls ..may yours shine like the noonday sun! :)

{dont forget to participate in the Seeds Family Worship Giveaway tomorrow!}

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ready for Success

I live in a town full of military wives. Many of my close friends are women who live their lives as single moms much of the time. They (one in particular ..shout out to Dana Dee!) have taught me the importance of preparing before hand for the times when things are no doubt going to be difficult and potentially overwhelming.

One method she uses before her hubby heads out on a long mission (10 days or 6 months) is to think ahead to what things need to be done in and around the house that is the best one to do. She makes him a "Honey Please Do" list so that those things are taken care of, and she doesnt have to worry about them while he is gone. She calls it "setting up for success".

I am realizing that while I learn to balance school, the house, the needs of other children not in school, the budget, errands ..I need to do some setting up for success of my own! 

This week, especially, I am understanding the need for getting myself ready to be successful ..its about planning ahead and doing what needs to be done beforehand for the event (our life in general) to run smoothly..

One way to do that is to determine for yourself what areas your home needs to be in order, in order for you to feel like you are ready for anything. I feel that way when my kitchen, living and dining room are straight. With school being added, the playroom/schoolroom needs to be in working order as well.  The bedrooms, bathrooms and other areas arent mandatory to getting our day off the ground on a good note.

Also, what things about your schedule need to be set in stone in order for you to have the time resources you need to face what is coming, a new routine you are taking up, a new baby or just using your resources better? Part of our "success setup" has been to give up responsibilities to alot of things that required our being present to things outside our home during the school hours.

What do you need to do get your head in the right place? What do you need to read, listen to, turn off or turn down in order to get your mind headed in the right direction?  Prayer and scripture are big ones for me ..I need to make that more of a priority for sure!

Having done one week of school and heading into next week ..I plan on setting my family for success by having bread (we had to leave a school day go get some for lunch ..yuk), having those important areas cleaned and ordered each day, keeping up with my laundry each night, writing a couple blog posts this weekend ...there are several things I can do to help myself out.

What about you ..what can YOU do to set yourself up for success next week, tomorrow or for a big event coming up?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Our Steedly House: Living Room

Well, I am still having fun looking at my house through the camera lens. This week on the 4 Moms Open House tour, they are looking at the Living Room!

I am not in LOVE with my living room right now ..it has too much furniture that doesnt match each other and I am needing to do something different in the deco department, but it is still a blessing :) It is a great benefit of this house because it is close to the front door, close but not open to the kitchen, and far enough away from the playroom/schoolroom and bedrooms that there is some peace and quiet in there even when the boys are in the house :)

Here is a view from the entryway ..of one side of the room

And the other ...

The fireplace, a major plus to our house ..even though we live in SC, and so it is not the most frequently used appliance. However, it does fit all my Christmas morning fantasies :) Please, be sure to note the feather duster in the chair ..that is as close to evidence of dusting you will ever find in my house :)

 I am planning on adding some more pictures above the couch, and they will be lined up under the wording ..."May the warm winds of heaven blow softly on this house"

This is where we do all our family cuddling, the boys do their wrestling, we do family MarioKart tournaments, and where we watch America's Funniest Home videos so that we can watch our kids laugh like crazy!

Its a good place, this Steedly House :)

Next week, the bedrooms ...if I get them cleaned up enough for a camera ...its been good motivation so far!  :)

Hearing the Word

My boys and I are are fully engrossed in all manners of educational enlightenment this week!

We are learning about the five senses, and how use all those senses to observe and experience the world around us (and, of course ..we are giving God all the credit for giving us such great tools, and for creating such a great world for us!). We are learning the value of experiencing certain things using several of our senses at one time. I have really enjoyed watching Ty learn this, and put it all together. 

This morning, he used a magnifying glass to "observe" a spider crawling across the floor. He was so excited. So was I. :)

Talking about our senses, I have been aware of how important it is that we experience God through all those ...how important it us for me, my children and everyone to experience God's truths and promises in every way we can think to do it.

We are using our eyes to read His word, and ponder his promises. We are using our hands, to serve each other and experience our world through touch. We are tasting him, by making cookies for our daddy and reminding our children that God gave us good things ..to eat, and otherwise.  We are smelling him by...well, cookies are pretty heavenly..right? 

