Monday, September 15, 2014

Last week's project...

Hey, Howdy, Hey!

How was your weekend?  

Ours was a ton of busy and fun.  We did a little traveling for a soccer tournament.  It was most enjoyable.  What did you get into?  

I'm really excited to show you this post.  I've been eager to share this since I finished it up.  

I don't know about you but my house feels a lot cozier when I'm working on my project list.  In the really busy times my list grows and grows but when things are a bit calmer I love to get to work checking things off.  

After the goings on we've had recently my project list is l-o-n-g.  I'm thankful to have my honey and my son feeling well now and I'm very happy to be able to spend a little time working on my projects.  

The first project I wanted to get to was our front door.  This door had been driving me nuts for quite some time.  I had attempted to re-stain it once before but my efforts were in vain.  The sun just bakes this door.  (FYI - I'm not a fan of wooden doors if you are living in the south.)

Here's what I was dealing with.


Isn't that terrible?  What I hated most about it was that it was our front door -the first thing people see when they come to our home!  I personally think the front door says a lot about your home.  To me, it's like your teeth.  No one wants to smile real big and have a piece of spinach stuck in their teeth.  This front door was like that piece of spinach to me.

The stain had peeled and cracked horribly so the very first thing I had to do was sand the door.  The sanding wasn't as bad as I feared it would be.  I got the first two steps done on the same day.  I didn't snap a picture after I sanded the door but you can imagine that.  Here's what the door looked like after I put the primer on.  

The kids kept asking, "So we're painting the door white?" and I had to keep saying, "nooo".  Every single one of them would stop by where I was working at a different time and say something about the door being white.  No one wanted to criticize but you could tell they were questioning my color choice -all except the three year old.  She jumped up and down clapping and said, "Oh, Mommy the door looks so pretty".  Three year olds are so good for your confidence.  If you don't have one you should look into getting one.  

I let the primer dry over night and on day two I started the fun part, the painting (the right color).  

Here's the finished door.  I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. 

It was a four day project but worth every bit of time and effort.  The entire front of our house looks sooo much better.  I can't even back out of the driveway without pausing to admire my work.  I know, how terrible of me to brag like this.  So sorry.  I'm just completely thrilled that one of my projects turned out just right.  Not all of them do, you know!

No more ugly, peeling, cracking door.


Now I'm headed back to my project list to see what's next.  What projects are you working on?  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How to Get the Most Out of Your Day

Start your day with prayer.  There's nothing better.  Some time alone talking to God is the single most important thing you can do.

Decide what's MOST important.  We are not superwomen with super powers (we try) so we are not going to be able to do everything there is to possibly do.  You'll get more out of each and every day if you really focus on what is of the utmost importance.  Your relationship with God should be ranked first, followed by your husband, and kids, then all the other things in your life.

Make a "Top 3" list.  Every morning make a list of the top 3 things you really want to see accomplished by the end of the day.  If nothing else gets done except those 3 (and the children are still alive) then you know you got some important things done.  I have written some crazy stuff down on my Top 3 list before. Different seasons of life call for different lists.  When I brought our sixth child home from the hospital there were days I would write on my list 1. Eat something healthy, 2.  Shower,  3. Read a book to the kids.  I was breastfeeding our newest addition and literally would forget to eat.  That doesn't work.  I would want to know that I did at least one thing for the kids so I would write on my top 3 to read a book to them.  If it was on my list then I would make it happen.  Write down three things you really, really want done today.  Anything else you accomplish will be a bonus!

Get dressed first thing.  If you want to get a lot out of your day you can't be lurking around in your pajamas.  As soon as you wake up get showered and dressed.  It's all too tempting to grab a cup of coffee and snuggle into your favorite spot or to head right into your work and find yourself still in your pjs at lunchtime.  Take a few minutes and get yourself ready at the start of the day.  Once you are dressed your brain knows it's time to get moving.  As long as you are in your pajamas your brain and body feel a little too comfortable.  There are two things that get my brain/body in go mode - shoes and a bra.  I mean, I wear other things but those two items help me get to work faster and better than if I didn't have them on.  

Break large tasks into smaller ones.  These days it takes me forever to finish a project.  It's sad, but true.  Here's what I've found:  If a project seems huge to me I will just keep putting it off.  Some things just keep getting moved to the next day's to-do list, and then the next, and the next.  In addition to taking care of our family and home, and teaching my children, I'm currently running a taxi service for my husband and my sons.  It is a necessary (major) interruption to my day.  I've finally come to realize that I must break big jobs into little ones if I am ever going to get anything accomplished.