And, of course we are hearing Him through surrounding ourselves with His words through scripture and memory verses! We have been using our Seeds Family Worship cd to bring God's promises into our hearts and minds this week. I especially, because I have had some moments of panic and stress this week (what have I gotten myself into?!) and have needed some refocusing at times.

To encourage YOUR family to bring God into your heart through your senses (especially your sense of hearing), then make sure hop on over the this POST, and enter to win a Seeds Family Worship cd, or get a coupon code to purchase one your own (you like that transition ..smooth, huh? :) 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Yay for Me Wednesday!

Its Wednesday again ..which means we get to celebrate our good mommy moments!

I will get us started ..

*I started school this week..on time..yay for me!
* I have straightened up every night this week to be ready for school ...yay for me!
* I WILL finish putting that basket of laundry away before I got to bed ..(premature) yay for me!
* I cleaned out my boys closet this week ...yay for me!
* I reorganized the baby's closet this week ..yay for me!
* I am still keeping my car cleaned out...yay for me!

What would you like to celebrate? I wanna hear it! :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Family-Based Business: Seeds Family Worship

I discovered Seeds Family Worship at the Seeds of Faith website a couple of weeks ago during a giveaway on their blog. The boys and I have fallen in love with their ministry and the music they produce as a result.

They put scripture to music, and listening to the Word this way has been a huge HIT at the Steedly House! Less than a week after we heard their first song, we bought Seeds of Purpose, one of 5 of their cd's currently out. This cd has some of my favorite scriptures on it, so of course I am loving it.

 I contacted the Seeds Family Worship ministry, and they have agreed to do a giveaway for LPLS!

Here is a sampling of their work ...one of my boys' favorites...

"Seeds Family Worship was planted when worship leader, Jason Houser, was asked to write some songs to help kids remember the verses from his church’s summer Bible school. Jason began writing songs and singing them for the kids and families at church. The songs were well-crafted, catchy, and taken straight from scripture. Families liked them. . . a lot." (quoted from the Seed Family Worship website)  ..I know we sure do!

The Seed Family Worship ministry has offered a Power of Encouragment cd ..their latest release, as a giveaway this week! You will want this one!

And, you will want to purchase their wonderful music as well! They have offered the LPLS readers a 20%discount at their webstore (not including clearance items) when you use our coupon code: LPLS20 (that is definitely our FIRST Less Stress coupon code !:)

If you would like to keep up with the Seeds Family Worship, get a free song download on occasion and get some ideas of how to use thier music to teach our families how to apply those precious words ...go here.

How wonderful to teach our children where to go for their peace, their hope and their courage in the face of all they have to learn in this crazy life! How wonderful, also for us to meditate on those promises on a regular basis, and with songs that have a tendency to get stuck in your head! :)

I hope you will all join the giveway ..to enter, go listen to an encouragement or two here ..then come tell me what word of scripture is now stuck in YOUR head! Make sure I can find a contact email address for ya, if not I will have to redraw :) We will draw next Tuesday!

If for some reason you have issues with leaving a comment ..please enter via Facebook!

Monday, August 16, 2010

a thought ...

Well, it is the first day of Steedly School today ..so that is where our focus will be starting in about 30 seconds when those little feet I hear on the floor above me come clomping down the stairs :) It will be a fun day in the Steedly house!

The day doesnt allow for a long post, but I did want to share a great verse I found and placed in the context of utilizing our resources for God, it made me smile!

Philippians 2:12b-16a ..."Keep on working with fear and trembling to complete your salvation, because God is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose (hmm...seems familiar :)

Then, how interesting that this verse follows that promise ..."Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may be innocent and pure as God's perfect children, who live in a world of corrupt and sinful people. You must shine among the them like stars lighting up the sky, as you offer them the message of life." (GNT)

On a day (week, or month) that many of us are feeling overwhelmed with our current purpose (teaching our children at home, or even preparing them to leave the nest for school) we must remember that we have been created to do the purpose of the God we serve ..he has made us willing, able and provided all that we need to do complete that assignment!

Now, do it without complaining or arguing (I hear some arguing coming in our future ...after all the fun wears off ..for mom and the boys!) so that we may shine like the stars!