Be thankful.  Through it all and in it all remain thankful.  As you are cleaning your home be thankful that you have a home to live in.  While you cook and wash dishes give thanks to God for the food you have to eat.  As you are training and teaching your children be thankful for the sweet ones God has given you to raise.  When you work on the laundry, or in the garden, or clean the bathrooms, try to spend some time reflecting on all the ways God has blessed you.  Think of those women who want children so badly and have none.  Lest you be tempted to complain about all the work you have to do, think about how blessed you are to be here to do it.  I'm really preaching to myself.  It's easy to get overwhelmed and want to throw a pity party.  Believe me, I understand.  Some days I just want to cry because I have so much work to do and what seems like no way to do it all.  God has given us Himself.  We are not alone in our work and we need only to ask for His ever present help.  Being thankful for all that you have will help you get much more our of your day - far more than if we complain.  There is always, always something to be thankful for!  Try praising God for your work and see if you don't get more out of your day.

Give yourself a fun break.  If you want to get a lot out of your day it can't be all work and no play.  Stop what you are doing at some point and go for a walk, or look through a catalog, or read a book you've been wanting to get your hands on.  Set a timer so you don't get lost.  I find it perfectly acceptable, (I recommend it actually), to stop working for a little while and go get a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Work really hard all morning - take a break mid day for a latte - work really hard all afternoon.  It makes sense to me!  Everyone needs a pick-me-up once in a while.  If you are working on some difficult tasks it is nice to know you have something to look forward to.  Tell yourself to work to a certain point and then reward yourself when you get there.

There's my list.  Now, how about yours?  Share with my readers and me your best tip for getting the most out of your day.

Monday, September 8, 2014


I've used the word enough at least a few times today.

We didn't get up early enough.

The kids are not getting enough school work done.

I've had enough.

There's not enough time, or money.

I wonder if we have enough cereal.

Are the children eating enough fruit and vegetables?

Is there enough?  Do we have enough?  Am I doing enough?

The Lord Jesus is enough.  His payment on my behalf is final.  He is more than enough for me.

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."  John 16:33

In our world there will be trouble -but there is peace {in Him}, and He gives courage.  He overcame the world.  No need to fear, or to fret.  He has given us all we need to do our best.  He gave us Himself.  

He is more than enough!

If your Monday is off to a bad start, spend a few minutes pouring out your heart to Him and begin again.  Look at Him, then your to-do list.  Ask Him to remind you how HE sees you.  Trust in Him today and know He will be enough.  

The Lord Jesus is more than enough for me.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Bible Time

I had planned to read a chapter of Psalms to the children each morning at breakfast during our school year.  I switched it to Proverbs for the month of September after our Pastor suggested to the congregation that we read the Proverb that corresponds to the date (Sept 1st - Proverbs 1, Sept 2nd - Proverbs 2, and so on).  

Today we read Proverbs 5.  It made for some interesting discussion with my boys!  :)  

Do you have a time each day to read the Bible with your children?  If not, carve out a little time somewhere in your day and start reading.  You will love it, I promise.  This one thing makes a big difference in our lives - more so than anything else we do.  I usually read aloud to the kids at breakfast and my husband leads our family Bible time at night.  We aim to start and finish our day in God's word.  

{Deuteronomy 8:3  And He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.}  

None of us get too busy and neglect to feed our kids physical food.  Oh maybe for a brief period - we forget to get lunch ready or something like that - but no mama goes days at a time without feeding her children.  Yet somehow we might go days (or longer) without feeding our children spiritual food.  Children do not live on bread (cereal, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese) alone.  

I've been guilty of rushing through the morning, or allowing too many activities in the evenings, and skipping our Bible time.  I'm always reminded when we do resume how wonderful it is and I'm encouraged and strengthened to live another day in this foreign land.  I can't think of anything better we could serve our children.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls

Every now and then for a special treat I like to make my version of homemade cinnamon rolls for my family.  Cinnamon rolls also make a great gift for a friend.  The other day I did both.

Rarely do I ever make anything in the kitchen without a little helper.  I'm so thankful for that!

I like to use Bridgford Ready-Dough but any frozen bread dough will work.  I've used Rhodes also.