Blessings on your day..whatever it holds!

Welcome ifellowshippers! So glad you are here!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Give it Away: Delegate

As we approach the school year, many of us are facing the craziest time of the year! We are looking ahead to juggling home, grocery shopping, budgeting, and laundry along with school for the better part of the day.

I for one, I am wondering how it will all get done.

I am thinking back over my own childhood homeschooled experience, and I remember one biggie in our house. Delegation.  Delegation isnt just giving your jobs to someone else to deal with, but artfully choosing a person who effectively complete the task at hand... besides you.

At home, often the delegator is mom, while those delegated to are the kids. Many of the jobs that we do as moms can be handled by kids 4 and up, with proper training and some patience.

It had multi-faceted benefits, both for the delegator and the those delegated to. As the one delegating, you get to relieve some pressure in areas that tend to add up to a feeling of stress and being overwhelmed. As the one being delegated to, they get to show their ability to serve, follow instructions, learn to be independent, and get to be the recipient of appreciation for hard work completed well.

With a 5 year old, I am amazed with what he can do. He is to the point that his help is actually..helpful :) We have begun the art of effective delegation around here, and I have learned a couple of things:

* You have to be willing to have the job done less than perfectly ...or even "really" good :)
* You have to be okay with people doing things done differently than you ..totally, perhaps
* You have to make sure that the delegated job fits the person ..a five year old can haul laundry baskets, but perhaps not sort the laundry. Then again ...
* You can call it "chores" or "service practice"
* You have to be willing to accept the learning curve ..it may take a bit, but they will get the hang of it after a few tries

Some things that we have delegated in our house ...

* Collecting trash for the small trashcans
* Bringing the laundry baskets downstairs
* Unbuckling his brothers car seat buckles, so I dont have to go all the way around the car
* Collecting trash when getting out of the car (car bucket!)
* Hauling the Car Bucket to the van (it has wheels)
* Preparing certain lunches (Ty can make a mean PBJ), or breakfast foods

I think it is important to remember that while it is often easier to do the jobs ourselves, the benefits of them learning those jobs far outweighs time you save. And, after a bit it really can be helpful to get to call for the laundry! :)

Delegation WORKS FOR US! :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our Steedly House: Dining Room/Kitchen

I really love my kitchen ..its one of my favorite parts of my house.

But first...from the entryway, we head into the dining room:

This is in the dining room facing back towards the entry way (see the stairs through there?) ...and the flowers are sitting on the table that is in the other pictures.  See that large piece of furniture in the shot above ....that one is my most recent ingenious idea when I brought it downstairs out of an upstairs bedroom to make room for baby. I set the there until I could make room in the garage for it. I loved it there!  I had been looking for something to put in that space because our dining room is really made for a bigger table.  It now houses all our school supplies, my Stress Less Journal, my husbands pocket contents (he has his own drawer), my coupons, extra paper for the printer, and some other stuff.

I had a great idea to update it a bit by changing all the knobs..until I took them all off, THEN went to the store to price them. After determining that it would cost $35 to replace the KNOBS ..I put the old ones back on. I will chose not to stress about THAT! :)

The curtain covers the double glass door that leads to our deck and perfect-for-boys backyard. It is a MESS, so you will have to wait to see that. Incidentally, what you also dont see is that I had to shift the mess from the table to the buffet so I could get a decent shot of my dining room :)

That table will be getting alot of use this fall..I cant wait! 

Then, looking from my dining room into my kitchen...

 You can see the start of my awesome bay window in the top one, and all of it and the island  that has hosted many a cookie or pizza making party in this one... also, you can see my calendar and my paper clutter solution!
Swinging past the window, pantry and fridge (which you can see in the shot from the dining room) ...
See my green crockpot? I got a story for another post about that! And, so you see the cookie jar next to the stove? ... My husbands love language is cookies :)
Here is the rest of that counter space ...

The floor is a wide open space because we have the island against the window right now. Its been great to have a big space for the kiddos to play on the floor while I cook dinner or bake cookies! They are gonna be underfoot anyways, might as well give them some space to do it! :)

So..that is my kitchen and dining room!

Oh..and one more thing. ..I just hung another one of my Uppercase Living expressions in the Laundry Room ...

It says, "I'm thankful for piles of laundry ..it means my loved ones are nearby" ..love, LOVE it!

Thanks to the 4 Moms for hosting this Open House Tour ...next week, the Living Room!

Our Steedly House: Entryway

So, I have had so much fun planning on participating in the 4 Moms open house!

Last week, I rebelled and participated but didnt follow the assignment ..;) This, week I will make up for both assignments!

The 4 Moms are touring their homes, and because I have enjoyed looking at theirs I figured ..why not?! I have had so much fun looking at my house through the view finder of my camera! I have enjoyed taking the time to ponder each part of my house that we have shared so far. I have noticed several things that need doing (including touch up paint, some dusting, some clutter that I hadnt really noticed before) and having to take pictures has motivated me to GET IT DONE!

First, we have been in our current home for about 1.5 years. It were first-time home buyers, and love owning our home! This house was not at ALL what I had been looking for when we started looking the first of last year. I was getting quite discouraged when we found this one, which my husband immediately fell in love with. I did not. It was not at all what I had in mind when we started looking, and the evening we looked at this house I had already fallen in love with the one we looked at immediately before. I was crushed when MY house was listed incorrectly, and so was not even an option.

While I whined and felt sorry for myself, my sweet husband quietly suggested we consider this house again. I didnt want to. BUT, in order to honor his suggestion we came and took another look. As it turns out, it is the PERFECT house for our Steedly Home.  I had no idea that I needed a kitchen that was far away from the playroom and the living room (I wanted a totally open floor plan, kitchen/living room/dining room combo), that we would benefit from living in an older home (rather than the new builds I loved), that we would be on this side of town (I liked closer to where our rental house was) ...I can promise you that my husband reminds me regularly that the home I love LOVE was HIS idea :)

Okay..so to start with ...right now, the summer has killed all our flowers and the front of the Steedly House is not beautiful ..but here is a shot from what it looked like during the first Charleston, SC snow in 10 years (February of this year):

Picture it with lush green grass, pretty flowers hanging from the porch, green bushes and tulips in the front flower bed. That is not what it looks like now, because the 110 degree weather killed all of them :)

Our entry way ... this is taken  from just inside the living room (that is next week!) that you can see into from the front door. Up the stairs is the all the bedrooms, and has the only carpet in the house. Unfortunate that the only floor I have to vacuum is stairs ..blech.

I have had this dresser since I was about 13. It has a beautiful mirror that has avoided being broken for 20 years AFTER I got it (it was antique when I got it) ..until I broke it a few weeks ago while moving it. Awesome.
On it sits a book I am proud to own ...

 It is a pictorial tour of Arlington Cemetery, where my baby brother is buried. My brother in law found this at Barnes and Noble where he was flipping through the pages, and he found my brothers head stone front and center on page 169.  A few weeks later, my parents received a leather bound copy of it from the Superintendent of Arlington Cemetery.

 I leave it there in the entry way so that I can never forget that he lies with heroes! :)

And, finally for this room ...the saying above my door.  This saying was part of my Uppercase Living order that I placed a few weeks ago!

Okay..moving on to the dining room and kitchen! ...

Creative Resource Management

My sister had this great idea for storing office type supplies in her schoolroom ...SO cute! I cant wait to whip up a few of them for my own school room!

She used scrapbook paper, ribbon, letter stamps and double-sided tape (you can also use glue dots). She says she spent less than $3 for the whole project, and that is with spending a little bit on some fun shaped-jars from Goodwill...I love the tall one, it says "paint brushes" :)

Love, LOVE it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Yay for Me Wednesday!

It is YFMW again! Yay!

As always, Yay For Me Wednesday is about sharing those mom moments worth celebrating!

Have you had any moments that you are proud of this week? Are you excited that you chose the right priority or that you made some advances in ordering your home?

What have you done that you are proud of? I want to know ..so does everyone else! :)

I will get us started for the week ....