One loaf of dough, thawed
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped nuts or raisins (optional)
2 tsp. cinnamon (Or more - I always use more!)

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to a 10" x 12" rectangle.  Spread dough with 2 tablespoons melted butter.  Mix sugar, nuts and cinnamon.  Set aside 2 tablespoons for use later.  Sprinkle mixture over dough.


Beginning with 12" side, roll dough tightly in jelly roll fashion.  


Cut dough into 12 pieces.  I like to use plain dental floss for cutting.  It makes the job really easy.  Place pieces in a lightly-greased 13" x 9" cake pan.  

Brush tops with 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture.  Let rolls rise until double in size.  (For breakfast, rolls may be assembled the evening before, then loosely covered with plastic wrap, and placed in the refrigerator to rise over night.)  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Turn out of pan immediately to cool on wire rack.  Brush with remaining melted butter.  To frost, mix 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons milk and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Drizzle onto rolls.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Football and Nachos

How is it Wednesday already?  I just don't get it.  I can't seem to get a grip on time.  It slips right through my fingers!  

A little bit of madness started up in our household over the weekend.  Does your family love football?  If so, you need this recipe.  It's easy to whip up, tastes delicious, and feeds a crowd.  Perfect for tailgating and such.  We love it!

1 lb ground beef or Italian sausage  (I use sausage.)
1 can Nacho Cheese soup
1 can Cheddar Cheese soup
1 small can (15 oz) Rotel tomatoes

Brown the sausage and drain.  Stir everything together in your crock-pot and let cook until hot and bubbly.  Serve with tortilla chips.  Serves 4 to 6.

It tastes even better when your team wins.  GO VOLS!!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Cleaning Inspiration

Happy Saturday!

What's on your agenda for this holiday weekend?  

I'm looking for a fun little mix of work and play.  As in, today I will work and hopefully Monday we will play.  I've got a list of projects a mile long.  Most of my family members are going in different directions today.  It won't do me any good to write out honey-do lists as not many of my honeys are going to be around. It's a busy season of life where I am.  I bet it is where you live too.  

I heard someone talking just yesterday about how hard it is to keep everyone's schedule straight.  When school starts so do a lot of other, music lessons, AWANA, etc.  Kids take gymnastics, participate in clubs, and so much more.  The mom I heard talking said her children had even missed a few things because she was having trouble keeping everyone and everything on track.  Her comments got me thinking and I've started working on a post with tips to help schedule your family.  I will try to have that up in a couple of days.  

There is not enough coffee in all the world to help me today.  I slept a whopping four hours last night.  Which brings me to my next question - How's the Bedtime Challenge going for you?  I'm not sure if anyone (other than me) is working on it.  I dropped the whole thing when my honey was in the hospital and I left you hanging.  I'm sorry about that but I suppose you understand.  My blog took a backseat when my honey's life was in peril.  If you are still interested, I'd like to know how you are making progress in getting to bed earlier.  I'm not, (so far), but hope to in the coming days.  I do have a really neat prize to give away if anyone wants to pick back up on the Bedtime Challenge.  Your comments serve as entries into the drawing.  

As for me not sleeping last night, that comes from a long list of the "cons" of my life.  I'm speaking of pros and cons.  Let me show you what I mean - 

PRO:  I made it to church on time Wednesday night.  Not just on time, early!  I got to see a friend who just had a new baby (she's precious!).
CON:  Seconds after my friend walked in with her new baby our youngest threw up in the floor.  Vomit literally landed next to the baby carrier that had just been put down.  We went home.

PRO:  Our sweet Pastor gave one of our sons a set of golf clubs.
CON:  Said son promptly busted out an entire window of our neighbor's house with a golf ball.

PRO:  We've been blessed with six precious children.
CON:  Raising six children is very hard work.

PRO:  Of our six children, four are male.  All of those males are adolescent age.
CON:  Adolescence is tough! (x 4) 

PRO:  We have indoor plumbing.
CON:  Cleaning boy bathrooms is about to kill me.  (and my cleaning comes after theirs!)

PRO:  We are not naked.
CON:  Doing the laundry for eight people is keeping me up half the night.  

There.  You get the idea now.  :)

My to-do list is calling me, the children are too.  A lot.  I will leave you with a little link for cleaning inspiration.  I liked it and thought you might also.  It inspired me - for a few minutes.  (Perhaps it will not wear off so quickly on you.)

May your weekend be cozy and blessed!


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