* I am still working on ordering my school room ..5 days and counting!
*I have been faithfully pumping so there is enough for my little guy when I go to work a 12 hours shift in the ICU this weekend..yay for me!
*I am (more less) caught up with my budget! ...yay for me!
*I have kept my car clean for a month now! ..yay for me!
*I scoured my bathroom yesterday for the first time in who knows how long ...yay for me!
* I have a freezer full of meat, and a pantry full of food because I shopped when I didnt want to, but did anyways ...yay for me!
*I have eaten all three meals for the last week ..now I gotta work on eating the right thing..yay for me!

What do you want to celebrate? Have you written a post anytime recently about 
something you are proud of? Do share!

Wasting Resources

Of course, I am all about knowing what my resources are and how I can properly using them. You girls know that :)

But, I have noted lately that I have to be as equally aware of how I waste my resources on a regular basis!  And I do, alot!

Some things I have noted myself, that I feel dont use my time resources the BEST ...

* TV..that is big one for me. I waste alot of time watching things that dont refresh or nurture my resources!
* The internet ...yikes ...I have really be guilty of this as of late. I have so enjoyed blog hopping, tip searching, book researching, emailing, facebooking ..etc. BUT ..it is not always the best use of my resources
* Reading ..I love to read, and have been known to read a great book straight through lunch for my kids, or sacrifice puzzle/game time with my little ones to finish a chapter!
* Being on the phone ...talking to girlfriends is great, but it is not always the best use of my resources at a particular time

Now, I want to stress that these things in and of themselves are good things, and often ways that they can refresh our resources and help us to manage our limited resources well.  But, not always.

I can also waste resources in other ways, by thinking on negative things (mental resources), over or undereating (physical resources), not sticking to my budget (financial resources), piling up laundry on my couch til I have more loads than I can reasonably handle at one time (cough, cough) ..etc.

I have learned to use my stress as a guide when considering the misuse of my resources ...if I start feeling tension or overwhelmed while I am doing things I mentioned, I ask myself if it is because there is something more important, more appropriate, more productive or generally better that I should be doing.

If God has given me everything I need, then I gotta make sure I am using everything properly and not misusing it when He has intended something different with that resource.

Argh ..I am preaching to myself here! I have wasted quite a few resources the past several days as I have been having a hard time getting motivated to do some of the things around my house that needs doing, have been fretting over things I have no control over, spent alot of time on the internet ....

What about you? Do you have any "resource waster" confessions to make?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

a little tip

So, I friend of mine has this great system for storing ground meats in the freezer ...

I have heard about it three times this week, and in my book that warrants a share! :)

Alot of us buy bulk ground beef and turkey. Around here, we wait for that magic number $1.99 or less a pound and we jump on pounds and pounds of low fat ground beef.  And, just a couple of weeks ago when BiLo had BOGO split chicken breasts, we all loaded up!

Having meat in my freezer is STRESS reducing for me! :) It also makes me feel like I have managed my resources well, and like I have provided for my family.

Amanda has suggested to several of us, that we take our 1.5 pounds of either browned or raw ground beef/ turkey (or the shredded cooked chicken breasts), store in ziplock bags, and stack them one on top of the other in the freezer. When the meat is completely frozen, you set them up on their side, they are flat as a pancake and store super easy! With them on their side you can peek right in the freezer and see all the meat like shelf of books, waiting to be added to your healthy meals for your family!

Simple, but has taken some of the stress from preparing meals as often the meat is already cooked for casseroles and it is easy to see what I have and need.  It sure works for me!

Congrats Amy!

Congratulations to Amy from The Circus McGurkus..she has WON the Thirty One giveaway!

Amy says ..."Oh, if only we could get the garage organized it would be wonderful. Dare to dream. :)"

Well, you can get to work on that garage Amy! You get to put a $15 gift certificate towards your Thirty One order! I am jealous! :)

When Amy did some dream shopping in the TO catalog ..she says "Oh, and as for which tote I would pick--I love the paparazzi dot. I don't know if I would have it embroidered or not. I tend to repurpose stuff like that often so I don't know that I'd want anything so permanent on there. I think it would make a great car bucket."

I like this gal ;) 

So excited for you Amy! You will have to let us know what you get ..we would LOVE to post a giveaway update! :)

And, thanks to Kimmie who offered up this great giveaway! ..now go, and make your orders with Kimmie! Make sure to mention LPLS so Kimmie knows where the love came from! :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Choosing to Stress Less

I read a blog post (Thanks Tawn!) this past week that has been clunking around in my brain all weekend. It was about how stress is a choice that we make, and how not being stressed out is a decision.

I hadnt really thought about it in those terms, but really that is what the whole Less Stress effort is about for me! It is about purposefully determining that we will not allow stress to take the place of the peace that God promises to us, if we use what he has given us the right way.

I have been considering, though, what exactly what do we chose about stress?

Clearly, we dont always have control over the things that cause our stress to start with. We cant control...

* Others' bad choices
* Illness (for ourselves, or others)
* Life circumstances (the car breaks down or the economy fails)

We cant chose those things, but we can chose our reaction and the degree to which we allow them to stress us.  I think often, our stress is made worse when we feel we have not control over the outcome. Or, we feel we have not control over the source of stress to begin with. I think, though that we have more choice than we think we do! We can chose ...

* Our reaction to stresses
* To not compare ourselves to others
* Who we allow to judge us (or whose judgements we give warrant to)
* How we manage our resources
* What we think about (or not allow ourselves to think about)
* Who we surround ourselves with
* To be content
* To see all our circumstances from God's eyes, in the bigger picture

We can chose to do something about it, to give up, get control, get over it, get a plan, get a new perspective and always give it to God. We are not powerless in the face of our stresses.

While we cannot always chose the things that naturally would cause us a degree of stress, we can chose to not allow stress to take over and to create in us emotions and feelings that arent healthy or beneficial.

We can determine, purposefully, that the circumstances around us will not decide the outcome of our day, our mind, our heart or our spirit. We can make a choice.

Remember, that we are far from alone in that ...God has given us all we need to stand up under the weight of negativity, pessimism, fret, worry or fear. Through Christ, he has given us an ability to rise above the world and its tendency to breed stress and feelings of being overwhelmed.

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 2 Corinthians 4:17 (NLT)

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12 (NIV)

 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
Psalms 55:22 (NIV)

What are you tempted to allow to overwhelm you today ..what can you do about it?

Welcome ifellowshippers ..so glad to have you here! Remember to refresh the page so you get to see some of the more recent posts!  :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Another Chance...

Have you had a chance to enter to win a Thirty-One gift certificate?!
If you havent ..then GO for goodness sake! 

If you have, then Kimberlee has offered us a great SECOND chance to enter ..."Which Square Utility Tote pattern would you pick? How would you have it embroidered? And what would you use it for? They are featured on pgs 20-21 & 40 of the catalog. Post a comment with your answers and get another entry into the drawing"

I cant wait to see what you all choose ...I LOVE this catalog!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Our Steedly School Room

Well, the 4 Moms are doing a home tour..and while they are at their entry way..I am being rebellious and showing you my school room! :)

With our school year starting in 10 days, I have been working on getting our school room together these past few weeks! I have been having a blast putting all the books in their places, storing school supplies, choosing our posters and making plans for our learning to begin!

I have loved every minute of it, and while we are getting closer to my ideal, I am sure there will still be some rearranging left to do before August 16th!

We have all our K12 books lined up and ready to go ...we are doing Phonics, Language Arts, Math, History, Science, Art and Music. I am little nervous at the amount of work we have, but looking at the lessons they arent too in depth all at once and we should be able to ease into it pretty well, since a good portion of it is review for Ty at first.

We will also be doing bible, scripture memorization and character quality education. We will be linking qualities of SUPER Bible Heroes of the bible to character qualities that these little daddies and men in training need to know. 

I am really excited to get to watch them learn all this stuff! Ty is especially excited about learning about space. He is pretty proud that he can name most of the planets, and is even getting good at telling you where they are on the solar system poster we have up. He is a smartie :)

Our preschooler, Canon will also be working with us when he is willing and able. He loves worksheets and such things. And, he is our little artist. The art program is going to let us work with lots of different media and doing our own version of alot of different styles of art. He will love that, probably more than Ty. I cant wait!

I am trying to heed some of my mothers words ...the ones she shares on her own blog here (you should especially appreciate the awesome pics on that post ;). To remember that teaching them all the most important lessons isnt about where the school supplies fit, or which school books they use. Its easy to get caught up in all of it ...because I LOVE the education store! :)

As you may, or may not know, I am a second-generation homeschooled kid and I am excited to head back into the schooling experience I know and love. My sisters have been schooling their own children for several years now, and its been fun to both watch and learn from them.

I know that teaching my kids at home is a lifestyle ..because they are going to be with me every minute of the day, and because our every day life will have to include while still compartmentalizing school AND home.  Because of that, I have been working on a plan to keep my stress level down as we head into this big shift in our Steedly life.

Some ways I have been doing that ... really clear out my schedule (I have given up alot of church and social responsibilities and with it the necessity to be so many places), prepare our home for the new tasks it will perform, work on better sleeping and eating habits, and working on managing some of my home tasks a bit better.

I am not sure how I am going to manage my home and my school ...we shall see! :)

I am looking forward to both the hard work and the challenge of it (that is my personality). I know alot of that is because I know that all of the work and sacrifice is worth it (this is guest post I wrote for Smockity Frocks)!

So...have you been organizing and getting things ready for the chaos of the upcoming fall? 
or have you used the summer to recover some area of your home?

Mommy Time Out

Dont forget to enter to win our ThirtyOne gift certificate  ...all you have to do is enter a comment on this post about what organizing you have planned for your home this fall and summer! 

We all have our days when things just get to us easier than others. We all get to that point when we feel like one more thing will send us over the edge.  We all have those moments when we react to our kids or husband out of exhaustion, hormones, frustration or being overwhelmed.

We all do.

And, we all need a time out from time to time.  I have needed quite a few of those lately!  My little fella is 12 weeks old, and I can tell you I feel those good 'ol post baby hormones a ragin'!

I have been a mom for 5 and half years now, and I am just now learning how important it is for my kids to have times that we need to turn the tv off, decrease the stimulation, go to a quiet place and rest. When they start getting out of control,  getting defiant, bickering with their brother ..its it time for a TIME OUT. Not necessarily the discipline kind (nose in the corner) but just a time when the noise needs to STOP!

I have noticed lately, that there are times when I feel out of control, defiant and like bickering with my brother (or husband, or kids)!

I especially feel that way when I am on the computer longer than is healthy for me or my kids, have the tv on more than should be (for me or the kids, or both),  on the phone too much, havent eaten in awhile, am dehydrated or starting to feel generally YUCK!

I need to take my own time out.

If my kids get over-stimulated by all that input then so do I. I need to act accordingly.

Sometimes those feelings of overwhelming stress, is just a matter of needing a break from the stimulation around us. Make sure to take a time out when you need one!

Needs some TO ideas? ...

*Turn off the computer
*Turn off the tv
*Get off the phone, and then put it on vibrate
* Shut the bathroom door
*Set a "quiet" timer ...no talking or noise for 10 minutes
*Read a Psalm
*Drink some water, dehydration will make you feel awful!
* Eat some protein ..nuts, peanut butter, milk, yogurt
*Say a quick prayer

Most importantly ...breath.

What time out ideas do you have? What do you when you feel you are gonna lose it?! 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Yay for Me Wednesday!

We are LOVING celebrating those great times when we are on top of things instead of being too hard on ourselves! :)

YFMW is all about sharing those wonderful mommy moments we dont want to forget! This week, lets keep the idea of organizing our homes going and celebrate those times when we do a great job of ordering our environments!

Have you ordered yours lately? One space, small or large? A whole room? Schoolroom? Kids room? A closet? One shelf? Celebrate it!

Have you blogged about it? Even better! (I am thinking of you, Roan! :) Link yourself up and share with us your great accomplishments!  ..we will keep this Linky open all week so if you havent done it yet, do it this week and we will still celebrate it with you!

This theme is only a suggestion of ways to celebrate your "yay!" ...any "yay" is worth sharing!

If you are REALLY proud of yourself, or you want to get inspired, or you just want something AWESOME from Thirty-One ...then go leave a comment on this post and put your name in the hat to win a gift certificate that can help your future organizing endeavors. Have already left one? ...Kimmie left us an assignment in the comments that will earn you another chance to win ;)

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